Page images

Less to esteem them than the common sort,

Of outward things that judge in their intent,

Without regard what inward doth resort.


I cannot crouch nor kneel to such a wrong,

To worship them, like God on earth alone, That are as wolves these silly lambs among;

I cannot with my words complain and moan,

And suffer nought,-nor smart without complaintNor turn the word that from


mouth is gone.

I cannot speak and look like as a saint,

Use wiles for wit, and make deceit a pleasure, Call craft counsel, for lucre still to paint ;

I cannot wrest the law to fill the coffer;

With innocent blood to feed myself fat,

And do most hurt where that most help I offer.

I am not he that can allow the state

Of high Cæsar, and damn Cato to die,
That with his death did 'scape out of the gate

From Cæsar's hands, if Livy doth not lie,

And would not live where liberty was lost,

So did his heart the commonwealth apply.

I am not he, such eloquence to boast



[To] praise Sir Thopas for a noble tale, And scorn the story that the knight told :'

Praise him for counsel that is drunk af ale :

Grin when he laughs that beareth all the sway,

Frown when he frowns, and groan when he is pale:

On others lust to hang both night and day :

None of these points would ever frame in me; My wit is naught, I cannot learn the way;

And much the less of things that greater be:

Affirm that Favell hath a goodly grace

In eloquence; and cruelty to name Zeal of justice; and change in time and place;

And he that suffereth offence without blame,

Call him pitiful,--and him true and plain,

That raileth reckless unto each man's shame;

'Two of the Canterbury Tales

Say he is rude that cannot lie and feign,

The letcher a lover, and tyranny To be the right of a prince's reign

I cannot, I, no, no, it will not be.

This is the cause that I could never yet
Hang on their sleeves that weigh (as thou may'st


A chip of chance more than a pound of wit:

This maketh me at home to hunt and hawk, And in foul weather at my book to sit,

In frost and snow, then with my bow to stalk:

No man doth mark whereso I ride or go ;

In lusty leas at liberty I walk.

And of these news I feel nor weal nor wo,

Save that a clog doth hang yet at my heel; No force for that, for it is order'd so, That I may leap both hedge and dike full


I ani not now in France to judge the wine,

With savoury sauce those delicates to feel; Nor yet in Spain, where one must him incline,

Rather than to be, outwardly to seem.

I meddle not with wits that be so fine,

Nor Flanders cheer lets not my sight to deem

Of black and white, nor takes my wits away

With beastliness; such do those beasts esteem.

Nor I am not, where truth is given in prey

For money, poisen,' and treason, of some A common practice, used night and day

But I am here in Kent and Christendom,

Among the Muses, where I read and rhyme ;

Where if thou list, mine own John Poins, to come, Thou shalt be judge how I do spend my time.

[merged small][ocr errors]


Heury Howard, earl of Surrey,son and grandson to twodukes

of Norfolk, lords treasurers, was born in 1520. While a boy, he resided at Windsor, in the quality of companion to Henry Fitzroy, duke of Richmond á natural son of Henry VIII., and, like Surrey, a youth of the highest expectatious. They became warm friends ; studied together at Wolsey's college in Oxford; travelled into i ravce; and at Calais received lienry, on his visit to Francis I. Richmond was, soon after, married to the lady Mary Howard, Surrey's sister ; but died in 536, at the early

age of 17.

Surrey was at once the hero of romance, and the practical

soldier. His superiority in the accomplishments of chi. valry was proved at a tournament held by him at Florence, in honour of his Geraldine, and at another exhibited at Windsor, in the king's presence, in 1540. He served with great distinction in his father's army, which ūnarched against the Scots in 1542, and contributed, by his skill and bravery, to the memorable victory of Flodden Field. in 1544, he commanded, as field-marshal, the English army in the expedition against Boulogne. His talents, bis popularity, his high spirit, a suspicion of his intending to marry the princess Mary, with a view of obtaining the crown, and, above all, a treasured hate in the king's breast against the relations of Catharine Howard, procured his condemnation for a most frivolous of

fence, and he was beheaded in 1547. It was reserved for the ingenuity of Mr Walpole to furnish

a clue to the maze in which the fair Geraldine, the object of his romantic passion, had so long remained concealed,

« PreviousContinue »