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“ honest manners, dedicated ouer boldly to vertuous and honor“ able personages, the easelyer to beguile simple and honest " wittes, It is pitty, that those which haue authoritie and “ charge to allow and disallow works to be printed, be no more “ circumspect herein than they are. Ten Sermons at Paules “ Crosse doe not so much good for moouing men to true doc“ trine, as one of these bookes does harme with inticing men “ to ill living. Yea I say farther, these bookes tend not so “ much to corrupt honest liuing, as they doe to subuert true re
ligion. More papists be made by your merry bookes of Italy, “ than by your earnest bookes of Louain. When the busie “ and open papists could not, by their contentious bookes, turne “ men in Englande faste inough from troth and right iudge“ mente in doctrine, then the suttle and secret papists at home
procured bawdie bookes to be translated out of the Italian “ toong, whereby ouermany yong willes and witts, allured to “ wantonnes, doe now boldly contemne all seuere bookes that “ found to honestie and godlines. In our forefathers time, “ when papistrie, as a standing poole, couered and ouerflowed ... all England, few bookes were red in our toong, fauyng cer
tayne Bookes of Chiualrie, as they sayd for pastime and plea“ sure, which, as some say, were made in monasteries by idle “ monkes or wanton chanons: as one for example, Morte “ ARTHUR, the whole pleasure of which booke standeth in “ two specyall poyntes, in open mans Naghter and bolde baw“ drie: in which booke those be counted the noblest knights that “ doe kill most men without any quarrell, and commit fowlest “ aduoulteries by sutlest shifts : as, fyr Launcelote with the “ wife of king Arthure his maister: syr Tristram with the wife “ of king Marke his vncle: syr Lamerocke with the wife of “ king Lote that was his own aunte. This is good ftuffe for “ wise men to laughe at, or honest men to take pleasure at. 6 Yet I knowe when God's Bible was banished the court, and
: Serious books in divinity, written by the papists. The study of controversial theology flourished at the univeráty of Louvain.
« MORTE ARTHUR receaued into the princes chamber. What “ toyes the dayly reading of such a booke may worke in the “ will of a yong ientleman, or a yong maide, that liueth
welthely and idlely, wise men can iudge, and honest men doe
pittie. And yet ten MORTE ARTHURES doe not the tenth “ part so much harme, as one of these bookes made in Italie, “ and translated in England. They open, not fond and common
ways to vice, but such suttle, cunning, new and diuerse “ shifts, to carry yong willes to vanitie and
wittes to mifchiefe, to teache old bawdes new schoole pointes, as the fim
ple head of an Englishman is not hable to inuent, nor neuer “ was heard of in England before, yea when papistrie ouer« flowed all. Suffer these bookes to be read, and they shall “ soon displace all bookes of godly learning. For they, carry
ing the will to vanitie, and marring good manners, shall easily
corrupt the minde with ill opinions, and falfe judgement in “ do&rine : first to thinke ill of all true religion, and at last, “ to thinke nothing of God himselfe, one speciall poynt that is
be learned in Italie and Italian bookes. And that which " is most to be lamented, and therefore more nedefull to be “ looked to, there be more of these vngracious bookes set out “ in print within these fewe moneths, than haue been seene in
England many score yeares before. And because our English
men made Italians cannot hurt but certaine persons, and in “ certaine places, therefore these Italian bookes are made Eng“ lith, to bringe mischiefe inough openly and boldly to all “ states ', great and meane, yong and old, euery where. — Our “ English men Italianated haue more in reuerence the TRI“UMPHES of Petfarche', than the GENESIS of Moyses. They " make more accompt of Tullies Offices, than faint Paules
o Conditions of life.
In such aniversal vogue were the Trio UMPHS of Petrarch, or his TRIONFI D'
AMOUR, that they were made into a public pageant at the entrance, I think, of Charles the fifth into Madrid.
Epistles: of a Tale in Boccace, than the Story of the “ Bible, &c d. Afcham talkes here exactly in the style of Prynne's HISTRIO
It must indeed be confessed, that by these books many pernicious obscenities were circulated, and perhaps the doctrine of intrigue more accurately taught and exemplified than before. But every advantage is attended with its inconveniencies and abuses. That to procure translations of Italian tales was a plot of the papists, either for the purpose of facilitating the propagation of their opinions, of polluting the minds of our youth, or of diffusing a spirit of scepticism, I am by no means convinced. But I have nothing to do with the moral effects of these versions. I mean only to Thew their influence on our literature, more particularly on our poetry, although I reserve the discussion of this point for a future section. At present, my design is to give the reader a full and uniform view of the chief of these translations from the Italian, which appeared in England before the year
1600. I will begin with Boccace. The reader recollects Boccace's Theseid and TROILUs, many of his Tales, and large passages from Petrarch and Dante, translated by Chaucer. But the golden mine of Italian fiction opened by Chaucer, was soon closed and forgotten. I must however premise, that the Italian language now began to grow so fashionable, that it was explained in lexicons and grammars, written in English, and with a view to the illustration of the three principal Italian poets. So early as 1550, were published, “ Principal rules of the Italian grammar, with
a dictionarie for the better vnderstanding of Boccase, Petrarche, “ and Dante, gathered into this tonge by William Thomas R.' It is dedicated to fir Thomas Chaloner, an accomplished scholar.
The third edition of this book is dated in 1567. Scipio Lentulo's Italian grammar was translated into English in 1578, by Henry Grantham'. Soon afterwards appeared, in 1583,“ CAMPO
DI FIOR, or The Flourie Field of four Languages of M. “ Claudius Desainliens, for the furtherance of the learners of “ the Latine, French, and English, but chieflie of the Italian “ tongue .'
In 1591, Thomas Woodcock printed, « Florio's “ second frutes to be gathered of twelve trees of divers but de
lightfull tastes to the tongues of Italian and Englishmen. To “ which is annexed a gardine of recreation yelding 6ooo Italian “ prouerbs "." Florio is Shakespeare's Holophernes in Love's Labour Loft'. And not to extend this catalogue, which I fear is not hitherto complete, any further, The ITALIAN SCHOOLEMASTER was published in 1591 k. But to proceed.
Before the year 1570, William Paynter, clerk of the Office of Arms within the Tower of London, and who seems to have been master of the school of Sevenoaks in Kent, printed a very considerable part of Boccace's novels. His first collection is entitled, “ The PALACE OF PLEASURE, the first volume, con“ taining sixty novels out of Boccacio, London, 1566.” It is dedicated to lord Warwick'. A second volume soon appeared, “ The PALLACE OF PLEASURE the second volume containing " thirty-four novels, London, 1567 “.” This is dedicated to fir George Howard ; and dated from his house near the Tower, as is the former volume. It would be superfluous to point out here the uses which Shakespeare made of these volumes, after the full investigation which his antient allusions and his plots have so lately received. One William Painter, undoubtedly the same, translated William Fulk's ANTIPROGNOSTICOn, a treatise writ
s For T. Vautrollier. 8vo, & For Vautrollier. 12mo.
But his First Frute, or, Dialogues in Italian and English, with inftruction for the Italian, appeared in 1578. His Italian dictionary, in 1595.
á See Act iv. Sc. ii.
k For Thomas Purfoot. 12mo.
" A second edition was printed for H. Binneman, Lond. 1575. 4to.
m A second edition was printed by Thomas Marsh, in octavo. Both volumes appeared in 1575. 410.
ten to expose the astrologers of those times ". He also prefixed a Latin tetrastic to Fulk's original, printed in 1570°.
With Painter's Palace of PLEASURE, we must not confound “ A petite Pallace of Pettie his plesure," although properly claiming a place here, a book of stories from Italian and other writers, translated and collected by William Pettie, a ftudent of Christ-church in Oxford about the year 1576'. It is faid to contain, “ manie prettie histories by him set forth in “ comely colors and most delightfully discoursed.”
” The first edition I have seen was printed in 1598, the year
before our author's death, by James Roberts. The first tale is SINORIX AND CAMMA, two lovers of Sienna in Italy, the last ALEXIUS?. Among Antony Wood's books in the Ashmolean Museum, is a second edition dated 1608'. But Wood, who purchafed and carefully preserved this performance, solely because it was written by his great-uncle, is of opinion, that " it is now so far " from being excellent or fine, that it is more fit to be read by a “ school-boy, or rusticall amoretto, than by a gentleman of mode “ and language.” Most of the stories are classical, perhaps supplied by the English Ovid, yet with a variety of innovations; and a mixture of modern manners.
* Lond. 1570. I'2mo. At the end is an English tract against the astrologers, very probably written by Painter. Edward Dering, a fellow of Christ's college Cam. bridge, in a copy of recommendatorý verses prefixed to the second edition of Googe's Palingenius, attacks PAINTER, Lucas, and others, the abettors of Fulk's ANTIPROGNOSTICON, and the censurers of astrology. In the antient registers of the Stationers company, an Almanac is usually joined with a PROGNOSTICATION. See REGISTR. A. fol.
b. 61, a. In 1563, is a receipt for a licence to William Joiner for printing “ The Citye " of Cyvelite, translated into Englesshe by “ William Paynter.” Registr A ut fupr. fol. 86. b. In 1565, there is a receipt for licence to W. James to print “ Serten hir“coryes collected oute of dyvers ryghte
“ good and profitable authors by William “ Paynter.” Ibid. fol. 134. b. The second part of the “ Palice of Pleasure," is entered with Nicholas Englonde, in 1565. Ibid. fol. 156. a.
P Entered that year, Aug. 5, to Watkins. Registr, STATION, B. fol. 134. a.
4 There is an Epistle to the Reader by R: W. In 1569, there is an entry with Richard James for printing “ A ballet in“ tituled Sinorix Canna and Sinnatus." Registr. Station. A. fol. 191. b. In Pettie's tale, Camma is wife to Sinpatus.
• There was a third in 1613. By. G. Eld. Lond. 4to. Bl. Lett.
s Ath. Oxon. i. 240. Pattie in con. junction with Bartholomew Young, trannated the Civile Conversation of Stephen Guazzo, 1586. 4to.