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S.9 as his governour; and you may surely receive from him good directions for the shaping of your farther journey into Italy, where he did reside by my choice som time for the king, after mine own recess from Venice.
It was built by Roger de Montgomery, who was related to William the Conqueror. The date of its erection is fixed by Mr. Warton in the year 1112. By others it is said to have been erected before the Conquest, and its founder to have been Edric Sylvaticus, carl of Shrewsbury, whom Roger de Montgomery was sent by the Conqueror into the marshes of Wales to subdue, and with those estates in Salop he was afterwards rewarded. But the testimonies of various writers assign the foundation of this structure to Roger. de Montgomery, soon after the Conquest.
I should think that your best line will be thorow the whole length of France to Marseilles, and thence by sea to Genoa, whence the passage into Tuscany is as diurnal as a Gravesend barge: I hasten, as you do, to Florence, or Siena, the rather to tell you a short story from the interest you have given me in your safety. At Siena I was tabled in the house of one Alberto Scipioni, an old Roman courtier in dangerous times, having bin steward to the duca di Pagliano, who with all his family were strangled, save this onely man that escaped by foresight of the tempest: with him I had often much chat of those affairs; into which he took pleasure to The son of this nobleman did not long enjoy it, look back from his native harbour; and at my as he died in the prime of life. The grandson, departure toward Rome (which had been the Robert de Belesme, earl of Shrewsbury, forfeited center of his experience) I had wonn confidence it to Henry I. by having joined the party of Roenough to beg his advice, how I might carry my-bert duke of Normandy against that king. It self securely there, without offence to others, or became now a princely residence, and was guardof mine own conscience. Signor Arrigo mio, ed by a numerous garrison. Soon after the ac(sayes he) 1 pensieri stretti, et il viso sciolto, will cession of Stephen, however, the governor bego safely over the whole world; Of which Del- trayed his trust, in joining the empress Maud. phian oracle (for so I have found it) your judge-Stephen besieged it; in which endeavour to rement doth need no commentary; and therefore gain the possession of his fortress some writers (sir) I will commit you with it to the best of all assert that he succeeded, others that he failed. securities, God's dear love, remaining The most generally received opinion is, that the governor, repenting of his baseness, and wishing to obtain the king's forgiveness, proposed a caWOOTTON.pitulation advantageous to the garrison, to which Stephen, despairing of winning the castle by arms, readily acceded. Henry II. presented to whom succeeded Joccas de Dinan; between it to his favourite, Fulk Fitz-Warine,or de Dinan, whom and Hugh de Mortimer lord of Wigmore such dissensions arose, as at length occasioned the seizure of Mortimer, and his confinement in one of the towers of the castle, which to this day is called Mortimer's Tower; from which he was not liberated, till he had paid an immense ransom. This tower is now inhabited, and used as a fives-court.
Your friend as much at command
I have expressly sent this my foot-boy to prevent your departure without som acknowledgement from me of the receipt of your obliging letter, having myself through som business, I know not how, neglected the ordinary conveyance. any part where I shall understand you fixed, I shall be glad, and diligent, to entertain you with home-novelties; even for some fomentation of our friendship, too soon interrupted in the cradle.
BY MR. TODD.
SOME idea of this venerable and magnificent pile, in which Comus was played with great splendour, at a period when masks were the most fashionable entertainment of our nobility, will probably gratify those, who read Milton with that curiosity which results from taste and imagination. Mr. Warton, the learned author of this elegant remark, declines entering into the
more obscure and early annals of the castle; to which therefore I will briefly refer, trusting that the methodical account of an edifice, more par ticularly ennobled by the representation of Comus within its walls, may not be improper, or uninteresting.
9 Lord S.] The son of lord viscount Scudamore, then the English ambassador at Paris, by whose notice Milton was honoured, and by whom he was introduced to Grotius, then residing at Paris, also as the minister of Sweden. TODD,
It was again belonging to the crown in the 8th year of king John, who bestowed it on Philip de Albani, from whom it descended to the Lacies of Ireland, the last of which family, Walter de Lacy, dying without issue male, left the castle to his grand daughter Maud, the wife of Peter de Geneva, or Jeneville, a Poictevin, of the house of Lorrain, from whose posterity it passed by a daughter to the Mortimers, and from them hereditarily to the crown. taken by Simon de Montfort earl of Leicester, the In the reign of Henry III. it was ambitious leader of the confederate barons, who, about the year 1263 are said to have taken possession of all the royal castles and fortresses. of Ludlow Castle in almost two succeeding centuries nothing is recorded.
In the thirteenth year of Henry VI. it was in the possession of Richard duke of York, who there drew up his declaration of affected allegiance to the king, pretending that the army of ten thousand men, which he had raised in the marshes of Wales, was "for the public weale of the realme." The event of this commotion between
the Royalists and Yorkists, the defeatof Richard's perfidious attempt, is well known. The castle of Ludlow, says Hall," was spoyled." The king's troops seized on whatever was valuable in it; and, according to the same chronicler, bither 'the king sent the dutchess of Yorke with her two younger sons to be kept in ward, with the dutchess of Buckingham her sister, where she continued a certain space."
The castle was soon afterwards put into the possession of Edward duke of York, afterwards king Edward IV., who at that time resided in the neighbouring castle of Wigmore, and who, in order to revenge the death of his father, had collected some troops in the Marches, and had attached the garrison to his cause. On his accession to the throne the castle was repaired by him, and a few years after was made the court of his son, the prince of Wales; who was sent hither by him, as Hall relates, "for justice to be doen in the Marches of Wales, to the end that by the authoritie of his presence, the wild Welshmenne and evill disposed personnes should refraine from their accustomed murthers and outrages." Sir Henry Sidney, some years afterwards, observed, that, since the establishment of the lord president and council, the whole country of Wales have been brought from their disobedient and barbarous incivility, to a civil and obedient condition; and the bordering English counties had been freed from those spoils and felonies, with which the Welsh, before this institution, had annoyed them. See Sidney State-Papers, vol. i. E p.1. On the death of Edward, his eldest son was here first proclaimed king by the name of Edward V.
In the reign of Henry VII. his eldest son, Arthur, prince of Wales, inhabited the castle; in which great festivity was observed upon his marriage with Catherine of Arragon; an event that was soon followed, within the same walls, by the untimely and lamented death of that accomplished prince.
The castle had now long been the palace of the prince of Wales annexed to the principality, and was the habitation appointed for his deputies the lords presidents of Wales, who held in it the court of the Marches. It would therefore hardly have been supposed, that its external splendour should have suffered neglect, if Powel, the Welsh historian, had not related, that "sir Henry Sidney, who was made lord president in 1564, repaired the castle of Ludlowe which is the cheefest house within the Marches, being in great decaie, as the chapell, the court-house, and a faire fountaine." See Mr. Warton's second edit. p. 124, where he quotes D. Powell's Hist. of Cambria, edit. 1580. 4to. p. 401. Sir H. Sidney, however, was made lord president in the second year of Elizabeth, which was in 1559. See Sidney StatePapers, vol. i. Memoirs prefixed, p. 86. Sir Henry's munificence to this stately fabric is more particularly recorded by T. Churchyard, in his poem called, The Worthines of Wales, 4to. Lond. 1578. The chapter is entitled the Castle of Ludloe," in which it is related, that "Sir Harry built many things here worthie praise and memorie." From the same information we learn the following particulars.
a chimney excellently wrought in the best cham ber, is St. Andrewes Crosse joyned to prince Arthurs armes in the hall windowe." The poet also notices the "Chappell most trim and costly sure:" about which are armes in colours of sondrie kings, but chiefly noblemen." He then specifies in prose, "that sir Harry Sidney being lord president, buylt twelve roumes in the sayd castle, which goodly buildings doth shewe a great beautie to the same. He made also a goodly wardrobe underneath the new parlor, and repayrd an old tower, called Mortymer's Tower, to keepe the auncient records in the same; and he repayred a fayre roune under the court house, to the same entent and purpose, and made a great wall about the woodyard, and built a most brave condit within the inner court: and all the newe buildings over the gate sir Harry Sidney (in his daies and government there) made and set out to the honour of the queene, and glorie of the castle. There are in a goodly or stately place set out my lord earle of Warwicks armes, the earle of Darbie, the earle of Worcester, the earle of Pembroke, and sir Harry Sidneys armes in like maner: al these stand on the left hand of the chamber. On the other side are the arms of Northwales and Southwales, two, red lyons and two golden lyons, prince Arthurs. At the end of the dyning chamber, there is a pretie device how the hedgehog brake the chayne, and came from Ireland to Ludloe." The device is probably an allusion to sir Henry's armorial bearings, of which two porcupines were the crest. Sir Henry Sidney caused also many salutary regulations to be made in the court. See Sidney State Papers, vol. i. p. 143 and p. 170, in which are stated the great sums of money. he had expended, and the indefatigable diligence he had exerted in the discharge of his office.
In 1616, the creation of prince Charles (afterwards king Charles I.) to the principality of Wales, and earldom of Chester, was celebrated. here with uncommon magnificence. It became next distinguished by "one of the most memorable and honourable circumstances in the course of its history," THE REPRESENTATION OF Comus in 1634, when the earl of Bridgewater was lord president, and inhabited it. A scene in the Mask presented both the castle and the town of Ludlow. Afterwards, as I have been informed, Charles the first, going to pay a visit at Powis castle, was here splendidly received and entertained, on his journey. But " pomp, and feast, and revelry, with mask, and antique pageantry," were soon succeeded in Ludlow castle by the din of arms. During the unhappy civil war it was. garrisoned for the king; who, in his flight from Wales, staid a night it. See Iter Carolinum in Gutch's Collect. Cur. vol. ii. 443. "Wednesday Aug.st 6.th 1645, at Old Radnor, supper, a yeoman's house; the court dispersed. Thursday the 7.th to LUDLOW CASTLE, no dinner, Col. Wodehouse. Friday the 8th to Bridgnorth, &c." The castle was at length delivered up to the par liament in June 1646.
A few years after this event, the goods of the castle were inventoried and sold. The rev. Mr Ayscough, of the British Museum, has oblig. "Overingly directed me to a priced catalogue of the
"In the Princes Chamber. One standing beddstead, covered with watchet damaske, with all the furniture suitable thereunto belonging, &c. Sold Mr Bass ye 11.th of March 1650 for 36€ 10s.
furniture, with the names of the purchasers, in | Buck's Antiquities, published in 1774, which must Harl. MSS. No. 4898, and No. 7352: from have been written many years before, it is said which I select a few curious articles. "Many of the royal apartments are yet entire; and the sword, with the velvet hangings, and some of the furniture are still preserved." And Grose in his Antiquities, published about the same time, extracting from the Tour through Great Britain what he pronounces a very just and accurate account of this castle, represents the chapel having abundance of coats of arms upon the pannels, and the hall decorated with the same ornaments, together with lances, spears, firelocks, and old armour. Of these curious appendages to the grandeur of both, little perhaps is now known. Of the chapel, a circular building within the inner court is now all that remains. Over several of the stable doors, however, are still the arms of queen Elizabeth, and the earl of Pembroke. Over the inner gate of the castle, are also some remains of the arms of the Sidney family, with an inscription denoting the date of the queen's reign, and of sir Henry Sidney's residence, in 1581, together with the following words, Hominibus ingratis lequimini lapides. No reason has been assigned for this remarkable address. Perhaps sir Henry Sidney might intend it as an allusion to his pre decessors, who had suffered the stately fabric to decay; as a memorial also, which no successor might behold without determining to avoid its application: Nonne IPSAM DOMUM metuel,
ne quam VOCEM ELICIAT,nonne PAKIETES CONCIOS?
"One suit of old tapistry hangings cont. all 120 ells at 2 per ell; Sold Mr Cleam.t ye 18.th January 1650 for 15£.
"In the Governour's Quarter. Two pictures, ye one of the late king, and the other of his queen, 10. Sold to Mr Bass.
"One large old Bible, 6. Sold to Mr Bass.
"One old surplice of holland, 5. Sold to Mr Bass.
"One dammaske table-cloth in length tenn £
yards, 2. Sold to Mr Rog." Humphrey.
"A cupp & cover of plate, weighing 35 03.
at 5 per 03. 8. 15. Sold to Mr Brown.
"In the Shovell-board Room. Nine peeces of green kersey hangings paned wth gilt leather, 8 window curtaines, 5 window peeces, a chimney peece, and curtaine rodds, and three other small peeces in a presse in ye wardrobe val. togeather
25. WITH ye PROTECTOR.
No other remarkable circumstances distinguish the history of this castle, till the court of the Marches was abolished, and the lords presidents were discontinued, in 1688. From that period its decay commenced. It has since been gradually stript of its curious and valuable ornaments. No longer inhabited by its noble guardians, it has fallen into neglect; and neglect has encouraged plunder. "It will be no wonder that this noble castle is in the very perfection of decay, when we acquaint our readers, that the present inhabitants live upon the sale of the materials. All the fine courts, the royal apartments, halls, and rooms of state, lie open and abandoned, and some of them falling down." Tour through Great Britain, quoted by Grose, art. Ludlow Castle. See also two remarkable instances related by Mr. Hodges in his Account of the Castle,
who visited the castle in 1768, has acquainted Mr. Dovaston, of the Nursery, near Oswestry, me, that the floors of the great council chamber were then pretty entire, as was the stair-case. The covered steps leading to the chapel were remaining, but the covering of the chapel was fallen: yet the arms of some of the lords presidents, painted on the walls, were visible. In the great council chamber was inscribed on the wall a sentence from 1 Sam. xii. 3. All of which are now wholly gone. The person, who showed this gentleman the castle, informed him that, by tradition, the Mask of Comus was performed in the council chamber. Among the valuable collections of the same gentleman is an extensive account of Ludlow town and castle from the most early times, to the first year of William and Mary, copied by him from a MS. of the rev. Rich, Podmore, A. B. rector of Coppenhall in Co. Pal. of Chester, and curate of Cundover, Salop, collected with great care from ancient and authentic books. From this interesting compilation I have been informed that the court of the Marches was erected by Edward IV. in honour of the earls of March, from whom he was des
ard of the castle, is also at present discontinued. Butler enjoyed the stewardship, which was a lucrative as well as an honourable post, while the principality court existed. And, in an apartment over the gateway of the castle, he is said to have written his inimitable Hudibras. The poet had been secretary to the earl of Carbery, who was lord president of Wales; and who, in the great rebellion, had afforded an asylum to the excellent Jeremy Taylor.
p. 39. The appointment of a governor, or stew-cended, as the court of the duchy of Lancaster had been before by Henry IV. in honour of the house of Lancaster: that the household of Ludlow castle was numerous and splendid, and that the lord president lived in great state. The chaplain had the yearly fee of £.50 with diet for hinıself and one servant. The other officers of the court
had fees and salaries suitable to their several
ranks. See also Sidney State Papers, vol. i. p. 5, 6. where the "Fees annually allowed to the
In the account of Ludlow castle, prefixed to
1 Cicero pro Cælio, sect. 25.
"In ye Hall. Two long tables, two square tables with formes, one fire-grate, one side table, a court cuppboard, two wooden figures of beasts, 3 candlesticks, & racks for armour, 1.£. Sold to Mr Bass."
1 counsel and commissioners, and the officers waiges," An. 3 Edw. VI. are set forth. The court consisted of the lord president, vice-president, and council, who were composed of the lord chancellor, lord treasurer, lord keeper of the privy seal, lord treasurer of the king's household, chancellor of the exchequer, principal secretary of state, the chief justices of England, and of the Common Pleas, the chief baron of the Exchequer, the justices of Assize for the counties of Salop, Gloucester, Hereford, and Monmouth, the justice of the grand Session in Wales, the chief justice of Chester, attorney and solicitor general, with many of the neighbouring nobility, and with various subordinate officers. See Mr. Hodges's Hist. Acc. of the Castle, p. 67, 68. From the inedited tour of a traveller in 1 535, communicated to me by Joseph Cooper Walker, esq. it appears that there was also a secretary to the court; the office of which was then filled by lord Goring, and said to be worth 3000£. At the same time, sir John Bridgeman was the chief justice of the court. The traveller adds, that in the absence of the president, the chief justice represented the president's person, and kept "the king's house in the castle, which is a prettie little neate castle, standing high, kept in good repaire" and that he was "invited by the judge to dinner, and verye kindly and respectfully entertained."
The situation of the castle is delightful, and romantic. It is built in the north-west angle of the town upon a rock, commanding an extensive and beautiful prospect northward. On the west it is shaded by a lofty hill, and washed by the river. It is strongly environed by walls of immense height and thickness, and fortified with round and square towers at irregular distances. 1 The walls are said by Grose to have formerly been a mile in compass; but Leland in that measure includes those of the town. The interior apartments were defended on one side by a deep ditch, cut out of the rock; on the other, by an almost inaccessible precipice overlooking the vale of Corve. The castle was divided into two separate parts: the castle, properly speaking, in which were the palace and lodgings; and the green, or outwork, which Dr. Stukely supposes to have been called the Barbican. See his Itinerary, Iter iv. p. 70. The green takes in a large compass of ground, in which were the court of judicature and records, the stables, garden, bowling-green, and other offices. In the front of the castle, a spacious plain or lawn formerly extended two miles. In 1772 a public walk round the castle was planted with trees, and laid out with much taste, by the munificence of the countess of Powis. See Mr. Hodges's Hist. Acc. p. 54.
displayed. But at the same time it is a melancholy monument, exhibiting the irreparable effects of pillage and dilapidation.
ORIGIN OF COMUS.
This court was dissolved by act of parliament Mix'd dance, and wanton mask, or midnight in the first year of Williain and Mary, at the humble suit of all the gentlemen and inhabitants of the principality of Wales; by whom it was represented as an intolerable grievance.
The exterior appearance of this ancient edifice bespeaks, in some degree, what it once has been. Its mutilated towers and walls still afford an idea of the strength and beauty, which so noble a specimen of Norman architecture formerly
By Mr. WARTON.
IN Fletcher's Faithful Shepherdess, an Arcadian comedy, recently published, Milton found many touches of pastoral and superstitious imagery, congenial with his own conceptions. Many of these, yet with the highest improvements, he has transferred in Comus: together with the general cast and colouring of the piece. He catched also from the lyric rhymes of Fletcher, that Dorique delicacy, with which sir Henry Wotton was so much delighted in the songs of Milton's drama. Fletcher's comedy was coldly received the first night of its performance. But it had ample revenge in this conspicuous and indisputable mark of Milton's approbation. It was afterwards represented as a Mask at court, before the king and queen on twelfth-night, in 1633. I know not, indeed, if this was any recommendation to Milton; who, in the Paradise Lost, speaks contemptuously of these interludes, which had been among the chief diversions of an elegant and liberal monarch. B. iv. 767.
And in his Ready and easy Way to establish a free Commonwealth, written in 1660, on the inconveniences and dangers of readmitting kingship, and with a view to counteract the noxious hu mour of returning to bondage, he says, “a king must be adored as a demigod, with a dissolute and haughty court about him, of vast expense and luxury, masks and revels, to the debauching our prime gentry, both male and female, not in their pastimes only, &c." Pr. W. i. 590. I believe the whole compliment was paid to the genius of Fletcher. But in the mean time it should be remembered, that Milton had not yet contracted an aversion to courts and courtamusements; and that, in L' Allegro, masks are among his pleasures. Nor could be now disapprove of a species of entertainment, to which as a writer he was giving encouragement. The royal masks, however, did not, like Comus, always abound with Platonic recommendations of the doctrine of chastity.
The ingenious and accurate Mr. Reed has pointed out a rude out-line, from which Milton seems partly to have sketched the plan of the fable of Comus. See Biograph. Dramat. ii. p. 441. It is an old play, with this title, The old Wives Tale, a pleasant conceited Comedie, plaied by the Queens Maiesties players. Written by G. P. [i. e. George Peele.] Printed at London by John Danter, and are to be sold by Ralph Hancocke and John Hardie, 1595. In quarto. This very scarce and curious piece exhibits, among other parallel incidents, two brothers wandering in quest of their sister, whom an enchanter had imprisoned. This magician had learned his art from his mother Meroe, as Co
mus had been instructed by his mother Circe. The Brothers call out on the Lady's name, and Echo replies. The enchanter had given her a potion which suspends the powers of reason, and superinduces oblivion of herself. The Brothers afterwards meet with an old man who is also skilled in magic; and, by listening to his soothsaying, they recover their lost sister. But not till the enchanter's wreath had been torn from his head, his sword wrested from his hand, a glass broken, and a light extinguished. The names of some of the characters, as Sacrapant, Chorebus, and others, are taken from the Orlando Furioso. The history of Meroe a witch, may be seen in The xi Bookes of the Golden Asse, containing the Metamorphosie of Lucius Apuleius, interlaced with sundrie pleasant and delectable Tales, &c. Translated out of the Latin into English by William Adlington, Lond. 1566. See Chap. iii. "How Socrates in his returne from Macedony to Larissa was spoyled and robbed, and how he fell acquainted with one Meroe❘ a witch." And Chap. iv. "How Meroe the witch turned divers persons into miserable beasts." Of this book there were other editions, in 1571, 1596, 1600, and 1639. All in quarto and the black letter. The translator was of University College. See also Apuleius in the original. A Meroe is mentioned by Ausonius, Epigr. xix.
Peele's play opens thus.
Anticke, Frolicke, and Fantasticke, three adventurers, are lost in a wood, in the night. They agree to sing the old song,
"Three merrie men, and three merrie men,
They hear a dog, and fancy themselves to be near some village. A cottager appears, with a lantern: on which Frolicke says, "I perceiue the glimryng of a gloworme, candle, or a catseye, &c." They entreat him to show the way: otherwise they say, "wee are like to wander among the owlets and hobgoblins of the forest." He invites them to h's cottage; and orders his wife to lay a crab in the fire, to "rost for lambeswool, &c." They sing
"When as the rie reach to the chin,
At length to pass the time trimly, it is proposed that the wife shall tell "a merry winters tale," or, "an old wiues winters tale," of which sort of stories she is not without a score. begins, There was a king, or duke, who had a most beautiful daughter, and she was stolen away by a necromancer, who turning himself into a dragon, carried her in his mouth to his castle. The king sent out all his men' to find his daughter; "at last, all the king's men went out so long, that hir two brothers went to seeke hir." Immediately the two brothers enter, and speak.
"1 Br. Vpon these chalkie cliffs of Albion, We are arriued now with tedious toile, &c. To seeke our sister, &c."
A soothsayer enters, with whom they converse about the lost lady. "Sooths. Was she fayre?" 2 Br. The fayrest for white and the purest for redde, as the blood of the deare or the driven snowe, &c." In their search, Echo replies to their call. They find too late that their sister is under the captivity of a wicked magician, and that she had tasted his cup of oblivion. In the close, after the wreath is torn from the magician's head, and he is disarmed and killed, by a Spirit in the shape and character of a beautiful page of fifteen years old, she still remains subject to the magician's enchantment. But in a subsequent scene the Spirit enters, and declares, that the sister cannot be delivered but by a lady, who is neither maid, wife, nor widow. The Spirit blows a magical horn, and the lady appears; she dissolves the charm, by breaking a glass, and extinguishing a light, as I have before recited. A curtain is withdrawn, and the sister is seen seated and asleep. She is disenchanted and restored to her senses, having been spoken to thrice. She then rejoins her two brothers, with whom she returns home; and the Boy-spirit vanishes under the earth. The magician is here called "inchanter vile," as in Comus, v. 907.
There is another circumstance in this play, taken from the old English Apuleius. It is where the Old Man every night is transformed by our magician into a bear, recovering in the day-time his natural shape.
Among the many feats of magic in this play, a bride newly married gains a marriage-portion by dipping a pitcher into a well. As she dips, there is a voice:
"Faire maiden, white and red, Combe me smoothe, and stroke my head,. And thou shall haue some cockell bread! Gently dippe, but not too deepe, For feare thou make the golden beard to weepe!" "Faire maiden, white and redde, Combe me smooth, and stroke my head: And euery haire a sheaue shall be, And euery sheaue a golden tree!"
With this stage-direction, “A head comes up full of gold; she combes it into her lap."
I must not omit, that Shakespeare seems also to have had an eye on this play. It is in the scene where "The Haruest-men enter with a Song." Again, "Enter the Haruest-men singing with women in their handes." Frolicke says, "Who have we here, our amourous haruest starres?" They sing,
"Loe, here we come a reaping a reaping,
Compare the Mask in the Tempest, A. iv. S. where Iris says,