By slandrous tongues untouched, by none assailed,
May Times dread tyranny now yield to thee.
Note 1. This unique Latin sonnet by Hugo Hollandius is printed at the beginning of Thomas Farnabies edition of the Tragedies of Seneca, published at Leyden and London in 1624. The following is an exact copy of the original:Literatissimo, amicissimo, candidissimoque pectori, Thomæ Farnabio, sonulum hendeca-syllabicum sacro.
Vitæ Scena magistra singularis,
Scenæ vita Tragædus; in tragædis
Lux primæ Seneca est suprema sedis;
Quâ TV lux Senecæ simul locaris.
Das Stellis supereminere claris,
Tanquam ardentibus undecunque tedis,
Et mendis Tragici medere fdis;
Nostris unde nepotibus canaris.
Lugdunum néq; te modò Batavis,
Londinumve suis legat Britannis,
Urbem Æternus utram tenere mavis;
Cunctis quin legitor locis & annis;
Nec linguis hominum ferire pravis,
Et cedat tibi temporum tyrannis.
Thomas Farnabie was born in London in 1575, and is said by Anthony à Wood to have been the chief grammarian, rhetorician, poet, and latinist of his time. (Athen: Oxon:) He edited Juvenal, Persius, Seneca, Martial, Ovid, Terence, and Lucian,the stellæ claræ referred to in the fifth line of the sonnet. He also wrote the Latin poem in the volume of in memoriam verse published on the death of Edward King, in which Miltons Lycidas first appeared. This sonnet was attributed to Hugo Grotius by M. Paul Gaudin in his volume entitled, Du Rondeau, du Triolet, du Sonnet (Paris, 1870).M. Gaudin writesNoublions pas enfin, comme curiosité dernière un sonnet latin, car il y eut, au XVIe et au XVIIe siècle, des sonnets en latin, rimés ni plus ni moins que nos sonnets français. Celue qu on va lire est imprimé en tête des tragédies de Sénèque Commentérs par Thomas Farnabe (Leyde, Daniel Elzevier, 1678). Lauteur est Hugo Grotius, le célèbre savant Hollandais. The real author, however, appears to have been Hugh Holland, a native of Denbigh, and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, who died in 1633, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. He was the author of various works, amongst which may be mentioned Pancharis (1603), Monumenta Sepulchralia Sancti Pauli (1614), and A Cyprus Garland (1625). Thomas Fuller refers to him as being no bad English, but a most excellent Latin poet. [back]