« ZurückWeiter »
Yet cannot this redeeme thy spotted name,
thee sin :
thee. Now thou thyselfe hast drownd thyselfe
therein, Thou art defam'd thyselfe, and so is hee: And though that kings commands have
wonders wrought, Yet kings commands could never hinder
thought. Say that a monarke may dispence with sin;
The vulgar toung proveth impartiallstill, And when mislike all froward shall begin,
The worst of bad, and best of worst to ill, A secret shame in every thought will smo
ther, For sinne is sinne in kinges, as well as
sion thereof,” and with a soldier-like protestation, that the production was entirely his own, though some malignant it seems had denied him the credit of producing it. Chute did not in his rival effort adopt the seven-line stanza of Churchyard, but many passages bear such partial resemblance, as a choice of the same personal history was lik to induce. A late reprint of the Mirror for Magistrates will give to many an opportunity of perusing Churchyard's work; but as that of Chute remains in an unique copy, I proceed to extract a few of the best stanzas. The ghost of Shore's Wife is made to narrate her own story, on the plan of Baldwin's heroes and heroines. The following lines express her compunction for having yielded to the criminal passion of Edward IV. Who sees the chast liv'd turtle on a tree In unfrequented groves sit and com
plaine her; Whether alone all desolate, poore shee, And for her lost love seemeth to re
straine her; And there, sad thoughted, howleth to the
ayre The excellencie of her lost-mate's fayrel: So I, when sinne had drown'd my soule
in badnesse, To solitarie muse my selfe retired, Where wrought by greefe to discontented
sadnesse, Repentant thoughts my new won shame
admired; And I, the monster of myne owne misfor
tune, My hart with grones and sorrow did im
portune. She proceeds to lament that posterity will consign her memory to defamation. Thus in thy life, thus in thy death, and
boath Dishonor'd by thy fact, what mayst
thou doe? Though now thy soule the touch of sinne
doth loath, And thou abhorst thy life, and thy
O could my wordes expresse in mourning
sound The ready passion that my mynde doth
trye, Then greefe all cares, all sences would
as I; Where now, because my wordes cannot re
veale it, I weepe alone, inforced to conceale it. Had I bin fayre, and not allur'd so soone, To that at which all thoughtes levell
their sadnesse, My sunbright day had not bin set ere noone,
Nor I bin noted for detected badnesse : But this is still peculiar to our state, To sinne too soone and then repent too
late. The moral reflections of Chute will be found more meritorious than his poetic garniture, and this is a distinction of personal honour to the author; since, as Cowper cogently asks, “What is the poet, if the man be naught?”-PARK.]
SECTION LII. Richard Edwards. Principal poet, player, musician, and buffoon, to
the courts of Mary and Elizabeth. Anecdotes of his life. Cotemporary testimonies of his merit. A contributor to the Paradise of Daintie Devises. His book of comic histories, supposed to have suggested Shakspeare's Induction of the Tinker.
Occasional anecdotes of Antony Munday and Henry Chettle. Edwards's songs. In tracing the gradual accessions of the MIRROUR For MAGISTRATES, an incidental departure from the general line of our chronologic series has been incurred. But such an anticipation was unavoidable, in order to exhibit a full and uninterrupted view of that poem, which originated in the reign of Mary, and was not finally completed till the beginning of the seventeenth century. I now therefore return to the reign of queen Mary.
To this reign I assign Richard Edwards, a native of Somersetshire, about the year 1523. He is said by Wood to have been a scholar of Corpus Christi college in Oxford; but in his early years he was enployed in some department about the court. This circumstance appears from one of his poems in the PARADISE OF DAINTIE DEVises, a miscellany which contains many of his pieces.
In youthfull yeares when first my young desires began
In the year 1547, he was appointed a senior student of Christ-church in Oxford, then newly founded. In the British Museum there is a small set of manuscript sonnets signed with his initials, addressed to some of the beauties of the courts of queen Mary, and of queen Elizabeth b. Hence we may conjecture that he did not long remain at the university. About this time he was probably a member of Lincoln's-inn. In the year 1561, he was constituted a gentleman of the royal chapel by queen Elizabeth, and master of the singing boys there. He had received his musical education, while at Oxford, under George Etheridge. * Edit. 1585. 4to. Carm. 7.
Pig. and six are unsignatured. That quoted 6 MSS. Cotton. Tit. A. xxiv.
by Mr. Warton may be seen at length in some court Ladies."-Pr. “ Howarde is Nug. Antiq. ii. 392. Another by Edwards is not hawghte,” &c.
printed in Mr. Ellis's Specimens, vol.ii. and (This MS. appears to be the fragment Norton's is also there inserted.—PARK.] of a collection of original poetry, by differ- George Etheridge, born at Thame in ent writers. In Ayscough's Catalogue, it Oxfordshire, was admitted scholar of Coris described “Sonnets by R. E.” but no pus Christi college Oxford, under the tusonnet occurs among the several pieces, ition of the learned John Shepreve, in 1534. and only four out of fourteen are signed Fellow, in 1539. In 1553, he was made R. E. The rest bear the signatures of royal professor of Greek at Oxford. In Norton (the dramatic associate probably of 1556, he was recommended by lord WilLord Buckhurst), Surre (i.e. Surrey), Va. liams of Thame, to sir Thomas Pope founder
When queen Elizabeth visited Oxford in 1566, she was attended by Edwards, who was on this occasion employed to compose a play called PALAMON AND ARCITE, which was acted before her majesty in Christchurch halld. I believe it was never printed. Another of his plays is DAMON AND Pythias, which was acted at court. It is a mistake, that the first edition of this play is the same that is among Mr. Garrick's collection printed by Richard Johnes, and dated 1571€. The first edition* was printed by William Howe in Fleet-street, in 1570, with this title, “ The tragical comedie of DAMON AND PITHIAS, newly imprinted as the same was playde before the queenes maiestie by the children of her graces chapple. Made by Mayster Edward then being master of the children?.” There is some degree of low humour in the dialogues between Grimme the collier and the two lacquies, which I presume was highly pleasing to the queen. He probably wrote many other dramatic pieces now lost. Puttenham having mentioned lord Buckhurst and Master Edward Ferrys, or Ferrers, as most eminent in tragedy, gives the prize to Edwards for Comedy and Interludes. The word Interlude is here of wide extent. For Edwards, besides that he was a writer of regular dramas, appears to have been a contriver of masques, and a composer of poetry for pageants. In a word, he united all those arts and accomplishments which minister to popular pleasantry: he was the first fiddle, the most fashionable sonnetteer, the readiest rhymer, and the most facetious mimic, of the court. In consequence of his love and his knowledge of the histrionic art, he taught the choristers over which he presided to act plays; and they were formed into a company of players, like those of St. Paul's cathedral, by the queen's licence, under the superintendency of Edwards h. of Trinity college in Oxford, to be admitted 1619. Pits adds, that he translated sevea fellowof his college at its first foundation; ral of David's Psalms into a short Hebrew but Etheridge choosing to pursue the me- metre for music. [The harpers used a dical line, that scheme did not take effect.
short verse, and Etheridge, it seems, was a He was persecuted for popery by queen harper ; but why was this called a transElizabeth at her accession; but afterwards lation ?-Ashby.] Wood mentions his practised physic at Oxford with much re- musical compositions in manuscript. His putation, and established a private semi- familiar friend Leland addresses him in an nary there for the instruction of catholic encomiastic epigram, and asserts that his youths in the classies, music, and logic. many excellent writings were highly pleaNotwithstanding his active perseverance sing to king Henry the Eighth. Encom. in the papistic persuasion, he presented to Lond. 1589. p. 111. His chief patrons
queen, when she visited Oxford in 1566, seem to have been, lord Williams, sir an Encomium in Greek verse on her father Thomas Pope, sir Walter Mildmay, and Henry, now in the British Museum, MSS. Robertson dean of Durham, He died in Bibl. Reg. 16 C. x. He prefixed a not in- 1588, at Oxford. I have given Etheridge elegant preface in Latin verse to his tutor so long a note, because he appears from Shepreve's Hyppolytus, an Answer to Pits to have been an English poet. ComOvid's Phædra, which he published in pare Fox, Martyrolog. iii. 500. 1584. Pits his cotemporary says,
. See supr. vol. ii. p. 526. was an able mathematician, and one of Quarto, bl. lett. the most excellent vocal and instrumental [Vid. infra, p. 241. note *.] musicians in England, but he chiefly de- f Quarto, bl. lett. The third edition is lighted in the lute and lyre. A most ele- among Mr. Garrick's Plays, 4to. bl. lett. gant poet, and a most exact composer of dated 1582. English, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew verses, 8 Arte of English Poetry, fol. 51, which he used to set to his harp with the " See supr. vol. ii. p. 534, greatest skill.” Angl. Script. p. 784. Paris,
The most poetical of Edwards's ditties in the PARADISE OF DAINTIE Devises is a description of Mayi: the rest are moral sentences in stanzas. His SOUL-KNELL, supposed to have been written on his deathbed, was once celebratedk. His popularity seems to have altogether arisen from those pleasing talents of which no specimens could be transmitteď to posterity, and which prejudiced his partial cotemporaries in favour of his poetry. He died in the year
1566'. In the Epitaphs, Songs, and Sonets of George Turbervile, printed in [1567 and] 1570, there are two elegies on his death ; which record the places of his education, ascertain his poetical and musical character, and bear ample testimony to the high distinction in which his performances, more particularly of the dramatic kind, were held. The second is by Turbervile himself, entitled, “ An Epitaph on Maister Edwards, sometime Maister of the Children of the Chappell and gentleman of Lyncolnes inne of court."
Ye learned Muses nine,
And sacred sisters all ;
And to lamenting fall.....
By cruell death is slaine.
Lament in wastefull wise ;
In clay his carcas lies.
That, whilst he lived here,
Could have no English peere.
So stately eke his stile,
With cleane and curious filem; i Carm. 6. edit. 1585. It seems to have his Epistle to the young Gentlemen, before been a favourite, and is complimented in his works, 1587. qu. another piece, A reply to M. Edwardes (But it is only mentioned in derision, May, subscribed M. S. ibid. Carm. 29. as a vulgar and groundless notion, to which This miscellany, of which more will be those who gave credence are ridiculed for said hereafter, is said in the title to “be their absurdity.-PARK.] devised and written for the most parte by Wood, Ath. Oxon. i. 151. See also, M. Edwardes sometime of her maiesties ibid. Fast. 71. Chappell.” Edwards however had been Shakspeare has inserted a part of dead twelve years when the first edition Edwards's song In Commendation of Muappeared, viz. in 1578.
sicke, extant at length in the Paradise of [It will be seen from Mr. Haselwood's Daintie Deuises, (fol. 34 b.) in Romeo and careful reprint of Edwards's Metrical Mis- Juliet : “ When griping grief,” &c. act iv. cellany, that the first edition appeared in sc. 5. In some Miscellany of the reign of 1576, and a second in 1577.-PARK.] Elizabeth, I have seen a song called The
k It is mentioned by G. Gascoigne in Willow-Garland, attributed to Edwards :
As all the learned Greekes,
And Romaines would repine,
His verse with scornefull einen.
And learned Terence wan, &e.'
The other is written by Thomas Twyne, an assistant in Phaer's Translation of Virgil's Eneid into English verse, educated a few years after Edwards at Corpus Christi college, and an actor in Edwards's play of PALAMON AND ARCITE before queen Elizabeth at Oxford in 1566P. It is entitled, “An Epitaph vpon the death of the worshipfull Mayster Richarde Edwardes late Mayster of the Children in the queenes
maiesa ties chapell."
O happie house, O place
Of Corpus Christi 9, thou
To that so braue a bow":
The fruit more ripe at fill,
Your trickling teares distill.
Whilst court a court shall be ;
and the same, I think, that is licensed to T. Colwell in 1564, beginning, “ I am not the fyrst that hath taken in hande, The wearynge of the willowe garlande.” This song, often reprinted, seems to have been written in consequence of that sung by Desdemona in Othello, with the burden, Sing, O the green willowe shall be my garland. Othell. act iv. sc. 3. See Register of the Stationers, A. fol. 119 b. Hence the antiquity of Desdemona's song may in some degree be ascertained. I take this opportunity of observing, that the ballad of Susannah, part of which is sung by Sir Toby in Twelfth Night, was licensed to T. Colwell, in 1562, with the title, “ The godlye and constant wyfe Susanna.” Ibid. fol. 89 b. There is a play on this subject, ibid. fol. 176 a. See Tw. N. act ii. sc. 3. and Collect. Pepysian. tom. i. p. 33. 496.
eyes. • Fol. 142 b. [The following is one of Turberville's epigrammatic witticisms :
Of one that had a great Nose.
The sunne, with open chaps,
P Miles Winsore of the same college was another actor in that play, and I suppose his performance was much liked by the queen: for when her majesty left Oxford, after this visit, he was appointed by the university to speak an oration before her at lord Windsor's at Bradenham in Bucks; and when he had done speaking, the queen turning to Gama de Sylva, the Spanish ambassador, and looking wistly on Windsore, said to the ambassador, Is not this a pretty young man? Wood, Ath. Oxon. i. 151. 489. Winsore proved afterwards a diligent antiquary.
9 Corpus Christi college at Oxford. * bough, branch. At Oxford.
t While the royal chapel and its singing-boys remain.
In a puritanical pamphlet without name, printed in 1569, and entitled, “ The Children of the Chapel stript and whipt,”among bishop Tanner's books at Oxford, it is said, “Plaies will neuer be supprest, while her maiesties unfledged minions flaunt it in silkes and sattens. They had as well be at their popish service, in the deuils garments,” &c. fol. xii. a. 12mo. This is perhaps the earliest notice now to be found in print, of this young company of comedians, at least the earliest proof of their celebrity. From the same pamphlet we