Изображения страниц
PDF

Wherefore, sen? thou has sic capacity .

To learn to play so pleasantly, and sing, Ride horse, runspears, with great audacity,

Shoot with hand-bow, éross-bow, and culveting, AMONG THE REST, ŠÍR: LEARN TO BE A KING!

The poemi usually called the Monarchy, which comprehends more than half the volume, is a sort of abstract of universal history, in question and answer, the interlocutors being Experience and a Courtier. This fanciful mode of narration was convenient for the author's purpose, which was not so much to give an exact chronicle of fạcts, as: to justify, by examples from sacred and profane history, the moral, political and religious tenets, which he meant to inculcate. The work is professedly of the most popular kind

" to colliers, carters, and to cooks, “ To Jack and Tom, my rhyme shall be directed.” For this reason he often varies his metre and his style, being sometimes grave and sententious, sometimes satirical and humorous, but never losing sight of his principal object, which is the overthrow of popery. The most impressive passage in the whole work is that chapter in the fourth book which describes the day of judgment, from whence I have extracted the following lines : , - fi.;

* “ The complaynte &c. of a Popinjay," Lond. 1530, 4tb. seads “ secing,"

• Ed. 1530, "ryve."

Then, with one roar, the earth shall rive,
And swallow them both man and wife.
Then shall those créatures forlorn
Warie' the hour that they were born,
With many yamer, yewt, 3 and yell,
From time they feel the flamis fell
Upon their tender bodies bite;
Whose torment shall be infinite.
The earth shall close, and from their sight
Shall taken be all kind of light.
There shall be gowling, 4 and greiting, s
Butó hope of any comforting.
In that inestimable pain
Eternally they shall remain,
Burnand in furious flamys red;
Ever deand, 7 but never be dead.
That the small minute of one hour
Tu them shall be sa great doloùr,
They shall think they have done remain 8
Ane thousand year into that pain.'

[Fourth Book of the Mon. ad fin.)

The defence of the vulgar tongue in the first book, -the description of the confusion of tongues, the ridicule of idolatry, and the remarks on the effects of pilgrimages, in the second,—and the satire on the * Curse. Shriek- Vox a sono conficta. Rudd. Gl. 3 Scream; like the former.

4 Howling. • Weeping. Without: Dying. Remainedo

[ocr errors]

nuns and friars, in the third,—have a different kind of merit. The following comparison, in the fourth, is such a singular attempt to explain, by human reason, one of the darkest mysteries of our religion, that I cannot forbear submitting it to the reader.

Take ane crowat,' ane pint-stoup, and ane quart,

Ane gallon-pitcher, ane puncheon, and ane tun; Of wine, or balm, give every one their part ;

And fill them full till that they be o'er-run:

The little crowat in comparison 2 Shall be sa full that it may hold no more: . (Of sic measures though there be twenty score

Into the tun, or in the puncheon :)

So all those vessels, in ane quality,
May hold na mair, without they be o'er-run,

Yet have they not alike in quantity.

Sa by this rude example thou may see Though every one be not alike in glore, Are satisfied, sa that they desire no more.

[Ibid.) • Sir David Lindsay's Play (reprinted in the second volume of Mr. Pinkerton's Scotish Poems,

· Cruet, a small vessel. The edit. 1566, reads flacket, i. e. Rasket, a small flask.

• i. 6. the cruet, though little in comparison. .

1792) is a curious specimen of the ancient mo-' ralities, and forms a most entertaining commentary on the manners of the times in which it was written. The scenes of “the poor man and the “ pardoner” (beginning at page 61), and of “ the “ parliament of correction” (p. 141), are, perhaps, the most striking. · But the most pleasing of all this author's works is certainly the History of Squire Meldrum.* The romantic and singular, but authentic, character of the hero, is painted with great strength and simplicity; and the versification possesses a degree of facility and elegance at least equal to the most polished compositions of Drayton. Of this the reader will judge from the following specimen, which is taken from the beginning of the second book (Scot. P. Vol. I. p. 179, &c.).

And as it did approach the night,
Of a castell he gat ane sight,
Beside ane mountain, in ane vale :

* Printed at Edinburgh, 1592, by H. Charteris in an edition of Lindsay's works, afterwards by ditto separately, 1594, from which it was republished by Mr. Pinkerton in his “Scotish Poems” (Vol. I. p 143). The title runs thus: “ The Historie of ane nobil and wailyeand Squyer, Wil“ liame Meldrum, umquhyle Laird of Cleische and Bynnis." Also “ The Testament of the said Williame Meldrum, " Squyer."

And then, after his great travail,
He purposit him to repois, a
Where ilk man did of him rejoice.

Of this triumphant pleasant place,
Ane lusty lady 3 was mistress ;
Whose lord was dead some time before,
Wherethrough her dolour was the more.
But yet she took some comforting
To hear the pleasant dulce talking
Of this young squyer; of his chance,
And how it fortun’d him in France.

This squyer and the lady gent, . .
Did wash, and then to supper.went.
During that night, there was nought ellis
But for to hear of his novellis.4
Æneas, when he fled from Troy,
Did not queen Dido greater joy,
When he in Carthage did arrive,
And did the siege of Troy descryve.
The wonders that he did rehearse
Were langsums for to put in verse;
Of which this lady did rejoice:

They drank, and syne went to repois. • Work, Fr. or perhaps travel, i. c.journey. • The original spelling is, here, necessary for the rhymcow » Lady Gleneagles (Vide Lindsay's Hist. of Scot. p. 200). 4 Adventures. Fr. 6 Tedious. Sax. 6 Since, afterwards.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »