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Gesta Grayorum. 1688 online

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This reprint of Gesta Grayorum has been prepared under
the direction of the General Editor.

Jpril 1^1 f. W.W.Greg.

The account of the Christmas revels at Gray's Inn in
1 5"94-j- did not find its way into print till nearly a century
later. At least no edition earlier than that of i58 8 is now
known, and the stationer's epistle to Matthew Smyth then
prefixed seems to claim it as a new publication : ' It was
Fortime, undoubtedly, that reserved it for this happy
Opportunity of coming forth under your Protection.' More-
over, we find it entered in the London Term Catalogues,
Trinity Term, July, id 8 8, under History, ^(Arber's Reprint,
II. 230). What occasioned its publication at that time is
not known. John Nichols, who reprinted the tract in his
Progresses of Elizabeth (ed. 1788, iij ed. 1823, iii. 252),
ascribes the publication to Henry Keepe, but the ground
of this statement is doubtful. Keepe was a well-known
antiquary, a member of the Inner Temple and author of
the Monuments of Westminstery who died about the end of
May i(J8 8. The original is a rather large quarto printed
in type approximating in size to modern English (20 11.
= 93 mm.). The type-page, including running-title and
catchwords, measures 190 x 122 mm., without these, 177 x
122 mm. The extreme measurement of the rules which
surround the title-page is 1 9 5- x 1 1 j- mm. This is a size
inconveniently large for the present series, and consequently
Pica has been substituted for English type in the reprint.

There are three main points of literary interest in the
Gesta GrayoruWy namely, a supposed allusion to Shakespeare's
Comedy of Error s^ the speeches of the six Councillors, and the
Masque of Proteus.

The first of these will be found on page 22, where we
read that . 7 the]

their 9 paies a Jem,] praife again, 14 water] Waiters Ecchoes] Trumpets

19 Rocke] Voice 20 murmuring] mourning

xi b 2

Text of the Masque from Manuscript Harley ^41.

foi. 138^ The Dialogue hetween the Squire

Proteus, Amphitrite & Thamesis.

fol. 139^ After y' Hymne ion^. [of Nef,tu?tes ew^yre &a.]

Squire. Protei'S it seemes you lead a mery life

Your Music k followes you, vohere-ne you go

I thought you Sea Gods as in your abode

So in your nature had not been vnlike

To fishes, who as say Philosophers

Haue so fmall sence of Musicks sweet delight

As tis a doubt not fully yet resolv'd,

IV he t her of heering they haue sence or no.

10 Proteus. Twas great discourse of reason to regard
The dreaming guess of a Philosopher,
That neuer helde his idle buzzing head
Under the voater half an ho-joers space.
More then that famous old receiued story
Of good Arion by a Dolphin sav'd

Squire. Well lett that pass, and to y purpose now;
I thought y' you that are a Demy God,
Would not haiiefaild rny Expectation thus

Proteus. Why so fare Sijuire, Is not my promise kept,
20 And duly the appointed day observ'd.

Variants from the Gatu Grayorum, of which I. 14 corresponds with 1. 1 above.
Other notes in parentheses.

I of. . . &ct.'] (added in a different hand) 1 Squire J Efquire, (««y'd 79 skipping ori] fpringing

in calmed] climbing So neerer vnto] near to %^ fisheard] Fijh hard i i^ heard] Head

fV"" easy stealing stepps drew neei vnto him,

^nd being neer with great agility

Seasd suddenly vpon this Demy God. 9°

Hee thus surprisde resorted presently

To his familiar artes and turning tricks

My Lord like to a skillfull faukoner.

Continued still to keepe hisfastned hold. fcl 1 4 1 »

Thamefis. The story of those oft tranfformed shapes.,

I long to heer fom you y' present weare
And an ey-witnes of that strange conf.


Squire. And shall f aire Thame sis. Know then y' Pnteus

Viewing the gallant shape and budding youth
Of my brave Lorde, the form y' first hee took 10°

Was of a goodly lady passing f aire.,
Hoping belike y' whilst hee vsde respect
Dew to her mate hies bewty and her sex
Him self being now vnloosd might slide away.
But finding him (y' knew his wily shfies.
Embrace him stiaiter in y fayned shape.
Next to a Serpent hee tranfformd himself
W' fiery eyes and dreadfull blackish skales.
And threeforkt hissing tongue w''' might affright,
Th' undaunted M " of dread Cerberus. ' ' °

Wherew"" the Prince rather enrag'd then feard.
Made him betake him to an other forme.
IV''^ was a sumptuous Casket t ritchly wrought,
whereout whenas it opte, many Diamonds I ^j.*- )

^ Rubies of inestimable worth _ y , Vy

Seemed by chaunce to divp in to the Sea. '• ''

This working nought, but skome (^ high disdayne, fol. 141''

Hee lastly shewd him a sad spectacle
IV''' was f worthiest of his valiant knights


j] to 90 suddenly'] (over erasure except the last two letters)

93 /)\e (over erasure ?) 98 Thameiit. ifnon'] Thamefis A"""" 100 ^rjf] (added
in the margin by the same hand) loj him (/ . . . shiftes,] him, that . . . Shifts,

107 to] unto 10^ a''"] that I lo /VT] Master I lo-l Cerberus. U^heretv""]

Cerberus; Prejjingtvith doubled Strength his fca/edCreft ; Wherewith 1 1 4 ipfcf n«] ip/jfn
opie,] of end. Diamonds] Diadems, I 1 9 worthiest] North-East


lio Jnd he St beloved of my Lorde the Prince^

Mangled atid pierst ■w"' 7nany a grijly vcound,
IVeltring his valiant lymynes in purple gore.
Gasping and cloazing his faint dying eyes
This with y' Prince now vsd to his delusions,
Prevaild no more then did the rest before.
When Prvteus then had changd his changing weed.
And fix t him self in his owne wonted shape
Seeing no other meanes could ought prevayle
Hee ransome profferd for his liber tie.

130 And first of all hee offred to arread

To him and all his knights their fortunes spell.
But when my Lord reply de / that was fitt
For vnresolued Cowards to ohtayne,
And ho-w his Fortunes often-changing play,
would e loose the pleasure and y' chief delight,
Ify' Catastrophe should bee fore-knowne.
Then offred hee, huge treasures. Ladies loves.
Honour, and fame of famous victories;
My Lord made answer that he neuer would

140 ^ff*^' ^^^^ honour so great wrong, to take

By guift or magick w"'out sweat or paine.
Labour or danger- virtues tmest price,
*°'- '4^" That w"^ by mortall hand might bee atchievde

And therefore wild him as a Detny God,
To offer- some what that might bee above.
The lowly compass of a humane poixer.
When Proteus saw y"" Prince could make his match.
He told him then, how vnder Th'artik pole
The Adamantine rock. The seas true star,

I so was scituate, w''' by his power devine,

Hee for his ransotne would retnoue and plant,
wher-eas hee should appoint : assuring hint,
■ That the wide Empire of the Ocean,

III fieTst\ prkl(d 111 his] their 123 c/oa^'n^] clofing (cloa'^ng possibly for

gloaming, gU'^ng) his^ their 1 3 I and all] and unto all their] omit. 1 3 5 loose]
lofe and/] of his 1^6 fore-kporvne.] before kpown : I -^S of] and 1 3 9] (added
in the margin by the same hand) 142, price,] Pri^e, 144 wild] willed

a] (over erasure) omit. n6 a] an 148 foowj tfcat Th'artil^th' ./irtick^

149 The uldamantine] Th' ./idamantine seas] Sea's 153 wide] mid

{^If his fore telling spirit fail d him not.
Should follow that, wheare ere it should be sett.
But then againe hee added this condition
{yif'' as hee thought could no ivay bee performd.
That first y Prince should bring him to a power,
w''' in attractive virtue should surpas
The nxondrous force of his Irne drawing rock.
My L"* y knew him self as well af surd.
As Proteus thought his oven match surely made,
Easely yeelded to this Covenant,
y/nd projnijd farther on his princely word
That hee himself and 7. of his knights
would enter Hostages in to his rock,
when't should bee brought to y' appointed place
Till this great Covenant should bee paformd, {

IV"'^ now rests to bee done. Now Proteus
Since tis a Question of Comparison, 1

Blazon you forth the virtues of y'' Rock
Proteus IV hat needeth words where great effects proclayme

Thattractive virtu of Th' adamantine rock
w''\fo}veth yron y' ail things els coitiands.
Inn of met tals prince by auncient right \

Though factious men in vayne conspire to seat '
Rebellious golde in his vsurped throne.
This sturdie ?nettall of such strength and vse,
Disjoynd by distance of th' whole Hemispheare,
Continually with trembling aspect,
True-subiect like eyes his dread soverayne.
Thus hath this Load-stone by his powerfull touch
Made th'/ron needle Load-star of y' world,
A Mercury to point the gainest way
In watry wildemes and y" desert sands.
In confidence whereof the th' assured Mariner

l$4 noj,] «ot) 157 (iv'*J W^/j/c/), could] would i6o /r'ne drawing

rockf] Iron-drawing l\ocki. i6l l/] Lord, 1^3 this] bis 166 hii\ the

167 ti'fcfn'i] (( doubtful, over erasure) ffWc/) 17 l -virtues] Kirtut 171-1] space
17 1 whe-re] when 1 7 ^ rocl(] R$c\s, 17 n/] which 17% This sturdie

mettali] This, fundry Metals, 179 Disjoynd . , . Hemispheare^ (Dif-join'd . . .

Hemisphere) of]o' 181 True-subiect likf] True Suhjcct-lil^, lZltW]the

184 point] faint 18 J/] omit. 186 the th'assured] th' ajjured

xvii c

fol. 143*

Doth not bnportime love for sun or stars
By this Attractiue force was drawne to light
From depth of ignorance y* newfound world
Whose golden mines Iron found and conquered

Theis be vertues ^ extend so far,
IV'' you doe vndertake to counterpoyse.

Squire. Proteus the Seas haue taught your spech to swell

Where work ofwindes doth watrie Castels build ;
But calme awhile your overweening vaunts
Prepare beleefe ^ doe but vse your eyes.

Excellent Queene, trew adamant of Hartes,
Out of/ sacred garland euer-greene.
Garland of virtues, bewties ^ perfections,
< That crownes your Cnvone, S' dimmesyour for tunes beames,

vouch saffe sofne branch, some pretious Jtowre or leafe,
«)'* though it wither in my barren veise.
May yett sujfice to ouershade and drowne
The Rock admired of this Demy God.

Proteus stout Iron homager of your Hock,
Impresa of force, and Instrument ofwarres.
Hath praise in deed yet place your praises right,
{for force to will, and warres to peace doth yeeld)
But that He giue you, this I faine would know,
t I what can your Ion doo without Armes of men.,

And armes of men from hartes of men doo move.
The hartes of jnen, that's it thence motion springs
Lo Proteus then Th' attractive Rock of hartes,
fol. 143b Hartes w''' once truly touched w^'' her heames

I 87 love for sun or stars^ Jove,Smi, or .Star. 188 «/;iV] his 1 90 found an(i\ found
out and 1 90-1] no space 191 ie ucnwr] be the Firtttes, 191 countetpoyse.^

counterfraife. 1 94 rvindes^ Mind buiid j]^ make. 1^6 i«t] not 1 98 euer-greene,"]
e-ver grevD 1 99 ^er/fction/,] (j added later) zoi^ H^clQ Upck^s 104-5] no space

loj of] to 106 Impresa] (e altered from ;) In Pr.xife Instrument'] Instruments

207 in deed] ended s io8 (Jor . . . yeeld)] For . . . yield, to n>iii,] t altered doth] do
zo^ faine would] tvou'd fain ill The] That men, that's it thence] Aten hath it,

their 1 1 3 7"fc'] the

Inspiring purest zeaie and revnence

A swell vnto / person as the Power,

1 3 4 5 6 7 8

Online LibraryGray's InnGesta Grayorum. 1688 → online text (page 1 of 8)