Thomas Corser.

Collectanea anglo-poetica : or, A bibliographical and descriptive catalogue of a portion of a collection of early English poetry, with occasional extracts and remarks biographical and critical online

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18 COLLECTANEA ANGLO-POETIC A.

Robert Stapylton, which had been dedicated to him. Next follow " The
Preface," the original dedicatory Epistle by Grotius to Gerard Vosaius,
dated from "Francfort, the Ides of July 1634." An extract from the
InsHiutionea Poeiicce of the latter, some anonymous complimentary
verses, and others by S. Gott, Tho. Berney and D. Whitford in Latin,
the authorities from which' the history of the Tragedy is taken, "The
Translator s Prologue," and a list of the Persons in the Drama. The Tragedy
is formed on the ancient model with a chorus at the end of each act, and is
confined to the history of Joseph as recorded by Moses in the xliv. and xlv.
chapters of Genesis^ Psalm ^ct^ Acts^ chapter vii., and Josephus in the
second book of the Jewish Antiquities, It is called a Tragedy, although it
ends happily and successfully and has no death in it. On the propriety or
otherwise of forming a dramatic poem from Sacred Scripture History, the
opinion of Vossius printed before the play may be sufficient to satisfy our
readers.

The following lines form a portion of the Chorus to the first Act, and
may serve as a specimen of the work :

O thou, who guid'st the starry sphear,
Ordering the Seasonf of the Year ;
The Spring with Eoses thou doBt crown,
In Summers heat corn ripe is grown.
Then Autumne purple grapes brings forth,
Then comes cold Winter from the North.
How stands it with thy proTidence,
That Vice should tread on Innocence ?
A woman who with lust did burn,
Which, when repuls'd, to rage did turn.
His garment, a false eyidenoe,
Keeps in her hand, that she from thence
Her husband might delude, and lay
The crime on him who fled away.
The Judge corrupting with a kisse,
But he to whom chastity is
A treble guard, and rarely known
To Beauty a companion,
Into a cruell dungeon cast
With true adulterers lies fast.
Yet eren there how foul the breach
Of wedlock is, he doth them teach.
The Prisoners wonder in so young
A head, to hear so grave a toung,



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COLLECTANEA ANGLO-POETICA. 19

Whose honest looks and modest eyes,

With reyerent awe did them sorprise.

Among his fellow prisoners he

Is made a Judge : and when they see

What life he leads, and hj it try

Their own, they all do guilty cry,

God neither doth quite hide his way

From us, nor yet it quite display.

His Children he keeps in a state

Not wanton, not too delicate.

As a good Captaine doth enure,

His Souldiers hardship to endure :

So the great Father of us all.

Whom he doth lore, will have to fall

Into affliction, lest the Soul

Through ease, should grow corrupt and foul.

Yet leaTes he not them oomfortlesse,

But in the midst of their distresse

Courage unto his own doth give.

Who with glad hopes in patience live.

At the end of the Tragedy are fifly seven pages of annotations, added
*^ for the satisfaction of the Printer, to increase the bulk, rather then the
price " of the book. These notes are for the most part gleaned from the
works of Vossius and Grotius. This part closes with some lines entitled
'^Somniom Dramaticum Synesii lunioris, Cognomento Chirosophi," and a
leaf of errata. There is then a new title ^ Hugo Grotius his Consolatory
Oration to his Father. Translated out of the Latine Verse and Prose.
With Epitaphs &c. By F. G. London, Printed by W. H. and are to be
sold by lohn Hardesty at the Black^spred-Eagle in Duck-lane."

This part is dedicated '^ To his Honoured Friend and Kinsman, Arthur
Herris, of Lincolnes-Inne Esq.," in a pathetic and consoling Epistle on the
death of a beloved and only daughter. This Consolatory Oration to his
Father by Grotius was written *^ upon the death of his Brother Francis,"
and is interspecsed with poetry. The Epitaphs consist of one on Mrs.
Dudley Harris (the young lady before mentioned), '^on Mrs. Dorothy
Sacheveril," "To S. Gott, on the death of our Children," « On Mrs. Eliza-
beth Tilson," " On Mrs. Bridgman Sandys, of that noble Family of the Vine
in Hampshire," '' On Mrs. Mary Ingram, only child of Sir Thomas Ingram
Knight, by the Lady Mary Ingram daughter of the right Honourable Thomas
Ballassis, Viscount Falconbridge, obiit lune 9, 1651, 8Btat. s. 12," *'0n Mr.



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20 COLLECTANEA ANGLO- POETIC A.

Thomas Walters, late School-master of Christ-Church," " On my own two
sons," and the volume ends with some lines addressed *^To mj worthily
honoured Friend John Kehle Esq."

Francis Goldsmith the translator was the son and heir of Francis Gold-
smith or Gouldsmith of St.<7iles's in the Fields in Middlesex, Esq., and
grandson of Sir Francis Goldsmith, of Crayford' in Kent, Knt. He was
educated at Merchant Taylors School under Dr. Nich. Grey, a celebrated
Latin and Greek scholar, who was afterwards Master of the Charter House,
and Master and Fellow of Eton College, and then removed, first, to Pem-
broke College, Oxford, in 1629 as a Gent. Commoner, and afterwards to
St. John's College in the same university, where he took the degree of B.A.
On leaving Oxford he went to Gray's Inn for the purpose of studying the
law, where he continued for some years, and being a person of good fortune
and attainments, he was able to cultivate his talents in the enjoyment of a
calm and easy retirement here, and on his estate at Ashton, in Northampton-
shire. It does not appear that Goldsmith wrote anything further, excepting
an English version of the Catechism of Hugo Grotius, published after his
death, in 166 S, 8vo. He died August 29, 1655, and was buried in the
church at Ashton. Dr. Bliss in his additions to the Ath. Oxon, is in error
in stating that he was interred in Alderton Church near there, as there is a
marble slab to his memory with an inscription in Ashton Church still
remaining, and also a wooden frame with his arms, gules ; a chevron between
three goldfinches, arg.; on a chief, or ; a lion passant of the first ; impaling
the arms of Scott, with an inscription, erected by his wife, and now fast
falling to decay. See Baker's Hist Nortkamp.^ vol. ii, p. 127; Wood's
Ath, Oxon.j vol. iii, p. 400; Langbaine's Dram. Poets, p. 288; Granger's
Bio^. Hist., vol. iv, p. 40; Jones's Bio^, Dram.; and Bibl. Ang. Poet,
p. 919 ; where a copy is priced at 4/. As.; Heber's sale, pt. iv. No. 924, 7*.;
Skegg's ditto, No. 761, 16*.; Bindley's ditto, pt. ii. No. 877, 1/. 9<.
Collation : Sig. A to K4 in eights.
With both Portraits. In Calf, neat.



GoMBRdALL, (Robert.) — The Levites Revenge : Containing Poeti-
cal Meditations vpon the 19. and 20. Chapters of ludges. By
R. Gomersall.

Imprinted at London in the yeare M.DC.XXVIII. Sm. 8vo,
pp. 98.



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COLLECTANEA ANGLO-POETICA. 21

Preceding the above printed title is a neatly engraved frontispiece by
Cecill, divided into compartments at the sides, representing Isaac blessing
his sons, Rachel weeping for her children, the sacrifice of Isaac, and other
scriptural subjects; and a seventh in the centre, of the burning of Gibeah
in Benjamin, with an inscription below, " The Levites Revenge by Robert
Gomersall. London, printed for lohn Marriott, 1628." Opposite to which,
on a separate leaf, are some lines containing *'The explanation of the
frontispiece." Then a prose dedication " To his worthily respected friend
Master Barten Holiday, Archdeacon of Oxford"; a similar address ^'To the
Reader"; a copy of verses " To my learned and highly esteemed friend Mr.

Robert Gomersall," signed C. L. , J.C, Midd. Temp.; a Latin Epitaph

of six lines, entitled *^ Epitaphium Concubinae," with a translation into
English ; and a Paraphrase of Psalm ix, v. 2, ^' I will be glad and reioyce in
thee, yea my Songs will 1 make of thy name, thou most High." The
Poem of the Levites Revenge then commences, which is a kind of heroic
Poem in three Cantos, each preceded by a short argument in verse. It con-
sists of poetical descriptions and meditations on the historical circumstances
detailed in the nineteenth and twentieth chapters of Judges. It was
written in the early days of its author, while he was yet at college, and
before his taking orders. For in his Address to the Reader, he says ^^ that
these verses were not now first made, although they are now first published,
and the composure was a younger man's, though the edition be a divines.
This I could say, if I thought poetry incompatible with divinity, if it were a
serious truth, that God could bee onely magnified in prose ; but when I
consider that Nazianzen could be both a poet and a saint, and that it was
heresie that cast TertuUian out of the Church, and not his verses, I dare
acknowledge these for mine owne, and feare not to suffer in that cause,
wherein those worthies were so magnify 'd ; especially, since these essays
(which I feare their weaknesse will too strongly testifie) were not my study,
but my recreation, when in the vacations, having for a time intermitted my
more serious affaires, I chose poetry before idlenesse."

The following description of the Levites arrival at the inhospitable city of
Gibeah may serve as a fair example of the author's style.

And now our Leyite is arriuM, but finds

The walls more courteous then the peoples minds :

For these had gates which let him in, but they

Were mercilesse, and rougher then the way :

Man that had onely studied to oppresse,

Whose minds were shut against the harbourlesse :



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22 COLLECTANEA ANGLO-POETICA.

And yet he sees large homes, some bo high
As if thej learn't acquaintance with the sky.
What euer pleas'd their fathers now growes stale,
Their huildings to the hills exalt the yale :
And such thicke palaces the mountaines fill,
As if the quarry grew without the hill.
Some are of that circumference, you'd guesse,
They had beene built for him, who had no lesse
Then the whole world his Family. But when
Our Leuite was inquisitiue, what men
Fill'd yp that princely dwelling ? and if there
Might be found hope of rest for them that were
But two more then the Family ? they tell
That two are the whole Family, 'twas well,
And stately too (as state is at this day)
So might they liue at home, and yet away.

O the great folly of Magnificence !
Houses are little Cities, and from thence
Cities are lesser worlds, that man may haue
Boome enough here that cannot fiU a Graue,
He must haue Halls, and Parlors, and beside
Chambers inuented, but not nam*d by pride :
And all this for one man, as if he sought
To haue a seuerall lodging for each thought,
But none for any stranger ; this truth seeihes
Too certaine to our Leuite, who esteemes
That pris'ners are in better state then he ;
Nay, eu'n the pris'ners of mortality.
Such as are fast inunur'd within the graue.
Who though they want a life, a lodging haue.

The last and saccessful victory of the Israelites over the tribe ef BeDJamin
is thus related.

The night they spend in prayer, but when the mome
Had dimmed the pride of Cynthia^ t deerest home
By higher luster, being caird away
Not by the Cocke, the Trumpetter of day ;
But by an earlier trumpet, then you might
By her Tnwilling, and yet hasting light,
Disceme, and seeing, almost rightly poyse
Whether were more their number, or their noyse.
And ynto which more feare was to be giu'n.
Who fill the Earth with Numbers, with Noyse Heau'n.



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COLLECTANEA ANGLOPOETICA. 28

Benjomdn takes th'alanne, and hauing cbose
One in whose faithfoluesse they might repose
A wary confidence ; they quit- the wall
And to the wider field issue out all,
Lest if they stay'd within, and did oppose
Bampiers and ditchers onely to their foes
They might haye bragg'd, (as if that they had won)
Making a prison of their garrison.

Now boath the Hoasts themseloes so neere doe find,
That it would aske more labour t'haue deelinM
The field, then to have wonne it, yet they stay
Hoping that innocence is in delay,
If they are slowly guilty : now speares flye
Shiuer'd in thousand sitters to the skye ;
And whether it reuenge or fortune were,
Euery peeoe becomes a murtherer.
And from their bodies frees a many soule,
Doing that broken, which they could not whole.

Could Xerxes here haue sate ypon an hill.
To see these warriors, hee would not still
Fondly lament, nor lauish out a teare
Because they could not Hue an hundred yeere,
But melt into lust passion away,
Because they could not liue out all that day.
Now might you haue beheld the fiery horse
Proud of his owne, and of his Masters force,
Bobb*d of his Master, whom you now might see
Running, as if 'twere after Liberty.
Or you*de oonceiue, had you but scene the race
That 'twas no more a battle, but a chase.
No stroke falls idle, nay they are so neere.
They need not strike at all : death is caus'd here
By their bad neighbourhood, the whole and sound
You might haue seene here dead without a wound.
To saue the guilt and labour of the sword.
Bodies to bodies their owne ends to affbrd.

Haying thus related the triumph of the Israelites oyer Beujamin, the
author draws a parallel between this and some of our own conquests in the
wars with France.

The Parallel is easie : was't not thus,
When Heau*n was pleas'd to be as kind to ys ?
We felt the prickles first, but then our Nose
Suckt in the sweeter yertue of the Bose.



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24 COLLECTANEA ANGLO-POETICA.

We had Buccessei as it were chose, and pickt,

And what we fear*d to suffer did inflict.

When Brett and Burrowes (that I speake their due)

Eeuiu'd to Fratiee, Talbot and Montague.

(O too like Montague, that lost thy breath,

By the same fatall Engine of quicke death.)

When the choyce yalour of each rancke, and fyle

Made yp a double Sea within the Isle

Of blood and teares, O giue ts thankes, kind heau*n,

And adde a vertue to our fortune giu'n,

That we may all acknowledge his desert,

Who nobly gain'd a conquest of the heart

Of them, whose bodies he had conquer*d first,

To whom he then discouer^d, what he durst,

And after what his Nature was, when he

In the sad field had spent his cruelty :

For when they offered to redeeme their dead,

Summes which another would haye yanqaished,

He freely yeelds ynto the sutors breath.

And giues the Graue, as easily as the Death.

Whilst they doe giue — O how I blnsh to tell,

A poison'd knife, a poison that will dwell

And eate into their fame till earth be gone.

Till poyson haue no more to worke ypon.

Teach ys our right to him, but then to you

What shall we giue ? and yet what not leaue due ?

Then, O kind Heau'n, for this let mo be pleader,

May we itill sing your prayse, who led our Leader.

The Levites Reyenge closes with a prayer from the author to be kept
from lost, and from all unchaste desires and temptations. At the end are
two sets of yerses, " A Thanksgiuing for a recouery from a burning Feauer,"
and *^ Vpon our vaine flattery of our selues, that the succeeding times will
be better then the former," which is not without merit, and from which the
following passage is a short extract.

Be it loy, or be it Sorrow,
We rcferre all to the morrow :
That we thinke will ease our paine.
That we doe suppose againe
Will increase our loy, and so
Euents, the which we cannot know,
We magnifie, and are (in summe)
Enamor'd of the time to come.



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COLLECTANEA ANGLO-POETICA. 25

Well, the next day oomes, and then,
Another next, and so to ten,
To twenty we arrine, and find
No more before ys then behind
Of solid ioy, and yet hast on
To oiir oonsummation :

Till the balduesse of the Crowne ;
Till that all the face doe frowne ;
Till the Forehead often haue
The remembrance of a Ghraue :
Till the eyes looke in to find
If that they can see the mind.
Till the sharpnesse of the Nose ;
Till that we haue liu'd to pose
Sharper eyes, who cannot know
Whether we are men or no ;
Till the hollow of the Cheeke ;
Till we know not what we seeke ;
^nd at last, of life bereau'd,
Dye mhappy, and deoeiu'd.

The author was the eId«Bt son of an esquire (probably Robert Gomersall,
Esq., a natiye of Deyonshire, who died in 1646, leaving by his Will £1000
to bis son Robert Gomersall), and was bom in London in 1602. He was
entered at Christ Church, Oxford, in 1616, being then only fourteen years
of age, and shortly after was chosen a student on the foundation, and took
his degree of B.A. December 19th, 1618, and of M.A. June 14th, 1621.
In 1628 he went out B.D.-i*and entering into holy orders, became a
celebrated preacher — and in 1634 published a yolume of sermons in 4to,
dedicated to Sir John Strangways of Milbury, in Dorsetshire. Whether he
held any preferment or not is not known. Langbaine says, that he was
minister of Floore in Northamptonshire. This was a vicarage in the patron-
age of Christ Church, Oxford, and was then held by Dr. Leonard Hutton,
Canon of Christ Church, a friend of Bishop Corbet, who married his
daughter. He died in 1632, and was succeeded by Richard Gardiner, B.D.,
another Canon of Christ Church, who died in 1670, so that Gomersall
could not have been the vicar. It is probable that he was the curate there
under Dr. Hutton, as it is certain that he dates some of his poems from that
place. He was afterwards for some time vicar of Thomcombe in Devon-
shire, and signs his name as such to a copy of verses of his prefixed to
Fuller's Holy Warre^ published in 1639, folio. Nothing is known of his

VOL. IV. PART I. K



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26 COLLECTANEA ANGLO-POETIC A.

latter years, but he appears to hare died in 1646. Besides the present
volume, he published the Tragedy of Ludwoico S/orza^ Duke of Milain.
London,. 1628, 8vo. Both this and the Levites Revenge were reprinted
with a few additional Poems in 1633, 8vo. See Wood's Ath, Ozon.y
vol. ii, p. 590; Langbaine's Dram, PoetSy p. 237; Jones's Biog. Dram,,
vol. ], p. 238 ; Collier's Bridgew. Catal.y p. L31 ; Ellis's Specim,, vol. iii,
p. 176, and BibL Ang, Poet,^ p. 306.

A copy sold in the BibL Heber,, pt. iv. No. 902, for 13«.

Collation : Title A 2, Sig. A to F 8 in eights.

The present copy has a good impression of the rare frontispiece, and is
beautifully bound

In Green Morocco, richly gilt, gilt leaves.



GoMERSALL, (RoBERT.) — Pocms. By Robert Gomersall.

London, Printed by M.F.for lohn Harriot. M.DC.XXXIII.
Sm. 8vo, pp. 214.

This volume contains Robert Gomersall's collected poetical works. In ad-
dition to the frontispiece described in the article above, there is another also by
Cecill prefixed to this volume, representing Sforza as a wolf sitting on a throne,
with a ducal crown on his head, which a lion — with a standard covered with
fleur-de-lys, emblematic of the French king — is attempting to wrest from off
his head ; below are several sheep dead, and the wolf in the act of worry-
ing another ; in the distance, a river and the towers of Milan. The first
portion of the volume containing the Poems, extends only to sixteen pages,
preceded by a prose address from ^^ The Bookseller to the Reader," in which
he says " Thus farre the author thought it not unfit to please thee and his
youth : from hence forward, you must expect nothing from him but what
shall relish of a bearded and austere devotion. And this, I trust, will be no
small incitement to thy approbation of the worke since it is the last : All
men we know, delight in Benjamin, One thing I must not forget to ac-
quaint thee with: Some men (that would be wise without booke) have
excepted against a passage in Sforza, concerning Galeazzoes reuealing his
wise counsells to his enemy, as a thing beyond probability or poetry : but
but it shcwes that they are short of History, for let them read almost the
first leafe of Ouiceiardiny or the eighth book of Commines, they shall there



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COLLECTANEA ANGLO-POETICA. 27

find what they carpe at here, and that this fond opennesse was Galeazzos
and not the author's weaknesse ; I would say somewhat of the Levite too,
but it needs not, seeing the authours blasphemy is turned into the calumny
of the ignorant detractor. But I beginne to taike rather like a maker then
ft seller of Bookes : I have nothing now more to adde, but this, loye the
author, and me for bringing you acquainted. Thine lohn Marriot."

The Poems consist of " An Elegy upon the death of M*'** Anne King " ;
A Latin Poem "In obitnm Screnissimi Jacobi"; "To the Deane, from
Flower in Northamptonshire, 1625, now the worthy Bishop of Norwich."
This was Dr. Richard Corbet the poet " To Mr. Holiday the Archdeacon
of Oxon : from flower 1625." " Vpon the death of his worthy friend Mr.
John Deane of New Colledge." " To his Detractors." " A Song for the
Musicke lecture." " An Elegie upon the Noble Marchant, Mr. Fishborne."
*' Vpon a vertuous Magistrate." As a further specimen of Gomersall's verse
we quote the little song for the Musick Lecture, which is light and pleasing.

Strike againe ; 6 no, no more

I implore,
Such another touoh would be

My destiny.
"What bewitching soundes are these

Which so please j
As that we beginne to feare

What we heare :
Sound yet lowder, raise a tone

Which to owne,
The ocBlestiall Quire would be

Suitors t' yee ;
Sound yet lowder that if Fate

Make this date
To my yeares, I yet may dye

Speedily,
And that this Ditty, sweetly strong
May be my Death and Fnn'rall song.

The second portion of the volume commences with the following title,
" The Tragedie of Lodovick Sforza^ Duke of Millan. By Robert Gomersall.
The second edition. Printed at London in the yeare M.DC.XXXIII.

Opposite to this are some lines " The Explanation of the Frontispiece."
Then a dedication in prose " To his most worthie Friend, Mr. Francis Hide,
Proctor of Oxford," followed by " The Argument," " The names of Actors,"
and " The Prologue." At the end of the play is " The Epilogue," and some



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28 COLLECTANEA ANGLO- POETIC A.

lines addressed *' To the Ambitious." The subject of tbis play, as we learn
from the Address to the Reader, is drawn from Guicciardini and P. de
Commines. The scene is laid at Milan. It is doubtful whether it was ever
acted or not. The first edition of it was printed in 1628.

The third portion has another title, <' The Levites Revenge : Containing
Poetical! Meditations vpon the 19. and 20. Chapters of Judges. By Robert
Gomersall. The second edition. Printed at London in the yeare
M.DC.XXXIIL- This has "The explanation of the Frontispiece" and
other introductory matter as described in the first edition, but Taries from
that at yie end in having, in addition to the two sets of verses there men-
tioned, a Latin version of the latter set, headed " In illc^ qui Crastinum
foeliciorem putant Hendecasyllabon," and also eight other leaves of additional
verse containing "An Elegy vpon the untimely yet Heroicall death of
Gustavus Adolphus, the Victorious King of Sweden," &c. This is pre-
ceded by a short prose address "To the Reader" (one page), signed R.
Gomersall. At the end is " The Epitaph in Latin," and an English transla-r
tion, which conclude the volume.

Reed's copy of the present edition, No. 6879, sold for \l. 6#. ; and a
second one. No. 6880, for 1/. U. ; Dr. Bliss's ditto, pt. i. No. 1819, 10#. Sd. ;
Sir Mark M. Sykes's ditto, No. 1387, for 12*.; Nassau's ditto, pt. i. No.
1850, 1/. U, ; Heber's ditto, pt. iv. No. 903, 1/. 1«. ; Bindley's ditto, 1/. 13#.,
and Bibl. Ang. Poet., No. 306, 31. Ss.

Collation : Title A 2, Sig. A to O 4 in eights.

Bound up along with the present copy is Brewer's Lingua of the edition
of 1657.

In the original Calf binding, with both frontispieces.



GosYNHYLL, (Ej)ward.) — Here begynneth the Scole house of
women: wherein euery man may reade a goodly prayse of
the condicyons of women. Anno Domini M.D.L.X.

Colophon. Imprinted at London in Paules Ghurche yearde
at the Sygne of the Swane by John Kyng. 4to, pp. 82.
&Ift«Iett n.d.

The literature of the sixteenth century, both in this country and on the
continent, was distinguished by a long series of controversial publications on



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COLLECTANEA ANGLO-POETICA. 29

the perfections and imperfections of the female character. It is difRcuIt to
assign an origin for this unique literary warfare, or to deny that it had con-
tinued from the days of Boccacio. But certain it is that few tracts were so
popular, few so eagerly purchased, and consequently few now more rare,
than the works which issued from the press on this suhject. The reader
will more fully understand their character if they are described as a class,
and for this reason we here insert notices of two of them by Edward


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Online LibraryThomas CorserCollectanea anglo-poetica : or, A bibliographical and descriptive catalogue of a portion of a collection of early English poetry, with occasional extracts and remarks biographical and critical → online text (page 4 of 20)