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In the address to the reader prefixed, our translator says of his Horace, "I haue translated him sumtymes at randun. And nowe at this last time welnye worde for worde, and lyne for lyne. And it is maruaile that I, being in all myne other speaches so playne and perceauable, should here desyer or not shun to be harde, so farre forth as I can kepe the lernynge and sayinges of the author." What follows is too curious not to be transcribed, as it is a picture of the popular learning, and a ridicule of the idle narratives of the reign of queen Elizabeth. "But I feare me a number do so thincke of thys booke, as I was aunswered by a prynter not long agone: Though sayth he, sir, your boke be wyse and ful of learnyng, yet peradventure it wyl not be saleable: Signifying indeede, that flim flames, and gue gawes, be they neuer so sleight and slender, are sooner rapte vp thenne are those which be lettered and clarkly makings. And no doubt the cause that bookes of learnynge seme so hard is, because such and so greate a scull of amarouse [amorous] pamphlets haue so preoccupyed the eyes and eares of men, that a multytude beleue ther is none other style or phrase ells worthe gramercy'. No bookes so ryfe or so frindly red, as be
We have this passage in a poem called Pasquill's Madnesse, Lond. 1600. 4to. fol. 36.
And tell prose writers, stories are so stale,
TRADES, or the plaine Path way to Preferment, &c. By Thomas Powell, Lond. 1631. 4to. p. 47, 48.
Female writers of poetry seem to have now been growing common: for, in his Arte of English Poesic, Puttenham says, "Darke worde, or doubtfull speach, are not so narrowly to be looked vpon in a
large poeme, nor specially in the pretie poesies and deuises of Ladies and Gentlewomen-makers, [poetesses,] whom we would not haue too precise poets, least with their shrewd wits, when they were married, they might become a little too fantasticall wiues." Lib. iii. ch. xxi. p. 209. Decker, in the Guls Horn-book, written in 1609, in the chapter How a gallant should behave himself in a play-house, mentions the necessity of hoarding up a quantity of play-scraps, to be ready for the attacks of the "Arcadian and Euphuised gentlewomen." Ch. vi. p. 27. seq. Edward Hake, in A Touchstone for this time present, speaking of the education of young ladies, says, that the girl is "eyther altogither kept from exercises of good learning, and knowledge of good letters, or else she is so nouseled in amorous bookes, vaine stories, and fonde trifeling fancies," &c. Lond. by Thomas Hacket, 1574, 12mo. Signat. C 4. He adds, afte many severe censures on the impiety of dancing, that "the substaunce which is consumed in twoo yeares space vppon the apparaill of one meane gentlemans daughter, or vppon the daughter or wife of one citizen, woulde bee sufficient to finde a poore student in the vniuersitye by the space of foure or five yeares at the least." Ibid. Signat. D 2. But if girls are bred to learning, he says, "It is for no other ende, but to make them companions of carpet knights, and giglots for amorous louers." Ibid. Signat. C 4. Gabriel Harvey, in his elegy De Aulica, or character of the Maid of Honour, says, among many other requisite accomplish
these bokes. But if the settyng out of the wanton tricks of a payre of louers, as for example let them be cauled sir Chaunticleare and dame Partilote, to tell howe their firste combination of loue began, howe their eyes floted, and howe they anchered, their beames mingled one with the others bewtye. Then, of their perplexed thowghts, their throwes, their fancies, their dryrie driftes, now interrupted now vnperfyted, their loue days, their sugred words, and their sugred ioyes. Afterward, howe enuyous fortune, through this chop or that chaunce, turned their bless to bale, seuerynge two such bewtiful faces and dewtiful hearts. Last, at partynge, to ad-to an oration or twane, interchangeably had betwixt the two wobegone persons, the one thicke powderd with manly passionat pangs, the other watered with womanish teares. Then to shryne them vp to god Cupid, and make martirres of them both, and therwyth an ende of the matter." Afterwards, reverting to the peculiar difficulty of his own attempt, he adds, "Neyther any man which can iudge, can iudge it one and the like laboure to translate Horace, and to make and translate a loue booke, a shril tragedye, or a smoth and platleuyled poesye. Thys can I trulye say of myne owne experyence, that I can soner translate twelve verses out of the Greeke Homer than sixe oute of Horace." Horace's satirical writings, and even his Odes, are undoubtedly more difficult to translate than the narrations of epic poetry, which depend more on things than words: nor is it to be expected, that his satires and epistles should be happily rendered into English at this infancy of style and taste, when his delicate turns could not be expressed, his humour and his urbanity justly relished, and his good sense and observations on life understood. Drant seems to have succeeded best in the exquisite Epistle to Tibullus, which I will therefore give entire.
To Albius Tibullus, a deuisork.
What dost thou all this while abroade,
Or doste thou closelie creeping lurcke
Saltet item, pingatque eadem, DOCTUM
Pangat, nec Musas nesciat illa meas. See his Gratulationes Valdinenses, Lond. Binneman, 1578. 4to. Lib. iv. p. 21. He adds, that she should have in her library,
Chaucer, lord Surrey, and Gascoigne, to-
An inventor, a poet.
He means to express the loose and rough versification of the Sermones.
That's seemlie for an honest man,
Not thou a bodie without breast!
In shape, the gods haue lent thee goodes,
What better thing vnto her childe
Can wish the mother kinde;
To haue fayre fauoure, fame enoughe,
The emptie ebb of wealth?
Twixt hope to haue, and care to kepe,
Thinke it the latter daye.
The hower that cummes unlooked for
Shall cum more welcum
As pubble as may be;
And, when thou wilt, a merie mate,
To laughe and chat with thee'.
Drant undertook this version in the character of a grave divine, and as a teacher of morality. He was educated at saint John's college in Cambridge, where he was graduated in theology, in the year 1569*. The same year he was appointed prebendary of Chichester and of saint Pauls. The following year he was installed archdeacon of Lewes in the cathedral of Chichester. These preferments he probably procured by the interest of Grindall archbishop of York, of whom he was a domestic chaplain. He was a tolerable Latin poet. He translated the ECCLESIASTES into Latin hexameters, which he dedicated to sir Thomas Henneage, a common and a liberal patron of these times, and printed at London in 1572". At the beginning and end of this work, are six smaller pieces in Latin verse. Among these are the first sixteen lines of a paraphrase on the book of JOB. He has two miscellanies of Latin poetry extant, the one entitled SYLVA, dedicated to queen Elim That which is.
Knowledge, wisdom. Sapiente.
P Having a comely person. Or, to speak with elegance.
I have never seen this word, which is perhaps provincial. The sense is obvious.
["It is so," says Ritson, "and the word is still used in the bishopric of Durham with the signification of plump."-PARK.] Signat. C. iiij.
Catal. Grad. Cant. MS.
t MS. Tan.
"For Thomas Daye. In quarto. The title is, "In Solomonis regis Ecclesiastem, seu de Vanitate mundi Concionem, paraphrasis poetica. Lond. per Joan. Dayum 1572." There is an entry to Richard Fielde of the "Ecclesiastes in Englishe verse." Nov. 11, 1596. Registr. Station. C. fol. 15 a. And by Thomas Granger to W. Jones, Apr. 30, 1620. Ibid. fol. 313 b.
zabeth, and the other POEMATA VARIA ET EXTERNA. The last was printed at Paris, from which circumstance we may conclude that he travelled". In the SYLVA, he mentions his new version of David's psalms, I suppose in English verse*. In the same collection, he says he had begun to translate the Iliad, but had gone no further than the fourth booky. He mentions also his version of the Greek EPIGRAMS of Gregory Nazianzen'. But we are at a loss to discover, whether the latter were English or Latin versions. The indefatigably inquisitive bishop Tanner has collected our translator's sermons, six in number, which are more to be valued for their type than their doctrine, and at present are of little more use, than to fill the catalogue of the typographical antiquary. Two of them were preached at saint Mary's hospital. Drant's latest publication is dated in 1572.
I Drant has two Latin poems prefixed to Nevill's Kettus, 1575. 4to. Another, to John Seton's Logic with Peter Carter's annotations, Lond. 1574. 12mo. and to the other editions. [Seton was of saint John's in Cambridge, chaplain to bishop Gardiner for seven years, and highly esteemed by him; made D.D. in 1544. installed prebendary of Winchester, Mar. 19, 1553. rector of Henton in Hampshire, being then forty-two years old, and B.D. See A. Wood, MS. C. 237. He is extolled by Leland for his distinguished excellence both in the classics and philosophy. He published much Latin poetry. See Strype's Eliz. p. 242. Carter was also of St. John's in Cambridge.] Another, with one in English, to John Sadler's English version of Vegetius's Tactics, done at the request of sir Edmund Brudenell, and addressed to the earl of Bedford, Lond. 1572. 4to. He has a Latin epitaph, or elegy, on the death of doctor Cuthbert Scot, designed bishop of Chester, but deposed by queen Elizabeth for popery, who died a fugitive at Louvaine, Lond. 1565. He probably wrote this piece abroad. There is licensed to T. Marsh, in 1565, "An Epigrame of the death of Cuthbert Skotte by Roger Sherlock, and replyed agaynste by Thomas Drant." Registr. Station. A. fol. 134 b. A Latin copy of verses, De seipso, is prefixed to his Horace.
[Drant's reply to Sherlock's Epigram, or rather Shaklocke's Epitaphe upon the death of Cuthbert Skotte, occurs in the British Museum. Two short poems are added by Drant: 1. To the unknowen translator of Shaklockes verses: 2. To Shaklockes Portugale. A copy of Drant's "Præsul et Sylva," in the same Library, has some English dedicatory lines prefixed in manuscript and addressed to queen Elizabeth, whose ears or attention he says he never could attain, though his -"sences all, and sowl and every spritt, Fain of her fame, her praysments wold inditt."
At the commencement of note, Mr. Warton seems to have made a slight mistake. Two Latin poems before Nevill's Kettus are signatured G. A.; but there is one after the dedicatory Epistle by Drant, and another at the close of the work, with the initials T. D., and these are what he in tended probably to assign to the Archdeacon.-PARK.]
* Fol. 56.
y Fol. 75.
Fol. 50. [Printed by Marshe 1567. 4to.-RITSON.]
Codd. Tanner, Oxon. Two are dedicated to Thomas Heneage, three to sir Francis Knollys. Date of the earliest, 1569. of the latest, 1572. In that preached at court 1569, he tells the ladies, he can give them a better cloathing than any to be found in the queen's wardrobe; and mentions the speedy downfal of their "high plumy heads." Signat. K v. Lond. 1570. 12mo. I find the following note by bishop Tanner: "Thomæ Dranta Angli Andvordinghamii Præsul. Dedicat. to Archbishop Grindal. Pr. Ded.-Illuxit ad extremum dies ille."-I presume, that under the word Andvordinghamii is concealed our author's native place. His father's name was Thomas.
b At saint Maries Spittle. In the statutes of many of the ancient colleges at Oxford and Cambridge, it is ordered, that the candidates in divinity shall preach a sermon, not only at Paul's-cross, but at saint Mary's Hospital in Bishopsgatestreet, "ad Hospitale beatæ Mariæ."
[See Stowe, an. 1476. The Mayor of London and his brethren used to hear the sermon at Easter there. This was one of the places to which the Lady Margaret left xxs. for a dirge and mass. See Royal Wills, p. 360. The annual Spittle Sermon is still preached, and was made to attract much public attention by Dr. Parr on a late occasion.-PARK.]
Historical ballads occur about this period with the initials T. D. These may easily be mistaken for Thomas Drant, but they stand for Thomas Deloney, a famous ballad writer of these times*, mentioned by Kemp, one of the original actors in Shakspeare's plays, in his NINE DAIES WONDER. Kemp's miraculous morris-dance, performed in nine days from London to Norwich, had been misrepresented in the popular ballads, and he thus remonstrates against some of their authors: “I haue made a priuie search what priuate jig-monger of your jolly number had been the author of these abhominable ballets written of me. I was told it was the great ballade maker T. D. or Thomas Deloney, chronicler of the memorable Lives of the SIX YEomen of the West, JACK OF NEWBERY, THE GENTLE CRAFT, and such like honest men, omitted by Stowe, Hollinshed, Grafton, Hall, Froysart, and the rest of those well-deseruing writers."
I am informed from some manuscript authorities, that in the year 1571, Drant printed an English translation from Tully, which he called, The chosen eloquent oration of Marcus Tullius Cicero for the poet Archias, selected from his orations, and now first published in English'. I have never seen this version, but I am of opinion that the translator might have made a more happy choice. For in this favourite piece of superficial declamation, the specious orator, when he is led to a formal defence of the value and dignity of poetry, instead of illustrating his subject by insisting on the higher utilities of poetry, its political nature, and its importance to society, enlarges only on the immortality which the art confers, on the poetic faculty being communicated by divine inspiration, on the public honours paid to Homer and Ennius, on the esteem with which poets were regarded by Alexander and Themistocles, on the wonderful phenomenon of an extemporaneous effusion of a great number of verses, and even recurs to the trite and obvious topics of a schoolboy in saying, that poems are a pleasant relief after fatigue of the mind, and that hard rocks and savage beasts have been moved by the power of song. A modern philosopher would have considered such a subject with more penetration, comprehension, and force of reflection. His excuse must be, that he was uttering a popular harangue.
Lond. for J. Wright, 1618. Bl. lett. 4to. Prefixed are the first and second THREE MAN'S SONGS. But there is an old prose history in quarto called the Gentle Craft, which I suppose is the subject of Harrington's Epigram, "Of a Booke called the Gentle Craft." B. iv. 11. "A Booke called the Gentle Crafte intreating of Shoemakers," is entered to Ralph Blore, Oct. 19, 1597. Registr. Station. C. fol. 25 a. See also ibid. fol. 63 a.
Edit. 1600. 4to. Signat. D 2. f MSS. Coxeter.