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likely and pleasurable," —was eldest son to Nicholas, the first lord. In 1532 he waited on the king in his expedition to Calais and Boulogne; a little before which time he is said to have had the custody of Queen Catherine. In the following year he was made a knight of the Bath, at the coronation of Anne Boleyn. He appears to have held no public office but that of captain of the Isle of Jersey, which he surrendered in 1536. He died early in the reign of Philip and Mary.
From the prose prologue to Sackville's Induction to the Mirrour for Magistrates, it would seem that Lord Vaux had undertaken to pen the history of King Edward's two sons, cruelly murdered in the Tower of London; but what he performed of this undertaking does not appear. Two poems in Tottle's collection, The Assault of Cupid, and that which begins, I lothe that I did love (from which three stanzas are quoted in the song of the gravediggers in Hamlet), are certainly his. Ten other pieces of his are preserved in the Paradise of Dainty Devises. William, the eldest son and successor of our author, seems also to have been a poet. Sir Egerton Brydges published two pieces of his in the Poetical Register of 1801.
(Born circa 1520.) Nicholas Grimalde was a native of Huntingdonshire, and received the first part of his academical instruction at Christ's College, Cambridge. Removing to Oxford in 1542, he was elected fellow of Merton College ; but about 1545, having opened a rhetorical lecture in the refectory of Christ Church, then newly founded, he was transplanted to that society, which gave the greatest encouragement to such students as were distinguished for their proficiency in criticism and philology. The same year he wrote a Latin tragedy, which probably was acted in the college, entitled Archipropheta, sive Johannes Baptista, Tragedia. He is the same person called by Strype “one Grimbold,” who was chaplain to Bishop Ridley, and who was employed by that prelate, while in prison, to translate into English Laurentio Valla's book against the fiction of Constantine's Donation, with some other popular Latin pieces against the papists. In the ecclesiastical history of Mary's reign he appears to have been imprisoned for heresy, and to have saved his life, if not his credit, by a recantation. But theology does not seem to have been his talent, nor the glories of martyrdom
to have made any part of his ambition. One of his plans, which hever took effect, was to print a new edition of Joseph of Exeter's poem on the Trojan war, with emendations from the most correct manuscripts. Grimalde merits all the more notice, as he is the second English poet, after Lord Surrey, who wrote in blank verse; nor is it his only praise that he was the first who followed in this new path of versification. To the style of blank verse exhibited by Surrey he added new strength, elegance, and modulation. In the disposition and conduct of his cadences he often approaches to the legitimate structure of the improved blank verse, though it is not to be supposed that he is entirely free from those dissonances and asperities which still adhered to the general character and state of our diction. Another of Grimalde’s blank-verse poems, On the Death of Zoroas, has a most nervous and animated exordium.
As a writer of verses in rhyme, Grimalde yields to none of his contemporaries for a masterly choice of chaste expressions, and the concise elegances of didactic versification. Some of the couplets in his poem In Praise of Moderation have all the smartness which marks the modern style of sententious poetry, and would have done honour to Pope's ethic epistles.
(Circa 1523-1566.) Richard Edwards was born in Somersetshire, about 1523. He is said by Wood to have been a scholar of Corpus Christi College, in Oxford ; but in his early years he was employed in some department about the court. This circumstance appears from one of his poems in the Paradise of Dainty Devises, a miscellany which contains many of his pieces.
He was at one time a senior student of Christ Church, in Oxford, then newly founded. In the British Museum there is a small set of manuscript poems signed with his initials, addressed to some of the beauties of Queen Mary and of Queen Elizabeth. Hence we may conjecture he did not remain long at the University. Having first been a member of Lincoln's Inn, he was, in the year 1561, constituted a gentleman of the Royal Chapel by Queen Elizabeth, and master of the singing-boys there : he had received his musical education while at Oxford, under George Etheridge. The earliest actual notice we have of Edwards as a dramatic poet, in which character he enjoyed a high reputation in his time, is under the year 1565, when a play of his production, Damon and Pythias, was performed by the children
of the chapel, under his direction, before the queen at Richmond. The other extant play of his, Palamon and Arcite, was produced, also under his superintendence, before the queen, in Christ Church Hall, Oxford, in 1566, only a few months before his death. It is clear that we have lost many of his productions; for Thomas Twine, in his epitaph upon Edwards—whom he designates
" The flower of our realme, And phænix of our age—"
after specifying Damon and Pythias and Palamon and Arcite, refers to more plays of his
“Full fit for princes' ears.” Puttenham, in like manner, gives the prize to Edwards for comedy and interlude, the term interlude being here of wide extent; for Edwards, besides that he was a writer of regular dramas, appears to have been a contriver of masques and a composer of poetry for pageantry. In a word, says Warton, he united all those arts and accomplishments which minister to popular pleasantry. He was the first fiddle, the most fashionable sonneteer, the readiest rhymer, and the most facetious mimic of the court; and his popularity seems to have arisen from those pleasing talents of which no specimens could be transmitted to posterity, but which eminently influenced his partial contemporaries in his favour.
(Circa 1526.) William Roy, a poetical satirist, less distinguished than Skelton as a Latin scholar, but at least equally formidable to Cardinal Wolsey and the Catholics, flourished in 1526. His work, which is now extremely rare, forms a small duodecimo volume, elegantly printed in black-letter, without date or publisher's name. It has a prose dedication to some person of whose name the initials only are given ; and a metrical prologue, consisting of a dialogue between the author and his book. Then follows a sort of satirical dirge, or lamentation on the death of the Mass; and then the treatise itself, which is called a “ Briefe Dialogue between two Preestes' Servauntes named Walkin and Jeffray.” It is in two parts, of which the first is, in general, a satire on the monastic orders, though even here the cardinal and his friends are occasionally introduced. Roy’s versification is tolerably
nervous and flowing; and his language, though coarse, is nervous and impressive, and his invective very bitter.
(Born circa 1526.) John Still, vice-chancellor of the University of Cambridge, and afterwards Bishop of Bath and Wells, is the author of Gammer Gurton's Needle, a production which, until the recent discovery of Udall's Ralph Roister Doister, was considered the earliest regular comedy in our language. It was first acted at Christ's College, Cambridge, in 1566; and possesses humour enough to carry the reader, without impatience, through the slow development of its homøopathic plot, which is built on the circumstance of an old woman having lost her needle, which throws the whole village into confusion, till it is at last providentially found in an unlucky part of Hodge's dress. This must evidently have happened at a time when the manufactures of Sheffield and Birmingham had not reached the height of perfection they have since achieved.
Suppose that there is one sewing-needle in a parish ; that the owner, a notable diligent old dame, loses it; that a mischief-making wag sets it about that another old woman has stolen this valuable instrument of household industry; that strict search is made every where in-doors for it in vain ; and that then the incensed parties sally forth to scold it out in the open air, till words end in blows, and the affair is referred over to the higher authorities, and we shall have an exact idea, though perhaps not so lively a one, of what passes in this authentic document between Gammer Gurton and her gossip Dame Chat; Diccon the Bedlam (the causer of these harms); Hodge, Gammer Gurton's servant ; Tyb, her maid ; Cocke, her prentice-boy; Doll; Scapethrift ; Master Baillie, his master; Dr. Rat, the curate; and Gib, the cat, who may be fairly reckoned one of the dramatis persona, and performs no mean part. The wit is of the homely kind, but hearty; and there is much information to be amusingly gathered out of the book as to the manners of our ancestors at the time.
(Circa 1530-1578.) George Gascoigne, a member of an ancient and noble family, was born in Westmoreland, about the year 1530. Having received the rudiments of his education under a clergyman named Nevinson, he removed to Cambridge, whence he proceeded to London, and entered himself of Gray's Inn, for the purpose of studying the law. His connexions, however, soon drew him to court, where he lived with a splendour and expense to which his means were inadequate ; and at length, being obliged to sell his patrimony to pay his debts, he left the court, and embarked, 19th March, 1572, at Gravesend, for Holland. The vessel was under the direction of a drunken Dutch pilot, who, from intoxication, ran them aground, and they were in imminent danger of perishing. Twenty of the crew, who had taken to the longboat, were swallowed up by the surge ; but Gascoigne and his friends, Rowland, Yorke, and Herle, resolutely remained at the pumps, and the wind shifting, they were again driven to sea. At length
“ Per varios casus, per tot discrimina rerum,"
they landed in Holland, where Gascoigne obtained a captain's commission under the gallant William Prince of Orange, who was then emancipating the Netherlands from the Spanish yoke. In this service he acquired considerable military reputation, but an unfortunate quarrel with his colonel retarded his career. Conscious of his deserts, he repaired immediately to Delft, resolved to resign his commission into the hands from which he received it; the prince in vain endeavouring to close the breach between his officers.
While this negotiation was mediating, a circumstance occurred which had nearly cost our poet his life. A Scottish lady at the Hague (then in the possession of the enemy), with whom Gascoigne had been on intimate terms, had his portrait in her hands (“his counterfayt," as he calls it); and resolving to part with it to himself alone, wrote a letter to him on the subject, which fell into the hands of his enemies in the camp. From this paper they meant to have raised a report unfavourable to his loyalty ; but upon its reaching his hands, Gascoigne, conscious of his fidelity, laid it immediately before the prince, who saw through their design, and gave him passports for visiting the lady at the Hague : the burghers, however, watched his motions with malicious caution, and he was called in derision “ the Green Knight." Although disgusted with the ingratitude of those on whose side he fought, Gascoigne still retained his