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Full text of "Ancient mysteries described : especially the English miracle plays founded on Apocryphal New Testament story, extant among the unpublished manuscripts in the British museum, including notices of ecclesiastical shows"

" \- n '-' 





When Friars, Monks, and Priests of former days 

Apocrypha and Scripture turn'd to Plays, 

The Festivals of Fools and Asses kept, 

Obey'd Boy-Bishops, and to crosses crept, 

They made the mumming Church the People's rod, 

And held the grinning Bauble for a God. 



DESCRIBED, 



ESPECIALLY THB 



FOUNDED Oy 



APOCRYPHAL NEW TESTAMENT STORY, 

EXTANT AMONG THE UNPCBLISHED MANUSCRIPTS IN THE 

BRITISH MUSEUM; 



INCLUDING NOTICES OF 



ECCLESIASTICAL SHOWS, 

THE FESTIVALS OF 

. FOOLS AND ASSES THE ENGLISH BOY-BTSHOP 

THE DESCENT INTO HELL THE LORD MAYOR'S SHOW 

THE GUILDHALL GIANTS CHRISTMAS CAROLS, &c. 



BY WILLIAM HONE. 



WITH ENGRAVINGS ON COPPER AND WOOD. 



"Is it possible the ppells of Apocrypha should juggle men info such 
strange Myiteriet \" Shakspeare. 



LONDON : 

PRINTED FOR WILLIAM HONE, 
45, LUDGATE HILL. 



CONTENTS. 



Page. 

I. The Birth of Mary 13 

II. Mary's Education in the Temple, and being served 

by Angels 20 

III. The Miraculous Espousal of Joseph and Mary . . 27 

IV. A Council of the Trinity and the Incarnation . . 38 
V. Joseph's Jealousy 46 

VI. Visit of Mary to Elizabeth 63 

VII. The Trial of Mary and Joseph 59 

VIII. The Miraculous Birth and the Midwives . . . 67 

EllustrattottS an* &iftftion& 

I. Council of the Trinity 73 

II. The Brethren of the Holy Trinity of St. Botolph 

without Aldersgate 77 

III. Christmas Carols 90 

TV. Engravings of Apocryphal New Testament Subjects 107 

V. The Descent into Hell 120 

VI. Hearne's Print of the Descent into Hell .... 138 
VII. Origin of Mysteries Eeast of Fools Jeast of th 

Ass, &c 148 

Vin. The Boy Bishop English Mysteries 193 

IX. Pageants 232 

X. Lord Mayor's Show 246 

XI. The Giants in Guildhall 263 



Addenda 277 

Glossary 289 

Index 293 



ORDER OF THE ENGRAVINGS. 



1. Fool . . . . . <, to face the Title. 

2. Hearne's Descent into Hell .... page 138 

3. Giants in Guildhall . . .' . . . . 262 

4. Fools' Morris Dance .'_,-. . . . 270 

5. Triangular Candle ...... 78 V c 

6. Triune Head . : . . fc - 86 

8 * V Impressions from two Christmas Carol Blocks . 100 



two others . . . . 101 



11. Tail-piece '. . .;.'_. . . 142 

12. St. Nicholas's Miracle . ' ./ . . . 193 

13. Boy Bishop .... i 'ciS.: . 197 



PREFACE. 



TT is related of Johnson, by his pleasant biographer, 
that he said, "he loved the old black letter books; 
they were rich in matter, though their style was in- 
elegant." Deeper read in our early writers, than the 
great moralist, an erudite antiquary of our own day 1 
observes, that ' with respect to what is often absurdly 
denominated black letter learning, the taste which pre- 
vails in the present times for this sort of reading, wher- 
ever true scholarship and a laudable curiosity are found 
united, will aiford the best reply to the hyper-criticisms 
and impotent sarcasms of those who, having from in- 
dolence or ignorance neglected to cultivate so rich a 
field of knowledge, exert the whole of their endea- 
vours to depreciate its value." The truth of this has 
been subsequently attested by the popularity of the 
author of Waverley, who, aided by antient lore, im- 
parts to his scenes and portraits of other times the truth 
and high finish of Gerard Dow and Denner, and the dig- 
nity and grace of Titian and Vandyke. Need I apologize 
then for bringing together the results of certain desul- 
tory reading, intimately connected with that class of 
literature which is especially dear to me from accidental 
acquaintance with it in childhood, and stolen intimacies, 
during thirty years of a life spent in " violating, step 

1 Mr. Douce, in his Illustrations of Shakespeare, vol. i. pref. xi. 



11 PREFACE. 

after step, the circumscription by which the aristo- 
cratic compasses were again and again, with reluctant 
extension to successive greater distances, defining the 
scope of the knowledge proper for a man of my con- 
dition." 1 

A memorable period in my humble existence is the 
occasion of the ensuing sheets. On the 1 9th of De- 
cember 1817, the late Lord Chief Justice Ellenborough 
observed, that " the first scenic performances were 
Mysteries or representations of incidents in Sacred 
Writ." The remark induced me, about three years 
ago, to inquire somewhat on this subject ; and in con- 
sequence of a perusal, accidentally simultaneous, of 
the religious Coventry Plays or Mysteries in the Bri- 
tish Museum, and certain of the Apocryphal Gospels, 
together with the possession of engravings by old 
masters, from scenes common to each, I hastily com- 
piled and published the volume entitled " The Apo- 
cryphal New Testament." Though my main purpose 
in producing it was, that for which I stated it to be 
of use, namely, to explain the subjects of pictures and 
prints that " are without explanation from any other 
source," 2 and notwithstanding I conceived that, so far 
as the Gospels were concerned, it would be regarded 
as a work of mere curiosity, yet it was dexterously 
construed into a cause of attack. The fierceness of 
the Quarterly in October 1821, roused me to answer 
the assailant, and I sent a sheet of reply to the press 
in the following month. To accompany it, but as a 
distinct publication, the ensuing pages from 13 to 68 

1 Foster. 2 Apoc. N. Test. Preface. 



PREFACE. Ill 

inclusive, were then actually printed off, and I re- 
ceived a proof from the printer of sixteen pages more 
to conclude the tract, when abridgment of my leisure, 
but, above all, the subsidence of my resentment into 
profound contempt for the flagitious frauds of the re- 
verend reviewer, and a conviction that those who 
were qualified to judge of his article would see its 
mendacity, determined me not to engage in polemics. 
Abandoning the proposed refutation, yet towards the 
close of last summer recollecting the portion of the 
Mysteries in the printer's warehouse, I sat down, in- 
tending to complete my notices of these curious 
dramas in a few hours, and within the limits that I 
originally assigned to myself ; the difficulty however 
of wholly relinquishing my pen, while, by fits and 
snatches, I could employ it agreeably, enlarged the 
proposed pamphlet to the present volume. 

Concerning the Coventry Mysteries, Dugdale relates, 
in his History of Warwickshire, published in 1656, 
that, " Before the suppression of the monasteries this 
city was very famous for the pageants that were play'd 
therein, upon Corpus Christi Day (one of their ancient 
faires) which occasioning very great confluence of 
people thither from far and near, was of no small be- 
nefit thereto : which pageants being acted with mighty 
state and reverence by the Grey Friars, had theatres 
for the several scenes, very large and high, placed 
upon wheels, and drawn to all the eminent parts of 
the city, for the better advantage of spectators, and 
contained the story of the Old and New Testament, 
composed in the old Englishe rithme, as appeareth 






IV PREFACE. 

by an ancient MS. (in Bibl. Cotton. Vesp. D. VIII.) 
intituled, Ludus Corporis Christi, or Ludus Coven trice. 
" I have been told," says Dugdale, by some old people, 
who in their younger years were eye-witnesses of these 
pageants so acted, that the yearly confluence of people 
to see that shew was extraordinary great, and yielded 
no small advantage to this city." 1 The celebrity of 
the performances may be inferred from the rank of 
the audiences ; for, at the festival of Corpus Christi, 
in 1483, Richard III. visited Coventry to see the 
plays, and at the same season in 1492, they were at- 
tended by Henry VII. and his queen, by whom they 
were highly conrn e ided. 

While at the British Museum I made large extracts 
from the Coventry Manuscript mentioned by Dug- 
dale. It is remarkable, that in its entire series of 
forty mysteries there is not one from the Apocrypha 
to the Old Testament, whilst there are so many as 
eight that are paraphrases of the New Testament 
Apocrypha. Transcripts from these paraphrases com- 
pose the early part of the present publication. Some 
portions that are abridged would have been given 
entire, perhaps, had I consulted the MS. with a view 
to this use; but there is quite enough to .show how 
largely the monkish playwright adopted the curious 
incidents, and the very language of the spurious Gos- 
pels a circumstance alluded to in the Preface to the 
Apocryphal New Testament, and which operated in no 
small degree to the setting it forth. 

Concerning the scenery, machinery, dresses, and 

Dugdale's "Warwickshire, p. 116. 



PREFACE. V 

decorations, and indeed the stage management of these 
limes, little is at present known. 1 Yet to what Dug- 
dale has said of the Coventry performances, and the 
notice from Drake's History of York, of the representa- 
tions in that city, 2 may be added an account of those 
at Chester. The Mysteries acted there, also exist in 
the Britsh Museum among the Harleian MSS. They 
are four and twenty in number, and were performed 
by the trading companies of the city. "Every company 
had his pagiante, or parte, which pagiantcs were a highe 
scafolde with two rowmes, a higher and a lower upon 
4 wheeles. In the lower they apparelled themselves, 
in the higher rowme they played, being all open on 
the tope, that all behoulders might heare and see them. 
The places where they played them was in every 
streete. They begane first at the Abay Gates, and 
when the pagiante was played, it was wheeled to the 
High Cross before the mayor, and so to every streete ; 
and so every streete had a pagiante playing before 
them, till all the pagientes for the daye appointed 
were played, and when one pagiante was neere 
ended, worde was broughte from streete to streete, 
that soe the mighte come in place thereof, ex- 
cedinge orderlye, and all the streetes had their pa- 
giante afore them, all at one time, playing together, 

1 Information on some of these points may be expected from a 
forthcoming work, by the gentleman mentioned (at p. 218.). as 
having favoured his friends with a bibliomaniacal edition 
of the Coventry Pageant of the Sheremen and Taylors. I take 
this opportunity of observing, that the MS. of this mystery is that 
gentleman's property ; it is erroneously represented hereafter as 
belonging to the corporation of Coventry. 

2 See p. 20913, post. 



VI PREFACE. 

to se which playes was great resorte, and also sca- 
foldes, and stages made in the streetes, in those places 
wheare they determined to playe their pagiantes." 1 

Respecting the multiform portion of this volume, 
denominated " Illustrations" I have to offer in excuse 
that there is enough for good-natured readers to find 
something to be amused withy and nothing intended to 
offend those that I despair of pleasing. It is altogether 
"skimble-skamble stuff," which not aspiring to the 
character of an antiquarian treatise, may be allowed 
to deprecate antiquarian censure. There is little 
appearance of cohesion in the parts, and yet they 
scarcely require more than leisure to adapt and con- 
nect them according to the " rules of the schools," 
with a few other particulars, and make a book. The 
Boy-Bishop, for instance, whose processions at Nicho- 
las-tide, according to Strype, "made the people so 
fond of keeping this holiday, that every parish almost 
had its St. Nicholas/' is associated with the Mys- 
teries, by the representations of these religious plays 
often taking place during his annual dignity. The 
Feast of Fools, and especially the Feast of the Ass, 
from their dramatic character, and celebration as ec- 
clesiastical performances, are equally admissible. To 
be sure I have trespassed a little in the articles on the 

1 Archdeacon Rogers's MSS. Harl. 1948, quoted in Mr. Orme- 
rod's History of Cheshire, (p. 296 302.) In that work there is a 
copious notice concerning the Chester Mysteries, which were per- 
formed for the last time in 1574. Mr. Ormerod's information con- 
cerning Mysteries in general is abundantly curious and useful. 

A well written Article on the ' Early Drama,' with a pleasant 
notice of Mysteries, is contained in that ably conducted Journal, 
the Retrospective Review, voL i. 



PREFACE. VU 

Council of the Trinity, and the Brethren of the Trinity 
without Aldersgate ; but who, possessing a monkish 
legend in MS. or the chartulary of a dissolved fra- 
ternity, could withstand the temptation of " hitching 
into print" a quotation or two, on a colourable oppor- 
tunity. In this, however, I acknowledge being in- 
fluenced by liking rather than judgment, and so in 
the article on the Descent into Hell. Eeviewing my 
gossip on the word aroint, I confess that equity would 
compel me to dismiss it for impertinence. But it is 
printed ; and its existence in these sheets is a lament- 
able proof of the " fearful estate " of him who mounts 
a hobby without a rein : though there is something 
like a shadow of excuse too, for saying a little on old 
Hearne's plate as a Shakespearian authority. 

Concerning Christmas Carols, I have not put down 
a tenth of what I wished to ficd room for, nor so much 
as I think will weary one good hearted reader who 
remembers with what solemn pleasure he heard them 
sung in his childhood. The Pageants, though familiar 
to a few will be new to more ; and as to the account 
of the Lord Mayors Show, and the Giants of London, 
let that citizen, who constantly sees both, and knows 
little regarding the history of either, be angry if he 
can, for being informed of several curious particulars 
respecting each. Regarding the Giants, indeed, I 
formerly inquired too much and too long in vain, to 
suppose that a few pages, occupied in authenticating 
their origin, will be unwelcome to those who are 
" merry in Guildhall, when beards wag all." f 



V1U PREFACE. 

In toiling through books and MSS., not in expec- 
tation, but with a bare hope of discovering a few 
facts respecting manners in the olden time, the mind 
glooms on the supposition that stores of information 
perished with the destruction of the religious houses 
in the reign of Henry VIII. He who " neither spared 
man in his rage, nor woman in his lust," spared not the 
literary collections in the libraries of the church. For 
though it appears that Henry directed a commission 
to Leland, the antiquary, to search for and preserve 
such works belonging to the dissolved monasteries 
and colleges as might rescue remarkable English events 
and occurrences from oblivion, and though Leland ac- 
quainted Henry that he had " conserved many good 
authors the which otherwise had bene lyke to have 
peryshed, to no smal incommodite of good letters ; of 
the which," he tells him, " part remayne in the most 
magnificent lybraryes of your royal palaces ; part 
also remayne in my custodie ;" yet he expressly recites, 
that one of his purposes was to expel "the crafty co- 
loured doctryne of a rowt of Romayne bysshopps ;" 
which too plainly indicates that he " conserved " but 
little concerning ancient customs. Strype, who 
praises Henry's commission to Leland, afterwards 
breaks out, saying, " But great pity it was, and a 
most irreparable loss, that notwithstanding this pro- 
vision, most of the ancient MS. histories and writings 
of learned British and Saxon authors were lost. Li- 
braries were sold by mercenary men for any thing 
they could get in that confusion and devastation of 



PREFACE. IX 

religious houses. Bale, the antiquary, makes mention 
of a merchant that bought two noble libraries about 
these times for forty shillings; the books whereof 
served him for no other use but for waste paper ; and 
that he had been ten years consuming them, and 
yet there remained still store enough for as many 
years more. Vast quantities and numbers of these 
books, banished with the monks and friars from their 
monasteries, were conveyed away and carried be- 
yond seas to booksellers there, by whole ship ladings ; 
and a great many more were used in shops and kit- 
chens." It is not surprising, then, that so little remains 
from those immense collections ; or rather it is won- 
derful that so much should have escaped the general 
devastation. Yet, in the economy of the Keformation, 
the ruthless deed was, perhaps, an essential preparation 
for the mighty knowledge that submerged the super- 
stition of a thousand years. " The papal hierarchy, 
from accident, fanaticism, and policy, pursued too 
often a spurious plan of forcing mankind to become 
technical automatons of rites and dreams, words and 
superstitions ; and supporting a system which, if not 
originally framed, was at least applied to enforce a 
long continued exertion of transferring the world into 
the hands of ecclesiastics, and too often superseding 
the Christianity of the Gospels by that of tradition, 
policy, half-delirious bigotry, feelings often fantastic, 
and unenlightened enthusiasm.' 1 Until the time of 
Luther, religion, which in principle is a pure science, 

1 Mr. Turner's Hist. Ang. Saxons, vol. iii. p. 516. 



X PREFACE. 

was regarded as an art ; it was tho occupation of the 
clergy, who taught it as a mystery, and practised it 
as a trade. 

From the manifold corruptions of religion resulted 
the gross practices and delusions which are noticed in 
the ensuing pages without comment ; for the work is 
a collection of facts, not of inferences. It commences 
with the Coventry Mysteries ; the passages from the 
Apocryphal Gospels, whereon the scenes are founded, 
being printed beneath. By referring to the Glossary 
for words that seem difficult, the perusal of the whole 
will be easy. 

It is proper to state that a literary gentleman of 
the Principality enabled me to mention Welsh Carols, 
and favoured me with the translation of the Welsh 
Wassail Carol for St. Mary's Eve. To a bibliopolical 
friend I am indebted for the notice of the Castle of 
Good Perseverance, which he saw in Dr. Macro's col- 
lection. I should with equal readiness acknowledge 
other assistance, had I received it. Lastly I am 
bound to confess the existence of a few errors, not 
affecting the sense, that were discovered too late for 
correction, though in sufficient time to enable me to 
affirm, as a warning to others, that the worst editor 
of an author's writings is himself. 



o 



Ludgate Hill, 

5th May, 1823. 



13 



MYSTERY I. 

IN COTTON MS. PAGE AH T VI IL 



THE BIRTH OF MARY. 



THE PLAY commences with the speaking of a Pro- 
logue, beginning thus : 

Cryste conserve this congregation, 
Fro' perellys past, p'sent, and futur, 
And the p'so'nys her 5 pleand. 
* # * # # 

And that non oblocucyon, make this mat'er obsc'ure, 

But it may p'fite and plese, eche p'son p'sent, 
From the gynnynge, to the endynge, so to endure, 

That cryst, and every creatur,' with the conceyte be content. 

The Prologue proceeds to relate, that the " mat'er" 
is of the " modyr of mercy." 

In fewe wurdys talkyd, that it shulde nat be ted'yous 

To ne lernyd, nyn to lewd, nyn to no man of reson ; 
This is the p'cesse : Now p'serve you Jh'us ; 

Th'for of this I yow pray, all that ben her' present, 

And tak hed to our talkyn, what we shal say : 
I be teche yow, that lorde that is evyr omnypotent, 

To governe yow in goodnes, as he best may, 
In hevyn we may hym se. 



14 

Now God, that is hevyn kynge, 
Sende us all hese der* blyssynge ; 
And to his tow 3 ! he mote vs brynge : 
Amen, ffor charyte. 

" YSAKER," the high priest, announces the festival, 
when all must repair to Jerusalem to sacrifice. 

" JOAKIM" enters with ANNE his wife, and calls 
himself "a substancyall man," says he divides his 
goods into three parts, one to the temple, another to 
the " pylg'mys/ the third for his own household ; and 
concludes his speech by observing, that 

So shulde every curat, in this werde wyde, 

Geve a part to his channcel, I wys ; 
A part to his parocheners, that to povert slyde j 

The thyrd part to kepe, for hy' & his.( 2 ) 

JOACHIM tells ANNE that he dreads to sacrifice, for 

Be cawse that no frute of vs doth p'cede, 

I fere me grettly the prest wole me dysspice ; 
Than grett slawndyr in the tribus of vs shulde aryse : 

But this I avow to God, with all the mekeues I can. 



[Passages paralleled ; from the Apocryphal New Testament.] 



( 1 ) MART, i. 1. The blessed and 
ever glorious Virgin Mary, sprung from 
the royal race and family of David, 
was born in the city of Nazareth, and 
educated at Jerusalem, in the temple 
of the Lord. 

2. Her father's name was Joachim, 
and her mother's Anna. The family 
of her father was of Galilee and the 
city of Nazareth. The family of her 
mother was of Bethlehem. 

( 2 ) 3. Their lives were plain and 
right in the sight of the Lord, pious 
and faultless before men. For they 



divided all their substance into three 
parts. 

4. One of which they devoted to the 
temple and officers of the temple ; an- 
other they distributed among stran- 
gers, and persons iu poor circum- 
stances ; and the third they reserved 
for themselves and the uses of their 
own family. 

7. IT And it came to pass, that when 
the feast of the dedication drew near, 
Joachim, with some others of his tribe, 
went up, to Jerusalem, and, at that 
time, Issachar was high-priest. 



15 

Gyff, of his mercy, he wole a chylde vs devyse, 

We shal ofire it vp, i'to the temple, to be goddys man (i) 

ANNE declares that his words bring tears down her 
face, and endeavours to console her husband with 

I wys swete husband the fawte is mine. 

Corresponding in sentiment with him, she vows that 
if " God send frute, and it be a mayde childe," she 
shall be a " foot mayd to mynyster" in the temple, 
and salutes Joachim, saying, 

Thryes I kysse you, with syghys ful sad. 

They inform Issachar they are come to "sacrife." 
Then follows this direction to the actors. 

[" Here they shal synge theis seg'no, B'N'DICTA SIT B'A TRI- 
" NITAS. And that time ysaker, with his masters, ensensyth 
" the auter; fy then thei make her offry'g."] 

ISSACHAR invites all present to come up and offer, 
but he tells Joachim and Anne to stay where they 
are, that they " arn barrany and bare ;" inquires how 
they durst presume among fruitful persons ; that it is 
a token they are cursed ; and finally, he rejects their 
offerings, and charges Joachim to go fast out of the 
temple. ( 2 ) Next is sung 

% PATER % ET FILIUS "I* ET SP'US s'c'us. CJior. Amen. 

[Passages paralleled ; from the Apoc. N. Test.] 

( I )MART, i. 5. In this manner they 
lived for about twenty years chastely, 
in the favour of God, and the esteem 
of men, without any children. 

6. But they vowed, if God should 



on which account they went at every 
feast in the year to the temple of the 
Lord. 

( 2 ) 8. Who, when he saw Joachim 
along with the rest of his neighbours, 



favour them with any issue, they would i bringing his offerings, despised both 
devote it to the service of the Lord ; I him and his offerings, and asked him, 



16 

ISSACHAR blesses the people in these words : 

Now, of god & man, blessyd be ye alle. 

Homward agen now returne ye ; 
And in this temple abyde we shalle, 

To servyn god in trinyte. 

JOACHIM, gratly laments his disgrace : 

Now wyl I go to my shepherdys, and with hem abyde : 

& th'r evyr mor, levyn in sorVe, & in drede : 
Shame makyth many man his hed for to hyde^ 1 ) 

He salutes the shepherds with "Ha how do ye, 
felas how far ye & iny bestys ?" They answer, " they 
be lusty & fayr, & grettly multyply how do ye, 
mayster ?" 

This answer touches a sore place he tells them to 
do what they list, and see their " bestys not stray." 
Praying to God in great bitterness, he says of himself, 

What am I ? wretche ! worse than an hownde. 

ANNE also prays, and expostulates with God : 

Why do ye thus to my'husbond, lord ; why 1 why ? why ? 
For my barynes he may amend this y'self, and thou lyste, to 
niorVe. 

[Her the AUNGEL descendith the hefne, syngyng EXULTET.] 



[Passages paralleled; from the Apoc. N. Test.] 



9. Why he, who had no children 
would presume to appear among those 
who had ? Adding, that his offerings 
could never be acceptable to God, who 
was judged by him unworthy to have 
children ; the ' Scripture having said, 
Cursed is every one who shall not be- 
get a male in Israel. 

10. He further said, that he ought 



his offerings into the presence of God. 

(^MARY, i. 11. But Joachim being 
much confounded with the shame of 
such reproach, retired to the shepherds 
who were with the cattle in their pas- 
tures ; 

12. For he was not inclined to re- 
turn home, lest his neighbours, who 
were present and heard all this from 



first to be free from that curse by be- j the high-priest, should publicly re- 
gutting some issue, and then come with I proach him iu the same manner. 



17 

THE ANGEL acquaints Joachim, that God, by 
making barrenness, shews " his myth & his mercye 
bothe ; ( x ) reminds him that Sarah was ninety years 
barren and bore Isaac ; ( 2 ) that barren Eachel bore 
Joseph, 

that of Egypt was kynge,( 3 ) 
A stronger than Sampson ; 

that Samuel's mother was barren, till she bore him ; ( 4 ) 

And, in the lyke wyse, Anne, thy blyssyd wyff, 
Sche shal ber* a childe, schal hygth Mary, ( 5 ) 
Whic'h shall be blyssyd in her body, and have joys ffyff, 

be full of the holy ghost, inspired, and offered in the 
temple, ( 6 ) 



[Passages paralleled ; from the Apoc. N. Test.] 



(*) MART, ii. 1. But when he had 
been there for some time, on a certain 
day when he was alone, the angel of 
the Lord stood by him with a prodi- 
gious light, 

2. To whom, being troubled at the 
appearance, the angel who had appear- 
ed to him, endeavouring to compose 
him, said ; 

3. Be not afraid, Joachim, nor trou- 
bled at the sight of me, for I am an 
angel of the Lord sent by him to you, 
that I might inform you, that your 
prayers are heard, and your alms as- 
cended in the sight of God. 

4. For he hath surely seen your 
shame, and heard you unjustly re- 
proached for not having children ; for 
God is the avenger of sin, and not of 
nature ; 

5. And so when he shuts the womb 
of any person, he does it for this rea- 
son, that he may in a more wonderful 
manner again open it, and that which 
is born appear to be not the product of 
lust, but the gift of God. 

(-) 6. For the first mother of your 
nation Sarah, was she not barren even 



till her eightieth year : And yet even 
in the end of her old age brought forth 
Isaac, in whom the promise was made 
of a blessing to all nations. 

( 3 ) 7. Rachel also, so much in favour 
with God, and beloved so much by 
holy Jacob, continued barren for a 
long time, yet afterwards was the mo- 
ther of Joseph, who was not only go- 
vernor of Egypt, but delivered many 
nations from perishing with hunger. 

(*) 8. Who, among the judges, was 
more valiant than Sampson, or more 
holy than Samuel ? And yet both their 
mothers were barren. 

( 5 ) 9. But if reason will not convince 
you of the truth of my words, that 
there are frequent conceptions in ad- 
vanced years, and that those who were 
barren have brought forth to their 
great surprise; therefore Anna your 
wife shall bring you a daughter, and 
you shall call her name Mary ; 

( 6 ) 10. She shall, according to your 
vow, be devoted to the Lord from her 
infancy, and be filled with the Holy 
Ghost from her mother's womb; 

11. She shall neither eat nor drink 



18 

And as sche sc'hal be bor' of a barrany body, 

So, of her, schal be bor', with, out natur', J'hus, 
That schal be savyo', vnto al man kende, (*) 

" In tokyn" he prophesies to Joachim, that he shall 
meet Anne at the gyldyd gate of Jerusalem. ( 2 ) 

JOACHIM takes his leave of the shepherds, who 
being glad to see his spirits revive, say, 

"We schal make vs so mery, now this is be stad, 
That, a myle on yo' way, ye schal her' vs synge. 

THE ANGEL appears to ANNE, tells her that God 
hath heard her prayers, that she shall meet her hus- 
band at the " goldyn gate," and conceive, and bear a 
child, whose destiny he foretels, ( 3 ) and Anne re- 
joices, 

[Her go'tli the Aungel agen to hefne.] 



[Passages paralleled; from the Apoc. N. Test.] 



any thing which is unclean, nor shall 
her conversation be without among the 
common people, but in the temple of 
the Lord ; that so she may not fall un- 
der any slander or suspicion of what is 
bad. 

(*) MART,ii. 12. So in the process 
of her years, as she shall be in a mira- 
culous manner born of one that was 
barren, so she shall, while yet a virgin, 
in a way unparalleled, bring forth the 
Son of the most High G&d, who shall 
be called Jesus, and, according to the 
signification of his name, be the Sa- 
viour of all nations. 

( 2 ) 13. And this shall be a sign to 
you of the things which I declare, 
namely, when you come to the golden 
gate of Jerusalem, you shall there 
meet your wife Anna, who being very 



much troubled that you returned no 
sooner, shall then rejoice to see you. 

C 3 ) iii. 1. Afterwards the angel ap- 
peared to Anna bis wife, saying : Fear 
not, neither think that which you see ia 
a spirit ; 

2. For I am that angel who hath 
offered up your prayers and alms be- 
fore God, and am now sent to you, 
that I may inform you, that a daughter 
will be born unto you, who shall be 
called Mary, and shall be blessed 
above all women. 

6. Arise, therefore, and go up to 
Jerusalem, and when you shall come to 
that which is called the golden gate 
(because it is gilt with gold), as a wgn 
of what I have told you, you shall meet 
your husband, for whose safety you 
have been so much concerned. 



19 

JOACHIM and ANNE meet in great joy, and lie gives 
her a " kusse of clennesse/'Q 

The drama concludes with an intimation that it is 
their intention to go home, 

To thank god, that sytt in tron', 
That thus hath sent us his grace. 



[Passages paralleled ; from the Apoc. N. Test.] 



( 1 ). MART, iii. 8. IT According 
therefore to the command of the an- 
gel, both of them left the places where 
they were, aud when they came to 
the place specified in the angel's pre- 



diction, they met each other. 

11. IT So Anna conceived, and 
brought forth a daughter, and, accord- 
ingto the angel's command, the parents 
did call her name Mary. 



MYSTERY II. 

IX COTTON MS. PAGE AST IX. 



MARY'S EDUCATION IN THE TEMPLE, 
AND BEING SERVED BY ANGELS. 



THE PLAY opens by Contemplation speaking a Pro- 
logue beginning 

Sovereynes : ye have sen shewyd you befor', 
Of Joachym & Anne, both ther'e hly metynge ; 

How o' lady was conseyved, and how she was bor' ; 
We passe ovyr that breffnes of tyme consyderynge. 

The Prologue announces the entrance of Mary 
and how 

as a childe of iij yer' age, her' she schal apper, 

That holy mater we wole declare, 

Tyl ffortene yer', how sche did far' : 
Now of you' speche I pray yow spar, 
All that ben in this place. 

\Her Joachym and Anne, with our* lady be twen hem, beynrj 
al in 'whyte, as a childe of iij yet' age, presente her 1 in to 
the temple ; thus seyng Joachym.(^}\ 

[Passages paralleled ; from the Apoc. N. Test.] 



(*) MART, iv. 1. And when three 
years were expired, and the time of 
her weaning complete, they brought 



the Virgin to the temple of the Lord 
with offerings. 



JOACHIM exclaims "Blyssyd be our lord, ffayr 
finite have we now," and he reminds his wife of their 
vow : 

The age of Mary, our dowter, is yers three, 

Th'for', to thre p'sonys and on god, lete vs her p'sent. 

ANNE assents, and says to Mary, 

Dowter, the aungel (told) us ye shulde be a qwen ; 

Woll ye go se that lord yo' husbond schal ben : 
& lerne for to love hym ; and lede w't hy' yo' lyff? 

Telle yo' ffadyr & me her, yo' Answer let sen, 
Wole ye be pur' maydy', & also goddys wyff? 

Mary answers, that as her father and mother have 
vowed, 

so ssothly wow I 

To be goddys chast seruaunt, whil lyff is mine ; 

But to be goddys wyff I was never wurthy. 
I am the sympelest that ever was borne of body ; 

I haue herd you sey'd god schulde haue a modyr swete, 
That I may leve to se hir', god graunt me, for his mercy, 
& abyl me to ley my handys vndyr hir' fayr fete. 

[JEt genuflectet ad deumJ\ 

JOACHIM encourages Mary by observing, 

I wys dowter it is wel seyd 

Ye answer & ye wer' twenty yer' olde. 

JOACHIM and ANNE go to Issachar, and Joachim 
addresses him thus : 

Her' p'nce of Prestes, & it plese you, 

We, that wer' barryn, god hath sent a childe, 
To offre her to goddys service we made our' a vow : 

Her' is the same mayde, mary most mylde. 

4 



22 

ISSACHAK, tells Joachim he recollects that he re- 
proached them, but he rejoices they are now among 
the fruitful ; and he compliments Mary with 
Ye have a gracyous face. 

JOACHIM, then bowing with great reverence, says 
that to 

ffadyr, & son, & holy gost, 
On god, & p'sonys thre, 

he offers Mary to be a servant for ever. 

ANNE encourages Mary to go up to the "Pre'st." 
She asks their blessing: in answer to which Joseph 
says, " In nomine patris & Jilii & spris sc'i, whereto 
Mary answers, "Amen ; now ye good modyr" : Anne 
repeats " In nomine, &c." Mary thanks them, and 
intreats forgiveness if ever she offended them. 

\Et explexendoosculalitp'rem $ raVew.] 

JOACHIM and ANNE congratulate themselves on 
having " suche a chylde." 

ISSACHAR tells Mary that she shall be the accepted 
daughter of "god eternall," and 

If the fyfte'ne grees thou may ascende 
It is miracle, if thou do. ( l ) 

[Maria fy sic, deinceps iisq. ad find xv t! psalmor.'] 

MARY repeats the degrees in quadrats, each pre- 
faced by a Latin line. 

[Passages paralleled ; from tlie Apoc. N. Test] 
MART, iv. 2. And there were 3. For the temple being built in a 



about the temple, according to the 
fifteen Psalms of Degrees, fifteen stairs 

to ascend. 



mountain, the altar of burnt- offering, 
which was without, could not be come 
near but by stairs. 



23 



Ep'us A gracyous lord ! this is a mervelyous thynge 

That we se her' all in sygt, 
A babe of thre' yer age so zynge, 

To come vp these greeys so vp right. 
It is an hey meraele. ( 1 ) 

MARY inquires, 

How I shall be rewlyd in goddys hous 1 

ISSACHAR answers, that God gave ten command- 
ments, which may be comprised in two ; firsfc, the 
love of God : 

Love ffadyr, sone, and holy gost : 

Love God the fadyr, for gevyth myght ; 

Love God the sone, for he gevyth wysd'm the most ; 

Love God the holy gost, for he gevyth love and lyght ; 

Thre' personnys and on god. 

Than, love thou evy'r crystyn, as y'r self. 

He further informs her that she shall have " may- 
denys fyve," Meditac'on, Contrysson, Compassyon, 
Clennes, and Fruyssyon. MARY says, 

Her' is an holy iFelacha'pp I fele ; 

I am not wurthy amonge he' to be : 
Swete systers, to yow all, I knele 

To receyve me ; I beseche yo'r charyte. 

[Passages paralleled ; from theApoc. N. Test.] 



(!) MART, iv. 4. The parents of 
the blessed Virgin and infant Mary 
put her upon one of these stairs ; 

5. But while they were putting off 
their clothes, in which they had tra- 
velled, and according to custom put- 
ting on some that were more neat 
and clean. 

6. In the mean tima the Virgin of 



the Lord in such a manner went up all 
the stairs one after another, without 
the help of any to lead her or lift her, 
that any one would have judged from 
hence, that she was of perfect age. 

7. Thus the Lord did, in the infancy 
of his Virgin, work this extraordinary 
work, and evidence by his miracle 
how great she was like to be hereafter. 



24 

Ep'us They schal dowter ; And, on the tother syde, so 

Ther' ben sefne prestys in dede, 
To schryve, to teche, and to mynystryn to the ; 

To lerne the goddys lawys, and scryptur' to rede. 
Mary. Fadyr, knew I her' namys' well wer' I. 
E^'us. Ther is Dyscressyon, Devoc'on, Dylexc'on, and De- 
liberac'on. 

They schall tende upon you besyly, 
Wt Declarac'on, Determynac'on, Dyvynac'on, 
Now go ye maydenys, to yo'r occupac'on ; 

And loke ye tende this childe tendyrly, 
& ye, serys, knelyth, & I schall gyve yow goddy's benyson. 
IN NO'NE PR'IS & FILII & SP'US s'ci. 

\Et recedent cu' ministris suis v'es virgines dicent. Amen.] 

JOACHIM and ANNE leave MARY, who says to her 
maidens, 

Syster', ye may go do what ye schal 

To serve God ; fyrst her' is al my thought ; 
Beforn this holy awter' on my knes I fall. 

She prays for obedience and suitable virtues. 

Her 1 the aungel bryngyth manna, in a cowp of gold, lyJce to 
confecc'ons; the hefne syngynge: the cCngel seytli 

Merueyle not, mekest mayd'on, of my mynystrac'on ; 

I am a good Aungel, sent of god Al mygt, 
Wt angelys mete, for yo'r sustentac'on ; 

Ye to receyve it ; if or natural myght, 

We aungellys schul serve yow, day and nyght. 
Now fede yow th' with, in goddys name ; 
We schal lerne yow the lyberary of our' lordys lawe lyght, 

For my sawys in yow, shewyth sygnes of shame. 

MARY, accepting the food, observes, 



25 

All man'er of savowrs in this mere I fynde ; 
I felt nevyr none so swete, ner so redolent ( l ) 

The ANGELS acquaints her that, at " alle howrys," 
angels shall attend on her. 

MAEY is greatly astonished, and she is thus allite- 
ratively addressed by the ANGEL 

In yo'r name, MARIA, ffyve letterys we han : 
J$Jl. Mayde, most mercyfull, & mekest i' mende ; 
iv(. Auerte of the Anguysch, that Adam began ; 
3H. Regina, of Regyon, reyneynge w't owty' ende ; 
I, Innocent, be Influens of Jesse's kende ; 
J. Adoucat, most autentyk, yo'r Antecer Anna, 
Hefne & helle her' kneys down bende, 
Whan this holy name of yow is seyd MARIA. 
Maria. I quake grettly, for dred, to her' this com'endac'on ; 

Good swete Aungel why wole ye sey thus ? 
Aungell. For ye schal, hereafter, have a salutac'on 
That schall this excede : it is seyde, amonge vs, 
The deyte that dede shall determyn, & dyseris j 
Ye schal nevyr, lady, be lefte here a lone. 
Mary. I crye ye mercy lorde and thin' erthe cus ; 

Recomendynge me to that godhyd, that is tryne, i' tro'ne. 

His osculet terra 1 Her 1 schal comyn, alwey, an Aungel, w't 
dyvers p'sents, goynge and comyng, and in the tyme thei schal 
synge, in hefne, this hy'pne J'HU CORONA VIRGINII. And, 
aft 1 that, comyth a mfsf, fro the busuchop, w't ap's'et. 

[Passages paralleled ; from the Apoc. N. Test.] 

2. For she every day had the con- 



(!) MARY, v. 1. But the Virgin of 
the Lord, as she advanced in years, 
increased also in perfections, and ac- 
cording to the saying of the Psalmist, 
her father and mother forsook her, but 
the Lord took care of her. 



versation of angels, and every day re- 
ceived visions from God, which pre- 
served her from all sorts of evil, and 
caused her to abound with all good 
things. 



26 

MARY receives the refreshment with thanks, but 
gives it to her maidens, requiring them to bestow 
what they leave on " po'r folk faryn god." 

CONTEMPLATION speaks the following 

Epilogue, 

Lo ! sofreynes, lier ye have seyn', 

In the temple, of our ladyes presentac'on ; 
She was nevyr occapyed in thyngs veyn, 

But evyrbesy, in holy occupacyon. 
And we be seche yow, of your pacyens, 

That we pace these matters so lythly away ; 
If thei shulde be do with good prevydens, 

Echo on wolde suffyce for an hoole day. 

Now schal we p'cede to her dissponsac'on, 

Which, after this, was xiiij ye'r ; 
Tyme sufficyth not to make pawsac'on, 

Hath pacyens w't vs, we be sech yow her* ; 

And, in short spaa, 

The parlement of hefne sone schal ye se, 
& how goddys son com' man schal be, 
And how the salutac'on after, schal be, 
Be goddys holy gras. 



MYSTEEY III. 



THE MIKACULOUS ESPOUSAL OF MAEY 
AND JOSEPH. 



ISSACHAE, the "BussHOPP," enters, and requests at- 
tention from the audience in an address beginning 

Lystenyth Lordyngs both hye and lowe. 
He says, " The lawe of god byddyth this sawe" 

That at xiiij yer' of age 

Every damesel what so sche be 

To the encrese of mor' plente 

Shulde be browght in good degr' 
On to her spowsage. (*) 

JOACHIM and ANNE bring MARY to ISSACHAR, who 
supposing she is come to choose a " spowse," wel- 
comes her. 

MARY says that she is not against the law, but that 
she will " levyn evyr in chastyte." 

[Passage paralleled : from the Apoc. N. Test.] 



C 1 ) MART, v. 4. At that time the 
high-priest made a public order, That 
all the virgins who had public settle- 
ments in the temple, and were come 
to this age, should return home, and, 



as they were now of a proper matu- 
rity, should, according to the custom 
of their country, endeavour to be mar- 
ried. 



23. 

ISSACHAR inquires why she will " not to wedclyng 
go?" 

MARY relates that her father and mother "were 
bothe baryn ;" that 

Bycause they hadde nothyr frute nor chylde, 
Keprevyed tbei wer' of wykkyd and Avylde : 

that they vow'd, if they had a child, it should be de- 
dicated to the service of God ; 

He herd her longe p'y' s 

& than sent hem both seed and flow'r j 
Whan I was born in her bow'r 

To the temple offryd I was ; 

and dedicated to chastity. (*) 

ISSACHAR declares that the law is express, that 
all maydens should go to the spowsing; that her 
Parents are not to blame for vowing, in their barren- 
ness, to dedicate their " frute ;" that to make a vow 
to God is lawful by scripture, and to observe the law 
also is needful ; and beseeches the advice of the 
Priests. 

A Priest advises that they all pray to God directly, 
and that they shall begin VENI CREATOR SP'US. 

[And whan veni creat' is doin, the buschop shal seyng Now LORD 

GOD OF LORDYS WHYSEST OF ALL &C."J 

[Passages paralled; from the Apoc. N. Test.] 

she and her parents had devoted her to 



( 1 ) MART, v. 5. To -which com- 
mand, though all the other virgina 
readily yielded obedience, Mary the 
Virgin of the Lord alone answered, 
that she could not comply with it, 



the service of the Lord : and besides, 
that she had vowed virginity to the 
Lord, which vow she was resolved 



6. Assigning these reasons, that both I man. 



never to break through by lying with 



29 

He then prays to "the lorde, knelynge on kne," for' 
a solution of this " dowteful dowte." (*) 

AN ANGEL appears and acquaints the Bishop that 
his prayer " is herd to hyg hevyn halle ;" that God 
hath sent him to tell him what to do in the dilemma ; 
and he desires the Bishop to 

Take tent, & undyrstond, 

This is goddys owyn byddyng, 
That all kynsmen of Dauyd the kyng, 

To the temple shul brynge, her' an offryng, 
"W't whyte yardys in their honde. 

Loke wele what tyme thei offer* ther 1 , 
All her' yardys in their hand then take ; 

Take hede whose yerde doth blome and ber', 
And he shal (be) the may deny s make.( 2 ) 



[Passages paralleled ; from the Apoc. N. Test.] 



(!) MART, v. 7. The high-priest 
being hereby brought into a difficulty, 

8. Seeing he durst neither on the 
one hand dissolve the vow, and disobey 
the Scripture, which says, Vow and 

pay, 

9. Nor on the other hand introduce 
a custom, to which the people were 
strangers, commanded 

10. That at the approaching feast all 
the principal persons both of Jerusalem 
and the neighbouring places should 
meet together, that he might have their 
advice, how he had best proceed in so 
difficult a case. 

11. When they wereaccordinglymet, 
they unanimously agreed to seek the 
Lord, and ask counsel from him on this 
matter. 

12. And when they were all engaged 
in prayer, the high priest, according to 
the usual way, went to consult God, 

13. And immediately there was a 
voice from the ark and the mercy- 
seat, which all present heard, that it 
must be inquired or sought out by a 

5 



prophecy of Isaiah, to whom the Vir- 
gin should be given and be betrothed ; 
14 For Isaiah saith, there shall come 
forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, 
and a flower shall spring out of ita 
root, 

15. And the Spirit of the Lord shall 
rest upon him, the Spirit of Wisdom 
and Understanding, the Spirit of Coun- 
sel and Might, the Spirit of Know- 
ledge and Piety, and the Spirit of the 
fear of the Lord shall fill him. 

16. Then, according to this pro- 
phecy, he appointed, that all the men 
of the house and family of David, who 
were marriageable, and not married, 
should bring their several rods to the 
altar, 

(2)17. And out of whatsoever person's 
rod after it was brought, a flower 
should bud forth, and on the top of it 
the Spirit of the Lord should sit in the 
appearance of a dove, he should be the 
man to whom the Virgin should be 
given and be betrothed. 



30 

The BISHOP orders " Proclamacion " to be made 
accordingly, and JOSEPH, hearing the announcement, 
says, 

In gret labor', my lyff I lede, 

Myn' ocupasy'on lyth in many place, 
For ffebylnesse of age my Jorney I may not spede, 

I thank the, gret god', of thi grace. 

JOSEPH lies down on the ground from weariness 
and exclaims, 

Age and febylnesse doth me embras, 
That I may nother well goe ne stond. 

Proclamation is made that MARY is to be married 
to one of the house of David, who. are required to 
appear before the Bishop : He is waiting for them, the 
Officer says, and 

He byddyth yow, ferthermor', in handys that ye hent, 
A fayr white yerde, every'ch of yow ye bryng. 

Joseph. Benedicite ! I cannot vnder stande 

What our p'nce of prests doth me'n, 
That every man shuld come and brynge Avith hy' a whande, 

Abyl to be maryed that is : Not I ! So ! Mote I then 1 

I have be' may don evyr, and evyr mor' wele ben j 
I chaungyd not yet, of all my long lyff, 

& now to be maryed ! s'n man wold wene, 
It is a straunge thynge, an old man to take a yonge wyff ! 

But, nevyr the lesse, no doute, of we must, forth to towne. 
Now neybors & kynnysmen lete us forth go : 

I shal take a wand in my hand, and cast of my gowne, 
Yf I falle, then I shalle, gronyn for wo. 



31 

Ho so take away my staff, I say he wer' my fo ; 
Ye be men that may wel ren, go ye be for ; 

I am old, & also colde, walkyng doth me wo ; 
Th'rfore now, wole I so, my staff holde, I this jurny to wor'. 

The BISHOP explains to the men of the house of 
t)avid the cause of his assembling them, and why each 
was commanded to bear a wand : 

All yo' roddys ye shal brynge vp to me, 
&, on hese rodde, that the holy gost is syttynge, 
He shal the husbonde of this ma'y be. 

[Hie portent v'yas. 

Joseph. It shal not be, I lay a grotte ; 

I shal a byde behynde p'uyly. 
Now wolde God I wer' at horn, in my cote ; 
I am a schamyd to be seyn, veryly. 

Several make their offering. The last man desires 
Joseph to bring up his offering; accuses him of 
tarrying behind, and says, " Com on man ; for shame !" 

Joseph. Com ? ya ! ya ! god help, full fayn I wolde, 
But I am so agyd, and so olde, 
That both my legs gyn to folde ; 
I am ny most lame^ 1 ) 

The BISHOP says he can " no sygne a spy," and 
proposes to go to prayer again ( 2 ), to which it is an- 
swered, that 



[Passages paralleled ; from the Apoc. N. Test.] 



(!) MART, vi. 1. Among the rest 
there was a man named Joseph, of the 
house and family of David, and a per- 
son very far advanced in years, who 
drew back hia rod, when every one be- 



sides presented his. 

(2) 2. So that when nothing appeared 
agreeable to the heavenly voice, the 
high-priest judged it proper to consult 
God again. 



32 

He "brought not up his rodde trewly, 

To whom the mayd howyth to be maryed her^ 1 ) 
JEp'us. ^Whath, Joseph ! why stande ye ther' by hynde 1 

I wis, ser, ye be to blame. 
Joseph. Ser, I kan not my rodde fynde, 

To come th'r in trowth me thynkyht shame. 

[Ep'us comyth thens.] 
Ep'us. OfFyr up yo' rodde, ser, in goddys name ; 

Why do ye not as men yow pray ? 
Joseph. Ser, he may euyl go that is ner lame ; 
In soth I com' as fast as I may. 

JOSEPH, when he presents his rod, prays to be ac- 
quitted of sin : laments that he can scarcely lift his 
hands ; and, on a sudden, exclaims with astonish- 
ment, 

Lo ! lo ! lo ! what se ye now ? 

Ep'us. A mercy ! mercy ! mercy ! lord, we crye ! 
The blyssyd of god we see art thou ! 

[& clamdt o'es m'cy m'c?/.] 

A gracyous god, in hevyn trone 1 
Ryht wundyrful thi werkys be. 

Her' may we se a merveyl one, 
A ded stok beryth flours fire. 

Joseph, in hert, with outen mone, 
Thou mayst be blyth, with game & gle, 

A mayd to wedde, thou must 'gone, 
Be this meracle I do wel se j 

Mary is her' name. 

[Passages paralleled ; from the Apoc. N. Test.] 



(1) MART, vi. 3. Who answered, 
that he to whom the Virgin was to be 
betrothed was the only person of those 



who were brought together, who had 
not brought his rod. 

4. Joseph therefore was betrayed. 



33 

Joseph. What ! shuld I wedde ? god for bede ! 
I am an old man, so god me spede, 
& with a wyff, now to levyn in drede, 
It wor' neyther sport ner game. 

Ep'us. Agens God, Joseph, thou mayst not stryve ; 

God wyl' that thou a wyff haue. 
This fayr mayde shal be thi' wyve ; 
She is buxum, and whyte as laue. 

Joseph. A ! shuld I have her' ye lese my lyff. 
Alas ! der god, shuld I now rave ? 

An old man may nevyr thryff 
With a yonge wyff ; so God me saue ! 

Nay, nay, ser' lett bene ; 

Shuld I now, in age, beg'y'ne to dote, 
If I her chyde, she wolde clowte my cote, 
Bier' my (ey') & pyke out a mote, 

& thus oftyn tymes it is sene. 

The BISHOP tells Joseph that God hath assigned 
Mary to him, and will not be opposed. 

JOSEPH assents, and, turning to the Virgin, says, 

But, fayr maydon, I thee p'y, 
Kepe thee clene as I shal me, 

I am a man of age ; 

Therfor', ser busshop, I wyl, that ye wete, 
That in bedde we shuld nevyr mete ; 
ffor I wys, mayden swete, 

An old man may not rage. 

Ep'us. ^[ This holyest virgyn shalt thou maryn now ; 
Your rodde floreschyth fayrest, that man may se. 

[& hi' ca'te't. B'n'd'c'a sit b'a t'nitas.] 



34 

The hole gost we se, syttyht on a bow ;(*) 
Now yeld we all preysing to the trenyte. 
1f Joseph ; wele ye have this maydon to yo' wyff, 
& her' hono', & kepe, as ye howe to do ? 

Joseph. Nay, ser, so mote I thryff, 
I haue ryght no nede therto. 
Ep'us. Joseph ; it is goddys wyl it shuld be so ; 
Sey after me, as it is skyL 

Joseph. Here, and to p'forme his wyl, I bow thereto, 
fibr all thynge owyght to ben at his wyl. 

Ep'us fy ide' Joseph. 

Sey thouafter me : Her I take thee Mary to wyff, 

To hauy' to holdyn, as God his wyll with ws will make, 

& as long as be thwyn us, lefty ght our' lyff, 
To loue yow as my selff, my trewth I you take. 

Mine ad Mariam sic dicens. 

E'piis. Mary ; wole ye haue this man, 

And hym to kepyn, as yo' lyff; 
Maria. In the tenderest wyse, fadyr, as I kan, 

& with all my wyttys ffyff. 
Ep'us. Joseph ; with this ryng now wedde thi wyff, 

& be her hand, now, thou her' take. 
Josejih. Ser, with this rynge, I wedde her ryff, 

& take her' now her', for my make.- 
E^fus. Mary, mayd, with outyn mor' stryff, 

On to thi spowse, thou hast hym take. ( 2 ) 
Maria. In chastyte, to leden my lyff, 

I shal hym nevyr for sake, 



[Passages paralleled ; from the Apoc. N. Test.] 



(1) MART, vi. 5. For, when he did 
bring his rod, and a dove coming from 
Heaven pitched upon the top of it, 
every one plainly saw, that the Virgin 
was to be betrothed to him : 



( 2 ) 6. Accordingly, the usual cere- 
monies of betrothing being over, he 
returned to his own city of Bethlehem, 
to set his house in order, and make 
the needful provisions for the marriage. 



35 

j/- 

But evyr with. Mm a byde ; 
And, jentyll spowse, as ye an seyd, 
lete me levyn as a clene mayd, 
I shal be trewe, be not dysmayd, 

Both terme, tyme, and tyde. 

Ep'us. Her' is the holyest mat'remony, that evyr was, in this 

werde : 

The hyg names of our lord we wole now syng hy, 
"We all wole this solempn dede record 

Devowtly. [Alma chorus d'ni rine pangat no' Ha summ'.] 



1T Xow goth hom all, in godys name, 

Wher as yo' wonyng was befor : 
Maydenys, to lete her go a lone it wor' shame, 

It wold hevy you' herts sor' ; 
Ye shal blysse the tyme that sche was bor', 

Now loke at hom her brynge. 

Maria. To have you' blyssyng ffadyr I falle yow be for'. 

Ep'us. He blesse yow that hath non hendyng : 
In no'fe p'ris $ filii and sp'us s'ci. 

Ep'us. ^[ Joseph ; thi selph art old of age, 
And the wyff of age is yonge, 
&, as we redyn, in old sage, 
Many man is sclepyr of tonge ; 
Therfor, euyl langage for to swage, 

That yo' good fame may leste longe, 
iij damysellys schul dwelle with yow i' stage, 

With thi wyff, to be evyr mor a monge, 
& schal these iij her take : 
Susanne, the fyrst, schal be ; 
Eebecca, the secunde, schal go with the ; 
Sephor' the thrydde. Loke that, ye thre, 
This maydon nevyr ye for sake. 



35 

The " maydenys" declare their readiness to go. Mary 
entreats, and obtains, the blessing of her parents, and 
ANNE says to her, 

I pray to God thee save ; 
I pray thee, mary, my swete chylde, 
Be lowe, & buxhum, meke, & mylde, 
Sad, & sobyr, & nothyng wylde, 

& goddys blyssynge thou haue. 

JOSEPH tells MARY that his kindred will go home 
before her ; that not being rich, he has no house, and 
he wishes her to abide there, and worship god ; Mary 
assents, determining to 

sey the holy Psalme of Dauyth, 

"Whiche book is cleypd the sawter'. 

JOSEPH having departed, MARY appears, saying, 

I haue seyd sum of my sawter, & her I am, 

At this holy psalme in dede, 
jBV dixisti di'ce' terrain tuam : 

In this holy labor, lord, me spede. 

When JOSEPH returns, he addresses her with 

Mary wyff, and mayd, most gracyous : 
Displese yow not, I pray yow, so long I haue be ;' 

I have hyryd for us a lytyl praty hous, 
& ther in, ryght hesely, levyn wole we. 

He invites her, and her maidens, to follow, and 
says, 

I must gon owth hens fer ye' fro, 

I wyll go laboryn, in fer co'ntre, d) 
With trewth, to maynteyn our householde so. 

[Passage paralleled ; from, the Apoc. N. Test.] 
(l) FnorEVAN. viii. 16. I must go to mind my trade of building. 



37 

This ix monthis thou seyst me nowthj 

Kepe the clene, my jentyl spowse, 

& all thi maydenys in thi howse, 

That evyl langage I her not rowse, 
For hese love that all hath wrought. 

MARY prays God to speed him, and concludes, 
with 

Gracyous God my mayden hed sane 
Euyr clene, in chastyte. 



38 



MYSTERY IV. 

IN COTTON SIS. PAGEAKT XL 



A COUNCIL OF THE TRINITY 
AND THE INCARNATION. 



CONTEMPLATION begins the PLAY with a 

Prologue. 

Fowr thowsand, sex vndryd, four yer, I telle, 
Man for his offens, & fowle foly, 

Hath leyn yer 8 , in the peynes of helle, 

And wer' wurthy to ly', there in, endlesly, 

But thanne shuld perysche thi grete mercye. 



****** 



"Wolde God thou woldyst (leave) thi hefne wyqhty, 

& com down her' in to erth, 
& levyn yers thre & threttye, 

thyn famy't folke, with thi fode, to fede, 
To staunche thi thryste, lete thi syde blede, 

ffor erste, wole not be made redemp'c'on. 

Virtutes. The Aungel, lord, thou made so glory oils, 

Whos synne hath mad hy' a devyl in helle, 
He mevyd man to he so contraryous, 

Man repentyd, & he, in his obstynacye, doth dwelle. 



39 

VIRTUE prays God to repel the malice of the devil, 
and take man into grace. 

<35o& comes forward, saying, that the supplications of 
all have reached him. 

TRUTH tells God he will not leave him reminds 
God that he promised, when Adam sinned, " that he 
shulde deye & go to helle " that to restore him is im- 
possible, and prays that he be tormented for ever. 

MERCY intercedes to God for compassion, says, that 
all heaven and earth cry for mercy, and calls the devil 
" a helle hownde." 

JUSTICE marvels what moves MERCY so much ; and 
assigns as a good reason for man's eternal punish- 
ment, 

That man having offended God, who is endless, 
Therfore, his endles punchement may nevyr sees ; 

Also, he forsoke his maker, that made hym of clay, 
And the devyl to his mayst' he ches, 

Shulde he be savyd 1 nay ! nay ! nay ! 

MERCY says, that there is too much vengeance in 
Justice that the " frelnesse " of mankind should be 
considered and that the mercy of God is without 
end. 

PEACE exhorts them not to quarrel, and says that 
she approves Mercy's supplication 

For, yff mannys sowle shulde abyde in helle, 
Be twen god & man euyr shulde be dyvysyon, 
And than myght not I, pes, dwelle. 

She proposes to refer the whole to God, to which 



40 

the others assent, and .Jpiltus (GoD THE SON) enter- 
ing, PEACE says, 

Her is God ! now her' is vnyte ; 
Hefne & erth is plesyd with pes. 

GOD THE SON is inclined to PEACE. He says, that 

If Adam had not deyd, peryschyd had ryghtwysnes ; 

And also, trewth had be' lost ther by : 
Giff another deth come not, mercy shulde perysch, 

Than pes wer' exyled ffynyaly ; 
So tweyn dethis must be, yow fowr to cherysch. 
^[ But he that shal deye, ye must knawe, 

That, in hym, may be non iniquyte, 
That helle may holde hym be no lawe, 

But, that he may pas, at hese lyberte. 
Ower swyche, on his p'vyde, & se ; 

And hese deth, for mannys deth, schal be redemp'con. 
All hefne, & erthe, seke now ye : 

Plesyth it yow this con'clusyon 1 

Veritas. I trowth, hane sowte the erthe, with out & with inne, 

&, in sothe, there kan non be fownde, 
That is of o day byrth, with owt synne ; 
!Nor, to that deth, wole be bownde. 

M'Va. I, mercy, have ronne the hevynly regyon rownde, 

And ther is non of that charyte, 
That, ffor man, wole suifre a deadly wounde ; 
So I can nott wete how, this schal be. 

Jasticia. Sur' ; I can fynde non sufficyent ; 

ffor servauntys vn profytable we be, ech on ; 
He love nedyth to be ful ardent, 
That, for man, to helle wolde gon. 

, That God may is non but on ; 
Therfor, this, is be hys a vyse ; 



41 

He that gaff this co'nsell, lete hy' geve the comforte a Ion, 

For the conclusyon, in hym, of all these lyse, 
jptltUS. It peyneth me that man I mad, 

That is to seyn, peyne I must suffre for. 
& Counsel Of tfje trimtC, must be had, 

Whiche of us shal man restor'. 
V. In your wysdam, son, man was mad thor, 

And in wysdam was his temptac'on, 
Therfor, sone, sapyens ye must ordeyn her' for', 

& se how, of man, may be salvac'on. 

. ffadyr ; he, that schaldothis, must be both god & man ; 

Lete me se how I may wer' that wede ; 
Any syth, in my wysdam, he began, 

I am redy to do this dede. 
jbp'US 8 Vug. I, the holy gost, of yow tweyn, do p'cede ; 

This charge I wole take on me : 
I, love, to your lover, schal yow lede ; 

This is the assent of our unyte. 
M'ia. Now is the loveday mad, of us fowr, fynia'ly : 

Now may we leve in pes, as we wer wonte, 
Misericord'ia fy veritas obvianeruat sibi 

Justicia fy pax osculate sunt 

[^ liic osculabunt pariter omnes.] 

GOD THE FATHER directs the Angel GABRIEL to 
go to MARY at Joseph's, in Galilee; and GOD THE 
SON instructs Gabriel to 

Say that she is with owte wo, & ful of grace, 

And that I, the son of the gcdhed, of her schal be bor'. 
Hyge the, thou wer' ther' a pace, 

ellys we schal be ther, the be for', 
I haue so gret hast, to be man thor', 

In that mekest & purest virgyne, 
Sey her, she shal restor, 

Of yow Aungellys, the grett knyne. 



42 



GOD THE HOLY GHOST, adds, 

^T And, if she aske the howe it myth be, 

lette her, I, the holy gost, schal werke at this ; 
Sche schal he savyd thorwe our unyte. 

In tokyn, her bareyn cosyn Elyzaheth, is 
Qwyk with childe, in her' grett age, I wys ; 

Sey her, to vs, is no thynge impossyhle, 
Her' body schal be so ful fylt, with blys, 

That she schal sone thynke this sownde credytV". 

GABRIEL departs. He then appears to the Virgin, 
with this salutation : 

Heyl ! fful of grace, God is with the ! 

Amonge all women blyssyd art th'u ! 
Her' this name Eva, is turnyd Aue, 

That is to say, with owte sorwe ar ye no\V t 
IT Thow sorwe, in yow, hath no place, 

Yet of joy lady ye nede more ; 
Th erf ore I adde, and sey, full of grece, 

ffor so ful of grace was nevyr non bore ; 
Yet who hath grace he nedyth kepyng sor', 

Therfor' I sey God is with the, 
"Which schal kepe yow endlesly thor' : 

So amonge all women blyssyd are ye ! ( 1 ) 

Mary says she is troubled at the greeting with 
" grett shamfastnes." ( 2 ) 

[Passages paralleled ; from the Apoc. N. Test.] 



( x ) MARY, vii. 3. Hail, Mary ! 
Virgin of the Lord most acceptable ! 
Oh Virgin full of grace ! The Lord is 
with you, you are blessed above all 
women, you are blessed above all 
men, that have been hitherto born. 

( 2 ) 4. But theVirgin, who had be- 
fore been well acquainted with the 
countenances of angels, and to whom 
such light from heaven was no un- 



common thing, 

5. Was neither terrified with the 
vision of the angel, nor astonished 
at the greatness of the light, but 
only troubled about the angel's 
words ; 

6. And began to consider what so 
extraordinary a salutation should 
mean, what it did portend, or what 
sort of end it would have. 



43 



Gcibryel. Mary, in this, take ye no drede, 
For at God, grace fownde hane ye ; 
Ye schal conceyve, in yo' wombe, in dede, 

A childe, the sone of the trynyte ; 
His name, of yow, Jh'u clepyd schal he ; (*) 

He schal he grett, the son of the hyest, clepyd of kende, 
&, of his fiadyr, davyd, the lord schal geve hy' the se, 

Eeynyng i' the hous of Jacoh, of which regne schal be 
n' ende. ( 2 ) 

Maria. Aungel, I sey to yow, 

In what maner of wyse schal this he ? 
fibr know'ng of man I haue non now ; 

I haue evyr mor kept, & schal, my virginyte ; 
I dowte not the wordys ye han seyd to me, 

But, I aske howe it schal be do' 1 ( 3 ) 
Galmjel. The holy gost schal com, fro ahove, to the ; 
& the vertu of hy', hyest, schal schadu yu. ( 4 ) 

He directs her to visit Elizabeth., her aged cousin, 
who is in the " sexte monyth of her passage." 

[Her the Aungel makyth a lytyl restynge, $ Mary beholdytk 
hy\ fy the Aungel seyth.] 



[Passages paralleled ; from the Apoc. N. Test.] 



YjVii. 7. To this thought 
the angel, divinely inspired, replies ; 

8. Fear not, Mary, as though I 
intended any thing inconsistent 
with your chastity in this saluta- 
tion : 

9. For you have found favour 
with the Lord, because you made 
virginity your choice. 

10. Therefore while you are a 
Virgin, you shall conceive without 
sin, and bring forth a son. 

( 2 ) 11. He shall be great, because 
he shall reign from sea to sea, and 
from the rivers even to the ends of 
the earth. 

12. And he shall be called the 
Son of the Highest ; for he who is 



born in a mean state on earth, 
reigns in an exalted one in heaven. 

13. And the Lord shall give him 
the throne of his father David, and 
he shall reign over the house of 
Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom 
there shall be no end. 

( 3 ) 15. To this discourse of the 
angel the Virgin replied, not, as 
though she were unbelieving, but 
willing to know the manner of it : 

16. She said, How can that be ? 
For seeing, according to my vow, I 
never have known any man, how 
can I bear a child ? 

( 4 )19. The Holy Ghost shall come 
upon you, and the power of the 
Most High shall overshadow you. 



44 

The Holy Ghost 

Abydyth thin answer, and thin assent, 
Thor' we wyse werke of dyvinyte, 

the secunde p'sone, verament, 
Is mad man, by fraternyte 

"With inne thi self, in place present. 

He acquaints her that " all the blyssyd spyrytys, all 
the gode levers, the chosyn sowlys that ar in helle & 
byde Jesu," 

Thin answer desyr to her ; 

And thin assent to the incarnac'on : 
Gyff me my' answer', now, lady der' ] 

Maria. With all mekenes I 'clyne, to this a corde ; 
Bowynge down my face, with all benyngnyte. 
Se her, the hand mayden of our lorde, 
Aftyr thi worde be it don to me. ( x ) 

Gdbryel. Gramercy ! my lady ffre ; 

Gramercy ! of yo' aunswer on hyght ; 
Gramercy ! of yo'r grett humylyte ; 
Gramercy ! the', lanterne of lyght ! 

[Her* tlie holy gost discendit, with ' uj. lemys, to o' lady ; 
the sane of the godhed, nest, with uj. bemys, to the holy 
gost; the ftadyr, godly, with uj. bemys, to tlie sone; Atid 
so entre, al thre, to her bosom ; $ Mary seyth^\ 

A ! now I fele, in my body be, 

Parfyte god, & parlyte man ; 
Havyng al schapp of chyldly carnalyte : 

Evyn, all at onys, thus God be gan ! 

[Passage paralleled ; from the Apoc. N. Test. 



( 1 )MARY, vii. 21. Then Mary 
stretching forth her hands, and 
lifting her eyes to heaven, said, 



Behold the handmaid of the 
Lord ! Let it be unto me accord- 
ing to thy word, 



45 

^[ Nott takynge fFyrst o membyr, & sythe a notlier, 

But parfyte childhod ye have a non ; 
Of your hand mayden, now, ye have made your modyr, 

With owte peyne in fflesche & "bon I 
Thus concey ved nevyr woman non, 

That evyr was beynge in this lyff ; 

my' hyest ffadyr, in your tron, 

It is worthy your son, now my son, have a pr'ogatyff ! 
^[ I cannot telle what joy, what blysse, 

Now I fele in my body. 
Aungel Gabryel, I thank yow for thys ; 

Most mekely recomende me to my faders mercy. 
To haue be' the modyr of God, iful lytyl wend 1, 

Now, my' cosyn Elyzabeth iFayn wold I se, 
How sche hath conseyvid, as ye dede specyfy. 

Now, blyssyd be the hyg trynyte ! 
Gabryel. Far' weyl turtyl ; Goddys dowter der' : 

Far' wel Goddys modyr ; I the honowr : 
Far' wel Goddys siistyr, & his pleynge fer' ; 

Far' wel Goddys chawmer, & his bowr ! 

MARY returns Gabriel's farewell, and says, 

I undyrstande, by inspyrac'on', 

That ye knowe, by synguler p'uylage, 

Most of my son'ys Incarnac'on : 

1 p'y you take it in to vsage, 

Be a custom' ocupac'on, 
To vesyte me, ofte, be mene passage ; 
Your p'sence is my comfortac'on. 

GABRIEL courteously accepts the invitation, com- 
mends himself to "the trone of the trinyte," and 
ascends to " hefne," with an Ave : 

AVE MARIA! gr'a plena ) A ,,. cantando ista seque ntia. 
dus tecu uy go sesena } 

7 



46 



MYSTERY V. 

IN COTTON MS. PAGEANT XII. 



JOSEPH'S JEALOUSY. 



( l ) Joseph. How dame, how ! vndo your dor' ! vndo ! 

AT ye at horn 1 why speke ye notht ? 
Susanna. Who is ther? why cry ye so? 

Telle us your herand : wyl ye ought 1 
Joseph. Vn do your dor ! I sey you to, 

ffor to com in is all my thought. 
Maria. It is my spowse, that spekyth us to, 

On do the dor, his wyl wer' wrought. 
^J Well come horn, m'y husbond der ! 

How have you ferd, in fer co'ntre ? 
Joseph. To gete our levynge, with owtyn dwer', 

I haA r e sor' laboryd, ffor the & me. ( 2 ) 
Maria. Husbond, ryght gracyously, now come be ye ; 

It solacyth me sor', sothly, to se yow in syth. 

{Passages paralleled ; from the Apoc. N. Test.] 

( 1 )MARY,viii. I.Joseph therefore i months since she was betrothed to 
went from Judsea to Galilee, with | him. 
intention to marry the Virgin who ( 2 ) PROTEVANGELION, x. 1. Jo- 



was betrothed to him ; 
2. For it was now near three 



seph returned from his building 
houses abroad, which was his trade. 



47 

Joseph. Me merveylyth, wyff ! surely your face I can not se, 

But as the sonne with his bemys in 'he is most bryth. 
Maria. ^f Husbond, it is, as it plesyth our lord, that grace of hy* 

grew. 

Who that evyr beholdyth me, veryly, 
They schal be grettly steryd to vertu ; 

tfor this gyfte, and many moo, good lord gramercy ! 
Joseph. How hast thou ferde, jentyl mayde, 

Whyl I have be' out of londe ? 
Maria. Sekyr, ser ; beth nowth dysmayde, 

Byth aftyr the wyl of goddys sonde. 
Joseph. That semyth evyl, I am afrayd ; 

Thi wombe to hyge doth stonde ; ( J ) 
I drede me sor' I am be trayd, 
S'n other man the had in honde, 
Hens, sythe, that I went : ( 2 ) 
Thy wombe is gret, it gynnyth to ryse, 
Than has thou be gownne a synfull gyse, 

Thy self thou art thus schent. 
^| Now, dame, what thinge menyth this? 
With childe thou gynnyst ryth gret to gon ; 
Sey me, Mary, this childys fadyr ho is ? 

I p'y the telle me, and that anon ? 
Maria. The fadyr of hevyn, & se, it is, 

Other fadyr hath he non : 
I dede nevyr forfete with man, I wys, 

Wherefor', I p'y yow, amende yo' rnon, 
This childe is goddys, and your'. 



[Passages paralleled; from the Apoc. N. Test.] 



(!) MARY, viii. 3. At length it 
painly appeared she was with child, 
and it could not be hid from Joseph : 

4. For going to the Virgin in a 



talking familiarly with her, he per- 
ceived her to be with child. 

(") 5. And thereupon began to be 
uneasy and doubtful, not knowing 
what course it would be best to take 



48 



Joseph. Goodys cliilde ! them lyist, in fay' ! 

God dede nevyr rape so with may'. 

* * # * 

But yit I say, Mary, whoos childe is this ? 
Maria. Goodys and your", I sey, I wys. 
Joseph. Ya, ya! all olde men, to me take tent, 

& weddyth no wyff, in no kynnys wysc, 
That is a yonge wench, be m'y a sent, 
For doute & drede & swych servyse. 
Alas ! Alas ! my name is shent ; 
All men may me now dyspyse, 

& seyn- old cokwold ! 

* * * 

Alas, and welaway ! 
Alas, dame ! why dedyst thou so ? 

For this synne, that thou hast do, 
I the for sake, and from the go, 

For onys evyr, & dy. 
Maria. Alas gode spowse ! why sey ye thus 1 

Alas der' hosbund a mende yo' mod ! 
It is no man, but swete Jhus, 

He wyll be clad in flesch and blood, 

And of yo' wyff be born. 
Saphor. For sothe the A'ngel thus sey'd he, 

That goddys sone, in trynite, 
For mannys sake, a man wolde be, 

To save that is for lorn. 
Joseph. An A'ngel ! alas, alas ! fy for schame ! 

Ye syn now, in that ye to say ; 
To puttyn an A'ngel in so gret blame. 

Alas ! alas ! let be do way ; 
It was s'n boy began this game, 

That clothyd was clene and gay, 
& ye geve hym now an A'ngel name. 
Alas ! alas ! and welaway, 

That evyr this game be tydde ! 



49 

A dame ! what thought haddyst thou? 
Her may all men this proverbe trow, 
That many a man doth bete the bow, 
Another man hath the brydde. 

Maria. A gracyous God ! in hefne trone ! 

Comforte my spowse in this hard cas ; 
Merciful god, a mend his mone, 
As I dede nevyr so gret trespas. 

Joseph. Lo, Lo, sers ! what told I yow, 
That it was not for my prow, 

A wyff to take me to, 
An that is wel sene now ; 
For Mary, I make god a vow, 

Is grett with childe, lo ! 
Alas ! why is it so 1 

To the busshop I wole it telle, 
That he the la we may here do, 
With stonys her to qwelle. 
^[ Nay, nay, yet God forbede ! 
That I should do that ve'geabyl dede. 

But if I wyst, wel away ! 
I knew nev' with her, so God me spede, 
To ky' of thynge, i' word nor dede, 

That towchyd velany. 
Nevyr the less what for thy, 

Thow she be meke & mylde, 
With owth mannys company, 

She myght not be with childe. 
IT But I ensur' my' was it nevyr ; 
Thow yet she hath not done her devyr, 

Rather than I shuld pleyny' opynly, 
Certeynly, yett, had I levyr 
For sake the co'ntr', ffor evyr, 

& nevyr come i' her' co'pany. 
For, & men knew this velany, 



50 

In reproff thei wolde me holde, 
And yett many bettyr than I, 

Ya ! hath ben made cokolde. 
^ jtfow, alas ! whedyr schal I gone 1 

I wot nevyr whedyr, nor to what place ; 
For oftyn tyme sor'we comyth sone, 

& longe it is or it pace. 
No comfort may I have her'. 

I wys wyff thou dedyst me wrongc, 
Alas I taryed fro' the to longe, 
All men have pety enime amonge, 
For to my sor'we is no cher. ( J ) 
Maria. God ! that in my body art sesyd, 

Thou knowist my husbond is dysplesyd, 

To se me i' this plight ; 
For unknowlage he is desesyd, 
& therfor help that he wer' esyd, 

That he myght knowe the ful p'f y^hf 
For I hane levyr abyde respyt, 

To kepe thi sone in p'uite, 
Graunted by the holy spyryt, 

Than that it shulde be opyn'd by me. 

GOD appears and instructs an Angel to desire Jo- 
seph will abide with Mary, she being pregnant by God 
himself. 

Angelus. ( 2 ) Joseph ! Joseph ! thou wepyst shyrle, 
Fro' thi wyff why comyst thou owte ] 



[Passages paralleled from the Apoc. N. Test.] 



( 1 ) MARY, viii. 6. For being a just 
man, he was not willing to expose her, 
nor defame her by the suspicion of be- 
ing a whore, since he was a pious man. 

7. He purposed therefore privately 



to put an end to their agreement, and 
as privately to send her away. 

( 2 ) 8. But while he was meditating 
these things, behold the angel of the 
Lord appeared to him. 



51 

Joseph. Good ser ! lete me wepe my fly lie ; 

Go forthe that wey, & lett me nowght. 

THE ANGEL requests him to return and cheer her 

Sche is a ful clene may', 

I tolle ye God wyl of her be born, 
And sche clene mayd as she was be forn, 
To save mankynd that is for lorn; 

Go cher' her, ther'for', I say. 
Joseph A, lord god ! benedicite ! 

Of thi gret comforte I thank the, 
That thou sent me this space ; 

I myght wel a wyst parde", 

So good a creatur' as sche, 

Wold nevyr e don' trespace. 

** 

JOSEPH then returns to Mary, and under a feeling of 
repentance and delight, says, 
Joseph. Alas ! for joy, I qwedyr& qwake ! 
Alas ! what hap now was this 1 
A mercy ! mercy ! my jentyl make, 

mercy ! I have seyd al a mys ; 
All that I have seyd her' I for sake, 

Your swete fete now let me kys. 
Maria. Nay lett be ; my fete not thou' them take ; 
My mowth ye may kys, I wys, 

& welcome on to me. 
Joseph. Gra'mercy ! my' owyn swete wyff ! 

Gramercy ! myn hert ! my love ! my lyffl 
Schal I nevyr mor' mak suche stryff, 
Be twyx me & the ! 

He tells her he is convinced : 

Had thou not be' a vertuous wythe, 
God wold not a be' the' with inne. 



JOSEPH assures MARY that hereafter he will serve 



her, and worship the child ; yet he expresses cu- 
riositv 

/ 

& therfor' telle me, & nothynge Vhou'de, 
The holy mat'er of your concep'ion. 

MARY relates, that the Angel Gabriel greeted her, 
and said, 

God shulde be borne of my bode, 

The flendys powste ffor to ffelle, 
Thor'we the Holy Gost, as I wel se : 

Thus God, in me, wyl byde & dwelle. 

JOSEPH expresses satisfaction, thanks God, is re- 
conciled to MARY, and the performance concludes. 



53 



MYSTERY VI. 



IN COTTON MS. PAGE A XT XIII. 



VISIT OF MARY TO ELIZABETH. 



discoursing with JOSEPH, informs him that 
Elizabeth is with Child, and proposes to visit her. 

Joseph. A ! godys sake ! is she with childe 1 sche ? 

Than wole her husbond zakarye he mery ; 
In Montana they dwelle, fer hens, so moty the 

In the cety of Juda, I know it veryly, 

It is hens, I trowe, myles two & fiyfty. 

They prepare for the journey, and on setting off, 
Mary urges Joseph to go fast, " ffor I am schamfast of 
the pepyl to be seyne." 

Joseph. Amen, Amen, and evyr more, 

[& sic fnsient eta plac'ea.'] 
Lo wyff ! lo ! how starkly I go befor. 

CONTEMPLATION. 
Sovereynes ! Vndyrstand, that kyng davyd here 

Ordeyned ffour & twenty prestys, of grett devoc'on, 
In the temple of God. <* 
And on' was pryace of prestys, havynge d'nacy'on, 
8 



54 

Anionge which was an old prest, clepyd Zakarye, 

& he had an old woman to his wyff, of holy conversac'on, 
Whiche hyth Elizabeth, that nevyr had childe, verylye. 

CONTEMPLATION then states, that there has 
been an annunciation by Gabriel to Zachary that his 
wife should conceive, her consequent conception, and 
Mary's intended visit to her : 

And of her' tweyners metyng, 

her gynnyth the proces ; 
Now god be our begynnynge, 

&, of my tonge, I wole ses. 

Joseph. A ! A ! wyff, in feyth I am wery ; 

therfore I wole sytt downe & rest me ryght her'. 
Lo, wyff! her is the hous of Zakary, 

Wole ye I'clepe Elyzabeth to yow to aper 1 

'Maria. Nay, husbond, and it plese you, I shal go ner. 

Now the blyssyd trynite be in this hous ! 
A ! cosyn Elizabeth ! swete modyr I what cher 1 

Ye grow grett ; A, my God I how ye be gracyous ! ( T ) 

Elizabeth. A non, as I herd of yow this holy gretynge, 
Mekest mayden, & the modyr of god, Mary, 

Be yo' breth, the holy gost vs was inspyrynge, 
That the childe in my body enjoyd gretly, 
And turnyd down, on his knes, to our god, reverently, 

Whom ye ber' in your body. ( 2 ) 

They congratulate and bless each other. Eliza- 

[Passages paralleled ; from the Apoc. N. Test.] 



(*) PROTEVAN. ix. 19. Then Mary, 
filled with joy, went, away to her 
cousin Elizabeth, and knocked at the 



door. 



( 2 ) 20. Which when Elizabeth heard, 
she ran and opened to her, and blessed 
her, and said, Whence ia this to me, 



that the mother of my Lord should 
come unto me ? 

21. For lo ! as soon as the voice of 
thy salutation reached my ears, that 
which is in me leaped and blessed 
thee. 



55 

both asks Mary what occasioned her visit ; to this 
she answers, 

Mary. Whan I sat, in my lytyl hous, on to God praynge, 

Gabryel come, & seyde to me, Ave; 
Ther I conceyvyd God, at my consentynge, 
Parfyte god & p'fyte man, at onys beynge; 

Than the Aungel seyd on to me, 
That it was sex monethys syn your consp.yvynge, 

This cawsyth my comynge cosyn, yow to co'fort & se. 

ELIZABETH acquaints Mary of her own concep- 
tion after Gabriel's salutation, and they sing Magni- 
ficat, taking two lines alternately. It is given in the 
Latin, and translated into English verse. Mary says 
this Psalm ought 

to be seyn 

Euery day amonge us, at our eve song. 
But, cosyn Elyzabeth, I schal you her' kepe, 

& this thre monethis abyde her' now, 
Tyl ye han childe, to wasche, sko'r, & swepe, 

&, in all that I may, to comforte yow. 

Elizabeth. A ye ! modyr of God ! ye shewe us her' how 

"We schulde be made, that wrecchis her be, 
All hefne and herthe wurchepp yow mow, 

That ar' trone & tabernakyl of the hyg trinite. 

ZACHARY remains speechless during this conver- 
sation. Joseph salutes him % 

Joseph. A ! how do ye 1 how do ye, ff.idyr Zacharye ] 

We ffalle ffast in age with owt oth : 
Why shake ye so yo' hed ? hane ye the palsye ? 

Why speke ye not ser' 1 I trowe ye ar' not wroth. 



56 

Elizabeth. Nay wys, ffadyr Joseph, th'lo ne wer' ful loth ; 

It is the vesytac'on of God ; he may not speke, veryly ; 
lete us thank god therefor both, 

He schal remedy it whan it plesyth his mercy. 

JOSEPH tells Mary they have far to go, and had 
better return home. After mutual leave taking with 
Zachary and Elizabeth, they depart. 

[Her Mary fy Elizabet party,' fy Elizabeth goth to 

Zakarie $ seyth,] 

Good husbond ryse up, I be seke yow, & go we the te'ple now 
fast, to worship, because god wyl be born. 

Cotepla'on. Lystenyth Sovereynys, her is a conclusyon 

How the Ave was mad, her' is lernyd vs ; 
The Aungel seyd, Ave g'ia plena d'us tecum, 

benedicta tu in mulieribus. 
Elyzabeth seyd, et benedict us 
fruitis ventris tui. Thus the CHURCH added Maria, and 

Jh'us her. 

"Who seyth our ladyes sawter dayly, ifor a yer thus, 
He hath pardon ten thowsand & eyte hundryd yer. 

CONTEMPLACION continues relates that Mary 
abode with Elizabeth during three months, till John 
was born, and that then Zachary and Elizabeth " pro- 
phecyed." 

They made Benedictus them beforn, 
& so Magnificat and Benedictus 

ffyrst, in that place thei made worn, 
whan all was don, our lady fre 

Toke her' leve, than after this 
At Elizabeth, and Zakarie, 

And kyssyd John, & gau hy' blys. 



57 

Kow, most raekely we thank you of yowr pacycns, 

& beseke yow, of your good supportac'on, 
If her' hath he seyd, or do' any i'co'uenyens, 

We assygne it, to yowr good deliberac'on ; 
Be sek'yn'ge, to crysts p'c'ous passyon, 

Co'serue & rewarde yowr hedyr comy'ge, 
With Ave we be gun'e, & Ave is our co'clusyon ; 

Are Reyia celor to our lady we synge. 

The Play concludes and ushers in the succeeding 
Pageant by the following sprightly address, which as 
a specimen of the language held by the Performers to 
their audiences is curious. In the last verse but one, 
there is a pretty clear intimation that the goodness of 
the playing was according to the liberality of the 
pay. 

Tf A voyd sers ! And lete my lorde the buschop come, 

And syt in the courte, the lawes for to doo : 
And schal gon in this place, them for to somowne, 
The that ben in my book, the court ye must com too. 



I warne yow her', all a bowte, 
That I somown you, all the rowte, 
Loke ye fayl, for no dowte, 

At the court to " per." 



Both John Jurdon', & Geffrey Gyle, 
Malkyn Mylkedoke, and fayr Mabyle, 
Stevyn Sturdy, & Jak at the style, 

& Sawdyr Sadeler. 



58 

Thorn Tynker', & Betrys "belle, 
Peyrs Potter, & Whatt at tlie welle, 
Symme Smalfeyth, & Kate Kelle, 

& Bertylmew the bocher'. 



Kytt cakeler, & Colett crane, 
Gylle fetyse, & fayr Jane, 
Powle pewter', & P'nel prane, 

& Phelypp the good fleccher. 



Cok crane, & Davy drydust, 
Luce Lyer, & Letyce lytyl trust, 
Miles the miller, and colle crake crust, 

Bothe bette the baker, & Robyn Rede. 



And loke ye rynge wele in yowr purs, 
For ellys yowr cawse may spede the wurs, 
Thow that ye slynge goddys curs, 

Evy' at my' hede. 



Bothe Bontyng the browster', & Sybyly Slynge, 
Megge Mery wedyr, & Sabyn Sprynge, 
Tyffany Twynkeler, ifayle for no thynge, 

flfast co' A way, 
The courte schal be this day. 



MYSTERY VII. 

IN COTTON MS. PAGEANT XIV. 



THE TRIAL OF MARY AND JOSEPH. 



J wo SLANDERERS introduce the simple story of this 
performance. 

Prim. Detractor. A ! A ! serys, God save yow all ; 
Her' is a fayr pepyl, in good fay. 

***** * 

To reyse blawdyr is al my lay, 

Bakbyter is my brother of blood. 
^j Dede he ought come hedyr in al this day ; 

Now wolde God that he wer her', 
&, be my trewth, I dar' wel say, 

That, if we tweyn, to gedyr aper', 
Mor slawndyr we to schal a rer', 

With in an howr', thorwe outh this town, 
Than evyr ther was this thowsand yer, 

& ellys I shrewe you, bothe vp & down. 
5[ Now, be my trewth, I have a syght, 

Euyn of my brother, lo wher he is : 
"Welcom, der brother ! my trowth I plyght, 
Yowr jentyl mowth let me now kys. 

S'c'dus Defctor. Gramercy ! brother, so have I blys ; 
I am ful glad we met this day, 



CO 

1st Detractor. Ryght so am I, brother, I wys, 

moch gladder than I kan say. 
^[ But yitt, good brother, I yow pray, 

Telle, all these pepyl, what is yo' name : 
For yf thei knew it, my lyf I lay, 

They wole yow wurchep, & spek gret fame. 
2d Detractor. I am bakbyter, that spyllyth all game, 

bothe hyd and knowyn, in many a place. 
1st Detractor. Be my trowth, I seyd the same ; 

& yet sum seyden thou shulde have evyl grace. 
Id Detractor. ^[ Herk ! rey'se sclaundyr : canst thou owth telle 

of any newe thynge that wrought was late ? 
1st Detractor. With in a shorte whyle a thynge befelle, 

I trowe thou wylt lawhg ryghtt wel ther ate, 
ffor, be trowth, ryght mekyl hate, 
If it be wyst, therof wyl growe. 
2d Detractor. If I may reyse ther with debate, 

I schal not spar' the seyd to sowe. 
1st Detractor. Syr, in the tempyl, a mayd ther was. 

Calde mayd Mary ; the trewth to tell, 
Sche seruyd so holy, with inne that plas, 

men, seyd sche was fedde with holy A'ngell ; 
Sche made a vow with man nevyr to melle, 

But to leve chast, and clene virgine, 
How evyr it be, her wombe doth swelle, 
& is as gret as thyne or myne. 

They discourse for some time upon this news very 
wittily, but in terms not befitting modern refinement. 

The Bishop, " ABIZACHAR," enters, with two 
Doctors of Law. They listen to part of the slander, 
and at last the Bishop says, " Herke ye felawys," and 
inquires why they defame the virgin's character 

I charge yow ses of your fals cry, 
ffor sche is sybbe of my owyn blood. 



61 

2d Detractor. 1 Syb of thi kyn thow that she be, 

All gret with chylde her wombe doth swelle; 
Do calle her hedyr, thi self schal se, 

That it is trewthe that I thee telle. 
1st Detractor. Ser, for yowr sake, I schal kepe cowncelle, 

Yow for to greve I am ryght loth, 
But list, syrs, lyst, what sayth the belle ? 

Our fayr inayd now gret with childe goth. 
Princ. Doct. leg. IT Make good heed, sers, what ye doth say, 

A vyse yow wele what ye p'sent, 
Gyf this be fownde fals, anothyr day 

fful sor' ye schal yowr tale repent. 
2d Detractor. Ser, the mayd, forsothe, is good, & gent, 

Both comely, & gay, & a fayr wench ; 
And, feetly, with help, sche can consent, 
To set a cokewolde on the hye benche. 
Ej)' us. This ev'y' talys my hert doth greve, 

Of hir' to her' suc'h fowle dalyawnce, 
If she be fowndyn in such repreve, 

She schal sore rewe her governawns. 
IT Sym Somnor', in hast wend thou thi way, 

Byd Joseph, and his wyff, be name, 
At the coorte to apper this day, 

Her' hem to pourge of her defame ; 
Sey that I her' of hem grett schame, 

& that doth me gret hevynes, 
If thei be clene, with owtyn blame, 

byd hem come hedyr, & shewe wytt nes. 
Den. IT All redy ser I schal hem calle, 

Her' at yo' courte for to apper, 
And, yf I may hem mete with all, 

I hope ryght sone thei schal ben her. 
A wey, sers ! lete me com ner' ; 

A man of wurchep her' comyth to place. 
Of curtesy, me semyth, ye be to ler', 
Do of yo hodys, with an evyl grace !, 
9 



62 

^| Do me su' wurchep be for my face, 

or, be my trowth, I schal yow make 
If that I rolle yow up. in my race, 

ffor fer I schal do yowr limbs qwake, 
But yit su' mede, & ye me take, 

I wyl with drawe my gret rough toth. 
Gold, or sylvyr, I wyl not for sake, 

But evyn as all somnors doth. 
IT A, Joseph ! good day, with thi ffayr spowse : 
my lorde, the buschop, hath for yow sent ; 
It is hym tolde that in thi' house 

A cockolde is 

Maria. Of God, in hevyn, I take wyttnes, 
That synful werk was nevyr my thought, 
I am a mayd yit, of pur' clennes, 

Lyke as I was in to this werd brought. 
Den. Othyr wyttnes shal non be sought ; 

Thou art with childe, eche man may se ; 
I charge yow bothe ye tary nought, 

But, to the buschop, com forth, with me. 
Joseph. To the buschop, with yow, we wende ; 

Of our purgac'on hawe we no dowth. 
Maria. Almyghty God shal be our frende, 

Whan the trewthe is tryed owth. 
Den. Ha ! on this wyse, excusyth her', every scowte, 

Whan her owyn synne hem doth defame ; 
But lowly therin thei gyn to lowth, 

Whan thei be gylty, & fowndyn in blame. 
Therfore com forth cokewolde. 

The SOM'NOE. upbraids them further, and brings 
them before the Bishop, whom he thus addresses : 

f My lord, the buschop , her* haue I brought 

This goodly copyl, at yo' byddyng; 
&, as me semyth, as be her', fraught 
ffayr chylde, lullay, sone must she syug. 



63 



1st Detractor. To her a credyl & ye wolde brynge, 

Ye myght saue mony in her purse, 
be cawse she is your cosyn (young) thynge, 
I pray yow, ser, lete her nevyr far the wers. 

Ejfus. ^[ Alas, Mary ! what hast thou wrought 1 ( T ) 
I am a schamyd evyn for thi sake. 

*** 

Tell me whohath wrought this wranke, 

How hast thou lost thi holy name 1 
Maria. ^[ My name, I hope, is saff and sownde, 

God to wyttnes I am a mayd. 

* * * * * 

Of ffleschly lust & gostly wownde 

In dede nor thought I nevyr asayd. ( 2 ) 

2d Doct. leg. Herke thou, Joseph ; I am afrayd 
That thou has wrought this opyn synne ; ( 3 ) 
This woman thou hast thus be trayd, 
With gret flaterynge, or su' fals gynne. 

* * 

2d Detractor. Now, be my trowth, ye hytte the pynne, 

With that purpose in feyth I holde, 
Tell now how thou thus hir dudyst wynne, 
Or knowlych thi self ffor a cockewold ? 

Joseph. Sche is, for me, a trewe clene mayde, 

And I, for hir, am clene also ; 
Of ffleschly synne I nevy' asayde, 

Sythyn that sch' was weddyd me to. ( 4 ) 

[Passages paralleled ; from the Apoc. N. Test.] 



(1) PROTEVAN. xi. 8. Both she and 
Joseph were brought to their trial ; 
and the priest said unto her, Mary, 
what hast thou done ? 

(2) 11. To which with a flood of 
tears she answered, As the Lord my 
God liveth, lam innocent in his sight, 



seeing I know no man. 

(3) 12 Then the priest said to 
Joseph, Why hast thou done this ? 

(4) 13. And Joseph answered, as the 
Lord my God liveth, I have not been 
concerned with her. 



64 

Ep'its. Thou schalt not schape from vs, yitt so, 

ffyrst thou shalte tellyn us a nother lay, 
Streyt to the awter thou shalt go, 

The drynge of vengeawns ther to a say. 

U Her is the hotel of Goddys vengeauns ; ( l ) 

This drynk shall he now thi purgac'on ; 
This hath suche vertu, by Goddys ordenauns, 

That what man drynk of this potac'on, 
And goth (straightway) in p'cessyon, 

Her' in this place this awter ahowth, 
If he he gylty, sum maculacion, 

Pleyn in his face, schal shewe it owth. 

\hic Joseph bibit fy sap'cies ecuiuit altar 1 dice's.] 

Joseph. This drynk I take, with meke entent, 

As I am gyltles, to God I pray ; 
Lord ! as thou art omnypotente, 

On me then shewe the trowth this day. 

[modo bibit.] 
About this awter I take the way ; 

gracyous God help thi servaunt, 
As, I am gyltles, a gen you may ; 

Thi hand of mercy, this tyme, me graunt. 

Den. This old shrewe may not wele gon, 

Long he taryeth to go a bowth ; 
lyft up thi feet, set forth thi ton, 

or, be my trewth, thou getyst a clowte. 

JOSEPH is sorely upbraided and taunted, by the 
Som'nor and the Slanderers, whilst he paces round 
the altar. 



[Passage paralleled; from the Apoc. N. Test.] 



(1) PROTEVAN. xi. 17. But he wept 
bitterly, and the priest added, I will 
cause you both to drink the water of 



the Lord, which is for trial, and so 
your iniquity shall be laid open be- 
fore you. 



65 



Joseph. A, gracyous God ! help me this tyde, 
Ageyn this pepyl, that doth me defame, 

As I nevyr more dede towche her syde, 
This day help me, fro werdly schame, 

Abowte this awter to kepe my fame. 

1J vij. tymes I haue gon rownd abowte, 

If I be wurthy to suffyr blame, 
0, ryghtful god ! my synne shewe owughte. 

Ep'us. Joseph ; with herte, thank god, thi lorde, 

Whos hey' mercy doth the excuse ; 
ffor thi purgac'on we schal recorde, 

With hyr, of synne, thou dedyst nev' muse ; 
But, Mary, thi self mayst not refuse, 

All grett with chylde we se the stonde ; 
What mystyz man dede the mys vse 1 

Why hast thou synnyd A geyn thi husbonde ? 

Maria. I trespacyd nevyr, with erthely wyght, 

Therof I hope, th'owe goddys sonde, 
Her to be purgyd, be for yo' syght, 

From all synne clene, lyke as my' husbonde ; 
Take me the botel, out of yowr honde ; 

Her schal I drynke, beforn yowr face, 
A bowth this awter than schal I fonde 

vij times to go, by godys grace. 



2d Doct. leg. H With goddys hyg myght loke thou not rape, 

Of thi purgac'on wel the a vyse ; 
Yf thou be gylty thou mayst not schape, 

be war evyr of god that ryghtful justyce. 
If God with vengeauns set on the his syse, 

Not only thou, but all thi kyn is schamyd 
Bettyr it is to telle the trewth devyse, 

Than God for to greve, and of hym be gramyd. 

Mary drinks of the water of vengeance, and walks 



66 

around the altar, saying a prayer to God, which she 
concludes thus : 

Gabryel me. with wordys, he be forn, 

That ye, of your goodnes, would become my chylde ; 
Help now of your hyg-ness, my wurchep be not lorn, 

A der' sone ! I p'y yow, help yo' modyr mylde. 

MARY receives no harm from the potation, and the 
High Priest, in astonishment, declares, that 

Sche is clene mayde, both modyr and wyff ! 

The Slanderers suspecting some deceit, express dis- 
satisfaction. 

1st Detractor. Be my fadyr sowle, her' is gret gyle; 

be cause she is syb of yowr kynreed, 
The drynk is chaungyd, by su' fals wyle, 
That sche no shame shulde haue this steed. 

The High Priest orders the Slanderer to drink of 
the same cup. 

1st Detractor. Syr, in good feyth, o draught I pulle, 
If these to drinkers have not all spent. 

He instantly becomes frantic from the draught : the 
Bishop and all present ask pardon of Mary for their 
suspicion and detraction, which she grants ; she and 
Joseph congratulate each other, and the piece con- 
cludes. 



67 



MYSTERY VIII. 

IN COTTON MS. PAGEANT XV. 



THE MIRACULOUS BIRTH, AND THE 
MIDWIVES. 



THE Play commences by Joseph acquainting Mary, 
that Octavian having demanded tribute to be " cryed in 
every bourgh & cety be name," he must " sekyrnedys 
in " Bedleem" by labor. (*) Mary says she will go 
with him, where she may perhaps find some of her 
kin. 

Joseph. My spowse ye be with childe ; I fer yow to kary ; 

For, me semyth, it \ver' werkys wylde : 
But yow to plese, ryght fayn wold I ; 

Yitt women ben ethe to greve, whan thei be with childe. 
Now latt us forth wend, as fast we may, 

& al myghty God spede us, in our jurnay. 

MARY, while they are travelling, espies a tree, and 
inquires of Joseph, 

A my swete husbond .! wolde ye telle to me, 
What tre is yon, standing vpon yon hylle 1 
Joseph. For suthe Mary it is clepyd a chery tre ; 

In tyme of yer, ye myght ffede yow theron yowr fylle. 

[Passage paralleled ; from the Apoc. N. Test.] 
(l) PROTEVAN. xii. 1. And it came I the Jews should be taxed, who were 



to pass, that there went forth a decree 
from the Emperor Augustus, that all 



of Bethlehem, in Judaea. 



68 

Maria. Turn a geyn, husbond, & be holde yon tre, 
How that it biomyght, now, so swetly. 

Joseph. Cum on Mary, that we wern at yon Cyte, 

or ellys we may be blamyd, I telle yow lythly. 

Maria. ^[ Now my spowse, I pray yow to be hold 

How the cheryes growyn vpon yon tre ; 
ffor to have them, of ryght, ffayn I Avoid, 
& it plesyd yow to labor' so mec'h for me. 

Joseph. ^[ Yo' desyr to ffulfylle I schall assay sekyrly : 

Ow ! to plucke yow of these cheries, it is a werk wylde ! 
ffor the tre is so by', it wol not be lyghtly 

y for lete hy' pluk yow cheryes, be gatt yow with childe. 

Maria. IT iSTow, good lord, I pray the, graunt me this bonn, 

to haue of these cheries, & it be yo' wylle ; 
now, I thank it god, yis tre bowyth to me down, 
I may now gader'y a nowe, & etyn my ffylle. 

JOSEPH perceives, by -the bowing down of the tree, 
that in speaking thus reproachfully to the Virgin, he 
has offended " god i' trinyte," and he humbles himself. 
Meeting " Ernes," a citizen of Bethlehem, they are in- 
formed the city is full, on account of the persons 
resorting to pay tribute. Mary says, 

Yondyr is an hous of haras, that stant be the wey, 
Amonge the bestys, herberyd may ye be. 

** 

Maria. In this por' logge my chawmer I take, 

her for to A byde the blyssyd byrth 

of hym, that all this werd dude make : 

be twyn my' sydys I fele he styrth. 

JOSEPH accordingly brings her in. Mary requires 
him to depart, and he does so, telling her he will 



69 

" seke su' mydwy vys." He meets two, whose help lie 
desires for Mary, which they promise. 
Saloinee. My name is Salomee, all men me knowe, 

ffor a mydwyff of wurthy fame ; 
"Whan women travayl grace doth growe, 

There as I come I had nevyr shame. 
Zelomye. And I am Zelomye, men knowe my name, 

We tweyn, with the, wyl go to gedyr, 
& help thy wyff, fro hurt & grame, 

Com forth, Joseph, go we streyth thedyr. 

THE MIDWIVES, being alarmed at a great light 

within, decline entering. Joseph returns ; inquires of 

Mary how she fares, and tells her the midwives are 

without, " & dar not come in for lyght that they se." Q 

[hie Maria subridendo dicat maria.\ 

Maria. The myght of the godhede, in his Mageste 

wyl not be hyd now, at this whyle; 
The chylde that is born wyl p'ue his modyr fre, 

A very clene mayde, & th'r for I smyle. 
Joseph. Why do ye lawghe, wyff, ye be to blame j 

I pray yovv, spowse, do no mor so ; 
In happ, the mydwyuys wyl take it to grame, 

&, at yo nede, helpe wele non do j 
Iff ye haue nede of mydwyuys, lo, 

P'auentur, thei wyl gon hens, 
Yr for be sad, and ye may so, 

And wynnyth all the mydwyuis good diligens. 

[Passages paralleled ; from the Apoc. N. Test.] 

their eyes could not bear it. 

12. But the light gradually decreas- 
ed, until the infant appeared, and suck- 
ed the breast of his mother Mary. 

13. Then the midwife cried out, and 
said, How glorious a day is this, where- 
in mine eyes have seen this extraor- 
dinary sight ! 

14. And the midwife went out from 
the cave, and Salome met her. 



(!) PROTEVAN. xiv. 9. And the 
midwife went along with him, and 
stood in the cave. 

10. Then a bright cloud over- 
shadowed the cave, and the midwife 
said, This day my soul is magnified, 
for mine eyes have seen surprising 
things, and salvation is brought forth 
to Israel. 

11. But on a sudden the cloud be- 
came a great light in the cave, so that 

10 



70 



Maria. Husbond, I p'y yow, dysplese yow nowth, 

You that I lawghe and gret joy haue ; 
Her' is the chylde, this worde hath wrought, 
born now of me, that all thynge schal saue. 

Joseph. I aske yow grace, for I dyde raue. 

gracyous childe ! I aske mercy; 
As thou art lord, & I but knaue, 

ffor geue me now, my gret foly. 
If Alas, mydwyuis ! what haue I seyd ? 

1 pray yow com to us mor'ner', 
ffor her' I fynde my wyff a mayd, 

&, in her arme, a chylde hath her*, 
both mayd & modyr sch' is, in ffer 

That gode wole haue, may nevyr mor' fayle, 
Modyr an erth was nevyr non cler, 

With owth sche had, in byrth, travayle. 
Zelomy. 1T In byrth, travayle must sche nedys haue, 

Or ellys no chylde of her' is born. 
Joseph. I pray yow, dame, & ye vow'ch sa'ue, 

com se the chylde, my wiff beforn. 
Salome. ^[ Grete god be in this place ! 

swete systyr, how far ye ? 
Maria. I thank the fadyr, of his hyg grace, 

His owyn son, & my chylde, her' ye may se. 
Zelomy. IT All heyl Mary ! & ryght good morn ! 

Who was mydwyfe of this ffayr chylde ? 
Maria. he, that no thynge wyl leaue for lorn, 

Cent me this babe, & I mayd mylde. 
Zelomy. *[[ With honde lete me now towch and fele. 

If ye haue nede of medycyn, 
I xal you comforte, & help ryght wele, 

As other women, yf ye haue pyn. 
Maria. ^| Of this fayr byrth, that her is myn, 

Peyne ner grevynge fele I ryght non ; 
I am clene mayde, pure virgyn, 

Tast with yo' hand, yo' self a Ion. 

\hio palpat Zelomye beatam v'ginem dicens."] 



71 



ZELOMY is satisfied that " a fayre chylde of a may- 
don is born," and " his modyr nott hurte of virgynite." 

Salome. -^ It is not trewe, it may nevyr be, 
That bothe be clene I can not be leve. 
A mayd's mylke nev' man dyde se, 

Ne woman ber' chylde, with owte grett greve. 

[hie tangit Sdlomee Marie, fy cu' arescerit man' e? 
vlulando fy quasi flendo dicit.] 

SALOMEE exclaims, that for her unbelief her hand 
is " ded, & drye, as claye," and "styff, as a stykke." ( J ) 
She prays to God to be relieved, reminding him of 
her alms and other good deeds. ( 2 ) This draws down 
an angel, who desires her to worship the child, and 
to touch his clothes. ( 3 ) She goes to Mary, arid asks 
forgiveness, who repeats the angel's request, 

\liic Salomee tangit fimbriam Christi dicens,] 
and her hand is immediately restored. ( 4 ) 



[Passages paralleled; from the Apoc. N. Test.] 



f 1 ) PROTEVAN. xiv. 18. IT Then 
Salome went in, and the midwife said, 
Mary, shew thyself, for a great con- 
troversy is risen concerning thee. 

IQ.AndSalomereceived satisfaction. 

20. But her hand was withered, and 
she groaned bitterly, 

21. And said, Wo to me, because of 
mine iniquity ; for I have tempted the 
living God, and my hand is ready to 
drop off. 

( 2 ) Then Salome made her suppli- 
cation to the Lord, and said, O God of 
my fathers, remember me, for I am of 
the seed of Abraham, and Isaac, and 
Jacob. 



23. Make me not a reproach among 
the children of Israel, but restore me 
sound to my parents. 

24. For thou well knowest, Lord, 
that I have performed many offices of 
charity in thy name, and have received 
my reward from thee. 

( 3 ) PROTEVAN. xiv. 25. Upon this 
an angel of the Lord stood by Salome, 
and said, The Lord God hath heard thy 
prayer, reach forth thy hand to the 
child, and carry him, and by that 
means thou shalt be restored. 

( 4 ) 28. And straightway Salome was 
cured. 



THE MIDWIVES take their leave, SALOMEE declar- 
ing that, 

In every place I schal telle this, 
Of a clene mayde that god is born ; 

&, in our lyknes, God now clad is, 
Mankend to save that was for lorn ; 

his modyr a mayde, as sche was beforn ; 
Natt fowle polutyd, as other women be, 

but fayr, & fresch, as rose on thorn, 
Lely whyte, clene with pur virginyte. 



EXD OF COVENTRY MYSTERIES, 
FROM APOCRYPHAL STORY. 



anir 



" Sir, It is the great excellence of a writer to put into his book as much as 
his book will hold." Johnson to JBoswcll. 



I.-COUNCIL OF THE TEIOTTY. 



" The common definition of man is false : he is not a reasoning animal. The 
best you can predicate of him is, that he is an animal capable of reasoning." 

Warburton. 



Uttae gftfrfcti: tf)e fcofec tfjat fe 
fyt Jfttrrour of tfje Wm% tyttt of our 
lorte S'Jw crgste, 

A FOLIO volume in MS., written on vellum and bearing the above 
title, is in my possession. It gives an account of a great Council in 
heaven, which from the ensuing extracts will appear similar to that 
in Mystery IV. (*) In some instances the language of each is al- 
most literally alike : in others, that of the MS. is more amplified. 
After various opinions during a long discussion between Mercye, 
Sothfastnes, Pees, and Kytewisnes, concerning the means of 
making satisfaction for the sinful fall of man, "Pees," proposed 
that " for a fynal dome in this matyr, let be made a gode dethe of 
man, so that one be fo'nden withouten synne, that may & wolle 
innocently, & for charite, suftre deth for man." To this they all 
assented, and " thei askeden amonge hemself whether that one myght 
be founden that schulde fulfille and do this dede of charite." 
' " Than Mercye toke with hur Eeson, and sought among allo 

(*) Page 38, ante. 



74 

the ordres of Aungeles in heuen, to se whether eny of hem wer' 
able to do this dede ; bot there was none. Also Sothfastnes sought 
fro heuen to the clowdes bynethen, whether ther were eny creatur 
that myght p'forme it ; and thei weren alle vnable. Eyghtwisnes 
went down to erthe, and sought amonge the hyghe hilles, & into the 
depe pytte of helle, whether ther weren eny man that myght take 
this good & innocent dethe ; but ther was none fo'nden clene of 
synne, ne not the childe of one dayes birthe." 

Upon this they were greatly grieved : than seyd pees wot ye 
not wele that the p'phet that seyde ther' is none foundin that may 
done gode ; afterward he potteth to more, & seith, till it com to 
one; this on man may be he that gafe the sentence aforsaide of 
man'es saluacion. Wher'fore prey we hym that he wol help & 
fultille it in dede ; for to hym speketh the p'phete aftre in the for- 
seyd psalme, saying, Lorde thou schalt saue man, and bestowe aftre 
thi mykel mercy. Bot than was a question amonge the sustres, 
commyttid to Eeson for to determyn, which p'sone of thre, Fader, 
& Sonn, & holi goste, one Gode, schulde be com man' & do this 
m'cyfull dede. Then seyde Reson, that, for als mykell as the p'son 
of the fader is propurly dredfull & myghty, the p'son of the 
son alle wyse and witty, ande the p'sone of the holi goste most 
benygne and godely, the seconde p'son semeth most conuenient. 
^j" Ande, whan Eeson had seyd this verdyt, the Fader seide it was his 
wille that it schulde be soe, the Son gafle gladly his assent therto, 
ande the holi goste seide he wolde worcke ther to also. And than 
fallyng downe alle the holi spirits of heuen, and sou'eynly thonking 
the Holi Trinite, the four sustres aforsed weren kyssed ande made 
accorde." 

The MS. proceeds to relate " what Seynt Jerome, wrytyng of hir 
life, seyd " concerning the religious education and exercises of the 
Virgin Mary in the temple, after she was left there at three years of 
age by her parents. It then relates that : 

" Whan plente of the tyme of g'ce was com'en, in the whiche the 
hyghe trinite ordeyned to save manky'de, that was dampned throughe 
the synne of Adam ; for the grete charite that he hadde to man'- 
kynde, stirying hym in his g'te m'cye, & also the prayer, & the 



75 

instance of alle the blissed spirits of heuen, aft' that the Hissed 
maiden marie wedded to Joseph, was gone home to Nazareth, the 
fader of heuen called to hym the Archangele Gabriel, and seyd to 
hym in this maner ; goo to our der' dought' marye the spouse of 
Josep, the which is most cher to vs of alle creatures in erthe, and 
saye to hir, that my blissed son hathe coueyted hir schappe and hir 
bewte, & chose hir to his moder, & th'fore praye hir that she 
resceyue hym gladly ; for, by hir, I haue ordeyned the hele & the 
saluacion of all' man'kynde; & I wole forgete & forgyue the 
wronge that hath be' done to me of hym her' before. ^[ And so, 
anone, Gabriel rysyng vp gladde & ioycunde, toke his fleyte fro' the 
hyghe heuen to erthe; ande in a moment he was in mannes 
licknes byfore the virgyn marie, that was in hir pruye cham'ber that 
tyme closed, & in hir p'yers or in hir meditacions, p'auentur' redying 
the p'phecye of ysaye tou^hyng the Incarnacion. And yit also 
swyftly as he flowe, his lorde was come before, and he fonde alle the 
holi trinite comen or his message. For thou schalt vndirstonde that 
this blissed Incarnation was the highe werke of alle the holi trinite, 
thoughe it be that only the p'sone of the son was incarnate & 
bycome man. ^[ Bot now be warr her', that thou erre not in 
ymagynacion, th'fore take her' a gen' ale doctryne in this meter, now 
what tyme thouherest, orthinkest, of the trinyte, or of the godhed, 
or of gostly creatures, as aungels & soules, the which thou maiste not 
see with thi bodely eyze, and thi proper kynd, ne fele with thi bodely 
wytte, streyne not to ferre in that mat'er, occupye not thi wytte 
thererwith, as thou woldest undirstonde it by kyndely resonne, for it 
wil not be, while we be in this b'ustouse body, liuynge her' in erthe. 
And, th'fore, whan thou herest eny suche thinge, in by leue that 
passeth thi kyndely reso'ne, trowe, sothfastly, that is sothe as holi 
chirche techeth, & go now forth & so thou schalte bylcue." 

After the salutation, which is detailed at great length, the angel, 
requests Mary's consent to become "goddes moder," which she 
complies with. 

" Anone withoute dwellyng goddes son entred into hir wombe, 
and, throwgh worcking of the holi goste, was made man, in ver- 
rey flesch and blode, taken of hir body, ande, not as othe' children, 



76 

conceyued & born by kynde bene schapen, membre aft' membre, 
ande aft' the soule ached into the bodye, bot anon, at the firste 
inst'nce, he was full schappe in alle membris, and alle hole man in 
body & soule, but, never the les, ful lytel in quantite ; for aft' he 
waxed more & more kyndely than oth' children done : so that, at the 
fyrste, he was full perfyte god and man, as wyse ande as mygty 
as he is nowe. Ande, when this was done, Gabriel, knelynge downe 
with our ladye, &, sone aft', with hir rysyng up, toke curteysly his 
leue of hir, with a devoute & a lowe bowyng to the erthe." 

According with the above account of the incarnation is the infor- 
mation in Erasmus's Exposition of the Creed, that " the relygyouse 
contemplacyon of good and godly men hathe taughte that the holye 
ghoste toke one of the moste purest droppes of bloode out of the 
vergine Maries herte, and layde it downe into her matrice; and 
that hereof, sodeynly, was made the perfighte body of a man, soo 
smalle as is a lytle spyder whiche is but euen now cropen forthe 
from the egee, but yet with all the membres, fulle fynysshed and 
perfyght ; and that, in the same momente, a soule was infused and 
putte into it, beynge euen verye than, forthewith, perfyghte in all 
powers and qualytyes, as it is now in heuen." (*) 

If this, and the last paragraph extracted from the MS. be com- 
pared with the scene in the Mystery, 2 the similitude between the 
curious narration in each will be apparent, as that between the 
Council of the Trinity in the Mystery and the same event in the 
Speculum Vitce Christi. 



Erasmus on the Crede, 8vo, 1533, art. the Descent. 
( 2 ) Page 44, ante. 



77 



II THE BRETHREN OF THE HOLY TRI- 
NITY, OF ST. BOTOLPH WITHOUT AL- 
DERSGATE. 

"The fourme of the Trinity was founden in Manne, that was Adam our 
forefadir, of earth oon personne; and Eve, of Adam, the secunde persone; 
and of them both was the third persone. At the deth of a manne three 
Bellis shulde be ronge, as his knyll, in worscheppe of the Trinetee ; and 
for a womanne, who was the secunde persone of the Trinetee, two Bellis 
should be rungen." 

Ancient Homily for Trinity Sunday. 



AN Episode is often pleasant to the bystander, and always to the 
person making it ; with whom it is sometimes the consequence of a 
sudden recollection " this puts me in mind of that :" so, while writ 
ing the last article of the Council of the Trinity in Heaven, I was 
reminded of a Guild of the Holy Trinity of the City of London. If 
the reader please he may look at the following account of it ; if he 
have no taste for such matters I am sorry for it ; he can pass to some- 
thing more likely to amuse him, and I apologize for the interruption. 
This fraternity of the Holy Trinity was founded in the forty-eighth 
year of Edward III., 1373, in honour of the body of Christ, and to 
maintain thirteen wax lights, burning about the sepulchre in the 
time of Easter in the said Church, and to find a Chaplain. Their 
chief day of solemnity was on Trinity Day to hear Mass in honour of 
the body of Christ, and of the Holy Trinity, and to make their offer- 
ings. The Brotherhood consisted of a Messuage House and Tene- 
ment called Trinity Hall, otherwise the common Hall of the Frater- 
nity or Guild of the Holy Trinity, founded in the Church of St. 
Botolph, Aldersgate, and also eight Messuages and Tenements, 
commonly called The Trinity, also situate beneath Trinity Hall. (') 

Stow's London, vol. 1, p. 613, &c. 
11 



78 

So far tliis is Stow's account ; to which may he added that, 
in Catholic worship thirteen candles are an allegory of Christ and 
the twelve apostles, and that in one of its ceremonies, the twelve 
candles denoting the twelve apostles are "extinguished at intervals 
during successive parts of the service, until one only is left which 
represents Christ deserted by the disciples, and in the end that one is 
put out to signify his death. ( J ) 



(*) " The Evening-office of the Holy Week which the Church performs on 
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday before Easter, 1760," 8vo, of which I 
have a copy in my possession, marked " Ex Bibliothecd F. F. MIN. Angl. 
Londini," contains the signification of certain candles. " In the Evening 
of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the Church performs a solemn 
office called Tenebrce. The name of Tenebrce is given to it from the cere- 
mony of extinguishing all the candles during the course of it, till at last 
it is finished in total darkness ; which is the signification of the word 
Tenebrce. The six candles on the altar, and the fifteen candles on the 
Epistle side, all burning at the beginning of the Office, signify the light 
of faith preached by the prophets and Jesus Christ : of which faith the 
fundamental article is the Mystery of the BLESSED TRINITY, represented 
by the TRIANGULAR CANDLESTICK. At the repetition of the fourteen Anti- 
phons in the matins and lauds, fourteen of the candles in the triangular 
candlestick are extinguished ; and at the six last verses of the Bede- 
dictus, those on the altar are put out ; to teach us that the Jews were 
totally deprived of the light of faith when they put our Saviour to death. 
But the fifteenth candle, that represents the light of the world, Jesus 
Christ, is only hidden for a time under the altar, and afterwards bnnight 
out again still burning, to signify that though Christ, according to his 
humanity, died and was laid in the sepulchre, yet he was always alive, 
according to his divinity, by which he raised his body again to life." The 
darkness, signifies the darkness at the crucifixion ; and " the noise made 
at the end of the Prayer, represents the confusion of nature for the loss 
of its author." 

As in the above ceremonial the Trinity is represented by a triangular 
candlestick, so also it is represented by a triangular candle. An engraving 
by Galle, figures the triangular candle as standing in a candlestick held 
by an Angel. I subjoin from recollection a sketch of this representation 
oi' the Trinity. 




79 

From the Chartulary of this religious Guild in my possession, I 
am enabled to relate the following particulars concerning it. 

The volume commences with the Romish Calendar on Vellum, 
in which are marked obytes of the brethren. It is followed by the 
statutes of the Order : one ordains, that the priest shall be charged 
by the wardens of the year, for to do his mass, winter and summer, by 
five o'clock, " sayinge by fore masse, duly, fl JttEMOttt Of tft 
^IJjnptCE I another directs, " that in' the Sunday next aft' alle sow- 
len day, the preste shal rede openlyche, stondynge in the pulpyte, alle 
the names of the bretheren and the sustren that ben on lyue." A 
" dirige " was also ordained on the Sunday night after " alle sowlen 
day," and on the morrow a requiem for the dead " bretheron and 
sustren," at which each brother and sister should attend and offer 
"an halfe-peny," or "be vppon peyne of a pounde of wexe." It was 
directed, " Also, gif eny of the bretherhode be a losed of eny thefte, 
or he be an comm' contekour, or com'n hasardour, or of eny oth' 
wycked fame, wherfore by, that the co'pany may ben a apayred, or 
defamed, it is ordeyned that thei ben yputte oute of the breth'hode." 
It was further ordained that the priest should have "for his lyflode" 
ten marks' annually, and "an dowble hode of the colour of the breth'- 
hode ;" And also " that he be meke and obedient vnto the qwer' in 
alle diuine seruyces dvrynge hys t'me, as custome is in the citee 
amonge alle othe' p'stes." The statutes are succeeded by lists of the 
brothers and sisters in different years. The first list is preceded by 
the form of the Priest's address, on reading their name, in the follow- 
ing words: " Gode bretheren and susteren : it is forto weten and 
knowen, that the bygynnynge of this bretherhode of greta deuocio'n, 
eu'y ma' paynge a pcny forto fynde xiij taperes about the sepulcre of 
c'ste at Estre, in the chirche of seynt Botulphe, withoute Alderesgate, 
in Loundon. Aft' that, throug'e more gretter deuocio'n, & sterynge 
vnto the worschippe of god, it' was yturne in' to a frat'nyte of {ZTfjC 
f^olg ^TJjngte, nougt with stondynge the fyndynge eu'y yere, the 
may'tenynge of the forsayde xiij taper's ; of the whiche breth'hode 
thes' were thei." Then before the names, is this notice ; " At the 



80 

bygynynge of this frat'nyte, the whiche was bygun'e in the yere of 
kynge EdwarJe the thredde, one andfyfty (J) thes weren the bygy'- 
neres tli'of, and maysteres, & gou'nour's for the first yer' ; that is to 
sayen: PHILIPPUS AT VYNE; AGNES, vx j . eius; JOH'ES 
BOCKYNGE. These betheth names of the bretheren, & the sus- 
teren, the whiche entreden in to the forsayde bretherhode, i' her 
tyme." The names of fifty-three " bretheren," and twenty-nine " sus- 
teren," immediately follow. 

In the lists of this fraternity I find in the 10th year of Henry 
IV., the names of " Thos.' de Berkyng, Abbas de Seynt Osyes, 
Joh'es Eoos, Arraiger. Galfra' Paynell, Armiger. D'us Joh'es 
Watford, P'or s'ti' Barthi.' D'us Joh'es Yonge, supp'or' s'ti' Barthi'. 
Eic's Lancastre, Eex de Armis. Kat'ina, vx' ej'. Eic's Haye 
Armig.' Joh'a, vx' ej'. Will's Yrby, Armiger P'or' s'ti' Barthi'. 
Eic's Maydestone, Armig. Will's Mounsewe, Armig'i, cu' Counte 
de Westm'land. Eob's Strangweys, Armiger, ibid. Eogerus Audelby, 
Eector de White Chapell. Will's Lasyngby, Armig. D'us Joh'es 
Newport, Eector de Grascherche." In the 2 Henry V. " Eic'us 
Derh'm, Ep'us landau' " was the Master of the Brotherhood. 

In the Volume are copies of the grants, charters, patents, feoff- 
ments, wills, and other securities for the property of which the 
brotherhood were seized ; besides their own deeds of transfer, leases, 
and agreements. These Entries shew that the landed property of the 
Brotherhood of the Holy Trinity, consisted of houses in Aldersgate- 
street, the Barbican, Lamb-alley, Fanchurch-street, and Long-lane ; 
one of these was held on the annual payment of a rose, others in fee. 
They were proprietors of the Saracen's head inn, and the Falcon on 
the hoop brewery. In the 14th year of king Eichard II., Sir Eauff 
Kesteven, parson of St. Botolph,and the two Church wardens, gran ted 
a lease for twenty years to John. Hertyshorn of the Saracen's head 
with the appurtenances, at the yearly rent of ten marks ; the appurte- 
nances were two houses adjoining on the north side, and were 
ncluded in that rental as worth eight shillings each by the year, and 

(!) Stow says, the forty-eighth year of Edward III. 



81 

one on the south side, was valued at ten shillings. " In the xxj yer of 
kyng Harry the vj* 6 ," the hretheren received, " For the rent of ij yere 
of Wyll'm Wylkyns, for the Sarresyn head v. li. vjs. viijd. paynge 
by the yer liijs. iiijd" and " of the Faucon on the hope, for the same 
ij yer vi. li. that is to say, payng' by the yer' iij. li ; " but the same 
year they demised the Falcon brewhouse to Robert Halle and John 
Walpole, brewers, for four years, at eighty-four shillings per annum. 
Six years before, there is, in the churchwardens' accounts, an item 
for " kerving and pointing of the seigne of the faucon, vi s." 

Some of the personals of this fraternity are interesting. By "Bille 
endented, made the xviij day of Juyn* the iij de yere of kyng 
Edwarde the iiij th ," the then master and wardens, acknowledge to 
have received from the then late master and wardens the goods 
thereinafter described, among which are the following items : 

" A myssall, newe bounde, with derys leder, garnysshed wyth 
sylk ; whereof the seconde lefe begynneth, Asp 1 git aqua bened'ta, 
with claspys & burdens, weying iiij vnc." iij c'r't and a half. 

" A chaleys of sylver & gilt, with a crucifyx' in the fote & a pa- 
teyn' to the same, with the ^rinttfe enamelyd, weying xxv vnc" 

" It. Rolle of velom', cou'ed with a goldeskyn, contenyng diu'se 
pagent's paynted and lemenyd with gold, that is to say, of t|)t 
P^olj) 3ttntte Seynt Fabyan, and Seynt Sebastyan, & Seynt Botulff ; 



( a ) ' For the Trinity, Holy Church hath chosen to make the similitude 
of the father, an olde man with a long gray beard : and for the sonne, a 
man hanging on the crosse : and for knowledge of the holie Ghost, a 
dove." The Beehive of the Romishe Church, Lond. 1579, 8vo, p. 192. 

" God the Father, having formerly appeared as the Ancient of Days, 
xve may paint him in that form now. The Son took upon him human 
nature, and so may be represented as a Man. The Holy Ghost some- 
times appeared in the form of a Dove, at another like tongues of fire. 
Those who by colours, artificially disposed, represent the Trinity under 
such figures as these, do nothing but what the authority of Scripture 
permits and commands." Sander, de Ador. Imag. 1. i. c. 4. (Conformity 
between Ancient and Modern Ceremonies. Lond. 1745. 8vo. p. 185.) 

The Cathedral Churoh of Norwich is dedicated to the Holy Trinity. 



. -82 

and the last pagent of the tereiuent, & gen'all obyte, of the brether'n 
& suster'n, that be passed to god ; with clayne obseruances & 
prayers, to stere the people to the more devotion TOWARD' THE 

SEYDE BRETHERHODE. 

" A keybande of derys leder, wyth a keveryng of cheverell, jwyth 
purses thereuppon," garnysshed, conteyning iij keyes, made and 
ordeyned alwey to be in the kepyng of the maist' for the tyme beyng, 
accordyng to the statut's and ordenaunces thereof made, as it appe- 
rith in this blake booke, the xxxj lefe." 

Then there is the description of the last mentioned book : namely, 
"A 23lafa HUQtStre Bofce with a kalender, in the which is written 
the cledes, testament's, wylles, evidences, & other writyng's, conc'nyng' 
the lyvelode of the breth'hode ; & there registred for the well & more 
surete of the same." This Blake Registre Boke is that from which 
I am transcribing. 

The annual accounts of this brotherhood evidence the pains they 
took to entice people by their exhibitions. As the beginning of the 
fraternity grew out of the glare of thirteen wax tapers, they kept up 
these lights by the following statute : " Also there ben ordeyned xiii 
tapers of Avex, and eu'y taper of sex pounde of wex, Avith dysches of 
pewtre, accordynge th'to, forto brenne about the sepulcr' on estrea 
cue' & estres day, al so longe as the mane' es in' holy chirche." They 
always had store of wax. They enjoined attendance at mass, " vpon 
peyne of a pound of wex ;" on the transfer of their gear from the old 
to the new wardens, their " paynted cofres " and " spruce chests " 
conteyned " long tapers, short tapers, long torchys, short torches, and 



Before the Reformation, the imago principalis, the principal image in 
the rood loft, now the organ loft, was an image of the Holy Trinity, 
which was represented by a weak old man, with Christ on the cross 
between his knees, and a dove on his breast ; this image was richly 
gilt. In 1443, Rob. Norwych, Esq., gave to it his silver collar which 
was presented to him by the emperor ; and in 1499, Lady Margaret 
Shelton put about it a gold chain of 25 SS. weighing eight ounces, with 
four small jewels, one great jewel, and a rich enamelled rose in gold, 
hanging thereon. Blomefield's Nonvich, 1806, 8vo. vol. ii. p. 29. 



83 

(< wex ;" they always w .gadyred " of tlie people for '* lygth," and there 
are numerous charges " for the makyng of of the BBAUNCHE by f brae 



Hie ^tingtfc and waste of toex." 

Perhaps the branch was that which, also in olden time, was called 
a " Jesse, 1 ' from a block of wood being carved into the figure of a man, 
representing Jesse, lying on his back, with a tree or branch growing 
out of the stomach, as genealogies are sometimes drawn. The carver's 
" Jesse," was a personification of " There shall come forth a rod out 
of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots." 
(Isaiah, xi. 1.) 

From Jesse's root behold a branch arise, 

Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies j 

Th' aetherial spirit o'er its leaves shall move, 

And oil its top descend the mystic dove. 

Pope. 

The " Jesse" was a distinguished ornament in old pageants and shows: 
when introduced into churches, the branch was filled with lighted 
tapers ; and, hence, perhaps, the cluster of brass candlesticks in a 
church is still called the branch. 

In the accounts of the wardens of this brotherhood for " the x yer 
of king Harry the vi te ," there is the charge of an "item, to the wex- 
ehaundeler, for making of the sepulcr," lyght iij tymes> and of other 
dyuers lyglits, that longyn to the ^ttnttfc in dyu's places in the 
chirche, Ivijs. x<." a large sum in those times, and must have pro- 
duced a prodigious illumination. 

From the third century when, besides adopting other pagan cere- 
monies, " they also lighted torches to the martyrs in the day time as 
the heathens did to their gods," ( l ) the use of torches and tapers in 
churches, both by day and night, has prevailed in Catholic worship to 
the present hour ; and Catholic allegorists have contrived to spiritual- 
ize these burning ornaments of their temples for the edification of the 
devout. According to their account, candles or tapers represent 
Christ ; the wax, signifies his flesh ; the fire, his deity ; the wick, 
his humanity ; the light, his doctrine. The wick further signifies 
humility ; the moulded wax obedience ; the flame, the love of God. 

(*) Sir Isaac Newton on Daniel, 4to, p. 207. 



84 

Also, tlie wax and wick represent body and soul ; and the light the 
shining of the faith. (*) 

This brotherhood of the Trinity contributed their share to the vulgar 
gratification of the deluded people in other ways. For the years from 
the " xxj to the xxv th yer of Eeyn'g of kyng harry the vj th ," there are 
charges "for p'stis hir, for repa'c'ons, for eostis on the ^tgngtt bon= 
Ijag, $ on the evin for mete & drynk, & Stately Clothes mynstrdlcs, 
synfjer" $c. Their inventories evidence that they knew how to get up 
popular shows and entertainments ; they had "pillows o/ silke, reed & 
yellow knotts, banner clothes, a blake palle of blake damaske with a 
white crosse, staynede bordere with the fyve wondys of owre lorde, 
and a border of blak with the kyng's armys and estryge ffethers 
conteyning' in len'th iij ell's iij q-'rt'rs." Doubtless these fripperies 
were borne in their public processions, for one of which there is a 
positive statute in these words : " Also gif it by falle, that eny of 
the breth'hede falle seeke, fyue myle eche wayes aboute London," 



(*) Some, one who had a spite against St. Kentigern, put out all the 
fires in his monastery, whereupon he snatched a green hazel bough, and 
in the name of the Holy Trinity blessed it and blowed upon it, and 
immediately by five sent from Heaven the. bough produced a great flame, 
and he lighted the candles for the vigils, " wherefore the light ceased 
from the wood." Capgrave Vit. S. Kentig. f. 208 (Patrick's Reflect, on 
Devot. of Romish Church, 8vo, 1674, p. 357.) 

2. February (Candlemas Day) is called " Candlemw, because before 
mass is said that day, the church blesses her candles for the whole year, 
and makes a procession with hallowed or blessed candles in the hands of 
the faithful." Posey of Prayers, or the Key of Heaven, 1799, 18mo. p. 15. 

The Church ordained, that lighted tapers should be carried upon 
Candlemas Day, in order to avail itself of a custom continued from the 
ancient Romans, who marched in procession with lighted tapers and 
caudles, in honour of Februa, the Mother of Mars, the God of War ; and 
sacrificed to Februas, Pluto, the God of Hell, that he might be merciful 
to the souls of their friends. The Roman women on the same day kept 
the Feast of Candles, in honour of Proserpine, who was so beautiful that 
Pluto carried her off, and her parents sought her in Hell, with lights 
and tapers. Pope Sergius adopted this practice by ordaining "that 
Christians should upon this day, walk round the Church with conse- 
crated tapers in their hands, lighted up to the honour of the Mother of 
God." The Legend, Fr. (Coiif. A. & M. Cer. p. 113.) 



85 

and dycth there, that gif the wardaynes of that yere "ben ysent aft', 
than it is ordeyned that thei schullen wende, and fecche home the 
body, to London'; and that alle the bretheren be redy, at her 
warnynge, and go agens the body, with outen the citee, townes ende, 
for to bry'ge the body in to the place, with worschyppe." These 
were means that they seem to have used, according to their own 
words, " to stere the peple to the more devotion TOWARD THE BRK- 
THERHODE." Of pure devotion towards the Supreme Being, they 
appear to have been wholly ignorant. 

No portion of Scripture was ever possessed by this fraternity ; for 
the volume repeatedly registers their entire property at different 
periods, and mentions nothing of the kind except their "myssall," 
most likely overlaid by prayers to the saints, notices of indulgences" 
for sin, and pictures of unedifyng superstitions. To be sure there 
was their u Rolle of velom with tTie Pagent of tf)t pjolg ^Ttnitn 
paynted and lemenyd with gold" and the annual charge for making 
the branch and lighting it up ; but whatever f^olg ^rintt)J 
was lemenyed on this Pagent, it is impossible to suppose that sucli 
display should suggest an idea of Him, who is a Spirit. There is 
however, a figure which may have been that upon their pageant. 
It frequently occurs. (*) " They in their churches, and Masse bookes, 
doe paint the TRINITIE WITH THREE PACES : for our mother the 
holie Church did learne that at Rome, where they were wont to 
paint or carve Janus with two faces. And then further, there 
is written in John, that there are three in heaven which beare 
witnctfse, the Father, the Worde, and the Holie ghost ; and these 
three are one, &c. ( <<! ) then, of necessitie, they must be painted 

with THREE HEADS, OR THREE FACES, UPON ONE NECKE."( 3 ) 

I insert an engraving of this Trinity, in all respects the same as 
a smaller one, an initial in the Salisbury Missal of 1534, fo. viii. 



(t) In Enchirid. Ecclesii Sarum, Paris, 1528, 24mo. vol. i. fol. xiiii. ; 
in various other editions ; and in the Horae B.V. Maria continually ; 
besides MS. Missals, Lyndewood's Provinciale, &c. 

( 2 ) 1 John, v. 7. 

( 3 ) Beehive of the Romishe Church, Lond. 1579, 8vo. p. 191. 



86 




(*) The triangle in this cut, " a Trinity argent on a shield azure," was 
the arms of Trinity Priory, Ipswich, and is figured in Mr. Taylor's 
Index Monasticus,} Diocese, Norwich,) 1821, fol. p. 96. May not the 
triune head have been originally suggested by the three headed Saxon 
deity named Trigla ? There is a wood cut of a triune headed Lucifer 
in Dante, ed. Venice, 1491, fol. copied by the Rev. T. F. Dibdin in his 
Altiwrpiana, voL ii. p. 116. 



87 

John Hey wood, in his " Four P's, a very merry Enterlude of a 
Palmer, a Pardoner, a Poticary, and a Pedler," brings in the Palmer 
relating that in his Pilgrimages he has been at different parts of the 
world, and in enumerating them he says, 

At Saint Boddphe and Saint Anne of Buckstone 
* * * * * 

Praying to them to pray for me 
Unto the blessed Trinitie. (*) 

This was either the Priory of the Holy Trinity of St. Botolph 
without Aldgate, or our Brethren of the Holy Trinity of St. Botolph 
without Aldersgate. Heywood, though a stern Eoman Catholic, 
exposes with the humour of Uliespiegel the tricks played on the 
credulous fondness of the ignorant for reliques, and ridicules the 
greediness and craft of the preaching friars in their pious frauds. 
He makes the Pardoner produce " the blessed Jawbone of All- 
halowes," on which the Poticary swears 

by All-halowe, yet methinketh 
That All-halowe's breath stinkith. 

Pardoner. 

Nay sirs, beholde heer may ye see 

The great toe of the Trinitie. 

Who to this toe any money vowth, 

And once may role it in his mouth, 

All his life after, I undertake, 

He shall never be vext with the tooth ake. 

By the turn given to the Poticary's answer, it seems likely that 
Heywood had in his eye the figure with the three heads in one. 

Poticary. 

I pray you turn that relique about : 
Either the Trinity had the gout, 
Or els, because it is three toes in one, 
God made it as much as three toes alone. ( a ) 



(') Dodsley's Old Plays, edit. 1744, vol. i. p. 88. 



The Pardoner bids that pass, and climaxes the absurdity by pre- 
senting the " buttock-bone of Pentecost." ( l ) Gross as all this is, 
Heywood had as little design to scandalize the belief of his own. 
church, as his patron, Sir Thomas More, had by his philosophical 
romance of Utopia. He was a great favourite with Queen Mary, 
and on the restoration of the Protestant ascendancy with Elizabeth, 
he fled from his native country to secure the exercise of his faith 
without hazard to his life, and died in exile. ( 2 ) 

Personifications of the supreme attributes have been accom- 
odated to popular understanding in almost every possible Avay 
from the earliest ages. By an inquirer into the ancient worship of 
the Deity under the grossest form that, to apprehension in these 
times can be represented by the artist, the English reader is 
acquainted with two statues at the temple of Hierapolis, respecting 
the active productive Power and the passive productive Power. 
" Between both was a third figure with a dove on his head, which 
some thought to be Bacchus. This was the Holy Spirit, the first 
begotten Love or plastic Nature (of which the Dove was the image 
when it really deigned to descend upon Man,) ( 3 ) proceeding from 
and consubstantial with Both; for all Three were but personifications 
of One. 1 ' ( 4 ) Although it is rather foreign to my purpose, yet it is not a 
departure from, the subject, to mention a curious anecdote which 
Bishop Patrick says is gravely related by the biographers of St. 
Clara de Monte Falconis : that after her death, there was found in 
her gall a plain testimony of the Holy Trinity, consisting of three 
balls of equal figure, colour, and size, and of equal weight, one 
weighing the weight of two and also of three, yet all three weighing 
no more than one. ( 5 ) 

(!) Dodsley's old Plays, edit. 1744, vol. i. p. 101. 

( 2 ) Bitson's Bibliog. Poetica, p. 242. From whence it appears that 
Heywood died at Mechlin in 1544. He evidently took his "Four P's" 
from the Pardoner's tale by Chaucer. 

( 3 ) [" Matt. c. iii. ver. 17."] 

(*) A Discourse, &c., by Richard Payne Knight, Esq., London : printed 
by Spilsbury, 4to, 1786., p. 146. 

( 6 ) Patrick on Devot. of Roin. Church, p. 273. 



89 

A desire of relieving the reader's teedium may possibly excuse a 
wider deviation. It is well known that the personality of the Devil 
lias been exemplified by extraordinary personifications of him, and 
by relations of his appearance under almost every form ; but a per- 
sonation that he is represented to have assumed in Hertfordshire, is 
accompanied by circumstances that have never, perhaps, been paral 
leled. In turning over John Bagford's collection of Title-pages at 
the British Museum (Harl. MSS. 5419), I find one in his own 
writing, from a tract that must have been so rare at that time, that 
he could not possess it, or his collecting hand would have mercilessly 
torn off the title page ; and I suspect it to have been almost, if not 
quite unique, for its existence is not now traceable by me after very 
long and diligent inquiry. Although, therefore, I can do no more 
than lay before the reader the following copy that I made from 
Bagford's copy, yet that is sufficient to inform him of all that he 
can perhaps ever know of the alleged' event. Here it is : 

"THE DEVIL seen at St. ALBAN'S. Being a true relation, how 
the Devil was seen there, in a Cellar, in the likenesse of a Earn : 
and how a butcher came and cut his throat, and sold some of 
it, and dressed the rest for him, inviting many to supper, who 
eat of it. 

" Attested by divers letters of men of very good credit in this 
towne. 

" Printed for the confutation of those that believe there are no such 
things as spirits or devils, 4to, 1648." 



90 



III. CHRISTMAS CAROLS. 



The lewid peple than algates agre, 

And caroles singen everi' criste messe tyde, 
Not with schamfastenes hot jocondle, 

And holey bowghes aboute ; and al asyddo 
The brenning fyre hem eten, and hem drinke, 

And laughen mereli, and maken route, 
And pype, and dansen, and hem rage ; ne swinke, 

NQ noe thynge els, twalue daye 1 thei wolde not. 

Lud. Coll. XLV. H. 



J\_LARY'S longing for the fruit on the cherry tree, and Joseph's 
refusal to gather it for her on the return of his jealousy, a remarkable 
scene in one of the Coventry Plays, ( 1 ) is the subject of a Christmas 
Carol still sung in London, and many parts of England. 

From various copies of it printed at different places I am enabled 
to present the following version : 

Joseph was an old man, 

And an old man was he ; 
And he married Mary, 
. , Queen of Galilee. 

When Joseph was married, 

And his cousin Mary got, 
Mary proved big with child, 

By whom Joseph knew not. 



Mystery VIII. p. 67, ante. 



91 

As Joseph and Mary 

Walk'd through the garden gay, 
Where the cherries they grew 

Upon every tree ; 

O ! then bespoke Mary, 

With words both meek and mild, 
" Gather me some cherries, Joseph, 

They run so in my mind ; 
Gather me some cherries, 

For I am with child." 

! then bespoke Joseph, 
With words most unkind, 

" Let him gather thee cherries, 
That got thee with child." 

! then bespoke Jesus, 
All in his mother's womb, 

" Go to the tree, Mary, 
And it shall bow down ; 

u Go to the tree, Mary, 
And it shall bow to thee, 

And the highest branch of all 
Shall bow down to Mary's knee, 

" And she shall gather cherries 
By one, by two, by three." 

" Now you may see, Joseph, 
Those cherries were for me." 

eat your cherries, Mary ; 

! eat your cherries now ; 
O ! eat your cherries, Mary, 

That grow on the bough. 



92 

As Joseph was a walking, 
He heard an angel sing 

" This night shall be born 
Our heavenly king ; 

" He neither shall be born 

In housen, nor in hall, 
Nor in the place of Paradise, 

But in an ox's stall ; 

" He neither shall be clothed 

In purple nor in pall, 
But all in fair linen, 

As were babies all . 

" He neither shall be rock'd 

In silver nor in gold, 
But in a wooden cradle, 

That rocks on the mould ; 

" He neither shall be christen'd 
In white wine nor in red, 

But with the spring water 

With which we were christened." 

Then Mary took her young Son, 
And set him on her knee 

" I pray thee now, dear Child, 
Tell how this world shall be?" 

" This world shall be like 

The stones in the street, 
For the sun and the moon 

Shall bow down at thy feet j 

" And upon a Wednesday, 
' My vow I will make, 
And upon Good Friday 
My death I will take ; 



93 

" And upon the third day 

My uprising shall be, 
And the sun and the moon 

Shall rise up with me." 

The admiration of my earliest days, for some lines in the Cheiry 
carol still remains, nor can I help thinking that the reader will see 
somewhat of cause for it : 

He neither shall be clothed, in purple nor in pall, 

But all in fair linen, as were babies all : 
He neither shall be rock'd, in silver nor in gold, 

But in a wooden cradle, that rocks ou the mould. 

A Warwickshire carol still sung, begins 

As I passed by a river side, 

And there as I did reign, 
In argument I chanced to hear 

A carnal and a crane. 

The carnal is a bird ; the word corrupted by the printer into 
reign, is the obsolete word rein, formerly used in the sense of run. 
This carol has other marks of age. 

In a volume of MSS. at the British Museum ( J ) there is " a 
Christmas Caroll," beginning thus : 

"When cry st' was borne of mary fre, 
In bedlem, i' that fayre cyte, 
Angellis songen, with mirth & gle, 

In cxceluls gTict, 

A second commences in this way : 

Puer nolris natus est de virgine maria. 

Be glad, lordlings, be ye more & lesse, 
I bryng you tydings of gladnesse, 
As gabryel me beryth wetnesse. 



(') Harl. MSS. 5396. 



94 

The same volume contains " a song on the Holly and the Ivy," 
which I mention because there is an old Carol on the same subject 
still printed. The MS. begins -with, 



, my nay, hyt shal not be I wys, 
Let holy hafe the maystry, as the maner ys : 

Holy stond in the hall, faire to behold, 

Ivy stond without the dore, she ys ful sore acold, 

Nay, my nay, $c. 

Holy, & hys mery men, they dawnseyn and they syng, 
Ivy and hur maydyns, they wepen & they wryng. 

Nay, my nay, $c. 

The popularity of carol-singing occasioned the publication of 
a duodecimo volume in 1642, intituled, " PSALMES or Songs of 
Sion turned into the language and set to the tunes of a strange 
land. By W(illiam) S(latyer), intended for Christmas Carols, and 
fitted to divers of the most noted and common but solemne tunes, 
every where in this land familiarly used and knowne." Upon the 
copy of this book in the British Museum a former possessor has 
written the names of some of the tunes to which the author de- 
signed them to be sung ; for instance, Psalm 6, to the tune of Jane 
Shore; Psalm 19, to Bar. Foster's Dreame ; Psalm 43, to Crimson 
Velvet; Psalm 47, to Garden Greene; Psalm 84, to The fairest 
NympU of the Valleys, &c. ( l ) 



( l ) The adaptation of religious poetry to secular melody in England, is 
noticed by Shakspeare in the Winter's Tale (Act iv. Sc. 3.). The clown 
relates that his sister, being the mistress at his father's shearing feast, 
made four-and-twenty nosegays for the sheep-shearers, all good catch- 
singers, mostly trebles and basses, with " but one puritan among them, 
and he sings psalms to hornpipes." 

There are several collections of carols in the French language ; the 
only one that I can on the instant refer to, is a volume that I have, 
entitled Noels Nouveau-x sur les Chants des Noels anciens notez pour en foci- 
liter le chant, parM. I' Abbe PeUegrin, 8vo, Paris, 1785. Most of the pious 
carols in the volume are set to opera airs, and common song tunes. 

Clement Marot's translation of the Psalms into French with secular 
tunes, was so much in vogue at court that all persons of note had psalms 



95 

From a Carol, called Dives and Lazarus, I annex an amusing 
extract. 

As it fell out, upon a day, 

Rich Dives sicken'd and died, 
There came two serpents out of hell, 
His soul therein to guide. 

Rise up, rise up, brother Dives, 

And come along with me, 
For you've a place provided in hell, 

To sit upon a serpent's knee. 

However whimsical this may appear to the reader, he can 
scarcely conceive its ludicrous effect, when the metre of the last 
line is solemnly drawn out to . its utmost length by a "Warwick- 
shire chanter, and as solemnly listened to by the well disposed 
crowd, who seem without difficulty to believe that Dives sits on a 
serpent's knee. The idea of sitting on the knee was, perhaps, 
conveyed to the poet's mind by old woodcut representations 

to their several occasions. King Henry II. chose the 42d. Ainsi qvHon oyt 
le cerf, (Like as the hart doth), which he sung when a hunting : Madame 
de Valentinois, who was in love, took the 130th, Du fond de ma pensee 
(From the bottom of my heart), which she sung en volte : the queen's 
choice was the 6th, Ne vueillez pas, Sire, (Lord, in thy wrath), to an 
air of the Chant des buffons: Anthony king of Navarre had the 43d, 
Revange inoy, prens ta querelle, (Judge and revenge my cause), which he 
tuned to the Brawl of Poictiers ; and the rest in like manner. Flori- 
mondRamond, Hist. Hceres. (Rymer's Short View of Tragedy, p. 35). 

The most singular measure adopted for circulating the reformed 
opinions in Scotland, was the composition of " Gude and godly ballates 
changed out of prophaine sangs, for avoiding of sinne and harlotrie." 
The title sufficiently indicates their nature and design. The air, the 
measure, the initial line, or the chorus of the ballads most commonly 
eung by the people at that time, were transferred to hymns of devotion. 
Unnatural, indelicate, and gross as this association appears to us, these 
spiritual songs edified multitudes at that time. We must not think that 
this originated in any peculiar depravation of taste in our reforming 
countrymen : spiritual songs constructed upon the same principle were 
common in Italy, (Roscoe's Lorenzo de' Medici, i. 309. 4to) : at the begin- 
ning of the Reformation the very same practice was adopted in Holland 
as in Scotland. Dr. MCrie's Life of Knox, vol. 1, p. 365. 



96 

of Lazarus seated in Abraham's lap. More anciently, Abraham 
was frequently drawn holding him up by the sides, to be seen by 
Dives in hell. In an old book now before me, (!) they are so 
represented, with the addition of a. devil blowing the fire under 
Dives with a pair of bellows. 

I have a " Christmas Carol on Peko-Tea." ( 2 ) It begins with 
" Deut. xxxiii. 16. For the good will of Him that dwelt in the 
Bush /' and the author proceeds in a strange manner to relate 

How .Christ was in a manger born, 
And God dwelt in a bush of thorn, 
Which bush of thorn appears to me 
The same that yields best Peko-tea. 

This bush he imagines may be the thorn that blooms in April : 

Abundant such in Berks I've seen 

Hear Newb'ry, at my native speen. 
* * 

Now if Christ's bush of thorn we find, 
God's bush and tea bush all one kind, 
We must confess its full renown, 
God to enjoy, and Christ to crown ; 
And have its leaves grow so renown' d 
As to refresh the world around. 

He spiritualizes many subjects in succession, and inveighs with 
great bitterness against those, 

who, readers to entangle, 



The scriptures into pieces mangle ; 
Dividing them, which truth immerses 
Into chapters, sects, and verses ; 



0) Postilla Guillermi, 4to. Basil, 1491. 

( 2 ) A Christmas Carol on Pekoe-Tea : or, a Sacred Carol, which like Tea 
that is perfectly good and fine, will be most grateful and useful all the 
year round, from Christmas to Christmas for ever. Humbly addressed 
to Queen Caroline, and the Princess Carolina, and all the Royal Family. 
By Francis Hoffman. London, 1729, 8vo. pp. 16. 



97 

Full of religious fervor, and grocer zeal for cups of Peko tea, he 
concludes with this devout wish 

May all who do these truths condemn 
Ne'er taste one single drop of them 
Here, or in New Jerusalem. 

Carols begin to be spoken of as not belonging to this century (* ) 
and yet no one, that I am aware of, has attempted a collection of 
these fugitives. As the carols now printed will at no distant pe- 
riod become obsolete, an alphabetical list of those in my possession 
is subjoined. It excludes all that are disused at the present time, 
nor does it contain any of the numerous compositions printed by 
religious societies under the denomination of Carols. 

Christmas Carols now annually Printed. 

1. A glorious star from heaven appear'd, 

2. A jolly wassel bowl. 

3. A Virgin most pure as the Prophets did telL 

4. All Christians pray you now attend. 

5. All Englishmen I pray you now attend, 

6. All hail the ever glad'ning morn. 

7. All hail the morn ! loud anthems raise, 

8. All honour, glory, might, and power. 

9. All you that are to mirth inclined. 

10. All you that live must learn to dio. 

11. Arise, and hail the sacred day. 

12. As I pass'd by a river's side. 

13. As I sat on a sunny bank. 

14. As it fell out one May morning. 

15. As it fell out upon a day, rich Dives made a feast. 
1 6. Attend, good people, now I pray. 

1 7. Away dark thoughts, awake my joys. 



f 1 ) October 3, 1822, at the dinner of a city company I heard Mr. Taylor 
of Covent Garden Theatre sing a new ballad of " good old times," when 
- Christmas had its Christmas carols, 
And ladies' sides were hoop'd like barrels. 



98 



18. Behold the grace appears. 

1 9. Christians awake ! salute the happy morn. 

20. Christmas noAV is drawing near at hand. 

21. Come, behold the virgin Mother. 

22. Come, ye rich, survey the stable. 

23. From the High Priest an armed band. 

24. Good Christians all with joyful mirth. 

25. Good Christian people, pray attend. 

26. Good Christian people, pray give ear. 

27. God's dear Son, without beginning. 

28. God rest you, merry gentlemen. 

29. Hark ! all around the welkin ring. 

30. Hark ! hark ! what news the angels bring. 

31. Hark ! how the heralds of the Lord. 

32. Hark ! the herald angels sing. 

33. Have you not heard and seen our Saviour's love? 

34. Here is a fountain of Christ's blood. 

35. Hosanna ! to the Prince of Light. 

36. In Bethlehem City in Judea if was. 

37. In friendly love and unity. 

38. In God let all his Saints rejoice. 

39. Inspire me, Heav'n ! nor in me leave a thought. 

40. In the Reign of Great Csesar, the Emperor of Rome. 

41. Let all good Christian people here. 

42. Let all that are to mirth inclined. 

43. Let children proclaim their Saviour and king. 

44. Let mortals all rejoice. 

45. Let Christians all with one accord rejoice. 

46. Let Christians now in joyful mirth. 

47. Mortals, awake ! with angels join. 

48. My gift is small, a dozen of points. 

49. My master and dame I well perceive. 

50. Now when Joseph and Mary went to Bethelem bound. 

51. fair, fair Jerusalem ! when shall I corne to thee? 

52. faithful Christians, as you love. 

53. ! faithless, proud, and sinful man. 

54. ! see man's Saviour in Bethlehem bora. 

55. O ! the Almighty Lord. 

56. Of Jesu's birth, lo ! angels sing. 



99 

57. On Christmas day in the morn. 

58. On Christmas night all Christians sing. 

59. One God there is of Wisdom, glory, might. 

60. One night as slumbering I lay. 

61. Reader, pray do not think I am unkind. 

62. Rejoice and be merry, set sorrow aside. 

63. Rejoice now all good Christians. 

64. See how the blessed Babe on Mother's knco. 

65. Shepherds rejoice, lift up your eyes. 

66. Sinners, who now do at this time. 

67. Sweeter sounds than music knows. 

68. The faithless, proud, and sinful man. 

69. The first good joy our Lady had. 

70. The holly and the ivy, now are both well grown. 

71. The King of Glory sends his Son. 

72. The moon shines bright, and the stars give a light. 

73. The Shepherds amaz'd, the Saviour behold. 

74. This second Carol here I sing. 

75. This is the truth sent from above. 

76. Thus Angels sing, and thus sing we. 

77. Turn your eyes that are so fixed. 

78. Upon the five and twentieth of December. 

79. When bloody Herod reigned king. 

80. When Christ the Saviour did appear. 

81. When Christ our Lord drew nigh. 

82. When Jesus Christ had lived. 

83. When Jesus Christ our Lord. 

84. When righteous Joseph wedded was. 

85. When Zachariah Avas a priest. 

86. While shepherds watch'd their flocks by night. 

87. Within this rock that rock is laid. 

88. Ye mortals all, of high and low degree. 

89. Ye young and ye gay. 

This Collection I have had little opportunity of increasing 
except when in the country I have heard an old woman singing 
an old Carol, and brought back the Carol in my pocket with less 
chance of its escape, than the tune in my head. 



100 



The attachment of Carol buyers (*) ex- 
tends even to the wood cuts by which 
they are surrounded. Some of these, on 
a sheet of Christmas Carols, in 1820, 
were so rude in execution, that I re- 
quested the publisher, Mr. T. Batche- 
lar, of 115, Long Alley, Moorfields, 
to sell me the original blocks. I was 
a little surprised by his telling me that he 
was afraid it would be impossible to get 
any of the same kind cut again. "When I 
proffered to get much better engraved, 
and give them to him in exchange for his 
old ones, he said " Yes, but better are not 
so good ; I can get better myself : now 
these are old favourites, and better cuts will 
not please my customers so well." How- 
ever, by assuring him that artists could 
copy any thing, I obtained them. Those 
Avho are fond of specimens of all kinds 
of wood engraving, will be amused by 
the annexed impressions from these four 
blocks, produced in the metropolis of 




3 Wise Men. 




Christ tempted. 



(*) Mr. Southey describing the fight " upon the plain of Patay," tells 
of one who fell, as having 

In his lord's castle dwelt, for many a year, 
A well-beloved servant : he could sing 
Carols for Shrove-tide, or for Chandlemas, 
Songs for the Wassel, and when the Boar's head 
Crown'd with gay garlands, and with rosemary, 
Smoak'd on the Christmas board. 

Joan of Arc, b. x. 1. 466. 

These ditties which now exclusively enliven the industrious servant 
maid and the humble labourer, gladdened the festivity of royalty in an- 
cient times. Henry VII., in the third year of his reign, kept his Christmas 
at Greenwich: on the twelfth night, after high mass, the king went to the 




101 



England in this advanced state of art. 
They almost defy rivalry with the earliest 
conceptions, and shew the prevailing taste 
in graphic illustration among those who 
in due season, as naturally buy Christmas 
Carols as they long for mince pies and eat 
plum-pudding. 

I recollect the sheet of Carols twice 
its present size, with more than double 
the number of cuts, and sold for a half- 
penny : but alas ! "every thing is chang- 
ed;" the present half sheets are raised in Christ brought before 




price to a whole penny. 

I must not omit to observe that Mr. Bat- 
chelar was certainly sincere in the belief 
he expressed of his customers' attachment 
to his wood blocks. When he sold them 
to me he expressly stipulated for a reser- 
vation of copyright in the designs ; and 
he exercised it last year by publishing a 
sheet of Carols, adorned with fac-similes 
of the impressions which the reader is 
now looking upon. 

The inscriptions are placed beneath the 
cuts exactly as they stand in the original 
sheet. 



Pilate. 




Taken down from 
the Cross. 



hall and kept his estate at the table ; in the middle sat the Dean, and 
those of the king's chapel, who immediately after the king's first course 
" sang a carall." Leland. Collect, vol. iv. p. 237.) Granger innocently 
observes that " they that fill the highest and the lowest classes of human 
life, seem in many respects to be irore nearly allied than even them- 
selves imagine. A skilful anatomist would find little or no difference in 
dissecting the body of a king and that of the meanest of his subjects ; 
and a judicious philosopher would discover a surprising conformity in 
discussing the nature and qualities of their minds." Biog. Hist, of Eiigl, 
cd. 1804, vol. iv. p. 356. 
14 



102 

The earliest collection of Christinas Carols supposed to have 
"been published, is only known from the last leaf of a volume 
printed by Wynkyn de Worde, in the year 1521. This precious 
scrap was picked up by Tom Hearne ; Dr. Rawlinson, who pur- 
chased it at his decease in a volume of tracts, bequeathed it to the 
Bodleian library. There are two Carols upon it : one, " a carrol 
of huntynge," is reprinted in the last edition of Juliana Berners' 
Boke of St. Alban's ; the other, " a Caroll, bringing in the bore's 
head," is in Mr. Dibdin's Ames, with a copy of it as it is now 
sung in Queen's College, Oxford, every Christmas day, "to the 
common chaunt of the prose version of the Psalms in Cathedrals." 
Dr. Bliss, of Oxford, also printed on a sheet for private distri- 
bution, a few copies of this and Ant. a Wood's version of 
it, with notices concerning the custom, from the handwritings 
of Wood and Dr. Eawlinson, in the Bodleian library. Eitson, 
in his ill-tempered " Observations on Warton's History of Eng- 
lish Poetry," (1782, 4to, p. 37,) has a Christmas carol upon bring- 
ing up the boar's head, from an ancient MS. in his possession ; 
wholly different from Dr. Bliss's. The " Bibliographical Mis- 
cellanies," (Oxford, 1813, 4to.) contains seven Carols from a 
collection in one volume in the possession of Dr. Cotton, of 
Christ Church College, Oxford, " imprynted at London, in the 
Powltry, by Richard Kele, dwelynge at the longe shop vnder saynt 
Myldrede's Chyrche," probably "between 1546 and 1552." I 
had an opportunity of perusing this exceedingly curious volume, 
which is supposed to be unique, and has since passed into the 
hands of Mr. Freeling. There are Carols among the Godly 
$ Spiritual Songs and Balates, in " Scotish Poems of the six- 
teenth Century," (1801, 8vo.); and one by Dunbar, from the Ban- 
natyne MS. in " Ancient Scottish Poems." Others are in Mr. 
Ellis's edition of Brand's Popular Antiquities, with several useful 
notices. Warton's History of English Poetry contains much con- 
cerning old Carols. Mr. Douce, in his Illustrations of Shake- 
peare, gives a Specimen of the carol sung by the shepherds on 
the birth of Christ in one of the Coventry Plays. There is a 
sheet of carols, headed thus : " CHRISTUS NATUS EST : Christ 



103 

is lorn;( l ) with a woodcut, 10 inches high, "by 8| inches wide, re- 
presenting the stable at Bethlehem ; Christ in the crib, watched 
by the Virgin and Joseph ; shepherds kneeling ; angels attending : 
a man playing on the bagpipes ; a woman, with a basket of fruit on 
her head ; a sheep bleating, and an ox lowing on the ground ; a 
raven croaking, and a crow cawing on the hayrack ; a cock crow- 
ing above them, and angels singing in the sky. The animals have 
labels from their mouths, bearing Latin inscriptions. Down the 
side of the woodcut is the following account and explanation : " A 
religious man inventing the conceits of both birds and beasts, 
drawn in the picture of our Saviour's birth, doth thus express 
them; The cock croweth, Chriatus natus est, (f)USt IS bom. 
The raven asked, Quando ? <53Ji)UX ? The cow replied, Hue 
node, f)fe mgf)t. The ox cryeth out, Ubi ? UU ? 32ftf)tre ? 
SUiKtC ? The sheep bleated out, Bethlehem, <J3ttf)ld)em. 
Voice from heaven sounded, Gloria in Excelsis, (SlotJJ vt Oil 



The custom of singing carols at Christmas prevails in Ireland 
to the present time. In Scotland, where no church feasts have 
been kept since the days of John Knox, the custom is unknown. 
In Wales it is still preserved to a greater extent, perhaps, than in 
England; at a former period, the Welsh had carols adapted to 
most of the ecclesiastical festivals, and the four seasons of the 
year, but at this time they are limited to that of Christmas. After 
the turn of midnight at Christmas eve, service is performed in the 
churches, followed by the singing of carols to the harp. Whilst 
the Christmas holidays continue, they are sung in like manner in 
the houses, and there are carols especially adapted to be sung at the 
doors of the houses by visitors before they enter. Lffyr Carolan, ( 2 ) 
or the Book of Carols, contains sixty-six for Christmas, and five 
summer carols ; Blodeugerdd Cymrii, ( 3 ) or the Anthology of Wales, 

(*) London, Printed and Sold by J. Bradford, in Little Britain, the 
Corner House over against the Pump, 1701. Price One Penny. 

( 2 ) Shrewsbury, 4th edit., 1740, 12mo. 

( 3 ) Shrewsbury, 1779, 8vo. 



104 

contains forty-eight Christmas carols, nine summer carols, three 
May carols, one winter carol, one nightingale carol, and a carol to 
Cupid. The following verse of a carol for Christmas is literally 
translated from the first mentioned volume. The poem was written 
by Hugh Morris, a celebrated song-writer during the Common- 
wealth, and until the early part of the reign of William III. ( l ) 

To a saint let us not pray, to a pope let us not kneel ; 
On Jesu let us depend, and let us discreetly watch 
To preserve our souls from Satan with his snares ; 
Let us not in a morning invoke any one else. 

"With the succeeding translation of a Welsh Wassail song, the 
observer of manners will perhaps be pleased. In Welsh, the lines 
of each couplet, repeated inversely, still keep the same sense. 

A CAROL FOR THE EVE OF ST. MARY'S DAY. 

This is the season, when, agreeably to custom, 

That it was an honour to send icassail ( 2 ) 

By the old people who were happy 

In their time, and loved pleasure ; 

And we are now purposing 

To be like them, every one merry : 

Merry and foolish, youths are wont to be, 

Being reproached for squandering abroad. 

I know that every mirth will end 

Too soon of itself; 

Before it is ended, here comes 

The wassail of Mary, for the sake of the time : 

N ( 3 ) place the maid immediately 

In the chair before us ; 

(*) An edition of Hugh Morris's Works is now in the press. 
( 2 ) Dyma amser yr oedd arver 

Anrhyededd vod o anvon gwirod. 

( 3 ) Here the master or mistress of the house was called on by name 
to officiate. 



105 

And let every body in the house be content that we 

May drink wassail to virginity, 

To remember the time, in faithfulness, 

When fair Mary was at the sacrifice, 

After the birth to her of a son, 

"Who delivered every one, through his good will 

From their sins, without doubt. 

Should there be an inquiry who made the carol, 
He is a man whose trust is fully on God, 
That he shall go to heaven to the effulgent Mary, 
Towards filling the orders where she also is. 

THOMAS EVANS. 

On the Continent, the custom of carolling at Christmas is almost 
universal. During the last days of Advent, Calabrian minstrels 
enter Rome, and are to be seen in every street saluting the shrines 
of the Virgin mother with their wild music, under the traditional 
notion of charming her labour pains on the approaching Christmas. 
Lady Morgan observed them frequently stopping at the shop of a 
carpenter. In reply to questions concerning this, the workmen 
who stood at the door said, " that it was done out of respect to 
St. Joseph." (*) I have an old print of this practice. Two Calabrian 
shepherds are represented devoutly playing at Christmas in a street 
of Rome, before a stone shrine, containing a sculpture of the Infant 
Jesus in the Virgin's arms lighted up by candles, with a relief 
under it of supplicating souls in purgatorial fire, inscribed "Dite 
Ave Maria." A young female, with a rosary, is praying on her 
knees before the sculpture. The shepherds stand behind and blow 
the bagpipes and a clarionet. 

If one there be who has proceeded until now without tiring, 
he will know how much pleasantness there is in pursuits like 
these. To him who inquires of what use they are, I answer, 
that I have found them agreeable recreations at leisure moments. 



Lady Morgan's Italy, c. xxi. 



106 

I love an old MS. and " a ballad in print," and I know 
no distance that I would not travel to obtain Autolycus's 

" 23alla& of a Jft's!) tfjat appeared upon tftt coast, on <S2Se&* 
ntsfcap tf)e fourscore of &prtl, fortg tfjousantr fatfjom abobe 
toatcr, anfc sung t&fe ballati against tfy Imift hearts of 

inaftJS." I can scarcely tell why collectors have almost over- 
looked Carols, as a class of popular poetry. To me they have been 
objects of interest from circumstances which occasionally determine 
the direction of pursuit. The woodcuts round the annual sheets, 
and the melody of " God rest you merry Gentlemen" delighted my 
childhood ; and I still listen with pleasure to the shivering carolist's 
evening chaunt towards the clean kitchen window decked with 
holly, the flaring fire showing the whitened hearth, and reflecting 
gleams of light from the surfaces of the dresser utensils. 

Since this sheet was at the printer's, Gilbert Davies, Esq., F.B.S., 
F.A.S., &c., has published eight " Ancient Christmas Carols, with 
the tunes to which they were formerly sung in the West of Eng- 
land." This is a laudable and successful effort to rescue from obli- 
vion some carol melodies, which in a few years Avill be no more 
heard. Mr. Davies says, that " on Christmas-day these carols took 
the place of psalms in all the churches, especially at afternoon ser- 
vice, the whole congregation joining ; and at the end, it was usual 
for the parish clerk to declare, in a loud voice, his wishes for a 
merry Christmas and a happy new year. A sentiment similar to 
that of the parish clerk's in the West of England, was expressed, 
last year, in a way that leaves little doubt of its former general 
adoption at the same season. Just before Christmas-day, I was 
awakened in London at the dead of night, by the playing of the 
waits : on the conclusion of their solemn tunes, one of the per- 
formers exclaimed aloud, " God bless you, my masters and mis- 
tresses, a merry Christmas to you, and a happy new year." 



107 



TV. ENGRAVINGS OF APOCRYPHAL 
NEW TESTAMENT SUBJECTS. 



Pictures by the best masters, prints by the early engravers, woodcuts 
in early black letter and block-books, and illuminations of missals and 
monastic MSS. receive immediate elucidation on reference to the Apocry- 
phal New Testament, and are without explanation from any other source. 

Apoc. N. Test. Pref. 



J. HE following is a List of Prints in my own possession, founded 
on subjects in the Apocryphal New Testament. The passages to 
which they refer are inserted before the descriptions. Several of 
these engravings illustrate scenes in the preceding Mysteries. 

1. THE MEETING OF JOACHIM AND ANNE AT THE GOLDEN 
GATE OF JERUSALEM. 

Mary, ii. 1. The angel of the Lord stood by Joachim with a prodigious 

light. 2. To whom being troubled at the appearance, the angel 

who had appeared to him endeavouring to compose him said 1 

9. Anna your wife shall bring you a daughter, and you shall call 

her name Mary. 10. She shall according to your vow be devoted 

to the Lord from her infancy, and be filled with the Holy Ghost 

from her mother's womb. 13. And this shall be a sign to you 

of the things which I declare, namely, when you come to the golden 
gate of Jerusalem, you shall there meet your wife Anna. 

iii. ] . Afterwards the angel appeared to Anna his wife, saying, 

2. A daughter shall be born unto you, &c. 6. Arise, therefore, 

and go up to Jerusalem, and when you shall come to that which is 
called the golden gate, as a sign of what I have told you, you shall 
meet your husbandj for whose safety you have been so much con- 
cerned. 

Joachim and Anne meeting at the gate, and embracing. Men 
conversing and looking on. An engraving on wood by Albert 
Durer half sheet. 



108 

II. THE BIRTH OF THE VIRGIN MART. 

Mary, iii. 11. f So Anna conceived and brought forth a daughter. 
Protevangelion. 6. And when nine months were fulfilled to Anna, she 

brought forth, and said to the midwife, what have I brought forth ] 

7. And she told her, a girl. 

1 . In the back-ground Anne in bed ; an angel above, censing ; 
two woman administering drink and food to her ; in the foreground 
a woman seated, washing the infant ; nine other women in the 
room, drinking and talking with the child. An engraving on wood, 
by Albert DurerTaalf sheet. 

2. Anne in bed waited on by a female ; her husband Joachim 
seated by the bedside ; God as an old man in the clouds, with 
the world in his hand, attended by angels; women dressing the 
infant, preparing the cradle, airing linen, &c. Engraved after 
B. Spranger, 1584 large upright sheet. 

III. THE VIRGIN MARY MIRACULOUSLY ASCENDING THE STEPS 
OF THE TEMPLE. 

Mary iv. 1. And when three years were expired, and the time of her 
weaning complete, they brought the Virgin to the temple with their 

offerings. 4. And they put her upon one of the stairs. 6. In 

the meantime the Virgin of the Lord in such a manner went up all 
the stairs one after another, without the help of any one to lead 
her or lift her, that any one would have judged from hence that 
she was of perfect age. 

Mary ascending the steps of the temple ; the priests waiting at 
the door above to receive her; Joachim and Anna in the crowd 
below; Eeceivers of the offerings counting money, &c. An en- 
graving on wood, by Albert Durer half sheet. 

IV. JOSEPH'S MIRACULOUS BUDDED ROD. 

Mary, v. 16. Then according to this prophecy the high-priest 
appointed that all men of the house and family of David who were 
marriageable, and not married, should bring their several rods to 

the altar. 17. And out of whatsoever person's rod after it was 

b> ought, a flower should bud forth, and on the top of it the Spirit of 
the Lord should sit in the appearance of a dove, he should be the 
man to whom the Virgin should be given and be betrothed. 



109 

Protevangelion, viii. 11. And behold a dove proceeded out of the rod 

and flew upon the head of Joseph, 12. And the high-priest 

said, Joseph, Thou art the person chosen to take the virgin of the 
Lord. 

1. An interior the birth-place of Christ ; Joseph, with his 
budded rod ; offerings being presented, &c. Engraved by Jac. * 
Frey, after Sebast. Gonca. large sheet. 

2. Jesus in the Virgin's lap holding Josephs budded rod in both 
hands ; the Virgin attracting his attention from it by showing him a 
flower. Engraved by Joseph Juster, after Leonardi da Vinci 
folio. 

3. Joseph seated with his budded rod in his lap, reading a 
scroll. Engraved by A. A. Morel, after Wicar quarto. 

4. Joseph with his budded rod in his right hand, holding the 
child on his left arm. An oval engraving, octavo size, with square 
border for illumination, published at Paris by Gautier, 1818. 

V. CHRIST'S BIRTH IN A CAVE. 

Protevangelion, xiv. 10. Then a bright cloud overshadowed the cave. 
1 Infancy, i. 10. And behold it was all filled with lights greater than 

the lights of lamps and candles, and greater than the light of the 

sun itself. 

The birth of Christ in the cave, a great light from the infant ; 
Angels adoring him, others in a cloud above praying and praising. 
Engraved by Wierix small folio. 

VI. FALL OP THE IDOL IN EGYPT. 

1 Infancy, iv. 6. And now he drew near to a great city in which there 
was an idol. 13. And at the same instant the idol fell down, and 
at his fall all the inhabitants of Egypt, besides others, ran together. 

1. The flight into Egypt, an idol falling from a bracket attached 
to a tree. Engraved by John Sadler, after M. De Vos small 
folio. 

2. The same subject. Engraved by A. Wierix small 12mo. 

VII. FLIGHT OF THE ROBBERS. 

1 Infancy, v. 3. They went therefore hence to the secret place of 
robbers who robbed travellers, as they pass by, of their carriages 

15 



110 

and their clothes, and carry them away bound. 4. These thieves 
upon their coming heard a great noise, such as the noise of a king 
with a great army, and many horse, and the trumpets sounding, at 
his departure from his own city ; at which they were so affrighted 
as to leave all their booty behind them, and fly away in haste. 

The arrival of the Holy Family, and the flight of the robbers. 
An etching by Castiglione. 

VIII. THE VIRGIN MART -WASHING CHRIST'S CLOTHES. 
1 Infancy Viii. 9. 1T Hence they went to that sycamore tree which is now 
called Matarea. 10. And in Matarea the Lord Jesus caused a 
well to spring forth in which St. Mary washed his coat. 11. And 
a balsam is produced (or grows) in that country, from the sweat 
which ran down there from the Lord Jesus. 

1. Mary on her knees washing linen at a spring-head, and 
Christ taking it to Joseph, who hands it to two angels in a tree to 
hang up to dry. Engraved by Vallet, from Albano, a large 
sheet. 

2. Another by Benoist, from the same picture ; rather smaller. 

3. An Orleans Gallery print by Couche, from the same. 

IX. JOSEPH CARPENTERING CHRIST ASSISTING HIM. 

, 1 Infancy, xvi. And Joseph, wheresoever he went into the city, took 
the Lord Jesus with him where he was sent for to make gates, or 
milk pails, or sieves or boxes. 

1 . The infant in the cradle, Mary spinning from a distaff; full 
grown angels attending them. Joseph working with his hatchet at a 
bench. ; little angels raking together and picking up his chips, and 
putting them in a basket. An engraving on wood, by Albert Durer. 

2. Joseph working at a bench for the building of a church or 
monastery ; an archangel directing the work ; angels carrying the 
boards, and flying up to the steeple with large beams ; the Virgin 
seated, rolling a swathe on a table with the child in her arms ; an 
angel airing a napkin at the fire, others in the clouds with music- 
books singing. Engraved by J. Sadler, after Fred. Sustris small 
folio, breadthways. 



Ill 

3. The same subject ; reversed, by R. Sadler. 

4. The Virgin seated with the child sleeping in her arms ; an 
angel making up his bed in the cradle ; another airing his napkin at 
the fire-place : Joseph leaning over the back of her chair, with a chisel 
in his right, and a mallet in his left hand. Engraved by Vander 
Does, after Guellinus folio. 

5. Joseph at his carpenter's bench chiselling wood ; Christ stand- 
ing at the end holding a lamp for him to see by ; the Virgin behind. 
Engraved by Coelemans, after Bigot quarto. 

6. Joseph at the work-bench making a chalk-line on a board ; 
Christ holding one end of the line, and Joseph the other ; the Virgin 
seated with work in her lap ; Joseph's budded rod in a vase. A 
large engraving by /. Pesne, after An. Caracci. 

7. Joseph planeing in a room; the Virgin sewing; Christ 
sweeping the shavings together with a broom. A small oval en- 
graving, with Latin letter-press beneath, from a foreign devo- 
tional book. 

8. "JESU CHRISTI DEI DOMINI SALVATORIS NRI INFANTIA." 
This is a set of small plates beautifully engraved by Jerome 
Wierix : among them are the following subjects : 1. Joseph in a room 
driving a wooden pin into the door sill ; Christ sweeping up chips, 
and angels carrying them to Mary, who is at the fire cooking in a 
skillet. 2. Joseph and an angel driving nails into the frame- work 
of a building ; Christ with a large augur boring a hole in a plank ; 
Mary reeling thread. 3. Joseph chipping a log ; Christ and angels 
picking up the chips ; Mary reeling thread. 4. Joseph finishing the 
roof of a house ; Christ carrying a plank up a ladder ; Mary comb- 
ing flax. 5. Joseph building a boat ; Christ caulking it, assisted by 
angels ; Mary knitting. 6. Joseph driving posts into the ground ; 
Christ nailing the rails, attended by angels. 7. Joseph and Christ 
sawing across the trunk of a tree on the ground ; an angel sitting 
on each end to steady it ; Mary at a spinning wheel. 8. Joseph 
and Christ sawing into planks a large beam, which is elevated on 
a scaffold ; Christ holding the saw, on the beam above, as the 



112 

topsman ; Joseph pulling below ; angels lifting wood, and Mary 
spinning. 

A Volume that I have, entitled the "33oecfe ban 3$SUS 
hbeit," ( T ) contains Apoc. IT. Test, subjects, with engravings on 
wood, coloured. 1. A cut that occupies the whole of page 14, at 
the top, in one corner, represents Issachar reproaching Joachim 
for being without issue, and returning him his offerings; in the other 
corner the angel comforts Joachim, and appoints him to meet his 
wife Anne at the Golden Gate ; below, the angel consoles Anne, 
and tells her that she shall be no longer barren ; in the other lower 
corner appears the gate, with Joachim and Anne embracing. 2. 
On page 15, is a cut of the Virgin at three years old, walking up the 
fifteen steps of the temple to the astonishment of the priests. 3. A 
cut on page 16, represents the men of the house of David with 
rods, standing beside the altar in the temple ; the priest before it 
talking to Joseph, whose rod has blossomed, with the Holy Ghost 
as a dove sitting upon its top. 4. A cut of the flight into Egypt, is 
on page 43, with two idols falling from their pillars before Christ and 
the Virgin. 

Having concluded a brief notice of some of this class of prints in 
my possession, the following that I recollect to have seen may be 
added : viz., 1. The Nativity of Christ, with the two midwives pre- 
sent ; engraved by Ghisi very large. 2. The marriage of Joseph 
and Mary, with Joseph's rod in flower, and the dove ; after a 
picture by Parm.egia.no. 3. The same subject with Joseph's rod 
budding, and the Holy Ghost coming down as the dove, after N. 
Poussin. 4. The same subject, Joseph's rod budding, &c., Jordano. 
There are prints of Anne and Joachim her husband, in the 
English and foreign editions of the Golden Legend. Among the 
Harleian MSS. an inventory of furniture at the old royal palace of 
Greenwich, in the reign of Henry VIII. contains " a tablet of our 
Lady and St. Anne." 

Gough, in his account of the splendid Bedford Missal, men 

0) Folio, Breda, 1495. 



113 

tions several of its sumptuous drawings that are clearly Apoc. N". 
Test, subjects ; in particular, " the angel announces to St. Anne, 
the nativity of our Lady, and that she should bear the mother of our 
Saviour.'^ 1 ) 2. St. Anne and Joachim present the Virgin Mary in 
the temple. 3. A representation of the idols falling in the flight 
into Egypt. ( 2 ) 4. Another of the same subject. ( 3 ) Perhaps Mr. 
Gough's account of a " man with the lily sceptre pursued by men 
with staves,"( 4 ) may be found to be Joseph with his budded rod, and 
the men of the house of David with their rods. 

It would weary the reader to enumerate similar illustrations of 
these apocryphal subjects. I shall therefore conclude by observing 
that in the Salisbury Missal of 1534, there is a prayer with a preface, 
stating that Pope Alexander VI. granted to all that said it devoutly 
in the worship of St. Anne, and our Lady and her son, ten thousand 
years of pardon for deadly sins; and twenty years for venial sins, 
" totiens quotiens" also another prayer to be said before the image 
of Saint Anna, Maria, and Jesus, " of the whyche Eaymund the 
cardinall and legate hath granted a C days of pardon, totie's quotiens" 
Before these prayers is a whole length wood-cut portrait of Anne, 
with an emblazonment on the front of her figure of the Virgin 
Mary, with the child Jesus in her arms. In the back-ground the 
angel is appearing to Joachim, and Anne is meeting him at the 
Golden Gate. On the next page there is a smaller cut of Anne 
teaching the Virgin to read. Anne is represented in this way in 
Les Ceremonies de la St. Messe. The painters usually so occupy 
her. ( 5 ) 



C 1 ) Account of the Bedford Missal, 1794, 4to, p. 78. ( ? ) Ibid, p. 26. 
( 3 ) Ibid, p. 38. ( 4 ) Ibid, p. 28. 

C 5 ) Kibadeneira, in his Lives of the Saints (fol. 1730, vol. ii. p. 59), 
says, " We cannot say any thing greater for the glory of St. ANNE, 
than to call her the mother of God, and grandmother of Jesus Christ. 
For it cannot be questioned, but that the same bountiful Lord hath 
furnished, beautified, and ennobled her purest soul with all those trea- 
sures of virtues it was fitting she should be enriched and adorned with. 



114 

who was to be the grandmother of the Son of God." The same author 
thus apostrophises Joachim, her husband : " Oh, happy man, that was 
made worthy to give to God the Father, a most pure and holy daugh- 
ter; to God the Son, an incomparable mother; to God the Holy 
Ghost, a most chaste spouse, and the rich cabinet of the holy Trinity." 
A tract licensed by the Doctors in Divinity of the Faculty of Paris, in 
1643, " in order to maintain devotion to her," is entitled " The Prero- 
gatives of St. Anne, Mother of the Mother of God." The Doctors in 
setting forth the sanctity of Anne, supposes that an eagle, preparing to 
make a nest, flies about to choose a tree surpassing all others in height 
and beauty, and makes choice of the strongest branch, and nearest 
heaven. Imagine, now, says the author, that God is this eagle, who 
running over with his eyes, all the women who were to be, from the 
first to the last, perceived not any one so worthy to receive the glori- 
ous Virgin who was to be the little nest of the heavenly eaglet who is 
the word incarnate, as St. Anne, in whom he rested himself as in the 
tree of Paradise ; so that God gave to her merits the glorious advan- 
tage of conceiving in her bowels a daughter, who merited the exalted 
dignity of becoming the mother of God, and effecting the re-establish- 
ment of the universe. Consequently in our need we must address 
ourselves by St. Anne to the Virgin, and by the Virgin to Jesus Christ, 
and by Jesus Christ to God his Father. By the imitation of her vir- 
tues we revere her sanctity, and God seeing that we have no present 
to approach his throne, his grandmother desires from the souls who 
bear her name, that their hearts be always replenished with grace. 

In the London Gazette, from Sept. 8 to Sept. 11, 1722, is the follow- 
ing entry: "Hanover, September 7th, N.S. This day died, in the 
89th year of his age, M. Gerard Molan, Abbot of Lockumb, Primate of 
the States of this Dutchy, Director of the churches and clergy in the 
Electorate, Head of his Majesty's ecclesiastical court, and council there, 
and a member of the English Society for the Propagation of the Gospel 
in foreign parts. " Notwithstanding," says the Gazette, " his great 
age, he enjoyed till his last sickness a firm health, with a vigour of 
body and mind equal to his laborious employments. His great abilities, 
his prudence, integrity, and the indefatigable application he showed in 
discharging the trust reposed in him, gained him the Special favour of 
his sovereign, the love of those under his care, and the esteem of all 
that knew him. His profound learning, exemplary piety, and truly 
Christian moderation rendered him the ornament of the German Evan- 
gelick Clergy, so that his loss is universally lamented. 1 ' 

One of the trusts reposed in the Primate Molan was that of "Keeper 
of a Noble Collection of Belies;" and one of his laborious employments, the 
drawing up of a Catalogue Eaisonnee in Latin of his precious charge. I 
have in my possession an English translation of this catalogue by a 
traveller, to whom he presented a Latin copy, and showed the relics. 
The MS. contains an account of two Relics of St. ANNE, Mother of tlie 
most glorious Virgin Mary ; likewise a piece of her coat ; also another piece 
of her coat, and furthermore a great piece of her coat. In the same 
" noble collection " are two relics of St. Clement, two of St. Barnabas, 
and three of St. Hennas, whose writings are contained in the Apoc. 
]S T . Test. Their relics are accompanied by others of each of the twelve 
Apostles ; also three relics of St. John the Baptist, and one of his teeth ; 
two relics of St. Thomas a Becket ; six relics of the eleven thousand 



115 

Virgins with three notable hones, and three great bones belonging to 
them ; the shoulder-blade of St. George the Martyr, a piece of his arm, 
one of his ribs, and a piece of his back ; an arm of St. Lawrence ; " a 
thumb of St. Mark, from his body at Venice, which wants it," the 
claws of a crab belonging to St. Peter ; two pieces of Aaron's rol ; an 
entire arm of St. Bartholomew ; an arm of St. Mary Magdalen, and a 
piece of her head ; some oil from the breast of the Virgin, some of her 
hair, several other relics of her, and a piece of her tombstone ; two 
pieces of the table at which Christ supped ; some of the ointment he 
was anointed with ; three pieces of the pillar at which he was scourged ; 
two thorns from his crown ; nine pieces of his cross ; some of his blood, 
and his handkerchief. These relics of St. ANNE, and. the rest I have 
mentioned, with a multitude of others, are the ancestral property of 
his present Majesty King George the Fourth.. The MS. says, that 
" this is most certain, that all travellers, that have been in all parts of 
the world, and come to Hanover and seen these relies, with one voice 
confess that so vast a treasure of most valuable relics, so finely adorned, 
is hardly to be seen, or indeed not at all to be seen together in any one 
place whatever and they are now preserved in the Electoral Chapel, 
and readily and willingly shown to all that desire to. see them." 

JOACHIM,, on his festival, in the old Roman Missal, is thus addressed, 
"O, Joachim, husband of St. Anne, and father of the Blessed Virgin, 
from hence bestow saving help on thy servants." The last of some 
Latin verses in the same service is thus translated by Bp. Patrick 
(Devot. ofRom.Ch. p..396). 

And now thou'rt placed" among, the blest so high, 
Thou canst do every thing thou art inclined to ; i 

Thy nephew,- Jesus, sure will not deny, 
Much less thy daughter, what thou hast a mind to. 

ANNE, his wife, was also supplicated for the remission of sin, and 
honoured with hymns, and other devotions. She is spoken of by Eng- 
lish writers with great respect. In " the new Notborune mayde upo' 
the passio 1 of cryste " (imprynted at London by John Skot, 12mo.), a 
rare poem, occasioned by the old ballad of the Not-browne Mayde, in 
Arnold's Chronicle, 1521 (of which latter Prior's Nuibrown Maid is an 
altered version), ANNE is honoured, by the author making Christ him- 
self mention her,, in answer to one of Mary's expostulations in behalf 
of mankind: 

Lo, thus, good mayde, 
The daughter of Saynt Anne, 
Man hate exylede 
From hyna your chylde, 
Ryght as a banysshed man. 

That ANNE was in good estimation may be well imagined from there 
being in London four churches dedicated to her, besides upwards of 



116 

thirty thoroughfares in the metropolis called by her name. In the 
Calendar to the Catholic Church Service (Laity's Directory, 1822), her 
birthday, the 26th of July, is marked as a high festival of devotion. 
The Wedding-Ring of JOACHIM and ANNE has also had its due share 
of respect, for it was kept by the nuns of St. Anne at Rome, and worked 
miracles. It was stolen during the sacking of that city under the pon- 
tificate of Clement VII., but was wonderfully brought back and laid 
upon a stone by a crow. 

An account of the honours to the Virgin MARY would exceed the 
limits of this volume. Some notion of it may be formed from the fact, 
that upwards of three thousand different engravings of her were in the 
Collection of Prints, made by the Abbe Marolles. The miracles she is 
recorded to have worked are almost innumerable. " At one time they 
make her come down from heaven to support an arch thief at the gal- 
lows, who was hanged for his rogueries, but was withal a great devotee 
of her's ; at another, she comes to darn Thomas of Canterbury's coat, 
which happened to be torn upon the shoulders ; then she is at the 
pains of wiping the sweat from the faces of the Monks of Clairvaux, 
while they are at work ; at another time she discharges the duty of a 
certain abbess who was rambling up and down the country with a monk 
who had debauched her : she sings matins for a monk who had asked 
her to supply his place ; and they even make her come down to let a 

aung fellow blood." (Conform, bet. Anc. and Mod. Cerem., p. 144). 
he veneration in which she is held at this day may be gathered from 
a perusal of " The Devotion and Office of the Sacred Heart of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, with its nature, origin, progress, &c., including the De- 
votion to the Sacred Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary," llth edition, 
Keating and Co., 1816, 18mo.) 

JOSEPH, the husband of Mary, is also highly distinguished by wor- 
ship appointed to him. This appears from a recent devotional work, 
entitled, " Reflections on the prerogatives, power, and protection of St. 
Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with several devotions to 
the said most glorious Patriarch." (Keating, 1812, 18mo.) Worship 
to Joseph was first assigned about 1370, in the reign of Pope Gregory 
XI., when a chapel being consecrated to St. Joseph in the cathedral 
of Avignon, the Pope placed his coat of arms about it in large escut- 
cheons of stone. He increased the revenues of the canons, and 
ordained that the confraternity of Bachelors and sodality of Virgins 
belonging to it, in the procession on his festival, should carry in 
their hands posies of flowers emblematical of the fragrance of his 
virtues. " In our age," says the author, " devotion to him is universal 
throughout the habitable world ; but why, says the modern critic, why 
were the glorious merits of St. Joseph so long concealed ? Why not 
generally made known to Christians before the fourteenth century ? 
The author answers that " true believers are to tremble at whys and 
wherefores in divine government it is unpardonable presumption to 
enter into the Omnipotent's hidden secrets, and damnable curiosity 
to dive into his secret decrees." He observes that he cannot for- 
bear remarking how unjust the common pencils are to Saint Joseph, 
by representing him as to age and features not becoming the 
foster-father of Jesus, and the spouse of Mary ; he says that in 
all probability the son of God would not provide a husband to 



117 

his beloved mother, who had the least personal defect; and that although 
he might be forty when the virgin was fourteen, yet he ought not to be 
so exposed as leaning on a staff, and so decrepit as almost to be useless, 
when he was vigorous and able to work thirty years in serving the sacred 
family both at home and abroad. He adds, that St. Barnard thinks 
St. Joseph was the likeness of Mary, and that the learned Gerson affirms 
that the face of Jesus resembled the face of Joseph; and he remarks, 
that, as ' It would be reviving the blasphemous neresy of stigmatised 
Cerinthus to assert, that Jesus was by nature the real son of Joseph, 
yet he must be looked on as his legitimate parent and entitled in all 
things to the right of paternity, except that of generation, which the 
eternal Father supplied, by infusing into the husband of Mary a pater- 
nal love for her son Jesus. A child lawfully conceived in matrimony, 
may strictly call the husband father, which title the Holy Ghost honours 
St. Joseph with, by the mouth of the immaculate Virgin, your father 
and I have sought you sorrowing (St. Luke ii. 48). Children reputed 
by common fame to belong to such a parent, or those who are adopted, 
have a right to inherit titles and patrimonies ; much more Jesus, who 
was born of Mary, Joseph's wife ; for according to the approved axiom 
of the law, whatever grows in, or is built upon another's soil, belongs to 
the owner thereof.' The work has many accounts of miracles performed 
by Joseph; the following may be quoted as an example ' It is a matter 
of fact that a person of quality having lost all his children by witch- 
craft a few days after their birth, was counselled by one who had too 
great an insight into that black and diabolical art, to name his next son 
Joseph ; it was done, and the child lived to inherit his father's estate 
and honour.' There are also in this book, directions for choosing St. 
Joseph as a patron, with his office, litany, a hymn in his honour, his beads, 
seven prayers in honour of his seven dolours and seven joys, and other 
exercises. A prelude to one of the meditations is in these words : ' Ima- 
gine yourself to be in the temple of Jerusalem when the high priest gave 
to Joseph the immaculate Virgin Mary. How the patriarch espoused 
her, by putting a ring upon her finger, with other ceremonies according 
to the written law, in token that he made her partaker of all his goods, 
and took her under his protection. 

The Wedding-Ring of MARY and JOSEPH was of onyx or amethyst, 
wherein was discerned a representation of the flowers that budded on 
his rod. It was discovered in the year 996, in this way. Judith, the 
wife of Hugo, Maiquiss of Etruria, being a great lover of jewels, em- 
ployed one Ranerius, a skilful jeweller and lapidary of Clusium, to go to 
Rome to make purchases for her. There he formed an intimacy with a 
jeweller from Jerusalem, who, when Ranerius was about to return home, 
professed great affection, and offered him a ring as a pledge of friendship. 
Ranerius looking upon it as of little value, declined it with a slight com- 
pliment ; but the jeweller from the Holy Land bade him not contemn it, 
for it was the wedding-ring of Joseph and the blessed Virgin, and made 
him take it with an especial charge that it should not fall into the hands 
of a wicked person. Ranerius, still careless of what he said, threw it 
into a little chest with articles of inferior value, where it remained until 
his forgetfulness cost him dear : for when his son was only ten years old, 
(the number of years that his father disregarded the Virgin's ring), the 
boy died and was carried to his burial. But, behold as the hearse went 
forward, on a sudden the dead child rose from the coffin, ordered tha 
bearers to stop, and calling to his father, told him, that by favour of the 

16 



blessed Virgin he was come from heaven to tell him that as he had con- 
temned religion by concealing her most holy ring in a common heap, he 
must immediately send for it, and publicly produce it ; that it might be 
openly venerated. The chest being brought and delivered into the son's 
hand, he presently found the ring, although he had never seen it before ; 
then most reverently kissing it, and showing it to the spectators, they 
religiously adored it during the joyful pealing of the bells which rung 
of their own accord ; whereupon, ordering himself to be carried to the 
place where he desired to be buried, he delivered the ring to the curate 
of the parish, and then laying himself down in the coffin, he was inter- 
red. This ring wrought many miracles ; ivory ones touched with it 
worn by women in difficult labour relieved them ; an impression of it in 
wax, applied to the hip, removed the sciatica ; it cured diseases of the 
eyes, reconciled married people that quarrelled, and drove out devils. 
Five centuries afterwards, in 1473, the church of Musthiola, where it 
effected these wonders, becoming ruinous, the ring was deposited with a 
religious community of the Franciscans at Clusium. One of the 
brethren of the order named Wintherus, a crafty German, and very 
wicked, having obtained from the magistrates an appointment to shew 
the ring, on a certain occasion after exhibiting it at the end of his ser- 
mon stooped down, as if he was putting it into the place provided for it, 
but instead of doing so he slipped it up his sleeve, and privily conveyed 
himself and the ring from the city across the water. All was well so far ; 
but when he got into a neighbouring field it suddenly became dark, so 
that not knowing which way to go, but well knowing what was the 
matter, he hung the ring on a tree, and falling on the ground penitently 
confessed his sin to it, and promised to return to Clusium if it would 
dispel the darkness. On taking it down it emitted a great light which 
he took advantage of to travel to Perusia, where he sojourned with the 
Augustan friars till he determined on making another effort to carry it 
into Germany. He was again hindered by the darkness returning. It 
infested him and the whole city for twenty days. Still he resolved not 
to return to Clusium, but told his story in great confidence to his land- 
lord, one Lucas Jordanus, who with great cunning represented to him his 
danger from the Clusiuns, and the benefits he would receive from the 
Perusians if he bestowed the ring on that city. Wintherus followed his 
advice. As soon as the ring was shown to the people the darkness dis- 
appeared, and Wintherus was well provided for in the house of the 
magistrate. Meanwhile the Bishop of Clusium coming to Perusia, endea- 
voured in vain to regain the relic. The city of Sena sent an ambassador 
to assist the claim of the Clusiuns ; he was entertained by the Perusians 
with great respect, but they informed him that having used no sacrile- 
gious arts to obtain the blessed Virgin's ring, they respected her too much 
to restore it to its owners ; that they received it within their walls with 
as much respect as they would do the Ark of the Covenant, and would 
defend their holy prize by force of arms. The bereaved Clusians laid the 
case before Pope Sixtus IV., and the Perusians did the same. Wintherus 
was ordered by the Pope on the importunity of the Clusians, into closer 
confinement; but as the heat abated he passed a merry life in Perusia, 
and at his death the Franciscans and the canons of St. Lawrence dis- 
puted for the possession of his body. This honour was in the end 
obtained by the latter, in whose chapel he was buried before an altar 
dedicated to St. Joseph and the Virgin ; and a monument was erected 
by the Perusians to the ring-stealer's memory, with an inscription which 



119 

acknowledged that the receivers were as much indebted to him for it as 
if it had been his own property and he had offered it of his own accord. 
In the pontificate of Innocent III. A.D. I486, the arbitrament of the 
dispute was left to Cardinal Piccolominseus, who adjudged the relic to 
Perusia. The important decision was celebrated in that city by every 
imaginable expression of joy, and for the greater honour of the sacred 
ring a chapel was built for it in the church of St. Lawrence, with an 
inscription, informing the reader that there the untouched mother, the 
queen of heaven, and her spouse, were worshipped ; that there in the 
sanctuary of her wedding ring, she lent a gracious ear to all prayers ; 
and, that he that gave the ring (Wintherus), defended it by his protec- 
tion. The pencil was called in to grace the more substantial labours of 
the architect. A curious picture represented the high priest in the 
temple of Jerusalem, taking Joseph and Mary by their hands to espouse 
them with the venerated ring ; one side of the solemnity was graced by 
a band of virgins, the companions of Mary during her education ; the 
other side was occupied by a company of young men, Joseph's kinsmen 
of the house of David, holding their withered rods. The imagination of 
the artist employed one of these in breaking his own rod across his knee, 
as envious of Joseph's, which by its miraculous budding, had ended the 
hopes of all who by the proclamation had become candidates for her 
hand. In addition to this an altar was raised and dedicated to St. 
Joseph ; his statue was placed at its side ; his birth-day was kept with 
great pomp ; a society of seculars called his Fraternity was instituted 
to serve in the chapel jointly with the clergy of St. Lawrence ; and on 
the joint festival of the Virgin and her spouse, the splendid solemnity 
was heightened by the solemn exhibition of their ring, and by the picture 
of their miraculous nuptials being uncovered to the eager gaze of the 
adoring multitude. Bp. Patrick's Devot. of Bom. Ch. p. 46. 

The miracles of the wedding ring of Joseph and Mary were trifling in 
comparison to its miraculous powers of multiplying itself. It existed in 
different churches of Europe at the same time, and each ring being as 
genuine as the other, each was paid the same honours by the devout. 



120 



V. THE DESCENT INTO HELL. 



' Mr. Warton, who smiles at the idea of their having anciently com- 
mitted to the blacksmiths the handling of the Purification, an old play 
so called, would have had still greater reason, could he have assigned 
with truth to the company of taylors the Descent into Hell.' 

Rev. John Brand, Hist, of Newcastle, v. ii. p. 370. n. 



THE Coventry Mystery of Christ's Descent into Hell consists of only 
six verses j 1 in one of which Christ expresses his determination to 
release the souls ' from the cindery cell.' Such brevity was occa- 
sioned, perhaps, by tho subject being very hacknied. But the 
Chester Mystery of the same subject 2 is a tedious paraphrase of 
circumstances in the Gospel of Nicodemus ; 3 to which is added in 
one of the copies * by way of epilogue, the lamentation of a cheat- 
ing Chester alewife, on being compelled to take up her abode with 
the devils, one of whom she endeavours to wheedle by calling him 
her ' sweet Mr. Sir Sathanas,' from whom she receives the compli- 
ment of being called ' his dear darling.' 

In strictness, the prints that I have, which illustrate this event, 
should have been described with the other engravings from Apo- 
cryphal New Testament story, but it seemed better to connect 
them with other particulars on the same subject ; and accordingly 

1 Cotton MS. Pageant xxxiiL 2 Harl. MS. 2124 

8 Apoc. N. Test. Nicodemus, xiii. 14 to xx. 14. The Gospel of Nico, 
demus in Anglo-Saxon, by jElfric Abbot, of St. Albans, in the year 950- 
with fragments of the Old Testament in the same language, was pub- 
lished by Dr. Hickes at Oxford, in 1698. Lewis's Hist, of Transl. of 
the Bible, p. 8. 
4 Harl. MS. 2013. 



121 

they succeed the following extracts from the Apocryphal Gospel on 
which they are founded. 

Nicodemus, xii. 3. In the depth of hell in the blackness of darkness 
on a sudden there appeared the colour of the sun like gold, and a 
substantial purple coloured light, enlightening the place. 

xv. 1. While all the saints of hell were rejoicing, behold Satan the 
prince and captain of death, said to the prince of hell. 2. Prepare 
to receive Jesus of Nazareth himself, who boasted that he was the 
Son of God, and yet was a man afraid of death, and said my soul 
is sorrowful even to death. 

xvi. 19. The mighty Lord appeared in the form of a man. 20 
And with his invincible power visited those who sat in the deep 
darkness by iniquity, and the shadow of death by sin. 

xvii. 13. Then the king of glory, trampling upon death, seized the 
prince of hell, deprived him of all his power. 

xix. ] 2. And taking hold of Adam by his right hand, he ascended 
from hell, and all the saints of God followed him. 

ENGRAVINGS. 

1. A landscape with a view of the earth beneath, containing a 
semi-section of hell, which is a globe divided into four parts: 1. 
the devil sitting on the body of Judas in the centre surrounded by 
a body of fire containing the damned in torment. 2. The compart- 
ment surrounding the centre is the flame of purgatory, with its in- 
habitants. 3. The next circle is the libo of infants whose heat 
seems to be less fierce. 4. The outer circle is the limbo of the 
Fathers to which Christ has penetrated from his grave, with a banner 
surrounded by a light cloud filled with angels. Engraved by Ant 
Wierix, after B. Pass small folio. 

2. Christ within the porch of hell bearing a banner in his left hand. 
Adam who holds the cross of wood, with Eve and a crowd of others 
are behind him ; he is stooping down to receive persons who are 
grasping his right hand from a dark entrance ; a furious devil is 
striking at him with the end of a pointed staff, from a square hole 
above ; hell gates lie broken on the ground, while a demon flying in 
the air blows a horn. A fine engraving on wood by Albert Durer, 
1570 small folio. 

3. The same subject varied a little. An engraving on copper by 
A. Durer small square quarto. 



122 

4. The same subject further varied. Engraved by A. Durer,- 
1512, duodecimo. 

5. The same subject more varied. Engraved by Jerome Wierix 
small. 

6. Christ bursting hell gates ; a devil throwing stones at him 
from the battlement a very early engraving on wood, before the 
time of Wolgemuth. 

7. A devil holding up the broken gate with his left arm and 
beating back Adam and Eve with a large splinter of wood in his 
right hand to prevent their escape. Engraved by Martin Schoen. 

The ' Pilgremage of the sowle,' a spiritual romance, with beauties 
that delighted our forefathers, was printed by Caxton, in 1483. I 
have a MS. in French from which Caxton's work is translated, with 
fifty-six coloured drawings interspersed by the amanuensis, three of 
which are entire sections of the subterranean hell, divided into com- 
partments, conformably to the print by Wierix. This arrangement 
of hell is attributed to Cardinal Bellarmine, but the Cardinal only 
repeated what had been previously described ; for my MS. was 
written in the year 1435, a century before the Cardinal was born. 
From an appropriation of punishment to the seven deadly sins it has 
sometimes been supposed that hell has been divided into as many 
compartments. The goldsmiths Baldini and Boticelli, very early, if 
not the earliest engravers, executed a print wherein the damned are 
represented in separate places of torment which resemble ovens, each 
inscribed with a particular vice ; l and Erasmus mentions certain di- 
vines who make as many divisions in hell and purgatory, and de- 
scribe as many different sorts and degrees of punishment as if they 
were very well acquainted with the soil and situation of these 
infernal regions. 2 

But to return from this excursion : I would observe that in the 
' Boeck van Jhesus leven,' 3 there is a wood engraving of the 

1 Landseer's Lectures on Engraving, p. 251. 
* Erasmus's Praise of Folly, 12ino, 1724, p. 109. 
s Mentioned at p. 112. 



123 

Descent into Hell, representing Christ standing -with his banner 
in front of hell, its gates off the hinges, and Adam and Eve with 
other souls praying to him for their release ; by the side of this 
cut the devil is depicted on his knees with his claws folded 
across his breast, and bending in a posture of supplication. There 
are also wood cuts of this subject in two editions of the ' Biblia 
Pauperum,' a block book ; and another in the ' Speculum Humanae 
Salvationis,' besides others in works of almost equal curiosity, whose 
titles escape my recollection. It seems that there was formerly in 
Canterbury Cathedral a painted glass window of ' Christus spoliat 
Infernum.' 1 Probably it was put up as a suitable illustration to 
the Gospel of Nicodemus which Erasmus, when he visited England, 
saw chained to the pillars of that cathedral for the edification of 
the visitors. 2 The ancients represented Christ like a mighty cham- 
pion entering the territories of hell, and fighting for the space of 
three days with the devil till he had broken the strength of his 
malice, and quite destroyed his power and force, and brought him 
the holy souls he desired to release. 3 

BERNARDINUS DB BUSTIS in his seventeenth sermon on the Eosary, 
printed at Hagenaw in 1580, affirms, that the hole wherein the cross 
stood went down into limbus, a horrible prison, where the fathers 
were near to the horrible devils under the earth, and that the blood 
of Christ descended thereby, which when they felt they rejoiced, 
and then appeared the soul of Christ which illuminated the whole 
place ; he saluted them, shook them by the hand, blessed them, 
and drew them out. 4 The concluding scene has been usually 
selected by the artist for the exercise of his pencil. The Gospel of 
Nicodemus seems to have been the principal source from whence 
poets and painters of former times described the Descent into Hell. 
Belief in the event may be traced so far back as the second century. 



1 Ornaments of Churches Considered, 4to. appendix, p. 8. 

2 Erasmus's Colloquies by Baily, 8vo. 1725, p. 354. 

3 King's History of the Apostles' Creed, 8vo. 1737, p. 223. 

4 Carlil on the Descent of Christ, 12mo. 1582, p. 98. 



124 

Though the various modifications that belief has undergone, rather 
belongs to theological inquiry, and would encumber mine, yet I 
propose to lay before the reader a few references concerning its anti- 
quity and adaptation to popular understanding. 

The Vision of Piers Ploughman, a poem, written according to 
Warton, about 1384, but according to Dr. Whitaker about 1362, 
and ascribed to Eobert Langland, a secular priest in the county of 
Salop, was first printed in 1553, and lastly from a MS. contempo- 
rary with the author in 1813. 1 This ancient work contains an ela- 
borate description of Christ's descent into hell, which on comparison 
will be found to have been taken from the Gospel of Nicodemus : 
some extracts are annexed, with their paraphrase in modern English 
prose subjoined. 

' Wiche a light and wich a leom lay by fore helle.' 2 
Wliat a light and a gleam appeared in the front of hell ! 

* Lo helle myghte nat holde bote openede tho God tholede 
And let out Symonde's sones.' 3 

Lo, hell could not contain, but opened to those who awaited God, and let 
out the sons of Simeon. (Nicodemus, xiii. 13, &c.) 

' Attolite portas principes vestras, elevamini porte eternales,' &c. 
A voys loude in that light to Lucifer seide 
Princes of this palys un do the gates, 
For here cometh with coronne the kynge of all glorie. 
Then syhede Satan, and seide * 

' Lift up your great gates, and ye everlasting doors be ye opened.' In 
that light a voice cried aloud to Lucifer : Princes of this palace open tlis 
gates, for here cometh with his crown the King of glory. Then Satan 
groaned and said, 

' Ac rys up Ragamoffyn. and reche me alle the barres 
Ar we throw bryghtnesse be blent, barre we the gates 
Cheke we and cheyiie we. and eche chyne stoppe 
And thow Astrot hot out. and have out knaves 
Coltyng and al bus kynne. our catel to save 
Brynston boilaunt brenning. out casteth hit 



1 The Vision of Piers Ploughman, by Dr. T. D. Whitaker, 1813, 4to. 
'Ibid. p. 346. 3 Ibid. p. 353. * Ibid. p. 354 



125 

i 

Al hot in here hevedes. that entren in ny the wallea 
Setteth bowes of brake, a brasene gonnes 
And sheteth out shot e ynowh.'^ 1 ) 

Arise Ragamuffin and bring all the bars, before we are blinded with the 
brightness. Bar we now the gates, bolt we and chain we, and stop up every 
chink. And thou Astaroth go forth and muster the servants, Colling and all 
his kindred, to save our chattels. Cast boiling and burning brimstone, all 
hot, upon their heads who shall enter within these walls. Set the steel boivs, 
and brazen guns, and shoot out shot in plenty. 

" Yf he reve me of my ryght he robbeth me by mastrie 

For by ryght and reson. the reukes that beon here 

Body and soule beth myne. bothe good and ille 

For he hyms self hit seide. that syre is of helle 

That Adam and Eve. and al hus issue 

Sholden deye with deol. and here dwelle evere 

Yf thei touchede a treo. oth r toke ther of an appel 

Thus thees lorde of light such a lawe made 

And sutthe he is so leel a lord, ich ley ve that he wol nat 

Keven ous of oure ryght. sutthe reson he mdampned 

And sutthe we han be seosed. sevene thowsend wynt."( ! ) 

If he bereave me of my right, he shall rob me by force; since by right and 
reason the rooks that are here are mine, body and soul, good and bad, for fie 
himself who is Lord of hell said, that Adam and Eve and all their issue 
should die with sorrow, and dwell here for ever if they touched a tree, or took 
an apple therefrom. Thus this Lord of light made such a law, and since he 
is a Lord of truth, I believe that he will not deprive us of our right because 
they are rightfully damned, and because we have been seized of them seven 
thousand yean. 

" What lord ert thu quath Lucifer, a voys a loud seyde 
The lord of myght and of man. that made alle thynges 
Duke of this dymme place, a non undo the gates 
That Crist nowe comen in. the kynges sone of hevene 
And with that breth helle brake, with alle Beliales barres 
For eny wye other warde. wyde openede ze gates."( 3 ) 

What Lord art thou ? said Lucifer. A voice cried aloud, the Lord of 
power and of man, who made all things, the ruler of this dark place, open 
the gates forthwith, that Christ the son of the King of heaven may come in. 
And with that breath hell burst, and all Belial's bars, notwithstanding the 
guard, the gates flew wide open. 

" Lo me her quath our lorde. lyf and soule bothe 
For alle synful soules. to save oure beyere ryghh."( 4 ) 

Behold me here quoth our Lord, both life and soul for all sinners to save 
dur brethren. 

0) Ibid. p. 354. ( 2 ) Ibid. p. 355. ( 3 ) Ibid. p. 358. ( 4 ) Ibid. p. 359. 

17 



126 

" For the lesynge that thow Lucifer, lowe til Eve. 

Thow shalt abygge bitere quath God. and bond hym with cheynea 

Astrott and alleo there, hudden hem in heornes 

Thei dorst nat loken on oure Lorde. the leste of hem alle 

Bote leot hym leden forth wich hym luste. and leve wiche him lykede.'^ 1 ) 

For the falsehoods wherewith thou Lucifer liedst unto Eve, thou shalt 
abide crushed, quoth God ; and he bound him with chains. Astaroth and 
the rest hid themselves in droves. The most distant of them all durst not 
look on Christ, but let him take away whom he desired, and leave whom he 



A volume in the British Museum (2) containing a collection of MS. 
Poems, dated the 34th year of K. Henry YI. (about 1456), preserves 
a poem entituled, What Gliryst hath done for us ; wherein Christ 

says, 

To helle I went this chartre to schewe, 
Before thy fo Sathanas, that schrewc ; 
He was schent, and brought to grounde, 
Thorow maylys bore, and sperys wounde ; 
A charter com'an made was 
Bytwene me and Sathanas, 
All my catel to have away 
That he me reft 

In the same volume Our Lady's Song of the Cliyld that solccd 
lujr brest, relates that after the death of Christ, 

Then to helle he toke ye way 

Wt woundys wyde & all blody ; 
Ye foule fendys to affray 

Wt hym he bar ye cros of tre. 

Helle gatys full opyn to put fre 

When my sone wyth hond hem blest, 
Ye fendys roryd when they hym se : 

Ye chyld ys resyn that soke my brest. 

Adam & Eve wyth hym he take, 

Kyng Davyd, Moyses, & Salamon ; 
And haryed hell every noke, 

Wythyn hyt left he soulys non, 

But fendys yn hyt to dwelle allon 
Lucyfer ther hard he prest 



Ibid, p. 363. (*) Harl. MS. 5396. 



127 

Theryn to byde as sty lie as ston: 
The chyld is resyn that soke my brest. 

Thus 'comyfte he the fendys fele, 

And toke hys pray that he had boght ; 

And put hym yn to endles wele, 
Ther joye & blys fayles noght. 



TJie World and the Chylde, a Morality printed in 1522, mentions 
the release of the souls. Perseverance, one of the dramatis persons, 
rehearsing " the xii Artycles of the fayth," says 

The fyfth artycle I shall yo tell; 
Than the spryghte of godhed went to hell, 
And brough' ut the soules that there dyde dwell 
By the power of his own myght. 

In the articles of Pierce Ploughman! s Crede,(i) an old production, 
but not so old as the Vision, it is rehearsed that Christ was cruci- 
fied 

And sythen his blessed body was in a stone byriad 
And descended a doun to the derk helle 
And fet out our formfaders. 



of Chryste,( 2 ) a Poem in the Ban- 
natyne MS. 1568, begins 

Done is a battell on a dragon blak, 
Our campioun Chryst confoundit hes his force, 
The yettis of hell ar brokin with a crak, 
The signe triumphall rasit is of the croce ; 
The divillis trymmillis with hiddous voce, 
The saulis ar borrowit, and to the bliss can go, 
Chryst with his blud our ransoms dois indoce ; 
Surrexit Dominus de sepulchre. 


The fo is chasit, the battell is done ceis, 

The presone brokin, the jevellours fleit and flemit ; 

The weir is gon, confermit is the peis, 

The fetteris lowsit r and the dungeon temit, &c. ' 



( 1 ) Pierce the Ploughman's Crede was first printed in 1553. 

( 2 ) Ancient Scottish Poems, 12mo, Edinb. 1770, p. 85. 



BISHOP CORBET, in his witty Itinerary of 

Foure Clerkes of Oxford, doctours two, and two 
That would be docters, 

laments the secularization of church appurtenances at Banbury by 
the Puritans, who he describes as, 



They which tell 



1 That Christ hath nere descended into hell, 
But to the grave^ 1 ) 

"Not to trouble the reader with further poetical recognitions of this 
subject, he is presented with a few opinions more gravely delivered 
by persons of higher authority in other respects, and some of them 
living in the earliest ages. 

JOHN BOYS, Dean of Canterbury, where he died in 1625, says in 
one of his sermons, that " hell is under the earth and twofold ; 
namely, 1. The pit of the dead or the grave which is upper hell. 
2. The pit of the damned, which is the nethermost hell; and that 
Christ descended into the nethermost hell where sinners are punished 
eternally, not to suffer any punishment, but as a conqueror to triumph 
over death and the devil in their own kingdoms. "( 2 ) 

BISHOP LATIMER in a sermon before King Edward VI., says, " I 
offer it unto you to consider and weigh it, there be some great clerks 
that take my part, and I perceive not what evil can come of it, in 
saying that our Saviour Christ not only in soul descended into hell, 
Imt also he suffered in hell such pains as the damned spirits did 
suffer there. Surely I believe verily, for my part, that he suffered 
the pains of hell proportionally, as it correspondeth and answereth 
to the whole sin of the world. He would not suffer only bodily in 
the garden and upon the cross, but also in his soul, when it was from 
the body, which was a pain due for our sin. Some write so, and I can 



(*) Corbett's Poems by Gilchrist, p. 202. Richard Corbet was succes- 
sively Chaplain to James I., Dean of Christchurch, Bishop of Oxford and 
Bishop of Norwich. He died in 1632. 
2 ) Boys's Postils, fol. 1629, p. 956. 



129 

believe it, that he suffered in the very place, and I cannot tell what 
it is, call it what ye will, even in the scalding-house, in the ugli- 
someness of the place, in the presence of the place, such pains as 
our capacity cannot attain unto." ( 1 ) 

CALVIN held the opinion that the soul of Christy in the descent 
into hell, really suffered the pains of the damned, and that those 
which are saved by his death should have endured in hell the tor- 
ments of the damned, but that he being their surety, suffered those 
torments for them.( 2 ) 

AUGUSTINE, a father of the Cliurch in the kth and 5th century, 
says that he could not find where the habitation of the souls of the 
just is in Scripture called hell : that he never met with the word 
" Hell " used in a good sense in the canonical Scripture ; that it is 
probable there were two hells divided by the great gulf, one where 
the just were at peace ; the other where the souls were tormented ; 
that the ancient saints were in a place remote from torment, yet 
that they were in hell till the blood of Christ, and his descent thither, 
delivered them ; and that since that time the souls of believers go to 
hell no more." ( 3 ) 

JEROME, a father of the Church in the kth century, affirms that 
the blood of Christ quenched the flaming sword at the entrance of 
paradise, that the thief entered it with Christ, followed by the souls 
of all the saints who had been before detained in hell ; and that the 
souls of all good men do instantly pass to paradise upon their dis- 
solution.^) 

ATHANASIUS, a father of the Cliurch in, the th century, has a 
piece attributed to him by some, but denied by others, which 
enjoins the reader to " remember the twelfth hour, for in that our 
Saviour descended into hell ; hell shuddered in beholding him, and 
cried aloud, who is he that cometh with great power 1 ? who is he 
that trampleth on the brazen portals of hell, and unbindeth the 
chain of my captives V 5 Bishop Pearson says that Athanasim, 

(*) Latimer's Sermons, 4to, 1635, p. 86. 

( 2 ) Pearson on the Creed, folio. 1741, p. 231. 

( 3 ) King on the Creed, p, 211. ( 4 ) Ibid. p. 210. 
( 6 ) Hayley's Essay on Old Maids, v ii. p. 195. 



130 

speaking of Christ triumphing over Satan, mentions hell spoiled, 
to wit, of those souls which} before, it kept in hold. ( l ) 

EPIPHANIUS, a father of the church in the 4th century, 
writes that the soul of Christ descended into the nethermost parts 
where Death and Hell being ignorant of his divinity, assaulted 
his soul : that he broke the sting of death, rent in sunder the ada- 
mantine bars, loosed the bonds of hell, and brought from thence 
SOME of the captive souls, as a pledge to those he left behind, 
that they should arrive unto the same liberty. ( 2 ) 

ORIGEN and AMBROSE, fathers of the church in the 3rd 
century, were of opinion, that before the death of Christ the 
souls of the patriarchs went to hell, where they remained in joy 
and happiness till the separated soul of Christ descended into 
those infernal regions, and breaking the bonds thereof, freed the 
captives and led them into heaven, whither the souls or all be- 
lievers do now instantly go. ( 3 ) 

CLEMENT ALEXANDRINUS, a father of the church in the 2nd 
Century, was of opinion that Christ descended down into hell 
to preach the Gospel to the departed souls, and that he saved 
many of them, that is, all that believed; and that the apostles 
also after their death descended likewise into the same place, and 
for the same purpose. ( 4 ) 

PRUDENTIUS, a Christian Poet, who flourished in the fourth 
century, speaking of Christ's resurrection, says, " I remember 
that a corporeal God easily came up again from Phlegethon," the 
place wherein the souls are tormented. In another of his pieces 
he addresses Lazarus in these terms, "Tell us whose voice you 
heard under the lowest places of the earth, and what force went 
through the hidden places where the dead make their abode, 
since when Christ recalled you, and ordered you to come fcrth 
from the black depth wherein you was, you heard as if you had 
been near. By what so neighbouring an abyss is the kingdom of 



( J ) Pearson on Creed, p. 250, n. 

( 2 ) King on the Creed, p. 223. (^ King on the Creed, p. 209. 

(*) Daille's Right Use of the Fathers, 4to, 1675, part ii. p. 67. 



131 

darkness almost joined with, the upper parts of the earth. 1 where 
is the dismal Tenarus by which they go down through a vast ex- 
tent? and that hidden river which rolls flames in its channel 
which nothing can fill ? " The same Poet speaking in one of his 
Hymns of Christ's descent into the place of torment, relates that 
" the spirits of the wicked, the night in which God came from the 
lakes of Acheron had some solemn, releases from their torments. 
Tartarus languished with milder punishments ; the people of the 
shades free front fire-, were glad to have some rest in their prison 
and the rivers of brimstone did not boil as they were wont to do.'^ 1 ) 
From these citations it will appear that the descent of Christ 
into hell, and his carrying away the souls, is a most ancient doc- 
trine. In one thing all the Fathers agree, that hell is below the 
surface of the earth, and most of them suppose in its centre, where 
the souls of the dead both good and bad await the final doom ; 
the good in a state of quiescence, the bad in a state of torment. 
They all likewise agree that Christ descended into hell, but there 
is great diversity of opinion among them as to the part of hell 
into which he descended. Some believe that Christ descended 
to the souls of those who died in the fear of God, and led them, 
with him into heaven : some again think that the souls of the 
good are still in a subterranean place which they call Abraham's 
bosom, where they are to stay till the day of resurrection ; others, 
who are of opinion that hell denotes only a place of torment, say, 
that Christ really descended into the place where the devils and 
wicked men are tormented, and they believe that he delivered the 
souls suffering punishment for their sins. Some again think that 
Christ released some only of those souls, others that he altogether 
emptied hell ; and this was CYRIL'S opinion, who assures us that 
when Christ was risen he left the devil alone in hell. ( 2 ) They 
who thought that hell was wholly emptied and every soul released 
from pain, were branded with the name of heretics ; but to be- 
lieve that many were delivered was both by them and many others 



() Le Clerc's Lives, 8vo, 1696, p. 299, 303. ( 2 ) Ibid. p. 301. 



132 

counted orthodox. AUGUSTINE in his hook of Heresies reckons 
this as the seventy-ninth heresy, for Augustine was one of those 
who held that the faithful hefore the death of Christ were with 
God and already happy, and needed no translation, and that the 
object of Christ's descent into hell was to deliver some who were iu 
torment, while others who were in that state he left. (*) 

BISHOP PEARSON thinks that for above five hundred years 
after Christ there were very few, if any, of those who believed 
that Christ delivered the saints from hell, who at the same time 
believed that he left all the damned there. ( 2 ) At the present time 
the schools deliver it as a point of faith and an infallible certainty 
that the soul of Christ descending into hell, delivered the souls of 
all the saints, and conferred upon them actual beatitude.( 3 ) Accord- 
ingly in the celebration of mass, the priest takes the cloth from the 
chalice to signify the removal of the stone from Christ's tomb ; 
immediately afterwards he elevates the host to signify Christ's re- 
surrection ; and he then divides the host into two parts, one of 
which signifies the joy in heaven at the resurrection of Christ, and 
the other part signifies the joy of the fathers on their being deli- 
vered. In a child's book containing instructions for hearing inass,( 4 ) 
the prayer directed to be said by the child at this part of the ser- 
vice, recites that Christ " descended into limbo, and delivered 
thence the souls of the fathers till then detained there ;" and the 
wood cut, over this prayer, represents the descent and the broken 
gates, Christ lifting out the^ souls, and the terror of the devils. 

It appears then that the descent into hell, has been perpetuated 
through all ages of the Catholic church in some form or other. 
Addressed in former times to the meanest capacities of the igno- 
rant by dramatic representations, and by circumstantial relations 
from the Gospel of Mcodemus, through a variety of old works 
printed for religious instruction and devotional exercise, it is not 



(!) Pearson on the Creed, p. 241. 

( 2 ) Ibid. p. 26. C) Ibid. p. 245. 

(*) Daily Exercises for Children, Keating, 1821, 24nio, p. 70. 



133 

wonderful that the bodily descent should have obtained popular 
belief. They who desire to inquire concerning the theological tenet, 
may consult the books I have cited with advantage, and especially 
what Bishop Pearson says in his exposition of the Apostles' Creed. 
From that work, which is a storehouse of information upon the 
point, and Lord King's History, Bishop Horsley seems to have 
obtained every fact and argument that he uses in his celebrated ser- 
mon on the descent. 

The Eev. WILLIAM CRASHAW, Preacher at the Temple Church, 
published in 1616 his ' Clear Confession of the Christian Faith, 
according to the order of the Apostles' Creed,' wherein he says, ' I 
also beleeue, that being vpon the same crosse, dying and yeelding vp 
his spirit vnto God his father, hee descended into hell, that is to say, 
that he hath truly tasted and experimented the greatest distresse and 
dolours of death, together with the paines and flames of hell fire, that 
is to say, the fury, wrath, and seuere iudgment of God vpon him, as if 
hee had beene a man halfe damned because of the sinnes of the world, 
which he bare vpon him. See here that which I simply vnderstand 
by the descent of Christ into hell. Moreouer, I know that this article 
was not in the beginning, in the Creed, and that it wag otherwise 
vuderstood and interpreted by diuers that adjudged Christ truly and 
indeed to haue descended into the place of the damned alledging 
the text of Saint Peter, which I confess from my selfe to bee 
hidden for the present. I neither beleeue nor confesse that there 
are any but two places in the other world, that is to say, paradise for 
the faithful and chosen with the angels, and hell for the unfaithfull 
and reprobate with the diuells.' Between Bishop Horsley's sermon 
affirming the subterranean descent of the soul of Christ, and this con- 
fession there is a wide difference. Carlil's old treatise, before quoted, 
is a learned and excellent exposition of the subject from the passage 
in Peter, with abundance of curious information : I much regret 
that limitation of room and apprehension that I have already too 
much diverged, will not suffer me to extract from It. 1 



1 As the Descent of Christ into hell to release the saints, is a doctrine of tha 
18 



134 

Catholic Church, so it prepares to celebrate his Ascension into heaven by 
Litanies and public processions during three days before Holy Thursday, 
the anniversary of that event. These are called Rogation days. In these 
processions the cross is borne, banners are carried, and the bells are rung 
to chase the fiends ; as they are also when it thunders, to abash and drive 
away the wicked spirits in the air that cause the tempest. The Golden 
Legend says, that the bearing of banner* with the cross on .Rogation 
days, is to represent the victory of Christ in hia resurrection and ascen- 
sion ; that the people followed the cross and the banners as Christ was 
followed when he ascended to heaven with a great prey ; and that in 
some churches, especially in France, it was the custom to bear a dragon 
with a long tail filled with chaff : the first two days it was borne before 
the cross, with the tail full, but on the third day it was borne after the 
cross, with the tail empty ; by which it was understood that on the first 
two days the devil reigned in the world, but that on the third day he was 
dispossessed of his kingdom, 

In this procession it is clear that the devil was represented by the 
dragon. ' There was war in heaven : Michael and his angels fought 
against the dragon ; and the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent 
called the devil.' (Rev. xii. 7, 9.) Sparke in his ' Primitive Devotion,' 
(1673, 8vo., p. 565,) cites Augustine to show that Michael was allegorical 
of Christ, ' so that the meaning (of Rev. xii.) is but briefly this, that 
Christ and his members fight against the devil and his.' Seeing that 
the dragon in the ecclesiastical procession on Rogation days was made to 
allegorise the kingdom of Satan and his overthrow, I with much 
deference suggest for the consideration of antiquaries who suppose that 
the dragon of the pageants is the dragon of St. George, whether, on the 
contrary, this figure may not be in truth the dragon of St. Michael, or 
in other words the devil. My notion is strengthened by the statement 
in the Golden Legend, that' the dragon was at least as common to the 
Rogation processions abroad, as to those in England. But leaving this 
subject, I purpose a short discussion concerning Michael, the dragon's 
conqueror. 

The author of the ' Protestant Beadsman,' (1822, p. 83.) observes, 
apparently from Sparke's Devotion, that Michael is noticed ' by St. Jude 
as fighting personally with the devil about the body of Moses ;' and to this 
affixes as a note, that 'it has been plausibly conjectured that the body of 
Moses signifies the Mosaic law, as the body of Christ is often used for the 
Christian church ; and that the attempt of the devil which Michael re- 
sisted was to rebuild and restore the temple.' Now concerning this 
passage in Jude, there is a difficulty which, it seems to me, had the 
author of the Protestant Beadsman been acquainted with, would have 
restrained him from attaching much importance to the signification that 
he supposes to be 'plausibly conjectured* respecting the body of Moses; 
yet in adducing this difficulty I desire to be understood as wishing to 
avoid offence to a writer whose amenity bespeaks corresponding civility 
of demeanor ; nor is it produced with the slightest view to its defence, 
but simply as it is proposed elsewhere. 

The passage in Jude, (verse 9,) is in these words, ' Yet Michael the 
archangel when contending with the devil, he disputed about the body of 



135 

Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord 
rebuke thee.' Michaelis says, that the whole history of this dispute has 
the appearance of a Jewish fable, which it is not very easy at present to 
discover, because the book from which it is supposed to have been taken 
by the author of the epistle is no longer extant. Origen found the story 
of Michael's dispute with the devil about the body of Moses, in a Jewish 
Greek book called the Assumption of Moses, which was extant in his 
time, though it is now lost, and he was thoroughly persuaded that Jude's 
quotation was from it. In consequence of this he himself quoted another 
passage from the Assumption of Moses, as a work of authority, in proof 
of the temptation of Adam and Eve by the devil. The Jews imagined 
the person of Moses was so holy that God could find no reason for per- 
mitting him to die : and that nothing but the sin committed by Adam 
and Eve in Paradise, which brought death into the world, was the cause 
why Moses did not live for ever. Now, in the dispute between Michael 
and the devil about Moses, the devil was the accuser, and demanded the 
death of Moses, fficumenius. has a passage which contains a part of the 
story related in the Assumption of Moses, and which explains the reason 
of the dispute concerning Moses's body. According to this passage, 
Michael was employed in burying Moses ; but the devil endeavoured to 
prevent it by saying that he had murdered an Egyptian, and was 
therefore unworthy of an honourable burial. The ' Phetirath Moshe' 
a Hebrew book written in a later age. contains a story which though 
probably ancient, is not the same with that cited either by Origen or 
CEcumenius, because the devil, Samael, does not dispute about the burial 
of Moses, nor does Michael reproach the devil with having possessed the 
serpent which seduced Eve, nor with saying to him, 'the Lord rebuke 
thee ; ; but he himself rebukes the devil, and calls him ' thou wicked 
wretch ; ' and Moses calls him the same. This is the reverse of that 
related in the Epistle concerning the dispute of Michael with the devil. 
Michaelis having thus expressed himself, proceeds to observe that the 
substance of the story related in this book (the Phetirath Moshe), as far 
as concerns the present inquiry, is as follows : 

* Moses requests of God, under various pretences, either that he may 
not die at all, or at least that he may not die before he comes into 
Palestine. This request he makes in so froward and petulant a manner 
as is highly unbecoming not only a great prophet, but even any man, 
who has expectations of a better life after this. In short, Moses is here 
represented in the light of a despicable Jew, begging for a continuance of 
life, and devoid both of Christian faith and of heathen courage : and it 
is therefore not improbable, that the inventor of this fable made himself 
the model, after which he formed the character of Moses. God argue*, 
on the contrary, with great patience and forbearance, and replies to what 
Moses had alleged relative to the merit of his own good work. Further, 
it is God who says to Moses that he must die on account of the sin of 
Adam : to which Moses answers, that he ought to be excepted, because 
he was superior in merit to Adam, Abraham, Isaac, &c. In the mean- 
time, Samael, that is the angel of death, whom the Jews describe as the 
chief of the devils, rejoices at the approaching death of Moses. This is 
observed by Michael, who says to him, ' Thou wicked wretch, I grieve, 
and thou laughest.' Moses, after his request had been repeatedly re- 
fused, invokes heaven and earth and all the creatures around him to 
intercede in his behalf. Joshua attempts to pray for him, but the devil 



136 

stops his month, and represents to him, really in Scripture style, the 
impropriety of such a prayer. The elders of the people, and with them 
all the children of Israel, then offer to intercede for Moses, hut their 
mouths are likewise stopped by a million eight hundred and forty 
thousand devils, which, on a moderate calculation, make three devils to 
one man. After this, God commands the angel Gabriel to fetch the 
soul of Moses, but Gabriel excuses himself, saying, that Moses was toof 
strong for him. Michael receives the same order, and excuses himsel 
in the same manner, or, as other accounts say, under pretence that he 
had been the instructor of Moses, and therefore could not bear to see 
him die. But this last excuse, according to the Phetirath Moshe, was 
made by Zingheil, the third angel, who received this command. Samael, 
that is, the devil, then offers his services, but God asks him how he 
would take hold of Moses, whether by his mouth, or by his hands, or by 
his feet, saying that every part of Moses was too holy for him to touch. 
The devil, however, insists on bringing the soul of Moses : yet he does 
not accuse him, for, on the contrary, he prizes him higher than Abraham, 
Isaac, and Jacob. The devil then approaches towards Moses to execute 
this voluntary commission : but as soon as he sees the shining counte- 
nance of Moses he is seized with a violent pain, like that of a woman in 
labour.' Michaelis continues to relate that ' Moses, instead of using the 
oriental salutation, ' Peace be with thee,' says to him in the words of 
Isaiah, ch. Ivii. 21 (for in this work Moses frequently quotes Isaiah and 
the Psalms), ' there is no peace to the wicked.' The devil replies, that 
he was come by the order of God to fetch his soul ; but Moses deters 
him from the attempt by representing his own strength and holiness, 
and saying, ' Go thou wicked wretch, I will not give thee my soul,' he 
affrights the devil in such a manner that he immediately retires. The 
devil then returns to God and relates what has passed, and receives an 
order to go a second time. The devil answers, that he would go every- 
where God commanded him, even into hell, and into fire, but not to 
Moses. This remonstrance is, however, of no avail, and he is obliged 
to go back again. But Moses, who sees him coming with a drawn sword, 
meets him with his miraculous rod, and gives him so severe a blow with 
it that the devil is glad to escape. Lastly, God himself comes : and 
Moses, having then no further hopes, requests only that his soul may not 
be taken out of his body by the devil. This request is granted him. 
Zinghiel, Gabriel, and Michael then lay him on a bed ; and the soul of 
Moses begins to dispute with God, and objects to its being taken out of 
a body, which was so pure and holy that no fly dared to settle upon it. 
But God kisses Mose8, and with a kiss extracts his soul from his body. 
Upon this, God utters a heavy lamentation, and thus the story in the 
Phetirath Moshe ends, without any mention of a dispute about the burial 
of Moses's body. This last scene, therefore, which was contained in the 
Greek book seen by Origen, is wanting in the Hebrew. But in both of 
these works, Michael, as well as the devil, expresses the same sentiments 
in respect to Moses ; in both these works the same spirit prevails : and 
the concluding scene which was contained in the Greek book is nothing 
more than a continuation of the same story which is contained in the 
Hebrew.' Michaelis immediately after this puts the following question : 
' I seriously ask every impartial judge whether that person could be an 
inspired writer, or an immediate disciple of him who made manifest 
distinctions between the history of the Old Testament and the fabulous 
traditions of the Jews, who has quoted such a book as that which I 



137 

have just described, and selected from it a passage so apparently fabu- 
lous. Various attempts have been made to remove this difficulty, but 
with very little success. 

This extract is from Michaelis's Introduction to the New Testament, 
translated and considerably augmented with notes by the present Bishop 
of Peterborough (voL iv. p. 378, &c.), printed at the expense of the 
University of Cambridge. As the Bishop's notes on the work have 
hitherto not extended beyond the Gospels and the Acts, he has not de- 
clared his opinion concerning this and other reasons stated by Michaelis, 
for hesitating to acknowledge that the Epistle of Jude is canonical The 
passage in the Epistle which necessarily caused observation from Micha- 
elis as a biblical critic is seldom adduced in our day by protestant theo- 
logians. Its explication suggested as 'plausible' by the author of the 
Protestant Beadsman, and the introduction, as it appears to me, of 
Michael's dragon in the Rogation processions, as an allegorical personifi- 
cation of the devil, constitute my apology for introducing Michaelis's 
notice of Michael's contention with the devil about the body of Moses. 
To this may be added, that as its curiosity attracted my attention, this 
was another reason for supposing that some to whom Bishop Marsh's 
translation of Michaelis is unknown, would be interested by the story. 



138 



VI. HEARNE'S PRINT OF THE DESCENT 
INTO HELL. 



Witch. A sailor's wife had chesnuts in her lap, 

And mouncht, and mouncht, and mouncht : Give me, quoth I ; 
Aroint thee, witch ! the rump-fed ronyon cries. 

Macbeth, Act. i. Sc. 3. 

Edgar, Saint Withold footed thrice the wold ; 

He met the nightmare, and her ninefold ; 
Bid her alight, 
And troth her plight, 
And aroynt. thee, witch, aroynt thee ! 

King Lear, Act. iii. Sc. 5. 



THE original copper-plate of Christ's Descent into Hell, engraved 
by Michael Burghers, from an ancient drawing, for Hearne the 
Antiquary, being in existence, I have caused impressions to be taken 
from it, and inserted one opposite. This print is raised into im- 
portance by Dr. Johnson taking it as an authority for aroint, a 
word used twice by Shakspeare, as may be seen in the above 
passages. Johnson, in his notes, says, ' I had met with the word 
aroint in no other author till looking into Hearne's Collection, I 
found it in a very old drawing that he has published, in which St. 
Patrick is represented visiting hell, and putting the devils into 
great confusion by his presence, of whom one, that is driving the 
damned before him with a prong, has a label issuing out of his 
mouth with these words, out, out, arongt ; of which the last is 
evidently the same with, aroint, and used in the same sense as in 
this passage.' 

Upon this Steevens remarks : * Dr. Johnson's memory on the 
present occasion appears to have deceived him in more than a 
single instance. The subject of the above-mentioned drawing is 



Tlum.. "W/.Vufc Aw/C $.,*. 




139 

ascertained by a label affixed to it in Gothic letters, Jesus Christus, 
reaurgens d mortuis spoliat infernum. My predecessor indeed 
might have been misled by an uncouth abbreviation in the Sacred 
Name. The words out, out, arongt, are addressed to our Redeemer 
by Satan, who, the better to enforce them, accompanies them with 
a blast of the horn he holds in his right hand. Tartareum 
intendit cornu. If the instrument he grasps in his left hand was 
meant for a prong, it is of singular make.' Steevens then inserts 
an engraved fac simile of the instrument, and immediately says, 
that ' Satan is not driving the damned before him ; nor is any other 
daemon present to undertake that office. Redemption, and not 
punishment, is the subject of the piece. This subject of Christ's 
exploit, in his descensus ad inferos (as Mr. Tyrwhitt has observed 
in a note on Chauser, 3512), is taken from the Gospel of Nico- 
demus, and was called by our ancestors the harrowinge of helle, 
under which title it was represented among the Chester Whitsun, 
Playes, MS. HarL 2013.' 

So far Steevens has corrected Johnson, and substantially stated 
the subject of Hearne's print ; but let the reader look at it and say 
whether Steevens himself is correct, when he affirms that Christ is 
addressed ' by Satan.' The devil that speaks is denoted by the 
horn he blows, to be the Porter or warder of hell, an office of high 
trust, topographically the highest in hell, yet very inferior in 
rank, and consequently filled by a devil of low degree. Nor. is 
Steevens's mistake a mere slip of the pen, for he again calls this 
spirit Satan, and says, there was no ' other daBmon present. In 
Heywood's ' Four P's,' the Pardoner relates that as soon as he 
found a female friend of his had gone to the infernal regions, he 
went after her to fetch her back : 

Not as who saithe by authoritie, 
But by the way of intreatie. 
And first to the devil that kept the gate 
I came, 



He knew me wel 

For oft, in the play of Corpus Christi 
He hath play'd the devil at Coventrie. 

* * * * 

I said to this devil, good maister porter, &c. 



140 

The Porter introduces the Pardoner to Lucifer, who previously 
sends him a safe conduct under his hand, stating, 

that he may at libertie 

Passe safe without any jeopardie, 
Till that he be from us extinct, 
And cleerly out of belle's precinct. 
And, his pardons to keep in save guarde, 
Me wil they lie in the PORTER'S warde. 1 

Now in this old play both the porter of hell, and the porter's 
abiding place are mentioned ; and it may be observed, that, as in 
Hearne's print the devil in this employment blows a horn, so a 
very ancient Saxon MS. at the British Museum, wherein Christ 
is depicted releasing the souls, also represents him addressing a 
fiend, whose office of porter of hell is clearly shown by the eyes on 
his wings, emblematical of Cerberus- like watchfulness, and by his 
warder's horn, which with other implements he lets fall in terror 
from his hands. 2 Likewise the Golden Legend says, that 

4 &none as 3$ esu cr B*t fcescEn&etr tn to frelle tf) nggfjte 
began to foere dere. &nfc anone tf)e porttr black anfc 
frorrtble among tftem in science began to murmur." Probably 

the notion of this post, and the alarm of its occupiers on Christ's 
appearance to deliver the souls, is coeval with the earliest belief of 
the subject ; for in the creed read in the fourth century at the 
council of Ariminum, a city of Italy, Christ is ' declared to have 
descended into hell, and there to have disposed of all things, at 
whose sight the PORTERS of hell TREMBLED.'* 

Again : the prong in the devil's left hand of so ' singular make 
to Steevens's apprehension, that he engraves it in his note, is as fre- 
frently put into the hands of devils by the old masters, as the iron 
comb or any other implement of torture. This might be exem- 
plified by reference to several engravings, but it is sufficient to refer 



1 Dodsley's Old Plays, vol. i, p. 112. 

2 Cotton MS. Tiberius VI. 

3 Golden Legend, Art, Here begynneth the resurrecyyon. 
* Socrates' EccL Hist. fol. 1663, p. 278. 



141 

to the volume of the great Show at Haerlem, wherein is a print repre- 
senting Doot, Hell, and the Duivd, as walking in one of the proces- 
sions, the Duivel holding a prong of exactly the same make( l ). 
Steevens's character for erudition in other respects has perhaps not 
only induced belief in the general reader that his engraving of it is 
a curiosity ; but has occasioned his misconception to be reprinted 
in subsequent editions of Shakspeare to the present time. 

It is remarkable that Steevens, while trifling and erring in 
detecting the inaccuracy of Johnson concerning the figures in the 
print appears to have entertained no doubt as to the correctness of 
Johnson's statement that the word engraved HTOtt?t, " is evidently 
the same with aroint ;" and it is further remarkable that every sub- 

(!) " Const-thoonende Ivweel, by de loflijcke Stadt Haerlem, ten versoecke 
van Trow moet blijcken, in't licht gebracht, &c. Tot Zwol by Zacharias Heyns, 
Drucker des Landschapes van Over-ijssel, 1607," 4to. 

Devils are not only represented with instrument? of torture by painters, 
but are sometimes so described by writers. Querela, a Latin poem, " supposed 
to be written by S. Bernard from a nightly vision of his," contains such a 
description. William Crashaw, the author mentioned before (p. 133) who was 
father to Crashaw the poet, translated this poem under the title of " The Com- 
plaint or Dialogue betwixt the Soule and the Bodie of a damned man ; each laying 
the fault upon the other." (London, 1616, 24mo.) These are stanaas from it. 

The author in vision. 

After the Soule had sayd Their eares with running 

these mournefull words, sores hung flapping low, 

Behold, two Fiends, Foule filthy homes in their 

more blacke then pitch or night, blacke browes they wore, 

Whose shapes with pen Full of thicke poyson 

to write, no wit affordes, which from them did flow, 

Nor any hand of Their nayles were like 

painter pourtray right. the tushes of a bore. 

Sharpe steely priclces These Fiends in chaines 

they did in each, hand beare, fast bound this wretched soule, 

Sulphure and fire And with them hal'd her 

flaming, they breath'd out ; howh'ng into hell : 

Tusked their teeth To whom on flockes 

like crooked mattockes were, ran other diuels more, 

And from their nosthrils And gnashing with their teeth 

snakes crawl'd round about. to dancing fell. 

19 



142 



sequent editor of Shakspeare has also acquiesced in Johnson's 
opinion without taking pains to examine the ground he rests it 
upon. Had Steevens inquired what piece in " Hearne's collection ? 
this print really belonged to, he would have ascertained it to have 
been in Forduni Scotichronicon (1722, 5 vols. 8vo.) before p. 1403 
of vol. v., and following the direction on the plate to the Preface, 



They welcomed her with 

greetings full of woe, 
Some wrested her with cordes 

senceless of dread, 
Some snatcht and tore with hooks 

drawne to and fro, 
Some for her welcome 

powr'd on scalding lead. 



Diuels. 
Svch horror wee do 

on our seruants load, 
Then as half wearied 

the diuels cryed, 
Now art thou worse 

then was the crawling toade 
Yet thousand-fold 
worse torments thee abide. 



The instrument held by the porter-fiend in Hearne's print is formed to use 
saw- ways, like ' hooks drawn to and fro.' 

A minute and horrifying account of hell torments, extracted from a modern 
publication, is in ' The Miraculous Host tortured by the Jew.' But the binding 
of a sinner as an appendix to a devil is unique, I believe, as an infernal punish- 
ment. The representation is in a wood cut to a rare work entitled " 59 tt 
OC|)EltttEtt ?UHSt " (1506, 4to.) and I end this note with a sketch from it 
by way of tail-piece. 




143 

. 14 in vol. i., lie would not only have met with the account of 
the print, but have also seen that Hearne himself gives the real 
word, from the drawing in his MS. 

Hearne commences the subject by saying, that, of all the calen- 
dars in his possession, that which Meetwood, Bishop of Ely, pre- 
sented to him, is deserving of the greatest admiration. He ima- 
gines it to be one of the magical and astrological ones mentioned 
by old writers ; describes it to be full of pictures and prophecies ; 
and supposes it was written in the reign of Edward III., and that 
it was the autograph or only copy. He is surprised that though 
it contains the names and portraits of all the saints held in great 
veneration throughout the whole year, yet that no mention occurs 
in it of St. Patrick. He inquires how this is, and conjectures 
that either St. Patrick was of no note with the English, or else 
that the author of this calendar, as well as others, considered the 
story of his purgatory a fiction. Then he notices some calendars 
that have it, probably, he says, out of compliment to the Irish ; 
and he observes that, if it be urged that there was no occasion for 
the author of this calendar to say any thing of purgatory because 
he was not treating concerning hell, that can be proved to be er- 
roneous, because he diligently depicts the fall of man and his 
liberation from the infernal regions ; " which diligence," says 
Hearne, who evidently tattles thus to have an opportunity of giv- 
ing engravings to his readers from drawings that the worthy old 
man was himself amused with ; " which diligence moreover, upon 
this subject you will find to be sufficiently ridiculous from the 
pictures themselves, which I subjoin in the Appendix fcb the 
work ; in the first of which you will read Adam moritur et tran- 
sit ad infernum pro uno porno ; and in the second Jhesus Chris- 
tus resurgens a mortuis, together with these words in our ver- 
nacular tongue, OUt, OUt, HtOngt, uttered by one of the daemons 
already very much alarmed, and blowing a horn.'^ 1 ) 

(l)Hearne's words in his preface are : "Quam tamen in hae re diligeutiam ri- 
diculam satis esse fe picturis ibsis colliges, quaa in Appendice operis subnectam ; 
in quarum prima legitur, Adam moritur et transit ad infernum, pro uno porno ; 
in secunda, Ihesus Christus resurgens a mortuis spoliat infernum, una cuin hisce 



144 

From this we see that the presumed " ar&ngt? is on Hearne's 
own testimony, " arovgt." Independent of this indubitable con- 
firmation, there are other reasons for believing arougt to be the 
correct word, and consequently that the only authority for aroint 
is the twofold mention of it by Shakspeare. 

It is well known to every reader of old MSS. that from care- 
lessness the copyists frequently formed n and u alike ; and in 
fltOtt^t, as it is spelled in Hearne's print, the letter before the ?( ) 
may have been so undeterminate in the MS. word, that Burghers, 
the engraver of the plate, being unacquainted with the orthography 
of the archaism, and preferring decision to correctness, wrote fl 
when he shonld have written U, and thus converted the word 
aron?t into Hron?t. Or, Burghers' transcript of tt may really 
approach the original nearer than I have conjectured ; for as 
Hearne's honest accuracy is not to be outrivalled, it cannot be 
supposed that he would allow an engraving from a drawing in the 
Fleetwood Calendar, which he so highly commends, to be very 
wide of exactness. ( 2 ) Though the inscriptions were secondary to 
his principal object, that of representing the scene, yet considerable 
faithfulness in the whole is to be presumed; and, if Burghers' 
engraving be a tolerably fair fac simile of both, it must be obvious 
to every one who examines the print, that however rude in design 
the drawing appears, the MS. inscriptions upon it were quite as 
coarse. For, in that at the top of the plate, U and tt are so 
similar that the letters they are intended for are rather to be in- 
ferred from their connexion with other letters, than to be per- 
ceived from their difference of form. For example ; it would 

verbis (lingua nostra vernacula) ab uno Dsemonum (jam admodum pertubato- 
rum) cornu inflante, QUt. OUt. fltOUOt. pronunciatis." Scotichronicon, voL 
i. Prsef. p. 1. 

f 1 )^ is the Saxon g, and sometimes gh, in MSS. 

( 2 )Ritson, sparing as he was of praise, yet, while fish-wifing Warton could 
afiord to say of Hearne, that "few if any can boast of such a sacied regard to 
truth, and of such unimpeached integrity : he has never been detected in a 
wilful falsehood ; nor been ever charged with the slightest misrepresentation of 
the minutest fact. Obs. on Hist, of Eng. Poetry, p. 36. 



145 

be doubtful whether n in resurgens were not U ; and U in mor 
tuis is so like tt in anm?t, that it would actually be taken for 
n were mortuis a word of equivocal meaning. But in whatever 
way the error came upon the plate, Hearne has himself cured it 
by quoting the passage, in "our vernacular tongue, OUt, OUt,atOUgt, 
as the words of the piint. To this may be added, that arougt 
rhymes to out, out, and is the last line of a distich, 

Out, Out, 



Such a couplet it would be quite natural for a monkish writer 
in a rhyming age to conceive a happy thought, and to introduce 
on such an occasion. Taking then arougt to be the real word, 
I just observe, that in all the engravings that I have seen of the 
Descent wherein devils appear, they are represented to be roaring, 
or violently clamoring in great fear ; and to assist the reader, I 
beg him to recollect that the terrified devil in the print, accom- 
panies the distich, out, out, arougt, with a blast of his horn, as 
an alarm to the infernal host. 

Arougt I have not been able to find in any dictionary within 
reach ; but there is arout, to assemble together, in Urry's edition 
of Chaucer, where it stands thus : 

In all that land no Christin durst arout 

All Christin folk ben flemed fro that countre. ( J ) 

Now if arout were really Chaucer's word, it would go nigh 
in my opinion to settle the question ; but on looking further it 
appears that Chaucer's word is route, and that the letter a is pre- 
fixed by Urry, who put initial or final syllables to Chaucer's words 
for the purpose of assisting the measure where he supposed it de- 
ficient. ( 2 ) It reads in Tyrwhitt's, as well as in other editions, 

In all that Ibnd no cristen dorste route. 1. 4960. 
For the present taking arougt as a summons to assemble, the 



( l ) Urry's Chaucer, p. 53. Man of Lawe's Tale,l. 541. 
(*) Ibid. Thomas's Preface. 
20 



U6 

words that seem most likely to exemplify it are as follow : 
Teutonic or old Dutch, rot, a crowd or band of men^ 1 ) rot- 
ten, to congregate : ( 2 ) old German, rotte, turba vagabonda, a 
wandering crowd, also a party or faction :( 3 ) old English, route, 
a company. ( 4 ) The statute 2 Eich. II. cap. 6. speaks of riding in 
great routes to make entry into lands. ( 6 ) Rout also signifies the 
meeting of a large social party invited by a lady ; the assembly is 
called her rout. ( 6 ) But leaving this sense, I find in Saxon, reotctn, 
or wreotan, crepitare, strepere, to clatter, or make a noise : ( r ) Scot- 
tish, rather, a loud noise, a tumultuous cry, an uproar : Anglo- 
Saxon, hruth, commotion : Cambro-Britannic, rhuthr, impetus : 
rhuthro, cum impetu fern : Irish, ruattiar, pillage, and hrid, a 
combat : Scottish, rutuor, a spoiler, an oppressor : also rout, rute, 
a blow, a severe or weighty stroke. ( 8 ) 

As in Hearne's engraving, the word projects beyond the ruled 
border, copied from the page of the calendar, is it not probable 
that the word arougt was a contraction of the amanuensis, to* 
avoid an unseemly projection into the margin, which seldom or 
never occurs in MSS. beyond the extent to which arougt has 
exceeded its boundary line. Hearne would not have called the 
inscription, "words in our vernacular tongue," if their spelling 
and pronunciation had not denoted their sense ; if then, spelt as 
arougt is, and recollecting the confined space which had been 
transgressed, we discover no one word that can reasonably be ima- 
gined to be arougt, may it not be an abbreviation of two words 1 
I imagine that a quotation from Spencer, in the Rev. Archdeacon 
Uares's glossary, is a clue to these words : 

Harrow now, out, and well away ! he cryde. Faery Queen, n. vi. 43. 

Mr. ]S"ares defines harrow, an exclamation of sorrow or alarm. 
The word out, a common exclamation of grief where we shculd 
now say alas is also an interjection expressive of abhorrence 
and is used in that sense by Shakspeare : Queen Margaret says to 



Kilian. Skinner. ( 2 ) Kilian. ( 3 ) Wachter. (*) Minsheu. ( 6 ) Ibid. 
Jamieson. ( 7 ) Lye. (*) Jamieson. 



147 

Gloster, " out devil !" ( T ) Now omit the second word in Spenser's 
line, and we have harrow out, or arougt, a cry suitable to the 
porter of hell under his surprise and sudden terror. Jamieson, 
among other particulars respecting harro, says, that it is an out- 
cry for help, and that it seems to be merely the French word 
haro, or harou, a cry used by the Normans,, which when raised 
against a capital offender all were bound to pursue and seize him. 
The Devil in the Newcastle play of Noah's Ark,( 2 ) exclaims 

Harro, and wel away, 



That ever I uprose this day. 

Wel away, means alas ! from palapa, Saxon, for woe on woe,( 3 ) 
and is therefore with propriety coupled to harro. The word 
haro is often used by the devil as an interjection in the old 
French and English mysteries. There is a Lancashire word pro- 
nounced and spelt areawt, which signifies get out, or away witli 
tfiee;(*) probably this provincialism is a reduction of the two words 
liaro, out. But the orthography of English manuscripts in the 
age of Hearne's calendar was almost arbitrary. Its loose and 
undetermined character is sorely lamented by the preface writer 
to Bishop Bale's interlude of GocF s Promises ; he says that " the 
same words being so constantly spelled different ways, makes it 
very certain they had no fixed rule of right and wrong in spelling ; 
provided the letters did but in any manner make out the sound of 
the word they would express, it was thought sufficient. "( 5 ) 

These hints are for consideration, and may be of assistance per- 
haps, to others, who with the same inclination, are happily better 
qualified to discover and explain the derivation and meaning of 
Hearne's word ; it would ill become me to further agitate a point, 
that the learned alone can finally settle. 



(*) King Richard III. act, 1. scene 3. ( 2 ) Brand's Newcastle, vol. ii. p. 375. 

(3) Nares's Glossary. (*) Boucher's Supp. to Johnson, art. aroint. 

( 6 ) Dodsley's Old Plays, voL L 



148 



VII. OKIGIN OF MYSTERIES FEAST OF 
FOOLS FEAST OF THE ASS, &c. 



" What does civil history acquaint us with, but the incorrigible rogueries of 
mankind ; or, ecclesiastical history more than their follies ?" Warburton. 



A. JEWISH Play, of which fragments are still preserved in 
Greek Iambics, is the first Drama known to have been written 
on a scripture subject. ( l ) It is taken from the Exodus, or the de- 
parture of the Israelites from Egypt under their leader and pro- 
phet Moses. The principal characters are " Moses, Sapphora, 
and God from the Bush," or God speaking from the burning 
bush. Moses delivers the prologue in a speech of sixty lines, 
and his rod is turned into a serpent on the stage. The author of 
the play is Ezekiel, a Jew, who is called the tragic poet of the 
Jews. "Warton supposes that he wrote it after the destruction of 
Jerusalem, as a political spectacle to animate his dispersed bre- 
thren with the hopes of a future deliverance from their captivity 
under the conduct of a new Moses ; and that it was composed 
in imitation of the Greek drama at the close of the second cen- 
tury. ( 2 ) 

Rymer the antiquary relates, that in the first ages of Christianity 
any one concerned with the theatre was not allowed baptism. 
Cyril declares that when in our baptism we say, " I renounce 
thee, Satan, and all thy works and pomps," those pomps of the 
devil are stage plays and the Wee vanities. Tertullian affirms 
that they who in baptism renounce the devil and his pomps, can 



(!) Translated into Latin by Fr. Morellus, Paris", 1530. 
( 2 ) Warton, vol. ii. p. 371. 



149 

not to go to a stage play without turning apostates. Hence the 
Greek and Latin fathers had an ample field for their eloquence 
and declamation, before the Arians-, the Gnostics, and other in- 
testine heresies, sprang up to divert them. Cyprian, Basil, and 
Clement of Alexandria, are very warm upon the occasion ; and so 
in many of his- homilies is Chrysostom, who cries shame that peo- 
ple should listen to a comedian with the same ears that they hear 
an evangelical preacher. Augustine maintains that they who 
go to plays are as bad as those that write or act them. Tertul- 
lian in his warmth against the tragedians, observes, that the de- 
vil sets them upon- their high pantofles to give Christ the lie, who 
said, nobody can add one cubit to his stature. Bymer adds, that 
these flashes and drops of heat, from single authors, had no such 
wonderful effect, for the tragedian still walked' on in his high 
shoes. " Yet might they well expect a more terrible storm from 
the reverend fathers when met in a body together in council 
oecumenical. Then indeed began the ecclesiastical thunder to fly 
about, and presently the theatres, tragedy, comedy, bear-baiting, 
gladiators, and heretics, are given all to the devil, without distinc- 
tion. Nor was it sufficient for the zeal' of those times to put 
down stage plays. All heathen learning fell under the like cen- 
sure and condemnation. One might as well have told them of 
the antipodes as persuaded the reading of Tully's Offices : they 
were afraid of the Greek philosophy like children of a bugbear, 
lest it fetch them away. A council of Carthage would not allow 
that a bishop should read any heathen book. How heartily St. 
Austin begs God pardon for having read Virgil with delight in 
his graver years ! What a plunge was Jerome put to, by Kuffinus 
laying to his charge the reading, of heathen authors." ( 2 ) 



(!) Rymer's short View of Tragedy, 8vo, 1693, p. 32, &c. 

The plunge, which Rymer says Jerome was put to by Ruffinus, arose 
during a controversy between them, in which Ruffinus charged Jerome 
with having perjured himself by reading the classics, after he had 
entered into an engagement of a most solemn nature that he would not. 
The affair is rather curious. It is told of one Natalis, who lived before 



It was this blind zeal, Rymer says, that gave a pleasant prospect 
to the Emperor Julian, who opposed it by literally complying with 
it ; for he made a law that no Christian should be taught in the 
heathen schools, or make use of that learning.^) There were two 
men living at that time, who exerted their talents to supply the 
deficiency cf instruction and entertainment that the Christians 
experienced from Julian's edict : these were Apollinarius, Bishop 
of Laodicea,( 2 ) and his father, a priest of the same city ; they 



Jerome's time, that having accepted of a bishopric among the heretics, 
he was severely scourged all night by angels, and the next morning 
repented and returned to the church. This probably occasioned a 
trance, into which, Jerome was thrown. The saint says, that he was 
arraigned before the tribunal of heaven, and being asked his profession, 
answered that he was a Christian : " Thou liest," said Christ, thou art a 
Ciceronian, for the works of that author possess thy heart ;" whereupon 
he was condemned to be scourged by angels, and promised the judge 
not to read such wicked books again. The chastisement was so severely in- 
flicted, that he declares, he never forgot it ; yet, very unluckily, he some 
time afterwards went on quoting the classic writers as usuaL Ruffinus 
twitted him with breaking his oath ; and Jerome plunged from the 
charge, by answering, that he could not forget what he had read, but 
that he had not read the classics since. (Butler's Lives of the Saints, 
v. ix. p. 364.) Upon this, which is the affair alluded to by Rymer, an 
Italian " Ciceronian " observes, that if Jerome was whipped for writing in 
the style and manner of Cicero, he suffered flagellation for what he did 
not deserve, and might have safely pleaded not guilty. (Jortin's 
Remarks on Eccl. Hist. v. ii. p. 104.) This father, however his talents 
commanded admiration, was no great stickler for truth. He openly 
avowed that he disputed for victory, and that it was to be won at all 
hazards, and by any means. Ruffinus putting a home question to him 
that he was obliged to notice, the way in which he did it, was not by 
answering it, but by asking Ruffinus, in gross terms, why the lower part 
of the human body behind is not placed before. He was greatly the 
superior of Ruffinus, to whom he dealt such hard blows, that Daille 
pities him ; yet Jerome whimsically read his adversary a long lecture 
against mutual railing, and bringing accusations against each other, as 
being more proper at the bar than in the church, and fitted to stuff a 
lawyer's bag than a churchman's papers. " But the sport of it is," says 
Daille, " to see that after he hath handsomely belaboured and pricked 
this pitiful thing from head to foot, and sometimes till the blood followed, 
he at length protesteth that he had spared him for the love of God ! and 
that he bad not afforded words to his troubled breast, but had set a 
watch before his mouth according to the example of the Psalms ! 
(Daille on the Right Use of the Fathers, pt. ii. p. 93.) After all, 
Erasmus says that Jerome had better manners than Augustine. 
( l ) Rymer, p. 32. ( 2 ) He died in 382 



151 

were both scholars well skilled in oratory and the rules of compcn 
sition, and of high literary renown. Apollinarius, the elder, a 
profound philologer, translated the five books of Moses into heroic 
verse, and in the same measure composed the History of the 
Israelites to the time of Saul, into a poem of twenty-four books, 
in imitation of Homer. He also wrote religious odes, and turned 
particular histories and portions of the old and New Testament 
into comedies and tragedies, after the manner of Menander, Euri- 
pides, and Pindar. His son the Bishop, an eloquent rhetorician, 
and already an antagonist of Julian's, anxious that the Christians 
might not be ignorant of any species of Greek composition, formed 
the writings of the Evangelists and the works of the Apostles into 
dialogues, in the manner of Plato. ( ! ) 

About the same time, Gregory Nazianzen, Patriarch and Arch- 
bishop of Constantinople, one of the fathers of the Church and 
master to the celebrated Jerome, composed plays from the old 
and New Testament, which he substituted for the plays of So- 
phocles and Euripides at Constantinople, where the old Greek stage 
had nourished until that time. If the ancient Greek tragedy was a 
religious spectacle. ( 2 ) so the sacred dramas of Gregory Nazianzen 
were formed on the same model, and the choruses were turned 
into Christian hymns. One only of the Archbishop's plays is 



0) Shepherd on the Common Prayer, 1801, v. ii.p. 431, note. Socrates 
Eccles. Hist. 1663. Fol. p. 305. Socrates observes, that in consequence 
of the labours of the Apollinarii, Julian's law was abrogated, and the 
Christians resumed their studies in the heathen learning, which he says the 
apostle Paul did only not forbid, but is seen not to have despised himself : 
" For where I pray you," inquires Socrates, " borrowed Paul this sentence ? 
The Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies, (Titus, i. 13.) was 
it not out of Epimenedes, a poet of Crete ? Or where learned he this ? 
We are also his offspring (Acts xvii. 28.) was it not out of the Pheno- 
mena of Aratue the Astronomer 1 That saying also, Evil communica- 
tions corrupt good manners (1 Corinth, i. 33.) sheweth plainly that he 
was well seen in the Tragedies of Euripides." Socrates Schol. ibid. p. 306. 

( 2 ) " All agree, that in the beginning it was purely a religious worship, 
and a solemn service for their holydays ; afterwards it came from the 
temples to the theatre, admitted of a secular alloy, and grew to some 
image of the world and human life. When it was brought to the 
utmost perfection by Sophocles, the chorus continued a necessary part 
of the tragedy ; but the music and dancing which came along with the 






152 

extant : it is a tragedy called Christ's passion. The prologue 
calls it an imitation of Euripides, and, on the same authority, 
we learn that the Patriarch has the honour, in this piece, of in- 
troducing the Virgin Mary's first appearance on the stage. The 
day is preserved in Gregory Nazianzen's works. (*) The remainder 



chorus were mere religion, no part of the tragedy, nor had anything of 
philosophy or instruction in them." Rymer, p. 19. 

M. Ouvaroff (Essay on the Eleusinian Mysteries, 1817, 8vo.) is dis- 
posed to believe that the lesser Mysteries of the ancients comprehended 
symbolical representations of the history of Ceres and Proserpine, and 
Mr. Christie (in his "Observations," appended to M. Ouvaroff 's Essay) 
accords to that opinion. He thinks it probable that the priests at 
Eleusis, who in later times contented themselves with shewing and 
explaining the machinery within the temple, were at first actors in a 
drama, and being persuaded that the paintings of the black and red 
Greek vases, originally deposited in tombs, were copied from transparent 
scenes in different mysteries, he introduces an engraving from a Sicilian 
vase, painted, as he conceives, to represent the four priests or agents in 
the Samothracian and Eleusinian shows. Dr. Darwin (Botanic Garden, 
note xxii.), assigns reasons for supposing that the reliefs on the Port- 
land vase constitute portions of the Eleusinian Mysteries, which he 
also affirms, consisted of scenical exhibitions representing and incul- 
cating the expectation of a future life after death ; and he explains the 
marriage of Cupid and Psyche, as described by Apuleius, on the well- 
known beautiful gem, to be originally descriptive of another part of 
these exhibitions. Bishop Warburton's proof (in .his Divine Legation 
of Moses) that the sixth book of Virgil's JEneid represents some of these 
Elusinian shows, is corroborated by Mr. Thomas Taylor (in a Disser- 
tation on the Eleusinian and Bacchic Mysteries. Pamphleteer, No. xv. 
and xvi.) M. Ouvaroff quotes Cicero (De Leg. ii. 14.) as affirming that 
Athens produced " nothing more excellent than the Mysteries, which 
exalt us from a rude and savage state to true humanity ; they initiate 
us into the true principles of life, for they teach us not only to live plea- 
santly, but to die with better hopes." Whether Rymer, in the passage 
quoted above, alluded to these secret rites, or to certain public ceremo- 
nies of ancient polytheism, is not clear. Since his time, so much infor- 
mation has been communicated in our own tongue, that a mere English 
reader could easily draw up a curious memoir concerning the ancient 
customs that illustrate the origin of the drama. 

( 1 ) Opera Greg. Nazianz., torn. ii. p. 253. Warton, voL ii. p. 368. 
Sandy s's Christ's Passion, 1687, 8vo, Preface. 

Gregory, " all inflamed with the love of God, and zeal of his glory, 
applied himself to the making of comedies and tragedies, and the writing 
of all such verse ; which he performed with so much wit and elegance, 
and with such rare and admirable sentences, that the Christians found 
in his writings all they could desire in the heathen poets." Ribadeneira's 
Lives, vol. i. p. 333. 

At this tune acclamations and applauses were used in churches as well 



153 

of his dramas have not survived those inimitable compositions over 
which they triumphed for a time. 

It is not known whether the religious dramas of the Apollinarii 
perished so early as some of their other writings that were ordered 
to be destroyed for a crime common in all ages, heresy;^) but this 



as theatres. Jerome desired Gregory Nazianzen to explain to him what 
was meant by the second Sabbath after the first, in Luke (c. vi., v. i.), 
Gregory answered, " I will teach you that at church, where, when all 
the people shall applaud me, you will be forced to know what you do 
not know ; for if you, only, keep silence, you will be looked upon as a 
fool." Le Clerc's Lives, 8vo, 1696, p. 289. 

( J ) Lardner's works, 4to, vol. ii. p. 463. 

Heresy, in Greek, signifies election, or choice, and is used for any 
opinion which a man chooseth as best or most profitable. Heresy and 
heretic are often used by ancient writers as words of indifferent mean- 
ing ; and the several ways of philosophising were called sects or heresies. 
Johnson defines heresy, an opinion of private men different from that 
of the Catholic and Orthodox Church. 

Immediately after the Council of Nice, the Emperor Constantine 
issued a decree, ordering, that if there was any book extent written by 
Arius, that it should be burned to ashes, and the head of any man 
found hiding or concealing one should be stricken off from his shoulders. 
The church extended the spirit of this edict to other books, for as every 
dissenter from its establishment was declared a heretic, pains were 
taken to destroy his writings ; and hence the opinions and characters of 
these persons are only known to us through the works of their enemies, 
the fathers of the church, who in their turn disputed, quarrelled, and 
misrepresented each other. (Socrates' Eccl. Hist., folio, 1663, p. 221.) 
They had so great a horror of heretics, that they would not so much as 
preserve those of their writings that did not contain heresy ; and which 
might even have been useful to the church. Upon which account it is 
that we have scarce any book of the ancient neretics existing. (Du 
Pin's Eccl. Hist. vol. i. p. 215.) Epiphanius, a Greek bishop in the 
fourth century, was canonized as a saint for abusing fourscore classes 
of men under the name of heretics. (Robinson's Eccles. Researches, 
p. 54.) Although Eusebius, and other fathers, and even Irenseus from 
whom the rest borrowed, charged the ancient heretics with using witch- 
craft and enchantment, it has been questioned by the learned whether 
this was any more than a popular charge against men who studied 
mathematics, and particularly astronomy, for the ancient fathers perpe- 
tually confounded astronomy and astrology with magic. (Lardner's 
Works, 4to, vol. iv. p. 514.) It seems that the Lutheran church has been 
behind hand with the Catholic. One of its doctors, in a commentary on 
heresy and schism has inserted, cataloguewise, no less than six hundred 
and thirty-two sorts of heretics, heresiarchs, and schismatics, diversified 
as the birds of heaven, and agreeing only in one single point the crime 
of not continuing in what is called the church, (Robinsons Eccles. Re- 
searches, p. 125,) Heretic is a favourite term of reproach for difference 
of opinion. Dr- Daniel Williams, who bequeathed his valuable library 



is certain, that the learning they endeavoured to supply gradually 
disappeared before the progress of Constantine's establishment. 
Suddenly acquiring power, and finally assuming infallibility, ob- 
serving pagan feasts as religious festivals, consecrating heathen 



to the dissenters, and the bulk of his property to public uses, was of 
spotless reputation, and the friend of the most enlightened men of his 
age, " yet he was not only reckoned a heretic, but attempts were even 
made to injure his moral character." (Chalmers's Biog. Diet. vol. xxxii. 
p. 105.) The church of England is a heretic to the catholic church, 
which has an office of supplication for our reconversion, (from whence 
the following is extracted), entitled 

THE LITANY of Intercession FOB ENGLAND. 



T) EMEMBER not, O Lord, Our offences, nor those of our Parents ; nor 
take Revenge of our Sins. 

Lord have Mercy on us, &c. 

God the Father, Creator of the World, Have mercy on England. 

God the Son, Redeemer of the World, Have Mercy on England. 

God the Holy Ghost, Perfecter of the Elect, Have Mercy on England. 

O Sacred Trinity, three Persons and one God, Have Mercy on England. 

Holy MART, Mother of God, Pray for England. 

Holy MARY, Queen of Angels, whose powerful intercession destroys 
all HERESIES, Pray for England. 

ST. RAPHAEL, faithful guide of those that have LOST THEIR WAY, 
Pray for England. 

All ye holy Apostles and Evangelists, chief Planters of the Christian 
Faith, and zealous MAINTAINERS OF CATHOLIC UNION, Pray for 
England. 

All ye holy Bishops and Confessors, by whose wisdom and sanctity 
this Island was ONCE a flourishing seminary of Religion, Pray for 
England. 

From presuming on their own private opinions, and contemning the 
Authority of THY CHURCH, Deliver England, O Lord. 

We sinners, Beseech thee to hear ws. 

That it may please thee to hasten the CONVERSION of this OUR 

MISERABLE COUNTRY, and RE-UNITE IT TO THE ANCIEHT FAITH and 

Communion of THY CHURCH ; We beseech thee to hear us. 



155 

rites into Christian solemnities and transforming the non-obser- 
vances of primitive simplicity into precedents for gorgeous cere- 
mony, the church blazed with a scorching splendour that withered 
up the heart of man. Every accession to the dominion of its 
ecclesiastics over his property and intellect induced self-relaxation 
and sloth ; to the boldness that seized a liberal supply for spiritual 
support succeeded the craft that extended it to a boundless reve- 
nue for effeminate indulgence. The miraculous powers of the 
church wonderfully multiplied ; but implicit belief in miracles was 
equivocal, unless the act of faith was accompanied by liberal con- 
tributions at the altar. The purchase of pardons for sin, and the 
worship of the reliques exhibited in sumptuous shrines, were effec- 
tual ways of warring with the powers of darkness, and the coffers 
overflowed with contributions. These active hostilities against 
Satan occasioned him to ascend upon earth, and to terrify the de- 
vout, he often appeared to them in the natural ugliness of his 
own proper person. When put to flight, by masses and holy 
water he took lodgings incog, in the bodies of careless people, 
nor would he leave a tenement he occupied, till he was forcibly 
turned out of possession by a priest acquainted with the forms of 
ejectment. Dislike to clean linen was a peculiar mark of piety, 
and dirty hermits emitted the odour of sanctity. Though their 
holiness was so violently hated by the devil, that he took the 
trouble to assault and tempt them in the holes of the earth and 
trunks of old trees where they inhabited, yet it was rewarded with 
visits to their chosen abodes from all the orders of heaven ; and 
by long familiarity with the powers of the other world, these 
" tender-nosed saints could detect the presence of invisible angels." 
They who turned their backs upon the concerns of life wera 
especial favourites above. A nun reported that Christ opened 
her side with his corporal hands, took out her heart, and then care- 
fully placing his own in the chasm, left it there and closed the 
wound, at the same time doing her the honour to wear her 
shift. Nor did the faithful who believed the former relation, 
doubt for an instant that the Virgin descended from heaven to visit 



156 

tl e cells of monasteries, and milk her breasts into the mouths of 
monks. (*) Doubts were effectually removed by burning doubters. 
All who were privileged to shave the top of the head in a circle, 
as a token of emancipation from worldly superfluities, were partners 
in the profitable trade of granting licences for unmolested existence 
at the price of unconditional submission. Ecclesiastical policy ac- 
complished its purpose ; the human mind was in a deliquium : the 
hierarchy at the summit of its ascendency. 

From the complete establishment of the church until within a 
short time before the Reformation, darkness overspread the world, 
and a great mass of the clergy themselves were in a state of deplo- 
rable ignorance. ( 2 ) During this period, in order to wean the people 



0) The Miraculous Host, 1822, p. 30, &c. 

( 2 ) In 1453, ^neus Sylvius, afterwards Pope Pius II, observed of the 
Italian priests, that it did not appear that they had ever so much as read 
the New Testament, (Hody de Bibl. Textibus, p. 464.) Kobert Stephens 
(who died in 1564,) tells us of the Doctors of the Sorbonne that being 
asked by him in what place of the New Testament such a thing was 
written, they answered, that they had read it in Jerome, or in the 
Decrees, but what the New Testament was they did not know. Lewis's 
Hist, of Transl. of the Bible, p. 53. 

At an entertainment given at Home to the Pope and Cardinals, by 
Andrew Forman, bishop of Murray, and papal legate for Scotland, he 
blundered so in his latinity when he said grace, that his holiness and 
their eminences lost their gravity ; the disconcerted bishop testily con- 
cluded the blessing by giving "all the false carles to the devil, in nomine 
patris, filii et sancti spiritus ;" to which the company, not understand- 
ing his Scoto-Latin, said A men. Many of the Scottish clergy affirmed, 
that Martin Luther had lately composed a wicked book called the New 
Testament, but that they, for their part, would adhere to the Old Tes- 
tament. A foreign monk, declaiming in the pulpit against Lutherans 
and Zuinglians, said to his audience : " a new language was invented 
some time ago, called Greek, which has been the mother of all these 
heresies ; a book is printed in this language, called the New Testament, 
which contains many dangerous things ; another language is now form- 
ing, the Hebrew, whoever learns it immediately becomes a Jew." 
The commissioners of the senate of Lucern, confiscated the works of 
Aristotle, Plato, and some of the Greek poets, which they found in the 
library of a friend of Zuinglius, concluding that every book printed in 
that language must be infected with Lutheranism. Dr. M'Orie's Life 
of Knox, vol. i. p. 343. 

In a synod of the rural deans of Switzerland, only three were found 



from the ancient spectacles, particularly the Bacchanalian and 
calendary solemnities, religious shows were instituted partaking of 
the same spirit of licentiousness. About the year 990, Theophy- 
lact, patriarch of Constantinople, caused the Feast of Fools, and 
the Feast of tlte Ass, with other religious farces of that sort, to be 
exhibited in the Greek church.^) 



who had read the Bible ; the others confessed that they were scarcely 
acquainted even with the New Testament. Hess's Life of Zuinglius, 
by Miss Aikin, p. 23. 

An ecclesiastic of eminence was asked what were the ten command- 
ments ; he replied there was no such book in the library. Martin 
Luther never saw a Bible till after he was twenty-one years old, and 
had taken a degree in arts. Carlostadt had been a doctor of divinity 
twenty-eight years before he read the Scriptures, and yet when he stood 
for a degree in the University of Wittenberg, he obtained an honour, 
and it was entered in the University records that he was suffitientis- 
simus. Pellican could not procure one Greek Testament in all Germany ; 
the first he got was from Italy. Robinson's Eccl. Researches, p. 538. 

Erasmus lectured at Cambridge on the Greek Grammar without an 
audience. He translated a dialogue of Lucian into Latin, and could not 
find a single student there capable of transcribing the Greek. He says, 
that when he published his Greek Testament in Greek, it met with 
great opposition. One of the colleges at the same university forbad 
it to be used, and inflicted a penalty on any one who had it in his 
possession ; nor ceased its resistance, till Henry VIII. interfered by his 
injunction. 

In the long night of papal gloom, both the Greeks and Latins 
enlightened their flocks by erasing the writings of ancient manuscript.;, 
and writing ecclesiastical treatises upon them. Jortin's Rem. on Eccl, 
Hist. v. iii. p. 25. 

They industriously obliterated the words of Scripture itself, and 
supplied the space it occupied upon the parchment by their cloisteral 
contemplations. In this way the Mceso-Gothic version of the thirteen 
epistles of St. Paul, was concealed under the Latin trumpery of a 
monastic writer. The barbarians of the church buried the writings of 
Cicero and Frontinus beneath their ravings ; and to the unspeakable 
detriment of the republic of letters, such authors as Polybius, Dio- 
dorus Siculus, and some others who are quite lost, were metamorphosed 
into prayer-books and homilies. Rev. T. Home's Introd. to a Critical 
Knowledge of Scripture, edit. 1821, vol. ii. p. 96. Also Lady Morgan's 
Italy, vol. i. c. 5. Monthly Mag. (Indexes, name Mai) and the Classical 
Journal. 

(*) The fact is recored by Cedranus, one of the Byzantine historians, 
who flourished about the year 1050, in the following words : " Theopy- 
lact introduced the practice which prevails even to this day, of scan- 



158 

r Beletus, who lived in 1182, mentions the Feast of Fools, as 
celebrated in some places on New-year's day, in others on twelfth 
day, and in others the week following. In France, at different 
cathedral churches, there was a Bishop or an Archbishop of Fools 
elected; and in the churches immediately dependent upon the 
papal see, a Pope of Fools. These mock pontiffs had usually a 



dalizing God, and the memory of His saints, on the most splendid and 
popular festivals, by indecent and ridiculous songs, and enormous 
shoutings, even in the midst of those sacred hymns, which we 
ought to offer to the Divine grace with compunction of heart, for 
the salvation of our souls. But he, having collected a company of 
base fellows, and placing over them one Euthyonius, surnamed 
Casnes, whom he also appointed the superintendent of his church, 
admitted into the sacred service diabolical dances, exclamations of 
ribaldry, and ballads borrowed from the streets and brothels." Two 
hundred years after this, Balsamon, patriarch of Alexandria, com- 
plains of the gross abominations committed by the priests at Christmas, 
and other festivals, even in the great church at Constantinople ; and 
that the clergy on certain holidays personated a variety of feigned 
characters, and even entered the choir in military habits, and other 
enormous disguises. In return he forbids the professed players to 
appear on the stage in the habit of monks. Warton. ii. 369. 

In 1590, the monks and bishops made a memorable procession at 
Paris. Hose, the bishop of Senlis, and the prior of the charter-house, 
were in the van as captains ; each of them had a cross in the left hand, 
and a halberd in the right, representing, as they said, the Maccabees, 
who were the leaders of God's people. After them all the monks of the 
mendicant orders, as Cupuchins, Feuillans, Minims, &c., were drawn 
up four and four. Their robes were tucked up to their girdles, the 
cowl thrown back upon their shoulders, a helmet on their backs ; some 
carrying shields and daggers, some partisans, and others carabines, 
and such like rusty arms, fit for nothing but to make one laugh. The 
oldest marched first, putting on, as well as they could, the airs and 
motions of commanding officers. The young followed, every now and 
then firing their pieces, to shew how well they understood the soldiers' 
exercise. Hamilton, the curate of St. Cosme, was serjeant, and kept 
them in their ranks. The merriest figure was one Feuillant, a little 
man, who because he was lame, would not keep in any rank, but was 
sometimes at the head, sometimes at the tail, with a great two handed 
sword, which he flourished about to hide the limp in his gait. This 
troop marched along the streets with an affected gravity, stopping from 
time to time, and mixing by intervals anthems and hymns, with the 
salvos of their fire-arms. Of this procession, representing the church 
militant, there is a print in Montfaucon. Mezerai 9. (Conf. bet. Anc. 
and Mod. Ceremonies, p. 97.) 



159 

proper suite of ecclesiastics, and one of their ridiculous ceremonies 
was to shave the precentor of Fools upon a stage erected before 
the church in the presence of the populace, who were amused 
during the operation by his lewd and vulgar discourses accompa- 
nied by actions equally reprehensible. They were mostly attired 
in the ridiculous dresses of pantomime players and buffoons, and 
so habited entered the church, and performed the service accom- 
panied by crowds of laity in masks, representing monsters, or with 
their faces smutted to excite fear or laughter, as occasion might 
require. Some of them personated females and practised wanton 
devices. During divine service they sung indecent songs in the 
choir, ate rich puddings on the corner of the altar, played at dice 
upon it by the side of the priest while he celebrated mass, incensed 
it with smoke from old burnt shoes, and ran leaping all over the 
church. The Bishop or Pope of Fools performed the service 
habited in pontifical garments, and gave his benediction ; when it 
was concluded, he was seated in an open carriage; and drawn 
about to different parts of the town followed by a large train 
of clergy and laymen, and a cart filled with filth, which they threw 
upon the populace assembled to see the procession. These licen- 
tious festivities were called the December Liberties, (t) They were 



(') The Romans, and many other nations, made superstitious pro- 
cessions, and it is from them, no doubt, that the custom came to us- 
For in the pomp of our processions it is customary to rank in the first 
place something to make an appearance, as some files of soldiers, in- 
fantry and cavalry, or some burlesque ridiculous contrivance of a figure, 
with a great gaping mouth, and snapping its teeth to frighten folks. 
Some other pieces of merriment often precede, as a representation of 
the prophets ; one acts David, another Solomon, and others are dis- 
guised like queens, and they cause children with wings to sing. Pol. 
Virg., c. xi. p. 114. (Conf. bet. Anc. and Mod. Ceremonies, p. 89.) 

The heathen were delighted with the festivals of their gods, and 
unwilling to part with those delights ; and therefore Gregory (Thau- 
maturgus, who died in 265, and was bishop of Neocaesarea) to facilitate 
their conversion, instituted annual festivals to the saints and martyrs. 
Hence it came to pass, that for exploding the festivals of the heathens, 
the principal festivals of the Christians succeeded in their room : as the 
keeping of Christmas with joy and feasting, and playing and sports, in 
the room of the Bacchanalia and Saturnalia ; the celebrating of May- 
day with flowers, in the room of the Floralia ^ and the keeping of fes- 



160 

always held at Christmas time, or near to it, but not confined to 
one particular day, and seem to have lasted through the chief part 
of January. When the ceremony took place upon St. Stephen's 
day, they said as part of the mass, a burlesque composition, called 
the Fool's prose, and upon the festival of St. John the Evangelist, 
they had another arrangement of ludicrous songs, called the Prose 
of the Ox.() 

The Feast of the Ass, as it was anciently celebrated in France, 
almost entirely consisted of dramatic show. It was instituted in 
honour of Balaam's Ass, and at one of them the clergy walked 
on Christmas day in procession, habited to represent the prophets 



tivals to the Yirgin Mary, John the Baptist, and divers of the Apostles, 
in the room of the solemnities at the entrance of the sun into the signs 
of the Zodiac, in the old Julian Calendar. Sir Isaac Newton on Daniel, 
p. 204. 

The feast of St. Peter ad vincula was instituted to supersede a 
splendid Pagan festival, celebrated every year on that day, to comme- 
morate the victory of Augustus over Antony at Actium. We may 
infer the inevitable corruption of practical Christianity in the middle 
ages, from the obstinate attachment of the converted barbarians to their 
ancient Pagan customs, and the allowed continuance of many by the 
catholic clergy. Boniface complained of German priests, who would 
continue, although Christians, to sacrifice bulls and goats to the heathen 
idols. Mr. Turner's Hist, of Engl. vol. ii. p. 340. 

A letter from Pope Gregory the Great, in the sixth century, to the 
Abbot Mellitus, then going to Britain, desires him to tell Augustine, 
the first archbishop of Canterbury, that after mature deliberation on 
the affair of the English, he was of opinion that the temples of the 
idols in that nation ought not to be destroyed, but that the idols should. 
He further orders the temples to be sprinkled with holy water, and 
relics to be placed in them ; and, because our ancestors sacrificed oxen 
in their pagan worship, he directs the object of the sacrificed to be ex- 
changed, and permits them to build huts of the boughs of trees about 
the temples so transformed into churches, on the day of the dedication, 
or nativities of the martyrs whose relics they contain, and there to kill 
the cattle, and celebrate the solemnity with religious feasting. Bede's 
Eccl. Hist, of Engl. 8vo. p. 94. 

" Not long ago, in the metropolis itself, it was usual to bring up a fat 
buck to the altar of St. Paul's, with hunters' horns blowing, &c., in the 
middle of Divine service. For on this very spot, or near it, there 
formerly stood a temple of Diana." Conform, bet. Anc. and Mod. Cere- 
monies, Pref. p. xx. n. 

( x ) Mr. Sharon Turner's Hist .of England, 4to, vol. ii. p. 367. Strutt's 
Sports, p. 303. 



161 

and others. Moses appeared in an alb and cope, with a long 
beard and rod. David had a green vestment. Balaam, with an 
immense pair of spurs, rode on a wooden ass, which inclosed a 
speaker. There were also six Jews, and six Gentiles. Among 
other characters, the poet Virgil was introduced singing monkish 
rhymes, as a Gentile prophet, and a translator of the sybilline 
oracles. They thus moved in procession through the body of 
the church chanting versicles, and conversing in character on the 
nativity and kingdom of Christ, till they came into the choir. (!) The 
same ceremony, as it was performed at the same season, in the 
cathedral church of Eouen, commenced with a procession in 
which the clergy represented the prophets of the Old Testament 
who foretold the birth of Christ j then followed Balaam mounted 
on his ass, Zachariah, Elizabeth, John the Baptist, the sybil 
Erythree, Simeon, Virgil, Nebuchadnezzar, and the three children 
in the furnace. After the procession entered the cathedral, several 
groups of persons performed the part of Jews and Gentiles, to 
whom the choristers addressed speeches ; afterwards they called 
on the prophets one by one, who came forward successively and de- 
livered a passage relative to the Messiah. The other characters 
advanced to occupy their proper situations, and reply in certain 
verses to the demands of the choristers. They performed the 
miracle of the Furnace; Nebuchadnezzar sp^ke, the sybil ap- 
peared at the last, and then an anthem was sung, which concluded 
the ceremony. ( 2 ) 

The Feast of the Ass, anciently celebrated at Beauvais every 
year on the 14th of January, commemorated the flight of the 
Virgin into Egypt with the infant Jesus. To represent the Virgin 
the most beautiful girl in the city, with a pretty child in her arms, 
was placed on an ass richly caparisoned. Thus mounted she pre- 
ceded the Bishop and his clergy, and they all went in grand pro- 
cession from the cathedral to the parish church of St. Stephen. 
On entering the chancel, they ranged themselves on the right side 



( J ) Wartrn, vol. i. p. 248. 

(*)Diction. Univ. Hist, et Crit. des Mceurs, 1772, 8vo, Paris, torn. i. p. 50. 
22 



162 

of the altar ; the mass immediately commenced, and the Introit, 
Lord have mercy upon us, Gloria Patri, the Creed, and other 
parts of the service were terminated by the burden of Hin-Han, 
Hin-Han, in imitation of the braying of an ass : the officiating 
priest, instead, of saying It a Missa est at the end of the mass, 
concluded by singing three times Hin-Han, Hin-Han, Hin- 
Han, and during the performance hymns were sung in praise of 
the Ass.( l ) 

From the Missal composed for the service of the Feast of the 
Ass, by an archbishop of Sens, who died in 1222, M. Millin has 
given an account of the ceremony to the following effect. On the 
eve of the day appointed for the celebration before vespers, the 
clergy went in procession to the door of the cathedral, where two 
choristers sung in a minor key, or rather with squeaking voices 



1 The Ass figures in Naogeorgus's description of the ceremonies on 
Palm Sunday in England : from the versification of Barnaby Googe's 
translation (in Brand, vol i. p. 107,) the following particulars are 
extracted. On Palm Sunday, the anniversary festival of Christ's riding 
into Jerusalem, a wooden ass, with an image on it, being placed on a 
platform, with wheels, and drest up, was drawn by the people bearing 
boughs and branches of palm to the church door. On its arrival there, 
the priest, blessing the branches, converted them into assurances for a 
year against loss or damage by tempest ; and then prostrating himself 
before the ass, he lay on his face till another priest roused him by the 
application of a rod of the largest size. On his rising, two others fell 
on their faces, and sang in that position ; afterwards standing and 
pointing at the figure on the ass, they declared that it was he, who, 
having come to redeem the faithful, they had strewed olive boughs 
before as he rode. This ended, the ass with the figure being moved 
along, the people cast branches upon both, and it was drawn into the 
church in procession, the priests going before ; the people followed, 
struggling for the holy boughs over which the pageant had past. The 
whole being concluded, the boys went to the church in the afternoon, 
and bargained with the sexton for the use of the ass, which they drew 
through the streets, singing verses and gathering money, bread, and 
eggs, from the people. 

" Upon Palme Sondaye they play the foles sadely, drawinge after 
them an asse in a rope, when they be not moch distant from the woden 
asse that they drawe." Pref. to A Dialoge, &c., n. d., a rare work men- 
tioned in Ames. Brand, vol. i. p. 107. 

In the west of England there is a vulgar notion that the straight stripe 
down the shoulders of the ass, intersected by the long one from the neck 
to the tail, is a cross of honour conferred upon him by Christ, and that 
before he rode upon him the ass was not so distinguished. 



163 



Lux hodie, lux letitise, me juclice, tristis 
Quisquis erit, removendus erit, solemnibus istis 
Sicut hodie, procul invidiae, procul omnia mcesta 
Lseta volunt, quicumque celibret asinaria festa. 

Light to day, the light of joy I banish every sorrow ; 
Wherever found, be it expelled from our solemnities to morrow. 
Away be strife and grief and care, from every anxious breast, 
And all be joy and glee in those who keep the Ass's Feast. 

The Anthem being concluded, two canons were deputed to 
fetch the Ass to the table, where the great chanter sat, to read the 
order of the ceremonies, and the names of those who were to 
assist in them. The animal clad with precious priestly ornaments, 
was solemnly conducted to the middle of the choir, during which 
procession a hymn in praise of the ass, was sung in a major key. 
Its first and last stanzas have been thus Englished : 

From the country of the East 
Came this strong and handsome beast, 
This able Ass beyond compare, 
Heavy loads and packs to bear. 

Huzza, Seignor Ass, Huzza ! 

Amen ! bray, most honour'd Ass, 
Sated now with grain and grass : 
Amen repeat, Amen reply, 
And disregard antiquity. 

Huzza, Seignor Ass, Huzza ! 

The original hymn was in the following words : 

MENTIS partibus Lentus erat pedibus, 

Adventavit Asinus, Nisi foret baculus, 

Pulcher et fortissimus, Et eum in clunibus, 

Sarcinus aptissimus. Pungeret aculeus. 

Hez, sire Asne, car clwmtes, <&c. 
Hez, Sire Asne, car chantez, 

Belle Bouche rechinez, Ecce magnis auribus, 

Vous aurez dufoin assez, Subjugalis filius, 
Et de Pavoine a planfcz, Asinus egregius 

Asinorum Dominus. 

Hez, Sire Asne, car chantez, <&c. 



164 

Hie in colibus Sichem, Dum trahit vehicula 

Jam nutritus sub rubem : Multa, cum carcinuU, 

Transiit per Jordanem, Illius mandibula 

Saliit in Bethlehem. Dura terit pabula. 

Hem, Sire Asne, car chantes, &c. Hez, Sire Asne, car chantez, <6e. 

Saltu vincit hinnuloa Cum aristia hordeum, 

Damas et capreolos, Comedit et carduum, 

Super dromedarios, Triticum k palea, 

Velox Madianeos. Segregat in area. 

Hez Sire Asne, car cJiantez, <&c. Hez, Sire Asne, car chantez, c. 

Aurum de Arabia. 

Thus et myrrham de Saba, (Ici on fl^chissait le g<5nou.) 

Tulit in Ecclesia, 

Virtus Asinaria. 

Hez, Sire Asne, car, chantez, <6c. 

Amen, dicas, Assine, 
Jam satur de gramine, 
Amen, amen itera, 
Aspernata vetera. 

Hez va ! hez va I hez va ! hez I 
Biakc, Sire Asne, car allez, 
Belle Byuche, car chantez. 

The office being in the same style throughout, was sung in the 
most discordant manner possible. The service itself lasted the 
whole of the night, and part of the next day : it was a rhap- 
sody of whatever was sung in the course of the year at the usual 
church festivals, and formed altogether the strangest and most 
ridiculous medley imaginable. When the choristers in this long 
performance were thirsty, wine was unsparingly distributed, and 
the signal for that part of the ceremony was an anthem commen- 
cing " Conductus ad poculum," Brought to the glass. On the 
first evening, after vespers, the grand chanter of Sens, preceded 
by an enormous lantern headed the jolly band in the streets, and 
on a vast theatre prepared for their reception before the church 
they performed indecorous interludes. To conclude the singing and 

( l ) This hymn is in Du Cange, and the " Dietionnaire des Mceurs." 



165 

dancing, a pail of water was thrown on the head of the grand 
chanter, and they returned to the church, to begin the morning 
office. On that occasion they were sluiced on their naked bodies 
with pailfuls of water. At the respective divisions of the service, 
the ass was supplied with drink and provender. In the middle of 
it, a signal was given by an anthem, beginning, " Conductus ad 
ludos," Brought to play, and the ass being conducted into the 
nave of the church, the people mixed with the clergy, danced round 
him, and strove to imitate his braying^ 1 ) When the dancing was 
over the ass was carried back into the choir, where the clergy con- 
cluded the service. The vespers on the second day were ended 
with an invitation to dinner, in the form of an anthem like the 
rest, " Conductus ad prandium," Brought to dinner ; and the 
festival terminated by a repetition of similar theatricals to those 
which had taken place the day before.( 2 ) 

Francis Douce, Esq., Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, sub- 
mitted a paper to that body on the 10th of May, 1804, concerning 
these ceremonies ; wherein he states, that the Feast of Calends, 
which arose out of the Eoman Saturnalia, resembled, in a great 
degree, the excesses of a modern carnival, and that the archbishops 
and bishops degraded themselves by joining in these sports with 
the inferior clergy. An illumination in the celebrated Bedford 
Missal, representing several men feasting in a church-yard, is 
noticed by Mr. Douce, as referring to an ancient festival on the 
21st of February, called the Feralia, or Feast of the Dead, insti- 
tuted by Numa in honour of the manes, and sometimes called 
Parentalia. This gentleman supposes that many of the grotesque 
figures in the illuminated religious manuscripts, generally, but 
erroneously, called missals, are allusive to these subjects. The 
Feast of Fools, he says, soon made its way into England, but its 



(*) Menestrier says, that Spain has preserved in the church and in 
solemn processions the use of dancing, and has theatrical representations 
made expressly for great festivals. He saw on Easter Sunday in some 
churches of France, the canons take the choristers by the hand, and 
dance in the choir while festal hymns were sung. Burney's Hist, of 
Music, vol. ii. p. 28. 

( 2 ) Mr. Turner's Hist, of England, voL ii, p. 367. 



166 

vestiges here are by no means so numerous as among our neighbours. 
The earliest mention of it traced by Mr. Douce, is under the 
reign of Henry IV., and he conceives it probable that it was 
abolished about the end of the fourteenth century. Numerous 
imitations of it arose in various places, and on different occasions. 
Besides the Feast of the Ass, there were the election of an abbe 
des canards or cornards, of an abbe des esdaffards, of an abbe 
de malgoverne, whence our abbot or lord of misrule, of a prince 
des sots, sometimes called mere folle, or folie, of a prince de 
plaisance, a prince de Vestrille, of a privot des etourd'is; a roi 
des ribands, and some others of a similar nature. Mr. Douce 
describes a girdle, which tradition reports to have been worn by 
the abbot of fools, in the cathedral of Dijon, on his election into 
office. From the style of its sculpture, he conceives it to belong 
to the fourteenth century. It consists of thirty-five square pieces 
of wood so contrived as to let into each other, by which means it 
easily assumes a circular form. On these are carved a variety of 
ludicrous and grotesque figures, consisting of fools, tumblers, 
huntsmen, and animals, with others that, from their licentiousness 
do not admit of a particular description. They bear, on the 
whole, a very striking similitude to the sculptures on the seats or 
the stalls in our cathedrals and monastic buildings, which, Mr. 
Douce is of opinion, were likewise executed in ridicule of the 
clergy in general, but more particularly of the friars ; or, that they 
may, in some instances at least, refer to the mockeries that were 
practised in celebrating the Feast of Fools. ( x ) 

The Boy Bishop was another pastime of the church. In Fran- 
conia,the scholars on St. Nicholas day used to elect one of their 
number to play the Boy Bishop, and two others for his deacons, 
He was escorted to church, with his mitre on, by the other boys 
in solemn procession, where he presided at the worship, and after- 
wards he and his deacons went about singing from door to door 
and collecting money ; not begging alms, but demanding it as his 
subsidy. This was a very ancient practice, for, three centuries 



(*) Archosologia, vol. xv. p. 225. 



167 

before, namely, in 1274, the Council of Strasburgh prohibited the 
choosing of the Boy Bishop; though so late as Hospinian, who 
wrote in the seventeenth century, it was customary at schools de- 
dicated to Pope Gregory the Great, who was also patron of scho- 
lars, for one of the boys to be the representative of Gregory on 
the occasion, and act as bishop, with certain companions as his 
clergy.^) But as the Boy Bishop in England will be mentioned 
hereafter, further notice is deferred until then. 

These were the principal mock festivals of the clergy, yet so 
late as in 1645, a pupil of Gassendi, writing to his master what he 
himself witnessed at Aix, on the feast of the Innocents, says, " I 
have seen, in some monasteries in this province, extravagan- 
cies solemnized, which the Pagans would not have practised. 
Neither the clergy nor the guardians, indeed, go to the choir on 
this day, but all is given up to the lay-brethren , the cabbage-cut- 
ters, the errand-boys, the cooks and scullions, the gardeners ; in a 
word, all the menials fill their place in the chureh, and insist that 
they perform the offices proper for the day. They dress them- 
selves with all the sacerdotal ornaments, but torn to rags, or wear 
them inside out ; they hold in their hands the books reversed or 
sideways, which they pretend to read with large spectacles with- 
out glasses, and to which they fix the shells of scooped oranges, 
which renders them so hideoxis, that one must have seen these 
madmen to form a notion of their appearance ; particularly while 
dangling the censors, they keep shaking them in derision, and let- 
ting the ashes fly about their heads and faces, one against the 
other. In this equipage they neither sing hymns, nor psalms, nor 
masses ; but mumble a certain gibberish as shrill and squeaking 
as a herd of pigs whipped on to market. The nonsense- verses 
they chaunt are singularly barbarous : 

Haec est clara dies, clararum clara dierum, 
Haec est festa dies, festarmn festa dierum.( 2 ) 



(*) Brand, vol. i. p. 324. 

( 2 ) Thiers, Traite des Jeux, p. 449; see D'Israeli's Curiosities of Lite- 
rature, vol. iii. p. 2.~ 



168 

To these sports the clergy added the acting of Mysteries, or 
plays representing the miraculous acts of saints, circumstances 
from apocryphal story, and subjects from the Old and New Tes- 
tament. There are different opinions as to the religious class by 
whom they were introduced into Europe, though it seems reason- 
able to suppose that they were adopted by the Italians in the 
depth of the dark ages from the spiritual dramas of the Apolli- 
narii, father and son, and Gregory Nazianzen ; ( l ) but however that 



( 1 ) Warton, vol. ii. p. 369. Gregory Nazianzen, is said by Cardinal 
John de Medicis, to have corrupted the purity of the Greek tongue, and 
by that means to have occasioned the barbarisms of Latin divinity. On 
the authority of Demetrius Chalcondylus, who flourished in the fifteenth 
century, he relates that the Greek clergy obtained leave from the 
Constantinopolitan emperor, to burn many ancient Greek poems, and 
that so the plays of Menander, Diphilus, Apollodorus, Philemon and 
Alexis, and the verses of Sappho, Erinna, Anacreon, Mimnermus, Bion, 
Alcman, and Alcseus, were lost. Their place being supplied by the 
poems of Gregory Nazianzen, which though exciting to greater religious 
zeal, yet do not teach the true propriety and elegance of the Greek 
language. Bayle. Diet. art. Nazianzen. 

Menestrier ascribes the Mysteries to the practices of the religious. He 
says, " It is certain, that pilgrimages introduced these devout represen- 
tations. Those, who returned from Jerusalem and the Holy Land, from 
St. James of Compostella, St. Baume of Provence, St. Reine, Mount St. 
Michael, Notre Dame du Puy, and other places of piety, composed songs 
on their travels, mixing with them a recital of the life and death of the 
Son of God, or of the last judgment, after a gross manner, but which the 
singing and simplicity of the times seem to render pathetic : they sung 
the miracles of saints, their martyrdom, and certain fables, to which the 
credulity of the people gave the name of visions and apparitions. These 
pilgrims, who went in companies, and who took their stands in streets, 
and public places, where they sung with their staves in their hands, and 
their hats and mantles covered with shells : and painted images of divers 
colours, formed a kind of spectacle, which pleased, and excited the piety 
of some citizens of Paris, to raise a fund for purchasing a proper place to 
erect a theatre, on which to represent these mysteries on holy days, 
as well for the instruction of the people, as their diversion. Italy 
had public theatres for the representation of these mysteries ; one 
of them I saw at Veletri, in the road from Home to Naples, in a 
public place, where it is not forty years since they left off to repre- 
sent the mysteries of the life of the Son of God. These pious spec- 
tacles appeared so fine in those ignorant ages, that they made them 
the principal ornaments of the reception of princes, when they made 
their entry into cities ; and as they sung a Christmas Carol, instead of the 



169 

may be, there is no room for surprise that all writers concur in 
attributing the performance of these mysteries to that body who 
were the authors of the Feast of Fools and the Feast of the Ass. 

As mysteries arose with Gregory Nazianzen, it is not likely 
that his example as a father of the church should be wholly lost 
sight of as soon as he had succeeded in destroying the performance 
of the ancient Greek plays; yet English writers do not appear 
to have traced sacred representations in a dramatic form until many 
centuries after Gregory Kazianzen's death. No inference, however, 
is deducible from that circumstance against the likelihood of their 
existence nearer to his time. Dramatic historians seldom dig into 
ecclesiastical lore for materials, and the learned few have not much 
relish for inquiries subordinate to their own. 

Dr. Burney, in his researches into the history of music, ascer- 
tained that the first dramatic representation in Italy was a spiritual 
comedy, performed at Padau in 1243. In 1554, were printed at 
Rome, the statutes of a Company instituted in that city in 1264, 
whose chief employment was to represent the sufferings of Christ in 
passion week. 

In 1298, the passion was played at Friuli; and the same 
year, the clergy of Civita Vecchia, on the feast of Pentecost, 
and the two following holidays, performed the play of Christ, 
that is of his passion, resurrection, ascension, judgment, and 
the mission of the Holy Ghost; and again in 1304, they acted 
the creation of Adam and Eve, the annunciation of the Virgin 
Mary, the birth of Christ, and other subjects of sacred his- 
tory^ 1 ) The Rev. Mr. Croft, and the Hon. Topham Beauclerc, 



cries of long live the King, they represented in the streets the good 
Samaritan, the wicked rich man, the Passion of Jesus Christ, and several 
other Mysteries, at the reception of our kings. The Psalms and prose 
devotions of the church were the opera of those times. They walked in 
procession before those princes with the banners of the churches, and 
Bung to their praise hymns composed of several passages of Scripture, 
tacked together, to make allusions to the principal actions of their 
reigns." Menestrier. (Bayle. Diet., art. Chocquet.) 

(*) Warton, vol. i p. 250. 
23 



170 

collected a great number of Italian mysteries ; and at the sale of 
their libraries, Dr. Burney purchased many of the most ancient, 
which he speaks of as being evidently much earlier than the dis- 
covery of printing, from the gross manner in which the subjects are 
treated, the coarseness of the dialogue, and the ridiculous situation 
into which the most sacred persons and things are thrown.^) 

In 1313, Philip the Fair gave the most sumptuous entertain- 
ment at Paris ever remembered in that city. Edward II. and his 
Queen Isabella, crossed over from England with a large retinue 
of nobility, and partook of the magnificent festivities. The 
pomp and profusion of the banquetings, the variety of the amuse- 
ments, and the splendour of the costume were unsurpassed. On 
each of the eight days the princes and nobles changed their dresses 
three times; while the people were sometimes entertained with 
representations of the Glory of the blessed, at other times with the 
Torments of the damned, and with various other spectacles, espe- 
cially the Procession of Raynard the Fox. ( 2 ) In 1402, by an 
edict of Charles VI. dated Dec. 4th, the mystery of the concep- 
tion, passion, and resurrection of Christ, was performed at St. 
Maur, about five miles from Paris. It was written by Jean 
Michel, who died in 1447. At the Council of Constance, in the 
year 1417, the English fathers gave a mystery of the massacre of 
the Holy Innocents. In this play a low buffoon was introduced, 
desiring of his lord to be dubbed a knight that he might be 
properly qualified to go on the adventure of killing the mothers of 
the children of Bethlehem, which was treated with the most ridi- 
culous levity. The good women of Bethlehem attacked the knight- 
arrant with their spinning wheels, broke his head with their 
distaffs, abused him as a coward and disgrace to chivalry, and 
sent him home to Herod as a recreant champion, with much 
ignominy, ( 3 ) Le Mistere de la Passion de Notre Seigneur, done to 
the life, as the same is figured round the cceur of Notre Dame, at 
Paris, was performed on the entrance of the kings of France and 

(*) Burney's Hist, of Music, vol. iii. p. 83. 
( 2 ) Histoire de Paris, fol. p. 523. ( 3 ) Warton, i. 242. 



171 

England into that capital, on December 1, 1420, in the street 
Kalende, before the palace, upon a raised scaffolding about one 
hundred paces in length, reaching from the said street Kalende 
to the wall of the palace. ( 1 ) Le Mistere de la Passion de Saint 
George, was represented by the Parisians in the Hotel de 
Nelle, during the festival of the Pentecost, being the last day 
of May, in order to shew their love to the King of England, his 
queen, and all the nobles of the said country. On the 8th of 
September, 1424, Le Mistere du vie'd Testament et du nouvel, 
was performed by the youths of Paris, placed like statues against 
a wall, without speech or sign, at the entrance into Paris, of John 
Duke of Bedford, Regent of France. Le Mistere depuis la 
conception Notre Dame jusque Joseph la mena en Egipte ; was 
performed on a scaffolding before the Trinity, reaching from beyond 
St. Saviour's to the end of the street called Ernetal. This 
was at the entrance of Henry VI. of England into Paris as king 
of France, on the first Sunday of Advent, being December 
the 2nd, 1431. Vengeance de la Mort de N. S. J. C. et destruc- 
tion de la ville de Jerusalem par I'Empereur Vespasian et Titus, 
was performed, presented before Charles VIII. (2) In 1486, the 
mysteries of the nativity, passion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, 
were acted at Poictiers, with great magnificence. ( 3 ) 



(*) Printed in 4to. 

( 2 ) The printed copies of this and the three preceeding mysteries specify 
the time of their representation. 

( 3 ) Black letter, folio, 1491. Bayle Diet., art. Boucliet. 

There are two French Mysteries, entitled, 1. Le Jeu et Mystere de la 
Saint Hostie, mis par personnaiges, en rime Franchise. Paris, Jelan 
Boufons, black letter, 16mo. 2nd. Le Mystere de la Saint Hostie, 
black letter, 12mo, played by twenty-six persons. After the title page 
are these four lines, 

Li sez ce fait, grand et petit, 
Comment un faux et maudit Juif, 
Lapida moult cruellement 
De 1'Autel le tres Saint Sacrement. 

It appears that in almost every nation in Europe the silly Jews have per- 
petrated cruelties on feeling wafers and conscious crucifixes. In the pre- 



172 

In the royal library of Paris, No. 4350, is Le Mystere de 
la passion Jesus Christ ; Paris, printed by Antoine Verard, 1490, 
folio. This is a fine copy on vellum, with every page richly 
illuminated, and containing a MS. note in French, purporting to 
be an extract from an old Chronicle, entitled, " Histoire de Metz 
veritable," whence it appears that its performance was attended 
by many foreign lords and ladies whose names are specified, and 
that there were lanthorns placed in the windows during the whole 
time of the plays : but the most curious part of the MS. note is, 
that, "in the year 1437, on the 3rd of July was represented the 
game or play, de la Passion, N. S. in the plain of Veximiel, 



sent year, 1822, 1 compiled an account of the Miraculous Host tortured by 
tlw Jew at Paris, under the reign of Philip the Fair in 1290. In the 
preface to that pamphlet it is affirmed that the people of Brussels every 
year on the anniversary of St. Hubert, the patron of dogs, get bread, 
with attestations signed by the magistrates, certifying that it has been 
consecrated by the priest, and that they give every dog in Brussels this 
holy bread, to save him from distemper throughout the year. As this is 
the only opportunity I shall have of removing some doubts as to the 
accuracy of my statement, I subjoin the copy of an original certificate 
attached to the bread consecrated and sold for the dogs last year. The 
original is in my possession : the practice itself can be verified by any 
resident at Brussels. 

(COPY.) 

JE sous SIGNE, declare avoir beni et touche a 1'Etole miraculeuse du 
glorieuse SAINT HUBERT, Apotres des Ardennes, les bagues, chapelets, 
medailles, croix, cceurs, christs, colliers, boucles d'orielles, petits livres, 
petits cornets de devotion, et autres beatilles relatives a la pieuse confiance 
des fideles a le grand Saint, dont est porteuse MARIE JOSEPH POTIER, 
epouse de CORNELIS JOSEPH, Marechal, domiciliee a Bruxelles. 

Votum facio R'dis Confratribus has visuris haec Numis- 
mata ver benedicta et miraculosa? Stolse contactu 
Lustrata ut supra, etc. 

Delivre a St. Hubert, le 28 Janvier, 1821. 

L. S. V. THOME Aumonier de PEglise du grand St. 

Hubert. 

Vu, par e Bourguemestre President de la Regence de la 
Ville de Saint Hubert, pour Legalisation de la Signa- 
ture de Monsieur Thome, sis dessus Vicaire et 
Aumonier de 1'Eglise du GRAND SAINT HUBERT. 

L. S. Saint Hubert, le 28 Janvier, 1821. 

N. EVITMET. 



173 

when the park was arranged in a very noble manner, for there 
were nine ranges of seats in height rising by degrees ; all around 
and behind were great and long seats for the lords and ladies. To 
represent God was the Lord Nicolle, Lord of Neufchatel, in 
Lorraine, who was curate of St. Victor of Metz; he was nigh 
dead upon the cross if he had not been assisted, and it was deter- 
mined that another priest should be placed on the cross to coun- 
terfeit the personage of the crucifixion for that day ; but on the 
following day the said curate of St. Victor counterfeited the resur- 
rection, and performed his part very highly during the play. 
Another priest, who was called Messire Jean de Nicey, and was 
chaplain of Metrange, played Judas, and was nearly dead while 
hanging, for his heart failed him, wherefore he was very quickly 
unhung and carried off : and there the Mouth of Hell was very 
well done ; for it opened and shut when the devils required to 
enter and come out, and had two large eyes of steel. ( l ) It further 
appears from the MS. note that they played on the 17th of Sep- 
tember of the same year in the same place, La Vengeance de N. S. 
J. 0., and that " the same Lord Nicolle was Titus in la Vengeance" 
who nearly lost his life in la Passion. 

On the 27th of May, 1509, was performed at Romans, in 
Dauphiny, before the Cordeliers' church, the Mystery of the 



(*) This Mouth of Hell is figured in Hearne's print, opposite p. 138 of 
the present work. Hell is often shown in this way at the present time. 
It is so designed in a wood cut to the Christmas carol of " Dives and 
Lazarus." A sick man in a wig lies on a bed, with a clergyman praying 
beside him ; the indisposed person is Dives, for whom the Mouth of Hell is 
wide open in a lower corner of the room, while Lazarus reposes in 
Abraham's bosom in the corner above. As it is by no means an uncom- 
mon form, so it appears to have been conceived in an early age. The 
fine east window of York Cathedral, on which is painted almost the 
whole history of the Bible, contains the final doom of the wicked ; and 
hell is this enormous mouth. There is also a representation of hell as a 
monstrous mouth vomiting forth flames and serpents, with two figures 
walking into it, trampling over the naked body of a third lying prostrate, 
on an ancient bas relief in the west front of Lincoln Cathedral, which 
was founded in 1088. Gough conjectures the workmanship to be more 
ancient than the cathedral, and thinks it was " brought from some old 
church and placed in this front when it was first built." It is en- 
graved in his Camden, vol. ii., p. 368. 



174 

TJiree Dong. In this religious play, which lasted three days, there 
are emissaries who undertake very long journeys, and must come 
back before the play can be ended. The scene, besmeared with 
the blood of the three martyrs, the Dons, is sometimes at Rome, 
sometimes at Vienna, soon after at Lyons, and at other times in 
the Alps. The stage constantly represents hell and paradise; 
and Europe, Asia, and Africa, are cantoned in three towers. 
Some metaphysical beings are most curiously personified. Dame 
Silence, for instance, speaks the prologue ; Human Succour, 
Divine Grace, and Divine Comfort, are the supporters of the 
heroes and heroines of the piece, while Hell exhibits monsters and 
devils, to frighten the audience. They are constantly abusing 
Proserpine, who is introduced with all the trappings of Tartarean 
pomp into this performance, where there are no less than ninety- 
two dramatis personse, among whom are the Virgin and God the 
Father. ( l ) 

The story of Le Mystere du Chevalier qui donne sa Femme 
au Diable, played by ten persons in 1505, ( 2 ) is of a dissipated 
knight reduced by his profligacy to distress and wickedness. In his 
misfortunes the devil appears and proposes to make him richer 
than ever if he will assign his wife that the devil may have her in 
seven years. After some discussion the knight consents, his pro- 
mise is written out, and he signs it with his blood. The seducer 
then stipulates that his victim shall deny his God; the knight 
stoutly resists for a time, but in the end the devil gains his point, 
and emboldened by success ventures to propose that the knight 
shall deny the Virgin Mary. This, however, being a still greater 
sin, he refuses to commit it with the utmost indignity and vehe- 
mence, and the devil walks off baffled. At the end of seven years, 
the promise being due, the devil presents it to the knight, who, 
considering it a debt of honour, prepares to discharge it im- 
mediately. He orders his wife to follow him to a certain spot, 
but on their way she perceives a church, which after obtaining 



*) General Evening Post, Sep. 29, 1787, from a MS. at Romans. 
( 2 ) Black letter, 12mo. 



175 

her husband's permission she enters, for the purpose of offering 
her devotion ; while thus engaged the Virgin Mary, recollecting 
the knight's unsullied allegiance to her, assumes the semblance 
of his wife, and in that character joins him. The moment that 
they both appear before the devil he perceives who he has to deal 
with, and upbraids the unconscious knight for attempting to deceive 
him. The knight protests his ignorance and astonishment, which 
the virgin corroborates by telling the devil that it was her own 
plan for the rescue of two souls from his power, and she orders 
him to give up the knight's promise. He of course obeys so high 
an authority, and runs off in great terror. The Virgin exhorts 
the knight to better conduct in future, restores his wife to him, and 
the piece concludes. 

In the reign of Francis I., 1541, the performance of a grand 
Mystery of the Acts of the Apostles, was proclaimed with great 
solemnity, and acted at Paris for many successive days before the 
nobility, clergy, and a large assemblage in .h.3 Hotel de Flandres, 
These plays written in French rhyme by the Brothers Greban, 
were printed in 2 vols. folio, black letter, under letters patent of 
the king to "William Alabat, a merchant of Bourges. The dra- 
matis personse were, God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, the 
Virgin and Joseph, Archangels, Angels, the apostles and disciples, 
Jewish priests, Emperors, Philosophers, Magicians, Lucifer, Satan, 
Belzebub, Belial the attorney-general of hell, Cerberus the porter, 
and a multitude of other celestial, terrestrial, and infernal personages, 
amounting altogether to four hundred and eighty-five characters. 

Though the scenes of these plays were chiefly scriptural, yet many 
were from Apocryphal ^ew Testament subjects, and the whole 
exhibition was a strange mixture of sacred and profane history. 

A scene in which the spirit of God descends in a cloud upon the 
Apostles as tongues of fire, directs that, " here a noise should be 
made to imitate thunder resounding through paradise." In the 
Play of Pentecost, Mary being assembled with the eleven apostles 
and the disciples, altogether one hundred and eleven persons, the 
deficiency in the number of the apostles through the treachery of 
Judas, is supplied by Peter holding two straws unequally cut between 



176 



his finger and thumb, from which one being drawn, the lot fell upon 
Mathias. This and other scenes which are to be found elsewhere, ( l ) 
may convey some idea of the absurdity and grossuess exhibited 
under the government of Francis I. ; yet these plays are enlivened by 
boldness of incident, and occasionally there is an unexpected tender- 
ness and delicacy of expression. In the Assumption of the Virgin, 
she is thus addressed by one of the celestial messengers sent to con- 
vey her to heaven 

MichaeL Venez liz et rose deslite, 
Tres precieuse Marguerite, 
Clere resplendissant et belle, 
Venez en la vie eternelle, 
Ou Jesus votre fils habite. 

Mary requests that before they take her soul, her body may be 
laid asleep; she gently reclines herself and dies; and virgins enter, 
and wrapping the body in a sheet, carry her away. Gabriel receives 
her soul, and while he holds it gives directions for the funeral. 

At his desire an anthem of joy is sung for the blessed Assumption, 
and a female then comes in and says, they have stripped the body to 
wash it as in charity bound to do, but such is the splendour thereof, 
and the brilliancy issuing from her limbs, that it is not possible 
human eyes can sustain it. Here they all ascend into paradise, and 
carry the soul of the Virgin with them. 

Bayle calls the Mystere des Actes Apostres, itself, " a very rare 
and uncommon work." He obtained the loan of a copy from Sir 
Hans Sloane in England, and largely describes the volume. It 
is, however, more curious than rare. From the public instru- 
ment prefixed to the work, and the circumstances related by 
Bayle it is evident that there was much importance attached to 
these plays: but it cannot so well be conceived from perusing 
them, as from the remarkable ceremonial of the public procla- 

(*) Bayle gives long extracts that will sur] rise most readers, yet he 
justly observes, that "they are not so grotesque as a multitude of other 
passages." Bayk's Diet., art. Chocquet. 



177 

mation for their performance, concerning which he says nothing. 
Probably from the extreme rarity of the curious descriptive tract, 
published at the time, Bayle had not seen it. On account of its 
scarcity I subjoin a translation of it entire : the words of the pro- 
clamation itself are retained in the original French. 



(TRANSLATION.) 

PUBLIC NOTICE AND PEOCLAMATION for playing the MYSTERY OF THE 
ACTS OF THE APOSTLES, in the Town of Paris, made Thursday the 16th 
day of December, in the year 1540, by command of our Lord the King, 
FRANCIS THE FIRST of this name, and his Worship the Provost of Paris, 
To the end that every one may come to take their characters in the per- 
formance of the said mystery. SOLD AT PARIS in the Street Neufue 
Nostre Dame, at the Sign of St. John the Baptist, near St. Geneviefve 
des Ardens : in the Shop of Denys Janoe, ] 541. 

On the aforesaid day, about eight o'clock in the morning, the people 
assembled in the Hotel de Flandres, the usual place for the performance 
of the said mystery. That is to say, as well the managers of the said 
mystery, as officers of justice, plebians, and others having the regulation 
of these ; rhetoricians, and gentlemen of the long robe, as well as of the 
short. 

First of all went six trumpeters having banners to their pipes and 
bugles bearing the royal arms, amongst which, as for safety, was the 
usual herald of the city, accompanied by the sworn crier established 
to proclaim all judicial proclamations in the said city, all being suitably 
mounted. 

After these marched a number of sergeants and archers of the mayor 
of Paris, habited in their hocketons diapered with silver, wearing the 
liveries of the king and the said mayor. These were to keep order, and 
prevent the people pressing in ; the archers were as usual well mounted, 
as in such cases is required. 

Then afterwards marched a number of the city officers and sergeants, 
as well of the merchants as of the better sort of citizens, habited in their 
robes then a party with the colours of the city, qui sont les navires 
d arget triceulx, all well habited. 

Then followed two men appointed to make the said proclamation 
dressed in black silk velvet with hanging sleeves of tnree colours, 
namely, yellow, grey, and blue, which is the livery of the aforesaid 
managers, and these were well mounted on fine horses. 

Afterwards came the two directors of the said mystery, rhetoricians, 
one an ecclesiastic, the other a layman, both soberly clad and well 
mounted according to their station. 

Then followed after the four managers of the said mystery, (Hamelin, 
Potrain, Louvet, Chollet) habited in rich laced sarcenets stitched on 
black velvet, well mounted on horses richly caparisoned. 

Also after this train marched four commissaries, inspectors of the 
Chatelat at Paris, mounted on mules with housings, as followers of the 
said managers. 

24 



178 

In the same order marched a great number of the citizens, merchants 
and other gentlemen of the city, as well in long and short robes ; very 
well mounted according to their state and circumstances. 

It should be noticed that at every cross way or public place where 
they made the said proclamation, two of the said managers always 
joined with the two appointed to make the proclamation ; and, after the 
said six trumpeters had sounded three times, and the exhortation of the 
city herald made on the part of the king and the mayor of Paris, the 
four persons aforesaid made the proclamation in the manner and form 
as follows : viz. 

The Announcing and Proclaiming of the undertaking of the said Mystery 
of the Acts of the Apostles, addressed to the Citizens of the said city of 
.Pans. 

Pour ne tumljer en da'nable decours 
En nos jours cours aux bibliens discours 
Avons recours le temps nous admoneste 
Pendant que Paix : estant notre secours 
Nous diet je cours es Royaulmes es cours 
En plaisant cours faisons quelle sarreste 
La saison preste a souvent chaulve teste 
Et pour ce honneste oauvre de catholicques 
On faict scav oir a son et crys publicques 
Que dans Paris ung mistere sappreste 
Representant Actes Apostolicques. 

Nostre bon Eoy que Dieu garde puissant 
Bien le consent au faict impartissant 
Pouvoir receut : de son auctorite 
Dont chascun doibt vouloir que florissant 
Son noble sang des fleurs de Lys yssant 
Soit et croissant en sa felicite 
Venez, cite, Ville, University 
Tout est cit venez gene heroycques 
Graves, censeurs, magistraz, politicques 
Exercez vous au jeu de verite 
Hepresentant Actes Apostolicques. 

L'on y semond, Poete*, Orateurs 
Vrays precepteurs, d'eloquence Amateurs 
Pour directeurs, de si saincte entreprise 
Mercuions, et aussi chroniqueurs 
Hiches rimeurs des barbares vaincqueurs 
Et des erreurs de langue mal apprise 
L'heure est precise : on se tiendra 1'assise 
La sera prise au rapport des tragicques 
L'eleetion des plus expers senicques 



179 

En geste et voix au teatre requise 
Representant Actes Apostolicques. 

Vouloir n'avons en ce commencement 

Des batement fors prendre enseignement 

Et jugement sur chascun personnage 

Par les roolletz bailies entierement 

Et veoir comment Ion jouera proprement 

Si fault coment : ou teste d'arantage 

Mys ce partage a rostre conseil saige 

Doibt tout courage hors les cueurs paganicques 

Lutheriens, espritz diabolicques 

Auctoriser ce Mistere et ymage 

Representant Actes Apostolicqucs. 

Prince puissant sans toy toute rencontre 
Est mal encontre et nostre ceuvre imparfaict 
Nous le prions que par grace se monstre 
Puis le meffaict de nos chemins oblicquea 
Pardonnes nous apres ce jeu parfaict 
Eepresentant Actes Apostolicques. 

End of the Proclamation. 

And for the fixing of the day, and the usual place for taking charac- 
ters in the said mystery, was signified to all, that all should be on the 
feast of St. Stephen, the first holiday in Christmas following, in the 
hall of the Passion, the accustomed place for rehearsals and repetitions 
of the Mysteries played in the said city of Paris ; which place, being 
well hung with rich tapestry chairs and forms, is for the reception of all 
persons of honest and virtuous report, and of all qualities therein 
assisting, as well as a great number of citizens and merchants and other 
persons, as well clergy as laity, in the presence of the commissaries 
and officers of Justice appointed and deputed to hear the speeches of 
each personage ; and these are to make report, according to the merit 
of their well doing, as in such case required, concerning which have a 
gracious reception ; and from day to day, every day, so to continue to 
do, until the perfection of the said mystery^ 1 ) 



. (*) The French title of this tract is, "Le cry et proclamation publicque: 
pour jouerle mistere des Actes des Apostres, en laville de Paris : faict 
le Jeudy seiziesme jour de Decembre 1'an mil cinq. cens. quarante : Par 
le commendement au Roy nostre sire Francoys premier de ce nom : et 
Monsieur le prevost de Paris afBn de venir prendre les roolles pour jouer 
le diet mistere. On les vend a Paris, etc. 1541. 5 leaves, 8vo. 

By the Register of the Parliament of Paris, it appears, that on the 
19th of December, 1541, the Procureur General du Roi on the one part, 
complained to the parliament against Francis Hamelin, (notaire au 



180 

It "being the purpose of these sheets to give a mere sketch by 
way of specimen of these performances, I pass at once to a nio- 

Chastelet de Paris,) Francis Pouldrain, (a tapestry-maker,) Leonard 
Choblets, (butcher,) and John Louvet, (gardener and florist,) the under- 
takers or managers of the Mystery of the Acts of the Apostles, on the 
other part : For that the defendants having undertaken to represent 
Christ s passion and the Acts of the Apostles, had employed mean and 
illiterate fellows to act, who were not cunning in these matters, and to 
lengthen out the time had interlarded apocryphal matters, and by 
introducing drolls and farces at the beginning and end had made the 
performance last six or seven months ; by means whereof nobody went 
to church, charity grew cold, and immoral excesses were occasioned : 
Also that at eight or nine o'clock in the morning the people left their 
parish churches to take their seats in the playhouse, and staid there 
till five in the afternoon, so that the preachers finding nobody to hear 
them, left off preaching ; and generally, the parsons of the parishes, to 
have theirpastime at the plays, left off the afternoonprayersonholydays, 
or said them alone at noon, and even the king's chaplains in the chapel 
of the household, did the same, and ran them off post haste to be gone 
to the plays : Further, that the defendants played for lucre, and raised 
the price, which the first year was twenty and twenty-five crowns, the 
next thirty and thirty-six crowns, and the then present year forty and 
fifty crowns of the sum for every box ; that the plays occasioned jun- 
ketting and extraordinary expenses among the common people ; that 
the contributions to the poor had diminished 6000 livres during the six 
months that the plays lasted ; and that notwithstanding all this, one 
Hoger, a fish seller, with a carpenter, a cobbler, and others, in order 
to get money from the people, had undertaken to act the Old Testa- 
ment next year : wherefore the king's attorney-general had stopped 
their proceedings. In answer to this, the counsel on the other side 
said, ne appeared not for the company who showed the Acts of the 
Apostles, but for the new company of the mystery of the Old Testament, 
in whose behalf he answered, that the king, two years before, having 
seen them act the Mysteries of the Passwn, and been informed how 
well they played the Acts of the Apostles, and that it was worth his 
while also to see the representation of the Old Testament, Roger being 
present, promised the king to get the Old Testament acted, to which his 
majesty accorded and granted him his letters patent for the purpose, 
Whereupon by these letters patent it appeared to the parliament that 
the new company informed the king what they did was out of devotion, 
and to edify the people, whereas their quality and circumstances de- 
clared that their object was gain ; and that in the Old Testament are 
many things not so proper to be declared to the weak and simple 
people, lest for want of understanding they might be drawn in to turn 
Jews. Therefore the parliament ordered the new company to pay to the 
poor of Paris eight hundred livres out of their profits for playing the 
Acts of the Apostles, and prohibited the new company to play the Old 
Testament till the king's pleasure should be known. The record at 
lingth of these proceedings in the original French is at the end of 
llymcrs View of Tragedy. 



181 

dern writer, who mentioning the Theatre at Libson, says that 
" Whitaker gives the following account of a piece called the 
Creation of the World :" he does not tell who " Whitaker " is, 
nor can I, but the reader is presented with the account just as it is 
cited. " On our entrance, we found the theatre nearly filled with 
well dressed people, the front row of boxes full of ladies most 
superbly and tastefully dressed, their hair in braids and ornamented 
with a profusion of diamonds and artificial flowers, without caps ; 
and upon the whole making a very brilliant appearance. The 
band is a good one, and the theatre is worth attending, were it on 
no other account than to hear it. When the curtain drew up we 
saw the eternal Father descend in a cloud with a long white 
beard, with a great number of lights and angels around him : he 
then gave orders for the creation of the world ; over his head 
was drawn an equilateral triangle, as an emblem of the Trinity. 
The next scene presented us with the serpent tempting Eve to 
eat the apple, and his infernal majesty, (the prince of darkness) 
paid the most exaggerated encomiums to her beauty, in order to 
engage her to eat, which as soon as he had done, and persuaded 
Adam to do the same, then came a most terrible storm of thun- 
der and lightning, with a dance of infernal spirits with the devil in 
the midst, dressed in black with scarlet stockings, and a gold- 
laced hat on his head. While the dance was performing, a voice 
from behind the scenes pronounced in a hoarse and solemn man- 
ner, the word " Jesus," on which the devils immediately vanished 
in a cloud of smoke. After this, the eternal Father descended in 
great wrath without any attendant, and called for Noah, (who by 
the bye we were much surprised to see, as we did not know before 
that he was at that time in existence ; however, appear he did,) 
who when he appeared, the eternal Father told him he was sorry 
he had created such a set of ungrateful scoundrels, and that for 
their wickedness he intended to drown them altogether. Here 
Noah interceded for them, and at last it was agreed that he 
should build an ark, and he was ordered to go to the king's dock- 
yard in Lisbon, and there he would see John Gonzalvez, the 
master builder, for he preferred him to either the French or 



182 



English builders (this produced great applause). The eternal 
Father then went up to heaven, and Noah to build his ark^ 1 ) 
The representation of a mystery called the Damned Soul, at 



( l ) The Portfolio. By J. R., late Captain in the Royal Lancashire 
Militia, and formerly of the Royal Fusileers. Egerton, 1812, 2 vols 
8vo, vol. i. p. 33. 

In the same work there is an official document, a curious memorial of 
superstition, which is annexed for the reader's amusement. 

Translation of a Military Certificate in behalf of St. Anthony as the 
Patron of a Regiment. 

DON HERCULES ANTONIO CARLOS, Lieut., Joseph Maria de Alber- 
querque, Aranjo de Magalnhaens Homen, nobleman to her majesty's 
household, &c., <fcc. I do hereby attest and certify, to all who shall see 
these presents, written by my command, and signed at the bottom with 
my sign manual, and with the broad seal of my arms, close to my said 
signature, and a little to the left of it, that the lord SAINT ANTHONY of 
Lisbon, but falsely called Padua, has been enlisted and had a place in 
this regiment, ever since the 24th of January, of the year of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, 1688, as will appear more particularly below. I further 
attest that the fifty-nine within certificates, numbered from unity to the 
number 59, and with the cypher of my name set close to each number, 
do contain and comprehend a true and faithful relation of the miracles 
and other eminent exercises, the said St. Anthony has at different times 
rendered and performed in this regiment, in consequence of his having a 
place in it, as attested by many persons now alive, of whose veracity 
there can be no doubt. I do further certify, upon my word of honour, as 
a nobleman, a knight, and a Catholic gentleman and Christian (as by 
God's grace I am), what hereunto follows : That having read over and 
perused attentively all the papers, note-books, and registers of our regi- 
ment, ever since its formation, and having copied out of the said papers 
every thing relating to the said St. Anthony, it is de verbo ad verbum 
what follows here, for the truth of which I refer to the said books and 
papers lodged in the archives of our regiment. That on the 24th of 
January, 1688, by order of his majesty Don Pedro the Second, St. An- 
thony was enlisted as a private soldier in this regiment of infantry of 
Lagos, when it was first formed by command of the said prince, and of 
such enlistment there was a register found, which now exists in the first 
column of the register book of this regiment, folio 1 43, wherein he gave 
for his surety the queen of angels, who became answerable that he should 
not desert his colours, but always behave like a good soldier in the regi- 
ment; and thus did the saint continue to serve, and to do duty as a pri- 
vate in the regiment, until Sept. 1693, on which day the same prince, by 
the decease of his brother, Alfonso the Sixth, became King of Portugal, 
and on the same day his majesty promoted St. Anthony to the rank of 
captain. [Then follow the miracles and services of St. Anthony for the 
good of the regiment] 



183 

Turin, in 1739, is evidence of so large a substrative mass of super- 
stition as an Englishman can scarcely imagine to belong to modern 
times. It was witnessed by the Rev. Joseph Spenee, who, in a 
letter to his mother, dated the 2nd of December in that year, and 
recently published in a very interesting work^ 1 ) gives a lively de- 
scription of the curious performance. He says : 

" As I was walking, one evening, under the porticos of the street 
of the Po 7 1 saw an inscription over a great gate, which, as I am 
a very curious traveller, you may be sure I did not miss reading, 
I found by it. that the house belonged to a set of strollers, and that 
the inscription was a bill of the play they were to act that evening. 
You may imagine how surprised I was to find it conceived in the fol- 
lowing words : ' Here, under the porticos of the Charitable Hospital 
for such as have the venereal disease, will be represented this evening, 
The Damned Soul, with proper Decorations.' As this seemed to be 
one of the greatest curiosities I could possibly meet with in my travels, 
I immediately paid my threepence, was shewed in with great civility, 
and took my seat among a number of people, who seemed to ex- 
pect the tragedy of the night with great seriousness. At length 
the curtain drew up ; and discovered the Damned Soul, all alone, 
with a melancholy aspect. She was, for what reason I do not know, 
drest as a fine lady, in a gown of flame-coloured satin. She held a 
white handkerchief in. her hand, which she applied often to her 
eyes ; and in this attitude with a lamentable voice, began a prayer 
to the holy and ever blessed Trinity to enable her to speak her part 
well : afterwards she addressed herself to all the good Christians in 
the room, begged them to attend carefully to what she had to 
say, and heartily wished they would be the better for it ; she then 
gave an account of her life; and, by her own confession, appeared to 
have been a very naughty woman in her time. This was the first 
scene. At the second, a black curtain was drawn, and gave us a 
sight of our Saviour and the blessed Virgin, amidst the clouds. 
The poor soul addressed herself to our Saviour first, who rattled her 



(*) Spence's Anecdotes of Books and Men, by S. W. Singer, 1820, 
8vo, p. 397. 



184 

extremely, and was indeed all the while very severe. All she desired 
was to be sent to purgatory, instead of going to hell ; and she at 
last begged very hard to be sent into the fire of the former for as 
many years as there are drops of water in the sea. As no favour 
was shown her on that side, she turned to the Virgin and begged 
her to intercede for her. The Virgin was a very decent woman, 
and answered her gravely, but steadily, ' that she had angered her 
son so much, that she could do nothing for her ;' and on this they 
both went away together. The third scene consisted of three little 
angels and the damned souL She had no better luck with them ; 
nor with St. John the Baptist and all the saints in the fourth ; 
so, in the fifth, she was left to two devils, seemingly to do what 
they would with her. One of these devils was very ill-natured 
and fierce to her ; the other was of the droll kind, and for a devil, 
I cannot say but what he was good-natured enough, though he 
delighted in vexing the poor old lady rather too much. In the 
sixth scene matters began to mend a little. St. John the Baptist 
(who had been with our Saviour, I believe, behind the scenes) 
told her, if she would continue her entreaties, there was yet some 
hope for her. She, on this, again besought our Saviour and the 
Virgin to have compassion on her. The Virgin was melted with 
her tears and desired her son to have pity on her ; on which it 
was granted, that she should go into the fire only for sixteen or 
seventeen hundred thousand years ; and she was very thankful for 
the mildness of the sentence. The seventh (and last) scene, was a 
contest between the two infernal devils above mentioned, and her 
guardian angel. They came in again ; one grinning, and the other 
open-mouthed to devour her. The angel told them that they 
should get about their business. He, with some difficulty, at last 
drove them off the stage, and handed off the good lady, assuring 
her that all would be very well, after some hundred of thousands of 
years with her. All this while, in spite of the excellence of the 
actors, the greatest part of the entertainment to me was the coun- 
tenances of the people in the pit and boxes. "When the devils were 
like to carry her off, everybody was in the utmost consternation; and 



185 

when St. John spoke so obligingly to her, they were ready to 
cry out for joy. When the Virgin appeared on the stage, every 
body looked respectful ; and on several words spoke by the actors, 
they pulled off their hats and crossed themselves. What can you 
think of a people, where their very farces are religious, and when* 
they are so religiously received 1 ? May you be the better for 
reading of it, as I was for seeing it ! There was but one thing that 
offended me. All the actors except the devils, were women, and 
the person who represented the most venerable character in the 
whole play, just after the representation, came into the pit ; 
and fell a kissing a barber of her acquaintance, before she had 
changed her dress. She did me the honour to speak to me too ; but 
I would have nothing to say to her. It was from such a play as 
this (called Adam and Eve) that Milton, when he was in Italy, 
is said to have taken the first hint for his divine poem of Paradise 
Lost. What small beginnings are there sometimes to the greatest 
things r (i) 

An obliging correspondent acquaints me with the representa- 
tion of a Mystery- that he saw when a boy at Bamberg, in Ger- 
many, about the year 1783. "The end of a house or barn being 
taken away, a dark hole appeared hung with old tapestry, the 
wrong side outwards ; a curtain running along and dividing the 
middle. On this stage the Creation was performed. A stu- 
pid looking Capuchin personated the Creator. He entered in a 
large full bottomed wig, with a false beard, wearing over the 
rusty dress of his order a brocade morning gown, the lining of 
light blue silk being rendered visible occasionally by the pride 
that the wearer took to shew it, and he eyed his slippers of the 
same material with equal satisfaction. He first came on making 
his way through the tapestry, groping about ; and, purposely run- 
ning his head against posts, exclaiming with a sort of peevish 
authority, " Let there be light !" at the same time pushing the ta- 

(!) I have taken the liberty to alter some peculiarities in the ortho- 
graphy of Spence's letter. I should not have extracted it entire from 
Mr. Singer's very pleasant volume, if his author's narrative had permitted 
abridgment. 
25 



186 

pestry right and left, and disclosing a glimmer through linen cloths 
from candles placed behind them. The creation of the sea was 
represented by the pouring of water along the stage; and the 
making of the dry land, by the throwing of mould. Angels were 
personated by girls and young priests habited in dresses hired from 
a masquerade shop, to which the wings of geese were clumsily 
attached near the shoulders. These angels actively assisted the 
character in the flowered dressing-gown in producing the stars, 
moon, and sun. To represent winged fowl, a number of cocks 
and hens were fluttered about : and for other living creatures 
some cattle were driven on the stage, with a well-shod horse, and 
two pigs having rings in their noses. Soon afterwards Adam 
appeared. He was a great clumsy fellow in a strangely shaped wig, 
and being closely clad with a sort of course stocking, looked quite as 
grotesque as in the worst of the old wood cuts, and something like 
Orson, but not so decent. He stalked about wondering at every 
thing, and was followed from among the beasts by a large ugly 
mastiff" with a brass collar on. When he reclined to sleep, pre- 
paratory to the production of Eve, the mastiff Jay down by him. 
This occasioned some strife between the old man in brocade, 
Adam, and the dog, who refused to quit his post ; nor would he 
move when the angels tried to whistle him off. The performance 
proceeded to the supposed extraction of a rib from the dog's 
master, which being brought forwards, and shewn to the audience, 
was carried back to be succeeded by Eve, who in order to seem 
rising from Adam's side, was dragged up from behind his back 
through an ill concealed and equally ill contrived trap-door, by 
the performer in brocade. As he lifted her over, the dog being 
trod upon frightened her by a sudden snap so that she tumbled 
upon Adam. This obtained a hearty kick from a clumsy angel 
to the dog, who consoled himself by discovering the rib produced 
before, which being a beef bone, he tried his teeth upon. Eve 
was personated by a priest of effeminate look, but awkward in 
form, with long locks, composed of something like strands of 
rope, which hung stiffly down the back, and were brought round 
to fasten in frout below the waist. So many years have elapsed 



187 

that I scarcely recollect any more of this singular scene. But 
the driving of Adam and Eve out of paradise was entrusted to a 
priest dressed as an angel, whose fiery pasteboard sword "being 
angrily broken by Adam, in consequence of a blow he received 
from it on the head, the angel produced from beneath his habit, 
his knotted capuchin rope, which he so applied to Adam's back, 
as to effect his expulsion. I am sorry that I do not remember 
more of this strange performance, bub I assure you that I did 
not perceive any risibility among the audience, which was com- 
posed of persons of all ranks ; I knew most of them, and with the 
exception of myself and the persons with me, I believe they were 
all Roman Catholics. However, I well recollect seeing also at Bain- 
berg a public procession representing the Passion, wherein Jews 
and Romans were dressed like Salvator Rosa's banditti, and wore 
French small swords. Every thing went off very quietly till it 
was discovered that some protestant students from Erlang had in- 
sinuated lamp-back into the holy water pots. This produced a 
desperate fight, in which the cross was thrown down, and the 
young girls who walked in the procession scourging their naked 
backs, under a vow to continue this discipline to the end, made 
their way to the Amtmann's (headborough's) door, asking him in 
terror what they were to do, but lashing themselves all the time. 
At last the mischievous students were severely, and I must say, 
deservedly beaten; but the priest who bore the cross and per- 
sonated Christ, had prudently escaped from the fray, and not be- 
ing found to conclude the performance, the rest of his brethren 
persuaded a raw countryman to undertake his part. He did very 
well until he was to enact the crucifixion. This he found great 
fault with, and stoutly resisted, insisting in no very civil language 
that he must and would go home. These exhibitions took place 
in the neighbourhood of the protestant universities of Erlang and 
Altona, where they were the objects of much ridicule as, from 
ancient usage, they were the subjects of catholic admiration. Cus- 
tom is an amalgam of sense and folly, and should be watched as 
jealously as the Inquisition, which after its establishment, com- 



188 

niitted the most horrible cruelties without exciting sympathy ; for 
custom alone, in process of time, rendered the mind indifferent to 
its dreadful barbarities." 

It might be supposed that mysteries had made their last appear- 
ance on any stage ; yet the author of Lallah Eookh records the per- 
formance of scriptural and apocryphal subjects at Paris in the year 
1817. One of his later pieces ( l ) introduces an English girl, in that 
metropolis, relating, epistleways, to her female friend in England, 
that at 

They call it the play-house I think of St. Martin, 
Quite charming and very religious what folly 
To say that the French are not pious, dear Dolly, 
When here one beholds, so correctly and rightly, 
The Testament turn'd into melo-drames nightly ; 
And, doubtless, so fond they're of scriptural facts, 
They will soon get the Pentateuch ( 2 ) up in five acts. 
Here Daniel, in pantomine, ( 3 ) gids gold defiance 
To Nebuchadnezzar and all his stuff'd lions; 
While pretty young Israelites dance round the prophet, 
In very thin clothing, and but little of it : 



(') The Fudge Family in Paris, p. 42 and p. 145. 

( 2 ) [" The Old Testament, says the theatrical critic in the " Gazette 
de France," is a mine of gold for the managers of our small playhouses. 
A multitude crowd round the theatre de la Gaiete every evening to see 
the Passage of the Bed Sea. 

" In the Play-bill of one of these sacred melo-drames at Vienna, we 
find The Voice of Gd by M. Schwartz:'} 

( 3 ) ["A piece, very popular last year, (1817,) called Daniel, ou la Fosse 
aux Lions. The following scene will give an idea of the daring sub- 
limity of these scriptural pantomimes. "Scene 20. La fournaise 
devient un berceau de nuages azures, au fond duquel est un grouppe de 
nuages plus lumineux, et au milieu Jehovah au centre d'un cercle de 
rayons brillans, qui annonce la presence de 1'Eternal "J 



189 

Here Begrand,( l ) who shines in this scriptural path, 
As the lovely Susanna, without ev'n a relic 

Of drapery around her, comes out of the bath 
In a manner that, Bob says, is quite .Eve-angelic ! 

To this late instance of such performances may be annexed 
a recent proceeding before the tribunal of Correctional Police 
at Paris. In October, 1822, M. Michelot, the editor of the 
Miroir, was accused of having outraged the religion of the 
state, by publishing an article which consisted principally of a 
letter written from Dieppe, in the following terms : 'Travel- 
ling Shows. You must remember to have seen at St. Cloud, 
certain tents in which monkeys, learned dogs, and other pheno- 
mena, are shown to such persons as feel interested in these mat- 
ters. Walking on the port the other Jay with some friends, I 
proposed that we should enter a tent of this kind to see what ani- 
mals it contained. We approached one, and heard the crier, a 
trumpet in his hand, calling to the people, and, with the voice of 
a Stentor, announcing that the show would commence immedi- 
ately, and that it would be still more wonderful than any that had 
before been exhibited. " Walk in," said he, " Ladies and Gen- 
tlemen ; you will see the Birth of our Saviour, the Doubts of 
Joseph about the Virgin Mary, his wife, the Passion, the Re- 
surrection" &c. We rushed in, and obtained the front seat with- 
out caring for the price, which, however, was full sixpence. The 
curtain was soon drawn up, and I saw all the family of Punch 
transformed into Jews, Pharisees, and magicians. The Virgin 
appeared, and was put to bed and delivered without the pains of 
childbirth. Joseph, who did not understand this affair, called his 
spouse some hard names, that mightily pleased the audience 



( J ) [Madame Begrand, a finely formed woman, who acts in Susanna 
and the Elders. L' Amour et la Folie, c&c.]( a ) 

( )Madame Begrand lately left the pious audiences and congregations 
of the Theatre de la Porte St. Martin, and the catholic missionaries at 
Paris, for an engagement at the King's Theatre, London, where the 
apocryphal story of Susanna and the elders is not acted " for example of 
iue and instruction of manners.'' 



190 

which was chiefly composed of the inhahitants of the port. " You 
see," said a married woman who sat behind me, " that the in- 
justice of husbands preceded the birth of the Saviour." This 
reflection diverted those who heard it. The " Passion " followed 
what we had just seen. The character of Judas was admirable ; 
however, every body seemed to be of opinion that it was common, 
and might be met with every day. Herod, with a doctor's cap 
on his head, interpreted very badly, and discovered in the least 
actions of our Saviour sufficient cause for his crucifixion. Pontius 
Pilate washed his hands of the business with an air the most be- 
coming and indifferent imaginable. The show, according to the 
announcement, finished with the Resurrection. The spectators 
retired, cracking a thousand jokes, upon the puppets changed into 
Jews and Romans, and I for a moment imagined myself carried 
back to that remote period of which Boileau speaks, when an 
ignorant troop of strollers represented mysteries on temporary 
scaffoldings 

" Et sottement z^lee en sa simplicity, 

Jouait les saints, la Vierge, et Dieu par pit<5.' " 

The article concluded by some reflections on the abuse of this 
kind of spectacle, and the King's advocate, after minutely criticising 
it, called for the condemnation of M. Michelot, its acknowledged 
author. M. Chaix d'Este Ange, advocate for M. Michelot, offered 
to prove that the scandalous spectacle described by the author was 
really exhibited, and contended that the description was unaccom- 
panied by comments. Upon which the tribunal gave judgment, that 
the article entitled, " Travelling Shows," was only a description of a 
theatrical representation which took place in the town of Dieppe, a 
fact not denied by the public prosecutor, and that the object of the 
article was not to outrage or turn into ridicule the religion of the 
state, but rather to shew the impropriety and the abuse of theatrical 
representations of holy mysteries, and to denounce them, if not to 
authority, at least to public opinion. The complaint was therefore 
dismissed. 

The Theatre of Strasburg, in 1816, exhibited an improve- 
ment on the ancient performance of mysteries. It consisted 
of scenes accurately representing particular events in the life 



191 

of Christ from the "best pictures of the great masters. Not a word 
was spoken, and there was very little motion : the harmonica, an 
instrument of dulcet sound, concealed from view, played sacred tunes, 
and occasionally the plaintive voices of females sung in parts. In 
this way were successively exhibited, tlie annunciation by Guido ; 
the adoration of the shepherds, after Domenichino ; the offerings of 
the wise men, by Eembrandt ; the raising of the widow's son, by Da 
Vinci ; the Disciples at Emmaus, by Titian ; the last supper, by 
Guido ; the washing of the disciples' feet, by Eubens ; the scourging, 
after S. Rosa ; the crowning with thorns, by Spagnoletto ; the cruci- 
fixion, by Eubens ; the descent from the cross, by Eaphael ; and the 
Eesurrection, after An. Caracci. The representation was remark- 
ably impressive^ 1 ) 

A gentleman educated in the Jesuits' seminary, belonging to 
the cathedral of the same city, Strasbourg, informs me that it 
was, and still is the custom, during the space of a fortnight pre- 
vious to the vacations of that seminary, for the scholars to per- 
form sacred plays, in the Latin Language ; and, in particular, he 
well recollects the first representation in 1769, of the principal sub- 
jects in the Old and New Testament, commencing from the 
creation, and ending with, the crucifixion, when he himself played 
Pilate, and his brother Christ, before audiences of the first rank 
and opulence. The Old Elector Theodore of Bavaria, espe- 
cially patronized this species of entertainment, and preferred it 
to the legitimate drama. The inhabitants of Munich, Strau- 
bingen, Ingolstadt, Passau, and most of the towns on the right of 
the Danube, witnessed these exhibitions every Sunday during 
Lent, until the French interrupted them ; but they have since been 
restored, and the Annunciation, Incarnation, and other Mysteries 
are regularly played, at the theatre for concerts and oratorios 
in Munich. If I am 'not misinformed the sermons of Father 
Parhamer, a Jesuit at the court of Joseph I. contain very re- 
markable anecdotes concerning these plays at that period. In the 
time of the Empress Maria Theresa, they were encouraged by 
the royal presence, attended by the court, and had the patron- 

( T ) Blackwood'a Magazine, Nov. 1817. 



192 

age of her government. At Berlin, in 1804 and 5, the grand 
sacred comedy of David, in five acts, with battles and choruses, 
was performed by the comedians in the National Theatre. 
Throughout March, April, and May, 1810, the same play was 
represented at Vienna ; and while the Congress was held there 
in 1815, it was again performed with the utmost possible splen- 
dour. The back of the stage, extending into the open air, 
gradually ascended to a distance sufficient to admit carriages and 
horses, and the evolutions of at least five hundred Austrian 
soldiers, infantry and cavalry, who, Ivabited in the characters 
of Jews and Philistines, carried muskets and carbines, denied 
and deployed, charged with the bayonet, let off their fire-arms, 
and played artillery, to represent the battles described in the 
Book of Kings. The Emperor Alexander of Eussia, the king of 
Prussia, and other monarchs, with their ministers, and the repre- 
sentatives of different courts, at the Congress, attended these plays, 
which were exhibited at the great theatre An der Wien to crowded 
audiences, at the usual prices of admission. 

Dr. Burney says, it is certain that the modern tragedy is taken 
from the mysteries, and that the Oratorio is only a mystery, or 
morality in music. The Oratorio commenced with the priests of 
the Oratory, a brotherhood founded at Home in 1540, by St. 
Philip Neri, who in order to draw youth to church, had hymns, 
psalms, and spiritual songs, or cantatas, sung either in chorus, or 
by a single favourite voice. These pieces were divided into two 
parts, the one performed before the sermon, and the other after 
it. Sacred stories, or events from scripture, written in verse, and 
by way of dialogue, were set to music, and the first part being 
performed, the sermon succeeded, which the people were induced 
to stay and hear, that they might be present at the performance of 
the second part. The subjects in early times were the good Sama- 
ritan, the Prodigal Son, Tobit with the angel, his father, and his 
wife, and similar histories, which by the excellence of the composi- 
tion, the band of instruments, and the performance, brought the 
Oratory into great repute ; and hence this species of musical drama 
obtained the general appellation of Oratorio. 




vnr. 



THE BOY BISHOP ENGLISH 
MYSTERIES. 



" All tliis was done with solemnity of celebration and appetite of seeing." 

Greqorie. 



k5r. NICHOLAS, Bishop of Myra in the fourth century, was a 
saint of great virtue, and disposed so early in life to conform to 
ecclesiastical rule, that when an infant at the breast he fasted on 
Wednesday and Friday, and sucked but once on each of those 
days, and that towards night. ( l ) An Asiatic gentleman sending 
his two sons to Athens for education, ordered them to wait on 
the bishop for his benediction. On arriving at Myra with their 
baggage they took up their lodging at an inn, purposing, as it was 
late in the day, to defer their visit till the morrow ; but in the 



26 



( l ) Ribadeneira, vol ii. p. 503. 



meantime the innkeeper, to secure their effects to himself, killed 
the young gentlemen, cut them into pieces, salted them, and in- 
tended to sell them for pickled pork. St. Nicholas being favoured 
with a sight of these proceedings in a vision, went to the inn, and 
reproached the cruel landlord for his crime, who immediately con- 
fessing it, entreated the Saint to pray to heaven for his pardon. 
The Bishop moved by his confession and contrition, besought for- 
giveness for him, and supplicated restoration of life to the children. 
He had scarcely finished when the pieces re-united, and the animated 
youths threw themselves from the brine-tub at the Bishop's feet : 
he raised them up and exhorted them to return thanks to God alone, 
gave them good advice for the future, bestowed his blessing on 
them, and sent them to Athens with great joy to prosecute their 
studies. ( 1 ) 

This miracle, were there no other, sufficiently accounts for St. 
Nicholas having been anciently selected by scholars and youth for 
their patron, as well as for the children of the choir selecting his 



(i) Eev. W. Cole, (in Gent's Mag. vol. xlvii. p. 158.) from a Life of St. 
Nicholas, 3rd edit., 4to. Naples 1645. See Brand, vol. i. p. 325. The 
Salisbury Missal of 1534, fol. xxvii. contains a prayer to St. Nicholas, 
before which is an engraving on wood of the Bishop with the children 
rising from the tub ; but better than all, by a licence that artists for- 
merly assumed of representing successive scenes in the same print, the 
landlord himself is shown in the act of reducing a limb into sizes suit- 
able for his mercenary purpose : to be sure there are only two children 
in the story, and there are three in the tub : but it is fairly to be conjec- 
tured that the story was thought -so good as to be worth making a little 
better. As St. Nicholas is the patron of the company of Parish Clerks of 
London, of whom from their former performance of Mysteries there will 
be occasion to speak hereafter, as well as the patron of scholars, who 
also represented these religious plays and likewise personated the Boy 
Bishop, I have thought it seemly to precede the above narration by a fac- 
simile of the Missal cut. St. Nicholas is likewise the patron of sailors, 
for which there are reasons enough in Ribadeneira, if relations of mira- 
cles be reasons. That writer also says of St. Nicholas that "being present 
at the Council of Nice, among three hundred and eighteen bishops, who 
were there assembled together to condemn the heresy of Arius, he shone 
among them all with so great clarity, and opinion of sanctity, that he 
appeared like a sun amongst so many stars." Lives of the Saints, vol. ii, 
p. 507. 



195 

anniversary for the exhibition about to be described. Anciently 
on the 6th of December the choir boys in cathedral churches (*) 
chose one of their number to maintain the state and authority of a 
bishop, for which purpose he was habited in rich episcopal robes, 
wore a mitre on his head, and bore a crosier in his hand ; his fel- 
lows for the time being assuming the character and dress of priests, 
yielding him canonical obedience, taking possession of the church, 
and except mass, performing all the ceremonies and offices. 
Though the Boy Bishop's election was on the 6th of December, 
yet his office and authority lasted till the 28th, being Innocents 
day. ( >2 ) From a printed church book containing the service of the 
Boy Bishop set to music, ( 3 ) we learn that on the eve of Innocents 
day, the Boy Bishop and his youthful clergy, in their copes, and 
with burning tapers in their hands, went in solemn procession, 
chanting and singing versicles as they walked into the choir by the 
west door, in such order that the dean and canons went foremost, 
the chaplains next, and the Boy Bishop with his priests in the last 
and highest place. He then took his seat, and the rest of the chil- 
dren disposed themselves upon each side of the choir upon the up- 
permost ascent, the canons resident bearing the incense and the 
book, and the petit-canons the tapers according to the rubrick, 



(*) Brand, vol. i. p. 330. 

( 2 ) Innocents day being an anmial commemoration of Herod's murder 
of the children, " it hath been a custom, and yet is elsewhere, to whip 
np the children upon Innocents day morning, that the memorie of this 
murther might stick the closer ; and, in a moderate proportion, to act. 
over the cruelty again in kind." This custom is cited from Gregorie, by 
Brand, who omits to mention another which Gregorie states on the 
authority of an old ritual belonging to the. Abbey of Oseney, communi- 
cated to him by his friend Dr. Gerard Langbain, the provost of Queen's 
College, from which it appears that at the Church of Oseney, "they 
were wont to bring out upon this day the foot of a child prepared after 
their fashion, and put upon with red and black colours, as to signify the 
dismal part of that day. They put this up in a chest in the vestry, 
ready to be produced at the time, and to be solemnly carried about the 
church to be adored by the people." Gregorie' s Works, 1684, 4to, 
(Episcopus Puerorumin Die Innocentium) p. 113. 

( 3 ) Processionale ad usum insignis et preclare Ecclesie Sarum, Rotho- 
1566, 4to. 



196 

Afterwards, lie proceeded to the altar of the Holy Trinity, and All 
saints, which he first censed, and next the image of the Holy Tri- 
nity, his priests all the while singing. Then they all chanted a 
service with prayers and responses, and, in the like manner taking his 
seat, the Boy Bishop repeated salutations, prayers, and versicles, and 
in conclusion gave his benediction to the people, the chorus answer- 
ing, Deo gratias. After he received his crosier from the cross-bearer 
other ceremonies were performed, and he chanted the complyn ; 
turning toAvards the quire he delivered an exhortation ; and last of 
all said, "Benedicat Vos omnipotens Deus, Pater, et Filius, et 
spiritus Sanetus." By the statute of Sarum no one was to in- 
terrupt or press upon the children during their procession or ser- 
vice in the cathedral, upon pain of anathema. It appears that 
the Boy Bishop at this cathedral held a kind of visitation, and 
maintained a corresponding state and prerogative ; and he is sup- 
posed to have had power to dispose of prebends that fell vacant 
during his episcopacy. If he died within the month he was 
buried like other bishops in his episcopal ornaments, his obse- 
quies were solemnized with great pomp, and a monument was 
erected to his memory, with his episcopal effigy. 

About a hundred and fifty years ago, a Boy Bishop's monument 
in stone was discovered in Salisbury cathedral under the seats 
near the pulpit, from whence it was removed to the north part of 
the nave, between the pillars, and covered over with a box of 
wood, to the great admiration of those who unacquainted with 
the anomalous character it designed to commemorate, thought it 
" almost impossible that a bishop should be so small in person, 
or a child so great in clothes/' Gregorie, who was a prebendary 
of Salisbury, relates the finding of this monument, and inserts a 
representation of it in his treatise from which the sketch on the 
ensuing page is a 



(*) Brand, (vol. L p. 332.) says that " Gregory in his account of 
the Episcopus Puerorum, thought he had made a great discovery, 
and confined it to Salisbury." This is an incorrect representation, 
which I notice the rather as Brand is usxially accurate, and because 
Gregorie had before been contemptuously spoken of by Bentley, 



197 




The ceremony of the Boy Bishop is supposed to have existed 
not only in collegiate churches, but in almost every parish. He 

in his answer to Collins, as " one Gregory. " There is no affec- 
tation of a " great discovery " in Gregorie's narrative ; and so far from 
his supposing that the Boy Bishop was 4< confined to Salisbury," he 
adduces instances to the contrary. It is true that at first he did not 
know the occasion of the monument there, and that the bishop of the 
diocese (Montague) wishing him to inquire further, he found in the 
statutes the title concerning the chorister-bishop, which directed him to 
the processional : yet he afterwards notices the same custom at York; 
cites Molanus as saying, " that this bishop in some places did reditat 
census, et capones annuo accipere, receive rents, capons, &c., during his 
year, &c.," and that a chorister-bishop in the church of Cambray dis- 
posed of a prebend which fell void during his episcopal assumption to 
his master ; and refers to the denunciation of the Boy Bishop by the 
council of Basil as a well known custom. Dr. Sharpe (Argura. in def. of 
Christianity, 8vo. 1755, p. 156) quotes him as "the learned Mr. John 
Gregory of Oxford." 



198 

and his companion walked about in procession. A statute of tho 
collegiate church of St. Mary Offery, in 1337, restrained one of them 
within the limits of his own parish. On Dec. 7, 1229, the day 
after St. Nicholas's day, the Boy Bishop in the chapel of He ton, 
near Newcastle upon-Tyne, said vespers before Edward I. on his 
way to Scotland, who made a considerable present to him and the 
other boys who sang with him. In the reign of king Edward III. he 
received a present of nineteen shillings and sixpence for singing 
before the king in his private chamber on Innocents day. Dean 
Colet in the statutes of the school founded by him in 1512, at St. 
Paul's, expressly orders that his scholars shall every Childermas 
(Innocents) day, "come to Paulis Churche and hear the Chylde- 
Byshop's sermon : and after be at the hygh masse, and each of them 
offer a penny to the Chylde-Byshop : and with them the maisters 
and surveyors of the scole." By a proclamation of Henry VIII. 
dated July 22, 154-2, the show of the Child-Bishop was abrogated, 
but in the reign of Mary it was revived. One of the flattering songs 
sung before that queen by the Boy Bishop, and printed, was a pa- 
negyric on her devotion, and compared her to Judith, Esther, the 
Queen of Sheba, and the Virgin Mary. The accounts of St. Mary at 
Hill, London, in the 10th Henry VI., and for 1549, and 1550, con- 
tain charges for the Boy Bishops of those years. At this period his 
'estimation seems to have been undiminished ; for on Nov. 13, 1554, 
the Bishop of London issued an order to all the clergy of his diocese 
to have a Boy Bishop in procession; and in the same year he went 
about St. Andrew's, Holborn, and St Nicholas Ola ves, in Bread-street, 
and other parishes. In 1556, the Boy Bishop again went abroad 
singing in the old fashion, and was received by many ignorant but 
well-disposed persons into their houses, and had much good cheer. 

Warton affirms that the practice of electing a Boy Bishop subsisted 
in common grammar-schools; for St. Nicholas as the patron of 
scholars has a double feast at Eton College, where, in the papal 
times, the Scholars (to avoid interfering as it should seem 
with the Boy Bishop of the College on St. Nicholas day) elected 



199 

their Boy Bishop on St. Hugh's day, in the month of November. 
Brand is of opinion that the anniversary montem at Eton, is only 
a corruption of the ceremony of the Boy Bishop and his com- 
panions, who by the edict of Henry VIII. being prevented from 
mimicking any longer their religious superiors, gave a new face 
to their festivity, and began their present play at soldiers, and 
electing a captain. Even within the memory of persons alive when 
Brand wrote, the montem was kept in the winter time a little be- 
fore Christmas, although it is now kept on Whit Tuesday. A 
former provost of the school remembered when the scholars were 
accustomed to cut a passage through the snow from Eton to the 
hill called Salt-hill. After the procession had arrived, the chaplain 
with his clerk used to read prayers, and then, at the conclusion, the 
chaplain kicked the clerk down the hill. ( l ) 

During the period of gloom that succeeded the first ages of 
ecclesiastical power, we have seen the nature of the diversions it 
provided for the people on the continent : and that one of them, 
the ceremony of the Boy Bishop, was practised in the churches 
here. From the same source England derived the precursors 
of its regular drama, the Mysteries. The first trace of theatrical 
representations in this country is recorded by Matthew Paris, who 
wrote about 1240, and relates that Geoffrey, a learned Norman, 
master of the school of the Abbey of D unstable, composed the 
play of St. Catherine, which was acted by his scholars. Geoffrey's 



(*) Brand, Warton, and Gregorie, from whom, with the exceptions 
noted, these particulars are taken, may be consulted for further infor- 
mation concerning the Boy Bishop. Brand has also preserved this 
Extract from the St. James's Chronicle, of Nov. 16 to 18, 1797 : "From 
Zug in Switzerland, it is observed, that the annual procession of the 
Fete of the Bishop and his Scholars, on the fair-day is suppressed by au- 
thority. The bishop it seems was only a scholar habited as such. Going 
through the streets, he was preceded by a chaplain carrying his crosier, 
and followed by a fool in the usual costume, the latter also carrying a 
staff with a bladder filled with pease. Other scholars, dressed like 
canons with a military guard, made up the procession. After going to 
church, it was the Bishop's custom to go and demand money from all 
the booths and stands in the fair. The French, and other traders, it is 
said, had complained of this absurd exaction, and the bishop, it is added, 
means to appeal to the Pope." 



200 

performance took place in the year 1110, and he borrowed copes 
from the sacrist of the neighbouring abbey of St. Albans, to dress 
his characters. ( 1 ) Fitzstephen writing in 1174, says, that "London, 
for its theatrical exhibitions, has religious plays, either the 
representations of miracles wrought by holy confessors, or the 
sufferings of martyrs. "( 2 ) Besides those of Coventry, there are MSS. 
of the Chester Mysteries, ( 3 ) ascribed to Ranulph Higden, compiler 
of the Polychronicon, and a Benedictine monk of that city, where 
they were performed at the expense of the incorporated trades, 
with a thousand days of pardon from the Pope, and forty days of 
pardon from the Bishop of Chester to all who attended the repre- 
sentation, which is supposed to have been first had in the year 
1328. (*) 



(*) "Warton, vol. L Dissert, ii. Geoffrey was afterwards made abbot of 
St. Alban's Priory. 

( 2 ) "Lundonia pro spectaculis, theatralibiis, pro ludis scenicis, ludos 
habet sanctiores, reprsesentationes miraculorum, qua? sancti confessores 
operati sunt, seu reprsesentationes papionum, quibus claruit constantia 
martyrum." Descript. Nobilit. Civit. Lund, in Vita S. Thomce. 

( 3 ) Harl. MSS. 2013, 2124. 

(*)" About tbe eighth century trade was principally carried on by means 
of fairs which lasted several days. Charlemagne established many great 
marts of this sort in France, as did William the Conqueror, and his 
Norman successors in England. The merchants who frequented these fairs 
in numerous caravans or companies, employed every art to draw the people 
together. They were therefore accompanied by jugglers, minstrels, and 
buffoons ; who were no less interested in giving their attendance, and 
exerting all their skill on these occasions. As now but few large towns 
existed, no public spectacles or popular amusements were established ; 
and as the sedentary pleasures of domestic life and private society were 
yet unknown, the fair-time was the season for diversion. In proportion 
as these shows were attended and encouraged, they began to be set off 
with new decorations and improvements : and the arts of buffoonery being 
rendered still more attractive, by extending their circle of exhibition, 
acquired an importance in the eyes of the people. By degrees the clergy 
observing that the entertainments of dancing, music, and mimicry, exhibi- 
ted at the protracted annual fairs made the people less religious, by promot- 
ing idleness and a love of festivity, proscribed these sports and excom- 
municated the performers. But finding that no regard was paid to their 
censures they changed their plan, and determined to take these recreations 
into their own hands. They turned actors, and instead of profane mum- 



It is related in the Museum MS. of these Chester plays, 
that the author 'was thrice at Rome before he could obtain 
leave of the Pope to have them in the English tongue j 1 from 
which fact, Warton thinks, ' a presumptive proof arises that all our 
mysteries before that period were in Latin ; these plays will there- 
fore have the merit of being the first English interludes.' 2 After 
the well known fondness of our ancestors for shows, it is too 
much, perhaps, to say, that on their church festivals and occasions 
of public rejoicing, they had no interludes in English ; seeing too 
that one hundred and fifty years before, Fitzstephen expressly de- 
clares that our theatrical representations in London were of a re- 
ligious character. These must have been in English to have been 
understood; and so must the miracle play of St. Catherine, in 
1110, if, as probably was the case, it was publicly performed on 
some feast-day. Though Warton does not allude, probably, to 
such early times, when he says, that ' during the celebration of the 
festival of the Boy Bishop moralities were presented, and shows 
of miracles, with farces, and other sports ; ' 3 yet, as the festival of 
the Boy Bishop was in England under Edward I.,* and doubtless 
from its high antiquity on the continent, long antecedent to that 
reign, it is reasonable to suppose that English interludes of some 
kind, if not coeval with the Boy Bishop, were at least contem- 
poraneous with him for a long time before Edward I. 

What could occasion the author of the Chester plays to take a 
journey thrice to Rome, before he could obtain leave of the Pope 
to have them in the English tongue? The subjects of these 
plays ' from the Old and Jfew Testament,' seem to me to supply 
the reason for the difficulty in obtaining the Pope's consent. 
Scripture in English had been scrupulously withheld from the peo- 
ple, and the Pope probably anticipated that if they were made ac- 
quainted with a portion of it, the remainder would be demanded ; 

presented stories taken from legends or the bible. This was the origin 
of sacred comedy. Warton, voL ii. p. 367. 

1 MS. 2124. Warton, vol. ii. p. 180. 

* Ibid. vol. i. p. 248. * Page 198, ante. 

27 



202 

while the author of the plays, better acquainted than the Pope 
with the more immediate difficulty of altogether repressing the 
curiosity that had been excited towards it, conceived perhaps, that 
the growing desire might be delayed by distorted and confusing 
representations of certain portions. 1 "What for instance can be 
more ridiculous than the anachronisms and tone of the following 
extract from the play of the Flood, which represents Noah's wife 
positively refusing to enter the ark : 

Noe. 
Good wife, doe now, as I thee bidd. 

Noe's Wife. 

By Christ not I, ere I see more need, 
Though thou stande all day and stare. 

Noe. 

Lorde ! that Women ben crabed be, 
And not are meeke, I dare well saye ; 
That is well seene by me, to day, 

In witness of ye eichone : 
Good wife, let all this be beare, 
That thou makest in this place here, 
For all they wene thou art master, . 

And soe thou arte, by Saint John. 



1 It was the prevailing opinion that even the Latin Bibles should not 
be common or allowed in every one's hands. Accordingly our poet 
Chaucer represents the religious as gathering them up and putting them 
in their libraries, and so imprisoning them from secular priests and 
curates, and therefore hindering them from preaching the gospel to the 
people. When therefore Archbishop Fitz Kalph, 1357, sent three or 
four of the secular priests of his diocese of Armagh into England, to 
study divinity in Oxford, they were forced very soon to return, because 
they could not find there a bible to be sold. And indeed, had the copies 
of the bible been more frequent than they were, it is no wonder they 
were made so little use of, if what the writers of these times, D. Wiclif, 
Archdeacon Clemangis, Beleth, and others, say, be true, that the clergy 
were generally so ignorant as not to be able to read Latin or con their 
Psalter, Lewies Hist, of Eng. Transl. p. 53. 



203 

Such corruptions and absurdities, seconded by the eloquence of 
their author, might abate the papal fears concerning the appear- 
ance of these scriptural interludes in English, and finally obtain the 
sanction for their performance. 

It may be supposed that the Chester Plays, written in an 
early and dark age, would contain a great mass o apocryphal in 
terpolation, and that the Coventry Plays, written much later, 
would contain less; yet the contrary is the fact. Among the 
Chester Mysteries the Descent into Hell is the only one not 
founded on Scripture, and that even has a colourable authority by 
implication ; while among the Coventry Mysteries, which were 
produced ninety years afterwards, we see that there are, besides 
the Descent, no less than eight founded on Apocryphal New 
Testament story. This remarkable difference of feature, may, I 
think, be accounted for. From the fourth century, when Gre- 
gory Nazianzen and the Apollonarii turned portions of the 
Bible into tragedies and comedies, the clergy of the continent 
must have done much in the same way, and with much of apocry- 
phal engraftment; and though 'religious plays' prevailed in England, 
yet Scriptural subjects were new to the people, and the Chester 
Mystery-maker of 1328, found these so numerous as to render re- 
course to the New Testament Apocrypha unnecessary. But the 
Coventry/ Mystery-maker of 1416, was under circumstances that 
would suggest powerful motives to the cunning of a monkish 
mind for apocryphal adoption. He was likely to conceive that a 
false glare might obscure the dawnings of the human mind. The 
rising day of the Eeformation had been foretold by the ap- 
pearance of its ' morning star,' in the person of the intrepid Wy- 
cliffe, who exercised the right of private judgment in England, 
a century and a half before Luther taught it as a principle in 
Germany. It was a period of fearful foreboding to the church. 
In 1404, Henry IV. held a parliament at Coventry, which, 
from its desire to compel the clergy to contribute largely to the 
exigencies of the state, was called the Laymen's Parliament. The 
country was in imminent danger ; an abundant supply of money 



204 

~was immediately necessary ; the church property and income were 
enormous ; the parliament knew that this profusion of ecclesias- 
tical wealth could only have been acquired from the industiy of 
the laity ; and they represented that the clergy had been of little 
service to the king, while the laity had served in his wars with 
their persons, and by contributions for the same purpose had im- 
poverished their estates. The Archbishop of Canterbury said 
that if the clergy did not fight in person their tenants fought for 
them ; that their contributions had been in proportion to their 
property ; and that the church had offered prayers and masses day 
and night for God's blessing on the king and the army. The 
speaker, Sir John Cheyne, answered that the prayers of the 
church were a very slender supply. To this the archbishop re- 
plied, that it might easily be seen what would become of the 
kingdom when such devout addresses were so slighted. The per- 
sistence of the archbishop saved the church at that time from 
the impending storm ; but the priests saw that their exactions and 
their worship were only tolerated. Wycliffe had then been 
dead about twenty years. After a life wonderfully preserved from 
the unsparing cruelty of ecclesiastical power, by the protection of 
Edward III., his memory was affectionately revered, and, as print- 
ing had not been discovered, his writings were scarce and earnestly 
sought. The good seed of dissent had germinated, and the appear- 
ance of dissenters at intervals, was a specimen of the harvest that 
had not yet come. Nothing more fearfully alarmed the establish- 
ment than Wycliff 's translation of the New Testament into Eng- 
lish. 1 All arts were used to suppress it, and to enliven the slum- 
bering attachment of the people to the ' good old customs ' of the 



1 Because writing was dear and expensive, and copies therefore of the 
whole New Testament not easy to be purchased by the generality of 
persons, Dr. Wiclif s portions of it were often written in small volumes. 
Of these we often find mention made in the Bishops' registers as prohi- 
bited books, for having and reading which, people were then detected 
and prosecuted, and burnt to death, with these little books hanged 
about their necks.' Lewies Hist, of Eng. Trans, p. 39. 



205 

elmrch. There is abundant evidence of studious endeavours to 
both these ends in the Coventry Mysteries. The priests industri- 
ously reported that Wycliffe's Testament was a false one : that he 
had distorted the language and concealed facts. There was no 
printing-press to multiply copies of his book ; biblical criticism was 
scarcely known but by being denounced ; the ecclesiastics anathe- 
matized scriptural inquiry as damnable heresy from their confes- 
sionals and pulpits ; and as ' the churches served as theatres for 
holy farces,' 1 the Franciscan friars of Coventry shortly after the 
meeting of the Laymen's Parliament in. that city, craftily engrafting 
stories from the pseudo-gospels upon narratives in the New Testa- 
ment, composed and performed the plays called the Coventry 
Mysteries. These fraudful productions were calculated to post- 
pone the period of illumination, and to stigmatize, by implication, 
the labours of Wycliffe. Yet, if the simulation succeeded for awhile 
with the vulgar, it reinvigorated the honest and the persevering; 
and as the sun breaks forth after a season of cold and darkness, 
so truth, finally emerging from the gulf of the papal hierarchy, 
animated the torpid intellect, and cheered ' the long - abused 
sight.' 2 

But to return. Warton says, that in very early times, while 
no settled or public theatre was known, and itinerant minstrels 
acted in the ( halls of the nobility at Christmas, plays were per- 
formed by the boys at the public schools, and have continued 
to be so to the present time, of which the practice of acting 
Latin plays at Westminster, Eton, and other seminaries, are ex- 
amples. In 1538, Ralph Radcliffe, a scholar and a lover of 
graceful erudition, wrote plays in Latin and English, which were 
exhibited by his pupils. Among his comedies were Dives and 
Lazarus, the delivering of Susannah, Job's sufferings, the burning 
of John Huss, Patient Grizzle, &c. The ancient consuetudi- 
nary, as it is called of Eton school, containing all its old and 
original customs, relates that about the 30th of November the 
master was accustomed to choose such Latin stage plays as 

1 Warton, vol. ii. p. 367. 2 Warton, vol. ii. p. 389. 



206 

were most excellent and convenient to be played in the following 
Christmas holidays before a public audience. While the people 
were amused with Skelton's Trial of Simony, Bale's God's Pro- 
mises, and Christ's Descent into Hell, the scholars of the times 
were composing and acting dramas on historical subjects ; and 
though Warton supposes it probable that on this ground we may 
account for plays being acted by singing boys, yet he thinks that 
they perhaps acquired a turn for theatrical representations from their 
annual exhibition of the ceremonies of the Boy Bishop, which seem 
to have been common in almost every religious community that 
was capable of supporting a choir. The scholars of St. Paul's 
school in London, were, till a comparative late period, in great 
celebrity for their theatrical talent, which it appears was in full 
exercise upon the Mysteries so early as the reign of Richard II. ; 
for in that year, 1378, they presented a petition to his majesty, 
praying him ' to prohibit some unexpert people from presenting 
the history of the Old and New Testament to the great prejudice 
of the said clergy, who have been at great expense in order to 
represent it publicly at Christmas. 1 

'But the more eminent performers of mysteries in London, were 
the society of Parish Clerks. On the 18th, 19th, and 20th of 
July, 1390, they played interludes at the Skinner's Well, as the 
usual place of their performance, before king Eichard II., his 
queen, and their court : and at the same place, in 1490, they 
played the Creation of the World, and subjects of the like kind, 
for eight successive days, to splendid audiences of the nobility 
and gentry from all parts of England. The parish-clerks' an- 
cient performances are memorialized in raised letters of iron, upon 
a pump on the east side of Rag Street, now called Ray Street, 



1 Dodsley's Old Plays, vol. i, Pref. p. xii. From Mysteries the boys 
of St. Paul's school proceeded to the more regular dramas ; and at the 
commencement of a theatre, were the best and almost the only come- 
dians. They became at length so favourite a set of players as often to 
act at court, and on particular occasions of festivity, were frequently 
removed from London for this purpose only, to the royal houses at some 
distance from town. Warton, vol. ii. p. 391. 



beyond the Session-house, Clerkenwell. The inscription is as 
follows : 

'A. D. 1800. WILLIAM BOUND, JOSEPH BIRD, Church- 
wardens. For the better accommodation of the Neighbour- 
hood, this pump was removed to the spot where it now stands. 

The spring, by which it is supplied is situated four feet eastward ; 
and round it, as history informs us, the Parish Clerks of 
London, in remote Ages, commonly performed sacred plays. 
That custom caused it to be denominated Clerk's-well, and 
from which this parish derived its name. 

The water was greatly esteemed by the Prior and Brethren of the 
order of St. John of Jerusalem, and the Benedictine Nuns in 
the neighbourhood. 

The pump of the Skinner's well is let into a low dead wall. 
On the north side is an earthenware shop j and on the south a 
humble tenement occupied by a bird-seller, whose cages with 
their chirping tenants, hang over and around the inscription. The 
passing, admirers of linnets and redpoles, now and then stops 
awhile to listen to the melody, and refresh his eye with a few 
green clover turfs, that stand on a low table for sale by the side 
of the door ; while the monument denoting the histrionic fame of 
the place, and alluding to miraculous powers of the water for 
healing incurable diseases, which formerly attracted multitudes to 
the spot, remains unobserved beneath its living attractions. The 
present simplicity of the scene powerfully contrasts with the re- 
collection of its former splendour. The choral chant of the 
Benedictine nuns accompanying the peal of the deep-toned organ 
through their cloisteis, and the frankincense curling its perfume 
from priestly censors at the altar, are succeeded by the stunning 
sounds of numerous quickly plied hammers, and the smith's bel- 
lows flashing the fires of Mr. Bound's iron foundry, erected upon 
the unrecognised site of the convent. This religious house stood 
about half-way down the declivity of the hill, which commencing 
near the church on Clerkenwell Green, terminates at the river 



208 

Fleet. The prospect then, was uninterrupted by houses, and the 
people upon the rising grounds could have had an uninterrupted 
view of the performances at the well. About pistol-shot from 
thence, on the N". N. E. part of the hill, there was a Bear-Gar- 
den ; and scarcely so far from the well, at the bottom of the hill 
westward, and a little to the north, in the hollow of Air Street, 
lies Hockley in the Hole, where different rude sports, which 
probably arose from the discontinuance of the Parish Clerks' 
acting, were carried on, within the recollection of persons still 
living, to the great annoyance of the suburb. 1 



1 To the ecclesiastical origin of the drama we must refer to the plays 
acted by the society of the Parish-clerks of London. It was an essential 
part of their profession not only to sing but to read ; an accomplishment 
almost solely confined to the clergy : and on the whole they seemed to 
come under the denomination of a religious fraternity. They were 
incorporated into a guild or fellowship, by King Henry III. about 1240, 
under the patronage of St. Nicholas. It was anciently customary for 
men and women of the first quality, ecclesiastics, and others who were 
lovers of church music, to be admitted into this corporation, and they 
gave large gratuities for the support of education of many persons in the 
practice of that science. Their public feasts were frequent, and cele- 
brated with singing and music ; most commonly at Guildhall chapel or 
college. (Stowe's Survey, Lond. ut supra, lib. v. p. 231.) Before the 
reformation this society was constantly hired to assist as a choir at the 
magnificent funerals of the nobility or other distinguished personages, 
which were celebrated within the city of London or its neighbourhood. 
The splendid ceremonies of their annual procession and mass in the year 
1551, are thus related by Strype from an old chronicle: " May the sixth 
was a goodly evensong at Guildhall college, by the masters of the clarks 
and their fellowship, with singing and playing, and the morrow after 
was a great mass, at the same place, and by the same fraternity ; when 
jvery clark offered an halfpenny. The mass was sung by divers of the 
Queen's (Mary) chapel, and children. And after mass done every clark 
went their procession, two and two together ; each having on a surplice 
and a rich cope, and a garland. And then fourscore standards, 
streamers, and banners ; and each one that bore them had an alb 
or a surplice. Then came in order the waits playing ; and then thirty 
clarkes sing festa dies. There were four of these choirs. Then came 
a canopy, borne over the sacrament by four of the masters of the clarkes, 
with staft'e, torches burning, &c." (Strype'a Eccles. Mem. vol. iii. c. xiii. 
p. 121.) Their profession, employment, and character, naturally dictated 



209: 

The religious guild, or fraternity of Corpus Cliristi at York' 
was obliged annually to perform a Corpus Christi Play. Drake 
says, that this ceremony must have been, in its time one of the most 
extraordinary entertainments the city could exhibit; and would 
necessarily draw a great concourse of people out of the country 
to see it. Every trade in the city, from the highest to the lowest, 



to this spiritual brotherhood the representation of plays, especially those 
of the scriptural kind : and their constant practice in shows, processions, 
and vocal music, easily accounts for their address in detaining the last 
company which England afforded in the fourteenth century at a religious 
farce for more than a week." Warton, vol. ii. p. 397. 

I can find no registries of the parish of Clerkenwell early enough to 
supply any trace respecting the playing of the Parish Clerks. From 
the poor's rate-books I took a few extracts, which, as shewing the 
number of houses rated, and the quality of some of the ancient inhabi- 
tants, may be interesting, perhaps, to certain readers. In the oldest, for 
the year 1666, the only places mentioned, and the number of houses 
assessed in each place are as follows : Islington 47. St. John Street, 
(or Swan Alley) 43. St. John's Lane, 41. Garden Alley, 23. St. 
John's, 17. Clerkenwell Greene, 47. Turnmill Street, 112. Bowleirg 
Alley, 15. Street-side, 4. Clerkenwell Cloase, 43. The Fields, 8. 
Out-landlords, 18 Total, 418. The assessments were by lunar months. 
In this rate-book, there are the following names among the inhabitants ; 
the sums to each are their monthly assessments. The Earle of Carlisle, 
8s. The Earle of Essex, 8*. The Earle of Ailesbury, what he pleaseth 
according to his desire (10s.) The Lord Barkely, 7s. The Lord Town- 
send, at his honour's pleasure. Lady Crofts, 3*. 6d. The Lord Delia- 
war, 2s. Gd. Lady Wordham, 2s. Sir John Keeleing, referred to his 
honour's pleasure. Sir John Cropley, 6*. Sir Edward Bannister, 3*. 6d. 
Sir Nicholas Stroude, 2s. Sir Gower Barrington, 2*. Dr. King, 
2s. 6d. Dr. Sloane, 8d. In the rate-books for 1667 and 8, are the 
following additional names : The Duke of Newcastle (not assessed) 
Lord Baltimore, 4s. 6d. Lady Wright, 4*. Lady Mary Dormer, 4s 
Lady Wyndham, 2*. Sir Erasmus Smith, 4*. Sir Eichard Clivertoir 
4*. Sir John Burdish, 3*. 8d. Sir Goddard Nelthorpe, 3*. Sir John 
King, 3*. Sir William Bowles, 2*. 6d. Sir William Boulton, 2*. 6rf. 
The Mannour house in " the Fields " was assessed at 6d. There were 
several bowling-greens in Clerkenwell. The monthly assessment of 
'' Mr. Briscoe, at the Ram, in Smithfield, for a felled and bowling-alley 
in this parish," was 1*. 6d. 

In 1708, when Hatton wrote his "View of London," Clerkenwell 
contained 1146 houses. In the present year, 1822, the parish-books 

28 



210 

was obliged to furnish out a pageant at its own expense on this 
occasion. The subjects were from the history of the Old and 
New Testament, and each trade represented some particular part, 
and spoke suitable verses. Many orders and ordinances, existing 
in the city's registers, regulate the performance of this religious 
ceremony. One of these recites, that Whereas for a long course 
of time the artificers and tradesmen of the city of York, have 
at their own expense, acted plays; and particularly a certain 
sumptuous play, exhibited in several pageants, wherein the history 
of the Old and New Testament, in divers places of the said city in 
the feast of Corporis Christi, by a solemn procession, is represented 
in reverence to the sacrament of the body of Christ; beginning first 
at the great gates of the priory of the holy Trinity in York, and so 
going in procession to, and into the cathedral church of the same, 
and afterwards to the hospital of St. Leonard, in York, leaving the 
aforesaid sacrament in that place ; preceded by a vast number of 
lighted torches, and a great multitude of priests in their proper 
habits and followed by the mayor and citizens, with a prodigious 
crowd of the populace attending : And further reciting that 
whereas, upon this, a certain very religious father, William Mel- 
ton, of the order of the Friars Minors, professor of Holy Page- 
antry, and a most famous preacher of the word of God, coming 
to the city, in several sermons recommended the aforesaid play to 
the people, affirming that it was good in itself, and very commend- 
able so to do ; yet also said, that the citizens of the said city, and 
other foreigners coming to the said feast, had greatly disgraced the 



rate about 6000. Hatton says, that Isabella Sackville, the last prioress 
of Clerkenwell, died 21st October, 1570, and was buried in the old church, 
destroyed by lire about 30 years ago, with her effigies in brass on a grave- 
stone. Also, beneath a curious tomb, Sir William Weston, the last lord 
Prior of St. John of Jerusalem, who, upon its dissolution, was allowed 
1,0001. per ann. for life, but died, it was supposed of grief, on May the 
7th, 1540, the very day the house was dissolved. John Weever. the 
antiquary, author of the Funeral Monuments, was likewise buried there, 
with a monument and inscription, declaring that, 

wberesoe'er a ruin'd tornb he found 

His pen hath built it new out of the ground. 



211 

play by revellings, drunkenness, shouts, songs, and other inso^ 
lences, little regarding the divine offices of the said day, and what 
Avas to be lamented, losing for that reason the indulgences by the 
holy father Pope Urban IV. graciously conceded : Therefore, (as 
it seemed most wholesome to the said father William) the people 
of the city were inclined that the play should be played on one 
day, and the procession on another, so that people might attend 
divine service at the churches on the said feast, for the indulgences 
aforesaid : Wherefore, Peter Buckey, mayor of the city, Eichard 
Eussell, late mayor of the staple of York, with the sheriffs, alder- 
men, and others, of the number of the twenty-four, being met 
in the council chamber on the 6th of June, 1426, and by the 
said wholesome exhortations and admonitions of the said father 
William, being incited that it is no crime, nor can it offend God 
if good be converted into better; and having diligently considered 
of the premises, unanimously determined to convene the citizens 
together in common-hall, for the purpose of having their consent 
that the premises should be better reformed; whereupon the 
mayor so convened the citizens on the 10th of the same month 
and made solemn proclamation that the play of Corpus Christi 
shoxdd be played every year on the vigil of the said feast, and the 
procession made on the day of the feast." A solemn procla- 
mation for the play of Corpus Christi, made on the aforesaid 
vigil, commands on behalf of the king, the mayor, and the sheriffs 
of the city, that no man go armed to the disturbance of the peace 
and the play, and the hindering of the procession, but that they 
leave their weapons at their inns, upon pain of forfeiture of their 
weapons, and imprisonment of their bodies, save the keepers of 
the pageants and officers of the peace ; that the players in the 
pageants play at the places assigned, and no where else, on pain 
of forty shillings ; that men of the crafts, and all others that find 
torches, come forth in array as in manner aforetime; that the 
craftsmen bring forth their pageants in order and course, by good 
players well arrayed, and openly speaking, upon pain of one hun- 
dred shillings, to be paid to the chamber without pardon ; and that 
every player be ready in his pageant at convenient time, that is to 



212 

say, at the (first) betwixt four and five of the clock in the morning, 
and then all other pageants following, each after the other in order, 
without delay, upon pain of six shillings and eight pence. William 
Bowes, mayor, by regulation, dated the 7th of June, 1417, or- 
dains, that all the pageants of the play of Corpus Christi should 
be brought forth in order by the artificers of the city of York, and 
begin to play first at the gates of the priory of the holy Trinity 
in Mikelgate, next at the door of Eobert Harpham, next at the 
door of the late John Gyseburn, next at Skelder-gate-liend and 
North-strete-liend, next at the end of Conyng-strete towards Cas- 
tel-gate, next at the end of Jubir-gate, next at the door of Henry 
"Wyrnan, deceased, in Conyng-strete, then at the Common-hall 
at the end of Conyng-strete, then at the door of Adam del Brigs, 
deceased, in Stayne-gate, then at the end of Stayne-gate at the 
Minster-gates, then at the end of Girdler-gate in Peter-gate, 
and lastly, upon the Pavement, &c. And father William de 
Melton, willing to destroy sin, and a great lover of virtue, having, 
oy preaching, exhorted the populace that they would cause to be 
removed all public concubines in fornication or adultery, where- 
fore the mayor, by consent of the community, ordained that they 
should depart the city within eight days, on pain of imprisonment, 
unless any of them should find good security that she would not 
exercise her illegal vocation for the future. 

It appears from the regulation of the pageants for this play at 
York, in the mayoralty of William Alne, in 1415, compiled by 
Roger Burton, the town-clerk, that they were fifty-four in number. 
They commenced with " God the Father Almighty, creating and 
forming the heavens, angels, archangels, Lucifer, and the angels 
that fell with him into hell;" the tanners performed this : the next 
being " God the Father in his own substance, creating the earth, 
and all which is therein, in the space of five days," was represented 
by the plasterers ; the third " God the Father creating Adam of 
the slime of the earth, and making Ece of the rib, and inspiring 
them with the spirit of life," was played by the card-makers ; 
the fifty-fourth, "J:sns, Mary, twelve apostles, four angels with 
trumpets, and four with a lance with two scourges, four good, and 



213 

four bad spirits, and six devils," was performed by the mercers. 
The to\vn-clerk's entry mentions the torches and torch-bearers in 
the procession : " Porters, eight torches ; cobblers, four torches ; 
cordwainers, fourteen torches ; cottellers, two torches ; weavers, 
torches ; carpenters, six torches ; chaloners, four torches ; fullers, 
four torches ; girdellers, torches ; taillers, torches ; fifty-eight 
citizens had torches alike on the day of Corpus Christi ; and it 
was ordained that the porters and cobblers should go first ; then 
of the right the weavers and cordwainers ; on the left the fullers, 
cutlers, girdellers, chaloners, carpenters, and taillours : then the 
better sort of citizens ; and after, the twenty-four (common council- 
men), the twelve (aldermen), the mayor, and four torches of Mr. 
Thomas Buckton." 

The fraternity of Corpus Christi at York was very popular. 
Several hundreds of persons were annually admitted, and it was 
supported chiefly by the annual collection made at the procession. 
The religious ceremony of the Corpus Christi play and procession 
was instituted there about the year 1250 ; it was to be celebrated 
each year on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday ; and this play, as 
a piece of religious pageantry, was so much esteemed that it Avas 
acted in that city till the twenty-sixth year of Queen Elizabeth, 
1584. (*) The mode of performing the Mysteries at York is thus 
minutely particularized, in order to convey some notion of the 
general method of representing them in other cities : there is little 
doubt that the corporations strove to outvie each other in the elabo- 
ration and splendor of their exhibitions. 

Corpus Christi day, at Newcastle upon Tyne, was celebrated 
with similar exhibitions by the incorporated trades. The earliest 
mention of the performance of mysteries there, is in the ordinary 
of the coopers for 1426. In 1437, the barbers played the Bap- 
tizing of Christ. In 1568, the offering of Abraham and Isaac was 
exhibited by the slaters. By the ordinary of the goldsmiths, 
plumbers, glaziers, pewterers, and painters, dated 1536, they were 

( l ) Drake's York, pp. 223, 246. App. p. xxix. The town-clerk's order 
for the pageants of the play is set out at length in the Appendix. 



214 

commanded to play at their feast " the three kings of Coleyn." In 
the books of the fullers and dyers, one of the charges for the play 
of 1561, is, "Item for 3 yards and a d . lyn cloth for God's coat, 
3s 2d. ob." From the ordinary of different trades it seems that 
about 1578, the Corpus Christi plays were on the decline, and 
never acted but by special command of the magistrates of New- 
castle. They are spoken of as the general plays of the town of 
Newcastle, and when thought necessary by the mayor to be set 
forth and played, the millers were to perform the Deliverance of 
Israel ; the house-carpenters, the Burial of Christ ; the masons, 
the Burial of our lady Saint Mary the Virgin. Between the first 
and last mentioned periods, there are many minutes in the trades' 
books of the acting in different years, which may be seen in 
Brand's History of Newcastle, together with the only vestige 
that remains of the Newcastle's Mysteries, entitled, " Noah's Ark, 
or the shipwright's ancient play, or dirge," wherein God, an 
Angel, Noah and his wife, and the Devil, are the characters. In 
this, as well as the Chester Mystery of the same subject, the wife 
of Noah is a vixen ; the last words she says to him, are, 
The devil of hell thee speed 
To ship when thou shalt go. 

The performance of miracle plays is noticed in the ancient 
piece written against the mendicant friars, entitled, Peres the 
Ploughman's Crede 

We haunten no taurnes, ne hobelen abouten 

At marketes, and miracles we medely vs neuer. (*) 
Chaucer, also, in the "Wife of Bath's Prologue, makes her say 

Therefore made I my Visitations 

To Vigilis and to Processions, 

To prechings eke, and to Pilgrimagis, 

To plays of Miracles and Manages, 

And werid on me my gay skarlit gites, &c. ( 2 ) 
Lydgate, the monk of Bury, and the follower of Chaucer, as 
his disciple at an immeasurable distance, composed " a procession 
of pageants from the creation." ( 3 ) 

( l ) Ed. 1553. Sig. Biij. ( 2 ) Chaucer, Urry's Ed. p. 80, 1. 555-9. 

( 3 ) Kitson's Bibliog. Poetica, p. 79. 



215 

In the reign of Henry VII. 1487, that king, in his castle of 
Winchester, was entertained on a Sunday while at dinner with 
the performance of Christ's Descent into Hell, by the choir boys 
of Hyde Abbey and St. S within' s Priory, two large monasteries 
there ;( 1 ) and in the same reign, 1489, there were shows and cere- 
monies, and (religious) plays, exhibited in the palace at West- 
minster. ( 2 ) 

On the feast of St. Margaret, in 1511, the Miracle play of the 
holy Martyr St. George, was acted on a stage in an open field at 
Bassingborne, in Cambridgeshire, at which were a minstrel and 
three waits hired from Cambridge, with a property-man, and a 
painter. ( 3 ) 

It appears from the Earl of Northumberland's Household Book 
(1512), that the children of his chapel performed Mysteries during 
the twelve days of Christmas, and at Easter, under the direction of 
his Master of the Revels. Bishop Percy cites several particulars 
of the regulated sums payable to " parsones " and others for these 
performances. The exhibiting Scripture dramas on the great festi- 
vals entered into the regular establishment, and formed part of the 
domestic regulations of our ancient nobility ; and what is more 
remarkable, it was as much the business of the chaplain in those 
days to compose plays for the family, as it is now for him to make 
sermons. (*) 

At London, in the year 1556, the Passion of Christ was per- 
formed at the Grey Friars before the Lord Mayor, the privy- 
council, and many great estates of the realm. In 1577, the 
same play was performed at the same place, on the day that 
war was proclaimed in London against France; and in that 
year, the holiday of St. Olave, the patron of the church in Sil- 
ver Street dedicated to that saint, being celebrated with great 
solemnity, at eight o'clock at night, a play of the miraculous life 
of St. Olave, was performed for four hours, and concluded with 
many religious plays. The acting of religious plays experienced 

O Warton, vol. ii. p. 206. 

(*) Ibid. p. 239. ( 3 ) Antiq. Repert. and Warton, voL iii. p. 326. 

(*) Percy's Reliques, vol. i. p. 139. 



216 

interruption during the reign of Elizabeth, and occasionally at 
other periods. Malone thinks that the last Mystery represented 
in England was that of Christ's Passion, in the reign of king 
James I. Prynne relates that it was performed at Ely House, in 
Holborn, when Gondomar, the Spanish Ambassador, lay there, on 
Good Friday, at night, and that thousands were present. ( l ) 



( J ) Prynne mentions this performance in his Histrio-Mastix, the Player's 
Scourge, or Actor's Tragedy, 4to, 1633, p. 117. . 

For this work Prynne was pilloried and fined on a star-chamber 
prosecution. Some fourteen years afterwards there came out a tract 
entitled " Mr. WILLIAM PRYNNE, his defence of Stage Plays, or a 
RETRACTATION of a former book of his called HISTRIO-MASTIX 1649," 
four leaves 4to. This piece begins with, " Whereas this Tyrannicall 
abominable lewd schismaticall hoeretical Army, are bent in a wilful and 
forcible way to destroy all Lawfull Government ;" it recites the violence 
Prynne endured by arrest, " for no oifence but onely endeavouring to 
discharge my conscience, which is a thing I shall always do, without 
fearing any "man, any arm of flesh, any Potentacie, Prelacy, superin- 
tendency, or power terrestriall or internall :" then it proceeds to say, 
that " now there is another fresh occasion which hath incited my just in- 
dignation against this wicked and Tyrannicall Army ; they did lately in 
a most inhumane, cruell, rough, and barbarous manner take away the 
poor Players from their Houses, being there met to discharge the duty 
of their callings." After inveighing against this proceeding it adds, 
" But now I know what the malicious, ill-spoken, clamorous and obstre- 
perous people will object against me ; namely : That 1 did once write a 
book against Stage-plays called Histrio-Mastix for which I underwent 
a cruel censure in the Starchamber. I confesse it is true, I did once so, 
but it was when I had not so clear a light as now I have; and it is no 
disparagement for any man to alter his judgment upon better informa- 
tion ; besides it was done long ago, and when the king (whose virtues I 
did not then so perfectly understand,) governed without any controul 
which was the time that I took to shew my conscience and courage, 
to oppose that power which was the highest." After more of the same 
kind, it says, "But that Playes are lawfull things, and are to be allowed 
as recreation for honest men, I need not quote many authors to prove 
it ;" and then twelve are quoted ; and it being objected that actors 
personated females, it declares, that " men's putting on of womens* 
apparel is not against the Scripture in a plain and ordinary sence." 
Finally, " I may conclude that good Playes which are not profane, lewd, 
bad, blasphemous, or ungodly, may be acted ; and that this wicked 
and Tyrannical Army ought not to hinder, to impede, let, prohibit, 
or forbid the acting of them ; which I dare maintain to all the world, 
for I was never af rayed to suffer in a good cause." With these words 
the pamphlet ends, but not the story. For after this publication a lar<.e 
posting bill, dated " From the King's Head in the Strand, signed 



217 

In Cornwall they had interludes in the Cornish language from 
scripture history. These were called the Guary Miracle plays, 
and were sometimes performed in the open fields, at the bottom 
of earthen amphitheatres, the people standing around on the in- 
clined plane, which was usually forty or fifty feet diameter. The 
players did not learn their parts, but were followed by a prompter, 
called the ordinary, with the book in his hand. Long after the 
mysteries had ceased elsewhere, and the regular stage been esta- 
blished, they were exhibited in Cornwall to the country people, who 
flocked from all sides to hear and see the devils and devices that 
were provided to delight the eye, as well as the ear. Two MSS. in 
the Bodleian Library contain the Cornish Plays of the Deluge, the 
Passion, and the Resurrection. ( l ) 

According to Strutt, when mysteries were the only plays, the 
stage consisted of three platforms, one above another. On the 
uppermost sat God the Father, surrounded by his angels ; on 
the second the glorified saints, and on the last and lowest, men 
who had not yet passed from this life. On one side of the lowest 
platform was the resemblance of a dark pitchy cavern, from 
whence issued the appearance of fire and flames : and when it was 
necessary, the audience was treated with hideous yellings and noises 
in imitation of the bowlings and cries of wretched souls tormented 
by relentless demons. From this yawning cave the devils them- 
selves constantly ascended to delight and to instruct the spectators. 
The reader will doubtless recollect that theatrical Hell has been 
mentioned before; an old author, whose description of Hell is 



William Prynne," and headed " THE VINDICATION," recites the title of 
the pamphlet, and declares it " to be a mere forgery and imposture. The 
style of the " RETRACTATION," so thoroughly imitates Prynne's that 
nothing in it but the stultification of his general opinions could occasion 
a doubt of its genuineness ; and the imposition might still pass pretty 
current if one of Prynne's bills were not in existence. A copy of this 
fierce denial is in Mr. J. P. Collier's Poetical Decameron, vol. ii. p. 322. 
As Mr. Collier says of the Pseudo-Prynne, that it is a rarity which 
he had never seen", I thought an extract from such a curiosity worth a 
corner. 

(1) Borlase's Antiq. Cornwall, p. 195. Borlase's Nat. Hist. Cornwall, 
p. 295. Carew's Cornwall, p. 71. 

( 2 ) See the account of the mystery of Veximiel, p. 173, ante. 

29 



218 

similar, had probably seen it exhibited on the ecclesiastical 
stage : 

An hideous hole all vaste, withouten shape, 
Of endlesse depth, orewhelm'd with ragged stone, 
With ougly mouth, and griesly iawes doth gape, 
And to our sight confounds itselfe in one. ( l ) 

The Mysteries were usually acted in churches or chapels upon 
temporary scaffolds : when enough performers could not be found 
among the clergy, the churchwardens employed secular players, and 
sometimes borrowed dresses from other parishes. ( 2 ) 

" The Pageant of the Company of Sheremen and Taylors in 
Coventry, as performed by them on the Festival of Corpus CTiristi," 
is a manuscript belonging to the Corporation of Coventry, bearing 
the following inscription : " Thys matter newly correct^ be Eobart 
Croo, the xiiij th day of Marche, fenysschid in the yere of owre lord 
god MCCCCC & xxxiiij th ." A Coventry gentleman, of curious research in 
ancient lore, who was allowed to transcribe it, printed " twelve copies 
for the purpose of bringing it more immediately to the knowledge of 
his antiquarian friends."( 2 ) Its events are from the Annunciation, to 
the murder of the Innocents. Isaiah speaks the Prologue, and 
propesies the incarnation. Joseph's Jealousy being a conspicuous 
scene, a portion is extracted for comparison with the same subject in 
Mystery V. 

JOSEPH, perceiving the Virgin's pregnancy, taxes her with incon- 
stancy, in his absence : and inquires who had been with her. She 
asserts her innocence, and affirms that she had seen no one, but the 
heavenly messenger. 

Josoff.Sey not soo, womon, for schame ley he, 
Ye be with chyld, soo wondurs grett, 
Ye nede no more th'r of to tret 
Agense all right ; . 

Forsothe thys childe, dame, ys not myne, 
Alas ! that eyv' with myn yne, 
1 suld see this syght. 



(*) Mirrour for Magistrates SackviFs Induction. 

( 2 ) Strutt's Sports, p. 144. 

( 3 ) Printed at Coventry, 1817, 22 leaves, 4to. In the summer of 
1819, I was obligingly indulged with the loan of a copy, and permitted 

extracts. 



219 
Tell, me, womon, whose ys this chyld f 

Mare. None but youris, husebond soo myld, 
And thatt schalbe seyne. 

Josoff. But myne, alias ! alas ! why sey ye soo ? 
Wele awey, womon ; now may I goo 
Be gyld, as many a uothur ys. 

Mare. Na, truly sir, ye be not be gylde, 

Nor yet, with spott of syn, I am no defylde ; 
Trust yt well hxise bonde. 

Joseff. Huse bond ! in feythe, and that acold ! 
A weylle awey, Josoff ! as thow ar' olde, 
Lyke a fole, now ma I stand and truse. 
But in feyth, mare, th'u art in syn, 

Soo moche ase I have cheyrischyd the dame and all thei kyn. 
Be hynd my bake to s've me thus. 

All olde men I Insampull take be me, 
How I am be gylid, here may you see, 
To wed soo yong a chyld. 
Now fare well, Mare, I leyve the here alone, 
Worthe the dam and thy warkis ycheone ; 
For I woll noo more be gylid be, for frynd nor fooe. 
Now of this ded I am soo dull, 
And off my lyff I am so full, no farthur ma I goo. 

An Angel, whose explanation removes Joseph's jealousy, desires 
him to comfort Mary, for, 

a cleyne meydin ys sche 

Sche hath conseyved with owt any trayne 
The seycond p'son in trenete. 

The homely adoration of the infant by the Shepherds is prettily 
told. The first Shepherd gives his pipe to him, and says, 

I have nothyng to present with thi chylde 

But my pype ; hold ! hold ! take yt in thy hond, 

Where in moche pleysure that, I have fond. 



The second Shepherd presents his hat 

Holde ! take thow, here, my hatt on thy hedde, 
And now, off won thyng, thow art well sped. 

The third Shepherd offers his gloves to him 

Have here my myttens, to pytt en thi hondis, 
Other treysure have I none to present the with. (*) 

With reference to theatrical performances by the clergy, it is 
affirmed in the Beehive of the Romish Church, that, " Christ hath 
not done anie thing in his death and passion, but they do plaie 
and counterfeite the same after him, so trimlie and livelie, that no 
plaier nor juggler is able to doe it better. Yea, do we not see 

(*) On closing the notice of the Coventry Mysteries, it may be observed, 
that there can be no doubt that Adam and Eve appeared on the stage 
naked. In the second Pageant of the Coventry MS. at the British 
Museum, Eve on being seduced by the serpent, induces Adam to taste 
the forbidden fruit. He immediately perceives their nakedness, and 
says to her, 

Se us nakyd be for & be hynde, 

* * * * 

Woman ley this leff on thi pryvyte 
And with this leff I shall hyde me. 

Warton observes, (vol. i. p. 244.) " That this extraordinary spectacle 
was beheld by a numerous company of both sexes with great com- 
posure : they had the authority of scripture for such a representation, 
and they gave matters just as they found them in third the chapter of 
Genesis." They are also naked in the Chester Mystery, and clothe 
themselves in the same way. 

"The present age rejects as gross and indelicate those free compositions 
which our ancestors not only countenanced but admired. Yet, in fact, the morals 
of our forefathers were as strict and perhaps purer and sounder than 
our own ; and we have been taught to look up to them as genuine models 
of the honest, incorruptible character of Englishmen. They were strangers in- 
deed to delicacy of taste ; they beheld the broad and unpruned delineations of 
nature, and thought no harm : while we, on the most distant approach to free- 
dom of thought and expression, turn away in disgust, and vehemently express 
our displeasure. Human nature is ever the same, but society is always progres- 
sive, and at every stage of refinement the passions require stricter control ; not 
because they are more violent, but because the circumstances which excite 
them are multiplied. If we trace back the progress of society to its primitive 
state, we shall find that the innocence of mankind is in an inverse ratio to their 
advancement in knowledge." Cromek's Remains, p. 70. 



221 

likewise, that uppon good Friday they liatie a Crucifixc, either of 
wood, or of stone, which they laie downe softlie vpon the ground, 
that euerie hodie, may come creeping to it, vpon handes and 
knees, and so kisse the feet of it, as men are accustomed to doe to 
the Pope of Eome : And then they put him in a graue, till 
Easter : at which time they take him uppe againe, and sing Re- 
surrexit, non est hie, Alleluia : He is risen, he is not here, God 
be thanked. Yea, and in some places, they make the graue in a 
hie place in the church where men must goe up manie steppes, 
which are decked with blacke cloth from aboue to beneath, and 
vpon euery steppe standeth a siluer candlesticke with a waxe 
candle burning in it, and there doe walke souldiours in harnesse, 
as bright as Saint George, which keepe the graue, till the priests 
come and take him vp : and then commeth sodenlie a flash of 
fire, wherwith they are all afraid and fall downe : and then 
vpstartes the man, and they begin to sing Alleluia, on all hands, 
and then the clock striketh eleuen. Then a gaine vpon Whit- 
sunday they begin to play a new Enterlude, for then they send downe 
a Doue out of an Owles nest, deuised in the roof of the church; 
but first they cast out rosin and gunpouder, w*. wilde fire, to make 
the children afraid, and that must needes be the holie ghost, which 
commeth with thunder and lightening. Likewise vpon Ascension 
day, they pull Christ vp on hie wt. ropes aboue the clouds, by 
a vice deuised in the roofe of the church, and they hale him vp, as 
if they would pull him vp to the gallowes : and there stande the 
poore Priests, and looke so pitifully after their God, as a dogge 
for his dinner. In summe a man doeth often spende a pennie or 
two to see a play of Robin Hood, or a Morisse daunse, which 
were a greate deale better bestowed vppon these apishe toies of 
these good Priests, which counterfeite all these matters so hand- 
somelie, that it will do a man as much good to see them, as in 
frostie weather to goe naked. I speake not of their perambula- 
tions, processions, and going about the towne, cariing their cru- 
cefixes alongst the streetes, and there play and counterfeite the 
whole passion, so trimlie with all the seuen sorrowes of our Lady, 



222 

as though it had been nothing else but a simple and plain Entcr- 
lude.( l ) 



(') Beehive of the Romish Church, p. 201. 

The quotation from this curious work is illustrated by the following 
notices : 1, Creeping to the Cross. It is related in Davies's Bites of 
the Cathedral of Durham (8vo, 1672, p. 51.) that in that cathedral, over 
our Lady of Bolton's altar, there was a marvellous, lively, and beau- 
tiful image of the picture of our lady, called the Lady of Bolton, which 
picture was made to open with gimmes, (or linked fastenings) from the 
breast downward ; and within the said image was wrought and pic- 
tured the image of our Saviour marvellously finely gilt, holding up his 
hands, and holding betwixt his hands a large fair Crucifix of Christ, all 
of gold ; the which crucifix was to be taken forth every Good Friday, 
and every man did creep unto it that was in the church at that time ; 
and afterwards it was hung up again within the said image ; and every 
principal day the said image was opened, that every man might see 
pictured within her, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, most 
curiously and finely gilt ; and both the sides within her were very finely 
varnished with green varnish and flowers of gold, which was a goodly 
sight for all the beholders thereof. It is further stated, by the same 
author, (p. 21.) that within that Cathedral, upon Good Friday, there 
was marvellous solemn service, in which service time, after the Passion 
was sung, two of the ancient monks took a goodly large crucifix, all of 
gold, of the picture of our Saviour Christ nailed upon the Cross, laying 
it upon a velvet cushion, having St. Cuthbert's arms upon it, all 
embroidered with gold, bringing it betwixt them upon the cushion to the 
lowest greeses or steps in the quire, and there betwixt them did hold the 
said picture of our Saviour, sitting on either side of it. And then one 
of the said monks did rise, and went a pretty space from it, and setting 
himself upon his knees with his shoes put off, very reverently he crept 
upon his knees unto the said cross, and most reverently did kiss it ; and 
after him the other monk did so likewise, and then they sate down 
on either side of the said cross, holding it betwixt them. Afterward, 
the prior came forth of his stall, and did sit him down upon his knees with 
his shoes off in like sort, and did creep also unto the said cross, and all 
the monks after him, one after another in the same manner and order ; 
in the mean time, the whole quire singing a hymn. The service being 
ended, the said two monks carried the cross to the sepulchre with great 
reverence. There are some accounts of creeping to the cross in Brands 
Popular Antiquities, (vol. i. p. 129). He mentions, from an ancient 
Ceremonial of the kings of England, that on Good Friday, the usher 
was to lay a carpet for the king to creep to the cross upon, and that the 
queen and her ladies were also to creep. 

2. Making of the Sepulchre was a practice founded upon ancient 
tradition, that the second coming of Christ would be on Easter-eve, and 
therefore Jerome conceived that the people should await in the churcli 
until midnight for Christ's appearance. The making of the sepulchre 



223 

This citation from the Bee-hive is in part exemplified by a 
translation, printed by Copland, from an ancient novel in Dutch, 



in the church, and watching it, remained in England till the reformation, 
Davies's account of it is worth notice. In the abbey church of Durham, 
there was very solemn service upon Easter day, betwixt three and four 
o'clock in the morning, in honour of the Resurrection ; when two of the 
eldest monks of the quire came to the Sepukhre, set up upon Good Friday 
after the Passion, all covered with red velvet, and embroidered with gold, 
and then did cense it, either of the monks with a pair of silver censers, 
sitting on their knees before the sepulchre. Then they both rising, came to 
the sepulchre, out of which, with great reverence, they took a marvellous 
beautiful image of our Saviour, representing the Resurrection, with 
a cross in his hand, in the breast whereof was inclosed, in most bright 
crystal, the holy Sacrament of the altar, through the which crystal the 
blessed Host was conspicuous to the beholders. Then after the elevation 
of the said picture, carried by the said two monks, upon a fair velvet 
cushion all embroidered, singing the anthem of Christus resurgens, they 
brought it to the high altar setting it on the midst thereof, the two 
monks kneeling before the altar, and censing it all the time that the rest 
of the whole quire were singing the aforesaid anthem ; which anthem 
being ended, the two monks took up the cushion and picture from the 
altar, supporting it betwixt the-r., and proceeding in procession from 
the high altar to the south quire door, where there were four ancient 
gentlemen belonging to the quire, appointed to attend their coming, 
holding up a most rich canopy of purple velvet, tasselled round about with 
red silk, and a goodly gold fringe ; and at every corner of the canopy 
did stand one of these ancient gentlemen, to bear it over the said images 
with the holy sacrament carried by the two monks round about the 
church, the whole quire waiting upon it with goodly torches, and great 
store of other lights ; all singing, rejoicing, and praying to God most 
devoutly till they came to the high altar again ; upon which they placed 
the said image, there to remain till ascension day. 

3. The Play of Robin Hood was a performance in the May games, in 
which a person, representing that bold outlaw, presided as Lord of 
the May, attended by Maid Marian, his faithful mistress, as Lady of 
the May, and by persons appropriately dressed, denominated Robin 
Hood's men. Bishop Latimer complains, in one of his sermons, that 
coining to preach in a certain town on a holiday, he found the 
church-door locked, and was told the parish could not hear him that 
day, for they were gone to gather for Robin Hood, it being Robin Hood's 
day. The good bishop says, that for all his rochet, he was fain to give 
place to Robin Hood. King Henry VIII. was entertained with a May 



224 

entitled, a iwrg $t$tt of a man tftat foas called 

^OfoUjjlaiS," (in the original Ulenspiegle).( l ) Bishop Percy 
cites it to the following effect. OWLGLASS , whose waggish tricks are 
the subject of this work, after many adventures, comes to live with 
a priest who makes him his parish clerk. This priest is de- 
scribed as keeping a concubine, who had but one eye, to whom 
Owlglass owed a grudge for revealing his rogueries to his master. 
At Easter, when the Resurrection, was to be played to the illite* 
rate people, the priest took his concubine and put her in the se- 
pulchre to personate an angel. Upon this, Owlglass provided 
three of the simplest persons in the town to play the three Maries ; 
the parson himself was to play Christ with a banner in his hand. 
Owlglass then said to his three simple performers, when the 
angel inquires whom you seek, you are to say the parson's con- 
cubine with one eye. At the proper part of the representation 
the angel duly inquired whom they sought, who answered as the 
Avaggish parish clerk taught them, "the priest's concubine with 
one eye." The woman hearing this, appears to have suspected 
Owlglass, for, rising from the grave, she aimed a blow at his 
cheek, which missed him, and fell upon one of the men per- 
sonating the three Maries, who immediately returning it, she 
seized him by the hair. The man's wife ran up to assist her 
husband ; the priest himself threw down his banner to help his 

game at Shooter's Hill by the officers of his guards, amounting to two 
hundred, clothed in green, headed by one who personated Robin Hood. 
He met the king as he was taking his morning ride, attended by the 
queen, and nobility of both sexes, and inviting his majesty to see how he 
and his companions lived, the royal train was forthwith conducted 
by the archers, blowing their horns, to a green wood under the hill, and 
iishered into an harbour of boughs, formed into chambers covered with 
flowers and sweet herbs, where Robin Hood excusing the want of more 
delicate refreshment said to the king, " Sir, we outlaws usually break- 
fast upon venison, and have no other food to you ;" and the king and 
queen sat down, and were served with venison and wine. They were 
well pleased with the entertainment, and on their departure were met 
by two ladies, splendidly apparelled, as the Lady May and the Lady 
Flora, riding in a rich open chariot, who saluting the king with divers 
goodly songs, brought him to Greenwich. A Play of Robin Hood for 
the May Games, is in Dodsley's Collection. Strutt's Sports, p. 314. 
( l ) Percy's Reliques of Anc. Eug. Poetry, vol. i., p. 132. 



225 

concubine ; a general conflict ensued ; and Owlglass seeing them 
all together by the ears in the body of the church, went his way from 
the village and returned no more.( l ) Bishop Percy thinks the general 
name of Mysteries was applied to these performances from the 
mysterious subjects that were frequently chosen for representation, 
such as the Incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection of Christ, &c. 

Warton quotes from Lambarde's Topographical Dictionary, 
written about the year 1570, that during the days of ceremonial 
religion, the priests at Witney, in Oxfordshire, used to exhibit a 
puppet-show of The Resurrection, fyc. The puppets represented 
Christ, Mary, and other personages ; one of them in the character 
of a waking watchman, espying Christ to arise, made a continual 
noise, like the sound caused by the meeting of two sticks, and was 
therefore commonly called Jack Snacker of Wytney. Lambarde, 
when a child, saw the like toy in St. Paul's Cathedral, London, on 
the feast of Whitsuntide ; where the Descent of the Holy Ghost was 
performed by a white pigeon being let to fly out of a hole in the 
midst of the roof of the great isle. The pigeon with a long censer, 
which came down from the same place almost to the ground, was 
swung up and down at such a length, that it reached with one 
sweep almost to the west-gate of the church, and with the other to 
the choir stairs ; the censer breathing out over the whole church and 
the assembled multitude a most pleasant perfume from the sweet 
things that burnt within it. Lambarde says that the like dumb-shows 
were used every where, to garnish sundry parts of the church service 
with spectacles of the nativity, passion, and ascension. 

After the Reformation, king Edward VI. wrote a comedy called 
The Whore of Babylon. An incredible number of religious 



( 1 ) There is a copy of Howleglas in the British Museum. Bishop 
Percy, who appears to have used Garrick's copy, and remarks that 
" Howleglas is said in the preface to have died in M,cccc,i< : at the end 
of the book, in M,CCC,L." 

When a boy I read the Adventures of Uliespiegel, or the German Rogue, 
in a translation, printed in octavo, and I should think, from what I 
recollect of its appearance, about 1680. A copy has not fallen in my 
way since. 

30 



omedies and tragi-comedies were produced about this time. One 
was entitled, Jesus the true Messiah, a comedy ; another, the Neio 
German Ass of Balaam ; a third, the Calvinistic Postilion, and so 
on. Mysteries of this kind were composed by the once celebrated 
John Bale, who having been a catholic of the Carmelite monastery 
at Norwich, became a student at Oxford, renounced the tenets of 
Rome, and, " never more to serve so execrable a beast, I took," says 
he, " to wife, the faithful Dorothy in obedience to that divine com- 
mand, Let him that cannot contain marry." He obtained church 
preferment, was successively Bishop of- Ossory, and Archbishop of 
Dublin, with a prebendal stall at Canterbury, where he died in 1563. 
One of this protestant prelate's Mysteries, written in 1538, to vin- 
dicate the doctrine of grace against such as held the doctrine of free 
will and the merit of works, is entitled, a Tragedy or Enterlude, 
manyfestying the chefe promyses of God unto man, fyc.; the charac- 
ters are, God, Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, and 
John the Baptist ; and at the end of each act is a kind of chorus 
which was performed with voices and instruments.^) 

In 1573 was printed " a new Enterlude no less wittie than pleas- 
ant, entitled, New Custom" written by another hand, to vindicate 
and promote the Eeformation against " Old Custom." The charac- 
ters are allegorical, and discuss the comparative merits of the doc- 
trine held by the two churches with more earnestness than temper : 



0) Dodsley's Old Plays, vol. i. Baker's Biog. Dramat, by Jones, vol. i. 
Some of Archbishop Bale's other Mysteries are, 1st. A brief comedy or 
interlude of John Baptist's preaching. 2nd, A brief comedy or inter- 
lude of Christ's temptation by Satan. 3rd, Of Christ when he was 
twelve years old, one comedy. 4th, Of Baptism and Temptation, two 
comedies. 5th, Of Lazarus raised from the Dead one comedy. 6th, Of 
the Councils of Bishops, one comedy. 7th, Of Simon the Leper, one 
comedy. 8th, Of the Lord's Supper, and washing the feet, one comedy. 
9th, Of the Passion of Christ, two comedies. 10th, Of the sepulture and 
resurrection, two comedies, &c. 



227 

Light of the Gospel (a Minister.) 

iti.pe of Antechrist, and seed of the devyll ! 
Borne to all wickednesse, and nusled in all evil. 

Perverse Doctrine (an old Popish Priest.) 
Nay, thou stinking heretike, art thou there in deed ? 
According to thy naughtiness thou must look for speed. 

New Custome (another Minister.) 
Godde's holie woorde in no wise can be heresie, 
Though so you terme it never so falsly. 

Perverse Doctrine. 
Yee precious whoreson, art the there too ? 

1 think you have pretended some harme mee to doo. 
Helpe, Helpe, I say, let me be gone at once, 

Else I will smite thee in the face by Godde's bones. 

New Custome. 

You must be contented a little season to stay, 
Light of the Gospell, for your profile, hath some thing to 

"New Custom," however, cannot be properly called a Mystery, 
but a Morality. Theatrically considered, Mysteries are dramatic 
representations of religious subjects from the Old or New 
Testament, or Apocryphal story, or the lives of saints. Moralities 
are dramatic allegories, in which the characters personify certain 
vices or virtues, with the intent to enforce some moral or religious 
principle. Moralities were of later origin than Mysteries, but 
they existed together, and sometimes each partook of the nature 
of the other. A dramatic piece in MS. entitled the " Castle of 
Good Perseverance" formerly belonging to the late Dr. Cox 
Macro, is of this mixed character. In a sort of stage direction 
written on the first leaf, the amanuensis has drawn a diagram of 
two circles, one within the other; in the space between these 
two circles he has written in words, filling the circumference, 
this is the watyr a bowte the place, if any dyche may be mad 
it schal be pleyed ; or ellys that it be strongely barryd al a bowt ; 
and lete nowth ov'r many stytelerys be w't inne the plase." On 
the outside of the " dyche " or circle at five several stations, are 
written the following words denoting the relative positions of five 
;caffolds, and the characters that play, namely, "Sowth, Caro 



(') Dodsley's Old Plays, vol. i., p. 74. 



228 

Skafold West, Mundus Skaffold Northe, Bclyal Skaffold 
Northest, Coveytyse Skaifold Est, Deus Skafold." In the middle 
of the space surrounded by the double circle denoting the 
" dyche " is drawn the castle, with a sort of bench or table 
below it, and beneath that is written : " here mankynde is bed 
schal be under the castel, and there schal the sowle lye, under 
the bed, tyl he schal ryse and playe." There are other directions 
to the players in these words " the iii dowters schul be clad 
i' metelys : mercy with rythwysnesse i' red altogedyr, Trewethe in 
sad grene, and pes al in blake ; and the'i schal pleye in the 
plaie al to gedyr, tyl 'they bringe up the sowle and he that 
shal pley belyal, loke that he have gune powd'r, bren'y'g in 
pypys i' h's hands, and i' h's eis, and i' h's whane he 
gothe to batayle." 

Though there is no existing memorial of the representation 
of Mysteries in England since the latter end of the sixteenth 
century, yet, for some time after the Eeformation, Mysteries and 
Moralities continued to be written expressly to promote and secure 
the new order of things. They lashed the catholics unsparingly, 
who do not appear to have at all ventured to retort in the same 
way, except in the reign of Henry VIII. by a dramatic piece, en- 
titled, Every Man, "in manner of a moralle play," (') designed to 
reconcile the people to the doctrines and worship of the ancient 
church. This effort was fruitless, for notwithstanding that after the 
death of Henry, who prohibited the performance of Mysteries, 
their representation was restored by Mary, yet no attempts were 
made by such means, to stay the fall of the papal power in Eng- 
land. It had received a mortal shock from the establishment of 
the printing press, ( 2 ) which enabled the people to read the New 

(!) " Imprynted at London in Poule's Church Yard, by me John 
Skot,"4to. 

" In 1474, was this art brought into England, by William Caxton, a 
native, and a printing press set up by him at Westminster. These 
proceedings for the advancement of learning and knowledge, especially 
m divine matters, alarmed the ignorant and illiterate monks. The vicar 
of Croydon expressed himself to the following purpose in a sermon 
which he preached at St. Paul's Cross about this time ; We must root 
out printing, or printing will root out its." Lewis's History of Eng., 
Transl. p. 55. 



229 

Testament for themselves ; and the chief trace that the old Hierarchy 
left of its dramatic existence was the acting of plays in the churches, 
which was finally ordered to he discontinued hy a proclamation of 
Henry VIII. in 1542 ; but their performance on Sundays was con- 
tinued hy the choristers of St. Paul's cathedral and the chapel royal, 
so late even as the reign of Charles the First. 

The difficulty of wholly suppressing an ancient usage is remark- 
ably evinced hy examples of recent date. 

The Tatler of May 1 4, 1 709, cites a letter from Bath, describing 
the rivalry of Prudentia and Florimel, two ladies at that watering 
place. Florimel bespoke the play of Alexander the Great, to be acted 
by the company of strollers on Thursday evening, and the letter- 
writer accepted the lady's invitation to be of her party ; but he says, 
u Prudentia had counter-plotted us, and had bespoke on the same 
evening, the poppet-shoAV of the Creation of the World. She had 
engaged every body to be there ; and to turn our leader into ridicule, 
had secretly let them know that the poppet Eve was made the most 
like Florimel that ever was seen. On Thursday morning the poppet 
drummer, Adam and Eve, and several others that lived before the 
flood, passed through the streets on horseback to invite us all to the 
pastime, and the representation of such things as we all know to be 
true ; and Mr. Mayor was so wise as to prefer these innocent people, 
the poppets, who he said were to represent Christians, before 
the wicked players who were to show Alexander an heathen phi- 
losopher. When we came to Noah's Flood in the show, Punch and 
his wife were introduced dancing in the ark. Old Mrs. Petulant 
desired both her daughters to mind the moral ; then whispered to 
Mrs. Mayoress, " This is very proper for young people to see." Punch 
at the end of the play made Madam Prudentia a bow, and was 
very civil to the whole company, making bows till his buttons 
touched the ground." Sir Richard Steele in the Spectator of March 
16th, 1711, intimates that Powell, the puppet-show man exhibited 
religious subjects with his puppets, under the little piazza in Covent 
Garden ; and talks of " his next opera of Susannah, or Innocence 
betrayed, which will be exhibited next week with a pair of new 
Elders. 



230 

Strutt quotes a puppet-showman's bill, in the reign of Anue ; at 
the British Museum, which announces scriptural subjects as follows : 
" At Craw ley's Booth, over against the Crown Tavern, in Smithfield, 
during the time of Bartholomew Fair, will be presented a little 
opera, called the Old Creation of the World, yet newly revived ; 
with the addition of Noah's 'Flood ; also several fountains playing 
water during the time of the play. The last scene does present 
Noah and his family coming out of the ark, with all the beasts two 
by two, and all the fowls of the air seen in a prospect sitting upon 
trees ; likewise over the ark is seen the sun rising in a glorious man- 
ner ; moreover a multitude of angels will be seen in a double rank, 
which presents a double prospect, one for the sun the other for a 
palace, where will be seen six angels ringing of bells. Likewise ma- 
chines descend from above, double and treble, with Dives rising out 
of hell, and Lazarus seen in Abraham's bosom, besides several figures 
dancing jiggs, sarabands, and country dances, to the admiration of 
the spectators-; with the merry conceits of Squire Punch, and Sir 
John Spendall." 

Perhaps the adventures of Punch in the common puppet-show, 
gave rise to dramatic performances of greater celebrity. Punch always 
comes up gay, heedless, and very well satisfied with himself. He 
is a sensual, dissolute, hardened character, who beats his wife and 
child, has a thorough contempt for moral reputation, disregards the 
advice of the priest, knocks him down, dances with his female 
associates, is a little frightened by a spectre, becomes as bad as ever, 
does not fear the devil, fights with him, is conquered, and finally 
carried off to hell. The adventures of Don Juan, or the Libertine 
Destroyed, of the theatres, and the Don Giovanni of the Italian opera, 
seem but an amplified representation of the adventures of Punch, 
the libertine destroyed, in the puppet-show of the streets. 

The English puppet-show was formerly called a motion. Shak- 
speare mentions the performance of Mysteries by p\ippets ; 
his Autolycus frequented wakes, fairs, and bear-baitings, and 
"compassed a motion of the Prodigal Son" On a Twelfth 



night, in 1818, a man, making the usual Christmas cry, of 
" Gallantee show" was called in to exhibit his performances for the 
amusement of my young folks and their companions. Most unex- 
pectedly, he "compassed a motion of the Prodigal Son" by dancii g 
his transparencies between the magnifying glass and candle of a 
magic lanthorn, the coloured figures greatly enlarged were reflected 
on a sheet spread against the wall of a darkened room. The pro- 
digal son was represented carousing with his companions at the 
Swan Inn, at Stratford ; while the landlady in the bar, on every 
fresh call was seen to score double. There was also Noah's Ark, 
with " Putt Devil, Pull Baker" or the just judgment upon a baker 
who sold bread short of weight, and was carried to hell in his own 
basket. The reader will bear in mind, that this was not a 
motion in the dramatic sense of the word, but a puppet-like exhi- 
bition of a Mystery, with discrepancies of the same character 
as those which peculiarized the Mysteries of five centuries ago. 
The Gallantee- showman narrated with astonishing gravity the 
incidents of every fresh scene, while his companion in the room 
played country-dances and other tunes on the street organ, 
during the whole of the performance. The manager informed me 
that his show had been the same during many years, and, in 
truth, it was unvariable ; for his entire property consisted of but 
this one set of glasses, and his magic lanthorn. I failed in an 
endeavour to make him comprehend that its propriety could be 
doubted of : it was the first time that he had heard of the possibility 
of objection to an entertainment which his audiences witnessed 
every night with uncommon and unbounded applause. Expressing 
a hope that I would command his company at a future time, he 
put his card into my hand, inscribed, " The Royal Gallantee Show, 
provided by Jos. Leverge, 7, Ely Court, Holborn Hill : " the 
very spot whereon the last theatrical representation of a Mystery, 
the play of Christ 1 s Passion, is recorded to have been witnessed 
in England. 



232 



IX. PAGEANTS. 



" Not a rack behind." Shakspeare. 



W ARTON thinks that the Pageants, which on civil occasions 
derived great part of their decorations and actors from historical 
fact, and consequently made profane characters the subject of 
public exhibition, dictated ideas of a regular drama much sooner 
than the Mysteries. ( a ) Whether this were so or not, the Pageants 
sometimes partook of the nature of Mysteries, and were of a 
mixed character. This is particularly exemplified in the prints 
to the descriptive volume of the great Haerlem show, before 
mentioned. ( 2 ) There were on that occasion personifications of 
Vanity, "Wisdom, "War, Cruelty, Faith, Hope, Charity, Learning, 
Pride, Poverty, Blindness, Drunkenness, Evil Conscience, "Wicked- 
ness, Despair, Fame, Bad Report, Envy, Hypocrisy, Hunger, 
Thirst, Pain : personations of Christ, Judas, Ananias, Sapphira, 
Zaccheus, Cornelius, Tabitha, Tobias, Midas, Mercury, Soldiers, 
Murderers, Merchants, Priests, &c. Riches is there represented 
as a man richly habited, accompanied by Covetousness, a female 
with a high ruff open at the neck in front, from whence springs 
a large branch that falls horizontally over her shoulder, to 
Achan, Ahab, and Judas, who follow in the procession, plucking 
the fruit from the bough. In another of these prints, Christ 
barefooted and in a close vest, precedes a penitent-looking man, 
and grasps a sword in his right hand which he turns round and 
points at the devil, who holds a prong, ( 3 ) and is at the man's 



(*) Warton, vol. ii., p. 202. ( 2 ) Page 141, ante. 

( 3 ) This is the prong, a fac simile of that in Hearne's print, p. 138, ante. 



heels with Hell and Death following. Hell is denoted "by a black 
monk-like figure walking without a head, flame and smoke issuing 
forth at the top instead ; Death, gaunt and naked, holds a large dart ; 
the Devil has a human face with horns, and a blunt tail, rather 
thickened at the end, trailing on the ground like a rope. A pro- 
cession in one of these plates represents the story of Hatto, Bishop 
of Mentz, who, in order that a scarcity might the sooner cease, 
assembled the poor that were suffering by famine, in a barn, and 
caused them to be burnt alive, saying, that poor people were like mice, 
good for nothing but to devour corn ; wherefore God Almighty 
raised up an army of mice to do judgment upon him, from whom 
he escaped to a tower in the middle of the Rhine, whither the 
mice swam, and miserably devoured him. This story was told 
in a pageant by a wooden building apparently on fire; people 
enclosed within, put their hands through the bars of the window 
imploring relief; a soldier with a torch in one hand, stabs at them 
with a dagger grasped in the other ; the archbishop, robed, mitred 
and crosiered, follows dignifiedly ; while Avarice infuses her 
thoughts into his ear with a pair of bellows : lastly, a dart 
from which mice are hung by the back, is uplifted against him by 
death. 1 

Strutt remarks that Pageants, though commonly exhibited in 
the great towns and cities of England on solemn and joyful occa- 
sions, were more frequent in London, on account of its being 
the theatre for the entertainment of foreign monarchs, and for the 
procession of our own kings and queens to their coronation, or 
on their return from abroad ; besides which, there were the cere- 
monials incident at stated periods, such as the setting of the mid- 
summer watch, and the Lord Mayor's Show. Accordingly a 
considerable number of different artificers were kept at the city's 
expense to furnish the machinery for the Pageants, and to deco- 
rate them ; and a great part of Leaden Hall was anciently appro- 
priated to painting and depositing them. The fronts of the 



1 The story is agreeably versified, by Mr. Southey, in a ballad of 
God's Judgment on a Bishop. Minor Poems, 1815, vol. iii. p. 66. 

31 



234 

houses in the streets through which the processions passed, were 
covered with rich adornments of tapestry, arras, and cloth of 
gold; the chief magistrates and most opulent citizens usually 
appeared on horseback in sumptuous habits, and joined the caval- 
cade, while the ringing of bells, the sound of music from various 
quarters, and the shouts of the populace, nearly stunned the ears 
of the spectators. At certain distances, in places appointed for 
the purpose, the Pageants were erected, which were temporary 
buildings representing castles, palaces, gardens, rocks or forests, 
as the occasion required, where nymphs, fauns, satyrs, gods, god- 
desses, angels, and devils, appeared in company with giants, sa- 
vages, dragons, saints, knights, buffoons, and dwarfs, surrounded 
by minstrels and choristers ; the heathen mythology, the legends 
of chivalry, and Christian divinity, were ridiculously jumbled to- 
gether without meaning; and the exhibitions usually concluded 
with dull pedantic harangues exceedingly tedious, and replete 
with the grossest adulation. 1 Warton is of opinion, that it was 
not until about the reign of Henry VI. that the performers in the 
Pageants began to recite. From a few notices some estimate 
may be formed of the consequence in which they were held and the 
nature of the exhibition. 

Strype says, that Pageants were exhibited in London when 
Queen Eleanor rode through the city to her coronation in 1236, 2 
and again in 1298, on the occasion of the victory obtained by Ed- 
ward I. over the Scots. 3 There were Pageants in 1357, when 
Edward the black prince brought John king of France prisoner 
through the city: in 1392, when Eichard II. passed through 
London after the citizens, by submission, and the Queen's inter- 
cession, had obtained the restoration of their charter ; and again, 
in 1415, upon the entry of Henry V. after the battle of Agin- 
court.* 

In 1431, when Henry VI. entered Paris as king of France, he 



1 Strutt's Sports, Introd. p. xxiii. 

1 Glory of Regality, by Mr. Arthur Taylor, p. 251. . Ibid. p. 236. 
* Jones's Biogr. Dram. art. Pageant. 



235 

was met there by the national and municipal authorities, accom- 
panied by the nine worthies on horseback richly armed. 1 

In 1445, on the same king's marriage with queen Margaret, 
when she approached London, the mayor, aldermen, sheriffs, and 
the crafts, wearing their respective cognizances, went forth to meet 
her, and brought her in great state through the city, where were 
sumptuous and costly pageants, with verses by Lydgate, and resem- 
blance of divers old histories, to the great comfort of the Queen 
and her attendants. 2 

On the Queen of Henry VI. visiting Coventry in 1455, at Bab- 
lake in that city, there was a Jesse over the gate, showing two 
speeches made by Isaiah and Jeremiah, in compliment to the 
Queen, and comparing her to the root of Jesse. Within the gate 
at the east end of the church, St. Edward, and St. John the 
Evangelist, were equally polite in their welcome to her majesty. 
Afterwards the conduit in the " Smythforde-street " was right 
well arrayed, and there were showed the four speeches of the four 
cardinal virtues. At the cross in the " Croschepyng " were divers 
angels censing ahigh on the cross, and wine running out at divers 
places. Between the cross and the conduit were nine pageants, 
and in every pageant a speech from one of the nine conquerors. 
Joshua in his speech told her majesty that if any one dared 
to do her wrong, he would fight for her : David told her that 
in dainties he had lived all his life, had slain Goliah, and 
would obey her as a kind knight for the love of her liege Lord 
King Henry. The conduit was arrayed with as many virgins as 
might be thereupon ; and there was made a great dragon, and 
St. Margaret slaying him by miracle, with a suitable speech from 
her.' 

On the 24th of April, 1474, Prince Edward coming out of 
Wales to Coventry, was welcomed by the mayor and commonalty. 
There was a station with three partriarchs there standing with 
Jacob's twelve sons, with minstrelsy of harp and dulcimers, and a 



1 Jones's Biogr. Dram. p. 267. * Ibid. p. 268. 

3 Pageant of the Sheremen and Taylors; Coventry, 1817, 4to. 



236 

speech from one of the patriarchs. At the cross were three pro- 
phets standing, and upon the cross above were children of Israel 
singing and casting down sweet cakes and flowers, and four pipes 
running wine. Upon the conduit was St. George and a king's 
daughter kneeling before him with a lamb, and the father and 
mother in a tower above, beholding St. George saving their daugh- 
ter from the dragon, and the conduit running wine in three places, 
and minstrelsy of organ playing. 1 

In 1486, king Henry VII. after his coronation, made a pro. 
gress to the north, with a large attendance of nobility. Three 
miles from York the king in a gown of cloth of gold furred with 
ermine, was received by the sheriffs and citizens with their recorder 
who welcomed him with a speech. Half a mile without the gate 
he was received by processions of friars and dignified clergy, who 
with an immense multitude attended him to the gate of the city, 
where was a pageant of divers persons and minstrelsy, and thereby 
stood a crowned king, by name Ebianeus, who had a versified 
speech. At the hither end of u House Brigge " was another pageant 
garnished with ships and boats, and Solomon in his habit royally 
clothed, had another speech. At the turning into " Conyeux-street " 
there was a pageant of the assumption of our Lady, with her 
speech. At the end of " Conyeux-street " was another stage with a 
pageant, wherein stood king David, armed and crowned, with a 
naked sword in his hand, also making a speech. In divers parts 
of the city were hung tapestry and other cloths, and galleries from 
one side of the street over athwart to the other, with casting out of 
sweet cakes, wafers, and comfits, in quantity like hailstones, for joy 
and rejoicing at the king's coming. 8 

On the 25th of November next year, 1487, Elizabeth, 
queen to Henry VII. departed from Greenwich by water, to 
her coronation. She was attended by the city authorities and 
companies in their barges richly decorated, but especially a 
barge called the bachelors' barge was garnished passing all the 
rest, with a great red dragon spouting flames of fire into the 

1 Pageant of the Sheremen and Taylors. 

2 Leland, Collect, vol. iv. p. 185. 



237 

Thames, and many other " gentlemanlie " pageants curiously devised 
to do her highness sport ; and so attended, she was landed at the 
tower, where she slept. On the morrow her progress through the 
city to Westminster was magnificently welcomed by singing 
children, some arrayed like angels, and others like virgins, to sing 
sweet songs as she passed along. 1 

In 1501, on the Princess Catharine of Spain arriving in London 
to be married to Prince Arthur, her procession through the city was 
very magnificent. In the Pageants, which were numerous and 
superbly furnished, the principal actors or speakers were not only 
God the Father, St. Catharine, and St. Ursula, but king Alphonsus 
the astronomer and an ancestor of the Princess, a senator, an angel, 
Job, Boethius, Nobility, and Virtue. These characters sustained a' 
dialogue. 2 

On St. Paul's day in January, 1502, "James king of Scots, 
by his proxy, Patrick Earl of Bothwell, was affianced to the princess 
Margaret, daughter of Henry VII. ; on the morning after which 
there was in the hall a goodly pageant, curiously wrought with 
" fenestralis," having many lights burning in the same, in manner 
of a lanthorn, out of which sorted divers sorts of " moriskes," 3 
The same year, on the arrival of the Princess in Edin- 
burgh, as Queen of Scotland, at the entrance of the town was 
a painted gate with two " towrells," and a window in the midst, 
and at the windows of the " towrells," angels singing joyously, 
and at the middle window was likewise an angel presenting the 
keys of the town to the queen. In the midst of the town was 
a " scarfawst " where was represented Paris and the three god- 
desses, with Mercury, who gave him the apple of gold for the 
fairest. In the " scarfawst " was represented also the salutation of 
Gabriel to the Virgyne, and the solemnization of the marriage be- 
tween the Virgin and Joseph. Further on was another new made 
gate upon which were the four Virtues : Justice holding in her 
right hand a naked sword, and the balances in the other, tram- 

1 Glory of Regality, p. 276. > Warton, vol. ii. p. 202. 

3 Leland. Collect, vol. iv. p. 263. 



238 

pled upon Nero ; Fortitude armed, held a shaft, and trod on Holo- 
fernes ; Temperance held in her hand the bit of " an horse," under 
her feet was Epicurus ; Prudence held in her hand a " Syerge," and 
stood upon Sardanapalus. With these figures were tabrets that 
played merrily, while the noble company past through. 1 

When Charles V. Emperor of Germany visited Henry VIII. in 
England, his reception in the city of London was graced by splendid 
pageants, the description of which are still in existence. 8 

The coronation of Ann Boleynon the 1st of June 1533, was pre- 
ceded by a procession through London, after she landed from Green- 
wich, On this occasion the citizens devised marvellous pageants, in 
which were Apollo with the muses, and St. Anne, with her children. 
The three Graces were on Cornhill, and the cardinal Virtues in Fleet- 
street. 3 

On the 9th of February, 1546-7, king Edward VI. proceeded 
from the city of London, in great state, to his coronation at West- 
minster. The crafts and aldermen stood arrayed in order ; priests 
and clerks, with their crosses and censers, censed him as he passed ; 
tapestry, arras, and cloths of gold and silver, were hung on the 
houses, and rich streamers and banners floated in the air. The 
procession was very splendid. In various parts of the city were 
goodly pageants and devices, and therein goodly melody, and eloquent 
speeches of noble histories. 1. At the conduit in Cornhill, was 
a pageant garnished with rich arras, on it were a conduit running 
sweet wine, divers instruments, and goodly singing, and two 
children pronounced speeches to the king, with a song which con- 
tained expressions very like some in the present song of God save 
the King. 2. On the pageant at the great conduit in Cheap, were 
persons resembling Valentine and Orson, one clothed with moss and 
ivy leaves, holding a great club of yew tree, the other as a knight, 
and they pronounced speeches. The conduit ran wine, and was 
richly garnished ; near it stood four children, as Grace, Nature, 
Fortune, and Charity, who, one after the other, made speeches 

1 Lelanrl, Collect, vol. iv. p. 290. 
2 MS. in Bibl. C.C.C. Cantab. N. vii. 10, 3 Glory of Regality, p. 283. 



239 

At a distance round the conduit, stood eight ladies richly appa- 
relled, representing " Sapience," and the seven Liberal Sciences. 
At the end of the conduit, towards Cheap, was a double scaffold, 
one above the other, hung with cloth and silk, besides rich arras. 
The upper contained a heaven, with the sun and stars, and clouds, 
that spread abroad, letting down a lesser cloud of white sarcenet 
fringed with silk, powdered with stars and beams of gold, from 
whence a phcenix descended down to a mount of sweet shrubs on 
the lower scaffold, and there setting, a lion of gold crowned made 
amity to the phoenix by motions of the head ; between which 
familiarity, as it seemed, there came forth a young lion, on whose 
head, two angels from the heaven, placed an imperial crown, and 
the old lion and the phoenix vanished, leaving the young lion 
crowned alone, and then the aforesaid ladies delivered speeches. 
On the nether scaffold, a child royally arrayed, representing the 
king, was seated on a throne, supported by four other children, 
representing Eoyalty with a sceptre, Justice with a sword, Truth 
with a book, and Mercy with a curtana ; these four made speeches. 
Also, beside the throne was the golden fleece, kept by two bulls 
and a serpent, their mouths flaming out fire, and six children who 
played upon the " regalles," and sang goodly songs. 3. The little 
conduit in Cheap being richly hung and ornamented, at the top 
was a tower, with the waits playing in it, an old man sitting in a 
chair, crowned, sceptred, and arrayed, represented king Edward 
the Confessor, with a lion of gold lying before him which moved 
its head. On a stage, at the foot of the conduit, St. George stood 
in complete harness, with a page also harnessed, holding his spear 
and shield, and a fair maiden holding a lamb in a string ; near 
them was a child richly apparelled, to pronounce a Latin oration, 
and St. George was to make one in English, but, for lack of time, 
it could not be done, his grace made such speed : howbeit, there 
was a song. 4. When the king came to St. George's church, in 
St. Paul's churchyard, there was a rope stretched from the battle- 
ments of St. Paul's, and with a great anchor, fastened a little 
before Paul's house- gate. When the king approached, there 



240 

came a man, a native of Arragon, lying on the rope, his head 
forward, casting his arms and his legs abroad, running on his 
breast on the rope from the battlements to the ground, as it had 
been an arrow out of a bow. Then rising from the ground, he 
went to the king, and kissed his foot, and after certain words to 
his Highness, departed, and went upwards upon the rope till he 
came over the midst of the church, and there, having a rope 
about him, he played certain mysteries on the said rope, as tumb- 
ling, casting one leg from another, tying himself by the right leg 
a little beneath " the wrist " of the foot, and hanging a while re- 
covered himself upon the rope, unknit the knot, and came down 
again, which staid the king's majestic, with all the train, a good 
space of time. 5. Upon the great conduit in Fleet Street was a 
stage, whereon sat a child richly arrayed, to represent Truth, with 
two other children before him in red, representing Faith and 
Justice, whose names were written on their places. As the king 
passed, Truth made a speech, and two hogsheads of wine were 
broached, "take who would." The company then proceeded in 
goodly order to Temple-bar. The gate was painted with battle- 
ments and buttresses of divers colours, richly hung with cloth of 
arras, and garnished with fourteen standards. Eight French trum- 
peters blew their trumpets after the fashion of their country, and 
besides them were a pair of " regalles," and children singing to 
them. The company then proceeded in goodly order till they 
came to Westminster, to abide the coronation. 1 

On the 1st of October, 1553, the coronation of Queen Mary was 
performed by Gardiner, bishop of Winchester. Her progress to 
the ceremony through the city was celebrated with similar exhibi- 
tions ; " one master Heiwood " sat in a pageant under a vine, and 
made an oration in Latin and English ; and, as if to outdo the flying 
argosine at the last coronation, we have here a Dutchman stand- 
ing on the weathercock of St. Paul's steeple, who, holding a 
streamer in his hand of five yards long, and waving thereof, stood 

1 Ldaud, Collectan. voL iv. p. 322. 



241 

sometimes on one foot and shook the other, and then kneeled on 
his knees to the great marvel of the people. ( l ) 

At the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, on Sunday, January 15, 
1558 9, her progress was marked by superb pageants. On her 
arrival at Temple-bar, Gogmagog and Corinceus, two giants, were 
seen holding above the gate, a table wherein was written in Latin 
Terse, " the effect of all the pageants which the city before had 
erected. "( l ) 

The encouragement that literature and the Greek language 
received from Elizabeth, created a fashion for classical allusion 
upon every convenient occasion, and the queen's admiration of this 
kind of compliment, caused the mythology of ancient learning to be 
introduced into the various -shows and spectacles in her honour. 
Warton says, that when she paraded through a country town almost 
every pageant was a pantheon. "When she paid a visit at the 
house of any of her nobility, on entering the hall she was saluted 
by the Penates, and conducted to her privy-chamber by Mercury ; 
in the afternoon, when she condescended to walk in the garden, the 
lake was covered with tritons and nereids ; the pages of the family 
were converted into wood-nymphs, who passed from every 
bower ; and the footmen gamboled over the lawn in the figure of 
satyrs. ( 3 ) 

On the 15th of March, 1603, when king James I. and Queen 
Anne passed from the tower through London, there were various 
pageants, with laudatory speeches in English and Latin. On 
the 31st of May, 1610, the corporation of London met Prince 
Henry on his return from Richmond, and entertained him with a 
grand water fight and fire- works. In 1616, " the city's love " was 
manifested by a water entertainment at Chelsea and Whitehall, on 
the creation of the Prince of "Wales, who, afterwards, 25th Nov. 
1641, when Charles I. was treated with a "triumph on his safe 
arrival from Scotland." On the 5th of July, 1660, there were 
magnificent triumphs at an entertainment given in the Guildhall 
to Charles II., the Dukes of York and Gloucester, the two houses 



( J ) Glory of Regality, p. 287. Ibid. (*) Warton, vol iii. p. 491. 

32 



242 

of parliament, the privy council, judges, &e. The passage of Charles 
II. through London to his coronation in 1661, was celebrated by 
pageants, with " speeches and impresses illustrated from antiquity ;" 
and on the 23rd of August, 1662, the city welcomed his return with 
his queen, from Hampton Court, to Whitehall, with shows and 
pageants upon the Thames. 

The Old Chronicles contain large particulars of these and similar 
exhibitions. Certain traces of the processional parts were retained in 
London about forty or fifty years ago, in the lord mayor's show : 
but the pageants and orations have been long discontinued, and 
the show itself is so much contracted, that it is in reality altogether 
unworthy of such an appellation.^) However, as the citizens iu 
general are so little acquainted with the subject, that most of 
those I have inquired of rather express a desire for some informa- 
tion regarding this ancient usage, I have endeavoured to contribute 
towards their satisfaction in the next article. Before concluding 
this it may be proper to observe that there were satirical pageants 
accommodated to the amusement of the vulgar. The procession 
of the Miserable Scald Masons, of which there is a large print, 
was of this kind. Its description, there is not room to insert 
without omitting some account of another, more connected with the 
subject, from a pamphlet entitled, " The Solemn Mock Procession, 
or the Tryal and Execution of the Pope and his ministers on the 
17th of Nov. at Temple Bar, 1680." (4to. 8 pages). It was 
a practice on that day, being the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's 
accession to the throne, to celebrate the event in London by a 
pageant in honour of the established religion, and in ridicule of 
the Pope, " the Arch-Traitor and the head Ingineer not 
only of our civil combinations, but also of the lamentable firing 
of this famous mother city of our country ;" to commemorate which 
conflagration, with equal truth, the monument on Fish Street 

Hill, 

" Like a tall bully, lifts its head and lies.'' 

The author of the procession apologetically observes that 
(*) Strutt's Sports, Introd. p. xxiv. 



"Erasmus's satyrical drollery was found to be as effectual to bring 
down the Eomish pageantry as Luther's gravity of argument," and 
proceeds to describe the show of the day, which though abridged 
here, is chiefly given in the words of the tract as follows : 

First the Captain of the Pope's guard on horseback followed by 
ten pioneers in red caps and coats in ranks, with staves and trun- 
cheons, to make way [as whifflers] for the main body. Next a 
bellman ringing, and saying in a loud doleful voice, " Remember 
Justice Godfrey.'^ 1 ) Then a dead bloody corpse representing Sir 
Edmond Bury Godfrey on horseback, supported by a Jesuit behind 
with a bloody dagger in his hand. After this, carried by two per- 
sons, a large cloth banner painted in colours, representing the Jesuits 
at Wild House all hanging on a gibbit, and among them " another 
twelve that would betray their trust or conscience ; " on the other 
side Gammer Celliers with a bloody bladder, and all her other pres- 
byterian plot-forgers and protestants in masquerade. First Pageant > 
In the forepart a meal-tub, Mrs. Cellier in one corner leaning on it, 
with her "narrative" in her hand; at the other corner, "one in 
Hack, " bareheaded and playing on a fiddle ; behind, four protestants 
in masquerade bi-partite garments of white and black. After the 
pageant an " abhorrer" on horseback, with his face to the tail ; then 
a man on horseback bearing a banner inscribed, " We protestants in 
masquerade usher in popery." Second Pageant, Four Franciscan 
Friars ; two being capuchins in grey russet, with a cord about the 
middle, and long cowls on their heads hanging behind with a tail ; 
the other, two minorites, a diminutive species of these Franciscan 
birds, in a cinnamon coloured habit with shorter cowls. Tldrd 
Pageant. Two Augustine Friars, in black close habits with a leather 
girdle ; and two Dominican bouncing Friars, in black and white gar- 
ments, called Brothers Preachers. Fourth Pageant. Here strut out 
four Jesuits in a black hue and garb suitable to their manners, with 



(*) Few readers require information concerning the circumstances re- 
ferred to in this procession. They are mostly well known, or may be 
easily found in the historical works of the times they relate to. 



244 

high collars mounting tip about their necks like a pasty crust. 
Fifth Pageant. Here are mounted two bishops, a sort of dis- 
ciples of Christ that pretend to take place of ordinary dukes and 
princes; "behind are two archbishops in pontificalibus ; they 
differ in their crosiers. Sixth Pageant. Two patriarchs with 
two forked crosiers, in bishop-like vestments ; and two cardinals 
riding in pure scarlet vestments, being next cousins to the scarlet 
whore of Babylon. Next his Holiness's master of the ceremonies, 
carrying the Pope's triple cross, distributing bulls, pardons, and 
indulgences, and crying aloud, " Here you may have heaven for 
money." Seventh Pageant. Here comes ANTI-CHRIST himself 
arrayed in scarlet robes, furred with ermine, and covered 
with gold and silver lace, with a triple crown, inscribed in front 
" Mystery," holding two keys in his hands, pretended to be of a 
place he is never likely to get into ; two swords standing at his 
right hand, one typifying excommunication, the other civil do- 
minion over kings and princes; sprawling under his feet, the 
Emperor Frederick, on whose neck he insolently trod at Venice ; 
many other crowns and sceptres that he arrogates the disposal of, 
also at his feet. A page in white at one corner of the throne, 
brandishing a banner inscribed, " This is the king of kings ; " another 
page at the other corner, holding a streamer inscribed, "thou 
art our God the Pope." Eighth Pageant. The Empress Donna 
Olympia, the Pope's mistress, surrounded by four nuns ; on the 
pageant a streamer inscribed, " Courtezans in ordinary." Ninth 
Pageant. They usher in their religion with fineries, but the sting 
of the Inquisition is in the serpent's tail : here is the main scene 
of Anti-Christ's cruelties ; in this pageant you see a seat of judica- 
ture whereon sits a bishop as inquisitor-general, surrounded by 
monks as inquisitor's assistants ; a poor martyr condemned before 
them, dragged to a stake environed with fagots to burn him, 
having a saribenite cap on his head all painted with devils ; the 
space around about strewed and hemmed with racks and instru- 
ments of torture. " In this fatal pomp the procession sets out 
from Whitechapel-Bars, and on through Bishopsgate, through 
Cornhill/ Cheapside, and Ludgate, till it comes to Temple-bar, 






245 

where the Pope and his ministers being brought before the figure 
of Queen Elizabeth, receives his first sentence, and afterwards 
being led before the statue or tribunal of King Charles II., on 
the other side, he receives his final doom and downfall, namely, to 
be burnt with all his fry before Queen Besses throne, the ashes to 
be scattered about, that thence might never spring hereafter, in 
England one popish phenix ; " and, in remembrance of her happy 
days, and for the victories that God gives us in our days against the 
Pope and his emissaries, the solemnity is closed with fuzees and 
artificial fires." ( 1 ) In the Solemn Mock Procession of the year 
before, 1679, the Devil attended the Pope as his "right-trusty 
and well beloved cousin and counsellor;" caressed, hugged, 
whispered, and often instructed him aloud. The procession arriving 
at the eastern side of Temple-bar, where, the statue of 
Queen Elizabeth having been conspicuously ornamented, a song 
alluding to the protection of the protestants by that queen was 
sung; and his Holiness, after some compliments and reluctances, 
was decently toppled from all his grandeur into a vast bonfire 
over against the Inner Temple gate ; " the crafty Devil leaving his 
Infallibility in the lurch, and laughing as heartily at his deserved 
ignominious end, as subtle Jesuits do at the ruin of bigotted lay 
catholics whom themselves have drawn in." ( 2 ) In Queen Anne's 
time the figure of the Pretender was added to that of the Pope and 
the Devil. 

A vain attempt to revive obsolete prejudices in England by 
dressing a statue, was made on the anniversary of King William, in 
1821, when a clandestine decoration of his effigy in St. James's 
Square was effected during the night. The last Solemn Mock 
Procession round the bedizened statue of King William, in College- 
green, Dublin, took place the same year. This annual insult to 
three-fourths of the people of Ireland was finally suppressed by 
Maiquess Wellesley, the Lord Lieutenant. 

(!) This procession is engraved on a copper-plate, " sold by Jonathan 
Wilkins at the Star in Cheapside next to Mercer's chapel." 

( 2 ) Brand, voL ii., p. 519. Gent. Mag. vol. xxx., p. 515, from Lord 
Somers's Tracts. 



X. LORD MAYOR'S SHOW. 



Behold 



How London did pour out her citizens ! 
The Mayor, and all his brethren in best sort ! 

Sliakspeare. 



AN historioal description of the annual procession and ceremonial 
on the entrance of the Lord Mayor of London into office, 
might be a work of some interest to those citizens who unite anti- 
quarian with civic feeling. But as an undertaking requiring so 
much labour in the execution is scarcely to be expected, and the 
Lord Mayor's show is the only stated exhibition in the metropolis 
that remains as a memorial of the great doings in the time of the 
pageants, I purpose some account of its ancient appearance, com- 
mencing with a description, on the authority of a MS. quoted by 
Dr. Nathan Drake. ( l ) It is " A breSe description of the Eoyali 
Citie of London, capital citie of this realme of England, (city arms). 
Wrytten by me, William Smythe, citizen and haberdasher of 
London, 1575." With a slight alteration of the orthography, 
the account is as follows : 

" The day of St. Simon and St. Jude, the mayor enters into 
his state and office. The next day he goes by water to West- 
minster in most triumph-like manner, his barge being garnished 
with the arms of the city ; and near it a ship-boat of the Queen's 
Majesty being trimmed up and rigged like a ship of war, with 
divers pieces of ordnance, standards, pennons and targets of the 
proper arms of the said mayor, of his company, and of the mer- 



(*) Shakspeare and his Times, vol. ii., p. 164. 



247 

chants' adventurers, or of the staple, or of the company of the new 
trades ; next before him goeth the barge of the livery of his own 
company, decked with their own proper arms, then the bachelors' 
barge ; and so all the companies in London, in order, every one 
having their own proper barge, with the arms of their company. 
And so passing along the Thames, he landeth at "Westminster, 
where he taketh his oath in the Exchequer before the judge there ; 
which done, he returneth by water as aforesaid, and landeth at 
Paul's wharf, where he, and the rest of the aldermen take their 
horses, and in great pomp pass through Cheapside. And first of 
all cometh two great standards, one having the arms of the city, 
and the other the arms of the mayor's company ; next them two 
drums and a flute, then an ensign of the city, and then about Ixx 
or Ixxx poore men marching two and two, in blue gowns, with 
red sleeves and caps, every one bearing a pike and a target 
whereon is painted the arms of all them that have been mayors of 
the same company that this new mayor is of. Then two banners, 
one of the king's arms, the other of the mayor's own proper 
arms. Then a set of hautboys playing, and after them certain 
wyfflers,^) in velvet coats and chains of gold, with white staves in 



( l ) Whiffler, Mr. Deuce says (Illustrations of ShaJcspeare, vol. i. p. 
507) is a term undoubtedly borrowed from whiffle, another name for 
a fife or small flute ; for whifflers were originally those who preceded 
armies or processions, as fifers or pipers; in process of time the term 
whiffler, which had always been used in the sense of a fifer, came 
to signify any person who went before in a procession. He observes, 
that Minshew defines him to be a club or staflf-bearer, and that it 
appears, whifflers carried white staves, as in the annual feast of the 
printers, founders, and Ink-makers, described by Randle Holme. Mr. 
Archdeacon Nares, in his Glossary, cites Grose's mention of the 
whifflers at Norwich, who make way for the corporation by flourishing 
their swords. A friend informs me that the dexterity of the Norwich 
whifflers in turning their swords to every possible direction is amazing. 
Mr. Archdeacon Nares remarks, that in the city of London, young 
freemen, who march at the head of their proper companies on the Lord 
Mayor's day, sometimes with flags, were called whifflers, or bachelor 
whifflers, not because they cleared the way, but because they went first 
as whifflers did ; and he quotes a character in the old Play of the City 
Match, saying, " I look'd the next lord mayor's day to see you o' the 
livery, or one of the bachelor whifflers." 



248 

their hands ; then the Pageant of Triumph richly decked, where- 
upon by certain figures and writings, some matter touching Justice 
and the office of a magistrate is represented. Then sixteen trum- 
peters, eight and eight, having banners of the mayor's company. 
Then certain whiffiers in velvet coats and chains, with white staves 
as before. Then the bachelors, two and two, in long gowns, 
with crimson hoods on their shoulders of satin ; which bachelors 
are chosen every year of the same company that the mayor is of, 
(but not of the living) and serve as gentlemen on that and other 
festival days, to wait on the mayor, being in number according to 
the quantity of the company, sometimes sixty, or one hundred. 
After them twelve trumpeters more, with banners of the mayor's 
company ; then the drum and flute of the city, and an ensign of 
the mayor's company ; and after, the waits of the city in blue gowns, 
red sleeves and caps, every one having a silver collar about his 
neck. Then they of the livery in their long gowns, every one hav- 
ing his hood on his left shoulder, half-black and half-red, the 
number of them according to the greatness of the company 
whereof they are. After them follow sheriffs' officers, and then 
the mayor's officers, with other officers of the city, as the Com- 
mon Serjeant, and the Chamberlain ; next before the mayor goeth 
the sword-bearer, having on his head the cap of honour, and the 
sword of the city in his right hand, in a rich scabbard, set with 
pearl, and on his left hand goeth the common crier of the city, 
with his great mace on his shoulder all gilt. The mayor hath on 
a long gown of scarlet, and on his left shoulder a hood of black 
velvet, and a rich collar of gold of SS. about his neck, and with 
him rideth the old mayor also, in his scarlet gown, hood of velvet, 
and a chain of gold about his neck. Then all the aldermen, two 
and two (among whom is the recorder) all in scarlet gowns; 
those that have been mayors have chains of gold, the others have 
black velvet tippits. The two sheriffs come last of all, in their 
black scarlet gowns and chains of gold. In this order they pass 
along through the city to the Guildhall, where they dine that day, 
to the number of 1000 persons, all at the charge of the mayor and 
the two sheriffs. This feast costeth 400Z., whereof the mayor 



249 

payeth 200?. and each of the sheriffs, 100?. Immediately after 
dinner, they go to St. Paul's church, every one of the aforesaid 
poor men bearing staff, torches, and targets, which torches are 
lighted when it is late, before they come from evening prayer." 
To this account from the MS. may be added that, in still more 
ancient times, the procession to and from "Westminster was by 
land ; until in 1453, Sir John Norman built a sumptuous barge at 
his own expense, for the purpose of going by water, when the water- 
men made a song in his praise, beginning, " Row thy boat, Norman" 
and the twelve companies, emulating their chief, have, from that 
period, graced the Thames on Lord Mayor's day. 

Mr. Stephen Jones, in his edition of the Biographia Drama- 
tica, has drawn up a list of printed descriptions of the London 
Triumphs, or Lord Mayors' Shows, from whence it seems that the 
first account of this annual exhibition known to have been published, 
was written by George Peele, for the inauguration of Sir Wolstone 
Dixie, knight, on the 29th of October, 15.85, when children per- 
sonified the City, Magnanimity, Loyalty, Science, the Country, and 
the river Thames. They also represented a soldier, a sailor, and 
nymphs, with appropriate speeches. The show opened with a 
moor on the back of a lynx. On Sir Thomas Middleton's may- 
oralty, in 1613, the solemnity is described as unparalleled for the 
cost, art, and magnificence of the shows, pageants, chariots, 
morning, noon, and night triumphs. In 1665, the city pageants, 
after a discontinuance of about fourteen years, were revived. Ed- 
mund Gay ton, the author of the description for that year, says 
that " our metropolis for these planetary pageants, was as famous 
and renowned in foreign nations, as for their faith, wealth, and 
valour." In the show of 1659, an European, an Egyptian, and a 
Persian, were personated. On Lord Mayor's day, 1671, the king, 
queen, and duke of York, and most of the nobility being present, 
there were " sundry shows, shapes, scenes, speeches, and songs, in 
parts;" and the like, in 1672, and 1673, when the king again 
" graced the triumphs." The king, queen, duke, and duchess of 
York, Prince Rupert, the duke of Monmouth, foreign ambassa- 
dors, the chief nobility, and Secretary of State, were at the 
33 



250 

celebration 'of Lord Mayor's day in 1674, when there were " em* 
blematical figures, artful pieces of architecture, and rural dancing, 
with pieces spoken on each pageant." The design of this notice 
being merely to acquaint the reader with the ancient character of 
this solemnity, it is unnecessary to do more than select such par- 
ticulars as may satisfy common curiosity, and be useful to those 
who are interested in searching for precedents regarding the pro- 
cession. 

The printed accounts of the London Pageants are scarce, 
and some of such extreme rarity, as to bear a price at the 
rate of two and three guineas a leaf. The description of Sir 
Patience Ward's show on the 29th of October, 1680, com- 
posed by Thomas Jordan, is an interesting specimen of the setting 
out and pageantry of this procession.^) The Lord Mayor 
being of the livery of the merchant-tailors' company, at seven 
o'clock in the morning, liverymen of the first rank, appointed 
to conduct the business of the day, assembled at merchant- 
tailors' hall, to meet the masters, wardens, and assistants, in their 
gowns, faced with foyns. ( 2 ) In the second rank, others in gowns 
faced with budge,( 3 ) and livery-hoods. In the third rank, a num- 
ber of foyns-bachelors, and forty budge-bachelors, both attired 
in scarlet hoods and gowns. Sixty gentlemen-ushers, in velvet 
coats and chains of gold, bearing white staves. Thirty more 
in plush and buff, bearing colours and banners. Thirty-six 
of the king's trumpeters, with silver trumpets, headed by the 
serjeant-trumpeter, he wearing two scarfs, one the Lord Mayor's, 
and the other the company's colours. The king's drum-major, 
followed by four of the king's drums and fifes. Seven other 
drains and two fifes, wearing vests of buff, with black breeches 
and waste scarfs. Two city marshals on horseback, with at- 
tendants. The foot-marshal, with a rich broad shoulder-scarf, 
to put them in rank and file, attended by six others. The 



(*) The printed descriptions are mostly in the present or future tense. 

( ? ) Foyns, the skin of the martin. 

( 3 ) Budge, lambs'-skin, with the wool dressed outwards. 



251 

fence-master, with attendants, "bearing bright broadswords drawn. 
Poor pensioners, with gowns and caps, bearing standards and 
banners. A troop of poor persons, in azure gowns and caps. 
One hundred more with javelins and targets, bearing the arms of 
their benefactors. Being all assembled, they are by e foot-mar- 
shal's judgment, arranged into six divisions, ranked out by two and 
two. The First Division contains the ensigns of the company, 
followed by the poor company of pensioners. Four drums and 
one fife. Pensioners in coats as before described. Persons 
of worth, each bearing a standard or banner. Four trumpets 
Two merchant-tailor's ensigns, bearing their supporters and 
crest. Six gentlemen-ushers. The budge-bachelors, marching 
in measured order. Second Division. Six trumpets. Two 
gentlemen, bearing the coats of arms of the city, and the mer- 
chants-tailor's company. Eight gentlemen, wearing gold chains. 
The foyns-bachelors. Third Division. Two Gentlemen in velvet 
coats with banners. Ten gentlemen-ushers in coats and chains of 
gold as before described. A large body of the livery in their 
gowns and livery-hoods, followed by " all Lord Mayors in the 
potential mood." In their rear divers of the city trumpets. Two 
gentlemen bearing the arms of the city and the Lord Mayor. 
Gentlemen-ushers. The court of assistants. Four drums, six trum- 
pets. Three gallants, bearing the banners of the diadem. The 
king's, queen's, and city's ensigns, attended by six gentlemen as 
pages. The masters and wardens of the merchant-tailors' com- 
pany. Thus formed, they march from merchant-tailors' hall to 
the Lord Mayor's house, where his lordship and the aldermen take 
horse, according to their degree, and the whole body proceed 
in state to Guildhall. Being met at the gate by the old Lord 
Mayor, and there attired with the gown, fur hood, and scarf, and 
guarded by knights, esquires, and gentlemen, they all march 
through King Street ddwn to Three-crane wharf, where the Lord 
Mayor and aldermen, discharging some of the attendants, take 
barge at the west end of the wharf ; the court of assistants' livery, 
and the best of the gentlemen-ushers taking barge at the east-end., 
The rest of the ushers, with the foyns and the budge-bachelors 



252 

remain ashore, with others, to await the return of his lordship, 
who proceeds with several city companies by water, and is rowed 
all along by the Strand to Westminster; a pleasure-boat with 
great guns aboard saluting him on the way. At New Palace 
Stairs they disembark, and making a lane to the hall, the Lord 
Mayor passes along to take the oath and go through the usual 
ceremonies. These being completed, he makes a liberal dona- 
tion to the poor at Westminster, reimbarks with all his retinue, 
and being rowed back to Blackfriars Stairs, he lands there under 
beat of drum and a salute of three volleys from the Artillery Com- 
pany in their martial ornaments, some in buff, with head-pieces, 
many being of massive silver. From Blackfriars they march 
before the Lord Mayor and aldermen through Cheapside to Guild- 
hall. The pensioners and banners who went not to Westminster, 
being set in order to march, the foot marshal in the rear of the 
Artillery Company, leads the way along by the channel up Ludgate 
Hill, through Ludgate, into St. Paul's church-yard, and so 
into Cheapside, where his lordship is entertained by the first 
pageant, consisting of a large stage, with the coat armour of the 
merchant-tailors' company, eminently erected, consisting of a large 
tent royal, gules, fringed and richly garnished, or, lined, faced and 
doubled ermine. This stage is winged or flanked by two other 
stages, bearing two excellent figures of lively carved camels, the 
supporters to the company's coat. On the back of one camel, a 
black native Indian, in a golden robe, a purple mantle fringed 
with gold, pearl pendants in his ears, coronet of gold with feathers, 
and golden buskins laced with scarlet ribbon, holds a golden 
bridle in his left, and a banner of the company representing 
Treasure in his right hand. On the other camel, a West Indian 
in a robe of silver, scarlet mantle, diamonds pendant from his ears 
buskins of silver laced with purple ribbon, a golden crown fea- 
thered, holds a silver bridle in his left, and. a banner of the Lord 
Mayors, representing Traffic, in his right hand. On one of the 
camel-stages four figures sit on pedestals, one at each corner, 
representing, Diligence, Industry, Ingenuity, and Success; on 
the other camel-stage, in like manner. Mediocrity, Amity, Verity -, 



253 

Variety, all richly habited in silk or sarcenet, hear splendid em- 
blems and banners. The royal tent or imperial pavilion, between 
these two stages, is supported on one side by a minister of 
state representing Royalty, and on the other side by another repre- 
senting Loyalty; each in rich robes of honor gules, wearing 
on their left arms shields azure, with this motto in gold, For the 
king and kingdom, one bearing a banner of the king's, and the 
other, one of the city's banners. On a high and eminent seat of 
throne-like ascension, is seated Sovereignty in royal posture and 
alone, with black curled hair, wearing an imperial crown, a robe 
of purple velvet, lined, faced, and caped with ermine, a collar of 
SS with a George pendant ; bearing in one hand a golden globe, 
in the other a royal sceptre. On a seat beneath, are Principality, 
Nobility, and Honour, all richly habited. On the next seat 
gradually descending beneath, are, 1. Gentility, shaped like a 
scholar and soldier, holding in one hand, clad with a golden gaunt- 
let, a silver spear, in the other a book ; 2. Integrity, wearing an 
earl's coronet for the court, a loose robe of scarlet-coloured silk 
for the city, underneath a close coat of grass green plush for the 
country ; 3. Commonalty, as a knight of the shire in parliamen- 
tary robes. On the lowest seat, an ancient English Hero, with 
brown curling hair, in ancient armour, as worn by chief com- 
manders, the coat of mail richly gilt, crimson and velvet scarf 
fringed with gold, a quiver of arrows in a gold belt on one side, a 
sword at the other, buskins laced with silver and gold, a silver 
helmet with red and white plume ; in one hand a large long boAv, 
and a spear in the other. This personage, representing Sir John 
Hawkwood, a merchant-tailor of martial renown, under Edward 
III., when he conquered France, as soon as he perceives the lord 
mayor prepared, with attention riseth up, and with a martial bow 
exhibiteth a speech in verse of thirty-seven lines, in compliment to 
the merchant-tailors and the lord mayor. His lordship testifying 
his approbation, rideth with his brethren through the throng 
of spectators, till at Milk Street end, he is intercepted by The 
second Pageant, which is a chariot of ovation, or peaceful triumph 
adorned with delightful pieces of curious painting, and drawn by 



254 

a golden lion and a lamb. On the lion is mounted a young negro 
prince, richly habited, according to the royal mode in India, hold' 
ing a golden bridle, and in the other hand St. George's banner 
representing Power. On the lamb is mounted a white beautiful 
seraphim-like creature, with long bright flaxen curled hair, and on 
it a golden coronet of cherubim's heads and wings, a carnation 
sarcenet robe, with a silver mantle and wings of gold, silver, purple, 
and scarlet, reining the lamb by a silver bridle in his left hand, 
and with his right bearing an angelical staff, charged with a red 
cross, representing Clemency. In the chariot sitteth seven persons, 
1. Concordia, 2. Unanimia, 3. Pacifica, 4. Consentania, 5. 
Melodea, 6. Benevolentia, (whose habits, and those of other 
characters already and hereafter mentioned, are not described here 
for want of room) and 7. " Harmon ia, a lady of great gravity, with 
masculine aspect, wearing a lovely dark brown peruke, curiously 
curled, on which is planted a crown imperial ; she wears a robe of 
French green velvet, pleasantly embroidered with gold, a crimson 
coloured silk and silver mantle, and sitting majestically alone in 
front, upon the approach and fixation of my lord mayor, improves 
the opportunity, riseth up, and delivereth an oration," of forty-four 
lines in verse, wherein she acquaints his lordship that the other 
characters are her attributes, recommends unity, because division 
is the policy of the Pope and the Jesuits, expresses her belief 
that if the lion and the lamb fall out, she should run to ruin, 
descants upon magistrate-like virtues, and in the end tells his 
lordship, 

You have done all things fair, no actions foul, 
Your sherevalry gave relish of good rule, 
Nor need they doubt your mayoralty, therefore, 
Begging your pardon, I shall say no more. 

This speech being concluded, his lordship exhibiting a gracious 
aspect of favourable acceptation, advanceth further towards Guild- 
hall, but is civilly obstructed by another scene, and in regard, 
his lordship is a merchant, and his company merchant- tailors, 
the Third Triumphal Scene, or Pageant, is a ship called the 



255 

Patience, with masts, and sails, fully rigged, and manned, the cap- 
tain whereof addresseth to my lord a speech beginning. 

What cheer, my lord ? I am return'd from sea, 
To amplifie your day of Jubilee, 
In this tried vessel, &c. 

His lordship having surveyed the ship, and the trumpets sounding, 
he continueth his determined course towards Guildhall, but by the 
way is once more obstructed by another scene, called the Palace 
of Pleasure, which is a triumphal Ionic arch of excellent struc- 
ture, where, in distinct and perspicuous situations, sitteth nine 
beautiful and pleasant ladies, wh ose names, natures, and orna- 
ments are consentaneous, 1. Jollity, 2. Delight, 3. Fancy, 4. 
Felicity, 5. Wit, 6. Invention, 7. Tumult, 8. Slaughter, 9. 
Gladness ; all of them properly enrobed and adorned ; and to 
augment their delight, there are several persons properly habited' 
playing on sundry loud instruments of music, one of which, with 
a voice as loud and as tunable as a treble hautboy, chanteth out a 
Ditty in commendation of the Merchant-tailor's Trade, commencing 
thus, 

Of all the Professions that ever were naru'd 
The Taylor's though slighted, is much to be fam'd ; 
For various Inventions and Antiquity, 
No Trade with the Taylers compared may be ; 
For warmth and distinction and Fashion he doth 
Provide for both Sexes with Silk, Stuff, and Cloth : 
Then do not disdain him or slight him, or flout him, 
Since (if well consider'd) you can't live without him. 
But let all due praises (that can be) be made 
To honour and dignifie the Taylers trade. 

When Adam and Eve out of Eden were hurl'd, 

They were at that time king and queen of the world : 

Yet this royal couple were forced to play 

The Taylers, and put themselves in green Array ; 

For Modesty and for Necessity's sake 

They had Figs for the Belly, and Leaves for the Back ; 

And afterwards Clothing of Sheep-skins they made : 

Then judge if a Tayler was not the first Trade. 

The oldest Profession ; and they are but Raylers, 
' Who scoff and deride men that be Merchant-Taylery. 



256 

This song, containing five more verses, "being ended, the foot- 
marshal places the assistants, livery, and the companies on both 
sides of King's-street, and the pensioners with their targets hung 
on the tops of the javelins ; in the rear of them the ensign-bearers ; 
drums and fifes in front ; he then hastens the foins and budge- 
bachelors, together with the gentlemen ushers, to Guildhall, 
where his Lordship is again saluted by the Artillerymen with three 
volleys more, which concludes their duty. His land attendants 
pass through the gallery or lane so made, into Guildhall ; after 
which the company repairs to dinner in the hall, and the several 
silk-works and triumphs are likewise conveyed into Blackwell- 
hall ; and the officers aforesaid, and the children that sit in the 
pageants, there refresh themselves until his Lordship hath dined. 
At the dinner in Guildhall, his Lordship and the guests being 
all seated, the city music begin to touch their instruments with 
very artful fingers. Their ears being as well feasted as their palates, 
and a concert lesson or two succeeding, " a sober persons with a good 
voice, grave humour, and audible utterance, proper to the condition 
of the times," sings a song called The Protestants' Exhortation, 
the burden whereof is, Love one another, and the subject against 
the catholics. The song being ended, the musicians play divers 
new airs, which having done, three or four, " habit themselves 
according to the humour of the song," and one of them chanteth 
forth The Plotting Papist's Litany, in ten stanzas, the first of 
which ends with 

Joyntly then wee '1 agree, 

To sing a Litany, 
And let the burden be, 
Ora pro nobis. 

The Litany ( 1 ) concluded, and night approaching, the festival 



( l ) Nearly a century and a half after the above mentioned Litany, com- 
posed by the City Laureate, was sung in character for the entertain- 
ment of the corporation of London, I was necessarily present for three 
successive days during certain trials in Guildhall, when the celebration 
of Lord Mayor's day by a Mock Litany on the same spot, might have 
been among the serviceable precedents cited to the juries. 



257 

terminates. Whereupon his Lordship, attended by a retinue of his 
own. company, takes coach and is conducted to Skinners'-hall, and 
being housed, those attendant on him then depart, and the triumphs 
and silk- works by the care of the master artificers being lodged for 
that night in Blackwell-hall, are on the next day conveyed to Mer- 
chant-Taylors' hall. 

In 1687 the pageants were very costly, and prepared at the ex- 
pense of the company of Goldsmiths, to which Sir John Shorter, 
Knt., the Lord Mayor for that year belonged. Matthew Taub- 
inan describes the festival as " a liberal and unanimous assembly 
of all the chiefs of the imperial city of the most flourishing king 
dom in the universe ; this year, adorned with the presence of their 
most sacred majesties, the king (James II.), Queen, Queen-dowager, 
Prince and Princess of Denmark, with all the chief nobility and 
principal officers of the court ; the archbishop of Canterbury, and 
chief prelates of the church; the Lord Chancellor, Lord Chief 
Justice, and all the learned judges of the laws ; with all foreign 
ministers, ambassadors, envoys, residents, who having observed the 
tables of the most puissant princes, and seen the most hospitable 
preparations of foreign nations, rest here amazed at the ne plus 
ultra of all entertainments !" It should be mentioned that Taub- 
man was the City Poet ; and that since the visit of Charles II. in 
1674, the Lord Mayor on the day of his mayoralty had not enter- 
tai nedthe king. He says, " we must not omit the stateliness of 
the morning procession and progress by water to Westminster, 
where his Lordship once a year (as the Duke of Venice to the sea), 
weds himself to the Thames with a ring of surrounding barges, 
that being also a part of his dominion." The pageants were four 
in number and exceedingly splendid, and the principal character in 
each delivered a versified address to the Lord Mayor. One of the 
pageants, a ship, the Unity of London, a merchant adventurer to 
Norway and Denmark, was an honour paid to the Lord Mayor by 
Ms company on account of his lordship's mercantile occupation. 
This ship, laden with all sorts of timber for ship and house build- 
ing, and architecture, represented his lordship's way of traffic. It 
measured in length from the poop to the stern an hundred and 
34 



258 

forty-jive feet, and in lieight forty-five feet from the water to the 
stern. She carried twenty-two guns, with ancients, pendents, 
streamers, flags, tackling, anchors, and all sorts of rigging, apper- 
taining to a merchantman of that burden. On board were a 
captain and his mate, a gunner and his mate, a boatswain, and a 
full compliment of men, care being taken to assign to each man his 
proper station ; some at the main tack, others the braces, others 
the bow lines ; some climbing up the ladders to the main-top, and 
others sitting across the yard-arm. The mariners were dressed in 
Indian stripes, and rugged yarn caps, blue, white, and red. The 
captain, dressed in Indian silk with a rich fur cap, being placed in 
the stern with several trumpets, on the boatswain giving a signal 
by his whistle, accosted his lordship with a speech. A pageant of 
such a description, and of such enormous bulk, it is almost difficult 
in our times to conceive as having been erected at so late a period ; 
yet structures of corresponding magnitude are described on other 
occasions, and the fact is beyond all doubt. 

The Goldsmiths' pageant in this show was equally imposing, and 
must have been of amazing size. It was a " Hieroglyphic of the 
Company," consisting of a spacious laboratory or workhouse, con- 
taining several conveniences and distinct apartments for the differ- 
ent operators and artificers, with forges, anvils, hammers, and all 
instruments proper for the mystery of the Goldsmiths. In the 
middle of the frontispiece, on a rich golden chair of state, sat St. 
Dunstan, the ancient patron and tutelar guardian of the company. 
He was attired, to express his prelatical dignity and canonization, 
in a robe of fine lawn, with a cope over it of shining cloth of gold 
reaching to the ground. He wore a golden mitre beset with pre- 
cious stones, and bore in his left hand a golden crosier, and in his 
right a pair of Goldsmith's tongs. Behind him were Orpheus and 
Amphion playing on melodious instruments ; standing more for- 
ward were the Cham of Tartary, and the grand Sultan, who being 
" conquered by the Christian harmony seemed to sue for reconcile- 
ment." At the steps of the prelatical throne was a goldsmith's 
forge and furnace, with fire, crucibles and gold, and a workman 
blowing the bellows. On each side was a large press of gold and 



.259 

silver plate. Towards the front were shops of artificers and jewel- 
lers all at work with anvils, hammers, and instruments for enamel- 
ling, beating out gold and silver plate; on a step below St. 
Dunstan sat an assay-master, with his trial-balance and implements. 
There were two apartments for the processes of disgrossing, flatting, 
and drawing gold and silver wire, and the fining, melting, smelting, 
refining, and separating of gold and silver, both by fire and water. 
Another apartment contained a forge with miners in canvas 
breeches, red waistcoats and red caps, bearing spades, pickaxes, 
twibbles, and crows for sinking shafts and making adits. The 
Lord Mayor having approached and viewed the curiosity of the 
pageant was addressed in 

A SPEECH BY ST. DUNSTAN. 

Waked with this music from my silent urn, 
Your patron DUNSTAN comes t' attend your turn ; 
AMPHION and old ORPHEUS playing by, 
To keep our forge in tuneful harmony. 
These pontifical ornaments I wear 
Are types of rule and order all the year ; 
In these white robes none can a fault descry, 
Since all have liberty as well as I ; 
Nor need you fear the shipwrack of your cause, 
Your loss of charter or the penal laws, 
Indulgence granted by your bounteous prince, 
Makes for that loss too great a recompence. 
This charm the Lernsean Hydra will reclaim ; 
Your patron shall the tameless rabble tame. 
Of the proud CHAM I scorn to be afear'd ; 
I'll take the angry SULTAN by the beard. 

Nay, should the DEVIL intrude amongst your foes, 

[Enter DEVIL. 
DEVIL. What then? 

ST. DUNSTAN. Snap, thus, I have him by the nose ! 

The most prominent feature in the Devil's face being held by 
St. Dunstan's tongs, after the prelate had duly spurned the sub- 
mission of the Cham of Tartary and the Grand Sultan, a silversmith 
with three other workmen proceeding to the great anvil, commenced 



260 

woiking a plate of massy metal, singing and keeping time upon the 
anvil. Upon, this Taubman says, "the speech being ended, the 
pageant moves easily, being led by a guard of twenty-four in the 
front, twelve of which are lictors in Roman habits, bearing axes 
in their hands, with head-pieces, and leopards' heads on each 
shoulder, as also on their buskins; and twelve yeomen bearing 
blunderbusses, apparelled after the same manner with head-pieces 
and buskins; besides green men, swabs, satyrs, and attendants, 
innumerable." Before the arrival of the Lord Mayor and his train 
at Guildhall, his Majesty passed on horseback through the city 
with a large guard to attend him, led up by the Duke of Northumber- 
land, and the foot guard by the Lord ^Graven. The royal visitants 
dined at a table raised upon the hustings at the east end of the hall ; 
the foreign ambassadors, the lords of the council, and others of the 
peerage and nobility, at the two next tables raised on each side of 
the hall ; the Lord Mayor, the citizens of the different liveries at 
several tables which filled the whole body of the hall, and the 
Aldermen dined at a table raised at the west end. His lordship 
beginning their Majesties' healths, the hall was filled with huzzas 
and -acclamations. At dinner, before the banquet, a loyal song 
was provided for the entertainment of his Majesty. 

The printed account of Lord Mayor's Show next year, the year 
of that king's abdication, is entitled " London's Anniversary Fes- 
tival, performed on Monday, October 29, 1688, for the entertain- 
ment of the Eight Hon. Sir John Chapman, Knight, Lord Mayor 
of the City of London ; being their great year of Jubilee : with 
a panegyric upon the .restoring of the Charter ; and a sonnet pro- 
vided for the entertainment of the King ;" also by Taubman, 
the City Laureate. On the following Lord Mayor's day, October 
29th, 1689, the Prince of Orange being seated in the vacant 
throne as King William III., he dined at Guildhall with Queen 
Mary, the Prince and Princess of Denmark, the whole court, 
and both houses of Parliament, when there were "several pa- 
geants and speeches, together with a song for the entertainment 
of their Majesties." Taubman also prepared this pageant, and 
provided the same loyal song to entertain "William III. that he 



261 

had caused to be sung for the entertainment of James II. This 
was the second mayoralty of Sir Thomas Pilkington ; who being of 
the Skinners' company, a pageant in honour of their occupation, 
consisted of " a spacious wilderness, haunted and inhabited with all 
manner of wild beasts and birds of various shapes and colours, even 
to beasts of prey, as wolves, bears, panthers, leopards, sables and 
beavers; likewise dogs, cats, foxes, and rabbits, which tost up now and 
then into a balcony fell oft upon the company's heads, and by 
them tost again into the crowd,, afforded great diversion \ melodious 
harmony likewise allayed the fury of the wild beasts, who were con- 
tinually moving, dancing, curvetting, and tumbling to the music." 

At the alteration of the style, the Lord Mayor's show, which had 
been on the 29th of October, was changed to the 9th of November. 
The speeches in the pageants were usually composed by the city Poet, 
an officer of the corporation, with an annual salary, who provided a 
printed description for the members of the corporation before the day. 
Settle, the last city Poet, wrote the last pamphlet intended to describe 
a Lord Mayor's Show ; it was for Sir Charles Duncome's, in 1708, 
but the Prince of Denmark's death the day before, prevented the 
exhibition. The last lord mayor who rode on horseback at his 
mayoralty was Sir Gilbert Heathcote in the reign of queen Anne. 

The modern exhibitions, bettered as they are by the men in armour 
under Mr. Marriott's judicious management, have no pretension to vie 
with the grandeur of the " London Triumphs." In 1760, the Court 
of Common Council recommended pageants to be exhibited for the 
entertainment of their majesties on Lord Mayor's day. Although 
such revivals are inexpedient, yet, surely, means may be devised for 
improving the appearance of the present procession, without father 
expenditure from the city funds, or interfering with the public appro- 
priation of the allowance for the support of the civic dignity. 



262 



XL THE GIANTS IN GUILDHALL. 



" arch'd so high that Giants may get through. 

Shakspeare. 



ALL that remains of the Lord Mayor's Show, to remind the 
curiously informed of its ancient character, is in the first part of 
the procession. These are the poor men of the company to which 
the Lord Mayor belongs, habited in long gowns and close caps 
of the company's colour, bearing painted shields on their arms, 
but without javelins. So many of these head the show, as there 
are years in the Lord Mayor's age. Their obsolete costume and 
hobbling walk are sport for the unsedate, who, from imper- 
fect tradition, year after year, are accustomed to call them old 
bachelors. The numerous band of gentlemen-ushers in velvet 
coats, wearing chains of gold and bearing white staves, is reduced 
to half-a-dozen full-dressed footmen, carrying umbrellas in their 
hands. The antiquarian reminiscences occasioned by the throw- 
ing of substances that stone-eaters alone would covet, from the 
tops of the houses, can arise no more. (*) Even the giants in Guild- 
hall, elevated upon octagon stone columns, to watch and ward the 
great east window, stand unrecognised, except in their gigantic 
capacity. 

From the time when I was astonished by the information, that, 
*' every day when the giants hear the clock strike twelve, they 



.(*) This practice, derived perhaps from the kindly showering of comfits and 
sweet cakes peculiar to the pageant, has been abolished by the efforts of suc- 
cessive Lord Mayors. 



263 

come down, to dinner," I have had something of curiosity towards 
them. How came they there, and what are they for ? In vaiu 
have been my examinations of Stow, Howell, Strype, Noorthouck, 
Maitland, Seymour, Pennant, and numberless other authors of 
books and tracts regarding London. They scarcely deign to men- 
tion them, and no one relates a syllable from whence we can 
possibly affirm that the giants of their day were the giants that 
now exist. To this remark there is a solitary exception. Hat- 
ton, whose New View of London bears the date of 1708, says 
in that work, " This stately hall being much damnify'd by the 
unhappy conflagration of the city in 1666, was rebuilt Anno 
1669, and extremely well beautified and repaired both in and 
outside, which cost about 2,500Z., and 2 new Figures of Gigantick 
Magnitude will be as lie/ore" ( l ) Presuming on the ephemeral in- 
formation of his readers at the time he published, Hatton has 
obscured his information by a brevity, which leaves us to sup- 
pose that the giants were destroyed when Guildhall was " much 
damnify'd" by the fire of London in 1666 ; and that from that 
period they had not been replaced. Yet it is certain that giants 
were there in 1699, when Ned "Ward published his London 
Spy. Describing a visit to Guildhall, he says, " We turned down 
King Street, and came to the place intended, which we entered 
with as great astonishment to see the giants, as the Morocco am- 
bassador did London when he saw the snow fall. I asked my 
friend the meaning and design of setting up those two lubberly 
preposterous figures ; for I suppose they had some peculiar end 
in it. Truly, says my friend, I am wholly ignorant of what they 
intended by them, unless they were set up to show the city what 
huge loobies their forefathers were, or else to fright stubborn 
apprentices into obedience ; for the dread of appearing before 
two such monstrous loggerheads, will sooner reform their man- 
ners or mould them into a compliance with their masters' will, 
than carrying them before my Lord Mayor, or the Chamberlain 
of London ; for some of them are as much frighted at the names 

() Ration's New View of London, 1708, 8vo, p. 607. 



264 

of Gog and Magog, as little children are at the terrible sound of 
Raw-head and Bloody-hones." There is no doubt that at that 
time the city giants were far more popular than now; for in 
the same work, two passengers, who had slyly alighted from a 
coach without discharging it, at Bartholomew Fair, are addressed 
by the coachman with, " Pay me my fare, or by Gog and Magog 
you shall feel the smart of my whipcord ; " an oath which in our 
time is obsolete, though in all probability it was common then, 
or it would not have been used by Ward in preference to 
his usual indecency. Again : as to giants being in Guildhall be 
fore Hatton wrote, and whether they were the present statues. 
On the 24th of April, 1685, there were "wonderful and stupend- 
ous fire-works in honour of their majesties' coronation, (James 
II. and his queen) and for the high entertainment of their ma- 
jesties, the nobility, and City of London, made on the Thames." (*) 
Among the devices of this exhibition, erected on a raft in the 
middle of the river, were two pyramids : between them was a 
figure of the sun in polished brass, below it a great cross, and be- 
neath that a crown, all stored with fire works ; and a little before 
the pyramids " were placed the statues of the two Giants of Guild- 
hall, in lively colours and proportions facing Whitehall, the backs 
of which were all filled with fiery mateiials," and " from the first 
deluge of fire till the end of the sport, which lasted near an hour, 
the two giants, the cross, and the sun, grew all in a light flame 
in the figures described, and burned without abatement of mat- 
ter." From this mention of " statues of the two giants of Guildhall," 
it is to be inferred, that giants were in Guildhall fourteen years 
before Ward's book was published, and that, probably, the fire- 
work-maker took them for his models, because their forms being 
familiar to the " City of London" their appearance would be an 
attraction as well as a compliment to his civic audience. Whether 
the giants in the Hall then, were our present giants, will be 
satisfactorily determined. 

(*) See the " Narrative," by R. Lowman, folio, half sheet, 1685. 



2G5 

Until the last reparation of Guildhall, in 1815, the present 
giants stood with the old clock and a balcony of iron-work be- 
tween them, over the stairs leading from the Hall to the Courts of 
Law and the Council Chamber. When they were taken down, 
in that year, and placed on the floor of the hall, I thoroughly exa- 
mined them as they lay in that situation. They are made of wood,( l ) 
and hollow within, and from the method of joining and gluing 
the interior, are evidently of late construction, but they are too 
substantially built for the purpose of being either carried or drawn, 
or any way exhibited in a pageant. On inspecting them at that 
period, I made minute inquiry of an old and respectable officer 
of Guildhall, with whom they were favourites, as to what particu- 
lars existed in the city archives concerning them ; he assured me 
that he had himself anxiously desired information. on the same sub- 
ject, and that after an investigation through the different offices, 
there was not a trace of the period when they commenced to be, 
nor the least record concerning them. This was subsequently con- 
firmed to me by gentlemen belonging to other departments. 

Just before 1708, the date of Hatton's book, Guildhall had been 
repaired ; and Hatton says, " in the middle of this front are depen- 
siled in gold these words, Reparata et Ornata Thoma JRawlinson, 
Milit. Majore, An. Dom. M.DCC.VI." From whence, and his 
observation, in the extract, first quoted, that " two new figures of 
gigantic magnitude will be as before, he intends his reader to 
understand that, as before that reparation there had been two giants, 
so with the new adornment of the hall there would be two new 
giants. 

The illustration, or rather proof of Hatton's meaning, is to bd 
found in " The Gigantic History of the two famous Giants in 
Guildhall, London."( z ) This very rare book, and I call it so because 



(*) Noorthouck writing in 1773 (Hist, of London, 4to, p. 590) erro- 
neously affirms that the giants are made of pasteboard. 

(*) " Third Edition, corrected. London : Printed for Tho. Boreman, 
Bookseller, near the Giants in Guildhall, and at the Boot and Crown, on 
Ludgate Hill, 1741." 2 vols, 64mo. 



266 

the copy I consult is the only one I ever saw, it is unnecessary to 
extract more from than is really essential to the present purpose. 
It states, that " Before the present giants inhabited Guildhall, there 
were two giants made only of wicker-work and pasteboard, put 
together with great art and ingenuity : and those two terrible ori- 
ginal giants- had the honour yearly to grace my Lord Mayor's 
show, being carried in great triumph in the time of the pageants ; 
and when that eminent annual service was over, remounted their 
old stations- in Guildhall till by reason of their very great age, old 
Time, with the help of a number of city rats and mice, had eaten 
up all their entrails. The dissolution of the two old, weak, and 
feeble giants, gave birth to the two present substantial, and majestic 
giants ; who, by order, and at the city charge, were formed and 
fashioned. Captain Richard Saunders^ 1 ) an eminent carver in King 
Street, Cheapside, was their father ; who, after he had completely 
finished, clothed, and armed these his two sons, they were imme- 
diately advanced to those lofty stations in Guildhall, which they 
have peacefully enjoyed ever since the year 1708." From the title 
of the " Gigantic History " it appears to have been published within 
Guildhall itself, when shops were permitted there ;( 2 ) so that Bore- 
man, the publisher, had the best means that time and place could 
afford of obtaining true information, and for obvious reasons he was 



( l ) " a citizen 

Of credit and renown, 
A train band captain ." Cowper. 

( 2 )There were also shops formerly within Westminster Hall, on each side, 
along the whole length of the hall. I have a print of its interior in that 
state, about the year 1720, with books, prints, gloves, and other articles 
displayed for sale in cases against the walls, and on the counters, at which 
people are being served ; lawyers and their clients walk and converse in 
the middle of the hall ; the judges are sitting in " open court," the courts 
being merely partitioned off from the body of the hall to the height of 
eight or nine feet, with the side bars on the outside, at which the attorneys 
moved for their rules of course. Exeter Change now, except as to width, 
is a pretty exact resemblance of Westminster-hall then. Ned Ward 
relates, that he and his companion visited Westminster hall and walked 
down by the sempstresses, who were very nicely digitising and pleating 
turnovers and ruffles for Ihe young students, and coaxing them with 
their amorous looks, obliging cant, and inviting gestures.'' 



267 

unlikely to state what was not correct. It is further related in thisr 
work that " the first honour which the two ancient wicker-work 
giants were promoted to in the city, was at the Eestoration of 
King Charles II., when with great pomp and majesty they graced 
a triumphal arch which was erected on that happy occasion at the 
end of King Street, in Cheapside." This was before the fire of 
London, "by which the hall was " much damnify 'd," hut not burned 
down ; for the conflagration was principally confined to the wooden 
roof, and, according to this account, the wicker-giants escaped, till 
their infirmities, and the labors of the " city rats " rendered it ne- 
cessary to supersede them. 

That wicker was used in constructing figures for the London 
pageants is certain. Haywood, in his description of the page- 
ants of the Lord Mayor, Eaynton's Show in 1632, says that 
" the moddellor and composer of these seueral pieces, Maister 
Gerard Christmas, found these pageants and shows of wicker 
and paper, and reduc't them to solidity and substance." But to 
prove the validity of the statement in the " Gigantic History," 
that the present giants were put up upon the reparation of the 
hall in 1706, an examination of the city archives became neces- 
sary, and as the History fortunately mentions Captain Richard 
Saunders as the carver, the name became a clue to successful en- 
quiry. Accordingly, on examination of the city accounts at 
the Chamberlain's office, under the head of "Extraordinary "Works," 
for 1707, I discovered among the sums " Paid for repairing of the 
Guildhall and Chappell," an entry in the following words : 



To Richard Saunders, Carver, Seveanty pounds, by x 
order of the Co'mittee for Repairing Guildhall, f 
dated y 6 x th of April, 1707, for work by him ( 
done, 



This entry of the payment confirms the relation of the Gi- 
gantic historian. Saunders's bill, which doubtless contained the 
charges for the two giants, and aU the vouchers before 1786., 



268 

belonging to the Chamberlain's office, were destroyed by a fire 
there in that year. Beyond this single item, corroborating the nar- 
rative of the "Gigantic History," there is no information to be 
obtained at Guildhall, where my researches were obligingly as- 
sisted by the prompt kindness of Henry "Woodthorpe, jun., Esq., 
deputy town-clerk, William Montague, Esq., clerk of the works, 
and B. W. Scott, Esq., of the chamberlain's office. 

Giants were a part of the pageantry used in different cities of the 
kingdom. By an ordinance of the Mayor, aldermen, and common 
council of Chester,^) for the setting of the watch on the eve of the 
festival of St. John the Baptist, in 1564, it was directed that there 
should be annually, according to ancient custom, a pageant, consist- 
ing of four giants, with animals, hobby-horses, and other figures, 
therein specified.( 2 ) In 1599, Henry Hardman, Esq., the Mayor 
of that year, from religious motives, caused the giants in the 
Midsummer show "to be broken, and not to goe the Demi 
in his feathers," and he provided a man in complete armour to go 
in their stead; but in 1601, John Ratclyffe, a beer-brewer, being 
mayor, set out the giants and the Midsummer showas usual. On 
the Eestoration of Charles II. new ones were ordered to be made, 
and the estimate for finding materials and workmanship of the 
four great giants, as they were before, was at five pounds a giant ; 
and four men to carry them at two shillings and sixpence each. 
The materials for making these Chester giants were deal-boards, 
nails, pasteboard, scaleboard, paper of various sorts, buckram, size 
cloth, and old sheets for their bodies, sleeves and shirts, which 
were to be coloured ; also tinsel, tinfoil, gold and silver leaf, and 
colours of different kinds. A pair of old sheets were to cover 
the father and mother giants, and three yards of buckram were 
provided for the mother's and daughter's hoods. There is an entry 
in the Chester Charges of one shilling and fourpence for " arsenic 
to put into the paste to save the giants from being eaten by the 



Harl. MSS. 1368. ( 2 ) Harl. MSS. 2125. 



2G9 

rats ;''(*) a precaution which, if adopted in. the formation of the Oi. 
wicker-giants of London, was not effectual, though how long they 
had ceased to exist before the reparation of the hall, and the carving 
of their successors, does not appear. One conjecture may perhaps 
be hazarded, that, as after the Mayor of Chester had ordered the 
giants there to be destroyed, he provided a man in armour as a 
substitute ; so perhaps the dissolution of the old London Giants, 
and the incapacity of the new ones for the duty of Lord Mayor's 
show, occasioned the appearance of the men in armour in that 
procession. 

However stationary the present ponderous figures were destined 
to remain, there can scarcely be a question as to the frequent use of 
their wicker predecessors in the corporation shows. The giants 
were great favourites in the pageants. (*) Stow, in describing the 
ancient setting of the nightly watch in London on St. John's eve, 
relates that " the Mayor was surrounded by his footmen and torch- 
bearers, and followed by two henchmen on large horses : the Mayor 
had, besides his giant, three pageants ; Avhereas the sheriffs had 
only two, besides their giants, each with their morris-dance and 
one henchman." ( 3 ) It is related that, to make the people wonder, 
these giants were armed, and marched as if they were alive, to the 
great diversion of the boys, who peering under, found them stuffed 
with brown paper. ( 4 ) A character in Marston's "Dutch Cour- 
tezan," a comedy acted in 1605, says, "Yet all will scarce make 
me so high as one of the Gyanfs stilts that stalks before my Lord 
Mayor's Pageants." ( 5 ) 



(*) Strutt's Sports, Pref. p. xxvi. ( 2 ) Strutt, p. xxiii. 

Giants were introduced into the May-games. " On the 26th of May, 
1555, was a gay May-game at St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, with giants 
and hobby-horses, drums and guns, morris-dancers, and other min- 
strels." (Strype's Memorials.) Burton (in his Anatomy of Melan- 
choly) includes giants among the ordinary domestic recreations of win- 
ter. 

( 3 ) Strutt, p. 319. (*) Brand, i. p. 257. 

( 6 ) Stilts to increase the stature of the giants, and the introduction of the 
morris-dance, are instances of the desire to gratify the fondness of our 
ancestors for strange sights and festive amusements. A cock dancing on 

36 



270 

It has been already mentioned,^) that on Queen Elizabeth's pro- 
gress to her coronation, Gogmagog and Corinaeus, two giants, were 
stationed at Temple-bar. It is not certain, yet it is probable, that 
these were the wicker giants brought from Guildhall for the occa- 
sion. In the reign before, when Queen Mary and Philip II. of 
Spain made their public entry, there was at London-bridge a grand 
spectacle, with two images representing two giants, the one named 
Corinens, and the other Gog-magog, holding between them certain 
Latin verses. ( 2 ) There is scarcely a likelihood that these were any 
other than Guildhall Giants, which on the occasion of a corporation 
rejoicing could be removed with the utmost ease. 



stilts, to the music of a pipe and tabor, is in Strutt's Sports (plate xxiii. 
p. 221), from a book of prayers written towards the close of the thirteenth 
century, (Harl. MSS. 6563). Strutt says that in the present day this 
may probably be considered as a mere eifort of the illuminator's fancy; 
to show, however, that it was probably a real performance, he exempli- 
fies the teachableness of birds j to which may be added, that I have seen 
a hen, one of whose limbs was broken by accident and replaced by a 
wooden leg, walking among her companions apparently without incon- 
venience. 

A few readers, I know, will pardon me for introducing an etching (see 
plate) of a Fool's Morris Dance, from a picture painted in a sort of stone 
colour, shaded with brown. The. principal performer is striding on 
stilts, and with a bauble or whip of long bladders in his right hand, flaps 
one of his companions lying on the ground, while he bears on high, in 
his left hand, two common bladders, which another figure endeavours to 
reach. Two of the dancers seem, by their position, to give full effect to 
their bells ; and for the same purpose, another puts a barrel in motion, 
by treading on it. To each leg of these five dancers are thirty-two bells : 
they wear loose coats, cut in a Vandyke form at the bottom, with tassels 
on the points : tassels are also attached to their hanging sleeves, and to 
the tops of their caps, which come over in front like the fool's cock's- 
comb. This exhibition takes place, to the music of a drum and flute, 
on a stage lighted by a branch of four candles from the ceiling. The 
principal spectator is a female, whose waist is grasped by a person look- 
ing on over her shoulder ; two men in hats and cloaks are to the right 
of the flute-player, and in the other corner is a group of uncovered 
figures, one of whom seems to be a friar. The arch humour of the 
chief actor's countenance, and the dexterity with which he buffets and 
stilts, appear to denote him a joculator. But, without further remark, I 
submit this curious scene to the consideration of those who are better able 
to judge of its real character. Mr. Cruikshank's etching has preserved 
not only the spirit of the figures, but the minutiae of the costume. 

(!) At p. 241. ( s ) Strutt's Sports, Pref. p. xxvii. 



271 

Orator Henley, on the 21st of October, 1730, availed himself of 
the anticipated civic festival for that year to deliver a Lecture upon 
it, mentioning the Giants, which he announced by newspaper ad- 
vertisement as follows : 

" At the ORATORY, 

" rpHE Corner of Lincoln's- Inn-Fields, near Clare-market, this Day, 
being Wednesday, at Six o'Clock in the Evening, will be a new 
Hiding upon an old Cavalcade, entitled 

THE CITY IN ITS GLORY ; Or, 
MY LORD MAYOR'S SHEW ; 

"Explaining to all Capacities that wonderful Procession, so much 
envy'd in Foreign Parts, and nois'd at Paris ; on my Lord Mayor's Day ; 
the fine Appearance and splendor of the Companies of Trade ; Bear and 
Chain ; the Trumpets, Drums, and Cries, intermix'd ; the qualifications 
of my Lord's Horse, the whole Art and History of the City Ladies, and 
Beaux at Gape -stare in the Balconies ; the Airs, Dress, and Motions ; 
THE TWO GIANTS walking out to keep Holiday ; like Snails o'er a Cab- 
bage, says an old Author, they all crept along; admir'd by their Wives, 
and huzza'd by the Throng." 

There is no stronger evidence of the indifference to playfulness 
and wit at City elections, than the almost total silence on those 
occasions respecting such ample subjects for allusion and parallel 
as the Giants in the Hall. Almost the only instance of their ap- 
plication in this way, is to be found in a handbill on occasion 
of a mayoralty election, dated October 4, 1816, addressed "To 
the London Tavern Livery and their Spouses." It states that 

" the day after Mr. Alderman is elected Lord Mayor 

for the year ensuing, the following entertainments will be provided 
for your amusement gratis; viz. 1. The Two GIANTS, at the 
bottom of the hall, will dance a minuet by steam, attended by 

Mr. Alderman , in a new wig upon an elastic principle, a 

Gentleman having bought half of his old one for the purpose of 
making a new peruke for the aforesaid GIANTS.'' This is the first 
humourous allusion to the Giants after their removal to their pre- 
sent station. 



272 

It is supposed, by the author of the " Gigantick History," that 
the Guildhall giants represent Corinseus and Gogmagog, whose 
story seems to be to this effect. After the destruction of Troy, 
Brutus, who was the great grandson of ^Eneas, fled to Italy, mar- 
ried the daughter of Latinus, king of Latium, and succeeded him 
in the kingdom. At fifteen years of age, Brutus accidentally 
killing his father while hunting, was banished to Greece, and in 
course of time, collected a band of Trojans, on board a large fleet, 
and sailed in search of adventures. 



in two daies and a night 



Upon the He of Lestrigons they light; 

And leaving of their ships at roade, to land 
They wand'ring went the country for to view : 
Loe there a desert citie old they fand, 
And eke a temple (if report be true) 
Where Dian dwelt, of whom the Troian crew 
In sacrifice their captain counsell gave 
For good successe, a seat and soile to craue. 

And he no whit mislildng their advice 

Went forth, and did before the altar hold 

In his right hand a cup to sacrifice, 

Fill'd both with wine, and white hind's-blood scarce cold; 

And then before her statue straight he told 

Devoutly all his whole petition 



When nine times he had spoken this, and went 
Foure times the altar round, and staid agen, 
He pour"d the wine and blood in hand he hent 
Into the fire 

He laid him then downe by the altar's side, 
Upon the white hind's skin espred therefore : 
Of sweetest sleepe, he gave himselfe the more 
To rest surelie. Then seemed him before 

Diana chaste, the Goddesse, to appeare, 

And spake to him. 



She acquainted Brutus, that far to the west, beyond Gaul, was 
a sea-girt isle, which he should conquer and rule over, and his sons 



273 

after him, to whom other nations should become subject, 
raged by this prediction, they continued their adventures, 

And sail'd to Tuscans shores on Europe coast that lie. 
When at the last amongst the men they did descrie 
Foure banisht bands of Troians in distresse, 

Companions of An tenor in his flight, 

But Corinceus was their captain than, 

For counsell graue a wise and worthie wight ; 

In wars the praise of valiantnesse he wan. 

Lord Brutus liked well this noble man, 

With him full oft confer of fates he wold, 

And vnto him the oracles he told. 

With this reinforcement they again set sail, and landed at the 
haven of Loire in France. Being attacked by the king Goffarius, 
two hundred Trojans under Corinceus succeeded presently in 
utterly routing the Frenchmen ; but Corinceus, eager to pursue the 
flying enemy advanced so far before his followers, that the fugitives 
returned to slay him 

There he alone against them all, and they 
Against him one, with all their force did fight : 

He achieved prodigies of valour, until Brutus coming up with a 
fresh troop, ended the strife ; the French host were wholly discom- 
fited, and nearly all destroyed by the victorious Trojans. Turon, 
the valiant nephew of Brutus, was slain in this battle, and being 
buried on the spot, gave name to the city of Tours, which the Tro- 
jans built to vex the French ; but their force being much weakene 1 
by their successes, Brutus and Uormams set sail once more, and 
ai rived at Totness in Devonshire, in the island of Albion. 

Those mightie people borne of giants brood 
That did possesse this ocean-bounded land, 
That did subdue, who oft in battell stood 
Gainst them in field, until by force of hand 
They were made subject unto Brute's command : 

Such boldness then did in the Briton dwell, 

That they in deeds of valour did excel 1 



274 
Unable to cope with these experienced warriors, none escaped, 

Save certain giants whom they did pursue, 
Which straight to caves in mountains did them get. 
So fine were woods, and floods, and fountains set 

So cleare the aire, so temperate the clime, 

They never saw the like before that time. 

Perceiving that this was the country, denoted by the oracle, 
wherein they were to settle, Brutus divided the island among 
his f orowers, which with reference to his own name he called 
Britain. 

To Corinseus gave he, frank and free, 

The land of Cornwall for his service done, 
And for because from giants he it won. 

Corinseus was the better pleased with this allotment, inasmuch 
as he had been used to warfare with such terrible personages. 
The employment he liked fell afterwards to his lot. For, as 
on the sea-coast of Cornwall, Brutus was accustomed to keep 
a peaceable anniversary of his landing, so on a certain day, being 
one of these festivals, a band of the old giants made their appear 
ance, and suddenly breaking in upon the mirth and rejoicings, 
began another sort of amusement than at such a meeting was 
expected. The Trojans seized their arms, and a desperate battle 
was fought, wherein the giants were all destroyed, save Goemagog, 
the hugest among them, who being in height twelve cubits, was 
reserved alive, that Corinceus might try his strength with him in 
single combat. Corinseus desired nothing more than such a match, 
but the old giant in a wrestle caught him aloft and broke three of 
his ribs. Upon this Corinseus being desperately enraged, collected 
all his strength, heaved up Goemagog by main force, and bearing 
him on his shoulders to the next high rock, threw him headlong, 
all shattered, into the sea, and left his name on the cliif, which 
has been ever since called Lan-Goemagog, that is to say, the 
Giant's Leap. Thus perished Goemagog, commonly called Gog- 
magog, the last of the giants. Brutus afterwards built a city in a 
chosen spot, and called it Troja Nova, which changed in time to 



275 

Trinovantum, and is now called London. An ancient writer records 
these achievements in Britain to have been performed at the time 
when Eli was the high-priest in Judea^ 1 ) 

Mr. Archdeacon Nares in his Glossary, corroborates the Gi- 
gantick Historian's supposition concerning the personages that the 
Guildhall statues represent, by a quotation from the undermen- 
tioned work, of some old verses printed on a broad sheet, 1660 : 

And such stout Coronceus was, from whom 
Cornwall's first honor, and her name doth come. 
For though he sheweth not so great nor tall, 
In his dimensions set forth at Guildhall, 
Know' tis a poet only can define 
A gyant's posture in a gyant's line. 
***** 

And thus attended by his direful dog, 
The gyant was (God bless us) Gogmagog. 

British Bibliogr. iv. p. 277. 

The author of the Gigantick History supposes, that as " Cori- 
nseus and Gogmagog were two brave giants, who nicely valued their 
honour, and exerted their whole strength and force in defence of 
their liberty and country ; so the city of London, by placing these 
their representatives in their Guildhall, emblematically declare, 
that they will, like mighty giants, defend the honour of their coun- 
try and liberties of this their city, which excels all others, as much 
as those hugh giants exceed in stature the common bulk of mankind." 
Each of these Giants, as they now stand, measures upwards of 
fourteen feet in height : the young one is believed to be Corinaeus, 
and the old one Gog-mago^. 

Such being the chief particulars respecting those enormous 
carvings, the terror of the children, the wonder of the appren- 
tices, and the talk of the multitude of former days, I close the 

( T ) This account of Corinaeus and Gogmagog, is chiefly extracted from 
Milton's Early History of Britain, b. i. and the Mirrourfor Magistrates. 
Each of these works deriving most of the facts related from Jeffery 
of Monmouth. 



276 

subject, satisfied with having authenticated their origin. In order 
to perpetuate their appearance, they are drawn and etched by Mr. 
George Cruikshank, whose extraordinary talents have been happily 
exercised on my more original fancies. As this may be the last 
time that I shall ever write Mr. Cruikshank's name for the press, I 
cannot but express my astonishment, that a pencil which commands 
the admiration of every individual qualified to appreciate art, should 
be disregarded by that class whose omission to secure it in their 
service, is a remarkable instance of disregard to their own interests 
as the mid wives of literature. 



And here, Reader, must end our desultory intercourse on these 
affairs. It has not been conducted on my part so well as it might, 
had time and circumstances permitted me to completely avail 
myself of the few facilities in my power. " Thou wilt, may be, 
not thank me for what I have done, and complain of me for having 
left so much undone. All this I do believe thou mayest do 
justly ; but thou wilt be my witness that I have been at some trouble. 
In short, if thou ever wert an editor of such books, thou wilt have 
some compassion on my failings, being sensible of the toils of such 
sort of creatures ; and if thou art not yet an editor, I beg truce of 
thee till thou art one, before thou censurest my endeavours." 



FAEEWELL 



ADDENDA. 



Let it be book'd with the rest." Shakspeare. 



J.HE present note is composed of a few scraps, selected from 
a parcel thrown into the fire. This saving regard, with the mis- 
cellaneousness of the preceding sheets, and the desire to keep the 
press going while the plate of the Fools' Morris Dance was in 
preparation, are the real occasion and only apology for more last 
words. 

Brief notice of De Partu Virginis, a Poem, by Sannazarius 
Triumph of Death, a Carnival Pageant, by Pietro de Cosimo 
Hell Torments on the Arno Harmony and Flagellation of 
the Order of St. Philip Neri St. Macarius and his Flea 
Natives of Strood in Kent born with tails Strange licence to 
a book Ribera and Lessius on the dimensions of Hell Our 
Lady of CarmeTs confraternity St. Ignatius 's Vision of 
the Trinity Picture of it by Rubens Origin of the letters 
I H S in Churches The Triangle, an emblem of the Trinity 
Rammohun Roy's refutation of it Beehive of the Romish 
Church Catholic allegory of Bells The Ringer's Guide 
Satan and the Soul All for Money. 

SANNAZARIUS, born at Naples in 1458, ranks with Vida and Fracas- 
torius, as the first of the Latin poets among the Italians, chiefly on 
account of a poem called De Partu Virginis. It tookhim several years 
to compose, and twenty years to revise ; and to commemorate the sub- 
ject he founded a church, and dedicated it " Al Santissima Parto delict 
Gran Madro di Dio" The Poem is particularly described in a Prefatory 
Discourse to a new Edition of the Psalms of David ; translated into 
Latin verse, by Dr. Arthur Jonston, Physician to King Charles I. (Lon- 
don, 1741, 8vo.) Whence it appears that Sannazarius introduces highly 
dramtaic scenes from the New Testament Apocrypha, with classical 

37 



278 

machinery ; and produces anachronisms strikingly similar to the same 
incongruity in the representation of the Feast of the Ass. It is won- 
derful that with pretension to taste he could have penned so extraordi- 
nary a production. Making the virgin, in astonishment at the annun- 
ciation, become pale and look down upon the ground, he compares her 
surprise to that of a poor damsel, who, seeing a ship under sail coming 
towards her, whilst she is gathering cockles on the sea-shore with her 
petticoats tucked up, is in such confusion that she neither lets down her 
petticoats, nor runs to her companions, but trembles in silence, and is 
immoveable with fear. After the conception, Fame descends to the 
infernal regions to inform the inhabitants of the approaching birth, and 
to acquaint them that they are to leave Tartarus and Acheron, and the 
howling and barking of the three-backed dog. This occasions great 
joy among the blessed spirits, and David being inspired to sing, 
has a prophetic vision, after relating which the blessed shout for 
joy, and carry David on their shoulders along the bank of the 
river. At this the Furies are troubled, and Cerberus being fright- 
ened, frightens the damned with his terrible howling, and hides his 
black tail between his legs. Mary's delivery takes place in a cave, 
according to the legend of the Protevangelion, xii ; 14, xiv. 4, &c., in 
the Apoc. N. Test. She wraps up the child and puts him into her 
bosom, the cattle cherish him with their breath, an ox falls on his knees, 
and an ass does the same. The poet declaring them both happy, after 
many commendations, promises they shall be honoured at all the altars 
in Rome, and apostophizes the virgin on occasion of the resp ect the ox 
and ass have shewn her. This introduction of the ox and the ass 
warming the infant in the crib, with their breath, is a fanciful construc- 
tion by catholic writers on Isaiah i. 3, " The ox knoweth his owner, and 
the ass his master's crib " in engravings they are so represented to the 
present day, as may be seen by reference to rude wood-cuts attached to 
Christmas carols. After relating the particulars of the virgin's delivery, 
the poet makes God assemble the angels, while he sits on a throne with 
a large garment flying over his shoulders, which Nature watching day 
and night had woven for him : 

" Quam quondam, ut perhibent, vigilans noctesque diesque, 
Ipsa suo nevit rerum Natura Tonanti." b. iii. v. 19, 20. 

Amongst other things represented upon this garment, are the shapeless 
clay out of which the human race arose, birds flying through the air, 
beasts wandering in the woods, fishes swimming in the sea, and the sea 
itself foaming. God in his speech to the angels, recommends them to 
be favorable to mankind, and calls a female to him, named Lsetitia, 
who happened at that time not to be employed in dancing. 

" Lsetitiam choreis turn forte vacantem 

Advocat." v. 93, 94. 

He sends her with her train to earth, to give notice of Christ's birth to 
the shepherds. She tells them to go and see a queen rocking a cradle, 
and a king in straw, and vanishes with her train. The astonished 
shepherds cannot imagine what royal persons they are to inquire for, 
and wander over the heath all night, till at last they discover the cave 



279 

by the braying of the ass. In a transport of joy they pull up a vast 
laurel, a huge palm, and olive trees by the roots, and planting them 
round the cave, sing and dance, and make various kinds of melody. 
Joseph looks out of the cave, and asks what they are doing ? Informing 
him by what means they were sent thither, all of them shake hands, 
and go into the cave together, where they sing about forty lines, almost 
entirely from Virgil's pastorals. Angels then begin skirmishing in the 
clouds, and bring a crown of thorns, with naila, singing all the time. 
At this juncture, accidentally, Jordan, the azure king, is revolving 
things to come. Surrounded by his beautiful daughters, Glauce, Doto, 
Proto, and others, he is chiefly employed in noticing several figures 
engraven upon his urn, though ignorant of their meaning, when on a 
sudden, he sees new springs break out, and perceives the taste of his 
river to be changed. Putting his head out of the water, he discovers 
the banks all covered with flowers, and hears the shepherds and the 
angels shouting, and declaring that a God was come amongst them. 
Upon this, Jordan lifts up his hands to heaven, and relates all the 
miracles of Christ, which he says he had been informed of by Proteus. 
At the conclusion of his speech, he flings about his shoulders the garment 
which the beautiful nymphs of the streams formerly wove for him 
in their humid caves ; and finally, plunging himself into the river, the 
fable ends. 

Italy, the birth-place of Sannazarius, the land of classic achievement 
in ancient times, and of superstitious fable and ceremony in after time?, 
presented to Christian poets and dramatists a rich and various harvest. 
From thence they supplied constant amusement to the lovers of the 
marvellous ! if it were seldom selected with elegance, this is rather 
ascribable to the restrictions prescribed by the sumptuary laws of 
spiritual domination, than to want of fancy in the purveyors for public 
entertainment. 

It is already noticed (at p. 192, ante) that from the Fathers of the 
Oratory, at Eome, proceeded the performances called Oratorios. The 
rules of this religious order savor of no small severity. By the Institu- 
tions of the Oratory (printed at Oxford, 1687, 8vo, p. 49) they are 
required to mix corporal punishments with their religious harmony : 
" From the first of November to the feast of the Resurrection, their con- 
templation of celestial things shall be heightened by a concert of music ; 
and it is also enjoined, that at certain seasons of frequent occurrence, 
they all whip themselves in the oratory. And the custom is, that after 
half an hour's mental prayer, the officers distribute whips made of small 
cords full of knots, put forth the children, if there be any, and carefully 
shutting the doors and windows, extinguish the other lights, except only 
a small candle so placed in a dark lanthorn upon the altar, that 
the crucifix may appear clear and visible, but not reflecting any light, 
thus making all the room dark : then the priest in a loud and doleful 
voice, pronounceth the verse Jube Domine benedicere, and going through 
an appointed service, comes Apprehendite disciplinam, &c. ; at which 
words, taking their whips, they scourge their naked bodies during the 
recital of the 50th psalm, Miserere, and the 129th, De profundis, with 
several prayers ; at the conclusion of which, upon a sign given, they 
end their whipping, and put on their clothes in the dark and in silence." 
The Golden Legend relates an anecdote of St. Macarius which must im- 
press every one with certainty, that had the saint lived so late, and 
been honoured by admission into the order of the Oratory, he would have 



280 

practised its rules. " It happed on a tyme that he kylled a flee that 
bote hym ; and when he sawe the blode of this flee, he repented hym, 
and anone unclothed hym, and wente naked in the deserte vi. monethes, 
and suffered hymselfe to be byten of flyes." But the same authority 
exemplifies the fact, that saints are not alike forbearing ; for the apostle 
of England, St. Austin, came to a certain town inhabited by wicked 
people, who " refused hys doctryne and prechyng uterly, and drof hym 
out of the towne, castying on hym toe tayles of thornback, or lyke 
fyshes ; wherefore he besought Almighty God to shewe hys judgment 
on them ; and God sent to them a shameful token ; for the chyldren 
that were born after in the playce had tayles, as it is sayd, tyl they 
had repented them. It is s*id comynly that this fyll at Strode in 
Kente ; but blyssyd be Gode, at thys daye is no such deformyte." 

Religious plays are shewn (at p. 169, ante) to have been common in 
Italy during the thirteenth century, where spiritual shows of all sorts 
were set forth in almost every possible form. Sir John Hawkins, 
(History of Music, iii. 448) from Felibien, has given an account of 
a spectacle, invented and exhibited at Florence in the year 1510, by 
Pietro Cosimo, the painter, which Hawkins terms the most whimsical 
and at the same time the most terrifying that imagination can conceive. 
" Having taken a resolution to exhibit this extraordinary spectacle at 
the approaching carnival, Cosimo shut himself up in a great hall, and 
there disposed so secretly every thing for the execution of his design, 
that no one had the least suspicion of what he was about. In the 
evening of a certain day in the carnival season, there appeared in one 
of the chief streets of the city a chariot painted black, with white crosses 
and dead men's bones, drawn by six buffaloes : and upon the end of the 
pole stood the figure of an angel with the attributes of Death, and hold- 
ing a long trumpet in his hands, which he sounded in a shrill and 
mournful tone, as if to awaken and raise the dead : upon the top of the 
chariot sat a figure with a scythe in its hand ; representing Death, 
having under his feet many graves, from which appeared, half way out, 
the bare bones of carcases. A great number of attendants, clothed in 
black and white, masked with Death's heads, marched before and 
behind the chariot, bearing torches, which enlightened it at distances so 
well chosen, that every thing seemed natural. There were heard as 
they marched, muffled trumpets, whose hoarse and doleful sounds served 
as a signal for the procession to stop. Then the sepulchres were seen to 
open, out of which proceeded, as by resurrection, bodies resembling 
skeletons, who sung in a sad and melancholy tone, airs suitable to the 
subject, as Dolor pianto e Penitenza, and others, composed with all that 
art and invention which the Italian music is capable of ; while the pro- 
cession stopped in the public place, the musicians sung with a continued 
and tremulous voice, tne psalm, Miserere, accompanied with instruments 
covered with crape, to render their sounds more dismal. The chariot 
was followed by many persons habited like corpses, and mounted upon 
the leanest horses that could be found, spread with black housings, 
having white crosses and Death's heads painted at the four corners. 
Each of the riders had four persons to attend, habited in shrouds like 
the dead, each with a torch in one hand, and a standard of black 
taffeta, painted with white crosses, bones, and Death's heads in the 
other. In short, all that horror can imagine most affecting at the resur- 
rection of the dead, was represented at this masquerade, which was 
intended to represent the Triumph of Death. A spectacle so sad and 



281 

mournful struck a damp through Florence ; and, although in a time of 
festivity, made penitents of some, while others admiring the ingenious 
manner in which every thing was conducted, praised the whim of the 
inventor, and the execution of a concert so suitahle to the occasion." 
Appalling as this exhibition undoubtedly was, yet its terrors must have 
been exceeded by one in the same city, from whence Hawkins supposes 
that Cossimo's was taken. This was the performance of the Torments of 
the Damned, at the festival of the 1st of May, 1304, when, according to 
Sismondi, the bed of the river Arno was transformed into a representa- 
tion of the Gulf of Hell, and all the variety of suffering that the imagi- 
nation of monks or of the poet had invented, were inflicted, by streams 
of boiling pitch, flames, ice, and serpents, on real persons, whose cries 
and groans rendered the horrors of the scene complete. 

Few subjects have exercised curiosity to a greater extent than Hell. 
The author of the Discovery of a world in the Moon, (1638, 12mo.) 
p. 201.) relates that Francis Kibera, in his Commentary on a passage ir 
the Revelations (xiv. 20,) which says that the blood came out of tht 
wine-press even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and sia 
hundred furlongs, interprets "this number to be meant of Hell, and as 
expressive of its concavity, which he reckons at two hundred Italian 
miles ; but Lessius (De Morib. 1. xiii. c. 24,) thinks that this opinion 
gives them too much room in Hell, and therefore he guesses that it is 
not so wide ; for (saith he) the diameter of one league being cubically 
multiplied, will make a sphere capable of containing eight hundred 
thousand millions of damned bodies, allowing to each six feet in the 
square, whereas, says he, it is certain that there shall not be one hun- 
dred thousand millions in all that shall be damned." The Golden 
Legend, allegorises the cross to be a wine press, " In such wyse that 
the blood of Christ sprang oute ; but our champyon fought soo strongly 
and defowled the pressour soo foule, that he brake the bondes of synne 
and ascended into heaven ; and after thys he opened the taverne of 
heven and poured out the wine of the holy goost." Nearly akin to these 
representations and speculations, are the miraculous stories that formerly 
obtained credence. A tract printed at Douay, in 1626, called Jardinet 
des Delices Celestes ; la plus revelee par N. S. Jesus d Saincte Gertrude, 
bears the approbation ' par nostre Sauveur mesme,' who says : ' All 
which is in this book is agreeable to me, and full of the ineffable softness 
of my holy love, from which, as from a fountain, all is drawn that 
is here written. All that is in this book is composed, arranged, and 
written by me, I using the hands of others, according to my good will 
and pleasure." 

Such were the inventions that created and gratified the craving of 
bigotted ignorance not two centuries ago. Indeed we find the most 
illustrious devotees practising the grossest follies and propagating the 
silliest tales to effect their purposes. If in our days the supply is smaller, 
it is because dotard faith is less ; yet A short Treatise of the Antiquity, 
Privileges, &c., of the Confraternity of our Bl'ssed Lady of Mount Carmel, 
(London, 1796, 18mo.) revives many absiird tales, apparently with the 
hope that they may persuade its readers to become brethren of our Lady 
of Carmel. It states that " Good Christians have so great esteem for 
religious Sodalities, that they are every where in Catholic countries most 
generally frequented ; some enrolling themselves in the confraternity of 
the MOST BLESSED TRINITY, others in that of the Rosary, &c." Referring 
to the treatise itself for an enumeration of miracles and influences 



282 

which no rational person would imagine could now be cited as induce- 
ments to such a purpose, it is amusiug to turn to the Life of St. 
Ignatius (by Father Bouhours, London, 1686, 8vo, p. 31.) for a Vision 
of the Trimty, which the biographer states that the Founder of the 
Jesuits was favoured with. " One day, in a most lively manner there 
was represented to him the mystery of the Holy Trinity. Going after- 
wards in a solemn procession, all his thoughts were upon that mystery ; 
he could not speak but of the Trinity, but he spoke so that the most 
learned admired him, and the most ignorant were instructed by him. 
He wrote down his conceptions on no less than fourscore leaves, since 
lost." A splendid picture from the pencil of Rubens, now in Warwick 
Castle, represents the Jesuit in his rapture contemplating this mystery! 
His uplifted eyes are fixed on the letters I. H. S. blazing in the centre of 
a flame of fire. Yet these letters which are still placed on the pulpits 
and altar-pieces of Protestant churches, denote neither Trinity nor 
Unity, but only exemplify the ignorance and mistake of manuscript- 
writers in the early ages. This is shewn by Mr. Casley, in his preface 
to the Catalogue of the King's MSS. (p. xxiii). He says that " in 
Latin MSS. the Greek letters of the word Christus, as also Jesus, are 
always retained, except that the terminations are changed accordin.cr_to 
the Latin language. Jesus is writen I H S, or in small characters i ii s, 
which is the Greek I H 2, or irj s an abbreviation of lya-ovs. However, 
the scribes knew nothing of this for a thousand years before the inven- 
tion of printing ; for if they had, they would not have written i h s, for 
irjfTovs ; but they ignorantly copied, after one another, such letters as they 
found put for those two words : nay, at length they pretended to find 
Jesus Hominum Salvator comprehended in the word I H S ; which is 
another proof that they took the middle letter to be h, not 17. The dash 
also over the word which is a sign of abbreviation, some have changed 
to the sign of the cross." I had observed more on this subject, but 
within the present year these letters have been constellated on the altar- 
piece of the church belonging to the parish wherein I reside ; and 
desiring to owe nothing but good will to my neighbours, I suppress 
further remark, lest some of them may suppose that I design to reflect in 
an unfriendly way on a circumstance wherein, as to intention, they have 
unknowingly erred. The corruption of the note of abbreviation men- 
tioned by Casley is common to Catholic books and in old prints, very 
frequently with the addition beneath the letters, of the three nails of 
the cross, diverging from the points in a fan-like form. That there 
were four nails was maintained at one time, from a supposition that 
each foot was separately nailed, instead of both feet being transfixed by 
one nail ; but as, by the latter mode, the disposition of the limbs looks 
better to the eye, the best painters decide in its favour, while the number, 
three, has rendered it convenient as an emblem of the Trinity. 

The symbol denoting the co-equality of persons in the Trinity by an 
equilateral triangle, has of late years been converted into a triangle, of 
which only two sides being equal, the third side is consequently unequal, 
This forms the base of a triangle consisting of one perfect rectangle and 
two acute angles, and by a strange confusion, the second person of the 
Trinity, already supposed to be comprehended in the figure of a triangle, 
is here superadded in the form of a dove hovering beneath the base, 
with a circle of effulgent rays comprehending the whole. Vast numbers 



283 

of prayer-books now in use are stamped in gold on the covers, with this 
senseless device. Indeed the incorrectness of the perfect Triangle as a 
symbol, is demonstrated by the celebrated Brahmin, Eammohun Roy, 
who having upon deliberate conviction become a Christian, has pub- 
lished The Precepts of Jesus, the Guide to Peace and Happiness, (London, 
1822, 8vo., p. 306) which contains the refutation alluded to, says that 
" The analogy between the Godhead and a triangle, in the first instance, 
denies to God any real existence ; for extension of all kinds, abstracted 
from position or relative situation, exists only in idea. Secondly, it 
destroys the iinity attempted to be established between Father, Son, and 
Holy Ghost ; for the three sides of a triangle are conceived of as sepa- 
rate existences. Thirdly, it denies to each of the three persons of God, 
the epithet God, inasmuch as each side cannot be designated a triangle, 
though the Father of the universe is invariably called God in the strict 
sense of the term." Then he shows that the manner of arguing by a 
mathematical figure, is adapted to support the polytheism of the Hindoos, 
and would in fact " equally suit the Atheist ; for as the Trinity is repre- 
sented by the three sides of a triangle, so the eternal revolution of nature 
without any divine person, may be compared to the circle, which is con- 
sidered as having no sides or angles, or which when considered as a poly- 
gon, having an infinite number of sides, the illustration of the Trini- 
tarian doctrine by the form of the triangle, will by analogy justify those 
sects who maintain the existence of an infinite number of persons in 
the Godhead," &c. 

By allegory and symbol the papacy ensnared the ignorant. The 
author of the Beehive of the Romish Church, says, in defence of his 
title, that "our dear and loving mother, the holie Church of Rome, 
ought not to scorne or disdaine that wee doe compare her customs and 
orders to a Beehive, considering that she herselfe doth compare the 
incomprehensible generation of the Sonne of God from his Father, 
together with his birth out of the pure and undefiled Virgine Marie, 
unto the Bees; which were in verie deede a great blasphernie, if the 
bees were not of so great valour and virtue, that by them wee might 
liken and compare the holie church of Rome. And seeing, she saith, 
that God is delighted with the giftes and presentes of the bees, why 
should not shee herselfe exceedinglie rejoyce with our Bee Hive 1 " Two 
curious designs on wood, inserted in this book represent the papal crown 
as a hive. Bees with shaven heads, mitres, cardinals' hats, &c., are 
flying around it, engaged in shriving, burying, saying mass, &c. A 
similar representation nearly occupies the title page of the Dutch trans- 
lation printed in 1576. Without the explanation already given, it 
might be supposed the title was from a story related in Stodford's 
Ways of Rome's Advancement, (1675, 8vo. p. 107) : "A woman's bees 
not thriving, by the advice of a neighbour, she steals a consecrated 
wafer, and placeth it in one of her hives, hoping it would drive away 
the disease and bless their undertakings. The devout bees in honour of 
such a guest, fall to work, and with their honeycombs make a pretty 
little church, with windows, a door, a belfry, yea, and an altar too, upon 
which they laid the Host, and paid great reverence to it." 

The worship of the Romish Church consists of allegory, symbol, and 
dramatic exhibition. Specimens of allegory are already in these sheets; 
but the contemplations of the Catholics in this way, are to an extent 
that modern Protestants can scarcely conceive. For instance, the 
ancients at a feast of Minerva and Vulcan, consecrated Trumpets for 
religious uses, especially as antidotes against demons, thunder, storms, &c. 



284 

To the same end the Catholics baptize Bells in the name of the 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and dedicate them to the saints, using 
holy water, holy oil, incense, and prayers, in the ceremony ; and, ac- 
cording to the missal of Salisbury use, there were godfathers and god- 
mothers to the bells, who gave them their names. Durandus the great 
Catholic authority for the mysterious services of his church, explains the 
allegorical signification of bells after their baptism. He says, (Ration, 
Divin. Offic. lib. i. cap. 4) that bells being made of brass, and being 
therefore more shrill than the trumpets under the law, denote that God 
was then known to the Jews only, but now to all the world : that as they 
are more durable, they signify that the preaching of the New Testament 
endures longer than the Jewish trumpets and sacrifices, eve.n unto the 
end of time, and that they represent preachers which call men to the 
faith. The bell denotes the preacher's mouth, according to the words of 
St. Paul, I am become as sounding brass, &c. ; the hardness of its metal 
implies the fortitude of the preacher's mind, according to the passage, 
/ have given thee a forehead more hard than their forehead. The clapper 
soxmding the bell by striking on both sides, denotes the preacher's tongue 
publishing both the Testaments, and that the preacher should on one 
side correct vice in himself, and on the other side, reprove it in his hearers. 
The hand that ties the clapper denotes the moderation of the tongue ; 
the wood on which the bell hangs signifies the wood of the cross ; the 
iron that ties it to the wood denotes the charity of the preacher, who being 
inseparably connected with the cross, exclaims, " Far be it from me to 
glory, except in the cross of our Lord." The wheel that puts the bell in 
motion signifies the preacher's mind, which connected with the divine 
law, passeth it upon the people by constant preaching. The bell-rope 
denotes the humility of the preacher's life. The r.ope tied to the wood 
wherein the bell hangs, signifies that the scripture descendeth from the 
wood of the cross. The rope being formed of three cords, denotes that 
the scripture consisteth of a Trinity, viz., History, Allegory, and Morality : 
the descent of the rope from the wood to the hand, signifies the descent 
of scripture from the mystery of the cross in the preacher's mouth, and 
that it comes to his hand, because the scripture should produce good works. 
The upward and downward motion of the rope denotes that the scripture 
sometimes speaks of high, and at other times of low matters, sometimes 
mysteriously, and at other times, plainly. Again, the downward motion, 
signifies the preacher's descent from contemplation to action ; the upward 
motion, when the scripture is exalted in contemplation ; also the down- 
ward motion signifies the scripture when it is expounded literally; and 
the upward motion, when it is expounded spiritually. 

A specimen is at hand of an attempt from another quarter to spiritualize 
Bells. In 1804 a tract was published, entitled " The Ringer's true 
Guide" containing a safe Directory for every true Churchman ; or an 
affectionate address to Ringers in every Church and Parish ; by S. 
Beaufoy," (12mo. p. 24). Mr. Beaufoy seeing that " on a moderate calcula- 
tion we have more than seventy thousand ringers," addresses them thus : 
" If thou, reader, art a ringer, thou has an active part in the church, 
and thou shouldest be careful to perform thy part with holy propriety." 
He explains how : " thou shouldest pray that thou mayest always 
fill thy office as God exhorts in his holy word, when he says, 
JVhatsoever ye do, do ALL to the Glory of God, (1 Cor. x. 31.) Hence 
it appears, that whenever thou art employed in ringing, thou 



285 

shouldest ring to the glory of God. I recommend to thy most serious 
consideration : 1st. What are the most material ends to be answered, 
by ringing ? 2ndly. I would excite thee to examine whether thou hast 
practised ringing with a view to these important ends." This, Mr. 
Beaumont attempts with more of good purpose than judgment. To 
what extent his piece is popular among the seventy thousand prac- 
titioners in " tintinnabulary clatter," experience does not enable me to 
say. 

Allied to allegory were such old spiritualizing romances as the Pil- 
grimage of the Sowle, before alluded to (at p. 122) as pregnant " with 
beauties that delighted our forefathers." The author of that work, as 
afterwards old John Bunyan, delivers himself under the similitude of a 
dream which, he says, befell him on a St. Laurence' night sleeping in 
his bed. He thought that he was travelling towards the City of Jeru- 
salem, when Death struck his Body and Soul asunder ; whereupon the 
foul and horrible Sathanas comes towards the soul, which being in great 
terror, its Warden or Guardian Angel desires Sathanas to flee away and 
not meddle with it. Satan refuses, alleging that God had permitted that 
no soul which had done wrong should, on its passage, escape from being 
" snarlyed in his trappe ; " and he says, that the Guardian Angel well 
knows that he, the warden, could never withdraw the Soul from evil or 
induce it to follow his good counsel; and that even if he had, the Soul 
would not have thanked him for it ; he therefore does not know why 
the Angel should interfere, and begs he would let him alone to do with 
the Soul what he had a right to do, and could not be prevented from 
doing. The parley continues, until they agree to carry the Soul before 
Michael, the provost of heaven, and abide his award on Satan's claim. 
The Soul was then lifted between them both into the transparent air, 
wherein the spirits of the newly dead were passing thickly on every 
side, to and fro, as motes flitting in the sun-beam. They tarried not 
until they arrived at a marvellous place of bright fire, shining with a 
brilliant light, surrounded by a great multitude of Souls attending there 
for a like purpose. The Guardian Angel entered, leaving Satan 
without, and also the Soul, who could hear the voice of his warden 
speaking in his behalf, and acquainting Michael that he had brought 
from earth a pilgrim, who was without, and with him old Satan his 
accuser, abiding judgment. Then Satan began to cry out and said, 
" of right he is mine, and that I shall prove ; wherefore deliver him to 
me by judgment, for I abide nought else." This caused proclamation to 
be made by sound of trumpet in these words : All ye that are without, 
awaiting your judgment, present yourselves before the Provost to receive 
your doom ; but first ye that have longest waited, and especially those 
that have no great matter and are not much troubled ; for the plain 
and light causes shall first be determined, and then other matters that 
need greater tarrying." This proclamation greatly disturbed the souls 
without. Satan and his evil spirits were most especially angry, and 
holding a consultation, he spoke as follows : " It appears we are of 
little consequence, and hence our wicked neighbours do us injustice. 
These wardens hinder us from our purpose, and we are without favour. 
There is no caitiff pilgrim but hath a warden assigned him from his 
birth, to attend him and defend him at all times from our hands, and 
especially from the time that he washed in the " salt lye," ordained by 
Grace de Dieu, who hath ever been our enemy ; and then they are 
taken, as soon as these wardens come, before the provost, and have 

38 



audience at their own pleasure ; while we are kept here without, as 
mere ribalds. Let us cry out a rowe [hard] and out upon them all ! 
they have done us wrong ; and we will speak so loud that in spite of 
them they shall hear us." Then Satan and his spirits cried out all at 
once, " Michael ! Provost, Lieutenant, and Commissary of the high 
Judge ! do us right, without exception or favour of any party. You 
know very well that in every upright court the prosecutor is admitted 
to make his accusation and propose his petition ; but you first admit 
the defendant to make his excusation. This manner of judging is sus- 
picious ; for were these pilgrims innocent, yet, if reason were to be 
heard, and right were to prevail, the accusers would have the first 
hearing to say what they would, and then the defendants after them, to 
excuse themselves if they could : we, then, being the prosecutors, hear 
us first, and then the defendants." After Satan's complaint, the Soul 
heard within the curtain, "a longe parliament ;" and, at the last, there 
was another proclamation ordered by sound of trumpet as follows : 
"All ye that are accustomed to come to our judgments, to hear and to see, 
as assessors, that right be performed, come forth immediately and take 
your seats ; ye well knowing your own assigned places. Ye also that are 
without, waiting the sitting of the court, present yourselves forthwith 
to the judgment thereof, in order as ye shall be called; so that no one 
hinder another, or interrupt another's discourse. Ye pilgrims approach 
the entrance of this curtain, awaiting without ; and your wardens, 
because they are our equals, belonging to our company, are to appear, 
as of right the}* ought, within our presence." After this proclamation 
was observed, the Guardian Angel said " Provost Michael ! I here pre- 
sent to you this pilgrim committed to my care in the world below : he 
has kept his faith to the last, and ought to be received into the heavenly 
Jerusalem, whereto his body hath long been travelling." Satan an- 
swered " Michael ! attend to my word and I shall tell you another 
tale." He urged that the Soul, after baptism, on arriving at mature 
age, defiled himself by sin. " It is written," says Satan, " in the midst 
of his visage, read it who that wilL There ye may see the shame and 
confusion which he hath wilfully wrapped himself in. By that I ask 
judgment that he be delivered to me." Satan then enumerated the 
Soul's various sins, and asked " who is it that ought, or may, or dare 
excuse him ? I ask no other witness but he that hath always been next 
of his counsel, his own Conscience, who dare not, nor will not lie in the 
matter : he is mine by right ; in heaven hath he nought ; let him 
therefore he delivered to me that I may go hence forthwith.'' The Soul 
then relates, that in great dread and heaviness he knew not what to do 
or say, but when he saw his warden remain silent, he was in still 
greater dread. He said to me then, says the Soul, that " I must answer 
for myself to the accusation, and if I could defend myself I had the right 
to do so, but if I could not or durst not in my own person, I must get 
some advocate to speak for me. But I well knew that advocates are not 
willing to plead any man's cause without it is a just one, or else that 
they hope to be rewarded after ; and for so poor a man as I, there 
would no advocate plead without being paid before hand : for pleaders 
in worldly courts have tongues like to the languet of the balance that 
draweth him away to the party that will give the best reward." Never- 
theless the advocates of heaven were of another kind, and ready to 
speak for the soul ; yet he still thought, that as he " was poor, and had 
nothing to give an advocate, and had no acquaintance with any saint, 



287 

he had better defend himself. He commences, however, by complaining 
that be who is now his accuser was his seducer. He suggests that if he 
had been a sinner he ought not to have been suffered to go on so long. 
He affirms that he has no wisdom to demean himself, and appeals to 
Charity, to Jesus, to the Virgin Mary, and to all the saints against his 
enemy, who, while he was in the flesh, by deceits and frauds, drove him 
to misdoing. Then, Justice spoke to the following effect : " Sir 
Judge ! Repentance and petition is now useless ! nor can any advocate 
plead here who is not from the earth below, and it is against the law 
and custom of the court to attempt to excite and stir favor to himself. 
The soul had leisure in his lifetime to have prayed, and obtained procu- 
rators to promote his interests, but now it is too late." Proclamation 
was accordingly made thus : " The manner and usage of the Court is, 
that the pilgrim answer for himself personally, and plainly give ac- 
count of his journey, and other plea nor process ought not to be heard 
nor admitted in this place." The soul thus pressed, endeavoured to 
defend himself in the best manner he could. He began by tendering 
exceptions to Satan's proceedings : that he ought not to answer the 
action brought against him by satan and others, because they were in- 
famous and condemned, and therefore driven from heaven ; because 
Satan had always been the defendant's personal enemy, by pursuing, 
lying in wait, forestalling, spreading nets, arraying traps and setting 
other engines, to take and deceive him. Further, he alleged that Satan 
was not a proper person to prosecute the action, he being eternally con- 
demned, and therefore could not answer to the soul for the wrong done 
him, if the action were disallowed ; and, lastly, he alleged that it was 
well known that Satan was then, and ever had been, an open liar, the 
author of all falsehood, and untruth, and always ready to do and say the 
worst. To these exceptions Satan answered to nearly as follows : that the 
manner and custom of heaven is not the same as upon earth ; that he had 
seizin of accusement inasmuch as the Court had accepted his accusation: 
that when he was kept standing without, the soul did not then except : 
that although, true it was, that if the action were avoided, that he 
personally could not be heard by reason of his insufficiency, yet there 
was one who could in no way be excepted to, and who knew the soul's in- 
most thoughts. Whereupon Satan called Synderesys to testify the truth. 
The soul's description of this witness is very curious : '' Then came 
forth by me an old one, that long time had hid himself nigh me, which, 
before that time I had not perceived. He was wonderfully hideous, and 
of cruel countenance ; and he began to grin, and shewed me his jaws 
and his gums, for teeth he had none, they being all broken and worn 
away. And when I espied him, I was full sore abashed. He was dread- 
fully loathsome and foul to look upon : he had no body, but under his 
head, he had only a tail, which seemed the tail of a worm, of exceeding 
length and greatness. To me this loathsome beast began to speak, and 
said : I am come to accuse thee. / am not accustomed to make fables, 
nor tell no gabbings, but I am believed of truth. I know well thy 
thoughts, thy deeds, and thy words. Thou canst make no exception to 
me ; and I shall be believed in this Court better than thee. Often have 
I warned thee in private, for thy own sake and advantage, of thy miscon- 
duct, both in thoughts and words ; and so often bitten thee that all my 
teeth are wasted and brok* 1 " , and yet thou hast been so obstinate, that 
no sore biting could turn thee from thy evil ways. And further, I 



288 

counselled thee to go to the priest and shew him the hideousness of thy 
soul, which by keeping private is blemished and deformed, although that 
priest, upon thy disclosure, would have absolved thee." The Soul in- 
quiring of the witness who he is, receives for answer ; " I am the Worm 
of Conscience ; for, like a worm, I am wont to bite and to wound them 
that wrong themselves." This specimen, modernized in orthography 
and style, shews that the curious piece from whence it is extracted, is 
not only pregnant with allegory, but is a theological parody upon pro- 
ceedings in courts of law. It is issued, as is elsewhere stated, from the 
press of Caxton, the first English printer, in the reign of Edward the 
Fifth. 

One remark, in conclusion, concerning Mysteries. It seems pretty 
well agreed that the performance of these religious plays ceased about 
1578. Subjoined is the title of a play, printed at London in that year, 
with the names of the characters. " A moral and pitiful Comedi, 
intituled ALL FOR MONET : plainly representing the maners of men and 
fashion of the world now adayes. Compiled by T. LUPTON. The names 
of them that plaie this Comoedie. Theologie. Science. Arte. Money. 
Adulation. Mischievous helpe. Pleasure. Prest for pleasure. Sinne. 
Swifte to sinne. Damnation. Satan. Pryde. Gluttonie. Learn- 
ing with Money. Learning without Money. Money without Learning. 
All for Money. Neyther Money nor Learning. Money les and Friendles. 
Gregorie graceless. Moneyles. William with the two wives. Nychol. 
S. Laurence. Mother Crooke. Judas. Dives. Godly admonition. 
Vertue. Humilitie. Charitie." Lupton's amalgam of mystery with 
morality was an accommodation to the general liking for the old perfor- 
mances. From about that period it is easy to trace the rapid improve- 
ment of popular taste, in the plays of successive authors, until Shakspeare, 
exploring the sources of human action exemplified all possible varieties 
of character, and taught the philosophy of social life in his imperishable 
dramas. 



GLOSSARY. 



ABTL, enable. 

Agens, to meet. 

Ageyn, against. 

Algates, always, nevertheless, 

Alosed, reputed, charged with. 

Alwey, always. 

Amys, ill, badly, amiss. 

Antecer, predecessor, forerunner. 

Apayred, injured. 

Arer, raise. 

Aroint, arongt, p. 138, 

At, of, from. 

Auerte, avert. 

Auter, awter, altar. 

Avyse, advice, counsel. 
B. 

Barrany, barren. 

Barynes, barrenness. 

Beforn, before. 

Bemys, rays. 

Ben, be, entered. 

Benyson, blessing. 

Ber', bear. 

Bestad, taken place, happened. 

Bestys, beasts. 

Beteche, recommend, require. 

Beth, be. 

Bewte, beauty. 

Blake, black. 

Blawdyr, scandal, disturbance. 

Bier,' darken, dim. 

Blvthe, blithe, merry. 

Bot, but. 

Bote, bit. 

Bow, bough, bush. 

Bower, a chamber, dwelling-place. 

Brake, 'bows of brake,' p. 125 
steel; at least, I have so j re- 
sumed to supply the blank lef c 
by Dr. Whitaker. Authorities 
cited by Arch. Nares, in his 
Glossary, published since p. 1 25 
was printed, seem to corroborate 
my notion. 

Bren, burn. 



Brenning, burning. 
Brydde, bird. 
Bryth, bright. 
Busshop, bishop. 



Buxham, obedient, gentle. 
Buddyng, order, command. 
Byth, but. 

G. 

Catel, goods, chattels. 

Cent, sent. 

Chawmer, chamber, dwelling. 

Cher, cheer, comfort ; also dear. 

dies, chose. 

Cheverell, kid leather. 

Clene, chaste, pure. 

lennes, chastity, purity. 

Clepid, clepyd, called. 

Clowte, beat. 

Cokwold, cuckold. 

Comfyte, comyfte, discomfited. 

Comyn, come. 

Conceyte, witty device. 

Conclusyon, determination, judg- 

ment. 

Conserve, preserve. 
Contekour, a disturber, maker of 
Cou'ed, covered [strife. 

Cowp, cup. 
Credyl, cradle. 
Cropyn, crept. 
C'ste, Christ. 
Curtana, the blunt sword of mercy, 

used at coronations of kings of 

England. 
Cus, kiss. 

D. 

Dery's leder, deer's leather, buckskin. 

Devyr, endeavour, duty. 

Devyse, grant. 

Deye, die. 

Deyte, deity. 

Dome, doom, judgment, 

Dowter, daughter. 

Drynge, drink. 



290 



GLOSSARY. 



Dwer, door. 

Dylexcon, dilection, loving kindness. 

Dyser's, desires. 

Dysspice, despise. 

Dyu's, diverse. 

E. 

Egee, egg. 

Estre, Estres, Easter. 
Estryge, ostrich. 
Esyd, eased. 
Ethe, easy, willing. 
Every 'ch, each one, every. 
Eu'y, eiiyr, every. 

Famy't, famished, 

Far', fare. 

Faryn, fearing. 

Feetly, dexterously. 

Felacha'pp, company, society. 

Felas, fellows, companions. 

Fenestrallis, inimitation of windows 

Ffendys, fiends. 

Fer, far. 

Ferd, fared. 

Fer, fere, fellow, mate. 

Fet, fetched. 

Fonde, try, endeavour. 

For, because. 

Ffortene, fourteen*. 



Fy\t, filled. 

G. 

Gaff, gave. 
Giff, if. 
Gites, gowns. 
Gle, mirth, music. 
Gon, -go, proceed. 
Goth, go. 
Gramercy, (grand mercie, fr.) 

great thanks. 
Gran.e, anger, affliction. 
Gramyd, angered, afflicted. 
Grees, Greeys, steps, stairs. 
Grotte, a groat. 
Gynne, a snare, a trap. 
Gyff, give ; also, if. 
Gynnynge, beginning. 

TT 

Hane, have. 

Haras, "hous of haras," p. 68, a 

resting-place for the fatigued ? 
Harrowing of Hell ; the release of 

souls & stripping of Hell by Christ. 
Haryed, ransacked, pillaged, plun- 
Hasardour, a gamester. ' [dered. 
He, ye, you. 
He', hem, them. 



Hed, head ; also heed. 
Hefne, heaven. 
Hele, health. 
Hendyng, end. 
Hent, held, hold. 
Her', hear, and here; also there. 
Herand, errand. 
Hes, has. 

Hese, his ; also these. 
Hesely, easily. 
Hey, high. 
Hir, hire. 
Ho, who. 
Ho so, whoso. 
Hodys, hoods. 
Hondis, hands. 
Howe, ought. 
Howyth, ought. 
Hy, hyg, high. 
Hyge, hie, make haste. 
Hygth, named. 
Hy'pne, hymn. 

Hytte the pynne, p. 63, "knocked 

the right nail on the head," guessed 

I. [aright. 

Insampull, example. 

J. 

Jentyl, gentle. 

K. 

Kende, known. 

Knowlyche, acknowledge. 

Knyll, knell. 

Kusse, kiss. 

Ky, (kyke, to look). 

L. 

Lave, water. 

Lawhg, laugh. 

Lemenyd, limned, emblazoned. 

Lerne, to teach. 

Lese, lose, damage. 

Lett, hinder. 

Lette, p. 42, is probably a clerical 

error for " telle," tell. 
Levyn, live, reside. 
Levyr, rather. 
Lewd, illiterate, ignorant. 
Logge, p. 68, lodge. 
Loveday, a day of reconciliation. 
Lowth, bend, stoop. 
Lyberary, library. 
Lyflode, livelihood. 
Lyste, list, desire, choice. 
Lythly, gently, easily. 

M. 

Maculation, spot, stain of sin. 



GLOSSARY. 



291 



Malcc, mate, consort. 

Matrice, womb. 

Ma'y, maydy 5 , maiden ; also a 

Maylys, mail armour. [bidielor 

Mayst', master. 

Mede, meed, reward. 

Mekyl, much. 

Melle, meddle, mix. 

Mende, mind. 

Mene, mine. 

Metelys, p. 228, appropriately in 

character, meetly. 
Mevyd, moved, stirred up. 
Modyr, mother. 
Moty, may, might. 
Mow, may, must ; also mouth. 
Muse, think, imagine. 
Mys, a mys, amiss. 
Mystyz, mysterious, unknown, 
Myth, might, lower. 

N. 

Natt, not. 
Ne, neither. 
Ner, near, nigh. 
Noke, nook, corner. 
Noti, known. 
Nother, neither. 
Nvn, nor. 

0. 

Gblocucyon, obloquy, false report. 

On, one. 

Onys, once. 

Ower, over. 

Owtli, auyht, any thing. 

Owughte, out, outright. 

Owyght, ought. 

P. 

Pace, pass, hasten away. 
Pantofles, slippers; at p. 149, high 

heeled shoes. 

Parde", par Dieu, a petty oath. 
Pardoner, a licensed seller of papal 

pardons. 
Parfyte, perfect. 

Parlement, a conference, a council. 
Passage, pregnancy. 
Pateyn, patten, a dish for the chalice, 

in Church worship. 
Pawsac'on, pause, delay. 
Pes, peace. 
Pety enime, a mean adversary, a 

slanderer. 
Pleand, playing. 
Pleynge, recreating. 
Pleyny*, complain 
Povvste, power. 



Praty, pretty. 

Prest, priest. 

Prevydens, providence. 

Pr'ogatyff, prerogative. 

Prow, honour, profit. 

P'stis, priests. 

P'vyde, p. 40, a contraction for 

purveyed? 
Puyly, privily. _ 
Pylg'n.ys, pilgrims. 
Pyn, pain. 
Pypys, pipes. 

Q. 

Qwedyr, quiver, quake. 
Qwelle, to destroy, to kill 
Qwen, queen. 
Qwer, quire, choir. 
Qwyk, quick, alive. 

K. 

Rage, wanton toying. 

Rape, to be in haste. 

Reft, bereft, taken away. 

Ren, run. 

Repreve, reproof. 

Reprevyd, reproved. 

Rewlyd, ruled. 

Roddys, rods. 

Rowte, a company. 

Ryff, rife, common, openly. 

Ryghtwysnes,rytewisnes,ri<//ieot- 

ness, 
Ryth, right. 

S. 

Sapyens, wisdom. 

Sawe, saw, aft old saying. 

Sawys, sayings. 

Sawter, psalter. 

Scarfawst, a scaffold, 

Schadu, shadow. 

Schape, p. 65, escape. 

Schapp, shape. 

Schent, shent, hurt, spoiled, ruined, 

Schryve, shrive, to confess. 

Schul, shall. 

Sclepyr, slippery. 

Se, see, a province, a dominion. 

Sees, cease. 

Sefne, seven. 

Sekernedys, p. 67, look out for work t 

seek support. 
Sekyr, p. 47, as usual. 
Sekyrly, p. 68, to seek them f 
Sen, see. 
Ser*, sir. 
Serys, sirs. 
Ses, cease. 



GLOSSARY. 



Sesyd, seised, possessed of. 

Sexte, sixth. 

Seyd, seed ; also said. 

Seyden, had said. 

Seyn, seen, said, saying. 

Seyng, saying. 

Shrewe, to curse. 

Shullen, -should. 

Shyrle, churl. 

Slynge, sling, to hurl or throw. 

Sofreynes, sovereynes, sovereigns. 

Somnor, a summoner, an apparitor. 

Somowne, summon. 

Sonde, message, messenger. 

Songen, sung. 

Sor'we, sorrow. 

Sothfastnes, truth. 

Sothly, truly. 

Sowlen, souls. Alle Soulen day, 

All Souls' day. 
Sownde, message. 
Sowte, sought. 
Spowsage, espousals. 
Spyliyth, spoileth. 
Starkly, strongly. 
Stere, stir, to move. 
Stond, stonde, stand. 
Stytelerys, p. 227 1 
Suster, sister. 
Sustren, sisters. 
Swinke, labour. 
Swyche, such. 
Sybbe, a relative by blood. 
Syerge, a wax-taper. 
Sygt, sight, presence. 
Syse, assize, judgment. 
Syth, p. 46, time. 
Syth, p. 46, afterwards. 
Syttyth, sitteth. 

T. 

Take, p. 34, shmo. 

Taste, p. 70, feel 

Tende, tend, wait on. 

Tent, attention, heed, warning. 

Thonking, thanking. 

Thor'jp. 41, thorough; also therefore. 

Thor'we, through. 

Thorwe oiith, throughout. 

Thretty, thirty. 

Thrydde, third. 



Thryste, thirst. 

Thwyn, be thwyn, between. 

Thynkyht, think, thought it. 

To, too. 

To hyge, too high. 

Tolle, tell. 

Ton, toes. 

Tow'r, p. 14, heavenly rest. 

Trayne, connection. 

Tribus, tribe. 

Tron, throne. 

Trowe, think. 

Trowth, truth, faith. 

Tweyn, two. 

Tweynei'smetyngjhemeeting of two 

U. 

Unknowledge, ignorance. 
V. 

Ve'geabyl, revengeful. 
Verament, verily, truly. 

W. 

Wede, apparel. 

Wend, go. 

Wene, think, guess, conjecture. 

Werd, werde, world. 

Werkys, works. 

Wers, worse. 

Wete, know, understand. 

Weten, understood. 

Whyte, white. 

Wis, wys, know, imagine. 

Wole, will. 

Wonyng, dwelling-place. 

Wrank, p. 63, wrong ? 

Wrecchis, wretches. 

Wurchepp, worship. 

Wurdys, words. 

j^- 
Xal, shall. 

Y. 

Y, sometimes stand for th. 

Yardys, rods, wands. 

Yer, years. 

Yerd, yard, a rod, a wand. 

Yettis, gates. 

Yne, eyes. 

Yturne, changed, altered. 

Z. 

ZyngCj young. 



END OF THE GLOSSARY. 



INDEX. 



A. 

ABRAHAM and Isaac,a mystery , acted 
at Newcastle, 213 

Actium, anniversary of the battle of, 
turned into the feast of St. Peter 
ad vincula, 160 

Acts of the Apostles, a grand mys- 
tery, performed at Paris, 175 ; 
proclamation for its performance, 
177; prohibited by the parlia- 
ment, 179 

Adam and Eve naked on the stage, 
220 

Address to the audience at the per- 
formance of a mystery, 57 

Albans, St., the Devil seen there, 
89 ; copes, borrowed from the 
Abbey for the miracle play at 
Dunstable, 200 

All for Money, a play, 288 

Andrew's, St., Holborn, Boy Bishop, 
198 

Ann and Joachim, prints of their 
apocryphal story, 107, 112 ; de- 
votional honours to Ann, 113 ; 
their wedding-ring, 116 

Annunciation and Birth of Christ, 
a mystery, acted at Civita Vec- 
chia, 169 ; at Munich, 191 

Anthony, St., of Padua, for miracles 
performed, receives the rank of 
captain in a Portuguese regiment, 
189 

Apocryphal New Testament sub- 
jects, engravings of, 107 

Apollinarius Bishop ofLaodicea, and 
his father, turn subjects of the 
Old and New Testament into 
plays, 151 

Applause anciently expressed in 
churches, 153 

Aroint, arongt, arongt, 138, autho- 
rities concerning, 146 

Arsenic in the Chester giants, 269 

Ass, Feast of the, 160 ; the ass for- 
merly in Palm Sunday Proces- 
sions, 162; vulgar notion con- 
cerning his marks ; ibid, hymn 
in his praise, 163 

Autolycus's ballad, 136 

39 



Bacchanalian and Saturnalian 
sports, succeeded by religious 
shows, 157, 159 

Bale, Bishop, notice of him and of 
mysteries he wrote, 226 

Baldini and Boticelli, engrave a cu- 
rious print of hell, 122 

Bamberg, remarkable performance 
of a mystery there, 185 ; and a 
religious procession of the Pas- 
sion, 187 

Baptizing of Christ, a mystery, 
acted at Newcastle, 213 

Bartholomew Fair, Creation of the 
World, Noah's Flood, and Dives 
and Lazarus performed there, 230 

Bassingborne. miracle play, 215 

Bedford Missal, 112, 165 

Beehive of the Romish Church, 220, 
222, 283 

Begrande, Mad., plays in the mys- 
tery of Susannah, at Paris, 189 

Bellarmine, Card., the division of 
hell into compartments erro- 
neously attributed to him, 122 

Bells spiritualized, 284 

Benedictine convent at Clerken- 
weU, 207 

Bernard's St., Querela, 141 

Bibles, their scarcity formerly, 202 

Birth of Christ, &c., acted in a pup- 
pet-show at Dieppe, 189 

of Mary, a Coventry mystery, 

described, 13 

BoarVhead Carols, 100, 102 

Bodleian Library, MSS. of Cornish 
mysteries of the Deluge, Passion, 
and Resurrection there, 217 

Boeck van Jhesus Leven, contains 
woodcuts from apocryphal story, 
112, 122 

Botolph, St., without Aldersgate, 
chartulary of the brethren of the 
Holy Trinity described, 73 

Boy Bishop, 166 ; the ceremony de- 
scribed, 193200 

Branch in churches, 83 

Brussels, superstition there concern- 
ing dogs, 172 



294 



INDEX. 



Burial of Christ and the Virgin, mys- 
teries acted at Newcastle, 214 
Buttock-bone of Pentecost, 88 



Cam bray Boy Bishop, 197 

Cambridge University, its ignorance 
of Greek in the time of Erasmus, 
157 

Candles, Thirteen, allegorical of 
Christ and the Apostles, 78 ; a 
triangular one allegorical of the 
Trinity, ibid ; candles in Catho- 
lic worship borrowed from the 
ancient Komans, 84 

Canterbury Cathedral, the Descent 
into Hell in one of the windows, 
and the Apocryphal Gospel of 
Nicodemus, formerly chained to 
the pillars, 123 

Carols, Christmas, notices concern- 
ing, 90; lists of those now printed, 
97 ; specimens of carol-cuts, 100 

Castle of Good Preservanse, a mo- 
rality, 227 

Caxton's Pilgrimage of the Sowle, 
122, 235 

Caxton, the monks alarmed at his 
press, 228 

Chaplains compose mysteries, 215 

Chester mysteries in the British 
Museum, 200 ; giants, 268 

Chevalier que donne sa femme au 
Diable, a mystery, 174 

Children, custom to whip them on 
Innocents' day, 195 

Christ allegorised by candles, 83 ; 
prints of his apocryphal story, 
108 ; his blood at his crucifixion 
said to have descended into hell, 
123 ; his approbation affixed to a 
book, 282 

Christmas, Gerard, improves the 
figures in the pageants, 267 

City accounts, entry of the sum paid 
to the carver of the giants, 267 

companies' barges first built, 

249 

election wit on the present 

London giants, 271 

poet, 262 

Clara, St., an allegory of the Tri- 
nity, found in her gall, 88 



Clergy, their ignorance in former 
times, 156 ; they destroy ancient 
MSS., 157 ; introduce ludicrous 
shows into the church, ibid ; de- 
cline in power in England, 204 

Clerk at the Eton Montem, 
strangely used by the chaplain 
after prayers, 199 

ClerkenweU, mysteries performed 
there, 206 ; extracts from the rate 
books, 207 

Church Service in honour of the 
ass, 162 

Churchwardens hire players to per- 
form the mysteries, 218 

Colet, Dean, orders the children of 
St. Paul's school to attend the Boy 
Bishop's permon, 198 

Constance, Council of, mysteries 
acted there, 170 

Conscience, the Worm of, described, 
287 

Cornish Miracle Plays, 217 

Coventry mysteries in the British 
Museum, 200; mystery of the 
Sheremen and Tailors, 218 

pageants there, 235; the lay- 
men's parliament held there, 203 

Council of the Trinity and the In- 
carnation, a Coventry mystery, 
described, 38 ; illustrated from a 
MSS., 72 

Creation of the World, a mystery, 
acted at Civita Vecchia, 169 ; at 
Lisbon, 181 ; at Bamberg, 185 ; 
at Clerkenwell, 206 ; in a puppet- 
show at Bath, 229 ; at Bartholo- 
mew Fair, 230 

to the re- 
surrection, a series of mysteries 
acted at York, on Corpus Christi 
day, 213 

Creeping to the Cross, 221 

Croydon, the Vicar of, preaches 
against printing, 228 

Cruickshank, Mr. George, his talents 
as an artist, 276 



D. 

Damned, whether all or only pome 
were released on Christ's descent 
into hell. 121 



INDEX. 



295 



Damned Soul, a mystery, at Turin, 
183 

Daniel in the Lion's Den, a mystery, 
acted at Paris, in 1817, 188 

David, a sacred comedy, performed 
at Berlin in 1804, 192 ; at Vi- 
enna, in 1810, ibid ; and again, 
during the Congress there, in 
1815, ibid 

Death, Hell, and the Devil, in a 
pageant at Haerlem, 233 

Death's Triumph, a pageant at Flo- 
rence, 280 

December Liberties, 159 

Deliverance of Israel, a mystery, 
acted at Newcastle, 214 

Descent into Hell, 1 20 ; prints illus- 
trating, 121 ; Hearne's print of it, 
138 ; mysteries on this subject 
acted at Coventry and Chester, 
203 ; at Winchester, 215 

of the Holy Ghost repre- 
sented on Whit Sunday, 221 

Devil, his strange appearance at St. 
Alban's, 89 

left alone in hell at the Resur- 
rection, 131 

a tail-piece, 142 

dressed in a mystery in scarlet 

stockings, an d a gold-la ced hat, 1 8 1 

Dialogue betwixt the body and soul 
of a damned man, 141 

Dieppe, mysteries there, with pup- 
pets, 190 

Dives and Lazarus, Job's Sufferings, 
Susannah, &c., mysteries acted by 
Radcliffe's scholars, 205 ; Dives 
and Lazarus in a puppet-show at 
Bartholomew Fair, 230 

Dogs of Brussels receive consecrated 
bread annually, 172 

Don Juan, founded on Punch in the 
puppet-show, 230 

Douce, Mr., on the Feast of Fools, 
Feast of the Ass, and other bur- 
lesque ceremonies, 165 ; his gir- 
dle of an Abbot of Fools, 166 

Dragon's tail allegorical of the king- 
dom of Satan, 134 

Drama, the ancient, superseded by 
the religious plays of Gregory 
Nazianzen, &c., 151 

Dramatic exhibitions denounced by 
the Fathers, 148 



Dunstan, St., and the Devil, in a 
pageant on Lord Mayor's Day, 259 

Dunstable, a mystery acted there 
by the scholars of the abbey, 199 

Durham, creeping to the cross in 
the cathedral, 222 

E. 

Edinburgh, pageants there, 237 
Edward I., vespers said before him 

by a Boy Bishop, 198, 201 
VI., author of the Whore of 

Babylon, a comedy, 225 
Eleusinian Mysteries, scenic, 152 
Elizabeth, Queen, her statue at 

Temple Bar, 245 
Ely House, a mystery, performed 

there, 216, 231 

Establishment of the Church, 154 
Eton Boy Bishop, 199. Montem, 

ibid. Latin plays, 205 
Every Man, a morality, 228 

F. 

Falcon on the Hoop Brewery, Al- 
dersgate Stieet, 80 

Feast of the Ass, how observed, 159. 
At Rouen, 161. At Beauvais, ib. 

of Fools, its ridiculous obser- 
vances, 159 

Flagellation of the Fathers of the 
Oratory, 279 

Fools' Morris Dance, 270 

Franciscan Friars at Coventry, 205 



G. 

Gallantee show of the Prodigal Son, 

231 
Geoffrey the Norman composes a 

miracle play, 199 
George, St., the Holy Martyr, a 

miracle play acted at Bassing- 

bourne, 215 
Giants in Guildhall described and 

their origin authenticated, 262 

276 
in the setting of the London 

Watch on St. John's Eve, 269 

and at Chester, 268 



296 



INDEX. 



Gilbert, Mr. Davies, notice of his 
work on Christmas Carols, 106 

Glory of the Blessed, acted at Paris, 
170 

Gogmagog and Corinseus, two giants, 
in a Pageant at Temple Bar, 241 ; 
also at London Bridge, 268. His- 
tory of the personages they repre- 
sented, 2724 

Goldsmith's Company, their stu- 
pendous pageant on Lord Mayors' 
Day, 258 

Grandmother of God, a term ap- 
plied to Ann, 114 

Granger, on mental equality, 101 

Greek denounced as the mother of 
heresies, 156 

poetry destroyed by the clergy, 

168 

Greek studies change the character 
of popular amusement, 241 

Gregorie on the Boy Bishop, 195 

Gregory the Great's instructions to 
Austin, concerning pagan temples 
in England, 160 

Nazianzen, Patriarch of 

Constantinople, composes plays 
from Scripture, 151, 153 

Gregory Thaumaturgus institutes 
festivals to saints on heathen an- 
niversaries, 159 

Grotesque carvings in churches, 166 
Guildhall, shops within it for- 
merly, 267 

. Chapel, parish clerks' 

feasts there, 208 



Heaven in a pageant, 238 

Hell, how divided, 122. Its dimen- 
sions, 281 

Mouth, in prints, in the great 

windows of York Cathedral, and 
on the west front of Lincoln Ca- 
thedral, 173. On the stage, ibid. 
217 

Torments, a pageant on the 
Arno, 281 

Henley, Orator, lectures on Lord 
Mayor's Show and the Giants, 271 

Henry VII. entertained on Twelfth 
Night with a Carol, 100. The 
Descent into Hell performed be- 
fore him, 215 

VIII. abrogates the Boy 

Bishop, 198199. Entertained 
by Robin Hood in a May Game 
at Shooter's Hill, 223. Forbids 
the acting of plays in churches, 
229 

Heresy and Heretics, 153 

Herod's murder of the Innocents 

commemorated, 195 
Heton, near Newcastle-on-Tyne, 

vespers said there, by a Boy 

Bishop before Edward I., 198 
Heywood, John, his four P.'s, 87, 

139 
Holly and the Ivy, a Christmas 

Carol, 94 
Howleglas, his adventure with a 

priest at the sepulchre on Easter 

day, 223 
Hubert, St., patron of dogs, 172 



H. 

Haerlem, a splendid pageant there, 

141 . Characters in it, 232 
Haro, Harro, Harrow, &c., 147 
Harrowing of HeU, 139 
Hatto, Bishop of Mentz, his story 

represented in a pageant, 233 
Hatton on the Giants of Guildhall, 

263, 265 
Hawkwood, Sir John, represented 

in a Lord Mayor's Pageant, 253 
Hearne's print of the Descent into 

Hell considered, 238 
Heathcote, Sir Gilbert, Lord Mayor, 

the last who rode on horseback 

in the show, 261 



I. 



I.H.S., origin of the letters, 282 



J. 



Jack Snacker of "VVytney, 225 
James II., fireworks with statues of 
the London giants exhibited be- 
fore him, 264 

J iw-bone of All-hallows, 87 
Jerome whipped by angels, 150 
Jesse, the, in pageants, &c., 83 
Jesus the true Messiah, a religious 
play, 226 



INDEX. 



297 



Joachim, see Ann and Joachim 

Johnson, Dr., on "aroint " inShak- 
speare, 138 

Joseph's Jealousy, a Coventry my- 
stery, described, 46. Set forth in 
the Coventry mystery <rf the 
Sheremen and Taylors, 218. 
Christmas Carol on, 90. Prints 
of his apocryphal history, 108. 
His miraculous wedding-ring, 116 

Jude's Epistle, considered by Mi- 
chaelis, 137 

Julian, the emperor, prohibits libe- 
ral instruction to Christians, 105. 
Remarkable consequences, 151 



K. 

Kentigern, St., works a miracle, 84 

Knight, Mr. R. P., describes a form 

of the Trinity at Hierapolis, 88 



Lady of Carmel's confraternity, 282 

Latimer, Bishop, his complaint of 
Robin Hood's day, 223 

Leadenhall, machinery for the pa- 
geants kept there, 234 

Leverge, Jos., gallantee show-man 
of the Prodigal son, 231 

Litany for the reconversion of Eng- 
land to the Catholic faith, 154 

" a mock one, sung to amuse the 
Corporation and their guests on 
Lord Mayor's day, 256 

Lord Mayor's Show described, 246 
260 

Lucifer, with a triune head, 86 

Lydgate, author of "Pageants," 
214 

M. 

Macarius, St., and his flea, 280 

Mai recovers lost writings of Cicero, 
157 

Marriott, Mr., purveyor of the ar- 
mour used on Lord Mayor's day, 
261 

Mary I. revives the Boy Bishop, 
198. He sings before her, ibid 



Mary, St., at Hill, Boy Bishop, 198 

, St., Offery (Overy), Boy 

Bishop, 198 

, Virgin, her Education in the 
Temple and being served by An- 
gels, a Coventry mystery, de- 
scribed, 20. Prints of her apo- 
cryphal story, 108, &c. Devo- 
tions to her honour, and to her 
miraculous wedding-ring, 116 

Mass, the, allegorizes Christ's De- 
scent into Hell, 132 

Massacre of the Innocents, a my- 
stery, acted by the English fathers 
at the Council of Constance, 170 

May games, 223 

Merchant Taylors, a song to their 
honour in a pageant, 255 

Michael's contention with the Devil 
for the body of Moses, 134 

Miracle Plays at Cornwall, 217 

Miraculous Birth, and the mid wives, 
a Coventry mystery, described, 67 

Espousal of Mary and 

Joseph, a Coventry mystery, de- 
scribed, 27 

Host tortured by a Jew 
at Paris, 171. Mysteries founded 
on it, 172 

Miserable Scald Masons, 242 

Montem at Eton, 199 

Moore, Mr., on Mysteries at Paris, 1 88 

Moralities defined, 227 

Morris-Dance, 221, 269, a painting 
of one described, 270 

Mysteries, their origin on the Con- 
tinent, 168. In England, 200. 
When first performed in the Eng- 
lish tongue, 201. Defined, 227 



N. 

Nebuchadnezzar's Furnace, acted at 
the Feast of the Ass at Rouen, 161 

Neuf Chatel, lord of, nearly dead on 
the cross, while performing in a 
mystery, 173 

New Custom, a morality, 226 

German Ass of Balaam, a 

comedy, 226 

Testament, unknown to many 

of the ancient clergy, 156. Eras- 
mus's forbidden at Cambridge, 



298 



INDEX. 



157. Persons burnt who pos- 
sessed Wycliffe'f, 214 

Newcastle-upon-T} i.e mysteries, 
213 

Nicey, Jean de, hung in a mystery 
till almost lifeless, 173 

Nicholas, St., his miraculous resto- 
ration of murdered children, 194; 
patron of scholars and parish 
clerks, 194, 208 

Nicodemus, gospel of, formerly ex- 
posed to be read in Canterbury 
Cathedral, 123 

Noah's Flood, a mystery on this 
subject at Newcastle, 147. At 
Lisbon, 181. At Chester, 202. 
At Newcastle-on-Tyne, 214. In 
a puppet-show at Bath, 229. At 
Bartholomew Fair, 230. In a 
gallantee-show, 231 

Norman, Sir John, Lord Mayor, the 
first who went to Westminster by 
water, 249 

Northumberland, Earl of, his chil- 
dren of the chapel perform mys- 
teries composed by his chaplains, 
215 

Notborune Mayde, by John Skot, 
115 

0. 

Olave, St., the Life of, a mystery 

acted at St. Olave's church, Silver 

Street, 215 
Olave's, St. Nicholas, in Bread Street, 

Boy Bishop, 198 
Old and New Testament, a series 

of mysteries acted at Paris, 171 
Oratorios, their origin, 192, 279 
Oseney, Abbey of, old custom there, 

195 

Owlglass, see Howleglas 
Ox and Ass, why introduced in 

prints of the Nativity, 278 
Oxford University in 1357. No 

Bible there, 202 



P. 

Pageants described, 232245 
Parish Clerks of London perform 

mysteries, 206. Their origin, 

&c., 208 



Parishes customarily had Boy 
Bishops, 197 

Passage of the Red Sea, a mystery 
acted lately at Paris, 188 

Passion of Christ, a mystery on this 
subject, acted at Friuli, 169. At 
Civita Vecchia, ibid. At St. 
Maur, 170. At Notre Dame, 
ibid. At Poictiers, 171. At 
Veximiel, 172. Again there, 173. 
Before the Lord Mayor, at the 
Greyfriars, London, 215 

St. George, a my- 
stery, acted at Paris, 171 

Paul, St.. quotes the poets, 151 

's, St., Cathedral, remarkable- 
annual procession to the altar, 
1 60. Descent of the Holy Ghost, 
performed at Whitsuntide, 225. 
Descent of a rope-dancer from the 
battlements, 239. A Dutchman 
stands on the weathercock, 2 iO. 
Service there anciently attended 
by the Lord Mayor after dinnei 
on Lord Mayor's day, 249 

School, the scholars ordered 

to hear the Boy Bishop's sermon, 
198. They perform mysteries, 
206. Are favourite comedians, 
ibid. Petition Richard II. in 
behalf of their playing, ibid 

Peko-tea, Christmas carol on, 96 

Peirs Ploughman's vision, 124 

Peirs Ploughman's creed, 127, 
214 

Pilgremage of the Sowle, a French 
MS. of it, 122. Specimen of the 
story, 285 

Pilgrims from Jerusalem played 
mysteries in the streets, 168 

Porter of Hell, his office and anti- 
quity, 139 

Press, the, its effects in promoting 
the Reformation, 229. Preached 
against, 228 

Proclamation for performing the 
Acts of the Apostles at Paris, 178 

Prong, held by the porter of Hell, 
in Hearne's print, 140, 232 

Prynne, William, Defence of Stage 
Plays, a rare tract, with his name, 
216. His Vindication, 217 

Psalms sung to song tunes, by the 
King of France and hia Court, 94. 



INDEX. 



299 



And by the Reformers of Scot- 
land, 95 

Punch, 229. His dramatic character 
in the puppet-show, 230. Drama 
of Don Juan taken from it, ibid 

Puppet-show of the Resurrection at 
\Vitney, 225. Of the Creation, 
&c. at Bath, 229. Of Punch in 
the street, 230. Of the Prodigal 
Son mentioned by Shakspeare, 
ibid. Of mysteries, in 1822, at 
Dieppe, 1G9 



R. 

Radcliffe, Ralph, writes mysteries, 

205 

Ram Inn, Smithfield, 209 
Rainmohun Roy on Symbols of the 

Trinity, 283 
Relics ridiculed, 87. At Hanover, 

114 
Reynard the Fox, a procession at 

Paris, 170 
Ritson's honest praise of Hearne, 

144 
Robin Hood, a play, 221, 224. Ill 

the May games, 223. 
Rogation days, 134 
Rose, Bishop of Senlis, heads a re- 
ligious dramatic procession at 

Paris, 158 
Ruben's picture of St. Ignatius, 282 



S. 



Sackville, Isabella, prioress of Clerk- 

enwell, 209 

Salisbury Cathedral,BoyBishop,196 
Missal, contains cuts from 

Apocryphal story, 113, 194 
Sannazarius's poem, de Partu Vir- 

ginis, 227 
Saracen's Head Inn, Aldersgate 

Street, 80 
Saunders, Richard, carves the giants 

in Guildhall, 267 
Satan and the Soul, 285 
Sepulchre, making of it in the 

church at Easter, 77, 221. De- 
scribed, 222 
Serpent's knee, 95 



Shakspeare mentions psalms sung 
to song tunes, 94 ; and mysteries 
performed by puppets, 230 

Ship of extraordinary size, a pa- 
geant in the Lord Mayor's Show, 
258 

Shooter's Hill, a May game there, 
223 

Singer, Mr. S. W., 183, 185 

Skinner's Company, their remark- 
able pageant on Lord Mayor's 
day, 261 

Well, Clerkenwell, grand 

performance of mysteries there, 
206. Present appearance of its 
site, and inscription on its pump, 
207 

Slatyer, William, his psalms for 
Christmas carols, set to song 
tunes, 94 

Sloane, Sir Hans, lends Bayle the 
mvstery of the Acts of the Apos- 
tles, 176 

Smythe, William, his description, 
in 1575, of the Lord Mayor's 
Show, 246 

Solemn mock processions to ouni 
the Pope at Temple Bar de 
scribed, 242, 245 

Southey, Mr., his mention of carols, 
100. His poetical version of the 
legend of Bishop Hatto, 233 

Speculum Vitse Christi, a MS., 
73 

Spence, Rev. Joseph, his account of 
the mystery of the Damned Soul 
at Turin, 183 

Stage whereon mysteries were per- 
formed described, 217 

Steevens on "aroint," 139 

Stilts worn by Giants in the Lord 
Mayor's pageants, 268 ; and in a 
morris dance, 269 

Strasburg, representation at the 
theatre there of religious sub- 
jects, from pictures by great mas- 
ters, 190. Mysteries performed 
at the Jesuits' seminary there, 
191 

Strood, in Kent, natives born with 
tails, 280 

Susanna and the Elders, a mystery, 
acted lately at Paris, 189 



300 



INDEX. 



T. 

Theophylact, patriarch of Constan- 
tinople, exhibits the Feast of 
Fools and other farces in the 
Greek Church, 157 

Three Dons, a mystery, acted at Ro- 
mans, 173 

Three Kings of Cologne, a mystery, 
acted at Newcastle, 214 

Torments of the damned, repre- 
sented at Paris, 170 ; and at Flo- 
rence, 281 

Trial of Mary and Joseph, a Co- 
ventry mystery described, 59 

Trinity,* the, in Council, 38, 73 

. Dead knell in honour of, 77 

Trinity of St. Botolph without Al- 
dersgate, account of the Brethren 
of, 77 

Personifications of, 78, 81, 

85, revealed to St. Ignatius, 282 



V. 

Valentihe and Orson in a London 
pageant, 238 

Vengeance, de N. S. J. C., a mys- 
tery, acted before Charles VIII., 
171 

Veximiel, grand mystery performed 
there, 172 

Visit of Mary to Elizabeth, a Co- 
ventry mystery, described, 53 

Voice of God, a mystery, acted lately 
at Vienna, 188 



U. 

Uliespiegel, or the German Rogue, 
225. See Howleglas. 



Guildhall, 263 ; and Westminster 
Hall, 266. Wedding Ring of 
Mary and Joseph, its miracles, 
&c., 117' 
Welsh Carols, 103 

Wassail Song for St. Mary's 

Eve, 104 
Westminster Latin Plays, 205 

Religious plays in the 

palace, 215 

Hall, shops within it 



formerly, 268 

Weston, Sir William, Prior of St. 
John of Jerusalem, 209 

Whifflers, 247 

Whore of Babylon, a comedy, by 
Edward VI., 225 

Wicker-word used to construct the 
the Old London Giants, 266; 
and other figures in the London 
pageants, 267 

William III. in 1821, his statute in 
St. James's Square dressed, 245. 
The last procession round his 
statue at Dublin, ibid 

Winchester, Descent into Hell per- 
formed there, 215 

Wintherus, a German, steals the 
Virgin's Wedding Ring from Clu- 
sium, 118. It works miracles; 
he presents it to the City of Pe- 
rusia, and is greatly honoured at 
his death, 119 

Witney, in Oxfordshire, Puppet- 
show of the Besurrection there, 
225 

Y. 

York mysteries, 209. Manner of 

their performance, 210, 213 
, pageants there, 236 



W. 



Z. 



Zug, in Switzerland, in 1797, a Boy 
Ward, Ned, visits the Giants in Bishop there, 199 



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196, STRAND, LONDON, n 



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196, SI RAND, LONDON, W.C. 
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Chichester. Transactions of the Archaeo- 
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the Churches in it. 



i6 



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5 



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Chatto (W. A.) Facts and Speculations on 
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196, STRAND, LONDON, W.C. 17 

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Cyclopaedia (The) Of Practical Quotations, 
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1 8 REEVES & TURNER 



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DIALECTS continued. 

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(pub 4s 6d) 1867 3 6 

Lancashire. Dialect of Lancashire, or TIM BOB- 
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Northamptonshire. A Glossary of Northamp- 
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Somersetshire. On the Dialect of Somersetshire, 
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196, STRAND, LONDON, W.C. 19 

continued. 



Dickens (Chas.) Sunday under Three Heads, 
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Dictionary (A) of Poetical Illustrations, 
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1883 9 6 
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Dryden 'John) Dramatic Works Complete, 
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woodcuts 8vo, cloth (pub 7s 6d) 1862 5 

Elyot ( Sir T.) The Boke named the Gouer- 
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Erskine (Thomas, Lord) Speeches, with a 
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20 REE VES & TURNER 

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Eyton (Rev. R. W.) Domesday Studies ; an 
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cording to the Oxon Codex), N and of the Gheld 
Inquest of A.D. 1084, as collated with, and illus- 
trated by, Domesday, 2 vols, crown 4to (pub 
(2 12s 6d) 1880 21 

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Taylor & Co., 1878 10 

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24s) Taylor A Co., 1878 10 

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Porsyth (W.) Hortensius : an Historical Essay 
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Porster (John) Sir John Eliot, a Biography, 1592 
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Chapman <k Hall, 1872 5 

Foster's (Joseph) The Royal Lineage of our 
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Chart Pedigrees of about 90 Families, 2 vola, 4to, 
blue cloth Privately printed, 1884 12 6 

Greg (Percy) Across the Zodiac : the Story of a 
Wrecked Record, Deciphered, translated and 
edited by Percy Greg, 2 vols, post 8vo (pub 21s) 

Trilbner& Co., 1880 4 6 

Shipwreck Outward Bound The Untra veiled Deep A New 
World, Language, Laws, and Life An Official Visit Escort Duty 
A Fault and its Founders Manners and Customs Women and 
Wedlock A Country Drive On the River The Children of Ligb' 
By Sea, etc., etc. 



196, STRAND, LONDON, W.C. 21 

continued. 

Grazebrook (H. S.) Heraldry of "Worcester- 
shire, being a Roll of the Arms borne by the 
several Noble, Knightly, and Gentle Families 
which have had Property or Residence in that 
County from the Earlie&t Period to the Present 
Time, with Genealogical Notes, 2 vols, sm. 4to 
(pub 42s) A. R. Smith, 1873 12 

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Grotius, De Jure Belli et Pacis, accompanied 
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8vo (pub 12s 6d) 1883 9 6 

For others of this seriea, see under Dictionaries. 

Hooker ( J. D. ) Journal of a Tour in Marocco, 
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1882 2 6 



22 



REEVES <5r TURNER, 



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Jewitt (L. ) and S. Hall's Stately Homes of 
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Landseer (Sir Edwin) Studies, illustrated by 40 
plates, with 2 woodcut sketches on each, and 116 
woodcuts in the text, Sketches from the Collection 
of Her Majesty the Queen and other sources, 
with a History of his Art- Life, by W. C. Monk- 
house, roy. 4to, ornamental cloth, gilt leaves (pub 
2 2s) 12 6 

Leech 'John) Children of the Mobility, 6 plates 

and portrait, 4to, cloth (pub 10s 6d) 1875 3 6 

Lower (M. A.) Contributions to Literature,, 
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284 pp , cloth pub 7s 6d) 1854 3 3 

English Surnames, an Essay on Family 

Nomenclature Historical, Etymological, and 
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Fourth Edition, enlarged, 2 vols, post 8vo, cloth, 
(pub 12s) 1875 7 6 

Lloyd (W. W.) The Age of Pericles, a History 
of the Politics and Arts of Greece, 2 rols, 8vo 
(pub 21s) Macmillan, 1875 8 6 

Lytton (Edwd. , Lord) Speeches, now first col- 
lected, with some of his Political Writings, 
hitherto unpublished, and a Memoir by his Son, 2 
vols, 8vo (pub 24s) Blackwood, 1874 5 

Makins (G. A., late one of the Assay ers to the Bank 
of England) Manual of Metallurgy, 100 
engravings, Second Edition re-written and much 
enlarged, square 8vo, clooth (pub 16s) 

Ellis & White, 1873 4 6 

About half the work is deyoted to the nobler metals. 

Morelli (G.) Italian Masters in German 
Galleries, a Critical Essay on the Italian Pic- 
tures in the Galleries of Munich, Dresden, Berlin, 
translated from the German by Mrs. L. Richter, 
illustrated, post 8vo, cloth (pub 8s 6d) 1883 2 9 



196, STRAND, LONDON, W.C. 23 



Nicholas (T.) The Pedigree of the English 
People, an Argument, Historical and Scientific, 
on the Formation and Growth of the Nation, 
tracing Race- Ad mixture in Britain from the 
earliest times, with special reference to the incor- 
poration of the Celtic Aborigines, map, 8vo, cloth 
(pub 16s) 1878 4 6 

Owen (John) Evenings with the Skeptics, 
or Free Discussion on Free Thinkers, 2 vols, 8vo, 
cloth (pub 32s) 1881 9 

Opie and his "Works ; being a Catalogue of 760 
Pictures, by J. Opie, R. A. , preceded by a Bio- 
graphical Sketch by J. J Rogers, 8vo, 237 pp. 1878 3 6 

Persia, Eastern. An Account of the Journeys of 
the Persian Boundary Commission, 1870-71-72 ; 
the Geography, with Narratives, by Majors St. 
John, Lovett, and E. Smith, and an Introduction 
by Major- General Sir F. J. Goldsmid ; the 
Zoology and Geology by W. T. Blandford, maps, 
28 plates of heasts, birds, etc., some of them 
beautifully coloured by hand, 2 vols, 8vo (pub 
2 2s) Macmillan & Co., 1876 15 

Prickett (Fred. ) The History and Antiquities 
of Hlghgate, with maps and illustrations, 8vo, 
cloth 1842 4 

Randolph (Thos.) Poetical and Dramatic 
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plates, post 8vo, half cloth, paper label (pub 12s) 

1875 5 6 

Rimmer (A ) Ancient Stone Crosses of Eng- 

land, 72 fine wood engravings, 8vo (pub 9s) 4 

Rowlandsori. Caricature Etchings Illus- 
trating Boswell's Tour to the Hebrides 
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- Ditto, the same, on large paper, without port- 

folio, and without list of contents 8 



24 REEVES & TURNER* 

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Royal Gallery of Art, Ancient and Modern, 144 
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and Osborne, edited by S. C. Hall, 2 vols, roy. 
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Sand (George) Letters, translated and edited by 
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Shakespeare. D. Bacon's Philosophy of 
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Theophilus An Essay upon Various Arts, 
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Southey's Common-Place Book, edited by 
J. W. Warter, 4 vols, 8vo (pub 78s) 

Longmans, 1876 15 
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Contains Choice Passages Collections for English Manners and 
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Taylor (Right Rev. Jeremy, D.D.) Whole 
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Thomas (David, D.D.) The Practical Philoso- 
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England, Brief and Suggestive Moral Readings 
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Year, 4th edition, 8vo, cloth (pub 10s 6d), 816 pp. 

1885 7 6 

Transactions of the Loggerville Literary 
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Privately printed, 1867 3 6 

CONTENTS. History of England Account of Ancient Implements 
Review of Juvenile Literature Neglected Characters of Shakes- 
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Turner (J. M. W., R.A.) Works, with a Bio- 
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Wiltshire (W. H.) An Introduction to the 
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Wood (W. S.) An Eastern Afterglow, or Pre- 
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cloth, (pub 16s) 1880 3 6 

Wilkins (Peter) The Life and Adventures 
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But little is known of the author, though his romantic de- 
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generations. It is something in the style of Robinson Crusoe and 
Gulliver's Travel*. 



a6 REEVES & TURNED, 

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Hallelujah ; or, Britain's Secpnd Remem- 
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12s) 1865 7 6 



196, STRAND, LONDON, W.C. 27 

vtfbW& continued. 

The Odysseys of Homer, translated according 
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Ancient mysteries described 



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PONTIFICAL INSTITUTE 
OF MEDIAEVAL STUDIES 

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TOKONTO b. CANADA