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Early English poetry, ballads, and popular literature of the Middle Ages ; (Volume 19) online

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EARLY ENGLISH POETRY,
BALLADS,

AND POPULAR LITERATURE
OF THE MIDDLE AGES.

EDITED FROM ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS
AND SCARCE PUBLICATIONS.

453SI

VOL. XIX.



LONDON

PRINTED FOR THE PERCY SOCIETY,
hV T RICHARDS. ST. MARTJNS LANE

M.PCOC.XLVI.






CONTENTS OF VOL XIX,



THE CIVIC GARLAND.

KDITED BY F. W. FATRUOI.T ,ESQ. F.S.A.

LIFE AND MAirrVKDOM OF THOMAS BECKET.

KIHTKl* IIY .1. II. CI.ACK KSQ. F.S.A.



A COLLECTION OF SONGS FROM
LONDON PAGEANTS.



KDITED,
WITH INTKODUCTION AND NOTES, BY

FREDERICK W. FAIRHOLT, F.vS.A.



" Quaint old themes,

Even in the city's throng."

Longfellow's Voices of the ?\igh t.



LONDON :
PKINTED FOR THE PERCY SOCIETY,

BY T. RICHARDS, 100, ST. MARTIN'S LANE.
M.DCCC.XLV.



Orouncil, 1845-6.



Presicieut,
The Rt. Hon. LORD BRAYBROOKE, F.S.A.

THOMAS AMYOT, Esq. F.R.S. Treas. S A.
WILLIAM HENRY BLACK, Esq
WILLIAM CHAPPELL, Esq. F.S.A.
J. PAYNE COLLIER, Esq. F.S.A.
BOLTON CORNEY, E.^q.

T. CROFTON CROKER, E.sq. F.RS., M.R.I. A.
.TAMES HENRY DIXON, Esq
FREDERICK VV. FAIKHOLT, Esq. F.S.A.
.T. O. HALLIWELL, Esq. F.R.S., F.S.A.
WILLIAM JERDAN, Esq. F.S A., M R.S L.
CAPTAIN JOHNS, R.M.
T. .1. PETTIGREW, Esq. F.R.S., F S.A
WILLIAM SANDYS. Esq. F.S.A.
W. .1. THOMS, Esq. F.S.A.

THO.MAS WRIGHT, Esq. M.A.F.S.A , St-nmiury
and Trcaxurer.



INTRODUCTION.



It was my original intention to have appended the
songs from the mayoralty pageants of London,
contained in this volume, to the volume on Lord
Mayors' Pageants published by the Percy Society
in 1843-4, so that this may be considered as the
third and concluding part of the collections on
that subject. I have however not restricted
myself now, as I should have done before, to those
only to be found in pageants expressly devoted to
London's chief magistrate, but have added several
from pageants designed to entertain royalty when
it honoured the city with its presence. It must
be allowed that many of these songs possess but
little poetical merit; they are chiefly curious as
specimens of the taste and feeling of the day ; but
they derive an historic interest from the great
occasions in the celebration of which they were
composed. In many Instances, too, they vividly
picture forth, in coarse and homely phrase enough,
the opinions, political and religious, held in the
capital of the kingdom. In some instances the
freedom of expression is rather surpi*ising; but
this also is characteristic of the times. Thus,
U h



when Charles the Second and his queen were en-
tertained with the Waterman's Song, printed in
this collection, p. 34, the author tells us: — "The
song ended, and upon their majesties drawing near,
one of the watermen boldly steps forward, and
expresseth himself to their majesties in these
words, — ' Haul in, haul in, for the lionour of your
calling, and be hang'd ; do you know your fellows
no better ? I have something to say for the good
of ye all : God blesse thee, King Charles, and thy
good woman there, a blest creature she is, I war-
rant thee, and a true. Go thy wayes for a wagg !
thou hast had a merry time on't in the west ; I
need say no more ; a word to the wise — thou un-
derstand'st me ; much good may it do thee, fall too
and welcome ; the devil take the grudger ! But
dost hear me, don't take it in dudgeon that I am
so familiar with thee ; thou mayst rather take it
kindly, for I am not alwayes in this good humour ;
though I thee thee and thou thee, I am no quaker,
take notice of that ; he tliat does not love thee in
his heart, may he be drawn in a cart ; God blesse
me, that rime has put me in mind of the old poet
my brother Avaterraan.* Have at ye, i'faith ! if I
have any guts in my brains I Fll give you a dish

* John Taylor the Water-Poet, so named from having
been a Thames wateniian. He composed the mayoralty
pageant for 1G34.



Ill

of poetry to stay your stomach 'till you get further;

a distich or two does it :

We in our hearts do foster no deceipt,
They and our tongues simplicity do meet,
As sands and fishes are thought numberless,
So may our joyes be pregnant, and increase.

And so God speed you well."

The very great rarity of the descriptive pamphlets
of London pageants can only be accounted for by
the temporary interest they excited. The original
editions were not small, and they appeared on all
occasions. In the Satires of Henry Fitzgeffery,
1617, mention is made how

" Carelesse, fearlesse pamphlets fly about,
Bookes made of ballades ; workes of playes,
Sights to be read of my lo. maior's days."

and he previously speaks of the eagerness with
which descriptive accounts are got up and pub-
lished :

" Be there a city show, or sight at court."

Since the publication of my collections on Lord
Mayors' Pageants, in which I included a brief de-
scription of all I could then discover in any public
or private library, Mr. Pearson has obtained one by
Thomas Middleton hitherto unpublished, and which
is printed entire in the second volume of the Shak-
spere Society's Pcqyers. It is entitled " The Triumphs
of Honor and Virtue," and was written by Mid-
dleton for the mayoralty of the Rt. Hon. Peter

h2



IV



Proby, of the grocer's company, in 1622. The
pageants for 1621 and 1623 I have already de-
scribed ; and this supplies the missing one. Two
pageants were exhibited on the water, the Throne of
Virtue, and the Continent of India. They add to
the show by hind, and are stationed on the mayor's
return, at different places. St. Paul's church-
yard is the abiding-place of the Continent of India ;
this was the trade-pageant^ and was " replenished
with all manner of spice-plants and trees bearing
odour." A black personage, representing India,
is seated on a bed of spices, attended by Indians
in antique habits, " Commerce, Adventure, and
Traffic, three liabited like merchants, presenting
to her view a bright figure, bearing the inscription
of Knowledge, a sun appearing above the trees in
brightest splendour and glory." Middle ton tells
us that " the three merchants placed in the Conti-
nent have reference to the lord mayor and sheriffs,
all three being this year brothers of this ancient
and honourable Society." India addresses an ex-
ceedingly complimentary speech to the mayor, who
now proceeds to " the chariot of Fame, which
awaits his honour''s approach near the little conduit
in Cheap," where Antiquity again compliments
him and the company to which lie belongs, and
declares the honours they have received in his
"golden register book." The Throne of Virtue is



the next to confront the mayor near to Laurence-
lane end, and here again compliments are rife.
The mayor now reaches Guildhall, dines, and after-
wards goes to St. Paul's, attended by " the whole
state of the triumph," and so homeward. " In
Soper Lane two parts of the triumph stand ready
planted ; viz. the Throne of Virtue^ and the Glohe of
Honour.'''' This last pageant, which, with the others,
was the work of Gerard Christmas (whose inventive
genius and clever execution Is always lauded by
the city poets, and has been frequently noticed by
me elsewhere), is so exactly like what we constantly
see upon the modern theatres, that it is not a little
curious, particularly if Christmas was the original
inventor of this " unparallclled master-piece of in-
vention and art," as Middleton styles it. This
*' Glohe suddenly opening, and flying into eight
coats, or distinct parts, discovers in a twinkling
eight bright personages most gloriously decked,
representing as it were the inward man, the inten-
tions of a virtuous and worthy breast by the graces
of the mind and soul, such as Clear Conscience,
Divine Speculation, Peace of Heart, Integrity, Watch-
fulness, Equality, Providence, Impartiality, each
exprest by its proper illustration. And because
man's perfection can receive no constant attribute
in this life, the cloud of Frailty ever and anon
shadowing and darkening our brightest intentions,



VI



makes good the morality of those coats or parts,
when they fall or close into the full round of a
globe again, showing, that as the hrightest day has
its overcastings, so the best men in this life have
their imperfections ; and worldly mists oftentimes
interpose the clearest cogitations, and yet that but
for a season, turning in the end, like the mounting
of this engine', to their everlasting brightness, con-
verting itself to a canopy of stars." The four car-
dinal virtues. Wisdom, Justice, Fortitude, and
Temperance, are placed at the four corners, and
Honour, " mounted on the top," explains all in a
farewell speech to the mayor.

I have myself obtained access to the very rare pa-
geant for 1698 by Settle, and which is remarkable
as being one of the only tivo containing engravings
of the shows exhibite


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Online LibraryPercy SocietyEarly English poetry, ballads, and popular literature of the Middle Ages ; (Volume 19) → online text (page 1 of 15)