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suality, from which he is at last reclaimed by Divine Correction and Good Counsel. He then declares himself ready to redress all grievances and correct all abuses, for which end Diligence is ordered to summon the Three Estates of the Realm. Here,' says the stage direction, shall the messenger Diligence return, and crying, oyez, oyez, oyez, say thus'
At the command of King Humanitie,
I warne and charge all members of Parliament,
That till his Grace they be obedient,
Wha beis absent, or inobedient,
Also I mak you exhortatioun,
Go tak ane drink, and mak collatioun, Ilk man drink till his marrow, I you pray. The second part opens with an attack upon the extreme severity with which the churchmen exacted their tithes, a poor mendicant appearing on the stage, and asking charity, with a miserable story of the oppression under which he had sunk. During the dialogue which takes place between the Pauper, Diligence, and a Pardoner, or retailer of the papal indulgences, the Three Estates of the Realm issue from the palzeoun,' or tent, in procession ; but, to the horror and astonishment of the audience, they approach the king's presence, not in the usual fashion, with their faces turned towards the sovereign, but going backwards. Correction enquires the cause of this strange procedure
Declair to me the thing that I wad speir".
And fence the court as ye were wont to do. The sovereign now announces his readiness to redress all abuses, but is reproved for his hasty resolution by the Spirituality, upon which, Correction, declaring his astonishment that such abominable counsel should proceed from these grave sages, orders Diligence to make open proclamation that every man who feels himself aggrieved should give in his bill, or come forward and tell his story:
Haste, Diligence, proclaim it is our will
That every man opprest give in his bill. No sooner is this invitation made public, than John the Commonweill comes dancing in upon the stage in the highest possible spirits, although rather sorrily clad; upon which, this homely dialogue ensues between him and Rex Humanitas :-
Johne. Because the three estates gang all backwart. A long catalogue of abuses is now presented by John, which it is impossible to analyse particularly, although, in some instances, they present a singular picture of the times. The pauper's description of the law's delay, in the Consistory Court, is excellent. He had brought an action for the recovery of damages against a neighbour, to whom he had lent his good grey mare :
Marry, I lent my mear to fetch hame coals,
n, how call ye it? ad replicandum ; But I could ne'er ane word yet understand him; 1 foes.? clothes. 8 crooked. * overlooked, neglected. go. 7 complain.
8 multitude. eight.
And then they gart' me cast out mony plakkis,
Many interesting sketches of national manners are to be found in this satire ; yet we must be on our guard against the error of considering Lindsay's descriptions as exactly faithful to truth and nature. The probability is, that they were strong caricatures, the trick of all political satirists, who, getting hold of an idea originally true, pare it down, or dress it up, to suit their own purposes, till it loses its identity, although it gains in the power of exciting ridicule.
All abuses having been duly investigated, and a remedy provided, Correction proposes that John Commonweill should be stripped of his ragged habiliments, clothed in a new suit of satin dainas, or of velvet fine,' and placed amongst the lords in the parliament. He is accordingly arrayed gorgeously, and, having taken his place, Correction congratulates the audience
All vertuous pepill now may be rejosito,
Sen Commouweill has gottin ane gay garmount?,
Devout doctouris, and clarkis of renoun,
And gude Counsall, with ladie Veritie,
Blist is that realm that hes ane prudent king,
Punisching thame that plainly dois maling, Contrair the Commonweill and equitie. Proclamation is then made of the acts of the parliament; Theft, Deceit, and Falsehood are hanged, after having severally addressed the people; Folly is indulged with a reprieve, and the piece concludes with an epilogue by Diligence, entreating the audience to take their lytil sport' (such is the term he uses for a play lasting nine hours) in patience, making allowances for the rudeness of the matter, and the poverty of the style.
As to the manner in which this piece was performed, it seems to have been acted in the open air, the king, lords and ladies occupying raised seats, or covered galleries, and the dramatis persona, according to the progress of the entertainment, coming out or going into a pavilion pitched on the green field, where the stage was erected. This is evident from some of the marginal directions, such as, • Here shall Gude Counsall show himself in the fields; here they depart and pass to the pailzion ; here shall the carle loup off the scaffold." Of scenery there can be traced no vestige; but as a hill and a running stream appear in the play, the ground where it was acted was so chosen that nature supplied them; and, in other respects, the machinery required seems to have been extremely simple. A throne or royal seat for the mimic king, benches for his parliament, a pulpit from