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bake-house were two yeomen and grooms; in the wood-yard one and a groom; in the barn one yeoman. Two porters, two yeomen, and two grooms waited at his gates.
His barge had a yeoman ; and for the care of his horses there was a master, a clerk of the stables, a yeoman, a yeoman of the stirrup, a farrier, a malt tour, and sixteen grooms, every one of them keeping four geldings.”
For the purposes of state he had two cross and two pillar bearers, for his great chamber; and the privy
chamber was under the direction of a chamberlain, a vice-chamberlain, and two gentlemen ushers. Six gentlemen waiters, and twelve others, were added to ten lords, who did not think themselves dishonoured by attending the movements of the arrogant Cardinal ; each of those had two or three footmen, and the earl of Derby was followed by five.
At meals he had gentlemen carvers and cupbearers; “and of the privy chamber, forty persons,” exclusive of six yeomen ushers, and eight grooms of his chamber, twelve doctors of divinity, a clerk of the closet, two secretaries, and two clerks of his signet, besides four learned counsel.
The attendants of his temporal office were a riding clerk, a clerk of the crown, of the hanaper, and a chafer, and them of the cheque, and four running footmen, richly habited. A herald, and
serjeant at arms, a physician, an apothecary, four minstrels, a keeper of the tents, an armourer, an instructor of his wardrobe, a keeper of his chamber, a surveyor of York, and a clerk of the
. The chapel of this establishment was most honourably appointed; and the ornaments of it were extremely grand and expensive. The service was performed by a dean, a man of eminence, a sub-dean, a repeater of the choir, a gospeller, an epistler, of the singing priests, and a master of the children. The vestry had a yeoman and two grooms. The gentleman who gives the substance of the above account, declares, that he had seen in procession about the hall, fortyfour rich cosses of one set, besides the superb candlesticks, and other necessary ornaments; and that the number of persons on the “Cheyne Roll” of the household was eight hundred.
Having thus presented the reader with a sketch of the princely magnificence of Wolsey, I shall exbibit him in all his glory in the presence of his master, from the same authority. Henry, fond of luxurious living, seems to have had no objection to partake of the good things the policy and the pride of his servant provided for his gratification ; as, on his receiving the honour of a visit, every engine was employed to procure the best of viands, the most beautiful female dancers, and the most experienced comedians,
masquers, or mummers, to entertain him with scenic exhibitions, while his ears were regaled with instrumental and vocal music.
The gentleman to whom we are indebted for these particulars asserts, he has seen the King visit the cardinal, with twelve attendants, masked, each habited as shepherds, but with garments of cloth of gold and silver wire, besides drummers, and others in satin, also masqued. The cardinal, who expected the monarch, had invited a considerable number of courtiers; and, that they might be completely taken by surprise, he received them in his presence-chamber; where, seating himself under his canopy of state before a table appropriated to him only, he had them arranged, according to precedence, ladies and gentlemen alternately.
When the whole party were fully intent upon the pleasures of the banquet, they were alarmed by the discharge of guns. Wolsey, affecting equal astonishment, deputed the lord chamberlain to enquire into the cause; who, returning from the banks of the Thames, declared certain noblemen had landed, and were, probably, ambassadors from the Continent. This officer was then directed to wait on the foreigners, and introduce them to the company; in whose presence they at length arrived, under the flourish of drums and flutes, and attended by twenty torch-bearers.
The king and his friends arranged themselves in pairs before the cardinal; and profound reverences having passed, the lord chamberlain said, in the names of the former, they were ignorant of the English language ; but, having heard of the entertainment, they entreated permission to partake of it, and witness the subsequent festivities. Permission was instantly granted. “Then went the masquers and first saluted all the dames, and then returned to the most worthiest, and there opened the great cup of gold filled with crowns, and other pieces to cast at.”
Thus, perusing all the gentlewomen, of some they won, and to some they lost. And, having viewed all the ladies, they returned to the cardinal, with great reverence, pouring down all their gold, which was above two hundred crowns. “ At all,” quoth the cardinal, and, casting the die, he won it, “ whereat was made great joy." The fortunate prelate, attentively examining his new guests, observed to the chamberlain, it appeared to him that one among them had a commanding presence, which convinced him that gentleman had more pretensions to his seat than himself; and to whom he would willingly re
The strangers declared, through the medium of the officer, that there was indeed in their company one of superior rank, who would disclose binself if the cardinal could point him out correctly.
Wolsey, presuming upon his knowledge of the king's figure, selected sir Edward Neville, “The king, seeing the cardinal so deceived in his choice, could not forbear laughing; but pulled down his vizor and sir Edward Neville's also, with such a pleasant countenance and cheer that all the noble estates desired his highness to take his place: to whom the king made answer, “ that he would first go and shift him;" and, thereupon, went into the cardinal's bed-chamber, where was a great fire prepared for him ; and there he new apparelled himself with rich and princely garments. And in the king's absence the dishes of the banquet were clean taken away, and the tables covered again with new and perfumed cloths, every man sitting still until the king's majesty, with his masquers, came in amongst them, every man new apparelled.”
The sequel of this luxurious festival was the introduction of two hundred covers of eatables ; on which the monarch and his vassals feasted to satiety, when they had recourse to dancing, which continued till morning; an indefinite term of the author's, which may signify twelve o'clock, or six hours later,
The fascinations of this and similar entertainments were extremely powerful. That they were imitated by the opulent, we have no reason to doubt; who were again aped by those in moderate circumstances. Hence there is every proba