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writing of Mr. Douce upon his fragment in the following terms

“There are two editions printed by John Skot, one of which has a colophon, the other not; both without dates."

I happen to have had an opportunity of inspecting both the impressions.put forth by Skot, and I subjoin the title-page of that with a colophon, because I have never yet seen it correctly given.

“Here begynneth a Treatyse how ye hye fader of heuen sendeth Dethe to somon euery creature to come and gyue a counte of theyr lyues in this worlde, and is in maner of a morall playe.” The colophon, at the end of the play, is precisely this—

Imprynted at London, in Poules chyrche yarde, by me, Johñ Skot."

The only copy of this edition I ever saw, is, or was, in the library of Lincoln Cathedral: the only copy I have seen of the other edition, by Skot, without his colophon, was sold in 1833, among Mr. Caldecot's books, for £32 10s. It was a distinct impression, and, among other differences, it may be noticed that there were six wood-cut figures of the Dramatis Personæ at the back of the title-page : on the last leaf was the printer's device, and merely his name, “ John Skot.”

The exact period when “Every Man" came from Pynson's press cannot be ascertained, but his last dated work is 1531; so that there can be no doubt that “Every Man” is one of the very oldest printed dramas in our language: perhaps the only piece of the same kind that has higher claims, on the score of antiquity, is “ The World and the Child,” printed by Wynkyn de Worde in 1522; but Pynson may have printed his undated “Every Man” before that year: if so, the moral play of “Every Man” would be the oldest drama in our language that has come down to us in a printed shape. Its value and curiosity in the most ancient impression cannot therefore be disputed, and on this account I send my exact transcript of Mr. Douce's fragment, marking with asterisks the places where the text is deficient. It is part of the last sheet E; so that it was preceded by four sheets, A, B, C, and D, which have probably for ever perished. What I have above said, and what follows, may call attention to it, and some member of the Society may possibly be able, on a future occasion, to furnish information on so interesting a question in reference to our early dramatic poetry—the very foundation of the School of Shakespeare.

Those who go through Shakespeare without a considerable acquaintance with the works of his predecessors, carrying their inquiries back even to the remotest period, are not likely to do him full justice, nor to read him with complete advantage.

DRAMATICUS. 29th March, 1847.

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I desyre no more to my besynes.

Strengthe. And I strength wyll by you stande in distres Though thou wold in battayll fyght on the groūde.

o wyttes. And though it were thorowe the world rounde We wyll not departe for swete ne for soure.

Beaute. No more wyll I vnto dethes houre
What so euer therof befall.

Dyscrecyon. Every man aduyse you firste of all
Go with a good advysement and lyberacion
We all gyue you vertuous monyssion
That all shall be well.

euery . My frendes, harke what I wyll tell I praye god rewarde you in this heuenly spere Nowe herken all that be here

For I wyll make my testament
Here before you all present
In almes half my good l wyll gyue wt my hondes twayne
In ye way of charite wt gode intent
And the other halfe styll shall remayne
I it bequethe to be returned there it ought to be
This I do in desspyte of the fende of hell
To go quyte oute of his perell
Eeuer after and this daye.

knowlege. Euery man herke in what I saye Go to the preesthode I you advyse

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That of god hath comyssyon
As hath the lest preest in the worlde beynge
For of the blessyd sacramentes pure and benygne
He bereth the keyes and therof hath cure
For mānes redempcion it is euer sure
Whiche god for our soules medesyne
Gaue us out of his herte with grete payne
Here in this transytorye lyfe for the and me
The blyssed sacramentes vij. there be
Baptyme confirmacion with preesthode good
And ye sacrament of godes precious flesshe and blood
Maryage, the holy extreme unccyon and penaūce
These vij. be good to have in remembraunce,
Gracious sacramentes of hye deuynyte.

euery . Fayne wolde I receyue that holy body And mekely to my gostely fader I wyll go.

o wyttes. Euery man, that is the best that ye can do God wyll you to saluacion brynge For preesthode exceedeth all other thynge To vs holy scriptue they do teche And conuerteth man fro synne heuen to reche God hath to them more power gyuen Than to ony aungell that is in heuen

With v. wordes he


concecrate Goddes body in flesshe and blode to take.


No remedy may we fynde under god
But alone on preesthode
Euery man, god gave preest that dignyte
And letteth them in his steede amonge us be
Thus be they aboue aungels in degree.

knowlege. If preestes be good it is so suerly
But whā Jhesu henge on ye crosse wt grete smarte
There gaue he vs out of his blessyd herte
The same sacrament in grete torment
He helde them not to that lorde omnypotent
Therfore saynt peter the apostyll do say
That Jhesus curse hath all they
Whiche god theyr sauyoure do bye or sell
Or they for ony money do take or tell
Synfull preestes geueth the synners example bad
Their children sitteth by other mens fyres I haue herde
And some haunteth womens company
With unclene lyfe as lustes of lechery
These be with synne made blynde.

o wyttes. I truste to god no suche may we fynde
Therfore lette vs preesthode honoure
And folowe theyr doctryne for ours soules socker
We be theyr sheepe and they shepherdes be
By whom we all be kepte in suerte.
Passe for yonder I se euery man come.


And nowe frēdes let vs go without lenger respyte
I thanke god that ye haue taryed so longe
Nowe set eche of you on this rodde his honde
And shortly folowe me
I go before there I wolde be
God be our guyde.

Strengthe. Euery man we wyll not fro you go Tyll ye haue gone this vyage longe.

Dyscrecion. I discrecion wyll byde by you also.

knowleg. And though this pilgrimage be never so stroge
I wyll never parte you fro
Euery man I wyll be as sure by the
As euer I dyde by Judas machabee.

Euery . Alas I am so faynt I may not stonde
My lymmes under me do folde
Frendes let vs not turne agayne to this londe
Not for all the worldes golde
For in to this caue must I crepe.

Beautye. And torne to the erthe and there to slepe.
Euery . What in to this


Beautye. Ye there shall ye consume more and lesse.

Euery . And what sholde I smoder here
Ye by my fay and neuer more appere
In this worlde lyve no more we shall
But in heuen before the hyest lorde of all.

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Beaute gothe faste awaye and hye
She promysed with me to lyve and dye.

Strength. Euery man I wyll the also forsake and denye Thy game lyketh me not at all.

Euery . Why than ye wyll forsake me all
Swete Strength tary a lytell space.

Strength. Nay syr by the rode of grace
I wyll hye me fro the faste
Though thou wepe tyll thy herte to braste.

Euery . Ye wolde euer byde by me ye sayd.

Strength. Ye I haue you ferre ynough conueyd
Ye be olde ynough I vnderstonde
Your pylgrymage to take on honde
I repente me that I hether came.

Euery . Srength you to displease I am to blame.

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