Now then, bye and bye, as it were for anger not for covetise, the Protector [Richard] sent into the house of Shore's wife (for her husband dwelled not with her) and spoiled her of all that ever she had, above the value of two or three thousand marks, and sent her body to prison. And when he had a while laid unto her for the manner's sake, that she went abroad to bewitch him, and that she was of counsel with the Lord Chamberlain to destroy him; in conclusion when that no color could fasten upon these matters, then he laid heinously to her charge that thing that herself could not deny, that all the world wist was true, and that natheless every many laughed at to hear it then so suddenly so highly taken, that she was naught of her body. And for this cause (as a goodly continent prince clean and faultless of himself sent out of heaven into this vicious world for the amendment of men's manners) he caused the Bishop of Lincoln to put her to open penance, going before the cross in procession upon a Sunday with a taper in her hand. In which she went in countenance and pace demure, so womanly, and albeit she were out of all array save her kirtle only, yet went she so fair and lovely, namely while the wondering of the people cast a comely rud in her cheeks (of which she before had most miss) that her great shame won her much praise among those that were more amorous of her body than curious of her soul. And many good folk also that hated her living and glad were to see sin corrected, yet pitied they more her penance than rejoiced therein when they considered that the Protector procured it, more of a corrupt intent than any virtuous affection. . . .
Whereupon soon after, that is to wit, on the Friday, the thirteenth day of June, many lords assembled in the Tower and there sat in council, devising the honourable solemnity of the king's coronation, of which the time appointed then so near approached that the pageants and subtleties were in making day and night at Westminster, and much victual killed therefor that afterward was cast away. These lords so sitting together commoning of this matter, the protector came in among them, first about nine of the clock, saluting them courteously, and excusing himself that he had been from them so long, saying merrily that he had been asleep that day. And after a little talking with them, he said unto the Bishop of Ely: "My lord, you have very good strawberries at your garden in Holborn; I require you, let us have a mess of them."
"Gladly, my lord," quod he, "would God I had some better thing as ready to your pleasure as that." And therewith in all the haste he sent his servant for a mess of strawberries. The protector set the lords fast in commoning, and thereupon, praying them to spare him for a little while, departed thence.
And soon, after one hour, between ten and eleven, he returned into the chamber among them, knitting the brows, frowning and frothing and gnawing on his lips, and so sat him down in his place, all the lords much dismayed and sore marvelling of this manner of sudden change, and what thing should him ail. Then when he had sitten still awhile, thus he began: "What were they worthy to have that compass and imagine the destruction of me, being so near of blood unto the king and protector of his royal person and his realm?"
At this question all the lords sat sore astonied, musing much by whom this question should be meant, of which every man wist himself clear. Then the lord chamberlain, as he that for the love between them thought he might be boldest with him, answered and said that they were worthy to be punished as heinous traitors, whatsoever they were. And all the other affirmed the same.
"That is," quod he, "yonder sorceress, my brother's wife, and other with her"--meaning the queen.
At these words, many of the other lords were greatly abashed that favoured her. But the Lord Hastings was in his mind better content that it was moved by her than any other whom he loved better, albeit his heart somewhat grudged that he was not afore made of counsel in this matter, as he was of the taking of her kindred and of their putting to death, which were by his assent before devised to be beheaded at Pomfret this selfsame day, in which he was not ware that it was by other devised that himself should the same day be beheaded at London.
Then said the protector: "Ye shall all see in what wise that sorceress and that other witch of her counsel, Shore's wife, with their affinity, have by their sorcery and witchcraft wasted my body." And therewith he plucked up his doublet sleeve to his elbow upon his left arm, where he showed a werish, withered arm and small (as it was never other). And thereupon every man's mind sore misgave them, well perceiving that this matter was but a quarrel, for well they wist that the queen was too wise to go about any such folly. And also, if she would, yet would she, of all folk, least make Shore's wife of counsel, whom of all women she most hated, as that concubine whom the king, her husband, had most loved. And also no man was there present but well knew that his arm was ever such since his birth.
Nevertheless the lord chamberlain (which fro the death of King Edward kept Shore's wife, on whom he somewhat doted in the king's life, saving, as it is said, he that while forbare her of reverence toward his king, or else of a certain fidelity to his friend) answered and said: "Certainly, my lord, if they have so heinously done, they be worthy heinous punishment."
"What!" quod the protector. "Thou servest me, I ween, with 'ifs' and with 'ands.' I tell thee they have so done, and that I will make good on thy body, traitor."
And therewith, as in a great anger, he clapped his fist upon the board a great rap. At which token given, and in come there rushing men in harness, as many as the chamber might hold. And anon the protector said to the Lord Hastings: "I arrest thee, traitor."
"What me, my lord?" quod he.
"Yea, thee, traitor," quod the protector.
And another let fly at the Lord Stanley, which shrunk at the stroke and fell under the table, or else his head had been cleft to the teeth, for as shortly as he shrank, yet ran the blood about his ears. Then were they all quickly bestowed in divers chambers except the lord chamberlain, whom the protector bade speed and shrive him apace; "for by Saint Paul," quod he, "I will not to dinner till I see thy head off." It booted him not to ask why, but heavily he took a priest and made a short shrift, for a longer would not be suffered; the protector made so much haste to dinner, which he might not go to till this were done, for saving of his oath. So was he brought forth into the green beside the chapel within the Tower, and his head laid down upon a long log of timber, and there stricken off, and afterward his body with the head interred at Windsor beside the body of King Edward, whose both souls our Lord pardon. [Transcription by John F. Tinkler.]
A public weal is in sundry wise defined by philosophers, but knowing by experience that the often repetition of anything of grave or sad importance will be tedious to the readers of this work, who perchance for the more part have not been trained in learning containing semblable matter, I have compiled one definition out of many, in as compendious form as my poor wit can devise, trusting that in those few words the true signification of a public weal shall evidently appear to them whom reason can satisfy.
A public weal is a body living, compact or made of sundry estates and degrees of men, which is disposed by the order of equity and governed by the rule and moderation of reason. In the Latin tongue it is called "respublica," of the which the word "res" hath divers significations, and doth not only betoken that that is called a thing, which is distinct from a person, but also signifieth estate, condition, substance, and profit. In our old vulgar, profit is called "weal." And it is called a wealthy country wherein is all thing that is profitable. And he is a wealthy man that is rich in money and substance. "Public" (as Varro saith) is derived of "people," which in Latin is called "populus," wherefore it seemeth that men have been long abused in calling "rempublicam" a commune weale. And they which do suppose it so to be called for that, that every thing should be to all men in common, without discrepance of any estate or condition, be thereto moved more by sensuality than by any good reason or inclination to humanity. And that shall soon appear unto them that will be satisfied either with authority or with natural order and example.
First, the proper and true signification of the words public and common, which be borrowed of the Latin tongue for the insufficiency of our own language, shall sufficiently declare the blindness of them which have hitherto holden and maintained the said opinions. As I have said, public took his beginning of people, which in Latin is "populus," in which word is contained all the inhabitants of a realm or city, of what estate or condition so ever they be. [Transcription by John F. Tinkler.]
And that which was the most marvel of all, at one time two drifts of snow flew, the one out of the west into the east, the other out of the north into the east: And I saw two winds by reason of the snow the one cross over the other, as it had been two highways. And again I should hear the wind blow in the air, when nothing was stirred at the ground. And when all was still where I rode, not very far from me the snow would be lifted wonderfully. This experience made me more marvel at the nature of the wind than it made me cunning in the knowledge of the wind: but yet thereby I learned perfectly that it is no marvel at all though men in a wind lose their length in shooting, seeing so many ways the wind is so variable in blowing. [Transcription by John F. Tinkler.]
For preaching of the gospel is one of god's plow works, and the preacher is one of God's plowmen. Ye may not be offended with my similitude in that I compare preaching to the labor and work of plowing and the preacher to a plowman; ye may not be offended with this my similitude, for I have been slandered of some persons for such things. It hath been said of me, "Oh, Latimer! nay, as for him I will never believe him while I live nor never trust him, for he likened Our Blessed Lady to a saffron bag." Where indeed I never used that similitude. But it was, as I have said unto you before now, according to that which Peter saw before in the spirit of prophecy and said that they should come afterward men "per quos via veritatis maledictis afficeretur." There should come fellows "by whom the way of truth should be ill spoken of and slandered" (II Peter 2:2). But in case I had used this similitude, it had not been to be reproved but might have been without reproach. For I might have said thus: as the safron bag that hath been full of saffron or hath had saffron in it doth ever after savour and smell of the sweet saffron that it contained, so Our Blessed Lady, which conceived and bare Christ in her womb, did ever after resemble the manners and virtues of that precious babe which she bare. And what had Our Blessed Lady been the worse for this or what dishonour was this to Our Blessed Lady?
But as preachers must be ware and circumspect that they give not any just occasion to be slandered and ill spoken of by the hearers, so must not the auditors be offended without cause. For heaven is in the gospel likened to a mustard seed; it is compared also to a piece of leaven; as Christ saith, that at the last day He will come like a thief. And what dishonour is this to God or what derogation is this to heaven? Ye may not then, I say, be offended with my similitude, forbecause I liken preaching to a plowman's labour and a prelate to a plowman. [Transcription by John F. Tinkler.]
Dearly beloved brethren, on -- I intend, by God's grace, to celebrate the Lord's Supper: unto which, in God's behalf, I bid you all that are here present; and beseech you, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, that ye will not refuse to come thereto, being so lovingly called and bidden by God himself. Ye know how grievous and unkind a thing it is, when a man hath prepared a rich feast, decked his table with all kinds of provision, so that there lacketh nothing but the guests to sit down; and yet they who are called (without any cause) most unthankfully refuse to come. Which of you in such a case would not be moved? Who would not think a great injury and wrong done him? Wherefore, most dearly beloved in Christ, take ye good heed, lest ye, withdrawing yourselves from this holy supper, provoke god's indignation against you. It is an easy matter for a man to say, I will not communicate, because I am otherwise hindered with worldly business. But such excuses are not so easily accepted and allowed before God. If any man say, I am a grievous sinner, and therefore am afraid to come: wherefore then do ye not repent and amend? When God calleth you, are ye not ashamed to say ye will not come? When ye should return to god, will ye excuse yourselves, and say ye are not ready? Consider earnestly with yourselves how little such feigned excuses will avail before God. They that refused the feast in the Gospel, because they had bought a farm, or would try their yokes of oxen, or because they were married, were not so excused, but counted unworthy of the heavenly feast. I, for my part, shall be ready; and, according to mine Office, I bid you in the name of God, I call you in Christ's behalf, I exhort you, as ye love your own salvation, that ye will be partakers of this holy Communion. And as the Son of God did vouchsafe to yield up his soul by death upon the Cross for your salvation; so it is your duty to receive the Communion, in remembrance of the sacrifice of his death, as he himself hath commanded: which if ye shall neglect to do, consider with yourselves how great injury ye do unto god, and sore punishment hangeth over your heads for the same; when ye wilfully abstain from the Lord's Table, and separate from your brethren, who come to feed on the banquet of that most heavenly food. These things if ye earnestly consider, ye will by God's grace return to a better mind; for the obtaining whereof we shall not cease to make our humble petitions unto Almighty God our heavenly Father. [Transcription by John F. Tinkler.]
When wee have learned usuall and accustomable words to set forth our meaning, we ought to joyne them together in apt order, that the eare maie delite in hearing the harmonie. I knowe some Englishmen that in this point have such a gift in the English, as fewe Latin hath the like, and therefore delite the wise and learned so much with their pleasaunt composition: that many rejoyce when they may heare such, and thinke much learning is got when they may talk with them. Composition therfore is an apt joyning together of wordes in such order, that neither the eare shall espie any jerre, nor yet any man shalbe dulled with overlong drawing out of a sentence, nor yet much confounded with mangling of causes such as are needlesse, being heaped together without reason, and used without number. For by such meanes the hearers will be forced to forget full ofte, what was sayd first, before the sentence bee halfe ended: or els be blinded with confounding of many things together. Some againe will be so short, and in such curtall their sentences, that they had neede to make a commentary immediately of their meaning, or els the most that heare them shalbe forced to keepe counsaill.
Some will speake oracles, that a man can not tell which way to take them, some will bee so fine and so poeticall withall, that to their seeming there shall not stande one haire a misse, and yet every body els shall thinke them meeter for a ladies chamber, then for an earnest matter in any open assemblie.
Some will rove so much and bable so farre without order, that a man would thinke they had a great love to heare them selves speake.
Some repeate one worde so often, that if such wordes could be eaten, and chopt in so oft as they are uttered out, they would choke the widest throte in al England. As thus. If a man knew what a mans life were, no man for any mans sake woulde kill any man, but one man would rather helpe an other man, considering man is borne for man to helpe man, and not to hate man. What man would not be choked, if he chopt al these men at once into his mouth, and never dronke after it? Some use overmuch repetition of some one letter, as pitifull povertie praieth for a penie, but puffed presumption passeth not a point, pampering his panch with pestilent pleasure, procuring his passeport to poste it to hell pit, there to bee punished with paines perpetuall. Some will so set their words, that they must be faine to gape after every word spoken, ending one word with a vowell, and beginning the next with an other, which undoubtedly maketh the talke to seeme most unpleasaunt. As thus. Equitie assuredly every injurie avoideth. . . .
Some will tell one thing twentie times, nowe in, nowe out, and when a man would thinke they had almost ended, they are ready to beginne againe as fresh as ever they were. Such vaine repetitions declare both want of witte, and lacke of learning. Some are so homely in all their doings, and so grosse for their invention, that they use altogether one maner of trade, and seeke no varietie to eschue tediousnesse.
Some burden their talke with needlesse copie, and will seem plentifull when they should be short. An other is so curious and so fine of his tongue, that he can not tell in all the world what to speake. Every sentence seemeth common, and every worde generally used, is thought to be foolish in his wise judgement. Some use so many interpositions, both in their talke and in their writing, that they make their sayings as darke as hell. Thus when faltes be knowne they may be avoyded: and vertue the sooner may take place, when vice is foreseen and eschued as evill. [Transcription by John F. Tinkler.]
I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain or any prince of Europe should dare to invade the borders of my realm; to which, rather than any dishonour should grow by me, I myself will take up arms; I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field.
I know already, for your forwardness you have deserved rewards and crowns; and we do assure you on the word of a prince they shall be duly paid you.
In the meantime, my lieutenant-general shall be in my stead, than whom never prince commanded a more noble or worthy subject; not doubting but by your obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, and your valour in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over those enemies of my god, of my kingdoms, and of my people. [Transcription by John F. Tinkler.]
In plays, all coosonages, all cunning drifts overgilded with outward holiness, all stratagems of war, all the cankerworms that breed on the rust of peace, are most lively anatomized; they show the ill success of treason, the fall of hasty climbers, the wretched end of usurpers, the misery of civil dissension, and how just God is evermore in punishing of murther. And to prove every one of these allegations could I propound the circumstances of this play and that play, if I meant to handle this theme otherwise than obiter. What should I say more? They are sour pills of reprehension wrapped up in sweet words. Whereas some petitioners of the counsail against them object they corrupt the youth of the city and withdraw prentices from their work, they heartily wish they might be troubled with none of their youth nor their prentices; for some of them (I mean the ruder handicrafts' servants) never come abroad but they are in danger of undoing; and as for corrupting them when they come, that's false; for no play they have encourageth any man to tumults or rebellion, but lays before such the halter and the gallows; or praiseth or approveth pride, lust, whoredom, prodigality, or drunkenness, but beats them down utterly. As for the hindrance of trades and traders of the city by them, that is an article foisted in by the vintners, alewives, and victualers, who surmise if there were no plays they should have all the company that resort to them lie bowzing and beer-bathing in their houses every afternoon. Nor so, nor so, good brother bottle-ale, for there are other places besides where money can bestow itself; the sign of the smock will wipe your mouth clean; and yet I have heard ye have made her a tenant to your taphouses. But what shall he do that hath spent himself? Where shall he haunt? Faith, when dice, lust, and drunkeness, and all, have dealt upon him, if there be never a play for him to go to for his penny, he sits melancholy in his chamber, devising upon felony or treason and how he may best exalt himself by mischief. [Transcription by John F. Tinkler.]
4.14.1 Laws, as all other things human, are many times full of imperfection; and that which is supposed behoveful unto men, proveth oftentimes most pernicious. The wisdom which is learned by tract of time, findeth the laws that have been in former ages established, needful in later to be abrogated. Besides, that which sometime is expedient doth not always so continue: and the number of needless laws unabolished doth weaken the force of them that are necessary. But true withal it is, that alteration though it be from worse to better hath in it inconveniences, and those weighty; unless it be in such laws as have been made upon special occasions, which occasions ceasing, laws of that kind do abrogate themselves. But when we abrogate a law as being ill made, the whole cause for which it was made still remaining, do we not herein revoke our very own deed, and upbraid ourselves with folly, yea, all that were makers of it with oversight and with error? Further, if it be a law which the custom and continual practice of many ages or years hath confirmed in the minds of men, to alter it must needs be troublesome and scandalous. It amazeth them, it causeth them to stand in doubt whether any thing be in itself by nature either good or evil, and not all things rather such as men at this or that time agree to account of them, when they behold even those things disproved, disannuled, rejected, which use had made in a manner natural. What have we to induce men unto the willing obedience and observation of laws, but the weight of so many men's judgement as have with deliberate advice assented thereunto; the weight of that long experience, which the world hath had thereof with consent and good liking? So that to change any such law must needs with the common sort impair and weaken the force of those grounds, whereby all laws are made effectual.
 Notwithstanding we do not deny alteration of laws to be sometimes a thing necessary; as when they are unnatural, or impious, or otherwise hurtful unto the public community of men, and against that good for which human societies were instituted. . . . Not to stay longer therefore in speech concerning this point, we will conclude, that as the change of such laws as have been specified is necessary, so the evidence that they are such must be great. If we have neither voice from heaven that so pronounceth them, neither sentence of men grounded upon such manifest and clear proof, that they in whose hands it is to alter them may likewise infallibly even in heart and conscience judge them so; upon necessity to urge alteration is to trouble and disturb the world without necessity. As for arbitrary alterations, when laws in themselves not simply bad or unmeet are changed for better and more expedient; if the benefit of that which is newly better devised be but small, sith the custom of easiness to alter and change is so evil, no doubt but to bear a tolerable sore is better than to venture on a dangerous remedy.
8.1.2 We hold, that seeing there is not any man of the Church of England but the same man is also a member of the commonwealth; nor any man a member of the commonwealth, which is not also of the Church of England; therefore as in a figure triangular the base doth differ from the sides thereof and yet one and the selfsame line is both a base and also a side; a side simply, a base if it chance to be the bottom and underlie the rest; so, albeit properties and actions of one kind do cause the name of a commonwealth, qualities and functions of another sort the name of a Church to be given unto a multitude, yet one and the selfsame multitude may in such sort be both, and is so with us, that no person appertaining to the one can be denied to be also of the other. Contrariwise, unless they against us should hold, that the Church and the commonwealth are two, both distinct and separate societies, of which two, the one comprehendeth always persons not belonging to the other; that which they do they could not conclude out of the difference between the Church and the commonwealth; namely, that bishops may not meddle with the affairs of the commonwealth, because they are governors of another corporation, which is the church; nor kings with making laws for the Church, because they have government not of this corporation, but of another divided from it, the commonwealth; and the walls of separation between these two must for ever be upheld. They hold the necessity of personal separation, which clean excludeth the power of one man's dealing in both; we of natural, which doth not hinder but that one and the same person may in both bear a principal sway. [Transcription by John F. Tinkler.]