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I have before mentioned “A ryght pleasant and merry History “ of the My LNER of ABING To N ", with his wife and his “ faire, daughter and of two poor scholars of Cambridge,” a meagre epitome of Chaucer's MILLER's TALE. In a blank leaf of the Bodleian copy, this tale is said by Thomas Newton of Cheshire, an elegant Latin epigrammatist of the reign of queen Elisabeth, to have been written by Borde". He is also supposed to have published a collection of filly stories called Scog IN's Jests, fixty in number. Perhaps Shakespeare took his idea from this jest-book, that Scogan was a mere buffoon, where he says that Falstaffe, as a juvenile exploit, “broke Sco“ gan's head at the court-gate ".” Nor have we any better authority, than this publication by Borde, that Scogan was a graduate in the university, and a jester to a king *. Hearne, at the end of Benedićtus Abbas, has printed Borde's IT IN ERARY, as it may be called ; which is little more than a string of names, but is quoted by Norden in his Speculum BRIT ANNIAE ". Borde's circulatory peregrinations, in the quality of a quack-doctor, might have furnished more ample materials for an English topo
graphy. Beside the BREv1ARY of HEALTH, mentioned above, and which was approved by the university of Oxford, Borde has left the DIETAR1E of HEALTH, reprinted in 1576, the PRom PTU ARIE of MEDICINE, the DocTRINE of URINEs, and the PRINCIPLEs of Ast Rono MICAL PRoc Nos TIcATION's " : which are proofs of attention to his profession, and shew that he could sometimes be serious". But Borde's name would not have been now remembered, had he wrote only profound systems in medicine and astronomy. He is known to posterity as a buffoon, not as a philosopher. Yet, I think, some of his astronomical tracts have been epitomised and bound up with Erra Pater's Almanacs. Of Borde's numerous books, the only one that can afford any degree of entertainment to the modern reader, is the DIETARIE of HELTHE : where, giving directions as a physician, concerning the choice of houses, diet, and apparel, and not suspecting how little he should instruct, and how much he might amuse, a curious posterity, he has preserved many anecdotes of the private life, customs, and arts, of our ancestors . This work is dedicated to Thomas duke of Norfolk, lord treasurer under Henry the eighth. In the dedication, he speaks of his being called in as a physician to fir John Drury, the year when cardinal Wolsey was promoted to York; but that he did not chuse to prescribe without consulting doćtor Buttes, the king's physician. He apologises to the duke, for not writing in the ornate phraseology now generally affected. He also hopes to be excused, for using in his writings so many wordes of mirth: but this, he says, was only to make your grace merrie, and because mirth has ever been esteemed the best medicine. Borde must have had no small share of vanity, who could think thus highly of his own pleasantry. And to what a degree of taste and refinement must our antient dukes and lords treasurers have arrived, who could be exhilarated by the witticisms and the lively language of this facetious philosopher John Bale, a tolerable Latin classic, and an eminent biographer, before his conversion from popery, and his advancement to the bishoprick of Ossory by king Edward the fixth, composed many scriptural interludes, chiefly from incidents of the New Testament. They are, the Life of Saint John the Baptist, written in 1538. Christ in his twelfth year. Baptism and Temptation. The Resurrection of Lazarus. The Council of
* The Princyples of Affronamye the whiche diligently perscrutya is in a maner a prognosticacyon to the worldes ende. In thirteen chapters. For R. Copland, without date, 12mo. It is among bishop More's collection at Cambridge, with some other of Borde's books.
* See Ames, Hist. PR int. p. 152. Pits. p. 735.
* In his rules for building or planning a House, he supposes a quadrangle. The Gate-house, or Tower, to be exactly opposite to the Portico of the Hall. The Privy Chamber to be annexed to the Chamber of State. A Parlour joining to the Buttery and Pantry at the lower end of the Hall. The Pastry-house and Larder
annexed to the Kitchen. Many of the cham-
bers to have a view into the Chapel. In
the outer quadrangle to be a stable, but only for horses of pleasure. The stables, dairy, and slaughter-house, to be a quarter of a mile from the house. The Moat to have a spring falling into it, and to be often scowered. An Orchard of sundry fruits is convenient; but he rather recommends a Garden filled with aromatic herbs. In the Garden a Pool or two, for fish. A Park filled with deer and conies. “A “Dove-house also is a necessary thyng a“bout a mansyon-place. And, amon
“other thynges, a Payre of Buttes is a de“cent thynge about a mansyon. And “otherwise, for a great man necessary it “is for to passe his tyme with bowles in “an aly, when al this is finished, and the “mansyon replenished with implements.”
Ch. iv, Sign. C., ii. Dedication dated 1542. duke * Both in quarto. At the end is A Song printed under the name of a Trac Edie or *f Benediæus, compiled by Johan Bale. Enter Lupe, by Charlewood, 1577. 4to. * This was written in 1538. And first * Fol. 24.
endured Of an age, when the Bible was profaned and ridiculed from a principle of piety But the fashion of a&ting mysteries appears to have expired with this writer. He is said, by himself, to have written a book of Hymns, and another of jests and tales : and to have translated the tragedy of PAMMAchius ; the same perhaps which was aéted at Christ's college in Cambridge in 1544, and afterwards laid before the privy council as a libel on the reformation *. A low vein of abusive burlesque, which had more virulence than humour, seems to have been one of Bale's talents: two of his pamphlets against the papists, all whom he considered as monks, are entitled the MAss of THE GLUT Tons, and the ALcoRAN of THE PRELATEs ". Next to exposing the impostures of popery, literary history was his favorite pursuit: and his most celebrated performance is his account of the British writers. But this work, perhaps originally undertaken by Bale as a vehicle of his sentiments in religion, is not only full of misrepresentations and partialities, arising from his religious prejudices, but of general inaccuracies, proceeding from negligence or misinformation. Even those more antient Lives which he transcribes from Leland's commentary on the same subjećt, are often interpolated with false facts, and impertinently marked with a misapplied zeal for reformation. He is angry with many authors, who flourished before the thirteenth century, for being catholics. He tells us, that lord Cromwell frequently screened him from the fury of the more bigotted bishops, on account of the comedies he had published". But whether plays in particular, or other compositions, are here to be understood by comedies, is uncertain. Brian Anslay, or Annesley, yeoman of the wine cellar to Henry the eighth about the year 1520, translated a popular French poem into English rhymes, at the exhortation of the gentle earl of Kent, called the CITIE of DAMEs, in three books. It was printed in 1521, by Henry Pepwell, whose prologue prefixed begins with these unpromising lines,
y Cent. viii. 100, p. 702. And Wer. “machii tragoedias transtuli.” heiden, p. 149. a Ibid. * See vol. ii. p. 377. Bale says, “Pam- b “ Ob editas CoMA: Dias.” Ubi supr.
Vol. III. L gentle