Page images
PDF
EPUB

whether he were Papist or Protestant that maketh this objectio I wold soone answer them: namely thus; I would cite a principall writer of either side and I would proue that either of the hath vsed more obscenous, foule and scurrill phrases (not in defence of their matter but in defacing of their adversaries) in one leafe of their bookes then is in all this. Yet they professe to write of the highest, the holiest, the waightiest matters that can be imagined, and I write of the basest, the barrennest and most witlesse subject that can be described.

Quod decuit tantos eur mihi turpe putem?

I forbeare to shew examples of it, least I should be thought to disgrace men of holy and worthie memorie.

For such as shall find fault that it is too satyri. call, surely I suppose their judgment shall sooner be condemned by the wiser sort then my writings. For whē all the learned writers, godly preachers and honest liuers over all England (yea over all Europe, renew that old complaint,

Regnare nequitiam et in deterius res humanas labi. -;

When wee heare them say daily that there was neuer vnder so gracious a head 'so gracelesse members, after so sincere teaching so sinfull diuing, in so shining light such works of darkepesse ; when they crie out upon us, yea crie indeed for I have seene thē speake it with teeres, that lust, and hatred were never so hote, love and charitie were never so colde, that there was never lesse devotion, never more division, that all impietie hath all impuritie, finally that the places that were wont to bę samples of all vertue and honor, are now become the sinks of all sin and shame. These phrases (I say) being written and recorded sounded and resounded in so manie bookes and sermons, in Cambridge, in Oxford, in the Court, in the Countrey, at Paules Cross in Paules Church Yard: may I not as a sorie writer among the rest; in a merie matter and a harmelesse maner professing purposely of vaults and privies sinks und draughts to write, prove according to my poore strength to draw the readers by some pretie draught to sinke into a deepe and necessarie consideration how to amend some of their privie faults.”

nesse;

This work is frequently alluded to by contemporary writers; as in Shakspeare's Love's Labour Lost, A. 5. S. 2. and the several writers quoted by Mr. Steevens in his note on that passage. It is remarkable, that for writing the first two of these pamphlets Sir John Harrington fell into disgrace with Queen Elizabeth. Mr. Robert Markham writing to him two years after, in 1598, says, “Since your departure from ! hence you have been spoke of and withe no

[ocr errors]

"ill 'will, both by the nobles and the Queene “ herself. Your booke is almost forgiven, and

I may say, forgotten, but not for its lacke of “ wit, or satyr. Those whome you feared moste

are now bosoming themselves in the Queen's

grace; and tho' her lighnesse signified dist “ pleasure in outwarde sorte, yet she did like

the marrow of your booke. Your greatenemye « Sir James did once mention the Star Chamber; ! but your good esteem in better mindes outdid “ his endeavours and all is silente again. . The

Queene is minded to take you to her favour; $ but she swearth that she believes you will make “ epigrams, and write MISACMOs again on her, 66 and all the courte. She hath been heard to

say, That merry poet her godson must not “ come to Greenwich "till he hath grown sober, ” and leaveth the ladies sportes and frolicks, " She did conceive much disquiet, on being tolde you

had aimed a shafte at Leicester, I wishe you knew the author of that ill-deed, I would not be in his best jerkin for a thousand markes.

NUGA ANTIQUÆ, vol. 11. p. 442. See Dodsley's Collection of old Plays, vol. 1x,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

P. 133.

[ocr errors]

The second Tract in this curious Volume by the same author, is this: 11,

AN ANATOMIE OF THE METAMORPHOSED ΑΙΑΣ, ,

I,

Wherin

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Wherin' by a tripertite method is plainly, openly, and demonstratiuely, declared, explaned, and eliquidated, by pen, plot, and precept, how vsauerie places may be made sweet, noysome places made wholesome, filthie places made cleanly. Published for the common benefite of builders, housekeepers, and house owners. By T. C. Traueller, Aprentice in Poetrie, Practiser in Musicke, Professor of Painting; the mother, daughter, and handmayd of all Muses, artes and sciences.

Inuide quid mordes ? pictoribus atq: Poetis
Quidlibet audendi semper fuit æqua potestas.

AT LONDON. Imprinted by Richard Field, dwelling in the Blackfriers.”

The author thus whimsically introduces the presumed opinions of various readers on his former publieation.

“ Some layd to my charge, I was an idle fellow and shewed by my writings I had little to do. Alas, said I, it is too true, and therefore if you know any man that hath an office to spare, you may doe well to preferre me to it; for it were a bad office that I would not chaunge for this I haue taken upon me; and If I had another, I would be content this were deuided among you.

2. Some said I was such a foole to thinke se. riously the deuise worthie to be published an

put

put in practise ; as a comon benifite, trust me that is true to.

3. Some supposed, that because my writings now lay dead and had not bene thought of this good while, I thought (as Alcibiades cut his dogs Tayle, to make the people talke of his curtall) so I wold send my Muse abroad, masking naked in a net that I might say,

Nunc iterum colito viua per ora virum.
Of
my

honor this is not true. Will you deny it on your oth? No by our Lady, not for a thousand pounds.

4. Some said plainly, because my last work was an other mans inuention, and that some fine phrase-making fellowes, had founde a distinction betweene a versifier and a Poet, I wrote this to shew I could be both when I listed, though I meane to be neither, as Thales Milesius, by making himselfe ritch in one yeare shewde his contempt of ritches. The deuill of the lye that is.

5. Some surmised against me, that because the time is so toying, that wholesome meates cannot be digested without wanton sauce, and that even at wise mēs tables, fooles have most of the talke, therefore I came in with a bable to haue my tale heard, I must needs confesse it.

6. Some said that in emulation of outlādish witts, and to be one of the first English that had given the venter to make the title of his worke

the

« PreviousContinue »