John Skelton: The Critical Heritage

By Anthony S. G.Edwards | Go to book overview

being in deede but a rude rayling rimer & all his doings ridiculous, he vsed both short distaunces and short measures pleasing onely the popular eare: in our courtly maker we banish them vtterly. Now also haue ye in euery song or ditty Concorde by compasse & concorde entertangled and a mixt of both, what that is and how they be vsed shalbe declared in the chapter of proportion by scituation.


14.

GABRIEL HARVEY ON SKELTON, THE ‘MADBRAYNED KNAVE’

c. 1573-80, 1592

(a) From an incomplete elegy on the poet George Gascoigne, which Gascoigne meets various English poets in Hades. Taken from ‘The Letter-Book of Gabriel Harvey, A.D. 1573-80’, edited by E.J.L. Scott (1884), p. 57.


…Acquayntaunce take of Chaucer first
And then wuth Gower and Lydgate dine.


And cause thou art a merry mate
Lo Scoggin where he lawghes aloane
And Skelton that same madbrayned knave
Looke how he knawes a deade horse boane

(b) From Gabriel Harvey’s ‘Four Letters and Certaine Sonnets’ (1592), p. 7 (STC 12900). The work is primarily an attack on Robert Greene and his followers, with whom Skelton and his alter ego Scoggin are linked. They appear later in the same work (pp. 12-13).

Salust, and Clodius learned of Tully to frame artificial Declamations, and partheticall Inuectives against Tully himself, and other worthy members of that

-62-

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