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both were found guilty of the crime called Scandalum Magnatum, libelling and defaming the great men of the realm. A fine of another eight thousand pounds was imposed on the bishop. Osbaldiston was sentenced to pay a fine of five thousand pounds, to be deprived of all his ecclesiastical preferments, and to have his ears tacked ta the pillory in Palace-yard. * Damages, or costs of suit, were to be paid by both to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Osbaldiston avoided the tacking of his ears to the pillory by making his escape; at least, by concealing himself in a friend's house in London, having left a paper in his study stating "that he was gone beyond Canterbury;" which occasioned a report that he was gone beyond sea.t Laud Archbishop of Canterbury versus Archy the King's Fool.—When news arrived from Scotland of the bad reception which the King's proclamation respecting the Book of Common Prayer had met with there, Archibald, the King's fool, happening to meet the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was going to the council-table, said to his grace, "Whea's feule now? doth not your grace hear the news from Striveling about the Liturgy ?" But the poor jester soon learned that Laud was not a person whom even his jester's coat and privileged folly permitted him to tamper with. The primate of all England immediately laid his complaint before the council. How far it was attended to, the following order of council, issued the very same day on which the offence was oommitted, will show. "At Whitehall, the 11th of March 1637.—It is
* Mr. Hallam, who ceases to follow Hasket, Rushworth, &c. says "Dean's Yard."
t Heylyn's Life of Laud, p. 346.
this day ordered by his Majesty, with the advice of the board, that Archibald Armestrong, the King's fool, for certain scandalous words of a high nature spoken by him against the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury his grace, and proved to be uttered by him by two witnesses, shall have his coat pulled over his head, and be discharged of the King's service and banished the court; for which the lord chamberlain of the King's household is prayed and required to give order to be executed. And immediately the same was put in execution !" * In a pamphlet printed in 1641, entitled "Archy's Dream,"t the following reason is given for Archy's banishment from court. A certain nobleman asking him what he would do with his handsome daughters, he replied he knew very well what to do with them, but he had sons whom he knew not well what to do with ; he would gladly make scholars of them, but that he feared the archbishop would cut off their ears.
XXII. SHAPED POEMS.
Op all the caprices that have ever entered into the heads of poets or verse-makers, this seems to be one of the most paltry and mean. It was however cherished by many in the middle of the seventeenth century, when it often happened that more attention was paid by the
* Rushworth, part ii. vol. i. pp. 470, 471. Welwood's Memoirs, p. 278.
t " Archy's Dream, sometime Jester to his Majestie; hut exiled the court by Canterburie's malice: with a relation for whom an odde chair stood void in hell. London, 1641."
writer to the shape of his poem, or to that form it would present to the eye supposing an outline to be drawn round it, than to the sense of the words or the melody of the verse. This truly Chinese ingenuity must have had its admirers, or it never would have been so much exercised. There are things of that period (we cannot seriously call them poems) where the lines are here stretched out and there drawn in, and so cut, twisted, and tortured as to have a rude general resemblance to the most fantastic objects. There are amatory poems in the shape of roses, looking-glasses, fans, and ladies' gowns; drinking songs in the shape of wine-glasses, bottles, and flagons; religious verses in the shape of pulpits and altars ; rhymed epitaphs in the shape of tomb-stones; and, not to mention flying angels and trumpets of Fame, there are patriotic odes in the shape of Grecian temples and Egyptian pyramids.
A certain Edward Benlowes, who, though now forgotten, was a great man in his day, being styled by his Cambridge contemporaries "the excellently learned," was a distinguished proficient in this species of composition. Benlowes, however, and the school of poets to which he belonged, did not escape the lash of criticism, as there were people even in those days who preferred sense to shape, and who thought that verse ought not to be reduced to a piece of cabinet-maker's work, or the patterncutting of a milliner. Samuel Butler, in his "Character of a Small Poet," thus severely handles Mr. Benlowes on this particular head.
"There is no feat of activity, nor gambol of wit, that ever was performed by man, from him that vaults on Pegasus, to him that tumbles through the hoop of an anagram, but Benlowes has got the mastery of it, whether it be high-rope wit, or low-rope wit. He has all sorts of echoes, rebuses, chronograms, &c, besides carwitches, cleriches, and quibbles. As for altars and pyramids in poetry, he has outdone all men that way; for he has made a gridiron and a frying-pan in verse, that, besides the likeness in shape, the very tone and sound of the words did perfectly represent the noise that is made by these utensils, such as the old poet called Sartago loquendi. When he was a captain, he made all the furniture of his horse, from the bit to the crupper, in the beaten poetry, every verse being fitted to the proportion of the thing, with a moral allusion of the sense to the thing; as the bridle of moderation, the saddle of content, and the crupper of constancy: so that the same thing was to the epigram and emblem even as a mule is both horse and ass."—Butler's Genuine Remains: quoted by Sir Egerton Brydges, Restituta, vol. iii. p. 43.
These mean extravagancies were far from being confined to England, for about the same period they infected Italian, Spanish, and French literature. We have seen a manuscript quarrel in shaped rhymes between two Neapolitan poetasters, where one of the contending parties addressed a lampoon to the other in the form of a cocozzo or gourd, which is their national emblem of stupidity: to this the antagonist replied by verses shaped like a certain vase de nuit; and this again was met by a poem shaped like a what we cannot name. It sometimes required a little force of imagination to trace any resemblance between the outline of the verses and the objects meant to be typified ; but, generally speaking, the name of the object was introduced somewhere in the lines, and thus did the same duty as the old sign-painters' inscriptions, "This is meant for a horse—this is an eagle," &c. &c.; and so saving a good deal of trouble in the way of conjecture.
Now and then a man of real genius would put on these ridiculous shackles, and write good poetry in spite of them. The two following old French specimens are very curious and spirited. The first of them, or the bottle, may be even called a fine bacchanalian poem. We believe they were both written by Panard, about the year 1640.
Que mon f 1 a c o n me semble bon! Sans lui l'ennui me nuit, me suit; je sens mes sens mourants, pesants. Quand je le tiens, Dieux! que je suis bien! que son aspect est agréable! que je fais cas de ses divins présens! C'est de son sein fécond, c'est de ses heureux flancs que coule ce nectar si doux, si delectable, qui rend tous les esprits, tous les cœurs satisfaits! Cher objet de mes vœux, tu fais toute ma gloire. Tant que mon cœur vivra, de tes charmants bienfaits il saura conserver la fidèle mémoire.