The Example of Vertu - The Example of Virtue
by Stephen Hawes
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[P] Here begynneth the boke called the example of vertu.

Tabula libri

[P] Fyrste a prologue.

[P] How youth mette with discrecyon in a medowe in his dreme & was reformed by her prouerbes ca.i.

[P] How youth with discrecyon sayled ouer the daungerous passage of vayne glorye and arryued in a fayre Ilonde longynge to foure ladyes named Hardynes / Sapyence / fortune / & nature. ca.ii

[P] Of the meruaylous palays of fortune ca.iii.

[P] Of the triumphaunt estate of hardynes. ca.iiii.

[P] Of the gloryfyed towre of sapyence. ca.v.

[P] Of the stronge operacyons of nature

[P] How these foure ladyes pleeded at the barre before Iustyce whiche of theym was moost proufytable vnto mankynde & of the Iugement of Iustyce. ca.vii.

[P] How after the Iugement of Iustyce / Sapyence c[om]maunded Discrec[on]n to lede youth to marye with clennes the kynge of loues doughter. ca.viii.

[P] How youth by the waye mette [with] lechery rydynge on a gote and pryde maned with couetyse on an olypha[un]tes backe in a fayre castell / & how by the ayde of dyscrecyon he dyde withstande theyr temptac[on]n and how he mette with sapience in the mase of wordely besynes. capitulo.ix.

[P] How Sapyence & dyscrecyon ledde youth ouer the narowe brydge of vanyte of the worlde to the palays of [the] kynge of loue & of his meruaylous appareyl. ca.x

[P] How sapyence presented youth to the kynge of loue for to mary Clennes his doughter & how he before [the] maryage dyde fyght and discomfyte the dragon with thre hedys. capitulo.xi.

[P] How after the discomfyture of the sayd dragon he well growen in age was receyued with a farye company of ladyes and was named vertu & with all Ioye brought to the palays of the kynge of loue. ca.xii.

[P] Of the maryage of vertu & clennes & of [the] celestyal feste how after the maryage an aungell shewed vnto theym hell / & of the dyuysyons of hell. ca.xiii.

[P] How vertu cleymed the enherytaunce longynge to Clennes his wyfe / & how many aungelles & sayntes brought theym to heuen / & how heuen is enteyled to Vertu and to Clennes & to all theym that loue them & folowe & procede in theyr steppes. capitulo.xiiii.

[P] This boke called the example of vertue was made and compyled by Stephyn hawys one of the gromes of the moost honorable chaumber of oure souerayne lorde kynge Henry the .vii. the .xix. yere of his moost noble reygne / and by hym presented to our sayd souerayne lorde chapytred & marked after this table here before sette.

The prologe.

Whan I aduert in my remembraunce The famous draughtes of poetes eloquent Whiche theyr myndes dyd well enhaunce Bokes to contryue that were expedyent To be remembred without Impedyment For the profyte of humanyte This was the custume of antyquyte.

I now symple and moost rude And naked in depured eloquence For dulnes rethoryke doth exclude Wherfore in makynge I lake intellygence Also consyderynge my grete neglygence It fereth me sore for to endyte But at auenture I wyll now wryte.

As very blynde in the poetys art For I therof can no thynge skyll Wherfore I lay it all a part But somwhat accordynge to my wyll I wyll now wryte for to fulfyll Saynt Powles wordes and true sentement All that is wryten is to oure document

O prudent Gower in langage pure Without corrupcyon moost facundyous O noble Chauser euer moost sure Of frutfull sentence ryght delycyous O vertuous Lydgat moche sentencyous Vnto you all I do me excuse Though I your connynge do now vse

Explicit prologus.

Capitulum prim[um]

In Septembre in fallynge of the lefe Whan phebus made his declynacyon And all the whete gadred was in the shefe By radyaunt hete and operacyon Whan the vyrgyn had full domynacyon And Dyane entred was one degre Into the sygne of Gemyne

Whan the golden sterres clere were splendent In the firmament puryfyed clere as crystall By imperyall course without incombrement As Iuppyter and Mars that be celestyall With Saturne and Mercury that wer supernall Myxt with venus that was not retrograte That caused me to be well fortunate

In a slombrynge slepe with slouth opprest As I in my naked bedde was leyd Thynkynge all nyght to take my rest Morpleus to me than made abreyd And in my dreme me thought he sayd Come walke with me in a medowe amerous Depeynted with floures that be delycyous

I walked with hym into a place Where that there grue many a fayre floure With Ioye replete and full of solace And the trees dystyllynge redolent lycoure More sweter fer than the Aprell shour And tary I dyd there by longe space Tyll that I saw before my face

A ryght fayre lady of myddell stature And also enduyd with grete vertue Her apparell was set with perlys pure Whose beaute alway dyd renue To me she sayd and ye wyll extue All wyldnes I wyll be your guyde That ye to fraylte shall not slyde.

[>>] Vnto her I answerde o lady gloryous I pray you tell me what is your name For ye seeme to be ryght precyous And I am yonge and sore to blame Of vyces full and in vertue lame But I wyll be ruled now by your pleasure So that your order be made by mesure

Eclepyd I am she sayd dyscrecyon And yf ye wyll be ruled by me Ye shall haue Ioye without reprehencyon And neuer fall in to fragylyte Youth lackynge me it is grete pyte For in what place I am exyled They be with synne ryght oft defyled

It longeth euer vnto my properte Youth to gyue courage for to lerne I wyll not medle with no duplycyte But faythfulnes I wyll dyscerne And brynge thy soule to blesse eterne By wyse example and morall doctryne For youth hauynge to me is a good syne

Forsake also all euyll company And be founde true in worde and dede Remembre that this worlde is transytory After thy desert shall be thy mede Loue god alway and eke hym drede And for no mannes pleasure be thyn owne foo Gyue theym fayre wordes and lete theym goo

[] Be to thy kynge euer true subgete As thou sholdest be by ryght and reason Lete thy herte lowely on hym be sete Without ony spot of euyll treason And be obedyent at euery season Vnto his grace without rebellyon That thou with trouth may be companyon

Loue neuer vnloued for that is payne Whyle that thou lyuest of that beware Loue as thou seest the loued agayne Or elles it wyll torne the to care Be neuer taken in that fast snare Proue or thou loue that is moost sure And than thou in doubte shalt not endure.

Beware byleue no flaterynge tonge For flaterers be moost disseyuable Though that they company with the longe Yet at the ende they wyll be varyable For they by reason are not fauorable But euermore fals and double And with theyr tonges cause of grete trouble

This brytell worlde ay full of bytternes Alway turnynge lyke to a ball No man in it can haue no sykernes For whan he clymmeth he hath a fall O wauerynge shadowe bytter as gall O fatall welth full soone at ende Though thou ryght hy do oft assende

[] Whan she to me had made relacyon Of all these prouerbes by good conclusyon She gaue to me an Informacyon For to depryue all yll abusyon And to consydre the grete derysyon Whiche is in youth that may not se No thynge appropred to his prosperyte

Forth than we went to an hauen syde Wher was a shyp lyenge at rode Taryenge after the wynde and tyde And with moche spyces ryght well lode Vpon it lokynge we longe abode Tyll eolus with blastes began to rore Than we her aborded with payne ryght sore

This water eclyped was vayneglory Euer with yeopardy and tempestyous And the shyp called was ryght truly The vessell of the passage daungerous The wawys were hyghe and gretly troublous The captayn called was good comfort And the sterysman fayre pasport

[P] Capitulum .ii.

Longe were we dryuen with wynde & weder Tyll we arryued in a fayre Ilonde Wher was a boote tyed with a teeder Of merueylous wood as I vnderstonde Precyous stones ley vpon the sond And poynted dyamondes grewe on the rockes And corall also by ryght hyghe stockes [<<]

Amased I was for to beholde The precyous stones vnder my fete And the erth glysterynge of golde With floures fayre of odour swete Dame dyscrecyon I dyd than grete Praynge her to me to make relacyon Who of this Ilonde hath domynacyon

She sayd foure ladyes in vertue excellent Of whiche the eldest is dame nature That dayly fourmeth after her entent Euery beest and lyuynge creature Both foule and fayre and also pure All that dependynge in her ordynaunce Where that she fauoureth there is grete pleasaunce

The seconde is called dame fortune Ayenst whome can be no resystence For she doth sette the strynges in tune Of euery persone by her magnyfycence Whan they sound best by good experyence She wyll theym loose and let theym slyp Causynge theym fall by her turnynge tryp

The thyrde called is dame hardynes That often rulyth by her cheualry She is ryght stowt and of grete prowes And the captayn of a lusty company And ruleth theym euer full hardely And to gete honour and worldely tresure She putteth her oft in auenture

[P] The fourth is wysedome a lady bryght Whiche is my syster as ye shall se Whom I do loue with all my myght For she enclyneth euer to benygnyte And medeleth not with fraude nor subtylyte But maketh many noble clerkes And ruleth theym in all theyr werkes

[P] They dwell all in a fayre castell Besyde a ryuer moche depe and clere And be expert in feytys manuell That vnto theym can be no peere Of erthely persone that lyueth here For they be so fayre and wounderous That theym to se it is solacyous.

[P] Longe haue they trauerst gretly in the lawe Whiche of theym sholde haue the preemynence And none of them theyr case wyll withdrawe Tyll of dame Iustyce they knowe the sentence They argue often and make defence Eche vnto other withouten remedy I wyll no lenger of them specefy

Capitulum tercium.

Come on fayre youth and go with me Vnto that place that is delectable Bylded with towres of curyosyte And yet though that ye be lamentable Whan thou art there you wylt be confortable To se the merueyles that there be wrought No man can prynt it in his thought

A path we founde ryght gretely vsed Where in we went tyll at the last A castell I sawe wherof I mused Not fully from me a stones cast To se the towres I was agast Set in a valey so strongely fortefyed So gentyll compassed and well edefyed

The towres were hyghe of adamond stones With fanes wauerynge in the wynde Of ryght fyne golde made for the noonys And roobuckes ran vnder the lynde And hunters came theym fer behynde A Ioye it was suche sawe I neuer Abyde quod she ye shall se a better.

Forth she me ledde to the castell warde Where we were let in by humylyte And so after she lede me forwarde Tyll that I sawe a royall tre With buddys blossomed of grete beaute And than we wente in to the hall That glased was truely with crystall

And hanged was with clothes of Aras Made of fyne golde with a noble story How that there some tyme reynynge was In the regyon of hyghe Italy A valyaunt emperour and a myghty That had to name forsothe Tyberius Whiche dyde enquere of prudent Iosethus

[P] Why he his offycers so longe kepte Vnto hym he answered a good cause why Somtyme I sawe a man that slepte That wounded was full pyteously And on his woundes suckynge many a fly I than for pyte moued theym away By whiche he woke and to me dyde say

[P] Wher that thou trowed to me comfort Thou now hast done me double greuaunce Puttynge away the flyes that dyde resorte To me beynge full of blody sustynaunce By this thou mayst haue good perseueraunce That now wyll come the flyes moost hungry That wyll me byte .x. tymes more greuously

[P] The roof was wrought by merueylous gemetry Colered with asure gold and gowlys With knottes coruen full ryght craftely And set also with wanton fowlys As popyniays / pyes / Iays / and owlys And as I loked on my ryght syde A lady I sawe of meruellous pryde

[P] Syttynge in a chayer at the vpper ende Of all the hall as a lady and prynces Amonge many kynges that dyde entende To be obedyent to her hyghe noblenes Her apparell was made of moche fayre ryches Set with rubyes moost pure and rubicound Embrawded with perles and many a dyamound

Besydes her sate the worthyes nyne And she amonge theym a whele turnynge Full lowe to her they dyd than enclyne She somtyme laughynge and somtyme lowrynge Her condycyon was to be dyssymelynge And many exalten vpon her whele Gyuynge theym grete falles that they dyd fele

Than sayd dyscrecyon beholde and see That in dame fortune is no stablenes This worlde also is but a vanyte A dreme a pompe nothynge in stedfastnes For fortune is fals and full of doblenes Whan she moost flatereth she is not sure As thou mayst se dayly in vre

Capitulum .iiii.

Forth than we went vnto the habytacle Of dame hardynes moost pure and fayre Aboue all places a ryght fayre spectacle Strowyd with floures that gaue good eyer Of vertuous turkeys there was a cheyr Wherin she sate in her cote armure Berynge a shelde the felde of asure

Wherin was sette a rampynge lyon Of fyne golde ryght large and grete A swerd she had of merueylous fassyon As though a thousand she sholde bete No man the vyctory of her myght gete A noble vyrgyn there dyde her serue That fyrst made harnes called Mynerue

The chaumbre where she held her consystory The dewe aromatyke dyde oft degoute Of fragraunt floures full of delycasy That all yll heyres dyde ensence oute A carbuncle there was that all aboute Enlumyned the chaumbre both day and nyght My thought it was an heuenly syght

Nyne quenes I sawe that satte her by Beynge all armed of grete fortytude In many a stower they wanne the vyctory And were endued with facounde pulcrytude For to haunte armes was theyr consuetude Many a regyon they often wanne And also vaynquysshed many a noble man

Nexte vnto her sate the hyghe quene Azia That was a conqueres so puyssaunt And besyde her the quene of Saba Whiche in grete ryches was tryumphaunt And also Ipolyte in armes valyaunt Sate with her besyde quene Hecuba And yet also the quene Europa

Present ther was the wiche quene Iuno And quene Pantasyll wyth fayre quene Elyn And yet I sawe by her than also The noble vyrgyn yonge Polyxyn That was destroyed at the last ruyn Of Troye the grete by cruell Pyrrus The sone of Achylles that was so cheualrus

As I dyd loke I had commaundement Of dame dyscrecyon for to remembre These noble ladyes so pure and excellent Hardy in corage of age ryght tendre Yet not withstandynge deth dyde surrendre And all theyr strength and lusty corage For he spareth nother youth ne age

Capitulum .v.

Forth we walked to the dwellynge place Of dame sapyence so full of blys Replete with Ioye vertu and grace No thynge there lacked that possyble is Man for to comfort withouten mys Though he were derke in wordely foly He sholde there b enlumyned shortely

Her towre was made of werkes curyous I can no thynge extende the goodlynes Of her palays so good and gloryous Bylded in the place soth of fastnes With owten tast of wordely bytternes No persone can extoll the souerente Of her worthy and royall dygnyte

She eche estate sholde haue in gouernaunce As theym to rule or that they repent For better it is to haue good puruyaunce At the begynnynge as is expedyent Than for to wyssh for thynges myspent That myght be saued longe afore And with a for wytte kepte in store

Her chaumbre was glased with byrall clarefyed Depeynted with colours of delectacyon A place of pleasure so heuenly gloryfyed In vertue heale lyfe and saluacyon Without ony stormy trybulacyon That myght anoy the heuenly helth But alway comfort to the sowlys welth

There sate dame prudence in vertue magnyfyed Impossyble it is to shewe her goodelyhed She was so fayre and clerely puryfyed And so dyscrete and full of womanhede That and I trowe vertue were deed It sholde reuyue yet in her agayne She was so gentyll and without dysdeyn

It was grete comfort vnto my hert For to beholde that heuenly syght Dyscrecyon sayd I sholde not depert Tyll I had spoken with her syster bryght Forth she me ledde with all her myght Vnto that prynces and royall souerayn Ergo my labour was not in vayn

Than spake dame prudence with meke contena[un]ce Welcome dyscrecyon my syster dere Where haue ye ben by longe contynuaunce Wyth youth she sayd that ye se here And for my sake I you requere Hym to receyue in to your seruyse And he shall serue you in goodely wyse

Welcome she sayd for my systers sake And yet also now for your owne In to my seruyce I wyll you take Sythens that your wyldnes is ouerblowen The sede of vertu on you shall be sowen Vyce to depryue by his good auctoryte As for to subdue all yll iniquyte

Of other mennes wordes be thou not bolde And of theyr promys make no behest And yf thou here an yll tale tolde Gyue no iugement but say the best So shall thou lyue euermore in rest Who lytell medeleth is best at ease For well were he that all myght please

Beware kepe the from grete offence That thou condempned be not by ryghtwysnes Whan she doth gyue her mortall sentence Without pease or mercy cause her reles Her iugement of mortall heuynes That the best frende to the wyll be The for to socour in grete necessyte

But yet in theym haue none affyaunce As fyrst to synne thynkynge that they At the ende to the wyll be delyueraunce Nay ryghtwysnes wyll dryue theym away For of all synnes without delay Suche synne in hope it is the moost For it is the synne of the holy ghoost

Now I amytte you into your rome In the whiche ye shall your selfe apply Of myn owne chaumbre ye shall be grome Loke ye be dylygent and do not vary From my c[om]maundementes neuer specyally For and ye wyll theym well obserue A moche better rome ye do deserue

The fyrst c[om]maundement that I gyue the Thynke on the ende or thou begynne For thou by ryght may knowe the certente That deth is fyne of euery synne Be neuer taken in dyabolycall engyne But that repentaunce may loose the sone Of that grete synne that thou hast done

Trust not to moche in fortunes grace Though that she laugh on the a whyle For she can sodenly turne her face Whan that she lyst the to begyle She welth and Ioye can sone defyle And plonge the in the pyte of pouerte Wherfore in her haue thou no suertye

Presume no ferther than the behoueth For it wyll turne the to grete shame For who that from his rome remoueth He is often full gretely to blame And medeleth with other in theym lame As no thynge connynge nor expert They may hym say syr malapert

Or that thou speke call to remembraunce Vnto what mater thy worde shall sygnyfye Loke that it torne no man to greuaunce Though that it be spoken merely Yet many a one wyll take it greuously Whiche that myght cause wroth and debate Whyle that thou lyues beware of that

For a thynge lost without recouer Loke that thou neuer be to pensyfe Thanke god of it thynke to haue an other Lete wysedome than be to the comfortyfe That to thy brayn is best preseruatyfe For euermore ryght wyse is he That can be pacyent in aduersyte

Proue thy frende in a mater fayned Or thou haue nede than shalt thou se Whyther he be iustly with the reteyned The for to socour in thy necessyte By profe thou mayst knowe the veryte For profe afore that nede requere Defeteth dowte euer in fere

Be thou neuer so blynde in wylle Yet loke thou be refourmed by reason Than shalt thou my mynde fulfyll And thou therto thy selfe abandon Stryue not with reason for none encheson For wher she lacketh ther is grete outrage And without her may not aswage

Eschew also the synne of pryde The moder and the feruent rote Of all the synnes at euery tyde Wherfore trede thou her vnder fote With helpe of vertue so swete and sote Whiche is best salue to hele thy sore And to thy helth the to restore

Wo worth synne without repentaunce Wo worth bondage without reles Wo worth man without good gouernaunce Wo worth infynall payne and dystresse Wo worth vyce put fer in presse Wo worth soueraynte hauynge dysdeyn And wo worth pyte that doth refrayn

Wo worth ryght that may not be herd Wo worth frendshyp without stabylyte Wo worth true sentence that is deferd Wo worth the man full of duplycyte Wo worth hym without benygnyte Wo worth lybertye withouten pease And wo worth crueltye that may not cease

Wo worth connynge that is abused Wo worth promys withouten payment Wo worth vertue that is refused Wo worth trouble without extynguysment Wo worth foly on message sent Wo worth reason that is exyled And wo worth trouth that is defyled

Wo worth the trust without assuraunce Wo worth grace not sette by Wo worth Iustyce kepte in dystaunce Wo worth welth replete with enuy Wo worth the batayll without vyctory Wo worth begynnynge without good ende And wo worth wronge that doth defende

These commaundementes I put in memory Theym for to kepe doynge my dylygence With dame Sapyence I dyd longe tary Whiche dyd me teche with partynge influence Of her delycate and doulcete complacence Than spake dyscrecyon anone to me In the presens of her systers mageste

Thou art beholdynge to my syster reuerent That the reteyned hath vnto her seruaunt Wherfore be thou to her obedyent And at euery houre to her attendaunt And ryotous company do thou not haunt For that wyll payre and yll thy name Wherfore of vertuous myrth let be thy game

Capitulum .vi.

Discrecyon ferther forth me lede Vnto the solempne and royall mancyon Of dame nature in humayne stede Ryght pleasaunt was her habytacyon Of merueylous werke and sytuacyon And she her selfe helde her estate In a gloryous chaumbre without chekmate

Her towre was gylted full of sonne bemys And within hanged with cloth of aras The roof was paynted with golden stremys And lyke crystall depured was Euery wyndowe aboute of glas Where that she sat as a fayre goddes All thynges creatynge by her besynes

Me thought she was of merueylous beaute Tyll that Dyscrecyon lede me behynde Where that I sawe all the pryuyte Of her werke and humayne kynde And at her backe I dyd than fynde Of cruell deth a dolfull ymage That all her beaute dyd perswage

Full wonderous was her operacyon In euery kynde eke and ryght degre Withouten rest or recreacyon I wyll not medle with her secrete For it no thynge longeth to my faculte But somwhat after I wyll expres Of her grete power and worthynes

But in my boke well for to procede Dame dyscrecyon ferther me brought Into a fayre chambre as ye may rede Of fyne gemetry ryght well wrought To comfort man there lacked nought But that me thought there was no company Saue onely dame dyscrecyon and I

We had ben but a lytell whyle there But that we sawe a lady clere Ryght well appareled in sad gere Mylde in her hauour dyscrete of chere That came vs by and very nere Ascendynge vp in to her hyghe sete Garnysshed with perle and with gold bete

Than sayd dyscrecyon this is dame Iustyce Clene of conscyence without corrupcyon And neuer be spotted with the synne of couetyse But true as stele in the entencyon Of ryght euermore without destruccyon Geuynge alway a ryghtfull iugement Obey thou youth this lady reuerent

A iuge fulfylled with the synne of auaryce Or with fauour of kynne made blynd Must nedys do wronge by grete [pre]iudyce For fauour shold not conscyence bynd Ryght to dyssymyll as I now fynd In problemys wryten of antiquyte Made by phylosophers of auctoryte

As we stode talkynge thus to gydere Vp came dame fortune so gayly gloryfyed Impossyble it is for me to dyscouere How gorges she was & gretly magnyfyed Full lyke a goddes that had ben deyfyd Clothed with gold sette full of rubyes And tynst [with] emeraudys & many a turkes

And next to her there dyd ensue Dame Hardynes that noble lady After whome anone dyd pursue Dame Sapyence whiche dyd not tary Than came dame nature appareled royally And all the other cladde in gold Set with dyamondes many a fold

They lowted all vnto the ground Afore dame Iustyce for obeysaunce That sate there both hole and sound Withouten ony dyscontynuaunce Gyuynge god ere vnto the vteraunce Of these foure ladyes pledynge at barre With all theyr cases dyd well avarre

Capitulum .vii.

Fyrst dame hardynes began to plede Saynge she was to man moost profytable For she the hertes hath often fede Of conquerous as it was couenable And by my corage haue made theym able Regyons to wynne theyr ennemyes to subdue And yf I were not they had it rue

And yf a man be neuer so wyse Withouten me he getyth none vteraunce Wherfore his wysedome may not suffyse All onely without myn allegeaunce For I by ryght must nedys enhaunce A lowe born man to an hyghe degre Yf that he wyll be ruled by me

Haue I not caused many a noble warreour To wynne the batell by my grete myght Without me was made neuer conquerour Nor yet man coragious whan he dyd fyght No man without me may defende his ryght I may be worst from hym forborne For and I were not he were forlorne

Dyd I not cause the noble hercules By my power to wynne the vyctory Of the sturdy and stronge Philotes As is recorded in bokes of memory For without me can be no cheualry And vnder the wynge of my proteccyon All rebels brought be to subieccyon

A realme is vpholden by thynges thre The fyrst and the chyef it is the swerd Whiche causeth it to be in good suerte And other realmes of it to be aferd By whiche the vsurpers be dyfferd From theyr wyll with treason knyte And by me slayn for theyr fals fyte

The seconde is lawe that euer serueth But within the realme onely For other nacyons our lawe ne dredeth But our swerd they do in specyally For and they roose ayenst vs proudly As they haue done often in tymes past Yet [with] our swerd they shold be ouercast

The thyrde be marchauntes that do multyply In this realme welth and prosperyte For of euery thynge they often occupy Euery man lyke vnto his faculte For without marchauntes can not be No realme vpholden in welth & pleasure For it to vs is a specyall tresure

Also yet hercules the puyssaunt geaunt Dyd slee the monstre afore Troy the grete And with his strokes he dyd hym daunt They were so peysantly on hym sette That he the vyctory on hym dyd gette Had I not be comfort vnto his harte Suche vyctory had ben leyd aparte

Dyd he not vaynquysshe in [the] forest of Nemee The thre mortall lyons by his grete hardynes And ryued theyr Iawes as was to se By twene his handes by chyualrus prowes And yet by armes and knyghtly exces In egypt he slewe the tyraunt Busyre And brent hym after in a grete fyre

Also he slewe the tyraunt Cacus For his tyranny and grete myschefe By cause his dedys were so odyous For he dyd murdre and was a thefe Wherfore his deth to many was leef Who more of his actes wyll haue report To the Troyans story lette hym resort

Also the worthy and the noble hectour That eclyped was the troyans champyon And of all cheualry called the flour In his tyme reynynge and of renowne Of whose noble dedes the brute and sowne Was spred by euery straunge habytacyon That they of his faytys dyde make relacyon

By his power and hardy corage He put the grekes full often to flyght And bete theym downe by a grete outrage That well was he that hym saue myght Full often he brought theym to the plyght His dedes were pure without magycyon And without nygromancy or suche corrupcyon

Dyd I not cause also kynge dauith A lyon Iawbones to rent and tere That dyd deuour his shepe in the fryth As he sat kepynge of theym there The lyons crueltye myght not hym fere And he in his youth so hardy was That he dyd sle the gyaunt Golias

Dyd I not cause the noble Iulius Emperour of rome for to be electe By cause he was so stronge and cheualrus Whan in armes he knewe the affecte He all his ennemyes dyd abiecte And by the support of my chyef socour He gouerned hymselfe lyke a noble emperour

And also Arthur kynge of Bretayne With all the knyghtes of the rounde table Neuer auentures had sought certayne And I therto had not ben greable They for to fyght had not ben able Who that me lacketh is but a coward And shame is euer his rewarde

Also kynge Charlemayne kynge of Fraunce With his dyssypers Rowland and Olyuer With all the resydue of his alyaunce That in all armes so noble were On goddys ennemyes brake many a spere Causynge them to flee to theyr grete vylony Hardynes was cause that they had vyctory

O worthy hardynes the shynynge sterre Alway to mannys herte the comfort Whan that it is the tyme of werre Vnto what partye that thou resort They wynne the batall by thy support And wher that thou lettest thy bemys dyssende They often hye to honoure assende

Than sayd dame hardynes vnto the Iuge I pray you that ryght I may haue Sythens I to man am chyef refuge Whan that he lysteth of me to craue I make hym coragyous and his worshyp saue Wherfore I owte to haue the preemynence By ryght reason and good experyence

That I deny you sayd dame Sapyence Of whom haue you your ordre of pledynge For ye neuer can haue none intellygence But by the meane of myn informynge For I am alway your mynde techynge And without me your tale were but a fable For ye without wytte sholde alway bable

This wyll I proue by myn opynyon That I am grounde of the artes seuen And of all good werkes in c[om]munyon For no man without me can go to heuen My dedys be merueylous for man to neuen Whan they ben wrought in to theyr degre Who that wyll lerne theym he hath the lyberte

Of my dedes bokes do make recorde The whiche clerkes put into remembraunce For an example without dyscorde Of heuenly way by vertuous gouernaunce Without me man can haue no pleasaunce Nor yet hym rule in no maner wyse A man without wytte is to dyspyse

Hardynes without prudence may not auayle Though that a man be neuer so sturdy For a wyseman feble may wynne the batayle Of hym that is ryght stronge and myghty For better it is for to be ryght wytty In the defence of his good saue garde Than often to stryke and to renne forwarde

That thynge that hardynes may not wynne May be goten by my hyghe souerente And with the helpe of subtyle engynne It may be brought to the extremyte Wher that it myght not by possybylyte Of hardynes longe afore be wonne Yet by grete wysedome it may be donne

Vnto dyuers cases I take excepcyon Of dame Hardynes whiche are no lawe Vnto the fyrst vndre your correccyon She sayd and she her power dyd wythdrawe No rebell than shold stand in awe And she is the chyef as I knowe well That causeth hym for to be rebell

By her foly and folysshe hardynes She causeth men to ryse ayenst theyr lorde She is the cause of mortall heuynes Whan she doth breke the good concorde Wherfore me thynke by one accorde For to exyle her it is now the best Than man sholde lyue in peas and rest

And where she sayd that she exalted Iulius cesar by her grete exylence In that case she ryght clerely varyed For it was I by my grete dylygence That neuer was out of his presence But ruled hym and made hym worthy To be chosen emperour of all Italy

Chosen he was by the comyn assent For the grete wysedome that in hym shone With a grete voyce and a hole entente For lyke vnto hym was there none That was so abell as he alone For to occupye an Emperours dygnyte Of his promocyon he myght thanke me

I Sapyence am endewed with grace And the lode sterre of heuenly doctryne The sprynge of comfort Ioye and solace Who that lyst to me for to enclyne He shall knowe thynges that be dyuyne And at his ende beholde the deyte That is one god and persones thre

It pleased the fader that is omnipotent His sone to send to be incarnat Of the vyrgyn Mary the sterre moost excellent Mayden and moder yet not vyolate Lyke a vessell chosen and made ornat All onely for to be goddys moder And he hym selfe vnto man broder

But a stryfe there was bytwene god and man Whan man consented to synne dedely By that the dyscorde fyrst began Whan he the sone of god on hy That is his brother agayn wyll crucefy Yf he had power by whiche is offended The fader of heuen as is entended

Therfore lete vs to our brother go Named Ihesu Cryst and axe hym mercy With a good entent and hert also There is for vs none other remedy That ony tonge truely can specyfy And he wyll take it for a correccyon And of all vengeaunce sease the affeccyon

That we may of hym haue forgyuenes Of our grete synne with reformacyon Of peas bytwene the faders hyghenes Of heuen and vs in suspyracyon Therfore yf thou drede the amocyon Of his ryghtwysnes loke that thou flee Ryght fast vnto his mercyfull pyte

For his mercy is more than all our mysery And eke aboue his werkes all As Dauyd sheweth in his prophecy Saynge his mercy is ouer all To whom I pray euer in especyall To gyue me grace well my penne to lede That quaketh aye for drede

Dame Sapyence sayd I do procede Of the strength of the holy ghoost That is and shall be mater in dede God and lorde of myghtys moost Whose infynall power was neuer lost And yet neuer had no begynnynge But alway lyke stronge without endynge

Where that dame hardynes in her pledynge Made her selfe to knyghtes moost necessary By the meanes of her power shewynge That I by ryght do now well deny For in that case she dyd moche vary For syxe there are that more profyte be Of whiche the lest is better than she

The fyrst is prudence that is the chefe That hym doth rule and is his gyde And kepeth hym from grete reprefe And causeth his worshyp for to abyde So euery crysten man shold prouyde By his wit to withstand the deuyll That he consent not to do euyll

The seconde is that he sholde be true To his souerayn lorde that on hym reyneth And all treason for euer to eschewe In whiche grete shame often remayneth And by whiche he hiz k[yn]ge dysteyneth So a crysten man sholde be true euer To Ihesu Cryst that was his redemer

The thyrde is that he sholde be lyberall Amonge his c[om]mons withouten lette That is the cause euer in generall That he the loue of theym doth gette For it causeth theyr hertes on hym be sette So euery true crysten man sholde be To god intended with lyberalyte

The fourth is that he sholde be stronge His ryght euer for to defende And neuer to no man for to do wronge But wronges for to dyrecte and amende As ferre as his power wyll extende So a true crysten man sholde exclude All maner of vyces by his fortytude

The fyfth is [that] he sholde be mercyable In all his dedes withouten furoure For that to hym is gretly conuenable And eke to kepe hym out of erroure For he of mercy sholde be a myrroure So vnto them it is ryght necessary Who that wyll be saued for to haue mercy

The syxte is a knyght ought for to kepe The poore folke in theyr grete nede That often for hungre and thyrst do wepe He ought with almes theym for to fede And the better he shall than spede So euery true crysten man sholde do As ferre as his power cometh vnto

I Sapyence am of the kynges counsayll Whiche is clothed with purple that sygnyfyeth The grace and the pulcrytude without fayll Of grete vertues that in hym shyneth For to no vyces he neuer enclyneth Hauynge in his hede a fayre crowne royall That sheweth his dygnyte to be regall

Whiche to his people is the chefe glory Thrugh whome his subgectes be dyrecte And made obedyent to hym certaynly At euery houre by ryght true effecte But forthermore by good aspecte He bereth a ball in his lefte hande The whiche betokeneth as I vnderstande

A kynge to be a good admynystratour Vnto his subgectes in euery place And to be for theym a good prouysour As reason requyreth in euery case I Sapyence do rule his noble grace In his ryght hand he hath a septure That doth sygnyfye by ryght his rygoure

Yll men to punysshe for theyr offence By his ryghtwysnes whome the loue Of vertue shynynge in experyence Doth not extoll nor yet now remoue A lampe doth hange his heed aboue Alway lyght and clerely brennynge Whiche sygnyfyeth the mercy of a kynge

The olde philosophers by theyr prudence Fonde the seuen scyences lyberall And by theyr exercyse & grete dylygence They made theyr dedes to be memoryall And also poetes that were fatall Craftely colored with clowdy fygures The true sentence of all theyr scryptures

O Iustyce lady and souerayne goddesse Gyue you true sentence now vpon me As ye be surmountynge in vertue & noblesse Lete me dame Sapyence haue the soueraynte As is accordynge to my royall dygnyte For I am moost profytable vnto man And euer had ben syns the world began

Than sayd dame Fortune ye are imperfyte Without that I therto be accordaunt For all your hardynes & prudence perfyte I vnto you must be well exuberaunt And with your werkes euer concordaunt Where that I fauer they haue good c[om]fort In all theyr dedes by my swete resort

I Fortune am the rule and steere Of euery persone lyke to my wyll That in this worlde now lyueth here Whan that I lyst for to fulfyll My mynde ryght sone I can dystyll The dewe of comfort welth and rychesse To man exaltynge hym to noblenesse

Though that a man were neuer so hardy Without me he myght not attayne And though that a man were neuer so wytty And I dyd my power from hym refrayne All his labour were lost in vayne So hardynesse and prudence in no wyse Without good fortune may well suffyse

Though that a man were but a fole Yf I consent that he be fortunate He nedyth not to make no grete dole For I shall mayntene so his estate That he in rychesse shall be so eleuate Fulfylled with welth & worldely tresure That he shall lacke no maner of pleasure

Where that dame hardynes wold afferme By her cases that are so vnsure That she by her power doth conferme The knyghtes of vyctory for to be sure Whan she doth take theyr hertes in cure Yf fortune be awaye she may not auayle For they by reason must lose the batayle

Yet forthermore as I do well consyder How dame hardynes dyd expresse Sythens the tyme that I came hyder That she promoted had to worthynes Hector dauid and the noble hercules With many other wherof she fayleth For it was fortune as she well knoweth

For in olde tyme the noble warryours For to eschewe euer my grete daungere In whiche tyme they were ydolestours Than they to put hym oute of fere To ydols went that theyr goddes were For to haue answer yf they sholde wynne The batayll or they dyd begynne

What nede I pleed by longe contynuaunce As dame Sapyence dyd in maters hy It were of tyme but dyscontynuaunce But o dame Iustyce the gentyll lady Loke that ye Iuge my mater ryght wysely That I of hardynes may be the pryncypall And of dame prudence & nature with all

Than sayd dame nature that may not be As I can proue by ryght and reason For I am moost confort to humanyte As man well knoweth at euery encheason And can not be forborne for none season For where I lacke without ony delay Man is but dede and turned to clay

That nature gyueth by her power Wysedome nor hardynes may not defete For I to man am the chefe doer Durynge his lyfe without retrete Also dame fortune may not well lete Me of my course though she it thought In sondery wyse my dedes are so wrought

Though that a man were infortunable And though that he were neuer so folysshe And a grete coward to fyght not able Yet shulde he lyue and neuer perysshe Tyll that my power of hym doth fynysshe Whiche fayle must ones it is my proprete And that was gyuen me by the deyte

I am the orygynall of mannes creacyon And by me alway the world doth multyply In welth pleasure and delectacyon As I wyll shewe now in this party My dedes be subtyll & wrought craftely What were the worlde yf I were note It were sone done as I well wote

The lawe of nature doth man bynde Both beste foule and fysshe also In theyr degre to do theyr kynde Blame theym not yf they do so For harde it is euer to ouer go The kynde of nature in her degre For euery thynge must shewe his proprete

Who of theyr propretes lyst to rede Lete hym loke in the boke of barthelmewe And to his scripture take good hede That ryght nobly of theym do shewe With all theyr actes beynge not a fewe But wounderous many by alteracyon For lyke hath lyke his operacyon

I nature norysshe by myn afflyccyon Mannes humayne partyes superfyxcyall And am the sprynge of his complexion The fonteyne of his vaynes inferyall To hym conserue moost dere and specyall Though he were hardy & wyse he my[gh]t not me forbere Nor fortune without me auayleth not hym a pere

Wherfore dame Iustyce be you now indyfferent Consydre that I am moost dere and lefe Vnto euery man that is eliquylent And aboue all medycyns to hym moost chefe And by my strongh vnto hym relefe In his dysease wherfore as thynke me I ought of reason to haue the soueraynte

Than spake dame Iustyce with meke contena[un]ce I wyll all your contrauersy now redresse For I of your reasons haue good perseueraunce And after your cases both more and lesse Wherfore I Iustyce by good ryghtwysnesse Gyue now vpon you a fynall Iugement That ye foure agree by a hole assent

Man for to please at euery houre Without dysgrement or contradiccyon And in his nede to do hym socoure With louynge herte and true affeccyon He shall be in your good iurysdyccyon And you of hym shall be copertyners Both of his lyfe and of his maners

Than sayd dame hardynes I agre therto And so do I than sayd dame Sapyence Than sayd dame Fortune I also do Agre vnto dame Iustyce sentence And I dame Nature wyll do my dylygence Lyke as ye do man for to please And hym to strength in his dysease

With that dame Iustyce vp arose Vnto the ladyes byddynge fare well And went into her chaumbre close I cleped conscyence wher she dyd dwell As dame Dyscrecyon dyd me tell Than hardynes & fortune went downe the stayre And after theym Nature so clere and fayre

Capitulum .viii.

Dame Sapyence taryed a lytell whyle Behynd the other saynge to Dyscrecyon And began on her to laugh and smyle Axynge her how I stode in condycyon Well she sayd in good perfeccyon But best it is that he maryed be For to eschewe all yll censualyte

I knowe a lady of meruelous beaute Spronge out of hyghe and noble lynage Replete with vertue and full of bounte Whiche vnto youth were a good maryage For she is comen of royall apparage But herde it wyll be to gete her loue Without youth frayltye do sore reproue

I kneled downe than vpon my kne Afore dame Sapyence with humble chere Besechynge her of me to haue pyte And also Dyscrecyon her syster dere Than dame Sapyence came me nere Saynge youth wyll ye haue a wyfe And her to loue durynge her lyfe

Ye madame that wolde I fayne Yf that she be both fayre and bryght I wyll her loue euer more certayne And pleas her alway with all my myght Of suche a persone wolde I haue a syght With all my herte now at this houre Wolde to god I had so fayre a floure

Than sayd dyscrecyon there is a kynge Dwellynge fer hens in a fayre castell Of whome I oft haue herd grete talkynge Whiche hath a doughter as I you tell I trowe that youth wyll lyke her well She is both good eke fayre and pure As I report me vnto dame Nature

But yf that youth sholde her go seke Ye must syster than hym well indue With your grete power so good and meke That he all frayltye may eschue For by the way it wyll oft pursue On hym by flatery and grete temptacyon That shall brynge hym in tribulacyon

As for that sayd she he shall not care For he shall theym sone ouercome And of theyr flatery ryght well beware For I to hym shall gyue grete wysedome Theyr dedes to withstande & make theym d[om]me Wherfore dere syster as I you pray Vnto her lede hym now on the way

Loke that ye send me in his necessyte By dame swyftnes full sone a letter By whiche that I may knowe the certaynte That I may come to ayde hym beter So that fraylte to hym be no freter And though I be not alway vysyble With hym my power he hath inuyncyble

Than sayd dame Sapyence to dyscrecyon Fare well dere syster I may not tary Loke ye of youth haue the tuycyon That he fall not into vaynglory And that ye puruey for hym shortly That he may wedde the fayre dame clennesse Whiche for her loue haue ben in duresse

With that dame Sapyence downe went In to her place that was the doctrynall Of famous clerkes in connynge splendent A myrrour of lernyng that was dyuynall With all the craftes artyfycyall Byfore her dame Fortune went to her mancyon And eke dame hardynes to her habytacyon

Capitulum nonum

Forth than went dyscrecyon and I Out of the castell into a grene Where byrdys sange by grete melody There daunst also the fayre quene Besyde a ryuer named Ephesene Ouer whiche we wente to the other syde That was a medowe both longe and wyde

Longe there we wandred tyll at the last We came vnto a ryght grete wyldernes By that tyme Phebus was ouer past Wherfore we walked in grete derkenes The whiche to me was a grete heuynes For Lucyna eke dyd her shrowde Vnder a blacke and mysty clowde

For she was horned and no thynge cleere And entred into the sygne of caprycorne Ryght ferre from phebus fulgent speere And not ayenst hym the crowne had worne I went vp and downe tyll on the morne That phebus his golden reyes dyd sprede Than dyscrecyon ferther forth me lede

Amonge thornes sharpe & bestes wylde There was the lyon the wolf & the bere But I coude mete nother man ne chylde But many serpentes that dyde me fere And by a swete smelle I knewe a pantere So forth I went by longe contynuaunce Tyll that I sawe an herber of pleasaunce

To whiche I toke anone my waye Where that I sawe a lady excellent Rydynge on a goote in fresshe arraye Ryght yonge of age & lusty of entent Prayenge me to her for to assent As to fulfyll the flesshly pleasure Whiche she desyred me out of mesure

Nay sayd dyscrecyon that may not be No sayd I in no maner of wyse To her request I wyll now agree But euermore here foule lust despyse For I my selfe do now aduyse To kepe me chast that I may mary Fayre dame Clennes that noble lady

So forth I went walkynge my iournay Metynge a lady olde and amyable Syttynge in a castell both fressh and gay On an olyphauntes backe in strength so stable Whiche it to bere was good and able Hauynge in her hande a cup of golde Sette with perles ryght many afolde

She sayd she was the lady of rychesse The quene of welth and worldely glory Praynge me to company with her noblenesse And she than wolde promote me shortely To innumerable ryches and make me worthy Where I am poore and sette by nought By her to worshyp I sholde be brought

Vnto her I answered I wolde not so As for to hunt in the parke of pryde The whiche to Clennes is mortall fo But with Dyscrecyon I wyll abyde Whiche doth a wyfe for me prouyde By whome I shall haue the possessyowne Of heuenly kyngdome & grete renowne

So forth I went and had grete trauayle Without the comfort of ony persone Saue of dyscrecyon whiche dyd me counsayle As she went walkynge with me alone Vnto her I made full grete mone And lykened the wyldernes by morall scence Vnto worldely trouble by good experyence

She sayd the fyrst lady that I dyd mete Iclyped was dame Sensualyte Whiche can well flater with wordes swete Causynge a man to fall into fragylyte And for to haunt the carnall freylte Whiche vnto clennes is abhomynable For they in werke be gretely varyable

The seconde was pryde enduyd with couetyse A lady of ryght fruytles medytacyon Delytynge gretly in the synne of auaryce The whiche is cause of her dampnacyon For she by her fals supportacyon Blyndeth many a mannes conscyence And dryueth ryght oft fer in absence

So ferther I went tyll at the last I was in a mase goynge in and oute Ther was none other way I was agast But forth I walked in grete doute Now here now there and so rounde aboute Than sayd vnto me dame Dyscrecyon Ye are in the besynes of worldely fastyon

Therein I trauayled by longe space Tyll that I mette a lady gloryous Indued with vertue and grete grace To whom I sayd o lady precyous As ye seme to be good and vertuous I you beseche now without delaye Vnto dame Clennes to teche me the waye

I Sapyence now wyll shewe to the The ryght waye vnto fayre clennes And yf thou wylt be ruled by me Thou shalt mary that noble prynces Yes that wyll I sayd than douteles Dyscrecyon sayd she wolde be my suerte Sapyence sayd none better myght be

Than sayd dyscrecyon to dame sapyence Welcome to vs my syster dere And I to her dyd humble reuerence Saynge who had went to fynde you here Yes she sayd I haue ben neere You often tymes syth my departynge And haue ben cause of your goode gydynge

Capitulum .x.

Come on your waye walke on a pace For ye longe for to haue a syght Of dame Clennes so clere a face So goodely of body in beauty bryght That there can not be so fayre a wyght So forth we walked to a ryuer syde That ebbed and flowed at euery tyde

Than I saw a castell a pales royall Bylded with marble blacke as the gette With glasse wyndowes as clere as crystall Whiche on the other syde was sette No man to the castell myght gette But ouer the water on a lytell brydge Not halfe so brode as a hous rydge

But as I cast myn eye than asyde I saw a lady wounderous fayre Demure of contenaunce without pryde That went her selfe for to repayre By the water syde to take the ayre Beholde and se than sayd dame sapyence Yonder is dame Clennes the sterre of excellence

Full glad was I than in my mynde For to se that flour of complacence The syght of her dyd my herte bynde Euer her to loue with percynge influence Vnto her I sayd o well of contynence Vnto your grace fayne wolde I go Ner lettynge of this water blo

To me she answered than agayne Saynge this worlde withouten mys Is but a vanyte no thynge certayne In the lyke wyse as this water is Ye can not come to me now ywys But by that brydge that goth ouer This stormy troublous & wawy water

Therof sayd sapyence he shall not lette Well sayd Clennes be you his gyde And dyscrecyon also for to be sette For to vpholde hym vnto the other syde That he do not in the water slyde So to the brydge they dyde me lede I quacked than for fere and drede

I sawe there wryten this lytterall sence No man this brydge may ouer go But he be pure without neglygence And stedfast in goddes byleue also Yf he be ignoraunt and do not so He must nedys into this water fall Ouer the heed and be drowned with all

They led me ouer this brydge so peryllous Tyll that I came to a preuy place Where were wryten with letters gloryous This is the kyngdome of grete grace No man by yonde this marke may trace But yf he be brought in by dame wysedome If he so be he is moche welcome

So forthermore yet forth we went Into a hall that was solacyous Made of precyous stones splendent That theym to se it was ryght wounderous They were there so gretly plenteuous That the hall paued was for the nones With none other grauell but precyous stones

There was dame Clennes that lady gent And eke her fader the kynge of loue He satte in a chayre ryght clere and excellent At the vpper ende of the hall aboue He satte styll and dyd not remoue Gyrde with wylowes and myght not se No maner a thynge in his degre

He had two wynges ryght large and grete And his body also was naked And a dart in his ryght hand was sette And a torche in his left hand brenned A botell aboute his necke was hanged His one leg armed and naked the other Hym for to se it was a wonder

Sapyence bad me meruayll no thynge For she wold shewe me the sygnifycacyon Why he so sate by shorte rekenynge Accordynge to a morylyzacyon Now of the fyrste to make relacyon Loue sholde be gyrde faste with stabylyte Without whiche loue can haue no suerte

Loue may not se but is alway blynde And wenyth no man can haue perseuera[un]ce Where that he loueth by naturall kynde But he do shewe hym by wordes of vtera[un]ce Trught he bewreyeth hym by contenaunce For hard it wyll be loue so to couere But that som man shall it perceuere

Also his nakednes doth sygnyfy That true loue no thynge ellys desyreth But the very persone and eke body That he so well and feruentely loueth His wynges also well betokenyth That his mynde fleeth vnto the persone That he doth loue so well alone

And also loue is stryken with a sharpe darte That maketh a man for to complayn Whan that it hath wounded sore his herte It brenneth hote lyke fyre certeyn Than loue his purpose wolde fayne atteyn And is euermore both hoot and drye Tyll his lady gyue hym drynke of mercy

His one legge is armed to defende The ryght that longeth vnto amyte And wronge loue for to amende His naked legge betokeneth charyte That is the Ioye of grete felycyte So charyte ryght loue and good concorde With stablynes reygneth in this myghty lorde

Capitulum .xi.

Than forth me led good dame Sapyence Afore that myghty lordes mageste Come on she sayd put the in presence That thou mayst se dame clennes beaute Ponder in thy mynde by veryte That so fayre as she was not quene helyn Quene Ipolyte or yonge Polyxyn

This lady is clene without corrupcyon And wereth thre crownes for her vyrgynyte One is for people of perfyt relygyon An other for maydens kepynge chastyte The therde for true wedowes as [thou] mayst se I wyll the now to her fader present Her for to mary yf she wyll consent

Than sayd dame sapyence o noble emperour O souerayne lorde and royall potestate O vyctoryous prynce & famous conquerour O kynge of loue and seaser of debate To the no creature may say chekmate I present the now this vertuous knyght For to mary clennes your doughter bryght

I thanke you he sayd for your good wyll But he that to Clennes maryed must be He must my commaundement fyrste fulfyll As to scomfyte the dragon with heedes thre That is a serpent of grete subtylte Whiche well betokeneth as we do fynde The worlde the flesshe & the deuyll by kynde

Sapyence sayd I sholde not fayle To do his comma[un]dement for Clennes sake As for to sle the dragon in batayle That lay in a marys in a grete lake Whiche was moche stynkynge foule & blake Wysedome bade me be not aferde For she wolde gyue me a shelde and swerde

And arme me also with fayre armure To vaynquysshe that dragon so ferse & grete She sayd it sholde be so good and sure That I no harme of hym sholde gete Though he his teth on me had sete Yet sholde I slee hym for all his myght By my grete strokes whan I dyd fyght

Fyrst she my legge harneys sette on And after my plackerd of grete ryches She armed me her selfe alone And laced my helmet of her gentylnes I thanked her for her grete goodnes And gaue me my swerde and sheld also Saynge lete vs to the dragon go

This is the armure for the soule That in his epystole wrote saynt Poule Good hope thy legge harneys shall be The habergyn of ryghtwysnes gyrde [with] chastyte Thy plackarde of besynes [with] bra[un]ches of almes dede Thy shelde of beleue and mekenes for the hede Thy swerde shall be the to defend The worde of god the deuyll to bl[ey]nde

Dame sapyence & I dyd take our lycence Of the kynge of loue in vertue depured And of his doughter shynynge in excellence Whiche to me sayd with wordes assured O vertuous knyght you for me haue dured In grete wo & payne but thynke you verely To scomfyt that dragon by wysedome shortly

Than went we forth to that serpent In merueylous trauayle of sorowe and bale By that tyme the daye ryght fayre was spent And phebus his course began to auale But at the last we came into a dale Wher we felt the sauer of a dungeon Of the foule and stynkynge dragon

Nere to that dragon there was a way That men vsed vpon a fayre hyll Vnto hyghe heuen so fressh and gay But that dragon lette theym theyr wyll And by the way he dyd theym kyll Bryngynge theym vnto the dungeon Iclyped the place of grete oblyuyon

I had not be there halfe an houre But that this dragon me approched As though that he wolde me deuoure He so fersly than on me marched The batayle bytwene vs longe contynued But he had me ryght sone ouercome If I had not helpe of dame wysedome

I strake at hym fast with my swerde And with my shelde dyd me defende Wysedome bad me not be aferde But my stroke that for to amende As fer as my myght weld extende So by her wordes I plucked vp myn herte And dyd than vnto the dragon sterte

But he caught me than in his clawes And so we wrasteled longe to gyder But he hyld me sharpely in his pawes Tyll wysedom my feblenesse dyd consyder Beholde she sayd dame clennes yonder Than as a syde I cast all my syght I sawe that lady so pure and bryght

My strength than dobeled an hundred folde And I from hym brake by vertuous prowes My herte was warme that afore was colde With the c[om]fortable syght of fayre dame clennes Than I to hym gaue strokes of exces And with my sharpe swerde cut of anone Two of his heedes leuynge hym but one

These two heedes by good morall sens The worlde and the flesshe do sygnyfy As I in scrypture haue intellygence The fyrste the worlde that is transytory Lyeth bytwene man and heuenly glory Lettynge hym often of his passage If it of hym can gete auauntage

The seconde is the flesshly desyre That troubleth a man ryght sore within Settynge his courage vpon a fyre Causynge hym to enclyne to dedely syn His flessh the batayll of hym doth wyn Often bryngynge hym into dampnacyon If repentaunce were not his saluacyon

Repentaunce alway requyreth mercy And penaunce to god is a satisfaccyon For god desyreth euermore truely An humble herte full of contrycon And the worlde desyreth restytucyon Of goodes that haue be goten wrongfully To be restored vnto the ryghtfull party

Whan I by wysedom had won the vyctory Of these two heedes I was ryght glad His thyrde heed marched ayenst me sharpely But I my swerd in my hand had Strykynge at hym with strokes sad And blode of hym coude I drawe none For he had nother flesshe ne bone

But at the last I dyd hym vaynquysshe Dryuynge hym home to his derke regyon Of infernall payne that shall not fynysshe For hell is called his propre mancyon And of all other of his opynyon That do the preceptes of god forsake And to deuelyche werkes theym do be take

God by his ryghtwysnes made a lawe By whiche man for dedely synne is cond[em]pned If god his vengeaunce do not withdrawe In euerlastynge payne he sholde be prysoned But and man mercy of hym requyred With penytent hert he sholde it haue And with his mercy he wyll man saue

[P] Capitulum .xii.

[>>] Whan I had scomfyte this serpent venymous Sapyence to me ryght gentely sayd Blessyd be god ye are so gracyous That ye shall mary Clennes the mayd But yet erwhyles ye were afrayd Ye I sayd and swet full ryght sore Tyll ye newe strength dyd me restore

This batayll was grete & longe endured Whiche caused me to be ryght wery But sapyence with her wordes me mured With walles of comfort makynge me mery Come on she sayd and walke on lyghtly Vnto the castell that we come fro I answered to her I wolde do so

Than forth we went a grete pace Tyll that we came to the castell syde There mette vs ladyes with grete solace And welcomed vs at the same tyde So fayre a sort in the worlde so wyde May not be founde by no maner of reason As I sawe there at the same season

The fyrste lady that dyd vs mete Iclyped was dame perseueraunce Whiche to me sayd with wordes swete Blessyd be god of your good gouernaunce That hath kept you from the incomberaunce Of the serpent with the heedes thre And caused you vyctor of hym to be

[] Than came dame fayth that lady gloryous Welcome she sayd with wordes amyable I am ryght glad ye ar so vyctoryous Of that foule dragon so abhomynable She sayd that I was euermore stable In her in dede eke worde and thought Or elles my labour had ben to nought

Than spake the lady fayre dame charyte Welcome vertue the noble veteran Sythens that ye alway haue loued me From the fyrst season that ye began Bothe in your youth & syth ye were man Ye haue had me in humble reuerence And haue ben ruled by my preemynence

Than sayd dame prayer in my presence Ye neuer cast me in oblyuyaunce By no slouth nor wordely neglygence But haue had me in grete remembraunce Whiche hath ben to me very grete pleasaunce Wherfore welcome vertue my dere Vnto this castell that ye se here

Than came fast to me dame lowelynes Clyppynge me harde with louely chere Byddynge me welcome with grete gladnes As by her contena[un]ce it dyd well appere Come on she sayd and walke on nere So than amonge these fayre ladyes all I went in to the grete castell hall

[] And there met me dame clennes blyue And dame grace bare vp her trayne Whiche euer to her was affyrmatyue From whome dame clennes myght not refrayne Than sayd she to me I am ryght fayne That ye ar comen in to this place Where ye shall wedde me in short space

Vpon my kne I kneled than downe Saynge o sterre of the blysse eterne O well of vertue and of grete renowne O dyuyne comfort moost sempyterne Whan I your beautye do so well decerne Ye set myn hert vpon a brennynge fyre With feruent loue to come to my desyre

To me she answered in this wyse O my dere herte my spouse so pure Why do ye not on your fete aryse You of my true loue shall be sure For ye my hert haue now in cure Lete vs go now to our fader reuerente So forthe vnto hym than we wente

Whan that we came afore his fayre face Dame clennes made curtesye vnto the grounde Saynge o fader kynge of grete grace This knyght to loue ye are now bounde And so am I for I haue often founde Grete kyndnes on hym both nyght and day For he hath loued me ryght well alway [<<]

Welcome he sayd ryght noble knyght How haue ye done sythens your departynge Haue ye scomfyted with your myght The merueylous dragon so gretly slynkynge Ye I sayd with the power shynynge Of my maystresse good dame sapyence I dyd hym vaynquysshe by her experyence

Wher is dame Sapyence than sayd he And eke her syster dame dyscrecyon Syr I sayd they are comen with me And they haue had me in iurisdyccyon Syns my departynge without destruccyon Than spake dame sapyence by her faculte Vnto that myghty lordes mageste

Saynge this knyght than cleped vertue Hath loued your doughter by longe contynua[un]ce With stable loue so faythfull and true And for her sake hath put to vteraunce The thre heeded dragon by wyse puruyaunce Wherfore me thynke he ought to mary Your doughter Clennes that noble lady

The kynge sayd me thynke the same If that my doughter wyll agre And she do not she moche is to blame Consyderynge his wysedome & grete beaute Come hyder he sayd my doughter fre To be wyfe to vertue wyll ye consent Ye fader she sayd with hole entent

Than he called vnto his presence Perseueraunce charyte and fydelyte With lowlynes prayer and intellygence Shewynge vnto theym the certeynte How clennes his doughter wedded shall be Vnto me now vertu in all godely hast By fore that thre dayes be ryght fully past

He called me than to his magnyfycence Byddynge me go to bed and to rest In the chaumbre of clene conscyence Than so to do I thought it the best For phebus was tourned into the west So sapyence and I went forthe to bed For lake of rest oppressed was my hed

A lytyll welp within this chaumbre was That lay wakynge and barked alway That no man in to it sholde passe That wolde with conscyence make a fray I dyd slepe there tyll that it was day Than vp I rose and made me redy Callynge vnto me dame sapyence shortely

Saynge vnto her o lady and maystres O comfortable salue vnto euery sore O fontayne of welth and carbuncle of clernes Without ye helpe me I am forlore Wherfore I shewe you as now before Without I mary fayre dame clennes I shall endure in mortall heuynes

Therof sayd she be no thynge adred For ye shall mary here ryght soone By me your mater shall be well sped And the same daye it shall be doone Aboute the houre truely of noone And there shall be at your good dyner Charyte fayth penaunce and prayer

Dame sapyence led me into a gardeyn Where Clennes was amonge floures swete Her to repayre without dysdeyn As I to her wente she dyd me mete Bryngynge me a floure called the margarete Whiche is a floure ryght swete and precyous Indued with beaute and moche vertuous

This floure I kyst often ryght swetely Settynge it nere vnto my hert Dame Clennes loked vpon me louely Saynge that I sholde not depert Tyll she had shewed me a grete couert So with her I wente without delay Where byrdes sate on many a spray

By this tyme phebus had begon His ascencyall cours in grete bryghtnes In to the sygne of the fierous lyon Exylynge the fenerous frosty coldnes And depryuynge the noxyall derkenes And also setherus his fragraunt breth Dystylled had vpon euery heth

Than to her I sayd my lady dere Beholde this weder so clere and fayre How royall walkynge that it is here Lyke a place of pleasure you to repayre Amonge the floures so swete of ayre An other she had as she me tolde Bryghter than phebus a thousande folde

This is a place of recreacyon My mynde to comfort after study In welth pleasure and delectacyon For yf I sholde my selfe applye Euer to pray to god an hye Without this place I may not be sure In other tyme in prayer to endure

But the other gardyn is celestyall That longeth to vs by enherytaunce And is entayled to vs in generall For our clene lyfe & vertuous gouerna[un]ce Who that vs loueth without doubta[un]ce With vs shall go to eternall glory In short space or elles to purgatory

Than forth we went to her fader royall Whiche welcomed vs by grete humylyte Saynge my doughter dere and specyall Ye shall this daye by grete solempnyte Be wedded to vertue with benygnyte We kneled downe and thanked his grace And than forth we went to an other place

Capitulum .xiii.

In to a chapell gayly gloryfyed And also hanged with cloth of tyssue A place it was ryght gretly deyfyed The roof was set with stones of vertue As with rubyes and emeraudes bryght of hue The rood loft was yuery garnysshed with gold Set with dyamoundes ryght many a fold

Ther I dyd se the arke of god With many sayntes that suffred martyrdom And also I sawe there Moyses rod And saynt Austyn that brought crystendom Into englonde by his grete wysedom And the xii. apostles that fast gan wryte Of our byleue and eke dyd endyte

There was saynt peter the noble pope That dyd stande on the ryght syde Of the hyghe auter in a ryche cope Dame clennes and I dyd there abyde And vp there came than at that tyde Dame prayer with her syster charyte And eke dame penytence with humylyte

Than came dame fayth anone to vs With ryghtwysenes peas and dame mercy With dame contrycyon gay and gloryous Whiche after theym dyd not longe tary And than came bede and eke saynt gregory With saynt ambrose the noble doctour Whiche of our fayth was good protectour

Than came the kynge of feruent loue Led with argos in goodely wyse Without whome he myght not remoue From his sete by ryght prudent gyse Who loueth argos wyll not deuyse Nor yet begynne no maner of thynge Without in his mynde he se good endynge

Also saynt Ierome the noble cardynall Came vp to vs by humble reuerence Whiche euermore was a good doctrynall Prechynge to vs by vertuous influence With exhortacyon of dyuyne complacence And than foure bysshoppes in grete dygnyte Ryght connynge cernynge vnto the deyte

On hym wayted by grete dylygence And neuer dyd forsake his company But hym obeyed by good experyence And from his c[om]maundement dyd not vary But in the chapell they dyd there tary And than saynt Ierome wente to the kynge Of feruent loue vnto hym saynge

O amyable kynge seasour of debate O ioyner of vertue and well of vnyte O royall emperour o souerayne estate O messenger of feruent amyte O feruent dart of cordyall pryuyte Here is your doughter fayre dame clennes That must be maryed with good ryghtwysenes

Vnto vertue the louely knyght Whiche the batayle now hath won By dame sapyence helpe and myght Of the foule thre heeded dragon This maryage by me shall be don Go ye now streyght into your tabernacle Whiche is to you moost propre habytacle

Than the souerayne kynge to hym dyd call Dame fayth dyscrecyon and dame sapyence With dame contrycyon & charyte withall And eke dame mercy and dame penytence Vnto theym saynge ye haue intellygence That this daye clennes my doughter dere Shall be maryed to vertue that ye se here

Than they dyde all come vnto me With dame peas and dame grace And after theym came dame virgynyte Whiche in her armes dyd me enbrace Saynge that I was to her grete solace Gyuynge me vnto my good maryage A gowne of syluer for grete aparage

She gafe an other of the same Vnto dame clennes puttynge it one Vpon her back withouten blame After whiche Clennes wente anone Vnto her fader her selfe alone And I with saynt Ierome dyd there tary To wed dame Clennes that noble lady

And all the ladyes with meke contenence Stode on a rewe besyde the closette Of Clennes fader without resystence Whiche hanged was gayly with blue veluet And with perles & rubyes rychely set Than forth came Clennes with two a[un]gels led Whiche theyr golden wynges abrode dyd spred

Dame grace after her bare vp her trayn And .xv. ladyes her dyd ensue Fyrst went dame humylyte certayn And after her than dyd pursue Dame fayth in stablenes so true Ledynge with her the fayre dame pease That welth and ryches doth well encrease

Than went dame reason with perseuera[un]ce And than dame mercy with contricyon And than exersyce with remembraunce After whome went dame restytucyon With dame prayer and dame confessyon And dame charyte with obedyence And after theym came fayre dame abstynence

Saynt Ierome dyd make there coniunccyon Of dame Clennes and me in matrimonye With heuenly wordes and vertuous fastyon And aungels came downe from heuen hye As saynt Mychell with gabryell & the gerachye To helpe saynt peter the masse to synge The organs went and the bellys dyd rynge

My penne for feblenes may not now wryte Nor my tonge for domnes may not expresse Nor my mynde for neglygence may not endyte Of the aungelycall Ioye and swete gladnesse That I sawe there without heuynesse And whan this weddynge holy was fynysshed The aungels than to heuen vanysshed

Than downe I went in to the hall Where ordeyned was by grete solempnyte A dyner of vertue moost celestyall To whiche came my wyf full of benygnyte On the one syde led by good auctoryte With saynt Edmond the noble kynge And martyr whiche dyd her downe brynge

And she was led on the other syde With saynt Edward the kynge and confessour And so bytwene theym wente this bryde To whom all the ladyes made grete honour As alway seruynge her without errour And a lytell whyle anone after her Ergos brought downe her noble fader

The kynge of loue than sat hym downe At the table for that tyme to ette Causynge dame Clennes for her renowne On his one syde than for to be sette And I on the other without ony lette And besyde me sapyence and dyscrecyon And than by theym sat dame contrycyon

Than sate saynt Edwarde with vyrgynyte And afore hym sate dame obedyence Saynt Edmond and dame charyte And than dame prayer with dame abstynence And than dame fayth shynynge in excellence With saynt Ierome and saynt Austeyn And than saynt gregory without dysdeyn

There was two aungels holdynge fast The table cloth at euery ende Knelynge downe humbly and stedfast Whose seruyce no man coude amende Other there were that dyd entende Vs for to serue with theyr grete dylygence That in theym founde coude be no neglygence

There dyd saynt Peter by grete holynes Serue vs of our swete lordes body Fyrst he serued the fader of clennes And after that he serued her shortly With charyte fayth and dame mercy And I with dyscrecyon and dame sapyence Of saynt Peter was serued with grete indulgence

So dame obedyence with contrycyon With saynt Edwarde and virgynyte In lyke wyse were serued without corrupcyon And saynt Edmond with dame charyte And saynt Ierome with dame humylyte With saynt austyn and saynt gregory What nede I lenger of theym specyfy

This was a fest moost swete and precyous To fede the soule with dyuyne comfort This was a mete moost dere and gloryous That causeth all man for to resorte To sempyternall lyfe and comforte Than saynt ambrose beynge dyuyne After our mete gafe vs good wyne

By this tyme was I .lx. yere olde And desyred for to lyue in peace For I began to growe two folde And my feblenes dyde sore encreace For nature her strength than dyd seace Wherfore after this ghoostly fest I thought with my wyfe to abyde in rest

And I to her sayd with louynge chere O my swete spouse moost fayre and beauteous To me euer ryght leyfe and dere Where is your lande that is solacyous Ye shewyd me of your gardeyn gloryous Vnto whiche now fayne wolde I go There for to dwell and you also

Syr she sayd the aungell raphaell Shall with these martyrs & noble confessours Brynge you thyder with theym to dwell Where ye shall see all your progenytours With many sayntes and gloryous auctours This lande is heuen that to vs longeth As our euydence the gospell telleth

Than came my fader in lawe to vs Saynge by ryght I dyd combynd Clennes my doughter with vertue precyous And you must I loue by naturell kynde For on you now is all my mynde Afore hym I kyst my wyfe moost swetely For we loued to gyder hote and truely

Than came my good aungell to me Causynge me with hym for to go With clennes my wyfe wher I dyd se The paynes of hell full of grete wo There was the dragon that I dyd slo Bounde with chaynes in fyer infynall With the seuen dedely synnes in generall

Than my good aungell to me sayd If ye had loued dame sensualyte The whiche with you dyd make a brayde Ye had ben dampned by ryght and equyte In to this pytte full of all iniquyte Wherfore thanke god that sent you wysedome Suche deedly perylles for to ouercome

Also the lady with the cup of golde Is here condempned for her grete pryde In endeles payne both hote and colde Where in for synne she shall abyde This is a dongeon longe and wyde Made for theym that do synne dedely And of cryst Ihesu wyll axe no mercy

This is a place full of all derkenes Wherin be serpentes foull and odyous This is a place of mortall heuynes Where I sawe deuyles blacke and tedyous Dampned soules turmented with hokes rygorous This is the vppermoost parte of hell In whiche paynyms dampned do dwell

For as moche as they lacked instruccyon For to beleue in god omnypotent They haue deserued the lesse correccyon Yet theyr payne haue none extinguysshement For they are dampned by true sentyment For theyr byleue and fals idolatry That made theyr goddes of mars & mercury

Than went we doune to an other vaute Where Iewes lay in grete paynes stronge Whome deuylles tourmented by grete assaute Drawynge theym with hokes a longe For theyr opynyon so fals and wronge Whiche byleued not in the natyuyte Of Ihesu cryst and the vyrgyn Mare

Nor yet that he dyd suffre passyon Bothe for theym and all mankynde Nother yet of his resurreccyon In theyr byleue they are so blynde Yet as in bokes wryten we do fynde That they haue ben taught many a tyme For to forsake theyr owne fals cryme

Than went we downe to a depper vale Where crysten soules dyd weppe & crye In grete sorowe payne and bale Brennynge in fyer moost hote and drye And some in Ice ryght depe dyd lye For to expresse it is impossyble The paynes there they are so horryble

These crysten men knowe goddes lawe And euery daye had informacyon From deuelysshe werkes theym to withdrawe That they sholde not fall in dampnacyon Yet wyll they not make sequestracyon Of goddes c[om]maundement but syn deedly Therfore here are they dampned ryght wysey

And thou haddest set thy delectacyon In flesshely pleasure and vayne glory Thou haddest ben here without saluacyon Without thou of god had axed mercy Who that it axeth shall haue it truely Yf he be contryt and do repent That he his lyfe in yll hath spent

This place sythens it is moost heuy Moost derke and moost ferre from lyghtnes As philosophers afferme by astronomy Is in the myddes of the erthe doutles That is a place of dyssolate derkenes Wherfore by reason it must nedes be sette In the myddes of the erthe both longe & grette

Capitulum .xiiii

My good aungell by his grete vertue Shewed me all this in a shorte space And after hym I dyd than pursue With my wyfe vnto the fayre place That we came fro full of all solace Where was my fader in the company Of many sayntes that dyd there tary

My wyfe and me than for to brynge To the place of eternall glory With heuenly tewnes swetely syngynge That theym to here it was grete melody More than ony tonge can specyfy This was theyr songe so swete and gloryous That they dyd synge with voyce so vertuous

O celestyall kynge one two and thre All people prayse the god and lorde Whiche art in heuen o noble trynyte Whose royall power and miserycorde Confermed is by thyn hye accorde On vs with trouth for to endure Withouten ende as we are sure

Glory be to the fader almyghty And to the sone and to the holy ghoost Thre persones and one god truely Whose power neuer can be loost For he is lorde of myghtes moost And so hath ben without begynnynge And euer shall be without endynge

Whan we were in the ayre of asure There dyd vs mete the noble Ierarchy As Cherubyn and Seraphyn so pure With other aungels in theyr company That dyd proclayme & synge on hye With voyce insacyat moost melodyous To god aboue Sanctus sanctus sanctus

There dyd I se the planettes seuen Moue in ordre by alteracyon To merueylous for me to neuen For they seassed not theyr operacyon Some assended some made declynacyon Entrynge theyr houses of the .xii. synes Some indyrectly and some by dyrecte lynes

To heuen we styed a place moost gloryous Where that we dyd beholde the deyte With insaciable contenaunce moost desyrous And truely than the more that we Dyd loke vpon his souerayne beaute The more our desyre dyd encreace This is a Ioye that shall not seace

This is a regyon moost full of swetnes This is a realme of delectacyon This is a lande of infenyte gladnes Without ony stormy tribulacyon This place is of eterne saluacyon Where aungels and sayntes for theyr solace Euermore do loke on goddes face

What sholde I wryte thynges of dyuynyte Or endyght of suche maters hye Sythen it no thynge longeth to my faculte Therfore of it I wyll not lenger tarye For fere that I in it sholde varye And by cause that trouth shall be my mede I wyll now leue and take me to my crede

So vertue and clennes by good ryght Truely in maryage ioyned must be For they loue to gyder with all theyr myght Without dyscencyon or duplycyte And they both are alway in vnyte To whome heuen by tayll generall Entayled is by a dede memoryall

Now are they to gyder to heuen gone There for to dwell in Ioye eternall Where that there is the heuenly trone Of our sauyour Ihesu deere & specyall Who that hym loueth truely ouer all Ledynge his lyfe with vertue and clennes Shall come vnto the glory endeles

But in the fynysshynge of my mater To god the maker of all thynge Deuoutely now I make my prayer To saufe kynge Henry our ryghtfull kynge From all treason and dolefull mornynge And for to maynteyn the grete honour Of this swete rede rose so fayre a colour

This floure was kepte ryght longe in close Amonge the leuys holsom and sote And regally sprange and arose Out of the noble stoke and rote Of the rede rose tre to be our bote After our bale sente by grete grace On vs to reygne by ryght longe space

O lorde god what Ioye was this Vnto his moder so good and gracyous Whan that she sawe her sone I wys Of his ennemys to be so vyctoryous It caused her to be moost Ioyous And yet there of no wonder why For he was ryght longe from her truely

A ioyfull metynge than bytwene The moder and the sone so dere A daye of gladnes bryght and shene Fressher than phebus myddaye spere Whan her sone to vs dyd appere He dyd vs lyght with his pure bemys Quenchynge of mars the fyrous lemys

O heuenly kynge o eternall emperoure O thre persons and one god equall I praye the to kepe from all doloure This moder with her sone in specyall With all theyr noble buddes in generall And laude be to the that dyd enhaunce Hym to his ryght and propre herytaunce

The whyte rose that [with] tempestes troublous Aualed was and eke blowen asyde The reed rose fortyfyed and made delycyous It pleased god for hym so to prouyde That his redolent buddes shall not slyde But euer encrease and be vyctoryous Of fatall brerys whiche be contraryous

Thus god by grace dyd well combyne The rede rose and the whyte in maryage Beynge oned ryght clere doth shyne In all clennes and vertuous courage Of whose ryght and royall lynage Prynce Henry is spronge our kynge to be After his fader by ryght good equyte

O noble prynce Henry our seconde treasure Surmontynge in vertue & myrour of beaute O geme of gentylnes & lanterne of plasure O rubycound blossome and sterre of humylyte O famous bud full of benygnyte I pray to god well for to encrease Your hyghe estate in rest and pease

O thoughfull hert for lack of connynge Now layde to slepe this longe wynters nyght Ryse vp agayne loke on the shynynge Of fayre lucyna clere and bryght Beholde eke mercury with his fayre lyght Castynge a doune his stremys mery It may well glad thyn emyspery

O gower fountayne moost aromatyke I the now lake for to depure My rudnes with thy lusty retoryke And also I mys as I am sure My mayster Chaucers to take the cure Of my penne for he was expert In eloquent termes subtyll and couert

Where is now lydgate flourynge in sentence That shold my mynde forge to endyte After the termes of famous eloquence And strength my penne well for to wryte With maters fresshe of pure delyte They can not helpe me there is no remedy But for to praye to god almyghty

For to dystyll the dewe of influence Vpon my brayn so dull and rude And to enlumyn me with his sapyence That I my rudnes may exclude And in my mater well to conclude Vnto thy pleasure and to the reders all To whome I excuse me now in generall

Explicit exemplum virtutis

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

Errors and Irregularities

Transposed Text

Two groups of pages appear to have been printed out of sequence. Each involves pages from the later part of a signature, so visible page numbering is absent. It is not known whether the error is from the original printing or from the facsimile reprint.

Pages 9-11 = aa.v.(recto) - [unnumbered] Pages 69-71 = ff.iii.(recto) - ff.iiii.(recto) [unnumbered]

Pages beginning:

Vnto her I answerde o lady gloryous [printed as page 11] Be to thy kynge euer true subgete Whan she to me had made relacyon [printed as pages 9, 10]

Whan I had scomfyte this serpent venymous [printed as page 71] Than came dame fayth that lady gloryous [printed as page 70] And there met me dame clennes blyue [printed as page 69]

Printed folio numbers show an unusual pattern: aa, cc, ee: 16 pages each gg: 12 pages bb, dd, ff, hh: 8 pages


Numbers such as .x. were usually printed without spaces.

Chapter headings for .vi. and .vii. were printed near the bottom of the page— as main text, not catchwords— and again at the top of the following page. This pattern was not consistently followed for all chapters that began at the top of a page.

Typographical Errors

Unless otherwise noted, errors were left unchanged.

Tabula Libri, cap. viii: -maunded Discrec[on]n to lede youth to marye with clen- Tabula Libri, cap. ix: ... dyscrecyon he dyde withstande theyr temptac[on]n and ... [error for Discrecy[on], temptacy[on]] [Both words occur in full-length lines of prose. When the typesetter saw that he needed an abbreviation to make the line fit, he may have removed the wrong letter from the words to be abbreviated.] Morpleus to me than made abreyd [error for Morpheus] Tyll eolus with blastes began to rore [text reads "colus"] Whiche dyde enquere of prudent Iosethus [error for Iosephus? compare "setherus" below] He sholde there b enlumyned shortely [error for be enlumyned] And with a for wytte kepte in store [spacing ambiguous: may be one word "aforwytte"] With all theyr cases dyd well avarre [v letterform in original] For I by ryght must nedys enhaunce [text reads "enhauncce"] Whan they ben wrought in to theyr degre [text reads "beu"] He shall knowe thynges that be dyuyne [text reads "dyuyue"] And by whiche he hiz k[yn]ge dysteyneth [text reads "k[yn]ne"] [there is no evident reason for using an abbreviation in this line] [for "hiz", see below] To man exaltynge hym to noblenesse [text reads "exaltyuge"] The worde of god the deuyll to bl[ey]nde [e, required by rhyme, printed above y, required by sense] In grete wo & payne but thynke you verely ["Ingrete" without space] Lettynge hym often of his passage [text reads "Lettyuge"] An humble herte full of contrycon [error for contrycyon] The merueylous dragon so gretly slynkynge [reading may be "stynkynge", but letterforms are closer to "sl-"] And also setherus his fragraunt breth [error for sepherus? compare "Iosethus" above] Who that vs loueth without doubta[un]ce [text reads "doubtau[un]ce", probably through confusion with preceding line where -a[un]ce abbreviation was required by line length] And than dame mercy with contricyon [text unchanged, but "contrycyon" is the usual form] For to beleue in god omnypotent [be leue] Therfore here are they dampned ryght wysey [error for wysely] O geme of gentylnes & lanterne of plasure [error for pleasure]

Unusual Letter

In four places the text has an unusual letter. It has been variously transcribed as "z" or "[gh]" (yogh) according to context, but appears to be the identical letter every time:

Nexte vnto her sate the hyghe quene Azia And by whiche he hiz k[yn]ge dysteyneth Though he were hardy & wyse he my[gh]t not me forbere Accordynge to a morylyzacyon


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