« הקודםהמשך »
““ bus mendis quibus scatebat sedulo purgata, et in studiosae ju“ ventutis utilitatem in Anglicum tanta fide conversa, ut carmen
pro carmine, quoad Anglica lingua patiatur, pene redditum “ videas, per Jasperum Heywodum Oxoniensem.” The THYESTes, said to be faithfully Englished by Iasper Heywood felow of Alfolne colledge in Oxenforde, was also first separately printed by Berthelette at London, in 1560'. He has added a scene to the fourth act, a soliloquy by Thyestes, who bewails his own misfortunes, and implores vengeance on Atreus. In this scene, the speaker's application of all the torments of hell, to Atreus’s unparalleled guilt of feasting on the bowels of his children, furnishes a fort of nauseous bombast, which not only violates the laws of criticism, but provokes the abhorrence of our common sensibilities. A few of the first lines are tolerable.
O kyng of Dytis dungeon darke, and gryfly ghost of hell,
of care ;
* In 12mo. It is dedicated in verse to - fir John Mafon. Then follows in verse also, “ The translatour to the booke." From the metrical Preface which next fol. lows, I have cited many stanzas. See supr. p. 273. This is a Vision of the poet Še. neca, containing 27 pages. In the course of this PREFACE, he laments a promising youth just dead, whom he means to com. pliment by saying, that he now " lyues “ with Joue, another Ganymede.” But he is happy that the father survives, who seems to be fir John Mason. Among the old Roman poets he mentions Palingenius. After Seneca has delivered him the THYESTes to translate, he feels an unusual agitation, and implores Megaera to inspire him with tragic rage.
« O thou Megaera, then I fayd,
“ If might of thyne it bee
Enspyre my pen!"
Enflame me more and more :
Than euer yet before.
My fynewes all dyd thake :
My teethe began to quake.
Where Furies' fight on beds of steele, and heares of crauling
snakes, Where Gorgon gremme, where Harpies are, and lothsom limbo
lakes, Where most prodigious" vgly things the hollow hell doth hyde, If yet a monster more milhapt, &c.
In the Troas, which was first faultily printed in or before 1560", afterwards reprinted in 1581 by Newton, he has taken greater liberties. At the end of the chorus after the first act, he has added about sixty verses of his own invention. In the beginning of the second act, he has added a new scene, in which he introduces the spectre of Achilles raised from hell, and dea manding the sacrifice of Polyxena. This scene, which is in the octave stanza, has much of the air of one of the legends in the MIRROUR OF MAGISTRATES. To the chorus of this act, he has subjoined three stanzas. Instead of translating the chorus of the third act, which abounds with the hard names of the antient geography, and which would both have puzzled the tranllator and tired the English reader, he has substituted a new ode. In his preface to the reader, from which he appears to be yet a fellow of All Souls college, he modestly apologises for these licentious innovations, and hopes to be pardoned for his seeming arrogance, in attempting " to set forth in English this present “ piece of the flowre of all writers Seneca, among
many “ wittes, and towardly youth, with which England this day " florisheth'." Our translator Jasper Heywood has several poems extant in the Paradise of Daintie Deuises, published in 1573. He was the son of John Heywood, commonly called the , epigrammatist, and born in London. In 1547, at twelve
* So Milton, on the same subject, and in the true sense of the word, Par. L. ii. 625.
All monstrous, all PRODIGIOUS things. " I have never seen this edition of 1560 or before, but he speaks of it bin
self in the METRICAL PREFACE to the THYESTES juft menti ned, and says it was most carelessly printed at the sign of the hand and star. This must have been at the top of Richard Tottel within Temple Bar.
* Fol. 95. a.
years of age, he was sent to Oxford, and in 1553. elected fellow of Merton college. But inheriting too large a share of his father's facetious and free disposition, he sometimes in the early part of life indulged his festive vein in extravagancies and indiscretions, for which being threatened with expulsion, he resigned his fellowship'. He exercised the office of Christmasprince, or lord of misrule, to the college : and seems to have given offence, by suffering the levities and jocularities of that character to mix with his life and general conversation?. In the year 1558, he was recommended by cardinal Pole, as a polite scholar, an able disputant, and a steady catholic, to fir Thomas Pope founder of Trinity college in the same university, to be put in nomination for a fellowship of that college, then just founded. But this scheme did not take place. He was, however, appointed fellow of All Souls college the same
Dirsatisfied with the change of the national religion, within four years he left England, and became a catholic priest and a Jesuit at Rome, in 1562. Soon afterwards he was placed in the theological chair at Dilling in Switzerland, which he held for seventeen years.
At length returning to England, in the capacity of a popish missionary, he was imprisoned, but released by the interest of the earl of Warwick. For the deliverance from so perilous a situation, he complimented the earl in a copy of English verses, two of which, containing a most miserable paronomasy on his own name, almost bad enough to have condemned the writer to another imprisonment, are recorded in Harrington's Epigrams. At length he retired to Naples, where he died in 1597'. He is said to have been an accurate critic in the Hebrew language". His translation of the Troas, not of Virgil as it
y See Harrington's Epigrams, “ Of old “ Haywood's sonnes.” B. ii. 102.
2 Among Wood's papers, there is an oration De LIGNO ET FOENO, spoken by Heywood's cotemporary and fellow-collegian, David de la Hyde, in commendation of bis execution of this office.
· MS. Collectan. Fr. Wise. See LPB OF SIR T. Pope.
EPIGR. lib. iii. Epigr. i.
H. Morus, Hist. PROVINC. ANGL. Soc. Jes. Lib. iv. num. 11. sub ann. 1585.
seems, is mentioned in a copy of verses by T. Bo. prefixed to the first edition, abovementioned, of Studley's AGAMEMNON. He was intimately connected abroad with the biographer Pitts, who has given him rather too partial a panegyric.
Thomas Newton, the publisher of all the ten tragedies of Seneca in English, in one volume, as I have already remarked, in 1581', himself added only one to these versions of Studley, Nevile, Nuce, and Jasper Heywood. This is the THEBAIS, probably not written by Seneca, as it so essentially differs in the catastrophe from his OEDIPUS. Nor is it likely the same poet should have composed two tragedies on the same subject, even with a variation of incidents. It is without the chorus and a fifth act. Newton appears to have made his translation in 1581, and perhaps with a view only of completing the collection. He is more prosaic than most of his fellow-labourers, and seems to have paid the chief attention to perfpicuity and fidelity. In the general Epistle DEDICATORY to fir Thomas Henneage, prefixed to the volume, he says, “ I durft not haue geuen the ad“ uenture to approch your presence, vpon trust of any singula“ rity, that in this Booke hath vnskilfully dropped out of myne “ owne penne, but that I hoped the perfection of others artifis ciall workmanship that haue trauayled herein, as well as my“ felfe, should somewhat couer my nakednesle, and purchase
my pardon.--Theirs I knowe to be deliuered with singular dexterity: myne, I confesse to be an vnflidge [unfledged]
nestling, vnable to flye ; an vnnatural abortion, and an vn“ perfect embryon: neyther throughlye laboured at Aristophanes “ and Cleanthes candle, neither yet exactly waighed in Crito" laus his precise ballaunce. Yet this 1 dare saye, I haue deli“ uered myne authors meaning with as much perspicuity as so
e With these initials, there is a piece' b. The English version seems to have proprefixed to Gascoigne's poems, 1579. duced an edition of the original for Man
* There is a receipt from Marsh for and Brome, Sept. 6.1585. Ibid. fol. 205. “ Seneca's Tragedies in Englife.” Jul. 2.
b. $581, REGISTR. STATION. B. fol. 181.
« meane a scholar, out of so meane a stoare, in so smal a time, " and vpon so short a warning, was well able to performe, &c8.”
Of Thomas Newton, a slender contributor to this volume, yet perhaps the chief instrument of bringing about a general translation of Seneca, and otherwise deserving well of the literature of this period, some notices seem neceffary. The first letter of his English Thebais is a large capital D. Within it is a fhield exhibiting a sable Lion rampant, crossed in argent on the shoulder, and a half moon argent in the dexter corner, I suppose his armorial bearing. In a copartment, towards the head, and under the semicircle, of the letter, are his initials, T. N. He was descended from a respectable family in Chelhire, and was sent while very young, about thirteen years of age, to Trinity college in Oxford". Soon afterwards he went to Queen's college in Cambridge ; but returned within a very few years to Oxford, where he was readmitted into Trinity college'. He quickly became famous for the pure elegance of his Latin poetry. Of this he has left a specimen in his ILLUSTRIA ALIQUOT AN
# Dated, “ From Butley in Chesshyre " the 24. of Aprill. 1581."
I am informed by a manuscript note of Oldys, that Richard Robinson translated the THEBAIS. Of this I know no more, but R. Robinson was a large writer both in verse and profe. Some of his pieces I have already mentioned. He wrote also “ CHRISMAS RECREATIONS of histories • and moralizations aplied for our
folace “ and consolacions,” licenced to T. East, Dec. 5, 1576. RegistR. STATION. B. fol. 136. b. And, in 1969, is entered to Binneman, “ The ruefull tragedy of He“ midos, &c. by Richard Robinson." REGISTR. A, fol. 190. a. And, to T. Dawson in 1579, Aug. 26, “ The Vineyard “ of Vertve a booke gathered by R. Ro"! binson." REGISTR. B. fol. 163. a. He
a citizen of London. The reader secollects his English Gesta ROMANO.
RUM, in 1577. He wrote also The