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the name CHERTs EY, is added. The Lucydayre is translated from a favorite old French poem called Li Luftdaire. This is a translation of the Eluci DAR1 UM, a large work in dialogue, containing the sum of christian theology, by some attributed to Anselm archbishop of Canterbury in the twelfth century". Chertsey's other versions, mentioned in Copland's prologue, are from old French manuals of devotion, now equally forgotten, Such has been the fate of volumes fayre and large / Some of these versions have been given to George Ashby, clerk of the signet to Margaret queen of Henry the fixth, who wrote a moral poem for the use of their son prince Edward, on the Aëtive policy of a prince, finished in the author's eightieth year. The prologue begins with a compliment to “Maisters Gower, Chaucer, and “ Lydgate,” a proof of the estimation which that celebrated triumvirate still continued to maintain. I believe it was never printed. But a copy, with a small mutilation at the end, remains among bishop More's manuscripts at Cambridge “. In the dispersed library of the late Mr. William Collins, I saw a thin folio of two sheets in black letter, containing a poem in the očtave stanza, entitled, FABYL's Ghos TE, printed by John Rastell in the year 1533. The piece is of no merit; and I should not perhaps have mentioned it, but as the subjećt serves to throw light on our early drama. Peter Fabell, whose apparition speaks in this poem, was called The Merrie Devil of Edmonton, near London. He lived in the reign of Henry the seventh, and was buried in the church of Edmonton. Weever, in his ANTIENT FUNER AL Mon UMENTs, published in 1631, says under Edmonton, that in the church “lieth interred under “ a seemlie tombe without inscription, the body of Peter Fa“ bell, as the report goes, upon whom this fable was fathered, “ that he by his wittie devises beguiled the devill. Belike he “ was some ingenious-conceited gentleman, who did use some “ sleighte trickes for his own disportes. He lived and died in “ the raigne of Henry the seventh, saith the booke of his merry “ Pranks’.” The book of Fabell's Merry Pranks I have never seen. But there is an old anonymous comedy, written in the reign of James the first, which took its rise from this merry magician. It was printed in 1617, and is called the MERRY Devil of EDMon Ton, as it hath been sundry times ačfed by his majeslies servants at the Globe on the Banke-side *. In the Prologue, Fabell is introduced, reciting his own history.

* Wynkyn de Worde printed, Here be- • MSS. MoR p, 492. It begins, “Right gynneth a lytell treatys, called the Lycydarye. “and myghty prince and my ryght good With wooden cuts. No date. In quarto. “lorde.”

L 2 “ sleighte

Tis Peter Fabell a renowned scholler,
Whose fame hath still beene hitherto forgot
By all the writers of this latter age.
In Middle-sex his birth, and his aboade,
Not full seauen mile from this great famous citty :
That, for his fame in slights and magicke won,
Was cald the Merry Fiend of Edmonton.
If any heere make doubt of such a name,
In Edmonton yet fresh vnto this day,
Fixt in the wall of that old ancient church
His monument remaineth to be seene:
His memory yet in the mouths of men,
. That whilst he liu'd he could deceiue the deuill.
Imagine now, that whilst he is retirde,
From Cambridge backe vnto his natiue home,
Suppose the filent sable visage night,
Casts her blacke curtaine ouer all the world,
And whilst he sleepes within his filent bed,
Toyl'd with the studies of the passed day:
The very time and howre wherein that spirite
That many yeares attended his command ;
And oftentimes 'twixt Cambridge and that towne,
Had in a minute borne him through the ayre,

* Pag. 534. * In quarto, Lond.

By composition 'twixt the fiend and him,
Comes now to claime the scholler for his due.
Behold him here laid on his restlesse couch,
His fatall chime prepared at his head,
His chamber guarded with these sable slights,
And by him stands that necromanticke chaire,
In which he makes his direfull inuocations,
And binds the fiends that shall obey his will.
Sit with a pleased eye vntill you know
The commicke end of our sad tragique show.

The play is without absurdities, and the author was evidently an attentive reader of Shakespeare. It has nothing, except the machine of the chime, in common with FABy LL’s Ghost E. Fabell is mentioned in our chronicle-histories, and from his dealings with the devil, was commonly supposed to be a friar".

In the year 1537, Wilfrid Holme, a gentleman of Huntington in Yorkshire, wrote a poem called The Fall and evil Succes; of Rebellion. It is a dialogue between England and the author, on the commotions raised in the northern counties on account of the reformation in 1537, under Cromwell's administration. It was printed at London in 1573. Alliteration is here carried to the most ridiculous excess: and from the constraint of adhering inviolably to an identity of initials, from an affectation of coining prolix words from the Latin, and from a total ignorance of prosodical harmony, the author has produced one of the most obscure, rough, and unpleasing pieces of versification in our language. He seems to have been a disciple of Skelton. The poem, probably from its political reference, is mentioned by Hollinshed". Bale, who overlooks the author's poetry in his piety, thinks that he has learnedly and perspicuously discussed the absurdities of popery".

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One Charles Bansley, about the year 1540, wrote a rhyming

satire on the pride and vices of women now a days. I know not

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It was printed in quarto by Thomas Rainolde; but I do not find it among Ames's books of that printer, whose last piece is dated 1555. Of equal reputation is Christopher Goodwin, who wrote the MAYDEN's DREME, a vision without imagination, printed in 1542', and THE CHANCE of THE Dolor Us LovER, a lamentable story without pathos, printed in 1520 ". With these two may be ranked, Richard Feylde, or Field, author of a poem printed in quarto by Wynkyn de Worde, called THE TREAT is E of The LovER AND JAYE. The prologue begins. Though laureate poetes in old antiquite.

I must not forget to observe here, that Edward Haliwell, admitted a fellow of King's college Cambridge in 1532, wrote the Tragedy of Dido, which was acted at saint Paul's school in London, under the condućt 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 caught P. But as latinity seems to

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In 4to. Pr. “Behold you young ladies * Compare Tanner, BIBL. pag. 632.

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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, Blom EFIELD's Blossoms, or the CAMPE of PHILoso PHY. It is a vision, and in the očtave stanza. It was originally written in the year 1530, according to a manuscript that I have seen: but in the copy printed by Ashmole", 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 Blomfield turning protestant, did not renounce his chemistry with his religion, for he appears to have dedicated to queen Elisabeth another system of occult feience, entitled, THE RULE of LIFE, or THE FIFT H Ess ENce, with which her majesty must have been highly edified ". 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 TRAGED1Es and CoMEDIES, which I suspect to be nothing more

* See Stanz. 5. * MSS. More, autograph. 430. Pr. * See Ashmole's THEATRUM CHE M1- “Althoughe, most redoubted, suffran lacu M, p. 305, 478. “dy.” See Fox, MARTY R. cdit. i. p. 479.


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