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And Knowledge shall gyve you counseyll at Your Good-dedes cometh now, ye may not be wyll,
Now is your Good-dedes hole and sounde,
EVERYMAN. My herte is lyght, and shalbe
How your accounte ye shall make clerely. 580
Here I crye the mercy in this presence;
Receyve my prayers; unworthy in this hevy lyfe
Though I be, a synner moost abhomynable,
Contrycyon it is,
Thus I bequeth you in the handes of our
Now may you make your rekenynge sure. 610
Therfore suffre now strokes of punysshynge;
Now wyll I smyte faster than I dyde before.
Blessyd be thou without ende;
I wepe for very sweteness of love.
KNOWLEDGE. It is a garmente of sorowe,
That getteth forgyvenes,
GOOD-DEDES. Everyman, wyll you were it for
Now blessyd be Jesu, Maryes
GOOD-DEDES. Yet must thou led10 with t Thre persones of grete myght.
EVERYMAN. Who sholde they be?
GOOD-DEDES. Dyscrecyon and Strength they hyght11,
And thy Beaute may not abyde behynde.
12 The five senses
EVERY MAN. Howe shall I gette them hyder
9 Probably error for
8 wear it for your heal- 11 are called
KYNREDE. You must call them all togyder, | And receyve of him in ony wyse
BEAUTE. Here at your wyll we be all redy. What wyll ye that we sholde do?
GOOD-DEDES. That ye wolde with Everyman go,
STRENGTHE. We wyll brynge hym all thyder
I gyve the laude2 that I have hyder brought Strength, Dyscrecyon, Beaute, & Fyve-wyttes, lacke I nought:
And my Good-dedes, with Knowledge clere,
And I, Strength, wyll by you
FYVE-WYTTLS. And though it were thrugh the worlde rounde,
I praye God rewarde you in his heven spere.
The holy sacrament and oyntement togyder,
He bereth the keyes, and thereof hath the cure9.
Almyghty God, loved myght The blessyd sacramentes vii. there be:
Maryage, the holy extreme unceyon10 and pen
1 without delay
There is no Emperour, King, Duke, ne Baron
As hath the leest preest in the worlde beynges;
We wyll not departe for swete ne soure,
DYSCRECYON. Everyman, advyse you fyrst of
God wyll you to salvacyon brynge,
EVERYMAN. My frendes, harken what I wyll The preest byndeth and unbyndeth all bandes
4 under promise
6 out of his power
These seven be good to have in remembraunce,
For I wyll make my testament
Here before you all present;
In almes, halfe my good I wyll gyve with my Bute all onely preesthode.
And mekely to my ghostly fader I wyll go. FYVE-WYTTES. Everyman, that is the best that ye can do;
Thou mynystres11 all the sacramentes seven.
Every man, God gave preest that dygnyte
In the way of charyte with good entent, 700 And setteth them in his stede amonge us to
This I do in despyte of the fende of hell,
Ever after and this daye.
Thus be they above aungelles in degree.
suerly, 750 But whan Jesu hanged on the crosse with grete smarte,
KNOWLEDGE. Everyman, herken what I saye; There he gave out of his blessyd herte
I thanke God, that ye have taryed so longe.
I wyll never parte you fro.
As ever I dyde by Judas Machabee7.
And than myne extreme unccyon.
And now frendes, let us go without longer
STRENGTH. Everyman, we wyll not fro you go Tyll we have done this vyage longe. DYSCRECYON. I, Dyscreeyon, wyll byde by you also.
Though thou wepe to11 thy herte to brast12. EVERYMAN. Ye wolde ever byde by me, ye sayd.
STRENGTHE. Ye, I have you ferre13 ynoughe
Ye be olde ynoughe, I understande,
And shortely folowe me.
I go before there I wolde be. God be your I repent me, that I hyder came.
BEAUTE. And what, sholde I smoder here? EVERYMAN. Ye, by my fayth, and never more appere!
EVERYMAN. Strength, you to dysplease I am to blame;
Wyll ye breke promyse that is dette11?
KNOWLEDGE. And though this pylgrymage be You spende your speche, and wast your brayne; never so stronges
Go, thryst15 the into the grounde!
EVERYMAN. I had wende16 surer I shulde you have founde:
He that trusteth in his Strength,
In this worlde lyve no more we shall,
But in heven before the hyest Lorde of all. BEAUTE. I crosse out all this! adewe, by saynt Johan!
I take my tappe in my lappe, and am gone.
Not and thou woldest gyve me all the golde
EVERYMAN. Alas! whereto may I truste?
Thy game lyketh10 me not at all.
EVERYMAN. Alas! I am so faynt I may not She hym deceyveth at the length;
Leader of the Jews
8 high and low alike
Swete Strength, tary a lytell space.
Bothe Strength and Beaute forsaketh me,
As for me I wyll leve you alone.
EVERYMAN. Why, Dyscrecyon, wyll ye forsake me?
EVERYMAN. Yet, I pray the, for the love of the Trynyte,
Loke in my grave ones pyteously.
DYSCRECION. Nay, so nye wyll I not come! Fare well, every chone.1 840
EVERYMAN. O all thynge fayleth, save God alone,
GOOD-DEDES. Fere not, I wyll speke for the.
Let us go and never come agayne.
Receyve it, Lorde, that it be not lost!
Everyman, my leve now of That I may appere with that blessyd hoost
Beaute, Strength, and Dyscrecyon;
the I take;
I wyll folowe the other, for here I the for- In manus tuas, of myghtes moost,
Alas, than may I wayle and
sake. EVERYMAN. wepe,
For I. toke you for my best frende.
FYVE-WYTTES. I wyll no lenger the kepe; Now farewell, and there an ende. 850 EVERYMAN. O Jesu, helpe! all hath forsaken
GOOD-DEDES. Nay, Everyman, I wyll byde
To make my rekenynge and my dettes paye;
vanyte, Beaute, Strength, and Dyscrecyon, do man forsake, Folysshe frendes, and kynnesmen that fayre spake,
All fleeth save Good-dedes and that am I.
KNOWLEDGE. Now hath he suffred thats we
The Good-dedes shall make all sure.
Me thynketh that I here aungelles synge,
They have forsaken me everychone,
I loved them better than my Good-dedes alone. Unto the whiche all ye shall come
KNOWLEDGE. Ye, Everyman, whan ye to deth
But not yet for no maner of daunger. 860 EVERYMAN. Gramercy, Knowledge, with all my herte.
Ye herers, take it of worth, olde and yonge, And forsake Pryde, for he deceyveth you in the ende,
KNOWLEDGE. Nay, yet I wyll not from hens2 And remembre Beaute, Fyve-wyttes, Strength, departe, and Dyscrecyon,
Tyll I se where ye shall be come.
They all at the last do Everyman forsake,
EVERYMAN. Me thynke, alas, that I must Saves his Good-dedes there doth he take.
Here above thou shalt go,
Bycause of thy synguler vertue.
But be ware, and10 they be small,
That lyveth well before the daye of dome.
None excuse may be there for Everyman!
For after dethe amendes may no man make,
God wyll saye-Ite maledicti, in ignem aeter
EVERYMAN. Have mercy on me, God moost
5 fiend's boast
10 for if
And stande by me, thou moder & mayde, holy 6 into Thy hands
7 I commend my spirit
11 go, ye accursed, into everlasting fire learned man, or teacher) is assigned the epilogue, which emphasizes the moral of the play.
And he that hath his accounte hole and sounde
Unto whiche place God brynge us all thyder,
Amen, saye ye, for saynt Charyte!
countries of Brabant, Flanders, Holland, and Zealand; and thus when all these things came before me, after that I had made and written five or six quires, I fell in despair of this work, and purposed no more to have continued therein, and those laid apart, and in two years after labored no more in this work, and was fully in will to have left it, till on a time it fortuned that the right high, excellent, and right virtuous princess, my right redoubted Lady, my Lady Margaret, by the grace of God sister unto the King of England and of France, my sovereign lord, Duchess of Burgundy, of Lotryk, of Brabant, of Limburg, and of Lux. embourg, Countess of Flanders, of Artois, and of Burgundy, Palatine of Hainault, of Holland, of Zealand, and of Namur, Marquesse of the Holy Empire, Lady of Frisia, of Salins, and of Mechlin, sent for me to speak with her good Grace of divers matters, among the which I let her Highness have knowledge of the foresaid beginning of this work, which5 anon commanded me to show the said five or
six quires to her said Grace; and when she had seen them, anon she found a default in my English, which she commanded me to amend, and moreover commanded me straitly to continue and make an end of the residue then not translated; whose dreadful commandment I durst in no wise disobey, because I am a serv
ant unto her said Grace and receive of her
WILLIAM CAXTON (1422?-1491)
THE RECUYELL OF THE HISTORIES
When I remember that every man is bounden by the commandment and counsel of the wise man to eschew sloth and idleness, which is mother and nourisher of vices, and ought to put myself unto virtuous occupation and business, then I, having no great change of occupation, following the said counsel took a French book, and read therein many strange and marvellous histories1, wherein I had great pleasure and delight, as well for the novelty of the same, as for the fair language of the French, which was in prose so well and compendiously set and written, which methought I understood the sentence and substance of every matter. And for so much of this book was new and late made and drawn into French, and never had seen it in our English tongue, I thought in myself it should be a good business to translate it into our English, to the end that it might be had as well in the royaumes of England as in other lands, and also for to pass therewith the time, and thus concluded in my self to begin this said work. And forthwith took pen and ink, and began boldly to run forth as blind Bayardt in this present work, which is named "The Recuyell of the Trojan Histories." And afterward when I remembered myself of my simpleness and unperfectness that I had in both languages, that is to wit in French and in English, for in France was I never, and was born and learned my English in Kent, in the Weald, where I doubt not is spoken as broad and rude English as in any place of England; and have continued by the space of thirty years for the most part in the
1 stories 2 sense
"The collection of the stories of Troy." This book, printed at Bruges in Flanders about 1474, was the first book printed in English. See Eng. Lit., p. 68. The spelling is here modernized.
A legendary horse in the Charlemagne romances. "As bold as blind Bayard" was an old proverb for recklessness.
yearly fee and other many good and great benefits, (and also hope many more to receive of her Highness), but forthwith went and labored in the said translation after my simple and poor cunning, alsos nigh as I can follow my author, meekly beseeching the bounteous Highness of my said Lady that of her benevolence list9 to accept and take in gree10 this simple and rude work here following; and if there be anything written or said to her pleasure, I shall think my labor well employed, and whereas11 there is default, that she arette12 it to the simpleness of my cunning, which is full small in this behalf; and require and pray all them that shall read this said work to correct it, and to hold me excused of the rude and simple translation.
And thus I end my prologue.