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tre, and the emblems of the Evangelists on each side, with a radiated I. H. S. surrounded by a crown of thorns. They have also made a baptistry with a neat little lancet-shaped window, of painted glass, also consisting of a Dove descending on the Cross, under which appears the Lamb and an Infant St. John; and in it is placed the venerable old Font, which I mentioned before.

As I see, from your devoting many pages to accounts of churches and every thing belonging to them worthy of attention, that you interest yourself much in matters of this sort, I

hope you will be able to make room, in some early number, for this notice of St. Dunstan's church; and should it be the means of calling the attention of any antiquary to this subject, it will afford much satisfaction to the writer, that he has been in some degree instrumental to the marking more particularly the place where rests the head of one who made no inconsiderable a figure in the history of the reign of the Eighth Henry, and who fell a victim to the jealousy of that tyrant, by so boldly refusing to acknowledge the supremacy of his rule over the Church of England. Yours, &c. V. S. D.

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In illustration of the interesting disclosure made by this correspondent, we have made the following extracts from the several authors who have noticed the fate of the Head of Sir Thomas More.* The first is from Cresacre More's Life of his illustrious ancestor (p. 289, Mr. Hunter's edit.):

"His head having remained about a month upon London-bridge, and being to be cast into the Thames, because room should be made for divers others, who in plentiful sort suffered martyrdom for the same Supremacy, shortly after, it was bought by his daughter Margaret, lest (as

* We may take this opportunity of recording a statement which has recently appeared in the newspapers, that in the public library at Douay, a Psalter has been discovered which belonged to Sir Thomas More, and which he used during the latter days of his life. It is an 8vo volume, printed on vellum, by Wynkin de Worde, at London, in 1508, and contains some English verses, in the hand-writing of Bishop Fisher, testifying to the (mistaken) faith and religious belief of the two friends.

she stoutly affirmed before the Council, being called before them after for the same matter) it should be food for fishes; which she buried where the ihuughtfittcst) it was very well to be known, as well by the lively favour of him.t which was not all this while in any thing almost diminished; as also by reason of one tooth, which he wanted whilst he lived; herein it was to be admired, that the hairs of his beard being almost grey before his martyrdom, they seemed now as it were reddish or yellow."

The next is from Lewis's Preface to Roper's Life of Sir Thomas More (Singer's ed. p. xxi.):

"With this excellent woman Mr. Roper lived about 16 years, she dying 1544, nine years after her father, when she was buried in the family burying-place at St. Dunstan's with her father's head in her arms, as she had desired."

But still more precise, and doubtless more accurate, is the account given by Anthony a Wood in his Athena; Oxonienses (vol. i. p. 86, Bliss's edit.):

t The expression of hit countenance.

"As for his head, it was set upon a And lastly, as confirming the chain

pole, on London-bridge, where abiding of proof as to the identity of the scull about 14 days, was then privily bought by lately seen, the following note in the

the said Margaret, and by her for a time game place ;g very satJsfactory:

carefully preserv'd in a leaden box, but ,, *_ ril .. , „ .. . , ,

afterwards with great devotion 'twas put „ Dr- 0*f» Mr.] Rawl.nson informed

into a vault (the burying.place of the Hearne, that when the vault was opened

Roper,) under a chapel joyning to St. f "I5> »° e"ter lnt0 one of 'he **>?" »

DiruHan'i church in Canterbury, where it faml1*- 'hebox «"" >etn enclo"d an

doth yet remain, standing in the said box ,ron'
on the coffin of Margaret his daughter
buried there."

RETROSPECTIVE REVIEW.

Anglo-Saxon Literature,*

SINCE the publication of Thorpe's Caedmon and the first edition of Kemble's Beowulf, a new and great impulse has been given to the study of the Anglo-Saxon language and literature in England. We feel confident that the progress made in it since that time has been great, and as good materials and good guides are being constantly afforded to us, we doubt not that it will be continually greater. The two books we have just mentioned, the Apollonius and, above all, the Analecta, by Thorpe, with the new edition of Beowulf, and the translation, glossary, and notes, are quite enough to authorize us in saying, that very much has been done towards an accurate knowledge of the language of our Anglo-Saxon forefathers since that period. When we add to these, Layamon nearly ready, which will be well edited by Sir F. Madden; the Exeter book in an advanced state of preparation, by Thorpe; the invaluable monuments from Vercelli, Brussels, &c. also edited by Thorpe, which we owe to the zealous exertions of Mr. Purton Cooper, the Secretary of the Record Commission; the interesting poem of Salomon and Saturn, with a most learned dissertation, now in the press, by Kemble; and a Saxon Mythology and Saxon Dictionary in preparation by the same scholar; we are sure that all our readers will agree with us in saying that the prospects of our Anglo-Saxonists are bright.

The third article in our list, a translation, considerably altered and amplified so as to form a new work, from an article which formerly appeared in our contemporary, Fraser, gives a tolerably complete sketch of the progress of Anglo-Saxon studies, from their first dawn in the days of the reformation, the age of Parker and Fox, through the in some senses brilliant sera of the seventeenth century and the oblivion to which they were consigned during much of the eighteenth, to their propitious revival in our own days. To this work, a three-shilling pamphlet, we refer our readers for the details of this progress, and for a comparison of the systems and merits of the old and new schools of Saxonists, as well as for a sketch of the Anglo-Saxon poetry. We shall confine ourselves at present to the two volumes of Beowulf which have recently appeared.

It is difficult to account for the long neglect which the romance of Beowulf, so interesting not only to Saxon philologists, but to the antiquary, the historian, and the lover of ancient literature in general, had experienced. It is the

* The Anglo-Saxon Poems of Beowulf, the Traveller's Song, and the Battle of Finnesburh, edited by John M. Kemble, Esq. M.A. &c. Second edition. Pickering, 1835 (1837) fcp. 8vo.

A Translation of the Anglo-Saxon Poem of Beowulf, with a copious Glossary, Preface, and Philological Notes, by John M. Kemble, Esq. M.A. &c. Pickering, 1837. fcp. 8vo.

Coup-d'(Eil sur les Progres et stir l'Etat actuel de la Litterature Anglo-Saxonne en Angleterre, par M. Thomas Wright; traduit del'Anglais par M. de Larenaudi^re. Paris, Silvestre, 1836. London, Pickering, 8vo.

Giwt. Mao. Vol. VII. 3 S

picture of our heroic ages,such as few nations can boast—the Anglo-Saxon Iliad. Preserved in a manuscript, written itself in the tenth century, the poem bears undeniable marks of a much earlier origin. "In spite of its generally heathen character, there occur in it Christian allusions which fix this text at least at a period subsequent to A.D. 597. But it is also obvious thatan older and far completer poem has once existed; of which the numerous blunders, both in sense and versification, the occurrence of archaic forms found in no other Anglo-Saxon work, and the cursory allusions to events, which to the Anglo-Saxons after their departure from Sleswic, must soon have become unintelligible, are convincing proofs that our present text is only a copy, and a careless copy too."—(Pref. to vol. I. p. xx.) The first edition was published by a Dane, Grimus J. Thorkelin, in 4to, with a Latin translation, whose text was so extremely bad, even to the separating one word sometimes into two or three, as to render his book entirely valueless. So much eagerness was felt among those who knew the work to have a more correct text, that Mr. Kemble's first edition was sold off in less than three months after its publication. The new edition is considerably improved, and we think now that, unless other MSS. could be found, its editor has done all an editor can do for this important monument of the remote ages of our history. It is,however, the second volume, now first published, in which he has conferred the greatest benefit on Anglo-Saxon students, and which will do most towards making this poem more generally known. Here we have an accurate and literal translation of the whole poem, prefaced by a long dissertation on the mythic persons mentioned in it; we also have here a most valuable glossary to the language of Anglo-Saxon poetry, and numerous philological notes of great importance to those who wish to study the poem critically.

As we have already observed, the interest of the poem of Beowulf is not confined to the philologist, it also interests the antiquary and the historian in a very high degree. In it we have the most lively sketches of a state of society which our imagination could never have pictured to us without it, and we have contemporary illustrations of manners and customs which will solve ahost of doubtful questions. According to the poem, Hrothgar was a Danish prince, who, in the sunshine of his prosperity, had built himself a princely residence, " a great mead-hall," which was named Heorot. Here he hoped to feast in quiet with his nobles. The place was, however, haunted by an unearthly monster, one " of Cain's kin," to whose ravages many of Hrothgar's thanes fell victims. The account of this monster's origin illustrates a superstitious belief, prevalent in the west throughout the middle ages; it is one of the Christian additions to the original poem, though the notion itself had probably its foundation in northern mythology, when the early converts identified some one of their gods with the fratricide Cain.

'' Swa fta driht-guman So the vassals

dreumum Hfd[on] lived in joy

eadig-lice; happily;

o'Sf set «n on-gan until that one began

fyrene fre[m]man to practise crime,

fei'md on helle. a fiend in hell.

Wa?s se grimma gtest The grim stranger was

Grendel hiten, • called Grendel,

more mearc-stapa a mighty haunter of the marches,

se >e munis beuld; one that held the moors;

fen and fasten, fen and fastness,

ftfel-cj imcs eard, the dwelling of the monster race,

won-steli were this wretched man

weardode hwile, guarded for a while,

sipftan him scyppend after the Creator

for-scrifen hrcfde. had appointed him his punishment.

In Caines synne Upon the race of Cain

i>oae cwealm ge-wrsec the eternal Lord

ice drihtcn, avenged the murder,

pes pe he Abel slug. in that he ulew Abel.

Nc gc-feah he bare fieh'Sc, He (the Creator) rejoiced not

ac lie hine feor for-wrac, in the act of hatred,

metod for |>y mine, but banished liiin for his crime

man-cynnc fram: afar from mankind:

bnnon un-tydras thence evil progenies

mile on-wocon, all awoke into l{/e,

Eotenas and Ylfe Eotens and Elves,

and Orcneas; and Orks;

swylce gifgantas] Giants also

ba wiS Gode wunnon, then warred against God, lange brage; for a long period:

[he] him ftses lean for-geald." v. 197. he gave them therefore their reward.

Throughout the old English poetry, up to a late period, bad people are said to be " of Cain's kin," by which expression they are not compared to the first murderer, hut to the wicked spirits and monsters which were supposed to have sprung from him.

Beowulf, the Geat, the hero of our romance, a Saxon hero too, who dwelt on the opposite shore, resolved to try his valour against the Grendel, and deliver the Danes from their enemy. His visit to the Danish court, his reception there, and the festivities in the royal hall.

"Duties Geiit-mtecgum Then was for the sons of the Geats,

geador ret-sonime altogether

on beor-sele, in the beer-hall

bene ge-rymed; a bench cleared;

bier swi'S-ferh'Se there the bold of spirit,

sittan eodon, free from quarrel,

hrio'um dealle: went to sit:

begn nytte be-heold the thane observed his office,

se be on handa brer he that in his hand bare

hroden ealo-wrege, the twisted ale-cup,

scencte scir-wered; he poured the bright sweet liquor;

scop hwilum sang meanwhile the poet sang

hAdor on Heorote, serene in Heorot,

beer Wks htelefta dream there was joy of heroes,

diigu'8 un-lytel no little pomp
Dena and Wedera. (v. 976.) of Danes and Westerns.

—The combat with the Grendel, and afterwards with the monster's mother, the rejoicings after his two victories, and Beowulf's return to his own country, laden with treasures, are the subject of the first part of the poem. In the second part, Beowulf is king over his people, and aged, he goes to fight a dragon which had long guarded the treasures of the people of old time, and which had molested his subjects; the dragon is conquered, but Beowulf falls in the encounter, and this really magnificent poem closes with the account of his obsequies. For a longer analysis we must refer to the Covp-d'ceil; but we would rather refer our readers to the poem itself. We could go on quoting passages through our whole number, for we never in our life met with a poem so full of beautiful and striking passages as the romance of Beowulf the Geat.

Of its value to antiquaries and historians, an example will be the best illustration. In our last number we gave a long notice of Sir William Betham's observations on the ring-money of the ancient Celts. A perusal of Beowulf, and of the rest of the Anglo-Saxon poetry, will show that this ring-money was as common among the Saxons and other Teutonic tribes, as among the Celts, and that it is by no means necessarily of that remote antiquity which hasbeen given to it. We will only cite a few passages, out of a host furnished by our poem, which bear upon our subject. Of Hrothgar (the Danish king), after he had built Heorot, it is said,

"He be6t ne a-lch; He belied not his promise;

beagas darkle, he distributed ringi,

sine set symle; treasure at the feast;

sele hlifade; the hall rose aloft;

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In the minstrel-song about Finn and Hengest, one term of a treaty is that—

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And a few lines farther on, the king is distinguished as beah-gifa, the giver of rings:—

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Again, of the dragon and his treasure, after the death of the former:—

"beah-hordum leng Longer the hoard of ringswyrm wrih-bogen the twisted worm wealdan ne moste, 'might not possess,ac him irenna ecga for-namon." (v. BG48<) but him edges of iron took away.

This kind of money was probably used by the Anglo-Saxons long after their settlement in England; and the name of " ring-giver," as an epithet of princes, was preserved perhaps to the time of the Norman conquest. Such is the title of Athelstan, at the beginning of the noble song on the victory at Brunanburh—

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