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beastly lyuynge, and to be tourned from a brute
and a sauage beast in to a man. Poliphemus. I
thanke you good neyghbour Cannius for by saynt
Mary I thynke your counsayle is good/for the
prophetes of this ||tyme sayth the worlde is
almost at an end, and we shall haue domes daye
(as they call it) shortely. Cannius. We haue
therfore more nede to prepare our selues in a
redines agaynst that day, and that with as moche
spede as maye be possible. Poliphemus. as for my
part I loke and wayte styll euery day for the
myghty hande and power of christ. Cannius. Take
hede therfore that thou, when christ shall laye
his myghty hande vpon the be as tendre as waxe,
that accordynge to his eternall wyll he maye
frayme & fashyon the with his hande. But wherby I
praye the dothe these prophetes coniecture &
gather that the worlde is almost at an ende.
Poliphe. Bycause men (they saye) do the selfe same
thinge nowe adayes that they dyd, and were wont to
do which were lyuynge in the worlde a lytle whyle
before the deluge or Noyes floode. They make
solempne feastes, they banket, they quaffe, they
booll, they bybbe, they ryot men mary, ||wome
are maryed, they go a catterwallynge and
horehuntinge, they bye, they sell, they lend to
vserie, and borowe vpon vserie, they builde, kîges
keepe warre one agaynst another, preestes studie
howe they maye get many benefyces and promociõs to
make them selfe riche and increase theyr worldly
substaunce, the diuynes make insolible sillogismus
and vnperfyte argumêtes, they gather conclusyons,
monkes and freers rûne, at rouers ouer all the
world, the comyn people are in a mase or a hurle
burle redy to make insurrections, and to conclude
breuelie there lackes no euyll miserie nor
myschefe, neyther hõger, thyrst fellonie,
robberie, warre, pestilence, sediciõ, derth, and
great scarsytie and lacke of all good thynges. And
howe say you do not all these thynges argue and
sufficientlie proue that the worlde is almost at
an ende? Cannius. Yea but tell me I praye the of
all thes hoole hepe of euyls and miseries whiche
greueth the ||moste? Poliphemus. Whiche
thynkes thou, tell me thy fansie and coniecture?
Cannius. That the Deuyll (god saue vs) maye daunce
in thy purse for euer a crosse that thou hast to
kepe hî for the. Poliphe. I pray god I dye and yf
thou haue not hyt the nayle vpon the head. Now as
chaunceth I come newly from a knotte of good
companye where we haue dronke harde euery man for
his parte, & I am not behynde with myne, and
therfore my wytte is not halfe so freshe as it
wyll be, I wyll dyspute of the gospell with the
whan I am sobre. Canni. When shal I se the sobre?
Poli. When I shall be sobre. Cannius. Whê wyll
that be? Poliph. When thou shalt se me, in the
meane season god be with you gentle Cannius and
well mot you do. Cannius. And I wyshe to you a
gayne for my parte that thou ware in dede as
valiaunt or pusaunt a felowe as thy name soundeth.
Poliphe. And bycause ye shall lose nothynge at my
||hande with wyshynge I pray god that Cannius
maye neuer lacke a good can or a stoope of wine or
bere, wherof he had his name.


* * * * *

[C]The dialoge of thynges
and names.

A declaracion of the names.

Beatus, is he whiche hathe abun
dance of al thinges that is good,
and is parfyte in all thynges commen-
dable or prayseworthy or to be desyred
of a good man. Somtyme it is ta-
ken for fortunate, ryche, or
noble. Bonifacius, fayre,
full of fauor or well

* * * * *

[C]The parsons names are Beatus and Bonifacius.

_Beatus._ God saue you mayster Boniface.
_Bonifacius._ God saue you & god saue you agayne
gêtle _Beatus._ But I wold god bothe we were such,
and so in very dede as we be called by name, that
is to say thou riche & I fayre. _Beatus._ Why do
you thynke it nothynge worth at al to haue a goodly
glorious name. _Bonifacius._ Truely me thynke it is
of no valure or lytle good worthe, onles a man
haue the thynge itselfe whiche is sygnified by the
name. _Beatus._ Yea you maye well thynke your
pleasure, but I am assured that the most part of
all mortall men be of another mynde. _Bonifa._ It
may wel be I do not denye that they are mortal,
but suerly I do not byleue that they are me, which
are so beastly mynded. _Bea._ Yes good syr and they
be men to laye ||your lyfe, onlesse ye thynke
camels and asses do walke about vnder the fygure
and forme of men. _Boni._ Mary I can soner beleue
that then that they be men whiche esteme and passe
more vpon the name, then the thynge. _Bea._
I graunte in certayne kyndes of thinges moost men
had rather haue the thynge then the name, but in
many thynges it is otherwyse and cleane cõtrary.
_Bo._ I can not well tell what ye meane by that.
_Bea._ And yet the example of this matter is
apparant or sufficiently declared in vs two. Thou
arte called Bonifacius and thou hast in dede the
thynge wherby thou bearest thy name. Yet if there
were no other remedy but eyther thou must lacke
the one or the other, whether had you rather haue
a fowle and deformed face or elles for Boniface be
called Maleface or horner? _Boni._ Beleue me I had
rather be called fowle Thersites then haue a
monstrous or a deformyed face, whether I haue a
good face or no ||I can not tell. _Bea._ And
euen so had I for yf I were ryche and there were
no remedy but that I must eyther forgoo my
rychesse, or my name I had rather be called Irus
whiche was a poore beggers name then lacke my
ryches. _Boni._ I agree to you for asmoch as ye
speake the trouth, and as you thynke. _Bea._ Iudge
all them to be of the same mynde that I am of
whiche are indued with helthe or other commodities
and qualities appartaynynge to the body. _Boni._
That is very trewe. _Bea._ Yea but I praye the
cõsyder and marke howe many men we se whiche had
rather haue the name of a lerned and a holy man,
then to be well lerned, vertuous, & holy in dede.
_Boni._ I knowe a good sorte of suche men for my
part. _Bea._ Tell me thy fãtasie I pray the do not
suche men passe more vpon the name then the
thinge? _Boni._ Methynke thy do. _Bea._ Yf we had a
logician here whiche could well and clarkelie
defyne what were a kynge, what a bysshoppe,
||what a magistrate, what a philosopher is,
paduêture we shuld find som amõg these iolly
felowes whiche had rather haue the name then the
thynge. _Boni._ Surely & so thynke I. Yf he be a
kinge whiche by lawe and equyte regardes more the
commoditie of his people then his owne lucre/yf he
be a bisshop which alwayes is careful for the
lordes flocke cõmytted to his pastorall charge/yf
he be a magistrate which frankelie and of good
wyll dothe make prouysyon, and dothe all thinge
for the comyn welthes sake/and yf he be a
phylosopher whiche passynge not vpon the goodes of
this worlde, only geueth hym selfe to attayn to a
good mynde, and to leade a vertuous lyfe. _Bea._
Lo thus ye may perseyue what a nombre of semblable
exãples ye may collecte & gether. _Boni._ Undouted
a great sorte. _Bea._ But I pray the tel me wyll
you saye that all these are no men. _Boni._ Nay I
feare rather lest in so sayenge it shulde cost vs
our lyues, and ||so myght we our selues shortelye
be no men. _Bea._ Yf man be a resonable creature,
howe ferre dyffers this from all good reason, that
in cõmodities apertayning to the body (for so
they deserue rather to be called then goodnes) and
in outwarde gyftes whiche dame fortune geues and
takes awaye at her pleasure, we had rather haue
the thynge then the name, and in the true and only
goodnes of the mynd we passe more vpon the name
then the thynge. _Boni._ So god helpe me it is a
corrupte and a preposterours iudgement, yf a man
marke and consyder it wel. _Bea._ The selfe same
reason is in contrarie thinges. _Boni._ I wolde
gladly knowe what ye meane by that. _Bea._ We maye
iudge lykewyse the same of the names of thynges to
be eschued, and incommodites which was spoken of
thynges to be diffyred and cõmodites. _Boni._ Nowe
I haue considered the thynges well, it apereth to
be euen so as ye saye in dede. __Bea.__ It
shulde be ||more feared of a good prynce to be
a tyraunt in dede then to haue the name of a
tyraunt. And yf an euyll bysshop be a thefe and a
robber, then we shulde not so greatly abhorre and
hate the name as the thynge. _Boni._ Eyther so it
is or so it shuld be. _Bea._ Nowe gather you of the
rest as I haue done of the prynce & the bysshop.
_Boni._ Me thynkes I vnderstande this gere
wonderouse well. _Bea._ Do not all men hate the
name of a fole or to be called a moome, a sotte,
or an asse? _Boni._ Yeas as moche as they do any
one thynge. _Bea._ And how saye you were not he a
starke fole that wold fishe with a goldê bayte,
that wolde preferre or esteme glasse better then
precious stones, or whiche loues his horse or
dogges better then his wyfe and his chyldrê?
_Boni._ He were as wyse as waltoms calfe, or
madder then iacke of Redyng. _Bea._ And be not
they as wyse whiche not assygned, chosen, nor yet
ones appoynted by the magistrates, but vpon ||theyr
owne heed aduenture to runne to the warres for
hoope of a lytle gayne, ieoperdynge theyr bodyes
and daungerynge theyr soules? Or howe wyse be
they which busie thê selfe to get, gleyne, and
reepe to gyther, goodes and ryches when they haue
a mynde destitute and lackyng all goodness? Are
not they also euen as wyse that go gorgyously
apparylled, and buyldes goodly sumptuous houses,
when theyr myndes are not regarded but neglect
fylthye and with all kynde of vyce fowle
corrupted? And how wyse are they whiche are
carefull diligent and busie, about the helthe of
theyr body neglectynge and not myndynge at all
theyr soule, in daunger of so many deedly synnes?
And fynally to conclude howe wyse be they whiche
for a lytle shorte transytorye pleasure of this
lyfe deserue euerlastynge tormentes and
punyshementes? _Boni._ Euen reason forseth me to
graunt that they are more then frãtyke and
folyshe. _Bea._ Yea ||but althoughe all the
whole worlde be full of suche fooles, a man can
scaselye fynde one whiche can abyde the name of a
foole, and yet they deserue to be called so for
asmoche as they hate not the thynge. _Boni._ Suerly
it is euen so as ye seye. _Bea._ Ye knowe also howe
the names of a lyar and a thefe are abhorred and
hated of all men. _Boni._ They are spyteful and
odious names, and abhorred of all men, and not
withe out good cause why. _Bea._ I graunte that,
but althoughe to commyt adulterie be a more wycked
synne then thefte yet for al that some men reioyse
and shewe them selfe glad of that name, whiche
wolde be redy by and by to drawe theyr swerdes and
fyghte withe a man that wolde or durst call them
theues. _Boni._ It is true there are many wolde
take it euyll as you saye in dede. _Bea._ And nowe
it is commyn to that poynt that thoughe there are
many vnthryftes and spêdals whiche consume theyr
substaunce at the ||wyne and vpon harlottes,
and yet so wyllynge to continewe openly that all
the worlde wonders at them, yet they wyll be
offended and take peper in the noose yf a man
shulde call them ruffyans or baudy knaues. _Boni._
Suche fellowes thynke they deserue prayse for the
thynge, and yet for all that they can not abyde
the name dewe to the thinge whiche they deserue.
_Bea._ There is scarslye any name amonges vs more
intollerable or worse can be abydden then to be
called a lyar or a lyeng fellowe. _Boni._ I haue
knowen some or this whiche haue kylled men for
suche a spytefull worde as that is. _Bea._ Yea yea
but wolde god suche hasty fellowes dyd as well
abhorre the thinge and hate lienge as well as to
be called lyers, was it neuer thy chaunce to be
dysceyued of any man whiche borowinge mony of the
appoyntynge the a certayne daye to repaye the sayd
money and so performyd not his appoyntment nor
kept his day? ||_Boni._ Yeas many tymes (god
knoweth) and yet hath he sworne many a greuous
othe and that not one tyme but many tymes. _Bea._
Peraduenture he wolde haue ben so honest as to
haue payed it and yf he had had wherwith. _Boni._
Naye that is not so for he was able inoughe, but
as he thought it better neuer to paye his dettes.
_Bea._ And what call you this in englyshe, is it
not playne lyenge? _Boni._ Yes as playne as
Dunstable way, there can not be a lowder lye then
this is. _Bea._ Durste you be so bolde to pulle
one of these good detters of yours by the sleue and
saye thus to hym, why hast thou dysceyued me so
many tymes and broken promyse with me, or to talke
to hym in playne englyshe, why doest thou make me
so many lyes? _Boni._ Why no syr by my trouthe
durst I not, excepte I were mynded before to chaûge
halfe a dosen drye blowes with hym. _Bea._ Dothe
not masons Brekelayers, Carpenters, Smy||thes,
Goldsmithes, Taylours, disceyue and disapoynt vs
after the lyke maner daylye promysynge to do youre
worke suche a daye and suche a daye without any
fayle, or further delaye, and yet for all that
they parforme not theyr promesse althoughe it
stande the neuer somoche vpon hande, or that thou
shuldest take neuer so moche profyte by it. _Boni._
This is a wonderous and strange vnshamefast
knauerye of all that euer I hard of. But and ye
speake of breakers of promyse then ye maye reken
amongest them lawyers and atturneys at the lawe,
which wyl not stycke to promyse or beare you in
hande that they wyll be diligent and ernest in the
furtheraûce and spedie expedicion of your sute.
_Bea._ Reken quod he, naye ye maye reken fyve
hundreth mennes names besyde these of sundrye
faculties and occupacions whiche wyll promyse more
by an ynch of a candle then they wyll performe by
a whole pounde. _Boni._ Why ||and ye call this
lyenge all the worlde is full of suche lyenge.
_Bea._ Ye se also lykewyse that no man can abyde to
be called thefe, and yet all men do not abhorre
the thynge so greatly. _Boni._ I wolde gladly haue
you to declare your mynde in this more playnlye &
at large. _Bea._ What difference is there betwene
hym whiche stealeth thy money forthe of thy cofer,
and hym whiche forsweareth and falsely denyeth
that whiche thou cõmytted to his custodie to be
reserued and safely kept for thy vse only, or to
suche tyme as thou arte mynded to call for it
agayne. _Boni._ There is as they say neyther
barrell better hearing, but that in my iudgement
he is the falser knaue of the twayne whiche robbes
a man that puttes his confidence and trust in hym.
_Bea._ yea but howe fewe men are there nowe adayes
lyuynge whiche are contente to restore agayne that
whiche they were put in truste to kepe, or yf they
deluer it agayne it is ||so dymynysshed,
gelded, nypped, and pynched, that it is not
delyuered whollye, but some thinge cleues in theyr
fyngers, that the prouerbe may haue place where
the horse walloweth there lyeth some heares.
_Boni._ I thynke but a fewe that dothe otherwyse.
_Bea._ And yet for all that there is none of al
these that cã abyde it ones to be called thefe,
and yet forsothe they hate not the thing so
greatly. _Boni._ That is as trewe as the gospell.
_Bea._ Consyder me nowe and marke I beseche the
howe the goodes of orphanes, pupylls, wardes, and
fatherlesse chyldren be cõmunely ordered and vsed,
how wylles and testamentes be executed and
performed, how legacyes and bequethes be communelye
payde, Naye howe moche cleueth and hangeth fast in
the fyngers of the executors or with them that
mynyster and intermedle with the goodes of the
testatours. _Boni._ Many tymes they retayne and
kepe in theyr handes all togy||ther. _Bea._ Yea
they loue to playe the thefe well inoughe, but they
loue nothynge worse then to here of it. _Boni._
That is very trewe. _Bea._ Howe lytle dyffers he
from a thefe whiche boroweth money of one and other
and so runneth in dette, with this intent and
purpose that yf he maye escape so or fynde suche a
crafty colour or a subtyle shyft, he intendeth
neuer to paye that he oweth. _Boni._ Paraduenture
he maye be called warer or more craftier thê a
thefe is in dede but no poynt better, for it is
hard chosyng of a better where there is neuer a
good of them bothe. _Bea._ yea but althoughe there
be in euery place a great nombre of such
makeshyftes and slypper marchauntes yet the
starkest knaue of thê all can not abyde to be
called thefe. _Boni._ God onely knoweth euery mãnes
hart and mynd, and therfore they are called of vs
men that are runne in dette or fer behynde the
hande, but not theues for that soun||deth vnswetely
and lyke a playne song note. _Bea._ What skyllys it
howe they be called amõge men yf they be theues
afore god. And where you say that god onely knoweth
euery mannes hart and mynde, euen so euery man
knoweth his owne mynde, whether in his wordes &
doynges he entende fraude, couyn, dysceyte, and
thefte or no. But what say ye by hym whiche when he
oweth more then he is worthe, wyll not stycke to
lashe prodygallye and set the cocke vpon the hoope,
and yet yf he haue any money at all lefte to spende
that a waye vnthryftely, and when he hathe played
the parte of a knauyshe spendall in one cytie
deludinge and disceyuyng his creditours, ronnes
out of this countre and getteth hym to some other
good towne, and there sekynge for straûgers and
newe acquayntaûce whom he may lykewyse begyle, yea
and playeth many suche lyke partes and shameful
shiftes. I praye the tell me dothe not suche a
||greke declare euydentlye by his crafty
dealynge and false demeanour, what mynde is he of?
_Boni._ yes suerly as euydentlye as can be
possible. But yet suche felowes are wonte to
colour and cloke theyr doynges vnder a craftie
pretence. _Bea._ With what I beseche the? _Boni._
They saye to owe moche and to dyuers persones is
communely vsed of great men, yea and of kynges
also as well as of them, and therfore they that
intende to be of that disposycyon wyll beare out
to the harde hedge the porte of a gentylman and
soo they wyll be taken and estemed for gentilmen
of the commune people. _Bea._ A gentylman and why
or to what entent and purpose a gentylman? _Boni._
It is a straunge thynge to be spoken howe moche
they thynke it is mete for a gentylman or a
horseman to take vpon hym. _Bea._ By what equytie,
authoritie, or lawes. _Boni._ By none other but by
the selfe same lawes that the Admiralles of the
||sees chalenge a proprietie in all suche thynges
as are cast vpon the shoore by wracke, althoughe
the ryghte owner come forthe and chalenge his owne
goodes. And also by the same lawes that some other
men saye all is theyrs what soeuer is founde
aboute a thefe or a robber whê he is takê. _Boni._
Such lawes as these are the arrantest theues that
are myght make them selues. _Bea._ yea and ye may
be sure they wold gladly with al theyr harts î
their bodies make suche lawes yf they coulde
mayntayne them or were of power to se them
executed, and they myght haue some thynge to laye
for theyr excuse if they could proclayme opyn warre
before they fell to robbynge. _Boni._ But who gaue
that pryuylege rather to a horseman then to a
foteman, or more to a gentylman thê to a good
yeman. _Bea._ The fauoure that is shewed to men of
warre, for by suche shyftes and thus they practyse
before to be good men of warre that they ||maye be
more redy & hansome to spoyle theyr enemyes when
they shall encounter with thê. _Boni._ I thynke
Pyrhus dyd so exercyse and breake his yonge
souldyers to the warres. _Bea._ No not Pyrrhus but
the Lacedemonians dyd. _Boni._ Mary syr hange vp
suche practysers or soldyers and theyr practisyng
to. But howe come they by the name of horsemen or
gentylmen that they vsurpe suche a great
prerogatyue? _Bea._ Some of them are gentylmê borne
and it cometh to them by auncestrie, some bye it
by the meanes of maystrys money, and other some
gette it by certayne shyftes. _Boni._ But maye
euery man that wyl and lyst come by it by shyftes?
_Bea._ Yea why not, euery man maye be a gentylman
nowe adayes very well and yf theyr condicions and
maners be accordynge. _Boni._ What maners or
condicions must suche one haue I beseche the?
_Bea._ Yf he be occupyed aboute no goodnesse, yf he
can ruffle it ||and swashe in his satens and his
silkes and go gorgiously apparelled, yf he can
ratle in his rynges vpon the fyngers endes, yf he
can playe the ruffyan and the horemonger and kepe
a gaye hoore gallantlye, yf he be neuer well at
ease but when he is playenge at the dyse, yf he be
able to matche as moche an vnthryfte as hym selfe
with a newe payre of cardes, yf he spende his tyme
lyke an epycure vpon bankettinge, sumptuous fare,
and all kynde of pleasures, yf he talke of no
rascalles nor beggars, but bragge, bost, face,
brace, and crake of castelles, towers, and
skyrmysshes, and yf all his talke be of the warres
and blody battels, and playe the parte of
crackinge Thraso throughly, such gaye grekes,
lusty brutes and ionkers may take vpon them to be
at defyaunce withe whome they wyll and lyst,
thoughe the gentylman haue neuer a fote of lande
to lyue vpon. _Boni._ Call ye them horsmen. Mary
syr suche horsemen are wel ||worthy to ryde vpõ
the gallowes, these are gentylmen of the Iebet of
all that euer I haue harde of. _Bea._ But yet there
be not afewe suche in that parte of Germany called
Nassen or Hessen.


Trãslated by Edmonde Becke
And prynted at Cantorbury
in saynt Paules parishe
by Johñ Mychell.

* * * * *
* * * *
* * * * *

[Transcriber's note: The following typographical
errors were corrected.
"soldyers cassocke, a payre of hoose all to cut and
manglyd, may co||uer an euangelycall mynde."
hoose _was_ hoofe
"Poliphe. Naye I knowe hym whiche bereth a shepe
vpon his heed, and a sore in his brest"
sore _was_ fore
"orphanes, pupylls, wardes, and fatherlesse
chyldren be cõmunely ordered and vsed, how wylles"
cõmunely _was_ cõmuuely ]


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