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peace, or here my truthe I plight,
I am the manfulst man of might,

take mynde on my manace.

All leedes in land bee at my likinge,
Castle, couquerour, and kinge
bayne be to do my byddynge,
yt will non other bee.

Right as I thinke, soe (is all thinge),
for all the word dose my willinge,
and bayne bine when I bydd bringe
homage and feoaltye.

sythen I was lord, withowten lesse,
with my witt I can more increase
the empire here then ever it was,

as all this world yt wiste.

syth I was so verayne warre can cease,
and through this world now is peace,
for soe dreade a duke sate never on dayes
in Rome, that you may trust.
Therfore, as lord, nowe likes mee
to preeve my might and my postee,
for I will send about and see

how many heades I have.

All the world shall written bee,
great and small, in eych degree,

do] omit Wr.

229 I plight] Iplight H B Wh After 230 a blank in H HBWh manace] mase Wh 234 be] bene HBh Dm is all thinge] must all bee D, moste it be Wh W bydd ] did H 240-244] omit h 244 can cease] cleare can cease D, clean can nowe] omit B 249 preve] prove H B Wh 253 eych] his B

about B

230 manfulst] manliest Wh 231 take] takes H B Wh on] of 232 leedes] lordes W 236 as] omit Wh 238 bine] omit 243 yt] is H cease H Wr. 248 250 about] and

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that dwell in shire or in cittye,
king, clarke, knight, and knave,
Eych man one penye shall paye,
therfore, my bedell, doe as I saye;
in middest the world, by anye waye,
this gammon shall begine.

The folke of Jewes, in good faye,
in myddest bine, that is noe naye,
therefore thyder, daye by daye,

and travayle or thow bline.
Warne him that there is president,
that this is fully myne intent
that eych man appere present,
his penye for to paye,

And by that penye, as well appent,
knowledge to bee obedyente
to Rome, by gift of such a rent,
from that tyme after aye.

When this is done thus in Judye,
that in the middest of the world shalbe,
to eych land, shire, and cyttye,

to Rome make them soe thrall.

Warne them, boye, I commande thee,
they doe the same, saye thus from mee,
soe all this world shall witt that we
Bine soveraygne of them all.

258 middest] mydds H B h Dm., medeste Wr. mydds H Bh Dm., medest Wr. 263 or] all B is] is there h

261 middest 264 there

270 Rome] come Wr. gift] geiste Wr. 271 aye ever W 272 thus] thir Wr. 273 of omit h, in B 277 they the HB Wh

thus] this H B Wh

Have donne, boye, art thou not bowne?
Preco: All readye, my lorde, by [Mahoun,]
noe tayles tupp in all this towne
shall goe further, withowten fayle.
Octavianus: Boye, therfore, by my crowne,
Thow muste have thy warrysoun.
the highest horse besydes (B)[r]oughton
take thow for thy travell.
Preco: Graunt mercye, lord, perdye,

this hackney will well serve mee,
for a great lord of your degree
should ryde in such araye.
The bine hye in dignitye,
and alsoe high and swifte is hee;
therefore that reverans takes yee,
my deare lord, I you praye.

But your arrand shalbe donne anone,
first into Judye I will gone,
and sommon the people, everychone,
both shire and eke cyttye.

Octavianus: Boye, there bine ladyes manye one,
amonge them all chese thee one,
take the fayrest, or els none,
and freely I give her thee.

Primus Senatour: my lord Octavian, wee be sent from all Rome, with good entent,

280 written in the margin of H Wr. mahound H B h Dm. tupp Hh Dm., tuppe tayles B 284-295] omit Wh 286 Broughton] boughton & D, Boughton H B 292 bine] lyve B 294 reverans] remanes B omit W But] omit h 297 will] wilbe B shire] both in shire H eke] omit H HB bine] be HB Wh manye] many a W 304 My] from my Wh 305 good] full H

296-300] 299 both 300 Octavianus ] omit 300-304] omit h

B

281 Mahoun] Mahounde D 282 tayles tupp] so Wr., talls after 283] blank in H

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thy men there have eychone Iment
as god to honour thee;

and to that pointe we be assent,
poore and ryche in parlement;
for soe loved a lord, verament,
was never in this cyttye.

Secundus Senator: Yea, sicker, syr, ther will is this,
to honour thee as god, with blys,
for thow did never to them amysse
in worde, thought, ne deede.

316 Octavianus: Welcome, my frendes, in good faye,
for you be baynable to my paye;
I thanke you all that ever I maye
the homage yee doe to mee;

(peace hath bene long and yet is,
no man in thy tyme lost ought of his,
therfore their will is now, Iwis,

to quite you this your meede.)

But follye yt were, by manye a waye,
such soverayntye for to assaye,
syth I must dye I wotte not what day,
to desyre such dignitye.

ffor of all flesch, blood, and bonne
made I am, borne of a womane,
and, sycker, other matter nonne
sheweth not right in mee;
neyther of Iron, tree, ne stonne
am I not wrought, you wott eych one,

308 assent] sent HW h
315 ne] ner Wh
nought H

312 sicker syr] seckerly B
315 a, b, c, d] omit D
315 b ought]
315 c now] so Wh 315 d this] in H meede]
neede H 317 baynable] penyble H, welckome Wh
of all of H B, all the Wh 325 made] man Wh
ne] nor H B Wh

329 am I] I ame B

324 328

and of my life moste parte is gone,
age shewes him soe in mee

and godhead askes in all thinge
tyme that hath noe beginninge,
ne never shall have endinge;
and none of this have I.

Wherfore, by verey proofe shewinge,
though I bee highest worldly kinge,
of godhead have I noe knowinge;
This were unkynd(lie).

But yet enquyre of this will wee
of hir that (hath) grace to see
thinges that afterward shalbe,

by ghoost of prophecye.

and after hir lore, by my lewtye!
discussinge this difficultye,
worke I, and take not more (on me)
then I am well worthye.

Sybbell, the sage, tell me this thinge,
for thow wytt hase, as (no) man livinge,
shall ever be any earthlye kinge
to passe mee of degree?

Sybbell: Yea, syr, I tell you, withowt leasinge, a bab borne shalbe, blys to bringe,

331 in me] I see H B Wh Shewes] sheweth Wr. 332 thinge] thinges h 335 this these H Wh 337 bee] omit H 339 This] it H W Bh unkyndlie] unkynd D Wh 340 of] if Dm. will wee] wilbe W 341 of] at HW Bh hath] hast D, has H B to see ] for to see HB Wh 344 lore] lawe Wh lewtye] bewtie Wh 346 I] omit HB Wh hot] no H B Wh on me] and more D on] of h 349 hase hast HW Bh no] not D 350 shall ever ] shall ther ever B h 353 bab] barne HB Wh borne shalbe] shall borne be H h, shalbe borne W

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