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it was sir Edward Nevil. At this, the king could not forbear laughing aloud; and pulling off his own and sir Edward Nevil's masque, convinced the cardinal, with much arch complaisance, that he had for once guessed wrong. The king and the masquers then retired into another apartment to change their apparel; and in the meantime the banquet was removed, and the table covered afresh with perfumed clothes. Soon afterwards, the king, with his company, returned, and took his seat under the cardinal's canopy of state. Immediately two hundred dishes* of the most costly cookery and confectionary were served up; the contrivance and success of the royal joke afforded much pleasant conversation, and the night was spent in dancing, dice-playing, banketting and other triumphso. The old chronicler Edward Hall, a cotemporary and a curious observer, acquaints us, that at Greenwich, in 1512, “on the daie of the Epiphanie at night, the king with eleven others was disguised after the maner of Italie, called a Maske, a thing not seene before in England; they were apparelled in garments long and broad, wrought all with gold, with visors and caps of gold. And after the banket doone, these maskers came in, with six gentlemen disguised in silke, bearing staffe-torches, and desired the ladies to danse; some were content, and some refused; and after they had dansed and communed togither, as the fashion of the maske is, they tooke their leave and departed, and so did the queene and all the ladies"."

I do not find that it was a part of their diversion in these entertainments to display humour and character†. Their chief aim seems to have been, to surprise, by the ridiculous and exaggerated oddity of the visors, and by the singularity and splendor of the dresses. Every thing was out of nature and propriety. Frequently the Masque was attended with an exhibition of some gorgeous machinery, resembling the wonders of a modern pantomime. For instance, in the great hall of the palace, the usual place of performance, a vast mountain covered with tall trees arose suddenly, from whose opening caverns issued hermits, pilgrims, shepherds, knights, damsels, and gypsies, who being regaled with spices and wine danced a morisco, or morris-dance. They were then again received into the mountain, which with a symphony of rebecs and recorders closed its caverns; and tumbling to pieces, was replaced by a ship in full sail, or a castle besieged. To be more particular. The fol lowing device was shown in the hall of the palace at Greenwich. A castle was reared, with numerous towers, gates, and battlements; and furnished with every military preparation for sustaining a long siege.

[Can we imagine, that though the Cardinal was giving such a magnificent entertainment, he would have had 200 costly dishes in reserve, ready to set on, if he had not been in the secret about the king's masqued visit? As to the mistake about his person, this might be real or pretended. -ASHBY.]

• Hollinsh. Chron. iii. 921. seq. ? Chron. fol. xv. [See supr. vol. ii. p. 21 et seq.]

[Of these there was probably about as much as would be found in a modern masquerade, consisting of the king and his court, lords of the bed-chamber and maids of honour.-ASHBY.]

On the front was inscribed Le fortresse dangereux. From the windows looked out six ladies, clothed in the richest russet satin, "laid all over with leaves of gold, and every one knit with laces of blew silk and gold, on their heads coifs and caps all of golde." This castle was moved about the hall; and when the queen had viewed it for a time, the king entered the hall with five knights, in embroidered vestments, spangled and plated with gold, of the most curious and costly workmanship. They assaulted the castle; and the six ladies, finding them to be champions of redoubted prowess, after a parley, yielded their perilous fortress, descended, and danced with their assailants. The ladies then led the knights into the castle, which immediately vanished, and the company retired. Here we see the representation of an action. But all these magnificent mummeries, which were their evening-amusements on festivals, (notwithstanding a parley*, which my historian calls a communication, is here mentioned,) were yet in dumb show', and without dialogue.

But towards the latter part of Henry's reign, much of the old cumbersome state began to be laid aside. This I collect from a set of new regulations given to the royal household about the year 1526, by cardinal Wolsey. In the Chapter For keeping the Hall and ordering of the Chapel, it is recited, that by the frequent intermission and disuse of the solemnities of dining and supping in the great hall of the palace, the proper officers had almost forgot their duty, and the manner of conducting that very long and intricate ceremonial. It is therefore ordered, that when his majesty is not at Westminster, and with regard to his palaces in the country, the formalities of the Hall, which ought not entirely to fall into desuetude, shall be at least observed when he is at Windsor, Beaulieu, or Newhalls in Essex, Richmond, Hampton-court, Greenwich, Eltham, and Woodstock; and that at these places only, the whole choir of the chapel shall attend. This attempt to revive that which had begun to cease from the nature of things, and from the growth of new manners, perhaps had but little or no lasting effect; and with respect to the Chapel, my record adds, that when the king is on journeys or progresses, only six singing boys and six gentlemen of the choir shall make a part of the royal retinue; who "daylie in absence of the

Hollinsh. iii. 812.

* [About the terms on which to surrender the fortress that six fine ladies had defended.-ASHBY.]

But at a most sumptuous Disguising in 1519, in the hall at Greenwich, the figure of FAME is introduced, who, "in French, declared the meaning of the trees, the rocke, and turneie." But as this show was a political compliment, and many foreigners present, an explanation was necessary. See Hall, Chron. fol. lxvi. This was in 1512. But in the year 1509, a more rational evening-amusement took

place in the Hall of the old Westminsterpalace, several foreign embassadors being present. "After supper, his grace [the king] with the queene, lords, and ladies, came into the White Hall, which was hanged richlie; the hall was scaffolded and railed on all parts. There was an ENTERLUDE of the gentlemen of his chapell before his grace, and diverse freshe songes." Hall, Chron. fol. xi. xii. [See supra, vol. ii. p. 392.]

A new house built by Henry the Eighth. Hollinsh. Chron. iii. 852.

residue of the chapel shall have a Masse of our Ladie bifore noon, and on Sondaies and holidaies, masse of the day besides our Lady-masse, and an anthempne in the afternoone: for which purpose, no great carriage of either vestiments or bookes shall requiret." Henry never seems to have been so truly happy, as when he was engaged in one of these progresses; in other words, moving from one seat to another, and enjoying his ease and amusements in a state of royal relaxation. This we may collect from a curious passage in Hollinshed; who had pleased and perhaps informed us less, had he never deserted the dignity of the historian. "From thence the whole court remooved to Windsor, then beginning his progresse, and exercising himself dailie in shooting, singing, dansing, wrestling, casting of the barre, plaieing at the recorders, flute, virginals, in setting of songes, and making of ballades.-And when he came to Oking", there were kept both justes turneies"." I make no apology for these seeming digressions. The manners and the poetry of a country are so nearly connected, that they mutually throw light on each other.

The same connection subsists between the state of poetry and of the arts; to which we may now recall the reader's attention with as little violation of our general subject.

We are taught in the mythology of the ancients, that the three Graces were produced at a birth. The meaning of the fable is, that the three most beautiful imitative arts were born and grew up together. Our poetry now beginning to be divested of its monastic barbarism, and to advance towards elegance, was accompanied by proportionable improvements in Painting and Music. Henry employed many capital painters, and endeavoured to invite Raphael and Titian into England. Instead of allegorical tapestry, many of the royal apartments were adorned with historical pictures. Our familiarity with the manners of Italy, and affectation of Italian accomplishments, influenced the tones and enriched the modulation of our musical composition. Those who could read the sonnets of Petrarch must have relished the airs of Palestrina. At the same time, Architecture, like Milton's lion pawing to get free, made frequent efforts to disentangle itself from the massy incumbrances of the Gothic manner; and began to catch the correct graces, and to copy the true magnificence, of the Grecian and Roman models. Henry was himself a great builder; and his numerous edifices, although constructed altogether on the ancient system, are sometimes interspersed with chaste ornaments and graceful mouldings, and often marked with a legitimacy of proportion, and a purity of design, before unattempted. It was among the literary plans of Leland, one of the most classical scholars of this age, to write an account of Henry's palaces, in imitation of

t" ORDENAUNCES made for the kinges household and chambres." Bibl. Bodl. MSS. Laud, K. 48. fol. It is the original on vellum. In it, Sir Thomas More is

mentioned as Chancellour of the Duchie of Lancaster.

"Woking in Surrey, near Guildford, a royal seat. Chron. iii. 806.

Procopius, who is said to have described the palaces of the emperor Justinian. Frequent symptoms appeared, that perfection in every work of taste was at no great distance. Those clouds of ignorance which yet remained began now to be illuminated by the approach of the dawn of truth.

SECTION XLV.

Effects of the Reformation on our poetry. Clement Marot's Psalms. Why adopted by Calvin. Version of the Psalms by Sternhold and Hopkins. Defects of this version, which is patronised by the Puritans in opposition to the Choral Service.

THE reformation of our church produced an alteration for a time in the general system of study, and changed the character and subjects of our poetry. Every mind, both learned and unlearned, was busied in religious speculation; and every pen was employed in recommending, illustrating, and familiarising the Bible, which was now laid open to the people.

The poetical annals of king Edward the Sixth, who removed those chains of bigotry which his father Henry had only loosened, are marked with metrical translations of various parts of the sacred scripture. Of these the chief is the versification of the Psalter by Sternhold and Hopkins; a performance, which has acquired an importance, and consequently claims a place in our series, not so much from any merit of its own, as from the circumstances with which it is connected.

It is extraordinary, that the protestant churches should be indebted to a country in which the reformation had never begun to make any progress, and even to the indulgence of a society which remains to this day the grand bulwark of the catholic theology, for a very distinguishing and essential part of their ritual.

About the year 1540, Clement Marot, a valet of the bedchamber to king Francis the First, was the favorite poet of France. This writer, having attained an unusual elegance and facility of style, added many new embellishments to the rude state of the French poetry. It is not the least of his praises, that La Fontaine used to call him his master. He was the inventor of the rondeau, and the restorer of the madrigal; but he became chiefly eminent for his pastorals, ballads, fables, elegies, epigrams, and translations from Ovid and Petrarch*. At length, being

* [Hence was it observed in a poem before quoted, at p. 44.

In Fraunce did Marot rayne,
And neighbour thearunto

Was Petrark murthing full with Dante,
Who erst did wonders do.

PARK.]

tired of the vanities of profane poetry, or rather privately tinctured with the principles of Lutheranism, he attempted, with the assistance of his friend Theodore Beza, and by the encouragement of the professor of Hebrew in the university of Paris, a version of David's Psalms into French rhymes. This translation, which did not aim at any innovation in the public worship, and which received the sanction of the Sorbonne as containing nothing contrary to sound doctrine, he dedicated to his master Francis the First, and to the Ladies of France. In the dedication to the Ladies or les Dames de France, whom he had often before addressed in the tenderest strains of passion or compliment, he seems anxious to deprecate the raillery which the new tone of his versification was likely to incur, and is embarrassed how to find an apology for turning saint. Conscious of his apostasy from the levities of life, in a spirit of religious gallantry he declares that his design is to add to the happiness of his fair readers, by substituting divine hymns in the place of chansons d'amour, to inspire their susceptible hearts with a passion in which there is no torment, to banish that fickle and fantastic deity CUPID from the world, and to fill their apartments with the praises, not of the little god, but of the true Jehovah.

E voz doigts sur les espinettes
Pour dire SAINCTES CHANSONETTES.

He adds, that the golden age would now be restored, when we should see the peasant at his plough, the carman in the streets, and the mechanic in his shop, solacing their toils with psalms and canticles; and the shepherd and shepherdess, reposing in the shade, and teaching the rocks to echo the name of the Creator.

Le Laboureur a sa charruë,
Le Charretier parmy le ruë,
Et l'Artisan en sa boutique,
Avecques un PSEAUME ou CANTIQUE,
En son labour se soulager.
Heureux qui orra le Berger
Et la Bergere au bois estans,
Fair que rochers et estangs,
Apres eux chantant la hauteur
Du sainct nom de Createura.

Marot's Psalms soon eclipsed the brilliancy of his madrigals and sonnets. Not suspecting how prejudicial the predominant rage of psalmsinging might prove to the ancient religion of Europe, the catholics themselves adopted these sacred songs as serious ballads, and as a more rational species of domestic merriment. They were the common accompaniments of the fiddle. They were sold so rapidly, that the printers

a Les Oevvres de Clement Marot de Cahors, valet de chambre du roy, &c. A

Lyon, 1551. 12mo. See ad calc. Traductions, &c. p. 192.

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