Long paragraphs, in some cases extending to whole chapters, of the original text are frequently omitted, the absence of which though occasionally denoted by the suggestive phrase ' hiatus valde deflendus/ can generally be discovered only by comparison with the black letter edition ; nor is this loss compensated by any elucidation of the many obscure viii THE EDITORS PREFACE.
256) into 'curates.' The enumeration of similar errors might be prolonged much further, were it not for the fear of wearying the reader who will probably be of opinion that sufficient evidence has already been adduced of the want of taste, not to employ a harsher term, exhibited by Mr. Nor can this gentleman be said to have performed what may be called the more mechanical part of his editorial duty, with the accuracy which we have a right to expect from one who boasts of having ' bestowed both time and labour ' upon it.
On the other hand the greatest possible care has been taken to verify the author's quotations. 326), the saying of Cato, erroneously attributed by Sir T. The style in which The Governour is written is peculiar : whilst many words and phrases are employed which were even then gradually going out of use, and xvi THE EDITOR'S PREFACE. But as Stowe tells us, ' after the apprehension of the duke, inquisitions were taken in diuers shires of him, so that by the knights and gentle- men he was indicted of high treason.' This statement is fully borne out by records still existing, for we find from the latter that on Monday the Feast of Saint John Port-Latin (May 6), Sir Richard Elyot and his old associate, Sir Lewis Pollard, with two laymen Sir William Compton and Sir William Kingston, held a special commission of Oyer and Terminer at Bedminster, near Bristol, for the county of Somerset, at which a true bill was found by a jury composed of gentlemen and yeomen, of whom Sir William Courtney was foreman.
In this respect, as the reader can see at a glance, The Governour presents very con- siderable difficulty to a conscientious editor. were destined soon to become obsolete; on the other hand many words are introduced which were then avowedly new importations, but which in most cases still retain their places in the language. d The following day a similar court was held at Bristol Castle for the county of Gloucester, by the same commissioners, and another true bill returned by a jury of twenty, Sir John Hungerford being the foreman.
These suppressed passages will be easily detected in the present edition, being either pointed out by a footnote or placed within brackets; the latter device, which seemed preferable, having been uniformly adopted throughout the second volume in which the omissions are more frequent. In the centre of each of the sides the royal arms are stamped in relief and surrounded by a square border containing the motto ' Deus det nobis suam pacem et post mortem vitam aeternam. It may perhaps be objected that to give more than a mere reference to the original authorities, was to incumber the work unnecessarily; but when we consider the wide range over which these extend, it is obvious that no ordinary library would enable the reader to consult them. For a few short years no doubt ' placebo, dirige, and mass ' were duly said and sung for the repose of the soul of the departed judge. Thomas Fynderne outlived the judge by one year only, dying at the early age of seventeen.
The Governour does not appear to have been re- printed either in the seventeenth or the eighteenth century. Amen;' with four compartments con- taining respectively a rose, fleur de lys, castle, and pomegranate. Even were this not the case, the mere mechanical labour involved in turning over the pages of such a great number of volumes in order to compare the translation with the original would be so irksome that the Editor decided at the risk of largely increasing the bulk of his volumes to print in extenso, in the notes, the passages translated more or less literally in the text by Sir Thomas Elyot. But when the final blow was struck at the religious establishments, and property bestowed upon them by liberal benefactors for pious uses was transferred by a stroke of the pen to the rapacious hands of the laity, we can have little doubt that ' the lands in Chalk,' bequeathed for the express purpose of providing that masses should be said for the soul of the judge and his * frendes soules and all christen soules ' did not escape the general confiscation. Although so young he had been married to Bridget, the daughter of Sir William Waldegrave, b but having no issue the contingency provided for by his grandfather's will occurred, and the devise in favour of Richard Elyot's heir took effect.
After premising that he has ' adhered as closely as possible to the original text, occasionally " mutatis mutandis, exceptis excipiendis,'" Mr. The text may be collated carefully with that of every other known edition of the same work, and then reproduced in modern type, preserving the antique spelling, pointing, etc. On this ground alone, therefore, the method adopted in these volumes may probably be justified. XV Editor ventures to think that the same excuse may be pleaded for the insertion in the notes of quotations from modern writers of acknowledged ability on matters treated of by Sir Thomas Elyot.
Eliot informs his readers that he does not hold himself 'responsible either for the apparent quaintness or obscurity of style in The Governour? ; with only such anno- tations as are necessary to indicate the various verbal alterations, but without any attempt by verifying quotations or explaining allusions to elucidate the text. It is at least an interesting study to compare the condition of the critical faculty, as it existed in the sixteenth century, with its more complete development in the nineteenth.
Eliot has discharged his editorial duty is furnished by his own view of the scope of The Governour. When the British Archaeological Association visited East Shefford in September, 1859 'the melancholy appearance of the church ' standing ' as it were submerged,' the river being much above the level of the floor, produced a painful impression upon the members. In saying this, however, we must not forget to take into account one fact of great importance the extreme scarcity of the Editio princeps of The Governour, that, viz., of 1531. Eliot, it would seem that his ' friend and relative,' Col. xlv part in the actual trial, which was held the following week before the Duke of Norfolk, as Lord High Steward, at Westminster. To whatever cause the omission be attributable, the fact remains that a work, which may truly be said to be of no ordinary interest to Englishmen, has been so entirely neglected that from 1834 down to the present day no one has attempted to make it more generally known. Eliot's edition, for a single foot- note ; though the numerous quotations and obsolete phrases which we continually encounter in the original afford abundant scope for illustration and explana- tion, and the only information with regard to the life of Sir Thomas Elyot himself, which can be considered either valuable or important, is contained in copious ex- tracts from Strype, arranged however in such a confused manner as to make it difficult for the reader to under- stand how much is due to Mr. But perhaps the best proof of the perfunctory way in which Mr. The absence of a resident squire at the present day may explain, but cannot excuse, the neg- lected state of the parish. allusions in the text, or by any new information furnished to us with regard to the author's history. Eliot indeed claims to ' have enriched the whole with various and instructive notes' which he trusts ' will be deemed both valuable and important.' But we look in vain, in Mr. The estate at East Shefford of course remained with the Fetiplaces, and John Fetiplace, Sir Richard Elyot's eldest step-son, to whom the household furniture was bequeathed continued to reside there, but the property did not long remain in the family. b An engraving of this tomb is given in the Journal of the Archaolog. 385) 'herb;' whilst he converts 'singular aduaile' (Vol. And though a new edition of a work like The Governour may justly be considered imperfect without some introductory notice of the author, such notice must after all depend for its completeness upon the accessibility of the materials available for the purpose. The elder Fynderne disputed Elyot's right to the succes- sion. 99) into ' individual advantage/ ' taken with the maynure ' (Vol. The documents which have since been sorted and arranged, and of which calendars are now printed under the direction of the Master of the Rolls, were known to exist, but the labour involved in their investigation must necessarily have been much greater. The Derbyshire line was then represented by another Thomas Fynderne, whose son George had married Elizabeth, daughter of John Port of Etwall, b then a Serjeant- at-law, but afterwards better known as Sir John Port, one of the judges of the King's Bench. xi book like The Governour is to be- edited conscien- tiously, proved too repulsive. It may be that the prospect of the labour in store for an editor, and from which there can be no escape, if a THE EDITOR'S PREFACE. ' My lorde Cardinall, whome God pardone, knowing my title to be perfect and suer as having it enrollid bifore him and at the first beginning hiering him self the mutuall covenaunts bytwene my fader and my cosen Sir William Fynderne, whoes fader was my mothers unkle, by his goode justice gave me good comfort.' d The suit terminated in Elyot's favour, and when we call to mind the complaints of ' the law's delay,' that have been raised in much more recent times particularly with regard to chancery proceedings, it would appear that our author had rather reason to congratulate himself upon this comparatively speedy termination of a troublesome litigation. and that where he ' could in any degree with propriety simplify the composition of the original work,' he has ' never failed to do so.' It is easy to predict the kind of work which would be likely to be produced under such circumstances and by an editor who regarded his duty in such a light, and when we compare Mr. Eliot prefers to read ' prayed,' for ' adumbrations' (Vol. Another, and, as most persons will probably think, a far more satisfactory method, is to explain by means of footnotes every allusion and obscure phrase in the text which seems to require explanation, and above all to verify the author's quotations by reference to the original authorities. One fact connected with The Governour ought alone to redeem it from obscurity, and must ever entitle it to rank as an exceptionally interesting specimen of early English literature. Eliot's 'emendations' with the text of his author, the result seems hardly satisfactory. It is not pretended that the text of the present edition is the result of a careful collation of the THE EDITOR'S PREFACE. It is very seldom remembered that Sir Thomas Elyot is our earliest and, as the reader will hereafter see, practically our only authority for the statement that Henry the Fifth, when Prince of Wales, was committed to prison for a gross contempt of court committed in facie curia. b Inasmuch, how- ever, as Richard Elyot would in that case have been in his grave for about two years, we can scarcely hesitate to adopt the former as the true date.