The Lyrics of Henry VIII/Pastyme with good companye, Henry VIII

[ff. 14v-15r]

Early Fashionable English                               Fashionable English
Pastyme with good companye Pastime with good firm
I loue and schall vntyll I dye I really like and shall till I die
gruche who lust however none denye grudge who likes, however none deny,
so God be plesyd thus leue wyll I so God be happy, thus reside will I
for my pastance for my pastance:
hunt syng and daunce hunt, sing, and dance.
my hart is sett My coronary heart is about!
all goodly sport All goodly sport
for my comfort for my consolation.
who schall me let Who shall me let?
youthe should haue sum daliance Youth should have some dalliance,
off good or yll sum pastance. of fine or in poor health some pastance.
Firm me thynkes then greatest Firm I believe then greatest –
all ideas and fansys to deiest. All ideas and fantasies to digest.
ffor Idillnes For idleness
is cheff mastres is chief mistress
of vices all of vices all.
then who can say Then who can say
however myrth and play however mirth and play
is better of all. is better of all?
Firm with honeste Firm with honesty
is vertu vices to ffle. is advantage – vices to flee.
Firm is nice and in poor health Firm is nice and in poor health,
however euery man hath hys fre wyll. However each man has his free will.
one of the best ensue The most effective ensue.
the worst eschew The worst eschew.
my mynde schalbe My thoughts shall be
vertu to vse Advantage to make use of.
vice to refuce Vice to refuse.
thus schall I vse me. Thus shall I exploit me!

This piece is a lyric of courtly and youthful doctrine, urging the deserves of explicit pastimes mainly as a result of they fight idleness. “Pastyme with good companye” is one of the best identified and most generally circulated of Henry VIII’s lyrics: “His advantageous ballad, ‘Pastance with good firm,’ rank[s] among the many higher identified” (William H. Dixon, Historical past of Two Queens, II.XII.iii.298). As famous in a letter from Tempo to Wolsey (L&P Henry VIII III [i]: 447, #1188), the royal almoner integrated this lyric and “I loue vnloued suche is myn aduenture” (H 74) into his sermon whereas preaching within the King’s corridor in March of 1521. Within the Grievance of Scotland, it’s talked about as the primary of the shepherd’s songs (Murray 64; lxxxii #49). The tune could be very very like that of his “Although sum saith that yough rulyth me” (H 51). A associated lyric, the continental “De mon triste desplaisir” (Ward 123) composed by Richafort ca.1520 (Fallows, “Henry” 29), could have a parodic relation to this (Block 2.301-5). A moralized model, “Pleasouris of Aige,” exists in Cambridge, Pepysian Library, Magdalene School MS 1,408, the Maitland Quarto MS (f. 31r; Craigie, ed. 63) and, with small variance, in Cambridge, Pepysian Library, Magdalene School MS 2,553, the Maitland Folio MS (#63; 289).

1 ff. Pastyme Cf. the final concentrate on this notion in Hawe’s Pastime of Pleasure; additionally the phrases of the Pardoner in Heywood’s Foure PP: “So helpe me god it lyketh nat me / The place firm is met and effectively agreed /Good pastyme doth ryght effectively in dede / However who can syt in dalyaunce / Males syt in suche a variaunce / As we have been set or ye got here in / Whiche stryfe thys man dyd fyrst begynne / Allegynge that suche males as vse / For loue of god nat and refuse” (ll. 324 ff.). For unfavourable connotations of the idea of “pastyme,” see Heywood’s Johan Johan: “Many an trustworthy wyfe goth thyther additionally / For to make some pastyme and sporte / However than my wyfe so ofte doth thyther resorte / That I fere she wyll make me weare a fether” (ll. 92-95). Cf. additionally the phrases ascribed to Henry, at his loss of life, by Cavendish (Metrical Visions): “Who had extra pastyme? who had extra dalyaunce? / Who had extra ayd? who had extra allyaunce? / Who had extra howsis of delight and disport? / Who had suche locations as I for my consolation?” (ll. 1303-6).
1-2 companye . . . dye Cf. the proverbial “Qwyllys a person haves owth Cumpany wil with him go til he be broght to noght” (Brunner, Salamon sat and sayde, 291.5-6).
1 good companye Cf. the proverbial “Gud cumpany gud males makis” (Girvan, Counsail and Teiching on the Vys Man Gaif his Sone, 66.5-6).
3 gruchedenye This line has been paraphrased as “let grudge whosoever will, none shall refuse (it to me)” (Stevens M&P 345). Margaret of Austria, Regent of the Netherlands, employed the same motto, “Groigne qui groigne et vive Burgoigne” (Ives 22 ff.), as did Anne Boleyn (“Ainsi sera, groigne qui groigne”); a lyric attributed to Wyatt, “If yt ware not,” has as the primary line of its burden “Grudge on who liste, this ys my lott” (ca.1530); see Greene (“Carol” 438), Jungman (398), and Siemens (“Thomas Wyatt, Anne Boleyn, and Henry VIII’s Lyric”).
4 god be plesyd Cf. the proverbial “Hoe so lustythe god to plese, let hys neyghbore lyve in ese” (inscription; see Archaeologia50 [1887]: 149); “Please god and love hym and doubte ye nothynge” (Bradshaw, Lifetime of St. Werburge of Chester, 95.2589-90).
5 pastance Pastime (OED n I).
6 hunt syng and daunce Elyot’s Governour (1531) comprises chapter divisions adopting these classes: looking (I: Ch. 18), singing (I: Ch. 7), and dancing (I: Chs. 19-25); in his Second Sermon earlier than Edward VI, Latimer elaborates on this line and urges that these are improper as pastimes for a King besides when they’re used “for recreation, when he’s weary of weighty affairs, that he could return to them the extra lusty” (79); Corridor stories the King’s engagement in comparable actions whereas on his progress to Windsor in 1510: Henry was “exercisyng hym self each day in shotyng, singing, daunsyng, wrastelyng, casting of the barre . . .” (515); a French Papal diplomat acknowledged of Henry in his early reign that he was a “youngling, automotive[ing] for nothing however women and looking, and wast[ing] his father’s patrimony” (L&P Henry VIII, II [i]: 292). Cf., additionally, the unattributed “Wher be ye” (H 70.22-3).
8-9 sportconsolation See Corridor’s description of Henry VIII’s coronation, wherein a cryer feedback on the earthly obligation of caring for one’s physique in addition to one’s soul: “I perceiue that thei take a greate care, for the profite of their purses, with pleasure of huntyng and haukyng, in addition to different their pastymes, after they arrive to one of the best of their promocion, with small kepyng of hospitalitie” (510); “Clerkis sayis it’s richt profitabill Amangis ernist to ming ane merie sport, To mild the spreit, and gar the time be schort” (Henryson, Poems and Fables, 3.19-21); cf. additionally Barclay’s Myrrour of Good Maners (“Temperance”): “Of fresshe lusty iuuent yf thou be within the floure / Than get the to sportys as is to the semynge / Thy strenth to exercyce in pastyme of labour / However vse should thou mesure and order in all thynge / With tyme and firm as semyth greatest syttynge / Obserue these circustancys and ganynge is lawdable / Or els it’s foly and thynge vytuperable” (ll. 2534-40).
10 let Hinder, forestall, stand in the way in which (OEDv2, I); a standard Tudor defiance; within the interlude Youth (ca.1513-14), the character of Youth states “I cannot let for thee” (Lancashire, Two Tudor Interludes 106, l.70; 91n217); see additionally LDev (f. 28v): “Who shall let me then off ryght / onto myself hym to retane.” [god] . . . let “That god wyl ayde no man can lette” (Berners, Boke of Duke Huon of Burdeux, 480.24-26).
11 youthe See the character of Youth, who is meant to signify Henry VIII (Lancashire, Two Tudor Interludes 54); additionally see notice to l.10, above. daliance sport, play with a companion, particularly (and presumably one of many senses meant right here) amorous toying, flirtation; additionally, discuss of a light-weight and acquainted type (OED 1, 2); “At festes, reuels, and at daunces, That ben events of dalliance” (Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, Doctor’s Story, l.66); “thai schall ete and drinke and hafe dalyaunce with wymmen” (Mandeville, Buke of John Maundeuill, xxvi.124); for futher attainable unfavourable connotations of pastime and dalliance, cf. additionally the phrases of Cupidity and Concupiscence to Mary, in her fall, in Wager’ The Life and Repentaunce of Marie Magdalene: “Cupiditi / I’ll see that you just shall haue good in abundance, / To maintaine you in all pleasure and daliance. / Concupiscece. / And new kyndes of pastyme I’ll inuent, / With the which I belief ye shal be content material” (ll. 745-51). daliancepastance Related rhyme yoking in “To have in remembryng Her goodly dalyance. And her goodly pastance” (Skelton, Philip Sparowe, l.1095).
12 good or yll See l.23, beneath.
14 fansys Merchandise of artistic creativeness or fancy, inclinations or needs with attainable amorous overtones (OED sb8; MEDn.3b, 4b, 5). deiest disperse, trow down, solid, degrade (MED “dejecten” v).
15-17 ydillnesall Proverbial (see Whiting I6, c1500); “Ydleness … is maystresse of many evylles” (Caxton, The ryal e book or e book for a kyng, R4r-v); “Idilnes … in youthe is moder of all vice” (Flügel, Die Proverbes von Lekenfield und Wresil, Anglia 14 [1891-92]: 482); “Ydilnes … is the yate of all vices and specifically of carnel vices ” (Vaissier, A religious treatyse known as the Tree and xii. frutes of the holy goost, 147.14-15); see additionally notes to traces 22, 26 and 28, beneath. Distinction the sentiment in Barclay’s Myrrour of Good Maners: “Some pastyme of physique is worse than ydelnes / As tables contynuall the cardesand the dyse” (ll. 964-65). Cf. additionally the justification of jousting given within the petition to jousts introduced to Henry VIII for the tournaments of 23 & 27 Might and 1 & Three June 1510, wherein the proposed objective of the jousts is to eschew “Idleness the bottom of all vice” (BL MS Harleian 69, 3r ff.).
19 myrth [Of aids to health] “… refreshe the mynde wythe myrthe, exercyse the physique with labour” (Whittinton, Vulgaria, 43.11-13).
22 … ffle Cf. “Idilnes giffis nourysingis to vicis. Tharefor, quha-sa wil be Vertuise suld Idilnes fle, As sais ‘the romance of the rose’” (Metcalfe, Legends of the Saints within the Scottish Dialect, I.1.1-5).
23 good and in poor health Cf. “Fore be thar cumpany males could knaw To gud or in poor health quhethir at thai draw” (Girvan, Counsail and Teiching on the Vys Man Gaif his Sone, 66.9-12); see additionally l.12, above.
24 fre wyll Word the character of Free Will within the nameless interlude Hickscorner (Lancashire, Two Tudor Interludes).
26 esshew Cf. “The ministre and the norice unto vices, Which that males clepe in English ydelnesse, That porter of the gate is of delices To eschue” (Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, Second Nun’s Prologue, l.1-3); “ … in eschewyng of ydleness moder of all vices” (Caxton, Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye, I.4.3-4); “For senec seith that ‘the sensible man that dredeth harmes, eschueth harmes, ne he falleth into perils that perils eschueth’” (Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, Story of Melibee, ll.1320-21). See additionally notes to ll.15-17, above.
28 vertu Cf. “Moodir off vices, callid idilnesse, Which off custum ech vertu put aside In ech acourt wher she is maistresse” (Lydgate, Fall of Princes I.263-4.2249-51).

In H, the primary stanza of the lyric seems in three voices, every set to music; the remaining textual content is introduced following the third voice. “Pastyme with good companye” seems in two variations in LRit, a choir e book containing a combination of secular and non secular lyrics dated ca. 1510. Within the second model the lyric is given the title “The Kynges Ballade” (f. 141v), implying that it was not copied previous to Henry’s accession in 1509. LR58 (ca. 1507-47), a commonplace e book of composers from Henry VIII’s courtroom which gathers liturgical, spiritual, and secular items with their musical settings, comprises the incipit “pastyme” within the margin subsequent to its music (f. 55r). The music of this piece, with out lyrics, seems in EPan (late sixteenth century) below the heading “Passe tyme withe good companie” (f. 10r). Melchiore de Barberiis’ tenth lutebook (Venice, 1549) comprises a model headed “Pas de mi bon compagni” (Brown 113-14).

“Pastyme with good companye” is listed in Robbins Index & Suppl. 2737.5, Ringler MS TM1312, and Crum P70. Reprinted in Black 57-58, Briggs Assortment 6, Chambers Lyrics 212-13, Chambers Verse 36-37,
Chappell Account 372-73, Chappell Music 1.42-45, Chappell Fashionable 1.56, Flügel Anglia 230, Flügel Neuengl. 146, Furnivall cxlix, Hebel 8, Hebel and Hudson 8, Jones 47, MacNamara, Rimbault 37, Stafford Antiqua 1.44, Stevens M&P 344, Stevens MCH8 10-11, and Trefusis 1-2.

Textual Notes[edit]

Texts Collated[edit]

H1,2,3 (ff. 14v-15r, ll. 1-10 H2,3 ), LRit(1)1,2,3 (ff. 136v-137r, ll. 1-10), LRit(2)1,2,3(ff. 141v-142r)

Emendations of the Copy Textual content (H1):

Four leue] loue H1, leue H2,3, lyf LRit(1)1,3, lyue LRit(2)1, lyfe LRit(2)2,3
15 for] ffor H1,2,3, LRit(1)1,2,3, For LRit(2)1,2,3

Collation (Substantive Variants):

2 vntyll] tyl H2,3, vnto LRit(1)1, vn to LRit(1)2,3, LRit(2)1,3; I] I do H3
3 substitute for my pastaunce LRit(1)2; who lust] so wylle LRit(1)1,3, so woll LRit(2)1, so wyll LRit(2)2, who wyll LRit(2)3
4 substitute honte syng and daunce LRit(1)2; leue] loue H1, leue H2,3, lyf LRit(1)1,3, lyue LRit(2)1, lyfe LRit(2)2,3; thus] so LRit(1)1,3, this LRit(2)1, this LRit(2)2,3
5 substitute my hert ys set LRit(1)2; pastance^] dystaunce. LRit(2)1, dystaunce. LRit(2)2, dystaunce LRit(2)3
6 substitute yn sport LRit(1)2
7 substitute to my comfort LRit(1)2
8 substitute who shall me lett LRit(1)2; substitute yn sport LRit(1)1
9 substitute Gruch so woll however midday deny LRit(1)2; for] to LRit(1)1,3, LRit(2)1,2,3
10 substitute so god be plesyd so lyf woll I. LRit(1)2
11 should] woll LRit(2)1, wyll LRit(2)2,3; sum] nedes LRit(2)1,2,3
14 fansys] fantyses LRit(2)1, fantases LRit(2)2, fantasyes LRit(2)3


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