Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

city, in scarlet robes, the Recorder made a solemn oration in Latin, and presented the King of Denmark with a curious cup of massy gold.”

Several of the conduits ran with wine ; and at that in Fleet-street was a pleasant pastoral device, with songs, “ wherewith the Kings were much delighted.” On the following day the royal Dane visited the principal public buildings, and a few days afterwards he was splendidly banquetted. Of this carousal, and of the general hilarity and riot occasioned by Christian's visit, Sir John Harington, Queen Elizabeth's godson, has given the following particulars, in a letter, from London, to Mr. Secretary Barlow, inserted in the first volume of the Nuge Antiqua.

“ I came here a day or two before the Danish king came, and from the day he did come untill this hour, I have been well nigh overwhelmed with carousal and sports of all kinds. The sports began each day in such manner and such sorte, as well nigh persuaded me of Mahomet's paradise. We had women, and indeed wine too, of such plenty, as would have astonished each sober beholder, Our toasts were magnificent, and the two loyal guests did most lovingly embrace each other at table. I think the

6

* The good citizens had probably divined bis majesty of Denmark's taste for drinking, and therefore concluded that a cup would be an acceptable present. Howell, in his · Familiar Letters, describes an entertaivment given by the same munarch, in 1632, at Rhensburgh.; from which the king, after giving thirty-five toasts, was carried away in bis.chair; and most of his officers were so drunk that they could not rise till late the next day.

Dane hath strangely wrought on our good English nobles ; for those whom I never could get to taste good liquor, now follow the fashion and wallow in beastly delights. The ladies abandon their sobriety, and are seen to roll about in intoxication. In good sooth the parliament did kindly to provide his majestie so reasonably with money, for there hath been no lack of good livinge; shews, sights, and banquetings from morn to eve.

“ One day a great feast was held, and after dinnet, the representation of Solomon in his Temple and the Coming of the Queen of Sheba .was made; or, as I may better say, was meant to be made, before their majesties, by device of the Earl of Salisbury and others. But alas ! as all earthly thinges do fail to poor mortals in enjoyment, so did prove our presentment hereof. The lady who did play the queen’s part, did carry most precious gifts to both their majesties; but, forgetting the steppes arising to the canopy, overset her caskets into his Danish majesties lap, and fell at his feet, though I rather think it was in his face. Much was the hurry and confusion ; but cloths and napkins were at hand to make all clean. His majesty then got up and would dance with the Queen of Sheba; but he fell down and humbled himself before her, and was carried to an inner chamber, and laid on a bed of state, which was not a little defiled with the presents of the queen, which had been bestowed on his garments ; such as wine, cream, jelly, beverage, cakes, spices, and other good matters. The entertainment and show went forward, and most of the presenters went backward, or fell down; wine did so occupy their upper chambers. Now did appear, in rich dress, Hope, Faith, and Charity. Hope did essay to speak, but wine rendered her endeavours so feeble that she withdrew, and hoped the king would excuse her brevity:

a

Faith was then all alone, for I am certain she was not joyned with good works, and left the court in a staggering condition : Charity came to the king's feet, and seemed to cover the multitude of sins her sister had committed ; in some sorte she made obeysance and brought giftes, but said she would return home again, as there was no gift which Heaven had not already given his majesty! She then returned to Hope and Faith, who were both sick and spewing in the lower hall. Next came Victory, in bright armour, who presented a rich sword to the king, who did not accept it, but put it by with his hand; and by a strange medley of versification, did endeavour to make suit to the king. But Victory did not triumph long; for, after much lamentable utterance, she was led away like a silly captive, and laid to sleep in the outer steps of the anti-chamber. Now did Peace make entry, and strive to get foremoste to the king; but I grieve to tell how great wrath she did discover unto those of her attendants; and much contrary to her semblance, most rudely made war with her olivebranch, and laid on the pates of those who did oppose her coming

“ I have much marvelled at these strange pageantries, and they do bring to my remembrance what passed of this sort in our queen's days, of which I was sometime an humble presenter and assistant; but I ne'er did see such lack of good order, discretion, and sobriety, as I have now done. I have passed much time in seeing the royal sports of hunting and hawking, where the manners were such as made me devise [that] the beasts were pursuing the sober creation, and not man in quest of exercise or food. I will now, in good sooth, declare to you, who will not blab, that the Gunpowder fright is got out of all our heads, and we are going on, hereabouts, as if the Devil was contriving every man should blow up himself, by wild riot, excess,

and devastation of time and temperance. The great ladies do go well-masked, and indeed it be the only shew of their modesty to conceal their countenance; but alack ! they meet with such countenance to uphold their strange doings, that I marvel not at aught that happens. The lord of the mansion (the Earl of Salisbury], is overwhelmed in preparations at Theobalds, and doth marvelously please both Kings with good meat, good drink, and good speeches. I do often say (but not aloud), that the Danes have again conquered the Britains, for I see no man, or woman either, that can now command himself, or herself. I wish I was at home:— rus quando te aspiciam ?--and I will, before the prince Vaudemont cometh.”

LORD MAYORS. THERE are numerous instances in the city archives, of persons being exempted from serving the office of Lord Mayor; although not without some special cause, as age, infirmity, sickness, &c. In the 19th of Henry VI., John Reynolds was excused on account of sickness, during life, and “not to be put in election.” In the 16th of Edward IV., the common council ordered that neither Matthew Phillips, nor Richard Bernes, aldermen, should be elected, or admitted mayor, during life. Sir William Taylor, in the 19th of the same reign, late lord mayor, was discharged from serving again, against his will, on account of his great age, &c. In the 9th of Henry VII., John Ward was exempted for ever; and, in return, he gave “ of his own free will ” a quantity of lead to the new aqueducts. In the 10th, 13th, 14th, and 17th of the same reign, it was ordained by the common council, that Sir

Henry Colet, knt., William White, Robert Tate, and Sir William Martin, all of whom “ had honourably and laudably served the office of mayor,” should not be obliged to serve again without their own consent. In the 14th of Henry VIII., Alderman Fenrother was excused for three years, upon paying 100 marks in ready money. In the following year Alderman George Monoux was elected mayor, and on his neglecting to appear after being divers times called upon by letter and otherwise, he was ordered to be fined 1000 sterling; and on the 13th of October, Alderman Baldry was elected in his stead. At the same time that Monoux was fined, it was enacted by the court, that whatsoever alderman should, in future, be chosen, and absent, or withdraw, himself from the city,

66 only to the intent that he will not take upon him the charge of the same mayoralty,” he should forfeit 10001. The next year Alderman Monous, on his petition and bill of supplication, alleging his great age and feebleness, and offering to give a brew-house, adjoining to the bridge-house, in Southwark, to the city, in consideration of being discharged from the office of alderman, had the decree against him revoked, and his request granted on some especial conditions. In the 22d of Henry VIII., Sir William Boteler was exempted for continued impotency and sickness; and in the 21st of Elizabeth, Alderman Box“ was respited from the office of mayor, through ill health, and upon payment of 2001.” During the Protectorate, anno 1652, Sir Simon Edmunds, lord mayor elect, declaring his

« ForrigeFortsæt »