Note 1. This poem is a translation from one of Martials Epigrams. The poem has not only the merit of being one of the earliest translations in our language from any approved classic, but of being, perhaps, the best translation that has appeared. Surrey, having selected a poem of a grave and moral nature, from an author who abounds with many of a lighter cast, such as would be considered more attractive to the generality of youthful readers, proves him to have had an elevated mind, and a high sense of what is due to virtue. The Epigram from Martial is as follows:
Note 2. The riches left: All other copies, observes Nott, read the richesse left. I believe no more was intended than the plural nominative, riches. It will be proper to observe, however, that richesse is frequently used as a singular substantive for wealth personified, as in the Romaunt of the Rose, line 1071; or a state of wealth, answering to la richesse in French; in which sense it seems to have been used by our best early writers. Cf. Spensers Faery Queene, Bk. II. Can. vii. St. 24:
Betwixt them both there was but little stride
That did the House of Richesse from hell-mouth divide.