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to prove,

Afore that time all spak Hebrew,

How might I do to get a graff Then some began for to speak Grew,

Of this unspotted tree! Some Dutch, some language Saracen,

For all the rest are plain but chaff And some began to speak Latin.

Which seem good corn to be. The maister men gan to ga wild,

This gift alone I shall her give: Cryand for trees, they brocht them tylu.

When Death doth what he can, Some said, Bring mortar here at ance,

Her honest fame shall ever live
Then brocht they to them stocks and stanes;

Within the mouth of man.
And Nimrod, their great champion,
Ran ragand like ane wild lion,
Menacing them with words rude,

Amantium Irce amoris redintegratio est.
But never ane word they understood. *

(By Richard Edwards, a court musician and poet, 1523-1566.] for final conclusion, Constrained were they for till depart,

In going to my naked bed, as one that would have

slept, Ilk company in ane sundry airt.

I heard a wife sing to her child, that long before hau

wept. MISCELLANEOUS PIECES OF THE PERIOD 1400-1558.

She sighed sore, and sang full sweet, to bring the

babe to rest. A few pieces of the reigns of Henry VIII. and That would not cease, but cried still, in sucking at Edward VI., some of which are by uncertain authors,

her breast. may be added, as further illustrative of the literary She was full weary of her watch, and grieved with history of that period. The first two are amongst

her child, the earliest verses in which the metaphysical re

She rocked it, and rated it, until on her it smil'd; finements, so notable in the subsequent period, are Then did she say, “Now have I found the proverb true observable.

The falling out of faithful friends renewing is of A Praise of his (the Poets) Lady.

love.' Give place, you ladies, and be gone.

Then took I paper, pen, and ink, this proverb for to Boast not yourselves at all!

write, For here at hand approacheth one,

In register for to remain of such a worthy wight. Whose face will stain you all !

As she proceeded thus in song unto her little brat, The virtue of her lively looks

Much matter utter'd she of weight in place whereas Excels the precious stone:

she sat; I wish to have none other books

And proved plain, there was no beast, nor creature. To read or look upon.

bearing life,

Could well be known to live in love without discòrd In each of her two crystal eyes

and strife : Smileth a naked boy:

Then kissed she her little babe, and sware by God It would you all in heart suffice

above, To see that lamp of joy.

*The falling out of faithful friends renewing is or I think Nature hath lost the mould,

love.'
Where she her shape did take;
Or else I doubt if Nature could

"I marvel much, pardie,' quoth she, 'for to behold
So fair a creature make.
She may be well compared

To see man, woman, boy, and beast, to toss the world Unto the phonix kind,

about ; Whose like was never seen nor leard, Some kneel, some crouch, some beck, some check, and That any man can find.

some can smoothly smile,
In life she is Diana chaste,

And some embrace others in arms, and there think
In troth Penelope,
In word and eke in deed steadfast:

Some stand aloof at cap and knee, some humble, and
What will you more we say!

some stout,

Yet are they never friends indeed until they once fall Her roseal colour comes and goes

out.' With such a comely grace,

Thus ended she her song, and said, before she did More ruddier too than doth the rose,

remove, Within her lively face.

• The falling out of faithful friends renewing is of

love.'
At Bacchus' feast none shall her meet,
Ne at no wanton play ;

[Characteristic of an Englishman.]
Nor gazing in an open street,
Nor gadding as a stray.

(By Andrew Bourd, physician to Henry VIII. The lines

form an inscription under the picture of an Englishman, naked, The modest mirth that she doth use

with a roll of cloth in one hand, and a pair of scissors in the Is mix'd with shamefac'dness;

other.]
All vice she doth wholly refuse,
And hateth idleness.

I am an Englishman, and naked I stand here,

Musing in my mind what garment I shall wear, O Lord, it is a world to see

For now I will wear this, and now I will wear that,
How virtue can repair,

Now I will wear I cannot tell what :
And deck in her such honesty

All new fashions be pleasant to me,
Whom Nature made so fair!

I will have them whether I thrive or thee :
Truly she doth as far exceed

Now I am a fisher, all men on me look
Our women now-a-days,

What should I do but set cock on the hoop?
As doth the gilly flower a weed,

What do I care if all the world me fail,
And more a thousand ways.
I will have a garment reach to my tail.

the rout,

many a wile.

Then I am a minion, for I wear the new guise,
The next year after I hope to be wise-
Not only in wearing my gorgeous array,
For I will go to learning a whole summer's day;
I will learn Latin, Hebrew, Greek, and French,
And I will learn Dutch sitting on my bench.
I do fear no man, each man feareth me;
I overcome my adversaries by land and by sea :
I had no peer if to myself I were true;
Because I am not so diverse times do I rue:
Yet I lack nothing, I have all things at will,
If I were wise and would hold myself still,
And meddle with no matters but to me pertaining,
But ever to be true to God and my king.
But I have such matters rolling in my pate,
That I will and do–I cannot tell what.
No man shall let me, but I will have my mind,
And to father, mother, and friend, I'll be unkind.
I will follow mine own mind and mine old trade:
Who shall let me? The devil's nails are unpared.
Yet above all things new fashions I love well,
And to wear theni my thrist I will sell.
In all this world I shall have but a time:
Hold the cup, good fellow, here is thine and mine !

The Nut-Brown Maid.

[Regarding the date and author of this piece no certainty exists. Prior, who founded his Henry and Emma upon it, fixes its date about 1400; but others, judging from the comparatively modern language of it, suppose it to have been composed subsequently to the time of Surrey. The poem opens with a declaration of the author, that the faith of woman is stronger than is generally alleged, in proof of which he prvposes to relato the trial to which the . Not-Browne Mayde' was exposed by her lover. What follows consists of a dialogue between the pair.]

HE.-It standeth so; a deed is do',

Whereof great harın shall grow :
My destiny is for to die

A shameful death, I trow;
Or else to flee : the one must be,

None other way I know,
But to withdraw as an outlaw,

And take me to my bow.
Wherefore adieu, my own heart true!

None other rede I can:
For I must to the

green
wood

go,
Alone, a banished man.

She.-Now sith that ye have showed to me

The secret of your mind,
I shall be plain to you again,

Like as ye shall me find.
Sith it is so that ye will go,

I will not live behind ; Shall never be said, the Nut-Brown Maid

Was to her love unkind :
Make you readỳ, for so am I,

Although it were anon;
For in my mind, of all mankind

I love but you alone.
He.-I counsel you, remember how

It is no maiden's law
Nothing to doubt, but to run out

To wood with an outlàw ;
For ye must there in your hand bear

A bow, readý to draw ;
And as a thief, thus must you live,

Ever in dread and awe.
Whereby to you greut harm might grow :

Yet had I lerer than,
That I had to the green wood go,

Alone, a banished man.
SHE.-I think not nay, but, as ye say,

It is no maiden's lore :
But love may make me for your sake,

As I have said before,
To come on foot, to hunt and shoot

To get us meat in store ;
For so that I your company

May have, I ask no more :
From which to part it makes my heart

As cold as any stone ;
For, in my mind, of all mankind

I love but you alone.
HE.—Yet take good heed, for ever I dread

That ye could not sustain
The thorny ways, the deep valleys,

The snow, the frost, the rain,
The cold, the heat ; for, dry or weet,

We must lodge on the plain;
And us above, none other roof

But a brake bush or twain :
Which soon should grieve you, I believe,

And ye would gladly than
That I had to the greenwood go,

Alone, a banished man.
ShE.—Sith I have here been partiner

With you of joy and bliss,
I must also part of your wo

Endure, as reason is.
Yet I am sure of one pleasùre,

And, shortly, it is this,
That, where ye be, me seemeth, pardie,

I could not fare amiss.
Without more speech, I you beseech

That ye were soon agone,
For, in my mind, of all mankind

I love but you alone.
HE.-If ye go thither, ye must consider,
When

ye

have list to dine, There shall no meat be for you gete,

Nor drink, beer, ale, nor wine,
No sheetes clean, to lie between,

Made of thread and twine ;
None other house but leaves and boughs,

To cover your head and mine.
Oh mine heart sweet, this evil diet,

Should make you pale and wan ;
Wherefore I will to the green wood go,
Alone, a banished man.

ShE.-0 Lord, what is this world's bliss,

That changeth as the moon !
My summer's day in lusty May

Is darked before the noon.
I hear you say, Farewell : Nay, nay,

We depart not so soon.
Why say ye so? whither will ye go?

Alas! what have ye done ?
All my welfàrc to sorrow and care

Should change if ye were gone;
For in my mind, of all mankind

I love but you alone.

Hz.— I can believe, it shall you grieve,

And somewhat you distrain :
But afterward, your paines hard

Within a day or twain
Shall soon aslake; and ye shall take

Comfort to you again.
Why should ye ought, for to make thought ?

Your labour were in vain.
And thus I do, and pray to you,

As heartily as I can ;
For I must to the green wood go,

Alone, a banished inan.

SHE.—Among the wild deer, such an archér,

As men say that ye be,
Ye may not fail of good vittail,

Where is so great plentie.
And water clear of the river,

Shall be full sweet to me.
With which in heal, I shall right weel

Endure, as ye shall see ;
And, ere we go, a bed or two

I can provide anone;
For, in my mind, of all mankind

I love but you alone.
He-Lo yet before, ye must do more,

If ye will go with me;
As cut your hair up by your ear,

Your kirtle to the knee ;
With bow in hand, for to withstand

Your enemies, if need be ;
And this same night, before day-light,

To wood-ward will I flee.
If that ye will all this fulfill,

Do't shortly as ye can :
Else will I to the green wood go,

Alone, a banished man.
SHE.-I shall, as now, do more for you,

Than 'longeth to womanheed,
To short my hair, a bow to bear,

To shoot in time of need.
Oh, my sweet mother, before all other

For you I have most dread ;
But now adieu ! I must ensue

Where fortune doth me lead.
All this make ye : Now let us flee ;

The day comes fast upon :
For, in my mind, of all mankind
I love but you

alone.
He-Nay, nay, not so; ye shall not go,

And I shall tell you why :
Your appetitel is to be light

Of love, I weel espy :
For like as ye have said to me,

In like wise, hardily,
Ye would answer whoever it were,

In way of company.
It is said of old, soon hot, soon cold ;

And so is a woman,
Wherefore I to the wood will go,

Alone, a banished man.
SHE-If ye take heed, it is no need

Such words to say by me;
For oft ye prayed and me assayed,

Ere I loved you, pardie :
And though that I, of ancestry,

A baron's daughter be,
Yet have you proved how I you loved,

A squire of low degree ;
And ever shall, whatso befal ;

To die therefore anon ;
For, in my mind, of all mankind

I love but you alone.
HE—A baron's child to be beguiled,

It were a cursed deed !
To be fellàw with an outlaw,

Almighty God forbid !
It better were, the poor squièr

Alone to forest yede,
Than I should say, another day,

That, by my cursed deed,
We were betrayed : wherefore, good maid,

The best rede that I can,
Is, that I to the greenwood go,
Alone, a banished man.

1 Disposition.

SHE.—Whatever befall, I never shall,

Of this thing you upbraid ; But, if ye go, and leave me so,

Than have ye me betrayed.
Remember weel, how that you deal ;

For if ye, as ye said,
Be so unkind to leave behind,

Your love, the Nut-Brown Maid,
Trust me truly, that I shall die

Soon after ye be gone ;
For, in my mind, of all mankind

I love but you alone.
HE.-If that ye went, ye should repent ;

For in the forest now
I have purveyed me of a maid,

Whoin I love more than you ;
Another fairèr than ever ye were,

I dare it weel avow,
And of you both each should be wroth

With other, as I trow :
It were mine ease to live in peace ;

So will I, if I can ;
Wherefore I to the wood will go,

Alone, a banished man.
SHE.—Though in the wood I understood

Ye had a paramour,
All this may not remove my thought,

But that I will be your.
And she shall find me soft and kind

And courteous every hour ;
Glad to fulfill all that she will

Command me to iny power.
For had ye, lo, an hundred mo,

Of them I would be one ;
For, in my mind, of all mankind

I love but you alone.
HE.--Mine own dear love, I see thee prove

That ye be kind and true ;
Of maid and wife, in all my life,

The best that ever I knew.
Be merry and glad ; no more be sad ;

The case is changed now ;
For it were ruth, that, for your truth,

Ye should have cause to rue.
Be not dismayed ; whatever I said

To you, when I began ;
I will not to the greenwood go :

I am no banished man.
Sue.—These tidings be more glad to me,

Than to be made a queen,
If I were sure they would endure :

But it is often seen,
When men will break promise, they speak

The wordes on the spleen.
Ye shape some wile me to beguile,

And steal from me, I ween :
Than were the case worse than it was,

And I more woc-begone :
For, in my mind, of all mankind

I love but you alone.
HE.—Ye shall not necd further to dread :

I will not disparàge,
You (God defend !) sith ye descend

Of so great a lineage.
Now understand ; to Westmoreland,

Which is mine heritage,
I will you bring; and with a ring,

By way of marriage,
I will you take, and lady make,

As shortly as I can :
Thus have you won an earl's son,
And not a banished man,

53

SIR JOHN FORTESCUE.

Wherfor

is to say, they that seen few things woll soon say their PROSE WRITERS.

advice. Forsooth those folks consideren little the good of the realın, whereof the might most stondeth

upon archers, which be no rich men. And if they Not long after the time of Lydgate, our attention

were made poorer than they be, they should not have is called to a prose writer of 'eminence, the first wherewith to buy them bows, arrowe, jacks, or any since the time of Chaucer and Wickliffe. This was other armour of defence, whereby they might be able Sir John FORTESCUE, Chief Justice of the King's to resist our enemies when they list to come upon us, Bench under Henry VI., and a constant adherent of which they may do on every side, considering that we the fortunes of that monarch. He flourished be- be an island ; and, as it is said before, we may not tween the years 1430 and 1470. Besides several Latin have soon succours of any other realm. Wherefore tracts, Chief Justice Fortescue wrote one in the

we should be a prey to all other enemies, but if we be common language, entitled, The Difference between an mighty of ourself, which might stondeth most upon Absolute and Limited Monarchy, as it more particularly our poor archers ; and therefore they needen not only regards the English Constitution, in which he draws a to have such habiliments as now is spoken of, but also striking, though perhaps exaggerated, contrast be- they needen to be much exercised in shooting, which tween the condition of the French under an arbi- may not be done without right great expenses, as trary monarch, and that of his own countrymen, every man expert therein knoweth right well

. Wherewho even then possessed considerable privileges as fore the making poor of the commons, which is the subjects. The following extracts convey at once an making poor of our archers, should be the destruction idea of the literary style, and of the manner of of the greatest might of our realm. Item, if poor men thinking, of that age.

may not lightly rise, as is the opinion of those ineli,

which for that cause would have the commons poor; [English Courage.]

how then, if a mighty man made a rising, should ne

be repressed, when all the commons be so poor, that [Original spelling.—It is cowardise and lack of hartes and after such opinion they may not fight, and by that corage, that kepith the Frenchmen from rysyng, and not po

reason not help the king with fighting? And why vertye; which corage no Frenche man hath like to the English man. It hath ben often seen in Englond that iij or iv theses maketh the king the commons to be every year musfor povertie, hath sett upon vij or viij true men, and robbyd tered, sithen it was good they had no harness, nor them al. But it hath not ben seen in Fraunce, that vijon vill these men ; for it may not be maintained by any

were able to fight? Oh, how unwise is the opinion of thefes have ben hardy to robbe iij or iv true men. it is right seld that French men be hangyd for robberye, for reason! Item, when any rising hath been made in that thay have no hertys to do so terryble an acte. There be this land, before these days by commons, the poorest therfor mo men hangyd in Englond, in a yere, for robberye men thereof hath been the greatest causers and doers and manslaughter, than ther be hangid in Fraunce for such therein. And thrifty men have been loth thereto, for cause of crime in vij yers, &c.]

dread of losing of their goods, yet often times they It is cowardice and lack of hearts and courage, that

have gone with them through menaces, or else the keepeth the Frenchmen from rising, and not poverty; it seemeth that poverty hath been the whole and chief

same poor men would have taken their goods ; wherein which courage no French man hath like to the cause of all such rising. The poor man hath been English man. It hath been often seen in England stirred thereto by occasion of his poverty for to get that three or four thieves, for poverty, hath set upon good; and the rich men have gone with them because seven or eight true men, and robbed them all. But they wold not be poor by losing of their goods. What it hath not been seen in France, that seven or eight then would fall, if all the commons were poor ! thieves have been hardy to rob three or four true men. Wherefore it is right seld' that Frenchmen be hanged for robbery, for that they have no hearts to do so terrible an act. There be therefore mo men hanged in England, in a year, for robbery and manslaughter,

The next writer of note was WILLIAM Caxton, than there be hanged in France for such cause of the celebrated printer; a man of plain understandcrime in seven years. There is no man hanged in ing, but great enthusiasm in the cause of literature. Scotland in seven years together for robbery, and yet while acting as an agent for English merchants in they be often times hanged for larceny, and stealing Holland, he made himself master of the art of printof goods in the absence of the owner thereof; but ing, then recently introduced on the Continent; and, their hearts serve them not to take a man's goods having translated a French book styled, The Recuyeli while he is present and will defend it ; which manner of the Histories of Troye, he printed it at Ghent, in of taking is called robbery. But the English man be 1471, being the first book in the English language of another courage; for if he be poor, and see another ever put to the press.* Afterwards he established man having riches which may be taken from him by a printing office at Westminster, and in 1474, promight, he wol not spare to do so, but if that poor man duced The Game of Chess, which was the first book be right true. Wherefore it is not poverty, but it is printed in Britain. Caxton translated or wrote about lack of heart and cowardice, that keepeth the French sixty different books, all of which went through his inen from rising.

own press before his death in 1491. As a specimen

of his manner of writing, and of the literary language What harm would come to England if the Commons of this age, a passage is here extracted, in modern thereof were Poor.

* In a note to this publication, Caxton says-'Forasmuch Some men have said that it were good for the king as age creepeth on me daily, and feebleth all the bodie, and also that the commons of England were made poor, as be because I have promised divers gentlemen, and to my friends, the commons of France. For then they would not to address to them, as hastily as I might, this said book, there. rebel, as now they done often times, which the com fore I have practised and learned, at my great charge and dismons of France do not, nor may do ; for they have no pence, to ordain this said book in print, after the manner and weapon, nor armour, nor good to buy it withall. To form as ye may here see, and is not written with pen and ink, these manner of men may be said, with the philoso- as other books ben, to the end that all men may have them at pher, Al parva respicientes, de facili enunciant ; that once, for all the books of this story, named The Recule of the

Historeys of Troyes, thus emprinted, as ye here see, were begun 9 But if-unless.

in one day, and also finished in one day.'

WILLIAM CAXTON.

Seldom.

spelling, from the conclusion of his translation of he came at the last hour, he slept in our Lord; of the Golden Legend,

whom a friar saw the soul, in manner of a star, like to the moon in quantity, and the sun in clearness.

[graphic]

William Caxton.

Prose history may be said to have taken its rise in the reigns of Henry VII. and VIII. ; but its first examples are of a very homely character. ROBERT FABIAN and EDWARD Hall may be regarded as the first writers in this department of our national lite rature. They aimed at no literary excellence, nor at any arrangement calculated to make their writings more useful. Their sole object was to narrate minutely, and as far as their opportunities allowed. faithfully, the events of the history of their country. Written in a dull and tedious manner, without any exercise of taste or judgment, with an absolute want of discrimination as to the comparative importance of facts, and no attempt to penetrate the motives of the actors, or to describe more than the external features of even the greatest of transactions, the Chronicles, as they are called, form masses of matter which only a modern reader of a peculiar taste, curiosity, or a writer in quest of materials, would now willingly peruse. Yet it must be admitted, that to their minuteness and indiscrimination we are indebted for the preservation of many curious facts and illustrations of manners, which would have otherwise been

lost. [Legend of St Francis.]

Fabian, who was an alderman and sheriff of LonFrancis, serrant and friend of Almighty God, was don, and died in 1512, wrote a general chronicle of born in the city of Assyse, and was made a merchant English history, which he called The Concordance of unto the 25th year of his age, and wasted his time by Stories, and which has been several times printed, liring rainly, whom our Lord corrected by the scourge the last time in 1811, under the care of Sir Henry of sickness, and suddenly changed him into another Ellis. It is particularly minute with regard to what man ; so that he began to shine by the spirit of pro- would probably appear the most important of all phecy. For on a time, he, with other men of Peruse, things to the worthy alderman, the succession of was taken prisoner, and were put in a cruel prison, officers of all kinds serving in the city of London ; where all the other wailed and sorrowed, and he only and amongst other events of the reign of Henry V., was glad and enjoyed. And when they had repreved the author does not omit to note that a new weatherhim thereof, he answered, “Know ye,' said he, that I cock was placed on the top of St Paul's steeple. am joyful: for I shall be worshipped as a saint Fabian repeats all the fabulous stories of early Engthroughout all the world. *

lish history, which had first been circulated by On a time as this holy man was in prayer, the devil Geoffrey of Monmouth. called him thrice by his own name. And when the holy man had answered him, he said, none in this Forld is so great a sinner, but if he convert him, our

[The Deposition of King Vortigern.] Lord would pardon him; but who that sleeth himself (Vortigern had lost much of the affections f his with hard penance, shall never find mercy. And anon, people by marriage with Queen Rowena.] Over that, this holy man knew by revelation the fallacy and an heresy, called Arian's heresy, began then to spring deceit of the fiend, how he would have withdrawn him up in Britain. For the which, two holy bishops, fro to do well. And when the devil saw that he named Germanus and Lupus, as of Gaufryde is witmight not prevail against him, he tempted him by nessed, came into Britain to reform the king, and grierous temptation of the flesh. And when this holy all other that erred from the way of truth. serrant of God felt that, he despoiled2 his cloaths, and Of this holy man, St Germain, Vincent Historial beat himself right hard with an hard cord, saying, saith, that upon an evening when the weather was *Thus, brother ass, it behoveth thee to remain and passing cold, and the snow fell very fast, he axed to be beaten.' And when the temptation departed lodging of the king of Britain, for him and his comnot, he went out and plunged himself in the snow, all peers, which was denied. Then he, after sitting under baked, and made seven great balls of snow, and pur- a bush in the field, the king's herdman passed by, posed to have taken them into3 his body, and said, and seeing this bishop with his company sitting in This greatest is thy wife ; and these four, two ben the weather, desired him to his house to take there thy daughters, and two thy sons; and the other twain, such poor lodging as he had. Whereof the bishop that one thy chambrere, and that other thy varlet or being glad and fain, yodel unto the house of the said yeman; haste and clothe them: for they all die for herdman, the which received him with glad cheer. cold. And if thy business that thou hast about them, And for him and his company, willed his wife to kill grieve ye sore, then serre our Lord perfectly.' And his only calf, and to dress it for his guest's supper ; anon, the devil departed from him all confused ; and the which was also done. When the holy man had St Francis returned again unto his cell glorifying supped, he called to him his hostess, willing and deGod.

siring her, that she should diligently gather together He was enobled in his life by many miracles * all the bones of the dead calf; and them so gathered, and the very death, which is to all men horrible and to wrap together within the skin of the said calf. And hateful, he admonished them to praise it. And also then it lay in the stall before the rack near unto the he warned and admonished death to come to him, and dame. Which done according to the commandment said Death, my sister, welcome be you.' And when of the holy man, shortly after the calf was restored

1 Reproved. 2 Took ofr.

3 Unto.

1 Went.

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