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DESCRIPTION OF SQUYRE MELDRUM.
He was bota twintie yeiris" of age,
In Ingland first and syne in France ;
HIS GALLANTRY TO AN IRISH DAMSEL.
And as they passit be Ireland coisti
But this young Squyer bauld and wicht
Hir kirtill was of scarlot reid',
The trenchour of the Squyreis speir
SQUYRE MELDRUM, AFTER MANY FOREIGN EXPLOITS, COMES
Out throw the land then sprang the fame,
That quhen he travellit throw the land,
The wonderis that he did rehers,
I pray God sen scho knew my mynd,
Till ane quhilk takes of me na cure.
She slippit in or evir he wist,
And feynitlie past till ane kist,
And with hir keys oppenit the lokkis,
CALLED the Elder, to distinguish him from his son, who suffered in the reign of Q. Mary, was born at Allington Castle, in Kent, in 1503, and was educated at Cambridge. He married early in life, and was still earlier distinguished at the court of Henry VIII. with whom his interest and favour were so great as to be proverbial. His person was majestic and beautiful, his visage (according to Surrey's interesting description) was "stern and mild:" he sung and played the lute with remarkable sweetness, spoke foreign languages with grace and fluency, and possessed an inexhaustible fund of wit. At the death of Wolsey he could not be more than 19; yet he is said to have contributed to that minister's downfall by a humorous story, and to have promoted the reformation by a seasonable jest. At the coronation of Anne Boleyn he officiated for his father as ewerer, and possibly witnessed the eeremony not with the most festive emotions, as there is reason to suspect that he was secretly attached to the royal bride. When the tragic end of that princess was approaching, one of the calumnies circulated against her was, that Sir Thomas Wyat had confessed having had an illicit intimacy with her. The scandal was certainly false; but that it arose from a tender partiality really believed to exist between them,
seems to be no overstrained conjecture. His poetical mistress's name is Anna and in one of his sonnets he complains of being obliged to desist from the pursuit of a beloved object, on account of its being the king's. The perusal of his poetry was one of the unfortunate queen's last consolations in prison. A tradition of Wyat's attachment to her was long preserved in his family. She retained his sister to the last about her person; and as she was about to lay her head on the block, gave her weeping attendant a small prayer-book, as a token of remembrance, with a smile of which the sweetness was not effaced by the horrors of approaching death. Wyat's favour at court, however, continued undiminished; and notwithstanding a quarrel with the Duke of Suffolk, which occasioned his being committed to the Tower, he was, immediately on his liberation, appointed to a command under the Duke of Norfolk, in the army that was to act against the rebels. He was also knighted, and, in the following year, made high sheriff of Kent.
When the Emperor Charles the Fifth, after the death of Anne Boleyn, apparently forgetting the disgrace of his aunt in the sacrifice of her successor, showed a more conciliatory disposition towards England, Wyat was, in 1537, selected
to go as ambassador to the Spanish court. situation there was rendered exceedingly difficult, by the mutual insincerity of the negotiating powers, and by his religion, which exposed him to prejudice, and even at one time to danger from the Inquisition. He had to invest Henry's bullying romonstrances with the graces of moderate diplomacy, and to keep terms with a bigoted court while he questioned the Pope's supremacy. In spite of those obstacles, the dignity and discernment of Wyat gave him such weight in negotiation, that he succeeded in expelling from Spain his master's most dreaded enemy, Cardinal Pole, who was so ill received at Madrid that the haughty legate quitted it with indignation. The records of his different embassies exhibit not only personal activity in following the Emperor Charles to his most important interviews with Francis, but sagacity in foreseeing consequences, and in giving advice to his own sovereign. Neither the dark policy, nor the immoveable countenance of Charles, eluded his penetration. When the Emperor, on the death of Lady Jane Seymour, offered the King of England the Duchess of Milan in marriage, Henry's avidity caught at the offer of her duchy, and Heynes and Bonner were sent out to Spain as special commissioners on the business; but it fell off, as Wyat had predicted, from the Spanish monarch's insincerity.
Bonner, who had done no good to the English mission, and who had felt himself lowered at the Spanish court by the superior ascendancy of Wyat, on his return home sought to indemnify himself for the mortification, by calumniating his late colleague. In order to answer those calumnies, Wyat was obliged to obtain his recal from Spain; and Bonner's charges, on being investigated, fell to the ground. But the Emperor's journey through France having raised another crisis of expectation, Wyat was sent out once more to watch the motions of Charles, and to fathom his designs. At Blois he had an inter
view with Francis, and another with the Emperor, whose friendship for the king of France he pronounced, from all that he observed, to be insincere. "He is constrained (said the English ambassador) to come to a show of friendship, meaning to make him a mockery when he has done." When events are made familiar to us by history, we are perhaps disposed to undervalue the wisdom that foretold them; but this much is clear, that if Charles's rival had been as wise as Sir Thomas Wyat, the Emperor would not have made a mockery of Francis. Wyat's advice to his own sovereign at this period, was to support the Duke of Cleves, and to ingratiate himself with the German protestant princes. His zeal was praised; but the advice, though sanctioned by Cromwell, was not followed by Henry. Warned probably, at last, of the approaching downfall of Cromwell, he obtained his final recal from Spain. On his return, Bonner had sufficient interest to get him committed to the Tower, where he was harshly treated and unfairly tried, but was nevertheless most honourably acquitted; and Henry, satisfied of his innocence, made him considerable donations of land. Leland informs us, that about this time he had the command of a ship of war. The sea service was not then, as it is now, a distinct profession.
Much of his time, however, after his return to England, must be supposed, from his writings, to have been spent at his paternal seat of Allington, in study and rural amusements. From that pleasant retreat he was summoned, in the autumn of 1542, by order of the king, to meet the Spanish ambassador, who had landed at Falmouth, and to conduct him from thence to London. In his zeal to perform this duty he accidentally overheated himself with riding, and was seized, at Sherborne, with a malignant fever, which carried him off, after a few days' illness, in his thirtyninth year.
THE LOVER COMPLAINETH THE UNKINDNESS OF HIS LOVE.
My lute, awake! perform the last Labour that thou and I shall waste, And end that I have now begun ; For when this song is sung and past, My lute be still, for I have done.
As to be heard where ear is none,
The rocks do not so cruelly
Proud of the spoil that thou hast got