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painted “cloth—You will be scraped out of the,” LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST, v. 2. 570 ; “I answer you right painted cloth, from whence you have studied your questions,” AS YOU LIKE IT, iii. 2. 258 ; “Lazarus in the painted cloth,” 1 HENRY IV., iv. 2. 25 ; “by a painted cloth be kept in awe,” THE RAPE OF LUCRECE, 245 ; “set this in your painted cloths,” TROILUS AND CRESSIDA, v. 10. 45. Painted cloth, used as hangings for rooms, was cloth or canvas, painted in oil, representing various subjects, with devices and mottoes or proverbial sayings interspersed: it has been erroneously explained to mean “tapestry.” (The following homely story is related by the honest water-poet: “There's an old speech, a Tayler is a Thiefe,
And an old speech he hath for his reliefe,
I'll not equiuocate, I'll giue him's due,—
He [truly] steales not, or he steales not, true.
Those that report so, mighty wrong doe doe him,
For how can he steale that, that's brought vnto him?


And it may be they were false idle speeches,
That one brought cotton once, to line his breeches,
And that the Tayler laid the cotton by,
And with old painted cloth the roome supply,
Which as the owner [for his vse] did weare,
A nayle or sceg by chance his breech did teare,
At which he saw the linings, and was wroth
For Diues and Lazarus on the painted cloth,
The Glutton's dogs, and hels fire hotly burning,
With fiends and fleshhookes, whence ther's no returning.
He rip'd the other breech, and there he spide
The pamper'd Prodigall on cockhorse ride;
There was his fare, his fidlers, and his whores,
His being poore, and beaten out of doores,
His keeping hogs, his eating huskes for meat,
His lamentation, and his home retreat,
His welcome to his father, and the feast,
The fat calfe kill'd, all these things were exprest.
These transformations fild the man with feare,
That he hell-fire within his breech should beare;
He mus'd what strange inchantments he had bin in,
That turn'd his linings into painted linen.
His feare was great, but at the last to rid it,
A wizard told him, 'twas the Tayler did it.”
A Thiefe, p. 119; Taylor's Workes, 1630. I add a specimen of painted-cloth poetry, which has been preserved by the same writer, who copied it from the walls of a room at the Star in Rye in the year 1653: “And as upon a bed I musing lay,
The chamber hang'd with painted cloth, I found
My selfe with sentences beleaguerd round:
There was Philosophy and History,
Poetry, Ænigmatick mystery.
I know not what the town in wealth may be,
But sure I on that chamber walls did see
More wit than al the town had, and more worth
Than my unlearned Muse can well set forth.
I will not hold my reader in dilemma,
This truly, lying, I transcribed them a.
No flower so fresh, but frost may it deface,
None sits so fast, but hee may lose his place.
'Tis concord keeps a realme in stable stay,
But discord brings all kingdomes to decay.


No subject ought (for any kinde of cause)
Resist his prince, but yeeld him to the lawes.
Sure God is just, whose stroake delayed long
Doth light at last with paine more sharpe and strong.
Time never was, nor n'ere I thinke shall be,
That truth [unshent] might speake, in all things free.
This is the sum, the marrow, and the pith,
My lying chamber was adorned with:
And 'tis supposed, those lines written there
Have in that roome bin more than 40 yeare.”
The Certain Travailes of an uncertain Journey,
1653, p. 19.
)

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