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Neighbour Ape, and my Gossip eke beside, Each did prepare, in readines to bee.
Euen as new occasion appeares ?
Now surely brother (said the Foxe anon) I meane my Gossip priuie first to make. 70 Ye haue this matter motioned in season : Ah my deare Gossip, (answer'd then the Ape,) For euerie thing that is begun with reason Deeply doo your sad words my wits awhape, Will come by readie meanes vnto his end ; Both for because your griefe doth great But things miscounselled must needs miswend. appeare,
Thus therefore I aduize vpon the case, And eke because my selfe am touched neare : That not to anie certaine trade or place, 130 For I likewise haue wasted much good time, Nor anie man we should our selues applie: Still wayting to preferment vp to clime, For why should he that is at libertie Whilest others alwayes haue before me stept, Make himselfe bond ? sith then we are free And from my beard the fat away haue swept ; borne, That now vnto despaire I gin to growe, Let vs all seruile base subiection scorne; And meane for better winde about to throwe. And as we bee sonnes of the world so wide, Therefore to me, my trustie friend, aread 81 Let vs our fathers heritage diuide, Thy councell: two is better than one head. And chalenge to our selues our portions dew Certes (said he) I meane me to disguize Of all the patrimonie, which a few In some straunge habit, after vncouth wize, Now hold in hugger mugger in their hand, Or like a Pilgrime, or a Lymiter,
And all the rest doo rob of good and land. 140 Or like a Gipsen, or a Iuggeler,
For now a few haue all and all haue nought, And so to wander to the worlds ende,
Yet all be brethren ylike dearly bought : To seeke my fortune, where I may it mend There is no right in this partition, For worse than that I haue, I cannot meete. Ne was it so by institution Wide is the world I wote and euerie streete 90 Ordained first, ne by the law of Nature, Is full of fortunes, and aduentures straunge But that she gaue like blessing to each creture Continuallie subiect vnto chaunge.
As well of worldly liuelode as of life, Say my faire brother now, if this deuice That there might be no difference nor strife, Doth like you, or may you to like entice. Nor ought cald mine or thine: thrice happie Surely (said th’Ape) it likes me wondrous well; then And would ye not poore fellowship expell,
Was the condition of mortall men.
50 My selfe would offer you t'accompanie That was the golden age of Saturne old, In this aduentures chauncefull ieopardie. But this might better be the world of gold : For to wexe olde at home in idlenesse, For without golde now nothing wilbe got. Is disaduentrous, and quite fortunelesse: 100 Therefore (if please you) this shalbe our plot Abroad where change is, good may gotten bee. We will not be of anie occupation, The Foxe was glad, and quickly did agree :
Let such vile vassalls borne to base vocation So both resolu'd, the morrow next ensuing, Drudge in the world, and for their liuing droyle So soone as day appeard to peoples vewing, Which haue no wit to live withouten toyle. On their intended iourney to proceede ; But we will walke about the world at pleasure And ouer night, whatso theretoo did neede, Like two free men and make our ease a treasure.
Free men some beggers call, but they be free, And his hose broken high aboue the heeling, And they which call them so more beggers bee: And his shooes beaten out with traueling. For they doo swinke and sweate to feed the But neither sword nor dagger he did beare, other,
Seemes that no foes reuengement he did feare ; Who liue like Lords of that which they doo In stead of them a handsome bat he held, gather,
On which he leaned, as one farre in elde. And yet doo neuer thanke them for the same, Shame light on him, that through so false But as their due by Nature doo it clame. illusion, Such will we fashion both our selues to bee, Doth turne the name of Souldiers to abusion, Lords of the world, and so will wander free And that, which is the noblest mysterie, 221 Where so vs listeth, vncontrol'd of anie: Brings to reproach and common infamie. Hard is our hap, if we (emongst so manie) 170 Long they thus trauailed, yet neuer met Light not on some that may our state amend ; Aduenture, which might them a working set : Sildome but some good commeth ere the end. Yet manie waies they sought, and manie tryed: Well seemd the Ape to like this ordinaunce : Yet for their purposes none fit espyed. Yet well considering of the circumstaunce,
At last they chaunst to meete vpon the way As pausing in great doubt awhile he staid, A simple husbandman in garments gray; And afterwards with graue aduizement said ; Yet though his vesture were but meaneand bace, I cannot my lief brother like but well A good yeoman he was of honest place, 230 The purpose of the complot which ye tell: And more for thrift did care than for gay For well I wot (compar'd to all the rest clothing : Of each degree) that Beggers life is best : 180 Gay without good, is good hearts greatest And they that thinke themselues the best of all, loathing. Oft-times to begging are content to fall. The Foxe him spying, bad the Ape him dight But this I wot withall that we shall ronne To play his part, for loe he was in sight, Into great daunger like to bee vndonne, That (if he er'd not) should them entertaine, Thus wildly to wander in the worlds eye, And yeeld them timely profite for their paine. Without pasport or good warrantie,
Eftsoones the Ape himselfe gan vp to reare, For feare least we like rogues should be And on his shoulders high his bat to beare, reputed,
As if good seruice he were fit to doo; And for eare marked beasts abroad be bruted : But little thrift for him he did it too:
240 Therefore I read, that we our counsells call, And stoutly forward he his steps did straine, How to preuent this mischiefe ere it fall, 190 That like a handsome swaine it him became : And how we may with most securitie, When as they nigh approached, that good man Beg amongst those that beggers doo defie. Seeing them wander loosly, first began Right well deere Gossip ye aduized haue, T'enquire of custome, what and whence they (Said then the Foxe) but I this doubt will saue : were ? For ere we farther passe, I will deuise To whom the Ape, I am a Souldiere, A pasport for vs both in fittest wize, That late in warres haue spent my deerest And by the names of Souldiers vs protect ; blood, That now is thought a ciuile begging sect. And in long seruice lost both limbs and good, Be you the Souldier, for you likest are And now constrain'd that trade to ouergiue, For manly semblance, and small skill in warre: I driuen am to seeke some meanes to liue: I will but wayte on you, and as occasion 201 Which might it you in pitie please t'afford, Falls out, my selfe fit for the same will fashion. I would be readie both in deed and word, 252 The Pasport ended, both they forward went, To doo you faithfull seruice all my dayes. The Ape clad Souldierlike, fit for th’intent, This yron world (that same he weeping sayes) In a blew iacket with a crosse of redd
Brings downe the stowtest hearts to lowest state: And manie slits, as if that he had shedd For miserie doth brauest mindes abate, Much blood throgh many wounds therein And make them seeke for that they wont to receaued,
scorne, Which had the vse of his right arme bereaued ; Of fortune and of hope at once forlorne. Vpon his head an old Scotch cap he wore, The honest man, that heard him thus complaine, With a plume feather all to peeces tore: 210 Was grieu'd, as he had felt part of his paine ; His breeches were made after the new cut, And well disposd' him some reliefe to showe, Al Portugese, loose like an emptie gut; Askt if in husbandrie he ought did knowe,
To plough, to plant, to reap, to rake, to sowe, For their false treason and vile theeuerie.
322 But my late maymed limbs lack wonted might That how t’acquite themselues vnto their Lord, To doo their kindly seruices, as needeth: They were in doubt, and flatly set abord. Scarce this right hand the mouth with diet The Foxe then counsel'd th’Ape, for to require feedeth,
Respite till morrow, t'answere his desire : So that it may no painfull worke endure, For times delay new hope of helpe still breeds. Ne to strong labour can it selfe enure. The goodman granted, doubting nought their But if that anie other place you haue,
328 Which askes small paines, but thriftines to saue, And bad, next day that all should readie be. Or care to ouerlooke, or trust to gather, But they more subtill meaning had than he : Ye may me trust as your owne ghostly father. For the next morrowes meed they closely ment, With that the husbandman gan him auize For feare of afterclaps for to preuent. That it for him were fittest exercise 282 And that same euening, when all shrowded were Cattell to keep, or grounds to ouersee ; In careles sleep, they without care feare And asked him, if he could willing bee Cruelly fell vpon their flock in folde, To keep his sheep, or to attend his swyne, And of them slew at pleasure what they wolde : Or watch his mares, or take his charge of kyne? Of which whenas they feasted had their fill, Gladly (said he) what euer such like paine For a full complement of all their ill, Ye put on me,
I will the same sustaine : They stole away, and tooke their hastie flight, But gladliest I of your fleecie sheepe
Carried in clowdes of all-concealing night. (Might it you please) would take on me the So was the husbandman left to his losse, 341 keep.
290 And they vnto their fortunes change to tosse. For ere that vnto armes I me betooke, After which sort they wandered long while, Vnto my fathers sheepe I vsde to looke, Abusing manie through their cloaked guile; That yet the skill thereof I haue not loste: That at the last they gan to be descryed Thereto right well this Curdog by my coste Of euerie one, and all their sleights espyed. (Meaning the Foxe) will serue, my sheepe to So as their begging now them failed quyte ; gather,
For none would giue, but all men would them And driue to follow after their Belwether. wyte: The Husbandman was meanly well content, Yet would they take no paines to get their Triall to make of his endeuourment,
349 And home him leading, lent to him the charge But seeke some other way to gaine by giuing, Of all his flocke, with libertie full large, 300 Much like to begging but much better named; Giuing accompt of th’annuall increace
For manie beg, which are thereof ashamed. Both of their lambes, and of their woolley fleece. And now the Foxe had gotten him a gowne, Thus is this Ape become a shepheard swaine And th’Apea cassocke sidelong hanging downe; And the false Foxe his dog (God giue them for they their occupation meant to change, paine)
And now in other state abroad to range : For ere the yeare haue halfe his course out-run, For since their souldiers pas no better spedd, And doo returne from whence he first begun, They forg'd another, as for Clerkes booke-redd. They shall him make an ill accompt of thrift. Who passing foorth, as their aduentures fell, Now whenas Time flying with winges swift, Through manie haps, which needs not here to Expired had the terme, that these two iauels tell;
360 Should render vp a reckning of their trauels At length chaunst with a formall Priest to Vnto their master, which it of them sought, meete, Exceedingly they troubled were in thought, Whom they in ciuill manner first did greete, Ne wist what answere vnto him to frame, And after askt an almes for Gods deare loue. Ne how to scape great punishment, or shame, | The man straight way his choler
And with reproachfull tearmes gan them reuile, How manie honest men see ye arize
likewise That list at will them to reuile or snib: Might vnto some of those in time arise ? And yet (God wote) small oddes I often see In the meane time to liue in good estate, Twixt them that aske,and them that asked bee. Louing that love, and hating those that hate ; Natheles because you shall not vs misdeeme, Being some honest Curate, or some Vicker But that we are as honest as we seeme,
Content with little in condition sicker.
430 Yee shall our pasport at your pleasure see, Ah but (said th’Ape) the charge is wondrous And then ye will (I hope) well mooued bee. great, Which when the Priest beheld, he vew'd it nere, To feed mens soules, and hath an heauie threat. As if therein some text he studying were, 380 To feede mens soules (quoth he) is not in man: But little els (God wote) could thereof skill: For they must feed themselves, doo what For read he could not euidence, nor will, Ne tell a written word, ne write a letter, We are but charg'd to lay the meate before: Ne make one title worse, ne make one better : Eate they that list, we need to doo no more. Of such deep learning little had he neede, But God it is that feedes them with his grace, Ne yet of Latine, ne of Greeke, that breede The bread of life powr'd downe from heauenly Doubts mongst Diuines,and difference of texts, place.
438 From whence arise diuersitie of sects,
Therefore said he, that with the budding rod And hatefull heresies, of God abhor'd: 389 Did rule the Iewes, All shalbe taught of God. But this good Sir did follow the plaine word, That same hath Iesus Christ now to him raught, Ne medled with their controuersies vaine. By whom the flock is rightly fed, and taught: All his care was, his seruice well to saine, He is the Shepheard, and the Priest is hee; And to read Homelies vpon holidayes : We but his shepheard swaines ordain'd to bee. When that was done, he might attend his playes; Therefore herewith doo not your selfe dismay ; An easie life, and fit high God to please. Ne is the paines so great, but beare ye may ; He hauing ouerlookt their pas at ease, For not so great as it was wont of yore, Gan at the length them to rebuke againe, It's now a dayes, ne halfe so streight and sore: That no good trade of life did entertaine, They whilome vsed duly euerie day 449 But lost their time in wandring loose abroad, Their seruice and their holie things to say, Seeing the world, in which they bootles boad, At morne and euen, besides their Anthemes Had wayes enough for all therein to liue ; 401 sweete, Such grace did God vnto his creatures giue. Their penie Masses, and their Complynes meete, Said then the Foxe; who hath the world not Their Diriges, their Trentals, and their shrifts; tride,
Their memories, their singings, and their gifts. From the right way full eath may wander wide. Now all those needlesse works are laid away: We are but Nouices, new come abroad, Now once a weeke vpon the Sabbath day, We haue not yet the tract of anie troad, It is enough to doo our small deuotion, Nor on vs taken anie state of life,
And then to follow any merrie motion. But readie are of anie to make preife.
Ne are we tyde to fast, but when we list, Therefore might please you, which the world Ne to weare garments base of wollen twist, haue proued,
409 But with the finest silkes vs to aray, 461 Vs to aduise, which forth but lately moued, That before God we may appeare more gay, Of some good course, that we might vndertake; Resembling Aarons glorie in his place: Ye shall for euer vs your bondmen make. For farre vnfit it is, that person bace The Priest gan wexe halfe proud to be so praide, Should with vile cloaths approach Gods maiestie, And thereby willing to affoord them aide ; Whom no vncleannes may approachen nie: It seemes (said he) right well that ye be Clerks, Or that all men, which anie master serue, Both by your wittie words, and by your werks. Good garments for their seruice should deserue; Is not that name enough to make a liuing But he that serues the Lord of hoasts most high, To him that hath a whit of Natures giuing ? And that in highest place, t'approach him nigh,
And all the peoples prayers to present 471 For some good Gentleman that hath the right
530 But haue the Gospell of free libertie. Thou hast it wonne, for it is of franke gift, By that he ended had his ghostly sermon, And he will care for all the rest to shift; The Foxe was well induc'd to be a Parson ; 480 Both that the Bishop may admit of thee, And of the Priest eftsoones gan to enquire, And that therein thou maist maintained bee. How to a Benefice he might aspire.
This is the way for one that is vnlern'd Marie there (said the Priest) is arte indeed. Liuing to get, and not to be discern'd. Much good deep learning one thereout may reed, But they that are great Clerkes, haue nearer For that the ground worke is, and end of all, wayes, How to obtaine a Beneficiall.
For learning sake to liuing them to raise : First therefore, when ye haue in handsome wise Yet manie eke of them (God wote) are driuen, Your selfe attyred, as you can deuise, T'accept a Benefice in peeces riuen. 540 Then to some Noble man your selfe applye, How saist thou (friend) haue I not well disOr other great one in the worldes eye, 490 That hath a zealous disposition
Vpon this Common place (though plaine, not To God, and so to his religion :
wourst)? There must thou fashion eke a godly zeale, Better a short tale, than a bad long shriuing. Such as no carpers may contrayre reueale: Needes anie more to learne to get a liuing ? For each thing fained, ought more warie bee. Now sure and by my hallidome (quoth he) There thou must walke in sober grauitee, Ye a great master are in your degree: And seeme as Saintlike as Saint Radegund : Great thankes I yeeld you for your discipline, Fast much, pray oft, looke lowly on the ground, And doo not doubt, but duly to encline And vnto euerie one doo curtesie meeke: My wits theretoo, as ye shall shortly heare. These lookes (nought saying) doo a benefice The Priest him wisht good speed, and well to seeke, 500 fare.
550 And be thou sure one not to lacke or long. So parted they, as eithers
them led. But if thee list vnto the Court to throng, But th’Ape and Foxe ere long so well them sped, And there to hunt after the hoped pray, Through the Priests holesome counsell lately Then must thou thee dispose another way: tought, For there thou needs must learne, to laugh, to And throgh their owne faire handling wisely lie,
wroght, To face, to forge, to scoffe, to companie, That they a Benefice twixt them obtained; To crouche, to please, to be a beetle stock And craftie Reynold was a Priest ordained ; Of thy great Masters will, to scorne, or mock : And th’Ape his Parish Clarke procur'd to bee. So maist thou chaunce mock out a Benefice, Then made they reuell route and goodly glee. Vnlesse thou canst one coniure by deuice, But ere long time had passed, they so ill Or cast a figure for a Bishoprick: 511 Did order their affaires, that th’euill will 560 And if one could, it were but a schoole-trick. Of all their Parishners they had constraind; These be the wayes, by which without reward Who to the Ordinarie of them complain’d, Liuings in Court be gotten, though full hard. How fowlie they their offices abusd', For nothing there is done without a fee : And them of crimes and heresies accusd'; The Courtier needes must recompenced bee That Pursiuants he often for them sent: With a Beneuolence, or haue in gage
But they neglected his commaundement. The Primitias of your Parsonage :
So long persisted obstinate and bolde, Scarse can a Bishoprick forpas them by, Till at the length he published to holde But that it must be gelt in priuitie. 520 A Visitation, and them cyted thether: Doo not thou therefore seeke a liuing there, Then was high time their wits about to geather; But of more priuate persons seeke elswhere, What did they then, but made a composition Whereas thou maist compound a better penie, With their next neighbor Priest for light conNe let thy learning question'd be of anie. dition;