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(b) Intenso studio sequens Latinum
Sermonem (i) quoque reddidit venustum,
Et cum Græco alios rudes vocavit.
At quanto mihi rectius videtur
Fecisse officium fuum disertus
Chaucerus, brevitate primus apta
Linguam qui patriam redegit illam
In formam, ut venere & lepore multo,
Ut multo fale, gratiaque multa
Luceret, velut Hesperus minora
Inter fidera; nec tamen (k) superbus
Linguæ barbariem exprobravit ulli
(1) Genti: tam facilis fuit benignusque.
(m) Ergo, vos juvenes, manu Britanni:
Læta spargite nunc rosas (n) [üave
Spirames, violasque molliores;
Et vestro date candido poétæ
Formosam ex hedera citi coronam.

23

The publisher of John Lydgate's History and Chronicle of the

Trojan War, printed 1555, in the pislle to the reader. As the verye perfect disciple [speaking of Lydgate} and imitator of the great Chaucer, the onely glorye and beauty of the same. Nevertheles, lykewyse as it hapned the same Chaucer to lease the prayse of (5) Al. Ter certo pede per sequens. (i) Al. bene. (k) Superbé. (1) Deeft hic versus. (m) Quare. (n) Al. Suave-Spirantes.

that tyme wherin he wrote, beyng then when indede al good letters were almost allepe, so farre was the grofenefíe and barbarousnesse of that age from the understandinge of so devyne a wryter, that if it had not bene in this our time, wherin all kindes of learnyng (thancked be God) have as much foryshed as ever they did by anye former dayes within this realme, and namely by the dylygence of one Willyam Thynne, a gentilman who, laudably lludyouse to the polyThing of so great a jewell, with right good judgment, travail, and great paynes, caufing the fame to be perfedted, and stamped as it is now read, the fayde Chaueer's Works had utterly peryfhed, or at the left bin so depraved by corrupcion of copies that at the laste there fhoulde no parte of hys meaning have ben founde in

any of them.

Roger Ascbamin bis Schöle-Mafier, printed 1571, f.6c, b. Some that make Chaucer in English and Petrarch in Italian their gods in verses, and yet be not able to make trew difference what is a fault and what is a just prayse in thofe two worthie wittes, will much mislike this my writyng, (against riming] but such men be even like followers of Chaucer and Petrarke, as one here in England did folow Syr Tho. More, who being most unlike unto him in wit and learnyng, nevertheles in wearing his gowne awrye upon the one shoulder, as Syr Tho. More was wont to do, would needs be counted like unto him.

Tlefame author in bis Toxophilus, primed 1971, , fol. 13, b. Whose horribienes [speaking of gaming) is fo large that it passed the eloquence of our Englishe Homer [Chaucer) to compaffe it :- I ever thoughte his fayinges to have as much authoritye as cyther Sophocles or Euripides in Greke. The fume author in his book of the Stuic of Germany, zerit

ten cbort 1552, fol. 1. Diligence also molt be used by an historian) in keeping truly the order of tyme, and describyng lyvely both the site of places and nature of persons, not only for the outward íhape of the body, but also for the inwarde disposition of the minde, as Thucydides doth in many places very trinly, and Homer every where, and that always most excellently, which obfervation is chiefly to be marked in hym; and our Chaucer doth the fame very praise worthely, mark hym well and conferre hyn with any other that writeth in our tyme in their proudest toung whosoever lyst. Sir Philip Sidney in his Defence of Paris printed 1998,

P. 492. In the Italian language the first that made it to aspire to be a treasure-house of science were the poets Dante, Boccace, and Petrarch ; fo in cur Englif: wer Gower

and Chaucer, after whom, encouraged and delighted with their excellent foregoing, others have followed to beautifie our mother tonguc, as well in the fanie kind as other artes.

Ibid. p. $13.

CHAwceR undoubtedly did excellently well in his Troilus and Creseid, of whom truly I know not whether to marvell more, either that he in that myftie time could see so clearly, or that we in this clear age go so stumblinglie after him; yet has he great wants, fit to be forgiven in fo reverent an antiquitie. The Arte of Engli Poesie, printed 1489, p. 48, Suppled

to be written by one Puttenham, a Gentleman Pensioner to Q. Eliz. See Wood's Athene Oxon, vol. i col. 184,

in Sidney. I Will not reach above the time of King Edward the Third and Richard the Second for any that wrote in English meeter, because before their times, by reafun of the late Normane conquefi, which had brought into this realme much alteration both of our langage and lawes, and therewithall a certain martiall barbarousnes, whereby the study of all good learning was so much decayed as long time after no man, or very few, entended to write in any laudable science, so as beyond that time there is little or nothing worth commiendation to be founde written in this arte; and those Volume X111.

Q 9

of the first agewere Chaucer cad Gower, both of them, as I suppose, knightes, after whom followed John Lydgate the monke of Bury, and that nameles who wrote the fatyre called Piers Plowman.

ibid. p. 187. Sie Geffrey Chaucer, Father of our Englisu poets.

Mr. Fox in his Acts and Mon. Lond. 1684,

vol ii.p. 42.

I Marvel to confider this, how that the Bishops condemning and abolishing all manner of English books and treatises which might bring the people to any light of knowledge, did yet authorise the Works of Chaucer to remain fill and to be occupied, who no doubt fawin religion as much almost as ever we do now, and uttereth in his Works no less, andleemeth to be a right Wicklivián, or else there was never any; and that all his Works almot, if they be throughly advised, will teftify, (albeit it be done in mirth and covertly) and especiaily the latter end of his third book of The Teftamentof Love, for there purely he toucheth the highest matter, that is, the communion, wherein except a man be altogether blind he may eppy him at the full; although in the same book, (as in' all other he useth to do) under shadows covertly, as under a vizor, he suborneth truth in such sort as both privily he may profit the godly-minded, and yet not be espied of the

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