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from the Image of Ypocrycye," never printed, of which the original MS. was in the library of Mr Le Neve, from whence it was purchased by Mr West. An apparently accurate transcript of it, by the wellknown Thomas Martin, of Palgrave, is fortunately preserved, and is in the possession of Mr Heber. It is, in general, a satire on the professors of religion ; but the subject of the following lines is the illustrious Sir Thomas More.*
But now we have a knight
* SIR THOMAS MORE, who is attacked in the following piece of obscure and almost unintelligible ribaldry, ought perhaps to be classed among the poets of this reign. One of his all pieces of poetry, composed in his youth, and preserved in his works (the merry Jest of the Serjeant and Frere) may possibly have suggested to the late Mr Cowper the idea of his popular tale of John Gilpin. In general, al. though, like all the compositions of the age, they are too diffuse and languid, his poems possess considerable merit; and, as well as his prose works, were considered by his contemporaries as a model of pure and elegant language. This excellence principally recommended them to the notice of Dr Johnson, who has printed many of them in the introduction his Dictionary; and for this reason the insertion of a specimen here seems unnecessary.
By Bow-bell policy ; With his poetry, And his sophistry, To mock and make a lie, With “ quod he, and quod I," And his apology Made for the prelacy; Their hugy pomp and pride To colour and to hide. He maketh no nobbes, But with his dialogues To prove our prelates gods And laymen very lobbes Beating them with bobbes, And with their own rods. Thus he taketh pain To fable and to feign, Their mischief to maintain, And to have them reign Over hill and plain; Yea, over heaven and hell, And where as spirits dwell, In purgatory's holes, With hot fire and coals, To sing for silly souls, With a supplication, And a confutation,
A virgin fair and gent,
[MS. fol. 100, &c.]*
Dr Farmer has noticed another work of Skelton, entitled “ Vox Populi Vox Dei,” which is preserved in MS. in the archives of the university of Cambridge, and which, as well as the Image of Hypocrisy, had escaped the notice of Mr Warton.
Another satirist, less distinguished than Skelton as a Latin scholar, but at least equally formidable to cardinal Wolsey and the catholics, was WILLIAM Roy; of whom, I believe, nothing is known, but that Bale, who has described his poem (de Script. Brit. ed. 1548, p. 254), declares that he flourished in 1526.
His work, which is now extremely rare (though twice printed), forms a small duodecimo volume, elegantly printed in black letter, without date or publisher's name. It has a prose dedication to some person of whose name the initials only are given; and a metrical prologue, consisting of a dialogue between the author and his treatise. Then follows a sort of satirical dirge, or lamentation, on the death of the Mass; and then the treatise itself, which is called " A brefe dialogue betwene two prestes' servauntes, named Watkyn and Jeffraye.” It is in two parts, of which the first is, in general, a satire on the monastic orders ; though even heres the cardinal and his friends are occasionally introduced.
* Thomas Hearne obtained a sight of the original MS. which was in Mr Le Neve's possession, and gives some account of it in the glossary to P. Langtoft, p. 674, being highly indignant with the writer.
Roy's versification is tolerably easy and flowing; his language often coarse, but nervous and expressive. The bitterness of his invective will appear from the following extracts.
Wat. Doth he' then use on mules to ride ?
That to tell it is not possible :
With worldly pomp incredible.
Before him rideth two priests strong,
Gaping in every man's face.
In their hands instead of a mace.
! Cardinal Wolsey,