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SYR FRANCIS POYNGS.
Of this personage I have been able to obtain tio farther information than that he was the first who translated Cebes into English: he did this, as the advertisement informs us, at the request of his brother, Syr Antony Poyngs.
The volume, if so it may be called, for it is of very diininutive size, was printed by Berthe lette. It is in black letter, and without date.
The following is the title. “ The TABLE OF CEBES THE PHILOSOPHER:
How one maye take profite of his ennemies, translated oute of Plutarche:
A Treatyse perswading a man paciently to suffer the death of his freende."
This last Tract is translated from Erasmus.
The following is the Address from the Printer to the Reader.
“ This Table of Cebes, showing how mortall creatures wander in this worlde, and can not atteyne to very felicitee for that they be mysled by false opinions and wrong weenynges : was translated out of latine into english by Syr Frances Poyngs, at the request of his brother Syr Antony Poyngs, which translacion is woorthy of high commendation. And if any faute be
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therein, I knowe well it is mistakinge, for my copie was somewhat combrouse what for the enterlining and yll writing.”
As this is the first English tranlation of Cebes, and in itself amost curious and rare book, I subjoin the following examble of its style and execution.
“ What is this place called? The habitation of blessed, folke (quoth: he). For bere dwell all vertues and felicitee. It must nceds then be a fayre place, quoth I. Then thou seest at the gate a certeyne woman, the which is verye fayre and of a constant face and behaveour, in hir middel and lusti age, and hauynge bir apparell and garmentes symple. She standeth not upon a rounde stoane, but, on a square surely set and fixed; and with hir there be two other that seeme to be hir daughters? It appereth so. Of these, the mayddlemošte is Learning, the other troutis, the other perswasion. But why standeth this womon upon a square stoane? It is a token, quoth he, that the way that leadeth folk to her is to them bothe firme and sure; and the gifte of those thynges that she geveth is to the receivours .sure and stable. : And what thynges be they that she geveth ? Boldnes and assurednes without feare, quoth he. What be thei? Knowlage, quoth he, to suffer nothing grévously int his lyle. By God, quoth I, these bee goodly gyftes ; But stād.
eth she so without the compasse? To the intent, quoth he, she may heale these the whiche come
thyther and maketh them to drink a pourgacion ; whan they be pourged from thence she bringeth them into the vertues. How is this, quoth I? I understäd it not well yet. But thou shalt understande it, quoth he. In lykewyse as yf a man the whiche is verye sicke, coincth to a Phisicion, the Phisicion doth first by purgation expell all those thinges that caused the sicktes: and so after restoreth the Pacient to his recovery and helth again. If the Pacient do not obey to those thinges the sbiche the Phisicion comaundeth he should, not without a cause he is caste up of the Physicion and undooen by the syckenesse. This I understande (quoth I). Even in the same maner, quoth he, it is whan a man commeth to Learning, she cureth him and maketh him drinke bir vertue, first to purge him and to caste awaye all the evils the whiche he had whan he ca:ne to hire What be those? Ignoraunce and Errour, the whiche he drancke of Deceyte, and pryde also, and arrogance, concupiscence, intemperaunce, furie, covetousnesse, and all other with whiche he was replenished in the first cūpasse. Then when he is pourged, whyther doeth she sende him? In (quoth he) to knowlage, and to other vertues. To what vertues? Dooest thou not see (quoth he) within the gate a companye of women, the whiche seeme to be of good disposition and weli ordred, having their apparell not gaie but symple, nor thei be not so trymme, nor so pickedly atАа 3
tired as the other be. I see theim (quoth I) but what be thei called ? The first (quoth he) is called Knowlage, the other be hyr systers, Strength of minde, Justice, Goodnesse, Temperance, Sobernesse, Liberalitee, Continence and Mekenesse. O these be marvelous goodly, quoth I, in how greate an hope be we nowe.
Yea yf ye
understande, quoth he, and wyll roote in you by practyse those thynges, the whiche you heare. We shall assaie as diligently as we can, quoth I. Than you shall bee safe, quoth he.” At the end of the volume we find
Imprinted at London in Fletestreete in the house late Thomas Berthelettes, Cum privilegio."
There is no date.
The copy to which I have had access, formerly belonged to Mr. Herbert, but is now in the possession of Mr. Douce,
ORIGIN OF PRINTING,
THE book hereafter described is the most diminutive printed book I ever saw. The page is not more than two inches in length and one in breadth. It extends to one hundred and twenty-three pages. Except this, with the use of which I have been favoured by Mr. Douce, I know but of one other copy, which I believe is in the possession of Mr. Edwards, of Pall-mall.
The following is its title.
66 A SHORT ACCOUNT OF THE FIRST RISE AND PROGRESS OF PRINTING.
With a compleat List of the First Books that were printed.
London. Printed for T. Parker, Jun. in Jewin Street." No date.
In Mr. Douce's copy some one has added in manuscript the date of 1763.
The book is full of inaccuracies, but I give a short extract.
« After Mentz and Harlem, it (Printing) seems next of all to have been practised at Oxford: for by the care and at the charge of King Henry yi. and of Thomas Bourchier, then Archbishop of Canterbury and Chancellor of Аа