Notes on John Skelton's Speke, Parrot excerpt

    v. 442. So many morall maters, &c.] There is a considerable resemblance between this concluding portion of Speke, Parrot, and a piece attributed to Dunbar, entitled A General Satyre; see his Poems, ii. 24. ed. Laing.

    v. 443. So myche newe makyng] i.e. So much new composing.

    v. 457. stondythe] i.e. standeth.

    v. 460. on dawys hedd] i.e. one daw’s head. Equivalent to—simpleton ; the daw being reckoned a silly bird.

    v. 467. dow3tfull daunger] i.e. doubtful danger,—danger that ought to cause dread.

    v. 471. not worth an hawe] A common expression in our early poetry;

    “Your wo appease which is not worth an haw.”
                                Lydgate's Warres of Troy, B. ii. sig. I iiii. ed. 1555.

    v. 472. So myche papers weryng for ryghte a smalle exesse] —exesse, i.e. excess, offence. “ And for a truthe he [the Cardinal] so punyshed periurye with open punyshment & open papers werynge, that in his tyme it was lesse vsed.” Hall's Chron. (Hen. viii.), fol. lix. ed. 1548.

    v. 473. pelory pajauntes] i.e. pillory-pageants.

    v. 474. the cooke stole] i.e. cucking-stool; a chair or stool fixed at the end of a long pole, used for the punishment of scolds and brawlers by plunging them in the water.

    — guy gaw] i.e. gewgaw, trifle.

    v. 478.
So bolde a braggyng bocher .     .     .     .     .
    .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .
So mangye a mastyfe curre, the grete grey houndes pere]
Again, in his Why come ye nat to Courte, Skelton alludes to the report that Wolsey was the son of a butcher, vv. 295. 491. vol. ii. 286. 293. Compare too Roy's satire against Wolsey, Rede me, and be nott wrothe, &c.;

           “The mastif curre, bred in Ypswitch towne.
            .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .
    Wat. He commeth then of some noble stocke?
    Jeff. His father coulde snatche a bullock,
            A butcher by his occupacion.”
                        Harl. Miscell. ix. 3. 31. ed. Park.

and a poem Of the Cardnalle Wolse ;

            “To se a churle a Bochers curre,
             To rayne & rule in soche honour,” &c.
                        MS. Harl. 2252. fol. 156.

Cavendish says that Wolsey “was an honest poor man's son;” and the will of his father (printed by Fiddes) shews that he possessed some property : but, as Mr. Sharon Turner observes, that Wolsey was the son of a butcher “was reported, and believed while he lived.”   Hist. of Reign. of Hen. the Eighth, i. 167. ed. 8vo.

    v. 481. So bygge a bulke of brow auntlers cabagyd that yere] “ Cabusser. To cabbidge; to grow to a head,” &c.—“ The Cabbage of the Deeres head. Meule de cerf.” Cotgrave's Dict. "I Kabage a deere, Je cabaiche . . . I wyll kabage my dare and go with you: Je cabacheray,” &c. Palsgrave, p. 596.

    v. 485. banketyng] i.e. banqueting.

    v. 487. howgye] i.e. hugy, huge.

    v. 488. apon] i.e. upon.

    — suche pyllyng and pollyng] such stripping and plundering (exactions of various kinds).

    v. 489. reson and skylle] An expression which Skelton has elsewhere ; but the words are nearly synonymous. “Skyll. Racio.” Prompt. Parv. ed. 1499.

    v. 496. So myche sayntuary brekyng] Among the evils which Skelton attributes to Wolsey, mention is made of “myche sayntuary brekyng;” i.e. much sanctuary-breaking ; and in Why come ye nat to Courte he says of the Cardinal that

                “all priuileged places
            He brekes and defaces,” &c.
                        v. 1086. vol. ii. 313.

    v. 497. lyerd.] i.e. learned.

    v. 501. lokes . . . dysdayneslye] i.e. looks . . . disdainfully.

    v. 503. ffylty gorgon] i.e. filthy Gorgon.

    v. 506. loselles . . . lewde] i.e. worthless fellows, scoundrels . . . bad, evil, (or perhaps, lascivious)

    v. 507. myday sprettes] i.e. mid-day sprites.

    v. 508. puplysshyd] i.e. published

    v. 509. all beshrewde] i.e. altogether cursed.

Skelton, John. The Poetical Works of John Skelton. Volume III.
Rev. Alexander Dyce, Editor. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1862. 371-373.

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