תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

called ANGLIA, on which stood a leopard". There is some boldness and animation in the figure and attitude of this ferocious animal.

The bụyldyng thereof was passing commendable; ·
Wheron stode a lybbard crowned with gold and stones,
Terrible of countinaunce and passing formidable,
As quickly touched as it were feshe and bones,
As galtly that glaris', as grimly that grones,
As fierfly frownjng as he had ben fyghtynge,
And with firme fote he shoke forthe his writynge.

1

Skelton, in the course of his allegory, supposes that the poetę laureate, or learned men, of all nations, were assembled before Pallas.. This groupe shews the authors, both antient and modern, then in vogue. Some of them are quaintly characterised. They are, first, - Olde Quintilian, not with his Institutes of eloquence, but with his Declamations : Theocritus, with his-bucolicall relacions : Hesiod, the Irononucars : Homer, the freshe historiar: The prince of eloquence, Cicero: Sallust, who wrote both the history of Catiline and Jugurth: Ovid, enflwyned with the Musys nyne: Lucan": Statius, writer

P. 28.
4.With as much life,
í Glares.
24 cannot decypher this appellation.

Of the popularity of Lucan in the dark
ages, I have given proofs in the Second
DisserTATION, vol. i. To which I will
here add others. The following passage
occurs in Lydgate's PROLOGUE to the Lyff
AND PASSIOUN of the blessid Martyr feynt
Albcon {Alban) and seynt Amphiballus,
written in 1439.

MSS. Coll. 'Trin. Oxon.
Num. xxxviii. fol. 1. a. (Never printed-].
I not acqueyntyd with Muses of Mars,
Nor with metris of LUCAN nor Virgile ;
Nor with sugred diteys of Cichero,
Nor of Omere to folowe che fressh style.

And again, speaking of Julius Cæsar, Lydgate refers to Lucan's PHARSALIA, which he calls the “ Records of Lucan.” ibid. fol. zi b. Peter de Blois, in writing to a profeffor at Paris, about the year 1 170, says, “ Priscianus, et Tullius, Lucanus, et Per“ 'fius, ifti fant dii vestri.” EPITOL. iv. fol. 3. edit. 1517. fol. Eberhardus Bethunienfis, called GRÆCISTA, a philologist who wrote about the year 1130, in a poem on VERSIFICATION, says of Philip Gualtier, author of a popular epic poem called ALEXANDREIS, that he shines with the light of Lucan, « Lucet Alexander Lucani

And of Lucan he observes, • Metro lucidiore canit.” [See supr. p. 167. 168.] It is easy to conceive why Lucan should have been a favorite in the dark ages.

of

ti luce."

1

of Achilleidos: Persius, with problems diffuse : Virgil, Juvenal, Livy: Ennius, who wrote of marciall warre: Aulus Gellius, that noble historiar: Horace, with his New Poetry': Maister Terence, the famous comicar, with Plautus : Seneca, the tragedian : Boethius : Maximian, with his madde dities how dotyng age wolde jape with young folyk : Boccacio, with his volumes grete : Quintus Curtius: Macrobius, who treated of Scipion's dreame : Poggius Florentinus, with many a mad tale': a friar of France syr Gaguine, who frowned on me full angrily m : Plutarch and Petrarch, two famous clarkes : Lucilius, Valerius Maximus, Propertius, Pisander", and Vincentius Bellovacenfis, who wrote the SPECULUM HISTORIALE. The catalogue is closed by Gower, Chaucer, and Lydgate, who first adorned the English language : in allusion to which part of their characters, their apparel is faid to shine

author's age.

i That is, Horace's Art of Poetry. tinity. Poggius's Invectiva. Invect. in Vinesauf wrote de Nova Poetria. Hu Laurent. Vallam, f. 82. b. edit. ut fupr. race's Art is frequently mentioned under * Robert, or Rupert; Gaguin, a Gerthis title.

man, minister general of the Maturines, k His fix Etegies De incommodis fenec

who died at Paris 1 5o2. His moft famous

work is COMPENDIUM SUPER FRANCOfutis. See supr. p. 168. Reinesius thinks

RUM Gestis, from Pharamond to the that Maximinian was the bishop of Syra:

He has written, among cuse, in the seventh century : a most inti

many other pieces, Latin orations and poems, mate friend, and the secretary, of pope

printed at Paris in 1498. The history of Gregory the Great. Epist. ad Daum.

Skelton's quarrel with him is not known, p. 207. These Élegies contain many things

But he was in England, as ambassador froni Tuperior to the taste of that period.

the king of France, in 1490. He was a 1 Poggius Aourished about the year 1 450. particular friend of dean Colet By his mad tales, Skelton means his Fa * Our author got the name of Pisander, CETIÆ, a set of comic stories, very li a Greek poet, from Macrobius, who cites a centious and very popular. See Poggius's few of his versés. Works by Thomas Aucuparius, fol. Ar • In the boke of Philip Sparow, he says, gentorat. 1513. f. 157.-184. The ob Gower's English is old, but that Chaucer's fcenity contained in these compositions gave Englyshe is wel allowed: he adds, that great offence, and fell under the particular Lydgate writes after an byer rate, and that censure of the learned Laurentius Valla. he has been censured for his elevation of The objections of Valla, Poggius attempts phrase; but acknowledges, “ No man can to obviate ; by saying, that Vala was a & athend those matters that he hath pend.” clown, a cynic, and a pedant, without any p. 237. In Raitall's TERENS, in ENGideas of wit or elegance and that the LISH, printed in the reign of Henry the FACETIÆ were univerfally ésteemed in cighth, these three are mentioned in the Italy, France, Spain, Gerinary, England, Prologue, which is in stanzas, as the only and all countries that cultivated pure La Engliik påtts. Without date. 4:0. Vol. II.

Zz

beyond

beyond the power of description, and their tabards to be studded with diamonds and rubies'. That only these three English poets are here mentioned, may be considered as a proof, that only these three were yet thought to deserve the

name.

No writer is more unequal than Skelton. In the midst of a page of the most wretched ribaldry, we sometimes are surprized with three or four nervous and manly lines, like these.

Ryot and Revell be in your court roules,
Mayntenaunce and Mischefe these be men of myght,
Extorcyon is counted with you for a knyght ".

Skelton's modulation in the octave stanza is rough and inharmonious. The following are the smoothest lines in the poem before us; which yet do not equal the liquid melody of Lydgate, whom he here manifestly attempts to imitate'.

Lyke as the larke upon the somers daye,
When Titan radiant burnisheth his bemes bright,
Mounteth on hye, with her melodious laye,
Of the son shyne engladed with the light.

The following little ode deserves notice ; at least as a specimen of the structure and phraseology of a love-sonnet about the close of the fifteenth century. TO MAISTRESS MARGARY WENTWORTH,

With margerain' gentill,

The flowre of goodly hede,
Enbrawdered the mantill

Is of your maydenhede".

P. 19. feqe , Ibid. p. 15 · P. 26. Margelain, the herb Marjoram. Chart

cer. Ass. LAD. 56.
And upon that a potte of MARGELAPN,
Goodlihed. Goodness.

Virginity.

Plainly

Plainly I can not glose";

Ye be, as I devine,
The praty primerose,

The goodly columbyne.
With margerain gentill

, &c.

Benyne, courteis, and meke,

With wordès well devised;
In you, who lyft to feke,

Be' vertues well comprysed'.
With margerain gentill,

The flowre of goodly bede,
Enbrawdered the mantill

Is of your maydenbede.

For the same reason this stanza in a fonnet to Maistress Margaret Hussey deserves notice.

Mirry Margaret

As Midsomer flowre,
Sentyll as faucon,
Or hawke of the towre'.

As do the following flowery lyrics, in a fonnet addressed to Maistress Isabell Pennel.

[blocks in formation]

Sterre of the morowe graye !
The bloffome on the spraye,
The freshest flowrę of Maye!

Madenly demure,
Of womanhede the lure! &c

But Skelton most commonly appears to have mistaken his genius, and to write in a forced character, except when he is indulging his native vein of fatire and jocularity, in the short minstrel-metre abovementioned: which he mars by a multiplied repetition of rhymes, arbitrary abbreviations of the verse, cant expressions, hard and founding words newlycoined, and patches of Latin and French. This anomalous and motley mode of versification is, I believe, supposed to be peculiar to our author`. I am not, however, quite certain that it originated with Skelton.

About the year 1512, Martin Coccaio of Mantua, whose true name was Theophilo Folengio, a Benedictine monk of Casino in Italy, wrote a poem entitled PHANTASIÆ MACARONICÆ, divided into twenty-five parts. This is a burlesque Latin poem, in heroic metre, checquered with Italian and Tuscan words, and those of the plebeian character, yet not destitute of prosodical harmony. It is totally satirical, and has some degree of drollery; but the ridicule is too frequently founded on obscene or vulgar ideas. Prefixed is a fimilar burlesque poem called ZANITONELLA, or the Amours of Tonellus and Zanina”; and a piece is subjoined, with the title of Moschea, or the War with the Flies and the Ants. The author died in 1544", but these poems, with

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
« הקודםהמשך »