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in his cathedral, still remaining, but miserably defaced. To which the shepherd alludes in the lines that follow:
This was the father of thinges pastorall,
When I sawe his figure lye in the chapel side, &c. In another place he thus represents the general lamentation for the death of this worthy prelate: and he rises above himself in describing the sympathy of the towers, arches, vaults, and images, of Ely monastery.
The pratie palace by him made in the fenP,
The okès, elmès: every sorte of dere
Swete all for sorrowe, when this cocke was gone, &c." Eclog. i. Signat: A. iii.
the madman in KING LEAR, Act iii. ” He rebuilt, or greatly improved, the Sc. 4. episcopal palace at Ely.
Mice and rats and such small deere beasts, quadrupeds of all kinds. So Have been Tom's food for seven long in the romance of Syr Bævis, Signat. F. iii.
It cannot now be doubted, that Shake. Rattes and myse and such smal dere Was his meate that seven yere.
speare in this passage wrote deer, instead
of geer or cheer, which have been conjecWhence Shakespeare took, as Dr. Percy turally substituted by his commentators. bas observed, the well-known distich of "Eal. ij.
It should be remembered, that these pastorals were probably written while our poet was a monk of Ely: and although Alcock was then dead, yet the memory of his munificence and piety was recent in the monastery
Speaking of the dignity and antiquity of shepherds, and particularly of Christ at his birth being first seen by shepherds, he seems to describe some large and splendid picture of the Nativity painted on the walls of Ely cathedral.
I sawe them myselfe well paynted on the wall,
All this behelde I in picture on the wall.' Virgil's poems are thus characterised, in some of the best turned lines we find in these pastorals :
He sunge of fieldes, and tilling of the grounde,
He gives us the following idea of the sports, spectacles, and pleasures, of his age.
• He also compliments Alcock's pre- In payne and pleasour they kept fidelitie, decessour Moreton, afterwards archbi- Till grace agayne gave him authoritie,&c. shop of Canterbury: not without an
And again, EoL. iii. allusion to his troubles, and restoration to favour, under Richard the Third and Micene (Mecenas] and MORETON be Henry the Seventh. Ecl. iii.
deade and gone certaine.
The Deane of Powles, I suppose dean And shepheard MORETON, when he durst Colet, is celebrated as a preacher, ibid. not appeare,
As is, “ The olde friar that wonned in Howe his olde servauntes were carefull Greenwich." Egl. v. of his chere;
I EL. V.
* Egu. iv.
Some men deliteth beholding men to fight,
Curious cundytes, &c. d armour and coats of mail.
As muscadell, caprike, romney, and Y apparelled in uniform.
malmesy, masques, &c.
tapestry, From Genoe brought, from Greece, or roofs, curiously vaulted.
Hungary houses, seats.
As are the dainties of the table, ibid. • Egl. ii. I shall here throw toge- A shepherd at court must not think to ther in the Notes, some traits in these eat Eclogues of the common customs and
Swanne, nor heron, manners of the times. A shepherd,
Curlewe, nor crane. — after mentioning his skill in shooting birds with a bow, says, EGL. i.
What fishe is of savour swete and deliNo shephearde throweth the arletree so farre.
Rosted or sodden in swete herbes or A gallant is thus described, Eol. ii. For women use to love them most of Or fried in oyle, most saporous and all,
fine.Which boldly bosteth, or that can sing
The pasties of a hart.and jet;
The crane, the fesaunt, the pecocke, Whiche hath the maistry oftimes in and curlewe, tournament,
The partriche, plover, bittoro, and heOr that can gambauld, or dance feat and
Seasoned so well in licour redolent, The following sorts of wine are re That the hall is full of pleasant smell. cited, EGL. ïi.
We have before seen, that our author and Skelton were rivals. He alludes to Skelton, who had been laureated at Oxford, in the following lines.
Then is he decked as poete laureate,
They count them poets nye and heroicall. <
At a feast at court, ibid.
Then is it pleasure the yonge maydens
long :A speciall custom is used them amonge,
And in the ashes some playès for to No good dishe to suffer on borde to be
marke, long :
To cover wardens (pears) for faulte of If the dishe be pleasaunt, eyther fleshe
other warke: or fishe,
To toste white shevers, and to make proTen handes at once swarme in the dishe:
phitroles; And if it be fleshe ten knives shall thou And, aftir talking, oftimes to fill the
bowles, &c. Mangling the fleshe, and in the platter He mentions some musical instruflee:
ments, EGL. ii. To put there thy handes is perill without
Methinkes no mirth is scant, fayle,
Where no rejoysing of minstrelsie doth Without a gauntlet or els a glove of want : mayle.
The bagpipe or fiddle to us is delectThe two last lines remind us of a say
able, &c. ing of Quin, who declared it was not And the mercantile commodities of safe to sit down to a turtle-feast in one different countries and cities, Egl. iv. of the city-halls, without a basket-hilted England hath cloth, Bordeus hath store knife and fork. Not that I suppose
of wine, Quin borrowed his bons mots from black Cornwalle hath tinne, and Lymster letter books.
woolès fine. The following lines point out some London hath scarlet, and Bristowe pleaof the festive tales of our ancestors.
saunt red, &c. Egl. iv,
Of songs at feasts, Ecu iv.
nifie, Or Bentley's Ale which chafeth well the If they be merry, or written craftely, blood,
Ye clappe your handes and to the maOf Perte of Norwich, or sauce of Wil kinge harke, berton,
And one say to another, lo here a proOr buckish Toby well-stuffed as a ton.
per warke, He mentions Bentley's Ale, which He says that minstrels and singers are maketh me to winke, Ecl. ii.
highly favoured at court, especially those Some of our antient domestic pastimes of the French gise. Egl. ii. Also jugand amusements are recorded, Egu iv. glers and pipers, Egl. iv.
• EGL. iv.
song of one of the shepherds into these pastorals, exhibits no very masterly strokes of a sublime and inventive fancy. It has much of the trite imagery usually applied in the fabrication of these ideal edifices. It, however, shews our author in a new walk of poetry. This magnificent tower, or eastle, is built on inaccessible chiffs of flint: the walls are of gold, bright as the sun, and decorated with olde historyes and pictures many folde: the turrets are beautifully shaped. Among its heroic inhabitants are king Henry the Eighth, Howard duke of Norfolk, and the earl of Shrewsbury. LABOUR is the porter at the gate, and VIRTUE governs the house. Labour is thus pictured, with some degree of spirit.
Fearfull is LABOUR, without favour at all,
Under his browes he dreadfully doth lowre