« PreviousContinue »
lot, there thou liest, that thou were never work, neither to reply against the saying of the matched of earthly knight's hands. And matters touched in this book," though it thou were the courteoust knight that ever bare accord not unto the translation of others which shield. And thou were the truest friend to thy have written it. For divers men have made lover that ever bestrad horse, and thou were 5 divers books, which in all points accord not, as the truest lover of a sinful man that ever loved Dictes,8 Dares, and Homer. For Dictes and woman. And thou were the kindest man that Homer, as Greeks, say and write favourably ever strake with sword. And thou were the for the Greeks, and give to them more worship goodliest person that ever came among the than to the Trojans; and Dares writeth otherpress of knights. And thou was the meckest 10 wise than they do. And also as for the proper man and the gentlest that ever ate in hall names, it is no wonder that they accord not, among ladies.
And thou were the sternest for some one name in these days has divers knight to thy mortal foe that ever put spear equivocations, 10 after the countries that they in the breast. Then there was weeping and dwell in; but all accord in conclusion the general dolour out of measure. Thus they kept Sir 15 destruction of that noble city of Troy, and the Launcelot's corpse on loft fifteen days, and death of so many noble princes, as Kings, then they buried it with great devotion.
Dukes, Earls, Barons, Knights and common people, and the ruin irreparable of that city
that never since was reëdified, 11 which may be William Carton
20 ensample to all men during the world how
dreadful and jeopardous it is to begin a war, 1422-1491
and what harms, losses, and death followeth.
Therefore the Apostle12 saith, “All that is THE NEW INVENTION OF PRINTING
written is written to our doctrine," which (From The Recuyell' of the Histories of Troye, 25 doctrine for the common weal I beseech God Epilogue to Book III, 1475?)
may be taken in such place and time as shall be
most needful in increasing of peace, love, and Thus end I this book, which I have trans- charity; which grant us He that suffered for lated after mine author as nigh as God hath the same to be crucified on the rood tree. And given me cunning, 2 to whom be given the laud 30 say we all Amen, for charity. and praising. And for as much as in the writing of the same, my pen is worn, mine hand weary, and not steadfast, mine eyen3
KING ARTHUR dimmed with overmuch looking on the white
(From Caxton's Prologue to his edition of paper, and my courage not so prone and ready 35
Malory's Morte d'Arthur, 1485) to labour as it hath been, and that age creepeth on me daily and feebleth all the body, and also After that I had accomplished and finished because I have promised to divers gentlemen divers histories, as well of contemplation as of and to my friends to address to them as hastily other historical and worldly acts of great as I might this said book; therefore I have 40 conquerors and princes, and also certain books practised and learned, at my great charge and of ensamples and doctrine, many noble and dispense, 4 to ordainó this said book in print, divers gentlemen of this realm of England after the manner and form as ye may here see; came and demanded me many and ofttimes, and (it) is not written with pen and ink, as wherefore that I have not done made and other books be, to the end that every man may 45 imprinted the noble history of the Sangrael, have them attones. For all the books of this and of the most renowned Christian king, first story, named the recule of the histories of and chief of the three best Christian and Troye, thus imprinted as ye here see, were worthy, King Arthur, which ought most to be begun in one day, and also finished in one day: remembered among us English men tofore all which book I have presented to my said re- 50 other Christian kings. For it is notoriously doubted lady as afore is said. And she hath well accepted it and hath largely rewarded me,
ii. e. take exception to the version "touched," or re
hearsed, herein. wherefore I beseech Almighty God, to reward 8 A Cretan, said to have taken part in the Trojan War
and to have written a history of the contest. her everlasting bliss after this life, praying her
was put forth in the time of Nero, which purported to said Grace, and all them that shall read this 55 be a translation of Dictes' work. book, not to disdain the simple and rude ? A priest, mentioned in the Iliad. He was believed known through the universal world that there of Boccaccio, in his book De Casu Principum, be nine worthy and the best that ever were; part of his noble acts, and also of his fall. that is to wit three Paynims, three Jews, and Also Galfridus in his British book recounteth three Christian men. As for the Paynims his life; and in divers places of England many they were tofore the Incarnation of Christ, 5 remembrances be yet of him and shall remain which were named,—the first, Hector of Troy, perpetually, and also of his knights. First in of whom the history is come both in ballad and the Abbey of Westminster, at Saint Edward's in prose; the second, Alexander the Great; and shrine, remaineth the print of his seal in red the third, Julius Caesar, Emperor of Rome, of wax closed in beryl, in which is written Patriwhom the histories be well-known and had. 10 cius Arthurus, Britanniae, Galliae, Germaniae, And as for the three Jews which also were Daciae, Imperator. Item, in the castle of Dover tofore the Incarnation of our Lord, of whom the ye may see Gawain's skull and Craddock's first was Duke Joshua, which brought the mantle: at Winchester the Round Table: in children of Israel into the land of behest; other places Launcelot's sword and many other the second, David, King of Jerusalem; and the 15 things. Then all these things considered, there third Judas Maccabæus: of these three the can no man reasonably gainsay but here was a Bible rehearseth all their noble histories and king of this land named Arthur. For in all acts. And sith the said Incarnation, have been places, Christian and heathen, he is reputed three noble Christian men stalled and admitted and taken for one of the nine worthy, and the through the universal world into the number 20 first of the three Christian men. And also he is of the nine best and worthy, of whom was more spoken of beyond the sea, more books first the noble Arthur, whose noble acts I made of his noble acts than there be in England, purpose to write in this present book here as well in Dutch, Italian, Spanish, and Greek, following. The second was Charlemagne, or as in French. And yet of record remain in Charles the Great, of whom the history is had 25 witness of him in Wales, in the town of Camelot in many places both in French and English; the great stones and marvellous works of iron, and the third and last was Godfrey of Boulogne, lying under the ground, and royal vaults, which of whose acts and life I made a book unto the divers now living hath seen. Wherefore it is a excellent prince and king of noble memory, marvel why he is no more renowned in his own King Edward the Fourth. The said noble 30 country, save only it accordeth to the word of gentlemen instantly required me to imprint God, which saith that no man is accept for a the history of the said noble king and con- prophet in his own country. Then all these queror, King Arthur, and of his knights, with things aforesaid alleged, I could not well deny the history of the Sangrael, and of the death but that there was such a noble king named and ending of the said Arthur; affirming that 35 Arthur, and reputed one of the nine worthy, I ought rather to imprint his acts and noble and first and chief of the Christian men; and feats, than of Godfrey of Boulogne, or any of many noble volumes be made of him and of his the other eight, considering that he was a man noble knights in French, which I have seen and born within this realm, and king and emperor of read beyond the sea, which be not had in our the same; and that there be in French divers 40 maternal tongue, but in Welsh be many and and many noble volumes of his acts, and also also in French, and some in English, but noof his knights. To whom I answered, that where nigh all. Wherefore, such as have late divers men hold opinion that there was no been drawn out briefly into English I have, such Arthur, and that all such books as be made after the simple cunning that God hath sent to of him be but feigned and fables, by cause that 45 me, under the favour and correction of all some chronicles make of him no mention, nor noble lords and gentlemen, emprised to imremember him nothing, nor of his knights. print a book of the noble histories of the said Whereto they answered, and one in special King Arthur, and of certain of his knights, said, that in him that should say or think that after a copy unto me delivered, which copy Sir there was never such a king called Arthur, 50 Thomas Malory did take out of certain books might well be credited great folly and blind- of French, and reduced it into English. And I, ness; for he said that there were many evidences according to my copy, have done set it in of the contrary; first ye may see his sepulture imprint, to the intent that noble men may see in the Monastery of Glastonbury. And also and learn the noble acts of chivalry, the gentle in “Polychronicon,” in the fifth book, the sixth 55 and virtuous deeds that some knights used in chapter, and in the seventh book, the twenty- those days, by which they came to honour; and third chapter, where his body was buried, and how they that were vicious were punished and after found and translated into the said oft put to shame and rebuke; humbly beseechmonastery. Ye shall see also in the history ing all noble lords and ladies, with all other
to have written a work on the fall of Troy. A book pre 1 Collection; binding, or bringing together. (Fr. Re- tending to be a translation of Darcs' work into Latin, cueil.)
was formerly believed to be genuine. ? knowledge; skill.
10 Meanings. 11 Rebuilt (Lat. re and ædificare). • Prepare; make ready. 6 At the same time; at once. 12 St. Paul, Rom. xv. 4,
estates, of what estate or degree they be of, for to pass the time this book shall be pleasant
IV. WYATT AND SURREY TO THE DEATH OF
WYATT AND SURREY AND THE
And have no more pity,
Sir Thomas Wyatt
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey
DESCRIPTION OF SPRING
THE LOVER'S LIFE COMPARED TO THE
ALPS (From Tottel's Miscellany, 1557) Like unto these unmeasurable mountains
So is my painful life, the burden of ire;
For high be they, and high is my desire;
attire: With small effect great trust in me remains: The boisterous winds oft their high boughs do
blast; Hot sighs in me continually be shed:
Wild beasts in them, fierce love in me is fed; Unmovable am I, and they steadfast.
Of singing birds they have the tune and
note; And I always plaints passing through my
(From Tottel's Miscellany, 1557) The sootėl season that bud and bloom forth
brings, With green hath clad the hill, and eke the
vale. The nightingale with feathers new she sings;
The turtle to her mate hath told her tale. Summer is come, for every spray now springs, 5 The hart hath hung his old head on the
pale; The buck in brake his winter coat he slings;
The fishes fleet with new repairėd scale;
The swift swallów pursueth the flies smale;2
And thus I see among these pleasant things
THE FRAILTY OF BEAUTY
(From Tottel's Miscellany, 1557)
Brittle beauty, that Nature made so frail,
Whereof the gift is small, and short the sea-
Flowering to-day, tomorrow apt to fail;
Tickle treasure, abhorred of reason:
Dangerous to deal with, vain, of no avail;
Costly in keeping, past not worth two pea-
Slipper” in sliding, as is an eel's tail;
Hard to obtain, once gotten, not geason::
Jewel of jeopardy, that peril doth assail;
False and untrue, enticėd oft to treason; 10
Enemy to youth, that most may I bewail;
Ah! bitter sweet, infecting as the poison,
Thou farest as fruit that with the frost is
taken; Say nay! say nay!
To-day ready ripe, tomorrow all to shaken. And wilt thou leave me thus?
1 Sweet. : Small. 3 Mingles. 1 Sorrow.
i Two peas.
2 Slippery. 3 Extraordinary, uncommon.
THE LULLABY OF A LOVER
(From The Posies, 1575) Sing lullaby, as women do, Wherewith they bring their babes to rest, And lullaby can I sing too, As womanly as can the best. With lullaby they still the child, And if I be not much beguiled, Full many wanton babes have I, Which must be stilled with lullaby.
SELECTIONS FROM TRANSLATION OF
(1557) THE DEATH OF LAOCOÖN Us caitiffs then a far more dreadful chance Befel, that troubled our unarmed breasts. While Laocoon, that chosen was by lot Neptunus' priest, did sacrifice a bull Before the holy altar; suddenly From Tenedon, behold! in circles great By the calm seas came floating adders twain, Which plied towards the shore (I loath to tell) With reared breast lift up above the seas; Whose bloody crests aloft the waves were
seen; The hinder part swam hidden in the flood. Their grisly backs were linked manifold. With sound of broken waves they gat the
strand, With glowing eyen, tainted with blood and fire; Whose welt'ring tongues did lick their hissing
mouths. We fled away; our face the blood forsook: But they with gait direct to Lacon ran. And first of all each serpent doth enwrap The bodies small of his two tender sons; Whose wretched limbs they bit, and fed
thereon. Then raught they him, who had his weapon
caught To rescue them; twice winding him about, With folded knots and circled tails, his waist: Their scalėd backs did compass twice his neck, With reared heads aloft and stretched throats. He with his hands strave to unloose the knots, 26 (Whose sacred fillets all-besprinkled were With filth of gory blood, and venom rank) And to the stars such dreadful shout he sent, Like to the sound the roaring bull forth lows, 30 Which from the altar wounded doth astart,
First lullaby my youthful years, It is now time to go to bed, For crooked age and hoary hairs, Have won the haven within my head: With lullaby then youth be stiil, With lullaby content thy will, Since courage quails and comes behind, Go sleep, and so beguile thy mind.
And lullaby my wanton will, Let Reason's rule now reign thy thought, Since all too late I find by skill, How dear I have thy fancies bought. With lullaby now take thine ease, With lullaby thy doubts appease: For trust to this, if thou be still, My body shall obey thy will. . .