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The name of William Caxton will ever be held in grateful remembranco by the world of letters, for he it was who introduced the art of printing into England. He was born in the county of Kent in the year 1413, and at the age of fifteen was put as an apprentice to a merchant of London. In consideration of his integrity and good behavior, bis master bequeathed him a small sum of money as a capital with which to trade. He was soon chosen by the Mercer's Company to be their agent in Holland and Flanders, in which countries he spent about twenty-three years. While there, the new invention of the art of printing2 was everywhere spoken of; and Caxton, at a great

1 "It would, perhaps, be difficult to select even from Chaucer's most finished works a long specimen of descriptive poetry so uniformly elegant as this : indeed some of the verses are so higbly finished, that they would not disfigure the compositions of Dryden, Pope, or Gray,"_Ellis.

2 It is not a little singular that the history of printing, that art which commemorates all other inventions, and which hands down to posterity every important event, is so enveloped in mystery that the ablest minds in Europe have had long and acrimonious disputations respecting the question to what place and to what person the invention is rightfully due. There is not space here to give even An ogtline of these controversies; I can merely give the result. The two cities which claim the discovery are Haarlem or Haerlem, a city of North Holland, and Mentz, in Germany on the Rhine. The dispute, however, as Mr. Timperley properly observes, has turned rather on words than facts, arising from the different definitions of the word PRINTING. If the honor is to be awarded from the discovery of the principle, it is unquestionably due to Lawrence Coster, of Haarlem, who first found out the method of impressing characters on paper, by means of blocks of carved wood, about 1430. If movable types be considered the criterion, as it seems to me they must, the merit of the invention is due to John Guttenburg, of Mentz, who used them about 1440: while Schoeffer, in conjunction with Faust, was the first who founded types of metal.

From all the arguments and opinions, therefore, which have been adduced in this important controversy, the following conclusion may be satisfactorily drawn. TO JOHN GUTTENBURG, of Ventz, is due the appellation of FATHER OP PRINTING; to PETER SCHOEFFER that of FATHER OF LETTER-FOUXDIXG; and to JOHN FAUST that of ENERGETIC PATROX, by whose pecuniary aid thing wonderful discovery was brought rapidly to perfection

expense of time and labor, and with an industry to which all obstacles will ever give way, made himself coinplete master of it, as then known. He first employed himself in translating from French into English, The Recuyelll of the Histories of Troye, which was published at Cologne, 1471, and is the first book erer printed in the English language. The next year Caxton returned to England, and in 1474 put forth The Game of Chess, remarkable as being the first book ever printed in England. It was entitled, The Game and Playe of the Chesse: Translated out of the French, and imprynted by William Caxton. Fynyshed the last day of Marche, the yer of our Lord God, a thousand foure hundred, leziaj.

Caxton was a man who united great modesty and simplicity of character to indefatigable industry. He styled himself “simple William Caxton." He printed, in all, about sixty-four different works, a great number of which he translated as well as printed; and those which he did not translate, he often revised and altered; so that, in point of language, they may be considered as his own. He continued to prepare works for the press to the very close of his life; and though of no brilliancy of talent, he exemplifies, in a remarkable degree, how much good one man may do, of even moderate powers, provided he industriously and faithfully employs all that has been given to him with an eye single to one great object.

Among other works3 printed by Caxton were the Chronicles of England, which contained indeed some true history, but much more of romantic fable. As a specimen of the latter, the following may be given upon the

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ORIGIN OF THE NAME OF ALBION. Before that I will speak of Brute, it shall be shewed how the land of England was first named Albion, and by what enchesons it was so named.

Of the noble land of Syria, there was a royal king and mighty, and a man of great renown, that was called Dioclesian, that will and worthily him governed and ruled thro' his noble chivalry ; so that he conquered all the lands about him ; so that almost all the kings of the world to him were attendant. It befel thus that this Dioclesian spoused a gentle damsel that was wonder fair, that was his uncle's daughter, Labana. And she loved him as reason would; so that he had by her thirty-three daughters ; of the which the eldest was called Albine. And these damsels, when they came unto age, became so fair that it was wonder. Whereof Dioclesian anon let make a summoning, and commanded by his letters, that all the kings that held of him, should come at a certain day, as in his letters were contained, to make a feast royal. At which day, thither they came, and brought with them adui. rals, princes, and dukes, and noble chivalry. The feast was royally arrayed; and there they lived in joy and mirth enough, that

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1 Compilation-selection. 2 Read-"Life of Caxton," published by the Society for the Dirfusion of Useful Knowledge. 8 For a full list of his works, see Ames's "Typographical Antiquit tex, or "Timperley's History of Printing," page 155. 4 This Brute was the grandson of Æneas and the old chronicles derived the descent of the Britons from the Trojans. 5 Chance


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it was wonder to wyte.? And it befel thus, that Dioclesian thought Lo marry his daughters among all those kings that were of that solemnity. And so they spake and did, that Albine, his eldest daughter, and all her sisters, richly were married unto :hirty-three kings, that were lords of great honour and of power, at this solemnity. And when the solemnity was done, every king took his wife, and led them into their own country, and there made them queens.

The story then goes on to relate how these thirty-three wives conspired to kill their husbands, all on the same night, and á anon, as their lords were asleep, they cut all their husbands' throats; and so they slew them all."

When that Dioclesian, their father, heard of this thing, he became furiously wroth against his daughters, and anon would them all have brente. But all the barons and lords of Syria counseled not so for to do such straitness to his own daughters; but only should void the land of them for evermore; so that they never should come again; and so he did.

And Dioclesian, that was their father, anon commanded them to go into a ship, and delivered to them victuals for half a year. And when this was done, all the sisters went into the ship, and sailed forth in the sea, and took all their friends to Apolin, that was their God. And so long they sailed in the sea, till at the last they came and arrived in an isle, that was all wilderness. And when dame Albine was come to that land, and all her sisters, this Albine went first forth out of the ship, and said to her other sis. ters: For as much, (said she,) as I am the eldest sister of all this company, and first this land hath taken; and for as much as my name is Albine, I will that this land be called Albion, after mine own name. And anon, all her sisters granted to her with a good will.

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WILLIAM DUNBAR. 1465—1530.

WILLIAM DONAR is pronounced by Ellis,4 to be “the greatest poet Scot. land has produced.” His writings, however, with scarcely an exception, reinained in the obscurity of manuscript, till the beginning of the last century; hut his fame since then has been continually rising. His chief poems are The THISTLE AND THE Rose, The Dance, and Toe GOLDEN TERGE. The Thistle and the Rose was occasioned by the marriage of James IV. of Scotlard with Margaret Tudor, the eldest daughter of Henry VII. of England, ari event in which the whole future political state of both nations was vitally interested, and which ultimately produced the union of the two crowns and

I Know
2 Burnt.

3 Strictness. 4 "Specimens of the Early English Poeta," vol. 1. p. 87?: but should he not have excepted Burns and Sir Walter Scott ?




lesian thought t were of that ne, his eldest :o thirty-three at this solem ving took his : made them

kingdoms, in the person of James VI. of Scotland, and I. of England, 1603
1625. This poem opens with the following stanzas, remarkable for their do
scriptive and picturesque beauties :

Quhen' Merche wes with variand windis past,
And Appryll had with hir silver shouris
Tane leit2 at Nature, with ane orient blast,
And lusty May, that muddir3 is of flouris,
Had maid the birdis to begyn thair houris,
Amang the tendir odouris reid and quhyt
Quhoist harmony to heir it wes delyt:

es conspired to leir lords were sem all." hing, he bo anon would ds of Syria daughters; o that they nded them If a year. ship, and Dolin, that at the last

s. And șters, this ther sisof all this

h as my ter mine

In bed at morrow sleiping as I lay,
Methocht Aurora, with her cristall ene
In at the window lukits by the day,
And halsito me with visage pale and grene;
On quhois hand a lark sang, fro the splene,
“Awak, luvaris,& out of your slemering,
Se how the lusty morrow dois upspring !"
Methocht fresche May besoir my bed upstude,
In weidio depaynt of mony diverse hew,
Sober, benyng, and full of inansuetude,
In bright atteir of flouris forgithi new,
Hevinly of color, quhyt, reid, brown, and blew,
Balmit in dew, and gilt with Phebus' bemys;

Quhil al the house illumynit of her lemys. 12
Tax Dance of the Seven Deadly Sins through Hell has much merit. On tho
eve of Lent, a day of general confession, the poet, in a dream, sees a display of
heaven and hell. Mahomet, 13 or the devil, commands a dance to be performed
by a select party of fiends, and immediately the Seven Deadly Sins appear.
The following is a description of Erve:

Next in the dance followit Inve,
Fild full of feid 14 and fellony,

Hid malyce and dispyte;
For pryvie laterit 15 that tratour trymlit, 18
Him followit mony freik dissymlit, 17

With feynit wordis quhyte.
And flattereis into mens facis,
And back-byttaris 18 of sundry racis,

To ley 19 that had delyte.
With rownaris20 of fals lesingis :21
Allace! that courtis of noble kingis

Of tham can nevir be quyte !" 22
As a specimen of one of his minor poems take the following, containing
auch wholesome advice -

h a good

poet Scot xception, century; ems are I. The of Scoto England, 3 vitally 'ns and

1 When. Qu has the force of no. 2 Taken leave. Mother. Whose. 6 Looked. Halled.
1 With good will. 8 Lovers. 0 Slumbering. 10 Attire. 11 Forged, made. 12 Brightness,
1 The Christians, in the crusades, were accustomed to hear the Saracens swear by their Prophet
Mahomet, who then became, in Europe, another name for the Devil
14 Enmity. 5 Hatred. 16 Trembled. 17 Dissembling gallant. 18 Backhiters. 19 Lie.

Rounders, whispers. To round in the ear, or simply to round, was to whisper in the ear.

2 Free.

a series

sh Poeta,"

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Be merry, man! and take not sair in mind

The wavering of this wretchit world of sorrow! To God be humble, and to thy friend be kind,

And with thy neighbours gladly lend and borrow: His chance to-night, it may be thine to-morrow.

Be blithe in heart for any aventure;
For oft with wysurel it has been said aforrow,

Without gladnéss availis no treasure.


Make thee good cheer of it that God thee sends,

For worldis wrak3 but welfare, nought avails : Na good is thine, save only but thou spends;

Remenant all thou brookis but with bales. Seek to soláce when sadness thee assails:

In dolour lang thy life may not endure; Wherefore of comfort set up all thy sails:

Without gladnéss availis no treasure.


Follow on pity ;5 flee trouble and debate;

With famous folkis hold thy company; Be charitable, and humble in thine estate,

For worldly honour lastis but a cry; 6 For trouble in earth take no melancholy;

Be rich in patience, gif thou in goods be poor; Who livis merry, he livis mightily:

Without gladnéss availis no treasure.

Though all the werk7 that ever had livand wight

Were only thine, no more thy part does fall
But meat, drink, clais,& and of the laifo a sigbt!

Yet, to the Judge thou shall give 'compt of all. Ane reckoning right comes of ane ragment 10 small,

Be just, and joyous, and do to none injúre, AND TRUTH SHALL MAKE THEE STRONG AS ANY WALL:

Without gladnéss availis no treasure.

I Wisdom. 2 A-fore, before. 8 Merchandise, treasure; that is, world's trash without health. Here we see the original, etymological meaning of the preposition brut to be without

4 Thou canst enjoy all the remainder only with bake, or sorrow. 6 Originally pily and piety are the sano. No longer than a sound. i Possessions. & Clothes. 9 Remainder. 10 One accompt

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