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Then I am a minion, for I wear the new guise,
The next year after I hope to be wise-
Not only in wearing my gorgeous array,
For I will go to learning a whole summer's day;
I will learn Latin, Hebrew, Greek, and French,
And I will learn Dutch sitting on my bench.
I do fear no man, each man feareth me;

I overcome my adversaries by land and by sea :
I had no peer if to myself I were true;
Because I am not so diverse times do Í rue:
Yet I lack nothing, I have all things at will,
If I were wise and would hold myself still,
And meddle with no matters but to me pertaining,
But ever to be true to God and my king.
But I have such matters rolling in my pate,
That I will and do-I cannot tell what.

No man shall let me, but I will have my mind,
And to father, mother, and friend, I'll be unkind.
I will follow mine own mind and mine old trade:
Who shall let me? The devil's nails are unpared.
Yet above all things new fashions I love well,
And to wear them my thrift I will sell.
In all this world I shall have but a time:
Hold the cup, good fellow, here is thine and mine!

The Nut-Brown Maid.

[Regarding the date and author of this piece no certainty exists. Prior, who founded his Henry and Emma upon it, fixes its date about 1400; but others, judging from the comparatively modern language of it, suppose it to have been composed subsequently to the time of Surrey. The poem opens with a declaration of the author, that the faith of woman is stronger than is generally alleged, in proof of which he proposes to relate the trial to which the Not-Browne Mayde' was exposed by her lover. What follows consists of a dialogue between the pair.]

HE. It standeth so; a deed is do',
Whereof great harm shall grow:

My destiny is for to die

A shameful death, I trow;

Or else to flee the one must be,
None other way I know,

But to withdraw as an outlaw,
And take me to my bow.

Wherefore adieu, my own heart true!
None other rede I can:
For I must to the green wood go,
Alone, a banished man.

SHE. O Lord, what is this world's bliss,

That changeth as the moon!

My summer's day in lusty May

Is darked before the noon.

I hear you say, Farewell: Nay, nay,
We depart not so soon.

Why say ye so whither will ye go?
Alas! what have ye done?
All my welfare to sorrow and care
Should change if ye were gone;
For in my mind, of all mankind
I love but you alone.

HE.-I can believe, it shall you grieve,
And somewhat you distrain:

But afterward, your paines hard
Within a day or twain

Shall soon aslake; and ye shall take
Comfort to you again.

Why should ye ought, for to make thought?
Your labour were in vain.

And thus I do, and pray to you,

As heartily as I can ;

For I must to the green wood go,
Alone, a banished man.

SHE. Now sith that ye have showed to me
The secret of your mind,

I shall be plain to you again,
Like as ye shall me find.
Sith it is so that ye will go,

I will not live behind;

Shall never be said, the Nut-Brown Maid
Was to her love unkind:
Make you readyỳ, for so am I,
Although it were anon;
For in my mind, of all mankind
I love but you alone.

HE. I counsel you, remember how
It is no maiden's law
Nothing to doubt, but to run out

To wood with an outlaw;
For ye must there in your hand bear
A bow, ready to draw;

And as a thief, thus must you live,
Ever in dread and awe.

Whereby to you great harm might grow:
Yet had I lever than,

That I had to the green wood go,

Alone, a banished man.

SHE. I think not nay, but, as ye say,

It is no maiden's lore:

But love may make me for your sake,
As I have said before,

To come on foot, to hunt and shoot
To get us meat in store;
For so that I your company
May have, I ask no more:
From which to part it makes my heart
As cold as any stone;

For, in my mind, of all mankind

I love but you alone.

HE. Yet take good heed, for ever I dread That could not sustain


The thorny ways, the deep valleys,

The snow, the frost, the rain,

The cold, the heat; for, dry or weet,

We must lodge on the plain;

And us above, none other roof

But a brake bush or twain:

Which soon should grieve you, I believe,
And ye would gladly than

That I had to the greenwood go,
Alone, a banished man.

SHE. Sith I have here been partinèr
With you of joy and bliss,

I must also part of your wo

Endure, as reason is.

Yet I am sure of one pleasure,
And, shortly, it is this,

That, where ye be, me seemeth, pardie,
I could not fare amiss.

Without more speech, I you beseech
That ye were soon agone,

For, in my mind, of all mankind
I love but you alone.

HE. If ye go thither, ye must consider,
When ye have list to dine,

There shall no meat be for you gete,
Nor drink, beer, ale, nor wine,

No sheetes clean, to lie between,
Made of thread and twine;

None other house but leaves and boughs,

To cover your head and mine. Oh mine heart sweet, this evil diet,

Should make you pale and wan; Wherefore I will to the green wood go, Alone, a banished man.

SHE.-Among the wild deer, such an archér,

As men say that ye be,

Ye may not fail of good vittail,
Where is so great plentie.
And water clear of the river,
Shall be full sweet to me.

With which in heal, I shall right weel
Endure, as ye shall see ;

And, ere we go, a bed or two

I can provide anone;

For, in my mind, of all mankind
I love but you alone.

HE.-Lo yet before, ye must do more,

If ye will go with me;

As cut your hair up by your ear,
Your kirtle to the knee;
With bow in hand, for to withstand
Your enemies, if need be ;

And this same night, before day-light,
To wood-ward will I flee.

If that ye will all this fulfill,

Do't shortly as ye can:

Else will I to the green wood go,
Alone, a banished man.

SHE-I shall, as now, do more for you,
Than 'longeth to womanheed,
To short my hair, a bow to bear,
To shoot in time of need.

Oh, my sweet mother, before all other
For you I have most dread;
But now adieu! I must ensue

Where fortune doth me lead.
All this make ye: Now let us flee ;
The day comes fast upon :
For, in my mind, of all mankind
I love but you alone.

HE-Nay, nay, not so; ye shall not go,
And I shall tell you why:
Your appetite is to be light
Of love, I weel espy:

For like as ye have said to me,
In like wise, hardily,

Ye would answer whoever it were,

In way of company.

It is said of old, soon hot, soon cold;
And so is a woman,

Wherefore I to the wood will go,
Alone, a banished man.

SHE-If ye take heed, it is no need
Such words to say by me;
For oft ye prayed and me assayed,
Ere I loved you, pardie:
And though that I, of ancestry,

A baron's daughter be,

Yet have you proved how I you loved,
A squire of low degree;

And ever shall, whatso befal;
To die therefore anon;

For, in my mind, of all mankind
I love but you alone.

HE.-A baron's child to be beguiled,
It were a cursed deed!

To be fellaw with an outlaw,
Almighty God forbid !

It better were, the poor squièr
Alone to forest yede,

Than I should say, another day,

That, by my cursed deed,

We were betrayed: wherefore, good maid,

The best rede that I can,

Is, that I to the greenwood go,

Alone, a banished man.

1 Disposition.

SHE. Whatever befall, I never shall,

Of this thing you upbraid;
But, if ye go, and leave me so,
Than have ye me betrayed.
Remember weel, how that you deal;
For if ye, as ye said,

Be so unkind to leave behind,
Your love, the Nut-Brown Maid,
Trust me truly, that I shall die
Soon after ye be gone;

For, in my mind, of all mankind
I love but you alone.

HE-If that ye went, ye should repent;
For in the forest now

I have purveyed me of a maid,
Whom I love more than you;
Another fairèr than ever ye were,

I dare it weel avow,

And of you both each should be wroth
With other, as I trow :

It were mine case to live in peace ;
So will I, if I can ;

Wherefore I to the wood will go,
Alone, a banished man.

SHE.-Though in the wood I understood
Ye had a paramour,

All this may not remove my thought,
But that I will be your.

And she shall find me soft and kind
And courteous every hour;
Glad to fulfill all that she will
Command me to my power.
For had ye, lo, an hundred mo,
Of them I would be one;
For, in my mind, of all mankind
I love but you alone.

HE.-Mine own dear love, I see thee prove
That ye be kind and true;

Of maid and wife, in all my life,

The best that ever I knew.

Be merry and glad; no more be sad ;
The case is changed now;

For it were ruth, that, for your truth,
Ye should have cause to rue.

Be not dismayed; whatever I said
Το you, when I began;

I will not to the greenwood go:

I am no banished man.

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Not long after the time of Lydgate, our attention is called to a prose writer of eminence, the first since the time of Chaucer and Wickliffe. This was SIR JOHN FORTESCUE, Chief Justice of the King's Bench under Henry VI., and a constant adherent of the fortunes of that monarch. He flourished between the years 1430 and 1470. Besides several Latin tracts, Chief Justice Fortescue wrote one in the common language, entitled, The Difference between an Absolute and Limited Monarchy, as it more particularly regards the English Constitution, in which he draws a striking, though perhaps exaggerated, contrast between the condition of the French under an arbitrary monarch, and that of his own countrymen, who even then possessed considerable privileges as subjects. The following extracts convey at once an idea of the literary style, and of the manner of thinking, of that age.

[English Courage.]

[Original spelling.—It is cowardise and lack of hartes and corage, that kepith the Frenchmen from rysyng, and not povertye; which corage no Frenche man hath like to the English man. It hath ben often seen in Englond that iij or iv thefes. for povertie, hath sett upon vij or viij true men, and robbyd them al. But it hath not ben seen in Fraunce, that vij or viij thefes have ben hardy to robbe iij or iv true men. Wherfor it is right seld that French men be hangyd for robberye, for that thay have no hertys to do so terryble an acte. There be therfor mo men hangyd in Englond, in a yere, for robberye and manslaughter, than ther be hangid in Fraunce for such cause of crime in vij yers, &c.]

It is cowardice and lack of hearts and courage, that keepeth the Frenchmen from rising, and not poverty; which courage no French man hath like to the English man. It hath been often seen in England that three or four thieves, for poverty, hath set upon seven or eight true men, and robbed them all. But it hath not been seen in France, that seven or eight thieves have been hardy to rob three or four true men. Wherefore it is right seld' that Frenchmen be hanged for robbery, for that they have no hearts to do so terrible an act. There be therefore mo men hanged in England, in a year, for robbery and manslaughter, than there be hanged in France for such cause of crime in seven years. There is no man hanged in Scotland in seven years together for robbery, and yet they be often times hanged for larceny, and stealing of goods in the absence of the owner thereof; but their hearts serve them not to take a inan's goods while he is present and will defend it; which manner of taking is called robbery. But the English man be of another courage; for if he be poor, and see another man having riches which may be taken from him by might, he wol not spare to do so, but if that poor man be right true. Wherefore it is not poverty, but it is lack of heart and cowardice, that keepeth the French men from rising.

is to say, they that seen few things woll soon say their advice. Forsooth those folks consideren little the good of the realm, whereof the might most stondeth And if they upon archers, which be no rich men. wherewith to buy them bows, arrows, jacks, or any were made poorer than they be, they should not have other armour of defence, whereby they might be able to resist our enemies when they list to come upon us, which they may do on every side, considering that we be an island; and, as it is said before, we may not have soon succours of any other realm. Wherefore we should be a prey to all other enemies, but if we be mighty of ourself, which might stondeth most upon our poor archers; and therefore they needen not only to have such habiliments as now is spoken of, but also they needen to be much exercised in shooting, which may not be done without right great expenses, as every man expert therein knoweth right well. Wherefore the making poor of the commons, which is the making poor of our archers, should be the destruction of the greatest might of our realm. Item, if poor men may not lightly rise, as is the opinion of those men, which for that cause would have the commons poor; how then, if a mighty man made a rising, should he be repressed, when all the commons be so poor, that after such opinion they may not fight, and by that reason not help the king with fighting? And why maketh the king the commons to be every year mustered, sithen it was good they had no harness, nor these men; for it may not be maintained by any were able to fight? Oh, how unwise is the opinion of reason! Item, when any rising hath been made in this land, before these days by commons, the poorest men thereof hath been the greatest causers and doers therein. And thrifty men have been loth thereto, for dread of losing of their goods, yet often times they have gone with them through menaces, or else the same poor men would have taken their goods; wherein it seemeth that poverty hath been the whole and chief stirred thereto by occasion of his poverty for to get cause of all such rising. The poor man hath been good; and the rich men have gone with them because they wold not be poor by losing of their goods. What then would fall, if all the commons were poor?


The next writer of note was WILLIAM CAXTON, the celebrated printer; a man of plain understanding, but great enthusiasm in the cause of literature. While acting as an agent for English merchants in Holland, he made himself master of the art of printing, then recently introduced on the Continent; and, having translated a French book styled, The Recuyell of the Histories of Troye, he printed it at Ghent, in 1471, being the first book in the English language ever put to the press.* Afterwards he established a printing-office at Westminster, and in 1474, produced The Game of Chess, which was the first book printed in Britain. Caxton translated or wrote about sixty different books, all of which went through his own press before his death in 1491. As a specimen of his manner of writing, and of the literary language

What harm would come to England if the Commons of this age, a passage is here extracted, in modern

thereof were Poor.

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In a note to this publication, Caxton says-'Forasmuch as age creepeth on me daily, and feebleth all the bodie, and also because I have promised divers gentlemen, and to my friends, to address to them, as hastily as I might, this said book, therefore I have practised and learned, at my great charge and dispence, to ordain this said book in print, after the manner and form as ye may here see, and is not written with pen and ink, as other books ben, to the end that all men may have them at once, for all the books of this story, named The Recule of the Historeys of Troyes, thus emprinted, as ye here see, were begun in one day, and also finished in one day.'

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spelling, from the conclusion of his translation of he came at the last hour, he slept in our Lord; of The Golden Legend.

William Caxton.

[Legend of St Francis.]

Francis, servant and friend of Almighty God, was born in the city of Assyse, and was made a merchant unto the 25th year of his age, and wasted his time by living vainly, whom our Lord corrected by the scourge of sickness, and suddenly changed him into another man; so that he began to shine by the spirit of prophecy. For on a time, he, with other men of Peruse, was taken prisoner, and were put in a cruel prison, where all the other wailed and sorrowed, and he only was glad and enjoyed. And when they had repreved him thereof, he answered, 'Know ye,' said he, that I am joyful: for I shall be worshipped as a saint throughout all the world.'

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On a time as this holy man was in prayer, the devil called him thrice by his own name. And when the holy man had answered him, he said, none in this world is so great a sinner, but if he convert him, our Lord would pardon him; but who that sleeth himself with hard penance, shall never find mercy. And anon, this holy man knew by revelation the fallacy and deceit of the fiend, how he would have withdrawn him fro to do well. And when the devil saw that he might not prevail against him, he tempted him by grievous temptation of the flesh. And when this holy servant of God felt that, he despoiled' his cloaths, and beat himself right hard with an hard cord, saying, 'Thus, brother ass, it behoveth thee to remain and to be beaten.' And when the temptation departed not, he went out and plunged himself in the snow, all naked, and made seven great balls of snow, and purposed to have taken them into his body, and said, This greatest is thy wife; and these four, two ben thy daughters, and two thy sons; and the other twain, that one thy chambrere, and that other thy varlet or yeman; haste and clothe them: for they all die for cold. And if thy business that thou hast about them, grieve ye sore, then serve our Lord perfectly. And anon, the devil departed from him all confused; and St Francis returned again unto his cell glorifying God.

He was enobled in his life by many miracles and the very death, which is to all men horrible and hateful, he admonished them to praise it. And also he warned and admonished death to come to him, and said Death, my sister, welcome be you.' And when & Took off.

1 Reproved.

3 Unto.

whom a friar saw the soul, in manner of a star, like to the moon in quantity, and the sun in clearness.

Prose history may be said to have taken its rise in the reigns of Henry VII. and VIII.; but its first examples are of a very homely character. ROBERT FABIAN and EDWARD HALL may be regarded as the first writers in this department of our national literature. They aimed at no literary excellence, nor at any arrangement calculated to make their writings more useful. Their sole object was to narrate minutely, and as far as their opportunities allowed, faithfully, the events of the history of their country. Written in a dull and tedious manner, without any exercise of taste or judgment, with an absolute want of discrimination as to the comparative importance of facts, and no attempt to penetrate the motives of the actors, or to describe more than the external features of even the greatest of transactions, the Chronicles, as they are called, form masses of matter which only a modern reader of a peculiar taste, curiosity, or a writer in quest of materials, would now willingly peruse. Yet it must be admitted, that to their minuteness and indiscrimination we are indebted for the preservation of many curious facts and illustrations of manners, which would have otherwise been lost.

Fabian, who was an alderman and sheriff of London, and died in 1512, wrote a general chronicle of English history, which he called The Concordance of Stories, and which has been several times printed, the last time in 1811, under the care of Sir Henry Ellis. It is particularly minute with regard to what would probably appear the most important of all things to the worthy alderman, the succession of officers of all kinds serving in the city of London; and amongst other events of the reign of Henry V., the author does not omit to note that a new weathercock was placed on the top of St Paul's steeple. Fabian repeats all the fabulous stories of early English history, which had first been circulated by Geoffrey of Monmouth.


[The Deposition of King Vortigern.] [Vortigern had lost much of the affections of his people by marriage with Queen Rowena.] Over that, an heresy, called Arian's heresy, began then to spring up in Britain. For the which, two holy bishops, named Germanus and Lupus, as of Gaufryde is witnessed, came into Britain to reform the king, and all other that erred from the way of truth.

Of this holy man, St Germain, Vincent Historial saith, that upon an evening when the weather was passing cold, and the snow fell very fast, he axed lodging of the king of Britain, for him and his compeers, which was denied. Then he, after sitting under a bush in the field, the king's herdman passed by, and seeing this bishop with his company sitting in the weather, desired him to his house to take there such poor lodging as he had. Whereof the bishop being glad and fain, yodel unto the house of the said herdman, the which received him with glad cheer. And for him and his company, willed his wife to kill his only calf, and to dress it for his guest's supper; the which was also done. When the holy man had supped, he called to him his hostess, willing and desiring her, that she should diligently gather together all the bones of the dead calf; and them so gathered, to wrap together within the skin of the said calf. And then it lay in the stall before the rack near unto the dame. Which done according to the commandment of the holy man, shortly after the calf was restored

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to life; and forthwith ate hay with the dam at the rack. At which marvel all the house was greatly astonished, and yielded thanking unto Almighty God, and to that holy bishop.

Upon the morrow, this holy bishop took with him the herdman, and yode unto the presence of the king, and axed of him in sharp wise, why that overnight he had denied to him lodging. Wherewith the king was so abashed, that he had no power to give unto the holy man answer. Then, St Germain said to him: I charge thee, in the name of the Lord God, that thou and thine depart from this palace, and resign it and the rule of thy land to him that is more worthy this room than thou art. The which all thing by power divine was observed and done; and the said herdman, by the holy bishop's authority, was set into the same dignity; of whom after descended all the kings of Britain.

[Jack Cade's Insurrection.]

[Original Spelling. And in the moneth of Juny this yere, the comons of Kent assemblyd them in grete multytude, and chase to them a capitayne, and named hym Mortymer, and

cosyn to the Duke of Yorke; but of moste he was named

Jack Cade. This kepte the people wondrouslie togader, and made such ordenaunces amonge theym, that he brought a grete nombre of people of theym vnto the Blak Heth, where he deuysed a bylle of petycions to the kynge and his counsayll, &c.]

from Greenwich to London, and there with his host rested him a while.

And so soon as Jack Cade had thus overcome the Staffords, he anon apparelled him with the knight's apparel, and did on him his bryganders set with gilt nails, and his salet and gilt spurs; and after he had refreshed his people, he returned again to Black Heath, and there pight again his field, as heretofore he had done, and lay there from the 29th day of June, being St Peter's day, till the first day of July. In which season came unto him the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Duke of Buckingham, with whom they had long communication, and found him right discreet in his answers: how be it they could not cause him to lay down his people, and to submit him unto the king's grace.

In this while, the king and the queen, hearing of the increasing of his rebels, and also the lords fearing their own servants, lest they would take the Captain's party, removed from London to Killingworth, leaving the city without aid, except only the Lord Scales, which was left to keep the Tower, and with him a manly and warly man named Matthew Gowth. Then the Captain of Kent thus hoving at Blackheath, to the end to blind the more the people, and to bring him in fame that he kept good justice, beheaded there a petty Captain of his, named Paris, for so much as he had offended again' such ordinance as he had stablished in his host. And hearing that the king and all his lords were thus departed, drew him near unto the city, so that upon the first day of July he entered the burgh of Southwark, being then Wednesday, and lodged him there that night, for he might not be suffered to enter that city.

And in the month of June this year (1450), the commons of Kent assembled them in great multitude, and chase to them a Captain, and named him Mortimer, and cousin to the Duke of York; but of most he And upon the same day the commons of Essex, in was named Jack Cade. This kept the people won- great number, pight them a field upon the plain at drously together, and made such ordinances among Miles End. Upon the second day of the said month, them, that he brought a great number of people of the mayor called a common council at the Guildhall, them into the Black Heath, where he devised a bill for to purvey the withstanding of these rebels, and of petitions to the king and his council, and showed other matters, in which assembled were divers opinions, therein what injuries and oppressions the poor com- so that some thought good that the said rebels should mons suffered by such as were about the king, a few be received into the city, and some otherwise; among persons in number, and all under colour to come to the which, Robert Horne, stock-fishmonger, then being his above. The king's council, seeing this bill, dis-an alderman, spake sore again' them that would have allowed it, and counselled the king, which by the 7th day of June had gathered to him a strong host of people, to go again' his rebels, and to give unto them battle. Then the king, after the said rebels had holden their field upon Black Heath seven days, made toward them. Whereof hearing, the Captain drew back with his people to a village called Sevenoaks, and there embattled.

them enter. For the which sayings, the commons were so amoved again' him, that they ceased not till they had him committed to ward.

And the same afternoon, about five of the clock, the Captain with his people entered by the bridge; and when he came upon the drawbridge, he hewed the ropes that drew the bridge in sunder with his sword, and so passed into the city, and made in sundry places Then it was agreed by the king's council, that Sir thereof proclamations in the king's name, that no man, Humphrey Stafford, knight, with William his brother, upon pain of death, should rob or take anything per and other certain gentlemen should follow the chase, force without paying therefor. By reason whereof he and the king with his lords should return unto Green- yon many hearts of the commons of the city; but all wich, weening to them that the rebels were fled and was done to beguile the people, as after shall evidently gone. But, as before I have showed, when Sir Hum-appear. He rode through divers streets of the city, phrey with his company drew near unto Sevenoaks, and as he came by London Stone, he strake it with he was warned of the Captain, that there abode with his sword and said, 'Now is Mortimer lord of this his people. And when he had counselled with the city.' And when he had thus showed himself in other gentlemen, he, like a manful knight, set upon divers places of the city, and showed his mind to the the rebels and fought with them long; but in the mayor for the ordering of his people, he returned into end the Captain slew him and his brother, with many Southwark, and there abode as he before had done, other, and caused the rest to give back. All which his people coming and going at lawful hours when season, the king's host lay still upon Black Heath, they would. Then upon the morn, being the third being among them sundry opinions; so that some and day of July and Friday, the said Captain entered again many favoured the Captain. But, finally, when word the city, and caused the Lord Saye to be fette3 from came of the overthrow of the Staffords, they said the Tower, and led into the Guildhall, where he was plainly and boldly, that, except the Lord Saye and arraigned before the mayor and other of the king's other before rehearsed were committed to ward, they justices. In which pastime he intended to have would take the Captain's party. For the appeasing of brought before the said justices the foresaid Robert which rumour the Lord Saye was put into the Tower; Horne; but his wife and friends made to him such but that other as then were not at hand. Then the instant labour, that finally, for five hundred marks, he king having knowledge of the scomfiture of his men and also of the rumour of his hosting people, removed

1 Pitched.

? Hovering.

8 Fetched.

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