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first edition I have seen, is dated 1547*. All the proverbs of the English language are here interwoven into a very silly comic tale. The lady of the story, an old widow now going to be married again, is thus described, with some degree of drollery, on the bridal day.

In this late olde widow, and then olde newe wife,
Age and Appetite fell at a strong strife.

Her lust was as yong, as her lims were olde.
The day of her wedding, like one to be solde,
She set out herself in fyne apparell;

She was made like a beere-pot, or a barrell.
A crooked hooked nose, beetle browde, blere eyde,
Many men wisht for beautifying that bryde.
Her waste to be gyrde in, and for a boone grace,
Some well favoured visor on her ill favourd face;
But with visorlike visage, such as it was,

She smirkt and she smilde, but so lisped this las,
That folke might have thought it done onely alone
Of wantonnesse, had not her teeth been gone.
Upright as a candel standeth in a socket,
Stoode she that day, so simpre de cocket.
Of auncient fathers she tooke no cure nor care,
She was to them as koy as a Crokers mare.
She tooke the'ntertainment of the yong men,
All in daliaunce, as nice as a nuns hen2.
I suppose, That day her eares might well glow,
For all the town talkt of her hie and low.
One sayd a wel favourd olde woman shee is:
The devill shee is, saide another: and to this

plication of this professed court-wit seems
to be recorded in Camden's Remaines,
1605, p. 234. Heywood being asked by
Queen Mary "What wind blew him to the
court?" He answered, "Two specially:
the one to see your Majestie.'
thank you for that," said the Queen; "but,
pray you, what is the other?"
your Grace," said he, "might see me."
Sir John Harrington has an Epigram on a
witty speech of Heywood to the Queene,
another on young Heywood's answer to
Lord Warwick, and a third on old Hey-
wood's sons.-PARK.]


In quarto. Others followed, 1549.1562.1566.1576.-1587.-1598.


[Davies, of Hereford, in his "Scourge of Folly," about 1611, printed a Descant upon Englishe proverbes, and exhibited with a retrograde taste, not only the manner, but the dull rhymth (?) of his precursor, in the following metrical address

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In came the third with his five egges, and sayd,
Fifty yere agoe I knew her a trim mayde.
Whatever she were then, sayde one, she is nowe,
To become a bryde, as meete as a sowe
To beare a saddle. She is in this mariage,

As comely as a cowe in a cage.

Gup with a gald back, Gill, come up to supper,
What mine old mare would have a newe crupper,
And now mine olde hat must have a new band, &c.

The work has its value and curiosity as a repertory of proverbs made at so early a period. Nor was the plan totally void of ingenuity, to exhibit these maxims in the course of a narrative, enlivened by facts and circumstances. It certainly was susceptible of humour and invention.

Heywood's largest and most laboured performance is the SPIDER AND THE FLIE, with wooden cuts, printed at London by Thomas Powell, in 1556b. It is a very long poem in the octave stanza, containing ninety-eight chapters. Perhaps there never was so dull, so tedious, and trifling an apologue: without fancy, meaning, or moral*. A long tale of fictitious manners will always be tiresome, unless the design be burlesque; and then the ridiculous, arising from the contrast between the solemn and the light, must be ingeniously supported. Our author seems to have intended a fable on the burlesque construction t; but we know not when he would be serious and when witty, whether he means to make the reader laugh, or to give him advice. We must indeed acknowledge, that the age was not yet sufficiently refined, either to relish or to produce burlesque poetry. Harrison, the author of the

knewe a priest that was as nice as a Nunnes
Hen, when he would say masse he would
never saie DOMINUS VOBISCUM, but Do-
minus Vobicum." fol. 112 a. edit. 1567. 4to.
Second Part. ch. i.
b In quarto.
* [Mr. Ellis, in his Historical Sketch
of English Poetry, &c., ch. xvi., has pro-
nounced this parabolic tale "utterly con-
temptible:" but he has extracted two spe-
cimens from the First Century of Hey-
wood's Epigrams, which certainly possess
more true epigrammatic point than those
selected by Mr. Warton. The following
lines afford the most favourable instance
of his versification.


Measure is a merry meane,

Which filde with noppy drinke
When merry drinkers drinke off cleane,
Then merrily they winke.
Measure is a merry meane,

But I meane measures gret,
Where lippes to litele pitchers leane,
Those lippes they scantly wet.

Measure is a merry meane,

And measure is this mate;
To be a Deacon or a Dean

Thou wouldst not change the state.
Measure is a merry meane

In volewmes full or flat,
There is no chapter nor no sceane
That thou appliest like that.

Epig. upon Proverbes, Cent. iii. Ep. 28.-

+ [Herbert says "We are to consider the author here, as he really was, a catholic; partial in vindicating the catholic cause and the administration by queen Mary, whom he characterises by the maid, with her broom (the civil sword), executing the commands of her master (Christ) and her mistress (holy church). By the flies are to be understood the catholics; and by the spiders, the protestants. How justly the characters are supported I have neither leisure nor inclination to examine." MS. note.-PARK.]

с But I must not forget Chaucer's Sir Thopas, and that among the Cotton ma

DESCRIPTION OF BRITAINE, prefixed to Hollinshed's Chronicle, has left a sensible criticism on this poem. "One hath made a booke of the SPIDER AND THE FLIE, wherein he dealeth so profoundlie, and be

nuscripts, there is an anonymous poem, perhaps coeval with Chaucer, in the style of allegorical burlesque, which describes the power of money, with great humour, and in no common vein of satire. The hero of the piece is Sir Penny. MSS. Cott. Galba, E. 9.


In erth it es a littill thing,
And regnes als1 a riche king,

Whare he es lent in land;
SIR PENI es his name calde,
He makes both yong and alde2

Bow untill 3 his hand:

Papes, kinges, and emperoures,
Bisschoppes, abbottes, and priowres,

Person, prest, and knyght,
Dukes, erles, and ilk barowne,
To serue him er thai ful boune 5,
Both biday and nyght.

SIR PENI chaunges man's mode,
And gers them oft to doun thaire hode
And to rise him agayne7.

Men honors him with grete reuerence,
Makes ful mekell obedience

Vnto that litill swaine.

In kinges court es it no bote,
Ogaines SIR PENI for to mote",

Se mekill es he of myght,
He es so witty and so strang,
That be it neuer so mekill wrang,
He will mak it right.

With PENY may men wemen till 10
Be thai neuer so strange of will,

So oft may it be sene,

Lang with him will thai noght chide,
For he may ger tham trayl sydell

In gude skarlet and grene.

He may by 12 by heuyn and hell,
And ilka thing that es to sell.

In erth has he swilk grace,
He may lese 13 and he may bind.
The pouer er ay put bihind,
Whare he cumes in place.


When he bigines him to mell 14,
He makes meke that are was fell,

3 unto.

And waik 15 that bald has bene.
All ye nedes ful sone er sped 16,
Bath withowten borgh and wed 17,

Whare PENI gase bitwene 18.
The domes men 19 he mase' 20 so blind
That he may noght the right find
Ne the suth 21 to se.

For to gif dome 22 tham es ful lath 23,
Tharwith to mak SIR PENI wrath,

Ful dere with tham es he.

Thare 24 strif was PENI makes pese 25,
Of all angers he may relese,

In land whare he will lende,
Of fase 26 may he mak frendes sad,
Of counsail thar tham neuer be rad 27,
That may haue him to frende.
That SIRE es set on high dese 28,
And serued with mani riche mese
At the high burde 30.
The more he es to men plente,
The more zernid 31 alway es he:


And halden dere in horde.
He makes mani be forsworne,
And sum life and saul forlorne 32,
Him to get and wyn.

Other god will thai none haue,
Bot that litil round knaue,

Thaire bales 33 for to blin 34.

On him halely 35 thaire hertes sett,
Him for to luf 36 will thai noght let 37,

Nowther for gude ne ill.

All that he will in erth haue done,
Ilka man grantes it ful sone,
Right at his awin will.

He may both lene 38 and gyf;
He may ger both sla and lif 39,
Both by frith and fell 40.


1 as.

12 buy.

old. 5 ready. 6 makes, causes, compels. 7 against, before. use. 9 dispute. 10 approach, gain. 11 make them walk. [He may enable them to wear long sweeping dresses. A "trayl-syde gown," says Dr. Jamieson, "is so long as to trail upon the ground."] 13 loose. 14 meddle. 15 weak. 16 all you want is soon done. 17 borrowing or pledging. [surety and pledge.] 18 goes between. 19 judges. 21 truth. judgement. 23 loath. 24 where. 25

20 makes. 27 void.

26 foes.


31 coveted. 32 despise, quit. [lose.] 35 wholly. 36 love. 37 1 doing and speaking.

never cease.

38 lend. 42 to sit.

PENI es a gude felaw,

Men welcums him in dede and saw 41.
Cum he neuer so oft,

He es noght welkumd als a gest,
But euermore serued with the best,
And made at 42 sit ful soft.

23 seat. [the dais.] 29 mess. 30 high-table.
34 blind. [stop.]
33 eyes. [miseries.]
39 kill and save. 40 sea and land. [wood and hill.]

yond all measure of skill, that neither he himselfe that made it, neither anie one that readeth it, can reach unto the meaning thereof." It is a proof of the unpopularity* of this poem, that it never was reprinted. Our author's EPIGRAMS, and the poem of PROVERBS, were in high vogue, and had numerous editions before the year 1598 +. The most lively part of the SPIDER AND FLIE is perhaps the mock-fight between the spiders and flies, an awkward imitation of Homer's BATRACHOMUOMACHY. The preparations for this bloody and eventful engagement, on the part of the spiders, in their cobweb-castle, are thus described.

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Behold the battilments in every loope:

How th' ordinance lieth, flies far and nere to fach:
Behold how everie peace, that lieth there in groope,
Hath a spider gonner, with redy-fired match.
Behold on the wals, spiders making ware wach:
The wach-spider in the towre a larum to strike,
At aproch of any nomber shewing warlike.

Se the enprenabill fort, in every border,
How everie spider with his wepon doth stand,
So thorowlie harnest, in so good order:

The capital spider, with wepon in hand,
For that sort of sowdiers so manfully mand,
With copwebs like casting nets all flies to quell :
My hart shaketh at the sight: behold it is hell!!

The beginning of all this confusion is owing to a fly entering the poet's window, not through a broken pane, as might be presumed, but through the lattice, where it is suddenly entangled in a cobweb. The cobweb, however, will be allowed to be sufficiently descriptive of the poet's apartment. But I mention this circumstance as a probable proof, that windows of lattice, and not of glass, were now the common fashion,1

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In the Conclusion to the Spider and Flie, Heywood mentions queen Mary and king Philip'. But as most of his pieces seem to have been written some time before, I have placed him under Henry the Eighth.

[The following doubtless was composed on the spousals of Philip and Mary: "A balade specifienge partly the maner, partly the matter, in the most excellent meetyng and lyke mariage betwene our soveraigne Lord and our soveraigne Lady, the kynges and queenes highnes. Pende by John Heywood." Herb. p. 800. Oldys says he had seen "A briefe balet touching the trayterous takynge of Scarborow castle," subscribed J. Heywood, and printed in b. l. Mention is made of these at p. 85. note. The first of them is allegorically figurative, and begins:

The Egles byrde hath spred his wings
And from far of hathe taken flyght,
In whiche meane way by no lourings

On bough or braunch this birde wold

Till on the Rose, both red and whight,
He lighteth now most lovinglie
And therto moste behovinglie.


1 [Mr. Warton must have read the Conclusion of Heywood very cursorily, says Herbert, or he would not have been at such a loss for the intention of his poem of the Spider and the Flie.-PARK.]

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