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Pour l'amour de vous, très chers freres,
And in the preface he says, “ Or sçai-je que plusieurs de vous “ n'entendent pas bien Latin auquel il fut chose necessaire « de la rieule [regle] entendre.” Benoit's successour in the priorate of faint Genevieve was not equally attentive to the discipline and piety of his monks. Instead of translating monkish Latin, and enforcing the salutary regulations of faint Austin, he wrote a system of rules for BALLAD-WRITING, L'ART DE DICTIER BALLADE ET RONDELS, the first Art of poetry that ever appeared in France,
Among the moral books now translated, I must not omit the SPIRITUELLE AMITie of John of Meun, from the Latin of Aldred an English monk'. In the same style of mystic piety was the treatise of CONSOLATION, written in Latin, by Vincent de Beauvais, and sent to faint Louis, translated in the year 1374. In the year 1340, Henri de Suson, a German dominican and a mystic doctor, wrote a most comprehensive treatise called HOROLOGIUM SAPIENTIÆ. translated into French by a monk of saint François ?. Even the officers of the court of Charles the fifth were seized with the ardour of translating religious pieces, no less than the ecclefiaftics. The most elegant tract of moral Latinity tranNated into French, was the celebrated book of our countryman John of Salisbury, De Nugis CURIALIUM. This version was made by Denis Soulechart, a learned Cordelier, about the year 1360. Notwithstanding the Epistles of Abelard and Eloisa, not only from the celebrity of Abelard as a Parisian theologist, but on account of the interesting history of that unfortunate pair, must have been as commonly known, and as likely to be read in the original, as any Latin
book in France, they were translated into French in this century, by John of Meun; who prostituted his abilities when he relinquished his own noble inventions, to interpret the pedantries of monks, schoolmen, and profcribed classics. I think he also translated Vegetius, who will occur again. In the library of faint Genevieve, there is, in a sort of fystem of religion, a piece called JERARCHIE, translated from Latin into French at the command of our queen Elinor in the
year 1297, by a French friaro. I must not however forget, that amidst this profusion of treatises of religion and instruction, civil history found a place. That immenfe chaos of events real and fictitious, the HISTORICAL MIRROUR of Vincent de Beauvais, was translated by Jehan de Vignay above mentioned'. One is not surprised that the translator of the GOLDEN LEGEND should make no better choice.
The desolation produced in France by the victorious armies of the English, was instantly succeeded by a flourishing state of letters. King John, having indulged his de votion, and satisfied his conscience, by procuring numerous versions of books written on sacred subjects, at length turned his attention to the classics. His ignorance of Latin was a fortunate circumstance, as it produced a curiosity to know, the treasures of Latin literature. He employed Peter Bercheur, prior of faint Eloi at Paris, an eminent theologist, to translate Livy into French®; notwithstanding that author
a There is a copy written in 1284, terre . . . l'an. de grace m.ccc.xv11." (1384,] Brit. Mur. MSS. Reg. 20 B. XV.
c Brit. af. MSS. Reg. 14. E. i. Often, ibid. John of Meun is also said to A cutious picture of the diftracted state have translated MIRABILIA HIBERNIÆ. of France is recorded by Petrarch. The
“ Cette JERARCHIE translata fiere king, with the Dauphin, returning from “ Jehan de Pentham de Latin en Françoys, his captivity in England, in passing through “ à la requeste la reine d'Engleterre Alie Picardy, was obliged to make a pecuniary nore femme le
Edward. There is bargain with the numerous robbers that ina also this note in the manuscript. “Cest fested that country, to travel unmolested. “ livre refigna frere Jordan de Kyngestone
Vie Petr. iii. 543. « à la commune des freres Menurs de See Henault, NOUVEL. ABRRG. Hist. " Southampton, par la volunte du graunt Fr. p. 229. edit. 1752. 4to. And Vic “ frere Willame Notington [f. Northing DE PERTRARQUE, iii. p. 547• “ ton in Hampshire,] ministre d'EngleVol. II. a
had been anathematised by pope Gregory. But so judicious a choice was undoubtedly dictated by Petrarch, who regarded Livy with a degree of enthusiasm, who was now resident at the court of France, and who perhaps condescended to direct and superintend the translation. The translator in his Latin work called REPERTORIUM, a sort of general dictionary, in which all things are proved to be allegorical, and reduced to a moral meaning, under the word Roma, records this great attempt in the following manner. « Titum Livium, ad “ requisitionem domini Johannis inclyti Francorum regis, “ non fine labore et fudoribus, in linguam Gallicam transtuli?." To this translation we must join those of Sallust, Lucan, and Cesar: all which seem to have been finished before the year 1365. This revival of a taste for Roman history, most probably introduced and propagated by Petrarch during his short stay in the French court, immediately produced a Latin historical compilation called ROMULEon, by an anonymous gentleman of France; who soon found it necessary to tranflate his work into the vernacular language. Valerius Maximus could not remain long untranslated. A version of that favourite author, begun by Simon de Hesdin, a monk, in 1364, was finished by Nicolas de Gonesse, a master in theology, 14013, Under the last-mentioned reign, Ovid's Metamorphoses MORALISED were translated by Guillaume de Nangis: and the same poem was translated into French verse, at the request of Jane de Bourbonne, afterwards the confort
* This was the translation of Livy, which, bliothec. Paris. p. 79. There is a copy, with other books, the duke of Bedford, re transcribed about the time the translation gent of France, about 1425, fent into Eng was finished. Brit. Muf. MSS. Reg. 15 D. land to Humphrey duke of Gloucester.
vi. Des FAIS DE ROMAINS. With The copy had been a present to the king pi&tures, of France. Mem. Litt. ï. 747. 4to. See & Brit. Muf. MSS. Reg. 18 E. iii. iv. the Second DisserTATION. In the Sor With elegant delineations, and often in bonne library at Paris, there is a most va the same library. luable manuscript of this version in two h Perhaps written in Latin by Joannes folio volumes. In the front of each book Grammaticus, about 1070. See the SEare various miniatures and pictures, most COND DISSERTATION. beautifully finished. Dan. Maichel de Bi
of Charles the fifth, by Philip de Vitri; bishop of Meaux, Petrarch's friend, who was living in 1361'. A bishop would not have undertaken this work, had he not perceived much moral doctrine couched under the pagan stories. Jean le Fevre, by command of Charles the fifth, translated the poem De VETULA, fallly ascribed to Ovida. Cicero's RheTORICA appeared in French by master John de Antioche, at the request of one friar William, in the year 1383. About the same time, some of Aristotle's pieces were translated from Latin; his . PROBLEMS by. Eyrard de Conti, physician to Charles the fifth : and his Ethics and Politics by Nicholas d'Oresme, while canon of Rouen. This was the most learned man in France, and tutor to Charles the fifth ; who, in consequence of his instructions, obtained a competent skill in Latin, and in the rules of the grammar'. Other Greek classics, which now began to be known by being translated into Latin, became still more familiarised, especially to general readers, by being turned into French. Thus Poggius Florentinus's recent Latin version of Xenophon's CYROPEDIA was translated into French by Vasque de Lucerie, 1370 m. The Tactics of Vegetius, an author who frequently confounds the military practices of his own age with those of antiquity, appeared under the title of Livres des Fais D'ARMES ET DE CHEVALLERIE, by Christina of Pisa", Pe
There was a French Ovid in duke cites many lines from it, Advers. Pelag. Humphrey's library at Oxford. See fupr. p. 33. As does Bacon, in his astrological p. 45. And Brit. Muf. MSS. Reg. 17 tracts. It is condemned by Bede as hereE. iv. 1. This version, as I apprehend, is tical. In Boeth. de Trinit. Selden inthe same that Caxton translated into Eng tended a DISSERTATION on this forgery, lifh prose, and printed, 1480. A manu De Synedr. iii. 16. It is in hexameters, fcript is in Bibl. Pepyf. Magd. Coll. Cant. in three books. Cat. MSS. Ang!. &c. tom. ii. N. 679!.
| Chriftin. Vie CHARLES V. k Polycarpus
Leyferus fupposes this piece m Brit. Muf. MSS. Reg. 17 E. v. to be the forgery of one Leo Protonotarius, And 16 G. ix. With pictures. an officer in the court at Conftantinople, MSS. Reg. 19 B. xviii. &c. Vegetius who writes the preface. Hift. Poef. Med. was early translated into all the modern Æv. p. 2089. He proves the work suppo languages. There is an Englid one, proSititious, from its feveral Arabicisms and bably by John Trevisa, as it is addressed fcrip:ural expreslicns, &c. Brawardine to his patron lord Berkeley, A. D. 1408.
trarch di REMEDIIS UTRIUSQUE FORTUNÆ, a set of Latin dialogues, was translated, not only by Nicholas d'Oresme, but by two of the officers of the royal houshold', in compliment to Petrarch at his leaving France. Many philosophical pieces, particularly in astrology, of which Charles the fifth was remarkably fond, were translated before the end of the fourteenth century. Among these, I must not pass over the QUADRIPARTITUM of Ptolemy, by Nicholas d'Oresme; the AGRICULTURE', or LIBRI RURALIUM COMMODORUM, of Peter de Crescentiis, a physician of Bononia,
, about the year 1285, by a nameless friar preacher'; and the book DE PROPRIETATIBUS RERUM of Bartholomew Anglicus, the Pliny of the monks, by John Corbichon, an Augustine monk'. I have seen a French manuscript of Guido de Colonna's Trojan romance, the hand-writing of which belongs to this century.
In the fifteenth century it became fashionable among the
« In olde tyme
MSS. Digb. 233. Prine.
• See Niceron, tom. 28. p. 384.
P Monf. l'Ab. Lebeuf says Seneca instead of Petrarch. Mem. Litt. xvii. p. 752.
I must not forget to observe, that several whole books in Brunetto's TRESOR confift of translations from Ariftotle, Tully, and Pliny, into French. Brunetto was a Florentine, and the master of Dante. He died in 1295. The Tresor was a fort of Encyclopede, exhibiting a course of practical and theoretic philosophy, of divinity, cosmography, geography, history facred and profane, phyfics, ethics, rhetoric, and politics. It was written in French by Brunetto during his residence in France : but he afterwards translated it into Italian, and it has been translated by others into Latin. It was the model and foun
dation of Bartholomeus of the PROPERTIES OF THINGS, of Bercheur's REPERTORIUM, and of many other works of the same species, which foon followed. See Brit. Muf. MSS. Reg. 17 E.i. It will occur again.
19 Des PROUPFITZ CHAMPESTRES ET RURAUX. Brit. Mus. MSS. Reg. 14 E.
* In twelve books. See Jacob. Quetif. tom, i.
666. s Leland says, that this translation is elegant; and that he saw it in duke Humfrey's library at Oxford. Script. Brit. cap. ccclxviii. Śee Brit. Muf. Mss. Reg. 1? E. iii. With pictures. Ibid. 15 E. ii. Where the translation is assigned to the year 1362. The writing of the manuscript, to 1482. With pictures.
Brit. Muf. MSS. Reg. 16 F. ix. A new translation seems to have been made by Rauol le Feure, in 1464. Englifhed by Caxton, and printed, 1471.
Caxton's GODEFROY OF Bologne, translated from the French, and printed 1481, had a Latin original. The French, a fine copy, is in Brit. Muf. 17 F. v. MSS. Reg. Sæpius ibid. (See fupr. p. 99.]