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And buried now in their own alhes ly,
Yet shewing by their heapes how great they weare: But in their place doth now a third appeare,
Fayre Venice, flower of the last worlds delight,
But far exceeds in policie of right;
B. vi. c. vii. 1. xxii.
At length into a monastere, did light, Where he him found despoyling all with maine and might.
Those who complain of the outrages committed at the diffolution of monasteries, feldom obferve, that literature suffered an irreparable loss, in the dispersion and destruction of books, which followed that important event. Bale *, a notorious and professed reformer, laments the injuries sustained in this article. Many most valuable pieces both printed and manuscript, were either instantly destroyed, or consigned to the most mean and sordid uses. Wood tells ust,
that two famous libraries were purchased at the price of forty, fhillings, by a common shop-keeper at Oxford, for
In Proem, ad lib. cui tit. Iter Laboriofum, &c. Lond. 1549.. + Hift, et Antig. Un. Oxon. pag. 272. l. 1.
the purpose of waste paper. Some of the books, were sold to merchants who carried them abroad *. The spirit of purging the libraries from what they called popery, prevailed so far, that the reforming visitors of the university of Oxford, in the reign of Edward VI. left only a manuscript of Valerius Maximus t, in the public library . The greatest part of the rest of the books they burned in the market-place, or sold to the lowest artificers 9. Rubrics, mathematical figures, and astronomical demonstrations, were judged to be the genuine characteristics of popish delusion and imposture. For this reason, they took from the library of Merton-college, more than a cart-load of manuferipts ||. The monks at least protected and preserved, if they did not propagate and practise, literature. We are told, that there were no less than a thoufand and seven hundred manuscripts in the abbey of Peterborough ($).
B. ii. c. X. f. lxvii.
So now entombed lies at Stonehenge by the heath.
* Hitt, et Antiq. Un. Oxon. pag. 272. 1. i. + I wonder their consciences permitted it to remain, as its initials and margins are finely illuminated and ornamented. It is on vellom, in folio. | Wood, ut fup. lib. 2. pag. 50.
§ Ibid. | Wood, ut sup. 1. 271. (3) Gunton's Peterborough, pag. 173. Scc Tanner's Notit, Monaft. fol. præf. pag. 416
This is Aurelius, who was poisoned by a faxon. “ King Edgar, ... and king Athelftane, ... are said “ by approved authors, to be buried in some of the “ Wiltshire hills. ... They buried their princes, and
peers, and nobles, in hills; making fame monu“ ments of earth, or stones heaped up*.”... Constans is supposed to be buried in the mountains of north
B. v. c. iii. s. iii.
To tell the glory of the feast that day,
At Florimel's wedding. By devisefull fights, Spenser means, fights full of devices, that is, masques, triumphs, and other spectacles, usually exhibited in his time, with great cost and splendor, at the nuptials of noble personages. Hence Milton, in L'Allegro, selects that species of " masque and antique pa“ geantry," which was celebrated at weddings. On these occasions there was constantly an epithalamium; which is the reason that the author of the Arte of English Poesie, separately considers the epithalamium as a species of poetry, and accordingly delivers rules for its composition.
* History of Allchefter, ut fupr. pag. 690.
Ibid. 703. VOL. II.
B. vii. c. vi. 1. lv.
Speaking of Diana's departure from Ireland.
Parting from the place
In Colin Clouts come home again, where he is praising England, he does it by an enumeration of some of the miseries of Ireland.
No wayling there, nor wretchednefse is heard,
Nor outlawes fell affray the forrest ranger. Spenser, speaking of the massacres committed upon the people of Munfter, in Ireland, after the rebellion, paints in the strongest colours, though in prose. « Out of every corner of the woodes and glennes they 66 came creeping forth upon their handes, for their
legges “ legges could not bear them : they looked like ana“ tomies of death; they spake like ghostes crying out “ of their graves; they eat the dead carrions, happy “ were they could they find them, yea, and one “ another soon after; insomuch, as the very carcases “ they spared not to scrape out of their graves. And “ if they found a plot of water-cresses, or fham“ rockes, there they flocked, as to a feast, for the time;
yet not able long to continue there withall, &c*.” Spenser himself died in Ireland, in the most wretched condition, amid the desolations of this rebellion ; as
I appears from the following curious anecdote in Drummond, who has left us the heads of a conversation between himself and B. Jonson. .....“ Ben Jonson “ told me that Spenser's goods were robbed by the “ irish in Desmond's rebellion ; his house, and a lit“ tle child of his burnt, and he and his wife nearly 6 escaped ; that he afterwards died in king-street,
[Dublin) by absolute want of bread; and that he “ refused twenty pieces sent him by the earl of Essex, “ and gave this answer to the person who brought " them, that he was sure he had no time to spend of them t." Camden informs us, that Spenser was in
* Spenser's View of the State of Ireland. p. 154. vol. 6. works, 12mo. 1750.
+ Works, fol. pag. 224. Heads of a Conversation between the famous poet Ben Joknson, and William Drummond of Hawthornden, January, 1619. Kk2