By Jennifer Richards (eds.)
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Here we can see a strong association between extra-mural living and incivility: it is as a result of dwelling in the ‘boolies’, or hill pastures, that the people ‘thereby’ increase in barbarity. This ‘licentiouse barbarisme’ is, moreover, explicitly linked to sexual license and criminal activity against Civil Tongues 25 both the state and private persons, activities enabled by the choice of native Irish garb. Eschewing the ‘decent’ attire expected of the civil individual, Spenser’s lawless rural dwellers are distinguished by the mantle or cloak which allows them to sleep rough, outside the ‘civil’ environment of the corporate town; enables their thievery and civil disobedience, as identities and stolen goods are concealed beneath its voluminous folds; serves as a ‘coverlet for […] lewde exercise’, and ‘when she has ﬁlled her vessel, under it she can hide both her burden and her blame’ (p.
2r). When faced with the return of Catholicism to Ireland on the death of Edward VI, Bale’s ﬁrst response is to turn again to the word. Whilst the ‘prebendaryes and prestes’ indulge in ritual, ‘wearinge the cope / the croser / and myter in procession’, Bale stages his own Protestant morality plays in the market place in Kilkenny, the centre of civic activity. xii. chap. Of S. ’, in which – with the Bible, ‘Christes testament’, in his hand – he declares ‘to them bravely / what autoritie was of the worldly powers & magistrates’, ‘the yonge men’ of the town spend the ‘forenone’ performing the Tragedy of God’s Promises at the market cross; the ‘Commedie of sanct John Baptistes preachinges / of Christes baptysynge and then temptacioun in the wildernesse’ follows in the afternoon (fol.
OED, ‘uncivil’, sense 5. 22. Wilson, Rhetorique, sig. A3r. 23. 1. 31; all further citations from Shakespeare’s plays will be from this edition. 209. 34 Early Modern Civil Discourses 24. Edmund Spenser, A View of the State of Ireland, eds Andrew Hadﬁeld and Willy Maley (Oxford: Blackwell, 1997), p. 11. 25. Wilson, Rhetorique, fol. 50r. 26. Mervyn James, Society, Politics and Culture: Studies in Early Modern England (Cambridge University Press, 1986), pp. 95, 98. 27. Cited by G. Watson, The Border Reivers (London: Robert Hale, 1974), p.
Early Modern Civil Discourses by Jennifer Richards (eds.)