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in London, under the conduct of the very learned master John Rightwise, before cardinal Wolsey". But it may be doubted, whether this drama was in English. Wood says, that it was written by Rightwise'. One John Hooker, fellow of Magdalene college Oxford in 1535, wrote a comedy called by Wood PISCATOR, or The Fisher caughtP. But as latinity seems to have been his object, I suspect this comedy to have been in Latin, and to have been acted by the youth of his college.
The fanaticisms of chemistry seem to have remained at least till the dissolution of the monasteries. William * Blomefield, otherwise Rattlesden, born at Bury in Suffolk, bachelor in physic, and a monk of Bury-abbey, was an adventurer in quest of the philosopher's stone. While a monk of Bury, as I presume, he wrote a metrical chemical tract, entitled, BLOMEFIELD'S BLOSSOMS, or the CAMPE OF PHILOSOPHY. It is a vision, and in the octave stanza. It was originally written in the year 1530, according to a manuscript that I have seen: but in the copy printed by Ashmolel, which has some few improvements and additional stanzas, our author says he began to dream in 1557". He is admitted into the camp of philosophy by Time, through a superb gate which has twelve locks. Just within the entrance were assembled all the true philosophers from Hermes and Aristotle, down to Roger Bacon, and the canon of Bridlington. Detached at some distance, appear those unskilful but specious pretenders to the transmutation of metals, lame, blind, and emaciated, by their own pernicious drugs and injudicious experiments, who defrauded king Henry the Fourth of immense treasures by a counterfeit elixir. Among other wonders of this mysterious region, he sees the tree of philosophy, which has fifteen different buds, bearing fifteen different fruits. Afterwards Blomefield turning protestant, did
See supr. p. 259.
ful whether his name was not MYLES. Compare Tanner, Bibl. pag. 632. Park.] 372. Ath. Oxon. i. 17.
9 See Stanz. 5. P ATH. Oxon. i. 60.
" See Ashmole's THEATRUM CHEMI[* From Ashmole's notes on Theatrum cum, p. 305. 478. Chemicum 1652, p. 478, it seems doubt
not renounce his chemistry with his religion, for he appears to have dedicated to queen Elisabeth another system of occult science, entitled, The RULE OF LIFE, OR THE FIFTH ESSENCE, with which her majesty must have been highly edifieds.
Although lord Surrey and some others so far deviated from the dullness of the times, as to copy the Italian poets, the same taste does not seem to have uniformly influenced all the nobility of the court of king Henry the Eighth who were fond of writing verses. Henry Parker, lord Morley, who died an old man in the latter end of that reign, was educated in the best literature which our universities afforded. Bale mentions his TRAGEDIES and COMEDIES, which I suspect to be nothing more than grave mysteries and moralities, and which probably would not now have been lost, had they deserved to live. He mentions also his RHYMES, which I will not suppose to have been imitations of Petrarch Wood says, that “ his younger years were adorned with all kinds of superficial learning, especially with dramatic poetry, and his elder with that which was divine“.” It is a stronger proof of his piety than his taste, that he sent, as a new year's gift to the princess Mary, HAMPOLE'S COMMENTARY UPON SEVEN OF THE FIRST PENITENTIAL PSALMS. The manuscript, with his epistle prefixed, is in the royal manuscripts of the British Museum". Many of Morley's translations, being dedicated either to king Henry the Eighth, or to the princess Mary, are preserved in manuscript in the same royal repository. They are chiefly from Solomon, Seneca, Erasmus, Athanasius, Anselm, Thomas Aquinas, and Paulus Jovius. The authors he translated show his track of reading. But we should not forget his attention to the classics, and that he translated also Tully's Dream of Scipio, and three or four lives of Plutarch, although not immediately from the Greek y. He seems to have been a rigid catholic, retired and studious.
• MSS. MORE, autograph. 430. Pr. W MSS, 18. B. xxi.
Althoughe, most redoubted, suffran * But see MSS. GRESHAM. 8. lady.” See Fox, Martyr. edit. i.
479. y Sec MSS. (Bibl. Bodl.) LAUD. H. ' Scrirt. Brit. par. p. st. 103.
17. MSS. Bibl. Reg. 17 D. 2.-17 D. ATH. Oxon. i. 52.
xi.- 18 A. IX. And Walpole, Roy, and VOL. III.
His declaration, or paraphrase, on the ninety-fourth Psalm, was printed by Berthelette in 1539. A theological commentary by a lord, was too curious and important a production to be neglected by our first printers. Nos. Auth. i. p. 92. seq. (p. 313. of Ath. Oxon. by Mr. Bliss, vol. i. col. Mr. Park's edition, where a specimen of 117. and the Brit. Bibliographer, vol. 4. his poetry is given. See also Wood's p. 107.)
JOHN Heywood, commonly called the epigrammatist, was beloved and rewarded by Henry the Eighth for his buffooneries *. At leaving the university, he commenced author, and was countenanced by sir Thomas More for his facetious disposition. To his talents of jocularity in conversation, he joined
skill in music, both vocal and instrumental. His merriments were so irresistible, that they moved even the rigid muscles of queen Maryt; and her sullen solemnity was not proof against
. (From having been termed civis as face, saith of her thus in much eloLondinensis by Bale, he has been con- quent phrase. sidered as a native of London by Pitts, Give place ye ladyes all, bee gone, Fuller, Wood, Tanner, and by the edi. Shewe not your selves att all, tors of the New Biog. Dict. in 1798.
For why? behoulde there cometh one Langbaine, and after him Gildon, con
Whose face yours all blanke shall. veyed the information that he had lived The eulogist then proceeds to describe at North Mims, Herts; and Mr. Reed the virtuous attraction of her looks, the has followed up this report in Biog. blushing beauty of her lively counteDram. by saying he was born there. That Norih Mims had been the place of nance, the wit and gravity, the mirth and his residence, if not of his nativity, may deed which mingled in her character.
modesty, with the firmness of word and be deduced from the following lines in This picture was taken when the prinThalias Banquet 1620, by Hen. Peacham.
cess was eighteen; and consequently in I thinke the place that gave me first my the year 1534. Part of the above poem birth,
was printed among the songs and sonThe genius had of epigram and mirth;
nets of Uncertain Authors in Tottell's There famous More did his Utopia early miscellany, and has been inserted write,
by Mr. Warton at p. 332, with high comAnd there came Heywoods Epigrams to mendation of the unsuspected writer. light.
Two ballads by Heywood printed in
1554 and 1557 are preserved in the ar+ (Heywood evinced his attachment chives of the Society of Antiquaries. to this princess long before her ascent to The former was written on the marriage the throne, as appears from a copy of of Philip and Mary; the latter, on the verses preserved in Harl. MS. 1703, traitorous taking of Scarborough castle. entitled, “A Description of a most noble Both have been reprinted in vol. ii. of Ladye, advewed by John Heywoode a Supplement to the Harleian Miscel. presently; who advertisinge her yeares lany. - PARK.]
1 “ North Mimmes in Herts, neere to Saint Albans." Sir Thomas More must have had a seat in that neighbourhood, says Dr. Berkenhout. His admiration of Heywood's repartees is noticed in Dod's Church History, vol. i. p. 569.
his songs, his rhymes, and his jests *. He is said to have been often invited to exercise his arts of entertainment and pleasantry in her presence, and to have had the honour to be constantly admitted into her privy-chamber for this purpose a.
Notwithstanding his professional dissipation, Heywood appears to have lived comfortably under the smiles of royal patronage. What the Fairy QUEEN could not procure for Spenser from the penurious Elisabeth and her precise ministers, Heywood gained by puns and conceits.
His comedies, most of which appeared before the year 1534, are destitute of plot, humour, or character, and give us no very high opinion of the festivity of this agreeable companion. They consist of low incident, and the language of ribaldry. But perfection must not be expected before its time. He is called our first writer of comedies. But those who say this, speak without determinate ideas, and confound comedies with moralities and interludes. We will allow, that he is among the first of our dramatists who drove the Bible from the stage, and introduced representations of familiar life and popular manners. These are the titles of his plays. The Play called the four P's, being a new and a very mery ENTERLUDE OF A PALMER, A PARDONER, A POTYCARY, AND A PEDLAR, printed at London in
[* One of these is preserved in Cotton his plate was lately sold, said somewhat MS. Jul. F. x. “ When Queene Mary sharply, “Why, sir, will not these cups tolde Heywoode that the priestes must serve as good a man as your selfe?' forego their wives, he merrily answered: Heywood readily replied, "Yes, if it Then your grace must allow them lem- please your grace: but I would have one mans, for the clergie cannot live without of them stand still at myne elbow full of
Another is recorded by Putten- drinke, that I might not be driven to ham in his Arte of English Poesie, 1589. trouble your men so often to call for it.' “ At the Duke of Northumberland's This pleasant and speedy turn of the bourd, merry John Heywood was allowed former wordes holpe all the matter againe, to sit at the table's end. The duke had a whereupon the duke became very pleavery noble and honorable mynde alwayes saunt and dranke a bolle of wine to Heyto pay his debts well, and when he lacked wood, and bid a cuppe should alwayes be money, would not stick to sell the great- standing by him." p. 231. Pitts has reest part of his plate : so had he donelated an extraordinary instance of his few dayes before. Heywood being loth death-bed waggery, which seems to vie to call for his drinke so oft as he was dry, in merriment with the scaffold jests of turned his eye toward the cupbord and Sir Thomas More in articulo mortis. — sayd, 'I finde great misse of your grace's Park.] standing cups :' the duke thinking he - a Wood, Ath. Oxon. i. 150. had spoken it of some knowledge that