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The Speech at the King's entrance at BURLEIGH,
made in the character of the PORTER.
F for our thoughts there could but speech be
found, And all that speech be utter'd in one sound,
So that some power above us would afford The means to make a language of a word, It should be WELCOME! in that only voice We would receive, retain, enjoy, rejoice ; And all effects of love and life dispense, Till it were call'd a copious eloquence ; For should we vent our spirits, now you are come, In other syllables, were as to be dumb. Welcome, O welcome, then, and enter here, The house your bounty built, and still doth rear.
1 The house your bounty built, and still doth rear, &vc.] Villiers (now marquis of Buckingham) was in the zenith of his favour. Honours were showered upon all his relatives and friends. His mother was made a countess, her children promoted, and married to persons of rank and fortune, and not a second cousin overlooked in the distribution of wealth and titles. If, as the speech says, the Marquis was “turn'd all to gratitude,” it was well, and yet no more than so indulgent a master and friend as James deserved. Burleigh was burnt to the ground by the Parliament forces in 1645. They had made it a place of arms, and on evacuating it set it on fire. The destruction of a mansion once inhabited by the great object of their hate, the duke of Buckingham, must have gratified them beyond measure.
By the house your bounty built, the poet alludes classically and simply to the raising up of the family. In a literal sense, the house was originally constructed by some of the Harrington
With those high favours, and those heap'd increases
family; though much enlarged and beautified by the present possessor.
No introductory speech is given to the presentation at Belvoir. Buckingham had married the earl of Rutland's daughter, so that the Royal appearance at that castle was not without some compliment, perhaps, to the favourite.
THE PROLOGUE AT WINDSOR.
many blessings as there be bones
We may strive to please,
But you, sir, that twice
favour hath made.
To have you
THE GIPSIES METAMORPHOSED.
Enter a Gipsy (being the Jackman,') leading a horse
laden with five little children bound in a trace of scarfs upon him ; followed by a second, leading another horse laden with stolen poultry, &c.
Jackman. OOM for the five princes of Ægypt, mounted all upon one horse, like the four sons of Aymon, to make the miracle the more by a head, if it may be! Gaze
upon them, as on the offspring of Ptolemy, begotten upon several Cleopatras, in their several counties ; especially on this brave spark
1 Being the Jackman.] “You shall understand that the Jackman hathe his name of a Jacke, which is a seal in their language, as one that should make writings and set seales for lycences and pasportes." Caveat for Cursitors.
2 Mounted all upon one horse, like the four sons of Aymon.] This alludes to a story in the romantic history of Charlemagn: I find the same circumstance mentioned by Skelton, in his Philip Sparrow :
“And though that read have I
struck out of Flintshire, upon justice Jug's daughter, then sheriff of the county, who running away with a kinsman of our captain's, and her father pursuing her to the marches, he great with justice, she great with jugling, they were both, for the time, turn'd stone, upon the sight each of other, in Chester : till at last, (see the wonder,) a jug of the town-ale reconciling them, the memorial of both their gravities,' his in beard, and her's in belly, hath remained ever since preserved in picture upon the most stone jugs of the kingdom. The famous imp yet grew a wretchock ;*
Le livre de quatre fitz Aymon, &c. (a popular story in the days of romance,) was translated into English, and printed in a small folio, in 1504, by Wynkyn de Worde, and again, in 1554, by W. Copland, with this title, A pleasaunt and goodly Historie of the four sons of Aimon. On the title-page is a ridiculous wooden cut (given however in sober sadness) of four men sitting on one horse, with their swords drawn. It is to this that the poet alludes.
3 The memorial of both their gravities, &c.] The long beards and big bellies of the stone jugs of the poet's days, have been already noticed.
See vol. v. p. 317. 4 The famous imp yet grew a wretchcock.] All the dictionaries and glossaries I have consulted, will not help us to this term. The word wrethock indeed occurs in Skelton's Eleanor Rumming; the exact sense I am not able to assign; but it is applied to fowls, and I am apt to think that wretchcock and wrethock have the same sense, whatever it be.
“The goslings were untied,
Elinour began to chide;
They are sheer shaking nought." WHAL. Yet grew a wretchock,] i. e. pined away, instead of thriving. Whalley appears to have puzzled himself sorely in this page, (for he has much that I have not copied,) about a matter of very little difficulty. In every large breed of domestic fowls, there is usually a miserable little stunted creature, that forms a perfect contrast to the growth and vivacity of the rest. This unfortunate abortive, the goodwives, with whom it is an object of tenderness, call a wrethcock; and this is all the mystery. Was Whalley ignorant that what we now term chick, was once chocke and chooke? Wrethocke, which he probably copied from the execrable edition of Skelton's