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pose of reaching the commonalty.* Besides some ment founded on theoretical views being since then epistles and other minor writings, he wrote, in Latin, termed Utopian. The most of the English writings
of More are pamphlets on the religious controversies of his day, and the only one which is now of value is A History of Edward V., and of his Brother, and of Richard II., which Mr Hallam considers as the first English prose work free of vulgarisms and pedantry.
The intention of Sir Thomas More in his Utopia is to set forth his idea of those social arrangements whereby the happiness and improvement of the people may be secured to the utmost extent of which human nature is susceptible; though, probably, he has pictured more than he really conceived it possible to effect. Experience proves that many of his suggestions are indeed Utopian. In his imaginary island, for instance, all are contented with the necessaries of life; all are employed in useful labour; no man desires, in clothing, any other quality besides durability; and since wants are few, and every individual engages in labour, there is no need for working more than six hours a-day. Neither laziness nor avarice finds a place in this happy region; for why should the people be indolent when they have so little toil, or greedy when they know that there is abundance for each ? All this, it is evident, is incompatible with qualities inherent in human nature: man requires the stimulus of self-interest to render him industrious and persevering; he loves not utility merely, but ornament; he possesses a spirit of emulation which makes him endeavour to outstrip his fellows, and a desire to accumulate property even for its own sake. With much that is Utopian, however, the work contains many sound suggestions. Thus, instead of severe punishment of theft, the author would improve the morals and condition of the people, so as to take away the temptation to crime; for, says he, if you suffer your people to be illeducated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what
else is to be concluded from this, but that you first & curious philosophical work under the title of make thieves, and then punish them ?' In Utopia, Utopia, which, describing an imaginary pattern we are told, war is never entered on but for some country and people, has added a word to the Eng- gross injury done to themselves, or, more especially, lish language, every scheme of national improve to their allies; and the glory of a general is in pro
portion, not to the number, but to the fewness of * The following is a specimen of Sir Thomas More's juvenile the enemies, whom he slays in gaining a victory. poetry
Criminals are generally punished with slavery, even He that hath lafte the hosier's crafte,
for the greatest misdeeds, since servitude is no less And fallth to makyng shone ;
terrible than death itself; and, by making slaves of The smyth that shall to painting fall,
malefactors, not only does the public get the benefit His thrift is well nigh done.
of their labour, but the continual sight of their A black draper with whyte paper,
misery is more effectual than their death to deter To goe to writing scole,
other men from crime. It is one of the oldest laws of An old butler become a cutler
the Utopians, that no man ought to be punished for I wene shall prove a fole.
his religion ; 'it being a fundamental opinion among And an old trot, that can God wot,
them, that a man cannot make himself believe anyNothing but kyss the cup, With her physicke will kepe one sicke,
thing he pleases; nor do they drive any to dissemble Till she hath soused hym up.
their thoughts by threatenings, so that men are not A man of law that never sawe
tempted to lie or disguise their opinions among The wayes to buy and sell
them ; which, being a sort of fraud, is abhorred by Wenyng to ryse by merchandyse,
the Utopians. Every man may endeavour to conI pray God spede him well!
vert others to his views by the force of amicable and A merchaunt eke, that will go seke
modest argument, without bitterness against those By all the meanes he may,
of other opinions ; but whoever adds reproach and To fall in sute till he dispute
violence to persuasion, is to be condemned to banishHis money cleane away;
ment or slavery. Such tolerant views were exPletyng the lawe for every stray
tremely rare in the days of Sir Thomas More, and Shall prove a thrifty man,
in later life were lamentably departed from by himWith bate and strife, but by my life
self in practice ; for in persecuting the Protestants, I cannot tell you whan. Whan an hatter will smatter
he displayed a degree of intolerance and severity In philosophy,
which were strangely at variance both with the Or a pedlar waxe a medlar
opinions of his youth and the general mildness of In theology, &c. his disposition.
hatred report above the truth, or else that nature [Letter to Lady More.]
changed her course in his beginning, wbich, in the (Returning from the negotiations at Cambray, Sir Thomas course of his life, many things unnaturally comMore heard that his barns and some of those of his neighbours mitted.) had been burnt down; he consequently wrote the following Noné evil captain was he in the war, as to which letter to his wife. Its gentleness to a sour-tempered woman, his disposition was more meetly than for peace. and the benevolent feelings expressed about the property of his Sundry victories had he, and sometime overthrows, neighbours, have been much admired.]
but never in default for his own person, either of Mistress Alice, in my most heartywise I recommend hardiness or politic order. Free was he called of disme to you. And whereas I am informed by my son pense, and somewhat above his power liberal. With Heron of the loss of our barns and our neighbours' | large gifts he get him unsteadfast friendship, for also, with all the corn that was therein ; albeit (sav- which he was fain to pil and spoil in other places, and ing God's pleasure) it is great pity of so much good get him stedfast hatred. He was close and secret ; corn lost ; yet since it has liked him to send us such a deep dissimuler, lowly of countenance, arrogant of a chance, we must and are bounden, not only to be heart; outwardly coumpinable where he inwardly content, but also to be glad of his visitation. He sent hated, not letting to kiss whom he thought to kill; us all that we have lost ; and since he hath by such a dispitious and cruel, not for evil will alway, but chance taken it away again, his pleasure be fulfilled ! oftener for ambition, and either for the surety and Let us never grudge thereat, but take it in good increase of his estate. Friend and foe was indifferworth, and heartily thank him, as well for adversity ent, where his advantage grew; he spared no man's as for prosperity. And peradventure we have more death whose life withstood his purpose. He slew with cause to thank him for our loss than for our winning, his own hands king Henry VI., being prisoner in the for his wisdom better seeth what is good for us than Tower. we do ourselves. Therefore, I pray you be of good cheer, and take all the household with you to church, and there thank God, both for that he has given us,
[The Utopian Idea of Pleasure.] and for that he has taken from us, and for that he (From Bishop Burnet's translation of the Utopia.) hath left us ; which, if it please him, he can increase when he will, and if it please him to leave us yet less,
They think it is an evidence of true wisdom for a at his pleasure be it!
man to pursue his own advantages as far as the laws I pray you to make some good on search what my allow it. They account it piety to prefer the public poor neighbours have lost, and bid them take no good to one's private concerns. But they think it thought therefore ; for, if I should not leave myself a unjust for a man to seek for his own pleasure, by spoon, there shall no poor neighbour of mine bear no snatching another man's pleasures from him. And, loss by my chance, happened in my house. I pray on the contrary, they think it a sign of a gentle and you be, with my children and your household, merry good soul, for a man to dispense with his own advanin God; and devise somewhat with your friends what tage for the good of others; and that, by so doing, a way were best to take, for provision to be made for good man finds as much pleasure one way as he parts corn for our household, and for seed this year coming, with another ; for, as he may expect the like from if we think it good that we keep the ground still in others when he may come to need it, so, if that should our hands. And whether we think it good that we fail him, yet the sense of a good action, and the reso shall do or not, yet I think it were not best sud- flections that one makes on the love and gratitude of denly thus to leave it all up, and to put away our those whom he has so obliged, gives the mind more folk from our farm, till we have somewhat advised us pleasure than the body could have found in that from thereon. Howbeit, if we have more now than ye shall which it had restrained itself. They are also perneed, and which can get them other masters, ye may suaded that God will make up the loss of those small then discharge us of them. But I would not that any pleasures with a vast and endless joy, of which reliman were suddenly sent away, he wot not whither. gion does easily convince a good soul. Thus, upon an
At my coming hither, I perceived none other but inquiry into the whole matter, they reckon that all that I should tarry still with the king's grace. But our actions, and even all our virtues, terminate in now I shall, I think, because of this chance, get leave pleasure, as in our chief end and greatest happiness ; this next week to come home and see you, and then and they call every motion or state, either of body or shall we farther devise together upon all things, what mind, in which nature teaches us to delight, a pleaorder shall be best to take.
sure. And thus they cautiously limit pleasure only And thus as heartily fare you well, with all our to those appetites to which nature leads us ; for they children, as ye can wish. At Woodstock, the third reckon that nature leads us only to those delights to day of September, by the hand of THOMAS MORE. which reason as well as sense carries us, and by which
we neither injure any other person, nor let go greater [Character of Richard III.]
pleasures for it, and which do not draw troubles on us
after them ; but they look upon those delights which [Bir Thomas's account of Richard III. has been followed by men, by a foolish though common mistake, call pleaShakspeare.]
sure, as if they could change the nature of things, as Richard, the third son, of whom we now entreat,
well as the use of words, as things that not only do was in wit and courage egall with either of them ; in not advance our happiness, but do rather obstruct it body and prowess, far under them both ; little of very much, because they do so entirely possess the stature, ill-featured of limbs, crook-backed, his left notion of pleasure, that there is no room left for truer
minds of those that once go into them with a false shoulder much higher than his right, hard-favoured of visage. He was malicious, wrathful, envious, and
and purer pleasures. from afore his birth ever froward. It is for truth nothing that is truly delighting : on the contrary,
There are many things that in themselves have reported, that the duchess his mother had so much ado in her travail, that she could not be delivered of they have a good deal of bitterness in them ; and yet him uncut; and that he came into the world with the by our perverse appetites after forbidden objects, are feet forward, as men be borne outward ; and (as the not only ranked among the pleasures, but are made faine runneth) also not untoothed (whether men of even the greatest designs of life. Among those who
pursue these sophisticated pleasures, they reckon those whom I mentioned before, who think themselves
really the better for having fine clothes, in which they from a depraved custom, which may so vitiate a man's think they are doubly mistaken, both in the opinion taste, that bitter things may pass for sweet ; as pregthat they have of their clothes, and in the opinion nant women think pitch or tallow tastes sweeter than that they have of themselves ; for if you consider the honey ; but as a man's sense when corrupted, either use of clothes, why should a fine thread be thought by a disease or some ill habit, does not change the better than a coarse one? And yet that sort of men, nature of other things, so neither can it change the as if they had some real advantages beyond others, nature of pleasure. and did not owe it wholly to their mistakes, look big, They reckon up several sorts of these pleasures, and seem to fancy themselves to be the more valuable which they call true ones ; some belong to the body, on that account, and imagine that a respect is due to and others to the mind. The pleasures of the mind them for the sake of a rich garment, to which they lie in knowledge, and in that delight which the conwould not have pretended if they had been more templation of truth carries with it ; to which they meanly clothed ; and they resent it as an affront, if add the joyful reflections on a well-spent life, and the that respect is not paid them. It is also a great folly assured hopes of a future happiness. They divide the to be taken with these outward marks of respect, pleasures of the body into two sorts ; the one is that which signify nothing; for what true or real pleasure which gives our senses some real delight, and is percan one find in this, that another man stands bare, or formed, either by the recruiting of nature, and supmakes legs to him ? Will the bending another man's plying those parts on which the internal heat of life thighs give you any ease? And will his head's being feeds; and that is done by eating or drinking: Or bare cure the madness of yours? And yet it is won when nature is eased of any surcharge that oppresses derful to see how this false notion of pleasure bewitches it. There is another kind of this sort of pleasure, that many, who delight themselves with the fancy of their neither gives us anything that our bodies require, nobility, and are pleased with this conceit, that they nor frees us from anything with which we are overare descended from ancestors who have been held for charged ; and yet it excites our senses by a secret some successions rich, and that they have had great unseen virtue, and by a generous impression, it so possessions ; for this is all that makes nobility at tickles and affects them, that it turns them inwardly present; yet they do not think themselves a whit the upon themselves ; and this is the pleasure begot by less noble, though their immediate parents have left music. none of this wealth to them ; or though they them- Another sort of bodily pleasure is, that which conselves have squandered it all away. The Utopians sists in a quiet and good constitution of body, by have no better opinion of those who are much taken which there is an entire healthiness spread over all with gems and precious stones, and who account it a the parts of the body not allayed with any disease. degree of happiness next to a divine one, if they can This, when it is free from all mixture of pain, gives purchase one that is very extraordinary, especially if an inward pleasure of itself, even though it should not it be of that sort of stones that is then in greatest re- be excited by any external and delighting object; and quest ; for the same sort is not at all times of the although this pleasure does not so vigorously affect same value with all sorts of people; nor will men buy the sense, nor act so strongly upon it, yet, as it is the it, unless it be dismounted and taken out of the gold. greatest of all pleasures, so almost all the Utopians And then the jeweller is made to give good security, reckon it the foundation and basis of all the other and required solemnly to swear that the stone is true, joys of life ; since this alone makes one's state of life that by such an exact caution, a false one may not be to be easy and desirable ; and when this is wanting, bought instead of a true ; whereas if you were to a man is really capable of no other pleasure. They examine it, your eye could find no difference between look upon indolence and freedom from pain, if it does that which is counterfeit and that which is true; so not rise from a perfect health, to be a state of stupithat they are all one to you, as niuch as if you were dity rather than of pleasure. There has been a conblind. And can it be thought that they who heap up troversy in this matter very narrowly canvassed among an useless mass of wealth, not for any use that it is them ; whether a firm and entire health could be to bring them, but merely to please themselves with called a pleasure or not? Some have thought that the contemplation of it, enjoy any true pleasure in it? there was no pleasure but that which was excited by The delight they find is only a false shadow of joy. some sensible motion in the body. But this opinion Those are no better whose error is somewhat different has been long ago run down among them, so that now from the former, and who hide it, out of the fear of they do almost all agree in this, That health is the losing it ; for what other name can fit the hiding it in greatest of all bodily pleasures ; and that, as there is the earth, or rather the restoring it to it again, it a pain in sickness, which is as opposite in its nature to being thus cut off from being useful, either to its pleasure, as sickness itself is to health, so they hold owner or to the rest of mankind! And yet the owner that health carries a pleasure along with it. And if having hid it carefully, is glad, because he thinks he any should say that sickness is not really a pain, but is now sure of it. And in case one should come to that it only carries a pain along with, they look upon steal it, the owner, though he might live perhaps ten that as a fetch of subtility that does not much alter yea 18 after that, would all that while after the theft, the matter. So they think it is all one, whether it be of which he knew nothing, find no difference between said, that health is in itself a pleasure, or that it behis having it or losing it, for both ways it was equally gets a pleasure, as fire gives heat ; so it be granted, useless to him.
that all those whose health is entire have a true pleaAmong those foolish pursuers of pleasure, they sure in it: and they reason thus. What is the pleareckon all those that delight in hunting, or birding sure of eating, but that a man's health which had been or gaming : of whose madness they have only heard, weakened, does, with the assistance of food, drive away for they have no such things among them.
hunger, and so recruiting itself, recovers its former Thus though the rabble of mankind looks upon vigour ? And being thus refreshed, it finds a pleasure these, and all other things of this kind which are in- in that conflict. And if the conflict is pleasure, the deed innumerable, as pleasures ; the Utopians, on the victory must yet breed a greater pleasure, except we contrary, observing that there is nothing in the nature will fancy that it becomes stupid as soon as it has of them that is truly pleasant, conclude that they are obtained that which it pursued, and so does neither not to be reckoned among pleasures. For though these know nor rejoice in its own welfare. If it is said that things may create some tickling in the senses (which health cannot be felt, they absolutely deny that ; for seems to be a true notion of pleasure), yet they reckon what man is in health that does not perceive it when that this does not arise from the thing itself, but he is awake? Is there any man that is so dull and
stupid, as not to acknowledge that he feels a delight infinitely beneath him in intellect, was ALEXANDER in health? And what is delight but another name BARCLAY, a clergyman of England, but supposed to for pleasure ?
have been a native of Scotland. Besides a curious But of all pleasures, they esteem those to be the work in prose and verse, entitled, The Ship of Fooles, most valuable that lie in the mind ; and the chief of (1509), in which is described a great variety of these are those that arise out of true virtue, and the human absurdities, he translated many Latin and witness of a good conscience. They account health other books, including Sallust's History of the Jugurthe chief pleasure that belongs to the body; for they thine war, which was among the earliest English think that the pleasure of eating and drinking, and versions of classical authors produced in England. all the other delights of the body, are only so far desirable as they give or maintain health. But they are not pleasant in themselves, otherwise than as they resist those impressions that our natural infirmity is
FISCHER, Bishop of ROCHESTER, (1459-1535), still making upon us; and, as a wise man desires was chiefly distinguished in his lifetime by pamphrather to avoid diseases than to take physic, and to lets in Latin against the Lutheran doctrines : these be freed from pain rather than to find case by reme- have long been in oblivion, but his name still calls dies, so it were a more desirable state not to need this for a place in our literary history, as one of the sort of pleasure, than to be obliged to indulge it. And fathers of English prose. He was a steadfast adif any man imagines that there is a real happiness in herent of the church of Rome, and his name is tarthis pleasure, he must then confess that he would be nished with some severities to the reforming party; the happiest of all men, if he were to lead his life in but we have the testimony of Erasmus, confirmed a perpetual hunger, thirst, and itching, and by conse by the acts of his life, that he possessed many of the quence in perpetual eating, drinking, and scratching best points of human character. He steadily refused himself, which, any one may easily see, would be not translation to a more valuable bishopric, and he only a base but a miserable state of life. These are, finally laid down his life, along with Sir Thomas indeed, the lowest of pleasures, and the least pure; More, in a conscientious adherence to the principle for we can never relish them but when they are mixed of the validity of the nuptials of Queen Catherine. with the contrary pains. The pain of hunger must
While in the Tower on account of that assumed give us the pleasure of eating; and here the pain outbalances the pleasure ; and, as the pain is more vehe- offence, the pope acknowledged his worth and conment, so it lasts much longer ; for, as it is upon us
sistency by the gift of a cardinal's hat; which drew before the pleasure comes, so it does not cease, but send him a hat when he will; mother of God! he
from Henry the brutal remark, • Well, let the pope with the pleasure that extinguishes it, and that goes off with it ; so that they think none of those pleasures shall wear it on his shoulders then, for I will leave are to be valued, but as they are necessary. Yet they him never a head to set it on!' The English writrejoice in them, and with due gratitude acknowledge ings of Bishop Fischer consist of sermons and a the tenderness of the great author of nature, who has few small tracts on pious subjects, printed in one
One of the sermons planted in us appetites, by which those things that volume at Wurzburg in 1595. are necessary for our preservation are likewise made was a funeral one, preached in 1509, in honour of the pleasant to us. For how miserable a thing would life Countess of Richmond (mother of Henry VII.), be, if those daily diseases of hunger and thirst were to whose chaplain he had been. In it he presents a be carried off by such bitter drugs, as we must use for remarkable portraiture of a pious lady of rank of that those diseases that return seldomer upon us ! And age, with a curious detail of the habits then thought thus these pleasant, as well as proper gifts of nature, essential to a religious gentlewoman. do maintain the strength and the sprightliness of our bodies.
[Character and Habits of the Countess of Richmond.] They do also entertain themselves with the other delights that they let in at their eyes, their ears, and [In allusion to Martha, the subject of the text,] their nostrils, as the pleasant relishes and seasonings First, I say, the comparison of them two may be made of life, which nature seems to have marked out pecu- in four things; in nobleness of person ; in discipline liarly for man ; since no other sort of animals con- of their bodies ; in ordering of their souls to God ; in templates the figure and beauty of the universe, nor hospitalities keeping and charitable dealing to their is delighted with smells, but as they distinguish meats neighbours. In which four, the noble woman Martha by them ; nor do they apprehend the concords or dis- (as say the doctors, entreating this gospel and her life) cords of sounds; yet in all pleasures whatsoever, they was singularly to be commended and praised; whereobserve this temper, that a lesser joy may not hinder fore let us consider likewise, whether in this noble a greater, and that pleasure may never breed pain, countess may any thing like be found. which they think does always follow dishonest plea- First, the blessed Martha was a woman of noble
But they think it a madness for a man to wear blood, whom by inheritance belonged the castle of out the beauty of his face, or the force of his natural Bethany; and this nobleness of blood they have which strength, and to corrupt the sprightliness of his body descended of noble lincage. Beside this, there is a by sloth and laziness, or to waste his body by fasting, nobleness of manners, withouten which the nobleness and so to weaken the strength of his constitution, and of blood is much defaced ; for as Boethius saith, If reject the other delights of life ; unless, by renouncing ought be good in the nobleness of blood, it is for that his own satisfaction, he can either serve the public, or thereby the noble men and women should be ashamed promote the happiness of others, for which he expects to go out of kind, from the virtuous manners of their à greater recompense from God; so that they look on ancestry before. Yet also there is another nobleness such a course of life, as a mark of a mind that is both which ariseth in every person, by the goodness of cruel to itself, and ingrateful to the author of nature, nature, whereby full often such as come of right poor as if we would not be beholden to him for his favours, and unnoble father and mother, have great abilities and therefore would reject all his blessings, and should of nature to noble deeds. Above all the same there afflict himself for the empty shadow of virtue ; or for is a four manner of nobleness, which may be called no better end than to render himself capable to bear an encreased nobleness ; as, by marriage and affinity those misfortunes which possibly will never happen. of more noble persons, such as were of less condition
may increase in higher degree of nobleness. Contemporary with Sir Thomas More, though In every of these I suppose this countess was noble
First, she came of noble blood, lineally descending the morrow after make answer of her mind determiof King Edward III. within the four degree of the nately. A marvellous thing !--the same night, as I
Her father was John, Duke of Somerset ; her have heard her tell many a time, as she lay in prayer, mother was called Margaret, right noble as well in calling upon St Nicholas, whether sleeping or waking manners as in blood, to whom she was a very daughter she could not assure, but about four of the clock in in all noble manners : for she was bounteous and the morning, one appeared unto her, arrayed like a liberal to every person of her knowledge or acquaint- bishop, and naming unto her Edmund, bade take
Avarice and covetyse she most hated, and sor- him unto her husband. And so by this means she rowed it full much in all persons, but specially in any did incline her mind unto Edmund, the king's brother, that belonged unto her. She was also of singular and Earl of Richmond, by whom she was made mother easiness to be spoken unto, and full courteous answer of the king that dead is (whose soul God pardon), she would make to all that came unto her. Of mar- and grand-dame to our sovereign lord King Henry vellous gentleness she was unto all folks, but specially VIII., which now, by the grace of God, governeth the unto her own, whom she trusted and loved right ten- realm. So what by lineage, what by affinity, she had derly. Unkind she would not be unto no creature, ne thirty kings and queens within the four degree of forgetful of any kindness or service done to her before ; marriage unto her, besides earls, anarquisses, dukes, which is no little part of very nobleness. She was not and princes. And thus much we have spoken of her vengeable ne cruel, but ready anon to forget and to nobleness. forgive injuries done unto her, at the least desire or Her sober temperance in meats and drinks was motion made unto her for the same. Merciful also known to all them that were conversant with her, and piteous she was unto such as was grieved and wherein she lay in as great weight of herself as any wrongfully troubled, and to them that were in poverty person might, keeping alway her strait measure, and or sickness, or any other misery.
offending as little as any creature might: eschewing To God and to the church full obedient and tract- banquets, rere-suppers, juiceries betwixt meals. As able, searching his honour and pleasure full busily. A for fasting, for age, and feebleness, albeit she were not wareness of herself she had alway to eschew every bound, yet those days that by the church were apthing that might dishonest any noblewoman, or dis- pointed, she kept them diligently and seriously, and tain her honour in any condition. Frivolous things in especial the holy Lent throughout, that she rethat were little to be regarded, she would let pass by, strained her appetite, till one meal of fish on the day; but the other that were of weight and substance, besides her other peculiar fasts of devotion, as St wherein she might profit, she would not let, for any Anthony, St Mary Magdalene, St Catharine, with pain or labour, to take upon hand. These and many other; and theroweout all the year, the Friday and other such noble conditions, left unto her by her an- Saturday she full truly observed. As to hard clothes cestors, she kept and increased therein with a great wearing, she had her shirts and girdles of hair, which, diligence.
when she was in health, erery week she failed not The third nobleness also she wanted not, which I certain days to wear, sometime the one, sometime said was the nobleness of nature. She had in a man- | the other, that full often her skin, as I heard her say, per all that was praisable in a woman, either in soul was pierced therewith. or body. First, she was of singular wisdom, far pass- In prayer, every day at her uprising, which coming the common rate of women. She was good in re- monly was not long after five of the clock, she began membrance and of holding memory ; a ready wit she certain devotions, and so after them, with one of her had also to conceive all things, albeit they were right gentlewomen, the matins of our lady, which kept her dark. Right studious she was in books, which she 102—then she came into her closet, where then with had in great number, both in English and in French; her chaplain, she said also matins of the day; and and for her exercise and for the profit of others, she after that daily heard four or five masses upon her did translate divers matters of devotion, out of the knees ; so continuing in her prayers and devotions French into English. Full often she complained that unto the hour of dinner, which of the eating day, was in her youth she had not given her to the under- ten of the clock, and upon the fasting day eleven. standing of Latin, wherein she had a little perceiving, After dinner full truly she would go her stations to specially of the Rubryshe of the Ordinal, for the says three altars daily; daily her dirges and commendaing of her service, which she did well understand. tions she would say, and her even songs before supper, Hereunto in favour, in words, in gesture, in every both of the day and of our lady, beside many other demeanour of herself, so great nobleness did appear, prayers and psalters of David throughout the year; that what she spake or did, it marvellously became and at night before she went to bed, she failed not to her.
resort unto her chapel, and there a large quarter of an The four nobleness, which we named a nobleness hour to occupy her devotions. No marvel, though all gotten or increased, she had also. For albeit she of this long time her kneeling was to her painful, and her lineage were right noble, yet nevertheless by so painful that many times it caused in her back pain marriage adjoining of other blood, it took some en- and disease. And yet nevertheless, daily when she creasement. For in her tender age, she being endued was in health, she failed not to say the crown of our with so great towardness of nature and likelihood of lady, which after the manner of Rome, containeth inheritance, many sued to have had her to marriage. sixty and three aves, and at every ave, to make a The Duke of Suffolk, which then was a man of great kneeling. As for meditation, she had divers books experience, most diligently procured to have had her in French, wherewith she would occupy herself when for his son and heir. of the contrary part, King she was weary of prayer. Wherefore divers she did Henry VI. did make means for Edmund his brother, translate out of the French into English. Her marthen the Earl of Richmond. She, which as then was vellous weeping they can bear witness of, which here not fully nine years old, doubtful in her mind what before have heard her confession, which be divers and she were best to do, asked counsel of an old gentlemany, and at many seasons in the year, lightly every woman, whom she much loved and trusted, which did third day. Can also record the same tho that were advise her to commend herself to St Nicholas, the present at any time when she was houshilde,3 which patron and helper of all true maidens, and to beseech him to put in her mind what she were best to do !
1 Second suppers. When supper took place at four or five This counsel she followed, and made her prayer so
o'clock, it was not uncommon, on festive occasions, to have a full often, but specially that night, when she should second served up at a later hour.
There is an omission hero.