Dr. Michael Delahoyde
Washington State University
A GORGEOUS GALLERY OF GALLANT INVENTIONS
A gorgious Gallery,
of gallant Inuentions
Garnifhed and decked with
diuers dayntie deuifes, right
delicate and delightfull, to re-
create eche modeft minde
Firft framed and fafhioned in
fundrie formes, by diuers worthy
workemen of late dayes: and now,
ioyned together and
Imprinted at London,
for Richard Iones
Records at the Stationers’ Registrer indicate that the original intended title was to be A Handefull of Hidden Secrets, and then Delicate Dainties to Sweeten Lovers’ Lips Withall (Rollins xiv). The “T.P.” on the title page seems to refer to Thomas Proctor, with whom Anthony Munday (secretary to the Earl of Oxford) was fellow-apprentice and sometime poetic collaborator (Rollins xix). Mostly anonymous contributors to Gorgeous Gallery include Thomas Churchyard (longtime servant of Lord Oxford), Clement Robinson, “E.S.,” and the unknown “Master Bewe” (Rollins xxi).
As with A Hundreth Sundrie Flowres, this collection frequently name-drops Troilus and Cressida, Pyramus and Thisbe, Helen and Paris, Penelope, and others. “Sir Romeus annoy / But trifle seemes to mine” (41).
In “A louing Epistle, written by Ruphilus a yonge Gentilman, to his best beloued Lady Elriza, as followeth” (9-13), we find this couplet:
Sith beggars haue no choyce: nor need had euer law
The subiecte Oxe doth like his yoke: when hee is driuen to draw.
The poem refers to Cupid, the Minotaur, Argus, Agamemnon, “The wofull ende” of “Cressed,” and others.
“The Louer forsaken” (16-20) includes the phrase “the losse of your good name,” refers to a tiger’s heart, and insists, “Thou art the Queene of women kinde, and all they ought obay.”
“The Louer in distresse exclaymeth agaynst Fortune” asks, “why art thou so vnkinde, / To mee that fayne would bee thy sonne, and euer in thy minde?” (21) — misunderstanding the nature of Fortune in the same way as does Chaucer’s Troilus. The “wo or weale” phrase (e.g., 46) also recurs. Another poem, “In the prayse of rare beauty,” begins with a tribute to the English poetic influences:
If Chawcer yet did lyue, whose English tongue did passe,
Who sucked dry Pernassus spring, and raste the Iuice there was:
If Surrey had not scalde, the height of Ioue his Throne,
. . . . (63)
The poem name-drops Tarquin and Lucrece among others.
Also looking ahead to Shakespeare, we see one poem beginning: “Why asketh thou the cause / Wherfore I am so sad” (44). We get a “Willow willow willow” song (83-86). Timon-like, the voice of one poem (86) laments:
My lucklesse losse from wealth to woe, by fickle fortune throwne.
I once had freends good store, for loue, (no drosse I tryde)
For hauing lost my goods on Sea, my freends would not abide,
Yet hauing neede I went to one, of all I trusted moste:
To get releefe, hee answerd thus, go packe thou peuish poste.
. . .
Would God I had not knowne, their sweet and sugered speach,
Then had my greefe the lesser bin, experience mee doth teach.
The following complete poem resembles a passage in The Comedy of Errors (I.ii.47-50).
“Of a happy wished time.”
Eche thing must haue a time, and tyme doth try mens troth,
And troth deserues a special trust, on trust great frenship groth:
And freendship is full fast, where faythfulnesse is found
And faythfull thinges be ful of fruicte, and fruitful things be sound
The sound is good in proofe, and proofe is Prince of prayse,
And woorthy prayse is such a pearle, as lightly not decayes.
All this doth time bring forth, which time I must abide,
How should I boldly credit craue? till time my truth haue tried.
And as a time I found, to fall in Fancies frame,
So doo I wish an happy time, at large to shew the same.
If Fortune aunswer hope, and hope may haue her hire,
Then shall my hart possesse in peace, the time that I desire.
Looney noted that the Comedy of Errors sequence resembles a similar pattern of concatenation in the de Vere verse, “The Grief of Mind”:
What plague is greater than the grief of mind?
The grief of mind that eats in every vein;
In every vein that leaves such clots behind;
Such clots behind as breed such bitter pain;
So bitter pain that none shall ever find,
What plague is greater than the grief of mind.
(in Clark 20-21; cf. Ogburn and Ogburn 52; Ogburn 583)
A batch of depressingly grim, moralistic poems signed “T.P.” precedes the penultimate long narrative poem of the collection: “The History of Pyramus and Thisbie truely translated.” The lengthy lead-in, mercifully axed from the Act V production in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, includes some unintentionally goofy lines: for example,
Curst is their face, so cry they ofte, and happy death they call,
Come death come wished death at once, and rid vs life and all.
It’s “Minus [Minos’] Tombe” here (111), not Ninus’ (or “Ninny’s”). Oddly, the piece is finally emotionally effective.
A Gorgeous Gallery of Gallant Inventions. 1578. Ed. Hyder E. Rollins. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1926.