Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay.
Note on the e-text:
was transcribed in June 2007 by Risa Bear from the edition by G. B.
Harrison, London, Robert Holden & Co, Ltd., 1927. Harrison has
modernized the spelling and punctuation, and rewritten many of the
stage directions; we have elided some of the more obtrusive of these.
The title page is taken from the quarto of 1594 and is not
found in Harrison.
Content unique to this presentation is copyright © 2007
of Oregon. For nonprofit and educational uses only. Send comments and
error reports to: <http://renascence-editions.blogspot.com/2007/06/friar-bacon-and-friar-bungay.html>
of frier Bacon, and frier Bongay.
As it was plaid by her Maiesties seruants.
made by Robert Greene Maister
L O N D O N,
Printed for Edward White, and are to be sold at his shop, at
the little North dore of Poules, at the signe of
the Gun. 1594.
(in the order of their appearance)
EDWARD, PRINCE OF WALES
LACY, EARL OF LINCOLN }
WARREN, EARL OF SUSSEX } his friends
RALPH SIMNEL, the royal fool
FRIAR ROGER BACON
MILES, his poor scholar
MASON } doctors of the University of
A WOMAN, the hostess of the Bell Inn at Henley
MARGARET, daughter of the keeper of Fressingfield
JOAN, her friend
RICHARD } countrymen of Fressingfield
KING HENRY THE THIRD
THE EMPEROR OF GERMANY
THE KING OF CASTILE
PRINCESS ELINOR, his daughter
JAQUES VANDERMAST, a German magician
THE SPIRIT OF HERCULES
LAMBERT }Suffolk squires
THE KEEPER OF FRESSINGFIELD
THE KEEPER'S FRIEND
Edward, Prince of Wales, sits
by himself, silent and depressed. His companions, Lacy, Earl of
Lincoln, Warren, Earl of Sussex, and Ermsby, stand apart, conversing in
low tones with Ralph Simnel the royal fool.
Why looks my lord like to a troubled sky
When heaven's bright shine is shadow'd with a fog?
Alate we ran the deer, and through the lawnds
Stripp'd with our nags the lofty frolic bucks
That scudded 'fore the teasers like the wind.
Ne'er was the deer of merry Fressingfield
So lustily pull'd down by jolly mates,
Nor shar'd the farmers such fat venison,
So frankly dealt, this hundred years before.
I seen my lord more frolic in the chase,
And now chang'd to a melancholy dump.
After the prince got to the Keeper's lodge,
And had been jocund in the house awhile,
Tossing off ale and milk in country cans,
Whether it was the country's sweet content,
Or else the bonny damsel fill'd us drink
That seem'd so stately in her stammel red,
Or that a qualm did cross his stomach then,
But straight he fell into his passions.
Ralph, what say you to your master,
he thus all amort live malcontent?
Hearest thou, Ned? Nay, look if he will
speak to me!
What say'st thou to me, fool?
I prithee, tell me, Ned, art thou
in love with the Keeper's daughter?
Why, then, sirrah, I'll teach
thee how to deceive Love.
Ned, thou shall put
on my cap and my coat and my dagger, and I will put on thy clothes and
thy sword; and so thou shalt be my fool.
And what of this?
so thou shalt beguile Love;
for Love is such a proud scab, that he will never meddle with fools nor
children. Is not Ralph's counsel good, Ned?
Tell me, Ned Lacy, didst thou mark the maid,
How lovely in her country weeds she look'd!
A bonnier wench all Suffolk cannot yield--
All Suffolk! nay, all England holds none such.
Will Ermsby, Ned is deceived.
says all England hath no such, and I say, and I'll stand to it, there
is one better in Warwickshire.
How provest thou that, Ralph?
is not the abbot a learned
man, and hath read many books, and thinkest thou he hath not more
learning than thou to choose a bonny wench? Yes, warrant I thee, by
his whole grammar.
A good reason, Ralph.
I tell thee, Lacy, that her
Do lighten forth sweet love's alluring fire;
And in her tresses she doth fold the looks
Of such as gaze upon her golden hail.
Her bashful white, mix'd with the morning's red,
Luna doth boast upon her lovely cheeks;
Her front is beauty's table, where she paints
The glories of her gorgeous excellence.
Her teeth are shelves of precious margarites,
Richly enclos'd with ruddy coral cleeves.
Tush, Lacy, she is beauty's over-match,
If thou survey'st her curious imagery.
my lord, the damsel is as fair
simple Suffolk's homely towns can yield.
in the court be quainter dames than she,
faces are enrich'd with honour's taint,
beauties sland upon the stage of fame,
vaunt their trophies in the courts of love.
Ah, Ned, but hadst thou watch'd her as myself,
And seen the secret beauties of the maid,
Their courtly coyness were but foolery.
Why, how watch'd you her, my lord?
Whenas she swept like Venus through the house,
And in her shape fast folded up my thoughts,
Into the milk-house went I with the maid,
And there amongst the cream-bowls she did shine
As Pallas 'mongst her princely huswifery.
She turn'd her smock over her lily arms,
And div'd them into milk to run her cheese;
But whiter than the milk her crystal skin,
Checked with lines of azure, made her blush
That art or nature durst bring for compare.
Ermsby, if thou hadst seen, as I did, note it well,
How beauty play'd the huswife, how this girl,
Like Lucrece, laid her fingers to the work,
Thou wouldst, with Tarquin, hazard Rome and all
To win the lovely maid of Fressingfield.
Sirrah, Ned, wouldst fain have her?
Why, Ned, I have laid the plot in my head; thou shalt
have her already.
I'll give thee a new coat, an learn me that.
Sirrah Ned, we'll ride to Oxford to Friar Bacon! Oh, he
is a brave scholar, sirrah; they say he is a brave necromancer, that he
can make women of devils, and he can juggle cats into costermongers.
And how then, Ralph?
sirrah, thou shalt go to
him, and because thy father Harry shall not miss thee, he shall turn me
into thee; and I'll to the court, and I'll prince it out; and he shall
make thee either a silken purse full of gold, or else a fine wrought
But how shall I have the maid?
sirrah, if thou be'st a
silken purse full of gold, then on Sundays she'll hang thee by her
side, and you must not say a word. Now, sir, when she comes into a
great prease of people, for fear of the cutpurse, on a sudden she'll
swap thee into her plackerd; then, sirrah, being there, you may plead
if I be a wrought smock?
she'll put thee into her
chest and lay thee into lavender, and upon some good day she'll put
thee on; and at night when you go to bed, then being turned from a
smock to a man, you may make up the match.
wisely counselled, Ralph.
Ralph shall have a new coat.
God thank you when I have it on my back, Ned.
Lacy, the fool hath laid a perfect plot;
For why our country Margaret is so coy,
And stands so much upon her honest points,
That marriage or no market with the maid.
Ermsby, it must be necromantic spells
And charms of art that must enchain her love,
Or else shall Edward never win the girl.
Therefore, my wags, we'll horse us in the morn,
And post to Oxford to this jolly friar--
Bacon shall by his magic do this deed.
Content, my lord; and that's a speedy way
To wean these headstrong puppies from the teat.
unknown, not taken for the prince;
only deem us frolic courtiers,
revel thus among our liege's game--
I have devis'd a policy.
thou know'st next Friday is Saint James',
then the country flocks to Harleston fair;
will the Keeper's daughter frolic there,
over-shine the troop of all the maids
come to see and to be seen that day.
thee disguis'd among the country-swains,
thou 'rt a farmer's son, not far from thence,
her loves, and who she liketh best;
him, and court her to control the clown;
that the courtier 'tired all in green,
help'd her handsomely to run her cheese,
fill'd her father's lodge with venison,
Commends him, and sends fairings to herself.
Buy something worthy of her parentage,
Not worth her beauty; for, Lacy, then the fair
Affords no jewel fitting for the maid.
And when thou talk's! of me, note if she blush--
O, then she loves; but if her cheeks wax pale,
Disdain it is. Lacy, send how she fares,
And spare no time nor cost to win her loves.
I will, my lord, so execute this charge
As if that Lacy were in love with her.
Send letters speedily to Oxford of the news.
Sirrah Lacy, buy me a thousand thousand million of fine bells.
What wilt thou do with them, Ralph?
every time that Ned sighs
for the Keeper's daughter, I'll tie a bell about him: and so within
three or four days I will send word to his father Harry, that his son,
and my master Ned, is become Love's morris-dancer.
Lacy, look with care unto thy charge,
I will haste to Oxford to the friar,
he by art, and thou by secret gifts,
make me lord of merry Fressingfield.
your honour your heart's desire.
study at Brazenose
College, Oxford, Friar Bacon receives a deputation of three learned
doctors of the University -- Burden, Mason and Clement -- who have come
inquire into Bacon's studies. Miles, his servant, follows them,
carrying the Friar's books of necromancy under his arm.
The doctors sit down with Bacon.
Miles, where are you?
Hic sum, doctissime et reverendissime doctor.
Attulisti nos libros meos de necromantia?
Ecce quam bonum et quam jucundum habitare libros in
Now, makers of our academic state
That rule in Oxford, viceroys in your place,
Whose heads contain maps of the liberal arts,
Spending your time in depth of learned skill,
Why flock you thus to Bacon's secret cell,
A friar newly stall'd in Brazen-nose?
Say what's your mind, that I may make reply.
hear that long we have suspect,
thou art read in magic's mystery;
pyromancy, to divine by flames;
tell, by hydromatic, ebbs and tides;
aeromancy to discover doubts,
plain out questions, as Apollo did.
Well, Master Burden, what of all this!
sir, he doth but fulfil,
by rehearsing of these names, the fable of the Fox and the Grapes; that
which is above us pertains nothing to us.
I tell thee, Bacon, Oxford makes report,
Nay, England, and the court of Henry says,
Thou'rt making of a brazen head by art,
Which shall unfold strange doubts and aphorisms,
And read a lecture in philosophy;
And, by the help of devils and ghastly fiends,
Thou mean'st, ere many years or days be past,
To compass England with a wall of brass.
of this, master! Why, he
doth speak mystically; for he knows, if your skill fail to make a
brazen head, yet Mother Waters' strong ale will fit his turn to make
him have a copper nose.
Bacon, we come not grieving at thy skill,
But joying that our academy yields
A man suppos'd the wonder of the world.
For if thy cunning work these miracles,
England and Europe shall admire thy fame,
And Oxford shall in characters of brass,
And statues, such as were built up in Rome,
Etern'ise Friar Bacon for his art.
gentle friar, tell us thy intent.
Seeing you come as friends unto the friar,
Resolve you, doctors, Bacon can by books
Make storming Boreas thunder from his cave,
And dim fair Luna to a dark eclipse.
The great arch-ruler, potentate of hell,
Trembles when Bacon bids him, or his fiends,
Bow to the force of his pentageron.
What art can work, the frolic friar knows;
And therefore will I turn my magic books,
And strain out necromancy to the deep.
I have contriv'd and fram'd a head of brass
(I made Belcephon hammer out the stuff),
And that by art shall read philosophy.
And I will strengthen England by my skill,
That if ten Casars liv'd and reign'd in Rome,
With all the legions Europe doth contain,
They should not touch a grass of English ground.
The work that Ninus rear'd at Babylon,
The brazen walls fram'd by Semiramis,
Carv'd out like to the portal of the sun,
Shall not be such as rings the English strand
From Dover to the market-place of Rye.
Is this possible?
I'll bring ye two or three witnesses.
What be those?
Marry, sir, three or four as honest devils and good
companions as any be in hell.
but magic may do much in this;
For he that reads but mathematic rules
Shall find conclusions that avail to work
Wonders that pass the common sense of men.
But Bacon roves a bow beyond his reach,
And tells of more than magic can perform,
Thinking to get a fame by fooleries.
Have I not pass'd as far in state of schools,
And read of many secrets ? Yet to think
That heads of brass can utter any voice,
Or more, to tell of deep philosophy,
This is a fable Æsop had forgot.
Burden, thou wrong'st me in detracting thus;
Bacon loves not to stuff himself with lies.
But tell me 'fore these doctors, if thou dare,
Of certain questions I shall move to thee.
I will: ask what thou can.
sir, he'll straight be on your pick-back, to know whether the feminine
or the masculine gender be most worthy.
you not yesterday, Master Burden, at Henley upon the Thames?
What book studied you thereon all night?
at all; I read not there a line.
Then, doctors, Friar Bacon's art knows naught.
What say you to this, Master Burden? Doth he not touch
not of his frivolous speeches.
Master Burden, my master,
ere he hath done with you, will turn you from a doctor to a dunce, and
shake you so small that he will leave no more learning in you than is
in Balaam's ass.
Masters, for that learn'd Burden's skill is deep,
And sore he doubts of Bacon's cabalism,
I'll show you why he haunts to Henley oft.
Not, doctors, for to taste the fragrant air,
But there to spend the night in alchemy,
To multiply with secret spells of art--
Thus private steals he learning from us all.
To prove my sayings true, I'll show you straight
The book he keeps at Henley for himself.
Nay, now my master goes to conjuration, take heed.
Stand still, fear not, I'll show you but his book.
Per omnes deos infernales, Belcephon!
devil appears carrying a
woman (with a shoulder of
mutton in her hand, smoking from the spit)
down in their
master, cease your
conjuration, or you spoil all; for here s a she-devil come with a
shoulder of mutton on a spit. You have marred the devil's supper; but
no doubt he thinks our college fare is slender, and so hath sent you
his cook with a shoulder of mutton, to make it exceed.
O, where am I, or what's become of me?
What art thou?
Hostess at Henley, mistress of the Bell.
How cam'st thou here?
As I was in the kitchen 'mongst the maids,
Spitting the meat 'gainst supper for my guests,
A motion mov'd me to look forth of door.
No sooner had I pried into the yard,
But straight a whirlwind hoisted me from thence,
And mounted me aloft unto the clouds.
As in a trance I thought nor feared naught,
Nor know I where or whither I was ta'en,
Nor where I am nor what these persons be.
No? Know you not Master Burden?
O, yes, good sir, he is my daily guest.
What, Master Burden! 'twas but yesternight
That you and I at Henley play'd at cards.
not what we did. A pox of all conjuring friars!
Now, jolly friar, tell us, is this the book
That Burden is so careful to look on;
It is. But, Burden, tell me now,
Think'st thou that Bacon's necromantic skill
Cannot perform his head and wall of brass,
When he can fetch thine hostess in such post!
warrant you, master, if
Master Burden could conjure as well as you, he would have his book
every night from Henley to study on at Oxford.
What, are you mated by this frolic friar ?
Look how he droops; his guilty conscience
Drives him to 'bash, and makes his hostess blush.
Well, mistress, for I will not have you miss'd,
You shall to Henley to cheer up your guests
'Fore supper gin. Burden, bid her adieu;
Say farewell to your hosless 'fore she goes.
Sirrah, away, and set her safe at home.
Master Burden, when shall we see you at Henley?
The devil take thee and Henley too.
The devil vanishes with the
Master, shall I make a good motion?
Marry, sir, now that my hostess is gone to provide
supper, conjure up another spirit, and send Doctor Burden flying after.
Thus, rulers of our academic state,
You have seen the friar frame his art by proof;
And as the college called Brazen-nose
Is under him, and he the master there,
So surely shall this head of brass be fram'd,
And yield forth strange and uncouth aphorisms;
And hell and Hecate shall fail the friar,
But I will circle England round with brass.
So be it et
nunc et semper; amen.
and Joan come in with Thomas, Richard and other countrymen, all very
gay. Amongst them is Lacy, disguised as a farmer.
my troth, Margaret, here's a
weather is able to make a man call his father whoreson. If this
weather hold, we shall have hay good cheap, and butter and cheese at
Harleston will bear no price.
maids when they come to see the fair
not to make a cope for dearth of hay.
we have turn'd our butter to the salt,
set our cheese safely upon the racks,
let our fathers prize it as they please.
country sluts of merry Fressingfield
to buy needless naughts, to make us fine,
look that young men should be frank this day,
court us with such fairings as they can.
Phoebus is blithe, and frolic looks from heaven,
As when he courted lovely Semele,
Swearing the pedlars shall have empty packs,
If that fair weather may make chapmen buy.
But, lovely Peggy, Semele is dead,
And therefore Phoebus from his palace pries,
And, seeing such a sweet and seemly saint,
Shows all his glories for to court yourself.
This is a fairing, gentle sir, indeed,
Too soothe me up with such smooth flattery.
But learn of me, your scoff's too broad before.
Well, Joan, our beauties must abide their jests;
We serve the turn in jolly Fressingfield.
Margaret, a farmer's daughter for a farmer's son!
I warrant you, the meanest of us both
Shall have a mate to lead us from the church.
But, Thomas, what's the news? What, in a dump?
Give me your hand, we are near a pedlar's shop;
Out with your purse, we must have fairings now.
Faith, Joan, and shall. I'll bestow a fairing on you, and
then we will to the tavern, and snap off a pint of wine or two.
are you, sir! Of Suffolk? For your terms
Are finer than the common sort of men.
lovely girl, I am of Beccles by,
neighbour, not above six miles from hence,
A farmer's son, that never was so quaint
But that he could do courtesy to such dames.
But trust me, Margaret, I am sent in charge
From him that revell'd in your father's house,
And fill'd his lodge with cheer and venison,
'Tired in green. He sent you this rich purse,
His token that he help'd you run your cheese,
And in the milkhouse chatted with yourself.
You forget yourself:
Women are often weak in memory.
pardon, sir, I call to mind the man.
little manners to refuse his gift,
yet I hope he sends it not for love;
we have little leisure to debate of that.
What, Margaret! blush not; maids must have their loves.
Nay, by the mass, she looks pale as if she were angry.
are you of Beccles? I
pray, how doth Goodman Cob? My father bought a horse of him. I'll tell
you, Margaret, a were good to be a gentleman's jade, for of all things
the foul hilding could not abide a dung-cart.
different is this farmer from the rest
erst as yet have pleas'd my wandering sight!
words are witty, quicken'd with a smile,
courtesy gentle, smelling of the court;
Facile and debonair in all his deeds;
Proportion'd as was Paris, when, in grey,
He courted Œnon in the vale by Troy.
Great lords have come and pleaded for my love:
Who but the Keeper's lass of Fressingfield?
And yet methinks this farmer's jolly son
Passeth the proudest that hath pleas'd mine eye.
But, Peg, disclose not that thou art in love,
And show as yet no sign of love to him,
Although thou well wouldst wish him for thy love--
Keep that to thee till time doth serve thy turn,
To show the grief wherein thy heart doth burn.
Come, Joan and Thomas, shall we to the fair?
You, Beccles man, will not forsake us now?
Not whilst I may have such quaint girls as you.
Well, if you chance to come by Fressingfield,
Make but a step into the Keeper's lodge,
And such poor fare as woodmen can afford,
Butter and cheese, cream and fat venison,
You shall have store, and welcome therewithal.
Peggy; look for me ere long.
Henry the Third enters
with the Emperor, the King of Catsile, Princess Elinor, and Dr. Jaques
Vandermast, a German magician.
of Europe, monarchs of the west,
with the walls of old Oceanus,
lofty surge is like the battlements
That compass'd high-built Babel in with towers,
Welcome, my lords, welcome, brave western kings,
To England's shore, whose promontory cleeves
Show Albion is another little world.
Welcome says English Henry to you all;
Chiefly unto the lovely Elinor,
Who dar'd for Edward's sake cut through the seas,
And venture as Agenor's damsel through the deep,
To get the love of Henry's wanton son.
KING OF CASTILE
England's rich monarch, brave Plantagenet,
The Pyren Mounts, swelling above the clouds,
That ward the wealthy Castile in with walls,
Could not detain the beauteous Elinor.
But hearing of the fame of Edward's youth,
She dar'd to brook Neptunus' haughty pride,
And bide the brunt of froward Æolus:
Then may fair England welcome her the more.
After that English Henry by his lords
Had sent Prince Edward's lovely counterfeit,
A present to the Castile Elinor,
The comely portrait of so brave a man,
The virtuous fame discoursed of his deeds,
Edward's courageous resolution,
Done at the Holy Land 'fore Damas' walls,
Led both mine eye and thoughts in equal links,
To like so of the English monarch's son,
That I attempted perils for his ease.
Where is the prince, my lord?
down, not long since, from the court,
Suffolk side, to merry Framlingham,
sport himself amongst my fallow deer.
From thence, by packets sent to Hampton house,
We hear the prince is ridden, with his lords,
To Oxford, in the academy there
To hear dispute amongst the learned men.
But we will send forth letters for my son,
To will him come from Oxford to the court.
Nay, rather, Henry, let us, as we be,
Ride for to visit Oxford with our train.
Fain would I see your universities,
And what learn'd men your academy yields.
From Hapsburg have I brought a learned clerk
To hold dispute with English orators--
This doctor, surnam'd Jaques Vandermast,
A German born, pass'd into Padua,
To Florence and to fair Bologna,
To Paris, Rheims, and stately Orleans,
And, talking there with men of art, put down
The chiefest of them all in aphorisms,
In magic, and the mathematic rules:
Now let us, Henry, try him in your schools.
my lord; this motion likes me well.
progress straight to Oxford with our trains,
see what men our academy brings.
wonder Vandermast, welcome to me;
Oxford shall thou find a jolly friar,
Friar Bacon, England's only flower.
him but nonplus in his magic spells,
make him yield in mathematic rules,
for thy glory I will bind thy brows,
with a poet's garland made of bays,
with a coronet of choicest gold.
then we set to Oxford with our troops,
's in and banquet in our English court.
At Oxford, Ralph Simnel, the
fool, in the Prince's clothes,
lords it over Prince Edward, Warren and Ermsby, who are disguised as
Where be these vagabond knaves, that they attend no
better on their master?
If it please your honour, we are all ready at an inch.
Sirrah Ned, I'll have no more post-horse to ride on: I'll
have another fetch.
I pray you, how is that, my lord?
sir, I'll send to the Isle
of Ely for four or five dozen of geese, and I'll have them tied six and
six together with whip cord. Now upon their backs will I have a fair
field-bed with a canopy; and so, when it is my pleasure, I'll flee into
what place I please. This will be easy.
honour hath said well; but shall we to Brazen-nose College before we
pull off our boots? Warren, well motion'd; we will to the friar
before we revel it within the town. Ralph,
see you keep your countenance like a prince.
have I such a company
of cutting knaves to wait upon me, but to keep and defend my
countenance against all mine enemies; Have you not good swords and
Stay, who comes here?
Some scholar; and we'll ask him where Friar Bacon is.
arrant dunce, shall I
never make thee a good scholar? Doth not all the town cry out and say,
Friar Bacon's subsizer is the greatest blockhead in all Oxford? Why,
thou canst not speak one word of true Latin.
Yet, what is this else? Ego sum tuus homo, I am your
man: I warrant you, sir, as good Tully's phrase as any is in Oxford.
Come on, sirrah; what part of speech is Ego?
Ego, that is I; marry, nomen
How prove you that?
Why, sir, let him prove himself an 'a will; I can be
heard, felt, and understood.
Come, let us break off this dispute between these
two. Sirrah, where is Brazen-nose College?
from Coppersmith's Hall.
dost thou mock me?
Not I, sir: but what would you at Brazen-nose?
Marry, we would speak with Friar Bacon.
Whose men be you?
scholar, here's our master.
Sirrah, I am the master of these good fellows; mayst thou
not know me to be a lord by my reparrel?
Then here's good game for the
here's the master-fool and a covey of coxcombs-- one wise man, I think,
would spring you all.
Gog's wounds! Warren, kill him.
Why, Ned, I think the devil be in my sheath; I cannot get
out my dagger.
mine! 'Swones, Ned, I think I am bewitched.
of scabs! The proudest of you all draw your weapon, if he can. See how
boldly I speak, now my master is by.
in vain; but if my sword be shut
conjur'd fast by magic in my sheath,
here is my fist.
beseech you conjure his hands too, that he may not lift his arms to his
head, for he is light-fingered!
Ned, Strike him; I'll warrant thee by mine honour.
means the English prince to wrong my man?
To whom speak'st thou?
Could you not judge when all your swords grew fait,
That Friar Bacon was not far from hence;
Edward, King Henry's son and Prince of Wales,
Thy fool disguis'd cannot conceal thyself.
I know both Ermsby and the Sussex Earl,
Else Friar Bacon had but little skill.
Thou com'st in post from merry Fressingfield,
Fast-fancied to the Keeper's bonny lass,
To crave some succour of the jolly friar.
And Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, hast thou left
To treat fair Margaret to allow thy loves;
But friends are men, and love can baffle lords;
both woos and courts her for himself.
Ned, this is strange; the friar knoweth all.
Apollo could not utter more than this.
I stand amaz'd to hear this jolly friar
Tell even the very secrets of my thoughts.
But, learned Bacon, since thou know'st the cause
Why I did post so fast from Fressingfield,
Help, friar, at a pinch, that I may have
The love of lovely Margaret to myself,
And, as I am true Prince of Wales, I'll give
Living and lands to strength thy college-state.
Good friar, help the prince in this.
servant Ned, will not the friar do it ? Were not my sword glued to
my scabbard by conjuration, I would cut off his head, and make him do
it by force.
faith, my lord, your manhood and your sword is all alike; they are so
fast conjured that we shall never see them.
What, doctor, in a dump! Tush, help the prince,
And thou shalt see how liberal he will prove.
such actions greater dumps than these?
will, my lord, strain out my magic spells;
this day comes the earl to Fressingfield,
'fore that night shuts in the day with dark,
be betrothed each to other fast.
come with me; we'll to my study straight,
And in a glass prospective I will show
What's done this day in merry Fressingfield.
Gramercies, Bacon; I will quite thy pain.
send your train, my lord,
into the town,
My scholar shall go bring them to their inn.
we'll see the knavery of the earl.
Warren, leave me; and, Ermsby, take the fool;
Let him be master, and go revel it,
Till I and Friar Bacon talk awhile.
We will, my lord.
Faith, Ned, and I'll lord it out till thou comest; I'll be
Prince of Wales over all the black-pots in Oxford.
fool, Warren, Ermsby and Miles go out,
while the Prince accompanies Friar Bacon.
Friar Bacon enters his study with Prince Edward. He
leads him up to the magic mirror.
Now, frolic Edward, welcome to my cell;
Here tempers Friar Bacon many toys,
And holds this place his consistory-court,
Wherein the devils plead homage to his words.
Within this glass prospective thou shalt see
This day what's done in merry Fressingfield
'Twixt lovely Peggy and the Lincoln Earl.
Friar, thou glad'st me: now shall Edward try
How Lacy meaneth to his sovereign Lord.
Stand there and look directly in the glass.
the Prince gazes into the glass, he
sees the figures of Margaret and Friar
Bungay, in earnest
What sees my lord?
I see the Keeper's lovely lass appear,
As brightsome as the paramour of Mars,
Only attended by a jolly friar.
Sit still, and keep the crystal in your eye.
The figures begin to
But tell me, Friar Bungay, is it true
That this fair courteous country swain,
Who says his father is a farmer nigh,
Can be Lord Lacy, Earl of Lincolnshire?
Peggy, 'tis true, 'tis Lacy for my life,
Or else mine art and cunning both do fail,
Left by Prince Edward to procure his loves;
For he in green, that holp you run your cheese,
Is son to Henry and the Prince of Wales.
Be what he will, his lure is but
But did Lord Lacy like poor Margaret,
Or would he deign to wed a country lass,
Friar, I would his humble handmaid be,
And for great wealth quite him with courtesy.
Why, Margaret, dost
thou love him?
His personage, like
the pride of vaunting Troy,
Might well avouch to shadow Helen's rape.
His wit is quick and ready in conceit,
As Greece afforded in her chiefest prime.
Courteous, ah friar, full of pleasing smiles!
Trust me, I love too much to tell thee more;
Suffice to me he's England's paramour.
Hath not each eye
that view'd thy pleasing face
Surnamed thee Fair Maid of Fressingfield?
Yes, Bungay; and
would God the lovely earl
Had that in esse that so many sought.
Fear not, the friar will not be
To show his cunning to entangle love.
I think the friar
courts the bonny wench--
Bacon, methinks he is a lusty churl.
Now look, my lord.
The figure of Lacy appears in
Gog's wounds, Bacon, here comes
Sit still, my lord, and mark the
Margaret; step aside awhile.
He draws Margaret to one side.
Daphne, the damsel
that caught Phoebus fast,
And lock'd him in the brightness of her looks,
Was not so beauteous in Apollo's eyes
As is fair Margaret to the Lincoln Earl.
Recant thee, Lacy, thou art put in trust:
Edward, thy sovereign's son, hath chosen thee,
A secret friend, to court her for himself,
And dar'st thou wrong thy prince with treachery?
Lacy, love makes no exception of a friend,
Nor deems it of a prince but as a man.
Honour bids thee control him in his lust;
His wooing is not for to wed the girl,
But to entrap her and beguile the lass.
Lacy, thou lov'st, then brook not such abuse,
But wed her, and abide thy prince's frown--
For better die than see her live disgrac'd.
Come, friar, I will
shake him from his dumps.
How cheer you, sir; A penny for your thought.
You 're early up, pray God it be
What, come from Beccles in th' morn so soon?
Thus watchful are
such men as live in love,
Whose eyes brook broken slumbers for their sleep.
I tell thee, Peggy, since last Harleston fair
My mind hath felt a heap of passions.
A trusty man, that court it for
Woo you still for the courtier all in green?
that he sues not for himself.
I pleaded first to
get your grace for him;
But when mine eyes
survey'd your beauteous looks,
Love, like a wag,
straight div'd into my heart,
And there did shrine
the idea of yourself.
Pity me, though I be
a farmer's son,
And measure not my
riches, but my love.
You are very hasty;
for to garden well,
Seeds must have time to sprout before they spring.
Love ought to creep as doth the dial's shade,
For timely ripe is rotten too' too soon.
Deus hic; room
for a merry friar!
What, youth of
Beccles, with the Keeper's lass?
'Tis well; but tell
me, hear you any news?
No, friar: what news?
Hear you not how the
pursuivants do post
With proclamations through each country-town?
For what, gentle
friar? Tell the news.
Dwell'st thou in Beccles, and
hear'st not of these news?
Lacy, the Earl of Lincoln, is late fled
From Windsor court, disguised like a swain,
And lurks about the country here unknown.
Henry suspects him of some treachery,
And therefore doth proclaim in every way
That who can take the Lincoln Earl shall have,
Paid in the Exchequer, twenty thousand crowns.
The Earl of Lincoln!
Friar, thou art mad.
It was some other; thou mistak'st the man.
The Earl of Lincoln! Why, it cannot be.
Yes, very well, my lord, for you
The Keeper's daughter took you prisoner.
Lord Lacy, yield, I'll be your gaoler once.
How familiar they be, Bacon!
Sit still, and mark the sequel of
Then am I double
prisoner to thyself.
Peggy, I yield. But are these news in jest?
In jest with you,
but earnest unto me;
For why these wrongs do wring me at the heart.
Ah, how these earls and noblemen of birth
Flatter and feign to forge poor women's ill!
Believe me, lass, I
am the Lincoln Earl.
I not deny but,
'tired thus in rags,
I liv'd disguis'd to
win fair Peggy's love.
What love is there
where wedding ends not love?
I mean, fair girl, to make thee
I little think that earls
will stoop so low.
Say shall I make
thee countess ere I sleep?
Handmaid unto the
earl, so please himself:
A wife in name, but servant in obedience.
The Lincoln Countess, for
it shall be so;
I'll plight the bands, and seal it with a kiss.
He takes her in his
Gog's wounds, Bacon,
they kiss! I'll slay them.
O, hold your hands,
my lord, it is the glass!
Choler to see the traitors gree
Made me to think the shadows substances.
'Twere a long
poniard, my lord, to reach between Oxford and Fressingfield; but sit
still and see more.
Well, Lord of Lincoln, if your
loves be knit,
And that your tongues and thoughts do both agree,
To avoid ensuing jars, I'll hamper up the match.
I'll take my portace forth and wed you here;
Then go to bed and seal up your desires.
Friar, content. Peggy, how like
What likes my lord
is pleasing unto me.
Then hand'fast hand, and I
will to my book.
What sees my lord
Bacon, I see the
lovers hand in hand,
The friar ready with
his portace there
To wed them both:
then am I quite undone.
Bacon, help now, if
e'er thy magic serv'd;
Help, Bacon; stop
the marriage now,
If devils or
necromancy may suffice,
And I will give thee
forty thousand crowns.
Fear not, my lord,
I'll stop the jolly friar
For mumbling up his
orisons this day.
wait anxiously for Bungay
to begin, but he stands tongue-tied,
Why speak'a not, Bungay? Friar,
to thy book.
How look'st thou, friar, as
a man distraught
Reft of thy senses, Bungay? Show by signs,
If thou be dumb, what passion holdeth thee.
He's dumb indeed. Bacon hath with
Enchanted him, or else some strange disease
Or apoplexy hath possess'd his lungs.
But, Peggy, what he cannot with his book,
We'll twixt us both unite it up in heart.
Else let me die, my lord, a
Why stands Friar Bungay so amaz'd?
I have struck him dumb, my lord;
and if your honour please,
I'll fetch this Bungay straight from Fressingfield,
And he shall dine with us in Oxford here.
Bacon, do that, and thou
Of courtesy, Margaret, let us
lead the friar
Unto thy father's lodge, to comfort him
With broths to bring him from this helpless trance.
Or else, my lord, we were passing
To leave this friar so in his distress.
devil appears in the glass and
carries off Bungay on his
O, help, my lord! A devil, a
devil, my lord!
Look how he carries Bungay on his back!
Let's hence, for Bacon's spirits be abroad.
figures in the glass disappear.
Bacon, I laugh to see the jolly
Mounted upon the devil, and how the earl
Flees with his bonny lass for fear.
As soon as Bungay is at Brazen-nose,
And I have chatted with the merry friar,
I will post hie me to Fressingfield,
And quite these wrongs on Lacy ere't be long.
the Regent-house at Oxford, the Doctors, Burden,
Mason, and Clement, discuss the
for the ruyal visitors.
Now that we are gather'd in the
It fits us talk about the king's repair,
For he, trooped with all the western kings,
That lie along the Dantzic seas by east,
North by the clime of frosty Germany,
The Almain monarch, and the Saxon duke,
Castile and lovely Elinor with him,
Have in their jests resolv'd for Oxford town.
We must lay plots of stately
Strange comic shows, such as proud Roscius
Vaunted before the Roman emperors,
To welcome all the western potentates.
But more; the king by letters
That Frederick, the Almain emperor,
Hath brought with him a German of esteem,
Whose surname is Don Jacques Vandermast,
Skilful in magic and those secret arts.
Then must we all
make suit unto the friar,
To Friar Bacon, that he vouch this task,
And undertake to countervail in skill
The German; else there 's none in Oxford can
Match and dispute with learned Vandermast.
Bacon, if he will
hold the German play,
Will teach him what
an English friar can do--
The devil, I think,
dare not dispute with him.
Indeed, Mas Doctor,
he displeasur'd you,
In that he brought your hostess with her spit,
From Henley, posting unto Brazen-nose.
A vengeance on the friar for his
But leaving that, let's hie to Bacon straight,
To see if he will take this task in hand.
Stay, what rumour is
this? The town is up in a mutiny: what hurry-burly is this!
Constable appears, leading in the
fool amiably drunk; Warren, Ermsly
Nay, masters, if you
were ne'er so good, you shall before the doctors to answer your
What's the matter,
Marry, sir, here 's
a company of turners, that, drinking in the tavern, have made a great
brawl and almost killed the vintner.
This lubberly lurden
Ill-shap'd and ill-fac'd,
Disdain'd and disgrac'd,
What he tells unto volis
Mentitur de novus.
Who is the master
and chief of this crew?
Ecce asinam mundi
Neat, sheat, and fine,
As brisk as a cup of wine.
I am, father
doctor, as a man would say, the bell-wether of this company: these are
my lords, and I the Prince of Wales.
Are you Edward, the
bring hither the
tapster that drew the wine, and, I warrant, when they see how soundly I
have broke his head, they'll say 'twas done by no less man than a
I cannot believe that this
is the Prince of Wales.
And why so, sir?
For they say the prince is a
brave and a wise gentleman.
Why, and think'st
then, doctor, that he is not so?
Dar'st thou detract and derogate from him,
Being so lovely and so brave a youth!
Whose face, shining
with many a sugar'd smile,
Bewrays that he is bred of princely race.
And yet, Master Doctor,
To speak like a proctor,
And tell unto you
What is veriment and true;
To cease of this quarrel,
Look but on his apparel;
Then mark but my talis,
He is great Prince of Walis,
The chief of our gegis,
And filius regis:
Then ware what is done,
For he is Henry's white son.
are not capable of my ingenious dignity, know that I am Edward
Plantagenet, whom if you displease, will make a ship that shall hold
all your colleges, and so carry away the niniversity with a fair wind
to the Bankside in Southwark. How sayest thou, Ned Warren, shall I not
Yes, my good
lord; and, if it
please your lordship, I will gather up all your old pantofles, and with
the cork make you a pinnace of five-hundred ton, that shall serve the
turn marvellous well, my lord.
And I, my lord, will
pioners to undermine the town, that the very gardens and orchards be
carried away for your summer-walks.
And I, with scientia
And great diligentia,
Will conjure and
To keep you from
That utrum horum
Your very great navis,
Like Barclay's ship,
From Oxford do skip
With colleges and
Quid dicis ad hoc,
courtiers, are you drunk or mad,
To taunt us up with
Deem you us men of
base and light esteem
To bring us such a
fop for Henry's son?
Call out the beadles
and convey them hence
Straight to Bocardo:
let the roisters lie
Close clapt in
bolts, until their wits be tame.
Why, shall we to
prison, my lord?
What sayest, Miles,
shall I honour the prison with my presence!
No, no; out with your blades,
And hamper these jades;
Have a Hurt and a crash,
Now play revel-dash,
And teach these sacerdos
That the Bocardos,
Like peasants and elves,
Are meet for themselves.
To the prison with
seeing I have sported me
With laughing at these mad and merry-wags,
Know that Prince Edward is at Brazen-nose,
And this, attired like the Prince of Wales,
Is Ralph, King Henry's only loved fool;
I, Earl of Sussex, and this Ermsby,
One of the privy-chamber to the king;
Who, while the prince with Friar Bacon stays,
Have revell'd it in Oxford as you see.
My lord, pardon
us, we knew not
what you were;
But courtiers may make greater scapes than these.
please your honour dine with me to-day?
I will, Master
satisfy the vintner for his hurt; only I must desire you to imagine him
all this forenoon the Prince of Wales.
I will, sir.
And upon that I will lead the
I will have Miles go before me, because I have heard Henry say that
wisdom must go before majesty.
Prince Edward, having ridden
post to Fressingfield, meets the lovers. He draws his dagger.
Lacy, thou canst not
shroud thy traitorous thoughts,
Nor cover, as did
Cassius, all thy wiles;
For Edward hath an
eye that looks as far
As Lynceus from the
shores of Græcia.
Did not I sit in
Oxford by the friar,
And see thee court
the maid of Fressingfield,
flattering fancies with a kiss!
Did not proud Bungay
draw his portace forth,
And joining hand in
hand had married you,
If Friar Bacon had
not struck him dumb,
And mounted him upon
a spirit's back,
That we might chat
at Oxford with the friar?
answer'st! Is not all this true?
Truth all, my lord;
and thus I make reply.
At Harleston Fair,
there courting for your grace,
Whenas mine eye
survey'd her curious shape,
And drew the
beauteous glory of her looks
To dive into the
centre of my heart,
Love taught me that
your honour did but jest,
That princes were in
fancy but as men;
How that the lovely
maid of Fressingfield
Was fitter to be
Lacy's wedded wife
Than concubine unto
the Prince of Wales.
Injurious Lacy, did I love thee
Than Alexander his Hephæstion?
Did I unfold the passions of my love,
And lock them in the closet of thy thoughts?
Wert thou to Edward second to himself,
Sole friend, and partner of his secret loves!
And could a glance
of fading beauty break
Th' enchained fetters of such private friends?
Base coward, false, and too effeminate
To be co-rival with a prince in thoughts!
From Oxford have I posted since I din'd,
To quite a traitor 'fore that Edward sleep.
'Twas I, my lord,
not Lacy, slept awry.
For oft he sued and
courted for yourself,
And still woo'd for
the courtier all in green;
But I, whom fancy
made but over-fond,
Pleaded myself with
looks as if I lov'd.
I fed mine eye with
gazing on his face,
And still bewitch'd
lov'd Lacy with my looks;
My heart with sighs,
mine eyes pleaded with tears,
My face held pity
and content at once,
And more I could not
cipher-out by signs,
But that I lov'd
Lord Lacy with my heart.
Then, worthy Edward,
measure with thy mind
If women's favours
will not force men fall;
If beauty, and if
darts of piercing love,
Are not offered to
bury thoughts of friends.
I tell thee, Peggy, I will have
Edward or none shall conquer Margaret.
In frigates bottom'd with rich Sethin planks,
Topt with the lofty firs of Lebanon,
Stemm'd and incas'd with burnish'd ivory,
And overpaid with plates of Persian wealth,
Like Thetis shall thou wanton on the waves,
And draw the dolphins to thy lovely eyes,
To dance lavoltas in the purple streams.
Sirens, with harps and silver psalteries,
Shall wait with music at thy frigate's stem,
And entertain fair Margaret with their lays.
England and England's wealth shall wait on thee;
Britain shall bend unto her prince's love,
And do due homage to
If thou wilt be but Edward's Margaret.
Pardon, my lord; if
Jove's great royalty
Sent me such
presents as to Danaë;
If Phœbus, 'tired in
Came courting from
the beauty of his lodge;
The dulcet tunes of
Nor all the wealth
heaven's treasury affords,
Should make me leave
Lord Lacy or his love.
I have learn'd at
Oxford, then, this point of schools--
Lacy, the cause that
Margaret cannot love
Nor fix her liking
on the English Prince,
Take him away, and
then th' effects will fail.
thyself; for I will bathe
My poniard in the
bosom of an earl.
Rather than live,
and miss fair Margaret's love,
Prince Edward, stop not at the fatal doom,
But stab it home: end both my loves and life.
Brave Prince of
Wales, honour'd for royal deeds,
'Twere sin to stain fair Venus' courts with blood;
Love's conquest ends, my lord, in courtesy.
Spare Lacy, gentle Edward; let me die,
For so both you and he do cease your loves.
Lacy shall die as a traitor to
I have deserv'd it, Edward;
act it well.
What hopes the
prince to gain by Lacy's death?
To end the loves
'twixt him and Margaret.
Why, thinks King
Henry's son that Margaret's love
Hangs in th' uncertain balance of proud time!
That death shall make a discord of our thoughts!
No, slay the earl, and, 'fore the morning sun
Shall vaunt him thrice over the lofty east,
Margaret will meet her Lacy in the heavens.
If aught betides to
That wrongs or
wrings her honour from content,
Europe's rich wealth
nor England's monarchy
Should not allure
Lacy to over-live.
Then, Edward, short
my life, and end her loves.
Rid me, and keep a
friend worth many loves.
Nay, Edward, keep a
love worth many friends.
And if thy mind be
such as fame hath blaz'd,
Then, princely Edward, let us both abide
The fatal resolution of thy rage.
Banish thou fancy, and embrace revenge,
And in one tomb knit both our carcases,
Whose hearts were linked in one perfect love.
Edward, art thou that famous
Prince of Wales
Who at Damasco beat the Saracens,
And brought'st home
triumph on thy lance's point,
And shall thy plumes
be pull'd by Venus down;
Is't princely to
dissever lovers' leagues,
To part such friends
as glory in their loves?
Leave, Ned, and make
a virtue of this fault,
And further Peg and
Lacy in their loves.
So in subduing
thou gett'st the richest spoil.
Lacy, rise up.
Fair Peggy, here 's my hand:
The Prince of Wales hath
conquer'd all his thoughts,
And all his loves he yields unto the earl.
Lacy, enjoy the maid of Fressingfield;
Make her thy Lincoln Countess at the church,
And Ned, as he is true Plantagenet,
Will give her to thee frankly for thy wife.
Humbly I take her of
As if that Edward
gave me England's right,
And rich'd me with the Albion
And doth the English
prince mean true!
Will he vouchsafe to cease his former loves,
And yield the title of a country maid
Unto Lord Lacy?
I will, fair Peggy, as I am
Then, lordly sir,
whose conquest is as great,
In conquering love,
as Caesar's victories,
Margaret, as mild
and humble in her thoughts
As was Aspasia unto
Yields thanks, and,
next Lord Lacy, doth enshrine
Edward the second secret in
Gramercy, Peggy! Now the vows are
And that your loves are not to be revolt,
Once, Lacy, friends again. Come, we will post
To Oxford; for this day the king is there,
And brings for Edward Castile Elinor.
Peggy, I must go see and view my wife;
I pray God I like her as I loved thee.
Beside, Lord Lincoln, we shall hear dispute
'Twixt Friar Bacan and learn'd Vandermast.
As it please Lord Lacy; but
love's foolish looks
Think footsteps miles and minutes to be hours.
I'll hasten, Peggy, to make short
But please your honour go unto the lodge,
We shall have butter, cheese, and venison;
And yesterday I brought for Margaret
A lusty bottle of neat claret-wine--
Thus we can feast and entertain your grace.
'Tis cheer, Lord Lacy, for an
If he respect the person and the place.
Come, let us in; for I will all this night
Ride post until I come to Bacon's cell.
Henry, with the Emperor, the King of Castile
and the Princess Elinor, have
Vandermast and Friar Bungay
Trust me, Plantagenet, the Oxford
Are richly seated near the river-side.
The mountains full of fat and fallow deer,
The battling pastures lade with kind and flocks,
The town gorgeous with high-built colleges,
And scholars seemly in their grave attire,
Learned in searching principles of art.
What is thy judgment, Jaques Vandermast?
That lordly are the buildings of
Spacious the rooms, and full of pleasant walks;
But for the doctors, how that they be learned,
It may be meanly, for aught I can hear.
I tell thee, German, Hapsburg
holds none such,
None read so deep as Oxenford contains.
There are withon our academic state
Men that may lecture it in Germany
To all the doctors of your Belgic schools.
Stand to him, Bungay, charm this
And I will use thee as a royal king.
Henry and his guests take their seats to
listen to the disputations of
the two doctors.
Wherein dar'st thou to dispute
In what a doctor and a frair can.
Before rich Europe's worthies put
The doubtful question unto Vandermast.
Let it be this--Whether the
spirits of pyromancy or geomancy be most predominant in magic?
I say, of pyromancy.
And I, of geomancy.
The cabalists, that
write of magic spells,
As Hermes, Melchie,
Affirm that, 'mongst
essence, terra is but thought
To be a punctum squared
to the rest;
And that the compass
of ascending elements
Exceed in bigness as
they do in height;
Judging the concave
circle of the sun
To hold the rest in
If, then, as Hermes
says, the fire be greatest,
Purest, and only
giveth shape to spirits,
Then must these
dæmones that haunt that place
Be every way
superior to the rest.
I reason not of
Nor tell I of the
Noting their essence
nor their quality,
But of the spirits
that pyromancy calls,
And of the vigour of
the geomantic fiends
I tell thee, German,
magic haunts the ground,
And those strange
That work such shows
and wondering in the world,
Are acted by those
That Hermes calleth terræ
The fiery spirits
are but transparent shades,
That lightly pass as
heralds to bear news;
But earthly fiends,
clos'd in the lowest deep,
if they be but charg'd,
Being more gross and
massy in their power.
Rather these earthly
Are dull and like
the place where they remain;
For when proud Lucifer fell
from the heavens,
The spirits and
angels that did sin with him,
Retain'd their local essence as their faults,
All subject under Luna's continent.
They which offended less hung in the fire,
And second faults did rest within the air;
But Lucifer and his proud-hearted fiends
Were thrown into the centre of the earth,
Having less understanding than the rest,
As having greater sin and lesser grace.
Therefore such gross and earthly spirits do serve
For jugglers, witches, and vile sorcerers;
Whereas the pyromantic genii
Are mighty, swift, and of far-reaching power.
But grant that geomancy hath most force;
Bungay, to please these mighty potentates,
Prove by some instance what thy art can do.
Now, English Harry,
here begins the game;
We shall see sport between these learned men.
What wilt thou do?
Show thee the tree,
leav'd with refined gold,
Whereon the fearful
dragon held his seat,
That watch'd the
garden call'd Hesperides,
Subdued and won by
utters his spell and a
rises from the ground, with a dragon
in its branches,
spitting out fire. Friar
Bungay steps back and
What say you, royal
lordlings, to my friar?
Hath he not done a point of cunning skill?
Each scholar in the
Can do as much as Bungay hath perform'd!
But as Alcmena's bastard raz'd this tree,
So will I raise him up as when he liv'd,
And cause him pull the dragon from his seat,
And tear the branches piecemeal from the root.
Hercules! Prodi, prodi, Hercules!
By the side
of the tree, appears the
figure of Hercules,wearing his lion's
Quis me vult?
Jove's bastard son,
thou Libyan Hercules,
Pull off the sprigs from off th' Hesperian tree,
As once thou didst to win the golden fruit.
begins to tear down the
branches from Bungay's golden tree.
Now, Bungay, if thou
canst by magic charm
The fiend, appearing like great Hercules,
From pulling down the branches of the tree,
Then art thou worthy to be counted learned.
until I give thee charge.
Mighty commander of
this English isle,
Henry, come from the stout
Bungay is learn'd
enough to be a friar;
But to compare with Jaques Vandermast,
Oxford and Cambridge must go seek their cells
To find a man to match him in his art.
I have given non-plus to the Paduans,
To them of Sien, Florence, and Bologna,
Rheims, Louvain, and fair Rotterdam,
Frankfort, Utretcht, and Orleans:
And now must Henry, if he do me right,
Crown me with laurel, as they all have done.
All hail to this
That sit to hear and see this strange dispute!
Bungay, how stands't thou as a man amaz'd.
What, hath the German acted more than thou?
What art thou that
Men call me Bacon.
Lordly thou look'st,
as if that thou wert learn'd;
Thy countenance as if science held her seat
Between the circled arches of thy brows.
Now, monarchs, hath
the German found his match.
Bestir thee, Jaques,
take not now the foil,
Lest thou dost lose what foretime
thou didst gain.
Bacon, wilt thou dispute?
Unless he were more
learn'd than Vandermast--
For yet, tell me,
what hast thou done?
Rais'd Hercules to
ruinate that tree
That Bungay mounted
by his magic spells.
Set Hercules to work.
Now, Hercules, I
charge thee to thy task; Pull off the golden branches from the root.
I dare not. See'st
thou not great Bacon here,
Whose frown doth act more than thy magic can?
goes up to Hercules and utters
his conjurations more
By all the thrones
Virtues, powers, and mighty hierarchies,
I charge thee to obey to Vandermast.
bridles headstrong Belcephon,
And rules Asmenoth, guider of the north,
Binds me from yielding unto Vandermast.
How now, Vandermast,
have you met with your match?
Never before was't
known to Vandermast
That men held devils in such obedient awe.
Bacon doth more than art, or else I fail.
art thou overcome?
Bacon, dispute with him, and try his skill.
I came not,
monarchs, for to hold dispute
With such a novice as is Vandermast;
I came to have your royalties to dine
With Friar Bacon here in Brazen-nose.
And, for this German troubles but the place,
And holds this audience with a long suspense,
I'll send him to his academy hence.
Thou Hercules, whom Vandermast did raise,
Transport the German unto Hapsburg straight,
That he may learn by travail, 'gainst the spring,
More secret dooms and aphorisms of art.
Vanish the tree, and thou away with him!
siezes Vandermast with one hand
and the tree with the other, and
Why, Bacon, whither
dost thou send him?
To Hapsburg: there
your highness at return
Shall find the German in his study safe.
Bacon, thou hast
honour'd England with thy skill,
And made fair Oxford famous by thine art.
I will be English Henry to thyself.
But tell me, shall we dine with thee today?
With me, my lord;
and while I fit my cheer,
See where Prince Edward comes to welcome you,
Gracious as is the morning-star of heaven.
takes his leave as Prince
Edward enters accompanied by Lacy,
Is this Prince
Edward, Henry's royal son?
How martial is the figure of his face!
Yet lovely and beset with amorets.
Ned, where hast thou
At Framlingham, my
lord, to try your bucks
If they could scape
the teasers or the toil.
But hearing of these
progress'd up to Oxford town,
I ported to give
entertain to them--
Chief to the Almain
monarch; next to him,
And joint with him,
Castile and Saxony
Are welcome as they
may be to the English court.
Thus for the men:
but see, Venus appears,
Or one that
overmatcheth Venus in her shape!
Sweet Elinor, beauty's high-swelling pride,
Rich nature's glory and her wealth at once,
Fair of all fairs, welcome to Albion;
Welcome to me, and welcome to thine own,
If that thou deign'st the welcome from myself.
Henry's high-minded son,
The mark that Elinor did count her aim,
I lik'd thee 'fore I saw thee; now I love,
And so as in so short a time I may;
Yet so as time shall never break that so,
And therefore so accept of Elinor.
KING OF CASTILE
Fear not, my lord, this couple
If love may creep into their wanton eyes--
And therefore, Edward, I accept thee here,
Without suspence, as my adopted son.
Let me that joy in
these consorting greets,
And glory in these
honours done to Ned,
Yield thanks for all
these favours to my son,
And rest a true
Plantagenet to all.
Miles shuffles in, a napkin
over his shoulder, carrying
a tablecloth, trenchers and a saltcellar.
That govern your greges
In Saxony and Spain,
In England and in
For all this frolic
Must I cover the
salt, and cloth;
And then look for
What pleasant fellow is this?
'Tis, my lord,
Doctor Bacon's poor scholar.
My master hath
made me sewer of
these great lords; and, God knows, I am as serviceable at a table as a
sow is under an apple-tree. 'Tis no matter; their cheer shall not be
great, and therefore what skills where the salt stand, before or behind?
KING OF CASTILE
know more skill in axioms,
How to use quips and sleights of sophistry,
Than for to cover courtly for a king.
returns carrying a
of pottage; Friar Bacon
Spill, sir? Why, do
you think I never carried twopenny chop before in my life?
By your leave, nobile decus,
For here comes Doctor Bacon's pecus,
Being in his full age
To carry a mess of pottage.
Lordings, admire not
if your cheer be this,
For we must keep our academic fare;
No riot where philosophy doth reign.
And therefore, Henry, place these potentates,
And bid them fall unto their frugal cates.
What, scoff 'st thou at a king?
What, dost thou taunt us with thy peasants' fare,
And give us cates fit for country swains?
Henry, proceeds this jest of thy consent,
To twit us with such a pittance of such price?
Tell me, and Frederick will not grieve thee long.
By Henry's honour,
and the royal faith
The English monarch beareth to his friend,
I knew not of the friar's feeble fare,
Nor am I pleas'd he entertains you thus.
Frederick, for I show'd these cates,
To let thee see how scholars use to feed;
How little meat refines our English wits.
Miles, take away, and let it be thy dinner.
Marry, sir, I will!
This day shall be a
festival day with me;
For I shall exceed
in the highest degree.
He whips up the pottage and
I tell thee,
monarch, all the German peers
Could not afford thy entertainment such,
So royal and so full of majesty,
As Bacon will present to Frederick.
The basest waiter that attends thy cups
Shall be in honours greater than thyself;
And for thy cates, rich Alexandria drugs,
Fetch'd by carvels from Egypt's richest streights,
Found in the wealthy strand of Africa,
Shall royalise the table of my king.
Wines richer than th' Egyptian courtesan
Quaff'd to Augustus' kingly countermarch,
Shall be carous'd in English Henry's feast.
Candy shall yield the richest of her canes;
Persia, down her Volga by canoes,
Send down the secrets of her spicery.
The Afric dates, mirabolans of Spain,
Conserves and suckets from Tiberias,
Cates from Judaea, choicer than the lamp
That fired Rome with sparks of gluttony,
Shall beautify the board for Frederick--
And therefore grudge not at a friar's feast.
the way out; his guests follow.
At Fressingfield, two farmers,
Lambert and Serlsby approach the Keeper together, to ask for Margaret's
hand in marriage.
Come, frolic Keeper of our
Whose table spread hath ever venison
And jacks of wine to welcome passengers,
Know I'm in love with jolly Margaret,
That overshines our damsels as the moon
Darkeneth the brightest sparkles of the night.
In Laxfield here my
land and living lies:
I'll make thy daughter jointer of it all
So thou consent to give her to my wifeâ€”
And I can spend five hundred marks a year.
I am the lands-lord,
Keeper, of thy holds,
By copy all thy living lies in me;
Laxfield did never see me raise my due.
I will enfeoff fair Margaret in all,
So she will take her to a lusty squire.
gentles, if the Keeper's girl
Hath pleas'd the liking fancy of you both,
And with her beauty hath subdued your thoughts,
'Tis doubtful to decide the question.
It joys me that such men of great esteem
Should lay their liking on this base estate,
And that her state should grow so fortunate
To be a wife to meaner men than you.
But sith such squires will stoop to keeper's fee,
I will, to avoid displeasure of you both,
Call Margaret forth, and she shall make her choice.
The Keeper goes into the
send her unto us.
Why, Serlsby, is thy wife so lately dead,
Are all thy loves so lightly passed over,
As thou canst wed before the year be out?
I live not, Lambert,
to content the dead,
Nor was I wedded but for life to her.
The grave ends and begins a married state.
Peggy, the lovely flower of
Suffolk's fair Helen, and rich England's star,
temper'd with her huswifery,
Makes England talk of merry Fressingfield!
I cannot trick it up
Nor paint my passions with comparisons;
Nor tell a tale of Phoebus and his loves.
But this believe me -- Laxfield here is mine,
Of ancient rent seven hundred pounds a-year,
And if thou canst but love a country squire,
I will enfeoff thee, Margaret, in all.
I cannot flatter; try me, if thou please.
squires, the stay of Suffolk's clime,
A keeper's daughter
is too base in gree
To match with men
accounted of such worth.
But might I not
displease, I would reply.
Say, Peggy; naught
shall make us discontent.
Then, gentles, note
that love hath little stay,
Nor can the flames
that Venus sets on fire
Be kindled but by
gentles, if a maid's reply
Be doubtful while I
have debated with myself,
Who, or of whom,
love shall constrain me like.
Let it be me; and trust me,
The meads environ'd with the silver streams,
Whose battling pastures fatteneth all my flocks,
Yielding forth fleeces stapled with such wool
As Lemnster cannot yield more finer stuff,
And forty kine with fair and burnish'd heads,
With Grouting dugs that paggle to the ground,
Shall serve thy dairy, if thou wed with me.
Let pass the country
wealth, as flocks and kine,
And lands that wave
with Ceres' golden sheaves,
Filling my barns
with plenty of the fields;
But, Peggy, if thou
wed thyself to me,
Thou shalt have
garments of embroider'd silk,
Lawns, and rich
networks for thy head-attire--
Cosily shall be thy
If thou wilt be but
Lambert's loving wife.
gentles, you have proffer'd fair,
And more than fits a country maid's degree.
But give me leave to counsel me a time,
For fancy blooms not at the first assault;
Give me but ten days' respite, and I will reply,
Which or to whom myself affectionates.
Lambert, I tell
thee, thou'rt importunate;
Such beauty fits not such a base esquire--
It is for Serlsby to have Margaret.
with wealth to
Serlsby, I scorn to brook thy country braves.
thee, coward, to maintain this wrong,
At dint of rapier, single in the
Lambert, what I have avouch'd.
Margaret, farewell; another time shall serve.
I'll follow. Peggy,
farewell to thyself;
Listen how well I'll answer for thy love.
How fortune tempers
lucky haps with frowns,
And wrongs me with the sweets of my delight!
Love is my bliss, and love is now my bale.
Shall I be Helen in my froward fates,
As I am Helen in my matchless hue,
And set rich Suffolk with my face afire?
If lovely Lacy were but with his Peggy,
The cloudy darkness of his bitter frown
Would check the pride of these aspiring squires.
Before the term of ten days be expir'd,
Whenas they look for answer of their loves,
My lord will come to merry Fressingfield,
And end their fancies and their follies both.
Till when, Peggy, be blithe and of good cheer.
Fair lovely damsel,
which way leads this path?
How might I post me unto Fressingfield?
Which footpath leadeth to the Keeper's lodge?
Your way is ready,
and this path is right.
Myself do dwell hereby in Fressingfield;
And if the Keeper be the man you seek,
I am his daughter -- may I know the cause!
Lovely, and once beloved of my
No marvel if his eye was lodg'd so low,
When brighter beauty is not in the heavens.
The Lincoln Earl hath sent you letters here,
And, with them, just an hundred pounds in gold.
Sweet, bonny wench, read them, and make reply.
He gives her a letter and a
The scrolls that
Jove sent Danaë,
Wrapt in rich closures of fine
Were not more
welcome than these lines to me,
Tell me, whilst that I do unrip the seals,
Lives Lacy well! How fares my lovely lord?
Well, if that wealth
may make men to live well.
almond tree grow in a night, and vanish in a morn; the flies
hæmeræ, fair Peggy, take life with the sun,
and die with the dew;
fancy that slippeth in with a gaze, goeth out with a wink; and too
timely loves have ever the shortest length. I write this as thy grief,
and my folly, who at Fressingfeld loved that which time hath taught me
to be but mean dainties. Eyes are dissemblers, and fancy is but queasy;
therefore know, Margaret, I have chosen a Spanish lady to be my wife,
chief waiting woman to the Princess Elinor; a lady fair, and no less
fair than thyself, honourable and wealthy. In that I forsake thee, I
leave thee to thine own liking; and for thy dowry I have sent thee an
hundred pounds; and ever assure thee of my favour, which shall avail
thee and thine much. Farewell Not thine, nor his own, Edward Lacy.
Fond Ate, doomer of bad-boding fates,
That wrapp'st proud fortune in thy snaky locks,
Didst thou enchant my birth'day with such stars
As lighten'd mischief from their infancy?
If heavens had vow'd, if stars had made decree,
To show on me their froward influence,
If Lacy had but lov'd, heavens, hell, and all,
Could not have wrong'd the patience of my mind.
It grieves me,
damsel; but the earl is forced
To love the lady by the king's command.
The wealth combin'd
within the English shelves,
nor the English king,
Should not have mov'd the love of
Peggy from her lord.
What answer shall I
return to my lord?
First, for thou
cam'st from Lacy whom I lov'd --
Ah, give me leave to
sigh at every thought! --
Take thou, my
friend, the hundred pounds he sent;
resolution craves no dower.
The world shall be
to her as vanity;
Wealth, trash; love,
hate; pleasure, despair:
For I will straight
to stately Framlingham,
And in the abbey
there be shorn a nun,
And yield my loves
and liberty to God.
Fellow, I give thee
this, not for the news,
For those be hateful
But for thou'rt
Lacy's man, once Margaret's love.
What I have heard,
what passions I have seen,
I'll make report of them unto the earl.
Say that she joys his fancies be
And prays that his misfortune may be hers.
Very late at
Bacon waits in his study at Oxford for the long-expected moment when
the Brazen Head shall at last speak. He is worn out with continuous
watching, and lies on his bed, with his magic staff in his hand and a
lighted lamp by his side. Miles, having been ordered to continue the
watch while his mailer takes a rest, bustles about collecting weapons.
He comes in with two pistols stuck in his belt, and a brown bill in his
hand. The Brazen Head, on a pedestal, stands in the centre of the study.
Miles, where are you?
How chance you tarry
Think you that
the watching of
the Brazen Head craves no furniture! I warrant you, sir, I have so
armed myself that if all your devils come, I will not fear them an inch.
Thou knowst that I have dived into hell,
And sought the darkest palaces of fiends;
That with my magic spells great Belcephon
Hath left his lodge and kneeled at my cell;
The rafters of the earth rent from the poles,
And three-form'd Luna hid her silver looks,
Trembling upon her concave continent,
When Bacon read upon his magic book.
With seven years' tossing necromantic charms,
Poring upon dark Hecat's principles,
I have fram'd out a monstrous head of brass,
That, by the enchanting forces of the devil,
Shall tell out strange and uncouth aphorisms,
And girt fair England with a wall of brass.
Bungay and I have watch'd these threescore days,
And now our vital spirits crave some rest.
If Argus liv'd, and had his hundred eyes,
They could not over-watch Phobetor's night.
Now, Miles, in thee rests Friar Bacon's weal.
The honour and renown of all his life
Hangs in the watching of this Brazen Head;
Therefore I charge thee by the immortal God,
That holds the souls of men within His fist,
This night thou watch; for ere the morning-star
Sends out his glorious glister on the north,
The head will speak! Then, Miles, upon thy life,
Wake me; for then by
magic art I'll work
To end my seven years' task with excellence.
If that a wink but shut thy watchful eye,
Then farewell Bacon's glory and his fame!
Draw close the curtains, Miles: now, for thy life,
Be watchful, and . . .
So; I thought
you would talk
yourself asleep anon; and 'tis no marvel, for Bungay on the days, and
he on the nights, have watched just these ten and fifty days -- now
is the night, and 'tis my task, and no more. Now, Jesus bless me, what
a goodly Head it is, and a nose! You talk of nos autem glorificare;
but here s a nose that I warrant may be called nos autem
the people of the parish. Well, I am furnished with weapons; now,
sir, I will set me down by a post, and make it as good as a watchman to
wake me, if I chance to slumber. I thought, Goodman Head,
I would call you out of your memento. Passion o' God, I have
almost broke my pate! Up, Miles, to your task; take your brown-bill in
your hand; here's some of your master's hobgoblins abroad.
THE BRAZEN HEAD
Time is! Why, Master Brazen-head,
have you such a capital nose, and answer you with syllables, Time
is ! Is this all my master's cunning, to spend seven years' study
Time is? Well, sir, it may be we shall have some better orations
it anon: well, I'll watch you as narrowly as ever you were watched, and
I'll play with you as the nightingale with the slow-worm; I'll set a
prick against my breast. Now rest there, Miles. Lord have mercy upon
me, I have almost killed myself! Up, Miles; list how they rumble.
THE BRAZEN HEAD
Bacon, you have spent
your seven years' study well, that can make your head speak but two
words at once, Time was.Yea, marry, time was when my master was a
wise man, but that was before he began to make the Brazen Head. You
shall lie while your arse ache an your Head speak no better. Well, I
will watch, and walk up and down, and be a peripatetian and a
philosopher of Aristotle's stamp. What, a fresh noise? Take thy pistols
in hand, Miles.
THE BRAZEN HEAD
TIME is PAST.
is a flash of lightning and a
hand appears, which breaks the Head
up! Hell's broken
loose; your Head speaks; and there's such a thunder and lightning, that
I warrant all Oxford is up in arms. Out of your bed, and take a
brown-bill in your hand; the latter day is come.
KING OF CASTILE
Miles, I come.
O, passing warily watched! Bacon will make thee next himself in love.
When spake the Head?
When spake the
Head! Did not you
say that he should tell strange principles of philosophy? Why, sir, it
speaks but two words at a time.
Why, villain, hath it spoken oft?
Oft! Ay, marry, hath it, thrice;
but in all those three times it hath uttered but seven words.
Marry, sir, the
first time he
said Time is, as if Fabius Cummentator should have pronounced a
sentence; the second time he said Time was; and the third time,
with thunder and lightning, as in great choler, he said, Time is
'Tis past indeed.
Ah, villain! time is past.
My life, my fame, my
glory, all are past.
The turrets of thy
hope are ruin'd down,
Thy seven years'
study lieth in the dust.
Thy Brazen Head lies
broken through a slave,
That watch'd, and
would not when the Head did will.
What said the Head
Even, sir, Time is.
Villain, if thou
hadst call'd to Bacon then,
If thou hadst
watch'd, and wak'd the sleepy friar,
The Brazen Head had
And England had been
circled round with brass.
But proud Asmenoth,
ruler of the north,
master of the fates,
Grudge that a mortal
man should work so much.
Hell trembled at my deep
Fiends frown'd to
see a man their overmatch;
Bacon might boast more than a man might boast!
But now the braves of Bacon have an end,
Europe's conceit of Bacon hath an end,
His seven years' practice sorteth to ill end--
And, villain, sith my glory hath an end,
I will appoint thee to some fatal end.
Villain, avoid! Get thee from Bacon's sight!
Vagrant, go roam and range about the world,
And perish as a vagabond on earth!
Why, then, sir, you
forbid me your service?
My service, villain,
with a fatal curse,
That direful plagues
and mischief fall on thee.
'Tis no matter,
I am against you
with the old proverb--The more the fox is cursed, the better he fares.
God be with you, sir; I'll take but a book in my hand, a wide-sleeved
gown on my back, and a crowned cap on my head, and see if I can want
Some fiend or ghost
haunt on thy weary steps,
Until they do
transport thee quick to hell;
For Bacon shall have
never merry day,
To lose the fame and
honour of his Head.
out, leaving his master gazing
broke-heartedly at the fragments of the
Henry, the Emperor, and the King of Castile, Princess
Elinor and Prince Edward enter; Lacy and the fool follow them.
Now, lovely prince,
the prime of Albion's wealth,
How fare the Lady
Elinor and you?
What, have you
courted and found Castile fit
To answer England in
Will't be a match
'twixt bonny Nell and thee?
Should Paris enter
in the courts of Greece,
And not lie fetter'd in fair Helen's looks?
Or Phœbus scape those piercing amorets
That Daphne glanced at his deity!
Can Edward, then, sit by a flame and freeze,
Whose heat puts Helen and fair Daphne down?
Now, monarchs, ask the lady if we gree.
What, madam, hath my
son found grace or no?
Seeing, my lord, his
And hearing how his
mind and shape agreed,
I came not, troop'd
with all this warlike train,
Doubting of love,
but so affectionate,
As Edward hath in
England what he won in Spain.
KING OF CASTILE
A match, my lord;
these wantons needs must love!
Men must have wives, and women will be wed--
Let's haste the day to honour up the rites.
Sirrah Harry, shall Ned
Ay, Ralph; how then?
counsel--send for Friar Bacon to marry them, for he'll so conjure him
and her with his necromancy, that they shall love together like pig and
lamb whilst they live.
KING OF CASTILE
But hearest thou,
Ralph, art thou content to have Elinor to thy lady?
Ay, so she will
promise me two things.
KING OF CASTILE
What's that, Ralph?
That she will
never scold with Ned, nor fight with me. Sirrah Harry, I
have put her down with a thing unpossible.
What's that, Ralph?
didst thou ever see
that a woman could both hold her tongue and her hands? No: but when
egg-pies grow on apple-trees, then will thy grey mare prove a bag-piper.
What says the
Lord of Castile and the Earl of Lincoln, that they are in
such earnest and secret talk?
KING OF CASTILE
I stand, my
lord, amazed at his talk,
How he discourseth of the constancy
Of one surnam'd, for beauty's excellence,
The Fair Maid of merry Fressingfield.
'Tis true, my lord, 'tis wondrous
for to hear;
Her beauty passing Mars's paramour,
Her virgin's right as rich as Vesta's was.
Lacy and Ned hath told me miracles.
What says Lord Lacy?
Shall she be his wife?
Or else Lord Lacy is
unfit to live.
May it please your
highness give me leave to post
I'll fetch the bonny girl,
And prove, in true appearance at the court,
What I have vouched often with my tongue.
Lacy, go to the
'querry of my stable,
And take such
coursers as shall fit thy turn.
Hie thee to
Fressingfield, and bring home the lass;
And, for her fame
flies through the English coast,
If it may please the
One day shall match
your excellence in her.
We Castile ladies
are not very coy;
Your highness may command a greater boon,
And glad were I to grace the Lincoln Earl
With being partner of his marriage-day.
Gramercy, Nell, for
I do love the lord,
As he that's second to thyself in love.
You love her? Madam Nell, never
believe him, though he swears he loves you.
Why, his love
is like unto a
tapper's glass that is broken with every touch; for he loved the fair
maid of Fressingfield once out of all ho--Nay, Ned, never wink upon me;
I care not, I.
Ralph tells all; you
shall have a good secretary of him.
But, Lacy, haste thee post to Fressingfield;
For ere thou hast fitted all things for her state,
The solemn marriage-day will be at hand.
I go, my lord.
How shall we pass
this day, my lord?
To horse, my lord; the day is
We'll fly the partridge, or go rouse the deer.
Follow, my lords; you shall not want for sport.
Friar Bacon sits
brooding and disconsolate in his cell. Friar Bungay comes in.
What means the friar that
frolick'd it of late,
To sit as melancholy
in his cell
As if he had neither
lost nor won to-day?
Ah, Bungay, my Brazen Head is
My glory gone, my seven years' study lost!
The fame of Bacon,
bruited through the world,
Shall end and perish with this deep disgrace.
Bacon hath built
foundation of his fame
So surely on the wings of true report,
With acting strange and uncouth miracles,
As this cannot infringe what he deserves.
Bungay, sit down,
for by prospective skill
I find this day shall fall out ominous--
Some deadly act shall 'tide me ere I sleep;
But what and wherein little can I guess.
My mind is heavy,
whatsoe'er shall hap.
is heard: Bungay goes to
door and opens
Who's that knocks?
Two scholars that
desire to speak with you.
Bid them come in.
Now, my youths, what would you have?
Sir, we are Suffolk-men and
Our fathers in their countries lusty squires;
Their lands adjoin--in Cratfield mine doth dwell,
And his in Laxfield. We are college-mates,
Sworn brothers, as our fathers live as friends.
To what end is all this?
Hearing your worship
kept within your cell
A glass prospective, wherein men might see
Whatso their thoughts or hearts' desire could wish,
We come to know how that our fathers fare.
My glass is free for
every honest man.
Sit down, and you
shall see ere long,
How, or in what
state your friendly fathers live.
Meanwhile, tell me
And mine, Serlsby.
Bungay, I smell
there will be a tragedy.
and gaze into the glass. Soon appear
the figures of the elder Lambert and Serlsby,
each carrying a rapier and
Serlsby, thou hast
kept thine hour like a man.
Thou'rt worthy of the title of a squire,
That durst, for proof of thy affection
And for thy mistress' favour, prize thy blood.
Thou know'st what words did pass at Fressingfield,
Such shameless braves as manhood cannot brook.
Ay, for I scorn to bear such piercing taunts,
Prepare thee, Serlsby; one of us will die.
Thou see'st I single meet
thee in the field
And what I spake, I'll maintain with my sword.
Stand on thy guard, I cannot scold it out.
An if thou kill me, think I have a son,
That lives in Oxford
in the Broadgates-hall,
Who will revenge his father's blood with blood.
And, Serlsby, I have
there a lusty boy,
That dares at weapon buckle with thy son,
And lives in Broadgates too, is well as thine.
But draw thy rapier, for we'll have a bout.
Now, lusty younkers,
look within the glass,
And tell me if you can discern your sires.
Serlsby, 'tis hard;
thy father offers wrong
To combat with my father in the Seld.
Lambert, thou liest,
my father's is th' abuse,
And thou shall find it, if my father harm.
How goes it, sirs?
Our fathers are in
combat hard by Fressingfield.
Sit still, my
friends, and see the event.
Why stand'st thou,
Serlsby' Doubt'st thou of thy life!
A veney, man! fair Margaret craves so much.
Then this for her.
Ah, well thrust!
But mark the ward.
Serlsby stab each other,
and fall mortally
O, I am slain!
And, I--Lord have
mercy on me!
My father slain!
Serlsby, ward that.
And so is mine!
Lambert, I'll quite thee well.
The scholars jump up
O strange stratagem!
See, friar, where
the fathers both lie dead!
Bacon, thy magic doth effect this massacre.
This glass prospective worketh many woes;
And therefore seeing these brave lusty Brutes,
These friendly youths, did perish by thine art,
End all thy magic and thine art at once.
The poniard that did end their fatal lives,
Shall break the cause efficiat of their woes.
So fade the glass, and end with it the shows
That necromancy did infuse the crystal with.
He draws the poniard from
body, and with it
What means learn'd Bacon
thus to break his glass?
I tell thee, Bungay,
it repents me sore
That ever Bacon
meddled in this art.
The hours I have
spent in pyromantic spells,
The fearful tossing
in the latent night
Of papers full of
abjuring devils and fiends,
With stole and alb
and strange pentageron;
The wresting of the
holy name of God,
As Sother, Eloim,
Alpha, Manoth, and
With praying to the
five-fold powers of heaven,
Are instances that
Bacon must be damn'd
For using devils to
countervail his God.
Yet, Bacon, cheer
thee, drown not in despair;
Sins have their
salves, repentance can do much.
Think Mercy sits
where Justice holds her seat,
And from those
wounds those bloody Jews did pierce,
Which by thy magic
oft did bleed afresh,
From thence for thee
the dew of mercy drops,
To wash the wrath of
high Jehovah's ire,
And make thee as a
new-born babe from sin.
Bungay, I'll spend
the remnant of my life
In pure devotion,
praying to my God
That He would save what Bacon
Fressingfeld, Margaret is
about to enter the convent. She comes in wearing her nun's garb,
followed by her father, the Keeper, and a friend.
Margaret, be not so headstrong in
O, bury not such beauty in a cell,
That England hath held famous for the hue!
Thy father's hair, like to the silver blooms
That beautify the
shrubs of Africa,
Shall fall before the dated time of death,
Thus to forgo his lovely Margaret.
Ah, father, when the
harmony of heaven
measures of a lively faith,
The vain illusions
of this flattering world
Seem odious to the
thoughts of Margaret.
I loved once--Lord
Lacy was my love;
And now I hate
myself for that I lov'd,
And doted more on
him than on my God--
For this I scourge
myself with sharp repents.
But now the touch of
such aspiring sins
Tells me all love is
lust but love of heavens;
That beauty used for
love is vanity.
The world contains
naught but alluring baits,
Pride, flattery, and
To shun the pricks
of death, I leave the world,
And vow to meditate
on heavenly bliss,
To live in
Framlingham a holy nun,
Holy and pure in
conscience and in deed;
And for to wish all
maids to learn of me
To seek heaven's joy
before earth's vanity.
And will you, then,
Margaret, be shorn a nun, and so leave us all?
Now farewell world, the engine of
Farewell to friends and father! Welcome Christ!
Adieu to dainty robes! This base attire
Better befits an humble mind to God
Than all the show of rich habiliments.
Farewell, O love! and, with fond love, farewell
Sweet Lacy, whom I loved once so dear!
Ever be well, but never in my thoughts,
Lest I offend to
think on Lacy's love--
But even to that, as
to the rest, farewell!
turns away from them, Lacy, Warren
and Ermsly, booted and spurred, approach.
Come on, my wags,
we're near the Keeper's lodge.
Here have I oft walk'd in the watery meads,
And chatted with my lovely Margaret.
Sirrah Ned, is not
this the Keeper?
'Tis the same.
The old lecher hath gotten
holy mutton to him--a nun, my lord.
Keeper, how far'st
thou? Holla, man, what cheer?
How doth Peggy, thy daughter and my love?
Ah, good my lord! O,
woe is me for Peggy!
See where she stands clad in her nun's attire,
Ready for to be shorn in Framlingham.
She leaves the world because she left your love.
O, good my lord, persuade her if you can!
Why, how now,
Margaret! What, a malcontent?
A nun! What holy father taught you this,
To task yourself to such a tedious life
As die a maid! 'Twere injury to me,
To smother up such beauty in a cell.
Lord Lacy, thinking of my former
How fond the prime
of wanton years were spent
In love (O, fie upon that fond conceit
Whose hap and essence hangeth in the eye!)
I leave both love and love's content at once,
Betaking me to Him that is true love,
And leaving all the world for love of Him.
Whence, Peggy, comes
What, shorn a nun, and I have from the court
Posted with coursers to convey thee hence
To Windsor, where our marriage shall be kept!
Thy wedding robes are in the tailor's hands.
Come, Peggy, leave these peremptory vows.
Did not my lord
resign his interest,
And make divorce
'twixt Margaret and him?
'Twas but to try
sweet Peggy's constancy.
But will fair Margaret leave her love and lord?
Is not heaven's joy
before earth's fading bliss,
And life above sweeter than life in love?
Why, then, Margaret,
will be shorn a nun?
Hath made a vow
which may not be revok'd.
We cannot stay, my lord; an if
she be so strict,
Our leisure grants us not to woo afresh.
Choose you, fair damsel, yet the
choice is yours--
Either a solemn nunnery or the court,
God or Lord Lacy: which contents you best
To be a nun or else Lord Lacy's wife?
A good motion.
Peggy, your answer must be short.
The flesh is frail.
My lord doth know it well,
That when he comes
with his enchanting face,
Whate'er betide, I
cannot say him nay.
Off goes the habit
of a maiden's heart,
And, seeing fortune
will, fair Framlingham,
And all the show of holy nuns, farewell!
Lacy for me, if he will be my lord.
Peggy, thy lord, thy
love, thy husband.
Trust me, by truth
of knighthood, that the king
Stays for to marry
Until I bring thee
richly to the court,
That one day may
both marry her and thee.
How say'st thou,
Keeper? Art thou glad of this?
As if the English
king had given
The park and deer of
Fressingfield to me.
I pray thee, my Lord of Sussex,
why art thou in a brown study?
To see the nature of women;
that be they never so near God, yet they love to die in a man's arms.
What have you fit
for breakfast? We have hied
And posted all this night to Fressingfield.
Butter and cheese,
and umbles of a deer,
Such as poor keepers have within their lodge.
And not a bottle of
We'll find one for
Come, Sussex, let us in--we shall
For she speaks least, to hold her promise sure.
How restless are the
ghosts of hellish sprites,
When every charmer
with his magic spells
Calls us from
To scud and
over-scour the earth in post
Upon the speedy
wings of swiftest winds!
Now Bacon hath
rais'd me from the darkest deep,
To search about the
world for Miles his man,
For Miles, and to
torment his lazy bones
watching of his Brazen Head.
See where he comes:
O, he is mine.
aside as Miles wanders in,
wearing a scholar's cap and
A scholar, quoth you! Marry, sir,
would I had been made a bottle-maker when I was made a scholar; for I
can get neither to be a deacon, reader,
nor schoolmaster, no, not the clerk of a parish. Some call me a dunce;
another saith my head is as full of Latin as an egg's full of
oatmeal--thus I am tormented, that the devil and Friar Bacon haunt
me.Good Lord, here's one of my master's devils! I'll go speak to him.
What, Master Plutus, how cheer you?
Dost thou know me?
Know you, sir! Why,
are not you one of my master's devils, that were wont to come to my
master, Doctor Bacon, at Brazen-nose?
Yes, marry, am I.
Good Lord, Master Plutus, I have
seen you a thousand times at my master's, and yet I had never the
manners to make you drink. But, sir, I am glad to see how conformable
you are to the statute. I warrant you, he's as yeomanly a man as you
shall see; mark you, masters, here's a plain honest man, without welt
or guard. But I pray you, sir, do you come lately from hell?
Ay, marry--how then?
Faith, 'tis a place I have
desired long to see-have you not good tippling-houses there? May not a
man have a lusty fire there, a pot of good ale, a pair of cards, a
swinging piece ot chalk, and a brown toast that will clap a white
waistcoat on a cup of good drink?
All this you may
You are for me,
friend, and I am for you. But I pray you, may I not have an office
Yes, a thousand--what wouldst
By my troth, sir, in a place
where I may profit myself. I know hell is a hot place, and men are
marvellous dry, and much drink is spent there; I would be a tapster.
There's nothing lets
me from going with you, but that 'tis a long journey, and I have never
Thou shalt ride on my back.
Now surely here's a courteous
devil, that, for to pleasure his friend, will not slick to make a jade
of himself. But I pray you, goodman friend, let me move a question to
I pray you, whether is your pace
a trot or an amble?
Tis well; but take heed it be not
a trot--but 'tis no matter, I'll prevent it.
He takes a
pair of spurs out of his
pocket and buckles them
Marry, friend, I
put on my spurs;
for if I find your pace either a trot or else uneasy, I'll put you to a
false gallop; I'll make you feel the benefit of my spurs.
Get up upon my back.
mounts on the devil's
O Lord, here's even
a goodly marvel, when a man rides to hell on the devil's back!
He digs his
spurs into his roaring steed,
and rides off in
solemnized, there enter in procession the Emptror, with a pointless
sword; the King of Castile, carrying a sword with a point; Lacy,
bearing the globe; Warren, a rod of gold with a dove; Ermsby, the crown
and sceptre; Prince Edward and Princess Elinor, attended by Margaret,
now Countess of Lincoln; King Henry the Third; Friar Bacon in his
vestments; and the lords and ladies attending.
Great potentates, earth's
miracles for state,
Think that Prince Edward humbles at your feet,
And, for these
favours, on his martial sword
He vows perpetual homage to yourselves,
Yielding these honours unto Elinor.
lordings; old Plantagenet,
That rules and sways the Albion diadem,
With tears discovers these conceived joys,
And vows requital, if his men-at-arms,
The wealth of England, or due honours done
To Elinor, may quite his favourites.
But all this while what say you to the dames
That shine like to the crystal lamps of heaven?
If but a third were
added to these two,
They did surpass those gorgeous images
That gloried Ida with rich beauty's wealth.
'Tis I, my lords,
who humbly on my knee
Must yield her orisons to mighty Jove
For lifting up his handmaid to this state;
Brought from her homely cottage to the court,
And grac'd with kings, princes, and emperors,
To whom (next to the noble Lincoln Earl)
I vow obedience, and such humble love
As may a handmaid to such mighty men.
Thou martial man that wears the
And you the western potentates of might,
The Albion princess, English Edward's wife,
Proud that the lovely star of Fressingfield,
Fair Margaret, Countess to the Lincoln Earl,
Attends on Elinor--gramercies, lord, for her--
'Tis I give thanks for Margaret to you all,
And rest for her due bounden to yourselves.
Seeing the marriage
Let's march in
triumph to the royal feast--
But why stands Friar
Bacon here so mute?
Repentant for the follies of my
That magic's secret mysteries misled,
And joyful that this royal marriage
Portends such bliss unto this matchless realm.
What strange event
shall happen to this land;
Or what shall grow from
Edward and his queen?
I find by deep
prescience of mine art,
Which once I
temper'd in my secret cell,
That here where
Brute did build his Troynovant,
From forth the royal
garden of a king
Shall flourish out
so rich and fair a bud,
shall deface proud Phœbus' flower,
Albion with her leaves.
Till then Mars shall
be master of the field,
But then the stormy
threats of wars shall cease--
The horse shall
stamp as careless of the pike,
Drums shall be
turn'd to timbrels of delight;
With wealthy favours
plenty shall enrich
The strand that
gladded wandering Brute to see,
And peace from
heaven shall harbour in those leaves
beautify this matchless flower.
heliotropion then shall stoop,
And Venus' hyacinth
shall vail her top;
Juno shall shut her
And Pallas' bay
shall 'bash her brightest green;
Ceres' carnation, in
consort with those,
Shall stoop and wonder at Diana's
This prophecy is
commanders of Europa's love,
That make fair
England like that wealthy isle
Circled with Gihon
and swift Euphrates,
With presence of
your princely mightiness--
Let 's march: the
tables all are spread,
And viands, such as
England's wealth affords,
Are ready set to
furnish out the boards.
You shall have
welcome, mighty potentates!
It rests to furnish
up this royal feast,
Only your hearts be
frolic; for time
Craves that we taste
of naught but jouissance.
Thus glories England over
all the west.
Omne tulit punctum qui