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Robert of Gloucester—Specimen.—Various small Poems apparently written during the latter part of the thirteenth Century.—Robert de Brunne— Specimen. - • • - - 97
Change in the Language produced by frequent Translations from the French.-Minstrels.-Sources of Romance.—Adam Davie—Specimens of his Life of Alexander.—Robert Baston. - 124
Richard Rolle, the Hermit of Hampole.—Laurence Minot.—Pierce Ploughman's Vision—Specimens of the Vision.—Pierce the Ploughman's Creed— Specimen. - - - 146
C H A P. VII.
John Gower—Specimens of his Poetry. - 169
John Barbour.—Remarks on the Language of Scotland at this Period.—Sketch of the Bruce.— Extracts from that Poem. - - 228
Andrew of Wyntown—Extracts from his Chronicle of Scotland. —Thomas Hoccleve.—Anonymous English Poetry. - - - - 249
Life of Lydgate—Character of his Writings— Specimen of his Troy Book. - - 276
C H A P. XII.
James I. King of Scotland—Extract from the King's Quair. - - - - 299
Hugh de Campeden.—Thomas Chestre.—Scotish Poets—Clerk of Tranent.—Holland.—Henry the Minstrel—Extracts. – REIGN's of Edw ARD IV. and V.-Harding.—Scogan.-Norton.— Ripley.—Lady Juliana Berners.-Specimen from the Book of Hawking and Hunting.—William of Nassyngton.—Lord Rivers.-Scotish Poets — Robert Henrysoun—Specimens.—Patrick Johnstoun—Specimen.—Mersar-Specimen. 350
William Dunbar—Extracts.-Gawin Douglas— Account of his Works, and Extracts from the Prologues to his Virgil.—Minor Poets of this Reign.—Alexander Barclay.—Stephen Hawes— Specimens. - - - 377
Additional Extract from Robert de Brunne. 417
There is, perhaps, no species of reading so popular as that, which presents a description of manners and customs considerably different from our own; and it is the frequency of such pictures, interspersed in the relations of voyages and travels, that principally recommends them to notice, and explains the avidity with which they are usually received by the public. But, as the pleasure we derive from this source must be proportionate to the degree of interest which we take in the persons described, it WOL. I. B
is probable that a series of the works of our own ancestors, and particularly of their poetry, which, whatever may be its defects, is sure to exhibit the most correct and lively delineation of contemporary manners, would attract very general notice, if it were not considered by the greater number of readers as a hopeless attempt, to search for these sources of amusement and information, amidst the obscurity of a difficult, and almost unintelligible language. To appreciate this difficulty, is one of the objects of the present sketch: it may therefore be proper, for the benefit of the unlearned reader, to preface it by a few general remarks on this part of the subject. It is well known that our English is a compound of the Anglo-Saxon (previously adulterated with a mixture of the Danish), and of the Norman-French: but the proportion in which these elements were combined, at any period of our history, cannot be very easily ascertained. Hickes is of opinion, that no less than nine-tenths of our present English words are of Saxon origin; as a familiar proof of which he observes, that there are in the Lord's Prayer only three words of French or Latin extraction. On the other hand, Mr. Tyrwhitt contends that, about the time of Chaucer, “ though the