John Hawkins.

A general history of the science and practice of music online

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Lamenting thus my forrowful cafe
In fighes deepe without recure ?
Now remembryng my hard aduenture,
Meruelbufly makyng my hart wo t
Alas ! her lokes haue perfed me fo I

f Probably the name of some danee-tune now forgotiam.
I L: treat me with oonrempt. *-
f Together or by ourselves.

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Chap. LXXIX.



Sad if her chcre with color chryftyne.
More fayrer of loke than ftycr Elyn,
Eyes gray, derer than columbyne,
Neuer a fweter of nature femynyne 5
Goodly in port, O what a pa%ine and joy
Haue I when I behold her (

Wofblly opprefled wyth forrow and payne,
Wyth fyghing my hart and body in diftrefs,

Greuoufly tormented through difdayne,
Lackyng the company of my lady andmyilres,
Whych to aUyne is yet remedvles j

But God of his grace furely me (end

My forrows importunate joyfully to amend.

Is it not fure a dedly payne,

To you I fay that louers be,
When taythful harts muft needs refirayn

The one the other for to fee ?

I you aflure ye may truft me.

Of all the paynes that euer I knew,

It is a payne that moft 1 rewe.

The following trim stanzas exhibit the portrait of
a loyal lover : —


As I lay flepynge,
In dremes fletynge,
Euer my fwetyng

Is in my mynd ;
She is £> goodly.
With looks fo louely.
That no man truly

Such one can fynd


Her bcwty fo pure.
It doth under lure.
My pore hart full fure

In gpuernance j
Therfor now wyll I
■ LTnrn hyr ^j>ly.
And euer will cry

For remembraunce.

Her fayer eye perfyng.
My pore hart bledyng,
And I abydyng.

In hope of mede ;
But thus have I long
Entunyd this fonge,
Wyth paynes ful ftronge,

And cannot fpede.


Alas wyll not fhe
Now dicw hyr pytye.
But thus wyll take me

In fuche dyfdayne ;
Methynketh I wys,
Unkynde that fhe is.
That byndeth me thus.

In fuch hard payne.

Though fhe me bynde,
Yet fhall fhe not fynde
My pore hart unkynd.

Do what fhe can j
For I wyll hyr pray.
Whiles I leue a day,
Me to take for aye,

For hyr owne man.

The following is the expostulation of a lover dis-
daiaed by his mistress, in a style of great simplicity :


G)mplayn I may.
And right well fay,
Loue goth ailray.

And waxeth wilde]
For many a day
Loue was my pray.
It wyll away,

I am begylde.


I haue thankles
Spent my feruyce,
And can purches

No grace at all ;
Wherefore doubtleft,
Such a myftres.
Dame Piteles,

I may her calL

For fikerly.
The more that I
On her do try

On me to thinke |
The leflTc mercy
In her fynd I,
Alas I dye,

My hart doth fynkf.


Fortune pardye,
Afeineth me
Such cruelte,

Wythouten gylt ;
* * Owght not to be,

1 twis pitce,

fhame to fee, «

A man fo fpilt.


% That I fhuld fpyll

For my good wyll,

1 thynke gret ill,

Agaynfl all ryght t
It is more ill,
She fhuld me kyl.,
Whom I loue fl^U,

Wyth all my myght.
But to exprefTe
My heauynes,
Syth my feruyce

Is thus forfake ;
All comfortles,
Wyth much dyfhes.
In wyldernes,

I me betake.


And thus adewe,
Detb doth enfewe.
Wythout refcue,

Her ♦ ♦ •
I trow a Jew
On me wold new.
Knowing how trcw

That I have bene.

The two following are also of the amorous kind,
and are of equal antiquity with the rest : —

Ah my fwete fwetyng ;
My lytyl prety fwetyng,
My fwetyng wyl I loue whereuer I go ;

She is fo propre and pure.
Full fledfafl^ fbbill and demure.
There is none fuch ye may be fure.
As my fwete fweting.

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Book IX


In all ehvs world as thynketh me.
Is none lo plefaunt to my eye,
That I am glad Too ofte to ice.
At my fwete fwetyng.


When I behold my fwetyng (wete,
Her face, her hands, her minion fete^
They feeme to me there is none To mete^
As my fwete fwetyng.


Aboue all other prayfe mnft I,
And loue my pretty pygfnye
For none I fynd fbo womanly
As my fwete fwetyng.

What meaneft thou my fortune.

From me fo ^ to nye \
Alas thou art importune

To worke thus cruelly.


Thy wafte continually

Shall caufe me call and crye ;
Woo worth the tyme that I

To loue dyd fyrft apply.

The following is the dream of a lover, taken from
Mr. Thoresby's MS. :— •

Benedicite I whate dremyd I this night ?

Methought the worlde was turnyd up fo down,
Tho fon the moone had loft ther force and lyght.

The fee alfo drowned both toure and towne :
Yet more meruell how tliat I harde the fbunde
Of onys uoyce faying here in thy mind,
Thi lady hath forgoten to be kynd.


The two following short poems appear by the
manuscript from which they were taken to have
been composed about the time of Henry VUI.
They were communicated by a verv judicious anti-
quary lately deceased, whose opinion of them was
diat they were written either by, or in the person
of Anne Boleyn ; a conjecture which her unfortunate
history renders very probable : —

Defiled is my name full fore,

Through cruel fpyte and hlCc report.
That I may fay for euermore

Farewell, my joy ! adewe, comfort I


For wrongfully ye judge of me.

Unto my fame a mortall wounde s
Say what ye lyft it wyll not be.

Ye feek for that cannot be found.

O Death, rocke me on flepe,

Bfinge me on quiet refle.
Let paife my uerye giltlefs gofte.

Out of my careful! breft j
Toll on the paffinge bell,
Ringe out the dolefuU knell.
Let the founde my dethe tell.

For I muft dye.

There is no remedye.

For now I dye.


My paynes who can expres ?

Alas ; they are fo ftronge
My dolor will not fuffer length

My lyfe for to prolonge }
Toll on. Sec


Alone in prifon ffa-onge,

I wayle my deftenye ;
Wo worth this cruel hap that I

Should tafte this miferye.
Toll on, &c.

Farewell my pleafures pafi:,

Welcum my prefent payne,
1 fele my torments fb increfe.
That lyfe cannot remayne.
Ceafe now the paffing bell,
Rong is my doleful knell.
For the found my dcth doth teU,
Deth doth draw nye,
Sound my end dolefully.
For now I dye.

The following not inelegant stanzas seem to have
been occasioned by the marriage of Margaret the
daughter of Henry VII. to James IV. king of
Scotland, in 1502 ; of whom it is related, that
having taken arms against his own father, he im*
posed on himself the voluntary penance of con-
tinually wearing an iron chain about his waist : —


O feyer, fayreft of euery fayre.
Princes mofte plefaunt and preclare.
The luitieft on lyue that bene,
Welcum of Scotland to be quene.


Yong tender plant of pulchritude,
Defcendith of imperial blood,
Fredi firagrant flower of fayrehode ihene,
Welcum of Scotland to be quene.


Sweet lufly imp of bewtie dere,
Mofte mighty kings dowghter dere.
Borne of a princes moft ferene,
Welcum of Scotland to be quene.


Welcum the rofe both red and whyte,
Welcum the flower of our delvte.
Our fpirit rejoicing from the iplene,
Welcum of Scotland to be quene.

The two following songs are more sententionsf
the first is a sort of caveat against idle rumours : —

Confidering this world, and th' increfe of vyce.
Stricken into dump, right much I mufed,

That no nunner of man be he neuer fb wyie,
From aU forts thereof can be excufed.

And one vyce there is, the more it is ufed

Mo inconueniens fliall grow day by day,
And that is this, let it be refiifed

Geue no fure credens to euery hereiay.


Lyght womens thoughts wyU runne at large.

Whether the tayle be falfe or juf( $
Tydyngs of alehoufe or Grauefend barge,

Bcre-baytings or barben (hopes is not to tmft.

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Chap. LXXX.



An enemies tayle is Tone diftnift,

Ye flull perceue it parihali alway,
To all the forefayd refrayn we muft.

To geue furc credens to euciy herefay.
Though hercfay be trew, as perchauncc may &U,

Yet fyx not thy credens to high,
And though the teller feem right fubftantial.

And tell but herefay, why may he not lye ?

Then betwyxt lyght credens and a tonge hafty,

Surely the gyltlefs is caft away,
Condempnyng the abfent, that is unworthy

So paflyth a lyfe from herefay to herefay.


Good Lord ! how fome wyll wyth a loud uoyce.

Tell a tale after the beft forte,
And fome heren how they will rejoyce,

To here of theyr neybours ill report I
As though it were a matter of comfort,

Herein our charite doth dekay,
And fome maketh it but game and fport,

To tell a lye after the herciay.

Tell a good tale of God or fome faynt,

Or of fome mirakels lately done ;
Some wyll beleue it hard and ftent,

And take it after a fiill lyght hcyon :


We here fay Chrifl fuffrid paffion.
And man (ball reuert to earth and clay,

The rycheft or fbongeft know not how foone^
Beleue well now this, for true is that herefay.

This that follows is a dialogue between two lovers,
in which there is great simplicity of style and sen-
timent, and a frankness discoverable on the lady's part
not warranted by the manners of the present time : —


[Ht] My harts lui^ and all my plefure.

Is geuen where I may not take it agayne.
[^1 Do you repent ? [He] Nay I make you fure.

[SAt] What is the caufe then you do complayne ?

[He] It plefyth my hart to fhew part of my payne,

[SAe] To whom ? [He] To you ! [SAe] Plefe that wyl not me ;
Be all thefe words to me, they be in vayn,

Complayn where you may haue rem«iy.


[He] I do complayn and find no relefTe

[SAe] Yea do you fo ? I pray you tell me how.

[He] My lady lyft not my paynes to redreflfe.
[SAe] Say ye foth? [He] Vea, I majce Go

God a Yowe.


[SAe] Who is your kdy ? [He] I put cafe you.

[SAe] Who I ? nay be (ure it is not fo.
[He] In fayth ye be. [SAe] Why do you fwere now ?

[He] In good fayth I bue you and no mo.


[^1 No mo but me ? [He] No fo fay I.

]SAe] May I you tnifl ? [He] Yea I make you furc.
[^1 1 fere nay. [He] Yes, I /hall tell you why.

[SAe] Tell on, lets here. [He] Ye haue my hart in car
[SAe] Your hart ? nay. [He] Yes without mefure,

I do you loue. [SAe] I pray you fay not fo.
[He] In hyth I do. [SAe] May I of you be fure ?

[ke] Yea in good %th. [SAe] Then am I youn alfo.

By what kind of sophistry a lover may reason
himself into a state of absolute indifference, the
following ballad teaches : —
Yf reafon did rule.
And witt kept fcoole,
Difcrecion fhoulde take place.
And heaue out heauines.
Which banifhed quietnes
And made hym hide his face.


Sith time hath tried,

And truth hath fpied,
That ^ned faith is flatterie.

Why ihould difdaine

Thus ouer me raigne.
And hold me in captiuity ?


Why ihoulde caufe my harte to brafle,

By fiiuoring fbolifhe fantazie ?
Why (hould difpare me all to teare.

Why fhoulde I joyne with jelofie ?

. IV.

Why fhould I tmft.

That neuer was jufle,
Or loue her that loues manye i

Or to lament

Time pafl and fpente,
Whereof is no recoverie *


For if that I

Should thus applye.
Myfelfe in all I can;

Truth to take place.

Where neuer truth was,
I weare a fbolifhe man.


Sett foorth is by fdence.

Declare it doth experience,
By the fiiite to know the tree ;

Then if a faininge flatterer.

To gaine a fiiithful louer,
It may in no wife be.


Therfbre hnwtll fiatteric,

Fained ^th and jelofie,
Truth my tale fhall tell ;

Reafon now fhall rule,

Witt fhall kepe the fcoole,
And bed you all farewell.

The argmnents in favour of celibacy contained in
the following song are neither new or very cogent ;
yet they are not destitute of humour : —

The bachelor moft joyfuUye,

In pleafant plight doth paffe his dates,
Good fellowfhipp and companie

He doth maintaine and kepe alvraie.


With damfells braue he maye well goe.

The maried man cannot doe fo,

If he be merie and toy with any.

His MTife will frowne, and words gene manye }

Her yellow hofe fhe fbait will put on.

So that the married man dare not difpleafe his wife Joane.

There is somewhat subtle in the argument used by
the author of the following stanzas against lending

Digitized by




Boos IX.

money, which in short is this, to preserve friendship,
resist the emotions of it : —

I had both monie and a frende,
Of neither though no ftore j
lent my monie to my firende,
And tooke his bonde therfore.

I aiked my monie of my firende,

But nawght (ave words I gott ;
I loft my monie to kepe my fixnde,

For iewe hym would I not.

But then if monie come,

And fi-ende againe weare founde,
1 wuulde lend no monie to my frende,

Upon no kynde of bonde.
But after this for monie cometh

A friend with pawne to paye,
But when the monie fhould be had.

My frende ufed fuch delay,

That neede of monie did me force,

My frende his pawne to fell,
And ib I got my monie, but

My frende dene from me fell.

Sith bonde for monie lent my frende.

Nor pawne aflurance is,
But that my monie or my frende

Therbye I ever miile.

If God fend monie and a Arende,

As I haue hid before.
I will keepe my monie and fave my firende.

And playe the fiaole no more.

The examples ahove given are only of such songs
and ballads as it is supposed were the entertainment
of the common people about the year 1550, they are
therefore not to be considered as evidences of the
general state of poetry at that time, nor indeed at any
given period of the preceding century ; for, not to
mention Chaucer, who flourished somewhat before,
and whose excellencies are known to every judge of
English literature, the verses of Gower abound with
beautiful images, and excellent moral precepts; and
those of the earl of Surrey, Sir Thomas Wyat, and a
few others, their contemporaries, with the liveliest
descriptions, and most elegant sentiments. One of
the most excellent poems of the kind in the English
language is the ballad of the Nut-brown Maid, pub-
lished with a fine paraphrase by Prior, which, though
the antiquity of it has by a few been questioned, was
printed by Pinson, who lived about the year 1500,
and probably was written some years before.

Many of the songs or popular ballads of this time
appear to have been written by Skelton, and a few of
them have been occasionally inserted in the course of
this work ; as to his poems now extant, they are so
peculiarly his own, so replete with scurrility, and,
though abounding with humour, so coarse and in-
delicate, that they are not to be matched with any
others of that time, and consequently reflect no dis-
grace on the age in which they were written.

Nothing can be more comical, nor nothing more
uncleanly, if we except certain verses of Swift, than

that poem of Skelton entitled the Tunnyng of Elynour
Rummyng. This woman is said by him to have lived
at Letherhead in Surrey, and to have sold ale, the
brewing or tunning whereof is the subject of the
poem. The humour of this ludicrous narrative con-
sists in an enumeration of many sluttish circumstances
that attended the brewing, and a description of several
persons of both sexes, of various characters, as tra-
vellers, tinkers, servant- wenches, farmers' wives, and
many others, whom the desire of Elynour's filthy
beverage had drawn from different parts of the coun-
try ; of her ale they are so eager to drink, that many
for want of money bring their household furniture,
skillets, pots, meal, salt, garments, working-tools,
wheel-barrows, spinning-wheels, and a hundred other
things. This numerous resort produces drunkenness
and a quarrel, and thus ends Skelton's poem the
Tunnyng of Elynour Rummyng.

Of his talent for satire the same author has given
an example in the following verses, which because
they are characteristic of an ignorant singing-man, a
contemporary of his, are here inserted at length : —

Skelton Laureate againft a comely Coyffa-owne, that curiowfly
chauntyd and carryHiIy cowntred and madly in his Mufikea
mokkyihiy made, agaynft the ix Mufis of polltike Poems and
Poettys matriculat.

Of all nacyons under the Heuyn,
Thefe frantyke fbolys I hate moft of all.
For though they ftumble in the (ynnet ieuyn,
In peuyihnes yet they fnapper and hm.
Which men the vii deadly fins call.
This peuyfh proud this prender geft,
When he is well yet can he not reft.

A fwete fuger lofe and (bwre bayards bun
Be fumdele lyke in forme and fhap.
The one for a duke the other for a dun j
A mannchet for Morell thereon to fnap,
His hart is to hy to haue any hap,
But for in his gamut carp that he can,
Lo Jak wold be a JentylmaiL

With hw troly loly, lo whip here Jak,
Alumbek iodyldym lyllorym ben,
Curyowfly he can both counter and knak.
Of Martin Swart, and all hys mery men.
Lord how Perkyn is proud of his Pohen,
But afk wher he (yndyth among his monachords
An holy-water-dark a ruler of lordes.

He cannot fynd it in rule nor in fpace.
He folfyth to haute, hys tnrbyll is to hy.
He braggyth of his byith that borne was full bace,
Hys mufyk withoute mefure, to (harp is his my,*
He trymmyth in his tenor to counter pardy,
His difcant u bely, it is without a mene,
To ht is his ftnUy, his wyt is to lene.

He tumbryth on a lewde lewte, Roty buUe Joyfe,-}-
Rumbill downe, tumbil downe, hey go now now.
He fumblyth in his fyngering an ugly rude noife.
It feemyth the fobbyng of an old Cow :
He wolde be made moch of and he wyft how ;
Wele fped in fpyndels and tunyng of travellys,
A bungler, a brawler, a pyker of quarellys.

Comely he dappyth a payre of clauycordys.
He whyiblyth fo (wetely he maketh me to fwet,
His difcant is daihed full of difcordes,
A red angry man but ea(y to intrete }
An ufher of the hall fayn wold I ge^
To pointe this proude page a place and a rome.
For Jak wold be a Jendlman that late was a groicc*

* i. «. The syllable mi used in solmltation.
t Tiie initial wordii of some old song.

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Chap. LXXXI.



Jatc wold Jet and yet Jill fayd nay.
He countech in his countenance to check with the beft,
A malaperte medler that pryeth for his pray.
In a dyfli dare he nifh to wrangill and to wreft,
He iindeth a proporcyon in his prycke fonge,
To drynke at a draught a large and a long.

Nay jape not with him, he u no fmall fble»
It is a loiempne fyre and a folayne,
For lordes and ladyes leme at his fcole,
He techyth them fo wyfely to folf and to fayne.
That neither they fing wel prike-fong nor plain,
This Dodor Dellias commeniyd in a cart,
A mafter, a mynArel, a iydler, a — .

What though ye can counter CuJhM not.
As wel it becomith you a pary(h towne clarke
To fing Supinitati dtdit Mgrosy
Yet here ye not to bold, to braule ne to bark.
At me that medeled nothing with youre wark,
Corred firft thy felfe, walk and be nought,
Deme what you lift thou knowift not my thought.

A prouerbe of old fay well or be ftill.
Ye are to unhappy occafion to fynde,
Uppon me to clater or el(e to fay yll.
Now have I (hewyd you part of your proud mind,
Take thu in worth the beft is behind.
Wryten at Croydon by Crowland in the clay,
On Candelmas euyn the Kalendas of May. %

Mention has already been made of the service-
books anciently nsed in the churches and chapels of
this kingdom, by whom they were genexaHy made,
and of ^ enormoBi price tfaey bore while copies of
them eonld only be multiplied by writing. This,
though a great inconvenience, was not the only one
which music laboured under, for the characters used
in musical notation were for a series of years fluctu-
ating, so that they assumed a new form in every
century, and can hardly be said to have arrived at
any degree of stability till some years after the in-
vention of printing ; and it will surprise the reader
to behold, as he ma}* in the specimens of notation
given (see Appendix, Nos. 45 to 55), the multifold
variation of the musical characters between the
eleventh century, when they were invented by Guido,
and the fifleenth, when, with a few exceptions in the
practice of the Grerman printers, they were finally

Upon these specimens it is to be remarked, that
they exhibit a series of characters used for the pur-
pose of musical notation from the eleventh century
down to the fourteenth, as they are to be found in
missals, graduals, antiphonaries, and other books of
offices adapted to the Romish service. With regard
to No. 48, 'Paupertate Spiritus,* the musical cha-
racters appear to be such as are said to have been in
use previous to the invention of the stave by Guido,
and from the smallness of the intervals it may be
questioned whether the notes are intended to signify
any thing more than certain inflections of the voice,
so nearly approaching to monotony, that the utter-
ance of them may rather be called reading than

The example (No. 50) ' Eripe me Domine' is clearly
in another method of notation, for the stave of Guido,
and also the F cliff, are made use of in it. With
r^;ard to the characters on the lines and spaces, they
are very different from those points, from the use

whereof in musical composition the term Gontrapun&>
took its rise ; and so little do they resemble the cha-
racters proper to the Oantus Mensnrabilis, as described
by Franco, De Handlo, and other writers on that
subject, that it is not without great difficulty that tliey
can be rendered intelligible. The author from whom
this example is taken exhibits it as a specimen of the
manner of notation in the twelfth century ; it never-
theless appears to have continued in practice so low
down as the sixteenth, for all the examples in the
Margarita Philosophica of Gregory Reisch, printed
in 1517, are in this character, as are also those in the
Enchiridion of George Rhaw, the Compendium Mu-
sices of Lampadius, and other works ot the like kind,
published about the same time.

The specimen (No. 52) * Verbum Patris' is of the
thirteenth century, and as to the form of the characters,
differs in some respects from the former ; and here it
may be remarked, that the F and cliffs have each a
place in the stave, and that the station of the former
IS marked by a pricked line. Other distinctions for
the places of the cliffs, namely, by giving the lines a
different colour or different degrees of thickness, were
usual in the earlier times, and are taken noliee of in
an earlier part of this work.

The character in the specimen (No. 54) • Vere dig-
sum et justum* are supposed to denote the inflections
of the voice in reading.

The plate No. 45 shews the different forms of
the cliffs, and their gradual deviation from their
respective roots at different periods.

The two next succeeding plates contain a compre-
hensive view of the musical notes in different ages,
with their equivalents in modem characters.

The specimens are taken from the Lexicon Diplo-
maticum of Johannes Ludolphns Walther, published
at Ulm in 1756 ; they appear to have been extracted
from ancient service-books in manuscript, of which
there are very many yet remaining in the public
libraries of universities and other repositories in
Europe.* The explanations in modem characters
are the result of his own labour and learned industry,
and furnish the means of rendering into modem cha-
racters those barbarous marks and signatures used by
the monks in the notation of their music.


Thb invention of printing proved an effectual
remedy for all the evils arising from the instability
of musical notation, for besides that it eased the
public in the article of expence, it introduced such
a steady and regular practice as rendered the musical,
an universal character.

The first essays towards music-printing were those
examples which occur in the works of Franchinus,
printed at Milan ; but of these it may be observed,
that the notes therein contained are not printed from
letter-press types, with a character cut on each, but

* One of the finest of the kind, perhaps In the world, ts the liber
Regalis, containing, among other things, the religions ceremonial of the
coronation of Richard II. and his queen, with the musical notes to the
ofBces. This curious MS. waa originally intended for the use of the
high-altar in Westminster abbey, and is now in the library of that ohUNh.

Digitized by





in masses, or from blocks, with a variety of characters
engraven thereon. The Germans improved upon
this practice, and the art of printing music with
letter-press types appears to have arrived at great
perfection among them by the year 1600.

I^attheson, in his Volkomenen Oapelmeister, pag. 58,
relates that Jaques De Sanleques, a man who had

Online LibraryJohn HawkinsA general history of the science and practice of music → online text (page 101 of 123)