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of ingenuity, to exhibit these maxims in the course of a narrative, enlivened by facts and circumstances. It certainly was susceptible of humour and invention.
Heywood's largest and most laboured performance is the SPIDER AND THE FLIE, with wooden cuts, printed at London by Thomas Powell, in 1556. It is a very long poem in the octave stanza, containing ninety-eight chapters. Perhaps there never was so dull, so tedious, and trifling an apologue: without fancy, meaning, or moral*. A long tale of fictitious manners will always be tiresome, unless the design be burlesque : and then the ridiculous, arising from the contrast between the solemn and the light, must be ingeniously supported. Our author seems to have intended a fable on the burlesque construction +: but we know not when he would be serious and when witty, whether he means to make the reader laugh, or to give him advice. We must indeed acknowledge, that the age was not yet sufficiently refined, either to relish or to produce burlesque poetry. Harrison, the author of the DESCRIPTION OF
Measure is a merry meane [Mr. Ellis, in his Historical Sketch In volewmes full or flat, of English Poetry, &c. chap. xvi. has There is no chapter nor no sccane pronounced this parabolic tale “utterly That thou appliest like that. contemptible :” but he has extracted two Epig. upon Proverbes, Cent iii. Ep. 28. specimens from the First Centuryof Hey
Park.] wood's Epigrams, which certainly possess more true epigrammatic point than + [Herbert says"We are to consider those selected by Mr. Warton. The the author here, as he really was, a cathofollowing lines afford the most favorable lic; partial in vindicating the catholic instance of his versification,
cause and the administration by queen
Mary, whom he characterises by the ON MEASURE.
maid, with her broom (the civil sword), Measure is a merry meane,
executing the commands of her master Which filde with noppy drinke
(Christ) and her mistress (holy church). When merry drinkers drinke off cleane, tholics; and by the spiders, the pro
By the flies are to be understood the caThen merrily they winke.
testants, How justly the characters are Measure is a merry meane,
supported I have neither leisure nor inBut I meane measures gret,
clination to examine.” MS. note.Where lippes to litele pitchers leane,
PARK.) Those lippes they scantly wet.
But I must not forget Chaucer's Sir
Thoras : and that among the Cotton Measure is a merry meane,
manuscripts, there is an anonymous And measure is this mate;
poem, perhaps coeval with Chaucer, in To be a Deacon or a Dean
the style of allegorical burlesque, which Thou wouldst not change the state. describes the power of money, with great
19 he mase
BRITAINE, prefixed to Hollinshed's Chronicle, has left a sensible criticism on this poem.
“ One hath made a booke of the SPIDER AND THE FLIE, wherein he dealeth so profoundlie, and humour, and in no common vein of sa- He may lese 18 and he may bind. tire. The hero of the piece is sir Penny. The pouer er ay put bihind, MSS. Cott. Galba E. 9.
Whare he cumes in place.
When he bigines him to mello, INCIPIT NARRACIO DE DNO DENARIO. He makes meke that are was fell,
And waik 's that bald has bene. In erth it es a littill thing,
All ye nedes ful sone er sped And regnes als' a riche king,
Bath withowten borgh and wed", Whare he es lent in land;
Whare Peni gase bitwene s. Sir Pent es his name calde,
The domes men
so blind He makes both yong and alde? Bow untill ? his hand :
That he may noght the right find
Ne the suth * to se.
Ful dere with tham es he.
Thare 24 strif was Peni makes pese $5, To serue him er* thai ful boune,
Of all angers he may relese,
In land whare he will lende,
That may have him to frende.
That sire es set on high dese *, Makes ful mekell obedience
And serued with mani riche mese Vnto that litill swaine.
At the high burde so. In kinges court es it no bote 8,
The more he es to men plente, Ogaines sir Peni for to mote',
The more zernid" alway es he : So mekill es he of myght,
And halden dere in horde. He es so witty and so strang,
He makes mani be forsworne, That be it neuer so mekill wrang,
And sum life and saul forlorne
Him to get and wyn.
Thaire bales *3 for to blin %.
On him halely 3 thaire hertes sett, For he may ger tham trayl syde "
Him for to luf* will thai noght let,
Nowther for gude ne ill.
Ilka man grantes it ful sone,
Right at his awin will.
old. % unto.
ready & makes, causes, compels. ' agains, before.
10 approach, gain. make them walk. (He may enable them to wear long sweeping dresses. A “ trayl-syde gown," says Dr. Jamieson, “is so long as to trail upon the ground.”] 13 loose. 14 meddle. 15 weak. 18 all you want is soon done.
borrowing or pledging. (surety and pledge.]
goes between. judges.
* makes. 11 truth. * judgement.
n void. * sect. (the dais.)
high-table. 31 coveted. * despise, quit. (lose.] eyes. (miseries.]
» blind. (stop. ] * wholly. * loye.
beyond all measure of skill, that neither he himselfe that made it, neither anie one that readeth it, can reach unto the meaning thereofd.” 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 before the year 1598+. The most lively part of the He may both lene * and gyf;
He lenkithes 56 life and saues fro ded 57. He may ger both sla and lif”,
Bot luf it noght ouer wele I rede ss, Both by frith and fell 40.
For sin of couaityse 58. Peni es a gude felaw,
If thou haue happ tresore to win, Men welcums him in dede and saw 4. Delite the noght to mekill tharins. Cum he neuer so oft,
Ne nything 61 thareof be,
In perfite charite.
God grante vs grace with hert and will, With sie Pexi may thai spede, The gudes that he has gifen vs till, How so euer they betyde 4.
Wele and wisely to spend. He that sır Peni es with all,
And so oure liues here for to lede, Sal haue his will in stede and stall, That we may haue his blis to mede , When other er set byside 4.
Euer withowten end. Amen. Sir Peny gers, in riche wede,
An old Scotch poem called sir Penny Ful mani go and ride on stede “, has been formed from this, printed in In this werldes wide.
ANTIENT SCOTTISH Poems, p. 153. Edinb. In ilka“ gamin and ilka play,
1770. (See supr. vol. i. 9.] The maystri es gifen ay
DESCRIPT. Brit. p. 226. Hollinsh. To Peny, for his pride.
Chron. tom, i. SIB Peny over all gettes the gre *,
[Or rather, says Herbert, because Both in burgh and in cete 49,
popery has not since been re-established. In castell and in towre.
MS. note. -Park.] Withowten owther spere or schelde 50, + [In that year, or perhaps in 1596, Es he the best in frith or felde,
the Epigrams of Sir John Davis were And stalworthest in stowre si. printed, and the following lines therein In ilka place, the suth es sene",
addressed In Haywodum. Sir Peni es ouer-al bidene,
Haywood that did in Epigrams excell Maister most in mode.
In non put downe since my light And all es als he will cumand : Ogains his stevyn 5 dar no man stand, As buckets are put down into a well, Nowther by land ne flode.
Or as a schooleboy pulleth down his
hose. Sır Peny mai ful mekill availe 54
Ep. 29. To tham that has nede of cownsail, The lightness of Davis's witticisms led Als sene es in assize 55 :
to their inhibition in 1599. Bastard in
39 kill and save. sea and land. (wood and bill.] 4 doing and speaking. 42 to sit. 48 under any difficulty.
4 whatever happens. 45 despised. causes many to ride, &c.
degree, pre-eminence. 49 town and city.
51 stoutest in battle. 5 truth is seen. 53 voice, sound 54 be of much power.
as appears in the place of lengthens.
$ death. judicature, or, in passing sentence.
58 love money not too much, I advise.
too much therein. i nyding, Be not too careless (niggardly) of it.
63 our reward.
@ to us.
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' enprenabill fort, in every border,
My hart shaketh at the sight: behold it is hell!i 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 sufficiently 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.'
his Christoloros 1598, has two allusions
verse and prose :
request As bombast, doublets, bases and round
Or as your lady may it now be saide,
f impregnable. & clad in armour.
perhaps capitayne. i Cap. 57. Signat. B b. * Cap. i.
See his EPIGRAMMES. Epig. 82. FIRST HUNDRED. And Puttenham's Arte or English Poesie, Lib. i. c. 31. p. 49. One of Heywood's Epigrams is
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 vo luntary exile for the sake of religion. descriptive of his life and character. “ A briefe balet touching the trayterous Firme HUNDRED. Epigr. 100.
takynge of Scarborow castle," subscrib
ed J. Heywood, and printed in b. l. OF HEYWOOD.
Mention is made of these at p. 371. Art thou Heywood with the mad
The first of them is allegorically
figurative, and begins : Yea forsooth, mayster, that same is even The Egles byrde hath spred his wings hit.
And from far of hathe taken flyght, Art thou Heywood that applyeth mirth In whiche meane way by no lourings more than thrift?
On bough or braunch this birde wold Yes, sir, I take mery mirth a golden gift. light; Art thou Heywood that hath made Till on the Rose, both red and many mad Playes?
whight, Yea many playes, few good woorkes in He lighteth now most lovinglie all my dayes.
And therto moste behovinglie. Art thou Heywood that hath made men mery long?
Fuller speaks of a book written by HerYea and will, if I be made mery which are said to be non tam labore con
wood entitled “ Monumenta Literaria, among Art thou Heywood that would be made dita, quam lepore condita. Worthies of
London, p. 221. Lord Hales pointed mery now? Yea, sir, helpe me to it now I beseech
out a few lines in The Evergreen as the
composition of Heywood, but they prove yow.
to be one of his Epigrams Scoticised. In the CONCLUSION to the SPIDER AND See Cent. i. p. 25. - Park.] Flie, Heywood mentions queen Mary • (An epilogue or conclusion to the and king Philip'. But as most of his works of Heywood iu 1587, by Thomas pieces seem to have been written some Newton the Cheshire poet, thus notices time before, I have placed him under his decease : Henry the Eighth. [The following doubtless was com
This author Haywood dead and gone, posed on the spousals of Philip and
and shrinde in tombe of clay, Mary: “ A balade specifienge partly the Bifore his death by penned workes did maner, partly the matter, in the most
carefully assay excellent meetyng and lyke mariage be
To builde himselfe a lasting tombe, not twene our soveraigne Lord and our so
made of stone and lyme, veraigne Lady, the kynges and queenes
But better farre and richer too triumphhighnes. Pende by John Heywood.'
ing over Tyme. -Park.] Herb. p. 800. Oldys says he had seen ATH. Oxon. i. 150.
'[Mr. Warton must have read the Conclusion of Heywood very cursorily, says Herbert, or he would not have been at such a loss for the intention of his poem of the Spider and the Flie.--Pakk.)