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Hath the pre-eminence; And York's place, With my lord's grace; To whose magnificence, Is all the confluence, Suits, and supplications, Embassades of all nations; Straw for law canon, Or for the law common, Or for law civil, It shall be as he will; Stop at law tancrete, An abstract or a concrete; Be it sour, be it sweet, His wisdom is so discreet, That in a fume or an heat, Warden of the fleet, Set him fast by the feet, And of his royal power, When him list to lour, Then have him to the Tower, Sans autre remedy: Have him forth bye and bye, To the marshalsy, Or to the King's Bench; He diggeth so in the trench Of the court royal, That he ruleth them all : So he doth undermind, And such sleights doth find, That the king's mind By him is subverted, And so straitly coarted (cowred,) In credencing his tales, That all is but nut-shales, That any other saith, He hath in him such faith. Now, yet all this might be Suffer'd and taken in gree, If that that he wrought To any good end were brought; But all he bringeth to nought, But God that me dear bought.
He beareth the king on hand, That he must pyl his land
To make his coffers rich :
The Gommorians, also,
But, however he was born,
And call to his mind, How noble and how kind, To him he hath found Our sovereign lord, chief ground Of all this prelacy, And set him nobly, In great authority, Out from a low degree, Which he cannot see, For he was pardee, No doctor of divinity, Nor doctor of the law, Nor of none other saw, But a poor master of art, God wot! had little part Of the quatrivials, Nor yet of trivials, Nor of philosophy, Nor of philology, Nor of good policy, Nor of astronomy, Nor acquainted worth a fly, With honourable Haly, Nor with royal Ptolomy, Nor with Albumazar, To treat of any star, Fixt or yet mobile, His Latin tongue doth hobble, He doth but clout and cobble, In Tully's faculty, Called humanity: Yet proudly he doth pretend, How no man can him amend; But have ye not heard this, How a one-eyed man is Well sighted, when He is among
blind men. Then our process for to stable, This man was full unable To reach to such degree, Had not our princely Royal Henry the Eighth, Take him in such conceit, That he set him on height,
In exemplyfieing Great Alexander the king, In writing as we find, Which, of his royal mind, And of his noble pleasure, Transcending out of measure, Thought to do a thing That pertaineth to a king, 'To make up one of nought, And made to him be brought A wretched poor man, Which his living wan, With planting of leeks, By the days and by the weeks ; And of this poor vassal, He made a king royal, And gave bim a realm to rule, That occupied a showel, A mattoke, and a spade, Before that he was made A king, as I have told, And ruled as he wold ; Such is a king's power, To make within an hour, And work such a miracle, That shall be a spectacle Of renown and worldly fame, In likewise now the same Cardinal is promoted, Yet with lewd conditions noted, As hereafter been noted.
Presumption and vain glory, Envy, wrath, and lechery, Covetess, and gluttony, Slothful to do good, Now frantick, now stark wode: Should this man of such mode Rule the sword of might, How can he do right, For he will as soon smite His friend as his foe, A proverb long ago.
Set up the wretch on high, In a throne triumphantly,
Make him a great estate, And he will play checkmate With royal majesty; Count himself as good as A prelate potential, To rule under Belial, As fierce and as cruell As the fiend of hell ; His servants meniall He doth revile and brawl, Like Mahound in a play: No man dare withsay. He hath despite and scorn At them that be well born, He rebukes them and rails, Ye whorsons, ye vassals, Ye knaves, ye churls' sons, Ye ribands, not worth two plums, Ye rain-beaten beggars rejagged, Ye recrayed ruffins all ragged ; Thou peevish pie-pecked, Thou losel long-necked, Thus daily they be decked, Taunted and checked, That they are so woe, They wot not whither to go. No man dare come to the
speech, Of this gentle jack-breech, Of what estate he be, Of spiritual dignity, Nor duke of high degree, Nor marquess, earl, nor lord, Which shrewdly doth accord.
Thus he, born so base, All noblemen should outface, His countenance like a Cæsar, My lord is not at leisure ; Sir, ye must tarry a stound (hour) Till better leisure be found ; And, sir, ye inust dance attendance, And take patient sufferance,
lord's grace Hath now no time nor space To speak with you as yet.