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command, and is dedicated to his successor. It was finished in the year 1420. In the Bodleian library there is a manuscript of this poem elegantly illuminated, with the picture of a monk presenting a book to a king'. From the fplendour of the decorations, it appears to be the copy which Lydgate gave to Henry the fifth.

This poem is professedly a translation or paraphrase of Guido de Colonna's romance, entitled Historia TROJANA ! But whether from Colonna’s original Latin, or from a French version' mentioned in Lygdate's Prologue, and which existed soon after the year 1300, I cannot ascertain'. I have before observed', that Colonna formed his Trojan History from Dares Phrygius and Dictys Cretenfis "; who perpetually occur as authorities in Lydgate's translation. Homer is however referred to in this work; particularly in the catalogue, or enumeration, of the ships which brought the

P MSS. Digb. 232.

· Princip. Licet cotidie vetera recen** tioribus obruantur.”

Of a Spanish version, by Petro Nunez Degaldo, lee Nic. Anton. Bibl. Hispan. tom. ii. p. 179.

s See supr. vol. i. p. 127. Notes. Yet he says, having finished his version, B. v. Signat. EE. i.

I have no more of Latin to translate,

After Dytes, Dares, and Gaydo. Again, he despairs of translating Guido's Latin elegantly. B. ii. c. X. See also B. iii. Sign. R. iii. There was a French tranflation of Dares printed, Cadom. 1573. See WORKS OF THE LEARNED. A. 1703.


« faithful, relators of what they saw,) are • transferred into this book by Guido, of “ Colonna, a judge. — And although a “ certain Roman, Cornelius by name, the “ nephew of the great Sallustius, tran“ Nated Dares and Dictys into Latin

, yet, attempting to be concise, he has very

improperly omitted those particulars of " the history, which would have proved “ most agreeable to the reader. In my

book therefore every article belong“ ing to the Trojan story will be compre“ hended."--And in his Postscript.“ And “ I Guido de Colonna have followed the “ said Dictys in every particular; for this “ reason, because Dictys made his work

perfect and complete in every thing." And I should have decorated this history “ with more metaphors and ornaments of “ ftyle, and by incidental digressions, “ which are the pictures of composition. “ But deterred by the difficulty of the work, " &c.Guido has indeed made Di&tys nothing more than the ground-work of his. story. All this is translated in Lydgate's Prologue.

p. 222.

' Ibid. p. 126.

" As Colonna's book is extremely scarce, and the subject interesting, I will translate a few lines from Colonna's Prologue and Poftfcript. From the Prologue. These " things, originally written by the Gre“ cian Dictys and the Phrygian Dares,(who " were present in the Trojan war, and


everal Grecian leaders with their forces to the Trojan coast.
It begins thus, on the testimony of Colonna".

Myne auctor telleth how Agamamnon,

The worthi kynge, an hundred shippis brought
And is closed with these lines.

Full many shippès was in this navye,
More than Guido maketh rehersayle,
Towards Troyè with Grekès for to fayle:
For as Homer in his difcrypcion
Of Grekès shippès maketh mencion,
Shortly affyrminge the man was never borne

That such a nombre of shippes fawe to forne*.
In another place Homer, notwithstanding all bis rhetoryke and
Jugred eloquence, his lusty songes and dytees swete, is blamed as a
prejudiced writer, who favours the Greeks': a censure,
which flowed from the favorite and prevailing notion held
by the western nations of their descent from the Trojans.
Homer is also said to paint with colours of gold and azure”.
A metaphor borrowed from the fashionable art of illumining.
I do not however suppose, that Colonna, who flourished in
the middle of the thirteenth century, had ever seen Homer's
poems: he might have known these and many other par-
ticulars, contained in the Iliad, from those factitious his-

* From Diet. Cretenf. lib. i. c. xvii. p. of Homeris Ayle, in other respects a true
17. seq. edit. Dacer. Amstel. 1702. 4to. writer. We have the same complaint in
And Dar. Phryg. cap. xiv. p, 158. ibid. our author's Fall of Princis. See supr.
There is a very ancient edition of Dares in And in Chaucer's House of FAME, Co.
quarto, without name or place. Of Dietys lonna is introduced, among other authors of
at Milan, 1477. 4to. Dares is in German, the Trojan ftory, making this objection to
with cuts, by Marcus Tatius, August. Homer's veracity. B. iii. p. 468. col. 1.
Vindel. 1536. fol. Dictys, by John He-

V, 389. Urr. edit.
rold, at Bafil, 1554.

Both in Russian, One faied that Omere made lies,
at Moscow, 1712. 8vo.

And feinyng in his poetries ;
* B. ii. c. xvi.

And was to the Grekès favorable,
y B. iv. c. xxxi. And in the PROLOGUE, And therefore held he it but fable.
Virgil is censured for following the traces 2 B. iv. c. xxxi. Signat. X, i.


M 2

torians whom he professes to follow. Yet it is not, in the mean time, impossible, that Lydgate might have seen the Iliad, at least in a Latin translation. Leontius Pilatus, already mentioned, one of the learned Conftantinopolitan exiles, had translated the Miad into Latin profe, with part of the Odyssey, at the desire of Boccacio', about the year 1360. This appears from Petrarch's Epistles to his friend Boccacio: in which, among other curious circumstances, the former requests Boccacio to send him to Venice that part of Leontius's new Latin version of the Odyssey, in which Ulysses's descent into hell, and the vestibule of Erebus, are described. He wishes also to see, how Homer, blind and an Asiatic, had described the lake of Averno and the mountain of Circe. In another part of these letters, he acknowledges the receipt of the Latin Homer; and mentions with how much satisfaction and joy the report of its arrival in the public library at Venice was received, by all the Greek and Latin scholars of that city.". The Iliad was also translated into French verse, by Jacques Milet, a licentiate of laws, about the year 1430 '. Yet I cannot believe that Lydgate had ever consulted these translations, although he had travelled in France and Italy. One may venture to pronounce peremptorily, that he did not understand, as he probably never had seen, the original. After the migration of the Roman emperors to Greece, Boccacio was the first European that could read Homer'; nor was there perhaps a copy of either of Homer's poems existing in Europe, till about the time the Greeks were driven

* It is a slight error in Vigneul Marville, with great perfpicuity, and from the best that this translation was procured by Pe

authorities. De GRÆC. ILLUSTR. lib. i. trarch. Mel. Litt. tom. i. p. 21.

The c. 1. p. 2. feq. very ingenious and accurate author of Me Senil. lib. iii. Cap. 5. MOIRES POUR LA Vie de PETRARQUE, is · Hody, ubi fupr. p. 5. 6. 7. 9. The mistaken in saying that Hody supposes this Latin Iliad in prose was published under version to have been made by Petrarch the name of Laurentius Valla, with some himself. liv. vi. tom. iii. p. 633. On the flight alterations, in 1497. contrary, Hody has adjusted this matter Mem. de Litt. xvii. p. 761. ed. 4to.


by the Turks from Constantinople'. Long after Boccacio's
time, the knowledge of the Greek tongue, and consequently
of Homer, was confined only to a few scholars. Yet some
ingenious French critics have infinuated, that Homer was
familiar in France very early; and that Christina of Pisa, in
a poem never printed, written in the year 1398, and entitled
L'EPITRE D'OTHEA A HECTOR', borrowed the word Othea,
or Wisdom, from w Jed in Homer, a formal appelation by
which that poet often invocates Minerva.

poem is replete with descriptions of rural beauty, formed by a selection of very poetical and picturesque circumstances, and cloathed in the most perspicuous and musical numbers. The colouring of our poet's mornings is often remarkably rich and splendid.

When that the rowes and the rayes redde
Eastward to us full early ginnen spredde,
Even at the twylyght in the dawneynge,
Whan that the larke of custom ginneth fynge,
For to salüè' in her heavenly laye,
The lusty goddesse of the morowe graye,
I meane Aurora, which afore the funne
Is wont ť kenchase the blackè lkyès dunne,
And al the darknesse of the dimmy night :
And freshe Phebùs, with comforte of his light,

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Museum, this piece is entitled La Cheva-
LERIE SPIRITUELLe de ce monde. 17 E.

iv. 2.

& Mons. L'Abbè Sallier, Mem. Litt. xvii.

p. 518.


e See Boccat. Geneal. Dbor. xv. 6. 7. Theodorus archbishop of Canterbury in the seventh century brought from Rome into England a manuscript of Homer ; which is now said to be in Bennet library at Cam. bridge. See the Second DISSERTATION. In it is written with a modern hand, Hic liber quondam THEODORI archiepifcopi Cant. But probably this Theodore is TheODORE Gaza, whose book, or whose transcript, it might have been. Hody, abi fupr. Lib. i. c. 3. p. 59. 60.

* In the royal manuscripts of the British

n Streaks of light. A very common
word in Lydgate. Chaucer, Kn. T. v
597. col. 2. Urr. p. 455.
And while the twilight and the rowis red
Of Phebus light.
i Salute.
k Chase.

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And with the brightnes of his bemès shene,
Hath overgylt the huge hyllès grene;
And flourès eke, agayn the morowe-tide,
Upon their stalkes gan playn 'their leaves wide“.

Again, among more pictures of the same subject.

When Aurorà the sylver droppès shene,
Her teares, had shed upon the freshè grene ;
Complaynyng aye, in weping and in forowe,
Her chyldren’s death on every sommer-morowe :
That is to sayè, when the dewe so soote,
Embawmed hath the floure and eke roote
With lustie lycoùr in Aprill and in Maye :
When that the larke, the messenger of daye,
Of custom aye Aurora doth falúe,
With sundry notes her sorowe to "transmuè °.


The spring is thus described, renewing the buds or blossoms of the groves, and the flowers of the meadows.

And them whom winter's blastes have shaken bare
With sotè blosomes freshly to repare ;
And the meadows of many a sundry hewe,
Tapitid ben with divers flourès newe
Of sundry motless ’, lusty for to sene;
And holsome balm is shed among the


Frequently in these florid landscapes we find the same idea differently expressed. Yet this circumstance, while it weakened the description, taught a copiousness of diction, and a variety of poetical phraseology. There is great foftness and facility in the following delineation of a delicious retreat.

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