Графични страници
PDF файл

one of which is placed a figure, in regular succession, from

I fele my torments so increse, one to nine. Each of the players provides himself with a

That lyfe cannot remayne. smooth halfpenny, which he places upon the edge of the

Cease now the passing-bell,

Rong is my doleful knell, table, and striking it with the palm of his hand, drives it

For the sound my deth doth tell. towards the marks; and according to the value of the

Deth doth draw nye, figure affixed to the partition wherein the halfpenny rests,

Sound my end dolefully, his game is reckoned; which generally is stated at thirty

For now I dye." one, and must be made precisely : if it be exceeded, the player goes again for nine, which must also be brought (6) SCENE IV.-Bartholomew boar-pig.] - Roast pig, exactly, or the turn is forfeited ; and if the halfpenny rests even down to the middle of the last century, appears to upon any of the marks that separate the partitions, or have constituted one of the staple attractions of Bartho. overpasses the external boundaries, the go is void.”

lomew fair. See Ben Jonson's play of “ Bartholomew Fair,” and D'Avenant's burlesque poem on a long vaca

tion:(5) SCENE IV.

"Now London's chief, on sadle new, Then death rock me asleep, abridge my doleful days !]

Rides to the Fare of Bartholemew;

He twirles his chain, and looketh big, This is the beginning of a mournful ballad, of which we

As if to fright the Head of Pig, append the first and last stanzas, said to have been com

That gaping lies on greasy stall."-Folio 1673. posed by Anne Boleyne, but which Ritson thought was more likely to have been written by her brother, George, Viscount Rochford, who was reputed to be the author of

(7) SCENE IV.-Flap-dragons.}The sport of placing a

plum or raisin in a shallow dish of spirit, and then setting several poems, songs, and sonnets. Mr. W. Chappell

sight to it, and while the whole was in a flame, snatching (Popular Music, &c., vol. i. p. 238) has published the first stanza, with the tune, from a manuscript of the latter part

out the flap-dragon, as it was called, with the mouth, was

borrowed from the Dutch. Our gallants, who vied with of the reign of Henry VIII.

each other in disgusting extravagances while toasting “ O Death, rocke me on slepe,

their mistresses, improved upon the Dutch practice, by Bring me on quiet reste,

making even a candle's end into a flap-dragon, and swallowLet passe my verye giltless goste,

ing that off. An allusion to this, and another frantic Out of my carefull brest; Toll on the passinge bell,

absurdity of the fast youths of former times—that of Ringe out the dolefull knell,

puncturing their arms, and drinking the health of their Let the sound my dethe tell,

charmers in blood, occurs in an old ballad, called “The For I must dye,

Man in the Moon drinks Claret:"-
There is no remedye,
For now I dye."

" Bacchus the father of drunken nowles,

Full mazers, beakers, glasses, bowls,
" Farewell my pleasures past,

Greasie flap-dragons, flamish upsefriese,
Welcum my present payne,

With healths stab'd in arms upon naked knees."


(1) SCENE II.-I was once of Clement s-inn. This Inn was so called, says Stow, “because it standeth near to St. Clement's Church, but nearer to the fair fountain called Clement's Well.” How long before 1479, nineteenth of Edward IV., it was occupied by students of the law is not known, but that it had been so inhabited for some time previously is quite certain ; and we have the testimony of Strype to show that in after-times the roisterers of the Inns of Court fully maintained the reputation which Shallow took so much pride in claiming for himself and his fellow swinge-bucklers : “Here about this Church,” he is speaking of St. Clement's, " and in the parts adjacent, were frequent disturbances by reason of the unthrifts of the Inns of Chancery, who were so unruly on nights, walking about to the disturbance and danger of such as passed along the streets, that the inhabitants were fain to keep watches. In the year 1582, the Recorder himself, with six more of the honest inhabitants, stood by St. Clement's Church, to see the lanthorn hung out, and to observe if he could meet with any of these outrageous dealers."-Strype's Stow, vol. ii. p. 108, ed. 1755.

For the king's sons, and writ in ballad royal

Daintily well," &c. as described by Ben Jonson in his Masque of “ The Fortunate Isles." This was Henry Scogan. The other, John Scogan, whom Holinshed mentions as a learned gentleman of Edward the Fourth's reign, student for a time in Oxford, of a pleasaunte witte, and bent to mery devises, in respect whereof he was called into the courte, where guiding himselfe to his naturall inclination of mirthe and pleasaunt pastime, he plaied many sporting parts,” &c.

Others believe there was but one poet of the name, and that the compositions attributed to the supposed Scogan of Edward the Fourth's time were written by him of Henry IV. It is needless to prolong the controversy. There was certainly a book published in the reign of Henry VIII. by Andrew Borde, called “Scoggin's Jests," which was reprinted in 1565 ; and the father of these jokes was no doubt considered by Shakespeare and his auditory as a court-jester of a former period, whether in the reign of Henry IV. or Edward IV. was not material.

(2) SCENE II.-I saw him break Skogan's head. Some of the commentators contend there were two Skogans,


(3) SCENE II.-Our watch-word was, llem, boys !]There was an old rollicking song, whose burden, hem, boys, hem! still lingered in Justice Shallow's memory, and of which the only verse now extant is quoted by Brome in his comedy of A Jorial Creu, or the Merry Beggars, first acted in 1011:

"A fine gentleman, and a master of arts,
of Henry the Fourth's time, that inade disguises


“ There was an old fellow at Waltham Cross,

frequently so engaged, he had also higher duties. He Who merrily sung when he liv'd by the loss, He never was heard to sigh with hey-ho,

figured now and then in the religious plays of a later date; But sent it out with a hey trolly-lo!

and in The Life and Repentance of Mary Magdalen, He cheer'd up his heart, when his goods went to wrack, 1567, he performed the part of her lover, before her conWith a hem, boys, hem ! and a cup of old sack."

version, under the name of Infidelity : in King Darius, Act II. Sc. 1. 1565, he also acted a prominent part, by his own impulses

to mischief, under the name of Iniquity, without any Mr. Chappell (“Popular Music of the Olden Time," i. 262), acquaints us with the interesting fact, that the

prompting from the representative of the principle of original air to which the above burden was sung, is the

evil. Such was the general style of the Vice, and as same still heard in the well-known chorus,

Iniquity he is spoken of by Shakespeare (“Richard III."

III. 1,) and Ben Jonson, ("Staple of News," second InA very good song, and very well sungi

termean.) The Vice and Iniquity seem, however, some. Jolly companions every one."

times to have been distinct persons, * and he was not

unfrequently called by the name of particular vices : thus, (4) SCENE II.-—I was then Sir Dagonet in Arthur's in Lusty Juventus, the Vice performs the part of Hyshow.}-Arthur's show appears to have been an exhibition pocrisy ; in Common Conditions, he is called Conditions ; performed by a band of Toxopholites, calling themselves in Like Will to Like, he is named Nichol Newfangle ; in "The Auncient Order, Society, and Unitie laudable of The Trial of Treasure, his part is that of Inclination ; Prince Arthure and his Knightly Armory of the Round in All for Money, he is called Sin ; in Tom Tyler and Table," the associates of which took the names of the his Wife, Desire ; and in Appius and Virginia, Hapknights who figure in the famous romance, and were fifty- hazard. eight in number. Their ordinary place of rendezvous was Gifford designates the Vice “the Buffoon of the Old Mile End Green, for ages the spot chosen by the Londoners Mysteries and Moralities," as if he had figured in the for their martial sports and exercises, but they occasionally Miracle-plays represented at Chester, Coventry, York, presented their spectacle in Smithfield and in other parts and elsewhere. Malone, also, speaks of him as the “ of the city. Of the origin of this Society nothing is stant attendant" of the Devil in the ancient religious known ; but from a passage in the dedication of a rare plays ;" but the fact is, that the Vice was wholly unknown tract by Richard Robinson, its historian and poet, we learn in our religious plays, which have hitherto gone by the that it was confirmed by charter under Henry VIII. ; who, name of Mysteries. The Life and Repentance of Mary “when he sawe a good archer indeede, he chose him, and Magdalen, and King Darius, already mentioned as conordained such a one for a knight of this order.” That it taining the character of the Vice, were not written until flourished in Shakespeare's time is proved by the following after the reign of Mary. The same remark will apply extract from a treatise on the training of children, by to the Interlude of Queen Hester, 1561, which differs from Richard Mulcaster (1581), Master of St. Paul's School, other religious plays, inasmuch as the Vice there is a where the writer, expatiating on the utility of Archerie as court-jester and servant, and is named Hardydardy. a preservative of health, says :—“how can I but prayse On the external appearance of the Vice, Mr. Douce has them, who professe it throughly, and maintaine it nobly, observed, that, “ being generally dressed in a fool's habit," the friendly and frank fellowship of Prince Arthur's he was gradually and undistinguishably blended with the Knights, in and about the citie of London? which, if I domestic fool. Ben Jonson, in his Devil is an Ass, alludes had sacred to silence, would not my good friend in the to this very circumstance, when he is speaking of the citie, Maister Hewgh Offly, and the same my noble fellow fools of old kept in the houses of the nobility and in that order, Syr Launcelot, at our next meeting have

gentry : given me a soure nodde, being the chief furtherer of the fact which I commend, and the famousest knight of the

." fifty years agone and six, fellowship which I am of. Nay, would not even Prince

When erery great man had his Vice stand by him Arthur himselfe, Maister Thomas Smith, and the whole

In his long coat, shaking his wooden dagger!” table of those well-known knights, and most active archers, The Vice here spoken of was the domestic fool of the have laid in their challenge against their fellow-knight, if nobility about the year 1560, to whom also Puttenham, in speaking of their pastime, I should have spared their

his Arte of English Poesie, alludes under the terms names?

"buffoon or vice in plays." The complacency with which Justice Shallow refers to

In the first Intermean of Ben Jonson's Staple of News, his personification of poor Sir Dagonet, who in the romance Mirth leads us to suppose that it was a very common teris the fool of King Arthur, is charmingly characteristic,

mination of the adventures of the Vice, for him to be and must have been highly relished by an auditory fami- carried off to hell on the back of the devil: “ he would liar with all the personages of La Morte d'Arthure.

carry away the Vice on his back, quick to hell, in every

play where he came." In The longer thou livest the more (5) SCENE II.-And now is this Vice's dagger become a Fool thou art, and in Like Will to Like, the Vice is dissquire. The following particulars concerning the old posed of nearly in this summary manner. In King Darius, stage favourite, called the VICE, are mainly taken from an the Vice runs to hell of his own accord, to escape from instructive article on the subject, in Mr. Collier's “His- Constancy, Equity, and Charity. According to Bishop tory of English Dramatic Poetry." Mr. Douce is of

Harsnet, in a passage cited by Malone, the Vice was in opinion that the name was derived from the nature of the habit of riding and beating the Devil, at other times the character; and certain it is that he is represented than when he was thus carried against his will to punishmost wicked by design, and never good but by accident. ment. As the Devil now and then appeared without the Vice, so the Vice sometimes appeared without the Devil. Ma

* In the play of “ Histriomastix," 1610, we read :-" Enter a lone tells us that “ the principal employment of the roaring Devil with the Vice on his back, Iniquily on one hand, Vice was to belabour the Devil ;” but although he was and Juventus on the other."


[ocr errors]

(1) SCENE II.}-1 do arrest thee, traitor, of high treason.] -Holinshed's account of the insurrection does not, perhaps, directly implicate Prince John in this unparalleled breach of faith and honour; but it cannot be forgotten that the earl was acting under the orders of his general.

“ The archbishop, accompanied with the Erle Marshall, devised certaine articles of such matters as it was supposed, that not onely the commonaltie of the Realme, but also the Nobilitie, found themselves agrieved with : which articles they shewed first unto such of their adherents as were neare aboute them, and after sent them abrode to theyr friendes further of, assuring them that for redresse of such oppressions, they woulde shedde the last droppe of bloud in theyr bodyes, if neede were. The Archbishop not meaning to stay after he saw hymselfe accompanied with a greate number of men, that came flocking to Yorke to take his parte in this quarrell, forthwith discovered his enterprice, causing the articles aforesayde to be set up in the publicke streetes of the Citie of Yorke and upon the gates of the monasteries, that eche man might understande the cause that moved him to rise in armes against the King, the reforming whereof did not yet apperteyne unto him. Hereupon knights, esquiers, gentlemen, yeomen, and other of the commons,

assembled togither in great numbers, and the Archbishop comming forth amongst them clad in armor, encouraged, exhorted, and, by all means he coulde, pricked them forth to take the enterprise in hand,

* * * * and thus not only all the citizens of York, but all other in the countries about, that were able to bear weapon, came to the Archbishop, and to the Erle Marshal. Indeed, the respect that men had to the Archbishop, caused them to like the better of the cause, since the gravitie of his age, his integrity of life, and incomparable learning, with the reverend aspect of his amiable personage, moved all menne to have him in no small estimation. The King advertised of these matters, meaning to prevent them, left his journey into Wales, and marched with al speed towards the north partes. Also Raufe Nevill, Erle of Westmerlande, that was not farre off, togither with the lorde John of Lan. caster the king's sonne, being enformed of this rebellious attempt, assembled togither such power as they might make, * and comming into a plaine within the forest of Galtree, caused theyr standarts to be pight downe in like sort as the Archbishop had pight his, over agaynst them, being farre stronger in number of people than the other, for (as some write) there were of the rebels at the least 20 thousand men. When the Erle of Westmerlande perveyved the force of adversaries, and that they lay still and attempted not to come forwarde upon him, he subtilly devised how to quail their purpose, and foorthwith dispatched Messengeres unto the Archbyshoppe to understande the cause as it were of that greate assemble, and for what cause contrarye to the kings peace they came so in armor. The Archbishop answered, that he tooke nothing in hande agaynste the king's peace, but that whatsover he did, tended rather to advaunce the peace and quiet of the common wealth, than otherwise, and where he and his companie were in armes, it was for feare of the king, to whom hee could have no free accesse by reason of such a multitude of flatterers as were about him, and therefore he mainteyned that his purpose was good and profitable, as well for the king himselfe, as for the realme, if men were willing to understand a truth: and herewith hee shewed forthe a skroll in which the articles were written, wherof before ye have heard. The Messengers returning unto the Earle of Westmerlande shewed him what they had heard and brought from the Archbishop. When he had read the articles, hee shewed in word and countenance outwardly that he lyked of the Archbyshoppes holy and vertuous

intent and purpose, promising that he and his woulde prosecute the same in assysting the Archebishop, who rejoycing hereat, gave credite to the Earle, and perswaded the Earle Marshall agaynst hys will as it were to go with him to a place appoynted for them to common togyther. Here when they were mette with like number on eyther part, the articles were reade over, and without any more adoe, the earle of Westmerlande and those that were with him, agreed to doe theyr best to see that a reformation might bee had, according to the same.

The Earle of Westmerlande using more policie than the rest : well (sayde he) then our travaile is come to the wished ende: and where our people have beene long in armour, let them depart home to their wonted trades and occupations : in the meane time let us drinke togyther, in signe of agreement, that the people on both sydes may see it, and know that it is true, that we be light at a poynt. They had no sooner shaked handes togither, but that a knight was sent streightwayes from the Archbishop to bring worde to the people that there was peace concluded, commanding eche man to lay aside his armes, and to resort home to their houses. The people beholding such tokens of peace, as shaking of handes, and drinking togither of the Lordes in loving manner, they being alreadie wearied with the unaccustomed travell of warre ; brake up their fielde and returned homewardes; but in the meane time whilest the people of the Archbishoppes side withdrew away, the number of the contrarie part increased, according to order given by the earle of Westmerland, and yet the Archbishop perceyved not that he was deceyved, untill the Earl of Westmerland arrested both him and the earle Marshall with diverse other. *** The Archbishop and the Earle Marshall were brought to Pomfret to the king, who in this meane while was advanced thither with his power, and from thence he went to Yorke, whither the prisoners were also brought, and there beheaded the morrow after Whitsundaie in a place without the citie, that is to understand, the Archbishop himselfe, the Earle marshall, Sir John Lampleie, and Sir Robert Plumpton. Unto all which persons though indemnitie were promised, yet was the same to none of them at anie hand performed. By the issue hereof, I meane the death of the foresaid, but speciallie of the archbishop, the prophesie of a sickelie canon of Bridlington in Yorkeshire fell out to be true, who darklie inough foretold this matter, and the infortunate event thereof in these words hereafter following, saieng :

Pacem tractabunt, sed fraudem subter arabunt,
Pro nulla marca, salvabitur ille hierarcha.

(2.) SCENE III.-A good sherris-sack hath a two-fold operation in it. When we consider how familiar nearly everybody in this country must have been with the wine called Sack, from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, it seems remarkable that any doubt should exist as to what that liquor really was; yet, after all the labour and research expended by the commentators on the older dramatists, the question is still not positively determined. The reason of this uncertainty appears to be, that when Sack was the universal wine sold in London and other great cities, the simple name was enough to distinguish it; one kind only was expressed, because one kind only was intended. But as commercial enterprise and maritime discovery became extended, other wines were introduced, very different from the genuine Sack, but which were assumed to have the same characteristics and qualities, and which therefore received the generical name, though occasionally with a local distinction prefixed to it, until at length its original meaning became inde

“The Merry Wives of Windsor," where the “posset” is twice mentioned.

finite, if not altogether unknown. In the slight notices of Sack contained in his “ Illustrations of Shakespeare,” Mr. Douce observes that there are two principal questions on the subject : first, whether Sack was known in the time of Henry IV. ; second, whether it was a dry or a sweet wine, when this play was written? The first of these inquiries is altogether valueless, inasmuch as Shakespeare certainly never contemplated the historical age of Henry IV., but exhibited only the manners of his own time. The second question is relevant, and deserves attention.

It would weary the reader, however, and occupy far too much space, to insert a tithe of the passages collected from the old writers in illustration of the qualities of Sack. The most descriptive and important are before us, and the conclusions deducible from them appear to be, that Sack, properly so called, was a Spanish wine, and hence was named Sherris, or Xeres Sack; that it was a hot, stimulating, and especially dry wine, from which last quality its name of Sack (sec) was indubitably derived ; that the name was also expressive of a class of wines comprehending several very different species of Sack, some of which were usually medicated or prepared according to the taste of the drinker; and that the genuine old Sack in reality closely resembled, if it were not indeed the very same liquor as the modern sherry, the simple name of which was not older than the end of the seventeenth century :


- they do observe Unfather'd heirs, and louthly births of nature.] This passage has been strangely misunderstood. By loathly births of nature, are, of course, meant, monstrous mis-shapen productions of nature. Such prodigies, we know, from the many broadside descriptions of them which are registered in the books of the Stationers' Company, or are still extant, and from the good-humoured sarcasms of Shakespeare—“ A strange fish! Were I in England nou, (als once I was,) and had but this tish painted, not a holiday fool there but would give a piece of silver : there would this monster make a man; any strange beast there makes a man,"--possessed an extraordinary fascination for our credulous and sight-loving forefathers. But the un father'd heirs, whom Prince Humphrey is alarmed to see the people reverence, were certain so-called prophets, who pretended to have been conceived by miracle, like Merlin

"And, sooth, men say that he was not the sonne
Of mortall syre or other living wight,
But wondrously begotten, and begoune
By false illusion of a guilefull spright
On a faire lady Nonne, that whilome hight
Matilda, daughter to Pubidius
Who was the lord of Mathtraval by right,
And coosen unto king Ambrosius;
Whence he indued was with skill so merveilous,"

Faerie Queene, III. 3, St. 13. and assumed, on that account, to be endowed, like him, with the prophetic character. Walter Scott, it will be remembered, imputes a kindred origin to his wizari Hermit, Brian, in “ The Lady of the Lake"Of Brian's birth strange tales were told," &c.

Canto III. St. 5. And Montaigne refers to such supposed miraculous conceptions in his Essay entitled the A pology for Raymond Sebond, “In Mahomet's religion, by the easie beleefe of that people, are many Merlins found; That is to say, fatherles children ; Spiritual children, conceived and borne devinely in the wombs of virgins, and that in their language beare nanies, importing as much.”—“ Florio's Montaigne," folio 1603, p. 308.

If the meaning here attributed to the expression unfather'd heirs, be that intended by the poet, it may, per. haps, afford a key to another in " • The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act V. Sceno 5, which has been long discussed, but never yet explained,

You orphan heirs of fixed destiny."

" The next that stood up, with a countenance merry, Was a pert sort of wine that the moderns call Sherry.

Bacchanalian Sessions, 1693.

That Sack, in the general meaning of the name, was a Spanish vine, is established, without going beyond the older dictionaries. Florio, in defining the liquor called Tibidrago," says that it is “a kind of strong Spanish wine, or Sacke; we call it Rubiedavy.” A name, by the way, which does not appear to have been noticed by any authors who have written on wines. Cotgrave translates sack into “ Vin d'Espagne :".. Coles renders the word Vinum Hispanicum;" and Minsheu gives it the same signification in eleven languages, as if that were to be rogarded as the best explanation in all.

Of its hot and stimulating qualities, we need no further evidence than tho copious and eloquent eulogy of Falstaff in the present speech, and Herrick's “Welcome” and “ Farewell to Sack," published in 1618; and its dryness, by which is to be understood the contrary of a sweet wine, is sufficiently indicated both by its name, and by the practice of sweetening and preparing it for different purposes, or according to the taste of the imbiber. Sack and sugar, burnt Sack, and Sack-posset are well-known names of these preparations, and even the “ lime in the sack," which Sir John condemns as a vile adulteration, may be shown to belong to the same class of medicated liquors.

Dr. Venner, 1622, considered the sugar which was occasionally added to the Sack to be quite as much of a medicine as a luxury; but Fynes Moryson, in 1617, regarded it as simply indicative of the national liking for sweetness in general. “Clownes and vulgar men only,” he remarks, “use large drinking of beere, or ale; but gentlemen garrause only in wine; with which they mix sugar; which I never observed in any other place or kingdom to be used for that purpose. And, because the taste of the English is thus delighted with sweetness, the wines in taverns,-for I speak not of merchantes' or gentlemen's cellars-are mixed at the filling thereof, to make them pleasant."

The next artificial preparation of Sack, the “burning" it, seems to have been designed partly to warm the liquor, partly to enrich the flavour, and partly to abate the strength of the spirit; but it was probably a slight process, that simple preparation only, to which Falstaff refers, when he says, “Go, brew me a pottle of sack finely;" a brewage altogether different to the elaborate concoction called Sack-posset, the excellence of which, however,--the method of making it in Shakespeare's days, and the proper hour when it ought to be found in perfect projection—will be more fittingly set forth in the commentary on

(4) SCENE IV.War. 'Tis calld Jerusalem, my noble lord. K. Hen. Laud be to God !-even there my life must end.)

In looking at this representation of Henry's death, in connection with the beginning of his dramatic history, we are reminded of the words of the Duke of Ephesus, at the end of “ The Comedy of Errors,” Why, here begins his morning story right. The king discovers in the present scene, that one reason at least for his pressing forward an expedition to the Holy Land, was the fulfilment of a prediction that he should die Jerusalem. Such a prophecy, as to the death of an important personage, appears to have been not unusual in the middle ages ; and a remarkable illustration of it is on record, concerning Pope Sylvester II. Cardinal Benno states, that when he inquired of spiritual agency as to the length of his life, he was assured that he shoulă not die until he had said mass at Jerusalem ; on which he promised himself a very long existence. In the fifth year of his pontificate, however, A.D. 1003, he happened to celebrate mass in the church called “The Holy Cross in Jerusalem ;” and there he was suddenly taken ill, and soon after died. Holinshed seems to doubt the prediction respecting Henry IV. “Whether this was true, that so he spake as one that gave too much credit to foolish prophesies and vaine tales, or whether it was fained, as in such cases it commonlie happeneth, we leave to the admired reader to judge.” There does not appear, however, to be any sufficient reason to doubt either that such a prediction was uttered, or that Henry declared it. His purpose of levying “a power of English" to recover the city of Jerusalem from the infidels, was universally known, and the prophecy, that he would die there, seemed to be a very natural conclusion, and a politic flattering of his design as well. Henry had brought forward this measure at a very early period of his reign, and it continued to be “the ruling passion strong in death.” Shortly before he was attacked by apoplexy at Eltham, about Christmas, 1413, he held a council at Whitefriars, which ordered the fitting out of ships and galleys, and other preparations to be made for the voyage. And even after his partial recovery, when “hee was taken with his last sicknesse, he was making his prayers at Sainte Edwardes shrine, there as it were to take his leave, and so to proceede forthe on hys journey; and was then so suddaynely and greevouslio taken that suche as were about him, feared least he would have dyed presently, wherefore to relieve him if it were possible, they bare him into a chamber that was nexte at hand, belonging to the Abbot of Westminster, where they layd him on a pallet before the fier, and used all remedyes to revive him : at length, hee recovered hys speeche, and understanding and perceiving himselfe in a strange place which he knew not, hee willed to know if the chamber had any particular name, whereunto aunswere was made, that it was called 'Jerusalem.' Then saide the king, laudes be gyven to the father of heaven, for now I knowe that I shall dye heere in thys chamber, according to the prophecie of me declared, that I shoulde depart this life in Jerusalem." * * *

It is quite possible that his early and active military employment in foreign countries might have given the first impetus to his design of an expedition to Palestine ; but it is still more probable that he contemplated it as a meritorious atonement for the means by which he had obtained the crown.

The effigy of Henry IV. upon his tomb at Canterbury, is considered to be the most splendid of our regal series. No doubt was entertained that the King was really buried there, until the discovery by Wharton of a MS. in Corpus


(1) SCENE I.--By cock and pye.This popular adjuration was once supposed to refer to the sacred name, and to the table of services in the Romish Church, called The Pie : but it is now thought to be what Hotspur termed a mere “protest of pepper-gingerbread,” as innocent as Slender's, “By these gloves,” or “ By this hat." In “Soliman and Perseda,” 1599, it occurs coupled with mouse-foot ;

By cock and pie and mouse-foot ;” and again, in “The Plaine Man's Pathway to Heaven," by Arthur Dent, 1607, where we have the following dialogue : Asunctus—“I know a man that will never swear but by cock or Py, or mousefoot. I hope you will not say these be oaths. For he is as honest a man as ever brake bread. You shall not hear an oath come out of his mouth.” Theologus—“I do not think he is so honest a man as you make him. For it is no small sin to swear by creatures." The Cock and Pye, i. e., and Magpie, was an ordinary ale-house sign, and may thus have become a subject for the vulgar to swear by: Douce, however, ascribes to it a less ignoble origin, and his interpretation is much too ingenious to be passed in silence :-“ It will, no doubt, be recollected, that in the days of ancient chivalry it was the practice to make

Christi College, Cambridge, written by Clement Maydestone, a contemporary and an ecclesiastic, entitled—"A History of the Martyrdom of Archbishop Scroop," in which the following passage occurs :

“Within thirty days after the death of the said king Henry the Fourth, certain man of his household came to the house of the Holy Trinity at Houndeslow to eat, and the standers-by discoursing of that king's probity of life, the aforesaid person made answer to an esquire, whose name was Thomas Maydestone, then sitting at the same table, God knows whether he was a good man; but this I certainly know, that when his body was carried from Westminster towards Canterbury, in a small vessel to be buried, I was one of the three persons that threw his body into the sea between Berkyng and Gravesend. And he added, confirming it with an oath,-So great a storm of wind and waves came upon us, that many noblemen that followed us in eight small vessels, were dispersed, and narrowly escaped the danger of death. But we that were with the body des. pairing our lives, common consent threw it into the sea, and a great calm ensued; but the chest it was in, covered with cloth of gold, we carried in very honourable manner to Canterbury, and buried it. The monks of Canterbury may therefore say, The tomb of King Henry the Fourth is with us, but not his body, as Peter said of holy David, Acts ii. Almighty God is witness and judge that I, Clement Maydestone, saw that man, and heard him swear to my father, Thomas Maydestone, that all abovesaid was true."

It had long been the wish of historians and antiquaries to test the value of this story, and at length on the 21st of August, 1832, the tomb was opened by the cathedral authorities, when the body was found cased in lead, within a rude elm coffin, so much larger than necessary, that the intervening spaces were filled with hay-bands. On removing the wrapper,“ to the astonishment of all present, the face of the deceased king was seen in remarkable preservation. The nose elevated, the cartilage even remaining, though, on the admission of the air, it sunk rapidly away, and had entirely disappeared before the examination was finished. The skin of the chin was entire, of the consistence and thickness of the upper leather of a shoe, brown and moist; the beard thick and matted and of a deep russet color."

solemn vows or engagements for the performance of some considerable enterprise. This ceremony was usually performed during some grand feast or entertainment, at which a roasted peacock or pheasant being served up by ladies in a dish of gold or silver, was thus presented to each knight, who then made the particular vow which he had chosen, with great solemnity. When this custom had fallen into disuse, the peacock nevertheless continued to be a favourite dish, and was introduced on the table in a pie, the head, with gilded beak, being proudly elevated above tho crust, and the splendid tail expanded. Other birds of smaller value were introduced in the same manner, and the recollection of the old peacock vows might occasion the less serious, or even burlesque, imitation of swearing not only by the bird itself but also by the pie ; and hence probably the oath by cock and pie, for the use of which no very old authority can be found. The vow to the peacock had even got into the mouths of such as had no pretensions to knighthood. Thus in The merchant's second tale, or the history of Beryn, the host is made to say, I make a rorce lo the pecock there shal wake a foul mist."

« ПредишнаНапред »