John Payne Collier.

A bibliographical and critical account of the rarest books in the English language, alphabetically arranged, which during the last fifty years have come under the observation of J. Payne Collier, F.S.A online

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Online LibraryJohn Payne CollierA bibliographical and critical account of the rarest books in the English language, alphabetically arranged, which during the last fifty years have come under the observation of J. Payne Collier, F.S.A → online text (page 3 of 30)
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Elizabeth. Flecknoe informs us that his " Love's Kingdom " (first
printed in 1654 under the title of" Love's Dominion " ) was written
and acted at Bersell in 1650. After the Restoration it was
brought upon the public stage in London, but without success,
" for," says the author, " the times were too vicious, and it too

dFarlg ^nglisl) Citn-atwre. 25

%'irtuous for them, who looked on virtue as a reprehension, and
not a divertisement."

Fleming, Abraham. — The Bucolikes of Publius Vir-
gilius Maro, with Alphabetical! annotations upon proper
nams of Gods, Goddesses, men, women, hilles, flouddes,
cities, townes and villages, &c. orderly placed in the
margent. Drawne out into plaine and familiar Eng-
lishe, verse for verse, by Abraham Fleming, Student.
The page following declareth the contentes of the Booke.
Scene and allowed. — Imprinted at London by John
Charlewood for Thomas "Woodcocke dweling in Poules
Churchyarde, at the signe of the blacke Beare. 1575.
4to. B. L. 26 leaves.

In noticing this very rare edition of a rare book, -we are bound
in the first place to correct an error into which we fell upwards
of forty years ago, when (Poet. Decam. I. 109, &c.) we spoke of
Abraham Fleming's translation of Virgil's Bucolics, as if it were,
like his version of the Georgics, in blank verse. We had, at that
date, never seen the first edition of the Bucolics, now in our
hands, and we spoke of the edition of 1589, where both the
Bucolics and the Georgics, are rendered in twelve-syllable blank
verse. The fact is, that Fleming's first experiment, of which we
give the title-page above, .was in rhyme, and Fleming himself
ultimately became so dissatisfied with his blank verse, that, in
1689, he promised, " if occasion served," to revert to his old
system of " round rime.'' However, he never did so ; and what
we have now to do is to give a short account of his rhyming
translation of the Bucolics printed in 1575 ; which, with the ex-
ception perhaps of a mere index to another man's translation,
was Fleming's earliest publication. If his birth have been properly
fixed, " about 1552," in 1575 he was only twenty-three years old,
six years before he became M. A. of Peterhouse. (Cooper's Ath.
Cantab. 11.459.)

" A summary of this booke," in nine divisions, is at the back of

26 I8ibUo0rapl)t£al l^lcconnt of

the title-page, followed by the dedication to " Maister Peter
Osborne, Esquier," and an address to the reader; in both of
which rieming declares his intention to versify the Georgics of
Virgil in the same manner. He opens the Bucolics with these
lines of fourteen-syllables : —

" Thou Tytere, lying at thine ease under the broade beech shade,
A countrey song dost tune right wel in pipe of oate strawe made :
Our countrey borders we doo leave and meddowes sweete forsake.
Our countrey soyle we shnnne, but thou in shade thine ease dost take.
Teaching the wooddes of Amaryll most fayre a sound to make."

This is heavy and clumsy, but it is lightness and grace com-
pared with Fleming's blank verse to which he reduced it in 1589,

" Tityrus, thou liehg under shade of spreading beech,
Boost play a countrie song upon a slender oten pipe.
We do forsake our countrie bounds and medowes sweet [which be].
We doo forsake our native soyle : thou Tityr, slug in shade,
Boost teach the woods to sound so shrill thy love faire Amaryll."

Even this, bad as it is, with its needless, parenthetical exple-
tives, is better than the conclusion of the Eclogues, which we
first insert in the rhyming translation of 1575, following it by the
blank verse of 1589 : —

" That thus your Poet chaunted hath, Muses, 'tys inoughe,
Whiles sytting styll he baskets makes of rushe and bending boughe.
Pierides, you for Gallo' shall these sonnets longer make
For Gair, whose love each houre in me as much inorese doth take
As dooth the alder greene shoote up when spring time dooth awake.
Lets' ryse, the shade Is wont to bring to singers lytle joye
The Juniper shade unpleasaunt is, shades dooe all fruites anoye.
Trudge home, ye gotes, the evening come, trudge, tys no time to joy."

Instead of being improved, the passage became thus uncouth
at the end of fourteen years, —

" [ladies] you Pierides, it shalbe [now] inough
That [I] your poet [Virgill] have these [foresaid sonets] soong,
Whiles he sits still and [also] makes a little mawnd or basket
Of slender twigs [or ozier rods, you] Pierides
These songs you most shall make to Gall, to Gall, the love of whomo
Growes every houre so much in me, as in the spring time fresh

(^arlg (Engllalj Ctttrature. 27

The alnetree greene shoots up it selfe [in tallnesse and in hight.]
But let us rise, the shade is woont to singers to be hurtful!,
The shadow of the juniper is noisome, and to frute
The shadowes also do much harme: you, my little gotes.
Full fed go home ; the evening comes, my little gotes go home."

The last page of the last sheet being left blank by the printer,
Fleming filled it with "A general argument of the whole Booke "
in eight lines, which are an improvement upon the measure else-
where employed, inasmuch as they are only of ten syllables.

With most praiseworthy industry Messrs. Cooper, in their
AthencB Cantabr. II. 460, &o., have given a list of no fewer than
fifty-nine works by Abraham Fleming, including (No. 18) his " Me-
morial, &c. of Mr. Willm. Lambe," who died in 1580 : but we can
add to the article a broadside, " devised by Abraham Fleming,"
upon the same benevolent person, entitled " An Epitaph, or
funerall inscription upon the godlie life and death of the Right
WorshipfuU Maister William Lambe, Esquire, Founder of the
new Conduit in Holborne " ; it was " imprinted at London by
Henrie Denham for Thomas Turner."

Another new point connected with the literary life of Fleming
may also here be stated, namely, that in one of the many marginal
notes to his version of Virgil's " Georgics " in 1589, he mentions
that, " a dozen years ago," he had printed " a historie of Leander
and Hero," " englished " from the Greek of Musaeus. Therefore
there was a translation of the story extant, long before Marlow
took up the subject: he was killed in 1593, and his paraphrase
was not published, as is well known, until five years afterwards.

Fleming, Abkaham. — A Paradoxe, Proving by reason
and example, that Baldnesse is much better than bushie
haire, &c. Written by that excellent Philosopher Sy-
nesius, Bishop of Thebes, or (as some say) Cyren. A
Prettie pamphlet to peruse, and replenished with recre-
ation. Englished by Abraham Fleming. Hereunto is
annexed the pleasant tale of Plemetes the Heremete,

28 Biblxograpljical ;3l£count of

pronounced before the Queenes Majestie. Newly rec-
ognised both in Latine and Englishe by the said A. F.
rj T»;s cro<^tas c^aXaxpa o-r;/A£tov. The badge of wisedome
is baldnesse. — Printed by H. Denham. 1579. 8vo.
B. L. 44 leaves.

This little tract is remarkable for its extreme rarity, and be-
cause it was a translation by a multifarious author in verse and
prose ; at the end also is a piece of plagiarism from another
author of eminence, then recently dead, — George Gascoigne.i
Fleming might have been considered the writer of " the tale of
Hemetes," in English and Latin, had not the original manuscript
been preserved among the Royal MSS. in the British Museum,
(18 A, XL VIII,) where it is called " The Tale of Hemetes, the
Heremyte pronounced before the Queen's Majesty at Wood-
stocke, 1575." Warton, (Hist. Engl. Poetry, 8vo., Vol. IV. p.
229,) who had not seen the Royal MS., actually calls it " Flem-
ing's Tale,'' as if Gascoigne had had nothing to do with it. In the
Royal MS. the English is followed, not merely by the Latin
version (given in the little volume before us), but by others in
Italian and French, Gascoigne claiming to be a linguist and the
author of all four. He died in 1577 ; and it looks as if, two years
afterwards, Fleming had become possessed of a copy, and had
printed the Tale as his own. What, however, he may mean by
the word " recognised," on the title-page, is uncertain, but he
has altered Gascoigne's language in a few places, not generally
for the better. The tract was thus entered at Stationers' Hall

" 22 Septembris, [1579.]
"H. Denham, Lycenoed unto him &o. A paradox
provinge by Reason and example that
Baldnes is much better than bushie heare. — vj4."

At the back of the title-page is " The life of Synesius drawen
out of Suydas his gatherings," at the end of which we read,
" Thus much for the credite of the Author." To it succeeds
" The Episde Apologeticall to the lettered Reader " • it fills eight
widely printed pages, and is subscribed " Thine for thy pleasure

1 See article Geokge Gascoigne.

€arla €nglial) CiUrature. 29

and profite, Abraham Fleming." Here he excuses himself and
his author for taking up so slender a subject ; and here we meet
with an early mention of old John Heywood, as the writer of
" The Spider and the Fly," which had been printed in 1556.

" Luoian and Apuleius wrote of an Asse, Themison in praise of the
herbe Plantains, Homere in commendation of Wine, Ephren in dispraise
of Laughing, Orpheus and Hesiodus of Fumigations or Perfumes, Chry-
sippus of Colewortes, Plianias of Nettles, Messala made of everie several!
letter of the A-B-C a severall booke, Virgil of a Gnat, Ovid of a Nut,
and Erasmus of the praise of follie, and Heywood, yet later, of the Spider
and the Flie."

The body of the small volume commences " Dion with the
golden tongue, wrote a Booke in the praise and commendation
of frisled and shocked haire," as the reason for this defence of
baldness. The subject is discussed with a species of vivacious
learning, and the citation of many authorities in point, including
several brief quotations from Homer, which Fleming renders into
not very clumsy and semi-jocose English, as —

" Th' immortall king God Jupiter
his heavenlie haire did shake.
Which made the starrie firmament
to quiver and to quake."

References are always given in the margin to authorities, and
sometimes with accompanying comments.

The tale of Hemetes, (not " Fable of Hermes," as Warton
erroneously gives it,) the Heremite pronounced before the
" Queene's Majestie," was most likely delivered at Kenilworth, but
we are not told so. To show the sort of changes made by Flem-
ing, we may mention that Gascoigne's " Violence must give place
to vertue," is altered to " yeeld to vertue," and just afterwards
"fellowship,'' of the Royal MS., is altered to companie, and
" infortunes " to misfortunes. It is not worth while to carry this
matter farther ; but the very last word substituted by Fleming,
viz., viaste for Gascoigne's " vayne," is anything but an improve-
ment, — " that whosoever wisheth you best may never wish in
waste." This may have been what Fleming meant by " newly
recognised," on his title-page.

30 Sibliograpljical ;2laotmt of

Flodden Field. — Flodden Field in Nine Fits, being an
exact History of that Famous memorable Battle fought
between English and Scots on Flodden-Hill in the Time
of Henry the Eighth, Anno 1513. Worthy the Perusal
of the English Nobility. — London Printed by P. L. for
H. B. "W. P. and S. H. and are to be sold in Ivy Lane
and Gray's-Inn Gate. 1664. 12mo. 46 haves.

On the first fly-leaf of the copy of this book at Bridgewater
House is a manuscript " Index of the names of the Scotsmen
mentioned in this Book," and on the second the following notes
in the handwriting of Sir Walter Scott and the first Duke of


" Walter Scott,
" This poem was published by Lambe Vicar of Norham in 1774, from
an old MS. and by Joseph Benson Philomath in the same year. This old
copy is probably unique.

" Given to me by Mr. W. Scott,
" Stafford."

On the back of this fly-leaf, and facing the title, is the license
for the printing of the book, dated November 11, 1663.

This work is by no means so rare as Sir Walter Scott thought
it, and several copies are in public and private libraries.

FoEEST OF Fancy. — The Forest of Fancy.^ Wherein
is contained very pretty Apothegmes and pleasaunt his-

1 This title seems to have been chosen in reference to a popular work
published in 1571, 4to, entitled " The Forests or Collection of Histories,"
a translation from the French by Thomas Fortescue, and printed by John
Kyngston. It is a grave and instructive work, and the only piece of
poetry in it is an introductory "Advertismente written by the translatour
to his booke." Here Fortescue states that he had had no time to correct
the press, and entreats indulgence, ending with the following address to

his book : —

" Parewell ! I canne no more :
thy others blessyng have..
Be mindful of his preceptes, and
thine honour looke thou save.

<f arlg QEnglisI) Citcratwrf. 31

tories, both in meeter and prose, Songes, Sonets, Epi-
grams and Epistles, of diverse matter and in diverse
manner. With sundry devises, no lesse pithye then
pleasaunt and profytable.

Keade with regard, peruse each point well,

And then give thy judgement as reason shall move thee,

For eare thou conceive it, twere hard for to tell.

If cause be or no wherefore to reprove me.

Imprinted at London by Thomas Purfoote, dwelling in
Newgate Market, within the new Eents, at the Signe of
the Lucrece. 1579. 4to. B. L. 80 leaves.

There is nothing to guide us to the name of the author of this
volume, but the words " L'acquis Ahonde. Finis H. C." at the
very end of it. The difficulty has been to appropriate the ini-
tials, and it is a difficulty that is likely to continue. There are
only two known authors of about that day to whom they could
belong, — Henry Constable and Henry Chettle, — and some bib-
liographers have contended for the one, and some for the other.
AVe are satisfied that the work in hand was by neither of them.
The style is not in the smallest degree like that of Constable,
and in 1579 Chettle was only apprentice to a printer. Our
notion is that the various pieces were contributed by various
hands, and that H. C. undertook the task of editorship, which
may in part serve to explain the French motto.

" The Forest of Fancy " is unquestionably a very rare and
interesting work ; but we should not have adopted it as the sub-
ject of a separate article, had we not a new and important
fact to communicate regarding it. Nobody has hitherto sus-
pected that there were two editions of it, both in the same

And sith thou never shalte

to hym retourne againe,
Woorke thou hym good, if that thou canste,

for he thee pende with paine."

The " Collection " is divided into four parts, the chief subjects being
given in a "table" at the end. "The Forest of Fancy" seems intended
to be a direct counterpart to this " Forest of History."

32 I3ibliograp[)ical ;3lccount of

year, 1579, yet differing most materially: for instance, one edi-
tion (the only one known to anybody who has written upon it)
contains only fifty-eight leaves, and this is the impression re-
viewed at large in " Restituta," III. 456 ; but the second edition
contains no fewer than eighty leaves, so that much new matter
was inserted to make up the difference. Some of the old mat-
ter was also changed ; yet, if an exact collation be made of the
two, it will be found that for the old matter, that which is com-
mon to both impressions, not only the same types were employed,
but exactly in the same way : even the same errors of the press,
and the same imperfect letters, are sometimes discovered in both.
This may have happened because Parfoot, the printer, kept the
types standing until the first edition of 1579 had been sold off;
and when a new edition was called for, he availed himself of
part of the letter-press that had been set up some months
before. Thus we have two copies of the year 1579, essentially
different in the whole, yet in many respects similar.

This is a curious fact, and, as far as we know and can remem-
ber, not applicable to any other work of that age.

One main difference strikes us in the commencement, namely,
that, after the title-page, and before " the Epistle to the Reader,"
in the second impression of 1579, the editor (or author perhaps)
thought fit to insert three copies of verses, one of them headed
" The Booke speaketh to the Buyer," which is subscribed " Finis
qd. Fancy," and ends with these lines : —

" Put hand in purse for pence
to purchase me withall :
What foole a Forrest would forsake,
that sees the price so small? "

Here, too, we learn that the charge for the volume was only
" a shilling." Next we have five seven-line stanzas, " The Author
to the Reader ; " and in the third place some rhymes by R. W.
" in the Authours behalfe," where he tells a supposed purchaser, —

" Let him that hath this prety booke
for thy delight oompyled heare.
Good Reader, reape his just reward
to reoompence his meere good will."

CEarlg (Englisl) Cttoatuw. 33

These three copies of verses, only in the second edition, are fol-
lowed by the long " Epistle to the Reader," as in " Kestituta."
We may point out another material variation. In the first edi-
tion we have a poem numbered 66, and thus entitled : " T. O.
being enamored of a ritch yong gentlewoman, as well through
the report of her vertues, as for that which he himself had seene
in her, wrighteth unto her in this manner." Now, in the second
edition there is no trace of any such production, and possibly it
was excluded at the instance of T. O., the editor, H. C, having
inserted it without the authority of the writer of the loving

Sometimes the printer seems to have been puzzled to make
the new matter fit in with the old, already in type, and several
lines are therefore repeated at the top of a page, which are, in fact,
upon the preceding page : such is the case with a song begin-
ning " It was so sweete a melody," &c. We need not enter into
this point more at length, nor supply quotations which are to be
met with in both impressions, because in " Kestituta " wiU be
found even a superabundance of specimens. The Italian tales in
prose, near the end of the work, are, with some trifling excep-
tions, the same in both editions.

Four Leates of true Love. — The iiij leves of the
truelove. — [Colophon] Enprented at London in Flete
strete at the Sygne of the Sonne by wynkyn de worde.

As Dibdin, the only authority who mentions this little produc-
tion, (it was unknown to Ames and Herbert,) gives the title, as well
as the colophon, incorrectly, we have inserted them above pre-
cisely as they stand in the original, of which, we believe, no more
than a single copy is in existence. It is introduced by a woodcut
of a man and woman, the latter giving a ring to the former, and
saying, " Holde this a token privye, ywys," while the man an-
swers, " For your sake I shall it take." Dibdin states that " the

VOL. II. 3

34 33tbliograp[)T£al ^ctount of

poem begins in irregular metre," but the metre (of which he fur-
nishes no specimen) is quite regular from beginning to end, and
it opens thus prettily : —

" In a mornynge of may wha medowes ca spryge
Braunohes and blossomes of bryght colours,
As I went by a well on my playenge,
Thorowe a mery orcharde, sayenge myn cures,
Where byrdes full bysely began for to synge.
The bowes to borge on borde to the browes,
I was ware of a may that made mornynge :
She sate and syghed amoge the fayre floures so swete.

She made mournynge ynonghe.

Her wepynge dyd my herte woo :

To a derne I me droughe

Her wyll to knowe."

The whole is of a religious cast, and the " four leaves " are
emblematical of the Father, Son, Holy Ghost, and the Virgin.
Every stanza is in the form of the one we have extracted,
excepting that, to save room, the four last lines are printed as
three, thus : —

" Thus the bryght byrde taught the true maye,
And she blessyd his body, his bone and his blode:
To the fourtbe lefe I rede that we praye
That she wolde our message do with a mylde mode,
And speke for the loue before the last daye
To the thyrde lefe gracyous and good.
The loue of the iiii leves that we wynne maye :
That grace graunt grete god that dyed on the rood.
This I herde in a valaye walkynge
As I wente on my waye. In a mowrnynge of maye.
Whan medowes can sprynge."

The " true maye" mentioned in the first line above is a young
girl to whom a turtle-dove addresses herself, and instructs her in
the various mysteries of the Christian religion. In the seventh
line of the first stanza we have quoted, " piade " is probably a
misprint for maye. " I was ware of a may that maye mornynge "
means " I was aware of a maid that May morning."

QEarlg ^ngltsl) Citeratnre. 35

Feagosa. — The History of the most renowned Fragosa,
King of Aragon. Together with the strange Fortunes,
and Historical! Deeds, performed by his three Sons &c.
Written by W. C. The first Part. — London, Printed
by E. Alsop and Eobert Wood &c. 1663. B. L. 4to.
64 leaves.

It is probable that the W. C. mentioned on the title-page was
the same author who wrote " The Adventures of Lady Egeria,"
printed by K. Waldegrave, at the end of the sixteenth or begin-
ning of the seventeenth century, although no edition of the ro-
mance before us is known until that of 1656, followed by the
present of 1663. Both, doubtless, were reprints of an earlier
copy. The History of Fragosa is without preliminary matter of
any kind, the story commencing immediately after the title-page.
" The second Part " has a fresh title-page, but the signatures are
continued throughout.

Feaunce, Abeaham. — The Lamentations of Amyntas
for the death of Phillis, paraphrastically translated out of
Latine into English Hexameters by Abraham Fraunce.
— London Printed by John Wolfe, for Thomas Newman,
and Thomas Gubbin. Anno Dom. 1587. 4to. 20

This is a version into English hexameters of certain Latin hex-
ameters, a form of composition once much encouraged in our lan-
guage by Sir Philip Sidney, Sir Edward Dyer, Spenser, Harvey,
and others. Fraunce seems to have obtained his education at
Cambridge by the bounty of the Pembroke family, and especially
of Sir Philip Sidney. The above is the first impression of his
earliest English production ; and as we are not aware that it has
ever been criticized, we shall give a few specimens from it.

In the dedication to the Countess of Pembroke, Fraunce com-
plains of his " afflicted mind and crazed bodie," the first probably
alluding to the loss of Phillis, whoever the lady may have been,

36 Biblbgrapljiral I^lccount of

for which he grieves in eleven distinct Lamentations. He apolo-
gizes for his " unusual kind of verse," but maintains that it is not
ill suited to our language. We quote a passage in which he thus
dwells on the loss he had sustained : —

" 0, what a life did I leade, wliat a blessed life did I leade then,
Happy shepheard with a loving lasse, while destiny suffred !
Under a beech many times wee sate most sweetely together,
Under a broade beech tree that sunbeames might not anoy us :
Either in others armes, stil looking either on other,
Both many rimes singing, and verses both many making,
Aad both so many woords with kisses so many mingling.
Sometimes her white neck, as white as milk, was 1 tutohing.
Sometimes her prety paps and breast was I bold to be fingring,
Whilst Phillis smyling and b[l]ushuig hangd by my bosome.
And these oheekes of mine did stroke with her yvory fingers.
These oheekes with yong heare, like soft downe, all to bee smeared."

This is nothing less than a woful attempt to apply our noble
language to a purpose entirely opposed to its genius and con-
struction. No wonder that the lady blushed at the freedoms of
her lover ; and it may seem singular that Fraunce, even in that
day, could inscribe this and similar descriptions to Lady Pem-
broke. Let the reader note also the perversions of emphasis
that must be given to insignificant words, in order to preserve
anything like hexameter measure ;

" These cheeks tdOi young hair, like soft downe, all to bee smeared."

Fraunce is often driven to the necessity of coining words, and
adding syllables, for the sake of his verse. In one place we are
told, —

" Thus did Amyntas speake, and then came feytttUy homeward; "
and in another, —

" When for want of breath Phillis layfeintily gasping."

For eleven days, and as many nights, Amyntas laments the
loss of Phillis, but at length destroys himself; and the poems
(each Lamentation is separately numbered) conclude with five
of perhaps the least ear-ofifending lines of the whole production.

Online LibraryJohn Payne CollierA bibliographical and critical account of the rarest books in the English language, alphabetically arranged, which during the last fifty years have come under the observation of J. Payne Collier, F.S.A → online text (page 3 of 30)