Imagens das páginas

Harl. Miscell.; Cens. Liter., vol. i, pp. 207, 235-238; Campbell's Spec.
Brit. Poets, vol. iii, p. 135; Headley's Beauties of Anc. Eng. Poet., vol. i,
pp. Ix, 6; Jones's Biogr. Dram., vol. ii, p. 543; Collier's Bridgw. House
Cat., p. 220; Lowndes's Bibl. Man., p. 1338; and the Bibl. Ang. Poet.,

p. 491.

N. (T.), i.e., (NUCE THOMAS.)-The Ninth Tragedie of Lucius

Anneus Seneca called Octavia. Translated out of Latine into
English, by T. N. Student in Cambridge. Imprinted at
London by Henry Denhame. 4to. blk. lett. n.d. (1566).

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It appears from the Registers of the Stationers' Company that this volume was printed by Henry Denham in 1566, having been entered to him in that year. But such is the rarity of this first edition of Nuce's translation that its existence was unknown to all our typographical historians, and Mr. Collier, in his Hist. Dram. Poetry, vol. iii, p. 14," apprehended that no copy of so early a date is now known to exist." The title is within a richly ornamented architectural compartment with an elaborate border outside, and is followed by the dedication “To the Right Honorable, the Lorde Robert Dudley, Earle of Lecester, Baron of Dinghby, of the most royall order of the Garter Knight, one of the Queens Maiesties most honourable privie Counsell, Maister of hir Maiesties Horse.” At the end is a woodcut of the Earl's crest, the bear and ragged staff, encircled by the garter and motto. Then a short address “ To the Reader," " The Argument of the Tragedie” in verse, and the names of “The speakers in this Tragedie.” This was the only one of Seneca's plays translated by Nuce, and differs from all the versions of the other tragedies in being partly in heroic couplets, and partly in eight feet lines, rhyming alternately. The story is taken from the Life of Nero, by Suctonius, and from the Annals of Tacitus, book xii, chap. xiv, but from the nearness of the time of the events related, some have expressed a doubt whether this play was really written by Seneca. Nuce has strictly confined himself to his author, and there is less of original matter in this translation than in any of the others. A short quotation will enable the reader to compare the fidelity of this version with the original. It is from the second scene of the third act:

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Octavia. Chorus.
Do not, alas, thus sore lament
But rather yet your mourning stay,
Sith that the citie whole is bent
To celebrate this ioyfull day :
Least your great loue, and fauour both
Which I do count to be most sure
The more cause Nero me to loth,
And eke his bitter wrath procure
And I fall out to be the ground
To you of many mischieues vile.
This same is not the first deepe wound
That I have felt now this good while :
Farre worse than this haue I abode :
But of these troublous cares, this day
Shall make an ende, I trust in God,
Although with death he doe me pay.
No man to see shall mee constraine
His bended browes knit furrowise,
Nor step within the chamber raigne
Of maide drest up in brydall guyse.
Augustus sister I will bee,
And not his wife, as wont I was :
But onely paines remoue from mee,
And feare of death, I will not passe.
Yet canst thou, piteous wretch, once trust,
Thy cruell husbands father law,
Or these fewe things to haue so iust
Whyle mischiefs yet in minde are raw:
Now long reseru'd, untill this day.
And these same marriage rytes be past,
Thou shalt, poore wretch, without delay,
A bloudie offring dye at last.
Why thus with teares disfigured sore
Thy wonted home dost thou beholde ?
Make haste, to shunne this deadly shore
And leaue this slaughtrous Princes folde.

The fourth Act. The fyrst Sceane.

Nutrix. Poppea.
From out of spousall bower, dismaied with feare
Whither go you? what secrets, daughter deare
Unknowen, makes you to looke so drouselye ?

Why spungelike lookes your face with teares from eye
That fell ? of truth, the tyme desired long
And wisshed for by prayers, and vowes among
Hath shined bright. Cæsars wedlock are you :
Your golden grace, whereof he toke the view,
Him prisoner caught, and bid him surely binde
So much the more, how much Seneck his minde
Did seeke to chaunge, and wild from loue to weeld
And Venus chiefe in loue hath made him yeeld.

O in beautie passing all, what beds than downe
More soft, haue borne thy weght : when you with crowne
Didst sit in middes of court, the Senate all
At thy great beautie agast, thou didst appall:
Whilst thou the Goddes with perfume sensedst fyne,
And sacred altars drencht with thankfull wyne,
Thy bed attyrde with veyle of yellowe hiewe
By Cesars syde thou went'st as princesse newe:
When he aloft extolde above the reast,
With hautie courage meryly went the feast.
Like as King Peleus went some tymes to take
Queene Tethis, whom salt sea's fome bredde, his make.
Whose briding chambers, banquet wise ydrest,
The Gods vouchsaaft to hallow with their hest,
Both they that rule in skies, and eke in seas.

But tell, O Ladie, tell, if it you please,
What sodaine chaunce doth shade your beauties light?
What meanes your colour chaunge from red to white ?
What moues those trickling teares, how standes your plighte?

Poppea. With dreames and griesly sights, this last night muche

My minde was troubled sore, but frayd much worse, &c. Little seems to be known of the personal history of this author beyond what Warton has told us, that he was a Fellow of Pembroke Hall, in Cambridge, in 1562, afterwards Rector of Oxburgh, in Norfolk, Beccles, Weston-Market, and Vicar of Gaysley, or Gazeley, in Suffolk, and in 1586 was made a Prebendary of Ely Cathedral. He lived to an advanced age, and died November 8, 1617, at Gazeley, and was buried in the Chancel of that Church, under a stone, from the rhyming inscription on which, recorded in Bentham's Hist. of Ely, p. 251, we learn that he had five sons and seven daughters by his wife Ann, who died before him in 1613. Nuce has two long copies of verses, one in English and the other in Latin, prefixed to the very rare first edition of Studley's Translation of the Agamemnon, printed by Colwell, in 1566. The edition by Marsh, in 1581, is an exact reprint of the present, excepting that the Dedication and Address to the Reader are omitted. Both Lowndes and Watts have avoided all notice of the present edition.

Mr. Heber had a copy which at the dispersion of his library, pt. iv, 2461, sold for 51. 108. We know of no other. For further notices of this work see Warton's Hist. Eng. Poel., vol. iv, p. 207 ; Cens. Liter., vol. i, p 397; Brit. Bibliogr., vol. ii, p. 373; Langbaine's Dram. Poets., p. 395; Jones's Biogr. Dram., vol. i, p. 545; Collier’s Hist. Eng. Dram. Poetry, vol. iii, p. 14; and Extracts from Reg. Stat. Comp., vol. i,

p. 147.

Bound by Charles Lewis.
In Dark Green Morocco. Gilt leaves.

0. (I.) — The Lamentation of Troy for the death of Hector.

Whereunto is annexed an Olde womans Tale in hir solitarie

Omne gerendum leve est.
London Printed by Peter Short for William Mattes. 1594.

The title to this very rare poetical volume, by an unknown author, is in the centre of an elegant compartment, containing the Queen's arms at the top, supported by figures of fame, and the Stationers' arms at the bottom. It is dedicated “To the Right Honorable Sir Peregrine Bartue knight, Lord of Willoughby and Earsby,” &c. This noble knight had greatly distinguished himself, in the year 1586, at the battle of Zutphen in the Low Countries, where the youthful and heroic Sir Philip Sidney received his mortal wound. In the year after he was made commander of the English forces in the United Provinces in the room of the Earl of Leicester, who was recalled by Elizabeth. While in this position he had many opportunities of evincing his warlike valour and military abilities in several actions against the Spaniards. He was high in favour with Elizabeth, and after performing numerous feats of valour and skill, he died in 1601. Bp. Percy, in his Reliques of Anc. Eng. Poet., vol. ii, p. 245, fifth edition, has reprinted a curious ballad, from an old black letter copy, in praise of this nobleman, called “ Brave Lord Willoughbey,” beginning, “The fifteenth day of July," &c., and he is styled in the dedication to this poem “ the onely



Hector of Albion, and, therefore, most worthy to protect Hector." The
dedication, which is signed by the author I. 0., is followed by a metrical
prologue, describing the appearance of the Ghost of Troy to the author in a
dream, of which the ensuing lines form the commencement:

Whilom to him (whom Morpheus God of sleepe
Made slumbring dreames his sences al to keepe,
Lockt in the prison of the darkesome night,
When eares were deafe and eyes could see no light,
When men are made the liuely forme of death,
Saue onely that they softly draw a breath)
Did come a Ghost, a ghost most gastly crying,
Helpe me to death that haue so long beene dying.
With that he wakened, and with feare beholding,
Saw hir lament her armes togither folding,
A pale-wan thing, and yet with wounds fresh bleeding
Soddaine in teares, in teares that were exceeding.
He much afright began to shrinke for fearo,
She bad him feare not, but her story heare,
I am Troys ghost that now appeares to thee,
And well I know that thou hast heard of me.
But now I come not what I was to tell,
For what I was (alas) each one knowes wel.
I come to thee to craue thy gentle ayde,
To further her that hath so long beene staide

From blissefull rest.
The writer, whoever he was, seems to have been a friend and warm
admirer of Spenser, and at the end of the prologue the Ghost of Troy thus
calls upon him to relate the story of her woes :

Yet had she rather Spencer would haue told them
For him she cal'de that he would helpe t’unfold them.
But when she saw he came not at hir call
She kept hir first man that doth shew them all
All that he could: but all can no man shew,

But first she spake as after doth ensew.
In the poem itself, also, there is a further reference in praise of this
eminent and celebrated poet, who was then still living:

O then good Spencer the only Homer liuing,
Deign for to write with thy fame-quickning quill:
And though poore Troy due thanks can not be giuing
The Gods are iust, and they that giue them will.

Write them 0 Spencer in thy muse so trim,
That he in thee and thou maiest liue in bim.


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