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couraged throughe povertie. Thus you may see, that it is not to be feared lest they shoulde be effeminated, if thei were brought up in good craftes and laboursome woorkes,

whereby to gette their livynges, whose stoute and sturdye 5 bodyes (for gentlemen vouchsafe to corrupte and spill none

but picked and chosen men) now either by reason of rest and idlenesse be brought to weakenesse : or els by easy and womanly exercises be made feble and unhable to endure

hardnesse. Truly howe so ever the case standeth, thys me 10 thinketh is nothing avayleable to the weale publique, for

warre sake, which you never have, but when you wyl your selfes, to kepe and mainteyn an unnumerable flocke of that sort of men, that be so troublesome and

noyous

in

peace, wherof you ought to have a thowsand times more regarde, 15 then of warre. But yet this is not only the necessary cause

of stealing. There is an other, whych, as I suppose, is proper and peculiar to you Englishmen alone. What is that, quod the Cardinal? forsoth my lorde (quod I) your shepe that were wont to be so meke and tame, and so smal

eaters, now, as I heare saye, be become so great English shepe

devowerers and so wylde, that they eate up, and

swallow downe the very men them selfes. They consume, destroye, and devoure whole fieldes, howses, and

cities. For looke in what partes of the realme doth growe 25 the fynest and therfore dearest woll, there noblemen and

gentlemen, yea and certeyn abbottes, holy men no doubt, not contenting them selfes with the yearely revenues and profytes, that were wont to grow to theyr forefathers and

predecessours of their landes, nor beynge content that they 30 live in rest and pleasure nothinge profiting, yea much noy

inge the weale publique, leave no grounde for tillage, thei inclose al into pastures; thei throw doune houses; they plucke downe townes, and leave nothing standynge, but

20

devourers of men,

only the churche to be made a shepehowse. And as thoughe you loste no small quantity of grounde by forestes, chases, laundes and parkes, those good holy men turne all dwellinge places and all glebeland into desolation and wildernes. Therfore that on covetous and unsati

5

Shepe mais able cormaraunte and very plage of his natyve ters decayers of

husbandrye. contrey maye compasse aboute and inclose many thousand akers of grounde together within one pale or hedge, the husbandmen be thrust owte of their owne, or els either by coveyne and fraude, or by violent oppression 10 they be put besydes it, or by wronges and injuries thei be so weried, that they be compelled to sell all: by one meanes therfore or by other, either by hooke or crooke they muste needes departe awaye, poore, selye, wretched soules, men, women, husbands, wives, fatherlesse children, widowes, 15 wofull mothers, with their yonge babes, and their whole houshold smal in substance and muche in numbre, as husbandrye requireth manye handes. Awaye thei trudge, I say, out of their knowen and accustomed houses, fyndynge no place to reste in. All their housholdestuffe, whiche is 20 verye litle woorthe, thoughe it myght well abide the sale : yet beeynge sodainely thruste oute, they be constrayned to sell it for a thing of nought. And when they

The decaye of have wandered abrode tyll that be spent, what husbandry cau

seth beggery: can they then els doo but steale, and then justly which

is the 25 pardy be hanged, or els go about a beggyng. gaboundes and And yet then also they be caste in prison as vagaboundes, because they go aboute and worke not : whom no man wyl set a worke, though thei never so willyngly profre themselves therto. For one shephearde or heard

30 man is ynoughe to eate up that grounde with cattel, to the occupiyng wherof aboute husbandrye manye handes were requisite. And this is also the cause why victualles be

mother of va

theves.

M. U.

3

The cause of dearth of victuales.

What inconve.

of dearth of wolle.

now in many places dearer. Yea, besides this the price of wolle is so rysen,

that poore folkes, which were wont to worke it and make cloth therof, be nowe hable to bye none at all. And by thys 5

meanes verye manye be forced to forsake worke, nience commeth

and to geve them selves to idelnesse. For after that so much grounde was inclosed for pasture,

an infinite multitude of shepe dyed of the rotte, suche vengeaunce God toke of their inordinate and unsaci10 able covetousnes, sendinge amonge the shepe that pestife

rous morrein, whiche much more justely shoulde have fallen on the shepemasters owne heades. And though the number of shepe increase never so faste, yet the price falleth

not one myte, because there be so fewe sellers. For they 15 The cause of

be almooste all comen into a fewe riche mennes dearth of wol. handes, whome no neade forceth to sell before they lust, and they luste not before they maye sell as deare

as they luste. Now the same cause bringeth in like dearth of the other kindes of cattell, yea

and that so much the more, bicause that after fermes plucked downe and husbandry decaied, there is no man that passethe for the breadynge of younge stoore. For these riche men brynge not up the yonge ones of greate

cattel as they do lambes. But first they bie them abrode 25 verie chepe and afterward, when they be fatted in their

pastures, they sell them agayne excedynge deare. And therefore (as I suppose) the whole incommoditie hereof is

Ι not yet felte. For yet they make dearth onely in those

places where they sell. But when they shall fetche them 30 away from thence wheare they be bredde faster then they

can be broughte up: then shall there also be felte greate dearth, stoore beginning there to faile, where the ware is boughte. Thus the unreasonable covetousnes of a few hath

Dearth of cattel with the cause therof.

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Dearth of vic

Excesse in ap

a mainteiner of

thefte,

turned that thing to the utter undoing of your
ylande, in the whiche thynge the cheife felicitie tuales is the
of your realme did consist.

For this greate keping; where

decay of house dearth of victualles causeth men to kepe as litle of ensueth beg

. houses and as smale hospitalitie as they pos

5 sible maye, and to put away their servauntes : whether, I pray you, but a beggynge : or elles (whyche these gentell bloudes and stoute stomackes wyll sooner set their myndes unto) a stealing ? Nowe to amende the matter, to this wretched beggerye and miserable povertie is joyned greate 10 wantonnes, importunate superfluitie and excessive riote. For not only gentle mennes ser- parell and diet vauntes, but also handicrafe men : yea and beggery and almooste the ploughmen of the countrey, with al other sortes of people, use muche straunge and proude 15 newefanglenes in their apparell, and to muche prodigall riotte and sumptuous fare at their table. Nowe bawdes, queines, whoores, harlottes, strumpettes, winetavernes.

Baudes, whores, brothelhouses, stewes, and yet another stewes, unlawfull games

, wynetavernes, ale houses and tiplinge houses, with so manye noughtie, lewde and unlawfull games, as dyce, cardes, tables, tennis, boules, coytes, do not all these sende the haunters of them streyghte a stealynge when theyr money is gone? Caste oute these pernicyous abhominations, make a lawe, that they, whiche

25 plucked downe fermes and townes of husbandrie, shal reedifie them, or els yelde and uprender the possession therof to suche as wil go to the cost of buylding them anewe. Suffer not these riche men to bie up al, to ingrosse and forstalle, and with their monopolie to kepe

30 the market alone as please them. Let not so grossers and many be brought up in idelnes, let husbandry and tillage be restored, let clotheworkinge be renewed, that

be very mothers of theves,

20 The corrupte education of

Rich men in

forestallers.

ther may be honest labours for this idell sort to passe their tyme in profitablye, whiche hitherto either povertie hath caused to be theves, or elles nowe be either vagabondes, or

idel serving men, and shortelye wilbe theves. Doubtles 5 onles you finde a remedy for these enormities, you shall in

vaine advaunce your selves of executing justice upon fellons. For this justice is more beautiful in apperaunce, and more

florishynge to the shewe, then either juste or

profitable. For by suffring your youthe wanton10 youth a mother lie and viciously to be brought up, and to be of thevery.

infected, even frome theyr tender age, by litle and litle with vice : then a Goddes name to be punished, when they commit the same faultes after being come to

mans state, which from their youthe they were ever like to 15 do: In this pointe, I praye you, what other thing do you,

then make theves and then punish them? Now as I was thus speakinge, the lawier began to make hym selfe readie to answere, and was determined with him selfe to use the

common fashion and trade of disputers, whiche be more 20 diligent in rehersinge, then answering, as thinking the me

morie worthy of the chief praise. In dede sir, quod he, you have said wel, being but a straunger and one that myghte rather heare some thing of these matters, then have

any exacte or perfecte knowledge of the same, as I wil 25 incontinent by open proffe make manifest and plaine. For

firste I will reherse in order all that you have sayde: then I wyll declare wherein you be deceaved, through lacke of knowledge, in all oure fashions, maners and customes: and

last of all I will aunswere youre argumentes and confute 30 them every one. Firste therefore I wyll begynne where I promysed. Foure thynges you semed to me.

Holde youre peace, quod the Cardinall: for it appeareth that you will

, make no shorte aunswere, which make suche a beginnynge.

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