Memorandum.--To let my cosyn, Margaret Paston, ondyrstand that for a jontor to be mad in Sweynsthorp in hand, and for a jontore of no more but x. mark ought of Sparham, I wylle depart with CC. mark in hand, and to give theym ther boord free as for ij. or iij. yer in serteyn, or ellys CCC. mark with ought ther boord, payable by l. mark yerly tyll the some of CCC. mark be full payed.
Item, I wyll geve CCCC. mark, payable l_li._, in hand at the day of maryage, and l_li._ yerly tyll the some of CCCC. mark be full payed upon thes condycyons folowing.
Wher of on condycyon is thys, that I wyll lend my cosyn John Paston vj^xx._li._, besyd hys maryage money, to pledge ought the maner of Sweynsthorpe, so that he may fynd syche a frend as wyll pay me a yen the seyd vj^xx._li._ by xx. mark a yer, so that it be not payed of the maryage money, nor of the propre goodes of my seyd cosyn John.
Or ellys, an other condycyon is thys, if it be so that my seyd cosyn John may be suffred, fro the day of hys maryage to my doughter, to take the hole profites of the maner of Sparham, besyde the maner of Sweynsthorpe, for terme of ther two lyves, and the longest of theym leveing, yet wyll I be agreable to depart with the seyd CCC. mark, payable ayen in forme above seyd [_and to geve theym ther boord for a yer or two_].[276-1]
And if thes or eny of the conclusyons may be takyn, I am agreable to make the bargayn swer, or ellys no more to be spokyn of.
[Footnote 275-2: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This paper was evidently drawn up about the same time as the last letter. It is a draft in John Paston's handwriting, but is evidently written as in the name of Sir Thomas Brews. It is endorsed in a more modern hand: 'A determinacion of Sir Tho. Brews how much he would gyve with his daughter Margery in mariage.']
[Footnote 276-1: These words are crossed out with the pen.]
JOHN PYMPE TO SIR JOHN PASTON[276-2]
_To Master Sir John Paston, be this letter delyverid in Calis._
[Sidenote: 1477 / [MARCH]]
Honwre and joye be to yow, my ryght gode master, and most assured brother; letyng yow know that al yowre welwillers and servaunts, in these partyes, that I know, fare well, and better wold, if they mowht here of yowre wellbeyng, and forthwith sum of yowre Frenche and Borgoyne tidyngs; ffor we in these partyes be in grete drede lest the French Kyng with sum assaults shuld in eny wise distourbe yow of yowr soft, sote [_sweet_], and sewre slepys, but as yet we no thyng can here that he so disposeth hym.
Mary, we have herd sey, that the frowys[277-1] of Broggys, with there hye cappes, have gyven sum of yow grete clappys, and that the fete of her armys doyng is such, that they smyte al at the mowthe, and at the grete ende of the thyeh; but in faith we care not for yow, for we know well that ye be gode ynowh at defence. But we here sey, that they be of such corage, that they gyve yow moo strokys than ye do to them, and that they strike sorer than ye also. But I thynk that the English ladyes and jentylwomen, and the pore also, can do as well as they, and lyst not to lerne of them no thyng; and therefor we drede lest ther hye corages shuld meve them to make yow warre also. But God defend, for by my trowth than have ye much to do; for hit were better and more ese for to labor iij. or fowre dayes with mattokks and pykeisys to over turne yowr sande hills, as we here saye ye do ryht wurshipfully, than only one day to endure theyre fers encountrys; so as ye myht owther gete or save yowr wurshippys by; and loke that ye trust to have no rescow of us, for, so God me helpe, we have y nowh to do in these partyes with the same werrs.
But in one thyng we preyse yowre sadnessys and discrecionys ryht much, that is, in kepyng of yowr trewse and pese with the Kyng of Fraunce, as the Kyng hath commaundid; and a grete reson why, for hit were to much for yow to have werre with all the world at onys, ffor the werre a fore seid kepith yow blameles; ffor every resonable man wetyth well, that hit is to much for eny pepyll levyng to do bothe at onys.
Syr, as for the more parts off my thowht, I praye yow recomaunde me un to yowr self, prayyng yow that y may contynew in such case as yowr godenes hath taken me of old, and if ye lyst to send eny tydyngs, or other thyng to the partyes that were wont to warme theym by yowr fyre, in feith I shall do yowr erand.
And as for barley, hit is of the same pryce that hit was wont to be of, and is the most sure corne, and best enduryng that may be. And, syr, where that sumtyme was a lytyll hole in a wall, is now a dore large ynowh and esy passage, whereof ye were the deviser, and have thank for yowr labor of sum partyes, but no thyng lastyth evyr. Y mene that y trow, my passage shall hastyly faile me, and the dore shalbe shet up agayne, lesse than Fortun be agreable to have my counseile kept; for not long ago, makyng my entre at that passage, I saw a sparow that useth those ewrys [_eireys_], and I saw her sytt so stille that y cowde not endure, but y must neds shote her, and so, God me help, I smote her, I trow evyn to the hert; and so I drede me lest owther the barley wyll ete the sparow, or ells the sparow wyll ete the barley, but as yet all is well, but reson shewt me that hit must neds fayle by contynewauns, lesse than I forsake bothe the sparow and the barley also.[278-1]
Syr, I have thank for the shew that I onys made of yow and daily gramercy, and ye theire prayer.
Syr, forthemore I beseche yow, as ye wyll do eny thyng for me, that ye se o day for my sake, and for yowr own plesure, all the gode hors in Caleys, and if ther be among theym eny pric[278-2] horse of deds, that is to sell, in especiall that he be well trottyng of his owne corage, with owte fors[278-3] of sporis, and also a steryng [_stirring_] hors if he be, he is the better; I pray yow send me word of his color, deds, and corage, and also of his price, feynyng as ye wold by hym yowrself, and also I wold have hym sumwhat large, not with the largest; but no smalle hors, as more than a dowble hors; prayyng yow above all thyngs to have this in remembrauns, and that hastily as may be, for ther is late promysed me help to such an entent, and I wote not how long hit shall endure; and therfor I beseche yow send me word by tyme.
I trow the Frenshe men have taken up al the gode hors in Pycardye, and also they be wont to be hevy hors in labor, and that I love not, but a hevy hors of flesh, and lyht of corage y love well, for y love no hors that wyll al way be lene and slender like grehounds. God kepe yow.
Y pray yow to recomaund me to my cosyn Sir John Scot and all his, in especiall Mastres Benyngfeld.[279-1]
[Footnote 276-2: [From Fenn, ii. 226.] This letter, Fenn tells us, was endorsed under the address in a handwriting of the time which he believed to be Sir John Paston's--'Jon Pympe, xvj. die Mar'., anno E. 4, 17,' showing the date at which it was received.]
[Footnote 277-1: _Frau's_, _i.e._ women. The writer's pleasantry in this passage is certainly rather coarse.]
[Footnote 278-1: Perhaps this enigmatical passage may have reference to the Mrs. Barly mentioned in No. 903.]
[Footnote 278-2: In the modern version, Fenn reads here, 'any prized horse of deeds,' a reading which seems to me questionable.]
[Footnote 278-3: 'Fort' in Fenn, which is probably a misprint, as the word is spelled 'force' on the opposite page.]
[Footnote 279-1: Margaret, daughter of Sir John Scot, and wife to Edmund Bedingfeld.--F.]
JOHN PYMPE TO SIR JOHN PASTON[279-2]
_To Syr John Paston, Knyht, be this delyverid in Calice._
[Sidenote: 1477 / [MARCH?]]
Master Paston, I recommaund me to yow; and by cause that I have wrytyn to yow iij. long letteres; which as yet be answereles, I wote not whether that the length of mater acumbred yow, or elles the simpylnes of the effect displesid yow, or elles that ye have utterly refusid the proferes of my pore servyce and frendeship; but which of these soo ever hit be, hit hevyeth me.
Syr, hit nedith not, I trow, to send yow the tidynges of these partyes, how be hit I have thryes send yow such as here were, in entent that ye shuld send us of yowres; but as long as my lord and yowres is there, ye can not faile to have the certeynte of all owre English aventures, which is grete ese to yowr frendes and servauntes in this contre, for so much as they may make her letteres shorter by so much.
Syr, at the wrytyng of this letter, I was in Kent, where all thyng that I rejoisid, I wishid yow part of, or all; and as for myself, I am styll yowr servaunt and bedeman, and so am bownd to be so sore and sewrely, that I can not unbynde me.
Syr, this is the v. letter that I have sent yow, whereyn thys entent that folowyth was all wayes on, that is to say, that hit plesid yow sum on day to take so much labour for me for to se the jentyllest hors in Calice that is to be sold, and to lett me know of his colowre, dedes, and price, remembryng that he be also large as mesure wyll, for I love no small hors, nor hors that wyll evyr be lene and slendyr; but I wold have hym hye truttyng, if hit wylbe, and if he be styryng with all, he shall plese me the better, for I wuld have hym all for the plesur, and for the werre, but if he myht be for bothe. Veryly ther is no tidynges on that side the se, safe only the welfare of yow and all other there, that I wuld so fayne here of as of a jentyll trottyng hors that were lyght and pleasaunt in dedes, if eny such be there. Flemysh hors I thenk ye have y nowh that wyll play for a myle or ij., but such we have here also; how be hit I pray yow send me word of yowre store, and be sewre of the price, if ye like eny, or elles let sum man for yow.
No more, but God kepe yow, prayyng yow to recommaund me to my cosyn Syr John Scot, and to Syr Tyry Robsert. Let the letter be sent to the godewif of yowr loggyng.
By yowr JOHN PYMPE.
[Footnote 279-2: [From Paston MSS., B.M.] This letter was probably written about the end of March 1477, as the first of the three which preceded (No. 906) was received by Sir John in Calais on the 16th of the month.]
JOHN PYMPE TO SIR JOHN PASTON[280-1]
_To Master Sir John Paston, Knight, be this letter delyvered in Calis._
Fresh amorouse sihts of cuntreys ferre and straunge Have all fordoone[280-2] your old affeccion; In plesurys new, your hert dooth score and raunge So hye and ferre, that like as the fawcon Which is alofte, tellith scorne to loke a down On hym that wont was her feders to pyke and ympe;[281-1]
Ryht so forgotyn ye have your pore Pympe,
That wrytith, sendith, and wisshith alday your wele More than his owne; but ye ne here, ne se, Ne sey, ne send, and evyr I write and sele In prose and ryme, as well as hit will be.
Sum evyll tong, I trow, myss sayeth of me And ells your fast and feithfull frendelynes Ye thenk mysspent on such as I, I gesse.
I wyll abate my customable concourse, To yow so costuouse,[281-2] whan so evyr ye com agayn, Which that I fele of reson, by the course Of my proferid servyce, hath made yow so unfayne; For veryly the water of the fowntayne With brede only forthwith yowre presens Me shuld content much more than your expense.
But ay deme I thus that Fortun hath hyryd yow, For she but late of sorowys moo than many Hath rakyd un to myn hert an hepe more than a moowe, And wuld that ye shuld ley thereon on hye Your hevy unkyndenes to make hit fast to lye, And God knowth well hit cannot long lye there But hit wyll bryng me to the chirch bere.