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Q. ELIZABETH's VERSES, WHILE PRISONER
WRIT WITH CHARCOAL ON A SHUTTER,
are preserved by Hentzner, in that part of his Travels, which has lately been reprinted in so elegant a manner at STRAWBERRY-HILL. In Hentzer's book they were wretchedly corrupted, but are here given as emended by his ingerigys Editor. The old orthography, and one or two ancient readings of Hentzner's copy are here reflored.
H, Fortune ! how thy reftleffe wavering state
Hath fraught with cares my troubled witt! Witnes this present prisonn, whither fate
Could beare me, and the joys I quitt. Thou causedest the guiltie to be losed
$ From bandes, wherein are innocents inclosed :
Caufing the guiltles to be straite reserved,
And freeing those that death had well deserved.
• Ver. 4. Could beare, is an ancient idiom, equivalent to Did bear or Hath borne. See below the Beggar of Bedral Crew, Ver. 57. Could lay:
FÁIR ROSAM ON D. Most of the circumstances in this popular fory of king Henry II and the beautiful Rosamond have been taken for fact by our English Historians; who unable to account for the unnatural conduct of queen Eleanor in stimulating her sons to rebellion, have attributed it to jealousy, and supposed that Henry's amour with Refamond was the object of that pafon.
Our old English annalifts seem, most of them, to have followed Higden the monk of Chester, whose account with some enlargements is thus given by Stow. Rosamond the fayre
daughter of Walter, lord Clifford, concubine to Henry II.
(poisoned by queen Elianor, as some thought) dyed at “ Woodstocke [A. D. 1177.] where king Henry had made
for her a house of wonderfull working ; so that no man
or woman might come to her, but he that was instructed " by the king, or such as were right secret with him touch
ing the matter. This house after some was named Laby“ rinthus, or Dedalus worke, which was wrought like unto
a knot in a garden, called a Maze * ; but it was commonly said, that lastly the queene came to her by a clue of thridde,
or filke, and so dealt with her, that she lived not long af" ter : but when shee was dead se was buried at Godsłow in “ an house of nunnes, beside Oxford, with these verses upon s her tombe,
“ Hic jacet in tumba, Rofa mundi, non Rosa munda : « Non redolet, fed olet, quæ redolere folet.
Consisting of vaults under ground, arched and walled with brick and stone, according to Drayton. See note on his Epift. of Rofam. I 3
“ In English thus :
“ The role of the world, but not the cleane flowre,
“ Is now here graven; to whom beauty was lent :
“ That by her life was fweete and redolent :
Though she were feweete, now foully doth bee stinke. “ A mirrour good for all men, that on her thinke."
Stowe's Awals, Ed. 1631. p. 154
How the queen gained admittance into Rofamond's bower is differently related. Hollingsmed speaks of it, as “ the « common report of the people, that the queene . . . . founde “ bir out by a filken thread, which the king bad drav “ after him out of hir chamber with his foot, and deak “ with hir in such sparpe and cruell wilė, that she lived “ not long after.” Yol. III. p. 115. On the other hand, in Speede's hift. we are told that the jealous queen found her out
by a clew of silke, fallen from Rosamunds bappe, as shee “ sate to take ayre, and suddenly fieeing from the light of the
searcker, the end of her silke fastened to her foot, and tše «« clew ftillunwinding, remained behinde : which the queene followed, till fivee had found what shee fought, and upon Rosamund so vented her spleene, as the lady lived not long after.” 3d Edit. P: 509.
Our ballad-maker with more ingenuity, and probably, as much truth, tells us the clue was gained, by surprise, from the knight, who was beft to guard' her bower.
It is observable that none of the old writers attribute Rofamond's death to poifón, Stow, above, mentions it meerly as a slight conjecture); they only give us to unders; and, that the queen treated her harshly; with furious menaces, we may suppose, and Marp expoftulations, which had
such effea on her spirits, that we did not long furvive it. Iridced on
beř tombstone, as we learn from a person of credit *, among other fine sculptures, was engraven the figure of a cup. This, which perhaps at first was an accidental ornament, might in after times suggest the notion that she was poisoned; at least this construction was put upon it, when the stone came to be demolished after the nunnery was dissolved. The account is, that is the tombstone of Rosamund Cliford was “ taken up at Godftow; and broken in pieces, and that upon “ it were interchangeable weavings drawn out and decked « with roses red and green, and the pi&ture of the cup, out “ of which she drank the poyfon given her by the queen, carved “ in stone."
Rosamond's father having been a great benefactor to the nunnery of Godflow, where she had also refided herjelf in the innocent part of her life, her body was conveyed there, and buried in the middle of the choir; in which place it remained till the year 1191, when Hugh bishop of Lincoln caused it to be removed. The fact is recorded by Hoveden, a cotemporary writer, whose zuords are thus translated by Stow. Hugh bishop of Lincolne came to the abbey of nunnes, called Godsłow,
and when he had entred “ the church to pray, he saw a tombe in the middle of the
quire, covered with a pall of silke, and set about with lights of waxe : and demanding whose tombe it was, he was answered, that it was the tombe of Rojamond, that
was some time lemman to Henry II. who for the “ love of her had done much good to that church. Then qucth " the bishop, take out of this place the harlot, and bury her “ without the church, left christian religion should grow " in contempt, and to the end, that through example of her, “ other women being made afraid may beware, and keepe
themselves from unlawfull and advcuterous company with men." Annals, p. 159. I 4
Tho. Allen of Gloc. Hall, Oxon. who died in 1632, aged go. See Hearne’s rambling discourje concerning Rofamovid, at the end of Gul. Neubrig Hift. l'ul. 3. P. 739.
History farther informs us, that king John repaired Godstow nunnery, and endowed it with yearly revenues,
so that " these holy virgins might releeve with their prayers, the
Joules of bis father king Henrie, and of lady Rosamund “ there interred," * In what situation her remains were found at the dissolution of the nunnery we learn from Leland, “ Rosamundes tumbe at Godstowe nunnery was “ taken up fof] late; it is a fone with this inscription * TUMBA ROSA MUNDÆ. Her bones were closid in lede, " and withyn that bones were closyd yn lether. When it
was opened a very Frete smell came owt of it.” See Hearne's discourse above quoted, written in 1718; at which time, be tells us, were still seen by the pool at Wcodstock the foundations of a very large building, which were believed to be the remains of Rosamond's labyrinth.
To conclude this (perhaps too prolix) account, Henry had trvo jons by Rosamund, from a computation of whose ages, a modern hifiorian has endeavoured to invalidate the received fiory. I hele were William Longue-espè for Long-sword) earl of Salisbury, and Gefferey bishop of Lincolne f. Gefferey was the younger of Rosamond's fons, and yet is said to baze been twenty years old at the time of his election to that fee in 1173. Hence this writer concludes, that king Henry fell in love with Rajamond in 1149, when in king Stephen's reign he came over to be knighted by the king of Scots; be aljö thinks it probable that Henry's commerce with this lady “ broke off
" upon his marriage with Eleanor (in 1152.) and “ that the young lady by a natural effect of grief and resenta “ ment at the defektion of her lover, entered on that occafion '" into the nunnery of Godstowe, where she died probably be
fore the rebellion of Henry's fons in 1173." [Carte's hift. Vol. I. p. 652.) But let it be observed, that Henry was but fixteen
years cld when he came over to be knighted; that he laid but eight months in this island, and was almojt all the time with the king of Scots; that he did not return back to
* R. of Henry II. in Speed's Hift. writ by Dr. Barcham, Dean of Bocking † Aflerwards archb. of York,