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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)

    Historie of Frier Bacon.
    1Enter, Edward the first malcontented with Lacy earle of Lin-
    colne, Iohn Warren earle of Sussex, and Ermsbie gentle-
    man: Raph Simnell the kings foole.
    5WHY lookes my lord like to a troubled skie,
    When heauens bright shine, is shadowed with a fogge:
    Alate we ran the deere and through the Lawndes
    Stript with our nagges the loftie frolicke bucks,
    That scudded fore the teisers like the wind,
    10Nere was the Deere of merry Fresingfield,
    So lustily puld down by iolly mates,
    Nor sharde the Farmers such fat venison,
    So franckly dealt this hundred yeares before:
    Nor haue I seene my lord more frolicke in the chace,
    15And now changde to a melancholie dumpe.
    Warren. After the Prince got to the keepers lodge
    And had been iocand in the house a while:
    Tossing of ale and milke in countrie cannes,
    Whether it was the countries sweete content:
    20Or els the bonny damsell fild vs drinke
    That seemd so stately in her stammell red:
    Or that a qualme did crosse his stomacke then,
    But straight he fell into his passions.
    Ermsbie. Sirra Raphe, what say you to your maister,
    25Shall he thus all amort liue malecontent.
    Raphe. Heerest thou Ned, nay looke if hee will speake
    to me.
    Edward. What sayst thou to me foole?
    Raphe. I pree thee tell me Ned, art thou in loue with the
    30keepers daughter?
    Edward. How if I be, what then?
    Raphe. Why then sirha Ile teach thee how to deceiue loue.
    Edward. How Raphe.
    Raphe. Marrie sirha Ned, thou shalt put on my cap, and
    35my coat, and my dagger, and I will put on thy clothes, and thy
    sword, and so thou shalt be my foole.
    Edward. And what of this?
    Raphe. Why so thou shalt beguile Loue, for Loue is such a
    proud scab, that he will neuer meddle with fooles nor children, Is
    40not Raphes counsell good Ned.
    Edward. Tell me Ned Lacie, didst thou marke the mayd,
    How liuely in her country weedes she lookt:
    A bonier wench all Suffolke cannot yeeld,
    All Suffolke, nay all England holds none such.
    45Raphe. Sirha, Will Ermsby, Ned is deceiued.
    Ermsbie. Why Raphe?
    Raphe. He saies all England hath no such, and I say, and
    Ile stand to it, there is one better in Warwickshire.
    VVarren. How proouest thou that Raphe?
    50Raphe. Why is not the Abbot a learned man, and hath red
    many bookes, and thinkest thou he hath not more learning than
    thou to choose a bonny wench, yes I warrant thee by his whole
    Ermsby. A good reason Raphe.
    55Edward. I tell the Lacie, that her sparkling eyes,
    Doe lighten forth sweet Loues alluring fire:
    And in her tresses she doth fold the lookes
    Of such as gaze vpon her golden haire,
    Her bashfull white mixt with the mornings red,
    60Luna doth boast vpon her louely cheekes,
    Her front is beauties table where she paints,
    The glories of her gorgious excellence:
    Her teeth are shelues of pretious Margarites,
    Richly enclosed with ruddie curroll cleues.
    65Tush Lacie, she is beauties ouermatch,
    If thou suruaist her curious imagerie.
    Lacie. I grant my lord the damsell is as faire,
    As simple Suffolks homely towns can yeeld:
    But in the court be quainter dames than she,
    70Whose faces are enricht with honours taint,
    Whose bewties stand vpon the stage of fame,
    And vaunt their trophies in the courts of loue.
    Edw. Ah Ned, but hadst thou watcht her as my self,
    And seene the secret bewties of the maid,
    75Their courtly coinesse were but foolery.
    Ermsbie. Why how watcht you her my lord?
    Edward. When as she swept like Venus through the house,
    And in her shape fast foulded vp my thoughtes:
    Into the Milkhouse went I with the maid,
    80And there amongst the cream-boles she did shine,
    As Pallace, mongst her Princely huswiferie:
    She turnd her smocke ouer her Lilly armes,
    And diued them into milke to run her cheese:
    But whiter than the milke her christall skin,
    85Checked with lines of Azur made her blush,
    That art or nature durst bring for compare,
    Ermsbie if thou hadst seene as I did note it well,
    How bewtie plaid the huswife, how this girle
    Like Lucrece laid her fingers to the worke,
    90Thou wouldest with Tarquine hazard Roome and all
    To win the louely mayd of Fresingfield.
    Raphe. Sirha Ned, wouldst faine haue her?
    Edward. I Raphe.
    Raphe. Why Ned I haue laid the plot in my head thou
    95shalt haue her alreadie.
    Edward. Ile giue thee a new coat and learne me that.
    Raphe. Why sirra Ned weel ride to Oxford to Frier Bacon, oh
    he is a braue scholler sirra, they say he is a braue Nigromancer,
    that he can make women of deuils, and hee can iuggle cats into
    Edward. And how then Raphe?
    Raphe. Marry sirha thou shalt go to him, and because thy fa-
    ther Harry shall not misse thee, hee shall turne me into thee; and
    Ile to the Court, and Ile prince it out, and he shall make thee ei-
    105ther a silken purse, full of gold, or else a fine wrought smocke.
    Edward. But how shall I haue the mayd?
    Raphe. Marry sirha, if thou beest a silken purse full of gold,
    then on sundaies sheele hang thee by her side, and you must not
    say a word, Now sir when she comes into a great prease of people,
    110for feare of the cut-purse on a sodaine sheele swap thee into her
    plackerd, then sirha being there you may plead for yourselfe.
    Ermsbie. Excellent pollicie.
    Edward. But how if I be a wrought smocke.
    Raphe. Then sheele put thee into her chest and lay thee in-
    115to Lauender, and vpon some good day sheele put thee on, and at
    night when you go to bed, then being turnd from a smocke to a
    man, you may make vp the match.
    Lacie. Wonderfully wisely counselled Raphe.
    Edward. Raphe shall haue a new coate.
    120Raphe. God thanke you when I haue it on my backe Ned,
    Edward. Lacie the foole hath laid a perfect plot,
    For why our countrie Margret is so coy,
    And standes so much vpon her honest pointes,
    That marriage or no market with the mayd:
    125Ermsbie, it must be nigromaticke spels,
    And charmes of art that must inchaine her loue,
    Or else shall Edward neuer win the girle,
    Therefore my wags weele horse vs in the morne,
    And post to Oxford to this iolly Frier,
    130Bacon shall by his magicke doe this deed.
    Warren. Content my lord, and thats a speedy way
    To weane these head-strong puppies from the teat,
    Edward. I am vnknowne, not taken for the Prince,
    They onely deeme vs frolicke Courtiers,
    135That reuell thus among our lieges game:
    Therefore I haue deuised a pollicie,
    Lacie, thou knowst next friday is S. Iames,
    And then the country flockes to Harlston faire,
    Then will the keepers daughter frolicke there,
    140And ouer-shine the troupe of all the maids,
    That come to see, and to be seene that day.
    Haunt thee disguisd among the countrie swaines,
    Fain thart a farmers sonne, not far from thence,
    Espie her loues, and who she liketh best:
    145Coat him, and court her to controll the clowne,
    Say that the Courtier tyred all in greene,
    That helpt her handsomly to run her cheese,
    And fild her fathers lodge with venison,
    Commends him, and sends fairings to herselfe,
    150Buy some thing worthie of her parentage,
    Not worth her beautie for Lacie then the faire,
    Affoords no Iewell fitting for the mayd:
    And when thou talkest of me, note if she blush,
    Oh then she loues, but if her cheekes waxe pale,
    155Disdaine it is. Lacie send how she fares,
    And spare no time nor cost to win her loues.
    Lacie. I will my lord so execute this charge,
    As if that Lacie were in loue with her.
    Edward. Send letters speedily to Oxford of the newes.
    160Raphe. And sirha Lacie, buy me a thousand thousand milli-
    on of fine bels.
    Lacie. What wilt thou doe with them Raphe?
    Raphe. Mary euery time that Ned sighs for the keepers
    daughter, Ile tie a bell about him, and so within three or foure
    165daies I will send word to his father Harry, that his sonne and my
    maister Ned is become Loues morris dance.
    Edward. Well Lacie, looke with care vnto thy charge,
    And I will hast to Oxford to the Frier,
    That he by art, and thou by secret gifts,
    170Maist make me lord of merrie Fresingfield.
    Lacie. God send your honour your harts desire. Exeunt.