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GISTRATEs, an incidental departure from the general line of our chronologic series has been incurred. But such an anticipation was unavoidable, in order to exhibit a full and uninterrupted view of that poem, which originated in the reign of Mary, and was not finally completed till the beginning of the seventeenth century. I now therefore return to the reign of queen Mary.
To this reign I assign Richard Edwards, a native of Somersetshire about the year 1523. He is said by Wood to have been a scholar of Corpus Christi college in Oxford: but in his early years, he was employed in some department about the court. This circumstance appears from one of his poems in the PARADISE OF DAINTie Devises, a miscellany which contains many of his pieces. In youthfull yeares when first my young desires began To pricke me forth to serve in court, a fender tall young man, My fathers blessing then, I asked upon my knee, Who blessing me with trembling hand, these wordes gan say
My sonne, God guide thy way, and shield thee from mischaunce, and make thy just desartes in court, thy poore estate to advance,
In the year 1547, he was appointed a senior student of Christhurch in Oxford, then newly founded. In the British Museum
there is a small set of manuscript fonnets signed with his initials,
When queen Elisabeth visited Oxford in 1566, she was at-
I MSS. Cotton. Tit. A. xxiv. “ To og fome court Ladies."-Pr." Howarde is
not hawghte, &c.”
• George Etheridge, born at Thame in Oxfordshire, was admitted Scholar of Cor. pus Chrifti college Oxford, under the tuition of the learned John Shepreve, in 1534. Fellow, in 1539. In 1553, he was made royal professor of Greek at Oxford. In 1556, he was recommended by lord Williams of Thame, to Sir Thomas Pope founder of Trinity college in Oxford, to be admitted a fellow of his college at its first foundation. But Etheridge chusing to pursue the medical line, that scheme did not take effect. He was persecuted for popery by queen Elisabeth at her ac, ceflion ; but afterwards practised phyfic at Oxford with much reputation, and established a private seminary there for the instruction of catholic youths in the classics, music, and logic. Notwithstanding his ac. tive perseverance in the papiftic persuafion, he presented to the queen when the visited Oxford in 1566, an Encomium in Greek verse on her father Henry, now in the British Museum, MSS, BIBL. Reg.160. x. He prefixed a not inelegant preface in Latin verfę to his tutor Shepreve's Hype
POLYTUS, an Answer to Ovid's PAÆDRA,
matician, and one of the most excellent
His chief patrons
printed by Richard Johnes, and dated 1571". The first edition was printed by William How in Fleet-street, in 1570, with this title, “ The tragical comedie of DAMON AND PITHIAS, * newly imprinted as the same was playde before the queenes - maiestie by the children of her graces chapple. Made by * Mayster Edward then being master of the children'.” There s some degree of low humour in the dialogues between Grimme che collier and the two lacquies, which I presume was highly pleasing to the queen. · He probably wrote many other dramatic ieces now loft. Puttenham having mentioned lord Buckhurst nd Master Edward Ferrys, or Ferrers, as most eminent in traedy, gives the prize to Edwards for Comedy and Interlude s. The word Interlude is here of wide extent. For Edwards, bea des that he was a writer of regular dramas, appears to have een a contriver of masques, and a composer of poetry for pa
In a word, he united all those arts and accomplishents which minister to popular pleasantry: he was the first ddle, the most fashionable sonnetteer, the readiest rhymer, and he most facetious mimic, of the court. In consequence of his ve and his knowledge of the histrionic art, he taught the noristers over which he presided to act plays; and they were rmed into a company of players, like those of faint Paul's thedral, by the queen's licence, under the superintendency of dwards
The most poetical of Edwards's ditties in the PARADISE OF AINTIE Devises is a description of May'. The rest are oral sentences in stanzas. His SOUL-KNELL, supposed to
Quarto. Bl. lett.
subscribed M. S. ibid. CARM. 29. This Quarto. Bl. lett. The third edition miscellany, of which more will be said mong Mr. Garrick's Plays. 4to. Bl. L. hereafter, is said in the title to“ be de. ed 1582.
“ vised and written for the most parte by ARTE OP ENGLISH POETRY. fol. 51. “ M. Edwardes sometime of her maiefties See fupr. vol. ii. 393.
“ Chappell.” Edwards however had been CARM. 6. edit. 1585. It seems to have · dead twelve years when the first edition n a favorite, and is complimented in appeared, viz. in 1578. ther piece, A reply to M. Edwardes May,
have been written on his death-bed, was once celebrated k. His popularity seems to have altogether arisen from those pleasing talents of which no specimens could be transmitted to pofterity, and which prejudiced his partial cotemporaries in favour of his poetry. He died in the year 1566!.
In the Epitaphs, Songs, and Sonets of George Turbervile, printed in 1570, there are two elegies on his death; which record the places of his education, ascertain his poetical and musical character, and bear ample testimony to the high distinction in which his performances, more particularly of the dramatic kind, were held. The fist is by Turbervile himself, entitled, “An
Epitaph on Maister Edwards, sometime Maister of the Children “ of the Chappell and gentleman of Lyncolnes inne of court.”
Ye learned Muses nine
And sacred sisters all
And to lamenting fall.
The chiefest of your traine,
By cruell death is flaine.
Lament in wastefull wise ;
In clay his carcas lies.
That, whilst he lived here,
Could have no English peere.
* It is mentioned by G. Gascoigne in his Epifle to the young' Gentlemen, before his works, 1987. qu.
I Wood, Ath. Oxon. i. 151. See also, ibid, FAST, 71.
His vaine in verse was such,
So stately eke his stile,
And Romaines would repine,
His verse with scornefull eine..
And learned Terence wan, &co.
The other is written by Thomas Twyne, an assistant in Phaer's Translation of Virgil's Eneid into English verse, educated a few years after Edwards at Corpus Christi college, and an actor in Edwards's play of PALAMON AND Arcite before queen Elisabeth at Oxford in 1566 ?. It is entitled, “ An
Epitaph vpon the death of the worshipfull Mayster Richarde
Shakespeare has inserted a part of Edwards's song In Commendation of Muficke, extant at length in the PARADISE OF DAINTIE Devises, (fol. 34. b.) in Ro. MEO AND JULIET. “When griping grief, “ &c.” Act iv. Sc. 5. In some Miscel. lany of the reign of Elisabeth, I have seen a long called The WILLOW-GARLAND, attributed to Edwards : and the same, I think, that is licenced to T. Colwell in 1564, beginning, “ I am not the fyrst that "s barb taken in hande, The wearynge of the “ willowe garlande.” This song, often reprinted, seems to have been written in confequence of that sung by Desdemona in OTHELLO, with the burden, Sing, O the greene willowe shall be my garland. OTHELL. Act iv. Sc. 3. See REGISTER OF THE STATIONERS, A. fol. 119. b. Hence the antiquity of Desdemona's song may in some degree be ascertained. I take this opportunity of observing, that the ballad of SUSAN. NAH, part of which is sung by fir Toby in
TWELFTH Night, was licenced to T. Colwell, in 1562, with the title, “The
godlye and constante wyfe Susanna." Ibid. fol. 89. b. There is a play on this subject, ibid. fol. 176. a. See Tw. N. Act ii. Sc. 3. And COLLECT, PEPYSIAN, tom. i. p. 33. 496.
P Miles Winsore of the same college was another actor in that play, and I suppose his performance was much liked by the queen. For when her majesty left Oxo ford, after this visit, he was appointed by the university to speak an oration before her at lord Windsor's at Bradenham in Bucks : and when he had done speaking, the queen turning to Gama de Sylva, the Spanish ambassador, and looking wiftly on Winsore, said to the ambaffador, 1 et this a pretty young man? Wood, A.4. Oxon.i. 151. 489. Winsore proved af. terwards a diligent antiquary.