Page images
PDF
EPUB

which was, however, completely routed at Tewkesbury, on May 4, before these noblemen could join it.

To the ryght rev'ent and wyrchypfull Lady *.

·

Ryght rev'ent and wyrchypfull Lady I recomande me to yow lettyng yow wete that I am in gret hevynes at the makyng of this lett' but thankyd be God I am efchapyd myfelfe and fodenly dep'tyd fro my men for I undyrftand my Chapleyn wold have detrayed me and if he com into the Contre let hym be mad feu' &c. Alfo ye fhall gyff credence to the bryng' of thys Lett' and I befeke yow to reward hym to hys cofts for I was not in power at the makyng of this Lett to gyff hym but as I wafs put in treft by favar of ftrange pepyll, &c.

Alfo ye fhall fend me in all hast all the redi money that ye make and affe mone of my me affe can com well horfyd and that they cũ in dyu'fe p'cellys, Alfo that my horffe be fent wt my ftele Sadelles and byd the yoman of the horse cou' theym w ledd. Alfo ye fhall fend to my mod and let hyr wete of thys lett' and pray hyr of hyr bleffyng and byd hyr fend me my Kasket by thys tokyn that he hath the key theroff but it is brokyn.

Alfo ye shall fend to the Pryor of Thetford and byd hym send me the S'm of gold that he feyd that I fchald have. Alfo fey to hym by thys tokyn that I fchewyd hym the fyrft p've Seale, &c. Alfo lete Paftun, Fylbryg Brews com' to me. Alfo ye fhall delyu' the bryng' of thys Lett' an horffe fadell and brydell Alfo ye fchallbe of gud cher and take no thowght for I fchall bryng my purpose abowte now by the g'ce of God qwhome have yow in kepyng.

SID !... D.'

Of the turbulence of the times, the above extract gives us a true picture. An Earl was betrayed by his own chaplain; he was in the greatest want of money, fo as not to be able to pay the meffenger without borrowing of ftrangers; for fear of creating fufpicions, he orders his horfemen to be fent in different parcells; and the precision of the tokens fhews the cautions which were neceffary to be obferved, left any fraud fhould be imposed on the perfons to whofe care his valuables were committed.

In the fecond letter of this collection, we have an account of the release of the Duke of Orleans, who had continued a prifoner 25 years (by the Cardinal Bishop of Winchefter, Beaufort, and his party), in oppofition to the Duke of Gloucefter, who, in confequence of the requeft of Henry the Fifth on his death-bed, protefted against the measure.

In another letter, the particulars of the murder of William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, are fully related. Being prime minifter, and a favourite with the king and queen (Henry VI. and Margaret), he was banished for fear of the Commons. It appears, however, that the fhips which met him in the channel were fent out by the Commons, and the York party, on purpose

She was daughter to the Earl of Salisbury.

to

to intercept and kill him. Sir J. Fenn's notes on this letter are valuable and inftructive. His death was a cruel one, according to this account, which fays, 'oon of the lewdefte* of the shippe badde hym ley down hys hedde and he fhuld be fair ferd wyth and dye on a fwerd and toke a rufty fwerd and fmotte of his hedde withyn halfe a dofeyn ftrokes.'

A letter from J. Payne, a trufty fervant of Sir John Faftolf, gives many particulars of Jack Cade's rebellion, which fhew the violence and barbarity of a body of men collected together from the loweft and meaneft of the people, and acting without controul.

Margaret, queen of Henry VI. alarmed at the report of the approach of the Earl of March (the Duke of York's fon) toward London with a great power, endeavoured to make what friends fhe could; and among other places, on her journey for that purpose, the vifited Norwich. Mrs. Pafton, in a letter to her husband, defcribes the queen's vifit; and from the fhort sketch which the has given of her character, it appears that the Queen's familiarity and addrefs were highly agreeable to the gentry, and that fhe understood the right method of conciliating the affection of the ladies with whom she conversed.

Two letters, one from the Duchefs of Norfolk, and another. from the Earl of Oxford, plainly fhew that the election of members of parliament, even for counties, was under the influence of the great men of the time. Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, and John Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, nominate the members; and, in exprefs terms, the Earl of Oxford fends inftructions to John Pafton Efquire (perhaps then sheriff for the county), for their election. The letter from the Duchefs is a request; but it is made in a manner fo exquifitely preffing, and with fuch hearty promifes of thanks, that 'Squire Pafton could not help complying with her Grace's wishes.

A long letter from Mrs. Pafton, dated the xxviij day of Jenur' the yer of Kyng Henry the Sext xxxvj' contains many particulars of private life. She feems especially anxious about Clement Pafton (her fon) and his lernyng.' Giving directions for enquiring of Grenefeld, Clement's fchoolmaster, fhe fays, And if he [Clement] hathe nought do well nor wyll nought amend prey hym [Grenefeld] that he will trewly belaffch + bym tyll he wyll amend and fo ded the last mayftr and ye beft that eu' he had att Caumbrege. And fey Grenefeld that if he wyll take up on hym to bryng hym in to good Rewyll

* What is the true meaning of this word? a different one to that which we now give it. The Editor fays meaneft.'

+ Whip.
REV. July, 1788.

E

and

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

and Lernyng that I may verily know he dothe his dever I wyll geve hym x m'rs for hys labor.' A catalogue of Clement's wardrobe occurs in this letter, one item of which is afyde Ruffet Gowne furryd wt bevyr was mad this tyme ij yer.' On the word afyde we have the following note: A fide gown may mean a long one; for in Laneham's account of Queen Eliza beth's entertainment at Kennelworth Caftle, 1575, the minftrel's "gown had fide [i. e. long] fleeves down to the mid leg." The gown, however, defcribed by Mrs. Pafton, appears rather to have been the Sid-ɲeap. Lateralis veftis, fc. ad latera tegenda. Lumbaris toga. See Reubenii Gloffarium 65, and Ælfr. Gloff. p. 68, 69. A gown to cover the fides or loins.' With deference to fuch learned authority, we think fyde fignifies long, ift, because it is now a provincial word in the northern counties, fignifying long and wide; 2d, becaufe Mrs. Pafton firft enumerates all the fhort gowns, and after them all the fyde gowns; and 3d, becaufe one of the fhort gowns is faid to have been made of a fyde gown.

A very curious letter from Sir John Pafton defcribes the battle of Barnet, and relates many circumstances on which our general hiftories are filent.

To mention all the curiofities in this collection would require more room than we can well fpare: we fhall, however, infert one more letter entire, as we think it remarkable.

On to Jon Paston in hast'.

• Maftyr Pafton I pray yow yt it may plefe yow to leue + yowr logeyng for iij or for days tyll I may be porved of anodyr and I fchal do as mufche to yowr plefyr, for Godys fake fay me not nay and I pray yow rekomaund me to my lord Chambyrleyn.

Yowr frend Elizabeth.'

This Elizabeth was third daughter of Richard Plantagenet, and Cecily, daughter of Ralph Neville, Earl of Weftmoreland. She was fifter to Edward IV. and Richard III. By the latter, her fon, John Earl of Lincoln, was (after the death of his own fon) declared heir to the crown. She married John Duke of Suffolk. Sir John Fenn is furely right in thinking this letter curious. It fhews, he fays, the fimplicity of the times, when a princess of the blood royal, coming to London, unprovided with a lodging, petitions for the ufe of that of a friend for three

*The Editor interprets this word by endeavour. We think it more probable to fuppofe it means in this place duty, being a corruption of the French devoir: and thus he hath interpreted it in a fubfequent paffage of this fame letter.

+ Leue, or lend;-I believe (fays the Editor) it is leve; but it is fo written, that it is very difficult to determine.'

Purveyed, provided with.

or

ot four days in the moft humble terms, " for Godys fake fay me not nay." We think it is rather the mark of fome great diftrefs in which the might be involved; or it might be that fe wifhed to be in London on fome private affairs, and have her journey concealed.

Let it not be imagined that we have in this fhort article mentioned every circumftance that may be deemed inftructive, entertaining, or curious, in this valuable collection. Readers of different denominations will be inftructed and entertained by it, according to their different taftes for hiftory, antiquities, lan guage, &c. And we doubt not that most of them will thank the laborious and learned editor for preferving these remains from the wide- wafting hand of Time.

For the information of our Readers, we transcribe the following paragraph from the preface to the fecond edition of

this work:

As this work has been fo very favourably received, the Editor is preparing for the prefs a further felection of letters and papers, written during the reigns of Henry VI. Edward IV. and Richard III. to which he intends adding fuch as are in his poffeffion, which were written in the reign of Henry VII. And as the fame care and attention will be employed in the continuation as have been already exerted in the prefent volume, he flatters himself that the expectations of the inquifitive fearcher into the ufages of former ages, will not. be disappointed.'

ART. X. Poems and Tranflations. By the Rev. William Beloe. 8vo. 5 s. Boards. Johnson. 1788.

·

HE principal poem in this collection is the Rape of Helen, from the Greek of Coluthus:' of which an account was given in our Review for May 1787, page 423,

THE

The opening of this performance was originally thus:
Ye Trojan nymphs! the filver Xanthus' pride.'

We then objected to the epithet filver, as no way characteristic of the river in queftion,the famed Scamander, or Xanthus ;and we now find it altered to beauteous: this is equally faulty, and wholly inexpreffive of its fabled colour, which was faid to be yellow, and which, no doubt, gave rife to the affertion of both Ariftotle and Ælian, who observe, that the fleeces of the sheep which drank of this water became tinged with that hue. This particular circumftance may be thus explained: In the mountains of the kingdom of Phrygia, and near to the spot where the Xanthus took its rife, were many confiderable mines of gold. This gold, or gold-duft, washed by the torrents from those mountains, fettled in the beds of the adjacent rivers. It was the practice of the earlier ages to fink in fuch rivers a certain number of fleeces, by which means they collected this precious. E 2 metal

metal in confiderable quantities;-and hence, according to Strabo, the fable of the Golden Fleece. Now the river, which had at fiift the name of Scamander, but which was afterward changed to that of Xanthus (i. e. the yellow river), received this latter appellation, as there is every reafon to fuppofe, from the abundance of gold it had been found to afford, and by way of diftinguishing it from the lefs valuable ftreams. In like manner, it may be obferved, that the Pactolus, which is a little to the fouth. of the Scamander, was termed Chryforrhoas (i. e. the golden river), and evidently on account of its riches *.

But to return to the poem. Though we are diffatisfied with the epithet beauteous, we have fcarcely any one to propose in its place. Golden or yellow, indeed, might be adopted, were it not that the colour of the river is expreffed in the very name of the river itself. We may, perhaps, be allowed to read the glittering Xanthus' pride'-or the rich Scamander's pride. The latter reading appears to be the best.

But as an account of this tranflation is to be found in a former Review, we must defift from any farther examination of it. With respect to the other pieces, we have only to obferve, that though the writer does not foar on ftrong and powerful pinions; though he has not the bold and daring flight of the eagle; he is feldom content to fweep the ground with the fwallow, but generally tiles to a pitch which keeps him above the range of the critic's-arrow, and which exhibits him to confiderable advantage.

To fpeak without a figure, these poems are for the most part above mediocrity. Some particularly faulty and inelegant lines are, however, to be found in them. We will point out a few of the exceptionable paffages,-which appear to have arifen more from inattention than want of judgment,-that the Author, in any future publication, may be induced to revife his performances with a fuitable regard and care.

As this is the river in which, according to the fable, Midas, King of Phrygia, is faid to have bathed, in order to wash away the power which had been granted him of turning to gold every thing he touched,-we must beg leave, in this place, as it ftrengthens our opinion with refpect to the reafon for changing the name of the Scamander, to interpret that fable in a manner fomewhat different from that in which it has been explained by Maximus Tyrius, and others, who understood it as alluding to the covetoufnefs of the King, whereas it is much more probable that it was intended to be expreffive of his country's wealth. Cicero and Valerius Maximus, it may be remembered, have reprefented Midas as one of the richest princes that had ever filled a throne. The mines of which we have already spoken were difcovered in his reign. It was therefore afferted, in the figurative expreffion of the ancients-of which mode of speaking, by the way, they were particularly fond-that whatever be touched he changed to gold.

1

6

• They

« PreviousContinue »