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* Richard the third seems to have been 169. b. Shakespeare was not the first that
an universal chara&ter for exemplifying a cruel disposition. Our author, meaning to furnish a chamber with persons famous for the greatest crimes, says in another place. “In the bedstede I will set “Richarde the third kinge of Englande, “ or somelike notable murtherer.” fol.
U u 2
exhibited this tyrant upon the stage. In
Prolix Narratives, whether jocose or serious, had not yet ceased to be the entertainment of polite companies: and rules for telling a tale with grace, now found a place in a book of general
whereof assuredly ther are but fewe. And whatsoeuer he is, that can aptlie tell his tale, and with countenaunce, voice, and gesture, so temper his reporte, that the hearers may still take delite, hym coompte I a man worthie to be highlie estemed. For vndoubtedly no man can doe any such thing excepte that thei haue a greate mother witte, and by experience confirmed suche their comelinesse, whervnto by nature thei were most apte. Manie a man readeth histories, heareth fables, seeth worthie actes doen, euen in this our age ; but few can set them out accordinglie, and tell them liuelie, as the matter selfe requireth to be tolde. The kyndes of delityng in this sort are diuers: whereof I will set forth many.—Sporte moued by tellyng of olde tales. – If there be any olde tale or straunge historie, well and wittelie applied to some man liuyng, all menne loue to heare it of life. As if one were called Arthure, some good felowe that were wel acquainted with KY NG ARTHUR Es Book E and the Knightes of his Rounde Table, would want no matter to make good sport, and for a nede. would dubbe him knight of the Rounde Table, or els proue hym to be one of his kynne, or else (which were muche) proue him to be Arthur himself. And so likewise of other names, merie panions" would make madde pastyme. Oftentymes the deformitie of a mannes body giueth matter enough to be right merie, or elles a pićture in shape like another manne will make some to laugh right hartelye', &c.” This no unpleasing image of the arts and accomplishments, which
He thus describes the literary and ornamental qualifications of a young nobleman which were then in fashion, and which he exemplifies in the characters of his lamented pupils, Henry duke of Suffolk and lord Charles Brandon his brother'. “I maie “ commende hym for his learnyng, for his skill in the French “ or in the Italian, for his knowlege in cosmographie, for his “ skill in the lawes, in the histories of al countrees, and for “ his gift of enditing. Againe, I maie commende him for “ playing at weapons, for running vpon a great horse, for char“ gyng his staffe at the tilt, for vauting, for plaiyng upon in“ strumentes, yea and for painting, or drawing of a plat, as in “ olde time noble princes muche delited therin".” And again, “Suche a man is an excellent fellowe, faithe one, he can speake “ the tongues well, he plaies of instrumentes, fewe men better, “ he feigneth to the lyte marveilous sweetlie ", he endites ex“ cellentlie : but for al this, the more is the pitee, he hath his “ faultes, he will be dronke once a daie, he loues women “ well, &c *.”
The following passage acquaints us, among other things, that many now studied, and with the highest applause, to write elegantly in English as well as in Latin. “When we haue learned “ vsuall and accvstomable wordes to set forthe our meanynge, “we ought to ioyne them together in apte order, that the eare “ maie delite in hearyng the harmonie. I knowe some Eng“ lishemen, that in this poinét haue suche a gift in the Englishe “ as fewe in Latin haue the like; and therefore delite the Wise “ and Learned so muche with their pleasaunte composition,
* He gives a curious reason why a young “ the menne for the most parte more wise.”
than any other place. “ The shire or “towne helpeth somewhat towardes the “ encrease of honour. As, it is much bet“ter to be borne in Paris than in Picardie, “ in London than in Lincolne. For that “bothe the aire is better, the people more “ciuil, and the wealth much greater, and
nobleman had better be born in London fol. 7. a.
* Fol. 7. a.
" He mentions the Lute again, “The “ tongue giueth a certaine grace to euery “matter, and beautifieth the cause, in like “maner as a sweete soundyng lute muche “ setteth forth a meane deuised ballade.” fol. 1 1 1. a.
* Fol. 67. a.