« הקודםהמשך »
in the misfortunes of that injured princess, who had no other fault but an unguarded and indiscrete frankness of nature; and whose character has been blackened by the bigoted historians of the catholic cause, merely because she was the mother of queen Elizabeth. To gratify the ostensible jealousy of the king, who had conceived a violent passion for a new object, this amiable nobleman was beheaded on the first of May, in 1536 h. His elegance of person, and spritely conversation, captivated all the ladies of Henry's court. Wood
Wood says, that at the “royal court he was much adored, especially by the female sex, for his admirable discourse, and symmetry of body i.” From these irresistible allurements his enemies endeavoured to give a plausibility to their infamous charge of an incestuous connection. After his commitment to the Tower, his sister the queen, on being sent to the same place, asked the lieutenant, with a degree of eagerness, “Oh! where is my sweet brother?” Here was a specious confirmation of his imagined guilt: this stroke of natural tenderness was too readily interpreted into a licentious attachment. Bale mentions his RHYTHMI ELEGANTISSIMI', which Wood calls “Songs and Sonnets, with other things of the like naturem.” These are now lost, unless some, as I have insinuated, are contained in the present collection; a garland, in which it appears to have been the fashion for every FLOWERY Courtier to leave some of his blossoms. But Boleyn's poems cannot now be distinguished*.
The lord Vaulx, whom I have supposed, and on surer proof, to be another contributor to this miscellany, could not be the Nicholas lord Vaux, whose gown of purple velvet, plated with gold, eclipsed all the company present at the marriage of prince
ni Ubi supr.
See Dugd. Baron. iii. p. 306. a. Sweet Surrey suckt Pernassus springs, i Ath. Oxon. i. 44.
And Wiat wrote of wondrous things: Strype, Mem. i.
Old Rocurort clombe the statelie ji. 103.
throne [One of these has been pointed out Which Muses hold in Helicone. at p. 315. and his name was thus united Then thither let good Gascoigne go, with other known contributors in 1575. For sure his verse deserveth so. Chaucer by writing purchast fame, See Richard Smith's verses in commenAnd Gower got a woortbie name: dation of Gascoigne's Posies. —Park.]
Arthur; who shines as a statesman and a soldier with uncommon lustre in the history of Henry the Seventh, and continued to adorn the earlier annals of his successor, and who died in the year 1523. Lord Vaux the poet was probably Thomas lord Vaux, the son of Nicholas, and who was summoned to parliament in 1531, and seems to have lived till the latter end of the reign of queen Mary". All our old writers mention the poetical lord Vaux, as rather posterior to Wyat and Surrey; neither of whom was known as a writer till many years after the death of lord Nicholas. George Gascoyne [Thomas Churchyard], who wrote in 1575 , in his panegyric on the English Poets, places Vaux after Surrey.
Piers Plowman was full plaine,
And Chauser's spreet was great;
Lord Vaux the marke did beat*.
Puttenham, author of the ARTE OF ENGLISH POESIE, having spoken of Surrey and Wyat, immediately adds, “ In the SAME TIME, or Not LONG AFTER, was the lord Nicholas • Vaux, a man of much facilitie in vulgar makings.” Webbe, in his DISCOURSE OF ENGLISH POETRIE, published in 1586, has a similar arrangement. Great numbers of Vaux's poems are extant in the PARADISE OF DAINTY DEVISES; and, instead of the rudeness of Skelton, they have a smoothness and facility of manner, which does not belong to poetry written before the year 1523, in which lord Nicholas Vaux died an old mano. The PARADISE OF Dainty Devises was published in 1576, and he is there simply styled Lord Vaulx the elder : this was to distinguish him from his son lord William, then living. If lord Nicholas was a writer of poetry, I will venture to assert,
n See what I have said of his son lord * [Prefixed to Skelton's Poems, printWilliam, in the LIFE OF siR THOMAS ed by Marsh, 1568.-Park.] Pope, p. 221. In. 1558, sir Thomas • The christian name is a mistake, Pope leaves him a legacy of one hun- into which it was easy to fall. dred pounds, by the name of lord Vaulx. P Fol. 48. [“ vulgar makings" seem (Warton's conjecture is now generally to imply vernacular poems. - PARK.) admitted to be correct. --Edit.]
9 See Percy's BALL. ii. 49. edit. 1775.
that none of his performances now remain; notwithstanding the testimony of Wood, who says that Nicholas “in his juvenile years was sent to Oxon, where by reading humane and romantic, rather than philosophical authors, he advanced his genius very much in poetry and history?.” This may be true of his son Thomas, whom I suppose to be the poet. But such was the celebrity of lord Nicholas's public and political character, that he has been made to monopolise every merit which was the property of his successors. All these difficulties, however, are at once adjusted by a manuscript in the British Museum : in which we have a copy of Vaux's poem, beginning I lothe that I did love, with this title: “A dyttye or sonet made by the lord Vaus, in the time of the noble quene Marye, representing the image of deaths.” This sonnet, or rather ode, entitled, The aged lover renounceth love, which was more remembered for its morality than its poetry, and which is idly conjectured to have been written on his death-bed', makes a part of the collection which I am nowexamining". From this ditty are taken three of the stanzas, yet greatly disguised and corrupted, of the Grave-digger's Song in Shakespeare's HAMLETW. Another of lord Vaux's poems in the volume before us, is the ASSAULT OF CUPIDE UPON THE FORT IN WHICH THE LOVER'S HEART LAY WOUNDED . These two are the only pieces in our collection, of which there is undoubted evidence, although no name is prefixed to either, that they were written by lord Vaux. From palpable coincidencies of style, subject, and other circumstances, a slender share of critical sagacity is sufficient to point out
These three writers were cotemporaries with Surrey and Wyat: but the subjects of some of the pieces will go far in ascertaining the date of the collection in general. There is one on the death of sir Thomas Wyat the elder, who died, as I FATH. Oxon. i. 19.
G. Gascoyne says, “ The L. Vaux MSS. Harl. 1703. [fol. 100.] his dittie, beginning thus I loath, was
[Yet Mr. Warton does not regard thought by some to be made upon his a similar supposition as idle when ap- death-bed," &c. EPISTLE TO THE YOUNG plied to the Soul-knell of Edwards. GENTLEMEN, prefixed to his Poems. Vid. postea, Sect. lii.--Park.)
u Fol. 72.
* Act V. * Fol. 71.
have remarked, in 1541). Another on the death of lord chancellor Audley, who died in 15442. Another on the death of master Devereux, a son of lord Ferrers, who is said to have been a Cato for his counsela; and who is probably Richard Devereux, buried in Berkyng church, the son of Walter lord Ferrers, a distinguished statesman and general under Henry the Eightho. Another on the death of a lady Wentworth 4. Another on the death of sir Antony Denny, the only person of the court who dared to inform king Henry the Eighth of his approaching dissolution, and who died in 1551° Another on the death of Phillips, an eminent musician, and without his rival on the lute f. Another on the death of a countess of Pembroke, who is celebrated for her learning, and her perfect virtues linked as in a chaines : probably Anne, who was buried magnificently at saint Paul's, in 1551, the first lady of sir William Herbert the first earl of Pembroke, and sister to Catharine Parr, the sixth queen of Henry the Eighth 5. Another on master Henry Williams, son of sir John Williams, afterwards lord Thame, and a great favorite of Henry the Eighth'. On the death of sir James Wilford, an officer in Henry's wars, we have here an elegy", with some verses on his picture'. Here is also a poem on a treasonable conspiracy, which is compared to the stratagem of Sinon, and which threatened imy Fol. 89. 2 Fol. 69.
was so notable a singing-man, wherein a Fol. 51.
he gloried, that wheresoever he came, the • Stowe, SURVEY OF LONDON, p. 131. longest song with most counterverses in fol. ed.
it should be set up against him.” Fox • Who died in 1558. See Dugd. adds, that while he was singing on one Bar, ji. 177.
side of the choir of Windsor chapel, 0 RcFol. 79. Margaret. See Dugd. demptrix et Salvalrir, he was answered Bar. ii. 310.
by one Testwood a singer on the other e Fol. 78. There is sir John Cheek's side, Non Redemptrir nec Salvatrix. For EPITAPHIUM in Anton. Denneium. Lond. this irreverence, and a few other slight
heresies, Testwood was burnt at Windi Fol. 71. One Philips is mentioned sor. Acts and Monum. vol. ii. p. 543, among the famous English musicians, 544. I must add, that sir Thomas in Meres's W'its Tresurie, 1598. fol. 288. Phelyppis, or Philips, is mentioned as a I cannot ascertain who this Phillips a musician before the reformation. Hawmusician was. But one Robert Phillips, kins, Hist. Mus. ii. 533. or Phelipp, occurs among the gentlemen
& Fol. 85. of the royal chapel under Edward the h Strype, Mex. i. p. 317. Sixth and queen Mary. He was also
i Fol. 99.
See LIFE OF SIR THOMAS one of the singing-men of saint George's Pope, p. 232. chapel at Windsor : and Fox says, “he Fol. 36.
1 Fol. 62.
mediate extermination to the British constitution, but was speedily discovered". I have not the courage to explore the formidable columns of the circumstantial Hollinshed for this occult piece of history, which I leave to the curiosity and conjectures of some more laborious investigator. It is certain that none of these pieces are later than the year 1557, as they were published in that year by Richard Tottell the printer. We may venture to say, that almost all of them were written between the years 1530 and 1550". Most of them perhaps within the first part of that period.
The following nameless stanzas * have that elegance which results from simplicity. The compliments are such as would not disgrace the gallantry or the poetry of a polished age. The thoughts support themselves, without the aid of expression and the affectations of language. This is a negligence, but it is a negligence produced by art. Here is an effect obtained, which it would be vain to seek from the studied ornaments of style.
Give place, ye ladies, and be gone,
The vertue of her lively lokes
In eche of her two christall eyes
m Fol. 94, 95.
* (These stanzas may now be assigned " There is an epitaph by W. G. made to John Heywood, the epigrammatist, on himself, with an answer, fol. 98, 99. on the potent authority of Harl. MS. I cannot explain those initials. At 1703. where the writer's own name is fol. 111. a lady, called Arundel, is introduced with some additional stanzas. highly celebrated for her incomparable. See Lord Orford's Royal and Noble beauty and accomplishments : perhaps Authors, vol. i. p. 83. ed. 1806. of lord Arundel's family.
Park.] Thus ARUNDELL sits throned still with