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under the title of Livre D'ENEIDOS, COMPILE PAR VIRGILL, by Guillaume de Roy. But that translation was printed at Lyons in 1483, and appears to have been finished not many
Among the translạtor's historical additions, are the description of the first foundation of Troy by Priam, and the succession of Ascanius and his descendants after the death of Turnus. He introduces a digreflion upon Boccacio, for giving in his Fall of Princes an account of the death of Dido, different from that in the fourth book of the Eneid. Among his omislions, he passes over Eneas's descent into hell, as a tale manifestly forged, and not to be believed by any rational reader : as if many other parts of the tranflator's story were not equally fictitious, and incredible'.
The conclusion intended to be drawn from this long digression is obvious. By means of these French translations, our countrymen, who understood French, much better than Latin, became acquainted with many useful books which they would not otherwise have known. With such affif tances, a commodious access to the classics was opened, and the knowledge of antient literature facilitated and familiarifed in England, at a much earlier period than is imagined'; and at a time, when little more than the productions of speculative monks, and irrefragrable doctors, could be obtained or were studied. Very few Englishmen, I will venture to pronounce, had read Livy before the translation of Bercheur was imported by the regent duke of Bedford. It is certain that many of the Roman poets and historians were now read in England, in the original. But the Latin language was for the most part confined to a few ecclefiaftics. When these authors, therefore, appeared in a language almost as intelligible as the English, they fell into the handsof illiterate and common readers, and contributed to fow the feeds of a national erudition, and to form a popular taste.
It was trandated, and printed, by Caxton, 1490.
Even the French versions of the religious, philosophical, historical, and allegorical compositions of those more enlightened Latin writers who flourished in the middle ages, had their use, till better books came into vogue: pregnant as they were with absurdities, they communicated instruction on various and new subjects, enlarged the field of information, and promoted the love of reading, by gratifying that growing literary curiosity which now began to want materials for the exercise of its operations. How greatly our poets in general availed themselves of these treasures, we may collect from this circumstance only: even such writers as Chaucer and Lydgate, men of education and learning, when they translate a Latin author, appear to exécute their work through the medium of a French version. It is needless to pursue this history of French translation any farther. I have given my reason for introducing it at all. In the next age, a great and universal revolution in literature ensued ; and the English themselves began to turn their thoughts to translation.
These French versions enabled Caxton, our first printer, to enrich the state of letters in this country with many valuable publications. He found it no difficult task, either by himself, or the help of his friends, to turn a considerable number of these pieces into English, which he printed. Antient learning had as yet made too little progress among us, to encourage this enterprising and industrious artist to publish the Roman authors in their original language': and had not the French furnished him with these materials, it is not likely, that Virgil, Ovid, Cicero, and many other good
• It is, however, remarkable, that from England. These were, BoethiuS de the year 1471, in which Caxton began to Confolatione ; both Latin and English, for print, down to the year 1540, during which Caxton, without date. The Latin Eso. period the English press flourished greatly PIAN Fables, in verse, for Wynkyn de under the conduct of many industrious, in Worde, 1593. 4to. [And once or twice genious, and even learned artists, only the afterwards.] TERENCE, with the Comvery few following classics, some of which ment of Badius Ascensius, for the same, hardly deserve that name, were printed in 1504. 4to. VIRGIL'S BUCOLICS, for
writers, would by the means of his press have been circulated in the English tongue, so early as the close of the fifteenth century'.
the same, 1512. 4to. (Again, 1533. 4to.] the same period of the English press, the TULLY's Offiées, Latin and English, same embarrassments appear to have hapthe translation by Whittington, 1533. 4to. pened with regard to Hebrew types; which The university of Oxford, during this pe yet were more likely, as that language was riod, produced only the first Book of so much less known. In the year 1524, TULLY'S EPISTLE's, at the charge of doctor Robert Wakefield, chaplain to cardinal Wolsey, without date, or printer's Henry the eighth, published his Oratio de name. Cambridge not a fingle classic. laudibus et utilitate trium linguarum Ara
No Greek book, of any kind, had yet bicæ, Chaldaicæ, et Hebraicæ, &c. 4to. appeared from an English press. I believe The printer was Wynkyn de Worde ; and the first Greek characters used in any work the author complains, that he was obliged printed in England, are in Linacer's tran to omit his whole third part, because the flation of Galen de Temperamentis, printed printer had no Hebrew types. Some few at Cambridge in 1521, 4to. A few Greek Hebrew and Arabic characters, however, words, and abbreviatures, are here and are introduced ; but extremely rude, and there introduced. The printer was John evidently cut in wood. They are the first Siberch, a German, a friend of Erasmus, of the fort used in England. This learned who styles himself primus UTRIUSQUe lin orientalift was instrumental in preserving, gue in Anglia impressor. There are Greek at the dissolution of monasteries, the Hecharacters in some of his other books of brew manuscripts of Ramsey abbey, colthis date. But he printed no entire Greek lected by Holbech one of the monks, tobook. In Linacer's treatise De emendata gether with Holbech's Hebrew Di&tionary. Structura Latini sermonis, printed by Pin Wood, Hift. Ant. Univ. Oxon. ii. 251. son in 1524, many Greek characters are Leland. Scriptor. v. HOLBECCUS. intermixed. In the sixth book are seven It was a circumstance favourable at least Greek lines together. But the printer to English literature, owing indeed to the apologises for his imperfections and un general illiteracy of the times, that our skillfulness in the Greek types; which, he first printers were so little employed on says, were but recently cast, and not in a books written in the learned languages. sufficient quantity for such a work. The Almost all Caxton's books are English. passage is curious. Æquo animo feras The multiplication of English copies mulis fiquæ literæ, in exemplis Hellenismi, tiplied English readers, and these again • vel tonis vel Spiritibus careant. His produced new vernacular writers.
The ex“ enim non fatis instructus erat typogra istence of a press induced many persons to
phus, videlicet recens ab eo fufis cha turn authors, who were only qualified to “ racteribus Græcis, nec parata ei copia write in their native tongue. " qua ad hoc agendum opus eft." About
HE first poet that occurs in the reign of king Edward the fourth is John Harding'. He was of northern
To the preceding reign of Henry the ever, add here, two flanzas of the poem fixth, belongs a poem written by James the contained in the Selden manuscript, which first, king of Scotland, who was atrociously seems to be the most distinguished of his murthered at Perth in the year 1436. It compositions, and was never printed. it entitled the King's COMPLAINT, is allegorical, and in the seven-lined stanza. In ver that full of vertue is and gude, The subject was suggested to the poet by When nature first begynneth her empryse, his own misfortunes, and the mode of com That quilham was be cruell frost and Aude, position by reading Boethius. At the close, And Moures scharp, opprest in many wyse; he mentions Gower and Chaucer as seated And Cynthius gynneth to aryse on the peppys of rhetoryke. Bibl. Bodl. · Heigh in the est a morow soft and swete MSS. Selden. Archiv. B. 24. chart. fol. Upwards his course to drive in Ariete : [With many pieces of Chaucer.] This unfortunate monarch was educated while a Paslit bot mydday foure grees evyn prisoner in England, at the command of Oflenth and brede, his angel wingis
bright our Henry the fourth, and the poem was He spred uppon the ground down fro the written during his captivity there. The hevyn ; Scotch historians represent him as a prodigy That for gladness and confort of the fight, of erudition. He civilised the Scotch na And with the tiklyng of his hete and light tion. Among other accomplishments, he The tender floures opinyt thanne and sprad was an admirable mufician, and particularly And in thar nature thankit him for glad. skilled in playing on the harp. See Lesley, De Reb. Gest. Scor. lib. vii. p. 257. This piece is not specified by Bale, 266. 267. edit. 1675. 4to.
The same Dempster, or Mackenzie. See Bale, ubi historian says, “ ita orator erat, ut ejus supr. Dempster, Scot. SCRIPTOR. ix. - dictione nihil fuerit artificiofius : ita
714. pag. 380. edit. 1622. Mackenzie, POETA, ut carmina non tam arte strin vol. i. p. 318. Edingb. 1708. fol. “ xisse, quam natura sponte fudisse videre John Major mentions the beginning of
Cui rei fidem faciunt carmina di some of his other poems, viz. “ verfi generis, quæ in rhythmum Scotice “ fen, &c.” And “ At Beltayn, &c.”
illigavit, eo artificio, &c.” Ibid p. 267. Both these poems seem to be written on his See also Buchanan, Rer. Scot. lib. x. p. wife, Joan daughter of the dutchess of Cla-186.-196. Opp. tom. i. Edingb. 1715. rence, with whom he fell in love while a Among other pieces, which I have never prisoner in England. Major mentions beseen, Bale mentions his CANTILENÆ fides, a libellus artificiofus, whether verse Scoticæ, and RHYTHMI Latini. Bale, or profe I know not, which he wrote on paral. poft. Cent. xiv. 56. pag. 217. It this lady in England, before his marriage ; is not the plan of this work to comprehend and which Bale entitles, Super Uxore fue and examine in form pieces of Scotch poe tura. This hiftorian, who flourished about try, except such only as are of singular the year 1520, adds, that our monarch's merit. Otherwise, our royal bard would CANTILENÆ were commonly sung by the have been considered at large, and at his Scotch as the most favorite compositions: proper period, in the text. I will, how and that he played better on the harp.
extraction, and educated in the family of lord Henry Percy": and, at twenty-five years of age, hazarded his fortunes as a volunteer at the decisive battle of Shrewsbury, fought against the Scots in the year 1403. He appears to have been indefatigable in examining original records, chiefly with a design of ascertaining the fealty due from the Scottish kings to the crown of England : and he carried many instruments from Scotland, for the elucidation of this important enquiry, at the hazard of his life, which he delivered at different times to the fifth and fixth Henry, and to Edward the fourth These investigations seem to have fixed his mind on the study of our national antiquities and history. At length he cloathed his researches in rhyme, which he dedicated under that form to king Edward the fourth, and with the title of The Chronicle of England unto the reigne of king Edward the fourth in verse". The copy probably presented to the king, although it exhibits at the end the arms of Henry Percy earl of Northumberland, most elegantly transcribed on vellum, and adorned with superb illuminations, is preserved
than the most skillful Irish or highland morandum in the exchequer, that, in 1458, harper. Major does not enumerate the John Harding of Kyme delivered to Jobn poem I have here cited. Major, Gest. Talbot, treasurer of England, and chanScor. lib. vi. cap. xiv. fol. 135. edit. cellor of the exchequer, five Scottish letters 1521. 4to. Doctor Percy has one of patent, acknowledging various homages of James's CANTILENÆ, in which there is the kings and nobility of Scotland. They much merit.
are enclosed in a wooden box in the ex4 One William Peeris, a priest, and fe chequer, kept in a large chest, under the cretary to the fifth earl of Northumberland, mark, Scoria. HARDING. So says AMwrote in verse, William Peeris's discente of mole (MSS, Athmol. 860. p. 186.) from a she Lord Percis. Pr. Prol. Cronykills register in the exchequer called the Yola “ and annuel books of kyngs.” Brit. Muf. LOW-BOOK. MSS. Reg. 18 D. 9. Then immediately * Printed, at London, 1543. 4to. by follows (10.) in the same manuscript, per Grafton, who has prefixed a dedication of haps written by the same author, a collec three leaves in verfe to Thomas duke of tion of metrical proverbs painted in several Norfolk. A continuarion in prose from chambers of Lekingfield and Wrefille, an Edward the fourth to Henry the eighth is tient seats of the Percy family.
added, probably by Grafton. But fce "Henry the fixth granted'immunities to Grafton's Preface to his ABRIDGEMENT Harding in several patents for procuring OF THE CHRONICLE OF ENGLAND, edit, the Scottish evidences. The earliest is dated
1570. an, reg, xviii. (1440.] There is a me.