Thomas More, ‘A mery jest how a sergeant would learne to play the
frere’, c. 1503 — in 12-line tail-rhyme stanzas
Author(s): Thomas More
Title(s): ‘A mery jest how a sergeant would learne to play the frere’
Subjects: tales; friars, criticism/satire of
More, Thomas, A mery gest how a sergeau[n]t woldel erne [sic] to be a frere
[Enprynted at Londo[n]: By me Iulyan Notary dwelly[n]g in Powlys churche yarde at the weste dore at the
sygne of saynt Marke, [1516?]]
Wyse men alwaye
afferme & say
þe best is for a
dylygently ffor to apply
þe besynes þat he
…All newe refuse / and vtterly let them gone
Playe not the
Now make good chere / and welcome eue[r]y chone
Londo[n] by me Julyan Notary dwelly[n]g
in Powlys churche yarde at the wiste
at the synge of saynte Marke
A ryght pleasaunt and merye historie of the Mylner of Abyngton Whereunto is Adioyned another merye
iest of a Sargeaunt that Woulde haue Learned to be a Fryar
, [J. Charlewood f.] R. Jhones, [c.
WIse men alway, affirme and saye,
the best is for eche man,
Diligently, for to apply,
such busines as he can.…
…In any wise, I wolde auyse,
and councell euery man.
His owne crafte vse, all newe refuse,
and vtterly let them gone.
Playe not the frier, now make good cheere,
and welcome euerychone
Attributed Author: “By Sir Tho. More” (in MS, sig. C2)
Attributed Title: A mery gest, howe a Sergeaunt would learne to be a Friar (sig. C2); Of a Sergeaunt, that would learne to be a Fryar (RT)
More, Thomas, Workes in the Englyssh Tonge
, ed. Rastell, Tottell, 1557
Campbell, William Edward,
The English Works of Sir Thomas More.
London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1927: 327-32.