Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

* El

TO

0122

Ethe

Lite

WILLIS'S

CURRENT NOTES!

No. XXXIX.]

“ Takes note of what is done
By note to give and to receive.”-SHAKESPEARE.

[MARCH, 1854.

[merged small][ocr errors]

" the

[ocr errors]

centuries, is still tenantable, and has been recently enELINOUR RUMMING.

larged.* LATE in the fifteenth century, there lived at Leatherhead, anciently Leddrede, in Surrey, an alewife of some distinction, and whom Skelton the poet in The Tunnyng of Elynour Rumminge, has conferred lasting celebrity. The tunning or brewing of Elinor Rumming, would seem to have been one of Skelton's most popular productions, and is an admirable specimen of his talent for the low burlesque,-a description of a real alewife, and of the various gossips who throng to her for liquor, as if under the influence of some potent spell. As Mr. Dyce justly observes,—“ if few compositions of the kind have more coarseness or extravagance, there are few that have greater animation, or are of a richer humour."

Dallaway in his Lethereum, states, that “when the Court of Henry VIII. was held at Nonsuch, about six miles distant, the laureate Skelton, with other courtiers, oft-times resorted to Leatherhead for the diversion of fishing in the river Mole, and were made welcome at the cabaret of Elinour Rummyng.” Whether the late doubt, before the introduction of parish registers ; but

No mention of her death occurs, as that happened no Vicar of Leatherhead, based this assertion on tradition or otherwise, it is as a matter of fact undeserving the Dallaway conjectured that persons of the ale-wife's family slightest consideration. When Skelton wrote

were long after resident in the parish, as he found the Tunning" is not clearly defined, but he died in Sanc- name of Rumming in the burial register under the tuary, at Westminster, June 21, 1529, more than ten years 1663 and 1669. years prior to that monarch's having possession of Cud- Skelton's Poems, printed in 1571, is a rude woodcut of

Brayley states that on the title-page of an edition of dington, or had commenced the building of the palace, since denominated Nonsuch.

an old ill-favoured woman holding at arm's length, in Skelton is supposed to have been born about 1460, either hand, a leathern pot or black jack, with the inand probably “ The tunnyng of Elinour Rumminge

scription was written sometime about 1500, if not before. He

When Skelton wore the laurel crown, describes Elinor as “ugly faire, and well worne in age,'

My Ale put all the Ale-wives down.' wearing a huke or cloak of Lincoln green, that had been

Where that edition is extant, it is highly desirable to hers, he believed, more than forty years. She wore know; it seems to be unknown to the editor of Skelton's also a “furred flocket, and grey russet rocket," the former works; nor does any earlier woodcut of Elynour Ruma loose garment, with large sleeves ; the latter, a gar. ming appear to be extant than that attached to Rand's ment with or without sleeves, that sometimes was made edition, 1624, 4to., where she is represented as holding to reach to the ground; or was otherwise much shorter, in either hand as described, two black earthen pots, and open at the sides. Her kyrtel or petticoat was of which were common in the ale-houses of that period Bristow red;

and long after. That some earlier edition of the six

teenth century, presented a similar portrait of Elinour
With clothes vpon her hed,

Rumming is not to be doubted, it is the original of
That wey a sowe of led,

Mother RED CAP, and wherever the sign so designated
Wrythen in wonder wyse,
After the Sarasyns gyse.

has been painted, the figure as in Rand's edition, has

been the prototype. The gear in 'saracyn gyse' about Skelton notices she “ dwelt on a hyll,” her cabaret was

her head, being painted as a conical red cap or hat. on a rising ground contiguous to the old bridge that

* The illustration shows the house, as it appeared in the crossed the Mole. Her domicile was a small timber spring of 1845; since which time the doorway has been built house, with low rooms and over-hanging chambers, removed, and other alterations made. It is now known by and although much altered in the course of several the sign of the Running Horse.

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

VOL. IV.

D

In Bacchus Bountie, by Philip Foulface of Aleford, servants, at Henslow's Theatre, the Rose on the BankStudent in good Felloship, 1593, 4to., Skelton is mis- side, in December, 1597 ; and in the inventory of the named as "Anthony Skelton," and there is a cursory dresses and properties mentioned as belonging to that mention of “ Tom Tipsay, an English Tapster, wel nere Theatre, March 10th, 1598-9, is noticedchoaked with a marvelous drie heat, which of late le

Item, j syne (one sign) for Mother Red Cap. had got by lifting ouerlong at old Mother Red Caps.” A drama entitled Mother Red Cap, written by

Early in the seventeenth century, was the sign of the Anthony Munday and Michael Drayton, was performed Mother Red Cap at Holloway, beyond Islington; a by the Earl of Nottingham, the Lord High Admiral's token was issued from the house in the reign of Charles

the Second ; there was also the Mother Red Cap at

Kentish Town, that gave rise to a rival sign, nearly opThe portrait of Elinour Rumming was long a great posite, named Mother Black Cap; both still houses of desiderata with the illustrators of Granger; till George considerable notoriety. Taylor the Water-poet in his Strevens in 1794, learning a copy of Rand's edition was in Ribble Rabble of Gossips, observes :the library of Lincoln Cathedral, induced Dean Kaye to “ To conclude the businesse, Martha protests shee will bring the volume to London, and allow Richardson the

neuer trust Tomasin againe while she lives, because she printseller, to publish a facsimile. The European Maga. promised to meet her at Pimlico, and bring her neighbour zine, then edited by Isaac Reed, in May of that year,con - | Bethya, but came not, neverthelesse Fuith went to Mother tained

Red Caps, and by the way, met with Joyce, who very Verses with the following motto, meant to have been kindly batled her penny with her at a fat pig." subjoined to a copy from a scarce portrait of Elinour Rumming, lately published by Mr. Richardson, of Castle Street, Hoxton, the Mother Red Cap would appear to have been

As the Pimlico here alluded to was at Hogsden, now Leicester Square.

that at Holloway. Ne sit ancillæ tibi amor pudori

Later, the author of Whimsies: or a New Cast of Xanthia Phoceu ! prius insolentem

Characters, 1631, duod., describing a sign-painter, Serva Briseis niveo colore.

says, — Movit Achillem.

He bestowes his pencile on an aged piece of canvas in a Movit Ajacem Telamone natum

sooty ale-house, where Mother Red Cap must be set out in Forma captivæ dominum Tecmessæ ;

her colours. Here he and his barmy hostess draw both Arsit Atrides medio in triumpho

together, but not in like nature, she in Ale, he in Oyle: but Virgine rapta. her commoditie of which he means to have his full share, HORACE, when his work is done, goes better downe. If she aspires

to the conceite of a signe, and desire to have her birch-pole ELEONORA REDIVIVA.

pulled downe, he will supply her with one.
To seek this nymph among the glorious dead,
Tir'd with his search on earth, is Gulston fled ?

FREDERICK THE GREAT'S OLD BREECHES.
Still for these charms enamour'd MUSGRAVE sighs,
To clasp these beauties ardent BINDLEY dies.

This monarch greatly elevated the character and For these, while yet unstag'd to public view,

fame of Prussia, mainly by his alliance with England, Impatient BRAND o'er half the kingdom flew; that enabled him successfully to withstand the world These, while their bright ideas round him play, arrayed in arms against him. He died at Berlin about From classic Weston force the Roman lay:

3 o'clock in the morning, August 17, 1786, in his seventy, Oft too, my Storer, heaven heard thee swear, fifth year. Economical and sparing in all that related Not Gallia's murder'd Queen was half so fair :

to himself, his wardrobe on his demise presenteel nothing "A New Europa, cries the exulting BULL, My Granger now, I thank the gods, is full :'

of any particular value. Among his linen were found

but cleven shirts! and his clothes given by his successor Even CRACH ERODE's selt, whom passions rarely move, At this soft shrine hus deign'd to whisper love.

to the late king's pages, were sold by them to some Jews Haste then, ye swains, who Rumming's form adore,

for 402 rix-dollars. They in their turn realized an Possess your Elinour, and sigh no more.

enormous profit, not by the excellence of the regal habi

liments, or the quantity, but from the generally expressed Steevens subscribed W. R. to these lines, but he was the ardour of many persons to possess something that had author ; Richardson had no predilection for versification.

been the property or pertained to Frederick the Great. The Lincoln volume contained other extremely rare tracts, More than four thousand rix-dollars were admitted to that Dr. Dibdin subsequently contrived, by exchanging for have been realised in this resale, and among the purhis own books, to obtain, and break up ; be then printed a chasers, an old lady, maiden or not is not stated; coming Catalogue entitled the Lincolne Nosegaye, the impressions late into the field, and there remaining but an old much limited to, with him a favourite number, thirty-six copies ; and sold the whole to distinguished collectors. Heber pur

worn pair of breeches, joyously carried them off at the chased Rand's quarto edition of Elinour Rumming; it is now price of two hundred rix-dollars ! When Frederick in the library of Mr. George Daniel, of Canonbury Square, William shall be gathered to his fathers, will any one Islington,

care to possess aught that he may leave behind ?

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

GRAVE OF HAMLET AT ELSINORE.

Messiah, being significant, I shall explain only what

applies to the present purpose. The ladder-like figure Many objects of interest present themselves to the of six bars beneath Capricorn, contains four spaces, cach stranger at Elsinore. Among them, more particularly, containing or representing beyond doubt, five days; thus are the fortress, and the garden of Marienslust, where the five spaces indicate twenty-five days. Above Capriis to be seen what is traditionally said to be the grave the symbol of the obedient son with power : the cres,

corn, precisely over the termination of the fifth space, is of Hamlet. Yet, the interior of the fortress contains nothing remarkable; and the grave is a mis- cent before his head, to denote the predicted time; and nomer ; for Hamlet lived, reigned, died, and was buried in front of the whole is a priest receiving or acknowlergin Jutland. As the earlier chronicles relate, being ing his belief in the certain accomplishinent and truth apprised of the conspiracy against his life by his step- of the first revelation given to mankind. father and mother, he feigned imbecility of mind, and

Referring to the Oriental Zodiac, dsiatic Researches, in a retaliatory revenge, destroyed them in their house, vol. ii. p. 303; as their year began in Aries, or March, by blocking up the doors, and setting fire to it. Hamlet Capricorn is consequently the sign of December. It is then reigned in quiet, maintained his dignity respectably, named Macar, and one of its significations is “the God' and died a natural death. Those who have wept over

of Love.” The eighteenth figure in Macar's lunar manthe sorrows of Ophelia, as portrayed by England's dra- sion, called Jyeshtha, p. 2913, has in the fish-like tail of matic bard, may be relieved by the assurance, that the Capricorn, three stars, which deserve particular attenwhole is a fiction by Shakespeare, and that nowhere, tion. These three stars form an equilateral triangle, in near Elsinore, is there any brook, with willows, in which a dark circle, intended to portray the womb of time; and Ophelia could have perished.

the inner concentric circle of Jycshtha is light, typifying The grave of Hamlet, as shewn in Denmark, is about birth; the entrance into this world, or the nativity of a stone's throw distance at the back of the mansion of our Saviour. Marienslust. The sea is seen between a continous clump

That the very day of his nativity should have been of trees planted in a circle, and the grave is noted by foretold, may be considered as improbable, but is it more some scattered square stones of small size, which appear surprising than that the very year 4000 should have to have once served for a cenotaph, and stand on a knoll been predicted (leaving four years for purity of life in or rising mound covered and surrounded by beech trees. Paradise, that may be shewn to be probable)? or is it Nothing of their history is known, they seem to be little more surprising, than that the wise men from the East respected or thought about by the towns-people of Elsi- should arrive at Bethlehem at the very period of time nore; but pious and romantic pilgrims from another foretold the event would happen? fatherland, have borne off considerable portions as relics,

It appears, therefore, the star that conducted the and a few years will probably witness their total disper- Magi finally settled over the sacred manger of the Mession.

M.

siah on the 25th of December ; that in the symbolic tail of Capricorn (December), was contained three stars

typifying a Tri-une God, and answering to J... ε. in Christmas-DAY.-In Current Notes, vol. iv. p. 12, the belief in the revelation, made to our first parents,

the tail of our Capricorn ; and that hy the priesthood, the remark that “ December 25th was fixed on, as more likely than any other to be the correct day, in the ab

was kept secret, and held as “a mystery, even the hid

den wisdom" of God. sence of any specific information as to the exact period,”

T. R. BROWN. being quite new to me, I will attempt to fix the date. Spanheim, in his fifth Dissertation “de Capricorno in

Vicarage, Southwick, March 6. Nummis,” exhibits the reverse of a small brass coin of Agosta, so named in honour of Augustus, on which Capricorn is depicted holding in front a globe, and in the field behind, a star.* This star, I presume to have been Notes, vol. iv., p. 14, will find this subject more fully

Songs of Degrees.— Your Quierist, S. S., Current the same, that preceded the Magi to the birth-place of treated, in RobertsClavis Bibliorum, 1665, folio; in our Saviour. Landseer, Sabean Researches, p. 288, presents a re

the Preface to the CXXth and following Psalms. markable signet, that, at p. 290, he describes as

Goodnestone,

M. H. LLOYD, Capricorn of the Babylonian Zodiac, the mechanical Wingham, Kent, Feb. 25.

Merviniensis. figure beneath being an early and rude attempt to shew, by means of measured degrees, that portion of the zodiac, that was occupied by the stars of Capricorn." Referring

HEWING BLOCKS WITH RAZORs. Who made use of to a portion of the vignette, almost every line in these this expression, or where is it to be found ? F. A. early representations, which relate to the coming of the

To endeavour to work upon the vulgar with fine sense, Dissertationes de Præstantia et Usu Numism. Antiquo- is like attempting to hew blocks with a razor. rum. Lond. 1717. fol. vol. 1. p. 240.

Dean Swift.

" the

« PreviousContinue »