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crafty adversary; and therefore the Bishops, belike taking his Works but for jests and toys, in condemning other books yet permitted his books to be read.
-So it pleased God then to blind the eyes of them for the more commodity of his people, to the intent that through the reading of his trearifes some fruit might redound thereof to his church, as no doubt it did to Dany. As also I am partly informed of certain which knew the parties, which to them' reported that hy reading of Chaucer's Works they were brought to the true knowledgeof religion; and not onlike to se true, for to omit the other parts of his Volume, whereof fome are more fabulous than other, what tale can be more plainly told than The Tale of the Ploughman? or what finger can point out more direaly the Fope with his prelates to be Antichrist than doth the poor pellican reasoning against the greedy griffon? under which hypoiyposis or poesie who is so blind that seeth not by the pellican the dodrice of Chrif and of the Lollards to be defended against the church of Rome? or who is so impudent that can deny that to be true which the pellican there affirmeth, in deferibing the presumptious pride of that pretended church? Again, what egg can be more like, or fig, unto another than the words, properties, and conditions, of thát ravenous gryphon resembleth the true image, that is the nature and qualities, of that which we call the church of Rome, in every point and degree? and
therefore no great marvel if that narration was ex empted out of the copies of Chaucer's Works, which notwithstanding 'now is restored again, and is extant for every man to read that is disposed. Stephanus Surigonius Poet Laureat of Milan, wrote the following epitaph upon Chaucer at the desire of William Caxton, which anciently was hung up upon a pillar over against the place where he was buried. See Leland in the life of Chaucer, and Stow's Survey, edit. 1720. b. 6,
P. 31. PIERIDES Mufæ, fi possunt numina fletus Fundere, divinas atque rigare genas, Galfridi Chaucer vatus crudelia fata Plangite; sit lacrymis abstinuiffe nefas. Vos coluit vivens, at vos celebrate sepultum : 5 Rcddatur merito gratia digna viro. Grande decus nobis est dodi Musa Maronis, Qua didicit melius ngua Latina loqui : Grande novumque decus Chaucer famamque paravit, Heu quantum fuerat prisca Britanna rudis ! Reddidit infigneni maternis versibus, ut jam Aurea splendescat, ferrea facta prius. Hunc latuiffe virum nil, fi tot opufcula vertes, Dixeris, egregiis quæ decorata modis. Socratis ingepiunt, vel fontes philosophiæ, 13 Quicquid et arcani dogmata sacra ferunt; Ec quafcunque velis tenuit doctissimus artes Hic vates, parvo conditus in tumulo.
Ah! laudis quantum præclara Britannia perdis,
Camden in bis Britennia, in Dobunis, Opridum ipsum [Woodstock] cum nil habeat quod oftentet, Homerum noftrum Anglicum Galfredum Chaucerum alumnum fuum fuiffe gloriatur. De quo & noftris poetis Anglicis illud vere asseram quod de Homero & Græcis eruditus ille italus dixit;
Hic ille eft, cuius de gurgite facro
-Jam inonte potitus
The which might have enriched all us here.
Edmund Spenser in his Fairy Queen, lib. iv.canto 2,
Idem, in Ti inobantibus.
. 31, &*c.
Though now their acts be no where to be found
O cursed eld! the canker-worm of wits,
Ibid, 1. vii. canto 7, st. 9. So hard it is for any living wight All her array and veftiments to tell, That old Dan Geffrey (in whose gentle spright The pure well-head of poetry did dwell) In his Fowles Parley durft not with it mell, But it transfer'd to Alane, who he thought Had in his Plaint of Kinds describ'd it well, Which who will read, set forth so as it ought, Go seek he out that Alane where he may be fought. 9