A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. VI
Part 2 out of 9
The service, whilk on Twalfth-day mun be done,
Ay seeke bay the mark of the three kings of Cologne.
Bay the devil tenting Chraist ay find whadragesima:
Bay Chraist on the cross ay serch out gude-fraiday.
Pasch for his mark hath the Resurrection:
Ayenst Hally-Thursday is pented Chraist's ascension:
Thus in mayn own buke ay is a gude clerk;
But gif the sents war gone, the cat had eat my mark.
Se the sandry mairacles, whilk ilk sent have done,
Bay the pictures on the walls sal appear to them soon,
Bay the whilk thea ar learned in every distress,
What sent thea mun prea te far succour, doubtless:
Sea that all lepers to Sylvester must prea,
That he wawd frae tham ther disease take away.
Laykwais, thea that han the falling saickness,
Te be eased therfre thea mun prea to Sent Cornelis:
In contagious air, as in plague or pestilence,
Te hally Sent-Ruke thea mun call far assistance.
Fra paril of drawning Sent Carp keep the mariners:
Fra dayng in warfare Sent George guard the soldiers:
Sent Job heal the poor, the ague Sent German:
For te ease the toothache call te Sent Appolline.
Gif that a woman be barren and childless,
Te help her herein she must prea te Sent Nicholas.
Far wemen in travail call to Sent Magdalen;
Far lawliness of mind call to Sent Katherine,
Sent Loy save your horse, Sent Anthony your swine.
What! this parson seemeth cunning to be,
And, as far as I see, in a good uniformity.
Yea, he is well read in that Golden Legend.
Bay may troth, in reading any other ne taym do I spend,
Far that, ay ken, bay general caunsel is canonised,
And bay the hely Pope himself is authorised:
That buke farther is wholly permitted,
Wharas the Baible in part is prohibited.
And therefore, gif it be lawful to utter my conscience,
Before the New Testament ays give it credence.
I allow his judgment before Ambrose and Austin,
And for Hypocrisy a more convenient chaplain.
It grieveth me much that no fault we can spy,
For now of some bribe disappointed am I;
Yet happily he may tell us of some heretics.
Is there, Mast. Parson, in your parish no schismatics?
Yai, mara, is ther a vara busybody,
Whe will jest with me and call me fule and noddy,
And sets his lads te spout Latin ayenst me,
But ay spose then with _Deparfundis Clam aui_:
And oftentimes he wil reason with me of the Sacarment,
And say he can prove bay the New Testament
That Chraist's body is in heaven placed;
But ays not believe him, ay woll not be awt-faced.
He says besayd that the Pope is Antichraist,
Fugered of John bay the seven-headed beast,
And all awre religion is but mon's invention,
And with God's ward is at utter dissension;
And a plaguy deal mare of sayk layk talk,
That ay dar not far may narse bay his yate walk,
But ay wawd he wer brunt, that ay mawght be whaiet.
He must have a cooler; his tongue runs at riot.
What is his name, Sir John, canst thou tell us?
Yai, sir, that ay ken: he is cleped Phailelegoos.
Wilt thou go show his house, where he dwell?
Yai, or els ay wawd may sawl war in hell.
Te de him a pleasure ay wawd gang a whole year,
Gif it war but te make him a fadock te bear.
Go with us, Avarice, and bear us company.
Nay, if you go hence, I will not here tarry.
Away, sirs: in your business in a corner do not lurk,
That my Lord Legate, when he comes, may have work.
Come on: let us go together, Sir John.
Ay sall follow after. God boy, you good gentleman.
Farewell three false knaves as between this and London!
What say'st thou?
As honest men as the three Kings of Cologne.
[_Exeunt_ TYR. AVA. CACON.
This gear goes round, if that we had a fiddle:
Nay, I must sing too, _heigh, dery, dery, dery_.
I can do but laugh, my heart is so merry:
I will be minstrel myself, _heigh, didle, didle, didle_;
But lay there a straw I began to be weary.
But hark; I hear a trampling of feet.
It is my Lord Legate; I will him go meet.
ACT IV., SCENE I.
CAR[DINAL]. HYP. AVA. TYR. PHILO.
Go to, Master Zeal, bring forth that heretic,
Which doth thus disturb our religion catholic.
Room for my lord's grace! what! no manner reverence,
But cap on head, Hodge, and that in a lord's presence?
What, Master Hypocrisy, I have stayed for you long.
You were best crowd in, and play us among.
Where have you been from me so long absent?
I appointed to have been here three hours ago,
In my consistory to have sat in judgment
Of that wretched schismatic that doth trouble us so.
What, have you caught but one, and no mo?
In faith, father Avarice, you have plied your chaps well.
I must needs confess that I am paid for my travail.
Room for the prisoner! what, room on each hand,
Or I shall make some out of the way for to stand.
Lo, here, my lord, is that seditious schismatic,
That we have laid wait for, an arrant heretic.
Sit down, Master Hypocrisy, to yield me assistance.
I thank your lordship for your courteous benevolence.
I will be the noddy--I should say the notary,
To write before my Lord Legate, which is commissary.
Ah, sirrah! be you he that doth thus disturb
The whole estate of our faith catholic?
Art thou so expert in God's laws and word,
That no man may learn thee, thou arrant heretic?
But this is the nature of every schismatic:
Be his errors never so false doctrine,
He will say by God's word he dare it examine.
With humble submission to your authority,
I pardon crave, if ought amiss I say;
For being thus set in peril and extremity,
To me unacquainted, my tongue soon trip may:
Wherefore excuse me, I do your lordship pray,
And I will answer to every demand,
According to my conscience, God's word being my warrant.
To begin therefore orderly: how say'st thou, Philologus,
Have I authority to call thee me before?
Or, to be short, I will object it thus:
Whether hath the Pope, which is Peter's successor,
Than all other bishops preheminence more?
If not, then it follow that neither he,
Nor I which am his legate, to accompts may call thee.
The question is perilous for me to determine,
Chiefly when the party is judge in the cause;
Yet, if the whole course of Scripture ye examine,
And will be tried by God's holy laws,
Small help shall you find to defend the same cause,
But the contrary may be proved manifestly,
As I in short words will prove to you briefly.
The surest ground, whereon your Pope doth stand,
Is of Peter's being at Rome a strong imagination,
And the same Peter, you do understand,
Of all the disciples had the gubernation,
Surmising both without good approbation,
Unless you will by the name of Babylon,
From whence Peter wrote, is understanded Rome.
As indeed divers of your writers have affirmed,
Reciting Jerome, Austin, Primatius, and Ambrose,
Who by their several writings have confirmed
That Rome is New Babylon: I may it not glose.
But it were better for you they were dumb, I suppose,
For they labour to prove Rome by that acception
The whore of Babylon, spoke of in the Revelation.
But grant that Peter in Rome settled was,
Yet that he was chief it remains you to prove;
For in my judgment it is a plain case,
That if any amongst them to rule it did behove,
He should be the chief, whom Christ most did love;
To whom he bequeathed his mother most dear,
To whom in revelation Christ did also appear.
I mean John Evangelist (by birth) cousin-german
To our Saviour Christ, as stories do us tell:
From whose succession if that you should claim
Superiority, you should mend your cause well,
For then of some likelihood of truth it should smell,
Where none so often as Peter was reproved,
Nor from steadfast faith so oftentimes removed.
But grant all were true herein you do feign,
Mark one proper lesson of a Greek orator:
As a good child of his father's wealth is inheritor,
So of his father's virtues he must be possessor.
Now Peter follows Christ, and all worldly goods forsakes;
But the Pope leaveth Christ, and himself to glory takes.
And to be short, Christ himself refused to be a king,
And the servant above the master may not be;
Which being both true, it is a strange thing,
How the Pope can receive this pomp and dignity,
And yet profess himself Christ's servant to be.
Christ will be no king, the Pope will be more:
The Pope is Christ's master, not his servant, therefore.
Ah, thou arrant heretic! I will thee remember.
I am glad I know so much as I do:
I have weighed thy reasons, and have found them so slender,
That I think them not worthy to be answered [to].
How say you, Master Hypocrisy?
I also think so;
But let him go forward and utter his conscience,
And we will a while longer hear him with patience.
Say on, thou heretic: of the holy Sacrament;
Of the body and blood of Christ, what is thine opinion?
I have not yet finished my former argument.
Say on, as I bid thee: thou art a stout minion.
I shall then gladly: it is a sign of union,
The which should remain us Christians among,
That one should love another all our life long.
For as the bread is of many cornels compounded,
And the wine from the juice of many grapes do descend,
So we, which into Christ our Rock are ingrounded,
As into one temple, should cease to contend,
Lest by our contention the Church we offend.
This was not the least cause, among many more,
Which are now omitted, that this Sacrament was given for.
The chiefest cause why this Sacrament was ordained,
Was the infirmity of our outward man;
Whereas salvation to all men was proclaimed,
That with true faith apprehend the same can,
By the death of Jesus Christ, that immaculate Lamb;
That the same might the rather of all men be believed,
To the word to add a Sacrament it Christ nothing grieved.
And as we the sooner believe that thing true,
For the trial whereof more witnesses we find,
So by the means of the Sacrament many grew
Believing creatures, where before they were blind;
For our senses some savour of our faith now do find,
Because in the Sacrament there is this analogy,
That Christ feeds our souls, as the bread doth our body.
Ah, thou foul heretic! is there bread in the Sacrament?
Where is Christ's body, then, which he did us give?
I know to the faithful receiver it is there present,
But yet the bread remaineth still, I steadfastly believe.
To hear these his errors it doth me greatly grieve:
But that we may shortly to some issue come,
In what sense said Christ, _Hoc est corpus meum_?
Even in the same sense that he said before:
_Vos estis sal terrae, Vos estis lux mundi,
Ego sum ostium_, and a hundred such more,
If time would permit to allege them severally;
But that I may the simple sort edify,
You ask me in what sense these words I verify,
Where Christ of the bread said, "This is my body."
For answer herein I ask you this question:
Were Christ's disciples into salt transformed
When he said, "Ye are the salt of the earth every one,"
Or when the light of the world he them affirmed?
Or himself to be a door when he confirmed?
Or to be a vine, did his body then change?
If not then, why now? this to me seemeth strange.
Why, dost thou doubt of Christ his omnipotency,
But what so he willeth doth so come to pass?
God keep me and all men from such a frenzy,
As to think anything Christ's power to surpass,
When his will to his power joined was;
But where his will wanteth, his power is ineffectual:
As Christ can be no liar, God cannot be mortal.
Set down therefore some proof of his will
That he would be made bread, and then I recant.
This caitiff mine ears with wind he doth fill:
His words both truth and reason doth want.
Christ's word is his will; this must thou needs grant.
He spake the word likewise, when he said, "I am the door,"
Was his body transformed into timber therefore?
Nay, if thou beest obstinate, I will say no more.
Have him hence to prison, and keep him full sure:
I will make him set by my friendship more store.
But hearest thou, Zeal? go first and procure
Some kind of new torment which he may not endure.
I am here in readiness to do your commandment,
And will return hither again incontinent.
At thy return bring hither Sensual Suggestion,
That, if need be, he may us assist,
Lest that both I and Careful Provision
The zeal of Philologus may not fully resist;
But he in his obstinacy doth still persist:
To put him to death would accuse us of tyranny;
But if we could win him, he should do us much honesty.
I hear you, and will fulfil your words speedily.
Good Master Philologus, I pity your case,
To see you so foolish yourself to undo:
I durst yet promise to purchase you grace,
If you would, at length, your errors forego.
Therefore, I pray you, be not your own foe.
Call you those errors which the gospel defends?
I know not, then, whence true d[o]ctrine descends.
Nay, Master Hypocrisy, you spend time in vain
To reason with him: he will not be removed.
Had I so much to live by, as he hath certain,
I would not lose that which I so well loved.
He stands in his reputation: he will not be reproved;
And that is the cause that he is so obstinate:
[_To Phil_.] But I shall well enough thy courage abate.
I humbly beseech you of Christian charity,
You seek not of purpose my blood for to spill;
For if I have displeased your authority,
In reasonable causes redress it I will:
But in this respect I fear I should kill
My soul for ever, if against my conscience
I should to the Pope's laws acknowledge obedience.
Cease from those words, if your safety you love:
As though no man had a soul more than you.
Such nips, perchance, my lord's patience will move;
Then would you please him, if that you wist how.
But if you will be ruled by my honesty, I vow
I will do the best herein that I can,
Because you seem to be a good gentleman.
Were it not better for you to live at ease,
And spend that merrily which earst you have got,
Than by your own folly yourself to disease,
And bring you to trouble, which other men seek not?
In faith, Philologus, your zeal is too hot,
Which will not be quench'd, but with your heart-blood;
If I were so zealous, I would think myself wood.
Tush! it will not be: he thinks we do but jest.
Wherefore, that some trial of my mind he may have,
That Careful Provision should go I think best
Into the town, and there assistance crave,
His house for to enter, and his goods for me save:
Lest when his wife know that they be confiscate,
Into other men's keeping the same she doth dissipate.
You speak very wisely in my simple judgment:
Therefore you were best to send him away.
Go to, Careful Provision, depart incontinent,
And fulfil the words which I to you say.
Of pardon herein I do your lordship pray.
You doubt not, I trust, of my willing mind,
Which herein is most ready, you always shall find:
For who is more ready by fraud to purloin
Other men's goods than I am each where?
But lest some man at me should chance to foin,
And kill me at once, I greatly do fear.
I had rather persuade him his folly to forbear.
Prove then, if thou canst do him any good:
He shall not say that we seek his blood.
Ah, Master Philologus! you see your own case,
That both life and goods are in my lord's will:
Therefore you were best to sue for some grace,
And be content his words to fulfil.
If you neglect this, hence straightway I will,
And all your goods I will sure confiscate:
Then will you repent it, when it is too late.
My case indeed I see most miserable,
As was Susanna betwixt two evils placed;
Either to consent to sin most abhominable,
Or else in the world's sight to be utterly disgraced;
But as she her chastity at that time embraced,
So will I now spiritual whoredom resist,
And keep me a true virgin to my loving spouse Christ.
Wilt thou then neglect the provision of thy household?
Thou art therefore worse than an infidel is.
That you abuse God's word, to say I dare be bold,
And the saying of Paul you interpret amiss.
I never saw the like heretic that this is.
Away, Careful Provision, about your business.
Sith there is no remedy, I am here in readiness.
I beseech your lordship, even from the heart-root,
That you would vouchsafe, for my contentation,
To approve unto me by God's holy book
Some one of the questions of our disputation:
For I will hear you with heart's delectation,
Because I would gladly to your doctrine consent,
If that I could so my conscience content.
But my conscience crieth out, and bids me take heed
To love my Lord God above all earthly gain;
Whereby all this while I stand in great dread,
That if I should God's statutes disdain,
In wretched state then I should remain.
Thus crieth my conscience to me continually,
Which if you can stay, I will yield to you gladly.
I can say no more than I have done already.
Thou heardest that I called thee heretic and fool:
If thou wilt not consent to me, and that speedily,
With a new master thou shalt go to school.
Thou hast no more wit, I see, than this stool,
Far unfit to dispute and reason with my lord:
He can subdue thee with fire and sword quite with one word.
Come follow apace, Sensual Suggestion,
Or else I will leave you to come all alone.
You go in haste, you make expedition:
Nay, if you run so fast, I will none.
This little journey will make me to groan.
I use not to trouble myself in this wise,
And now to begin I do not advise.
Have I not plied me, which am come again so soon,
And yet have finished such sundry business?
I have caused many pretty toys to be done,
So that now I have each thing in readiness.
What, Master Zeal, you are praiseworthy, doubtless.
Art thou prepared this gentleman to receive?
He will roast a fagot, or else he me deceive.
In simple manner I will him entertain,
Yet must he take it all in good part;
And though his diet be small, he may not disdain,
Nor yet contemn the kindness of my heart:
For though I lack instruments to put him to smart,
Yet shall he abide in a hellish black dungeon:
As for blocks, stocks, and irons, I warrant him want none.
Well, farewell Philologus, you hear of your lodging.
I would yet do you good, if that I wist how.
Let him go, Hypocrisy; stand not all day dodging:
You have done too much for him, I make God avow.
Stay; for Suggestion doth come yonder now.
Come on, lazy lubber, you make but small haste:
Had you stayed a while longer, your coming had been waste.
You know of myself I am not very quick,
Because that my body I do so much tender;
For Sensual Suggestion will quickly be sick,
If that his own ease he should not remember.
Thus one cause of my tarriance to you I do render:
Another I had as I came by the way,
Which did me the longer from your company stay.
What was that, Suggestion? I pray thee to us utter,
For I am with child, till that I do it hear.
A certain gentlewoman did murmur and mutter,
And for grief of mind her hair she did tear:
She will at last kill herself, I greatly do fear.
What is the cause why this grief she did take?
Because her husband her company did forsake.
Her children also about her did stand,
Sobbing and sighing, and made lamentation,
Knocking their breasts, and wringing their hand,
Saying they are brought to utter desolation
By the means of their father's wilful protestation;
Whose goods, they say, are already confiscate,
Because he doth the Pope's laws violate.
And indeed I saw Avarice standing at the door,
And a company of ruffians assisting him there.
Alas, alas! this pincheth my heart full sore.
Mine evils he doth declare, mine own woe I do hear,
Wherefore from tears I cannot forbear.
Ha, ha! doth this touch you, Master Philologus?
You need not have had it, being rul'd by us.
Why, what is he thus, Master Hypocrisy,
That taketh such sorrow at the words which I spake?
One that is taken and convinced of heresy,
And, I fear me much, will burn at a stake:
Yet to reclaim him much pains would I take,
And have done already, howbeit in vain.
I would crave thine assistance, were it not to thy pain.
I will do the best herein that I can:
Yet go thou with me to help at a need.
[_To Phil_.] With all my heart, God save you, good gentleman,
To see your great sorrow my heart doth wellnigh bleed.
But what is the cause of your trouble and dread?
Disdain not to me your secret to tell:
A wise man sometime of a fool may take counsel.
Mine estate, alas! is now most lamentable,
For I am but dead, whichever side I take:
Neither to determine herein am I able,
With good advice mine election to make,
The worse to refuse, and the best for to take:
My spirit covets the one; but alas! since your presence,
My flesh leads my spirit therefro by violence.
For at this time, I being in great extremity,
Either my Lord God in heart to reject,
Or else to be oppressed by the legate's authority,
And in this world to be counted an abject,
My lands, wife, and children also to neglect:
This later part to take my spirit is in readiness,
But my flesh doth subdue my spirit doubtless.
Your estate, perhaps, seemeth to you dangerous,
The rather because you have not been used
To incur beforetime such troubles perilous,
But to your power such evils have refused:
Howbeit, of two evils the least must be choosed:
Now which is the least evil, we will shortly examine,
That which part to take yourself may determine.
On the right hand, you say, you see God's just judgment,
His wrath and displeasure on you for to fall,
And instead of the joys of heaven ever permanent,
You see for your stipend the torments infernal.
That is it indeed which I fear most of all;
For Christ said: fear not them which the body can annoy,
But fear him which the body and soul can destroy.
Well, let that lie aside awhile as it is,
And on the other side make the like inquisition:
If on the left side you fall, then shall you not miss
But to bring your body to utter perdition;
For at man's hand, you know, there is no remission.
Beside, your children fatherless, your wife desolate,
Your goods and possessions to other men confiscate.
Saint Paul to the Romans hath this worthy sentence:
I accompt the afflictions of this world transitory,
Be they never so many, in full equivalence
Cannot countervail those heavenly glory,
Which we shall have through Christ his propitiatory.
I also accompt the rebukes of our Saviour
Greater gains to me than this house full of treasure.
You have spoken reasonably; but yet, as they say,
One bird in the hand is worth two in the bush;
So you, now enjoying these worldly joys, may
Esteem the other as light as a rush:
Thus may you 'scape this perilous push.
Yea, but my salvation to me is most certain;
Neither doubt I that I shall suffer this in vain.
Is your death meritorious, then, in God's sight,
That you are so sure to attain to salvation?
I do not think so; but my faith is full pight
In the mercies of God, by Christ's mediation;
By whom I am sure of my preservation.
Then to the faithful no hurt can accrue,
But what so he worketh, good end shall ensue.
Our Saviour Christ did say to the tempter,
When he did persuade him from the pinnacle to fall,
And said, he might safely that danger adventure,
Because that God's angels from hurt him save shall:
See that thy Lord God thou tempt not at all.
So I, though persuaded of my sins' free remission,
May not commit sin upon this presumption.
What, have you not yet done your foolish tattling
With that froward heretic! I will then away:
If you will tarry to hear all his prattling,
He would surely keep you most part of the day.
It is now high dinner-time, my stomach doth say;
And I will not lose one meal of my diet,
Though thereon did hang an hundred men's quiet.
By your lordship's patience, one word with him more,
And then, if he will not, I give him to Tyranny.
I never saw my lord so patient before,
To suffe[r] one to speak for himself so quietly;
But you were not best to trust to his courtesy:
It is evil waking of a dog that doth sleep.
While you have his friendship, you were best it to keep.
I promise thee, Philologus, by my vowed chastity,
If thou wilt be ruled by thy friends that be here,
Thou shalt abound in wealth and prosperity,
And in the country chief rule thou shalt bear,
And a hundred pounds more thou shalt have in the year.
If thou will this courtesy refuse,
Thou shalt die incontinent: the one of these choose.
Well, sith it is no time for us to debate
In formal manner what is in my mind,
I will at once to thee straight demonstrate
Those worldly joys which here thou shalt find.
And for because thou art partly blind,
In this respect look through this mirror,
And thou shalt behold an unspeakable pleasure.
[_Shows him a mirror_.
O peerless pleasures, O joys unspeakable,
O worldly wealth, O palaces gorgeous,
O fair children, O wife most amiable;
O pleasant pastime, O pomp so glorious,
O delicate diet, O life lascivious;
O dolorous death which would me betray,
And my felicity from me take away!
I am fully resolved without further demur
In these delights to take my whole solace;
And what pain soever hereby I incur,
Whether heaven or hell, whether God's wrath or grace,
This glass of delight I will ever embrace.
But one thing most chiefly doth trouble me here:
My neighbours inconstant will compt me, I fear.
He that will seek each man to content
Shall prove himself at last most unwise.
Yourself to save harmless think it sufficient,
And weight not the people's clamorous outcries.
Yet their mouths to stop I can soon devise:
Say that the reading of the works of St Self-love
And Doctor Ambition did your errors remove.
And hark in thine ear, delay no more time:
The sooner the better in end you will say.
[_Aside_.] We have now caught him as bird is in lime.
Come on, sirs; have ye done? I would fain away.
Go even when you will, we do you not stay.
Philologus hath drunk such a draught of hypocrisy,
That he minds not to die yet; he will master this malady.
Come on, Master Philologus: are you grown to a stay?
I am glad to hear that you become tractable.
If it please your lordship, I say even what you say,
And confess your religion to be most allowable.
Neither will I gainsay your customs laudable:
My former follies I utterly renounce;
That myself was an heretic, I do here pronounce.
Nay, Master Philologus, go with me to my palace,
And I shall set down the form of recantation,
Which you shall read on Sunday next in open place.
This done, you shall satisfy our expectation,
And shall be set free from all molestation:
Into the bosom of the Church we will you take,
And some high officer therein will you make.
I must first request your lordship's favour,
That I may go home my wife for to see,
And I will attend on you within this hour.
Nay, I may not suffer you alone to go free,
Unless one of these your surety will be.
I, Sensual Suggestion, for him will undertake.
Very well, take him to you: your prisoner I him make.
Come you, Master Hypocrisy, and bear me company,
Or else I am sure no meat I should eat;
And go before, Zeal, to see each thing ready,
That, when we once come, we stay not for meat.
With small suit hereto you shall me intreat.
Farewell, Philologus, and make small delay:
Perhaps of our dinners for you I will stay.
[_Exeunt_ CARDINAL _and_ HYPOCRISY.
Had not you been a wise man, yourself to have lost,
And brought your whole family to wretched estate!
Where now of your blessedness yourself you may boast,
And of all the country accompt yourself fortunate.
Such was the wit of my foolish pate.
But what do we stay so long in this place?
I shall not be well, whilst I am with my Lord's grace.
ACT IV. SCENE 4.
SPIRIT, PHILOLOGUS, SUGGESTION.
Philologus, Philologus, Philologus, I say,
In time take heed, go not too far, look well thy steps unto:
Let not suggestion of thy flesh thy conscience thee betray,
Who doth conduct thee in the path that leadeth to all woe.
Weigh well this warning given from God, before thou further go,
And sell not everlasting joy for pleasures temporal,
From which thou soon shalt go, or they from thee bereaved shall.
Alas! what voice is this I hear, so dolefully to sound
Into mine ears, and warneth me in time yet to beware?
Why, have not I the pleasant path of worldly pleasures found?
To walk therein for my delight no man shall me debar.
Look in this glass, Philologus: for nought else do thou care.
What dost thou see within the same? is not the coast all clear?
Nought else but pleasure, pomp and wealth herein to me appear.
Give me thy hand: I will be guide, and lead thee in the way.
What, dost thou shrink, Philologus, where I dare go before?
Yea, shrink so still, Philologus; in time turn back, I say:
In Sensual Suggestion's steps see that thou tread no more;
And though the frailty of the flesh hath made thee fall full sore,
And to deny with outward lips thy Lord and God most dear,
The same to 'stablish with consent of conscience stand in fear.
Thou art yet free, Philologus; all torments thou may'st 'scape,
Only the pleasures of the world thou shalt awhile forbear.
Renounce thy crime, and sue for grace, and do not captivate
Thy conscience unto mortal sin: the yoke of Christ do bear.
Shut up these words within thy breast, which sound so in thine ear:
The outward man hath caused thee this enterprise to take;
Beware lest wickedness of spirit the same do perfect make.
My heart doth tremble for distress; my conscience pricks me sore,
And bids me cease that course in time, which I would gladly run.
The wrath of God, it doth me tell, doth stand my face before:
Wherefore I hold it best to cease that race I have begun.
These are but fancies certainly; for this way thou shalt shun
All worldly woes: look in thy glass and tell me what it show.
Thou wilt not credit other men before thyself, I trow.
O gladsome glass, O mirror bright, O crystal clear as sun,
The joys cannot be uttered which herein I behold!
Wherefore I will not thee forsake, what evil soever come.
If needs thou wilt thyself undo, say not but thou art told.
Hap what hap will, I will not lose these pleasures manifold.
Wherefore conduct me once again: here, take me by the hand.
That Sensual Suggestion doth lead him, understand.
ACT IV., SCENE 5.
CONSCIENCE, PHILOLOGUS, SUGGESTION.
Alas, alas! thou woful wight, what fury doth thee move
So willingly to cast thyself into consuming fire?
What Circe hath bewitched thee thy worldly wealth to love
More than the blessed state of Soul, this one thing I desire?
Weigh well the cause with sincere heart, thy conscience thee require,
And sell not everlasting joys for pleasures temporal.
Resist Suggestion of the flesh, who seeks thee for to spoil;
From which thou soon shalt go, or they from thee bereaved shall,
And take from thee, which God elect, true everlasting soil.
See where confusion doth attend to catch thee in his snare,
Whose hands, if that thou goest on still, thou shalt no way eschew.
What wight art thou, which for my health dost take such earnest care?
Thy crazed conscience, which foresee the plagues and torments due,
Which from just Judge, whom thou denyest, shall by and by ensue.
Thou hast good trial of the faith which I to thee do bear:
Commit thy safety to my charge; there is no danger near.
Such is the blindness of the flesh, that it may not descry
Or see the perils which the soul is ready to incur;
And much the less our own estates we can ourselves espy,
Because Suggestion in our hearts such, fancies often stir:
Whereby to worldly vanities we cleave as fast as burr,
Esteeming them with heavenly joys in goodness comparable,
Yet be they mostly very pricks to sin abhominable.
For proof we need no further go than to this present man,
Who by the blessing of the Lord of riches having store,
When with his heart to fancy them this worldling once began,
And had this glass of vanities espied his eyes before,
He God forsook, whereas he ought have loved him the more;
And chooseth rather with his goods to be thrown down to hell,
Than by refusing of the same with God in heaven to dwell.
Nay, hark, Philologus, how thy Conscience can teach,
And would detain thee with glosings untrue:
But hearest thou, Conscience, thou mayest long enough preach,
Ere words, from whence reason or truth none ensue,
Shall make Philologus to bid me adieu.
What, shall there no rich man dwell in God's kingdom?
Where, then, is Abraham, Job, and David become?
I speak not largely of all them which have this worldly wealth,
For why I know that riches are the creatures of the Lord;
Which of themselves are good each one, as Solomon us telleth,
And are appointed to do good withal by God's own word;
But when they let us from the Lord, then ought they be abhorr'd:
Which caused Christ himself to say, that with much lesser pain
Should camel pass through needle's eye, than rich men heaven obtain.
Hereby rich men Christ did not mean each one which wealth enjoy,
But those which fast'ned have their love upon this worldly dust;
Wherefore another cries and saith, O death, how great annoy
Dost thou procure unto that man, which in his goods doth trust.
That thou dost this, Philologus, thou needs acknowledge must;
Whereby each one may easily see, thou takest more delight
In mundane joys, than thou esteemest to be with angels bright.
This toucheth the quick: I feel the wound, which if thou canst not cure,
As maimed in limbs I must retire; I can no further go.
This is the grief which Conscience takes against thee, I am sure,
Because thou usest those delights which Conscience may not do;
And therefore he persuadeth thee to leave the same also,
As did the fox which, caught in snare and scap'd with loss of tail,
To cut off theirs, as burthenous, did all the rest counsel.
Indeed I cannot use those fond and foolish vanities,
In which the outward part of man doth take so great delight:
No, neither would I, though to me were given that liberty,
But rather would consume them all to nought, if that I might;
For if I should delight therein, it were as good a sight,
As if a man of perfect age should ride upon a stick,
Or play with compters in the street, which pastime children like.
But all my joys in heaven remains, whereas I long to be;
And so wouldst thou, if that on Christ thy faith full fast'ned were:
For that affection was in Paul the apostle, we may see,
The first to the Philippians doth witness herein bear.
His words be these: O would to God dissolved that I were,
And were with Christ: another place his mind in those words tell;
We are but strangers all from God, while in this world we dwell.
Now, mark how far from his request dissenting in thy mind,
He wish'd for death, but more than hell thou dost the same detest.
The cause why Paul did loath his life may easily be assign'd,
Because the Jews in every place did seek him to molest:
But those which in this world obtain security and rest,
Do take delight to live therein; yea, nature doth endue
Each living creature with a fear, lest death should them accrue.
Yea, the same Paul at Antioch dissembled to be dead,
While they were gone who sought his life with stones for to destroy.
Elias for to save his life to Horeb likewise fled,
So did King David flee, when Saul did seek him to annoy:
Yea, Christ himself, whom in our deeds to follow we may joy,
Did secretly convey himself from Jews so full of hate,
When they thought from the top of hill him to precipitate.
Wherefore it is no sin at all a man for to defend,
And keep himself from death, so long as nature gives him leave.
The same whom you recited have conceived a further end,
Than to themselves to live alone, as each man may perceive;
For when that Paul had run his course, he did at last receive
With heart's consent the final death which was him put unto.
So when Christ had performed his work, he did death undergo:
And would to God, thou wouldest do that, which these men were content;
For they despised worldly pomp; their flesh they did subdue;
And brought it under, that to spirit it mostly did consent:
Whereby they, seeking God to please, did bid the world adieu,
Wife, children and possessions forsaking; for they knew
That everlasting treasures were appointed them at last,
The which they thirsting did from them all worldly pleasures cast.
But thou, O wretch, dost life prolong, not that thou wouldst God's name,
As duty binds us all to do, most chiefly glorify,
But rather by thy living still wilt God's renown defame,
And more and more dishonour him: this is thy drift, I spy.
I mean to live in worldly joys; I can it not deny.
What are those joys, which thou dost mean, but pleasures strange from God?
By using of the which thou shalt provoke his heavy rod.
Tush! knowest thou what, Philologus, be wise thyself unto,
And listen not to those fond words which Conscience to thee tell.
For thy defence I will allege one worthy lesson mo,
Unto the which I am right sure he cannot answer well:
When David by vain trust in men of war from God sore fell,
And was appointed of three plagues the easiest for to choose,
He said: God's mercy easier is to get than man's, as I suppose.
Again, he sayeth among the Psalms: it better is to trust
In God, than that our confidence we settle should in man.
Wherefore to this which I now say of force consent thou must;
That when two evils, before us placed, no way avoid we can,
Into the hand of God to fall by choice is lawful then,
Because that God is merciful, when man no mercy show.
Thus have I pleaded in this cause sufficiently, I trow.
How can you say you trust in God whenas you him forsake,
And of the wicked Mammon here do make your feigned friend?
No, no; these words which you recite against you mostly make,
For thus he thinks in his distress: God cannot me defend,
And therefore by Suggestion frail to man's help he hath lean'd.
Mark who say truth, of him or me, and do him best believe.
I like thy words, but that to lose these joys it would me grieve.
And where Suggestion telleth thee, that God in mercies flow,
Yet is he just sins to correct, and true in that he speak;
Wherefore he sayeth: whoso my name before men shall not know,
I shall not know him, when as judge I shall sit in my seat.
This if you call to mind, it will your proud presumption break.
Again he sayeth, whoso his life or goods will seek to save,
Shall lose them all; but who for Christ will lose them, gain shall have.
What, did not Peter Christ deny, yet mercy did obtain,
Where, if he had not, of the Jews he should have tasted death?
Even so shall I in tract of time with bitter tears complain.
Yea, time enough, though thou deferr'st until thy latest breath.
So sayeth Suggestion unto thee; but Conscience it denyeth,
And in the end what so I say for truth thou shalt espy,
And that most false which Conscience shall in secret heart deny.
Ah, wretched man! what shall I do? which do so plainly see
My flesh and spirit to contend, and that in no small thing,
But as concerning the event of extreme misery;
Which either study to avoid, or else upon me bring:
And which of them I should best trust, it is a doubtful thing.
My Conscience speaketh truth, methink; but yet because I fear
By his advice to suffer death, I do his words forbear.
And therefore pacify thyself, and do not so torment
Thyself in vain: I must seek some means for to eschew
These griping griefs, which unto me I see now imminent;
And therefore will no longer stay, but bid thee now adieu.
O, stay, I say, Philologus, or else thou wilt it rue!
It is lost labour that thou dost: I will be at a point,
And to enjoy these worldly joys I jeopard will a joint.
[_Exit_ PHILOLOGUS _and_ SUGGESTION.
O cursed creature, O frail flesh, O meat for worms, O dust,
O blather puffed full of wind, O vainer than these all!
What cause hast thou in thine own wit to have so great a trust,
Which of thyself canst not espy the evils which on thee fall?
The blindness of the outward man Philologus show shall,
At his return unless I can at last make him relent;
For why the Lord him to correct in furious wrath is bent.
ACT V., SCENE 3.
Such chopping cheer as we have made, the like hath not been seen.
And who so pleasant with my lord as is Philologus?
His recantation he hath made, and is despatched clean
Of all the griefs which unto him did seem so dangerous:
Which thing, you know, was brought to pass especially by us,
So that Hypocrisy hath done that which Satan did intend,
That men for worldly wealth should cease the gospel to defend.
What shall become of foolish goose, I mean Philologus,
In actual manner to your eyes shall represented be;
For though as now he seems to be in state most glorious,
He shall not long continue so, each one of you shall see.
But needs I must be packing hence: my fellows stay for me.
Shake hands, before we do depart; you shall see me no more;
And though Hypocrisy go away, of hypocrites here is good store.
ACT V., SCENE 4.
PHILOLOGUS, GISBERTUS, PAPHINITIUS.
Come on, my children dear, to me, and let us talk awhile
Of worldly goods, which I have got, and of my pleasant state
Which fortune hath installed me, who on me cheerly smile,
So that unto the top of wheel she doth me elevate.
I have escaped all mishaps of which my Conscience did prate,
And where before I ruled was, as is the common sort,
Now as a judge within this land I bear a ruler's port.
Indeed, good father, we have cause to praise your gravity,
Who did both save yourself from woe, and us from begging state;
Where if you had persevered still, as we did fear greatly,
Your good from us your children should to legate be confiscate:
Our glorious pomps, then, should we have been glad for to abate.
But now not only that you had for us, but also have
Such offices, whereby more gains you year by year shall save.
I was at point once very near to have been quite forlorn,
Had not Suggestion of the flesh from folly me reclaimed,
And set this glass of worldly joys my sight and eyes beforn,
The sight whereof did cause all things of me to be disdained.
I thought I had felicity when it I had obtained;
And to say truth, I do not care what to my soul betide,
So long as this prosperity and wealth by me abide.
But let us homeward go again, some pastime there to make:
My whole delight in sport and games of pleasure I repose.
Nay, stay thy journey here awhile: I do thee prisoner take.
I shall abate thy pleasures soon--yea, too soon, thou wilt suppose.
What is thy name? whence comest thou? wherefore? to me disclose--
My name is call'd Confusion and Horror of the mind,
And to correct impenitents of God I am assign'd,
And for because thou dost despise God's mercy and his grace,
And wouldst no admonition take by them that did thee warn,
Neither when Conscience counselled thee, thou wouldst his words embrace,
Who would have had thee unto God obedience true to learn;
Nor couldst between Suggestion's craft and Conscience' truth discern:
Behold, therefore, thou shalt of me another lesson hear,
Which (will thou, nill thou,) with torment of Conscience thou shalt bear.
And where thou hast extinguished the Holy Spirit of God,
And made him weary with thy sins, which daily thou hast done,
He will no longer in thy soul and spirit make abode,
But with the graces, which he gave to thee, now is he gone:
So that to Godward by Christ's death rejoicing thou hast none.
The peace of Conscience faded is; instead whereof I bring
The spirit of Satan, blasphemy, confusion and cursing.
The glass likewise of vanities, which is thine only joy,
I will transform into the glass of deadly desperation,
By looking in the which thou shalt conceive a great annoy.
Thus have I caught thee in thy pride, and brought thee to damnation;
So that thou art a pattern true of God's just indignation:
Whereby each man may warned be the like sins to eschew,
Lest the same torments they incur, which in thee they shall view.
O painful pain of deep disdain, O griping grief of hell!
O horror huge, O soul suppress'd, and slain with desperation!
O heap of sins, the sum whereof no man can number well!
O death, O furious flames of hell, my just recompensation!
O wretched wight, O creature curs'd, O child of condemnation!
O angry God and merciless, most fearful to behold!
O Christ, thou art no Lamb to me, but Lion fierce and bold!
Alas, dear father! what doth move and cause you to lament?
My sins, alas! which in this glass appear innumerable,
For which I shall no pardon get; for God is fully bent
In fury for to punish me with pains intolerable.
Neither to call to him for grace or pardon am I able.
My sin is unto death; I feel Christ's death doth me no good,
Neither for my behoof did Christ shed his most precious blood.
Alas, dear father! alas! I say, what sudden change is this?
I am condemned into hell these torments to sustain.
O, say not so, my father dear; God's mercy mighty is.
The sentence of the righteous Judge cannot be call'd again,
Who hath already judged me to everlasting pain.
O that my body buried were, that it at rest might be,
Though soul were put in Judas' place, or Cain's extremity.
O brother! haste you to the town, and tell Theologus,
What sudden plague and punishment my father hath befell.
I run in haste, and will request him for to come with us.
O father! rest yourself in God, and all thing shall be well.
Ah, dreadful name! which when I hear to sigh it me compel.
God is against me, I perceive; he is none of my God,
Unless in this, that he will beat and plague me with his rod.
And though his mercy doth surpass the sins of all the world,
Yet shall it not once profit me, or pardon mine offence:
I am refused utterly, I quite from God am whurl'd.
My name within the Book of Life had never residence;
Christ prayed not, Christ suffered not, my sins to recompense,
But only for the Lord's elect, of which sort I am none.
I feel his justice towards me; his mercy all is gone.
And to be short, within short space my final end shall be:
Then shall my soul incur the pains of utter desolation,
And I shall be a precedent most horrible to see
To God's elect, that they may see the price of abjuration.
To hear my father's doleful plaints it bringeth perturbation
Unto my soul; but yonder comes that good Theologus--
O welcome, sir! and welcome you, good Master Eusebius.
ACT V., SCENE 5.
THEO. PHIL. EUSE. GIS. PAPHI.
God save you, good Philologus; how do you, by God's grace?
You welcome are, but I, alas! vile wretch, am here evil found.
What is the chiefest cause, tell us, of this your dolorous case?
O, would my soul were sunk in hell, so body were in ground:
That angry God now hath his will, who sought me to confound.
O, say not so, Philologus, for God is gracious,
And to forgive the penitent his mercy is plenteous.
Do you not know that all the earth with mercy doth abound,
And though the sins of all the world upon one man were laid,
If he one only spark of grace or mercy once had found,
His wickedness could not him harm: wherefore be not dismay'd.
Christ's death alone for all your sins a perfect ransom paid:
God doth not covet sinner's death, but rather that he may
By living still bewail his sins, and so them put away.
Consider Peter, who three times his master did deny;
Yea, with an oath; and that although Christ did him warning give,
With whom before-time he had lived so long familiarly,
Of whom so many benefits of love he did receive;
Yet when once Peter his own fault did at the last perceive,
And did bewail his former crime with salt and bitter tears,
Christ by and by did pardon him, the gospel witness bears.
The thief likewise and murtherer, which never had done good,
But had in mischief spent his days, yea, during all his life,
With latest breath when he his sins and wickedness withstood,
And with iniquities of flesh his spirit was at strife,
Thorough that one motion of his heart and power of true belief,
He was received into grace, and all his sins defaced,
Christ saying, Soon in paradise with me thou shalt be placed.
The hand of God is not abridged, but still he is of might
To pardon them that call to him unfeignedly for grace.
Again, it is God's property to pardon sinners quite:
Pray therefore with thy heart to God here in this open place,
And from the very root of heart bewail to him thy case,
And, I assure thee, God will on thee his mercy show
Through Jesus Christ, who is with him our advocate, you know.
I have no faith: the words you speak my heart doth not believe.
I must confess that I for sin am justly thrown to hell.
His monstrous incredulity my very heart doth grieve.
Ah, dear Philologus! I have known by face and visage well
A sort of men, which have been vex'd with devils and spirits fell,
In far worse state than you are yet, brought into desperation,
Yet in the end have been reclaimed by godly exhortation.
Such are the mercies of the Lord, he will throw down to hell,
And yet call back again from thence, as holy David writes.
What should then let you trust in God? I pray you to us tell,
Sith to forgive and do us good it chiefly him delights?
What, would not you that of your sins he should you clean acquite?
How can he once deny to you one thing you do request,
Which hath already given to you his best-beloved Christ?
Lift up your heart in hope, therefore; awhile be of good cheer,
And make access unto his seat of grace by earnest prayer,
And God will surely you relieve with grace, stand not in fear.
I do believe that out from God proceed these comforts fair:
So do the devils, yet of their health they alway do despair.
They are not written unto me, for I would fain attain
The mercy and the love of God, but he doth me disdain.
How would you have that man to live, which hath no mouth to eat?
No more can I live in my soul, which have no faith at all:
And where you say that Peter did of Christ soon pardon get,
Who in the selfsame sin with me from God did greatly fall,
Why I cannot obtain the same, to you I open shall:
God had respect to him always, and did him firmly love,
But I, alas! am reprobate; God doth my soul reprove.
Moreover, I will say with tongue, whatso you will require:
My heart, I feel, with blasphemy and cursing is replete.
Then pray with us, as Christ us taught, we do you all desire.
To pray with lips unto your God you shall me soon entreat:
My spirit to Satan is in thrall; I can it not thence get.
God shall renew your spirit again; pray only as you can,
And to assist you in the same we pray each Christian man.
O God, which dwellest in the heavens, and art our Father dear,
Thy holy name throughout the world be ever sanctified,
The kingdom of thy word and Spirit upon us rule might bear,
Thy will in earth as by thy saints in heaven be ratified;
Our daily bread, we thee beseech, O Lord, for us provide;
Our sins remit, Lord, unto us, as we each man forgive:
Let not temptation us assail; in all evil us relieve. Amen.
The Lord be praised, who hath at length thy spirit mollified.
These are not tokens unto us of your reprobation:
You mourn with tears, and sue for grace; wherefore be certified,
That God in mercy giveth ear unto your supplication.
Wherefore despair not thou at all of thy soul's preservation,
And say not with a desperate heart, that God against thee is:
He will no doubt, these pains once past, receive you into bliss.
No, no, my friends, you only hear and see the outward part,
Which, though you think they have done well, it booteth not at all.
My lips have spoke the words indeed; but yet I feel my heart
With cursing is replenished, with rancour, spite and gall:
Neither do I your Lord and God in heart my Father call,
But rather seek his holy name for to blaspheme and curse.
My state, therefore, doth not amend, but wax still worse and worse.
I am secluded clean from grace, my heart is hardened quite;
Wherefore you do your labour lose, and spend your breath in vain.
O, say not so, Philologus, but let your heart be pight
Upon the mercies of the Lord, and I you ascertain
Remission of your former sins you shall at last obtain.
God hath it said (who cannot lie): at whatsoever time
A sinner shall from heart repent, I will remit his crime.
You cannot say so much to me, as herein I do know,
That by the mercies of the Lord all sins are done away,
And unto them that have true faith abundantly it flow;
But whence do this true faith proceed to us, I do you pray?
It is the only gift of God, from him it comes alway;
I would, therefore, he would vouchsafe one spark of faith to plant
Within my breast: then of his grace I know I should not want.
But it as easily may be done, as you may with one spoon
At once take up the water clean, which in the seas abide;
And at one draught then drink it up: this shall ye do as soon,
As to my breast of true belief one sparkle shall betide.
Tush! you which are in prosperous state, and my pains have not tried,
Do think it but an easy thing a sinner to repent
Him of his sins, and by true faith damnation to prevent.
The healthful need not physic's art, and ye, which are all hale,
Can give good counsel to the sick their sickness to eschew;
But here, alas! confusion and hell doth me assail,
And that all grace from me is reft, I find it to be true.
My heart is steel, so that no faith can from the same ensue.
I can conceive no hope at all of pardon or of grace,
But out, alas! Confusion is alway before my face.
And certainly, even at this time, I do most plainly see
The devils to be about me round, which make great preparation,
And keep a stir here in this place which only is for me:
Neither do I conceive these things by vain imagination,
But even as truly as mine eyes behold your shape and fashion.
Wherefore, desired Death, despatch; my body bring to rest,
Though that my soul in furious flames of fire be suppress'd.
Your mind corrupted doth present to you this false illusion;
But turn awhile unto the spirit of truth in your distress,
And it shall cast out from your eyes all horror and confusion,
And of this your affliction it will you soon redress.
We have good hope, Philologus, of your salvation, doubtless.
What your hope is concerning me, I utterly contemn:
My Conscience, which for thousands stand, as guilty me condemn.
When did this horror first you take? what, think you, is the cause?
Even shortly after I did make mine open abjuration,
For that I did prefer my goods before God's holy laws.
Therefore in wrath he did me send this horrible vexation,
And hath me wounded in the soul with grievous tribulation,
That I may be a president, in whom all men may view
Those torments which to them, that will forsake the Lord, are due.
Yet let me boldly ask one thing of you without offence:
What was your former faith in Christ, which you before did hold?
For it is said of holy Paul, in these same words in sense:
It cannot be that utterly in faith he should be cold,
Whoso he be, which perfectly true faith in heart once hold.
Wherefore rehearse in short discourse the sum of your belief,
In those points chiefly, which for health of soul are thought most chief.
I did believe in heart that Christ was that true sacrifice,
Which did appease the Father's wrath, and that by him alone
We were made just and sanctified: I did believe, likewise,
That without him heaven to attain sufficient means were none.
But to reknowledge this again alas! all grace was gone:
I never loved him again with right and sincere heart,
Neither was thankful for the same, as was each good man's part.
But rather took the faith of Christ for liberty to sin,
And did abuse his graces great to further carnal lust.
What wickedness I did commit, I cared not a pin;
For that Christ discharged had my ransom, I did trust:
Wherefore the Lord doth now correct the same with torments just.
My sons, my sons, I speak to you: my counsel ponder well,
And practise that in deeds which I in words shall to you tell.
I speak not this, that I would ought the gospel derogate,
Which is most true in every part, I must it needs confess;
But this I say, that of vain faith alone you should not prate,
But also by your holy life you should your faith express:
Believe me, sirs, for by good proof these things I do express.
Peruse the writing of St James, and first of Peter too,
Which all God's people holiness of life exhort unto.
By sundry reasons--as for, first, because we strangers are;
Again, sin from the flesh proceed, but we are of the spirit;
The third, because the flesh alway against the spirit do war;
The fourth, that we may stop the mouths of such as would backbite;
The fifth, that other by our lives to God reduce we might:
Again, they sing a pleasant song, which sing in deed and word,
But where evil life ensue good words, there is a foul discord.
But I, alas! most wretched wight, whereas I did presume
That I had got a perfect faith, did holy life disdain:
And though I did to other preach good life, I did consume,
My life in wickedness and sin, in sport and pleasures vain.
No, neither did I once contend from them flesh to refrain.
Behold, therefore, the judgments just of God doth me annoy,
Not for amendment of my life, but me for to destroy.
We do not altogether like of this your exhortation.
Whereas you warn us not to trust so much unto our faith,
But that good works we should prepare unto our preservation:
There are two kinds of righteousness, as Paul to Romans saith;
The one dependeth of good works, the other hangs of faith.
The former, which the world allows, God counts it least of twain,
As by good proof it shall to you in words be proved plain,
For Socrates and Cato both did purchase great renown,
And Aristides, surnamed Just, this righteousness fulfilled,
Wherefore he was as justest man expell'd his native town;
Yet are their souls with infidels in hell for ever spilled,
Because they sought not righteousness that way that God them willed.
The other righteousness comes from faith, which God regards alone,
And makes us seem immaculate before his heavenly throne.
Wherefore there is no cause you should send us to outward act,
As to the anchor or refuge of our preservation.
The meaning of Philologus is not here so exact,
As do his words make it to seem by your allegation.
He doth not mean between good works and faith to make relation,
As though works were equivalent salvation to attain,
As is true faith; but what he meant, I will set down more plain.
He did exhort the young men here by him for to beware,
Lest, as he did, so they, abuse God's gospel pure,
And without good advice usurp of faith the gift so rare:
Whereby they think, whatso they do, themselves from torments free,
And by this proud presumption God's anger should procure:
And where they boast and vaunt themselves good faithful men to be,
Yet in their lives they do deny their faith in each degree.
Wherefore he saith, as Peter said: see that you do make known
Your own election by your works. Again St James doth say,
Show me thy faith, and by my works my faith shall thee be shown.
And whereupon his own offence he doth to them bewray,
Whereas he did vaingloriously upon a dead faith stay;
Which for the inward righteousness he alway did suspect,
And hereupon all godliness of life he did neglect.
That was the meaning of my words, however I them spake:
The truth, alas! vile wretch, my soul and Conscience too true feel.
What, do you not, Philologus, with us no comfort take,
When all these things so godlily to you I do reveal.
Especially sith that yourself in them are seen so well?
Some hope unto us of your health and safety yet is left:
We do not think that all God's grace from you is wholly reft.
Alas! what comfort can betide unto a damned wretch?
Whatso I hear, see, feel, taste, speak, is turned all to woe.
Ah, dear Philologus! think not that ought can God's grace outreach.
Consider David which did sin in lust and murther too;
Yet was he pardoned of his sins, and so shalt thou also.
King David always was elect, but I am reprobate,
And therefore I can find small ease by weighing his estate.
He also prayed unto God which I shall never do:
His prayer was that God would not his spirit take away;
But it is gone from me long since, and shall be given no mo.
But what became of Cain, of Cam, of Saul, I do you pray?
Of Judas, and Barehu?--these must my Conscience slay--
Of Julian Apostate, with other of that crew?
The same torments must I abide, which these men did ensue.
Alas! my friend, take in good part the chastisement of the Lord,
Who doth correct you in this world, that in the life to come
He might you save, for of the like the Scripture bears record.
That is not God's intent with me, though it be so with some,
Who after body's punishment have into favour come:
But I, alas! in spirit and soul these grievous torments bear:
God hath condemned my conscience to perpetual grief and fear.
I would most gladly choose to live a thousand thousand year.
In all the torments and the grief that damned souls sustain;
So that at length I might have ease, it would me greatly cheer:
But I, alas! shall in this life in torments still remain,
While God's just anger upon me shall be revealed plain,
And I example made to all of God's just indignation.
O, that my body were at rest, and soul in condemnation!
I pray you, answer me herein: where you by deep despair
Say you are worse here in this life, than if you were in hell;
And for because to have death come you alway make your prayer,
As though your soul and body both in torments great did dwell,
If that a man should give to you a sword, I pray you tell,
Would you destroy yourself therewith, as do the desperate,
Which hang or kill, or into floods themselves precipitate?
Give me a sword; then shall you know what is in mine intent.
Not so, my friend; I only ask what herein were your will?
I cannot, neither will I tell, whereto I would be bent.
These words do nothing edify, but rather fancies fill,
Which we would gladly, if we could, endeavour for to kill.
Wherefore I once again request, together let us pray,
And so we will leave you to God, and send you hence away.
I cannot pray; my spirit is dead, no faith in me remain.
Do as you can; no more than might we can ask at your hand.
My prayer turned is to sin; for God doth it disdain.
It is the Falsehood of the Spirit, which do your health withstand,
That teach you this: wherefore in time reject his filthy band.
Come, kneel by me, and let us pray the Lord of Heaven unto.
With as good will as did the devil out of the deaf man go. [_Aside_.
O God, which dwellest in the heavens, &c.
Tush! sirs, you do your labours lose: see, where Belzabub doth come,
And doth invite me to a feast: you therefore speak in vain.
Yea, if you ask ought more of me, in answer I will be dumb:
I will not waste my tongue for nought; as soon shall one small grain
Of mustard-seed fill all the world, as I true faith attain.
We will no longer stay you now, but let you hence depart.
Yet will we pray continually that God would you convert.
Gisbertus and Paphinitius, conduct him to his place;
But see he have good company: let him not be alone.
We shall so do: God us assist with his most holy grace!
Come, father, do you not think good that we from hence be gone?
Let go my hands at liberty: assistance I crave none.
O, that I had a sword awhile! I should soon eased be.
Alas! dear father, what do you?
His will we may now see.
[_Exeunt_ Philologus, Gisbertus, Paphinitius.
O glorious God, how wonderful those judgments are of thine:
Thou dost behold the secret heart; nought doth thy eyes beguile.
O, what occasion is us given to fear thy might divine,
And from our hearts to hate and loathe iniquities so vile,
Lest for the same thou in thy wrath dost grace from us exile.
The outward man doth thee not please, nor yet the mind alone,
But thou requirest both of us, or else regardest none.
Here may the worldlings have a glass, their states for to behold,
And learn in time for to escape the judgments of the Lord;
Whilst they by flattering of themselves, of faith both dead and cold,
Do sell their souls to wickedness, of all good men abhorr'd:
But godliness doth not depend in knowing of the word;
But in fulfilling of the same, as in this man we see,
Who though he did to others preach, his life did not agree.
Again, Philologus witnesseth which is the truth of Christ,
For that consenting to the Pope he did the Lord abjure,
Whereby he teach the wavering faith on which side to persist:
And those which have the truth of God, that still they may endure.
The tyrants which delight in blood he likewise doth assure,
In whose affairs they spend their time--but let us homeward go.
I am content that after meat we may resort him to.
[_Exeunt_ THEOLOGUS _and_ EUSEBIUS.
ACT VI. SCENE LAST.
O joyful news which I report, and bring into your ears!
Philologus, that would have hanged himself with cord,
Is now converted unto God with many bitter tears:
By godly counsel he was won, all praise be to the Lord.
His errors all he did renounce, his blasphemies he abhorr'd,
And being converted left his life, exhorting foe and friend,
That do profess the faith of Christ, to be constant to the end.
Full thirty weeks in woful wise afflicted he had been,
All which long time he took no food, but forc'd against his will
Even with a spoon to pour some broth his teeth between:
And though they sought by force this wise to feed him still,
He always strove with all his might the same on ground to spill;
So that no sustenance he receiv'd, no sleep could he attain,
And now the Lord in mercy great hath eas'd him of his pain.
THE RARE TRIUMPHS OF LOVE AND FORTUNE.
_The Rare Triumphes of Love and Fortune, Plaide before the Queenes most
excellent Maiestie: wherin are manye fine Conceites with great delight.
At London, Printed by E.A. for Edward White, and are to be solde at the
little North doore of S. Paules Church at the signe of the Gunne_. 1589.
4°. Black letter.
THE RARE TRIUMPHS OF LOVE AND FORTUNE.
THE FIRST ACT.
_Enter_ MERCURY: _then riseth a Fury: then enter the assembly
of the gods_, JUPITER _with_ JUNO, APOLLO _with_ MINERVA, MARS
_and_ SATURN, _after_ VULCAN _with_ VENUS: _the Fury sets debate
amongst them, and after_ JUPITER speaks as followeth_.
Ye gods and goddesses, whence springs this strife of late?
Who are the authors of this mutiny?
Or whence hath sprung this civil discord here.
Which on the sudden struck us in this fear?
If gods that reign in skies do fall at war,
No marvel, then, though mortal men do jar.
But now I see the cause: thou Fury fell,
Bred in the dungeon of the deepest hell,
Who causeth thee to show thyself in light?
And what thy message is, I charge thee tell upright?
O Jupiter, thou dreadful king of gods, and men the father high,
To whose command the heavens, the earth, and lowest hell obey,
Tisiphone, the daughter of eternal night,
Bred in the bottom of the deepest pit of hell,
Brought up in blood, and cherish'd with scrawling snakes,
Tormenting therewithal the damned souls of them
Here upon earth, that careless live of thy commandment;
I am the same--
I am the same whom both my loathsome sisters hate,
Whom hell itself complains to keep within her race,
Whom every fearful soul detesteth with a curse,
Whom earth and seas defy, heavens loathing to behold;
I am the same--
I am the same sent from thy brother Pluto now,
Thy brother Pluto, king of hell and golden mines;
Sent unto thee and these thy fellow-gods I am,
From him to thee, from him by me, to tell thee to thy face
He hath been lately rubb'd, and touch'd perhaps too near;
Which he ne can or will put up without revenge,
If thou or any god the quarrel dare defend.
And this it is--
Thy daughter Venus, thy proud daughter Venus here,
Blabs it abroad, and beareth all the world in hand,
She must be thought the only goddess in the world,
Exalting and suppressing whom she likes best,
Defacing altogether Lady Fortune's grace;
Breaking her altars down, dishonouring her name,
Whose government thyself, thyself dost know.
How say'st thou? dost thou not?--
Her father, therefore, thy brother Pluto, sends
By me, the messenger of discord and debate,
Commanding or desiring--choose thou whether of both--
Her honour still entire she may maintain;
Else on thy daughter Venus, that lascivious dame,
Himself will wreak his high despite on her.
Depart, foul fiend, unto thy loathsome cell,
Where thou lamenting makes continual moan!
Go tell my brother, were it not for him,
Thou shouldst have rued thy bold presumption.
Say thou thy message hath been largely heard,
And bid him send his daughter Fortune, now,
Whilst we are here, the matter may have end.
Give place, thou air; open, thou earth; gape, hollow hell, below;
And unto all that live and breathe I wish a world of woe.
Ye powers divine, be reconcil'd again;
Depart from discord and extreme debate:
Within your breasts let love and peace remain,
A perfect pattern of your heavenly state,
Whilome ago to hell condemning hate.
Thus, when the higher powers is in one,
Men upon earth will fly contention.
Great god and father mine, your care and fear
Of us, and eke of all the world beside,
That restless rolls in his continual sphere,
Whereby all things in perfect course abide,
As one arrays another forth to slide:
And this example may prevail for all,
To work our wills according to your call.
And I dare say, presuming on the rest,
The poison of this rancour is suppress'd.
How ye agree, my masters, I cannot tell;
[_To Venus_.] But, were we a-bed, we two could agree well.
Gramercy, Mercury; I know thy will
Is ever prest to further my desire:
In sign whereof, to quiet all things well,
And to suppress betimes the secret fire,
That I perceive would break and mount up higher:
This to prevent, content ye here to stay,
To mark awhile what for themselves they say.
And, Venus, here I charge thee on my grace,
Not that I found thee heretofore untrue,
But for thine adversary is not yet in place,
Thou tell uprightly whence your quarrel grew;
What words betwixt you thereof did ensue.
Say, lovely daughter; tell us flat thy mind:
They shall be blamed on whom the fault we find.
O thou, that governest everything, that gods and men attempt,
And with thy fearful thunderbolt their doings dost prevent,
What hath thy daughter so deserved? what doth she, silly dame,
Before ye thus to be abused with undeserved blame?
Surely, but that my duty commands me now to speak,
For such a trifling cause this way my wrath I would not wreak.
But she--no marvel though she seek my seat thus to stain,
When otherways she cannot tell advantage how to gain.
But thence this hot despite: _Hinc illae lacrimae_,
Because, I say, she could not prove herself of power with me.
For, all you godheads know, she pains but such as pleasure knew:
She never grieves the groaning mind, where gladness never grew.
She never overthrows but at the top of joy;
For they that never tasted bliss mislike not their annoy.
But I torment the mind that never felt relief;
I plague the wretch that never thought on comfort in his grief,
That never had the hope of any happy chance,
That never once so much as deem'd I would his state advance.
Think, then, which of us both are of the greater power:
Once in his life, or not at all, to grant a light'ning hour?
I need not stand to make rehearsal here at all,
For gods and ghosts, yea, men and beasts, unto my power are thrall.
I dare appeal to you, if I should look awry--
Say, father, with your leave, in heaven who dares my word deny?
And if I please to smile, who will not laugh outright?
Whereby my great omnipotence is known to every wight.
I make the noble love the bastard in degree;
I tame and temper all the tongues that rail and scoff at me.
What bird, what beast, what worm, but feeleth my delight?
What lives or draweth breath, but I can pleasure or despite?
Yet divers things there be that Fortune cannot tame;
As are the riches of the mind, or else an honest name,
Or a contented heart, still free from Fortune's power:
But such as climb, before they crawl, must drink the sweet with sour.
Thyself, O Jupiter, didst grant sometimes to me,
Of all things here beneath the moon I should the ruler be:
Thou say'st I did deserve the honour of that praise;
Thyself didst once devise whereby my glory first to raise.
Is this my sovereignty? is this so glorious?
Is this becoming thy renown, to quit thy daughter thus?
Fear not, fair Venus, neither be dismay'd;
Repose thee on the warrant of my word.
What I have promis'd, doubt not to be performed;
The spareless destinies my will afford:
Let this defend thee, like a trusty sword.
But Lady Fortune cometh, now I see.
Welcome, fair dame; what is thy will with me?
Ye sacred powers divine, how should I now begin,
Or which way should I couch my words, your favours for to win?
I may pour out my plaint, but thou may'st it redress.
My father humbly prayeth you to give me leave to speak,
And pardon him that in his wrath he did your quietness break.
I cannot but confess, dread gods, I am not she,
That seeks with Venus to compare in her supremacy.
I am not of that power, yet am I of some might,
Which she (usurping) challengeth to keep me from my right.
I grant she may do much with her alluring smiles,
But soon your godheads can perceive her words be full of wiles.
What be the tragedies, the terrors, that she makes?
Let's see the mighty monarchs, the kingdoms that she shakes.
Poor soul, she soundly lives with wanton sug'red joys,
Triumphing in her own delight upon her foolish toys.
Sometimes she flattereth it in pleasure mix'd with pain,
Like to a fair sunshine day overcast with clouds of rain.
But should I reckon up what things I can confound,
What is it then, or what hath been, or shall for aye be found?
Is not the wonder of the world a work that soon decays?
Therefore, ye see all earthly things are wearing out always;
As brittle as the glass, unconstant like the mind,
As fickle as the whirling wheel, as wavering as the wind.
Lo, such I am that overthrows the highest-reared tower,
That changeth and supplanteth realms in twinkling of an hour,
And send them hasty smart whom I devise to spoil,
Not threat'ning or forewarning them, but at a smile.
Where joy doth most abound, there I do sorrow place,
And them I chiefly persecute that pleasure did embrace.
What greater grief can fall to man in all his life,
Than after sweet to taste the sour, in peace to be at strife?
It is a biting thought that fretteth on the heart,
To say, the time was when I joy'd, though now oppress'd with smart.
If ever mighty king did 'scape untouch'd of me,
If ever year, or month, or day, or if an hour might be,
Wherein I have not us'd to practise some exchange,
Perhaps for this authority I might be thought to range
Too far beyond my right; but even the very stars,
The heavens, the planets, and the seas, bear witness of my scars.
No more of that, good dame; you run too far at roam:
I'll take the pains to keep you short, and call you nearer home.
I pray you, what's your might, when all are well belov'd?
The sweetest lovers in distress the sharper storms have prov'd.
Perhaps for want of wealth; but if their riches slack?
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