Page images
PDF
EPUB

Ovid's IBIS was translated, and illustrated with annotations, by Thomas Underdowne, born, and I suppose educated, at Oxford. It was printed at London in 1569a, with a dedication to Thomas Sackville, lord Buckhurst, the author of GORBODUC, and entitled, "Ouid his inuective against Ibis Translated into meeter, whereunto is added by the translator a short draught of all the stories and tales contayned therein uery pleasant to read. Imprinted at London by T. East and H. Middleton, Anno Domini 1569." The notes are large and historical. There was a second edition by Binneman in 1577. This is the first stanza.

Whole fiftie yeares be gone and past
Since I alyue haue been,

Yet of my Muse ere now there hath
No armed verse be seene.

The same author opened a new field of romance, and which seems partly to have suggested sir Philip Sydney's ARCADIA, in translating into English prose the ten books of Heliodorus's Ethiopic history, in 1577'. This work, the beginning of which was afterwards versified by Abraham Fraunce in 1591, is dedicated to Edward earl of Oxford. The knights and dames of chivalry, sir Tristram and Bel Isoulde, now began to give place to new lovers and intrigues: and our author published the Excellent historie of Theseus and Ariadne, most probably suggested by Ovid, which was printed at London in 1566.

The ELEGIES of Ovid, which convey the obscenities of the brothel in elegant language, but are seldom tinctured with the sentiments of a serious and melancholy love, were translated by Christopher Marlowe below mentioned, and printed at Middleburgh without date. This book was ordered to be burnt at Stationers' hall, in 1599, by command of the archbishop of Canterbury and the bishop of London.

[blocks in formation]

Lond. 1620. 8vo. But I believe there is a former edition, no date, 8vo.

Bl. lett. Lond. 4to. A second edition appeared in 1587. But in 1568-9, there is an entry to Francis Coldocke to print "a boke entit. the end of the xth boke" of Heliodorus's Ethiopics. Registr. Station. A. fol. 178 b.

In octavo. Bl. lett.

Registr. Station. C. fol. 316 a. b. There were two impressions. [I believe there were five if not six different impressions, in despite of ecclesiastical interdiction. The first of these had appeared in 1596, as Harington's Metamorphosis of Ajax sufficiently ascertains. A duplicate version of Eleg. xv. lib. i. is ascribed to B. J. probably Ben Jonson, and if so, must have been his earliest printed production. -PARK.]

d See Registr. Station. A. fol. 177 b.

[To this distinguished nobleman the translator professes to have inscribed his book, for the "good affection" his honour had to his "deare father, Steuen Underdowne. And by cause (he adds) the sense is not easy otherwise to be understanded, I have drawne a briefe draught of a the storyes and tales contayned therein, which are so many as I dare affirme, in the like volume a man may not read anywhere: so that I doubt not, the reading hereof will be very pleasant to your Honor, and perhaps profytable also."-PARK.]

e Both are in octavo. Salmacis and Hermaphroditus was translated by F. Beaumont, 1602. He also translated part of Ovid's Remedy of Love; as did sir T. Overbury the whole soon afterwards,

Ovid's REMEDY OF LOVE had an anonymous translator in 15991. But this version was printed the next year under the title of "Ovidius Naso his REMEDIE OF LOVE, translated and entituled to the youth of England, by F. L. London 1600k.”

The HEROICAL EPISTLES of Ovid, with Sabinus's Answers, were set ̃ out and translated by George Turberville, a celebrated writer of poems in the reign of queen Elizabeth, and of whom more will be said in his proper place'. This version was printed in 1567, and followed by two editions. It is dedicated to Thomas Howard viscount Byndon". Six of the epistles are rendered in blank verse; the rest in four-lined stanzas. The printer is John Charlewood, who appears to have been printer to the family of Howard, and probably was retained as a domestic for that liberal purpose in Arundel-house, the seat of elegance and literature till Cromwell's usurpation. Turberville was a polite scholar, and some of the passages are not unhappily turned. From Penelope to Ulysses.

To thee that lingrest all too long
Thy wife, Vlysses, sends:

'Gaine write not, but by quicke returne
For absence make amendes.-

O, that the surging seas had drencht
That hatefull letcher tho',

When he to Lacedæmon came

Inbarkt, and wrought our woe!

I add here, that Mantuan, who had acquired the rank of a classic, was also versified by Turberville in 1594P.

Coxeter says, that he had seen one of Ovid's Epistles translated by Robert earl of Essex. This I have never seen; and, if it could be re

Dec. 25. Registr. Station. C. fol. 55 a. To Brown and Jagger. Under the same year occur, Ovydes Epistles in Englyshe, and Ovydes Metamorphoses in Englyshe. Ibid. fol. 57 a. There seems to have been some difficulty in procuring a licence for the "Comedie of Sappho," Apr. 6, 1583. Registr. B. fol. 198 b.

In quarto.

"The Heroycall Epistles of the learned poet Publius Naso in English verse, set out and translated by George Turberville gentleman, with Aulus Sabinus answere to certain of the same." Lond. for Henry Denham, 1567. 12mo.

m In 1569 and 1600. All at Lond. Bl. lett.

"I find entered to Henry Denham, in 1565-6, a boke called "The fyrste epestle of Ovide." Registr. Station. A. fol. 148 b. Again, the same year to the same, "An epestle of Ovide beynge the iiijth epestle." Ibid, fol. 149 a. In the same

year, to the same, the rest of Ovid's Epistles. Ibid. fol. 152 a. There is "A booke entit. Oenone to Paris, wherin is deciphered the extremitie of Love," &c. To R. Jones, May 17, 1594. Registr. B. fol. 307 b.

• In the Defensative against the poyson of supposed prophesies, written by Henry Howard, afterwards earl of Northampton and lord privy-seal, and printed (4to.) in 1583, the printer, John Charlewood, styles himself printer to Philip earl of Arundel; and in many others of his books he calls himself printer to lord Arundel. Otherwise, he lived in Barbican, at the sign of the Half Eagle and Key.

P The four first Eclogues of Mantuan, I suppose in English, were entered to Binneman in 1566. Registr. Station. A. fol. 151 b. and "the rest of the egloggs of Mantuan," to the same in 1566. Ibid. fol. 154 b.

covered, I trust it would only be valued as a curiosity. A few of his sonnets are in the Ashmolean Museum, which have no marks of poetic genius. He is a vigorous and elegant writer of prose. But if Essex was no poet, few noblemen of his age were more courted by poets. From Spenser to the lowest rhymer he was the subject of numerous sonnets, or popular ballads. I will not except Sydney. I could produce evidence to prove, that he scarce ever went out of England, or even left London, on the most frivolous enterprise, without a pastoral in his praise, or a panegyric in metre, which were sold and sung in the streets. Having interested himself in the fashionable poetry of the times, he was placed high in the ideal Arcadia now just established: and among other instances which might be brought, on his return from Portugal in 1589, he was complimented with a poem, called, "An Egloge gratulatorie entituled to the right honourable and renowned shepherd of Albions Arcadie Robert earl of Essex and for his returne lately into England 9." This is a light in which lord Essex is seldom viewed. I know not if the queen's fatal partiality, or his own inherent attractions, his love of literature, his heroism, integrity, and generosity, qualities which abundantly overbalance his presumption, his vanity, and impetuosity, had the greater share in dictating these praises. If adulation were any where justifiable, it must be when paid to the man who endeavoured to save Spenser from starving in the streets of Dublin, and who buried him in Westminster-abbey with becoming solemnity. Spenser was persecuted by Burleigh, because he was patronised by Essex.

Thomas Churchyard, who will occur again, rendered the three first of the TRISTIA, which he dedicated to sir Christopher Hatton, and printed at London in 1580".

Among Coxeter's papers is mentioned the ballet of Helen's epistle to Paris, from Ovid, in 1570, by B. G. I suspect this B. G. to be the author of a poem called " A booke intituled a new tragicall historye of too lovers," as it is entered in the register of the Stationers, where it is licensed to Alexander Lacy, under the year 15633. Ames recites this

Licensed to R. Jones, Aug. 1, 1589. Registr. Station. B. fol. 246 b.

In quarto. An entry appears in 1577 and 1591. Registr. Station.

["The three first books of Ovid de Tristibus translated into English. Impr. at London by Thos. Marsh, 1580, cum privilegio.

Pr. My little booke (I blame thee not)
To stately towne shall goe;

O cruell chaunce, that where thou
goest,

Thy maister may not so!"

PARK.] Registr. A. fol. 102. It was reprinted, in 1568, for Griffiths, ibid. fol. 174 b.

Again, the same year, for R. Jones, "The ballet intituled the story of ij faythfull lovers." Ibid. fol. 177 b. Again, for R. Tottell, in 1564, "A tragicall historye that happened betweene ij Englishe lovers." Ibid. fol. 118 a. I know not if this be "The famooste and notable history of two faythfull lovers named Alfayns and Archelaus in myter," for Colwell, in 1565. Ibid. fol. 133 a. There is also "A proper historye of ij Duche lovers," for Purfoote, in 1567. Ibid. fol. 163 a. Also "The moste famous history of ij Spaneshe lovers," to R. Jones, in 1569. Ibid. fol. 192 b. A poem, called The tragical history of Didaco and Violenta, was printed in 1576.

piece as written by Ber. Gar. perhaps Bernard Garter; unless Gar, which I do not think, be the full name. The title of BALLET was often applied to poems of considerable length. Thus in the register of the Stationers, Sackville's LEGEND OF BUCKINGHAM, a part of the MIRROUR FOR MAGISTRATES, is recited, under the year 1557, among a great number of ballads, some of which seem to be properly so styled, and entitled, "The murninge of Edward duke of Buckynham." Unless we suppose this to be a popular epitome of Sackville's poem, then just published". A romance, or history, versified, so as to form a book or pamphlet, was sometimes called a ballad; as "A ballett entituled an history of Alexander Campaspe and Apelles, and of the faythfull fryndeshippe betweene theym, printed for Colwell, in 1565.” This was from the grand romance of Alexander*. Sometimes a Ballad is a work in prose. I cannot say whether, "A ballet intitled the incorraggen all kynde of men to the reedyfyinge and buyldynge Poules steeple againe," printed in 1564, was a pathetic ditty, or a pious homily, or both. A play or interlude was sometimes called a ballet, as, "A Ballet intituled AN ENTERLUDE, The cruel detter by Wayer," printed for Colwell, in 1565. Religious subjects were frequently called by this vague and indiscriminating name. In 1561, was published "A new ballet of iiij commandements;" that is, four of the Ten Commandments in metre. Again, among many others of the same kind, as puritanism gained ground, "A ballet intituled the xvijth chapter of the iiijth [second] boke of Kynges." And I remember to have seen, of the same period, a Ballet of the first chapter of Genesis. And John Hall, above mentioned, wrote or compiled in 1564, "The COURTE OF VERTUE*, Contaynynge many holy or spretuall songes,

Hist. Print. 532. 551.

,,

I will exhibit the mode of entry more at large. "To John Kynge THESE BOOKES FOLLOWYNGE, Called A Nosegaye, The scole house of women, and also a Sacke full of Newes." Then another paragraph begins, "To Mr. John Wallis, and Mrs. Toye, these BALLETS FOLOWYNGE, that ys to saye, Then follow about forty pieces, among which is this of the Duke of Buckingham. Registr. A. fol. 22 a. But in these records, Book and Ballet are often promiscuously used. [Ritson draws a line of discrimination in the entries or the registers at Stationers' Hall, and says, that B. always stand for book, and b or b for ballad. Of the latter description is the murninge of Edward duke of Buckingham, as may be seen in Evans's collection. Sackville's poem relates to the decapitation of Henry duke of Buckingham. -PARK.]

Registr. Station. A. fol. 137 b.

There is, printed in 1565, “A ballet intituled Apelles and Pygmalyne, to the

b.

tune of the fyrst Apelles." Ibid. fol. 140 And, under the year 1565, "A ballet of kynge Polliceute [f. Polyeuctes] to the tune of Appelles." Ibid. fol. 133 b. Also "The Songe of Appelles," in the same year. Ibid. fol. 138 a. By the way, Lilly's Campaspe, first printed in 1591, might originate from these pieces.

y Ibid. fol. 116 a. z Ibid. fol. 138 a. a Ibid. fol. 75 b. b Ibid. fol. 166 a. * [In 1557 was licensed to Henry Sutton, "The Courte of Venus." See Herbert's Ames, p. 846. To this licentious publication, of which my friend Mr. Douce possesses a fragment, John Hall designed his Courte of Vertue as a moral and religious antidote. In his metrical prologue it is thus described and stigmatized, as the study of loose readers.

A booke also of songes they have,
And VENUS' COURT they doe it name:
No fylthy mynde a songe can crave,
But therin he may finde the same:
And in such songes is all their game.
Nashe also in his "Anatomie of Absur

sonettes, psalmes, balletts, and shorte sentences, as well of holy scriptures, as others "."

It is extraordinary, that Horace's ODES should not have been translated within the period of which we are speaking. In the year 1566, Thomas Drant published, what he called, "A MEDICINABLE MORALL, that is, the two bookes of Horace his satyres Englished, according to the prescription of saint Hierome, &c.e London, for Thomas Marshe, 1566" It is dedicated to " my Lady Bacon and my Lady Cecill fauourers of learning and vertue." The following year appeared, "Horace his Arte of Poetrie, Pistles, and Satyrs Englished, and to the earle of Ormounte by Thomas Drant addressed". Imprinted at London in Fletestrete nere to S. Dunstones churche, by Thomas Marshe, 1567h." This version is very paraphrastic, and sometimes parodical.

ditie," 1589, passed a censure on Venus' Court. As the Courte of Vertue by Hall is a book of uncommon rarity, I subjoin a short specimen. It is taken from a ditty named Blame not my lute.'

Blame not my lute, though it doe sounde
The rebuke of your wicked sinne,
But rather seke, as ye are bound,
To know what case that ye are in :
And though this song doe sinne confute,
And sharply wyckednes rebuke:
Blame not my lute.

If my lute blame the covetyse,
The glottons and the drunkards vyle,
The proud disdayne of worldly wyse,
And howe falshood doth truth exyle;
Though vyce and sinne be nowe in place,
In stead of vertue and of grace:
Blame not my lute.

Though wrong in justice' place be set
Committing great iniquitie:
Though hipocrites be counted great
That mainteine styll idolatrie :
Though some set more by thynges of
nought

Then by the Lorde, that all hath wrought:
Blame not my lute.

Blame not my lute, I you desyre,
But blame the cause that we thus playe:
For burnyng heate blame not the fyre,
But hym that blow'th the cole alway.
Blame ye the cause, blame ye not us,
That we men's faultes have touched thus:
Blame not my lute.-PARK.]

For T. Marshe. Ibid. fol. 118 b. [See supr. p. 158.]

d I believe they were first translated by sir Thomas Hawkins, knight, in 1625.

That is, Quod malum est muta, quod bonum est prode, from his Epist to Rufinus.

f At the end of this translation are,

"The waylings of the prophet Hieremiah done into English verse. Also Epigrammes. T. Drant, Antidoti salutaris amator. Perused and allowed accordyng to the queenes maiesties iniunctions." Of the Epigrams, four are in English, and seven in Latin. This book is said to be authorised by the bishop of London. Registr. Station. A. fol. 140 b. I know not whether or no the Epigrams were not printed separate; for in 1567, is licensed to T. Marshe, "A boke intituled Epygrams and Sentences spirituall by Draunte." Ibid. fol. 165 a. The argument of the Jeremiah, which he compared with the Hebrew and the Septuagint, begins,

Jerusalem is iustlie plagude,

And left disconsolate,

The queene of townes the prince of realmes,

Deuested from her state.

In 1586, Mar. 11, are entered to J. Wolfe, "Lamentation of Jeremye in prose and meeter in English, with Tremellius's Annotations to the prose." Registr. Station. B. fol. 216 a. See Donne's Poems, p. 306. seq. edit. 1633. 4to.

With a Greek motto.

In quarto. Bl. lett. In the front of the Dedication he styles himself "Maister of Arte, and Student in Diuinitye." There is a licence in 1566-7, to Henry Weekes for" Orace epestles in Englisshe." Registr. Station. A. fol. 155 a. And there is an entry of the Epistles in 1591. Registr. B. I find also entered to Colwell, "The fyrste twoo satars and peysels of Orace Engleshed by Lewis Evans schoolemaister," in 1564. Registr. A. fol. 121 a. This piece is not catalogued among Evans's works in Wood, Ath. Oxon. i. 178. Nor in Tanner, Bibl. p. 270.

A quibble probably on rebeck.

« PreviousContinue »