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The same may be observed of the Pentameter.
Il noūs faūt ābolir toūtě sūpērstition. The following is an example of the long Asclepiad.
Chārle en France fērā naître le siècle doi:
This of the short Asclepiad.
Õ seigneur que jě sēns dě mål.
As a specimen of the long lambic I subjoin
Celui perira qui se confie en son bien.
Of the Sapphic
O le seul auteur de se monde parfait,
It is not unworthy of observation, that the Sapphic metre is that which seems best to accommodate itself to the form of both languages.
The author of this curious little volume died of the Plague in the year 1562, before he had compleated his twenty-first year. Young as he was, he had written five Tragedies besides other Poems, which were collected and published, together with the works of his Brother, who was named JOHN DE LA TAILLE, who also was a Poet in 1573 or 1574.
It is important to state the time of his death, because it offers a question to those who are well versed in Old English Literature, whether the idea of adopting the ancieút metres, which towards whe end of the sixteenth century prevailed so much with our English Poets, might not be borrowed from this French writer.
IT is now sufficiently well known, that Chaucer borrowed the tale of his Palamon and Arcite from the Theseida of Boccace. It is not so notorious that our old English Poet in indebted to the Filostrato of Boccace for his Troilus.
Filostrato is very scarce, even in Italy; but the edition which enables me to give this account is, probably unique in this country.
The learned Mr. Tyrwhitt was induced first to suspect the obligation of Chaucer to Boccace, from reading the title of Fylostrato at large in Saxii Hist. Lit. Typog, Mediolan. ad an. 1498, but he afterwards met with a printed copy of the work itself in the valuable collection of Mr. Crofts.
I give its title at length.
Che tracta de lo inamoramento de Troylo e Gryseida : et de molte altre infinite ballaglie." At the end is,
Impresso nella inclita cita de Milano per Magistro Uldericho Scinzenzeler nell M.CCCCLXXXXVIII. a di XXVII. di mese de Septembre.”
Quadrio, Vol. vi. P. 473., mentions two later editions of this Poem. " In Venezia per
Joanne Baptista Sessa 1501. 4to.”
The second edition was also printed at Venice in 1528, 4to.
It was reprinted at Paris, by Didot, in 8vo. in 1789.
Of the edition given to the Museum by Mr. Tyrwhitt, no other copy is known to be in England.
Soine authors have affected to doubt whether the Fylostrato was accually written by Boccace. These doubts Quadrio has both considered and answered, and indeed several ancient manuscripts name Boccace as the author without
Boccace; in his Decameron speaks in high terms, both of the Filostrato and the Theseide, but does not avow himself as the author of either.
The lylostrato is written in the Octave stanza, and it seems rather singular, as Mr. Tyrwhitt observes, that Chaucer did not use this stanza. Chaucer, however, was the inventor of the stanza of seven verses, in which he was a long time followed by the Poets who succeeded him. The Alexandrine was afterwards added to this stanza, which Milton also has used in his Juvenile Poems.
For the general substance of the above, I confess myself indebted to Mr. Tyrwhitt's octavo edition of Chaucer, vol. 4. p. 87. Mr. Tyrwhict purchased this most rare book at the sale of Mr. Crofts's Library, 1783.
DR. CHRISTOPHER TYE, Organist to, King Edward vi. is well known in our Cathedrals, as the author of some anthems still in use : but he is very little known as an Author and a Poet. There is extant, however, a very curious little book, in which he appears in both these characters; and it is no less than the Acts of the Apostles, or rather a part of them, turned into verse, and set to Music. The following is the exact title of this singular book.
66 THE ACTES OF THE APOSTLES, TRANSLATED INTO ENGLYSHE METRE, and dedicated to the Kynges moste excellent Maiestye, by Christopher Tye, Doctor in Musyke, and one of the Gentlemen of hys graces moste honourable Chappell, wyth notes to eche Chapter, to synge, and also to play upon the Lute, very necessarye for studentes after theyr studye, to fyle their wyttes, and also for all Christians that cannot synge, to reade the good and Godlye storyes of the lyues of Christ hys Apostles. 1553.” At the end
Imprynted at London by Nycolas Hyll, for Wyllyam Seres. Cum priuilegio ad imprimendum solum.”
Dr. Tye dedicates his book " to the Uertuous and Godlye learned prynce, Edward the vi. by the Grace of God,” &c: and the dedication VOL. II. Bb