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From Extracts, Describing the Ancient Manner of Placing the Kingdom in Military Array; The Various Modes of Defence Adopted for its Safety in Periods of Danger; and The Evidence of Foreigners as to the National Character and Personal Bravery of the English. Taken from Original State Papers of the Sixteenth Century Collected on the Continent, and hitherto Inedited. Anonymous [Rev. William Gunn], London: W. Bulmer and Co., 1803: pp. 1; 27-28.



=== I ===

Ex Codice manuscripto chartaceo Bibliothecæ Vaticanæ
1 No. 261. p. 76.

2 THE kingdom of Britain is divided into three parts, England, Wales, and Cornwall; each of these speaks a language peculiar to itself, and unintelligible to the other. The Welsh,3 who are the original inhabitants of the island, are men of fine stature, high spirited, and who prefer martial to any other enterprise. The English are more polished in manners, wealthier, and more inclined to commerce; while the characteristic of the Cornish, is that of being uncultivated, ferocious, and poor. All these cherish a natural hatred to the French, whom they hold in great contempt. In war they are bold and animated; their principal force consists of infantry, and the arms they use in battle are bows and arrows, of which they understand the use better than of any other weapons.



1  IT may not be generally known, that besides the MSS. with which successive pontiffs, and more particularly those from the reign of Sixtus the Fourth, have augmented the library of the Vatican-palace, and thence styled Vaticanæ, that immense collection is principally composed of the five following; — Palatina, or that which was transferred from Heidelburgh, and given to Gregory the Fifteenth, by Maximilian, Duke of Bavaria, after the capture of that city. — Alexandrina, or that which Christiana Queen of Sweden (See note 56) bequeathed to Alexander the Eighth. — Urbinata, transported to Rome from Urbino, when that duchy devolved to the church in the reign of Urban the Eighth. — Capponiana, given to Benedict the Fourteenth, by the Marquis Alexander Capponi. — Ottoboniana, purchased of the house of Ottoboni, by the last mentioned Pontiff.

2  The paper from which this extract is given, appears to have been written by Vincenzio Quirini, a Venetian gentleman in the suite of Philip and Joanna, King and Queen of Castille, who, in their passage from Flanders thither, were, in the month of January 1506, forced by tempestuous weather into the port of Weymouth. They were detained in this country by Henry the Seventh, till the 22nd of April, an interval which gave the author an opportunity of describing the situation of England at that period. It is not accompanied with any date, but he professes to have composed it soon after the decease of Philip, an event which happened in the month of September following.


3  This brief outline of the character of the Cambrian Britons, corresponds with the singularly interesting delineation of their public and private life preserved by Giraldus Cambrensis (London, 1585, p. 254 to p. 266.


Extract II.

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