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The same autbør, in The Shepherd's Calendar, in Feb.
3 cup. To nought more, Thenot, my mind is bent, Than to hear novels of his devise, They been fo well thewed, and so wise, Whatever that good old man bespake.
7 Then. Many meet tales of youth did he make, And some of love, and some of chivalry, But none fitter than this to apply; Now liften a while, and hearken the end. There grew an aged tree on the green (p), &c. 12
Ibid. in June.
The god of Mhepherds, Tityruś, is dead,
(2) Chaucer is meant by Tityrus, and by Colin the poet mcans himlelf.
(P; In tliis eclogue Spenfer seems to imitate Chaucer's style and nuinbers, which are often unequal.
Well couth he waile his woes, and lightly flake
Ibid, in December.
Taat Colin hight, which well could pipe and fing, For he of Tityrus his songs did lere.
The fame, in the poem called Colin Clout's come home agen.
Versiegan's Reflitution of decayed Intelligence, chap. vii. Some few ages after came the poet Geffery Chaucer, who writing his poesies in English is of some called the first illuminator of the English tongue: of their opinion I am not, though I reverence Chaucer as an excellent poet for his time. He was indeed a great mingler of English with French, unto which language (by like for that he was defcended of French or rather Wallop race) he carried a great affe&ion.
Mr. Francis Beaumont's letter to Mr.Spegbt, fresing him
to print his observations upon Chaucer, dated the last of
June 1597, from the edit. of Chaucer 1602. Touching the incivilitie Chaucer is charged withall,what Romane poet hath less offended this way than he? Virgil in his Priapus is worse by a thousand degrees, and Ovid in De Arte Amandi, and Horace in manie places as deep as the rest, but Catullus and Ti, bullus in uncleane wantonefse beyond measure passe them all. Neither iş Plaucus nor Terence free in this behalfe; but these two last are excused above the rest, by their due observation of decorum, in giving to their comicall persons such manner of speeches as did best fit their dispositions. And may not the same be said for Chaucer? how much had he swarved from decorum if he had made his Miller, his Cook, and his Carpenter, tell such honest and good tales as he made his Knight, his Squire, his Lawyer, and his Scholler? But shewing the disposition of the baser fort of men he declareth intheir Prologues and Tales that their chief delight was in undecent speeches of their owne, , and in their falfe defamations of others. No man can imagine, in hisfo large compaffe, purposing to de. feribe all Englifhmen’s humours living in those daies, how it had been possible for him to have left untouched their filthy delights, or in discovering their desires how to have expreft them without some of their words.
And now to compare him with other poets; his Canterbury Tales containe in them almost the same argument that is handled in comedies; his file therein for the most part is lowe and open like unto theirs; but herein they differ; the comedie writers doe all follow and borrowe one from another, as Terence from Plautus and Menander, Plautus from Menander and Demophilus, Statius and Cæcilius from Diphilus, Apollodorus, and Philemon, and almost all the last comedians from that which was called Antiqua comedia. Chaucer's devise of his Canterbury pilgrimage is meerly his owne, his drift is to touch all sorts of men, and to discover all'vicis of that age, and that he doch so feelingly, and with so true an ayme, as he never failes to hit whatsoever marke he levels at.
Sir Henry Sovil in the preface to his edit. nf Bradwardine
de Causa Dei, Lond 1617. DE Galfrido Chaucero illorum fere temporum æquali, poetarum nostroruni principe, acris judicii, non lepidi tantum ingenii, viro, qui de Thoma hoc noftrate non tacuit, nobis nefas sit hic tacere. Is, cum esset philofophicis Theologicisque haud mediocriter imbutus, ac hasce Cantuariensis Archiepiscopi lucubrationes jam tum recens emiffas, ut videtur, per volvisset, pro more suo jocis feria intertexens, in fabella quadam Cantuarienli arduam de Dei præfcientia, rerunique
contingentia quæftionem obiter attingit; ac Auguftino Bradwardinum annumerat, ex iis unum scil. qui in difficili hac controversia exagitanda farinam afque ad furfures (fic enim familiariter eleganterque ille noster) excufferunt, hoceft, veritatem in profundo demersam elicuer unt. Ipsum, fi placet (placet autem antiqua Anglicana etiam ftyli fimplicitas) focco suo indutum in medium deducamus.
But what that God afore wote muft needs bee,
Which he thus renders into Latin.