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Spare your good.

Anonymous. London, T. Marshe (1555?).

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Note on the e-text: this Renascence Editions text was transcribed by Risa S. Bear from the Cambridge University Press edition of 1919. A few emendations of obvious misprints were undertaken by the Cambridge editor, E. Gordon Duff; otherwise the text remains as found in the original. Any errors that have crept in are the fault of the publisher. The text is in the public domain. Content unique to this presentation is copyright © 1998 The University of Oregon. For nonprofit and educational uses only.

Dedicated to Micah Bear.

Image: woodcut ofwoman in a canopy bed, with a woman and a man seated nearby.

Spare your good.

EUen aboute the moneth of maye,
I wene it was the thirde daye
Of that same moneth as I gesse,
And so it was so haue I blesse:
For I knowe it well by a thinge
Of the whiche I haue had knowledgynge,
As here after ye shall heare full well
 Of a knightes sone how it befell.
A riche knight there was in Fraunce, I vnderstande,
And was a man of great lande
And hyght syr Thomas perlore:
A son he had with his wyfe and no more,
And she was called faire Ysaungrayne,
And their son called Rafelyne:
And of this childe ye shall heare
And of his father and his mother dere.
Of his father he was left and dere,
So was he of his mother I you ensere.
So it happened vpon a daye
That this yunge man shoulde sporte and playe.
His father bade hym go among wyse men
That he might learne some good of them:
But this yunge man him bethought
That after his fathers counsell he wold do nought:
But to yll company he him drewe
And learned all vyce and lefte vertue,
Tyll father and mother were deade;
Than coulde he none other rede
But burye them after the commune vse,
Other sorowe woulde be none vse.
But forth he wente to his company anone
And saide, sirs let vs be mery euerychone.
Syr, they saide, welcome be ye truely
And we all praye you hartely
To syt by vs and kepe company.
So he did and thanked them hartely:
They called anone for meate & drincke of the beste
For to eate and drincke as them lest;
And whan they had eaten and dronken theyr fyll
Syr, they saide, knowe ye nothinge of oure wyll?
No, by my faith, he saide incontinente,
But by saint Thomas of kente
I woulde haue at the hasarde a cast or two,
For to learne to caste the dyce to and fro;
And if here be any body that wyll for money playe
I haue yet in my purse money and pledges gaye.
Some be nobles, some be crownes of Fraunce:
Haue at all who wyll of this daunce.
One of them answered with that worde
And caste a bale of dyce on the borde,
And saide, maister Rafeleyne wyll ye haue a fytte?
Haue at all yf ye wyll sytte.
Maister Rafeleyne drewe to his pouche
Tyll he had loste coyne fresshe and gaye.
Tyll all was gone and played awaye.
Home he goeth lyke as he were out of his minde
And solde al his goodes before and behynde;
And to harlotes he goeth and to baudes bolde,
For he thought his money shoulde euer holde.
To the tauerne and to the bordell he him drest,
For al that his felowship did counsel him for the best.
But at the laste whan all was gone
Than he began to make his mone,
Like as here after ye shal vnderstande:
Therefore spare your good that ye haue in hande.

Thus endeth the prologue.

ALas my good is spente: I haue no more,
Therfore I am troubled sore,
With great greuaunce in my herte rote
To spende a pounde was but a small note,
Lyke as I was vsed to do here and ther
Therfore I must now mirth forbeare;
Whyche here before I did not vnderstande:
Therfore spare your good that ye haue in hande.

What shall I now begin to do alace,
Here before I might go in euery place
Wyth the best where so euer they wente
Vnto the wine, to the good ale, or to the bere al unshent.
But for bycause gyue no more I maye
Muste I be cast out of al game and play.
In my greuaunce is no remedy, I vnderstand:
Therfor spare your good that ye haue in hande.

What auayleth it me to crye or to complayne then
Whan my frendes and also my kynnesmen
Maie neither se me nor heare me?
Therfore thincke I of them but lytell comforted to be.
Thus haue I spente al my good out right
Wyth playenge, wyth drinkynge day and night;
Which euery wise man will not do, I vnderstande:
Therfore spare your good that ye haue in hand.

Neuer I coulde perceyue this great charge
But my luste hath brought me in this rage;
The whiche I begin now to vnderstand
That money is lorde of all the lande;
For bycause I haue not hadde this in remembraunce,
Therfore pouertie and miserye is fall to my chaunce,
And am taken of no value, I vnderstande:
Therfor spare your good that ye haue in hande.

I see that they with fingers point after me
The whyche here before were vsed to prayse me;
And they let me passe by the dore
Te whiche I haue kepte good felowshippe to fore;
They mocke with me whiche I was wonte to truste;
May not I haue great repentaunce of this luste?
Ye, and must suffre this, I vnderstande:
Therfor spare your good that ye haue in hande.

Whan I was yonge and had good at wyll
And euery body eate and drancke with me their fyll,
Than they did cal me in euery place;
Now they thincke I am not worth a lace.
Pouertye hath taken me with great sorow;
I haue nothinge nor can nothinge borow;
Thus haue I but yll fortune, I vnderstande;
Therfore spare your good that ye haue in hand.

I haue thought in my minde,
Coulde I any good get or find,
I would not caste it away euery dele,
Lyke as my fellowshippe did my counsel.
Whan I was vsed to beare money be my syde
I thought not that it shoulde thus from me slyde;
Thus was I not wyse, I vnderstande:
Therfore spare your good that you haue in hande.

Might I yet that daye liue
That my frendes woulde me giue
Some thinge where with all
I might get richesse and honeste princypall,
I woulde thanke them nowe and than amonge;
But certes my thinketh they tary to longe.
Therfore I must suffer be it swete or soure, I understand:
Therfore spare your good that ye haue in hand.

Whan any body hath any richesse
Euery body him worshippeth both more and lesse,
But and he haue nothinge in value
He is nothinge sette by, perdue.
And if he come hyther or els where
Euerie body fleeth from him as he the deuyll were.
Ful often chaungeth his courage, I vnderstande:
Therfor spare your good that ye haue in hande.

He that hath nothinge is taken of no value,
And wyll not do after good counsell, perdue;
Lyke as of me ye maye example take,
Howe of ryot and other games was vsed to make
Who so euer in the worlde yf ryot me bethought
I coulde it lyghtly helpe for to be wrought.
Whiche is now bitter, it was than swete at that stand:
Therfor spare your good that ye haue in hande.

Wherfore sholde not I take now sorowe againe?
Ye, certes, there is none that wyl me any thing lene;
Euen thus the whele of fortune renneth,
And if good lucke or yll happe,
It commeth to him that shall haue it at a clappe.
Euery body maie se by me in this stande:
Therfor spare your good that ye haue in hande.

A man maye well a good felow be
In the wine, in good ale, in bere where so it be;
And yf he thinke for the commune profyte also,
Here or there where so euer he go,
Thus may a man haunte mirth and game,
If he do it not by measure he is to blame;
For in euery thinge measure is good, I vnderstand:
Therfor spare your good that ye haue in hand.

Farewell, I sette you al this testamente,
Who wyll learne this shall be vnshente,
And can kepe him amonge good company,
Shall be fre of al sorowe and myserye.
Who so euer taketh this testamente in remembraunce,
Pouertye and myserye shall not fall to his chaunce.
Hys good, his worshippe shall he kepe, I vnderstande:
Therfor spare your good that ye haue in hande.

F  I  N  I  S.

Here endeth a lytell treatyse very
profitable for euery yonge man
and yonge woman cal-
led Syrs spare
your good.

Imprinted at London in fleetstreet next
To Saint Donstones Churche by
Thomas marshe

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