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The Fyftene Loyes Of Maryage

Somer passed/and wynter well begone
The dayes shorte/the darke nyghtes longe
Haue taken season/and brynghtnes of the sonne
Is lytell sene/and small byrdes songe
Seldon is herde/in feldes or wodes ronge
All strength and ventue/of trees and herbes sote
Dyscendynge be/from croppe in to the rote

And euery creature by course of kynde
For socoure draweth to that countre and place
Where for a tyme/they may purchace and fynde
Conforte and rest/abydynge after grace
That clere Appolo with bryghtnes of his face
Wyll sende/whan lusty ver shall come to towne
And gyue the grounde/of grene a goodly gowne

And Flora goddesse bothe of whyte and grene
Her mantell large/ouer all the erthe shall sprede
Shewynge her selfe/apparayled lyke a quene
As well in feldes/wodes/as in mede
Hauynge so ryche a croune vpon her hede
The whiche of floures/shall be so fayre and bryght
That all the worlde/shall take therof a lyght

So now it is/of late I was desyred
Out of the trenche to drawe a lytell boke
Of .xv. Ioyes/of whiche though I were hyred
I can not tell/and yet I vndertoke
This entrepryse/with a full pyteous loke
Remembrynge well/the case that stode in
Lyuynge in hope/this wynter to begyn

Some Ioyes to fynde that be in maryage
For in my youth/yet neuer acquayntaunce
Had of them but now in myn olde aege
I trust my selfe/to forther and auaunce
If that in me/there lacke no suffysaunce
Whiche may dyspleasyr/clerely set a parte
I wante but all/that longeth to that arte

yet wyll I speke/though I may do no more
Fully purposynge/in all these Ioyes to trete
Accordynge to my purpose made to fore
All be it so/I can not well forgete
The payne/trauayle/besynes and hete
That some men haue after they wedded be
Because theyr wyues/want humylyte

Who shall I pray/to helpe me to endyte
Cupyde or Uenus/whiche haue me in dysdayne
And for my feblenes/in grete dyspyte
For yeres passed/may not retorne agayne
Now may I speke/and shewe in wordes playne
Whan youth is gone/and comen is stoupynge age
Then worldly Ioyes/must go on pylgrymage

If I sholde praye/vnto ymeneus
The god of weddynge/to helpe me in this charge
Then wyll he bydde me go to Morpleus
The god of slepe/for he hath wayes large
Whiche with his rodde of leed dooth stere his barge
To brynge forthe age/vnto his slepy caue
Pray hym of rest/and nothynge elles craue

I knowe ryght well/it is but vanyte
All worldly Ioye/medled with bytternes
Therfore these fayned goddes I lete them be
And me betake to god/whose stedfastnes
May neuer fayle/neyther his sothfastnes
Besechynge hym/that for his moders sake
He wyll me teche his lytell boke to make

And with good wyll I shall me soone apply
This treatyse out of frenche to translate
Of .xv. Ioyes/and yf I myght therby
Purchace but one/my selfe though it be late
I wolde be gladde/for olde paynes I hate
Trustyge to Ioye/now somwhat in myn aege
As dooth a byrde that syngeth in a cage

Now to the effecte of this translacyon
With grete desyre shortly well I procede
But speke I must/by protestacyon
Touchynge this mater/or elles gode forbede
Whome I beseche lowely to be my spede
Praynge also/eche other maner wyght
Take no dyspleasure with my wordes lyght

Here endeth the prologue of the translatoure.

And the prohemye of the auctour begynneth.
Myn auctour wryteth in this prohemye
That many men/haue trauayled here tofore
To shewe by reason and auctoryte
That it is grete wytte/and wysdome more
For euery maner wyght/of woman bore
To lyue in fraunchyse/at his lyberte
Than seruaunt to hym selfe/and thrall to be

Without constraynt/but of his neclygence
His wyll to folowe/and his vnclene delyte
As lusty folke in theyr adolescence
Haue suche desyre/and so grete appetyte
On Uenus brydle/for to champe and byte
Tyll they with loue be stryken to the herte
Wherby full/oft they suffre paynes smerte

Unto whose reason/and opynyon
It may be sayd/and answered thus agayne
Man hath no good wytte ne entencyon
In his yonge tyme/whan nature dooth constrayne
Sauynge in Ioyes/and delytes vayne
Of this frayle worlde vnsure and transytory
None other thynge is in his memory

As thus whan men in youth couragyous
With frewyll endewed and lustynes
Of theyr desyre/and mynde outragyous
Withouten nede/but of theyr folysshenes
Frome wele to wo/frome Ioye to heuynes
Conuey them selfe/from all theyr lyberte
Nothynge content with theyr felycyte

For where as they may frely ryde or go
And at theyr choyse/dysporte them ouer all
I you ensure these yonge men wyll not so
Whan they leest wene/than sodanly they fall
And vnconstrayned make theyr bodyes thrall
Lyke to a wyght that in to pryson depe
Without cause/all hastely dooth crepe

So do they oft for lacke of kyndely wytte
And whan they be within this pryson strayte
The gayler cometh and fast the dore dooth shytte
Whiche is of yren stronge/and in a wayte
Helyeth oft/for drede that thrugh desayte
By nyght or day some sholde escape out
Ryght besyly he pryeth all about

He barreth dores/and maketh sure all the lockes
The stronge boltes/the fettres and the chayne
He sercheth well/the holes and the stockes
That wo be they/that lyeth in the payne
And out therof/they shall not go agayne
But euer endure/in wepynge care and sorowe
For good ne prayer/shall them neuer borowe

And specyally men may call hym assoted
Ferre frome reason/of wysdome desolate
That thus his tyme mysse vsed hath and doted
Whan he had herde/suche prysoners but late
Wepynge waylynge/and with them selfe debate
Lyenge in pryson/as he hath passed by
And put hym selfe therin so folysshely

This auctour sayth/by cause mankynde delyteth
Alway to haue fraunchyse and lyberte
Without the whiche/nature of man dyspyteth
Ryght thus in playne wordes speketh he
That many lordes grete/the whiche haue be
And lordshyppes haue be loste and ouerthrowe
For takynge fredomes frome theyr subgets lowe

He sheweth eke in maner semblable
That grete cytees/with many an other toune
And comyn people of mynde vnreasonable
Haue ben dystroyed/and sodaynly cast doune
Agaynst theyr prynces/takynge opynyon
Desyrynge fredomes/mo than here tofore
Theyr elders had/and thus they haue be lore

By reason wherof/batayles grete and werre
Haue ben/and many folkes also slayne
Syth Ihesus deyed/was neuer thynge bought derre
Whan poore subgettes on foly wyll pretayne
Agaynst theyr prynce/or elles theyr souerayne
To moue maters/not beynge obedynge
Suche by the lawe ben execute and shent

Somtyme the noble realme and men of Fraunce
Exempte were/and vtterly made fre
By theyr grete/prowes and valyaunce
Of the emperours/of Rome the cyte
As of trybutes/for whiche batayles haue be
Betwene them/and the Romayns longe ago
In whiche dayes I fynde it happed so

Upon a tyme/for cause that they ne were
Of fraunce in puyssaunce/able to withstonde
The grete army and the myghty powere
Of an emperour entred in theyr londe
But for as moche/as they ne wolde be bonde
Them were leuer go from that regyon
Than to remayne vnder subgeccyon

Seruynge this emperour/and trybute pay
So of hygh courage/and theyr grete nobles
All sodaynly/these nobles wente away
Conquerynge coutrees/suche was theyr worthynes
And afterwarde retorned neuertheles
Home to theyr lande/in grete prosperyte
Whiche they tyll now haue holde in lyberte

Unto theyr owne vse/prouffyte and auayle
Wherfore folkes of many a nacyon
Lyuynge in seruage/constreyned with trauayle
Desyred to haue theyr habytacyon
In fraunce/and there vnder domynacyon
To lyue in wele/lyberte/and rest
Wherby it grewe/somtyme the noblest

Realme of the worlde/that knowen were or founde.
Moost fayre in buyldynge/and inhabyte best
The whiche in treasure/and scyence dyde habounde
Then for asmoche/as they be fre at leest
Prudent in fayth/in lyuynge holyest
They sholde theyr subgets/in frauchyse kepe & vse
After theyr lawe/and neuer to refuse

Ageynst all trouthe/and inconuenyent
It is certayne/and nothynge charytable
God knoweth well/the lorde omnypotent
A man to haue/a custome reasonable
Onely for hym selfe/ryght prouffytable
And for his neyghboure/vse it other wyse
Suche vsage sholde/all well dysposed men dyspyse

Herof it groweth that lyberte is lost
In people voyde/of reason and scyence
And thus vyces and synnes reygneth most
Some gyue to vertues lytell reuerence
Wherin to god/do they ryght grete offence
The comyn wele/in generalyte
All men sholde loue of perfyte charyte

Why it is thus/a man may reason make
Who loueth not his wele pertyculerly
Hath but a lytell wytte I vndertake
Whan he may haue a prouffyte syngulerly
Hurtynge none other creature therby
And wyll not helpe hym selfe whan he so may
But wylfully dooth cast his grace away

A fole is he/that wyttynge wyll go
Into a caue/a dyche/or elles a pytte
Whiche is aboue/bothe narowe and strayte also
And all within/full wyde and depe is it
So that whan he therin/is fall and shytte
Out may he not/for there he must abyde
As wylde bestes do in forestes syde

Trapped and taken/ryght so this crature
In lyke wyse/thrugh his owne neclygence
Is in the dyche/where as he must endure
Lyke as these bestes/whiche gladly wolde go thens
Sekynge the wayes with all theyr delygence
Out to auoyde/but so it wyll not be
Tyme is not then/forth of the dyche to fle

Thus one may say/and therupon conclude
By suche as in to maryage be brought
And herupon to make a symylytude
Unto the fysshe whiche hath his pasture sought
And in a lepe/that is of twygges wrought
Is take/and out can not escape ne twynne
But euer dwell/and tary styll therinne

The fysshe that swymmeth in the ryuer clere
As it shall fall hym ofte by aduenture
To rayle aboute/in places here and there
Fyndeth this lepe/the whiche withoute mesure
Beholdeth he with all his besy cure
And he therin/the fysshes and the bayte
Dooth se/supposynge well in his consayte

They be in Ioye and pleasure at theyr lust
And all aboute the lepe he gooth rounde
With grete desyre/hauynge a veray trust
To come to them/and whan that he hath founde
The entre/in he gooth gladde and Iocounde
And to the shynynge bayte/he hyeth faste
Wherof anone/he taketh his repaste

To go agayne/he thynketh but a Iape
Forthe of the lepe/assaynge besyly
A way to fynde/how he therout may scape
And thens departe/to other company
He boreth with his byll all hastely
His besynes/and laboure is in waste
Abyde a whyle/he shall for all his haste

Therin to dwell in wo and heuynes
And where as he hath demed certaynly
Afore to haue had Ioye/and lustynes
There shall he passe his tyme ryght heuely
By men it falleth thus moost comenly
That put them in to maryage all day
Experyence wyll wytnesse as I say

Though it so be/that folkes se before
These wedded men/within the lepe enclosed
In poynt to droune & drenche/yet not therfore
Wyll they forbere/ne tyll they be innosed
As houndes be of bones/it is supposed
There is not one/by other can be ware
Tyll they be take/and holden in the snare

Thus what by foly/fortune or destene
A man may se the people euery day
Demeane themselfe/forsakynge lyberte
And shortely after that repenteth they
Desyrynge it to haue/but they ne may
At ony tyme/vnto suche grace attayne
And all to late/for them is to complayne

Moche more herof/myn auctoure dooth declare
In his prologue/or that he wyll begyn
To shewe these .xv. Ioyes/but I must spare
By losse of tyme/there is nothynge to wynne
But pouerte/vnthryftynes/and synne
Wherfore in wordes rude to make an ende
And of these Ioyes to wryte now I entende

Some men do call these Ioyes sorowes grete
But yet they take them well in pacyence
For of necessyte they must forgete
The care/trouble/sorowe/payne and offence
The whiche they suffre at the reuerence
Of theyr wyues/whiche they may not forsake
And though they oft/mysse vse theyr eloquence
Lytell regarde therto a man sholde take

Here endeth the proheme of the auctour.

And here begynneth the fyrst Ioye of maryage
The fyrst Ioy of maryage is this
As whan a man of tender yeres is
Flourynge in youth/pleasaunt fresshe and gay
Then in this worlde/nothynge may hym dysmay.
Ne other mynde/desyre nor appetyte
Conforte/lykynge/pleasure/Ioye/ne delyte
Hath he except/how he may tye his poyntes
To cause his hose/to syt well on his Ioyntes
And make his vysage/and his lymmes fayre
He brussheth oft his goune/and other gayre
His hede he combeth smothe ryght as hym lyketh
Wherof the heres/pruneth he and pyketh
And maketh hym as clenly as he can
That folke may say/there gooth a goodly man
So wyll he synge/daunce/and balades make
And vpon hym/mo entrepryses take
That he can do/or may atchyeue perchaunce
Thynkynge therby/hym selfe so to enhaunce
The fayrest creature that he can espye
He wyll beholde/with ryght a lusty eye
As vysynge well/where he suche one may fynde
A Iolynet accordynge to his mynde
And whan he hath her fast in his demayne
Ioyous he is/ryght mery/gladde and fayne
For paraduenture so the case may stande
That by his faders/or his moders lande
Or by theyr other goodes he may mayntene
His Iolynets/and go ryght well besene
Lyuynge in rest and ease habundauntly
Beholdynge other folkes certaynly
In to the bonde of maryage ybrought
Than in his mynde he casteth and his thought
Lyke as the fysshe behelde the lepe/so he
Demeth/these wedded men in blysse be
Hauynge the bayte/and pasture at theyr wyll
Wherof they may/theyr appetyte fulfyll
Ryght well he seeth the beatute of theyr wyues
Supposynge that they haue so mery lyues
With them so well appoynted and arayed
For whiche the sely husbande hath not payed
It may so be percase/at many season
Some folke wyll say/and shewe this man by reason
That so her owne fader/or her moder
Her hath arayed/and demeth he none oder
And so this yonge man/torneth hym aboute
The lepe/wherin of wedded a route
Enclosed be/and thenne he dooth enquere
Of maryage/a lytell here and there
Soone here vpon/aryseth suche a wynde
And smoke/that he therof is made so blynde
That he vnware/in to the lepe is cast
Wherin he shall be kepte and holden fast
And where as he was wonte in tyme afore
To synge and daunce/that may well be forbore
Of poyntes byenge/purses/or thynges lyke
Herof shall he not nede/whyles he may pyke
Upon the bayte/tyll he therof be full
His besynes may cause hym to be dull
Now Ioyeth he a whyle/and hym delyteth
To do pleasaunce/ryght well he hym acquyteth
Newly so entred/in to the foresayd gin
And for a tyme nothynge dysmayed therin
Supposynge out to go/but there yet styll
He must abyde/and dwell maugre his wyll
And to repent/there is no tyme ne houre
For with the swete mete/the sauces soure
Contynuaunce wyll cause hym to assay
Syth he can not escape by ony way
And for to put his wyfe in suche degre
As appertayneth of necessyte
It hym behoueth honeste to saue
And so may be/his wyfe an herte may haue
Ryght good/desyrynge to be fresshe and gay
For peraduenture/she this other day
Was at a feest/where she dyde well aduyse
Women of her degre/all other wyse
Than she/appoynted/clothed/and arayde
Within her mynde/than to her selfe she sayde
That by her byrthe/she ought as well as they
To be apparayled and in as good arey
So she compaceth/castynge in her mynde
The day and houre/out craftely to fynde
To her good man/this mater to declare
But her entent to shewe/yet wyll she spare
Tyll she with hym/at nyght be gone to bedde
For there these wyues trust well to be spedde
Of suche petycyons/as they requyre
Accordynge to theyr wylles and desyre
Whan that this wyfe/in bedde is layde thus
Sadly she sayth/for loue of cryst Ihesus
Syr lete me be in rest/for euyll at ease
I am/and he whiche gladly wolde her please
Answereth and sayth/tell me wherfore it is
That greueth you/she sayth grete cause ywys
Haue I/for ye care nothynge what I saye
Or shewe to you/in ernest or in playe
He sayeth than/why speke ye in suche a wyse
By god and all his sayntes in paradyse
She sayth/no myster it is that ye it knewe
For whan I speke to you but wordes fewe
Lytell accompt therof or rekenynge
ye make certayne/demynge for other thynge
Suche wordes I haue/and yet it is not so
Whiche causeth me/oft tymes to be wo
Truly sayth he ye shall tell your dysease
Than answereth she/syr syth it may you please
Forsothe I shall you tell/this is the cas
This other daye at suche a feest I was
The whiche in trouth/me plased nothynge wele
And wherfore I shall tell you euery dele
Whan I there was/I thynke it veryly
There was no wyfe arayed soo symply
Though she were neuer of soo lowe degre
As I was than/ye may byleue well me
How be it syr/surely I saye not this
For praysynge of my selfe/but soo it is
I thaynke god of his mercy and grace
That I am comen/of as good a place
As ony gentyl woman that was there
I me reporte/to suche as knowen where
My lygnage and myn ancestres but late
Abydynge were/and for myn owne estate
This saye I not/sauynge I am ashamed
That ye or elles/my kynne shall be defamed
Nothynge care I/of clothynge what I haue
So that alwaye/your honour ye may saue
And than sayth he/in what estate were they
At thylke feest/now tell me I you praye
Now by my trouth/syth ye wyll knowe algate
She sayth/there was not one in her estate
Egall to me/but she a newe gowne had
And was than better besene and clad
Of what clothe were/these gownes sayth he
Of scarlet fyne/of grene or perce sayth she
Furred ryght wele/with menyuer or gray
With traynes longe/and sleues large/so they
Had eke of rede/or grene/all gyrdelles good
Hangynge vnto the grounde/and by the rode
Theyr gownes were made of the newest gyse
And of the best maner/one coude deuyse
But there had I vpon my weddynge gowne
Well ouer worne/and of the olde facyon
Whiche ouer lytell/and to shorte for me
Is waxen as ye may perceyue and se
For I am growen more/syth it was made
Than at my maryage/whan I it hade
For whan I gyuen was to you alone
I was but yonge and lytell of persone
And so moche wasted am I now for payne
Whiche I of late haue had/that in certayne
I seme now wele a moder for to be
To her that myght be moder vnto me
And in good sayth so sore asshamed was I
Whan that I was amonge this company
That I ne coude ne durste make countenaunce
And yet had I more payne and dyspleasaunce
Whan that a lady there/of suche a place
Afore them all wolde saye vnto my face
Grete shame it was my clothes were so bad
And wondred why that I no better had
For whiche they toke to me but lytell hede
Unneth they turne them wolde/so god me spede
Towarde me/saue of theyr gentylnesse
Of very pyte and of lowelynesse
The good man than her husbande answered tho
ye knowe ryght wele that we haue moche to do
Wherfore my loue now herken what I saye
Remembre ye the same tyme and the daye
Whan in to maryage we entred were
Plente of money/plate or other gere
We had but small/ryght wele herof ye knowe
For whiche your selfe ye may suppose and trowe
That it hehoueth vs now for to bye
Beddes and other thynges hastelye
And at this tyme syluer ne golde in store
Lytell haue we how be it ferthermore
yet must we bye/for wynnynge and encres
Kyne and other catelles neuertheles
In suche a place/for our prouysyon
Also this other daye there fell adown
The pygnon of our hous/for couerture
It lacketh/wherfore dame I you assure
Made must it be in haast of very nede
And also other maters for to spede
I haue/for whiche grete money shall I spende
Or I may brynge my werkes to an ende
And ouer this certes within shorte space
Unto thassyse holden at suche a place
For me to go it is well necessary
Bycause of suche a plee I may not tarye
That for your londe I haue to pursue there
Of whiche as yet I may saye this and swere
I haue had lytell prouffyte or auayle
But spende my goodes/laboure and trauayle
A syr she sayd/now wote I well that ye
None other wyse can speke but repreue me
Of my landes/this may I not abyde
And in her bedde/vnto that other syde
All hastely she turneth with a grone
Sayenge/for goddes loue let me alone
For neuer shall I speke to you agayne
What deuyll sayth this man why do ye playne
And are so wroth/without cause resonable
I am not syr/she sayth/ne yet culpable
Though ye but lytell had/whan ye me toke
For dyuers to me spake/that I forsoke
Of .xx. places/whiche wolde noo good craue
So that they myght onely my body haue
In maryage withouten golde or rente
My person was to them suffycyente
But so it was/that ye ofte came and wente
And many a messenger vnto me sente
By suche subtyll maner crafte and mene
So that all other I refused clene
And had noo wyll/ony to haue but yow
For whiche grete blame & maulgre haue I now
Bothe of my lorde/my fader be ye sure
And of my moder/out of all mesures
Wherof I may haue hate and grete dysdayne
And syr this questyon I aske agayne
If ony woman/at this sayd feest there
In suche a wyse cladde or arayed were
As I beynge to me/in lyke estate
Nay syr not one/I was infortunate
Thyder to come/for by saynt Iohan I saye
The symplest gownes/that they gaue awaye
Unto theyr chamberers/were better cloth
Than is the gowne/whiche on my body goth
On sondayes/or on the holy daye
So wote I not herof/what is to saye
Moche people good out of this worlde departe
Wherof grete domage is/but for my parte
I saye/yf god were pleased I sholde decesse
To you it wolde be lytell heuynesse
For noo dyspleasure/wolde ye for me take
But hastely gete you an other make
By god sayth he/that is nothynge well sayd
Suche symple wordes/myght aparte be layd
For there is nothynge that I for you do
But wele ye ought to take regarde therto
Turne you to me/& what thynge ye lyke best
I shall perfourme/for goddes sake let me rest
Sayth she/now sothly nothynge alyeth me
And wolde our lorde/that in lyke caas were ye
But neuer shall ye touche me after this
No shall sayth he/no syr she sayth ywys
To make all wele/than thynketh he and sayth
If I were deed I knowe it by my fayth
Unto an other/soone wolde ye maryed be
Nay syr by hym that dyed on a tree
Touchynge suche pleasure/as I vnto this daye
Haue had in maryage/I swere and saye
Durynge my lyfe/that neuer mouth of man
Shall touche to myn/and she to wepe began
Sayenge these wordes/to god I make auow
If that I knewe to lyue here after yow
I sholde so deale/that I afore wolde go
The teeres fell downe fro her eyen two
Thus he demaundeth her with wordes fayre
All be it soo/she thynketh the contrayre
The good man demeth than/he is all eased
But yet agayne/in mynde is he dyspleased
Supposynge/that of nature she is colde
Of body chast/& deale with no man wolde
Also he troweth that she hym loueth wele
Thus he in herte is eased euery dele
Bycause he seeth her som what wepe afore
He trusteth that she loueth hym the more
Wherof he hath a pyteous herte and mynde
And can not be in rest tyll that he fynde
The wayes how he may her content & ease
All that he can/he dooth her for to please
In dyuers wyse/with laboure and trauayle
But all for nought/it may nothynge auayle
For she alwaye awayteth for to pyke
Upon the stroke that she afore dyde stryke
That is to saye/a newe gowne wolde she haue
The whiche for cruell stomocke nolde she craue
She passeth tyme/and no good wyll she do
But at suche houre as she was not wonte to
Upryseth she/and after all that daye
A cursed angry chere maketh she alwaye
And not one fayre worde than wyll she speke
So in her breste the malyce dooth she steke
Soone after this cometh the seconde nyght
That she to bedde must go as is it ryght
With her good man/& whan that she is layde
In bedde/than he whiche is not wele apayde
Beholdeth wele loketh and taketh kepe
On her to knowe/whether that she wake or slepe
He well aduyseth yf her armes bothe
Be couered wele and surely with the clothe
And heleth them yf nede or mayster be
Wherwith anone suche countenaunce maketh she
As thoughe she were out of her slepe awaked
Slepe ye sayth he/I thought ye had ben naked
Nay syr she sayd/what be ye not appeased
Sayth he/no syr myn herte is lytell eased
Syghynge sayth she I thanke god of his sounde
I haue ynoughe to lyue vpon the grounde
By god sayth he/dame we shall haue ynowe
Of worldly goodes/and nere to her he drowe
Sayenge I haue bethought me of a thynge
ye shall be at my cosynnes weddynge
And ye shall haue ordeyned as goodly gere
For you as ony gentyl woman there
Certes she sayth/all thoughe ye saye the best
Of all this yere/I wyll go to no feest
Now by my fayth he sayth but yet ye shall
And what ye wyll demaunde haue gowne & all
What I demaunde she sayth/that is ryght nought
For syr so god me helpe that all hath wrought
I aske not to be Ioly for enuy
Gladde wolde I be forsothe yf neuer I
Out of your hous but vnto chyrche sholde passe
Matyns to here euensonge and masse
I saye it not ne yet no wayes seche
Sauynge onely for suche vngoodly speche
As was amonges other whiche I knewe
By my gossyp/whome I fynde euer trewe
For she the wordes harde all openly
The whiche she shewed me full secretely
Than thynketh moche this poore newe wedded man
And in his mynde to compace he began
Consyderynge in what caas that he stode
A newe husholde hauynge lytell gode
And moche to do he had by many a waye
Not purueyed wele grete sommes to paye
And fyfty scutes or syxty for this gowne
He must bestowe/and shortly laye it downe
And in his thought/cast a cheuysaunce
For there may be none other waye ne chaunce
But that this gowne nedely must be had
Wherwith and other gere she shall be clad
For he perceyued hath/by his aduyse
His wyfe a woman is/bothe good and wyse
He thanketh god/the lorde of heuen blysse
So fayre a Iuell/to gyue hym as she is
From one syde to an other/he turneth ofte
In bedde he slepeth not though he lye softe
And it may happen soo/his Wyfe this seeth
Whiche subtyll is/and she within her teeth
Wyll laughe/whan that she knoweth his conceyte
Whome she hath ouercome/with her deceyte
After this nyght/whan comen is the morowe
Aryseth vp this good man full of sorowe
All ouercome with syghes/that he hath take
The nyght afore/for his good wyues sake
And in auenture to the market gothe
With pawne or credence/for to by the clothe
And straytly vnto marchauntes he hym byndeth
Or elles to them suche Iuelles as he fyndeth
Whether they be of syluer/or of golde
Whiche he somtyme had/of his fader olde
Then sellteh he/or elles .x. pounde or more
Of rente in mortgage layeth he therfore
Shortly this man/dooth so his maters spede
That he hath all suche thynges as in that nede
Wherwith he cometh home all spedyly
And to haue thanke he demeth veryly
She syenge this/made semblaunt hym before
As though suche cost myght well haue ben forbore
And that nothynge/she sette by gowne ne gayre
That he home brought with hym for her repayre
Cursynge all them with tonge/& not with thought
That fyrst so grete estate and porte vp brought
And whan she knewe that thynge was sure she sayd
To her good man and hym besought and prayed
He neuer sholde reproue her of the daye
That she had made hym spende for her araye
His money or his goodes/and neuermore
Her to rebuke/or elles vmbrayde therfore
For by the gowne set I nothynge she sayth
So that I may me kepe frome colde in fayth
And alway haue one peny in my purse
Whiche wyll suffyse to me though it were worse
Anone was made this gowne/and eke an hood
Also a gyrdell whiche was ryche and good
And now are comen the termes & the houres
Whan that he must content his credytoures
And this poore man not able is to paye
Bycause his golde and syluer ben awaye
And lenger wyll they not forbere this man
But execute in all the haast they can
They curse on hym/& she the same perceyueth
And therof all the circumstaunce conceyueth
And perauenture afore this curse procede
Or elles after the lawe dooth hym forbede
In chyrche to be/wherfore his company
Men wyll eschewe and grudge all vtterly
Hauynge dysdayne with hym to drynke & ete
And he but lytell hath and none can gete
Of money out of daunger hym to brynge
God wote what Ioye he hath in his lyuynge
His wyfe goth cryenge in the hous aboute
Wherwith a noyse she maketh and a showte
And thus she sayth/ha cursed be the houre
That I was euer in my moders boure
Forth brought or borne/alas it had not happed
That in the cloth/wherin I was fyrst lapped
I had be buryed/for neuer so grete shame
Betydde to ony woman ne dyffame
As to me and my kynne/now shall be layd
Alas I laboure sore/and fast she sayd
And all the laboure besynesse and cost
That I haue done of many a daye is lost
In twenty places or moo I had be maryed
If I so wolde/but lyke a fole I taryed
For where I myght grete honour & auayle
Haue had/and rychesse/therof now I fayle
I knowe how that theyr wyues be bysene
That wolde haue maryed me/whiche doth me
And therfore haue I heuynesse and wo
That deth the lyfe nyll take my body fro
Thus she complayneth her withouten care
Of her husbande/or how the good man fare
For hooly she hath sette her mynde vpon
Her owne estate/and shortely she is gon
Unto this maryage/and where she sholde
Haue thought vpon her husbande she ne wolde
But to this poore man putteth all the wyte
Lyke as an hors that can bothe playne & byte
This woman dooth/and she is cause of all
For she this man hath made so bestyall
Somwhat for sorowe/or elles wyse by playe
That well nygh wasted is his wytte a waye
So that he wyll not vnderstonde ne knowe
That she is in defaute/wyll he not trowe
And though he se the maters euydent
yet of necessytee he is content
But of the thought & sorowes to enquere
It is but waast/syth ye the causes here
Of this man whiche can neyther rest ne slepe
That thynketh euery houre and taketh kepe
How that he may in ease this woman sette
And fynde some remedy to paye his dette
But yet is he more angry for his wyfe
Whiche curseth hym/than all that other stryfe
Thus soroweth he/in pouertee downe fall
And frome that payne recouer neuer shall
Prycked he is/but smarte can he none fele
That all is Ioye/to hym it semeth wele
Thus is this man within the lepe yclosed
And parauenture so he is dysposed
That he nothynge therof dooth hym repent
For yf that he out of the same were hent
Soone wolde he go agayne in to that gynne
And all his payne and woo newly begynne
yet sholde he neuer be in soo good cas
As he hath ben afore he maryed was
And there this poore man shall vse his lyfe
Endynge his dayes in wretchednes & stryfe

Thus endeth the fyrst Ioye of maryage.

Here begynnes the seconde Ioye of maryage.
As for the seconde Ioye of maryage
It is whan yt this wyfe of her courage
Feleth that she so rychely is arayed
In suche a wyse as here tofore is sayd
And knoweth well ynough yt she is fayre
Than wyll she go frome home to take the ayre
To many feestes and assembles eke
And also holy sayntes for to seke
On dyuers pylgrymages wyll she go
All though the husbande be not pleased so
Her Iourney enterpryseth she to ryde
With her cosyon and gossyppes at a tyde
And specyally for her kynnesmannes sake
Her pylgrymage deuoutly wyll she take
And perauenture yet it may soo be
That this man is as nyghe kynne vnto me
As vnto her/but soo hym for to call
Wonte and accustomed is she ouer all
It may be thought for some entent or cause
She calleth hym soo/but there I leue a clause
Her moder than seynge her besynesse
Cometh somtyme to this man I gesse
And as a woman can begynne to clatter
She sayth his herte to tycle and flatter
This foresayd man/her cosyn is of blode
For her to go with suche a company is good
And other whyle the husbande is lothe
That she sholde go/sayth sadly by his othe
How he none horses hath ne other thynge
Her to conuey to feest or gaderynge
Than shall the gossyp or her cosyn saye
I am ryght lothe by god and by this daye
To go/for myn hous so god me spede
Moche thynge haue I to do of very nede
And were it not honour to you and me
Speke wolde I not as now so mote I the
For syr soo god me helpe I knowe it wele
your wyfe to go is pleased neuer a dele
She is a woman leest that loueth waast
Of ony lyuynge/for euer she dooth haast
Home warde whan she at ony place is oute
For your expence & charge she hath suche doute
So this good man/whos wysdome is to seche
And sore abused with theyr flaterynge speche
Demaundeth who goth in this campany
Of men and other/and she sayth certaynly
My cosyon and my godfader also
My god moder/and many an other mo
your moder in lawe/whiche is your wyues moder
My good cosyn your wyfe/and dyuers other
Also the wyues of suche a place in dede
And your cosyn and hers haue ye no drede
Other there be mo/dwellynge in your strete
I dare well saye this company is mete
A kynges doughter for to be amonge
And be ye sure she wyll not tarye longe
Soo is this sely man on honoure sette
That in no wyse wyll he this vyage lette
And perauenture she that thus dooth speke
Shall haue a gowne or other thynges to breke
The mater that the persone may be playd
And thus it falleth ofte as it is sayd
He sayth this company is good and fayre
But she moche hath to do/and grete repayre
At home how be it/for to goo as than
She hath a lycence gyuen by this man
Whiche to her sayth/beware how by the dayes
ye be demeaned trauaylynge on your wayes
Also take hede at nyght ye lodge you sure
And god you kepe frome euyll auenture
The good wyfe than/whiche doth perceyue & here
That she hath leue/maketh coutenaunce & chere
At home for to abyde yet had she leuer
Than forth to ryde/& from her home dysseuer
She sayth my loue this tyme no cause haue I
Out for to goo with suche a company
I praye you that I may not goo this season
Her cosyn than was nyghe herynge that reason
Answered and sayd/what cosyn ye shall goo
your gentyll husband wyll that it be soo
The good man than a lytell abacke doth drawe
And thus he sayth vnto his moder in lawe
Ne were it for the trust I haue in yow
She sholde not go/this make I god auow
Ha my good sone she sayth by heuen kynge
That made this worlde/and euery other thynge
ye may as surely and withouten drede
Suffre her to go as for to saye your crede
Thus they departe and on theyr waye be gone
And as they go/these wordes than sayth one
Unto an other he hath some Ialousye
It semeth wele he dredeth Ieopardye
Thus is he mocked by these womens arte
For now come galauntes forth on euery parte
Whiche at the feest afore by auenture
This foresayd werke haue made and put in vre
And there awaytynge ben vpon theyr nede
For to conclude and so forth to procede
But how this wyfe now fested is & serued
For loue of her good man all vndeserued
And god wote how she doth herselfe applye
To reuell daunce/and for to synge on hye
Also she maketh good and mery chere
But god wote how she prayseth her bedfere
The husbande lefte at home whyle she is oute
And seeth herselfe so praysed amonge the route
Certes these galauntes than her do aduyse
And se she is apparaylled in suche wyse
Perceyuynge well her chere and countenaunce
Shortely to hex eche one hym doth auaunce
One profreth moche/an other offreth more
Harde is to me the cause to tell wherfore
The Ioly chere the praty trotte and pace
With the demeanynge of a womans face
Wyll gyue these louers cause & hardynesse
To sewe for grace vnto theyr worthynesse
One to her wordes gracyous dooth saye
And other cometh as nygh her as he may
And setteth his fote a lofte on hers playne
Eke by the honde quyckly he doth her strayne
Also an other his loke casteth a syde
Full pyteously and sharpely for a tyde
An other than vnto her dooth presente
A dyamonde ryght fayre and oryente
Or elles a ryche rubye with a rynge
Whiche she receyueth with some other thynge
By whiche thynges may she well vnderstande
Of theyr entent/and fele it with her hande
If she haue ony reason brayne or wyt
And other whyles by fortune happeth it
That frome her chayre alyght wyll she adown
To doo some werkes of deuocyon
Or vnto Uenus to doo sacrefyse
But how can I not saye ne in what wyse
This sely man at home in poore degree
Is made and brought vnto necessytee
For thylke estate that his wyfe doth pretende
The mater thus hath dryuen to an ende
And made her go to gaderynges and feestes
Amonge a wycked company of gestes
For vnto her they yolden be in trust
To haue theyr pleasures appetytes and lust
Upon none other thynge do they aweyte
But how they may doo this poore man deceyte
The stroke wherof he hath without escape
Whiche comynly is called but a Iape
So he is causer of his propre shame
None other wyght therof is for to blame
And thus it happeth by contynuaunce
That what by sygnes speche or countenaunce
Trouth of the thynge wherof he was in doute
All openly reported is aboute
Wherby he falleth Ialouse in a rage
Out of the whiche there is no wyght so sage
That hym can moue/for who that feruently
Of woman feleth the cruell malady
There is no medycyne that may hym cure
The sekenesse is so sharpe without mesure
Than wyll he bete her bytterly and curse
Wherby the werkes maketh he moche worse
For chastyce can he not by daye ne nyght
His wyfe but by his betynge maketh lyght
And hote the loue bytwne her & her frende
Thus dryueth he the mater to an ende
And soo he other whyles fortune may
One of her lymmes breke or kytte away
Wherby his castell or his pyle he loseth
Than as a mased beest he hym dysposyth
Withouten care and all he setteth at nought
Thus hath he founde ye payne whiche he hath sought
And neuer after wyll she loue hym more
Bycause that he hath beten her so sore
But for to passe the tyme and make a shewe
And of fayre wordes speketh she but fewe
There this poore man in turment payne & wo
Lyueth and yet he thynketh not so
And all these sorowes/he for Ioyes doth take
Soo in the lepe he is I vndertake
Enclosed depe/and yf he were withoute
yet shortely wolde he in withouten doute
There vseth he his lyfe in paynes alwayes
And wretchedly/thus endeth he his dayes

Thus endeth the seconde Ioye of maryage.

Here begynneth the thyrde Ioye of maryage.
Another Ioye whiche named is the thrydde
Of maryage in no wyse may be hydde
The whiche I purpose shortely to dclare
Accordynge to myn auctour and not spare
The whiche is whan man in youth doth wedde
A yonge mayde/and whan they bothe in bedde
Haue had theyr pleasures largely and desyre
And well aswaged is the brennynge fyre
The hoot heruest is well ouerblowe
As it with me and other is I trowe
Soone after this her bely doth aryse
And waxeth grete/as is the comyn gyse
Wherof the husbande alwaye hath the name
And perauenture he nothynge to blame
Is of the dede/for so it happeth ofte
As some men saye in preuy counseyll softe
And therat meryly wyll laughe or hum
But this is de secretes mulierum
The husbande than in to suche thought doth fall
And turmentes that he ronne and trotte shall
To gete the wyfe all she shall nede
Forth on his Iourney swyftely doth he spede
And yf he tryppe or stomble by the waye
He may fall in the myre by nyght or daye
And grete auenture shall be yf he brynge
Uytaylles that may be good to her lykynge
All thoughe he hath done neuer so grete payne
Whyles he was out/tyll he came home agayne
And ofte it happeth so that for suche mete
As comynly she vsed hath to ete
Bothe lust and appetyte from her do pas
Bycause her stomacke is not as it was
Than she desyreth to haue thynges straunge
And noueltees her dyerte for to chaunge
For whiche this poore man must trotte on fote
Or elles ryde there is none other bote
Bothe nyght & daye/to gete where he may fynde
Suche delycates as may content her mynde
And in this turment seuen yeres and more
Is this good man/and yet she euermore
Nothynge wyll do but playe the wanton so
That therof pyte hath this husbande tho
Whiche of the hous alwaye the charge doth bere
And se all thynges well ordred euery where
Erly to ryse/and late to goo to bedde
He must and se all maters be well spede
And on his husholde/after suche estate
As he is of remembreth he algate
Now dooth the tyme approche of trauaylynge
And she a chylde into the worlde shall brynge
God faders than in haast/god moders eke
As she wyll ordre/besyly to seke
He hath grete thought and out goth in an hete
The nourysses and gossyppes for to gete
Whiche must her kepe of chylde whyle she lyeth in
What tyme his double sorowe dooth begyn
For so they drynke the wyne in euery houre
As in to olde botes one dyde it poure
Now lyenge in her trauayle payne and wo
This wyfe auoweth twenty waye and mo
On pylgrymage to go for her good spede
To be put out of her grete payne and drede
This poore man auoweth eke for to ryde
Unto all halowes/and now on euery syde
The gossyppes come/and this good man must gete
Suche vytayles as they may well drynke and ete
So that they may in suche a wyse be eased
As they shall holde them well content & pleased
This done/the wyfe and gossyppes talke togyder
And fast they carye in for drede of weder
All be it soo/this good man hath the payne
That trauayle must in wynde snowe hayle or rayne
And whan he is forth passed on his waye
One of the gossyppes wyll these wordes saye
Alas my gossyp whiche now is withoute
An harde fytte hath/that am I out of doute
A foule and euyll weder now it is
No force an other sayth so haue I blysse
He is ryght wele at ease/and so be we
But yf it fortune soo/somtyme that he
Fayle of suche thynge as were vnto theyr paye
One of the gossyppes to the wyfe shall saye
Gossyp I meruayle moche/and so dooth all
This felawshyp/that it so is befall
And we haue wonder what it may amount
That your husbande doth make so lytell count
Of you or of your yonge chylde here in trouthe
A gentyll herte wolde pyte haue and routhe
Beholde it wele/conceyue what he wolde do
yf ye had chyldren fyue or syxe yet mo
It doth appere he leuoth you but lyte
Wherof bothe ye and we may haue dyspyte
Consydred where ye lust hym for to take
He hath more honoure truely for your sake
Than euer ony of his lygnage bore
Haue had in dayes passed here tofore
By god I saye/that is our lorde Ihesus
Rather than my husbande serued me thus
I had well leuer/eyther he were deed
Or elles that he none eye had in his heed
Than sayth an other/gossyp fynde some bote
Let not this man thus cast you vnderfote
For he shall doo to you whan ye be layde
As moche agayne or more/now haue I sayde
An other sayth/my cosyon I meruayle
ye take no more regarde to your auayle
Consydred/ye be wyse of good lygnage
And he not lyke to you/though maryage
Hath coupled you and all men hygh & lowe
How ye hym suffre vnderstonde and knowe
And he doth you so grete domage alwaye
Than doth the wyfe answere agayne and saye
Truely my dere gossyppes what is the best
To do as in this caas so haue I rest
Nothynge knowe I ne wayes fynde I can
To helpe my selfe he is so euyll man
An euyll man he is/one of them sayth
But I shall tell you truely by my fayth
My gossyppes that be here/they knowe well whan
I was fyrst maryed to myn husbande than
Men sayd he was so dyuers of his wyll
That it was wonder but he wolde me kyll
By god my gossyp though he so were named
I thanke our lorde he is now ryght wele tamed
For he had leuer fall and breke his arme
Than me to do dyspleasure hurte or harme
But fyrst whan we togyder maryed were
To speke than he began with angry chere
And for to stryke as dooth a carlysshe mon
But by the sacrament of god anon
Fast with my tethe I toke the brydell so
That he me bette no more but tymes two
Wherin he played the very fole and more
For after was I moche wors than before
And he hath tolde my gossyp sykerly
That he in me coude put no remedy
Now may I speke and do all that I wyll
And be it ryght or wronge vntrouth or skyll
Alwaye with me the last worde shall remayne
So whan he speketh I chekke hym vp agayne
There is no game lyke it/whiche is to playe
With players and put besynesse a waye
For gossyp neuer man yet was so harde
I you ensure but yf he be answarde
Well by his wyfe she shall soone make hym fre
And debonarye/yf that she wytty be
An other sayth/my cosyn be well ware
ye speke to hym/and for no drede ye spare
Whan he cometh home/and saye the best ye can
And in this wyse/gouerned is this man
Than drynke they fast & saye saynt Iohn to borowe
And take theyr leue vnto the nexte morowe
What tyme agayne they wyll retourne to se
The maner all/how she shall gouerned be
But whan this poore man cometh home agayne
With vytaylles and with other thynge certayne
And seeth there is grete waast made in his hous
Of goddes and he is inly couetous
Than falleth he heuynesse and payne
For thought that hym doth by the herte constrayne
An houre or two by nyght he doth aryue
For he hath comen ferre to se his wyue
And for to vnderstonde yet ferthermore
How that she dooth/he coueyteth ryght sore
Whether she be hole/or how it with her is
In ony wyse to knowe wyll he not mys
One nyght frome home he dare not lodge withoute
Of his expence he hath suche fere and doute
Into his hous with Ioye entred is he
And all his seruauntes there in theyr degre
Instructed be and taught in suche a wyse
Lyke as the good wyfe lyst afore deuyse
For elles though neuer so good & true were thay
They sholde not tarye there well halfe a daye
Now he demaundeth how the good wyfe doth
And therof wyll he vnderstonde the soth
Than sayth her chamberer whiche dooth her kepe
Syr she is very seke and may not slepe
Syth ye departed hens ete myght she not
But lytell she amended is god wot
Than is this man all sorowfull and sadde
Whiche hath ben wette wt reyne & harde bestadde
For oftentyme by hym and other moo
Parauenture it may well happen soo
That he is faynte and his hors at assaye
For he hath passed by an euyll waye
And they percas of all the daye afore
Haue neyther dronke ne eten lasse ne more
And yet wyll not this poore man ete a bytte
Tyll tyme that he may vnderstonde & wytte
How his wyfe dooth/& than the chambrerere
Olde matrones/& the nouryse drawen nere
And seruauntes whiche enfourmed ben how they
After theyr charge shall them demeane alwey
They shewe theyr personages as they were wroth
Than wyll not he abyde/but vp he goth
Into the chambre/comynge her agayne
And at his entre/softely she dooth playne
Upon the bedde afore her leneth he
Sayenge my best byloued how do ye
Ryght seke she sayth my lorde/and than he there
Demaundeth how in what a wyse and where
My loue sayth she/ye knowe well that of late
I am made feble/and in poore estate
Than answereth he to her as in this wyse
Haue ye not ordeyned so that some colyse
Of a fatte capon for you may be made
Now syr so god me helpe/ryght so I hadde
She sayth of late/but they it can not make
In fayth quod he loue I shall vndertake
To make you one full well and holsomly
The whiche shall no man touche but ye and I
And ye shall ete it for the loue of me
She sayth my loue I wyll well it so be
This good man than goth to the coke in hast
He stampeth fast and ordeyned her repast
Fast chydeth he/and sayth they be but bestes
For they can dyght no metes at requestes
Than hastely he dooth this soupynge bere
Unto his wyfe/and whan he cometh there
With prayer he enforceth her to take
Somwhat therof and ere well for his sake
And so she dooth and sayth syr good it is
But so was not that they haue made or this
For it was nothynge worth a symple fle
And with that worde frome her departeth he
To souper/and adowne he dooth hym sette
And therupon the vytaylles be forth sette
None of the delycates that gossyppes ete
The daye afore/whiche were not for hym mete
Not perauenture of the messes chefe
He had but of the fragmentes and belefe
Wherof the olde wyues haue take theyr fyll
And god wote in what wyse they dranke theyr tyll
Thus was this wety man at souper fedde
Wherwith he is content and goth to bedde
All sobrely with heuynesse and sorowe
And whan that comen is the nexte morowe
Unto his wyfe he gooth and in this wyse
He sayth/my loue tyme is ye awake and ryse
And go to masse for we so moche do spende
That all our money nygh is at an ende
This cost is grete/we may not bere out it
And she answereth a syr it is not yet
No whyle syth I was layde/& so grete payne
I haue that yet I can not well sustayne
Myselfe/but now I wote it and byleue
ye thynge it longe/& sore it doth you greue
That I ne laboure in the hous agayne
In suche a wyse as though I sholde be slayne
I vnderstonde it is your mynde and wyll
That in this wyse I sholde my selfe do kyll
Alas I se in tyme to come that I
Ryght moche shall haue to suffre certaynly
If that I sholde haue .x. or .xii. yee mo
Chyldren/but god defende that it be so
For yf it myght hym please I wolde be gladde
That neuer one after this tyme I hadde
And please it to god that I more chylde haue neuer
But his comaundement be perfourmed euer
In me and all his wyll lowly obeyd
Ha sayd this man/alas what haue ye sayd
ye mone yourselfe without cause or encheson
For I dare saye and make it good by reoson
Was neuer poore man yet of myn estate
That suffre hath soo moche as I of late
Frome hensforth in it shall me lyke & please
That whan ye wyll ye aryse or take your ease
Than sayth she thus/my counseyll is that one
Go streyght vnto my gossyppes all anone
And saye to them they come no more to me
For I am euyll dysposed in certaynte
My loue sayth he they shall come and haue all
Suche thynges as may them please in specyall
Syr than sayth she/no more let me be styll
And do ye all thynges as it is your wyll
Than cometh a matrone with a wryngled face
An olde kepster with whome is lytell grace
And to the good man out her mynde doth breke
Pease syr she sayth/no mo suche wordes speke
For to a woman that is voyde of brayne
And feble/and so tender in certayne
Grete peryll is to speke so in her payne
And therwithall she draweth the courtayne
So doth this man lyue sorowfully alwayes
And wretchedly so shall he ende his dayes

Here endeth the thyrde Ioye of maryage.

Here begynneth the fourth Ioye of maryage.
The fourth Ioye of maryage to tell
Is as to go frome purgatorye to hell
For it is whan he whiche hath maryed be
Kepynge an housholde after his degre
Where he hath dwelled styll .viii. yeres euen
And hath of yonge chyldren fyre or seuen
Passynge full many an euyll nyght & daye
Unhappely as ye haue herde me saye
Wherof he hath had many an euyll ende
Thus is his youth gretely made colde & spende
And it were tyme for hym sore to repente
If that he coude/as synners sholde in lente
But of his hous whiche he must kepe algate
He is soo inly wery and soo mate
That what someuer the wyfe wyll speke or do
Nought careth he/ne taketh hede therto
For he as harde and dull is as an asse
Whiche for no prycke ne sporre wyll faster passe
This poore man doughters hath yet one or twayne
The whiche may fortune wolde be maryed fayne
They redy be and on the houre they tarye
Awaytynge fast who wyll come them to marye
They be in Ioye/and it may happen so
The man is poore/and lyueth in care & wo
Nygh moneyles/and hath no grete substaunce
For maryage to make his cheuysaunce
Also vnto his sones he must bye
His doughters & his other small meynye
Doublettes hosyn kyrtels and vytayle
And many an other thynge withouten fayle
His sayd doughters he must repayre and kepe
All honestely and gaye/elles wyll they wepe
And for thre thynges this nedely must be done
One is bycause they may be asked sone
Of dyuers galauntes dwellynge them aboute
An other is withouten ony doute
All were it so that this goodman ne wolde
yet so to be/for nothynge it ne sholde
For why the wyfe hath passed the same waye
And she ne wyll it suffre by this daye
Also there is an other reason why
Bycause they haue good myndes & hertes hye
And are accustomed to be fresshe & gay
For otherwyse wyll they not be ne may
And in auenture yf they otherwyse
Entred were/anone they wolde practyse
To haue theyr Iolynettes/for helpe and ease
But there an ende/of that I holde my pease
So is this man on euery parte dysmayd
These charges berynge/as afore is sayd
And perauenture soo he is bestadde
That symplely and poorely he is cladde
Of whiche araye yet careth he nothynge
So he may haue a passe tyme and lyuynge
And this suffyseth well to hym alwaye
As to the fysshe doth in the lepe to playe
Whyles he may haue a tyme and suffraunce
Therin to lyue and languysshe nt penaunce
And yet therby abbredged ben his dayes
So fareth it by suche a man alwayes
The whiche into the lepe of housholdynge
Is put where he shall suffre suche turmentynge
As I haue sayd/and other innumerable
And thus he seeth these thynges so chargeable
That all he sette at nought soo he lyue may
As doth an hors morfounded by the waye
Whiche none accompte doth set by sporre ne thynge
That may to hym be done in trauaylynge
This not withstondynge/wheder he wyll or not
Forth hym behoueth for to goo and trot
To gouerne londe and lyuelode whiche is his
Ryght after suche estate as he of is
And perauenture he hath horses twayne
The whiche be lene & poore for lacke of grayne
And it soo fortune may he hath but one
Or yet not one/but forth he gooth anone
And .xx. myle or fourty from his place
He trauaylleth/within a lytell space
Unto the parlyament/or to thassyse
Where he hath for to sewe in dyuers wyse
For suche a cause/as other thynges amonge
Hath ben dependant in the lawe there longe
A payre of botes well of thre yeres olde
Or foure he hath to kepe his legges frome colde
The whiche full ofte haue mended ben alowe
Ryght craftely for drede it sholde be knowe
So that parte whiche was somtyme on the kne
Amyddes the shynne must nedely vsed be
Full ofte they chaunged haue theyr former face
And that hath brought them from aboue so bace
A rustye payre of sporres he hath eke
Wherof one of the rowelles be to seke
Also of .x. yeres olde he hath a gowne
Not of the newest gyse ne facyowne
The whiche for drede that he sholde it appere
Excepte on hygh feestes he nolde it were
Or elles whan he frome home sholde go or ryde
All other tymes it was layde clene asyde
The cause why it was of so olde a shappe
May be for soo it fallen is by happe
That gownes be made all in a newe gyse
But this to hym dooth well ynoughe suffyse
And in his wayes yf that he se or here
Ony Instrumentes or playes ay they answere
As semeth hym by sowynge in his ere
Of his housholde bycause his mynde is there
He lyues harde and poorely by the wayes
So do his horses/and his page alwayes
Whiche page is all to ragged and to rent
As pluto was that rode to parlyament
Upon his syde a rustye sworde and bad
He ware the whiche his mayster goten had
In flaunders at a bataylle/also he
Those bowges caryed that were wonte to be
Ofte vsed to conueye bothe nygh and farre
His legge harneys alwayes in tyme of warre
Sortely to speke/he doth all that he may
With lytell cost to trauayle by the waye
For he at home ynough hath for to spende
Also these aduocates to hym offende
Sergeauntes gryffyers/and suche a companye
So largely take of hym that he doth hye
Home warde as fast as he his hors can dryue
And perauenture whan he cometh to his wyue
It is nygh the mornynge as the nyght
And whan he is at home he dooth alyght
Where he noo souper fynde can ne espye
Bycause his wyfe and other companye
Unto theyr beddes were gone somwhat afore
Or he came home/but he dare saye no more
But taketh all in pacyence and gree
For here vnto accustomed hath he be
And yf it happe that he come in good houre
Wery and sadde with trauayle and laboure
Pensyfe heuy/and of his charges greued
Supposynge to be welcomed and releued
How be it many tymes he hath had
And he doth thynke ryght euyll chere & bad
The good wyfe chydeth than & clappeth fast
As though a tempest were or thonder blast
Within the hous/and yf that this good man
Lyst to comaunde/or bydde his seruautes than
To gete hym ony thynge that he wolde haue
There is not in his hous so lewde a knaue
That maketh accompte therby ne wyll obey
So by theyr dame afore taught ben all they
Wherfore to speke he loseth tyme and payne
But she therwith be pleased in certayne
And yf his ladde in ony wyse demande
Mete for hym selfe/or for his hors prouande
He shall be checked and rebuked so
That he shall not dare speke suche wordes mo
Also this poore man that is soo sage
Wyll make no noyse for hym ne for his page
But taketh all in pacyence and sayth
Dame ye do well/and yours in good fayth
Therwith she answereth hym all hastely
ye haue more lost and spent now folyly
Than ye wyll wynne of all these yeres twaye
I tolde you late in twenty deuylles waye
ye sholde haue made our henhous close or now
A martron eten hath this tell I yow
Thre of myn olde hennes ye shall perceyue
What harme we haue therby/thus ye deceyue
By god I knowe yf ye may lyue your age
ye shall be poorest man of your lygnage
Fayre dame sayth he no mo suche wordes saye
I haue ynough/and so shall haue alway
Our lorde I thanke/and yf it do hym please
I am content/and thynke me well at ease
For of my kynred there ben full ryght good men
In your kynred/ha se now/sayth she then
By saynt Mary/I knowe not where they be
And at the leest I coude them neuer se
Dame by my/fayth he sayth/some be ryght gode
Of my lygnage/I wolde ye vnderstode
The whiche be worthe as moche or more than ye
What they/she sayth/be they lyke vnto me
ye dame sayth he/nay syr by god sayth she
I tell you well your dedes were but small
Without my frendes helpe in especyall
Now fayre dame/for goddes loue sayth he
Haue pacyence/and lete suche wordes be
Certes she sayth/yf that my frendes were here
And you suche/wordes had/they wolde answere
you well ynough/then he the mater feres
Leest it by her/sholde come vnto theyr eres
Wherfore to kepe all thynges in pacyence
No more sayth he/but resteth with sylence
And here with all/begynneth for to wepe
A lytell chylde/that can not go but crepe
And she anone/a rodde taketh in her hande
And in dyspyte/of this good poore husbande
More than for other cause or chastysynge
Upon the buttockes/she dooth it bete and dynge
This lytell babe/and than he sayth no more
Bete it fayre dame/and waxeth wrothe therfore
And she begynneth for to chyde and crye
In all the deuylles names of hell on hye
To gouerne them/she sayth ye haue no payne
They cost you nought/but I haue cause to playne
For alway vpon them I must attende
God gyue it shamefull deth/and euyll ende
Ha fayre dame sayth he/that is foule sayd
With that the nouryce shortely dooth out brayde
And sayth a syr/full lytell do ye knowe
The sorowe that here is amonge vs I trowe
And what payne that it were to you/yf ye
Sholde kepe and nourysshe them so as do we
Now by my trouth/than sayth the chamberere
It is grete shame to you syr/wyll ye here
For whan that you come home/we sholde be fayne
Of your comynge/but ye make noyse and playne

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