페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

ness.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

The king, who had been some years a widower, concluded the treaty of Cambray in 1529, by which he engaged to marry Eleanor of Austria, the emperor's sister; and his two sons, who had been given as hostages, were ransomed at the king's return for two millions in gold. The ambition of possessing Milan, caused peace again to be broken. Francis took Savoy in 1535, drove the emperor from Provence in 1536, entered into an alliance with Solyman II. emperor of the Turks ; took Hesdin, and several other places, in 1537, and made a truce of ten years with Charles V. at Nice, 1538, which did not, however, last long. The emperor, going to punish the people of Ghent, who had rebelled, obtained a passage through France, by promising Francis the investiture of the duchy of Milan for which of his children he pleased; but, after being received in France with the highest honours in 1539, he was no sooner arrived in Flanders than he refused to keep his promise. This broke the truce; the war was renewed, and carried on with various success on both sides. The king's troops entered Italy, Roussillon, and Luxemburg. Francis of Bourbon, comte d'Enguien, won the battle of Cerizoles in 1544, and took Montferrat. Francis 1. gained over to his side Barbarossa, and Gustavus Vasa, king of Sweden ; while, on the other hand, Henry VIII. of England espoused the interests of Charles V. and took Bologna, 1544. A peace was at last concluded with the emperor at Cressy, September 18, 1544, and with Henry VIII. June 7, 1546 ; but Francis did not long enjoy the tranquillity which this peace procured him; be died at the castle of Rambouillet the last day of March, 1547, aged fifty-three. This prince possessed the most shining qualities : he was witty, mild, magnanimous, generous, and benevolent. The revival of polite literature in Europe was chiefly owing to his care ; he patronized the learned, founded the royal college at Paris, furnished a library at Fountainbleau at a great expence, and built several palaces, which he ornamented with pictures, statues, and costly furniture. When dying, he particularly requested his son to diminish the taxes which he bad been obliged to levy for defraying the expences of the war; and put it in bis power to do so, for he left 400,000 crowns of gold in bis coffers, with a quarter of his revenues which was then due. It was this sovereign who ordered all public acts to be written in French, Upon the whole be appears to

[ocr errors]

have been one of the greatest ornaments of the French throne.

FRANCIS (PHILIP), an English clergymán, and the able translator of Horace and Demosthenes, was of Irish extraction, if not born in that kingdom, where his father was a dignified clergyman, and, among other preferments, held the rectory of St. Mary, Dublin, from which he was ejected by the court on account of his Tory principles. His son, our author, was also educated for the church, and obtained a doctor's degree. His edition of “ Horace" made bis name koown in England about 1743, and raised bim a reputation as a classical editor and translator, which Do subsequent attempts have greatly diminished. Dr. Johnson, many years after other rivals had started, gave bim this praise : “ The lyrical part of Horace never can be properly translated; so much of the excellence is in the numbers and the expression. Francis has done it the best : I'll take his, five out of six, against them all."

Some time after the publication of Horace, he appears to have come over to England, where, in 1753, he pubBished a translation of part of the “ Orations of Demosthenes,” intending to comprise the whole in two quarto volumes. It was a matter of some importance at that time to risk a large work of this kind, and the author had the precaution therefore to secure a copious list of subscribers. Unfortunately, however, it had to contend with the acknowledged merit of Leland's translation, and, allowing their respective merits to have been nearly equal, Leland's had at least the priority in point of time, and upon comparison, was preferred by the critics, as being more free and eloquent, and less literally exact. This, however, did not arise from any defect in our author's skill, but was merely an error, if an error at all, in judgment; for he conceived, that as few liberties as possible ought to be taken with the style of bis author, and that there was an essential difference between a literal translation, which only he considered as faithful, and an imitation, in which we can never be certain that we have the author's words or precise meaning. In 1755 he completed his purpose in a second volume, which was applauded as a difficult work well executed, and acceptable to every friend of genius and literature; but its success was by no means correspondent to the wishes of the author or of his friends.

-] Hist, of France.---Robertson's Hist. of Charles W. &c.

The year before the first volume of his “ Demosthenes" appeared, he determined to attempt the drama, and his first essay was a tragedy entitled “ Eugenia.” This is professedly an adaptation of the French “ Cenie” to English feelings and habits, but it had not much success on the stage. Lord Chesterfield, in one of bis letters to his Son, observes that he did not think it would have succeeded so well, considering how long our British audiences had been accustomed to murder, racks, and poison in every tragedy; yet it affected the heart so much, that it triumphed over habit and prejudice. In a subsequent letter, he says that the boxes were crowded till the sixth night, when the pit and gallery were totally deserted, and it was dropped. Distress without death, he repeats, was not sufficient to affect a true British audience, so long accustomed to daggers, racks, and bowls of poison; contrary to Horace's rule, they desire to see Medea murder her children on the stage. The sentiments were too delicate to move them; and their hearts were to be taken by storm, not by parley. In 1754, Mr. Francis brought out another tragedy at Covent-garden theatre, entitled “ Constantine," which was equally unsuccessful, but appears to have suffered princi, pally by the improper distribution of the parts among the actors. This he alludes to, in the dedication to lord Ches, terfield, with whom he appears to have been acquainted, and intimates at the same time that these disappointments had induced bim to take leave of the stage.

During the political contests at the beginning of the present reign, he employed his pen in defence of government, and acquired the patronage of lord Holland, who rewarded his services by the rectory of Barrow, in Suffolk, and the chaplainship of Chelsea hospital. What were his publications on political topics, as they were anonymous, and probably dispersed among the periodical journals, cannot now be ascertained. They drew upon him, however, the wrath of Churchill, who in his “ Author” has exhibited a portrait of Mr. Francis, probably overcharged by spleen and envy, Churchill, indeed, was so profuse of his ca, Jumny, that he seldom gained credit, and long before he died, his assertions had begun to lose their value. He is said to have intended to write a satirical poem, in which Francis was to make his appearance as the Ordinary of Newgate. The severity of this satire was better understood at that time, when the ordinaries of Newgate were

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

held in very little esteem, and some of them were grossly ignorant and dissolute. Mr. Francis died at Bath, March 5, 1773, leaving a son, who in the same year was appointed one of the supreme council of Bengal, and is now sir Philip Francis, K. B.

of all the classical writers, “ Horace” is by general consent allowed to be the most difficult to translate, yet so universal has been the ambition to perform this task, that scarcely an English poet can be named in whose works we do not find some part of Horace. These efforts, however, have not so 'frequently been directed to give the sense and local meaning of the author, as to transfuse his satire, and adapt it to modern persons and times. But of the few who have exhibited the whole of this interesting poet in an English dress, Mr. Francis bas been supposed to bave succeeded best in that which is most difficult, the lyric part, and likewise to have conveyed the spirit and sense of the original in the epistles and satires, with least injury to the genius of the author. In his preface be acknowledges his obligations to Dr. Dunkin, a poet of some celebrity, and an excellent classical scholar.'

FRANCIUS (Peter), a Greek and Latin poet, of much reputation on the continent, was born at Amsterdam, Aug. 19, 1645. He received his early education under Adrian Junius, rector of the school of Amsterdam, who had the happy art of discovering the predominant talents of his scholars, and of directing them to the most advantageous method of cultivating them. To young Francius be recominended Ovid as a model, and those who have read his works are of opinion that he must have“ given his days and nights” to the study of that celebrated poet. From Amsterdam he went to Leyden, where he became a pupil of Gronovius the elder, who soon distinguished him from the rest of his scholars, and treated him as a friend, which mark of esteem was also extended to him by Gronovius the son. After this course of scholastic studies, he set out on his travels, visiting England and France, in which last, at Angers, he took his degree of doctor of civil and canon Jaw.

While at Paris he acquired the esteem of many learned men, and when he proceeded afterwards to Italy, improved his acquaintance with the literary men of that country, and was very respectfully received by Cosmo III.

[ocr errors]

1 Chesterfield's Letters and Miscellanies. Biog. Dram.-Boswell's Johnson.

[ocr errors]

grand duke of Tuscany. After his return to Amsterdam, the magistrates, in 1674, elected him professor of rhetoric and history, and in 1686 professor of Greek. In 1692 the directors of the academy of Leyden made him an offer of one of their professorships, but the magistrates of Amsterdam, fearing to lose so great an ornament to their city, increased his salary, that he might be under no temptation on that account to leave them. He accordingly remained here until his death, Aug. 19, 1704, when he was exactly fifty-nine years old. Francius particularly excelled in declamation, in which his first master, Junius, the ablest declaimer of his time, had instructed him, and in which he took some lessons afterwards from a famous tragic actor, Adam Caroli, who, he used to say, was to him what Roscius was to Cicero. His publications consist of, 1. * Poemata,” Amsterdam, 1682, 12mo ; ibid. 1697, 8vo, These consist of verses in various measures, which were highly esteemed, although some were of opinion that he succeeded better in the elegies and epigrams, and lighter pieces, than in the heroic attempts. The first of the editions above-mentioned has some translations from the * Anthology" omitted in the second, because the author had an intention of giving a complete translation of that celebrated collection, wbich, however, he never executed. In other respects, the second edition is more ample and correct. 2. “ Orationes," Amst. 1692, 8vo, of which an enlarged edition appeared in 1705, 8vo. His emulation of the style of Cicero is said to be very obvious in these orations. Some of them had been published separately, particularly a piece of humour entitled “Encomium Galli Gallinacei.” 5. “ Specimeu eloquentiæ exterioris ad orationein M. T. Ciceronis pro A. Licin. Archia accommodatum,” Amst. 1697, 19mo. 4. “ Specimen eloquentiæ exterioris ad orationem Ciceronis pro M. Marcello accommodatum," ibid. 1699, 12mo. These two last were reprinted in 1700, 8vo, with his “ Oratio de ratione declamandi.” 5. “ Epistola prima ad C. Valerium Accinctum, vero nomine Jacobum Perizonium, professorem Leydensem," &c. Amst. 1696, 410. This relates to a personal dispute between Francius and Perizonius, of very little consequence to the public, and was answered by Perizonius. 6. “ The Homily of S. Gregoire of Nazianzen, on charity to our neighbour," translated from Greek into German, Amst, 1700, 8vo. 7 " A discourse on the Ju

« 이전계속 »