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heaven, saying, “Anthony, thou art not so perfect as is a cobbler
In this story, you see how God loveth those that follow their vocation and live uprightly, without any falsehood in their dealing. This Anthony was a great holy man, yet this cobbler was as much esteemed before God as he.
GEORGE CAVENDISH. -1557.
This author was gentleman-usher to Cardinal Wolsey, and afterwards to Henry VIII. He wrote a life of the former, in which he praises his general character, although he admits his arrogance. It is said that Shakspeare has literally followed him, in several passages of his King Henry VIII., merely putting his language into verse.
This Life of Cardinal Wolsey is regarded as of great historical importance, it being the only authentic source of information in regard to many of the most interesting events of that reign.
KING HENRY'S VISITS TO WOLSEY'S HOUSE.
And when it pleased the king's majesty, for his recreation, to repair unto the cardinal's house, as he did divers times in the year, at which times there wanted no preparations, or goodly furniture, with viands of the finest sort that might be provided
for money or friendship; such pleasures were then devised for the king's comfort and consolation, as might be invented, or by man's wit imagined. The banquets were set forth with masks and mummeries, in so gorgeous a sort, and costly manner, that it was a heaven to behold. There wanted no dames or damsels, meet or apt to dance with the maskers, or to garnish the place for the time with other goodly disports. Then was there all kinds of music and harmony set forth, with excellent voices, both of men and children. I have seen the king suddenly come in thither, in a mask, with a dozen of other maskers, all in garments like shepherds, made of fine cloth of gold, and fine crimson satin paned, and caps of the same, with vizors of good proportion; their hairs and beards either of fine gold wire, or else silver, and some being of black silk; having sixteen torchbearers, besides their drums, and other persons attending upon them, with vizors, and clothed all in satin, of the same colors. And at his coming, and before he came into the hall, ye shall understand that he came by water to the water-gate, without any noise, where, against his coming, were laid charged many chambers, [cannon;] and at his landing, they were all shot off, which made such a rumble in the air, that it was like thunder. It made all the noblemen, ladies and gentlewomen, to muse what it should mean, coming so suddenly--they sitting quietly at a solemn banquet. Then immediately after this great shot of guns, the cardinal desired the lord chamberlain and controller to look what this sudden shot should mean, as though he knew nothing of the matter. They, thereupon, looking out of the windows into the Thames, returned again, and showed him, that it seemed to them there should be some noblemen and strangers arrived at his bridge, as ambassadors from some foreign prince.
Then quoth the cardinal to my lord chamberlain," I pray you,” quoth he, "show them that it seemeth me there should be some nobleman, whom I suppose to be much more worthy of honor, to sit and occupy this room and place, than I; to whom I would most gladly, if I knew him, surrender my place, according to my duty." Then spake my lord chamberlain unto them, in French, declaring my lord cardinal's mind; and they whisper
ing him again in the ear, my lord chamberlain said to my lord cardinal, “Sir, they confess," quoth he, “ that among them there is such a noble personage, whom, if your grace can appoint him from the other, he is contented to disclose himself, and to accept your place most worthily.” With that, the cardinal, taking a good advisement among them, at the last, quoth he, “Me seemeth that the gentleman with the black beard should be even he.” And with that, he arose out of his chair, and offered the same to the gentleman in the black beard, with his
in his hand. The
to whom he offered then his chair was Sir Edward Neville, a comely knight, of a goodly personage, that much more resembled the king's person, in that mask, than
any other. The king, hearing and perceiving the cardinal so deceived in his estimation and choice, could not forbear laughing; but plucked down his vizor, and Master Neville's also, and dashed out with such a pleasant countenance and cheer, that all noble estates there assembled, seeing the king to be there amongst them, rejoiced very much.
The cardinal immediately desired his highness to take the place of estate, to whom the king answered, that he would go first and shift his apparel; and so departed, and went straight into my lord's bed-chamber, where was a great fire made and prepared for him, and there new apparelled him with rich and princely garments.
And in the time of the king's absence, the dishes of the banquet were clean taken up, and the table spread again with new and sweet-perfumed cloths, every man sitting still until the king and his maskers came in among them again, every man being newly apparelled. Then the king took his seat under the cloth of estate, commanding no man to remove, but sit still, as they lid before. Then in came a new banquet before the king's majesty, and to all the rest through the tables, wherein, I suppose, there were served two hundred dishes, or above, of wondrous costly meats and devices, subtilely devised. Thus passed they forth the whole night, with banqueting, dancing, and other triumphant devices, to the great comfort of the king, and pleasiint regard of the nobility there assembled.
THOMAS WILSON. -1581. Wilson, Dean of Durham, and possessor of many high offices of state, under Elizabeth, is considered the first critical writer upon the English language. He published a system of Rhetoric and of Logic, in which he strongly advocates simplicity of language, and condemns those who reject familiar and appropriate phrases, for the sake of refined and curious ones. His innovations were considered so dangerous, that, on visiting Rome, he was imprisoned as a heretic. In censuring alliteration, he gives the following example: -“Pitiful poverty prayeth for a penny, but puffed presumption passeth not a point, pampering his paunch with pestilent pleasure, procuring his passport to post it to hell-pit, there to be punished with pains perpetual.”
[From the " Art of Rhetoric.”] SIMPLICITY OF STYLE RECOMMENDED. AMONG other lessons, this should first be learned, never affect any strange, ink-horn terms, but to speak as is commonly received; neither seeking to be over-fine, nor yet living over-careless; using our speech as most men do, and ordering our wits as the fewest have done. Some seek so far for outlandish English, that they forget altogether their mother's language. And I dare swear this,- if some of their mothers were alive, they were not able to tell what they say; and yet these fine English clerks will say they speak in their mother-tongue, if a man should charge them with counterfeiting the king's English. Some far-journeyed gentlemen, at their return home, like as they love to go in foreign apparel, so they will pander their talk with over-sea language. He that cometh lately out of France will talk French English, and never blush at the matter. Another chops in with English Italianated, and applieth the Italian phrase to our English speaking; the which is as if an orator, that professeth to utter his mind in plain Latin, would needs speak poetry, and far-fetched colors of strange antiquity. The lawyer will store his stomach with the prating of pedlers. The auditor, in making his account and reckoning, cometh in with sise sould, et cater denere, for 6s. 4d. The fine courtier will talk nothing but Chaucer. The mystical wise men and poetical clerks will speak nothing but quaint proverbs and blind allegories ; delighting much in their own darkness, especially when none can tell what they do say. I know them, that think rhetoric to stand wholly upon dark words; and he that can catch an ink-horn term by the tail, him they count to be a fine Englishman, and a good rhetorician.
RICHARD EDWARDS. 1523-1566.
A court musician and poet. THE FALLING OUT OF FAITHFUL FRIENDS, THE
RENEWING OF LOVE. In going to my naked bed, as one that would have slept, I heard a wife sing to her child, that long before had wept ; She sighéd sore, and sang full sweet, to bring the babe to rest, That would not cease, but criéd still, in sucking at her breast. She was full weary of her watch, and grieved with her child ; She rockéd it, and rated it, until on her it smiled; Then did she say, “Now have I found the proverb true to
prove The falling out of faithful friends, renewing is of love."
Then took I paper, pen and ink, this proverb for to write,
"I marvel much, pardie," quoth she, "for to behold the rout, To see man, woman, boy and beast, to toss the world about; Some kneel, some crouch, some beck, some check, and some can
smoothly smile, And some embrace others in arms, and there think
many ; Some stand aloof at cap and knee, some humble and some
stout, Yet are they never friends indeed, until they once fall out.” Thus ended she her song, and said, before she did remove, “The falling out of faithful friends, renewing is of love."