per annum; and the wearing of plaited shirts, garnished with gold, silver, or silk, was permitted to none below the rank of knighthood. The hair was cut remarkably close, a peremptory order having been issued by Henry to all his attendants and courtiers to “poll their heads.” Beards and moustaches were worn at pleasure.

The portraits of Anne Bullen and Queen Katharine will convey a sufficient idea of the costume of ladies of rank at this period. The jewelled cap and feather with which Holbein has represented Anne in the portraits engraved in Cavendish's Life of Wolsey' are exceedingly picturesque and becoming The other head-dress, which was probably the often-talked-of “French hood,” is better known, nearly all Henry's wives being represented in it. The gown was cut square at the bosom, as in the preceding reign; but instead of the neck being bare, it was covered almost to the throat by the partlet, a sort of habit-shirt, much like the modern one, embroidered with gold and silk. The sleeves of the gowns were frequently of a different material from that which composed the rest of the dress, and generally of a richer stuff. The gown was open in front to the waist, showing the kirtle or petticoat, and with or without a train, according to the prevailing fashion of France or Holland. Anne of Cleves is described as wearing a gown made round without any train, after the Dutch fashion; while the train of Catherine Parr is stated to have been more than two yards long. Anne Bullen, while Countess of Pembroke, danced at Calais with Francis I. in a masque consisting of seven ladies besides herself, who were attired in masking apparel of strange fashion, made of cloth of gold compassed with crimson tinsel satin, formed with cloth of silver lying loose and knit with laces of gold. They were brought into the chamber with four damsels in crimson satin, with tabards of fine cypress. Cavendish, in his Life of Wolsey,' says—“ I have seen the king suddenly come thither (i. e. to the cardinal's) in a mask, with a dozen other maskers in garments like shepherds, made of fine cloth of gold and crimson satin; their hairs and beards of fine gold wire, or silver, or some of black silk, with sixteen torchbearers and drums all in satin.” A minute account is given by Hall of the coronation of Queen Anne Bullen; and also by Cavendish, who has described the procession and the ceremony. We must be careful, however, not to confound the procession from the Tower to Westminster, on the day previous to the coronation, with that introduced in the play, which is the procession from the palace to the Abbey. On the first occasion she wore a surcoat of white cloth of tissue, and a mantle of the same, furred with ermine, her

[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

hair hanging down from under a coif, with a circlet about it full of rich stones. On the second (that in the play) she wore a surcoat and robe of purple velvet, furred with ermine, the coif and circlet as before. The barons of the Cinque Ports, who carried the

canopy over her, were “all in crimson, with points of blue and red hanging on their sleeves.” The ladies, “ being lords' wives," that followed her, “had surcoats of scarlet with narrow sleeves, the breast all lettice (fur), with bars of borders (i. e. rows of ermine) according to their degrees, and over that they had mantles of scarlet furred, and every mantle had lettice about the neck, like a neckercher, likewise powde:ed (with ermine), so that by the powderings their degree was known. Then followed ladies, being knights' wives, in gowns of scarlet with narrow sleeves, without trains, only edged with lettice.” The queen’s gentlewomen were similarly attired with the last. The lord chancellor wore a robe of scarlet, open before, and bordered with lettice. The dukes were in crimson velvet, furred with ermine, and powdered according to their degrees. The Duke of Suffolk's doublet and jacket were set with orient pearl ; his gown of crimson velvet, richly embroidered; and he carried a white rod in his hand, being that day high steward of England. The knights of the Bath wore “violet gowns, with hoods purfled with miniver, like doctors."

[graphic][merged small]


I come no more to make you laugh; things now, That bear a weighty and a serious brow, Sad, high, and working, full of state and woe, Such noble scenes as draw the eye to flow, We now present. Those that can pity, here May, if they think it well, let fall a' tear; The subject will deserve it. Such as give Their money out of hope they may believe, May here find truth too. Those that come to see Only a show or two, and so agree The play may pass, if they be still and willing, I'll undertake may see away their shilling Richly in two short hours. Only they That come to hear a merry, bawdy play, A noise of targets; or to see a fellow In a long motley coat, guarded with yellow, Will be deceiv'd: for, gentle hearers, know, To rank our chosen truth with such a show As fool and fight is, beside forfeiting Our own brains, and the opinion that we bring, (To make that only true we now intend) Will leave us never an understanding friend. Therefore, for goodness' sake, and, as you are known The first and happiest hearers of the town, Be sad, as we would make you: Think, ye see The very persons of our noble story, As they were living; think, you see them great, And follow'd with the general throng and sweat Of thousand friends; then, in a moment, see How soon this mightiness meets misery! And if you can be merry then, I 'll say A man may weep upon his wedding-day,

[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small][merged small]

SCENE I.—London. An Antechamber in the Palace.

Enter the DUKE OF NORFOLK, at one door; at the other, the

DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM and the LORD ABERGAVENNY.2 Buck. Good morrow, and well met. How have you

done Since last we saw in France ? Nor.

I thank your grace :
Healthful; and ever since a fresh admirer
Of what I saw there.

An untimely ague
Stay'd me a prisoner in my chamber, when

« VorigeDoorgaan »