« הקודםהמשך »
A marchaunt eke, that wyll goo seke
By all the meanes he may,
His money cleane away;
Shall prove a thrifty man,
I cannot tell you whan.
In philofophy :
Now Maisters all, here now I shall
End then as I began;
And counsayle every man,
And lyghtly let them gone :
Play not the FreeRE, Now make good cheere.
In certAIN METERS, written also in his youth, as a prologue for his BOKE OF FORTUNE, and forming a poem of con
• Fol. 44. seq.
fiderable length, are these stanzas, which are an attempt at personification and imagery. Fortune is represented fitting on a lofty throne, smiling on all mankind who are gathered around her, eagerly expecting a distribution of her favours.
Then, as a bayte, the bryngeth forth her ware,
Fast by her syde doth wery Labour stand,
Another of fir Thomas More's juvenile poems is, A RUFULL LAMENTATION on the death of queen Elisabeth, wife of Henry the seventh, and mother of Henry the eighth, who died in childbed, in 1503.
It is evidently formed on the tragical foliloquies, which compose Lydgate's paraphrase of Boccace's book DE CASIBUS VIRORUM ILLUSTRIUM, and which gave birth to the MIRROR OF MAGISTRATes, the origin of our historic dramas. These stanzas are part of the queen's complaint at the approach of death.
Where are our caftels now, where are our towers ?
from me! At Weftmynster that costly worke of yours
Ibid, Sign. C. iii.
8 The palace of Richmond.
Myne owne dere lorde, now shall I never fe"!
children well may edify, My palace byldyd is, and lo now here I ly.
Farewell my doughter, lady Margaret' !
where we should seldom mete,
Farewell, madame, my lordes worthy mother!
cry, Pray for my fowle, for lo now here I lye.
Adew lord Henry, my loving sonne adew",
King Henry the seventh's chapel, begun in the year 1902. The year before the queen died.
i Married in 1503, to James the fourth, king of Scotland.
* Margaret countess of Richmond.
| Catharine of Spain, wife of her son prince Arthur, now dead.
Afterwards king Henry the eighth. A Afterwards
of France. Remarried to Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk.
• The queen died within a few days after she was delivered of this infant, the princess Catharine, who did not long survive her mother's death.
| Workes, ut fupr.
In the fourth stanza, she reproaches the astrologers for their falsity in having predicted, that this should be the happiest and most fortunate
of her whole life. This, while it is a natural reflection in the speaker, is a proof of More's contempt of a futile and frivolous science, then so much in esteem. I have been prolix in my citation from this forgotten poem : but I am of opinion, that some of the stanzas have strokes of nature and pathos, and deserved to be rescued from total oblivion.
More, when a young man, contrived in an apartinent of his father's house a goodly hangyng of fyne painted clothe, exhibiting nine pageants, or allegoric representations, of the stages of man's life, together with the figures of Death, Fame, Time, and Eternity. Under each picture he wrote a stanza. The first is under CHILDHOODE, expressed by a boy whipping a top.
I am called ChilDHOD, in play is all my mynde,
Next was pictured MANHOD, a comely young man mounted on a fleet horse, with a hawk on his fist, and followed by two greyhounds, with this stanza affixed.
MANhod I am, therefore I me delyght
9 A quoit.
• A stick for throwing at a cock. Stele is handle, Saxi
The personification of Fame, like Rumour in the Chorus to Shakespeare's HENRY THE FIFT, is surrounded with tongues'.
Tapestry, with metrical legends illustrating the subject, was common in this age: and the public pageants in the streets were often exhibited with explanatory verses. I am of opinion, that the COMOEDIOLÆ, or little interludes, which More is said to have written and acted in his father's house, were only these nine pageants '.
Another juvenile exercise of More in the English stanza, is annexed to his prose translation of the LYFE of John Picus Mirandula, and entitled, Twelve Rules of John Picus MIRANDULA, partely exciting partely directing a man in SPIRITUAL BATAILE'. The old collector of his ENGLISH WORKES has also preserved two shorte ballettes", or stanzas, which he wrote for his pastyme, while a prisoner in the tower *.
It is not my design, by these specimens, to add to the fame of fir Thomas More; who is reverenced by posterity, as the scholar who taught that erudition which civilised his country, and as the philosopher who met the horrours of the block with that fortitude which was equally free from oftentation and enthusiasm : as the man, whose genius overthrew the fabric of false learning, and whose amiable tranquillity of temper triumphed over the malice and injustice of tyranny.
To some part of the reign of Henry the eighth I assign the TOURNAMENT OF Tottenham, or The wooeing, winning, and wedding of Tibbe the Reeves Daugbter there. I presume it will not be supposed to be later than that reign: and the substance of its phraseology, which I divest of its obvious innovations, is not altogether obsolete enough for a higher period. I am aware, that in a manuscript of the British Museum it is referred to the time of Henry the sixth. But that manuscript
• Ibid. Sign. C. iii.
See supr. Vol. ii. p. 387.
These pieces were written in the reign of Henry the seventh.. But as More flou.
rished in the succeeding reign, I have
w Ibid. b. iii.