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TRANSLATED LITERALLY, LINE BY LINE, INTO
ENGLISH DACTYLIC HEXAMETER,
REV. OLIVER CRANE, D. D.,
CORPORATE MEMBER OF THE AMERICAN ORIENTAL Society.
" Per Ardentem sine fraude Trojam
Castus Æneas patriæ superstes
Horace, Carmen Seculare, 41-44.
REV. OLIVER CRANE, D. D.
JENKINS & McCowan,
224-228 CENTRE ST.
It is a singular fact in the history of English Literature, that the first book printed in the English language was a “History of Troy,” drawn mainly from the Æneid of Virgil, written first in French by Raoul le Feure, the Chaplain of Philip, Duke of Burgundy, and, at the command of the Duke, translated from the French, and printed as his first book, by William Caxton, the introducer of printing into England. Respecting this somewhat celebrated “first book," Caxton, in its title, says : “Whiche sayd translacion and werke was begonne in Brugis in the contree of Flaunders, the fyrst day of Marche, the yeare of the Incarnacion of our said Lord, a thousand four hondred sixty and eight, and ended and fynyshed in the holy cyte of Colen the xix day of Septembre, the yeare of our sayd Lord God, a thousand four hondred and enleven” (1471). The reason for such command to print it, is stated in the Biographia Britannica to be, “possibly to gratify the disposition there was at the time, in the English or British nation, to derive their original from Brutus and his Trojans.” Subsequently Caxton issued “The Boke of Enydos; compyled by Vyrgyle; which hath be translated oute of Latine into Frenche, and oute of Frenche, reduced into Englyeshe, by me, William Caxton, the 22d day of Juyn, the yere of our Lord 1490." This, though of inferior literary merit, was, however, well received, as being the first recognized translation into English of any part of the Æneid. “The Hystory, Siege, and Dystruccyon of Troye,” written by the monk, John Lydgate, about the year 1430, but not printed until 1513, hardly