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Helpe me with your almose while my life doth laste, · That like a wretch as I am I may go my way.

Barnabas. Shewe me your name, sister, I you pray, • And I wyll helpe you now at your

nede: · Both body and soule wyl I fede.

· Dalila. You have named me already, if I durst be

so bold.


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• Your sister Dalila-that wretch I am.'

Ismael undergoes a regular trial before · Daniel the Judge' for his crimes, and the questor jury deliver in their verdict, in consequence of which he is executed. Iniquity is carried off to be hanged at the same time, after a struggle and threatening to · lay his brawlingiron' on the face of any one who endeavours to secure him. Worldly-shame (the only strictly allegorical character, independent of the Vice, in the piece) then torments Xantipe the mother, and she attempts, in despair, to stab herself, but is prevented by her son Barnabas, who ends the performance with a long discourse upon the education of children.

' A yonge plant ye may platte and bowe as ye wyll; • Where it groweth strong, there wyll it abyde styll.'

A marginal note informs us that he kneleth downe' while he delivers the prayer-epilogue for the Queen, nobility, and commonalty.




John Heywood's dramatic productions almost form a class by themselves: they are neither Miracle-plays nor Moral-plays, but what may be properly and strictly called Interludes; a species of writing of which he has a claim to be considered the inventor, although the term “interlude' was applied generally to theatrical productions in the reign of Edward IV.*

* I have already had occasion to quote from the valuable MS. in the possession of J. H. Bright, Esq., which contains various songs by John Heywood, that have never been printed. One of his contemporaries was a person of the name of Thomas Pridioxe or Prideaux, and I cannot refrain from here inserting a specimen of the writings of that hitherto unknown poet, more especially as I suspect it to be the original ballad which gave the name of Queen Dido' to a very celebrated tune, often employed by the authors of songs in the reign of Elizabeth. Dido is supposed to deliver the following verses after she has been forsaken by Æneas

• Behowlde of pensyfnes the pycture here in place ;
• Beholde myne eyes whose teres do moyst my paled face.
• Beholde myne eres denyde of there desyryd solas,
Beholde my playnts to fyll my mornyng hevy case.

' I Dido, quene of Carthage cooste, "For Eneas love my life have lost.


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The earliest of his pieces is, probably, “A mery Play betwene the Pardoner and the frere, the curate ' and neybour Pratte*,' which was printed by William Rastell, in 1533, but which must have been written before 1521, (when the author was a 'player on the virginals' in the court of Henry VIII.) because Leo X. is spoken of in it as living. This circumstance

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• My fame, my love, my sealfe I gave into his hand,
My kingdome and my welth at his owne heast did stand;
Yet promis nor desartes cowld binde his hart in troths band,
But fled, alas, fro me by nyght out of my land.

• Forgettyng all respects of trothe,
He falste his honor and his othe.

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"As the whyte swan dothe singe towards her dieng day,
* And as the turtle tru her mone doth make alwaye,
. So I pore Dido do my myseries here bewraye,
• And with my death my dolefull desteny display.

O lawles love, no hearbe is fownd
"To salve the sore where thow dost woond.

O worthy women all, of hye and lowe degre,
"A merror Dido make Eneas love to flee;
“Trust not men's words, or teares, which most tymes deceiptfull be,
• And ar, alas, the bayts that breeds our misserie.

• Sufficeth for my love I die,
· That you may live and learne thereby.

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"O, rockie, ruthlesse harts, your owne with spite to spill!
'0, curssed, crewell men, how can you worke such ill !
O dolfull deepe despaier, ringe out my carefull ends knill:
Welcome to me, sweete death, to me my grave is my wyll !

' I came of earth, and wilbe thyne
* By trayne of hym whom I thought myne.

Finis. THOMAS PRIDIOXE.' * This is the whole of the title, which is at the top of the first page : the colophon is this :- Imprynted by Wyllyam Rastell, the v day of Apryll, the yere of our lorde m.cccccxxx.11.' Dr. Dibdin (Typ. Ant. ii. 376) calls the size 4to, but it is small folio, Vol. II,

2 C

carries back Heywood's authorship to an earlier date than has yet been assigned to it. The plot is merely this:-A Pardoner and a Friar have each obtained leave of the Curate to use his church—the one for the exhibition of his relics, and the other for the delivery of a sermon, the object of both being the same, that of procuring money. The Friar arrives first, and is about to commence his discourse, when the Pardoner enters and disturbs him : each is desirous of being heard, and after many vain attempts by force of lungs, they proceed to force of arms, kicking and cuffing each other unmercifully. The Curate, called by the disturbance in his church, endeavours, without avail, to part the combatants: he, therefore, calls in neighbour Pratte to his assistance, and while the Curate seizes the Friar, Pratte undertakes to deal with the Pardoner, in order that they may set them in the stocks. It turns out that both the Friar and the Pardoner are too much for their assailants; and the latter, after a sound drubbing, are glad to come to a composition, by which the former are allowed quietly to depart.

In the course of the piece the tricks and impositions of both pardoners* and friars are exposed and ridi

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* In the 28 Henry VIII. a Proclamation was published against erroneous writings and books, which contains a paragraph against

dyvers and sundry light persons called Pardoners,' and states, that 'the money unlawfully by them exacted of the poore innocent people, by

colour of their indulgences, they spend in ribaldry and carnal vices, carrying about with them drabbes, hoores and cutte-purses, to the great slander of the realme, and the damage, deceit and impoverishing of the King's good lovinge subjects.'



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culed: after the Friar has dwelt for some time on the voluntary poverty of his order, he intimates that he is about to make a collection, while his whole sermon is directed against covetousness.

The frauds of pardoners are satirised by the preposterous relics the Pardoner displays to excite devotion and obtain contributions. There is humour in the mode in which this is accomplished: the Pardoner says

• And another holy relyke here may ye see,
• The great too of the holy trynyte ;
• And who so ever ones doth it in his mouthe take,

He shall never be dysseasyd with the tothe ake.... And here is of our Lady al relyke full good, · Her bongrace, which she ware with her French hode, • Whan she wente oute al wayes for sonne bornynge.... • Here is another relyke, eke a precyous one, • Of all helowes the blessyd jaw bone, • Which relyke without any fayle • Agaynst poyson chefely doth prevayle.'

This exhibition of the great toe of the Trinity, of the bongrace and French hood of the Virgin (both parts of apparel worn at that day,) and the jaw-bone of all the saints in the Calendar, were lively and laughable inventions * The Friar, the Pardoner,

. and the Curate, deal in the most furious oaths, and Neighbour Pratte is the only decently spoken man of

the party.

When Warton says of Heywood, that his co

* Heywood and his audience were so well pleased with two of these relics, the great toe and the jaw-bone, that he employed them again upon similar service in his Four Ps.

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