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"earle of Oxford, and maister Edwardes of her majesties chappel, for comedy and enterluded."
Among the books of my friend the late Mr. William Collins of Chichester, now dispersed, was a Collection of short comic stories in prose, printed in the black letter under the year 1570, "sett forth by maister Richard Edwardes mayster of her maiesties reuels." Undoubtedly this is the same Edwards, who from this title expressly appears to have been the general conductor of the court festivities, and who most probably succeeded in this office George Ferrers, one of the original authors of the MIRROUR FOR MAGISTRATES. Among these tales was
with a dossen groates worth of ballads. In which if they prove thriftie, he makes them prety chapmen, able to spred more pamphlets by the state forbidden, than all the booksellers in London," &c. The names of many ballads are here also recorded, Watkins Ale, The Carmans Whistle, Chopping-knives, and Frier Fox-taile. Outroaringe Dick, and Wat Wimbars, two celebrated trebles, are said to have got twenty shillings a day by singing at Braintree fair in Essex. Another of these Addresses is from Robert Greene to Peirce Pennilesse. Signat. E. Another from Tarleton the Player to all maligners of honest mirth. E. 2. "Is it not lamentable," says he, "that a man should spende his two pence on plays in an afternoone?-If players were suppressed, it would be to the no smal profit of the Bowlinge Alleys in Bedlam and other places, that were [are] wont in the afternoones to be left empty by the recourse of good fellowes into that vnprofitable recreation of stage-playing. And it were not much amisse woulde they ioine with the Dicing-houses to make sute againe for their longer restrainte, though the Sicknesse cease. While Playes are usde, halfe the daye is by most youthes that haue libertie spent vppon them, or at least the greatest company drawne to the places where they frequent," &c. This is all in pure irony. The last address is from William Cuckowe, a famous master of legerdemain, on the tricks of jugglers. I could not suffer this opportunity, accidentally offered, to pass, of giving a note to a forgotten old writer of comedy, whose name may not perhaps occur again. But I must add, that the initials H. C. to pieces of this period do not always mean Henry Chettle. In England's Helicon are many pieces signed H. C. probably for Henry Constable, a noted sonnet-writer of these times. I have "Diana, or the excellent conceitfull Sonnets of H. C. Augmented with diuers quatorzains of honorable and learned personages, Diuided into viij. Decads. Vincitur a facibus qui jacit ipse faces." At Lond.
1596. 16mo. These are perhaps by Henry Constable. The last Sonnet is on a Lady born 1588. In my copy, those by H. C. are marked H. C. with a pen. Henry Constable will be examined in his proper place. Chettle is mentioned, as a player I think, in the last page of Dekker's Knights Conjuring, printed in 1607. [In the tract here cited, Bentley and not Chettle is introduced as a player. The sonnets of Constable, from a MS. in the possession of Mr. Todd, have been printed in a late Supplement to the Harleian Miscellany. -PARK.]
d Lib. i. ch. xxxi. fol. 51 a.
Who had certainly quitted that office before the year 1575. for in George Gascoigne's Narrative of queen Elizabeth's splendid visit at Kenilworth-castle in Warwickshire, entitled the Princelie Pleasures of Kenilworth-castle, the octave stanzas spoken by the Lady of the Lake, are said to have been "devised and penned by M. [Master] Ferrers, sometime Lord of Misrule in the Court." Signat. A. iij. See also Signat. B. ij. This was George Ferrers mentioned in the text, a contributor to the Mirrour for Magistrates. I take this opportunity of insinuating my suspicions, that I have too closely followed the testimony of Philips, Wood, and Tanner, in supposing that this George Ferrers, and Edward Ferrers a writer of plays, were two distinct persons. See supr. p. 184. I am now convinced that they have been confounded, and that they are one and the same man. We have already seen, and from good authority, that GEORGE Ferrers was Lord of Misrule to the court, that is, among other things of a like kind, a writer of court interludes or plays; and that king Edward the Sixth had great delight in his pastimes. See supr. vol. ii. p. 525. note ". The confusion appears to have originated from Puttenham, the author of the Arte of English Poesie, who has inadvertently given to George the christian name of Edward. But his account, or character, of this Edward Fer
that of the INDUCTION OF THE TINKER in Shakspeare's TAMING OF THE SHREW; and perhaps Edwards's story-book was the immediate source from which Shakspeare, or rather the author of the old TAMING OF A SHREW, drew that diverting apologue. If I recollect right, the circumstances almost exactly tallied with an incident which Heuterus relates, from an Epistle of Ludovicus Vives, to have actually happened at the marriage of Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy, about the year 1440. I will give it in the words, either of Vives, or of that perspicuous annalist, who flourished about the year 1580. "Nocte quadam a cæna cum aliquot præcipuis amicorum per urbem deambulans, jacentem conspicatus est medio foro hominem de plebe ebrium, altum stertentem. In eo visum est experiri quale esset vitæ nostræ ludicrum, de quo illi interdum essent collocuti. Jussit hominem deferri ad Palatium, et lecto Ducali collocari, nocturnum Ducis pileum capiti ejus imponi, exutaque sordida veste linea, aliam e tenuissimo ei lino indui. De mane ubi evigilavit, præsto fuere pueri nobiles ei cubicularii Ducis, qui non aliter quam ex Duce ipso quærerent an luberet surgere, et quemadmodum vellet eo die vestiri. Prolata sunt Ducis vestimenta. Mirari homo ubi se eo loci vidit. Indutus est, prodiit e cubiculo, adfuere proceres qui illum ad sacellum deducerent. Interfuit sacro, datus est illi osculandus liber, et reliqua penitus ut Duci. A sacro ad prandium instructissimum. A prandio cubicularius attulit chartas luso
rers has served to lead us to the truth. "But the principall man in this profession [poetry] at the same time [of Edward the Sixth] was maister Edward Ferrys, a man of no lesse mirth and felicitie that way, but of much more skil and magnificence in his meeter, and therefore wrate for the most part to the stage in Tragedie and sometimes in Comedie, or Enterlude, wherein he gave the king so much good recreation, as he had thereby many good rewardes." Lib. i. ch. xxxi. p. 49. edit. 1589. And again, "For Tragedie the lord of Buckhurst, and maister Edward Ferrys, for such doinges as I have sene of theirs, do deserve the highest price." Ibid. p. 51. His Tragedies, with the magnificent meeter, are perhaps nothing more than the stately monologues in the Mirrour for Magistrates; and he might have written others either for the stage in general, or the more private entertainment of the court, now lost, and probably never printed. His Comedie and Enterlude are perhaps to be understood to have been, not so much regular and professed dramas for a theatre, as little dramatic mummeries for the court-holidays, or other occasional festivities. The courtshows, like this at Kenilworth, were accompanied with personated dialogues in verse, and the whole pageantry was often styled an interlude. This reasoning also
accounts for Puttenham's seeming omission, in not having enumerated the Mirrour for Magistrates, by name, among the shining poems of his age. I have before observed, what is much to our purpose, that no plays of an Edward Ferrers, (or Ferrys, which is the same,) in print or manuscript, are now known to exist, nor are mentioned by any writer of the times with which we are now concerned. George Ferrers at least, from what actually remains of him, has some title to the dramatic character. Our George Ferrers, from the part he bore in the exhibitions at Kenilworth, appears to have been employed as a writer of metrical speeches or dialogues to be spoken in character, long after he had left the office of lord of misrule; a proof of his reputed excellence in compositions of this nature, and of the celebrity with which he filled that department.
[Leland in his Encomia, 1589, has a Latin laud Ad Georgium Ferrarium.— PARK.]
I also take this opportunity, the earliest which has occurred, of retracting another slight mistake. See supr. p. 226. There was a second edition of Niccols's Mirrour for Magistrates, printed for W. Aspley, London. 1621. 4to.
See Six Old Plays, Lond. 1779. 12mo.
rias, pecuniæ acervum. Lusit cum magnatibus, sub serum deambulavit in hortulis, venatus est in leporario, et cepit aves aliquot aucupio. Cæna peracta est pari celebritate qua prandium. Accensis luminibus inducta sunt musica instrumenta, puellæ atque nobiles adolescentes saltarunt, exhibitæ sunt fabulæ, dehinc comessatio quæ hilaritate atque invitationibus ad potandum producta est in multam noctem. Ille vero largiter se vino obruit præstantissimo; et postquam collapsus in somnum altissimum, jussit eum Dux vestimentis prioribus indui, atque in eum locum reportari, quo prius fuerat repertus: ibi transegit noctem totam dormiens. Postridie experrectus cæpit secum de vita illa Ducali cogitare, incertum habens fuissetne res vera, an visum quod animo esset per quietem observatum. Tandem collatis conjecturis omnibus atque argumentis, statuit somnium fuisse, et ut tale uxori liberis ac viris narravit. Quid interest inter diem illius et nostros aliquot annos? Nihil penitus, nisi quod hoc est paulo diuturnius somnium, ac si quis unam duntaxat horam, alter vero decem somniasset."
To an irresistible digression, into which the magic of Shakspeare's name has insensibly seduced us, I hope to be pardoned for adding another narrative of this frolic, from the ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY by Democritus junior, or Robert Burton, a very learned and ingenious writer of the reign of king James the First. "When as by reason of unseasonable weather, he could neither hawke nor hunt, and was now tired with cards and dice, and such other domesticall sports, or to see ladies dance with some of his courtiers, he would in the evening walke disguised all about the towne. It so fortuned, as he was walking late one night, he found a country fellow dead drunke, snorting on a bulke: hee caused his followers to bring him to his palace, and then stripping him of his old clothes, and attyring him in the court-fashion, when he wakened, he and they were all ready to attend upon his Excellency, and persuaded him he was some great Duke. The poore fellow admiring how he came there, was served in state all day long: after supper he saw them dance, heard musicke, and all the rest of those court-like pleasures. But late at night, when he was well tipled, and againe faste asleepe, they put on his old robes, and so conveyed him to the place where they first found him. Now the fellowe had not made there so good sport the day before, as he did now when he returned to himselfe ; all the jest was, to see how he looked upon it. In conclusion, after some little admiration, the poore man told his friends he had seene a vision, constantly believed it, would not otherwise be persuaded, and so the joke ended." If this is a true story, it is a curious specimen of the winter-diversions of a very polite court of France in the middle of
Heuterus, Rer. Burgund. lib. iv. p. 150. edit. Plantin. 1584. fol. Heuterus says, this story was told to Vives by an old officer of the duke's court.
Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy,
Part ii. § 2. pag. 232. fol. Oxon. 1624. There is an older edition in quarto. [Printed in 1621, but dated from the Author's study at Christ Church, Oxon. Dec. 5, 1620.-PARK.]
the fifteenth century. The merit of the contrivance, however, and comic effect of this practical joke, will atone in some measure for many indelicate circumstances with which it must have necessarily been attended. I presume it first appeared in Vives's Epistle. I have seen the story of a tinker disguised like a lord in recent collections of humorous tales, probably transmitted from Edwards's story-book, which I wish I had examined more carefully.
I have assigned Edwards to queen Mary's reign, as his reputation in the character of general poetry seems to have been then at its height. I have mentioned his sonnets addressed to the court-beauties of that reign, and of the beginning of the reign of queen Elizabeth'.
If I should be thought to have been disproportionately prolix in speaking of Edwards, I would be understood to have partly intended a tribute of respect to the memory of a poet, who is one of the earliest of our dramatic writers after the reformation of the British stage.
i Viz. Tit. A. xxiv. MSS. Cott. (See supr. p. 237.) I will here cite a few lines. Hawarde is not haugte, but of such smylynge cheare,
That wolde alure eche gentill harte, hir
Hir noble stature may compare with
At the end "Finis R. E." I have a faint recollection, that some of Edwards's songs are in a poetical miscellany, printed by T. Colwell in 1567 or 1568. "Newe Sonettes and pretty pamphlettes," &c. Entered to Colwell in 1567-8. Registr. Station. A. fol. 163 b. I cannot quit Edwards's songs, without citing the first stanza of his beautiful one in the Paradise of Daintie Deuises, on Terence's apophthegm of Amantium iræ amoris integratio est. Num. 50. Signat. G. ii. 1585. In going to my naked bed, as one that would have slept,
I heard a wife sing to her child, that long before had wept:
She sighed sore, and sang full sweete, to bring the babe to rest,
That would not cease, but cried still, in sucking at her brest.
She was full wearie of her watch, and greeved with her childe;
She rocked it, and rated it, till that on her it smilde.
Then did she say, now haue I found this
The falling out of faithfull frendes re-
The close of the second stanza is prettily conducted.
Then kissed she her little babe, and sware by God aboue,
The falling out of faithfull frendes, renuyng is of loue.
[Sir Egerton Brydges, in his republication of Edwards's Miscellany, considers this poem, even without reference to the age which produced it, among the most beautiful morceaux of our language. The happiness of the illustration of Terence's apophthegm, the facility, elegance and tenderness of the diction, and the exquisite turn of the whole, he deems above commendation; while they show to what occasional polish and refinement our literature even then had arrived. Pref. p. vi. -PARK.]
Tusser. Remarkable circumstances of his life. His Husbandrie, one of our earliest didactic poems, examined.
ABOUT the same time flourished Thomas Tusser, one of our earliest didactic poets, in a science of the highest utility, and which produced one of the most beautiful poems of antiquity. The vicissitudes of this man's life have uncommon variety and novelty for the life of an author, and his history conveys some curious traces of the times as well as of himself. He seems to have been alike the sport of fortune, and a dupe to his own discontented disposition and his perpetual propensity to change of situation.
He was born of an ancient family, about the year 1523, at ivenhall in Essex; and was placed as a chorister, or singing-boy, in the collegiate chapel of the castle of Wallingford in Berkshire. Having a fine voice, he was impressed from Wallingford college into the king's chapel. Soon afterwards he was admitted into the choir of saint Paul's cathedral in London; where he made great improvements under the instruction of John Redford the organist, a famous musician. He was next sent to Eton-school, where, at one chastisement, he received fiftythree stripes of the rod from the severe but celebrated master Nicholas Udall. His academical education was at Trinity-hall in Cambridge: but Hatcher affirms, that he was from Eton admitted a scholar of King's College in that university, under the year 1543. From the university he was called up to court by his singular and generous patron William lord Paget, in whose family he appears to have been a retainerd. In this department he lived ten years; but being disgusted with the vices, and wearied with the quarrels of the courtiers, he retired into the country, and embraced the profession of a farmer, which he successively practised at Ratwood in Sussex, Ipswich in Suffolk, Fairstead in Essex, Norwich, and other places. Here his patrons were sir Richard South
This chapel had a dean, six prebendaries, six clerks, and four choristers. It was dissolved in 1549.
b Udall's English interludes, mentioned above, were perhaps written for his scholars. Thirty-five lines of one of them are quoted in Wilson's Arte of Logike, edit. 1567. fol. 67 a. "Suete maistresse whereas," &c.
MSS. Catal. Præpos. Soc. Schol. Coll. Regal. Cant.
d Our author's Husbandrie is dedicated to his son Lord Thomas Paget of Beaudesert, fol. 7. ch. ii. edit. ut infr.
[It was first inscribed to his father Lord William Paget, 1586.-PARK.]
* In Peacham's Minerva, a book of emblems printed in 1612, there is the device of a whetstone and a scythe with these lines, fol. 61. edit. 4to.
They tell me, Tusser, when thou wert
And hadst for profit turned euery stone,
Though heereto best couldst counsel every