A goteheard. By gotes, in scrypture, be represented the wicked and reprobate, whose pastour also must needes be such. Banck is the seate of honor. Straying heard, which wander out of the waye of truth. Als, for also. Clymbe, spoken of ambition. Great clymbers, according to Seneca his verse.
Decidunt celsa, graviore lapsu.
Mickle, much. The sonne, a reason why he refuseth to dwell on mountaines, because there is no shelter against the scortching sunne, according to the time of the yeare, whiche is the whotest moneth of all. The Cupp and Diademe be two signes in the firmament, through which the sonne maketh his course in the moneth of July. Lion. Thys is poetically spoken, as if the Sunne did hunt a Lion with one dogge. The meaning whereof is, that in July the sonne is in Leo. At which tyme the Dogge starre, which is called Syrius, or Canicula, reigneth with immoderate heate, causing pestilence, drougth, and many diseases. Overture, an open place. The word is borrowed of the French, and used in good writers. To holden chatt, to talke and prate. A loorde was wont among the old Britons to signifie a lorde. And therefore the Danes, that long time usurped theyr tyrannie here in Brytanie, were called, for more dread and dignitie, Ludanes, sc. Lord Danes. At which time it is sayd, that the insolencie and pryde of that nation was so outragious in thys realme, that if it fortuned a Briton to be going over a bridge, and sawe a Dane set foote upon the same, he muste retorne back, till the Dane were cleane over, or els abyde the pryce of his displeasure, which was no lesse then present death. But being afterwarde expelled, that name of Lurdane became so odious unto the people, whom they had long oppressed, that even at this daye they use, for more reproche, to call the quartane ague the Fever Lurdane. Recks much of thy swinck, counts much of thy paynes. Weetelesse, not understoode. St. Michels Mount is a promontorie in the west part of England. A hill, Parnassus afforesayd. Pan, Christ. Dan. One trybe is put for the whole nation per synecdochen. Where Titan, the sonne. Which story is to be redde in Diodorus Syculus of the hyl Ida; from whence he sayth, all night time is to bee seene a mightye fire, as if the skye burned, which toward morning beginneth to gather into a rownd forme, and thereof ryseth the sonne, whome the poetes call Titan. The shepheard is Endymion, whom the poets fayne to have bene so beloved of Phbe, sc. the moone, that he was by her kept a sleepe in a cave by the space of xxx yeares, for to enjoye his companye. There, that is, in Paradise, where, through errour of shepheards understanding, he sayth, all shepheards did use to feede theyr flocks, till one, (that is Adam) by hys follye and disobedience, made all the rest of hys ofspring be debarred and shutte out from thence. Synah, a hill in Arabia, where God appeared. Our Ladyes Bowre, a place of pleasure so called. Faunes or Sylvanes be of poetes feigned to be gods of the woode. Medway, the name of a ryver in Kent, which, running by Rochester, meeteth with Thames; whom he calleth his elder brother, both because he is greater, and also falleth sooner into the sea. Meynt, mingled. Melampode and terebinth be hearbes good to cure diseased gotes: of thone speaketh Mantuane, and of thother Theocritus.
Nigher heaven. Note the shepheards simplenesse, which supposeth that from the hylls is nearer waye to heaven. Levin, lightning; which he taketh for an argument to prove the nighnes to heaven, because the lightning doth comenly light on hygh mountaynes, according to the saying of the poete:
Feriuntque summos fulmina montes.
Lorrell, a losell. A borrell, a playne fellowe. Narre, nearer. Hale, for hole. Yede, goe. Frowye, mustye or mossie. Of yore, long agoe. Forewente, gone afore. The firste shepheard was Abell the righteous, who (as Scripture sayth) bent hys mind to keeping of sheepe, as did hys brother Cain to tilling the grownde. His keepe, hys charge, sc. his flocke. Lowted, did honour and reverence. The brethren, the twelve sonnes of Jacob, which were shepemaisters, and lyved onelye thereupon. Whom Ida, Paris, which being the sonne of Priamus king of Troy, for his mother Hecubas dreame, which, being with child of hym, dreamed shee broughte forth a firebrand, that set all the towre of Ilium on fire, was cast forth on the hyll Ida; where being fostered of shepheards, he eke in time became a shepheard, and lastly came to knowledge of his parentage. A lasse. Helena, the wyfe of Menelaus king of Lacedemonia, was by Venus, for the golden aple to her geven, then promised to Paris, who thereupon with a sorte of lustye Troyanes, stole her out of Lacedemonia, and kept her in Troye: which was the cause of the tenne yeares warre in Troye, and the moste famous citye of all Asia most lamentably sacked and defaced. Argus was of the poets devised to be full of eyes, and therefore to hym was committed the keeping of the transformed cow, Io: so called, because that, in the print of a cowes foote, there is figured an I in the middest of an O. His name: he meaneth Aaron: whose name, for more decorum, the shephearde sayth he hath forgot, lest his remembraunce and skill in antiquities of holy writ should seeme to exceede the meanenesse of the person. Not so true, for Aaron, in the absence of Moses, started aside, and committed idolatry. In purple, spoken of the popes and cardinalles, which use such tyrannical colours and pompous paynting. Belts, girdles. Glitterand, glittering, a participle used sometime in Chaucer, but altogether in J. Goore. Theyr Pan, that is, the Pope, whom they count theyr god and greatest shepheard. Palinode, a shephearde, of whose report he seemeth to speake all thys. Wisards, greate learned heads. Welter, wallowe. Kerne, a churl or farmer. Sike mister men, suche kinde of men. Surly, stately and prowde. Melling, medling. Bett, better. Bynempte, named. Gree, for degree. Algrin, the name of a shepheard afforesayde, whose myshap he alludeth to the chaunce that happened to the poet Æschylus, that was brayned with a shellfishe.
By thys poesye Thomalin confirmeth that which in hys former speach by sondrye reasons he had proved. For being both hymselfe sequestred from all ambition, and also abhorring it in others of hys cote, he taketh occasion to prayse the meane and lowly state, as that wherein is safetie without feare, and quiet without danger; according to the saying of olde philosophers, that vertue dwelleth in the middest, being environed with two contrary vices: whereto Morrell replieth with continuaunce of the same philosophers opinion, that albeit all bountye dwelleth in mediocritie, yet perfect felicitye dwelleth in supremacie. For they say, and most true it is, that happinesse is placed in the highest degree, so as if any thing be higher or better, then that streight way ceaseth to be perfect happines. Much like to that which once I heard alleaged in defence of humilitye, out of a great doctour, Suorum Christus humillimus: which saying a gentle man in the company taking at the rebownd, beate backe again with lyke saying of another doctoure, as he sayde, Suorum Deus altissimus.