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Anglistica & Americana

Georg Olms   Hildesheim


Anglistica & Americana

A Series of Reprints Selected by
Bernhard Fabian, Edgar Mertner,
Karl Schneider and Marvin Spevack




The Palace of Pleasure

Edited by Joseph Jacobs
Vol. I




The present slightly reduced facsimile is reproduced from a copy in the possession of the University of Münster (Englisches Seminar).
Shelfmark: XVI 4043/4.

M. S.

Reprographischer Nachdruck der Ausgabe London 1890
Printed in Germany
Herstellung: fotokop wilhelm weihert, Darmstadt
Best-Nr. 5101932



Of this Edition five hundred and fifty copies have been printed,
five hundred of which are for sale.

Title Page


Palace of Pleasure

[Publisher’s Device: “IN NUCE LIBELLUS”]

Volume I: Novels I – XLVI (i.1 – i.46)


Indented or italicized items were added by the transcriber. Italicized terms do not appear in the printed text. The “Tome I” link leads to a separate file containing novels I – XLVI.

Bibliographical Noticesxlv
The Second Tomelxxxi
Novels 1.I – 1.XLVI
separate file



THE present edition of Painter’s “Palace of Pleasure,” the storehouse of Elizabethan plot, follows page for page and line for line the privately printed and very limited edition made by Joseph Haslewood in 1813. One of the 172 copies then printed by him has been used as “copy” for the printer, but this has been revised in proof from the British Museum examples of the second edition of 1575. The collation has for the most part only served to confirm Haslewood’s reputation for careful editing. Though the present edition can claim to come nearer the original in many thousands of passages, it is chiefly in the mint and cummin of capitals and italics that we have been able to improve on Haslewood: in all the weightier matters of editing he shows only the minimum of fallibility. We have however divided his two tomes, for greater convenience, into three volumes of as nearly as possible equal size. This arrangement has enabled us to give the title pages of both editions of the two tomes, those of the first edition in facsimile, those of the second (at the beginning of vols. ii. and iii.) with as near an approach to the original as modern founts of type will permit.

I have also reprinted Haslewood’s “Preliminary Matter,” which give the Dryasdust details about the biography of Painter and the bibliography of his book in a manner not too Dryasdust. With regard to the literary apparatus of the book, I have xperhaps been able to add something to Haslewood’s work. From the Record Office and British Museum I have given a number of documents about Painter, and have recovered the only extant letter of our author. I have also gone more thoroughly into the literary history of each of the stories in the “Palace of Pleasure” than Haslewood thought it necessary to do. I have found Oesterley’s edition of Kirchhof and Landau’s Quellen des Dekameron useful for this purpose. I have to thank Dr. F. J. Furnivall for lending me his copies of Bandello and Belleforest.

I trust it will be found that the present issue is worthy of a work which, with North’s “Plutarch” and Holinshed’s “Chronicle,” was the main source of Shakespeare’s Plays. It had also, as early as 1580, been ransacked to furnish plots for the stage, and was used by almost all the great masters of the Elizabethan drama. Quite apart from this source of interest, the “Palace of Pleasure” contains the first English translations from the Decameron, the Heptameron, from Bandello, Cinthio and Straparola, and thus forms a link between Italy and England. Indeed as the Italiannovelle form part of that continuous stream of literary tradition and influence which is common to all the great nations of Europe, Painter’s book may be termed a link connecting England with European literature. Such a book as this is surely one of the landmarks of English literature.



AYOUNG man, trained in the strictest sect of the Pharisees, is awakened one morning, and told that he has come into the absolute possession of a very great fortune in lands and wealth. The time may come when he may know himself and his powers more thoroughly, but never again, as on that morn, will he feel such an exultant sense of mastery over the world and his fortunes. That image1 seems to me to explain better than any other that remarkable outburst of literary activity which makes the Elizabethan Period unique in English literature, and only paralleled in the world’s literature by the century after Marathon, when Athens first knew herself. With Elizabeth England came of age, and at the same time entered into possession of immense spiritual treasures, which were as novel as they were extensive. A New World promised adventures to the adventurous, untold wealth to the enterprising. The Orient had become newly known. The Old World of literature had been born anew. The Bible spoke for the first time in a tongue understanded of the people. Man faced his God and his fate without any intervention of Pope or priest. Even the very earth beneath his feet began to move. Instead of a universe with dimensions known and circumscribed with Dantesque minuteness, the mystic glow of the unknown had settled down on the whole face of Nature, who offered her secrets to the first comer. No wonder the Elizabethans were filled with an exulting sense of man’s capabilities, when they had all these realms of thought and action suddenly and at once thrown open before them. There is a confidence in the future and all it had xiito bring which can never recur, for while man may come into even greater treasures of wealth or thought than the Elizabethans dreamed of, they can never be as new to us as they were to them. The sublime confidence of Bacon in the future of science, of which he knew so little, and that little wrongly, is thus eminently and characteristically Elizabethan.2

The department of Elizabethan literature in which this exuberant energy found its most characteristic expression was the Drama, and that for a very simple though strange reason. To be truly great a literature must be addressed to the nation as a whole. The subtle influence of audience on author is shown equally though conversely in works written only for sections of a nation. Now in the sixteenth century any literature that should address the English nation as a whole—not necessarily all Englishmen, but all classes of Englishmen—could not be in any literary form intended to be merely read. For the majority of Englishmen could not read. Hence they could only be approached by literature when read or recited to them in church or theatre. The latter form was already familiar to them in the Miracle Plays and Mysteries, which had been adopted by the Church as the best means of acquainting the populace with Sacred History. The audiences of the Miracle Plays were prepared for the representation of human action on the stage. Meanwhile, from translation and imitation, young scholars at the universities had become familiar with some of the masterpieces of Ancient Drama, and with the laws of dramatic form. But where were they to seek for matter to fill out these forms? Where were they, in short, to get their plots?

Plot, we know, is pattern as applied to human action. A story, whether told or acted, must tend in some definite direction if it is to be a story at all. And the directions in which stories can go are singularly few. Somebody in the Athenæum—probably Mr. Theodore Watts, he has the habit of saying such things—has remarked that during the past century only two novelties in plot, xiiiUndineand Monte Christo, have been produced in European literature. Be that as it may, nothing strikes the student of comparative literature so much as the paucity of plots throughout literature and the universal tendency to borrow plots rather than attempt the almost impossible task of inventing them. That tendency is shown at its highest in the Elizabethan Drama. Even Shakespeare is as much a plagiarist or as wise an artist, call it which you will, as the meanest of his fellows.

Not alone is it difficult to invent a plot; it is even difficult to see one in real life. When the denouement comes, indeed—when the wife flees or commits suicide—when bosom friends part, or brothers speak no more—we may know that there has been the conflict of character or the clash of temperaments which go to make the tragedies of life. But to recognise these opposing forces before they come to the critical point requires somewhat rarer qualities. There must be a quasi-scientific interest in life quâ life, a dispassionate detachment from the events observed, and at the same time an artistic capacity for selecting the cardinal points in the action. Such an attitude can only be attained in an older civilisation, when individuality has emerged out of nationalism. In Europe of the sixteenth century the only country which had reached this stage was Italy.

The literary and spiritual development of Italy has always been conditioned by its historic position as the heir of Rome. Great nations, as M. Renan has remarked, work themselves out in effecting their greatness. The reason is that their great products overshadow all later production, and prevent all competition by their very greatness. When once a nation has worked up its mythic element into an epos, it contains in itself no further materials out of which an epos can be elaborated. So Italian literature has always been overshadowed by Latin literature. Italian writers, especially in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, were always conscious of their past, and dared not compete with the great names of Virgil, Ovid, Horace, and the rest. At the same time, with this consciousness of the past, they had evolved a special interest in the problems and arts of the present. The split-up of the peninsula into so many small states, many of xivthem republics, had developed individual life just as the city-states of Hellas had done in ancient times. The main interest shifted from the state and the nation to the life and development of the individual.3 And with this interest arose in the literary sphere the dramatic narrative of human action—the Novella.

The genealogy of the Novella is short but curious. The first known collection of tales in modern European literature dealing with the tragic and comic aspects of daily life was that made by Petrus Alphonsi, a baptized Spanish Jew, who knew some Arabic.4 His book, the Disciplina Clericalis, was originally intended as seasoning for sermons, and very strong seasoning they must have been found. The stories were translated into French, and thus gave rise to the Fabliau, which allowed full expression to the esprit Gaulois. From France the Fabliau passed to Italy, and came ultimately into the hands of Boccaccio, under whose influence it became transformed into the Novella.5

It is an elementary mistake to associate Boccaccio’s name with the tales of gayer tone traceable to the Fabliaux. He initiated the custom of mixing tragic with the comic tales. Nearly all thenovelle of the Fourth Day, for example, deal with tragic topics. And the example he set in this way was followed by the whole school of Novellieri. As Painter’s book is so largely due to them, a few words on the Novellieri used by him seem desirable, reserving for the present the question of his treatment of their text.

Of Giovanne Boccaccio himself it is difficult for any one with a love of letters to speak in few or measured words. He may have been a Philistine, as Mr. Symonds calls him, but he was surely a Philistine of genius. He has the supreme virtue of style. In fact, it may be roughly said that in Europe for nearly two centuries there is no such thing as a prose style but Boccaccio’s. xvEven when dealing with his grosser topics—and these he derived from others—he half disarms disgust by the lightness of his touch. And he could tell a tale, one of the most difficult of literary tasks. When he deals with graver actions, if he does not always rise to the occasion, he never fails to give the due impression of seriousness and dignity. It is not for nothing that the Decamerone has been the storehouse of poetic inspiration for nearly five centuries. In this country alone, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dryden, Keats, Tennyson, have each in turn gone to Boccaccio for material.

In his own country he is the fountainhead of a wide stream of literary influences that has ever broadened as it flowed. Between the fifteenth and the eighteenth centuries the Italian presses poured forth some four thousand novelle, all avowedly tracing from Boccaccio.6 Many of these, it is true, were imitations of the gayer strains of Boccaccio’s genius. But a considerable proportion of them have a sterner tone, and deal with the weightier matters of life, and in this they had none but the master for their model. The gloom of the Black Death settles down over the greater part of all this literature. Every memorable outburst of the fiercer passions of men that occurred in Italy, the land of passion, for all these years, found record in a novella of Boccaccio’s followers. TheNovelle answered in some respects to our newspaper reports of trials and the earlier Last Speech and Confession. But the example of Boccaccio raised these gruesome topics into the region of art. Often these tragedies are reported of the true actors; still more often under the disguise of fictitious names, that enabled the narrator to have more of the artist’s freedom in dealing with such topics.

The other Novellieri from whom Painter drew inspiration may be dismissed very shortly. Of Ser Giovanne Fiorentino, who wrote the fifty novels of his Pecorone about 1378, little is known nor need be known; his merits of style or matter do not raise him above mediocrity. Straparola’s Piacevole Notti were composed in Venice in the earlier half of the sixteenth century, and are chiefly interesting xvifor the fact that some dozen or so of his seventy-four stories are folk-tales taken from the mouth of the people, and were the first thus collected: Straparola was the earliest Grimm. His contemporary Giraldi, known as Cinthio (or Cinzio), intended his Ecatomithi to include one hundred novelle, but they never reached beyond seventy; he has the grace to cause the ladies to retire when the men relate their smoking-room anecdotes of feminine impudiche. Owing to Dryden’s statement “Shakespeare’s plots are in the one hundred novels of Cinthio” (Preface to Astrologer), his name has been generally fixed upon as the representative Italian novelist from whom the Elizabethans drew their plots. As a matter of fact only “Othello” (Ecat. iii. 7), and “Measure for Measure” (ib. viii. 5), can be clearly traced to him, though “Twelfth Night” has some similarity with Cinthio’s “Gravina” (v. 8): both come from a common source, Bandello.

Bandello is indeed the next greatest name among the Novellieri after that of Boccaccio, and has perhaps had even a greater influence on dramatic literature than his master. Matteo Bandello was born at the end of the fifteenth century at Castelnuovo di Scrivia near Tortona. He lived mainly in Milan, at the Dominican monastery of Sta. Maria delle Grazie, where Leonardo painted his “Last Supper.” As he belonged to the French party, he had to leave Milan when it was taken by the Spaniards in 1525, and after some wanderings settled in France near Agen. About 1550 he was appointed Bishop of Agen by Henri II., and he died some time after 1561. To do him justice, he only received the revenues of his see, the episcopal functions of which were performed by the Bishop of Grasse. His novelle are nothing less than episcopal in tone and he had the grace to omit his dignity from his title-pages.

Indeed Bandello’s novels7 reflect as in a mirror all the worst sides of Italian Renaissance life. The complete collapse of all the older sanctions of right conduct, the execrable example given by the petty courts, the heads of which were reckless because their position was so insecure, the great growth of wealth and xviiluxury, all combined to make Italy one huge hot-bed of unblushing vice. The very interest in individuality, the spectator-attitude towards life, made men ready to treat life as one large experiment, and for such purposes vice is as important as right living even though it ultimately turns out to be as humdrum as virtue. The Italian nobles treated life in this experimental way and the novels of Bandello and others give us the results of their experiments. TheNovellieri were thus the “realists” of their day and of them all Bandello was the most realistic. He claims to give only incidents that really happened and makes this his excuse for telling many incidents that should never have happened. It is but fair to add that his most vicious tales are his dullest.

That cannot be said of Queen Margaret of Navarre, who carries on the tradition of the Novellieri, and is represented in Painter by some of her best stories. She intended to give a Decameron of one hundred stories—the number comes from the Cento novelle antichi, before Boccaccio—but only got so far as the second novel of the eighth day. As she had finished seven days her collection is known as the Heptameron. How much of it she wrote herself is a point on which the doctors dispute. She had in her court men like Clement Marot, and Bonaventure des Périers, who probably wrote some of the stories. Bonaventure des Périers in particular, had done much in the same line under his own name, notably the collection known as Cymbalum Mundi. Marguerite’s other works hardly prepare us for the narrative skill, the easy grace of style and the knowledge of certain aspects of life shown in the Heptameron. On the other hand the framework, which is more elaborate than in Boccaccio or any of his school, is certainly from one hand, and the book does not seem one that could have been connected with the Queen’s name unless she had really had much to do with it. Much of its piquancy comes from the thought of the association of one whose life was on the whole quite blameless with anecdotes of a most blameworthy style. Unlike the lady in the French novel who liked to play at innocent games with persons who were not innocent, Margaret seems to have liked to talk and write of things xviiinot innocent while remaining unspotted herself. Her case is not a solitary one.

The whole literature of the Novella has the attraction of graceful naughtiness in which vice, as Burke put it, loses half its evil by losing all its grossness. At all times, and for all time probably, similar tales, more broad than long, will form favourite talk or reading of adolescent males. They are, so to speak, pimples of the soul which synchronise with similar excrescences of the skin. Some men have the art of never growing old in this respect, but I cannot say I envy them their eternal youth. However, we are not much concerned with tales of this class on the present occasion. Very few of the novelle selected by Painter for translation depend for their attraction on mere naughtiness. In matters of sex the sublime and the ridiculous are more than usually close neighbours. It is the tragic side of such relations that attracted Painter, and it was this fact that gave his book its importance for the history of English literature, both in its connection with Italian letters and in its own internal development.

The relations of Italy and England in matters literary are due to the revivers of the New Learning. Italy was, and still is, the repository of all the chief MSS. of the Greek and Latin classics. Thither, therefore, went all the young Englishmen, whom the influence of Erasmus had bitten with a desire for the New Learning which was the Old Learning born anew. But in Italy itself, the New Learning had even by the early years of the sixteenth century produced its natural result of giving birth to a national literature (Ariosto, Trissino). Thus in their search for the New Learning, Englishmen of culture who went to Italy came back with a tincture of what may be called the Newest Learning, the revival of Italian Literature.

Sir Thomas Wyatt and the Earl of Surrey “The Dioscuri of the Dawn” as they have been called, are the representatives of this new movement in English thought and literature, which came close on the heels of the New Learning represented by Colet, More, Henry VIII. himself and Roger Ascham. The adherents of the New Learning did not look with too favourable eyes on xixthe favourers of the Newest Learning. They took their ground not only on literary lines, but with distinct reference to manners and morals. The corruption of the Papal Court which had been the chief motive cause of the Reformation—men judge creeds by the character they produce, not by the logical consistency of their tenets—had spread throughout Italian society. The Englishmen who came to know Italian society could not avoid being contaminated by the contact. The Italians themselves observed the effect and summed it up in their proverb, Inglese italianato è un diabolo incarnato. What struck the Italians must have been still more noticeable to Englishmen. We have a remarkable proof of this in an interpolation made by Roger Ascham at the end of the first part of his Schoolmaster, which from internal evidence must have been written about 1568, the year after the appearance of Painter’s Second Tome.8 The whole passage is so significant of the relations of the chief living exponent of the New Learning to the appearance of what I have called the Newest Learning that it deserves to be quoted in full in any introduction to the book in which the Newest Learning found its most characteristic embodiment. I think too I shall be able to prove that there is a distinct and significant reference to Painter in the passage (pp. 77-85 of Arber’s edition, slightly abridged).

But I am affraide, that ouer many of our trauelers into Italie, do not exchewe the way to Circes Court: but go, and ryde, and runne, and flie thether, they make great hast to cum to her: they make great sute to serue her: yea, I could point out some with my finger, that neuer had gone out of England, but onelie to serue Circes, in Italie. Vanitie and vice, and any licence to ill liuyng in England was counted stale and rude vnto them. And so, beyng Mules and Horses before they went, returned verie Swyne and Asses home agayne; yet euerie where verie Foxes with as suttle and busie heades; and where they may, verie Woolues, with cruell malicious hartes. A trewe Picture of a knight of Circes Court.A maruelous monster, which, for filthines of liuyng, for dulnes to learning him selfe, for wilinesse in dealing with others, for malice in hurting without cause, should carie at once in one bodie, the belie of a Swyne, the head of an Asse, the brayne of a Foxe, the wombe of a xxwolfe. If you thinke, we iudge amisse, and write to sore against you, heare, The Italians iudgement of Englishmen brought vp in Italie.what the Italian sayth of the English Man, what the master reporteth of the scholer: who vttereth playnlie, what is taught by him, and what learned by you, saying Englese Italianato, e vn diabolo incarnato, that is to say, you remaine men in shape and facion, but becum deuils in life and condition. This is not, the opinion of one, for some priuate spite, but the iudgement of all, in a common Prouerbe, which riseth, of that learnyng, and those maners, which you gather in Italie: The Italian diffameth them selfe, to shame the Englishe man.a good Scholehouse of wholesome doctrine, and worthy Masters of commendable Scholers, where the Master had rather diffame hym selfe for hys teachyng, than not shame his Scholer for his learnyng. A good nature of the maister, and faire conditions of the scholers. And now chose you, you Italian Englishe men, whether you will be angrie with vs, for calling you monsters, or with the Italianes, for callyng you deuils, or else with your owne selues, that take so much paines, and go so farre, to make your selues both. If some yet do not well vnderstand, An English man Italianated.what is an English man Italianated, I will plainlie tell him. He, that by liuing, and traueling in Italie, bringeth home into England out of Italie, the Religion, the learning, the policie, the experience, the maners of Italie…. These be the inchantements of Circes, brought out of Italie, to marre mens maners in England; much, by example of ill life, but more by preceptes of fonde bookes, Italian bokes translated into English.of late translated out of Italian into English, sold in euery shop in London, commended by honest titles the soner to corrupt honest maners: dedicated ouer boldlie to vertuous and honourable personages, the easielier to begile simple and innocent wittes.   It is pitie, that those, which haue authoritie and charge, to allow and dissalow bookes to be printed, be no more circumspect herein, than they are. Ten Sermons at Paules Crosse do not so moch good for mouyng men to trewe doctrine, as one of those bookes do harme, with inticing men to ill liuing. Yea, I say farder, those bookes, tend not so moch to corrupt honest liuing, as they do, to subuert trewe Religion. Mo Papistes be made, by your mery bookes of Italie, than by your earnest bookes of Louain….

Therfore, when the busie and open Papistes abroad,   could not, by their contentious bookes, turne men in England fast enough, from troth and right iudgement in doctrine, than the sutle and secrete Papistes at home, procured bawdie bookes to be translated out of the Italian tonge, whereby ouer many yong willes and wittes xxiallured to wantonnes, do now boldly contemne all seuere bookes that founde to honestie and godlines. In our forefathers tyme, whan Papistrie, as a standyng poole, couered and ouerflowed all England, fewe bookes were read in our tong, sauyng certaine bookes of Cheualrie, as they sayd, for pastime and pleasure, which, as some say, were made in Monasteries, by idle Monkes, or wanton Chanons: as one for example, Morte Arthur.Morte Arthure: the whole pleasure of which booke standeth in two speciall poyntes, in open mans slaughter, and bold bawdrye: In which booke those be counted the noblest Knightes, that do kill most men without any quarrell, and commit fowlest aduoulteres by subtlest shiftes: as Sir Launcelote, with the wife of king Arthure his master: Syr Tristram with the wife of king Marke his vncle: Syr Lamerocke with the wife of king Lote, that was his owne aunte.   This is good stuffe, for wise men to laughe att or honest men to take pleasure at. Yet I know, when Gods Bible was banished the Court, and Morte Arthure receiued into the Princes chamber. What toyes, the dayly readyng of such a booke, may worke in the will of a yong ientleman, or a yong mayde, that liueth welthelie and idlelie, wise men can iudge, and honest men do pitie. And yet ten Morte Arthures do not the tenth part so much harme, as one of these bookes, made inItalie, and translated in England.   They open, not fond and common ways to vice, but such subtle, cunnyng, new, and diuerse shiftes, to cary yong willes to vanitie, and yong wittes to mischief, to teach old bawdes new schole poyntes, as the simple head of an Englishman is not hable to inuent, nor neuer was hard of in England before, yea when Papistrie ouerflowed all. Suffer these bookes to be read, and they shall soone displace all bookes of godly learnyng. For they, carying the will to vanitie and marryng good maners,   shall easily corrupt the mynde with ill opinions, and false iudgement in doctrine: first, to thinke nothyng of God hym selfe, one speciall pointe that is to be learned in Italie, and Italian bookes.   And that which is most to be lamented, and therfore more nedefull to be looked to, there be moe of these vngratious bookes set out in Printe within these fewe monethes, than haue bene sene in England many score yeare before. And bicause our English men made Italians can not hurt, but certaine persons, and in certaine places, therfore these Italian bookes are made English, to bryng mischief enough openly and boldly, to all states great and meane, yong and old, euery where.

And thus yow see, how will intised to wantonnes, doth easelie allure the mynde to false opinions: and how corrupt maners in liuinge, breede xxiifalse iudgement in doctrine: how sinne and fleshlines, bring forth sectes and heresies: And therefore suffer not vaine bookes to breede vanitie in mens wills, if yow would haue Goddes trothe take roote in mens myndes….

They geuing themselues vp to vanitie, shakinge of the motions of Grace, driuing from them the feare of God, and running headlong into all sinne, first, lustelie contemne God, than scornefullie mocke his worde, and also spitefullie hate and hurte all well willers thereof. Then they haue in more reuerence the triumphes of Petrarche: than the Genesis of Moses: They make more account ofTullies offices, than S. Paules epistles: of a tale in Bocace, than a storie of the Bible. Than they counte as Fables, the holie misteries of Christian Religion. They make Christ and his Gospell, onelie serue Ciuill pollicie: Than neyther Religion cummeth amisse to them….

For where they dare, in cumpanie where they like, they boldlie laughe to scorne both protestant and Papist. They care for no scripture: They make no counte of generall councels: they contemne the consent of the Chirch: They passe for no Doctores: They mocke the Pope: They raile on Luther: They allow neyther side: They like none, but onelie themselues: The marke they shote at, the ende they looke for, the heauen they desire, is onelie, their owne present pleasure, and priuate proffit: whereby, they plainlie declare, of whose schole, of what Religion they be: that is, Epicures in liuing, and ἄθεοι in doctrine: this last worde, is no more vnknowne now to plaine Englishe men, than the Person was vnknown somtyme in England, vntill som Englishe man tooke peines to fetch that deuelish opinin out of Italie….

I was once in Italie my selfe: but I thanke God, my abode there, was but ix. dayes: Venice.And yet I sawe in that litle time, in one Citie, more libertie to sinne, than euer I hard tell of in our nobleLondon.Citie of London in ix. yeare. I sawe, it was there, as free to sinne, not onelie without all punishment, but also without any mans marking, as it is free in the Citie of London, to chose, without all blame, whether a man lust to weare Shoo or Pantocle….

Our Italians bring home with them other faultes from Italie, though not so great as this of Religion, yet a great deale greater, than many good men will beare. Contempt of mariage.For commonlie they cum home, common contemners of mariage and readie persuaders of all other to the same: not because they loue virginitie, nor yet because they hate prettie yong virgines, but, being free in Italie, to go whither so euer lust will cary them, they do not like, that lawe and honestie should be soche a barre to their like libertie at home in England. And xxiiiyet they be, the greatest makers of loue, the daylie daliers, with such pleasant wordes, with such smilyng and secret countenances, with such signes, tokens, wagers, purposed to be lost, before they were purposed to be made, with bargaines of wearing colours, floures and herbes, to breede occasion of ofter meeting of him and her, and bolder talking of this and that, etc. And although I haue seene some, innocent of ill, and stayde in all honestie, that haue vsed these thinges without all harme, without all suspicion of harme, yet these knackes were brought first into England by them, that learned them before in Italie in Circes Court: and how Courtlie curtesses so euer they be counted now, yet, if the meaning and maners of some that do vse them, were somewhat amended, it were no great hurt, neither to them selues, nor to others….

An other propertie of this our English Italians is, to be meruelous singular in all their matters: Singular in knowledge, ignorant in nothyng: So singular in wisedome (in their owne opinion) as scarse they counte the best Counsellor the Prince hath, comparable with them: Common discoursers of all matters: busie searchers of most secret affaires: open flatterers of great men: priuie mislikers of good men: Faire speakers, with smiling countenances, and much curtessie openlie to all men. Ready bakbiters, sore nippers, and spitefull reporters priuily of good men. And beyng brought vp inItalie, in some free Citie, as all Cities be there: where a man may freelie discourse against what he will, against whom he lust: against any Prince, agaynst any gouernement, yea against God him selfe, and his whole Religion: where he must be, either Guelphe or Gibiline, either French or Spanish: and alwayes compelled to be of some partie, of some faction, he shall neuer be compelled to be of any Religion: And if he medle not ouer much with Christes true Religion, he shall haue free libertie to embrace all Religions, and becum, if he lust at once, without any let or punishment, Iewish, Turkish, Papish, and Deuilish.

It is the old quarrel of classicists and Romanticists, of the ancien régime and the new school in literature, which runs nearly through every age. It might be Victor Cousin reproving Victor Hugo, or, say, M. Renan protesting, if he could protest, against M. Zola. Nor is the diatribe against the evil communication that had corrupted good manners any novelty in the quarrel. Critics have practically recognised that letters are a reflex of life long before Matthew Arnold formulated the relation. And in the disputing between Classicists and Romanticists it has invariably happened xxivthat the Classicists were the earlier generation, and therefore more given to convention, while the Romanticists were likely to be experimental in life as in literature. Altogether then, we must discount somewhat Ascham’s fierce denunciation, of the Italianate Englishman, and of the Englishing of Italian books.

There can be little doubt, I think, that in the denunciation of the “bawdie stories” introduced from Italy, Ascham was thinking mainly and chiefly of Painter’s “Palace of Pleasure.” The whole passage is later than the death of Sir Thomas Sackville in 1566, and necessarily before the death of Ascham in December 1568. Painter’s First Tome appeared in 1566, and his Second Tome in 1567. Of its immediate and striking success there can be no doubt. A second edition of the first Tome appeared in 1569, the year after Ascham’s death, and a second edition of the whole work in 1575, the first Tome thus going through three editions in nine years. It is therefore practically certain that Ascham had Painter’s book in his mind9 in the above passage, which may be taken as a contemporary criticism of Painter, from the point of view of an adherent of the New-Old Learning, who conveniently forgot that scarcely a single one of the Latin classics is free from somewhat similar blemishes to those he found in Painter and his fellow-translators from the Italian.

But it is time to turn to the book which roused Ascham’s ire so greatly, and to learn something of it and its author.10 William Painter was probably a Kentishman, born somewhere about 1525.11He seems to have taken his degree at one of the Universities, as we find him head master of Sevenoaks’ school about 1560, and the head master had to be a Bachelor of Arts. In the next year, however, he left the pædagogic toga for some connection with arms, for on 9 Feb. 1561, he was appointed xxvClerk of the Ordnance, with a stipend of eightpence per diem, and it is in that character that he figures on his title page. He soon after married Dorothy Bonham of Dowling (born about 1537, died 1617), and had a family of at least five children. He acquired two important manors in Gillingham, co. Kent, East Court and Twidall. Haslewood is somewhat at a loss to account for these possessions. From documents I have discovered and printed in an Appendix, it becomes only too clear, I fear, that Painter’s fortune had the same origin as too many private fortunes, in peculation of public funds.

So far as we can judge from the materials at our disposal, it would seem that Painter obtained his money by a very barefaced procedure. He seems to have moved powder and other materials of war from Windsor to the Tower, charged for them on delivery at the latter place as if they had been freshly bought, and pocketed the proceeds. On the other hand, it is fair to Painter to say that we only have the word of his accusers for the statement, though both he and his son own to certain undefined irregularities. It is, at any rate, something in his favour that he remained in office till his death, unless he was kept there on the principle of setting a peculator to catch a peculator. I fancy, too, that the Earl of Warwick was implicated in his misdeeds, and saved him from their consequences.

His works are but few. A translation from the Latin account, by Nicholas Moffan, of the death of the Sultan Solyman,12 was made by him in 1557. In 1560 an address in prose, prefixed to Dr. W. Fulke’s Antiprognosticon, was signed “Your familiar friend, William Paynter,”13 and dated “From Sevenoke xxii. of Octobre;” and the same volume contains Latin verses entitled “Gulielmi Painteri, ludimagistri Seuenochensis Tetrastichon.” It is perhaps worth while remarking that this Antiprognosticon was directed against Anthony Ascham, Roger’s brother, which may perhaps account for some of the bitterness in the above passage from the Scholemaster. These slight productions, however, xxvisink into insignificance in comparison with his chief work, “The Palace of Pleasure.”

He seems to have started work on this before he left Seven Oaks in 1561. For as early as 1562 he got a licence for a work to be entitled “The Citye of Cyuelite,” as we know from the following entry in the Stationers’ Registers:

W. Jonnes—Receyued of Wylliam Jonnes for his lycense for pryntinge of a boke intituled The Cytie of Cyuelitie translated into englisshe by William Paynter.

From his own history of the work given in the dedication of the first Tome to his patron, the Earl of Warwick, it is probable that this was originally intended to include only tales from Livy and the Latin historians. He seems later to have determined on adding certain of Boccaccio’s novels, and the opportune appearance of a French translation of Bandello in 1559 caused him to add half a dozen or so from the Bishop of Agen. Thus a book which was originally intended to be another contribution to the New Learning of classical antiquity turned out to be the most important representative in English of the Newest Learning of Italy. With the change of plan came a change of title, and the “City of Civility,” which was to have appeared in 1562, was replaced by the “Palace of Pleasure” in 1566.14

The success of the book seems to have been immediate. We have seen above Ascham’s indignant testimony to this, and the appearance of the Second Tome, half as large again as the other, within about eighteen months of the First, confirms his account. This Second Tome was practically the Bandello volume; more than half of the tales, and those by far the longest, were taken from him, through the medium of his French translators, Boaistuau and Belleforest. Within a couple of years another edition was called for of the First Tome, which appeared in 1569, with the addition of five more stories from the Heptameron, from which eleven were already in the first edition. Thus the First Tome might be called the Heptameron volume, and the second, that of Bandello. Boccaccio is pretty xxviievenly divided between the two, and the remainder is made up of classic tales and anecdotes and a few novelle of Ser Giovanni and Straparola. Both Tomes were reprinted in what may be called the definitive edition of the work in 1575.

Quite apart from its popularity and its influence on the English stage, on which we shall have more to say shortly, Painter’s book deserves a larger place in the history of English Literature than has as yet been given to it. It introduced to England some of the best novels of Boccaccio, Bandello, and Queen Margaret, three of the best raconteurs of short stories the world has ever had. It is besides the largest work in English prose that appeared between the Morte Darthur and North’s Plutarch.15 Painter’s style bears the impress of French models. Though professing to be from Italian novellieri, it is mainly derived from French translations of them. Indeed, but for the presence of translations from Ser Giovanni and Straparola, it might be doubtful whether Painter translated from the Italian at all. He claims however to do this from Boccaccio, and as he owns the aid of a French “crib” in the case of Bandello, the claim may be admitted. His translations from the French are very accurate, and only err in the way of too much literalness.16 From a former dominie one would have expected a far larger proportion of Latinisms than we actually find. As a rule, his sentences are relatively short, and he is tolerably free from the vice of the long periods that were brought into vogue by “Ciceronianism.” He is naturally free from Euphuism and for a very good reason, since Euphues and his Englande was not published for another dozen years or so. The recent suggestion of Dr. Landmann and others that Euphuism came from the influence of Guevara would seem to be negatived by the fact that the “Letters of Trajan” in the Second Tome of Painter are taken from Guevara and are no more Euphuistic than the rest of the volume.

Painter’s volume is practically the earliest volume of prose translations xxviiifrom a modern language into English in the true Elizabethan period after the influence of Caxton in literary importation had died away with Bourchier the translator of Froissart and of Huon of Bordeaux. It set the ball rolling in this direction, and found many followers, some of whom may be referred to as having had an influence only second to that of Painter in providing plots for the Elizabethan Drama. There can be little doubt that it was Painter set the fashion, and one of his chief followers recognised this, as we shall see, on his title page.

The year in which Painter’s Second Tome appeared saw George (afterwards Sir George) Fenton’s Certaine Tragicall Discourses writtene oute of Frenche and Latine containing fourteen “histories.” As four of these are identical with tales contained in Painter’s Second Tome it is probable that Fenton worked independently, though it was doubtless the success of the “Palace of Pleasure” that induced Thomas Marshe, Painter’s printer, to undertake a similar volume from Fenton. The Tragicall Discourses ran into a second edition in 1569. T. Fortescue’s Foreste or Collection of Histories … dooen oute of Frenche appeared in 1571 and reached a second edition in 1576. In the latter year appeared a work of G. Pettie that bore on its title page—A Petite Palace of Pettie his Pleasure—a clear reference to Painter’s book. Notwithstanding Anthony à Wood’s contemptuous judgment of his great-uncle’s book it ran through no less than six editions between 1576 and 1613.17 The year after Pettie’s first edition appeared R. Smyth’s Stravnge and Tragicall histories Translated out of French. In 1576 was also published the first of George Whetstone’s collections of tales, the four parts of The Rocke of Regard, in which he told over again in verse several stories already better told by Painter. In the same year, 1576, appeared G. Turberville’s Tragical Tales, translated out of sundrie Italians—ten tales in verse, chiefly from Boccaccio. Whetstone’s Heptameron of Ciuill Discourses in 1582 was however a more important contribution to the English Novella, xxixand it ran through two further editions by 1593.18 Thus in the quarter of a century 1565-1590 no less than eight collections, most of them running into a second edition, made their appearance in England. Painter’s work contains more than all the rest put together, and its success was the cause of the whole movement. It clearly answered a want and thus created a demand. It remains to consider the want which was thus satisfied by Painter and his school.

The quarter of a century from 1565 to 1590 was the seed-time of the Elizabethan Drama, which blossomed out in the latter year in Marlowe’s Tamburlaine the Great. The only play which precedes that period, Gordobuc or Ferrex and Porrex, first played in 1561, indicates what direction the English Drama would naturally have taken if nothing had intervened to take it out of its course. Gordobuc is severely classical in its unities; it is of the Senecan species. Now throughout Western Europe this was the type of the modern drama,19 and it dominated the more serious side of the French stage down to the time of Victor Hugo. There can be little doubt that the English Drama would have followed the classical models but for one thing. The flood of Italiannovelle introduced into England by Painter and his school, imported a new condition into the problem. It is essential to the Classical Drama that the plot should be already known to the audience, that there should be but one main action, and but one tone, tragic or comic. In Painter’s work and those of his followers, the would-be dramatists of Elizabeth’s time had offered to them a super-abundance of actions quite novel to their audience, and alternating between grave and gay, often within the same story.20 The very fact of their foreignness was a further attraction. At a time when all things were new, and intellectual curiosity had become a passion, the opportunity xxxof studying the varied life of an historic country like Italy lent an additional charm to the translated novelle. In an interesting essay on the “Italy of the Elizabethan Dramatists,”21 Vernon Lee remarks that it was the very strangeness and horror of Italian life as compared with the dull decorum of English households that had its attraction for the Elizabethans. She writes as if the dramatists were themselves acquainted with the life they depicted. As a matter of fact, not a single one of the Elizabethan dramatists, as far as I know, was personally acquainted with Italy.22 This knowledge of Italian life and crime was almost entirely derived from the works of Painter and his school. If there had been anything corresponding to them dealing with the tragic aspects of English life, the Elizabethan dramatists would have been equally ready to tell of English vice and criminality. They used Holinshed and Fabyan readily enough for their “Histories.” They would have used an English Bandello with equal readiness had he existed. But an English Bandello could not have existed at a time when the English folk had not arrived at self-consciousness, and had besides no regular school of tale-tellers like the Italians. It was then only from the Italians that the Elizabethan dramatists could have got a sufficient stock of plots to allow for that interweaving of many actions into one which is the characteristic of the Romantic Drama of Marlowe and his compeers.

That Painter was the main source of plot for the dramatists before Marlowe, we have explicit evidence. Of the very few extant dramas before Marlowe, Appius and VirginiaTancred and Gismunda, and Cyrus and Panthea are derived from Painter.23 We have also references in contemporary literature showing the great impression made by Painter’s book on the opponents of the stage. In 1572 E. Dering, in the Epistle prefixed to A briefe Instruction, says: “To this purpose we have gotten our Songs and Sonnets, our Palaces of Pleasure, our unchaste Fables and Tragedies, and such like sorceries…. xxxiO that there were among us some zealous Ephesian, that books of so great vanity might be burned up.” As early as 1579 Gosson began in his School of Abuse the crusade against stage-plays, which culminated in Prynne’s Histriomastix. He was answered by Lodge in his Defence of Stage Plays. Gosson demurred to Lodge in 1580 with hisPlayes Confuted in Five Actions, and in this he expressly mentions Painter’s Palace of Pleasure among the “bawdie comedies” that had been “ransacked” to supply the plots of plays. Unfortunately very few even of the titles of these early plays are extant: they probably only existed as prompt-books for stage-managers, and were not of sufficient literary value to be printed when the marriage of Drama and Literature occurred with Marlowe.

But we have one convincing proof of the predominating influence of the plots of Painter and his imitators on the Elizabethan Drama. Shakespeare’s works in the first folio, and the editions derived from it, are, as is well known, divided into three parts—Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. The division is founded on a right instinct, and applies to the whole Elizabethan Drama.24Putting aside the Histories, which derive from Holinshed, North, and the other historians, the dramatis personæ of the Tragedies and Comedies are, in nineteen cases out of twenty, provided with Italian names, and the scene is placed in Italy. It had become a regular convention with the Elizabethans to give an Italian habitation and name to the whole of their dramas. This convention must have arisen in the pre-Marlowe days, and there is no other reason to be given for it but the fact that the majority of plots are taken from the “Palace of Pleasure” or its followers. A striking instance is mentioned by Charles Lamb of the tyranny of this convention. In the first draught of his Every Man in his Humour Ben Jonson gave Italian names to all his dramatis personæ. Mistress Kitely appeared as Biancha, Master Stephen as Stephano, and even the immortal Captain Bobabil as Bobadilla. Imagine Dame Quickly as Putana, and Sir John as Corporoso, and we can see what a profound xxxiiinfluence such a seemingly superficial thing as the names of the dramatis personæ has had on the Elizabethan Drama through the influence of Painter and his men.

But the effect of this Italianisation of the Elizabethan Drama due to Painter goes far deeper than mere externalities. It has been said that after Lamb’s sign-post criticisms, and we may add, after Mr. Swinburne’s dithyrambs, it is easy enough to discover the Elizabethan dramatists over again. But is there not the danger that we may discover too much in them? However we may explain the fact, it remains true that outside Shakespeare none of the Elizabethans has really reached the heart of the nation. There is not a single Elizabethan drama, always of course with the exception of Shakespeare’s, which belongs to English literature in the sense in which Samson AgonistesAbsalom and AchitophelGulliver’s TravelsThe Rape of the LockTom JonesShe Stoops to ConquerThe School for Scandal, belong to it. The dramas have not that direct appeal to us which the works I have mentioned have continued to exercise after the generation for whom they were written has passed away. To an inner circle of students, to the 500 or so who really care for English literature, the Elizabethan dramas may appeal with a power greater than any of these literary products I have mentioned. We recognise in them a wealth of imaginative power, an ease in dealing with the higher issues of life, which is not shown even in those masterpieces. But the fact remains, and remains to be explained, that the Elizabethans do not appeal to the half a million or so among English folk who are capable of being touched at all by literature, who respond to the later masterpieces, and cannot be brought into rapport with the earlier masters. Why is this?

Partly, I think, because owing to the Italianisation of the Elizabethan Drama the figures whom the dramatists drew are unreal, and live in an unreal world. They are neither Englishmen nor Italians, nor even Italianate Englishmen. I can only think of four tragedies in the whole range of the Elizabethan drama where the characters are English: Wilkins’ Miseries of Enforced Marriage, and A Yorkshire Tragedy, both founded on a recent cause celèbre of one Calverly, who was executed 5 August xxxiii1605; Arden of Faversham, also founded on a cause celèbre of the reign of Edward VI.; and Heywood’s Woman Killed by Kindness. These are, so far as I remember, the only English tragedies out of some hundred and fifty extant dramas deserving that name.25As a result of all this, the impression of English life which we get from the Elizabethan Drama is almost entirely derived from the comedies, or rather five-act farces, which alone appear to hold the mirror up to English nature. Judged by the drama, English men and English women under good Queen Bess would seem incapable of deep emotion and lofty endeavour. We know this to be untrue, but that the fact appears to be so is due to the Italianising of the more serious drama due to Painter and his school.

In fact the Italian drapery of the Elizabethan Drama disguises from us the significant light it throws upon the social history of the time. Plot can be borrowed from abroad, but characterisation must be drawn from observation of men and women around the dramatist. Whence, then comes the problem, did Webster and the rest derive their portraits of their White Devils, those imperious women who had broken free from all the conventional bonds? At first sight it might seem impossible for the gay roysterers of Alsatia to have come into personal contact with such lofty dames. But the dramatists, though Bohemians, were mostly of gentle birth, or at any rate were from the Universities, and had come in contact with the best blood of England. It is clear too from their dedications that the young noblemen of England admitted them to familiar intercourse with their families, which would include many of the grande dames of Elizabeth’s Court. Elizabeth’s own character, recent revelations about Mistress Fitton, Shakespeare’s relations with his Dark Lady, all prepare for the belief that the Elizabethan dramatists had sufficient material from their own observation to fill up the outlines given by the Italian novelists.26 The Great Oyer of Poisoning—the case of Sir Thomas xxxivOverbury and the Somersets—in James the First’s reign could vie with any Italian tale of lust and cruelty.

Thus in some sort the Romantic Drama was an extraneous product in English literature. Even the magnificent medium in which it is composed, the decasyllabic blank verse which the genius of Marlowe adapted to the needs of the drama, is ultimately due to the Italian Trissino, and has never kept a firm hold on English poetry. Thus both the formal elements of the Drama, plot and verse, were importations from Italy. But style and characterisation were both English of the English, and after all is said it is in style and characterisation that the greatness of the Elizabethan Drama consists. It must however be repeated that in its highest flights in the tragedies, a sense of unreality is produced by the pouring of English metal into Italian moulds.

It cannot be said that even Shakespeare escapes altogether from the ill effects of this Italianisation of all the externalities of the drama. It might plausibly be urged that by pushing unreality to its extreme you get idealisation. A still more forcible objection is that the only English play of Shakespeare’s, apart from his histories, is the one that leaves the least vivid impression on us, The Merry Wives of Windsor. But one cannot help feeling regret that the great master did not express more directly in his immortal verse the finer issues and deeper passions of the men and women around him. Charles Lamb, who seems to have said all that is worth saying about the dramatists in the dozen pages or so to which his notes extend, has also expressed his regret. “I am sometimes jealous,” he says, “that Shakespere laid so few of his scenes at home.” But every art has it conventions, and by the time Shakespeare began to write it was a convention of English drama that the scene of its most serious productions should be laid abroad. The convention was indeed a necessary one, for there did not exist in English any other store of plots but that offered by the inexhaustible treasury of the Italian Novellieri.

Having mentioned Shakespeare, it seems desirable to make an exception in his case,27 and discuss briefly the use he made of xxxvPainter’s book and its influence on his work. On the young Shakespeare it seems to have had very great influence indeed. The second heir of his invention, The Rape of Lucrece, is from Painter. So too is Romeo and Juliet,28 his earliest tragedy, andAll’s Well, which under the title Love’s Labour Won, was his second comedy, is Painter’s Giletta of Narbonne (i. 38) from Bandello.29 I suspect too that there are two plays associated with Shakespeare’s name which contain only rough drafts left unfinished in his youthful period, and finished by another writer. At any rate it is a tolerably easy task to eliminate the Shakespearian parts of Timon of Athens and Edward III., by ascertaining those portions which are directly due to Painter.30 In this early period indeed it is somewhat remarkable with what closeness he followed his model. Thus some gushing critics have pointed out the subtle significance of making Romeo at first in love with Rosalind before he meets with Juliet. If it is a subtlety, it is Bandello’s, not Shakespeare’s. Again, others have attempted to defend the indefensible age of Juliet at fourteen years old, by remarking on the precocity of Italian maidens. As a matter of fact Bandello makes her eighteen years old. It is banalities like these that cause one sometimes to feel tempted to turn and rend the criticasters by some violent outburst against Shakespeare himself. There is indeed a tradition, that Matthew Arnold had things to say about Shakespeare which he dared not utter, because the British public would not stand them. But the British public has stood some very severe things about the Bible, which is even yet reckoned of higher sanctity than Shakespeare. And certainly there is as much cant about Shakespeare to be cleared away as about the Bible. However this is scarcely the place to do it. It is clear enough, however, xxxvifrom his usage of Painter, that Shakespeare was no more original in plot than any of his fellows, and it is only the unwise and rash who could ask for originality in plot from a dramatic artist.

But if the use of Italian novelle as the basis of plots was an evil that has given an air of unreality and extraneousness to the whole of Elizabethan Tragedy, it was, as we must repeat, a necessary evil. Suppose Painter’s work and those that followed it not to have appeared, where would the dramatists have found their plots? There was nothing in English literature to have given them plot-material, and little signs that such a set of tales could be derived from the tragedies going on in daily life. But for Painter and his school the Elizabethan Drama would have been mainly historical, and its tragedies would have been either vamped-up versions of classical tales or adaptations of contemporary causes celèbres.

And so we have achieved the task set before us in this Introduction to Painter’s tales. We have given the previous history of the genre of literature to which they belong, and mentioned the chiefnovellieri who were their original authors. We have given some account of Painter’s life and the circumstances under which his book appeared, and the style in which he translates. We have seen how his book was greeted on its first appearance by the adherents of the New Learning and by the opponents of the stage. The many followers in the wake of Painter have been enumerated, and some account given of their works. It has been shown how great was the influence of the whole school on the Elizabethan dramatists, and even on the greatest master among them. And having touched upon all these points, we have perhaps sufficiently introduced reader and author, who may now be left to make further acquaintance with one another.



Preliminary Matter.


William Painter was, probably, descended from some branch of the family of that name which resided in Kent. Except a few official dates there is little else of his personal history known. Neither the time nor place of his birth has been discovered. All the heralds in their Visitations are uniformly content with making him the root of the pedigree.31 His liberal education is, in part, a testimony of the respectability of his family, and, it may be observed, he was enabled to make purchases of landed property in Kent, but whether from an hereditary fortune is uncertain.

The materials for his life are so scanty, that a chronological notice of his Writings may be admitted, without being deemed to interrupt a narrative, of which it must form the principal contents.

He himself furnishes us with a circumstance,32 from whence we may fix a date of some importance in ascertaining both the time of the publication and of his own appearance as an author. He translated from the Latin of Nicholas Moffan, (a soldier serving under Charles the Fifth, and taken prisoner by the Turks)33 the relation of the Murder which Sultan Solyman caused to be xxxviiiperpetrated on his eldest Son Mustapha.34 This was first dedicated to Sir William Cobham Knight, afterwards Lord Cobham, Warden of the Cinque Ports; and it is material to remark, that that nobleman succeeded to the title Sept. the 29th, 1558;35 and from the author being a prisoner until Sept. 1555, it is not likely that the Translation was finished earlier than circa 1557-8.

In 1560 the learned William Fulke, D.D. attacked some inconsistent, though popular, opinions, in a small Latin tract called “Antiprognosticon contra invtiles astrologorvm prædictiones Nostrodami, &c.” and at the back of the title are Verses,36 by friends of the author, the first being entitled “Gulielmi Painteri ludimagistri Seuenochensis Tetrasticon.” This has been considered by Tanner as our author,37 nor does there appear any reason for attempting to controvert that opinion; and a translation of Fulke’s Tract also seems to identify our author with the master of Sevenoaks School. The title is “Antiprognosticon, that is to saye, an Inuectiue agaynst the vayne and unprofitable predictions of the Astrologians as Nostrodame, &c. Translated out of Latine into Englishe. Whereunto is added by the author a shorte Treatise in Englyshe as well for the utter subversion of that fained arte, as well for the better understandynge of the common people, unto whom the fyrst labour semeth not sufficient. Habet & musca splenem & formice sua bilis inest. 1560” 12mo. At the back of the title is a sonnet by Henry Bennet: followed in the next page by Painter’s Address. On the reverse of this last page is a prose address “to his louyng frende W. F.” dated “From Seuenoke XXII of Octobre,” and signed “Your familiar frende William Paynter.”38

xxxixBy the regulations of the school, as grammar-master, he must have been a bachelor of arts, and approved by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and to the appointment was attached a house and salary of £50 per annum.39

Of the appointment to the School I have not been able to obtain any particulars. That situation40 was probably left for one under government, of less labour, as he was appointed by letters patent of the 9th of Feb. in the 2d of Eliz. (1560-1) to succeed John Rogers, deceased, as Clerk of the Ordinance in the Tower, with the official stipend of eightpence per diem, which place he retained during life.

In 1562 there was a license obtained by William Jones to print “The Cytie of Cyvelite, translated into Englesshe by william paynter.” Probably this was intended for the present work, and entered in the Stationers Register as soon as the translation was commenced, to secure an undoubted copy-right to the Publisher. Neither of the stories bear such a title, nor contain incidents in character with it. The interlocutory mode of delivery, after the manner of some of the originals, might have been at first intended, and of the conversation introducing or ending some of those taken from the collection of the Queen of Navarre, a part is even now, though incongruously, retained.41 By rejecting the gallant speeches of the courtiers and sprightly replies of the ladies, and making them unconnected stories, the idea of civility was no longer appropriate, and therefore gave place to a title equally alliterative in the adoption of the Palace of Pleasure.

Under this conjecture Painter was three years perfecting the xlTranslation of the first volume of the Palace of Pleasure. He subscribes the dedicatory Epistle “nere the Tower of London the first of Januarie 1566,” using the new style, a fashion recently imported from France.42 It must be read as 1565-6 to explain a passage in another Epistle before the second volume, where he speaks of his histories “parte whereof, two yeares past (almost) wer made commune in a former boke,” concluding “from my poore house besides the Toure of London, the fourthe of November, 1567.” The two volumes were afterwards enlarged with additional novels, as will be described under a future head, and with the completion of this task ends all knowledge of his literary productions.

It no where appears in the Palace of Pleasure that Painter either travelled for information, or experienced, like many a genius of that age, the inclination to roam expressed by his contemporary, Churchyard,

“Of running leather were his shues, his feete no where could reste.”43

Had he visited the Continent, it is probable, that in the course of translating so many novels, abounding with foreign manners and scenery, there would have been some observation or allusion to vouch his knowledge of the faithfulness of the representation, as, in a few instances, he has introduced events common in our own history.

He probably escaped the military fury of the age by being appointed “Clerk to the great Ordinance,” contentedly hearing the loud peals upon days of revelry, without wishing to adventure further in “a game,” which, “were subjects wise, kings would not play at.” In the possession of some competence he might prudently adjust his pursuits, out of office, to the rational and not unimportant indulgence of literature,44 seeking in the retirement xliof the study, of the vales of Kent, and of domestic society, that equanimity of the passions and happiness which must ever flow from rational amusement, from contracted desires, and acts of virtue; and which the successive demands for his favourite work might serve to cheer and enliven.

As the founder of the family45 his money must be presumed to have been gained by himself, and not acquired by descent. It would be pleasing to believe some part of it to have been derived from the labours of his pen. But his productions were not of sufficient magnitude to command it, although he must rank as one of the first writers who introduced novels into our language, since so widely lucrative to—printers. Yet less could there accrue a saving from his office to enable him to complete the purchases of land made at Gillingham, co. Kent.

At what period he married cannot be stated. His wife was Dorothy Bonham of Cowling, born about the year 1537, and their six children were all nearly adults, and one married, at the time of his death in 1594. We may therefore conclude that event could not be later than 1565; and if he obtained any portion with his wife the same date allows of a disposition of it as now required.

It is certain that he purchased of Thomas and Christopher Webb the manor of East-Court in the parish of Gillingham, where his son Anthony P. resided during his father’s lifetime. He also purchased of Christopher Sampson the manor of Twidall in the same parish with its appurtenances, and a fine was levied for that purpose xliiin Easter Term 16 Eliz. Both the manors remained in the family, and passed by direct line from the above named Anthony, through William and Allington, his son and grandson, to his great grandson Robert, who resided at Westerham, in the same county, and obtained an Act of Parliament, 7 Geo. I. “to enable him to sell the manors of Twydal and East-Court.”46

xliiiNot any part of the real Estate was affected by the will of William Painter, who appears, from its being nuncupative, to have deferred making it, until a speedy dissolution was expected. It is as follows:

“In the name of God, Amen. The nineteenth day of February in the Year of our Lord God one thousand five hundred ninety four, in the seven and thirtieth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lady Elizabeth, &c. William Painter then Clerk of her Maj. Great Ordinance of the Tower of London, being of perfect mind and memory, declared and enterred his mind meaning and last Will and Testament noncupative, by word of mouth in effect as followeth, viz. Being then very sick and asked by his wife who should pay his son in law John Hornbie the portion which was promised him with his wife in marriage, and who should pay to his daughter Anne Painter her portion, and to the others his children which had nothing;47 and whether his said wife should pay them the same, the said William Painter answered, Yea. And being further asked whether he would give and bequeath unto his said wife all his said goods to pay them as he in former times used to say he would, to whom he answered also, yea. In the presence of William Pettila, John Pennington, and Edward Songer. Anon after in the same day confirming the premises; the said William Painter being very sick, yet of perfect memory, William Raynolds asking the aforesaid Mr. Painter whether he had taken order for the disposing of his Goods to his wife and children, and whether he had put all in his wives hands to deal and dispose of and to pay his son Hornby his portion,48 and whether he would make his said wife to be his whole Executrix, or to that effect, to whose demand the said Testator Mr. William Painter then manifesting his will and true meaning therein willingly answered, yea, in the presence of William Raynolds, John Hornbie and Edward Songer.”48

He probably died immediately after the date of the will. Among the quarterly payments at the ordinance office at Christmas 1594 is entered to “Mr. Painter Clerke of thõdiñce xvijlb, xvs.” and upon Lady Day or New Year’s Day 1595. “To Willm̅ Painter and to Sr. Stephen Ridleston49 Clarke of Thordñce for the xlivlike quarter also warranted xvijlb. xvs.” He was buried in London.50 After his death the widow retired to Gillingham, where she died Oct. 19th 1617. Æt. 80, and where she was buried.51

[For some additional points throwing light on the way in which Painter gained his fortune, see Appendix. Collier (Extr. Stat. Reg. ii. 107), attributes to Painter A moorning Ditti vpon the Deceas of Henry Earle of Arundel, which appeared in 1579, and was signed ‘Guil. P. G.’ [= Gulielmus Painter, Gent.].—J. J.]



In the following section, text in boldface was originally printed in blackletter type.

Of the first volume of THE PALACE OF PLEASURE there were three editions, but of the second only two are known. Each of these, all uncommonly fair and perfect, through the liberal indulgence of their respective owners, are now before me; a combination which has scarcely been seen by any collector, however distinguished for ardour of pursuit and extensiveness of research, since the age of Q. Elizabeth. Their rarity in a perfect state may render an accurate description, though lengthened by minuteness, of some value to the bibliographer. The account of them will be given in their chronological order.

The Palace of Pleasure | Beautified, adorned and | well furnished with Plea- | saunt Histories and excellent | Nouells, selected out of | diuers good and commen- |dable authors. | ¶ By William Painter Clarke of the | Ordinaunce and Armarie. | [Wood-cut of a Bear and ragged Staff, the crest of Ambrose Earl of Warwick, central of a garter, whereon is the usual motto | HONI: SOIT: QVI: MAL: Y: PENSE. | 1566. | JMPRINTED ATLondon, by Henry Denham, | for Richard Tottell and William Iones.52—4to. Extends to sig. Nnnij. besides introduction, and is folded in fours.

This title is within a narrow fancy metal border, and on the back of the leaf are the Arms of the Earl of Warwick, which fill the page. With signature * 2 commences the dedication, and at ¶ 2 is “a recapitulacion or briefe rehersal of the Arguments of euery Nouell, with the places noted, in what author euery of the same or the effect be reade and contayned.” These articles occupy four leaues each, and five more occupy the address “to the reader,” xlvifollowed by the names of the Authors from whom the “nouels be selected;” making the whole introduction, with title, 14 leaves.

The nouels being lx. in number, conclude with folio 345, but there are only 289 leaves, as a castration appears of 56.53 On the reverse of the last folio are “faultes escaped in the printing;” and besides those corrected, there are “other faultes [that] by small aduise and lesse payne may by waying the discourse be easely amended or lightly passed ouer.” A distinct leaf has the following colophon:

Imprinted at Lon | don, by Henry Denham, | for Richard Tottell and | William Jones | Anno Domini. 1566 | Ianuarij 26. |These bookes are to be solde at the long shoppe | at the Weast ende of Paules.

This volume is rarely discovered perfect. The above was purchased at the late sale of Col. Stanley’s library for 30l. by Sir Mark Masterman Sykes, Bt.

The second Tome | of the Palace of Pleasure | conteyning manifolde store of goodly | Histories, Tragicall matters and | other Morall argument, | very requisite for de- | light & profit. |Chosen and selected out of diuers good and commen- | dable Authors. | By William Painter, Clarke of the | Ordinance and Armarie. | ANNO. 1567. | Imprinted at London, in Pater Noster Rowe, by Henrie | Bynneman, for Nicholas | England.54 4to. Extends, without introduction, to signature P. P. P. P. p. iiij. and is folded in fours.

A broad metal border, of fancy pattern, adorns the title page. At signature a. ij. begins the Epistle to Sir George Howard, which the author subscribes from his “poore house besides the Toure of London, the fourthe of Nouember 1567:” and that is xlviifollowed by a summary of the contents and authorities, making, with the title, 10 leaves. There are xxxiiij novels, and they end at fo. 426. Two leaves in continuation have “the conclusion,” with “divers faultes escaped in printyng,” and on the reverse of the first is the printer’s colophon.

Imprinted at London | by Henry Bynneman | for Nicholas Englande | ANNO M.D.LXVII. | Nouembris 8.

A copy of this volume was lately in the possession of Messrs. Arch, of Cornhill, Booksellers, with a genuine title, though differently arranged from the above, and varied in the spelling.55 When compared, some unimportant alterations were found, as a few inverted commas on the margin of one of the pages in the last sheet, with the correction of a fault in printing more in one copy than the other, though the same edition.56

The Pallace | of Pleasure Beautified, | adorned and wel furnished with | Pleasaunt Historyes and excellent | Nouelles, selected out of diuers | good and commendable Authours. | ¶ By William Painter Clarke | of the Ordinaunce and | Armarie. | 1569. | Jmprinted at London in | Fletestreate neare to S. Dunstones |Church by Thomas Marshe.—4to. Extends to K k. viij, & is folded in eights.

xlviiiThe title is in the compartment frequently used by Marsh, having the stationers’ arms at the top, his own initials at the bottom, and pedestals of a Satyr and Diana, surmounted with flowers and snakes, on the sides. It is a reprint of the first volume without alteration, except closer types. The introduction concludes on the recto of the eleventh leaf, and on the reverse of fo. 264 is the colophon. Jmprinted at London in Flete | streate neare unto Sainct Dunstones | Churche by Thomas Marshe | Anno Domini. 1569.57

THE PALACE | of Pleasure Beautified | adorned and well furnished | with pleasaunt Histories and | excellent Nouels, selected out | of diuers good and commendable Authors. By William Painter Clarke | of the Ordinaunce | and Armarie. | Eftsones perused corrected | and augmented. | 1575. | Imprinted at London | by Thomas Marshe.—4to. Extends to signature O o, iiij. and is folded in eights.58

Title in same compartment as the last. The introduction is given in nine leaves, and the novels commence the folio, and end at 279. The arguments of every novel, transposed from the beginning, continue for three leaves to reverse of O o iiij, having for colophon,

Imprinted at London by | Thomas Marshe.

Seven novels were added to the former number, and the language improved.

xlixTHE SECOND | Tome of the Palace of | Pleasure contayning store of goodlye | Histories, Tragical matters, & other | Morall argumentes, very requi- | site for delight and | profyte. | Chosē and selected out | of diuers good and commendable au- | thors, and now once agayn correc- | ted and encreased. | By Wiliam Painter, Clerke of the | Ordinance and Armarie. | Imprinted at London | In Fleatstrete by Thomas | MARSHE.—4to. Has signature Z z 4, and is folded in eights.

Title in the compartment last described. The introduction has seven leaves, and the “conclusion” is at fo. 360.59 The summary of nouels, which stand as part of the introduction in the former edition, follows, making four leaves after discontinuing the folio. There is no printer’s colophon, and the type throughout is smaller than any used before. The translator added one historic tale, and made material alterations in the text.

With respect to the date the year 1582 has been several times given, and it is doubtful if I have discovered the source of the authority. Oldys, among the manuscript notes upon Langbaine, registers “W. Painter’s Palace of Pleasure, &c. 4to. 1569, and in 2 vols. 1575, and 1582:” and Mr. Bindley, whose friendly assistance it is always gratifying to record, pointed out to my attention the catalogue of the library of the Honorable Bryan Fairfax,60 where the volumes are increased in number, and with only a single date. It stands thus, Lot “336, Painter’s Palace of Pleasure, 3 vols.61 B.L. 1582:” again in the Osterley catalogue, p. 87, is No. l“26, Palace of Pleasure, 1582.”62 To decide positively on such an unexpected repetition of the date made it desirable to obtain a sight of the copy.63 That, with some difficulty, has been effected. On visiting Osterley, strange as it may appear, I found the two volumes bound in one, the same editions as those now printed from, and both wanting title pages!!

There is not much temerity in decisively pronouncing that there never was an edition in three volumes; that the date of 1582 was intended by Oldys to be only applied to the second volume; and that that date was founded on an erroneous conjecture. Two of these points are already disposed of, and the last can require but few words. The translation of the tale of Sultan Soliman, from the circumstance of the dedication to Sir William Cobham, as shewn in a former page, must have been finished about 1557-8, and Painter, on the reprinting, mentions that fact as “twenty-two yeares past or thereabouts,” which decides that the printing the above volume could not be later than 1580.

The Palace of Pleasure, as enlarged by the Translator, is now reprinted. The text of the latest edition of each volume has been carefully preserved; except that, instead of numberless abbreviations, every word is given at length. The character of the work did not require such minuteness, being followed for authority; and the rejecting what might seem a disfigurement of the page, it is hoped, will obtain the sanction of the reader: and it may be observed, that in the later editions many words are contracted which were first printed at length, and others given at length which were before contracted.

In the punctuation some slight alterations have been made, where the sense or uniformity materially required it.

liFrom Earl Spencer, with that marked attention which always distinguishes the interest his Lordship takes in every literary undertaking, I received the unsolicited offer of the use of the copy belonging to the library at Althorpe. As there was the first edition of the second volume, it proved a needful and valuable acquisition, and from that source several obscure passages have been corrected, and whole sentences restored, which, in the last edition, appear to have been negligently omitted in the hurry of the press.

For the purpose of collation, Sir Mark Masterman Sykes, Bart. obligingly assisted me with his copy, purchased at the Roxburghe sale; and has since also favoured me with the first edition, to perfect the Bibliographical Notices.

Of an hundred and one novels, the whole number, the larger portion have been traced, as supposed, to their respective originals. In attempting this task, I have derived material assistance from the extensive researches made in that class of literature by Mr. Weber, who, though personally unknown, most promptly supplied the wanted information. The ingenious conjecture as to the origin of the story of Gismonde and Guiscardo, is by Mr. Singer.

It is probable that many of the stories were appropriated as soon as published by the dramatic writers to the purposes of the English Stage.64 To the instances discovered by the indefatigable Langbaine I have made some addition.

From the application of Mr. Freeling to Mr. Crewe, I obtained an inspection of the earliest records preserved in the Ordnance Office; and the research was further facilitated by the assistance of Mr. Banovin.

Sir Egerton Brydges, with his accustomed ardency to promote literary investigation, aided my endeavours to discover some trace of the translator as master of the school at Sevenoaks.

liiTo Mr. George Chalmers and Mr. Utterson, I am indebted for some bibliographical communications, and also to the Rev. T. F. Dibdin for long extracts made from the work by Herbert, preparatory to a new edition of the Typographical Antiquities.

When the present edition was announced, it was intended to consist of only one hundred and fifty copies. In order, however, to meet the common hazard of the press, seven quires of each sheet were printed, making about one hundred and sixty-five saleable copies; seven were also taken off on vellum.


Conduit Street, November 5th 1813.

[It is only necessary to add that Haslewood’s edition was in two volumes, of which the first ran to 34 (Introductory Matter) + xviii. (Dedication and Table of Contents) + 492 pages. The Second Tome, which is mostly found bound in two parts, ran to xv. (Dedication and Table of Contents) + 700 pages.

The present edition, it will be observed by the above, is really the fourth and a half edition—i.e., it is the fifth of the first Tome, and the fourth of the second. I have however ventured to neglect the reprint of the First Tome in 1569, and taken account only of complete editions. It follows Haslewood’s reprint page for page and line for line, except in two points. The Tables of Contents of the two Tomes have been brought together, and their literary history connected directly with the Summary of Contents. In a few cases, where Haslewood inserted passages from the first edition, I have enclosed the interpolations in square brackets. The other point of difference between Haslewood’s edition and the present is that we have divided the two Tomes into three volumes of as nearly equal size as possible. While Haslewood has been used as “copy” for the printer, it must be understood that every line has been collated with the British Museum copy of the original, and many thousands of corrections, mostly though not all of a minor kind, made in Haslewood’s text.


4 Haselmere Road, Kilburn,

1st Aug. 1890.]



Assignments to Painter (Abstract).
(Record Office Dom. State Papers, Eliz., xl. No. 36.)

July 24, 1566. Assignment by Edward Randolph, Esq., to William Painter, Clerk of the Ordinance, Richard Webb, Master-Gunner of England, and Edward Partridge, Keeper of the Queen’s Harquebutts, Dagges, and Curriers, of certain annuities or pensions for a term of years.

Petition of Hartnell, Saint Barbe, and Painter (Abst.).
(Brit. Mus. Lands. MS. 51, No. 25.)

Petition of Raulph Harknell, William Saintbarbe and William Painter to the Lord High Treasurer, c. 1586.

Having lately been called before Sir W. Mildmay, Chancor of the Exchequer, Mr. Fanshawe & Mr. Dodington for the sum of £7,075 and after conference the division was imposed upon Turville Bowland and Painter, and a brief was drawn, it pleased his Honour to will that if they could show cause why the said sums should not be burdened upon them they were to have allowance by petition which they have done and beseech his Honour to have regard to the present state of themselves their livwives and children & by him to at once decide what sum they have to pay.

With regard to their estates:—

Bowland’s goods came to but £431 : 6 : 8. His land is given to three children, the eldest not twelve years old. As the land cannot be sold during their nonage he humbly begs that the land may be extended and prays that some allowance may be made for the education of the children.

Turville’s substance was chiefly in debts, his household stuff was of the value of £120 : 3 : 4. Of this £1,441 : 19 : 7 is to go to William Saintbarbe, the most part of which sum remains in the hands of the Earl of Warwick and Sir Philip Sydney. Notwithstanding he is willing to pay as much as His Honour shall think good.

William Painter craves remembrance of a note of his estate delivered in 1586, expressing the particulars of all he has in the world to live upon in these his aged days, amounting to about £64 a year. He has a wife and five children all marriageable and unprovided for. He begs his Honour’s favourable consideration of his case and promises to be the occasion of saving unto Her Majesty of far greater sums than what he owes to her.

Charge against Turville, Bowland, and Painter (Abst.).
(Brit. Mus. Lansd. MS. 55, No. 3.)

Charge informed in the Exchequer by John Powell against Geoffrey Turville, Richard Bowland and William Painter.

£7,077 :8 :1 :
Of which
Upon G. Turville2,715 :2 :8
    „   R. Bowland2,413 :2 :8
    „   W. Painter1,949 :2 :8

lvOf this sum of £1949 : 2 : 8 William Painter confesses in his answer to owe £1079 : 17 : 3 which leaves unconfessed the sum of £869 : 5 : 5 of which he himself prays to be disburdened for divers good and reasonable considerations:—

For Iron sold to the amount of£ 16 :8 :4
For Powder sold for£   4 :8 :10
For things conveyed from the Storehouse at Woolwich4 :0 :0
For unserviceable shot sent into Barbary173 :13 :4
For Powder Munition &c.205 :0 :0
For sale of Sulphur10 :10 :0
Divers allowances373 :6 :8
Work done at Portsmouth8 :6 :8

He promises to pay what is due from him in reasonable time.

The value of the Lands in Gillingham, Kent, belonging to William Painter is £413 : 10 : 0, which brings him in £94 : 10 of which he has to pay £33 : 3 : 2 leaving him £61 : 6 : 10.

The said William Painter owes £1200 for land in mortgage and is indebted to divers persons besides.

He humbly beseeches Her Majesty to have pitiful regard for his wife and marriageable children.

Powell’s charges against Earl of Warwick and Painter (Abstract).
(Hatfield, Calendar iii., No. 581.)

September, 1587. John Powell to the Queen, offers to expose frauds in the Ordnance Office, and begs the Queen to grant him a hearing before the Lord Chancellor, Lord Treasurer, Lord Admiral, and Earl Warwick, which last named he accuses of great oppressions, and one Painter of false recording the office books.


W. Painter’s Confession.
(Record Office State Papers, Domestic, Eliz., vol. 224, No. 102.)

xxiijclo Junii 1589.Willm Painter confesseth that all those things that stande nowe charged upon Thearle of Warrewicke by the twoe bookes delivered by Mr. Coniers and Mr. Bartholme Vodoington were in truthe taken out of the Quenes stoare in the Towre of London and other places, and promiseth that before Michaelmas Tearme next he will in writing undr.his hand shewe discharge of so muche of the same as the said Earle is to be discharged of, and will charge his L. wth so muche thereof as in truth he ought to be charged wth by shewing of his owne warrant or other good proof that the same came to his L. hands or to suche as his Lo. did appoint for the receipt thereof, and the residue he will charge upon suche others as of right are to be charged therewth, and for his bettr instruction he placeth a coppie of the said twoe bookes delivered by the Auditors.

signed     W. PAINTER.

endorsed.23 Junii, 1589.
Mr. Painters aunsweare for the Charging the E. of Warwick in the 2 books delivered to the Auditors of the Presse.

(Record Office Dom. Pap. Eliz. ccxxv., No. 38.)

June 22, 1589. Answer of John Powell, Surveyor of the Ordnance, to the informations given against him by Mr. Wm. Paynter. Examined in the office of the Ordnance before Sir Robert Constable and the rest of the officers, and noted in the margin accordingly.


Application of A. Painter in behalf of his Father (Abst.).
(Brit. Mus. Lansd. MS. 67, f. 47.)

April 6. 1591. He has many times besought his honour to accept of his serviceable endeavours with regard to his duty concerning the indirect government of the office of ordnance, the entries into the books &c. and as he knows that many irregularities have been committed for which he fears he and his aged father may be blamed he has thought it his duty to crave access to his Honour as well to advertise what has been heretofore done as to declare the manner how this office is managed, beseeching his honour, in regard his aged father is clerk of that office, whose duty it is to register all things, not to sign any proportion books of debt or monthe’s books but by the delivery of the said clerk or his deputy.

Grant in Reversion of Painter’s Office (Docquet).
(Record Off. Dom. State Papers, Eliz. ccxxxiii.)
1591.Grant in reversion of John Grenewaie of the office of Clerk of the Ordnance, with a fee of 8d. per diem, after the death of Wm. Paynter.

Accounts of the Ordnance (Abstract).
(Record Off. Dom. State Papers, Eliz. ccxliii., No. 96.)

Accounts by John Powell, Wm. Painter and Thos. Bedcock for provisions and stores delivered unto her Majesty’s Ordnance up to 31 Dec. 1592. Total of debts £6,786 0s 5½d; of payments during lviiithe last year £3,960 17s 6d; Balance due, £2,825 2s 9½d. Also of debts due for provisions brought into the stores, repairs, &c., during the year: total £4055 9s besides Sir Rob. Constable’s debt. With note that as the books of the office have been delivered to the two auditors, the writers cannot set down every particular debt but have done so as far as they could.

Specific Charges against Painter.
(Brit. Mus.: Lansdown MS. 73, No. 59.)

In the following passage, syllables in [brackets] represent expanded abbreviations, chiefly “per”.

Right Honorable whearas I heartofore exhibited Articles vnto yor Lopp therin revealing and Justlie accusing William Painter clerke of Thordynaunce of notorious Deceiptes and abuses [per]petrated by him in Thexecution of his saide office vnto whiche he hathe made some Answeare as is reported./ May it ffurther please yor Lo I haue thoughte yt my parte to reveall such further and more deceiptes as I haue discovered of his lyke practizes and abuses when he tooke vppon him the charge and discharge of Thoffice as now his sonne seekethe to doe, which I Humblie prostrate heare inclosed. Cravinge of yor good Lo for proofe of bothe my Articles I may haue Aucthoritie to examine suche wittnesses as I can produce by othe before some Baron of Thexchequer as to Remaine vppon recorde leaste Deceasinge her Maties seruece therbye be hindered and I in some sorte descredited in skeming to Informe your Lopp wth matters I cannot proue./

So lyke wise if to yor Ho yt shall seeme good to signe the warrantate here to fore by me [pre]sented Aucthorishinge me and others to [per]vse and vewe Thaccomptes of Sir Robert Constable Knyghte deceased and msr willm Sugdon for Tower matters. I will bringe to lighte suche matters agaynste his sonne whearby yt shall appeare that he is a moste unfitt man to execute anie office of charge or truste vnder her matie beinge so corrupte a man as I will prooue him to be./ Pardon Right Ho my boldnes for Dutifull zeale did pricke me to discouer that I and sithence they are lixabroache care of my credite dothe continuallie vrge mee not to be negligent or alowe vntill I haue by good proues confirmed and established them. So restinge Readie to [per]forme the same and accordinge to my Bounden dutie to do her hignes anie service to my vttermoste./ I Humblie cease to trouble yor Ho any further at this tyme. But never will omitt to pray Thalmightie to increase yor Honor with all healthe and happines.

Your Honors most humble


EndorsedNovember 1793
George Hogg to my L.

Discouerie of certain abuses committed by Wm. Paynter clerk of the Ordinance wtin his office.

Wronges offered by Willm Painter Clerke of Thordenance entered in his Jornall booke ffor receiptes broughte into her maties Store Anno 1575 and 1576.

Right Honorable, first ther was a receipte for one Laste and a half of Serpentine powder broughte into her Maties Store and debenter made by Painter for the same as made of forraigne Peeter the xiiijth of Julie 1576, the which I will prooue vnto yor Ho that yt was her Maties owen powder brought from Windsor Castell the verie same Somer./ Wherein he deceaved her Matie, and made her pay for that wch was her owen./ Desyringe that my proofes may be taken bye Othe before one of the Barons of her Mties Exchecquer./

Secondlie, their was another Receipte made for xiie wht of corne powder As made of fforraine provision and brought into her maties Store and debenter made for the same the xxjth of Julie 1576at the Rate of xijd the pownde, the wch did amounte to the some in money of lxlb the wch I will prove to be her maties Owen Powder as aforsayde./

Third, there was another Receipte made for One Laste of Serpentine powder by the sayd Painter at xjd the pownde/ and debenter made for the same the xxjth of Julie 1576 as brought into hermaties Store beinge made lykwyse of fforraigne provision the wch I will proove no such matter receaved into her maties saide store and lxtherefore her matie flatlie Deceaved by him of the Some of one c and xlb ∴/./

ffowerthlie there was lykewyse broughte into her Maties sayde store by one Constantine Watchindroppe the seconde of auguste 1576 certaine bowstaves to the number of fower Thousande after syxe Score to the Hundrethe at the Rate of xiijlb the Hundrethe the which dothe Amounte to vC and xxlb and entred by Painter in his Jornall booke and debenter made for the same I will proove vnto yor Ho notwithstandinge his debenter and entrie in his sayde booke that there was xjc of them neuer brought into her maties Store / and therfore her Matie Apparentlie Deceaved by him of the some of oneC xliijlb

ffiftlie wheras there was a Deliverie made in Thoffice of Thordinance the xxvith of Aprill 1576 for Serpentine Powder Delivered out of her Maties Store for the shootinge of Thordinance vppon the wharfe he did enter into his Jornall xxc wht delivered whearas, I will proove vnto yor Ho there was but vc Di delivered but heare he Dothe shewe his conninge in the discharginge of the kee[per] of the Store for the overcharge layd vppon the sayd kee[per] by him on his Receipte before specified the xxjth of Julie 1576 whearas he did charge the kee[per] wth a laste of Powder which was never brought into the Store which he made her Matie pay for/

Syxtlie he made a Delyuerie of fower hundrethe wht of Serpentine Powder the Laste of Aprill 1576 for the shootinge of Thordynaunce uppon May Є vo accordinge to the olde accustomed manners I will Proove there was but j Two hundredthe wht Delyvered whearin he hath abused her Matie as in the Article befor specified/.

symbolThis symbol, represented in the text by Cyrillic Є, has not been identified. The following vo may be an error for vo, meaning either “quinto” (5th) or “ultimo” (last).

Application of J. Painter (Abstract).
Brit. Mus. Lansd. MS. 75, No. 55.)

Sept. 26. 1593.—The best experience of faithful and true endeavours is to be opposed by politic and malicious adversaries whose lxislanderous informations have lately been used against him which he has truely answered and has been examined by Sir Geo: Carewe with the copies of the monthe’s books and therefore he trusts his Hon: will be satisfied. He hopes his slanderers will be punished, or it will be a precedent to others. He has served H. M. faithfully being encouraged by hopes of preferment. He yearly increases H. M. Store to the value of £2,000 by taking the returns of such munitions as return from the seas unspent in H. M. ships, which formerly were concealed and converted to private use. He has deciphered so many deceipts as amount to above £11,000. He is ready to show a number of abuses by which H. M. pays great sums of money which do not benefit her service, and finally by his experience he has been able to do Her Majesty profitable service, the particulars of which he is ready to show when required, and he trusts he deserves more favour and regard than to be utterly discredited and disgraced through the information of the person who through malice seeks to be revenged of him, because he saves H. M. £40 a year which this person sued for, for taking the aforesaid remains.

(Brit. Mus.: Lansdown MS. 78, No. 29.)

Right Honourable, I thought it my duty to aduertise yor ho: of dywrse misdemeanors comytted against her Mate in and about the Tower, when yor lop shall please to command me to attend you in the meane tyme I hold it most fytt to give you to vnderstand that vnderstandinge of Mr. Anthonie Paynter should make his vawnt of his playnes and truth of thencising of his fathers place being deputye vnto him thus much I am able to averr that in false entryes false debentes ymbeseling of powder, and other deceipte as come XVcIi as by informand recd to be put in against him the last term begonn by hogg who had mistaking the daye lxiiffor his father I send yor lop matter of XXVIj mll Against him It is uery fitt if it may stand wth yor ho: good liking all booke and recorde ap[per]teying to her Mae be taken into the costody of some whom yo shall think mete to kepe them to her Mate vse And so leaving the same to yor honourable care I doe humbly take my leave the Tower this XXjth of february

ho: most humbly
Att Commandmet
N. Raynberd.

Endorsed21 Feb. 1594
Mr Rainberd steward of ye Tower
to my l:
Informac͠on against Mr Paynter of abuses in his office.



Title links lead to the named stories in a separate file.

[In the following notes, Source refers to the origin whence Painter most probably obtained the tale; Origin to the earliest appearance of it in literature: these often coincide. I have included all the information given by Haslewood.]

I. Horatii and Curiatii.

The Romaines and the Albanes being at warres, for iniuries mutually inferred, Metius Suffetius, the Albane captaine, deuised a waye by a combate to ioygne bothe the cities in one. Victorie falling to the Romaines, the Romaine victor killed his sister and was condemned to die. Afterwardes, upon his father’s sute, he was deliuered.

[Source and Origin.—Livy, i. 26.

Parallels.—I. Ancient: Cicero, Pro Mil. 37; Dionys. Hal. iii. 21, 22; Plutarch, Par. Min. 16; Valerius Max. vi. 36; Florus, i. 3; Zonar, vii. 6. II. Mediæval: Holkot, Moral. 12. III. Modern: Wolgemuth, ii. 74; Kirchhof, Wendenmuth, i. 13, vi. 61; Albertinus, Lusthauss, 1619, 191; Corneille, Horace; Acerra Philologica, 1708, ii. 15.

Painter, Ed. I. (1566) i. 1; II. (1575)65 i. 1; III. i. 1; IV. i. 15.]

II. The Rape of Lucrece.

Sextus Tarquinius ravished Lucrece. And she, bewailing the losse of her chastitie, killed herselfe.

[Source and Origin.—Livy, i. 57-60.

Parallels.—I. Ancient: Dionys. Hal. iv. 64; Cicero, De Fin. ii. 20-26; Val. Max. 6, i. 1; Ovid, Fasti, ii. 761; Aurel. De Vir. Ill. 9; Augustin, De Civit. Dei, i. 19. II. Mediæval: Vincent Bellov. Spec. Doct. iv. 100; Gesta Rom., 135; Violier, 113. III. Modern: Hans Sachs, i. 2, 184; 3, 21, Ein schön spil von der geschicht der edlen Römerin Lucretia, Strassburg, 1550, 8vo; Kirchhof, vi. 67-70;Eutrapelos, i. 92Acerra, ii. 51; Histor. Handbüchlein, 247; Albertinus, 279; Abraham à Sta. Clara, Etwas für Alle, ii. 623.

lxivPainter, Ed. I. i. 5; II. i. 5; III. i. 8; IV. i. 22.

Derivates.—There can be no doubt Shakspeare derived his Rape of Lucrece from Painter, though he has expanded the four pages of his original into 164 stanzas. Heywood has also a play called The Rape of Lucrece.]

III. Mucius Scævola.

The siege of Rome by Porsenna, and the valiaunt deliuerie thereof by Mutius Scæuola, with his stoute aunswere vnto the kinge.

[Source and origin.—Livy, ii. 12. 13.

Parallels.—I. Ancient: Plutarch, Public. 17; Valerius Max. 3. 3. I; Dionys. 5 27-30; Aurel. Vict. 72; Cicero, pro Sext. 21. 48; Flor. i. 105; Martial, i. 51; Orosius, ii. 5; Augustin, De Civit. v. 18; Zonar, vii. 12; Dio Cass. 45, 31; 46, 19; 53, 8. II. Modern: H. Sachs, I. 2. 156: 2. 3. 39; Kirchhof, i. 15; Acerra, i. 19; Albertinus, 287.

Painter, I. i. 7; II. i. 7; III. i. 12; IV. 26.

Derivates.—A play called Mutius Scevola was played at Windsor in 1577 (Fleay, Hist. of Stage, p. 380).]

IV. Coriolanus.

Martius Coriolanus goinge aboute to represse the common people of Rome with dearth of Corne was banished. For reuengement whereof he perswaded Accius Tullius king of the Volscians, to make warres upon the Romaynes, and he himselfe in their ayde, came in his owne person. The Citie brought to greate miserye, the fathers deuised meanes to deliuer the same, and sent vnto the Volscian campe, the mother, the wife and children of Coriolanus. Vpon whose complaintes Coriolanus withdrewe the Volscians, and the citie was reduced to quietnes.

[Source and Origin.—Livy, ii. 35 seq.

Parallels.—I. Ancient: Dionys. Hal. viii. 1; Zonar vii. 16; Plutarch Coriolanus; Val. Max. 5. 4. I; Dio Cass. (Exc. Vat.) 16 p. 148; Aur. Vict. 19. II. Mediæval: Holkot Narrat. 175; Gesta Rom., Lat. 137; Germ. 89; Violier, 115; Rosarium, i. 120. III. Modern: Abr. à St. Clara; Laubenhüt, I. 301; Acerra, 2. 17; Albertinus, 291; Kirchhof, vi. 73-6, 82.

Painter, I. i. 9; II. i. 9; III. i. 35; IV. i. 29.

Derivates.—It is possible that Shakespeare first got the idea of the dramatic capabilities of the story of Coriolanus from Painter though he filled in the details from North’s Plutarch.]


V. Appius and Virginia.

Appius Claudius, one of the Decemuiri of Rome, goeth about to rauishe Virginia a yonge mayden, which indeuour of Appius, when her father Virginius vnderstode being then in the warres, hee repaired home to rescue his doughter. One that was betrouthed vnto her, clamed her, whereupon rose great contention. In the ende her owne father, to saue the shame of his stocke, killed her with a Bocher’s knife, and went into the Forum, crying vengeance vpon Appius. Then after much contention and rebellion, the Decemuiri were deposed.

[Source.—Giovanni, Pecorone, giorn. xx. nov. 2.

Origin.—Livy, iii. 44, 47-57.

Parallels.Mediæval: Gower, Conf. Amant. vii.; Chaucer, Cant. Tales, Doctour’s Tale; Modern: Macaulay, Lays.

Painter, I. i. 13; II. i. 12; III. i. 31; IV. i. 35.

Derivates.—R. B., A new tragical comedy of Apius and Virginia, 1575.—Webster, Appius and Virginia. Hazlewood also refers to tragedies on the subject by Betterton, Crisp, Dennis, Moncrieff, Brooke, Bidlake, &c. Vincent Brooke, the actor, made his greatest hit in the part of Virginius.]

VI. Candaules and Gyges.

Candaules king of Lidia, shewing the secretes of his wyues beautie to Gyges, one of his guarde: was by counsaile of his wife, slaine by the said Gyges, and depriued of his kingdome.

[Source and Origin.—Herodotus, i. 7-13.

Parallels—.Justin, i. 7. Mod.: Guicciardini, 44; Federmann, Erquickstunden, 1574, 65; Albertinus, 186; Kirchhof, iv. 1.

Painter, I. i. 19; II. i. 18; III. i. 32; IV. i. 46.]

VII. Crœsus and Solon.

King Cræsus of Lydia reasoneth with the wyseman Solon, of the happie life of man. Who little esteeming his good aduise, vnderstoode before his death, that no man (but by vertue) can in this life attaine felicitie.

[Source and Origin.—Herod, i. 50 seq.

Parallels.—I. Ancient: Diod. xvi. 56; Plutarch, Solon. II. Modern: Albertinus, 235; Kirchhof, Wendenmuth, i. 4; Wanley, Wonders of the Little World, ed. 1774. III. li. 7.

lxviPainter, I. i. 21; II. i. 20; III. i. 35; IV. i. 49.

Derivates.—A tragedy under this name was written by Earl Stirling about 1601.]

VIII. Rhacon and Cartomes.

Of a father that made suite, to haue his owne sonne put to death.

[Source and Origin.—Ælian, i. 34.

Parallels.—Wanley, Wonders, IV. iii. 1.

Painter, I. i. 24; II. i. 22; III. i. 39; IV. i. 53.]

IX. Artaxerces and Sinetas.

Water offered of good will to Artaxerxes King of Persia, and the liberall rewarde of the Kinge to the giuer.

[Source and Origin.—Ælian, i. 32.

Painter, I. i. 24; II. i. 23; III. i. 40; IV. i. 54.]

X. Chariton and Menalippus.

The loue of Chariton and Menalippus.

[Source and Origin.—Ælian, ii. 17 [Melanippus].

Painter, I. i. 25; II. i. 24; III. i. 42; IV. i. 56.]

XI. Cyrus and Panthea.

Kinge Cyrus perswaded by Araspas, to dispose himselfe to loue a ladie called Panthea, entreth into a pretie disputation and talke of loue and beautie. Afterwards Araspas himselfe falleth in loue with the saide ladie, but she indued with greate chastitie, auoydeth his earnest sute. And when shee heard tell that her husbande was slaine in the seruice of Cyrus, she killed herselfe.

[Source.—Probably Bandello, iii. 9.

Origin.—Xenophon (given as source by Painter).

Parallels.Anc.: Plutarch, Moralia; De curiositate. Modern: Belleforest; Hist. trag. iv. 265; Wanley, Wonders, I. xi. 30.

lxviiPainter, I. i. 27; II. i. 25; III. i. 44; IV. i. 58.

Derivates—Warres of Cyrus, with the tragical Ende of Panthea, a tragedy, was printed in 1594.]

XII. Abdolominus King of Scythia.

Abdolominus is from poore estate, aduaunced by Alexander the Great, through his honest life, to be kyng of Sydone.

[Source and Origin.—Quinct. Curtius, IV. i. 19-16.

Parallels—Anc.: Diod. Sic. xvii. Mod.: Wanley, Wonders, VI. xiv.

Painter, I. i. 33; II. i. 31; III. i. 45; IV. i. 69.]

XIII. Alexander and the Scythian Ambassadors.

The oration of the Scythian Ambassadours to Alexander the great, reprouing his ambicion, and desire of Empire.

[Source and Origin.—Quintus Curtius, ix. 2.

Painter, I. i. 34; II. i. 32; III. i. 57; IV. i. 71.]

XIV. Metellus on Marriage.

The woordes of Metellus of mariage, and wiuing with the prayse and dispraise of the same.

[Source.—Aulus Gellius, Noct. Att. i. 6.

Origin.—Livy, ii. 32.

Parallels.—I. Ancient: Plut. Coriol. 6. Dio. Halic. vi. 76.

Painter, I. i. 36; II. i. 24; III. i. 60; IV. i. 74.]

XV. Lais and Demosthenes.

Of Lais and Demosthenes.

[Source and Origin.—A. Gellius, Noct. Att. i. 8.

Parallels.—Repeated in Painter II. xiii.

Painter, I. i. 38; II. i. 35; III. i. 63; IV. i. 77.]

XVI. Fabricius and Pyrrhus.

C. Fabritius and Emillius Consuls of Rome, beyng promised that king Pyrrhus for a somme of money should be slayne (which was a notable lxviiienemie to the Romaine state) aduertised Pyrrhus thereof by letters, and of other notable thinges doen by the same Fabritius.

[Source.—A. Gellius, Noct. Att. i. 14.

Origin.—(?) Livy, Epit. xiii.

Parallels.—I. Ancient: Plutarch Pyrr. 18, 19; An seni sit, &c., 21; Cicero, Pro Cœl., 14, 24; Brut. 14, 55; 16, 61; Phil. i. 5, 11; Cato, vi. 16; Val. Max., viii. 13, 5; Sueton. Tib., 2; Justin, 18, 2; Ovid,Fasti, xvi. 203.

Painter, I. i. 38; II. i. 36; III. i. 64; IV. i. 78.]

XVII. Camillus and Schoolmaster.

A Scholemaister traiterously rendring the noble mens sonnes of Faleria to the hands of Camillus, was wel acquited and rewarded for his paines and labour.

[Source.—A. Gellius, Noct. Att. xvii. 24.

Origin.—Livy, v. 26.

Parallels.—I. Ancient: Plutarch, Camillus, 10; Dion. Halic. excerp. Vatec. 13, 1; Frontinus, Strat. iv. 4, 1; Polyænus, Strat. viii. 7; Val. Max. vi. 5, 1; Aur. Victor, De vir. ill. 33; Zonar. vii. 32. II.ModernEnxemplos, 187. III. Modern: Gallensis, Commumilog. 1489, i. 11; H. Sachs, III. ii. 46; Hanmer, Hist. Roseng. 1654, 437; Acerra, i. 100; Kirch, i. 18.

Painter, I. i. 39; II. i. 37; III. i. 66; IV. i. 80.]

XVIII. Papyrius Prætextatus.

The Hystorie of Papyrius Prætextatus [and how he misled his mother].

[Source and Origin.—A. Gellius, Noct. Att. i. 23.

Parallels.Sabell. Exemp. i. 3; Bruson, Facet. iv. 4; Wanley, Wonders, III. xlvii. 4.

Painter, I. i. 41; II. i. 38; III. i. 69; IV. i. 83.]

XIX. Plutarch’s Anger.

How Plutarche did beate his man, and of pretie talke touching signes of anger.

[Source and Origin.—A. Gellius, Noct. Att. i. 26.

Painter, I. i. 42; II. i. 39; III. i. 71; IV. i. 85.]


XX. Æsop’s Fable of the Lark.

A pretie tale drawne out of the Larke of Æsope.

[Source.—A. Gellius, Noct. Att. ii. 29.

Origin and Parallels.Cf. Caxton’s Æsop, ed. Jacobs, Ro. i. 20; vol. i. p. 238.

Painter, I. i. 42; II. i. 40; III. i. 72; IV. i. 86.

Derivates.—A ballad on the subject, entitled A mirror most true, was licensed to Richard Jones 1576-7.]

XXI. Hannibal and Antiochus.

A merie geste, uttered by Hanniball to King Antiochus.

[Source and Origin.—A. Gellius.

Painter, I. i. 44; II. i. 41; III. i. 74; IV. i. 88.]

XXII. Androdus.

The marueilous knowledge of a Lion, being acquainted with a man, called Androdus.

[Source.—A. Gellius, Noct. Att. v. 14, 10.

Origin and Parallels.Cf. Caxton’s Æsop, ed. Jacobs, Ro. iii. 1, vol. i. p. 243.

Painter, I. i. 44; II. i. 41; III. i. 79; IV. i. 89.]

XXIII. Favorinus.

A pretie disputation of the philosopher Phauorinus, to perswade a woman not to put forth her child to nursse, but to nourishe it herselfe with her owne milke.

[Source and Origin.—A. Gellius, Noct. Att. xvii. 12.

Painter, I. i. 45; II. i. 42; III. i. 77; IV. i. 91.]

XXIV. Sertorius.

Of Sertorius, a noble Romaine capitaine.

[Source and Origin.—A Gellius, Noct. Att.

Painter, I. i. 48; II. i. 45; III. i. 81; IV. i. 95.

Derivates.—A tragedy with this title, by J. Bancroft, appeared in 1679, but it is scarcely likely to have been derived from Painter.]


XXV. Sibylline Leaves.

Of the bookes of Sybilla.

[Source.—A. Gellius, Noct. Att. i. 19.

Origin.—Pliny, Hist. Nat. xiii. 28.

Painter, I. i. 49; II. i. 46; III. i. 84; IV. i. 98.]

XXVI. Master and Scholar.

A difference and controuersie betwene a maister and a scholler, so subtile that the iudges coulde not geue sentence.

[Source and Origin.—A. Gellius.

Painter, I. i. 80; II. i. 46; III. i. 85; IV. i. 99.]

XXVII. Seleucus and Antiochus.

Seleucus king of Asia, gaue his wife to his owne sonne in mariage, being his mother in lawe; who so feruently did loue her, that he was like to die, whiche by a discrete and wyse inuention, was discouered to Seleucus by a Phisition.

[Source and Origin.—Plutarch, Demetrius (probably in Amyot’s translation).

Parallels—.Val. Max. v. 7; Wanley, Wonders, III. ix. 4.

Painter, I. i. 51; II. i. 48; III. i. 88; IV. i. 102.]

XXVIII. Timon of Athens.

Of the straunge and beastlie nature of Timon of Athens, enemie to mankinde, with his death, buriall, and Epitaphe.

[Source and Origin.—Plutarch, Marc Antonius (probably through Amyot’s translation).

Parallels—.Erasmus, Adagio; Sabell. Exemp. ii. 2; Reynolds, Treatise of Passions, c. 13; Wanley, Wonders, II. ix. 8.

Painter, I. i. 57; II. i. 54; III. i. 98; IV. i. 112.

Derivates.—Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens (c. 1608) is founded on this, though much expanded. There is a play of Timon anterior to Shakespeare’s, and printed by Mr. Hazlitt.]

XXIX. Marriage of Widow and Widower.

The mariage of a man and woman, hee being the husband of xx. wiues: and shee the wife of xxii. husbandes.

lxxi[Source.—Pedro di Messia, Selva di varie Lezzioni, i. 34.

Origin.—St. Jerome.

Painter, I. i. 59; II. i. 55; III. i. 100; IV. i. 114.]

XXX. The Three Rings.

How Melchisedech a iewe, by telling a pretie tale of three Ringes, saued his life.

[Source.—Boccaccio, Decameron, giorn. i., nov. 3.

Origin.Cento novelle antichi, 72 (through Busone), L’avventuroso Cicilianocf. Landau, Die Quellen2 183. Probably original source was Jewish. Cf. G. Paris in Revue des études juives, t. xvii., and A. Wünsche in Lessing-Mendelssohn Gedenkbuch.

Parallels.Med.: Shebet Jehuda (Heb.), Gesta Rom. 89. Lessing, Nathan der Weise.

Painter.—I. i. 60; II. i. 56; III. i. 102; IV. i. 116.]

XXXI. Borsieri and Grimaldi.

One called Guglielmo Borsiere with certaine wordes well placed, taunted the couetous life of Ermino Grimaldi.

[Source.—Boccaccio, Dec., giorn. i., nov. 8.

Origin.—Benvenuto Rambaldi. Commentary on Inferno xvi.

Painter.—I. i. 61; II. i. 57; III. i. 105; IV. i. 119.]

XXXII. Alberto of Bologna.

Maister Alberto of Bologna, by a pleasaunt aunsweare made a gentlewoman to blushe, which had thoughte to haue put him out of countenaunce, in telling him that he was in loue with her.

[Source and Origin.—Boccaccio, Dec. i. 10.

Painter.—I. i. 63; II. i. 58; III. i. 108; IV. i. 122.]

XXXIII. Rinaldo of Este.

Rinaldo of Esti being robbed, arrived at Castel Guglielmo, and was succoured of a wydowe: and restored to his losses, retourning saulfe and sounde home to his owne house.

[Source.—Boccaccio, Dec. ii. 2.

Origin.Pantschatantra (Fables of Bidpai), II. iv. tr. Benfey, 183.

lxxiiParallels.Mediæval: von der Hagen, Gesammtabenteuer, No. 42; Mod.: Lope de Vega, Llegar en ocasion: Lafontaine, L’oraison de St. Julien; La Moth, Le Talisman.

Painter.—I. i. 64; II. i. 60; III. i. 111; IV. i. 125.

Derivatives.The Widow, attributed to Ben Jonson, Fletcher and Middleton, seems to have been derived from this.]

XXXIV. The King of England’s Daughter.

Three yonge men hauing fondlye consumed all that they had, became verie poore, whose nephewe (as he retourned out of Englande into Italie,) by the waye fell into acquaintaunce with an abbote, whome (vpon further familiaritie) he knewe to be the king of Englande’s doughter, whiche toke him to husbande. Afterwardes she restored his vncles to all their losses, and sent them home in good state and reputation.

[Source and Origin.66—Boccaccio, Dec., giorn. ii., nov. 3.

Painter.—I. i. 68; II. i. 63; III. i. 116; IV. i. 130.]

XXXV. Landolfo Ruffolo.

Landolpho Ruffolo being impooerished, became a pirate and taken by the Geneuois, was in daunger of drowning, who sauing himselfe vpon a litle coafer full of rich iewels, was receiued at Corfu, and beinge cherished by a woman, retourned home very riche.

[Source and Origin.—Boccaccio, Decamerone, giorn. ii., nov. 4.

Painter.—I. i. 73; II. i. 68; III. i. 124; IV. i. 138.]

XXXVI. Andruccio.

Andreuccio of Perugia being come to Naples to buy horses, was in one night surprised, with three marueilous accidentes. All which hauinge escaped with one Rubie he retourned home to his house.

[Source.—Boccaccio, Decamerone, giorn. ii., nov. 5.

Origin.—Fabliau, Boivin de Provins. Barbazan, i. 357.

Parallels.Mod.: Pitré, Nov. pop. sic. No. 163. Nerucci, Nov. montalesi, No. 45. Gianandrea, Trad. Marchigiane (cf. T. F. Crane, Academy, 22 Mar. 1879). Schiefner, Mahâkâtjâjana, 23.

Painter.—I. 76; II. i. 71; III. i. 129; IV. i. 143.]


XXXVII. The Earl of Angiers.

The erle of Angiers being falsely accused, was banished out of Fraunce, and left his two sonnes in sondry places in Englande, and retourning (vnknowen) by Scotlande, founde theim in great authoritie, afterwardes he repayred in the habite of a seruaunte, to the Frenche kinges armie, and being knowen to be innocent, was againe aduaunced to his first estate.

[Source.Boccaccio, Decamerone, giorn. ii., nov. 8.

Origin.—Dante, Purg. vi. 22, and frame of Seven Wise Masters.

Parallels.Mediæval: Guillaume de la Barre, ed. P. Meyer; Jacob à Voragine, Legenda aurea, 176; Gesta Rom. 48; Mod.: Goethe, Vertriebener Graf.

Painter.—I. i. 85; II. i. 78; III. i. 142; IV. i. 156.

Derivates.—Ayres, the German dramatist (+ 1605), who derived much from the English comedians, had a drama called Graf von Angiers.]

XXXVIII. Giletta of Narbonne.

Giletta, a Phisition’s doughter of Narbon, healed the French King of a Fistula, for reward whereof she demaunded Beltramo Counte of Rossiglione to husband. The Counte being maried against his will, for despite fled to Florence and loued another. Giletta his wife, by pollicie founde meanes to lye with her husbande, in place of his louer, and was begotten with childe of two sonnes: which knowen to her husband, he receiued her againe, and afterwards he liued in great honour and felicitie.

[Source.—Boccaccio, Decamerone, giorn. iii., nov. 9.

Origin.—? Terence Hecyra.

Parallels.Mediæval: Somadeva Katha-sarit-sagara, 29; Von der Hagen, Gesammt. No. 32; Fauche Tetrade, ii. No. 6; Mod.: Gipsy Tale, by F. Miklosich, Denks. K. Akad., Wien, xxiii. p. 14.

Painter.—Ii. 95; II. i. 87; III. i. 157; IV. i. 171.

Derivates.—The main plot of Shakespeare’s All’s Well that Ends Well certainly comes from Painter.]

XXXIX. Tancred and Gismonda.

Tancredi Prince of Salerne, caused his doughter’s louer to be slayne, and sente his harte vnto her in a cup of golde: whiche afterwardes she put into poysoned water, and drinking thereof died.


[Origin.—Boccaccio, Decamerone, giorn. iv., nov. i.

Source.—Romance of Raoul de Couçy.

Parallels.Med.: Aretini, De Amore Guiscardii, F. Beroaldo, Latin verse, Paris, 1599; J. Fleury, L’amour parfaite de Giusgardu, Paris, 1493; A. Guasco in ottava rima, Venice, 1600; W. Walter,Amorous hysterie of Guistard, 1532; Howell, Letters, ed. Jacobs, p. 323; Wanley, Wonders, II. xii. 24.

Painter.—I. i. 100; II. i. 92; III. i. 166; IV. i. 180.

Derivates.—R. Wilmot, Tancred and Gismund (performed 1568, printed 1591); Turberville, Tragicall Tales, iv.]

XL. Mahomet and Irene.

Mahomet one of the Turkish Emperours, executeth curssed crueltie vpon a Greeke maiden, whome hee tooke prisoner, at the wynning of Constantinople.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part i., nov. 10 (through French translation of Boaistuau, 1559, no. 2).

Parallels.—Belleforest, Histories tragiques, i. 30 seq.; Knowles, Turk. Hist. 350 seq.; Wanley, Wonders, IV. x. 6.

Painter.—I. i. 107; II. i. 94; III. i. 176; IV. i. 190.

Derivates.—Peele’s Famous play of the Turkish Mahomet and Hyren the Fair Greek, played in 1594 and 1601 (not extant). Ayres had also a drama on Mahomet. Also, L. Carlell, Osmond the Great Turk, 1657; G. Swinhoe, Unhappy fair Irene, 1658; C. Goring, Irene, 1708; Dr. Johnson, Irene, 1749.]

XLI. Lady Falsely Accused.

A Ladie faslie accused of adultrie, was condempned to be deuoured of Lions: the maner of her deliuerie, and how (her innocencie being knowen) her accuser felt the paines for her prepared.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello (through Belleforest’s translation, 1559, no. 2).

Painter.—I. i. 112; II. i. 103; III. i. 184; IV. i. 198.]

XLII. Didaco and Violenta.

Didaco a Spaniarde, is in loue with a poore maiden of Valencia, and secretly marieth her, afterwardes lothinge his first mariage, because she was of base parentage, he marieth an other of noble birth. His first lxxvwyfe, by secrete messenger prayeth his company, whose request he accomplisheth. Being a bedde, shee and her maide killeth him. She throweth him into the streate: shee in desperate wise confesseth the facte before the Maiestrates, and is put to death.

[Source.—Boaistuau, 1559, no. 5.

Origin.—Bandello, Part i., nov. 42.

Painter.—I. i. 125; II. i. 114; III. i. 204; IV. i. 218.

Derivates.—T. Achely put the story into verse, 1576. Beaumont and Fletcher’s Triumph of Death, the second of their Four Plays in One.]

XLIII. Lady of Turin

Wantones and pleasaunt life being guides of insolencie, doth bring a miserable end to a faire ladie of Thurin, whom a noble man aduaunced to high estate: as appereth by this historie, wherein he executeth great crueltie vpon his sayde ladie, taken in adulterie.

[Source.—Boaistuau, 1559, no. 4.

Origin.—Bandello, Part ii., nov. 12.

Parallels.—Belleforest, i. 78 seq. Q. Margaret, Heptameron, nov. 32 (cf. Painter I. 57, infra and parallels there).

Painter.—I. i. 135; II. i. 127; III. i. 226; IV. i. 240.]

XLIV. Aleran and Adelasia.

The loue of Alerane of Saxone, and of Andelasia the doughter of the Emperour Otho the thirde of that name. Their flight and departure into Italie, and how they were known againe, and what noble houses of Italie descended of their race.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part ii., nov. 27 (Belleforest, 1559, no. 1).

Parallels.—Belleforest, i. 57 seq.

Painter.—I. i. 20 (sic); II. i. 130; III. i. 245; IV. i. 249.]

XLV. Duchess of Savoy.

The Duchesse of Sauoie, being the kinge of England’s sister, was in the Duke her husbandes absence, vniustlye accused of adulterie, by a noble man, his Lieutenaunte: and shoulde haue beene put to death, if by the prowesse and valiaunt combate of Don Iohn di Mendozza, (a gentleman of Spaine) she had not beene deliuered. With a discourse of maruelous accidentes, touchinge the same, to the singuler praise and commendation of chaste and honest Ladies.

lxxvi[Source.—Boaistuau, 1559, no. 6.

Origin.—Bandello, Part ii., nov. 44 (from Val. Baruchius).

Parallels.—Belleforest, i. 107, seq.

Painter.—I. i. 226; II. i. 153; III. i. 271; IV. i. 285.

Derivates.—De la Peend, History of John Lord Mandozze, 1565 (cf. Brit. Bibliographer, ii. 523). De la Peend must have had proof sheets of Painter.]

XLVI. The Countess of Salisbury.

A King of England loued the daughter of one of his noble men, which was Countesse of Salesburie, who after great sute to atchieue that he could not winne, for the entire loue he bare her, and her greate constancie, hee made her his queene and wife.

[Source.—Bandello, Part ii., nov. 26 (through Boaistuau, no. 1).

Origin.—Froissart, i., cc. 77-89. (N.B.—There is a confusion between Edward III. and the Black Prince, who was really the Countess’ lover.)

Parallels.—Belleforest, i. § 18.

Painter.—I. i. 258; II. i. 182; III. i. 320; IV. 334.

Derivates.—The Shakespearian part of Edward III. is derived from the work of Painter.]

XLVII. Galgano and Madonna Minoccia.

A gentleman called Galgano, long time made sute to Madonna Minoccia: her husband sir Stricca (not knowing the same) diuers times praised and commended Galgano, by reason whereof, in the absence of her husband, she sent for him, and yelded herself vnto him, tellinge him what wordes her husband had spoken of him, and for recompence he refused to dishonest her.

[Source and Origin.—Ser Giovanne Fiorentino, Peccorone, I. i.

Parallels.—Masuccio, Novellino, 1450, nov. 21.

Painter.—I. i. 279; II. i. 199; III. i. 351; IV. ii. 3.]

XLVIII. Bindo and Ricciardo.

Bindo a notable Architect, and his sonne Ricciardo, with all his familie, from Florence went to dwell at Venice, where being made Citizens for diuers monuments by them done there, throughe inordinate expences were forced to robbe the Treasure house. Bindo beinge slaine lxxviiby a pollicie deuised by the Duke and state, Ricciardo by fine subtelties deliuereth himselfe from foure daungers. Afterwards the Duke (by his owne confession) vnderstandinge the sleightes, giueth him his pardon and his doughter in mariage.

[Source and Origin.—Ser Giovanne, Pecor., giorn. ix., nov. 1.

Parallels.Anc.: Herod ii. 121, 122; Diod. Sic. i. 62; Pausanius ix. 37, § 4. Med.: L. Valla. Mod.: H. Stephen, Traité preparatif à l’Apologie; Bandello, Part I. nov. xxv.

Painter.—I. i. 282; II. i. 202; III. i. 356; IV. ii. 8.

Derivates.—Henslowe’s Diary, 4 Mar. and 5 June 1592, has references to a tragedy of Bindo and Ricardo, evidently derived from this.]

XLIX. Filenio Sisterno.

Philenio Sisterno, a Scholler of Bologna, being mocked of three faire Gentlewomen, at a banket made of set purpose he was reuenged on them all.

[Source and Origin.—Straparola, Piac. Notti, II., nov. 2.

Painter.—I. i. 289; II. i. 208; III. i. 366; IV. i. 18.]

L. Muleteer’s Wife.

The piteous and chaste death of one of the muleters wiues of the Queene of Nauarre.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Heptameron 2.

Painter.—I. i. 296; II. i. 214; III. i. 377; IV. ii. 29.]

LI. King of Naples.

A king of Naples, abusing a Gentleman’s wife, in the end did weare the hornes himself.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Heptameron, 3.

Parallels.Bandello, Part iv., nov. 10.

Painter.—I. i. 298; II. i. 216; III. i. 380; IV. i. 32.]

LII. Princess of Flanders.

The rashe enterprise of a Gentleman against a Princesse of Flaunders, and of the shame that he receyued thereof.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Heptameron, 4.

Painter.—I. i. 302; II. i. 219; III. i. 386; IV. ii. 38.]


LIII. Amadour and Florinda.

The loue of Amadour and Florinda: wherein be conteined mani sleightes and dissimulations, together with the renowmed chastitie of the said Florinda.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Heptameron, 10.

Painter.—I. i. 306; II. i. 223; III. i. 393; IV. ii. 45.]

LIV. Duke of Florence.

The incontinencie of a duke and of his impudencie to attaine his purpose, with the iust punishment which he receiued for the same.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Heptameron, 12.

Painter.—I. i. 326; II. i. 270; III. i. 423; IV. ii. 75.]

LV. Francis I. and Count Guillaume.

One of the Frenche kinge’s called Frauncis the firste of that name, declared his gentle nature to Counte Guillaume, that would haue killed him.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Heptameron, 17.

Painter.—I. i. 330; II. i. 243; III. i. 429; IV. ii. 81.]

LVI. Gentlewoman of Pampelunæ.

A pleasaunt discours of a great Lord to enioy a Gentlewoman of Pampelunæ.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Heptameron, 26.

Painter.—Not in I.; II. i. 245; III. i. 432; IV. ii. 84.]

LVII. A Strange Punishment of Adultery.

A punishment more rigorous than death, of a husband towarde his wife that had committed adulterie.

[Source.—Q. Margaret, Heptameron, nov. 32.

Origin.—? Bandello, Part ii., nov. 10.

Parallels.Med.Gesta, Gower; Conf. Amant. i. Mod.: Bandello, iii., nov. 15; Belleforest, i. 297; Whetstone, Heptameron, 3rd day; Stollberg, Ballad.

Painter.—I. i. 332; II. i. 252; III. i. 445; IV. ii. 97.

lxxixDerivates.—Greene’s Planetomachio and Davenant’s Alborine have similar incidents, but whether derived from Painter it is difficult to say.]

LVIII. President of Grenoble.

A President of Grenoble aduertised of the ill gouernement of his wife, took such order, that his honestie was not diminished, and yet reuenged the facte.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Hept., nov. 36.

Parallels.—Bandello, Part i., nov. 35.

Painter.—I. i. 334; II. i. 254; III. i. 449; IV. ii. 101.

Derivates.—Shirley’s Love’s Cruelty.]

LIX. Gentleman of Perche.

A gentleman of Perche suspecting iniurie done vnto him by his friend, prouoked him to execute and put in proufe the cause of his suspicion.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Hept., nov. 47.

Painter.—I. i. 336; II. i. 256; III. i. 452; IV. ii. 104.]

LX. Gentleman that Died of Love.

The piteous death of an Amorous Gentleman, for the slacke comfort geuen him to late, by his beloued.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Hept., nov. 9.

Painter.—Not in I.; II. i. 258; III. i. 455; IV. ii. 107.]

LXI. Lady of the French Court.

A Gentlewoman of the Courte, very pleasauntly recompenced the seruice of a kinde seruaunte of her’s, that pursued her with service of loue.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Hept., nov. 58.

Painter.—Not in I.; II. i. 26; III. i. 461; IV. ii. 113.]

LXII. Rolandine the Chaste.

The honest and maruellous loue of a mayden of noble house, and of a gentleman that was base borne, and howe a Queene did impeche and let their mariage, with the wise aunswere of the mayde to the Queene.

lxxx[Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Hept., nov. 21.

Painter.—Not in I.; II. i. 263; III. i. 464; IV. ii. 116.]

LXIII. The Prudent Lady.

The Wisedome of a woman to withdrawe the foolishe loue of her husband, wherewith he was tormented.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Hept., nov. 37.

Painter.—Not in I.; II. i. 263; III. i. 483; IV. ii. 135.]

LXIV. The Lady of Tours.

The notable charitie of a woman of Tours towards her husbande.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Hept., nov. 38.

Painter.—Not in I.; II. i. 276; III. i. 487; IV. ii. 139.]

LXV. Miracle at Lyons.67

The simplicitie of an old woman, that offered a burning candle to S. Iohn of Lions.

[Source and Origin.Hept., nov. 65.

Painter.—I. i. 338; II. i. 277; III. i. 489; IV. ii. 141.]

LXVI. Doctor of Laws.

A Doctor of the Lawes boughte a cup, who by the subtiltie of two false varlets, lost both his money and the cuppe.

[Source.—“Out of a little Frenche booke called ‘Comptes du Monde Avantureux.’”

Origin.—Massanio, Novellino, Part II. nov. 17.

Parallels.Mensa Philosophica.

Painter.—I. i. 339; II. i. 278; III. i. 490; IV. ii. 142.

Derivates.—Marston’s Dutch Courtesan, 1605; and Anon.: The Cuckqueanes and Cuckolds Errant, a Comedye, 1601, formerly in Haslewood’s possession.]



I. The Amazons.

The hardinesse and conquests of diuers stout, and aduenturous women, called Amazones, the beginninge, and continuance of their Reigne, and of the great iourney of one of their Queenes called Thalestris to visit Alexander the great: with the cause of her trauaile.

[Source and Origen.—Herod, iv. 110.

Parallels.—Acerra, ii. 58; Albertinus, 55; Kirchhof, Wendenmuth, iv. 182.

Painter.—I. ii. 1; II. ii. 1; III. ii. 1; IV. ii. 159.]

Derivates.—A Masque of the Amazons was played March 3, 1592 (Henslowe).]

II. Alexander and Sisigambis.

The great pitie and continencie of Alexander the great and his louinge entertaynment of Sisigambis the wife of the great monarch Darivs after he was vanquished.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Curtius, x. 5.

Parallels.—Justin, xiii. 1.

Painter.—I. ii. 5; II. ii. 4; III. ii. 8; IV. ii. 166.]

III. Timoclia of Thebes.

Timoclia, a gentlewoman of Thebes, vnderstandinge the couetous desire of a Thracian knight, that had abused hir, and promised her mariage, rather for her goods than loue, well acquited hir selfe from his falshoode.

[Source and Origin.—Plutarch, Alexander, (Amyot).

Parallels.—Zonar, Ann. i. f. 32; Wanley, Wonders, III. xxx. 6.

Painter.—I. ii. 9; II. ii. 7; III. ii. 14; IV. ii. 172.

Derivates.—A play entitled Timoclia, doubtless derived from Painter, is mentioned in the Revel’s Account. It was played at Merchant Taylors’ in 1574. Fleay, History, 381.]


IV. Ariobarzanes.

Ariobarzanes great steward to Artaxerxes king of Persia, goeth about to exceede his soueraigne lord and maister in curtesie; where in be conteyned many notable and pleasaunt chaunces, besides the great patience and loyaltie naturally planted in the sayd Ariobarzanes.

[Source and Origin.—i-Bandello, Pt. i., nov. 2.

Parallels.—Belleforest iv. f. 9 seq.

Painter.—I. ii. 11; II. ii. 9; III. ii. 18; IV. ii. 176.]

V. Aristotemus the Tyrant.

Lucivs one of the garde to Aristotimvs the Tyrant of the cittye of Elis, fell in loue with a fayre mayden called Micca, the daughter of one Philodemvs and his cruelty done upon her. The stoutnesse also of a noble matron named Megistona in defence of hir husbande and the common wealth from the tyranny of the said Aristotimvs: and of other actes done by the subjects vppon that Tyrant.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part iii. nov. 5.

Parallels.—Belleforest, t. iv. f. 234.

Painter.—I. ii. 32; II. ii. 26; III ii. 51; IV. ii. 209.]

VI. Tanaquil.

The maruaylous courage and ambition of a gentlewoman called Tanaquil, the Queene and wife of Tarqvinivs Priscvs the fift Roman king, with his persuasions and pollicy to hir husbande for his aduauncement to the kingdom, her lyke encouragement of Servivs Tvllivs, wherein also is described the ambition of one of the II. daughters of Servivs Tvllivs the sixt Roman king, and her cruelty towards her owne natural father: with other accidents chaunced in the new erected common welth of Rome, specially of the last Romane king Tarqvinivs Svperbvs, who with murder atteined the kingdome, with murder maynteined it, and by the murder and insolent lyfe of his sonne was with al his progeny banished.

[Source and Origin.—Livy, i. 34-41.

Painter.—I. ii. 40; II. ii. 33; III. ii. 63; IV. ii. 221.]


VII. Sophonisba.

The vnhappy end and successe of the loue of King Massinissa, and Queene Sophonisba his wyfe.

[Source.—Bandello, Part i. nov. 41.

Origin.—Petrarch, Trionfi.

Parallels.—Belleforest, I. iii., f. 356; Trissino, Sophonisba (tragedy), 1524; Raleigh, Hist. V. iii. 8; Wanley, Wonders, III. liii. 2.

Painter.—I. ii. 49; II. ii. 39; III. ii. 78; IV. ii. 236.

Derivates.—Marston, Wonder of Women, or Sophonisba, her tragedy, printed 1606; N. Lee, Sophonisba, or Hannibal’s Overthrow, 1676; J. Thomson, Sophonisba, acted 28 Feb. 1730.68]

VIII. Theoxena and Poris.

The crueltye of a Kynge of Macedone who forced a gentlewoman called Theoxena, to persuade hir children to kill and poyson themselves: after which fact, she and hir husband Poris ended their lyfe by drowninge.

[Source and Origin.—Livy, xl. 4.

Painter.—-I. ii. 39; II. ii. 48; III. ii. 94; IV. ii. 252.]

IX. Lady of Hidrusa.

A straunge and maruellous vse, which in old time was obserued in Hidrvsa, where it was lawfull, with the licence of a magistrate ordayned for that purpose, for every man, and woman that list, to kill them selues.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part i., nov. 56.

Parallels.—Belleforest, t. iv., f. 214.

Painter.—I. ii. 61; II. ii. 50; III. ii. 98; IV. ii. 256.]

X. The Empress Faustina.

The dishonest Loue of Favstina the Empresse, and with what remedy the same loue was remoued and taken away.

lxxxiv[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part 1, nov. 36.

Parallels.—Belleforest, t. iv., f. 83.

Painter.—I. ii. 65; II. ii. 52; III. ii. 102; IV. ii. 260.]

XI. Two Maids of Carthage.

Chera hid a treasure: Elisa going about to hang her selfe, and tying the halter about a beame found that treasure, and in place thereof left the halter. Philene the daughter of Chera going for that treasure, and busily searching for the same, found the halter, wherewithal for dispayre she would haue hanged hir selfe, but forbidden by Elisa, who by chaunce espied hir, she was restored to part of hir losse, leading afterwards a happy and prosperous lyfe.

[Source and Origin.—Cinthio, Ecatomithi, giorn. ix., nov. 8.

Parallels.—“Heir of Linne” in Percy; Guellette, Contes tartares.

Painter.—I. ii. 67; II. ii. 54; III. ii. 106; IV. ii. 264.]

XII. Letters of the Emperor Trajan.

Letters of the Philosopher Plutarch to the noble and vertuous Emperour Traiane, and from the sayd Emperour to Plutarch: the lyke also from the said Emperour to the Senate of Rome. In all which be conteyned godly rules for gouernment of Princes, obedience of Subiects, and their duties to common wealth.

[Source and Origin.—Guevara.

Painter.—I. ii. 76; II. ii. 62; III. ii. 121; IV. ii. 279.]

XIII. Lamia, Flora and Lais.

A notable History of three amorous Gentlewomen called Lamia, Flora, and Lais: conteyning the sutes of noble Princes and other great Personages made vnto them, with their answeres to diuers demaundes: and the manner of their death and funerals.

[Source and Origin.—“Pausanias and Manitius” (text).

Parallels.—Painter I. nov. xv.; for Lais, Fenton, Wonderful Secretes 1569, ff. 65-7.

Painter.—I. ii. 123 [89]; II. ii. 73; III. ii. 143; IV. ii. 301.]


XIV. Zenobia Queen of Palmyra.

The lyfe and giftes of the most Famous Queene Zenobia with the Letters of the Emperour Avrelianvs to the sayde Queene, and her stoute aunswere thereunto.

[Source and Origin.—Tacitus, Ann. xii. 51.

Painter.—I. ii. 89 [95]; II. ii. 78; III. ii. 153; IV. 311.

Derivates.—A Zenobia was played at the Rose Theatre in 1591.]

XV. Euphemia and Acharisto.

Euphimia the Kyng of Corinth’s daughter fell in love with Acharisto, the seruaunt of her father, and besides others which required hir in mariage, she disdayned Philon the King of Peloponesvs, that loued hir very feruently. Acharisto conspiring against the King, was discouered, tormented, and put in prison, and by meanes of Euphimia deliuered. The King promised his daughter and kingdome to him that presented the head of Acharisto. Evphimia so wrought, as hee was presented to the King. The King gave him his daughter to wyfe and when he died made him his heyre. Acharisto began to hate his wyfe, and condemned hir to death as an adulteresse. Philon deliuered hir: and upon the sute of hir subiects, she is contented to mary him, and thereby he is made Kynge of Corinth.

[Source and Origin.—Cinthio, Ecaton, viii., nov. 10.

Painter.—I. 101; II. ii. 82; III. ii. 162; IV. ii. 320.]

XVI. The Marchioness of Monferrato.

The Marchionesse of Monferrato, with a banket of Hennes, and certaine pleasant wordes, repressed the fond loue of Philip the French Kynge.

[Source.—Boccaccio, Decamerone, giorn. i., nov. 5.

Origin.Seven Wise Masters.

Parallels.Anc.: II. Sam. c. xi. Med.: Sindibad, and plls.

Painter.—I. ii. 112; II. ii. 91; III. ii. 180; IV. ii. 338.]

XVII. Ansaldo and Dianora.

Mistresse Dianora demaunded of maister Ansaldo a garden so faire in Ianuary, as in the moneth of May. Mayster Ansaldo (by meanes of an lxxxviobligation which he made to a Nicromancer) caused the same to bee done. The husband agreed with the gentlewoman that she should do the pleasure which maister Ansaldo required, who hearinge the liberality of hir husband, acquited hir of hir promise, and the Necromancer discharged maister Ansaldo.

[Source.—Boccaccio, Decamerone, giorn. x., nov. 5.

Origin.Cukasaptati, cf. Forty Viziers, c. 14.

Parallels.Med.: Chaucer, Cant. TalesMod.: Andræ, Chymische Hochzeitcf. Campbell, West Highland Tales, No. 19, and R. Kohler’s variants in Orient und Occedent, ii.

Painter.—I. ii. 114; II. ii. 93; III. ii. 184; IV. ii. 342.

Derivates.—Beaumont and Fletcher, Triumph of Honour (but perhaps from Chaucer); Two Merry Milkmaids.]

XVIII. Mithradanes and Nathan.

Mithridanes enuious of the liberality of Nathan, and goinge aboute to kill hym, spake vnto him vnknowne, & being infourmed by himself by what meanes he might do the same he found him in a little wood accordingly as hee had tolde him, who knowinge him, was ashamed, and became his friende.

[Source.—Boccaccio, Decamerone, giorn. x., nov. 3.

Origin.—? Sadi, Orchard, story of Chatemtai and King of Yemen.

Painter.—I. ii. 118; II. ii. 96; III. ii. 190; IV. ii. 348.]

XIX. Catherine of Bologna.

Mayster Gentil of Carisendi being come from Modena, tooke a woman out of hir graue that was buried for dead, who after she was come agayne, brought forth a sonne, which mayster Gentil rendred afterwardes with the mother to mayster Nicholas Chasennemie her husband.

[Source and Origin.—Boccaccio’s Decamerone, giorn. x., nov. 4.

Parallels.Storia di Ginevra (printed, Pisa, 1863); Bandello, Part ii., nov. 41; Marie de France, Lai d’Eliduc; Uhland, Todten von Lustnau. See Liebrecht’s discussion, Zur Volkskunde, pp. 60-5.

Painter.—I. ii. 123; II. ii. 100; III. ii. 197; IV. ii. 355.]


XX. Thorello and Saladine.

Saladine in the habite of a Marchaunt, was honourably receyued into the house of mayster Thorello, who went ouer the Sea, in company of the Christians, and assigned a terme of his wyfe when she should mary agayne. He was taken, and caried to the Sovldan to be his Faulconer, who knowing him, and suffering himself to be knowen, did him great honour. Mayster Thorello fell sicke, and by Magique Art, was caried in a night to Pavie, where he found his wyfe about to mary agayne, who knowinge him, returned home with him to his owne house.

[Source.—Boccaccio, Decamerone, giorn. x., nov. 9.

Origin.—Busone da Gubbio, L’avventuroso Siciliano.

Painter.—I. ii. 128; II. ii. 104; III. ii. 205; IV. ii. 363.]

XXI. Anne Queen of Hungary.

A Gentleman of meane callinge and reputation, doth fall in loue with Anne, the Queene of Hungarie, whom shee very royally requited.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part i., nov. 45.

Painter.—I. i. 140; II. ii. 114; III. ii. 225; IV. ii. 383.]

XXII. Alexander De Medice and the Miller’s Daughter.

The gentle and iust act of Alexander de Medices Duke of Florence, vpon a gentleman whom he fauoured, who hauing rauished the Daughter of a poore Myller, caused him to mary hir, for the greater honour and celebration whereof, he appoynted hir a rich and honourable Dowry.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part ii., nov. 15.

Painter.—I. ii. 155; II. ii. 127; III. ii. 248; IV. ii. 406.

Derivates.—Fletcher, Maid of the Mill.]

XXIII. The Duchess of Malfy.

The infortunate mariage of a Gentleman, called Antonio Bologna, wyth the Duchesse of Malfi, and the pitiful death of them both.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part i., nov. 26.

Parallels.—Belleforest, edit. 1565, nov. 19.

Painter.—I. ii., 169; II. ii. 139; III. ii. 271; IV. iii. 3.

Derivates.—Webster, Duchess of Malfy.]


XXIV. The Countess of Celant.

The disordered Lyfe of the Countesse of Celant, and how shee (causinge the County of Masino to be murdered,) was beheaded at Millan.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part i. nov. 4 (Belleforest, 1565, no. 20).

Parallels.—Fenton, Tragical Discourses; Whetstone, Castle of DelightHeptameron.

Painter.—I. ii. 195; II. ii. 160; III. ii. 312; IV. iii. 44.

Derivates.—Marston, Insatiate Countess.]

XXV. Romeo and Juliet.

The goodly Hystory of the true, and constant Loue between Rhomeo and Ivlietta, the one of whom died of Poyson, and the other of sorrow, and heuinesse: wherein be comprysed many aduentures of Loue, and other deuises touchinge the same.

[Source.—Bandello, Part ii., nov. 9 (through Boaistuau, 1559, no. 3).

Origin.—Luigi da Porto, 1535 (fr. Masuccio, 1476, nov. xxxiii.).

Parallels.—Belleforest, t. i.; otto novelle rarissime; A. Brooke, 1562; Lopez de Vega, Los Castelveses y Monteses; F. de Roscas, Los Vandos de Verona; L. Groto, Hadriana, 1578.

Painter.—I. ii. 118; II. ii. 179; III. ii. 348; IV. iii. 80.

Derivates.—Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is partly founded on Painter, partly on Brooke’s poem. The English comedians played it in Germany. Sloane MS., 1775, contains a Latin play on this subject.]

XXVI. Two Ladies of Venice.

Two gentlemen of Venice were honourably deceiued of their Wyues, whose notable practises, and secret conference for atchieuinge their desire, occasioned diuers accidentes, and ingendred double benefit: wherein also is recited an eloquent oration, made by one of them, pronounced before the Duke and state of that Cittye: with other chaunces and acts concerninge the same.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part i., nov. 15.

Parallels.—Belleforest, t. iii. p. 58.

lxxxixPainter.—I. ii. 247; II. ii. 203; III. ii. 393; IV. iii. 125.

Derivates.—The underplot of Marston’s Insatiate Countess is derived from Painter, cf. supra.]

XXVII. The Lord of Virle.

The Lorde of Virle, by the commaundement of a fayre younge Wydow called Zilia, for hys promise made, the better to attaine hir loue, was contented to remayne dumbe the space of three yeares, and by what meanes he was reuenged, and obtayned hys suite.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part iii., nov. 17.

Parallels.—Belleforest, t. i. f. 289; Fenton, Trag. Disc. hist. xi.

Painter.—I. ii. 268; II. ii. 22; III. ii. 425; IV. iii. 157.]

XXVIII. Lady of Bohemia.

Two Barons of Hungarie assuring themselues to obtayne their sute to a fayre Lady of Boeme, receyued of hir a straung and maruelous repulse, to their great shame and Infamy, cursinge the tyme that euer they aduentured an enterprise so foolish.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part i., nov. 21.

Parallels.—Whetstone, Arbour of Vertue.

Painter.—I. ii. 292; II. ii. 238; III. ii. 463; IV. iii. 195.

Derivates.—Massinger, The Picture.]

XXIX. Diego and Ginevra.

Dom Diego a Gentleman of Spayne fell in loue with fayre Gineura, and she with him: their loue by meanes of one that enuied Dom Diego his happy choyse, was by default of light credit on his part interrupted. He constant of mynde, fell into despayre, and abandoninge all his frends and liuing, repayred to the Pyrene Mountaynes, where he led a sauage lyfe for certayne moneths, and afterwardes knowne by one of hys freendes, was (by marueylous circumstaunce) reconciled to hys froward mistresse, and maryed.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part i., nov. 27.

Parallels.—Belleforest, t. i., f. 382; Fenton, Trag. Disc., hist. xiii.; Whetstone, Garden of Unthriftness.

Painter.—I. ii. 309; II. ii. 252; III. ii. 490; IV. iii. 222.]


XXX. Salimbene and Angelica.

A Gentleman of Siena, called Anselmo Salimbene, curteously and gently deliuereth his enemy from death. The c00ondemned party seeing the kinde parte of Salimbene, rendreth into his hands his sister Angelica, with whom he was in loue, which gratitude and curtesie, Salimbene well markinge, moued in conscience, woulde not abuse hir, but for recompence tooke hir to his wyfe.

[Source.—Bandello, Part i., nov. 46.

Origin.—G. Sermini.

Parallels.—Fenton, Trag. Disc., hist i.

Painter.—I. ii. 350; II. ii. 286; III. ii. 556; IV. iii. 288.]

XXXI. Helena of Florence.

A wydow called mistresse Helena, wyth whom a scholler was in loue, (shee louing an other) made the same scholler to stande a whole Wynter’s night in the snow to wayte for hir, who afterwardes by a sleyght and pollicie, caused hir in Iuly, to stand vppon a tower starke naked amongs flies and gnats, and in the sunne.

[Source.—Boccaccio, giorn. viii., nov. 8.

Origin.—? Fabliau, Barbazan, i. 296.

Painter.—I. ii. 376; II. ii. 307; III. ii. 597; IV. iii. 329.]

XXXII. Camiola and Roland.

A gentlewoman and wydow called Camiola of hir own mind raunsomed Roland the kyng’s sonne of Sicilia, of purpose to haue him to hir husband, who when he was redeemed vnkindly denied hir, agaynst whom very eloquently she inueyed, and although the law proued him to be hir husband, yet for his vnkindnes, shee vtterly refused him.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part i., nov. xxxv.

Painter.—I. ii. 391; II. ii. 320; III. ii. 622; IV. iii. 354.]

XXXIII. Lords of Nocera.

Great cruelties chaunced to the Lords of Nocera, for adultry by one of them committed with the captayne’s wyfe of the forte of that citty, with an enterprise moued by the captaine to the cittyzens of the same xcifor rebellion, and the good and dutyfull aunswere of them: with other pityfull euents rysing of that notable and outragious vyce of whoredom.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part i., nov. 55.

Parallels.—Belleforest, t. ii. f. 162 (ed. 1565, no. 23).

Painter.—I. ii. 217; II. ii. 324; III. ii. 631; IV. iii. 363.]

XXXIV. Sultan Solyman.

The horrible and cruell murder of Sultan Selyman, late the emperor of the Turkes and father of Selym that now raigneth, done vpon his eldest sonne Mvstapha, by the procurement, and meanes of Rosa his mother in lawe, and by the speciall instigation of one of his noble men called Rvstanvs: where also is remembred the wilful death of one of his sons named Giangir, for the griefe he conceiued to see Mvstapha so miserably strangled.

[Source and Origin.—N. à Moffa.

Painter.—Not in I.; II. ii. 341; III. ii. 663; IV. iii. 395.

Derivates.—Latin Tragedy of same name Solyman et Mustapha was played in 1581 (Fleay, History, 421).]

XXXV. The King of Morocco.

The great curtesie of the kyng of Marocco, (a citty in Barbarie) toward a poore fisherman, one of his subiects, that had lodged the kyng, being strayed from his company in hunting.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part i. nov. 57.

Parallels.—Belleforest, t. ii. f. 190 (ed. 1565, no. 24).

Painter.—I. ii. 410; II. ii. 348; III. ii. 684; IV. iii. 416.]



[Double titles are repeated under both headings, e.g., “Romeo and Juliet” will also be found under “Juliet and Romeo.” Roman numbers indicate the Tome of Painter.]

Abdolominusi. 12
Acharisto and Euphemiaii. 15
Adelasia and Alerani. 44
Adultery, Punishment ofi. 57
Æsop’s Fable of Larki. 20
Alberto of Bolognai. 32
Aleran and Adelasiai. 44
Alexander and Scythiansi. 13
Alexander and Sisigambisii.   2
Alexander de Mediciii. 22
Amadour and Florindai. 53
Amazonsii.   1
Androdus (Androcles)i. 22
Andruccioi. 36
Angelica and Salimbeneii. 30
Angiers, Earl ofi. 37
Anne of Hungaryii. 21
Ansaldo and Dionoraii. 17
Antiochus and Hannibali. 21
Antiochus and Seleucusi. 27
Appius and Virginiai.   5
Ariobarzanesii.   4
Aristotemusii.   5
Artaxerxes and Sinetasi.   9
Athens, Timon ofi. 28
Bohemia, Lady ofii. 28
Bologna, Alberto ofi. 32
Bologna, Katharine ofii. 19
Borsieri and Grimaldii. 31
Camillus and Schoolmasteri. 17
Camiola and Rolandii. 32
Candaules and Gygesi.   6
Carthage, Maids ofii. 11
Carthomes and Rhaconi.   8
Chariton and Menalippusi. 10
Coriolanusi.   4
Countess of Celantii. 24
Countess of Salisburyi. 46
Crœsus and Soloni.   7
Curiatii and Horatiii.   1
Cyrus and Pantheai. 11
Daughter of King of Englandi. 34
Demosthenes and Laisi. 15
Didaco and Violentai. 42
Diego and Ginevraii. 29
Dionora and Ansaldoii. 17
Doctor of Lawsi. 66
Duchess of Malfyii. 23
Duchess of Savoyi. 45
Duke of Florencei. 54
Duke of Venice and Ricciardoi. 48
Earl of Angiersi. 37
Este, Rinaldo ofi. 33
Euphemia and Acharistoii. 15
Fabricius and Pyrrhusi. 16
Faustinaii. 10
Favorinusi. 23
xcivFilenio Sisternoi. 49
Flanders, Princess ofi. 52
Flora, Lamia, and Laisii. 13
Florence, Duke ofi. 54
Florence, Helena ofii. 31
Florinda and Amadouri. 53
Francis I. and Guillaumei. 55
Galgano and Minocciai. 47
Gentleman of Perchei. 59
Gentleman that died of lovei. 60
Giletta of Narbonnei. 38
Ginevra and Diegoii. 29
Gismonda and Tancredi. 39
Grenoble, President ofi. 58
Grimaldi and Borsierii. 31
Gyges and Candaulesi.   6
Hannibal and Antiochusi. 21
Helena of Florenceii. 31
Hidrusa, Lady ofii.   9
Horatii and Curiatiii.   1
Hungary, Anne ofii. 21
Irene and Mahometi. 40
Juliet and Romeoii. 25
Katherine of Bolognaii. 19
King of England’s Daughteri. 34
King of Naplesi. 51
King of Moroccoii. 35
Ladies of Veniceii. 26
Lady falsely accusedi. 41
Lady of Bohemiaii. 28
Lady of French Courti. 61
Lady of Hidrusaii.   9
Lady of Pamplunai. 56
Lady of Toursi. 64
Lady of Turini. 42
Lady, Prudenti. 63
Lais and Demosthenesi. 15
Lamia, Flora, and Laisii. 13
Landolfo Ruffoloi. 35
Lark, Fable ofi. 20
Laws, Doctor ofi. 66
Letters of Trajanii. 12
Lord of Virleii. 27
Lords of Noceraii. 33
Lucrece, Rape ofi.   2
Lyons, Miracle ati. 65
Maids of Carthageii. 11
Mahomet and Irenei. 40
Malfy, Duchess ofii. 23
Master and scholari. 26
Medici, Alexander ofii. 22
Menalippus and Charitoni. 10
Metellus on Marriagei. 14
Minoccia and Galganoi. 47
Miracle at Lyonsi. 65
Mithridanes and Nathanii. 18
Monteferrato, Marchioness ofii. 16
Morocco, King ofii. 35
Mucius Scævolai.   3
Muleteer’s Wifei. 50
Naples, King ofi. 51
Narbonne, Giletta ofi. 38
Nathan and Mithridanesii. 18
Nocera, Lords ofii. 33
Pampluna, Lady ofi. 56
Panthea and Cyrusi. 10
Papyrius Prætextatusi. 15
Perche, Gentleman ofi. 59
Plutarch’s Angeri. 19
Poris and Theoxenaii.   8
President of Grenoblei. 58
Princess of Flandersi. 52
Prudent Ladyi. 63
Pyrrhus and Fabriciusi. 16
Rape of Lucrecei.   2
Rhacon and Carthomesi.   8
Ricciardo and Duke of Venicei. 48
Rinaldo of Estei. 33
Rings, The Threei. 30
Roland and Camiolaii. 32
Rolandinei. 62
Romeo and Julietii. 25
Ruffolo, Landolfoi. 35
xcvSaladin and Thorelloii. 20
Salimbene and Angelicaii. 30
Salisbury, Countess ofi. 46
Savoy, Duchess ofi. 45
Scævola, Muciusi.   3
Scholar and Masteri. 26
Schoolmaster and Camillusi. 17
Scythians and Alexanderi. 13
Seleucus and Antiochusi. 27
Sertoriusi. 24
Sibylline Leavesi. 25
Sinetas and Artaxerxesi.   9
Sisigambis and Alexanderii.   2
Sisterno, Filenioi. 49
Solon and Crœsusi.   7
Sophonisbaii.   7
Sultan Solymanii. 34
Tanaquilii.   6
Tancred and Gismondai. 39
Theoxena and Porisii.   8
Thorello and Saladinii. 20
Three Ringsi. 30
Timoclea of Thebesii.   3
Timon of Athensi. 28
Tours, Lady ofi. 64
Trajan, Letters ofii. 12
Turin, Lady ofi. 43
Venice, Duke of and Ricciardoi. 48
Venice, Two Ladies ofii. 26
Violenta and Didacoi. 42
Virginia and Appiusi.   5
Virle, Lord ofii. 27
Widow and Widoweri. 29
Zenobiaii. 14


1. It was suggested to me, if I remember right, by my friend Mr. R. G. Moulton.

2. There was something Elizabethan in the tone of men of science in England during the “seventies,” when Darwinism was to solve all the problems. The Marlowe of the movement, the late Professor Clifford, found no Shakespeare.

3. See Burckhardt, Cultur der Renaisance in Italien, Buch II., especially Kap. iii.

4. On Peter Alphonsi see my edition of Caxton’s Æsop, which contains selections from him in Vol. II.

5. Signor Bartoli has written on I Precursori di Boccaccio, 1874, Landau on his Life and Sources (Leben, 1880, Quellen des Dekameron, 1884), and on his successors (Beiträge zur Geschichte der ital. Novelle, 1874). Mr. Symonds has an admirable chapter on the Novellieri in his Renaissance, vol. v.

6. Specimens of these in somewhat wooden English were given by Roscoe in his Italian Novelists.

7. The Villon Society is to publish this year a complete translation of Bandello by Mr. John Payne.

8. See Prof. Arber’s reprint, p. 8.

9. Ascham was shrewd enough not to advertise the book he was denouncing by referring to it by name. I have failed to find in the Stationer’s Register of 1566-8 any similar book to which his remarks could apply, except Fenton’s Tragicall Discourses, and that was from the French.

10. See Haslewood’s account, reprinted infra, p. xxxvii., to which I have been able to add a few documents in the Appendix.

11. His son, in a document of 1591, speaks of him as his aged father (Appendix infra, p. lvii.).

12. Reprinted in the Second Tome of the “Palace,” infra, vol. iii. p. 395.

13. In his own book, and in the document signed by him, the name is always “Painter.”

14. The Dedication is dated near the Tower of London 1 January 1566, which must have been new style (introduced into France two years before).

15. Always with the exception of exceptions, the Bishop’s Bible.

16. Mr. P. A. Daniel, in his edition of Painter’s “Romeo and Juliet,” in the New Shakespere Society’s Originals and Analogues, i., 1876, gives the few passages in which Painter has misunderstood Boaistuau. For lexicographical use, however, it would be well to consult Painter’s original for any very striking peculiarities of his vocabulary.

17. The tales are ten—1. Sinorix and Camma [=Tennyson’s Cup]; 2. Tereus and Progne; 3. Germanicus and Agrippina; 4. Julius and Virginia; 5. Admetus and Alcest; 6. Silla and Minos; 7. Curiatius and Horatia; 8. Cephalus and Procris; 9. Pigmalion and his Image; 10. Alexius.

18. M. Jusserand gives a list of most of these translations of French and Italian novels in his just issued English Novel in the Elizabethan Age, 1890, pp. 80-1. He also refers to works by Rich and Gascoigne in which novels occur.

19. A partial exception is to be made in favour of the Spanish school, which broke loose from the classical tradition with Lope de Vega.

20. It is probable however that the “mixture of tones” came more directly from the Interludes.

21. Euphorion, by Vernon Lee. Second edition, 1885, pp. 55-108.

22. It has, of course, been suggested that Shakespeare visited Venice. But this is only one of the 1001 mare’s nests of the commentators.

23. Altogether in the scanty notices of this period we can trace a dozen derivatives of Painter. See Analytical Table on Tome I. nov. iii., v., xi., xxxvii., xxxix., xl., xlviii., lvii.; Tome II. nov. i., iii., xiv., xxxiv.

24. In the Warning for Fair Women there is a scene in which Tragedy, Comedy, and History dispute for precedence.

25. Curiously enough, two of the four have been associated with Shakespeare’s name. It should be added, perhaps, that one of the Two Tragedies in One of Yarington is English.

26. The frequency of scenes in which ladies of high birth yield themselves to men of lower station is remarkable in this connection.

27. The other Elizabethan dramatists who used Painter are: Beaumont (I. xlii.; II. xvii.), Fletcher (I. xlii.; II. xvii., xxii.), Greene (I. lvii.), Heywood (I. ii.), Marston (I. lxvi.; II. vii., xxiv., xxvi.), Massinger (II. xxviii.), Middleton (I. xxxiii.), Peele (I. xl.), Shirley (I. lviii.), Webster (I. v.; II. xxiii.). See also I. vii., xxiv., lxvi.

28. Shakespeare also used Arthur Brook’s poem. On the exact relations of the poet to his two sources see Mr. P. A. Daniel in the New Shakespere Society’s Originals and Analogies, i., and Dr. Schulze in Jahrb. d. deutsch. Shakespeare Gesellschaft xi. 218-20.

29. Delius has discussed Shakespeare’s “All Well” und Paynter’s “Giletta von Narbonne” in the Jahrbuch xxii. 27-44, in an article which is also reprinted in his Abhandlungen ii.

30. I hope to publish elsewhere detailed substantiation of this contention.

31. The Visitation Book of 1619, in the Heralds College, supplied Hasted with his account. There may also be consulted Harl. MSS. 1106, 2230 and 6138.

32. Palace of Pleasure, Vol. II. p. 663.

33. The translation is reprinted in the second volume. Of the original edition there is not any notice in Herbert.

34. This happened in 1552, and Moffan remained a captive until Sept. 1555.

35. Brydge’s Peerage, Vol. IX. p. 466. Banks’s Dormant Peerage, Vol. II. p. 108.

36. These verses were answered by another Kentish writer. “In conuersium Palengenii Barnabæ Gogæ carmen E. Deringe Cantiani,” prefixed to the firste sixe bokes of the mooste christian poet Marcellus Palingenius, called the Zodiake of Life. Translated by Barnabe Googe, 1561. 12mo. See Cens. Lit. Vol. II. p. 212. Where it appears that Barnaby Googe was connected with several Kentish families. He married a Darell. His grandmother was Lady Hales.

37. Bibliotheca, p. 570.

38. M.S. Ashmole, 302. Mr. H. Ellis has kindly furnished me with the above, during a late visit to Oxford, and observes that the reference to Tanner is wrongly stated, the article being in Ashmole’s study.

39. Hasted’s Hist. of Kent, Vol. III. p. 98.

40. If Painter had laid in this School the foundation of that fortune, which he afterwards appears to have realised in land, he did no more than was done by a celebrated successor, Thomas Farnaby, a well-known annotator on Horace, who settled his male posterity at Keppington, in the parish of Sevenoaks, where they remained in rank and opulence, till the late Sir Charles Farnaby, Bart., who at one time in the present reign represented the County of Kent, sold that seat and estate to Francis Motley Austen, Esq., the present owner.

41. George Whetstone has An Heptameron of Civill Discourses, &c. 1582.

42. In France the style was altered in 1564. Clavis Calendaria. Vol I. p. 64.

43. Bibliographical Miscellanies, 1813. p. 2.

44. This is confirmed by his making the following observation: “When labour resteth him selfe in me, and leisure refresheth other affairs, nothing delights more that vacant tyme than readinge of Histories in such vulgar speache, wherein my small knowledge taketh repast.” Epistle Dedicatory, Vol. II. p. 4.

45. Some of the following notices, probably, relate to branches of the family.—William Paynter “de Vkefielde,” possessed lands at Horsemonden, Benynden, and Merden, co. Kent. He left three sons, Alexander, John and Robert. His will dated 25th Feb. 24. Hen. 7th. (1509) and proved in November following.—John P. Citizen and Freemason of London, by Will dated 26th Nov. 1532, proved 1537, gave to the children of his late brother Richard P. late of Littleport, co. Kent, 6s. 8d. each. He was to be buried at St. Albans, Wood Street, where on inquiry I am informed the Registers of that period do not exist.—John P. twice mayor of Dover, died 14th July, 1540, buried at Rainham, same co. See Weever’s Funeral Monuments.—Edmonde P. Steward to the Bishop of Ely, held a patent place, and by his will dated 7th Sept. 14 Eliz. (1572) gave to his brother’s daughter “Johane” forty pounds. Probably the eldest daughter of our Author.

46. Hasted’s History of Kent. art. Gillingham. The following pedigree of the family is collected from Hasted and the Harleian MSS.

William Painter,a of Twedall, parish of Gillingham, the author. Ob. 1594.= Dorothy, daughter of —— Bonham, of Cowling. Ob. Oct. 19, 1617, Æt. 80.
=(1) Nathaniel Partrich
=(2) John Orwell
= John Bagenhall
= John Hornby
Anthony= Catherine, coheiress of Robt. Harris, Master in Chancery.Catherine
= —— Champ, Co. Suff.
William of Gillingham, died about the time of the Restoration of Charles II.= Elizabeth, daughter of Walter Hickman, of Kew, Co. Surrey, Esq. relict of George Allington, jun.
Robert, who obtained an act of parliament to alienate the manors of Twedall and East Court.= Eleanora, youngest daughter of Sir Thomas Seyliard, Bart. buried at Westerham.

ARMS. Gules, a chevron between three griffins’ heads erased or, on a chief of the second an helmet sable between two pellets. CREST. A lizard (as supposed) vert, escaping from the trunk of an old tree, proper.

a. Also spelt Paynter and Payneter; but neither used by the above-named William Painter, if we may rely upon the repetition of ten printed authorities.

b. That Anna was the youngest child, is doubtful, from her father only naming her, besides Helena, as entitled to a portion. She resided with her mother, unmarried, 1617.

c. One of these married William Wiseman, a civilian.

47. Dorothy P. (the Executrix) by her will, dated 3d July, 1617, gave a specific legacy to her granddaughter Thomasine Hornby, which was to be void if she sued or impleaded her executor, relative to any gift, legacy or bequest, under the above will; from which it may be concluded the portion of John Hornby’s wife was never properly adjusted.

48. Proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 3d Feb. 1595.

49. His patent, dated 21st June 1595, gives all emoluments from the day of the death of William Painter.

50. In the will of Dorothy P., already noticed, is the following direction. In case I dye or departe this life in the Citie of London, to be buryed in the same parish in London where my late loving husband Mr. William Paynter, Clerke of the great Ordinance of the Tower of London, was buryed, and as neere to the place where he was buryed as conuenyentlie may be, with some memoriall there to be engraven sett vp or placed as shalbe devised and appoynted by my executor and overseers hereafter named; yf elsewhere then allso at their like discretions and with the like memoriall.” Had she set up such a memorial for her husband, the name would probably have been found in Stowe’s Survey of London. It does not occur in the Registers of the Tower Chapel; Allhallows Barking; St. Catherine’s; or Aldgate. At St. Dunstan’s, Tower Street, the register has been destroyed, and also at St. Alban’s, Wood Street, where there was probably a family vault, and not being the church frequented when he lived by the Tower, the name might have been forgotten by the widow.

51. Her Will was not proved until July 1620. It is unusually long, and the bequests are trifling. She particularizes all her grand-children, whom, in the language then used, she calls nephews and nieces. There had probably been some difference in the family to occasion the following passage, whereby she bequeaths the only memorial mentioned of our author. “Item, whereas my very welbeloued niephue William Paynter, and I, and all my children, nowe are and I trust in God so shall continue loving hartie and inward frends, whereof I receyue great ioye and contentment, vnto the which my saied neiphue, for a gentle remembraunce, I give and bequeethe my tablet of gould with a pearle to yt which sometymes was his graundfather’s, beyng nowe all readie in his owne keeping and possession.” The will is subscribed with a cross, which the feebleness of age might render necessary.

52. Herbert has this edition entered as printed by Thomas Marshe, upon the authority of Mr. William White, p. 856. It was licensed to Jones as “certen historyes collected out of dyuers Ryght good and profitable authours by William Paynter.” ib. 1319.

53. There is a lapse of signatures from O o. j. to A a a. j. and of folios from 145, (misprinted 135) to 201. What occasioned the castration it is impossible to conjecture; the volume is certainly perfect, as the table of Contents has no article for the omitted leaves.

54. Herbert, 967. Entered in the Stationers’ Register (as Mr. G. Chalmers obligingly informs me) in 1566-7, “to Nycholas Englonde.”


It stands thus: The second Tome | of the Palace of Pleasure, | conteyning store of goodly Histories | Tragicall matters and other mo- | rall argument, very re- | quisite for delighte | and profit, | Chosen and selected out of | divers good and commen- | dable authors. | By William Painter, Clerke of the | Ordinance and Armarie | Anno. 1567.—Imprinted &c.

Similar differences are found in the earliest stage of the English press. Thus a copy of Caxton’s Cato, 1483, in possession of the Duke of Devonshire, has the first line

¶ Here begynneth the prologue or prohemye of the book callid:

and in the fine copy belonging to the Library of Lee Priory, it stands

Here begynneth the prologue or prohemye of the booke callyd.

56. The second volume is undoubtedly the rarest of the two. The industrious Langbaine does not appear to have seen it, as in the Account of the English Dramatic Poets, 1691, he refers more than once to the originals for stories contained in that volume.

57. Dr. Farmer’s copy was Vol. I. 1569, and Vol. II. 1567. Purchased at the sale by Mr. Payne for fifteen guineas. [Bibl. Farm. No. 5993.] The opinion Dr. Farmer entertained of their rarity may be given in his own words: “The Two Tomes, which Tom Rawlinson would have called justa volumina, are almost annihilated. Mr. Ames, who searched after books of this sort with the utmost avidity, most certainly had not seen them, when he published his Typographical Antiquities, as appears from his blunders about them: and possibly I myself might have remained in the same predicament, had I not been favoured with a copy by my generous friend, Mr. Lort.” Essay on the learning of Shakespeare.

58. Hence Tanner and others have been erroneously supposed to describe an edition in Octavo, and I have seen copies where the margin, cropped by the intolerable plough of the binder, might have been shown in proof of the conjecture.

59. Folios 225 and 6 are repeated, and several others are erroneously numbered.

60. Prepared for sale by auction by Mr. Prestage, of Savile Row, in April, 1756, and sold by private contract to Mr. Child. It forms the principal part of the library at Osterley Park.

61. It might be expected that the third volume was formed by adding the inferior performance of George Pettie, who imitated our author’s title; but that was the article in the succeeding lot. Pettie’s work is called: A petite Pallace | of Pettie his Pleasure: | contayning many pretie Histories | by him set foorth in comely colours | and most delightfully dis-coursed. | Omne tulit punctum, |qui miscuit vtile dulci. | Col. Printed at London, by R[ichard] W[atkins]. n. d. but entered in the Stationers’ books 1576. Again by Wolfe, n. d. and other editions 1598, 1608, and 1613. The contents of the volume are described in an article by Mr. Utterson in the British Bibliographer, Vol. II. p. 392. For an Account of the author see Wood’s Ath. Oxon. by Bliss, 1813, Vol. I. col. 552.

62. Class (or rather case, the library not being classed) IX.; division 2; shelf 7; book 26. This explains the numerals used in the Osterley Cat.

63. To the unequalled store of bibliography, possessed by the Rev. T. F. Dibdin there has lately been added a copy of the Fairfax catalogue, priced according to the private valuation. There may be found Caxton’s Prince Arthur rated at only fifty-five shillings, and lot 336 (the P. of Pleasure) at four guineas: undoubtedly, from the above description in the catalogue, the copy was supposed UNIQUE.

64. Malone, in a note on the Historical Account of the English Stage, has the following extract from Gosson’s Plays confuted in five Actions, printed about the year 1580. “I may boldly say it (says Gosson) because I have seene it, that The Palace of PleasureThe Golden AsseThe Æthiopian HistorieAmadis of FraunceThe Round Table, bawdie comedies in Latin, French, Italian and Spanish, have beene thoroughly ransackt to furnish the playe-houses in London.”—Reed’s Shakespeare, Vol. III. p. 40.

65. The reprint of 1569 is not taken into account in giving the pagination.

66. Landau, Quellen2, p. 331, points out that the tale is related to the “Youngest-best” folk tales, which deal with the successes of the youngest.

67. By error omitted in Table of Contents to Vol. II.

68. The celebrated line, “O Sophonisba, Sophonisba O!” has kept its memory alive.

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