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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)

    Enter Henrie, Emperour, Castile, Ellinor, Van-
    dermast, Bungay.
    Emperour. Trust me Plantagenet these Oxford schooles
    1115Are richly seated neere the riuer side:
    The mountaines full of fat and fallow deere,
    The batling pastures laid with kine and flocks,
    The towne gorgeous with high built colledges,
    And schollers seemely in their graue attire.
    1120Learned in searching principles of art,
    What is thy iudgement, Iaquis Vandermast.
    Vandermast. That lordly are the buildings of the towne,
    Spatious the romes and full of pleasant walkes:
    But for the doctors how that they be learned,
    1125It may be meanly, for ought I can heere.
    Bungay. I tell thee Germane, Haspurge holds none such,
    None red so deepe as Oxenford containes,
    There are within our accademicke state,
    Men that may lecture it in Germanie,
    1130To all the doctors of your Belgicke schools.
    Henrie. Stand to him Bungay, charme this Vandermast,
    And I will vse thee as a royall king.
    Vandermast. Wherein darest thou dispute with me.
    Bungay. In what a Doctor and a Frier can.
    1135Vandermast. Before rich Europes worthies put thou forth
    The doubtfull question vnto Vandermast.
    Bungay. Let it be this, whether the spirites of piromancie
    or Geomancie, be most predominant in magick.
    Vander. I say of Piromancie.
    1140Bungay. And I of Geomancie.
    Vander. The cabbalists that wright of magicke spels,
    As Hermes, Melchie, and Pithagoras,
    Affirme that mongst the quadruplicitie
    Of elementall essence, Terra is but thought,
    1145To be a punctum squared to the rest:
    And that the compasse of ascending eliments
    Exceed in bignesse as they doe in height.
    Iudging the concaue circle of the sonne,
    To hold the rest in his circomference,
    1150If then as Hermes saies the fire be greatst,
    Purest and onely giueth shapes to spirites:
    Then must these Demones that haunt that place,
    Be euery way superiour to the rest.
    Bungay. I reason not of elementall shapes,
    1155Nor tell I of the concaue lattitudes,
    Noting their essence nor their qualitie,
    But of the spirites that Piromancie calles,
    And of the vigour of the Geomanticke fiends,
    I tell thee Germane magicke haunts the grounds,
    1160And those strange necromantick spels
    That worke such shewes and wondering in the world,
    Are acted by those Geomanticke spirites,
    That Hermes calleth Terrae filii.
    The fierie spirits are but transparant shades,
    1165That lightly passe as Heralts to beare newes,
    But earthly fiends closd in the lowest deepe,
    Disseuer mountaines if they be but chargd,
    Being more grose and massie in their power.
    Vander. Rather these earthly geomantike spirits,
    1170Are dull and like the place where they remaine:
    For when proud Lucipher fell from the heauens,
    The spirites and angels that did sin with him,
    Retaind their locall essence as their faults,
    All subiect vnder Lunas continent,
    1175They which offended lesse hang in the fire,
    And second faults did rest within the aire,
    But Lucifer and his proud hearted fiends,
    Were throwne into the center of the earth,
    Hauing lesse vnderstanding than the rest,
    1180As hauing greater sinne, and lesser grace.
    Therfore such grosse and earthly spirits doe serue,
    For Iuglers, Witches, and vild sorcerers,
    Whereas the Piromanticke gemij,
    Are mightie, swift, and of farre reaching power,
    1185But graunt that Geomancie hath most force,
    Bungay to please these mightie potentates,
    Prooue by some instance what thy art can doe.
    Bungay. I will.
    Emper. Now English Harry here begins the game,
    1190We shall see sport betweene these learned men.
    Vandermast. What wilt thou doe.
    Bung. Shew thee the tree leavd with refined gold,
    Wheron the fearefull dragon held his seate,
    That watcht the garden cald Hesperides,
    1195Subdued and wonne by conquering Hercules.
    Vandermast. Well done.
    Heere Bungay coniures and the tree appeares with
    the dragon shooting fire.
    Henrie. What say you royall lordings to my frier,
    1200Hath he not done a point of cunning skill.
    Vander. Ech scholler in the Nicromanticke spels,
    Can doe as much as Bungay hath performd,
    Bur as Alcmenas basterd ras'd this tree,
    So will I raise him vp as when he liued,
    1205And cause him pull the Dragon from his seate,
    And teare the branches peecemeale from the roote,
    Hercules Prodie, Prodi Hercules.
    Hercules appeares in his Lions skin.
    Hercules. Quis me vult.
    1210Vandermast. Ioues bastard sonne thou libian Hercules
    Pull off the sprigs from off the Hesperian tree,
    As once thou didst to win the golden fruit.
    Hercules. Fiat.
    Heere he begins to breake the branches.
    1215Vander. Now Bungay if thou canst by magicke charme,
    The fiend appearing like great Hercules,
    From pulling downe the branches of the tree,
    Then art thou worrhy to be counted learned.
    Bungay. I cannot.
    1220Vander. Cease Hercules vntill I giue thee charge,
    Mightie commander of this English Ile,
    Henrie come from the stout Plantagenets,
    Bungay is learned enough to be a Frier.
    But to compare with Iaquis Vandermast,
    1225Oxford and Cambridge must go seeke their celles,
    To find a man to match him in his art.
    I haue giuen non-plus to the Paduans,
    To them of Sien, Florence, and Belogna,
    Reimes, Louain and faire Rotherdam,
    1230Franckford, Lutrech and Orleance:
    And now must Henrie if he do me right,
    Crowne me with lawrell as they all haue done.
    Enter Bacon.
    Bacon. All haile to this roiall companie,
    1235That sit to heare and see this strange dispute:
    Bungay, how standst thou as a man amazd,
    What hath the Germane acted more than thou,
    Vandermast. What art thou that questions thus.
    Bacon. Men call me Bacon.
    1240Vander. Lordly thou lookest, as if that thou wert learnd,
    Thy countenance, as if science held her seate
    Betweene the circled arches of thy browes.
    Henrie. Now Monarcks hath the Germain found his match.
    Emperour. Bestirre thee Iaquis take not now the foile,
    1245Least thou doest loose what foretime thou didst gaine.
    Vandermast. Bacon, wilt thou dispute.
    Bacon. Noe, vnlesse he were more learnd than Vandermast.
    For yet tell me, what hast thou done?
    Vandermast. Raisd Hercules to ruinate that tree,
    1250That Bongay mounted by his magicke spels.
    Bacon. Set Hercules to worke.
    Vander. Now Hercules, I charge thee to thy taske,
    Pull off the golden branches from the roote.
    Hercules. I dare not, Seest thou not great Bacon heere,
    1255Whose frowne doth act more than thy magicke can.
    Vandermast. By all the thrones and dominations,
    Vertues, powers and mightie Herarchies,
    I charge thee to obey to Vandermast.
    Hercules. Bacon, that bridles headstrong Belcephon,
    1260And rules Asmenoth guider of the North:
    Bindes me from yeelding vnto Vandermast.
    Hen. How now Vandermast, haue you met with your match.
    Vandermast. Neuer before wast knowne to Vandermast,
    That men held deuils in such obediant awe,
    1265Bacon doth more than art or els I faile.
    Emperour. Why Vandermast art thou ouercome,
    Bacon dispute with him, and trie his skill:
    Bacon. I come not Monarckes for to hold dispute,
    With such a nouice as is Vandermast,
    1270I come to haue your royalties to dine
    With Frier Bacon heere in Brazennose,
    And for this Germane troubles but the place
    And holds this audience with a long suspence,
    Ile send him to his Accademie hence,
    1275Thou Hercules whom Vandermast did raise,
    Transport the Germane vnto Haspurge straight,
    That he may learne by trauaile gainst the springs,
    More secret doomes and Aphorismes of art,
    Vanish the tree and thou away with him.
    1280Exit the spirit with Vandermast and the Tree.
    Emperour. Why Bacon whether doest thou send him,
    Bacon. To Haspurge there your highnesse at returne,
    Shall finde the Germane in his studie safe.
    Henrie. Bacon, thou hast honoured England with thy skill,
    1285And made faire Oxford famous by thine art,
    I will be English Henrie to thy selfe,
    But tell me shall we dine with thee to day.
    Bacon. With me my Lord, and while I fit my cheere,
    See where Prince Edward comes to welcome you:
    1290Gratious as the morning starre of heauen, Exit.
    Enter Edward, Lacie, Warren, Ermsbie.
    Emperour. Is this Prince Edward Henries royall sonne,
    How martiall is the figure of his face,
    Yet louely and beset with Amorets.
    1295Henrie. Ned, where hast thou been.
    Edward. At Framingham my Lord, to trie your buckes.
    If they could scape they teisers or the toile:
    But hearing of these lordly Potentates
    Landed, and prograst vp to Oxford towne,
    1300I posted to giue entertaine to them,
    Chiefe to the Almaine Monarke, next to him,
    And ioynt with him, Castile and Saxonie,
    Are welcome as they may be to the English Court.
    Thus for the men, but see Venus appeares,
    1305Or one that ouermatcheth Venus in her shape,
    Sweete Ellinor, beauties high swelling pride,
    Rich natures glorie, and her wealth at once:
    Faire of all faires, welcome to Albion,
    Welcome to me, and welcome to thine owne,
    1310If that thou dainst the welcome from my selfe.
    Ellinor. Martiall Plantagenet, Henries high minded sonne,
    The marke that Ellinor did count her aime,
    I likte thee fore I saw thee, now I loue,
    And so as in so short a time I may:
    1315Yet so as time shall neuer breake that so,
    And therefore so accept of Ellinor.
    Castile. Feare not my Lord, this couple will agree,
    If loue may creepe into their wanton eyes:
    And therefore Edward I accept thee heere,
    1320Without suspence, as my adopted sonne.
    Henrie. Let me that ioy in these consorting greets,
    And glorie in these honors done to Ned,
    Yeeld thankes for all these fauours to my sonne,
    And rest a true Plantagenet to all.
    1325Enter Miles with a cloth and trenchers and salt.
    Miles. Saluete omnes reges, that gouern your Greges, in Saxo-
    nie and Spaine, in England and in Almaine: for all this frolicke
    rable must I couer the table, with trenchers, salt and cloth, and
    then looke for your broth.
    1330Emperour. What pleasant fellow is this.
    Henrie. Tis my lord, doctor Bacons poore scholler.
    Miles. My maister hath made me sewer of these great lords,
    and God knowes I am as seruiceable at a table, as a sow is vnder
    an apple tree: tis no matter, their cheere shall not be great, and
    1335therefore what skils where the salt stand before or behinde.
    Castile. These schollers knowes more skill in actiomes,
    How to vse quips and sleights of Sophistrie,
    Than for to couer courtly for a king.
    Enter Miles with a messe of pottage and broth,
    1340and after him Bacon.
    Miles. Spill sir, why doe you thinke I neuer carried
    twopeny chop before in my life: by your leaue, Nobile decus, for
    here comes doctor Bacons pecus, being in his full age, to carrie a
    messe of pottage.
    1345Bacon. Lordings admire not if your cheere be this,
    For we must keepe our Accademicke fare,
    No riot where Philosophie doth raine,
    And therefore Henrie place these Potentates,
    And bid them fall vnto their frugall cates.
    1350Emp. Presumptuous Frier, what scoffst thou at a king,
    What doest thou taunt vs with thy pesants fare,
    And giue vs cates fit for countrey swaines,
    Henrie proceeds this iest of thy consent,
    To twit vs with such a pittance of such price,
    1355Tell me, and Fredericke will not greeue the long.
    Henrie. By Henries honour and the royall faith
    The English monarcke beareth to his friend:
    I knew not of the friers feeble fare,
    Nor am I pleasd he entertaines you thus.
    1360Bacon. Content thee Fredericke for I shewd the cates
    To let thee see how schollers vse to feede:
    How little meate refines our English wits,
    Miles take away, and let it be thy dinner.
    Miles. Marry sir I wil, this day shal be a festiual day with me,
    1365For I shall exceed in the highest degree. Exit Miles.
    Bacon. I tell thee Monarch, all the Germane Peeres
    Could not affoord thy entertainment such,
    So roiall and so full of Maiestie,
    As Bacon will present to Fredericke,
    1370The Basest waiter that attends thy cups,
    Shall be in honours greater than thy selfe:
    And for thy cates rich Alexandria drugges,
    Fetcht by Carueils from Aegypts richest straights:
    Found in the wealthy strond of Affrica,
    1375Shall royallize the table of my king,
    Wines richer than the Gyptian courtisan,
    Quaft to Augustus kingly countermatch,
    Shalbe carrowst in English Henries feasts:
    Candie shall yeeld the richest of her canes,
    1380Persia downe her volga by Canows,
    Send down the secrets of her spicerie.
    The Africke Dates mirabiles of Spaine,
    Conserues, and Suckets from Tiberias,
    Cates from Iudea choiser than the lampe
    1385That fiered Rome with sparkes of gluttonie,
    Shall bewtifie the board for Fredericke,
    And therfore grudge not at a friers feast.