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into another so often, and to such a length in succession, as materially to weaken the peculiar though limited music of the couplet, whilst at the same time, it fails to impart, what he has so anxiously wished to obtain, the energy and unshackled march of blank verse.
There are not wanting, however, as the quotations I have selected will sufficiently prove, numerous passages uninjured by this attempt, and of singular sweetness and melody; and which, exhibiting at the same time those qualities of a still higher nature that I have just pointed out, cannot fail, I trust, to attract attention, and to acquire for this almost forgotten poem that permanent station among the classical productions of our country which it so justly merits.
"Go," proudly pace the historic hall that rung
Of armour that superior pannels claim:
The rusted cuirass, and the dented shield;
And targets, crusted deep with sanguine scales;
And not the hall alone, array'd with arms,
THERE are few details more gratifying than those which relate to the manners, customs, and economy
of domestic life in days long gone by, and fortunately the annals of the Cliffords of Craven abound in documents of this kind, more especially during the last century of their existence in that district.
From three inventories of family effects, dated 1572, 1591, and 1643, and from various account and household books, accurately copied, and often curiously commented upon, by the historian of Craven, I shall, therefore, now proceed to cull such articles, and offer such remarks, either original or selected, as may seem best calculated to throw light, either upon the characters of the lords of Skipton as individuals, or upon the habits and usages of their times, dividing the subject, with a view to perspicuity, into the departments of DOMESTIC ECONOMY, and INN-DOOR and OUT-DOOR
Under the first of these heads, that of Domestic Economy, it may be remarked, that the earliest of the inventories relating to this subject, though dated only 1572, and taken immediately after the death of the second earl of Cumberland, may be considered, from the greater part of the articles being mentioned as old and much worn, as representing very accurately what was the interior of Skipton
castle at a much higher period. says Whitaker, speaking of the evidently decayed state of the furniture in 1572, "not improbably figures in the arras which had frowned on Richard the Third, and even on black-faced Clifford, two tyrants themselves, as savage as ever grinned in old tapestry *."
The inventory of 1572 opens with an enumeration of the wardrobe of the earl, in which, as the usual dress of a nobleman of that age consisted of a doublet and hose, with a cloak, or sometimes a long or short gown with sleeves, we find an abundance of articles of this description, and formed of the most costly materials, such as velvet, satin, and sarcenet, of various colours, and richly covered with furs and gold and silver lace. Show and splendour, indeed, appear to have been the objects almost uniformly aimed at, at this time, in the decoration of the person; but by dividing this catalogue of male attire into the heads of ordinary habit, dress habit, and garter robes, we shall best be able to appreciate that luxury of apparel in which the lords of Skipton delighted to indulge.
* History of Craven, p. 330.
It appears, then, that their ordinary habit consisted of the gown and jacket or jerkin, made of black or tawny chequered velvet, or black satin. Of the items, however, constituting this part of the inventory, several are mentioned as being very old, or decayed, evidently indicating that the wardrobes of this age descended from father to son; and, indeed, such was the richness of the material of which even the common garb of a nobleman of these days was composed, and so hereditary was it as to form and decoration, that it suited neither the pride nor the economy of the age to suffer such habiliments to pass into inferior hands.
The dress habit, in fact, though more showy in appearance, was not in reality much more expensive. It consisted generally of white or richly-coloured velvets, and the five following articles from this part of the catalogue will sufficiently point out its usual style.
"Item, one cremesyn sattan gowne, garded with cremesyne vellvett, and laid with fayre lace of golde, cs.
" Item, one shorte gowne of purple vellvett, with pomell lace of silver, xlvis. viiid.
"Item, one sleveless jackett of clothe of golde,