תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

Besydes this gyaunt, upon every tree
I did fee hanging many a goodly shielde
Of noble knygtes, that were of hie degree,
Whiche he had slayne and murdred in the fielde :
From farre this gyaunt I ryght well behelde;
And towarde hym as I rode on my way,
On his first heade I sawe a banner gay'.

To this poem a dedication of eight octave stanzas is prefixed, addressed to king Henry the seventh: in which our author professes to follow the manner of his maister Lydgate.

To folowe the trace and all the perfytness
Of my maister Lydgate, with due exercise,
Such fayned tales I do fynde' and devyse:
For under coloure a truthe may aryse,
As was the guyse, in old antiquitie,
Of the poetes olde a tale to surmyse,
To cloake the truthe.

In the course of the poem he complains, that fince Lydgate, the most dulcet Sprynge of famous rhetoryke, that species of poetry which deals in fiction and allegoric fable, had been entirely lost and neglected. He allows, that some of Lydgate's fucceffors had been skilful versifiers in the balade royall or octave stanza, which Lydgate carried to such perfection : but adds this remarkable restriction,

They fayne no fables pleasaunt and covert :-
Makyng balades of fervent amytie,
As gestes and tryfles ".

s Ch. XXXV.

and improper conversation of priests in * Invent.

the choir. Ch. xiv. So Barklay, in the SHIP of Fooles, finished in 1508, fol. 18. a. And all of fables and jeftes of Robin Hood, edit. 1570. He is speaking of the profane Or other trifles.

These

These lines, in a small compass, display the general state of poetry which now prevailed.

Coeval with Hawes was William Walter, a retainer to fir Henry Marney, chancellour of the duchy of Lancaster: an unknown and obscure writer whom I should not have named, but that he versified, in the octave stanza, Boccacio's story, so beautifully paraphrased by Dryden, of Sigismonda and Guiscard. This poem, I think, was printed by Wynkyn de Worde, and afterwards reprinted in the year 1597, under the title of THE STATELY TRAGEDY OF GUISCARD AND SIGISMOND". It is in two books. He also wrote a dialogue in verse, called the Spectacle of Lovers', and the History of Titus and Gefippus, a translation from a Latin romance concerning the siege of Jerusalem.

About the year 1490, Henry Medwall, chaplain to Morton archbishop of Canterbury, composed an interlude, called NATURE, which was afterwards translated into Latin. It is not improbable, that it was played before the archbishop. It was the business of chaplains in great houses to compose interludes for the family. This piece was printed by Rastel, in 1538, and entitled, “NATURE, a goodly interlude of na

ture, compylyd by mayster Henry Medwall, chaplayn to “ the right reverent father in God, Johan Morton, some“ tyme cardynall, and archebyshop of Canterbury.”

In the year 1497, Laurence Wade, a Benedictine monk of Canterbury", translated, into English rhymes, The Life of THOMAS A BECKETT, written about the year 1180, in

* Viz. “ Certaine worthye manuscript poems

of great antiquitie, reserved long “ in the studie of a Northfolke gentleman,

now first publifhed by J. S. Lond. R. D.

1597." izmo. In this edition, beside the story of SIGISMUNDA, mentioned in the text, there is “ The Northern Mo" ther's Blessing, written nine yeares beus fore the death of G. Chaucer. And The Way to Thrift.” This collection

is dedicated to the worthiest Poet MAISTER EDMOND Spenser.

y Begins the Prologue, “ Forasmuche

as ydelness is rote of all vices This and the following piece are also printed in quarto, by Wynkin de Worde.

z Professed in the year 1467. Catal. Mon. Cant. inter MSS. C, C. C. C. N. 7.

Latin', by Herbert Bosham. The manuscript, which will not bear a citation, is preserved in Benet college in Cambridge. The original had been translated into French verse by Peter Langtoft“. Bosham was Becket's secretary, and present at his martyrdom.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

1

I

Place Alexander Barklay within the year 1500, as his

SHIP of Fools appears to have been projected about that period. He was educated at Oriel college in Oxford", accomplished his academical studies by travelling, and was appointed one of the priests, or prebendaries, of the college of saint Mary Ottery in Devonshire'. Afterwards he became a Benedictine monk of Ely monastery'; and at length took the habit of the Franciscans at Canterburys. He temporised with the changes of religion ; for he possessed some church-preferments in the reign of Edward the sixth ". He died, very old, at Croydon, in Surry', in the year 1552.

.

d He seems to have spent some time at
Cambridge, Eglog.i. Signat. A. iii.
And once in Cambridge I heard a scoller

say,
One of the same that go in copès gay.

• The chief patron of his studies appears
to have been Thomas Cornish, provost of
Oriel college, and Suffragan bishop of
Tyne, in the diocese of Bath and Wells;
to whom he dedicates, in a handsome Latin
epistle, his SHIP OF Fools. But in the
poem, he mentions My Maifter Kyrkbam,
calling himself “ his true fervitour, his chap-
layne, and bede-man."

b. edit. 1570. Some biographers suppose Barklay to have been a native of Scotland. It is certain that he has a long and laboured encomium on James the fourth, king of Scotland ; whom he compliments for his bravery, prodence, and other eminent virtues. One of the stanzas of this panegyric is an acrostic on Jacobus. fol. 206. a.

He most probably was of Devonshire or Gloucestershire.

f In the title to his tranflation from Mancinus, called the MIRROUR OF GOOD MANNERS.

* MS, Bale, Sloan. f. 68.

fol. 152•

h He was instituted to Much Badew in
Essex, in 1546. Newcourt, Rep. i. 254.
And to Wokey in Somersetshire, the fame
year. Registr. Wellenf. He had also the
church of All Saints, in Lombard-street,
London, on the presentation of the dean
and chapter of Canterbury, which was va-
cant by his death, Aug. 24, 1552. New-
court, ut supr.

He frequently mentions Croydon in his
EGLOGES." He was buried in Croydon
church. EGL. i. Signat. A. iii.
And as in CROIDON I heard the Collier

preache.
Again, ibid.
While I in youth in CROIDON towne did

dwell.'
Again, ibid.
He hath no felowe betwene this and

CROIDON
Save the proude plowman Gnatho of

Chorlington.
He mentions the collier again, ibid.

Such maner riches the collier tell thee can.
Also, ibid.
As the riche shepheard that woned in
Mortlake.

Barklay's

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Barklay's principal work is the Ship of Fooles, abovementioned. About the year 1494, Sebastian Brandt, a learned civilian of Basil, and an eminent philologist, published a satire in German with this title'. The design was to ridicule the reigning vices and follies of every rank and profession, under the allegory of a Ship freighted with Fools of all kinds, but without any variety of incident, or artificiality of fable; yet although the poem is destitute of plot, and the voyage of adventures, a composition of such a nature became extremely popular. It was translated into French"; and, in the year 1497, into tolerable Latin verse, by James Locher, a German, and a scholar of the inventour Brandt'. From the original, and the two translations, Barklay formed a large English poem, in the balade or octave stanza, with considerable additions gleaned from the follies of his countrymen. It was printed by Pinson, in 1509, whose name occurs in the poem.

Howbeit the charge Pinson has on me layde
With

many fooles our navy not to charge”. It was finished in the year 1508, and in the college of saint Mary Ottery, as appears by this rubric,

« The SHYP OF “ FOLYs, translated in the colege of saynt Mary Otery, in “ the counte of Devonshyre, oute of Laten, Frenche, and “ Doch, into Englishe tonge, by Alexander Barclay, preste “ and chaplen in the fayd colledge, M.ccccc.vini".

Our au"I presume this is the fame Sebastian --The printers in their busynes Brandt, to whom Thomas Acuparius, poet Do all their workes speediely and in haste. laureate, dedicates a volume of Poggius's fol. 258. b. works, Argentorat. 1513. fol. He is here n In folio. A second edition, from which styled, “ Juris utriusque doctor, ct S. P. Q. I cite, was printed with his other works, in “ Argentinenfis cancellarius." The de the year 1570, by Cawood, in folio, with dication is dated 1511. See Hendreich. curious wooden cuts, taken from Pinson's PANDECT. p. 703.,

impreslion, viz. “ The SHIP of Fooles, k By Joce Bade. Paris, 1497.

" wherein is thewed the folly of all states, See The PROLOGUE.

•"with divers other works adjoined to the m Fol. 38. In another place he complains " fame, &c.This has both Latin and that some of his wordes are amis, on ac English. But Ames, under Wynkyn de count of the printers not perfect in frience. Worde, recites “ The Ship of Fools in this Ard adds that,

World.” 4t0.1517. Hist. PRINT.P:94. VOL. II. I i

thor's

« הקודםהמשך »