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THE PROVERBS OF JOHN

HEYWOOD.
<vjgv

" Then doth he Hcke

his

Hppes and stroke his beard.

That's glewed together with- his slavering droppes

Of yestie

ale,

His goutie

And

and when he scarce can trim

fingers thus hee'l

with a rotten hem, say

Merrie go sorrie

But then

fillip it.
*

hey,

cocke and pye,

my hearts
my heart

!'

their saving pennie proverbe comes."

Two Ajigry Women ofABington^

1599.

THE PROVERBS OF JOHN

HEYWOOD.
BEING THE "PROVERBES" OF THAT

AUTHOR PRINTED
EDITED,

1546.

WITH NOTES AND INTRODUCTION,

BY JULIAN SHARMAN.

LONDON:
GEORGE BELL AND

SONS,

YORK

COVENT GARDEN.
1874.

STREET,

CHISWICK

I'KliSS

PRINTED

BY

WHITTINGHAM AND WILKINS

TOOKS COURT, CHANCERY LANE,

TO MY FRIEND,

BOURCHIER

F.

THIS

HAWKSLEY,

VOLUME

DEDICATED.

IS

Esq.,

INTRODUCTION.
I

HE

traditions of old

Saxon

literature

had never been obliterated by


or utterly defaced

by

rust

invasion; even

after the toll of the curfew, there yet

lingered round the

Saxon embers the

homely folk-speech of Jutes and Angles.

But the

hidden graces of that English tongue no English


Aristotle

Erasmus had
and learning;
scattered

No

earlier

gems of

speet3\.

had attempted to uncover.


arisen to restore the

no

English Quintilian to knit the

threads of idiom

together.

Everywhere

where the English independence was subjected, was


the English language as effectually despised.

INTRODUCTION.

viii

Yet the Norman

in proscribing the ancient literature

could hardly hope to extirpate the ancient ways of


thought.

could he hope to interrupt that

Still less

flow of tears and laughter, the pathos and the

We

which proceed from thought.

know

humour

that what-

ever was

memorable or captivating

in the old-world

literature

was accustomed to be

recited, until the

sense of property

in

such compositions becoming

be the wit of

many

which had formerly been the wisdom of one.

Such

gradually

lost,

that

grew

to

perpetual assumption of authorship would have been


in

itself sufficient

from

desuetude,

farceur worked

protect that verbal literature

to

even

had

not

the

mightily towards

The shrewd maxims

of their

its

Saxon

professional

preservation.

forefathers

had

indeed been given over to the use of the meanest


of the people's literary caterers, and as the

stock of glee-men and ale-poets,

still

common

continued to

mingle with mirth and revel as they had done since


the days of the Heptarchy.
But in the popular
adherence to the old charms of speech,

we

think

perceive a restless importunity to bestow, as

upon a
able

fitting recipient that priceless

by reverence and by

were,

heirloom vener-

antiquity.

dead, but not without issue.


tics

it

we

Antiquity was
Already patient monas-

had begun to embalm the decaying


Saxon saws

INTRODUCTION.
and sentences

in

ix

hideous cerements of rhyming Latin

and to the antiquary who to-day unravels the leonine


verses they have

wrought

for us, will stand revealed

the sprightly sayings of mediaeval England.

we

process

are reminded of nothing so

account given by our

In this

much

as the

Arctic navigator of the

first

prodigious thawing of words and consonants that had

long remained congealed in the atmosphere during


the winter nights.

In the wintry night of the

conquest, the direction of the English

long

effort

and

saltness of its

to perpetuate

stretched out, as

it

heirloom so often
until the chattel

hand

and to transmit the pith

bygone

literature.

An arm

were, across three centuries


proffered

at last

of Chaucer.

Norman

mind was one

It

is

might be

the

as often refused

seized,

is

is

and that by the

idle to assert for

an

object so immaterial so definite a claim to antiquity,

but

we

are not unwilling to believe that the

vein of wit
tially

and cunning which gives

same

vitality to essen-

English pages, from a Chaucer to a Dickens,

part and parcel of the very

is

mine of wisdom whose

produce the followers of Hengist bore away from

Old Saxony.
But the

may

still

ferent

soil

wherein the Saxon stem was planted

perhaps be bearing herbage of a widely

undergrowth.

The

dif-

doctrines of the Druids,

INTRODUCTION.

preserved only

narration, did not altogether

by verbal

In

perish at the destruction of the Druidic priesthood.

the

maxims

of Old Gaul and in the cherished sayings

some

of Wales and Cornwall,

The

wisdom remains.
still

from the

Chersonese,

"

descended

relics

are

the Tauric

here upon these islands

recorded in the Druidic triads.

there also deplored

Cymri

That the

of history.

Summer Land," from

before the invasions of

torical

of that traditional

proverbial triads of the

perpetuate some facts

settlers

little

That they

Romans and

recoiled

of Irishmen

and together with these

an abundant

mingled

is

is

his-

crop

of

Druidic maxims, the condensation of ancient British


thought.

Another, and undeniably the merriest contributor,


has contributed to the proverbial store-house.
centuries previously,

had sent a son

to

we read

Bayeux

earlier Plantagenets, the

might have

visited

tude for acquiring the

Gurths and

Wambas

by the

to learn

light

Duke of Normandy
Danish

young Norman

England

humbler Englishman

attracted

that a

Two

under the

aristocracy

to learn French.

The

may have possessed little aptiNorman speech, but even the

of the time could not

and sparkle which

the surface of the smoother tongue.

was the best sayer of

fine things

fail

to be

glittered on

If the

Norman

the Englishman

/A'

TRODUC TION.

xi

was incomparably the best hearer of them.


the

When

smack of novelty had once passed away, those

crumbs of merriment which the Frenchman discarded


were by the other gratefully retained.

Norman was

palate of the
crispness

was

the

gratified

and the unexpectedness of


Englishman

luxuriating in

its

alone

In truth the

only by the

'the saying.

who was

capable

perfect infinity of application.

It

of

But

what wonderful resources were displayed by the

Norman mind

The Saxon

could look only to his

glebe or his farmyard for a simile.

The Frenchman

had the run of the tavern, the boothie, and the playhouse

he brought away dainty morsels from the

convent-cell
Paris

he imported curious scholar-talk from

and Montpellier.

Such, then, being the genealogy of our hereditary


folk-lore,

it

will

seem strange that the patrimony

should at any time be liable to diminish.


less

it

would appear to be the

fact that for

Neverthe-

upwards of

a hundred years the people's wisdom was rigidly

expugned from whatever

prints

and writings were

intended for preservation.

The

prejudice of Lord

Chesterfield that a national proverb

to the conversation of a

man

was not becoming

of breeding, would

seem

to have held good as well for the fifteenth as for the

eighteenth century.

It

was not

until the second de-

IN TROD UC TIO N.

xii

cade of the next century that our vernacular


ture again began to raise

its

litera-

In what measure

head.

the publication of Heywood's book contributed to


the general restoration
jecture, but

it is

it

is

quite impossible to con-

not unreasonable to believe that

But here we

conservative influence was considerable.

may make room


by two

for a fine retrospect as

us

Sir

Thomas More and Roger Ascham.

" In our forefather's tyme," says

all

has been

it

of the leading scholars of their day,

left

Papistrie as a

Ascham,

"

England, fewe bookes were read

in

our tong,
said, for

pastime and pleasure, which, as some say, were


in monasteries
for

when

standyng poole, covered and overflowed

savyng certaine bookes of Chevalrie, as they

one

its

by

monkes

idle

wanton chanons,

or

example, Morte Arthure

made

as

the whole pleasure

of which booke standeth in two special poyntes

open maunslaughter and bold bawdrye.

in

In which

booke, those be counted the noblest knightes that do


kill

most men without any quarrell and

fowlest advoulteres
lote,

by

subtlest shiftes

as Sir

commit
Launce-

with the wife of King Arthure, his master

Tristram, with the wife of

Kynge Marke,

Syr

his uncle

Syr Lamerocke with the wife of King Lote, that was


owne aunte ... I know when God's Bible was

his

banished the court, and Morte Arthure received into


the Prince's chamber."

INTRODUCTION.
him

Prior to

Sir

Thomas More

xiii

writes

"

There

is

an use nowe a daies worse than amonge the Pagans,


that bookes written in our mother's tonges, that be

made but

for idel

men and women

other matter but of

tome
bee

full

hede

my

is

of,

war and

to reade, have

love.

What

none

a cus-

thys, that a song shall not be regarded, but

it

of fylthynes, and this the lawes oughte to take

and of those ungracious

countrey in Spayne

rante, Tristane,

bee

in

and Celestina the baude, mother of


In Fraunce

naughtynes.

fokes, such as

Amadise, Florisande, Ti-

Launcelote du Lake,

Paris and Vienna, Pbnthus and Sidonia, and Mel-

neyne.

In

Flanders

Flbry and

Whyte

flowre

Leonell and Canomoure, Curias and Florete, Pyramus

and Thisbe.

In England

Parthenope, Genarides,

Hippomadron, Willyam and Meliour,


Arthur,

Guye and

Bevis,

and many

and

Livius

other,

and some

translated out of Latyne into vulgare speaches, as the

unsavery conceites of Pogius, and of Aneas Silvius,


Gurialus and Lucretia."

Those monastic
heard, were the
less

writings, which, as

work

of "

Ascham had

wanton canons

"

or worth-

monks, had been too foreign in their antecedents

to adhere to the idiom

going times.
presses

of

and racy phraseology of

fore-

The volumes which proceeded from

the

the early printers were frequently the

INTRODUCTION.

xiv

most

of histories or the most wearisome

inhistoric

Germany and

of romances.

But already

own

Polydore Vergil

country,

in

in our

and Erasmus had

begun to garner up the treasured sayings of classical


antiquity;

and a

and the laureate Skelton, himself a sage

classic,

had preferred to sound a note better

attuned to the public ear and more pleasing to the

The author

popular imagination.

myng had

of Elinour

taken up the lyre of Chaucer, not indeed as

Chaucer, but as Lydgate had dropped

John Heywood.

and a

Rum-

Then came

Thomas More,

proteg6 of Sir

familiar intimate of Skelton,

it.

Heywood might

well impart to the chancellor, at his house at Chelsea,


selections

from the fund of grotesque ribaldry which

he had previously heard, say, at the notorious Three


Skelton had

Cranes.

rhymes
There

is

Heywood made
little

doubt

Heywood's book
set

working

that the

set

in

coarse

that,

in 1546,

the

rhymes

after the

for

coarse

fashionable.

appearance of

a new idea or influence was

English literature.

work possessed

fashion

It

was

not, indeed,

intrinsic merit, or that its

appearance was attended with circumstances of public


interest.

of this

Rather was

it

that the author

was by means

work reminding the public of a property

which the owners were inadvertently

losing.
That
same meaning which the romancers before him had

INTRODUCTION.
attempted to explain with an allegory,

promptly convey

in a proverb.

Ten times Jt was

popular books.

its

appearance

to the nation's appetite for literary

mine of proverbs.

it

gave a

enjoyment

and statesmen made

poets, play-writers,
its

all

sent to press during the sixteenth

Immediately on

century.

are

could

The romancers were

became the most popular of

fillip

Heywood

Heywood's volume was hailed with acclaim.

rejected;
It

xv

capital of

The Elizabethan dramatists


One orator delivered a

brimming with them.

speech

in the

House

of

Commons

in

which a proverb

formed the substance of every sentence.


were adopted everywhere as devices

Proverbs

for tapestry, as

mottoes for knives, as inscriptions for rings and keep-

Shakespeare speaks of a moderate poetaster

sakes.

as one

whose poesy was

For

all

Upon
It

the world like cutler's poetry

a knife, Love

me and leave me

not.

cannot be pretended that the volume before us

has other claims to respect besides the extraneous

one of

its

sayings.

being the

The due

first

assemblage of our colloquial

transmission of proverbs, and even

catch-words, unmutilated from age to age, has excited


so

much

enquiry of late in the pages of our periodicals,

that the editor believes that this attempt at restoring

INTR OD UCTION.

xvi

an ancient
tion

literary

landmark

from other gleaners

He

quarianism.

accompanying

also

accumulations of
literature

is

trite

for setting aside the

in early

English possess a

Little could

less,

by

illustrating

Though

Zoroaster or a Confucius.

or that

the

it

homely

figure

from a passage

rise

Plutarch, yet

can be no

Jerome forebore

"no

be

stone

of
in

" a

pinching

the

Lives of

less interesting

to look

to learn

a gift-horse in

mouth, or that the proverbial distich chanted by

:he insurgents in
I

from

proceeds from a reply of the Delphic

"

shoe" takes

the

it

may

it

gratifying to discover that the simile of

that Saint

be gained

English idiom from the mots dores of

a Solon or a Pythagoras

oracle,

a collec-

not hitherto been

sayings in classical or oriental

own

relationship far less equivocal.

unturned

of anti-

with respect to the

believes,

His reason

that our

illustrating

field

glosses, that so considerable

brought together.

same

of proverbial antiques has

tion

by

meet with approba-

will

in the

Wat

Tyler's rebellion

is found in
Teutonic dress in the German proverbs of Agricola.

To any reader

of the dramatists,

ime acquainted with Heywood's


ncident of authorship will
east,

we

who

is

at the

same

collection, a curious

be apparent.

Such, at
take to be that similarity between
certain

)assages in

Heywood's book and passages

in the

INTRODUCTION.
more prominent authors of a

writings of the

day.

xvii

later

Both Heywood's work and the extent of

known

popularity were well

to Shakespeare, but

its

it is

not seen that the great master availed himself of the


literary leanings of his

audience in order to secure

the applause which almost invariably follows on the

recognition of the adopted sentences of a popular

Not

author.

Ben Jonson.

so

ward Hoe, which

In the play of East-

that author

composed

in conjunc-

Marston and Chapman, the dramatist seems

tion with

Heywood

purposely to have opened a page of

that

he might point the dialogue of his smartest characters.

The same

understanding existing between

tacit

audience and actors as would seem to exist at the


present day,

we can imagine

the

hum

of approbation

which followed the delivery of each well-worn saying.

quotation from one of the more farcical parts of

Eastward Hoe
Proverbs

almost

is

Touchstone.
adventures.

heare your knight errant

Surely, in

and caught afrogge"


*

Girtrude.

my

Heywood's

as the saying

Come

away,

Girtrude.

is

traveld on strange

mind, your ladiship hath "Jishtfaire,

say,

is.
111

"hunger drops out at

his nose"

madam, "Faire words never hurt the tongue."


How say you that ? You come out with your golde

Goulding. O,

ends

to

parallel

now

INTR OD UC TION.

xviii

Mistress T. Stay, lady, daughter


Touchstone. Wife, no

man

good husband

loves his fetters, be they

my

made of

I Ust not ha' my


She went
as shee has breii/d, so let her drinke, a God's name.
It is
witlesse to wedding, now she may goe wisely a begging.

head fastned under

gold.

but hony-moone yet with her ladiship


apparel, jewels yet left

child's girdle

she has coach horses,

she needs care for no friends, nor take

knowledge of father, mother, brother,


those are pawn'd or spent, perhaps

sister,

we

or

any body.

When

shall returne into the Uste

of her acquaintance.

Girtrude.

scorne

thus

it, i'

faith.

Come, Sinne.

\Exit Girtrude.

madam, why doe you provoke your

O,

Mistress T.

father

.!"

Touchstone. Nay, nay, eene let pride

follow

Thou

after, I

art not the first

The same
Henry

good cow hast

go afore: shame wil

why doest thou weepe now?


had an il calfe, I trust.

observation would apply to portions of

Porter's

Women

Come,,

warrant you.

best-known comedy, The

of Abington, which, obscure as

mentioned by Charles

Lamb

Two Angry
it

yet

is,

is

as being- no whit inferior

to the earliest performances of Shakespeare.

It is full

of business, humour, and merry malice.

It is

now time

to pass from the consideration of

the indirect influence of Heywood's work, to detail

some

particulars

of his career, and notably in his

capacity of dramatic author.


"

Was

not

Hey wood

a satirist?" asks one of the

INTR OD UCTION.
characters in Mr.

Payne

xix

work,

Collier's skilful

The

Poetical Decameron.
" I

^John Heywood,"

presume you mean the elder

rejoins another.

mean

" I

Heywood who

that

is

the author of one

of the most witty and entertaining pieces in Dodsley's


Collection."

Turning to the theatrical repository here mentioned,

we

discover that the performance which has so de-

servedly procured Mr. Collier's eulogy

bearing the eccentric


title

one

is

title

of

P's.

involuntarily reminded

by

is

the one

The
it

further

of the tra-

proceeds

to explain that the piece

a facetious dialogue held

between a Pardoner, a

ditional three R's


is

Four

Palmer, a Pothicary, and a Pedler.


note that though written

It is

worthy of

by one of the most

rigid

and

bigoted of Catholics and at a time when the tumult


of opinions

play

was at

its

the

height,

satire

of

this

especially directed against the abuses of the

is

As a Catholic of
Heywood went further than a

Romish communion.

the sixteenth

century

Protestant of

the next, in exposing

and bringing to

just ridicule the

The

enemies alike of the old faith and the new.


ligious charlatan

who

with the rich man's purse-strings

quack

re-

could open the gates of heaven

who purchased

the sanctimonious

ease and affluence

by a

sys-

INTRODUCTION.

XX

tematic

with the souls of his community;

trifling

other types

these and

of the monastic

character,

unhappily but too abundant in his day, found

mercy from the unscrupulous yet unvindictive


of

little

satire

Heywood.

A speech of the Palmer opens the comedy:


At Hierusalem have

bene,

Before Chryste's blessed sepulture

The mount

of Calvary have

A holy place ye may be

Then

at

Rhodes

And round

sene,

sure.

also I was,

about to Amias,

At Saynt Toncomber and Saynt Tronion,


At Saynt Botolph and Saynt Anne of Buckston.
On the hylles of Armeny, where I saw Noe's arke.
With holy Job and Saynt George in Southwarke,
And at the good rood of Dagnam.

He

is

interrupted

that such remote

by the Pardoner assuring him

pilgrimages

are

necessary for securing salvation.

altogether

He

un-

might have

obtained pardon and stayed at home.


Geve me but a peny or two pens,

And

as sone as the soule departeth hens.

In halfe an houre, or three quarters at the moste,

The

The

soule

is

heaven with the Holy Ghost.

Poticary and the Pedler then join the com-

pany each begins


;

in

to assert for himself a superior claim

IN TROD UC TION.
to the gratitude of his fellows.

more
first

Whose agency

"

potent in love ?" urges the Pedler.

importance in the

the Poticary, " but


so

xxi

many

"

That

affairs of this world," so

who

is

people to the next

of

is

admits

but myself who hastens

it

puting their pre-eminence,

is

At

"
is

it

last tired of dis-

agreed that the dis-

putants shall compete for the mastery

by

telling fibs

the greatest liar to be thenceforth recognized as chief

and primus of

this

exemplary

four.

The

task,

says

the Pedler, cannot be a heavy one, as they are

accustomed to

it

while he, possessing no

in the art of lying,

is

constituted umpire.

been decided to make the


Pardoner takes the lead
his relics.

little skill

It

relating the

virtues of

and the

slippers of the

Seven Sleepers

are acknowledged as belonging merely to the

respectable mediocrity.

on

for his

lie,

be an honest man.
the

first

that he

still

credit exactly
is

But no sooner

is

class of

the Poticary

than he declares the Palmer to


This was indeed a falsehood of

magnitude, but
is

the

His inventions concerning the jaw-bone

of All Hallows

called

having

trial in succession,

by

all

it

is

confessed

by

the umpire

unable to determine the quantity of

due to each.

To meet

the difficulty

it

proposed that each shall recount some marvellous

adventure, not apocryphal at


the strict letter of

fact.

all,

but falling within

INTRODUCTION.

xxii

The

who

Poticary

derful cure

Pardoner.

leads off with a story of a won-

soon distanced by the recital of the

is

This worthy seriously details the circum-

stances of a visit to hell which he

had undertaken

regain the soul of a lamented lady intimate

A frende of myne,
To

He had first,

and lykewyse

to

her agayne was as frendly.

he said, enquired at the gates of purgatory

whether a person answering to the description which

he gave of her had recently been admitted


informed to the contrary
Alas

thought

I,

For with her lyfe

That sure

He had

but when

she

is in hell

was so acqueynted
thought she was not saynted.
I

accordingly hastened to that locality, where

recognizing an old acquaintance in the porter at the


gate,

he procures a free passport to traverse the

tanic

Walking arm-in-arm with

realm.

associate, the

place,

is

on

earth, so

promised

isuit.

He

will

he bargains,

services, his

orgy.

the

the Pardoner presently

do the

if in

infernal

by the genius of

cordially received

Lucifer himself, and

advances his

old

Pardoner approaches a spot where the

denizens of hell are celebrating an

There he

his

Sa-

devil a

good turn

consideration for these

Majestv

will release a certain

INTRODUCTION.
When

from his dominions.

soul

xxiii

told that

is

it

female soul, nothing can exceed the delight of Lucifer.

No

subjects,

he

declares, occasion

the reign of Satan than the

He

earth consigns him.

women

more
souls

disquiet to

whom weary

requests, even implores, that

the Pardoner will send none other of that sex to dis-

turb his subjects' harmony, a wish that the other

Accordingly the

readily promises to respect.

woman

made over to her deliverer, who escorts her to


Newmarket Heath, and there leaves her to her own

is

devices.
It

had appeared

mendacity was

to the

when

the Palmer,

recital, lets fall

that in a long lifetime he

out of patience.

this piece of

too brazen for the remaining

far

competitors to surpass,

on the other's

Pardoner that

commenting

the stupid observation

had never seen a woman

In later times

it

would be regarded

as singularly the reverse of a fitting climax that

drama

so skilfully constructed should terminate with

so feeble a situation

but, in the

days of John Hey-

wood, stage exigencies were abundantly


such a finale as

we

see contrived

satisfied

by

by the irony of the

blundering Palmer.

The

interlude of

Heywood's which contains

ternal proof of having been first written

is

the

in-

Mery

Playe betwene the Pardoner and the Frere, the Curate

INTRODUCTION.
and neybour
mentioned

The

Pratte.

in

it

as then hving fixes the date

production prior to

1521.

have just noticed,

is

it

Like the interluc

conceived in a tone of

hostility to the established clergy.

intention

its

is

to

Leo X.

of

fact

Like that

expose the mischievous impo

of the mendicant orders.

friar

and a profes

pardon-monger have taken possession of a cl


the one to exhort the congregation to benevo
the other to

The
order

friar is

when

find purchasers

for

his

saintly

already enlarging on the poverty

the pardoner interrupts the harangi

proclaiming the pretended virtues of his receipt


nostrums.! The great toe of the Trinity

am

articles

of wearing apparel

once belonging

t(

Virgin are amongst the most startling


of the
doner's relics, a complete catalogue
of which is

rupted by the obstinate determination


of the menc
to obtain a hearing.
The friar taunts his adve
with the publication of " a ragman's
roll of lie
he emphatically expresses it. The
mendicant n
with blows, and the two are coming
to close cc
Mr. F.

J. Furnivall writing in Notes and Queries,


(4tli
draws attention to the fact that Hey
wood has incorp
into the Pardoner's speech
lines 49-100 of Chaucer's
'

177)

Pan

Prologue.

INTRODUCTION.
when the

curate,

xxv.

who has been informed

of the dis-

turbance, rushes into church thinking to lay violent

hands on the monastic.

"

Let

me

alone with this

gentleman," cries his reverence, at the same time


enjoining Master Pratte,

who

at this juncture appears

on the scene, to deal severely with the layman.


is

It

disappointing to find in the conclusion that the

two charlatans, better accustomed to the practice of


pugilism, fare best in the encounter
to

march

Two

off

on

pieces

and are suffered

their several ways.

we have next

to notice would purport,

from their structural simplicity, to be a product of an


almost aboriginal period of the drama.

In neither

is

there promise of an acted story, nor as they proceed


is

there any indication of plot or circumstance.

Alike

devoid of " business," the simplest stage appliances


are the only requisites for their production.

sidered as spectacles, the Play of the

the Play of

Con-

Wether and

Love seem equally unlikely to afford

attraction, but

when we consider

that these popular

performances amounted to nothing but argumentative

and interminable conversations, we must suppose


such audiences as they did actually

command

to

have had a keener appreciation for logical subtilty


than any that have since been collected within the
walls of a play-house.

INTRODUCTION.

xxvi

The Play

of the

Wether

gives us a curious table of

dramatis personce, which, as

may

it

is

not a lengthy one,

be here set out.


Jupiter,

a god.

Merry Reporte, the vyce.

The gentylman.
The marchaunt.
The ranger.
The water myller.
The wynde myller.
The gentylwoman.
The launder.

A boy the lest that can play.


The

scene opens

ceeding, after the

by

Jupiter appearing and pro-

manner of a

argument of the drama.


clares,

chorus, to explain the

So great vexation, he

perverse disposition of the elements

summoned
ment

de-

had been occasioned to mortals through the


that he

had

the rulers of the firmament to his judg-

seat to answer the charges that

been preferred against them.

had previously

Having appeared

at

the time appointed, each had complained that his


individual endeavours to

man were

promote the happiness of

constantly thwarted

companions

had charged

in

the

celestial

Phoebus

with

by the

action of his

government.
melting

Saturn

the morning
and rendering the labour of the night useless.
Phoebus had exclaimed against
Phoebe, whose

frost

INTRODUCTION.
showers, he

xxvii

complained, were alike prejudicial

the workings both of frost

and

Instead of re-

heat.

made common

senting this imputation, Phoebe

cause

with the other complainants, and together they

He, they

foul of Eolus.

When he

is

to

fell

said,

dysposed his Wastes to blow

Suifereth neyther sone shyne, rayne nor snow.

had been

Jupiter, then,
ferences,

and has descended to earth that he might

consider the petitions of such


as were aggrieved

Reporte,

to arrange the dif-

invited

a certain mercurial

medium between

among

by the elemental

the mortals

Merry

caprices.

intelligence,

Jupiter and the suppliants,

acts

and

as

it is

with the spoken commentary of this personage that


the play

now

concerns

"gentylman" desiring

itself.

The

first

suitor

clear weather without

is

cloud

or mist,
nor no wynde to blow

For hurt

The merchant prayed


for the ranger,

in hys huntynge.

for a

"mesurable wynde."

As

he was so blinded by private interest

as plainly to say
there bloweth no

wynde

at al

while the water-miller exclaimed that


the wynde was
The rayne could not

so stout
fall

I.NTR OD UCTION.

xxviii

a statement politely contradicted

by the

wind-miller,

wyn

sayd for the rayne he could no wynde


The water he wysht to be banysht all.

Who

But an applicant of a

different

complexion was the

"goodly dame," who desired neither rain nor sunshine,


But fayre close wether her beautye to save

And

the last to appeal were the schoolboy,

who

wished for nothing better than frost or snowballing,

and the poor

woman
that lyveth

by laundry,

Who must have wether hot


And

clere her clothys to dry.

In the end, Jupiter promises to institute such a disposal of the elements that all trades in due season

may
It

this

prosper without injury one to another.

may

here be observed that

comedy

all

the " business " of

supposed to be transpiring away from

is

the stage, or else to have already taken place.


in effect

It is

nothing but a long recitation, the variety of

characters being useful only as supplying the appropriate reliefs in speaking

understanding

and

is

come

to

it.

and

At

the close, a mutual

all parties

are satisfied

depart.

Nearly three hundred years of neglect must have

knowledge of the Play of Love, when


a unique copy was accidentally discovered by the

passed over

all

INTRODUCTION.
librarian at

xxix

Here again are

the Bodleian Library.

found the same mythical and abstract personages,


the

same

earlier

when

creations

stages,

who monopolized

and who were

for

the

drama

ever

in its

superseded

by comedy.

interlude was displaced

A Lover not Beloved and the object of his regard, a


Woman

Beloved not Loving, discourse upon the

rela-

tive painfulness of their respective states of feeling.

The lady with more

charity,

and with nearly as

little

reason as her pursuer, insists that the more pain

who

to the lot of those

The

which they cannot reciprocate.


have

felt

know more

a desire to

maiden, but could not


not Beloved

when he
I

The

audience

may

of this philosophic

to agree with the Lover

fail

replies

say and will verefy,

Of all pains
Is to

falls

are the objects of a passion

the most incomparable pain,

be a lover not loved again.

conflict of opinions is

now heightened by

the

appearance of the Lover Loved, an anxious though


self-satisfied character,

a personage
of the play.

and Neither Loved nor Loving,

who bears the burden

of the comic portion

The former, having thus avowed complete

satisfaction with his condition,


love

Love

is

my

lord,

is

my feader,
is my leader

and love

INTRODUCTION.

XXX

meets with direct contradiction from the perfectly


absolute Neither

Loved nor Loving, who

that the other does not


his alone

is

ment shows

know

his

own mind, and

The

the most peaceful situation.


all parties

intimates
that

denoue-

agreeing to regard one another

The

on an equality of happiness and misfortune.

few

words spoken to the audience at the end of the drama


bespeak a high standard of stage morality in the

first

years of the sixteenth century:


Since such contention

may

hardly accord

In such kind of love as here hath been meant,


Let us seek the Love of that loving Lord,

Who to

suffer passion for love

A Mery Play between


Tyb, his

Wyfe; and Syr

Johan

was content.

Jottan, the

Husbande;

jfhon, the Freest, is certainly

the most farcical and not the least amusing of Hey-

wood's pieces.
coarseness

is

It is also

one of the coarsest

taining in no age but the age which produced

even then

is

offensive.

This meagre play, in spite of

or perhaps

by reason of

relic

but

its

of a kind that would be found enterit,

and

too imprudent to be morally hurtful or

its

its

obscenity,

obscenity, yet remains a

of an order of things that have long passed

away, and brings

down

to us a savour of ideas that

have long since perished.

The rural clergyman, whose

visits

were as dreaded at the homestead as a descent

INTRODUCTION.

xxxi

by caterans on the granary or poultry yard, had


actually a beau-ideal in sixteenth century

life.

The

type of character was so fully recognized, and was


held to furnish such excellent staple for buffoonery,
that right reverend prelates did not feel

derogatory

it

from their calling to witness a popular expose of the


peccadilloes of their

us

it

not

is

fail

sufficient to

own

clergy.

Of

the piece before

say that the village priest does

to answer expectation both in his conversation

and behaviour, neither can we perceive him to be


the least distinguishable from the hero of the story.

The

of Heywood's pieces, one which

last

remains a manuscript in the Harleian Library,


dialogue between three persons,

The

John, James, and Jerome.


lately

been bestowed on

this

named
title

yet
is

respectively

which has mor,e

performance is^ Dialogue

on Wit and Folly ; John arguing the superiority of the


life

of a wise man, and

James maintaining the greater

The

comfort of the witless one.


strong position that pain of
that of mind.

The

To which

less grievous

than

student's pain is oft pleasantly mixt


fruit

by

his study is

fixt.

James, with an ability which proclaims him

no way

argues,

is

But, replies John,

In feeling what

in

body

latter defends the

allied to the "witless''

makes

reply,

whose cause he

INTR OD UC TION.

xxxii

The

laborers labour quiteth that at a

In feeling the

fruit

whip

of his workmanship.

As much dehght carters in carts neat trimmed


As do students in books with gold neat limned.

Adding, with no
Less

is

little feeling,

the peril and less

is

the pain

The knocking of knuckles which fingers doth strain,


Than digging in the heart, or drying of the brain.
Before dismissing the plays of John

incumbent on us to notice

Haywood,

this author's position with

He

regard to the history of the English stage.


unless

we

greatly

err,

is,

the originator, nay, the inventor

That

of our native drama.


to the author of

it is

distinction,

Gammer Gurton

once accorded

in

1560, to the

author of Roister Doister, to the author of Misogenus,

may

safely be

transferred

from their unconscious

shoulders to those of the author of the

about the year 1530.

Four

P's,

It is true that stage perform-

ances, with play-book

and words, with scaffolding

and apparatus, had existed long before the time of

Heywood.

They had

existed, as

they

will

always

men are obedient to the


They existed in Troy, in
as we may believe, that in

continue to exist, wherever


instinct of personation.'

Thebes, in Baalbec,
those pities

if,

men took

delight in identifying them-

selves with imaginary characters

more or

less

debased

INTRODUCTIO N.

comedy, that

no spoken

had ever been con-

story,

into the heart of

Selections from the Old and

to perform.

had

is,

by dramatist, or entered

ceived

ments

yet in England, no play or

But as

or exalted.

xxxiii

New

man

Testa-

from the Pentateuch, and from the Apocalypse,

for generations

been represented, and had quite

succeeded in satisfying the popular notion of what

was demanded

But these

in a stage play.

Biblical

performances must have differed from the product of


the later drama in the same
tion

by an

way

that a street recita-

old Greek rhapsodist must have differed

from a performance of the Electra.

People

in this

country were so satisfied with a mimic representation


of the deluge, or the miracle of the loaves and fishes,
that they overlooked the fact that additional amuse-

ment might be gained by

session,

closely following the

The models were

of antiquity.

drama

actually in their pos-

and yet the owners did not bethink them-

selves to copy.

moral that

is

But when we

recollect the half-serious

banteringly conveyed in Charles Lamb's

most charming essay when we remember the


;

interval

that elapsed in the progress of printing between the

period of block-books and the obvious advance to

type that was movable,

we cannot be

surprised at the

gap subsisting between the two ages of the drama, or

wonder

at the

two thousand years that had almost

IN TROD UC TIO N.

xxxiv

elapsed

veloped into

The

Menmchmi

before the

of Plautus

had

de-

the Comedy of Errors.

line of

demarcation between the two periods of

stage history must of necessity be an arbitrary one.

We

prefer to place

it

where the Bible

at the point

disappears from the hustings and secular subjects are


the

for
rule,

we

first

time introduced.

Following our own

shall

have no hesitation

in

claiming the play

of the Pardoner and the Frere as our earliest comedy,

and distinguishing Heywood as our


author.

Though

earliest dramatic

forestalled in this respect in other

countries of Europe,

Heywood may

be said

still

have beaten his forerunners on the score of


nality.

Heywood's plays are Gothic

to

origi-

in their extrac-

tion;

those of his contemporaries on the continent

draw

vitality

so

Rome and

from

Athens.

strength to throw off

its

spiritual

encumbrances, the

stage was burdened with Medeas. and

In

In France,

soon as the Confr^rie de la Passion had found

Germany

as yet

no drama had

Agamemnons.

arisen, but in Italy

both Trissino and Rucellai drew boldly on the comedies of Terence.

Heywood, on the

contrary, looked

only for his characters to the heroes of the


.hedge-rows.

They accordingly

are

fields

and

most usually

either tramps, or parsons, or cozeners; but his


success

depending only upon the plaudits

of citizen

and

INTRODUCTION.
apprentice, of Cheapside
coatier,"

We

is

it

reception

madam

or

xxxv

Wapping

not greatly remarkable that a hearty

was accorded.

know not

how long

for

the plays of John

Haywood continued

to

must inevitably have

fallen into discredit

first

"waist-

but

hold the stage,

approach of the Elizabethans.

they

upon the

In 1633, exactly a

century after the publication of Heywood's plays,


find

Ben Jonson,

we

play which he was ever

in the last

permitted to give to the world, pointing unmerited


ridicule at the

Jonson

name

satirises

the scene

is

of

Heywood.

our author

The play

in

which

the Tale of a Tub, and

is

that in which the wise

men

are arranging the preliminaries of a

of Finsbury

new

piece which

they have undertaken to exhibit, with the Tale of a

Tub

as its

title.

Its author,

Medlay the joiner,

The only man

by whom

at

a disguise

Jones

Inigo

is

in Middlesex,

intended,

considers

it

necessary to view the tubs and washing appliances


the better to stimulate his imagination.

accordingly directs

them

to inspect

The

squire

his washliouse,
'

adding
Spare us no

boards or hoops
have you ne'er a cooper
At London, call'd Vitruvius ? send for him
Or old John Heywood, call hinn to you to help.

To

cost, either in

architect your tub

INTRODUCTION.

xxxvi

In searching for a clue to our author's parentage,

we gave

preference to the neighbourhood of the court

as the place wherein to discover the parents or family

connections

who would
him

of procuring

Two

hold.
in

naturally have been the means

his early

employment

name

persons of his

in the house-

are found mentioned

the State papers, both being under rather than

above the middle

station,

and both being dependents

One

in the royal establishment.

is

wood, yeoman of the guard, whose

a William Hey-

name

is

constantly

occurring as the receiver of sixpence a day, seemingly

some

perquisite of a

yeoman of

curious account, which,

cords a

payment

to

"

the crown.

In a

among other items, also reThe Boy Bishop at West-

minster," this sixpenny fee appears converted into a

permanent pension.

The one

other Fleywood whose position might be


supposed to tally with that of the father of the proverbialist,

is

a William Heywood, described as

"

King's

joiner " in the entries of the treasury accounts.

1514, this individual

Harry

"
;

and

was

In

work on the "Great

at

six years later, at the

pageant of the Field

of the Cloth of Gold, he held a place in the retinue


of the King.

The

company

yeomen bit-makers

of "

saddlers ;" and the

position,

it

is

true,
"

he shared

and

in

" sergeant

pay of twelve-pence per day which

INTRODUCTION.
he received while on

this expedition,

xxxvii

would seem

bespeak him of the class of skilled mechanics.

mains quite conjectural whether

"

it

but

we

improbable that the father of the

singing-man" at

Hey wood,

William

It re-

either of these persons

can be identified as John Heywood's relative


cannot think

to

court was

no other than

engaged, as

we

find

him

this

to have

been, in supplying furniture and equipments to the


king's buffoons at

In the

first

Greenwich and

St. James'.

years of the reign of

Henry

VIII., four

separate companies of comedians were maintained for

Two

the royal amusement.

a permanent footing
"

only were established on

the two others,

Gentlemen " and the

"

Children

"

namely, the

of the Chapel,

playing occasionally, and receiving respectively \0,

and

13J. i^d. for their

this latter

company

performances.

of performers

we

Attached to

find

John Hey-

wood, who must have been quite a child at the date


(1515),

when

the book of payments

tion of him.
salary.

He

first

makes men-

then drew eight-pence a day as his

Five years

later,

income of one hundred

he

is

receiving a quarterly

shillings,

that

amount ap-

pearing to have been ''synger wages," as a manuscript

pay-book now

in the

has chronicled

it.

chapter-house at Westminster

So small however

is

the stock of

knowledge that we actually possess with regard to

INTRODUCTION.
John Heywood, that from a passing allusion
comedy, we are ready to

in a

infer that at this period

he

had already commenced the business of a play-writer


and

it is

perhaps the same paucity of materials which

makes us

willing to conclude that

he had started as an

independent manager, when, a few years subsequently,

we

find a

sensible deduction in the

amount of

his

regular salary.

On

comparing the receipts of Heywood with

of a like nature,

annum

to

discover the

is

the

painter," to

of ;^20 per

sum paid annually

also that the

to

"

Vincent

"the King's voulteger," and

"Nicholas Craser an estronymer."

the

sum

have been the amount of honorarium usually

bestowed. Such

Voulp

we

others

It is

noticeable

same sum exceeds by nearly one

amount annually paid

to

half

for the services of " Pirro

the French cook."

The

publication of the Cheque

Royal, so ably edited

by

Book of

the Chapel

Dr. Rimbault, has enabled

us to elucidate a previously unexplained point


in the
career of

Heywood. That the plebeian singing-boy

of

the royal chapel should be found a student


at Oxford
University, that he should have shared the
friendship

of

More and

the confidence of

Queen Mary, and

should finally become possessor of estates


in several
English counties, appear to be circumstances
incom-

IN TROD UC TION.
patible with the

known

xxxix

indignity of his profession.

But the Liber Niger Domini Regis, a manuscript


cited in Dr. Rimbault's work, admits us to a

view of

the economy of this semi-religious establishment, and


supplies information

the singing-boy's

whole

which allows us to account for

promotion.

First,

directing the

affairs of this priestly corporation,

but taking

no part in the liturgical services of the church,


placed a resident dean.

Beneath him, and

came twenty-four chaplains

seniority,

It is singular to

in

was

order of

of the chapel.

read of their daily allotments

the

dean's allowance of three loaves, the chaplain's mess


of meat and portion of spice and wine, the latter

however allowable only

after

an evening

service.

To

a share in these benefits, the lay portion of the chapelry

were likewise

entitled,

whose sum

total of eleven per-

sons consisted of a " Master of Songe," two Epistellers,


or readers of the Epistles,

Chapel.

At

and eight Children of the

the time, then, that

Heywood

entered

the chapel choir, a restricted yet honourable career

was presented to a youth of musical proficiency.


might at least aspire to become an " Episteller,"

He
or,

taking holy orders, would in due course arrive at the


full

dignity of King's chaplain.

voice

was

ment than

far

more highly valued

But

as a soprano

in this establish-

either eloquence or scholarship,

an outlet

INTRODUCTION.

xi

was found

for elderly choristers

by draughting them

at his majesty's expense, to the Universities of

off,

Oxford or Cambridge.i Qf this privilege, we must


suppose Heywood to have availed himself, as we find
to have been entered as a student at Broadgate,

him

now Pembroke
It

College, Oxford.

somewhat remarkable that materials

is

biography of John

Heywood

can but with

for a

difficulty

be recovered from the published remains of his century.

After quitting the University,

it

is

probable

that he almost immediately took up the profession of


theatrical instructor to a

dren, at the

company

same time holding on

in the household.

But of

is

to his

emoluments

his career as a public caterer

no record has come down to


nection with the stage

of performing chil-

us, indeed, his

long con-

evidenced only by desultory

notices in private account books,

more

particularly

those used in the royal household in regulating the


daily expenses.

'

age,

And when any


and

In one of these, as early as the

chappelle, the

comene to be xviij years of


ne cannot be preferred in this

of these children

their voices change,

nombere being

full,

then yf they will assente, the

Kyng assynethe them to a College of Oxeford or Cambridge of his


foundation, there to be at fynding and studye both sufifytyently,
tylle the King may otherwise advaunce them.
MS. Harleian,
(293, 642).

INTRODUCTION.
year 1526, mention

made

is

paid by

fifty shillings,

way

xli

of a quarterly salary of

of retainer to secure

Hey-

wood's services in the King's musical establishment.

Again

in 1537,

occurs

among

a payment to

Heywood

of two pounds

the items of Princess Mary's expendi-

ture and mention of a like disbursement


in

is

also found

the privy purse accounts of Princess Elizabeth.

Both sums are

Heywood's

in

remuneration for the performances of

Of these

children.

identical performances

no account has been preserved, but a memorial of a


similar celebration that has

come down

to us,

is

not

the least curious of the curiosities connected with


the

From

stage.

this

document we gather some

particulars of the performance of a Latin play, acted


at

Greenwich before Henry VIII. and

visitors

France, Marechal Montmorency, the Bishop of

The

and Monsieur d'Humi^res.

was not

occasion

Master of

known

to

Grammar.

John

in

The

play,

John Rightwise, better

connection with

aimed at heaping

this piece

Lyly's Latin

which was the work of Right-

wise himself, and was performed

the reformers.

entrepreneur on this

Heywood, but the Head

St. Paul's School,

fame

from

Rouen

ridicule

When we

by

own

pupils,

on Luther and the

faith of

his

say that the characters in

bear the names of Ecclesia, Heresy and

False-Interpretation,

the

theological nature

of the

INTROD UC TION.

xlii

Such com-

entertainment will be readily surmised.


panies of juvenile comedians

as that

which Heywood

conducted were the object of considerable animosity


among maturer actors, and Shakespeare himself had
afterwards to complain of their counter-attractiveness.
contrary, entrusted his best plays

Ben Jonson, on the


to their performing,

and on the death of

Salathiel

Pavey, one of the children, most admiringly writes,

He

did play old

men

so duly,

That, sooth, the Parcse thought him one,

He

played so

truly.

we

In the Metamorphosis of Ajax, 1596,


that Sir John Harrington commiserates

observe

Heywood

having so narrowly escaped "the jerke of the


stringed whip."
in 1544,

The circumstance alluded

when our

as

six-

to occurred

author, relying too implicitly per-

haps on the protection of his friends at court, was so


daring and uncompromising as to deny the spiritual

supremacy of the King.

The

terror of the situation,

however, appears to have prevailed, for the unfortunate


dramatist was permitted to expiate his offences by

appearing at Paul's Cross, and there proclaiming a


rigmarole of recantations, to which, as

we

are aware,

the firm inflexibility of his opinions would never

have permitted him conscientiously to subscribe.

come

hither at this time,

good people!" he

" I

begins,

INTRODUCTION.
"

own desyrouse

wilHnglye and of mine

and declare unto you

xliii

to

suit,

show

the great and

briefly, first of all,

my

inestimable clemency and mercifulness of

most

sovereign and redoubted prince the kings majesty,

the which his highness hath most graciously used

towards

me

a wretch, most justly and worthily con-

demned

to

die

offences.

for

my

manifold

outrageous

and

For whereas,'' he continues,

" his

majesty's

supremacy hath so often been opened unto

by

writing and speaking

open

my

eyes to see

it,

or

had had grace

(if

mine

way

God

of

taken the chief

be

Rome

have not only thought

hath been, and ought to be,

and supreme head of the universal

church of Christ in earth


ject,

to

yet for lack of grace,

to such blindness, that I

that the Bishop of

either to
it),

obstinately suffered myself to

have most wilfully and


fall

ears to hear

both

and established upon

surely and certainly grounded

the very true

me

but

also, like

concealed and favoured such as

thought to be of the

same

opinion.

have known or

For the which

most detestable treasons and untruths,

humbly and with

all

my

no true sub-

here most

heart, first of all

king's majesty forgiveness,

and secondarily

axe the
all

the

world."!
' MS. Lambeth.
Bonner Register,
Monuments, v. 538.

fol. 6i.

Fox's Acts and

INTRODUCTION.

xliv

Without any

Hey wood
at the

been numbered among the merry

has

who occupied

fellows

the position of professed jester

Court of our English Kings.

was currently

the assertion,

authority for

direct

said,

Such an

could not be a wise

man

the place and could not be a fool to keep


certain that the clowns

and merry-andrews

one,

it

to take
It is

it.

whom

the

Plantagenet and even the Tudor kings loved to have


constantly about them, were frequently

men

attainments and of good social

literary

So long ago

of

fair

standing.

as the eleventh century, a chartered fool

had amassed so considerable a treasure

in the exercise

of his vocation, that the possessions for long after

held at Walworth
his bequest to

Not only
tatores

carried

by the

see of Canterbury,

came by

be the property of the cathedral church.

the jester of

Edmund

Ironside, but the can-

and joculatores of the sterner Norman princes

away huge proceeds

of their private
jester Berdic

lives.

is

At

to enhance the comfort

the court of William

I.

the

said to have retired with a grant of

five carucates of

his pension

land and the lordship of five towns as


and the magnificent hospital now ex-

isting in Smithfield

is

reported to have been primarily

erected with the gains of the licensed jester of Henry

Arguing from these precedents,


that the presents

I.

it has been presumed


and pensions repeatedly granted to

INTRODUCTION.

xly

John Heywood corroborate the supposition that he

The property Heywood accumulated was considerable. First of all we


also

is

among

the King's jesters.

marks was

discover that in 1521, an annuity of ten

"John Heywood,

granted to

the

chargeable on the rentals

servant"

King's

of two manors

in

amptonshire formerly enjoyed by a certain

Again

Farthing.i

Thomas
Queen

1558, five days before

in

Mary's death, there was


description of " John

North-

him under the

granted to

Heywood gentleman "

the

manor

of Bulmer in Yorkshire, lately the property of Sir

John Bulmer who had become attainted


plicity in the Pilgrimage of Grace.^

for his

When,

com-

in 1577,

commission was appointed to enquire into the lands

and goods of our author and


to have

been possessed

nominal

rental, of

his wife,

they found him

for life of certain lands at a

which Heywood also held a rever-

Also that Eliza Heywood had land of

sion.

yearly value which

had passed by grant to

daughter Elizabeth.

They

lease

also found that

i)

their

he held a

from the Queen of lands in Kent worth ;^ioo,

which

was

forfeited

by

reason

Another authority

offences.

of

his

states that

'

State Papers.

Henry VIII.

State Papers.

Domestic. XIV.

iii.

186.

8.

political

he was pos-

INTRODUCTION.

xlvi

sessed of customary lands in Hertfordshire, at North

Mimms.

We

have noticed Queen Mary's death-bed

John Heywood, and

it

was not the only kind


performed

is

gift to

easy to perceive that

office that

this

the zealous Queen

Probably Heywood's rescue from

for him.

execution was due to the royal lady's intervention,


as

it

between the Princess and the

certain that

is

singing-man there had existed a long and honourable


intimacy.
tragedy,

He
also,

English Rizzio

the

is

may

it

be

without the

mentioned, without the

scandal.

"What wind blew you to court V asked the


as one day Heywood made his appearance.
"

Two," replied the

Queen,

favourite, " especially the one to

see your Majesty."

"We
what

is

thank you
the other

"That your

for that," said

Grace,''

Another time,

Queen Mary, "but

}"

as

he replied,

it

is

"may

see me."

recorded in Ben Jonson's

Drummond, he came so rudely


Queen herself had to inter"She had made him so brave," she said, "that

Conversations with

into the presence that the


fere.

he had almost misknowen himself"


at the age of eighteen

When

she was

he had composed a poem

in

her praise, and though the verses have been adduced

INTRODUCTION.

xlvii

as an instance of "his poetic policy,"

remembered that the piece of

when the

at a time

At

dis^ace.

object of

her coronation,

part in the pageant and

was bestowed

flattery

was

it

friendless

Heywood

festivities,

another copy of laudatory verses.

should be

it

and

in

took a leading

and composed

Even

in her last

moments, Heywood was permitted to be present,

and then, as we have seen,


friendship were

not

suffered

his

and

service

his

unrecognised

to pass

or unrewarded.

We

have already spoken of

matist,

it

now remains

Heywood

for us to notice

as a dra-

him

as a poet.

His verse has not attained to equal notoriety with his

dramas
is

among a

for

coterie of

bad

easily distinguished as the worst.

little

his

He

Heywood

has written

that soars higher than the merest doggerel.

Of

epigrams, six hundred in number, not one has

found a place

we

poets,

will

in

the English anthology.

his best

only say that they are as puerile as the

worst of Martial's,
single epic,

and nearly as

upon which

his poetic reputation,

place

Of

among

that century

the
;

may

other

to peruse

it.

His

at one time have found

controversial

though probably no

Doran be an exception

indelicate.

author must have staked

its

has

since

writings

oneunless

of

Dr.

had the boldness

But the historian of Court Fools, after

INTRODUCTION.

xlviii

end of the

toiling to the

that the "Spider and the


is

last stanza,

convinced

Fly" of John Heywood

not nearly so entertaining as

Tom

the free-and-easy poet,

is

is

the same

poem by

Not having

Hudson.

we

studied our author's weightiest production,


offer

no opinion on

have read

it

but the Proverbs

could scarcely be out-done

dense and stupid poetasting.


this conviction

we

shall not

we

will

But

which we

in the

still

can

way

of

in the face of

yet maintain, and in this view

be wanting for supporters, that the

store

of sayings and adages which the old Court Jester has

worthy of preservation as an antiquity

collected, are

of literature and a land-mark in the history of the

English mind.

now only remains

It

we have used
is

for us to

add that the

edition

our present version of the Proverbs,

that published in 1598, being the last that issued

from the

press.

sion as being

is

We

more

have selected the

free

from corruptions

that of 1546,

edition,

first
it

in

is

own

title

though the

the more valuable as

but very rarely met with.

of Heywood's

later impres-

The

unwieldiness

must be our excuse

for sup-

pressing

it

in this version,

changed

its

appearance so completely in our hands,

will

and the

original having

perhaps justify the slight fraud upon our author.

INTRODUCTION.

We

proceed to give his

remarking that

&e

alludes to another

exactly as

title

latter portion

and

distinct

work

xlix.

we

find it;

of the title-p^e
:

Heiwood newlie imprinted. Namelie a Dialogue, wherein are


pleasantlie contrived the number of all
the EFFECTUALL proverbs in our ENGLISH
tongue COMPACT IN A MATTER CONCERNING
TWO MANER OF MARIAGES. TOGETHER WITH

The Workes of

John.

THREE HUNDRED EPIGRAMMES UPON THREE HUN^


DRED PROVERBES. ALSO A FOURTH, FIFTH AND
SIXTH HUNDREDTH OF OTHER VERY PLEASANT,
London.
PITHIE AND INGENIOUS EPIGRAMMES.
1598.

With

respect to the preface the editor begs to state

that he has refrained

from the usual course of sup-

plying every chance mention of an author's

which

may

with great pains be discovered in obscure

contemporary

literature.

He

has preferred to give

only such facts and surmises as


biographer, or such remarks

may

give rise

to.

He

and

may be new

book.

to the

reflections as these

has already traced the revival

of old saws which followed the publication of


wood.'s

name

Hey-

But previous to penning these

last

INTRODUCTION.

lines,

upon a speech

he has lighted

comedy which bears him out

The play

deductions.

revival

is

plainly

is

a coeval

in the justness of his

the one which

of Decker,

as the master-piece

in

is

well

known

and the proverb-

aimed at when one of the

buffo-

characters begins to quote learnedly from a cheesetrencher.

Quaint

maxims have

since

this incident in

applications

sentences and

for

become more common; but

Decker's

comedy we

in

are strikingly

reminded of that unfortunate poem by Sir Bland


Burges,

which Lord

Byron declares having read

on the lining of a trunk at Malta.

"And

don't believe me," adds the poet, " I will

manteau

if

buy a

you

port-

to quote from."

Julian Sharman.
Kensington, March, 1874.

THE

PROVERBS OF JOHN HEYWOOD.


THE PREFACE.

MONG

other things profiting in our

tong,

Those which much may


old and

Such

as

on

their fruit will feede or take holde,

Are our common

Some
Yet to

And

sense of
fine

plaine pithie Proverbs olde.

some of which being bare and

and

fruitfull effect

a reach,

That almost

in all things

not to teach, but to touch

rude,

they allude,

their sentences include so large

This write

Men

both

profit

yong

good lessons they

knov; this as well or better then

I.

for

teach.

why

PRE FA CE.

But

this

and

this rest

write for this,

Remembring and considering what the

pith

That, by remembrance of these, Proverbs

In this

tale, erst

as

we could

Falling to purpose, that might


th'

may

grow.

talked with a friend, I show

As many of them

To

is,

fitly

finde

fall in

entent that the Reader readily

minde

may

Finde them and minde them, when he

will alway.

THE FIRST

PART.

Chapter

F mine

I.

acquaintance a certaine young

man
(Being a resorter to
Resorted

lately,

me now and

shewing himselfe to be

Desirous to talke at length alone with

And

we

as

With

for this a

that

me

meete place had won,

this olde proverbe, this

Whoso

knew what would

young man begon


he deare,

Should neede be a marchant but one yeare.

Though

it,

The

sequele of present things to foresee.

full

Yet doth

(quoth he), thing impossible bee,

this

Politikely, (as

proverbe provoke every man,

man

In things to come

To

possibly can),

after,

cast out, or keepe

than)

in,

to cast eye before.

things for fore store,

THE PROVERBS OF

As

the provision

And

may seeme most

the commoditie most commendable.

Into this consideration

By
Two women
two

Is

profitable,

things,

am wrought

which fortune to hands hath brought.


know, of which twaine the tone

a mayde of flowring age, a goodly one

who

Th' other a widow,

That
This

so

many

her whitenes lyeth in her white heares.

all

mayde hath

friends rich, but riches she hath none,

Nor none can her hands get


This widow

And
And

to live upon.

very rich and her friends bare.

is

me

both these for love to wed with

both would

The tone

for her person, the tother for

Goods have
this

substance, but

my

I shall
I

all I

shall sure

have as

follow

The poore

am

they wooe,

dooe.

little all

them

to

gifts wil

bestow,

so far from faver.

have no grote,

my

wedde

friends of this rich

But wed her and win wealth,

Now

her purse
selfe

none and small good can

But with them

That she

Except

are.

poore maide, her rich friends, I cleerly know,

(So she wedde where they will), great

And

fond

wed, the better and the wurse,

They wooe not my

On

yeares beares,

which of these twaine

is

if I

have her

friends sweare,

elswhere.

widow beare no sway.


when I will I may.
like to

In paine or pleasure to sticke to

me

be deerest,
neerest

.'

The depth

of

all

doubts with you to consither,

me

The

sense of the sayd proverbe sendeth

The

best bargaine of both quickly to have skand,

For one of them think

to

make

Chapter
FRIEND,

(quoth

good
I will

And two

out of hand.

II.

welcome, and with right

will,

as I can your

minde herein

fulfill.

things I see in you, that shew you wise.

First in wedding, ere

The

I),

hither,

ye wed to aske advise.

second, your yeares being

yong

it

appeares.

Ye regard yet good proverbs of old feme yeares


And as ye ground your tale upon one of them,
Furnish me this tale with everychone of them.
Such as may fitly fall in minde to dispose.
Agreed, (quoth he)

Have you

then, (quoth

to this old widow, or this

Any words of assurance ere


Nay in good faith, said he.
I will

And

I), first this

this

plainly too speake,

I like

yong mayd.

tyme sayd

Well

be plaine with you, and

then, (said

may

disclose,

I),

honestly

you, (as

sayd),

THE PROVERBS OF

In two fore told things, but a third haue

Not

much

so

Which

is,

in

to

be

liked, as I

good or

your wedding, your haste too extreeme.

ill

But of

Such

for this

choosing his good or

meane not onely of bodie good


all

wayd.

can deeme,

The best and worst thing to man


Is

ill

life.

wife.

or bad.

things meet or unmeete to be had.

any time by any meanes may,

as at

Betweene man and

wife, love encrease or decay.

Where

in

All

firie

Some
Show

When

haste to wed,

any head gravely grateth.


it

soone rebateth.

things that provoke yong'

men

wed

to

in haste,

wedding, that haste maketh waste.

after

time hath turnd white sugar

Then such
'

ground

this

to

white

salt,

folke see, soft fire mak'th sweet malt^

Soft fire mak'th sweet malt.

Nicholas.

maister Philip, forbeare

come

you must not leape

makes waste soft


makes sweet malt not too far for falling there's no hast
to hang true men.
Philip. Father, we ha'te, ye see, we ha'te. Now will I see if
my memorie will serve for some proverbs, too. O, a painted
over the

stile

before you

fire

at

it

haste

cloath were as well worth a shilling as a theefe worth a halter.

Two Angry Women

of Abington, 1599.

Hold, hold, quoth Hudibras, soft fire.


They say, does make sweet malt, good Squire,
Festina lente, not too fast

For haste

(the proverb says)

makes

waste.

Hudibras.

JOHN HEYWOOD.
And

that deliberation doth

Before they

And

wed

assist,

I wist.-

then their timely wedding doth cleerely appeere

That they were early

And

and never the

up,

once their hastie heate a

Then perceive they

And when
Good

'

men

to beware of had

to

controlde,

well, hot love soone colde?

hastie witles mirth

be merie

little

neere.

is

mated

weele.

and wise,* they thinke and

feele.

Beware of had I wist.

A common

exclamation of regret occurring in Spenser,


Harrington and the older writers. " Beware of had-I-wist " is
the title of a poem in the Paradise of Dainty Devices, 1578 ; and
in IVitfs Recreation, 1654, the expression is rhymed upon in an

Moon
Wat Moon,

epitaph on one Walter

An
in the

lies

Who

dye'd too soon for lack of had-I-wist.

that great tobacconist,

earlier instance of the application of this

Towneley Mysteries, circa 1420

Be
"

Here

welle

Had

war of wedyng, and thynk


wist "

is

a thyng

it

phrase

is

found

in youre thought

servys of nought.

The term could not have been uncommon so late as 1827, in


which year a Mr. Jeffries Taylor {Old English Sayings Exiounded) wrote a moral essay with the proverb as its title.
'

Hot love

soone colde.

Dowghter, in this I can thinke none oother


But that it is true thys proverbe old,
Hastye love is soone hot and soone cold
Play of Wyt and Science, circa 1540.
!

'

Good to

be merie

Touchstone.

Did

and wise.
gaine

my

wealth by ordinaries

no

by

THE PROVERBS OF

Haste

in

wedding some man thinketh

own

his

haste proveth a rod made for his own

When
And when
Then

And

he

is

well beaten with his

seeth he haste
that in

i'od,^

and wisedome things

far

od

or most things, wisht at neede.

all,

Most times he

owne

availe,

taile.

seeth, the

more haste

the lesse speede.

In lesse things than wedding, haste shew'th hastie mas


foe.

So that

the hastie

man

These sage said sawes

As ye
Then

never wanteth woe.^


if

ye take so profound.

take that by which ye tooke your ground,


finde ye

grounded cause by these now here

told

In haste to wedding your haste to withold.

changing of gold? no. I hired me a little shop, fought low,


tooke small gaine, kept no debt booke, garnished my shop,
for want of plate, with good wholesome, thriftie sentences
;
as, " Touchstone, keepe thy shoppe, and thy shoppe will
keepe thee." " Light gaines make heavie purses." " Tis good

be merry and vi'ise."Eastward Hoe,


Marston, and Ben Jonson.

to

Beaieti with his

owne

fast

kint sovent est-on batu.

Roman du

The hastie

by Chapman,

rod.

don

Con

1605,

man

Renart, circa 1300.

never wanteth woe.

Mistress Touchstone. Thou wert afire to be a ladie, and now


your ladiship and you may both blowe at the cole, for aught I
know. " Selfe doe, selfe have." " The hastie man never
wanteth woe " they ^z:}.Eastward Hoe, act v. sc. i.

JOHN HEYWOOD.
And
Yet

though they seeme wives for you never so


let

all

the whole

That may please or displease you

Thus by these lessons ye may


In wedding and

all

cumme.

learne good cheape

things to looke ere ye leaped

me, (quoth he),


agree

That these sage sayings doe weightily


Against hast in

summe

in time to

Ye have even now well over lookte


And leapt very nie me too. For I
all thing,

but

am

way

at bay.

other parables of like weighty weight.

Which hast me

'

fit,

not harmful! haste so far out run your wit

But that ye harke to heare

By

to wedding, as yee shall heare streight.

Looke ere ye hope.

and in Five Hundred Points of


Good Husbandry, 1573, by THOMAS Tusser.
In Totter s Miscellany, 1557

THE PROVERBS OF

Chapter

III.

E that will not when he may.


When

he would he shall have nay^

Beautie or riches the tone of the twaine

Now may
And
And

if

I choose,

and which

we determine me
beautifull

manage

And

never for beautie shall

Now

if

And

that I drive off time,

Then

we award me

to take,

me

to forsake,

lieth in the

wed

widow

the

dike

like.

to wed.

time she be ded,

till

I to like riches aspire.

a thousand fold would

He

In

obtaine.

farewell riches, the fat is in the fire^

never shall

That she

this

list

mayde

this

then tract of time traine her

Then my

And
And

me

in

my faulte

that will not,

it

grieve

me more

should die an houre before

&-c.

Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, 1621:

He that will not when he may,


When he will he shall have nay.
'

The fat

is

in the fire.

Phy. Faith, Doricus, thy braine boils


the

fatt's in

the fire. Marston's

keele

What You

it, keele it, or


Will, 1607.

all

JOHN HEYWOOD.

Than one minute after than haste must provoke


Wlun thepigge is profferd to hold up the poke
;

When the Sunne shineth make hay which is to say,


Take time when time comth, lest time steale away.
;

And

one good lesson to

From

this

purpose

the smith's forge, when

th'

iron

pike

is hot,

strikeP

The

sure

And

long delayes or absence somewhat to skan,

'

Seaman

When

th'

iron

seeth, the tide tarieth no

man^^

is hot, strike.

Birdlime. Strike whilst the iron is hot. A woman, when there


be roses in her cheeks, cherries on her Hps, civet in her breath,
lilies in her hand, and liquorice in her heart,
why, she's like a play if new, very good company ; but if stale,
like old Jeronimo, go by, go by, therefore, as I said before, strike.
Besides, you must think that the commodity of beauty was not
made to lie dead upon any young woman's hands if your husband
have given up his cloak, let another take measure of you in his
jerkin ; for as the cobbler in the night-time walks with his lantern,
the merchant and the lawyer with his link, and the courtier with
his torch, so every lip has its lettuce to himself: the lob has his
lass, the collier his dowdy, the western-man his punk, the student

ivory in her teeth,

his

nun

in Whitefriars, the puritan his sister,

lady; which worshipful vocation


strike whilst the iron

is

hot.

may

fall

and the lord his


upon you, if you'll but

Webster's Westward Hoe,

Messieurs, ce pendant que le fer est chauld

il

le fault battre.

Rabelais,

" The

tide tarieth

1607.

ii.

31.

no man.

In a poem by Robert Southwell, a work in every respect much


above the average of the didactic poetry of that day, the proverbial saying is introduced into a carefully wrought stanza
:

Hoist up

saile

while gale doth

last.

Tide and wind stay no man's pleasure

THE PROVERBS OF

12

Since that one will not another will,

Delayes

And

in

wooers must needes their speede

touching absence, the

full

account

spill.

who somthe

Shall see, as fast as one goeth another comthe.

Time

is tickle ;

and out of sight, out of minde ;

Than catch and hold

while

I vi\3.Y,fast

^^

bindefastfinde.^

Seeke not time, when time is past,


Sober speed is wisedome's leisure

After wits, are dearely bought,


Let thy fore wit guide thy thought.

The poem continues


Time weares
:

all his

lockes before,

Take thou hold upon

his forehead

When

he flies, he turnes no more,


And behinde his scalpe is naked.
Workes adjourn'd have many stayes
Long demurres breed new delayes.

Seeke thy salve whilst sore is greene.


Festered wounds aske deeper launcing
After-cures are seldome seene.
Often sought, scarce ever chancing.

Time and place

gives best advice.

Out of season out of price.


St. Peter's Complaint, 1 595.
" Out 0/ sight, out 0/ minde.
The saying has been traced to the De Imitatione Ckrisii, by
Thomas k Kempis, written circa 1450
" Cum autem sublatus
fuerit ab oculis, cito etiam transit a mente."
It occurs, however,
prior to this in an early English fragment
" Fer from e3e, fer from herte "
:

Quoth Hendyng.
Proverbs of Hendyng, ms. circa 1320.
" Fast binde fast finde.

Shy lock.

Well, Jessica, go in

JOHN HEYWOOD.
Blame mee not

And

to hast for feare

thereby the fat cleane

Where wooers hop

Him
I

and

while

There

my

flitte fro

out,

long time

bee blerde.

berde.

may

bring

for a ring of a rush,

I at length debate and

shall steppe in other

And by long time

lost in

I will

A proverb never stale


Wherefore a plaine bargain

While I

wurdes,

sloth speed confound,

taile goe to tJie ground}^

return immediately

Do, as 1 bid you,


Shut doors after you

fast bind, fast find.

catch the burdes}*

many vaine

While betweene two stocks my


Perhaps,

beate the bush.

men and

Betweene these two wives make

''

myne eye

that hoppeth best, at last to have the ring.

hopping without

And

in

13

Fast bind, fast find


mind.

in thrifty

Merchant of Venice, ii. J.


and in bargaines making

is best,

Jests of Scogin, 1565.

beate the bush,

Sr'c.

beat the bush, and others catch the bird,


Reason exclaimes and svireares my hap is hard.
Philochasander and Elanira, 1599, by Henry Pettowe.
I

It is this

proverb which Henry the Fifth is reported to have


when the citizens, besieged by the

uttered at the siege of Orleans,

English, declared themselves willing to yield the town to the Duke


of Burgundy, who was in the English camp. " Shall I beat the
bush, and another take the bird ?" said King Henry. The Duke
was so offended that he withdrew his troops and concluded a
peace.
'*

Betweene two

stooles, &'c.

A proverb found in a French manuscript of the 14th century


A grant folie entent
Qui deus choses enprent

THE PROVERBS OF

14

By

this, since

we

must breed a

see slouth

scab.

Best sticke to the tone out of hand, hab or nab.

Thus

your proverbs inveying against hast.

all

plaine

Be answered with proverbs

Whereby
Which
That

so

many heads

shew, as surely in

in

no

to purpose all this

But to shew,

my wedding

so

many

And

by hast

too soone

all tell.

even as well

Tary too long and thereby come to

As come

plast.

fits.

wits}^

that they

all

may

and promptly

further

in

any

late.

rate

prove this proverbe as the wordes thereof goe,

Hast or sloth herein woorke neither welth nor woe.

nule ne acheive
Savey hi Ten dessert
;

L'une par autre pert

sei

meismes greves.

Entre deux arcouns chet cul \ terre.


Les Proverbes del Vilaitt, MS. Bodleian, circa 1300.
Is afterwards

used by Rabelais, Gargantua,

liv.

i.

c.

ii.

" S'asseoir entre deux selles le cul k terre."


'"

So many heads

so

many

wits.

For amonge feaders are alwayes sondry appetytes, and in great


assemblyes of people, dyvurse, and varyaunt judgements ; as the
saynge is, so many heades, so many wyttes. Godly Meditacyon
of the Christen Sowle, by Oueen Elizabeth, 1548.
Phylautus. Ah, sirha, I see wel the olde proverbe is true,
which saith so many men so many mindes. Gascoigne'S
Glasse of Government, 1575.
:

Quot homines

tot sententise.

Terenck

JOHN HEYWOOD.
Be

it

far or nie,

wedding

is destiny,

And hanging likewise 1^,


Then wedde

15

sayth the proverbe, sayd

I.

or hang, (quoth he), what helpeth in the

whole,

To hast or to hang
Ye deale this dole,
For destiny

aloofe,

happy

(quoth

I),

man

happy dole}^

out at a wrong dur.

doth not so stur

in this case

Agaynst mans indeavour, but man may


His

But

will, fore

to

provision to

worke or

direct

neglect.

shew that quick wedding may bring good


speed.

Somewhat

to purpose your proverbs prove indeede.

Howbeit, whether they counterpaise or outway

The

proverbes which

before

them did

" Wedding is destiny and hanging

An earlier mention

lay,

likewise.

of the saying, "

Hanging and wiving go by


destiny," is found in the Schole-hous for Women, 1541.
In 1558,
a ballad was licensed with the title " The Proverbe is true y' Weddynge is destinye."
" " Happy man be your dole" was an exclamation implying
a wish for success to any one engaging in a contest or entering
upon an undertaking.

Mine honest friend,


Will you take eggs for money ?

Mam.
Leo.

No,

You

my

will

Happy man be

.''

lord,

I'll

fight.

why, happy

man

be his dole
Winter's Tale, i.
!

2.

his dole that misses her.

Grim

the Collier of Croydon.

THE PROVERBS OF

i6

The
Til

trial

we

thereof

we

all

water,^^

For trying of which mater,

trye more.

Declare

will lay

commodities ye can devise,

That by those two weddings to you can

Chapter

WILL,

(quoth

streight

What

With

where
this

Whom
That

my

IV.
in

both these

case;

show

things, (as I thinke), to

will

And

he),

rise.

me by them

grow.

love began, there begin will

maide, the peece peereles in mine


so favour,

eie,

and she so favoureth me,

halfe a death to us tis asunder to be.

Affection each to other doth us so move,

That welny without food we could


For be

I right

live

by love

sad or right sicke from her sight.

Her presence absenteth

Which sheweth

all

maladies quight

that the great ground in mariage,

" Lay a water.


If he

had broke his arme

either Apollo

Bonesetter, or eveiy occupation beene

Schoole of Abuse, 1579.

laiije

must have played


GOSSON'S

a water.

JOHN HEYWOOD.

17

Standeth upon liking the parties personage.

And then
One

No

of old proverbs, in opening the pack,

me

shew'th

openly, in love

is

no lack ;

lack of liking, but lack of living.

Nay

lack in love, (quoth

Well as to

What

I),

that, (said he),

time

may

harke

breed

its

chieving.

one thing,

this

lack not her, I lack nothing.

But though we have nought, nor nought we can

God never send'tk mouth

And

a liard beginning m.akth a good ending

In space comth grace and


Seldome comth the

God send'th
She,

this further

better^"

and

cold after clothes

amending,

like will to like


^

and

Seldome comth the

This change

is

for

this I pike,

by lack of substance, seeming but a

Steinth yet the stoutest

'"

get,

but he sendeth meat :

sparke,

a legge of a larke

better.

like to the rest of worldy chaunges, that

the better to the worse

For as the Proverb sayth

is, from
Seldome

English Courtier and Country Gentleman,

corns the better.


1586.
'

Like wilt to

like.

like to like,

ye ken

it's

a proverb never fails and ye are


hard to ken whilk deserves

baith a pair o' the deevil's peats, I trow

the hottest corner


'

God send'th

o'

his ingleside.

Heart of Midlothian.

cold after clothes.

" Dieu donne le froid selon la robbe,"


this proverb,

is

found in Les Pre'mices, 1594, by

the French form of

Henry Estienne.

THE PROVERBS OF

i8

bodie of a kight ;

Is better than

is the

And home

homely, though

is

These proverbs

And

my bow

is

kill feare

All perils that


Shall so feare

And

'

sight.

flourish,

may

may, who feareth they

fall
all

things that he shall let

will

if

in

Gods

the things be done

a willing hart.
hart herein to consent

ds^c.

would not change husbands with


" The legge of a larke is better than the body of a
Gyrtrude.

moone?

helpe, his helpe cannot start,


to

may winne my

legge of a larke,

fall shall,

fall all

force a inan to cast beyond the

hopeth

bent to shoot at these markes,

when theskiefalthweshallhaveLarkcs?

Nothing is impossible

And

shew such a

be morefrayd then hurt,

Feare

Who

be poore in

then this partie doth delight to nourish

That much

And

for this part

it

my

sister

I.

kite."

Know that ; but


Gyrtrude. What, sweet mother, what ?
Mist7'ess ToucJistone. It's but ill food when nothing's left but
the Q\z.vi.Eastward Hoe, by Chapman, IVIarston, and Ben
Mistress Touchstone.

JONSON,

1605.

When

we shall have Larkes.


tomboyent esperoyt prendre les alouettes. Rabelais, Gargantua.
*

the skie faith

Si les nues

5 "To cast beyond the moon" is a proverbial


phrase,in frequent
use by the old writers to signify attempting impossibilities.

But oh,

And

talk of things impossible

beyond the moon.

cast

A Woman

Kiird-.viih Kindness, 1607.

JOHN HEY WOOD.

19

To take all things as it comth, and be content.


And here is, (quoth he), in marying of this mayde,
For courage and commoditie all myne ayde.
Well sayd, (quoth I), but a while keepe me in quench,
All this case, as touching this poore young wench.

And now declare your whole consideration.


What maner thinges draw your imagination.
Toward your wedding
That

of this

widow

shall ye, (quoth he), out of

Chapter
"his Widow being

rich

and olde

hand have

.'

told.

V.

foule

and of favour

In good behaviour can very good

ill.

skill

Pleasantly spoken, and a very good wit

And at her table when we together sit,


we fare of the besL
I am well served
;

The meate good and holsome and holsomely


Sweet and
This

Of

felt

plate

And

soft lodging,

and scene with

and thereof great


all

that without penie I

Than covetyse

shift

iinplementes of

and money, such cupboordes and

may win

drest

thrift.

coffers.

these proffers.

bearing Venus bargayne backe,

Praysing this bargayne sayth,

better leave then lacke.

THE PROVERBS OF

20

And

greedines to draw desire to her lore,

man

Saith, that the wise

Who

hath

Of two

ils

many Pease may put

is

an

as

ill,

mo

in the pot

ill

as

me ^

let the

this

lot.

man may have

provide for the worst, while the best

Resty welth wilth

To

the

chose the least^ while choise lyeth in

Since lacke

To

sayth, store is no sore.

widow

it

selfe save;

to winne,

world wagge^ and take mine ease in myrie

Inne?

He tnust needes swim


Of two

"

ils

that is hold up by the chinne

^^

chose the least.

Of harmes two

the lesse

is for

to cheese.

Chaucer, Troilus and


'

Resty welth wilth me,

i. e.,

Cressida.

rusty wealth compels me, &c.

Reastie or rusty, in the sense of rancid,

is

generally applied by

the old writers to provisions.

From

rusty bacon,

And from

and

ill

rested eeles.

a madding wit that runnes on wheels.

Witfs Recreations,
'

An

exclamation almost identical with this occurs in the old


The iiii. Elements, 1510 and again more humorously

morality,

in Shakespeare's

we came

paucas pallabris

Mine

ease in

'"

let

the Slies are no rogues

in with

Richard Conqueror.

Look

the world slide.

myne

Shall

my
He must

in the

Therefore,

Inne.

not take mine ease in mine inn, but


pocket picked? i Henry IV. iii. 2.

Falstaff.

have

Taming of the Shrew.

a baggage

Sly. Y'are

chronicles,

'

1634.

Let the world wagge.

shall

needes

swim

that

is

hold up by the chinne.


In Scogin^s Jests,

565.

JOHN HEYWOOD.

21

He laugth that wintk}^ And this threed finer to spinne,


Mayster promotion sayth, make

this

substance sure

If riches bring ones portly countenance in ure,'^

Then

And

shalt thou rule the rost

round about

^' all

better to rule than to be ruled

It is sayd,

Doe you

be

it

after

Thus be

better be

him

by

this,

it

by the

rout.

wurse,

that beareth the purse.

once

le

senior de graunde.

Many that command me, I shall commaunde.


And also I shall to revenge former hurtes.
Hold

their noses to grinstone,

That

erst sate

and

sit

on

their skurtes,

on myne. And riches may make


many wayes. Thus better to give then to take.
make carnall appetite content,

Frendes

And
"

to

He laugth

The

that -winth.

reverse side of this proverb

is

the

Give losers leave to

more common.

talk.

Taylor's Arrant Thiefe,


I, I,

wele give loosers leave to talke

it is

probo and his pennilesse companions prate,


gold in our

coffers.

Nash's Pierce

1622.

no matter what

we have

vfhilst

sic

the

Penilesse, 1592.

" Ure, an Anglo-Norman word equivalent to the French heure,


of which word it is a corruption. This is one of the latest instances
of the application of the word, which was current in the time of
Chaucer.

" Rule the

rost.

But at the pleasure of me


That ruleth the roste alone.
Skelton's Colyn Cloufe,

circa 1518.

THE PROVERBS OF

22

Reason laboreth

To

will, to

win

wil's consent,

take lacke of beauty but as an

The

by darke

fayre and the foule

W^en

eie sore,^*

are like store.

all candles bee out all cattes be gray

All things are then of one colour, as

And

this

who say

proverbe sayth, for quenching hot

desire,

Foule water as sane as fayre will quench hot fire.

Where

giftes

be given

freely. East,

West, North or

South,

No man ought to looke a given horse in the mouthP


And though her mouth be foule, shee hath a faire taile
I

conster this text, as

is

most

my

availe.

In want of white teeth and yellow hayres to behold,

Shee flourisheth

What

Her substance
^*

in

white silver and yellow gold.

though she be toothles and bald as a


is

shoote ankre whereat

coote ?

shoote.

An eie sore.
Quod the Barbour, but a lytell eye sore.
Mery Jests of the Wyddow Edyth,

"
de

No man

ought

to looke

1525.

a given horse in the mouth.

This proverb occurs in Vulgaria Stamirigi,pnnted by Wynkyn


Worde and Peter Trevaris, circa 1510.
''

gyven hors

may

not be loked in the tethe."

Archbishop Trench {Proverbs and their Lessons) observes of


this saying

not pretend to say how old it may be, but it is certainly


as old as Jerome, a Latin father of the fourth century ; who when
some found fault with certain writings of his, repUes with a tart"

will

JOHN HEYWOOD.
Take a payne

for

a pleasure

all

wise

23

men can

What, hungry dogges will eate durty puddinges, man

And here I
By this old

conclude, (quoth he,)

all

widow, what good to

me may

Chapter
|E have, (quoth

I),

that

? "'

know.

grow.

VI.

in these conclusions

found

Sundry things that very saverly sound

And

both

these

long

cases,

being well

viewde.

In one short question

Which
With

is,

we may

riches,

without love or beauty, to wedde

Or with beauty without


This question, (quoth

doth

It

But

th'

well inclewde

whether best or woorst be to be ledde

so, (said I),

answere

he), inquir'th all that I

and

riches for love.

is

move.

neerly couched.

will not so briefly

be touched

ness which he could occasionally exhibit, that they were voluntary


on his part, free-will offerings, and with this quoted the proverb,

did not behove to look a gift horse in the mouth. And


comes to us, we meet it once more in one of the rhymed
Latin verses, which were such great favourites in the middle ages.
Si quis dat mannos, ne qusere in dentibus annos.

that

it

before

'"

it

Hungry

dogges,

dr'C.

another proverb which declares that a hungry


will eat anything, except Suffolk cheese.

There

is

man

THE PROVERBS OF

24

And
For

your

selfe,

to length

reasons that

all

Yee seeme more

Than

And

taketh direct trade."

have yet made,

to seeke reasons

mine

to the counsell of
to be playne, as I

I perfectly feele

it,

my

for reason,

halfpeny^'^

yee so

stifly lay.

proverbe for proverbe, that with you doe way.

That reason onely

To

frend,

reasoning your reason setteth naught by.

But reason

By

my

my fingers end ;

So hard is your hand set on your


That

to contend.

to condiscend.

must with

even at

how

shall herein

nought move you

heare more then speake, wherefore

With reason

assisted

Which myself

by

I will

prove you

experience.

saw, not long since nor farre hence,

In a matter so like this fashiond in frame.

That none can be

And

in the

seemeth even the same.

liker, it

same, as your selfe shall espy,

Each sentence soothed with a proverbe welny.

And

at

ende of the same, yee shall cleerly

^ Trade,

i.e.

a way, a means.

Long did
Long was
'"

my

travel,

serve this lady.

long

my

trade to win her.

Massinger, Very Woman.


on your halfpeny.

So hard is your hand set


Dromio, looke heere, now

Ri.

Half.

see.

Thou

liest,

is

my hand

on

my

half-peny.

thou hast not a farthing to lay thy hands on.


Mother Bombie, by John Lyly, 1594.

JOHN HEYWOOD.
How

this short question shortly

Ye may,

now yee

(quoth he),

Practise in

all,

above

all

25

may

answered

bee.

shoote nie the pricke

;^9

toucheth the quicke.

Proofe upon practise, must take hold more sure

Then any reasoning by


If
I

ye bring practise

For

yet that promise to performe


in this case

Ye know

well

my tong must

it is,

But

good

for

I),

mickell,

brydale.-"

meete and good

him another were

your bridale,

for this

That
But

as

owne

at his

he wive well, (quoth

Or els

is

oft tickell.

as telth us this old tale,

Meete that a man be


If

without fabling,

both hast and busie babling.

will banish

And

gesse can procure.

in place,

silence shall suspend

were

there.

meane not

in

it.

your speech every whit.

mariages which ye here meve,

in these

Since this tale containeth the counsell


I

it

can geve,

would see your eares attend with your tong

For advyse

" Pricke,
any

signify

i.e.

the centre of a target. The word was used to


in the old copies of Euclid it is
;

we now read

Brydale, a wedding

There were
ales,

these weddinges old and yong.

particular spot

printed where
^

in. both

festivity.

lambMidsummer-ales, Scot-ales, Whitsun-ales, and

bride-ales, church-ales, clerk-ales, give-ales,

leet-ales,

several more.

" point."

Brand's Popular

Antiquities.

THE PROVERBS OF

26

In which hearing, tyme scene

when and what

When your tong tickleth, at will


And in these brydales, to the reasons
Marke mine experience

VII.

few yeares past, from London no

far

Where

of ours,

in this case of yours.

Chapter

WITHIN

to talk

walke.

let it

way.
I

and

my wife

with our poore hous-

hold lay

Two yong men

were abyding,

whom

to discrive.

Were I in portraying persons dead or alive,


As cunning and as quicke, to touch then at

As

in that feat I

Never could

More

And

lively

am

paynt

full.

ignorant and dull


their pictures to allow.

than to paynt the picture of you.

as your three persons

So shew you three one

shew one

similitude.

be viewd.

in all things to

Lykewise a widow and a mayde there did dwell


Alyke, lyke the widow and

The

frendes of

Standing

them

mayde ye

of

tell.

foure in every degree.

in state as the frendes of

you

Those two men each other so hasted or

three.
taried.

That those two women on one day they maryed.

yOJhN HEYWOOD.
Into two houses, which next

The one on

my

house did stand,

the right, the other on the

Both Bridegromes bad mee

But dyne with the

tone,

27

I could

left

hand.

doe none other.

and suppe with the

tother.

He that wedded this Widow rich and olde.


And also she favoured me so, that they would
Make me dyne or suppe once or twyce in a weeke.
This poore young man and his make,i being to seeke
As oft where they might eate or drinke, I them bad,
Were I at home, to such pittaunce as I had.
Which common conference such confidence wrought
In them to

me

that deed, woord, ne welny thought

Chaunced among them, what ever


But one of the foure brought

Whereby betweene

to

it

were.

mine

eare.

these twaine and their two wives.

Both

for wealth

And

since the matter

and woe,

Betweene side and

it

is

knew

much

all their

four

lives.

intricate,

side, I shall

here separate

All matters on both sides, and then sequestrate

Th' one

'

side,

His make,

while

i. e.

th'

other be

full

reherst in rate,

his wife.

All your parishoners.

As

well your

as your quiristers.
keep to their warm feather-beds.
If they be sped of loves ; this is no season

Had need
To

seek

la'icks,

to

new makes

in.

Ben Jonson,

Tale of a Tub,

i.

i.

THE PROVERBS OF

28

As

for

And

this

Who,

may

your understanding

young poore couple

the day of wedding and

best stand

shall

come

first in

hand.

after a while,

Could not looke each on other but they must smile,

As

a whelpe for wantonnes in and out whippes.

So

plaide these twaine, as

mery as

Yea, there was God, (quoth

Abyde, (quoth

I), it

The blacke oxe had

he),

three chippes.

when

all is

doone.

was yet but hony moone

not trade on his 7ior her

braunch of

blisse could reach

cote ;

any

But

ere this

The

flowers so faded that in fifteene weekes,

roote.

A man might espye the change in their cheekes.


Both of

this

poore wretch and his wife this poore

wench.
Their faces tolde toies that Totnam was turnd French?

And
*

all their

The blacke

light laughing turnd

and translated

oxe, &f.

This proverb, meaning to

fall

into decrepitude or experience

Sapho and Phao, 1584:


Venus waxeth old and then she was a pretie wench, when Juno
was a young wife now crowes foote is on her eye, and the black

misfortufte, occurs again in Lyly's


:

oxe hath trod on her


"

foot.

Totnam was turnd French.

A phrase implying

a great alteration.

It

takes

its

origin from

number of French workmen to this locality


early in the reign of Henry VI 11.
Their competition provoked
the jealousy of English mechanics, and resulted in disturbances
in the streets of London on May-day, 1517.

the migration of a

JOHN HEY WOOD.


Into sad sighing

And

to

my house

Hauking upon me,

Which

Praying

to heare

hand

sleeveless errand,^

till

him

to breake,

he began to speake,

and

sayd, I would.

this that followeth forthwith

he

tould.

Amated, dismayed.

That

To

amazed and amated am,

see Great Brittaine turn'd to

Taylor's
*

in

minde herein

his

would not see

me

Wherewith

mirth was amated.*

all

one morning timely he tooke

To make

29

The

Amsterdam.

Mad Fashions,

1642.

sleeveless errajid.

origin of the

word

sleeveless, in the sense of unprofitable,

has defied the most careful philological research. I would suggest that the phrase originated in the mediaeval custom of favoured
knights wearing the sleeve of their mistress as a mark of
favour ; such aspirants as failed to obtain the badge being dubbed
as sleeveless. Spenser virrites " Sir Launcelot wore th? sieive of
the faire maide of Astelothin a tourney, whereat queene Guenever
was much displeased." The word sleeveless is frequently found
aUied to other substantives. Bishop Hall speaks of the "sleeveless
tale of transubstantiation," and Milton writes of a " sleeveless

it in the "Testament of Love," and three


place in popular estimation appears from
a passage in Addison's " Spectator:" " My landlady quarrelled
with him for sending every one of her children on a sleeveless

reason."

Chaucer uses

centuries afterwards

its

errand, as she calls

it."

THE PROVERBS OF

30

Chapter

AM

now

VIII.

driven, (quoth he), for ease of

my

hart,

To

And

the matter concerneth

Whose
But

you, to utter part of mine inward smart.

fathers

my wife

uncles, with auntes

and cosins have wee.

Divers rich on both sides, so that


If

and mee.

and mothers long since dead bee.

we had wedded,

each,

we

did see

where each kindred would.

Neither of us had lackt either silver or gold.

But never could

One peny

And

suite

to the one

on

either side obtaine

wedding of us twaine.

since our one marying, or marring, day,

Where any

of

them

see us they shrinke away,

Solemnly swearing such as

may

Whyle they and we

them we get

live,

of

give ought,
right nought.

Nor nought have we, nor no way ought can we


Saving by borrowing

So

far that

Whereby

no

til

we be

man any more

for lacke

in det,

will us lend,

we both be

at oiir ivittes end.

Whereof no wonder since the end of our good.

get.

JOHN HEYWOOD.
And

beginning of our charge together stood.

But wit

never good

is

be bought^

till it

Howbeit when bought wits


Yet

This payeth

me hom6

loe

For had

I lookt afore

Though

hast had

As

to best price be brought,

one good fore-wit woorth two after wits.

is

Yet

31

to

drowne

and

made me

this

ful

moe

thrust never so dry.

drought

this

I would needes brewe so must

my bride

must

drinke of

Till

temperance had tempred the

now and

WJw wedth

cup

needes thinke.

I needes drinke?

The

I see

folly hits,

with indifferent eye.

should have forborne,

shall see while I

tast beforne.

am

alive,

ere he be wise shall die ere he thrive.

now in this ia^ctfactus est repente.


Now myne eyes be open I doe repent me,
I sing

He that will sell laimie before he can fold


He shall repent him before he have sold

it,

it.

Wit

is

never good,

Sir'c.

Stationers could not live,

if

men

Clinches,

did not beleeve the old

Wit bought is better then Wit


Flashes and Whi7nzies, 1639.

saying, that

taught.

As I would needes brewe, so must I needes drinke.


One of a whole family of proverbs pointing out the

Conceits,

'

tion

between the cause and the


If

connec-

result.

you have browen wel, you shal drinke the better.


Wodroephe'S Spared Houres of a Souldier,

1623.

THE PROVERBS OF

32

Some

bargains deare bought, good ckeape^ would be


sold

No man loveth his fetters, be they made of gold!^


Were I loose from the lovely Hnkes of my chaine,
I

would not daunce

in such faire fetters againe,

In house to kepe houshold, when folkes will needes wed,

Moe
I

thinges belong then foure bare legges in

reckened

my wedding

But reckeners

And

it

bed.

'"

a suger sweete spice.

zuithout their host

although

were sweet

must recken

for a

weeke

Sweete meate will have sowre sawce,


Continuall penury, which

must

iwice?^

or twaine,

see

now

plaine.

take,

Good cheape.
Cheap :r market

'

good cheap =: bon march^.


;
buys other men's cunning good cheap in London, and
deare in the country. Decker's Belmaris Night-walks.

He

it

^\No man loves

sels

his fetters, &^c.

Who

would weare fetters though they were all of gold ?


Or to be sicke, though his faint browes,
For wearing Night-cap, wore a Crown.
Famous History of Sir Thomas Wyatt,
1607, by
'

Foure hare legges z a

Furthermore

money

it

shall

Webster.

bed.

be lawful

to find four bare legs in a

for

bed

him that marries without


and he that is too pro-

digal in spending, shall die a beggar by the


Parliament of Threadbare Poets, 1608.

%X-A\xX.^.Pen7iilesse

" Reckeners without

their host ?iiust recken twice.


" Comptoit sans son hoste."

Rabelais, Gargantua.

JOHN HEY WOOD.


Telth me, better

eie

Boldly and blindly

How

be

And

herein to

For

it,

did

who

it

out

theti

ventred on

so bold as blinde

my

selfe

and

the faire,

For

though

ake.

this,

Bayard

isf^-

blame any man, then should

But a day after


releife

alway

33

for

selfe doe, selfe

commeth

it

be a

this

I rave,

have}^

remorse

good horse

That never stumbleth,^* what praise can that avouch

To

jades that breake their neckes at

And

before this

my first

foile

Subtilly like a sheepe, though[t]


Cttt

"

my

cote after

Who

my

cloth i''

so bold as blinde

first trip

or breakneck

when

I, I

or touch

fall,

shall

have her.

Bayard is ?

applied where persons act without consideration or reflection. Its antiquity is apparent from its occun^ing in
The Vision of Piers the Ploughman, 1362, and in Chaucer's
Canterbury Tales. The word " bayard" originally meant a grey

This proverb

is

horse, a meaning which was afterwards extended to denote a


horse in general and Skelton mentions a description of horse-loaf
called bayard's bun. It will be remembered that Rinaldo's horse
in Ariosto's great work is called Baiardo.
;

" Selfe

doe, selfe have.

Yea, said shea, selfe do, selfe have many a man thinketh to
doe another man a shrewd turne and it turneth oftimes to his
owne selfe. Mery Tales ofthe Mad Men of Gotham, circa 1450.
:

''

A good horse that never stumbleth.

good horse that trippeth not once in a journey.


Proper and Wittie Familiar Letters, 1580.
""

Cut m.y

relic

cote after

my

Three

cloth.

of the Sumptuary Laws, one of the earliest allusions to

34

THE PROVERBS OF

But now I can

smell,

am

How

taught to know, in more hast then good speede,


Judicare came into the Creede.

My carefull
And

nothing hath no saver.

I in

wife in one corner weepeth in care,

an other

the purse

is

threed-bare.

This corner of our care, (quoth he),

To

you

tell,

crave therein your comfortable counsell.

Chapter

AM sory (quoth
And more
If

I),

IX.

of your poverty

sory, that I

cannot succour yee.

yee sturre your neede

myne almes

to

stur,

Then of troth yee beg


I

come

to

at a

wrong mans dur.

begge nothing of you, (quoth

Save your advice, which

may my

best

hee),

way bee

which occurs 1530, in the interlude of Godly Queene Hestor, where


Pride complains that no one can wear gay apparel since Haman
has bought up all the cloth.
You, with your fratemitie, in these latter dayes, cannot be content to shape your Coate according to your Cloth.
A Health to
the Gentlemanly Profession of Servingmen, 1598.

yOHN HEYWOOD.
How to
I

am

win present salve

like th'

ill

for this present sore.

surgeon, (sayd

Of good playsters.
Yee shall have the

35

I),

without store

Howbeit such as they


best I have.

Where yours and your wives


Envyronned about

But

first

are,

declare

rich kinsfolkes

do

dwell.

(quoth hee), which sheweth

us,

well,
Tlie neer to the church, the further from

God}^

Most part of them dwell within a thousand rod

And
As
Ye

yet shall wee catch a hare with a

soone as catch ought of them, and rather.


play coleprophet, (quoth

To know his answere

What

An
I

I),

who

tak'th in hand,

before he do his errand.

should I to them, (quoth hee),

unbidden guest knoweth not where

am
'*

taber^"^

cast at cartes arse

The neer

Qui
verbes

to the church,

est prfes

de

Communs,

some

fling or flitte

to sit.

folke in lacke

Sir'c.

I'dglise est

souvent loin de Dieu.

Les Pro-

circa 1500.

" Catch a hare with a

taber.

comet men shall catch hares with


Such as are inclined to the dropsy may be cured if
the phisitions know how and if there be no great store of
tempests, two halfe penny loves shall be solde for a penny in
Chaucer's bookes shall this yeere prove more
White-Chappell.

One day

tabers.

after the set of this

witty thin ever they were.


Two dangerous Comets.

Good Felowship,

1591.

Fearefull and Lamentable Effects of


By Simon Smel-knave, Studient in

THE PROVERBS OF

36

Cannot prease
backe

And shame

a broken

holdeth

sleeve

tJi

arme

;'^^

holdeth

Tush man, (quoth

And shame

me

I),

backe, being thus forsaken.

shame

is

as

it is taken.

take him that shame thinketh yee have

none.

Unminded, unmoned
Till meate fall in

Or

sit still

goe make your mone

your mouth ;

will

nay, hee that gap eth

.'

May fortune

to fast

yee lye

till

and famish for

in bed,

hee bee fed

honger.

Set forward, yee shall never labour yonger.


Well, (quoth hee),

if I shall

needes this viage

With as good will as a Beare goth

to the stake,

strayght waie anker, and hoise

I will

me

make

up

sayle,

And
And home againe hitherward quicke as a Bee ;
Now for good lucke, cast an old shooe after mee. '9
thitherward hie

"

in hast like a snayle,

broken sleeve holdeth tK arme backe.


It is

a terme with John and Jacke,


arme a backe.

Brolcen sleeve draweth

Parlanunt of Byrdes,

1550.

Johphiel. Reacli forth your hand.


Meere Foole. O sir, a broken sleeve

'

Keepes the arm back, as tis the proverbe.


The Fortunate Isles, 1624, by Ben Jonson.
Cast an old shooe after mee.
Captain, your shoes are old, pray put 'em

off,

And let one fling 'em after us.


Beaumont and Fletcher, Honest Man's

Fortune.

JOHN HEYWOOD.

37

And first to myne uncle, brother to my father,


By suite, I will assay to winne some faver
Who brought me up, and till my wedding was don,
Loved me not as his nephew, but as his son.
And his heire had I bin, had not this chaunced.
Of lands and goods which should me much avaunced.
Trudge, (quoth

I),

and on your maribones

to him,

Crouch to the ground, and not so

Speake any one woord him


I

can not

One

ill

tell that,

(quoth he),

woord axeth

Well, (quoth

I),

ones

oft as

to contrary.

by

saint

Mary

another, as folkes speake.

better is to

bow

then breake

;-

It hurteth not the toung to giue faire woordes /'

The rough net

is

not the best catcher of burdes.

Since ye can nought winne,

Better

is to

bow then

if

ye can not please,

breake.

example of the use of this proverb is


Probably
originally written in
that in The Morale Proverbs of Cristyne
French about the year 1390 and of which a verse translation
by Earl Rivers was printed by Caxton in 1478. The following
is the form in which it is found in the latter version
the earliest

Rather to bowe than breke is profitable,


Humylite is a thing commendable.
'

It hurteth not the toung to geue fayre woordes.

Come away, I say hunger drops out at his nose.


Goulding. O, madam, faire words never hurt the tongue.
Eastward Hoe, 1605, by Jonson, Chapman, and Marston.

Gertrude.

THE PROVERBS OF

38

Best

to suffer

is

for

of suffranee comth ease?

Cause causeth, (quoth he)

So

And

will I doo.

Yet whether

He

and

me

as cause causeth me,

with this away went he.

his wife should

sent her to

Whereto

goe with him or

sayde, I thought best he went alone

And you, (quoth I), to


Among your kinsfolke
Yes, (quoth she),

all

goe streight as he
Hkewise,

if

gone,

they dwell nye.

mother's

sister,

my mother died), brought me

And much would

is

round about even hereby.

my

Namely, an aunt,
(Since

no,

to know ere he would goe.

who

well,

up from the

have geven me, had

my

shell

wedding

growne

Upon

And

her fansie, as

in

hkewise

father to me.

And

if

it

myne

grewe upon myne owne.


uncle, her husband,

Well, (quoth

your husbande

I),

let

pas

was

will his assent graunt,

Goe, he to his uncle, and you to your aunt.


Yes, this assent he graunteth before, (quoth she)

For he ere

this

thought

this the best

way to be

But of these two thinges he would determine none

Without

With

And
^

aid.

this
I

For two heads are

wee departed, shee

to dinner to

Of suffrance comth
He

them on

better then one.

to her husband,

th'

other hand.

ease.

give a piroverbe

Sufferance giveth ease.


Marston'S What you

Will, 1607.

JOHN HEYWOOD.

Chapter

;HEN

39

X.

dinner was done

came home agayne

To attend on the returne of these twayne


And ere three howres to ende were fully
;

tryde,

Home came

she

first

welcome, (quoth

and well

I),

hyde.

Yea, a short horse

But

the

And

is

soone currid, (quoth shee)

weaker hath the woorse we

after our last parting,

my

all

may

see.

husband and

Departed, each to place agreed formerly.

Myne

uncle and aunt on

Both bad

me good

me

speed, but none bad

Their folkes glomd on

me

too,

The yong cocke croweth as he

At

did loure and glome.

by which

me

welcome.

appeareth.

it

the old heareth.

dinner they were, and made, (for manners' sake),

A kinswoman of ours me to table take


and if that be good,
A false flattring
filth,

None
'

better to beare two faces in one hood?

To beare two faces in one hood.


Not play two parts in one ? away, away,

Alberto.

hood

puritie

'tis

common

Nay, if you cannot bear two subtle fronts under one


O times imideot, goe by, goe by off this world's stage
Antonio and Mellida, \(xii.

fashion.

THE PROVERBS OF

would creepe into your bosome.


when the meale mouth hath woon the bottome

She speaketh

And

as shee

Of your stomacke, then

tell tales oiit

of sctwole, that

Looke what shee knowth,


There

is

no moe such

To Iwld with
Fyre

pickthanke*

enimies you to buy and

To your most
To

will the

the

in the tone

blab

it

titifyls in

hare and

ru7i

sell.

her great

is

wist

it tell

and

lust.

out

it

must?

Englandes ground,

with the hound.

hand and water

The makebate beareth betweene

in the tether,

brother and brother.

She can winke on the yew and werye the lam


She maketh earnest matters of every flimflam

Shel'e have an ore in every man's barge f'

And no man may


Coll under
*

Pickthanke

tries to

chat ought in ought of her charge.

ca7idlestick''

is

shee can play on both handes

an opprobrious term to denote a person who

place people under small obligations

In Henry IV.,
thanks and base news mongers."

trivial services.

'

Blab

it

wist and out

it

Pt.

i.

iii.

2,

by performing
"smiling pick-

must.

Labbe hyt whyste


and owt yt muste.

MS.
"

"

Have an

Somewhat
Long have
'

ore

i7t

Harleian, circa 1490.

every matis barge.

the proverb is found in a ballad entitled


bene a singing man," by John Redford, circa 1540.

earlier,
I

Coll under candlestick.

There was a Christmas game so


" coll " is to embrace, to kiss.

called.

The meaning

of

JOHN HEYWOOD.

41

Dissimulation well she understandes.

She

is lost

with an apple and woon with a imt;

Her toung
But

As

is

no edge-too le but yet

little titte

all tayle ; I

it

will

cut.

have heard ere

high as two horse loves ^ her person

this,

is.

For privy nips or castes overthwart^" the shinnes,

Hee

shall leese the maistry that with her beginnes.

Shee

is,

to turne love to hate, or joy to greefe,

A paterne as meete as a rope for a theefe.


Her promise of friendship
\s as sure to hold as

an

for

any

by the

ele

availe,

tayle.

Shee

is

nether fish, nor flesh, nor good red herring.^"^

Shee

is

a ringleader there.

And

fearing

Lost with an apple and woon with a nut.

Exactly similar to this is the proverb occurring in Gascoigne's

Ferdinando

Nor woman

Wonne
'

As high

vrith

but even as stories tell


an egge and lost againe with

true,

shell.

as two horse loves.

It was formerly not unusual


composed of wheat and beans.

on loaves of bread,
These loaves became jocularly

to feed horses

a standard of measurement.
Her stature scant three horse loaves did exceed.

Harring-

ton's Ariosto.
'

Overthwart.

singular that the word "overthwart," though common


with his contemporaries, is not once used by Shakespeare.
" Nether fish, nor flesh, nor good red herring.
It is

I have discovered no earlier instance ofthe use of this proverb,


though a simpler form is frequently to be met with, as
:

THE PROVERBS OF

42

She would
To
I

her venim, thought

spit

up a candle before the

set

clawd her by the backe

Praying her,

devill}''-

way

in

my

her eare, on

in

Shee thereto swearing by her


Streight after dinner

But other

Not very

ere

better fed then

fat fed,

to

Why

sayd

An

Prince Henry.
Falstaff.

ye came

is

John

why an

;'*

otter
;

a man knows not

have her.

Damned
To

have heard say

neither fish nor flesh

set

Dryden, Epilogue

neuters in their middle

Are neither fish nor


"^

this night

leave is light.

taught ia-vre. away.

otter, sir

she

would.

voice.

in,

this flebergebet

Later the proverb occurs in


:

Pilafs

choice.

what wind blowth ye hyther

Better imborne then untaught^^

But ye be

syde to houlde

false fayth, she

burst, or burst out in

huswife,

Guise

of a charme,

myne aunt had no

Yee might have knockt

where

not evil

me, not the more good, but the lesse harme

To do

Yee

it

up a candle

flesh

to the

Duke of

way of steering,

nor good red herring.

before the devill.

Roger. Troth Mistresse, what doe I looke like now ?


Sellafronte. Like as you are a panderly, sixpenny rascall.
:

may

thanke you for that in faith I looke like an old


Proverbe, Hold the candle before the devill.
Decker's Hoiust
Roger.

1604.

" Better unborne then untaught.


Old men yn proverbe sayde by old tyme, A chyld were beter to
be unbore, Than to be untaught.' S ymon's Lessons of Wysedome
for all Maner Chyldryn, circa T450.
'

'

Flebergebet.

Fratteretto, Fleberdigebet, Hoberdidanas, Torobatto,

were four

JOHN HEY WOOD.


But

tteede

43

hath no law; need maketh her hither

jet.

She comth, neece Ales, (quoth she), for that is her name,

More

for

neede than

Howbeit she cannot


Lovers

live by love

for

kyndnes, peine of shame.

lacke, for he fyndeth that seekes

as Larkes live by leekes ;

much more than halfe in mockage.


Tush, (quoth myne aunt), these lovers in dotage
Sayd

this Ales,

Thinke the ground beare them

They must

in all hast

Might buye

all

not, but

though a

wed

leafe of

borage

the substance that they can

Well aunt, (quoth

of corage

sell.

Ales), all is well that endes well.

Yea, Ales, of a good beginning comth a good end}^

Not

so

Nay

indeed aunt, (quoth she),

good

to borow, as be able to lend.


it is

sure so

She must needes graunt she hath wrought her own woe.

She thought. Ales, shee had seenefar

in a milstone^^

round or morice these four had forty assistants


under them, as themselves do confesse. Harsenet'S Declaration of Popish Iinpostures.
" Of a. good beginning comth a good end.
devils of the

But in proverbe I have herde saie,


That who that well his warke beginneth.
The rather a good ende he winneth.

GowER,
'

Seenefar in a

Another

may be

Confessio Amaniis.

milstone.

illustration of the early

use of this proverbial saying

Euphues and Ms England.


are so sharp that you cannot onely
but cleane through the minde, and so

culled from Lyly's

Then Fidus, your eies


looke tjjrough a milstone,
cunning that you can
never knew.

levell at the dispositions of

women you

THE PROVERBS OF

44

When

she got a husband, and namely such one,

As they by wedding
But

lose

Good

My
I

could not onely nought win,


all their kin.

both living and love of

aunt, (quoth

I),

humbly

trespasse done unto

beseech yee,

you forgive

it

me.

know and knowledge I have wrought mine own payne.

my

But thinges past

handes,

can not

call

agayne.

True, (quoth Ales), thinges done cannot be undone,

Be they done

due tyme, too

in

But

better late then never'^'' to

Too

late,

myne

(quoth

late or too

repent

soone

this.

aunt), this repentaunce

shewd

is;

When
I

tlie

steede is stolne shut the stable durre?^

tooke her for a rose, but slie breedeth

" Better late

Again

in

the7i

burre.

never.

TusSER'S Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry.

" When the

steede is stolne shut the stable dui^e.

Quant

fol

par noun saver

Ad perdu soun aver,


E est ben matez
E 'eus garder nel saver
il

M^s

si

ore le avei

Touz tens averei asez


Quant le cheval est embld dounke ferme
Ces dist le vilain.

fols I'estable.

Les Proverbes del Vilain, circa

The
The

steede
Gates

vi^as

stollen before

consumed before

1300.

shut the gate,


smelt the feast.
I

Devises ofStmdrie Get^lemen.

JOHN HEY WOOD.

45

me now

Shee comth to sticke to


Rather to rent

Than

/ see day at

off

me

to doe

my

clothes from

way

A well,

my

backe,

For

this

bood

In good

faith,'I

sayd,

of your petition I sue for your ayd.

(quoth she),

The walking

her lacke,

one farthing woorth of good.

this litle hole.

Shezvih whatfruite will follow.

In

in

staffe

now

I well

understand,

hath caught warmth in your hand.

cleane fingred huswife, and an idle, folke say,

And

will

be lyme-fingred,

It is as tender as

feare

by my

faye.

a Parsons lemman ;

Nought can shee dooe, and what can shee have than

As

sober as shee seemeth fewe dayes

But shee

And

will

come

once wash her face in an ale clout

then betweene her and the rest of the

I proud, and

about,

thou proud,

She may not beare a

who

rout,

shall beare th 'ashes out.

feather, but shee

must breath.

She maketh so much of her paynted sheath.


She

thinkes her farthing good silver^^ I tell you,

But /or a farthing who ever did sell you.

Might bostyou

And

to be better solde

than bought.

yet though she be worth nought, nor have nought,

" She thinkes her farthing good silver.


Pandarina. Take example at me I tell you I thought my halfpeny good silver within these few yeares past, and no man esteemGascoigne'S Glasse of Governeth me unlesse it be for counsell.
;

ment, 1575.

THE PROVERBS OF

46

Her gowne

At

is

gayer and better then myne.

her gaye gowne, (quoth Ales), ye

How

may

repine.

we may, we love to goe gay all.


Well, well, (quoth myne 2.\xrA),pryde will have a fall;
For pryde goeth before and shame commeth after?
be

it

as

Sure, (sayd Ales), in

There

is

manner

of

mocking

laughter,

nothing in this world that agreeth wurse.

Then doth a Ladies hart and a beggers purse.


But pryde she sheweth none, her looke reason alloweth.

She

lookth as butter

Well, the

still

sow

Pryde goeth

would not melt

eats

up

in her mouth.-^

all the drajfe,^ Ales.

before, S^c.

Pryde gothe before and shame cometh behynde


Alas that Englyshe men sholde be so blynde,
So moche sorowe amonge us and so lytell fere
We may wayle the tyme that ever it came here.
Treatise of a Gallant, circa

1510,

She lookth as butter would not melt in her mouth.


A cette paroUe mist dame Mehault ses mains a ses costez et en
grant couroux luy respondy que.
et que, Dieu merci, aincores fondoit le burre en sa bouche, combien qu'elle ne peust croquier noisettes, car elle n'avoit que un seul dent. Les Evangiles
'

des Quenouilles, circa 1475.


'

The

still

sow

eats

A "still sow" was


"draff"

is

up

all the draffe.

a term of reproach for a sly lurking fellow

anything unfit for

human

food.

Mrs. Page. Wives may be merry, and yet honest too


We do not act, that often jest and laugh

'Tis old but true, stil swine eat all the draff.

Meny

Wives of Windsor,

iv. 2.

JOHN HEYWOOD.
All

is

not gold that glisters,^

by

told tales.

In youth she was toward and without

But soone

How

be

soone rotten

ripe,

it,

lo

God sendth

While she was

in this

Each on day was

;^

47

yong

evill

saint, old devilL*

the shrewd cowe short homes?

house she sate upon

three,

till

liberty

thornes,

was borow.

For one months joy to bring her whole lyves sorow.


It

were

pitty,

(quoth Ales), but she should do well

For beauty and stature she beareth


''All

is

the bell?

not gold that glisters.

Uns
Que

proverbes

raconte

dit et

tout n'est pas ors c'on voit luire.

Li Diz defreire Denise cordelier, circa 1300.


is not by and by pure gold.
Ralph

All things that shineth

Roister Doister,

566.

found in Chaucer's Chanones Yemannes Tale, and in


Lydgate's poem On the Mutability of Human Affairs.
Is

'

Soone

ripe, soone rotten.

Occurs in Harman's Caveat for

Common

Yong saint, old devill.


Young seynt, old devyl. MS. Harleian,

Cursitors, 1567.

'

circa 1490.

God sendth the shrewd cowe short homes.


The Bishop of Sarum sayd, That he trusted ere Christmas Day

and cleanse a good part of the kingdom. But most commonly God sendeth a shrewd cow short horns, or else many a
thousand in England had smarted. FOXE, Acts and Monuments.

to visit

She beareth the

bell.

In horse-racing, a bell was formerly the prize competed


hence the epitaph
;

Here

The

lyes the

bell, in

man whose

horse did gaine

race on Salisbury plain.

for,

THE PROVERBS OF

48

Illweedegrowtkfasi,'' A\qs

whereby the corne islorne

For surely the weede overgroweth the corne.


Yee prayse the wine before yee taste of the grape ;

But she can no more harme than can a shee ape.


a good body, her property preeves

It is

Shee lacketh but even a new pare of

may,

If I

Of troth
Her

she

hart

they

(as

is

is

say), tell troth

when her

skinne.

eie is ful

A guest as good lost as found,


But many a good cow hath an

sleeves.

without sinne.

a wolfe in a lambes

ful hie,

low

for all this

show

evill caulfe.

speake this daughter in thy mother's behalfe.

My

sister,

Was

(God

whom though

rest her soule),

Aunt, (quoth

Myne

I), I

take for father and mother,

uncle and you above

When we would,

all

other.

ye would not be our child, (quoth she)

Wherefore now whan yee would, now

'

I bost,

cald the floure of honesty in this cost.

III

will

not wee.

weede growth fast.

Good Lord
have grown Is he not Alexander ?
Alex. Yes, truly, he's shot up finely, God be thanked
Mercury. An ill weed, mother, will do so.
Alex. You say true, sir, an ill weed grows apace
Beaumont and Fletcher, The Coxcomb.

Mother.

How you

Ewyl weed ys sone y-growe.

MS.

Harleian, circa 1490.

JOHN HEY WOOD.

49

Since thou wouldst needes cast away thy selfe thus,

Thou

shalt sure sinke in thyne

Aunt, (quoth

I),

owne

after a doting or

sinne for us.

drunken deede.

Let submission obtayne some mercy or meede.

Hee

that kilth a ma7i

Shal be hangd when

Whom

in itching

when he

is

sober.

lie is

no scratching

drunke, (quoth she),

And

he

will forbeare,

He must beare the smarting that shall follow there.


And thou being borne very nigh of my stocke,
Though nye be my
I

yet neere

kirtell,

have one of myne owne

Yea

have heard say,

TJiat is cut out oftJi

set

it is

smocke?

must looke

your own

first

up

Though nye

Beside, there

be
is

common, which is,

my kirtell,

But yet aunt.

be, that

ye

may

grant

To satisfy the same, which may do her good.


And you no harme, in avauncing of your owne

to.

a deere collup 9

owne flesh.

So small may her request

my

must ye needes doe

aunt, (quoth Ales), that thing

Nature compelth you to

For

whome

is

blood.

&^c.

a antiquitie a proverb no lesse practised then


Nearer unto mee is my shirt then my coate by
;

following of which, every

man commonly

loveth his

owne

profit

more then others. T',^^ Contention bettveene three Brethren;


the Whore-monger, the Drunkard, and the Dice Player, 1608.
9

Collup.

God knows

thou art a colup of my


I

flesh.

Henry

VI. v. 5.

THE PROVERBS OF

io

And cosin,

(quoth she to me), what ye would crave,

may know what ye would have

Declare, that our aunt

Nay, (quoth

be the winners

I),

all loosers,

Folke say alway, beggers should be no

With thanks

Where nothing

is,

choosers.

">

what ever myne aunt please

shal take

thing doth ease

little

Where saddles lack,

Hunger maketh hard beans sweet.

Better ryde on a pad tJian on the horse bare backe.

And by

this

proverbe appeareth this one thing,

That alway somewhat

Hold

fast

is better

whan ye have

it,

then nothing.

(quoth she)

The boy thy husband, and thou


Shall not

consume that

Thou

yong ynough, and

Kyt
'"

art

Calot^^

my

by

my

lyfe;

girle, his wife.

have labored

saw

cosin,

the

fore.

can worke no more.

this

thus farre on,

Beggers should be no choosers.

Loveless.

Savil.

What

dost thou

My eldest boy

He was

is

mean

to

do with thy children, Savil ?

half a rogue already

born bursten and your worship knows.


a pretty step to men's companions.
My youngest boy I purpose, sir, to bind
For ten years to a gaoler, to draw under him,

That

is

That he may shew us mercy


*

Beggers must be no choosers


In every place,

take

it,

in his function,
%
%
;

but the stocks.

Beaumont and Fletcher,

Scornful Lady,

v. 3.

Kit Callot and Giles Hather are said to have been the

first

"

Kyt

Calot.

JOHN HE V WO OD.
And

myne

in

auntes eare she whispreth anon.

Roundly these wordes,


Aunt,

let

They

And

to

make

this

matter whole,

Mom at the cole?^

them that be a colde

me, Ales, (quoth

shall for

She and

51

have shaken handes.

by God's

she),

Farewell

blist.

unkist,.

thus with a beck as good as a dieu-gard,.

She flang

me, and

fro

from her hitherward.

Begging of her booteth not


Little

the woorth

of a beane,-

knoweth tfiefat sow what the leane doth meane.

Forsooth, (quoth

I),

ye have bestird

y-e

well

But where was your uncle while

all this

Asleepe by, (quoth

lyke a hogge

And

it is evill

The

bitch

she), routing

waking of a

fray

fell I
;

sleeping dogge.

and her whelpe might have bene a sleepe

too,

For ought they


Fare ye

And

at

well,

in

waking to

(quoth she).

me would doa

I will

my husbandes handes

now home streight,

for better

newes weight.

Hence
English persons who took up the occupation of gipsies.
It is varicmsly
the use of the word ' calot' as a term of abuse.
spelt and is used generally to denote a scold or infamous woman.
Gogs bread ! and thinkes the callet thus to keep the neele me
fro.
"^

Gammer

Gurtoni Needle, 1560.


be a colde blow at the cole^
Our talwod is, all Iwrent,.
Our fagottes are all spent,,

Let them that

We may blow at the cole.


Why come ye not to

Court,

by John Skelton,

circa 1520.

THE PROVERBS OF

52

Chapter XI.
\

E that came to me the next day before noone


What

tydinges now, (quoth

doone

Upon

how have ye

our departing, (quoth he), yesterday,

Toward myne
I

I),

uncle's,

somewhat more than midway,

overtooke a man, a servant of

his.

And a frend of myne. Who gessed streight with this


What myne errand was, offring in the same
To doe his best for me and so in God's name
;

we went no body being within.


But myne uncle, myne aunt, and one of our
A made knave, as it were a rayling gester.

Thither

Not a more gaggling gander hence

At
I

sight of

me he

asked,

How be
He

it,

lo,

seldom

to Chester.

who have we

have scene this gentleman,

if I

kin,

wist

there

where

seene, soone forgotten.

was, (as he will be),

some what cupshotten.

Sixe dayes in the weeke, beside the market day,

Malt
But

is

above wheat with him, market

for as

much

as I

men

saw the same taunt.

Contented well mine uncle and

myne

aunt.

say.

JOHN HEY WOOD.


And

that

I forbare,
I

came

and not to

to fall in

S3

fall out,

or else his drunken red snout

would have made as

oft to

chaunge from hew to

hew,

As

For

doth cockes of Inde.

this is true,

It is

a small hop on the thombe."

It is

wood

Now

woord

at a

mery as a

cricket,

And

Christ wot.

litlepot soone hot}*

and by and by.

Angry as a

waspe, though in both no cause why.

But he was

at

Every

home

there,

cocke is proud on his

I shall

he might speake

his will,

owne dunghiliy^

be even with him herein when

I can.

But he having done, thus myne uncle began,

Ye marchant what attempth you to attempt


To come on us before the messenger thus ?
"

Hop

on the

us.

thowibe.

A term of contempt applied to diminutive persons.


Plain friend hop o' my thumb,
oftJie

"

know you who we

are

Taming

Shrew.

Little pot soone hot.

Now were I not a little pot, and soon hot, my very lips might
for, considering the weather, a taller
my very teeth,

freeze to

man

than

I will

take cold.

Taming of the Shrew,

iv. i.

" Every cocke isproude on his owne dunghill,

home, ase eorSe, fet is et eoriSe aut for J>ui


^ cwiuer, 'ase me seiiS, " {let coc is kene on his
owne mixenne." )pe Ancren Riwle, circa 1250.
})et

fleshs is her et

hit is cwointe

THE PROVERBS OF

54

Roming

in

But Sonne,

and

out, I

Lyke a pickpurse

At
I

know

wis I

how ye

tell

tosse,

pilgrim ye prie and ye proule

rovers, to robbe Peter

That

and pay Pauleys

any more be

ere

tolde.

draffe is your errand, but drinke ye wold?^

Uncle, (quoth
I

here

the rolling stone never gatherth mosse}^

of the cause for which I come,

I),

pray you patiently heare the whole summe.

In fayth, (quoth hee), without any more summing.

"^

The rolling stone never gatherth

Herod. S'peake thou three-legd


a

flote yet

niosse.

tripos, is

thy shippe of fooles

Dondolo. I ha many things in my head to tell you.


Herod. I, thy head is alwaies working
it roles, and it roles,
Dondolo, but it gathers no mosse, Dondolo. The Fawn, 1606,
;

by John Marston.
Pierre volage ne queult mousse.

pour

le

" To

De Thermite guise ddsespdra

larron qui ala enparadis avant que


robbe Peter

andpay

lui,

13th century.

Poule.

The proverb is said to have derived its origin when, in the


Edward VI., the lands of St. Peter at Westminster were
appropriated to raise money for the repair of St. Paul's in London.

reign of

It must be recollected that the first edition of Haywood's book


appeared at the precise time that this arrangement was either
being determined upon or being executed. The French form of

the proverb, " ddcouvrir saint Pierre pour couvrir saint Paul"
gives additional colouring to the statement.

" Draffe

is your

Again

Lyly's Euphues, 1579.

in

errand, but drinke ye wold.

JOHN HEYWOOD.
I

know

beg of

fo

me

thy comming.

is

Forsoth, (quoth his man),

And

dare boldly boste,

Yee would

55

it is

if

of pitty yet set

so indeede

yee knew his neede,

him

in

some

stay.

Sonne, better be envied than pitied, folke say

And

for his cause of pitye, (had

hee had grace),

Hee might this day have bene cleere out of the case,
But now hee hath wellfisht and caught afrogge; *9
Where nought

Where

is to

(quoth

I,

That repent

I),

I oft,

Sonne, (quoth

wed with, wise men flee


and as

oft

wish

had.

have heard of myne

he), as I

" Wellfisht and caught afrogge.

So again

writes

the clog?'^

did not as yee will or bad,

Latimer

in his

Remaines :

olders,

Well I have fished and caught a frog.


Brought little to pass with much ado.
''^ clog" from originally meaning an incumbrance, came in
In its latter sense we find its
process of time to mean a wife.
use as well as its definition in a very early literary remnant
:

Science. Ye have woon me for ever dowghter.


Although ye have woon a clogg wyth all.
Wyt. A clogg, sweete hart, what ?
Science. Such as doth fall
To all men that joyne themselves in marriage.
Play of Wyt and Science, circa 1540.

Again

The

in Winter's Tale,

prince himself

Stealing

is

iv.

about a piece of iniquity,


father with his clog at his heels.

away from his

THE PROVERBS OF

56

Wishers and wolders bee no good housholders ;^


This proverbe

for

a lesson, with such other.

who sath), the sonne of my brother.


But lyke myne owne sonne, I oft before told thee
To cast her quite of, but it would not hold thee.
Not

lyke, (as

Whan

wild thee

any other whether to goe.

Tush, there was no moe inaydes but Malkirf- thoe

when yee

Yee had been

lost, to

By two myles

trudging twise a weeke to bee

would yee had

It

is

'

good

to

kist,

lacke your lust

well I will

no more

list,

kist.

sturre

have a hatch before the durre?

Wishers and wolders bee no good housholders.

The

earliest occurrence of this proverb


Vulgaria Stambrigi, printed circa 1510;

is

probably that

in

Wysshers and wolders ben smal housholders.


Francisco was set at libertie and hee and Isabel, joyntly together taking themselves to a little cottage, began to be as Ciceronicall as they were amorous
for he being a scholer, and
nurst up at the universities, resolved rather to live by his wit, then
any way to be pinched with want, thinking this old sentence to
be true, the wishers and woulders were never good house-holders.
Green's Never- too Late, 1590.

''

Moe maydes

but Malkin.

" Malkin," a form of Mary,


in

many parts

of

England

was used to denote a

is still

the

name

slattern,

and

for a scarecrow.

The
Her

richest

kitchen malkin pins


lockram 'bout her reechy neck.
Coriolanus,

'

It is good to

ii,

1.

have a hatch before the durre.

A hatch is a wooden partition

coming over the lower half of a

JOHN HEY WOOD.

57

But who will

in

tyme present pleasure refrayne.

Shall in time

to

come the more pleasure obtayne.

Follow pleasure, and then will pleasure flee


Flee pleasure,

And how

How

is

and pleasure

will follow

my saying come

oft did I

thee.

to passe

now ?

prophecie this betweene you

And your Ginifinee


Whan sweete sugre

Nycebecetur,
should turne to soure salt petur

Whereby yee should

in seeing that

Thinke that you never thought, your

doorway and leaving open the upper

half.

yee never saw,


a daw.*

selfe

In the time of Queen

Elizabeth, disreputable houses were distinguished by hatches sur-

mounted with iron spikes. To frequent places of that description


was politely called " to go the manor of pickt hatch " and the
nickname Pickt Hatch was bestowed on certain parts of Elizabethan London in the neighbourhood of Turnmill Street, Clerkenwell.
So we find in Merry Wives of Windsor,
;

To your manor
*

daw,

i. e.,

of pickt hatch go

foolish fellow.

Humphrey Dixon said of Nicholas Brestney, utter Barrester


and Counsellor of Grays-Inn. Thou a Barrester ? Thou art no
Barrester, thou art a Barretor ; thou wert put from the Bar, and
Thou study Law ? Thou
thou darest not shew thyself there.
hast as much wit as a Daw. Upon not guilty pleaded, the Jury
found for the plaintiff, and assessed damages to ;^23, upon which
judgment was given and in a Writ of Error in the Exchequer
Chamber, the judgment was affirmed. Cok^s Reports.
:

Good

faith, I

am no

wiser than a daw.


I

An

earlier instance of this appHcation of the

The Four Elements,

circa 1510

Henry

word

is

VJ.

ii.

4.

found in

THE PROVERBS OF

58

me

But that tyme yee thought

Did no good
Approved

in al

this

my wordes

a daw, so that

proverbe plaine and true matter

A man may well bring a horse to

the water.

But he cannot make him drinke without he


Colts, (quoth his man),

For of a ragged colt


If

then, save onely

may

will.

prove well with tatches

ill,

there comth a good horse?

he be good now, of his

ill

past no force.

Well, he that hangeth himselfe on Sunday, (said he),


Shall

hang

still

uncut downe on

/ have hangd up my

hatchet,

Monday

for

God speed him

well.

A wonder thing what things these old things


Cat after kinde good mouse hunt.

And

me.

tell.

also

Men say, kinde will creepe where it may not goe.^


Commonly all things shewth from whence it camme
The litter is like to the sire and the damme
He that for commyn welth bysyly
Studyeth and laboryth, and lyveth by Goddes law
Except he waxe ryche, men count hym but a daw

^Ofa

ragf;ed

colt, &-c.

Touchstone. This cannot be fained, sure.


Heaven pardon my
" The ragged colt may prove a good horse." Eastward

severitie

Hoe, 1605.
"

Kinde will creepe where

Thurio.

How

now,

it

may

not goe.

Proteus? are you crept before us?


Proteus. Ay, gentle Thurio ; for you know that love
Will creep in service when it cannot go.
sir

Two

Gentlemen of Verona,

iv. 2.

JOHN HEYWOOD.
How can

thefoale amble if the horse

and mare

These sentences are assigned unto thy

By

59

trot?

lot,

conditions of thy father and mother,

My sister in
Thou

law,

and mine owne said

followest their steps as right as a

For when provander prickt them a

They

little

time.

other; and being not worth a grote.

Then went

(witlesse) to

They both went


Hast thou

wedding.

Whereby

And even

a begging.

heed, friend,

Ye shall

find

This doe

And more

at last

the like cast

thou wilt beg or steale ere thou die.


I

have scene as far come as

If ye seeke tofinde things ere they be

Nor

line.

did as thy wife and thou did, both dote

Each on

Take

brother.

but repeate, for this

will not

lost,

one day ye come to your

I say,

but

hold thee

nie.

cost.

tolde thee

could not then hold thee

now

nor such

follie feele,

my heart that thou settest at thy heele.


And as of my good ere I one grote give,
I will see how my wife and my selfe may live.
To

set at

Thou goest a gleaning ere the

cart have carried.

But ere thougleaneought, since thouwouldst be married.


Shall

make thee laugh now, and my selfe weepe then

Nay good
'

.?

childe, better children weepe then old men?

Better children weepe then old men.

These words are memorable from a well-known episode

in the

THE PROVERBS OF

6o

Men should not prease much to spend much upon fooles


Fish

To

is cast

away

flee charge,

that is cast in drie fooles.

and finde

ease,

It is easie to crie ble^ at other

But a bow long

Long bent
Fare

mens

cost

at length must ware weake.

toward you, but that bent

and feede

well,

But you

bent,

ye would now here oste

lust not to

full,

that love

I will

breake.

ye well to doo,

doe that longeth theretoo.

The cat would eatefish and would not wet herfeete?


They must hunger in frost that will not worke in

And

heete.

he that will thrive must aske leave of his wife;^

But your wife

will give

none

by your and her

life,

Gowrie conspiracy. King James VI. about to depart fron Gowrie


Castle was forcibly prevented by the Master of Glammis, and as
the tears started to the eyes of the young king, " better bairns
weep than bearded men" is recorded to have been the other's
observation.

To cry Me.
One of the Hundred Mery

Tales, circa 1525,


the husbande that cryed ble under the bed."
'

The

cat

would eatefish and would not wet

is entitled

herfeete.

Shakespeare thus alludes to this proverb in Macbeth


I dare not, wait upon,
Like the poor cat i' the adage.

Letting,

"

Of

would.

Cat lufat visch, ac he nele his feth wete.


AfS. Trin. Coll. Camb., circa 1250.
'"

He

that will thrive, &^c.

Another proverb rather more vaguely lays down the conditions


of prosperity

JOHN HEYWOOD.

6i

hard to wive and thrive both in ayeare}^


Thus by wiving, thy thriving doth so appeare.
It

is

That thou
But

art past thrift before thrift begin.

loe, will will have will,

Will

And

is

though

a good sonne and will

wilfull

shrewd

will

is

will

woe

win.

a shrewd boy

hath wrought thee this toy,

A gentle white spurre, and at neede a sure speare


He standeth now as he had a flea in the eare.
How be it for any great curtesie he doth make,
It

seemeth the gentleman hath eaten a

stake.

He

beareth a dagger in his sleeve, trust me.

To

kill all

He will

that he meeteth prouder then he.

perke, I heare say he must have the bench

Jacke would be a gentleman if he could speake French}"^

He had a sonne or twaine he would -advaunce.


And sayd they should take paines untyll itfell
He that wyll thrive (quod he) must tary chaunce.

Debate betweene Pride and Lowliness, by Francis

Thynn,

1570.
is hard to wive and thrive both in ayeare.
Primus Pastor. It is sayde full ryfe,

" It

A man may not wyfe


And also thryfe
And alle in a yere.
Townely Mysteries,

circa 1420.

"

jfacke would be~a gentleman if he could speake French.


The proverb is obviously a jelic of the Norman subver-

sion of England.

Speaking of the rule of the Anglo-Norman

THE PROVERBS OF

62

He

thinketh his feete be where' his head shall never

He

would faine

come.

Sir,

flee,

but he wanteth fethers, some.

(quoth his man), he will no fault defend

mend

But hard is for any man all faults to


He is liveles, that is faultles, old folkes thought.
He hath, (quoth he), but one fault, he is starke nought.
Well, (quoth his man), the best cart

may

overthrow.

Carts well driven, (quoth he), goe long upright thow.

But

for

my

reward, let

/ will send it him

helpe him

sir,

by

him no longer tarier

Jong Long

(said he), since

Shamefull craving, (quoth

Yee may

sir,

(quoth he),

Two false knaves

the'caricr.

yee easily may.

he), must have shamefullnay.

mend three

neede no broker^^

nayes with oneyee.

men say,

(sayd hee).

" This was the time when it


was held a shame among Englishmen to appear English. It
became proverbial to describe a Saxon who ambitioned some
distinguished rank, that " he would be a gentleman if he could
but talk French." Amenities of Literature.
" Two false knaves neede no broker.
kings, the elder Disraeli writes

Some

will say,

knave need no broker,


But here's a craftie knave and a broker too.
A Knacke to Knowe a Knave, 1 594.
As two false knaves need no Broker, for they can easily
enough agree in wickednesse fine mediante, without any to
breake the matter betweene them so among true and faithful!
men, there need no others. .4 Sword against Swearers, 161 1.
crafty

JOHN HEYWOOD.
Some say
But

the

also, it is

moe knaves,

merry when knaves meete^*


the woorse company to greete ;

The one knave now


But to shew what

63

croucheth, while thother cravith.

shall

be his relevavith,

my death, if my will bee kept.


my lyfe had I this hall hept

Either after

Or during
With

And

gold,
fast

he

may

on good Fryday

his part

These former lessons cond, take foorth


Tell thy cards,

Now here
And

so,

eate.

never the woorse for ought hee shall get.

is

and then

me what

tell

the dore and there

is

this,

sonne.

thou hast

the

way

won?

(quoth hee), farewell gentle Geffray.

Thus parted

from him, being much dismayde,

A "broker" formerly meant any medium or go-between,


hence also something discreditable.
I am no broker
Beaumont and Fletcher,

Madam,
'*

It is

merry when knaves

No more
But mery

Valentin,

ii.

2.

meete.

now I wryte,
when knaves done mete.

of Cocke
it is

Cocke Lorelles Bote, circa 15 10.

Gentleman. But where's the new Booke thou


Prentice. Mary, looke you, sir

telst

this is a prettie

me

of?

meeting here

London betweene a Wife, a Widow, and a Mayde.


Gentleman. Merrie meeting ? why that Title is stale. There's
a Boke cald Tis merry when knaves meete, and there's a Ballad
Tis merry when Malt-men meete ; and besides there's an old
Proverbe The more the merrier. Tis Merrie when Gossips
in

meete,

by SAMUEL Rowlands,

1602.

THE PROVERBS OF

64

Which

man

his

What man,

plucke up your harte, bee of good cheere

After cloudes

What

saw, and to comfort mee, sayd

blacke,

wee shall have wether

cleere.

should your face thus againe the wool be shorne


fall

Let

wind overblow

this

all this

wind shakes no come !

a tyme

I will

What man

For one

spye,

To take winde and tyde with mee and speed thereby.


I

thanke you, (quoth

I),

but great boste and small roste

Maketh unsavery mouthes, where ever men

And

this bost

For while

oste.

very unsavorly serveth,

the grasse groweth the horse starveth}^

Better one byrde in

hand than

ten in the

wood?^

Rome was not built in one day (quoth he),^^ and yet stood
" While the grasse groweth,

Whylst grass doth growe,

Sr'c.

oft sterves

the seely steede.

Whetstone's Proinos and Cassandra,

'^

1578.

Hamlet. Ay, sir, but, While the grass grows,


The proverb is something musty.
Hamlet, iii. 2.
Better one byrde in hand, Ssr'c.

An

makyth with thys whyche I tak good.


hand then ten in the wood.
Heywood'S Dialogue on Wit and Folly, circa

old proverbe

Better one byrd in

"

Rome was

1530.

not built in one day.

Hjec tamen vulgaris sententia me aliquantulum recreavit, quae


non auferre, tamen minuerepossitdoloremmeum,qucE quidem
sententia haec est, Romam uno die non fuisse conditam. Extempore speech by Queen Elizabeth before the University of Cambridge, 9th August, 1 564.
etsi

JOHN HEYWOOD.
Till it

was

finisht, as

Your heart

some

65

say, full fayre.

is in your hose^^ all in

dispayre.

But as every man sayeth a dog hath a day.


Should a man dispayre than any day

many

Yee have

Though

I,

nay.

strings to your bowe,^^ for yee know,

having the bent of your uncles bow.

Can no way

bring your bolt in the butte to stand

Yet have yee other markes


The kayes hang not

Though nought

all by one

will

to rove at hand.

majis girdle, man.

be wobn here,

Taste other kinsmen, of whom yee

I say,

may

yet yee can

get

Here some and there some, many small make a greai}

" Your heart

Primus

is in your hose.

Pastor. Breck outt youre voce,

may

let

se as ye yelp.

I have help.
Secundus Pastor. A, thy hert is in thy hose.
Towneley Mysteries, circa 1430.

Tercius Pastor.

" Yee have many strings

not for the pose bot

to your bowe.

am

wel pleased to take any coulor to defend your honor, and


hope that you wyl remember, that who seaketh two stringes to
one bowe, the may shute strong, but never strait ; and if you
suppose that princes causes be vailed so covertly that no intelligence can bewraye them, deceave not your-selfe ; we old foxes can
find shiftes to save ourselves by others malice and come by
knowledge of greattest secreat, spetiallye if it touche our freholde.
Letter of Queen Elizabeth to James VI., June, 1585.
I

^ Many small make a great.


The proverbe saith that many a
Chaucer, Persons Tale.
F

small makith a grete.

THE PROVERBS OF

66

For come

light winnings with blessings or curses,

Evermore

light gaynes

Children learne

By

little

and

make

heavie purses.

to creepe ere they

can learne

yee must learne even

little

to

goe ;

so.

Throw no gift againe at the givers head


For
I

better is halfe

m^y begge my

than no bread.

lofe

bread, (quoth

That dwelth nye.

Well

I),

for

my kin

yet, (quoth he),

all

and the worst

fall,

Yee may

your kinsman, "hence nine or ten myle.

to

Rich without charge,

whom

That benchwhistler, (quoth

As free

He

ofgift as a poore

pride

I), is

man

and so

is hie in th' instep,

That

yee saw not of long while.


a pinchpeny,

of his

eye.

streight laste,

and covetyse withdraweth

all repaste.

Yee know what he hath

been, (quoth he), but ywis,

Absence sayth

ye know not what he

Men

How

plainely,

know, (quoth

the market goeth

Further

it is

said,

must needs be

It

Men

'

have heard

I), I

say

who

is.

then,

by the market men.

that saying wayeth.

true that every

also, children

now and

man

sayeth.

andfooles cannot lye ;^

Children andfooles cannot

lye.

Master Constable says " You know neighbours 'tis an old 5aw,
Children and fooles speake ti-ue." Lyly's Endimion, 1591.
:

JOHN HEYWOOD.
And
And

both

man and

childe sayth, he

myselfe knowth him,

Even as well as

the begger

is

67

a hensby.

dare boldly brag,

knowth his bag?

And I knew him not worth a gray grote


He was at an ebbe, though he be now a flote.
Poore as the poorest. And now nought he setteth
By poore folke. For the parish priest forgetteth
;

That ever he hath been holy water Clarke.

By

ought I can now heare, or ever could marke.


Of no man hath he pitie or compassion.

Well, (quoth he), every

He may

man

after his fashion.

yet pitie you, for ought doth appeare

It hapth in one houre that hapth not in seven yeare.

Forspeake not your fortune, nor hide not your neede

Nought venter nought have; spare to speak, spare to speed;


Unknowne, unkist ;

it is lost that is

Asgoodseeke nought, (quoth


It

is,

(quoth

Are

little,

deare bought andfarfet

dainties for Ladies?

As well as the

unsought.

as seeke andfinde nought.

before the net.

I), ill fishing

But though we get

I),

Goe we both two

begger knowth his bag.

knows his dish, is another form of this


proverb found in The Burning of Paules Church in London, by

As

well as the begger

Bishop Pilkington,
'

1561.

Deare bought andfarfet are


Niece. Ay, marry,

sir,

this

dainties for Ladies.

was a rich conceit indeed.

THE PROVERBS OF

68
I
I

my master thereby to doo.


may breake a dish there. And sure I

have

for

shall

Set all at sixe and seven,* to win some windfall.

And
For

hang

I will

breake and jeoperd the

I will first

Pompey.

the bell about the cats necke ;^


first

checke.

And far fetched therefore good for you, lady.


Beaumont and Fletcher, Wit at several
;

Weapons.

Some
*

good

far fet trick,

for ladies,

some stale toy or other.


Marston's Malcontent.

Set all at sixe and seven.

In the Towneley Mysteries the Deity

" set

is

described as

He

that

on seven," that is, set or appointed everything in seven


days. To set at six and seven, or more modernly, "to be at
sixes and sevens," Mr. Halliwell supposes to be the reverse of
alle

this, to disarrange, to

Herod, in his anger

put into disorder.


at the

me

Bot be thay past


I shalle,

and that
All

And
'

Hang the

Wise Men, exclaims

by,

in hy,

by Mahowne in heven,
set alle on sex and seven.
Towneley Mysteries, circa

uneven.
everything is left at six and seven.
Richa7-d II.,

bell

1420.

is

ii.

about the oafs necke.

In Skelton'S Colyn Clout, circa 15 18.


But, quoth one

Which

Mouse unto

the rest,

dare be so stout
To hang the bell cats neck about ?
If here be any, let him speake.
Then all replide,
are too weake
of us

all

We

The stoutest Mouse and tallest Rat


Doe tremble at a grim-fac'd Cat.
Diogiiies Lanthortie, 1607.

2.

JOHN HEYWOOD.
And

for to

win

69

though the cost be mine,

this pray,

Let us present him with a bottle of wine.


It is to give him, (quoth

As
As

I),

as

much almes

cast

water in Terns, or as good a deede

it is

to helpe

Then goe

a dogge over a

we, (quoth he),

we

or neede,

stile.

leese time all this while.

To follow his fancie we went togither.


And toward night yester night when we came
She was

And
God

he was yet abrode.

within, but

saw me she sweld like a

streight as she

Pattring

tlte

never

thither.

tode,

divels Pater noster to her selfe.

made

a more crabbed elfe

She bad him welcome, but the worse

for

me

This knave comth a begging by me, thought she.


I

smeld her

out,

and had her

streight in the winde.

She may abide no beggers of any

kinde.

They be both greedy guts all given to get,


They care not how all is fish that comth to
:

They know no end

Of any
Hunger

of their good

goodnes, such

is

net?

nor beginning

wretched winning.

droppeth even out of both their noses.

'All is fish that comth to net.


But now (aye me) the glasing christal glasse
Doth make us thinke that realmes and townes
Where favor sways the sentence of the law,
Where al is fishe that cometh to net.
Gascoigne's

are rych,

Steele Glas, 1575.

THE PROVERBS OF

^o

She goeth broken shoone and torne hoses.


But who

is

worse shod than the shoomakers wife^

With shops

Or who

full

will doe

And namely

of

of her

is

She

will all have,

one of them

will

and

will right

life

They that

She

'

is

doe most ?
boste.

nought forgoe.
nayles.

for avayles.

she hath so long kept in ure,


life

she would

make change, be

this lesson learnd I ere I

And

may

not part with the paring of her

That fof no
But

life

who God bad hoe?

She toyleth continually

Which

her

can no way make

to

all

than they that

lesse,

She
She

new shooes

be in hell

was yeares seaven,

weene there

nothing fayre, but she

sure.

is

none

is ill

otlter heaven.

favourd

no more unclenely than unsweet savourd.

Who

is

worse shod than the shoomakers wife f

may be compared with another


cobbler's craft, now probably obsolete
This

proverb touching the

Heere are the tenne precepts

be observed in the art of


wade above his slipper.
The cobler above his slipper, said Chubb, hee is a knave that
made that proverb. Fearefull and lamentable Effects of two
dangerous Comets, by Simon Snel-knave, T591.
scolding

to

therefore let not the cobler

' Hoe or whoe means a stop or limit, from


the well-knoWn
exclamation used in arresting the attention of a person. Out of
this sprang the phrase out of all hoe, meaning out of all bounds,

beyond

restraint.

For he once loved the fair maid of Fresingfield out of


Greene's Fryer Bacott.

all

hoe.

JOHN HEY WOOD.


But hackney men^ say

scald horse

He

is

good enough for a scabd

squyre.

a minion neither fayre nor sweete.

He winkth

He

mangie hacknies hyre,

at

a knuckilbonyard very meete

To match
I will

is

71

with the tone eye and looketh with the

not trust him though he were

hath a poyson wit and

Is to give taunts

my

tother.

brother.

all his delite

and checks of most

In that house commonly, such

is

spitefull spite.

the cast,

A man shall as soone breake his necke as his fast ;


And yet now
That more

We had
But

such a gid did her head take,

for

my mates

then for manners sake,

bread and drinke, and a cheese very great

t/ie greatest

crabs be not all the best meate.

For her crabbed cheese, with

all

the greatnes.

Might well abide the fineness or sweetnes.

Anon he came

'

in.

Hackney men at

And when

this date are

he us saw.

understood to

mean proprietors

of horses lent for hire ; " a hackney " being the name for a saddleIt was not until the reign of Charles I. that the title was
horse.
transferred to the drivers of vehicles, the year 1625 being the
date of the first appearance of hackney coaches in the streets of

London.

They were then only twenty in number, but the innowe find reflected in the pages

vation occasioned an outcry which


of a then popular author
:

The world runs on wheeles. The hackney-men, who were wont


to

have furnished

travellers in all places with fitting

and

service-

able horses for any journey, (by the multitude of coaches) are un-

THE PROVERBS OF

72

To my companion kindly he did draw,


And a well favourd welcome to him he yeelds.
Bidding me welcome strangely over the fields,
With these words Ah yong man, I know your matter,
;

By my

And
Ye

faith

for

my

you come to looke

would, by

But

am

my

laxative

This, (quoth this

For he

And

is

purse, give

me a

in

some

speculation, yet

much, but I say

little,

In this kind of Phisicke.


I

rise

condition,

restorative.

cannot, (quoth he), for though

Shall

purse sick, and lackth a Phisition,

strength his weaknes, to keepe

I see

purgation

yong man), contrary doth

hopeth upon you

To have

my watter

enough there otherwise.

Not by purgation, but by

To

in

comfort to your consolation,

consume

my

it

him
be

alive.

my

lot

practise not.

and doe

lesse,

And what would ye

selfe to restore

Nay, backare, (quoth Mortimer

to his

him now

gesse,

."

Sow) /'"

done by the dozens, and the whole commonwealth most abominably jaded, that in many places a man had as good to ride on a
wooden post, as to poast it upon one of those hunger-starVd
hirelings. Taylor's Works, 1630.
'

Backare, {guoth Mortimer

The

to his

Sow).

allusion is lost, but the phrase


meaning of " to recede," " to go back."

would seem to have the

Gremio. Saving your tale, Petruchio, I pray,


Let us, that are poor petitioners, speak too
Baccare you are marvellous forward.
!

JOHN HEY WOOD.


He

73

can, before this time, no time assine.

In which he hath laid downe one peny by mine,

That ever might

either

And bir Lady, free[nd]

Ka

mee, ka thee

put

me

Out of thine owne

To win me
I

tone,

nought woon by the

tother.

nest to seeke

me

in these

out yles

wilt not step over a straw, I thinke.

the worth of one draught of drinke.

than

have been

When

nought lay downe, nought takeup.

to cost thou camst halfe a score miles.

Where thou

No more

bite or sup

one good turne asketh another.

;^'^

Nought woon by the

To

make me

have wonne of

common Jacke

ought was to doe

^^

all

thy whole stocke.

to all that whole flocke

was common hackney.

Folke call on the horse that will carry alwey

But evermore

the

common

horse

worse shod.

is

Desert and reward be oft times things far od.

At end / might put

m.y

winning

And see never the worse^^


"

Ka

for

in m.ine eye,

ought

wan them

by.

mee, ka thee.

Skelton sayde then Why, fellowe, haste thou hurt my mare ?


Yea, sayde the hostler, ka me, ka thee yf she dose hurte me,
Merie Tales ^Skelton, 1567.
I wyll displease her.
:

"

Common

Jacke.

Jack is a familiar appellation for anything rather disparagIn the Taming of the Shrew, Katharine calls
ingly spoken of.
her music-master " a twangling jacke," and in Richard HI. we
have " silken, sly insinuating jacks."
" I might put tny winning in mine eye, Sr'c.
is found Latinized in a letter of Erasmus,

This expression

THE PROVERBS OF

74

And now
Where
It is

without them,

here at staves end,

I live

need not borow, nor

will I lend.

good to beware by other mens harmes

But thy taking of thine aulter

in thine

armes

Teacheth other to beware of their harmes by

Thou hast
I

thine.

stricken the ball under the line.

pray you, (quoth

With somewhat

I),

till I

pitie

me

a poore man,

may worke

Toward your working, (quoth

as I can.
he),

ye make such

tastings,

As approve you to be none


Ye run to worke in haste as
But whensoever ye
If

to

of the bastings.

nine

men heldyee ;

worke must yelde yee.

your meet-mate and you meete together,

Then

shall

we

see two

men

beare a fether

Recompensing former loytring

As

did the pure penitent

who

life loose.

And stack downe a fether. And


circa 1500.

Cardinal, of

a goose

stole

He is speaking of want
whom he says .

where old folke

tell.

of generosity in a certain

Episcopo Leodiensi nunc Cardinali, cui inscripsimus Epistolas


ad Corinthios, cui libellum inauratum misimus, cui donavimus
duo volumina Novi Testament! in membranis non ineleganter
adornata neque pretii mediocris ut libenter debemus pro splendidis promissis, quffi non semel obtutit ita non est, quod illi pro
donato teruncio gratias agamus. Tantum donavit, quantum si
incidat in oculum quamvis tenerum nihil tormenti sit allaturum
id ipse non inficiabitur.
:

JOHN HEY WOOD.


That

Ye

evill gotten goods never proveth well;

will truly get,

Till

and true gettings well keepe,

time ye be as rich as a new shorne sJteepe}*

How be

it

when

You played

the

thrift

and yon fell first

man, for ye made

So helpe me God,
A

75

my

in

man might make

thrift

at a fray.

run away.

poore opinion,

a play of this minion.

And faine no ground, but take tales of his owne frends.^^


/ sucke not this out of my owne fingers ends.

And

sinse

Yet pray

"

ye were wed, although

I for

As rich

God and

you,

nought gave you.

saint

Luke save

new shorne sheepe.


The nexte that came was a

you.

as a

And

coryar

a cobelar, his brother.

As ryche

as a

new shorne

shepe.

Cocke Lorelles Bote, circa 1510.


'*

A man might make a play, Sr'c.

of this passage is that a dramatist who represented such a character on the stage, would fill the house
without a free list, making even his own friends pay.

The meaning

The ''ground" was that part of a theatre corresponding to the


" pit " of the present day, and the pitites were consequently
called " groundlings."

The stage curtains be artificially drawn, and so covertly


shrouded that the squint-eyed groundling may not peep in.
Lady Alimony, i. i.
The

price of admission

Tut, give

Let

me

me

was one penny.

the penny, give

me

the penny

have a good ground.

Ben Jonson,

Case

is

Alter'd.

THE PROVERBS OF

76

And
I

here

is all.

For what should

I further

was neither of Court nor of Counsaile made.

And

it is,

as

have learned

in listening,

A poore dog,

that is

A day ere

was wed,

bad you, (quoth

Scarborough warning

had (quoth

wade ?

kept

me

not worth the whistling.

he),

I).

whereby

thence, to serve thee according

And now if this nights lodging and hording


May ease thee, and rid me from any more charge
Then welcome,

For of further reward, marke how


In case as ye shall yeeld

So

shall

Which

ye cost

is,

me

me

bost me,

me

me.

likewise

a thing of nought rightly to surmise.

Herewithall his wife to

But thereto deviseth to


Checks and choking

Ye

as ye cost

as ye yeeld

make up my mouth,

Not onely her husbands taunting

Her time

or els get thee streight at large.

cast in

my teeth
And when

oysters.

to take up, to

tale avouth,

shew

my fare

she seeth

at best

see your fare, (sayd she), set your hart at rest.

Fare ye

And

well,

well

(quoth

mote ye

I),

how

fare both,

Come, goe we hence

ever I fare now.

when

dine with you.

friend, (quoth I to

my mate),

And now will I make a crosse on this gate.


And I, (quoth he), crosse thee quite out of my

booke,

Since thou art crosse sailde, avale unhappie hooke.

JOHN HEYWOOD.

77

By

hooke orcrooke^^ nought could

He
He

that comth every day slmll have a cocknay ;

But

that Cometh
I

now and then,

gat not so

much

in

win th^re

shall have a fat hen.

comming

seeld when,

As a good hens fether, or a poore egshell.


As good play for nought as worke for nought,
Well

well,

men say.

folke

tell.

we be but where we were.


would, I thought ere we came there,
worst fell, we could have but a nay.

(quoth

he),

Come what come

That if the
There is no harme done, man,
Neither pot broken, nor water

Farewell he, (quoth

As
'

I), I

in all this fray

spilt.

soone be

will as

hilt.

waite againe, for the moonshine in the waiter.

By hooke or crooke.

The phrase

from the custom of certain


to take fire-bote by hook
or by crook J that is, so much of the underwood as may be cut
with a crook, and so much of the loose timber as may be collected from the boughs by means of a hook.
The story of the two arbitrators Judge Hook and Judge
derives

its

origin

manors where tenants are authorized

Crook, who sat to decide rival claims to property after the


Great Fire of London, is of course entirely fallacious.
One of the earliest instances that can be cited is from one of
John Wycliffe's Controversial Tracts, written circa 1370
:

)jei sillen sacramentis, as ordris, and ojjere spiritualte, as


halwyng of auteris, of churchis, and churche ferdis and compellen men to bie alle JjIs wijj hok or crok.
;

Again, in Skelton's Colin Clout,

520

Nor wiU suffer this boke,


By hooke or by crooke,
Prynted

for to be.

THE PROVERBS OF

73

But

is

not this a pretie piked matter

To disdaine
As he doth,
'Sa.e.

fometh

For she

is

who much

me,
it

may rime but

like

bore,

of the world hoordeth not,


it

accordeth not?"

the beast should seeme bolde

Shefrieth in her owne grease?^ but as for


If she

my part,

be angrie, beshrew her angrie hart

Friend, (quoth he), he

may shew wisedome

That with angrie hart can hold


Let patience grow

Some loose
From some
graffe

tongue

some one day,

friend, either in life or at death.

take

I),

we

may

we

that time to take a breath,

a greene graffe on a rotten roote

" It may rime, but


It

his

at will,

still.

in your garden alway.

or od end will come, man,

Death, (quoth

Then

as fierce as a Lion of Cotsolde}^

it

accordeth not.

wele ryme but

MS. poem

accordith nought.
by Lydg'ATE, " On Inconstancy"

it

" As fierce as a Lion of Cotsotde.


Davies, in one of his Epigrams, has
Carlus

is

as furious as a lyon of Cotsold.

Again, in the play of Sir John Oldcastle

You

stale old ruffian,

you

lion of Cotsolde.

The Cotswold hills in Gloucestershire were famous on account


number of sheep fed there hence a Cotswold lion meant

of the

a Cotswold sheep.
" Shefrieth in her owne grease.

But certeynly I made folk such chere


That in his owne grees I made him frie.

Chaucer, Prologue of Wyf of Bathe.


Prince Bismarck's recent application ofthe saying is well known.

JOHN HEY WOOD.


Who

79

waitefor dead men shoen shall goe long barefoote}

Let passe, (quoth

he),

and

let

us be trudging,

Where some nappie ale is and soft sweet lodging.


Be it, (quoth I), but I would very faine eate.
At breakfast and dinner I eate little meate.

And

two hungrie meales make the third a glutton.

We went where we had boyld beefe and bakte mutton,


Whereof

And

fed

me

a bed were

Earely we

And

to the hostler this

pray thee

ere the clock

rose, in haste to get

This fellow calde.


I

as full as a tunne ;

we

let

had nine runne.

away,

morning by day.

What how

me and my

fellow,

thou knave,

fellow have

haire of the dog that bit us^ last night.

And

bitten were

Who

we both

to the braine aright.

waitefor dead men shoen shall goe long

You may speake when ye

barefoote.

and keepe
your winde to coole your pottage. Well, well, you are my
maister's sonne, and you looke for his lande ; but they that
hope for dead mens shoes may hap go barefoote. Two angry
Women of Abington, 1599.
Nicholas.

'

are spoken to,

A haire of the dog that bit us.

In old receipt books we find it invariably advised that an inebriate should drink sparingly in the morning some of the same
liquor which.he had drunk to excess over-night.

Pepys records, under April 3, 1661


Up among my workmen, my head akeing all day from last
At noon dined with Sir W. Batten and Pen,
night's debauch.
who would have me drink two good draughts of sack to-day, to
cure me of my last night's disease, which I thought strange, but
:

think find

it

true.

THE PROVERBS OF

8o

We saw each
And

other drunke in the good ale glas,

so did each one each other that there was,

Save one, but old men say that are skild

hard foughten field where no man scapeth unkild.

The reckning

And

needes he must for me, for

This done

He

reckned, he needes would pay the shot^

we shooke

into his way,

But

this

Many

and

kinsfolke

Folke say,

kinsfolke,

hath been sayd

it

Prove thy friend ere

not.

mine.

my

way.

and few friends, some

many

it

hands, and parted in fine


I into

journey was quite out of

But, I finde

had

tliou

folke say

and friend not one.

many

yeares since gone

have need ; but in deede,

A friend is never knowne till a man have neede.


Before

Seemed

had neede,

my

Every man

most

most present foes

friends,

but thus the world goes.

basteth the fat hog,

But the leane

As
He

my

shall

we

see

burne ere he basted bee.

saith this sentence, oft

and long sayd

that hathplentie of goods sJiall have

before.

more ;

He that hath but a little he shall have lesse.


He that hath right nought, right nought shall possesse.
Thus having right nought and would somewhat obtaine,

With
'

right nought, (quoth he), I

Pay

Well

returned againe.

the shot.

at your will

tricke to

am

ye shall be furnisht. But now a jugling


pay the shot. Kind Harts Dreame, 1592.

JOHN HEY WOOD.

Chapter

|URELY,

(quoth

81

XII.

ye have

I),

in this

time thus

worne,

Made a

long harvest for a

Howbeit, comfort your

That

telth us

when

selfe

little

corne.

with this old text,

bale is hekst, boote is next?

Though every man may not

sit in

the chaire,

Yet alway the grace of God is worth a faire.

Take no thought

And
'

in case,

put case* in povertie

When

all

is

where he was.

your

life

pas.

bale is hekst, boote is next.

Equivalent to sajdng that


to

God

when

things are at worst they begin

mend.

When

bale

is

greatest, then is bote a nie bore.

Chaucer, Testament of Love.


" When the bale is best,
Thenne is the bote nest,"

Quoth Hendyng.
Proverbs of Hendyng, MS. circa 1320.
*

Put

An

case.

idiomatic expression used frequently in an argument, as,

Put case there be three brethren, John-a-Nokes, John-a-Nash


and John-a-Stile. Returnefrom Parnassus, 1606.

THE PROVERBS OF

82

Yet povertie and poore degree, taken


Feedth on

this

well,

he that never climbde never fell.

And some case at some time shewth preefe somewhere,


That

bring oft harme and ever feare.

riches

Where

povertie passeth without grudge of greefe.

What man

the begger

may

sing before the

theefe.

And who can sing so merrie a note.


As may he that cannot change a grote ?
Ye, (quoth

And weepe before true


Some

may sing

he), beggers

before theeves,

men, lamenting their greeves.

and

I feele,

hunger pearceth stone wall?

Meate, nor yet

money

to

Have

say,

not so

much

Time

Well, (quoth

),

thus seeming welnie wearie of his

Hunger pearceth

Menenius. But,

What

defend

God

will

send

that provision in time, (sayd hee).

The poore wretch went

withall.

to provide for time, right well ye shall see.

God send

And

may hunger

as

Fro 'my wife and me.

buy meate

life,

to his like poore wretched wife.

stone wall.

beseech you.

says the other troop

Marcius. They are dissolved Hang 'em


They said, they were an-hungry ; sigh'd forth proverbs
That, hunger broke stone walls that, dogs must eat
That, meat was made for mouths, that, the Gods sent not
Corn for the rich man only
With these shreds
They vented their complainings.
Coriolanus,
:

i.

JOHN HEYWOOD.

83

From wantonnes to wretchednes, brought on their knees


Their hearts

And

full heavie, their

after this

a month, or somewhat

lesse,

make

Their Landlord came to their house to

For

rent, to

heads full of bees ^

have kept Bayard in

a stresse

the stable.

But that to win, any power was unable.

For though

it

ill playing

be

Which meaneth,

with short daggers.

that every wise

man

staggers,

In earnest or boord to be busie or bold

With

his biggers or betters, yet this

Where

And

as nothing

thus.

King

But warning

is,

the

is

tolde

King must lose his

or Keyser must have set

to depart thence they

right.

them quight.

needed none

For ere the next day the birds were flowne each one.

To

seeke service

The

of which where the

wife could not speede, but

She must

seeke elsewhere.

man was

sped.

maugre her hed,

For

either there or nie.

Service for any suite she none could espie.

All folke thought them not onely too

To
^

lither,

linger both in one house togither.

Their heads full of bees.

Means

to project

schemes

thus differing from the phrase


is generally intended to

" to have a bee in one's bonnet," which


denote a mild form of craziness.
But, Wyll,

my

maister hath bees in his head.

Damon and Pithias,

1571.

THE PROVERBS OF

84

But

under their wings,

also dwelling nie

Under

their noses

they might convey things,

Such as were neither too heavie nor too

More

month then they

in a

In a whole yeare.

hot,

their master got

Whereto folke

further weying,

Receive each of other in their conveying.

Might be worst of all.

Where

For

this

proverb preeves

Such hap here hapt, that common dread of such


Drove them and keepth them asunder many

Thus though

doth those two true lovers so dissever,

That meete

And

shall

they seeld, when, or haply never.

thus by love without regard of living,

These twaine have wrought each others

And
That

'

guiles

miles.

love decree departure death to bee,

Y&t povertie parteth fellowship, we see

And

there be no receivers, there be no theeves?

love hath so lost


I

chiving.

them the love of their

thinke them lost

Where

ill

and thus

friends.

this tale ends.

there be no receivers, there be no theeves.

And it is a comon

sayinge, ware there no ryceyver there shoulde


So ware there no stewes, there shulde not so many
honeste mennes doughters rune awaye from there fathers and
playe the whores as dothe.
A Christen exhortation unto

be no

thefe.

customable swearers, 1575.

JOHN HEYWOOD.

Chapter
^H

sir,

(sayd

85

XIII.

my friend), when men must needes

marry,

seenow how wisedomeand haste may varry

Namely where they wed


I

would

for love altogither.

no good, but

for

had come

hither.

Sweet beautie with soure beggerie f nay,

am gon

To the wealthie withered widow, by Saint John.


What yet in all haste, (quoth I). Yea, (quoth he).
For she hath substance enough. And ye see,
That lacke

is

the losse of these two yong fooles.

Know ye not, (quoth I), that after wise mens schooles


A man should heare all parts ere he judge any
>

Why are ye
I

tolde you,

that,

(quoth he)

when

I this

Tell you of two couples.

For

this,

began that

And

(quoth I)

would

having told

But of the tone, ye be

streight starting away,

As

I of the tother

right

Or

as your selfe of

Nay

not

allso,

had

them

nought to say,

right

nought would heare.

(quoth he), but since

thinke cleare.

There can no way appeare so painfull a


Betweene your yong neighbour and

As

this tale in this

And

life,

his old rich wife.

yong poore couple doth show,

that the most good or least

ill

ye know.

PROVERBS OF JOHN HEYWOOD.

86

To

take at end,

With thankes

at beginning bent,

was

for this

and your more paine to prevent.

Without any more matter now revolved,


I

take this matter here cleerely resolved.

And

that ye herein

me

award

to forsake,

Beggerly beautie, and riveld riches take.


That's just,

if

.^

the halfe shall judge the whole, (quoth

But yet heare the whole, the whole wholly to

To

it,

(quoth he), then

pray you by and by.

We will dine first, (quoth he), it is noone by.


We may as well, (quoth he), dine when this is done
The longer forenoone,

the shorter afternoone.

All comth to one, and thereby

Alway

I)

try.

men have

gest

the longer east, the shorter west.

We have had,

(quoth

Weather, meete

I),

before ye came, and

to sette paddocks

Raine more then enough

abroode

and when

sin.

in,

all shrews have

dinde.

Change from foule weather

And

all

the shrews in this part, saving one wife

That must dine with

Now

if

to faire is oft enclinde.

us,

good change of

have dinde, paine of

ill

my

life.

weather be depending

Upon her diet, what were mine offending.


To keepe the woman any longer fasting
.?

If ye, (quoth he),

set all this far casting

For common wealth, as

Reason would your

it

appeareth a cleere case.

will should

and

shall take place.

PART
Chapter

INNER

11.

I.

cannot be long where dainties

want.

Where coyne

is

not comon, cdmons must

be scant.

In poste pase

we

past from potage to cheese,

And yet this man cride, alas what time we leese.


He would not let us pause after our repaste,
But apart he pluckt me streight, and in all haste,
As I of this poore yong man and poore yong maide.
Or more poore yong wife, the foresaid words had saide,
So praieth he me now the processe may be told,
Betweene th'other yong man, and the

away ye must winde,

If yee lacke that, (quoth

I),

With your whole

and halfe

Which thing

errand,

rich widowe old.

th'

answer behinde.

to doe, sens hast thereto shewth

you loth

THE PROVERBS OF

88

And
And

to hast your going, the

that time

Without more

againe

lost,

day away goth,

we cannot

win,

losse of time, this tale I begin.

In this late olde widowe, and then olde

new

wife,

Age and

appetite

Her

lust

was

The

day of her wedding, liken one to be solde.

She

set out her selfe in fine apparell.

as

She was made

fell

yong

at

a strong

strife.

as her lims were olde.

like a beere pot, or a barrell.

A crooked hookde nose, beetle browde,

blere eyed.

Many men

wisht, for beautifyng that bryde,

Her waste

to be gyrde

Some

in,

and

But with

ill

visorlike visage, such as

Shee smirkt, and she smilde

That

for a

well favourd visor, on her

folke

it

Of auncient
'

So simper

was,
las.

done onely alone

teeth been gone.

Upright as a candell standth in a

Stoode she that day,

it

but so lisped this

might have thought

Of wantonnesse, had not her

boone grace,

favourd face.

socket,

so simper decocket?

fathers she tooke

no cure nor

care,

decocket.

And

gray russet rocket

With simper the cocket.


Skelton, The Tunnyng of Elynoure

Rummyng,
The word means a

coquettish

girl.

1520.

JOHN HEY WOOD.


She was

89

to them, as koy as Croker's mare.

She tooke

th'

men

entertainment of the yong

All in daliaunce, as nice as a nunnes hen^


I

suppose that day her eares might well glow,

For

all

the towne talkt of her hie and low.

One sayd

a well favourd olde

The divell she is, saide another


In came the third, with his five
Fiftie yere a

goe

woman
;

she

and to

egges,

As

nice as

and sayde

knew her a trym mayde.

What ever she were then, (said one), she


To become a bryde, as meete as a sow
^

is

this,

is

now

a nunnes ken.

This proverb appears to have been in use a century previous


to

Heywood.

Women, women, love of women,


Make bare purs with some men.
Some be nyse as a nonne hene,
Yet

al thei

be not soo

Some be lewde, some all be schrewde,


Go schrewes wher thei goo.
Satirical Verses on
I knewe a priest that was
Wilson's Arte of Rhetorique,

Another virtue

is

as nice as a

Women,

1462.

Nonnes Henna.

\'',(yi.

ascribed to this kind of poultry by the old

writers,

have the taught dyvysyon between


Frende of effect, and frende of countenaunce
The nedeth not the gall of none hen
That cureth eyen.
I

Proverbes of Lydgate, circa 1520,

THE PROVERBS OF

go

To

She

beare a saddle.

As comely

as

is

in this

is

a cowe in a

Gup, with a galde backe,

mariage

cage.

come up

gill,

to supper.

What, mine olde mare would have a new crupper

And now mine

Well (quoth one) glad

is

A goodly mariage she

is,

She

is so,

new band

olde hat must have a

he that hath her


I

(quoth one), were the

in this case, every

man

kisse,

woman

away.
;

as he loveth

Quoth the good man, when that

That

hand

heare say.

Well, (quoth another), fortune this moveth

And

in

Jie

kist his cowe.

(quoth one), doth well here,

by God a vowe

But how can she give a kisse sowre or sweete

."

Her

chin and her nose within halfe an inche meete.

God

is

He

no botcher,

shapeth

sir,

all parts,

sayd another

as eche part

Well, (quoth one), wisely

God

is

speede, be as be

That

Doe

shalbe, shalbe ;
well,

may

'"

done, and

all

other.

us leave this scanning.

no banning.

and that they so may, wish wee

This wonder

The

fit

and with god's grace they

This wonder, (as wonders

Which

let

may

last),

shall

all.

lasted nine daies.^

gests of this feast

gone

their waies,

lasted nine daies.

reason for assigning nine days as the period of duration

is

JOHN heywood:,
Ordinary houshold

man

this

streiglit

Very sumptuously, which he might

What he would

91

began

well doe than.

have, he might have

his wife

In such dotage of him, that faire words did

Gromel-seede plenty

and pleasure to

was

fet

prefer,

Shee made much of him, and he mockt much of


I was, (as I said),

The

first

month,

much

in

there,

set

her.

and most of all.

which time such kindnesse did

Betweene these two counterfaite

fall

turtle burds.

To see his sweete looke, and heare her sweete wurds.


And to thinke wherefore they both put both in ure,
It

would have made a horse breake

All the

first

Any yong

fortnight their tickyng might have tought

couple their love trickes to have wrought.

Some

laught,

Some

thereto said

But since

his halter sure.

and sayd
;

all thing is

gay

new brome swepth

that is greene.

cleene.

all thing is the woorse for the wearing,

Decay of cleane sweeping

folke

had

in fearing.

And in deede, ere two monthes away were crept.


And her biggest bagges into his bosome swept
not ascertained, but the proverb
Chaucer.

Eke wonder last but

is

traced to the works of

nine deies never in town.

Chaucer, Troilus and

Creseide.

A book on any subject by a peasant, or a peer, is no longer so


much

as a nine-days wonder.

Ascham's Schoole-master.

THE PROVERBS OF

92

Where

love

Hot as a

had appeared

toste, it

Hee at meate

Now

in

him

to her

away

grewe cold as kayP-

carving her, and none els before.

carved he to

all

but her, and to her no more.

Where her words seemde hony, by

his smiling cheare,

Now are they mustard, he frowneth them to heare.


And when shee sawe sweete sauce began to ware sowre,
She waxt as sowre as
So turned

they their

From laughing
That

tippets^''-

to lowring,

by way of exchaunge,

and taunts did so raunge

in plaine termes, plaine truth to

They two agreed like two

Mary
Cats

and as well could lowre.

he,

sir,

cats in

togetlter,

by

and biting.

folks reciting.

Together by the eares they come, (quoth

How be it those

utter,

a gutter.

(quoth he), by scratching

and dogs come

you to

I),

cheerely.

wordes are not voide here cleerely

For in one state they twaine could not yet

settle,

" Cold as kay.

Poor key-cold

figure of

So turned they their tippets.


"To turn tippet "meant, and means,

a holy king.
Richard III.

i.

2.

'^

Now it
it

to make a complete change.

applied to one going over to an adversary


was usually said of a maid becoming a wife.
is

Another Bridget

formerly

one that for a face

Would put down Vesta


You to turn tippet

Ben Jonson,

Case

is

Altered.

JOHN HEYWOOD.
But wavering as the winde

93

in docke, out nettleP

Now in, now out now here, now there now sad.
Now mery now hie, now lowe now good, now bad.
;

In which unstedy sturdy stormes streinable.

To know how they both were irrefreynable,


Marke how they fell out, and how they fell in.
At end of a supper shee did thus begin.

'"

In

docke, out nettle.

A charm for a nettle sting which had early passed into a proverb
expressive of inconstancy.

Ye wete
Nettle

in,

well Ladie eke (quoth

Docke

out,

and with

I)

that I have not plaid racket.

this the

weathercocke waved.

Chaucer, Testament of Love.


Is this

my

in dock, out nettle?

MiDDLETON, More Dissemblers

besides

Women.

THE PROVERBS OF

94

Chapter
I

USBAND,

II.

(quoth shee),

would we were

in

our nest;

When

the belly

the bones would be

is full,

at rest.

So soone uppon supper, (sayd


Sleepe maketh

By

ill

no question,

he),

and unholsome digestion.

that diet a great disease once I gat

And burnt child fire dredth ; ^* I will beware of that.


What a post of phisicke, (sayd shee), yee a post.
And from post to piller^^ wife, I have been tost
" Burnt childfire dredth.

Why urge yee me my hart doth boyle with heate,


not stoope to any of your lures

Timon.

And

will

.?

A burnt childe

dreads the

fFyre.

Timon, circa 1590.

So that child withdraweth

From
"

" From post

Why,

hond,

That hath byfore bue brend.


Brend child fur dredth,"
Quoth Hendyng.
Proverbs of Hendyng, MS.

circa 1320.

to piller.

Meletya. Sister,
Celia.

is

the fur ant the brond,

is

sister,

not your waighting-wench rich

why

.'

Meletya. Because she can

flatter,

Pree-thee call her not.

She

JOHN HEYWOOD.
By

And

that surfet.

I feele

Whereby, except
Before

it

I shall

leave me,

To goe

to

it.

seeme to leave

shee), I

bed timely, but

Too soone

of

must now leave

thanke God, (quoth

fyt

little

Even now, by former attempting

9S

my

wit

felt

paine

it.

never yet

rising againe.

in the morning, hath

mee

displeased.

And I, (quoth he), have been more diseased


By earely liyng downe, then by early rising.
But thus

differ folke lo, in

That one may

not,

an other may.

Use maketh maistry


That one loveth
All meates

to

not,

be eaten

and men many times

an

other,

Long

I rise

lying

earely and

warme

in

doth

and all maides

Haste ye to bed now, and

While

exercysing

rise

come

bed

is

ye as
to

bed

say,

which hath sped,


to

be wed.

readie.
late.

holesome, (quoth shee).

While the leg warmeth, the boote Jtarmeth^^ (quoth


Well, (quoth shee), he that doth as most

men

he).

do,

Shalbe least wondred on, and take any two,

has twenty-four houres to maddam yet, Come you, you prate,


Marston's What you
yfaith, lie tosse you from post to piller
!

Will, 1607.
'

While the leg warmeth, the boote harmeth.


Whan the scho harmt the fot war

MS.

Harleian, circa 1490.

THE PROVERBS OF

96

That be man and wife

And
When

in all this

most part together they

and

birds shall roost, (quoth he), at

hen, (quoth shee)

lie

downe.

viii, ix,

or ten,

houre, the cock or the hen

Who shall appoynt their


The

whole towne,

rise

the cocke, (quoth he)

just,

(quoth she),

As Jermans lipsP
Then prove

It shall

prove more just (quoth

I,

(quoth shee), the more foole far

he).

away

there is no foole to the oldfoole^^ folke say.

But

Ye are wise inough, (quoth he), if ye keepe ye warme.


To be kept warme, and for none other harme,
Nor
I

much more good,

for

tooke not you, (quoth

Her

tooke you to wed.

he), night

carraine carkas, (sayd hee),

Because shee

" Just

As

is

as

aged, and

Jennans

is

and day to bed.


so cold.

somewhat too

old.

lips.

German's lips, which came not together by nine


Latimer's Remaittes.

just as

mile.

Agree
lippes.

"

like Dogge and Catte, and meete as


Gosson's Schole of Abuse.

Nofoole to

just as

Germans

the oldfoole.

Comedie upon comedie he shall have a morall, a historie, a


tragedie, or what he will.
One shal be called the Doctor's
dumpe
and last a pleasant Enter lude of No Foole to the
Olde Foole, with a jigge at the latter end in English hexameters
of O Neighbour GabrielHJ and his wooing of Kate Cotton.
Nash's Have with you to Saffron Walden, 1 596.
;

JOHN HEY WOOD.


That shee

kilth mee.

And

In warming her.

As

doe but

Who

(quoth shee),

that worst

mary

may

must warme bed

yes

by

geare

this

stone^'^

seint Johne.

is

alone.

shall holde the candell

for

him should warme

This medicine thus ministred

But

roste

shall not I save one,

shee would save an other

A syr,
I

97

is

Then

is

now

farewell

my

b[e]gun, but

it,

have

told.

will

be soone gon.

strife to

breake

all is not Gospell that thou doest speake.

But what neede we lumpe out love

As wee

mee.

holde on,

if it

good dayes, they

Gospell in thy mouth, (quoth hee), this

How be

for

it

see

sharpe and cold

all things that is sharpe is short, folke

This trade

should

at ones lashing,

now shake handes ? what

soft for

dashing.

Tltefayre lasteth all the yeare.

And

new

knit.

so late met, that I feare wee part notyit;

Quoth the baker

From

And

We be

to the pilory.

Which

thing,

distemperate fonding, temperance

this reason to aide

" Boste a

and make

it

may

more

bring.

strong,

stone.

They may

garlicke pill

Cary sackes

to the mil

Or pescoddes they may shil


Or els go roste a stone.
Skelton's Why come ye not

to

Court ? 1520.

THE PROVERBS OF

98

Old wise
I

say

folke say

love

me

(sayd shee), but

little,

litle,

love

me longP

thinke more

Thought isfree?-^ Ye leane, (quoth he),

to the

wrong shore.

Brauling booted not, he was not that night bent

To

Alone to bed shee went,

play the bridegroome.

How

This was their beginning of jar.

For a beginning,

And but

feate

is

We

behinde.

fit,

come not where

my

say you, (sayd he to me), by

The divell hath cast a bone, (sayd


Betweene you, but

it

were a

To put my hand betweene

Or

it.

a fleabiting to that did ensew.

The worst

How

was a

this

be

to put

I),

^ Love me

litle,

me,

and

my finger too far in the


my credite

Betweene you, and lay

grewe.

to set strife

folly for

the barke

wife

it

the tree.

fire,

in the mire.

love tne long.

Bellamira. Come, gentle Ithamore, lie in my lap.


lihamore. Love me little, love me long ; let music rumble,
Whilst I in thy incony lap do tumble.

Marlowe's Jew of Malta,


""

Thought

iv.

is free.

Since thought

is free,

thinke what thou

troubled hart to ease thy paine

will,

Thought unrevealed can do no evill.


Bet wordes past out, cummes not againe.

Be cairefuU aye for to invent


The waye to gett thy owen intent.
Poem by James I. MS. Add.

24,195.

JOHN HEYWOOD.
To meddle

litle

for

mee

it is

best

For of litle medling conimeth great


Yes, yee

may

She knoweth mee not


I shall

make

hir

in giving
yet,

if

is

hir wise.

shee ware to wilde,


is

no

childe.

worse than watching.

promise you, an olde sacke asketh much patching.

Well, (quoth

To

I),

to

morowe

I will to

my beades.

pray, that as ye both will so ake your heades,

And
I

but

make

your advice.

know, an old knave

Slugging in bed with her


I

rest?'^

meddle, (quoth hee), to

Without taking harme,

99

in

will

meane time

my

aking head to cease,

couch a hogs head.

Quoth

he,

when yee

please.

Wee parted, and this, within a day or twayne.


Was rakte up in th' ashes and covered agayne.

Of litle medling commeth great

rest.

Payne the not eche croked to redresse


In truste of her that tumeth as a ball
:

Grate reste stande in lyteU besynesse,


Beware also to sporne against a wall.
P roverbes of Lydgate.

THE PROVERBS OF

Chapter
'

HESE

two dayes

ye

Come

past,

hee sayd to mee, when

will,

chat at home,

have

Who had the

III.

well

all is

Jacke shall

Gill.

worse end of the

staffe,

(quoth

I),

now

Shall the mayster weave a breeche^ or none, say you


I trust

But

if

the sowe will no more so-deepe wroote

yee see out of the way, or shoote wide.

Over shoote not your

selfe

any

But shoote out some wordes,

'

shee doe, (quoth he), you must set in foote

And whom

Shee

may

say, (quoth

I),

if

side to hide.

she be too hot.

afooles bolt

is

soone shot?

Weare a breeche.
All

women be

suche,

Thoughe the man here the breeche,


They wyll be ever checkemate.
The Boke of Mayd Emlyn,
'^

1515.

A fooles bolt is soone shot.


is sot, and that is sene
For he wel speke wordes grene,
Er ther hue buen rype.

Sot

" Sottes bolt

is

sone shote,"

Quoth Hendyng.
Proverbs of Hendyng, MS. circa 1320.

JOHN HEYWOOD.
Yee

mee

will

And
And
And

a busy

to a thankelesse office heere,

officer I

may

Or chat

me

as wise as

if I

it,

see neede, as

Gladly betweene you

bid

me

walke,

calfe* to talke,

I will

my
doe

part

comth

too,

my best.

bid you to dinner, (quoth hee), as no guest,

And
I

may

Waltams

of her charge, having therein nought to do.

How be
I

appeere

Jacke out of office* she


thinke

ic

bring your poore neighbors on your other

did

'

And

so.

streight as th' old

Wife us

side.

espide.

Jacke out of office.

For

liberalitie is

toumed Jacke out of

pointed to have [the custodie.

RiCH'S

office,

and others ap-

Farewell

to

Militarie

Profession, 1581.
*

As wise as Waltams calfe.


For Waltham's calves to Tiburne needes must go
sucke a bull and meete a butchers axe.
The Braineles blessing of the Bull,

To

is

1571.

In Skelton's Colin Clout, 1520, an unsanctimonious divine


thus pourtrayed

As wyse as Waltom's calfe.


Must preche, a Goddes halfe,
In the pulpyt solempnely
More mete in the pyllory,
For, by saynt Hyllary,

He

can nothyng smatter

Of logyke nor

Ray

gives, " As wise as

suck a bull."

scole matter.

Walthams

calf,

that ran nine miles to

THE PROVERBS OF

I02

me

Shee bad us welcome and merrily toward

Greene rushes for this stranger,^ strew here, (quoth shee),

With

this apart she

Saying

So

in fewe words,

it is,

For

my

by

all fraies

I fully

to

to

you

to

meeve

and forgotten betweene us quight.

hope

this I trust

have taken end

my husband

Well amended, (thought

Not

mind

the sleeve,

that all our great fray the last night.

Is forgiven

And

me by

puld

I),

will

amend.

when yee both

relent.

your owne, but ech to others mendment

Now if hope faile, (quoth she), and chaunce bring about


Any such breach, whereby wee fall againe out,
I

pray you,

And

him he

tel

winke on me.

Take me

in

any

trip.

perverse

is

Also hardly,

Quoth

I,

now and
if

than.

yee can

am

loth

To meddle commonly. For as this tale goth


Who medleth in all thing, may shoe the goslingfi
;

'

Greene rushes for this stranger.

was usual, before the introduction of carpets, to strew rushes


on the floors of dwelling-houses and on the entrance of a visitor,
hospitality required that they should be renewed.
It

Where

is this

stranger

Rushes, ladies, rushes

Rushes as green as summer

Beaumont and Fletcher,


*

Who

medleth in all thing,

may

for this stranger.

Valentinian,

ii.

4.

shoe the gosling.

To shoe the goose (gosling here for the sake of rhyme) means
simply to perform a work of supererogation.
An inscription on

JOHN HEYWOOD.

103

Well, (quoth shee), your medling herein

The winde calme betweene


with good

I will

will,

Spend some winde

us,

(quoth

when

I), ill

may be

els

it

might

rage.

windes to swage,

at need, though

waste wind

in

vaine.

To

we sat, where fine fare did remaine.


Merry we were as cup and can could holde.
table

Each one with each other homely and

And

she for her part,

The

first

is

show the

stalls

a new

frey.

of Whalley Church of the date 1434 goes far to

antiquity of the proverb

Whoso melles of wat men dos,


Let hym cum hier and shoo the

And in

hie.

and so they,

soone broken ;

shall straight heare, fell at

one of the

bolde.

us cheere heaven

part of dinner merry as a pie?

But a scald head

As ye

made

Colin Clout, 1510

ghos.

What

hath lay men to do


The gray goose for to sho
In connection with this proverb may be mentioned another
much on the same model, occurring in the Hundred Mery Talys,
!

circa 1525
It is

as great pyte to se a

woman wepe

as a gose to go barefote,

and reappearing in a new dress in Sir Walter Scott's novel, " Rob
Roy," where it is thus put into the mouth of Bailie Nicol Jarvie
It's nae mair ferlie to see a woman greet than to see a goose
gang barefit.
'

Merry

Eyre.

Pie.

as a pie.

By

the Lord of Ludgate,

my

Liege,

Decker's Shomakers Holiday,

1600.

I'll

be as merrie as

THE PROVERBS OF

104

Chapter IV

USBAND,

(quoth she), ye studie, be merrie

now,

And
Nay
I

not

thinke

even as ye thinke now, so come to yow.

(quoth he), for

so,

how you

my

thought to

lay groning, wife,

tell right,

all last night.

Husband, a groning horse and a groning wife

Never faile

No wife,

hath nine

lives like

my

may

(quoth she), ye

life.

cat.

pick out of that.

soone goth the yong lambe skin to the market

oldyewes^

th'

forbid, wife,

had sack that will abide no

It is a

And

God

ye

shall first jet.

not jet yet, (quoth she), put no doubting

I will

So

woman

my lambe,

Well,

As
As

their master, (quoth she), for

as

it is

we
an

oft see, the

clouting.

both stake standeth

long.

have heard among.

ill stake, I

That cannot stand one yeare in a hedge.


I

drinke, (quoth she).

What neede

As

all this,

Quoth

he, I will

man may

soone goth the yong lambe skin,

not pledge.

love his Jiouse well,

^c.

common

saying there do come as many skins


of calves
to the market as there do of bulls or kine.
Barclay's Shii
It is

Fools.

of
'

JOHN HEY WOOD.


Though he ride not on

What,

the ridge ; I

loj

have heard

weene, (quoth she), proferd service stinketh?

But somewhat

And both

when

see,

it is, I

her eyen

out,

the cat winketh,

but further

Let the cat winke, and

let

the

This past, and he cheered us

strife to

cast her

Wherewith

husband

all,

but most cheere


appeare.

eye to his plate by.

like

in a great

shunne,

mouse runne.

On his part, to this fayre yong wife did


And as he to her cast oft a loving eye.
So

tell.

musing he was brought.

Friend, (quoth the good man), apenyfor your thought 1^

For

my

thought, (quoth he), that

But of troth

thought

What, a goodly yong


Nay, (quoth

he),

better to

wife, as

gooldly

Bir Ladie friends, (quoth

To shew you more

'

Proferd service

is

a goodly dish

have

tJien

you have, (quoth

gilt goblets, as
I),

wish.

this

he)

.-'

here be.

maketh a show.

unnaturall then the crow

stinketh.

In Vulgaria Slambrigi, 1510.


'

A peny for your thought.

Me

upon the soyou wil soone chaunge your coppie is your minde on your
meate ? a penny for your thought.
Mistres fquoth he) if you would by al my thoughts at that
price, I should never be wearye of thinking, but seeing it is too
deare, reade it and take it for nothing. Euphues. The Anatomy
thinke, Euphues, chaunging so your colour

deine,

of Wit, 1579.

THE PROVERBS OF

io6

The crow thinkth her owne birds fairest in

wrong understood),

But by your words, (except

Each

you doe wey

others birds or jewels,

Above your owne.


But

my

Comth

the wood.'^

True, (quoth the old wife), ye sey.

neighbours desire rightly to measure,

of neede,

And my

and not of corrupted pleasure

husbands more of pleasure, than of neede.

Old fish and yongflesh, (quoth

he), doth

men

bestfeede.

And some say change of pasture makth fat calves^^


As for that reason, (quoth she), runneth to halves,
As well for the cow calfe as for the bull.
And though your pasture looke barrenly and dull.
;

Yet

looke not on the meate, but looke on the

And who

man.

so looketh on you, shall shortly skan.

" The crow thinkth her owne birds fairest in the wood.

must needs be good ground that brings fortb such good come
I look on him, methinks him to be evill favoured,
Yet the crowe thinkes her black birds of all other the fairest.
LuPTON's Atl for Money, 1578.
It

When

" Change ofpasture makthfat


Honeysuckle.

calves.

Now

I'm as limber as an ancient that has


flourished in the rain, and as active as a Norfolk tumbler.

You may

what change of pasture is able to do.


Romney Marsh, and lean
knaves in London, therefore Boniface, keep your ground. God's
my pity, my forehead has more crumples than the back part of
a counsellor's gown, when another rides upon his necke at the
bar. Webster's Westward Hoe.
Boniface.

Honeysuckle.

It

see

makes

fat calves in

JOHN HEY WOOD.


Ye may
But

An

all

write to your friends that ye are in health

may

thing

old said saw

you cannot

Your

lips

hang

and ease can no man please.

itch

ye see not your owne

see the

wood for

trees.^^

in your owne

might have gone further and have fared worse.


I

But ye be a

might, (quoth he),_for the purse


babie of Belzabub's bowre.

Content ye, (quoth

Fancy may

she),

boult bran,

take the sweet with the sowre

and make yee

not be, (quoth he), should

While

this fayre floure flourisheth thus in

it

Snow

take itfloure.

It will

die this houre.

mine

eie.

might, (quoth shee), and here this reason whye.

is

white,

1
>-

And

man sees,

light,

that you rose on your right side here right,

wot well

Yes,

ease.

in your light ; but this poore

Both how blindly you stand

And
And

be suffred saving wealth.

Plentie is no daintie ;
I see,

107

lieth in the dike.

" You cannot

see the

a
And
1

every

man

-,

lets it lye.

'

woodfor trees.

Continued proverbial, being found in an anti-popish tract of the


reign of Charles

II.

From him who sees no wood for trees


And yet is busie as the bees
From him that's settled on his lees
And speaketh not without his fees,
Libera nos.

A Letany for S.

Omers, 1682.

THE PROVERBS OF

io8

Pepper
^^ is blacke
hath a good smack.

")

5-

And

Milke, (quoth he),

And

lieth

Inke

is all

is

white,

not in the dike.


blacke,

But

And

"|

all

men know it good

meate.

No man

will

And hath an ill smacke. ) eate.


Thy ryme, (quoth hee), is much elder
But mine being newer

Thou

likenest

White snow

Which

then mine,

for a vaine advauntage,

to faire youth, blacke

as

ill

white milke

is

is

drinke nor

it

truer then thine.

pepper to foule age

by the

are placed out of place heere

Blacke inke

And

now

is

j ^i -^ uit bie.
man doth

every

rood,

meate, as blacke pepper

But a milke snow white smooth yong

skin,

good.

is

good meat, as white snow

is

ill.

who chaunge

wil

For a pepper inke rough olde withred face

Though chaunge
Yet

shall that

For who

That

As

bee no robbry for the

.''

chaunged

change rob the chaunger of his

this case searcheth, shall

case.

soone see in

wit.
it.

as well agreeth the comparison in these,

a lyke

to

compare in

tast, chalke

" To compare .... chalke and cheese.


Lo how they feignen chalk
!

and cheese}*

for cheese.

GOWER'S
Though I have no learning, yet
yohn Bon and Mast Person, 1548.

Confessio Amantis.

know chese from

chalke.

JOHN HEY WOOD.


Or a lyke

deeme inke and

in colour to

Walke, drab, walke

109

Nay, (quoth

chalke.

she), walke, knave,

walke ;

How

Saith that terme.

And
Or
If

lest

wee lay a straw

be

it sir, I

here,

else this geare will breede

yee hale

Here

is

Here

way,

this

God in

tk'

and even

(quoth

this,

Wrap

it

in the cloth,

Ye harpe on

I).

yee,

yee

Quoth

may

hee, nay,

say.

rather bringeth bale then boote.

and tread

it

under

foote.

the string that geveth no melody.

Your tongs run

Marke

there, ho,

an other way draw.

I will

ambry, (quoth

I),

so.

a pad in the straw.

is the devill in th' orologe;^^

Since

say not

before your wittes,

how

by

saint

Antony.

she hitteth mee on the thumbes, (quoth

hee).

And

yee taunt mee

Since

tit for tat^^

tit

over thumb, (quoth shee).

(quoth

I),

on even hand

is set,

Do not these thynges differ as muche as chalcke and


Shacklock'S Hatchet of Heresies, 1565.
To French and Scots so fayr a taell I tolde,
That they beleeved whyt chalk and chees was
Churchyard's
'*

The

oen.

Chifipes, 1573.

devill in th' orologe.

In Harman'S

some
'"

chese.

Tit for

Vulgaria, 1530

for

tat, is

tryfull pley

the devyll in the orloge.

simply a corruption of tantpour tant.

THE PROVERBS OF

no

Set the hares Jiead agaynst the goose jeblety

She

is,

(quoth he), bent to force you perforce.

To know that

the grey

mare is

Shee chopth logyke, to put

me

the better korse.^

my

to

clargie

Shee hath one poynt of a good hauke ; shee

is

hardy.

" Set the hares head agaynst the goose jeblet.


Ide set mine old debts against

And

my new

driblets,

the hare's foot against the goose giblets.

Decker's Shomakers Holiday.


" The grey mare

is the better horse.

Lord Macaulay observes


"

Our

in his history, (i.

iii.)

native horses, though serviceable, vpere held in small

They were valued, one with


who computed the national wealth,

esteem, and fetched low prices.


another,

by the

ablest of those

at fifty shillings each.

And adds
"

in a note

Foreign breeds were greatly preferred."

The common

originated,

proverb, that the grey mare is the better horse,


suspect, in the preference generally given to the grey

mares of Flanders over the

finest

coach horses of England."

writing of the latter half of the seventeenth cenMacaulay


That the proverb had always been associated with the
tury.
idea of female superiority appears both from Heywood's text,
is

from the Hudibras, and in innumerable

later instances.

What shall the graye mayre be the better horse,


And the wanton styll at home t
Pryde and Abuse of Women Now a Dayes, circa
!

1550.

When the grey mare's the better horse.


When o'er the breeches greedy women
Fight, to extend their vast dominion.

Hudibras.

JOHN HEYWOOD.
But

wife, the first poynt

And hold ye
own

In your

And

ofhauking

fast I red you, lest

Nay

turne.

rather, (quoth

I),

my

I will spit in

holdfast ;^

yee bee cast

shee will turne the

leafe,^^

take as faith in the sheafe

At your handes, and let


Nay,

is

in

fall

her hold, than be too bolde.

handes, and take better hold.

Hee, (quoth shee), that will be angry without cause

Must be

at one, without amendes,

Tread a woorme on thetayle, and

He

by sage
it

must turne agayne.^

taketh pepper in thenose^^ that I

Upon

being

his faultes, myselfe

But that

shall not stoppe

Well, (quoth

" Turne the

I),

too

sawes.

complayne

faultlesse.

my mouth yee may well gesse.

much

of one thing

is

not good

leafe.

He tumeth

over a new leafe and seekes by sinister meanes to


effect that which otherwyse he could not by any good meanes

bring to passe.

Health

to the

Gentlemanly Profession of

Servingmen, 1598.

^ Tread a woorme, ^c.

The

And

worm will turn, being trodden on ;


doves will peck in safe-guard of their brood.

smallest

3
^'

He

Henry

VI.

ii.

2.

taketh pepper in the nose.

common expression applied to any one


taking offence.

who was quick

at

For every man takes pepper i' the nose


For the wagginge of a strawe, God knowse,
With every waverynge wynd that blowese.

Elderton'S Lenton

Stuffe, 1570.

THE PROVERBS OF

112

Leave

off this

But sufferance
No, (quoth

Be

is

she),

it,

(quoth he),

fall

wee

no quittans in this daiment.

nor misreckning

is

no payment.

But even reckoning maketh longfrendes ;


For alway owne

to our food.

is

my

frend.

owne, at the recknings end.

This reckning once reckned, and dinner once doone,

We three from

them

twaine, departed very soone.

Chapter

HIS old woman, the


Stale

To

home

V.

next day after

this night.

to mee, secretly as shee might,

talke with mee.

In secret counsell, (she

sayd).

Of things which

We

in

no wise might be bewrayd.

twayne are one to many, (quoth

Three

may

I),

for

men

say,

keepe counsayle, if two be away."-^

^ Three may

keepe coutisayle, &=.

Three may keep a counsel

if

twain be away.

Chaucer, Ten Commandments of Love.


say again, how many saw the child ?

Aaron. But,
Nurse. Corneha the midwife, and myself
And no one else, but the deliver'd empress.
Aaron. The empress, the midwife, and yourself
Two may keep counsel, when the third 's away.
Titus Andronicus,
:

iv. 2.

JOHN HEYWOOV.
But

all

I will

that yee speake,

unmeet agayne

mum, and

say nought but

Well then, (quoth

she), herein

Avoyde your children

done, (shee sayd),

Whom

And

for these

First, that for

In

To

all

mum

to

tell,

is counsell.

avoyding

all feares,

smallpitchers have wyde eares}

Which

made

113

have a husband yee know,

of nought, as thing selfe doth show.

two causes onely him

tooke.

any love he should lovingly looke.

kind of cause that love ingender might.

me by day and by

love and cherish

Secondly, the

full

substance which

to

night.

him brought.

He rather should augment, then bring to nought.


But now my good shall both be spent, yee shall see,
And

in

spending

it

sole instrument shall bee

Of my destruction, by spending it on such


As shall make him destroy me I feare this much.
Hee maketh havocke, and setteth cocke on the hoope.
:

He is so lavish, the
And as for gaine is
When
Ech

'

Jte

stocke beginnes to droope.

dead and layd

would get ought ech finger

in
is

tumbe,

thum.be.

of his joyntes against other justles,

Small pitchers have

tuyde eares.

parlous boy go to, you are too shrewd.


Q. Elizabeth.
Archbishop. Good madam, be not angry with the child.
:

Q. Elizabeth. Pitchers have ears.

Richard III.

ii.

4.

114

THE PROVERBS OF

As handsomly

as a beare picketh muscles.

Flattring knaves and flering queanes being the marke,

Hang on

He

many hands make light warke.^


haukes in the mew but make ye sure,

his sleeve

hath his

With empty hands men may no haukes


There

That

a nest of chickens, which he doth brood,

is

make his hayre growe through

will sure

They can

He maketh
To bring a

his

his hood?

and make fayre weather,

currifavell,

While they cut large

If

allure.

tho7igs

of other mens

leather.'*

marts with marchaunts likely

shilling to nine pence quickly.

he holds on a while as he beginnes,

We shall
Many

him prove a marchant of

see

is

many handes
werke my leve child.
the Goode Wif Thaught Mr Daughter.

the soner done that hathe

Many handys make

How
Make

light

growe through his hood.


make hys haere growe through his hood.
Child, by Thomas Ingeland, circa 1550.
his hayre

wyll

It

obedient

hands make light warke.

The werke

'

eele skinnes

The proverb was

The Dis-

a century afterwards, being


Any Thingfor a Quiet Life,
where Mistress Water-Camlet thus exclaims against a supposed
still

in use

alluded to in Middleton's comedy,

rival

French hood, French hood,

will

make your

hair

grow

thorough.
*

Cut large thongs of other mens


Cest

li

leather.

D'autrui cuir font large curoie.


Mariages des Filles au Dyable,

MS.

circa 1300.

yOBN HEYWOOD.

115

marchant without either money or ware.


But all bee bugs woordes, that I speake to spare.

Better spare at brim than at bottom, say

Ever spare, and ever bare,

What

sendeth hee (say

Than up goeth

(saith he)

I),

I.

saith th' old ballet.

a staffe and a wallet.

send mee aloofe

his staffe to

He is at three woordes up in the house roofe.


And herein to grow, (quoth shee), to conclusion,
I

pray your ayd, to avoyde

this confusion.

And for counsayle herein, I thought to have gon


To that cunning man, our curate sir John.
But

this

kept

The greatest
I thinke,

Was

mee backe

have heard now and then,

Clerkes be not the wisest menfi

(quoth

I),

who

ever that terme began,

neither great Gierke nor the greatest wise man.

In your running from him to me, yee runne

Out of Gods

'

blessing into the

The greatest Clerkes

Now

here wel,

it is

warme SunneP

be not the wisest men.

treue that

herde, that the best clerkes

long syth have redde and


vvysest men.
History

ben not the

of Reynard the Foxe, 1481.

The greatest clerks ben not the wisest men


As whilom to the wolf this spake the mare.
Chaucer, Miller's
^

Out of Gods

Therefore

if

blessing into the

thou wilt follow

Tale.

warme Sunne.

my

advice,

and prosecute thine

THE PROVERBS OF

ii6

Where the blinde leadeth the blinde, bothfall in

And

blynde bee wee both,

Folkes shew

run

7^1?

much

folly,

that

to the foote,

if

wee thinke us

when

feare not but hee will,

may goe to

There is but one

let,

Foike say of old


Shall

But

I trust

I trust

if

yee

the

will

you

to

speake on

with the

nay, in trust

come

it,

it.

(quoth she), more than

him then

his lyke.

head?

woo

the shooe will hold

you, and

mynd,

('quoth

I),

is treason.

this season,

a conquest to

own determination, thou shalt come out


Gods blessing. Lyly's Euphues, 1 579.
Thou

forsakest God's blessing to

Good king

sit

in

best

make
warme Sunne

of a

warme Sunne.

into

Ibid.

must approve the common saw,


Thou out of heaven's benediction comest
Kent.

To
'

the

warm

Where

sun.

that

King Lear,

ii.

2.

the blinde leadeth the blinde, &^c.

She hath hem in such wise daunted.


That they were, as who saith, enchaunted
And as the bUnde an other ledeth,

And

till

To run

theyfalle nothing dredeth.

Gower's
'

Con/essio Amantis.

to the foote, Sr'c.

Thou
Ware

that stondys so sure


lest

thy hede

falle to

on

seta,

thy

sole.

To heare me, and tell me what way yee think


To hem in my husband, and set me at rest.
If yee

'

thinges should be sped,

Since he best can and most ought to doo


I

the dyke ;

fete.

The Boke of Curtasye, MS. circa

1350.

JOHN HEYWOOD.

117

Over your husband, no man may undertake

To

bring you to ease or the matter amend,

Except yee bring him to weare a cocks combe

at end.

For take that your husband were as yee take him,

As

take him not, as your tale would

Yet were contention lyke

to

make him

do nought

in this.

But kepe him nought, and make him worse than he


But

in this

complaynt

and

for counsaill quicke

A fewe proverbes for principles,

let

is.

cleare,

us heare.

Who that may not as they would, will as they may


And this to this they tliat are bound must obay.
;

Folly is to

To

spume agaynst a prick ;

strive against the streame, to

Against the hard

wall.

By

this

winch or kicke

yee

may

see,

Being bound to obedience, as yee bee,

And

also overmatcht, suffraunce

is

your daunce.

Hee may overmatch me,

(quoth shee), perchaunce

In strength of body, but

my tongue is

To match and

to

Tongue breaketh

vexe every vayne of him.

bone, it selfe

Tongue breaketh

having none? (quoth

I).

bone, &".

Thou Comysshe, quod


Say

a limme,

the Hauke, by thy wil.

holde thee styll,


Thou hast harde of many a man,
Tonge breaketh bone, and it selfe hath none.
Parlament of Byrdes, circa iSSowell, or

THE PROVERBS OF

ii8

in that dore, it standeth awry}'^

If the winde stand

The

perill of

prating out of tune

Telth us that a good bestiU


In being your

Advise yee
Flee

th'

well, for

little

you spin a fayre threede

here doth

better sit still

more or

lesse

A t every dogs barke,


And

foe

note,

worth a groate.

is

all

lye

attempting of extremities

Folke say

For

owne

by

and

bleede.

all.

than ryse andfall?^

no debate make,

seeme not

to

awake.

where the small with the great can not agree,

The weaker goeth

to the pot^'^

we

all

day

see.

" Tonge breketh bon,

Ant nad hire selve non,"


Quoth Hendyng.
Proverbs of Hendyng, MS.
'

circa 1320.

If the winde stand in that dore.


Dalio. It is even so ? is the winde in that doore ?
Supposes, by George Gascoigne,

" Better sit

still

1566.

than ryse andfall.

Oh

Cousin, I have heard my father say, that it is better to sit


than to rise and fall, and a great wise man who knew the
world to a hayre, would say, that the meane was sure better be
in the middle roome, then either in the Garret or the Seller.
Court and Country, by Nicholas Brereton, 1618.
fast

'

The weaker goeth

to the pot.

This vulgar and objectionable saying has at least a descent


from antiquity to recommend it. Judging from the context in
those passages of mediaeval literature where it occurs, it has
been supposed to refer primarily to the barbarous practice of con-

monks to a species of oubliette,


cases they suffered a speedy death, or at the

signing useless or refractory

where

in

many

JOHN HEY WOOD.


So

119

that alway the bigger eateth the beaneP

Yee can nought winne by any wayward meane.


Where

Be

the hedge is lowest,

Since by stryfe yee

If

It

is

may

Chatting to chiding
see

Were

And

many

lose,

good sleeping

he chyde, keepe you

We

soonest over^^

Let not your tong run at

silent.

Suffer

men may

is

rover.

and can not winne,

in a whole skinne.

under wing muet

bill

not worth a chuet.

tymes, might overcom.th right.

not you as good then

to say, the

crow

is

whight.

so rather \t.tfayre woordes mxike fooles fayne^^

caprice of their superiors were permitted to linger on in life-long


captivity.

The most direct allusion to these practices is in Piers Plowmatis


Crede.

Under a pot he shall be put


In a pryve chambre
That he shal lyven ne laste
But lytel whyle after.
" The bigger eateth the
For I am wery

And yet

alway

beane.

of this renning about,

stand in great doubt


Least that the bigger wyll eate the Been.
XII Mery Jests of the Wyddow Edyth, 1525.

" Where the hedge

Where hedge

is

is lowest, &'C.

lowe, there every

And friendship faUes, when

man

Fortune

treads downe,

list

to frowne.

Gascoigne's

Posies, 1575.

" Fayre woordes make fooles fayne.


In youthfuU yeares, when first my yonge desires beganne
To pricke me forth to serve in court, a selender, tall yonge manne

THE PROVERBS OF

I20

Then be

plain without pleats,

and plant your own

pain.

For were yee as playne as Dunstable hie way,


Yet should yee that way rather breake a love day.

Than make one

thus

though ye perfectly knew

All that yee conjecture to be proved true.

Yet better dissemble

Then

to braide

it,

and shake

him with

it

it off.

in earnest or in scoffe.

If hee play falsehoode in felowship, play

yee

me and see me not ; the worst part


Why thinke yee mee so whyte liverd,

flee.

See

That

be tong tyed

I will

Is to suffer, (I say), for

.'

yee

to

(quoth shee),

Well, (quoth

your part

I),

shall preeve,

Tauntes appease not thinges, they rather agreeve.

But
I

for

company

ill

heare no

And

there

Well, well,

What

man
is

or expense extreeme,

doubt, so far as yee

deeme

no fire witliout some smoke, wee

make no fyre,

see.

raise no smoke, (sayd shee).

clokefor the rayne^^ so ever yee bring mee.

My fathers

blessinge then

asked uppon

Who, blessinge me wyth tremblinge hand,


to

me

my knee,
these woordes gan say

My Sonne, God guide thy way, and shielde thee from mischaunce,
And make

thy just desartes in court, thy pore estate to advaunce


But when thou art become one of that courtUe trayne,
Thinke on this proverbe olde, quod he, that faire woordes make
fools faine.
Paradyse of Dayntie Devises, 1578.

" Clokefor

the rayne.

Nicholas. 'Tis

good

to

have a cloakefor the raine

a bad

shift

JOHN HEYWOOD.
Myselfe can

tell best

where

But as yee say

And

done, for

so hath

How

fleck

By one

it

and

my

where fyre

his

make

byrd, that in

shooe doth

is,

smoke

have, (quoth she),

will appeere.

use their secret haunting,

myne

For

moe

wring mee}''

did lately heere,

eare

was

late chaunting.

One swallow maketh not summer, ^^^ (sayd


I

121

blocks in his

farther increase of suspicion of

I),

way

men

say

to lay.

ils.

Besyde the

jetting into the towne, to his Gils,

With

hee consumeth himselfe and the goods

calets

Sometyme in the fieldes, sometyme in the woods,


Some heare and see him, whom he heareth and seeth
not,

^Mt fieldes have

is

better then

a doore

"

naile.

none

eies

and woods have

at all

He

sit

eares^^

heere, as

Two Angry Women

if I

yee wot.

were as dead as

of Abingdon, 1599.

Myselfe can tell best where tny shooe doth wring mee.
Je scay mieux ou

le

bas

me

blesse.

Maistre Pierre Patelin.

One swallow maketh not summer.


One swallowe prouveth not that summer is neare.
Northbrooke'S Treatise against Dauncing,
'

" Fieldes have eies

and woods have

The were

Wode has

bettur be

erys, felde

1577.

eares.
still

has

sijt

Were the forster here now right,


Thy wordis shuld like the ille.
King Edward and the Shepherd, MS.

circa 1300.

THE PROVERBS OF

122

And

also

my

on

maydes he

is

Can yee judge a man, (quoth

may

ever tooting.

by

I),

this

cat

My cats

leering looke, (quoth she), at

my

Shewth me, that

And

specially

by

his

first

cat goeth a catter

show,

wawing

manner of drawing

To Madge my fayre mayde


Hee must needes basse her,

He

King, yee know.

What, a

looke on a

looking

for

may

as he

he come ny her,

comth by her.

loveth well sheeps jlesh, that wets his bred in

the

wull,^

If he leave

He

it

not,

we have a crow

to pull}

loveth well sheeps flesh, that wets his bred in the wull.

The proverb must be taken to refer to a certain broth or jelly


made from the sheep's head boiled with the wool. Such a receipt
is mentioned in a rare poem attributed to Lydgate, where the
found enumerated

virtues of a sheep are

Of the shepe

awaye no thynge
His home for nockes, to haftes go his bone,
is

caste

To

londe grete prouffyte dooth his tyrtelynge ;


His talowe serveth for playsters many one
For harpe strynges his ropes serve echone.
Of whoos hede boyled, with wull and all,
Tere cometh a gely and an oyntement ryal.
Treatyse of the Horse, the Shepe andthe goos.

'

We

have a crow
Abelle.

to pull.

Dere brother,

will fayre

On feld ther our bestes ar,


To looke if they be holgh or
Cayn. Na, na, abide,

fuUe.

we have a craw

to puUe.

Mactacio Abel, in Towneley Mysteries, circa 1420.

JOHN HEYWOOD.
He

loveth her better at the sole of the foote,

Than
It
I

is

ever hee loved

mee

at the hart roote.

afoule byrd that fyleth his owne

would have him

And

ticke

nest?-

Gods law hath

live as

Hee

leave lewd ticking.

Must do nothing

To
To

123

exprest,

that will none

that bfelongeth theretoo

and laugh with me, hee hath

that I sayd nought, but laught in

But when shee seemed

to

bee fixed

doo,

lawfull leeve

my

in

ill

sleeve.

mynde.

Rather to seeke for that shee was loth to finde,

Than
I

leave that seeking,

faynde

this

by which she might find

how

fancy to feele

Will yee do well, (quoth

I)

it

ease,

should please.

take paihe to watch him

A foule byrd that fyleth his owne nest.


pu
Bi

art lofiHch
Jjine

And ek

mene

bi Jiine fule brode

fedest

Jju

and undene

neste ich hit

on heom a

pel ful fode,

inne
chinne
Heo sittefi jjar so li beo bisne
Dahet habba fat ilke best

pel Jjostu

Hi

\>3.t

fulef) hit

{"at fulelj

hi dot'

up

to

Jjar

{"e

his o5e nest.

Owl and the Nightingale, MS.


Rede and

Howe

lerne ye

circa 1250.

may,

olde proverbys say,

That byrd ys nat honest,


That fylyth hys owne nest.
Skelton, Poems against Garnesche,

1520.

THE PROVERBS OF

124

And

if

yee chaunce

in

Then have yee him on


Then have yee

his

advoutry to catch him,

on the

the hip^ or

head

fast

hirdell,

under your

girdell.

Where your woordes now do but rub him on the gall.


That deede without woordes shall drive him to the wall.

And further

than the wall he can not go

But must submit himselfe, and

That

at

Then

all

I shall

hap

so,

giltlesse appeere,

grudge grown by jelousy, taketh end

For of all folkes

Of all

it

ende of your watch yee

may

folkes himselfe

as soone try

cleere.

woorst watch him (sayd shee),

most watcheth mee.

him or take him

this

way,

As dryve a top over a tyled house, no way.


I may keepe corners or hollow trees with th'owle,
This seven yeares day and night to watch a bowle,
Before

I shall

catch

him with undoubted

Hee must have a long spoone,

'

Have yee him

evill.

shall eat with the devill ;*

on the hip.

Which

thing to do,

poor trash of Venice, whom I trash


For his quick hunting, stand the putting on,
I'll have our Michael Cassio on the hip.
If this

Othello,
*

Hee must have a long spoone,

ii.

7.

Qr'c.

Courtezan. Your man and you are marvellous merry, sir.


Will you go vfith me ? We'll mend our dinner here.
Dromio. Master, if you do, expect spoonmeat or bespeak a long

spoon.

JOHN HEYWOOD.
And
I

the devil

have heard

wylie mouse

Shall
It

is

is

no

titat

get within

falser

tell, it

hard halting

than

had need

is

125

hee.

to bee

should breed in the cats eare}

him than

nay ware that

geare,

yee wot.

before a creeple^

A falser water drinker there liveth not.


Whan

he hunteth a Doe, that he can not avow,

All dogs barke not at him,

Namely

not

I, (I

say),

Antipholus.

warrant

though as

Hee sometyme, though


Close hunting, (quoth

seldom,

I),

yow

sayd,

by some be bewrayed.

the good hunter allowth

Why, Dromio?

Dromio. Marry, he must have a long spoon, that must eat with
the devU.

Comedy of Errors,

iv. 3.

Therefore behoveth him a fol long spone,


That shal ete with a fend thus herd I say.
:

Chaucer, Squieres
'

wylie mouse,

Tale.

Gr'c.

A hardy mowse that is bold to breede


In cattis

eeris.

Order of Poles, MS. circa

1450.

a wyly mouse
That can build his dwellinge house
It is

Within the cattes

eare.

Skelton,
"

// is

hard halting before a

1520.

creeple.

perceyve (quod she) it is evill to halte before a Creple.


Ferdinando, perceyving now that his Mistryse waxed angry,
thought good on hir behalfe thus to answere: and it is evill to hop
before them that runne for the Bell. Fable of Ferdinando Jeronimi
I

and Leonora

de Valases, by

GEORGE Gascoigne,

1575.

THE PROVERBS OF

126

But bee your husband never so


If yee can hunt,

Your mayd

and

of mouth.

still

will stand at receite,

examind, maketh him open

That were, (quoth

shee), as of

To aske my fellow whether I

my truth to make preefe.

be

theefe.

cleave together lyke biirres, that

They

way

Pyke out no more than out of the stone

Than

But

wall.

shee).

Nor

I,

(quoth he); what ever

I saide

mislike not only your watch in vaine.

also

From

I shall

yee not to watch him for wife or maide

like

No, (quoth

And

streite.

if

yee tooke him what could yee gaine

suspicion to knowledge of

yll,

.'

forsooth,

Could make yee doo, but as the flounder dooth,


~
Leape out of the fryingpan into the fyre ;

And

change from

Let time

trie.

And deeme
And reason

paine to worse,

il

Time

the best
saith,

is

worth small

trieth troth in every


til

make

hire.

doubt

time hath tride the troth

out.

not two sorowes of one ;

But yee make ten sorowes where reason maketh none.


For where reason,
(Although

all

(as I sayd), wilth

were proved as

ill

as

you

to winke,

ye thinke),

Contrarie to reason ye stampe and ye stare

Ye
'

fret

and ye fume as

As mad as a march
I

saye, thou

mad as

a march

Itare?

hare.

madde Marche

hare.

Skelton'S Replycation against certayne yong scoters,

1520.

JOHN HEY WOOD.


Without proofe

But by such

127

to his reproofe present or past.

report, as

most prove

lyes at last.

And here goth the hare away^ for ye judge all.


And judge the worst in all, ere proofe in ought
But blind men should judge no

Kndfolke
The

blinde eate

Of your

Ye

colours,

most blind in

many flyes?

by

old sawes,

owne

their

Howbeit the

cawse.

fancie

blindnes comth not of ignorancie.

could

But

oft times are

fall.

tell

another herein the best

as folke doe,

it is

For they

say, saying

and

way

not as folke say.

and doing are two

things

To defend danger that double dealing brings.


As ye can seeme wise in words, be wise in deede.
That

is,

(quoth he), sooner sayd then done,

me seemth your counsaile wayth


To make me put my finger in a hole.
And so by suffrance to be so lither,
But

In

my

house

to

lay fire

and tow

dreede.

in the whole,

togither.

Here goth the hare away.


Man. By my fayth a lytell season
folowd the counsell and dyet of reason.

Gets.

'

The

There went the hare away.


Med wall's Interlude of Nature,
blinde eate

many fyes.
many a

the blinde eateth

So doth the husband

flye

ijio.

often, iwis,

Father the childe that

is

not

his.

Schole-house of

Women,

1541.

THE PROVERBS OF

128

And

if

they

More tow on

And

fire

me, some of them shall winne

their distaves than they can well spinne>

the best of

them

have both their hands full

shall

Bolster or pillow for me, be


I will

For

measures, or else

For they that thinke none


For thus though
That

saint Audrie,

the miller

Cast what

may

And

scape,

my

More tow on

were a childe

are soonest beguilde.

knoweth not of,^^ yet

sure ere I take

must banish

ill,

water goeth by the

tnicch

I finde

it,

meale grinde

mill to fine

any

mill.

I will

and as though

With the clacke of my

'"

by

not beare the divels sacke

conceiling suspition of their baudrie.

I feare false

whose wul.

it.

rest in effect,

maides such as

their distaves,

suspect.

(Src.

John Heywood's Merry Playe betweene the Pardoner and


the Frere, the Curate and neybour Pratte, 1533, the parson and
In

friar

having come to blows, the parson thus acknowledges his

defeat
I

"

have more tow on

Much water goeth


Demetj-iiis.

my

can well spyn.

dystaffe than I

by the mill,

Qr'c.

Why maVst thou

it

so strange

a woman, therefore may be woo'd.


a woman, therefore may be won.
Lavinia, therefore must be loVd.
man more water glideth by the mill,
Than wots the miller of, and easy it is

She is
She is
She is
What,

Of a

cut loaf to steal a shive.


Tittis

Andronicus,

ii.

7.

JOHN HEYWOOD.
Better

it

As good

be done, than wish

undone, (quoth

Well, (quoth she),

Keepe ye
Out

till

it

had

it

soone fare ye

as secret as ye thinke

went she herewith

at doores

been done.

as doe

I),

129

too soone.

well,

meete
:

and

this

is.

and hereupon

In at doores came he forthwith as she was gon.

And

without any temprate protestation,

Thus he began

in

way

of exclamation.

Chapter
|H what

choice

VI.

may compare

to the divels

life,

Like his that hath chosen a divell to his wife

Namely such an

As evermore

old witch, such a mackabroine.

a hogge hangeth the groine

like

On her husband, except he be her slave,


And follow all fancies that she would have.
Tis said, there

Where

every

Wherefore

no good accord,

man would be a

my wife will be

To make me
Before

is

that should be her Lord, a babie.

was wedded, and

To make my

Lord.

no Lord, but Ladie,

wife

bow

since, I

made

reckning.

at every beckning.

THE PROVERBS OF

I30

how

Bachelers boast,

they will teach their wives

good

But many a man speaketh of Robin Hood,

When

That never shot in his bow.

and maides

Bachelers wives,

And

this

with

this I also

Every man can

At my
But

will I

finde

all is

sought,

children be well fought?^

begin to gather,

rule a shrew, save he that hath her.

wend she should have wrought like waxe,

and

feele,

shee hath found such knaxe

In her bouget, and such toyes in her hed,

That

to

daunce after her pipe

am

nie led.

It is said of old,

an old dog biteth

But by God,

old bitch biteth sorer and more.

th'

And not with teeth,

(she hath none), but with her tung.

If all tales be true, (quoth

And

I),

thereby sting you, she

For what ever you

When

folkes

sore i^"^

is

though she be stung.


not

much

to blame.

say, thus goeth the fame.

saw your substance layd

first

in

your

lap,

Without your paine, with your wife brought by good


hap.

Oft in remembrance of haps happie devise.

They would
"^

Bachelers wives,

The maid's
"

say, better be happie then wise.

Sr'c.

child is ever best taught. Latimer's ^th Sermon.

An old dog biteth

sore.

Olde dogges bite

sore.

Cmj-R.cmKS.T>'s Handeful of Gladsome Verses, 1592.

JOHN HEYWOOp.
Not minding thereby than
For they had good hope
But since

their

to deprave your wit,

to see

good proofe of it.

good opinion therein so cooles

That they say as

oft,

God sendeth fortune to fooles.

In that as fortune without your wit gave

So can your

wit not keepe

Saith one, this geare

it,

when ye have

was gotten on a

it.

holy day.

game from beginning shewth what end

Soone gotten soone

Ye

it

who may hold that will away.

Saith another,

This

131

is

ment

spent, ill gotten ill spent.

are calde not only too great a spender.

Too
But

franke a giver and as free a lender


also

Whose

ye spend, give and

As your money, and much


That ye brake

And

lend,

among

such,

lightnes minisheth your honestie much,

spend

it

all

they disalow,

from her, that brought

Because ye would

kill

her to be quite of her.

For all kindnes, of her part, that may rise.


Ye shew all th' unkindnes ye can devise.
And where reason and custome, (they say),

Alway

to yow.

all

out at doores in spite of her.

to let the losers

have

affoords,

their words,

Ye make her a coockqueane, and consume her good.


And she must sit like a beane in a Munks hood.
She must obey those lambes,

Ye

will provide for her, to lap

or els a lambs skin

her

in.

THE PROVERBS OF

132

This

biteth the

mare by

the thunibe, as they say.

were ye, touching condition, (say they),

For

The

castell of honestie in all things els,

Yet should

this

one thing, as their whole tale

tels,

Defoyle and deface that castell to a cottage.

With many

conditions good, one that

Defaceth the flowre of

Now, (quoth

I), if

all

and doth

is ill,

all spill.

you thinke they truly

clatter,

Let your amendment amend the matter.

Halfe warnd halfe armd.

He

that hath

an

ill

name

This warning for this


is

Chapter

;ELL

show.

VII.

sayd (sayd he) mary

For honestie,

half hangd, ye know.

sir

here

m.eete to set the divell

is

a tale

on

sale.

But now am I forst a beadrole t'unfolde,


To tell somewhat more to the tale I erst tolde.
Grow this, as most part doth, I durst holde my life.

Of

the jelousie of

Then

shall

How she

dame

Julok,

my wife,

ye wonder when trueth doth

define.

and doth here both bite and whine.


Franzie, heresie, and jelousie are three,
can,

That men say hardly or never cured

bee.

JOHN HEY WOOD.

133

And althoug-h jelousie need not or boot not,


What helpeth that counsaile, if reason roote
And in mad jelousie she is so farre gon,
She thinkth

run over

Take good heede

The proverbe

all

not

that I looke on.

of that, (quoth

I),

for at

a word,

sword

saith he that striketh with the

Shall be stricken with the scabberd}* Tush, (quoth he)

The

divell with the scabberd will not strike me.

But

my dame

Reporteth

it

taking suspition for

for a troth to the

In words gold and hole, as

She

will as fast as

She

is

And

if

she chance to see

Kisse any of

The cow
If

it

is

most mischeefe.

men by

a dog will lick a

of troth as false as

my maides

That takth she

full preefe,

God

me

Her

dish.

is trew.

at a

vew

alone, but in sport,

in earnest, after

wood.

wit could wish,

Bedlam

sort}^

tongue runth on pattens.

be morne, we have a payre of mattens

" He

that striketh with the sword,

&r'c.

Nich. Blessed be the peace-makers ; they that strike with the


sword shall be beaten with the scabberd.
Phil. Well said, proverbs, nere another to that purpose ?
Nich. Yes, I could have said to you, syr Take heede is a good
Two Angry Women of Abington, 1599reede.
''

After Bedlam,

sort.

Here is an allusion to the Priory of


which was converted into an asylum
publication of Heywood's Dialogue.

St.

Mary

of Bethlehem,

in 1546, the year of the

THE PROVERBS OF

134

If

it

even, evensong, not Latine nor Greeke,

But English and

She beginneth

To which

As

like that as in Easter weeke.

first

with a Cry a leysone.

she ringth a peale, alarum

folk ring bees with basons ;

the

such an one.

world mnth on

wheeles.

But except her mayd shew a fayre payre of heeles^^


She haleth her by the boy rope

till

her braines ake.

And bring I home a good dish, good cheere to make.


What is this (saith she) ? Good meate, (say I), for yow.
God have

mercie.

Thus when
'

I see

horse^ a pig of mine owne sow.

by kindnes ease reneweth

Shew a fayre payre

not,

ofheeles.

Prince Henry. But, Francis, darest thou be so valiant as to


play the coward with thy indenture and show it a fair pair of
heels.
I Henry IV. ii. 4.

" God have mercie

horse.

According to Tarlton's Jests, 161 1, this form of speech arose


from an adventure of Richard Tarleton, the player, with Banks's
performing horse, Morocco.
The[re] was one Banks, in the time of Tarlton, who served
the Erie of Essex, and had a horse of strange qualities, and
being at the Crosse-keyes, in Gracious streete, [Gracechurch
Street] getting mony with him, as he was mightily resorted to.
Tarlton then, with his fellowes, playing at the Bel [the Red Bull
in Bishopsgate Street] by, came into the Crosse-keyes, amongst

many people, to see fashions, which Banks perceiving, to make


the people laugh, sales ; seignior, to his horse, go fetch me the
veryest foole in the company.
The jade comes immediately,
and with

his

mouth drawes Tarlton

forth.
Tarlton with merry
a mercy, horse." In the end
Tarlton, seeing the people laugh so, was angry inwardly, and

words, said nothing but, "

God

JOHN HEYWOOD.

135

And that the eye seeth not, the hart reweth not ; ^^
Ahd that he must needes goe whom the divell doth drive,^^
He forcing me for mine ease to contrive,
To let her fast and freat alone for me,
I goe where merry chat and good cheere may be.
Much spend

abroad, which at

home

should be spent.

If she

would leave controlling and bee content.

There

lept

a whiting, (quoth

Take a haire from,

said

Sir,

more than

had

that.

his beard,

she),

and

lept in streite.

and marke

this conceite,

power of your horse as you have,

What

ere

it

would doe

be, said Banks, to please him,

charge him to do it. Then, said Tarleton charge him to


bring me the veriest whore-master in the company. The horse
leades his master to him. Then " God a mercy horse indeed,"
The people had much ado to keep peace ; but
saies Tarlton.
Banks and Tarlton had like to have squar'd, and the horse by
But ever after it was a by word thorow London,
to give aime.
God a mercy horse and is so to this day.
will

" That the eye seeth not, b'c.


Thou art now, Francesco, to be a lover, not a divine to
measure thy affections by Ovid's principles, not by rules of
What the blinde eats many a flie, and much
theology
water runnes by the mill that the miller never knowes of the
eviU that the eye sees not, the hart rues not. Caste si non caute.
Tush, Francesco, Isabel hath not Lynceus eyes to see so farre.
Therefore while thou art resident in London, enjoy the beauty
of Infida, and when thou art at home, onely content thee with
;

Isabel.
'

He

Greene's Never

must

too Late,

590.

needes goe, &".

There is a proverb which trewe now preveth,


He must nedes go that the dyvell dryveth.
Heywood's Johan Johan the Husbande, Tyb
his ivyfe

and Syr Jhan

the Freest, 1533.

THE PROVERBS OF

136

He maketh you

My brauling

beleeve,

by

lyes layd

on by

lode,
*

home maketh him banquet abrode.


Where his banquets abroad, make me braule at home.
For as in a frost, a mud wall made of lome
at

Cracketh and crummeth in peeces asunder,

So melteth

his

Thus may ye

Or

money

see

to the worlds wonder.

turne

to

tJie

set the cart before the horse

cat in the pan^''^


^

well he can.

He is but little at home, the truth is so,


And forth with him he will not let me go.
To turne the cat in the pan.
may safely be maintained that tbe proverb as originally
spoken was, "to turn tlie cate in the pan ;" cate being an old
word for cake.
=

It

Feasting with Pluto and his Proserpine


Night after night with all delicious cates.

The
It is

of the

word

supposed that cate takes

word

its

and that from

delicate;

Hog hath
this

Comes our modern

to cater.

Some

philologers have seen in this phrase a corruption of

the French guet-a-pens, and others refer


catapanus, or the Greek xa,Ta.itavi>i.

As

lost his Pearl.

origin from the final syllable

for Bernard, often

it

tyme he tumeth the

to the

Low

cat in the pan.

Shacklock'S Hatchet of Heresies,


'

Latin

1565.

Set the cart before the horse.


II

mettoyt la charette devant les beufz.

Rabelais.
Harry White's humour.
Item. He deemes that a preposterous government where the
wife predominates, and the husband submits to her discretion,
that is Hysterion and Proteron, the cart before the horse.
This

is

Harry White,

his

Humour.

JOHN HEYWOOD.
And

come

if I

Then

to be

Where he with

At which
I

came

merry where he

he mad, as ye

is

shall heare

as use

is,

he payd

the merrier^

all,

but

Wherewith

Have among you,

The moe

we

Yea, but the fewer the

all

day here

is

'

is

it is ill

meate

camming,

Have among you,

pas

see.

better fare, (sayd he).

Here

little

let

merrily,

here were, ere I came, (quoth

but

this.

blinde harpersf (say'd I)

Then

And

is.

gossips at a banquet late was.

to be merrie.

Proface.

by

137

left, if

I),

too

many

there be any.

have heard say,

blinde harpers.

Macaulay observes that in the old ballad poetry, all the gold
" red " and all the ladies " gay." So also, it may be remarked

that, as in the instance before us, all the harpers are afflicted

with blindness.

The " have among you " is merely an expression

of conviviality accompanying the drinking of a toast.

Have towards thee, Philotas.


To thee, Archippus.
Arch. To thee, Molops.
Molops. Have among youi, blind fiddlers.
Leoc.

Phil.

"

The

Cartwright's Royall Slave, 1651.


Bough or Have among you blinde
a tract by Martin Parker, printed

Poet's Blind Man's

Harpers" was the

title

of

in 1651.
^

The moe

the m,errier.

makes no

loe this seemes contrarye,


a Proverbe eke,
But store of sores maye make a maladye,
And one to many maketh some to seeke,
When two be mette that bankette with a leche.

Store

And mo

sore

the merier

is

Gascoigne'S

Posies, 1575.

THE PROVERBS OF

138

To

th'

end of a

shot,

and beginning of a fray.

Put by thy purse, (quoth

he),

thou shalt not pay.

And fray here should be none, were thou gone thy way.
Here

is

since thou camst too

Welcome when thou


I

come, (quoth

Nay

thine errand sped.

if I shall,

me welcome

pig

pray thee kisse

Lord

blesse

me
me

bassing of beasts of Bearebinder lane.

have, (quoth

Many
Her

is

bed.

when beards wagge all.*

farewell sow, (quoth he), our

From
I

thus

to be one here,

I),

It is merrie in hall

What, bid

goest

many feete a

I),

for fine sugar, fayre rats bane.

yeares since

elders

would

my

mother sayd to me,

say, it is better to be

An old mans derling than ayong m.ans werling.


In my old husbands dales, for as tenderly
He loved me as ye love me slenderly,
We drew both in one line. Quoth he, would to our Lord
Ye

had, in that drawing

For

hangd

both in one cord.

never meete thee at flesh nor at

// is merrie in hall

when beards wagge

fish.

all.

Swithe mury hit is in halle,


When burdes wawen alle.
Life of Alexander, 131 2.
Silence. Be merry, be merry, my wife has
For women are shrews, both short and tall,
'Tis merry in hall, when beards wag all.

all

Henry IV.

v. 3.

JOHN HEYWOOD.

139

But I have sure a dead mans head in my dish?


Whose best and worst day, that wisht may be,
Was when thou didst burie him and marrie me.
If you,

quoth

Would

to

But best

And

for

long for change in these cases,

God he and you had changed


change place,

my

Must she

Among

I,

kinde comming,

not, (quoth he),

us

all letting

Such carpenters, such

Such

for here I

such

lips,

lettice,

this is

places.

may

my

be sparde.
rewarde.

be welcome to us

such a farewell

fall

(quoth she), folke

chips,

all,

tell.

such welcome, such farewell.

Thine owne words, (quoth

owne welcome

he), thine

mard.
Well, (said she), whensoever

we

twaine have jard.

My words

be pried at narrowly

Ye can

a mote in another mans

see

But ye cannot

see

I espie.
eie.

a balke in your owne.

Ye marke my wordes, but not that they be growne


By your revellous riding on every royle,
Welny every day a new mare or a moyle.
As much unhonest as unprofitable,
Which
'

shall bring us shortly to

be unable,

dead mans head in my dish.


bold-fac'd women, when they wed another;
Banquet their husbands with their dead love's heads.

As

Marston's
'

Royle,

i.e.

A Flemish horse^

Insatiate Countess.

THE PROVERBS OF

140

To give a dog a

have

loafe, as I

oft said.

How be it your pleasure may no time


But

still

you must have both the

Apparell, and

all

things that

Like one of fond fancie so

That would have


The

be denaid,
meate,

finest

money may

fine

and

get,

so neate,

made of wheate.

better

bread than

is

best is best cheape}

(quoth he),

men say

cleere.

Well, (quoth she), a

man

Ye

welny cast what ye pay.

neither care, nor

To buy

Then

may buy gold

too deere.

the deerest for the best alway.

for

your diet who useth feeding such,

Eate more than enough, and drinke much more too

much.
But temprance teacheth

this,

where

he

keepeth

schoole

He

that knoweth

when he hath enough

is

Feed by measure, and

defie the phisition I

And

mark

in the contrarie

A swine over fat


Who seeth

is

this condition

cause of his owne bane.

nought herein, his wit

is

But pompous provision, comth not


'

The

no foole.

in the wane.
all

alway

best is best cheape.

Whereto shuld I threpe ?


With my staff can I lepe.

And men

say, " lyght

chepe

Letherly for-yeldys."

Towneley Mysteries, circa

1420.

yOHN HEYWOOD.
Of gluttonie, but
But

some

pride sometime,

proverbe preacheth to

this

men

Hew not too hie, lest the chips fall in


Measure

a merrie meane^ as

is

Not

too hie for the pie

The

difference between staring

The wise man

And
May
Yet

doth show,

and stark
can

blinde.

finde.

wit,

the

day never so

last they

ring

to

yit.

long,

evensong}^

where ye spend much though ye spent but lickell.


little

and little

tJie

to

cat eateth theflickell.

by length may grow importable.

mouse in time may

Thus

thine eye?

at all times to follow

he sure be

Little losse

hie,

soone account, though hereafter come not

Evermore at

Yet

this

say.

haute or

low for the crow.

too

ywis an auditour of a meane

is

And

nor

141

end of

bite

all things,

a two a
be we

cable.

leefe or loth.

Hew not too hie, Sr'c.

For an old proverbe it is ledged " he that heweth to hie, with


chips he may lose his sight." Chaucer, Testament of Love.
'

Measure

is

a merrie meatie.
is a mery mene.
a blannched almonde is no bene,
mete for a marchauntes hall.
Interlude of Magnyfycence, circa

Magn. Yet mesure


Fan. Ye,

Measure
'

Be

is

syr,

the day never so long,

1520.

Sr'c.

For though the day be never so long

At

last the bell rings for

evensong.

Stephen Hawes, Pastime of Pleasure.

142

THE PROVERBS OF

Yet

loe, the pot so

long

to the

commeth home

water goth,
brokenP-

Till at last

it

Few words

to the wise suffise to be spoken.

If

ye were wise, here were enough, (quoth

Here

is

For though

Yet when

good

So

are,

Thy

she).

enough and too much, dame, (quoth


this

he).

appeare a proper pulpit peece,

beware yx>ur geese.

the foxe preacheth, theti

tale ill tolde, in the telling is

mard.

(quoth she), good tales well tolde, and

and

(quoth he), shew long haire

tales,

ill

hard.

short

ivit,^^

wife.

" The pot so long

to the

water goth,

Sr'c.

" The potte may goo


broken ;" as this leude
woman that had her husbonde ten tymes fairer thanne the
prioure the which she toke, and that she was ascaped bi the
helpe of the false bauude her godsib of ij suche periles that her
husbonde hadde founde by her, and after that she had broken
her husbondes comaundement, and therefor he brake her legges,
and yet she wolde not be chastised. The Book of the Knight
of La Tour-Lattdry, MS. circa 1450.
As every storme hath his calme, and the greatest spring-tide
the deadest ebbe, so fared it with Francesco
for so long went
the pot to the water, that at last it came broken home, and so long
put he his hand into his purse, that at last the empty bottome
returned him a writ of Non est inventus: for well might the divell
daunce there, for ever a crosse there was to keep him backe.

And

therfore

it

is

a trew proverbe,

so longe to water, that atte the laste

l>at

it is

Greene's Never too Late,

1590.

" Long haire and short wit.


Hair 'tis the basest stubble ; in scorn of it
The proverb sprung, He has more hair than
!

wit.

Decker's Satiromastix,

1602.

yOHN HEYWOOD.
But long

be thy legs,

T am not

Pray for yourself

Well

spend

saist I

all,

But as deepe drinketh

Thou

sick,

(quoth she).
to,

to this thy words

(quoth

the goose as the gander.

while thou sendst

gossipst at

he).'

wander

if

neede bee,

cough without bread or broth

shall

Whereby

life.

comth

canst cough in the aumbrie

When
Thou

be thy

see what thy last tale

lets

Thgu

and short

143

home

to

me

meete

for thee.

abrode to spend.

me

at lands end.

Well, thou wouldst have me, (quoth he), pinch like a

snudge.

Every day

Not

so,

(quoth she), but

Honestly
I

to be thy drivell

to keepe the

and drudge.

would have ye sturre

woolfefrom the durre.

would drive the woolfe out of doore first, (quoth he)

And that can I not doe, till I drive out thee.


A man were better be drownd in Venice gulfe
Than have such

a bearded beare, or such a woolfe.

But had

my wedding to flee,
long to wedding had wamd mee.

not been witcht,

The termes
First

that

wooing

The banes

for woing,

for

my bane,

banna

for banning,

and then

this thus scanning.

Speed. Item she hath more hair than wit.


Launce. More hair than wit, it may be ; I'll prove it : The
cover of the salt hides the salt, and therefore it is more than the
salt the hair, that covers the wit, is more than the wit, for the
Two Gentlemen of Verona, iii. 2.
greater hides the less.

THE PROVERBS OF

144

Marrying, marring.

And what

A woman.

say,

As who

Thus wed
I

man.

to the

I Gill,

than

wed

Jane,

goe with thee downe the

divell

lane.

(quoth she), this doth sound, (as ye agreed).

I graunt,

On

wed

with woe,

pray God the

woe

maried

your side

Thou grantst

but on

in words,

my

side in deede.

this graunt, (quoth he),

without any grace

Ungraciously, to thy side to turne this case.

Leave

To

this,

(quoth she), and leave

growne by your

stint strife,

whom

Oft said the wise man,

liberalitie,

prodigalitie.

I erst

did berrie.

Better are meales many, than one too merrie.

Well, (quoth he), that

answered with

is

Better is one months cheere, than


I

thinke

To

my

make

churles whole

selfe

mine owne

spare for another that might

the foole thy

And
And

as for
in

ill

this

first

too,

wed

husband spared

places, thou s'eekest

woorse

Whereby

No man

wife
life.

learning of a wiser lectour,

learne to

Than

As

it

this,

than

I into

itt

in

more

goe.

proverbe shewth thee in

will another

thee,

for mee.

me

any

erectour,

by

the weeke,

the oven seeke.

Except that himselfe hath been there beforeP


" No man will another in the oven seeke, except that himselfe
hath been there before.

A hackney proverb

in

mens mouths ever

since

King Lud was

JOHN HEYWOOD.
God

give grace thou hast been good,

And would

145

say no more,

have thee say lesse except thou couldst

prove

Such processe as thou slanderously dost move.


For slaunder perchance, (quoth

may

It

It is

be

a slaunder, but

it is

rub the gald horse back,

He would make
But

no

not deny.

ly.

a lye, (quoth he), and thou a Her.

Will ye, (quoth she), drive


I

she), I

wot what

it

me
till

to touch ye nyer

he winch, and

yit.

seeme that

touch him no whit.

though

few words make

I wot,

Many kisse the child for the nurses sake.


Ye have many god children to looke upon,
And ye blesse them all, but ye basse but one.
This halfe shewth what the whole meaneth, that I meeve.

Ye

fetch circumquaques to

Or

thinke, that the

And when
It

moone

make me

is

beleeve.

made of a greene

cheese}*

me a lout in all these.


seemeth ye would make me goe to bed at noone.

little

ye have made

boy, or Belinus, Brennus' brother, for the love hee bare to

oysters, built Billingsgate.

Nash's Have with you

to Saffron

Waldon, 1596.

" The moone


Whilst they

is

tell

made of a greene

cheese.

for truthe Luther his

lowde

lyes, so that

they

may make theyr blinde brotherhode and thedgnorant sort beleve


that the mone is made of grene chese.
Shacklock's Hatchet of
Heresies, 1565.

THE PROVERBS OF

146

Nay, (quoth

he), the

day of doome

shall be doone,

Ere thou goe to bed at noone or night for mee.

Thou

art, (to

be plaine and not to

flatter thee),

As holsome a morsell for my comely corse


As a shoulder of mutton for a sicke horse.
The divell with his dam hath more rest in
Than

have here with thee

Well, well, (quoth she),

Yea, (quoth he), and

Had you some


i

but well, wife, well

many

many

hell,
!

many buckets.
many buffets.

wels,

words,

husband, and snapt at him thus,

wis he would give you a recumbentibus.

dog will barke

ere

Jte bite,

and so thow.

After thy barking wilt bite me,

But

it is

hard

to

trow now.

make an old dog stoup,

lo.

man may handle his dog so


That he may make him bite him, though he would not.
Sir,

(quoth she), a

Husbands are

in heaven, (quoth he),

wJwse wives scold

not.

Thou makest me claw where

Thy

tongue were coold to

That aspen

leafe

That my cap

God send

it itcJieth not.

make thy

tales

would

more

cold.

such spitefull clapping hath bred,

is better

at ease then

my

head.

that head, (sayd she), a better nurse

For when the head aketh,

all

the bodie

is

God grant, (quoth I), the head and bodie


To nurse each other better then they do
:

the wurse.

both two,

JOHN HEYWOOD.
Or

147

ever have done for the most times past.

brought to nurse both, (quoth

'

she),

had

not been

it

wast.

Margerie good cow, (quoth

But then she cast

How can

A peece of a

kid

is

properties be thus spitefull

the diveII will change

sit

cat.

a rabet for a rat

would rather choose to begge,

with a roasted apple or an egge.

Where 'mine

appetite serveth

Then every day


Like a Duke,

Except thou

Thou

heele.

delitefull,

worth two of a

If I might change, I

Or

gave a good meale :

her purse for profit be

Whose person and

Who

he),

downe againe with her

it

to fare like

like a

mee

Duke, (quoth

wilt spare

to bee,

a Duke with
she),

thee.

thou shalt

more than thou dost yet

farest too well (quoth he), but

Thou knowst not who doth

fare,

spare.

thou art so wood,

thee harme,

who doth thee

good.

Yes

yes, (quoth she), for all those wise

/ know on which
But there

And

on

will

my

side

my

bread

is

words

buttred :

no butter cleave on

uttred,

'^

my bread

bread any butter to be spread

Every promise that thou therein dost .utter,


/ Jifio'W on which side my bread is buttred.
One of the proverbs Samuel Fox has jotted down inhiscommonplace book, MS. Lansdowne, 679.
"

*-THE

148

Is as sure as

Or a mouse
Thou

were sealed with

tyed with a

lettest

But take up

it

PROVERBS OF

even

like

slip,

butter,

Every good thing

threed.

a waghalter

in time, or els I protest,

All be not in bed that shall have

Now

all

thy pleasure

is,

rest.

hop whore, pipe

Chapter
5ITH

this

he

What
Howbeit
it

Where

is all

VIII.

I,

this

wretchedness could

on

my

have no wrong,

selfe along.

should have bridled her

To have made

first

with rough

her chew on the bridle one

For licorous lucre of a

little

bit.

fit,

winning-.

gave her the bridle at beginning.

And now she taketh the bridle in the teeth.


And runn'th away with it, whereby each man
It

O Lord,

cride.

wretch but

in all this woe, I

onely

thiefe.

thence hopt she, wherewith,

bide

ill

goe to thy derlings, and declare thy griefe

Where

For

slipstring.

is,

(as old

men

right well understand).

seeth,

JOHN HEYWOOD.
inputting a naMt sword in a

mad mans hand.

She takth such hart of grace^^ though

Or

kill her,

yet shall

She hath, (they

And

it is ill

say),

stiffe

many
tfiat is

chance have
will

to

make

said but this

So

it

may

This day.
I

fault

I,

necked evermore,

bred in the boneP

in earnest nor sport

did espie,

Ifitely I

taunt tivet wife, your nose drops,

will eate

But two dales

had sorow to

yeares agone.

her mend, by a jest merrilie,

fall, I

Well (quoth

her,

to have a wife of such sort,

amend

small thing amisse

Which
I

no

maime

healing of an old sore.

This proverbe prophecied

That

never reclaime her.

been

It will not out of the flesh,

What

149

my

no browesse sops
after this

came

in are,

sops enough, be sure.

I), it is illjesting,

on the sooth

She takth such hart ofgrace.


This proverbial sentence would seem to have originally been
" to take heart at grass " from the idea of an animal at grass
'

becoming strong and hearty.


Seeing she would take no warning, on a day took heart at
Tarlton's News
grasse, and belabour'd her well with a cudgeL
out of Purgatory, 1590.
" It will not out of the flesh, Gr'c.
Downright. He values me at a crack'd three farthings, for
aught I see. It will never out of the flesh that's bred in the bone.
I have told him enough, one would think, if that would serve
but counsel to him is as good as a shoulder of mutton to a sick
:

liorse.

Ben Jonson, Every Man

in his

Humour.

THE PROVERBS OF

I50

Sooth bourd

Such

no bourd^^ in ought that mirth dooth.

is

Nor turne melancholy

No playing with
Every

trifling

to mirth

this

The further ye goe,

And

for a

it is

at.

way, but sure ye shall

finde.

the further behinde.

shoulde consider the

what

for

a straw before an old cat

toy age cannot laugh

Ye may walke
Ye

were ought amis,

jests could not juggle her,

woman

hot word.

is

Soone

olde

hot, soone colde.

Bears with them that beare with you, for she

Not onely the


But

also she

fairest flowre in

is all

your garland,

Or with any other kinde of unkindnes


is

Why will ye,

scand.

the faire flowers thereof.

Will ye requite her then with a taunting

Take heede

is

a faire thing : beware


(quoth he),

I shall

scof.

this blindnes.

follow her

will,

To make me John drawlatch,'^ or such a snekebill,


To bring her solace that bringeth me sorow
.'

'*

Sooth bourd is no bourd.

Sooth

is

an old English word meaning " in earnest

means "a jest."


As the old saying

is, sooth boord


Briefe Apologie of Poetrie, 1591.

is

no boord.

;"

bourd

Harrington's

" John drawlatch.

me in my chamber heere, till Stilt and


pepper him not, say I am not worthy to be
cald a duke but a drawlatch.
Tragedy of Hoffman, 1602.
Well, phisition, attend

returne

and

if I

JOHN HEYWOOD.
Bir Ladie,

A good wife maketh


That (quoth

we

shall

theti

I),

151

catch birds to tnorow.

a good husband, (they

say).

you may turne another way

To make a good husband, make a good wife


I

God stint all strife.


and God have mercie brother,

can no more herein, but

Amen, (quoth
I will

And

he),

now mend
that he

this

ment

For so appaird he

That
Till

To

little

and

house and payre another.

by

of likelihood

his

owne

that, ere three yeares

he decayed so

little

he at length came

to

buckle

and

were growne,

long.

bare thong.

discharge charge, that necessarily grew,

There was no

inore water then the ship drew.

Money and money worth did so


That he had not now one peny to
Which

foreseene in this

That meet was

To keepe

to stay

misse him.
blisse

him.

woman, wisely waying.


somewhat

for her staying,

yet one messe for Alison in store,

She kept one bagge, that he had not scene before.

A poore cooke that may not licke his owne fingers ; ^


But about her at home now
*

still

he

lingers,

A poore cooke, Sfc.

He

is

an evyll coke y' can not lycke his owne

Stambrigi, circa 15 10.

lippes.

Vulgaria

Capulet. Sirrah, go hire me twenty cunning cooks.


2 Servant. You shall have none ill, sir ; for I'll try
lick their fingers.

Romeo and Juliet,

iv. 2.

if

they can

THE PROVERBS OF

152

But whether any secret

tales

were sprinkhng,

by gesse had got an mkling


Of her hoord or that he thought to amend

Or

that he

And

turne his

ill

beginning to a good end,

In shewing himselfe a

That

new man,

as

was

appeared shortly after, but not

Chapter

|NE day

in their

fit,

yit.

IX.

arbour which stood so to

mine,

That I might and did closely mine eare

incline,

And likewise cast mine eare to heare and see,


What they said and did, where they could not see mee,
He unto her a goodly tale began,
More

As

like

But the

And
Of

a wooer than a wedded man.

far as matter thereof therein served.


first

part from words of wooing swerved

stood upon repentance, with submission

his former crooked

unkind condition.

Praying her to forgive and forget

As he

forgave her, as he forgiven would bee

Loving her now

As

all free,

as

he

full

deeply swore,

hotly as ever he loved her before.

JOHN HEY WOOD.


Well, well, (quoth she), whatever ye
It

is too late to call

th' offeree

now

say.

againe yesterday.

Wife, (quoth he), such

That

153

may

ray diligence seeme.

of yesterday

may

redeeme.

God taketh me as I am, and not as T was ;


Take you me so too, and let all things past
I

pray thee good

wife, think I

pas.

speake and thinke

plaine.

What /te runrithfar that never turnth againe.


Ye be yong enough to mend, I agree it.
!

But

am, (quoth

she),

And amend

ye or

What

where

is life,

Namely

am

living

too old a yeere


extinct cleere.

is

tune you

in

myself now, (quoth

And hope

it.

helpe and most

.'

tale could

If I tune

not, I

at old yeares of least

neede

But no

too old to see

time to take heede.

he), it is faire

of true tune, shall tune

me

from

dispaire.

men say. Yea, (said shee)


Doe well and have well, men say also, we see.
But what man can beleeve, that man can doe well,

Beleeve well

Who

of no

Which

and have

man

to you,

Then were ye

Who

well,

will counsaile take, or heare tell

when any man any way


deafe,

tride,

ye could not heare on that side.

ever with you any time therein weares.

He must

both

.?

tell you

tale,

and lend you

eares.

THE PROVERBS OF

IS4

You had on your harvest


But

is so

deafe or so blinde, as

is hee,

That wilfully will neither heare nor

When

saw your maner,

Then would ye mend as

Or sowre

And

of hearing,

a question of old enquering

this is

Who

eares,^ thicke

ale

to

way

my

profit

woe

mends

thefietcher

the

see f

heart for

mendeth in summer,

knew, which

Though not

my

molt.

his

bolt.

know,

winde blew and


a prophet was

will blow.

I prophecied this, too true a prophecie.

When

was

right

ill

beleeved, and worse hard,

By flinging from your folkes at home, which all mard.


When I said in semblance either cold or warme,
A man far from his good, is nigh his harme.
Or wild ye

On

to looke, that ye lost

such, as

no more.

shew that hungrie flyes

bite sore.

Then would ye looke over me with stomack

swolne.

Like as the divell look't over Lincolne."


'

You had on your harvest eares.

Thine eares be on pilgrimage, or in the wildernes, as they say


commonly, thou hast on thy harvest eares, vestra peregrinantur
aures.
'

Withal'

s Dictionary, i6o8.

Like as the divell look't over Lincolne.

Tour through England and Wales,

as the origin of the proverb

1742, gives the following

The middle
in the whole
it

or Rood tower of Lincoln cathedral is the highest


kingdom, and when the spire was standing on it,

must, in proportion to the height of the tower, have exceeded

JOHN HEY WOOD.


The

divell

is

dead

looke like a

Looke

And

as ye

wife,

Lambe

list

in all

Which

he), for

ye

see,

your words to mee.

now, (quoth

she),

thus look't ye than

shew

this,

to

for those lookes I

Such proofe of

(quoth

ISS

this proverbe, as

shew each man,

none

is

greater

some man may steale a horse


may stand and looke upon?

saith, that

Than some

other

Lewd huswives might have


That might be allowd.
In mistaking

me ye may

that of old St. Paul's, which

The monks were

words, but

But now
see,

was

if

better

not one

ye looke.

yee tooke

five

hundred and twenty

feet.

so proud of this structure, that they would have

that the Devil looked upon it with an envious eye whence the
proverb of a man who looks invidious and malignant, " he looks
it

as the Devil over Lincoln."

Another account

Some

is

given by

Ray

in 1737

which when first


supposed to have looked with a tome and
terrick countenance, as envying men's costly devotion, saith Dr.
Fuller; but more probable it is, that it took its rise from a small
image of the Devil, standing on the top of Lincoln College, in
refer this to Lincoln Minster, over

finished, the Devil is

Oxford.
It will be remembered that in Sir Walter Scott's novel of
Kenilworth, Giles Gosling, the host of the Black Bear at
" Here be a set of good
Cumnor, thus addresses Tressilian
fellows willing to be merry ; do not scowl on them like the
:

Devil looking over Lincoln."


'

Some man may steale a horse, Sr'C.


Good Epi, let mee take a nap

Tophas.

for as

some man may

a horse then another looke over a hedge so divers


shaU be sleepie when they would fainest take rest. Lyly's
Endimion, 1591.
better steale

THE PROVERBS OF

iS6

The wrong way

And
I

to

wood, and the wrong sow by tU eare ;*

thereby in the wrong box

have heard some to some

When

to thrive,

yee were.

tell this tale

not seeld,

thrift is in the towne,yee be in the feeld.

But contrary, you make that sense to sowne,

Whan

thrift

was

in the field,

ye ware

in the towne.

Field ware must sinke or swim, while ye had eny

Towne ware was your


But towne or

What ye wan
In

all

ware, to sturne the peny.

where most

field,

thrift

iu the hundred, ye lost in the shiere.

your good husbandrie, thus rid the rock,

Ye stumbled at a straw, and

lept over

So many kindes of increase you had

And

if

the tone

But you leave


''

a block?
in choice,

nought increase or keepe, how can

Good riding at two


For

did appiere,

ankers,

faile,

all

I rejoice

men have

tolde.

may

holde.

the tother

ankerhold on seas and lands

The wrong sow by

th' eare.

he knows what to trust to, for George


let him spend, and spend, and domineer till his heart ake, an he
think to be relieved by me, when he has got into one o'your city
pounds, the counters, he has the wrong sow by the ear, i'faith
and claps his dish at the wrong man's door. Jonson'S Every
Downright. Well

Man in his Humour,

ii.

7.

Ye stumbled at a straw,

Sr'c.

This tale touchethe them, that wolde cover a smalle offence


with a greatter wyckednesse ; and as the proverbe sayethe
Stomble at a strawe, and leape over a blocke. Mery Tales and
Quicke Answeres, 1567.
:

JOHN "HEYWOOD.
And

1S7

so set up shop upon Goodwins sands.

But as folke have a saying both old and trew,


In that they say, blacke will take none other hew.

So may
It

is

my

deepe dolour,

a bad cloth that 'will take no

This case

To

say heere, to

is

colour.

For ye were so wise,

yours.

take specke of colour, of good advise.

Th' advise of

Went in

all friends I say,

at the tone eare

one and other

and out at

the totherP

And as those words went out, this proverbe


He that will not be ruled by his owne dame,

came,

in

Shall be ruled by his stepdame ; and so you,

Having lost your owne good, and owne

friends now.

May seeke your forreine friends, if you have any.


And sure one of my great griefs, among many,
Is that

ye have been so very a hog

To my

friends.

love me, love

my

dog.''

In at the tone eare and out at the father.


But Troilus, that nigh for sorrow deide,
Tooke little hede of all that ever he paent

One
'

What man,

eare

it

Love me, love my

heard, at the other out it went.


Chaucer, Troilus and Creseide.

dog.

This was a proverb in the time of Saint Bernard


Qui me amat, amet
certe vulgari quodam proverbio
meum. In Festo S. Michaelis. Sermo Primus.
:

et

canem

me ?love my dog
am bound to that by the

Cudora. Love
Tharsalis.

Dicitur

proverb, madam.
Chapman's Widov/s Tears,

1612.

THE PROVERBS OF

158

But you
Cast

stones before hogs

to cast precious

my good

before a sort of dogs

And sawte bitches which by whom now devoured,


And your honestie among them defloured,
And that you may no more expence afoord,
Now can they not affoord you one good woord,
And you them as few. And old folke understood,
:

theeves fall out, true

'When

Which
I

is

my good
And

Ruine of one
For by your

ravine,
gifts

As you be much

hope,

I will

'

in all that bretch,

if

was there none

they be as

Light

gretter

cast away.
to

good^ men

winde blowth not downe

good hap be not

now begin

we were borne,

the better.

little

the worse, and

he), every

(I say),

they were sworne.

sure since

illwinde that bloweth no m,an

Well (quoth
I

to their good.

the more fetch,

trow themselves neither,

Light come, light goe?

An

For

not alway true.

can no farthing of

Nor

men come

thrift,

when

all

say.

the come.

out-worne.

seemeth gone.

thrift

C07ne, light goe.

Wyte

thou wele

it

schall

be

That lyghtly cum,

schcill

lyghtly go.

so,

Debate of the Carpenters


^

An

ill

Falstaff.
Pistol.

winde,

What wind blew you

Not

the

Tools.

<S-f.

ill

hither. Pistol

wind which blows no

man

to good.

Henry IV.

v. 3.

JOHN HEYWOOD.
What wife
And I will

assay

Till I finde

Ye
As

there be

will get

all

more waies

to the

wood than

one.

the waies to the wood,

one way, to get againe


it

159

againe, (quoth she),

this good.

I feare.

shortly as a horse will licke his eare.

Good words

bring not ever of good deedes good hope,i

And these words shew

your words spoken in skorne.

It pricketh betimes that will be a good thorne^

Timely crooketh the

tree,

that will a good

camok

beey^

And stich beginning such end, we all day see.


And you by me at beginning being thriven.
And then to keepe thrift could not be prickt nor driven.

How

can ye now get

Which

is

thrift,

the stocke being gon,

the onely thing to raise

thrift

upon

Men say, he may ill nmne that cannot goe,


And your gaine without your stocke runneth
For what

is

a workman

Tales of Robin
'

.'

even

so.

withotit his tooles ?

Hood are good for fooles.

It pricketh betimes that will be a

good thorne.

In the interlude oi Jacob and Esau, 1568, the old nurse Debora,
while making preparations for Isaac's repast, sings
:

hath bene a proverbe before I was borne,


Yong doth it pricke that wyll be a thorne.
It

" Timely crooketh the tree, &'c.

A camok is a crooked piece or knee of timber, most frequently


used in ship-building.
Timely,

young

it

madam, crooks

the tree that will be a camock, and

pricks that will be a thorn.

Lyly'S Endimion.

THE PROVERBS OF

i6o

Hee can

illpype, that lacketh his upper lippe.

Who lacketh a stock, his gaine is not worth a chip.


A tale of a tubbe : your tale no truth avouth,
^^

Ve speake now as yee would

creepe into

my mouth ;

In pure paynted processe, as false asfayre,

How yee
I

amend, when ye cannot apayre.

will

heard once a wise

man say

to his daughter,

Better is the last smile, than the first laughter.

Wee

shall I trust, (quoth he),

Although

Yet

since I

laugh again at

be once out of the saddle

am

bent to

sit,

last,

cast.

this will I doo.

Recover the horse, or leese the saddle too.

"

tale

of a

tubbe.

The translator of Delia Casa's Galatea, 1576, finds for an


Italian phrase signifying " contention," the English equivalent
" a tale of a tubbe."

Such, he says, it is to say


Such an one that was the sonne of such a one, that dwelt in
Cocamer street do you knowe him ? he married the daughter of
Gianfigliazzi, the leane scragg that went so much to St. Laraunce.
No, do not you know him.? why do not you remember the goodly
strayght old man that ware long haire downe to his shoulders? &c.
In Ben Jonson's comedy of this name, when Squire Tub of
Tottenham commands the company of mechanics to perform a
stage play before him, he directs,
:

I'd have a toy presented,


Tale of a Tub, a story of myself,
You can express a Tub ?

To which Medlay,

the joiner, replies

can express a wash-house, if need be,


With a whole pedigree of Tubs.
I

JOHN HEYWOOD.
Yee never could

To win

yet, (quoth shee), recover

or save ought, to stoppe

For stopping of gap, (quoth

As

any hap,

any one gap.

he), care

not a rush.

learne to stop two gaps with one bush.

I will

Yee

i6i

will,

(quoth shee), as soone stop gaps with rushes

with any husbandly handsom bushes.

Your

tales

have lyke

tast,

where temprance

is taster,

breake my head, and then geve me a plaster.


Now thrift is gone, now would yee thrive in all haste,
And whan yee had thrift, yee had lyke hast to waste.

To

Yee

liked then better

Than an

May

thrift.

yet thrive,

As an

Yee

ell.

(I

say), as

Wife, (quoth he), be

both

ell

good

is

can, (quoth shee),

For when I gave you an


Till

will,

inch,

you

an ynch

make

tooke

and inch be gone, and we

it

an

so well,

ell,

in det.

Nay, (quoth

he),

with a wetfinger^^ ye can set

As much

as

may

easily all this matter ease,

And

debate also pleasantly appease.

still.

be holpe foorth an ynch at a pinch,

I will

of your

ell

an ynch of your

this

could doo as

much with an hundred pounds now,

" With a wet finger.

To

obtain anything with a wet finger seems to be a figurative


phrase for obtaining it with ease and is supposed to derive its
use from the habit of tracing a lady's name on the table with
spilt wine to serve the purposes of gallantry and intrigue. Such a
;

practice

was not unknown

to the

amatory poets of antiquity

THE .PROVERBS OF

i62

As

with a thowsand afore,

assure you.

Yea, (quoth she), who had that he hath

Doo

that hee doth not, as old

Had

Than

as yee have

men have

would

not,

told.

would do more (quoth hee)

the Priest spake of on Sunday, yee should see.

Ye doo, as I have, (quoth shee), for nought I have,


And nought yee doo. What man I trow yee rave.
Would yee both eat your cake, and have your cake f
Yee have had of mee al that I would make
And bee a man never so greedy to win,
!

Hee can have no more of the foxe but


Well, (quoth he),

if

ye

list

Yee can geve me your


That were

my

for

Verba leges

to bring

the skin.

out,

it

blessing in a cloute.

childe, (quoth she),


digitis,

had

ony.

verba notata mero.

Ovid, Amor.

So

in TibuUus, lib.

Neu

el.

i.

4. 20.

liquorem
ducat in orbe notas.

te decipiat nutu, digitoque

Ne
The use

i.

trahat, et

menss

of this expression is frequent

seem

among

the Elizabeth-

have descended to the later writers.


Enquire what gallants sup in the next room and if they be
any of your acquaintance, do not you, after the city fashion,
send in a pottle of wine and your name,
but rather keep a
boy in fee, who underhand shall proclaim you in every room,
what a gallant fellow you are, how much you spend yearly in
taverns, what a great gamester, what custom you bring to the
house, in what witty discourse you maintain a table, what
gentlewomen or citizens' wives you can with a wet finger have at
any time to sup with you, and such like, 77zf GiilFs Hornbook,

ans, but does not

to

1609.

JOHN HEY WOOD.


But husband,

Yee

cast

As

the blind

163

have neither child nor mony.

and conjecture thus much, lyke

man

in

show.

casts his staffe, or shootes at the

crow ;

How
Yet

be

it,

had

money

right

much, and yee none,

to be plaine, yee should have for Jone.

Nay, hee that

And

Hee may
But

first flattreth

doth, as yee did to


be in

my

me

me, as yee have doone,


after, so

Pater noster in deede,

be sure, he shall never come into

Ave

soone

my

Creede}*

how much motion


with how little devotion.

Maria, (quoth he),

Here

is

to prayers,

But some

" Hee

men say,

may

be in

my

no peny, no Pater noster}^

Pater

noster, Qr'C.

yee remember your jugling at Newington with a


your knaveries in the wood by Wanstead, the
wondrous treasure you would discover in the Isle of Wight, al
your villanies about that peece of service, as perfectly known to
I

trust

christall stone,

some

of

my

friends yet living as their Pater-noster,

time you ever came into their creed.

Dream,
'^

who

curse the

Chettle's Kind-Heart's

1592.

No peny,

no Pater noster.

was wont to fill a sheet of paper, is


compasse of a penny whereupon one merrily
assumed that proverbe to be derived. No penny no pater-noster.
Which their nice curtayling putteth mee in minde of the custome
of the Scythians, who, if they had beene at any time distressed
with famine, tooke in their girdles shorter. Greene's Arcadia,

The

Pater-noster, which

written in the

1587.

THE PROVERBS OF

i64

say to such, (sayd shee), no longer foster,

No

But

longer lemman.

Pray and

shift

Everyman for

To

and well than,

faire

ech one for himselfe as hee can.


himselfe

and God for us

all.

those wordes he sayd nought, but forthwith did


fall

From harping on

And

as

erst sayd,

That things

all

hee did her so beseech,

erst so far

That as shee

Where

that string, to faire flattring speech,

may

that

ofi^

wallow,

was

left

were now so

far on.

away shee

gon.

is

lay with a trustie frend,

Dwelling a good walke from her at the townes end.

And

backe againe straight a halting pace she


hobles,

Bringing a bag of royals and nobles.


All that she had without restraint of one jote.

She brought bullocks noble

for noble or grote

Had she not one more: which I after well knew.


And anone smiling toward him as she drew,

sir,

light hirden, far heavie, (quoth she)

This light burden in long walke welny tyreth me.

God

give grace I play not the foole this

For here / send


But

if

ye

Love and
I will

th'

will stint

day

axe after the helme azvay.

and avoyd

cherish this, as ye

(quoth he), wife,

all strife.

would

by God
A

my

life.

almightie,

JOHN HEYWOOD.
This geare comm'tk in pudding time^^

He

No

snatcht at the bag.

165

rightlie.

haste but good, (quoth

shee).

Short shooting

Ye mist

leeseth

your game, ye

the cushin^"^ for all

may see,

your haste to

it.

And I may set you beside the cushin yit,


And make you wipe your nose upon your sleeve,
For ought you shall winne, without you aske me leeve.
Have yee not heard

I see,

sir,

But your

ye may

teeth

Though he

tell,

all covet, all leese ?

no greene

see

must water.

love not

to

cheese,

A good cocknay coke

buy the pig in the poke,

Yet snatch ye at the poke that the pig

Not

for the

poke, but for the pig good cheape to win.

Like one halfo

'

is in.

lost, till

greedie grasping gat

it

In pudding time.

when pudding was the first dish that was served, to


pudding time sigfnified to be in time for dinner, or more

Formerly,

come

in

generally, to arrive in the nick of time.

Our landlord did that shift prevent,


came in pudding time and tooke his rent.
Taylor's Works,

Who

1630.

" Ye mist the cushin.

An
takes

idiomatic expression, meaning to fail in an tmdertaking


origin from the practice of archery.

its

Trulie,

Euphues, you have mist the cushion, for

angrie with your long absence, neither


presence.

Lyly's Euphues.

am

was neither

well pleased at your

THE PROVERBS OF

i66

Ye would

be over the stile ere ye

But abide

friend,

Snatching winth

Men

your mother

say, (said he),

bid,

till

ye snatch

not, if

it

come at

it}^

ye were borne,

till

to morne.

long standing and small offring

And

Maketh poore Parsons.

and

such signes

in

profifring

Many

Before this bag

Kindly he
But

and merrie toyes had they.

pretie tales

the

kist

came from her away.

her with words not tart nor tough.

cat knowth whose

lips

she lickth well enough}^

Anone, the bag she delivered him, and sayd,

He

should beare

With good

it,

for that

will, wife, for it

it
is,

now

heavie wayd.

(sayd he to her),

A proud horse that will not beare his

'^

Ye would be over the

stile,

owne provanderP

&c.

would fayne have you conclude.


Erostrato. You would fayne leape over the stile before you come
George Gascoigne's Supposes, 1575.
at the hedge.
Dulipo.

'^

The cat knowth whose

lips she lickth

well enough.

Li vilains reproche du chat


Qu'il set bien qui barbes

Des

trois

Dames qui

il

leche.

trouvirent ttn

a7iel,

circa 1300.

A proud horse that will not bear his own provander.

Nicholas. Indeed,

in adversitie brings a

Coomes.

am for yee.

Do

am patient, I must needes say, for patience


man to the Three Cranes in the Ventree.

yee heere

set

downe your torche

drawe,

fight, I

JOHN HEY WOOD.


And

oft before

seemd she never so

167

wise,

Yet was she now suddenly waxen as nise.


As it had been a halfporth of silver spoones ;
Thus clowdie mornings turne
But so nie noone

They

rose

it

to cleere

was, that

after noones.

by and

and went to dinner

by,

lovingly.

Chapter X.
^HIS dinner thought he

long,

and straight

after that.

To his accustomed customers he gat.


With whom in what time he spent one grote before,
In lesse time he spent now ten grotes or more.
And in small time he brought the world so about,
That he brought the bottome of the bagge cleane out.
His gadding thus againe made her

ill

But she not so much as dreamde that

content
all

was

spent.

Howbeit suddenly she minded on a day,


Nicholas.

And

am

for yee too,

mome.
Coomes. Where be your

though it be from the midnight

to the next

tooles

Nicholas. Within a mile of an oke, sir, hee's a proud horse that


Two Angry
will not carry his own provander, I warrant yee.

Women

of Abingdon, 1599.

THE PROVERBS OF

i68

pick the chest locke, wherein this bagge lay

To

Determining

So

shall

it

this, if it

lye

lay whole

still,

no myte she minish

will.

And if the bag began to shrinke, she thought


To take for her part some part of the rest.
But

streight as she

And

had forthwith opened the

look't in the bagge,

Then was

it

proved

what

it

true, as this

was a

best,

locke,

clocke,

proverbe goth.

He that commeth last to the pot, is soonest wroth.


By her comming last, and too late to the pot.
Whereby

she was potted thus like a sot,

To see the pot both skimd for running


And also all the licour runne at rover

over,

At

her good husbands and her next meeting.

The

divels

good grace might have given a greeting,

Either for honour or honestie as good

As

she gave him.

She was,

(as they say),

home

wood.

She netled him, and he


That

at

end of that

ratled her so.

fray,

asunder they go.

And never after came together againe


He turnd her out at doores to grase on the plaine
And himselfe went after. For within fortnight,
All that was

And
Till

left,

was launched out quight.

thus had he brought haddock to paddock.

they both were not worth a haddock.

yOHN HEYWOOD.
It

hath been

First

maketh the old wife

said, neede

Other folke said

it,

169

but she did

it,

trot}

God wot

from frend to frend, and then from dur to dur,

A begging of some that had begged of hur.


But as men

say, miserie

Where one begger

And

is

may

driven

be mother,

to

beg of another.

thus wore and wasted this most wofuU wretch,

Till

death from this

Her

late

life,

did her wretchedly fetch.

now

husband, and

widower, here and there

Wandring about, few know, and fewer


Cast out as an abject, he leadeth his

famine by

Till

Now

let

like, set

us note here.

Where they wedded,

him

care, where.

life,

after his wife.

First of the first twaine,

together to remaine,

Hoping joyfuU presence should weare out


Yet povertie brought that joy
But notably note these

'

last twaine,

Neede maketh the old wife

all

woe

to faile so.

where as he

trot.

a toiling trade I drive,


By reason of my age neer seventy five,

Thus
It is

travelling,

my earthly portion

and

my lot.

The proverb says " Need makes the old wife trot."
A Merry Bill of an uncertaine Jottrney, by TAYLOR,
the

Besoin

Water

Poet.

fait vieille trotter.

Roman

de Truberl, circa 1300.

THE PROVERBS OF

I70

Tooke her

And

onely, for that he rich

him onely

she

in

would be

hope of good hap,

In her doting dales to be daunst on the lap.


In condition they

That

he

lightly

Her good he

laid her

up

laid

many

so

dififerd

up

waies,

for holie daies.

so, lest

theeves might spie

That neither she could, nor he can come by

Thus

failed all foure, of all things, lesse

Which they

all,

or

any of all, marled

Chapter

iORSOOTH,

it.

and more.

fore.

XI.

my

(said

it,

matter

friend), this

maketh bost

Of diminution,
Thwitten

That

to

my

me

these and

Yet other have


If I should

a mill post,

discouraged cleerely.

weddings, in

all things,

This sparke of hope have

Though

is

a pudding prick so neerely,

confesse

In both

For here

some

lived

deny

except one

to proceed upon.

other, speed

and loved

that,

For of both these

I,

(quoth

ill,

as

ye

tell,

full well.

I), I

should rave

sorts, I grant, that

my self have

JOHN HEY WOOD.


Scene of the tone

That liked and

sort,

shall

tother,

man

will you, that

declare,

choose in this choice, your comfort or

Since, before
I

and heard of the

lived right well, each with other.

But whether fortune

That

171

care.

ye have chosen, we cannot know,

thought to lay the worst, as ye the best show.

That ye might, being yet at

libertie.

With

your jeopardie.

all

your joy, joyne

And now

all

in this heard, in these cases

on each

part,

say no more, but lay your hand on your hart.

hartily

Of mine

thanke you (quoth


errand.

Who that
sure

Although

And
In

'

to

am
I

authoritie he

of those twaine,

nought winne, yet

win a

all this

am

sped

leaveth suretie and leaveth unto chaunce,

When fooles pipe, by

And

he), I

This hitteth the naile on the hed.^

woman

and

here,

may

if I

shall I

lose a

great winning what gain

daunce.

none choose,
nought

loose.

man.

will I

than

.'

Hitteth the naile on the hed.

In an old anonymous play " my lord Cardinals players " are


and in answer to the question as to what pieces com
pose their repertory, they reply
introduced,

my lord. The

Cradle of Security,
Hit nail o' th' head. Impatient Poverty,
The Play of Four P's, Dives and Lazarus,
Lusty Juventus, and the Marriage of Wit and Wisdom.
Divers,

Sir

Thomas More.

THE PROVERBS OF

172

But marke how

How

like a

First these

That

if I

follie

weathercock

Then thought

have

The

to have

this

never a whit, as

Now let me aske,

have here varied.

I cleere, I will

shall

caried

was

loth,

would have wedded them

I since,

And now know


As good

me away

two women to loose

might,

They both

hath

(quoth

short question that

wed none

new

of

them

of them.

one answere by

I),

wedded one

both.

letter

the better.

and your

asked while

selfe answere.
ere,

foule old rich widow, whether wed would ye.

Or
In

a yong faire maide, being poore as ye be.

I like

thus riches as

Who that hath


He

'

herring? (quoth he)

neitlter barrel better


ill

as povertie.

either of these pigges in me.

hath apigge of the worse punier sure.

In neither barrel better herring.

An

elliptical

way of saying that no one barrel contains herrings

better than another.

An

early instance of

its

use occurs in a

work of Bishop Bale,

Lyke Lord, lyke chaplayne, neyther barrel

better herynge.

Kynge John.
Again in Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, 1621 : Begin
where you will, you shall find them all alike, never a barrell the
better herring.

JOHN HEYWOOD.
I

my

was wedded unto

Howbeit,

will.

my

be divorst and wed to

I will

173

wit.

Whereby with these examples past, I may see,


Fond wedding, for love, as good onely to flee.
Onely

Or

for love, or

o:iely for

onely for good,

both

Thus no one thing

woo me

Shall

Although the

to

wed

not,

onely, though one thing chieflie

wed now

chiefe

for

one thing

Yet must moe things joyne,


Such kinde- of living,

As

is

enough,

Since enough

With

that one

For folke
*

say,

Enough

is

is

am

now
in

wedding be

as all in one

to lack

satisfied,

enough, (sayd

is

love,

may

move.

life,

wife.

(sayd he).
I),

here

word take end good,


enough

I espie.

for such kinde of

lacking the same, no lack

Here

by my hood.

as

may we
may be geast

as good as a feast*

as good as a feast.

He is well at ese y' hath enough and can


hath enough, holy doctours say, to whom his temporall godes be they never soo fewe suffisen to him and to his,
to fynde them that them nedyth. Dives and Pauper, 1493.
It is

an olde proverb

say ho.

He

And

of enough enough, and nowe no more,


Bycause my braynes no better can devise
When thinges be badde, a small summe maketh store
So of suche verse a fewe may soone suffice
Yet still to this my weary penne replyes.
That I sayde last, and though like it least,
It is enough and as good as a feast.
Gascoigne's Af^OTonVj,
:

1575.

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John Grant,

Bookseller.

Story of the Shetland

Isles.

{Jessie M., author of-' Daala-Mist," ^'c.)HockBound, a Story of the Shetland Isles, second edition, revised,
crown 8vo, cloth (pub 2s), 6d. Edinburgh, 1877.
"The life I have tried to depict is the life I remember twenty years ago,
when the islands were far behind the rest of Britain in all that goes to make up

Saxby

modern

civilisation."

Extract from Preface.

{R. Scott)
The Practical Directory for the Improvement of Landed Property, Rural and Suburban, and the
Economic Cultivation of its Farms (the most valuable work on
the subject), plates and woodcuts, 2 vols, 4to, cloth (pub t, 3s),

Burn

15s, Paterson.

Burnefs Treatise on Painting,

illustrated by 130 Etchings


from celebrated pictures of the Italian, Venetian, Flemish, Dutch,
and English Schools, also woodcuts, thick 4to, half morocco, gilt
top (pub /!, los), 2 2s.

The Costumes of

all

Nations,

Ancient

and Modern,

exhibiting the Dresses and Habits of all Classes, Male and Female,
from the Earliest Historical Records to the Nineteenth Century,

by Albert Kretschmer and Dr Rohrbach, 104 coloured plates


displaying nearly 2000 full-length figures, complete in one handsome volume, 4to, half morocco (pub \ 4s), 45s, Sotheran.

Dryderis Dramatic Works, Library Edition, with Notes


and Life by Sir Walter Scott, Bart., edited by George Saintsbury, portrait and plates, 8 vols, 8vo, cloth (pub \ 4s), 1 los,
Paterson.
Lessing's

{DrJ.) Ancient Oriental Carpet Patterns,

after

Pictures and Originals of the 15th and i6th Centuries, 35 plates


(size 20 X 14 in.), beautifully coloured after the originals, I vol,
royal folio, in portfolio (pub ^^3 3s), 21s, Sotheran.

The most beautiftU Work on the " Stately Homes of England."


Nash's Mansions of England in t/ie Olden Time, 104
Lithographic Views faithfully reproduced from the originals, with
history of each Mansion, by Anderson, 4 vols
edges (pub (i 6s), 2. los,
Sotheran.

new and complete

in 2, imperial 4to, cloth extra, gilt

Richardson's

{Samuel)

Works, Library Edition,

with

Biographical Criticism by Leslie Stephen, portrait, 12 vols, 8vo,


cloth extra, impression strictly limited to 750 copies (pub (> 6s),

5s,

London.

Sent Carriage Free to any part of the United Kingdom on


receipt of Postal Order for the amount.

JOHN GEANT, 25 & 34 George

IT. Bridge, Edinburgh.

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