QueenʼsMen Editions

About this text

  • 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)

    Enter frier Bacon with frier Bungay to his cell.
    1780Bungay. What meanes the frier that frolickt it of late,
    To sit as melancholie in his cell:
    To sit as melancholie in his cell,
    As if he had neither lost nor wonne to day.
    Bacon. Ah Bungay my Brazen-head is spold,
    1785My glorie gone, my seuen yeares studie lost:
    The fame of Bacon bruted through the world,
    Shall end and perish with this deepe disgrace.
    Bungay. Bacon hath built foundation on his fame,
    So surely on the wings of true report,
    1790With acting strange and vncoth miracles,
    As this cannot infringe what he deserues.
    Bacon. Bungay sit down, for by prospectiue skill,
    I find this day shall fall out ominous,
    Some deadly act shall tide me ere I sleepe:
    1795But what and wherein little can I gesse.
    Bungay. My minde is heauy what so ere shall hap.
    Enter two schollers, sonnes to Lambert and Serlby.
    Bacon. Whose that knockes.
    1800Bungay. Two schollers that desires to speake with you.
    Bac. Bid thẽ come in, Now my youths what would you haue.
    1. Sholler. Sir we are Suffolke men and neighbouring friends,
    Our fathers in their countries lustie squires,
    Their lands adioyne, in Crackfield mine doth dwell,
    1805And his in Laxfield, we are colledge mates,
    Sworne brothers as our fathers liues as friendes.
    Bacon. To what end is all this.
    2. Scholler. Hearing your worship kept within your cell
    A glasse prospectiue wherin men might see,
    1810What so their thoughts or hearts desire could wish,
    We come to know how that our fathers fare.
    Bacon. My glasse is free for euery honest man,
    Sit downe and you shall see ere long,
    How or in what state your friendly father liues,
    1815Meane while tell me your names.
    Lambert. Mine Lambert.
    2. Scholler. And mine Serlsbie.
    Bacon. Bungay, I smell there will be a tragedie.
    Enter Lambert and Serlsbie, with Rapiers and daggers.
    1820Lambert. Serlsby thou hast kept thine houre like a man,
    Th'art worthie of the title of a squire:
    That durst for proofe of thy affection,
    And for thy mistresse fauour prize thy bloud,
    Thou knowst what words did passe at Fresingfield,
    1825Such shamelesse braues as manhood cannot brooke:
    I for I skorne to beare such piercing taunts,
    Prepare thee Serlsbie one of vs will die.
    Serlsbie. Thou seest I single thee the field,
    And what I spake, Ile maintaine with my sword.
    1830Stand on thy guard I cannot scold it out.
    And if thou kill me, thinke I haue a sonne,
    That liues in Oxford in the Brodgates hall,
    Who will reuenge his fathers bloud with bloud.
    Lambert. And Serlsbie I haue there a lusty boy,
    1835That dares at weapon buckle with thy sonne,
    And liues in Broadgates too as well as thine,
    But draw thy Rapier for weele haue a bout.
    Bacon. Now lustie yonkers looke within the glasse,
    And tell me if you can discerne your sires.
    18401. Scol. Serlsbie tis hard, thy father offers wrong,
    To combat with my father in the field.
    2. Schol. Lambert thou liest, my fathers is the abuse,
    And thou shalt find it, if my father harme.
    Bungay. How goes it sirs.
    18451. Scholler. Our fathers are in combat hard by Fresingfield.
    Bacon. Sit still my friendes and see the euent.
    Lambert. Why standst thou Serlsbie doubtst thou of thy life,
    A venie man, faire Margret craues so much.
    Serlbie. Then this for her.
    18501. Scholler. Ah well thrust.
    2. Scholler. But marke the ward.
    They fight and kill ech other.
    Lambert. Oh I am slaine.
    Serlbie. And I, Lord haue mercie on me.
    18551. Scholler. My father slaine, Serlby ward that.
    The two schollers stab on another.
    2. Scholler. And so is mine Lambert, Ile quite thee well.
    Bungay. O strange strattagem.
    Bacon. See Frier where the fathers both lie dead.
    1860Bacon thy magicke doth effect this massacre:
    This glasse prospectiue worketh manie woes,
    And therefore seeing these braue lustie brutes,
    These friendly youths did perish by thine art,
    End all thy magicke and thine art at once:
    1865The poniard that did end the fatall liues,
    Shall breake the cause efficiat of their woes,
    So fade the glasse, and end with it the showes,
    That Nigromancie did infuse the christall with.
    He breakes the glasse.
    1870Bung. What means learned Bacon thus to breake his glasse.
    Bacon. I tell thee Bungay it repents me sore,
    That euer Bacon medled in this art,
    The houres I haue spent in piromanticke spels,
    The fearefull tossing in the latest night,
    1875Of papers full of Nigromanticke charmes,
    Coniuring and adiuring diuels and fiends,
    With stole and albe and strange Pentaganon,
    The wresting of the holy name of God,
    As Sother, Elaim, and Adonaie,
    1880Alpha, Manoth, and Tetragramiton,
    With praying to the fiue-fould powers of heauen,
    Are instances that Bacon must be damde,
    For vsing diuels to counteruaile his God.
    Yet Bacon cheere thee, drowne not in despaire,
    1885Sinnes haue their salues repentance can do much,
    Thinke mercie sits where Iustice holds her seate,
    And from those wounds those bloudie Iews did pierce
    Which by thy magicke oft did bleed a fresh,
    From thence for thee the dew of mercy drops,
    1890To wash the wrath of hie Iehouahs ire,
    And make thee as a new borne babe from sinne,
    Bungay Ile spend the remnant of my life
    In pure deuotion praying to my God,
    That he would saue what Bacon vainly lost. Exit.