Sidor som bilder

"I will renounce my sinfull life,
And in some cloyster bide;
Or else be banisht, if you please,

To range the world soe wide.

"And for the fault which I have done,


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Queen Eleanor's Confession.

"Eleanor, the daughter and heiress of William Duke of Guienne, and Count of Poictou, had been married sixteen years to Louis VII., King of France, and had attended him in a croisade, which that monarch commanded against the infidels; but having lost the affections of her husband, and even fallen under some suspicions of gallantry with a handsome Saracen, Louis, more delicate than politic, procured a divorce from her, and restored her those rich provinces which, by her marriage, she had annexed to the crown of France. The young Count of Anjou, afterwards Henry II., King of England, though at that time but in his nineteenth year, neither discouraged by the disparity of age, nor by the reports of Eleanor's gallantry. made such successful courtship to that princess, that he married her six weeks after her divorce, and got possession of all her dominions as a dowry. A marriage thus founded upon interest was not likely to be very happy: it happened accordingly. Eleanor, who had disgusted her first husband by her gallantries, was no less offensive to her second by her jealousy: thus carrying to extremity, in the different parts of She had several her life, every circumstance of female weakness. sons by Henry, whom she spirited up to rebel against him; and endeavouring to escape to them disguised in man's apparel in 1173, she was discovered and thrown into a confinement, which seems to have continued till the death of her husband in 1189. She however survived him many years; dying in 1204, in the sixth year of the reign of her youngest son, John."-See Hume's History, 4to, vol. i. pp. 260, 307. Speed, Stow, &c.

It is needless to observe, that the following ballad (given, with some corrections, from an old printed copy) is altogether fabulous: whatever gallantries Eleanor encouraged in the time of her first husband, none are imputed to her in that of her second.

QUEENE Elianor was a sicke womàn,

And afraid that she should dye;

Then she sent for two fryars of France,
To speke with her speedilye.

The king calld downe his nobles all,
By one, by two, by three,

"Earl Marshall, lle go shrive the queene,
And thou shalt wend with mee.'

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"A boone, a boone;" quoth Earl Marshall, And fell on his bended knee;

"That whatsoever Queene Elianor saye,

No harme therof may bee."

"Ile pawne my landes," the king then cryd,


My sceptre, crowne, and all,

That whatsoere Queen Elianor sayes,

No harme thereof shall fall.



"Do thou put on a fryars coat, And Ile put on another;

And we will to Queen Elianor goe,
Like fryar and his brother."


Thus both attired then they goe:

When they came to Whitehall,

The bells did ring, and the quiristers sing,
And the torches did lighte them all.

When that they came before the queene,
They fell on their bended knee;

"A boone, a boone, our gracious queene,
That you sent so hastilee."



Are you two fryars of France," she sayd, "As I suppose you bee?


But if you are two Englishe fryars,

You shall hang on the gallowes tree."

"We are two fryars of France," they sayd,

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Sith we came from the sea.”

"The first vile thing that ever I did,

I will to you unfolde;

Earl Marshall had my maidenhed,
Beneath this cloth of golde."

"Thats a vile sinne," then sayd the king;


'May God forgive it thee!"

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"The next vile thing that ever I did,
To you Ile not denye;


I made a boxe of poyson strong,
To poison King Henrye."

"Thats a vile sinne," then sayd the king,

"May God forgive it thee!"


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Amen, amen," quoth Earl Marshall;

"And I wish it so may bee."

"The next vile thing that ever I did,

To you I will discover;

I poysoned fair Rosamonde,


All in fair Woodstocke bower."

“Thats a vile sinne," then sayd the king;

"May God forgive it thee!"


Amen, amen," quoth Earl Marshall;

"And I wish it so may bee."


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A catching of the balle?

That is King Henryes youngest sonne,
And I love him the worst of all.

"His head is fashyon'd like a bull,

His nose is like a boare,

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"No matter for that," King Henrye cryd,

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She shrieked, and cryd, and wrung her hands,


And sayd she was betrayde.

Ver. 63, 67. She means that the eldest of these two was by the Earl Marshall, the youngest by the king.

The king lookt over his left shoulder,
And a grimme look looked hee;

"Earl Marshall," he sayd, "but for my oathe,
Or hanged thou shouldst bee."



The Sturdy Rock.

This poem, subscribed M. T. [perhaps invertedly for T. Marshall'] is preserved in The Paradise of Daintie Devises. The two first stanzas may be found accompanied with musical notes in "An howres recreation in musicke, &c., by Richard Alison, Lond. 1606, 4to:" usually bound up with three or four sets of "Madrigals set to music by Tho. Weelkes, Lond. 1597, 1600, 1608, 4to." One of these madrigals is so complete an example of the Bathos, that I cannot forbear presenting it to the reader.

Thule, the period of cosmographie,

Doth vaunt of Hecla, whose sulphureous fire
Doth melt the frozen clime, and thaw the skie,
Trinacrian Etna's flames ascend not hier:

These things seeme wondrous, yet more wondrous I,
Whose heart with feare doth freeze, with love doth fry.

The Andelusian merchant, that returnes

Laden with cutchinele and china dishes,

Reports in Spaine, how strangely Fogo burnes

Amidst an ocean full of flying fishes:

These things seeme wondrous, yet more wondrous I,

Whose heart with feare doth freeze, with love doth fry.

Mr. Weelkes seems to have been of opinion, with many of his brethren of later times, that nonsense was best adapted to display the powers of musical composure.

THE sturdy rock for all his strength

By raging seas is rent in twaine :
The marble stone is pearst at length

With little drops of drizling rain:
The oxe doth yeeld unto the yoke,
The steele obeyeth the hammer stroke.

1 Vide Athen. Ox. pp. 152, 316.


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