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fore. So there bode · Syr Bedwere with the I had grete playsyr by-cause of the fayr and hermyte that was tofore bysshop of Caunter- honest termes and wordes in Frenshe; whyche burye, and there Syr Bedwere put upon hym I never sawe to-fore lyke, ne none so playsaunt poure clothes, and servyd the hermyte ful so wel ordred. Whiche booke, as lowly in fastyng and in prayers.

semed, sholde be moche requysyte ? to noble Thus of Arthur I fynde never more wryton men to see, as wel for the eloquence as the in boookes that ben auctorysed, nor more of hystoryes; how wel that, many honderd the veray certente* of his deth herde I never yerys passed, was the sayd booke of Eneydos redde, but thus was he ledde aweye in a shyppe wyth other werkes made and lerned dayly in wherin were thre quenes: that one was kyng scolis, specyally in Ytalye and other places; Arthurs syster quene Morgan le Fay, the other whiche historye the sayd Vyrgyle made in was the quene of North Galys, the thyrd was metre. And whan I had advysed me in this the quene of the Waste Londes. Also there sayd boke, I delybered * and concluded to was Nynyve the chyef Lady of the Lake, that translate it in to Englysshe, and forthwyth had wedded Pelleas the good knyght, and this toke a penne and ynke and wrote a leef or lady had doon moche for kyng Arthur, for she tweyne, whyche I oversawe agayn to corecte wold never suffre Syr Pelleas to be in noo place it; and whan I sawe the fayr and straunge where he shold be in daunger of his lyf, and

termes therin, I doubted that it sholde not so he lyved to the uttermest of his dayes wyth please some gentylmen whiche late blamed me, hyr in grete reste. More of the deth of kyng sayeng that in my translacyons I had over Arthur coude I never fynde, but that ladyes curyous & termes, which coude not be underbrought hym to his buryellys, and suche one stande ? of comyn peple, and desired me to use was buryed there that the hermyte bare wyt- olde and homely termes in my translacyons. nesse, that somtyme was bysshop of Caunter- And fayn wolde 1 satysfye every man; and, burye, but yet the heremyte knewe not in cer- so to doo, toke an olde boke and redde therin; tayn that he was verayly the body of kyng and certaynly the Englysshe was so rude and Arthur, for thys tale Syr' Bedwere, knyght of brood that I coude not wele understande it; the Table Rounde, made it to be wryton.

and also my lorde abbot of Westmynster ded

so shewe to me late certayn evydences wryton WILLIAM CAXTON (14227-1491)

in olde Englysshe for to reduce it in to our

Englysshe now used, and certaynly it was PREFACE TO THE BOOKE OF ENEYDOS

wreton in suche wyse that it was more lyke to

Dutche than Englysshe; I coude not reduce ne After dyverse werkes made, translated, and brynge it to be understonden. And certaynly achieved, 'havyng noo werke in hande, I our langage now used varyeth ferre 10 from that sittyng in my studye, where-as? laye many

whiche was used and spoken whan I was borne. dyverse paunfettis & and bookys, happened that For we Englysshe men ben borne under the to my hande cam a lytyl booke in Frenshe, domynacyon of the mone, whiche is never whiche late was translated oute of Latyn by stedfaste but ever waverynge, wexynge one some noble clerke of Fraunce; whiche booke season and waneth and dyscreaseth 1 another is named Eneydos, made in Latyn by that no

And that comyn 12 Englysshe that is ble poete and grete clerke Vyrgyle. Whiche spoken in one shyre varyeth from a-nother, in booke I sawe over and redde therin how, after so moche that in my dayes happened that the generall destruccyon of the grete Troye,

certayn marchauntes were in a ship in Tamyse Eneas departed, berynge his olde fader An- for to have sayled over the see into Zelande, chises upon his sholdres, his lityl son Yolus and, for lacke of wynde, thei taryed atte 13 on " his honde," his wyfe wyth moche other Forlond, and wente to lande for to refreshe people folowynge; and how he shypped and them. And one of theym named Sheffelde, departed; wyth all thystorye "? of his adventures a mercer, cam in to an hows and axed for mete that he had or he cam to the achievement of and specyally he axyd after eggys, and the his conquest of Ytalye, as all a-longe shall be goode wyf answerde that she could speke no shewed in this present boke. In whiche booke

Frenshe. And the marchaunt was angry, for very * requisite, desirable

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he also coude speke no Frenshe, but wolde have hadde egges; and she understode hym not. And thenne at laste a-nother sayd that he wolde have eyren.' Then the good wyf sayd that she understod hym wel. Loo, what sholde a man in thyse dayes now wryte, egges, or eyren? Certaynly it is hard to playse every man, by-cause of dyversite and chaunge of langage; for in these dayes every man that is in ony reputacyon in his countre wyll utter his commynycacyon

and maters in suche maners and termes that fewe men shall understonde theym. And som honest and grete clerkes have ben wyth me and desired me to wryte the moste curyous : termes that I coude fynde. And thus, betwene playn, rude, and curyous, I stande abasshed. But in my judgemente the comyn termes that be dayly used ben lyghter to be understonde than the olde and auncyent Englysshe. And, foras-moche as this present booke is not for a rude uplondysshỉ man to laboure therein ne rede it, but onely for a clerke and a noble gentylman that feleth and understondeth in faytes of armes, in love, and in noble chyvalrye, therfor in a meane bytwene bothe I have reduced and translated this sayd booke in our Englysshe, not over rude ne curyous, but in suche termes as shall be understanden, by Goddys grace accordynge to my copye. And yf ony man wyll entermete in redyng of hit and fyndeth suche termes that he can not understande, late hym goo rede and lerne Vyrgyll or the Pystles of Ovyde, and ther he shall see and understonde lyghtly? all, if he have a good redar and enformer. For this booke is not for every rude and unconnynge man to see, but to clerkys and very® gentylmen, that understande gentylnes and scyence. Thenne I praye all theym that shall rede in this lytyl treatys to holde me for excused for the translatynge of hit, for I knowleche myselfe ignorant of conynge to enpryse so hie 12 and noble a werke. But I praye mayster John Skelton, late created poete laureate in the unyversite of Oxenford, to oversee and correcte this sayd booke and taddresse 13 and expowne where-as " shalle be founde faulte to theym that shall requyre it, for hym I knowe for suffycyent to expowne and englysshe every dyffyculte that is therin, for he hath late translated the Epystlys of Tulle and the boke of Dyodorus Syculus and diverse

other werkes oute of Latyn in-to Englysshe, not in rude and olde langage, but in polysshed and ornate termes, craftely,' as he that hath redde Vyrgyle, Ovyde, Tullye, and all the other noble poetes and oratours to me unknowen; and also he hath redde the IX muses and understande theyr musicalle scyences and to whom of theym eche scyence is appropred, I suppose he hath dronken of Elycons well. Then I praye hym and suche other to correcte, adde or mynysshe, where-as he or they shall fynde faulte, for I have but folowed my copye in Frenshe as nygh as me is possyble. And yf ony worde be sayd therin well, I am glad; and yf otherwyse, I submytte my sayde boke to theyr correctyon. Whiche boke I presente unto the hye born my tocomynge* nature!! and soverayn lord Arthur, by the grace of God Prynce of Walys, Duc of Cornewayll, and Erle of Chester, fyrst bygoien sone and heyers unto our most dradde & naturall and soverayn lorde and most Crysten Kynge, Henry the VII, by the grace of God Kynge of Englonde and of Fraunce and lorde of Irelonde, byseching his noble grace to receyve it in thanke of me, his moste humble subget and servaunt; and I shall praye unto almyghty God for his prosperous encreasyng in vertue, wysedom, and humanyte, that he may be egal' wyth the most renommed of alle his noble progenytours, and so to lyve in this present lyf that after this transitorye lyfe he and we alle may come to everlastynge lyf in heaven. Amen!



BERNERS (1467-1533)





on me


How the commons of Englande entred into London, and of the great yvello that they dyde, and of the dethe of the bysshoppe of Caunterbury and dyvers other.

In the mornyng on Corpus Christy day kynge Rycharde herde masse in the towre of London, and all his lordes, and than he toke his barge, with therle 10 of Salisbury, therle of Warwyke, the erle of Suffolke, and certayn

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knightes, and so rowed downe alonge Thames and than these people entred into the cytie, to Redereth,' where as was discended downe and went into houses, and satte downe to eate the hyll a x.M.? men to se the kyng and to speke and drinke: they desyred nothynge but it was with him. And whan they sawe the kynges incontynent' brought to them, for every manne barge comyng, they beganne to showt, and was redy to make them good chere, and to made suche a crye, as though all the devylles gyve m meate and drinke to apease them. of hell had ben amonge them. And they had

Than the capitayns, as John Ball, Jacke brought with them sir Johan Moton, to the Strawe, and Watte Tyler wente throughout entent that if the kynge had nat come, they London, and a twentie thousande with them, wolde have stryken hym all to peces, and so and so came to the Savoy, in the way to Westthey had promysed hym. And whan the kynge mynster, whiche was a goodlye house, and it and his lordes sawe the demeanour of the parteyned ? to the duke of Lancastre. And people, the best assured of them were in drede. whan they entred, they slewe the kepars theros, And so the kynge was counsayled by his bar- and robbed and pylled the house, and whan ownes nat to take any landynge there, but so they had so done, than they sette fyre on it, and rowed up and downe the ryver. And the kyng clene distroyed and brent * it. And whan they demaunded of them what they wolde, and sayd, had done that outrage, they left. nat therwith, howe he was come thyder to speke with them; but went streight to the fayre hospytalle of the and they said all with one voyce, “We wolde Rodes, called saynt Johans, and there they

ye shulde come a lande, and than we shall brent house, hospytall, mynster and all. shewe you what we lacke.” Than the erle Than they went fro strete to strete, and slewe of Salisbury aunswered for the kyng and sayd, all the Flemmynges that they coulde fynde, “Sirs, ye be nat in suche order nor array that in churche or in any other place; ther was none the kynge ought to speke with you;" and so respyted fro dethe. And they brake up dyvers with those wordes, no more sayd.

And than houses of the Lombardes and robbed theym, the kyng was counsayled to returne agayne to

and toke their goodes at their pleasur, for there the towre of London, and so he dyde. And was none that durst saye them nay. And they whan these people sawe that, they were en- slewe in the cytie a riche marchaunt, called flamed with yre, and retourned to the hyll where Richarde Lyon, to whome before that tyme the great bande was, and ther shewed them Watte Tyler had done servyce in Fraunce; and what answere they had, and howe the kynge on a tyme this Rycharde Lyon had beaten hym was retourned to the towre of London. Than whyle he was his varlet; the whiche Watte they cryed all with one voyce, “Let us go to Tyler than remembred, and so came to his London;" and so they toke their way thyder. house and strake of his heed, and caused it And in their goyng they beate downe abbeyes to be borne on a spere poynt before him all and houses of advocates, and of men of the

about the cyte. Thus these ungracyous people courte, and so came into the subbarbes of demeaned themselfe, lyke people enraged and London, whiche were great and fayre, and ther wode, and so that day they dyde 8 moche bete downe dyvers fayre houses. And specially sorowe in London. they brake up the kynges prisones, as the And so agaynst night they wente to lodge at Marshalse and other, and delyvered out all saynt Katherins, before the towre of London, the prisoners that were within, and there they sayenge howe they wolde never depart thens dyde moche hurt; and at the bridge fote they tyll they hadde the kynge at their pleasure, and thret : them of London, bycause the gates of tyll he had accorded to them all that they the bridge were closed, sayenge, howe they wolde aske, acomptes of the chauncellour of wolde brenne * all the subarbes, und so conquere

Englande, to knowe where all the good was London by force, and to slees and brenne all become that he had levyed through the realme; the commons of the cytie. There were many

and without he made a good acompte to them within the cytie of their accorde, and so they therof, it sh

de nat for his profyte. drewe toguyder, and sayde, “Why do we nat whan they had done all these yvels to the let these good people entre into the cyte? straungers all the day, at night they lodged They are our felowes, and that that they do is before the towre. for us.” So therwith the gates were opyned, Ye may well knowe and beleve that it was great pytie, for the daunger that the kyng and kyng douted' these wordes, and so was coun. suche as were with him were in. For some sailed that he shulde issue out to speke with tyme these unhappy people showted and cryed them; and than’ the knyge sendes to them, so loude, as thoughe all the devylles of hell that they shulde all drawe to a fayre playne had bene among them. In this evennynge the place, called Myle-ende, wher-as the people kynge was counsayled by his bretherne and of the cytie dyde sport them in the somer sealordes, and by sir Nycholas Walworthe, mayre son, and there the kyng to graunt them tható of London, and dyvers other notable and riche they desyred. And there it was cryed in the burgesses, that in the night tyme they shulde kynges name, that whosoever wolde speke with issue out of the towre and entre into the cyte, the kyng, let hym go to the sayd place, and and so to slee all these unhappy people whyle ther he shulde nat fayle to fynde the king. they were at their rest and aslepe; for it was Than the people began to departe, specially thought that many of them were dronken, the commons of the vyllages, and went to the wherby they shulde beslayne lyke flees;? same place, but all went nat thyder, for they also of twentie of them ther was scant one in were nat all of one condycion: o for ther were harnes. And surely the good men of London some that desyred nothynge but richesse and might well have done this at their ease, for they the utter distruction of the noble men, and to had in their houses secretely their frendes and have London robbed and pylled. That was servauntes redy in harnesse; and also sir Robert the princypall mater of their begynnynge, the Canolle was in his lodgyng, kepyng his treasure, whiche they well shewed; for assoone as the with a sixscore redy at his commaundement; towre gate opyned, and that the kynge was in likewise was sir Perducas Dalbret, who was yssued out with his two bretherne, and the erle as than in London; insomoche that ther myght of Salisbury, the erle of Warwike, the erle of well [be] assembled togyder an eyght thousande Oxenforthe, sir Robert of Namure, the lorde men, redy in harnesse. Howebeit, ther was of Bretaygne, the lorde Gomegynes, and nothyng done, for the resydue of the commons dyvers other, than? Watte Tyler, Jacke Strawe, of the cytie were sore douted,' leest they shulde

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and Johan Ball, and more than foure hundred ryse also, and the commons before were a entred into the towre, and brake up chambre threscore thousande or mo. Than the erle of after chambre, and at last founde the archeSalisbury and the wyse men about the kynge bysshoppe of Caunterbury, called Symon, a sayd, “Sir, if ye can apese ? them with fayr- valyant man and a wyse, and chefe chaunnesse, 8 it were best and moost profytable, and celler of Englande; and a lytell before he to graunt theym every thynge that they desyre; hadde sayde masse before the kynge. These for if we shulde begyn a thynge the whiche we glottons toke hym and strake of his heed, coulde nat acheve, we shulde never recover it and also they beheded the lorde of saynt Joagayne, but we and oure heyres ever to be dis

hans, and a Frere Mynour, maister in medicyn heyrited.” So this counsaile was taken, and the parteyning 8 to the duke of Lancastre: they mayre countermaunded, and so commaunded

slewe hym in dispyte of his maister, and a that he shulde nat styrre; and he dyde as he

sergeant at armes, called John Laige. And was commaunded, as reason was. And in the these four heedes were set on foure long cytie with the mayre there were xii. aldermen,

speares, and they made them to be borne before wherof nyne of them helde with the kynge, and them through the stretes of London, and at the other thre toke parte with these ungraycous last set them a highe o on London bridge, as people, as it was after well knowen, the whiche

though they had ben traytours to the kyng and they full derely bought.

to the realme. Also these glottons entred into And on the Friday in the mornynge, the the princes 10 chambre and brake her bed, people beyng at saynt Katheryns, nere to the wherby she was

sore afrayed that she towre, began to apparell themselfe, and to crye sowned, and ther she was taken up and borne and shoute, and sayd, without the kyng wolde

to the water syde, and put into a barge and come out and speke with them, they wolde

covered, and so conveyed to a place called the assayle the towre and take it by force, and

quenes Warderobe. And there she was all that sleei all them that were within. Than the

daye and night, lyke a woman halfe deed, tyll


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she was conforted with the kyng her sonne, dilygence letters patentes, and sayled with the as ye shall here after.

kynges seale, and delyvered them to these people. And whan they had receyved the

writynge, they departed and retourned into CAP. CCCLXXXIIII

their owne countreis; but the great venym How the nobles of England were in great parylla remayned styll behynde. For Watte Tyler, to have ben dystroyed, and howe these rebels were Jacke Strawe, and John Ball sayd, for all that punisshed and sendes home to theyr owne houses. these people were thus apesed, yet they wolde Whan the kyng came to the sayd place of

nat departe so, and they had of their acorde 3 Myle-ende without London, he put out of his

mo than xxx. thousande: so they abode styll,

and made no prese * to have the kynges writyng company his two bretherne, the erle of Kent and sir Johan Holande, and the lorde of

nor seale; for all their ententes was to putte Gomegynes, for they durst nat apere before

the cytie to trouble, in suche wyse as to slee the people. And whan the kynge and his

all the riche and honest persons, and to robbe other lordes were ther, he founde there a thre

and pylle - their houses. They of London score thousande men, of dyvers vyllages, and

were in great feare of this, wherfore they kepte of sondrie countreis in Englande. So the

their houses previly' with their frendes, and kynge entred in amonge them, and sayd to

suche servauntes as they had, every man them swetely, "A! ye good people, I am your

accordynge to his puyssa unce. And whane kyng; what lacke ye? what wyll ye say?"

these sayde people were this Fridaye thus Than suche as understode him sayd, "We wyll departe assoone as they hadde their writynges,

somewhat apeased, and that they shulde ye make us free for ever, our selfe, our heyres, and our landes, and that we be called

everye manne home into his owne countrey, no more bonde, nor so reputed.” “Sirs,”

than kynge Rycharde came into the Royall, sayd the king, “I am well agreed therto; with

where the quene his mother was, right sore drawe you home into your owne houses, and

afrayed; so he conforted her as well as he into suche villages as ye came fro, and leave

coulde, and taryed there with her all that behynde you of every vyllage ii. or thre, and I

night. shall cause writynges to be made, and seale theym with my seale, the whiche they shall The Saturday the kynge departed fro the have with them, conteyning every thynge that

Warderobe in the Royall, and went to Westye demaunde; and to thentent that ye shal mynster and harde & masse in the churche there, be the better assured, I shall cause my baners

and all his lordes with hym; and besyde the to be delyvered into every bayliwyke, shyre, and

churche there was a lytle chapell, with an image countreis.” These wordes apeased well the

of Our Lady, whiche dyd great myracles, and common people, suche as were symple and

in whom the kynges of Englande had ever great good playne men, that were come thyder and truste and confydence. The kynge made his wyste nat why: they sayd, “It was well said;

orisons before this image, and dyde there his We desyre nó better."'Thus these people offryng; and than he lepte on his horse and beganne to be a peased, and began to withdrawe all his lordes, and so the kynge rode towarde them into the cyte of London. And the kyng London; and whan he had ryden a lytle way also said a worde, the whiche greatlye contented

on the lyft hande, there was a way to passe them. He sayde, “Sirs, amonge you good

without London. men of Kent, ye shall have one of my banners The same propre mornynge Watte Tyler, with you, and ye of Essexe another; and ye

Jacke Strawe, and John Ball had assembled their of Sussexe, of Bedforde, of Cambridge, of company to comon ® together, in a place called Germeney, of Stafforde, and of Lyn, eche of Smythfelde, where-as 10 every Fryday there is a you one; and also I pardon every thinge that

markette of horses. And there were together ye have done hyderto, so that ye folowe my

all of affinite mo than xx. thousande, and yet baners and retourne home to your houses.”

there were many styll in the towne, drynkynge They all answered how they wolde so do: thus and makynge mery in the tavernes, and payed these people departed and went into London. nothyng, for they were happy that made them Than the kynge ordayned mo than xxx. clerkes the same Fridaye, to write with all 1 sealed 2 poison 8 assent, way of thinking


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