Sandys, George

, brother of the preceding, was the seventh and youngest son of the archbishop of York, and was born at the archiepiscopal pala.ce of Bishopthorp in 1577. In 1588 he was sent to Oxford, and matriculated of St. Mary Hall. Wood is of opinion, that he afterwards removed to Corpus-Christi-coilege. How iang he resided in the university, or whether he took a degree, does not appear. In August 16 10, remarkable for the murder of king Henry IV. of France, Mr. Sandys set out on his travels, and, in the course of. two years, made an extensive tour, having visited several parts of Europe, and many cities and countries of the East, as Constantinople, Greece, Egypt, and the Holy Land; after which, taking a view of the remote parts of Italy, he went to Rome and Venice, and, on his return, after properly digesting the observations he had made, published, in 1615, his well-known folio, the title of the 7th edition of which, in 1673, is,” Sandys* Travels, containing an history of the original and present state of the Turkish empire; their laws, government, policy, military force, courts of justice, and commerce. The Ma-^ hometan religion and ceremonies. A description of Constantinople, the grand signior’s seraglio, and his manner of living: also of Greece, with the religion and customs of the Grecians. Of Egypt; the antiquity, hieroglyphics, rites, customs, discipline, and religion, of the Egyptians, A voyage on the river Nilus. Of Armenia, Grand Cairo, Rhodes, the Pyramides, Colossus: the former flourishing and present state of Alexandria. A description of the Holy Land, of the Jews, and several sects of Christians Jiving there; of Jerusalem, Sepulchre of Christ, Temple of Solomon, and what else, either of antiquity orworth observation. Lastly, Italy described, and the islands adjoining; as Cyprus, Crete, Malta, Sicilia, the Eolian islands; of Rome, Venice, Naples, Syracusa, Mesena, jEtna, Scylla, and Charybdis; and other places of note. Illustrated with | fifty maps and figures.“Most of the plates, especially those relating to Jerusalem and the Holy Land, are copied from the” Devotissimo Viaggio di Zualiardo, Roma,“1587, 4to. Of these travels there have been eight or ten editions published, and it still bears its reputation, his accounts having been verified by subsequent travellers. Mr. Markland has a copy of this work, edit. 1637, with a ms copy of verses by the author, which may be seen in the *’ Censura Literaria,” but was first published at the end of his “Psalms,1640, 8vo.

Sandys distinguished himself also as a poet; and his productions in that way were greatly admired in the times they were written. In 1632 he published “Ovid’s Metamorphoses Englished, mythologized, and represented in figures,Oxford, in folio. Francis Cleyn was the inventor of the figures, and Solomon Savary the engraver. He had before published part of this translation; and, in the preface to this second edition, he tells us, that he has attempted to collect out of sundry authors the philosophical sense of the fables of Ovid. To this work, which is dedicated to Charles I. is subjoined “An Essay to the translation of the jEneis.” It was reprinted in 1640. In 1636, he published, in 8vo, “A Paraphrase on the Psalms of David, and upon the Hymns dispersed throughout the Old and New Testament,1636, 8vo, reprinted in 1638, folio; with a title somewhat varied, This was a book which, Wood tells us, Charles I. delighted to read, when a prisoner in Carisbrooke castle. There was an edition of J 640, with the Psalms set to music, by Lawes. In this last year he published, in 12rno, a sacred drama, written originally by Grotius, under the title of “Christus Patiens,” and which Mr. Sandys, in his translation, has called “Christ’s Passion,” on which, and “Adamus Exul,” and Masenius, is founded Lauder’s impudent charge of plagiarism against Milton. This translation was reprinted, with cuts, in 1688, $vo. The subject of it was treated before in Greek by Apollinarius bishop of Hierapolis, and after him by Gregory Nazianzen; but, according to Sandys, Grotius excelled all others. Langbaine tells us, with regard to Sandys’ translation, that “he will be allowed an excellent artist in it by learned judges; and he has followed Horace’s advice of avoiding a servile translation, * nee verbum verbo curabis reddere fidus interpres’ so he comes so near the sense of his author, that nothing is lost; no spirits | evaporate in the decanting of it into English; and, if there be any sediment, it is left behind.” He published also a metrical paraphrase of “The Song of Solomon,London, 1641, 4to, dedicated to the King, and reprinted in 1648 with his “Psalms.” There are but few incidents known concerning our author. All who mention him agree in bestowing on him the character, not only of a man of genius, but of singular worth and piety. For the most part of his latter days he lived with sir Francis Wenman, of Caswell, near Witney in Oxfordshire, to whom his sister was married; probably chusing that situation in some measure on account of its proximity to Burford, the retirement of his intimate acquaintance and valuable friend Lucius lord viscount Falkland, who addressed some elegant poems to him, preserved in Nichols’s “Select Collection,” with several by Mr. Sandys, who diejl at the house of his nephew, sir Francis Wyat, at Boxley in Kent, in 1643; and was interred in the* chancel of that parish-church, without any inscription but in the parish register is this entry “Georgius Sandys poetarum Anglorum sui sseculi facile princeps, sepultus fuit Martii 7, Stilo Angliae, ann. Dom. 164$.” His memory has also been handed down by various writers, with the respect thought due to his great worth and abilities. Mr. Dryden pronounced him the best versifier of the age, but objects to his “Ovid,” as too close and literal; and Mr. Pope declared, in his notes to the Iliad, that English poetry owed much of its present beauty to his translations. Dr. Warton thinks that Sandys did more to polish and tune the English versification than Den ham or Waller, who are usually applauded on this subject; yet his poems are not now much read. The late biographer of his father observes, that “the expressive energy of his prose will entitle him to a place among English classics, when his verses, some of which arebeautiful, shall be forgotten. Of the excellence of his style, the dedication of his travels to prince Henry, will afford a short and very conspicuous example.1


Ath. Ox. vol. II. —Cibber's Lives. Fuller’s Worthies. Censura Lit. vote. IV. and V. Ellis’s Specimens, vol. III. p. 24.~Bowles’s edition of Pope.-. Nichols’s Poems. Whitaker’s Life of Aby. Sandys, p. xlvii.