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De profundis, the mass for the dead.-The duke of Luxembourg is said to have had an ordinary countenance and a deformed figure, in consequence of which William III. whose constant antagonist he was, is reported to have said once with some impatience, "What! shall I never beat this hump-backed fellow?" This speech being repeated to the duke, "How should he know," said he, "the shape of my back? I am sure he never saw me turn it to him." The last great action of the duke's life was a second famous retreat, in the presence of superior forces, through a considerable extent of country, to Tournay. This was in 1694, and he died the following year, Jan. 4, at the age of sixty-seven. Notwithstanding the disadvantages of his person, Luxembourg is said to have been much involved in intrigues of gallantry. He had some powerful enemies, particularly the minister Louvois, who once had him confined very unjustly in the Bastille. Among other frivolous calumnies on which he was then interrogated, he was asked whether he had not made a league with the devil, to marry his son to the daughter of the marquis de Louvois. His answer was replete with the high spirit of French nobility. "When Matthew of Montmorenci," said he, "married a queen of France, he addressed himself, not to the devil, but to the states-general; and the declaration of the states was, that in order to gain the support of the house of Montmorenci for the young king in his minority, it would be right to conclude that marriage." Idle as the accusations against him were, they cost him a confinement of fourteen months, and he had no subsequent redress.'
LYCOPHRON, a Greek poet and grammarian, was a native of Chalcis, in Euboea, and according to Ovid, was killed by a shot with an arrow. He flourished about 304 years before Christ, and wrote a poem entitled "Alexandra," or Cassandra, containing a long course of predictions, which he supposes to be made by Cassandra, daughter of Priam, king of Troy. This poem has created a great deal of trouble to the learned, on account of its obscurity, which procured him the title of "the tenebrous poet." Suidas has preserved the titles of twenty tragedies of his composing; and he is reckoned in the number of the poets who were called the Pleiades, and who flourished under Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt. The best edition
1 Moreri,-Dict. Hist.-Perrault's Les Hommes Illustres.
of "Lycophron," is that at Oxford, 1697, by Dr. (afterwards archbishop) Potter; re-printed there in 1701, folio. A few years ago, the rev. Henry Meen, B. D. published "Remarks" on the "Cassandra," which are highly judicious, and his conjectures in illustration of the obscurities of Lycophron, plausible and happy.'
LYCURGUS, the celebrated lawgiver of Sparta, flourished, according to the most judicious modern chronologers, about 898 years before the Christian æra. Plutarch seems to think that he was the fifth in descent from Procles, and the tenth from Hercules. When the sceptre devolved to him by the death of his brother Polydectes, the widow of that prince was pregnant. He was no sooner assured of this, than he determined to hold the sovereign power in trust only, in case the child should prove a son, and took the title of Prodicus or Protector, instead of that of king. It is added, that he had the virtue to resist the offers of the queen, who would have married him, with the dreadful promise that no son should be born to intercept his views. A son at length was born, and publicly presented by him. to the people, from whose joy on the occasion he named the infant Charilaus, i. e. the people's joy. Lycurgus was at this time a young man, and the state of Sparta was too turbulent and licentious for him to introduce any system of regulation, without being armed with some more express authority. How long he continued to administer the government is uncertain; probably till his nephew was of age to take it into his own hands. After resigning it, however, he did not long remain in Sparta, but went as a traveller to visit other countries and study their laws, particularly those of Crete, which were highly renowned for their excellence, and had been instituted by Rhadamanthus and Minos, two illustrious legislators, who pretended to have received their laws from Jupiter. Lycurgus passed some years in this useful employment, but he had left behind him such a reputation for wisdom and justice, that when the corruption and confusion of the state became intolerable, he was recalled by a public invitation to assume the quality of legislator, and to new model the government.
Lycurgus willingly returned to undertake the task thus devolved upon him, and, having obtained, after various difficulties, the co-operation of the kings, and of the
1 Saxii Onomasticon.-Gen. Dict.-Moreri.-Month. Rev. N. S. vol. XXXVII.
various orders of the people, he formed that extraordinary system of government which has been the wonder of all subsequent ages, but which has been too much detailed by various authors, for us to enter into the particulars. When with invincible courage, unwearied perseverance, and a judgment and penetration still more extraordinary, he had formed and executed the most singular plan that ever was devised, he waited for a time to see his great machine in motion; and finding it proceed to his wish, he had now no other object but to secure its duration. For this purpose he convened the kings, senate, and people, told them that he wished to visit Delphi, to consult the oracle on the constitution he had formed, and engaged them all to bind themselves by a most solemn oath, that nothing should be altered before his return. The approbation of the oracle he received, but he returned no more, being determined to bind his countrymen indissolubly to the observance of his laws, and thinking his life, according to the enthusiastic patriotism of those times, a small sacrifice to secure the welfare of his country. Different accounts are given of the place and manner of his death. According to some authors, he died by voluntary abstinence. One tradition says, that he lived to a good old age in Crete, and dying a natural death, his body was burned, according to the practice of the age, and his relics, pursuant to his own request, scattered in the sea; lest if his bones or ashes had ever been carried to Sparta, the Lacedæmoniaus might have thought themselves free from the obligation of their oath, to preserve his laws unaltered. He is supposed to have died after the year 873 B. C. His laws were abrogated by Philopamen in the year 188 B. C. but the Romans very soon re-established them.'
LYCURGUS, an Athenian orator, contemporary with Demosthenes, was born about 408 years before the Christian æra, and died about or after 328. He was an Athenian, and the son of a person named Lycophron. He studied philosophy under Plato, and rhetoric under Isocrates. He was of the most exalted character for integrity, in which he was severely scrupulous; a strenuous defender of liberty, a perpetual opposer of Philip and Alexander, and a firm friend of Demosthenes. As a magistrate, he
1 Mitford's History of Greece.-Moreri.-Gen. Dict.-Saxii Onomast. Plutarch in his life.
proceeded with severity against criminals, but kept a register of all his proceedings, which, on quitting his office, he submitted to public inspection. When he was about to die, he publicly offered his actions to examination, and refuted the only accuser who appeared against him. He was one of the thirty orators whom the Athenians refused to give up to Alexander. One oration of his, against Leocrates, is still extant, and has been published in the collections of Aldus, Taylor, and Reiske. His eloquence partook of the manly severity and truth of his character.1
LYDGATE (JOHN), an ancient English poet, is recorded as one of the immediate successors of Chaucer. The few dates that have been recovered of his history are, that he was ordained a sub-deacon in 1389; a deacon in 1393, and a priest in 1397; from these it has been surmised that he was born about 1375, that is, twenty-five years before the death of Chaucer. There is a note of Wanley's in the Harleian Catalogue (2251. 3.) which insinuates as if Lydgate did not die till 1482. This Dr. Percy thinks too long a date; he was, however, living in 1446, since in his "Philomela" he mentions the death of Henry duke of Warwick, who died that year. Some authorities place his death in 1461, and this date Mr. Ellis thinks is not improbable.
He was, says Warton, who of all our modern critics has considered him with most attention, a monk of the Benedictine abbey of Bury in Suffolk. After a short education at Oxford, he travelled into France and Italy; and returned a complete master of the language and the literature of both countries. He chiefly studied the Italian and French poets, particularly Dante, Boccaccio, and Alain Chartier; and became so distinguished a proficient in polite learning, that he opened a school in his monastery, for teaching the sons of the nobility the arts of versification, and the elegancies of composition. Yet, although philology was his object, he was not unfamiliar with the fashionable philosophy he was not only a poet and a rhetorician, but a geometrician, an astronomer, a theologist, and a disputant. Mr. Warton is of opinion that he made considerable additions to those amplifications of our language, in which Chaucer, Gower, and Hoccleve, led the way; and that he is the first of our writers whose style is clothed with that
1 Fabr. Bibl. Græc.--Moreri.
perspicuity in' which the English phraseology appears at this day to an English reader.
Lydgate's pieces are very numerous.
Ritson has given
a list of two hundred and fifty-one, some of which he admits may not be Lydgate's, but he supposes, on the other hand, that he may be the author of many others that are anonymous. His most esteemed works are his "Story of Thebes," his "Fall of Princes," and his " History, Siege, and Destruction of Troy." The first is printed by Speght in his edition of Chaucer; the second, the "Fall of Princes," or "Boke of Johan Bochas," (first printed by Pinson in 1494, and several times since,) is a translation from Boccaccio, or rather from a French paraphrase of his work "De casibus Virorum et Feminarum illustrium." The "History, &c. of Troy" was first printed by Pinson in 1513, but more correctly by Marshe in 1555. This was once the most popular of his works, and the inquisitive reader will find much curious information in it, although he may not be able to discover such poetical beauties as can justify its original popularity. That popularity was, indeed, says Mr. Ellis, excessive and unbounded; and it continued without much diminution during, at least, two centuries. To this the praises of succeeding writers, bear ample testimony: but it is confirmed by a most direct and singular evidence. An anonymous writer has taken the pains to modernize the entire poem, consisting of about 28,000 verses, to change the. ancient context, and almost every rhyme, and to throw the whole into six-line stanzas ; and after all he published it with the name of Lydgate, under the title of "The Life and Death of Hector," 1614, folio, printed by Thomas Purfoot.-Of the general merits of Lydgate, Warton has spoken very favourably; Percy, Ritson, and Pinkerton, with contempt; and Mr. Ellis with the caution of a man of correct taste and judgment.'
LYDIAT (THOMAS), an eminent English scholar, was born at Alkrington or Okerton, near Banbury in Oxfordshire, in 1572. His father, observing his natural talents, sent him to Winchester school, where he was admitted a scholar on the foundation, at thirteen; and, being elected thence to New-college in Oxford, was put under the tuition of Dr. (afterwards sir) Henry Martin, who became so well
1 Warton's History of Poetry.-Ellis's Specimens.-Ritson's Bibliographia. -MS note in Percy's copy of Winstanley.-Phillips's Theatrum," by sir E. Brydges. Censura Literaria, vol. VII.