« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
THE SPEECHES, &c.] Jonson has prefixed no date to these, and the Masque of Oberon which follows them; but the time is ascertained by the public records. On Monday the fourth of June, 1610, Henry, then in his sixteenth year, was created Prince of Wales with extraordinary pomp and solemnity. On the next day, (Tuesday,) the beautiful Masque of Oberon was performed, and on Wednesday the Barriers or Tilting. A very full account of the "formalities and shews," as they are called, on the Prince's creation, may be found in Winwood's State Papers (vol. iii. pp. 179 -181.) In the Masque, which is said to have been "a most glorious one," it appears that some introductory matter (not absolutely connected with it) has been omitted. Of the Barriers, sir Ralph Winwood's correspondent (sir John Finnet) thus speaks. "The third and last day did not give place unto any of the former, either in stateliness of shew or sumptuousness in performance. The names of the TILTERS were these: the Duke of Lenox, the Earls of Arundell, Pembroke, Dorset, and Montgomery; the Lords Walden, Compton, Norris, North, Hay, and Dingwell; Sir Thomas. Sommerset, Sir Thomas Howard, Sir Henry Carey, Sir Sigismond Alexander, and Mr. Henry Alexander. The Earl of Pembroke brought in two caparisons of peach-coullered velvet, embroidered all over with fair orientall pearls, and yet the Lord Walden carryed away the reputation of bravery" (splendour of apparel) "that day. But to speak generally of the court, I must truly confess unto you that I have not, in all my life, once seen so much riches in bravery as at thys time. Embroidered suits were so common, as the richest lace which was to be gotten seemed but a mean grace to the wearer."
The praise of superior skill at this course, is given in another place, to the earls of Pembroke and Montgomery and the duke of Lenox. Pembroke was eminent in every accomplishment, as well as virtue; and from the incidental notices of his brother Philip, which occur in all the court correspondence of the time, it is difficult to believe that he was so wretched a creature as later writers choose to represent him. Illiterate he assuredly was, but he excelled in all polite and manly exercises; and it is somewhat to his praise that though he continued a most distinguished favourite to the last moment of the king's existence, he provoked no ill-will, and excited no envy. His declining years were stained with ingratitude of the basest kind; and he was abandoned to merited disgrace and contempt.
It was, I believe, at these Barriers, that Carr laid the foundation of his surprising fortune. He was pitched upon by lord Dingwell (Hume says, by lord Hay) on account of his youth and beauty, to present him, in quality of his page, with his lance and shield. approaching the lists for this purpose, he was thrown from his horse, and taken up with a broken leg. The rest is matter of history, and too well known.
PRINCE HENRY'S BARRIERS.
The LADY OF THE LAKE discovered.1
SILENCE, calm as are my waters, meet
Your rais'd attentions, whilst my silver feet
Touch on the richer shore; and to this seat
Vow my new duties, and mine old repeat.
Lest any yet should doubt, or might mistake
By this it will not ask me to proclaim
What hath before been trusted to our 'squire
The Lady of the Lake.] Alluding to the old romance of Sir Lancelot and the Lady of the Lake.
And that a monarch equal good and great,
Wise, temperate, just, and stout, CLAIMS ARTHUR'S
Did I say equal? O too prodigal wrong
What ornaments of counsel as of court!
2 CLAIMS ARTHUR'S SEAT.] See the additions to the Masque of Pleasure reconciled to Virtue, "for the honour of Wales."
Shields and swords,
Cobwebb'd and rusty; not a helm affords
A spark of lustre, which were wont to give
Light to the world, and made the nation live.] There is a great similitude between these verses, and those of the poet Bacchylides, in his delicate Hymn to Peace:
Ἐν δὲ σιδαροδέτοισιν πόρπαξιν αἰθῶν ̓Αράχναν
Ξίφεα τ ̓ ἀμφάκεα εὐρὼς δάμναται· χαλκέων
O'er the bright concave shield, the spider spreads