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professor of physic in Oxford'. He was the most celebrated physician of his age in England; and his principal work is entitled Rosa MEDICA, divided into five books, which was printed at Paris in the year 14924. Gilbertine, I suppose, is Gilbertus Anglicus, who flourished in the thirteenth century, and wrote a popular compendium of the medical art W. About the same time, not many years before Chaucer wrote, the works of the most famous Arabian authors, and among the rest those of Avicenne, Averroes, Serapion, and Rhasis, above mentioned, were translated into Latin*. These were our physician's library. But having mentioned his books, Chaucer could not forbear to add a stroke of satire so naturally introduced.
His studie was but litel on the bible.Y
The following anecdotes and observations may serve to throw general light on the learning of the authors who compose this curious library. The Aristotelic or Arabian philosophy continued to be communicated from Spain and Africa to the rest
sius, introduces himself as a plıysician. MSS. Br. Twyne, 8. p. 249. [See But in order to sustain this character Freind's Hist. of Physick, i. 257.with due propriety, he first shaves his Additions.] head, and assuines the habit of a monk, , 'p. 414, lib. viii, c. 14. John Arundale, after Tanner, Bibl. p. 312. Leland styles wards bishop of Chichester, was chaplain this work,“ opus luculentum juxta ac and first physician to Henry the Sixth, erudituin." Script. Brit. p. 355. in 1458. Wharton, Angl. Sacr. i. 777. Conring. ut supr. Sæc. xiii. cap. 4. Faricius abbot of Abingdon, about 1110, p. 127. And Leland. Script. Brit. p. 291. was eminent for his skill in medicine; Who says, that Gilbert's Practica et Comand a great cure performed by him is pendium Medicinæ was most carefully recorded in the register of the abbey. studied by many. “ ad quæstum propeHearne's Bencd. Abb. Præf. xlvii. rantes." He adds, that it was common, King John, while :ick at Newark, made about this tiine, for English students use of William de Wodestoke, abbot of abroad to assume the surname Anglicus, the neighbouring monastery of Croxton, as a plausible recommendation. (See as his physician. Bever, Chron. MSS. more of Gilbertus Anglicus, ibid. p. Harl.apud Hearne, Præf. ut supr. p. xlix. 356.- Additions.] Many other instances may be added. * Conring. ut supr. Sæc. xiii. cap. 4. The physicians of the university of Paris p. 126. About the same time, the works were not allowed to marry till the year of Galen and Hippocrates were first 1452. Menagian. p. 933. In the same translated from Greek into Latin : but u'niversity, antiently at the admission to in a most barbarous style. Id. ibid.p. 127. the degree of doctor in physic, they took Y v. 140. an oath that they were not married.
of Europe chiefly by means of the Jews: particularly to France and Italy, which were overrun with Jews about the tenth and eleventh centuries. About these periods, not only the courts of the Mahometan princes, but even that of the pope himself, were filled with Jews. Here they principally gained an establishment by the profession of physic; an art then but imperfectly known and practised in most parts of Europe. Being well versed in the Arabic tongue, from their commerce with Africa and Egypt, they had studied the Arabic translations of Galen and Hippocrates; which had become still more familiar to the great numbers of their brethren who resided in Spair. From this source also the Jews learned philosophy; and Hebrew versions made about this period from the Arabic, of Aristotle and the Greek physicians and mathematicians, are still extant in some libraries. Here was a beneficial effect of the dispersion and vagabond condition of the Jews: I mean the diffusion of knowledge. One of the most eminent of these learned Jews was Moses Maimonides, a physician, philosopher, astrologer, and theologist, educated at Cordoua in Spain under Averroes. He died about the year 1208. Averroes being accused of heretical opinions, was sentenced to live with the Jews in the street of the Jews at Cordoua. Some of these learned Jews began to flourish in the Arabian schools in Spain, as early as the beginning of the ninth century. Many of the treatises of Averroes were translated by the Spanish Jews into Hebrew: and the Latin pieces of Averroes now extant were translated into Latin from these Hebrew versions. I have already mentioned the school or university of Cordoua. Leo Africanus speaks of “ Platea bibliothecariorum Cordouæ.” This, from what follows, appears to be a strect of booksellers. It was in the time of Averroes, and about the year 1220. One of our Jew philosophers having fallen in love, turned poct, and his verses were publicly sold in this street". My author says,
y Euseb. Renaudot. apud Fabric, Bibl, Gr. vi. 251.
- Leo Afriean. de Med. et Philosoph. IIcbr. c. xviii. xxix.
that renouncing the dignity of the Jewish doctor, he took to writing verses
The SoMPNOUR, whose office it was to summon uncanonical offenders into the archdeacon's court, where they were very rigorously punished, is humourously drawn as counteracting his profession by his example: he is libidinous and voluptuous, and his rosy countenance belies his occupation. This is an indirect satire on the ecclesiastical proceedings of those times. His affectation of Latin terms, which he had picked up from the decrees and pleadings of the court, must have formed a character highly ridiculous.
And whan that he wel dronken had the win,
wel as can the pope:
He is with great propriety made the friend and companion of the PARDONERE, or dispenser of indulgences, who is just arrived from the pope,“ brimful of pardons come from Rome al hote:” and who carries in his wallet, among other holy curiosities, the virgin Mary's veil, and part of the sail of Saint Peter's ship.
The Monke is represented as more attentive to horses and hounds than to the rigorous and obsolete ordinances of Saint
* Leo, ibid, “Amore capitu!, et DIGNI (So edit. 1561. See Johnson's DicTATE DOCTORUM POSTHABITA cæpit edere tionary, in Magrie. — Auditions.] carmina." See also Simon. in Suppl.
exainine. ad Leon. Mutinens. de Ritib. Hebr. v. 639.
Benedict. Such are his ideas of secular pomp and pleasure, that he is even qualified to be an abbot'.
An outrider that loved venerie,
That saith, that hunters ben not holy men. He is ambitious of appearing a conspicuous and stately figure on horseback. A circumstance represented with great elegance.
And whan he rode, men mighte his bridel here
And eke as loude, as doth the chapel bell." The gallantry of his riding-dress, and his genial aspect, is painted in lively colours.
I saw his sleves purfileum at the hond,
i There is great humour in the cir- a capital monastery. But Chaucer, in cumstances which qualify our monk to the verses before us, seems to have told be an abbot. Some time in the thir- the real truth, and to have given the real teenth century, the prior and convent of character as it actually existed in life. Saint Swithin's at Winchester, appear I believe that our industrious confrere, to have recommended one of their bre- with all his knowledge of glossing, writthren to the convent of Hyde as a pro- ing, illuminating, chanting, and Bencper person to be preferred to the abbacy dict's rules, would in fact have been less. of that convent, then vacant. These are likely to succeed to a vacant abbey, than his merits. “ Est enim confrater ille nos one of the genial complexion and poputer in glosanda sacra pagina bene callens, lar accomplislunents here inimitably dein scriptura (transcribing] peritus, in ca- scribed. pitalibus literis appingendis bonus arti hunting. fex, in regula S. Benedicii instructissi į " Ile did not care a straw for the mus, psallundi doctissiinus," &c. MS, text," &c. Regintr. nt supr. p. 277. These were
k v. 176. seq.
| See vol. i. p. 176. the ostensible qualities of the master of fringer.
And eke his face as it hadde ben anoint:
His palfrey was as broune as is a berry.o
A frere there was, a wanton and a mery;
Where fitheles is fiddles, as in the Prol. P A friar that had a particular grant Cl. Oxenf. v. 298. So in the Roman for begging or hearing confessions within d'Alerandre, MSS. Bibl. Bodl. ut supr. certain limits. See supr. p. 124. seq.
fol. i. b. col. 2. 4 of Mendicants.
'In Urry's Glossary this expression, Rule, harpe, viole, et gigne, et siphonie. on a Rote, is explained, by Rote. But I cannot help mentioning in this place, a rote is a musical instrument. Lydgate, a pleasant mistake of bishop Morgan, in MSS. Fairfax, Bibl. Bodl. 16.
his translation of the New Testament For ther was Rotys of Almayne,
into Welch, printed 1567. He translates And cke of Arragon and Spayne.
the Vials of wrath, in the Revelations,
by Crythan i. e. Crouds or Fiddles, Again, in the same manuscript,
Rev. y. 8. The Greek is piadas. Now
it is probable that the bishop translated Harpys, fitheles, and eke rolys, only from the English, where he found Wel according to ther notys. VIALS, which he took for viols.