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SIR THOMAS MORE

977 jei

WILLIAM GAXTON

Cobertste

II.

That I had lost among the throng ;

To buy my own hood I thought it wrong:
I knew it well, as I did my creed ;
But, for lack of money, I could not speed.

Scleight or engyne, fors or felonye,
Arn to feble to holden chanpartye?
Ageyns trouth, who that list take hede ;
For at the end falshede may not spede
Tendure long ; ye shul fynde it thus.

A fugitive poem of Lydgate, called The London Lyckpenny, is curious for the particulars it gives respecting the city of London in the early part of the fifteenth century. The poet has come to town in search of legal redress for some wrong, and visits, in succession, the King's Bench, the Court of Common Pleas, the Court of Chancery, and Westminster Hall.

The taverner took me by the sleeve,

'Sir,' sith he, 'will you our wine assay?'
I answered : ‘That can not much me grieve,

A penny can do no more than it may;'

I drank'a pint, and for it did pay;
Yet, sore a-hungered from thence I yede,
And, wanting money, I could not speed ; &c.

ALEXANDER BARCLAY AND STEPHEN HAWES.

3

The London Lyckpenny.

The Ship of Fools and the Pastime of Pleasure

are the only poetical works of any importance in Within this hall, neither rich nor yet poor

the reign of Henry VII. ALEXANDER BARCLAY Would do for me ought, although I should die : Which seeing, I gat me out of the door,

(who was in orders, and survived till 1552) wrote Where Flemings began on me for to cry:

several allegorical pieces and some eclogues--the Master, what will you copen or buy?

latter supposed to be the first compositions of the Fine felt hats? or spectacles to read ?

kind attempted in the English language. But his Lay down your silver, and here you may specd.'

greatest work is his Ship of Fools, printed in 1509.

It is a translation from the German of Brandt, Then to Westminster gate I presently went,

with additions from various quarters, including When the sun was at high prime :

satirical portraits and sketches by Barclay of his Cooks to me they took good intent,

own countrymen. His ship is freighted with fools And proffered me bread, with ale and wine, of all kinds, but their folly is somewhat dull and Ribs of beef, both fat and full fine;

tedious. Barclay, however, was an improver of A fair cloth they gan for to spread,

the English language. But, wanting money, I might not then speed. Then unto London I did me hie,

The Book-collector, or Bibliomaniac. Of all the land it beareth the prize ; *Hot peascods !' one began to cry;

From Barclay's Ship of Fools. Strawberry ripe, and cherries in the rise !'4

That in this ship the chief place I govern, One bade me come near and buy some spice ;

By this wide sea with fools wandering, Pepper and saffron they gan me beed ;'

The cause is plain and easy to discernBut, for lack of money, I might not speed.

Still am I busy book assembling ; Then to the Cheap I gan me drawn,

For to have plenty it is a pleasant thing,

In my conceit, and to have them aye in hand, Where much people I saw for to stand ;

But what they mean, do I not understand.
One offered me velvet, silk, and lawn;

Another he taketh me by the hand,
'Here is Paris thread, the finest in the land !'

But yet I have them in great reverence
I never was used to such things, indeed ;

And honour, saving them from filth and ordure, And, wanting money, I might not speed.

By often brushing and much diligence ;

Full goodly bound in pleasant coverture Then went I forth by London Stone, 8

Of damask, satin, or else of velvet pure ; Throughout all Canwick Street :

I keep them sure, fearing lest they should be lost, Drapers much cloth me offered anon;

For in them is the cunning wherein I me boast. Then comes me one cried 'Hot sheep's feet ;' One cried mackerel, rushes green, another gan STEPHEN HAWES was an allegorical poet of greet ;?

much more power. His Pastime of Pleasure, or One bade me buy a hood to cover my head ;

the Historie of Grande Amour and La Bel Pucel, But, for want of money, I might not be sped.

was written in 1506, dedicated to King Henry

in whose court the poet held the office of groom Then I hied me unto East-Cheap,

of the privy-chamber-and printed in 1517 by One cries ribs of beef, and many a pie;

Wynkyn de Worde. Two more editions were Pewter pots they clattered on a heap;

called for during the same century, in 1554 and There was harp, pipe, and minstrelsy ; Yea by cock ! nay by cock ! some began cry;

1555, and from this time it was known only to

black-letter readers until, in 1846, it was Some sung of Jenkin and Julian for their meed; But, for lack of money, I might not speed,

printed by Mr Wright for the Percy Society; but

even the convenience of easy access and modern Then into Cornhill anon I yode,

type has not made Hawes much better known. Where was much stolen gear among ;

His poem is long, and little interest is felt in his I saw where hung mine owne hood,

personified virtues. The Pastime of Pleasure, how.

ever, is a work of no ordinary poetical talent. 'Too feeble to hold equal power in the field. Chanpartye, Fr. It is full of thought, of ingenious analogy, and champ parti. 9 Koopen (Flem.) is to buy. 3 Took notice : paid attention. occasionally of striking allegory.

A few stanzas, 4 On the twig.

stripped of the disused spelling, will shew the state 6 A fragment of London Stone is still preserved in Cannon Street, of the language after Lydgate, of whom Hawes formerly called Canwick or Candlewick Street. It is built into the street-wall of the church of St Swithin.

Cry. was a great admirer.

re

5 Offer.

7

The Temple of Mars.

A Satire on the Clergy. Beside this tower of old foundation,

Thus I, Colin Clout, There was a temple strongly edified,

As I go about, To the high honour and reputation

And wandering as I walk, Of the mighty Mars it was so fortified ;

I hear the people talk : And for to know what it signified

Men say for silver and gold I entered in, and saw of gold so pure

Mitres are bought and sold. Of worthy Mars, the marvellous picture.

There shall no clergy oppose

A mitre nor a croze, There was depainted all about the wall

But a full purseThe great destruction of the siege of Troy,

A straw for God's curse! And the noble acts to reign memorial

What are they the worse? Of the worthy Hector that was all their joy,

For a simoniac His dolorous death was hard to occoye ;

Is but a hermoniac, And so when Hector was cast all down,

And no more ye may make The hardy Troilus was most high of renown.

Of simony, men say,

But a child's play; And as I cast my sight so aside,

Over this the foresaid lay Beholding Mars how wonderfully he stood

Report how the pope may On a wheel top, with a lady of pride,

A holy anchorite call Haunced about, I thought nothing but good

Out of the stony wall, But that she had two faces in one hood;

And him a bishop make, Yet I knelt down, and made my orison

If he on him dare take To doughty Mars with great devotion.

To keep so hard a rule

To ride upon a mule, Saying: 'O Mars ! O god of the war !

With gold all be-trapped, The gentle load-star of an hardy heart,

In purple and pall be-lapped, Distil adown thy grace from so far,

Some hatted and some capped, To cause all fear from me to start,

Richly be-wrapped That in the field I may right well subvert

(God 'wot to their great pains) The hideous monsters, and win the victory

In rochets of fine reins, Of the sturdy giants with famous chivalry.

White as morrow's milk

Their taberts of fine silk, O prince of honour and of worthy fame !

Their stirrups of mixed gold begared, O noble knights of old antiquity!

There may no cost be spared. O redoubted courage, the causer of their name,

Their moils gold doth eat, Whose worthy acts Fame caused to be

Their neighbours die for meatIn books written, as ye well may see

What care they though Gill sweat, So give me grace right well to recure

Or Jack of the Noke?
The power of fame that shall so long endure.'

The poor people they yoke
With summons and citations

And excommunications,
JOHN SKELTON.

About churches and market :

The bishop on his carpet Barclay, in his Ship of Fools, alludes to JOHN

Full soft doth sitSKELTON, who was decked as poet-laureate at

This is a fearful fit Oxford :

To hear the people jangle

How warily they wrangle !
If they have smelled the arts trivial,
They count them poets high and heroical.

Cardinal Wolsey.
Skelton is certainly more of a trivial than a

Our barons are so bold, heroical poet. He was a satirist of great volubility,

Into a mouse-hole they would fearlessness, and scurrility. In attacking Cardinal

Run away and creep, Wolsey, for example, he alludes to his 'greasy

Like as many sheep, genealogy. The clergy were the special objects

Dare not look out a door, of his abuse, as with most of the old satirists. So

For dread of the mastiff cur, early as 1483, Skelton appeared as a satirist ; he

For dread of the butcher's dog was laureated in Oxford in 1489; and to escape

Would worry them like a hog. from the vengeance of Wolsey, he took shelter in

For all their noble blood, the sanctuary of Westminster Abbey, where he

He plucks them by the hood,

And shakes them by the ear, resided till his death in 1529. Skelton is a sort of

And brings them in such fear, rhyming Rabelais--as indelicate and gross, which

He baiteth them like a bear. with both was to some extent necessary as a cover

And beneath him they're so stout to their satire. The copiousness of Skelton's lan

That no man of them dare rout, guage, and his command of rhyme in short rattling

Duke, earl, baron, nor lord, verses, prove the advance of the language. The

But to his sentence must accord; works of Skelton were edited by the Rev. A.

Whether he be knight or squire, Dyce, and printed in 1843. The most poetical

All must follow his desire. of his productions is entitled Philip Sparrow, an elegy on the death of a pet bird. A few lines Skelton's serious poetry is greatly inferior to his from his Colin Clout will shew the torrent-like ludicrous and satirical; but the following effusion flow of his doggerel rhymes :

of gallantry is not unworthy the pen of a laureate:

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