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 4] [Video Sc.4]
    Enter [King Henry the Third of England], the Emperor [of Germany], the King of Castile, Eleanor 445his daughter, Jaques Vandermast, a German, [and other lords and attendants].
    King Henry
    Great men of Europe, monarchs of the West,
    Ringed with the walls of old Oceanus,
    Whose lofty surge is like the battlements
    That compassed high-built Babel in with towers,
    450Welcome, my lords, welcome brave western kings,
    To England's shore, whose promontory cliffs
    Shows Albion is another little world.
    Welcome, says English Henry to you all,--
    Chiefly unto the lovely Eleanor,
    455Who dared for Edward's sake cut through the seas
    And venture as Agenor's damsel through the deep
    To get the love of Henry's wanton son.
    King of Castile
    's rich monarch, brave Plantagenet,
    The Pyren Mounts, swelling above the clouds,
    460That ward the wealthy Castile in with walls,
    Could not detain the beauteous Eleanor;
    But hearing of the fame of Edward's youth,
    She dared to brook Neptunus's haughty pride,
    And bide the brunt of froward Aeolus.
    465Then may fair England welcome her the more.
    After that English Henry, by his lords,
    Had sent Prince Edward's lovely counterfeit,
    A present to the Castile Eleanor,
    The comely portrait of so brave a man,
    470The virtuous fame discoursed of his deeds,
    Edward's courageous resolution
    Done at the Holy Land 'fore Damas's walls,
    Led both mine eye and thought in equal links
    To like so of the English monarch's son
    475That I attempted perils for his sake.
    Emperor of Germany
    Where is the prince, my lord?
    King Henry
    He posted down, not long since, from the court
    To Suffolk side, to merry Framlingham,
    To sport himself amongst my fallow deer.
    480From thence, by packets sent to Hampton House,
    We hear the prince is ridden with his lords
    To Oxford, in the academy there
    To hear dispute amongst the learne}d men.
    But we will send forth letters for my son
    485To will him come from Oxford to the court.
    Emperor of Germany
    Nay, rather, Henry, let us as we be
    Ride for to visit Oxford with our train.
    Fain would I see your universities
    And what learne}d men your academy yields.
    490From Hapsburg have I brought a learne}d clerk
    To hold dispute with English orators.
    This doctor, surnamed Jaques Vandermast,
    A German born, passed into Padua,
    To Florence, and to fair Bologna,
    495To Paris, Rheims, and stately Orleans,
    And talking there with men of art, put down
    The chiefest of them all in aphorisms,
    In magic, and the mathematic rules.
    Now let us, Henry, try him in your schools.
    500King Henry
    He shall, my lord; this motion likes me well.
    We'll progress straight to Oxford with our trains,
    And see what men our academy brings.--
    And, wonder Vandermast, welcome to me.
    In Oxford shalt thou find a jolly friar
    505Called Friar Bacon, England's only flower;
    Set him but nonplus in his magic spells
    And make him yield in mathematic rules,
    And for thy glory I will bind thy brows,
    Not with a poet's garland made of bays,
    510But with a coronet of choicest gold.
    Whilst then we set to Oxford with our troops,
    Let's in and banquet in our English court.