Elizabethan Critical Essays

By G. Gregory Smith | Go to book overview

RICHARD STANYHURST
(FROM THE TRANSLATON OF THE AENEID)
1582

[The Dedication and the Preface ('Too thee Learned Reader') are prefixed to Thee First Fov∖re Bookes of Vir-∖gil his Aeneis ∖transla∖ted in too English Heroical Verse . . .∖∖ Imprinted at
Leiden in Holland by John Pates ∖ Anno M.D.LXXXII.

The following extracts are taken from the copy which
was formerly in the Ashburnham Library, and is now in
the British Museum. The only other known copy is pre-
served in the library at Britwell Court, Burnham, Bucks.
The second (or 1583) edition, which is now hardly less
rare, was a London reprint by Henry Bynneman, the
printer of the Spenser and Harvey Letters (ante, p. 87).
As the difference between these editions is entirely ortho-
graphical, it appeared, prima facie, to be desirable to take
the London text, partly because it is more 'modern,' and
partly because the earlier is accessible in Mr. Arber's
excellent reprint ( 1880). Bynneman's text, on the other
hand, was reprinted by James Maidment in 1836 in a
private issue of fifty copies. But a collation of the British
Museum text of 1582 with that of 1583, in the copy pre-
sented to the library of the University of Edinburgh in
1628 by the poet William Drummond, has made it clear
that the former is the better. For though Pates speaks,
in his Note 'To thee Cvrteovs Reader,' of 'thee nooueltye
of imprinting English in theese partes, and thee absence
of the author from perusing soom proofes,' his text is
more consistent with Stanyhurst's rules, and seems, as far
as the prefatory matter is concerned, to have been revised
by the author. Bynneman, who is somewhat impatient of
the 'newe Ortographie vsed in the booke (whether with
the writers mind or the Printers fault, I know not)', sets
himself to cut out most of the double 'e's and 'o's and

-135-

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