Page images
PDF
EPUB

Translator did not long survive the publication, having been poisoned at Rome the following year.*

A copy sold at Mr. Evans's auction-room, in 1818, for 41. ] 48, 6d. Biblia Sacra Germanicé, ex recognitione Martini Lutheri. 2

vols. Folio. Vitemb. 1541. The first edition of Luther's translation of the Bible.

At J. Edwards's sale in 1815, Luther's own copy, with Autographs and MS. insertions of Luther, Melancthon, &c. &c. was bought by G. Hibbert, Esq. for 891. 158.

Bible. 4to. Printed by Bill and Barker. John Bunyan's identical Pulpit Bible of this Edition, bound in morocco, and which had been his companion during his 12 years' unjustifiable confinement in Bedford gaol, where he wrofe his Pilgrim's Progress, was purchased at the sale of the library of the Rev. S. Palmer, of Hackney, March, 1814, for the late Samuel Whitbread, Esq. for the sum of 211.

This Bible, and the Book of Martyrs,are said to have constituted the whole library of Bunyan during his 12 years' imprisonment. See his Life, at end of his “ Heavenly Footman," p. 128.

I am indebted to Granger for the following animated account of Bunyan:

“ John Bunyan, a well known Preacher and Writer of Antinomian principles, was son of a tinker in Bedfordshire, where le for some time followed his father's occupation. His conversion, as he informs us himself, began in the early part of his life, while he was at play with his companions ; when he was suddenly surprized with a voice which said to him, “ J'ilt thou leave

* See De Bure Bibliographie, No. 52, apd Beloe, vol. iii. p. 20; also D'Israeli's Curiositics, 2d series, vol. ii. p. 191, &c.

thy sins and go to Heaven, or have thy sins and go to Hell ?" upon which he lifted up his eyes in great amazement towards heaven, whence the voice came, and thought he saw Christ looking down

upon him.* This had a great effect upon his mind : but he

grew far more serious upon a casual conference which he held with four poor women of Bedford, upon the subject of the new birth. From that time he applied himself diligently to reading the Scriptures, and in a few years became a Preacher and Writer of note. He was long confined in the county gaol of Bedford for holding Conventicles : here he spent his time, in preaching, writing books, and tagging laces for his support. After his enlargement, he travelled into many parts of the kingdom, "to visit and comfirm the brethren." These visitations procured him the nick-name of Bishop Bunyan. When he arrived at the sixtieth

year
of his
age,

which was the period of his life, he had written books equal to the number of his years : but as many of these are on similar subjects, they are very much alike. His Master Piece is his “ Pilgrim's Progress," one of the most popular, and I may add, one of the most ingenious books in the English Language.

Bunyan, who has been mentioned amongst the least and lowest of our writers, and even ridiculed as a driveller by those who have never read him, deserves much higher rank than is commonly imagined. His Pilgrim's Progressgives us a clear and distinct idea of Calvinistical Divinity. The allegory is admirably carried on, and the characters justly drawn and uniformly supported."

Biographical History of England, vol. iii p. 347-8 8vo. 1775.

* This is the substance of his own account in his “ Grace Abounding,', which contains the History of his Conversion and many other particules's of his life.

Lesclarcissement de la langue Francayse, compose par Maistre

Jehan Palsgrave, Angloys natyf de Londres, et Gradue de Paris. Thick folio. The Imprynting fynysshed by Johan Haukins, the XVIIIth day of July, the yere of our Lorde God 1530.

In most of my notices I have endeavoured to point out what I conceived to be either curious, valuable, or entertaining, and in pursuance of this plan, I present the above singular and rare production to my reader, as an honorable testimonial of the abilities of a Londoner, and as a singular proof, acknowledged by French Bibliographers, of the first attempt at reducing the French tongue to grammatical rules ; and that effected by an Englishman, and as the title says natyf de Londres.

Our Author, according to that indefatigable Chronicler Anthony Wood, was born in London, and educated in Grammar learning there, studied Logic and Philosophy at Cambridge till he became Ratchelor of Arts; afterwards went to Paris, where also spending several years in Philosophical and other learning, he took the degree of Master of the said Faculty, and became so excellently skilled in the French tongue, that he was thought fit and appointed to be tutor to the Lady Mary, daughter of King Henry VII. and sister to our King Henry VIII. when she was betrothed at the age of 18, from motives of state policy, to the aged and decrepid Monarch Louis XII, of France, who very shortly survived the consummation of this unequal match. On the death of this Monarch, Mary, now become Queen Dowager of France, was privately married to her first lover the Duke of Suffolk, and having made her peace with her Royal Brother for so degrading an act, returned to her na

tive country with her husband, and John Palsgrave, our author, accompanied his Royal Popil. On his return he was appointed Chaplain to Henry VIII. taught the French language to divers of our young nobility, and became well beneficed. In 1531 'he settled in Oxford for a time, and the next year being incorporated Master of Arts, was, in a few days afterwards, admitted to the degree of Bachelor of Divinity, "and esteemed the first Author of our nation, (as honest Anthony says) or of the Frenchmen, that had reduced the French tongue under certain rules, and the first in that kind of exercise that did begin to labour,” as plainly appears by this Esclarsissement, which is a thick folio, black letter, divided into three parts or books, and preceded by a copious Introduction in English.

Dibdin, in his 3d vol. of Ames's Typographical Antiquities, mentions having seen, and examined five copies; and Collations of the Book by Collins and Herbert are given at p. 366 of that? work..

It appears that Henry VIII. granted Palsgrave the exclusive right to the printing and profits of this book for seven years.

I never yet saw,” says Wood, in his Athenæ Oxoniensis, “but one copy of this book, which, being filled with marginal notes (by whom I know not) in a scribbling hand, was bought by the learned Selden, and in his library at Oxon I perused it."

Mr. Beloe, in his Anecdotes of Literature, vol. vi. p. 314, has given an account of this book from two copies in the

possession of the Bishop of Ely and Mr. Douce; and Brunet, in his Manuel du Libraire, has given the collation of a сору,

tom. iii. p. 8, in the Mazarine Library at Paris.

Dibdin says, Palsgrave's book is so scarce as 'to be worth 216. at least.

D

The said John Palsgrave hath also (continues Wood) written several Epistles, and published a Translation of a Bo intituled, Ecphrastes Anglica in Comædiam Acolasti. Or, the Comedy of Acolastus translated into our English Tongue, afier such a manner as Children are taught in the Grammar School; first word by word as the Latin lyeth, and afterwards according to the sense and meaning of the Latin sentences, 8c. 4to. Lond. 1540.

Which scarce Play, at Farmer's sale, sold for 41. 58. 6d. A copy at the sale of Hayley's library brought 221. ls.

An account of this Play, which is a version of the Prodigal Son, written originally in Latin Verse by Guill. Fullonius,* may be found in Reed and Jones's Biographia Dramatica, where also an account of Palsgrave may be met with, but containing nothing more than the account given in Wood's Athenæ, but without any acknowledgment of the source whence derived.

Dibdin, in his edition of Ames, vol. iii. p. 368, describes Palsgrave's translation of “ Acolastus.” It is also mentioned by Percy in his Reliques, vol. i. p. 134 (note p.) 2d edition, 1767.

Porto (L.) Istoria di due Nobili Amanti (Romeo e Giulietta.)

8vo. Venice. No date. Borromeo, 1817, 151.

* See Brunet Manuel du Libraire for an account of the earliest editions of the Latin original.

« PreviousContinue »