The .v. Chapiter. ¶That the rusticall lyfe is more quiet and restfull and more beneficiall then that of the court.
THe village whereof we speake and the demaines thereof, Put we the case that it were all frée and not subiect to any Lord (as certain there be so pre∣uileged) Page 23 that euery man there lyeth in his owne house, whether it be by suc∣cession, or that he haue bought it fréely without doyng any homage or seruice to any man. This I dare say, the courtier hath not, nor is not in such frée libertie in respecte of such as be of the village, forasmuch as of very neces∣sitie, my maister the courtier must win the Marshall or Harbengar of the lod∣ging, and must receiue at his handes the billet to come to his lodging, and that late ynough and wery to his host, breake open dores, beat downe walles,* disorder houses, burne implemēts, and sometyme beat the good man, & defyle the wife. O how happy is he that hath wherwithal to liue in the village with out troubling both of himself and ma∣ny sondry places, without séeking of so many lodginges, without assayes of so many straunge occasions of straunge men, without wéeping of any person, but is content with a meane estate, and is deliuered of all such breakebraines. Another benefite of the coūtrey is this, Page [unnumbered] that the gentleman or burges that there doth inhabite may be one of the chief or chiefest, either in boūtie, honor, or auc∣toritie,* the which happeneth seldome in the court & in great cities and townes: for there he shall sée other goe before him, more trim and more braue and gorgious then he, as well in credite as in riches, as well in the house as with∣out the house. And Iulius Caesar sayd to this purpose that he had rather bée the first in a village, then the second in ho∣nor in Rome. For such men as haue high hartes and mindes, and base fortune, it should be to them much better to liue in the village with honor, then in the court ouerthrowen and abated, and out of fauor. The difference betwéene the tariyng or abidyng in a litle place and a great place, is that in the litle places are founde much people poore and née∣dy, of whom men may take compassi∣on: and in the great place many riche men whereby enuy is norished.
*Another commoditie in the village is, that euery man enioyeth in quiet Page 24 and peace such as God hath geuen him, without to haue such to come to their houses, that shall constrayne them to make extraordinary expēses, or to haue his wife seduced, or his daughters defi∣led. The occasions to doo euil be put a∣way by reason that he is occupied in the mainteining of his housholde, in tray∣ning of his sonnes & chastening of hys seruauntes. He liueth confirmed to rea∣son and not to his opinion: and liues hopyng to dye & not as he that loueth to liue euer. In the village,* thou shalt not care for good lodging, nor for looking to thy Horses and Mules, nor for the la∣ding of such thinges as they shall cary. Thou shalt not heare the crying of pa∣ges, the plaintes of the stuardes of the house, the babling of the Cookes, nor thou shalt feare Iudges nor Iustices, least they shuld be to sore against thée. And that which is much better, thou shalt haue no craftie knaues to bée∣guyle thée, nor women to betraye thée.
Another benefite of the village Page [unnumbered] is this, that he shall haue time enough to al thinges that he will do, so that the time be well spent, time enough to stu∣die, time to visite his frendes, time to go a hunting, and layser when he list to eate his meat: the which layser cour∣tiers commonly haue not,* for asmuche as they employe the moste part of their time in making of shiftes to playe the courtier, or to speake more plainely, to wepe and lament, in such sorte that one may say of them ye which ye Emperour Augustus said of a Roman a great busie broker the same day that hée dyed. I wonder said he, séeyng the tyme failed him to chop and to chaunge, how hée could now finde layser to dye? Another commoditie of the village is this, those that be dwellers there maye goe alone from place to place without to be noted to fall from grauitie, they néede no Mule nor Horse with a foote clothe,* nor page to wayte of my lorde, or damosell to waite vpon my lady. And that were scornefull to do in the court alone And without daunger one may walke Page 25 from neighbor to neighbor, and from land to land, and not thereby minish a∣ny part of his honor.
Another benefite is,* that men may go whether they will, clothed simply with a staffe in his hande, a swearde by his side, or hacbut in his necke, and if he be weary of pounsed hosen, let h m weare stoppes, if he be a colde let him take his furred gowne for all is one there. A good gentleman dwelling in the village and hauing a good coate of cloath, an ho∣nest Spanish cloke on his back, a paire of lether shooes, goeth as well trimmed to the church as doth my Lord the cour∣tier to the court with his gowne furde with Marters or Sables. A man of the village of what sorte soeuer he be, is in as good case, that rydeth to market or to the faier to make prouisiō for his house∣holde vpon a mare or a nagge,* as a lord of the courte is at Iustes vpon a great courser trapped with golde. And (when all is sayd) better is the poore plough∣man on a poore asse, liuing as he should, then the rich man well horsed, pilling Page [unnumbered] and doyng extorciō to pore honest men.