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View of Niccols's edition of the Mirrour for Magistrates. High estimation of this Collection. Historical Plays, whence.
By way of recapitulating what has been said, and in order to give a connected and uniform view of the MIRROUR FOR MAGISTRATES in its most complete and extended state, its original contents and additions, I will here detail the subjects of this poem as they stand in this last or Niccols's edition of 1610, with reference to two preceding editions, and some other incidental particularities.
Niccols's edition (after the Epistle Dedicatorie prefixed to Higgins's edition of 1587, an Advertisement to the Reader by Niccols, a Table of Contents, and Thomas Newton's recommendatory verses above-mentioned,) begins with an Induction called the AUTHOR'S INDUCTION, written by Higgins, and properly belonging to his edition. Then follow these Lives.
King Cherinnus. King Julius Cesar. Claudius Lelius Hamo. Tiberius
Londric the Pict. Se
Albanact youngest son of Brutus ". Humber king of the Huns. King Locrine eldest son of Brutus. Queen Elstride concubine of Locrine. Sabrina daughter of Locrine. King Madan. King Malin. King Mempric. King Bladud. King Bladud. Queen Cordelia. Morgan king of Albany. King Jago. Ferrex. Porrex. King Pinnar slain by Molucius Donwallo. King Stater. King Rudacke of Wales. King Kimarus. King Morindus. King Emerianus. Varianus. Irelanglas cousin to Cassibelane. Tiberius Nero. Caligula. King Guiderius. Drusus. Domitius Nero. Galba. Vitellius. verus. Fulgentius a Pict. Geta. Caracalla". All these from Albanact, and in the same order, form the first part of Higgins's edition of the year 1587. But none of them are in Baldwyne's, or the first, collection, of the year 1559; and, as I presume, these lives are all written by Higgins. Then follow in Niccols's edition, Carausius, Queen Helena, Vortigern, Uther Pendragon, Cadwallader, Sigebert, Ebba, Egelred, Edric, and Harold, all written by Thomas Blener Hasset, and never before printed +. We have next a new titled, "The variable Fortvne and vnhappie Falles of svch princes as hath happened since the Conquest. Wherein may be seene, &c. At London, by Felix Kyngston. 1609." Then, after an Epistle to the Reader, subscribed
[In 17 seven-line stanzas, altered from that in the edition of 1575, which had 21 stanzas.-HERBERT.]
a Pag. 1.
b Ending with pag. 185.
Where they end at fol. 108 a.
+ [Blenerhasset's contributions to this edition had been previously and separately printed in 1578.-PRICE.]
d After p. 250.
R.N. (that is Richard Niccols), follow, Sackville's INDUCTION. Cavyll's Roger Mortimer. Ferrers's Tresilian. Ferrers's Thomas of Woodstock. Churchyard's [Chaloner's] Mowbray. Ferrers's King Richard the Second. Phaer's Owen Glendour. Henry Percy. Baldwyne's Richard earl of Cambridge. Baldwyne's Montague earl of Salisbury. Ferrers's Eleanor Cobham. Ferrers's Humfrey duke of Gloucester. Baldwyne's William De La Poole earl of Suffolk. Baldwyne's Jack Cade. Ferrers's Edmund duke of Somerset. Richard Plantagenet duke of York. Lord Clifford. Tiptoft earl of Worcester. Richard lord Warwick. King Henry the Sixth. George Plantagenet duke of Clarence. Skelton's King Edward the Fourth. Woodvile lord Rivers. Dolman's Lord Hastings. Sackville's Duke of Buckingham. Collingburne. Cavyll's Blacksmith. Higgins's Sir Nicholas Burdet. Churchyard's Jane Shore. Churchyard's Wolsey. Drayton's Lord Cromwell. All these, (Humfrey, Cobham, Burdet, Cromwell, and Wolsey, excepted,) form the whole, but in a less chronological disposition, of Baldwyne's collection, or edition, of the year 1559, as we have seen above: from whence they were reprinted, with the addition of Humfrey, Cobham, Burdet, and Wolsey, by Higgins, in his edition aforesaid of 1587, and where Wolsey closes the work. Another title then appears in Niccols's edition, "A WINTER NIGHTS VISION. Being an addition of sveh Princes especially famovs, who were exempted in the former HISTORIE. By Richard Niccols, Oxon. Magd. Hall. At London, by Felix Kyngston, 1610." An Epistle to the Reader, and an elegant Sonnet to Lord Charles Howard lord High Admiral, both by Niccols, are prefixed. Then follows Niccols's INDUCTION to these new lives h. They are, King Arthur. Edmund Ironside. Prince Alfred. Godwin earl of Kent. Robert Curthose. King Richard the First. King John. King Edward the Second. The two Young Princes murthered in the Tower, and King Richard the Third'. Our author, but with little propriety, has annexed "ENGLAND'S ELIZA, or the victoriovs and trivmphant reigne of that virgin empresse of sacred memorie Elizabeth Queene of England, &c. At London, by Felix Kyngston, 1610." This is a title page. Then follows a Sonnet to the virtuous Ladie the Lady Elizabeth Clere, wife to sir Francis Clere, and an Epistle to the Reader. A very poetical INDUCTION is prefixed to the ELIZA, which contains the history of queen Elizabeth, then just dead, in the octave stanza. Niccols, however, has not entirely preserved the whole of the old collection, although he made large additions. He has omitted King James the First of Scotland, which appears in Baldwyne's edition of 1559, and in Higgins's of 1587'. He has also omitted, and pro
e That is, from p. f After p. 547.
From the Sonnet it appears, that our author Niccols was on board Howard's ship the Arke, when Cadiz was taken. VOL. III.
This was in 1596. See also page 861. stanza iv.
h From p. 555.
i Ending with p. 769.
1 Fol. 137 b.
bably for the same obvious reason, King James the Fourth of Scotland, which we find in Higgins". Nor has Niccols retained the Battle of Flodden-field, which is in Higgins's edition". Niccols has also omitted Seagars's King Richard the Third, which first occurs in Baldwyne's edition of 1559°, and afterwards in Higgins's of 1587 P. But Niccols has written a new Legend on this subject, cited above, and one of the best of his additional lives 9. This edition by Niccols, printed by Felix Kyngston in 1610, I believe was never reprinted*. It contains eight hundred and seventy-five pages.
The MIRROUR FOR MAGISTRATES is obliquely ridiculed in bishop Hall's SATIRES, published in 1597.
Another, whose more heavie-hearted saint
Delights in nought but notes of ruefull plaint,
That it should have been the object even of an ingenious satirist, is so far from proving that it wanted either merit or popularity, that the contrary conclusion may be justly inferred. It was, however, at length superseded by the growing reputation of a new poetical chronicle, entitled ALBION'S ENGLAND, published before the beginning of the reign of James the First+. That it was in high esteem throughout the reign
m Fol. 253 a. In Ulpian Fullwell's Flower of Fame, an old quarto book both in prose and verse, in praise of the reign of Henry the Eighth, and printed by W. Hoskyns in 1575, is a tragic monologue, in the octave stanza, of James the Fourth of Scotland, and of his son. fol. 22 b. The whole title is, "The Flower of Fame, containing the bright renowne and most fortunate reigne of Henry viii. Wherein is mention of matters by the rest of our chronographers overpassed. Compyled by VIpian Fullwell." Annexed is a panegyric of three of the same Henry's noble and vertuous queenes. And "The service done at Haddington in Scotland the seconde year of the reigne of King Edward the Sixt." Bl. lett. Fullwell will occur hereafter in his proper place.
n Fol. 256 a.
P Fol. 230 b.
O Fol. cxlvii. b.
[A new title-page only was added to the unsold copies, with the date of 1621. Herbert says the first part was reprinted in 1619. MS. Note.-PARK.]
B. i. Sat. v. duodecim. But in Certaine Satyres by John Marston, subjoined to his Pygmalion's Image, an academical
critic is abused for affecting to censure this poem. Lond. 1598. Sat. iv. This is undoubtedly our author Hall just quoted. (See Marston's Scourge of Villanie, printed 1599. Lib. iii. Sat. x.)
Fond censurer! why should those Mir
So vile to thee? which better iudgements deeme
Exquisite then, and in our polish'd times
On MAGISTRATES MIRROUR? Must thou
And striue to worke his antient honors
What shall not Rosamond, or Gaueston,
The two last pieces indeed do not properly belong to this collection, and are only on the same plan. Rosamond is Daniel's COMPLAINT OF ROSAMOND, and Gaueston is Drayton's monologue on that subject. [Wood gives it as his report, that the
of queen Elizabeth, appears not only from its numerous editions, but from the testimony of sir Philip Sidney, and other cotemporary writers". It is ranked among the most fashionable pieces of the times in the metrical preface prefixed to Jasper Heywood's THYESTES of Seneca, translated into English verse, and published in 1560. It must be remeinbered that only Baldwyne's part had yet appeared, and that the translator is supposed to be speaking to Seneca.
In Lyncolnes Inne, and Temples twayne,
That Melpomen, thou wouldst well weene,
There shalt thou se the selfe same Northe,
1579 is the same. [The translation of Plutarch was by the same sir Thomas North.-PRICE.] There is Doni's Morall Philosophie from the Italian by sir Thomas North, in 1601.
I Sackville lord Buckhurst, the contributor to the Mirrour for Magistrates. I have never seen his Sonnets, which would be a valuable accession to our old poetry. But probably the term Sonnets here means only verses in general, and may signify nothing more than his part in the Mirror for Magistrates, and his Gorboduc. [Mr. Haslewood observes, that the lines in the text were" in print before either the communication was made to the Mirror for Magistrates, or the play performed," and that a sonnet by Sackville is prefixed to sir Thomas Hoby's "Courtier of Count Baldessar Castilio." (1561.)-PRICE.] "Norton is Sackville's coadjutor in Gorboduc.
Mirror for Magistrates was esteemed the best piece of poetry of those times, if Albion's England (which was by some preferred) did not stand in its way. Ath. Oxon. i. 402.-PARK.]
Sydney says, "I esteem the MIRROUR OF MAGISTRATES to be furnished of beautifull partes." He then mentions Surrey's Lyric pieces. Defence of Poesie, fol. 561. ad calc. Arcad. Lond. 1629. fol. Sidney died in 1586. so that this was written before Higgins's, and consequently Niccols's, additions.
t Coloph. "Imprinted at London in Fletestrete in the house late Thomas Berthelettes. Cum priv. &c. Anno M.D.LX." duodecim. bl. lett. It is dedicated in verse to sir John Mason.
"Sir Thomas North, second son of Edward lord North of Kirtling, translated from French into English Antonio Guevara's Horologium Principum. This translation was printed in 1557, and dedicated to Queen Mary, fol. Again, 1548, 1582, 4to. This is the book mentioned in the text. North studied in Lincoln's Inn in the reign of queen Mary. I am not sure that the translator of Plutarch's Lives in
The Epilogue to Gascoigne's Jocasta, acted at Gray's-inn in 1566, was written by Christopher Yelverton, a student of that inn, afterwards a knight and a judge. I have never seen his Ditties here mentioned.
Well pewrde with pen: such yong men three
Of myghtie Jove his brayne.
And there the gentle Blunduille" is
There Bauande bydes2, that turnde his toyle
There Gouge a gratefull gaynes hath gotte,
Who crooked compasse doth describe
A pryncely place in Parnasse hill
That have preparde the lawrell leafe
About theyr heddes to bende.
And where their pennes shall hang full high, &c.
These, he adds, are alone qualified to translate Seneca's tragedies.
In a small black-lettered tract entitled the TOUCH-STONE OF WITTES, chiefly compiled, with some slender additions, from William Webbe's DISCOURSE OF ENGLISH POETRIE, written by Edward Hake, and printed at London by Edmund Botifaunt in 1588, this poem
y Thomas Blundeville of Newton-Flotman in Norfolk, from whence his dedication to lord Leicester of an English version of Furio's Spanish tract on Counsels and Counselors is dated, Apr. 1, 1570. He printed many other prose pieces, chiefly translations. His Plutarch mentioned in the text, is perhaps a manuscript in the British Museum, PLUTARCHS COMMENTARY that learning is requisite to a prince, translated into English meeter by Thomas Blundevile, MSS. Reg. 18. A. 43.
William Bavande, a student in the
Middle Temple, translated into English Ferrarius Montanus De recta Reipublicæ Administratione. Dated from the Middle Temple, in a Dedication to queen Elizabeth, December 20, 1559. 4to. black lett. Printed by John Kingston. "A woorke of Joannes Ferrarius Montanus touchinge the good orderinge of a common weale, &c. Englished by William Bauande." He was of Oxford.
a Barnaby Googe's Palingenius will be spoken of hereafter.