History of Literature

Sebastian Brant

"Ship of Fools"

Illustrations by  Albrecht Dürer









I. The Castell of Laboure.

II. The Shyp of Folys.

III. The Egloges.

IV. The Introductory.

V. The Myrrour of Good Maners.

VI. Cronycle complyed by Salust.

VII. Figure of our Mother Holy Church.

VIII. The Lyfe of Saynt George.

IX. The Lyfe of Saynte Thomas.

X. Haython's Cronycle.


I. The Castell of Laboure.—Wynkyn de Worde. 1506. Small Quarto. Black letter.

The title, "The castell of laboure," is within a scroll above a woodcut of men over a tub: on the verso, a cut of a man sitting at a desk. At sign. a ii. (recto) "Here begynneth the prologue of this present treatyse." [The Brit. Mus. copy has this on the verso of the title instead of the cut, a peculiarity which may entitle it to be called a separate edition, though it appears to agree otherwise with the copy described.] There are many curious woodcuts. Colophon on the reverse of sign. i iii. (51b): "Thus endeth the castell of labour, wherin is rychesse, vertue, and honour. Enprynted at London in Fletestrete in the sygne of the sonne. by Wynkyn de worde. Anno dni M.ccccc.vi." There is no indication of authorship. Signatures: a b c d e f g h, alternately 8s and 4s, i 4; 52 leaves, not numbered. The British Museum and Cambridge University Library copies of this book have been collated, but as the former ends with H 3 and the latter wants the last leaf, that leaf must remain undescribed. Mr Bradshaw, however, says, "it almost certainly contained a woodcut on the recto, and one of the devices on the verso."

A copy of this very scarce book was sold among Mr. West's books in 1773 for £2.

I.a. The Castell of Laboure.—Pynson. No date. Small Quarto. Black letter.

The title, "Here begynneth the castell of laboure," is over a woodcut; and on the reverse is a woodcut; both the same as those in the previous edition. In the body of the work there are 30 woodcuts, which differ from those of the first edition, one of these (at G 6) is a repetition of that on the title page. Colophon: "Thus endeth the castell of labour wherin is rychesse, vertue and honoure. Enprynted be me Richarde Pynson." After the colophon comes another leaf (I 6), on the recto of which is the printer's device, and on the verso a woodcut representing a city on the banks of a river. Without indication of authorship. Signatures: A, 8 leaves; B—I, in sixes.

"Neither Ames nor Herbert appear to have seen this rare volume; which is probably a reprint of Wynkyn de Worde's impression of 1506." (Dibdin's Typ. Antiq., II. 557.) There is a copy in the Library of H. Huth, Esq.


II. The Ship of Folys of the Worlde.—Pynson. 1509. Folio.

On the recto of the first leaf there is a large woodcut of Pynson's arms, or device No. VII., similar to that which is on the reverse of the last leaf of each of the volumes of his edition of Lord Berners' translation of Froissart's Chronicles; on the back of the first leaf is the translator's dedication to "Thomas Cornisshe, bishop of Tine, and suffragan bishop of Bath;" on the next leaf begins "The regyster or table of this present boke in Englyshe," (all as on pp. cxiii.—cxx.), succeeded by a Latin table. Then on sign. a i. and fol. i. a large woodcut, the same as is used for the title page of Cawood's edition (and on p. 313, Vol. II.), with a Latin description in the margin. Beneath is the title in Latin. On the back, "Alexander Barclay excusynge the rudeness of his translacion," followed with "An exhortacion of Alexander Barclay." Then on fol. ii., etc., follow in Latin, "Epigramma," "Epistola" in prose, and various "Carmina." On the back of fol. v. "The exhortacion of Brant to the fools" in Latin verse, followed by Barclay's version with the heading "Barclay the Translatour tho the Foles." On fol. iiii. the "Prologus Jacobi Locher ... incipit," followed by its translation into English. On fol. ix., etc., "Hecatastichon in proludium auctoris et Libelli Narragonici" and the English translation, "Here begynneth the prologe." On xii. "The Argument" in Latin and English, and then on xiii. commences the first chapter, "De inutilibus libris," in Latin, and then in English, which is the order throughout, with the cuts at the beginning of either the one or other as the page suited. The book concludes with a ballad in honour of the virgin Mary, consisting of twelve octave stanzas: at the end of which is the colophon in a stanza of seven lines. On the verso of the last leaf is the printer's device, No. v.

The Latin is uniformly printed in the Roman type, and the English in the Gothic. Herbert supposes the diphthongs to be "the first perhaps used in this kingdom."

The cuts are rude, coarse, English imitations of those in the original editions. They are, including the preliminary one, 118 in number. The cut illustrating the chapter, "Of them that correct other," etc., fol. liii. has been exchanged with the cut of the succeeding chapter. The cut illustrating "The unyuersall shyp and generall Barke," fol. cclxii., is repeated at the succeeding chapter. The one illustrating Barclay's new chapter "Of folys that ar ouer worldly" is an imitation of the illustration of "De singularitate quorundam novorum fatuorum" in the Latin edition of March 1497. The cut illustrating the ballad of the Virgin appears in the original at the head of "Excusatio Jacobi Locher Philomusi," and illustrates, according to the margin, "Derisio boni operis."

The word "Folium" is on the left hand page, and the number, in Roman capitals, on the right throughout the book; the last is cclxxiiii. Including the dedication and table (4 folios) there are 283 folios. The numbering is a model of irregularity: iiii. is repeated for vi., xx. stands for xv., xviii. is repeated, xx. is wanting, xxii. is repeated, xxiv. is wanting, xxx. is repeated, xxxvi. is wanting, xxxix. is repeated in place of xliv., xlviii. is wanting, xlix. is repeated, lvii is repeated after lxi., lviii follows twice, lix., lx., lxi. being repeated in succession after lviii., lxvii., lxviii. are repeated after lxviii., lxxxii. is wanting, lxxxiii. is repeated, lxxxii. stands for lxxxvii., lxxxiii. succeeds for lxxxviiii, cclxv. succeeds for lxxxix., lxxxxii. is repeated for lxxxxvii., [in the Grenville copy this leaf is correctly numbered], cxxxii is wanting, cxl. stands for cxxxviii., cxlxi. stands for cxlvi., clxxiv. is wanting, clxxxxxi. stands for cci., ccxii. is repeated for ccxvii., ccxxxviii. is wanting, cclx. stands for ccl., cclviii. is repeated for cclx.

The numeration by signatures is as follows: + iiij; a, 8; b—p, 6 s; q, 7; r, s, t, v, x, y, z, &, 6 s; A—Y, 6 s.

The book is extremely rare. There is a fine copy in the Bodleian Library among Selden's books, another in the British Museum, Grenville Collection, and another in the Library of St. John's College, Oxford.

The following are the more notable prices: Farmer, 1798, £2. 4s.; Sotheby's, 1821, £28; Dent, £30. 9s.; Bib. Anglo-Poetica, £105; Perkins, 1873, £130.

The following amusing note on prices is taken from Renouard's "Catalogue d'un Amateur." "Les premières éditions latines de ce singulier livre, celles des traductions françoises, toutes également remplies de figures en bois, ne déplaisent pas aux amateurs, mais jamais ils ne les ont payées un haut prix. La traduction angloise faite en 1509, sur le francois, et avec des figures en bois, plus mauvaises encore que leurs modèles, se paye en Angleterre 25, 30 et mème 60 guinées; c'est là, si l'on veut, du zèle patriotique, de l'esprit national."

II.a. Stultifera Nauis.... The Ship of Fooles..... With diuers other workes.... very profitable and fruitfull for all men.... Cawood. 1570. Folio.

A large cut of vessels filled with fools (the same as on p. 313, Vol. II.) is inserted between the Latin and English titles. This edition omits the ballad to the Virgin at the end. The English is in black letter, and the Latin in Roman, in the same order as in the preceding edition. On the recto of leaf 259: Thus endeth the Ship of Fooles, translated ... by Alexander Barclay Priest, at that time Chaplen in the Colledge of S. Mary Otery in the Countie of Deuon. Anno Domini 1508. On the back "Excusatio Iacobi Locher Philomusi," in Sapphic verse. On the next page five stanzas by Barclay "excusing the rudenes of his Translation." Lastly, an Index in Latin, and then in English. Then, follow the "diuers other workes," the Mirrour of good maners, and the Egloges. Colophon: Imprinted at London in Paules Church-yarde by Iohn Cawood Printer to the Queenes Maiestie. Cum Priuilegio ad imprimendum solum.

The woodcuts, including the one on the title-page, number 117. They are the same as those of Pynson's edition, but show occasional traces of the blocks having been chipped in the course of their preservation in a printer's office for 60 years or so. The borders only differ, being of a uniform type, while those of the previous edition are woodcuts of several patterns.

The numbering is a little irregular; the preliminary leaves (12) are unnumbered. The folios are numbered in figures on the left hand page, 'folio' being prefixed to the first six, 16 is repeated for 17, 13 stands for 31, [in one of the Adv. Lib. copies the latter irregularity is found, though not the former; in the other, 17 and 31 are numbered correctly], 96 is repeated for 99, 188 for 191, 100 for 200, and 205 for 201. The last number is 259, and there are three extra leaves, thus making 274 for the Ship. The supplementary works are not numbered. The signatures are as follows: The Ship, ¶ six leaves; ¶¶ six leaves; A to U u, in sixes; X x, four leaves; Mirrour of good manners, A—G, in sixes; Egloges, A to D, in sixes; in all 680 pp.

This book was licensed to Cawood in 1567-8, and is said to be the only book he had license for. It is now very rare.

Prices: Digby, 1680, 4s. 4d. Bernard, 1698, 1s. 10d. Gulston, 1783, £1, 16s. White Knights, £8, 12s. Roxburghe, £9, 19s. 6d. Fonthill, £13, 13s. Bib. Anglo-Poet, £12, 12s. Heber, £8, 12s. Sotheby's, 1873, £48, 10s.


A complete bibliography of the various editions and versions of the Ship of Fools will be found in Zarocke's edition of the original, or in Graesse's Trésor de livres rares et précieux. A notice is subjoined of the two editions of the English prose translation, and of the two other publications bearing the title.

The abridged prose translation, by Henry Watson, from the French prose version of Jehan Droyn, appeared from the press of De Worde in the same year in which Barclay's fuller poetical version was issued. In both text and illustrations it is a much inferior production to the latter. As the existence of the first edition has been, and still is, denied, it being frequently confounded with Barclay's book, we transcribe the following description of the only known copy from Van Praet's "Catalogue des livres imprimés sur vélin de la Bibliotheque du Roi."

The Shyppe of Fooles, translated out of frenche, by Henry Watson. London, Wynkyn de Worde, 1509, petit in—4.

Edition en lettres de forme, sans chiffres ni réclames, avec signatures, figures et initiales en bois; à longues lignes, au nombre de 32 sur les pages entierès; cont. 169 f.; les 7 premiers renferment 1. le titre suivant, gravé audessus d'une figure qui représente le navire des fous:

¶ The shyppe of fooles.

2. Le prologue du traducteur; 3. la préface; 4. la table des chapitres.

Au recto du dernier f. est cette souscription:

¶ Thus endeth the shyppe of fooles of this worde. Enprynted at London in Flete strete by Wynky de worde prynter vnto the excellent pryncesse Marguerete, Countesse of Rychemonde and Derbye, and grandame vnto our moost naturall souereyne lorde kynge Henry y viii. The yere of our lorde. m.ccccc. ix. ¶ The fyrste yere of the reygne of our fouerayne lorde kynge Henry the viii. The. vi. daye of Julii. On aperçoit au verso le monogramme et la marque de William Caxton, au bas desquels on lit ces mots: Wynken de Worde."

This beautiful copy upon vellum is the only example of this edition known.

The grete Shyppe of Fooles of this worlde. Wykyn de Worde. 1517. Quarto.

This is the second edition of Watson's translation. Colophon: "Thus endeth the shyppe of fooles of this worlde. Jmprynted at Londod in flete strete by Wykyn de Worde. ye yere of our lorde m.ccccc. & xvii.

¶ The nynthe yere of ye reygne of our souerayne lorde kynge Henry ye VIII. The xx. daye of June." It contains G G 6, fours and eights alternately (the signatures ending on G G iij.), besides 6 leaves, with the prologue, prolude and table, before signature A.

Extremely rare. Roxburghe, £64.

The Ship of Fools Fully Fraught and Richly Laden with Asses, Fools, Jack-daws, Ninnihammers, Coxcombs, Slenderwits, Shallowbrains, Paper-Skuls, Simpletons, Nickumpoops, Wiseakers, Dunces, and Blockheads, Declaring their several Natures, Manners and Constitutions; the occasion why this Ship was built, with the places of their intended Voyage, and a list of the Officers that bear Command therein.

If for this Voyage any have a mind,

They with Jack Adams may acceptance find,

Who will strain hard ere they shall stay behind.

Licensed, Roger L'Estrange.

[A large woodcut of the Ship.]

London, Printed by J. W. for J. Clark, at the Bible and Harp in West-Smithfield. n. d. [Circa 1650.] 4to. 4 leaves.

"This book, or rather tract, has nothing in common with Barclay's Ship of Fools, except the general idea. It is entirely in prose. My copy has nothing to show to whom it formerly belonged."—(Letter of H. Huth, Esq.) The last sentence was elicited by the inquiry whether Mr Huth's copy were the one formerly belonging to Mr Heber.—See Bibliotheca Heberiana, Part IV., No. 752.

Stultifera Navis ... The modern Ship of fools. Lond. 1807, 80. Pp. xxiv., 295.

A wretched production in verse, in imitation of Barclay's Ship of Fools, published anonymously by W. H. Ireland, the Shakesperian forger.


III. The Egloges of Alexader Barclay, Prest.—The first three, without printer's name or device. No date. Quarto. Black letter.

"Here begynneth the Egloges of Alexader Barclay, prest, wherof the fyrst thre conteyneth the myseryes of courters and courtes of all prynces in generall, the matter wherof was translated into Englyshe by the sayd Alexander in fourme of Dialogues, out of a boke named in latyn Miserie Curialiu, compyled by Eneas Siluius, Poete and oratour, whiche after was Pope of Rome, & named Pius." This title is over a cut of two shepherds, Coridon and Cornix, the interlocutors in these three eclogues. On the back is a cut of David and Bathsheba. At the end of the third egloge: "Thus endyth the thyrde and last egloge of the mysery of court and courters, composed by Alexander Barclay, preste, in his youthe." A cut of the two shepherds and a courtier fills up the page. Without date, printer's name, or device. Contains P 6, in fours, the last leaf blank.

III.a. The Fourthe Egloge of Alexander Barclay.—Pynson. No date. Quarto. Black letter.

It is entitled, "The Boke of Codrus and Mynaclus," over the cut of a priest, with a shaven crown, writing at a plutus. It concludes with "The discrypcion of the towre of Vertue & Honour, into whiche the noble Hawarde contended to entre, by worthy acts of chiualry," related by Menalcas, in stanzas of eight verses. At the end, "Thus endeth the fourthe Eglogge of Alexandre Barcley, coteyning the maner of the riche men anenst poets and other clerkes. Emprinted by Richarde Pynson priter to the kynges noble grace." On the last leaf is his device, No. V. Contains 22 leaves, with cuts.

III.b. The Fyfte Egloge of Alexander Barclay. —Wynkyn de Worde. No date. Quarto. Black letter.

"The fyfte Eglog of Alexandre Barclay of the Cytezen and vplondyshman." This title is over a large woodcut of a priest, sitting in his study. Beneath, "Here after foloweth the Prologe." On the verso of A ii. are two cuts of two shepherds, whole lengths, with this head-title, "Interlocutoures be Amyntas and Faustus." There are no other cuts. Colophon: "Here endeth the v. Eglog of Alexandre Barclay of the Cytezyn and vplondysshman. Imprynted at London in flete strete, at the sygne of [the] Sonne, by Wynkyn de worde." Beneath, device No. v. Contains A 8, B 4, C 6; 18 leaves. There is a copy in the British Museum.

With the first four Eclogues as above, Woodhouse, 1803, (Herbert's copy), £25.; resold, Dent, 1827, £36.; resold, Heber, 1834, £24. 10s. At Heber's sale this unique set, containing the only known copy of the first edition of the first four Eclogues, was bought by Thorpe; further I have not been able to trace it.

III.c. The Egloges.—John Herforde. No date. Quarto.

"Here begynneth the Egloges of Alex. Barclay, Priest, whereof the first three conteineth the Miseries of Courters and Courtes." "Probably a reprint of Pynson's impression," Dibdin. Contains only Eclogues I.-III. Herbert conjectures the date to be 1548; Corser, 1546; Hazlitt, 1545.

III.d. The Egloges.—Humfrey Powell. No date. Quarto. Black letter.

"Here begynneth the Egloges of Alexander Barclay, priest, whereof the first thre conteineth the miseries of courters and courtes, of all Princes in general ... In the whiche the interloquutors be, Cornix, and Coridon." Concludes: "Thus endeth the thyrde and last Eglogue of the Misery of Courte and Courters, Composed by Alexander Barclay preest, in his youth. Imprinted at London by Humfrey Powell." Contains only Eclogues I.-III. Collation: Title, A 1; sig. A to P2, in fours; 58 leaves not numbered.

This is an edition of extreme rarity. It is very well printed, and the title is surrounded with a woodcut border with ornamented pillars at the sides. Herbert conjectures the date to be 1549, the Bib. Anglo-Poetica, Lowndes, and Corser, 1548. There is a copy in the Cambridge University Library, and another in the possession of David Laing, Esq.

Prices: Inglis, £6. 2s. 6d.; Bright, 1845. £10. 10s.; Bib. Anglo-Poetica, £15.

III.e. Certayne Egloges of Alexander Barclay Priest.—Cawood. 1570. Folio. Black letter.

Appended to Cawood's edition of the Ship of Fools. No title-page, cuts, or pagination. The above heading on A i.

Colophon: Thus endeth the fifth and last Egloge of Alexander Barclay, of the Citizen and the man of the countrey. Imprinted at London in Paules Church-yarde by Iohn Cawood, Printer to the Queenes Maiestie. Cum Priuilegio ad imprimendum solum.

Contains A—D, in sixes.

III.f. The Cytezen and Uplondyshman: an Eclogue [the fifth] by Alexander Barclay.

Printed from the original edition by Wynkyn de Worde. Edited, with an Introductory Notice of Barclay and his other Eclogues, by F.W. Fairholt, F.S.A. London; printed for the Percy Society [vol. XXII.], 1847. 8vo. Pp. + 6, lxxiv., 47.


IV. The Introductory To Write and To Pronounce Frenche. Coplande. 1521. Folio. Black letter.

'Here begynneth the introductory to wryte, and to pronounce Frenche compyled by Alexander Barcley compendiously at the commaudemet of the ryght hye excellent and myghty prynce Thomas duke of Northfolke.' This title is over a large woodcut of a lion rampant, supporting a shield, containing a white lion in a border, (the same as that on the title of the Sallust, VI.), then follows a French ballad of 16 lines in two columns, the first headed, "R. Coplande to the whyte lyone, and the second, "¶ Ballade." On the recto of the last leaf, 'Here foloweth the maner of dauncynge of bace dauces after the vse of fraunce & other places translated out of frenche in englysshe by Robert coplande.' Col.: Jmprynted at London in the Fletestrete at the sygne of the rose Garlande by Robert coplande, the yere of our lorde. m.ccccc.xxi. ye xxii. day of Marche.' Neither folioed nor paged. Contains C 4, in sixes, 16 leaves.

In the edition of Palsgrave (see above, p. lxxiii.), published among the "Documents inédits sur l'histoire de France," the editor says of this work of Barclay's: "Tous mes efforts pour découvrir un exemplaire de ce curieux ouvrage ont été inutiles." There is a copy, probably unique, in the Bodleian; it was formerly Herbert's, afterwards Douce's.

All the parts of this treatise relating to French pronunciation have been carefully reprinted by Mr A. J. Ellis, in his treatise "On Early English Pronunciation" (published by the Philological Society), Part III., p. 804.


V. The Myrrour Of Good Maners.——Pynson. No date. Folio. Black letter.

'Here begynneth a ryght frutefull treatyse, intituled the myrrour of good maners, coteynyng the iiii. vertues, callyd cardynall, compyled in latyn by Domynike Mancyn: And translate into englysshe: at the desyre of syr Gyles Alyngton, knyght: by Alexander Bercley prest: and monke of Ely. This title is over a cut, the same as at the head of Barclay's preface to his translation of Sallust, a representation of the author in a monkish habit on his knees, presenting a book to a nobleman. The text begins on back of title. The original is printed in Roman letter in the margins.——Colophon in a square woodcut border: Thus endeth the ryght frutefull matter of the foure vertues cardynall: Jmprynted by Rychard Pynson: prynter vnto the kynges noble grace: with his gracyous pryuylege the whiche boke I haue prynted, at the instance & request, of the ryght noble Rychard yerle of Kent. On the back, Pynson's device, No. v. It has neither running titles, catch-words, nor the leaves numbered. Signatures; A to G, in sixes, and H, in eights; 100 pp.

In the British Museum, Grenville collection, from Heber's collection. "This edition differs materially from that used by Herbert, which has led Dr Dibdin to the conclusion that there were two impressions." So says a MS. note on the copy, (quoted in the Bib. Grenv.), but Dibdin does not commit himself to the conclusion, his words being these: "This description is given from a copy in the possession of Mr Heber; which, from its varying with the account of Herbert, Mr H. supposes, with justice, must be a different one from Herbert's." I have failed to discover the difference.

Prices: Perry, £9.; Roxburghe (last leaf wanting), £10. 10s.; Bibliotheca Anglo-Poetica, £12. 12s.; Sykes, £16. 16s.

To the above edition must belong the fragment entered in Bohn's Lowndes under "Four," thus: "Four Vertues Cardinal. Lond. R. Pynson, n.d. folio. Only a fragment of this Poem is known; it was printed at the request of Rychard Erle of Kent."

V.a.. The Mirrour of Good Maners.——Cawood. 1570. Folio. Black letter.

Appended to Cawood's edition of the Ship of Fools. No title page, pagination, or cuts. The above heading on A 1. The Latin original printed in Roman by the side of the English. Contains A-G, in sixes.

It may be useful to give here the bibliography of the other English translations of Mancyn.

Mancinus de quattuor Virtutibus. [The englysshe of Mancyne apon the foure cardynale vertues.] No place, printer's name, or date, but with the types of Wynkyn de Worde, circa 1518. 4to, a-d, in eights. Bodleian.

Following the title occurs: Petri Carmeliani exasticon in Dominici Mancini de quattuor cardineis virtutibus libellum. The Latin portion is in verse, printed in Roman letter, with marginal notes in black letter, of a very small size, and the English in prose.

The English part, in black letter, is entitled: The englysshe of Mancyne apon the foure cardynale vertues. n.p. or d. This portion has a separate title and signatures; the title is on A 1. On sign. F ii. occurs, "The correccion of the englysshe," and on the verso of the same leaf is printed, "The correction of the texte." A, B, C, and D, 8 leaves each; E, 6 leaves; and F, 4 leaves; 42 leaves altogether. A copy of this is in the British Museum. Only two perfect copies are known.

A Plaine Path to Perfect Vertue: Deuised and found out by Mancinus, a Latine Poet, and translated into English by G. Turberuile, Gentleman.

Ardua ad virtutem via.

Imprinted at London in Knightrider-strete, by Henry Bynneman, for Leonard Maylard. Anno. 1568. 8vo., 72 leaves. Black letter, in verse. Dedicated "To the right Honorable and hys singular good Lady, Lady Anne, Coutesse Warvvicke." There is also a metrical address to the reader, and 8 4-line stanzas by James Sanford in praise of the translator.

Freeling, 1836, No. 911, £7., bought for Mr Corser: now in the British Museum. Supposed to be unique.


VI. Cronycle compyled in Latyn, by the renowned Sallust.——Pynson. No date. Folio.

"Here begynneth the famous cronycle of the warre, which the romayns had agaynst Jugurth, vsurper of the kyngdome of Numidy. which cronycle is compyled in latyn by the renowmed romayne Salust. And translated into englysshe by syr Alexander Barclay preest, at comaundement of the right hye and mighty prince: Thomas duke of Northfolke." There are two editions by Pynson of this book.

I. In this edition the lower half of the title page has a square enclosed by double lines containing the Norfolk arms, a lion rampant, holding a shield in his paws, on which is another lion, a cut which also appears on the title of The Introductory. There is a full page cut of the royal arms with portcullis, &c., on the back, followed by five pages of Table. The preface to his patron, in English,——together with a Latin dedication to Bishop Veysy, in parallel columns,——begins on the verso of signature a iiii, under a cut of the author presenting his book to him, the same as that which appears on the title of The myrrour of good maners. [See the cut prefixed to the Notice of Barclay's life, which is confined however to a reproduction of the two principal figures only, two other figures, evidently of servants, and some additional ornamentation of the room being omitted.] At the end of this preface is another cut of the author, writing at a desk; also on the back of the leaf is a cut of the disembarking of an army. There are no other cuts, but the volume is adorned throughout with very fine woodcut initials. Catchwords are given irregularly at the beginning, but regularly towards the end, at the bottom of the left hand page only, but the preface has them to every column. Colophon:——"Thus endeth the famous cronycle of the war ... imprented at London by Rycharde Pynson printer vnto the kynges noble grace: with priuylege vnto hym grauted by our sayd souerayne lorde the kynge." On the back of the last leaf is Pynson's device, No. v. The date is erroneously conjectured in Moss's Classical Bib. to be 1511. It was probably 1519, certainly between 1519 and 1524. Contains 92 numbered leaves, and one leaf unnumbered, besides eight leaves of preliminary matter: numbering quite regular: signatures; a 8, A—O, 6 s, P, Q, 4 s. In the British Museum, Grenville Collection, the Bodleian, and the Public Library at Cambridge.

Prices: Roxburghe, £23, 12s.; Sykes, £8, 12s.; Heber, £5, 15s. 6d.; Sotheby's, 1857, £10.

II. In this edition, the title page is the same as in the other with the exception of a semicolon for a full point after Numidy, the succeeding which having an e added, and romayne being without the e, but on the back instead of a cut of the royal arms The table commences; the preface begins on the recto of sign. a 4, under the cut of the author presenting his book to the Duke of Norfolk, and ends without the leaf of woodcuts which is appended to the preface of the first edition. Pynson's device at the end of the book is also wanting in this edition. It contains only fol. lxxxvi., with six leaves of preliminary matter; the pagination is a little irregular, xxi. and xxii. are wanting but xxiii. is given three times, and lxxvii. is repeated for lxxviii.; the British Museum copy is deficient in folios lxii. and lxv.: signatures; a 6, A—N, 6 s, and O, P, 4 s. The initials are the same as those in the first edition in the great majority of cases, but appear much more worn. There are catch-words only at the end of every signature throughout the book, except to the preface, which has them to every column. In the British Museum, and the Public Library, Cambridge.

Both editions have the Latin in Roman letter in the margins, and running-titles. Ames mentions an edition with cuts, which must be the same as the first of these.

VI.a. Cronicle of Warre. Compiled in Laten by Saluste. Corrected by Thomas Paynell. Waley, 1557. Quarto.

"Here begynneth the famous Cronicle of warre, whyche the Romaynes hadde agaynst Jugurth vsurper of the kyngedome of Numidie: whiche Cronicle is compiled in Laten by the renowmed Romayne Saluste: and translated into englyshe by syr alexander Barklaye prieste. And nowe perused and corrected by Thomas Paynell. Newely Jmprinted in the yere of oure Lorde God M.D.L vij." On the verso of the title begins Paynell's dedication—"To the ryghte honorable Lorde Antonye Vycounte Mountegue, Knyghte of the ryghte honorable order of the garter, and one of the Kynge and Queenes Magesties pryuie counsayle." "The prologue" begins on a 1. Barclay's preface and dedication are omitted, as well as the Latin of Sallust. Col.: "Thus endeth the famouse Cronicle of the warre ... against Jugurth ... translated... by syr Alexander Barkeley, prieste, at commaundemente of ... Thomas, duke of Northfolke, And imprinted at London in Foster lane by Jhon Waley." Signatures; H h, 4 s, besides title and dedication, two leaves: the pagination commences on a 4, at "The fyrste chapter," the last folio being cxx.; xxi. is repeated for xxii., xxiii. for xxiv., xix., stands for xxix., lvii. is repeated, and lxxiv. is repeated for lxxv.

This edition forms the second part of a volume having the following general title page: The Conspiracie of Catiline, written by Constancius Felicius Durantinus, and translated bi Thomas Paynell: with the historye of Jugurth, writen by the famous Romaine Salust, and translated into Englyshe by Alexander Barcklaye.


VII. Alex. Barclay his figure of our Mother holy church oppressed by the Frenche King. Pynson. Quarto.

This is given by Herbert on the authority of Maunsell's Catalogue, p. 7.


VIII. The lyfe of the glorious Martyr saynt George. Translated by Alexander Barclay, while he was a monk of Ely, and dedicated to N. West, Bp. of Ely. Pinson [Circa 1530.] Quarto. [Herbert, 289].


IX. The lyfe of saynte Thomas. Pynson. No date. Quarto. Black letter.

"¶ Here begynneth the lyfe of the blessed martyr saynte Thomas." This title is the headline of this little treatise; at the beginning of which is indented a small woodcut of a man in armour, striking at the bishop, with his cross-bearer before him. It begins "The martir saynte Thomas was son to Gylberde Bequet a burgeys of the Cite of London. And was borne in ye place, whereas now standeth the churche called saynte Thomas of Akers." It concludes, "¶ Thus endeth the lyfe of the blessed martyr saynt Thomas of Caunturbury. Jmprynted by me Rycharde Pynson, prynter vnto the kynges noble grace." Contains eight leaves. There is a copy in the British Museum. Assigned to Barclay on tne authority of Wood.


X. Haython's Cronycle. Pynson. No date. Folio. Black letter.

"Here begynneth a lytell Cronycle, translated & imprinted at the cost & charge of Rycharde Pynson, by the comaundement of the ryght high and mighty prince, Edwarde duke of Buckingham, yerle of Gloucestre, Staffarde, and of Northamton," over a large woodcut. Colophon: "Here endeth, [&c.] Imprinted by the sayd Richarde Pynson, printer unto the Kinges noble grace." Date conjectured to be between 1520 and 1530. Pynson's device, No. 5, at the end. Collation: A—E, and H, in sixes; F and G, and I, in fours; forty-eight leaves.

On the verso of fol. 35, "Here endeth ye boke of thistoris of thoriet partes copyled by a relygious man frere Hayton frere of Premostre order, sotyme lorde of court & cosyn german to the kyng of Armeny vpon ye passage of the holy lande. By the comaudement of ye holy fader ye apostle of Rome Clemet the V. in ye cite of Potiers which boke I Nicholas Falcon, writ first in French ... I haue traslated it in Latyn for our holy father ye pope. In the yere of our lorde god m.ccc.vii. in ye moneth of August. Deo gras."

"The travels of Hayton into the Holy Land and Armenia, and his history of Asia, is one of the most valuable of the early accounts of the east. The present is the only translation into English, and from the circumstances of its being printed by Pynson and having been (when in Mr Heber's collection) bound with two other works (Mirrour of good Maners and Sallust) both translated by Barclay, was probably also translated by him. It is a book of extraordinaiy rarity, no perfect copy that can be traced having previously occured for sale." (Bibliotheca Grenvilliana, vol. I.)

Heber's copy (the one above mentioned), £40. 9s. 6d.



Venerandissimo in Christo Patri ac Domino: domino Thome Cornisshe Tenenensis pontifici ac diocesis Badonensis Suffraganio vigilantissimo, sue paternitatis Capellanus humilimus Alexander Barclay suiipsius recommendacionem cum omni summissione, et reuerentia.

Tametsi crebris negocijs: varioque impedimentorum genere fatigatus paulo diutiùs quàm volueram a studio reuulsus eram. Attamen obseruandissime presul: Stultiferam classem (vt sum tue paternati pollicitus) iam tandem absolui et impressam ad te destinaui. Neque tamen certum laborem pro incerto premio (humano. s.) meis impossuissem humeris: nisi Seruianum illud dictum (longe anteaqam inceperam) admonuisset. Satius esse non incipere quàm inceptum minus perfectum relinquere. Completo tamen opere: nec quemquam magis dignum quàm tua sit paternitas existimaui cui id dedicarem: tum quia saluberrima tua prudentia, morum grauitas, vite sanctitas doctrineque assiduitas: errantes fatuos mumdanis ab illecebris ad virtutis tramites: difficiles licet: possint reducere: tum vero: quia sacros ad ordines per te sublimatus et promotus, multisque aliis tuis beneficiis ditatus non potui tibi meum obsequium non coartare. Opus igitur tue paternitati dedicaui: meorum primicias laborum qui in lucem eruperunt Atque vt tua consuluerit paternatis: autoris carmina cum meis vulgaribus rithmicis vná alternatim coniunixi: et quantum a vero carminum sensu errauerim, tue autoritatis iudicium erit. Fateor equidem multo plura adiecisse quam ademisse: partim ad vicia que hac nostra in regione abundantius pullulant mordacius carpenda: partimque ob Rithmi difficultatem. Adieci etiam quasdam Biblie aliorumque autorum concordancias in margine notatas quo singula magis lectoribus illucescant: Simul ad inuidorum caninos latratus pacandos: et rabida ora obstruenda: qui vbi quid facinorum: quo ipsi scatent: reprehensum audierint. continuo patulo gutture liuida euomunt dicta, scripta dilacerant. digna scombris ac thus carmina recensent: sed hi si pergant maledicere: vt stultiuagi comites classem insiliant. At tu venerande Presul Discipuli tui exiguum munusculum: hilari fronte accipito, Classemque nostram (si quid vagum, si quid erronium: si quid denique superfluum emineat: optimam in partem interpretando: ab inuidorum faucibus: tue autoritatis clipeo tucaris. Vale. Ex Impressoria officina Richardi Pynson. iij. Idus Decembris.

¶ This present Boke named the Shyp of folys of the worlde was translated in the College of saynt mary Otery in the counte of Deuonshyre: out of Laten, French, and Doche into Englysshe tonge by Alexander Barclay Preste: and at that tyme Chaplen in the sayde College. translated the yere of our Lorde god. M.ccccc.viii. Imprentyd in the Cyte of London in Fletestre at the signe of Saynt George. By Rycharde Pynson to hys Coste and charge: Ended the yere of our Sauiour. M. d. ix. The. xiiii. day of December.


¶ Alexander Barclay excusynge the rudenes of his translacion, ye first lefe Barclay ye translatour to ye folys.

A prologe in prose shewynge to what intent this Boke was firste made, & who were the first Auctours of it.

Another Prologe: in Balade concernyng the same.

In what place this Boke was translate and to what purpose it was translatyd.

¶ Here begynneth the Folys and firste of inprofytable bokys.

¶ Of euyll Counsellours Juges & men of lawe.

Of couetyse and prodigalyte.

Of newe disgysynges in apparayle.

¶ A lawde of the nobles and grauyte of Kynge Henry the eyght.

Of olde Folys encresynge foly with age.

Of negligent Fathers ayenst their Children.

Of taleberers: & mouers of debate.

Of nat folowers of good counsel.

Of vngoodly maners, and dysordred.

Of the hurtynge of frendshyp.

Of dispysers of holy scripture.

Of folys inprouydent.

Of disordred & venerious loue.

Of them that synne trustynge vpon the mercy of almyghty god.

Of folys yt begyn great byldynge without sufficient prouysion.

Of glotons, and droncardes.

Of ryches vnprofytable.

Of folys that wyl serue two lordes both togyther.

Of superflue speche.

Of them that correct other, them self culpable in the same faut.

Of folys that fynde others good, nat restorynge the same to the owner.

¶ The sermon or doctryne of wysdom.

Of Folys bostyng them in fortune.

Of the superflue curyosyte of men.

Of great borowers, & slacke payers.

Of vnprofitable vowers & peticions.

Of negligent stodyers.

Of them that folvsshly speke ayenst the workes of god.

Of lewde Juges of others dedes.

Of pluralytees of benefyces.

Of synners that prolonge from daye to day to amende theyr myslyuyng.

Of men that ar Jelous.

Of auoutry, and specially of suche as ar bawdes to theyr wyues.

Of suche as nedys wyll contynue in theyr foly nat withstandynge holsom erudicion.

An addicion of the secundaries of Otery saynt Mary, in Deuynshyre.

Of wrathfull folys.

Of the mutabylyte of fortune.

Of seke men inobedient.

Of to open councellers.

Of folys that can nat be ware by ye mysfortune nor take example of others damage.

Of folys that force or care for the bacbytynge of lewde people.

Of mockers and fals accusers.

Of them that despyse euerlastynge blys for worldly thynges & transitory.

Of talkers and makers of noyse in the Chirche of god.

Of folys that put them self in wylful ieopardy and peryll.

Of the way of felycyte, and godnes and the payne to come to synners.

Of olde folys yt gyue example of vyce to youth negligent & vnexpert.

Of bodely lust or corporall voluptuosyte.

Of folys that can nat kepe secrete theyr owne counsell.

Of yonge folys that take olde wymen to theyr wyues nat for loue but for ryches.

Of enuyous Folys.

Of impacient folys disdaynynge to abyde and suffer correccion, for theyr profyte.

Of folysshe Fesicians vsynge theyr practyke without speculacyon.

Of the ende of worldly honour & power and of folys yt trust in them.

An addicion of Alexander barclay.

Of predestinacyon.

Of folys that aply other mennys besynes leuynge theyr owne vndone.

Of the vyce of ingratytude or vnkyndnes and folys that vse it.

Of Folys that stande to moche in theyr owne conceyte.

Of folys that delyte them in daunsynge.

Of nyght watchers.

Of the vanyte of beggers.

Alexander Barclay excusynge the rudenes of his translacion.
Go Boke: abasshe the thy rudenes to present.

To men auaunced to worshyp, and honour.

By byrthe or fortune: or to men eloquent.

By thy submyssion excuse thy Translatour.

But whan I remember the comon behauour

Of men: I thynke thou ought to quake for fere

Of tunges enuyous whose venym may the dere

Tremble, fere, and quake, thou ought I say agayne.

For to the Redar thou shewest by euydence

Thy selfe of Rethoryke pryuate and barayne

In speche superflue: and fruteles of sentence.

Thou playnly blamest without al difference

Bothe hye and lowe sparinge eche mannes name.

Therfore no maruayle thoughe many do the blame.

But if thou fortune to lye before a State

As Kynge or Prince or Lordes great or smal.

Or doctour diuyne or other Graduate

Be this thy Excuse to content theyr mynde withal

My speche is rude my termes comon and rural

And I for rude peple moche more conuenient.

Than for Estates, lerned men, or eloquent.

But of this one poynt thou nedest not to fere

That any goode man: vertuous and Just.

Wyth his yl speche shal the hurt or dere.

But the defende. As I suppose and trust.

But suche Unthriftes as sue theyr carnal lust

Whome thou for vyce dost sharply rebuke and blame

Shal the dysprayse: emperisshinge thy name.

An exhortacion of Alexander Barclay.
But ye that shal rede this boke: I you exhorte.

And you that ar herars therof also I pray

Where as ye knowe that ye be of this sorte:

Amende your lyfe and expelle that vyce away.

Slomber nat in syn. Amende you whyle ye may.

And yf ye so do and ensue Vertue and grace.

Wythin my Shyp ye get no rowme ne place.

Barclay the translatour tho the Foles.
To Shyp galantes the se is at the ful.

The wynde vs calleth our sayles ar displayed.

Where may we best aryue? at Lyn or els at Hulle?

To vs may no hauen in Englonde be denayd.

Why tary we? the Ankers ar vp wayed.

If any corde or Cabyl vs hurt, let outher hynder.

Let slyp the ende, or els hewe it in sonder.

Retourne your syght beholde vnto the shore.

There is great nomber that fayne wold be aborde.

They get no rowme our Shyp can holde no more.

Haws in the Cocke gyue them none other worde.

God gyde vs from Rockes, quicsonde tempest and forde

If any man of warre, wether, or wynde apere.

My selfe shal trye the wynde and kepe the Stere.

But I pray you reders haue ye no dysdayne.

Thoughe Barclay haue presumed of audacite

This Shyp to rule as chefe mayster and Captayne.

Though some thynke them selfe moche worthyer than he.

It were great maruayle forsoth syth he hath be.

A scoler longe: and that in dyuers scoles

But he myght be Captayne of a Shyp of Foles

But if that any one be in suche maner case.

That he wyl chalange the maystershyp fro me

Yet in my Shyp can I nat want a place.

For in euery place my selfe I oft may se.

But this I leue besechynge eche degre:

To pardon my youthe and to bolde interprise.

For harde is it duely to speke of euery vyce.

For yf I had tunges an hundreth: and wyt to fele

Al thinges natural and supernaturall

A thousand mouthes: and voyce as harde as stele.

And sene all the seuen Sciences lyberal.

Yet cowde I neuer touche the vyces all.

And syn of the worlde: ne theyr braunches comprehende:

Nat thoughe I lyued vnto the worldes ende.

But if these vyces whiche mankynde doth incomber.

Were clene expellyd and vertue in theyr place.

I cowde nat haue gathered of fowles so great a nomber.

Whose foly from them out chaseth goddys grace.

But euery man that knowes hym in that case

To this rude Boke let hym gladly intende.

And lerne the way his lewdnes to amende.


[The Prologe of James Locher.]
After that I haue longe mused by my self of the sore confounded and vncertayne cours of mannys lyfe, and thinges therto belonginge: at the last I haue by my vigilant meditacion found and noted many degrees of errours: wherby mankynd wandreth from the way of trouth I haue also noted that many wyse men and wel lettred haue writen right fruteful doctrines: wherby they haue heled these dyseses and intollerable perturbacions of the mynde: and the goostly woundes therof, moche better than Esculapius which was fyrst Inuentour of Phesyke and amonge the Gentyles worshypped as a God. In the contrey of Grece were stodyes fyrst founded and ordeyned in the which began and sprange holsom medicyne which gaue vnto infect myndes frutful doctryne and norisshinge. Amonge whome Socrates that great begynner and honourer of wysdom began to dispute of ye maners of men. But for that he coude nat fynde certayne ende of goodnes and hyest felicite in naturall thinges: nor induce men to the same, he gaue the hye contemplacions of his mynde to moral vertues. And in so moche passed he al other in Philosophy moral that it was sayde that he called Philosophy down from the Imperial heuen. whan this Socrates perceyued the mindes of men to be prone, and extremely inclyned to viciousnes he had gret affeccion to subdue suche maners. Wherfore in comon places of the Cyte of Athenes he instruct and infourmed the peple in such doctrynes as compasith the clere and immaculate welles of the moste excellent and souerayne gode. After the disces of Socrates succeded ye godly Plato whiche in moral Philosophy ouerpassed also a great part of his tyme And certaynly nat without a cause was he called godly. For by what stody myght be more holely or better socour mankynde than by suche doctrynes as he gaue. He wrote and ordeyned lawes moste egal and iust He edityed vnto the Grekes a comon welthe stable, quyet and commendable. And ordeyned the societe and company of them most iocund and amyable. He prepared a brydel to refrayne the lust and sensualyte of the body. And fynally he changed the yl ignorance feblenes and negligence of youth vnto dylygence, strength and vertue. In tyme also of these Phylosophers sprange the florisshynge age of Poetes: whiche amonge lettred men had nat smal rowme and place. And that for theyr eloquent Retoryke and also for theyr mery ficcions and inuencions. Of the whiche Poetes some wrote in moste ornate termes in ditees heroycal wherin the noble actes and lyues both of dyuyne and humayne creatures ar wont to be noted and writem. Some wrote of tylling of the grounde. Some of the Planetes, of the courses of ye sterres: and of the mouynge of the heuyn and fyrmament. Some of the Empyre and shameful subieccion of disordred loue. And many other of the myserable ruyne and fal of Kynges and princes for vice: as Tragedies. And some other wrote Comedyes with great libertye of speche: which Comedies we cal Interludes. Amonge whome Aristophanes Eupolis and Cratinus mooste laudable Poetes passed al other. For whan they sawe the youth of Athenes and of al the remanent of Grece inclyned to al ylles they toke occasion to note suche myslyuinge. And so in playne wordes they repreued without fauour the vyces of the sayd yl disposyd peple of what condicion or order they were: Of this auncient wrytinge of Comedyes our laten Poetes deuysed a maner of wrytinge nat inelegant. And fyrst Lucilius composed one Satyre in the whiche he wrote by name the vices of certayne princes and Citezyns of Rome And that with many bourdes so yt with his mery speche myxt with rebukes he correct al them of the cyte that disordredly lyued. But this mery speche vsed he nat in his writing to the intent to excercyse wanton wordes or vnrefrayned lascyuyte, or to put his pleasour in suche dissolute langage: but to ye intent to quenche vyces and to prouoke the commons to wysdome and vertue, and to be asshamed of theyr foly and excessyfe lyuynge. of hym all the Latyn poetes haue takyn example, and begynnynge to wryte Satyrs whiche the grekes named Comedyes: As Fabius specifyeth in his X boke of institucions. After Lucilius succeded Horacius, moche more eloquent in wrytynge whiche in the same deseruyd great laude: Persius also left to vs onely one boke by the whiche he commyttyd his name and laude to perpetuall memory. The last and prynce of all was Juuenall whiche in his iocunde poemys comprehendyd al that was wryten most eloquent and pleasaunt of all the poetis of that sorte afore his tyme: O noble men, and diligent hertes and myndes, o laudable maners and tymes, these worthy men exyled ydelnes, wherby they haue obtayned nat small worshyp and great commodyte example and doctryne lefte to vs theyr posteryours why begyn we nat to vnderstonde and perceyue. Why worshyp nat the people of our tyme these poetis why do nat they reuerence to ye interpretours of them do they nat vnderstonde: that no poetes wryte, but outher theyr mynde is to do pleasure or els profyte to the reder, or ellys they togyther wyll doo bothe profyte and pleasoure why are they dyspysed of many rude carters of nowe a dayes which vnderstonde nat them, And for lacke of them haue nat latyn to vtter and expresse ye wyl of their mynde. Se whether poetes ar to be dispised. they laude vertue and hym that vseth it rebukyng vices with the vsers therof, They teche what is good and what is euyll: to what ende vyce, and what ende vertue bringeth vs, and do nat Poetis reuyle and sharply byte in their poemys all suche as ar vnmeke, Prowde, Couetous, Lecherous, Wanton, delycyous, Wrathfull glotons, wasters, Enuyours, Enchauntours, faythebrakers, rasshe, vnauysed, malapert, drunken, vntaught foles, and suche lyke. Shulde theyr writyng that suche thinges disprayse and reuyle be dyspised of many blynde Dotardes yt nowe lyue whiche enuy that any man shulde haue or vnderstonde ye thyng whiche they knowe nat. The Poetes also wyth great lawdes commende and exalt the noble folowers of vertue ascribyng to euery man rewardes after his merytes. And shortly to say, the intencion of al Poetes hath euer ben to repreue vyce: and to commende vertue. But syns it is so that nowe in our dayes ar so many neglygent and folysshe peple that they ar almost innumerable whiche despisynge the loue of vertue: folowe the blyndenes and vanyte of this worlde: it was expedient that of newe some lettred man, wyse, and subtil of wyt shulde awake and touche ye open vices of foles that now lyue: and blame theyr abhomynable lyfe. This fourme and lybertye of writinge, and charge hathe taken vpon hym the Right excellent and worthy Mayster Sebastian Brant Doctour of both the Lawes and noble Oratour and Poete to the comon welthe of al people in playne and comon speche of Doche in the contrey of Almayne: to the ymytacion of Dant Florentyne: and Francis Petrarche Poetes heroycal which in their maternal langage haue composed maruelous Poemes and ficcions. But amonge diuers inuencions composed of the sayde Sebastian brant I haue noted one named ye Shyp of Foles moche expedient and necessary to the redar which the sayd Sebastian composed in doche langage. And after hym one called James Locher his Disciple translated the same into Laten to the vnderstondinge of al Christen nacions where Laten is spoken. Than another (whose name to me is vnknowen) translated the same into Frenche. I haue ouersene the fyrst Inuencion in Doche and after that the two translations in Laten and Frenche whiche in blaminge the disordred lyfe of men of our tyme agreeth in sentence: threfolde in langage wherfore wylling to redres the errours and vyces of this oure Royalme of Englonde: as the foresayde composer and translatours hath done in theyr Contrees I haue taken vpon me: howbeit vnworthy to drawe into our Englysshe tunge the sayd boke named ye shyp of folys as nere to ye sayd thre Langages as the parcyte of my wyt wyll suffer me. But ye reders gyue ye pardon vnto Alexander de Barklay If ignoraunce negligence or lacke of wyt cause hym to erre in this translacion his purpose and synguler desyre is to content youre myndes. And sothely he hathe taken vpon hym the translacion of this present Boke neyther for hope of rewarde nor lawde of man: but onely for the holsome instruccion commodyte and Doctryne of wysdome, and to clense the vanyte and madnes of folysshe people of whom ouer great nombre is in the Royalme of Englonde. Therfore let euery man beholde and ouerrede this boke: And than I doute nat but he shal se the errours of his lyfe of what condycyon that he be. in lyke wyse as he shal se in a Myrrour the fourme of his countenaunce and vysage: And if he amende suche fautes as he redeth here wherein he knoweth hymself gylty, and passe forth the resydue of his lyfe in the order of good maners than shall he haue the fruyte and auauntage wherto I haue translatyd this boke.


Here begynneth the prologe.
Amonge the people of euery regyon

And ouer the worlde, south north eest and west

Soundeth godly doctryne in plenty and foyson

Wherin the grounde of vertue and wysdome doth rest

Rede gode and bad, and kepe the to the best

Was neuer more plenty of holsome doctryne

Nor fewer people that doth therto enclyne

We haue the Bybyll whiche godly doth expresse

Of the olde testament the lawes mysticall

And also of the newe our erour to redresse

Of phylosophy and other artes liberall

With other bokes of vertues morall

But thoughe suche bokes vs godly wayes shewe

We all ar blynde no man wyll them ensue

Banysshed is doctryne, we wander in derknes

Throughe all the worlde: our selfe we wyll not knowe

Wysdome is exyled, alas blynde folysshenes

Mysgydeth the myndes of people hye and lowe

Grace is decayed, yll governaunce doth growe

Both prudent Pallas and Minerua are slayne

Or els to heuyn retourned are they agayne

Knowledge of trouth, Prudence, and iust Symplicite

Hath vs clene left: For we set of them no store.

Our Fayth is defyled loue, goodnes, and Pyte:

Honest maners nowe ar reputed of: no more.

Lawyers ar lordes: but Justice is rent and tore.

Or closed lyke a Monster within dores thre.

For without mede: or money no man can hyr se.

Al is disordred: Vertue hathe no rewarde.

Alas, Compassion: and Mercy bothe ar slayne.

Alas, the stony hartys of pepyl ar so harde

That nought can constrayne theyr folyes to refrayne

But styl they procede: and eche other meyntayne.

So wander these foles: incresinge without nomber.

That al the worlde they vtterly encomber.

Blasphemers of Chryst; Hostlers; and Tauerners:

Crakars and bosters with Courters auenterous,

Bawdes and Pollers with comon extorcioners

Ar taken nowe adayes in the worlde moste glorious.

But the gyftes of grace and al wayes gracious

We haue excluded. Thus lyue we carnally:

Utterly subdued to al lewdnes and Foly.

Thus is of Foles a sorte almost innumerable.

Defilynge the worlde with syn and Vylany.

Some thynkinge them self moche wyse and commendable

Thoughe al theyr dayes they lyue vnthryftely.

No goodnes they perceyue nor to no goode aplye.

But if he haue a great wombe, and his Cofers ful

Than is none holde wyser bytwene London and Hul.

But to assemble these Foles in one bonde.

And theyr demerites worthely to note.

Fayne shal I Shyppes of euery maner londe.

None shalbe left: Barke, Galay, Shyp, nor Bote.

One vessel can nat brynge them al aflote.

For yf al these Foles were brought into one Barge

The bote shulde synke so sore shulde be the charge.

The sayles ar hawsed, a pleasant cole dothe blowe.

The Foles assembleth as fast as they may dryue.

Some swymmeth after: other as thycke doth rowe

In theyr small botes, as Bees about a hyue

The nomber is great, and eche one doth stryue

For to be chefe as Purser and Capytayne

Quarter mayster, Lodesman or els Boteswayne.

They ron to our shyp, eche one doth greatly fere

Lyst his slacke paas, sholde cause hym byde behynde

The wynde ryseth, and is lyke the sayle to tere

Eche one enforseth the anker vp to wynde

The se swellyth by planettes well I fynde

These obscure clowdes threteneth vs tempest

All are nat in bed whiche shall haue yll rest

We are full lade and yet forsoth I thynke

A thousand are behynde, whom we may not receyue

For if we do, our nauy clene shall synke

He oft all lesys that coueytes all to haue

From London Rockes almyghty god vs saue

For if we there anker, outher bote or barge

There be so many that they vs wyll ouercharge

Ye London Galantes, arere, ye shall nat enter

We kepe the streme, and touche nat the shore

In Cyte nor in Court we dare nat well auenter

Lyst perchaunce we sholde displeasure haue therfore

But if ye wyll nedes some shall haue an ore

And all the remenaunt shall stande afar at large

And rede theyr fautes paynted aboute our barge.

Lyke as a myrrour doth represent agayne

The fourme and fygure of mannes countenaunce

So in our shyp shall he se wrytyn playne

The fourme and fygure of his mysgouernaunce

What man is fautles, but outher ignoraunce

Or els wylfulnes causeth hym offende:

Than let hym nat disdayne this shyp, tyll he amende.

And certaynly I thynke that no creature

Lyuynge in this lyfe mortall in transytory

Can hym self kepe and stedfastly endure

Without all spot, as worthy eternall glory

But if he call to his mynde and memory

Fully the dedys both of his youthe and age

He wyll graunt in this shyp to kepe some stage

But who so euer wyll knowlege his owne foly

And it repent, lyuynge after in sympylnesse

Shall haue no place nor rowme more in our nauy

But become felawe to pallas the goddesse

But he that fyxed is in suche a blyndnesse

That thoughe he be nought he thynketh al is well

Suche shall in this Barge bere a babyll and a bell

These with other lyke may eche man se and rede

Eche by themselfe in this small boke ouerall

The fautes shall he fynde if he take good hede

Of all estatis as degres temporall

With gyders of dignytees spirituall

Bothe pore and riche, Chorles and Cytezyns

For hast to lepe a borde many bruse theyr shynnys

Here is berdles youth, and here is crokyd age

Children with theyr faders that yll do them insygne

And doth nat intende theyr wantones to swage

Nouther by worde nor yet by discyplyne

Here be men of euery science and doctryne

Lerned and vnlerned man mayde chylde and wyfe

May here se and rede the lewdenes of theyr lyfe.

Here ar vyle wymen: whome loue Immoderate

And lust Venereall bryngeth to hurt and shame.

Here ar prodigal Galantes: wyth mouers of debate.

And thousandes mo: whome I nat wel dare name.

Here ar Bacbyters whiche goode lyuers dyffame.

Brakers of wedlocke, men proude: and couetous:

Pollers, and pykers with folke delicious.

It is but foly to rehers the names here

Of al suche Foles: as in one Shelde or targe.

Syns that theyr foly dystynctly shal apere

On euery lefe: in Pyctures fayre and large.

To Barclays stody: and Pynsones cost and charge

Wherfore ye redars pray that they both may be saued

Before God, syns they your folyes haue thus graued.

But to thentent that euery man may knowe

The cause of my wrytynge: certes I intende

To profyte and to please both hye and lowe

And blame theyr fautes wherby they may amende

But if that any his quarell wyll defende

Excusynge his fautes to my derysyon

Knowe he that noble poetes thus haue done.

Afore my dayes a thousande yere ago

Blamynge and reuylynge the inconuenyence

Of people, wyllynge them to withdrawe therfro

Them I ensue: nat lyke of intellygence

And though I am nat to them lyke in science

Yet this is my wyll mynde and intencion

To blame all vyce lykewyse as they haue done.

To tender youth my mynde is to auayle

That they eschewe may all lewdenes and offence

Whiche doth theyr myndes often sore assayle

Closynge the iyen of theyr intellygence

But if I halt in meter or erre in eloquence

Or be to large in langage I pray you blame nat me

For my mater is so bad it wyll none other be.


[The Argument.]
Here after foloweth the Boke named the Shyp of Foles of the world: translated out of Laten, French and Doche into Englysse in the Colege of saynt Mary Otery By me Alexander Barclay to the felicite and moste holsom instruccion of mankynde the whiche conteyneth al suche as wandre from the way of trouth and from the open Path of holsom vnderstondynge and wysdom: fallynge into dyuers blyndnesses of ye mynde, folysshe sensualytees, and vndlawful delectacions of the body. This present Boke myght haue ben callyd nat inconuenyently the Satyr (that is to say) the reprehencion of foulysshnes, but the neweltye of the name was more plesant vnto the fyrst actour to call it the Shyp of foles: For in lyke wyse as olde Poetes Satyriens in dyuers Poesyes conioyned repreued the synnes and ylnes of the peple at that tyme lyuynge: so and in lyke wyse this our Boke representeth vnto the iyen of the redars the states and condicions of men: so that euery man may behold within the same the cours of his lyfe and his mysgouerned maners, as he sholde beholde the shadowe of the fygure of his visage within a bright Myrrour. But concernynge the translacion of this Boke: I exhort ye reders to take no displesour for yt it is nat translated word by worde acordinge to ye verses of my actour. For I haue but only drawen into our moder tunge, in rude langage the sentences of the verses as nere as the parcyte of my wyt wyl suffer me, some tyme addynge, somtyme detractinge and takinge away suche thinges a semeth me necessary and superflue. wherfore I desyre of you reders pardon of my presumptuous audacite trustynge that ye shall holde me excused if ye consyder ye scarsnes of my wyt and my vnexpert youthe. I haue in many places ouerpassed dyuers poetical digressions and obscurenes of Fables and haue concluded my worke in rude langage as shal apere in my translacion. But the speciyl cawse that mouethe me to this besynes is to auoyde the execrable inconuenyences of ydilnes whyche (as saint Bernard sayth) is moder of al vices: and to the vtter derision of obstynat men delitynge them in folyes and mysgouernance. But bycause the name of this boke semeth to the redar to procede of derysion: and by that mean that the substance therof shulde nat be profitable: I wyl aduertise you that this Boke is named the Shyp of foles of the worlde: For this worlde is nought els but a tempestous se in the whiche we dayly wander and are caste in dyuers tribulacions paynes and aduersitees: some by ignoraunce and some by wilfulnes: wherfore suche doers ar worthy to be called foles. syns they gyde them nat by reason as creatures resonable ought to do. Therfore the fyrst actoure willynge to deuyde suche foles from wysemen and gode lyuers: hathe ordeyned vpon the se of this worlde this present Shyp to contayne these folys of ye worlde, whiche ar in great nomber. So that who redeth it perfytely consyderynge his secrete dedys, he shall not lyghtly excuse hym selfe out of it, what so euer good name yt he hath outwarde in the mouth of the comontye, And to the entent yt this my laboure may be the more pleasaunt vnto lettred men, I haue adioyned vnto the same ye verses of my Actour with dyuerse concordaunces of the Bybyll to fortyfy my wrytynge by the same, and also to stop the enuyous mouthes (If any suche shal be) of them that by malyce shall barke ayenst this my besynes.


Here begynneth the foles and first inprofytable bokes.

I am the firste fole of all the hole nauy
To kepe the pompe, the helme and eke the sayle
For this is my mynde, this one pleasoure haue I
Of bokes to haue grete plenty and aparayle
I take no wysdome by them: nor yet auayle
Nor them preceyue nat: And then I them despyse
Thus am I a foole and all that sewe that guyse

That in this shyp the chefe place I gouerne

By this wyde see with folys wanderynge

The cause is playne, and easy to dyscerne

Styll am I besy bokes assemblynge

For to haue plenty it is a plesaunt thynge

In my conceyt and to haue them ay in honde

But what they mene do I nat vnderstonde

But yet I haue them in great reuerence

And honoure sauynge them from fylth and ordure

By often brusshynge, and moche dylygence

Full goodly bounde in pleasaunt couerture

Of domas, satyn, or els of veluet pure

I kepe them sure ferynge lyst they sholde be lost

For in them is the connynge wherin I me bost.

But if it fortune that any lernyd men

Within my house fall to disputacion

I drawe the curtyns to shewe my bokes then

That they of my cunnynge sholde make probacion

I kepe nat to fall in altercacion

And whyle they comon my bokes I turne and wynde

For all is in them, and no thynge in my mynde.

Tholomeus the riche causyd longe agone

Ouer all the worlde good bokes to be sought

Done was his commaundement anone

These bokes he had and in his stody brought

Whiche passyd all erthly treasoure as he thought

But neuertheles he dyd hym nat aply

Unto theyr doctryne, but lyued unhappely.

Lo in lyke wyse of bokys I haue store

But fewe I rede, and fewer understande

I folowe nat theyr doctryne nor theyr lore

It is ynoughe to bere a boke in hande

It were to moche to be it suche a bande

For to be bounde to loke within the boke

I am content on the fayre couerynge to loke

Why sholde I stody to hurt my wyt therby

Or trouble my mynde with stody excessyue

Sythe many ar whiche stody right besely

And yet therby shall they neuer thryue

The fruyt of wysdom can they nat contryue

And many to stody so moche are inclynde

That utterly they fall out of theyr mynde

Eche is nat lettred that nowe is made a lorde

Nor eche a clerke that hath a benefyce

They are nat all lawyers that plees doth recorde

All that are promotyd are nat fully wyse

On suche chaunce nowe fortune throwys hir dyce

That thoughe one knowe but the yresshe game

Yet wolde he haue a gentyllmannys name

So in lyke wyse I am in suche case

Thoughe I nought can I wolde be callyd wyse

Also I may set another in my place

Whiche may for me my bokes excercyse

Or else I shall ensue the comon gyse

And say concedo to euery argument

Lyst by moche speche my latyn sholde be spent

I am lyke other Clerkes whiche so frowardly them gyde.

That after they ar onys come vnto promocion

They gyue them to plesour theyr stody set asyde.

Theyr Auaryce couerynge with fayned deuocion.

Yet dayly they preche: and haue great derysyon

Against the rude Laymen: and al for Couetyse.

Though theyr owne Conscience be blynded wt that vyce.

But if I durst trouth playnely vtter and expresse.

This is the special cause of this Inconuenyence.

That greatest foles, and fullest of lewdnes

Hauynge least wyt: and symplest Science

Ar fyrst promoted: and haue greatest reuerence

For if one can flater, and bere a hawke on his Fyst

He shalbe made Person of Honyngton or of Clyst.

But he that is in Stody ay ferme and diligent.

And without al fauour prechyth Chrystys lore

Of al the Comontye nowe adayes is sore shent.

And by Estates thretened to Pryson oft therfore.

Thus what auayle is it, to vs to Stody more:

To knowe outher scripture, trouth, wysedom, or vertue

Syns fewe, or none without fauour dare them shewe.

But O noble Doctours, that worthy ar of name:

Consyder our olde faders: note wel theyr diligence:

Ensue ye theyr steppes: obtayne ye such fame,

As they dyd lyuynge: and that by true Prudence.

Within theyr hartys they planted theyr scyence

And nat in plesaunt bokes. But nowe to fewe suche be.

Therefore in this Shyp let them come rowe with me.

The Enuoy of Alexander Barclay Translatour exortynge the foles accloyed with this vice to amende theyr foly.

Say worthy doctours and Clerkes curious:

What moueth you of Bokes to haue such nomber.

Syns dyuers doctrines throughe way contrarious.

Doth mannys mynde distract and sore encomber.

Alas blynde men awake, out of your slomber

And if ye wyl nedys your bokes multyplye

With diligence endeuer you some to occupye.


Of euyl Counsellours, Juges and men of lawe.

He that Office hath and hyghe autorite.
To rule a Royalme: as Juge or Counsellour
Which seynge Justice, playne ryght and equyte
Them falsly blyndeth by fauour or rigour
Condemnynge wretches gyltles. And to a Transgressour
For mede shewinge fauour. Suche is as wyse a man
As he that wolde seeth a quycke Sowe in a Pan.

Right many labours nowe, with hyghe diligence

For to be Lawyers the Comons to counsayle.

Therby to be in honour had and in reuerence

But onely they labour for theyr pryuate auayle.

The purs of the Clyent shal fynde hym apparayle.

And yet knowes he neyther lawe good counsel nor Justice.

But speketh at auenture: as men throwe the dyce.

Suche in the Senate ar taken oft to counsayle

With Statis of this and many a other region.

Whiche of theyr maners vnstable ar and frayle

Nought of Lawe Ciuyl knowinge nor Canon.

But wander in derknes clerenes they haue none.

O noble Rome thou gat nat thy honours

Nor general Empyre by suche Counsellours.

Whan noble Rome all the worlde dyd gouerne

Theyr councellers were olde men iust and prudent

Whiche egally dyd euery thynge descerne

Wherby theyr Empyre became so excellent

But nowe a dayes he shall haue his intent

That hath most golde, and so it is befall

That aungels worke wonders in westmynster hall.

There cursyd coyne makyth the wronge seme right

The cause of hym that lyueth in pouertye

Hath no defence, tuycion, strength nor myght

Suche is the olde custome of this faculte

That colours oft cloke Justyce and equyte

None can the mater fele nor vnderstonde

Without the aungell be weyghty in his honde

Thus for the hunger of syluer and of golde

Justyce and right is in captyuyte

And as we se nat gyuen fre, but solde

Nouther to estates, nor sympell comonte

And though that many lawyers rightwysnes be

Yet many other dysdayne to se the ryght

And they ar suche as blynde Justycis syght

There is one and other alleged at the barre

And namely suche as chrafty were in glose

Upon the lawe: the clyentis stande afarre

Full lytell knowynge howe the mater goose

And many other the lawes clene transpose

Folowynge the example, of lawyers dede and gone

Tyll the pore Clyentis be etyn to the bone

It is not ynough to conforme thy mynde

Unto the others faynyd opynyon

Thou sholde say trouthe, so Justyce doth the bynde

And also lawe gyueth the commyssyon

To knowe hir, and kepe hir without transgressyon

Lyst they whome thou hast Juged wrongfully

Unto the hye Juge for vengeaunce on the crye.

Perchaunce thou thynkest that god taketh no hede

To mannes dedys, nor workes of offence

Yes certaynly he knowes thy thought and dede

No thynge is secrete, nor hyd from his presence

Wherefore if thou wylt gyde the by prudence

Or thou gyue Jugement of mater lesse or more

Take wyse mennys reade and good counsayle before

Loke in what Balance, what weyght and what mesure

Thou seruest other. for thou shalt serued be

With the same after this lyfe I the ensure.

If thou ryghtwysly Juge by lawe and equyte

Thou shalt haue presence of goddes hyghe maiestye

But if thou Juge amys: than shall Eacus

(As Poetis sayth) hell Juge thy rewarde discusse

God is aboue and regneth sempiternally.

Whiche shall vs deme at his last Jugement,

And gyue rewardes to echone egally

After suche fourme as he his lyfe hath spent

Than shall we them se whome we as violent

Traytours: haue put to wronge in worde or dede

And after our deserte euen suche shall be our mede

There shall be no Bayle nor treatynge of maynpryse

Ne worldly wysdome there shall no thynge preuayle

There shall be no delayes vntyll another Syse

But outher quyt, or to infernall Gayle.

Ill Juges so iuged, Lo here theyr trauayle

Worthely rewarded in wo withouten ende.

Than shall no grace be graunted ne space to amende.

The Enuoy of Alexander Barclay the translatour.

Therfore ye yonge Studentes of the Chauncery:

(I speke nat to the olde the Cure of them is past)

Remember that Justyce longe hath in bondage be

Reduce ye hir nowe vnto lybertye at the last.

Endeuer you hir bondes to louse or to brast

Hir raunsome is payde and more by a thousande pounde

And yet alas the lady Justyce lyeth bounde.

Thoughe your fore Faders haue take hir prysoner

And done hir in a Dongeon nat mete for hir degre

Lay to your handes and helpe hir from daungere

And hir restore vnto hir lybertye

That pore men and monyles may hir onys se

But certaynly I fere lyst she hath lost hir name

Or by longe prysonment shall after euer be lame.


Of Auaryce or Couetyse and prodygalyte.

Ye that ar gyuen ouer moche to Couetyse
Come nere, a place is here for you to dwel
Come nere ye wastfull people in lyke wyse
Youre rowme shall be hye in the Topcastell
Ye care for no shame, for heuen nor for hell
Golde is your god, ryches gotten wrongfully
Ye dame your soule, and yet lyue in penury.

He that is besy euery day and houre

Without mesure, maner, or moderacion

To gather riches and great store of treasoure

Therof no ioy takinge, confort nor consolacion.

He is a Fole: and of blynde and mad opynyon

For that which he getteth and kepeth wrongfully

His heyre often wasteth moche more vnthryftely.

While he here lyueth in this lyfe caduke and mortal.

Ful sore he laboureth: and oft hungry gothe to bed

Sparinge from hymselfe: for hym that neuer shal

After do hym goode. thoughe he were harde bested.

Thus is this Couetous wretche so blyndly led

By the fende that here he lyueth wretchydly

And after his deth damned eternally.

There wandreth he in dolour and derknes

Amonge infernall flodes tedyous and horryble

Let se what auayleth than all his ryches

Ungracyously gotyne, his paynes ar terryble

Than wolde he amende but it is inpossyble

In hell is no order nor hope of remedy

But sorowe vpon sorowe, and that euerlastyngly.

Yet fynde I another vyce as bad as this

Whiche is the vyce of prodygalyte

He spendyth all in ryot and amys

Without all order, pursuynge pouertye

He lyketh nat to lyue styll in prosperite

But all and more he wastyth out at large

(Beware the ende) is the leste poynt of his charge.

But of the couetous somwhat to say agayne

Thou art a fole thy soule to sell for riches

Or put thy body to labour or to payne

Thy mynde to fere, thy herte to heuynesse

Thou fole thou fleest no maner cruelnesse

So thou may get money, to make thy heyr a knyght

Thou sleest thy soule where as thou saue it myght

Thou hast no rest thy mynde is euer in fere

Of mysauenture, nor neuer art content

Deth is forgoten, thou carest nat a here

To saue thy soule from infernall punysshement

If thou be dampned, than art thou at thy stent

By thy ryches which thou here hast left behynde

To thy executours, thou shalt small comforte fynde

Theyr custome is to holde fast that they haue

Thy pore soule shall be farthest fro theyr thought

If that thy carkes be brought onys in the graue

And that they haue thy bagges in handes cought

What say they, than (by god the man had nought)

Whyle he here lyuyd he was to lyberall

Thus dampned is thy soule, thy ryches cause of all

Who wyll denay but it is necesary

Of riches for to haue plenty and store

To this opynyon I wyll nat say contrary

So it be ordred after holy lore

Whyle thy selfe leuest departe some to the pore

With thy owne hande trust nat thy executours

Gyue for god, and god shall sende at all houres

Rede Tullius warkes the worthy Oratour.

And writen shalt thou fynde in right fruteful sentence

That neuer wyseman loued ouer great honour.

Nor to haue great riches put ouer great diligence

But onely theyr mynde was set on Sapience

And quyetly to lyue in Just symplycite.

For in greatest honour is greatest ieoperdye.

He that is symple, and on the grounde doth lye

And that can be content with ynoughe or suffisaunce

Is surer by moche than he that lyeth on hye.

Nowe vp nowe downe vnsure as a Balaunce.

But sothly he that set wyll his plesance

Onely on wysdom and styl therfore labour.

Shal haue more goode than all erthly tresour.

Wysdom techeth to eschewe al offence.

Gydynge mankynde the ryght way to vertue.

But of couetyse Comys all Inconuenyence.

It cawseth man of worde to be vntrue.

Forswerynge and falshode doth it also ensue.

Brybery and Extorcion, murder and myschefe.

Shame is his ende: his lyuyinge is reprefe.

By couetyse Crassus brought was to his ende.

By it the worthy Romayns lost theyr name.

Of this one yl a thousand ylles doth descende.

Besyde enuy, Pryde, wretchydnes and Shame.

Crates the Philosopher dyd Couetyse so blame:

That to haue his mynde vnto his stody fre.

He threwe his Tresour all hole into the see.

But shortly to conclude. Both bodely bondage.

And gostly also: procedeth of this couetyse.

The soule is damned the body hath damage

As hunger, thyrst, and colde with other preiudice.

Bereft of the ioyes of heuenly Paradyse.

For golde was theyr god and that is left behynde

Theyr bodyes beryed the soule clene out of mynde

The Enuoy of Alexander Barclay translatour.

Therefore thou couetouse thou wretch I speke to the.

Amende thy selfe ryse out of this blyndenes.

Content the wyth ynoughe for thy degre.

Dam nat thy soule by gatheringe frayle riches

Remembre this is a Uale of wretchednes.

Thou shalt no rest nor dwellynge place here fynde.

Depart thou shalt and leue it al behynde.



Of newe fassions and disgised Garmentes.

Who that newe garmentes loues or deuyses.
Or weryth by his symple wyt, and vanyte
Gyuyth by his foly and vnthryfty gyses
Moche yl example to yonge Comontye.
Suche one is a Fole and skant shal euer thee
And comonly it is sene that nowe a dayes
One Fole gladly folowes anothers wayes.

Drawe nere ye Courters and Galants disgised

Ye counterfayt Caytifs, that ar nat content

As god hath you made: his warke is despysed

Ye thynke you more crafty than God onipotent.

Unstable is your mynde: that shewes by your garment.

A fole is knowen by his toyes and his Cote.

But by theyr clothinge nowe may we many note.

Aparayle is apayred. Al sadness is decayde

The garmentes ar gone that longed to honestye.

And in newe sortes newe Foles ar arayede

Despisynge the costom of good antiquyte.

Mannys fourme is disfigured with euery degre

As Knyght Squyer yeman Jentilman and knaue,

For al in theyr goynge vngoodely them behaue

The tyme hath ben, nat longe before our dayes

Whan men with honest ray coude holde them self content.

Without these disgised: and counterfayted wayes.

Wherby theyr goodes ar wasted, loste, and spent.

Socrates with many mo in wysdom excellent.

Bycause they wolde nought change that cam of nature

Let growe theyre here without cuttinge or scissure.

At that tyme was it reputed to lawde and great honour.

To haue longe here: the Beerde downe to the brest

For so they vsed that were of moste valour.

Stryuynge together who myht be godlyest

Saddest, moste clenely, discretest, and moste honest.

But nowe adayes together we contende and stryue.

Who may be gayest: and newest wayes contryue.

Fewe kepeth mesure, but excesse and great outrage

In theyr aparayle. And so therin they procede

That theyr goode is spent: theyr Londe layde to morgage.

Or solde out right: of Thryft they take no hede.

Hauinge no Peny them to socour at theyr nede.

So whan theyr goode by suche wastefulnes is loste.

They sel agayne theyr Clothes for half that they coste.

A fox furred Jentelman: of the fyrst yere or hede.

If he be made a Bailyf a Clerke or a Constable.

And can kepe a Parke or Court and rede a Dede

Than is Ueluet to his state mete and agreable.

Howbeit he were more mete to here a Babyl.

For his Foles Hode his iyen so sore doth blynde

That Pryde expelleth his lynage from his mynde.

Yet fynde I another sort almoste as bad as thay.

As yonge Jentylmen descended of worthy Auncetry.

Whiche go ful wantonly in dissolute aray.

Counterfayt, disgised, and moche vnmanerly

Blasinge and garded: to lowe or else to hye.

And wyde without mesure: theyr stuffe to wast thus gothe

But other some they suffer to dye for lacke of clothe.

Some theyr neckes charged with colers, and chaynes

As golden withtthes: theyr fyngers ful of rynges:

Theyr neckes naked: almoste vnto the raynes

Theyr sleues blasinge lyke to a Cranys wynges

Thus by this deuysinge suche counterfayted thinges

They dysfourme that figure that god hymselfe hath made

On pryde and abusion thus ar theyr myndes layde.

Than the Courters careles that on theyr mayster wayte

Seinge hym his Uesture in suche fourme abuse

Assayeth suche Fassion for them to counterfayte.

And so to sue Pryde contynually they muse.

Than stele they; or Rubbe they. Forsoth they can nat chuse.

For without Londe or Labour harde is it to mentayne.

But to thynke on the Galows that is a careful payne.

But be it payne or nat: there many suche ende.

At Newgate theyr garmentis ar offred to be solde.

Theyr bodyes to the Jebet solemly ascende.

Wauynge with the wether whyle theyr necke wyl holde.

But if I shulde wryte al the ylles manyfolde.

That procedeth of this counterfayt abusion

And mysshapen Fassions: I neuer shulde haue done.

For both States, comons, man, woman, and chylde

Ar vtterly inclyed to this inconuenyence.

But namely therwith these Courters are defyled.

Bytwen mayster and man I fynde no dyfference.

Therfore ye Courters knowledge your offence.

Do nat your errour mentayne, support nor excuse.

For Fowles ye ar your Rayment thus to abuse.

To Shyp Galauntes come nere I say agayne.

Wyth your set Busshes Curlynge as men of Inde.

Ye counterfayted Courters come with your fleinge brayne

Expressed by these variable Garmentes that ye fynde.

To tempt chast Damsels and turne them to your mynde

Your breste ye discouer and necke. Thus your abusion

Is the Fendes bate. And your soules confusion.

Come nere disgysed foles: receyue your Foles Hode.

And ye that in sondry colours ar arayde.

Ye garded galantes wastinge thus your goode

Come nere with your Shertes brodered and displayed.

In fourme of Surplys. Forsoth it may be sayde.

That of your Sort right fewe shal thryue this yere.

Or that your faders werith suche Habyte in the Quere.

And ye Jentyl wymen whome this lewde vice doth blynde

Lased on the backe: your peakes set a loft.

Come to my Shyp. forget ye nat behynde.

Your Sadel on the tayle: yf ye lyst to sit soft.

Do on your Decke Slut: if ye purpos to come oft.

I mean your Copyntanke: And if it wyl do no goode.

To kepe you from the rayne. ye shall haue a foles hode.

By the ale stake knowe we the ale hous

And euery Jnne is knowen by the sygne

So a lewde woman and a lechcrous

Is knowen by hir clothes, be they cours or fyne

Folowynge newe fassyons, not graunted by doctryne

The bocher sheweth his flesshe it to sell

So doth these women dampnyng theyr soule to hell

What shall I more wryte of our enormyte

Both man and woman as I before haue sayde

Ar rayde and clothyd nat after theyr degre

As nat content with the shape that god hath made

The clenlynes of Clergye is nere also decayed.

Our olde apparale (alas) is nowe layde downe

And many prestes asshamed of theyr Crowne.

Unto laymen we vs refourme agayne

As of chryste our mayster in maner halfe asshamed

My hert doth wepe: my tunge doth sore complayne

Seing howe our State is worthy to be blamed.

But if all the Foly of our Hole Royalme were named

Of mys apparayle of Olde, young, lowe, and hye,

The tyme shulde fayle: and space to me denye.

Alas thus al states of Chrysten men declynes.

And of wymen also disfourmynge theyr fygure.

Wors than the Turkes, Jewes, or Sarazyns.

A Englonde Englonde amende or be thou sure

Thy noble name and fame can nat endure

Amende lyst god do greuously chastyce.

Bothe the begynners and folowes of this vyce.

The Enuoy of Alexander Barclay ye translatour.

Reduce courters clerly vnto your rembrance

From whens this disgysyng was brought wherein ye go

As I remember it was brought out of France.

This is to your plesour. But payne ye had also.

As French Pockes hote ylles with other paynes mo.

Take ye in good worth the swetnes with the Sour.

For often plesour endeth with sorowe and dolour.

But ye proude Galaundes that thus yourselfe disgise

Be ye asshamed. beholde vnto your Prynce.

Consyder his sadnes: His honestye deuyse

His clothynge expresseth his inwarde prudence

Ye se no Example of suche Inconuenyence

In his hyghnes: but godly wyt and grauyte.

Ensue hym: and sorowe for your enormyte.

Away with this pryde, this statelynes let be

Rede of the Prophetis clothynge or vesture

And of Adam firste of your ancestrye

Of Johnn the Prophete, theyr clothynge was obscure

Uyle and homly, but nowe what creature

Wyll then eusue, sothly fewe by theyr wyll

Therfore suche folys my nauy shall fulfyll


Of old folys that is to say the longer they lyue the more they ar gyuen to foly.

Howe beit I stoup, and fast declyne
Dayly to my graue, and sepulture
And though my lyfe fast do enclyne
To pay the trybute of nature
Yet styll remayne I and endure
In my olde synnes, and them nat hate
Nought yonge, wors olde, suche is my state.

The madnes of my youthe rotyd in my age

And the blynde foly of my iniquite

Wyll me nat suffer to leue myne old vsage

Nor my fore lyuynge full of enormyte

Lame ar his lymmys, and also I can nat se

I am a childe and yet lyuyd haue I

An hundreth wynter, encresynge my foly.

But though I myght lerne my wyll is nat therto

But besy I am and fully set my thought

To gyue example to children to mysdo

By my lewde doctryne bryngynge them to nought

And whan they ar onys into my daunce brought

I teche them my foly wysdome set asyde

My selfe example, begynner, and theyr gyde.

My lewde lyfe, my foly and my selfwyllyd mynde

Whiche I haue styll kept hytherto in this lyfe

In my testament I leue wryten behynde

Bequethyng parte both to man childe and wyfe

I am the actour of myschefe and of stryfe

The foly of my youth and the inconuenyence

In age I practyse, techynge by experyence

I am a fole and glad am of that name

Desyrynge lawde for eche vngracious dede

And of my foly to spred abrode the same

To showe my vyce and synne, as voyde of drede

Of heuen or hell. therfore I take no hede

But as some stryue disputynge of theyr cunnynge

Right so do I in lewdnes and myslyuynge.

Somtyme I bost me of falshode and dysceyt

Somtyme of the sede that sawyn is by me

Of all myschefe, as murder flatery debate

Couetyse bacbytynge theft and lechery

My mynde is nat to mende my iniquyte

But rather I sorowe that my lyfe is wore

That I can nat do as I haue done before

But syns my lyfe so sodaynly dothe apeyre

That byde I can nat styll in this degre

I shall infourme and teche my sone and heyre

To folowe his fader, and lerne this way of me

The way is large, god wot glad shall he be

Lernynge my lore with affeccion and desyre

And folowe the steppys of his vnthryfty syre

I trust so crafty and wyse to make the lad

That me his father he shall pas and excell

O that my herte shall than be wonder glad

If I here of may knowe, se, or here tell

If he be false faynynge sotyll or cruell

And so styll endure I haue a speciall hope

To make hym scrybe to a Cardynall or Pope.

Or els if he can be a fals extorcyoner

Fasynge and bostynge to scratche and to kepe

He shall be made a comon costomer

As yche hope of Lyn Calays or of Depe

Than may he after to some great offyce crepe

So that if he can onys plede a case

He may be made Juge of the comon place.

Thus shall he lyue as I haue all his dayes

And in his age increas his folysshenes

His fader came to worshyp by suche ways

So shall the sone, if he hym selfe addres

To sue my steppes in falshode and lewdnes

And at leste if he can come to no degre

This shyp of folys shall he gouerne with me

Barklay To the Folys.

Awake age alas what thynkest thou be

Awake I say out of thy blynde derkenes

Remembrest thou nat that shortly thou shalt dye

Aryse from synne amende thy folysshenes

Though thy youth reted were in vyciousnes

Aryse in age is full tyme to leue it

Thy graue is open thy one fote in the pyt

Leue thy bostynge of that thou hast done amys

Bewayle thy synnes, sayeng with rufull mone

Delicta iuuentutis mee deus ne memineris

Amende the or thy youth be fully gone

That sore is harde to hele that bredes in the bone

He that is nought yonge, procedynge so in age

Shall skant euer his vyciousnes asswage

What thinge is more abhomynable in goddes syght.

Than vicious age: certaynly no thynge.

It is eke worldly shame, whan thy corage and mycht

Is nere dekayed, to kepe thy lewde lyuynge.

And by example of the, thy yonge children to brynge.

Into a vicious lyfe: and all goodnes to hate.

Alas age thus thou art the Fendes bate.


Of the erudicion of neglygent faders anenst theyr chyldren.

That fole that suffreth his Chylde for to offende
Wythout rebukynge, blame, and correccion.
And hym nat exhorteth, hymselfe to amende.
Of suche fawtes as by hym ar done.
Shal it sore repent: god wote howe sone
For oft the faders foly, fauour, and neglygence
Causeth the Chylde for to fall to great offence

A myserable Fole euermore shal he be.

A wretche vnauysed, and a Catyf blynde.

Whiche his chyldren fawtes forseth nat to see

Hauynge no care for to induce theyr mynde

To godly vertue: and vyce to leue behynde.

For whyle they ar yonge fereful and tender of age

Theyre vyce and foly is easy to asswage.

Two dyuers sortes of these foles may we fynde.

By whome theyr chyldren ar brought to confusion.

The one is neglygent. the other is starke blynde.

Nat wyllynge to beholde his childes yl condicion.

Whyle he is in youthe: But for a conclusion

He is a Fole that wyl nat se theyr vyce.

And he that seyth: and wyl it nat chastyce.

Alas thou art a cursed counselloure

To wanton youth that tender is of age

To let them wander without gouernoure

Or wyse mayster, in youthes furious rage

Get them a mayster theyr foly to asswage

For as a herdles flocke strayth in Jepardy

So children without gyde wandreth in foly.

To moche lyberty pleasoure and lycence

Gyuen vnto youth, whether it be or age

Right often causyth great inconuenyence

As ryot mysrule with other sore damage

Theyr londe and goodes solde or layde to gage

But thou folysshe father art redy to excuse

Thy yonge children of theyr synne and abuse

Thou sayst they ar ouer tender to eschewe

Theyr folysshe maners and they haue no skyll

To knowe the wayes of goodnes or vertue

Nor to discerne what is gode, what is yll

Thou blynde dodart these wordes holde thou styll

Theyr youth can nat excuse thy folysshenes

He that can yll as well myght lerne goodnes

A yonge hert is as apt to take wysdome

As is an olde, and if it rotyd be

It sawyth sede of holy lyfe to come

Also in children we often tymes se

Great aptness outwarde and syne of grauyte

But fyll an erthen pot first with yll lycoure

And euer after it shall smell somwhat soure

So youth brought vp in lewdnes and in sin

Shall skant it shrape so clene out of his mynde

But that styll after some spot wyll byde within

A lytell twygge plyant is by kynde

A bygger braunche is harde to bowe or wynde

But suffer the braunche to a byg tre to growe

And rather it shall brake than outher wynde or bowe

Correct thy childe whyle he is lyke a twygge

Soupyll and plyant, apt to correccion

It wyll be harde forsoth whan he is bygge

To brynge his stubron herte to subieccion

What hurtyth punysshement with moderacion

Unto yonge children, certaynely no thynge

It voydeth vyce, gettynge vertue and cunnynge

Say folysshe fader haddest thou leuer se

Thy sonnes necke vnwrested wyth a rope.

Than with a rod his skyn shulde brokyn be.

And oft thou trustest: and hast a stedfast hope

To se thy son promoted nere as hye as is the Pope

But yet perchaunce mourne thou shalt ful sore.

For his shameful ende: fortuned for lacke of lore.

Some folowe theyr chyldrens wyl and lewde plesour

So grauntinge them theyr mynde: that after it doth fal

To theyr great shame: they sorowe and dolour

As dyd to Priamus a Kynge Imperial

Whiche suffred his men: his son chefe of them al

By force from Grece to robbe the fayre Helayne.

Wherby both Fader and son were after slayne.

With noble Hector and many thousandes mo.

The Cyte of Troy vnto the ground clene brent.

I rede in the Cronycles of the Romayns also

Howe Tarquyne the proude had shame and punysshment

For rauysshynge chaste Lucres agaynst hyr assent.

Wherfore hyrselfe she slewe hyr seynge thus defiled.

For the which dede this Tarquyn was exiled,

From Rome: wandrynge in the Costes of Italy.

Dyd nat the traytour Catelyne also conspyre

And many mo sworne to his cruel tyranny

Agaynst the Romans to oppresse theyr Impyre,

But he and all his were murdred for theyr hyre,

And nat vnworthely. Beholde wherto they come

Which ar nat enfourmed in youth to ensue wysdom.

The son oft foloweth the faders behauour

And if the fader be discrete and vertuous.

The son shal suche wayes practyse both day and hour.

But if that the fader be lewde and vicious

By falshode lyuynge: and by wayes cautelous.

The son also the same wayes wyl ensue

And that moche rather than goodnes or vertue

Therfore it nedeth that better prouysion.

Were founde for youthe by sad and wyse counsayle

Far from theyr faders of this condicion.

And other lewde gydes which myght theyr myndes assayle

Greuously wyth syn. So were it theyr auayle

From theyr faders frawde and falshode to declyne

And them submyt to some lawdable mannys doctryne.

Peleus, somtyme a noble and worthy kynge

Subdued Achylles vnto the doctryne

Of phenix whiche was both worthy and cunnynge

Wherfore Achyllys right gladly dyd enclyne

With his hert and mynde vnto his disciplyne

Wherby his name so noble was at the last

That all Asy in worthynes he past

Ryght so Philippus a kynge worthy of name

Ouer all Grece made great iniquicion

To fynde one wyse, sad and laudable of fame

To Alexander his sonne for to gyue Instruccion

Founde was great Aristotyl at the conclusion

Disciple of Plato. whiche in euery Science.

Infourmed this chylde with parfyte diligence.

Whiche Alexander afterward had so great dignyte.

What by his strength, his cunnynge, and boldenes.

That he was lorde both of Londe and See.

And none durst rebel aganst his worthynes.

Lo here the lawde, the honour, and nobles.

Which dothe procede of vertue and doctryne

But few ar the faders that nowe hereto inclyne

Fewe ar that forceth nowe adayes to se

Theyr chyldren taught: or to do any cost

On som sad man, wyse, and of auctorite:

Al that is theron bestowed thynke they loste.

The folyssh Fader oft tymes maketh great boste.

That he his son to habundant riches shal auance

But no thynge he speketh of vertuous gouernance.

The feder made but smal shyft or prouysion.

To induce his Son by vertuous doctryne.

But whan he is dede and past: moche les shal the son

To stody of grace his mynde or hert inclyne.

But abuse his reason: and from al good declyne.

Alas folysshe faders gyue your aduertence

To Crates complaynt comprysed in this sentence.

If it were graunted to me to shewe my thought

Ye follysshe faders Caytifes I myght you cal

Whiche gather riches to brynge your chylde to nought.

Gyuynge him occasion forto be prodigal.

But goode nor cunnynge shewe ye hym none at all.

But whan ye drawe to age, ye than moste comonly.

Sorowe for your suffrance. But without remedy.

An olde sore to hele is oft halfe incurable

Ryght so ar these Chyldren roted in myschefe

Some after euer lyueth a lyfe abhomynable

To all theyr Kyn great sorowe and reprefe.

The one is a murderer the other a fereles thefe,

The one of god nor goode man hath no fors ne care.

Another so out wasteth that his frendes ar ful bare.

Some theyr londe and lyuelode in riot out wasteth,

At cardes, and, tenys, and other vnlawful gamys.

And some wyth the Dyce theyr thryft away casteth.

Some theyr soule damnes, and theyr body shames.

With flesshly lust: which many one dyffamys.

Spendynge the floures of youth moche vnthryftely.

On dyuers Braunches that longe to Lechery.

Another delyteth hymselfe in Glotony.

Etynge and drynkynge without maner, or mesure:

The more that some drynke: the more they wax drye.

He is moste Galant whyche lengest can endure.

Thus without mesure ouercharge they theyr nature.

So that theyr Soule is loste theyr body and goode is spent.

For lacke of doctryne, Norture and punysshment.

Se here playne prose, example and euydence

Howe youthe which is nat norysshed in doctryne.

In age is gyuen vnto al Inconuenyence.

But nought shall make youthe soner forto inclyne.

To noble maners: nor Godly dysciplyne:

Than shal the doctryne of a mayster wyse and sad:

For the rote of vertue and wysdome therby is had.

Without dout Noblenes is moche excellent

Whiche oft causeth youth to be had in great honour.

To haue the name, and lawde they ar content.

Thoughe it be nat gotten by theyr owne labour.

But what auayleth them this lewde obscure errour

Of suche hye byrthe them self to magnyfy.

Sythe they defyle it with vice and Uilany.

Why art thou proude thou foul of that nobles

Whyche is nat gotten by thyne owne vertue.

By thy goode maners, wyt nor worthynes:

But this forsothe oft tymes fynde I true

That of a goode beste, yl whelpes may weshewe.

In lyke wyse of a Moder that is bothe chast and goode.

Often is brought forth a ful vngracious Brode.

But though the childe be of lewde condicion

And of his nature frowarde and varyable

If the fader be slacke in the correccion

Of his childe, he onely is culpable

Whiche wyll nat teche hym maners commendable

Thus is the fader a fole for his suffraunce

And the sone also for his mysgouernaunce

The Enuoy.

Auoyd faders your fauour and suffraunce

Anenst your children in theyr faute and offence

Reduce ye clerely vnto your remembraunce

That many a thousande inconuenyence

Haue children done by theyr faders negligence

But to say trouth brefely in one clause

The fader's fauour onely is the cause


Of tale berers, fals reporters, and prometers of stryfes.

Of folys yet fynde I another maner sorte
Whiche ar cause of brawlynge stryfe and deuysion
Suche ar dowble tongyd that lesyngys reporte
Therby trustynge to come to great promosion
But suche lewde caytyfes at the conclusion
Bytwene two mylstons theyr legges puttes to grynde
And for rewarde, theyr confusion shall they fynde.

Some ar that thynke the pleasoure and ioy of theyr lyfe

To brynge men in brawlynge to discorde and debate

Enioynge to moue them to chydynge and to stryfe

And where loue before was to cause mortall hate

With the comonty, and many great estate

Suche is moche wors than outher murderer or thefe

For ofte of his talys procedeth grete myschefe

Within his mouth is venym Jeperdous and vyle

His tonge styll laboryth lesynges to contryue

His mynde styll museth of falshode and on gyle

Therwith to trobyll suche as gladly wolde nat stryue

Somtyme his wordes as dartis he doth dryue

Agaynst good men: for onely his delyte.

Is set to sclaunder to diffame and bacbyte.

And namely them that fautles ar and innocent.

Of conscience clene, and maners commendable

These dryuyls sclaunder, beynge full dilygent.

To deuyde, louers that ar moste agreable

His tonge Infect his mynde abhomynable

Infectyth loue and ouertourneth charyte

Of them that longe tyme haue lyuyd in amyte

But he that accused is thus without all faute

And so sclaundred of this caytyf vnthryfty

Knowyth nought of this ieoperdous assaute

For he nought dowteth that is no thynge fauty

Thus whyle he nought feryth comyth sodaynly

This venemous doloure distaynynge his gode name

And so gyltles put to rebuke, and to shame.

Thus if one serche and seke the worlde ouerall

Than a backbyter nought is more peryllous

His mynde myscheuous, his wordys ar mortall

His damnable byt is foule and venemous

A thousande lyes of gyles odyous

He castyth out where he wolde haue debate

Engendrynge murder whan he his tyme can wayt

Where as any frendes lyueth in accorde

Faythfull and true: this cowarde and caytyf

With his fals talys them bryngeth to dyscorde

And with his venym kepeth them in stryfe

But howe beit that he thus pas forth his lyfe

Sawynge his sede of debate and myschefe

His darte oft retourneth to his own reprefe

But nat withstandynge, suche boldely wyl excuse

His fals dyffamynge: as fautles and innocent.

If any hym for his dedes worthely accuse

He couereth his venym: as symple of intent.

Other ar whiche flater: and to euery thynge assent.

Before face folowynge the way of adulacion,

Whiche afterwarde sore hurteth by detraccion.

The worlde is nowe alle set on dyffamacion.

Suche ar moste cherisshed that best can forge a tale.

Whych shulde be moste had in abhomynacion.

And so they ar of wyse men without fayle.

But suche as ar voyde of wysdom and counsayle

Inclyneth theyr erys to sclander and detraccion,

Moche rather than they wolde to a noble sermon.

But euery Sclanderer, and begynner of stryfe.

Lousers of loue, and infecters of Charite.

Unworthy ar to lyue here at large in this lyfe.

But in derke Dongeon they worthy ar to be.

And there to remayne in pryson tyl they dye.

For with there yl tunges they labour to destroy

Concorde: whiche cause is of loue and of ioy.

An olde quean that hath ben nought al hyr dayes.

Whiche oft hath for money hyr body let to hyre

Thynketh that al other doth folowe hyr olde wayes.

So she and hyr boul felawes syttinge by the fyre.

The Boule about walkynge with theyr tunges they conspyre

Agaynst goode peple, to sclander them wyth shame.

Than shal the noughty doughter lerne of the bawdy dame.

By his warkes knowen is euery creature

For if one good, louynge, meke and charitable be.

He labours no debates amonge men to procure.

But coueyteth to norysshe true loue and charite.

Where as the other ful of falshode and iniquyte

Theyr synguler plesour put to ingender variaunce.

But oft theyr folysshe stody retournes to theyr myschaunce

Therfore ye bacbyters that folke thus dyffame

Leue of your lewdnes and note wel this sentence.

Which Cryist hymself sayd: to great rebuke and shame

Unto them that sclandreth a man of Innocence.

Wo be to them whych by malyuolence

Slandreth or dyffameth any creature.

But wel is hym that wyth pacience can indure.


Of hym that wyll nat folowe nor ensue good counsell, and necessary.

Of folys yet another sorte doth come
Vnto our shyp rowynge with great trauayle
Whiche nought perceyue of doctryne nor wysdome
And yet dysdayne they to aske wyse counseyll
Nor it to folowe for theyr owne auayle
Let suche folys therat haue no dysdayne
If they alone endure theyr losse and payne

He is a fole that dothe coueyt and desyre

To haue the name of wysdome and prudence

And yet of one sought thorugh a cyte or a shyre

None coude be founde of lesse wysdome nor science

But whyle he thynketh hym full of sapience

Crafty and wyse, doutles he is more blynde

Than is that fole whiche is out of his mynde

But though he be wyse, and of myght meruaylous

Endued with retoryke and with eloquence

And of hym selfe both ware and cautelous

If he be tachyd with this inconuenyence

To dysdayne others counseyll and sentence

He is vnwyse, for oft a folys counsayle

Tourneth a wyse man to consort and auayle

But specially the read and auysement

Of wyse men, discrete, and full of grauyte

Helpeth thyne owne, be thou never so prudent

To thy purpose gyuynge strength and audacyte.

One man alone knowys nat all polycye

Thoughe thou haue wysdome cunnynge and scyence

Yet hath another moche more experience

Some cast out wordes in paynted eloquence

Thynkynge therby to be reputed wyse

Thoughe they haue neyther wysdome nor science

Suche maner folys them self do exercyse

A plughe and teame craftely to deuyse

To ere the path that folys erst hath made

The trouth vnder glose of suche is hyd and layde

For why, they trust alway to theyr owne mynde

And furour begon whether it be good or yll

As if any other, no wyser read coude fynde

Thus they ensue theyr pryuate folysshe wyll

Oft in suche maters wherin they haue no skyll

As did Pyrrus whiche began cruell Batayle

Agaynst Orestes refusynge wyse counsayle

But folowyd his owne rasshe mynde without auayle

As blynde and obstynat of his intencion

Wherfore he was disconfyted in Batayle

Hymselfe slayne, his men put to confusyon

If that the Troyans in theyr abusyon

With false Parys, had confourmed theyr intent

To Helenns counsayle Troy had nat ben brent.

For that Priamus his mynde wolde nat aply

To the counseyll of Cassandra Prophetes

The grekys distroyed a great parte of Asy

Hector also by his selfwyllydnes

Was slayne with Peyn for all his doughtynes

Of Achylles in open and playne Batayle

For nat folowynge of his faders counsayle

If Hector that day had byddyn within Troy

And vnto his fader bene obedient

Perchaunce he sholde haue lyuyd in welth and ioy

Longe tyme after and come to his intent

Whereas his body was with a spere through rent

Of the sayd Achyllys cruell and vnkynde

Alas for suynge his owne selfwyllyd mynde

I rede of Nero moche cursed and cruell

Whiche to wyse counsayle hymself wolde nat agre

But in all myschef all other dyd excell

Delytynge hym in synne and crueltye

But howe dyde he ende forsoth in myserye

And at the last as wery of his lyfe

Hymselfe he murdred with his owne hand and knyfe

The Bybyll wytnessyth howe the prophete Thoby

Gaue his dere sone in chefe commaundement

That if he wolde lyue sure without ieoperdy

He sholde sue the counsayle of men wyse and prudent

The story of Roboam is also euydent

Whiche for nat suynge of counseyll and wysdome

Lost his Empyre, his scepter and kyngdome

If that it were nat for cawse of breuyte

I coude shewe many of our predecessours

Whiche nat folowynge counceyll of men of grauyte

Soone haue decayed from theyr olde honours

I rede of Dukes, Kynges, and Emperours

Whiche dispysynge the counsayle of men of age

Haue after had great sorowe and damage.

For he suerly whiche is so obstynate

That onely he trusteth to his owne blyndnes

Thynkynge all wysdome within his dotynge pate

He often endyth in sorowe and dystres

Wherfore let suche theyr cours swyftly addres

To drawe our Plough, and depe to ere the ground

That by theyr laboure all folys may be founde.

The Enuoy of Alexander Barclay the Translatour.

O man vnauysed, thy blyndnes set asyde

Knowledge thy owne foly thy statelynes expel

Let nat for thy eleuate mynde nor folysshe pryde,

To order thy dedes by goode and wyse counsel

Howbeit thou thynke thy reason doth excel

Al other mennys wyt. yet oft it doth befall.

Anothers is moche surer: and thyn the worst of all.


Of disordred and vngoodly maners.

Drawe nere ye folys of lewde condicion
Of yll behauoure gest and countenaunce
Your proude lokys, disdayne and derysyon
Expresseth your inwarde folysshe ignoraunce
Nowe wyll I touche your mad mysgoueraunce
Whiche hast to foly, And folysshe company
Treylynge your Baybll in sygne of your foly

In this our tyme small is the company

That haue good maners worthy of reuerence

But many thousandes folowe vylany

Prone to all synne and inconuenyence

Stryuynge who sonest may come to all offence

Of lewde condicions and vnlefulnesse

Blyndnes of yll, and defylyd folysshenesse

All myserable men alas haue set theyr mynde

On lothsome maners clene destytute of grace

Theyr iyen dymmyd, theyr hertes are so blynde

That heuenly ioy none forceth to purchace

Both yonge and olde procedeth in one trace

With ryche and pore without all dyfference

As bonde men subdued to foly and offence

Some ar busshed theyr bonetes, set on syde.

Some waue theyr armys and hede to and fro

Some in no place can stedfastly abyde

More wylde and wanton than outher buk or do

Some ar so proude that on fote they can nat go

But get they must with countenaunce vnstable

Shewynge them folys, frayle and varyable

Some chyde that all men do them hate

Some gygyll and lawgh without grauyte

Some thynkes, hymselfe a gentylman or state

Though he a knaue caytyf and bonde churle be

These folys ar so blynde them self they can nat so

A yonge boy that is nat worth an onyon

With gentry or presthode is felowe and companyon.

Brybours and Baylyes that lyue upon towlynge

Are in the world moche set by nowe a dayes

Sergeauntis and Catchpollys that lyue upon powlynge

Courters and caytyfs begynners of frayes

Lyue styll encreasynge theyr vnhappy wayes

And a thousande mo of dyuers facultyes

Lyue auauntynge them of theyr enormytees.

Within the chirche and euery other place

These folys use theyr lewde condicions

Some starynge some cryeng some haue great solace

In rybawde wordes, some in deuysyons

Some them delyte in scornes and derysons

Some pryde ensueth and some glotony.

Without all norture gyuen to vylany

Theyr lyfe is folysshe lothsome and vnstable

Lyght brayned, theyr herte and mynde is inconstant

Theyr gate and loke proude and abhomynable

They haue nor order as folys ignorant

Chaungyng theyr myndes thryse in one instant

Alas this lewdnes and great enormyte

Wyll them nat suffer theyr wretchydnes to se

Thus ar these wretchyd caytyfes fully blynde

All men and wymen that good ar doth them hate

But he that with good maners endueth his mynde

Auoydeth this wrath hatered and debate

His dedes pleaseth both comonty and estate

And namely suche as ar good and laudable

Thynketh his dedes right and commendable

As wyse men sayth: both vertue and cunnynge

Honoure and worshyp grace and godlynes

Of worthy maners take theyr begynnynge

And fere also asswagyth wantones.

Subduynge the furour of youthes wylfulnes

But shamefastnes trouth constance and probyte

Both yonge and olde bryngeth to great dignyte.

These foresayde vertues with charite and peas.

Together assembled stedfast in mannys mynde.

Cawseth his honour and worthynes to encreas.

And his godly lyfe a godly ende shal fynde

But these lewde caytyfs which doth theyr myndes blynde

With corrupt maners lyuynge vnhappely.

In shame they lyue and wretchedly they dye.


Of brekynge and hurtynge of amyte and frendshyp.

He that iniustyce vseth and greuance
Agaynst all reason lawe and equyte
By vyolent force puttynge to vtteraunce
A symple man full of humylyte
Suche by his lewdnes and iniquyte.
Makyth a graue wherin hym selfe shall lye.
And lewdly he dyeth that lyueth crudlye.

A Fole frowarde cruell and vntrewe

Is he whiche by his power wrongfully

His frendes and subiectes laboures to subdewe

Without all lawe, but clene by tyranny

Therfore thou Juge thy erys se thou aply

To right Justyce and set nat thyne intent

By wrath or malyce to be to vyolent.

It is nat lawfull to any excellent

Or myghty man, outher lawyer or estate

By cruelnes to oppresse an innocent

Ne by pryde and malyce Justyce to violate

The law transposynge after a frowarde rate

With proude wordes defendynge his offence

God wot oft suche haue symple conscience

O that he cursed is and reprouable

Whiche day and nyght stodyeth besely

To fynde some meanes false and detestable

To put his frende to losse or hurte therby

Our hertes ar fully set on vylany

There ar right fewe of hye or lowe degre

That luste to norysshe trewe loue and amyte

Alas exyled is godly charyte

Out of our Royalme we all ar so vnkynde

Our folys settyth gretter felycyte

On golde and goodes than on a faythfull frynde

Awake blynde folys and call vnto your mynde

That though honest ryches be moche commendable

Yet to a true frende it is nat comparable

Of all thynges loue is moste profytable

For the right order of lowe and amyte

Is of theyr maners to be agreable

And one of other haue mercy and pyte

Eche doynge for other after theyr degre

And without falshode this frendeshyp to mayntayne

And nat departe for pleasour nor for payne

But alas nowe all people haue dysdayne

On suche frendshyp for to set theyr delyte

Amyte we haue exyled out certayne

We lowe oppressyon to sclaunder and bacbyte

Extorcyon hath strength, pyte gone is quyte

Nowe in the worlde suche frendes ar there none

As were in Grece many yeres agone.

Who lyst thystory of Patroclus to rede

There shall he se playne wryten without fayle

Howe whan Achyllys gaue no force nor hede

Agaynst the Troyans to execute batayle

The sayd Patroclus dyd on the aparayle

Of Achylles, and went forth in his steade

Agaynst Hector: but lyghtly he was dede.

But than Achylles seynge this myschaunce.

Befallen his frende whiche was to hym so true.

He hym addressyd shortly to take vengeaunce.

And so in Batayle the noble Hector slewe

And his dede cors after his charot drewe.

Upon the grounde traylynge ruthfully behynde

Se howe he auengyd Patroclus his frende.

The hystory also of Orestes dothe expresse

Whiche whan agamenon his fader was slayne

By egystus whiche agaynst rightwysnes

The sayde Orestis moder dyd meyntayne

The childe was yonge wherfore it was but vayne

In youth to stryue, but whan he came to age

His naturall moder slewe he in a rage

And also Egystus whiche had his fader slayne

Thus toke he vengeaunce of both theyr cruelnes

But yet it grewe to his great care and payne

For sodaynly he fell in a madnesse

And euer thought that in his furiousnes

His moder hym sued flamynge full of fyre

And euer his deth was redy to conspyre

Orestes troubled with this fereful vysyon

As franatyke and mad wandred many a day

Ouer many a countrey londe and regyon

His frende Pylades folowynge hym alway

In payne nor wo he wolde hym nat denay

Tyll he restoryd agayne was to his mynde

Alas what frynde may we fynde nowe so kynde.

Of dymades what shall I lawde or wryte.

And Pythias his felawe amyable

Whiche in eche other suche loue had and delyte

That whan Denys a tyrant detestable

And of his men some to hym agreable

Wolde one of them haue mordred cruelly

Echone for other offred for to dye

Ualerius wrytyth a story longe and ample

Of Lelius and of worthy Cipio.

Whiche of trewe loue hath left vs great example

For they neuer left in doloure wele nor wo

I rede in thystory of Theseus also:

Howe he (as the Poetes fables doth tell)

Folowyd his felawe perothus in to hell.

And serchynge hym dyd wander and compas

Those lothsome flodys and wayes tenebrous

Ferynge no paynes of that dysordred place

Nor obscure mystes or ayres odyous

Tyll at the laste by his wayes cautelous

And Hercules valyaunt dedes of boldnesse

He gat Perothus out of that wretchydnesse.

Alas where ar suche frendes nowe a dayes

Suerly in the worlde none suche can be founde

All folowe theyr owne profyte and lewde wayes

None vnto other coueytys to be bounde

Brekers of frendshyp ynough ar on the grounde

Whiche set nought by frendshyp so they may haue good

All suche in my shyp shall haue a folys hode

The Enuoy of Barklay To the Folys.

Ye cruell folys full of ingratitude.

Aryse be asshamyd of your iniquyte

Mollyfy your hertes vnkynde stuberne and rude

Graffynge in them true loue and amyte

Consyder this prouerbe of antyquyte

And your vnkyndnes weray ban and curse

For whether thou be of hy or lowe degre

Better is a frende in courte than a peny in purse


Of contempt, or dispisynge of holy scripture.

He that gyueth his erys or credence
To euery folys talys or talkynge
Thynkynge more wysdome and fruytfull sentence
In theyr vayne talys than is in the redynge
Of bokes whiche shewe vs the way of godly lyuynge
And soulys helth: forsoth suche one is blynde
And in this shyp the anker shall vp wynde.

Suche as dispyseth auncyent scripture

Whiche prouyd is of great auctoryte

And hath no pleasoure felycyte or cure

Of godly Prophetis whiche wrote of veryte

A fole he is for his moste felycyte

Is to byleue the tales of an olde wyfe

Rather than the doctryne of eternall lyfe

The holy Bybyll grounde of trouth and of lawe

Is nowe of many abiect and nought set by

Nor godly scripture is nat worth an hawe

But talys ar louyd grounde of rybawdry

And many blynddyd ar so with theyr foly

That no scripture thynke they so true nor gode

As is a folysshe yest of Robyn hode.

He that to scripture wyll not gyue credence

Wherin ar the armys of our tuycion

And of our fayth foundacion and defence

Suche one ensueth nat the condycion

Of man resonable, but by abusyon

Lyuyth as a best of conscyence cruell

As saue this worlde were neyther heuen nor hell.

He thynketh that there is no god aboue

Nor nobler place than is this wretchyd grounde

Nor goddes power suche neyther fere nor loue

With whom all grace and mercy doth abounde

Whiche whan hym lyst vs wretches may confounde

Alas what auayleth to gyue instruction

To suche lewde folys of this condycion.

It nought auayleth vnto them to complayne

Of theyr blyndnes, nor enfourme them with vertue

Theyr cursed lyfe wyll by no mean refrayne

Their viciousnes, nor their erroure eschewe

But rather stody theyr foly to renewe

Alas what profytis to suche to expresse.

The heuenly ioy, rewarde of holynesse.

Alas what auayleth to suche to declare

The paynes of hell, wo dissolate and derke

No wo nor care can cause suche to beware

From their lewde lyfe corrupt and synfull warke

What profyteth sermons of any noble clarke

Or godly lawes taught at any Scolys

For to reherse to these myscheuous folys.

What helpeth the Prophetis scripture or doctryne

Unto these folys obstynate and blynde

Their hertis ar harde, nat wyllynge to enclyne

To theyr preceptis nor rote them in theyr mynde

Nor them byleue as Cristen men vnkynde

For if that they consydred heuen or hell

They wolde nat be so cursed and cruell

And certaynly the trouth apereth playne

That these folys thynke in theyr intent

That within hell is neyther car nor payne

Hete nor colde, woo, nor other punysshement

Nor that for synners is ordeyned no turment

Thus these mad folys wandreth euery houre

Without amendement styll in theyr blynde erroure

Before thy fete thou mayst beholde and se

Of our holy fayth the bokys euydent

The olde lawes and newe layde ar before the

Expressynge christes tryumphe right excellent

But for all this set is nat thyne intent

Theyr holy doctryne to plant within thy brest

Wherof shold procede ioy and eternall rest

Trowest thou that thy selfe wyllyd ignoraunce

Of godly lawes and mystycall doctryne

May clense or excuse thy blynde mysgouernaunce

Or lewde erroure, whiche scorne hast to inclyne

To theyr preceptis: and from thy synne declyne

Nay nay thy cursed ignoraunce sothly shall

Drowne thy soule in the depe flodes infernall

Therfore let none his cursydnes defende

Nor holy doctryne, nor godly bokes dispyse

But rather stody his fawtes to amende

For god is aboue all our dedes to deuyse

Whiche shall rewarde them in a ferefull wyse

With mortall wo that euer shall endure

Whiche haue dyspysyd his doctryne and scripture

Barclay To the Folys.

Out of your slomber folys I rede you ryse.

Scripture dyuyne, to folowe and inbrace

Be nat so bolde it to leue nor dispyse

But you enforce it to get and purchase

Remember mannys consort and solace.

Is holy closyd within the boke of lyfe

Who that it foloweth hath a speciall grace

But he that doth nat a wretche is and caytyfe



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