QueenʼsMen Editions

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  • Title: Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay (Quarto)
  • Editors: Christopher Hicklin, Christopher Matusiak

  • 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
    Editors: Christopher Hicklin, Christopher Matusiak
    Peer Reviewed

    Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay (Quarto)

    The honourable historie of Frier Bacon.
    Trembling vpon her concaue contenent,
    When Bacon red vpon his Magick booke,
    With seuen yeares tossing nigromanticke charmes,
    Poring vpon darke Hecats principles,
    1580I haue framd out a monstrous head of brasse,
    That by the inchaunting forces of the deuil,
    Shall tell out strange and vncoth Aphorismes,
    And girt faire England with a wall of brasse,
    Bungay and I haue watcht these threescore dayes,
    1585And now our vitall spirites craue some rest,
    If Argos livd and had his hundred eyes,
    They could not ouerwatch Phobeters night,
    Now Miles in thee rests Frier Bacons weale,
    The honour and renowne of all his life,
    1590Hangs in the watching of this brazen-head,
    Therefore I charge thee by the immortall God
    That holds the soules of men within his fist,
    This night thou watch, for ere the morning star
    Sends out his glorious glister on the north,
    1595The head will speake, then Miles vpon thy life,
    Wake me for then by Magick art Ile worke,
    To end my seuen yeares taske with excellence,
    If that a winke but shut thy watchfull eye,
    Then farewell Bacons glory and his fame,
    1600Draw closse the courtaines Miles now for thy life,
    Be watchfull and Here he falleth asleepe.

    Miles. So, I thought you would talke your selfe a sleepe anon,
    and tis no meruaile, for Bungay on the dayes, and he on the
    nights, haue watcht Iust these ten and fifty dayes, now this is
    1605the night, and tis my taske and no more. Now Iesus blesse me
    what a goodly head it is, and a nose, you talke of nos autem glori-
    ficare, but heres a nose, that I warrant may be cald nos autem po-
    pelare for the people of the parish, well I am furnished with
    weapons, now sir I will set me downe by a post, and make it as
    1610good as a watch-man to wake me if I chaunce to slumber.