« PoprzedniaDalej »
HUMPHREY, DUKE OF GLOUCESTER.
Mr C. H. Pearson has referred me to a most curious treatise on the state of Duke Humphrey's body and health in 1404 (that is, 1424, says Hearne), by Dr Gilbert Kymer, his physician, part of which (chapters 3 and 19, with other pieces) was printed by Hearne in the appendix to his Liber Niger, v. ii. p. 550 (ed. alt.), from a MS. then in Sir Hans Sloane's Collection, and now Sloane 4 in the British Museum. It begins at p. 127 or folio 63, and by way of giving the reader a notion of its contents, I add here a copy of the first page
of the MS.
ncipit dietarium de sanitatis custodia preinclitissimo principi ac
preclaris titulis insignito, Scriptum & compilatum, per venerabilem doctorem, Magistrum Gilbertum Kymer, Medicinarum professorem, arcium ac philosophie Magistrum & in legibus bacallarium prelibati principis phisicum, Cuius dietarij' colleccionem (1) dilucidancia & effectum viginti sex existunt capitula, quorum consequenter hic ordo ponitur Rubricarum.
Capitulum lm est epistola de laude sanitatis & vtilitate bone diete.
' The letters are to me more like ct, or coll than anything else, but I am not sure what they are.
2 The MS, runs on without breaks.
Capitulum 11m de carnibus vtendis & vitandis.
Sharon Turner (Hist. of England, v. 498, note 35) says euphemistically of the part of this treatise printed by Hearne, that “it implies how much the Duke had injured himself by the want of self-government. It describes him in his 45th year, as having a rheumatic affection in his chest, with a daily morning cough. It mentions that his nerves had become debilitated by the vehemence of his laborious exercises, and from an immoderate frequency of pleasurable indulgences. It advises him to avoid north winds after a warm sun, sleep after dinner, exercise after society, frequent bathings, strong wine, much fruit, the flesh of swine, and the weakening gratification to which he was addicted. The last (chapter), ‘De Deo semper colendo, ut sanitatem melius tueatur,' is worthy the recollection of us all.” It is too late to print the MS. in the present volume, but in a future one it certainly ought to appear.
Of Duke Humphrey's character and proceedings after the Pope's bull had declared his first marriage void, Sharon Turner further says:
“Gloucester had found the rich dowry of Jacqueline wrenched from his grasp, and, from so much opposition, placed beyond his attaining, and he had become satiated with her person. One of her
attendants, Eleanor Cobham, had affected his variable fancy; and tho' her character had not been spotless before, and she had surrendered her honour to his own importunities, yet he suddenly married her, exciting again the wonder of the world by his conduct, as in that proud day every nobleman felt that he was acting incongruously with the blood he had sprung from. His first wedlock was impolitic, and this unpopular; and both were hasty and self-willed, and destructive of all reputation for that dignified prudence, which his elevation to the regency of the most reflective and enlightened nation in Europe demanded for its example and its welfare. This injudicious conduct announced too much imperfection of intellect, not to give every advantage to his political rival the bishop of Winchester, his uncle, who was now struggling for the command of the royal mind, and for the predominance in the English government. He and the duke of Exeter were the illegitimate brothers of Henry the Fourth, and had been first intrusted with the king's education. The internal state of the country, as to its religious feelings and interest, contributed to increase the differences which now arose between the prelate and his nephew, who is described by a contemporary as sullying his cultivated understanding and good qualities, by an ungoverned and diseasing love of unbecoming pleasures. It is strange, that in so old a world of the same continuing system always repeating the same lesson, any one should be ignorant that the dissolute vices are the destroyers of personal health, comfort, character, and permanent influence."
After narrating Duke Humphrey's death, Turner thus sums up his character :
“The duke of Gloucester, amid failings that have been before alluded to, has acquired the pleasing epithet of The Good ; and has been extolled for his promotion of the learned or deserving clergy. Fond of literature, and of literary conversation, he patronized men of talent and erudition. One is called, in a public record, his poet and orator; and Lydgate prefaces one of his voluminous works, with a panegyric upon him, written during the king's absence on his French
Sharon Turner's History of England, vol. v. pp. 496.-8.
coronation, which presents to us the qualities for which, while he was living, the poet found him remarkable, and thought fit to commend him."
These verses are in the Royal MS. 18 D 4, in the British Museum, and are here printed from the MS., not from Turner :: (Fol. 4.) Eek in this lond-I dar afferme a thyng
Ther is a prince Ful myhty of puyssaunce,
' to ocupie,
2 MS. thaunges. . This is the stanza quoted by Dr Reinhold Pauli in his Bilder aus Alt-England,
c. xi. p. 349 :
“Herzog von Glocester nennen sie den Fürsten,
Der trotz des hohen Rangs und hoher Ehren
Und trunkne Trägheit männiglich bezwingt."
And with his prudence & wit his manheed
And to do plesance to oure lord ihesu
Wher he trespaseth, his 'errour to chastise. After mentioning that the duke had considered the book of • Boccasio, on the Fall of Princes,' he adds, and he gave me commandment, that I should, after my conning, this book translate him to do plesance.' MS. 18 D 4.-Sharon Turner's History of England, vol. vi. pp. 55–7.
P.S. When printing the 1513 edition of Wynkyn de Worde's Boke of Keruynge, I was not aware of the existence of a copy of the earlier edition in the Cambridge University Library. Seeing this copy afterwards named in Mr Hazlitt's new catalogue, I asked a friend to compare the present reprint with the first edition, and the result follows.
Humfrid von Glocester. Bruchstück eines Fürstenlebens im fünfzehnten Jahrhun. derte” (Humphrey Duke of Gloucester. Sketch of the life of a prince in the fifteenth century). There is an excellent English translation of this book, published Mac llan, and entitled “ Pictures of Old England.” –W. W. Skeat. · The l is rubbed.
? So in MS.