Изображения страниц

the rapier ; * a little, almost impercep- | hedgerows, crowded with cattle, and tible fact, yet vast, for it is like the abounding in ships-a manufacturing change whích, sixty years ago, made opulent land, with a people of beefus give up the sword at court, to leave eating toilers, who enrich it while they ins with our arms swinging about in enrich themselves. They improved our black coats. In fact it was the close agriculture to such an extent, that in of feudal life, and the beginning of half a century the produce of an acre court-life, just as to-day court-life is at was doubled.* They grew so rich, an end, and the democratic reign has that at the beginning of the reign of begyn. With the two-handed swords, Charles I. the Commons represented heavy coats of mail, feudal keeps, three times the wealth of the Upper private wariare, permanent disorder, House. The ruin of Antwerp by the all the scourges of the middle age Duke of Parma t sent to Engiand retired, and faded into the past. The " the third part of the merchants and English had done with the Wars of manufacturers, who n.ade silk, damask, the Roses. They no longer ran the stockings, taffetas, and serges.” The risk of being pillaged to-morrow for defeat of the Armada and the decadence being rich, and hung the next day for of Spain opened the seas to English being traitors; they have no further merchants.I The toiling hive, who need to furbish up their armor, make would dare, attempt, explore, act in alliances with powerful nations, lay unison, and always with profit, was in stores for the winter, gather to- about to reap its advantages and set gether men-at-arms, scour the country out on its voyages, buzzing over the to plunder and hang others.t The universe. monarchy, in England as throughout At the base and on the summit of Europe, establishes peace in the com- society, in all ranks of life, in all grades munity,I and with peace appear the of human condition, this new welfare useful arts. Domestic comfort follows became visible. In 1534, considering civil security; and man, better fur- that the streets of London were ver; nished in his home, etter protected in noyous and foul, and in many places his hamlet, takes pleasure in his life thereof very, jeopardous to all people on earth, which he has changed, and passing and repassing, as well means to change.

horseback as on foot,” Henry VIII. Toward the close of the fifteenth began the paving of the city. New century & the impetus was given; com- streets covered the open spaces where merce and the woo ? trade made a s the young men used to run races and sudden advance, and such an to wrestle. Every year the number of mous one, that cornfie is were changed taverns, theatres, gambling rooms, bearinto pasture-lands, “whereby the in- gardens, increased. Before the time of habitants of the said town (Manchester) Elizabeth the country-houses of genhave gotten and turned into riches temen were little more than strawand wealthy livings,” || so that in 1553, thatched cottages, plastered with the 40,000 pieces of cloth were exported coarsest clay, lighted only by trellises. in English ships. It was already “ Howbeit," says Harrison (1580), the England which we see to-day, a “ such as be latelie builded are com: ian. of green meadows, intersected by monlie either of bricke or hard store

or both; their roomes large and como * The first carriage was in 1564... It caused lie, and houses of office further distant cuch astonishment. Some said that it was great sea-shell brought from Chiua ;” others, from their lodgings.” The old wocden

that it was a temple in which cannibals wora shipped the devil.'

* Between 1377 and 1588 the increase was f For a picture of this state of things, see from two and a half to five millions. Fenn's Paston Letters.

# In 1585; Ludovic Guicciardini. Louis XI. in France, Ferdinand and Isa- | Henry VIII. at the beginning c. his reign bella in Spain, Henry VII. in England. In had but one ship of war. Elizabeth sept out Italy the feudal regime ended earlier, by the one hundred and fifty against the Armada. In establishment of republics and principalities. 1553 was founded a company to trade with $ 1488, Act of Parliament on Enclosures. Russia. In 1578 Drake circumnavigated the

A Compendious Examination, 1581, by globe. In 1600 the East India Company was William Strafford. Act of Parliament, 1541.





houses were covered with plaster, royalty of each great feudal baron, the “which, beside the delectable white- lords quitted their sombre castles, bat nesse of the stuffe itselfe, is laied on so tlemented fortresses, surrounded by even and smoothlie, as nothing in my stagnant water, pierced with narron judgment can be done with more ex- windows, a sort of stone breastplates actnesse. This open admiration of no use but to preserve the life of shows from what hovels they had es- their master. They fock into new caped. Glass was at last employed for palaces, with vaulted roofs and turrets, windows, and the bare walls were cov- covered with fantastic and manifoid ered with hangings, on which visitors ornaments, adorned with terraces and might sce, with delight and astonish vast staircases, with gardens, fountains, ment, plants, animals, figures. They statues, such as were the palaces of began to use stoves, and experienced Henry VIII. and Elizabeth, half Gothic the unwonted pleasure of being warm. and half Italian,* whose convenience, Harrison nutes three important changes splendor, and symmetry announced al which had taken place in the farm- ready habits of society and the taste for houses of his time :

pleasure. They came to court and

abandoned their old manners; the “ One is, the multitude of chimnies lately four meals which scarcely sufficed their erected, whereas in their yoong daies there were not above two or three, if so manie, in most up

former voracity were reduced to two; landishe townes of the realme. ... The second gentlemen soon became refined, placis the great (although not generall), amendment ing their glory in the elegance and sin. of lodging, for our fathers (yea and we ourselves gularity of their amusements, and their also) have lien full oft upon straw palletş, on rough mats covered onelie with a sheet, under clothes. They dressed magnificently coverlets made of dagswain, or hop-harlots, and in splendid materials, with the luxury a good round log under their heads, insteed of of men who rustle silk and make gold a booster or pillow. If it were so that the good sparkle for the first time : doublets of man of the house, had within seven yeares his n arriage purchased a matteres or flockebed, scarlet satin ; cloaks of sable, costing and thereto a sacke of chaffe to rest his head a thousand ducats; velvet shoes, em apon, he thought himselfe to be as well lodged broidered with gold and silver, covered as the lord of the towne. . :: Pillowes (said with rosettes and ribbons; boots with they) were thought meet onelie for women in childled. ...

The third thing is the exchange falling tops, from whence hung a cloud of vessell, as of treene platters into pewter, and of lace, embroidered with figures a wodden spoones into silver or tin; for so com- birds, animals, constellations, Aowers mon was all sorts of treene stuff in old time in silver, gold, or precious stones ; orna that a man should hardlie find four

peeces pewter (of which one was, peradventure a salt) mented shirts costing ten pounds a in a good farmers house."

piece. “ It is a common thing to put a

thousand goats and a hundred oxen on It is not possession, but acquisition, which gives men pleasure and sense of a coat, and to carry a whole manor on power, they observe sooner a small one's back.”+ The costumes of the

time were like shrines. When Eliza. happiness, new to them, than a great beth died, they found three thousand mappiness which is old. It is not when dresses in her wardrobe. Need we all is good, but when all is better, that they see the bright side of life, and are speak of the monstrous ruffs of the tempted to make a holiday of it. This ladies, their puffed out dresses, their

stomachers stiff with diamonds ? As a is why at this period they did make a holiday of it, a splendid show, so like singular sign of the times, the men wero 4 picture that it fostered painting in more changeable and more bedecked

than they. Harrison says: Italy, so like a piece of_acting, that it produced the drama in England, Now “Such is our mutabilitie, that to dare there that the axe and sword of the civil wars

is none to the Spanish guise, to morrow the had beaten down the independent no

French toies are most fine and delectable you pility, and the abolition of the law of maintenare had destroyed the petty James 1., in the hands of Inigo Jones, it be

* This was called the Tudor style. Under

came entirely Italian, approaching the antiqne. • Nathan Drake, Shaksport and his Times, + Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy, 12th och 1817, i. V..72 & passime.

1821. Stubbes, Anatomie Qr Abuses, ad. To t'l bich is v. Toa

bull 1836.



!cng no such apparell as that which is after the lords. * At Kenilworth, the pageants Sigh Alman fashion, by and by the Turkish lasted ten days. There was every ruancr is generallie best liked of, otherwise the Morisco

thing ; learned recreations, novelties, gowns, the Barbarian sleeves . and the short French breeches. . . . And as popular plays, sanguinary spectacles, These fashions are diverse, so likewise it is a coarse farces, juggling and feats of rorld to see the costlinesse and the curiositie ; skill, allegóries, mythologies, chivalric the excesse and the vanitie; the


and the braverie, the change and the varietie ; and exhibitions, rustic and national comSnallic, the ficklenesse and the follie that is in memoraticns. At the same time, in all degrees." *

this universal outburst and sudden ex.

panse, men become interested in them. Folly, it may have been, but poetry selves, find their life desirable, worthy likewise. There was something more of being represented and put on the than puppyism in this masquerade of splendid costine. The overflow of stage complete ; they play with it, de inner sentimeat found this issue, as and downs, and make of it a work of

light in looking upon it, love its ups also in drama and poetry. It was an artistic spirit which induced it. There then by giants of the time of Arthur,

The queen is received by a sibyl, was an incredible outgrowth of living then by the Lady of the Lake, Sylforms from their brains. They acted like their engravers, who give us in vanus, Pomona, Ceres, and Bacchus, their frontispieces a prodigality of fruits, the first fruits of his empire. Next

every divinity in turn presents her with flowers, active figures, animals

, gods, day, a savage, dressed in moss and and pour out and confuse the whole treasure of nature in every corner of her praise. Thirteen bears are set

ivy, discourses before her with Echo in their paper. They must enjoy the

An Italiar beautiful; they would be happy through acrobat performs wonderful feats be

fighting against dogs. their eyes; they perceive in

fore the whole assembly. A rustic quence naturally the relief and energy marriage takes place before the queen, of forms. From the accession of Henry then a sort of comic fight amongst VIII. to the death of James I. we find the peasants of Coventry, who reprenothing but tournaments, processions, sent the defeat of the Danes. As she public entries, masquerades. First

is returning from the chase, Triton, come the royal banquets, coronation

rising from the lake, prays her, in the displays, large and noisy pleasures of Henry VIII. Wolsey entertains him name of Neptune, to deliver the en.

chanted lady, pursued by a cruel

knight, Syr Bruse sauns Pitee. Pres Il so gorgeous a sort and costlie maner, that it was an heaven to behold. There wanted ently the lady appears, surrounded by no dames or damosels meet or apt to danse with nymphs, followed close by Proteus, the maskers, or to garnish the place for the who is borne by an enormous dolphin, time: then was there all kind of musike and Concealed in the dolphin, a band of harmonie, with fine voices both of men and children. On a time the king came suddenlie musicians with a chorus of ocean-deithither in a maske with a dozen maskers all in ties, sing the praise of the powerful, garments like sheepheards, made of file cloth beautiful, chaste queen of England. 1 of gold, and crimosin sattin paned, ... having You perceive that gomedy is not con sixteene torch-bearers. banket before the king wherein were served two fined to the theatre'; the great of the hundred diverse dishes, of costlie devises and realm and the queen herself become with barketing, dansing, and other triumphs,

the actors. The craving shoe the imagination to the great comfort of the king, and pleasant are so keen, that the court becomes regard ch the nobilitie there assembled." + a stage. Under James I., every year,

on Twelfth-day, the queen, the chief Count, if you can, the mythological ladies and nobles, played a piece called entertainments, the theatrical recep- a Masque, a sort of allegory combined tions, the open-air operas played be with dances, heightened in effect by fore Elizabeth, James, and thei· great decorations and costumes of great

* Holinshed, ii., Reign of Henry VIII * Nathan Drake, Shakespeare and his Times, Elizabeth and James Progresses, by Nichols 1.6 87:

| Laneham's Entertainment at Killing

worth | Holinabad (1986), 1808, 6 vols. iü. 763 et Castle, 1575.

Droguesses, vol. . Harian

... In came a new


London 1788


splendor, of which the mythological | craving which the inanners of the time paintings of Rubens can alone give an betrayed. It was merry England," idea :

as they called it then. It was not yer “The attire of the lords was from the an

stern and constrained. It expandea tque Greek statues. On their heads they wore widely, freely, and rejoiced to find itPersic crowns, that were with scrolls of gold self so expanded. No longer at court plate turned outward, and wreathed about with only was the drama found, but in the a carnation and silver net-lawn. Their bodies were of carnation cloth of silver ; to express

village. Strolling companies betook the naked, in manner of the Greek thorax, girt themselves thither, and the country under the breasts with a broad belt of cloth of folk supplied any deficiencies when gold, fastened with jewels; the mantles were of coloured silke; the first, sky-colour; the

necessary. Shakspeare saw, Jefore second, pearl-colour; the third, name colour; he depicted them, stupid fellows, car. the fourth, tawny. The ladies attire was of penters, joiners, bellows-menders, play white cloth of silver, wrought with Juno's birds Pyramus and Thisbe, represent the and fruits; a loose under garment, full gath, lion roar.ng as gently as any sucking ered, of carnatioti, striped with silver, and parted with a golden zone; beneath that

, an- dove, and the wall

, by stretching out other flowing garment, of watchet cloth of their hands. Every huliday vas a silver, laced with gold; their hair carelessly pageant, in which townspeople, work. bound under the circle of a rare and rich coronet, adorned with all variety, and choice of men, and children bore their parts. jewels; from the top of which flowed a trans-/ They were actors by nature. When parent veil, down to the ground. Their shoes the soul is full and fresh, it does not were azure and gold, set with rubies and dia- express its ideas by reasonings; it inonds." +

plays and figures them ; it mimics I abridge the description, which is like them; that is the true and original lana fairy tale. Fancy that all these cos-guage, the children's tongue, the speech tumes, this glitter of materials, this of artists, of invention, and of joy. It sparkling of diamonds, this splendor is in this manner they please them of nudities, was displayed daily at the selves with songs and feasting, on all marriage of the great, to the bold the symbolic holidays with which trasounds of pagan epithalamium. dition has filled the year.* On the Think of the feasts which the Earl of Sunday after Twelfth-night the labor. Carlisle introduced, where was served ers parade the streets, with their dirst of all a table loaded with sumptu- shirts over their coats, decked with ous viands, as high as a man could ribbons, dragging a plough to the reach, in order to remove it presently, sound of music, and dancing a sword. and replace it by another similar table. dance ; on another day they draw in a This prodigality of magnificence, these cart a figure made of ears of corn, with costly follies, this unbridling of the songs, Autes, and drums; on another, imagination, this intoxication of eye Father Christmas and his company; and ear, this comedy played by the or else they enact the history of Robin lords of the realm, showed, like the Hood, the bold archer, around the pictures of Rubens, Jordaens, and May-pole, or the legend of Sain! their Flemish contemporaries, so open George and the Dragon. We migh: an appeal to the senses, so complete a occupy half a volume in describing all return to nature, that our chilled and these holidays, such as Harvest Home, gloomy age is scarcely able to imagine All Saints, Martinmas, Sheepshearing, itt

above all Christmas, which lasted III.

twelve days, and sometimes six weeks

They eat and drink, junket, tumble To vent the feelings, to satisfy the about, kiss the girls, ring the bells, heart and eyes, to set free boldly on satiate themselves with noise : coarse all the roads of existence the pack of drunken revels, in which man is an un appetites and instincts, this was the bridled animal, and which are the

* Ben Jonson's works, ed. Gifford, 1816, 9 incarnation of natural life. The Puri vols. Mastue of Hymen, vol. vii. 76.

tans made no mistake about that † Certaiu private letters also describe the Stubbes says: court of Elizabeth as a place where there was wttle piety or practice of religion, and where all Nathan Drake, Shakspeare and his Timor anormities reigned in the highest degree. chap. v. and ri.


[ocr errors]

First, all the wilde heades of the parishe, “On Shrove Tuesday," says another, * conventying together, chuse them a ground |“ at the sound of a bell, the folk becapitaine of mischeef, whan they innoble with the title of my Lorde of Misserule, and hym come insane, thousands at a time, and they crown with great solemnitie, and adopt for forget all decency and common sense. their kyng. This kyng anoynted, chuseth for It is to Satan and the devil thar the twentie, fourtie, three score, or a hundred lastie guttes like to hymself to waite uppon his they pay homage and do sacrifice to in loriely maiestie. Then have they their these abominable pleasures." It is ir bobbié horses, dragons, and other antiques, to fact to nature, to the ancient Pan, to gether with their baudie pipers and thunderyng Freya, to Hertha, her sisters, to the Arommers, to strike up the devilles daunce i old Teutonic deities who survived the withall: then marche these heathen companie lowardes the churche and churche-yarde, their middle age. At this period, in the pipers pipyng, their drommers thonderyng, temporary decay of Christianity, and their stumppes dauncyng, their belles rynglyng, the sudden advance of corporal well. heir handkerchefes swyngyng. about their heades like madmen, their hobbie horses and being, man adored himself, and there other monsters skirmishyng amongest the endured no life within him but that of throng; and in this sorte they goe to the churche paganism. (though the minister bee at praier or preachyng), dauncyng, and swingyng their handkercheefes

IV. over their heades, in the churche, like devilles ircarnate, with such a confused noise, that no

To sum up, observe the process of man can heare his owne voice. Then the fool- | ideas at this time. A few sectarians, ishe people they looke, they stare, they laugh, chiefly in the towns and of the people, they fleere, and mount upon formes and pewes; clung gloomily to the Bible. But the to see these goodly pageauntes, solemnized in this sort.

Then after this, aboute the churche court and the men of the world sought they goe againe and againe, and so forthe into their teachers and their heroes from the churche-yarde, where they have commonly pagan Greece and Rome. About their summer haules, their bowers, arbours, and banquettyug houses set up, wherein they 1490 † they began to read the classics ; feaste, banquet, and daunce all that daie, and one after the other they translated peradventure all that night too. And thus them ; it was soon the fashion to read these terrestriall furies spend the Sabbaoth them in the original. Queen Elizadaie! An other sorte of fantasticall fooles bringe to these helhoundes (the Lorde of Mis- beth, Jane Grey, the Duchess of Norrule and his complices) some bread, some good folk, the Countess of Arundel, and ale, some newe cheese, some olde cheese, some many other ladies, were conversant custardes, some cakes, some flaunes, some with Plato, Xenophon, and Cicero in tartes, some creame, some meate, some one thing, some an other."

the original, and appreciated them.

Gradually, by an insensible change, He continues thus :

men were raised to the level of the 11 Against Maie, every parishe, towne and great and healthy minds who had free. village assemble themselves together, bothely handled ideas of all kinds fifteen men, women, and children, olde and yong, even centuries before. They comprehendall indifferently, they goe to the woodes where ed not only their language, but their they spende all the night in pleasant pastymes, and in the mornyng they returne, bringing with thought; they did not repeat lessons them birch, bowes, and branches of trees, to from, but held conversations with them; deck their assemblies withall. But the cheef- they were their equals, and found in est jewell they bringe from thence is their Maie them intellects as manly as their own. pools, whiche they bring home with great veneration, as thus: They have twenty or fourtie For they were not scholastic cavillers yok: of oxen, every

ox havyn; a sweete nose- miserable compilers, repulsive pedants, saic of flowers tyed on the típpe of his hornes, like the professors of jargon whom the ind these oxen, drawe home this Maie poole middle age had set over them, like (this stinckyng idoll rather). and thus bejpg reared up, they strawe the grounde aboute, , gloomy Duns Scotus, whose leaves haules, bowers, and arbours hard by it; and the winds. They were gentlemen, pinde greene boughes about it, sett up sommer Henry VIII.s’ Visitors scattered to then fall they to banquet and feast, to leape and daunce aboute it, as the heathen people did

* Hentzner's Travels in England (Bentley's at the dedication of their idolles. . . . Of a translation). He thought that the figure car hundred maides goyng to the woode over night, ried about in the Harvest Home represented there have scarcely the third parte returned Ceres. come againe undefiled.”

† Warton, vol. ii. sect. 35. Before 1600 a? the great poets were translated into English,

and between 1550 and 1616 all the great histo Stubbes. A natomie of Abuses, p. 168 et rians of Greece and Romi vly in 1500 fins Massim.

taught Greek in public.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »