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A marchaunt eke, that wyll goo seke

By all the meanes he may,
To fall in sute tyll he dispute

His money cleane away;
Pletyng the lawe for every strawe,

Shall prove a thrifty man,
With bate and strife, but by my life,

I cannot tell you whan.
Whan an hatter will smatter

In philofophy :
Or a pedlar waxe a medlar

In theology.
In these lines, which are intended to illustrate by familiar ex-
amples, the absurdity of a serjeant at law assuming the business
of a friar, perhaps the reader perceives but little of that festi-
vity, which is supposed to have marked the character and the
conversation of fir Thomas More. The last two stanzas deserve
to be transcribed, as they prove, that this tale was designed to
be sung to music by a minstrel, for the entertainment of
company.

Now Maisters all, here now I shall

End then as I began;
In any wyse, I would avyse,

And counsayle every man,
His own crafte use, all new refuse,

And lyghtly let them gone :

Play not the FreeRE, Now make good cheere.
This piece is mentioned, among other popular story-books in
1575, by Laneham, in his ENTERTAINMENT AT KILLING-
WORTH CASTLE in the reign of queen Elisabeth

In certAIN METERS, written also in his youth, as a prologue for his BOKE OF FORTUNE, and forming a poem of con

d. Debate.

• Fol. 44. seq.

fiderable

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,
Silver and gold, rich perle and precious stone ;
On whiche the mased people gase and stare,
And gape therefore, as dogges doe for the bone.
Fortune at them laugheth: and in her trone
Amyd her treasure and waveryng rycheffe
Prowdly she hoveth as lady and empresse.

Fast by her syde doth wery Labour stand,
Pale Fere also, and Sorow all bewept;
Disdayn, and Hatred, on that other hand,
Eke restles Watch from slepe with travayles kept:
Before her ftandeth Daunger and Envy,
Flattery, Dysceyt, Mischiefe, and Tiranny'.

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 ?
Goodly Rychemonde 5, fone art thou

gone

from me! At Weftmynster that costly worke of yours

Ibid, Sign. C. iii.

8 The palace of Richmond.

Myne

Myne owne dere lorde, now shall I never fe"!
Almighty God vouchsafe to graunt that ye
For

your

children well may edify, My palace byldyd is, and lo now here I ly.

you and

Farewell my doughter, lady Margaret' !
God wotte, full oft it greved hath my mynde
That

ye
should

go

where we should seldom mete,
Now I am gone and have left you behynde.
O mortall folke, that we be very blynde !
That we left feere, full oft it is most nye:
From you depart I must, and lo now here I lye.

Farewell, madame, my lordes worthy mother!
Comforte your son, and be ye of good chere.
Take all a worth, for it will be no nother,
Farewell my doughter Katharine, late the fere
To prince Arthur myne owne chyld so dere'.
It boteth not for me to wepe

and

cry, Pray for my fowle, for lo now here I lye.

Adew lord Henry, my loving sonne adew",
Our lord encrease your honour and estate,
Adew my doughter Mary, bright of hew",
God make you vertuous, wyse, and fortunate.
Adew swete hart, my little doughter Kate',
Thou shalt, swete babe, such is thy destiny,
Thy mother never know, for lo now here I ly?.

b

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

queen

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

year

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,
To cast a coyte ?, a cokstele', or a ball;
A toppe can I set, and dryve in its kynde :
But would to God, these hatefull bookes all
Were in a fyre ybrent to pouder small !
Then myght I lede my lyfe alwayes in play,
Which lyfe God sende me to myne endyng day.

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
To hunt and hawke, to nourishe up and fede
The grayhounde to the course, the hawke to th' Ayght,
And to bestryde a good and lusty stede :
These thynges become a very man in dede.
Yet thinketh this boy his pevishe game sweter,
But what, no force, his reason is no better.

9 A quoit.

A stick for throwing at a cock. Stele is handle, Saxi

The

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
placed them accordingly.

w Ibid. b. iii.
* Ut fupr. fol. 1432.

affords

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