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year 1450'. During the reign of Edward the fourth, he was at Rome; where he wrote an elegant Latin poem in
heroic verse, entitled LUCUBRATIONES TIBURTINIE, which *
Sane, quisquis in hunc ocul'os converterit acreis,
Leland assures us, that he saw in the libraries of Oxford a Greco-Latin lexicon, compiled by Flemmyng, which has escaped my searches. He left many volumes, beaUtisully Written and richly illuminated, to Lincoln college in Oxford, 'where he had received his academical education ". About the same period, John Gunthorpe, afterwards, among other 'numerous and eminent promotions, dean of Wells, keeper of the privy seal, and master of King's hall in Cambridge, attended also the philological lectures of Guarini: and for the polished latinity with which he wrote EPISTLES and ORATroNs, compositions at that time much in use and request, was appointed by king Edward the fourth Latin secretary to queen Anne, in the year 1487 *. The manuscripts
zWood, HIST. Urviv. Oxon. ii. 62. rWharton, APPBND. p. 155. Bate, viii. 2'.
3 Printed at Ferrara, 1477. 8vo. ln two books. He was prothonotary to pope Sixtus. In this poem he mentions Baptista Platina, the librarian at Rome; who, together with most of the ltalian scholars, was his familiar friend. See Carbo's suneral Oration on Guarini. I know not whether one John Opicius, our countryman as it seems, and a Latin poet, improved his taste in Italy about this time: but he has lest some c0pies of elegant Latin verses. MSS. CO'TTON. VESPAS. B. iv. One is, De rcgir thria' septimr' in Gallia'n progrrssh. It begins, " Bella canant aliiTrojte, pro" strataque dicant." Another is, De zju/L
b Lel. ibid.
t Pat. 7. Edw. iv. m. 2. Five of his Oxuvrrons before illustrious personages ars extant, MSS. Bodl. NE. F. ii. 23. In the same manuscript are his ANNOTA'nones YIerd'all-f CRXTICIF. in wrba guerdam apml puta: (it/tle. He gave many books, collected in Italy, to Jesus college at Cambridge. Lel. COLL. iii. 13. He" was ambassador to the kin of Castile, in 1466, and '470. Rymer, form. xi. 572. 653. Bale mentions his Divers; gain-i: CA'tMiNA. viii. 42. And a book on Rhetoric.
collected in Italy, which he gave to both the universities of England, were of much more real value, than the sumptuous silver image of the Virgin Mary, weighing one hundred and forty-three ounces, which he presented to his cathedral of Wells 4. William Gray imbibed under the same'preceptors a knowledge of the best Greek and Roman writers: and in the year 1454, was advanced by pope Nicholas the fifth, equally a judge and a protcctorctof scholars, to the bishoprick of Ely'. This prelate employed at Venice and Florence many scribes and illuminators', in preparing cOpies of the claffics and other useful books, which he gave to the library of Baliol college in Oxford *, at that time esteemed the best in the university. John Phrea, or Free, an ecclesiastic of Bristol, receiving information from the Italian merchants who trafficked at Bristo-l, that multitudes of strangers were constantly crouding to the capitals of Italy for instruction in the learned languages, passed over to Ferrara; where he became a fellow-student with 'the prelate last mentioned, by whose patronage and affistance his studies were supported '1 He translated Diodorus Siculus, and many pieces of Xenol phon, into Latinctd. 'On account of the former work, he was nominated bishop of Bath and Wells by pope Paul the second, but died before consecration in the year 1464". His Latin Epistles, five of which are addressed to his patron the bishop of Ely, discover an uncommon terseness and facility of expression. It was no inconsiderable testimony of Phrea's taste, that he was requested by 'some of his elegant Italian friends, to compose a new epitaph in Latin elegiacs for Petrarch's tomb : the original inscription in monkish rhymes, not agreeing with the new and improved ideas of Latin versification L William Sellynge, a fellow of All Souls college in Oxford, disgusted with the barren and contracted circle of philosophy taught by the irrefragable professors of that ample seminary, acquired a familiarity with the most excellent antient authors, and cultivated the conversation of Politian at Bononia m, to whom he introduced the learned Linacer ". About the year 1460, he returned into England ; and being elected _prior of Christ-Church at Canterbury, enriched the library of that fraternity with an inestimable collection of Greek and Roman manuscripts, which he had amassed in Italy ". It has been said, that among these books, which were all soon afterwards accidentally consumed by fire, there _was a complete Copy of Cicero's Platonic system of politics DE REPUBLICA'. King Henry the seventh sent Sellynge in the quality of an envoy to the king of France: before whom he spoke a most elegant Latin oration P. It is mentioned on
d Registr. Eccles. &Vellcns.
' * Wharton, ANGL. SACR. i. 672..
I One of those was Antoninus Marius. In Baliol college library, one of bishop Gr'ay's manuscripts has this entry. U An" tonius Marii filius Florentinus civis trans"cripsi ab originalibus exemplaribus, 2 " Jul. '448. &c." MSS. lxviii. [Apud MSS. Langb. BAL- p. 81.] See Leland. COLL. iii. p. 2'.
3 Leland, COLL. ut supr. p. 61.
I' Among Phrea's EPISTLES in Baliol library, one is Parcnr'ronr svo GuaRINO, whose epistles are full of eucomiums on Phreas, MSS. Bal. Coll. Oxon. 9. See ten of his epistles, five of which are written from Italy to bishop Gray, MSS. Bibl.. Bodl. NE. F..ii. 20. In one
of these he complains, that the bishOp's remittances of money had faiied, and that he was obliged to pawn his books and clothes to jcws at Fcrrara.
1 He also translated into latin Synesius's PANEGYRXC on BALDNESS. Printed, Bastl. '521. 8vo. [Whence Abraham Flemming made his English tranflation, London, 1579.] Leland mentions some flowing latin heroics, which he addressed to his patron Tiptost, earl of Worcester, in which Bacchus expostulates with a goat gnawing a vine. CoLL. iii..'3.- And Senna-01.. PHREAS. His COSMOGRAPHIA Manna. is a collection from Pliny. Leland, Corn. iii. p. 58. See MSS. Br. Twync, 8. page 285.
k Sce Leland, COLL. iii. 58. His-r. Umv. Oxon. ii. 76.
l See Leland, COLL. iii. 13.63. Leland says that he had the new epitaph, No-zmm a: elega'u. SCRIPTOR. Phreas. " Tuscia " me genuit, &c."
m Leland, Crnnmcus.
'1 Id. I-rrN. vi. s 5.
* Wood, HisT. Umv. Oxon. ii. 177. In a monastic Our-mar, cited by Wharton, he is said to be, " Latins. quoque et GRH-ZCA- lingua apprime institutus." It is added, that he adorned the library over the prior's clrlpcl with exquisite sculptures, and furnished it with books, and that he glazed the south side of the cloysters of his monafiery, for the use of his studious brethren, placing on the walls new rpxrs, or in
scriptionr, called Canon, or carols. ANGL. Sacr. i. p. 145. ses.
P This is asserted on the authority of Leland. Sc'ur'rox. ut supr. [See supr. p. 218.] Cardinal Pole expcndcd two thousand crowns in searching for Tully's Six Book: on REPUBLlCA in Poland, but without success. EPISTOL. Aschami ad Sturm. dat. 14 Sept. 1555. lib. i. p. 9 And Sturmius, in a letter to Ascham [dat. 30 Jan. 1552.] says, that a person in his neighbourhood had flattered him with a promise of this inestimable treasure. Barrhius reports, that they were in the monastery of Fulda, on vellum, but destroyed by the soldiers in a pillage of that convent. Christiani Feustell. MISCELLA'N. p. 47. Compare Mabillon. Mus. lTALic. torn'.
i- P- 79
his monument, now remaining in Canterbury cathedral, that he understood Greek.
Doctor theologus Selling, GRIECA atque Lafz'mz
This is an uncommon topic of praise in an abbot's epitaph. William Grocyn, a fellow of New college at Oxford, pursued the same path about the year 1488: and having perfected his knowledge of the Greek tongue, with which he had been before tinctured, at Florence under Demetrius Chalcondylas and Politian, and at Rome under Hermolaus Barbarus, became the first voluntary lecturer of that language at Oxford, before the year 1490'. Yet Polydore Virgil, perhaps only from a natural partiality to his county, affirms, that Cornelius Vitellus, an Italian of noble birth, and of the most accomplished learning, was the first who taught the Greek and Roman claffics at Oxford '. Nor must I forget to mention John T iptoft, the unfortunate earl of Worcester; who, in the reign of Henry the sixth, rivalled the most learned ecclesiastics of his age, in the diligence and felicity with which he prosecuted the politer studies. At Padua, his singular skill in refined Latinity endeaer him to
pope Pius the second, and to the most capital'ornaments of the Italian school '. His Latin Letters still remain, and abundantly prove his abilities and connections'. He translated Cicero's dialogue on FRIENDSHlP into English '. He was the common patron of all his ingenious countrymen, who about this period were making rapid advances in a more rational and ample plan of study z and, among other instances of his unwearied liberality to true literature, he prepared a present of chosen manuscript books, valued at five hundred mares, for the encrease of the Humphredian library at Oxford, then recently instituted '. These books appear to have been purchased in Italy; at that time the grand and general mart of antient authors, especially the Greek clasiics '. For the Turkish emperors, now seated at
' 'SeeWare,Scn1P*r. thrnn. ii. 133.
Camd. BlUT. p. 436. And the Funeral
' In this correspondence, four letters are written by the earl, viz.T0 Laurence More, John Fre or Phrea, William Atteclyff, and Magistcr Vincent. To the earl are letters of Galeotu's Martius, Baptista Guarini, and other anonymom friends. MSS. Eccles. Cathedr. Lincoln.
" Printed by Caxton, 1481. fol. Lelahd thinks, that the version osTully de Sencctu'e, Finted also by Caxton, was made by this carl. But this translation was made by Vv'illiam of Wyrcestre, or William Botoner, an eminent pb sician and antiquary, from the French o Lawrence Premierfait, and presented by the translator to bishop Waynflete, Aug. 20, '473. See MSS. Harl. 4329. z. 3. Typtost also translated into English two elegant Latin Onarrons of Banatusius Magnomontanus, supposed to be spoken by C. Scipio and C. Flaminius, who were rivals in the courtship of Lucretia. This version was printed by Caxton. with Tully's two Druocvas abovementioned. He has left other pieces.
. W EPIST- Acad. Oxon. 259. Regisir. F F. s. 121. I suspect, that on the earl's
execution, in '4.7o, they were never re-
x As the Greek lan uage became sa-
Another boasteth himself that hath bene
Edit. 1570. ut supr. fol. 185. a. With