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of whom told her she might go; but she seemed scarcely to understand what he said. At length Kate Cicely approached them familiarly, and was about to take the arm of her paramour. This roused the. mother. « Hold off, woman !” she exclaimed, pushing her forcibly back. “Hold off ! you have had your will of him." Then rushing forward, still holding her son strongly by the arm, they passed to the door, the crowd making way for them. The father had approached close to the door, and listened anxiously to the tumult within : he heard the noise of footsteps-quick and burried, they came nearerauthey passed out at the door-they met
We can go no farther: it is impossible to describe the meeting. The old man wept like a child---he hung upon bis son's neck for a moment, and then they hurried to a neighbouring lon, in a back room of which they remained until sunset, when all three returned home.
THE CHRISTIAN'S PEACE.
There is a peace of mind
All earthly peace excelling---
And in the pure heart dwelling.
By wild enthusiasts cherish'd ;
When other peace hath perish'd.
Can it such peace bestow ?
The answer would be-' No."
Upon the wide world's tide ;-
The Christian hath a guide.'
In fear and doubt they roam ;
He enters to his home.
In peace he lives--he dies ;'
In peace he hopes to rise.
THE LITERATURE OF ENGLAND.
No. V. John LYDGATE.-About the same time as Chaucer, flourished Lydgate, a monk of the Benedictine Abbey of St. Edmund's Bury, in the reign of Henry VI. He was educated partly at Oxford, and then travelled into foreign countries to acquire the learning of the times. He was the disciple and friend of Chaucer, and was regarded as a prodigy of learning at the period in which he lived. He was considered as a great poet and rhetorician, geometrician, astrologer, and theologian. He opened a school in his monastery for teaching the sons of the nobility the arts of versification and composition. He was an imitator of his master, Chaucer, but is reckoned among those who contributed to the improvement of the English language. We have selected a few stanzas from the prologue to the third book of the “ Fall of Princes,” which will show, upon being compared with the selections from Chaucer, that the language was not then written by caprice, but was in a settled state.
“ Like a pilgrime that goeth on foote,
Stories to write of old antiquite.
Thus was I set, and stood in double werre,
My penne to reste, I durst not procede." In the fifteenth century, the civil wars between the houses of York and Lancaster were destructive of literature. The language, instead of improving, was more neglected than before:—Chaucer had begun to polish it with new and elegant constructions, but it was now seen to relapse into its former rudeness, and no poet or historian of note was born during this tempestuous period. We meet with frequent complaints to parliament that learning was very little esteemed. All the most valuable livings in the church were bestowed on foreigners or illiterate men; while the best scholars in the kingdom were left languishing in indigence and obscurity, nay, were sometimes driven to the necessity of begging their bread from door to door, recommended to charity by the Chapcellor of the University in which they had studied.
In the middle of the fifteenth century, the study of the Scriptures was far from being general, and the most profound ignorance reigned amongst the major part, even of the clergy. Few of them comparatively were acquainted with the latin, though constantly used in the offices of the church, while feasting and debauchery are declared to have been their ordinary occupations*.
During this period, however, the excellent art of printing, which hath contributed so much to dispel that darkness in which the world was involved, and to diffuse the light of every species of knowledge, was invented on the continent, and introduced into this islandt.
." In 1448, Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester, on the presentation of Merton Priory, in Surrey, instituted a Rector to the parish of Sherfield, in Hampshire. The Rector, however, previously took an oath before the Bishop, that on account of his insufficiency in letters, and default of knowledge in the superintendence of souls, he would learn latin for the two following years; and that at the end of the first year, he would submit himself to be examined by the Bishop, concerning his progress in grammar; and that, if, on a second examination, he should be found deficient, he would resign his benefice.Percy Anecdotes of Literuture, p. 14.
+ Laurentius Coster, keeper of the Cathedral, at Haerlem, conceived the first idea of typography, and printed several small books in that city, with wooden types tied together with threads. As this art was likely to become very profitable, Laurentius kept the secret with great care, and wished to transmit it to his family. But this design did not succeed. For about the time of his death, one of his workmen made his escape from Haerlem, carrying with him some of his master's types, and retired to Mentz, where he began to print with wooden types, being encouraged and supplied with money by John Faust, a wealthy citizen. His assistant, John Gutenburg, afterwards invented metal types, and set them in frames ; which was so great an improvement, that the city of Mentz claimed the honor of being the place where printing was invented. The art was carried to perfection by Peter Schoeffer, who invented the mode of casting the types in matrices. Frederick Corsellis began to print in Oxford, in 1468, with wooden types; but William Caxton, a merchant, of London, claims the honor of being the first who introduced into England the art of printing with fusile types, in 1474.
The tradition of the Devil and Dr. Faustus, was derived from the odd circumstance in which the bibles of their first printer, Faust, appeared in the world. When he had
“The invention of paper in the eleventh, and the introduction of printing in the fifteenth century, were as cheering to the lovers of humanity, as the sea birds and sea weeds, signs of approaching land, are to the wearied and despairing navigator who is tracking an unknown and pathless ocean. The fertile and luxuriant crop of modern literature then appeared above the earth-the richness of the soil which had lain fallow for so long a time, during which it had only borne the rank weeds of scholastic subtlety, mingled indeed with the wild but romantic flowers of chivalrous feudality, as well as the greenness and freshness of the productions themselves, all encouraging animating hopes of an abundant harvest*.”
When the art of printing was first discovered, the printers only made use of one side of a page; they had not yet found out the expedient of impressing the other. When their editions were intended to be curious, they omitted to print the first letter of a chapter, for which they left a blank space, that it might be painted or illuminated at the option of the purchaser. Several ancient volumes of these early times have been found, where these letters are wanting, as they neglected to have them printed. Upon the first establishment of the art of printing, it was the glory of the learned to be correctors of the press to the eminent printers; physicians, lawyers, and bishops themselves occupied this department. The printers then added frequently to their names, those of the correctors of the press, and editions were valued according to the abilities of the corrector :
- To let their fame Live registered in our printed books."
SHAKSPEARE. The first book printed in the English tongue, was the Recuyell of the History of Troy, and is dated September 19, 1471, at Cologne; but the Game of Chess is allowed by all the typographical antiquaries to have been the first specimen of the art.
The early printers used to affix at the end of the volumes which they printed, some device or couplet, concerning the work, with the addition of the name of the printer. In the edition of the “ Pragmatic Sanction,” printed by Andrew Bocard, at Paris, in 1507, the following handsome couplet is inserted :
“ Stet liber hic donec fluctus formica marinos
Ebibat; et totum testudo perambulet orbem." discovered this new art, and had printed off a considerable number of copies of the bible, to imitate those which were commonly sold in manuscript, he undertook the sale of them at Paris. It was his interest to conceal this discovery, and to pass off his printed copies as manuscripts. But as he was enabled to sell his bibłes at sixty crowns, while the scribes demanded five hundred, this created universal astonishment; and still more when he produced copies as fast as they were wanted, and even lowered his price: this made a great sensation at Paris. The uniformity of copies increased the wonder. Information was given to the magistrates against him as a magician; his lodgings were searched, and a great number of copies being found, were seized. The red ink which embellished his copies, was said to be his blood ; and it was, therefore, adjudged that he was in league with the Devil; and Faust was, at length, obliged (to save himself from a bonfire) to discover his art to the parliament of Paris.-Vide “ Flowers of Literature," vol. I.
Introduction to the Retrospective Review.
Which may be thus translated :
“ May this volume continue in motion,
And its pages each day be unfurld, 'Till an ant has drank up the ocean,
Or a tortoise has crawi'd round the world*." The morning of that auspicious day which succeeded the long night of ignorance, in which almost all Europe had been involved from the fall of the western empire, had dawned in Italy, and some other parts of the Continent, before it reached Britain. While learning was reviving in some other countries, it was languishing and declining in this island, and the period that immediately preceded the present was here one of the darkest and most illiterate. In every former period some extraordinary men arose, such as the venerable Bede, Alfred the Great, Roger Bacon, and Doctor Wickliffe, who by the force of their genius and application dissipated in some degree the gloom with which they were surrounded, and rendered their names immortal. But, in the fifteenth century, there were none deserving of reputation by their writings.
The succeeding period, however, presents us with a more agreeable prospect. A better taste and greater esteem for literature were introduced. The countenance given to letters by Henry VIII. and his ministers, contributed to render learning fashionable in England.
No province of literature was cultivated with so much care or success by the revivors of learning in this period, as philology, or the accurate knowledge of languages; particularly of the Latin and Greek classics. The neglect into which the works of the pbilosophers, poets, and historians of Greece and Rome had fallen, was one great cause of the decline of learning, and of the bad taste and barbarism, of the middle ages. The patrons of learning, therefore, acted wisely, in beginning its revival by removing one of the great causes of its decline. By acquiring a correct and critical knowledge of the language, style, and manner of the ancients, they obtained two great advantages. They had access to all the stores of wisdom and
* Percy Anecdotes of Literature, p. 13.
We trust the following account of the prices at which some of the earliest specimens of printed works were recently disposed of, at the sale of the library of George Watson Taylor, Esq. may not prove unacceptable to the generality of our readers :
“ The book wbich is sayd or called Cathon, translated by William Caxton, in the Abbey of Westmynster, fine copy, Caxton, 1483, 301. 19s. 6d."
« Chaucer's Troylus and Creside, fine copy, in Russia, from the Towneley Library, wants one leaf, signature p. 1, explicit per Caxton, (without date) 66l."
“ Lyfe of Saint Edwarde Confessour and Kynge of Englande, excessively rare, splendidly bound in morocco, imprinted by Wynkin de Worde, 1533, 18l. 10s."
“ The Hoole Lyf of Jason, with the Conquest of the Flese of Gold, whereof is founded an ordre of Knights, (translated by Caxton,) excessively rare, an extraordinary fine copy, in the original binding, uncut, emprinted by Caxton, 951. 118."
" Kynge Richard Cuer du Lyon, an English Metrical Romance, with wood cuts, imprinted by Wynkin de Worde, 1528, 41l.”
“ Here begynneth the book which the Knyght of the Toure made to the enseygnement and techying of his doughters; translated into our Maternall Englishe Tongue by me, William Caxton, emprynted at Westmynstre, by me, William Caxton, the fyrst yere of Kynge Richarde the Thyrde, 1483, 521. 10s."