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Of the commodities of Spaine and of Flanders. The first Chapter.

KNOWE well all men that profits in certaine
Commodities called comming out of Spaine
And Marchandie, who so will weete what it is,
Bene Figs, Raisins, wine Bastard, and Datis,
And Licoris, Sivill oyle, and graine,
White Pastill Sope, and Waxe is not vayne.
Yron , Wooll, Wadmolle, Gotefell, Kidfell also:
For Poynt-makers full needefull bene they tweyn:
Saffron, Quickesilver, which owne Spaine Marchandy,
Is into Flanders shipped full craftily,
Unto Bruges as to her staple fayre:
The Haven of Scluse hir Haven for her repayre
Which is cleped Swyn tho shippes giding:
Where many vessels and fayre are abiding.
But these Marchandes with their shippes great,
And such chaffare as they bye and get
By the weyes must nede take on hand
By the coasts to passe of our England,
Betwixt Dover and Caleis, this is no doubt.
Who can well els such matter bring about?
And when these sayd Marchants discharged bee
Of Marchandie in Flanders nere the see,
Then they bee charged againe with Marchandy,
That to Flanders bougeth full richly.
Fine cloth of Ypre that named is better than ours,
Cloth of Curtrike, fine cloth of all colours,
Much Fustian, and also Linen cloth.
But Flemings, if yee bee not wroth,
The great substance of your cloth at the full
Yee wot ye make it of our English woll.
Then may it not sinke in mannis brayne,
But that it must this Marchandy of Spaine
Both out and in by our costes passe:
Hee that sayd nay in witte was like an asse.

Wee should have peace with the grounds tweyne
Thus if this see were kept, I dare well sayne.
For Spaine and Flanders is as eche other brother,
And nether may well live without other:
They may not liven to maintaine their degrees,
Without our English commodities:
Wolle and Tynne: for the woolle of England
Susteineth the Commons Flemings I understand.
Then if England would her wolle restraine
From Flanders, this followeth in certaine,
Flanders of nede must with us have peace,
Or els shee is destroyed without lees.
Also if Flanders thus destroyed bee:
Some Marchandy of Spaine will never ythee:
For destroyed it is, and as in cheeffe
The wolle of Spaine it commeth not to preeffe,
But if it be costed and menged well
Amongst the English wolle the greter delle.
For Spanish wooll in Flaunders draped is,
And ever hath bee, that men have minde of this:
And yet Wooll is one of the chiefe Marchandy
That longeth to Spaine: who so will espie,
It is of little value, trust unto mee,
With English wooll but if it menged bee.
Thus if the sea be kept, than herken hether,
If these two lands comen not together:
So that the Fleete of Flanders passe nought
That in the narrowe see it be not brought
Into the Rochelle to fetch the fumose wine,
Ner into Bytonuse Bay for salt so fine,
What is then Spaine? What is Flanders also?
As who sayd, nought, the thrift is agoe.
For the little land of Flanders is
But a staple to other lands ywis:
And all that groweth in Flanders graine and seede
May not a Moneth finde hem meate and brede.
What hath then Flanders, bee Flemings lieffe or loth,
But a little Mader and Flemish Cloth:
By Drapering of our wooll in substance
Liven her commons, this is her governance,
Without wich they may not live at ease.
Thus must hem sterve, or with us must have peace.

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