1. All the particulars concerning Garnesche which I have been able to discover, will be found in the Account of Skelton and his Writings.
2. wish] So MS. seems to read.
3. Sir Termagant] A very furious deity, whom the Crusaders and romance-writers charged the Saracens with worshipping, though there was certainly no such Saracenic divinity. Concerning the name, see Gifford's note on Massinger's Works, ii. 125. ed. 1813, and Nares's Gloss. in v. – So in The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedy, which in various minute particulars bears a strong resemblance to the present pieces Against Garnesche;
"Termagantis temptis and Vespasius thy eame."
4. nall] Seems to be the reading of MS.—"nall" having been added, instead of "alle," which is drawn through with the pen.
5. Sir Frollo de Franko] Was a Roman knight, governor of
6. Sir Satrapas] Neither with this, nor with the personage mentioned in the next line, have I any acquaintance.
7. have ye kithed you a knight]—kithed, i.e. made known, shown.
"It kithed be his cognisance ane knight that he was."
Golagros and Gawane, p. 137, Sir Gawayne, &c. ed. Bann.
Garnesche had the dignity of knighthood; see Account of Skelton and his Writings. In the heading, and first line, of this poem, he is called Master; but knights were frequently so addressed. In Cavendish's Life of Wolsey mention is made of "Sir William Fitzwilliams, a knight," who is presently called "Master Fitzwilliams," pp. 310, 311. ed. 1827, and of "Sir Walter Walshe, knight," who is immediately after termed "Master Walshe," pp. 339, 340, and of "that worshipful knight Master Kingston," p. 374.
8. Sir Douglas the doughty] "The high courage of
9. place] Might be read perhaps "palace."
10. Sir Terry of
11. Sir Ferumbras the freke] freke (common in romance-poetry in the sense of—man, warrior) is here, as the context shows, equivalent to furious fellow: We have had the word before, The Bowge of Court v. 187. Consult the analysis of the romance of Sir Ferumbras in Ellis's Spec. of Met. Rom. ii. 356, and Caxton's Life of Charles the Great, &c., 1485, for much about this Saracen, called in the latter Fyerabras,—" a marvellous giant,"—"which was vanquished by Oliver, and at the last baptised, and was after a Saint in heaven." Sig. b viii.
12. Sir captain of Catywade, catacombs of Cayre] Cayre is
13. Sir Lybyus] See note 84 to Philip Sparrow.
14. Of Mantrible the Bridge, Malchus the Morrion] morrion, i.e. Moor; so in the third of these poems, Skelton calls Garnesche "Thou morrion, thou maument," v. 170; so too in the Scottish Treasurer's Accounts for 1501, "Peter the Morrion,"
15. black Balthasar with his basnet rough as a bear] Does black Balthasar mean one of the Magi, or, as they were commonly called, the Three Kings of
16. Lycaon, that loathly lusk] "Here is a great knave i. a great lither lusk, or a stout idle lubber." Palsgrave's Acolastus, 1540. sig. X ii. "Lusk, a vile person, ribault, esclave, lourdault." Palsgrave, Lesclar de la Lang. Fr. p. 241. The word is often used as a term of reproach in general.
17. Orwell her haven] By Harwich.
18. As a glede glowing] i.e. glowing like a burning coal:—but qy. did Skelton write "as a glede glowering?" i.e. staring like a kite. He uses glede in this latter sense in Magnificence, v. 1059; and in The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedy (see note 3 above) we find,—
. . . .
"Like to ane stark thief glowrand in ane tedder."
19. Hooked as an hawk's beak, like Sir Thopas] The allusion is to Chaucer's Sire Thopas, who "had a seemly nose." v. 13659. ed. Tyr.
20. Godfrey] Concerning this person, who assisted Garnesche in his compositions, and is afterwards called his scribe, I can give the reader no information.
21. [Your] groaning, your grunting, your groining like a swine?] The beginning of this line, and the next three lines, torn off in MS. As to groining, Skelton has elsewhere;
"Hoining like hogs that groins and roots."
Against venomous tongues, v. 4
"The grunting and the groining of the groaning swine."
Garland of Laurel, v. 1376
To groin is explained to groan, to grunt, to growl; but perhaps our author may have used it like the French "Groigner. To nuzzle, or to root with the snout." Cotgrave's Dict.
22. Ye capped Caiaphas copious, your paltock on your pate,
Though ye prate like proud Pilate, beware yet of checkmate] Copious is perhaps an allusion to some sort of cope, in which that personage might have figured on the stage. The usual explanations of paltock ("Paltock. Baltheus," Prompt. Parv. ; "a short garment of the doublet kind," Strutt's Dress and Habits, &c. ii. 352) do not seem to suit the present passage. In Palsgrave, p. 251, we find "Paltock, a patch, palleteau; "and see what immediately follows in this poem. Compare The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedy (see note 4 above):
"Thou irefull attercop, Pilate apostata."
. . . . . .
"Caiaphas thy faitour."
23. Deu[ra]ndall] Was the celebrated sword of Roland: see (among other works which might be referred to) Caxton's Life of Charles the Great, &c., 1485, "How Roland died holily after many martyrs and orisons made to God full devoutly, and of the complaint made for his sword durandal." Sig. i.
24. Gabionite of Gabion] So in his Replication against certain young scholars, &c. Skelton calls them (in Latin) "Gabaonitae," The Gabionites were the inhabitants of Gabii, a nearby town, who warred with the Romans early in their history.
25. Huff a gallant] [Huff seems to mean a swaggering, bullying fellow.] Compare;
Mary Magdalene,—An. Mysteries from the Digby MSS. p. 85. ed. Abbotsf.
"Make room sirs and let us be merry,
With huffa galand, sing tirl on the berry."
Interlude of the iiii Elements, n. d. sig. B ii.
In some Glossary, to which I have lost the reference, is "Huff, a gallant "
26. Jasp] usually means a jewel, specifically the semiprecious stone jasper, but here–does it mean wasp?
27. that of your challenge maketh so little force] i.e. that maketh (make) so little matter of your challenge.
28. Sir Guy, Sir Gawain, Sir Cayus, for and Sir Olyvere] Concerning the first two see Notes 80 and 81 to Philip Sparrow. Cayus, or Kay, was the foster brother of King Arthur; see the Morte d'Arthur, &c. &c.: for and [and also] is an expression occasionally found in much later writers; see Middleton's Fair Quarrel, act v. sc. 1., Works, iii. 544. ed. Dyce; and Beaumont and Fletcher's Knight of the Burning Pestle,—
"For and the Squire of Damsels, as I take it."
Act ii. sc. 2. [sc. 3.]
a passage which the modern editors have most absurdly altered: Oliver was one of the twelve peers of
29. Priamus] Perhaps the personage so named, who fought with Gawain, and was afterwards made a knight of the Round Table; see Morte d'Arthur, B. v. ch. x. xii. vol. i. 148 sqq. ed. Southey.
30. Arthur's ancient acts] An allusion, perhaps, more particularly to the Morte d'Arthur; see its other title in note 83 to The Garland of Laurel.
31. Sir Olifranke] Qy. a mistake of the transcriber for Sir Olifaunte, the giant mentioned in Chaucer's Sir Thopas?
32. Myrres vous y] "Behold yourself therein" (Carl Woodring)
33. lusty Garnesche, well-beseen Christopher] Both these epithets allude to his dress: "Lusty or fresh in apparel, frisque." Palsgrave, p. 318; well beseen, [well looking.]—Compare
"Gif I be lusty in array,
Than love I paramours thay say
. . . .
Gif I be not well als beseen," &c.
Poems, i. 185. ed. Laing.
34. scribe] Means Godfrey, see note 20 above, and compare v. 90 of the present.
35. My living to reprehend] Added to the MS. in a different hand.
36. your nose did snivel] So in The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedy (see note 3 above);
"Out! out! I shout, upon that snout that snivels."
37. dud frieze] i.e. coarse frieze: [a dudd was also a coarse wrapper or dread-nought. Rags, or poor clothes in general, are still called duds. See Way's Prompt. Parv. ]
38. A portion of the MS is torn off here.
39. pilled-garlic] [i.e. scalled–pilled is peeled.] Compare the next poem Against Garnesche;
" Thou callest me scold, thou callest me mad:
Though thou be pilled, thou art not sad.
Pilled-garlick was a term applied to a person whose hair had fallen off by disease, see Todd's Johnson's Dict. in v.
40. occupy there no stead] i.e. avail nothing
41. Sir Guy of Gaunt] So our author again, in his Colyn Cloute;
"Avaunt, sir Guy of Gaunt."
In The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedy (which, as already shown, strongly resembles the present pieces Against Garnesche in several minute particulars) we find
"thou spreit of Guy."
and at p. 37 of the same vol., in The Droichis Part of the Play, attributed to
"I wait I am the spreit of Guy."
So too Sir D. Lyndsay in his Epistle to the King's Grace before his Dream,—
"And sometime, like the grisly gaist of Guy."
Works, i. 187. ed. Chalmers,—
who explains it "the well-known Sir Guy of romance." But both Dunbar and Lyndsay allude to a story concerning the ghost of a person called Guy, an inhabitant of
42. Bold bayard, ye are too blind] The proverbial expression, "as bold as blind bayard,"—(bayard, properly a bay horse, but used for a horse in general),—is very ancient, and of very frequent occurrence in our early literature; its origin is not known:
"For blind bayard cast peril of nothing,
Till that he stumbling fall amid the lake."
Lydgate's Wars of Troy, B. v. sig. E e ii. ed. 1555.
43. Ye would be called a maker,
And make much like Jake Raker] i.e. You would be called a composer of verses, or poet, and you compose much in the style of Jack Raker. So again our.author;
"Set sophia aside, for every Jack Raker
And every mad meddler must now be a maker."
Speak, Parrot, v. 165
"He maketh us Jack Rakers;
He says we are but crakers," &c.
Why come ye not to Court, v. 270.
So too in the Comedy by Nicholas Udall, entitled Ralph Royster Doyster;
"Of Songs and Ballads also he is a maker,
And that can he as finely do as Jack Raker."
Act ii. sc. 1. p. 27. (reprint.)
Mr. Collier (Hist. of Engl. Dram. Poet. ii. 448) speaks of Jack Raker as if he really had existed: I rather think that he was an imaginary person, whose name had become proverbial.
44. occupied no better your tool] i.e. used no better your tool, pen.
45. Your skin scabbed and scurvy,
Tawny, tanned, and shurvy, &c.] The first line added to MS. in a different hand. —shurvy, i.e., perhaps, "shrovy, squalid." Forby's Vocab. of East Anglia: [probably only a softened form of scurvy.] With this passage compare The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedy (see note 3 above)
"Fie! scowdered skin, thou art both skyre and skrumple.
. . . . .
Ane crabbed, scabbed, evil faced messan-tyke.
. . . . .
Thou lookest lousy."
46. Shall cut both white and green] an allusion to the dress which our author appears to have worn as Laureate; see Account of Skelton and his Writings.
47. scorpion] So in The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedy "scorpion venomous."
48. maument] "Mawment. Idolum. Simulacrum." Prompt. Parv. ed. 1499. "Maument, Marmoset, poupee." Palsgrave, p. 244. "Mawment, a puppet." Brockett's Gloss. of
49. I will not die in thy debt] Compare Cock Lorel's Boat;
If he call her callet, she calleth him knave again;
She shall not die in his debt." Sig. B i.
50. Such pelfry thou hast packed] I do not understand this line: pelfry is, perhaps, pilfery; but does it not rather mean—petty goods,—which Garnesche had packed, fraudulently got together? "Much of their fish they do barter with English men, for meal, laces, and shoes, and other pelfry." Borde's Book of knowledge, sig. I, reprint. "Out of which country the said Scots fled, and left much corn, butters, and other pelfry, behind them, which the host had." Letter from Gray to Cromwell, State Papers, iii. 155,—the Vocabulary to which renders pelfry, pillage—wrongly, I believe. Dekker, describing "The Black Art "(or "Picking of Locks"), tells us that "The gains gotten is Pelfry." The Bellman of
51. thou shouldst be racked] i.e. thou shouldst be stretched—have thy neck stretched. So in The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedy;
"For substance and gear thou has a widdy teuch
On Mont Falcone, about thy craig to rack."
(widdy teugh = "tough rope made of osiers; thy craig to rack = "thy neck to stretch")
52. be bedawed] Does it mean—be daunted? or, be called simple fellow? see note 25 to The Bowge of Court.
53. Sir Dalyrag] So our author elsewhere;
"Let sir Wrigwrag wrestle with sir Dalyrag."
Speak, Parrot, v. 91.
"Adieu now, sir Wrig wrag,
Adieu, sir Dalyrag!"
The Doughty Duke of Albany v. 297
54. Such polling pageants ye play] i.e. Such plundering pageants, thievish pranks, you play. The expression to "play a pageant "—to play a part,—has before occurred, see note 19 to The Death of King Edward IV. With the present passage compare: "This one pageant hath stained all other honest deeds . . . flagitium." Hormanni Vulgaria, sig. N v. ed. 1530. "That was a wily pageant . . . commentum." Ibid. sig. N vi. "Thou gatest no worship by this pageant . . facinore." Ibid. sig. P v. "He had thought to play me a pageant: Il me cuyda donner la bont." Palsgrave, p. 658. "A fellow which had renewed many of Robin Hood's Pageants." Fabyan's Chron. vol. ii. fol. 533. ed. 1559. " After he had played all his troublesome pageants," &c. Holinshed's Chron. (Hen. viii.) vol. iii. 830. ed. 1587.
55. he that scribbled your scrolls] i.e. Godfrey; see note 20 above.
56. That bird is not honest
That fouleth his own nest] This proverb occurs in The Owl and the Nightingale (a poem of the 12th century), p. 4. Rox. ed.
57. Jack-a-thrum] In his Magnificence, our author mentions "Jack-a-thrum's bible," v. 1444, also in his Garland of Laurel, v. 209; and in his Colyn Cloute he uses the expression,—
"As wyse as Tom-a-thrum."
where the MS. has "Jacke athrum"—Compare: "And thereto accords two worthy preachers, Jack a Thrum and John Brest Bale." Burlesques,—Reliquiae Antiquae (by Wright and Halliwell), i. 84.
58. DONUM LEAUREATI DISTICHON CONTRA GOLIARDUM GARNESCHE ET SCRIBAM EIUS] "This couplet against Garnesche the goliard, and his scribe, (is) a gift of the Laureate "—goliardum is equivalent, probably, to buffoon, or ridiculous rhymer. ["The goliardi, in the original sense of the word, appear to have been in the clerical order somewhat the same class as the jongleurs and minstrels among the laity, riotous and unthrifty scholars, who attended on the tables of the richer ecclesiastics, and gained their living and clothing by practising the profession of buffoons and jesters. The name appears to have originated towards the end of the twelfth century; and, in the documents of that time and of the next century, is always connected with the clerical order." Wright, Poems of Walter Mapes, p. x.] See Du Cange's Gloss. in v., Tyrwhitt's note on Chaucer's Cant. Tales, v. 562, and Roquefort's Gloss. in v. Goliard.
59. Tu, Garnesche, fatuus, fatuus tuus est mage scriba:
Qui sapuit puer, insanit vir, versus in hydram.] "You, Garnesche, are a fool, your scribe a greater fool; [He] who was wise as a boy, is mad as a man, changed into a serpent.
60. lusty Garnesche well beseen Christopher] See note 33 above
61. Though ye can skill of large and long] i.e. Though you be skilled in large and long; see note 10 to Against a Comely Custron.
62. Ye sing alway the cuckoo song:
Ye rail, ye rhyme, with Hey, dog, hey!
Your churlish chanting is all one lay.] one lay, i.e. one strain. So Lydgate;
"The cuckoo sing can then but one lay."
The Churl and the Bird,—MS. Harl. 116. fol. 151.
"Your aureate tongues both ben all too light," &c.
Poems, i. 13. ed. Laing.
64. Loathsome as Lucifer] So in The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedy, "Lucifer's laid."
65. Sir Piers de Brasy] i.e. Pierre de Brézé, grand-seneschal of
66. George Hardyson] Perhaps the "George Ardeson "who is several times mentioned in the unpublished Books of King's Payments Temp. Hen. vii. and viii., preserved in the Chapter-House,
xxiii. of Hen. vii.—George Ardeson and Dominick Sall are bounden in an obligation to pay for the licence of cccl butts of malmsey vi.s viii.d for every butt within iii months next after they shall be laid upon land – cxvi li. xii. s
67. the Januay] i.e. the Geneose. "The Jannays .... Genuenses." Hormanni Vulgaria, sig. k iii. ed. 1530.
68. pageants] i.e. tricks. See note 54 above.
69. Bowgy row] i.e. Budge Row: "This Ward [Cordwainers Street Ward] beginneth in the East, on the West side of Walbrooke, and runneth West, through Budge Row (a street so called of the Budge Fur, and of Skinners dwelling there)," &c.
70. Gup, Sir Guy] See note 11 to Divers Ballads and Ditties Solacious, and note 41 above.
71. on God's half] See note 64 to Elynour Rumming
72. Between the tapet and the wall] A line which occurs again in our author's Magnificence, v. 1249.
73. Fusty bawdyas] An expression used again by Skelton in his Garland of Laurel;
Foo, fusty bawdyas some smelled of the smoke."
It occurs in the metrical tale The King and the Hermit;
"When the cope comes into the place,
Canst thou say fusty baudyas,
And think it in your thought?
And you shall hear a totted friar
Say strike pantnere,
And in ye [the] cope leave right nought."
Brit. Bibliogr. iv. 90.
and several times after, in the same poem. [Apparently, a kind of drinking strophe. See in Ivanhoe, by Walter Scott: "The one toper says fusty baudias, to which the other is obliged to reply, strike pantnere, and the Friar passes many jests on the King's want of memory.]
74. harras] Equivalent to—collection. "Harras, a race; horses and mares kept only for breed." COTG. Way's Prompt. Parv.
75. cloth of
76. The honour of
77. remord] Fr. "Remordre. To bite again; also, to carpe at, or find fault with." Cotgrave's Dict. The word is frequently used by Skelton (see, for instance, Unto Divers People That Remord This Rhyming) where he introduces it with other terms nearly synonymous,—"reprehending" and "rebuking").
78. creancer] i.e. tutor: see Account of Skelton and his Writings.—Erasmus in his Paraph. in Epist. Pauli ad Galat. cap. 4. v. 2,—Opp. vii. 956. ed. 1703-6, has these words; "sed metu cohibetur, sed alieno arbitrio ducitur, sub tutoribus et actoribus agens," &c.: which are thus rendered in The Paraphrase of Erasmus upon the New Testament, vol. ii. fol xiii. ed. 1548-9; "but is kept under with fear, and ruled as other men will, passing that time under creancers and governors," &c. (Fr. creanser.)
79. ribald] MS. seems to have "rylode."
80. Without thou leave &c.] In the MS. the latter part of this line, and the concluding portions of the next two lines, are so injured by stains that I can only guess at the words. The endings of the third and fourth lines are illegible.
81. I would some man's back ink horn
Were thy nose spectacle case] Compare our author's poem Against Dundas, v. 37. and Bale's King John, p. 35.
82. tragedies] Skelton does not mean here dramatic pieces: compare his piece Against the Scots, v. 72. So Lydgate's celebrated poem, The TRAGEDIES, gathered by John Bochas, of all such Princes as fell from their estates, &c.
83. my process for to save] process, i.e. story; so our author in his Why come ye not to Court;
"Then, our process for to stable."
84. Harvy Hafter] See note 14 to The Bowge of Court.
85. hay . . . ray] Names of dances, the latter less frequently mentioned than the former:
"I can dance the ray, I can both pipe and sing."
Barclay's First Egloge, sig. A ii. ed. 1570.