[ G. B. (or William Baldwin or Gulielmus Baldwin), Beware the Cat, 1584, London: long shop adjoining Saint Mildreds Church in the Pultrie by Edward Allde. (The title page is missing from the original and there are no page numbers. The original text is in blackletter font, with occasional names in a Roman font.)
      At the top of this page is written "1812 D. of Roxb. Sale / Wm.Herbert / April, 1773." And then "This same copy belonged to Mr West _ at whose auction in 1773 it was bot by Herbert Cat. 1021. / It had previously been in the possession of Thos. Rawlinson [Cat.XV.] sold Nov. 1729_ See p.75 n.2482 which No. may still be seen written on the top of the ?Irish page of the present copy." The line "No other copy is known, I believe." is inserted between the sentences above in paler ink.
      The first page of text (page 3) has '
G.STEEVENS.' stamped in top right-hand corner.]

T . K. to the Reader.
His little book Bevvare the Cat
    moste pleasantly compil'd:
In time obscured was and so,
siince that hath béen exilde.

Exilde, because perchaunce at first,
    it shewed the toyes and drifts:
Of such as then by wiles and willes,
    maintained Popish shifts.

Shifts, such as those in such a time,
    delighted for to vse:
Wherby ful many simple soules,
    they did ful sore abuse.

Abuse? yea sure and that with spight
    when as the Cat gan tel:
Of many pranks of popish préests,
    bothe foolish mad and fel.

Fel sure & vaine, if iudgement right
    appéere to be in place:
And so as fel in pleasant wise,
    this fixion shewes their grace.

Grace? nay sure vngratiousnes,
    of such and many mo:

p.2 ]
which may be tolde in these our daies
    to make vs laugh also.

Also to laugh? nay rather wéep,
    to sée such shifts now vsed:
And that in euery sorte of men,
    true vertue is abused.

Abused? yea, and quite downe cast,
    let vs be sure of that:
And therfore now as hath béen said,
    I say beware the Cat.

The Cat ful pleasantly wil shew,
some sleights that now are wrought
And make some laugh, which vnto mirth
    to be constrainde are loght.

Lothe? yea, for ouer passing gréef,
    that much bereues their minde:
For such disorder as in states,
    of euery sorte they finde.

Finde? yea, who can now boste but that
    the Cat wil him disclose?
Therfore in midst of mirth (I say)
    beware the Cat to those.


p.3 ]  (image of pages 2-3)

shipful Esquire Iohn Yung,
grace and helth.

Haue penned for your maister­ships pleasure, one of the stories which M . Streamer tolde the last Christmas, and whiche you so faine would haue heard reported by M. fer­rers him selfe and although I be vna­ble to pen or speak the same so plea­santly as he coulde :yet haue I so neer­ly vsed bothe the order and woords of him that spake them, which is not the least vertue of a reporter, that I dout not but that he and M. willot shal in the reading think they hear M. Streamer speak, and he him self in the like action, shal dout whether he speak­eth or readeth. I haue deuided his o­ration into three parts, and set thargu­ment before them and an instruction after them with such notes as might be ga­thered therof. so making it book like and intituled Beware the Cat. But be­cause I dout whether M. Stremer wil be contented that other men plovve with his oxen (I mean penne suche things as he speaketh) which perhaps
p.4 ]
he would rather doo him self, to haue as hee deserueth the glory of bothe: therfore I besech you to learne his minde heerin. And if he agre it pas in such sort : yet that he peruse it before the printing, and amend it if in any point I haue mistaken him.   I pray you likewise to ask M Ferrers his iud­gement heerin, and shew him that the cure of the great plague of M Strea­mers translation out of the Arabique, which he sent me from Margets, shal­be imprinted as soon as I may conue­niently. And if I shal perceiue by your triall that M. Streamer allow my en­deuours in this kinde: I wil heer after (as Plato did by socrates) pen out such things of the rest of our Christmas com­munications as shal­be to his great glo­ry, and no lesse pleasure to all them that desire such kindes of knowledge . in the mean vvhile i beseech you to ac­cept my good wil and learn to beware
the Cat. So shall you not only per-
form that i seek : but also please
the almightie who alwayes
preserue you
         Yours to his power. G. B.

p.5 ]

The ar gument.

T chaunced that at Christemas last, I was at Court with Maister Ferrers then maister of the Kings maiesties pastimes, about setting foorth of sertain Interludes, which for ye Kings recreation we had deuised & were in lear­ning. In which time among many other exercises among our selues : we vsed night­ly at our lodging to talke of sundry things for the furtherance of such offices, wherin eche man as then serued, for which pur­pose it pleased Maister Ferrers to make me his bedfellowe, and vpon a Pallet cast vpon the rushes in his owne Chamber to lodge Maister Willot and Maister Stre­mer, the one his Astronomer : the other his Diuine. And among many other things to long to rehearce : it hapned on a night (which I think was the twenty eight of December) after that M. Ferrers was come from the Court, and in bed : there fel a controuersie between maister Streamer (who with Mais­ter Willot had already slept their first sleep) and mee that was newly come vnto bed, the effect wherof was whether Birds and beasts had reason, the occasion therof was this. I had heard that the Kings Players were learning a play of Esops Crowe, wherin the moste part of the actors were birds, the deuice wherof I discommended , saying it was not Comicall to make either speechlesse things to speeke : or brutish things to com­mcn resonably. And although in a tale it be sufferable to immagin and tel of some
p.6 ]
thing by them spoken or reasonably doon (which kinde Esope lawdably vsed) yet it was vncomely (said I) and without exam­ple of any authour to bring them in liuely pars­onages to speake, doo, reason, and al­lege authorites out of authours. M. Stre­mer my Lordes Diuine, beeing more di­uine in this point then I was ware of, held the contrary parte, afferming that beasts and foules haue reason, and that asmuch as men, yia and in some points more. M. Ferrers him self and his Astronomer, wa­ked with our talke and harkned to vs, but would take parte on neither side. And when M. Stremer had for proofe of his ass­er­tion declared many things of Elephants that walked vppon cords, Hedghogs that knew alwaies what wether would come.
    Foxes and Dogges that after they had been all night a brode killing Geese and Sheep, would come home in the morning and put their necks into their collers. Parats that bewailed their keepers death. Swalowes that with Sellendine open their yung ones eyes, & an hundred things more which I denyed to come of reason, and to be but naturall kindely actions, al­ledging for my proof authoritie of moste graue and learned Philosophers. Wel quoth mais­ter Stremer I knowe what I knowe, and I speak not onely what by hearsay of some Philos­ophers I knowe: but what I my self haue prooued. Why? quoth I then, haue you proofe of beasts & foweles reason? Yea quoth he I haue herd them and vnderstand them bothe speak and reason aswel as I hear and vnder
p.7 ]
stand you. At this M. Ferrers laughed, but I remembring what I had red in Al­bertus woorks, thought their might be som­what more then I did knowe, wherfore I asked him what beasts or fowles he had heard, and where and when? At this hee paused awhile, and at last said. If that I thought you could be content to hear me, and weout any interruption til I haue doon to mark what I say: I would tel you such a story of one peece of myne owne experimen­ting, as should bothe make you wunder and put you out of dout concerning this matter, but this I promise you a fore if I doo tel it, that assoon as any man curious­ly interupteth mee: I wil leaue of & not speak one woord more. When we had pro-
mised quietly to heare? he turning
him self so in his bed as we
might best heare him,
said as followeth.

Design at end of 'The Argument'. Original printed size 1cm wide by 0.9cm high.

Design at end of 'The Argument'. Original published size 5.4cm wide by 1.7cm high.

p.8 ]  (image of pages 8-9)

The first parte of Maifter
Streamers Oracion.


Why All =
ders gate
was so na=

builded Bi
shops Gate

Why more

Why New
Eeing lodged ( as   I thank him I haue béen often) at a frends house of mine, which more rowmish within then garish weout, standing at Saint Martins lane end, and han­geth partly vppon the towne wall that is called Alders gate, either of one Al­drich or els of Elders, that is to say, auncient men of ye Citie which among them builded it, as Bishops did Bis­h­ops gate, or els of eldern trées, whiche perchaunce as they doo in the gardins now there about. So while the common there was vacant : grew abundantly in the same place where the gate was after builded, and called therof Eldern gate, as Mooregate took the name of the féeld without it, which hath béen a very moore. Or els because it is ye most auncient gate of the Citie, was therof in respect of ye other, as Newgate cal­led the eldergate. Or els as Ludgate taketh ye name of Lud who builded it, so moste parte of Heraldes (I knowe)
p.9 ]
   wil soonest assent that Aluredus builded this, but they are deceiued. For he and his wife Algay builded Algate, which therof taketh the name, as Criplegate dooth of a Criple, who begged so much in his life (as put to the Siluer wether cock which he stole from Powles stée­ple) after his death builded it.
    But wherof soeuer this gate
Alder­gate took the name (which lon­geth chée­fly to historyers to knowe) at my fréen­des house which (as I said) standeth so néer that it is ouer it, I lay often times and that for sundry causes. Sometime for lack of other lodging, and somtime as while my Gréeke Alphabets were in printing, to sée that it might bée truly corrected. And sure it is a shame for all yung men that they be no more studious in the tunges, but the world is now come to that passe, that if hée can prate a little Latin, & handle a Racket and a pair of sixsquare bowles: he shall sooner obtain any liuing then the best learned in a whole Citie, which is the cause that learning is so dispised, and bagagicall things so much aduanced.
    While I lay at the forsaid house for the causes aforesaid : I was lodged in a
   Why Lud=

Why All

Why Criple

Poules we
ther Cock
was Siluer

yung mens

p.10 ]

God pla
geth abho

Euil spirits
liue by the
sauour of
mans blood
Chamber hard by the Printing house, which had a faire bay window open­ing in the Garden, the earth wherof is almost as high as S. Annes Church top which standeth therby. At the other end of the Printing house as you en­ter in, is a side doore and iij. or iiij. steps which go vp to the Leads of the Gate, wheras somtime quarters of men (which is a lothely & abhominable sight) doo stand vp vpon Poles. I call it abhomi­nable because it is not only against na­ture : but against Scripture. For God commanded by Moyses, that after the Sun went down: all such as were han­ged or otherwise put to death should be buried, lest if the Sun saw them the next day : his wrath should come vpon them and plague them, as he hath doon this and many other Realmes for the like transgression. And I meruel where men haue learned it, or for what cause they doo it, except it be to féed & please the Deuils. For sure I beléeue ye some spirits Misanthropi or Molochitus. who liued by ye sauour of mans blood did after their sacrifices failed, in whiche men were slaine and offered vnto them put into butcherly heathen tirants hedζ
p.11 ]
   to mangle and boile christen transgre­ssors, & to set vp their quarters for them to féed vpon. And therfore I would coun­sail all men to bury or burn all exe­cuted bodies and refrain from making such ab­hominable sacrifice, as I haue often séen with Rauens or rather deuils féeding vpon them in this forsaid Leads. In the which euery night many Cats ass­embled, and there made such a noyse that I could not sléep for them.
    Wherfore on a time I was sitting by the fire with certain of the house : I told them what a noise & what a waw­ling the Cats had made there ye night before from ten a clock til one, so that neither I could sléep nor study for them. And by menes of this introduction : we fel in communication of Cats. And some affirming as I doo now, (but I was a­gainst it then) that they had vnderstan­ding, for confirmation wherof one of the seruants tolde this story.
    Ther was in my countrie (quoth he) a man (the fellow was borne in
Staff­ord shire) that had a yung Cat which he had brought vp of a kitling & would nightly dally and play with it. And on a time as he rode through Kank wood,

Good gost
ly counsail
of Maister

A wise man
may in some
things cha
unge his o

A cat spake
to a man in
Kank Wood
p.12 ]

A wunder
ful wit of a
about certain busines, a Cat (as hée thought) leaped out of a bush before him and called him twise or thrise by his name, but because he made none an­s­were, nor spake (for hée was so afraid that hée could not) she spake to him pla­inly twise or thrise these woords folow­ing. Commend mée vnto Titton Tat­ton, and to Pus thy Catton, and tel her that Grimmalkin is dead. This doon shée went her way, and the man went forward about his busines. And after that he was returned home, in an euening sitting by the fire with his wife and his housholde: he tolde of his aduenture in the wood, and when he had tolde them all the Cats mess­age: his Cat which had harkned vnto the tale, looked vpon him sadly and at the last said. And is Grimmalkin dead then farewel Dame, & therwith went her way and was neuer séen after.
When this tale was doon: another of the company which had béen in
Yre­land asked this fellowe when this thing which hée had tolde happned, hée an­swered that hée could not tel wel, how be it as hée coniectured not past xl.yéeres for his mother knew bothe the man
p.13 ]
   and the woman which ought the Cat that the message was sent vnto.
Sure quoth the other, then it may wel be, for about the same time as I heard a like thing hapned in
Yreland where if I coniecture not amisse, Grimalkin of whom you spake, was slain. Yea sir quoth I, I pray you how so ? I wil tel you Maister Streamer (quoth hée) that which was toulde mée in Yreland and which I haue til now, so litle credi­ted that I was a shamed to reporte it, but hearing that I heare now, and cal­ling to minde mine owne experience when it was: I doo so litle misdout it, that I think I neuer tolde, nor you e­uer heard a more likely tale.
    While I was in
Yreland in the time that Mackmorro & all the rest of the wilde Lords were the kings enemies what time also mortall warre was be­twéen the Filzharises & the Prior and Couent of the Abbay of Tintern, who counted them the Kings fréends & sub­iects, whose neighbour was Cayr Ma­cart a wilde Irish man, then the kings enemy, and one which dayly made inrodes into the countie of Vvashford, and burned such Townes and caried

kin was
slain in Ire

is an infali
ble perswa

Ciuil warre between the
Kings sub

The fashi
on of the I
rish warrs.
p.14 ]

A Churles

this was
an Irish

Irish Curs
bark sore.
away all such Cattell as hée might come by, by means wherof, all the Cuntrie from Climine to Rosse became a wast wildernes and is scarce recouered vn­til this day. In this time I say, as I was on a night at Coshery we one of Filzberies churles: we fel in talke as we haue doon now of straunge aduen­tures and of Cats, and there among o­ther things the Churle (for so they call all Farmers & husband men) told me as you shall heare. There was, not se­uen yeres past, a Kern of John But­lers dwelling in the Fassock of Bantry called Patrik Apore, who minding to make apray in the night vpon Cayer Makart his maisters enemy: got him with his boy, (for so they call their hor­se kéepers be they neuer so olde kna­ues) into his Cuntrie, & in the night time entred into a town of two how­ses and brake in and slue the people, and then took such cattel as they found which was a Cow and a shéep and de­parted therwith homeward, but dout­ing they should be pursued : (the Curre dogs made such a shril barking) he got bin in to a church, thinking to lurk ther til midnight was past, for there he was
p.15 ]
   suer that no man would respect or séek him, for the wild Irish men had Chur­ches in such reuerence, til our men taught them the contrary, that they neither would nor durst either rob ought thence, or hurt any man that took the church yard for sanctuary, no though he had killed his father , and while this Kern was in the Church: he thou­ght it best to dine for he had eaten litle that day, wherfore he made his boy go gather sticks and strake fire with his feres, and made a fire in the Churche and killed the Shéep, and after the I­rish fashion layd it there vpon and ro­s­ted it, but when it was ready and that he thought to eat it there came in a cat and set her by him, and said in Irish , Shane foel, which is giue mée some meat, he amased at this, gaue her the quarter that was in his hand, whiche immediatly she did eat vp, and asked more til she had consumed all the shéep, and like a cormorant not satisfied ther­with asked stil for more, wherfore they supposed it were the Deuil, and there­fore thinking it wis­dome to please him killed the Cow which they had stolen, and when they had flaid it : gaue the   

The wilde
Irishe men
were better
then we in
their Reli

The olde
Irish diet
was to dine
at night.

A malapart
gest that co
meth vnbid

A Cat did
eat a sheep.
p.16 ]

the wood

Kerus for
lack of
meat eat
their shoos

A Kerne
Killed Gri
Cat a quarter which she immediatlye deuoured, then they gaue her two other quarters, and in the mean while after the cuntrie fashion they did cut a péece of the hide and pricked it vpon fower stakes which they set about the fire, and therin they set a péece of the Cow for them selues, and with the rest of the hide, they made eche of them laps to were about their féet like broges, bothe to kéep theire féet from hurt all the next day : and also to serue for meat the next night if they could get none other, by broyling them vpon coles By this time the Cat had eaten thrée quarters and called for more, wherfor they gaue her that which was a séeth­ing, and douting lest when she had ea­ten that, she would eat them to because they had no more for her: they got them/en out of the Church and the Kern tooke his horse and a way he rode as fast as he could hie. When he was a mile or two from the Church : the moone be­gan to shine, and his boy espied the cat vpon his maisters horse behinde him, tolde him, whervpon the kern took his Dart and turning his face toward her flang it, and stroke her thorough with
p.17 ]
   it but immediatly there came to her such a sight of Cats, that after long fight with them : his boy was killed and eaten vp, and he him self, as good and as swift as his horse was had much to doo to scape. When he was come home and had put of his harnes (which was a Corslet of maile made like a Shirt, and his Seul couered ouer with gilt lether and crested with Otter­sain ) all weary and hungry set him down by his wife and tolde her his aduenture, which when a Kitling which his wife kept scarce half a yéere had heard: vp she started and said, hast thou killed Grimmalkin? & therwith she plunged in his face, and with her téeth took him by the throte, & ere ye shée could be taken away : she had strangled him. This the Churle tolde mée, now about xxxiiij. winters past, and it was doon, as he and diuers other credible men infourmed mée not seauen yéeres before, wherupon I gather that this Grimmalkin was it which the Cat in Kank vvood sent newes of unto ye cat which we heard of euen now. Tush quoth an other that sate by, your con­iecture is to vnresonable, for to admit   

Cats did
kill and eat
a man.

the Kernes

A Kitling
Killeth the
Kern that
slew Grim.

A very
p.18 ]

Each rea
lme know
eth what is
doon in
all other.

Cats cary

Bees looue
and obey
their gouer
that Cats haue reason, & that they doo in theire owne language vnderstand one another, yet how shoulde a Cat in Cank wood knowe what is doone in Ierland? How quoth hée, euen as wée knowe what is doon in the realmes of Fraunce, Flaunders & Spain, yea and almost in all the world beside, There be few ships but haue Cats belonging vnto them, which bring newes vnto their fellowes out of all quarters. Yea quoth the other, but why should all cats looue to heare of Grimmalkin? or how should Grimmalkin eat so much meat as you speak of? or why should all cats so labour to reuenge her death? Nay that passeth my cunning (quoth hée) to shew in all : how be it in parte coniect­ures may be made, as thus. It may be that Grrmmalkin and her line is as much estéemed and hath the same dig­nitie among Cats: as either the hum­ble or maister Be hath among ye whole hiue, at whose commaunde­ment all Bées are obedient, whose succour and safegarde they séek, whose wrongs they all reuenge, or as the Pope hath had ere this ouer all Chris­tendome, in whose cause all his clergie would not
p.19 ]
   onely scrat and bite: but kil and burn to pouder (though they know not why) whome so euer they thought, to think but once against him. Which Pope all things considered, deuoureth more at euery mele then Grimmalkin did at her last supper. Nay said I then, although the Pope by exactions and o­ther baggaical trumpery haue spoyled all people of mighty spoyles, yet as tou­ching his owne persone: he eateth and weareth as little as any other man, though paraduenture more sumptu­ous and costly, and greater abundance prouided. And I heard a very proper saying, in this behalf of King Henry the seuenth. When a seruant of his tolde him what a bundance of meat he had séen at an Abbots Table: he repor­ted him to be a great Glutton. He asked if the Abbot eat vp all, and when he an­swered no, but his Geasts did eat the most parte (ah quoth the King) thou callest him glutton for his liberality to féed thée and such other vnthankful churles. Like to this felow are all Ruf­fians, for let honest wor­s­hipful men of the Citie, make them good chéer or lend them money as they commonly   
the Popes
clergie are
than Cats

The Pope
a great

A little suf
fiseth him
that hath

Such gea
stes a man
may haue
inon w.

the wisdome
of king Hen
ry the Se
p.20 ]

the vn
are to be

spoyl more
then they
doo: what haue they for their laboure? either foule reprochful names as dung­hil churles, Cuckolde knaues, or else spiteful and slaunderous reports, as to be vsurers, and deceiuers of the com­mon wele. And although that some of them be such indéed, yet I abhor to hear other of whome they deserue wel so lewdly to reporte them . But now to returne to your communicati­on, I meruel how Grimmalkin as you tearm her, if she were no bigger: could eat so much meat at once, I doo not think (quoth he that tolde the tale) that she did eat all: although she asked all, but took her choice and left the rest by, as wee sée in the féeding of many things. For a Woolf although a Cony be more then he can eat, yet wil he kil a Cow or twaine for his breakfast like wise all other rauenous beasts. Now that loue and fellowship and a desire to saue their kinde is among Cats: I kn­owe by experience. For there was one that hired a fréend of mine in pastime to roste a Cat aliue, and promised him for his labour twentie Shillings, my fréend to be sure: caused a Couper to fa­sten him into a Hogshed, in which he
p.21 ]
   turned a spit wherupon was a quick Cat, but ere he had turned a while: whether it was the smel of the Catζ wul that singed, or els her cry that cal­led them: I cannot tel, but there cam such a sorte of Cats, that if I and other hardy men (which were well scrat for our labour) had not behaued vs the bet­ter: the Hogshed as fast as it was hoo­ped could not haue kept my Cosin from them. Indéed quooth a wel lerned man and one of excellent iudgement that was then in the company. It dooth ap­péere that there is in Cats as in all o­ther kindes of beasts, a certaine reason and language wherby they vnderstand one another. But as touching this Grimmalkin: I take rather to be an Hagat or a VVitch then a Cat. For witches haue gone often in that like­nes, And therof hath come the prouerb as trew as common, that a Cat hath nine liues, that is to say, a witch may take on her a Cats body nine times.
    By my faith sir this is strange (quod I my self) that a Witch should take on her a Cats bodie. I haue read that the
Pithonesses could cause their spirites to take vpon them dead mens bodies,

Cat will to kinde.

Some think
this was

may take
on them
the liknes
of other

Ayeri spiri
ts take on
them dead me
ns bodies.
p.22 ]

wise men
their cuning.

Stremer is
well seen in
and the ayry spirits whiche wée call Demones, of which kinde are Iucub9 and Succubus, Robin goodfelowe the Fairy and Goblines, which the Mi­ners call Telchines, could at their plea­sure take vpon them any other sortes. But that a woman béeing so large a bodie, should strain her into the body of a Cat or into that forme either : I haue not much heard of, nor can well perceiue how it may be, which maketh me I promise you beléeue it the lesse. Wel maister Streamer (quoth he) I knowe you are not so ignorant héerin as you make your self : but this is your accus­tomed fashion alwaies to make men beléeue that you be not so well ler­ned as you be. Sapiens enim celat scienciam which apéered wel by Socra­tes. For I knowe béeing skild as you be in ye tunges chéefly ye Calde, Arabik and Egiptian, and hauing read so many Authors therin, you must néeds be skilful in these matters but where you spake of intrusion of a womans body in to a Cat: you either play Nicodem, or the stubbern Popish coniurer, wherof the one would créep into his mothers belly again: that other would bring
p.23 ]
   Christe out of Heauen to thrust him into a péece of bread, but as the one of them is groce & the other peruers: so in this point I must place you with one of them   For although witches may take vpon them Cats bodies, or alter the shape of their or other bodies yet this is not doon by putting their owne bodies therinto but either by bringing their soules for the time out of their bodies, and putting them in the other, or by deluding the sight and fantasies of the séers. As when I make a candle with the brain of an Horse and Brim­s­tone, the light of the candel maketh all kinds of heads appéer horseheads but yet it altereth the form of no head, but deceiueth the right concep­cion of the eye, which through the false light receiueth a like forme. Then quoth he that had béen in Ireland, I cannot tel sir by what means witches doo change their one likenes and the shapes of other things. But I haue heard of so ma­ny, and séen so much my self, that I am sure they doo it. for in Ireland (as they haue béen in England) witches are for feare had in high reuerence, and they be so cunning: that they can chaunge the shapes of things as they li­st at their plea­    transubstan
destroy chri
stes manhod

How Wit
ches trans
forme their

One kinde
of Magike
the senses.

are reueren
ced for fear
p.24 ]

An act for
bidding to
buy red

make swine
of hay and
other bag

Men tur
ned into

A man
him self to
haue been a
wulf seuen
sure, & so deceue the people therby that an act was made in Ireland, that no man should buy any red swine. The cause wherof was this. Witches vsed to send to ye markets many red swine fair & fat to sée vnto as any mought be, & would in that forme continew long, but it chan­ced the buiers of them to bring them to any water : immediatly they found them returned either into wisps of Haye, Straw, olde rotten boords or some oth­er such like trumpery, by meanes wherof they haue lost their money or such other cattel as they gaue in exchange for them  There is also in Ireland one nacion, wherof some one man and woman are at euery seuen yeeres end turned into Wulues, and so continew in the woodζ the space of seuen yéers and if they hap to liue out ye time : they return to their own forme again: and other twain are turned for the like time into the same shape, which is a penance (as they say) enioyned that stock by Saint Patrick for some wickednes of their ancestors & ye this is true : witnesed a man whom I left aliue in Ireland, who had perfor­med this seuen yéeres penance, whose wife was slaine while she was a Wulf
p.25 ]
   in her last yéer. This man told to ma­ny men whose cattel he had wooried, & whose bodyes he had assailed, while he was a wulf so plain and euident tok­ens & shewed such scares of wounds which other men had giuen him, bothe in his mannes shape before he was a wulf, and in his wulfs shape since, which al appered vpon his skin: that it was e­uident to all men, yea and to ye Bishop too (vpon whose grant it was recorded and regestred) that the matter was vn­doutedly past peraduenture.
And I am sure you are not ignorant of ye Hermit whom as S.Augustine wri­teth, a witch would in an Asses forme ride vpon to market. But now how th­ese Witches made their swine, & how these folk were turned from shap to shap whether by some ointment whose cleer­nes deceiued mens sights til either the water washed away the ointment or that the cleernes of the water excelled the cléernes of the Ointment, and so betraied the operation of it I am as vn­certain as I am sure that it were ye spi­rits caled Demones, forced by inchant­ment we mooued those bodies, til shame of their shape discouered, caused them to

are the soul
es of counter
fet bodies.
p.26 ]

are by natu
re malliti

When and
to whome
teach their

How men
are chaun
ged into

Witih craft
is kin to vn
written ve
rites for
both goe by
leaue them. But as for the transforma­sion of the wulfes, is either miraculus as Naamans lepry in the flock of Gehe­sie, or els to shamful, crafty, malicious sorcery. And as the one way is vnser­ch­able : so I think there might means bée found to gesse how it is doon the other way. For witches are by nature excée­ding malicious: and it may chaunce ye some witches for displeasure taken we this wuluish nation, gaue her daughter charge in her death bed, when she tau­ght her the science (for til that time wit­ches neuer teach it nor then but to their eldest and best beloued daughter) that she should at euery seuen yéeres ende: confect some ointment which for seuen yéeres space might be in force against all other cléernes to represent vnto mens eyes the shape of a wulfe, and in the night season to goe her self in likenes either of ye mare or some other night fourme, and anoint therwith the bodies of some couple of that kinred which she hated, & that after her time she should charge her daughter to ob­serue ye same & to charge her daughter after her to doo ye like for euer so ye this charge is giuen alwayes by tradicion
p.27 ]
   with the science, and so is continued & obserued by this Witches ofspring by whom two of this kinred, as it may be supposed, are from eue­ry seuen for euery seuen yéers space turned into wulfes
    When I had heard these tales, and the reason of the dooing shewed by the teller. ah Thomas (quoth I, for ye was his name, hée died afterward of a disease which hée took in Newgate, where he lay long for suspection of ma­gik because he had desired a pris­oner to promise him his soul after he was han­ged) I perceiue now ye olde prouerb is true, the stil sow eateth vp all the draff   You go & behaue your self so simply ye a man would think you were but a fool but you haue vttred such a proof of natu­rall knowledg in this your bréef talke as I think, except my self and few more the best learned aliue, none could haue doon the like, you say your pleasur mais­ter Stremer quoth he as for me I haue said nothing saue that I haue séen & wherof any man might coniectur as I doo. you haue spoken ful wel, quoth he ye gaue occasion of this tale, and your con­iectures are right reasonable. For like as by ointments, as you suppose the I

shrewd di
seases doo
breed in

the best ler
ned are not
the gretest

that a man
seeth he
may boldly
p.28 ]

neuer vse
their art
but to euil.
rish witches doo make ye form of Swin and wolues appéere to all mens sight: so think I that by the like power Eng­lish witches, and Irish witches, may and doo turn them selues into Cats for I heard it tolde while I was in ye Vni­uersitie, by a credible Clark of Oxford how that in the dayes while he was a Childe : an olde woman was brought before the Officiall & accused for a wit­ch which in the likenes of a Cat would goe into her neighbours houses & stele thence what she listed, we com­plaint was prooued true, by a place of the womans Skin which her accusers we a fire brand that they hurled at her had singed whil she went a theeuing in her cats likenes   So ye to conclude as I began, I think that the cat which you call Grimalkin whose name caryeth in it matter to con­firm my Coniecture. For Malkin is a womans name as witnesseth ye prouerb. there be mo maides then Malkin   I Th­ink ( I say) that it was a witch in a cats likenes and that for the wit & craft of her : other natural cats that were not so wise, haue had her & her race in reuerence among them, thinking her to be but a méer cat as they them selues were, like
p.29 ]
   as we   ly fooles long time for his sly & crafty iugling, reuerenced the Pope, thinking him to haue béen but a man (tho­ugh much holier then we our selues we­re) where as indéed he was a very incar­nated deuil, like as this Grimmalkin was an incarnate witch. why then sir (sa­id I) doo you think that naturall cats haue wit & that they vnderstand one an other, what els mais­ter Stremer (quod he) there is no kinde of sencible creat­ures but haue reason and vnderstand­ing wherby (in their kinde) eche vnder­s­tandeth other, & doo therin some points so excell: that the consideration therof, moued Pithagoras (as you knowe) to beléeue & affirm that after death, mens soules went into beasts, & beasts souls into men, and euery one according to his desert in his former body.
    And although his opinion be fond and false : yet that which drew him therto is euident and true, & that is the wit and reason of diuers beasts, and again the dul beastly brutish ignorance of diuers men, but that beasts vnderstand one another, and Fowles likewise, besid ye we see by dayly experience in marking them, the story of the Bishop of

ras opinion

some beasts
are wiser
then men.

A Bishop
p.30 ]
all kinde of

the brain
is the organ
of vnder

A Sparow
called her
fellowes to
a Bauquet
dria by record dooth proue. for he found the mean either through diligenc so to mark them or els through Magik natu­rall, so to subtilitate his sencible power either by purging his braine by dry drinkes & fumes, or els to augment the braines of his power perceptible, by o­ther naturall medicines, ye he vnder­stood al kind of creatures by their voy­ces. For being on a time sitting at din­ner in a house among his fréends : he har­kned diligently to a Sparow that came fléeing and chirping to other that were about the house, & smiled to him self to hear her, and when one of ye company desired to knowe why he smiled : he said at the Sparowes tale. For shée telleth them (quoth he) that in the highway not a quarter of a mile hence a sack of whe­at is euen now fallen of an horse back & broken, & all the wheat run out, and therfore biddeth them come thether to dinner. and when the geasts mused héer at, sent to prooue the trueth : they found it euen as he had tolde them.
    When this tale was ended the clock strook nine whervpon olde Thomas be­cause he had far to his lodging: took his leaue and departed, the rest of ye compa
p.31 ]
   ny gat them also either to their busines or to their beds.
    And I went straight do my chamber before remembred, and took a book in my hand to haue studied, but the remembra­unce of this former talke so troubled me ye I could think of nothing els, but mu
sed stil and as it were examined
more narowely that euery
man had spoken.
Design at end of chapter. Original published size 1cm wide by 1.05cm high.


is alwaies
much geuen
to study.
Design at end of chapter. Original published size 5.7cm wide by 3cm high.

p.32 ]

chapter sign
The second parte of Mai-
ster Streamers Oration


Cats assem-
bled in the

Cats haue

The dili-
gence of
the Autor
Re I had been long in this contem­pla­tion : the Cats whose crying the night before had béen occasion of all ye which I haue tolde you: were ass­em­bled again in the Leads which I spake of, where the dead mens quarters were set vp And af­ter the same sort as they did the night before: one sung in one tune, an other in an other euen such an other seruice, as my Lords chappel vpon the scaffolde song before the King, they obserued no Musi­call cordes neither Diatessaron, Diapen­te, nor Diapason, and yet I wéen I lye, for one Cat groning as a Beare dooth, when Doges be let slip to him, throwled out so lowe and loud a base, that in com­pari­s­on of an other Cat which crying like a yung Childe squeiled out the shriking treble : it mought be wel counted a dou­ble Diapason. Wherfore to the intent I might perceue ye better the cause of their assembly, and by their gestures perceiue
p.33 ]
   parte of their meaning: I went softly and faire into a Chamber which hath a windowe into the same leads, and in the dark standing closely: I vewed through the trellice as wel as I could, all their gestures and behauiour, And I promise you it was a thing woorth the marking to sée what countenaunces, what becks yea and what order was among them. For one Cat which was a mightie big one, gray heared, bristle bearded, and ha­uing brode eyes which shone and spark­led like two Starres, sate in the mids, and on either side of her sate an other, and before her stood thrée more, wherof one mewed continewally, saue when the great Cat groned, & euer when the gret Cat had doon : this mewing Cat began a gain, first stretching out her neck & as it were making beshens to them which sat. And often times in the middest of this Cats mewing : all the rest would sudden­ly, eche one in his tune braied forth, and incontinently husht again, as it were laughing at somwhat which they heard the other Cat declare. After this sorte I behelde them from ten til it was twelue a clock, at which time, whether it were vessel in the kitchin vnder, or some boord    to vnder-
stand all

Cats keep
order a-
mong them

Cats make
with their
necks and

Note heer
the pain-
fulnes of
the Au-
p.34 ]

The good
Candle ne
uer goeth

Ernest de
sier bani
sheth sleep.

many won
in the printing house hard by, I cannot tel, but some what fel wit h sueh a noise that all the cats gat them vp vpon ye house and I fearing lest any arose to sée what was fallen, they would charge me with the hurling down of it if they found mée there I whipt into my Chamber quickly and finding my lamp burning: I set me down vpon my bed, and deuised vpon ye dooings of these Cats, casting all maner of wayes, what might be coniectured ther­of to know what they meaned. And by and by I déemed that the gray cat which sat in the midst : was the chéef, & sat as a Judge among the rest, and that the Cat which continually mewed : declared some matter or made account to her of some­what.
    By meanes wherof I was straight caught with such a desire to knowe what she had said : ye I could not sléep of all that night, but lay deuising by what meanes I might learn to vnder­stand them. And calling to minde that I had read in
Al­tus Magnus works, a way how to be able to vnderstand birds voyces: I mad no more to doo but sought in my library for ye litle book intituled De virtutibus = animalium, &c. and gréedely red it ouer
p.35 ]
   and when I came to Si vis voces auium intelligere. & c. Lord how glad I was. And when I had throughly marked the discripsion of the medicen, and considred with my self the nature and power of e­uery thing therin, and how and vpon what it wrought : I deuised therby how we parte of those things, & adition of o­ther like vertue & operation, to make a Philtre to serue for my purpose. And as soon as restles Phebus was come vp out of the smoking Sea, & with shaking his golden coulored beames which were all the night long in Thetis moist bo­some had dropped of his siluer sweat in to Herdaes dry lap, & kissing faire Auro­ra with glowing mouth, had driuen from ther h’aduoutrer Lucifer & was mounted so hye to look vpon Europa ye for at ye heiht of Mile end stéeple he spied mée through the glasse windowe lying on my bed, vp I rose and got me abroad to séek for such things as might serue for my earnest bu­sines which I went about, and because you be all my fréends that are héere : I wil hide nothing from you, but declare from point to point how I behaued myself bothe in making & taking of my Philtre, If thou wilt vnderstand (saith Al­   
A Philoso
pher ser
cheth the
nature of al

A discription
of the resur
rection of
the Sun.

may be hid
p.36 ]
How to

Men and
dogs fraid
out of
their wits
in proo
uing an ex

An Hedge
hog is one
of the pla
beasts and
good in
bert) the voices of birds or beasts, take two in thy company, and vpon Simon and Judes day early in the morning, get thée with Hounds into a certain wood, and the first beast that thou méetest take and prepare with the hart of a Fox, and thou shalt haue thy purpose, and who so­euer thou kistest shal vnderstand them as wel as thy self.
    Because his writing héer is doutful be­cause he saith
Quoddam nemus a cer­tain wood & because I knew thrée men (not many yéeres past) which while they went about this hunting were so fraid, whether with an euil Spirite or we their own immagination I cannot tel, but home they came with their here standing on end, and some of them haue béen ye woorse euer since and the hounds likewise, and séeing it was so long to S. Judas day ther­fore I determined not to hunt at all, but a coniecturing that ye best that they should take was an Hedgehog (which at that time of the yéer goeth moste abrode, and knowing by reason that the flesh therof was by nature ful of naturall heat, and therfore the principal parts béeing eaten: must néeds cxpulce groce matters and subtil the braine, as by the like power it
p.37 ]
   ingendreth fine blood, so helpeth it much bothe against the Gout and the Cramp, I got me foorth toward S. Johns wood, and wheras not two dayes before I had séen one, and see the lucky and vnlucky chaunce, by the way as I went I met with Hunters, who bad ye morning kild a Foxe and thrée Hares, who (I thank them) gaue me an Hare : and the Foxes whole body except the cace, and six smart lashes with a siip, because (wherin I did mean no harm) I asked them if they had séen any where any hedghog ye morning   And héer saue that my tale is otherwise long, I would shew you my minde of these wicked supers­titious obseruation of foolish hunters, for they be like as sée­meth me to ye papists, which for speaking of good and trewe woords: punish good & honest men. Are not, Apes, Owles, Cuc­kowes, Beares and Urchins Gods good creatures? Why then is it not lawful to name them? If they say it bringeth euil luck in the game: then are they vnlucky Idolatrical miscreant Infidels and haue no true beléefe in Gods prouidence I be­shrew their supers­ticious hartes, for my buttocks bear the burthen of their mis­beléef, and yet I thank them again for   
A medicin
for the

The libe
rality of

ous hun
ters ar kin
to papists.

All crea
tures are

to obserue
times, day
es ar wo
rdes : argu
eth infidi
p.38 ]
  He that see
keth fin

saith if a
man when
he prepa
reth any
tell alowde
why he ma
keth it: it
wil be of
more force.

One good
hap foloeth
an other.

greace is
good for
the gout.
the Fox & the hare which they gaue me, for with those two Houndes at my gir­dle I went a hunting, til indéed vnder a Hedge in a hole of the earth by the root of an hollow trée: I found an hedghog with a bushel of crabs about him, whom I kil­led straight we my knife, saying. Shauol swashmeth, gorgona liscud, & with the other beasts hung him at my girdle and came homeward as fast as I could hye   But when I came in the close besides Is­lington commonly caled S. Johns féeld A kite belike very hungry, spide at my back the skinlesse Fox, and thinking to haue had a morsel: strake at it, and that so egerly that one of his clawes was en­tred so déep, that before he could leuse it: I drew out my knife and killed him, saying Iauolsheleg hutotheca Iiscud and to make vp the messe, brought him hom with the rest , and ere I had layd them out of my hand: came Thomas whom you heard of before, & brought me a Cat which for dooing euill turnnes: they had that morning caught in a snare set for her two dayes before, which for the skins sake béeing flain: was so excéeding fat, that after I had taken some of the greace the inwards and the hed, to make (as I
p.39 ]
   made him béeleue) a medicine for the gout, they perboyled the rest & at night rosted and farced with good hearbes, did eat it vp euery morsel, and was as good meat as was or could be eaten But now mark, for when Thomas was de­parted with his Cat : I shut my Cham­ber doores to men, and flaied my Irchin, wishing oft for Doctor Nicholas or some other expert Phisition to mak the disseccion, for the better knowledge of the A­notomy. The flesh I washed clene, and put it in a pot, and with white wine, Mel­lis­o­phillos or Melissa, commonly called Balme, Rosemary, Netes tung, foure pattes of the first & two of the second, I made a broth and set it on the fire & boy­led it, setting on a Lembick with a Glas at the end ouer the mouth of the pot, to receiue the water that distilled from it, in the séething wherof I had a pinte, of a pottel of Wine which I put in the pot. Then because it was about the Solsti­cium estiuale, and that in confections the houres of the planets, must for the bet­ter operacion be obserued: I taried til ten a clock before dinner, what time Mercu­ry began his lucky reigne, and then I took a péece of the Cats liuer, & a péece of   

A Cat was
rosted and

A solitary
man is ei
ther a God
or a beast.

Par prior
impar po
esto geb.

Omne o
dus fiat in
sua Plane
ta zoroast

Omne to-
tum totali
p.40 ]
ter malum
Tris meg.

Devs im
ro gaudet

Dextra bo
na bonis
sinistra vc
ro sinistris

Calor solis
est ignis
Alichi mis
tice distil

the kidney, a péece of ye milt & the whole hart, the Foxes hart and lights, the Hares braine, the kites mawe, and the Irchins kidneies, all these I beat in a morter togither til it were small, & then made a cake of it, and baked it vpon an hot stone til it was drye like bread. And while this was a baking: I took vij parts of the Cats greace, as much of her brain with v.heares of her beard, iij. black and two gray, thrée partes of the Foxes grec as much of her braine, with the hooues of his left féet, the like porcion of the Ir­chins greace and brain with his stones, all the kites brain, all the Marow of her bones, the iuce of her hart, her vpper beke and the middle claw of her left foot, the fat of the Hares kidneies, and the iuce of his right shoulder bone. All these things I punned to gether in a Morter by the space of an houre, and then I put it in a cloth, and hung it ouer a bason in ye sun, out of which drop­ped within iiij. houres after, about half a pint of Oyle very fair and cléere. Then took I the galles of all these beasts and the kites too and serued them likewise, kéeping the licour ye dropped from them. At twelue a clock what time the Sun began his planeticall do-
p.41 ]
   minion, I went to dinner, and meat I eat none saue the boyled Irchin : my bred was the cake mencioned afore, my drink was the distillation of the Irchins brothe which was excéeding strong and plesant bothe in taste and sauour. After that I had dined wel: my head waxed so heuy, that I could not chase but sléep, and af­ter that I waked again which was within an houre : my mouth and my nose pur­ged excéedingly, such yelow, white and tawny matters: as I neuer saw before, nor thought that any such had been in mannes body. When a pinte of this gere was come forth : my rume ceased, and my head and all my body was in excée­ding good temper, and a thous­and things which I had not thought of in twenty yéeres before: came so freshly to my minde as if they had been then pre­sently doon, heard or séen. Wherby I perceiued that my brain chéefly the nuke memoratiue was meruelously well pur­ged my imagination also was so fresh, ye by and by I could shew probable reason, what and in what sorte, and vpon what matter euery thing which I had taken, wrought, and the cause why. Than to be occupied after my sléep: I cast away the   
from the
mers in
his planet

The intel

There be
strange hu
mours in
many mens

The remem
branc lieth
in the nod
dle of the

A good

is good af
ter sleep.
p.42 ]

things pur
ge the hed

A good me
dicin for a
kings eares

What hin
dreth the
tiue power.
carcas of the Fox, & of ye kite, with all the garbage bothe of them & the rest, sauing the tungs and the eares, which were ve­ry necessary for my purpose. And thus I prepared them. I took all the eares and scaloed of the hear : then stamped I them in a morter, & when they all were like a dry gelly: I put to them Rue, Fenel Low­ach and léeke blades, of each a handful, and punned them a fresh then deuided I all the matter in two egall parts, and made two litle pillowes, & stuffed them therwith. And when Saturnes dry houre of dominion approched: I fryed these pil­lowes in good oyle olife, and layd them hot to mine eares, to eche ere one, and kept them therto til nine a clock at night , which holpe excéedingly to comfort my vnderstanding power. But be­cause as I perceiued the cell perceptible of my brain intelligible, was yet to gro­s­s­e, by meanes that the filmy panicle com­ming from dure mater, made to strait o­pilations, by ingrossing the pores and con­duts imaginatiue, I deuised to help that with this gargaristicall fume, whose sub­til ascention is wunderful. I took the cat the Foxes, and the Kites tung, and sod them in Wine welnéere to gelly, then
p.43 ]
   took I them out of the wine, and put them in a Morter & added to them of new cats dung an ounce of Musterd séed, Garlike and Pepper asmuch, and when they were with beating in­corpored: I made lossenges and trocis­kes therof And at six a clock at night, what time the suns do­minion began againe I supped we therest of the meat which I left at dinner & when Mercuryes reigne aproched which was within two hours after : I drank a great draught of my stilled water & anointed all my head ouer with wine and oyle be­fore described, and with the water which came out of the galles: I washed mine eyes, and because no humors should ascend into my head by euaporation of my reins through the chine bone, I took an ounce of Alkakengy in powder which I had for a like purpose not two daies afore bouht at the Potecaries, and therwith rubbed and chafed my back from the neck down to the midle, and heating in a frying pan my pillowes afresh & laid them to mine eares, and tied a kerchef about my head and with my losenges and trociskes in a boxe, I went out among the seruants, among whom was a shrewd boy, a very crackrope, ye néeds would knowe what   

The whol
things are
not alwai
es most to

al fine and
subtil pra

The cheef
est point of
is to pre-
uent incon

Heat aug-
the vertue
of outwa-
rd plasters
p.44 ]
  The vn
should be
ly serued

things are

We laugh
gladly at
was in my boxe, and I to sause him after his sawsines: called them Pres­cienciall pilles, affirming that who so might eat one of them should not only vnderstand wonders: but also prophecye after them. Wheruppon the boy was excéeding er­nest in intreating me to giue him one, and when at last very lothely (as it see­med) I graunted his request: he took a lo­s­enge, put it in his mouth, and chewed it apace, by means wherof when the fume ascended: he began to spattle and spit, say­ing by Gods bones it is a Cats toord. At this the compauy laughed apace, & so did I to, verifiying it to be as he said, & that he was a Prophet. But that he might not spue to much by Imagination: I took a losenge in my mouth, and kept in vn­der my tung, shewing therby that it was not euil. While this pastime endured : me thought I heard one cry with a loud voice, what Isegrim, and therfore I as­ked whose name was Is­egrim, saying that one did call him, but they said that they knew none of that name, nor heard any that did cal. No quoth I (for it called stil) hear you no body? who is that called so lowd ? we hear nothing but a cat (quod they) which mewes abooue in the Leads
p.45 ]
   When I saw it was so indéed, and that I vnderstood what the cat said glad was I as any man aliue, and taking my leaue of them as though I would to bed straight, I went into my chamber, for it was past nine of the clock, and because the houre of Saturnus colde dominion approched : I put on my gown & got me priuely to the place in the which I had vewed the Cats the night before. And when I had setled my self where I might couueniently heer and sée all things doon in the Leads where this Cat cryed stil for Isegrim. I put in to my two nose­thrils two trosis­ques, & in to my mouth two losenges, one abooue my tung the o­ther vnder, and put of my left shoo be­cause of Iupiters appropinquation & layd the Fox taile vnder my foot. And to hear the better: I took of my pillowes whiche stopped mine eares and then lis­tned and vewed as attentiuely as I could, but I warrant you ye pelicle or filmy rime ye ly­eth within ye bottome of mine eare hole, from whence little vainescary the sounds to the sences, was with this medicine in my pillowes so purged and parched, or at least dryed : that the least moouing of the ayre, whether stroke with breth of is-   

Good suc
ces of thi-
ngs make
men ioyous

Saturn is a
colde olde

There is
great cun-
ing in due
of medicins

The cause
of hearing

The diffe-
rence be-
tween voi
ces and
p.46 ]

The her-
mony of
heauen ex
celleth all

The Her-
mony of

house of
uing creatures which we call voyces, or with the moouing of dead, as windes, waters, trées, carts, falling of stones &c which are named noyses, sounded so shril in my head by reuer­beracion of my fined filmes, that the sound of them alto­gither was so dis­ordered and monstrous: that I could dis­cern no one from other, saue only the Hermony of the moouing of the Spheres, which noyse excelled all other asmuch bothe in pleasantnes & shril highnes of sound : as ye Zodiack it self sur­mounteth all other creatures in altitude of place. For in comparison of ye basest of this noyse which is the moouing of Sa­turn by meanes of his large compas, the highest voyces of birds, and the straitest whistling of the winde, or any other or­gan pipes (whose sounds I heard confused togither) appéered but a lowe bace, and yet was those an high treble to the voice of beasts, to which as a mean, the run­ning of riuers was a tenor: and the boy­ling of the Sea and the caterakts or gul­fes therof a goodly base, and the ras­hing, brising and falling of the clowdes, a déep diapason. While I harkned to this broil, laboring to dis­cern bothe voices and noy­ces a sunder, I heard such a mixture as I
p.47 ]
   think was neuer in Chaucers house of fame, for there was nothing within an hundred mile of me doon on any side, (for from so far but no farther the ayre may come because of obliquation) but I herd it as wel as if I had béen by it, and could discern all voyces, but by means of noy­s­es vnderstand none.   Lord what a doo women made in their beds? some scold­ing, some laughing, some wéeping, some singing to their sucking children which made a woful noyse with their continuall crying. and one shrewd wife a great way of (I think at S. Albons) called her hus­band Cuckolde so lowd and shrilly: that I heard that plain, and would fain haue I heard the rest, but could not by means of barking of dogges, grunting of hoggs wauling of cats, rumbling of ratts, gag­ling of géese humming of bées, rousing of Bucks, gagling of ducks, singing of Swannes, ringing of pannes, crowing of Cocks sowing of socks, kacling of hens scrabling of pennes, péeping of mice, trul­ling of dice, corling of froges, and todes in the bogges, chirping of crickets, shut­ing of wickets, skriking of owles, flit­ring of fowles, rowting of knaues, snor­ting of slaues, farting of churls fisling of   

At euery
mile the
aire reflec
teth by me
ane of the
of the

Heer the
furie came
vpon him

Many noi
ses in the
p.48 ]
  night whi
ch all men
hear not.

Ouer mu-
ch noyse
one deaf.

Heat shril
leth all
moist In-

All sudden
things a
stonish vs
girles, with many things else, as ringing of belles.counting of coines.mounting of groines, whispering of loouers, springling of ploouers, groning and spuing, baking and bruing, scratching & rubbing, wat­ching and shrugging, with such a sorte of commixed noyses as would deaf any bo­dy to haue heard, much more me, séeing that the pannicles of mine eares were with my medisine made so fine and stif, and that by the temperate heat of the things therin, that like a taber dryed be­fore the fire, or els a lute string by heat shrunk néerer, they were incomparably amended in receiuing and yéelding the shrilnes of any touching sounds.
While I was ernestly harkning as I said to hear the woman (minding nothing els) the greatest bell in Saint Botulphes stéeple, which is hard by, was tolled for some rich body that then lay in passing, the sound wherof came with such a rum­ble into mine eare : that I thought all the deuils in hel had broken lose, and were come about me, and was so a fraid ther with that when I felt the Foxe taile vn­der my foot (which through feare I had forgotten) I déemed it had bée n the deuil indéed. And therfore I cried out as lowd
p.49 ]
   as euer I could : the deuil, the deuil, the deuil. But when some of the folke raised with my noise had sought me in my cham­ber and found me not there: they went séeking about calling one to a nother, where is he? where is he? I cannot finde Maister Streamer, which noise & stir of them was so great in mine eares, & passing mans common sound : that I thought they had béen deuils indéed which sought and asked for me. Wherfore I crept close in to a corner in the chimney and hid me, saying many good praiers, to saue me from them. And because their noise was so terrible that I could not abide it : I thought best to stop mine ears, thinking thérby I should be the lesse affraid. And as I was there about: a crowe which belike was by nodding a sléep on ye chimny top, fel down into the chimney ouer my head, whose flittering in the fall made such a noice, that when I felt his féet vp­on my head : I thought that the deuil had béen come indéed and seised vpon me. And when I cast vp my hand to saue me and therwith touched him: he called me knaue in his languege after such a sorte that I swouned for feare. And by that I was come to my self again he was flow-   

sibi ipsi

men de

How euill
haps rnn

A man may
dye onely
by imagi
nation of
p.50 ]

We hate
for euer
uer hath
harmed vs
en from me into the chamber roof & there he sat all night, Then took I my pillowes and stopped mine eares, for the rumble that the seruaunts made I took for the deuils it was so great and shril, and I had no sooner put them on: but by and by I heard it was ye seruants which sought for me and that I was deceiued through my cléernes in hearing. For ye bel which put me in all this feare (for which I neuer looued belles since) tolled stil, and I per­ceiued wel inough what it was. And séeing that the seruants would not leaue calling and séeking til they had
found me: I went down vnto them ,
and fained that a Cat had béen in
my chamber, and frayed mée.
wheruppon they went
to bed again, and
I too mine olde
Design at end of chapter. Original published size 0.5cm wide by 0.4cm high.

Design at end of chapter. Original published size 5.9cm wide by 1.6cm high.

p.51 ]

chapter sign
The third parte  of Mai-
ster Streamers Oration.

Y this time waning Cin­thia, which the day be­fore had filled her grow­ing hornes: was come up on our Hemisphere, & fre­s­h­ly yelded foorth her bro­thers light which the reuerberation of Thetis trembling face, now ful by means of spring, had fully cast vpon her, wher­of she must néeds lose euery day more and more, by meanes that the nepe aba­s­ing Thetis swollen face, would make her to cast beyond her those rades which before the ful: the spring had caused her to throwe short, like as with a Christall glasse, a man may by the placing of it ei­ther high or lowe, so cast the Sun or a candle light vpon any round glasse of wa­ter that it shall make the light therof bothe in waring and waning to counter­feit the Moon. For you shall vnderstand, théefly you Mais­ter Willot that are my Lordes Astro­nomer, that all our an­cestors haue fayled in knowledge of na­turall caus­es, for it is not the Moon that

The dis-
cription of
the Moon
at full.

How to
the Moon.

A strono-
mers are
p.52 ]
  The spring
and ne-
ping of
the Sea
the moon
to wax
and wane.

What the
moon and
starres be.

The Suns
is cause of
diuers mo
uing of
the Starrs.

Why the
poles doo
not mooue

I take this
book to
bee it that
is intitu -
led of the
great Egg
causeth the Sea to eb and flowe, neither to nepe and spring : but the neping and springing of the Sea is cause of the Moons bothe waxing and waning. For the Moon light is nothing saue the shin­ing of the Sun. cast into the element by opposition of the Sea, as also the stares are nothing els but the sun light reflect­ted vpon ye face of riuers, & cast vpon the christalline heauen, which because Ri­uers alway kéep like course, therfore are the starrs alway of one bignes, As for the course of the starrs from east to west is natural by meanes of the sunnes like moouing, but in that they ascend & de­s­cend, that is, sometime come northward and some time goe south­ward: that is caused also by the sunnes béeing either on this side or on the other side his line likenighticall: the like reason foloweth for the poles not moouing, and that is the situation of chose riuers or dead seas which ca­s­t them, and the roundnes and egforme of the firmament. But let this passe which in my book of Heauen and Hell, shalbe plainly not onely declared: but bothe by reason and experience proo­ued, I wil come again to my matter. When Cinthea (I say) folowing her bro-
p.53 ]
   thers steps had looked in at my chamber windowe, & saw me neither in my bed nor at my book: she hied her apace into the south, and at a little hole in the house roof, péeped in and saw me where I was set to harken to the Cats. And by this time all the Cats which were there the night before: were assembled with ma­ny other, onely the great gray one excep­ted. Unto whom as soon as he was come all the rest did their beysance as they did the night before. And when he was set: thus he began in his language, which I vnderstood as wel as if he had spoken English, A my déer fréends and felowes you may say I haue béen a lingerer this night, and that I haue taried long but you must pardon me, for I could come no sooner. For when this euening I went into an ambry where was much good meat, to steale my supper: there came a wench not thinking I had béen there, and clapped ye lid down, by means wher­of I haue had much to doo to get foorth. Also in the way as I came hether ouer the house tops, in a gutter were thée­ues breaking in at the windowe, who frayed me so: that I lost my way and fel down into the streat, and had much to  
The man
is studios.

Light ser-
cheth all

Good ma
ners among

The stra
nge hap
of Grisard

meat must
haue sow-
er sauce.

Cats are a-
fraid of
p.54 ]
  Hagat and
Heg are
which the
Cats do

Cats are
skilled in

is cheef
Prince a
mong Cats


telleth on
her story

chin is the
same that
was lately
called Grim
doo to escape the dogges, But séeing that by the grace of Hagat and Heg, I am now come, although as I perceiue by the taile of the great Beare, and by Alha­bor which are now somwhat south­ward that the fifth houre of our night appro­cheth, yet séeing this is the last night of my charge, and that to morrow I must a­gain to my Lord Cammoloch (at this all the cats spred a long there tailes and cry­ed Hagat and Heg saue him) go to now good mouse sleyer (q he) and that in time which my mis­fortune hath lost: recouer again by bréefnes of thy talke. I will my Lord quoth Mousleyer, which is the Cat which as I tolde you stood before the great Cat the night before, continually mewing, who in her language after ye with her taile shée had made curtesie, shrunk in her neck and said. wheras by vertue of your com­mission from my Lord Cam­moloch (whose life Hagat and Heg de­fend) who by inheritance and our frée e­lection inioyeth the Empire of his trai­terously murthered mother, the Goddes Grimolochin, you his greffier and chéef counseller my Lord Grisard with Ise­grim and Poilnoer your assistants, vpon a complaint put vp in your high dées,
p.55 ]
   by that false accuser Catchrat (who bea­reth me malice because I refused his le­cherously offered delights) haue caused me in purging my selfe before this ho­norable company, to declare my whole life since the blinde dayes of my kitling­hood, you remember I trust, how in the two nights passed, I haue declared my life for iiij. yéeres space wherin you per­ceiue how I behaued me all that time. Wherfore to begin where I left last: you shall vnderstand that my Lord and Lady whose liues I declared vnto you last yester night, left the Citie and went to dwel in the Country, and caried me with them. And béeing there straunge: I lost their house, and with Bird hunt my make, the gentlest in honest venery that euer I met with, when to a town where he dwelt called Stratford either stony, vpon Tine, or vpon Auon, I doo not wel remember which where I dwelt halfe a yéere, and this was in the time when Preachers had leaue to speake against the Masse, but it was not forbidden til halfe a yéere after. In this time I saw nothing woorthy to sertifie my Lord of: saue this. My dame with whom I dwelt and her husband were bothe olde, and  

She pur-
geth her
self by de-
her life.

was caried
into the

Bird hunt
was mousl
eiers mate

Olde err-
ors ar hard
to be re-
p.56 ]

A sudden

Cats ar ad-
mitted to
all secrets.

A ioly per

and slan
dring are
the papist
therfore hard to be turned from their roo­ted beléefe which they had in the masse, which caused diuers yung folke chéefly their sonnes, and a lerned kin­s­eman of theires to be the more ernest to teach & perswade them. And when they had all moste brought ye matter to a good point: I cannot tell how it chaunced: but my dames sight failed her, and she was so sick: that she kept her bed two dayes. Wherfore she sent for the parish Préest her olde gostly father, and when all wer voyded the chamber saue I & they two : she tolde him how sick she was and how blinde, so that she could sée nothing, and desired him to pray for her and giue her good counsaile. To whom he said thus, it is no meruaile though you be sick and blinde in body which suffer your souls willingly to be blinded, you send for me now : but why send you not for me when these new herericks teach you to leaue the catholicke beléef of Christes flesh in the Sacrament? Why sir (quod shée) I did send for you once, and when you came they posed you so with holy write, and Saints writing: that you could say no­thing but call them Hereticks, and that they had made the new Testament them
p.57 ]
   selues. Yea quoth he, but did not I bid you take héed then, & tolde you how God would plage you? Yes good sir, quoth she you did, and now to my pain I finde you to true a Prophet, but I beséech you for giue me and pray to God for me & what­soeuer you wil teach me: ye wil I beléeue vnto the death. Well (quod he) God refu­seth no sinners that wil repent, and ther­fore in any case beléeue ye Christes, flesh body, soule, and bone is as it was born of our blessed Lady, in the consecrated host & sée that therfore you woorship it: pray and offer to it. For by it any of your fréends soules may be brought out of pur­gatory, which thes new heretickes say is no place at all, but when their soules fry in it : they shal tel me another tale. And ye you may know all ye I say is true & that the masse can deliuer such as trust in it, from all maner of sinnes: I wil by & by say you a masse that shall restore your sight and helth. Then took he out of his bosome a Wafer cake, and called for Wine, and then shutting the door vnto him, reuised him self in a surples and vp­on a table set before the bed: he laid his Portuse and therout he said masse.
    And when he came to the leuation:

A tru cole

gostly co-
uncel of a

No such
as miracles
chefly in
helping one
frb greef.

p.58 ]

A yung
made an
olde womans

Olde folk
are lighter
of credit
then yung.

Cats hear
many pri
uy night

make folk

why mass-
es may
serue wel.
he lifted vp the cake and said to my dame ( which in two dayes afore sawe no­thing ) wipe thine eyes thou sinful wo­man and look vpon thy maker.   With that shée lifted vp her self and saw the cake, and had her sight and her helth as­wel as euer shée had before. When mas was doon : she thanked God and him exce­dingly, and he gaue her charge that shée should tel to no yung folks how she was holpe, for his bishop had through out the dioces forbidden them to say or sing any masse but commaunded her that secretly vnto olde honest men and women: shée should at all times moste deuoutly re­herse it. And by reason of this miracle many are so confirmed in ye beléef, that although by a common law, all masses vpon penaltie were since forbidden : di­uers haue th em priuily and nightly said in their chambers vntil this day. Mary sir (quoth Poilnoer) this was either a mightie miracle : or els a mischeuous sub­teltie of a magesticall minister. But sure if the Préest by magicall art blinded her not afore, and so by like massicall sorcery cured her again. It were good for vs to hire him or other préests at our deliue­rye to sing a mas before our kitlings,
p.59 ]
   ye they might in their birth be deliuered of their blindenes, & sure if I knew that préest : it should scape me hard but I wou­ld haue one litter of kitlings in some chamb­er where he vseth now to say his priuy ni­ght masses. What néed ye (q Mouslear) it would do them no good For I my self vp­on like consideration kitned since in an oth­er mistresses chamber of mine, where a prée­ste euery day said mas but my kitlings sa­we nought ye better : but rather ye worse. But when I heard ye the Lord with whome I went into ye countrey, would to London to dwel again : I kept the house so wel for a moneth before, that when my Lady when she went caried me with her. And when I was come to Loudon again: I went in visitation to mine olde acquain­tance, & when I was great with kitling because I would not be vnpurueyed of a place to kitten in : I got in fauour & housholde with an olde gentlewoman a widdowe, with whom I passed out this whole yéere. This woman got her li­uing by boording yung gentlemen. for whom she kept alwaies faire wenches in store for whose sake she had the more re­sorte, & to tel you the trueth of her trade: it was fine and crafty, and not so daunge  

that heard
mas so yung

are diligent
when they
spi a profit

The trade
of an olde

wil to car-
p.60 ]
and good
make ma-
ny gentle-
men make

All is fish
that come
to net.

A catho-
lik quean.

Images can
not see to
hear with
out light.
rous, as deceitful. For when she had so­ked from yung Gentlemen all that they had : then would she cast them of except they fell to cheting. Wherfore many of them in the night time would goe abrode, and hring the next morning home with them some times money, sometime Je­wels, as ringes or chaines, somtime apparel, and somtime they would come a­gain cursing their il fortune, with no­thing saue peraduenture drye blowes or wet wounds, but whatso­euer they broght my dame would take it, and finde the meanes either so to gage it ye she would neuer fetch it again : or els melt it & sel it to ye Goldesmithes. And not withstanding that she vsed these wicked practises : yet was she very holy and religious, & ther­fore although that all Images were forbidden : yet kept she one of our Lady in her cofer and euery night when euery bo­dy were gone to bed, & none in her chaum­ber but she and I, then would she fetch her out, and set her vpon her Cupborde and light vp two or thrée war candels be­fore her, and then knéele down to her, sometime an hole houre saying ouer her bedes, and praying her to be good vn­to her, and to saue her and all her geasts
p.61 ]
   bothe from daunger and shame, and pro­mising that then shée would honor and serue her during all her life. While I was with this woman: I was alway much cherished and made of, for on nights while she was praying: I would bée playing with her bedes, and alway catch them as she let them fall, & would somtime put my head in the compas of them, and run away with them about my neck, wherat many times she took great pleasure, yea and so did our Lady too. For my dame would say somtimes to her, yea blessed Lady, I knowe thou hearest me by thy smiling at my Cat.   And neuer did my dame doo me any hurt saue once, and that I was euen with her for, and ye was thus. There was a gen­tle­man one of her bourders much enamo­red in ye beauty of a marchantmans wife in the Citie, whom he could by no means perswade to satisfie his lust, yea when hée made her great banquets, offred her rich apparel, & all kinde of Jewels pretious which commonly women delight in yea and large summes of money which corrupte, euen the Gods them selues : yet could he by no means alter her minde, somuch she estéemed her good name and honesty.   Our Lady
is hired to
play the
olde wo
men looue
their cats.

the Image
to see the
Cat play
with her

Loue is loi
terers oc-

An honest

Quid non
cogis, au
ri sacra
p.62 ]

All is not
golde that

the head,
and pep
per makes
one neese.

are glori
Wherfore forced through desire of that which he could not but long for, & so much the more, because it was moste ernestly denied him: he brake his minde to my dame, and intreated her to aid him to win this yung womans fauour, and pro­mised her for her labour whatsoeuer she would require. Wherupon my dame which was taken for as honest a woman as any in the Citie, found the meane to desire this yung woman to a dinner, & against she should come: my dame gaue me a péece of a pudding which she had fil­led full of mustard.   Which as soon as I had eaten, wrought so in my head that it made mine eyes run al ye day after, & to mend this: she blew pepper in my nose to make me néese. And when the yung wife was come, after that my dame had shewd her all the comodities of her house (for women delight much to shew forth what they haue) they set them down to­gither at the table, none saue only they two, and while they were in gossips talk about ye behaueours of this woman, and that I came as I was accus­tomed and sate by my dame. And when the yung woman hearing me cough and séeing me wéep continually : asked what I ayled, my
p.63 ]
   dame, who had teares at her com­maunde­ment sighed, & fallen as it were in a so­dain dump, brast foorth in wéeping and said. In faith maistres I think I am the infortunatest woman aliue, vpon whom God hath at once powred foorth all his plagues, for my husband the honestest man that liued, he hath taken from me, and with him mine heire & onely sonne, the most towardly yung man that was aliue, and yet not satisfied héer with : loe héer mine onely daughter which though I say it: was as faire a woman and as fortunately maried as any in this Citie he hath (for her honestie or crueltie I can not tel whether) turned into this likenes wherin she hath béen abooue these two monethes, continually wéeping as you sée, and lamenting her miserable wret­chednes. The yung woman astonished at this tale and crediting it, by meanes of my dames lachrimable procestations and déep dis­s­imulation : asked her the more ernes­tly how and by what chance, and for what cause as shée thought shée was so altered. Ah (quod my dame) as I said before, I cannot tel what I should think, whether excuse my daughter and accuse God: or els blame her and acquite   Women
can weep
when they

There is
no deceit
the craft
of an olde

A shame-
ful life sh-
set forth.

mooue yu
ng mindes

are orators
by nature
p.64 ]

All women
ought a-
booue all
things to
esteem the
ir honesty

and threat
ning an
sweres wil
soon cool
hot. Adul

It is as
much pity
to see a
weep as to
see a goos
go bare-
him. For this my daughter béeing as I sayd fortunately maried, and so belooued of her hus­band : and loouing again to him (as now wée bothe to late doo, and euer I think shall rue) was looued excéedingly of another yung man, who made great sute and laboure vnto her. But shée as I think all women should, estéeming her ho­nestie and promise made vnto her hus­band the day of their mariage : ref­us­ed stil his desire, but because he was importu­nate : she came at the last and tolde me it And I thinking that I had doon wel : char­ged her in any case, which ful oft since I haue repented, that she should not consent vnto him, but to shake him of we shrewd woords and thretning answers. She did so, alas alas the while, and the yung man séeing none other boot : went home & fel sick, and loouing so honestly and secretly, that he would make none other of his counsel, forpined and languished vpon his bed the space of thrée daies, receuing nei­ther meat nor drink, and then perceuing his death to aproche : he wrote a letter which I haue in my pursse, and sent it by his boy to my daughter, if you can réed you shall sée it, I cannot but my daughter heer could very wel, and write to. Héer-
p.65 ]
   with my dame wept apace, and took the letter and gaue it this yung woman who red it in forme folowing.

      paragraph sign The nameles loouer to the nameles belooued / in whose looue s­in­th he may not liue he desireth licence to dye.

Ursed be the woful time wherin mutuall looue first mixed the ma­s­s­e of my miserable carcasse. Curss­ed be the houre that euer the fatall des­tinies haue ought for me purueyed. Yea curs­ed be ye vnhappy houre, may I say, in which I first saw those persing eyes, which by insencible and vnquenchable power infla­ming my hart to desire, are so blinde of al mercy, as wil rather with rigor consume my life : then rue my gréef with one drop of pitie. I sue not to you my déer vnloo­uing looue for any kind of grace the dout­ful hope wherof dis­paire hath long since (with ye powring showers of cruel wordζ) vtterly quenched. But this muche I de­sire which also by right me thinketh my faithfull looue hath wel deserued that sith your fidelitie in wedlock (which I can and must néedes praise as would to God I could not) wil suffer my pined corse no longer to retain the breth through colde cares wholy consumed : yet at the last

p.66 ]
  which is also an ofice of fréendship before the Gods meritorious. Cum vis­it him who if ought might quench looue, should not looue, whose mouth these thrée dayes hath taken no foode, whose eyes the like time haue taken no rest, whose hart thes thrée wéekes was neuer mery, whose minde these thrée monethes was neuer quiet, whose bed these seuen nights was neuer made: and who ( to be bréef ) is in all partesso inféebled: that liuing he dieth, and dead a while he liueth.
And when this sily ghoste shall leaue this cruel and miserable prison, in recompence of his looue, life and death : let those white and tender hands of yours, close vp those open windowes, through which the vncomfortable light of your beauty shone first into his hart. If you re­fuse this to doo : I beséech the Gods im­mortall, to whom immediatly I goe, that as without any kinde of e ither loue or kindenes, you haue caused me to dye : so that none other caught with your beau­ty, doo likewise perish, I bes­ech (I say) the iust Gods, that either they chaunge that honest stony hart or els disfigure that faire merciles fauour. Thus for want of force either to indite or write any more,
p.67 ]
   I take my leaue , desiring you either to come and sée me dye, or if I be dead before to sée me honestly buried.
Yours vnregarded aliue.   G.S.

Hen the yung woman had read this letter: she took it again to my dame, & with much to doo to with holde her swelling tears she said, I am sory for your heuines much more for this mans, but moste for your daughters, but what did shée after shée saw this letter? Ah (quoth my dame) shée estéemed it as she did his sutes before she sent him a rough answere in writing. But ere euer the boy came home with it his maister was dead. Within two dayes after my sonne in law her husband dyed sudainly, and within two dayes af­ter as she sate héer with me lamenting his death : a voice cried a lowd, ah flinty hart repent thy crueltie, and immediatly (oh extreme rigor) she was chaunged as you now sée her. Wherupon I gather that though God would haue vz kéep our faith to our husbands yet rather then any other should dye for our sakes we should not make any conscience to saue theire liues. For it fareth in this point as it doth


A tender
hart is easi
ly parted.

are neuer
to seeke,

Note the
craft of a
p.68 ]
  All extre=
mities are
to be for-

Euil com-
deth good

Cats are

are a fraid
of their
owne sha

The Cat
payeth her
dame for
her mu-

It is an vn
Child th
at wil hurt
her mother
all other, for as all exstremities are vices : so it is a vice as apéereth plainly by the punishment of my daughter to be to ex­tream in honesty, chas­tety or any other kinde of vertue. This with the talke of my dame in the diner time so sank it to the yung womans minde : that the same after noon she sent for the gentleman whom she had erst so constantly refus­ed, and promised him ye if he would apoint her any vnsuspected place : she would be glad to méet him to fulfil all his lust, which he appointed to be the next day at my dames house, where when they wer all ass­embled : I minding to acquite my dame for giuing me mus­tard: caught a quick mouse, wherof my dame alwaies was excéedingly a fraid, and came with it vnder her clothes, and there let it goe, which immediatly crope vp vpon her leg But Lord how she bes­tired her then, how she cried out, & how pale shée looked, and I to amend the matter making as though I leaped at the mouse: all to bescrat her thies and her belly, so that I dare say she was not whole again in two monethes af­ter, and when the yung woman to whom shée shewed her ponced thies, said I was an vnnaturall daughter to deale so with
p.69 ]
   my mother nay ( quoth she) I cannot blam her, for it was through my counsel that she suffered this sorow, and yet I dare say she did it against her wil, thinking to haue caught the mouse, which els I dare say would haue crept into my bellie. By this meanes was this innocent woman o­ther wise inuincible: brought to comit whor­dome. Shortly after this yung woman begged me of my dame, and to her I went and dwelled with her all that yéer. In which yéer, as all ye cats in the parish can tel, I neuer disobeyed or transgressed our holy law refusing the con­cupis­cientiall company of any Cat nor the act of gene­ration although sometimes, it were more painful to me then plesant, if it were offered in due and conuenient time. In déed I confesse I refused Cachrat: & bit him and scrat him, which our law forbid­deth. For on a time this yéer when I was great with kitling: which he of a proud stomack refused to help to get: although I ernestly wooed him therto what time beloued so much his own daughter Slick­s­kin ye all other séemed vile in his sight, which also es­téemed him as much as hée did the rest, that is neuer a whit. In this time (I say) when I was great with kit  

Let yung
take heed
of olde

Cats haue
lawes a-
mong them,
which th
ey keep be
tter then we
keep ours

He that
those that
looue him
shal be dis
pised of
them that
he looue
th. Cats
doo long
when they
bee With
p.70 ]

There be
churles a
mong cats
as wel as a-
mong chri-
stian folks

It is the
conseit of
a thing,
and not
the thing
it self that
is longed

must be

Sauery is
a hot herb
lust in
ling, I found him in a gutter eating of a Bat, which he had caught that euening and as you knowe, not only we but al­so women in our case doo oft long for many things: so I then longed for a péece of ye Kermouse, and desired him for sauing of my kitten : to giue me a morsel, although it were but of the lether­like wing. But he like an vnnaturall rauenous churle: eat it all vp, and would giue me none. And as men doo now a days to their wi­ues, he gaue me bitter woords, saing, we longed for wantonnes & not for any néed This gréeued me so sore , chéefly for the lack of that I longed for : that I was sick two dayes after, and had it not béen for good dame Is­egrim, who brought me a péece of a mouse, and made me beléeue it was of a back : I had lost my burden, by kitning tenne dayes before my time. When I was recouered & went abrode again about thrée dayes : this cruel churl met me, & néeds would be dooing with me to whom when I had made answere ac­cording to his desert & tolde him withall which he might sée to by my belly what cace I was in. Tush there was no reme­dy, I think he had eaten sauery, but for all ye I could say : he would haue his wil,
p.71 ]
   I séeing that and that he would rauish me perforce I cryed out for help as lowd as euer I could squaile, & to def­end my self til succour came : I scrat and bit as hard as euer I could & this notwithstanding had not Isegrim, & her sonne Lightfoot come ye sooner (who bothe are héer & can witnes he would haue marred me quite. Now whether I might in this case refuse him & doo as I did we out breach of our holy la­we which forbiddeth vs females to refuse any males not excéeding the number of x. in a night : iudge you my Lordζ to whom the interpretation of ye lawes belongeth Yes surely (q Grisard) for in the iij. yéere of the raigue of Glas­caion, at a Court holden in Catwood, as apéereth in the re­cordes they decréed vpon that exception forbidding any male in this case, to force any female and that vpon great penalties But to let this pas, wherof we were sa­tisfied in your purgation the first night : tel vs how you behaued you we your new mistres, and that as bréefly as you can for loe where Corleonis is almost plain west, wherby you knowe the Goblinns houre opprocheth. After I was come to my yung mistres, quoth Mousleyer, she made much of me thinking I had been  

A law for
adulterie a
mong cats.

was cheef
of the cats
after Gry-

After one
a clock at
the gobli
ns go abr-
ode, and
p.72 ]
assoon as
any cock
which is
their hour
that is at
three they
retire home

uers men de
light in di
uers fond
things.   A
Cat was

All things
are not
meet for
al kinde
of people.

delight ex
pelleth me

The fear
ful are al
waies sus-
mine olde dames daughter, and many tales she tolde therof to her gossips. My Maister also made much of me because I would take meat in my foot : & therwith put it to my mouth & seed. In this house dwelt an vngracious felowe, who deligh­ting much in vnhappy turnes : on a time took iiij. walnut shels, and filled them ful of soft Pitch , and put them vpon my féet, aud then put my féet into cold water til the pich was hardned, and then he let me goe. But Lord how strang it was to me to goe in shoos, & how they vexed me   For when I ran vpon any stéep thing th­ey made me slide & fall down. Wherfore all that after noon, for anger that I could not get of my shoos : I hid me in a corner of the garret which was boorded, vnder which my maister and Mistres lay. And at night when they were al in bed : I spy­ed a Mouse plaing in the flower, & when I ran at her to catch her : my shooes made such a noise vpon the boords : that it wa­ked my Maister who was a man very fe­arful of sprites. And when he with his ser­uaunts harkned wel to the noise, which went pit pat, pit pat, as it had béen the trampling of an horse : they waxed all a­fraid & said suerly it was ye deuil. And as
p.73 ]
   one of them an hardy fellowe, euen he ye had shooed me, came vp staires to sée what it was : I went downward to méet him and made such a ratling, that when hée saw my glistring eyes : he fel down back­ward, & brake his head crying out ye deuil the deuil, ye deuil, which his mai­s­ter and all the rest hearing ran naked as they were into the stréet, & cryed the same cry wherupon the neighboures arose & cal­led vp emong other an olde Préest, who lamented much the lack of holy water, which they were forbidden to make, how beit, he went to church & took out of the Font some of the Christning water and took his Chalice and a wafer vncons­ecrat and put on a Surples and his stole about his neck, & fet out of his chamber a péece of holy Candle which he had kept two yéere and héerwith he came to the house and with his Candle light in the one ha­nd and a holy water sprinckel in the other hand, and his Chalice & wafer in sight in his bosome and a pot of Font water at his girdle : vp he came praing toward the garret, and all the people after him. And when I saw this, and thinking I should haue séen some mas that night as many nights before in other places I  
p.74 ]

haue been
good con-
iurers of
such kind
of spirits.

A meet pil
low for a

Feare ta
keth away
the sences

A lyer and
a dooer of
ought to
haue a
good me-
had : I ran towards them thinking to méet them. But when the Préest heard mée come, and by a glimsing had séen mée: downe he fel vpon them that were behinde him we with his chalice hurt one, with his water pot an other and his holy candle fel into an other Préests bréech beneath, who (while the rest were hawsoning me) was coniuring our mayd at the staire foot and all to besinged him, for he was so a­fraid with ye noyse of the rest which fel : that he had not the power to put it out. When I saw all this busines : down I ran among them where they lay on heaps but such a fear as they were all in then : I think was neuer séen afore. For the olde préest which was so tumbled among them that his face lay vpon a boyes bare arse, which belike was fallen hedlong vnder him was so astonished: then when the boy (which for feare beshit him self) had al to rayed his face, he neither felt nor smelt it nor remooued from him. Then went I to my dame which lay among ye rest God knoweth very madly, & so me­wed and curled about her, that at last she said I wéen it be my Cat. That hearing the knaue that had shooed me, and caling to minde that erst he had forgot : said it
p.75 ]
   was so indéed and nothing els. That hea­ring the préest, in whose holy bréech the ho­oly candel all this while lay burning: he took hart a grace, and before he was spy­ed rose vp and took the candle in his hand and looked vpon me and al the rest of the company, and fel a laughing at the han­some lying of his felowes face. The rest hearing him : came euery man to him se­lf and arose & looked vpon me and cursed ye knaue which had shood me, who would in no case be a known of it.   This doon they got hot water & dissolued the pitch, & plu­cked of my shooes and then euery man af­ter they desired ech other not to be ackno­wen of this nights woork for shame de­parted to their lodgings, aud all our hou­s­hold went to bed again.
    When all ye Cats and I to for company, had laughed at this apace :
Mousleyer pro­céeded and said.
    After this about iij. quarters of a yéer, which was at whitsontide last, I played another prank and that was this. The Gentleman who (by mine olde dames lying and my wéeping) was accepted & retaind of my mistres, came often home to our house, & alwaies in my Mias­ters absence was dooing with my Dame.

One hardy
man enco
rageth ma
ny cow-

Silence is
the best
freend th
at shame

The Au
thor laug-
hed in cats

are diligent
in waiting
their time
p.76 ]
A wanton
wife and a
back door
wil soon
make a
rich man.

often tim
es detrai-
eth euil-

None seen
outward -
ly so lo
uing as

Sine bac-
cho etce
rere friget
Wherfore desirous ye my maister might knowe it, for they spent his goods so lauish­ly betwéen them, that not withs­tand­ing his great trade of Merchandise : they had vnwéeting to him almost vndoon him al­redy. I sought how I might bewray them which as hap would (at the time remem­bred) afore : came to pas thus, while this Gentleman was dooing with my dame my Maister came in so sodainly, that he had no leisure to pluck vp his hose, but with them about his legs ran into a cor­ner behinde the painted cloth, and there stood I warrant you as stil as a mouse. As soon as my maister came in, his wife according to her olde wunt : caught him about the neck and kissed him and deuised many means to haue got him foorth again but he béeing wery sat down & called for his diner, and when she saw there was none other remedy: she brought it him which was a mes of potage and a péece of Béef, wheras she & her franion had bro­ke their fast with Capons, hot Uenson ma­ry bones and all other kinde of dainties. I séeing this, and minding to shew my Maister how he was ordered got behind the cloth and to make the man speak I all to pawed him with my clawes vpon
p.77 ]
   his bare legs and buttocks, & for all this he stood stil and neuer mooued. But my Maister heard me & thinking I was cat­ching a mouse : bad my dame go help me who knowing what beast was there: came to the cloth, & called me away saing come pus, come pus, & cast me meat in to the flower. But I minding another thing, & séeing that scratching could not mooue him: sudainly I lept vp & caught him by the genitalls with my téeth, and bote so hard, that when he had restrained more then I thought any man could: at last he cryed out & caught me by the neck and thinking to haue strangled me. My Maister not smelling but hearing such a Rat as was not wunt to be about suche walles: came to the cloth and lift it vp and there he found this bare arst Gentle­man strangling me, who had his stones in my mouth. & when I saw my maister I let goe my hold, and the Gentleman his and away I ran immediatly to the place where I now dwel, and neuer came the­re since so that how they agréed among th­em I cannot tel, nor neuer durst go sée, for feare of my life.
    Thus haue I tolde you my good Lords all things that haue béen doon and hapned
p.78 ]
  Ther be
falce accu
sers among
al kind of
creatures .

should che
rish the in nocents

and watch
ing make
th sound

Cats are
in quesitiu
of newes.

was Six
yere olde.
through me wherin you perceiue my loy­altie and obedience to all good lawes and how shamlesly and falsely I am accu­sed for a trans­gressor, and I pray you as you haue perceiued : so certefie my lei­ge great Cammoloch (whose life both Hagat & Heg preserue (of my behauior when Grisard, Isegrim and Poylnoer the com­missioners had herd this declaration, and request of Mousleyer: they praised her much. And after that they had com­maunded her with all the Cats there to be on Saint Katherins day next insu­ing at Catnes, wheras the say Camolo­ch would holde his court they departed & I glad to haue herd that I herd, and so­ry that I had not vnderstand what was said the other two nights before : got me to my bed & slept agood. And the next mor­ning when I went out into the garden : I heard a straunge Cat ask of our Cat what Mousleyer had doon before the com­missioners those thrée nights To whom our cat answered, that she had purged her self of a crime that was laid to her charge by Cachrat, & declared her whole life for vj. yéeres space wherfore in ye first two yéers as we said: (said she) she had v. Maisters, a préest, a Baker, a Lawyer,
p.79 ]
   a Broker and a Butcher, all whose priuy deceits which shée had séen: shée declared the first night, In the next two yéers she had seuen mais­ters, a Bishop, a Knight, a Pothecarie, a Goldesmith, an Usurer, an Alchimist, and a Lord, whose cruelty study, craft, cunning, niggishnes, folly, waste and oppression: she declared the se­cond night, wherin this dooing was nota­ble. Because the knight hauing a faire Lady to his wife, gaue his minde so much to his book that he seldome lay with her. This Cat pitying her Mistres, and min­ding to fray him from lying alone, on a night when her Maister lay from her got to his mouth, and drue so his breth, that she almost stifled him. A like parte shée played with the Userer, who béeing rich & yet liuing miserably & faining him poore she got oue day while his tresure Chest stood open, and hid her therein, wherof hée not knowing : lockt her in it. And when at night he came thither again and heard one stirring there, & thinking it had béen the Deuil : he called the Préest and many other persones to come and help him to coniure, and when (in their sight) he open­ned his chest : out lept she, and they sawe what riches he had, and ceassed him ther  

Cats chau
nge their

Men ougt
to ly vvith
their vvi

A nigard
is nether
good to
him self
nor to a
ny other.

The deuil
to dvvel a
mong mo
p.80 ]

All in this
book is
no thing in
of that the
Cat tolde

Grose me
ates make
grose wits

are incre

In compari
son of a di
hath no
after. As for what was doon and said yes­ternight, bothe of my Lord Grisards ha­rd aduenture, & of Mousleyers bes­towe­ing her other two last yéeres, which is nothing in comparison of any of ye other two yéeres before: I néed not tel you, for you were present and heard it your self.
    This talke loe I heard betwéen these two cats, and then I got me in, and brake my fast with bread and butter, & dined at noon with common meat, which so re­pleted my head again, and my other pow­ers in the first diges­tion, that by night time : they were as groce as euer they were before. For when I harkned at night to other two cats which as I perceiued by their iestures, spake of ye same matter I vnderstood neuer a woord. Lo héer haue I tolde you al, chéefly you my Lord a wun­derfull matter, and yet as vncredible as it is wunderful, notwithstanding when I may haue conuenient time: I wil tel you other things which these eyes of mine haue séen, and these eares of mine haue heard, and that of misteries so far passing this: that all which I haue said now shall in commparison therof, be nothing at all to be beléeued. In ye mean while I wil pray you to help to get me some money to con-
p.81 ]
   uay me on my iourney to Cathenes, for I haue béen going thither these fiue yéeres, and neuer was able to performe my iourney. When Mais­ter Ferries had
promised that he would: euery man
shut vp his shop windowes ,
which the forsaid talke
kept open two houres
longer then they
should haue



many ex
cellent at
Design at end of chapter. Original published size 5.8cm wide by 2.45cm high.

p.82 ]

An Exhortation

knewe these things wil séem meruelous to many men , that Cats should vnderstand and speak, haue a gouernour among them selues, and be obedient to their Lawes, and were it not for the ap­prooued authoritie of the Extaticall Au­thor of whom I heard it : I should my self be as doutful as they. But séeing I know the place and the persons with whom hée talked of these matters, before he expe­rimented his wunderful and strange con­fections: I am ye lesse doutful of any tru­eth therin. Wherfore séeing he hath in his oration prooued that cats doo vnder­s­tand vs and mark our secret dooings, and so declare them among them selues, that through help of the medicins by him dis­cribed, any man (may as he did) vnder­stand them: I would counsel al men to take héed of wickednes, and eschue secret sins and priuy mischeuous counsels: lest (to their shame) all the world at length doo knowe therof. But if any man for dout héerof, doo put away his Cat: then shall his so dooing testifie his secret noughty li­uing, we he is more a shamed his cat shou­ld sée: then God and his Angels, we sée, mark and beholde all mens closest doings.
p.83 ]
And that we may take profit by this de­claration of Maister Streamer : let vs so li­ue bothe openly and priuely that nether our own cat, admited to all secrets : be a­ble to declare ought of vs to ye world saue ye what is lawdable and honest. Nor the Deuils cat which wil we or nil we : sée­eth and writeth all our il dooings , haue ought to lay against vs afore the face of God, who not onely with shame but we euerlas­ting torment, wil punish all sinne and wickednes. And euer when yu goest a­bout any thing: call to mind this prouerb Bevvare the Cat, not to tye vp thy Cat til thou haue doon : but to see ye nether thine owne nor the deuils cat (which cannot be tied vp) finde any thing therin wherof to accuse thée to thy shame.
    Thus dooing thou canst not doo amis but shalt haue such good reporte through thy Cats declaration: that thou shalt in
recompence of maister Streamers la­
bour who giueth thee this war
ning, sing vnto God this
Himne of his ma

p.84 ]

The Himne,

ho giuest wit to Whales, to Apes, to Owles:
And kindely speech, to fish, to flesh to fowles.
And spirit to men in soule and body clene:
To mark and knowe what other creatures mean

Which hast giuen grace to Gregory no Pope:
No King, no Lord, whose treasures are their hope
But sinly preest, which like a Streamer waues:
In ghostely good, despisde of foolish knaues.

Which hast (I say) giuen grace to him to knowe:
The course of things abooue and heer belowe.
With skil so great in languages and tunges:
As neuer brethde from Mithridates lunges.

To whom the hunter of birds, of mise and rats:
Did speak as plain as Kate that thrunmeth hats.
By meane of whome is openly bewrayed:
Such things as closly were bothe doon and said.

To him graunt Lord with helthy welth and rest:
Long life to vnlode to vs his learned brest.
With fame so great to ouerliuehisgr aue:
As none ihad erst, nor any after haue.


Design at end of poem 'The Hymne'. Original published size 6.1cm wide by 7cm high.

p.85 ]

Design above printers note. Original published size 6cm wide by 1.7cm high.

Imprinted at

London at the long Shop ad=
ioyning vnto Saint Mil=
dreds Church in the Pul
trie by Edward

Design at end of page. Original published size 6cm wide by 1.7cm high.