Abbildungen der Seite
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]


M. Mery. I am sorry for you: he could love you yet, so

he could. R. Royster. Nay, by cock's precious, she shall be none of

mine. M. Mery. Why so ?

R. Royster. Come away; by the mat, she is man-kind! I durst adventure the loss of my right hand, If she did not slay her other husbánd. And see, if she prepare not again to fight! M. Mery. What then? Saint George to borrow, Our

Lady's knight. R. Royster. Slay else whom she will, by gog, she shall

not slay me. M. Mery. How then ? R. Royster. Rather than to be slain, I will flee. C. Custance, To it again, my knightesses ! down with

them all! R. Royster. Away, away, away! she will else kill us all. M. Mery. Nay, stick to it, like an hardy man and a tall.

But both my duty, and name, and propriety,
Warneth me to you to show fidelity.
It may be well enough, and I wish it so to be,
She may herself discharge, and try her honesty ;
Yet, their claim to her, methought, was very large,
For with letters, rings, and tokens, they did her charge.
Which when I heard and saw, I would none to you bring.

G. Good. No, by Saint Mary, I allow thee in that thing.
Ah, sirrah! now I see truth in the proverb old,
“All things that shineth is not by and by è pure gold :"
If any do live a woman of honesty,
I would have sworn Christian Custance had been she.
Sim. Sure. Sir, though I to you be a servant true and

just, Yet do not

therefore your


spouse mistrust;


[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

But examine the matter, and if ye shall it find
To be all well, be not ye for my words unkind.

G. Good. I shall do that is right, and as I see cause why. But here cometh Custance forth ; we shall know by and by.

R. Royster. Oh, bones, thou hittest me! Away, or else

die we shall. M. Mery. Away, for the pashe of our sweet Lord Jesus

Christ! C. Custance. Away, lout and lubber, or I shall be thy priest !

[Exeant om. So, this field is ours; we have driven them all away. Tib. Talk. Thanks to God, mistress, ye have had a fair

day. C. Custance. Well, now go ye in, and make yourself

some good cheer. Omnes pariter. We go. T. Trusty. Ah, sir! what a field we have had here! C. Custance. Friend Tristram, I pray you be a witness

with me. T. Trusty. Dame Custance, I shall depose for your

honestý. And now, fare ye well, except something else ye would. C. Custance. Not now, but when I need to send, I will be bold.

[Exeat. I thank you for these pains. And now I will get me in Now Roister Doister will no more wooing begin. [Ex.

ACT V.-SCENE 2. C. CUSTANCE; Gawin GOODLUCK; SIM. SURESBY. C. Custance. I come forth to see and hearken for news good; For about this hour is the time, of likelihood, That Gawin Goodluck, by the sayings of Suresby, Would be at home; and lo! yond I see him, I. What, Gawin Goodluck! the only hope of my life, Welcome home, and kiss me, your true espouséd wife. G. Good. Nay, soft, Dame Custance; I must first, by your

licence, See whether all things be clear in your conscience. I hear of your doings to me very strange. C. Custance. What! fear ye that my faith towards you

should change?

i Thou,

[ocr errors]


GAWIN GOODLUCK; Sim. SURESBY. G. Good. Sim Suresby, my trusty man, now advise thee


hee, ye, you. The reader may conveniently observe in this short dialogue the use of “thou" to a retainer and "you" to superior. Also the old right use of "ye" and "you" as nominative and accusative = thou and thee.

: By and by, at once. This is the first sense of the phrase, which like“ presently" and "anon " has acquired the sense of delay. The phrase has its old sense in Matthew xiii. 21, “When tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended." The first form is an emphatic use of" by " in the sense of nearnese The phrase occurs again twice in the last scene of this play.

G. Good. I must needs mistrust ye be elsewhere entangled, For I hear that certain men with you have wrangled About the promise of marriage by you to them made. C. Custance. Could any man's report your mind therein

persuade? G. Good. Well, ye must therein declare yourself to stand

clear, Else, I and you, Dame Custance, may not join this year. C. Custance. Then would I were dead, and fair laid in my

grave. Ah! Suresby, is this the honesty that ye have, To hurt me with your report, not knowing the thing ? Sim. Sure. If ye be honest, my words can hurt you

nothing; But what I heard and saw, I might not but report. C. Custance. Ah, Lord, help poor widows, destitute of

comfort ! Truly, most dear spouse, nought was done but for pastance.

G. Good. But such kind of sporting is homely dalliance.
C. Custance. If ye knew the truth, ye would take all in

good part. G. Good. By your leave, I am not half well skilled in that

art. C. Custance. It was none but Roister Doister, that foolish

G. Good. Would I had, rather than half of that in my

S. Sure. And I do much rejoice the matter was no worse.
And like as to open it I was to you faithful,
So of Dame Custance' honest truth I am joyful.
For, God forfend that I should hurt her by false report.

G. Good. Well, I will no longer hold her in discomfort.
C. Custance. Now come they hitherward: I trust all shall

be weli. G. Good. Sweet Custance, neither heart can think, nor

tongue tell, How much I joy in your constant fidelitý. Come now, kiss me, the pearl of perfect honestý.

C. Custance. God let me no longer to continue in life Than I shall towards you continue a true wife. G. Good. Well, now to make you for this some part of

amends, I shall desire first you, and then such of our friends As shall to you seem best, to sup at home with me, Where at your fought field we shall laugh and merry be. Sim. Sure. And, mistress, I beseech you, take with me

no grief; I did a true man's part, not wishing your repreef. C. Custance. Though hasty reports, through surmises

May of poor innocents be utter overthrowing,
Yet, because to thy maister thou hast a true heart,
And I know mine own truth, I forgive thee, for my part.

G. Good. Go we all to my house, and of this gear no



Go, prepare all things, Sim Suresby; hence, run afore !
Sim. Sure. I go.

[Ex. G. Good. Good. But who cometh yond ? Mathew Mery

greeke? C. Custance. Roister Doister's champion; I shrew his

best cheek. T. Trusty. Roister Doister's self, your wooer, is with him

too. Surely, something there is with us they have to do.

G. Good. Yea, Custance, better (they say) a bad 'scuse,

than none. C. Custance. Why, Tristram Trusty, sir, your true and

faithful friend,
Was privy both to the beginning and the end.
Let him be the judge, and for me testify.

G. Good. I will the more credit that' he shall verify;
And, because I will the truth know, e'en as it is,
I will to him myself, and know all, without miss.
Come on, Sim Suresby, that before my friend thou may
Atouch thee the same words, which thou didst to me say.

[Ezeant. ACT V.-SC

CHRISTIAN CUSTANCE. C. Custance. O Lord! how necessary it is now of days, That each body live uprightly all manner ways; For let never so little a gap And be sure of this, the worst shall be spoken. How innocent stand I in this for deed or thought, And yet, see what mistrust towards me it hath wrought. Bat thou, Lord, knowest all folks' thoughts, and eke intents; And thou art the deliverer of all innocents. Thou didst help the adultress, that she might be amended; Juch more then help, Lord, that never ill intended. Thou didat help Susanna, wrongfully accused, And no less dost thou see, Lord, how I am now abused. Thou didst help Hester, when she should have died; Help al-o, good Lord, that my truth may be tried. Yet, if Gawin Goodluck with Tristram Trusty speak, I trust of ill report the force shall be but weak; And lo! yond they come, sadly? talking togither : I will abide, and not shrink for their coming hither.

be open,


TRUSTY ; C. CUSTANCE. M. Mery. Yond I see Gawin Goodluck, to whom lieth

my message. I will first salute him after his long voyage, And then make all things well concerning your behalf.

R. Royster. Yea, for the pashe of God.

M. Mery. Hence! out of sight, ye calf,
Till I have spoke with them, and then I will you fet.

R. Royster. In God's name.

M. Mery. What, Master Gawin Goodluck! well met; And, from your long voyage, I bid you right welcome home.

G. Good. I thank you.
J. Very. I come to you from an honest mome.
G. Good. Who is that?
M. Very. Roister Doister, that doughty kite.
C. Custance. Fie! I can scarce abide ye should his name

recite. M. Mery. Ye must take him to favour, and pardon all

past; He heareth of your return, and is full ill aghast. G. Good. I am right well content he have with us some

cheer. C. Custance. Fie upon him, beast! then will not I be


G. Good. And was it none other than ye to me report ?
T. Trusty. No; and here were ye wished, to have seen


the sport.

That, that which.

2 Sadly, seriously.

G. Good. Why, Custance, do ye hate him more than ye

love me? C. Custance. But for your mind, sir, where he were,

would I not be.
T. Trusty. He would make us all laugh.
M. Mery. Ye ne'er had better sport.
G. Good. I pray you, sweet Custance, let him to us resort.
C. Custance. To your will I assent.

M. Mery. Why, such a fool it is,
As no man for good pastime would forego or miss.

G. Good. Fet him, to go with us.
M. Very. He will be a glad man.

[Ex. T. Trusty. We must, to make us mirth, maintain him all

R. Royster. Ah, dame! by the ancient law of arms, a

man Hath no honour to foil his hands on a woman. C. Custance, And where other usurers take their gains

yearly, This man is angry but he have his by and by. G. Good. Sir, do not for her sake bear me your displea

sure, M. Mery.

Well, he shall with you talk thereof more at

leisure. Upon your good usage, he will now shake your hand. R. Royster. And much heartily welcome from a strange

land. M. Mery. Be not afeared, Gawin, to let him shake your

fist. G. Good. Oh! the most honest gentleman that e'er I

we can.

wist 2

And lo, yond he cometh, and Merygreeke with him.
C. Cnstance. At his first entrance, ye shall see I will him

trim. But first, let us hearken the gentleman's wise talk. T. Trusty. I pray you, mark if ever ye saw crane so



R. Royster. May I then be bold ?

M. Mery. I warrant you on my word.
They say they shall be sick but ' ye be at their board.

R. Royster. They were not angry, then?

M. Mery. Yes, at first, and made strange; But when I said your anger to favour should change, And therewith had commended you accordinglý, They were all in love with your ma'ship by and by ; And cried you mercy, that they had done you wrong. R. Royster. For why? no man, woman, nor child can

hate me long M. Very. “We fear” (quod they) “ he will be avenged

one day; Then for a penny give all our lives we may."

R. Royster. Said they so indeed ?

M. Very. Did they? yea, even with one voice. “He will forgive all," quod I. Oh, how they did rejoice!

R. Royster. Ha, ha, ha!
M. Mery. “Go fetch him" (say they) “while he is in good

I do beseech your ma'ship to take pain to sup with us.
M. Mery. He shall not say you nay (and I too, by

the mass), Because ye shall be friends, and let all quarrels pass. R. Royster. I will be as good friends with them as e'er I

was. M. Mery.

Then, let me fet your choir, that we may
have a song.
R. Royster. Go.
G. Good. I have heard no melody all this year long.

Mery. Come on, sirs, quickly.
R. Royster. Sing on, sirs, for my friends' sake.
D. Dough. Call ye these your friends ?
R. Royster. Sing on, and no more words make.

Here they sing.
G. Good. The Lord preserve our most noble queen of


And her virtues reward with the heavenly crown.
C. Custance. The Lord strengthen her most excellent

majesty, Long to reign over us in all prosperity. T. Trusty. That her godly proceedings, the faith to

defend, He may stablish and maintain through to the end. M. Mery. God grant her, as she doth, the Gospel to

protect, Learning and virtue to advance, and vice to correct.

R. Royster. God grant her loving subjects both the mind


and grace,

Her most godly proceedings worthily to embrace.
Harpax. Her highness' most worthy counsellors, God

With honour and love of all men to ministér.

Omnes. God grant the nobility her to serve and love, With all the whole commonty, as doth them behove!


For, have his anger who lust, we will not, by the rood.”
R. Royster. I pray God that it be all true, that tbou hast

me told-
And that she fight no more.

M. Mery. I warrant you ; be bold.
To them, and salute them.

R. Royster. Sirs, I greet you all well.
Omnes. Your maistership is welcome.

C. Custance. Saving my quarrél.
For sure I will put you up into the Exchequer.

M. Mery. Why so? Better nay. Wherefore ?
C. Custance. For an usurer.
R. Royster. I am no usurer, good mistress, by his arms.
M. Mery. When took he gain of money, to any man's

harms? C. Custance. Yes, a foul usurer he is, ye shall see else. R. Royster. Didst not thou promise she would pick no

more quarréls? C. Custance. He will lend no blows, but he have in

recompense Fifteen for one, which is too much, of conscience,

All plays by Udall were supposed to have perished until a single copy of “ Ralph Roister Doister," without its title-page, was found in 1818 by the Rev. T. Briggs, an old Etonian, who presented it to the

2 W'ist, knew.

3 By the mass. This, which the rhyme shows to have been written, was changed to “ Jesus" in the printed edition under Elizabeth. The word “ mass"

was not repudiated by the earlier reformers, and is used in Edward VI.'s first Service Book ; but " Ralph Roister Doister ** was written in the reign of Henry VIII. The old “God Save the Queen" with which the play ends is, it will be seen, an addition made in Elizabeth's reign, thoroughly Protestaut, by the same hand that hal just struck the word "mass' out of the copy.

i But, unless.

Library of Eton College. Though its date is gone accord with the doctrine and discipline of Calvin at with the title-page, it is, no doubt, a copy of the Geneva. As a youth of eighteen, he was employed edition known to have been printed in 1566. The and favoured by the Protector Somerset, and pubmuch earlier date of the play itself is proved by a lished a translation into English of Peter Martyr's reference to it in 1553, in the third edition of Sir letter to Somerset. After the death of the Protector, Thomas Wilson's “Rule of Reason, conteinyng the whom he is said to have served as a state amanuensis, Arte of Logique.” In that book, under the head of Norton in 1555 turned to the law, and entered him"The Ambiguitie," Ralph's love-letter is given as self as a student of the Inner Temple. His strong * An Example of soche doubtful writing, whiche by interest in the religious questions of his time conreason of poincting maie have double sense, and con- tinued throughout all his life. A few months before trarie meaning, taken out of an entrelude made by his participation in the writing of “Gorboduc," he Nicolas V dal.” Still among scholars, we turn now published in a folio of nine hundred pages (about one from Eton to the Inner Temple. The first English hundred and fifty being a table of matters contained tragedy, "Gorboduc," was produced five years after in the book) a translation into English of Calvin? the death of Nicholas U dall. It was written for the great summary of his doctrine, " The Institutes," Christmas festivities of the Inner Temple in the which had been completed at Geneva but two years

[graphic][merged small]

year 1561 by two young members of that InnThomas Norton, then twenty-nine years old, and Thomas Sackville, then aged twenty-five.

Thomas Norton was the eldest son of a Bedfordshire gentleman, who lived to old age on the manor of Sharpenhoe, in the parish of Streatley, and died there in 1583, when his heir had but another year to live. As a youth, Thomas Norton became a ready Latin scholar, but was not sent to either of the Universities. It was not until nearly four years after he had taken part in the writing of “Gorboduc" that he entered himself at Pembroke Hall, Oxford, where he remained until he graduated as M.A. in 1569, when he was thirty-seven years old. Thomas Norton's early training, whatever it was, had developed in him deep religious feeling and an active interest in the Reformation of the Church, which he would have been glad to see brought into

before. A few months after “Gorboduc" was acted, there appeared the completion of Sternhold's version of the Psalms into English as “The Whole Booke of Psalmes collected into English metre by T. Sternhold, L. Hopkins, and others," in which one of the “others” was Thomas Norton ; versions of twentyeight psalms were contributed by him.”

Thomas Sackville, who joined Norton in the writing of “ Gorboduc,” had an advantage over his

“ fellow-labourer in being really a poet. He was the son of Sir Richard Sackville, and was born at Buckhurst, in the parish of Withyham, in Sussex, in the year 1536. He was at Oxford for a time, but removed to Cambridge, and there graduated. Thomas Sackville, married when he was nineteen, was a member of Parliament for the county of Westmoreland at twenty-one, and at the beginning of Elizabeth's reign entered Parliament again as member for East Grinstead, which is the town nearest to Buckhurst. He was also much employed in private attendance on the queen, whom his father served as Privy Councillor, and who recognised in him a touch of

"Mr. Edward Arber has included in his admirable series of *English Reprints" " Ralph Roister Doister,” with its text exactly priated from the copy'at Eton, which was made accessible to him by the kindness of the Provost rand Fellows of the College. Its price is sispence; and every book produced by Mr. Arber may be obtained by post, direct from the editor, for its price in postage-stamps. His address is E. Arber, Esq., F.S.A., Bowes, Southgate, N.

2 See Vol. II. of this Library, “ Hlustrations of English Religion," pages 149 and 173.

blood relationship, for his grandmother had been of joy and good liking, the Bench and company pass aunt to the queen's mother. His career was to be beneath the hearth, and sing a carol.” ? that of a statesman. He had brought from the The revellings began on Christmas Eve, when universities, and since maintained, reputation as a three Masters of the Revels sat at the head of one wit and poet.

In 1560, Jasper Heywood wrote of the tables. All took their places to the sound of how

music played before the hearth. Then the musicians “Sackville's sonnets sweetly sauced

withdrew to the buttery, and were themselves feasted. And featly finéd be,"

They returned when dinner was ended to sing a song

at the highest table. Then all tables were cleared, and the part taken by him in the production of and revels and dancing were begun, to be continued “The Mirror for Magistrates” has been told in until

supper and after


The senior master of another volume of this Library, which contains the the Revels, after dinner and after supper, sang a work of his that best assures his place among the carol or song, and commanded other gentlemen there poets.

present to join him. This form of high festivity was He was Mr. Thomas Sackville in 1561, when he maintained during the twelve days of Christmas, joined in the writing of “Gorboduc,” and had entered closing on Twelfth Night. On Christmas Day (which himself of the Inner Temple, not that he might study in 1561 was a Thursday), at the first course of the law as his profession, but that he might obtain the dinner, the boar's head was brought in upon a silver knowledge of law necessary to a statesman. He platter, followed by minstrelsy. On St. Stephen's was not knighted until 1567, when he was also made Day, December the 26th, the Constable Marshal on the same day a baron of the realm, as Lord Buck- entered the hall in gilt armour, with a nest of hurst, and from that day forward his public life was feathers of all colours on his helm, and a gilt poleexclusively political. He became first Earl of Dorset axe in his hand; with him sixteen trumpeters, four in 1604, and died in 1608.

drums and fifes, and four men armed from the The performance of “Gorboduc" in 1561 was at middle upward. Those all marched three times one of the “Grand Christmasses” kept by the mem- about the hearth, and the Constable Marshal, then bers of the Inner Temple. The question as to the kneeling to the Lord Chancellor, made a speech, keeping of a “Grand Christmas” was discussed in a desiring the honour of admission into his service, parliament of the Inn, held on the eve of St. Thomas's delivered his naked sword, and was solemnly seated. Day, December 21st. If it was resolved upon, the That was the usual ceremonial when a grand Christtwo youngest of those who served as butlers for the mas was kept. At this particular Christmas, 1561, festival lighted two torches, with which they pre

in the fourth year of Elizabeth, it was Lord Robert ceded the benchers to the upper end of the hall. Dudley, afterwards Earl of Leicester, who was Con

stable Marshal, and with chivalrous gallantry, taking in fantastic style the name of Palaphilos, Knight of the Honourable Order of Pegasus, Pegasus being the

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

he contributed to the splendour of this part of the entertainment. After the seating of the Constable Marshal, on the same St. Stephen's Day, December the 26th, the Master of the Game entered in green velvet, and the Ranger of the Forest in green satin ; these also went three times about the fire, blowing their hunting-horns. When they also had been ceremoniously seated, there entered a huntsman with a fox and a cat bound at the end of a staff.

He was followed by nine or ten couple of hounds, who hunted the fox and cat to the blowing of horns, and killed


The senior bencher there made a speech ; officers were appointed for the occasion, "and then, in token

1 See “ Shorter English Poems," pages 169–177. On page 170 there is a portrait of Sackville, and on pages 170—177 will be found the whole of Sackville's “ Induction" to “The Mirror for Magis. trates," followed by other illustrations of that work on pages 177-184.

Sir William Dugdale's "Origines Juridiciales," in which toll details are given of the usages at a "Grand Christmas" in the Inner Temple.

« ZurückWeiter »