Roister Doister - Written, probably also represented, before 1553. Carefully - edited from the unique copy, now at Eton College
by Nicholas Udall
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Scriuener. Wherin?

R. Royster. Did not you make me a letter brother?

Scriuener. Pay the like hire, I will make you suche an other.

R. Royster. Nay see and these whooreson Phariseys and Scribes Doe not get their liuyng by polling and bribes. If it were not for shame.

Scriuener. Nay holde thy hands still.

M. Mery. Why did ye not promise that ye would not him spill?

Scriuener. Let him not spare me.

R. Royster. Why wilt thou strike me again?

Scriuener. Ye shall haue as good as ye bring of me that is plaine.

M. Mery. I can not blame him sir, though your blowes wold him greue. For he knoweth present death to ensue of all ye geue.

R. Royster. Well, this man for once hath purchased thy pardon.

Scriuener. And what say ye to me? or else I will be gon.

R. Royster. I say the letter thou madest me was not good.

Scriuener. Then did ye wrong copy it of likelyhood.

R. Royster. Yes, out of thy copy worde for worde I wrote.

Scriuener. Then was it as ye prayed to haue it I wote, But in reading and pointyng there was made some faulte.

R. Royster. I wote not, but it made all my matter to haulte.

Scriuener. Howe say you, is this mine originall or no?

R. Royster. The selfe same that I wrote out of, so mote I go.

Scriuener. Loke you on your owne fist, and I will looke on this, And let this man be iudge whether I reade amisse. To myne owne dere coney birde, sweete heart, and Good mistresse Custance, present these by and by. How now? doth not this superscription agree?

R. Royster. Reade that is within, and there ye shall the fault see.

Scriuener. Sweete mistresse, where as I loue you, nothing at all Regarding your richesse and substance: chiefe of all For your personage, beautie, demeanour and witte I commende me vnto you: Neuer a whitte Sory to heare reporte of your good welfare. For (as I heare say) suche your conditions are, That ye be worthie fauour: Of no liuing man To be abhorred: of euery honest man To be taken for a woman enclined to vice Nothing at all: to vertue giuing hir due price. Wherfore concerning mariage, ye are thought Suche a fine Paragon, as nere honest man bought. And nowe by these presents I doe you aduertise, That I am minded to marrie you: In no wyse For your goodes and substance: I can be content To take you as you are: yf ye will be my wife, Ye shall be assured for the time of my life, I wyll keepe you right well: from good raiment and fare, Ye shall not be kept: but in sorowe and care Ye shall in no wyse lyue: at your owne libertie, Doe and say what ye lust: ye shall neuer please me But when ye are merrie: I will bee all sadde When ye are sorie: I wyll be very gladde When ye seeke your heartes ease: I will be vnkinde At no time: in me shall ye muche gentlenesse finde. But all things contrary to your will and minde Shall be done otherwise: I wyll not be behynde To speake: And as for all they that woulde do you wrong, (I wyll so helpe and maintayne ye) shall not lyue long. Nor any foolishe dolte shall cumber you, but I, I, who ere say nay, wyll sticke by you tyll I die. Thus good mistresse Custance, the lorde you saue and kepe. From me Roister Doister, whether I wake or slepe, Who fauoureth you no lesse, (ye may be bolde) Than this letter purporteth, which ye haue vnfolde. Now sir, what default can ye finde in this letter?

R. Royster. Of truth in my mynde there can not be a better.

Scriuener. Then was the fault in readyng, and not in writyng, No nor I dare say in the fourme of endityng, But who read this letter, that it sounded so nought?

M. Mery. I redde it in deede.

Scriuener. Ye red it not as ye ought.

R. Royster. Why thou wretched villaine was all this same fault in thee?

M. Mery. I knocke your costarde if ye offer to strike me.

R. Royster. Strikest thou in deede? and I offer but in iest?

M. Mery. Yea and rappe you againe except ye can sit in rest. And I will no longer tarie here me beleue.

R. Royster. What wilt thou be angry, and I do thee forgeue? Fare thou well scribler, I crie thee mercie in deede.

Scriuener. Fare ye well bibbler, and worthily may ye speede.

R. Royster. If it were an other but thou, it were a knaue.

M. Mery. Ye are an other your selfe sir, the lorde vs both saue, Albeit in this matter I must your pardon craue, Alas woulde ye wyshe in me the witte that ye haue? But as for my fault I can quickely amende, I will shewe Custance it was I that did offende.

R. Royster. By so doing hir anger may be reformed.

M. Mery. But if by no entreatie she will be turned, Then sette lyght by hir and bee as testie as shee, And doe your force vpon hir with extremitie.

R. Royster. Come on therefore lette vs go home in sadnesse.

M. Mery. That if force shall neede all may be in a readinesse, And as for thys letter hardely let all go, We wyll know where she refuse you for that or no. [Exeant am.

Actus. iiij. Scna. j.

Sym Suresby.

Sim Sure. Is there any man but I Sym Suresby alone, That would haue taken such an enterprise him vpon, In suche an outragious tempest as as this was. Suche a daungerous gulfe of the sea to passe. I thinke verily Neptunes mightie godshyp, Was angry with some that was in our shyp, And but for the honestie which in me he founde, I thinke for the others sake we had bene drownde. But fye on that seruant which for his maisters wealth Will sticke for to hazarde both his lyfe and his health. My maister Gawyn Goodlucke after me a day Bicause of the weather, thought best hys shyppe to stay, And now that I haue the rough sourges so well past, God graunt I may finde all things safe here at last. Then will I thinke all my trauaile well spent. Nowe the first poynt wherfore my maister hath me sent Is to salute dame Christian Custance his wife, Espoused: whome he tendreth no lesse than his life, I must see how it is with hir well or wrong, And whether for him she doth not now thinke long: Then to other friendes I haue a message or tway, And then so to returne and mete him on the way. Now wyll I goe knocke that I may dispatche with speede, But loe forth commeth hir selfe happily in deede.

Actus. iiij. Scna. ij.

Christian Custance. Sim. Suresby.

C. Custance. I come to see if any more stirryng be here, But what straunger is this, which doth to me appere?

Sym Surs. I will speake to hir: Dame the lorde you saue and see.

C. Custance. What friende Sym Suresby? Forsoth right welcome ye be, Howe doth mine owne Gawyn Goodlucke, I pray the tell?

S. Suresby. When he knoweth of your health he will be perfect well.

C. Custance. If he haue perfect helth, I am as I would be.

Sim. Sure. Suche newes will please him well, this is as it should be.

C. Custance. I thinke now long for him.

Sym Sure. And he as long for you.

C. Custance. When wil he be at home?

Sym Sure. His heart is here een now His body commeth after.

C. Custance. I woulde see that faine.

Sim Sure. As fast as wynde and sayle can cary it a maine. But what two men are yonde comming hitherwarde?

C. Custance. Now I shrew their best Christmasse chekes both togetherward.

Actus. iiij. Scna. iij.

Christian Custance. Sym Suresby. Ralph Roister. Mathew Merygreke. Trupeny.

C. Custance. What meane these lewde felowes thus to trouble me stil? Sym Suresby here perchance shal therof deme som yll, And shall suspect in me some point of naughtinesse, And they come hitherward.

Sym Sure. What is their businesse?

C. Custance. I haue nought to them, nor they to me in sadnesse.

Sim Sure. Let vs hearken them, somewhat there is I feare it.

R. Royster. I will speake out aloude best, that she may heare it.

M. Mery. Nay alas, ye may so feare hir out of hir wit.

R. Royster. By the crosse of my sworde, I will hurt hir no whit.

M. Mery. Will ye doe no harme in deede, shall I trust your worde?

R. Royster. By Roister Doisters fayth I will speake but in borde.

Sim Sure. Let vs hearken them, somwhat there is I feare it.

R. Royster. I will speake out aloude, I care not who heare it: Sirs, see that my harnesse, my tergat, and my shield, Be made as bright now, as when I was last in fielde, As white as I shoulde to warre againe to morrowe: For sicke shall I be, but I worke some folke sorow. Therfore see that all shine as bright as sainct George, Or as doth a key newly come from the Smiths forge. I woulde haue my sworde and harnesse to shine so bright, That I might therwith dimme mine enimies sight, I would haue it cast beames as fast I tell you playne, As doth the glittryng grasse after a showre of raine. And see that in case I shoulde neede to come to arming, All things may be ready at a minutes warning, For such chaunce may chaunce in an houre, do ye heare?

M. Mery. As perchance shall not chaunce againe in seuen yeare.

R. Royster. Now draw we neare to hir, and here what shall be sayde.

M. Mery. But I woulde not haue you make hir too muche afrayde.

R. Royster. Well founde sweete wife (I trust) for al this your soure looke.

C. Custance. Wife, why cal ye me wife?

Sim Sure. Wife? this gear goth acrook.

M. Mery. Nay mistresse Custance, I warrant you, our letter Is not as we redde een nowe, but much better, And where ye halfe stomaked this gentleman afore, For this same letter, ye wyll loue hym now therefore, Nor it is not this letter, though ye were a queene, That shoulde breake marriage betweene you twaine I weene.

C. Custance. I did not refuse hym for the letters sake.

R. Royster. Then ye are content me for your husbande to take.

C. Custance. You for my husbande to take? nothing lesse truely.

R. Royster. Yea say so, sweete spouse, afore straungers hardly.

M. Mery. And though I haue here his letter of loue with me, Yet his ryng and tokens he sent, keepe safe with ye.

C. Custance. A mischiefe take his tokens, and him and thee too. But what prate I with fooles? haue I nought else to doo? Come in with me Sym Suresby to take some repast.

Sim Sure. I must ere I drinke by your leaue, goe in all hast, To a place or two, with earnest letters of his.

C. Custance. Then come drink here with me.

Sim Sure. I thank you.

C. Custance. Do not misse You shall haue a token to your maister with you.

Sym Sure. No tokens this time gramercies, God be with you. Exeat.

C. Custance. Surely this fellowe misdeemeth some yll in me. Which thing but God helpe, will go neere to spill me.

R. Royster. Yea farewell fellow, and tell thy maister Goodlucke That he commeth to late of thys blossome to plucke. Let him keepe him there still, or at least wise make no hast, As for his labour hither he shall spende in wast. His betters be in place nowe.

M. Mery. As long as it will hold.

C. Custance. I will be euen with thee thou beast, thou mayst be bolde.

R. Royster. Will ye haue vs then?

C. Custance. I will neuer haue thee.

R. Royster. Then will I haue you?

C. Custance. No, the deuill shal haue thee. I haue gotten this houre more shame and harme by thee, Then all thy life days thou canst do me honestie.

M. Mery. Why nowe may ye see what it comth too in the ende, To make a deadly foe of your most louing frende: And ywis this letter if ye woulde heare it now.

C. Custance. I will heare none of it.

M. Mery. In faith would rauishe you.

C. Custance. He hath stained my name for euer this is cleare.

R. Royster. I can make all as well in an houre.

M. Mery. As ten yeare. How say ye, wil ye haue him?

C. Custance. No.

M. Mery. Wil ye take him?

C. Custance. I defie him.

M. Mery. At my word?

C. Custance. A shame take him. Waste no more wynde, for it will neuer bee.

M. Mery. This one faulte with twaine shall be mended, ye shall see. Gentle mistresse Custance now, good mistresse Custance, Honey mistresse Custance now, sweete mistresse Custance, Golden mistresse Custance now, white mistresse Custance, Silken mistresse Custance now, faire mistresse Custance.

C. Custance. Faith rather than to mary with suche a doltishe loute, I woulde matche my selfe with a begger out of doute.

M. Mery. Then I can say no more, to speede we are not like, Except ye rappe out a ragge of your Rhetorike.

C. Custance. Speake not of winnyng me: for it shall neuer be so.

R. Royster. Yes dame, I will haue you whether ye will or no, I commaunde you to loue me, wherfore shoulde ye not? Is not my loue to you chafing and burning hot?

M. Mery. Too hir, that is well sayd.

R. Royster. Shall I so breake my braine To dote vpon you, and ye not loue vs againe?

M. Mery. Wel sayd yet.

C. Custance. Go to you goose.

R. Royster. I say Kit Custance, In case ye will not haze, well, better yes perchaunce.

C. Custance. Auaunt lozell, picke thee hence.

M. Mery. Wel sir, ye perceiue, For all your kinde offer, she will not you receiue.

R. Royster. Then a strawe for hir, and a strawe for hir againe, She shall not be my wife, woulde she neuer so faine, No and though she would be at ten thousand pounde cost.

M. Mery. Lo dame, ye may see what an husbande ye haue lost.

C. Custance. Yea, no force, a iewell muche better lost than founde.

M. Mery. Ah, ye will not beleue how this doth my heart wounde. How shoulde a mariage betwene you be towarde, If both parties drawe backe, and become so frowarde.

R. Royster. Nay dame, I will fire thee out of thy house, And destroy thee and all thine, and that by and by.

M. Mery. Nay for the passion of God sir, do not so.

R. Royster. Yes, except she will say yea to that she sayde no.

C. Custance. And what, be there no officers trow we, in towne To checke idle loytrers, braggyng vp and downe? Where be they, by whome vacabunds shoulde be represt? That poore sillie Widowes might liue in peace and rest. Shall I neuer ridde thee out of my companie? I will call for helpe, what hough, come forth Trupenie.

Trupenie. Anon. What is your will mistresse? dyd ye call me?

C. Custance. Yea, go runne apace, and as fast as may be, Pray Tristram Trusty, my moste assured frende, To be here by and by, that he may me defende.

Trupenie. That message so quickly shall be done by Gods grace, That at my returne ye shall say, I went apace. Exeat.

C. Custance. Then shall we see I trowe, whether ye shall do me harme,

R. Royster. Yes in faith Kitte, I shall thee and thine so charme, That all women incarnate by thee may beware.

C. Custance. Nay, as for charming me, come hither if thou dare, I shall cloute thee tyll thou stinke, both thee and thy traine, And coyle thee mine owne handes, and sende thee home againe.

R. Royster. Yea sayst thou me that dame? dost thou me threaten? Goe we, I still see whether I shall be beaten.

M. Mery. Nay for the paishe of God, let me now treate peace, For bloudshed will there be in case this strife increace. Ah good dame Custance, take better way with you.

R. Royster. Let him do his worst.

M. Mery. Yeld in time.

R. Royster. Come hence thou.

Exeant Roister et Mery.

Actus. iiij. Scna. iiij.

Christian Custance. Anot Alyface. Tibet T. M. Mumblecrust.

C. Custance. So sirra, if I should not with hym take this way, I should not be ridde of him I thinke till doomes day, I will call forth my folkes, that without any mockes If he come agayne we may giue him rappes and knockes. Mage Mumblecrust, come forth, and Tibet Talke apace. Yea and come forth too, mistresse Annot Alyface.

Annot Aly. I come.

Tibet. And I am here.

M. Mumb. And I am here too at length.

C. Custance. Like warriers if nede bee, ye must shew your strength The man that this day hath thus begiled you, Is Ralph Roister Doister, whome ye know well mowe, The moste loute and dastarde that euer on grounde trode.

Tib. Talk. I see all folke mocke hym when he goth abrode.

C. Custance. What pretie maide? will ye talke when I speake?

Tib. Talk. No forsooth good mistresse.

C. Custance. Will ye my tale breake? He threatneth to come hither with all his force to fight, I charge you if he come, on him with all your might.

M. Mumbl. I with my distaffe will reache hym one rappe,

Tib. Talk. And I with my newe broome will sweepe hym one swappe, And then with our greate clubbe I will reache hym one rappe.

An. Aliface. And I with our skimmer will fling him one flappe.

Tib. Talk. Then Trupenies firesorke will him shrewdly fray, And you with the spitte may driue him quite away.

C. Custance. Go make all ready, that it may be een so.

Tib. Talk. For my parte I shrewe them that last about it go. Exeant.

Actus. iiij. Scna. v.

Christian Custance. Trupenie. Tristram Trusty.

C. Custance. Trupenie dyd promise me to runne a great pace, My friend Tristram Trusty to fet into this place. In deede he dwelleth hence a good stert I confesse: But yet a quicke messanger might twice since as I gesse, Haue gone and come againe. Ah yond I spie him now.

Trupeny. Ye are a slow goer sir, I make God auow. My mistresse Custance will in me put all the blame, Your leggs be longer than myne: come apace for shame.

C. Custance. I can thee thanke Trupenie, thou hast done right wele.

Trupeny. Maistresse since I went no grasse hath growne on my hele, But maister Tristram Trustie here maketh no speede.

C. Custance. That he came at all I thanke him in very deede, For now haue I neede of the helpe of some wise man.

T. Trusty. Then may I be gone againe, for none such I [a]m.

Trupenie. Ye may bee by your going: for no Alderman Can goe I dare say, a sadder pace than ye can.

C. Custance. Trupenie get thee in, thou shalt among them knowe, How to vse thy selfe, like a propre man I trowe.

Trupeny. I go. Ex.

C. Custance. Now Tristram Trusty I thank you right much. For at my first sending to come ye neuer grutch.

T. Trusty. Dame Custance God ye saue, and while my life shall last, For my friende Goodlucks sake ye shall not sende in wast.

C. Custance. He shal giue you thanks.

T. Trusty. I will do much for his sake

C. Custance. But alack, I feare, great displeasure shall be take.

T. Trusty. Wherfore?

C. Custance. For a foolish matter.

T. Trusty. What is your cause

C. Custance. I am yll accombred with a couple of dawes.

T. Trusty. Nay weepe not woman: but tell me what your cause is As concerning my friende is any thing amisse?

C. Custance. No not on my part: but here was Sym Suresby.

T. Trustie. He was with me and told me so.

C. Custance. And he stoode by While Ralph Roister Doister with helpe of Merygreeke, For promise of mariage dyd vnto me seeke.

T. Trusty. And had ye made any promise before them twaine,

C. Custance. No I had rather be torne in pieces and slaine, No man hath my faith and trouth, but Gawyn Goodlucke, And that before Suresby dyd I say, and there stucke, But of certaine letters there were suche words spoken.

T. Trustie. He tolde me that too.

C. Custance. And of a ring and token. That Suresby I spied, dyd more than halfe suspect, That I my faith to Gawyn Goodlucke dyd reiect.

T. Trusty. But there was no such matter dame Custance in deede?

C. Custance. If euer my head thought it, God sende me yll speede. Wherfore I beseech you, with me to be a witnesse, That in all my lyfe I neuer intended thing lesse, And what a brainsicke foole Ralph Roister Doister is, Your selfe know well enough.

T. Trusty. Ye say full true ywis.

C. Custance. Bicause to bee his wife I ne graunt nor apply, Hither will he com he sweareth by and by, To kill both me and myne, and beate downe my house flat. Therfore I pray your aide.

T. Trustie. I warrant you that.

C. Custance. Haue I so many yeres liued a sobre life, And shewed my selfe honest, mayde, widowe, and wyfe And nowe to be abused in such a vile sorte, Ye see howe poore Widowes lyue all voyde of comfort.

T. Trusty. I warrant hym do you no harme nor wrong at all.

C. Custance. No, but Mathew Merygreeke doth me most appall, That he woulde ioyne hym selfe with suche a wretched loute.

T. Trusty. He doth it for a iest I knowe hym out of doubte, And here cometh Merygreke.

C. Custance. Then shal we here his mind.

Actus. iiij. Scna. vj.

Merygreke. Christian Custance. Trist. Trusty.

M. Mery. Custance and Trustie both, I doe you here well finde.

C. Custance. Ah Mathew Merygreeke, ye haue vsed me well.

M. Mery. Nowe for altogether ye must your answere tell. Will ye haue this man, woman? or else will ye not? Else will he come neuer bore so brymme nor tost so hot.

Tris. and Cu. But why ioyn ye with him.

T. Trusty. For mirth.

C. Custance. Or else in sadnesse

M. Mery. The more fond of you both hardly yat mater gesse.

Tristram. Lo how say ye dame?

M. Mery. Why do ye thinke dame Custance That in this wowyng I haue ment ought but pastance?

C. Custance. Much things ye spake, I wote, to maintaine his dotage.

M. Mery. But well might ye iudge I spake it all in mockage? For why? Is Roister Doister a fitte husband for you?

T. Trusty. I dare say ye neuer thought it.

M. Mery. No to God I vow. And dyd not I knowe afore of the insurance Betweene Gawyn Goodlucke, and Christian Custance? And dyd not I for the nonce, by my conueyance, Reade his letter in a wrong sense for daliance? That if you coulde haue take it vp at the first bounde, We should therat such a sporte and pastime haue founde, That all the whole towne should haue ben the merier.

C. Custance. Ill ake your heades both, I was neuer werier, Nor neuer more vexte since the first day I was borne.

T. Trusty. But very well I wist he here did all in scorne.

C. Custance. But I feared therof to take dishonestie.

M. Mery. This should both haue made sport, and shewed your honestie And Goodlucke I dare sweare, your witte therin would low.

T. Trusty. Yea, being no worse than we know it to be now.

M. Mery. And nothing yet to late, for when I come to him, Hither will he repaire with a sheepes looke full grim, By plaine force and violence to driue you to yelde.

C. Custance. If ye two bidde me, we will with him pitche a fielde, I and my maides together.

M. Mery. Let vs see, be bolde.

C. Custance. Ye shall see womens warre.

T. Trusty. That fight wil I behold.

M. Mery. If occasion serue, takyng his parte full brim, I will strike at you, but the rappe shall light on him. When we first appeare.

C. Custance. Then will I runne away As though I were afeard.

T. Trusty. Do you that part wel play And I will sue for peace.

M. Mery. And I wil set him on. Then will he looke as fierce as a Cotssold lyon.

T. Trusty. But when gost thou for him?

M. Mery. That do I very nowe.

C. Custance. Ye shal find vs here.

M. Mery. Wel god haue mercy on you. Ex.

T. Trusty. There is no cause of feare, the least boy in the streete:

C. Custance. Nay, the least girle I haue, will make him take his feete. But hearke, me thinke they make preparation.

T. Trusty. No force, it will be a good recreation.

C. Custance. I will stand within, and steppe forth speedily, And so make as though I ranne away dreadfully.

Actus. iiij. Scna. vij.

R. Royster. M. Merygreeke. C. Custance. D. Doughtie. Harpax. Tristram Trusty.

R. Royster. Nowe sirs, keepe your ray, and see your heartes be stoute, But where be these caitifes, me think they dare not route, How sayst thou Merygreeke? What doth Kit Custance say?

M. Mery. I am loth to tell you.

R. Royster. Tushe speake man, yea or nay?

M. Mery. Forsooth sir, I haue spoken for you all that I can. But if ye winne hir, ye must een play the man, Een to fight it out, ye must a mans heart take.

R. Royster. Yes, they shall know, and thou knowest I haue a stomacke.

[M. Mery.] A stomacke (quod you) yea, as good as ere man had.

R. Royster. I trowe they shall finde and feele that I am a lad.

M. Mery. By this crosse I haue seene you eate your meate as well, As any that ere I haue seene of or heard tell, A stomacke quod you? he that will that denie I know was neuer at dynner in your companie.

R. Royster. Nay, the stomacke of a man it is that I meane.

M. Mery. Nay the stomacke of a horse or a dogge I weene.

R. Royster. Nay a mans stomacke with a weapon meane I.

M. Mery. Ten men can scarce match you with a spoone in a pie.

R. Royster. Nay the stomake of a man to trie in strife.

M. Mery. I neuer sawe your stomacke cloyed yet in my lyfe.

R. Royster. Tushe I meane in strife or fighting to trie.

M. Mery. We shall see how ye will strike nowe being angry.

R. Royster. Haue at thy pate then, and saue thy head if thou may.

M. Mery. Nay then haue at your pate agayne by this day,

R. Royster. Nay thou mayst not strike at me againe in no wise.

M. Mery. I can not in fight make to you suche warrantise: But as for your foes here let them the bargaine bie.

R. Royster. Nay as for they, shall euery mothers childe die. And in this my fume a little thing might make me, To beate downe house and all, and else the deuill take me.

M. Mery. If I were as ye be, by gogs deare mother, I woulde not leaue one stone vpon an other. Though she woulde redeeme it with twentie thousand poundes.

R. Royster. It shall be euen so, by his lily woundes.

M. Mery. Bee not at one with hir vpon any amendes.

R. Royster. No though she make to me neuer so many frendes. Nor if all the worlde for hir woulde vndertake, No not God hymselfe neither, shal not hir peace make, On therfore, marche forwarde, soft, stay a whyle yet.

M. Mery. On.

R. Royster. Tary.

M. Mery. Forth.

R. Royster. Back.

M. Mery. On.

R. Royster. Soft. Now forward set.

C. Custance. What businesse haue we here? out alas, alas.

R. Royster. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Dydst thou see that Merygreeke? how afrayde she was? Dydst thou see how she fledde apace out of my sight? Ah good sweete Custance I pitie hir by this light.

M. Mery. That tender heart of yours wyll marre altogether, Thus will ye be turned with waggyng of a fether.

R. Royster. On sirs, keepe your ray.

M. Mery. On forth, while this geare is hot

R. Royster. Soft, the Armes of Caleys, I haue one thing forgot.

M. Mery. What lacke we now?

R. Royster. Retire, or else we be all slain.

M. Mery. Backe for the pashe of God, backe sirs, backe againe. What is the great mater?

R. Royster. This hastie forth goyng Had almost brought vs all to vtter vndoing, It made me forget a thing most necessarie.

M. Mery. Well remembred of a captaine by sainct Marie.

R. Royster. It is a thing must be had.

M. Mery. Let vs haue it then.

R. Royster. But I wote not where nor how.

M. Mery. Then wote not I when. But what is it?

R. Royster. Of a chiefe thing I am to seeke.

M. Mery. Tut so will ye be, when ye haue studied a weke. But tell me what it is?

R. Royster. I lacke yet an hedpiece.

M. Mery. The kitchen collocauit, the best hennes to grece, Runne, fet it Dobinet, and come at once withall, And bryng with thee my potgunne, hangyng by the wall, I haue seene your head with it full many a tyme, Couered as safe as it had bene with a skrine: And I warrant it saue your head from any stroke, Except perchaunce to be amased with the smoke: I warrant your head therwith, except for the mist, As safe as if it were fast locked vp in a chist: And loe here our Dobinet commeth with it nowe.

D. Dough. It will couer me to the shoulders well inow.

M. Mery. Let me see it on.

R. Royster. In fayth it doth metely well.

M. Mery. There can be no fitter thing. Now ye must vs tell What to do.

R. Royster. Now forth in ray sirs, and stoppe no more.

M. Mery. Now sainct George to borow, Drum dubbe a dubbe afore.

T. Trusty. What meane you to do sir, committe manslaughter.

R. Royster. To kyll fortie such, is a matter of laughter.

T. Trusty. And who is it sir, whome ye intende thus to spill?

R. Royster. Foolishe Custance here forceth me against my will.

T. Trusty. And is there no meane your extreme wrath to slake, She shall some amendes vnto your good mashyp make.

R. Royster. I will none amendes.

T. Trusty. Is hir offence so sore?

M. Mery. And he were a loute she coulde haue done no more. She hath calde him foole, and dressed him like a foole. Mocked him lyke a foole, vsed him like a foole.

T. Trusty. Well yet the Sheriffe, the Iustice, or Constable, Hir misdemeanour to punishe might be able.

R. Royster. No sir, I mine owne selfe will in this present cause, Be Sheriffe, and Iustice, and whole Iudge of the lawes, This matter to amende, all officers be I shall, Constable, Bailiffe, Sergeant.

M. Mery. And hangman and all.

T. Trusty. Yet a noble courage, and the hearte of a man. Should more honour winne by bearyng with a woman. Therfore take the lawe, and lette hir aunswere therto.

R. Royster. Merygreeke, the best way were euen so to do. What honour should it be with a woman to fight?

M. Mery. And what then, will ye thus forgo and lese your right?

R. Royster. Nay, I will take the lawe on hir withouten grace.

T. Trusty. Or yf your mashyp coulde pardon this one trespace. I pray you forgiue hir.

R. Royster. Hoh?

M. Mery. Tushe tushe sir do not. Be good maister to hir.

R. Royster. Hoh?

M. Mery. Tush I say do not. And what shall your people here returne streight home?

T. Trustie. Yea, leuie the campe sirs, and hence againe eche one,

R. Royster. But be still in readinesse if I happe to call, I can not tell what sodaine chaunce may befall.

M. Mery. Do not off your harnesse sirs I you aduise, At the least for this fortnight in no maner wise, Perchaunce in an houre when all ye thinke least, Our maisters appetite to fight will be best. But soft, ere ye go, haue once at Custance house.

R. Royster. Soft, what wilt thou do?

M. Mery. Once discharge my harquebouse And for my heartes ease, haue once more with my potgoon.

R. Royster. Holde thy handes else is all our purpose cleane fordoone.

M. Mery. And it cost me my life.

R. Royster. I say thou shalt not.

M. Mery. By the matte but I will. Haue once more with haile shot. I will haue some penyworth, I will not leese all.

Actus. iiij. Scna. viij.

M. Merygreeke. C. Custance. R. Roister. Tib. T. An. Alyface. M. Mumblecrust. Trupenie. Dobinet Doughtie. Harpax. Two drummes with their Ensignes.

C. Custance. What caitifes are those that so shake my house wall?

M. Mery. Ah sirrha now Custance if ye had so muche wit I woulde see you aske pardon, and your selues submit.

C. Custance. Haue I still this adoe with a couple of fooles?

M. Mery. Here ye what she saith?

C. Custance. Maidens come forth with your tooles.

R. Royster. In a ray.

M. Mery. Dubba dub sirrha.

R. Royster. In a ray. They come sodainly on vs.

M. Mery. Dubbadub.

R. Royster. In a ray. That euer I was borne, we are taken tardie.

M. Mery. Now sirs, quite our selues like tall men and hardie.

C. Custance. On afore Truepenie, holde thyne owne Annot, On towarde them Tibet, for scape vs they can not. Come forth Madge Mumblecrust, so stande fast togither.

M. Mery. God sende vs a faire day.

R. Royster. See they marche on hither.

Tib. Talk. But mistresse.

C. Custance. What sayst you?

Tib. Shall I go fet our goose?

C. Custance. What to do?

Tib. To yonder Captain I will turne hir loose And she gape and hisse at him, as she doth at me, I durst ieoparde my hande she wyll make him flee.

C. Custance. On forward.

R. Royster. They com.

M. Mery. Stand.

R. Royster. Hold.

M. Mery. Kepe.

R. Royster. There.

M. Mery. Strike.

R. Royster. Take heede.

C. Custance. Wel sayd Truepeny.

Trupeny. Ah whooresons.

C. Custance. Wel don in deede

M. Mery. Hold thine owne Harpax, downe with them Dobinet.

C. Custance. Now Madge, there Annot: now sticke them Tibet.

Tib. Talk. All my chiefe quarell is to this same little knaue, That begyled me last day, nothyng shall him saue.

D. Dough. Downe with this litle queane, that hath at me such spite, Saue you from hir maister, it is a very sprite.

C. Custance. I my selfe will mounsire graunde captaine vndertake,

R. Royster. They win grounde.

M. Mery. Saue your selfe sir, for gods sake.

R. Royster. Out, alas, I am slaine, helpe.

M. Mery. Saue your self.

R. Royster. Alas.

M. Mery. Nay then, haue at you mistresse.

R. Royster. Thou hittest me, alas.

M. Mery. I wil strike at Custance here.

R. Royster. Thou hittest me.

M. Mery. So I wil. Nay mistresse Custance.

R. Royster. Alas, thou hittest me still. Hold.

M. Mery. Saue your self sir.

R. Royster. Help, out alas I am slain

M. Mery. Truce, hold your hands, truce for a pissing while or twaine: Nay how say you Custance, for sauing of your life, Will ye yelde and graunt to be this gentmans wife?

C. Custance. Ye tolde me he loued me, call ye this loue?

M. Mery. He loued a while euen like a turtle doue.

C. Custance. Gay loue God saue it, so soone hotte, so soone colde,

M. Mery. I am sory for you: he could loue you yet so he coulde.

R. Royster. Nay by cocks precious she shall be none of mine.

M. Mery. Why so?

R. Royster. Come away, by the matte she is man-kine. I durst aduenture the losse of my right hande, If shee dyd not slee hir other husbande: And see if she prepare not againe to fight.

M. Mery. What then? sainct George to borow, our Ladies knight.

R. Royster. Slee else whom she will, by gog she shall not slee mee.

M. Mery. How then?

R. Royster. Rather than to be slaine, I will flee.

C. Custance. Too it againe, my knightesses, downe with them all.

R. Royster. Away, away, away, she will else kyll vs all.

M. Mery. Nay sticke to it, like an hardie man and a tall.

R. Royster. Oh bones, thou hittest me. Away, or else die we shall.

M. Mery. Away for the pashe of our sweete Lord Iesus Christ.

C. Custance. Away loute and lubber, or I shall be thy priest. Exeant om.

So this fielde is ours we haue driuen them all away.

Tib Talk. Thankes to God mistresse, ye haue had a faire day.

C. Custance. Well nowe goe ye in, and make your selfe some good cheere.

Omnes pariter. We goe.

T. Trust. Ah sir, what a field we haue had heere.

C. Custance. Friend Tristram, I pray you be a witnesse with me.

T. Trusty. Dame Custance, I shall depose for your honestie, And nowe fare ye well, except some thing else ye wolde.

C. Custance. Not now, but when I nede to sende I will be bolde. Exeat.

I thanke you for these paines. And now I wyll get me in, Now Roister Doister will no more wowyng begin. Ex.

Actus. v. Scna. j.

Gawyn Goodlucke. Sym Suresby.

Sym Suresby my trustie man, nowe aduise thee well, And see that no false surmises thou me tell, Was there such adoe about Custance of a truth?

Sim. Sure. To reporte that I hearde and sawe, to me is ruth, But both my duetie and name and propretie, Warneth me to you to shewe fidelitie, It may be well enough, and I wyshe it so to be, She may hir selfe discharge and trie hir honestie, Yet their clayme to hir me thought was very large, For with letters rings and tokens, they dyd hir charge. Which when I hearde and sawe I would none to you bring.

G. Goodl. No, by sainct Marie, I allowe thee in that thing. Ah sirra, nowe I see truthe in the prouerbe olde, All things that shineth is not by and by pure golde, If any doe lyue a woman of honestie, I would haue sworne Christian Custance had bene shee.

Sim. Sure. Sir, though I to you be a seruant true and iust. Yet doe not ye therfore your faithfull spouse mystrust. But examine the matter, and if ye shall it finde, To be all well, be not ye for my wordes vnkinde.

G. Goodl. I shall do that is right, and as I see cause why. But here commeth Custance forth, we shal know by and by.

Actus. v. Scna. ij.

C. Custance. Gawyn Goodlucke. Sym Suresby.

C. Custance. I come forth to see and hearken for newes good, For about this houre is the tyme of likelyhood, That Gawyn Goodlucke by the sayings of Suresby, Would be at home, and lo yond I see hym I. What Gawyn Goodlucke, the onely hope of my life, Welcome home, and kysse me your true espoused wife.

Ga. Good. Nay soft dame Custance, I must first by your licence, See whether all things be cleere in your conscience, I heare of your doings to me very straunge.

C. Custance. What feare ye? that my faith towardes you should chaunge?

Ga. Good. I must needes mistrust ye be elsewhere entangled. For I heare that certaine men with you haue wrangled About the promise of mariage by you to them made.

C. Custance. Coulde any mans reporte your minde therein persuade?

Ga. Good. Well, ye must therin declare your selfe to stande cleere, Else I and you dame Custance may not ioyne this yere.

C. Custance. Then woulde I were dead, and faire layd in my graue, Ah Suresby, is this the honestie that ye haue? To hurt me with your report, not knowyng the thing.

Sim Sure. If ye be honest my wordes can hurte you nothing. But what I hearde and sawe, I might not but report.

C. Custance. Ah Lorde, helpe poore widowes, destitute of comfort. Truly most deare spouse, nought was done but for pastance.

G. Good. But such kynde of sporting is homely daliance.

C. Custance. If ye knewe the truthe, ye would take all in good parte.

Ga. Good. By your leaue I am not halfe well skilled in that arte.

C. Custance. It was none but Roister Doister that foolishe mome.

Ga. Good. Yea Custance, better (they say) a badde scuse than none.

C. Custance. Why Tristram Trustie sir, your true and faithfull frende, Was priuie bothe to the beginning and the ende. Let him be the Iudge, and for me testifie.

Ga. Good. I will the more credite that he shall verifie, And bicause I will the truthe know een as it is, I will to him my selfe, and know all without misse. Come on Sym Suresby, that before my friend thou may Auouch the same wordes, which thou dydst to me say. Exeant.

Actus. v. Scna. iij.

Christian Custance.

C. Custance. O Lorde, howe necessarie it is nowe of dayes, That eche bodie liue vprightly all maner wayes, For lette neuer so little a gappe be open, And be sure of this, the worst shall be spoken Howe innocent stande I in this for deede or thought? And yet see what mistrust towardes me it hath wrought But thou Lorde knowest all folkes thoughts and eke intents And thou arte the deliuerer of all innocentes. Thou didst helpe the aduoutresse that she might be amended, Much more then helpe Lorde, that neuer yll intended. Thou didst helpe Susanna, wrongfully accused, And no lesse dost thou see Lorde, how I am now abused, Thou didst helpe Hester, when she should haue died, Helpe also good Lorde, that my truth may be tried. Yet if Gawin Goodlucke with Tristram Trusty speake. I trust of yll report the force shall be but weake, And loe yond they come sadly talking togither, I wyll abyde, and not shrinke for their comming hither.

Actus. v. Scna. iiij.

Gawyn Goodlucke. Tristram Trustie. C. Custance. Sym Suresby.

Ga. Good. And was it none other than ye to me reporte?

Tristram. No, and here were ye wished to haue seene the sporte.

Ga. Good. Woulde I had, rather than halfe of that in my purse.

Sim Sure. And I doe muche reioyce the matter was no wurse, And like as to open it, I was to you faithfull, So of dame Custance honest truth I am ioyfull. For God forfende that I shoulde hurt hir by false reporte.

Ga. Good. Well, I will no longer holde hir in discomforte.

C. Custance. Nowe come they hitherwarde, I trust all shall be well.

Ga. Good. Sweete Custance neither heart can thinke nor tongue tell, Howe much I ioy in your constant fidelitie, Come nowe kisse me the pearle of perfect honestie.

C. Custance. God lette me no longer to continue in lyfe, Than I shall towardes you continue a true wyfe.

Ga. Good. Well now to make you for this some parte of amendes, I shall desire first you, and then suche of our frendes, As shall to you seeme best, to suppe at home with me, Where at your fought fielde we shall laugh and mery be.

Sim Sure. And mistresse I beseech you, take with me no greefe, I did a true mans part, not wishyng you repreefe.

C. Custance. Though hastie reportes through surmises growyng, May of poore innocentes be vtter ouerthrowyng, Yet bicause to thy maister thou hast a true hart, And I know mine owne truth, I forgiue thee for my part.

Ga. Goodl. Go we all to my house, and of this geare no more. Goe prepare all things Sym Suresby, hence, runne afore.

Sim Sure. I goe. Ex.

G. Good. But who commeth yond, M. Merygreeke?

C. Custance. Roister Doisters champion, I shrewe his best cheeke.

T. Trusty. Roister Doister selfe your wower is with hym too. Surely some thing there is with vs they haue to doe.

Actus. v. Scna. v.

M. Merygreeke. Ralph Roister. Gawyn Goodlucke. Tristram Trustie. C. Custance.

M. Mery. Yond I see Gawyn Goodlucke, to whome lyeth my message, I will first salute him after his long voyage, And then make all thing well concerning your behalfe.

R. Royster. Yea for the pashe of God.

M. Mery. Hence out of sight ye calfe, Till I haue spoke with them, and then I will you fet,

R. Royster. In Gods name.

M. Mery. What master Gawin Goodluck wel met And from your long voyage I bid you right welcome home.

Ga. Good. I thanke you.

M. Mery. I come to you from an honest mome.

Ga. Good. Who is that?

M. Mery. Roister Doister that doughtie kite.

C. Custance. Fye, I can scarce abide ye shoulde his name recite.

M. Mery. Ye must take him to fauour, and pardon all past, He heareth of your returne, and is full yll agast.

Ga. Good. I am ryght well content he haue with vs some chere.

C. Custance. Fye vpon him beast, then wyll not I be there.

Ga. Good. Why Custance do ye hate hym more than ye loue me?

C. Custance. But for your mynde sir, where he were would I not be?

T. Trusty. He woulde make vs al laugh.

M. Mery. Ye nere had better sport.

Ga. Good. I pray you sweete Custance, let him to vs resort.

C. Custance. To your will I assent.

M. Mery. Why, suche a foole it is, As no man for good pastime would forgoe or misse.

Ga. Good. Fet him to go wyth vs.

M. Mery. He will be a glad man. Ex.

T. Trusty. We must to make vs mirth, maintaine hym all we can. And loe yond he commeth and Merygreeke with him.

C. Custance. At his first entrance ye shall see I wyll him trim. But first let vs hearken the gentlemans wise talke.

T. Trusty. I pray you marke if euer ye sawe crane so stalke.

Actus. v. Scna. vj.

R. Roister. M. Merygreeke. C. Custance. G. Goodlucke. T. Trustie. D. Doughtie. Harpax.

R. Royster. May I then be bolde?

M. Mery. I warrant you on my worde, They say they shall be sicke, but ye be at theyr borde.

R. Royster. Thei wer not angry then.

M. Mery. Yes at first, and made strange But when I sayd your anger to fauour shoulde change, And therewith had commended you accordingly, They were all in loue with your mashyp by and by. And cried you mercy that they had done you wrong.

R. Royster. For why, no man, woman, nor childe can hate me long.

M. Mery. We feare (quod they) he will be auenged one day, Then for a peny giue all our liues we may.

R Royster. Sayd they so in deede.

M. Mery. Did they? yea, euen with one voice He will forgiue all (quod I) Oh how they did reioyce.

R Royster. Ha, ha, ha.

M. Mery. Goe fette hym (say they) while he is in good moode, For haue his anger who lust, we will not by the Roode.

R. Royster. I pray God that it be all true, that thou hast me tolde, And that she fight no more.

M. Mery. I warrant you, be bolde Too them, and salute them.

R. Royster. Sirs, I greete you all well.

Omnes. Your maistership is welcom.

C. Custance. Sauyng my quarell. For sure I will put you vp into the Eschequer.

M. Mery. Why so? better nay: Wherfore?

C. Custance. For an vsurer.

R. Royster. I am no vsurer good mistresse by his armes.

M. Mery. When tooke he gaine of money to any mans harmes?

C. Custance. Yes, a fowle vsurer he is, ye shall see els.

R. Royster. Didst not thou promise she would picke no mo quarels?

C. Custance. He will lende no blowes, but he haue in recompence Fiftene for one, whiche is to muche of conscience.

R. Royster. Ah dame, by the auncient lawe of armes, a man Hath no honour to foile his handes on a woman.

C. Custance. And where other vsurers take their gaines yerely, This man is angry but he haue his by and by.

Ga. Goodl. Sir, doe not for hir sake beare me your displeasure.

M. Mery. Well, he shall with you talke therof more at leasure. Vpon your good vsage, he will now shake your hande.

R. Royster. And much heartily welcome from a straunge lande.

M. Mery. Be not afearde Gawyn to let him shake your fyst.

Ga. Goodl. Oh the moste honeste gentleman that ere I wist. I beseeche your mashyp to take payne to suppe with vs.

M. Mery. He shall not say you nay and I too, by Iesus. Bicause ye shall be friends, and let all quarels passe.

R. Royster. I wyll be as good friends with them as ere I was.

M. Mery. Then let me fet your quier that we may haue a song.

R. Royster. Goe.

G. Goodluck. I haue hearde no melodie all this yeare long.

M. Mery. Come on sirs quickly.

R. Royster. Sing on sirs, for my frends sake.

D. Dough. Cal ye these your frends?

R. Royster. Sing on, and no mo words make.

Here they sing.

Ga. Good. The Lord preserue our most noble Queene of renowne, And hir virtues rewarde with the heauenly crowne.

C. Custance. The Lorde strengthen hir most excellent Maiestie, Long to reigne ouer vs in all prosperitie.

T. Trusty. That hir godly proceedings the faith to defende, He may stablishe and maintaine through to the ende.

M. Mery. God graunt hir as she doth, the Gospell to protect, Learning and vertue to aduaunce, and vice to correct.

R. Royster. God graunt hir louyng subiects both the minde and grace, Hir most godly procedyngs worthily to imbrace.

Harpax. Hir highnesse most worthy counsellers God prosper, With honour and loue of all men to minister.

Omnes. God graunt the nobilitie hir to serue and loue, With all the whole commontie as doth them behoue.


Certaine Songs to be song by those which shall vse this Comedie or Enterlude.

The Seconde Song.

Who so to marry a minion Wyfe, Hath hadde good chaunce and happe, Must loue hir and cherishe hir all his life, And dandle hir in his lappe.

If she will fare well, yf she wyll go gay, A good husbande euer styll, What euer she lust to doe, or to say, Must lette hir haue hir owne will.

About what affaires so euer he goe, He must shewe hir all his mynde, None of hys counsell she may be kept free, Else is he a man vnkynde.

The fourth Song.

I mun be maried a Sunday I mun be maried a Sunday, Who soeuer shall come that way, I mun be maried a Sunday.

Royster Doyster is my name, Royster Doyster is my name, A lustie brute I am the same, I mun be maried a Sunday.

Christian Custance haue I founde, Christian Custance haue I founde, A Wydowe worthe a thousande pounde, I mun be maried a sunday.

Custance is as sweete as honey, Custance is as sweete as honey, I hir lambe and she my coney, I mun be maried a Sunday.

When we shall make our weddyng feast, When we shall make oure weddyng feast, There shall bee cheere for man and beast, I mun be maried a Sunday.

I mun be maried a Sunday, etc.

The Psalmodie

Placebo dilexi, Maister Roister Doister wil streight go home and die, Our Lorde Iesus Christ his soule haue mercie vpon: Thus you see to day a man, to morrow Iohn.

Yet sauing for a womans extreeme crueltie, He might haue lyued yet a moneth or two or three, But in spite of Custance which hath him weried, His mashyp shall be worshipfully buried. And while some piece of his soule is yet hym within, Some parte of his funeralls let vs here beginne.

Dirige. He will go darklyng to his graue. Neque lux, neque crux, nisi solum clinke, Neuer gentman so went toward heauen I thinke.

Yet sirs as ye wyll the blisse of heauen win, When he commeth to the graue lay hym softly in, And all men take heede by this one Gentleman, How you sette your loue vpon an vnkinde woman: For these women be all suche madde pieuish elues, They wyll not be woonne except it please them selues. But in faith Custance if euer ye come in hell, Maister Roister Doister shall serue you as well. Good night Roger olde knaue, Farewel Roger olde knaue. Good night Roger olde knaue, knaue, knap.

Nequando. Audiui vocem. Requiem ternam.

The Peale of belles rong by the parish Clerk, and Roister Doisters foure men.

The first Bell a Triple. When dyed he? When dyed he?

The seconde. We haue hym, We haue hym.

The thirde Royster Doyster, Royster Doyster.

The fourth Bell. He commeth, He commeth.

The greate Bell. Our owne, Our owne.


Muir & Paterson, Printers, Edinburgh.

Communications to be addressed to the Editor.

English Reprints.

Carefully Edited By EDWARD ARBER, Associate, King's College, London, F.R.G.S., &c.

FOOLSCAP SIZE. Ordinary Issue, in 8vo.

Exact and complete Texts, in Stiff Covers, with either cut or uncut edges, as desired, chiefly Sixpence or One Shilling each.

Copies with cut edges supplied, unless otherwise ordered.

Handsome and durable cases, Roxburghe style, for the same—One Shilling each.

Also, two or three of such Works collected into occasional volumes, about Half a Crown each.

Large Paper Edition (L. P.), in 4to.

The same texts, beautifully printed on thick toned paper, in Stiff Covers, uncut edges, at corresponding low prices. Published as far as Selden: the remaining works are in preparation.

Any Work or Volume may be had separately, being simply numbered herein for the sake of distinction.

The Series may be had through any bookseller, or when more convenient, may be obtained by post on remitting Stamps.


(1) A decree of the Starre-Chamber, concerning Printing, made the eleuenth day of July last past. London, 1637.

(2) An Order of the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament for the regulating of Printing, &c. London, 14 June, 1643.

(3) AREOPAGITICA; A speech of Mr. John Milton for the liberty of Vnlicenc'd Printing, to the Parlament of England. London. [24 November]. 1644. Sixpence, L. P. 1s. 6d.

2. HUGH LATIMER, Ex-Bishop of Worcester.

SERMON ON THE PLOUGHERS. A notable Sermon of ye reuerende father Master Hughe Latimer, whiche he preahecd in ye Shrouds at paules churche in London, on the xviii daye of Januarye. The yere of our Loorde MDXLviii. Sixpence, L. P. 1s. 6d.

3. STEPHEN GOSSON, Stud. Oxon.

(1) THE SCHOOLE OF ABUSE. Conteining a pleasaunt invective against Poets, Pipers, Plaiers, Jesters, and such like Caterpillers of a Commonwealth; Setting up the Flagge of Defiance to their mischievous exercise, and ouerthrowing their Bulwarkes, by Prophane Writers, Naturall reason, and common experience. A discourse as pleasaunt for gentlemen that fauour learning, as profitable for all that wyll follow vertue. London. [August?] 1579.

(2) AN APOLOGIE OF THE SCHOOLE OF ABUSE, against Poets, Pipers, and their Excusers. London. [December?] 1579. Sixpence, L. P. 1s. 6d.

VOL. I.—Containing Nos. 1, 2, and 3; in green cloth, red edges. Two Shillings.


AN APOLOGIE FOR POETRIE. Written by the right noble, vertuous and learned Sir Philip Sidney, Knight. London. 1595. Sixpence, L. P. 1s. 6d.

5. EDWARD WEBBE, Chief Master Gunner.

The rare and most vvonderful thinges which Edward Webbe an Englishman borne, hath seene and passed in his troublesome trauailes, in the Citties of Ierusalem, Damasko, Bethelem, and Galely: and in the Landes of Iewrie, Egipt, Gtecia, Russia, and in the land of Prester Iohn. Wherein is set foorth his extreame slauerie sustained many yeres togither, in the Gallies and wars of the great Turk against the Landes of Persia, Tartaria, Spaine, and Portugall, with the manner of his releasement, and comming into London in May last. London. 1590. Sixpence, L. P. 1s. 6d.


TABLE TALK: being the Discourses of John Selden Esq.; or his Sence of various Matters of Weight and High Consequence relating especially to Religion and State. London. 1689. One Shilling, L. P. 2s. 6d.

VOL. II.—Containing Nos. 4, 5, and 6; in green cloth, red edges. Half a Crown.


TOXOPHILUS. The schole of shooting conteyned in tvvo bookes. To all Gentlemen and yomen of Englande, pleasaunte for theyr pastime to rede, and profitable for theyr use to folow, both in warre and peace. London. 1545. One Shilling.


CRITICISM OF MILTON'S PARADISE LOST. From The Spectator: being its Saturday issues between 31 December, 1711, and 3 May, 1712. One Shilling.

VOL. III.—Containing Nos. 7 and 8; in green cloth, red edges. Half a Crown.


(1) EUPHUES. THE ANATOMY OF WIT. Verie pleasaunt for all Gentlemen to read, and most necessarie to remember. Wherein are contained the delightes that Wit followeth in his youth by the pleasantnesse of loue, and the happinesse he reapeth in age, by the perfectnesse of Wisedome. London. 1579.

(2) EUPHUES AND HIS ENGLAND. Containing his voyage and aduentures, myxed with sundrie pretie discourses of honest Loue, the Description of the Countrey, the Court, and the manners of that Isle. Delightful to be read, and nothing hurtful to be regarded: wher-in there is small offence by lightnesse giuen to the wise, and lesse occasion of loosenes proffered to the wanton. London, 1580.

Collated with early subsequent editions. Four Shillings.

VOL. IV.—No. 9; in green cloth, red edges. Five Shillings.

10. GEORGE VILLIERS, Duke of Buckingham.

THE REHEARSAL. As it was Acted at the Theatre Royal London, 1672. With Illustrations from previous plays, &c. 1s.


(1) A remembravnce of the wel imployed life, and godly end of George Gaskoigne, Esquire, who deceassed at Stalmford in Lincoln shire, the 7 of October 1577. The reporte of GEOR WHETSTONS, Gent an eye witnes of his Godly and Charitable End in this world. London. 1577.

(2) Certayne notes of Instruction concerning the making of verse or rime in English, vvritten at the request of Master Edouardi Donati. 1575.

(3) THE STEELE GLAS. A Satyre compiled by George Gasscoigne Esquire [Written between April 1575 and April 1576]. Together with

(4) THE COMPLAYNT OF PHYLOMENE. An Elegie compyled by George Gasscoigne Esquire [between April 1562 and 3rd April 1576.] London. 1576. One Shilling.

12. JOHN EARLE, M.A.: afterwards in succession Bishop of Worcester, and of Salisbury.

MICRO-COSMOGRAPHIE, or a Peece of the World discovered, in Essays and Characters. London. 1628. With the additions in subsequent editions during the Author's life time. 1s.

VOL. V.—Containing Nos. 10, 11, and 12; in green cloth, red edges. Three Shillings and Sixpence.

13. HUGH LATIMER, Ex-Bishop of Worcester.


(1) The fyrste sermon of Mayster Hugh Latimer, whiche he preached before the Kynges Maiest. wythin his graces palayce at Westmynster. M.D.XLIX. the viii of Marche. (,',)

(2) The seconde [to seventh] Sermon of Master Hughe Latemer, whych he preached before the Kynges maiestie, withyn hys graces Palayce at Westminster ye. xv. day of March. M.ccccc.xlix. 1s. 6d.


UTOPIA. (1) A fruteful and pleasaunt worke of the beste state of a publyque weale, and of the newe yle called Utopia: written in Latin by Syr Thomas More knyght, and translated into Englyshe by Raphe Robynson Citizein and Goldsmythe of London, at the procurement, and earnest request of George Tadlowe Citizein and Haberdassher of the same Citie. London. 1551. [Title-page and preface only.]

(2) A frutefull pleasaunt, and wittie worke, of the best state of a publique weale, and of the new yle, called Utopia: written in Latine, by the right worthie and famous Sir Thomas More knyght, and translated into Englishe by RAPHE ROBYNSON, sometime fellowe of Corpus Christi College in Oxford, and nowe by him at this seconde edition newlie perused and corrected, and also with diuers notes in the margent augmented. London. [1556]. One Shilling.

VOL. VI.—Containing Nos. 13 & 14; in green cloth, red edges. Three Shillings.


THE ARTE OF ENGLISH POESIE. Contriued into three Bookes: The first of Poets and Poesie, the second of Proportion, the third of Ornament. London. 1589. Two Shillings.

VOL. VII.—No. 15; in green cloth, red edges. Half a Crown.

16. JAMES HOWELL, Historiographer Royal to Ch. II.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR FORREINE TRAVELL. Shewing by what cours, and in what compasse of time, one may take an exact Survey of the Kingdomes and States of Christendome, and arrive to the practicall knowledge of the Languages, to good purpose. London. 1642. Collated with the edition of 1650; and in its 'new Appendix for Travelling into Turkey and the Levant parts' added. Sixpence. [June.

17. The earliest known English comedy.

NICHOLAS UDALL, Master of Eton.

ROISTER DOISTER, [from the unique copy at Eton College]. 1566. Sixpence. [July.

18. THE REVELATION TO THE MONK OF EVESHAM. He begynnyth a mervelous revelacion that was schewyd of almighty god by sent Nycholas to a monke of Euyshamme yn the days of Kynge Richard the fyrst. And the yere of our lord. M.C.Lxxxxvi. [From the unique copy, printed about 1491, in the British Museum]. Sixpence. [July.

19. JAMES VI. of Scotland, I. of England.


(2) A COUNTER BLASTE TO TOBACCO. London. 1604. Sixpence. [Aug.

VOL. VIII.—Containing Nos. 16, 17, 18, and 19; in green cloth, red edges. Half a Crown.


A Harmony of the ESSAYES, &c. The four principal texts appearing in parallel columns; viz.:—

(1) Essayes. Religious Meditations. Places of perswasion and disswasion. London 1597. (10 Essays.)

Of the Coulers of good and euill a fragment. 1597.

(2) The Writings of S{r} Francis Bacon Knt: the Kinges Sollicitor Generall: in Moralitie, Policie, and Historie. Harleian MS. 5106. Transcribed bet. 1607-12. (34 Essays.)

(3) THE ESSAIES of S{r} FRANCIS BACON Knight, the Kings Solliciter Generall. London. 1612. (38 Essays.)

(4) The Essayes or Counsels, Ciuill and Morall, of FRANCIS LO. VERULAM Viscount ST. ALBANS. Newly Written. 1625. (58 Essays.) Three Shillings. [Sept.

VOL. IX—No. 20; in green cloth, red edges. Three Shillings & Sixpence.

21. Sir ROBERT NAUNTON, Master of the Court of Wards.

FRAGMENTA REGALIA: or, Observations on the late Queen Elizabeth, her Times, and Favourites. [Second Edition. London] 1642. Sixpence. [Sept.

22. THOMAS WATSON, Student at law.

(1) THE Ekatompathia or Passionate Centurie of Loue. Divided into two parts: whereof, the first expresseth the Authors sufferance in Loue: the latter, his long farewell to Loue and all his tyrannie. Composed by Thomas Watson Gentleman; and published at the request of certaine Gentlemen his very frendes. London [1582.]

(2) MELIBOEUS T. Watsoni, sive, Ecloga in obitum F. Walsinghami, &c. Londini, 1590.

(3) AN EGLOGUE, &c., Written first in latine [the above Meliboeus] by Thomas Watson Gentleman and now by himselfe translated into English. London, 1590.

(4) THE TEARS OF FANCY, or Loue disdained. [From the unique copy, wanting Sonnets ix.-xvi., in the possession of S. Christie-Miller, Esq.] London, 1593. Eighteen Pence. [Oct.

VOL. X.—Containing Nos. 21 and 22, in green cloth, red edges. Half a Crown.


THE SCHOLEMASTER, Or plaine and perfite way of teachyng children, to vnderstand, write, and speake, the Latin tong, but specially purposed for the priuate brynging vp of youth in Ientlemen and Noble mens houses, and commodious also for all such, as haue forgot the Latin tonge, and would, by themselues, without a Scholemaster, in short tyme, and with small paines, recouer a sufficient habilitie, to vnderstand, write, and speake Latin. London. 1570. One Shilling. [Oct.


CASTARA. The third Edition. Corrected and augmented. London. 1640. With the variations of the two previous editions. One Shilling. [Nov.

VOL. XI.—Containing Nos. 23 and 24; in green cloth, red edges. Half a Crown.


HOR VACIV, or Essays. Some occasionall considerations. London. 1646. Sixpence. [Nov.

26. (1) The earliest known English tragedy; and also the earliest English play in blank verse.

THOMAS SACKVILLE, afterwards Lord Buckhurst, and Earl of Dorset: and THOMAS NORTON, of Sharpenhoe (Beds).

THE TRAGEDIE OF FERREX AND PORREX, set forth without addition or alteration but altogether as the same as shewed on stage before the Queenes Maiestie, about nine yeares past, vz. the xviij day of Ianuarie. 1561. by the gentlemen of the Inner Temple. London. [1570.]

Collated with the surreptitious edition 'The Tragedie of Gorboduc,' of 1565.

(2) SACKVILLES's THE INDUCTION to The Complaynt of Henrye duke of Buckingham, from the second edition of A Myrrovr for Magistrates. London. 1563. One Shilling. [Dec.


FIGHT IN THE 'REVENGE.' (1) A report [written by Sir WALTER RALEIGH] of the Truth of the fight about the Isles of Acores, this last Sommer. Betvvixt the Reuenge, one of her Maiesties Shippes, And an Armada of the King of Spaine. London. 1591. [From the Grenville copy.]

(2) The most Honorable Tragedie of Sir Richarde Grinuille, Knight (..)Bramo assai, poco spero, nulla chieggio. [By GERVASE MARKHAM] London. 1595. [Two copies only are known, Mr. Grenville's cost 40.] Sixpence. [Dec.

VOL. XII.—Containing Nos. 25, 26, and 27; in green cloth, red edges. Half a Crown.

5 Queen Square, Bloomsbury, London, W.C.

June 1869.

The publication of the 'English Reprints' passed into the Editor's hands on the 1st of May last. An inevitable cessation in the issue of new works ensued: but with the appearance of Howell's Instructions, &c., the Series resumes its growth.

A few changes have been made as to works in immediate preparation. (1) Roister Doister can be published for Sixpence. (2) An early printed rarity, The Revelation to the Monk of Evesham, has therefore been interpolated. (3) Elyot's Governor has been postponed to next year. (4) In its stead Naunton's Fragmenta Regalia, and Watson's ekatompathia, &c. have been inserted.

It is a great gratification to bring back from oblivion the works of so elegant a poet as Thomas Watson, of whose renown in his own age Francis Meres thus testifies in his Palladis Tamia, 1598.

'As Italy had Dante, Boccace, Petrarch, Tasso, Celiano, and Ariosto: so England had Mathew Roydon, Thomas Atchelow, Thomas Watson, Thomas Kid, Robert Greene and George Peele.' —p. 282, b.

'As Theocritus in Greeke, Virgil and Mantuan in Latine, Sanazar in Italian, and the Authour of Amynt Gaudia and Walsinghams Meliboeus are the best for pastorall ....' —p. 284, a.

There is, however, further gratulation in that S. Christie-Miller, Esq. has generously consented to the printing of Watson's The Tears of Fancy, the unique copy of which forms one of the gems of his remarkable collection at Britwell. Altogether, therefore, the Reprint will include above 150 Sonnets, besides the Latin-English elegy Meliboeus.

The temporary loan of original editions greatly facilitates the work. Gentlemen who may be willing so to trust the Editor are requested to communicate with him a considerable time in advance of date of publication.

The Series will continue perpetually on sale. Profit is sacrificed to cheapness: and cheapness aimed at, in order that purchasers may acquire not a few works simply, but the entire series. Every endeavour is made that the selection shall be representative of the national literature, as well as varied and interesting in itself: while scrupulous care is bestowed upon each book. It may not therefore be presumption to bespeak unceasing co-operation on the part of all readers of English.

The Large Paper edition will be continued in the autumn.

All communications should be addressed to the undersigned.


English Reprints.

[Columns: Stiff: Fcap 8vo. Stiff Covers, either cut or uncut edges. Cloth: Fcap 8vo. Bevelled green Cloth, red edges. Paper: Fcap 4to. Large paper Edition. Stiff Covers.

Prices in the middle column were printed only when different from the previous row; groups of titles with the same price were bracketed.]

Summary of Issues, &c.

Authors. Works. Stiff Cloth Paper

Ready. Ready. Ready.

1. MILTON. Areopagitica. 1644. 0 6 2 0 1 6 2. LATIMER. The Ploughers. 1549. 0 6 2 0 1 6 3. GOSSON. The Schoole of Abuse. 1579. 0 6 2 0 1 6 4. SIDNEY. An Apologie for Poetrie. 1595. 0 6 2 6 1 6 5. WEBBE. His Wonderful Trauailes. 1590. 0 6 2 6 1 6 6. SELDEN. Table-Talk. 1689. 1 0 2 6 2 6


7. ASCHAM. Toxophilus. 1545. 1 0 2 6 2 6 8. ADDISON. Criticism on Paradise Lost. 1712. 1 0 2 6 2 6 9. LYLY. Euphues. 1579. 4 0 5 0 9 0 10. VILLIERS. The Rehearsal. 1672. 1 0 3 6 2 6 11. GASCOIGNE. The Steele Glas, &c. 1576. 1 0 3 6 2 6 12. EARLE. Micro-Cosmographie. 1628. 1 0 3 6 2 6 13. LATIMER. Sermons before Ed. VI. 1549. 1 6 3 0 4 0 14. MORE. Utopia. 1556. 1 0 3 0 2 6 15. PUTTENHAM. Arte of English Poesie. 1589. 2 0 2 6 5 0


16. HOWELL. Instructions for Forreigne Travell. 1640. 0 6 2 6 1 6 17. UDALL. Roister Doister. 1566. 0 6 2 6 1 6 18. The Revelation to the Monk of Evesham. 1491. 0 6 2 6 1 6 19. JAMES I. Essayes, &c. in Poesie. 1585. 0 6 2 6 1 6 Counterblaste to Tobacco. 1604. 0 6 2 6 1 6 20. BACON. A Harmony of the Essayes, &c. 3 0 3 6 7 0 21. NAUNTON. Fragmenta Regalia. 1642. 0 6 2 6 1 6 22. WATSON. The ekatompathia, &c. 1582. 1 6 2 6 4 0 23. ASCHAM. The Scholemaster. 1570. 1 0 2 6 2 6 24. HABINGTON. Castara. 1640. 1 0 2 6 2 6 25. HALL. Hor Vaciv. 1646. 0 6 2 6 1 6 26. SACKVILLE. Ferrex & Porrex. 1561. 1 0 2 6 2 6 27. GRENVILLE. Fight in the 'Revenge.' 1590. 0 6 2 6 1 6

Cases to hold several Reprints, 8vo size, One Shilling each.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Typographical errors:

As noted above, punctuation and capitalization within the play itself are unchanged; missing punctuation has not been supplied. The entire text, including the modern (1869) material, used long "s".

The form ekatompathia for hekatompathia is used consistently.

Possible long-s errors: Whersore concerning mariage, ye are thought "Whersore" for "Wherfore" Tib. Talk. Then Trupenies firesorke will him shrewdly fray, "firesorke" for "fireforke" C. Custance. Ye shall see womens warre. T. Trusty. That fight wil I behold. readings "fight" and "sight" are both plausible Hath no honour to foile his handes on a woman. "foile" for "soile"

1534-1543. t. text unchanged

Ex. am., Exeant am. (two occurrences) text unchanged: possible error for "om." (omnes)

Tib. Talk. Not with you sir, but with a little wag-pastie, hyphen at line-break In suche an outragious tempest as as this was. duplication "as as" in original Sym Suresby here perchance shal therof deme som yll, text has appropriately sized empty space for initial "S" Sym Suresby my trustie man, nowe aduise thee well, speaker's name (Gawin Goodlucke) missing in original

whiche he preahecd in ye Shrouds at paules churche text unchanged: error for "preached"


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