Howell was acquainted with such eminent writers and thinkers as Edward , lord Herbert of Cherbury (q.v.) and Ben Jonson . On Jonson 's death in 1637 he wrote a tribute in the form of an elegy. His political allegory, Dodona's Grove , was translated into French and Latin , and England's Teares , an appeal for peace in 1644 , was rendered into Latin and Dutch . In his political pamphlets he espoused the king 's cause while he lived, but when Cromwell was made Protector , Howell praised him for dissolving the Long Parliament . Moving with the times, Howell laid himself open to the charge of inconsistency.
A gifted linguist , Howell compiled an English - French - Italian - Spanish dictionary, as well as a collection of proverbs derived from these languages and from Welsh . Fully conversant with Welsh , he never loses an opportunity to quote from his native tongue and to refer to what he considered the racial and linguistic affinities of his people.
As a writer he is now chiefly remembered for his Familiar Epistles . Into them Howell pours all his knowledge of men and affairs and his insatiable curiosity in many fields. Their liveliness has combined with their natural style to win for them a lasting popularity.
Emeritus Professor Herbert Gladstone Wright, M.A., (1888-1962), Bangor
Published date: 1959