« הקודםהמשך »
s E c T. xxxvi.
A*.* Antony Wood's manuscripts in the Bodleian library at Oxford, I find a poem of considerable length written by William Forrest, chaplain to queen Mary’. It is entitled, “A true and most notable History of a right noble “ and famous Lady produced in Spayne entitled the second “ GREs IELD, practised not long out of this time in much part “ tragedous as dele&table both to hearers and readers.” This is a panegyrical history in octave rhyme, of the life of queen Catharine, the first queen of king Henry the eighth. The poet compares Catharine to patient Grifild, celebrated by Petrarch and Chaucer, and Henry to earl Walter her husband". Catharine had certainly the patience and conjugal compliance of Grifild: but Henry's cruelty was not, like Walter's, only artificial and assumed. It is dedicated to queen Mary: and Wood's manuscript, which was once very superbly bound and embossed, and is elegantly written on vellum, evidently appears to have been the book presented by the author to her majesty. Much of its antient finery is tarnished: but on the brass bosses at each corner is still discernible Ave, MARIA GRATIA PLENA. At the end is this colophon. “Here endeth the Historye of Gryfilde the “ second, dulie meanyng Queene Catharine mother to our most “ dread soveraigne Lady queene Mary, fynysched the xxv day “ of June, the yeare of owre Lorde 1558. By the symple and “ unlearned Syr Wylliam Forrest preeiste, propria manu.” The poem, which consists of twenty chapters, contains a zealous condemnation of Henry's divorce : and, I believe, preserves some anecdotes, yet apparently misrepresented by the writer's religious and political bigotry, not extant in any of our printed histories. Forrest was a student at Oxford, at the time when this notable and knotty point of casuistry prostituted the learning of all the universities of Europe, to the gratification of the capricious amours of a libidinous and implacable tyrant. He has recorded many particulars and local incidents of what passed in Oxford during that transaction *. At the end of the poem is a metrical OR ATio N Co N sol A ToRY, in fix leaves, to queen Mary. In the British Museum is another of Forrest's poems, written in two splendid folio volumes on vellum, called “The tragedious “ troubles of the most chast and innocent Joseph, son to the “ holy patriarch Jacob,” and dedicated to Thomas Howard duke of Norfolk". In the same repository is another of his pieces, never printed, dedicated to king Edward the fixth, “A “ notable warke called The PLEASANT Poes IE of PR IN cel IE “PRACT is e, composed of late by the fimple and unlearned “ fir William Forrest priest, much part colle&ted out of a booke “entitled the Gover NANce of No BLEMEN, which booke “ the wyse philosopher Aristotle wrote to his disciple Alexander at Oxford in 1623, are now fortunately preserved at Oxford, in
* In folio. MSS. Cod. A. Wood. Num. 2. They were purchased by the univerfity after Wood's death.
* The affecting story of Patient GR 1sild seems to have long kept up its celebrity. In the books of the Stationers, in 1565, Owen Rogers has a licence to print “a ballat intituled the songe of pacyent “Gressell vnto hyr make.” Regist R. A.
fol. 132. b. Two ballads are entered in 1565, “to the tune of pacyente Gressell.” Ibid. fol. 1 35. a. In the same year, T. Colwell has licence to print,” “The his“tory of meke and pacyent Gresell.” Ibid. fol. 139. a. Colwell has a second edition of this history in 1568. Ibid. fol. 177. a. Instances occur much lower.
R r is
* In the first chapter, he thus speaks of
To pastyme at tables, ticktacke, or gleeke,
He adds, that she was a pure virgin
first husband prince Henry, on account of
his tender years, never slept with her.
“ the * MSS. Rec. 17 D. iii. In the Preface twenty-seven chapters are enumerated : but the book contains only twenty-four.
* See supr. vol. ii. p. 39. Not long before, Robert Copland, the printer, author of the Testament of Julian of BRENT for D, translated from the French and printed, “The Secrete of Secre“tes of Aristotle, with the governayle of “princes and euerie manner of estate, “with rules of health for bodie and soule.” Lond. 1528. 4to. To what I have before said of Robert Copland as a poet (supr. vol. ii. p. 3oo.) may be added, that he prefixed an English copy of verses to the Mirrour of the Church of saynt Auffine of 4éyngdon, &c. Printed by himself, 1521.
4to. Another to Andrew Chertsey's PAs-
R r 2 at * Bl. Lett. 12mo. title is this, “Anglorum Ps elia ab A. * Pag 913. 916. “D. 1327, annonimirum primo inclytis" Londini. Apud Rad. Neubery ex as “fimi principis Edwardi eius nominis
the archives of the music-school affigned to that institution. In the year 1554, a poem of two sheets, in the spirit and stanza of Sternhold, was printed under the title, “The VN“ GoD LINEss E of THE HETHNICKE GoD DEs, or The Down“fall of Diana of the Ephesians, by J. D. an exile for the “ word, late a minister in London, MDLIv *.” I presume it was printed at Geneva, and imported into England with other books of the same tendency, and which were afterwards suppressed by a proclamation. The writer, whose arguments are as weak as his poetry, attempts to prove, that the customary mode of training youths in the Roman poets encouraged idolatry and pagan superstition. This was a topic much laboured by the puritans. Prynne, in that chapter of his HIs TR 1 om. As Tix, where he exposes “the obscenity, ribaldry, amorousnesse, HEA“ The NIs HN Esse, and prophanesse, of most play-bookes, Ar“cadias, and fained histories that are now so much in admira“tion,” acquaints us, that the infallible leaders of the puritan persuasion in the reign of queen Elisabeth, among which are two bishops, have solemnly prohibited all christians, “to pen, “ to print, to sell, to read, or school-masters and others to “ teach, any amorous wanton Play-bookes, Histories, or Heathen “ authors, especially Ovid's wanton Epistles and Bookes of “ love, Catullus, Tibullus, Propertius, Martiall, the Comedies “ of Plautus, Terence, and other such amorous bookes, savoring “ either of Pagan Gods, of Ethnicke rites and ceremonies, of “scurrility, amorousnesse, and prophaneffe'.” But the classics were at length condemned by a much higher authority. In the year 1582, one Christopher Ocland, a schoolmaster of Cheltenham, published two poems in Latin hexameters, one entitled ANG LoRUM PRAE LIA, the other ELIz ABETH A ". To these poems, which are written in a low style of Latin versification,
fignatione Henrici Bynneman typographi. “tertii, usque ad A. D. 1558, carmine Anno 1582. Cum priv. 12mo. The whole “summatim perstricta. ITEM Deparat/“Ano
prefixed an edićt from the lords of privy council, figned,
asmuche as the subječt or matter of this booke is such, as is worthie to be read of all men, and especially in common schooles, where diuers HEATHEN Poets are ordinarily read and taught, from which the youth of the realme doth rather receiue infection in manners, than aduancement in uertue: in place of some of which poets, we thinke this Booke fit to read and taught in the grammar schooles : we haue therefore thought, as wel for the encouraging the said Ocklande and others that are learned, to bestowe their trauell and studies to so good purposes, as also for the benefit of the youth and the removing of such lasciuious poets as are commonly read and taught in the saide grammar-schooles (the matter of this booke being heroicall and of good instruction) to praye and require you vpon the fight hereof, as by our special order, to write your letters vnto al the Bishops throughout this realme, requiring them to giue commaundement, that in al the gramer and free schooles within their seuerall diocesses, the said Booke de ANG LoRUM PRAEL IIs, and