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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 two gentlemen, Lambert, and Serlby
    with the keeper.
    1390Lambert. Come frolicke keeper of our lieges game,
    Whose table spred hath euer venison,
    And Iacks of wines to welcome passengers,
    Know I am in loue with iolly Margret,
    That ouer-shines our damsels as the moone,
    1395Darkneth the brightest sparkles of the night,
    In Laxfield heere my land and liuing lies,
    Ile make thy daughter ioynter of it all,
    So thou consent to giue her to my wife,
    And I can spend fiue hundreth markes a yeare.
    1400Serlbie. I am the lanslord keeper of thy holds,
    By coppie all thy liuing lies in me.
    Laxfield did neuer see me raise my due,
    I will infeofe faire Margret in all,
    So she will take her to a lustie squire.
    1405Keeper. Now courteous gentls, if the Keepers girle,
    Hath pleased the liking fancie of you both,
    And with her beutie hath subdued your thoughts,
    Tis doubtfull to decide the question.
    It ioyes me that such men of great esteeme,
    1410Should lay their liking on this base estate,
    And that her state should grow so fortunate,
    To be a wife to meaner men than you.
    But sith such squires will stoop to keepers fee,
    I will to auoid displeasure of you both,
    1415Call Margret forth, and she shall make her choise, Exit.
    Lambert. Content Keeper send her vnto vs.
    Why Serlsby is thy wife so lately dead,
    Are all thy loues so lightly passed ouer,
    As thou canst wed before the yeare be out,
    1420Serlsby. I liue not Lambert to content the dead,
    Nor was I wedded but for life to her,
    The graues ends and begins a maried state.
    Enter Margret.
    Lambert. Peggie the louelie flower of all townes,
    1425Suffolks faire Hellen, and rich Englands star,
    Whose beautie tempered with her huswifrie,
    Maks England talke of merry Frisingfield.
    Serlsby. I cannot tricke it vp with poesies,
    Nor paint my passions with comparisons,
    1430Nor tell a tall of Phebus and his loues,
    But this beeleue me Laxfield here is mine,
    Of auncient rent seuen hundred pounds a yeare,
    And if thou canst but loue a countrie squire,
    I wil infeoffe thee Margret in all,
    1435I can not flatter, trie me if thou please.
    Mar. Braue neighbouring squires the stay of Suffolks clime,
    A Keepers daughters is too base in gree
    To match with men accoumpted of such worth,
    But might I not displease I would reply,
    1440Lambert. Say Peggy nought shall make vs discontent.
    Marg. Then gentils note that loue hath little stay,
    Nor can the flames that Venus sets on fire,
    Be kindled but by fancies motion,
    Then pardon gentils, if a maids reply
    1445Be doubtful, while I haue debated with my selfe,
    Who or of whome loue shall constraine me like,
    Serlsbie. Let it be me and trust me Margret,
    The meads inuironed with the siluer streames,
    Whose Batling pastures fatneth all my flockes,
    1450Yelding forth fleeces stapled with such woole,
    As Lempster cannot yelde more finer stuffe
    And fortie kine with faire and burnisht heads,
    With strouting duggs that paggle to the ground,
    Shall serue thy dary if thou wed with me.
    1455Lambert. Let passe the countrie wealth as flocks and kine,
    And lands that waue with Ceres golden sheues
    filling my barnes with plentie of the fieldes,
    But peggie if thou wed thy selfe to me,
    Thou shalt haue garments of Imbrodred silke,
    1460Lawnes and rich networks for thy head attyre
    Costlie shalbe thy fare abiliments,
    If thou wilt be but Lamberts louing wife.
    Margret Content you gentles you haue profered faire,
    And more than fits a countrie maids degree,
    1465But giue me leaue to counsaile me a time,
    For fancie bloomes not at the first assault,
    Giue me but ten dayes respite and I will replye,
    Which or to whom my selfe affectionats.
    Serslby. Lambert I tell thee thou art importunate,
    1470Such beautie fits not such a base esquire
    It is for Serlsby to haue Margret.
    Lamb. Thinkst thou with wealth to ouer reach me
    Serlsby, I scorne to brooke thy country braues
    I dare thee Coward to maintaine this wrong,
    1475At dint of rapier single in the field.
    Serlsby Ile aunswere Lambert what I haue auoucht
    Margret farewel, another time shall serue. Exit Serlsby
    Lambert. Ile follow Peggie farewell to thy selfe,
    Listen how well ile answer for thy loue. Exit Lambert
    1480Margeret. How Fortune tempers lucky happes with frowns,
    And wrongs me with the sweets of my delight,
    Loue is my blisse, and loue is now my bale,
    Shall I be Hellen in my froward fates,
    As I am Hellen in my matchles hue
    1485And set rich Suffolke with my face afire,
    If louely Lacie were but with his Peggy,
    The cloudie darckenesse of his bitter frowne
    Would check the pride of these aspiring squires.
    Before the term of ten dayes be expired,
    1490When as they looke for aunswere of their loues,
    My Lord will come to merry Frisingfield,
    And end their fancies, and their follies both,
    Til when Peggie be blith and of good cheere.
    Enter a post with a letter and
    1495a bag of gold.
    Post. Fair louely damsell which way leads this path,
    How might I post me vnto Frisingfield,
    which footpath leadeth to the keepers lodge?
    Margeret Your way is ready and this path is right,
    1500My selfe doe dwell hereby in Frisingfield,
    And if the keeper be the man you seeke,
    I am his daughter may I kuow the cause?
    Post Louely and once beloued of my lord,
    No meruaile if his eye was lodgd so low,
    1505when brighter bewtie is not in the heauens,
    The Lincolne earle hath sent you letters here,
    And with them, iust an hundred pounds in gold,
    Sweete bonny wench read them and make reply.
    Margret. The scrowles that Ioue sent Danae
    1510Wrapt in rich closures of fine burnisht gold,
    Were not more welcome than these lines to me.
    Tell me whilst that I doe vnrip the seales,
    Liues Lacie well, how fares my louely Lord?
    Post. Well, if that wealth may make men to liue well.
    1515The letter, and Margret reads it.
    THe bloomes of the Almond tree grow in a night, and vanish
    in a morne, the flies Haemere (faire Peggie) take life with
    the Sun, and die with the dew, fancie that slippeth in with a
    gase, goeth out with a winke, and too timely loues, haue euer the
    1520shortest length. I write this as thy grefe, and my folly, who at Fri-
    singfield lovd that which time hath taught me to be but meane
    dainties, eyes are dissemblers, and fancie is but queasie, therefore
    know Margret, I haue chosen a Spanish Ladie to be my wife,
    cheefe waighting woman to the Princesse Ellinour, a Lady faire,
    1525and no less faire than thy selfe, honorable and wealthy, in that I
    forsake thee I leaue thee to thine own liking, and for thy dowrie
    I haue sent thee an hundred pounds, and euer assure thee of my
    fauour, which shall auaile thee and thine much. Farewell.
    Not thine nor his owne,
    1530Edward Lacie.
    Fond Atae doomer of bad boading fates,
    That wrappes proud Fortune in thy snaky locks,
    Didst thou inchaunt my byrth-day with such stars,
    As lightned mischeefe from their infancie,
    1535If heauens had vowd, if stars had made decree,
    To shew on me their froward influence,
    If Lacie had but lovd, heauens hell and all,
    Could not haue wrongd the patience of my minde.
    Post. It grieues me damsell, but the Earle is forst
    1540To loue the Lady, by the Kings commaund.
    Margret. The wealth combinde within the English shelues,
    Europes commaunder nor the English King,
    Should not haue moude the loue of Peggie from her Lord.
    Post. What answere shall I returne to my Lord?
    1545Margret. First for thou camst from Lacie whom I lovd,
    Ah giue me leaue to sigh at euery thought,
    Take thou my freind the hundred pound he sent,
    For Margrets resolution craues no dower,
    The world shalbe to her as vanitie,
    1550Wealth trash, loue hate, pleasure dispaire,
    For I will straight to stately Fremingham,
    And in the abby there be shorne a Nun
    And yeld my loues and libertie to God,
    Fellow I giue thee this, not for the newes,
    1555For those be hatefull vnto Margret,
    But for thart Lacies man once Margrets loue.
    Post. What I haue heard what passions I haue seene
    Ile make report of them vnto the Earle. Exit Post
    Margret. Say that she ioyes his fancies be at rest,
    1560And praies that his misfortune may be hers. Exit