QueenʼsMen Editions

About this text

  • Title: Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay (Modern)
  • Textual editor: Christopher Matusiak
  • Performance editor: Peter Cockett
  • General editor: Helen Ostovich
  • Coordinating editor: Janelle Jenstad

  • Copyright Queen's Men Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: Robert Greene
    Editor (Text): Christopher Matusiak
    Editor (Performance): Peter Cockett
    Peer Reviewed

    Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay (Modern)

    [Scene 15] [Video Sc.15]
    Enter the Emperor [of Germany] with a pointless sword, next the King of 2075Castile carrying a sword with a point, Lacy carrying the globe, [Prince] Ed[ward], Warr[en] carrying a rod of gold with a dove on it, Ermsby with a crown and scepter, [Princess Eleanor] with [Margaret] the fair maid of Fressingfield [and countess of Lincoln] on her left hand, [King] Henry, Bacon, with other Lords attending.
    [Kneeling] Great potentates, earth's miracles for state,
    Think that Prince Edward humbles at your feet,
    And for these favors, on his martial
    He vows perpetual homage to your selves,
    Yielding these honors unto Eleanor. [He rises.]
    2085King Henry
    Gramercies, lordlings. Old Plantagenet
    That rules and sways the Albion diadem,
    With tears discovers these conceive}d joys,
    And vows requital if his men-at-arms,
    The wealth of England, or due honors done
    2090To Eleanor, may quite his favorites.
    But all this while, what say you to the dames
    That shine like to the crystal lamps of heaven?
    Emperor of Germany
    If but a third were added to these two,
    They did surpass those gorgeous images
    2095That gloried Ida with rich beauty's wealth.
    [Kneeling] 'Tis I, my lords, who humbly on my knee
    Must yield her orisons to mighty Jove
    For lifting up his handmaid to this state;
    Brought from her homely cottage to the court
    2100And graced with kings, princes, and emperors,
    To whom (next to the noble Lincoln earl)
    I vow obedience and such humble love
    As may a handmaid to such mighty men. [She rises.]
    Thou martial man that wears the Almain crown,
    2105And you, the western potentates of might,
    The Albion princess, English Edward's wife,
    Proud that the lovely star of Fressingfield,
    Fair Margaret, countess to the Lincoln earl,
    Attends on Eleanor--gramercies, lord, for her--
    2110'Tis I give thanks for Margaret to you all,
    And rest, for her, due bounden to yourselves.
    King Henry
    Seeing the marriage is solemnized,
    Let's march in triumph to the royal feast.--
    But why stands Friar Bacon here so mute?
    2115Friar Bacon
    Repentant for the follies of my youth
    That magic's secret mysteries misled,
    And joyful that this royal marriage
    Portends such bliss unto this matchless realm.
    King Henry
    Why, Bacon, what strange event shall happen to this land?
    2120Or what shall grow from Edward and his queen?
    Friar Bacon
    I find by deep prescience of mine art,
    Which once I tempered in my secret cell,
    That here, where Brut did build his Troynovant,
    From forth the royal garden of a king
    2125Shall flourish out so rich and fair a bud,
    Whose brightness shall deface proud Phoebus's flower
    And overshadow Albion with her leaves.
    Till then, Mars shall be master of the field,
    But then the stormy threats of wars shall cease;
    2130The horse shall stamp as careless of the pike;
    Drums shall be turned to timbrels of delight.
    With wealthy favors plenty shall enrich
    The strand that gladded wandering Brut to see,
    And peace from heaven shall harbor in these leaves
    2135That gorgeous beautify this matchless flower.
    Apollo's heliotropian then shall stoop,
    And Venus's hyacinth shall vail her top;
    Juno shall shut her gillyflowers up,
    And Pallas's bay shall bash her brightest green;
    2140Ceres's carnation in consort with those
    Shall stoop and wonder at Diana's rose.
    King Henry
    This prophesy is mystical.--
    But, glorious commanders of Europa's love,
    That make fair England like that wealthy isle
    2145Circled with Gihon and first Euphrates,
    In royalizing Henry's Albion
    With presence of your princely mightiness,
    Let's march. The tables all are spread,
    And viands such as England's wealth affords
    2150Are ready set to furnish out the boards.
    You shall have welcome, mighty potentates;
    It rests to furnish up this royal feast
    Only your hearts be frolic, for the time
    Craves that we taste of naught but jouissance.
    2155Thus glories England over all the west.
    Exeunt omnes.