Page images


Seaven Bookes of the Shades of Homere, Prince

of Poets. Translated according to the Greeke, in Judge

ment of his best Commentaries, by George

Chapman, Gent. &c. London. Printed by John Windet, and are to

be solde at the Sign of the Crosse Keyes, neare Paules Wharfse. 1592.

MY only motive for making mention of this book, so well known to the collectors and readers of old English Poetry, is to observe that the Museum Copy belonged to Ben Jonson, and has

« Sum Ben Jonsonii” in the Title

his autograph, Page


OF the Dramatic performances of this writer, I have before given an account in a former volume. He was also the author of the Poetical Tract hereafter described, as well as of a Collection

[ocr errors]

of Tales or Jests. Both the last are of extraordinary rarity. I know of no other copy of the first, but that which belongs to the Musuem. For the means of describing the second, which I shall do hereafter, I am indebted to Mt. George Nicol, who is always prompt and zealous to forward any undertaking which has the benefit of literature, or the gratification of the curious, in view.

The subject of the tract next described, is so popular in itself, and so patriotic in its tendency, that I have, without scruple, subjoined the whole of the introductory part.

On the back of the Title Page are the arms of

There is also this motto:
Beneath are these lines :

Semper eadem."

Gallia victa dedit flores, invicta leones,

Anglia jus belli in flore leone suum.
Osic, O semper ferat Elizabetha triumphos,

Inelyta Gallorum fore Leone sua.


A farewell,
Entituled to the famous and fortunate
Generals of our English Forces ; Sir Johre
Norris, and Syr Franncis Drake, Knights,
And all theyr brave and resolute followers,


Is annexed
A Tale of Troy

Ad Lectoren

[ocr errors]

Parve nec invidio sire me (liber) ibis ad arma,

Hei mihi quod domino non licet ire tuo. Doone by George Peele, Maister of Artes, in Oxforde.

At London. Printed by J. C. and are to bee solde by William Wright, at his Shop adjoyning to St. Mildreds Church, in the Poultrie.

Anno 1589,

To the most famous Generalles of our English

Forces by Land and Sea, Sir John Norris and Sir Frauncis Drake, Knightes.

Your vertues famed by your fortunes, and fortunes renowned by your vertues (thryce honorable Generalles) together with the admiration the worlde hath worthily conceived of your woorthines; have at thys time encouraged mee, a man not unknowne to many of your brave and forwarde followers, Captaynes and Souldiers, to send my short farewell to our English forces, whereunto I have annexed an olde Poeme of myne owne, The Tale of Troy. A pleasant dyscourse, fitly serving to recreate by the reading, the Chivalrie of England. To whom, as to your ingenious judgements, I dedicate the same : that good mindes enflamed wyth honorable reports of their auncestry, may imitate theyr glory in highest adventures, and my countrymen famed through the worlde for resolution and fortitude, may marche in equipage of honour and armes,


G 3

wyth theyr glorious and renowned predecessours, the Troyaus:

Beseeching Gad mercifully and miracu

lously, as hetherto he hath doone to defend fayre England, that her soul: diours

may in theyr departure bee for. tunate, and in theyr returne tryumphante.




Have doone with care my harts, aborde amaine
With stretching sayles, to plowe the swelling waves.
Bid Englands shoare, and Albions chalkye clyffes
Farewell: bid statelye Troy nouant adiewe
Where pleasant Thames from Isis silver head
Begins her quiet glide, and runnes along,
To that brave bridge the barre that th’warts her course,
Neere neighbour to the auncient stonye Toure,
The glorious hold that Julius Cæsar built:
Change love for armes, gyrt to your bladeş my boyes,
Your rests and muskets tåke, také helme and targe,
And let God Mars his consort make you mirth,
The roring canon and the brazen trumpe,
The angry sounding drum, the whistling fife,
The shrikes of men, the princelye coursers ney.
Now vaile your bommets to your freendes at home,
Bid all the lovelie Brittish dames adiewe,


That under many a standarde well advanc'd,
Have bid the sweete allarmes and braves of love,
Bid theaters and proude trajedians,
Bid Mahomets Poo, and mightie Tamburlaine,
King Charlemaine, Tom Stukely, and the rest
Adiewe; to armes, to armes, to glorious armes,
With noble Norris and victorious Drake,
Under the sanguine Crosse, brave Englands badge,
To propagate religious pietie,
And hewe a passage with your conquering swordes
By lande and, sea : where ever Phoebus eye,
Th' eternall lampe of Heaven lendes us light:
By golden Tagus, or the Western Inde,
Or through the spacious Bay of Portugale,
The welthy ocean maine, the Terrhen sea,
From great Alcides pyllers braunching foorth
Even to the gulfe that leades to loftie Rome;
There to deface the pride of Antechrist,
And pull hys paper walles and popery downe.
A famous enterprise for Englands strength,
To steele your swordes on avarice triple crowne,
And clense Augeus staules in Italie.
To armes, my fellow souldiers, sea and land
Ľie open to the voyage you intende,
And sea or land, bold Brittons, farre or neere,
Whatever course your matchless vertue shapes,
Whether to Europes boundes or Asian plaines
To Affricks shore, or rich America,
Downe to the shades of deepe Avernus craggeş
Sayle on, pursue your honours to your graves ;
Heaven is a sacred covering for your heads,
And every clymat verțues tabernacle,
To armes, to armes, to honourable armes,
Hoyse sayles, waię anckers up, plowe up the seas
G 4


« PreviousContinue »