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Page Dr John ARBUTHNOT, . .
Prejudices and Opinions, . . The History of John Bull, .
642 From Maxims Concerning Patriotism, . . 659 Usefulness of Mathematical Learning,
646 LORD BOLINGBROKE, ,
HISTORICAL, CRITICAL, AND THEOLOGICAL National Partiality and Prejudice, .
WRITERS. Absurdity of Useless Learning, .
648 Unreasonableness of Complaints of the Shortness of
659 Human Life, . . . .
JOHN STRYPE, Pleasures of a Patriot, .
649 | PORTER AND KENNETT, Wise, Distinguished from Cunning Ministers,
650 RICHARD BENTLEY, . LADY MARY WORTLEY MONTAGU, . .
660 To E. W. Montagu, Esq.--In prospect of Marriage, 651 | Dr FRANCIS ATTERBURY, .
661 To the Same-On Matrimonial Happiness,
651 Usefulness of Church Music, . To Mr Pope-Eastern Manners and Language,
651 DR SAMUEL CLARKE, To Mrs S. C.-Inoculation for the Small-pox, . 652 Natural and Essential Difference of Right and Wrong, To Lady Rich-France in 1718, . .
653 DR WILLIAM Lowth, . . To the Countess of Bute-Consoling her in Afriction, 653 Dr BENJAMIN HOADLY, .
665 To the Same-On Female Education,
653 The Kingdom of Christ not of this World, .
Ironical View of Protestant Infallibility, . . 686
CHARLES LESLIE, . . . .
Anecdote of the Discovery of the Newtonian PhiloEARL OF SHAFTESBURY,
654 sophy, ..
. . 655
670 Bishor BERKELEY, .
656 Happy Devotional Feelings of Doddridge, :.. Verses on the Prospect of Planting Arts and Learning in Vindication of Religious Opinions, America,
657 | DR WILLIAN NICOLSON - DR MATTHEW TINDAL - DR Industry,
HUMPHREY PRIDEAUX, .
CYCLOPÆDIA OF ENGLISH LITERATURE.
FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES TO 1400.
| age presents us with historical chronicles, theologiANGLO-SAXON WRITERS.
cal treatises, religious, political, and narrative poetry,
in great abundance, written both in Latin and in the HE ENGLISH | native tongue. * LANGUAGE is The earliest name in the list of Anglo-Saxon essentially a writers is that of Gildas, generally described as a branch of the missionary of British parentage, living in the first Teutonic, the half of the sixth century, and the author of a Latin language spo-tract on early British history. Owing to the obken by the ecurity of this portion of our annals, it has been the inhabitants of somewhat extraordinary fate of Gildas to be reprecentral Eu- sented, first as flourishing at two periods more than a rope immedi-century distant from each other; then as two differately before ent men of the same name, living at different times ;
the dawn of and finally as no man at all, for his very existence
Jhistory, and is now doubted. Nennius is another name of thuis which constitutes the foun age, which, after being long connected with a small dation of the modern Ger historical work, written, like that of Gildas, in Latin, man, Danish, and Dutch. has latterly been pronounced supposititious. The Introduced by the Anglo- first unquestioned British author of distinction is Saxons in the fifth century, ST COLUMBANUS, a native of Ireland, and a man it gradually spread, with the of vigorous ability, who contributed greatly to people who spoke it, over the advancement of Christianity in various parts of
nearly the whole of England; Western Europe, and died in 615. He wrote reli
is the Celtic, which had been gious treatises and Latin poetry. As yet, no eduthe language of the aboriginal people, shrinking cated writer composed in his vernacular tongue: it before it into Wales, Cornwall, and other remote was generally despised by the literary class, as was parts of the island, as the Indian tongues are now the case at some later periods of our history, and retiring before the advance of the British settlers Latin was held to be the only language fit for reguin North America.*
lar composition. From its first establishment, the Anglo-Saxon The first Anglo-Saxon writer of note, who comtongue experienced little change for five centuries, posed in his own language, and of whom there are the chief accessions which it received being Latin any remains, is CÆDMON, a monk of Whitby, who terms introduced by Christian missionaries. Dur- died about 680. Cædmon was a genius of the class ing this period, literature flourished to a much headed by Burns, a poet of nature's making, sprung greater extent than might be expected, when we from the bosom of the common people, and little consider the generally rude condition of the people. indebted to education. It appears that he at one It was chiefly cultivated by individuals of the reli- time acted in the capacity of a cow-herd. The cirgious orders, a few of whom can easily be discerned, cumstances under which his talents were first dethrough their obscure biograplıy, to have been men veloped, are narrated by Bede with a strong cast of of no mean genius. During the eighth century, | the marvellous; under which it is possible, lowever, books were multiplied immensely by the labours of to trace a basis of natural truth. We are told that these men, and through their efforts learning de he was so much less instructed than most of his scended into the upper classes of lay society. This | equals, that lie had not even learnt any poetry ; so * It is now believed that the British language was not so hide his shame, when the harp was moved towards
that he was frequently obliged to retire, in order to immediately or entirely extinguished by the Saxons as was
| him in the hall, where at supper it was customary generally stated by our bistorians down to the last age. But certainly it is true in the main, that the Saxon succeeded the
for each person to sing in turn. On one of these British language in all parts of England, except Wales, Coru * Biographia Britannica Literaria : Anglo-Saxon Period. By wall, and some other districts of less note.
Thomas Wright, M.A.
occasions, it happened to be Cædmon's turn to keep Then spake he words :
that other that we formerly knew,
which my master bestowed on me, stranger appeared to him, and, saluting him by his though we it, for the All-powerful, name, said, “ Cædmon, sing me something." Cæd
may not possess. mon answered, “I know nothing to sing ; for my We must cede our realm ; incapacity in this respect was the cause of my leav
yet hath he not done rightly, ing the hall to come hither,” “Nay,” said the that he hath struck us down stranger, “but thou hast something to sing.” “What to the fiery abyss must I sing?” said Cædmon. “Sing the Creation," of the hot hell, was the reply, and thereupon Cædmon began to sing bereft us of heaven's kingdom, verses “ which he had never heard before," and hath decreed which are said to have been as follows :
to people it
with mankind. Nu we sceolan herian* Now we shall praise
That is to me of sorrows the greatest, heofon-rices weard, the guardian of heaven,
that Adam, metodes mihte, the might of the creator,
who was wrought of earth, and his mod-ge-thonc, and his counsel,
shall possess wera wuldor fæder ! the glory-father of men !
my strong seat; swa he wundra ge-hwæs, how he of all wonders,
that it shall be to him in delight, ece dryhten, the eternal lord,
and we endure this torment, oord onstealde formed the beginning.
misery in this hell. He ærest ge-scéop He first created
Oh ! had I the power of my hands # # ylda bearnum for the children of men
then with this host I heofon to hrófe, heaven as a roof,
But around me lie halig scyppend ! the holy creator !
iron bonds; tha middan-geard then the world
presseth this cord of chain ; mon-cynnes weard, the guardian of mankind,
I am powerless ! ece dryhten, the eternal lord,
me have so hard æfter teode, produced afterwards,
the clasps of hell firum foldan, the earth for men,
so firmly grasped ! frea ælmihtig! the almighty master!
Here is a vast fire Cædmon then awoke ; and he was not only able to
above and underneath ; repeat the lines which he had made in his sleep, but
never did I see he continued them in a strain of admirable versifica
a loathlier landskip; tion. In the morning, he hastened to the town
the flame abateth not,
hot over hell. reeve, or bailiff, of Whitby, who carried him before the Abbess Hilda ; and there, in the presence of
Me hath the clasping of these rings, some of the learned men of the place, he told his
this hard polished band, story, and they were all of opinion that he had re
impeded in my course, ceived the gift of song from heaven. They then
debarred me from my way, expounded to him in his mother tongue a portion
My feet are bound,
my hands manacled ; of Scripture, which he was required to repeat in
of these hell doors are verse. Cadmon went home with his task, and the
the ways obstructed ; next morning he produced a poem which excelled
so that with aught I cannot in beauty all that they were accustomed to hear.
from these limb-bonds escape. He afterwards yielded to the earnest solicitations of the Abbess Hilda, and became a monk of her house;
About me lie and she ordered him to transfer into verse the whole
of hard iron, of the sacred history. We are told that he was con
forged with heat, tinually occupied in repeating to himself what he
with which me God heard, and,“ like a clean animal, ruminating it, he
hath fastened by the neck. turned it into most sweet verse.''! Cædmon thus
Thus perceive I that he knoweth my mind, composed many poems on the Bible histories, and
and that he knew also, on miscellaneous religious subjects, and some of
the Lord of hosts, these have been preserved. His account of the Fall
that should us through Adam of Man is somewhat like that given in Paradise Lost,
evil befall, and one passage in it might almost be supposed to
about the realm of heaven, have been the foundation of a corresponding one in Milton's sublime epic. It is that in which Satan is
where I had power of my hands.'* described as reviving from the consternation of his The specimen of Cædmon above given in the overthrow. A modern translation into English fol-original language may serve as a general one of lows:
Anglo-Saxon poetry. It will be observed that it is
neither in measured feet, like Latin verse, nor [Satan's Speech.]
rhymed, but that the sole peculiarity which distinBoiled within him
guishes it from prose is what Mr Wright calls a very his thought about his heart;
regular alliteration, so arranged, that in every couplet Hot was without him
there should be two principal words in the line behis dire punishment.
ginning with the same letter, which letter must also
be the initial of the first word on which the stress * In our specimens of the Anglo-Saxon, modern letters are of the voice falls in the second line. substituted for those peculiar characters employed in that lan
A few names of inferior note-Aldhelm, abbot of guage to express th, dh, and u. | Wright.
* Thorpe's edition of Cædmon, 1832.
Malmsbury, Ceolfrid, abbot of Wearmouth, and Felix fram eallum synnum with-innan, dheah dhe hit withof Croyland-bring down the list of Anglo-Saxon from all sins inwardly, though he outwriters to BEDE, usually called the Venerable Bede, utan his hiw ne awende. Eac swylce tha halige who may be allowed to stand at the head of the class. wardly his shape not change. Even 80 the holy He seems to have spent a modest studious life, unche- fant water, dhe is ge-haten lifes wyl-spring, is ge-lic quered by incident of any kind, at the monastery of font water, which is called life's fountain, is like
Wearmouth, where on hiwe odhrum wæterum, & is under dheod bros-
pleted a book, on and our own day. During this time, there were many Chair of Bede.
the very day of his seats of learning in England, many writers, and many death. Almost all the writings of these men were in books; although, in the main, these have now become Latin, which renders it less necessary to speak parti- matter of curiosity to the antiquary only. The literacularly of them in this place. Our subsequent lite- ture may be said to have had a kind of protracted rary history is formed of comparatively obscure existence till the breaking up of the language in the names, until it presents to us the enlightened and latter part of the twelfth century; but it was graced amiable King ALFRED (848-901),* in whom learning by no names of distinction. We are here called upon and authorship graced the royal state, without in- to advert to the historical production usually called terfering with its proper duties. He translated the the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, which consists of a view historical works of Orosius and Bede, and some reli- of early English history, written, it is believed, by a gious and moral treatises, perhaps also Æsop's Fables series of authors, commencing soon after the time of and the Psalms of David, into the Anglo-Saxon tongue, Alfred, and continued till the reign of Henry II. designing thereby to extend their utility among his Altogether, considering the general state of Western people. No original compositions certainly his bave Europe in the middle ages, the literature of our been preserved, excepting the reflections of his own, Anglo-Saxon forefathers may be regarded as a which he takes leave here and there to introduce creditable feature of our national history, and as into his translations. The character of this monarch, something of which we might justly be proud, embracing so much gentleness, along with manly did not allow ourselves to remain in such ignorance vigour and dignity, and displaying pure tastes, cal- of it. culated to be beneficial to others as well as himself, seems as if it would have graced the most civilised
INTRODUCTION OF NORMAN FRENCH. age nearly as much as it did one of the rudest.
The Conquest, by which a Norman government and After Alfred, the next important name is that of nobility were imposed upon Saxon England, led to a ALFRIC, archbishop of Canterbury, who died in 1006. great change in the language. Norman French, one This learned prelate was a voluminous writer, and, of the modifications of Latin which arose in the like Alfred, entertained a strong wish to enlighten the middle ages, was now the language of education, of people ; he wrote much in his native tongue, particu- the law courts, and of the upper classes generally, larly a collection of homilies, a translation of the first while Saxon shared the degradation which the seven books of the Bible, and some religious treatises. people at large experienced under their conquerors. He was also the author of a grammar of the Latin Though depressed, yet, as the speech of the great tongue, which has given him the sub-name of “the body of the people, it could not be extinguished. Grammarian." Alfric himself declares that he wrote Having numbers on its side, it maintained its ground in Anglo-Saxon, and in that avoided the use of all as the substance of the popular language, the Norman obscure words, in order that he might be understood infusing only about one word for every three of the by unlettered people. As he was really successful in more vulgar tongue. But it was destined, in the writing simply, we select a specimen of Anglo-Saxon course of the twelfth century, to undergo great prose from his Paschal homily, adding an interlinear grammatical changes. Its sounds were greatly translation:
altered, syllables were cut short in the pronunciation, Hæthen cild bith ge-fullod, ac hit ne bræt na
and the terminations and inflections of words were (A) heathen child is christened, yet he altereth not
of softened down until they were entirely lost. Dr his hiw with-utan, dheah dhe hit beo with-innan
Johnson expresses his opinion, that the Normans his shape without, though he be within
affected the Anglo-Saxon more in this manner than awend. Hit bith ge-broht synfull dhurh Adames by the introduction of new words. So great was changed. He is brought sinful through Adam's
the change, that the original Anglo-Saxon must forgægedny se to tham fant fate. Ac hit bith athwogen have become, in the hrst half of the thirteenth disobedience to the font-vessel. But he is washed century, more difficult to be understood than the
| diction of Chaucer is to us. The language which * Where double dates are thug given. it will be understood resulted was the commencement of the present Engthat the first is the year of the birth, and the second the year
econd the year lish. Its origin will afterwards be traced more of the death, of the individual mentioned.
torical kind relating to England, and communicated THE NORMAN POETS OF ENGLAND.
them to Geoffrey, by whom they were put into the The first literary productions which call for at form of a regular historical work, and introduced tention after the Conquest, are a class which may for the first time to the learned world, as far as a be considered as in a great measure foreign to the learned world then existed. As little else than a country and its language. Before the invasion of bundle of incredible stories, some of which may be England by William, poetical literature had begun slightly founded on fact, this production is of small to be cultivated in France with considerable marks worth ; but it supplied a ground for Wace's poem, of spirit and taste. The language, which from its and proved an unfailing resource for the writers of origin was named Romane (lingua Romana),* was romantic narrative for the ensuing two centuries ; separated into two great divisions, that of the south, nor even in a later age was its influence exhausted; which is represented popularly by the Provençal, for from it Shakspeare drew the story of Lear, and and that of the north, which was subdivided into Sackville that of Ferrex and Porrex, while Drayton French and Anglo-Norman, the latter dialect being reproduces much of it in his Polyolbion, and it has that chiefly confined to our island. The poets of given occasion to many allusions in the poems of the south were called in their dialect trobadores, or Milton and others.* troubadours, and those of the north were distinguished Maistre Wace also composed a History of the Norby the same title, written in their language trouveres. mans, under the title of the Roman de Rou, that is, In Provence, there arose a series of elegant versifiers, the Romance of Rollo, first Duke of Normandy: who employed their talents in composing romantic and some other works. Henry II., from admiration and complimentary poems, full of warlike and ama- of his writings, bestowed upon him a canonry in the tory sentiment, which many of them made a busi- cathedral of Bayeux. Benoit, a contemporary of ness of reciting before assemblages of the great. Wace, and author of a History of the Dukes of NorNorman poets, writing with more plainness and sim- mandy; and Guernes, an ecclesiastic of Pont St plicity, were celebrated even before those of Pro- | Maxence, in Picardy, who wrote a metrical life of vence; and one, named Taillefer, was the first man | Thomas à Becket, are the other two Norman poets of to break the English ranks at the battle of Hastings. most eminence whose genius or whose writings can From the preference of the Norman kings of Eng- | be connected with the history of English literature, land for the poets of their own country, and the These writers composed most frequently in rhymed general depression of Anglo-Saxon, it results that couplets, each line containing cight syllables. the distinguished literary names of the first two centuries after the Conquest are those of NORMAN
COMMENCEMENT OF THE PRESENT FORM OF ENGLISH. Poets, men who were as frequently natives of Of the century following the Conquest, the only France as of England. Philippe de Thaun, author other compositions that have come down to us as of treatises on popular science in verse; Thorold, the production of individuals living in, or connected who wrote the fine romance of Roland; Samson
* Ellis's Metrical Romances. de Nanteuil, who translated the proverbs of Solo
+ Ellis's Specimens, i., 35-59. A short passage from Wace's mon into French verse; Geoffroi Gaimar, author
description of the ceremonies and sports presumed to have taken of a chronicle of the Anglo-Saxon kings; and David,
place at King Arthur's coronation, will give an icea of the a trou veere of considerable eminence, whose works writings of the Norman poets. It is extracted from Mr Ellis's are lost, were the most noted predecessors of one of work, with his notes:much greater celebrity, named Maistre Wace, a
" Quant li rois leva del mangier, native of Jersey. About 1160, Wace wrote, in his
Alé sunt tuit esbanoier, native French, a narrative poem entitled Le Brut
De la cité es champs issirent; D'Angleterre (Brutus of England). The chief hero
A plusors gieux se despartirent. was an imaginary son of Æneas of Troy, who was
Li uns alerent bohorder, represented as having founded the state of Britain
Et les incau.r3 chevalx monstrer: many centuries before the Christian era. This was
Li autre alerent e cremir, no creation of the fancy of the Norman poet. He
Ou pierres getier, ou saillir. only translated a serious history, written a few years
Tielx i avoit qui dars lancoent,
Et tielx i avoit qui lutoent; before in Latin by a monk named GEOFFREY OF Mon
Chascun del gieu s'entremetoit, MOUTU, in which the affairs of Britain were traced
Qui entremetre se sa voit. with all possible gravity through a series of ima
Cil qui son compaignon vainquoit, ginary kings, beginning with Brutus of Troy, and
Et qui d'aucun gieu pris avoit, ending with Cadwallader, who was said to have
Estoit sempres au roi mené, lived in the year 689 of the Christian era.
Et à tous les autres monstré ; This history is a very remarkable work, on account
Et li rois del sien li donoit, of its origin, and its effects on subsequent literature.
Tant dono cil licz s'en aloit. The Britons, settled in Wales, Cornwall, and Bre
Les dames sor les murs aloent, tagne, were distinguished at this time on account of
Por esgarder ceulx qui joient. the numberless fanciful and fabulous legends which
Qui ami avoit en la place, they possessed--a traditionary kind of literature
Tost li tornost l'oil ou la face. resembling that which has since been found amongst
Trois jorz dura la feiste ainsi;
Quand vint au quart, au merere i, the kindred people of the Scottish Highlands. For
Li rois les bacheliers feu fa5 centuries past, Europe had been supplied with tale
Enors deliverez devisa.s and fable from the teeming fountain of Bretagne, as
Lor servise a celx rendi, it now is with music from Italy, and metaphysics
Qui por terre l'orent servi: from Germany. Walter Calenius, archdean of Ox
Bois dona, et chastelericz, ford, collected some of these of a professedly his
Et evesquiez, et abbaiez.
A ceulx qui d'autres terres estoient, * Any book written in this tongue was cited as the livre
Qui par amor au roi vepoent, Romans (liber Romanus), and most frequently as simply the
Dona coupes, dona destriers, Romans: as a great portion of these were works of fiction, the
Dona de ses avers plus chers. &c." term has since given risc to the word now in general use, I To amuse themselves. 2 To just. 3 Fleet (isne!). 4 Toled). romance.
| 5 Firfli, gave ficfs. Elle gnve them livries of lands.