(end of A2R)


(end of A2V)

The Printer to the Gentle Readers.

I have published here Gentle
men for your mirth and be-
nefite Greenes groates worth
of wit. With sundry of his
pleasant discourses, ye have
beene before delighted: But
nowe hath death given a period to his pen,
onely this happened into my handes which I
have published for your pleasures: Accept it
favourably because it was his last birth
and not least worth. In my poore opinion. But I
will cease to praise that which is above my
conceipt, and leave it selfe to speak for it selfe:
and so abide your learned censuring.

Yours W. W.
(end of A3R)

To the Gentlemen Readers.

Gentlemen. The Swan sings
melodiously before death,
that in all his life time u-
seth but a jarring sound.
Greene though able inough
to write, yet deeplyer serched with sicknes
than ever heeretofore, sendes you his Swanne
like songe, for that he feares he shall never
againe carroll to you woonted love layes,
never againe discover to you youths plea-
sures. How ever yet sicknesse, riot, Incon-
tinence, have at once shown their extremitie
yet if I recover, you shall all see, more fresh
sprigs, then ever sprang from me, direct-
ing you how to live, yet not diswading ye
from love. This is the last I have writ, and
I feare me the last I shall write. And how
ever I have beene censured for some of my
former bookes, yet Gentlemen I protest,
they were as I had speciall information.
But passing them, I commend this to your
favourable censures, that like an Embrion
(end of A3V)
without shape, I feare me will be thrust in-
to the world. If I live to end it, it shall be
otherwise: if not, yet will I commend it to
your courtesies, that you may as well be ac-
quainted with my repentant death, as you
have lamented my careles course of life. But
as Nemo ante obitum felix, so Acta Ex-
itus probat:
Beseeching therefore so to be
deemed heereof as I deserve, I leave the
worke to your likinges, and leave you to your

(end of A4R)


(end of A4V)


In an Iland bounded with the
Ocean there was somtime a
Cittie situated, made riche by
Marchandize, and populous
by long peace, the name is
not mentioned in the Antiquarie,
or els worne out by times An-
tiquitie, what it was it greatly skilles not, but
therein thus it happened. An old new made Gen-
tleman herein dwelt, of no small credit, exceeding
wealth, and large conscience: hee had gathered
from many to bestow upon one, for though he had
two sonnes he esteemed but one, that being as him-
selfe, brought up to be golds bondman, was there-
fore held heire apparant of his il gathered goods.
The other was a Scholler, and maried to a pro-
per Gentlewoman and therfore least regarded,
for tis an old sayd saw: To learning and law, thers
no greater foe than they that nothing know: yet
(end of B1R)
was not the father altogether unlettered, for he had
good experience in a Noverint, and by the univer-
sall tearmes therein contained, had driven many a
yoong Gentleman to seeke unknowen countries.
Wise he was, for he boare office in his parish and sat
as formally in his foxfurd gowne, as if he had been
a very upright dealing Burges: he was religious
too, never without a booke at his belt, and a bolt
in his mouthe, readye to shoote through his sinfull
And Latin hee had some where learned, which
though it were but little, yet was it profitable, for
he had this Philosophye written in a ring, Tu tibi
which precept he curiously observed, being in
selfelove so religious, as he held it no poynt of cha-
ritie to part with any thing, of whiche hee living
might make use.
But as all mortall thinges are momentanie,
and no certaintie can bee found in this uncertaine
world: so Gorinius, (for that shall bee this usurers
name) after manye a gowtie pang that had pincht
his exterior partes, many a curse of the people that
mounted into hevens presence, was at last with his
last summons, by a deadly disease arrested, wher-
against when hee had long contended, and was by
Phisitions given over, he cald his two sonnes be-
fore him: and willing to performe the old proverb
Qualis vita finis Ita, he thus prepard himselfe, and
admonished them. My sonnes (for so your mother
sayde ye were) and so I assure myselfe one of you
is, and of the other I will make no doubt.
You se the time is com, which I thought would
(end of B1V)
never have aproched and we must now be sepera-
ted, I feare never to meete againe. This sixteene
yeares dayly have I livde vexed with disease: and
might I live sixteene more, howe ever miserably, I
should thinke it happye. But death is relentlesse,
and will not be intreated: witles, and knowes not
what good my gold might doo him: senseles, & hath
no pleasure in the delightfull places I would offer
him. In briefe, I thinke he hath with this foole my
eldest sonne been brought up in the universitie,
and therefore accounts that in riches is no vertue. But
thou my son, (laying then his hand on the yongers
head) have thou another spirit: for without wealth,
life is a death: what is gentry if welth be wanting,
but bace servile beggerie. Some comfort yet it
is unto me, to thinke how many Gallants sprunge
of noble parents, have croucht to Gorinius to have
sight of his gold: O gold, desired gold, admired
gold! and have lost their patrimonies to Gorinius,
because they have not returned by their day that a-
dored creature! How manye Schollers have writ-
ten rymes in Gorinius praise, and received (after
long capping and reverence) a sixpeny reward in
signe of my superficial liberality. Breefly my yong
Lucaniohow I have beene revrenst thou seest,
when honester men I confesse have been sett farre
off: for to bee rich is to bee any thing, wise, honest,
worshipful, or what not. I tel thee my sonne: when
I came first to this Citie my whole wardrop was
onely a sute of white sheepe skins, my wealth an
old groat, my woonning, the wide world. At this
instant (o greefe to part with it) I have in ready
(end of B2R)
coine threescore thousand pound, in plate and Je-
wels xv. thousand, in Bondes and specialties as
much, in land nine hundred pound by the yeere: all
which, Lucanio I bequeath to thee, only I reserve
for Roberto thy wel red brother an old groat, (be-
ing the stocke I first began with) wherewith I wish
him to buy a groats-worth of wit: for he in my life
hath reproovd my manner of life, and therefore at
my death, shall not be contaminated with corrupt
gaine. Here by the way Gentlemen must I digresse
to shewe the reason of Gorinius present speach:
Roberto being come from the Academie, to visit
his father, there was a great feast provided: where
for table talke, Roberto knowing his father and
most of the company to be execrable usurers, in-
vayed mightely against that abhorred vice, inso-
muche that hee urged teares from divers of their
eyes, and compunction in some of their harts. Din-
ner being past, he comes to his father, requesting
him to take no offence at his liberall speach, seeing
what he had uttred was truth. Angry, sonne (said
he), no by my honestie (and that is som what I may
say to you) but use it still, and if thou canst per-
swade any of my neighbours from lending uppon
usurie I shuld have the more customers: to which
when Roberto would have replyde hee shut him-
selfe into his studdy, and fell to tell over his mony.
This was Robertos offence: now returne wee
to sicke Gorinius, who after he had thus unequal-
ly distributed his goods and possessions, began to
aske his sonnes how they liked his bequestes, ei-
ther seemed agreed, and Roberto urged him with
(end of B2V)
nothing more than repentance of his sinn: loke to
thine owne said he, fonde boy, and come my Lucanio,
let me give thee good counsell before my death: as
for you sir, your bookes are your counsellors, and
therefore to them I bequeathe you. Ah Lucanio,
my onely comfort, because I hope thou wilt as
thy father be a gatherer, let me blesse thee before I
dye. Multiply in welth my sonne by any meanes
thou maist, onely flye Alchymie, for therein are
more deceites than her beggerlye Artistes have
words, and yet are the wretches more talkative
than women. But my meaning is, thou shouldest
not stand on conscience in causes of profit, but
heap treasure upon treasure, for the time of neede:
yet seem to be devout, els shalt thou be held vyle, fre-
quent holy exercises grave companie, and above al
use the conversation of yoong Gentlemen, who are
so wedded to prodigalitie, that once in a quarter ne-
cissitie knocks at their chamber doores: profer them
kindnesse to relieve their wants, but be sure of good
assurance: give faire wordes till dayes of paiment
come, and then use my course, spare none: what though
they tell of conscience (as a number will talke) looke
but into the dealinges of the world, and thou shalt
see it is but idle words. Seest thou not many pe-
rish in the streetes, and fall to theft for neede: whom
small succor woulde releeve, then where is consci-
ence, and why art thou bound to use it more than o-
ther men? Seest thou not daylie forgeries, perju-
ries, oppressions, rackinges of the poore, raisinges
of rents, inhauncing of duties even by them that
should be al conscience, if they ment as they speake:
(end of B3R)
but Lucanio if thou read well this booke (and with
that hee reacht him Machiavels workes at large)
thou shalt Se, what tis to be so foole-holy as to make
scruple of conscience where profit presents it selfe.
Besides, thou hast an instance by thy threed bare
brother here, who willing to do no wrong, hath lost
his childes right: for who woulde wish any thinge
to him, that knowes not how to use it.
So much Lucanio for conscience: and yet I know
not whats the reason, but some-what stinges mee
inwardly when I speake of it. I father, said Rober-
it is the worme of conscience, that urges you at
the last houre to remember your life, that eternall
life may followe your repentance. Out foole (sayd
this miserable father) I feele it not now, it was onelye
a stitch. I will forwarde with my exhortation to
Lucanio. As I said my sonne, make spoyle of yoong
Gallants, by insinuating thy selfe amongst them, &
be not mooved to thinke their Auncestors were fa-
mous, but consider thine were obscure, and that thy
father was the first Gentleman of the Name: Lu-
thou art yet a Bacheler, and soe keepe thee
till thou meete with one that is thy equal, I meane
in wealth: regarde not beautie, it is but a bayte to
entice thy neighbors eye: and the most faire are
commonlye most fond, use not too many familiars,
for few proove frendes, and as easie it is to weigh
the wind, as to dive into the thoughtes of world-
lye glosers. I tell thee Lucanio, I have seene
four-scoore winters besides the od seven, yet saw I
never him, that I esteemed as my friend but gold,
that desired creature, whom I have so deerly loved,
(end of B3V)
and found so firme a frind, as nothing to me having
it hath beene wanting. No man but may thinke
deerly of a true frend, and so do I of it, laying it under
sure locks, and lodging my heart there-with.
But now (Ah my Lucanio) now must I leave it,
and to thee I leave it with this lessen, love none but
thy selfe, if thou wilt live esteemd. So turning him
to his studdy, where his cheife treasure lay, he loud
cryde out in the wise mans woords, O mors quam
O death how bitter is thy memory to him
that hath al pleasures in this life, & so with two or
three lamentable grones hee left his life: and to
make short worke, was by Lucanio his sonne in-
terd, as the custome is with some solemnitie: But
leaving him that hath left the world to him that
censureth of every worldly man, passe wee to his
sonnes: and se how his long laid up store is by Lu-
lookyd into. The youth was of condition sim-
ple, shamfast, & flexible to any counsaile, which Ro-
perceiving, and pondering howe little was
lefte to him, grew into an inward contempt of his
fathers unequall legacie, and determinate resolu-
tion to work Lucanio al possible injurie, hereupon
thus converting the sweetness of his studdye to the
sharpe thirst of revenge, he (as Envie is seldome
idle) sought out fit companions to effect his un-
brotherly resolution. Neither in such a case is ill
company far to seek, for the Sea hath scarce so jeoper-
dies, as populous Citties have deceiving Syrens,
whose eies are Adamants, whose words are witch-
craftes, whose doores lead downe to death. With
one of these female serpents Roberto consorts, and
(end of B4R)
they conclude what ever they compassed equally to
sharre to their contentes. This match made, Lu-
was by his brother brought to the bush,
where he had scarse pruned his winges, but hee
was fast limd, and Roberto had what he expected.
But that wee may keepe forme, you shall heare
howe it fortuned.
Lucanio being on a time verie pensive, his
brother brake with him in these termes. I won-
der Lucanio why you are disconsolate, that want
not any thinge in the worlde that may worke your
content. If wealth may delight a man, you are
with that sufficently furnisht: if credit may pro-
cure any comfort, your word I knowe well, is as
well accepted as any mans obligation: in this Ci-
tie, are faire buildings and pleasant gardens, and
cause of solace, of them I am assured you have your
choyce. Consider brother you are yoong, then plod
not altogether in meditating on our fathers pre-
cepts: which howsever they savored of profit, were
most unsaverly to one of your yeares applied. You
must not thinke but sundrye marchants of this Ci-
tie expect your company, sundry Gentlemen desire
your familiaritie, & by conversing with such, you wil
be accounted a Gentleman: otherwise a pesant,
if ye live thus obscurely. Besides, which I had al-
most forgot and then had al the rest beene nothing,
you are a man by nature furnished with all exqui-
site proportion, worthy the love of any courtly lady,
be she never so amorous: you have wealth to main-
taine her, of women not little longed for: wordes
to court her you shall not want, for my selfe will be
(end of B4V)
your secretarie. Breefely why stand I to distinguish
abilitie in perticularities, when in one word it may
be said which no man can gainsay, Lucanio lacketh
nothing to delight a wife, nor any thing but a wife
to delight him? My yoong rnaister being thus
clawd, and pufft up with his owne praise, made no
longer delay, but having on his holidaie hose hee
trickt himselfe up and like a fellowe that meant
good sooth, he clapt hys brother on the shoulder
and said, Faith brother Roberto, and ye say the
worde lets goe seeke a wife while tis hoat, both
of us together, Ile pay well, and I dare tourne
you loose to say as well as any of them all: well, Ile
doo my best, said Roberto, and since ye are so for-
warde lets goe nowe and try your good fortune.
With this foorth they walke, and Roberto
went directly toward the house where Lamilia
(for so wee call the Curtizan) kept her hospitall,
which was in the suburbes of the Citie, pleasantly
seated, and made more delectable by a pleasaunt
garden wherin it was scituate. No soner come they
within ken, but Mistris Lamilia like a cunning
angler made readye her change of baytes that shee
might effect Lucanios bane: and to begin she di-
scovered from her window her beauteous enticing
face, and taking a lute in her hand that shee might
the rather allure, shee soung this sonnet with a
delicious voyce,
(end of C1R)

Lamilias song.

Fie fie on blind fancie,
It hinders youths joy:
Faire virgins learne by me,
To count love a toy.

When love learnd first the A B C of delight,
And knew no figures, nor conceited phrase:
He simply gave to due desert her right,
He led not lovers in darke winding wayes,
He plainely wild to love, or flatly answerd no,
But now who lists to prove shall find it nothing so,
Fie fie then on fancie,
It hinders youths joy,
Faire virgins learne by me,
To count love a toy.
For since he learnd to use the Poets pen,
He learnd likewise with smoothing words to fame,
Witching chast eareswith trothles tungs of men,
And wronged faith with falshood and disdaine.
He gives a promise now, anon he sweareth no,
Who listeth for to prove shall find his changings so,
Fie fie then on fancie,
It hinders youthes joy,
Faire virgins learne by me,
To count love a toy.
(end of C1V)

While this painted sepulcher was shadowing her
corrupting guilt, Hiena-like alluring to destruction,
Roberto and Lucanio under her windowe kept
even pace with every stop of her instrument, but
especially my yoong Rustler, (that before time like
a birde in a cage had beene prentise for three lives
or one and twentie yeares at lest to extreame A-
varice his deceased father). O twas a world to see
howe hee sometyme simperd it, striving to sett a
countenance on his new turnd face, that it might
seeme of wainscot proofe, to behold her face without
blushing: anone he would soke his bow-bent-leg,
as if he rnent to shoote love arrows from his shins:
then wypt his chin (for his beard was not yet gro-
wen) with a gold wrought handkercher, whence
of purpose he let fall a handfull of Angels. This
golden shower was no sooner raind, but Lamilia
ceast her song, and Roberto (assureing himselfe
the foole was caught) came to Lucanio (that stood
now as one that had stard Medusa in the face) and
awaked him from his amazement with these
wordes. What, in a traunce brother? whence
springs these dumps? are ye amazd at this object?
or long ye to become loves subject? Is there not
difference betweene this delectable life, and the
imprisonment you have all your life hethertoo in-
dured? If the sight and hearing of this harmony-
ous beautie worke in you effects of wonder, what
will the possession of so devine an essence, wherein
beautie & Art dwell in their perfectest excellence.
Brother, said Lucanio, lets use fewe wordes, and
shee be no more then a woman, I trust youle helpe
(end of C2R)
me to win her: and if you doe, well, I say no more
but I am yours till death us depart, and what is
mine shall be yours world without end Amen.
Roberto smiling at his simplenes helpte him
to gather uppe his dropt gold, and without anye
more circumstance, led him to Lamilias house: for
of such places it may be said as of hell:
Noctes atque dies patet atri ianua ditis.
So their dores are ever open to entice youth
to distruction. They were no sooner entred but La-
her selfe like a seconde Helen, court like be-
gins to salute Roberto, yet did her wandring eie
glance often at Lucanio: the effect of her intertain-
ment consisted in these tearmes, that to her simple
house Signor Roberto was welcome, & his bro-
ther the better welcom for his sake: albeit his good
report confirmde by his present demeaner were
of it selfe enough to give him deserved entertaine-
ment in any place how honorable soever: mutuall
thankes returnd, they led this prodigall child into
a parlor garnished with goodly portratures of
amiable personages: nere which an excellent con-
sort of musike began at their entraunce to play.
Lamilia seeing Lucanio shamefast, tooke him by
the hand, and tenderly wringing him used these
wordes. Beleeve me Gentleman, I am very sorie
that our rude entertainment is such, as no way
may worke your content, for this I have noted
since your first entering that your countenance hath
beene heavie, and the face being the glasse of the
hart, assures me the same is not quiet: would ye
wish any thing heere that might content you, say
(end of C2V)
but the word, and assure ye of present diligence
to effect your full delight. Lucanio being so farre in
love, as he perswaded himselfe without her grant
he could not live, had a good meaninge to utter his
minde but wanting fit wordes, he stood like a tre-
want that lackt a prompter, or a plaier that being
out of his part at his first entrance, is faine to have
the booke to speak what he should performe. Which
Roberto perceiving, replied thus in his behalfe:
Madame the Sunnes brightnesse daisleth the be-
holders eies, the majestie of Gods, amazeth hu-
mane men, Tullie Prince of Orators once fainted
though his cause were good, and hee that tamed
monsters stoode amated at Beauties ornaments:
Then blame not this yoong man though he replied
not, for he is blinded with the beautie of your
sunne darkening eies, made mute with the celestiall or-
gane of your voyce, and feare of that rich ambush
of amber colored dartes, whose poyntes are leveld
against his hart. Well Signor Roberto, said shee,
how ever you interpret their sharpe levell, be sure
they are not bent to doo him hurt, and but that
modestie blindes us poore maydens from uttering
the inward sorrow of our mindes, perchance the
cause of greefe is ours how ever men do colour, for
as I am a virgin I protest, (and therewithall shee
tainted her cheekes with a vermilion blush) I ne-
ver saw Gentleman in my life in my eie so gratio-
us as is Lucanio; only this is my greefe, that
either I am dispised for that he scornes to speak, or
els (which is my greater sorrow) I feare he can-
not speake. Not speake, Gentlewoman, quoth Lu-
(end of C3R)
canio? that were a jest indeed, yes I thanke God I
am sound of wind and lym, only my hart is not as
it was wont: but and you be as good as your word
that will so one be well, and so craving ye of more
acquaintance, in token of my plaine meaning re-
ceive this diamond, which my old father lovd deere-
ly: and with that delivered her a ringe wherein
was a poynted diamonde of wonderfull worth.
Which she accepting with a lowe conge, returnd
him a silke Riband for a favour tyde with a true
loves knot, which he fastened under a faire Jewel
on his Bever felt.
After this Diomedis et Glauci permutatio, my
yong master waxed crancke, and the musike conti-
nuing, was very forward in dauncing, to shew his
cunning: and so desiring them to play on a horne-
pipe, laid on the pavement lustely with his leaden
heeles, corvetting, like a steede of Signor Roccoes
teaching, & wanted nothing but bels, to be a hobby-
horse in a morrice. Yet was he soothed in his folly,
and what ever he did Lamilia counted excellent: her
prayse made him proude, in so much that if hee had
not beene intreated, hee would rather have died in
his daunce, then left off to shew his mistris delight.
At last reasonably perswaded, seeing the table fur-
nished, hee was content to cease, and settle him to
his victuals, on which (having before labored) hee
fed lustely, especially of a Woodcocke pye, where-
with Lamilia his carver, plentifully plied him. Full
dishes having furnisht empty stomackes, and Lu-
therby got leisure to talke, falles to discourse
of his wealth, his landes, his bondes, his ability,
(end of C3V)
and how himselfe with all he had, was at madame
Lamilias disposing: desiring her afore his brother
to tell him simply what she meant. Lamilia replied
My sweet Lucanio, how I esteeme of thee mine eies
do witnes, that like handmaides, have attended thy
beauteous face, ever since I firste behelde thee: yet
seeing love that lasteth, gathereth by degrees his li-
king: let this for that suffice, if I finde thee firme,
Lamilia wilbe faithfull: if fleeting, shee must of ne-
cessity be infortunate: that having never seene any
whome before she could affect, she should be of him
injuriously forsaken. Nay, said Lucanio, I dare say
my brother here will give his woord: for that I ac-
cept your own, said Lamilia: for with me your cre-
dite is better than your brothers. Roberto brake off
their amorous prattle with this speech. Sith either
of you are of other so fond at the first sight, I doubt
not but time will make your love more firme. Yet
madame Lamilia although my brother and you bee
thus forward, some crosse chaunce may come: for
Multa cadunt inter calicem supremaque labe. And
for a warning to teach you both wit, Ile tell you an
old wives tale.
Before ye goe on with your tale (qd mistris La-
let me give ye a caveat by the wey, which
shall be figured in a fable.
Lamilias Fable. The Foxe on a time came to visite the
Gray, partly for kindered cheefly for
craft: and finding the hole emptie of all
other company, saving only one Bad-
ger enquired the cause of his solitarinesse: hee dis-
(end of C4R)
cribed, the sodaine death of his dam and sire with
the rest of his consortes. The Fox made a Friday
face, counterfeiting sorrow: but concludinge that
deaths stroke was unevitable perswaded him to
seeke som fit mate wherwith to match. The badger
soone agreed, so forth they went, and in their way
met with a wanton ewe stragling from the fold: the
foxe bad the Badger play the tall stripling, & strout
on his tiptoes: for (qd he) this ewe is lady of al these
lawnds and her brother cheefe belweather of sun-
dry flockes. To bee short, by the Foxes perswasion
there would bee a perpetuall league, betweene her
harmeles kindred, and all other devouring beastes,
for that the Badger was to them all allied: sedu-
ced she yeelded, and the Fox conducted them to the
Badgers habitation. Wher drawing her aside un-
der color of exhortation, puld out her throat to satis-
fie his greedy thirst. Here I shoulde note, a yoonge
whelpe that viewed their walke, infourmed the
shepheardes of what hapned. They followed, and
trained the Foxe and Badger to the hole, the Foxe
afore had craftely convaid himselfe away, the shep-
heards found the Badger raving for the ewes mur-
ther, his lamentation being held for counterfet, was
by the shepherds dogs werried. The Foxe escaped:
the Ewe was spoiled, and ever since betweene the
Badgers and dogs hath continued a mortall enmi-
tie: And now be advized, Roberto (qd she) go for-
ward with your tale, seek not by sly insinuation to
turne our mirth to sorrow. Go to Lamilia (qd he)
feare what I meane not, but howe ever yee
take it, Ile forward with my tale.
(end of C4V)

Robertoes Tale.

In the North partes there dwelt an olde
Squier, that had a young daughter his
heire; who had (as I knowe Madam La-
you have had) many youthfull Gen-
tlemen that long time sued to obtaine her
love. But she knowing her own perfections (as women
are by nature proud) would not to any of them vouch-
safe favour: insomuch that they perceiving her relent-
lesse, shewed themselves not altogether witlesse, but left
her to her fortune, when they found her frowardnes. At
last it fortuned among other strangers, a Farmers sonne
visited her Fathers house: on whom at the first sight she
was enamoured, he likewise on her. Tokens of love past
betweene them, either acquainted others parentes of
their choise, and they kindly gave their consent. Short
tale to make, married they were, and great solempnitie
was at the wedding feast. A yong Gentleman, that had
beene long a suiter to her, vexing that the Sonne of a
Farmer should bee so preferd, cast in his minde by what
meanes (to marre their merriment) hee might steale a-
way the Bride. Hereupon he confers with an olde Bel-
dam, called Mother Gunby, dwelling thereby, whose
counsell having taken, he fell to his practise, and procee-
ded thus. In the after noone, when dauncers were verie
busie, he takes the Bride by the hande, and after a turne
or two tels her in her eare, he had a secret to impart un-
to her, appointing her in any wise in the evening to find
a time to confer with him: she promist she would, and so
they parted. Then goes hee to the Bridegroome, & with
(end of D1R)
protestations of entire affect, protests that the great sor-
rowe hee takes at that which hee must utter, wheron
depended his especiall credit, if it were known the mat-
ter by him should be discovered. After the Bridegrooms
promise of secrecie, the gentleman tels him, that a frend
of his received that morning from the Bride a Letter,
wherein shee willed him with some sixteene horse to a-
wait her comming at a Parke side, for that she detested
him in her heart as a base countrey hynde, with whome
her Father compeld her to marry. The Bridegroome
almost out of his wits, began to bite his lip. Nay, sayth
the Gentleman, if you will by me bee advizde, you shall
salve her credit, win her by kindnes, and yet prevent her
wanton complot. As how, said the Bridegroome? Mary
thus, saide the Gentleman: In the evening (for till the
guests be gone, she intends not to gad) get you on horse-
backe, and seeme to bee of the companie that attendes
her comming. I am appoynted to bring her from the
house to the Parke, and from thence fetch a winding
compasse of a mile about, but to turne unto olde Mother
Gunbyes house, where her Lover my friend abydes:
when she alights, I will conduct her to a chamber farre
from his lodging; but when the lights are out, and shee
expects her adulterous copesmate, your selfe (as reason
is) shall prove her bedfellow, where privately you may
reproove her, and in the morning earely returne home
without trouble. As for the Gentleman my friend, I
will excuse her absence to him, by saying, she mockt me
with her Mayde in steade of her selfe, whome when I
knew at her alighting, I disdained to bring her unto his
presence. The Bridegroome gave his hande eit shoulde
be so.
(end of D1V)
Now by the way you must understand, this Mother
Gunby had a daughter, who all that day sate heavily at
home with a willow garland, for that the Bridegroome
(if hee had dealt faithfully) should have wedded her be-
fore any other. But men (Lamilia) are unconstant, mo-
ney now a dayes makes the match, or else the match is
But to the matter: the Bridegroome and the Gen-
tleman thus agreed: he tooke his time, conferd with the
Bride, perswaded her that her husband (notwithstan-
ding his faire shew at the marriage) had sworne to his
olde sweet heart, their neighbour Gunbyes daughter,
to bee that night her bedfellow: and if she would bring
her Father, his Father, and other friendes to the house
at midnight, they should find it so.
At this the young Gentlewoman, inwardly vext to
Bee by a peasant so abusde, promist if she saw likelyhood
of his slipping away, that then she would doo according
as he directed.
All this thus sorting, the old womans daughter was
trickly attyrde ready to furnish this pageant, for her old
mother provided all things necessary.
Well, Supper past, dauncing ended, and the guests
would home, and the Bridegroome pretending to bring
some friend of his home, got his horse, and to the Parke
side he rode, and staide with the horsemen that attended
the Gentleman.
Anon came Marian like mistris Bride, and mounted
behind the Gentleman, away they post, fetch their com-
passe, and at last alight at the olde wives house, where so-
denly she is convayd to her chamber, & the bridegroome
sent to keep her company, wher he had scarse devisd how
(end of D2R)
to begin his exhortation: but the Father of his Bryde
knockt at the chamber doore. At which being somewhat
amazed, yet thinking to turne it to a jeast, sith his Wife
(as hee thought) was in bed with him, hee opened the
doore, saying: Father, you are hartily welcome, I won-
der how you found us out heere; this devise to remoove
our selves, was with my wives consent, that wee might
rest quietly without the Maides and Batchelers distur-
bing. But wheres your Wife, said the Gentleman? why
heere in bed, saide hee. I thought (quoth the other) my
daughter had beene your wife, for sure I am today shee
was given you in marriage. You are merrely disposed,
said the Bridegroome, what thinke you I have another
wife? I thinke but as you speake, quoth the Gentleman,
for my daughter is below, and you say your wife is in the
bed. Below (said he) you are a merry man, and with that
casting on a night gowne, hee went downe, where when
he saw his wife, the Gentleman his Father, and a num-
ber of his friends assembled, hee was so confounded, that
how to behave himselfe he knew not; onely he cryde out
that he was deceived. At this the old woman arises, and
making her selfe ignoraunt of all the whole matter, in-
quires the cause of that sodayne tumult. When she was
told the new Bridegroome was founde in bed with her
daughter, she exclaimd against so great an injurie. Mari-
an was calde in quorum: shee justified, it was by his al-
lurement: he being condemnd by all their consents, was
adjudged unworthy to have the Gentlewoman unto his
Wife, and compeld (for escaping of punishment) to mar-
rie Marian: and the young Gentleman (for his care in
discovering the Farmers sonnes lewdnes) was recompenst
with the Gentlewomans ever during love.
(end of D2V)

Quoth Lamilia, and what of this? Nay nothing, said
Roberto, but that I have told you the effects of sodaine
love: yet the best is, my brother is a maidenly Batchler;
and for your selfe, you have not beene troubled with ma-
ny suiters. The fewer the better, said Lucanio. But bro-
ther, I con you little thanke for this tale, heereafter I
pray you use other table talke. Lets then end talk, quoth
Lamilia, and you (signior Lucanio) and I will go to the
Chesse. To Chesse, said he, what meane you by that? It
Is a game, said she, that the first daunger is but a checke,
the worst, the giving of a mate. Well, said Roberto, that
game yee have beene at already then, for you checkt him
first with your beauty, & gave your selfe for mate to him
by your bounty. Thats wel taken brother, said Lucanio,
so have we past our game at Chesse. Wil ye play at Ta-
bles then, said she? I cannot, quoth hee, for I can goe
no further with my game, if I be once taken. Will ye play
then at cards? I, said he, so it bee at one and thirtie. That
fooles game, said she? Wele all to hazard, said Roberto,
and brother you shall make one for an houre or two: con-
tent, quoth he. So to dice they went, and fortune so favo-
red Lucanio, that while they continued square play, hee
was no looser. Anone coosenage came about, and his An-
gels being double winged, flew clean from before him.
Lamilia being the winner, preparde a banquet; which
finished, Roberto advisde his brother to departe home,
and to furnish himselfe with more Crownes, least hee
were outcrackt with new commers.
Lucanio loath to be outcountenanst, followed his ad-
vise, desiring to attend his returne, which hee before had
determined unrequested: For as soone as his brothers
backe was turned, Roberto begins to recken with La-
(end of D3R)
milia, to bee a sharer as well in the money deceitfully
wonne, as in the Diamond so wilfully given. But she,
secundum mores meretricis, jested thus with the schol-
ler. Why Roberto, are you so well read, and yet shewe
your selfe so shallow witted, to deeme women so weake
of conceit, that they see not into mens demerites. Sup-
pose (to make you my stale to catch the woodcocke your
brother) that my tongue over-running myne intent, I
spake of liberall rewarde: but what I promist, theres
the point; at least what I part with I will be well ad-
visde. It may be you will thus reason: Had not Rober-
traind Lucanio unto Lamilias lure, Lucanio had not
now beene Lamilias pray: therefore sith by Roberto
she possesseth the prize, Roberto merites an equal part.
Monstrous absurd if so you reason; as wel you may rea-
son thus: Lamilias dog hath kild her a Deere, therefore
his Mistris must make him a pastie. No, poore pennilesse
Poet, thou art beguilde in mee, and yet I wonder how
thou couldst, thou hast beene so often beguilde. But it fa-
reth with licentious men, as with the chased Bore in the
stream, who being greatly refresht with swimming,
never feeleth anie smart untill hee perish recurelesly
wounded with his owne weapons. Reasonlesse Rober-
that having but a brokers place, askest a lenders re-
ward. Faithles Roberto, that hast attempted to betray
thy brother, irreligiously forsaken thy Wife, deservedly
been in thy fathers eie an abject: thinkst thou Lamilia
so loose, to consort with one so lewd. No, hypocrite, the
sweet Gentleman thy brother, I will till death love, &
thee while I live, loath. This share Lamilia gives thee,
other getst thou none.
As Roberto would have replide, Lucanio approcht:
(end of D3V)
to whom Lamilia discourst the whole deceipt of his bro-
ther, & never rested intimating malitious arguments,
til Lucanio utterly refusde Roberto for his brother, &
for ever forbad him his house. And when he would have
yeelded reasons, and formed excuse, Lucanios impati-
ence (urgd by her importunate malice) forbad all reaso-
ning with them that were reasonlesse, and so giving him
Jacke Drums intertainment, shut him out of doores:
whom we will follow, & leave Lucanio to the mercie of
Lamilia. Roberto in an extreme extasie, rent his haire,
curst his destenie, blamd his trechery, but most of all ex-
claimd against Lamilia: and in her against all enticing
Curtizans, in these tearms. What meant the Poets in invective verse,
To sing Medeas shame, and Scillas pride,
Calipsoes charmes, by which so many dyde?
Onely for this their vices they rehearse,
That curious wits which in this world converse,
May shun the dangers and enticing shoes,
Of such false Syrens, those home-breeding foes,
That from the eyes their venim do disperse.
So soone kils not the Basiliske with sight,
The Vipers tooth is not so venemous,
The Adders tung not halfe so dangerous,
As they that beare the shadow of delight,
Who chaine blind youths in tramels of their haire,
Till wast bring woe, and sorrow hast despaire.

With this he laid his head on his hand, and leant his
elbow on the earth, sighing out sadly, Heu patior telis vulnera facta meis!

On the other side of the hedge sate one that heard
his sorrow: who getting over, came towards him, and
(end of D4R)
brake off his passion. When hee approached, hee saluted
Roberto in this sort.
Gentleman, quoth hee, (for so you seeme) I have by
chaunce heard you discourse some part of your greefe;
which appeareth to be more than you will discover, or I
can conceive. But if you vouchsafe such simple comforte
as my abilitie may yeeld, assure your selfe, that I wil in-
devour to doe the best, that either may procure you pro-
fite, or bring you pleasure: the rather, for that I suppose
you are a scholler, and pittie it is men of learning should
live in lacke.
Roberto wondring to heare such good wordes, for
that this iron age affoordes few that esteeme of vertue;
returnd him thankfull gratulations, and (urgde by ne-
cessitie) uttered his present griefe, beseeching his advise
how he might be imployed. Why, easily, quoth hee, and
greatly to your benefite: for men of my profession gette
by schollers their whole living. What is your professi-
on, said Roberto? Truly sir, saide hee, I am a player. A
player, quoth Roberto, I tooke you rather for a Gentle-
man of great living, for if by outward habit men should
be censured, I tell you, you would bee taken for a sub-
stantiall man. So am I where I dwell (quoth the play-
er) reputed able at my proper cost to build a Wind-
mill. What though the world once went hard with me,
when I was faine to carry my playing Fardle a foote-
backe Tempora mutantur, I know you know the mea-
ning of it better than I, but I thus conster it, its other-
wise now; for my very share in playing apparell will
not be sold for two hundred pounds. Truly (said Rober-
tis straunge, that you should so prosper in that vayne
practise, for that it seemes to mee your voice is nothing
(end of D4V)
gratious. Nay then, saide the Player, I mislike your
judgement: why, I am as famous for Delphrigus, &
the King of Fairies, as ever was any of my time. The
twelve labors of Hercules have I terribly thundred on
the Stage, and plaid three Scenes of the Devil in the
High way to heaven. Have ye so (saide Roberto?) then
I pray you pardon me. Nay more (quoth the Player) I
can serve to make a pretie speech, for I was a countrey
Author, passing at a Morrall, for twas I that pende the
Morrall of mans witte, the Dialogue of Dives, and for
seven yeers space was absolute Interpreter to the pup-
pets. But now my Almanacke is out of date:
The people make no estimation,
Of Morrals teaching education.
Was not this prettie for a plaine rime extempore?
if ye will ye shall have more. Nay its enough, said Ro-
but how meane you to use mee? Why sir, in ma-
king Playes, said the other, for which you shall be well
paid, if you will take the paines.
Roberto perceiving no remedie, thought best in re-
spect of his present necessitie, to try his wit, & went with
him willingly: who lodgd him at the Townes end in a
house of retayle, where what happened our Poet, you
shall after heare. There by conversing with bad compa-
ny, he grew A malo in peius, falling from one vice to an
other: and so having founde a vaine to finger crowns,
he grew cranker than Lucanio, who by this time began
to droope, being thus dealt with by Lamilia. Shee ha-
ving bewitched him with hir enticing wiles, caused him
to consume in lesse than two yeeres that infinite treasure
gathered by his father with so many a poore mans curse.
His lands sold, his jewels pawnd, his money wasted, he
(end of E1R)
was casseerd by Lamilia, that had coossend him of all.
Then walkt he like one of Duke Humfreys Squires,
in a thread-bare cloake, his hose drawne out with his
heeles, his shooes unseamed, least his feete should sweate
with heat: now (as witlesse as hee was) he remembred
his Fathers words, his unkindnes to his brother, his
carelesnes of himselfe. In this sorrow he sate down on
pennilesse bench; where when Opus and Usus told him
by the chymes in his stomacke it was time to fall unto
meat, he was fame with the Camelion to feed upon the
aire, and make patience his best repast.
While he was at this feast, Lamilia came flaunting
by, garnished with the jewels wherof she beguiled him,
which sight served to close his stomacke after his cold
cheare. Roberto hearing of his brothers beggery, al-
beit he had little remorse of his miserable state, yet did
seeke him out, to use him as a propertie, whereby Luca-
was somewhat provided for. But beeing of simple
nature, hee served but for a blocke to whet Robertoes
wit on: which the poore foole perceiving, he forsooke all
other hopes of life, and fell to be a notorious Pandar,
in which detested course he continued till death. But
Roberto now famozed for an Arch-plaimaking-poet,
his purse like the sea somtime sweld, anon like the same
sea fell to a low ebbe; yet seldom he wanted, his labors
were so well esteemed. Marry this rule he kept, what e-
ver he fingerd afore hand, was the certaine meanes to
unbinde a bargaine, and being askt why hee so slightly
dealt with them that did him good? It becoms me, saith
hee, to bee contrary to the worlde; for commonly when
vulgar men receive earnest, they doo performe, when
I am paid any thing afore-hand, I breake my promise.
(end of E1V)
He had shift of lodgings, where in every place his Ho-
stesse writ up the wofull remembrance of him, his laun-
dresse, and his boy; for they were ever his in houshold,
beside retainers in sundry other places. His companie
were lightly the lewdest persons in the land, apt for pil-
ferie, perjurie, forgerie, or any villainy. Of these hee
knew the casts to cog at cards, coossen at Dice, by these
he learnd the legerdemaines of nips, foystes, connycat-
chers, crosbyters, lifts, high Lawyers, and all the rab-
ble of that uncleane generation of vipers: and pithily

could he paint out their whole courses of craft: So cun-
ning he was in all craftes, as nothing rested in him al-
most but craftines. How often the Gentlewoman his
Wife labored vainely to recall him, is lamentable to
note: but as one given over to all lewdnes, he commu-
nicated her sorrowfull lines among his loose truls, that
jested at her bootlesse laments. If he could any way get
credite on scores, he would then brag his creditors car-
ried stones, comparing every round circle to a groning
O procured by a painfull burden. The shamefull ende
of sundry his consorts deservedly punished for their a-
misse, wrought no compunction in his heart: of which
one, brother to a Brothell hee kept, was trust under a
tree as round as a Ball.
To some of his swearing companions thus it hap-
pened: A crue of them sitting in a Taverne carowsing,
it fortuned an honest Gentleman and his friend, to en-
ter their roome: some of them beeing acquainted with
him, in their domineering drunken vaine would have
no nay but downe hee must needes sitte with them; bee-
ing placed, no remedie there was, but he must needes
keepe even compasse with their unseemely carowsing.
(end of E2R)
Which he refusing, they fell from high words to sound
strokes, so that with much adoo the Gentleman saved
his owne, and shifted from their company. Being gone,
one of these tiplers forsooth lackt a gold Ring, the other
sware they see the Gentleman take it from his hande.
Upon this the Gentleman was indited before a Judge,
these honest men are deposde: whose wisedome weigh-
ing the time of the braule, gave light to the Jury, what
power wine-washing poyson had, they according unto
conscience found the Gentleman not guiltie, and God
released by that verdit the innocent.
With his accusers thus it fared: One of them for
murder was worthily executed: the other never since
prospered: the third, sitting not long after upon a lustie
horse, the beast sodenly dyde under him, God amend the
Roberto every day acquainted with these examples,
was notwithstanding nothing bettered, but rather har-
dened in wickednesse. At last was that place justified,
God warneth men by dreams and visions in the night,
and by knowne examples in the day, but if hee returne
not, hee comes uppon him with judgement that shall bee
felt. For now when the number of deceites caused Ro-
to bee hatefull almost to all men, his immeasurable
drinking had made him the perfect Image of the drop-
sie, and the loathsome scourge of Lust tyrannized in his
bones: lying in extreame poverty, and having nothing
to pay but chalke, which now his Host accepted not for
currant, this miserable man lay comfortlesly languish-
ing, having but one groat left (the just proportion of his
Fathers Legacie) which looking on, he cryed: O now it
is too late, too late to buy witte with thee: and therefore
(end of E2V)
will I see if I can sell to carelesse youth what I negli-
gently forgot to buy.
Heere (Gentlemen) breake I off Robertoes speach;
whose life in most parts agreeing with mine, found one
selfe punishment as I have doone. Heereafter suppose
me the saide Roberto, and I will goe on with that hee
promised: Greene will send you now his groats-worth
of wit, that never shewed a mites-worth in his life: &
though no man now bee by to doo me good: yet ere I
die I will by my repentaunce indevour to doo all men

Deceiving world, that with alluring toyes,
Hast made my life the subject of thy scorne:
And scornest now to lend thy fading joyes,
To length my life, whom friends have left forlorne.
How well are they that die ere they be borne,
And never see thy sleights, which few men shun,
Till unawares they helpelesse are undone.
Oft have I sung of Love, and of his fire,
But now I finde that Poet was advizde;
Which made full feasts increasers of desire,
And proves weake love was with the poore despizde.
For when the life with food is not suffizde,
What thought of Love; what motion of delight;
What pleasance can proceed from such a wight?
Witnesse my want, the murderer of my wit;
My ravisht sence of wonted furie reft;
Wants such conceit, as should in Poems fit,
Set downe the sorrow wherein I am left:
(end of E3R)
But therefore have high heavens their gifts bereft:
Because so long they lent them mee to use,
And I so long their bountie did abuse.
O that a yeare were graunted me to live,
And for that yeare my former wits restorde:
What rules of life, what counsell would I give?
How should my sinne with sorrow be deplorde?
But I must die of every man abhorde.
Time loosely spent will not againe be wonne,
My time is loosely spent, and I undone.

O horrenda fames, how terrible are thy assaults!
but vermis conscientiae, more wounding are thy stings.
Ah Gentlemen, that live to read my broken and confu-
sed lines, looke not I should (as I was wont) delight
you with vaine fantasies, but gather my follies altoge-
ther; and as yee would deale with so many parricides,
cast them into the fire: call them Telegones, for now
they kil their Father, and every lewd line in them writ-
ten, is a deepe piercing wound to my heart; every idle
houre spent by any in reading them, brings a million of
sorrowes to my soule. O that the teares of a miserable
man (for never any man was yet more miserable)
might wash their memorie out with my death; and that
those works with mee together might bee interd. But
sith they cannot, let this my last worke witnes against
them with mee, how I detest them. Blacke is the re-
membrance of my blacke workes, blacker than night,
blacker than death, blacker than hell.
Learne wit by my repentance (Gentlemen) and let these
few rules following be regarded in your lives.
(end of E3V)
1 First in al your actions set God before your eies;
for the feare of the Lord is the beginning of wisdome:
Let his word be a lanterne to your feet, and a light un-
to your paths, then shall you stand as firme rocks, and
not be mocked.
2 Beware of looking backe, for God will not bee
mocked; and of him that hath received much, much shal
be demaunded.
3 If thou be single, and canst abstain, turne thy eies
from vanitie; for there is a kinde of women bearing
the faces of Angels, but the hearts of Devils, able to
intrap the elect if it
were possible.
4 If thou bee married, forsake not the wife of thy
youth to follow straunge flesh; for whoremongers and
adulterers the Lord will judge. The doore of a harlot
leadeth downe to death, and in her lips there dwels de-
struction; her face is decked with odors, but she bring-
eth a man to a morsell of bread and nakednes: of which
my selfe am instance.
5 If thou be left rich, remember those that want, &
so deale, that by thy wilfulnes thy selfe want not: Let
not Tavemers and Victuallers be thy Executors; for
they will bring thee to a dishonorable grave.
6 Oppresse no man; for the crie of the wronged as-
cendeth to the eares of the Lord: neyther delight to in-
crease by Usurie, least thou loose thy habitation in the
everlasting Tabernacle.
7 Beware of building thy house to thy neighbors
hurt; for the stones will crie to the timber; Wee were
laid together in bloud: and those that so erect houses,
calling them by their names, shall lie in the grave lyke
Sheepe, and death shall gnaw upon their soules.
(end of E4R)
8 If thou be poore, be also patient, and strive not to
grow rich by indirect meanes; for goods so gotten shal
vanish like smoke.
9 If thou bee a Father, Maister, or Teacher, joyne
good example with good counsaile; else little availe pre-
cepts, where life is different.
10 If thou be a Sonne or Servant, despise not re-
proofe; for though correction bee bitter at the first, it
bringeth pleasure in the end.
Had I regarded the first of these rules, or beene o-
bedient to the last; I had not now at my last ende, beene
left thus desolate. But now, though to my selfe I give
Consilium post facta; yet to others they may serve
for timely precepts. And therefore (while life gives
leave) I will send warning to my olde consorts, which
have lived as loosely as my selfe, albeit weaknesse will
scarse suffer me to write, yet to my fellow Schollers a-
bout this Cittie, will I direct these few insuing lines.

To those Gentlemen his Quondam acquaintance,
that spend their wits in making plaies, R. G.
wisheth a better exercise, and wisdome
to prevent his extremities.

If wofull experience may move you (Gentlemen) to
beware, or unheard of wretchednes intreate you to
take heed: I doubt not but you wil looke backe with
sorrow on your time past, and indevour with repen-
tance to spend that which is to come. Wonder not, (for
with thee wil I first begin) thou famous gracer of Tra-
gedians, that Greene, who hath said with thee (like the
foole in his heart) There is no God, shoulde now give
(end of E4V)
glorie unto his greatnes: for penetrating is his power,
his hand lyes heavie upon me, hee hath spoken unto mee
with a voice of thunder, and I have felt he is a God that
can punish enemies. Why should thy excellent wit, his
gift, bee so blinded, that thou shouldst give no glorie to
the giver? Is it pestilent Machivilian pollicy that thou
hast studied? O peevish follie! What are his rules but
meere confused mockeries, able to extirpate in small
time the generation of mankind. For if Sic volo, sic iu-
hold in those that are able to commaund: and if it
be lawfull Fas & nefas to do any thing that is benefici-
all; onely Tyrants should possesse the earth, and they
striving to exceed in tyrannie, should each to other be a
slaughter man; till the mightiest outliving all, one
stroke were lefte for Death, that in one age mans life
should end. The brocher of this Diabolicall Atheisme
is dead, and in his life had never the felicitie hee aymed
at: but as he began in craft; lived in feare, and ended in
despaire. Quam inscrutabilia sunt Dei iudicia? This
murderer of many brethren, had his conscience seared
like Caine: this betrayer of him that gave his life for
him, inherited the portion of Judas: this Apostata peri-
shed as ill as Julian: and wilt thou my friend be his dis-
ciple? Looke but to me, by him perswaded to that liber-
tie, and thou shalt find it an infernall bondage. I knowe
the least of my demerits merit this miserable death, but
wilfull striving against knowne truth, exceedeth all the
terrors of my soule. Defer not (with me) till this last
point of extremitie; for litle knowst thou how in the end
thou shalt be visited.
With thee I joyne yong Juvenall, that byting Sa-
tyrist, that lastly with mee together writ a Comedie.
(end of F1R)
Sweet boy, might I advise thee, be advisde, and get not
many enemies by bitter wordes: inveigh against vaine
men, for thou canst do it, no man better, no man so well:
thou hast a libertie to reproove all, and name none; for
one being spoken to, all are offended; none being blamed
no man is injured. Stop shallow water still running, it
will rage, or tread on a worme and it will turne: then
blame not Schollers vexed with sharpe lines, if they re-
prove thy too much liberty of reproofe.
And thou no lesse deserving than the other two, in
some things rarer, in nothing inferiour; driven (as my
selfe) to extreme shifts, a litle have I to say to thee: and
were it not an idolatrous oth, I would sweare by sweet
S. George, thou art unworthy better hap, sith thou de-
pendest on so meane a stay. Base minded men all three
of you, if by my miserie you be not warnd: for unto none
of you (like mee) sought those burres to cleave: those
Puppets (I meane) that spake from our mouths, those
Anticks garnisht in our colours. Is it not strange, that
I, to whom they all have beene beholding: is it not like
that you, to whome they all have beene beholding, shall
(were yee in that case as I am now) bee both at once of
them forsaken? Yes trust them not: for there is an up-
start Crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his
Tygers hart wrapt in a Players hyde, supposes he is as
well able to bombast out a blanke verse as the best of
you: and beeing an absolute Johannes fac totum, is in
his owne conceit the onely Shake-scene in a countrey.
O that I might intreat your rare wits to be imploied in
more profitable courses: & let those Apes imitate your
past excellence, and never more acquaint them with
your admired inventions. I knowe the best husband of
(end of F1V)
you all will never prove an Usurer, and the kindest of
them all will never prove a kind nurse: yet whilest you
may, seeke you better Maisters; for it is pittie men of
such rare wits, should be subject to the pleasure of such
rude groomes.
In this I might insert two more, that both have
writ against these buckram Gentlemen: but lette their
own workes serve to witnesse against their owne wic-
kednesse, if they persevere to maintaine any more such
peasants. For other new-commers, I leave them to the
mercie of these painted monsters, who (I doubt not)
will drive the best minded to despise them: for the rest,
it skils not though they make a jeast at them.
But now returne I againe to you three, knowing
my miserie is to you no newes: and let mee hartily in-
treat you to be warned by my harms. Delight not (as I
have done) in irreligious oathes; for from the blasphe-
mers house, a curse shall not depart. Despise drunken-
nes, which wasteth the wit, and maketh men all equall
unto beasts. Flie lust, as the deathsman of the soule, and
defile not the Temple of the holy Ghost. Abhorre those
Epicures, whose loose life hath made religion lothsome
to your eares: and when they sooth you with tearms of
Maistership, remember Robert Greene, whome they
have often so flattered, perishes now for want of com-
fort. Remember Gentlemen, your lives are like so ma-
ny lighted Tapers, that are with care delivered to all
of you to maintaine: these with wind-puft wrath may
be extinguisht, which drunkennes put out, which negli-
gence let fall: for mans time is not of it selfe so short,
but it is more shortned by sinne. The fire of my light is
now at the last snuffe, and for want of wherewith to su-
(end of F2R)
staine it, there is no substance lefte for life to feede on.
Trust not then (I beseech ye) to such weake staies: for
they are as changeable in minde, as in many attyres.
Wel, my hand is tyrde, and I am forst to leave where I
would begin: for a whole booke cannot containe their
wrongs, which I am forst to knit up in some fewe lines
of words.

Desirous that you should live,
though himselfe be dying:
Robert Greene.

Now to all men I bid farewel in like sort, with this
conceited Fable of that olde Comedian Aesope.

An Ant and a Grashopper walking together on a
Greene, the one carelesly skipping, the other care-
fully prying what winters provision was scattered in
the way: the Grashopper scorning (as wantons will)
this needlesse thrift, (as hee tearmed it) reprooved him
The greedy miser thirsteth still for gaine,
His thrift is theft, his weale works others woe:
That foole is fond which will in caves remaine,
When mongst faire sweets he may at pleasure goe.

To this the Ant perceiving the Grashoppers mea-
ning, quickly replyde:

The thriftie husband spares what unthrift spends,
His thrift no theft, for dangers to provide:
Trust to thy selfe, small hope in want yeeld friends,
A cave is better than the deserts wide.
(end of F2V)

In short time these two parted, the one to his plea-
sure, the other to his labour. Anon Harvest grew on,
and reft from the Grashopper his woonted moysture.
Then weakly skipt hee to the medowes brinks: where
till fell winter he abode. But storms continually pow-
ring, hee went for succour to the Ant his olde acquain-
tance, to whom hee had scarce discovered his estate, but
the waspish little worme made this reply.

Packe hence (quoth he) thou idle lazie worme,
My house doth harbor no unthriftie mates:
Thou scorndst to toile, and now thou feelst the storme,
And starvst for food while I am fed with cates.
    Use no intreats, I will relentlesse rest,
    For toyling labour hates an idle guest.

The Grashopper, foodlesse, helplesse and strengthles,
got into the next brooke, and in the yeelding sand digde
for himselfe a pit: by which hee likewise ingrav'de this

When Springs greene prime arrayd me with delight,
And every power with youthfull vigor fild,
Gave strength to worke what ever fancie wild:
I never feard the force of winters spight.

When first I saw the sunne the day begin,
And dry the Mornings tears from hearbs and grasse;
I little thought his chearefull light would passe,
Till ugly night with darknes enterd in.
    And then day lost I mournd, spring past I wayld,
    But neither teares for this or that availde.
(end of F3R)

Then too too late I praisd the Emmets paine,
That sought in spring a harbor gainst the heate:
And in the harvest gathered winters meat,
Preventing famine, frosts, and stormy raine.

My wretched end may warn Greene springing youth
To use delights, as toyes that will deceive,
And scorne the world before the world them leave:
For all worlds trust, is ruine without ruth.
    Then blest are they that like the toyling Ant,
    Provide in time gainst winters wofull want.

With this the Grashopper yeelding to the wethers ex-
tremitie, died comfortles without remedy. Like him my
selfe: like me, shall all that trust to friends or times in-
constancie. Now faint I of my last infirmity, beseeching
them that shall burie my bodie, to publish this last fare-
well written with my wretched hand.

Fælicem fuisse infaustum.

A letter written to his wife, founde with
this booke after his death.

The remembrance of the many wrongs offred thee,
and thy unreproved vertues, adde greater sorrow
to my miserable state, than I can utter or thou conceive.
Neither is it lessened by consideration of thy absence,
(though shame would hardly let me behold thy face) but
exceedingly aggravated, for that I cannot (as I ought)
to thy owne selfe reconcile my selfe, that thou mightst
witnes my inward woe at this instant, that have made
(end of F3V)
thee a wofull wife for so long a time. But equall hea-
ven hath denide that comfort, giving at my last neede
like succour as I have sought all my life: being in this
extremitie as voide of helpe, as thou hast beene of hope.
Reason would, that after so long wast, I should not send
thee a child to bring thee greater charge: but consider
he is the fruit of thy wombe, in whose face regarde not
the Fathers faults so much, as thy owne perfections. He
is yet Greene, and may grow straight, if he be carefully
tended: otherwise, apt enough (I feare mee) to follow
his Fathers folly. That I have offended thee highly I
knowe, that thou canst forget my injuries I hardly be-
leeve: yet perswade I my selfe, if thou saw my wret-
ched estate, thou couldst not but lament it: nay certain-
ly I know thou wouldst. All my wrongs muster them-
selves before mee, every evil at once plagues mee. For
my contempt of God, I am contemned of men: for my
swearing and forswearing, no man will beleeve me: for
my gluttony, I suffer hunger: for my drunkennes, thirst:
for my adultery, ulcerous sores. Thus God bath cast me
downe, that I might be humbled: and punished me for
example of other sinners: and although he strangely suf-
fers me in this world to perish without succor, yet trust
I in the world to come to find mercie, by the merites of
my Saviour to whom I commend thee, and commit my

Thy repentant husband for his dis-
loyaltie, Robert Greene.

Fælicem fuisse infaustum.


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