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abbot Whethamstede to collect valuable books for him 7. Some of Whethamstede's tracts, manuscript copies of which often occur in our libraries, are dedicated to the duke': who presented many of them, particularly a fine copy of &Vhethamstede's GRANARIUM', an immense work, which Leland calls ingcm wlumcn, to the new library b. The copy of Valerius Maximus, which I mentioned before, has a curious table or index made by Whethamstedec. Many other abbots paid their court to the duke by sending him presents of books, whose margins were adorned with the most exquisite paintings ". Gilbert Kymer, physician to king Henry the sixth, among other ecclesiastic promotions, dean of Salisbury, and chancellor of the university of Oxford ®, inscribed to duke Humphrey his famous medical system Diaefarz'um de sanitatz's czg/Zoa'ia, in the year 1424'. Ido not mean to anticipate when I remark, that Lydgate, a poet mentioned hereafter, translated Boccacio's book de CASIBUS VIRORUM ILLUSTRIUM at the recommendation and command, and under the protection and superintendence, of duke Humphrey: whose condescension in converfing with learned ecclefiastics, and diligence in study, the translator displays at large, and in the strongest expressions of panegyric. He compares the duke to Julius Cesar, who amidst the weightiest cares of state, was not ashamed to. enter the rhetorical school of
Cicero at Rome 3. Nor was his patronage confined only to English scholars. His favour was solicited by the most celebrated writers of France and Italy, many of whom he bountifully rewardedh. Leonard Aretine, one of the first restorcrs of the Greek tongue in Italy, which he learned of Emanuel Chrysoloras, and of polite literature in general, dedicatcs to this universal patron his elegant Latin translation of Aristotle's POLlTICS. The copy presented to the duke by the translator, most elegantly illuminated, is now in the Bodleian library at Oxford', To the same noble encourager of learning, Petrus Candidus, the friend of Laurentius Valla, and secretary to the great Cosmo duke of Milan, inscribed by the advice of the archbishop of Milan, a Latin version of Plato's REPUBLlC '*. An illuminated manuscript of this translation is in the British museum, perhaps the copy presented, with two epistles prefixed, from the duke to Petrus Candidus'. Petrus de Monte, another learned Italian, of Venice, in the dedication of his treatise DE VIRTUTUM ET VITIORUM DIFFERENTIA to the duke of Glocester, mentions
astronomy, which bear his name '. Astronomy was then a favourite science: nor is to be doubted, that he was intimatcly acquainted with the politer branches of knowledge, which now began to acquire estimation, and which his liberal and judicious attention greatly contributed to restore.
I close this fection with an apology for Chaucer, Gower, and Occleve 3 who are supposed, by the severer etymologists, to have corrupted the purity of the English language, by affecting _to introduce so many foreign words and phrases. But if we attend only to the politics of the tithS, we shall find these poets, as also some of their successors, much less blameable in this respect, than the critics imagine. Our wars with France, - which began in the reign of Edward the third, were of long continuance. The principal nobility of England, at this period, resided in France, with their fami-y, lies, for many years. John king of France kept his court. in England; to which, exclusive of these French lords who were his fellow-prisoners, or necessary attendants, the chief nobles of his kingdom must have occasionally resorted. Edward the black prince made an expedition into Spain. john of Gaunt duke of Lancaster, and his brother the duke' of York, were matched with the daughters of Don Pedro king of Casti'le. All these circumstances must have concurred to produce a perceptible change in the language of the court. It is rational therefore, and it is equitable to suppose, that instead of coining new words, they only complied with the common and fashionable modes of speech. Would Chaneer's poems have been the delight of those courts in which he lived, had they been filled with unintelligible pedantries? The cotemporaries of these poets never complained of their obscurity. But whether defensible on these principles or not, they much improved the vernacular style by the use of this exotic phraseology. It was thus that our primitive diction was. enlarged and enriched. vThe English language owes its copiousness, elegance, and harmony, to these innovations.
' ln a copy of Lydgate's CLrom't/t as En- his Linne and Modir areremembered. MSSgltsh Kingr, there is a stanza of Edward the Harl. ibid. 9. sol. 10. But these pieces sow-th. MSS. Harl. 2251. 3. In his poem could not well be written by Lydgate. For 45 iaimim nqstrir, &e. Edward the fourth, he was ordained a. subdeacon, 1 389. Dea
u H z con.