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The reader will remark the fondness of our Satirist for alliteration : in this he was guilty of no affectation or singularity; his versification is that of Pierce Plowman's Vifions, in which a recurrence of fimilar letters is cffential : to this be has only superadded rhyme, which in his time began to be the general practice. See farther remarks on this kind of metre in the preface to Book 111. BALLAD I.
N december, when the dayes draw to be short,
After november, when the nights wax noysome and long; As I past by a place privily at a port, I saw one fit by himself making a song : His last * talk of trifles, who told with his tongue That few were fast i’th' faith. I“freyned t'that freake, Whether he wanted wit, or some had done him wrong. He said, he was little John Nobody, that durit not speake.
John Nobody, quoth I, what news? thou foon note and tell
He said, he was little Jolin Nobody, that durft not speake,
Its meet for every man on this matter to talk,
Yet Perhaps He left talk, + feyned. MSS. and P, C,
Yet to their fancy soon a cause wil find;
But that I little John Nobody durft not speake.
For our reverend father hath set forth an order,
But that I little John Nobody dare not speake.
For bribery was never so great, fince born was our Lord, Andwhoredom was never les hated, fith Christ harrowedhel, And poor men are so fore punished commonly through
the world, That it would grieye any one, that good is, to hear tel : For al the homilies and good books, yet their hearts be
fo quel, That if a man do amisse, with mischiefe they wil him
wreake; The fashion of these new fellows it is so vile and fell:
But that I little John Nobody dare not speake.
Thus to live after their luft, that life would they have,
To bring them in advoutry, or else they wil strife,
breake : But of these frantic il fellowes, few of them do thrife;
Though I little John Nobody dare not speake.
If thou company with them, they wil currilhly carp, and
not care According to their foolish fantacy; but fast wil they
naught : Prayer with them is but prating; therefore they it forhear: Bath almes deeds, and holiness, they hate it in their
thought : Therefore pray we to that prince, that with his bloud us
bought, That he wil mend that is amiss : for many a manful freyke Is sorry for these fects, though they say little or nought
And that I little John Nobody dare not once speake.
Thus in no place, this NOBODY, in no time I met,
NOUGHT was, nor NOTHING did
IV. then. MSS. and P.C. + Hercules, MSS. and 2.6
Q. ELIZABETH's VERSES, WHILE PRISONER
WRIT WITH CHARCOAL ON A SHUTTER,
-are preserved by Hentzner, in that part of his Travels, which has lately been reprinted in jo elegant a manner at STRAWBERRY-HILL. In Hentzer's book they were wretchedly corrupted, but are here given as emended by his ingerigus Editor. The old orthography, and one or two ancient readings of Hentzner's copy are here restored.
H, Fortune! how thy restlesfe wavering state
Hath fraught with cares my troubled witt!
Could beare me, and the joys I quitt.
Causing the guiltles to be fraite reserved,
And freeing those that death had well deserved.
* Ver. 4. Could beare, is an ancient idiom, equivalent to Did bear or Hath borne. See below the Brgsar of Bedra! Green, Ver. 57: Could say.
Mof of the circumstances in this popular story of king Henry II and the beautiful Rosamond have been taken for fact by our English Historiens; who unable to account for the unnatural conduct of queen Eleanor in stimulating her sons to rebellion, have attributed it to jealousy, and supposed that Henry's' ax:our with Rofamond was the object of that pasion.
Our old English annalists seem, most of them, to have followed Higden the monk of Chester, whoje account with some enlargements is thus given by Stow. Rofamond the fayre
daughter of Walter, lord Clifford, concubine to Henry II. “ (poisoned by queen Elianor, as some thought) dyed at
Woodstocke [Ă. D. 1177.] where king Henry had made “ for her a house of wonderfull working ; so that no man " or woman might come to her, but he that was instructed
by the king, or such as were right secret with him touch
ing the matter. This kouse after some was named Labya “ rinthus, or Dedalus worke, which was wrought like unto
a knot in a garden, called a Maze but it was commonly " said, that lastly the qucene came to her by a clue of thridde,
or silke, and so dealt with her, that be lived not long afas ter : but when frec was dead fe was buried at God low in
an house of nunres, beside Oxford, with these verses upon 66 ber tombe,
“ Hic jacet in tumba, Rosa mundi, non Rofa munda: “ Non redolet, sed olet, quæ redolere folet.
* Consisting of vaults under ground, arched and walled with brick and slone, according to Drayton. See note on his Eviji. of Roam.