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24r). Wilson also notes with approval the Roman practice where only married men could hold public ofﬁce and thus perform their civic duties (fol. 24r). 1. 284–6). 24 Within the text, decorous behaviour, loyalty, lawfulness and urban-dwelling are all interchangeable: the characteristics of those living in the ‘corporate towns’. The systematic establishment of corporate towns is even seen as an instrument of civility and – in Ireland’s case – of settlement and paciﬁcation, since ‘nothing doth sooner cause civility in any countrie than many market towns, by reason that people repairing thither for their needes will dayly see and learne manners of the better sort’ (p.
When faced with the return of Catholicism to Ireland on the death of Edward VI, Bale’s ﬁrst response is to turn again to the word. Whilst the ‘prebendaryes and prestes’ indulge in ritual, ‘wearinge the cope / the croser / and myter in procession’, Bale stages his own Protestant morality plays in the market place in Kilkenny, the centre of civic activity. xii. chap. Of S. ’, in which – with the Bible, ‘Christes testament’, in his hand – he declares ‘to them bravely / what autoritie was of the worldly powers & magistrates’, ‘the yonge men’ of the town spend the ‘forenone’ performing the Tragedy of God’s Promises at the market cross; the ‘Commedie of sanct John Baptistes preachinges / of Christes baptysynge and then temptacioun in the wildernesse’ follows in the afternoon (fol.
39. William Bullein, A Dialogue bothe Pleasaunt and Pietiful […] Against the Fever Pestilence (London, 1564), sig. A5v. I am grateful to Joan Beal for bringing Bullein’s text to my attention at the ‘Urbane Myths’ conference in Newcastleupon-Tyne, July 2000. 40. Spenser, A View, p. 84. 41. Edmund Coote, The English Schoolemaister (London, 1596), sig. A2v. 42. Ceri Sullivan, Dismembered Rhetoric: English Recusant Writing, 1580–1603 (Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson, 1995). Although Sullivan’s book concentrates on writing after 1580, as her introduction shows, the deployment of Catholic rhetoric and preaching preceded this date.