Mum and the Sothsegger

By Mabel Day; Robert Steele | Go to book overview

[FRAGMENT M]

Hovgh þe coroune moste be kepte fro couetous peuple [fo. 1a.] Al hoole in his hande and at his heeste eke, That euery knotte of þe coroune close with oþer, And not departid for prayer ne profit of [grete], Leste vncunnyng [comyn] caste vp þe halter 5 And crie on your cunseil for coigne þat ye lacke, For þay shal smaicche of þe smoke and smerte þereafter Whenne collectours comen to caicche what þay habben. And þough your tresorier be trewe and tymbre not to high, Hit wil be nere þe worse atte wyke-is ende, 10 For two yere a tresorier twenty wyntre aftre May lyue a lord-is life, as leued men tellen. Now your chanchellier þat chief is to chaste þe peuple With conscience of your cunseil þat þe coroune kepith, And alle þe scribes and clercz þat to þe court longen, 15 Bothe iustice and iuges y-ioyned and oþer, Sergeantz þat seruen for soulde atte barre, And þe prentys of court, prisist of alle, Loke ye reeche [not] of þe riche and rewe on þe poure That for faute of your fees fallen in þaire pleyntes; 20 Haue pitie on þe penylees and þaire pleynte harkeneth, And hire þaym as hertly as þough ye hure had, For þe loue of hym þat your life weldeth; And graunteth [þaym] for God-is sake and with a good chiere The writing of writtz and þe waxe eke; 25 And þay wil loue you for þe lawe as liege men aughte, More þenne for mayntenance þat any man vseth, Or for any frounting for faute of þe coigne.

If this is not done, the commons will complain of their taxation.

[I have told you] how the Crown should be protected from those who would appropriate its revenues.

Even if the Treasurer be honest, he can do well for himself, for in two years (men say) he will make enough to live as a lord for twenty years.

See that the Chancellor and all the officers of law show no favour to the rich, but help the poor.

Grant them all legal facilities, with no Chancery fees, and they will be grateful, as they would not be if oppressed by maintenance, or affronted because of their poverty.

____________________
x
I Hovgh: how M.
x
4 departid: parte A. grete: so A; MS. oþer.
x
5 comyn : so N. ; MS. come yn and : and marked as N, correction missing.
x
6 ye lacke : you lacketh N.
x
8 caicche : caste A.
x
12 leued: leude A.
x
14 conscience : consent A.
x
19 not: MS. omits.
x
22 hire : hireth B; th L.
x
23 your: oure C.
x
24 MS. hym. chiere : wille E.

-27-

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Mum and the Sothsegger
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Prefatory Note vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Mum and the Sothsegger 1
  • [fragment M] 27
  • Appendix I Bartholomaeus Anglicus on Bees 79
  • Appendix II 82
  • Notes 84
  • Glossary and Index of Proper Names 133
  • Early English Text Society. 165
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