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do I recollect any other instance of a royal dinner, even on a festival, accompanied with this species of diversion. The story of this interlude, in which the chief characters were Christ, Adam, Eve, Abraham, and John the Baptist, was not uncommon in the antient religious drama, and I believe made a part of what is called the LUDUS PASCHALIS, or Easter Play It occurs in the Coventry plays acted on Corpus Christi day"; and in the Whitsun-plays at Chester, where it is called the HARROWING OF Hell. The repre-fentation is Christ entering hell triumphantly, delivering our first parents, and the most sacred characters of the old and new testaments, from the dominion of Satan, and conveying them into Paradise. There is an ancient poem, per-haps an interlude, on the same subject; among the Harleian manuscripts ; containing our saviour's dialogues in hell with Sathanas, the Janitor, or porter of hell, Adam, Eve, Habraham, David, Johan Baptist, and Moyses. It begins,
Alle herkneb to me nou :
7-Excepts that on the first Sunday of the magnificent marriage of king James of Scotland with the princess Margaret of England, daughter of Henry the seventh, celebrated at Edinburgh with high fplendour, " after dynnar a MORALITE was " played by the said master Inglyshe and “ hys companyons in the presence of the “ kyng and qwene."
On one of the preceding days, “ After foupper the kynge " and qwene beyng togader in hyr grett " chamber, John Inglysh and his com
panyons plaid.” This was in the year 1503. Apud Leland. coll. iii. p. 300. 299:- Append. edit. 1770. * The Italians pretend that they have a
Ludus PASCHALIS as old as the twelfth
TEATRO ITALIANO, tom. i.
(See fupr. vol. i.] “Nunc dormiunt
• MSS. Harl. 2013. PAGE AUNT XVÄ. fol. 138
d Mss. Harl. 2253. 21. fol. 55. b. . There is a poem on this subject, MS. Bodl. 1687
How Jesu Crist harowed helle
Of hardi gestes ich wille telle. [See fupr, vol. i. p. 18.].
The composers of the MYSTERIES did not think the plain and probable events of the new testament sufficiently marvellous for an audience who wanted only to be surprised. They frequently selected their materials from books which had more of the air of romance. The subject of the Mysteries just-mentioned was borrowed from the PSEUDO-EVANGELIUM, or the FABULOUS GOSPEL, ascribed to Nicodemus ° : a book, which, together with the numerous apocryphal narratives, containing infinite innovations of the evangelical history, and forged at Constantinople by the early writers of the Greek church, gave birth to an endless variety of legends concerning the life of Christ and his apostles"; and which, in the barbarous
In Latin. A Saxon translation, from Now Jesu the gentyll that brought Adam a manuscript at Cambridge, coeval with the conquest, was printed at Oxford, by There is a Greek homily on Saint John's Thwaites, 1699. In an English translation Descent into Hell, by Eusebius Alexandrinus. by Wynkyn de Worde, the prologue says, They had a notion that saint John was our « Nichodemus, which was a worthy prynce, Saviour's precursor, not only in this world, “ dydde wryte thys bleflyd storye in He but in hades. See Allat. de libr. ecclef. 66 brewe. And Theodosius, the
emperour, Græcor. p. 303. feq. Compare the Legend dyde it translate out of Hebrew into of Nicodemus, Chrifi's descent into hell, Pi“ Latin, and bysshoppe Turpyn dyde late's exile, &c. MSS. Bodl. B. 5. 2021. “ translate it out of Latyn into Frensshe.” With wooden cuts, 1511. 4to.
There * In the manuscript register of saint Swiwas another edition by Wynkyn de Worde, thin's priory at Winchetter, it is recorded, 1518. 4to. and 1532. See a very old that Leofric, bishop of Exeter, about the French version, MSS. Harl. 2253. 3. fol. year 1150, gave to the convent, a book 33. b. There is a translation into English called Gesta Beatissimi Apoftoli Petri cum verse, about the fourteenth century. MSS. Glofa. This is probably one of these comHarl. 4196. 1. fol. 206. See also, 149. mentitious histories. By the way, the same 5. fol. 254. b. And MSS. coll. Sion. 17. Leofric was a great benefactor in books to The title of the original is, Nicodemi his church at Exeter. Among others, he DISCIPULI de Jesu Chrifti pasione et resur gave Boetii Liber ANGLICUS, and, Magnus reétione EVANGELIUM. Sometimes it is liber ANGLICUs omnino 'Metrice descripentitled GESTA SALVATORIS noftri Jeful tus. What was this translation of Boethius, Christi. Our lord's Descent into hell is by I know not; unless it is Alfred's. It is far the best invented part of the work. still more difficult to determine, what was Edit. apud Orthodox.Patr. Jac. Greyn. the other piece, the GREAT BOOK OF ENG(Bafil. 1569. 4to.] pag. 653. feq. The LISH VERSE, at so early a period. The old Latin title to the pageaunt of this story grant is in Saxon, and, if not genuine, must in the Chester plays is, “ DE DESCENSU be of high antiquity. Dugdal. Monast.
INFERNA, et de his que ibidem tom. i. p. 222. I have given Dugdale's " fiebant secundum Evangelium Nico Latin translation. The Saxon words are,
DEMI,” fol. 138. ut fupr. Hence the “ Boeties boc on englisc. - And 1. mycel firit line in the old interlude, called Hicks “ englisc boc be gehpılcum þingum on CORNER, is illustrated.
“ leodpisan gepoppe."
ages, was better esteemed than the genuine gospel, on account of its improbabilities and absurdities.
But whatever was the source of these exhibitions, they were thought to contribute so much to the information and instruction of the people on the most important subjects of religion, that one of the popes granted a pardon of one thousand days to every person who reforted peaceably to the plays performed in the Whitsun week at Chester, beginning with the creation, and ending with the general judgment; and this indulgence was seconded by the bishop of the diocese, who granted forty days of pardon : the pope at the same time denouncing the sentence of damnation on all those incorrigible finners, who presumed to disturb or interrupt the due celebration of these pious sports'. It is certain that they had their use, not only in teaching the great truths of scripture to men who could not read the
bible, but in abolishing the barbarous attachment to military games, and the bloody contentions of the tournament, which had so long prevailed as the sole species of popular amusement. Rude and even ridiculous as they were, they softened the manners of the people, by diverting the public attention to spectacles in which the mind was concerned, and by creating a regard for other arts than those of bodily strength and savage valour.
$ MSS. Harl. 2124. 2013.
HE only writer deserving the name of a poet in the
reign of Henry the seventh, is Stephen Hawes. He was patronised by that monarch, who possessed some tincture of literature, and is said by Bacon to have confuted a Lollard in a public disputation at Canterbury'.
Hawes flourished about the close of the fifteenth century; and was a native of Suffolk. After an academical education at Oxford, he travelled much in France; and became a complete master of the French and Italian poetry. His polite accomplishments quickly procured him an establishment in the houshold of the king; who struck with the liveliness of his conversation, and because he could repeat by memory most of the old English poets, especially Lydgate, made him groom of the privy chamber. His facility in the French tongue was a qualification, which might strongly recommend him to the favour of Henry the seventh; who. was fond of studying the best French books then in vogue',
Hawes has left many poems, which are now but impera fectly known, and scarcely remembered. These are, the TEMPLE OF Glasse. The CONVERSION OF SWERERS, in octave stanzas, with Latin lemmata, printed by de Worde in 1509'. A JOYFULL MediTATION OF ALL ENGLOND, OR
- Life of Henry vi. p. 628. edit. ut · Bale says, that he was called by the supr. One Hodgkins, a fellow of King's king “ ab interiori camera ad privatum cucollege in Cambridge, and vicar of Ring “ biculum.” Cent. viii. wood in Hants, was eminently skilled in d Bacon, ut fupr. p. 637. the mathematics; and on that account,
e ". The ConverSYON OF SWERERS, Henry the seventh frequently condescended “ made and compyled by Stephen Hawes, to visit him at his house at Ringwood. groome of the chamber of our sovereigne Hatcher, MS. Catal. Prepof. et Soc. Coll. “ lord kynge Henry vii."
It contains only one heet in quarto. Wood, Ath. Oxon. i. 5.
THE CORONACYON TO OUR MOST NATURAL SOVEREIGN LORD KING Henry' THE eiGTH IN VERSE. By the same, and with: out date ; but probably it was printed soon after the cere, mony which it celebrates. These coronation-carols were customary. There is one by Lydgátek. The CONSOLATION OF LOVERS. THE EXEMPLAR OF VIRTUE. THE DELIGHT OF THE SOUL. Of The Prince's MARRIAGE. THE ALPHABET OF BIRDS. Some of the five latter pieces, none of which I have seen, and which perhaps were never printed, are faid by Wood to be written in Latin, and seem to be
The best of Hawes's poems, hitherto enumerated, is the TEMPLE OF GLASS *. On a comparison, it will be found to
& A BALLAD presented 10 Henry the fixth the day of his caronation. Princ, “ noble prince of cryften princes all." MSS. Ashmol. 59. ii.
By mistake, as it seems, I have hither quoted Hawes's Temple of GLASS, under the name of Lydgate. See fupr. vol. i. p. 410. 417. It was first printed by Wynken de Worde, in 1500.
is Here bygenneth the Temple of Glass. By “ Stephen Hawes, grome of the chamber
to king Henry vii.” (Ames, Hist. Print. pag. 86.) 8vo. in twenty-seven leaves. Af. terwards by Berthelette, without date, or name of the author, with this colophon. “ Thus endeth the temple of glasse. Em“ printed at London, in Flete trete, in the “ house of Thomas Berthelette, near to the “ cundite, at the sygne of the Lucrece. "Cum privilegio." I will give the beginning, with the title.
I his boke called the Temple of glase, is in many places amended, and late diligently imprynted. Through conftreynt and greuous heuyness, For great thought and for highe, pensyue
neffe, To bedde I went nowe this other night, Whan that Lucina with her pale dyght,
Was ioyned laft with Phebus in Aquary,
shroude ; Al desolate for conftraynt of my wo, The long night walowyng to and fro, Tytl at laft, or I gan take kepe, &c. This edition, unmentioned by Ames, is in Bibl. Bodl. Oxon. Ç. 39. Art. Seld. 4to. In the same library are two manufcript copies of this poem. M$$. Fairfax, xvi. membran. without a name. And MSS. Bodl. 638. In the first leaf of the Fairfax manuscript is this entry. " this at Gloucefter, 8 Sept. 1650, in“ tending to exchange it for a better boke.
Ffairfax." And at the end, in the fame hand. “ Here lacketh seven leaves • that are in Joseph Holland's boke.” This manuscript, however, contains as much as Berthelett's edition. Lewis mentions the Temple of Glass by John Lydgate, in Caxton's second edition of CHAUCER. (LIFE Ch. p. 104. See also Middleton's DisSERT. p. 263.) But no such poem ap
“ I bought