Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 22.djvu/82

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tise on the truth of Christianity, and bade him complete and publish it with a dedication to Leicester. This Golding did in 1587 after Sidney's death, entitling the book ‘A woorke concerning the trewnesse of the Christian Religion begunne to be translated … by Sir Philip Sidney, knight, and at his request finished by Arthur Golding,’ London, 1589. Other editions are dated 1592, 1604 (revised and corrected by Thomas Wilcocks), and 1617 (with further corrections) (cf. Fox Bourne, Sir Philip Sidney, pp. 407–11). Golding also knew Dr. Dee, who seems to have arranged to cure him of fistula on 30 Sept. 1597 (Diary, Camd. Soc. p. 60). On 25 July 1605 an order was issued to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the attorney-general to draw up a grant giving Golding the sole right of printing such of his works as they held to be beneficial to the church and commonwealth. Golding married the widow of George Forster. Nashe, writing in 1589, speaks of him as ‘aged Arthur Golding,’ and of his ‘industrious toyle in Englishing Ovid's “Metamorphosis,” besides many other exquisite editions of divinitie turned by him out of the French tongue into our owne’ (preface to Greene's Menaphon, 1589). The date of his death is not known.

Golding came into much landed property. On 6 Dec. 1576 the death of his brother Henry made him lord of the manor of Easthorp, Essex, besides giving him other property, all of which he alienated (by license) 20 Nov. 1577. On 7 March 1579–80 another brother, George, with his wife, Mary, gave Golding the estate of Netherhall, Gestingthorpe, Essex, and this he sold in 1585. George Golding died 20 Nov. 1584, and his brother then secured other lands in Essex, but he sold nearly all his property in 1595.

With the exception of some English verses prefixed to Baret's ‘Alvearie,’ 1580, Golding's sole original publication was a prose ‘Discourse upon the Earthquake that hapned throughe this realme of England and other places of Christendom, the first of April 1580 …,’ London (by Henry Binneman). Here Golding seeks to show that the earthquake was a judgment of God to punish the wickedness of the age. He denounces with puritan warmth the desecration of the Sabbath by the public performance of stage plays on Sundays. Shakespeare refers to the same earthquake in ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ i. 3. It is as the translator of Ovid's ‘Metamorphoses’ that Golding deserves to be best known. He published ‘the fyrst fower bookes,’ with a dedication to Leicester (London, by Wyllyam Seres), in 1565; and the reception this work met with was so favourable that in 1567 he issued ‘the xv. bookes’ (London, by Wyllyam Seres). Later editions are dated 1575, 1576, 1584, 1587, 1593, 1603, 1612, and 1675. The dedication, in verse, describes in succession the subject of each of the fifteen books (reprinted in Brydges's ‘Restituta,’ ii. 376–411). The translation is in ballad metre, each line having usually fourteen syllables. It is always lively, and at times poetic. After the first volume was issued in 1565, Thomas Peend published the fable of ‘Salmacis and Hermaphroditus,’ likewise from the ‘Metamorphoses.’ In the preface Peend says that he had translated nearly the whole work, but abandoned his design because another, meaning Golding, was engaged upon it. ‘T. B.,’ in lines prefixed to John Studley's translation of Seneca's ‘Agamemnon,’ 1566, speaks of the renown of Golding, ‘which Ovid did translate,’ and of ‘the thondryng of his verse.’ Puttenham, in his ‘Arte of Poesie,’ associates Golding more than once with Phaer, the celebrated translator of Virgil, whose work is far inferior to Golding's in literary merit. Webbe and Meres also enumerate Golding's ‘Metamorphoses’ among the best translations of their age. Until Sandys's ‘Ovid’ appeared in 1632, Golding's version held the field unchallenged. It is quite certain that Shakespeare was well acquainted with his work. Golding's translation of Cæsar's ‘Commentaries,’ dedicated in 1565 to Cecil, is also an interesting venture. Another edition appeared in 1590. Golding was the second translator of Cæsar, the first having been Tiptoft, earl of Worcester.

The bibliography of Golding's other translations presents many difficulties. Several religious books bearing his initials have been assigned to him, but are undoubtedly by Anthony Gilby [q. v.] This is certainly the case with the translation of Calvin's ‘Commentary on Daniel,’ London, 1570, and ‘The Testamentes of the Twelue Patriarches’ from the Latin of Robert Grosseteste, London, 1581. The following, besides those already mentioned, may be assigned to Golding:

  1. ‘A Briefe Treatise concerning the Burninge of Bucer and Phagius,’ from the Latin, London, 1562.
  2. ‘The Historie of Leonard Aretine (i.e. L. Bruni Aretino) concerning the Warres betweene the Imperialls & the Gothes for the possession of Italy,’ 1563; dedicated to Cecil.
  3. ‘Thabridgemente of the Histories of Trogus Pompeius, collected and wrytten in the Latin Tongue … by the famous Historyographer Justine’ (May 1564), by Thomas Marsh, dedicated to Edward de Vere, earl of Oxford; ‘newlie corrected’ 1570, 1578.
  4. ‘John Calvin, his Treatise concerning Offences,’ Lon-