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damysels in nobles houses and in the Courtes of Princes, in stede of cardes and other instrumentes of idle trifleyng to have continually in their handes eithir Psalmes, Omelies (homilies), and other devout meditacions or els Paules epistles, or some book of holy scripture matters, and as familiarly bothé to reade or reason therof in Greke, Latine, Frenche, or Italian, as in Englishe.
It is now a common thyng to see young virgins so nouzled' (brought up) and trained in the studie of lettres, that thei willyngly set all other vain pastymes at naught for learnynges sake. It is now no newes at all to see quenes and ladies of moste high estate and progenie (descent), in stede of courtely daliaance, to embrace vertuous exercises of readyng and writyng, and with moste earnest studie both erely and late to applye themselves to the acquiryng of knowelage as well in all other liberal artes and disciplines, as also moste specially of God and his moste holy woorde.
BISHOP LATIMER. 1. THE DEVIL THE MOST DILIGENT PREACHER.2
(FROM “SERMONS” PREACHED “IN THE SHROUDS" IN 1549.)
I WOLD al men wold loke to their duty as God hath called them, and then we should have a flourishing Christian commonweale (commonwealth). And now I wold aske a straunge question. Who is the most diligentest3 Byshop and prelate
(1) Nouzled, nestled, cherished. The confusion between nestle, nouzle, and nursle, it is difficult to clear up. More speaks of those who are “nowseled in the false heresies;" Shakspere of mothers who “ nousle up their babes;” and Spenser of “ nursling up a love of learned philosophy."
(2) This extract is taken from one of the Sermons called Latimer's “Plough Sermons," from the frequent use he makes in them of the metaphor of a plough. The “Shrouds" was a shed at St. Paul's Cross, used in bad weather to shroud or protect the preacher. This sermon was preached on the 18th of January.
(3) Most diligentest. Not ungrammatical according to the usage of the time. Shakspere, not long after, says, “ This was the most unkindest cut of all” (“ Julius Cæsar"), and in the New Test, we have, “The most straitest sect of our religion” (Acts xxvi. 6).
in al England, that passeth al the rest in doing his office ? I can tell, for I know him who it is;' I know him wel. But now I thinke I se you listening and harkening, that I shuld name hym. There is one that passeth all the other, and is the most diligent prelate and preacher in al England. And wil ye know who it is? I wys tel you. It is the devil. He is the most diligent preecher of al other; he is never out of his dioces; he is never from his cure. Ye shal never find hym unoccupyed; he is ever in his parish; he keepeth residence at al tymes; ye shal never find hym out of the way; call for hym when you wyl, he is ever at home; the diligentest preacher in al the realme, he is ever at his plough. No lording (lordlings) nor loyteryng (lazy fellows) can hynder hym; he is ever appliyings (plying) his busynes; ye shall never find him idle, I warrant you. And his office is to hynder religion, to mayntayne supersticion, to set up idolatry, to teach al kinde of popery. He is ready as can be wyshed, for to set forth (to drive) his plough, to devyse as many wayes as he can to deface and obscure God's glory. When the Devyl is resydent and hath his plough going, there away with bookes and up with candelles; away with Bybles and up with beades; away with the light of the gospel and up with the lyght of candelles, yea at noone days. Where the Devil is resident, that he may prevayl, up with all supersticion and idolatry, sensing4 (censing), painting of images, candels, palms, ashes, holy water, and the service of men's inventing, as though men could invent a better way to honour God with, then (than) God hymself hath appoynted.
But here some manne wyll saye to me, What, sir, are ye so privy of the Devil's counsell, that ye know all this to be true ? Truly I know him to (too) well, and have obeyed him a little to (too) much in condescending to som folies.
(1) I know him who it is, for, I know who he is. Compare "I know thee who thou art” (Mark i. 24).
(2) Plough. See note 2, p. 62.
(3) Appliying, fr. Fr. applier, wh. fr. Lat. applicare, to bend to, or involve one's self in study or business. Here the construction requires us to consider it as used for ply, literally, to bend to or over, equivalent in meaning to attend to, stretch one's self towards.
(4) Sensing, i.e. censing, or burning incense.
2. LATIMER CHARGED WITH “SEDITION.”
(FROM A “ SERMON PREACHED BEFORE EDWARD VI., AT WESTMINSTER,”
Thus they burdened (charged) me ever wyth Sedicion. And wot (know) ye what? I chaunced in my last sermon to speake a mery (pleasant) worde of the Newe Shilling (to refresh my auditory), howe I was lyke to it was likely I should) put away my newe shillyng for an olde grote? (groat). I was herein noted to speak sediciously. Yet I comfort my self in one thyng, that I am not alone, and that I have a fellowe (a companion). For it is the comforte of the wretched to have companye. When I was in trouble, it was objected and sayed unto me that I was syngular, that no man thought as I thought, that I loved a syngularitye in all that I dyd and that I tooke a way contrarye to the kynge and the whole parliamente, and that I was travayled (troubled or annoyed) wyth them that had better wyttes then (than) I, that I was contrary to them al. Marye” (marry, by Mary) Syr, thys was a sore (heavy) thunder bolte. I thought it an yrksome3 (grievous) thynge to be a lone and to have no fellowe. I thoughte it was possyble it myghte not be true that they told me. In the vii. of John the priestes sent out certayne of the Jewes to bryng Christ unto them vyolentlye. When they came into the Temple and harde hym preache, they were so moved wyth his preachyng that they returned home again, and sayed to them that sente them. There was never man spake lyke thys man. Then answered the Pharysees, What, ye braynsycket (crazy) fooles,
(1) Grote, fr. Dutch groote, great, because when the groats were first made in brass, they were large and heavy pieces.
(2) Marye, verily, truly. A word much used in early times. Every kind of absurd, as well as profane, use was also made of the circumstances of our Saviour's passion, as zounds, God's wounds, zart, God's heart, &c.
(3) Yrksome, mod. irksome, probably a corruption of A.S. weorcsum, occasioning pain, hurtful, wh. fr. A.S. weorc, work, labour, fatigue, pain, ache. In the last sense, it is still used in Lancashire (“maw heed warks "), and the connection between the two senses is not, perhaps, confined to that county.
(4) Braynsycke, ill in the brain. The word sick once generally meant ill, as it still does in the United States.
ye hoddy peckes? (simpletons), ye doddye poulles? (block-heads), ye huddes. Do ye beleve hym ? Are ye seduced also ? Did ye see any great man or any great officer take hys part ? Doo ye se any boddy followe hyin, but beggarlye fishers, and suche as have nothynge to take to ? Do ye se any holy man ? any perfect man? any learned man take hys part? Thys laye (lay, ignorant) people is accursed; it is they that knowe not the lawe that take hys part and none ells.
So thoughte I, there be more of myne opinion, then (than) I; I thoughte I was not alone. I have nowe gotten one felowe more, a companyon of sedytyon; and wot ye who is my felowe ? Esaye (Isaiah) the prophete. I spake but of a lytle preaty* (pretty) shyllyng; but he speaketh to Hierusalem after an other sorte, and was so bold (as to meddle with theyre coine. Thou proude, thou covetouse, thou hautye (haughty) cytye of Hierusalem, thy sylver is turned into what? into testyons (testers); into dross. The sediciouse wretch, what had he to do wyth the mynte? Why should not he have lefte that matter to some master of policy (some statesman) to reprove ? Thy silver is dross, it is not fine, it is counterfaite. Thy sylver is turned ; thou haddest good sylver. What pertayned that to Esay (what had Isaiah to do with that) ? Mary (marry!) he espyed a piece of divinity in that policy, he threatened them? God's vengeaance for it. He went to the rote (root) of the matter, which was covetousnes.
(1) Hoddy peckes, or, as used by Skelton, huddypekes. These words occur, as hoddypeke, in Udall’s “Gammer Gurton's Needle,” “ Art thou here agayne, thou hoddypeke?” It is not easy to explain its origin; some connect it with a provincial nick-name, hodmandod, for a snail.
(2) Doddye poulles or dodipolls, fr. doddy, meaning (according to the derivation adopted) sleepy, or dead, and therefore stupid, and poll, the head.
(3) Huddes. This word is evidently connected with hoddy.
(4) Preaty, probably fr. A.S. præte, adorned, decked, and connected with Ger. prächtig, which, however, means splendid, magnificent.
(5) Hautye, fr. Fr. haut, high, od Fr. hault, wh. fr. Lat. altus. There is no reason at all for the gh which has been foisted into the mod. word haughty.
(6) Testyons or testones. This was, in Edward the Sixth's time, a shilling, but in Elizabeth's a sixpence.
(7) Threatened them, &c. Compare the present idiom. Them is, to them, the dat. case.
3. TENTERDEN STEEPLE THE CAUSE OF GOOD
WIN SANDS. (FROM A “SERMON PREACHED BEFORE EDWARD VI., AT WESTMINSTER,"
HERE was preaching against covetousnes al the last yeare in Lent, and the next somer (summer) folowed rebellion. Ergo (therefore), preaching against covetousnes was the cause of the rebellion. A goodly argument !
Here nowe I remember an argument of Maister Moores (Sir Thomas More's) which he bringith in a boke that he made against Bilney (i.e. the martyr Bilney), and here by the way I wyll tel you a merry toy (an amusing story). Maister Moore was once sent in commission into Kent, to help to triout (io try to find out) (if it might be) what was the cause of Goodwin Sandes and the shelfe (bar) that stopped up Sandwich haven. Thyther commeth Maister Moore, and calleth the country afore (before) him,-such as wer thought to be men of experience and men that could of lykelyhode best certyfy hym of that matter concerning the stopping of Sandwich haven. Among others came in before hym an olde man with a white head, and one that was thought to be lytle lesse then an hundereth (hundred) yeares old. When maister Moore saw thys aged man, he thought it expedient to heare hym say hys mynd in thys matter, for being so olde a man it was lykely that he knew moste of any man in that presence and company. So Maister Moore called this old aged man unto hym and sayd, Father, sayd he, tel me if ye can, what is the cause of thys great arising (rising) of the sandes and shelves here about thys haven, the which stop it up [so] that no shippes can arive? here?' Ye are the eldest man that I can espy in al thys company, so that if any man can tell any cause of it, ye, of lyklyhode (most likely) can say most in (about) it, or atte least
(1) In that presence; probably used as Lat. in præsentia, at the present time. Compare Shakspere in Queen Katherine's picture of Wolsey's character (“ Henry VIII.," act iv. sc. 2), « i'th' presence (i.e. at the present time, to suit his immediate purpose) he would say untruths.”
(2 Arive, fr. Fr. arriver, wh. fr. low Lat. adripare, to come to the ripa or bank, Used by early writers, as here, in its strict and literal sense. Thus Robert of Gloucester:-"Aboute Southampton he a ryvede (landed) ich understonde."