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That he had Nayne understond.
He there ' schevyd oure other lordys of thys lond,
Forsothe that was a ful fayre daye.
Therefore all England maye this fyng
LAWS deo we may well saye.
The Duke of Glocetor, that nys no nay,
That day full wordely he wrozt,
On every side he made goode waye,
The Frenche men faste to grond they browzt.
The erle of Hontynton fparyd nozt,
The erle of Oxynforthe 'layd on all foo",
The young erle of Devynschyre he ne rouzt,
The Frenche men fast to grunde gan goo.
Our Englismen thei were ffoul sekes do
And ferce to fyzt as any lyone.
Basnets bryzt they crafyd a to',
And bet the French banerys adoune;
As thonder-strokys ther was a fcownde",
Of axys and sperys ther they gan glyd.
The lordys of Franyse " lost her renowne
With grefolyo wondys they gan abyde.
The Frensche men, for all here pryde,
They fell downe all at a flyzt:
le me rende they cryde, on every fyde,
Our Englys men they understod nozt arizt?.
Their pollaxis owt of her hondys they twizt,
And layde ham along stryte 9 upon the grasse.

They sparyd nother deuke, erlle, ne knyght'. f Shewed. & Laus. h Worthily. D. XII. 11. fol. 214.) by Hearne, Elmi Oxford. k Alfo.

ham, ut supr. APPEND. P. 359. Num. vi. 1 « They broke the bright helmets in See p. 371. feq. There is The BATTAYLE

of EGYNCOURte, Libr. impreff. Bibl. m Sound. France,

Bodl. C. 39. 4to. Art. Selden. See OB. • Griefly.

Servat. on Spens. ii. 41. Doctor Percy, P“ They did not rightly."

has printed an ancient ballad on this subject. 9 Strait.

Anc. Ball. vol. ii. p. 24. edit. 1767.. Printed (from MSS. Cotton. VITELL. See Hearne's PRÆFAT. ut supr. p. xxx.



These verses are much less intelligible than some of Gower's and Chaucer's pieces, which were written fifty years before. In the mean time we must not mistake provincial for national barbarisms. Every piece now written is by no means a proof of the actual state of style. The improved dialect, which yet is the estimate of a language, was confined only to a few writers, who lived more in the world and in polite life : and it was long, before a general change in the public phraseology was effected. Nor must we expect among the minstrels, who were equally careless and illiterate, those refinements of diction, which mark the compositions of men who professedly studied to embellish the English idiom.

Thomas Occleve is the first poet that occurs in the reign of Henry the fifth. I place him about the year 1420. Occleve is a feeble writer, considered as a poet: and his chief merit seems to be, that his writings contributed to propagate and establish those improvements in our language which were now beginning to take place. He was educated in the municipal law', as were both Chaucer and Gower, and it reflects no small degree of honour on that very


profession, that its students were some of the first who attempted to polish and adorn the English tongue.

The titles of Occleve's pieces, very few of which have been ever printed, indicate a coldness of genius; and on the whole promise no gratification to those who seek for invention and fancy. Such as, The tale of Jonathas and of a wicked woman'. Fable of a certain emperess". A prologue of the nine lessons that is read over Allhalow-day". The most profitable and kolfomest craft that is to cunne *, to lerne to dye'. Confolation of

: He studied in Cheftres-inn where Somerset-house now stands. See Buck, De tertia Ar gliæ Accademia, cap. xxv.

i Ubi. infr. Bibl.' Bodi. MSS. From the Gesta ROMANORUM.

Bibl. Bodl. MSS. Seld. fupr. 53. Digb. 185. Laud. K. 78. MSS. Reg. Brit. Muf. 17 D. vi. 2. This story seems to

be also taken from the Gesta ROMANORUM.

Pr. - In the ROMAN ACTYS writyn.”

w Ubi supr. Bibl. Bodl. MSS.
* Know.

y MSS. Bodl. ut supr. And MSS. Reg. Brit. Muf. 17 D. vi. 3. 4. The best manuscript of Occleve.


fered by an old man. Pentasthicon to the king.

Pentasthicon to the king. Mercy as defined by Saint Austin. Dialogue to a friend. Dialogue between Occleef and a beggar. The letter of Cupid'. Verses to an empty purse". But Occleve's most considerable poem is a piece called a translation of Egidius De REGIMINE PRINCIPUM.

This is a sort of paraphrase of the first part of Aristotle's epistle to Alexander abovementioned, entitled SECRETUM SECRETORUM, of Egidius, and of Jacobus de Casulis, whom he calls Jacob de Cafjolis. Egidius, a native of Romne, a pupil of Thomas Aquinas, eminent among the schoolmen by the name of Doctor Fundatisimus, and an archbishop, flourished about the year 1280. He wrote a Latin tract in three books DE REGIMINE PRINCIPUM, or the ART OF GOVERNMENT, for the use of Philip le Hardi, fon of Louis king of France, à work highly esteemed in the middle ages, and translated early into Hebrew, French', and Italian. In those days ecclefiaftics and schoolmen presumed to dictate to kings, and to give rules for administering states, drawn from the narrow circle of speculation, and conceived amid the pedantries of a cloister. It was probably recommended to Occleve's notice, by having been translated into English by John Trevisa, a celebrated translator about the year 1390". The original was printed at Rome in 1482, and at Venice 1498, and,


Z MSS. Digb. 185. More [Cant.] 427.
a MSS. Seld. ut supr.
b MSS. Harl. 4826. 6.

• MSS. Digb. 181. MSS. Arch. Bodl. Seld. B. 24. It is printed in Chaucer's Works, Urr. p. 534. Bale [MS. Glynne) mentions one or two more pieces, particularly De Theseo Atheniens, lib. i. Pr. Tum effet, ut veteres historiæ tradunt.” This is the beginning of Chaucer's KNIGHT'S TALE. And there are other pieces in the libraries.

This, and the Pentastichon ad Regem, are in MSS. Fairf. xvi. Bibl. Bodl. And in the editions of Chaucer. But the former

appears to be Chaucer's, from the twenty additional stanzas not printed in Urry's Chaucer, pag. 549. MSS. Harl. 2251. 133. fol. 298.

e Wolf. Biblioth. Hebr. tom. iii. p. 1206. It was translated into French by Henry de Gand, at the command of Philip king of France. Mem. de Lit. tom. xvii. P. 733. 4to.

Bibl. Bodl. MSS. Digb. 233. Princip. To his special, [etc.] politik sentence " that is.” “In this manuscript there is an elegant picture of a monk, or ecclesiastic, prelenting a book to a king. See supr. vol. i. p. 343. Notes, g.

I think,

part of the

I think, again at the same place in 1598". The Italian translation was printed at Seville, in folio, 1494, ( Tranh “ sladar de Latin en romance don Bernardo Obispo de Osma;

impresso por Meynardo Ungut Alemano et Stanislao Polono Companeros.” The printed copies of the Latin are very rare, but the manuscripts innumerable. A third third book, which treats of De Re Militari Veterum, was printed by Hahnius in 1722'. One of Egidius's books, a commentary on Aristotle de ANIMA, is dedicated to our Edward the firstk.

Jacobus de Casulis, or of Casali in Italy, another of the writers copied in this performance by our poet Occleve, a French Dominican friar, about the year 1290, wrote in four parts a Latin treatise on chess, or, as it is entitled in some manuscripts, De moribus hominum et de officiis nobilium super LUDO LATRUNCULORUM five ScACCORUM. In a parchment manuscript of the Harleian library, neatly illuminated, it is thus entitled, LIBER MORALIS DE Ludo SCACCORUM, ad honorem et folacium Nobilium et maxime ludencium, per fratrem JACOBUM DE CASSulis ordinis fratrum Prædicatorum. At the conclusion, this work appears to be a translation! Pits carelessly gives it to Robert Holcot, a celebrated English theologist, perhaps for no other reason than because Holcot was likewise a Dominican. It was printed at Milan in 1479. I believe it was as great a favourite as Egidius on GovernMENT, for it was translated into French by John Ferron, and John Du Vignay, a monk hospitalar of Saint James du

n All in folio. Those of 1482, and 1598, are in the Bodleian library. In AllSouls college library at Oxford, there is a manuscript TABULA IN ÆGIDIUM DE REGIMINE PRINCIPUM, by one Thomas Abyndon. MSS. G. i. 5.

In the first tome of Collectio Monumentorum veter. et recent, ineditorum. E. Cod. MS. in Biblioth. Obrecktina. The curious

reader may see a full account of Ægidius
de Regimine PRINCIPUM in Morlier,
Efais de Litterature, tom. i. p. 198. seq.
And of the Venetian edition in 1498, in
Theophilus Sincerus De Libris Rariorib.
tom. i. p. 82. feq.

k Cave, p. 755. edit. 1688.
I MSS. Harl. 1275. 1. 4to. membran.


Haut-pag “, under the patronage of Jeanne dutchess of Bourgogne, Caxton's patroness, about the year 1360, with the title of Le. Jeu des Echecs moralise, or Le traite des Nobles et de

gens du peuple selon le Jeu des Echecs. This was afterwards translated by Caxton, in 1474, who did not know that the French was a translation from the Latin, and called the GAME OF THE CHESS. It was also translated into German, both prose and verse, by Conrade von Almenhusen ". Bale absurdly supposes that Occleve made a separate and regular translation of this worko.

Occleve's poem was never printed. This is a part of the Prologue.

Aristotle, most famous philosofre',
His epistles to Alisaunder sento;
Whos sentence is wel bet then golde in cofre,
And more holsum, grounded in trewe entent,
Fore all that ever the Epistle ment
To sette us this worthi conqueroure,
In rewle howe to susteyne his honoure,
The tender love, and the fervent good chere,
That the worthi clerke aye to this king bere,
Thrusting fore his welth durable to be,
Unto his hert sah and sate sovere,
That bi writing his counsel gaf he clere

Who also translated the GOLDEN • Bale in Occleve. Legend of James de Voragine, and the p The learned doctor Gerard Langbaine, SPECULUM HISTORIALE of Vincent of author of the Lives of the Dramatick Poets, Beauvais. Vie de Petr. tom. iii. p. 548. speaking of the Regimine PRINCIPUM Ana Mem. Lit. xvii. 742. 746. 747. edit. by Occleve, says that it is “ collected out 4to.

" of Aristotle, Alexander, and Ægidius See Jacob. Quetif. tom. i. p. 471. ii. on the same, and Jacobus de Cassolis p. 818. Lambecc. tom. ii. Bibi. Vindob. (a fryar preacher) his book of chess, p. 848. One Simeon Ailward, an En “ viz. that part where he speaks of the glishman, about the year 1456, wrote a “ king's draught, &c.” Bibl. Bodl. MSS. Latin poem De Ludo Scaccorum. Pits. Langb. Cod. xv. pag. 102. Append. p. 909. Princip. “ Ludus scaccorum datur hic correctio moram.” Vol. II, G


9 See supr. p. 9.

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