Enterlude of detraction, light judgment, verity, and justice

Anon. (c.1550)

Historical Records

Print fragment

Fragments from 2 leaves (E1 and E3) survive at the Huntington Library:

Anon., [Enterlude of detraction, light judgment, verity, and justice], [London : S.n., ca. 1550], RB 131401:11 (fragment).

(Reproduced by permission of the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.)

The ordering of the fragments below follows Katharine Pantzer's conjectural reconstruction (typescript and MS notes accompanying the fragments at the Huntington, made in October 1973):

sig.E1r sig.E1v
RB131401 11 fragment 3r.jpg RB131401 11 fragment 3v.jpg
RB131401 11 fragment 1v.jpg RB131401 11 fragment 1r.jpg
RB131401 11 fragment 5r.jpg RB131401 11 fragment 5v.jpg

sig.E3r sig.E3v
RB131401 11 fragment 2r.jpg RB131401 11 fragment 2v.jpg
RB131401 11 fragment 4r.jpg RB131401 11 fragment 4v.jpg


E1 leaf:

Ts to confounde
And cast to grounde
Bothe man and chylde
As for you and me
Our apparrell chaunged must be
This aray is to wylde
And by saynt James
Bothe our names
Must be of more grauyte
Ye shall be callyd wysdom
And I by my halydom
Reformacyon wyll be
For many tymes Detraccyon
Pretendeth correccyon
By sad dyreccyon
To refourme yll
And yet there is but dissymulacyon
To optayne his owne wyll
For ere it longe be
Hether wyll com Veryty
For to se true Justice
Our saynge than must be
How he is ouer the see
Into the lande of Fryse
And so shall take his way
Streight ouer to Sauoy
And so forth to Boeme
And from thens to Germanie
And so com home by Ytalie
Heretykes to reclayme
light iu. ¶And by the way here and there
To confounde Luthere
And all his hole rable
And lefte worde by you & me
That to hym sholde veryte
Hye hym in all haste possyble
But whan this matter is broken
It must be holyly spoken
And with a fayre face
Thy wordes must be sure
And they countenaunce so demure
As though that father grace
From heuyn were com downe
In his owne person
With angels great and smale
Detrac. ¶How cum in our chamberere
That we apparellyd were one bryngeth
Accordynge to our tale them aparell.
light iu.
Yf we handle it
with worde and countenaunce wysely
detrac. ¶As well as we may
Let vs assay
To do it diligently
veryty, ¶ O lorde what rumour, and what busynes
How greuous slaūdre, what defamacyon
what dysorder, what wrathe, & vnkyndnes
Dayly is had in comunicacion
There is no regarde, nor no repetacyon
But each man other, putteth to exaccyon
Thrugh Light iudgement, & vyle detraccyon.
If Justyce wyll nat prouyde remedy
I fere in haste, eche man shall other kyll

E3 leaf:

Of blood and kynred
In fayth no poynt at all
veryty, ¶Well syrs I perceyue ye be
Frendes of Justice and me
And of Vertue substancyall
In our absence se how that
Detraccyon do nat
Nor yet Light Judgement
The people put in fray
But euer as ye may
Let them haue punisshement
And at our retourne agayne
we shall se to your payne
As ye shall be content
light iu. ¶Of them
And euer doth renew
His myschief parde
wherfore comonly
He iudgeth vntruly
All men as yll as he
detrac. ¶Than to Detraccyon
He gyueth instruccyon
Of many a knauyssh sentence
And non other grounde
By them can be founde
But theyr owne lewde conscyence
By god that me bought
They haue ben bothe nought
All theyr lyfe days
And in especyall
Detraccyon worst of all
A knaue at all assays
No councell can he kepe
Buth rather in his slepe
Euer forth it shall
He goeth amonge women
And loketh what they can
Chatte fyrst of all
As it cometh in his mynde
He slynges into the wynde
Take it vp who wyll
I wolde a payre of sheres
Had clypped away his eres
It were            hym to kyll
Or wolde ye do no more
But a hole prately bore
Euyn with a bodkyn
And tye it with a threde
Than sholde he nat in dede
So largely talke
For now and than
Lyke a woman
His tonge euer doth walke
Veryty ¶ why, wyll women talke so largely?
light iu. ¶ women be iabbergynge
And also blabberynge
with loude voyce and hye
detrac ¶ To women certayne

Theatrical Provenance


Probable Genre(s)

Moral (Wiggins).

Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues

(Information welcome).

References to the Play

None known.

Critical Commentary

See Wiggins 208, who notes that "[t]he vices are Catholic, swear by St James, and are critical of heresy in general and Luther in particular; it follows that the play is of Protestant origin and more likely to be Edwardian, when there was greater official toleration of Lutheranism".

For What It's Worth

Until now, it has only been possible to access this printed fragment in person at the Huntington. As Wiggins notes (Lost Plays, 276n), "The item microfilmed under the fragment’s STC number for the UMI STC Microfilms project was a different dramatic fragment, STC 14109.5, which is also held at the Huntington and was presumably supplied in error". The erroneously microfilmed fragment is what currently displays in EEBO when a search is conducted for STC 14109.2.

Works Cited

Anon., [Enterlude of detraction, light judgment, verity, and justice], [London : S.n., ca. 1550], RB 131401:11 (fragment).
Wiggins, Martin. "Where to Find Lost Plays". Lost Plays in Shakespeare's England. ed. David McInnis and Matthew Steggle. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. 255-78.

Site created and maintained by David McInnis, University of Melbourne; updated 29 Feb 2016.