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OF THE WRITERS IN THIS SELECTION.
QUEEN ELIZABETH occasionally wrote sacred poetry. "Two little anthems, or things in metre of hir majestie," were licensed to her printer in 1578; and a copy of the 14th Psalm from her pen has been preserved. This literary curiosity occurs at the end of a book, entitled "A godly Medytacyon of the Christian Sowle, etc. compyled in Frenche, by Lady Margarete, Quene of Naverre.' This psalm is reprinted in Park's edition of "The Royal and Noble Authors of Great Britain," and is the only fragment of her poetical remains adapted to these pages.
THIS eminent prelate of the English Protestant Church was a native of the city of Norwich. He was born in 1504, and was educated in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. After he had taken orders, and during the reigns of Henry VIII. and Edward VÍ., he had various preferments bestowed upon him: of these he was deprived in the reign of Queen Mary; but when Elizabeth ascended the throne, he was consecrated archbishop of Canterbury. He died in 1575.
Before Archbishop Parker became primate, he executed a metrical version of the entire Psalter, either, as Warton remarks, "for the private amuse
ment and exercise of his religious exile, or that the people, whose predilection for psalmody could not be suppressed, might at least be furnished with a rational and proper translation." This work was subsequently printed without date or translator's name, under the title of "The whole Psalter translated into English Metre, which contayneth an hundredth and fifty Psalmes. The first Quinquagene. Cum gratia et privelegio Regiæ Majestatis per decennium.
other two quinquagenes are indicated by half titles. Warton states that this translation was never published; and Strype says that he could never get a sight of it from its great scarcity. There are, however, copies extant in the Bodleian Library, the British Museum, and Lambeth Palace Library, beside others in private libraries.
EDMUND SPENSER was born in East Smithfield about the year 1553. In 1569 he was admitted as a sizar of Pembroke Hall in the University of Cambridge, and he attained the degree of Master of Arts in 1576. In after life he became secretary to Arthur Lord Gray of Wilton, lord deputy of Ireland, who appears to have been his firm and bountiful patron; for the poet terms him "the pillar of his life." The chief occupation of Spenser's life, however, was literature, to which he was ardently attached to the day of his death, January 16, 1598—9.
The chief work of Spenser is his "Faerie Queen," the object of which is "to represent all the moral virtues, assigning to every virtue a knight, to be the patron and defender of the same; in whose actions the feats of arms and chivalry, the operations of that virtue whereof he is the protector, are to be expressed, and the vices and unruly appetites that oppose themselves against the same are to be beaten down and overcome." The "Faerie Queen" scarcely admits of extract, and Spenser is introduced into these pages