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And when in mind I did consent
To taste such bait myself to spill,
O flatterer false! thou traitor born-
Give place, you ladies, and be gone;
A Praise of his Lady.-Said to be by George Boleyn, beheaded in 1536.
The virtue of her lively looks
I wish to have none other books
At Bacchus' feast none shall her meet,
The modest mirth that she doth use,
O Lord, it is a world to see
Truly she doth as far excel
Our women now-a-days,
How might I do to get a graff
This gift alone I shall her give:
When Death doth what he can,
THOMAS TUSSER, author of the first didactic poem in the language, was born about 1515, of an ancient family, had a good education, and commenced life at court, under the patronage of Lord Paget. Afterwards he practised farming successively at Ratwood in Sussex, Ipswich, Fairsted in Essex, Norwich, and other places; but not succeeding in that walk, he betook himself to other occupations, amongst
which were those of a chorister and, it is said, a fiddler. As might be expected of one so inconstant, he did not prosper in the world, but died poor in London, in 1580.
Tusser's poem, entitled a Hondreth Good Points of Husbandrie,' which was first published in 1557, is a series of practical directions for farming, expressed in simple and inelegant, but not always dull verse, It was afterwards expanded by other writers, and published under the title of 'Five Hundroth Points of Good Húsbandrie ;' the last of a considerable number of editions appeared in 1710.
Directions for Cultivating a Hop-garden.
The difference between the English and Scottish languages has now become decided. In Barbour and Wyntoun, the variation is very slight; but before another century had elapsed, the northern dialect was a separate and independent speech. This distinction had probably existed long before in the spoken language of the people; but it was only developed in poetry in the writings of Henryson, Dunbar, and Lyndsay. The Anglo-Saxon element predominated in the north, and it was proved to be not unfitted for the higher purposes of poetry. Dunbar is a vigorous imaginative poet, greater than any that had appeared since the days of Chaucer, and only wanting a little more chivalrous feeling and a finer tone of humanity to rival the father of English verse.
JAMES I OF SCOTLAND.
This chivalrous Scottish prince was born in 1394. In order to save him from the unscrupulous hands of his uncle, the Duke of Albany, James was privately despatched to the court of Charles VI. of France, but the vessel in which he embarked was seized off the coast of Norfolk, and the young prince, then in his eleventh year, was forcibly detained by Henry IV. of England. This act of gross injustice completed the calamities of the infirm and imbecile King Robert III. of Scotland, who sank under the blow, and it led to the captivity of James for more than eighteen years. Henry, however, furnished the captive prince with liberal means of instruction. In all the learning and polite accomplishments of the English court he became a proficient, excelling not only in knightly and athletic exercises, but in the science of music and in acquaintance of the classic and romantic poets Chaucer and Gower he studied closely. Original composition followed; and there are few finer strains than those with which
James soothed his hours of solitary restraint within Windsor Tower. His description of the small garden which lay before his chamber window-once the moat of the Tower-and the first glimpse he there obtained of his future queen, the Lady Joan Beaufort, form a beauti ful and touching episode in our literary anuals. James obtained his release, married the Lady Joan in February, 1424, and in May of the same year was crowned King of Scotland-the most accomplished prince of his age, to rule over a turbulent and distracted country. He set himself vigorously to reduce the power of the profligate nobles, and to insure the faithful administration of justice, resolving, as he said, that the key should keep the castle, and the bush secure the COW. The sentiment was worthy a prince; but James pursued his measures in some instances, too far, and clouded the aspect of justice with ineffaceable stains of cruelty and vengeance. A conspiracy was formed against him (the chief actor in which was his uncle, Walter Stuart, Earl of Athole), and he was assassinated at Perth, on the 20th of February, 1437.
The principal poem of James I. is entitled The King's Quhair. meaning the king's Quire, or Book. Only one MS. of the poum (which extends to nearly 1400 lines) is extant, preserved in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and was printed in 1788, edited by William Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee. The subject is the royal poet's love for Lady Joan Beaufort, described in the allegorical style of the age, in the manner of Chancer, and with much ne description, sentiment, and poetical fancy. It places James high in the rank of romantic poets. Two humorous Scottish poems are also ascribed to himChristis Kirk on the Grene,' and Peblis to the Play,' both descriptive of rustic sports and pastimes, and the former ridiculing the Scottish want of skill in archery. They are excellent though coarse, humorous poems. The claim of James to the authorship of either has, however, been disputed, though it seems supported-at least in the case of Christis Kirk on the Grene'-by good testimony. The style has certainly a more modern cast than would be looked for, but no claimant more probable than James I. has yet been named; and Sir Walter Scott--as well as Tytler and others-unhesitatingly ascribes 'Christis Kirk on the Grene' to the royal poet. In the following quotation, and subsequent extracts, the spelling is modernised:
James I. a Prisoner in Windsor, first sees Lady Joan Beaufort, who afterwards was his Queen.
Bewailing in my chamber, thus alone,
Now was there made, fast by the Towris wall,
Cast I down mine eyes again,
Or are ye god Cupidis own princess,
1 Twigs. 4 Say.
2 Went and came.
3 Confounded for a little while.