TEXTS ON MUSIC IN ENGLISH
School of Music
University of Nebraska--Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-0100
(phone:  472-2507; Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Data entry: Jonathan Haupt
Checked by: Peter Slemon
Approved by: Peter M. Lefferts
Fn and Ft: CORNPAR5_TEXT
Author: Cornysh, William
Title: A Treatise between Information and Truth
Source: Ewald Flügel, "Kleine Mitteilungen aus Handschriften," Anglia 14 (1892): 463-501 at 467-71.
[-467-] In the fleete maade be me willm Cornyshe
otherwyse called nysshewhete chapelman with
the moost famost and noble kyng henry the
VIIth his raygne the XIXth yere the month of
July A treatise bitwene Trowth and enformacion.
A. B. of E. how C. for T. was p. in p.
[The hole content in marg.]
The knowledge of god passith comparyson ---
the devill knowith all il thinge consented or done.
And man knowith nothinge saue only by reason
And reason in man is diuerse of operacon
how can then man be perfite of cognicion
ffor reason shall so reason that sometyme amonge
A man be enformacon may right wysly do wronge.
[Gospell in marg.]
The auctorysed gospell and reason holdith therwith
Whose litterall sence agreith to the fore seyynge
Qui ambulat in tenebris nescit quo vadit.
[-468-] now moralyse ye farther and peise the counte weyynge
I mene bitwene troth and sotely 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[y] purpose fals maters to compase
the Juge must procede yet in hym non offence
ffor as they gif verdit the iugement must pase
but where the faute is non dormit Judas
fforby fals enformacion many tymes amonge
right shalbe rewled and the rightiwuse shall do wronge.
[Evell Enformares. in marg.]
But wo t[o] suche enformers who thei be
that makith their malise 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 sounde[s]
who settith a songe shulde geve hym to armony
who kepith treue his tunys may not passe his soundes
his alteracions and prolacions must be prikked trewly.
ffor musike is treue tho mynstralles makith maistry
The harper carieth 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
If 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
[-469-] 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 what he can do to haue it songe wronge.
[A clarrycorde in marg.]
The clarrycord hath a evynly kynde
As the wyre is wrested hye and lowe
So it tunythe to the players mynde
ffor as it is wrested soo must it needys show
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 trumpett in marg.]
A trompet blowen hye with to harde a blast
Shall cause him to varry from the tunable kynde
But he that bloweth to hard must swage at the last
And fayne to fall lower with a temperat wynde
And then the trompet the true tune shall fynde
ffor an Instrument ouerwynded 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 vo[i]ce be tunable
Who wrestith the clarricorde mystunynge eschew
Who bloweth a trompet let his wynde be mesurable
ffor 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 wide 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 Jndicion 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 good will
To remember 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.
[-470-] [Trouthe in marg.]
Yet trouth was drownded 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.
[truthe in marg.]
I assaide thes tunes me t[h]owght 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 high[t] a quatrible
And the playn songe in the margyn so exa[l]tely 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
ffrom 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.
[-471-] [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
ffor enformacion is so crafty and so hye in his songe
That if ye fall to restynge in faith it wilbe wronge.
[Trouthe in marg.]
Enformacion will teche a doctor hys game
ffrom superacute to the doble diapason
I assaide to acute and when I came
Enformacion was mete for a doble dyatesseron
he songe be a pothorne 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 be rounde and he be square
The one is be mole and the other be quarre
yf I myght make tryall as I couthe and dare
I shuld shew why thes jj kyndes do varry
but god knowith all so doth not kyng harry
ffor if he didde then chaunge shulde this mi songe
pitie for patience and conscience for wronge.