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tion of scholars in our universities after dinner on festival days. At an archiepiscopal visitation of Merton college in Oxford, in the year 1562, it was a matter of enquiry, whether the superstitious hymns appointed to be sung in the Hall on holidays, were changed for the psalms in metre: and one of the fellows is accused of having attempted to prevent the singing of the metrical Te Deum in the refectory on All-saints day.
It will not be foreign to our purpose to remark here, that when doctor Cosins, prebendary of Durham, afterwards bishop, was cited before the parliament in 1640, for reviving or supporting papistic usages in his cathedral, it was alledged against him, that he had worn an embroidered cope, had repaired some ruinous cherubims, had used a consecrated knife for dividing the sacramental bread, had renovated the blue cap and golden beard of a little image of Christ on bishop Hatfield's tomb, had placed two lighted tapers on the altar, which was decorated with emblematic sculpture, and had forbidden the psalms of Sternhold and Hopkins to be sung in the choir ".
'Strype's Parker, B. 11. Ch. ii. pag. 116, 117. Compare LIFE OF SIR THOMAS POPE, 2d edit. p. 354.
" Neale's HIST. PURIT. vol. ii. ch. vii. pag. 387. edit. 1733. Nalson's COLLECTIONS, vol. i. pag. 789.
BUT among the theological versifiers of these times, the most
notable is Christopher Tye, a doctor of music at Cambridge in 1545, and musical preceptor to prince Edward, and probably to his sisters the princesses Mary and Elisabeth. In the reign of Elisabeth he was organist of the royal chapel, in which he had been educated. To his profession of music, he joined some knowledge of English literature: and having been taught to believe that rhyme and edification were closely connected, and being persuaded that every part of the Scripture would be more instructive and better received if reduced into verse, he projected a translation of the ACTS OF THE APOSTLES into familiar metre. It appears that the Book OF KINGS had before been versified, which for many reasons was more capable of shining under the hands of a translator. But the most splendid historical book, I mean the most susceptible of poetic ornament, in the Old or New Testament, would have become ridiculous when clothed in the fashionable ecclesiastical stanza. Perhaps the plan of setting a narrative of this kind to music, was still more preposterous and exceptionable. However, he completed only the first fourteen chapters: and they were printed in 1553, by William Serres, with the following title, which, by the reader who is not acquainted with the peculiar complexion of this period, will hardly be suspected to be serious. "The ACTES OF THE APOSTLES translated into Englyshe metre, and dedicated to the kinges most excellent maiestye by Cristofer Tye, doctor in musyke, and one of the Gentylmen of hys graces most honourable Chappell, with notes to eche chapter to synge and also to play upon the Lute, very necessarye for studentes after theyr studye to fyle their wittes, and alsoe for all
christians that cannot synge, to reade the good and godlye storyes of the lives of Christ his apostles." It is dedicated in Sternhold's stanza, "To the vertuous and godlye learned prynce Edward the Sixth." As this singular dedication contains, not only anecdotes of the author and his work, but of his majesty's eminent attention to the study of the scripture, and of his skill in playing on the lute, I need not apologise for transcribing a few dull stanzas; especially as they will also serve as a specimen of the poet's native style and manner, unconfined by the fetters of translation.
Your Grace may note, from tyme to tyme,
Upon the Psalms to write in ryme,
And some doth take in hand to wryte
And last of all, I youre poore man,
Yet glad to do the best I can
To give unto your Grace,
Have thought it good now to recyte
Of all their worthy factes.-
Unto the text I do not ad,
Nor nothyng take awaye;
And though my style be gros and bad,
Strype says, that "Sternhold composed several psalms at first for his own solace. For he set and sung them to his organ. Which music king Edward vi. sometime hearing, for he was a Gentle
man of the privy-chamber, was much delighted with them. Which occasioned his publication and dedication of them to the said king." ECCLES. MEMOR. B. i. ch. 2. p. 86.
My callynge is another waye,
Your Grace shall herein fynde
And though they be not curious",
Ye shall them fynde harmonious,
And eke pleasaunt and swete.
A young monarch singing the ACTS OF THE APOSTLES in verse to his lute, is a royal character of which we have seldom heard. But he proceeds,
That such good thynges your Grace might move
Your Lute when ye assaye,
In stede of songes of wanton love,
These stories then to play.
So shall your Grace plese God the lorde
In walkyng in his waye,
His lawes and statutes to recorde
In your heart night and day.
And eke your realme shall florish styll,
"Thy lyf, O kyng, to us doth shyne,
From this sample of his original vein, my reader will not perhaps hastily predetermine, that our author has communicated any considerable decorations to his ACTS OF THE APOSTLES in English verse. There is as much elegance and ani
That is, they are plain and unisonous: the established character of this sort of music.
mation in the two following initial stanzas of the fourteenth chapter, as in any of the whole performance, which I shall therefore exhibit.
'It chaunced in Iconium,
As they oft tymes did use,
Where they did preache and only seke
Doctor Tye's ACTS OF THE APOSTLES were sung for a time in the royal chapel of Edward the Sixth. But they never became popular*. The impropriety of the design, and the impotency of the execution, seem to have been perceived even by his own prejudiced and undiscerning age. This circumstance, however, had probably the fortunate and seasonable effect, of turning Tye's musical studies to another and a more rational system: to the composition of words judiciously selected from the prose psalms in four or five parts. Before the middle of the reign of Elisabeth, at a time when the more ornamental and intricate music was wanted in our service, he concurred with the celebrated Tallis and a few others in setting several anthems, which are not only justly supposed to retain much of the original strain of our antient choral melody before the reformation, but in respect of harmony, expression, contrivance, and general effect, are allowed to be perfect models of the genuine ecclesiastic style. Fuller informs us, that Tye was the chief restorer of the loss which the music of the church had sustained by the destruction of the monasteries". Tye also ap
*[Nash said, in 1596, "Dr. Tye was a famous musitian some few years since." See Have with you to Saffron Waldon.-PARK.]
d WORTHIES, ii. 244. Tallis here VOL. IV. с
mentioned, at the beginning of the reign of Elisabeth, and by proper authority, enriched the music of Marbeck's liturgy. He set to music the TE DEUM, BENEDICTUS, MAGNIFICAT, NUNC DIMITTIS, and other offices, to which Marbeck had