« הקודםהמשך »
the addition of some epistles and epigrams, in the same style, did not, I believe, appear in print before the year 1554.', Coccaie is often cited by Rabelais, a writer of a cogenial castfl The three last books, containing a description of hell, are a parody on part of Dante's INFERNO. In the preface, or APOLQGETICA, our author gives an account of this new species of poetry, since called the MACARONIC, which I must give in his own words. " Ars ista poetica nuncupatur " Ars MACARONICA, a Macaram'bus derivata: qui Macarones
i e At Venice, 8310. Again, 1564. And. Baudius, which. have a mixture of the
that Skelton, their cotemporary, probably copied their manner: at least to shew, that this singular mode of versification was at this time fashionable, not only in England, but also in France and Italy. Nor did it cease to be remembered in England, and as a species of poetry thought to be founded by Skelton, till even so late as the close of queen Elizabeth's reign. As appears from the following poem on the SPANISH ARMADA, which is filled with _Latin words.
A SKELTONICALL salutation,
Of the Spanish nation ;
.ln setting for-th the armado
But I must not here forget, that Dunbar, a Scotch poet of Skelton's 'own age, already mentioned, wrote in this way. His TESTAMENT OF MAISTER ANDRO KENNEDY, which represents the character of an idle dissolute scholar, and ridicules the funeral ceremonies of the Romish communion, has almost every alternate line composed of the formularies of a Latin Will, and shreds of the breviary, mixed with what the French call Latin de cuz'sine'. There is some humour, arising from these burlesque applications, in the following'
* Printed at Oxford by Joseph Bames, 158 . 4.to. See also a dogfrel piece of this kin , in imitation of Slte ton, introduced into Browne's Snernskn's PIPE, Lond. 1614. 8vo. Perhaps this way of writing is ' ridiculed by Shake peare, MERRY \V. or Wmns. A. ii. Sc. 1. Where Falstaffe says, " l will not say, Pity me, 'tis not a sol" diet-'e phrase, but I say love me: by me
'" Thine own true knight, day or night, *' Or any kind of light, wit all his might U With thee to tight.-"
'See also the Interlude of Pyramus and 's/zlshz, in the Minio-nail NicHT's
'De e A m. Oflen printed separater in uarto, an a droll for Bartholomew fair, un er the
title of BOTTOM rue Wsavsa. Skelton, however, seems to have retained his popularity till late. For the first part of T.' Heywood's twofold play on the earl of Huntingdon, entitled, " Robert earl of " Huntingdon's downfall, afterwards call" ed Robin Hood of merry Sherwoode, " with his love to chaste Matilda the lord " Fitzwater's daughter, afterwards his fair U maid Marian," acted by iord Nottingham's players, and printed in uarto, at London, in 1601, is introduced y Jor-m Sun-row, pan law-eat to king Hem) the eighth. The second tpart, printed with the farmer, is introduce by FRYA'. Tvcx, with whom i am less acquainted.
We must, however, acknowledge, that Skelton, notwith-. standing his scurrility, was a clasiical scholar; and in that capacity, he was tutor to prince Henry, afterwards king Henry the eighth: at whose accesiion to the throne, he was appointed the royal orator. He is styled by Erasmus, " Britanni" carum literarum decus et lumen ". His Latin elegiacs are pure, and often unmixed with the monastic phraseology; and they prove, that if his natural propensity to the ridiculous had not more frequently seduced him to follow the whimsies of Walter Mapes and Golias', than to copy the elegancies of Ovid, he would have appeared among the first writers of Latin poetry in England at the general restoration of literature. Skelton could not avoid acting as a buffoon in any language, or any character.
I cannot quit Skelton, of whom I yet fear too much hae been already said, without restoring to the public notice a play, or MORALITY, written by him, not recited in any catalogue of his works, or annals of English typography; and, I believe, at present totally unknown to the antiquarians in this sort of literature. It is, The NIGRAMANSIR, a moral] ENTERLUDE and a pitbz'e written by Maz'stcr SKELTON
and French. See MERCUII or. FRANCE.
" These two writers are often confounded. See the Second DISSBRTATION. jamcs says, that Golias was not a name adapted by Mapes : but that there was a real wrio ter of that name, a collection of whose works he had seen. See MSS. [Bibl. Bodl.] James, i. p. 320. Golias and Mapes appear to have been cotemporaries, and a similar gen'ms. The curious reader will find many extract: from their poetry, which has very grerrt merit in its way, among James's manuscriprcollections. The facility os these old Latin rh mers is amazing: and th have a degreeo humour and elegance sat exceeding their age.
laureate and plaid bgflire the king and other estatyr at Moastake on Palme Sunday. It was printed by Wynkin de Worde in a thin quarto, in the year 1504. *. It must have been presented before king Henry the seventh, at the royal manor or palace, at Woodstock in Oxfordshire, now destroyed. The characters are a Necromancer, or conjurer, the devil, a notary public, Simonie ', and Philargyria ', or Avarice. It is partly a satire on some abuses in the church; yet not without a due regard to decency, and an apparent respect for the dignity of the audience. The story, or plot, is the tryal of SIMONY and AVARICE : the devil is the judge, and the notary public acts as an assessor or scribe. The prisoners, as we may suppose, are found guilty, and ordered into hell immediately. There is no sort of propriety in calling this play the Necro