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And as a theef thus must ye lyve ever in And, us above, noon other rove but a drede and awe,
brake, bussh, or twayne; By whiche to yow gret harme myght grow; Whiche sone shulde greve you, I believe, yet had I lever than
and ye wolde gladly than That I had too the grenewod goo, alone, a That I had to the grenewode goo, alone, banysshyd man.
a banysshed man."
“I thinke not nay, but as ye saye, it is noo “Syth I have here ben partynere with maydens lore;
you of joy and blysse, But love may make me for your sake, as I muste also parte of your woo endure, as ye have said before,
reason is; To com on fote, to hunte and shote to get Yet am I sure of oo plesure, and shortly us mete and store;
it is this, For soo that I your company may have, I That where ye bee, me semeth, perdè, I aske noo more;
coude not fare amysse. From whiche to parte, it makith myn Wythout more speche, I you beseche that herte as colde as ony ston;
we were soon agone; For in my mynde of all mankynde I love For in my mynde of all mankynde I love but you alone.”
you alone.” “For an outlawe this is the lawe, that "Yef ye goo thedyr, ye must consider, men hym take and binde,
whan ye have lust to dyne, Wythout pytee hanged to bee, and waver Ther shal no mete be fore to gete, nor wyth the wynde.
drinke, bere, ale, ne wine, Yf I had neede, as God forbede, what Ne shetis clene to lye betwene, made of rescous coude finde?
thred and twyne, For sothe I trowe, you and your bowe Noon other house but levys and bowes, to shul drawe for fere behynde;
kever your hed and myn. And noo merveyle, for lytel avayle were in Loo! myn herte swete, this ylle dyet your councel than;
shuld make you pale and wan; Wherfore I too the woode wyl goo, alone, Wherfore I to the wood wyl goo, alone, a bannysshd man."
a banysshid man."
“Ful wel knowe ye that wymen bee ful “Amonge the wylde dere suche an archier febyl for to fyght;
as men say
bee Noo womanhed is it indeede to bee bolde Ne may not fayle of good vitayle, where is as a knight;
so grete plente; Yet in suche fere yf that ye were, amonge And watir cleere of the ryvere shalbe ful enemys day and nyght,
swete to me, I wolde wythstonde, with bowe in hande, Wyth whiche in hele I shal right wele to greve them as I myght,
endure, as ye shal see; And you to save, as wymen have from And, er we goo, a bed or twoo I can pro
deth [ful] many one; For in my mynde of all mankynde I love For in my mynde of all mankynde I love but you alone.”
but you alone."
“Yet take good hede, for ever I drede that
ye coude not sustein The thorney wayes, the depe valeis, the
snowe, the frost, the reyn, The colde, the hete; for, drye or wete, we
must lodge on the playn,
“Loo! yet before ye must doo more, yf
ye wyl goo with me, As cutte your here up by your ere, your
kirtel by the knee, Wyth bowe in hande, for to withstonde
your enmys, yf nede be,
And this same nyght before daylyght to Than
ye shal say, another day, that be woodward wyl I flee;
my wyked dede And if ye wyl all this fulfylle, doo it Ye were betrayed; wherfore, good maide, shortely as ye can;
the best red that I can, Ellis wil I to the grenewode goo, alone, Is that I too the grenewode goo, alone, a a banysshyd man."
“I shal, as now, do more for you than “Whatsoever befalle, I never shal of this longeth to womanhede,
thing you upbraid ; To short my here, a bowe to bere to But yf ye goo and leve me so, than have shote in time of nede.
ye me betraied. O my swete moder, before all other, for Remembre you wele how that ye dele, you have I most drede;
for yf ye, as ye sayde, But now adiew! I must ensue, wher for- Be so unkynde to leve behynde your love, tune doth me leede:
the Notbrowne Maide, All this make ye; now lete us flee, the day Trust me truly that I shal dey sone after cummeth fast upon;
ye be gone; For in my mynde of all mankynde I love For in my mynde of all mankynde I love but you alone.”
but you alone.”
“Nay, nay, not soo, ye shal not goo! and I “Yef that ye went, ye shulde repent, for shal tell you why:
in the forest now Your appetyte is to be lyght of love, I I have purveid me of a maide, whom I love wele aspie;
more than you, For right as ye have sayd to me, in lyke- Another fayrer than ever ye were, I dare it wise hardely
wel avowe; Ye wolde answere, whosoever it were, in And of you both, eche shuld be wrothe way of company.
with other, as I trowe. It is sayd of olde, ‘sone hote, sone colde,' It were myn ease to lyve in pease; so and so is a woman;
wyl I y I can; Wherfore I too the woode wyl goo, alone, Wherfore I to the wode wyl goo, alone, a a banysshid man."
banysshid man." “Yef ye take hede, yet is noo nede, suche “Though in the wood I undirstode ye wordis to say
had a paramour, For oft ye preyd, and longe assayed, or I All this may nought remeve my thought, you lovid, perdee!
but that I wyl be your; And though that I of auncestry a barons And she shal fynde me softe and kynde, doughter bee,
and curteis every our, Yet have you proved how I you loved, a Glad to fulfylle all that she wyl comsquyer of lowe degree,
maunde me, to my power ; And ever shal, what so befalle, to dey For had ye, loo! an hondred moo, yet therfore anoon;
wolde I be that one; For in my mynde of all mankynde I love For in my mynde of all mankynde I love but you alone."
but you alone.
“A barons childe to be begyled, it were a “Myn owne dere love, I see the prove curssed dede,
that ye be kynde and trewe; To be felaw with an outlawe, almyghty Of mayde and wyfe, in all my lyf, the best God forbede!
that ever I knewe! Yet bettyr were the power squyer alone Be mery and glad, be no more sad, the case to forest yede,
is chaungèd newe;
For it were ruthe that for
you You, God defende, sith you descende of so shuld have cause to rewe.
grete a lynage. Be not dismayed, whatsoever I sayd, to Now understonde, to Westmerlande, you whan I began,
whiche is my herytage, I wyl not too the grenewode goo, I am noo I wyle you bringe, and wyth a rynge, be banysshyd man.”
wey of maryage, I wyl you take, and lady make, as shortly
as I can; “Theis tidingis be more glad to me than to be made a quene,
Thus have ye wone an erles son, and not a
bannysshyd man." Yf I were sure they shuld endure; but it is
often seen, When men wyl breke promyse, they speke
Here may ye see that wymen be in love
meke, kinde, and stable, the wordis on the splene. Ye shape some wyle, me to begyle, and
Late never man repreve them than, or
calle them variable, stele fro me, I wene. Then were the case wurs than it was, and I
But rather prey God that we may to them
be comfortable, more woo-begone;
Whiche somtyme provyth suche as he For in my mynde of al mankynde I love
loveth, yf they be charitable. but you alone.”
For sith men wolde, that wymen sholde be
meke to them echeon, " "Ye shal not nede further to drede, I wyl Moche more ought they to God obey, and not disparage
serve but hym alone.
THE ELIZABETHANS AND JACOBEANS
DRAMA aside, the most engaging reading of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods is the fiction, the social pamphlets, the literature of travel and exploration, the essays, and the various types of non-dramatic poetry.
The Elizabethans, with their restless hunger for life, were naturally greedy for fiction, and this taste was first gratified by William Painter's The Palace of Pleasure, of which the first edition, consisting of sixty stories or novelettes, appeared in 1566, subsequent editions bringing the number up to one hundred. These stories are retold or translated outright from Greek, Latin, Italian, and French sources, drawing upon such writers as Herodotus, Plutarch, Livy, Bandello, Boccaccio, and Queen Margaret of Navarre, the sister of Francis I, the Italian stories of manners predominating. Painter's collection was followed by four others, of which the most significant was George Pettie's Petite Palace of Pettie his Pleasure (1576), contayning many pretie Hystories by him, set foorth in comely Colours, and most delightfully discoursed. They are indeed set forth in come'y colors, for, like the erotic romances of the late Greek or Alexandrian school which they adapt, they are racy love tales, abound with extravagant adventure on land and sea, play havoc with geography and history, and riot in antithesis, alliteration, and endless illustrations from natural history and mythology. In the preface Pettie says that he wrote primarily for gentlewomen, and Antony à Wood — who, by the way, was Pettie's grandnephew states in the Athene Oxoniensis that in his day the book was “so far from being excellent or fine that it is more fit to be read by a schoolboy or an rustical amorata than by a gent. of mode and learning.” But the taste of 1576 was less fastidious than that of 1691 and the fact that three editions of the book appeared in the first year is rather conclusive evidence that "gents.,” as well as women and rustic lovers, relished of it. Later, men of no less distinction than Lodge and Greene turned to this genre.
Of the longer romances, Lyly's Euphues and Sidney's Arcadia are the most prominent. The Euphues is concerned with the adventures, conversations, and correspondence of Euphues of Athens and Philautus of Naples who are in pursuit of a strictly moral training. The action stands still to listen to endless discussions and harangues on love, morals, religion, and education, as tiresomely edifying as Sanford and Merton. Lyly pushes the mannerisms of Pettie to an extreme, so that the term euphuistic has ever since been synonymous with such literary artifice. The Arcadia is a somewhat similar pastoral and chivalric romance. Pyrocles of Macedon and Musidorus of Thessaly sue for the hands of Philoclea and Pamela, daughters of the king and queen of Arcady. The fortunes and misfortunes of the lovers, who encounter the most startling obstacles, are interspersed with tournaments and with endless moral reflections, and pastoral eclogues contrast country life and court life. It remained for Nashe to write The Unfortunate Traveller or The Life of Jack Wilton (1594), which was a forerunner of the eighteenth century Picaresque novel.
To the pamphleteers we are beholden for a deal of good reading. The first pamphleteer of distinction is Philip Stubbes (fl. 1581-1593), the Puritan. Stubbes studied at both Cambridge and Oxford, but instead of taking a degree, took to the road, his object being, "to see fashions, to acquaint myself with natures, qualities, properties, and conditions of all men, to break myself to the world, to learn nurture, good demeanour, and cyvil behaviour; to see the goodly situation of cities, towns and countries, with their prospects and commodities; and finally to learn the state of all things in general, all which I could never have learned in one place. Whether it was the result of bad food and harsh treatment encountered in his seven years of travel, or merely the expression of an atrabilious nature, he emerged a snarling Puritan who set himself the task, by broadside and pamphlet, of lashing his countrymen for their vices. His principal work was The Anatomie of Abuses: containing a Discoverie, or Briefe Summarie of such Notable Vices and Imperfections as now raigne in many Countreyes of the World; but (especiallye) in a famous Ilande called Ailgna i.e. Anglia . . . together with ...
. . examples of God's Judgments ... made Dialoguewise ... (1583). It is indeed a harsh and querulous document, but yet of permanent value for its information on contemporary manners and customs. We could ill spare, for example, the glimpse he gives us of sixteenth century football.
There were not wanting those to take up his challenge. Notably Nashe, "Ingenious, ingenuous, fluent, facetious T. Nash,” as Dekker affectionately addresses his departed spirit," from whose abundant pen honey flowed to thy friends and mortal aconite to thy enemies”; one of those rare University wits who burned themselves out before they had fairly stepped over the threshold. But Nash is best known for Pierce Pennilesse, his Supplication to the Divell (1592), a satirical and scurrilous pamphlet, inspired by his poverty and growing sense of wrong.
But the most intimately personal of the pamphlets is Robert Greene's Groatsworth of Wit, bought with a Million of Repentance (1596), the adventures of a man who deserts his wife, falls in with dissolute companions, and wallows in dissipation, -- an autobiographical document written as this brilliant young Cambridge man was facing death from poverty and excess.
To Thomas Dekker (c.1570-c.1641), the ablest of the pamphleteers, we are indebted more than to any other writer for intimate pictures of London, first-hand impressions of social conditions outside of the court. For the city of his nativity Dekker felt a romantic and compassionate love that found voice in noble apostrophe: “O thou beautifullest daughter of two united monarchies, from thy womb received I my being, from thy breasts my nourishment." And again : "O London! thou mother of my life, nurse of my being, a hard-hearted son might I be counted if here I should not dissolve all into tears, to hear thee pouring forth thy passionate condolements.
Of his life we know little aside from his writings, but these are adequate to show his magnanimity; his capacity for abundant friendship; his compassion for all who suffer and are oppressed – children burning up with fever, youth with the door of opportunity closed in their faces, maidens driven to hateful marriage beds, laborers broken in body and spirit, wounded soldiers munching the dry crust of ingratitude, desolate old men and women; adequate to show his indignation at all selfishness, cruelty, false pride, and hypocrisy — at greedy monopolists who crowd out little men, at doctors who refuse their services through craven fear of the plague, at usurers who squeeze their victims dry, at Churchmen who forget the things of God, at all those who prey upon their fellows under cover of darkness; to show his love of all beautiful things, be they the creations of nature or of man; his ardor for wisdom and poetry; his reverence and his piety. “The first true gentleman that ever breathed," he calls Christ in a well-known line, and he was himself the real Christian gentleman among commoners, as Sir Philip Sidney among the nobility; a real democrat, moreover, expressing the growing democratic spirit at its best.
Withal he had a glowing imagination, a ruddy sense of humor, a feeling for the sublime, and an ear for prose, at times simple and direct, at times nervous and passionately swift.
The selection from The Gull's Horn-book (1609) shows Dekker in playfully satirical mood.