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"Rob Roy."-In what consists the essence of Poetry?

[VOL. 3


"Ye are right, Mr. Owen-ye are cellent book, we must notice that of the right; ye speak weel and wisely; and I "Laigh Kirk," at Glasgow, and the satrust bowls will row right, though they cred service performed there which ocare awee ajee e' enow. But touching curs in the second volume. It is inimiRobin (Roy) I am of opinion he will tably good, and gives prodigious effect befriend this young man if it is in his to the incident which takes place in power. He has a gude heart, puir Rob- "those waste regions of oblivion," where in; and though I lost a matter o' twa dusky banners, and tattered escutchhunder pounds wi' his former engage- eons indicated the graves of those who ments, and haena muckle expectation were once, doubtless, Princes in Israel;' ever to see back my thousand pund Scots where inscriptions, which could only be that he promises me e'enow, yet I will read by the painful antiquary, in lannever say but that Robin means fair by guage as obsolete as the act of devotional charity which they implored, invited the passengers to pray for the souls of those whose bodies resteth beneath."


a' men.'


"I am then to consider him,' I plied, as an honest man.'


Umph,' replied Jarvie, with a precautionary sort of cough, Ay, he has The scenery of Northumberland and a sort o' Hieland honesty-he's honest of the Highlands is painted with a force after a sort, as they say. My father the and colouring equally faithful. An artist deacon used aye to laugh when he tauld would need no other studies to enable ne how that bye-word came up. Ane him to transfer its features from the paCaptain Costlett was cracking crouse per to the canvas. about his loyalty to King Charles, and We can scarcely tear ourselves away Clerk Pettigrew (ye'l! hae heard mony from this fascinating subject; but dare a tale about him) asked him after what not go on, lest we forget all our pledges, manner he served the king, when he was and dash into the very heart of the story. fighting against him at Worster in Crom- Suffice it to repeat, that Rob Roy is worwell's army; and Captain Costlett was a thy of its author, and has added another ready body, and said that he served him laurel to his crown, another source to the after a sort. My honest father used to foains of intellectual enjoyments, anlangh weel at that sport-and sae the other picture to the series of national manbye-word came up. ners, and another star to the galaxy of national literature.


Among the finest pictures of this ex


From the Literary Gazette, January, 1818.


"Thoughts that voluntary move,
"Harmonious numbers."

sound is the sustained and continuous; the musical in thought and feeling is the sustained and continuous also. Whenever articulation passes naturally into intonation, this is the beginning of Poetry. There is no natural harmony in the ordinary combinations of significant sounds.

POR OETRY is the music of language, expressing the music of the mind. Whenever any object takes such a hold on the mind as to make us dwell on it, and brood over it, melting the heart in love, or kindling it to a sentiment of ad- The language of prose is not the language miration whenever a movement of of music or of passion; and it is to supimagination or passion is impressed on ply this inherent defect in the mechanism the mind, by which it seeks to prolong of language,-to make the sound an echo and repeat the emotion, to bring all other to the sense, when that sense becomes a objects into accord with it, and to give sort of echo to itself,-to mingle the tide the same movement of harmony, retain- of verse" the golden cadences of poetry" ed and continuous, to the sounds that ex- with the tide of feeling, or to take the press it, this is Poetry. The musical in imagination off its feet, and spread its


VOL. 3.]

Shakspeare and his Times.-Gentlemen's Houses, &c.

wings where it may indulge its own im- discordant flats and sharps of prose,-
pulses, without being stopped lor per- that Poetry was invented.
plexed by the ordinary abruptness, or

From the Monthly Magazine, January, 1818.


HOUSE IN 1595.

length, but to have, at the further end, a winter and a summer parler, both THE HE mansion-houses of the country- faire and under these roomes a faire gentlemen were, in the days of and large cellar, sunke under ground: Shakspeare, rapidly improving both in and likewise, some privie kitchins, with their external appearance, and in their butteries and pantries, and the like." It interior comforts. During the reign of was the custom also to have windows Henry the Eighth, and even of Mary, opening from the parlours and passages, they were, if we except their size, little into the chapel, hall, and kitchen, with better than cottages, being thatched the view of overlooking or controlling buildings, covered on the outside with what might be going on; a trait of vigithe coarsest clay, and lighted only by lant caution, which may still be disco-* lattices; when Harrison wrote, in the vered in some of our ancient colleges age of Elizabeth, though the greater and manor-houses, and to which Shaknumber of manor-houses still remained speare alludes in King Henry the Eighth, framed of timber, yet he observes, where he describes his Majesty and Butts "such as be latelie builded, are comor- the physician entering at a window above, lie either of bricke or hard stone, or which overlooks the council-chamber, both; their roomes large and comelie, We may add, in illustration of this sysand houses of office further distant from tem of architectural espionage, that Antheir lodgings." The old timber man- drew Borde, when giving instructions for sions, too, were now covered with the building a house in his Dictarie of finest plaster, which, says the historian, Health, directs "many of the cham"beside the delectable whitenesse of the bers to have a view into the chapel :" stuffe itselfe, is laied on so even and and that Parker, Archbishop of Cantersmoothlie, as nothing in my judgment bury, in a letter, dated 1573, says, “if can be done with more exactnesse:" and it please her Majesty, she may come in at the same time, the windows, interior through my gallerie, and see the disposidecorations, and furniture, were becoming tion of the hall in dynner-time, at a wingreatly more useful and elegant. dow opening thereunto.”

The house of every country-gentleThe hall of the country-squire was the man of property included a neat chapel usual scene of eating and hospitality, at and a spacious hall; and where the the upper end of which was placed the estate and establishment were consider- orsille or high table, a little elevated able, the mansion was divided into two above the floor, and here the master of parts or sides, one for the state or ban- the mansion presided, with an authority, queting-rooms, and the other for the if not a state, which almost equalled household; but in general, the latter, that of the potent baron. The table was except in baronial residences, was the divided into upper and lower messes, by only part to be met with, and when com- a huge saltcellar, and the rank and con plete had the addition of parlours; thus sequence of the visitors were marked by Bacon, in his Essay on Buildings, de- the situation of the seats above and bescribing the household side of a mansion, low the saltcellar; a custom which not says, "I wish it divided at the first into only distinguished the relative dignity of a ball, and a chappell, with a partition the guests, but extended likewise to the betweene; both of good state and big- nature of the provision, the wine frenesse; and those not to goe all the quently circulating only above the saltSee Ath, Vol. 2. page 413. cellar, and the dishes below it being of с ATHENEUM. Vol. S.

10 Shakspeare and his Times-Origin and Celebration of May-Day. [vol. 3

a coarser kind than those near the head And than rejoysen in their great delite;
of the table.

Eke ech at other throw the floures bright,
The primerose, the violete, and the gold.
With fresh garlants party blew and hite."


The observance of May-day was a custom which, until the close of the reign

of James the First, alike attracted the attention of the royal and the noble, as of the vulgar class. Henry the Eighth, Elizabeth, and James, patronized and partook of its ceremonies; and, during

this extended era, there was scarcely a village in the kingdom but what had a May-pole, with its appropriate games

and dances.

And it should be observed, that this,
the simplest mode of celebrating May-
of Shakspeare,
day, was as much in vogue in the days
of Shakspeare, as the more complex one,
accompanied by the morris-dance, and
ing descriptions, by Bourne and Borlase,
the games of Robin Hood. The follow-
manifestly allude to the costume of this
memorating the 1st of May: "On the
age, and to the simpler mode of com-
Calends, or the 1st day of May," says
The origin of these festivities has been
attributed to three different sources, the juvenile part of both sexes were
the former, "commonly called May-day,
Classic, Celtic, and Gothic. The first
appears to us to establish the best claim wont to rise a little after midnight, and
to the parentage of our May-day rites, as pany'd with music, and the blowing of
walk to some neighbouring wood, accom-
a relique of the Roman Floralia, which
were celebrated on the last four days of from the trees, and adorn them with
horns, where they break down branches
April, and on the first of May, in hononr
of the goddess Flora, and were accom- this is done, they return with their booty
nosegays and crowns of flowers. When
panied with dancing, music, the wearing homewards, about the rising of the sun,
of garlands, strewing of flowers, &c. and make their doors and windows to
The Beltein, or rural sacrifice of the triumph in the flowery spoil. The after-
Highlanders on this day, as described by part of the day is chiefly spent in dan-
Mr. Pennant and Dr. Jamieson, seems
to have arisen from a different motive,
and to have been instituted for the pur-
pose of propitiating the various noxious
animals which might injure or destroy
their flocks and herds. The Gothic an-
niversary on May-day makes a nearer
approach to the general purpose of the
Floralia, and was intended as a thanks-
giving to the sun, if not for the return of
flowers, fruit, and grain, yet for the in-
troduction of a better season for fishing
and hunting.

cing round a tall poll, which is called a
venient part of the village, stands there,
May poll; which, being placed in a con-
Flowers, without the least violence of-
as it were consecrated to the Goddess of
fered it, in the whole circle of the year."
"An antient cusom," says the latter,
"still retained by the Cornish, is that of
decking their doors and porches on the
hawthorn boughs, and of planting trees,
1st of May with green sycamore and
or rather stumps of trees, before their
houses and on May-eve, they from
towns make excursions into the country,
it into town, fitted a straight and taper
and having cut down a tall elm, brought
same,erect it in the most public places, and
pole to the end of it, and the
flower garlands, or insigns and streamers."
on holidays and festivals adorn it with

of early rising on May-day, that Shak-
So generally prevalent was this habit
Speare makes one of his inferior charac-
ters in King Henry the Eighth exclaim,—

The modes of conducting the ceremonies and rejoicings on May-day, may be best drawn from the writers of the Elizabethan period, in which this festival appears to have maintained a very high degree of celebrity, though not accompanied with that splendour of exhibition which took place at an earlier period in the reign of Henry the Eighth. It may

be traced, indeed, from the era of Chaucer, who, in the conclusion of his Court of Love, has described the Feast of May, when


Forth goth all the court both most and least, To fetch the floures fresh, and brauneh and blome And namely hauthorn brought both page and grome

"Pray, sir, be patient; 'tis as much impossible
(Unless we sweep them from the door with cannons)
To scatter them, as 'tis to make them sleep
On May-day morning ; which will never be.”

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YOL. 3.] Robin Hood, Little John, Friar Tuck, and Maid Marian.

Herrick, the minute describer of the customs and superstitions of his times, which were those of Shakspeare, and the immediately succeeding period, has a poem called Corinna's going a Maying, which includes most of the circumstances hitherto mentioned; he thus addresses his mistress :

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There's not a budding boy, or girle, this day
But is got up, and gone to bring in May:

A deale of youth, ere this, is come

Back, and with white-thorn laden home.

Some have dispatcht their cakes and creame,

Before that we have left to dreame:
And some have wept, and woo'd, and plighted troth,
And chose their priest, ere we can cast off sloth:

Many a green gown has been giv'n;
Many a kisse, both odde and even :

Many a glance too has been sent
From out the eye, Love's firmament:
Many a jest told of the keyes betraying

This night, and locks pickt,yet w'are not a Maying!"


"In this our spacious isle, I think there is not one,

But he hath heard some talk of him and little John:

of Tuck the merry friar, which many a sermon made In praise of Robin Hood, his outlaws and their trade;"Of Robin's" mistress dear, his loved Marian,

-which, wheresoe'er she came,

The personages who now became the chief performers in the morris dance, were four of the most popular outlaws of Sherwood forest; that Robin Hood, of whom Drayton says,—

Her clothes tuck'd to the knee, and dainty braided
Was sovereign of the woods, chief lady of the game:


With bow and quiver arm'd ;"

characters which Warner, the contemporary of Drayton and Shakspeare, has exclusively recorded as celebrating the rites of May; for, speaking of the periods of some of our festivals, and remarking that "ere penticost begun our May," he adds,

These four characters, therefore, Robin Hood, Little John, Friar Tuck, and Maid Marian, although no constituent parts of the original English morris, became at length so blended with it, especially on the festival of May-day, that until the practice of archery was nearly laid aside, they continued to be the most essential part of the pageantry.

In consequence of this arrangement, But, about the commencement of the "the old Robin Hood of England," as sixteenth century, or somewhat sooner, Shakspeare calls him, was created the probably towards the middle of the fif- King or Lord of the May, and sometimes teenth century, a very material addition carried in his hand, during the Maywas made to the celebration of the rites game, a painted standard. It was no of May-day, by the introduction of the uncommon circumstance, likewise, for characters of Robin Hood and some of metrical interludes, of a comic species, his associates. This was done with a and founded on the achievements of this view towards the encouragement of arch- outlaw, to be performed, after the morris, ery, and the custom was continued even on the May-pole green. In Garrick's beyond the close of the reign of James I. Collection of Old Plays, occurs one, It is true, that the May-games in their entitled "A mery Geste of Robyn rudest form, the mere dance of lads and Hoode, and of hys Lyfe, wyth a newe lasses round a May-pole, or the simple Playe for to be played in Maye games, morris with the Lady of the May, were very pleasaunte and full of pastyme;" Occasionally seen during the days of it is printed at London, in the black letElizabeth; but the general exhibition ter, for William Copland, and has figures was the more complicated ceremony in the title page of Robin Hood and which we are about to describe. Lytel John. Shakspeare appears to allude to these interludes when he represents Fabian, in the Twelfth Night, exclaiming, on the approach of Sir Andrew Ague-Cheek with his challenge, “More matter for May-morning."


"Tho' (then) Robin Hood, liell John, frier Tucke, And Marian, deftly play,

And lord and ladie gang till kirke

With lads and lasses gay:

Fra masse and een sang sa gud cheere
And glee on ery greene."

12 Shakspeare's Times-Dress-the Copalain Hat, Love Lock, &c. [VOL. 3



time in camps, is drawn with the latter
of these beards; and his unfortunate
friend, Lord Essex, is constantly re-

King James's love of finery seems to
have been imbibed, not only by his presented with the former."
courtiers, but by all his youthful sub- On the effeminate fashion of this age,
jects; for, from the crown of his head perhaps the most effeminate was the
to the sole of his foot, nothing can ex- custom of wearing jewels and roses in the
ceed the fantastic attire, by which the ears, or about the neck, and of cherish-
beau of this period was distinguished. ing a long lock of hair under the left
His hair was worn long and flowing, ear,called a love-lock. The first and least
"whose length," says Decker, "before offensive of these decorations, the use
the rigorous edge of any puritanical of jewels and rings in the ear, was gene-
pair of scissors, should shorten the breadth ral through the upper and middle ranks,
of a finger, let the three house-wifely nor was it uncommon to see gems worn
spinsters of destiny rather curtail the appended to a ribbon round the neck,
thread of thy life; let it play openly Roses were almost always an appendage
with the lascivious wind, even on the of the love-lock, but these were, for the
top of your shoulder." His hat was most part, formed of ribbon, yet, we are
made of silk, velvet, taffeta, or beaver, told by Burton, in his Anatomy of Me-
the last being the most expensive; the lancholy, "that it was once the fashion
crown was high, and narrow towards the to stick real flowers in the ear." The
top, "like the speare or shaft of a love-lock with its termination in a silken
steeple," observes Stubbs, "standing rose, had become so notorious, that
a quarter of a yard above their heads;" Prynne at length wrote an express trea-
the edges, and sometimes the whole hat, tise against it, which he entitled, The
were embroidered with gold and silver, Unloveliness of Love-locks, and long
to which a costly hat-band, sparkling womanish hair, 1628.
with gems and a lofty plume of feathers, The ruff never reached the extrava-
were generally added. It appears, gant dimensions of that in the other sex,
from a passage in The Taming of the yet it gradually acquired such magnitude
Shrew, that to these high hats the name as to offend the eye of Elizabeth, who,
of Copatain was given; for Vincentio, in one of her sumptuary laws, ordered it,
surprised at Tranio being dressed as a when reaching beyond "a nayle of a
gentleman, exclaims, "Ö fine villain! yeard in depth," to be clipped.

a silken doublet! a velvet hose! a The doublet and hose, to the eighth
scarlet cloak! and a copatain hat!" a year of Elizabeth's reign, had been of an
word which Mr. Steevens considers as enormous size, especially the breeches,
synonymous with a high copt hat. It which being puckered, stuffed, bolstered
was usual with gallants to wear gloves and distended with wool and hair, at-
in their hats, as a memorial of their ladies' tained a magnitude so preposterous, that,
as Strutt relates on the authority of a
Of the beard and its numerous forms, MS. in the Harleian collection, "there
we have already seen a numerous de- actually was a scaffold erected round
tail by Harrison, to which we may sub- the inside of the parliament house for
join, that it was customary to dye it of the accoinmodation of such members as
various colours, and to mould into vari- wore those huge breeches; and that the
ous form, according to the profession, said scaffold was taken down when, in
age, or fancy, of the wearer. Red was the eighth of Elizabeth, those absurdi-
one of the most fashionable tints; a ties went out of fashion.
beard of "formal cut" distinguished The doublet was then greatly reduced
the justice and the judge; a rough bushy in size, yet so hard-quilted, that Stubbes
beard marked the clown, and a spade says, the wearer could not bow himself
beard, or a stilletto, or dagger-shaped to the ground, so stiff and sturdy it stood
beard, graced the soldier. "It is ob- about him. It was made of cloth, silk,
servable," remarks Mr. Malone, "that or satin, fitting the body like a waistcoat,
our author's patron, Henry, earl of surmounted by a large cape, and ac-
Southampton, who spent much of his companied either with long close sleeves,


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