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Painter at the end of his second volume, has left us this curious notice. “ Bicause sodaynly, contrary to expectation, this “ Volume is risen to greater heape of leaues, I doe omit for “ this present time suNDRY Nouels of mery devise, reseruing " the same to be joyned with the rest of an other part, wherein “ fhall succeede the remnant of Bandello, specially futch, suf“ frable, as the learned French man François de Belleforrest " hath selected, and the choyfest done in the Italian. Some “ also out of Erizzo, Ser Giovanni Florentino, Parabosco, Cyn“ thio, Straparole, Sanfouino, and the best liked out of the
Queene of Nauarre, and other Authors. Take these in good
part, with those that haue and shall come forth.”. But there is the greatest reason to believe, that no third volume ever appeared. And it is probable, that Painter by the interest of his booksellers, in compliance with the prevailing mode of publication, and for the accommodation of universal readers, was afterwards persuaded to print his fundry novels in the perishable form of separate pamphlets, which cannot now be recovered.
Boccace's FIAMETTA was translated by an Italian, who seems to have borne some office about the court, in 1587, with this title, “ AMOROUS FIAMETTA, wherein is sette downe a cata
logve of all and lingvlar passions of loue and jealousie inci“ dent to an enamored yong gentlewoman, with a notable ca“ ueat for all women to eschew deceitfull and wicked loue, by
an apparent example of a Neapolitan lady, her approued and
long miseries, and wyth many found dehortations from the " fame. Fyrst written in Italian by master John Boccace, the “ learned Florentine, and poet lavreat. And now done into
English by B. Giouanno del M. Temp.” The same year was also printed, “ Thirteene most pleasaunt and delectable
questions entituled A DISPORT of diuers noble personages
. In quarto, for Thomas Gubbins.
3 N 2
66 from w See supr.vol.ii. p.342. And Em. Add.
“ from Boccace. Imprinted at London by A. W. for Thomas “ Woodcock, 1587."
Several tales of Boccace's DecAMERON were now translated into English rhymes. The celebrated story of the friendship of TITUS AND Gesippus was rendered by Edward Lewicke, a name not known in the catalogue of English poets, in 1.562 ". The title is forgotten with the tranllator. « The most, wonder: “ full and pleasaunt history of Titus and Gilppus, whereby is
fully declared the figure of perfect frendshyp drawen into
English metre by Edwarde Lewicke. Anno 1562. For Tho“ mas Hacket*."
It is not suspected, that those affecting stories, the CYMON AND IPhIGENIA, and the THEODORE AND HONORIA, of Boccace, so beautifully paraphrased by Dryden, appeared in English verse, early in the reign of queen Elisabeth.
THEODORE AND HONORIA was translated, in 1569, by doctor Christopher Tye, the musician, already mentioned as a voluminous versifier of scripture in the reign of Edward the sixth. The names of the lovers are disguised, in the following title. “ A notable historye of Nastagio and Trauerfari, no less pitiefull “ than pleafaunt, translated out of Italian into English verse by “ C. T. Imprinted at London in Poules churchyarde, by Tho
mas Purefoote dwelling at the signe of the Lucrece. Anno.
1569'.” Tye has unluckily applied to this tale, the same stanza which he used in translating the ActS OF THE APOSTLES. The knight of hell pursuing the lady, is thus described.
He sawe approche with swiftie foote
The place where he did staye,
"In quarto. There is entered with Ri. chard Smyth, in 1566, "A boke intituled “ the xiij questions composed in the Italian “ by John Boccace.” REGISTR. STATION. A. fol. 153. a.
1570, with H. Binneman, “ The petifull “hiftory of ij lovyng Italians," REGISTR. STATION. A. fol.
* In izmo. Ad calc. “ Finis quod Ed*rward Lewick." There is entered, in
Purfoot has licence to print “ the History of ". Noftagio." The same book. REGISTR. STATION. A, fol. 183. b. [See fupr. p. 194.]
A dame, is to prove that English is capable of all · In 12mo. Bl. Lett.
A dame, with scattred heares vntrusfde,
Bereft of her araye.
Besides all this, two mastiffes great
Both fierce and full he sawe,
With greedie rauening rawe.
He sawe behinde her backe,
Vpon a courser blacke:
With gastlye thretning.countenaunce,
With armyng (worde in hande;
Were like a fiery brande, &c 2:
man.. Printed by Nicholas Wyer in faint Martin's parish be“ fides Charing Crosso.”. It is in stanzas. I know not with what poet of that time the initials T. C. can correspond, except with Thomas Churchyard, or Thomas Campion. The latter is
the poets in ENGLAND'S PARNASSUS printed in 1600, is named by Camden with Spenser, Sidney, and Drayton ; and, among other pieces, published Songs, bewailing the untimely “ death of Prince Henry, set forth to bee sung to the lute or “ viol by John Coprario, in 16136.” . But he seems rather too : 2 SIGNAT. A v.
the Roman measures. He gives a specimen See also Meres, ubi fupr. fol. 280. of Lincentiate lambickes in English, our Under his name at length are
present blank verse, p. 12. More of this " tions on the Art of English Poesie, Lond. hereafter. T. C. in our singing-pfalms, is .
by R. Field, 1602." 12mo. Dedicated affixed to psalm 136. See above, p. 170. to lord Buckhurst, whom he calls “ the I believe he is the author of a Masque pre*-noblest judge of poesie, &c.” This piece sented on Saint Stephen's Night, 1604.
late to have been our translator. Nicholas Wyer the printer of this piece, not mentioned by Ames, perhaps the brother of Robert, was in vogue before or about the year 1570.
It is not at all improbable, that these old translations now entirely forgotten and obsolete, suggested these stories to Dryden's notice. To Dryden they were not more antient, thán pieces are to us, written soon after the restoration of Charles the second : and they were then of sufficient antiquity not to be too commonly known, and of such mediocrity, as not to preclude a new translation. I think we may trace Dryden in some of the rhymes and expressions.
It must not be forgot, that Sachetti published tales before Boccace. But the publication of Boccace’s DECAMERON gave a stability to this mode of composition, which had existed in a rude state before the revival of letters in Italy. Boccace collected the coma mon tales of his country, and procured others of Grecian origin from his friends and preceptors the Constantinopolitan exiles, which he decorated with new circumstances, and delivered in the purest style. Some few perhaps are of his own invention. He was soon imitated, yet often unsuccessfully, by many of his countrymen, Poggio, Bandello, the anonymous author of LE Ciento NovELLE ANTIKE, Cinthio, Firenzuola, Malespini, and others. Even Machiavel, who united the liveliest wit with the profoundest reflection, and who composed two comedies while he was compiling a political history of his country, condescended to adorn this fashionable species of writing with his NOVELLA DI BELFEGOR, or the tale of Belphegor.
- In 1569, Thomas Colwell has licence to print - A ballet of two faythfull frynds
beynge bothe in love with one lady." REGISTR. STATION. A. fol. 193. This feems to be PALAMON AND ARCITE. I know not whether I should mention here, Robert Wilmot's tragedy of TANCRED AND GISMUND, acted before queen Elisabeth at the Inner-temple, in 1568, and
printed in 1592, as the story, originally from Boccace, is in Paynter's Collection, and in an old English poem. (See supr. vol. ii. 238.] There is also an old French poem cal'ed GUICHARD ET SIGISMONDE, translated from Boccace into Latin by Leo Aretine, and thence into French verse by Jean Fleury. Paris. Bl. Lett. 4to. See DECAMERON, Giorn, iv. Nov, i.
In Burton's MELANCHOLY, there is a curious account of the diversions in which our ancestors passed their winter-evenings. They were not totally inelegant or irrational, One of them was to read Boccace's novels aloud. “ The ordinary recreations " which we haue in winter, are cardes, tables and dice, fhouel. « board, cheffe-play, the philosopher's game, small trunkes, • balliardes, musicke, maskes, singing, dancing, vle-games °,
catches, purposes, questions : merry tales, of errant-knights, kings, queenes, louers, lords, ladies, giants, dwarfes, thieves, fayries, Boccace's NOUELLES, and the rest."
The late ingenious and industrious editors of Shakespeare have revived an antient metrical paraphrafe, by Arthur Brooke, of Bandello's history of Romeo and Juliet. 6. THE TRAGICALL “ HYSTORY OF ROMEUS AND JULIET: Contayning in it a
rare example of true Constancie, with the subtill Counsels “ and practises of an old fryer and ther ill event. Imprinted at “ London in Fleete-ftreete within Temple Barre at the signe of “ the hand and starre by Richard Tottill the xix day of No“ vember. Ann. Dom. 1562.” It is evident from a coincidence of absurdities and an identity of phraseology, that this was Shakespeare's original, and not the meagre outline which appears in Painter. Among the copies delivered by Tottel the printer to the stationers of London, in 1582, is a booke called ROMEO AND JULETTA. But I believe there were two different translations in verse. It must be remembered here, that the original writer of this story was Luigi da Porto, a gentleman of Verona, who died in 1529. His narrative appeared at Venice
under the title of LA GIULIETTA, and was foon afterwards adopted by Bandello. Shakespeare, milled by the English
# Christms games. See what is said a. bove of Ulf, vol. ii, p. 315.
· P. ii. $. 2. pag. 230. edit. fol. 1624.
f Under which year is entered in the register of the Stationers, “ Recevyd of “ Mr. Tottle for his license for pryntinge " of the Tragicall history of the ROMEUS
AND JUliert with Sonnettes.” ReGISTR. A. fol. 86. a. It is again entered in these Registers to be printed, viz. Feb. 18, 1582, for Tottel. And Aug. 5, 1596, as a newe ballet, for Edward White. Re. GISTR. C. fol. 12. b.
8 REGISTR. B. fol. 193. a. See laft Note.