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lord on his mule,
In every point most curiously.
Pretending some high mystery.
Then hath he servants five or six score,
A marvellous great company:
Of which are lords and gentlemen,
And also knaves among.
Whether he do right or wrong.
A great carl he is, and a fat;
Procured with angels' subsidy ; *
To hold over it a canopy.
Cul. Fr, 2 Purchased at the court of Rome. Aa angel is a well-knowu coin.
Beside this, to tell thee more news,
Which seldom touch any ground;
Costing many a thousand pound.
To be eased of his visitation,
The following is his description of the bishops Wat. What? are the bishops divines ? Jeff Yea! they can well skill of wines,
Better than of divinity!
Lawyers they are of experience,
They are parfet' by practice.
Is their continual exercise,
As for preaching they take no care :
Rather than to make a sermon:
Among them all is common.
I Perfect. Fr.
To play at the cards and dice
Both at hazard and mum-chance.
Perishing for lack of sustenance.
The following passage, on the abuse of great farms, is extremely curious. After describing the numerous exactions to which even the abbeys were subject, he interrupts the recital by this natural question
Wat. How have the abbeys their payment ?
Letting a dozen farms under one ;
Take all in their own hands alone.
Wat. The other, in paying their rent,
By likelihood, were negligent,
And would not do their duty? Jeff. They payed their duty, and more,
But, their farms are heythedso sore,
That they are brought unto beggary.
Or frankeyne. See vol. I. p. 320.
The next poet deserving notice is John Heywood the epigrammatist, who was much admired by Henry VIII. and by his daughter Queen Mary; but the modern reader will not easily detect, in his printed works, that elegant turn of humour which was so long the delight and admiration of an English court. His “ Parable of the “ Spider and the Flie” is utterly contemptible: a less tiresome work is his " Dialogue, contayning in
effect the number of al the proverbes in the English
tongue, compact in a matter concerning two mara “ riages," printed in 1547, 4to, and 1549, Svo. The idea is ingenious, and, thought ill executed, such a repertory is at least curious. To the dialogue were added in his works (printed by Powell, in 1562, 4to, and afterwards three several times) six centuries of epigrams, interspersed with a few small tales and fables, and from this heap of rubbish it may perhaps be worth while to extract the three following specimens, which are in Heywood's very best manner.
An old Wife's Boon.
In old world, when old wives bitterly pray'd,
One, devoutly, as by way of a boon,
Ask'd vengeance on her husband; and to him said, “ Thou wouldst wed a young wife, ere this week
were done, “ Were I dead, but thou shalt wed the devil as
" I cannot wed the devil," quod he.
« For I have wedded his dam before, quod he.
[1st. cent. epig. 36.)
Two Wishers for two Manner of Mouths. “ I wish thou hadst a little narrow mouth, wife, « Little and little, to drop out words in strife !" “ And I wish you, sir, a wide mouth, for the nonce, “ To speak all that ever you shall speak at once!"
[1st, cent. epig. 83.]
Of blind Bayard. Who so bold as blind Bayard?' no beast, of truth: Whereof my bold blind Bayard perfect proof
shew'th; Both of his boldness, and for his bold blindness; By late occasion in a cause of kindness.
Bayard is the name of a horse renowned in stories of chivalry, but I am ignorant of the source of this proverbial expression