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Noe bargaine, nor merchandize merchants wold make
But I was called a witnesse therto :
No use for noe money, nor forfett wold take,
But I wold controule them, if that they did foe :
And that makes me live in great woe,

40 For then came in Pride, Sathan's disciple, That is now entertained with all kind of people.

He brought with him three, whose names thus they call'
That is Covetousnes, Lecherye, Usury, beside :
They never prevail'd, till they wroughimy downe-fall; 45
Soe Pride was entertained, but Conscience decried,
And • now ever since' abroad have I tryed

To have had entertainment with some one or other;
But I am rejected, and scorned of my brother..

Then went I to Court the gallants to winne,

50 But the porter kept me out of the gate : To Bartle’mew spittle to pray

for

my finne, They bade me goe packe, itt was fit for

my Goe, goe, thread-bare Conscience, and seeke thee a mate.

Good Lord, long preserve my king, prince, and queene, With whom I ever esteemed have beene.

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state ;

Then went I to London, where once I did dwell:
But they wade away with me, when they knew my name;
For he will undoe us to bye and to sell!
They hade me goe packe me, and hye me for same;

60 They laught at my raggs, and there had good game;

This is old thread-bare Conscience, that dwelt with

faint Peter; But they wold not admitt me to be a chimney sweeper.

Not one wold receive me, the Lord he doth know;
I having but one poore pennye in my purse,

65
On an awle and some patches I did it bestow;
For I thought better cobble shoes than to doe worse :
Straight then all the coblers began for to curse,

And by statute wold prove me a rogue, and forlorne, And whipp me out of towne to seeke where I was borne,

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Then did I remember, and call to my minde,
The Court of Conscience where once I did fit,
Not doubting but there I favor shold find,
Sith my name and the place agreed foe fit ;
But sure of my purpose I fayled a whit,

75 For thoughe' the judge usd my name in every com

miflion, The lawyers with their quillets wold get my dismission.

Then Westminster-hall was no place for me ;
Good lord ! how the Lawyers began to assemble,
And fearfull they were, left there I shold bee! 80
The filly poore clarkes began for to tremble ;
I showed them my cause, and did not diffemble;

Soe they gave me some money my charges to beare,
But swore me on a booke I must never come there.
VOL. II.

Next

Next the Merchants faid, Counterfeite, get thee away, 85
Dost thou remember how we thee fond ?
We banisht thee the country beyond the salt sea,
And sett thee on shore in the New-found land,
And there thou and wee most friendly fhook hand,

And we were right glad when thou didft refuse us; ga
For when we wold reape thou woldit accuse us;

Then had I noe way, but for to go on
To Gentlemens houses of an ancyent name ;
Declaring my greeffes, and there I made moane,
Telling how their forefathers had held me in fame; 95
And at letting their farmes how always I came.

They fayd, Fye upon thee! we may thee curfe:
Theire leases continue, and we fare the worse.

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And then I was forced a begging to goe
To husbandmens houses, who greeved right fore,
And fware that their landlords had plagued them foe,
That they were not able to keepe open dore,
Nor nothing had left to give to the poore :

Therfore to this wood I doe me repayre,
Where hepps and hawes, it is my best fare.

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Yet within this same desert some comfort I have
Of Mercye, of Pittye, and of Almes-deeds;
Who have vowed to company me to my grave,
We are all put to silence, and live upon weeds,
And hence such cold houfe-keeping proceeds :

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Our

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Our banishment is its utter decay,
The which the riche glutton will answer one day.

Why then, I said to him, me thinks it were best то goe to the Clergie ; for daylie they preach Eche man to love you above all the rest ;

115 Of Mercye and Pittye and Almes-deeds they teache. O, said he, noe matter a pin what they preache,

For their wives and their children foe hange them upon, That whosoever gives almes they can give none.

I 20

Then laid he him downe, and turned him away,
And prayd me to goe, and leave him to rest.
I told him, I haplie might yet see the day
For him and his fellowes to live on the best.
First, said he, banishe Pride, then England were blest,
For then those wold love us, that now tell their land, 125
And then good house-keeping wold revive out of hand,

II.

PLAIN TRUTH, AND BLIND IGNORANCE,

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This excellent old ballad is preserved in the little ancient miscellany intitled, The Garland of Goodwill.IGNORANCE is here made to speak in the broad Somersetshire dialect. The scene we may suppose to be Glastonbury Abbey.

S 2

TRUTH,

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