« PreviousContinue »
which these songs were composed, have already appeared in the compilations of Cooper, Headley, Aikin, Ellis, Ritson, and others. This may be conceded; but I do not think any of the specimens I have here printed, are to be found, but in the particular old dramas which I have had before me. They will at least, therefore, have the merit of novelty to those, who may not have the opportunity of seeing the rare and curious volumes from which they have been taken.
Johannis Parkhursti Ludicra sive Epigrammata Juvenilia. 4to. Apud Johannem Dayum Typographum. 1573.
Of this remarkably rare book we have no copy in the British Museum. I am indebted to my friend Mr. Douce for the use of one.
There is no account of John Parkhurst in any of our biographical dictionaries. I subjoin, therefore, the following brief description of him and his writings.
He was born at Guildford in Surrey, and was sent, at a very early age, to Oxford. In 1529 he was a probationary Fellow of Merton College. He was in due time Rector of Cleve in Gloucestershire, which, on account of its great value, was usually denominated Bishops Cleve. After the death of Edward the Sixth, actuated by conscientious motives, he left his preferment, and retired to Zurich, where he continued till the decease of Queen Mary. At the accession of Elizabeth he returned to his native country, and was made Bishop of Norwich.
He wrote and published the following works: 1. Epigrammata in mortem duorum fratrum Suffolciensium Caroli et Henrici Brandon. 4to.
These brothers were the sons of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, who died of the Sweating Sickness.
2. Ludicra-sive Epigrammata Juvenilia. 3. John Shepreves "Distichs on the New Testament."
4. Epigrammata Seria. 8vo. 1560.
Parkhurst also, at the command of Queen Elizabeth, translated the Apocrypha, from The Book of Wisdom to the end. He died in 1574 and was buried in the Cathedral Church of Norwich. There is this inscription on his monument:
"Johannes Parkhurstus, Theologiæ Professor, Gylfordiæ natus, Oxoniæ educatus, temporibus
Mariæ Reginæ pro nitida conscientia Tigurenæ vixit exul voluntarius. Postea Præsul factus sanctissime hanc rexit ecclesiam 16 annos et mortuus est secundo die Februarii an. 1574 ætatis suæ 63."
There is another inscription to him on one of the pillars of the cathedral, in these terms: "Viro bono, docto, et pio Johanni Parkhursto Episcopo vigilantissimo, Georgius Gardiner posuit hoc."
This George Gardiner was Dean of Norwich I subjoin two or three specimens of Parkhurst's work.
AD CANDIDUM LECTOREM.
Cum legis hunc nostrum, Lector, studiose libellum,
Non sunt hæc tristi conscripta Catonibus ore,
Adjicere huc oculos et legere ista velint,
AD AMICUM QUENDAM.
Quidam placentas optimas,
Plus esitare dum paro,
DE SKELTONO VATE ET SACERDOTE.
Skeltonus gravidam reddebat forte puellam,
Non sunt eunuchi, credite, sacrifici.
The above humourous anecdote is also related in Skelton's Jests, a book so very scarce, that I never heard of but one copy, which is in the possession of Mr. Heber.
This copy of Parkhurst, in the possession of Mr. Douce, was given by the author to "Thomas Buttes," who has written in it the following curious Acrostic on his own name:
T-he longer lyfe that man on earth enjoyes,
B-eware, therefore, O wretched sinfull Wight,
havyng the first letter of everie lyne begynning with a letter of his name.
The reader who wishes for farther particulars of Parkhurst and his book, may consult
Herbert's Ames, vol. 1. p. 656.
Warton's History of English Poetry, vol. 111. p. 432.
Wood's Athenæ Oxonienses, vol. 1. p. 179.
• Parkhurst's work is also quoted in Boys's tenth Sermon after Trinity, p. 447.