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But Polymitè in this tempest huge
Till it was passed almost midnight hour.d When Oedipus consults concerning his kindred the oracle of Apollo, whose image stood on a golden chariot with four wheels burned bright and sheen, animated with a fiend, the manner in which he receives his answer is touched with spirit and imagination.
And when Edipus by great devotion
Towrds Thebes, &c. In this poem, exclusive of that general one already mentioned, there are some curious mixtures of manners, and of classics and scripture. The nativity of Oedipus at his birth is calculated by the most learned astronomers and physicians'. Eteocles defends the walls of Thebes with great guns. And the priest h Amphiorax, or Amphiaraus, is styled a bishop', whose wife is also mentioned. At a council held at Thebes, concerning the right of succession to the throne, Esdras and Solomon are cited: and the history of Nehemiah rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem is introduced. The moral intended by this calamitous tale consists in shewing the pernicious effects of war: the diabolical nature of which our author still further illustrates by observing, that discord received its origin in hell, and that the first battle ever fought was that of Lucifer and his legion of rebel angels'. But that the argument may have the fullest confirmation, Saint Luke is then quoted to
Pag. 631. col. 2. Pag. 626. col. 2. | Pag. 625. col. 1.
R Pag. 644. col. 2. Great and small, and some as large as tonnes.
h As in Chaucer.
Pag. 645. col. 1. * Pag. 636. col. 1. | Pag. 660. col. 1.
prove, that avarice, ambition, and envy, are the primary sources of contention; and that Christ came into the world to destroy these malignant principles, and to propagate universal charity.
At the close of the poem, the mediation of the holy virgin is invoked, to procure peace in this life, and salvation in the next. Yet it should be remembered, that this piece is written by a monk, and addressed to pilgrims.
'Lydgate was near fifty when this poem was written. pag. 622. col. 2.
THE third of Lydgate's poems which I proposed to consider, is the TROY BOKE, or the DESTRUCTION OF Troy. first printed at the command of king Henry the Eighth, in the year 1513, by Richard Pinson, with this title, “THE HYSTORY SEGE AND DESTRUCCION of TroyE. The table or rubrisshe of the content of the chapitres, &c. Here after foloweth the Troye BOKE, otherwise called the Sege OF TROYE.
Translated by John LYDGATE monke of Bury, and emprynted at the commaundement of oure souveraygne lorde the kynge Henry the Eighth, by Richarde Pinson, &c. the yere of our lorde god a M.ccccc. and
Another, and a much more correct edition followed, by Thomas Marshe, under the care of one John Braham, in the year 1555°. It was begun in the year 1414, the last year of the reign of king Henry the Fourth. It was written at that
Among other curious decorations in at and in all the sayd warres, and dithe title page, there are soldiers firing gested in Latyn by the learned Guydo great guns at the city of Troy. Caxton, de Columpnis, and sythes translated into in his RecuYLE OF THE HYSTORYES OF Englyshe verse by John Lydgate moncke
Troye, did not translate the account of of Burye and newly imprinted.” The the final destruction of the city from his colophon, “ Imprinted at London in French author Rauol le Feure, “ for as Flete-strete at the sygne of the Princes muche as that worshipfull and religious Armes by Thomas Marshe. Anno do. man Dan John Lydgate monke of Burye M.D. L.V. This book was modernised, did translate it but late, after whose worke and printed in five-lined stanzas, under I feare to take upon me,” &c. At the the title, “ The LIFE AND DEATH OF end of B. ii.
HECTOR, &c. written by John Lydgate • With this title. “The auncient hi- monk of Berry, &c. At London, printed storie, and only true and syncere croni- by Thomas Purfoot. Anno Dom. 1614." cle, of the warres betwixte the Grecians fol. But I suspect this to be a second and the Troyans, and subsequently of edition. Princip. “In Thessalie king the fyrst evercyon of the auncient and Peleus once did raigne." See Farmer's famouse cyte of Troye under Laomedon Essay, p. 39. 40. edit. 1767. This sputhe king, and of the last and fynall de- rious TROYE-BokE is cited by Fuller, structyon of the same under Pryam: Winstanley, and others, as Lydgate's wrytten by Daretus a Troyan and Dictus genuine work. a Grecian, both soyldiours and present
prince's command, and is dedicated to his successor. It was finished in the year 1420. In the Bodleian library there is a manuscript of this poem elegantly illuminated, with the picture of a monk presenting a book to a king”. From the splendour of the decorations, it appears to be the copy which Lydgate gave to Henry the Fifth.
This poem is professedly a translation or paraphrase of Guido de Colonna's romance, entitled HISTORIA TROJANA. But whether from Colonna's original Latin, or from a French version' mentioned in Lydgate's Prologue, and which existed soon after the year 1300, I cannot ascertain. I have before observed', that Colonna formed his Trojan History from Dares Phrygius and Dictys Cretensis " ; who perpetually occur as authorities in Lydgate's translation. Homer is however referred to in this work; particularly in the catalogue, or enumeration, of the ships which brought the several Grecian leaders with their forces to the Trojan coast. It begins thus, on the testimony of Colonna". P MSS. Digb. 232.
Guido, of Colonna, a judge. And al• Princip. “Licet cotidie vetera re- though a certain Roman, Cornelius lsy centioribus obruantur,"
name, the nephew of the great Sallustius, Of a Spanish version, by Petro translated Dares and Dictys into Latin, Nunez Degaldo, see Nic. Anton. Bibl. yet, attempting to be concise, he has Hispan. tom. ii. p. 179.
very improperly omitted those particulars • See supra, vol. i. p. 131. Notes. Yet of the history, which would have proved he says, having finished his version, B.v. most agreeable to the reader. In my Signat. EE. i.
own book therefore every article belongI have no more of Latin to translate,
ing to the Trojan story
will be compreAfter Dytes, Dares, and Guydo.
hended."-And in his Postscript. “And
I Guido de Colonna have followed the Again, he despairs of translating Guido's said Dictys in every particular ; for this Latin elegantly. B. ii. c. X. See also reason, because Dictys made his work B. ii. Sign. R. ii. There was a French perfect and complete in every thing. translation of Dares printed, Cadom. And I should have decorated this history 1573. See WORKS OF THE LEARNED. with more metaphors and ornaments of A. 1703. p. 222.
style, and by incidental digressions, Supra, vol. i. p. 130, Note. which are the pictures of composition. u As Colonna's book is extremely But deterred by the difficulty of the scarce, and the subject interesting, I will work,” &c. Guido has indeed made translate a few lines from Colonna's Pro Dictys nothing more than the groundlogue and Postscript. From the Pro work of his story. All this is translated logue. “These things, originally written in Lydgate's Prologue. by the Grecian Dictys and the Phrygian * From Dict. Cretens. lib. i. c. xvii. Dares, (who were present in the Trojan p. 17. seq. edit. Dacer. Amstel 1702. war, and faithful relators of what they 4to. And Dar. Phryg. cap. xiv. p. 158. saw,) are transferred into this book by ibid. There is a very ancient edition of
Myne auctor telleth how Agamamnon,
And is closed with these lines.
Full many shippès was in this navye,
That such a nombre of shippes sawe to forne. *
Dares in quarto, without name or place. PRINCIS. See supr. And in Chaucer's
One saied that OMERE made lies,
And feinyng in his poetries :
And was to the Grekès favorable, the traces of HOMERIS style, in other re
And therefore held he it but fable. spects a true writer. We have the same complaint in our author's Fall OF ? B. iv. c. xxxi. Signat. X. ii.