Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

his APOLOGY OF Pierce PENNILESSE, printed in 1593, observes, that

Stanyhurst the otherwise learned, trod a foul, lumbring, boisterous, wallowing measure in his translation of Virgil. He had neuer been praised by Gabriel Harveys for his labour, if therein he had not been so famously absurdt." Harvey, Spenser's friend, was one of the chief patrons, if not the inventor, of the English hexameter, here used by Stanyhurst. I will give á specimen in the first four lines of the second book:

With tentiue listning each wight was setled in harkning;
Then father Æneas chronicled from loftie bed hautie:
You bid me, O princesse, to scarifie a festerd old sore,

How that the Troians were prest by the Grecian armie.u With all this foolish pedantry, Stanyhurst was certainly a scholar. But in this translation he calls Chorebus, one of the Trojan chiefs, a bedlamite; he says that old Priam girded on his sword, Morglay, the name of a sword in the Gothic romances, that Dido would have been glad to have been brought to bed even of a cockney, a Dandiprat hopthumb, and that Jupiter, in kissing his daughter, bust his pretty prating parrot. He was admitted at University College, in 1563, where he wrote a system of logic in his eighteenth year". Having taken one degree, he became successively a student at Furnival's and Lincoln's Inn. He has left many theological, philosophical, and historical books. In one of his EPITAPHs called COMMVNE DEFUNCTORUM, he mentions Julietta, Shakspeare's Juliet, among the celebrated heroines. The

Gabriel Harvey, in his Foure Letters and certaine Sonnets, says, “I cordially recommend to the deare louers of the Muses, and namely to the professed sonnes of the same, Edmond Spencer, Richard Stanihurst, Abraham Fraunce, Thomas Watson, Samuell Daniel, Thomas Nashe, and the rest, whom I affectionately thancke for their studious endeuours commendably employed in enriching and polishing their natiue tongue,"&c. Lett. iii. p. 29. Lond. 1592. 4to.

[In the same publication he exclaims : “If I never deserve any better remembraunce, let me be epitaphed the Inventour of the English hexameter! whome learned Mr. Stanihurst imitated in his Virgill, and excellent Sir P. Sidney disdained not to follow in his Arcadia, and elsewhere." Ascham in 1564 had well observed that

carmen hexametrum doth rather trotte and hoble than runne smoothly in our English tong.” Scholemaster, p. 60. Yet Stanihurst strangely professes in his dedication to take upon him "to execute some part of Maister Aschams will, who had recommended carmen iambicum while he dispraised carmen hexametrum.”-Park.] Signat. B.

Fol. 21,

W “ Harmonia sive Catena Dialectica in Porphyrianas constitutiones," a commentary on Porphyry's Isagoge. Lond. 1570. fol. Campion, then of St. John's college, afterwards the Jesuit, to whom it was communicated in manuscript, says of the author, “Mirifice lætatus sum, esse adolescentem in academia nostra, tali familia, eruditione, probitate, cujus extrema pueritia cum multis laudabili maturitate viris certare possit.” Epistol. edit. Ingoldstat. 1602. fol. 50. Four or five of Campion's Epistles are addressed to Stanyhurst.

* Meres mentions Stanyhurst and Gabriel Harvey, as “ Jambical poets." Ubi supr. fol. 282. p. 2. Stanyhurst translated some epigrams of sir Thomas More. They are at the end of his Virgil. [It may be questioned whether Julietta could have any allusion to Shakspeare's Juliet ; since Stanyhurst's verses were printed in 1585, and the earliest computation which has been made in order to fix the true date of Romeo and Juliet, does not carry the conjecture higher than 1591. It was not printed till 1597. The story of Rhomeo and Julietta in Painter's Palace of Pleasure in the tragical history of Romeus and

66

t

u

title, and some of the lines, deserve to be cited, as they show the poetical squabbles about the English hexameter.“ An Epitaph against rhyme, entituled COMMVNE DEFUNCTORUM, such as our vnlearned Rithmours accustomably make vpon the death of euerie Tom Tyler, as if it were a last for euerie one his foote, in which the quantities of syllables are not to be heeded.”

A Sara for goodnesse, a great Bellona for budgenesse,
For myldnesse Anna, for chastitye godlye Susanna.
Hester in a good shift, a Iudith stoute at a dead lift :
Also IULIETTA, with Dido rich Cleopatra :
With sundrie namelesse, and women many more blamelesse, &c.Y

His Latin DESCRIPTIO HIBERNIÆ, translated into English, appears in the first volume of Hollinshed's Chronicles, printed in 1583. He is styled by Camden, “ Eruditissimus ille nobilis Richardus Stanihurstus 2." He is said to have been caressed for his literature and politeness by many foreign princesa. He died at Brussels in 1618b.

Abraham Fleming, brother to Samuel, published a version of the Bucolics of Virgil, in 1575, with notes, and a dedication to Peter Osborne esquire. This is the title, “ The BUKOLIKES of P. Virgilius Maro, with alphabeticall Annotations, &c. Drawne into plaine and

Juliet, by Arthur Brooke, might have formed the sources of conjectural allusion. - PARK.]

y At the end of his Virgil. Signat. H iij. He mentions the friends Damon and Pythias in the same piece. * In Hibernia. Com. West Meath.

In the title of his Hebdomada Mariana he styles himself “ Serenissimorum principum Sacellanus.” That is, Albert archduke of Austria and his princess Isabell. Antw. 1609. 8vo.

o Coxeter says a miscellany was printed in the latter end of Elizabeth's reign “by R. S. that is, R. Stanyhurst.” I presume he may probably mean, a collection called “ The Phenix Nest, Built vp with most rare and refined workes of noble men, woorthy knights, gallant gentlemen, Masters of Art, and braue schollars. Full of varietie, excellent inuention, and singvlar delight, &c. Sett forth by R. S. of the Inner Temple gentleman. Imprinted at London by John Jackson, 1593.” 4to. But I take this R. S. to be Richard Stapylton, who has a copy of verses prefixed to Greene's Mamillia, printed in 1593. bl. lett. By the way, in this miscellany there is a piece by “W. S. Gent." Perhaps by William Shakspeare. But I rather think by William Smyth, whose “Cloris, or the Complaynt of the Passion of the despised Sheppard,” was licensed to E. Bolifaunt. Oct. 5, 1596.

Registr, Station. C. fol. 14 a. The initials W. S. are subscribed to “ Corin's dreame of his faire Chloris,” in England's Helicon. (Signat. H. edit. 1614.) And prefixed to the tragedy of Locrine, edit. 1595. Also“ A booke called Amours by J. (or G.) D. with certen other Sonnetts by W. S.” is entered to Eleazar Edgar, Jan. 3, 1599. Registr. C. fol. 55 a. The initials W. S. are subscribed to a copy of verses prefixed to N. Breton's Wil of Wit, &c. 1606. 4to.

[Smith's “Chloris, or the complaint of the passionate despised Shepheard," was printed by Bollifant in 1596, and contains the poein of “ Corin's dreame," reprinted in England's Helicon. The publication consists of fifty sonnets, and is inscribed to the “most excellent and learned shepheard Collin Cloute;" i. e. Spenser, who appears to have been instrumental in promoting their publication, and to have become a voluntary patron of the author. A copy of verses by W. S. is prefixed to Grange's Golden Aphroditis, 1577. See Cens. Lit. v. 114.–PARK.]

They were both born in London. Thinne apud Hollinsh. vol. ii. 1590. Samuel wrote an elegant Latin Life of queen Mary, never printed. He has a Latin recommendatory poem prefixed to Edward Grant's Spicilegium of the Greek tonge, a Dialogue, dedicated to Lord Burleigh, and printed at London in 1575. 8vo.

с

p. 77.

familiar Englishe verse by Abr. Fleming student, &c. London by John Charlewood, &c. 1575." His plan was to give a plain and literal translation, verse for verse. These are the five first lines of the tenth Eclogue:

O Arethusa, graunt this labour be my last indeede !
A few songes vnto Gallo, but let them Lycoris reede:
Needes must I singe to Gallo mine, what man would songes deny ?
So when thou ronnest vnder Sicane seas, where froth doth fry,
Let not that bytter Doris of the salte streame mingle make.

Fourteen years afterwards, in 1589, the same author published a new version both of the Bucolics and GEORGICS of Virgil, with notes, which he dedicated to John Whitgift archbishop of Canterbury. This is commonly said and supposed to be in blank verse, but it is in the regular Alexandrine without rhyme. It is entitled, “The BUKOLIKES of P. Virgilius Maro, &c. otherwise called his pastoralls or Shepherds Meetings. Together with his GEORGICS *, or Ruralls, &c. All newly translated into English verse by A. F. At London by T. O. for T. Woodcocke, &c. 1589.” I exhibit the five first verses of the fourth Eclogue :

O Muses of Sicilia ile, let 's greater matters singe!
Shrubs, groves, and bushes lowe, delight and please not every man :

If we do singe of woodes, the woods be worthy of a consul.
Now is the last age come, whereof Sybilla's verse foretold;

And now the Virgin come againe, and Saturnes kingdom come. The fourth Georgic thus begins :

O my Mecenas, now will I dispatch forthwith to shew
The heauenly gifts, or benefits, of airie honie sweet.
Look on this piece of worke likewise, as thou hast on the rest.

Abraham Fleming supervised, corrected, and enlarged the second edition of Hollinshed's Chronicle in 1585 e. He translated Aelian's VARIOUS History into English in 1576, which he dedicated to Goodman dean of Westminster,“ Ælian's Registre of Hystories by Abraham Flemingť.” He published also Certaine select epistles of Cicero into English, in 1576. And, in the same year, he imparted to our countrymen a fuller idea of the elegance of the ancient epistle by his “PanoPLIE OF Epistles from Tully, Isocrates, Pliny, and others, printed at

& The Bucolics and Georgics, I think these, are entered, 1600. Registr. Stat. Sue also under 1595, ibid.

*[“The Georgiks of Pub. Virg. Maro; otherwise called his Italian Husbandrie. Grammaticallie translated into English meter in so plaine and familiar sort, as a learner

may be taught thereby tu his profit and contentment." In a short ad

dress to the reader, the Translator hints a future intention “to make this interpretation of his version run in round rime, as it standeth now upon bare metre:" but this was not performed.--PARK.]

e His brother Samuel assisted in compiling the Index, a very laborious work, and made other improvements. f In quarto.

6 Lond. in quarto.

London 1576h.” He translated Synesius's Greek PANEGYRIC ON BALDNESS, which had been brought into vogue by Erasmus's MORIÆ ENCOMIUM'. Among some other pieces, he englished many celebrated books written in Latin about the fifteenth century and at the restoration of learning, which was a frequent practice, after it became fashionable to compose in English, and our writers had begun to find the force and use of their own tonguek. Sir William Cordall, the queen's solicitor-general, was his chief patron!

William Webbe, who is styled a graduate, translated the GEORGICS into English verse, as he himself informs us in the DISCOURSE OF English Poetrie, lately quoted, and printed in 1586m. And in the same discourse, which was written in defence of the new fashion of English hexameters, he has given us his own version of two of Virgil's BUCOLICS, written in that unnatural and impracticable mode of versification". I must not forget here, that the same Webbe ranks Abraham Fleming, as a translator, after Barnabie Googe the translator of Palingenius's Zodiac, not without a compliment to the poetry and the learning of his brother Samuel, whose excellent Inventions, he adds, had not yet been made public.

Abraham Fraunce*, in 1591, translated Virgil's Alexis into English

[ocr errors]

h Quarto. For Ralph Newbery.

i Lond. 1579. 12mo. At the end, is his Fable of Hermes.

* See supr. p. 218. Among his original pieces are,

A memorial of the charitable almes deedes of William Lambe, gentleman of the chapel under Henry 8th, and citizen of London, Lond. 1580. 8vo. The Battel between the Virtues and Vices, Lond. 1582. 8vo.--The Diamant of Devotion in six parts, Lond. 1586. 12mo.The Cundyt of Comfort, for Denham, 1579.” He prefixed a recommendatory Latin poem in iambics to the Voyage of Dennis Settle, a retainer of the earl of Cumberland, and the companion of Martin Frobisher, Lond. 1577. 12mo. Another, in English, to Kendal's Flowres of Epigrammes, Lond. 1577. 12mo. Another to John Barret's Alveare, or quadruple Lexicon of English, Latin, Greek, and French. Dedicated to Lord Burleigh, Lond. 1580. fol. edit. 2. [See Mus. Ashmol. Oxon. 835.] Another to W. Whetstone's Rock of Regard. I take this opportunity of observing that the works of one John Fleming, an ancient English poet, are in Dublin-college library, of which I have no farther notice, than that they are numbered 304. See Registr. · Station. B. fol. 160 a. 171 a. 168 a.

1 His Panoplie is dedicated to Cordall. See Life of Sir Thomas Pope, p. 226. edit. 2.

m For the sake of juxtaposition, I ob

serve here, that Virgil's Bucolics and fourth Georgic were translated by one Mr. Brimsly, and licensed to Man, Sept. 3, 1619. Registr. Station. C. fol. 305 a. And the “seconde parte of Virgil's Æneids in English, translated by sir Thomas Wroth knight,” Apr. 4, 1620. Ibid. fol. 313 b.

[This was entitled “ The destruction of Troy." Sir Thomas published in the same year

A Century of Epigrams, with a motto on the Creed, called the abortive of an idle houre." See Ath. Oxon. ii. 258 ; and Lysons's Environs, ii. 316.Park.]

" In 1594, Richard Jones published “ Pan his Pipe, conteyninge Three Pastorall Eglogs in Englyshe hexamiter with other delightfull verses.” Licensed Jan. 3. Registr. Station. B. fol. 316 b.

[Abraham Fraunce was entered of Gray's Inn after being eight years at Cambridge, and had the honour of being intimate with Sir P. Sidney, from whose production he drew the illustrative examples of his rare little volume entitled “ The Arcadian Rhetorike.” A very curious MS. in the Bodleian Library (MS. Rawl. Poet. 85.) contains the “Recreations of his leisure hours;" being, as Mr. P. Bliss obligingly informs me, the first copy of a work he afterwards published, Insignium armorum emblematum, &c. The symbols are finely finished with a pen; and in a concluding address to Sir P.

非 *

hexameters, verse for verse, which he calls The lamentation of Corydon for the love of Alexiso. It must be owned, that the selection of this particular Eclogue from all the ten for an English version, is somewhat extraordinary. But in the reign of queen Elizabeth, I could point out whole sets of sonnets written with this sort of attachment, for which perhaps it will be but an inadequate apology, that they are free from direct impurity of expression and open immodesty of sentiment. Such at least is our observance of external propriety, and so strong the principles of a general decorum, that a writer of the present age who was to print love-verses in this style, would be severely reproached, and universally proscribed. I will instance only in the AFFECTIONATE SHEPHERD* of Richard Barnefielde, printed in 1595. Here, through the course of twenty sonnets, not inelegant, and which were exceedingly popular, the poet bewails his unsuccessful love for a beautiful youth, by the name of Ganymede, in a strain of the most tender passiont, yet with professions of the chastest affection P. Many descrip

with

shaddow my conceit: being nothing else but an imitation of Virgill in the second Eclogue of Alexis.” But I find, “Cynthia with certayne Sonnettes and the Legend of Cassandra," entered to H. Lownes Jan. 18, 1594. Registr. Station. B. fol.

317 a.

[ocr errors]

Sidney, he proposes, if these meet his approbation, to continue them. He ends

“ Iterum vive, atque iterum, vale, Mæcenas ornatissime. A. F."PARK.]

° At the end of the countesse of Pembroke's Jvy-church, in the same measure, Lond. 8vo. He wrote also in the same verse, The lamentation of Amyntas for the death of Phillis. Lond. 1587. 4to. He translated into English hexameters the beginning of Heliodorns's Ethiopics. Lond. 1591. 8vo.

[“ Containing the Complaint of Daphnis for the love of Ganymede.” Printed by John Dunton, 4to. The volume comprises The teares of an affectionate shepheard, sicke for love. The second dayes lamentation of the affectionate Shepheard. The Shepheards content, or the happiness of a harmless life. The complaint of Chastitie: and Hellens rape, or a light lanthorne for light ladies; written in English hexameters.-Park.]

+ [In the same strain, and to a similar object, the greater part of Shakspeare's Sonnets appear to be addressed. Mr. Chalmers indeed, in his Apology, has persuaded himself that the bard of Avon intended his for Queen Elizabeth; but so far as I can gather, he has failed to persuade any other reader of the same. PARK.)

P At London, H. Lownes, 1596. 16mo. Another edition appeared the same year, with his Cynthia, and Legend of Cassandra. For the same, 1596. 16mo. In the preface of this second edition he apologises for his Sonnets, “ I will vn

[“ Cynthia with certaine sonrets and the Legend of Cassandra " appeared in 1591, and was printed for H. Lownes. In the preface Barnefield hopes the reader will bear with his rude conceit of Cynthia “ if for no other cause, yet for that it is the first imitation of the verse of that excellent poet Maister Spencer, in his Fayrie Queene :" to whom he again alludes in his 20th Sonnet, as great Colin, the chief of Shepheards:" while he designates Drayton under the name of gentle Rowland, his professed friend." In 1598 were published by Richard Barnefield, graduate in Oxford, The Encomium of Lady Pecunia, or the Praise of Money. The complaint of Poetrie for the death of Liberalitie. The combat betweene Conscience and Covetousnesse in the minde of man : and poems in divers humors. These pieces it seems he was encouraged to offer to the courtesy of his readers through tlie gentle acceptance of his Cynthia. One of his sonnets thus addresses itself to his friend Maister R. L, the author probably of Diello. If musique and sweet poetrie agree, As they must needs (the sister and the

brother), Then must the love be great 'twixt thee

and mee,

Because thou lov'st the one, and I the

other,

« ZurückWeiter »