Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

In tumbling over these huge volumes, I met with an account of a very remarkable effect of fear, or rather of horror, which I shall insert for its astonishing singularity.

A person lately living in this hamlet (Poplar, a village on the Thames, adjoining Blackwall,) having a great concern for the safety of a ship that was like to break her back at Blackwall, had his blood and spirits set into such an extraordinary ferment, or ebullition rather, by the fear of her miscarriage, that by the violence of it, the tops of the nails of his hands and feet were cast off to a great distance from their natural situation, and so remained to his death.

The Survey of London was compiled with astonishing industry, and commonly with equalaccuracy, froin the most authentic records and historians, Stow was urged to the task (as he says himself) by a general invitation of Mr. Lam. bard to several of the cotemporary antiquaries, to write the histories of their native counties, The work gives a view of the government of the city both ecclesiastical and civil of the churches, hospitals, and religious houses, down to the fortieth

queen

Elizabeth. The

year of

most complete edition of this work, with considerable additions and improvements, is that of Strype, in two very large volumes folio, 1720; which was reprinted in 1755, still improved. The subsequent compilations of the accounts of London-those of Hatton, Seymour, and Maitland, are founded on Stow's Survey.

3. The only other work published in our author's life-time, was that entitled, Flores Historiarum, or Annals of England, from the time of the Ancient Britons to his own; which was merely an abstract of his larger work, stiled,

“ The Chronicle, or History of England ;" which work entire was considered by the bookseller to be too extensive a speculation, at that particular time, on account of the recent publication of Holinshed. This production was published from his papers after his death by Edmund Howes, in one folio volume, and which is commonly known by the name of Stow's Chronicle. It was printed in 1613, and 1631, in black letter.

5. But even this publication is said not to contain the whole of that far larger work which Stow left prepared for the press. This

might possibly be the Chronicle of Reyne Wolf mentioned by Nicholson, and which Stow was engaged to publish by archbishop Whitgift. The MS. here alluded to, came into the possession of sir Simon Dewes; and was subsequently obtained by the earl of Oxford.

According to Mr. Howes, Stow always “protested never to have written any thing, either for malice, fear, or favour, nor to seek his own particular gain, or vain glory; and that his only pains and care was to write the truth.” Agreeably to this statement, it is · commonly allowed, that Stow surpasses all preceding chroniclers in judgment, as well as in industry: nor has his honesty ever been questioned.

KNOLLES.

Richard KNOLLES, was born in Northamptonshire, and educated at Oxford, where he entered in 1560, took his degrees in arts, and was elected Fellow of Lincoln College. He was subsequently master of a free school at Sandwich in Kent; where he died in 1610.

Knolles is chiefly known to posterity by his “General History of the Turks, from the first beginning of that Nation, to the rising of the Ottoman Family," '&c., 1610.

This history has been continued by several hands. One continuation was collected from the dispatches of šir Peter Wyche, knight, ambassador at Constantinople, and extended from 1623 to 1677; but the best is that of Ricaut, consul of Smyrna, from the year 1623 to 1677. Lond. 1680, folio. It begins from a period earlier than that at which Knolles terminates. In

[ocr errors]

his preface to the reader, Ricaut observes that, “the reign of sultan Amurat, being imperfectly wrote in Knolles's History, consisting for the most part, of abrupt .collections, he had thought fit, for the better completing the reign of that sultan, and the whole body of our Turkish history, to deliver all the particular transactions thereof with his own pen.”

As a specimen of the manner of this historian, I select his account of the siege of Jerusalem, in the beginning of the first volume.

The governor of Jerusalem understanding, by his espials, of the proceedings of the Christians, had before their approach, got into the city a great garrison of right valiant soldiers, with good store of all things necessary for the holding out of a long siege. The Christians with their army approaching the city, encamped before it on the north; for that towards the cast, and the south, it was not well to be besieged, by reason of the broken rocks and mountains. Next unto the city lay Godfrey the duke, with the Germans and Lorrains; near unto him lay the earl of Flanders, and Robert the Norman; before the west gate lay Tancred and the earl of Tholouse : Bohemund and Baldwin were both absent ; the one at Antioch, the other at Edessa. The

[merged small][ocr errors]
« ElőzőTovább »