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Short poem

George Puttenham (ca. 1529-1591)

The Arte of Poesie (1589)

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Of Ornament Poeticall.

¶3.1.1 As no doubt the good proportion
of any thing doth greatly adorne and commend it and right so
our late remembred proportions doe to our vulgar Poesie: so
is there yet requisite to the perfection of this arte,
another maner of exornation, which resteth in the fashioning
of our makers language and stile, to such purpose as it may
delight and allure as well the mynde as the eare of the
hearers with a certaine noueltie and strange maner of
conueyance, disguising it no litle from the ordinary and
accustomed: neuerthelesse making it nothing the more
vnseemely or misbecomming, but rather decenter and more
agreable to any ciuill eare and vnderstanding. And as we see
in these great Madames of honour, be they for personage or
otherwise neuer so comely and bewtifull, yet if they want
their courtly habillements or at leastwise such other
apparell as custome and ciuilitie haue ordained to couer
their naked bodies, would be halfe ashamed or greatly out of
countenaunce to be seen in that sort, and perchance do then
thinke themselues more amiable in euery mans eye, when they
be in their richest attire, suppose of silkes or tyssewes
|&| costly embroderies, then when they go in cloth or in any
other plaine and simple apparell. Euen so cannot our vulgar
Poesie shew it selfe either gallant or gorgious, if any
lymme be left naked and bare and not clad in his kindly
clothes and coulours, such as may conuey them somwhat out of
sight, that is from the common course of ordinary

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speach and capacitie of the vulgar iudgement, and yet being
artificially handled must needes yeld it much more bewtie
and commendation. This ornament we speake of is giuen to it
by figures and figuratiue speaches, which be the flowers as
it were and coulours that a Poet setteth vpon his language
by arte, as the embroderer doth his stone and perle, or
passements of gold vpon the stuffe of a Princely garment, or
as th'excellent painter bestoweth the rich Orient coulours
vpon his table of pourtraite: so neuerthelesse as if the
same coulours in our arte of Poesie (as well as in those
other mechanicall artes) be not well tempered, or not well
layd, or be vsed in excesse, or neuer so litle disordered or
misplaced, they not onely giue it no maner of grace at all,
but rather do disfigure the stuffe and spill the whole
workmanship taking away all bewtie and good liking from it,
no lesse then if the crimson tainte, which should be laid
vpon a Ladies lips, or right in the center of her cheekes
should by some ouersight or mishap be applied to her forhead
or chinne, it would make (ye would say) but a very
ridiculous bewtie, wherfore the chief prayse and cunning of
our Poet is in the discreet vsing of his figures, as the
skilfull painters is in the good conueyance of his coulours
and shadowing traits of his pensill, with a delectable
varietie, by all measure and iust proportion, and in places
most aptly to be bestowed.


How our writing and speaches publike ought to be figuratiue,
and if they be not doe greatly disgrace the cause and
purpose of the speaker and writer.

¶3.2.1 BVt as it hath bene alwayes
reputed a great fault to vse figuratiue speaches foolishly
and indiscretly, so is it esteemed no lesse an imperfection
in mans vtterance, to haue none vse of figure at all,
specially in our writing and speaches publike, making them
but as our ordinary talke, then which nothing can be more
vnsauourie and farre from all ciuilitie. I remember in the
first yeare of Queenes Maries raigne a Knight of Yorkshire
was chosen speaker of the Parliament, a good gentleman and
wise, in the affaires of his shire, and not vnlearned in the
lawes of the Realme, but as well for some lack of his teeth,
as for want of language no-

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thing well spoken, which at that time and businesse was most
behooffull for him to haue bene: this man after he had made
his Oration to the Queene; which ye know is of course to be
done at the first assembly of both houses; a bencher of the
Temple both well learned and very eloquent, returning from
the Parliament house asked another gentleman his frend how
he liked M. Speakers Oration: mary quoth th'other, me thinks
I heard not a better alehouse tale told this seuen yeares.
This happened because the good old Knight made no difference
betweene an Oration or publike speach to be deliuered to
th'eare of a Princes Maiestie and state of a Realme, then he
would haue done of an ordinary tale to be told at his table
in the countrey, wherein all men know the oddes is very
great. And though graue and wise counsellours in their
consultations doe not vse much superfluous eloquence, and
also in their iudiciall hearings do much mislike all
scholasticall rhetoricks: yet in such a case as it may be
(and as this Parliament was) if the Lord Chancelour of
England or Archibishop of Canterbury himselfe were to
speake, he ought to doe it cunningly and eloquently, which
can not be without the vse of figures: and neuerthelesse
none impeachment or blemish to the grauitie of their persons
or of the cause: wherein I report me to th|em| that knew Sir
Nicholas Bacon Lord keeper of the great Seale, or
now Lord Treasorer of England, and haue bene conuersant with
their speaches made in the Parliament house |&|
Starrechamber. From whose lippes I haue seene to proceede
more graue and naturall eloquence, then from all the
Oratours of Oxford or Cambridge, but all is as it is
handled, and maketh no matter whether the same eloquence be
naturall to them or artificiall (though I thinke rather
naturall) yet were they knowen to be learned and not
vnskilfull of th'arte, when they were yonger men: and as
learning and arte teacheth a schollar to speake, so doth it
also teach a counsellour, and aswell an old man as a yong,
and a man in authoritie, aswell as a priuate person, and a
pleader aswell as a preacher, euery man after his sort and
calling as best becommeth: and that speach which becommeth
one, doth not become another, for maners of speaches, some
serue to work in excesse, some in mediocritie, some to graue
purposes, some to light, some to be short and

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brief, some to be long, some to stirre vp affections, some
to pacifie and appease them, and these common despisers of
good vtterance, which resteth altogether in figuratiue
speaches, being well vsed whether it come by nature or by
arte or by exercise, they be but certaine grosse ignorance
of whom it is truly spoken entia non habet inimicum
nisi ignorantem come to the Lord Keeper Sir
Nicholas Bacon, |&| found him sitting in his gallery
alone with the works of Quintilian before him, in
deede he was a most eloquent man, and of rare learning and
wisedome, as euer I knew England to breed, and one that
ioyed as much in learned men and men of good witts. A Knight
of the Queenes priuie chamber, once intreated a noble woman
of the Court, being in great fauour about her Maiestie (to
th'intent to remoue her from a certaine displeasure, which
by sinister opinion she had conceiued against a gentleman
his friend) that it would please her to heare him speake in
his own cause, |&| not to c|on|d|em|ne him vpon his
aduersaries report: God forbid said she, he is to wise for
me to talke with, let him goe and satisfie such a man naming
him: why quoth the Knight againe, had your Ladyship rather
heare a man talke like a foole or like a wise man? This was
because the Lady was a litle peruerse, and not disposed to
reforme her selfe by hearing reason, which none other can so
well beate into the ignorant head, as the well spoken and
eloquent man. And because I am so farre waded into this
discourse of eloquence and figuratiue speaches, I will tell
you what hapned on a time my selfe being present when
certaine Doctours of the ciuil law were heard in a litigious
cause betwixt a man and his wife: before a great Magistrat
who (as they can tell that knew him) was a man very well
learned and graue, but somewhat sowre, and of no plausible
vtterance: the gentlemans chaunce, was to say: my Lord the
simple woman is not so much to blame as her lewde
abbettours, who by violent perswasions haue lead her into
this wilfulnesse. Quoth the iudge, what neede such eloquent
termes in this place, the gentleman replied, doth your
Lordship mislike the terme, [violent] |&| me
thinkes I speake it to great purpose: for I am sure she
would neuer haue done it, but by force of perswasion: |&| if
perswasi|on|s were not very violent to the minde of man it
could not haue wrought so str|an|ge an effect as we read
that it did once in Æ

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gypt, |&| would haue told the whole tale at large, if the
Magistrate had not passed it ouer very pleasantly. Now to
tell you the whole matter as the gentlem|an| int|en|ded,
thus it was. There came into Ægypt a notable
Oratour, whose name was Hegesias who inueyed so
much against the inc|om|modities of this transitory life,
|&| so highly commended death the dispatcher of all euils;
as a great number of his hearers destroyed themselues, some
with weap|on|, some with poyson, others by drowning and
hanging themselues to be rid out of this vale of misery, in
so much as it was feared least many moe of the people would
haue miscaried by occasion of his perswasions, if king
Ptolome had not made a publicke proclamation, that
the Oratour should auoyde the countrey, and no more be
allowed to speake in any matter. Whether now perswasions,
may not be said violent and forcible to simple myndes in
speciall, I referre it to all mens iudgements that heare the
story. At least waies, I finde this opinion, confirmed by a
pretie deuise or embleme that Lucianus alleageth
he saw in the pourtrait of Hercules within the
Citie of Marseills in Prouence: where they had figured a
lustie old man with a long chayne tyed by one end at his
tong, by the other end at the peoples eares, who stood a
farre of and seemed to be drawen to him by the force of that
chayne fastned to his tong, as who would say, by force of
his perswasions. And to shew more plainly that eloquence is
of great force (and not as many men thinke amisse) the
propertie and gift of yong men onely, but rather of old men,
and a thing which better becommeth hory haires then
beardlesse boyes, they seeme to ground it vpon this reason:
age (say they and most truly) beings experience, experience
bringeth wisedome, long life yeldes long vse and much
exercise of speach, exercise and custome with wisedome, make
an assured and volluble vtterance: so is it that old men
more then any other sort speake most grauely, wisely,
assuredly, and plausibly, which partes are all that can be
required in perfite eloquence, and so in all deliberations
of importance where counsellours are allowed freely to opyne
|&| shew their c|on|ceits, good perswasion is no lesse
requisite then speach it selfe: for in great purposes to
speake and not be able or likely to perswade, is a vayne
thing: now let vs returne backe to say more of this
Poeticall ornament.

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How ornament Poeticall is of two sortes according to the
double vertue and efficacie of figures.

¶3.3.1 THis ornament then is of two
sortes, one to satisfie |&| delight th'eare onely by a
goodly outward shew set vpon the matter with wordes, and
speaches smothly and tunably running: another by certaine
intendments or sence of such wordes |&| speaches inwardly
working a stirre to the mynde: that first qualitie the
Greeks called Enargia, of this word argos
, because it geueth a glorious lustre and light. This
latter they called Energia of ergon,
because it wrought with a strong and vertuous operation; and
figure breedeth them both, some seruing to giue glosse onely
to a language, some to geue it efficacie by sence, and so by
that meanes some of them serue th'eare onely, some serue the
conceit onely and not th'eare: there be of them also that
serue both turnes as comm|on| seruitours appointed for
th'one and th'other purpose, which shalbe hereafter spoken
of in place: but because we haue alleaged before that
ornament is but the good or rather bewtifull habite of
language and stile, and figuratiue speaches the instrument
wherewith we burnish our language fashioning it to this or
that measure and proportion, whence finally resulteth a long
and continuall phrase or maner of writing or speach, which
we call by the name of stile: we wil first speake
of language, then of stile, lastly of figure, and declare
their vertue and differences, and also their vse and best
application, |&| what portion in exornation euery of them
bringeth to the bewtifying of this Arte.


Of Language.

¶3.4.1 SPeach is not naturall to man
sauing for his onely habilitie to speake, and that he is by
kinde apt to vtter all his conceits with sounds and voyces
diuersified many maner of wayes, by meanes of the many |&|
fit instruments he hath by nature to that purpose, as a
broad and voluble tong, thinne and mouable lippes, teeth
eu|en| and not shagged, thick ranged, a round vaulted
pallate, and a long throte, besides and excellent capacitie
of wit that maketh him more disciplinable and imitatiue then
any other creature: then as to the

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forme and action of his speach, it commeth to him by arte
|&| teaching, and by vse or exercise. But after a speach is
fully fashioned to the common vnderstanding, |&| accepted by
consent of a whole countrey |&| nati|on|, it is called a
language, |&| receaueth none allowed alteration, but by
extraordinary occasions by little |&| little, as it were
insensibly bringing in of many corrupti|on|s that creepe
along with the time: of all which matters, we haue more
largely spoken in our bookes of the originals and pedigree
of the English tong. Then when I say language, I meane the
speach wherein the Poet or maker writeth be it Greek or
Latine or as our case is the vulgar English, |&| when it is
peculiar vnto a countrey it is called the mother speach of
that people: the Greekes terme it Idioma: so is
ours at this day the Norman English. Before the Conquest of
the Normans it was the Anglesaxon, and before that the
British, which as some will, is at this day, the Walsh, or
as others affirme the Cornish: I for my part thinke neither
of both, as they be now spoken and pronounced. This part in
our maker or Poet must be heedyly looked vnto, that it be
naturall, pure, and the most vsuall of all his countrey: and
for the same purpose rather that which is spoken in the
kings Court, or in the good townes and Cities within the
land, then in the marches and frontiers, or in port townes,
where straungers haunt for traffike sake, or yet in
Vniuersities where Schollers vse much peeuish affectation of
words out of the primatiue languages, or finally, in any
vplandish village or corner of a Realme, where is no resort
but of poore rusticall or vnciuill people: neither shall he
follow the speach of a craftes man or carter, or other of
the inferiour sort, though he be inhabitant or bred in the
best town and Citie in this Realme, for such persons doe
abuse good speaches by strange accents or ill shapen
soundes, and false ortographie. But he shall follow
generally the better brought vp sort, such as the Greekes
call [charientes] men ciuill and graciously
behauoured and bred. Our maker therfore at these dayes shall
not follow Piers plowman nor Gower nor
Lydgate nor yet Chaucer, for their
language is now out of vse with vs: neither shall he take
the termes of Northern-men, such as they vse in dayly talke,
whether they be noble men or gentlemen, or of their best
clarkes all is a matter: nor in effect any speach vsed
beyond the

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riuer of Trent, though no man can deny but that theirs is
the purer English Saxon at this day, yet it is not so
Courtly nor so currant as our Southerne English is, no more
is the far Westerne m|an|s speach: ye shall therfore take
the vsuall speach of the Court, and that of London and the
shires lying about London within lx. myles, and not much
aboue. I say not this but that in euery shyre of England
there be gentlemen and others that speake but specially
write as good Southerne as we of Middlesex or Surrey do, but
not the common people of euery shire, to whom the gentlemen,
and also their learned clarkes do for the most part
condescend, but herein we are already ruled by th'English
Dictionaries and other bookes written by learned men, and
therefore it needeth none other direction in that behalfe.
Albeit peraduenture some small admonition be not
impertinent, for we finde in our English writers many wordes
and speaches amendable, |&| ye shall see in some many
inkhorne termes so ill affected brought in by men of
learning as preachers and schoolemasters: and many straunge
termes of other languages by Secretaries and Marchaunts and
trauailours, and many darke wordes and not vsuall nor well
sounding, though they be dayly spoken in Court. Wherefore
great heed must be taken by our maker in this point that his
choise be good. And peraduenture the writer hereof be in
that behalfe no lesse faultie then any other, vsing many
straunge and vnaccustomed wordes and borrowed from other
languages: and in that respect him selfe no meete Magistrate
to reforme the same errours in any other person, but since
he is not vnwilling to acknowledge his owne fault, and can
the better tell how to amend it, he may seeme a more
excusable correctour of other mens: he intendeth therefore
for an indifferent way and vniuersall benefite to taxe him
selfe first and before any others.

¶3.4.2 These be wordes vsed by th'author in this
present treatise, sci|en|tificke, but with some
reason, for it auswereth the word
mechanicall, which no other word could haue done so
properly, for when hee spake of all artificers which rest
either in science or in handy craft, it followed
necessarilie that scientifique should be coupled
with mechanicall: or els neither of both to haue
bene allowed, but in their places: a man of science
liberall, and a handicrafts man, which

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had not bene so cleanly a speech as the other Maior-
: in truth this word is borrowed of the
Spaniard and Italian, and therefore new and
not vsuall, but to them that are acquainted with the
affaires of Court: and so for his iolly magnificence (as
this case is) may be accepted among Courtiers, for whom this
is specially written. A man might haue said in steade of
Maior-domo, the French word (maistre
) but ilfauouredly, or the right
English word (Lord Steward). But me thinks for my
owne opinion this word Maior-domo though he be
borrowed, is more acceptable th|an| any of the rest, other
man may iudge otherwise. Politien this word also
is receiued from the Frenchmen, but at this day vsuall in
Court and with all good Secretaries: and cannot finde an
English word to match him, for to haue said a man politique,
had not bene so wel: bicause in trueth that had bene no more
than to haue said a ciuil person. Politien, is
rather a surueyour of ciuilitie than ciuil, |&| a publique
minister or Counseller in the state. Ye haue also this worde
Conduict, a French word, but well allowed of vs,
and long since vsuall, it soundes somewhat more than this
word (leading) for it is applied onely to the leading of a
Captaine, and not as a little boy should leade a blinde man,
therefore more proper to the case when he saide,
conduict of whole armies: ye finde also this word
Idiome, taken from the Greekes, yet seruing aptly,
when a man wanteth to expresse so much vnles it be in two
words, which surplussage to auoide, we are allowed to draw
in other words single, and asmuch significatiue: this word
significatiue is borrowed of the Latine and
French, but to vs brought in first by some Noble-mans
Secretarie, as I thinke, yet doth so well serue the turne,
as it could not now be spared: and many more like vsurped
Latine and French words: as, Methode, methodicall,
placation, function, assubtiling, refining, compendious,
prolixe, figuratiue, inueigle
. A terme borrowed of our
common Lawyers. impression, also a new terme, but
well expressing the matter, and more than our English word.
These words, Numerous, numerositee, metricall,
, but they cannot be refused, specially in
this place for description of the arte. Also ye finde these
words, penetrate, penetrable, indignitie, which I
cannot see how we may spare them, whatsoeuer fault wee finde
with Ink-horne ermes: for our speach wanteth wordes to

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such sence so well to be vsed: yet in steade of
indignitie, ye haue vnworthinesse: and for
penetrate, we may say peerce, and that a
French terme also, or broche, or enter into with
violence, but not so well sounding as penetrate.
Item, sauage, for wilde:
obscure, for darke. Item these words,
declination, delineation, dimention, are
scholasticall termes in deede, and yet very proper. But
peraduenture (|&| I could bring a reason for it) many other
like words borrowed out of the Latine and French, were not
so well to be allowed by vs, as these words,
audacious, for bold: facunditie, for
eloquence: egregious, for great or notable:
implete, for replenished: attemptat, for
attempt: compatible, for agreeable in nature, and
many more. But herein the noble Poet Horace hath
said inough to satisfie vs in all these few verses.

Multa renascentur quæ iam cecidere
Quæ nunc sunt in honore vocabula so volet vsus
Quem penes arbitrium est |&| vis |&| norma loquendi

¶3.4.3 Which I haue thus englished, but nothing
with so good grace, nor so briefly as the Poet wrote.

Many a word yfalne shall eft arise
And such as now bene held in hiest prise
Will fall as fast, when vse and custome will
Onely vmpiers of speach, for force and skill


Of Stile.

¶3.5.1 STile is a constant |&|
continuall phrase or tenour of speaking and writing,
extending to the whole tale or processe of the poeme or
historie, and not properly to any peece or member of a tale:
but is of words speeches and sentences together, a certaine
contriued forme and qualitie, many times naturall to the
writer, many times his peculier by election and arte, and
such as either he keepeth by skill, or holdeth on by
ignorance, and will not or peraduenture cannot easily alter
into any other. So we say that Ciceroes stile, and
Salusts were not one, nor Cesars and
Liuies, nor Homers and Hesiodus,
nor Herodotus and Theucidides, nor
Euripides |&| Aristophanes, nor
Erasmus and Budeus stiles. And because this
continuall course and manner of writing or speech sheweth

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matter and disposition of the writers minde, more than one
or few words or sentences can shew, therefore there be that
haue called stile, the image of man [mentis character
] for man is but his minde, and as his minde is tempered
and qualified, so are his speeches and language at large,
and his inward conceits be the mettall of his minde, and his
manner of vtterance the very warp |&| woofe of his conceits,
more plaine, or busie and intricate, or otherwise affected
after the rate. Most men say that not any one point in all
Phisiognomy is so certaine, as to iudge a mans
manners by his eye: but more assuredly in mine opinion, by
his dayly maner of speech and ordinary writing. For if the
man be graue, his speech and stile is graue: if light-
headed, his stile and language also light: if the mine be
haughtie and hoate, the speech and stile is also vehement
and stirring: if it be colde and temperate, the stile is
also very modest: if it be humble, or base and meeke, so is
also the language and stile. And yet peraduenture not
altogether so, but that euery mans stile is for the most
part according to the matter and subiect of the writer, or
so ought to be, and conformable thereunto. Th|en| againe may
it be said as wel, that men doo chuse their subiects
according to the mettal of their minds, |&| therfore a high
minded man chuseth him high |&| lofty matter to write of.
The base courage, matter base |&| lowe, the meane |&| modest
mind, meane |&| moderate matters after the rate. Howsoeuer
it be, we finde that vnder these three principall
c|om|plexi|on|s (if I may with leaue so terme th|-e|) high,
meane and base stile, there be contained many other humors
or qualities of stile, as the plaine and obscure, the rough
and smoth, the facill and hard, the plentifull and barraine,
the rude and eloquent, the strong and feeble, the vehement
and cold stiles, all which in their euill are to be
reformed, and the good to be kept and vsed. But generally to
haue the stile decent |&| comely it behooueth the maker or
Poet to follow the nature of his subiect, that is if his
matter be high and loftie that the stile be so to, if meane,
the stile also to be meane, if base the stile humble and
base accordingly: and they that do otherwise vse it,
applying to meane matter, hie and loftie stile, and to hie
matters, stile eyther meane or base, and to the base
matters, the meane or hie stile, to vtterly disgrace their
poesie and shew themselues nothing skilfull in their arte,
nor hauing regard

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to the decencie, which is the chiefe praise of any writer.
Therefore to ridde all louers of learning from that errour,
I will as neere as I can set downe, which matters be the hie
and loftie, which be but meane, and which be low and base,
to the intent the stilesy may be fashioned to the matters,
and keepe their decorum and good proportion in
euery respect: I am not ignorant that many good clerkes be
contrary to mine opinion, and say that the loftie style may
be decently vsed in a meane and base subiect |&|
contrariwise, which I do in parte acknowledge, but with a
reasonable qualification. For Homer hath so vsed
it in his trifling worke of Batrachomyomachia:
that is in his treatise of the warre betwext the frogs and
the mice. Virgill also in his bucolickes
, and in his georgicks, whereof the one is
counted meane, the other base, that is the husbandmans
discourses and the shepheards, but hereunto serueth a reason
in my simple conceite: for first to that trifling poeme of
Homer, though the frog and the mouse be but litle
and ridiculous beasts, yet to treat of warre is an high
subiect, and a thing in euery respect terrible and
daungerous to them that it alights on: and therefore of
learned dutie asketh martiall grandiloquence, if it be set
foorth in his kind and nature of warre, euen betwixt the
basest creatures that can be imagined: so also is the Ante
or pismire, and they be but little creeping things, not
perfect beasts, but insects, or wormes: yet in
describing their nature |&| instinct, and their manner of
life approching to the forme of a common-welth, and their
properties not vnlike to the vertues of most excellent
gouernors and captaines, it asketh a more maiestie of speach
then would the description of any other beastes life or
nature, and perchance of many matters perteyning vnto the
baser sort of men, because it resembleth the historie of a
ciuill regiment, and of them all the chiefe and most
principall which is Monarchie: so also in his
bucolicks, which are but pastorall speaches and the
basest of any other poeme in their owne proper nature:
Virgill vsed a somewhat swelling stile when he came
to insinuate the birth of Marcellus heire apparant
to the Emperour Augustus, as child to his sister,
aspiring by hope and greatnes of the house, to the
succession of the Empire, and establishment thereof in that
familie: whereupon Virgill could do no lesse then
to vse such manner of stile, whatso-

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euer condition the poeme were of and this was decent, |&| no
fault or blemish, to confound the tennors of the stiles for
that cause. But now when I remember me againe that this
Eglogue, (for I haue read it somewhere) was conceiued
by Octauian th'Emperour to be written to the
honour of Pollio a citizen of Rome, |&| of no
great nobilitie, the same was misliked againe as an
implicatiue, nothing decent nor proportionable to
Pollio his fortunes and calling, in which respect I
might say likewise the stile was not to be such as if it had
bene for the Emperours owne honour, and those of the bloud
imperiall, then which subiect there could not be among the
Romane writers an higher nor grauer to treat vpon:
so can I not be remoued from mine opinion, but still me
thinks that in all decencie the stile ought to conforme with
the nature of the subiect, otherwise if a writer will seeme
to obserue no decorum at all, nor passe how he
fashion his tale to his matter, who doubteth but he may in
the lightest cause speake like a Pope, |&| in the grauest
matters prate like a parrat, |&| finde wordes |&| phrases
ynough to serue both turnes, and neither of them
commendably, for neither is all that may be written of Kings
and Princes such as ought to keepe a high stile, nor all
that may be written vpon a shepheard to keepe the low, but
according to the matter reported, if that be of high or base
nature: for euery pety pleasure, and vayne delight of a king
are not to accompted high matter for the height of his
estate, but meane and perchaunce very base and vile: nor so
a Poet or historiographer, could decently with a high stile
reporte the vanities of Nero, the ribaudries of
Caligula, the idlenes of Domitian, |&| the
riots of Heliogabalus. But well the magnanimitie
and honorable ambition of Cæsar, the
prosperities of Augustus, the grauitie of
Tiberius, the bountie of Traiane, the
wisedome of Aurelius, and generally all that which
concerned the highest honours of Emperours, their birth,
alliaunces, gouernement, exploits in warre and peace, and
other publike affaires: for they be matter stately and high,
and require a stile to be lift vp and aduanced by choyse of
wordes, phrases, sentences, and figures, high, loftie,
eloquent, |&| magnifik in proportion: so be the meane
matters, to be caried with all wordes and speaches of
smothnesse and pleasant moderation, |&| finally the base
things to be holden with-

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in their teder, by a low, myld, and simple maner of
vtterance, creeping rather then clyming, |&| marching rather
then mounting vpwardes, with the wings of the stately
subiects and stile.


Of the high, low, and meane subiect.

¶3.6.1 THe matters therefore that
concerne the Gods and diuine things are highest of all other
to be couched in writing, next to them the noble gests and
great fortunes of Princes, and the notable accid|en|ts of
time, as the greatest affaires of war |&| peace, these be
all high subiectes, and therefore are deliuered ouer to the
Poets Hymnick |&| historicall who be occupied
either in diuine laudes, or in heroicall reports:
the meane matters be those that c|on|cerne meane men their
life and busines, as lawyers, gentlemen, and merchants, good
housholders and honest Citizens, and which found neither to
matters of state nor of warre, nor leagues, nor great
alliances, but smatch all the common conuersation, as of the
ciuiller and better sort of men: the base and low matters be
the doings of the comm|on| artificer, seruingman, yeoman,
groome, husbandman, day-labourer, sailer, shepheard,
swynard, and such like of homely calling, degree and
bringing vp: so that in euery of the sayd three degrees not
the selfe same vertues be egally to be praysed nor the same
vices, egally to be dispraised, nor their loues, mariages,
quarels, contracts and other behauiours, be like high nor do
require to be set fourth with the like stile: but euery one
in his degree and decencie, which made that all
hymnes and histories, and Tragedies, were written in
the high stile: all Comedies and Enterludes and other common
Poesies of loues, and such like in the meane stile, all
Eglogues and pastorall poemes in the low and base
stile, otherwise they had bene vtterly disproporcioned :
likewise for the same cause some phrases and figures be
onely peculiar to the high stile, some to the base or meane,
some common to all three, as shalbe declared more at large
hereafter when we come to speake of figure and phrase: also
some wordes and speaches and sentences doe become the high
stile, that do not become th'other two. And contrariwise, as
shalbe said when we talke of words and sentences: finally
some kinde of measure and concord, doe not beseeme the high
stile, that well become the meane and low, as we haue said

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king of concord and measure. But generally the high stile is
disgraced and made foolish and ridiculous by all wordes
affected, counterfait, and puffed vp, as it were a windball
carrying more countenance then matter, and can not be better
resembled then to these midsommer pageants in London, where
to make the people wonder are set forth great and vglie
Gyants marching as if they were aliue, and armed at all
points, but within they are stuffed full of browne paper and
tow, which the shrewd boyes vnderpeering, do guilefully
discouer and turne to a great derision: also all darke and
vnaccustomed wordes, or rusticall and homely, and sentences
that hold too much of the mery |&| light, or infamous |&|
vnshamefast are to be accounted of the same sort, for such
speaches become not Princes, nor great estates, nor them
that write of their doings to vtter or report and
intermingle with the graue and weightie matters.


Of Figures and figuratiue speaches.

¶3.7.1 AS figures be the instruments of
ornament in euery language, so be they also in a sorte
abuses or rather trespasses in speach, because they passe
the ordinary limits of common vtterance, and be occupied of
purpose to deceiue the eare and also the minde, drawing it
from plainnesse and simplicitie to a certaine doublenesse,
whereby our talke is the more guilefull |&| abusing, for
what els is your Metaphor but an inuersion of
sence by transport; your allegorie by a duplicitie
of meaning or dissimulation vnder couert and darke
intendments: one while speaking obscurely and in riddle
called Ænigma : another while by common
prouerbe or Adage called Paremia: then by merry
skoffe called Ironia: then by bitter tawnt called
Sarcasmus: then by periphrase or circumlocution
when all might be said in a word or two: then by incredible
comparison giuing credit, as by your Hyperbole,
and many other waies seeking to inueigle and appassionate
the mind: which thing made the graue iudges
Areopagites (as I find written) to forbid all manner
of figuratiue speaches to be vsed before them in their
consistorie of Iustice, as meere illusions to the minde, and
wresters of vpright iudgement, saying that to allow such
manner of forraine |&| coulored talke to make the iudges
affectioned, were

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all one as if the carpenter before he began to square his
timber would make his squire crooked: in so much as the
straite and vpright mind of a Iudge is the very rule of
iustice till it be peruerted by affection. This no doubt is
true and was by them grauely considered: but in this case
because our maker or Poet is appointed not for a iudge, but
rather for a pleader, and that of pleasant |&| louely causes
and nothing perillous, such as be those for the triall of
life, limme, or liuelyhood; and before iudges neither sower
nor seuere, but in the eare of princely dames, yong ladies,
gentlewomen and courtiers, beyng all for the most part
either meeke of nature, or of pleasant humour, and that all
his abuses tende but to dispose the hearers to mirth and
sollace by pleasant conueyance and efficacy of speach, they
are not in truth to be accompted vices but for vertues in
the poetical science very c|om|mendable. On the other side,
such trespasses in speach (whereof there be many) as geue
dolour and disliking to the eare |&| minde, by any foule
indecencie or disproportion of sound, situation, or sence,
they be called and not without cause the vicious parts or
rather heresies of language: wherefore the matter resteth
much in the definition and acceptance of this word [
decorum] for whatsoeuer is so, cannot iustly be
misliked. In which respect it may come to passe that what
the Grammarian setteth downe for a viciositee in speach may
become a vertue and no vice, contrariwise his commended
figure may fall into a reprochfull fault: the best and most
assured remedy whereof is, generally to follow the saying of
Bias: ne quid nimis. So as in
keeping measure, and not exceeding nor shewing any defect in
the vse of his figures, he cannot lightly do amisse, if he
haue besides (as that must needes be) a speciall regard to
all circumstances of the person, place, time, cause and
purpose he hath in hand, which being well obserued it easily
auoideth all the recited inconueniences, and maketh now and
then very vice goe for a formall vertue in the exercise of
this Arte.


Sixe points set downe by our learned forefathers for a
generall regiment of all good vtterance be it by mouth or by

¶3.8.1 BVt before there had bene yet
any precise obseruation made of figuratiue speeches, the
first learned artificers of language con-

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sidered that the bewtie and good grace of vtterance rested
in no many pointes: and whatsoeuer transgressed those
lymits, they counted it for vitious; and thereupon did set
downe a manner of regiment in all speech generally to be
obserued, consisting in sixe pointes. First they said that
there ought to be kept a decent proportion in our writings
and speach, which they termed Analogia. Secondly,
that it ought to be voluble vpon the tongue, and tunable to
the eare, which they called Tasis. Thirdly, that
it were not tediously long, but briefe and compendious, as
the matter might beare, which they called Syntomia
. Fourthly, that it should cary an orderly and good
construction, which they called Synthesis. Fiftly,
that it should be a sound, proper and naturall speach, which
they called
Ciriologia. Sixtly, that it should be liuely |&|
stirring, which they called Tropus. So as it
appeareth by this order of theirs, that no vice could be
committed in speech, keeping within the bounds of that
restraint. But sir, all this being by them very well
conceiued, there remayned a greater difficultie to know what
this proportion, volubilitie, good construction, |&| the
rest were, otherwise we could not be euer the more relieued.
It was therefore of necessitie that a more curious and
particular description should bee made of euery manner of
speech, either transgressing or agreeing with their said
generall prescript. Whereupon it came to passe, that all the
commendable parts of speech were set foorth by the name of
figures, and all the illaudable partes vnder the name of
vices, or viciosities, of both which it shall bee spoken in
their places.


How the Greeks first, and afterward the Latines, inuented
new names for euery figure, which this Author is also
enforced to doo in his vulgar.

¶3.9.1 THe Greekes were a happy people
for the freedome |&| liberty of their language, because it
was allowed th|em| to inu|en|t any new name that they lifted
and to peece many words together to make of them one entire
much more significatiue than the single word. So among other
things did they to their figuratiue speeches deuise certaine
names. The Latines came somewhat behind them in that

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point, and for want of conuenient single wordes to expresse
that which the Greeks could do by cobling many words
together, they were faine to vse the Greekes still, till
after many yeares that the learned Oratours and good
Grammarians among the Romaines, as Cicero, Varro,
, |&| others strained themselues to giue the
Greeke wordes Latine names, and yet nothing so apt and
fitty. The same course are we driuen to follow in this
description, since we are enforced to cull out for the vse
of our Poet or maker all the most commendable figures. Now
to make them knowen (as behoueth) either we must do it by
th'originall Greeke name or by the Latine, or by our owne.
But when I consider to what sort of Readers I write, |&| how
ill faring the Greeke terme would sound in the English eare,
then also how short the Latines come to expresse manie of
the Greeke originals. Finally, how well our language serueth
to supplie the full signification of them both, I haue
thought it no lesse lawfull, yea peraduenture vnder licence
of the learned, more laudable to vse our owne naturall, if
they be well chosen, and of proper signification, than to
borrow theirs. So shall not our English Poets, though they
be to seeke of the Greeke and Latin languages, lament for
lack of knowledge sufficient to the purpose of this arte.
And in case any of these new English names giuen by me to
any figure, shall happen to offend. I pray that the learned
will beare with me and to thinke the straungenesse thereof
proceedes but of noueltie and disaquaintance with our eares,
which in processe of tyme, and by custome will frame very
well: and such others as are not learned in the primitiue
languages, if they happen to hit vpon any new name of myne
(so ridiculous in their opinion) as may moue them to
laughter, let such persons, yet assure themselues that such
names go as neare as may be to their originals, or els serue
better to the purpose of the figure then the very originall,
reseruing alwayes, that such new name should not be
vnpleasant in our vulgar nor harsh vpon the tong: and where
it shall happen otherwise, that it may please the reader to
thinke that hardly any other name in our English could be
found to serue the turne better. Againe if to auoid the
hazard of this blame I should haue kept the Greek or Latin
still it would haue appeared a little too scholasticall for
our makers, and a peece of worke

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more fit for clerkes then for Courtiers for whose
instruction this trauaile is taken: and if I should haue
left out both the Greeke and Latine name, and put in none of
our owne neither: well perchance might the rule of the
figure haue bene set downe, but no conuenient name to hold
him in memory. It was therfore expedient we deuised for
euery figure of importance his vulgar name, and to ioyne the
Greeke or Latine originall with them; after that sort much
better satisfying aswel the vulgar as the learned learner,
and also the authors owne purpose, which is to make of a
rude rimer, a learned and a Courtly Poet.


A diuision of figures, and how they serue in exornation of

¶3.10.1 ANd because our chiefe purpose
herein is for the learning of Ladies and young Gentlewomen,
or idle Courtiers, desirous to become skilful in their owne
mother tongue, and for their priuate recreation to make now
|&| then ditties of pleasure, thinking for our parte none
other science so fit for them |&| the place as that which
teacheth beau semblant, the chiefe professi|on|
aswell of Courting as of poesie: since to such manner of
mindes nothing is more combersome then tedious doctrines and
schollarly methodes of discipline, we haue in our owne
conceit deuised a new and strange modell of this arte,
fitter to please the Court then the schoole, and yet not
vnnecessarie for all such as be willing themselues to become
good makers in the vulgar, or to be able to iudge of other
mens makings: wherefore, intending to follow the course
which we haue begun, thus we say: that though the language
of our Poet or maker being pure |&| clenly, |&| not
disgraced by such vicious parts as haue bene before
remembred in the Chapter of language, be sufficiently
pleasing and commendable for the ordinarie vse of speech;
yet is not the same so well appointed for all purposes of
the excellent Poet, as when it is gall|an|tly arrayed in all
his colours which figure can set vpon it, therefore we are
now further to determine of figures and figuratiue speeches.
Figuratiue speech is a noueltie of language euidently (and
yet not absurdly) estranged from the ordinarie habite and
manner of our dayly talke and wri-

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ting and figure it selfe is a certaine liuely or good grace
set vpon wordes, speaches and sentences to some purpose and
not in vaine, giuing them ornament or efficacie by many
maner of alterations in shape, in sounde, and also in sence,
sometime by way of surplusage, sometime by defect, sometime
by disorder, or mutation, |&| also by putting into our
speaches more pithe and substance, subtilitie, quicknesse,
efficacie or moderation, in this or that sort tuning and
tempring them by amplification, abridgem|en|t, opening,
closing, enforcing, meekening or otherwise disposing them to
the best purpose: whereupon the learned clerks who haue
writt|en| methodically of this Arte in the two master
languages, Greeke and Latine, haue sorted all their figures
into three rankes, and the first they bestowed vpon the Poet
onely: the second vpon the Poet and Oratour indifferently:
the third vpon the Oratour alone. And that first sort of
figures doth serue th'eare onely and may be therefore called
Auricular: your second serues the conceit onely
and not th'eare, and may be called sensable, not
sensible nor yet sententious: your third sort serues as well
th'eare as the conceit and may be called sententious
, because not only they properly apperteine to
full sentences, for bewtifying them with a currant |&|
pleasant numerositie, but also giuing them efficacie, and
enlarging the whole matter besides with copious
amplifications. I doubt not but some busie carpers will
scorne at my new deuised termes: auricular and
sensable, saying that I might with better warrant
haue vsed in their steads these words,
orthographicall or syntacticall, which the
learned Grammarians left ready made to our hands, and do
importe as much as th'other that I haue brought, which thing
peraduenture I deny not in part, and neuerthelesse for some
causes thought them not so necessarie: but with these maner
of men I do willingly beare, in respect of their laudable
endeuour to allow antiquitie and flie innouation: with like
beneuolence I trust they will beare with me writing in the
vulgar speach and seeking by my nouelties to satisfie not
the schoole but the Court: whereas they know very well all
old things soone waxe stale |&| lothsome, and the new
deuises are euer dainty and delicate, the vulgar instruction
requiring also vulgar and communicable termes, not clerkly
or vncouthe as are all these of the Greeke and Latine

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primitiuely receiued, vnlesse they be qualified or by much
vse and custome allowed and our eares made acquainted with
them. Thus then I say that auricular figures be
those which worke alteration in th'eare by sound, accent,
time, and slipper volubilitie in vtterance, such as for that
respect was called by the auncients numerositie of speach.
And not onely the whole body of a tale in poeme or historie
may be made in such sort pleasant and agreable to the eare,
but also euery clause by it selfe, and euery single word
carried in a clause, may haue their pleasant sweetenesse
apart. And so long as this qualitie extendeth but to the
outward tuning of the speach reaching no higher then th'eare
and forcing the mynde little or nothing, it is that vertue
which the Greeks call Enargia and is the office of
the auricularfigures to performe. Therefore as the
members of language at large are whole sentences, and
sentences are compact of clauses, and clauses of words, and
euery word of letters and sillables, so is the alteration
(be it but of a sillable or letter) much materiall to the
sound and sweetenesse of vtterance. Wherefore beginning
first at the smallest alterations which rest in letters and
sillables, the first sort of our figures
auricular we do appoint to single words as they
lye in language; the second to clauses of speach; the third
to perfit sentences and to the whole masse or body of the
tale be it poeme or historie written or reported.


Of auricular figures apperteining to single wordes and
working by their diuers soundes and audible tunes alteration
to the eare onely and not the mynde.

¶3.11.1 A Word as he lieth in course of
language is many wayes figured and thereby not a little
altered in sound, which consequently alters the tune and
harmonie of a meeter as to the eare. And this alteration is
sometimes by adding sometimes by rabbating
of a sillable or letter to or from a word either in the
beginning, middle or ending ioyning or vnioyning of
sillables and letters suppressing or confounding their
seuerall soundes, or by misplacing of a letter, or by cleare
exchaunge of one letter for another, or by wrong ranging of
the accent. And your figures of addition or surpluse be
three, videl. In the beginning, as to say: I-doen,

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for doon, endanger, for danger, embolden
, for bolden.

¶3.11.2 In the middle, as to say renuers
, for reuers, meeterly, for
meetly, goldylockes, for goldlockes.

¶3.11.3 In th'end, as to say [remembren]
for [remembre] [spoken[
for [spoke]. And your figures of rabbate
be as many, videl.

¶3.11.4 From the beginning, as to say [
twixt for betwixt] [gainsay for
againesay:] [ill for euill:]

¶3.11.5 From the middle, as to say [
paraunter for parauenture]
poorety for pouertie]
souraigne for soueraigne]
tane for taken.]

¶3.11.6 From the end, as to say [morne
for morning] bet for
] and such like.

¶3.11.7 Your swallowing or eating vp one letter by
another is when two vowels meete, whereof th'ones sound
goeth into other, as to say for to attaine t'attaine
] for sorrow and smart sor' and

¶3.11.8 Your displacing of a sillable as to say
[desier for desire.]
fier for fire.]

¶3.11.9 By cleare exchaunge of one letter or
sillable for another, as to say
euermare for euermore, wrang for
wrong: gould for gold:
fright for fraight and a hundred moe, which
be commonly misused and strained to make rime.

¶3.11.10 By wrong ranging the accent of a sillable
by which meane a short sillable is made long and a long
short as to say souer{'a}ine for
souéraine: gratíous for gr{'a}tious:
for endúre: Salómon for

¶3.11.11 These many wayes may our maker alter his
wordes, and sometimes it is done for pleasure to giue a
better sound, sometimes vpon necessitie, and to make vp the
rime. But our maker must take heed that he be not to bold
specially in exchange of one letter for another, for vnlesse
vsuall speach and custome allow it, it is a fault and no
figure, and because these be figures of the smallest
importaunce, I forbeare to giue them any vulgar name.


Of Auricular figures pertaining to clauses of speech and by
them working no little alteration to the eare.

¶3.12.1 AS your single words may be
many waies tr|an|sfigured to make the meetre or verse more
tunable and melodious, so also may

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your whole and entire clauses be in such sort contriued by
the order of their construction as the eare may receiue a
certaine recreation, although the mind for any noueltie of
sence be little or nothing affected. And therefore al your
figures of grammaticall construction, I accompt
them but merely auricular in that they reach no
furder then the eare. To which there will appeare some
sweete or vnsauery point to offer your dolour or delight,
either by some euident defect, or surplusage, or disorder,
or immutation in the same speaches notably altering either
the congruitie grammaticall, or the sence, or
both. And first of those that worke by defect, if but one
word or some little portion of speach be wanting, it may be
supplied by ordinary vnderstanding and vertue of the figure
Eclipsis, as to say, so early a man, for
[are ye] so early a man: he is to be intreated,
for he is [easie] to be intreated: I thanke God I
am to liue like a Gentleman, for I am [able] to
liue, and the Spaniard said in his deuise of armes
acuerdo oluido, I remember I forget whereas in right
congruitie of speach it should be. I remember [that I [doo]
forget. And in a deuise of our owne [
empechement pur a choison] a let for a
furderance whereas it should be said [vse] a let
for a furderance, and a number more like speaches defectiue,
and supplied by common vnderstanding.

or the Figure
of default

¶3.12.2 But if it be to mo clauses then one, that
some such word be supplied to perfit the congruitie or sence
of them all, it is by the figure [Zeugma] we call
him the [single supplie] because by one word we
serue many clauses of one congruitie, and may be likened to
the man that serues many maisters at once, but all of one
country or kinred: as to say.

or the
Single supply

Fellowes and friends and kinne forsooke me quite.

¶3.12.3 Here this word forsooke satisfieth the
congruitie and sence of all three clauses, which would
require euery of them asmuch. And as we setting forth her
Maiesties regall petigree, said in this figure of [
Single supplie.]

Her graundsires Father and Brother was a King
Her mother a crowned Queene, her Sister and her selfe

¶3.12.4 Whereas ye see this one word [was
] serues them all in that they require but one congruitie
and sence.

¶3.12.5 Yet hath this figure of [Single
] another propertie, occa-

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sioning him to change now and then his name: by the order of
his supplie, for if it be placed in the forefront of all the
seuerall clauses whome he is to serue as a common seruitour,
then is he called by the Greeks Prozeugma, by vs
the Ringleader: thus

Her beautie perst mine eye, her speach mine wofull
Her presence all the powers of my discourse. |&|c.

or the

¶3.12.6 Where ye see this one word [perst
] placed in the foreward, satisfieth both in sence |&|
congruitie all those other clauses that followe him.

¶3.12.7 And if such word of supplie be placed in
the middle of all such clauses as he serues: it is
by the Greeks called Mezozeugma, by vs the [
Middlemarcher] thus:

or the
Middle marcher.

Faire maydes beautie (alacke) with yeares it weares
And with wether and sicknes, and sorrow as they say

¶3.12.8 Where ye see this word [weares]
serues one clause before him, and two clauses behind him; in
one and the same sence and congruitie. And in this verse,

Either the troth or talke nothing at all.

¶3.12.9 Where this worde [talke] serues
the clause before and also behind. But if such supplie be
placed after all the clauses, and not before nor in the
middle, then is he called by the Greeks Hypozeugma
, and by vs the [Rerewarder] thus:

or the

My mates that {w}ont, to keepe me companie,
And my neighbours, {w}ho d{w}elt next to my {w}all,
The friends that s{w}are, they {w}ould not sticke to die
In my quarrell: they are fled from me all

¶3.12.10 Where ye see this word [fled from
] serue all the three clauses requiring but one
congruitie |&| sence. But if such want be in sundrie
clauses, and of seuerall congruities or sence, and the
supply be made to serue them all, it is by the figure
Sillepsis, whom for that respect we call the [
double supplie] conceiuing, and as it were,
comprehending vnder one, a supplie of two natures, and may
be likened to the man that serues many masters at once,
being of strange Countries or kinreds, as in these verses,
where the lamenting widow shewed the Pilgrim the graues in
which her husband |&| children lay buried.

or the
Double supply.

{{Page 138}}

Here my sweete sonnes and daughters all my blisse,
Yonder mine owne deere husband buried is

¶3.12.11 Where ye see one verbe singular supplyeth
the plurall and singular, and thus

Iudge ye louers, if it be strange or no.
My Ladie laughs for ioy, and I for wo

¶3.12.12 Where ye see a third person supplie
himselfe and a first person. And thus,

Madame ye neuer shewed your selfe vntrue,
Nor my deserts would euer suffer you

¶3.12.13 Viz. to show. Where ye see the moode
Indicatiue supply him selfe and an Infinitiue. And the like
in these other.

I neuer yet failde you in constancie,
Nor neuer doo intend vtill I die

¶3.12.14 Viz. [to show.] Thus much for
the congruitie, now for the sence. One wrote thus of a young
man, who slew a villaine that had killed his father, and
rauished his mother.

Thus valiantly and with a manly minde,
And by one feate of euerlasting fame,
This lustie lad fully requited kinde,
His fathers death, and eke his mothers shame

¶3.12.15 Where ye see this word [requite
] serue a double sence: that is to say, to reuenge, and to
satisfie. For the parents iniurie was reuenged, and the
duetie of nature performed or satisfied by the childe. Bt if
this supplie be made to sundrie clauses, or to one clause
sundrie times iterated, and by seuerall words, so as euery
clause hath his owne supplie: then is it called by the
Hypozeuxis, we call him the substitute after his
originall, and is a supplie with iteration, as thus:

or the

Vnto the king she went, and to the king she said,
Mine owne liege Lord behold thy poore handmaid

¶3.12.16 Here [went to the king] and [
said to the king] be but one clause iterated with
words of sundrie supply. Or as in these verses following.

My Ladie gaue me, my Lady wist not {w}hat,
Geuing me leaue to be her Soueraine:
For by such gift my Ladie hath done that,
Which {w}hilest she liues she may not call againe

{{Page 139}}

Here [my Ladie gaue] and [my Ladie {w}ist
] be supplies with iteration, by vertue of this figure.

¶3.12.17 Ye haue another auricular
figure of defect, and is when we begin to speake a thing,
and breake of in the middle way, as if either it needed no
further to be spoken of, or that we were ashamed, or afraide
to speake it out. It is also sometimes done by way of
threatning, and to shew a moderation of anger. The Greekes
call him Aposiopesis. I, the figure of silence, or
of interruption, indifferently.

¶3.12.18 If we doo interrupt our speech for feare,
this may be an example, where as one durst not make the true
report as it was, but staid halfe way for feare of offence,

or the
Figure of sil|en|ce

He said you were, I dare not tell you plaine:
For words once out, neuer returne againe

¶3.12.19 If it be for shame, or that the speaker
suppose it would be indecent to tell all, then thus: as he
that said to his sweete hart, whom he checked for secretly
whispering with a suspected person.

And did ye not come by his chamber dore?
And tell him that: goe to, I say no more

¶3.12.20 If it be for anger or by way of manace or
to show a moderati|on| of wrath as the graue and discreeter
sort of men do, then thus.

If I take you with such another cast
I sweare by God, but let this be the last

¶3.12.21 Thinking to haue said further viz. I will
punish you.

¶3.12.22 If it be for none of all these causes but
vpon some sodaine occasion that moues a man to breake of his
tale, then thus.

He told me all at large: lo yonder is the man
Let himselfe tell the tale that best tell can

¶3.12.23 This figure is fit for phantasticall
heads and such as be sodaine or lackememorie. I know one of
good learning that greatly blemisheth his discretion with
this maner of speach: for if he be in the grauest matter of
the world talking, he will vpon the sodaine for the flying
of a bird ouerthwart the way, or some other such sleight
cause, interrupt his tale and neuer returne to it againe.

¶3.12.24 Ye haue yet another maner of speach
purporting at the first blush a defect which afterward is
supplied the, Greekes call him Prolepsis, we the
Propounder, or the Explaner which ye will: because he workes
both effectes, as thus, where in certaine verses we

or the

{{Page 140}}

describe the triumphant enter-view of two great Princesses

These two great Queenes, came marching hand in hand,
Vnto the hall, where store of Princes stand:
And people of all countreys to behold,
Coronis all clad, in purple cloth of gold:
Celiar in robes, of siluer tissew {w}hite,
With rich rubies, and pearles all bedighte

¶3.12.25 Here ye see the first proposition in a
sort defectiue and of imperfect sence, till ye come by
diuision to explane and enlarge it, but if we should follow
the originall right, we ought rather to call him the
forestaller, for like as he that standes in the market way,
and takes all vp before it come to the market in grosse and
sells it by retaile, so by this maner of speach our maker
setts down before all the matter by a brief proposition, and
afterward explanes it by a diuision more particularly.

¶3.12.26 By this other example it appeares also.

Then deare Lady I pray you let it bee,
That our long loue may lead vs to agree:
Me since I may not {w}ed you to my {w}ife,
To serue you as a mistresse all my life:
Ye that may not me for your husband haue,
To clayme me for your seruant and your slaue


Of your figures Auricular working by disorder.

¶3.13.1 TO all their speaches which
wrought by disorder the Greekes gaue a general name [
Hiperbaton] as much to say as the [trespasser
] and because such disorder may be committed many wayes it
receiueth sundry particulars vnder him, whereof some are
onely proper to the Greekes and Latines and not to vs, other
some ordinarie in our maner of speaches, but so foule and
intollerable as I will not seeme to place them among the
figures, but do raunge th|em| as they deserue among the
vicious or faultie speaches.

or the

¶3.13.2 Your first figure of tollerable disorder
is [Parenthesis] or by an English name the [
Insertour] and is when ye will seeme for larger
information or some other purpose, to peece or graffe in the
middest of your tale an vnnecessary parcell of speach, which

or the

{{Page 141}}

lesse may be thence without any detriment to the rest. The
figure is so common that it needeth none example,
neuerthelesse because we are to teache Ladies and
Gentlewomen to know their schoole points and termes
appertaining to the Art, we may not refuse to yeeld examples
euen in the plainest cases, as that of maister Diars
very aptly.

But no{w} my Deere (for so my loue makes me to call you
That loue I say, that lucklesse loue, that {w}orks me all
this ill

¶3.13.3 Also in our Eglogue intituled
Elpine, which we made being but eightene yeares old,
to king Ed{w}ard the sixt a Prince of great hope,
we surmised that the Pilot of a ship answering the King,
being inquisitiue and desirous to know all the parts of the
ship and tackle, what they were, |&| to what vse they
serued, vsing this insertion or Parenthesis.

Soueraigne Lord (for {w}hy a greater name
To one on earth no mortall tongue can frame
No statelie stile can giue the practisd penne:
To one on earth conuersant among men.)

¶3.13.4 And so proceedes to answere the kings

The shippe thou seest sayling in sea so large, |&c.|

¶3.13.5 This insertion is very long and vtterly
impertinent to the principall matter, and makes a great
gappe in the tale, neuerthelesse is no disgrace but rather a
bewtie and to very good purpose, but you must not vse such
insertions often nor to thick, nor those that bee very long
as this of ours, for it will breede great confusion to haue
the tale so much interrupted.

¶3.13.6 Ye haue another manner of disordered
speach, when ye misplace your words or clauses and set that
before which should be behind, |&| è conuerso,
we call it in English prouerbe, the cart before the horse,
the Greeks call it Histeron proteron, we name it
the Preposterous, and if it be not too much vsed is
tollerable inough, and many times scarse perceiueable
vnlesse the sence be thereby made very absurd: as he that
described his manner of departure from his mistresse, said
thus not much to be misliked.

Histeron proteron,
or the

I kist her cherry lip and tooke my leaue:

¶3.13.7 For I tooke my leaue and kist her: And yet
I cannot well say whether a man vse to kisse before hee take
his leaue, or take his

{{Page 142}}

leaue before he kisse, or that it be all one busines. It
seemes the taking leaue is by vsing some speach, intreating
licence of departure: the kisse a knitting vp of the
farewell, and as it were a testimoniall of the licence
without which here in England one may not presume of
courtesie to depart, let yong Courtiers decide this
controuersie. Our describing his landing vpon a strange
coast, sayd thus preposterously.

When we had climbde the clifs, and were a shore,

¶3.13.8 Whereas he should haue said by good order.

When {w}e {w}ere come a shore and clymed had the

¶3.13.9 For one must be on land ere he can clime.
And as another said:

My dame that bred me vp and bare me in her {w}ombe

¶3.13.10 Whereas the hearing is before the
bringing vp. All your other figures of disorder because they
rather seeme deformities then bewties of language, for so
many of them as be notoriously vndecent, and make no good
harmony, I place them in the Chapter of vices hereafter


Of your figures Auricular that worke by Surplusage.

¶3.14.1 YOur figures auricular
that worke by surplusage, such of them as be materiall
and of importaunce to the sence or bewtie of your language,
I referre them to the harmonicall speaches of oratours among
the figures rhetoricall, as be those of repetition, and
iteration or amplification. All others sorts of surplusage,
I accompt rather vicious then figuratiue, |&| therefore not
melodious as shalbe remembred in the chapter of viciosities
or faultie speaches.


Of auricular figures {w}orking by exchange.

¶3.15.1 YOur figures that worke
auricularly by exchange, were more obseruable to the
Greekes and Latines for the brauenesse of their language,
ouer that ours is, and for the multiplicitie of their
Grammaticall accidents, or verball affects, as I may terme
them, that is to say, their diuers cases, moodes, tenses,
genders, with variable terminations, by reason whereof, they
changed not the very word, but kept the word, and changed
the shape of him onely, vsing one case for another, or
tense, or person, or gender, or number, or moode. We, hauing
no such varietie of accidents, haue little or

or the
Figure of exchange.

{{Page 143}}

no vse of this figure. The called it

¶3.15.2 But another sort of exchange which they
had, and very prety, we doe likewise vse, not changing one
word for another, by their accidents or cases, as the
Enallage: nor by the places, as the [
Preposterous] but changing their true construction
and application, whereby the sence is quite peruerted and
made very absurd: as, he that should say, for tell me
troth and lie not, lie me troth and tell not
. For
come dine {w}ith me and stay not, come stay {w}ith me and
dine not

or the

¶3.15.3 A certaine piteous louer, to moue his
mistres to compassion, wrote among other amorous verses,
this one.

Madame, I set your eyes before mine {w}oes.

¶3.15.4 For, mine woes before your eyes, spoken to
th'intent to winne fauour in her sight.

¶3.15.5 But that was pretie of a certaine sorrie
man of law, that gaue his Client but bad councell, and yet
found fault with his fee, and said: my fee, good frend, hath
deserued better co|un|sel. Good master, quoth the Client, if
your selfe had not said so, I would neuer haue beleeued it:
but now I thinke as you doo. The man of law perceiuing his
error, I tell thee (quoth he) my co|un|sel hath deserued a
better fee. Yet of all others was that a most ridiculous,
but very true exchange, which the yeoman of London vsed with
his Sergeant at the Mace, who said he would goe into the
countrie, and make merry a day or two, while his man plyed
his busines at home: an example of it you shall finde in our
Enterlude entituled Lustie London: the Sergeant, for sparing
of hors-hire, said he would goe with the Carrier on foote.
That is not for your worship, saide his yeoman, whereunto
the Sergeant replyed.

I {w}ot {w}hat I meane Iohn, it is for to stay
And company the knaue Carrier, for loosing my {w}ay

¶3.15.6 The yeoman thinking it good manner to
soothe his Sergeant, said againe,

I meane {w}hat I {w}ot Sir, your best is to hie,
And carrie a knaue {w}ith you for companie

¶3.15.7 Ye see a notorious exchange of the
construction, and application of the words in this: I
{w}ot {w}hat I meane
; and I meane {w}hat I {w}ot
, and in the other, company the knaue Carrier,
and carrie a knaue in your company. The Greekes
call this figure [Hipallage]

{{Page 144}}

the Latins Submutatio, we in our vulgar may call
him the [vnderchange] but I had rather haue him
called the [Changeling] nothing at all sweruing
from his originall, and much more aptly to the purpose, and
pleasanter to beare in memory: specially for our Ladies and
pretie mistresses in Court, for whose learning I write,
because it is a terme often in their mouthes, and alluding
to the opinion of Nurses, who are wont to say, that the
Fayries vse to steale the fairest children out of their
cradles, and put other ill fauoured in their places, which
they called ch|an|gelings, or Elfs, so, if ye mark, doeth
our Poet, or maker play with his wordes, vsing a wrong
construction for a right, and an absurd for a sensible, by
manner of exchange.


Of some other figures {w}hich because they serue chiefly to
make the meeters tunable and melodious, and affect not the
minde but very little, be placed among the auricular.

¶3.16.1 TThe Greeks vsed
a manner of speech or writing in their proses, that went by
clauses, finishing in words of like tune, and might be by
vsing like cases, tenses, and other points of consonance,
which they called Omoioteleton, and is that wherin
they neerest approched to our vulgar ryme, and may thus be

or the
Like loose.

Weeping creeping beseeching I {w}an,
The loue at length of Lady Lucian

¶3.16.2 Or thus if we speake in prose and not in

Mischaunces ought not to be lamented,
But rather by {w}isedome in time preuented:
For such mishappes as be remedilesse,
To sorro{w} them it is but foolishnesse:
Yet are {w}e all so frayle of nature,
As to be greeued {w}ith euery displeasure.

¶3.16.3 The craking Scotts as the Cronicle
reportes at a certaine time made this bald rime vpon the

Long beards hartlesse,
Painted hoodes {w}itlesse:
Gay coates gracelesse,
Make all England thriftlesse

{{Page 145}}

¶3.16.4 Which is no perfit rime in deede, but
clauses finishing in the self same tune: for a rime of good
simphonie should not conclude his concords with one |&| the
same terminant sillable, as less, less, less, but
with diuers and like terminants, as les, pres, mes
, as was before declared in the chapter of your cadences,
and your clauses in prose should neither finish with the
same nor with the like terminants, but with the contrary as
hath bene shewed before in the booke of proportions, yet
many vse it otherwise, neglecting the Poeticall harmonie and
skill. And th'Earle of Surrey with Syr Thomas
the most excell|en|t makers of their time, more
peraduenture respecting the fitnesse and ponderositie of
their wordes then the true cadence or simphonie, were very
licencious in this point. We call this figure following the
originall, the [like loose] alluding to th'Archers
terme who is not said to finish the feate of his shot before
he giue the loose, and deliuer his arrow from his bow, in
which respect we vse to say marke the loose of a thing for
marke the end of it.

¶3.16.5 Ye do by another figure notably affect
th'eare when ye make euery word of the verse to begin with a
like letter, as for example in this verse written in an
Epithaphe of our making.

or the
Figure of like letter.

Time tried his truth his trauailes and his trust,
And time to late tried his integritie

¶3.16.6 It is a figure much vsed by our common
rimers, and doth well if it be not too much vsed, for then
it falleth into the vice which shalbe hereafter spoken of
called Tautologia.

¶3.16.7 Ye haue another sort of speach in a maner
defectiue because it wants good band or coupling, and is the
figure [Asyndeton] we call him [loose
] and doth not a litle alter th'eare as thus.

or the
Loose langage.

I sa{w} it, I said it, I {w}ill s{w}eare it.

¶3.16.8 Cæsar the Dictator vpon the
victorie hee obteined against
Pharnax king of Bithinia shewing the
celeritie of his conquest, wrate home to the Senate in this
tenour of speach no lesse swift and speedy then his

Veni, vidi, vici,
I came, I sa{w}, I ouercame

¶3.16.9 Meaning thus I was no sooner come and
beheld them but the victorie fell on my side.

{{Page 146}}

¶3.16.10 The Prince of Orenge for his deuise of
Armes in banner displayed against the Duke of Alua and the
Spaniards in the Low-countrey vsed the like maner of speach.

Pro Rege, pro lege, pro grege,
For the king, for the commons, for the countrey la{w}es

¶3.16.11 It is a figure to be vsed when we will
seeme to make hast, or to be earnest, and these examples
with a number more be spoken by the figure of [lose

¶3.16.12 Quite contrary to this ye haue another
maner of construction which they called [Polisindeton
] we may call him the [couple clause] for that
euery clause is knit and coupled together with a coniunctiue

or the
Coople clause.

And I sa{w} it, and I say it and I
Will s{w}eare it to be true

¶3.16.13 So might the Poesie of Cæsar
haue bene altered thus.

I came, and I sa{w}, and I ouercame.

¶3.16.14 One wrote these verses after the same

For in her mynde no thought there is,
But ho{w} she may be true iwis:
And tenders thee and all thy heale,
And {w}isheth both thy health and {w}eale:
And is thine o{w}ne, and so she sayes,
And cares for thee ten thousand {w}ayes

¶3.16.15 Ye haue another maner of speach drawen
out at length and going all after one tenure and with an
imperfit sence till you come to the last word or verse which
c|on|cludes the whole premisses with a perfit sence |&| full
periode, the Greeks call it Irmus, I call him the
[long loose] thus appearing in a dittie of Sir
Thomas Wyat where he describes the diuers distempers
of his bed.

or the
Long loose.

The restlesse state renuer of my smart,
The labours salue increasing my sorrow:
The bodies ease and troubles of my hart,
Quietour of mynde mine vnquiet foe:
Forgetter of paine remembrer of my woe,
The place of sleepe wherein I do but wake:
Besprent with teares my bed I thee forsake

¶3.16.16 Ye see here how ye can gather no
perfection of sence in all this

{{Page 147}}

dittie till ye come to the last verse in these wordes
my bed I thee forsake. And in another Sonet of
Petrarcha which was thus Englished by the same Sir
Thomas Wyat.

If weaker care, if sodaine pale collour,
If many sighes with little speach to plaine:
Now ioy now woe, if they my ioyes distaine,
For hope of small, if much to feare therefore,
Be signe of loue then do I loue againe

¶3.16.17 Here all the whole sence of the dittie is
suspended till ye come to the last three wordes, then
do I loue againe
, which finisheth the song with a full
and perfit sence.

¶3.16.18 When ye will speake giuing euery person
or thing besides his proper name a qualitie by way of
addition whether it be of good or of bad it is a figuratiue
speach of audible alteration, so is it also of sence as to

or the

Fierce Achilles, wise Nestor wilie Vlysses,
Diana the chast and thou louely Venus:
With thy blind boy that almost neuer misses,
But hits our hartes when he leuels at vs

¶3.16.19 Or thus commending the Isle of great

Albion hugest of Westerne Ilands all,
Soyle of sweete ayre and of good store:
God send we see thy glory neuer fall,
But rather dayly to grow more and more

¶3.16.20 Or as we sang of our Soueraigne Lady
giuing her these Attributes besides her proper name.

Elizabeth regent of the great Brittaine Ile,
Honour of all regents and of Queenes

¶3.16.21 But if we speake thus not expressing her
proper name Elizabeth, videl.

The English Diana, the great Britton mayde.

¶3.16.22 Then is it not by Epitheton or
figure of Attribution but by the figures
Antonomasia, or Periphrasis.

¶3.16.23 Ye haue yet another manner of speach when
ye will seeme to make two of one not thereunto constrained,
which therefore we call the figure of Twynnes, the Greekes
Endiadis thus.

or the
Figure of Twinnes.

Not you coy dame your lowrs nor your lookes.

{{Page 148}}

¶3.16.24 For [your lowring lookes.] And
as one of our ordinary rimers said.

Of fortune nor her frowning face,
I am nothing agast

¶3.16.25 In stead, of [fortunes frowning
.]. One praysing the Neapolitans for good men at
armes, said by the figure of Twynnes thus.

A proud people and wise and valiant,
Fiercely fighting with horses and with barbes:
By whose pro{w}es the Romain Prince did daunt,
Wild Affricanes and the la{w}lesse Alarbes:
The Nubiens marching {w}ith their armed cartes,
And sleaing a farre {w}ith venim and {w}ith dartes

¶3.16.26 Where ye see this figure of Twynnes twise
vsed, once when he said
horses and barbes for barbd horses: againe when he
saith with venim and with dartes for
venimous dartes.


Of the figures which we call Sensable, because they alter
and affect the minde by alteration of sence, and first in
single wordes.

¶3.17.1 THe eare hauing receiued his
due satisfaction by the auricular figures, now
must the minde also be serued, with his naturall delight by
figures sensible such as by alteration of
intendmentes affect the courage, and geue a good liking to
the conceit. And first, single words haue their sence and
vnderstanding altered and figured many wayes, to wit, by
transport, abuse, crosse-naming, new naming, change of name.
This will seeme very darke to you, vnlesse it be otherwise
explaned more particularly: and first of Transport
. There is a kind of wresting of a single word from his
owne right signification, to another not so naturall, but
yet of some affinitie or conueniencie with it, as to say,
I cannot digest your vnkinde words, for I cannot take
them in good part: or as the man of law said, I feele
you not
, for I vnderstand not your case, because he had
not his fee in his hand. Or as another said to a mouthy
Aduocate, why barkest thou at me so sore? Or to
call the top of a tree, or of a hill, the crowne of a tree
or of a hill: for in deede crowne is the highest
ornament of a Princes head, made like a close garland, or
els the top of a mans head, where the haire windes about,
and because such terme is not applyed naturally to a tree,
or to a hill, but

or the
Figure of transporte.

{{Page 149}}

is transported from a mans head to a hill or tree, therefore
it is called by metaphore, or the figure of
transport. And three causes moues vs to vse this
figure, one for necessitie or want of a better word, thus:

As the drie ground that thirstes after a showr
Seemes to reioyce when it is well iwet,
And speedely brings foorth both grasse and flowr,
If lacke of sunne or season doo not let

¶3.17.2 Here for want of an apter and more
naturall word to declare the drie temper of the earth, it is
said to thirst |&| to reioyce, which is onely proper to
liuing creatures, and yet being so inuerted, doth not so
much swerue from the true sence, but that euery man can
easilie conceiue the meaning thereof.

¶3.17.3 Againe, we vse it for pleasure and
ornament of our speach, as thus in an Epitaph of our owne
making, to the honourable memorie of a deere friend, Sir
Iohn Throgmorton, knight, Iustice of Chester, and a
man of many commendable vertues.

Whom vertue rerde, enuy hath ouerthrowen
And lodged full low, vnder this marble stone:
Ne neuer were his values so well knowen,
Whilest he liued here, as now that he is gone

¶3.17.4 Here these words, rered,
and lodged, are inuerted, |&|
metaphorically applyed, not vpon necessitie, but for
ornament onely, afterward againe in these verses.

No sunne by day that euer saw him rest
Free from the toyles of his so busie charge,
No night that harbourd rankor in his breast,
Nor merry moode, made reason runne at large

¶3.17.5 In these verses the inuersion or metaphor,
lyeth in these words, saw, harbourd, run: which
naturally are applyed to liuing things, |&| not to
insensible: as, the sunne, or the night:
|&| yet they approch so neere, |&| so c|on|ueniently, as the
speech is thereby made more commendable. Againe, in moe
verses of the same Epitaph thus.

His head a source of grauitie and sence,
His memory a shop of ciuill arte:
His tongue a streame of sugred eloquence,
Wisdome and meekenes lay mingled in his harte,

{{Page 150}}

¶3.17.6 In which verses ye see that these words,
source, shop, flud, sugred, are inuerted from
their owne signification to another, not altogether so
naturall, but of much affinitie with it.

¶3.17.7 Then also do we it sometimes to enforce a
sence and make the word more significatiue: as thus,

I burne in loue, I freese in deadly hate
I swimme in hope, and sinke in deepe dispaire

¶3.17.8 These examples I haue the willinger
giu|en| you to set foorth the nature and vse of your figure
metaphore, which of any other being choisly made, is the
most commendable and most common.

¶3.17.9 But if for lacke of naturall and proper
terme or worde we take another, neither naturall nor proper
and do vntruly applie it to the thing which we would seeme
to expresse, and without any iust inconuenience, it is not
then spoken by this figure Metaphore or of
inuersion as before, but by plaine abuse, as he that
bad his man go into his library and set him his bowe and
arrowes, for in deede there was neuer a booke there to be
found, or as one should in reproch say to a poore man, thou
raskall knaue, where raskall is properly the
hunters terme giuen to young deere, leane |&| out of season,
and not to people: or as one said very pretily in this

or the
Figure of abuse

I lent my loue to losse, and gaged my life in vaine

¶3.17.10 Whereas this worde lent is
properly of mony or some such other thing, as men do
commonly borrow, for vse to be repayed againe, and being
applied to loue is vtterly abused, and yet very commendably
spoken by vertue of this figure. For he that loueth and is
not beloued againe, hath no lesse wrong, than he that
lendeth and is neuer repayde.

¶3.17.11 Now doth this vnderstanding or secret
conceyt reach many times to the only nomination of persons
or things in their names, as of men, or mountaines, seas,
countries and such like, in which respect the wr|on|g
naming, or otherwise naming of them then is due, carieth not
onely an alteration of sence but a necessitie of intendment
figuratiuely, as when we cal loue by the name of
Venus, fleshly lust by the name of Cupid,
bicause they were supposed by the auncient poets to be
authors and kindlers of loue and lust: Vulcan: for
fire, Ceres for bread: Bacchus for wine
by the same reason; also if one should say to a skilfull
craftesman knowen for a

or the

{{Page 151}}

glutton or common drunkard, that had spent all his goods on
riot and delicate fare.

Thy hands they made thee rich, thy pallat made thee

¶3.17.12 It is ment, his trauaile and arte made
him wealthie, his riotous life had made him a beggar: and as
one that boasted of his housekeeping, said that neuer a
yeare passed ouer his head, that he drank not in his house
euery moneth four tonnes of beere, |&| one hogshead of wine,
meaning not the caskes or vessels, but that quantitie which
they conteyned. These and such other speaches, where ye take
the name of the Author for the thing it selfe, or the thing
c|on|teining, for that which is contained, |&| in many other
cases do as it were wrong name the person or the thing. So
neuerthelesse as it may be vnderstood, it is by the figure
metonymia, or misnamer.

¶3.17.13 And if this manner of naming of persons
or things be not by way of misnaming as before, but by a
conuenient difference, and such as is true or esteemed and
likely to be true, it is then called not metonimia
, but antonomasia, or the Surnamer, (not the
misnamer, which might extend to any other thing aswell as to
a person) as he that would say: not king Philip of Spaine,
but the Westerne king, because his domini|on| lieth the
furdest West of any Christen prince: and the French king the
great Vallois, because so is the name of his
house, or the Queene of England, The maiden Queene
, for that is her hiest peculiar among all the Queenes of
the world, or as we said in one of our Partheniades
, the Bryton mayde, because she is the most
great and famous mayden of all Brittayne: thus,

or the

But in chaste stile, am borne as I weene
To blazon foorth the Brytton mayden Queene

¶3.17.14 So did our forefathers call Henry
the first, Beauclerke, Edmund Ironside, Richard coeur de
lion: Edward the Confessor
, and we of her Maiestie
Elisabeth the peasible.

¶3.17.15 Then also is the sence figuratiue when we
deuise a new name to any thing consonant, as neere as we can
to the nature thereof, as to say: flashing of
lightning, clashing of blades, clinking of fetters, chinking
of mony:
|&| as the poet Virgil said of the
sounding a trumpet, ta-ra-tant, taratantara, or as
we giue special names to the voices of dombe beasts, as to
say, a horse neigheth, a ly|on| brayes, a swine

of the
New namer.

{{Page 152}}

grunts, a hen cackleth, a dogge howles, and a hundreth mo
such new names as any man hath libertie to deuise, so it be
fittie for the thing which he couets to expresse.

¶3.17.16 Your Epitheton or
qualifier, whereof we spake before, placing him among
the figures auricular, now because he serues also
to alter and enforce the sence, we will say somewhat more of
him in this place, and do conclude that he must be apt and
proper for the thing he is added vnto, |&| not disagreable
or repugnant, as one that said: darke disdaine,
and miserable pride, very absurdly, for disdaine
or disdained things cannot be said darke, but rather bright
and cleere, because they be beholden and much looked vpon,
and pride is rather enuied then pitied or miserable, vnlesse
it be in Christian charitie, which helpeth not the terme in
this case. Some of our vulgar writers take great pleasure in
giuing Epithets and do it almost to euery word which may
receiue them, and should not be so, yea though they were
neuer so propre and apt, for sometimes wordes suffered to go
single, do giue greater sence and grace than words
quallified by attributions do.

or the
otherwise the
figure of

¶3.17.19 But the sence is much altered |&| the
hearers conceit strangly entangled by the figure
Metalepsis, which I call the farfet, as
when we had rather fetch a word a great way off th|en| to
vse one nerer h|an|d to expresse the matter aswel |&|
plainer. And it seemeth the deuiser of this figure, had a
desire to please women rather then men: for we vse to say by
manner of Prouerbe: things farrefet and deare bought are
good for Ladies: so in this manner of speach we vse it,
leaping ouer the heads of a great many words, we take one
that is furdest off, to vtter our matter by: as
Medea cursing hir first acquaintance with prince
Iason, who had very vnkindly forsaken her, said:

or the

Woe worth the mountaine that the maste bare
Which was the first causer of all my care

¶3.17.18 Where she might aswell haue said, woe
worth our first meeting, or woe worth the time that
Iason arriued with his ship at my fathers cittie in
Colchos, when he tooke me away with him, |&| not
so farre off as to curse the mountaine that bare the
pinetree, that made the mast, that bare the sailes, that the
ship sailed with, which caried her away. A pleasant
Gentleman came into a Ladies nur-

{{Page 153}}

sery, and saw her for her owne pleasure rocking of her young
child in the cradle, and sayd to her:

I speake it Madame without any mocke,
Many a such cradell may I see you rocke

¶3.17.19 Gods passion hourson said she, would thou
haue me beare mo children yet, no
Madame quoth the Gentleman, but I would haue you
liue long, that ye might the better pleasure your friends,
for his meaning was that as euery cradle signified a new
borne childe, |&| euery child the leasure of one yeares
birth, |&| many yeares a long life: so by wishing her to
rocke many cradels of her owne, he wished her l|on|g life.
Virgill said:

Post multas mea regna videns mirabor aristas.

¶3.17.20 Thus in English.

After many a stubble shall I come
And wonder at the sight of my kingdome

¶3.17.21 By stubble the Poet vnderstoode yeares,
for haruests come but once euery yeare, at least wayes with
vs in Europe. This is spoken by the figure of farre-fet.

¶3.17.22 And one notable meane to affect the
minde, is to inforce the sence of any thing by a word of
more than ordinary efficacie, and neuertheles is not
apparant, but as it were, secretly implyed, as he that said
thus of a faire Lady.

or the

O rare beautie, ô grace, and curtesie.

¶3.17.23 And by a very euill man thus.

O sinne it selfe, not wretch, but wretchednes.

¶3.17.24 Whereas if he had said thus, O
gratious, courteous and beautifull woman:
and, O
sinfull and wretched man
, it had bene all to one
effect, yet not with such force and efficacie, to speake by
the denominatiue, as by the thing it selfe.

¶3.17.25 As by the former figure we vse to enforce
our sence, so by another we temper our sence with wordes of
such moderation, as in appearaunce it abateth, it but not in
deede, and is by the figure Liptote, which
therefore I call the Moderator, and becomes vs
many times better to speake in that sort quallified, than if
we spake it by more forcible termes, and neuertheles is
equipolent in sence, thus.

or the

I know you hate me not, nor wish me any ill.

{{Page 154}}

¶3.17.26 Meaning in deede that he loued him very
well and dearely, and yet the words doe not expresse so
much, though they purport so much. Or if you would say, I am
not ignorant, for I know well inough. Such a man is no
foole, meaning in deede that he is a very wise man.

¶3.17.27 But if such moderation of words tend to
flattery, or soothing, or excusing, it is by the figure
Paradiastole, which therfore nothing improperly we
call the Curry-fauell, as when we make the best of
a bad thing, or turne a signification to the more plausible
sence: as, to call an vnthrift, a liberall Gentleman: the
foolish-hardy, valiant or couragious: the niggard, thriftie;
a great riot, or outrage, an youthfull pranke, and such like
termes: moderating and abating the force of the matter by
craft, and for a pleasing purpose, as appeareth by these
verses of ours, teaching in what cases it may commendably be
vsed by Courtiers.

or the

¶3.17.28 But if you diminish and abbase a thing by
way of spight or malice, as it were to depraue it, such
speach is by the figure Meiosis or the
disabler spoken of hereafter in the place of
sententious figures.

or the

A great mountaine as bigge as a molehill,
A heauy burthen perdy, as a pound of fethers

¶3.17.29 But if ye abase your thing or matter by
ignorance or errour in the choise of your word, then is it
by vicious maner of speach called Tapinosis,
whereof ye shall haue examples in the chapter of vices
hereafter folowing.

or the

¶3.17.30 Then againe if we vse such a word (as
many times we doe) by which we driue the hearer to conceiue
more or lesse or beyond or otherwise then the letter
expresseth, and it be not by vertue of the former figures
Metaphore and Abase and the rest, the
Greeks then call it
Synecdoche, the Latines sub intellectio
or vnderstanding, for by part we are enforced to vnderstand
the whole, by the whole part, by many things one thing, by
one, many, by a thing precedent, a thing consequent, and
generally one thing out of another by maner of contrariety
to the word which is spoken, aliud ex alio, which
because it seemeth to aske a good, quick, and pregnant
capacitie, and is not for an ordinarie or dull wit so to do,
I chose to call him the figure not onely of conceit after
the Greeke originall, but also of quick conceite. As for
example we will giue none because we

or the
Figure of quick

{{Page 155}}

will speake of him againe in another place, where he is
ranged among the figures sensable apperteining to


Of sensable figures altering and affecting the mynde by
alteration of sence or intendements in whole clauses or

¶3.18.1 AS by the last remembred
figures the sence of single wordes is altered, so by these
that follow is that of whole and entier speach: and first by
the Courtly figure Allegoria, which is when we
speake one thing and thinke another, and that our wordes and
our meanings meete not. The vse of this figure is so large,
and his vertue of so great efficacie as it is supposed no
man can pleasantly vtter and perswade without it, but in
effect is sure neuer or very seldome to thriue and prosper
in the world, that cannot skilfully put in vre, in somuch as
not onely euery common Courtier, but also the grauest
Counsellour, yea and the most noble and wisest Prince of
them all are many times enforced to vse it, by example (say
they) of the great Emperour who had it vsually in his mouth
to say, Qui nescit dissimulare nescit regnare
. Of this figure therefore which for his
duplicitie we call the figure of [false semblant or
] we will speake first as of the chief
ringleader and captaine of all other figures, either in the
Poeticall or oratorie science.

¶3.18.2 And ye shall know that we may dissemble, I
meane speake otherwise then we thinke, in earnest aswell as
in sport, vnder couert and darke termes, and in learned and
apparant speaches, in short sentences, and by long ambage
and circumstance of wordes, and finally aswell when we lye
as when we tell truth. To be short euery speach wrested from
his owne naturall signification to another not altogether so
naturall is a kinde of dissimulation, because the wordes
beare contrary countenaunce to th'intent. But properly |&|
in his principall vertue Allegoria is when we do
speake in sence translatiue and wrested from the owne
signification, neuerthelesse applied to another not
altogether contrary, but hauing much c|on|ueniencie with it
as before we said of the metaphore: as for example if we
should call the common wealth, a shippe; the Prince a Pilot,
the Counsellours mariners, the stormes warres, the calme

or the
Figure of false

{{Page 156}}

and [hauen] peace, this is spoken all in
allegorie: and because such inuersion of sence in one single
worde is by the figure Metaphore; of whom we spake
before, and this manner of inuersion extending to whole and
large speaches, it maketh the figure allegorie to
be called a long and perpetuall Metaphore. A noble man after
a whole yeares absence from his ladie, sent to know how she
did, and whether she remayned affected toward him as she was
when he left her.

Louely Lady I long full sore to heare,
If ye remaine the same, I left you the last yeare

¶3.18.3 To whom she answered in allegorie
other two verses:

My louing Lorde I will well that ye wist,
The thred is spon, that neuer shall vntwist

¶3.18.4 Meaning, that her loue was so stedfast and
c|-o|stant toward him as no time or occasion could alter it.
Virgill in his shepeherdly poemes called
Eglogues vsed as rusticall but fit allegorie
for the purpose thus:

Claudite iam riuos pueri sat prata biberunt.

¶3.18.5 Which I English thus:

Stop vp your streames (my lads) the medes haue drunk
ther fill

¶3.18.6 As much to say, leaue of now, yee haue
talked of the matter inough: for the shepheards guise in
many places is by opening certaine sluces to water their
pastures, so as when they are wet inough they shut them
againe: this application is full Allegoricke.

¶3.18.7 Ye haue another manner of Allegorie not
full, but mixt, as he that wrate thus:

The cloudes of care haue coured all my coste,
The stormes of strife, do threaten to appeare:
The waues of woe, wherein my ship is toste.
Haue broke the banks, where lay my life so deere.
Chippes of ill chance, are fallen amidst my choise,
To marre the minde that ment for to reioyce

¶3.18.8 I call him not a full Allegorie, but mixt,
bicause he discouers withall what the cloud, storme,
, and the rest are, which in a full allegorie
should not be discouered, but left at large to the readers
iudgement and coniecture.

¶3.18.9 We dissemble againe vnder couert and darke
speaches, when

{{Page 157}}

we speake by way of riddle (Enigma) of which the
sence can hardly be picked out, but by the parties owne
assoile, as he that said:

or the

It is my mother well I wot,
And yet the daughter that I begot

¶3.18.10 Meaning it by the ise which is made of
frozen water, the same being molten by the sunne or fire,
makes water againe.

¶3.18.11 My mother had an old wom|an| in her
nurserie, who in the winter nights would put vs forth many
prety ridles, whereof this is one:

I haue a thing and rough it is
And in the midst a hole Iwis:
There came a yong man with his ginne,
And he put it a handfull in

¶3.18.12 The good old Gentlewoman would tell vs
that were children how it was meant by a furd glooue. Some
other naughtie body would peraduenture haue construed it not
halfe so mannerly. The riddle is pretie but that it holdes
too much of the Cachemphaton or foule speach and
may be drawen to a reprobate sence.

¶3.18.13 We dissemble after a sort, when we speake
by c|om|mon prouerbs, or, as we vse to call them, old said
sawes, as thus:


As the olde cocke crowes so doeth the chick:
A bad Cooke that cannot his owne fingers lick

¶3.18.14 Meaning by the first, that the young
learne by the olde, either to be good or euill in their
behauiours: by the second, that he is not to be counted a
wise man, who being in authority, and hauing the
administration of many good and great things, will not serue
his own turne and his friends whilest he may, |&| many such
prouerbiall speeches: as Totnesse is turned French
, for a strange alteration: Skarborow warning,
for a sodaine commandement, allowing no respect or delay to
bethinke a man of his busines. Note neuerthelesse a
diuersitie, for the two last examples be prouerbs, the two
first prouerbiall speeches.

¶3.18.15 Ye doe likewise dissemble, when ye speake
in derision or mockerie, |&| that may be many waies: as
sometime in sport, sometime in earnest, and priuily, and
apertly, and pleasantly, and bitterly: but first by the
figure Ironia, which we call the drye mock:
as he that said to a bragging Ruffian, that threatened he
would kill and slay, no doubt you are a good man of your
hands: or, as it was said by

or the
Drie mock.

{{Page 158}}

a French king, to one that praide his reward, shewing how he
had bene cut in the face at a certain battell fought in his
seruice: ye may see, quoth the king, what it is to runne
away |&| looke backwards. And as
Alphonso king of Naples, said to one that profered
to take his ring when he washt before dinner, this wil serue
another well: meaning that the Gentlem|en| had another time
tak|en| th|em|, |&| because the king forgot to aske for
them, neuer restored his ring againe.

¶3.18.16 Or when we deride with a certaine
seueritie, we may call it the bitter taunt [Sarcasmus
] as Charles the fift Emperour aunswered the
Duke of Arskot, beseeching him recompence of seruice done at
the siege of Renty, against Henry the French king,
where the Duke was taken prisoner, and afterward escaped
clad like a Colliar. Thou wert taken, quoth the Emperour,
like a coward, and scapedst like a Colliar, wherefore get
thee home and liue vpon thine owne. Or as king Henry
the eight said to one of his priuy chamber, who sued for
Sir Anthony Rowse, a knight of Norfolke that his
Maiestie would be good vnto him, for that he was an ill
begger. Quoth the king againe, if he be ashamed to beg, we
are ashamed to geue. Or as Charles the fift
Emperour, hauing taken in battaile Iohn Frederike
Duke of Saxon, with the Lantgraue of Hessen and others: this
Duke being a man of monstrous bignesse and corpulence, after
the Emperor had seene the prisoners, said to those that were
about him, I haue gone a hunting many times, yet neuer tooke
I such a swine before.

or the
Bitter taunt.

¶3.18.17 Or when we speake by manner of
pleasantery, or mery skoffe, that is, by a kinde of mock,
whereof the sence is farrefet, |&| without any gall or
offence. The Greekes call it [Asteismus] we may
terme it the ciuill iest, because it is a mirth very full of
ciuilitie, and such as the most ciuill men doo vse. As
Cato said to one that had geuen him a good knock on
the head with a long peece of timber he bare on his
shoulder, and then bad him beware: what (quoth Cato
) wilt thou strike me againe? for ye know, a warning
should be geuen before a man haue receiued harme, and not
after. And as king Edward the sixt, being of young
yeres, but olde in wit, saide to one of his priuie chamber,
who sued for a pardon for one that was condemned for a
robberie, telling the king that it was but a small trifle,
not past sixteene shillings matter which he had taken:

or the
Merry scoffe.
The ciuilliest.

{{Page 159}}

quoth the king againe, but I warrant you the fellow was
sorrie it had not bene sixteen pound: meaning how the
malefactors intent was as euill in that trifle, as if it had
bene a greater summe of money. In these examples if ye marke
there is no griefe or offence ministred as in those other
before, and yet are very wittie, and spoken in plaine

¶3.18.18 The Emperor Charles the fift
was a man of very few words, and delighted little in talke.
His brother king Ferdinando being a man of more
pleasant discourse, sitting at the table with him, said, I
pray your Maiestie be not so silent, but let vs talke a
little. What neede that brother, quoth the Emperor, since
you haue words enough for vs both.

¶3.18.19 Or when we giue a mocke with a scornefull
countenance as in some smiling sort looking aside or by
drawing the lippe awry, or shrinking vp the nose; the Greeks
called it Micterismus, we may terme it a fleering
frumpe, as he that said to one whose wordes he beleued not,
not doubt Sir of that. This fleering frumpe is one of the
Courtly graces of hicke the scorner.

or the
Fleering fr|um|pe.

¶3.18.20 Or when we deride by plaine and flat
contradiction, as he that saw a dwarfe go in the streete
said to his companion that walked with him: See yonder
gyant: and to a Negro or woman blackemoore, in good sooth ye
are a faire one, we may call it the broad floute.

or the
Broad floute.

¶3.18.21 Or when ye giue a mocke vnder smooth and
lowly wordes as he that hard one call him all to nought and
say, thou are sure to be hanged ere thou dye: quoth th'other
very soberly Sir I know your maistership speakes but in
iest, the Greeks call it (charientismus) we may
call it the priuy nippe, or a myld and appeasing mockery:
all these be souldiers to the figure
allegoria and fight vnder the banner of

or the
Priuy nippe.

¶3.18.22 Neuerthelesse ye haue yet two or three
other figures that smatch a spice of the same false
, but in another sort and maner of phrase,
whereof one is when we speake in the superlatiue and beyond
the limites of credit, that is by the figure which the
Greeks call Hiperbole, the Latines
Dementiens or the lying figure. I for his immoderate
excesse cal him the ouer reacher right with his originall or
[lowd lyar] |&| me thinks not amisse: now wh|en| I
speake that

or the
Ouer reacher.
called the loud

{{Page 160}}

which neither I my selfe thinke to be true, nor would haue
any other body beleeue, it must needs be a great
dissimulation, because I meane nothing lesse then that I
speake, and this maner of speach is vsed, when either we
would greatly aduaunce or greatly abase the reputation of
any thing or person, and must be vsed very discreetly, or
els it will seeme odious, for although a prayse or other
report may be allowed bey|on|d credit, it may not be
bey|on|d all measure, specially in the proseman, as he that
was speaker in a Parliament of king Henry the
eights raigne, in his Oration which ye know is of ordinary
to be made before the Prince at the first assembly of both
houses, ould seeme to prayse his Maiestie thus. What should
I go about to recite your Maiesties innumerable vertues,
euen as much as if I tooke vpon me to number the starres of
the skie, or to tell the sands of the sea. This
Hyperbole was both vltra fidem
and also vltra modum, and
therefore of a graue and wise Counsellour made the speaker
to be accompted a grosse flattering foole: peraduenture if
he had vsed it thus, it had bene better and neuerthelesse a
lye too, but a more moderate lye and no lesse to the purpose
of the kings commendation, thus. I am not able with any
wordes sufficiently to expresse your Maiesties regall
vertues, your kingly merites also towardes vs your people
and realme are so exceeding many, as your prayses therefore
are infinite, your honour and renowne euerlasting: And yet
all this if we shall measure it by the rule of exact
veritie, is but an vntruth, yet a more cleanely commendation
then was maister Speakers. Neuerthelesse as I said before if
we fall a praysing, specially of our mistresses vertue,
bewtie, or other good parts, we be allowed now and then to
ouer-reach a little by way of comparison as he that said
thus in prayse of his Lady.

Giue place ye louers here before,
That spent your boasts and braggs in vaine:
My Ladies bewtie passeth more,
The best of your I dare well sayne:
Then doth the sunne the candle light,
Or brightest day the darkest night

¶3.18.23 And as a certaine noble Gentlewoman
lam|en|ting at the vnkindnesse of her louer said very
pretily in this figure.

{{Page 161}}

But since it will no better be,
My teares shall neuer blin:
To moist the earth in such degree,
That I may drowne therein:
That by my death all men may say,
Lo weemen are as true as they

¶3.18.24 Then haue ye the figure
Periphrasis, holding somewhat of the diss|em|bler, by
reason of a secret intent not appearing by the words, as
when we go about the bush, and will not in one or a few
words expresse that thing which we desire to haue knowen,
but do chose rather to do it by many words, as we our selues
wrote of our Soueraigne Lady thus:

or the
Figure of

Whom Princes serue, and Realmes obay,
And greatest of Bryton kings begot:
She came abroade euen yesterday,
When such as saw her, knew her not

¶3.18.25 And the rest that followeth, meaning her
Maiesties person, which we would seeme to hide leauing her
name vnspoken, to the intent the reader should gesse at it:
neuerthelesse vpon the matter did so manifestly disclose it,
as any simple iudgement might easily perceiue by whom it was
ment, that is by Lady Elizabeth, Queene of England and
daughter to king Henry the eight
, and therein resteth
the dissimulation. It is one of the gallantest figures among
the poetes so it be vsed discretely and in his right kinde,
but many of these makers that be not halfe their craftes
maisters, do very often abuse it and also many waies. For if
the thing or person they go about to describe by
circumstance, be by the writers improuidence otherwise
bewrayed, it looseth the grace of a figure, as he that said:

The tenth of March when Aries receiued,
Dan Phœbus raies into his horned hed

¶3.18.26 Intending to describe the spring of the
yeare, which euery man knoweth of himselfe, hearing the day
of March named: the verses be very good the figure nought
worth, if it were meant in Periphrase for the matter, that
is the season of the yeare which should haue bene couertly
disclosed by ambage, was by and by blabbed out by naming the
day of the moneth, |&| so the purpose of the figure
disapointed, peraduenture it had bin better to haue said

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The month and daie when Aries receiud,
Dan Phœbus raies into his horned head

¶3.18.27 For now there remaineth for the Reader
somewhat to studie and gesse vpon, and yet the spring time
to the learned iudgement sufficiently expressed.

¶3.18.28 The Noble Earle of Surrey wrote thus:

In winters iust returne, when Boreas gan his raigne,
And euery tree vnclothed him fast as nature taught th|em|

¶3.18.29 I would faine learne of some good maker,
whether the Earle spake this in figure of Periphrase
or not, for mine owne opinion I thinke that if he ment to
describe the winter season, he would not haue disclosed it
so broadly, as to say winter at the first worde, for that
had bene against the rules of arte, and without any good
iudgement: which in so learned |&| excellent a personage we
ought not to suspect, we say therefore that for winter it is
no Periphrase but language at large: we say for
all that, hauing regard to the second verse that followeth
it is a Periphrase, seeming that thereby he
intended to shew in what part of the winter his loues gaue
him anguish, that is in the time which we call the fall of
the leafe, which begins in the moneth of October, and stands
very well with the figure to be vttered in that sort
notwithstanding winter be named before, for winter hath many
parts: such namely as do not shake of the leafe, nor vncloth
the trees as here is mencioned: thus may ye iudge as I do,
that this noble Erle wrate excellently well and to purpose.
Moreouer, when a maker will seeme to vse circumlocution to
set forth any thing pleasantly and figuratiuely, yet no
lesse plaine to a ripe reader, then if it were named
expresly, and when all is done, no man can perceyue it to be
the thing intended. This is a foule ouersight in any writer
as did a good fellow, who weening to shew his cunning, would
needs by periphrase expresse the realme of Scotland in no
lesse then eight verses, and when he had said all, no man
could imagine it to be spoken of Scotland: and did besides
many other faultes in his verse, so deadly belie the matter
by his descripti|on| as it would pitie any good maker to
heare it.

¶3.18.30 Now for the shutting vp of this Chapter,
will I remember you farther of that manner of speech which
the Greekes call Synecdoche, and we the figure of
[quicke conceite] who for the reasons be-

or the
Figure of quick

{{Page 163}}

fore alledged, may be put vnder the speeches
allegoricall, because of the darkenes and duplicitie
of his sence: as when one would tell me how the French king
was ouerthrowen at Saint Quintans, I am enforced to think
that it was not the king himselfe in person, but the
Constable of Fraunce with the French kings power. Or if one
would say, the towne of Andwerpe were famished, it is not so
to be taken, but of the people of the towne of Andwerp, and
this conceit being drawen aside, and (as it were) from one
thing to another, it encombers the minde with a certaine
imagination what it may be that is meant, and not expressed:
as he that said to a young gentlewoman, who was in her
chamber making her selfe vnready. Mistresse will ye geue me
leaue to vnlace your peticote, meaning (perchance) the other
thing that might follow such vnlasing. In the olde time,
whosoeuer was allowed to vndoe his Ladies girdle, he might
lie with her all night: wherfore the taking of a womans
maydenhead away, was said to vndoo her girdle.
Virgineam dissoluit zonam, saith the Poet, conceiuing
out of a thing precedent, a thing subsequent. This may
suffice for the knowledge of this figure [quicke


Of Figures sententious, otherwise called Rhetoricall.

¶3.19.1 NOw if our presupposall be
true, that the Poet is of all other the most auncient
Orator, as he that by good |&| pleasant perswasions first
reduced the wilde and beastly people into publicke societies
and ciuilitie of life, insinuating vnto them, vnder fictions
with sweete and coloured speeches, many wholesome lessons
and doctrines, then no doubt there is nothing so fitte for
him, as to be furnished with all the figures that be
Rhetoricall, and such as do most beautifie language
with eloquence |&| sententiousnes. Therfore since we haue
already allowed to our maker his auricular
figures, and also his sensable, by which all the
words and clauses of his meeters are made as well tunable to
the eare, as stirring to the minde, we are now by order to
bestow vpon him those other figures which may execute both
offices, and all at once to beautifie and geue sence and
sententiousnes to the whole language at large. So as if we
should intreate our maker to play also the Orator, and

{{Page 164}}

whether it be to pleade, or to praise, or to aduise, that in
all three cases he may vtter, and also perswade both
copiously and vehemently.

¶3.19.2 And your figures rhetoricall, besides
their remembred ordinarie vertues, that is,
sent|en|tiousnes, |&| copious amplification, or enlargement
of language, doe also conteine a certaine sweet and
melodious manner of speech, in which respect, they may,
after a sort, be said auricular: because the eare
is no lesse rauished with their currant tune, than the mind
is with their sententiousnes. For the eare is properly but
an instrument of conueyance for the minde, to apprehend the
sence by the sound. And our speech is made melodious or
harmonicall, not onely by strayned tunes, as those of
Musick, but also by choise of smoothe words: and
thus, or thus, marshalling them in their comeliest
construction and order, and aswell by sometimes sparing,
sometimes spending them more or lesse liberally, and
carrying or transporting of them farther off or neerer,
setting them with sundry relations, and variable formes, in
the ministery and vse of words, doe breede no little
alteration in man. For to say truely, what els is man but
his minde? which, whosoeuer haue skil to compasse, and make
yeelding and flexible, what may not he commaund the body to
perfourme? He therefore that hath vanquished the minde of
man, hath made the greatest and most glorious conquest. But
the minde is not assailable vnlesse it be by sensible
approches, whereof the audible is of greatest force for
instruction or discipline: the visible, for apprehension of
exterior knowledges as the Philosopher saith. Therefore the
well tuning of your words and clauses to the delight of the
eare, maketh your information no lesse plausible to the
minde than to the eare: no though you filled them with neuer
so much sence and sententiousnes. Then also must the whole
tale (if it tende to perswasion) beare his iust and
reasonable measure, being rather with the largest, than with
the scarcest. For like as one or two drops of water perce
not the flint stone, but many and often droppings doo: so
cannot a few words (be they neuer so pithie or sententious)
in all cases and to all manner of mindes, make so deepe an
impression, as a more multitude of words to the purpose
discreetely, and without superfluitie vttered: the minde
being no lesse vanqui-

{{Page 165}}

shed with large loade of speech, than the limmes are with
heauie burden. Sweetenes of speech, sentence, and
amplification, are therfore necessarie to an excellent
Orator and Poet, ne may in no wise be spared from any of

¶3.19.3 And first of all others your figure that
worketh by iteration or repetition of one word or clause
doth much alter and affect the eare and also the mynde of
the hearer, and therefore is counted a very braue figure
both with the Poets and rhetoriciens, and this repetition
may be in seuen sortes.

¶3.19.4 Repetition in the first degree we call the
figure of Report according to the Greeke
originall, and is when we make one word begin, and as they
are wont to say, lead the daunce to many verses in sute, as

or the
Figure of

To thinke on death it is a miserie,
To thinke on life it is a vanitie:
To thinke on the world verily it is,
To thinke that heare man hath no perfit blisse

¶3.19.5 And this writt|en| by Sir Walter
of his greatest mistresse in most excellent

In vayne mine eyes in vaine you wast your teares,
In vayne my sighs the smokes of my despaires:
In vayne you search th'earth and heauens aboue,
In vayne ye seeke, for fortune keeps my loue

¶3.19.6 Or as the buffon in our enterlude called
Lustie London said very knauishly and like

Many a faire lasse in London towne,
Many a ba{w}die basket borne vp and downe:
Many a broker in a thrid bare gowne.
Many a bankrowte scarce worth a crowne.
In London

¶3.19.7 Ye haue another sort of repetition quite
contrary to the former when ye make one word finish many
verses in sute, and that which is harder, to finish many
clauses in the middest of your verses or dittie (for to make
them finish the verse in our vulgar it should hinder the
rime) and because I do finde few of our English makers vse
this figure, I haue set you down to two litle ditties which
our selues in our yonger yeares played vpon the
Antistrophe, for so

or the
Counter turne.

{{Page 166}}

is the figures name in Greeke: one vpon the mutable loue of
a Lady, another vpon the meritorious loue of Christ our
Sauiour, thus.

Her lowly lookes, that gaue life to my loue,
With spitefull speach, curtnesse and crueltie:
She kild my loue, let her rigour remoue,
Her cherefull lights and speaches of pitie
Reuiue my loue: anone with great disdaine,
She shunnes my loue, and after by a traine
She seekes my loue, and saith she loues me most,
But seing her loue, so lightly wonne and lost:
I longd not for her loue, for well I thought,
Firme is the loue, if it be as it ought

¶3.19.8 The second vpon the merites of Christes
passion toward mankind, thus,

Our Christ the sonne of God, chief authour of all good,
Was he by his allmight, that first created man:
And {w}ith the costly price, of his most precious bloud,
He that redeemed man: and by his instance {w}an
Grace in the sight of God, his onely father deare,
And reconciled man: and to make man his peere
Made himselfe very man: brief to conclude the case,
This Christ both God and man, he all and onely is:
The man brings man to God and to all heauens blisse

¶3.19.9 The Greekes call this figure
Antistrophe, the Latines,
conuersio, I following the originall call him the
counterturne, because he turnes counter in the
middest of euery meetre.

¶3.19.10 Take me the two former figures and put
them into one, and it is that which the Greekes call
symploche, the Latines complexio, or
conduplicatio, and is a maner of repetition, when
one and the selfe word doth begin and end many verses in
sute |&| so wrappes vp both the former figures in one, as he
that sportingly complained of his vntrustie mistresse, thus.

or the
Figure of replie.

Who made me shent for her loues sake?
Myne owne mistresse.
Who would not seeme my part to take,
Myne owne mistresse.

{{Page 167}}

What made me first so well content
Her curtesie.
What makes me now so sore repent
Her crueltie

¶3.19.11 The Greekes name this figure
Symploche, the Latins Complexio, perchaunce
for that he seemes to hold in and to wrap vp the verses by
reduplication, so as nothing can fall out. I had rather call
him the figure of replie.

¶3.19.12 Ye haue another sort of repetition when
with the worde by which you finish your verse, ye beginne
the next verse with the same, as thus:

or the

Comforte it is for man to haue a wife,
Wife chast, and wise, and lowly all her life

¶3.19.13 Or thus:

Your beutie was the cause of my first loue,
Looue while I liue, that I may sore repent

¶3.19.14 The Greeks call this figure
Anadiplosis, I call him the Redouble as the
originall beares.

¶3.19.15 Ye haue an other sorte of repetition,
when ye make one worde both beginne and end your verse,
which therefore I call the slow retourne, otherwise the
Eccho sound, as thus:

or the
Eccho sound.
the slow return.

Much must he be beloued, that loueth much,
Feare many must he needs, whom many feare

¶3.19.16 Vnlesse I called him the eccho
, I could not tell what name to giue him, vnlesse
it were the slow returne.

¶3.19.17 Ye haue another sort of repetition when
in one verse or clause of a verse, ye iterate one word
without any intermission, as thus:

or Coocko-spel.

It was Maryne, Maryne that wrought mine woe.

¶3.19.18 And this bemoaning the departure of a
deere friend.

The chiefest staffe of mine assured stay,
With no small griefe, is gon, is gon away

¶3.19.19 And that of Sir Walter Raleighs
very sweet.

With wisdomes eyes had but blind fortune seene,
Than had my looue, my looue for euer beene

¶3.19.20 The Greeks call him Epizeuxis,
the Latines Subiunctio, we may call him the
vnderlay, me thinks if we regard his manner of
iteration, |&| would depart from the originall, we might
very properly,

{{Page 168}}

in our vulgar and for pleasure call him the
cuckowspell, for right as the cuckow repeats his lay,
which is but one manner of note, and doth not insert any
other tune betwixt, and sometimes for hast stammers out two
or three of them one immediatly after another, as cuck,
cuck, cuckow
, so doth the figure Epizeuxis in
the former verses, Maryne, Maryne, without any
intermission at all.

¶3.19.21 Yet haue ye one sorte of repetition,
which we call the doubler, and is as the next
before, a speedie iteration of one word, but with some
little intermissi|on| by inserting one or two words
betweene, as in a most excellent dittie written by Sir
Walter Raleigh these two closing verses:

Yet {w}hen I sa{w}e my selfe to you {w}as true,
I loued my selfe, bycause my selfe loued you

¶3.19.22 And this spoken in common Prouerbe.

An ape {w}ilbe an ape, by kinde as they say,
Though that ye clad him all in purple array

¶3.19.23 Or as we once sported vpon a fellowes
name who was called Woodcock, and for an ill part
he had plaid entreated fauour by his friend.

I praie you intreate no more for the man,
Woodcocke {w}ilbe a {w}oodcocke do {w}hat ye can

¶3.19.24 Now also be there many other sortes of
repetition if a man would vse them, but are nothing
commendable, and therefore are not obserued in good poesie,
as a vulgar rimer who doubled one word in the end of euery
verse, thus:

adieu, adieu,
my face, my face

¶3.19.25 And an other that did the like in the
beginning of his verse, thus:

To loue him and loue him, as sinners should doo.

¶3.19.26 These repetiti|on|s be not figuratiue but
phantastical, for a figure is euer vsed to a purpose, either
of beautie or of efficacie: and these last recited be to no
purpose, for neither can ye say that it vrges affection, nor
that it beautifieth or enforceth the sence, nor hath any
other subtilitie in it, and therfore is a very foolish
impertinency of speech, and not a figure.

¶3.19.27 Ye haue a figure by which ye play with a
couple of words or names much resembling, and because the
one seemes to answere

or the

{{Page 169}}

th'other by manner of illusion, and doth, as it were, nick
him, I call him the Nicknamer. If any other man
can geue him a fitter English name, I will not be angrie,
but I am sure mine is very neere the originall sence of
Prosonomasia, and is rather a by-name geuen in sport,
than a surname geuen of any earnest purpose. As,
Tiberius the Emperor, because he was a great drinker
of wine, they called him by way of derision to his owne
name, Caldius Biberius Mero, in steade of
Claudius Tiberius Nero: and so a iesting frier that
wrate against Erasmus, called him by resemblance
to his own name Errans mus, and are mainteined by
this figure Prosonomasia, or the Nicknamer. But
euery name geuen in iest or by way of a surname, if it do
not resemble the true, is not by this figure, as the Emperor
of Greece, who was surnamed Constantinus Copronimus
, because he beshit the foont at the time he was
christened: and so ye may see the difference betwixt the
figures Antonomasia |&| Prosonomatia.
Now when such resemblance happens betweene words of another
nature, and not vpon mens names, yet doeth the Poet or maker
finde prety sport to play with them in his verse, specially
the Comicall Poet and the Epigrammatist. Sir Philip
in a dittie plaide very pretily with these two
words, Loue and live, thus.

And all my life I will confesse,
The lesse I loue, I liue the lesse

¶3.19.28 And we in our Enterlude called the woer,
plaid with these two words,
lubber and louer, thus, the countrey
clowne came |&| woed a young maide of the Citie, and being
agreeued to come so oft, and not to haue his answere, said
to the old nurse very impatiently.

Iche pray you good mother tell our young dame,
Whence I am come and what is my name,
I cannot come a woing euery day


¶3.19.29 Quoth the nurse.

They be lubbers not louers that so vse to say.


¶3.19.30 Or as one replyed to his mistresse
charging him with some disloyaltie towards her.

Proue me madame ere ye fall to reproue,
Meeke mindes should rather excuse than accuse

¶3.19.31 Here the words proue and reproue, excuse
and accuse, do plea-

{{Page 170}}

santly encounter, and (as it were) mock one another by their
much resemblance: and this is by the figure
Prosonomatia, as wel as if they were mens proper
names, alluding to each other.

¶3.19.32 Then haue ye a figure which the Latines
call Traductio, and I the tranlacer: which is when
ye turne and tranlace a word into many sundry shapes as the
Tailor doth his garment, |&| after that sort do play with
him in your dittie: as thus,

or the

Who liues in loue his life is full of feares,
To lose his loue, liuelode or libertie
But liuely sprites that young and recklesse be,
Thinke that there is no liuing like to theirs

¶3.19.33 Or as one who much gloried in his owne
wit, whom Persius taxes in a verse very pithily
and pleasantly, thus.

Scire tuum nihil est nisi te scire, hoc sciat alter

¶3.19.34 Which I haue turned into English, not so
briefly, but more at large of purpose the better to declare
the nature of the figure: as thus,

Thou {w}eenest thy {w}it nought {w}orth if other {w}eet
it not
As {w}el as thou thy selfe, but o thing {w}ell I {w}ot,
Who so in earnest {w}eenes, he doth in mine aduise,
She{w} himselfe {w}itlesse, or more {w}ittie than {w}ise

¶3.19.35 Here ye see how in the former rime this
word life is tranlaced into liue, liuing, liuely, liuelode:
|&| in the latter rime this word wit is translated into
weete, weene, wotte, witlesse, witty |&| wise: which come
all from one originall.

¶3.19.36 Ye haue a figuratiue speach which the
Greeks cal Antipophora, I name him the
Responce, and is when we will seeme to aske a
question to th'intent we will aunswere it our selues, and is
a figure of argument and also of amplification. Of argument,
because proponing such matter as our aduersarie might obiect
and then to answere it our selues, we do vnfurnish and
preuent him of such helpe as he would otherwise haue vsed
for himselfe: then because such obiection and answere spend
much language it serues as well to amplifie and enlarge our
tale. Thus for example.

or Figure of

Wylie {w}orldling come tell me I thee pray,
Wherein hopes thou, that makes thee so to s{w}ell?

Riches? alack it taries not a day,

{{Page 171}}

But {w}here fortune the sickle list to d{w}ell:
In thy children? ho{w} hardlie shalt thou finde,
Them all at once, good and thriftie and kinde:
Thy {w}ife? ò faire but fraile mettall to trust,
Seruants? what the cues? what treachours and iniust?
Honour perchance? it restes in other men:
Glorie? a smoake: but wherein hopest thou then?
In Gods iustice? and by what merite tell?
In his mercy? ò now thou speakest {w}el,
But thy lewd life hath lost his loue and grace,
Daunting all hope to put dispaire in place

¶3.19.37 We read that Crates the
Philosopher Cinicke in respect of the manifold
discommodities of mans life, held opinion that is was best
for man neuer to haue bene borne or soone after to dye, [
Optimum non nasci vel citò mori] of whom certaine
verses are left written in Greeke which I haue Englished,

What life is the liefest? the needy is full of woe and
The wealthie full of brawle and brabbles of the law:
To be a maried man? how much art thou beguild,
Seeking thy rest by carke, for houshold wife and child:
To till it is a toyle, to grase some honest gaine,
But such as gotten is with great hazard and paine:
The sayler of his shippe, the marchant of his ware,
The souldier in armes, how full of dread and care?
A shrewd wife brings thee bate, wiue not and neuer thriue,
Children a charge, childlesse the greatest lacke aliue:
Youth witlesse is and fraile, age sicklie and forlorne,
Then better to dye soone, or neuer to be borne

¶3.19.38 Metrodorus the Philosopher
Stoick was of a contrary opinion reuersing all the
former suppositions against Crates, thus.

What life list ye to lead? in good Citie and towne
Is wonne both wit and wealth, Court gets vs great renowne:
Countrey keepes vs in heale, and quietnesse of mynd,
Where holesome aires and exercise and pretie sports we find:
Traffick it turnes to gaine, by land and eke by seas,
The land-borne liues safe, the forreine at his ease:
Housholder hath his home, the roge romes with delight,

{{Page 172}}

And makes moe merry meales, then doth the Lordly wight:
Wed and thou hast a bed, of solace and of ioy,
Wed not and haue a bed, of rest without annoy:
The setled loue is safe, sweete is the loue at large,
Children they are a store, no children are no charge,
Lustie and gay is youth, old age honourd and wise:
Then not to dye or be vnborne, is best in myne aduise

¶3.19.39 Ed{w}ard Earle of Oxford a most
noble |&| learned Gentleman made in this figure of responce
an emble of desire otherwise called Cupide which
for his excellencie and wit, I set downe some part of the
verses, for example.

When wert thou borne desire?
In pompe and pryme of May,
By whom sweete boy wert thou begot?
By good conceit men say,
Tell me who was thy nurse?
Fresh youth in sugred ioy.
What was thy meate and dayly foode?
Sad sighes with great annoy.
What hadst thou then to drinke?
Vnfayned louers teares.
What cradle wert thou rocked in?
In hope deuoyde of feares

¶3.19.40 Ye haue another figure which me thinkes
may well be called (not much sweruing from his originall in
sence) the Crosse-couple, because it takes me two
contrary words, and tieth them as it were in a paire of
couples, and so makes them agree like good fellowes, as I
saw once in Fraunce a wolfe coupled with a mastiffe, and a
foxe with a hounde. Thus it is.

or the
Crosse copling.

The niggards fault and the vnthrifts is all one,
For neither of them both knoweth how to vse his owne.

¶3.19.41 Or thus.

The couetous miser, of all his goods ill got,
Aswell wants that he hath, as that he hath not

¶3.19.42 In this figure of the Crosse-
we wrate for a forlorne loure complaining of his
mistresse crueltie these verses among other.

Thus for your sake I dayly dye,

{{Page 173}}

And do but seeme to liue in deede:
Thus is my blisse but miserie,
My lucre losse without your meede

¶3.19.43 Ye haue another figure which by his
nature we may call the Rebound, alluding to the
tennis ball which being smitten with the racket reboundes
backe againe, and where the last figure before played with
two wordes somewhat like, this playeth with one word written
all alike but carrying diuers sences as thus.

or the

The maide that soone married is, soone marred is.

¶3.19.44 Or thus better because married
|&| marred be differ|en|t in one letter.

To pray for you euer I cannot refuse,
To pray vpon you I should you much abuse

¶3.19.45 Or as we once sported vpon a countrey
fellow who came to runne for the best game, and was by his
occupation a dyer and had very bigge swelling legges.

He is but course to runne a course,
Whose shankes are bigger then his thye:
Yet is his lucke a little worse,
That often dyes before he dye

¶3.19.46 Where ye see this word course
and dye, vsed in diuers sences, one giuing the
Rebounde vpon th'other.

¶3.19.47 Ye haue a figure which as well by his
Greeke and Latine originals, |&| also by allusion to the
maner of a mans gate or going may be called the
marching figure, for after the first steppe all the
rest proceede by double the space, and so in our speach one
word proceedes double to the first that was spoken, and
goeth as it were by strides or paces: it may aswell be
called the clyming figure, for Clymax is
as much to say as a ladder, as in one of our Epitaphes
shewing how a very meane man by his wisedome and good
fortune came to great estate and dignitie.

or the

His vertue made him wise, his wisedome brought him
His wealth wan many friends, his friends made much supply:
Of aides in weale and woe in sicknesse and in health,
Thus came he from a low, to sit in seate so hye

¶3.19.48 Or as Ihean de Mehune the
French Poet.

Peace makes plentie, plentie makes pride,
Pride breeds quarrell, and quarrell brings warre:

{{Page 174}}

Warre brings spoile, and spoile pouertie,
Pouertie pacience, and pacience peace:
So peace brings warre, and warre brings peace

¶3.19.49 Ye haue a figure which takes a couple of
words to play with in a verse, and by making them to chaunge
and shift one into others place they do very pretily
exchange and shift the sence, as thus.

or the

We dwell not here to build vs boures,
And halles for pleasure and good cheare:
But halles we build for vs and ours,
To dwell in them whilest we are here

¶3.19.50 Meaning that we dwell not here to build,
but we build to dwel, as we liue not to eate, but eate to
liue, or thus:

We wish not peace to maintaine cruell warre,
But {w}e make {w}arre to maintaine vs in peace

¶3.19.51 Or thus.

If Poesie be, as some haue said,
A speaking picture to the eye:
Then is a picture not denaid,
To be a muet Poesie

¶3.19.52 Or as the Philosopher Musonius

With pleasure if {w}e {w}orke vnhonestly and ill,
The pleasure passeth, the bad it bideth still:
Well if {w}e {w}orke {w}ith trauaile and {w}ith paines,
The paine passethe and still the good remaines

¶3.19.53 A wittie fellow in Rome wrate vnder the
Image of Cæsar the Dictator these two verses in
Latine, which because they are spok|en| by this figure of
Counterchaunge I haue turned into a couple of English
verses very well keeping the grace of the figure.

Brutus for casting out of kings, was first of Consuls
Cæsar for casting Consuls out, is of our kings the last

¶3.19.54 Cato of any Senatour not onely
the grauest but also the promptest an wittiest in any euill
scoffe, misliking greatly the engrossing of offices in Rome
that one man should haue many at once, and a great number
goe without that were as able men, said thus by

It seemes your offices are very litle worth,
Or very few of you worthy of offices

¶3.19.55 Againe:

{{Page 175}}

In trifles earnest as any man can bee,
In earnest matters no such trifler as hee

¶3.19.56 Ye haue another figure much like to the
Sarcasmus, or bitter taunt wee spake of before:
and is when with proud and insolent words, we do vpbraid a
man, or ride him as we terme it: for which cause the Latines
also call it Insultatio, I choose to name him the
Reprochfull or scorner, as when Queene
Dido saw, that for all her great loue an
entertainements bestowed vpon Æneas, he would
needs depart, and follow the Oracle of his
destines, she brake out in a great rage and said very

or the

Hye thee, and by the wild waues and the wind,
Seeke Italie and Realmes for thee to raigne,
If piteous Gods haue power amidst the mayne,
On ragged rocks thy penaunce thou maist find

¶3.19.57 Or as the poet Iuuenall
reproched the couetous Merchant, who for lucres sake passed
on no perill either by land or sea, thus:

Goe now and giue thy life vnto the winde,
Trusting vnto a piece of bruckle wood,
Foure inches from thy death or seauen good
The thickest planke for shipboord that we finde

¶3.19.58 Ye haue another figure very pleasant and
fit for amplification, which to answer the Greeke terme, we
may call the encounter, but following the Latine name by
reason of his contentious nature, we may call him the
Quarreller, for so be al such persons as delight in taking
the contrary part of whatsoeuer shalbe spoken: when I was a
scholler in Oxford they called euery such one Iohannes
ad oppositum

or the
The renconter.

Good haue I doone you, much, harme did I neuer none,
Ready to ioy your gaines, your losses to bemone,
Why therefore should you grutch so sore at my welfare:
Who onely bred your blisse, and neuer causd your care

¶3.19.59 Or as it is in these verses where one
speaking of Cupids bowe, deciphered thereby the
nature of sensual loue, whose beginning is more pleasant
than the end, thus allegorically and by antitheton

His bent is sweete, his loose is somewhat sowre,
In ioy begunne, ends oft in wofull howre

{{Page 176}}

¶3.19.60 Maister Diar in this
quarrelling figure.

Nor loue hath now the force, on me which it ones had,
[[( glad,]]
Your frownes can neither make me mourne, nor fauors make me

¶3.19.61 Isocrates the Greek Oratour was
a litle too full of this figure, |&| so was the Spaniard
that wrote the life of Marcus Aurelius, |&| many
of our moderne writers in vulgar, vse it in excesse |&|
incurre the vice of fond affectation: otherwise the figure
is very c|om|mendable.

¶3.19.62 In this quarrelling figure we once plaid
this merry Epigrame of an importune and shrewd wife, thus:

My neighbour hath a wife, not fit to make him thriue,
But good to kill a quicke man, or make a dead reuiue.
So shrewd she is for God, so cunning and so wise,
To counter {w}ith her goodman, and all by contraries.
For {w}hen he is merry, she lurcheth and she loures,
When he is sad she singes, or laughes it out by houres.
Bid her be still her tongue to talke shall neuer cease,
When she should speake and please, for spight she holds her
Bid spare and she {w}ill spend, bid spend she spares as
What first ye {w}ould haue done, be sure it shalbe last.
Say go, she comes, say come, she goes, and leaues him all
Her husband (as I thinke) calles her ouerth{w}art Ione

¶3.19.63 There is a kinde of figuratiue speach
when we aske many questions and looke for none answere,
speaking indeed by interrogation, which we might as well say
by affirmation. This figure I call the Questioner
or inquisitiue, as whan Medea excusing her great
crueltie vsed in the murder of her owne children which she
had by Iason, said:

or the

Was I able to make them I praie you tell,
And am I not able to marre them all as well?

¶3.19.64 Or as another wrote very commendably.

Why striue I {w}ith the streame, or hoppe against the
Or search that neuer can be found, and loose my labour

¶3.19.65 Cato vnderst|an|ding that the
Senate had appointed three citizens of Rome for embassadours
to the king of Bithinia, whereof one had the
Gowte, another the Meigrim, the third very little courage or
discretion to be employed in any such businesse, said by way
of skoffe in this figure.

{{Page 177}}

Must not (tro{w}e ye) this message be {w}ell sped,
That hath neither heart, nor heeles, nor hed?

¶3.19.66 And as a great Princesse aunswered her
seruitour, who distrusting in her fauours toward him,
praised his owne constancie in these verses.

No fortune base or frayle can alter me:

¶3.19.67 To whome she in this figure repeting his

No fortune base or frayle can alter thee.
And can so blind a {w}itch so conquere mee?

¶3.19.68 The figure of exclamation, I call him [
the outcrie] because it vtters our minde by all such
words as do shew any extreme passion, whether it be by way
of exclamation or crying out, admiration or wondering,
imprecation or cursing, obtestation or taking God and the
world to witnes, or any such like as declare an impotent
affection, as Chaucer of the Lady
Cresseida by exclamation.

or the

O soppe of sorrow soonken into care,
O caytife Cresseid, for now and euermare.

¶3.19.69 Or as Gascoine wrote very
passionatly and well to purpose.

Ay me the dayes that I in dole consume,
Alas the nights which {w}itnesse {w}ell mine {w}oe:
O {w}rongfull {w}orld {w}hich makest my fancie fume,
Fie fickle fortune, fie, fie thou art my foe:
Out and alas so fro{w}ard is my chance,
No nights nor daies, nor {w}orldes can me auance

¶3.19.70 Petrarche in a sonet which Sir
Thomas Wiat Englished excellently well, said in
this figure by way of imprecation and obtestation: thus,

Perdie I said it not,
Nor neuer thought to doo:
Aswell as I ye wot,
I haue no power thereto:
"And if I did the lot
That first did me enchaine,
May neuer slake the knot
But straite it to my paine.

{{Page 178}}

"And if I did each thing,
That may do harme or woe:
Continually may wring,
My harte where so I goe.
"Report may alwaies ring:
Of shame on me for aye,
If in my hart did spring,
The wordes that you doo say.
"And if I did each starre,
That is in heauen aboue

¶3.19.71 And so forth, |&c.|

¶3.19.72 We vse sometimes to proceede all by
single words, without any close or coupling, sauing that a
little pause or comma is geuen to euery word. This figure
for pleasure may be called in our vulgar the cutted comma,
for that there cannot be a shorter diuision then at euery
words end. The Greekes in their language call it short
language, as thus.

or the
Cutted comma

Enuy, malice, flattery, disdaine,
Auarice, deceit, falshed, filthy gaine

¶3.19.73 If this loose language be vsed, not in
single words, but in long clauses, it is called
Asindeton, and in both cases we vtter in that
fashion, when either we be earnest, or would seeme to make

¶3.19.74 Ye haue another figure which we may call
the figure of euen, because it goeth by clauses of egall
quantitie, and not very long, but yet not so short as the
cutted comma: and they geue good grace to a dittie, but
specially to a prose. In this figure we once wrote in a
melancholike humor these verses.

or the
Figure of euen.

The good is geason, and short is his abode,
The bad bides long, and easie to be found:
Our life is loathsome, our sinnes a heauy lode,
Conscience a curst iudge, remorse a priuie goade.
Disease, age and death still in our care they round,
That hence we must the sickly and the sound:
Treading the steps that our forefathers troad,
Rich, poore, holy, wise, all flesh it goes to ground

¶3.19.75 In a prose there should not be vsed at
once of such euen clauses past three or foure at the most.

{{Page 179}}

¶3.19.76 When so euer we multiply our speech by
many words or clauses of one sence, the Greekes call it
Sinonimia, as who would say, like or consenting
names: the Latines hauing no fitte terme to giue him, called
it by a name of euent, for (said they) many words of one
nature and sence, one of them doth expound another. And
therefore they called this figure the [Interpreter
] I for my part had rather call him the figure of [
store] because plenty of one manner of thing in our
vulgar we call so. Æneas asking whether his
Captaine Orontes were dead or aliue, vsed this
store of speeches all to one purpose.

or the
Figure of store.

Is he aliue,
Is he as I left him queauing and quick,
And hath he not yet geuen vp the ghost,
Among the rest of those that I haue lost?

¶3.19.77 Or if it be in single words, then thus.

What is become of that beautifull face,
Those louely lookes, that fauour amiable,
Those sweete features, and visage full of grace,
That countenance which is alonly able
To kill and cure?

¶3.19.78 Ye see that all these words, face,
lookes, fauour, features, visage, countenance, are in sence
but all one. Which store, neuerthelesse, doeth much
beautifie and inlarge the matter. So said another.

My faith, my hope, my trust, my God and eke my guide,
Stretch forth thy hand to saue the soule, {w}hat ere the
body bide

¶3.19.79 Here faith, hope and trust be words of
one effect, allowed to vs by this figure of store.

¶3.19.80 Otherwhiles we speake and be sorry for
it, as if we had not wel spoken, so that we seeme to call in
our word againe, and to pur in another fitter for the
purpose: for which respects the Greekes called this manner
of speech the figure of repentance: then for that vpon
repentance commonly followes amendment, the Latins called it
the figure of correction, in that the speaker seemeth to
reforme that which was said amisse. I following the Greeke
originall, choose to call him the penitent, or repentant:
and singing in honor of the mayden Queen, meaning to praise
her for her greatnesse of courage, ouershooting my selfe,
called it first by the name

or the

{{Page 180}}

of pride: then fearing least fault might be found with that
terme, by |&| by turned this word pride to praise:
resembling her Maiesty to the Lion, being her owne noble
armory, which by a slie construction purporteth
magnanimitie. Thus in the latter end of a Parthemiade.

O peereles you, or els no one aliue,
Your pride serues you to feaze them all alone:
"Not pride madame, but praise of the lion,
To conquer all and be conquerd by none

¶3.19.81 And in another Parthemiade thus
insinuating her Maiesties great constancy in refusall of all
marriages offred her, thus:

"Her heart is hid none may it see,
"Marble or flinte folke {w}eene it be

¶ 3.19.82 Which may imploy rigour and cruelty,
than correcteth it thus.

Not flinte I tro{w}e I am a lier,
But Siderite that feeles no fire.

¶3.19.83 By which is intended, that it proceeded
of a cold and chast complexion not easily allured to loue.

¶3.19.84 We haue another manner of speech much
like to the repentant, but doth not as the same
recant or vnsay a word that hath bene said before, putting
another fitter in his place, but hauing spoken any thing to
depraue the matter or partie, he denieth it not, but as it
were helpeth it againe by another more fauourable speach:
and so seemeth to make amends, for which cause it is called
by the originall name in both languages, the
Recompencer, as he that was merily asked the
question, whether his wife were not a shrewe as well as
others of his neighbours wiues, answered in this figure as
pleasantly, for he could not well denie it.

or the

I must needs say, that my wife is a shre{w}e,
But such a hus{w}ife as I kno{w} but a fe{w}e

¶3.19.85 Another in his first preposition giuing a
very faint c|om|mendation to the Courtiers life, weaning to
make him amends, made it worse by a second proposition,

The Courtiers life full delicate it is,
But {w}here no {w}ise man {w}ill euer set his blis

¶3.19.86 And an other speaking to the incoragement
of youth in studie and to be come excellent in letters and
armes, said thus:

{{Page 181}}

Many are the paines and perils to be past,
But great is the gaine and glory at the last

¶3.19.87 Our poet in his short ditties, but
specially playing the Epigrammatist will vse to conclude and
shut vp his Epigram with a verse or two, spoken in such
sort, as it may seeme a manner of allowance to all the
premisses, and that with a ioyfull approbation, which the
Latines call Acclamatio, we therefore call this
figure the surcloze or consenting close,
Virgill when he had largely spoken of Prince
Eneas his successe and fortunes concluded with this

or the

Tantæ molis erat Romanam condere gentem.

¶3.19.88 In English thus:

So huge a peece of {w}orke it {w}as and so hie,
To reare the house of Romane progenie

¶3.19.89 Sir Philip Sidney very pretily
closed vp a dittie in this sort.

What medcine then, can such disease remoue,
Where loue breedes hate, and hate engenders loue

¶3.19.90 And we in a Partheniade written
of her Maiestie, declaring to what perils vertue is
generally subiect, and applying that fortune to her selfe,
closed it vp with this Epiphoneme.

Than if there bee,
Any so cancard hart to grutch,
At your glories: my Queene: in vaine,
Repining at your fatall raigne:
It is for that they feele too much,
Of your bountee

¶3.19.91 As who would say her owne ouermuch
lenitie and goodnesse, made her ill willers the more bold
and presumptuous.

¶3.19.92 Lucretius Carus the philosopher
and poet inueighing sore against the abuses of the
superstitious religion of the Gentils, and recompting the
wicked fact of king Agamemnon in sacrificing his
only daughter Iphigenia, being a yoong damsell of
excellent bewtie, to th'intent to please the wrathfull gods,
hinderers of his nauigation, after he had said all, closed
it vp in this one verse, spoken in Epiphonema.

Tantum relligio potuit suadere malorum.

¶3.19.93 In English thus:

{{Page 182}}

Lo what an outrage, could cause to be done,
The peeuish scruple of blinde religion

¶3.19.94 It happens many times that to vrge and
enforce the matter we speake of, we go still mounting by
degrees and encreasing our speech with wordes or with
sentences of more waight one then another, |&| is a figure
of great both efficacie |&| ornament, as he that declaring
the great calamitie of an infortunate prince, said thus:

or the

He lost besides his children and his {w}ife,
His realme, rono{w}ne, liege, libertie and life

¶3.19.95 By which it appeareth that to any noble
Prince the losse of his estate ought not to be so greeuous,
as of his honour, nor any of them both like to the lacke of
his libertie, but that life is the dearest detriment of any
other. We call this figure by the Greeke originall the
Auancer or figure of encrease because euery word that
is spoken is one of more weight then another.

¶3.19.96 And as we lamented the crueltie of an
inexorable and vnfaithfull mistresse.

If by the la{w}es of loue it be a falt,
The faithfull friend, in absence to forget:
But if it be (once do thy heart but halt,)
A secret sinne: {w}hat forfet is so great:
As by despite in view of euery eye,
The solemne vo{w}es oft s{w}orne {w}ith teares so salt,
And holy Leagues fast scald {w}ith hand and hart:
For to repeale and breake so {w}ilfully?
But no{w} (alas) {w}ithout all iust desart,
My lot is for my troth and much good {w}ill,
To reape disdaine, hatred and rude refuse,
Or if ye {w}ould {w}orke me some greater ill:
And of myne earned ioyes to feele no part,
What els is this (ò cruell) but to vse,
Thy murdring knife the guiltlesse bloud to spill

¶3.19.97 Where ye see how she is charged first
with a fault, then with a secret sinne, afterward with a
foule forfet, last of all with a most cruell |&| bloudy
deede. And thus againe in a certaine louers complaint made
to the like-effect.

They say it is a ruth to see thy louer neede,

{{Page 183}}

But you can see me {w}eepe, but you can see me bleede:
And neuer shrinke nor shame, ne shed no teare at all,
You make my wounds your selfe, and fill them vp with gall:
Yea you can set me sound, and faint for want of breath,
And gaspe and grone for life, and struggle still with death,
What can you now do more, sweare by your maydenhead,
Then for to flea me quicke, or strip me being dead

¶3.19.98 In these verses you see how one crueltie
surmounts another by degrees till it come to very slaughter
and beyond, for it is thought a despite done to a dead
carkas to be an euidence of greater crueltie then to haue
killed him.

¶3.19.99 After the auancer followeth the abbaser
working by wordes and sentences of extenuation or
diminution. Whereupon we call him the Disabler of
figure of Extenuation: and this extenuation is
vsed to diuers purposes, sometimes for modesties sake, and
to auoide the opinion of arrogancie, speaking of our selues
or of ours, as he that disabled himselfe to his mistresse,

or the

Not all the skill I haue to speake or do,
Which litle is God wot (set loue apart:)
Liueload nor life, and put them both thereto,
Can counterpeise the due of your desart

¶3.19.100 It may be also done for despite to bring
our aduersaries in contempt, as he that sayd by one
(commended for a very braue souldier) disabling him
scornefully, thus.

A iollie man (forsooth) and fit for the warre,
Good at hand grippes, better to fight a farre:
Whom bright weapon in she{w} as it is said,
Yea his o{w}ne shade, hath often made afraide

¶3.19.101 The subtilitie of the scoffe lieth in
these Latin wordes [eminui |&| cominus
.] Also we vse this kind of Extenuation when we
take in hand to comfort or cheare any perillous enterprise,
making a great matter seeme small, and of litel difficultie,
|&| is much vsed by captaines in the warre, when they (to
giue courage to their souldiers) will seeme to disable the
persons of their enemies, and abase their forces, and make
light of euery thing that might be a discouragement to the
attempt, as Hanniball did in his Oration to his
souldiers, when they should come to passe the Alpes to en{\-

{{Page 184}}

ter Italie, and for sharpnesse of the weather, and
steepnesse of the mountaines their hearts began to faile

¶3.19.102 We vse it againe to excuse a fault, |&|
to make an offence seeme lesse then it is, by giuing a terme
more fauorable and of lesse vehemencie then the troth
requires, as to say of a great robbery, that it was but a
pilfry matter: of an arrant ruffian that he is a tall fellow
of his hands: of a prodigall foole, that he is a kind
hearted man: of a notorious vnthrift, a lustie youth, and
such like phrases of extenuation, which fall more aptly to
the office of the figure
Curry fauell before remembred.

¶3.19.103 And we vse the like termes by way of
pleasant familiaritie, and as it were for a Courtly maner of
speach with our egalls or inferiours, as to call a young
Gentlewoman Mall for Mary, Nell
for Elner: Iack for Iohn,
Robin or Robert: or any other like
affected termes spoken of pleasure, as in our triumphals
calling familiarly vpon our Muse, I called her

But {w}ill you {w}eet,
My litle muse, my prettie moppe:
If {w}e shall algates change our stoppe,
Chose me a s{w}eet

¶3.19.104 Vnderstanding by this word [Moppe
] a litle prety Lady, or tender young thing. For so we
call litle fishes that be not come to their full growth [
moppes,] as whiting moppes, gurnard moppes.

¶3.19.105 Also such termes are vsed to be giuen in
derision and for a kind of contempt, as when we say Lording
for Lord, |&| as the Spaniard that calleth an Earle of small
reuenue Contadilio: the Italian calleth the poore
man, by contempt pouerachio, or pouerino
, the little beast animalculo or
animaluchio, and such like diminutiues
apperteining to this figure, the [Disabler] more
ordinary in other languages than in our vulgar.

¶3.19.106 This figure of retire holds part with
the propounder of which we spake before (prolepsis
) because of this resumption of a former proposition
vttered in generalitie to explane the same better by a
particular diuision. But their difference is, in that the
propounder resumes but the matter only. This [retire
] resumes both the matter and the termes, and is therefore
accompted one of the figures of repetition, and in that
respect may be called by his originall

the figure of

{{Page 185}}

Greeke name the [Resounde] or the [retire
] for this word [odos] serues both sences
resound and retire. The vse of this figure, is seen in this
dittie following.

Loue hope and death, do stirre in me much strife,
As neuer man but I lead such a life:
For burning loue doth {w}ound my heart to death:
And {w}hen death comes at call of in{w}ard grief,
Cold lingring hope doth feede my fainting breath:
Against my {w}ill, and yeelds my {w}ound relief,
So that I liue, but yet my life is such:
As neuer death could greeue me halfe so much

¶3.19.107 Then haue ye a maner of speach, not so
figuratiue as fit for argumentation, and worketh not vnlike
the dilemma of the Logicians, because he propones
two or moe matters entierly, and doth as it were set downe
the whole tale or rekoning of an argument and then cleare
euery part by it selfe, as thus.

the Dismembrer.

It can not be but nigardship or neede,
Made him attempt this foule and {w}icked deede:
Nigardship not, for al{w}ayes he {w}as free,
Nor neede, for {w}ho doth not his richesse see?

¶3.19.108 Or as one that entreated for a faire
young maide who was taken by the watch in London and carried
to Bridewell to be punished.

No{w} gentill Sirs let this young maide alone,
For either she hath grace or els she hath none:
If she haue grace, she may in time repent,
If she haue none {w}hat bootes her punishment

¶3.19.109 Or as another pleaded his deserts with
his mistresse.

Were it for grace, or els in hope of gaine,
To say of my deserts, it is but vaine:
For {w}ell in minde, in case ye do them beare,
To tell them oft, it should but irke your eare:
Be they forgot: as likely should I faile,
To {w}inne {w}ith {w}ordes, {w}here deedes can not

¶3.19.110 The haue ye a figure very meete for
Orators or eloquent perswaders such as our maker or Poet
must in some cases shew him selfe to be, and is when we may
conueniently vtter a matter in one

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entier speach or proposition and will rather do it
peecemeale and by distributi|on| of euery part for
amplification sake, as for ex|am|ple he that might say, a
house was outragiously plucked downe: will not be satisfied
so to say, but rather will speake it in this sort: they
first vndermined the groundsills, they beate downe the
walles, they vnfloored the loftes, they vntiled it and
pulled downe the roofe. For so in deede is a house pulled
downe by circ|um|stances, which this figure of distribution
doth set forth euery one apart, and therefore I name him the
distributor according to his originall, as wrate
the Tuscane Poet in a Sonet which Sir Thomas
translated with very good grace, thus.

Set me {w}hereas the sunne doth parch the greene,
Or {w}here his beames do not dissolue the yce:
In temperate heate {w}here he is felt and seene,
In presence prest of people mad or {w}ise:
Set me in hye or yet in low degree,
In longest night or in the shortest day:
In clearest skie, or where clouds thickest bee,
In lustie youth or when my heares are gray:
Set me in heauen, in earth or els in hell,
In hill or dale or in the foming flood:
Thrall or at large, aliue where so I dwell,
Sicke or in health, in euill fame or good:
Hers will I be, and onely with this thought,
Content my selfe, although my chaunce be naught

¶3.19.111 All which might haue bene said in these
two verses.

Set me wheresoeuer ye {w}ill,
I am and {w}ilbe yours still

¶3.19.112 The zealous Poet writing in prayse of
the maiden Queene would not seeme to wrap vp all her most
excellent parts in a few words them entierly comprehending,
but did it by a distributor or merismus in the
negatiue for the better grace, thus.

Not your bewtie, most gracious soueraine,
Nor maidenly lookes, mainteind {w}ith maiestie:
Your stately port, {w}hich doth not match but staine,
For your presence, your pallace and your traine,
All Princes Courts, mine eye could euer see:

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Not your quicke {w}its, your sober gouernaunce:
Your cleare forsight, your faithfull memorie,
So sweete features, in so staid countenaunce:
Nor languages, with plentuous vtterance,
So able to discourse, and entertaine:
Not noble race, farre beyond Cæsars raigne,
Runne in right line, and bloud of nointed kings:
Not large empire, armies, treasurs, domaine,
Lustie liueries, of fortunes dearst darlings:
Not all the skilles, fit for a Princely dame,
Your learned Muse, {w}ith vse and studie brings.
Not true honour, ne that immortall fame
Of mayden raigne, your only owne renowne
And no Queenes els, yet such as yeeldes your name
Greater glory than doeth your treble crowne

¶3.19.113 And then concludes thus.

Not any one of all these honord parts
Your Princely happes, and habites that do moue,
And as it were, enforcell all the hearts
Of Christen kings to quarrell for your loue,
But to possesse, at once and all the good
Arte and engine, and euery starre aboue
Fortune or kinde, could force in flesh and bloud,
Was force inough to make so many striue
For your person, which is our world stoode
By all consents the minionst mayde to wiue

¶3.19.114 Where ye see that all the parts of her
commendation which were partitularly
remembred in twenty verses before, are wrapt vp the the
two verses of this last part, videl.

Not any one of all your honord parts,
Those Princely haps and habites, |&c.|

¶3.19.115 This figure serues for amplification,
and also for ornament, and to enforce perswasion mightely.
Sir Geffrey Chaucer, father of our English Poets,
hath these verses following in the distributor.

When faith failes in Priestes sawes,
And Lords hestes are holden for lawes,
And robberie is tane for purchase,

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And lechery for solace
Then shall the Realme of Albion
Be brought to great confusion

¶3.19.116 Where he might haue said as much in
these words: when vice abounds, and vertue decayeth in
Albion, then |&c.| And as another said,

When Prince for his people is wakefull and wise,
Peeres ayding with armes, Counsellors with aduise,
Magistrate sincerely vsing his charge,
People prest to obey, nor let to runne at large,
Prelate of holy life, and with deuotion
Preferring pietie before promotion,
Priest still preaching, and praying for our heale:
Then blessed is the state of a common-weale

¶3.19.117 All which might haue bene said in these
few words, when euery man in charge and authoritie doeth his
duety, |&| executeth his function well, then is the common-
wealth happy.

¶3.19.118 The Greeke Poets who made musicall
ditties to be song to the lute or harpe, did vse to linke
their staues together with one verse running throughout the
whole song by equall distance, and was, for the most part,
the first verse of the staffe, which kept so good sence and
conformitie with the whole, as his often repetition did geue
it greater grace. They called such linking verse
Epimone, the Latines versus
, and we may terme him the Loue-
burden, following the originall, or if it please you, the
long repeate: in one respect because that one verse alone
beareth the whole burden of the song according to the
originall: in another respect, for that it comes by large
distances to be often repeated, as in this ditty made by the
noble knight Sir Philip Sidney,

or the

My true loue hath my heart and I haue his,
By iust exchange one for another geuen:
I holde his deare, and mine he cannot misse,
There neuer was a better bargaine driuen.
My true loue hath my heart and I haue his.
My heart in me keepes him and me in one,
My heart in him his thoughts and sences guides:
He loues my heart, for once it was his owne,

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I cherish his because in me it bides.
My true loue hath my heart, and I haue his

¶3.19.119 Many times our Poet is caried by some
occasion to report of a thing that is maruelous, and then he
will seeme not to speake it simply but with some signe of
admiration, as in our enterlude called the Woer.

or the

I woonder much to see so many husbands thriue,
That haue but little wit, before they come to wiue:
For one would easily weene who so hath little wit,
His wife to teach it him, {w}ere a thing much vnfit

¶3.19.120 Or as Cato the Romane Senatour
said one day merily to his companion that walked with him,
pointing his finger to a yong vnthrift in the streete who
lately before had sold his patrimonie, of a goodly
qu|an|titie of salt marshes, lying neere vnto Capua

Now is it not, a wonder to behold,
Yonder gallant skarce twenty winter old,
By might (marke ye) able to doo more?
Than the mayne sea that batters on his shore?
For what the waues could neuer wash away,
This proper youth hath wasted in a day

¶3.19.121 Not much vnlike the {w}ondrer
haue ye another figure called the
doubtfull, because oftentimes we will seeme to
cast perils, and make doubt of things when by a plaine
manner of speech wee might affirme or deny him, as thus of a
cruell mother who murdred her owne child.

or the

Whether the cruell mother were more to blame,
Or the shre{w}d childe come of so curst a dame:
Or {w}hether some smatch of the fathers blood,
Whose kinne {w}ere neuer kinde, nor neuer good.
Mooued her thereto, |&c.|

¶3.19.122 This manner of speech is vsed when we
will not seeme, either for manner sake or to auoid
tediousnesse, to trouble the iudge or hearer with all that
we could say, but hauing said inough already, we referre the
rest to their consideration, as he that said thus:

or the
Figure of

Me thinkes that I haue said, {w}hat may {w}ell suffise,
Referring all the rest, to your better aduise

¶3.19.123 The fine and subtill perswader when his
intent is to sting his

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aduersary, or els to declare his mind in broad and liberal
speeches, which might breede offence or scandall, he will
seeme to bespeake pardon before hand, whereby his
licentiousnes may be the better borne withall, as he that

or the

If my speech hap t'offend you any {w}ay,
Thinke it their fault, that force me so to say

¶3.19.124 Not much vnlike to the figure of
reference, is there another with some little
diuersitie which we call the impartener, because
many times in pleading and perswading, we thinke it a very
good policie to acquaint our iudge or hearer or very
aduersarie with some part of our Counsell and aduice, and to
aske their opinion, as who would say they could not
otherwise thinke of the matter then we do. As he that had
tolde a long tale before certaine noble women, of a matter
somewhat in honour touching the Sex.

or the

Tell me faire Ladies, if the case were your owne,
So foule a fault would you haue it be knowen?

¶3.19.125 Maister Gorge is this figure,
said very sweetly.

All you who read these lines and skanne of my desart,
Iudge whether was more good, my hap or els my hart.

¶3.19.126 The good Orator vseth a manner of speach
in his perswasion and is when all that should seeme to make
against him being spoken by th'otherside, he will first
admit it, and in th'end auoid all for his better aduantage,
and this figure is much vsed by our English pleaders in the
Starchamber and Chancery, which they call to confesse and
auoid, if it be in case of crime or iniury, and is a very
good way. For when the matter is so plaine that it cannot be
denied or trauersed, it is good that it be iustified by
confessall and auoidance. I call it the figure of
admittance. As we once wrate to the reproofe of a
Ladies faire but crueltie.

or the
figure of

I know your witte, I know your pleasant tongue,
Your some sweete smiles, your some, but louely lowrs:
A beautie to enamour olde and yong.
Those chast desires, that noble minde of yours,
And that chiefe part whence all your honor springs,
A grace to entertaine the greatest kings.
All this I know: but sinne it is to see,
So faire partes spilt by too much crueltie

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¶3.19.127 In many cases we are driuen for better
perswasion to tell the cause that mooues vs to say thus or
thus: or els when we would fortifie our allegations by
rendring reasons to euery one, this assignation of cause the
Greekes called Etiologia, which if we might
without scorne of a new inuented terme call [
Tellcause] it were right according to the Greeke
originall: |&| I pray you why should we not? and with as
good authoritie as the Greekes? Sir Thomas Smith,
her Maiesties principall Secretary, and a man of great
learning and grauitie, seeking to geue an English word to
this Greeke word agams called it Spitewed,
or wedspite. Master Secretary Wilson geuing an
English name to his arte of Logicke, called it
Witcraft, me thinke I may be bolde with like liberty
to call the figure Etiologia [Tell cause
.] And this manner of speech is alwayes contemned, with
these words, for, because, and such other confirmatiues. The
Latines hauing no fitte name to geue it in one single word,
gaue it no name at all, but by circumlocution. We also call
him the reason-rendrer, and leaue the right English word [
Tel cause] much better answering the Greeke
originall. Aristotle was most excellent in vse of
this figure, for he neuer propones any allegation, or makes
any surmise, but he yeelds a reason or cause to fortifie and
proue it, which geues it great credit. For example ye may
take these verses, first pointing, than confirming by

or the
Reason rend
or the
Tell cause.

When fortune shall haue spit out all her gall,
I trust good luck shall be to me allowde,
For I haue seene a shippe in hauen fall,
After the storme had broke both maste and shrowde

¶3.19.128 And this.

Good is the thing that moues vs to desire,
That is to ioy the beauty we behold:
Els were we louers as in an endlesse fire,
Alwaies burning and euer chill a colde

¶3.19.129 And in these verses.

Accused though I be without desart,
Sith none can proue beleeue it not for triue:
For neuer yet since first ye had my hart,
Entended I to false or be vntrue

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¶3.19.130 And in this Disticque.

And for her beauties praise, no wight that with her
For where she comes she shewes her selfe like sun among
the stars

¶3.19.131 And in this other dittie of ours where
the louer complaines of his Ladies crueltie, rendring for
euer surmise a reason, and by telling the cause, seeketh (as
it were) to get credit, thus.

Cruel you be who can say nay,
Since ye delight in others wo:
Vnwise am I, ye may well say,
For that I haue, honourd you so.
But I blamelesse I, who could not chuse,
To be enchaunted by your eye:
But ye to blame, thus to refuse
My seruice, and to let me die

¶3.19.132 Sometimes our error is so manifest, or
we be so hardly prest with our aduersaries, as we cannot
deny the fault layd vnto our charge: in which case it is
good pollicie to excuse it by some allowable pretext, as did
one whom his mistresse burdened with some vnkinde speeches
which he had past of her, thus.

or the
Figure of

I said it: but by lapse of lying tongue,
When furie and iust griefe my heart opprest:
I sayd it: as ye see, both fraile and young,
When your rigor had ranckled in my brest.
The cruell wound that smarted me so sore,
Pardon therefore (sweete sorrow) or at least
Beare with mine youth that neuer fell before,
Least your offence encrease my griefe the more

¶3.19.133 And againe in these,

I spake amysse I cannot it deny
But caused by your great discourtesie:
And if I said that which I now repent,
And said it not, but by misgouernment
Of youthfull yeres, your selfe that are so young
Pardon for once this error of my tongue,
And thinke amends can neuer come to late:
Loue may be curst, but loue can neuer hate

¶3.19.134 Speaking before of the figure [
Synecdoche] wee call him

{{Page 193}}

[Quicke conceit] because he inured in a single
word onely by way of intendment or large meaning, but such
as was speedily discouered by euery quicke wit, as by the
halfe to vnderstand the whole, and many other waies
appearing by the examples. But by this figure [Noema
] the obscurity of the sence lieth not in a single word,
but in an entier speech, whereof we do not so easily
conceiue the meaning, but as it were by coniecture, because
it is wittie and subtile or darke, which makes me therefore
call him in our vulgar the [Close conceit] as he
that said by himselfe and his wife, I thanke God in fortie
winters that we haue liued together, neuer any of our
neighbours set vs at one, meaning that they neuer fell out
in all that space, which had bene the directer speech and
more apert, and yet by intendment amounts all to one, being
neuerthelesse dissemblable and in effect contrary.
Pawlet Lord Treasorer of England, and first Marques
of Winchester, with the like subtill speech gaue a quippe to
Sir William Gyfford, who had married the Marques
sister, and all her life time could neuer loue her nor like
of her company, but when she was dead made the greatest
moane for her in the world, and with teares and much
lamentation vttered his griefe to the L. Treasorer, ô
good brother quoth the Marques, I am right sory to see you
now loue my sister so well, meaning that he shewed his loue
too late, and should haue done it while she was a liue.

or the
Figure of
close c|on|ceit.

¶3.19.135 A great counsellour somewhat forgetting
his modestie, vsed these words: Gods lady I reckon my selfe
as good a man as he you talke of, and yet I am not able to
do so. Yea sir quoth the party, your L. is too good to be a
man, I would ye were a Saint, meaning he would he were dead,
for none are shrined for Saints before they be dead.

¶3.19.136 The Logician vseth a definition to
expresse the truth or nature of euery thing by his true
kinde and difference, as to say wisedome is a prudent and
wittie foresight and consideration of humane or worldly
actions with their euentes. This definition is Logicall. The
Oratour vseth another maner of definition, thus: Is this
wisedome? no it is a certaine subtill knauish craftie wit,
it is no industrie as ye call it, but a certaine busie
brainsicknesse, for industrie is a liuely and vnweried
search and occupation in honest

or the
Definer of

{{Page 194}}

things, egernesse is an appetite in base and small matters.

¶3.19.137 It serueth many times to great purpose
to preuent our aduersaries arguments, and take vpon vs to
know before what our iudge or aduersary or hearer thinketh,
and that we will seeme to vtter it before it be spoken or
alleaged by them, in respect of which boldnesse to enter so
deepely into another mans conceit or conscience, and to be
so priuie of another mans mynde, gaue cause that this figure
was called the [presumptuous]. I will also call
him the figure of presupposall or the
preuenter, for by reason we suppose before what may
be said or perchaunce would be said by our aduersary or any
other, we do preuent them of their aduantage, and do catch
the ball (as they are wont to say) before it come to the

the presumptuous,
the figure of

¶3.19.138 It is also very many times vsed for a
good pollicie in pleading or perswasion to make wise as if
we set but light of the matter, and that therefore we do
passe it ouers lightly when in deede we do then intend most
effectually and despightfully if it be inuectiue to remember
it: it is also when we will not seeme to know a thing, and
yet we know it well inough, and may be likened to the maner
of women, who as the c|om|mon saying is, will say nay and
take it.

or the

I hold my peace and will not say for shame,
The much vntruth of that vnciuill dame:
For if I should her coullours kindly blaze,
It would so make the chast eares amaze. |&c.|

¶3.19.139 It is said by maner of a pouerbiall
speach that he who findes himselfe well should not wagge,
euen so the perswader finding a substantiall point in his
matter to serue his purpose, should dwell vpon that point
longer then vpon any other lesse assured, and vse all
endeuour to maintaine that one, |&| as it were to make his
chief aboad thereupon, for which cause I name him the figure
of aboad, according to the Latine name: Some take it not but
for a course of argument |&| therefore hardly may one giue
any examples thereof.

or the
figure of abode

¶3.19.140 Now as arte and good pollicy in
perswasion bids vs to abide |&| not to stirre from the point
of our most aduantage, but the same to enforce and tarry
vpon with all possible argument, so doth discretion will vs
sometimes to flit from one matter to another, as a thing
meete to be forsaken, and another entred vpon, I call him
therefore the flitting figure, or figure of
remoue, like as the other

or the
flitting figure.
or the

{{Page 195}}

before was called the figure of aboade.

¶3.19.141 Euen so againe, as it is wisdome for a
perswader to tarrie and make his aboad as long as he may
conueniently without tediousnes to the hearer, vpon his
chiefe proofes or points of the cause tending to his
aduantage, and likewise to depart againe when time serues,
and goe to a new matter seruing the purpose aswell. So is it
requisite many times for him to talke farre from the
principall matter, and as it were to range aside, to
th'intent by such extraordinary meane to induce or inferre
other matter, aswell or better seruing the principal
purpose, and neuertheles in season to returne home where he
first strayed out. This maner of speech is termed the figure
of digression by the Latines, following the Greeke
originall, we also call him the straggler by
allusi|on| to the souldier that marches out of his array, or
by those that keepe no order in their marche, as the
battailes well ranged do: of this figure there need be geuen
no example.

or the

¶3.19.142 Occasion offers many times that our
maker as an oratour, or perswader, or pleader should go
roundly to worke, and by a quick and swift argument dispatch
his perswasion, |&| as they are woont to say not to stand
all day trifling to no purpose, but to rid it out of the way
quickly. This is done by a manner of speech, both figuratiue
and argumentatiue, when we do briefly set downe all our best
reasons seruing the purpose, and reiect all of them sauing
one, which we accept to satisfie the cause: as he that in a
litigious case for land would prooue it not the aduersaries,
but his clients.

or the
speedie dispatcher.

No man can say its his by heritage,
Nor by Legacie, or Testatours deuice:
Nor that it came by purchase or engage,
Nor from his Prince for any good seruice.
Then needs must it be his by very {w}rong,
Which he hath offred this poore plaintife so long

¶3.19.143 Though we might call this figure very
well and properly the [Paragon] yet dare I not so
to doe for feare of the Courtiers enuy, who will haue no man
vse that terme but after a courtly manner, that is, in
praysing of horses, haukes, hounds, pearles, diamonds,
rubies, emerodes, and other precious stones: specially of
faire women whose excellencie is discouered by paragonizing
or setting one to

{{Page 196}}

another, which moued the zealous Poet, speaking of the
mayden Queene, to call her the paragon of Queenes. This
considered, I will let our figure enioy his best beknowen
name, and call him stil in all ordinarie cases the figure of
comparison: as when a man wil seeme to make things appeare
good or bad, or better or worse, or more or lesse excellent,
either vpon spite or for pleasure, or any other good
affecti|on|, then he sets the lesse by the greater, or the
greater to the lesse, the equall to his equall, and by such
confronting of them together, driues out the true ods that
is betwixt them, and makes it better appeare, as when we
sang of our Soueraigne Lady thus, in the twentieth

As falcon fares to bussards flight,
As egles eyes to owlates sight,
As fierce saker to coward kite,
As brightest noone to darkest night:
As summer sunne exceedeth farre,
The moone and euery other starre:
So farre my Princesse praise doeth passe,
The famoust Queene that euer was

¶3.19.144 And in the eighteene Partheniade thus.

Set rich rubie to red esmayle,
The rauens plume to peacocks tayle,
Lay me the larkes to lizards eyes,
The duskie cloude to azure skie,
Set shallow brookes to surging seas,
An orient pearle to a white pease:

¶3.19.145 |&c.| Concluding.

There shall no lesse an ods be seene
In mine from euery other Queene

¶3.19.146 We are sometimes occasioned in our tale
to report some speech from another mans mouth, as what a
king said to his priuy counsell or subiect, a captaine to
his souldier, a souldiar to his captaine, a man to a woman,
and contrariwise: in which report we must alwaies geue to
euery person his fit and naturall, |&| that which best
becommeth him. For that speech becommeth a king which doth
not a carter, and a young man that doeth not an old: an so
in euery sort and degree. Virgil speaking in the
person of Eneas, Tur-

the right

{{Page 197}}

nus and many other great Princes, and sometimes of
meaner men, ye shall see what decencie euery of their
speeches holdeth with the qualitie, degree and yeares of the
speaker. To which examples I will for this time referre you.

¶3.19.147 So if by way of fiction we will seem to
speake in another mans person, as if king Henry
the eight were aliue, and should say of the towne of
Bulleyn, what we by warre to the hazard of our person hardly
obteined, our young sonne without any peril at all, for
litle mony deliuered vp againe. Or if we should faine king
Edward the thirde, vnderstanding how his
successour Queene Marie had lost the towne of
Calays by negligence, should say: That which the sword
wanne, the distaffe hath lost. This manner of speech is by
the figure Dialogismus, or the right reasoner.

¶3.19.148 In waightie causes and for great
purposes, wise perswaders vse graue |&| weighty speaches,
specially in matter of aduise or counsel, for which purpose
there is a maner of speach to alleage textes or authorities
of wittie sentence, such as smatch morall doctrine and teach
wisedome and good behauiour, by the Greeke originall we call
him the directour, by the Latin he is called
sententia: we may call him the sage sayer,

or the

"Nature bids vs as a louing mother,
"To loue our selues first and next to loue another.
"The Prince that couets all to know and see,
"Had neede fall milde and patient to bee.
"Nothing stickes faster by vs as appeares,
"Then that which we learne in our tender yeares

or the
Sage sayer.

¶3.19.149 And that which our soueraigne Lady wrate
in defiance of fortune.

Neuer thinke you fortune can beare the s{w}ay,
Where vertues force, can cause her to obay

¶3.19.150 Heede must be taken that such rules or
sentences be choisly made and not often vsed least excesse
breed lothsomnesse.

¶3.19.151 Arte and good pollicie moues vs many
times to be earnest in our speach, and then we lay on such
load and so go to it by heapes as if we would winne the game
by multitude of words |&| speaches, not all of one but of
diuers matter and sence, for which cause the

or the
Heaping figure.

{{Page 198}}

Latines called it Congeries and we the
heaping figure, as he that said

To muse in minde how faire, ho{w} {w}ise, ho{w} good,
Ho{w} braue, ho{w} free, ho{w} curteous and ho{w} true,
My Lady is doth but inflame my blood

¶3.19.152 Or thus.

I deeme, I dreame, I do, I tast, I touch,
Nothing at all but smells of perfit blisse

¶3.19.153 And thus by maister Ed{w}ard Diar
, vehement swift |&| passionatly.

But if my faith my hope, my loue my true intent,
My libertie, my seruice vowed, my time and all be spent.
In vaine, |&c.|

¶3.19.154 But if such earnest and hastie heaping
vp of speaches be made by way of recapitulation, which
commonly is in the end of euery long tale and Oration,
because the speaker seemes to make a collection of all the
former materiall points, to binde them as it were in a
bundle and lay them forth to enforce the cause and renew the
hearers memory, then ye may geue him more properly the name
of the [collectour] or recapitulatour, and serueth
to very great purpose as in an hympne written by vs to the
Queenes Maiestie entitled (Minerua) wherein
speaking of the mutabilitie of fortune in the case of all
Princes generally, wee seemed to exempt her Maiestie of all
such casualtie, by reason she was by her destinie and many
diuine partes in her, ordained to a most long and constant
prosperitie in this world, concluding with this

But thou art free, but were thou not in deede,
But were thou not, come of immortall seede:
Neuer yborne, and thy minde made to blisse,
Heauens mettall that euerlasting is:
Were not thy {w}it, and that thy vertues shall,
Be deemd diuine thy fauour face and all:
And that thy loze, ne name may neuer dye,
Nor thy state turne, stayd by destinie:
Dread were least once thy noble hart may feele,
Some rufull turne, of her vnsteady {w}heele

¶3.19.155 Many times when we haue runne a long
race in our tale spoken to the hearers, we do sodainly flye
out |&| either speake or ex-

the turne tale.

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claime at some other person or thing, and therefore the
Greekes call such figure (as we do) the turnway or
turnetale, |&| breedeth by such exchaunge a certaine
recreation to the hearers minds, as this vsed by a louer to
his vnkind mistresse.

And as for you (faire one) say now by proofe ye

That rigour and ingratitude soone kill a gentle minde

¶3.19.156 And as we in our triumphals, speaking
long to the Queenes Maiestie, vp|on| the sodaine we burst
out in an exclamation to Phebus, seeming to draw
in a new matter, thus.

But O Phebus,
All glistering in thy gorgious gowne,
Wouldst thou {w}it safe to slide a do{w}ne:
And d{w}ell with vs,
But for a day,
I could tell thee close in thine eare,
A tale that thou hadst leuer heare
I dare {w}ell say:
Then ere thou {w}ert,
To kisse that vnkind runnea{w}ay,
Who {w}as transformed to boughs of bay:
For her curst hert. |&c.|

¶3.19.157 And so returned againe to the first

¶3.19.158 The matter and occasion leadeth vs many
times to describe and set foorth many things, in such sort
as it should appeare they were truly before our eyes though
they were not present, which to do it requireth cunning: for
nothing can be kindly counterfait or represented in his
absence, but by great discretion in the doer. And if the
things we couet to describe be not naturall or nor
veritable, than yet the same axeth more cunning to do it,
because to faine a thing that neuer was nor is like to be,
proceedeth of a greater wit and sharper inuention than to
describe things that be true.

the counterfait

¶3.19.159 And these be things that a poet or maker
is woont to describe sometimes as true or naturall, and
sometimes to faine as artificiall and not true. viz
. The visage, speach and countenance of any person absent
or dead: and this kinde of representation is called the
Counterfait countenance: as Homer doth in his
Ilades, diuerse


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personages: namely Achilles and Thersites
, according to the truth and not by fiction. And as our
poet Chaucer doth in his Canterbury tales set
forth the Sumner, Pardoner, Manciple, and the rest of the
pilgrims, most naturally and pleasantly.

¶3.19.160 But if ye wil faine any person with such
features, qualities |&| c|on|diti|on|s, or if ye wil
attribute any humane quality, as reason or speech to d|om|be
creatures or other insensible things, |&| do study (as one
may say) to giue th|em| a humane person, it is not
Prosopographia, but
Prosopopeia, because it is by way of ficti|on|,
|&| no prettier examples can be giuen to you thereof, than
in the Romant of the rose translated out of French by
Chaucer, describing the persons of auarice, enuie,
old age, and many others, whereby much moralitie is taught.

or the
Counterfait in

¶3.19.161 So if we describe the time or season of
the yeare, as winter, summer, haruest, day, midnight, noone,
euening, or such like: we call such description the
counterfait time. Cronographia examples are euery
where to be found.

or the

¶3.19.162 And if this description be of any true
place, citie, castell, hill, valley or sea, |&| such like:
we call it the counterfait place Topographia, or
if ye fayne places vntrue, as heauen, hell, paradise, the
house of fame, the pallace of the sunne, the denne of
sheepe, and such like which ye shall see in Poetes: so did
Chaucer very well describe the country of
Saluces in
Italie, which ye may see, in his report of the
Lady Gryfyll.

or the

¶3.19.163 But if such description be made to
represent the handling of any busines with the circumstances
belonging therevnto as the manner of a battell, a feast, a
marriage, a buriall or any other matter that lieth in feat
and actiuitie: we call it then the counterfait action [

or the

¶3.19.164 In this figure the Lord Nicholas
a noble gentleman, and much delighted in vulgar
making, |&| a man otherwise of no great leaning but hauing
herein a maruelous facillitie, made a dittie representing
the battayle and assault of Cupide, so excellently
well, as for the gallant and propre application of his
fiction in euery part, I cannot choose but set downe the
greatest part of his ditty, for in truth it can not be

When Cupid scaled first the fort,
Wherein my hart lay wounded sore

{{Page 201}}

The battrie was of such a sort,
That I must yeeld or die therefore.
There saw I loue vpon the wall,
How he his banner did display,
Alarme alarme he gan to call,
And bad his souldiers keep aray.
The armes the {w}hich that Cupid bare,
Were pearced harts {w}ith teares besprent:
In siluer and sable to declare
The stedfast loue he al{w}aies meant.
There might you see his band all drest
In colours like to {w}hite and blacke,
With pouder and {w}ith pellets prest,
To bring them forth to spoile and sacke,
Good {w}ill the maister of the shot,
Stood in the Rampire braue and proude,
For expence of pouder he spared not,
Assault assault to crie aloude.
There might you heare the Canons rore,
Eche peece discharging a louers looke, |&c.|

¶3.19.165 As well to a good maker and Poet as to
an excellent perswader in prose, the figure of
Similitude is very necessary, by which we not onely
bewtifie our tale, but also very much inforce |&| inlarge
it. I say inforce because no one thing more preuaileth with
all ordinary iudgements than perswasion by similitude
. Now because there are sundry sorts of them, which also
do worke after diuerse fashions in the hearers conceits, I
will set them all foorth by a triple diuision, exempting the
generall Similitude as their common Auncestour,
and I will cal him by the name of Resemblance
without any addition, from which I deriue three other sorts:
and giue euery one his particular name, as
Resemblance by Pourtrait or Imagery, which the Greeks
call Icon, Resemblance morall or misticall, which
they call Parabola, |&| Resemblance by
example, which they call Paradigma, and first we
will speake of the generall resemblance, or bare
similitude, which may be thus spoken.

or Resemblance.

But as the watrie showres delay the raging wind,
So doeth good hope cleane put away dispaire out of my mind

{{Page 202}}

¶3.19.166 And in this other likening the forlorne
louer to a striken deere.

Then as the striken deere, withdrawes himselfe alone,
So do I seeke some secret place, where I may make my mone

¶3.19.167 And in this of ours where we liken glory
to a shadow.

As the shadow (his nature beyng such,)
Followeth the body, {w}hether it {w}ill or no,
So doeth glory, refuse it nere so much,
Wait on vertue, be it in {w}eale or {w}o.
And euen as the shadow in his kind,
What time it beares the carkas company,
Goth oft before, and often comes behind:
So doth renowme, that raiseth vs so hye,
Come to vs quicke, sometime not till {w}e dye.
But the glory, that growth not ouer fast,
Is euer great, and likeliest long to last

¶3.19.168 Againe in a ditty to a mistresse of
ours, where we likened the cure of Loue to Achilles

The launce so bright, that made Telephus {w}ound,
The same rusty, salued the sore againe.
So may my meede (Madame) of you redownd,
Whose rigour {w}as first authour of my paine

¶3.19.169 The Tuskan poet vseth this
Resemblance, inuring as well by Dissimilitude
as Similitude, likening himselfe (by
Implication) to the flie, and neither to the eagle
nor to the owle: very well Englished by Sir Thomas
after his fashion, and by my selfe thus:

There be some fowles of sight so prowd and starke,
As can behold the sunne, and neuer shrinke,
Some so feeble, as they are faine to {w}inke,
Or neuer come abroad till it be darke:
Others there be so simple, as they thinke,
Because it shines, to sport them in the fire,
And feele vn{w}are, the {w}rong of their desire,
Fluttring amidst the flame that doth them burne,
Of this last ranke (alas) am I a right,
For in my ladies lockes to stand or turne
I haue no po{w}er, ne find place to retire,
Where any darke may shade me from her sight

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But to her beames so bright whilst I aspire,
I perish by the bane of my delight

¶3.19.170 Againe in these likening a wise man to
the true louer.

As true loue is content with his enioy,
And asketh no witnesse nor no record,
And as faintloue is euermore most coy,
To boast and brag his troth at euery {w}ord:
Euen so the {w}ise {w}ithouten other meede:
Contents him {w}ith the guilt of his good deede

¶3.19.171 And in this resembling the learning of
an euill man to the seedes sowen in barren ground.

As the good seedes sowen in fruitfull soyle,
Bring foorth foyson when barren doeth them spoile:
So doeth it fare when much good learning hits,
Vpon shrewde willes and ill disposed wits

¶3.19.172 And in these likening the wise man to an

A sage man said, many of those that come
To Athens schoole for {w}isdome, ere they went
They first seem'd wise, then louers of wisdome,
Then Orators, then idiots, which is meant
That in wisdome all such as profite most,
Are least surlie, and little apt to boast

¶3.19.173 Againe, for a louer, whose credit vpon
some report had bene shake, he prayeth better opinion by

After ill crop the soyle must eft be sowen,
And fro shipwracke we sayle to seas againe,
Then God forbid whose fault hath once bene knowen,
Should for euer a spotted wight remaine

¶3.19.174 And in this working by resemblance in a
kinde of dissimilitude betweene a father and a master.

It fares not by fathers as by masters it doeth fare,
For a foolish father may get a wise sonne,
But of a foolish master it haps very rare
Is bread a wise seruant where euer he wonne

¶3.19.175 And in these, likening the wise man to
the Giant, the fool to the Dwarfe.

See the Giant deepe in a dale, the dwarfe vpon an

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Yet will the one be but a dwarfe, th'other a giant
So will the wise be great and high, euen in the lowest
The focle when he is most aloft, will seeme but low and

¶3.19.176 But when we liken an humane person to
another in countenaunce, stature, speach or other qualitie,
it is not called bare resemblance, but resemblaunce by
imagerie or pourtrait, alluding to the painters terme, who
yeldeth to th'eye a visible representati|on| of the thing he
describes and painteth in his table. So we commending her
Maiestie for wisedome bewtie and magnanimitie likened her to
the Serpent, the Lion and the Angell, because by common
vsurpation, nothing is wiser then the Serpent, more
couragious then the Lion, more bewtifull then the Angell.
These are our verses in the end of the seuenth

by imagerie.

Nature that seldome {w}orkes amisse,
In {w}omans brest by passing art:
Hath lodged safe the Lyons hart,
And feately fixt {w}ith all good grace,
To Serpents head an Angels face

¶3.19.177 And this maner of resemblaunce is not
onely performed by likening of liuely creatures one to
another, but also of any other naturall thing, bearing a
proportion of similitude, as to liken yealow to gold, white
to siluer, red to the rose, soft to silke, hard to the stone
and such like. Sir Philip Sidney in the
description of his mistresse excellently well handled this
figure of resemblaunce by imagerie, as ye may see in his
booke of Archadia: and ye may see the like, of our
doings, in a Partheniade written of our soueraigne
Lady, wherein we resemble euery part of her body to some
naturall thing of excellent perfection in his kind, as of
her forehead, browes and haire, thus.

Of siluer {w}as her forehead hye,
Her browes two bowes of hebenie,
Her tresses trust {w}ere to behold
Frizled and fine as fringe of gold

¶3.19.178 And of her lips.

Two lips {w}rought out of a rubie rocke,
Like leaues to shut and to vnlock.
As portall dore in Princes chamber:
A golden tongue in mouth of amber

{{Page 205}}

¶3.19.179 And of her eyes.

Her eyes God wot {w}hat stuffe they are,
I durst be sworne each is a starre:
As cleere and bright as woont to guide
The Pylot in his {w}inter tide

¶3.19.180 And of her breasts.

Her bosome sleake as Paris plaster,
Helde vp two balles of alabaster,
Eche byas was a little cherrie:
Or els I thinke a strawberie

¶3.19.181 And all the rest that followeth, which
may suffice to exemplifie your figure of Icon, or
resemblance by imagerie and portrait.

¶3.19.182 But when soeuer by your similitude ye
will seeme to teach any moralitie or good lesson by speeches
misticall and darke, or farre sette, vnder a sence
metaphoricall applying one naturall thing to another, or one
case to another, inferring by them a like consequence in
other cases the Greekes call it Parabola, which
terme is also by custome accepted of vs: neuerthelesse we
may call him in English the resemblance misticall: as when
we liken a young childe to a greene twigge which ye may
easilie bende euery way ye list: or an old man who laboureth
with continuall infirmities, to a drie and dricksie oke.
Such parables were all the preachings of Christ in the
Gospell, as those of the wise and foolish virgins, of the
euil steward, of the labourers in the vineyard, and a number
more. And they may be fayned aswell as true: as those fables
of Æsope, and other apologies inuented for
doctrine sake by wise and graue men.


¶3.19.183 Finally, if in matter of counsell or
perswasion we will seeme to liken one case to another, such
as passe ordinarily in mans affaires, and doe compare the
past with the present, gathering probabilitie of like
successe to come in the things wee haue presently in hand:
or if ye will draw the iudgements precedent and authorized
by antiquitie as veritable, and peraduenture fayned and
imagined for some purpose, into similitude or dissimilitude
with our present actions and affaires it is called
resemblance by example: as if one should say thus,
Alexander the great in his expedition to Asia did
thus, so did Hanniball comming into Spaine, so did

a resemblance
by example.

{{Page 206}}

in Egypt, therfore all great Captains |&| Generals ought to
doe it.

¶3.19.184 And thus againe, It hath bene alwayes
vsuall among great and magnanimous princes in all ages, not
only to repulse any iniury |&| inuasion from their owne
realmes and dominions, but also with a charitable |&|
Princely compassion to defend their good neighbors Princes
and Potentats, from all oppression of tyrants |&| vsurpers.
So did the Romaines by their armes restore many Kings of
Asia and Affricke expulsed out of their kingdoms. So did K.
Edward i. restablish Baliol rightfull
owner of the crowne of Scotl|an|d against Robert le
no lawfull King. So did king Edward the
third aide Dampecter king of Spaine against
Henry bastard and vsurper. So haue many English
Princes holpen with their forces the poore Dukes of Britaine
their ancient frends and allies, against the outrages of the
French kings: and why may not the Queene our soueraine Lady
with like honor and godly zele yeld protection to the people
of the Low countries, her neerest neighbours to rescue them
a free people from the Spanish seruitude.

¶3.19.185 And as this resemblance is of one mans
action to another, so may it be made by examples of bruite
beastes, aptly corresponding in qualitie or euent, as one
that wrote certaine prety verses of the Emperor
Maximinus, to warne him that he should not glory too
much in his owne strength, for so he did in very deede, and
would take any common souldier to taske at wrastling, or
weapon, or in any other actiuitie and feates of armes, which
was by the wiser sort misliked, these were the verses.

The Elephant is strong, yet death doeth it subdue,
The bull is strong, yet cannot death eschue.
The Lion strong, and slaine for all his strength:
The Tygar strong, yet kilde is at the length.
Dread thou many, that dreadest not any one,
Many can kill, that cannot kill alone

¶3.19.186 And so it fell out, for Maximinus
was slaine in a mutinie of his souldiers, taking no
warning by these examples written for his admonition.


The last and principall figure of our poeticall Ornament.

¶3.20.1 FOr the glorious lustre it
setteth vpon our speech and language, the Greeks call it [
Exargasia] the Latine [Expolitio] a terme

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transferred from these polishers of marble or porphirite,
who after it is rough hewen |&| reduced to that fashi|on|
they will, do set vpon it a goodly glasse, so smoth and
cleere as ye may see your face in it, or otherwise as it
fareth by the bare and naked body, which being attired in
rich and gorgious apparell, seemeth to the common vsage of
th'eye much more comely |&| bewtifull then the naturall. So
doth this figure (which therefore I call the Gorgious
) polish our speech |&| as it were attire it with copious
|&| pleasant amplifications and much varietie of sentences
all running vpon one point |&| to one int|en|t: so as I
doubt whether I may terme it a figure, or rather a masse of
many figuratiue speaches, applied to the bewtifying of our
tale or argum|en|t. In a worke of ours entituled
Philocalia we haue strained to shew the vse |&|
application of this figure and all others mentioned in this
booke, to which we referre you. I finde none example in
English meetre, so well maintayning this figure as that
dittie of her Maiesties owne making passing sweete and
harmonicall, which figure beyng as his very originall name
purporteth the most bewtifull and gorgious of all others, it
asketh in reason to be reserued for a last complement, and
desciphred by the arte of a Ladies penne, her selfe beyng
the most bewtifull, or rather bewtie of Queenes. And this
was the occasion: our soueraigne Lady perceiuing how by the
Sc. Q. residence within this Realme at so great libertie and
ease (as were skarce meete for so great and daungerous a
prysoner) bred secret factions among her people, and made
many of the nobilitie incline to fauour her partie: some of
them desirous of innouation in the state: others aspiring to
greater fortunes by her libertie and life. The Queene our
soueraigne Lady to declare that she was nothing ignor|an|t
of those secret practizes, though she had long with great
wisdome and pacience dissembled it, writeth this ditty most
sweet and sententious, not hiding from all such aspiring
minds the daunger of their ambition and disloyaltie: which
afterward fell out most truly by th'exemplary chastisement
of sundry persons, who in fauour of the sayd Sc. Q.
declining from her Maiestie, sought to interrupt the quiet
of the Realme by many euill and vndutifull practizes. The
ditty is as followeth.

{{Page 208}}

The doubt of future foes, exiles my present ioy,
And wit me warnes to shun such snares as threaten mine
For falshood no{w} doth flow, and subiect faith doth ebbe,
Which would not be, if reason rul'd or wisdome weu'd the
But clowdes of tois vntried, do cloake aspiring mindes,
Which turne to raigne of late repent, by course of changed
The toppe of hope supposed, the roote of ruth {w}il be,
And frutelesse all their graffed guiles, as shortly ye shall
Then dazeld eyes {w}ith pride, which great ambition blinds,
Shalbe vnseeld by {w}orthy wights, {w}hose foresight
falshood finds.
The daughter of debate, that eke discord doth so{w}e
Shal reap no gaine where formor rule hath taught stil peace
to growe.
No forreine bannisht {w}ight shall ancre in this port,
Our realme it brookes no strangers force, let them
els{w}here resort.
Our rusty s{w}orde with rest, shall first his edge employ,
To polle their toppes that seeke, such change and gape for

¶3.20.2 In a worke of ours entituled [Philo
] where we entreat of the loues betwene prince
Philo and Lady Calia, in their mutual
letters, messages, and speeches: we haue strained our muse
to shew the vse and application of this figure, and of all


Of the vices or deformities in speach and {w}riting
principally noted by auncient Poets.

¶3.21.1 IT hath bene said before how by
ignorance of the maker a good figure may become a vice, and
by his good discretion, a vicious speach go for a vertue in
the Poeticall science. This saying is to be explaned and
qualified, for some maner of speaches are alwayes
intollerable and such as cannot be vsed with any decencie,
but are euer vndecent namely barbarousnesse, incongruitie,
ill disposition, fond affectation, rusticitie, and all
extreme darknesse, such as it is not possible for a man to
vnderstand the matter without an interpretour, all which
partes are generally to be banished out of euery language,
vnlesse it may appeare that the maker or Poet do it for the
nonce, as it was reported by the Philosopher
Heraclitus that he wrote in obscure and darke termes
of purpose not to be vnderstood, whence he merited the
nickname Scotinus, otherwise I see not but the
rest of the common faultes may be borne with

{{Page 209}}

sometimes, or passe without any great reproofe, not being
vsed ouermuch or out of season as I said before: so as euery
surplusage or preposterous placing or vndue iteration or
darke word, or doubtfull speach are not so narrowly to be
looked vpon in a large poeme, nor specially in the pretie
Poesies and deuises of Ladies, and Gentlewomen makers, whom
we would not haue too precise Poets least with their shrewd
wits, when they were maried they might become a little too
phantasticall wiues, neuerthelesse because we seem to
promise an arte, which doth not iustly admit any wilful
errour in the teacher, and to th'end we may not be carped at
by these methodicall men, that we haue omitted any necessary
point in this businesse to be regarded, I will speake
somewhat touching these viciosities of language particularly
and briefly, leauing no little to the Grammarians for
maintenaunce of the scholasticall warre, and altercations:
we for our part condescending in this deuise of ours, to the
appetite of Princely personages |&| other so tender |&|
quesie complexions in Court, as are annoyed with nothing
more then long lessons and ouermuch good order.


Some vices in speaches and {w}riting are alwayes
intollerable, some others now and then borne {w}ithall by
licence of approued authors and custome.

¶3.22.1 THe foulest vice in language is
to speake barbarously: this terme grew by the great pride of
the Greekes and Latines, wh|en| they were dominatours of the
world reckoning no language so sweete and ciuill as their
owne, and that all nations beside them selues were rude and
vnciuill, which they called barbarous: So as when any
straunge word not of the naturall Greeke or Latin was
spoken, in the old time they called it barbarisme,
or when any of their owne naturall wordes were sounded and
pronounced with straunge and ill shapen accents, or written
by wrong ortographie, as he that would say with vs in
England, a dousand for a thousand, isterday, for yesterday,
as commonly the Dutch and French people do, they said it was
barbarously spoken. The Italian at this day by like
arrogance calleth the Frenchman, Spaniard, Dutch, English,
and all other breed behither their mountaines

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Tramontani, as who would say Barbarous. This terme
being then so vsed by the auncient Greekes, there haue bene
since, notwithstanding who haue digged for the Etimologie
somewhat deeper, and many of them haue said that it was
spoken by the rude and barking language of the Affricans now
called Barbarians, who had great trafficke with the Greekes
and Romanes, but that can not be so, for that part of
Affricke hath but of late receiued the name of Burbarie, and
some others rather thinke that of this word Barbarous, that
countrey came to be called Barbaria and but few
yeares in respect agone. Others among whom is Ihan
a Moore of Granada, will seeme to deriue
Barbaria, from this word Bar, twise
iterated thus Barbar, as much to say as flye,
flye, which chaunced in a persecution of the Arabians by
some seditious Mahometanes in the time of their Pontif.
Habdul mumi, when they were had in the chase, |&|
driuen out of Arabia Westward into the countreys of
Mauritania, |&| during the pursuite cried one vpon
another flye away, flye away, or passe passe, by which
occasi|on| they say, when the Arabians which were had in
chase came to stay and settle them selues in that part of
Affrica, they called it Barbar, as much to say,
the region of their flight or pursuite. Thus much for the
terme, though not greatly pertinent to the matter, yet not
vnpleasant to know for them that delight in such niceties.

¶3.22.2 Your next intollerable vice is
solecismus or incongruitie, as wh|en| we speake false
English, that is by misusing the Grammaticall
rules to be obserued in cases, genders, tenses and such
like, euery poore scholler knowes the fault |&| cals it the
breaking of Priscians head, for he was among the
Latines a principall Grammarian.


¶3.22.3 Ye haue another intollerable ill maner of
speach, which by the Greekes originall we may call
fonde affectation, and is when we affect new words
and phrases other then the good speakers and writers in any
language, or then custome hath allowed, |&| is the common
fault of young schollers not halfe well studied before they
come from the Vniuersitie or schooles, and when they come to
their friends, or happen to get some benefice or other
promotion in their countreys, will seeme to coigne fine
wordes out of the Latin, and to vse new fangled speaches,
thereby to shew themselues among the ignorant the better

Fonde Affectation.

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¶3.22.4 Another of your intollerable vices is that
which the Greekes call
Soraismus, |&| we may call the [mingle
] as wh|en| we make our speach or writinges of
sundry languages vsing some Italian word, or French, or
Spanish, or Dutch, or Scottish, not for the nonce or for any
purpose (which were in part excusable) but ignorantly and
affectedly as one that said vsing this French word
Roy, to make ryme with another verse, thus.

The mingle mangle.

O mightie Lord of ioue, dame Venus onely ioy,
Whose Princely po{w}er exceedes ech other heauenly roy

¶3.22.5 The verse is good but the terme peeuishly

¶3.22.6 Another of reasonable good facilitie in
translation finding certaine of the hymnes of
Pyndarus and of Anacreons odes, and other
Lirickes among the Greekes very well translated by
Rounsard the French Poet, |&| applied to the
honour of a great Prince in France, comes our minion and
translates the same out of French into English, and applieth
them to the honour of a great noble man in England (wherein
I commend his reuerent minde and duetie) but doth so
impudently robbe the French Poet both of his prayse and also
of his French termes, that I cannot so much pitie him as be
angry with him for his iniurious dealing (our sayd maker not
being ashamed to vse these French wordes freddon, egar,
superbous, filanding, celest, calabrois, thebanois
a number of others, for English wordes, which haue no maner
of conformitie with our language either by custome or
deriuation which may make them tollerable. And in the end
(which is worst of all) makes his vaunt that neuer English
finger but his hath toucht Pindars string which
was neuerthelesse word by word as Rounsard had
said before by like braggery. These be his verses.

And of an ingenious inuention, infanted with pleasant

¶3.22.7 Whereas the French word is enfante
as much to say borne as a child, in another verse he

I {w}ill freddon in thine honour.

¶3.22.8 For I will shake or quiuer my fingers, for
so in French is freddon, and in another verse.

But if I {w}ill thus like pindar,
In many discourses egar

¶3.22.9 This word egar is as much to say
as to wander or stray out of

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the way, which in our English is not receiued, not these
wordes calabrois, thebanois, but rather
calabrian, theb|an| [filanding sisters] for
the spinning sisters: this man deserues to be endited of
pety larceny for pilfring other mens deuises from
them |&| conuerting them to his owne vse, for in deede as I
would wish euery inu|en|tour which is the very Poet to
receaue the prayses of his inuention, so would I not haue a
tr|an|slatour be ashamed to be acknowen of his translation.

¶3.22.10 Another of your intollerable vices is ill
disposition or placing of your words in a clause or
sentence: as when you will place your adiectiue after your
substantiue, thus: Mayde faire, {w}ido{w} riche, priest
, and such like, which though the Latines did
admit, yet our English did not, as one that said
ridiculously. In my yeares lustie, many a deed doughtie
did I

or the

¶3.22.11 All these remembred faults be
intollerable and euer vndecent.

¶3.22.12 Now haue ye other vicious manners of
speech, but sometimes and in some cases tollerable, and
chiefly to the intent to mooue laughter, and to make sport,
or to giue it some prety strange grace, and is when we vse
such wordes as may be drawen to a foule and vnshamefast
sence, as one that would say to a young woman, I pray
you let me iape {w}ith you
, which in deed is no more
but let me sport with you. Yea and though it were not
altogether so directly spoken, the very sounding of the word
were not commendable, as he that in the presence of Ladies
would vse this common Prouerbe,

or the
figure of foule

Iape {w}ith me but hurt me not,
Bourde {w}ith me but shame me not

¶3.22.13 For it may be taken in another peruerser
sence by that sorte of persons that heare it, in whose eares
no such matter ought almost to be called in memory, this
vice is called by the Greekes Cacemphaton, we call
it the vnshamefast or figure of foule speech, which our
courtly maker shall in any case shunne, least of a Poet he
become a Buffon or rayling companion, the Latines called him
Scurra. There is also another sort of ilfauoured
speech subiect to this vice, but resting more in the manner
of the ilshapen sound and accent, than for the matter it
selfe, which may easily be auoyded in choosing your wordes
those that bee of the pleasantest orthography, and not to
rime too many like sounding words together.

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¶3.22.14 Ye haue another manner of composing your
metre nothing commendable, specially if it be too much vsed,
and is wh|en| our maker takes too much delight to fill his
verse with wordes beginning with a letter, as an English
rimer that said:

or the
figure of selfe

The deadly droppes of darke disdaine,
Do daily drench my due desartes

¶3.22.15 And as the Monke we spake of before,
wrote a whole Poeme to the honor of
Carolus Caluus, euery word in his verse beginning
with C, thus:

Carmina clarisonæ Caluis cantate camenæ.

¶3.22.16 Many of our English makers vse it too
much, yet we confesse it doth not ill but pretily becomes
the meetre, if ye passe not two or three words in one verse,
and vse it not very much, as he that said by way of

The smoakie sighes: the trickling teares.

¶3.22.17 And such like, for such composition makes
the meetre runne away smoother, and passeth from the lippes
with more facilitie by iteration of a letter then by
alteration, which alteration of a letter requires an
exchange of ministery and office in the lippes, teeth or
palate, and so doth not the iteration.

¶3.22.18 Your misplacing and preposterous placing
is not all one in behauiour of language, for the misplacing
is alwaies intollerable, but the preposterous is a
pardonable fault, and many times giues a pretie grace vnto
the speech. We call it by a common saying to set the
carte before the horse
, and it may be done, eyther by a
single word or by a clause of speech: by a single word thus:

Histeron, proteron.
or the

And if I not performe, God let me neuer thriue.

¶3.22.19 For performe not: and this vice is
sometime tollerable inough, but if the word carry any
notable sence, it is a vice not tollerable, as he that said
praising a woman for her red lippes, thus:

A corrall lippe of hew.

¶3.22.20 Which is no good speech, because either
he should haue sayd no more but a corrall lip, which had
bene inough to declare the rednesse, or els he should haue
said, a lip of corrall hew, and not a corrall lip of hew.
Now if this disorder be in a whole clause which carieth more
sentence then a word, it is then worst of all.

¶3.22.21 Ye haue another vicious speech which the
Greekes call Acyron,

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we call it the vncouthe, and is when we vse an
obscure and darke word, and vtterly repugnant to that we
would expresse, if it be not by vertue of the figures
metaphore, allegorie, abusion, or such other laudable
figure before remembred, as he that said by way of

or the

A dongeon deepe, a dampe as darke as hell.

¶3.22.22 Where it is euident that a dampe being
but a breath or vapour, and not to be discerned by the eye,
ought not to haue this epithete (darke,)
no more then another that praysing his mistresse for her
bewtifull haire, said very improperly and with an vncouth

Her haire surmounts Apollos pride,
In it such bewty raignes

¶3.22.23 Whereas this word raigne is ill
applied to the bewtie of a womans haire, and might better
haue bene spoken of her whole person, in which bewtie,
fauour, and good grace, may perhaps in some sort be said to
raigne as our selues wrate, in a Partheniade
praising her Maiesties countenance, thus:

A cheare {w}here loue and Maiestie do raigne,
Both milde and sterne, |&c.|

¶3.22.24 Because this word Maiestie is a word
expressing a certain Soueraigne dignitie, as well as a
quallitie of countenance, and therefore may properly be said
to raigne, |&| requires no meaner a word to set
him foorth by. So it is not of the bewtie that remaines in a
womans haire, or in her hand or any other member: therfore
when ye see all these improper or harde Epithets vsed, ye
may put them in the number of [vncouths] as one
that said, the flouds of graces: I haue heard of
the flouds of teares, and the flouds of
, or of any thing that may resemble the nature
of a water-course, and in that respect we say also, the
streames of teares
, and the streames of
, but not the streames of graces, or
of beautie. Such manner of vncouth speech did the
Tanner of Tamworth vse to king Edward the fourth,
which T|an|ner hauing a great while mistaken him, and vsed
very broad talke with him, at length perceiuing by his
traine that it was the king, was afraide he should be
punished for it, said thus with a certain rude repentance.

I hope I shall be hanged to morrow.

¶3.22.25 For [I feare me] I shall
be hanged
, whereat the king laughed a

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good, not only to see the Tanners vaine feare, but also to
heare his ill shapen terme, and gaue him for rec|om|pence of
his good sport, the inheritance of Plumton parke, I am
afraid the Poets of our time that speake more finely and
correctedly will come too short of such a reward.

¶3.22.26 Also the Poet or makers speech becomes
vicious and vnpleasant by nothing more than by vsing too
much surplusage: and this lieth not only in a word or two
more than ordinary, but in whole clauses, and peraduenture
large sentences impertinently spoken, or with more labour
and curiositie than is requisite. The first surplusage the
Greekes call Pleonasmus, I call him [too full
] and is no great fault, as if one should say,
I heard it {w}ith mine eares, and saw it with mine eyes
, as if a man could heare with his heeles, or see with his
nose. We our selues vsed this superfluous speech in a verse
written of our mistresse, neuertheles, not much to be
misliked, for euen a vice sometime being seasonably vsed,
hath a pretie grace,

The vice of

For euer may my true loue liue and neuer die
And that mine eyes may see her crownde a Queene

Too ful speech

¶3.22.27 As, if she liued euer she could euer die,
or that one might see her crowned without his eyes.

¶3.22.28 Another part of surplusage is called
Macrologia, or long language, when we vse large
clauses or sentences more than is requisite to the matter:
it is also named by the Greeks Perissologia, as he
that said, the Ambassadours after they had receiued this
answere at the kings hands, they tooke their leaue and
returned home into their countrey from whence they came.

Long language

¶3.22.29 So said another of our rimers, meaning to
shew the great annoy and difficultie of those warres of
Troy, caued for Helenas sake.

Nor Menelaus {w}as vnwise,
Or troupe of Troians mad,
When he {w}ith them and they {w}ith him,
For her such combat had

¶3.22.30 These clauses (he {w}ith them and
they {w}ith him
) are surplusage, and one of them very
impertinent, because it could not otherwise be intended, but
that Menelaus, fighting with the Troians, the

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Troians must of necessitie fight with him.

¶3.22.31 Another point of surplusage lieth not so
much in superfluitie of your words, as of your trauaile to
describe the matter which yee take in hand, and that ye
ouer-labour your selfe in your businesse. And therefore the
Greekes call it Periergia, we call it ouer-labor,
iumpe with the originall: or rather [the curious]
for his ouermuch curiositie and studie to shew himselfe fine
in a light matter, as one of our late makers, who in most of
his things wrote very well, in this (to mine opinion) more
curiously than needed, the matter being ripely considered:
yet is his verse very good, and his meetre cleanly. His
intent was to declare how vpon the tenth day of March he
crossed the riuer of Thames, to walke in Saint
Georges field, the matter was not great as ye may

otherwise called
the curious.

The tenth of March {w}hen Aries receiued
Dan Phœbus raies into his horned head,
And I my selfe by learned lore perceiued
That Ver approcht and frosty {w}inter fled
I crost the Thames to take the cheerefull aire,
In open fields, the {w}eather was so faire

¶3.22.32 First, the whole matter is not worth all
this solemne circumstance to describe the tenth day of
March, but if he had left at the two first verses, it had
bene inough. But when he comes with two other verses to
enlarge his description, it is not only more than needes,
but also very ridiculous, for he makes wise, as if he had
not bene a m|an| learned in some of the mathematickes (by
learned lore) that he could not haue told that the x. of
March had fallen in the spring of the yeare: which euery
carter, and also euery child knoweth without any learning.
Then also, wh|en| he saith [Ver approcht, and frosty
winter fled
] though it were a surplusage (because one
season must needes geue place to the other) yet doeth it
well inough passe without blame in the maker. These, and a
hundred more of such faultie and impertinent speeches may
yee finde amongst vs vulgar Poets, when we be carelesse of
our doings.

¶3.22.33 It is no small fault in a maker to vse
such wordes and termes as do diminish and abbase the matter
he would seeme to set forth, by imparing the dignitie,
height vigour or maiestie of the cause he takes in hand, as
one that would say king Philip shrewdly harmed

or the

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the towne of S. Quintaines, when in deede he wanne
it and put it to the sacke, and that king Henry
the eight made spoiles in Turwin, when as in deede
he did more then spoile it, for he caused it to be defaced
and razed flat to the earth, and made it inhabitable.
Therefore the historiographer that should by such wordes
report of these two kings gestes in that behalfe, should
greatly blemish the honour of their doings and almost speake
vntruly and iniuriously by way of abbasement, as another of
our bad rymers that very indecently said.

A misers mynde thou hast, thou hast a Princes pelfe

¶3.22.34 A lewd terme to be giuen to a Princes
treasure (pelfe) and was a little more manerly
spoken by Seriant Bendlowes, when in a progresse
time comming to salute the Queene in Huntingtonshire he said
to her Cochman, stay thy cart good fellow, stay thy cart,
that I may speake to the Queene, whereat her Maiestie
laughed as she had bene tickled, and all the rest of the
company although very graciously (as her manner is) she gaue
him great thankes and her hand to kisse. These and such
other base wordes do greatly disgrace the thing |&| the
speaker of writer: the Greekes call it [Tapinosis]
we the [abbaser].

¶3.22.35 Others there be that fall into the
contrary vice by vsing such bombasted wordes, as seeme
altogether farced full of winde, being a great deale to high
and loftie for the matter, whereof ye may finde too many in
all popular rymers.


¶3.22.36 Then haue ye one other vicious speach
with which we will finish this Chapter, and is when we
speake or write doubtfully and that the sence may be taken
two wayes, such ambiguous termes they call
Amphibologia, we call it the ambiguous, or
figure of sence incertaine, as if one should say Thomas
saw William Tyler dronke, it is
indifferent to thinke either th'one or th'other dronke. Thus
said a gentleman in our vulgar pretily notwithstanding
because he did it not ignorantly, but for the nonce

or the

I sat by my Lady soundly sleeping,
My mistresse lay by me bitterly weeping

¶3.22.37 No man can tell by this, whether the
mistresse or the man, slept or wept: these doubtfull
speaches were vsed much in the old times by their false
Prophets as appeareth by the Oracles of Delphos

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and of the Sybilles prophecies
deuised by the religious persons of those dayes to abuse the
superstitious people, and to encomber their busie braynes
with vaine hope or vaine feare.

¶3.22.38 Lucianus the merry Greeke
reciteth a great number of them, deuised by a coosening
companion one Alexander, to get himselfe the name
and reputation of the God Æsculapius, and in
effect all our old, Brittish and Saxon prophesies be of the
same sort, that turne them on which side ye will, the matter
of them may be verified, neuerthelesse carryeth generally
such force in the heades of fonde people, that by the
comfort of those blind prophecies many insurrections and
rebellions haue bene stirred vp in this Realme, as that of
Iacke Straw, |&| Iacke Cade in
Richard the seconds time, and in our time by a
seditious fellow in Norffolke calling himself Captaine Ket
and others in other places of the Realme lead altogether by
certaine propheticall rymes, which might be constred two or
three wayes as well as to that one whereunto the rebelles
applied it, our maker shall therefore auoyde all such
ambiguous speaches vnlesse it be when he doth it for the
nonce and for some purpose.


What it is that generally makes our speach well pleasing |&|
commendable, and of that which the Latines call Decorum.

¶3.23.1 IN all things to vse decencie,
is it onely that giueth euery thing his good grace |&|
without which nothing in mans speach could seeme good or
gracious, in so much as many times it makes a bewtifull
figure fall into a deformitie, and on th'other side a
vicious speach seeme pleasaunt and bewtifull: this decencie
is therfore the line |&| leuell for al good makers to do
their busines by. But herein resteth the difficultie, to
know what this good grace is, |&| wherein it consisteth, for
peraduenture it be easier to conceaue then to expresse, we
wil therfore examine it to the bottome |&| say: that euery
thing which pleaseth the mind or sences, |&| the mind by the
sences as by means instrum|en|tall, doth it for some amiable
point or qualitie that is in it, which draweth them to a
good liking and contentment with their proper obiects. But
that cannot be if they discouer any illfauorednesse or
disproportion to the partes apprehen-

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siue, as for example, when a sound is either too loude or
too low or otherwise confuse, the eare is ill affected: so
is th'eye if the coulour be sad or not liminous and
recreatiue, or the shape of a membred body without his due
measures and simmetry, and the like of euery other sence in
his proper function. These excesses or defectes or
confusions and disorders in the sensible obiectes are
deformities and vnseemely to the sence. In like sort the
mynde for the things that be his mentall obiectes hath his
good graces and his bad, whereof th'one contents him
wonderous well, th'other displeaseth him continually, no
more nor no lesse then ye see the discordes of musicke do to
a well tuned eare. The Greekes call this good grace of euery
thing in his kinde, toprepon, the Latines
[decorum] we in our vulgar call it by a
scholasticall terme [decencie] our owne Saxon
English terme is [seemelynesse] that is to say,
for his good shape and vtter appearance well pleasing the
eye, we call it also [comelynesse] for the delight
it bringeth comming towardes vs, and to that purpose may be
called [pleasant approche] so as euery way seeking
to expresse this prepon of the Greekes and
decorum of the Latines, we are faine in our vulgar
toung to borrow the terme which our eye onely for his noble
prerogatiue ouer all the rest of the sences doth vsurpe, and
to apply the same to all good, comely, pleasant and honest
things, euen to the spirituall obiectes of the mynde, which
stand no lesse in the due proportion of reason and discourse
than any other materiall thing doth in his sensible bewtie,
proportion and comelynesse.

¶3.23.2 Now because this comelynesse resteth in
the good conformitie of many things and their sundry
circumstances, with respect one to another, so as there be
found a iust correspondencie betweene them by this or that
relation, the Greekes call it Analogie or a
conuenient proportion. This louely conformitie, or
proportion, or conueniencie betweene the sence and the
sensible hath nature her selfe first most carefully obserued
in all her owne workes, then also by kinde graft it in the
appetites of euery creature working by intelligence to couet
and desire: and in their actions to imitate |&| performe:
and of man chiefly before any other creature aswell in his
speaches as in euery other part of his behauiour. And this
in generalitie and by an vsuall terme is that which the
Latines call

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[decorum]. So albeit we before alleaged that all
our figures be but transgressions of our dayly speach, yet
if they fall out decently to the good liking of the mynde or
eare and to the bewtifying of the matter or language, all is
well, if indecently, and to the eares and myndes misliking
(be the figure of it selfe neuer so commendable) all is
amisse, the election is the writers, the iudgem|en|t is the
worlds, as theirs to whom the reading apperteineth. But
since the actions of man with their circumstances be
infinite, and the world likewise replenished with many
iudgements, it may be a question who shal haue the
determination of such controuersie as may arise whether this
or that action or speach be decent or indecent: and verely
it seemes to go all by discretion, not perchaunce of euery
one, but by a learned and experienced discretion, for
otherwise seemes the decorum to a weake and
ignorant iudgement, then it doth to one of better knowledge
and experience: which sheweth that it resteth in the
discerning part of the minde, so as he who can make the best
and most differences of things by reasonable and wittie
distinction is to be the fittest iudge or sentencer of [
decencie.] Such generally is the discreetest man,
particularly in any art the most skilfull and discreetest,
and in all other things for the more part those that be of
much obseruation and greatest experience. The case then
standing that discretion must chiefly guide all those
businesse, since there be sundry sortes of discretion all
vnlike, euen as there be men of action or art, I see no way
so fit to enable a man truly to estimate of [decencie
] as example, by whose veritie we may deeme the
differences of things and their proportions, and by
particular discussions come at length to sentence of it
generally, and also in our behauiours the more easily to put
it in execution. But by reason of the sundry circumstances,
that mans affaires are as it were wrapt in, this [
decencie] comes to be very much alterable and subiect
to varietie , in so much as our speach asketh one maner of
decencie , in respect of the person who speakes:
another of his to whom it is spoken: another of whom we
speake: another of what we speake, and in what place and
time and to what purpose. And as it is of speach, so of al
other our behauiours. We wil therefore set you down some few
examples of euery circumstance how it alters the decencie of
speach or action. And

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by these few shal ye be able to gather a number more to
confirme and establish your iudgement by a perfit

¶3.23.3 This decencie, so farfoorth as
apperteineth to the consideration of our art, resteth in
writing, speech and behauiour. But because writing is no
more then the image or character of speech, they shall goe
together in these our obseruations. And first wee wil sort
you out diuers points, in which the wise and learned men of
times past haue noted much decency or vndecencie, euery man
according to his discretion, as it hath bene said afore: but
wherein for the most part all discreete men doe generally
agree, and varie not in opinion, whereof the examples I will
geue you be worthie of remembrance: |&| though they brought
with them no doctrine or institution at all, yet for the
solace they may geue the readers, after such a rable of
scholastical precepts which be tedious, these reports being
of the nature of matters historicall, they are to be
embraced: but olde memories are very profitable to the mind,
and serue as a glasse to looke vpon and behold the euents of
time, and more exactly to skan the trueth of euery case that
shall happen in the affaires of man, and many there be that
haply doe not obserue euery particularitie in matters of
decencie or vndecencie: and yet when the case is tolde them
by another man, they commonly geue the same sentence vpon
it. But yet whosoeuer obserueth much, shalbe counted the
wisest and discreetest man, and whosoeuer spends all his
life in his owne vaine actions and conceits, and obserues no
mans else, he shal in the ende prooue but a simple man. In
which respect it is alwaies said, one man of experience is
wiser than tenne learned men, because of his long and
studious obseruation and often triall.

¶3.23.4 And your decencies are of sundrie sorts,
according to the many circumstances accompanying our writing
speech or behauiour, so as in the very sound or voice of him
that speaketh, there is a decencie that becommeth, and an
vndecencie that misbec|om|meth vs, which th'Emperor
Anthonine marked well in the Orator
Philiseus, who spake before him with so small and
shrill a voice as the Emperor was greatly annoyed therewith,
and to make him shorten his tale, said, by thy beard thou
shouldst be a man, but by thy voice a woman.

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¶3.23.5 Phauorinus the Philosopher was
counted very wise and well learned, but a little too
talkatiue and full of words: for the which Timocrates
reprooued him in the hearing of one Polemon.
That is no wonder quoth Polemon, for so be all
women. And besides, Phauorinus being knowen for an
Eunuke or gelded man, came by the same nippe to be noted as
an effeminate and degenerate person.

¶3.23.6 And there is a measure to be vsed in a
mans speech or tale, so as it be neither for shortnesse too
darke, nor for length too tedious. Which made
Cleomenes king of the Lacedemonians geue this
vnpleasant answere to the Ambassadors of the Samiens, who
had tolde him a long message from their Citie, and desired
to know his pleasure in it. My maisters (saith he) the first
part of your tale was so long, that I remember it not, which
made that the second I vnderstoode not, and as for the third
part I doe nothing well allow of. Great princes and graue
counsellers who haue little spare leisure to hearken, would
haue speeches vsed to them such as be short and sweete.

¶3.23.7 And if they be spoken by a man of account,
or one who for his yeares, profession or dignitie should be
thought wise |&| reuerend, his speeches |&| words should
also be graue, pithie |&| sententious, which was well noted
by king Antiochus, who likened Hermogenes
the famous Orator of Greece, vnto these fowles in their
moulting time, when their feathers be sick, and be so loase
in the flesh that at any little rowse they can easilie shake
them off: so saith he, can Hermogenes of all the
men that euer I knew, as easilie deliuer from him his vaine
and impertinent speeches and words.

¶3.23.8 And there is a decencie, that euery speech
should be to the appetite and delight, or dignitie of the
hearer |&| not for any respect arrogant or vndutifull, as
was that of Alexander sent Embassadour from the
Athenians to th'Emperour Marcus, this man
seing th'emperour not so attentiue to his tale, as he would
haue had him, said by way of interruption,
Cæsar I pray thee giue me better eare, it
seemest thou knowest me not, nor from whom I came: the
Emperour nothing well liking his bold malapert speech, said:
thou art deceyued, for I heare thee and know well inough,
that thou art that fine, foolish, curious, sawcie
Alexander that tendest to nothing

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but to combe |&| cury thy haire, to pare thy nailes, to pick
thy teeth, and to perfume thy selfe with sweet oyles, that
no man may abide the sent of thee. Prowde speeches, and too
much finesse and curiositie is not commendable in an
Embassadour. And I haue knowen in my time such of them, as
studied more vpon what apparell they should weare, and what
countenaunces they should keepe at the times of their
audience, then they did vpon th'effect of their errant or

¶3.23.9 And there is dec|en|cy in that euery m|an|
should talke of the things they haue best skill of, and not
in that, their knowledge and learning serueth them not to
do, as we are wont to say, he speaketh of Robin hood that
neuer shot in his bow: there came a great Oratour before
Cleomenes king of Lacedemonia, and vttered
much matter to him touching fortitude and valiancie in the
warres: the king laughed: why laughest thou quoth the
learned m|an|, since thou art a king thy selfe, and one whom
fortitude best becommeth? why said Cleomenes would
it not make any body laugh, to heare the swallow who feeds
onely vpon flies, to boast of his great pray, and see the
eagle stand by and say nothing? if thou wert a man of warre
or euer hadst bene day of thy life, I would not laugh to
here thee speake of valiancie, but neuer being so, |&|
speaking before an old captaine I can not choose but laugh.

¶3.23.10 And some things and speaches are decent
or indecent in respect of the time they be spoken or done
in. As when a great clerk presented king Antiochus
with a booke treating all of iustice, the king that time
lying at the siege of a towne, who lookt vpon the title of
the booke, and cast it to him againe: saying, what a diuell
tellest thou to me of iustice, now thou seest me vse force
and do the best I can to bereeue mine enimie of his towne?
euery thing hath his season which is called Oportunitie, and
the vnfitnesse or vndecency of the time is called

¶3.23.11 Sometime the vndecency ariseth by the
indignitie of the word in respect of the speaker himselfe,
as whan a daughter of Fraunce and next heyre generall to the
crowne (if the law Salique had not barred her)
being set in a great chaufe by some harde words giuen her by
another prince of the bloud, said in her anger, thou durst
not haue said thus much to me if God had giu|en| me a paire
of, |&c.|

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and told all out, meaning if God had made her a man and not
a woman she had bene king of Fraunce. The word became not
the greatnesse of her person, and much lesse her sex, whose
chiefe vertue is shamefastnesse, which the Latines call
Verecundia, that is a naturall feare to be noted with
any impudicitie: so as when they heare or see any thing
tending that way they commonly blush, |&| is a part greatly
praised in all women.

¶3.23.12 Yet will ye see in many cases how
pleasant speeches and fauouring some skurrillity and
vnshamefastnes haue now and then a certaine decencie, and
well become both the speaker to say, and the hearer to
abide, but that is by reason of some other circumstance, as
when the speaker himselfe is knowne to be a common iester or
buffon, such as take vpon them to make princes merry, or
when some occasion is giuen by the hearer to induce such a
pleasaunt speach, and in many other cases whereof no
generall rule can be giuen, but are best knowen by example:
as when Sir Andrew Flamock king Henry
the eights standerdbearer, a merry conceyted man and apt to
skoffe, waiting one day at the kings heeles when he entred
the parke at Greenewich, the king blew his horne,
Flamock hauing his belly full, and his tayle at
commaundement, gaue out a rappe nothing faintly, that the
king turned him about a said how now sirra? Flamock
not well knowing how to excuse his vnm|an|nerly act, if
it please you Sir quoth he, your Maiesty blew one blast for
the keeper and I another for his man. The king laughed
hartily and tooke it nothing offensiuely: for indeed as the
case fell out it was not vndecently spoken by Sir
Andrew Flamock, for it was the cleaneliest excuse he
could make, and a merry implicatiue in termes nothing
odious, and therefore a sporting satisfaction to the kings
mind, in a matter which without some such merry answere
could not haue bene well taken. So was Flamocks
action most vncomely, but his speech excellently well
bec|om|ming the occasion.

¶3.23.13 But at another time and in another like
case, the same skurrillitie of
Flamock was more offensiue, because it was more
indecent. As when the king hauing Flamock with him
in his barge, passing from Westminster to Greenewich to
visite a fayre Lady whom the king loued and was lodged in
the tower of the Parke: the

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king comming within sight of the tower, and being disposed
to be merry, said, Flamock let vs rime: as well as
I can said Flamock if it please your grace. The
king began thus:

Within this towre,
There lieth a flower,
That hath my hart

¶3.23.14 Flamock for aunswer:
Within this hower, she will, |&| c. with the rest in
so vncleanly termes, as might not now become me by the rule
of Decorum to vtter writing to so great a
Maiestie, but the king tooke them in so euill part, as he
bid Flamock auant varlet, and that he should no
more be so neere vnto him. And wherein I would faine learne,
lay this vndecencie? in the skurrill and filthy termes not
meete for a kings eare? perchance so. For the king was a
wise and graue man, and though he hated not a faire woman,
yet liked he nothing well to heare speeches of ribaudrie: as
they report of th'emperour Octauian: Licet
fuerit ipse incontinentissimus, fuit tamen incontinentie
seuerissimus vltor
. But the very cause in deed
was for that Flamocks reply answered not the kings
expectation, for the kings rime commencing with a pleasant
and amorous propositi|on|: Sir Andrew Flamock to
finish it not with loue but with lothsomnesse, by termes
very rude and vnciuill, and seing the king greatly fauour
that Ladie for her much beauty by like or some other good
partes, by his fastidious aunswer to make her seeme odious
to him, it helde a great disproportion to the kings
appetite, for nothing is so vnpleasant to a man, as to be
encountred in his chiefe affection, |&| specially in his
loues, |&| whom we honour we should also reuerence their
appetites, or at the least beare with them (not being wicked
and vtterly euill) and whatsoeuer they do affect, we do not
as bec|om|meth vs if we make it seeme to them horrible. This
in mine opinion was the chiefe cause of the vndecencie and
also of the kings offence. Aristotle the great
philosopher knowing this very well, what time he put
Calistenes to king Alex|an|der the greats
seruice gaue him this lesson. Sirra quoth he, ye go now from
a scholler to be a courtier, see ye speake to the king your
maister, either nothing at all, or else that which pleaseth
him, which rule if Calistenes had followed and
forborne to crosse the kings appetite in diuerse speeches,
it had not cost him so

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deepely as afterward it did. A like matter of offence fell
out betweene th'Emperour Charles the fifth, |&| an
Embassadour of king Henry the eight, wh|om| I
could name but will not for the great opinion the world had
of his wisdome and sufficiency in that behalfe, and all for
misusing of a terme. The king in the matter of controuersie
betwixt him and Ladie Catherine of Castill
the Emperours awnt, found himselfe grieued that the
Emperour should take her part and worke vnder hand with the
Pope to hinder the diuorce: and gaue his Embassadour
commission in good termes to open his griefes to the
Emperour, and to expostulat with his Maiestie, for that he
seemed to forget the kings great kindnesse and friendship
before times vsed with th'Emperour, aswell by disbursing for
him sundry great summes of monie which were not all yet
repayd: as also by furnishing him at his neede with store of
men and munition to his warres, and now to be thus vsed he
thought it a very euill requitall. The Embassadour for too
much animositie and more then needed in the case, or
perchance by ignorance of the proprietie of the Spanish
tongue, told the Emperour among other words, that he was
Hombre el mas ingrato enel mondo,
the ingratest person in the world to vse his maister so. The
Emperour tooke him suddainly with the word, and said:
callest thou me ingrato? I tell
thee learne better termes, or else I will teach them thee.
Th'Embassadour excused it by his commission, and said: they
were the king his maisters words, and not his owne. Nay
quoth th'Emperour, thy maister durst not haue sent me these
words, were it not for that broad ditch betweene him |&| me,
meaning the sea, which is hard to passe with an army of
reuenge. The Embassadour was c|om|manded away |&| no more
hard by the Emperor, til by some other means afterward the
grief was either pacified or forgotten, |&| all this
inconueni|en|ce grew by misuse of one word, which being
otherwise spoken |&| in some sort qualified, had easily
holpen all, |&| yet th'Embassadour might sufficiently haue
satisfied his commission |&| much better aduanced his
purpose, as to haue said for this word [ye are
,] ye haue not vsed such gratitude towards him
as he hath deserued: so ye may see how a word spok|en|
vndecently, not knowing the phrase or proprietie of a
language, maketh a whole matter many times miscarrie. In
which respect it

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is to be wished, that none Ambassadour speake his principall
c|om|mandements but in his own language, or in another as
naturall to him as his owne, and so it is vsed in all places
of the world sauing in England. The Princes and their
commissioners fearing least otherwise they might vtter any
thing to their disaduantage, or els to their disgrace: and I
my selfe hauing seene the Courts of Fraunce, Spaine, Italie,
and that of the Empire, with many inferior Courts, could
neuer perceiue that the most noble personages, though they
knew very well how to speake many forraine languages, would
at any times that they had bene spoken vnto, answere but in
their owne, the Frenchman in French the Spaniard in Spanish,
the Italian in Italian, and the very Dutch Prince in the
Dutch language: whether it were more for pride, or for feare
of any lapse, I cannot tell. And Henrie Earle of
Arundel being an old Courtier and a very princely man in all
his actions, kept that rule alwaies. For on a time passing
from England towards Italie by her maiesties licence, he was
very honorably enterteined at the Court of Brussels, by the
Lady Duches of Parma, Regent there: and sitting at a banquet
with her, where also was the Prince of Orange, with all the
greatest Princes of the state, the Earle, though he could
resonably well speake French, would not speake one French
word, but all English, whether he asked any question, or
answered it, but all was done by Truchemen. In so much as
the Prince of Orange maruelling at it, looked a side on that
part where I stoode a beholder of the feast, and sayd, I
maruell your Noblemen of England doe not desire to be better
languaged in the forraine languages. This word was by and by
reported to the Earle. Quoth the Earle againe, tell my Lord
the Prince, that I loue to speake in that language, in which
I can best vtter my mind and not mistake.

¶3.23.15 Another Ambassadour vsed the like
ouersight by ouerweening himselfe that he could naturally
speake the French tongue, whereas in troth he was not
skilfull in their termes. This Ambassadour being a Bohemian,
sent from the Emperour to the French Court, where after his
first audience, he was highly feasted and banquetted. On a
time, among other, a great Princesse sitting at the table,
by way of talke asked the Ambassador whether the Empresse

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his mistresse when she went a hunting, or
otherwise trauailed abroad for her solace, did ride a
horsback or goe in her coach. To which the Ambassadour
answered vnwares and not knowing the French terme,
Par ma foy elle cheuauche fort bien, |&| si en prend
grand plaisir
. She rides (saith he) very well,
and takes great pleasure in it. There was good smiling one
vpon another of the Ladies and Lords, the Ambassador wist
not whereat, but laughed himselfe for companie. This word
Cheuaucher in the French tongue hath a reprobate
sence, specially being spoken of a womans riding.

¶3.23.16 And as rude and vnciuill speaches carry a
marueilous great indecencie, so doe sometimes those that be
ouermuch affected and nice: or that doe fauour of ignorance
or adulation, and be in the eare of graue and wise persons
no lesse offensiue than the other: as when a sutor in Rome
came to
Tiberius the Emperor and said, I would open my
case to your Maiestie, if it were not to trouble your sacred
businesse, sacras vestras occupationes
as the Historiographer reporteth. What meanest
thou by that terme quoth the Emperor, say laboriosas
I pray thee, |&| so thou maist truely say, and bid him
leaue off such affected flattering termes.

¶3.23.17 The like vndecencie vsed a Herald at
armes sent by Charles the fifth Emperor, to
Fraunces the first French king, bringing him a
message of defiance, and thinking to qualifie the
bitternesse of his message with words pompous and
magnificent for the kings honor, vsed much this terme
(sacred Maiestie) which was not vsually geuen to the French
king, but to say for the most part [Sire] The
French king neither liking of his errant, nor yet of his
pompous speech, said somewhat sharply, I pray thee good
fellow clawe me not where I itch not with thy sacred
maiestie but goe to thy businesse, and tell thine errand in
such termes as are decent betwixt enemies, for thy master is
not my frend, and turned him to a Prince of the bloud who
stoode by, saying, me thinks this fellow speakes like Bishop
Nicholas, for on Saint Nicholas night
commonly the Scholars of the Countrey make them a Bishop,
who like a foolish boy, goeth about blessing and preaching
with so childish termes, as maketh the people laugh at his
foolish counterfaite speeches.

¶3.23.18 And yet in speaking or writing of a
Princes affaires |&| fortunes there is a certaine
Decorum, that we may not vse the same termes

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in their busines, as we might very wel doe in a meaner
persons, the case being all one, such reuerence is due to
their estates. As for example, if an Historiographer shal
write of an Emperor or King, how such a day hee ioyned
battel with his enemie, and being ouer-laide ranne out of
the fielde, and tooke his heeles, or put spurre to his horse
and fled as fast as hee could : the termes be not decent,
but of a meane souldier or captaine, it were not vndecently
spoken. And as one, who translating certaine bookes of
Virgils Æneidos into English meetre, said that
Æneas was fayne to trudge out of Troy: which terme
became better to be spoken of a beggar, or of a rogue, or a
lackey: for so wee vse to say to such maner of people, be
trudging hence.

¶3.23.19 Another Englishing this word of
Virgill [fato profugus]
called Æneas [by fare a fugitiue]
which was vndecently spoken, and not to the Authours intent
in the same word: for whom he studied by all means to
auaunce aboue all other men of the world for vertue and
magnanimitie, he meant not to make him a fugitiue. But by
occasion of his great distresses, and of the hardnesse of
his destinies, he would haue it appeare that Æneas
was enforced to flie out of Troy, and for many
yeeres to be a romer and a wandrer about the world both by
land and sea [fato profugus] and neuer to find any
resting place till he came into Italy, so as ye
may euid|en|tly perceiue in this terme [fugitiue]
a notable indignity offred to that princely person, and by
th'other word (a wanderer) none indignitie at all, but
rather a terme of much loue and commiseration. The same
translatour when he came to these wordes:
Insignem pietate virum, tot voluere casus tot adire
labores compulit
. Hee turned it thus, what
moued Iuno to tugge so great a captaine as
Æneas, which word tugge spoken in this case is so
vndecent as none other coulde haue bene deuised, and tooke
his first originall from the cart, because it signifieth the
pull or draught of the oxen or horses, and therefore the
leathers that beare the chiefe stresse of the draught, the
cartars call them tugges, and so wee vse to say that shrewd
boyes tugge each other by the eares, for pull.

¶3.23.20 Another of our vulgar makers, spake as
illfaringly in this verse written to the dispraise of a rich
man and couetous. Thou hast a

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misers minde (thou hast a princes pelfe) a lewde terme to be
spoken of a princes treasure, which in no respect nor for
any cause is to be called pelfe, though it were neuer so
meane, for pelfe is properly the scrappes or shreds of
taylors and of skinners, which are accompted of so vile
price as they be commonly cast out of dores, or otherwise
bestowed vpon base purposes: and carrieth not the like
reason or decencie, as when we say in reproch of a niggard
or vserer, or worldly couetous man, that he setteth more by
a little pelfe of the world, than by his credit or health,
or conscience. For in comparison of these treasours, all the
gold or siluer in the world may by a skornefull terme be
called pelfe, |&| so ye see that the reason of the decencie
holdeth not alike in both cases. Now let vs passe from these
examples, to treat of those that concerne the comelinesse
and decencie of mans behauiour.

¶3.23.21 And some speech may be whan it is spoken
very vndecent, and yet the same hauing afterward somewhat
added to it may become prety and decent, as was the stowte
worde vsed by a captaine in Fraunce, who sitting at the
lower end of the Duke of Guyses table among many,
the day after there had bene a great battaile foughten, the
Duke finding that this captaine was not seene that day to do
any thing in the field, taxed him priuily thus in al the
hearings. Where were you Sir the day of the battaile, for I
saw ye not? the captaine answered promptly: where ye durst
not haue bene: and the Duke began to kindle with the worde,
which the Gentleman perceiuing, said spedily: I was that day
among the carriages, where your excellencie would not for a
thousand crownes haue bene seene. Thus from vndecent it came
by a wittie reformation to be made decent againe.

¶3.23.22 The like hapned on a time at the Duke of
Northumberlandes bourd, where merry Iohn Heywood
was allowed to sit at the tables end. The Duke had a very
noble and honorable mynde alwayes to pay his debts well, and
when he lacked money, would not stick to sell the greatest
part of his plate: so had he done few dayes before.
Heywood being loth to call for his drinke so oft as
he was dry, turned his eye toward the cupbord and sayd I
finde great misse of your graces standing cups: the Duke
thinking he had spoken it of some knowledge that his plate
was lately sold, said somewhat

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sharpely, why Sir will not those cuppes serue as good a man
as your selfe. Heywood readily replied. Yes if it
please your grace, but I would haue one of them stand still
at myne elbow full of drinke that I might not be driuen to
trouble your men so often to call for it. This pleasant and
speedy reuers of the former wordes holpe all the matter
againe, whereupon the Duke became very pleasaunt and dranke
a bolle of wine to Heywood, and bid a cup should
alwayes be standing by him.

¶3.23.23 It were to busie a peece of worke for me
to tell you of all the partes of decencie and indecency
which haue bene obserued in the speaches of man |&| in his
writings, and this that I tell you is rather to solace your
eares with pretie conceits after a sort of long
scholasticall preceptes which may happen haue doubled them,
rather then for any other purpose of instituti|on| or
doctrine, which to any Courtier of experience, is not
necessarie in this behalfe. And as they appeare by the
former examples to rest in our speach and writing: so do the
same by like proportion consist in the whole behauiour of
man, and that which he doth well and commendably is euer
decent, and the contrary vndecent, not in euery mans
iudgement alwayes one, but after their seuerall discretion
and by circumstance diuersly, as by the next Chapter shalbe


Of decencie in behauiour which also belongs to the
consideration of the Poet or maker.

¶3.24.1 ANd there is a dec|en|cy to be
obserued in euery mans acti|on| |&| behauiour aswell as in
his speach |&| writing which some peradu|en|ture would
thinke impertinent to be treated of in this booke, where we
do but informe the c|om|mendable fashions of language |&|
stile: but that is otherwise, for the good maker or poet who
is in dec|en|t speach |&| good termes to describe all things
and with prayse or dispraise to report euery m|an|s
behauiour, ought to know the comelinesse of an acti|on|
aswell as of a word |&| thereby to direct himselfe both in
praise |&| perswasi|on| or any other point that perteines to
the Oratours arte. Wherefore some ex|am|ples we will set
downe of this maner of dec|en|cy in behauiour leauing you
for the rest to our booke which we haue written
de Decoro, where ye shall see both partes

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handled more exactly. And this decencie of mans behauiour
aswell as of his speach must also be deemed by discretion,
in which regard the thing that may well become one man to do
may not become another, and that which is seemely to be done
in this place is not so seemely in that, and at such a time
decent, but at another time vndecent, and in such a case and
for such a purpose, and to this and that end and by this and
that euent, perusing all the circumstances with like
c|on|sideration. Therefore we say that it might become king
Alexander to giue a hundreth talentes to
Anaxagoras the Philosopher, but not for a beggerly
Philosopher to accept so great a gift, for such a Prince
could not be so impouerished by that expence, but the
Philosopher was by it excessiuely to be enriched, so was the
kings action proportionable to his estate and therefore
decent, the Philosophers, disproportionable both to his
profession and calling and therefore indecent.

¶3.24.2 And yet if we shall examine the same point
with a clearer discretion, it may be said that whatsoeuer it
might become king Alexander of his regal largesse
to bestow vpon a poore Philosopher vnasked, that might
aswell become the Philosopher to receiue at his hands
without refusal, and had otherwise bene some empeachement of
the kings abilitie or wisedome, which had not bene decent in
the Philosopher, nor the immoderatnesse of the kinges gift
in respect of the Philosophers meane estate made his
acceptance the lesse decent, since Princes liberalities are
not measured by merite nor by other mens estimations, but by
their owne appetits and according to their greatnesse. So
said king Alexander very like himselfe to one
Perillus to whom he had geuen a very great gift,
which he made curtesy to accept, saying it was too much for
such a mean person, what quoth the king if it be too much
for thy selfe, hast thou neuer a friend or kinsman that may
fare the better by it? But peraduenture if any such
immoderat gift had bene craued by the Philosopher and not
voluntarily offred by the king it had bene vndecent to haue
taken it. Euen so if one that standeth vpon his merite, and
spares to craue the Princes liberalitie in that which is
moderate and fit for him, doth as vndecently. For men should
not expect till the Prince remembred it of himselfe and
began as it were the gratification, but ought to be

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put in remembraunce by humble solicitations, and that is
duetifull |&| decent, which made king Henry
th'eight her Maiesties most noble father, and for liberality
nothing inferiour to king Alexander the great,
aunswere one of his priuie chamber, who prayd him to be good
|&| gracious to a certaine old Knight being his seruant, for
that he was but an ill begger, if he be ashamed to begge we
wil thinke scorne to giue. And yet peraduenture in both
these cases, the vndecencie for too much crauing or sparing
to craue, might be easily holpen by a decent magnificence in
the Prince, as Amazis king of Ægypt
very honorably considered, who asking one day for one
Diopithus a noble man of his Court, what was become
of him for that he had not sene him wait of long time, one
about the king told him that he heard say he was sicke and
of some conceit he had taken that his Maiestie had but
slenderly looked to him, vsing many others very bountifully.
I beshrew his fooles head quoth the king, why had he not
sued vnto vs and made vs priuie of his want, then added, but
in truth we are most to blame our selues, who by a mindeful
beneficence without sute should haue supplied his
bashfulnesse, and forthwith commaunded a great reward in
money |&| pension to be sent vnto him, but it hapned that
when the kings messengers entred the chamber of
Diopithus, eh had newly giuen vp the ghost: the
messengers sorrowed the case, and Diopithus
friends sate by and wept, not so much for Diopithus
death, as for pitie that he ouerliued not the comming of
the kings reward. Therupon it came euer after to be vsed for
a prouerbe that when any good turne commeth too late to be
vsed, to cal it Diopithus reward.

¶3.24.3 In Italy and Fraunce I haue knowen it vsed
for common pollicie, the Princes to differre the bestowing
of their great liberalities as Cardinalships and other high
dignities |&| offices of gayne, till the parties whom they
should seeme to gratifie be so old or so sicke as it is not
likely they should long enioy them.

¶3.24.4 In the time of Charles the ninth
French king, I being at the Spaw waters, there lay a
Marshall of Fraunce called Monsieur de Sipier, to
vse those waters for his health, but when the Phisitions had
all giuen him vp, and that there was no hope of life in him,
came fr|om| the king to him a letters patents of six
thousand crownes

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yearely pension during his life with many comfortable
wordes: the man was not so much past remembraunce, but he
could say to the messenger trop tard, trop
, it should haue come before, for in deede
it had bene promised long and came not till now that he
could not fare the better by it.

¶3.24.5 And it became king Antiochus,
better to bestow the faire Lady
Stratonica his wife vpon his sonne
Demetrius who lay sicke for her loue and would else
haue perished, as the Physitions cunningly discouered by the
beating of his pulse, then it could become Demetrius
to be inamored with his fathers wife, or to enioy her of
his guift, because the fathers act was led by discretion and
of a fatherly compassion, not grutching to depart from his
deerest possession to saue his childes life, where as the
sonne in his appetite had no reason to lead him to loue
vnlawfully, for whom it had rather bene decent to die then
to haue violated his fathers bed with safetie of his life.

¶3.24.6 No more would it be seemely for an aged
man to play the wanton like a child, for it stands not with
the conueniency of nature, yet when king Agesilaus
hauing a great sort of little children, was one day disposed
to solace himself among them in a gallery where they plaied,
and tooke a little hobby horse of wood and bestrid it to
keepe them in play, one of his friends seemed to mislike his
lightnes, ô good friend quoth Agesilaus, rebuke
me not for this fault till thou haue children of thine owne,
shewing in deede that it came not of vanitie but of a
fatherly affecti|on|, ioying in the sport and company of his
little children, in which respect and as that place and time
serued, it was dispenceable in him |&| not indecent.

¶3.24.7 And in the choise of a mans delights |&|
maner of his life, there is a decencie, and so we say th'old
man generally is no fit companion for the young man, nor the
rich for the poore, nor the wise for the foolish. Yet in
some respects and by discretion it may be otherwise, as when
the old man hath the gouernment of the young, the wise
teaches the foolish, the rich is wayted on by the poore for
their reliefe, in which regard the conuersation is not

¶3.24.8 And Proclus the Philosopher
knowing how euery indecencie is vnpleasant to nature, and
namely, how vncomely a thing it is for young men to doe as
old men doe (at leastwise as young men

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for the most part doe take it) applyed it very wittily to
his purpose: for hauing his sonne and heire a notable
vnthrift, |&| delighting in nothing but in haukes and
hounds, and gay apparrell, and such like vanities, which
neither by gentle nor sharpe admonitions of his father,
could make him leaue.
Proclus himselfe not onely bare with his sonne,
but also vsed it himselfe for company, which some of his
frends greatly rebuked him for, saying, ô Proclus
, an olde man and a Philosopher to play the foole and
lasciuious more than the sonne. Mary, quoth Proclus
, |&| therefore I do it, for it is the next way to make my
sonne change his life, when he shall see how vndecent it is
in me to leade such a life, and for him being a yong man, to
keepe companie with me being an old man, and to doe that
which I doe.

¶3.24.9 So is it not vnseemely for any ordinarie
Captaine to winne the victory or any other auantage in warre
by fraud |&| breach of faith: as Hanniball with
the Romans, but it could not well become the Romaines
managing so great an Empire, by examples of honour and
iustice to doe as Hanniball did. And when
Parmenio in a like case perswaded king
Alexander to breake the day of his appointment, and
to set vpon Darius at the sodaine, which
Alexander refused to doe, Parmenio
saying, I would doe it if I were
Alexander, and I too quoth Alexander if
I were Parmenio: but it behooueth me in honour to
fight liberally with mine enemies, and iustly to ouercome.
And thus ye see that was decent in Parmenios
action, which was not in the king his masters.

¶3.24.10 A great nobleman and Counseller in this
Realme was secretlie aduised by his friend, not to vse so
much writing his letters in fauour of euery man that asked
them, specially to the Iudges of the Realme in cases of
iustice. To whom the noble man answered, it becomes vs
Councellors better to vse instance for our friend, then for
the Iudges to sentence at instance: for whatsoeuer we doe
require them, it is in their choise to refuse to doe, but
for all that the example was ill and dangerous.

¶3.24.11 And there is a decencie in chusing the
times of a mans busines, and as the Spaniard sayes,
es tiempo de negotiar, there is a fitte
time for euery man to performe his businesse in, |&| to
att|en|d his affaires, which out of that time would be
vndecent: as to sleepe al day and

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wake al night, and to goe a hunting by torch-light, as an
old Earle of Arundel vsed to doe, or for any occasion of
little importance, to wake a man out of his sleepe, or to
make him rise from his dinner to talke with him, or such
like importunities, for so we call euery vnseasonable
action, and the vndecencie of the time.

¶3.24.12 Callicratides being sent
Ambassador by the Lacedemonians, to
Cirus the young king of Persia to contract with
him for money and men toward their warres against the
Athenians, came to the Court at such vnseasonable time as
the king was yet in the midst of his dinner, and went away
againe saying, it is now no time to interrupt the kings
mirth. He came againe another day in the after noone, and
finding the king at a rere-banquet, and to haue taken the
wine somewhat plentifully, turned back againe, saying, I
thinke there is no houre fitte to deal with Cirus,
for he is euer in his banquets: I will rather leaue all the
busines vndone, then doe any thing that shall not become the
Lacedemonians: meaning to offer conference of so great
importaunce to his Countrey, with a man so distempered by
surfet, as hee was not likely to geue him any reasonable
resolution in the cause.

¶3.24.13 One Eudamidas brother to king
Agis of Lacedemonia, c|om|ming by
Zenocrates schoole and looking in, saw him sit in his
chaire, disputing with a long hoare beard, asked who it was,
one answered, Sir it is a wise man and one of them that
searches after vertue, and if he haue not yet found it quoth
Eudamidas when will he vse it, that now at this
yeares is seeking after it, as who would say it is not time
to talke of matters when they should be put in execution,
nor for an old man to be to seeke what vertue is, which all
his youth he should haue had in exercise.

¶3.24.14 Another time comming to heare a notable
Philosopher dispute, it happened, that all was ended euen as
he came, and one of his familiers would haue had him
requested the Philosopher to beginne againe, that were
indecent and nothing ciuill quoth Eudamidas, for
if he should come to me supperlesse when I had supped
before, were it seemely for him to pray me to suppe againe
for his companie?

¶3.24.15 And the place makes a thing decent or
indecent, in which consideration one
Euboidas being sent Embassadour into a forraine

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realme, some of his familiars tooke occasion at the table to
praise the wiues and women of that country in presence of
their owne husbands, which th'embassadour misliked, and when
supper was ended and the guestes departed, tooke his
familiars aside, and told them that it was nothing decent in
a strange country to praise the women, nor specially a wife
before her husbands face, for inconueniencie that might rise
thereby, aswell to the prayser as to the woman, and that the
chiefe commendation of a chast matrone, was to be knowen
onely to her husband, and not to be obserued by straungers
and guestes.

¶3.24.16 And in the vse of apparell there is no
litle decency and vndecencie to be perceiued, as well for
the fashion as the stuffe, for it is comely that euery
estate and vocation should be knowen by the differences of
their habit: a clarke from a lay man: a gentleman from a
yeoman: a souldier from a citizen, and the chiefe of euery
degree fr|om| their inferiours, because in confusion and
disorder there is no manner of decencie.

¶3.24.17 The Romaines of any other people most
seuere c|en|surers of decencie, thought no vpper garment so
comely for a ciuill man as a long playted gowne, because it
sheweth much grauitie |&| also pudicitie, hiding euery
member of the body which had not bin pleasant to behold. In
somuch as a certain Proconsull or Legat of theirs
dealing one day with Ptolome king of Egipt, seeing
him clad in a straite narrow garment very lasciuiously,
discouering euery part of his body, gaue him a great checke
for it: and said, that vnlesse he vsed more sad and comely
garments, the Romaines would take no pleasure to hold amitie
with him, for by the wantonnes of his garment they would
iudge the vanitie of his mind, not to be worthy of their
constant friendship. A pleasant old courtier wearing one day
in the sight of a great councellour, after the new guise, a
french cloake skarce reaching to the wast, a long beaked
doublet hanging downe to his thies, |&| an high paire of
silke netherstocks that couered all his buttockes and
loignes the Councellor marueled to see him in that sort
disguised, and otherwise than he had bin woont to be. Sir
quoth the Gentleman to excuse it: if I should not be able
whan I had need to pisse out of my doublet, and to do the
rest in my netherstocks (vsing the plaine terme) all men

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say I were but a lowte, the Councellor laughed hartily at
the absurditie of the speech, but what would those sower
fellowes of Rome haue said trowe ye? truely in mine opinion,
that all such persons as take pleasure to shew their limbes,
specially those that nature hath c|om|manded out of sight,
should be inioyned either to go starke naked, or else to
resort backe to the comely and modest fashion of their owne
countrie apparell vsed by their old honorable auncestors.

¶3.24.18 And there is a dec|en|cy of apparrel in
respect of the place where it is to be vsed: as, in the
Court to be richely apparrelled: in the countrey to weare
more plain |&| homely garm|en|ts. For who who
would not thinke it a ridiculous thing to see a Lady in her
milke-house with a veluet gowne, and at a bridall in her
cassock of mockado: a Gentleman of the Countrey among the
bushes and briers, goe in a pounced dublet and a paire of
embrodered hosen, in the Citie to weare a frise Ierkin and a
paire of leather breeches? yet some such phantasticals haue
I knowen, and one a certaine knight, of all other the most
vaine, who commonly would come to the Sessions, and other
ordinarie meetings and Commissions in the Countrey, so
bedect with buttons and aglets of gold and such costly
embroderies, as the poore plaine men of the Countrey called
him (for his gaynesse) the golden knight. Another for the
like cause was called Saint Sunday: I thinke at this day
they be so farre spent, as either of th|em| would be content
with a good cloath cloake: and this came by want of
discretion, to discerne and deeme right of decencie, which
many Gentlemen doe wholly limite by the person or degree,
where reason doeth it by the place and presence: which may
be such as it might very well become a great Prince to weare
courser apparrell than in another place or presence a meaner

¶3.24.19 Neuerthelesse in the vse of a garment
many occasions alter the decencie, sometimes the qualitie of
the person, sometimes of the case, otherwhiles the countrie
custome, and often the constitution of lawes, and the very
nature of vse it selfe. As for example a king and prince may
vse rich and gorgious apparell decently, so cannot a meane
person doo, yet if an herald of armes to whom a king giueth
his gowne of cloth of gold, or to whom it was incident as a
fee of his office, do were the same, he doth it decently,
because such

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hath alwaies bene th'allowances of heraldes: but if such
herald haue worne out, or sold, or lost that gowne, to buy
him a new of the like stuffe with his owne mony and to weare
it, is not decent in the eye and iudgement of them that know

¶3.24.20 And the country custome maketh things
decent in vse, as in Asia for all men to weare long gownes
both a foot and horsebacke: in Europa short gaberdins, or
clokes, or iackets, euen for their vpper garments. The Turke
and Persian to wear great tolibants of ten, fifteene, and
twentie elles of linnen a peece vpon their heads, which can
not be remooued: in Europe to were caps or hats, which vpon
euery occasion of salutation we vse to put of, as a signe of
reuerence. In th'East partes the men to make water couring
like women, with vs standing at a wall. With them to
congratulat and salute by giuing a becke with the head, or a
bende of the bodie, with vs here in England, and in Germany,
and all other Northerne parts of the world to shake handes.
In France, Italie, and Spaine to embrace ouer the shoulder,
vnder the armes, at the very knees, according the superiors
degree. With vs the wemen giue their mouth to be kissed, in
other places their cheek, in many places their hand, or in
steed of an offer to the hand, to say these words
Bezo los manos. And yet some others
surmounting in all courtly ciuilitie will say,
Los manos |&| los piedes. And aboue that
reach too, there be that will say to the Ladies,
Lombra de sus pisadas, the shadow of your
steps. Which I recite vnto you to shew the phrase of those
courtly seruitours in yeelding the mistresses honour and

¶3.24.21 And it is seen that very particular vse
of it selfe makes a matter of much decencie and vndecencie,
without any countrey custome or allowance, as if one that
hath many yeares worne a gowne shall come to be seen weare a
iakquet or ierkin, or he that hath many yeares worne a beard
or long haire among those that had done the contrary, and
come sodainly to be pold or shauen, it will seeme onely to
himselfe, a deshight and very vndecent, but also to all
others that neuer vsed to go so, vntill the time and custome
haue abrogated that mislike.

¶3.24.22 So was it here in England till her
Maiesties most noble father for diuers good respects, caused
his owne head and all his Courtiers to be polled and his
beard to be cut short. Before that time it

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was thought more decent both for old men and young to be all
shauen and to weare long haire either rounded or square. Now
againe at this time, the young Gentlemen of the Court haue
taken vp the long haire trayling on their shoulders, and
thinke it more decent: for what respect I would be glad to

¶3.24.23 The Lacedemonians bearing long bushes of
haire, finely kept |&| curled vp, vsed this ciuill argument
to maintaine that custome. Haire (say they) is the very
ornament of nature appointed for the head, which therfore to
vse in his most sumptuous degree is comely, specially for
them that be Lordes, Maisters of men, and of a free life,
hauing abilitie |&| leasure inough to keepe it cleane, and
so for a signe of seignorie, riches and libertie, the
masters of the Lacedemonians vsed long haire. But their
vassals, seruaunts and slaues vsed it short or shauen in
signe of seruitude and because they had no meane nor leasure
to kembe and keepe it cleanely. It was besides combersome to
them hauing many businesse to attende, in some seruices
there might no maner of filth be falling from their heads.
And to all souldiers it is very noysome and a daungerous
disauantage in the warres or in any particular combat, which
being the most comely profession of euery noble young
Gentleman, it ought to perswade them greatly from wearing
long haire. If there be any that seeke by long haire to
helpe or to hide an ill featured face, it is in them
allowable so to do, because euery man may decently reforme
by art, the faultes and imperfections that nature hath
wrought in them.

¶3.24.24 And all singularities or affected parts
of a m|an|s behauiour seeme vndec|en|t, as for one man to
march or iet in the street more stately, or to looke more
sol|em|pnely, or to go more gayly |&| in other coulours or
fashioned garm|en|ts then another of the same degree and

¶3.24.25 Yet such singularities haue had many
times both good liking and good successe, otherwise then
many would haue looked for. As when Dinocrates the
famous architect, desirous to be knowen to king
Alexander the great, and hauing none acquaintance to
bring him to the kings speech, he came one day to the Court
very strangely apparelled in long skarlet robes, his head
compast with a garland of Laurell, and his face all to be
slicked with sweet oyle, and stoode in the kings chamber,
motioning nothing to any man:

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newes of this stranger came to the king, who caused him to
be brought to his presence, and asked his name, and the
cause of his repaire to the Court. He aunswered, his name
was Dinocrates the Architect, who came to present
his Maiestie with a platforme of his owne deuising, how his
Maiestie might buylde a Citie vpon the mountaine Athos in
Macedonia, which should beare the figure of a mans body, and
tolde him all how. Forsooth the breast and bulke of his body
should rest vpon such a flat: that hil should be his head,
all set with foregrowen woods like haire: his right arme
should stretch out to such a hollow bottome as might be like
his hand: holding a dish conteyning al the waters that
should serue that Citie: the left arme with his hand should
hold a valley of all the orchards and gardens of pleasure
pertaining thereunto: and either legge should lie vpon a
ridge of rocke, very gallantly to behold, and so should
accomplish the full figure of a man. The king asked him what
commoditie of soyle, or sea, or nauigable riuer lay neere
vnto it, to be able to sustaine so great a number of
inhabitants. Truely Sir (quoth Dinocrates) I haue
not yet considered thereof: for in trueth it is the barest
part of all the Countrey of Macedonia. The king smiled at
it, and said very honourably, we like your deuice well, and
meane to vse your seruice in the building of a Citie, but we
wil chuse out a more commodious scituation: and made him
attend in that voyage in which he conquered Asia and Egypt,
and there made him chiefe Surueyour of his new Citie of
Alexandria. Thus did Dinocrates singularitie in
attire greatly further him to his aduancement.

¶3.24.26 Yet are generally all rare things and
such as breede maruell |&| admiration somewhat holding of
the vndecent, as when a man is bigger |&| exceeding the
ordinary stature of a man like a Giaunt, or farre vnder the
reasonable and common size of men, as a dwarfe, and such
vndecencies do not angre vs, but either we pittie them or
scorne at them.

¶3.24.27 But at all insolent and vnwoonted partes
of a mans behauiour, we find many times cause to mislike or
to be mistrustfull, which proceedeth of some vndecency that
is in it, as when a man that hath alwaies bene strange |&|
vnacquainted with vs, will suddenly become our familiar and
domestick: and another that hath bene

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alwaies sterne and churlish, wilbe vpon the suddaine affable
and curteous, it is neyther a comely sight, nor a signe of
any good towardes vs. Which the subtill Italian well
obserued by the successes thereof, saying in Prouerbe.

Chi me fa meglio che non suole,
Tradito me ha o tradir me vuolo.

He that speakes me fairer, than his woont was too
Hath done me harme, or meanes for to doo

¶3.24.28 Now againe all maner of conceites that
stirre vp any vehement passion in a man, doo it by some
turpitude or euill and vndecency that is in them, as to make
a man angry there must be some iniury or contempt offered,
to make him enuy there must proceede some vndeserued
prosperitie of his egall or inferiour, to make him pitie
some miserable fortune or spectakle to behold.

¶3.24.29 And yet in euery of these passions being
as it were vndecencies, there is a comelinesse to be
discerned, which some men can keepe and some men can not, as
to be angry, or to enuy, or to hate, or to pitie, or to be
ashamed decently, that is none otherwise then reason
requireth. This surmise appeareth to be true, for
Homer the father of Poets writing that famous and
most honourable poeme called the Illiades or
warres of Troy: made his comm|en|cement the magnanimous
wrath and anger of Achilles in his first verse
thus: menun aide dia piliaueou achilleious.
Sing foorth my muse the wrath of Achilles Peleus
sonne: which the Poet would ueuer haue
done if the wrath of a prince had not beene in some sort
comely |&| allowable. But when Arrianus and
Curtius historiographers that wrote the noble gestes
of king Alexander the great, came to prayse him
for many things, yet for his wrath and anger they reproched
him, because it proceeded not of any magnanimitie, but vpon
surfet |&| distemper in his diet, nor growing of any iust
causes, was exercised to the destruction of his dearest
friends and familiers, and not of his enemies, nor any other
waies so honorably as th'others was, and so could not be
reputed a decent and comely anger.

¶3.24.30 So may al your other passions be vsed
decently though the very matter of their originall be
grounded vpon some vndecencie, as it is written by a
certaine king of Egypt, who looking out of his

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window, and seing his owne sonne for some grieuous offence,
carried by the officers of his iustice to the place of
execution: he neuer once changed his countenance at the
matter, though the sight were neuer so full of ruth and
atrocitie. And it was thought a decent countenance and
constant animositie in the king to be so affected, the case
concerning so high and rare a peece of his owne iustice. But
within few daies after when he beheld out of the same window
an old friend and familiar of his, stand begging an almes in
the streete, he wept tenderly, remembring their old
familiarity and considering how by the mutabilitie of
fortune and frailtie of m|an|s estate, it might one day come
to passe that he himselfe should fall into the like
miserable estate. He therfore had a remorse very comely for
a king in that behalfe, which also caused him to giue order
for his poore friends plentiful reliefe.

¶3.24.31 But generally to weepe for any sorrow (as
one may doe for pitie) is not so decent in a man: and
therefore all high minded persons, when they cannot chuse
but shed teares, wil turne away their face as a countenance
vndecent for a man to shew, and so will the standers by till
they haue supprest such passi|on|, thinking it nothing
decent to behold such an vncomely countenance. But for
Ladies and women to weepe and shed teares at euery little
greefe, it is nothing vncomely, but rather a signe of much
good nature |&| meeknes of minde, a most decent propertie
for that sexe; and therefore they be for the more part more
deuout and charitable, and greater geuers of almes than men,
and zealous relieuers of prisoners, and beseechers of
pardons, and such like parts of commiseration. Yea they be
more than so too: for by the common prouerbe, a woman will
weepe for pitie to see a gosling goe barefoote.

¶3.24.32 But most certainly all things that moue a
man to laughter, as doe these scurrilities |&| other
ridiculous behauiours, it is for some vndecencie that is
fo|un|d in them: which maketh it decent for euery man to
laugh at them. And therefore when we see or heare a natural
foole and idiot doe or say any thing foolishly, we laugh not
at him: but when he doeth or speaketh wisely, because that
is vnlike him selfe: and a buffonne or counterfet foole, to
heare him speake wisely which is like himselfe, it is no
sport at all, but for such a counterfait to talke and looke
foolishly it maketh vs laugh,

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because it is no part of his naturall, for in euery
vncomlinesse there must be a certaine absurditie and
disproportion to nature, and the opinion of the hearer or
beholder to make the thing ridiculous. But for a foole to
talke foolishly or a wiseman wisely, there is no such
absurditie or disproportion.

¶3.24.33 And though at all absurdities we may
decently laugh, |&| when they be no absurdities not
decently, yet in laughing is there an vndecencie for other
respectes sometime, than of the matter it selfe, Which made
Philippus sonne to the first Christen Emperour,
Philippus Arabicus sitting with his father one day in
the theatre to behold the sports, giue his father a great
rebuke because he laughed, saying that it was no comely
countenance for an Emperour to bewray in such a publicke
place, nor specially to laugh at euery foolish toy: the
posteritie gaue the sonne for that cause the name of
Philippus Agelastos or without laughter.

¶3.24.34 I haue seene forraine Embassadours in the
Queenes presence laugh so dissolutely at some rare pastime
or sport that hath beene made there, that nothing in the
world could worse haue becomen them, and others very wise
men, whether it haue ben of some pleasant humour and
complexion, or for other default in the spleene, or for ill
education or custome, that could not vtter any graue and
earnest speech without laughter, which part was greatly
discommended in them.

¶3.24.35 And Cicero the wisest of any
Romane writers, thought it vncomely for a man to daunce:
saying, Saltantem sobrium vidi neminem
. I neuer saw any man daunce that was sober and in
his right wits, but there by your leaue he failed, nor our
young Courtiers will allow it, besides that it is the most
decent and comely demeanour of all exultations and
reioycements of the hart, which is no lesse naturall to man
then to be wise or well learned, or sober.

¶3.24.36 To tell you the decencies of a number of
other behauiours, one might do it to please you with pretie
reportes, but to the skilfull Courtiers it shalbe nothing
necessary, for they know all by experience without learning.
Yet some few remembraunces wee will make you of the most
materiall, which our selues haue obserued, and so make an

¶3.24.37 It is decent to be affable and curteous
at meales |&| meetings, in

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open assemblies more solemne and straunge, in place of
authoritie and iudgement not familiar nor pleasant, in
counsell secret and sad, in ordinary conferences easie and
apert, in conuersation simple, in capitulation subtill and
mistrustfull, at mournings and burials sad and sorrowfull,
in feasts and bankets merry |&| ioyfull, in houshold expence
pinching and sparing, in publicke entertainement spending
and pompous. The Prince to be sumptuous and magnificent, the
priuate man liberall with moderation, a man to be in giuing
free, in asking spare, in promise slow, in performance
speedy, in contract circumspect but iust, in amitie sincere,
in ennimitie wily and cautelous [dolus an
virtus quis in hoste requirit
, saith the Poet]
and after the same rate euery sort and maner of businesse or
affaire or action hath his decencie and vndecencie, either
for the time or place or person or some other circumstaunce,
as Priests to be sober and sad, a Preacher by his life to
giue good example, a Iudge to be incorrupted, solitarie and
vnacquainted with Courtiers or Courtly entertainements, |&|
as the Philosopher saith Oportet iudic|em| esse
rudem |&| simplicem
, without plaite or wrinkle,
sower in looke and churlish in speach, contrariwise a
Courtly Gentleman to be loftie and curious in countenaunce,
yet sometimes a creeper and a curry fauell with his

¶3.24.38 And touching the person, we say it is
comely for a man to be a lambe in the house, and a Lyon in
the field, appointing the decencie of his qualitie by the
place, by which reason also we limit the comely parts of a
woman to consist in foure points, that is to be a shrewe in
the kitchin, a saint in the Church, an Angell at the bourd,
and an Ape in the bed, as the Chronicle reportes by
Mistresse Shore paramour to king Edward
the fourth.

¶3.24.39 Then also there is a decency in respect
of the persons with wh|om| we do negotiate, as with the
great personages his egals to be solemne and surly, with
meaner men pleasant and popular, stoute with the sturdie and
milde with the meek, which is a most decent conuersation and
not reprochfull or vnseemely, as the prouerbe goeth, by
those that vse the contrary, a Lyon among sheepe and a
sheepe among Lyons.

¶3.24.40 Right so in negotiating with Princes we
ought to seeke their fauour by humilitie |&| not by
sternnesse, nor to trafficke with them

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by way of indent or condition, but frankly and by manner of
submission to their wils, for Princes may be lead but not
driuen, nor they are to be vanquisht by allegation, but must
be suffred to haue the victorie and be relented vnto: nor
they are not to be chalenged for right or iustice, for that
is a maner of accusation: nor to be charged with their
promises, for that is a kinde of condemnation: and at their
request we ought not to be hardly entreated but easily, for
that is a signe of deffidence and mistrust in their bountie
and gratitude: nor to recite the good seruices which they
haue receiued at our h|an|ds, for that is but a kind of
exprobati|on|, but in crauing their bountie or largesse to
remember vnto them all their former beneficences, making no
m|en|tion of our owne merites, |&| so it is thankfull, and
in praysing them to their faces to do it very modestly: and
in their commendations not to be excessiue for that is
tedious, and alwayes fauours of suttelty more then of
sincere loue.

¶3.24.41 And in speaking to a Prince the voyce
ought to be lowe and not lowde nor shrill, for th'one is a
signe of humilitie th'other of too much audacitie and
presumption. Nor in looking on them seeme to ouerlooke them,
nor yet behold them too stedfastly, for that is a signe of
impudence or litle reuerence, and therefore to the great
Princes Orientall their seruitours speaking or being spoken
vnto abbase their eyes in token of lowlines, which behauiour
we do not obserue to our Princes with so good a discretion
as they do: |&| such as retire from the Princes presence, do
not by |&| by turne tayle to them as we do, but go backward
or sideling for a reasonable space, til they be at the wal
or ch|am|ber doore passing out of sight, and is thought a
most decent behauiour to their soueraignes. I haue heard
that king Henry th'eight her Maiesties father,
though otherwise the most gentle and affable Prince of the
world, could not abide to haue any man stare in his face or
to fix his eye too steedily vpon him when he talked with
them: nor for a common suter to exclame or cry out for
iustice, for that is offensiue and as it were a secret
impeachement of his wrong doing, as happened once to a
Knight in this Realme of great worship speaking to the king.
Nor in speaches with them to be too long, or too much
affected, for th'one is tedious th'other is irksome, nor
with lowd acclamations to applaude them, for that is too
popular |&| rude and

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betokens either ignoraunce, or seldome accesse to their
presence, or little frequenting their Courts: nor to shew
too mery or light a countenance, for that is a signe of
little reuerence and is a peece of a contempt.

¶3.24.42 And in gaming with a Prince it is decent
to let him sometimes win of purpose, to keepe him pleasant,
|&| neuer to refuse his gift, for that is vndutifull: nor to
forgiue him his losses, for that is arrogant: nor to giue
him great gifts, for that is either insolence or follie: nor
to feast him with excessiue charge for that is both vaine
and enuious, |&| therefore the wise Prince king Henry
the seuenth her Maiesties grandfather, if his chaunce had
bene to lye at any of his subiects houses, or to passe moe
meales then one, he that would take vpon him to defray the
charge of his dyet, or of his officers and houshold, he
would be maruelously offended with it, saying what priuate
subiect dare vndertake a Princes charge, or looke into the
secret of his exp|en|ce? Her Maiestie hath bene knowne
oftentimes to mislike the superfluous expence of her
subiects bestowed vpon her in times of her progresses.

¶3.24.43 Likewise in matter of aduise it is
neither decent to flatter him for that is seruile, neither
to be to rough or plaine with him, for that is daungerous,
but truly to Counsell |&| to admonish, grauely not
greuously, sincerely not sourely: which was the part that so
greatly commended Cineus Counsellour to king
Pirrhus, who kept that decencie in all his
perswasions, that he euer preuailed in aduice, and carried
the king which way he would.

¶3.24.44 And in a Prince it is comely to giue
vnasked, but in a subiect to aske vnbidden: for that first
is signe of a bountifull mynde, this of a loyall |&|
confident. But the subiect that craues not at his Princes
hand, either he is of no desert, or proud, or mistrustfull
of his Princes goodnesse: therefore king Henry
th'eight to one that entreated him to remember one Sir
Anthony Rouse with some reward for that he had spent
much and was an ill beggar: the king aunswered (noting his
insolencie,) If he be ashamed to begge, we are ashamed to
giue, and was neuerthelesse one of the most liberall Princes
of the world.

¶3.24.45 And yet in some Courts it is otherwise
vsed, for in Spaine it is thought very vndecent for a
Courtier to craue, supposing that it is

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the part of an importune: therefore the king of ordinarie
calleth euery second, third or fourth yere for his Checker
roll, and bestoweth his mercedes of his owne meere
motion, and by discretion, according to euery mans merite
and condition.

¶3.24.46 And in their commendable delights to be
apt and accommodate, as if the Prince be geuen to hauking,
hunting, riding or horses, or playing vpon instruments, or
any like exercise, the seruitour to be the same: and in
their other appetites wherein the Prince would seeme and
example of vertue, and would not mislike to be egalled by
others: in such cases it is decent their seruitours |&|
subiects studie to be like to them by imitation, as in
wearing their haire long or short, or in this or that sort
of apparrell, such excepted as be only fitte for Princes and
none els, which were vndecent for a meaner person to imitate
or counterfet: so is it not comely to counterfet their
voice, or looke, or any other gestures that be not ordinary
and naturall in euery common person: and therefore to go
vpright or speake or looke assuredly, it is decent in euery
man. But if the Prince haue an extraordinarie countenance or
manner of speech, or bearing of his body, that for a common
seruitour to counterfet is not decent, and therefore it was
misliked in the Emperor Nero, and thought vncomely
for him to counterfet Alexander the great, by
holding his head a little awrie, |&| neerer toward the tone
shoulder, because it was not his owne naturall.

¶3.24.47 And in a Prince it is decent to goe
slowly, and to march with leysure, and with a certaine
granditie rather than grauitie: as our soueraine Lady and
mistresse, the very image of maiestie and magnificence, is
accustomed to doe generally, vnlesse it be when she walketh
apace for her pleasure, or to catch her a heate in the colde

¶3.24.48 Neuerthelesse, it is not so decent in a
meaner person, as I haue obserued in some counterfet Ladies
of the Countrey, which vse it much to their owne derision.
This comelines was wanting in Queene Marie,
otherwise a very good and honourable Princesse. And was some
blemish to the Emperor Ferdinando, a most noble
minded man, yet so carelesse and forgetfull of himselfe in
that behalfe, as I haue seene him runne vp a paire of
staires so swift and nimble a pace, as almost had not become
a very meane man, who

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had not gone in some hastie businesse.

¶3.24.49 And in a noble Prince nothing is more
decent and welbeseeming his greatnesse than to spare foule
speeches, for that breedes hatred, and to let none humble
suiters depart out of their presence (as neere as may be)
miscontented. Wherein her Maiestie hath of all others a most
Regall gift, and nothing inferior to the good Prince
Titus Vespasianus in that point.

¶3.24.50 Also, not to be passionate for small
detriments or offences, nor to be a reuenger of them but in
cases of great iniurie, and specially of dishonors: and
therein to be very sterne and vindicatiue, for that fauours
of Princely magnanimitie: nor to seeke reuenge vpon base and
obscure persons, ouer whom the conquest is not glorious, nor
the victorie honourable, which respect moued our soueraign
Lady (keeping alwaies the decorum of a Princely person) at
her first comming to the crowne, when a knight of this
Realme, who had very insolently behaued himselfe toward her
when she was Lady Elizabeth, fell vpon his knee to
her, and besought her pardon: suspecting (as there was good
cause) that he should haue bene sent to the Tower, she said
vnto him most mildly: do you not know that we are descended
of the Lion, whose nature is not to harme or pray vpon the
mouse, or any other such small vermin?

¶3.24.51 And with these ex|am|ples I thinke
sufficient to leaue, geuing you information of this one
point, that all your figures Poeticall or Rhethoricall, are
but obseruations of strange speeches and such as without any
arte at al we should vse, |&| c|om|monly do, euen by very
nature without discipline. But more or lesse aptly and
decently, or scarcely, or aboundantly, or of this or that
kind of figure, |&| one of vs more th|en| another, according
to the dispositi|on| of our nature c|on|stituti|on| of the
heart, |&| facilitie of each mans vtter|an|ce: so as we may
conclude , that nature her selfe suggesteth the figure in
this or that forme: but arte aydeth the iudgement of his vse
and application, which geues me occasion finally and for a
full conclusion to this whole treatise, to enforme you in
the next chapter how art should be vsed in all respects, and
specially in this behalfe of language, and when the naturall
is more commendable then the artificiall, and contrariwise.

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That the good Poet or maker ought to dissemble his arte, and
in what cases the artificiall is more commended then the
naturall, and contrariwise.

¶3.25.1 ANd now (most excellent Queene)
hauing largely said of Poets |&| Poesie, and about what
matters they be employed: then of all the commended fourmes
of Poemes, thirdly of metricall proportions, such as do
appertaine to our vulgar arte: and last of all set forth the
poeticall ornament c|on|sisting chiefly in the beautie and
gallantnesse of his language and stile, and so haue
apparelled him to our seeming, in all his gorgious
habilliments, and pulling him first from the carte to the
schoole, and from thence to the Court, and preferred him to
your Maiesties seruice, in that place of great honour and
magnificence to geue enterteinment to Princes, Ladies of
honour, Gentlewomen and Gentlemen, and by his many moodes of
skill, to serue the many humors of men thither haunting and
resorting, some by way of solace, some of serious aduise,
and in matters aswell profitable as pleasant and honest. Wee
haue in our humble conceit sufficiently perfourmed our
promise or rather dutie to your Maiestie in the description
of this arte, so alwaies as we leaue him not vnfurnisht of
one peece that best beseemes that place of any other, and
may serue as a principall good lesson for al good makers to
beare c|on|tinually in mind in the vsage of this science:
which is, that being now lately become a Courtier he shew
not himself a craftsman, |&| merit to be disgraded, |&| with
scorne sent back againe to the shop, or other place of his
first facultie and calling, but that so wisely and
discreetly he behaue himselfe as he may worthily retaine the
credit of his place, and profession of a very Courtier,
which is in plaine termes, cunningly to be able to
dissemble. But (if it please your Maiestie) may it not seeme
inough for a Courtier to know how to weare a fether, and set
his cappe a flaunt, his chaine en echarpe, a
straight buskin al inglesse, a loose alo
, the cape alla Spaniola, the
breech a la Françoise, and by
twentie maner of new fashioned garments to disguise his
body, and his face with as many countenances, whereof it
seemes there be many that make a very arte, and studie who
can shew himselfe most fine, I will not say most foolish and
ridiculous? or perhaps

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rather that he could dissemble his conceits as well as his
countenances, so as he neuer speake as he thinkes, or thinke
as he speaks, and that in any matter of importance his words
and his meaning very seldome meete: for so as I remember it
was concluded by vs setting foorth the figure
Allegoria, which therefore not impertinently we call
the Courtier or figure of faire semblant, or is it not
perchance more requisite our courtly Poet do dissemble not
onely his countenances |&| c|on|ceits, but also all his
ordinary actions of behauiour, or the most part of th|em|,
whereby the better to winne his purposes |&| good
aduantages, as now |&| then to haue a iourney or sicknesse
in his sleeue, thereby to shake of other importunities of
greater consequence, as they vse their pilgrimages in
Fraunce, the Diet in Spaine, the baines in Italy? and when a
man is whole to faine himselfe sicke to shunne the businesse
in Court, to entertaine time and ease at home, to salue
offences without discredite, to win purposes by mediation in
absence, which their presence would eyther impeach or not
greatly preferre, to harken after the popular opinions and
speech, to entend to their more priuate solaces, to practize
more deepely both at leasure |&| libertie, |&| when any
publique affaire or other att|em|pt |&| counsaile of theirs
hath not receaued good successe, to auoid therby the Princes
present reproofe, to coole their chollers by absence, to
winne remorse by lamentable reports, and reconciliation by
friends intreatie. Finally by sequestring themselues for a
time from the Court, to be able the freelier |&| cleerer to
discerne the factions and state of the Court and of al the
world besides, no lesse then doth the looker on or beholder
of a game better see into all points of auauntage, then the
player himselfe? and in dissembling of diseases which I pray
you? for I haue obserued it in the Court of Fraunce, not a
burning feuer or a plurisie, or a palsie, or the hydropick
and swelling gowte, or any other like disease, for if they
may be such as may be either easily discerned or quickly
cured, they be ill to dissemble and doo halfe handsomly
serue the turne.

¶3.25.2 But it must be either a dry dropsie, or a
megrim or letarge, or a fistule in ano, or some
such other secret disease, as the common conuersant can
hardly discouer, and the Phisition either not speedily
heale, or not honestly bewray? of which infirmities the

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Pasquil wrote, Vleus vesicæ renum
dolor in pene scirrus
. Or as I haue seene in
diuers places where many make th|em|selues hart whole,
wh|en| in deede they are full sicke, bearing it stoutly out
to the hazard of their health, rather then they would be
suspected of any lothsome infirmity, which might inhibit
th|em| fr|om| the Princes presence, or enterteinm|en|t of
the ladies. Or as some other do to beare a port of state |&|
plentie when they haue neither penny nor possession, that
they may not seeme to droope, and be reiected as vnworthy or
insufficient for the greater seruices, or be pitied for
their pouertie, which they hold for a marueilous disgrace,
as did the poore Squire of Castile, who had rather dine with
a sheepes head at home |&| drinke a cruse of water to it,
then to haue a good dinner giuen him by his friend who was
nothing ignorant of his pouertie. Or as others do to make
wise they be poore when they be riche, to shunne thereby the
publicke charges and vocations, for men are not now a dayes
(specially in states of Oligarchie as the most in
our age) called so much for their wisedome as for their
wealth, also to auoyde enuie of neighbours or bountie in
conuersation, for whosoeuer is reputed rich cannot without
reproch, but be either a lender or a spender. Or as others
do to seeme very busie when they haue nothing to doo, and
yet will make themselues so occupied and ouerladen in the
Princes affaires, as it is a great matter to haue a couple
of wordes with them, when notwithstanding they lye sleeping
on their beds all an after noone, or sit solemnly at cardes
in their chambers, or enterteyning of the Dames, or laughing
and gibing with their familiars foure houres by the clocke,
whiles the poore suter desirous of his dispatch is aunswered
by some Secretarie or page il fault attendre,
is dispatching the kings businesse
into Languedock, Prouence, Piemont, a common phrase with the
Secretaries of Fr|an|ce. Or as I haue obserued in many of
the Princes Courts of Italie, to seeme idle when they be
earnestly occupied |&| entend to noting but mischieuous
practizes, and do busily negotiat by coulor of otiation. Or
as others of them that go ordinarily to Church and neuer
pray to winne an opinion of holinesse: or pray still apace,
but neuer do good deede, and geue a begger a penny and spend
a pound on a harlot, to speake faire to a mans face, and
foule behinde his backe, to set him at his trencher and yet

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sit on his skirts for so we vse to say by a fayned friend,
then also to be rough and churlish in speach and apparance,
but inwardly affectionate and fauouring, as I haue sene of
the greatest podestates and grauest iudges and Presidentes
of Parliament in Fraunce.

¶3.25.3 These |&| many such like disguisings do we
find in mans behauiour, |&| specially in the Courtiers of
forraine Countreyes, where in my youth I was brought vp, and
very well obserued their maner of life and conuersation, for
of mine owne Countrey I haue not made so great experience.
Which parts, neuerthelesse, we allow not now in our English
maker, because we haue geuen him the name of an honest man,
and not of an hypocrite: and therefore leauing these manner
of dissimulations to all base-minded men |&| of vile nature
or misterie, we doe allow our Courtly Poet to be a
dissembler only in the subtilties of his arte: that is, when
he is most artificiall, so to disguise and cloake it as it
may not appeare, nor seeme to proceede from him by any
studie or trade of rules, but to be his naturall: nor so
euidently to be descried, as euery ladde that reades him
shall say he is a good scholler, but will rather haue him to
know his arte well, and little to vse it.

¶3.25.4 And yet peraduenture in all points it may
not be so taken, but in such onely as may discouer his
grossenes or his ignorance by some schollerly affectation:
which thing is very irkesome to all men of good trayning,
and specially to Courtiers. And yet for all that our maker
may not be in all cases restrayned, but that he may both
vse, and also manifest his arte to his great praise, and
need no more be ashamed thereof, than a shomaker to haue
made a cleanly shoe, or a Carpenter to haue buylt a faire
house. Therefore to discusse and make this point somewhat
cleerer, to weete, where arte ought to appeare, and where
not, and when the naturall is more commendable than the
artificiall in any humane action or workmanship, we wil
examine it further by this distinction.

¶3.25.5 In some cases we say arte is an ayde and
coadiutor to nature, and a furtherer of her actions to good
effect, or peraduenture a meane to supply her wants, by
renforcing the causes wherein shee is impotent and
defectiue, as doth the arte of phisicke, by helping the
naturall concoction, retention, distribution, expulsion, and
other vertues, in a weake and vnhealthie bodie. Or as the
good gar-

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diner seasons his soyle by sundrie sorts of compost: as
mucke or marle, clay or sande, and many times by bloud, or
leese of oyle or wine, or stale, or perchaunce with more
costly drugs: and waters his plants, and weedes his herbes
and floures, and prunes his branches, and vnleaues his
boughes to let in the sunne: and twentie other waies
cherisheth them, and cureth their infirmities, and so makes
that neuer, or very seldome any of them miscarry, but bring
foorth their flours and fruites in season. And in both these
cases it is no final praise for the Phisition |&| Gardiner
to be called good and cunning artificers.

¶3.25.6 In another respect arte is not only an
aide and coadiutor to nature in all her actions, but an
alterer of them, and in some sort a surmounter of her skill,
so as by meanes of it her owne effects shall appeare more
beautifull or straunge and miraculous, as in both cases
before remembred. The Phisition by the cordials hee will
geue his patient, shall be able not onely to restore the
decayed spirites of man, and render him health, but also to
prolong the terme of his life many yeares ouer and aboue the
stint of his first and naturall constitution. And the
Gardiner by his arte will not onely make an herbe, or flowr,
or fruite, come forth in his season without impediment, but
also will embellish the same in vertue, shape, odour and
taste, that nature of her selfe woulde neuer haue done: as
to make the single gillifloure, or marigold, or daisie,
double: and the white rose, redde, yellow, or carnation, a
bitter mellon sweete; a sweete apple, soure; a plumme or
cherrie without a stone; a peare without core or kernell, a
goord or coucumber like to a horne, or any other figure he
will: any of which things nature could not doe without mans
help and arte. These actions also are most singular, when
they be most artificiall.

¶3.25.7 In another respecte, we say arte is
neither an aider nor a surmo|un|ter, but onely a bare
immitatour of natures works, following and counterfeyting
her actions and effects, as the Marmelot doth many
countenances and gestures of man, of which sorte are the
artes of painting and keruing, whereof one represents the
naturall by light colour and shadow in the superficiall or
flat, the other in a body massife expressing the full and
emptie, euen, extant, rabbated, hollow, or whatsoeuer other
figure and passion of quantitie.

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So also the Alchimist counterfeits gold, siluer, and all
other mettals, the Lapidarie pearles and pretious stones by
glasse and other substances falsified, and sophisticate by
arte. These men also be praised for their craft, and their
credit is nothing empayred, to say that their conclusions
and effects are very artificiall. Finally in another respect
arte is as it were an encountrer and contrary to nature,
producing effects neither like to hers, nor by participation
with her operations, nor by imitation of her paternes, but
makes things and produceth effects altogether strange and
diuerse, |&| of such forme |&| qualitie (nature alwaies
supplying stuffe) as she neuer would nor could haue done of
her selfe, as the carpenter that builds a house, the ioyner
that makes a table or a bedstead, the tailor a garment, the
Smith a locke or a key, and a number of like, in which case
the workman gaineth reputation by his arte, and praise when
it is best expressed |&| most appar|an|t, |&| most
studiously. Man also in all his acti|on|s that be not
altogether naturall, but are gotten by study |&| discipline
or exercise, as to daunce by measures to sing by note, to
play on the lute, and such like, it is a praise to be said
an artificiall dauncer, singer, |&| player on instruments,
because they be not exactly knowne or done, but by rules |&|
precepts or teaching of schoolemasters. But in such
acti|on|s as be so naturall |&| proper to man, as he may
become excellent therein without any arte or imitation at
all, (custome and exercise excepted, which are requisite to
euery action not numbred among the vitall or animal) and
wherein nature should seeme to do amisse, and man suffer
reproch to be found destitute of them: in those to shew
himselfe rather artificiall then naturall, were no lesse to
be laughed at, then for one that can see well inough, to vse
a paire of spectacles, or not to heare but by a trunke put
to his eare, nor feele without a paire of ennealed glooues,
which things in deed helpe an infirme sence, but annoy the
perfit, and therefore shewing a disabilitie naturall mooue
rather to scorne then commendation, and to pitie sooner then
to prayse. But what else is language and vtterance, and
discourse |&| perswasion, and argument in man, then the
vertues of a well constitute body and minde, little lesse
naturall then his very sensuall actions, sauing that the one
is perfited by nature at once, the other not without
exercise |&| iteration? Peraduenture also it wilbe gran-

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ted, that a man sees better and discernes more brimly his
collours, and heares and feeles more exactly by vse and
often hearing and feeling and seing, |&| though it be better
to see with spectacles then not to see at all, yet tis their
praise not egall nor in any mans iudgement comparable: no
more is that which a Poet makes by arte and precepts rather
then by naturall instinct: and that which he doth by long
meditation rather then by a suddaine inspiration, or with
great pleasure and facillitie then hardly (and as they are
woont to say) in spite of Nature or Minerua, then which
nothing can be more irksome or ridiculous.

¶3.25.8 And yet I am not ignorant that there be
artes and methodes both to speake and to perswade and also
to dispute, and by which the naturall is in some sorte
relieued, as th'eye by his spectacle, I say relieued in his
imperfection, but not made more perfit then the naturall, in
which respect I call those artes of Grammer, Logicke
, and Rhetorick not bare imitations, as the
painter or keruers craft and worke in a forraine subiect
viz. a liuely purtraite in his table of wood, but by long
and studious obseruation rather a repetiti|on| or
reminiscens naturall, reduced into perfection, and made
prompt by vse and exercise. And so whatsoeuer a man speakes
or perswades he doth it not by imitation artificially, but
by obseruation naturally (though one follow another) because
it is both the same and the like that nature doth suggest:
but if a popingay speake, she doth it by imitation of mans
voyce artificially and not naturally being the like, but not
the same that nature doth suggest to man. But now because
our maker or Poet is to play many parts and not one alone,
as first to deuise his plat or subiect, then to fashion his
poeme thirdly to vse his metricall proportions, and last of
all to vtter with pleasure and delight, which restes in his
maner of language and stile as hath bene said, whereof the
many moodes and straunge phrases are called figures, it is
not altogether with him as with the crafts man, nor
altogither otherwise then with the crafts man, for in that
he vseth his metricall proportions by appointed and
harmonicall measures and distaunces, he is like the
Carpenter or Ioynder, for borrowing their tymber and stuffe
of nature, they appoint and order it by art otherwise then
nature would doe, and worke effects in apparance contrary to
hers. Also in that

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which the Poet speakes or reports of another mans tale or
doings, as Homer of Priamus or
Vlisses, he is as the painter or keruer that worke by
imitation and representation in a forrein subiect, in that
he speakes figuratiuely, or argues subtillie, or perswades
copiously and vehemently, he doth as the cunning gardiner
that vsing nature as a coadiutor, furders her conclusions
|&| many times makes her effectes more absolute and
straunge. But for that in our maker or Poet, which restes
onely in deuise and issues from an excellent sharpe and
quick inuention, holpen by a cleare and bright phantasie and
imagination, he is not as the painter to counterfaite the
naturall by the like effects and not the same, nor as the
gardiner aiding nature to worke both the same and the like,
nor as the Carpenter to worke effectes vtterly vnlike, but
euen as nature her selfe working by her owne peculiar vertue
and proper instinct and not by example or meditation or
exercise as all other artificers do, is then most admired
when he is most naturall and least artificiall. And in the
feastes of his language and vtterance, because they hold
aswell of nature to be suggested and vttered as by arte to
be polished and reformed. Therefore shall our Poet receaue
prayse for both, but more by knowing of his arte then by
vnseasonable vsing it, and be more commended for his
naturall eloquence then for his artificiall, and more for
his artificiall well desembled, then for the same ouermuch
affected and grossely or vndiscretly bewrayed, as many
makers and Oratours do.

The Conclusion.

¶3.26.1 ANd with this (my most gratious
soueraigne Lady) I make an end, humbly beseeching your
pardon, in that I haue presumed to hold your eares so long
annoyed with a tedious trifle, so as vnlesse it proceede
more of your owne Princely and naturall mansuetude then of
my merite, I feare greatly least you may thinck of me as the
Philosopher Plato did of Aniceris an inhabitant of
the Citie Cirene, who being in troth a very actiue
and artificiall man in driuing of a Princes Charriot or
Coche (as your Maiestie might be) and knowing it himselfe
well enough, comming one day into Platos schoole, and hauing
heard him largely dispute in matters

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Philosophicall, I pray you (quoth he) geue me leaue also to
say somewhat of myne arte, and in deede shewed so many
trickes of his cunning how to lanche forth and stay, and
chaunge pace, and turne and winde his Coche, this way and
that way, vphill downe hill, and also in euen or rough
ground, that he made the whole assemblie wonder at him.
Quoth Plato being a graue personage, verely in myne opinion
this man should be vtterly vnfit for any seruice of greater
importance then to driue a Coche. It is great pitie that so
prettie a fellow, had not occupied his braynes in studies of
more consequence. Now I pray God it be not thought so of me
in describing the toyes of this our vulgar art. But when I
consider how euery thing hath his estimation by oportunitie,
and that it was but the studie of my yonger yeares in which
vanitie raigned. Also that I write to the pleasure of a Lady
and a most gratious Queene, and neither to Priestes nor to
Prophetes or Philosophers. Besides finding by experience,
that many times idlenesse is lesse harmefull then
vnprofitable occupation, dayly seeing how these great
aspiring mynds and ambitious heads of the world seriously
searching to deale in matters of state, be often times so
busie and earnest that they were better be vnoccupied, and
peraduenture altogether idle, I presume so much vpon your
Maiesties most milde and gracious iudgement howsoeuer you
conceiue of myne abilitie to any better or greater seruice,
that yet in this attempt ye wil allow of my loyall and good
intent alwayes endeuouring to do your Maiestie the best and
greatest of those seruices I can.


  • Original Text: George Puttenham, The Arte of English Poesie: 1589 (Menston: Scolar Press, 1968).
  • First Publication Date: The Arte of English Poesie. London: Richard Field, 1589. STC 20519. British Library G.11548 (owned by Ben Jonson)
  • Representative Poetry On-line: Editor, I. Lancashire; Publisher, Web Development Group, Inf. Tech. Services, Univ. of Toronto Lib.
  • Edition: RPO 1998. © I. Lancashire, Dept. of English (Univ. of Toronto), and Univ. of Toronto Press 1998. Research Assistant: Allison Hay.

Editorial Conventions

Note: the four-page concluding Table of Contents is not included in this electronic text.

This edition does not encode signatures, page numbers, or catchwords. Old spelling is retained except for ligatured letters, which are normalized. Contractions and abbreviations are placed within vertical bars. Italics and lineation are retained, but not small capitals and the text of catchwords, signatures, and running titles. Original lineation and irregularities in spacing are ignored. Reference citations are by page numbers and editorial through-text paragraph numbers.

The following character codes represent letters not available in the 256-character set employed in HTML documents.

  • {-a} : a-curl
  • {_a} : a-macron
  • {-e} : e-curl
  • {_e} : e-macron
  • {-i} : i-curl
  • {_i} : i-macron
  • {-o} : o-curl
  • {_o} : o-macron
  • {-u} : u-curl
  • {_u} : u-macron
  • {w}{W} : double-v w
Greek is transliterated according to the following scheme:
  • a : alpha
  • b : beta
  • g : gamma
  • d : delta
  • e : epsilon
  • z : zeta
  • {ee} : eta
  • th : theta
  • i : iota
  • k : kappa
  • l : lambda
  • m : mu
  • n : nu
  • x : ksi
  • o : omicron
  • p : pi
  • r : rho
  • s : sigma
  • t : tau
  • u : upsilon
  • ph : phi
  • ch : chi
  • ps : psi
  • {o} : omega

Online text copyright © 2005, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

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