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Abraham Fleming, brother to Samuel “, published a version of the Bucolics of Virgil, in 1575, with notes, and a dedication to Peter Osborne esquire. This is the title, “ The Buko“ LIKES of P. Virgilius Maro, with alphabeticall Annotations, « &c. Drawne into plaine and familiar Englishe verse by “ Abr. Fleming student, &c. London by John Charlewood, “ &c. 1575." His plan was to give a plain and literal transation, verse for verse.
for verse. These are the five first lines of the tenth Eclogue.
O Arethusa, graunt this labour be my last indeede !
deny ? So when thou ronnest vnder Sicane feas, where froth doth
fry, Let not that bytter Doris of the salte streame mingle make.
Fourteen years afterwards, in 1589, the same author published a new version both of the Bucolics and Georgics of
“ noble men, woorthy knights, gallant " gentlemen, Masters of Art, and braue “ Ichollars. Full of varietie, excellent in.“ uention, and fingvlar delight, &c. Sett “ forth by R. S. of the Inner Temple
gentleman. Imprinted at London by “ John Jackson, 1593." 4to. But I take this R. S. to be Richard Stapylton, who has a copy of verses prefixed to Greene's Ma. MILLIA, printed in 1593. Bl. Lett. By the way, in this miscellany there is a piece by “ W. S. Gent." p. 77. Perhaps by William Shakespeare. But I rather think by William Smyth, whose “ CLORIS, or "the Complaynt of the Paffion of the
despised Sheppard,” was licenced to E. Bolifaunt, Oct. 5, 1596. RegistR. STATion. C. fol. 14. a. The initials W. S. are subscribed to " Corin's dreame of his
“ faire CALORIS," in ENGLAND'S Helio CON. (Signat, H. edit. 1614-) And prefixed to the tragedy of LOCRINE, edit. 1595. Also“ A booke called Amours by " J. (or G.) D. with certen other Son. “ netts by W. S.” is entered to Eleazar Edgar, Jan. 3, 1599. REGISTR, C. fol. 55. a. The initials W. S. are fubfcribed to a copy of verses prefixed to N. Breton's Wil of Wit, &c. 1606. 4to.
They were both born in London. Thinne apud Hollinsh. vol. č. 1590. Samuel wrote an elegant Latin Life of queen Mary, never printed. He has a Latin recommendatory poem prefixed to Edward Grant's Spicilegium of the Greek tonge, a Dialogue, dedicated to Lord Burleigh, and printed at London in 1575. 8vo.
Virgil, with notes, which he dedicated to John Whitgift archbishop of Canterbury". This is commonly said and supposed to be in blank verse, but it is in the regular Alexandrine without rhyme. It is entitled, “ The BUKOLIKES of P. Vir
gilius Maro, &c. otherwise called his pastoralls or Shepherds “ Meetings. Together with his GeorgICs, or Ruralls, &c. “ All newly translated into English verse by A. F. At London “ by T. O. for T. Woodcocke, &c. 1589." I exhibit the five first verses of the fourth Eclogue.
O Muses of Sicilia ile, let's greater matters finge!
If we do finge of woodes, the woods be worthy of a con
sul. Nowe is the last age come, whereof Sybilla's verse fore
And now the Virgin come againe, and Saturnes kingdom
The fourth Georgic thus begins.
O my Mecenas, now will I dispatch forthwith to thew
Abraham Fleming supervised, corrected, and enlarged the fecond edition of Hollinihed's chronicle in 1585" He tranflated Aelian's VARIOUS HISTORY into English in 1576, which he dedicated to Goodman dean of Westminster, “ Ælian's Re
« The Bucolics and Georgics, I think ( His brother Samuel aslisted in comthese, are entered, 1600. Registr. STAT. piling the Index, a very laborious work, See also under 1595, ibid.
and made other improvements. 3 E 2
gistre of Hystories by Abraham Fleming.". He published also Certaine select epiftles of Cicero into English, in 1576.5. And, in the same year, he imparted to our countrymen a fuller idea of the elegance of the antient epistle, by his “ PANOPLIE OF “ Epistles from Tully, Isocrates, Pliny, and others, printed “ at London 1576 h.” He translated Synefius's Greek PaneGYRIC on BALDNESS, which had been brought into vogue by Erasmus's MORIÆ ENCOMIUM'. Among some other pieces, he Englished many celebrated books written in Latin about the fifteenth century and at the restoration of learning, which was a frequent practice, after it became fashionable to compose in English, and our writers had begun to find the force and use of their own tongue". Sir William Cordall, the queen’s solicitorgeneral, was his chief patron'.
William Webbe, who is styled a graduate, translated the GEORGICs into English verse, as he himself informs us in the DISCOURSE OF English Poetrie, lately quoted, and printed in 1586". And in the same discourse, which was written in
8 Lond, in quarto. Quarto. For Ralph Newbery. i Lond. 1579. izmo. At the end, is his Fable of HERMES,
* See supr. p. 260. Among his ori. ginal pieces are, “A memorial of the cha“ ritable almes deedes of William Lambe, “gentleman of the chapel under Henry « Zth, and citizen of London, Lond.
1580. 8vo.--The Battel between the “ Virtues and Vices, Lond. 1582. 8vo.
The Diamant of Devotion in fix parts, Lond. 1586. 12mo.--The Cun. « dyr of Comfort, for Denham, 1579.”. He prefixed a recommendatory Latin poem in iambics to the VOYAGE of Dennis Seta tle, a retainer of the earl of Cumberland, and the companion of Martin Frobisher, Lond. 1577. izmo. Another, in English, to Kendal's FLOWRES OF EPIGRAMMES, Lond. 1577. izmo. Another to John Baret's ALVEARE, or quadruple Lexicon of
English, Latin, Greek, and French. Dedicated to Lord Burleigh, Lond. 1580. fol. edit. 2. (See Mus. ASHMOL. Oxon. 835.] Another to W. Whetstone's Rock of RBGARD. I take this opportunity of obfer. ving, that the works of one John Flem ing an antient English poet, are in Dublin. college library, of which I have no farther notice, than that they are numbered, 304. See RegistR. STATION. B. fol. 160. a. 171. a. 168. a.
| His PANOPLIE is dedicated to Cor. dall. See Life OF SIR THOMAS POPE, p. 226. edit. 2.
* For the sake of juxtaposition, I observe here, that Virgil's Bucolics and fourth Georgic were translated by one Mr. Brim. fly, and licenced to Man, Sept. 3, 1619 REGISTR, Station. C. fol. 305. 2. And the “ second parte of Virgill's Æneids in “ English, translated by fir Thomas Wroth "4 knight,” Apr. 4, 1620. Ibid. fol. 313.b.
defence of the new fashion of English hexameters, he has given us his own version of two of Virgil's Bucolics, written in that unnatural and impracticable mode of versification'. I must not forget here, that the same Webbe ranks Abraham Fleming as a translator, after Barnabie Googe the translator of Palingenius's ZODIAC, not without a compliment to the poetry and the learning of his brother Samuel, whose excellent Inventions, he adds, had not yet been made public.
Abraham Fraunce, in 1591, translated Virgil's Alexis into English hexameters, verse for verse, which he calls The lamentation of Corydon for the love of Alexiso. It must be owned, that the selection of this particular Eclogue from all the ten for an English version, is somewhat extraordinary. But in the reign of queen Elisabeth, I could point out whole sets of sonnets written with this sort of attachment, for which perhaps it will be but an inadequate apology, that they are free from direct impurity of expression and open immodesty of sentiment. Such at least is our observance of external propriety, and so strong the principles of a general decorum, that a writer of the present age who was to print love-verses in this style, would be severely reproached, and universally proscribed. I will instance only in the AffecTIONATE SHEPHERD of Richard Barnefielde, printed in 1595. Here, through the course of twenty sonnets, not inelegant, and which were exceedingly popular, the poet bewails his unsuccessful love for a beautiful youth, by the name of Ganimede, in a strain of the most tender passion, yet with profesfions of the chastest affection'. Many descriptions and incidents
which have a like complexion, may be found in the futile novels of Lodge and Lilly.
Fraunce is also the writer of a book, with the affected and unmeaning title of the “ ARCADIAN RHETORIKE, or the preceptes
of Rhetoricke made plaine by examples, Greeke, La“ tyne, Englisthe, Italyan, Frenche, and Spanishe.” It was printed in 1588, and is valuable for its English examples ?.
In consequence of the versions of Virgil's Bucolics, a piece appeared in 1584, called “ A Comoedie of Titerus and Gala" thea "." I suppose this to be Lilly's play called GALLATHEA, played before the queen at Greenwich on New Year's day by the choristers of saint Pauls.
It will perhaps be sufficient barely to mention Spenser's CuLex, which is a vague and arbitrary paraphrase, of a poem not properly belonging to Virgil. From the testimony of
many early Latin writers it may be justly concluded, that Virgil wrote an elegant poem with this title. Nor is it improbable that in the CULEx at present attributed to Virgil, fome very few of the original phrases, and even verses, may remain, under the accumulated incrustation of critics, imitators, interpolators, and paraphrasts, which corrupts what it conceals. But the texture, the character, and substance, of the genuine poem is almost entirely loft. The CeiriS, or the fable of Nisus and Scylla, which follows, although never mentioned by any writer of antiquity, has much fairer pretenfions to genuineness. At least the CEiris, allowing for uncommon depravations of time and transcription, appears in its present state to be a poem of the Auguftan age, and is perhaps the identical piece dedicated to the Meffala whose patronage it solicits. It has that rotundity of versification, which seems to have been studied after the Roman poetry emerged from barba
• THIA with certeyne Sonnettes and the “ Legend of CASSANDRA," entered to H. Lownes, Jan, 18, 1594. REGISTR. STA. TION. B. fol. 317. a.
9 Entered to T. Gubbyn and T. New.
man, Jun, 1 1, 15.88. REGISTR. STATION, B. fol. 229. b.
· Entered April 1, to Cawood. Ibid. fol. 203. b. Lilly's GALATEA, however, appears to be entered as a new copy to T. Man, Oa. 1, 1591. Ibid. fol. 280. b.