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I PLACE Alexander Barklay within the year 1500, as his SHIP OF Fools appears to have been projected about that period. He was educated at Oriel college in Oxfordd, accomplished his academical studies by travelling, and was appointed one of the priests, or prebendaries, of the college of saint Mary Ottery in Devonshire. Afterwards he became a Benedictine monk of Ely monasteryf; and at length took the habit of the Franciscans at Canterbury 8. He temporised with the changes of religion ; for he possessed some church-preferments in the reign of Edward the Sixth h. He died, very old, at Croydon, in Surry, in the year 1552.
# He seems to have spent some time h He was instituted to Much Badew at Cambridge, Ealog. i. Signat. A. iii. in Essex, in 1546. Newcourt, Rep. i, And once in Cambridge I heard a scol- 254. And to Wokey in Somersetshire, ler say,
the same year. Registr. Wellens. He One of the same that go in copès gay,
had also the church of All Saints, in
Lombard-street, London, on the presene The chief patron of his studies ap- tation of the dean and chapter of Canpears to have been Thomas Cornish, terbury, which was vacant by his death, provost of Oriel college, and Suffragan Aug. 24, 1552. Newcourt, ut supr. bishop of Tyne, in the diocese of Bath
He frequently mentions Croydon in and Wells; to whom he dedicates, in a
his EGLOGES. He was buried in Croyhandsome Latin epistle, his Shir or
don church. Egl. i. Signat. A. iii. Fools. But in the poem, he mentions
And as in CROIDON I heard the Collier My Maister Kyrkham, calling himself “his true servitour, his chaplayne, and
preache, bede-man." fol. 152. b. edit. 1570. Soine Again, ibid. biographers suppose Barklay to have While I in youth in Croipon towne been a native of Scotland. It is certain did dwell. that he has a long and laboured enco- Again, ibid. mium on James the Fourth, king of He hath no felowe betwene this and Scotland; whom he compliments for his CROIDON bravery, prudence, and other eminent
Save the proude plowman Gnatho of · virtues. One of the stanzas of this pa
Chorlington. negyric is an acrostic on Jacobus. fol. He mentions the collier again, ibid. 206. a. He most probably was of Devonshire or Gloucestershire.
Such maner riches the collier tell thee i In the title to his translation from Mancinus, called the MirroUR OF GOOD Also, ibid. MANNERS.
As the riche shepheard that woned in i MS. Bale, Sloan, f. 68.
Barklay's principal work is the Ship of Fooles, above mentioned. About the year 1494 [1470*], Sebastian Brandt, a learned civilian of Basil, and an eminent philologist, published a satire in German with this title). The design was to ridicule the reigning vices and follies of every rank and profession, under the allegory of a Ship freighted with Fools of all kinds, but without any variety of incident, or artificiality of fable; yet although the poem is destitute of plot, and the voya age of adventures, a composition of such a nature became extremely popular. It was translated into French *; and, in the year 1488t, into tolerable Latin verse, by James Locher, a German, and a scholar of the inventour Brandt! From the original, and the two translations, Barklay formed a large English poem, in the balade or octave stanza, with considerable additions gleaned from the follies of his countrymen. It was printed by Pinson, in 1509, whose name occurs in the poem.
Howbeit the charge Pinson has on me layde
With many fooles our navy not to charge.m It was finished in the year 1508, and in the college of saint
* [In the Additions to this volume, verse. From which the French prose Warton instructed the reader to expunge translation was made the next year. the date 1494, and substitute that of ADDITIONS. ] 1470. But Brandt was not born till the + (With this title, “ Sebastiani Brandt year 1458, a circumstance which makes Navis STULTIFERA Mortalium, a vernathis correction quite untenable. The culo ac vulgari sermone in Latinum German bibliographers speak of an edi- conscripta, per JACOBUM LOCHER cogno. tion printed at Basle without date, as mine Philomusum Suevum cum figuris. the earliest known to them, though others Per Jacobum Zachoni de Romano, maintain the Strasburg edition of 1494 anno 1488." 4to. In the colophon, it to be the first of the German original. is said to have been jampridem traducta If this be true, Locher must have from the German original by Locher ; translated from Brandt's manuscript and that this Latin translation was reEdit.]
vised by the inventor Brandt, with the 1 I presume this is the same Sebastian addition of many new Fools. A second Brandt, to whom Thomas Acuparius, edition of Locher's Latin was printed at poet laureate, dedicates a volume of Paris in 1498. 4to. There is a French Poggius's works, Argentorat. 1513. fol. prose translation by Jehan Drouyn, at He is here styled, “ Juris utriusque doc- Lyons, 1498. fol. In the royal library tor, et S. P. Q. Argentinensis cancel at Paris, there is a curious copy of Barklarius.”
The dedication is dated 1511. lay's English Ship of Folys, by Pinson, See Hendreich. PANDECT. p. 703. on velluin, with the wood-cuts: a rarity [Brandt was a doctor of laws, an im- not, I believe, to be found in England. perial counsellor, and Syndic to the Seo -ADDITIONS.) nate of Strasburg.-Edit. )
1 See THE PROLOGUE. * By Joce Bade. Paris, 1497. [In m Fol. 38. In another place he com
Mary Ottery, as appears by this rubric, " The SHYP OF FOLYS, translated in the colege of saynt Mary Otery, in the counte of Devonshyre, oute of Laten, Frenche, and Doch, into Englishe tonge, by Alexander Barclay, preste and chaplen in the sayd colledge, M.ccccc.vin.” Our author's stanza is verbose, prosaic, and tedious: and for many pages together, his poetry is little better than a trite homily in verse.
The title promises much character and pleasantry: but we shall be disappointed, if we expect to find the foibles of the crew of our ship touched by the hand of the author of the CANTERBURY TALES, or exposed in the rough yet strong satire of Pierce Plowman. He sometimes has a stroke of humour : as in the following stanza, where he wishes to take on board the eight secondaries, or minor canons, of his college. “ Alexander Barclay ad FATuos, ut dent locum OCTO SECUNDARIIS beatæ Mariæ de Ottery, qui quidem prima hujus ratis transtra merenturo."
Softe, Foolis, softe, a litle slacke your pace,
Therefore shall they guide this one ship of fooles. The ignorance of the English clergy is one of the chief objects of his animadversion. He says', plains that some of his wordes are amis, folly of all states, with divers other works on account of the printers not perfect in adjoined to the same," &c. This has science. And adds, that
both Latin and English. But Ames, The printers in their busynes
under Wynkyn de Worde, recites “ The Do all their workes speediely and in Ship of Fools in this World,” 4to. 1517.
Hist. PRINT. p. 94. haste. fol. 258. b.
” To the collegiate church of saint In folio. A second edition, from Mary Ottery a school was annexed, by which I cite, was printed with his other the munificent founder, Grandison, biworks, in the year 1570, by Cawood, in shop of Exeter. This college was foundfolio, with curious wooden cuts, takened in the year 1937, from Pinson's impression, viz. “ The
I know. Swir or FOOLES, wherein is shewed the "fol. 2.
o fol. 68.
For if one can flatter, and beare a hawke on his fist,
He shalbe made parson of Honington or of Clist.
I write no jeste ne tale of Robin Hood',
For Philip the sparrow the dirige to sing. The last line is a ridicule on his cotemporary Skelton, who wrote a LITLE BOKE OF Philip SPARROW, or a Dirge,
For the soule of Philip Sparrow
That was late slaine at Carow, &c. And in another place, he thus censures the fashionable reading of his age: much in the tone of his predecessor Hawes.
For goodly scripture is not worth an hawe,
As is a foolish jest of Robin hode, u
That w in this ship the chiefe place I governe,
Primus in excelso teneo quod nave ru" See Skelton's Works, p. 215. edit. dentes, 1736. This will be mentioned again, Stultivagosque sequor comites per flubelow. u fol. 23.
mina vasta, I subjoin the Latin from which he Non ratione vacat certa, sensuque latranslates, that the reader may judge
tenti : how much is our poet's own. fol. 1. a. ongestis etenim stultus confido libellis;
For to have plentie it is a pleasaunt thing,
yet I have them in great reverence
Spem quoque, nec parvam, congesta vo Cur vellem studio sensus turbare frelumina præbent.
quenti, Calleo nec verbum, nec libri sentio Aut tam sollicitis animum confundere mentem :
rebus? Attamen in magno per me servantur ho- Qui studet, assiduo motu fit stultus et nore,
amens. Pulveris et cariem plumatis tergo fla- Seu studeam, seu non, dominus tamen bellis.
esse vocabor; Ast ubi doctrina certamen volvitur, in- Et possum studio socium disponere quam,
nostro, Ædibus in nostris librorum culta su- Qui pro me sapiat, doctasqne examinet
pellex Eminet, et chartis vivo contentus opertis, Aut si cum doctis versor, concedere malo Quas video ignorans, juvat et me copia Omnia, ne cogar fors verba Latina sola.
profari. Constituit quondam dives Ptolomeus,
* Students and monks were antiently haberet Ut libros toto quesitos undique mundo; the binders of books. In the first page Quos grandes rerum thesauros esse pu- this note occurs, “ Ex CONJUNCTIONS
of a manuscript Life of Concubranus, tabat : Non tamen arcanæ legis documenta te- dompni Wyllelmi Edys monasterii B.
Mariæ S. Modwenæ virginis de Burton nebat, Queis fine non poterat vitæ disponere super Trent monachi, dum esset studens
Oxoniæ, A.D. MdXVII." See MSS. CotEn pariter teneo numerosa volumina, N. vi. 3. et 7. Art. The word Conjunctio
ton. CLEOPATR.ji. And MSS. Coll. Oriel. tardus: Pauca lego, viridi contentus tegmine is ligatura. The book is much older libri.
than this entry.