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ancient edition, neatly bound, in fine preservation. He also condescended to compose • A Dictionary for Children, and translated a Latin book, 'Of the Office of Servants thus exhibiting a greatness, dignity, and simplicity of mind truly admirabłe.”—In a collection of epitaphs, published by Lackington, is the following, on that "gallant soldier, able statesman, and very learned writer," Sir Thomas Chaloner:
Nature and art in (haloner combined,
66 merry John Heywood,” a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy," whose “flashes of merriment,” like those of Yorick, were wont to set the table on a roar"- '_was born in London, but in what year is now unknown. He studied, or should have studied, at Oxford, which university he left, for some cause or other, before the usual time. His wit and humour made him a favourite at the court of Henry VIII., to whom he is supposed to have been introduced by his friend, Sir Thomas More. There he was supported as a musician, professed wit, and writer of interludes, -a species of composition between the mora! play and modern drama, part of which were performed previous to the year 1521, at a time when Henry was striving so zealously to crush that protestantism, of which he has unjustly been said to be the father. In the reign of Queen Mary, John Heywood was again the amusement of royalty," says Dr. Dunham ; “ being alike, for his attachment to the ancient faith, and for his facetious talents, a welcome visitor of that queen, whose rigid muscles were often relaxed at his sallies. Of these, time has spared a few, which may serve to exhibit both his peculiar character and his familiarity with his sovereign. What wind has blown you to court ? was her demand one day, on seeing him approach. Two winds,' was the reply. they ?
One that. I might have the pleasure of seeing your grace.' 'We thank you for that : what is the other ? That your grace might have the pleasure of seeing me!' On another occasion, when Mary expressed her determination to prevent the clergy from having wives, he replieci, with a pun : 'Then your grace must allow them lemans, for they cannot live without sauce !' Even on
her death-bed, Heywood was admitted to her chamber, to soothe the languor of decaying nature. After her demise, he was not without apprehension for the future. Once already he had been in jeopardy: and, considering that he should be obnoxious on two accounts,
, -as a papist, and as the favourite of the deceased queen,-he retired from the kingdom, and passed the remainder of his days in exile.” He died at Mechlin, in Brabant. Two of his sons were Jesuit priests, one of whom, Gaspar, or Jasper, translated three of the plays of Seneca, and was one of the writers of the poems in the “Paradise of Dainty Devises." It is astonishing how John Heywood-himself still hanging by the Romish religion, most probably from motives of policy-lashes the vices, and exposes the cruel rapacity of the priesthood, to whose flock he pretended to belong.-Had he not thus saved himself, doubtless he had been burnt as an infidel by the consent of both papist and protestant; for, your bigot never requires any true religion, burning like holy incense on the altar of the human heart, and purifying the whole temple of man; but only a slavish obedience to the hollow forms of pharisaical imposition: Thus John Heywood lashes the whole priesthood of his day, with a whip of scorpions, wielded with a boldness compared to which that of good old Chaucer was but tame : and yet he can pass muster as a good catholic! In his “Merry Play between a Pardoner and a Friar, the Curate and Neighbour Pratt,” the three ecclesiastics constantly indulge in horrid oaths, whilst the layman is totally free from them. The friar, like similar mendicants in our own day, whilst preaching the evil of riches, is anxious to make a collection ! and the relic-mongering pardoner is ridiculed as having “the great toe of the Holy Family, which, when put in the mouth, is an infalliblo cure for the toothache. Next comes the bon grace, and French head of Our Lady: and, lastly, the blessed jawbone of All-saints !" In the “Merry Play between John the Husband, Tyb the Wife, and Sir John the Priest,” he is not more favourable to the regular clergy than he is in his other pieces to the mendicant orders. Sir John the Priest is one of those numerous spiritual pastors and masters” who are so ably described by Shakspere, where Ophelia says to her brother Laertes (“Hamlet,” act i., scene 3rd):
" Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to Heaven;
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
Tyb is completely the tyrant over her poor soulless hus. band, who is indeed “the greatest slave in life," and one of those for whom glorious Robert Burns has an epitaph well suiting :
"As father Adam first was fool'd,
A case that's still too common,
The devil ruled the woman."
Tyb commands her husband to invite the priest (with whom she has been previously drinking, and so forth) to dinner, and he dare not refuse to obey her. John is then ordered to fetch water, that his wife and the priest may wash their hands before eating, but he returns complaining that the pail will not hold water; and whilst he is engaged in repairing it with the wax they have given him for the purpose, they eat up all the pie before his face. He throws down the pail in a rage, and they both set upon him, and beat him brutally; after which they retire "to make him a cuckold," as they have often done before.-But_the most celebrated of John Heywood's dramas is the “Four P's,” which is a dialogue between a palmer, a pardoner, à potticary, and a pedlar, and which Warton never could have read, or he would not have pronounced it “ destitute of plot, humour, or character." Those strolling fanatics, the palmers, are severely ridiculed for making useless pilgrimages to dead men's tombs, all over the world; and the character he has drawn of the pardoner is a rich satire on the whole tribe of sin-shriving impostors.
“ Right seldom is it seen, or never,
That Truth and pardoners dwell together !” says the enraged palmer, when the pardoner tells him that he could have absolved him from his sins without any of his long and weary wanderings. And the pardoner, like a real impostor, shows him his trumpery relics :-" Here is the blessed jaw-bone ef Allhallows ! the great toe of the Trinity ! the rump-bone of the Pentecost ! the slipper of the Seven Sleepers ! an eye-tooth of the Grand Turk ! a box of the very bees which stung mother Eve when she ate the forbidden fruit ! a glass of the very liquor served up at the wedding of Adam and Eve !" This language may sound profane to modern Christians ; and yet--such is ever the blindness of bigots—while the
Romish church was burning pious protestants by wholesale, John Heywood, who was helping the Reformation with a giant's might, was looked upon, at popish courts, as a good Romanist! My limits prevent me from quoting at any great length; but we see how admirably he has depicted the roguish pardoner in the following six lines :
« With small cost, and without any pain,
These pardons bring them to Heaven plain :
But as they cannot agree amongst themselves which has the most merit, the pedlar proposes that each of them shall try to excel the other in the art of lying, to which he knows they are all greatly addicted:
“ And all ye there can lie as well
As can the falsest devil in Hell." The pardoner's tale of his journey to Purgatory, where, with his indulgencies in his fist, he could do there what he list ;" how he “knocked and was let in quickly,” and “how low the souls made curtesy," whilst he, charitable priest ! who would not liberate them without pay,
"to every soul again
Did give a beck them to retain !" for he was searching for the soul of one Margery Coorson, whom he did not find there ;
« Then fear'd he much it was not well :
Alas, thought he, she is in Hell!
That sure he thought she was not sainted;" how with his “pardons of all degrees” he “liberated a soul that lay for his fees;" how the liberated soul went to Heaven, whilst the indefatigable pardoner posted “from thence to Hell that night," to gain Margery's liberation,
“ Not as who saith by authority,
But by the way of entreaty;" how “the devil that kept the gate" and the pardoner were of old aequaintance,
" For oft in the play of Corpus Christi
He had play'd the devil at Coventry ;'
how his friend, the devil-porter, showed him "right friendly favour," and introduced him to the infernal court of “Lucifer, by the power of God, chief devil of Hell," and how it happened to be the very anniversary of the ex-archangel's fall ; how the pardoner's request was then and there granted ; and the exquisite description of the festival of the fiends ;-all this is worthy of a Dante's or a Milton's muse, mixed with the pleasant humour of a Cervantes or a Rabelais. Take, for instance, the following extract, which must conclude my notice of “merry John Heywood,” whose name is too oft passed over with unmerited contempt :
* This devil and I walk'd arm in arm
So far till he had brought me thither,
Did laugh thereat full well like friends.”
The principle event of importance in the political world is the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots, (July 27th,) to Lord Darnley, son of the Earl of Lennox; an event which caused a formidable insurrection in Scotland. Mary's cousin-german,” says Hume, “by the Lady Margaret Douglas, niece to Harry VIII., and daughter of the Earl of Angus, by Margaret, Queen of Scotland. was also, by his father, a branch of the same family with herself; and would, in espousing her, preserve the royal dignity in the house of Stuart. He was, after her, next heir to the crown of England; and those who pretended to exclude her on account of her being a foreigner, had endeavoured to recommend his title, and give it the preference. It seemed no inconsiderable advantage that she could, by marrying, unito both their claims; and as he was
" He was