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particular occurrents of all ages and all nations, it might more stuff but not better our understanding; we shall find still the same correspondencies to hold in the actions of men; virtues and vices the same, though rising and falling, according to the worth, or weakness of governors ;. the causes of the ruins and mutations of states to be alike, and the train of affairs carried by precedent, in a course of succession, under like colours.
Daniel's History displays good' sense and a manly taste; the narrative is clear and simple, and the language is remarkable for being more correct and elegant, and more resembling our modern stile, than that of any writer of his age.
This History was continued to the end of Richard III. by John Trussel, a trader, and alderman of the city of Winchester. The full title is, "A Continuation of the Collection of the History of England, beginning where Samuel Daniel, esq. ended, with the Reign of Edward III. and ending where the honourable viscount St. Albans began with the Life of Henry VII.; being a complete history of the beginning and end of the dissention betwixt the
two houses of York and Lancaster; with the matches and issue of all the kings, princes, dukes, marquisses, earls, and viscounts of this nation deceased, during those times.” The fifth edition of the complete work is dated 1685. The continuation has neither the ele. gance por the judgment of the first part.
Sir Henry Spelman, knight, descended from an ancient family of his name at Beckington in Hampshire, but which settled finally in Norfolk, was born in 1562. Before he had been weli grounded in grammar learning, he entered at Trinity College, Cambridge, at the age of fourteen, where, after a residence of no more than two years and half, he was recalled to attend the funeral of his father, and to superintend the family concerns. After the lapse of about a twelvemonth, he was admitted of Lincoln's Inn. Here his attention was chiefly turned to polite literature, and that branch of the law which relates to the investigation of its general principles, rather than to those minutiæ requisite to practice.
On his becoming of age, he married, and
settled on his estate in Norfolk; but still found time to prosecute his study of the laws and constitution of his country. Being subsequently admitted member of the society of antiquaries, he became acquainted with sir Robert Cotton, Camden, and other antiquari
In 1604, he was appointed high sheriff of Norfolk, and probably about this time wrote a description of that county, communicated to Speed, who printed it in 1606. In 1612, he quitted the country, with his wife and family, and settled in London, where he died in 1641.
Spelman, soon after his arrival in town, engaged in an important undertaking—the investigation of “The Grounds of the Law, from Original Records;" and in the prosecution of this plan, collected all the books and MSS. relative to that article, and diligently read over the fathers and councils, with as many of the historians of the middle ages, whether foreign or domestic, as he could procure.
After some interruptions he proceeded in his enquiries, in the course of which he continually encountered numbers of ob. solete words, not easily understood, yet which it was essential to explain. He therefore be
gan to make a collection of such words, with a reference to the places where they were respectively found; and by a comparison of dif. ferent instances of the use of a given word, obtained its conjectural signification, often with considerable accuracy. As his collection increased, the reading of the ancient historians became less difficult; he proceeded to digest his materials, and by comparing the several quotations, at length obtained the exact signification of such words, in the different ages in which they were respectively used.
Still there was something wanting to the perfection of his plan, He perceived that many of our laws since the conquest were taken from the constitutions of the Saxons, and that many obsolete terms in our Latin historians are of Saxon origin; and found that an acquaintance with that language, if not indispensible, was at least necessary to a clear, er interpretation of many obscure passages, Accordingly, in spite of the difficulty arising from the almost total absence of all helps in that age, he succeeded in making himself a competent master of that language. In 1621, he printed a sheet or two as a specimen of his work, which he communicated to his an