School of Music
University of Nebraska--Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-0100
(phone: [402] 472-2507; Internet: plefferts1@unl.edu)

Data entry: Peter M. Lefferts
Checked by: Peter Slemon
Approved by: Peter M. Lefferts

Author: Cornysh, William
Title: A Treatise between Information and Truth
Source: London, British Library, Royal 18. D. II, ff. 163r-164r.

[-f.163r-] In the fleete maade be me William Cornysshe otherwyse called Nysshewhete Chapelman wit the moost famost and noble kyng henry the viith his raigne the xixth yere the moneth of July A Treatise bitwene Trowth and enformacion.

A. B. of E. how C. for T. was p. in p.


[The hoole content in marg.]
The knowlege of god passith comparyson
the devill knowith all il thinge consented or done
And man knowith nothinge saue onely by reason
And reason in man is diuerse of operacion
how can then man be perfite of cognicion
For reason shall so reason that sometyme amo[n]ge
A man be enformacion may right wysly do wronge

[Gospell in marg.]
The auctorysed gospell and reason holdith therwith
Whos litterall sence agreith to the fore seyynge
Qui ambulat in tenebris nescit quo vadit
Now moralyse ye farther and peise the counterweyynge
I meane bitwene trowth and sotele conveyynge
who gothe in the derke must stumble amonge
blame neuer a blynde man thow he go wronge

[Example in marg.]
A Juge to the Jury nedys must yeue credence
Now what if the purpose fals maters to compase
the Juge must procede yet in hym non offence
For as they gif verdit the iugement must pase
But where the faute is non dormit Judas
For by fals enformacion many tymes amonge
right shalbe rewled and the rightiwuse shall do wronge

[Evell enformares in marg.]
But wo to suche enformers who thei be
that maketh their malise the mater of the poure
And cruelly withoute conscience right or pite
disgorgith ther venome vndyr that coloure
Alas not remembring their soules doloure
when dies illa dies ire shalbe ther songe
Ite maledicti take that for your wronge

A parable betwene enformacion and musike

[The examples in marg.]
Musike in his melody requirith true soundes
who settith a songe shulde geve hym to armony
whe kepith treue his tunys may not passe his soundes
his alteracions and prolacions must be prikked trewly
For musike is treue tho mynstralles makith maistry
The harper carith nothinge but rewarde for his songe
merely soundith his mouth when his tonge goth all wronge

[the harpe in marg.]
A harpe geuyth sounde as it is sett
The harper may wrest it vntunablie
Yf he play wronge good tunys he doth lett
or be myssetunynge the vere trew armony
A harpe wele plaide on shewith swete melody
A harper with is wrest may tune the harpe wronge
Myssetunynge of an Instrument shall hurt a true songe

[a songe in marg.]
A song that is true and full of swetnes
May be euyll song and tunyd amysse
the songe of hymself yet neuer the les
Ys true and tunable and syng it as it is
then blame not the song but marke well this
he that hath spite at another mannys songe
will [do supra lin.] what he can do to haue it songe wronge

[A clarrycord in marg.]
The clarricord hath a evynly kynde
As the wyre is wrested hye and lowe
So it tunythe to the players mynde
For as it is wrested soo must it needys shiw
As by this reason ye may wele know
Any Instrument mystunyd shall hurt a true songe
yet blame not the clarrycord the wrester doth wronge

A trompet blowen hye with to harde a blast
[-f.163v-] [A trumpet in marg.]
Shall cause hym to varry from the tunable kynde
But he that bloweth to harde must swage at the last
And fayne to fall lower with a temperat wynde
And then the trompet the true tune shall fynde
For an Instrument ouer wynded is tunyd wronge
Blame non but the blower on hym it ys longe

[Trew councell in marg.]
Who plaith on the harpe he shuld playe trew
who singeth a songe let his voce be tunable
who wrestith the clarricorde mystunynge eschew
who bloweth a trompet let his wynde be mesurable
For Instrumentes in theym self be ferme and stable
And of trouth wold trouth to euery mannys songe
Tune theym then truly for in them is no wronge.

[Colours of musyke in marg.]
In musike I haue lernyd iiij colours as this
blak full blaake voide and in likewyse reede
By thes colours many subtill alteracions ther is
that will beguile one thow in cunnyng he be wele spedde
With a prike of Judicion from a body that is dede
he shall try soo his nombre with swetnes of his song
That therer shalbe pleased and yet he all wronge

[The practiser in marg.]
I pore man vnable of this science to skill
save a litle practise I haue be experience
I meane but trouth and of gad will
To remembre the doers that vseth suche offence
Not one sole but generally in sentence
Bycause I can skill of a litle songe
To try the true corde to be knowen fro the wronge

[Trouthe in marg.]
Yet trouth was drowned he not sanke
But still didde fleete aboue the water
Enformacion hade plaied hym such a pranke
That with power the pore had lost his mater
Bycause that trouthe beganne to clatyr
Enformacion hath taught hym to solfe hys songe
Pacience parforche content you with wronge

[trouthe in marg.]
I assaide thes tunes me towght them not swete
the concordis were nothynge musicall
I callyd mastres of musike cunnynge and discrete
And the first principle whos name was tuball
Guido boice John de muris vitriaco and them all
I prayd them of helpe of this combrous songe
priked with force and lettred with wronge

[true answere. in marg.]
Thei saide I was hors I myght not synge
Me voice is to pore it is not audible
Enformacion is so curious in his chauntynge
That to bere the true playne songe it is not possible
his proporcions be so hard with so hight a quatrible
And the playn songe in the margyn so exastely bounde
That the true tunys of tuball cannot haue the right sounde

[trouthe in marg.]
Wele quod trouthe yet onys I trust verely
to haue my voice and synge agayne
And to flet out trouthe and clarify it truly
And ete sugor Candy a daye or twayne
And then to the deske to synge true and playn
Enformacion shall not alway entune hys songe
My partes shalbe true when his countrevers shalbe wronge

[Enformacion in marg.]
Enformacion hym enbolded of the monacorde
From consonuntes to concordys he mused his maistry
I assaide the musike bothe knyght and lorde
But none wold speke the sounde borde was to hye
Then kept I the playn keyes that marred all my melody
Enformacion drave a crochet that past all my songe
With proporcio parforche dreven on to longe

[dialoge in marg.]
Sufferance came in to syng a parte
Go to quod trouth I pray yow begynne
Nay soft quod he the gise of my arte
ys to rest a longe rest or I set in
Nay be longe restynge ye shall nothing wynne
For enformacion is so crafty and so hye in his songe
That if ye fall to restynge in faith it wilbe wronge

[-f.164r-] [Trouthe in marg.]
Enformacion will teche a drtor hys game
From superacute to the doble diapason
I assaide to acute and when I came
Enformacion was mete for a doble dyatesseron
he songe be apothome that hath two kyndes in one
With mony subtill semytunys most mete for his songe
Pacience parforche content you with wronge

[Trouthe in marg.]
I kepe berounde and he be square
The one is bemole and the other bequarre
Yf I myght make tryall as I couthe and dare
I shuld shew why thes ij kyndes do varry
but god knowith all so doth not Kyng Harry
For if he didde then chaunge shulde this mi songe
pitie for patience and conscience for wronge

Me nysswhete parabolam

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