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horse of pasteboard, in which the master dances *, and displays tricks of legerdemain, such as the threading of the needle, the mimicking of the whigh-hie, and the daggers in the nose, &c. as Ben Jonson, edit. 1756, vol. i. p. 171, acquaints us, and thereby explains the swords in the man's cheeks. What is stuck in the horse's mouth I apprehend to be a ladle ornamented with a ribbon. Its use was to receive the spectators' pecuniary donations. The crimson foot-cloth fretted with gold, the golden bit, the purple bridle with a golden tassel, and studded with gold; the man's purple mantle with a golden border, which is latticed with purple, his golden crown, purple cap with a red feather, and with a golden knop, induce me to think him to be the king of May; though he now appears as a juggler and a buffoon. We are to recollect the simplicity of ancient times, which knew not polite literature, and delighted in jesters, tumblers, jugglers, and pantomimes. The emperor Lewis the Debonair not only sent for such actors upon great festivals, but out of complaisance to the people was obliged to assist at their plays, though he was averse to publick shews. Queen Elizabeth was entertained at Kenelworth with Italian tumblers, Morris dancers, &c. The colour of the hobby-horse is a reddish white, like the beautiful blossom of the peach-tree. The man's coat or doublet is the only one upon the window that has buttons upon it, and the right side of it is yellow, and the left red. Such a particoloured + jacket, and hose in the like manner, were occasionally fashionable from Chaucer's days to Ben Jonson's, who, in Epigram 73, speaks of a “ partieper-pale picture, one half drawn in solemn Cyprus, the other cobweb lawn.”
Figure 6 seems to be a clown, peasant, or yeoman, by his brown visage, notted hair, and robust limbs t. In Beaumont and Fletcher's play of The Two Noble Kinsmen, a clown is placed next to the Bavian fool in the Morris dance; and this figure is next to him on the file, or in the downward line. His
“ But see, the hobby-horse is forgot,
“ And some other buffoon graces." * Dr. Plot's History of Staffordshire, p. 434, mentions a dance by a hobby-horse and six others.
+ Holinshed, 1586, vol. iii. p. 326, 805, 812, 844,963. Whalley's edition of Ben Jonson, vol. vi. p. 218. Stowe's Survey of London, 1720, book v. p. 164, 166. Urry's Chaucer, p. 198.
So, in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, the yeoman is thus described : “A notte hede had he, with a brown visage."
Again, in The Widow's Tears, by Chapman, 1612: “ your not-headed country gentleman."
bonnet is red, faced with yellow, his jacket red, his sleeves yellow, striped across or rayed with red, the upper part of his hose is like the sleeves, and the lower part is a coarse deep purple, his shoes red.
Figure 7, by the superior neatness of his dress, may be a franklin or a gentleman of fortune. His hair is curled, his bonnet purple, his doublet red with gathered sleeves, and his yellow stomacher is laced with red. His hose red, striped across or rayed with a whitish brown, and spotted brown. His codpiece is yellow, and so are his shoes.
Figure 8, the May-pole, is painted yellow and black in spiral lines. Spelman's Glossary mentions the custom of erecting a tall May-pole painted with various colours. Shakspeare, in the play of A Midsummer-Night's Dream, Act III. Sc. II. speaks of a painted May-pole. Upon our pole are displayed St. George's red cross, or the banner of England, and a white pennon or streamer emblazoned with a red cross terminating like the blade of a sword, but the delineation thereof is much faded. It is plain however from an inspection of the window, that the upright line of the cross, which is disunited in the engraving, should be continuous *. Keysler, in p. 78 of his Northern and Celtic Antiquities, gives us perhaps the original of May-poles; and that the French used to erect them appears also from Mezeray's History of their King Henry IV. and from a passage in Stowe's Chronicle, in the year 1560. Mr. Theobald and Dr. Warburton acquaint us that the May-games, and particularly some of the characters in them, became exceptionablel to the puritanical humour of former times. By an ordinance of the Rump Parliament t in April, 1644, all May-poles were taken down and removed by the constables and church-wardens, &c. After the Restoration they were permitted to be erected again. I apprehend they are now generally unregarded and unfrequented, but we still on May-day adorn our doors in the country with flowers and the boughs of birch, which
* St. James was the apostle and patron of Spain, and the knights of his order were the most honourable there; and the ensign that they wore, was white, charged with a red cross in the form of a sword. The pennon or streamer upon the May-pole seems to contain such a cross. If this conjecture be admitted, we have the banner of England and the ensign of Spain upon the May-pole ; and perhaps from this circumstance we may infer that the glass was painted during the marriage of King Henry VIII. and Katharine of Spain. For an account of the ensign of the knights of St. James, see Ashmole's History of the Order of the Garter, and Mariana's History of Spain.
+ This should have been called the Long Parliament. The Rump Parliament was in Oliver's time. Reed.
post seer ture
tree was especially honoured on the same festival by our Gothic ancestors.
To prove figure 9 to be Tom the Piper, Mr. Steevens has very happily quoted these lines from Drayton's 3d Eclogue :
“ Myself above Tom Piper to advance,
“For penny wage.”
Figures 10 and 11 have been thought to be Flemings or Spaniards, and the latter a Morisco. The bonnet of figure 10 is red, turned up with blue, his jacket red with red sleeves down the arms, his stomacher white with a red lace, his hose yellow, striped across or rayed with blue, and spotted blue, the under part of his hose blue, his shoes are pinked, and they are of a light colour. I am at a loss to name the pennant-like slips waving from his shoulders, but I will venture to call them side-sleeves or long sleeves, slit into two or three parts. The poet Hocclive or Occleve, about the reign of Richard the Second, or of Henry the Fourth, mentions side-sleeves of pennyless grooms, which swept the ground; and do not the two following quotations infer the use or fashion of two pair of sleeves upon one gown or doublet ? It is asked, in the appendix to Bulwer's Artificial Changeling: “ What use is there of any other than arming sleeves, which answer the proportion of the arm?" In Much Ado About Nothing, Act III. Sc. IV. a lady's gown is described with downsleeves, and side-sleeves, that is, as I conceive it, with sleeves down the arms, and with another pair of sleeves, slit open before from the shoulder to the bottom or almost to the bottom, and by this means unsustained by the arms and hanging down by her sides to the ground or as low as her gown.' If such sleeves were slit downwards into four parts, they would be quartered ; and Holinshed says : “that at a royal mummery, Henry VIII, and fifteen others appeared in Almain jackets, with long quartered sleeves ;” and I consider the bipartite or tripartite sleeves of figures 10 and 11, as only a small variation of that fashion. Mr.
Steevens thinks the winged sleeves of figures 10 and 11 are alluded to in Beaumont and Fletcher, in The Pilgrim :
“ That fairy rogue that haunted me
“ He has sleeves like dragon's wings.” And he thinks that from these perhaps the fluttering streamers of the present Morris dancers in Sussex may be derived. Markham's Art of Angling, 1635, orders the angler's apparel to be “ without hanging sleeves, waving loose, like sails."
Figure 11 has upon his head a silver coronet, a purple cap with a red feather, and with a golden knop. In my opinion he personates a nobleman, for I incline to think that various ranks of life were meant to be represented upon my window. He has a post of honour, or, “a station in the valued file," * which here seems to be the middle row, and which according to my conjecture comprehends the queen, the king, the May-pole, and the nobleman. The golden crown upon the head of the master of the hobby-horse, denotes pre-eminence of rank over figure ll, not only by the greater value of the metal t, but by the superior number of points raised upon it. The shoes are blackish, the hose red, striped across or rayed with brown or with a darker red, his codpiece yellow, his doublet yellow, with yellow side-sleeves, and red arming sleeves, or down-sleeves. The form of his doublet is remarkable. There is great variety in the dresses and attitudes of the Morris dancers on the window, but an ocular observation will give a more accurate idea of this and of other particulars than a verbal description.
Figure 12 is the counterfeit fool, that was kept in the royal palace, and in all great houses, to make sport for the family. He appears with all the badges of his office; the bauble in his hand. and a coxcomb hood with asses ears on his head. The top of the hood rises into the form of a cock's neck and head, with a hell at the latter; and Minsheu's Dictionary, 1627, under the word cock's comb, observes, that “natural idiots and fools have [accustomed] and still do accustome themselves to weare in their cappes cocke's feathers or a hat with a necke and a head of a cocke on the top, and a bell thereon," &c. His hood is blue, guarded or edged with yellow at its scalloped bottom, his doublet is red, striped across or rayed with a deeper red, and edged with yellow, his girdle yellow, his left side hose yellow, with a red shoe, and his right side hose blue, soled with red leather. Stowe's Chronicle, 1614, p. 899,
* The right hand file is the first in dignity and account, or in degree of value, according to Count Mansfield's Directions of War, 1624.
† The ancient kings of France wore gilded helmets, the dukes and counts wore silvered ones. See Selden's Titles of Honour for the raised Points of Coronets.
mentions a pair of cloth-stockings soled with white leather called "cashambles," that is, “ Chausses semelles de cuir," as Mr Anstis, on the Knighthood of the Bath, observes. The fool's bauble and the carved head with asses ears upon it are all yellow. There is in Olaus Magnus, 1555, p. 524, a delineation of a fool, or jester, with several bells upon his habit, with a bauble in his hand, and he has on his head a hood with asses ears, a feather, and the resemblance of the comb of a cock. Such jesters seem to have been formerly much caressed by the northern nations, especially in the court of Denmark; and perhaps our ancient joculator regis might mean such a person.
A gentleman of the highest class in historical literature, apprehends, that the representation upon my window is that of a Morris dance procession about a May-pole; and he inclines to think, yet with many doubts of its propriety in a modern painting, that the personages in it rank in the boustrophedon forın. By this arrangement (says he) the piece seems to form a regular whole, and the train is begun and ended by a fool in the following manner : Figure 12 is the well known fool. Figure 11 is a Morisco, and Figure 10 a Spaniard, persons peculiarly pertinent to the Morris dance; and he remarks that the Spaniard obviously forms a sort of middle term betwixt the Moorish and the English characters, having the great fantastical sleeve of the one, and the laced stomacher of the other. Figure 9 is 'Tom the Piper. Figure 8, the May-pole. Then follow the English characters, representing, as he apprehends, the five great ranks of civil life. Figure 7 is the franklin, or private gentleman, Figure 6 is a plain churl or villane. He takes figure 5, the man within the hobby-horse, to be perhaps a Moorish king, and from many circumstances of superior grandeur plainly pointed out as the greatest personage of the piece, the monarch of the May, and the intended consort of our English Maid Marian. Figure 4 is a nobleman. Figure 3, the friar, the representative of all the clergy. Figure 2 is Maid Marian, queen of May. Figure 1, the lesser fool, closes the rear.
My description commences where this concludes, or I have reversed this gentleman's arrangement, by which in either way the train begins and ends with a fool; but I will not assert that such a disposition was designedly observed by the painter,
With regard to the antiquity of the painted glass there is no memorial or traditional account transmitted to us ; nor is there any date in the room but this, 1621, which is over a door, and which indicates in my opinion the year of building the house. The book of Sports or Lawful Recreations upon Sunday after Evening-prayers, and upon Holy-days, published by King James in 1618, allowed May-games, Morris dances, and the setting up of May-poles ; and, as Ben Jonson's Masque of The Metamorphosed Gypsies, intimates, that Maid Marian, and the friar, together with the often forgotten hobby-horse, were sometimes con