Pasqvill of England to Martin Junior


Transcription by Barboura Flues, all rights reserved. 2002

J U N I O R.

¦ 1. Valiant Martin, if ever the earth carried any giants, as fabulous antiquity hath avouched, which entered into wars and conspiracies against GOD, thy father Mar-prelate was a whelp of that race, who, to revive the memory of his ancestors almost forgotten, hath broken into heaven with his blasphemies. If the monster be dead, I marvel not, for he was but an error of nature, not long-lived, hatched in the heat of the sins of England, and sent into these peaceable seas of ours to play like a dolphin before a tempest. The heads this hydra lost in a famous place of late, where every new bug no sooner puts out his horns, but is beaten down; the anatomy lately taken of him, the blood and the humors that were taken from him by lancing and worming him at London upon the common stage; 1 the main buffets that are given him in every corner of this realm, are evident tokens that, being thorough soused in so many showers, he had no other refuge but to run into a hole, and die as he lived, belching.

¦ 2. Turkey hath very good cause to bewail his death, for their religion, like an ancient building worn with extremity of age, rives & threatens ruin on every side if it be not supported by new props. One of the best means the devil invented to hold that up, was the help of thy father, to pull down all other religions under heaven. His conclusions, and thy epilogue, are two as fit swords as Mahomet himself could desire to kill a Christian. But because thy father waned with the moon for want of strength when he left thee his Theses without life or limb, I would wish thee to put them in mood and figure for his sake. Pasquil hath undertaken to write a very famous work entitled The Owl’s Almanac, wherein the night labors and birth of your religion is set down, the ascent and descent of the stars that favor it is truly calculated, the aspects of the planets reigning over it are expressed, with a jolly conjecture, drawn from the judgment of the theme, what end your religion is like to have. Now because he hath reserved a blank paper at the end of the work for the four seasons of the year (as commonly calculators do), he is determined to keep that in his hand till your syllogisms be made, that he may fill up his book with the diseases and remedies of your arguments, in what quarter of the year soever they fall.

¦ 3. Pasquil hath taken up your glove, and desires you to charge your weapon at him like a man. If you play with him, as your father and yourself have done with the bishops heretofore, if you bark like a cur and bite behind, he will have a trick with his heel to strike out your teeth. Whilst you consult with your topics to ground your reasons sure, Pasquil will come upon you with another venue. For he came lately oversea into Kent; from thence he cut over into Essex at Gravesend, and, hearing some tidings of Hertfordshire, because he cannot ride far without a bait, he made as much haste as he could to St. Alban’s, where he stayed one whole Sabbath at the Christopher, and, having there pestered a new pair of writing-tables with profitable notes for that quarter, he set forward the Monday following to Northamptonshire, smiling and glancing as he turned his horse about to bid the congregation of Saint Michael’s adieu.2

¦ 4. To be brief with your worshipfulty, Pasquil hath posted very diligently over all the realm, to gather some fruitful volume of The Lives of the Saints, which, Maugre your five hundred favorites, shall be printed. There shall you read of the reverend elder of your church, who, being credited with the stock of the poor pertaining to the Bridewell house of Canterbury to set men a-work, was compelled to keep it himself because no poor folks of the household of faith could be found in all that city. There shall you see the life and learning of a pastor of your church, which, expounding the articles of your belief in Devonshire, when he came to handle the descending into Hell, wrote a Latin letter to a neighbor minister of his to crave his advice, and rapped it out lustily, Si tu non vis venire mihi, ego volo venire tibi; and so, by the leaks that remain in his Latin, made more work for the tinker that ever your father made for the Cooper. I will leap over one of your brother preachers in Northamptonshire, which is as good a hound for his scent to smell a feast as ever man saw. Pasquil met him between Byfield and Fawsley, with a little hat like a saucer upon his crown, a filchman in his hand, a swapping ale-dagger at his back, containing by estimation some two or three pounds of iron in the hilts and chape, and a bandog by his side to command forty foot of ground wheresoever he goes, that never a beggar come hear him to crave an alms. O, how my palfrey fetched me up the Curvetto, and danced the goat’s-jump, when I ran the ring round about him to retrieve him; it should seem by the manages my beast made that he knew his master had a special piece of service in hand. You shall have a goodly band of these men in the volume of the Saints. Pasquil is now gone oversea to commit it to the press, and it is his pleasure (because it is the first opening of his shop) to give you a taste of his wares before you buy them, like a frank merchant.

¦ 5. In the mean season, sweet Martin Junior, play thou the knave kindly as thou hast begun, and wax as old in iniquity as thy father. Down with learning and universities; I can bring you a freemason out of Kent, that gave over his occupation twenty years ago. He will make a good deacon for your purpose. I have taken some trial of his gifts; he preacheth very prettily over a joint-stool. These bishops are somewhat too well-grounded for greenheads; so long as they keep their place and power, it is impossible for thee to cast the religion of this land into a new mold every new moon. The whole state of the land perceives it well enough, that to deliver up the prelacy to Martin is a canker more dangerous to the church and realm than it was for the Athenians to deliver their orators to Philip of Macedon, their utter enemy, or than it is for the sheep to betray their shepherds to the wolf. These staid fathers, through their long study, practice, and experience in the Church of God, are skillful physicians, acquainted with the beating of every pulse that beats out of order; they are able to discern, at the first touch, from what kind of heresy every one of these new fevers that trouble us had his beginning. Therefore, as the highway to hasten the end of the sick, when you think to profit by their death, is either to counsel them to despise the physician, and cast both the goblet and potion against the walls, or else to deliver them into the hands of an ignorant leech, which, by ministering every souter’s receipt to reform the state of the body, plyeth them with purgative upon purgative, till he weakeneth the stomach, and rots both the liver and the lungs, so the ready course to poison her Majesty’s loving people is to discredit the physicians of their souls unto them, and to suffer every Martin and mountebank to practice on them.

¦ 6. By these means shall you see religion haled with violence into her grave; the goodly frame of this commonweal shall fall, and bankrupts and atheists pocket up the pieces. But our comfort is, that the wisdom of her most excellent Majesty is known to be greater than to be trained from so high a seat to so base a lure as every Martinist casteth out to her. Her sacred Majesty knows that it behooveth all princes to have a watchful regard unto their estate, which is to be preserved as well by doing of nothing that may endamage them, as by seeking of anything convenient for them.

¦ 7. Never brag in this quarrel of your five hundred brethren of credit and ability; Pasquil hath excellent ferrets to follow them in their own burrows, and he can tell you that there is a common kind of affection which men of this age carry to such as you whilst they have any service to put you to, like unto them that, having somewhat to do with a confection of poison, rejoice when they find it, yet they hate the malice of it, and throw it out of the doors when their turn is served. Neither doubt I but that the same reckoning in the end will be made of you which your favorers commonly make of their old shoes, when they are past wearing; they barter them away for new brooms, or carry them forth to the dunghill and leave them there.

¦ 8. I could tell you many strange stratagems of your best friends, but Pasquil is a traveler, and he knows that writers and printers in these days are like to men placed at the Persian banquets; if they roll their eye never so little at one side, there stands an eunuch before them with his heart full of jealousy, and his bow ready bent to shoot them through, because they look further than the laws of the country will suffer them. Nevertheless, because your faction is suddenly grown stale like an oyster, and gapes so wide that every fishwife at Billingsgate sees into you, either we must willfully wink, and put out our eyes, or else we cannot choose but discover a number of your deformities. Pasquil’s experience in this generation teacheth him that many of your bolsterers may be compared to books that are gilded & trimly covered; they set a fair face of religion upon your cause, but when they are opened, they are full of tragedies, either Thyestes eating up the flesh of his own children, or cursed Oedipus, in bed with his own mother.

¦ 9. Can you now, Mast Martin, persuade yourself you shall have a pride in your pistle-making, when you vaunt of this brotherhood, and deceive the world with such drugs as please your own taste. If your forehead be so hard that you can indeed, forwards and spare not; Pasquil is ready to pull your feathers. You shall shortly have a gloss and a commentary upon your epilogue, with certain hays, jigs, rimes, rondelays, and madrigals, serving for epitaphs to your father’s hearse, to make the world laugh out the long winter’s nights which very shortly will steal upon us.

¦ 10. In the mean season, because the Wind and the Tide will stay for no Man, and I was just at the making hereof as merry as yourself, and taking Ship to bring that brave Catalogue of the Saints to light; I bid your Masterdom farewell till Michaelmas Term, commending your worship to the line and the leading of your own spirit. From Gravesend Barge the eighth of August, the first and last year of Martinism, which like the untimely fruit of his Mastership’s Mother, dieth before it sees the Sun, and withereth as the Grass upon the house top before the Mower be able to fill his hand with it.

To come to the close,
In Rime or in Prose,
In spite of thy nose,
Thine for these seven years,

Pasquil of


1. The prohibition of anti-Martinist plays is alluded to by Lyly in #Pappe with a Hatchet “Would those Comedies might be allowed to be paid that are are pend, and then I am sure he would be decyphered, and so perhaps discouraged.”

2. These are apparent Puritan strongholds.

Appendix I: Glossary

ale-dagger (n): one worn for use in ale-house brawls. Cf. Lyly Pappe; Pasquil Return.

bandog: dog tied or chained up on account of its ferocity — usually a mastiff or bloodhound. (1-2H6); Lyly Endymion; Pasquil Countercuff; Nashe Summers. OEd contemp citations: 1560 Thersites in Hazl. Dodsl. I. 399 The bandog Cerberus from hell … 1577 Harrison England.

Billingsgate: between Eastcheap and the river. Found in (anon.) Fam Vic, Arden; Pasquil Countercuff.

Bridewell: originally a royal palace west of Ludgate Hill, between Fleet Street and the Thames, later converted into a workhouse for the poor , becoming a house of correction. Also served as a prison for Catholic and Puritan religious prisoners. NFS. Found in Lyly Whip, Pappe; Nashe Penniless, Absurdity; Pasquil Countercuff; (anon.) Locrine, Penelope. On May 12, 1593, Thomas Kyd was arrested, probably on suspicion of sedition, and sent to Bridewell. Refusing to confess to charges of which he was probably innocent, he was put to the torture and underwent “the extremitie thereof”. Kyd died toward the end of 1594.

bug(g): bugbear, hobgoblin, bogey. FS (2-3H6, Ham, WT, Cymb); Golding Ovid; Edwards Dam&Pith; Kyd Sp Tr; (anon.) Pasquil Countercuff, Apology, Arden; Nashe Penniless; Harvey Pierce’s Super. OED cites 1579 Gosson Sch. Abuse

canker: spreading blight, corruption. FS (John, Ham, many); Lyly Sapho; Pasquil Countercuff.
chape (n): metal mounting on a scabbard or sheath, to protect the tip of the sword. FS (AWEW); Pasquil Countercuff; Greene Mourn. Garm.

curvetto/curvet (n): leap of a horse in which the fore-legs are raised together and equally advanced, and the hind-legs raised with a spring before the fore-legs reach the ground. FS (2-AWEW, V&A); Pasquil’s Countercuff (2d OED citation).

filchman (n): petty thief. NFS. Cf. Pasquil Counter.

greenhead (n): simpleton, ignoramus. NFS. Cf. Marprelate Epistle (1st OED citation); Pasquil Countercuff; Harvey 2d Letter.

hay (n): (1)country dance having a winding or serpentine movement, or being of the nature of a reel. FS (LLL): Pasquil Countercuff.

manages (n): action and paces to which a horse is trained in the riding-school. FS (7-LLL, Rich2, 1H4, AsYou, H8, Pericles, Lov Comp); Pasquil Countercuff, Return.

maugre: (fr) in spite of. FS (3-12th, Titus, Lear); Golding Ovid, Abraham; Brooke Romeus; Lyly Midas; Kyd Sol&Per; Greene Orl Fur, Alphonsus; (anon.) Mucedorus, Locrine, Ironside, Nobody/Somebody, Penelope, Leic Gh; Pasquil Counterfuff; Harvey Sonnet, 3d Letter.

ring (n): occasional double meaning; in Shakespeare, doubtful here. FS (Errors, Titus, Lear); Lyly Woman … Moon; Marlowe Jew/Malta; Nashe Summers; (disp.) Greene’s Groat; Pasquil Countercuff; (anon.) Dodypoll, Leic Gh; Chapman d’Olive.

rive (v): tear apart. FS (1H6, JC, A&C); Pasquil Countercuff.

souter/souterly (n, adv): shoemaker, sometimes used as term of abuse. NFS. Cf. Pasquil Countercuff; Nashe Almond.

stale (a): old and strong. Cf. (anon.) Fam Vic; Pasquil Counter.