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but they all take feigned names in order to delude him: Pride is called Worship, Covetousness Worldlypolicy, Wrath Manhood, Envy Disdain, Gluttony Good-fellowship, Sloth Ease, and Lechery Lust. Ere long Man discovers that he has been imposed upon, repents that he has driven away Reason, and leaving Worldly-affection, seeks Shamefacedness. At the end of the first part’ of this Moral-play, Reason is reconciled to Man, and again takes him under her guidance. It closes with these lines :
• And for thys seson
Ye shall understand, never thelesse,
lord shall so devyse; • It shalbe at hys pleasure.' Man still promises to be ruled by Reason, in the opening of the second part;' but his good resolutions are soon overthrown by Sensuality, who tells him that Margery, one of the prostitutes whom Reason forbade him to follow, had gone - stark mad' for love of him, and had entered into a religious place,' by which he means, in fact, the stews in Southwark * Thither
* This joke is employed in Cock Loreli' s Bote, printed by Wynkyn de Worde. A pardoner says
Man proceeds; and on his return, meeting Sloth, expresses his fears that Reason had ' gathered a great company' to take him by force. A contest between the two parties ensues, Man being assisted in his resistance to Reason by some of the deadly sins, but
"Syr, this pardon is new founde
Late called the stewes banke.
Some relygyous women in that place,
That blewe these women over the ryver
And by cause they have lost that fayre place,
every honse new pavd is with gras.' Alluding to the prostitutes of that time taking to the fields where Coleman-street now stands. What is quoted would fix the date of the poem about the year 1506. Stow, referring to Fabian, says, that 'in • 1506, the 21 of Henry VII., the said Stewe-houses in Southwark
were for a season inhibited, and the dores closed up. This inhibition (which proceeded from the Bishop of Winchester, whose palace was in that neighbourhood), according to the author of Cock Lorell's Bote, compelled the women to seek a livelihood elsewhere. 'In the year of • Christ 1546 (adds Stow, Survey, edit. 1599, p. 332), the 37 of Henry
VIII., this row of stewes in Southwark was put down by the King's commandment, which was proclaymed by sounde of trumpet.'.
Gluttony, who is armed with a chese and a botell,' declines fighting. Pride also absents himself, and is rejected and disgraced by Man, who is subsequently once more reconciled to Reason by Age. He, however, adheres to Covetise, and when Sensuality asks Envy, where Covetise had dwelt so long? we meet with the following satirical stroke at the church and the law—the more remarkable as Medwall was chaplain to a Cardinal and an Archbishop. Sensuality speaking of Covetise says :
• He dwelled wyth a prest, as I herd say ;
Men of the church, and they him also.
Wyll folow his counsell *. ' After a conference between Man and Reason, in which the former makes many promises of amendment, Meekness, the adversary of Pride, enters and gives his lesson : he is followed by Charity, Patience, Goodoccupation, Liberality, Abstinence and Chastity. The two last consent to introduce Man to Repentance, and they take him away for that purpose: he soon returns, is welcomed by Reason, and promised salvation. The piece ends with an exhortation from Reason, and with
* Cornyshe informs us (Annals of the Stage, vol. i. p. 65) that Medwall's interlude of the Finding of Truth, carried away by Ignorance and Hypocrisy,' was 'not liked.' Perhaps the satire was too pungent at the dawn of the Reformation, and the hits too bold and well-directed. VOL. II.
? a goodly ballet' (not given) sung by the characters on the stage.
There are several other printed Morals which more or less, in conduct and moral, resemble the pieces already noticed. As three of these have been republished, and are therefore accessible to every body who wishes to examine their structure, they may be dismissed briefly.
The oldest, most likely, is The World and the Child, which came from the press of Wynkyn de Worde in 1522*, but the language is more ancient, and it was, doubtless, written before the close of the reign of Henry VII. Man is here represented in five stages of life—infancy when he is called Infans-boyhood when he is called Wanton-youth when he is called Lust-and-liking-maturity when he is called Manhood, and infirmity when he is called Age: in each of these conditions he is supposed to pass a number of years. Mundus sends him forth into the world, and he returns to his first master at every change. When Infans grows up to Manhood, he is dubbed a knight, and becomes acquainted with the
* The title is as follows:- Here begynneth a propre newe Inter, lude of the Worlde and the chylde, otherwyse called (Mundus & * Infans] and it sheweth of the estate of Chyldehode and Manhode.' The colophon is this:- Here endeth the Interlude of Mundus & Infans. Imprynted at London, in Fletestrete, at the sygne of ye
Sonne, by me Wynkyn de worde. The yere of our Lorde m.ccccc and xxii. The xvii daye of July. It is reprinted in vol. xii, of the last edition of Dodsley's Old Plays.
seven deadly sins, whom Conscience subsequently prevails upon him to renounce: Folly, however, postpones the reformation, and when Manhood has become Age, Conscience calls in the aid of Perseverance, who recommends confession and repentance (who are not personified), the employment of the five wits bodily, and of the five wits spiritual, together with a belief in the Creed, seven Sacraments, &c. Age is thus recon verted, and takes the name of Repentance.
To show the antiquity of the performance, it is only necessary to quote a few lines from one of the speeches of Mundus, which are just in the boastful alliterative strain of Herod, Pontius Pilate, &c., in the older Miracle-plays.
'Lo, syrs I am a prynce peryllous yprovyde:
The dialogue between Manhood and Folly is particularly curious as a picture of manners: there Folly gives an account of himself, and of his adventures in Holborn, Westminster Hall, the taverns and the stews in Southwark; and as nothing is said of their inhibition, there can be little hesitation in assigning a. date to the piece anterior to 1506. There is a remarkable passage in this colloquy, so strong in its ridicule of friars and nuns, that it seems hardly pos