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refined, either to relish or to produce, burlesque poetry. Harrifon, the author of the DESCRIPTION OF BRITAINE, pre
• But I must not forget Chaucer's ŞIR THOPAS : and that among the Cotton manuscripts, there is an anonymous poem, perhaps coeval with Chaucer, in the style of allegorical burlesque, which describes the power of money, with great humour, and in no common vein of fatire. The hero of the piece is six PENNY, MSS. Cott. Cal. 7. A. 2. INCIPIT NARRACIO D'EDNO DENARIO.
In erth it es a littill thing,
gers them off do doun thaire hoder
With Peny may men wemen till *
bind. The pouer er ay put bihind, Whare he comes in place. When he bigines him to mello, He makes meke that are was fell. And waik P that bald has bene. All ye nedes ful fone er sped 4, Bath withowten borgh and wed', Whare Peni gafe bitwenef. The domes men he mase' so blind That he may noght the right find Ne the futh " to se. For to gif dome W tham es ful lath, 'Tharwith to mak sır Peni wrath. Ful dere with tham es he, Thare 7 ftrif was Peni makes pese a, Of all angers he may relese, In land whare he will lende, Of fase * may he mak frendes sad, Of counfail thar tham neuer be rad, That may haue him to frende. That Sir B es set on high defe, And serued with mapi riche mese At the high burde The more he es to men plente, The more zernid' alway es he :
fixed to Hollinshed's Chronicle, has left a sensible criticism on
" One hath made a boke of the SPIDER AND
And halden dere in horde.
both lene and gyf;
Sir Peny over all gettes the grey,
An old Scotch poem called siR PENNY has been formed from this, printed in AnTIENT Scottish Poems, P. 153. Edinb. 1770. (See supr. vol. i. 9.]
& Despise. Quit.
į Blind. k Wholly. I Love, m Never ceafe, A Lend. o Kill and save, P Sea and land. 9 Doing and speaking. : To fit. • Under any difficulty. i Whatever happens, u Deídised. w Causes many to ride, &c. * Every,
y Degree. Pre-eminence.
* As appears in the place of judicature. Or, in paffing sentence,
$ Lengthens. h Death,
Love money not too much, I advife. k Covetousness. | Too much therein. m Nyding. Be not too careless of it. • To us.
« Flie, wherin he dealeth fo profoundly, and beyond all mea“ sure of fkill, that neither he himfelf that made it, neither
any one that readeth it, can reach unto the meaning thereof." It is a proof of the unpopularity of this poem, that it never was reprinted. Our author's EPIGRAMS, and the poem of ProVERBS, were in high vogue, and had numerous editions within the
year 1598. The most lively part of the Spider and FLIE is perhaps the mock-fight between the spiders and flies, an awkward imitation of Homer's BATRACHOMUOMACHY. The
preparations for this bloody and eventful engagement, on the part
of the spiders, in their cobweb-castle, are thus described.
Behold! the battilments in every loope :
Se th' en prenabill' fort, in every border,
My hart shaketh at the light: behold it is hell's The beginning of all this confusion is owing to a fly entering the poet's window, not through a broken pane, as might be presumed, but through the lattice, where it is suddenly entangled in a cobweb The cobweb, however, will be allowed to be suf
* DESCRIPT. BRIT. P. 226. Hollinth. CHRON. tom. i.
• In rows. 1
Impregnable. Vol. III.
Clad in armour.
* Cap. i.
ficiently descriptive of the poet's apartment. But I mention this circumstance as a probable proof, that windows of lattice, and not of glass, were now the common fashion'.
John Heywood died at Mechlin in Brabant about the year 1565. He was inflexibly attached to the catholic cause, and on the death of queen Mary quitted the kingdom. Antony Wood remarks "", with his usual acrimony, that it was a matter of wonder with many, that, considering the great and usual want of principle in the profession, a poet should become a voluntary exile for the sake of religion.
KNOW not if fir Thomas More may properly be considered
as an English poet. He has, however, left a few obsolete poems, which although without any striking merit, yet, as productions of the restorer of literature in England, seem to claim fome notice here. One of these is, A MERY Jest bow a SERGEANT would learne to play the FreeRe. Written by Maister Thomas More in bys youth ·. The story is too dull and too long to be told here. But I will cite two or three of the prefatory stanzas.
He that hath lafte the Hosier's crafte,
And fallth to makyng shone“;
His thrift is well nigh done.
To goe to writing fcole,
I wene hal prove a fole.
Nothyng but kysse the cup,
Till the hath soused hym up.
The wayes to bye and fell,
praye god spede hym well!
* WORKES, Lond. 1557. in folio. Sign. C, i.