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That in a bravado
But I must not here forget, that Dunbar, a Scotch poet of Skelton's own age, already mentioned, wrote in this way. His TESTAMENT OF MAISTER ANDRO KENNEDY, which represents the character of an idle dissolute scholar, and ridicules the funeral ceremonies of the Romish communion, has almost every alternate line composed of the formularies of a Latin Will, and shreds of the breviary, mixed with what the French call Latin de cuisine". There is some humour, arising from these burlesque applications, in the following stanzas.
In die meæ sepulturæ,
“ I will not say,
1 Printed at Oxford by Joseph Barnes, by lord Nottingham's players, and print1589. 4to. See also a doggrel piece of ed in quarto, at London, in 1601, is inthis kind, in imitation of Skelton, intro- troduced by John Skelton, poet laureat duced into Browne's SHEPHERD's Pipe, to king Henry the Eighth. The second Lond. 1614. 8vo. Perhaps this way of part, printed with the former, is introwriting is ridiculed by Shakespeare, duced by Fryar Tuck, with whom I am MERKY Wives of Winds. A. ii. Sc. i. less acquainted. (Friar Tuck is, how. Where Falstaffe says,
ever, mentioned in Skelton's play of Pity me, 'tis not a soldier's phrase, but MAGNIFICENCE. f. 5. b. I say
love me: by me Thine own true knight, by day or night, And boyes to the pylery gan me plucke,
Another bade shave halfe my berde, Or'any kind of light, with all his might And wolde have made me FREER TUCKE With thee to fight.
To preche oute of the pylery hole. See also the Interlude of Pyramus and
ADDITIONS.] Thisbe, in the MIDSUMMER Night's Dream. Often printed separately in (For an account of Fryar Tuck, see quarto, as a droll for Bartholomew fair, Mr. Douce's Illustrations of Shakunder the title of BOTTOM THE WEAVER. speare, and Mr. Brand's “ Popular AnSkelton, however, seems to have retained tiquities."-Edit.] his popularity till late. For the first
See Ant. SCOTTISH POEMS, Edinb. part of T. Heywood's two-fold play on
1770. p. 35. And the Notes of the the earl of Huntingdon, entitled, " Ro- learned and ingenious editor ; who says, bert earl of Huntingdon's downfall, af. that Dunbar's Derge is a most profane terwards called Robin Hood of merry parody on the popish litanies. p. 248. Sherwoode, with his love to chaste Ma.
St. xiii. xiv. tilda the lord Fitzwater's daughter, af.
• My own merry companions. terwards his fair maid Marian," acted
Drinkand and playand cap out, even.
De terra plasmasti me.' We must, however, acknowledge, that Skelton, notwithstanding his scurrility, was a classical scholar; and in that capacity he was tutor to prince Henry, afterwards king Henry the Eighth: at whose accession to the throne, he was appointed the royal orator. He is styled by Erasmus, “ Britannicarum literarum decus et lumenu.” His Latin elegiacs are pure, and
4 With that verse, or stanza, in the curse for the miller's eeles that were Psalms, "I have mingled my drink with stolne. weeping."
"A hymn on the resurrection in the All you that stolen the miller's eeles, missal, sung at funerals.
Laudate dominum de cælis, • Instead of a cross on my grave to
And all they that have consented thereto, keep off the devil.
Benedicamus domino.' A verse in the Psalms. See other instances in Dunbar, ibid. p. 78. In See a poem on Becket's martyrdom, in
Wasse's BIBL. LITER. Num. i. p. 99, George Bannatyne's manuscript collec
Lond. 1722. 4to. Hither we must retion of old Scotch poetry are many examples of this mixture : the impropriety fer the old Caroll on the Boar's Head, of which was not perhaps perceived by Hist. vol. iii. p. 740. (See also supr.
Hearne's Spicileg. ad Gul. Neubrig. aur ancestors. Ibid. p. 268. See a very vol. i. p. 90.] Some of the metrical ludicrous specimen in Harsenet's DE
hymns in the French FETE DE ANE are TECTION, p. 156. Where he mentions a
See MERCURE witch who has learned of an old wife in Latin and French. in a chimnies end Pux, mar, fax, for a
DE FRANCE, Avril. 1725. p. 724. suix.
" See Or. p. 1019. 1021, spell; or can say sir John of Grantam's
often unmixed with the monastic phraseology; and they prove, that if his natural propensity to the ridiculous had not more frequently seduced him to follow the whimsies of Walter Mapes and Golias W, than to copy the elegancies of Ovid, he would have appeared among the first writers of Latin poetry in England at the general restoration of literature. Skelton could not avoid acting as a buffoon in any language, or any character.
I cannot quit Skelton, of whom I yet fear too much has been already said, without restoring to the public notice a play, or MORALITY, written by him, not recited in any catalogue of his works, or annals of English typography; and, I believe, at present totally unknown to the antiquarians in this sort of literature. It is, The NigrAMANSIR, a morall ENTERLUDE and a pithie written by Maister Skelton laureate, and plaid before the king and other estatys at Woodstoke on Palme Sunday. It was printed by Wynkin de Worde in a thin quarto, in the year 1504x. It must have been presented before king Henry the Seventh, at the royal manor or palace, at Woodstock in Oxfordshire, now destroyed. The characters are a Necro mancer, or conjurer, the devil, a notary public, Simonie', and
W These two writers are often con UNDER LEO THE TENTH, and with a view founded. See the Second DISSERTATION. to that desigv, had collected many scarce James says, that Golias was not a name books. Some few of these fell into my adopted by Mapes : but that there was a hands at his death.
The rest, among real writer of that name, a collection of which, I suppose, was this INTERLUDES whose works he had seen. See MSS. were dispersed. (Bibl. Bodl.] James, i. p. 320. Golias In the Mystery of MARIE MAGDAand Mapes appear to have been cotem LENE, written in 1512, a Heathen is inporaries, and of a similar genius. The troduced celebrating the service of Macurious reader will find many extracts hound, who is called Saracenorum fortisfrom their poetry, which has very great simus; in the midst of which he reads a merit in its way, among James's manu Lesson from the Alcoran, consisting of script collections. The facility of these gibberish, much in the metre and manner old Latin rhymers is amazing: and they of Skelton. MSS. Digb. 193. have a degree of humour and elegance y Simony is introduced as a person in far exceeding their age.
SIR PENNY, an old Scotch poem, written My lamented friend Mr. William in 1527, by Stewart of Lorne. See AxCollins, whose ODEs will be remembered TIENT SCOTTISH POEMS. Edinb. 1770. while any taste for true poetry remains, 8vo. p. 154. shewed me this piece at Chichester, not many months before his death; and he
So wily can syr Peter wink,
And als sir Symony his servand, pointed it out as a very rare and valuable
That now is gydlar of the kyrk. curiosity. He intended to write the HiSTORY OF THE RESTORATION OF LEAlging and again, in an antient anonyinous
Philargyria ?, or Avarice. It is partly a satire on some abuses in the church; yet not without a due regard to decency, and an apparent respect for the dignity of the audience. The story, or plot, is the tryal of Simony and AVARICE: the devil is the judge, and the notary public acts as an assessor or scribe. The prisoners, as we may suppose, are found guilty, and ordered into hell immediately. There is no sort of propriety in calling this play the Necromancer : for the only business and use of this character is to open the subject in a long prologue, to evoke the devil, and summon the court. The devil kicks the necromancer, for waking him so soon in the morning: a proof, that this drama was performed in the morning, perhaps in the chapel of the palace. A variety of measures, with shreds of Latin and French, is used: but the devil speaks in the octave stanza. One of the stage-directions is, Enter Balsebub with a Berde. To make him both frightful and ridiculous, the devil was most commonly introduced on the stage, wearing a visard with an immense beard“. Philargyria quotes Seneca and saint
Scotch poem, ibid. p. 253. At a feast, of Great Britain, what houses were builded, to which many disorderly persons are and lands appointed, for his provision," &c. invited, among the rest are,
1551. 4to. And twa lerit men thairby,
* Thus in Turpin's HISTORY OF CHAR
LEMAGNE, the Saracens appear, “Ha. Schir Ochir and schir Simony.
bentes LARVAS BARBATAS, cornutas, DæThat is, sir Usury and sir Simony. Si
MONIBUS consimiles,” c. xviii. And in MONY is also a character in Pierce Plow.
LEWIS THE Eighth, an old French ro. man's Visions. Pass, sec. fol. viji. b. mance of Philip Mouskes. edit. 1550. Wiccliffe, who flourished
J ot apries lui une barboire, about the year 1350, thus describes the
Com diable cornu et noire. state of Simony in his time.
“ Some lords, to colouren their Symony, wole There was a species of masquerade cenot take for themselves but keverchiefs lebrated by the ecclesiastics in France, for the lady, or a palfray, or a tun of called the Shew of BEARDS, entirely wine. And when some lords wolden consisting of an exhibition of the most present a good man and able, for love of formidable beards. Gregory of Tours god and cristen souls, then some ladies says, that the abbess of Poictou was acbeen means to have a dancer, a tripper cused for suffering one of these shews, on tapits, or hunter or hawker, or a wild called a BARBATORIA, to be performed player of summers gamenes,” &c. MSS. in her monastery. Hist. lib. x. c. vi. C.C.C. Cant. 0. 161. 148. There is In the Epistles of Peter de Blois we an old poem on this subject, MSS. have the following passage.. Regis Bodl. 48.
curiam sequuntur assidue histriones, can. ? Robert Crowley, a great reformer, didatrices, aleatores, dulcorarii, caupoof whom more hereafter, wrote “ The nes, nebulatores, mimi, BARBATORES, baFable of PAILARGYRIA, the great gigant latrones, et hoc genus omne." Epist. xiv.
Austin : and Simony offers the devil a bribe. The devil rejects her offer with much indignation : and swears by the foule Eumenides, and the hoary beard of Charon, that she shall be well fried and roasted in the unfathomable sulphur of Cocytus, together with Mahomet, Pontius Pilate, the traitor Judas, and king Herod. The last scene is closed with a view of hell, and a dance between the devil and the necromancer. The dance ended, the devil trips up the necromancer's heels, and disappears in fire and smokeb. Great must have been the edification and entertainment which king Henry the Seventh and his
Where, by Barbatores, we are not to un ANGL. tom. ii. p. 23. But among the derstand Barbers, but mimics, or buf- religious, the Templars were permitted foons, disguised in huge bearded masks. to wear long beards. In the year 1911, In Don Quixote, the barber who per- king Edward the Second granted letters sonates the squire of the princess Mico- of safe conduct to his valet Peter Auger, micona, wears one of these masks, “una who had made a vow not to shave his gran barba,” &c. Part. prim. c. xxvi. beard ; and who having resolved to visit 1. 3. And the countess of Trifaldi's some of the holy places abroad as a pilsquire has “la mas larga, la mas hor- grim, feared, on account of the length rida,” &c. Part. sec. c. xxxvi. 1. 8. See of his beard, that he might be mistaken OBSERVAT. ON SPENSER, vol. i. Sec- for a knight-templar, and insulted.
Pat. iv. Edw. H. In Dugdale's WakAbout the eleventh century, and long WICKSHIRE, p. 704. Many orders about before, beards were looked upon by the Beards occur in the registers of Linclergy as a secular vanity; and accord- coln’s-inn, cited by Dugdale. In the ingly were worn by the laity only. Yet year 1542, it was ordered, that no memin England this distinction seems to have ber, wearing a BEARD, should presume been more rigidly observed than in to dine in the hall. In 1553, says DugFrance. Malmesbury says, that king dale, “such as had beards should pay Harold, at the Norman invasion, sent twelve-pence for every meal they conspies into Duke William's camp; who tinued them; and every man to be reported, that most of the French army shaven, upon pain of being put out of were priests, because their faces were commons. ORIG. JURID. C. 64. p. 244. shaved. Hist. lib. iii. p.56. b. edit. Savil. In 1559, no member is permitted to wear 1596. The regulation remained among any beard above a fortnight's growth ; the English clergy at least till the reign under pain of expulsion for the third of Henry the Eighth : for Longland transgression. But the fashion of wearbishop of Lincoln, at a Visitation of ing beards beginning to spread, in 1560 Oriel college, Oxford, in 1531, orders it was agreed at a council, that “all orone of the fellows, a priest, to abstain, ders before that time made, touching under pain of expulsion, from wearing a Beards, should be void and repealed. beard, and pinked shoes, like a laic; and Dugd. ibid. p. 245. not to take the liberty, for the future, of • In the Mystery of Mary MAGDAinsulting and ridiculing the governor LENE, just mentioned, one of the stage and fellows of the society. ORDINAT. directions is, “Here enters the prynse Coll. Oriel. Oxon. Append. ad Joh. of the devylls in a stage, with hell onTROKELOWE, p. 339. See Edicts of king derneth the stage. " MSS. DIGB. 133. John, in Prynne, LIBERTAT. ECCLES.