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Short poem

George Puttenham (ca. 1529-1591)

The Arte of Poesie (1589)

{{Page i}}


Contriued into three Bookes : The first of Poets
and Poesie , the second of Proportion,
the third of Ornament.


Printed by Richard Field, dwelling in the
black-Friers, neere Ludgate.


{{Page ii}}

A colei

[[portrait of Queen Elizabeth]]

Che se stessa rassomiglia
|&| non altrui.

{{Page iii}}


F. Printer wisheth health and prosperitie, with the
commandement and vse of his continuall seruice.

THis Booke (right Honorable) comming to my
handes, with his bare title without any Authours name or any
other ordinarie addresse, I doubted how well it might become
me to make you a present thereof, seeming by many expresse
passages in the same at large, that it was by the Authour
intended to our Soueraigne Lady the Queene, and for her
recreation and seruice chiefly deuised, in which case to
make any other person her highnes partener in the honour of
his guift it could not st|an|d with my dutie, nor be without
some preiudice to her Maiesties interest and his merrite.
Perceyuing besides the title to purport so slender a
subiect, as nothing almost could be more discrepant from the
grauitie of your yeeres and Honorable function, whose
contemplations are euery houre more seriously employed vpon
the publicke administration and seruices: I thought it no
condigne gratification, nor scarce any good satisfaction for
such a person as you. Yet when I considered, that bestowyng
vpon your Lordship the first vewe of this mine impression (a
feat of mine owne simple facultie) it could not scypher her
Maiesties honour or prerogatiue in the guift, nor yet the
Authour of his thanks: and seeing the thing it selfe to be a
deuice of some noueltie (which commonly

{{Page iv}}

giueth euery good thing a speciall grace) and a
noueltie so highly tending to the most worthy prayses of her
Maiesties most excellent name (deerer to you I dare conceiue
them any worldly thing besides) mee thought I could not
deuise to haue presented your Lordship any gift more
agreeable to your appetite, or fitter for my vocation and
abilitie to bestow, your Lordship beyng learned and a louer
of learning, my present a Booke and my selfe a printer
alwaies ready and desirous to be at your Honourable
commaundement. And thus I humbly take my leaue from the
Black-friers, this xxviij. of May.

Your Honours most humble at

R. F.


{{Page 1}}


Of Poets and Poesie.


What a Poet and Poesie is, and who may be worthily sayd
the most
excellent Poet of our time.

¶1.1.1 A Poet is as much to say as a maker. And our
English name well conformes with the
Greeke word: for of poiyin to make, they
call a maker Poeta. Such as (by way of re-
semblance and reuerently) we may say of
God: who without any trauell to his di-
uine imagination, made all the world of
nought, nor also by any paterne or mould
as the Platonicks with their Idees do phantastically suppose. Eu|en|
so the very Poet makes and contriues out of his owne braine both
the verse and matter of his poeme, and not by any foreine copie or
example, as doth the translator, who therefore may well be sayd a
versifier, but not a Poet. The premises considered, it giueth to the
name and profession no smal dignitie and preheminence, aboue all
other artificers, Scientificke or Mechanicall. And neuerthelesse
without any repugnancie at all, a Poet may in some sort be said a
follower or imitator, because he can expresse the true and liuely of
euery thing is set before him, and which he taketh in hand to de-
scribe: and so in that respect is both a maker and a counterfaitor:
and Poesie an art not only of making, but also of imitation. And
this science in his perfection, can not grow, but by some diuine in-
stinct, the Platonicks call it furor: or by excellencie of nature and
complexion: or by great subtiltie of the spirits |&| wit or by much
experience and obseruation of the world, and course of kinde, or
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peraduenture by all or most part of them. Otherwise how was
it possible that Homer being but a poore priuate
man, and as some say, in his later age blind, should so
exactly set foorth and describe, as if he had bene a most
excellent Captaine or Generall, the order and array of
battels, the conduct of whole armies, the sieges and
assaults of cities and townes? or as some great Princes
maiordome and perfect Surueyour in Court, the order,
sumptuousnesse and magnificence of royal bankets, feasts,
weddings, and enteruewes? or as a Polititian very prudent,
and much inured with the priuat and publique affaires, so
grauely examine the lawes and ordinances Ciuill, or so
profoundly discourse in matters of estate, and formes of all
politique regiment? Finally how could he so naturally paint
out the speeches, countenance and maners of Princely persons
and priuate, to wit, the wrath of Achilles, the
magnanimitie of Agamemnon, the prudence of
Menelaus, the prowesse of Hector, the
maiestie of king Priamus, the grauitie of
Nestor, the pollicies and eloquence of Vlysses
, the calamities of the distressed Queenes, and
valiance of all the Captaines and aduenturous knights in
those lamentable warres of Troy? It is therefore of Poets
thus to be conceiued, that if they be able to deuise and
make all these things of them selues, without any subiect of
veritie, that they be (by maner of speech) as creating gods.
If they do it by instinct diuine or naturall, then surely
much fauoured from aboue. If by their experience, then no
doubt very wise men. If by any president or paterne layd
before them, then truly the most excellent imitators |&|
counterfaitors of all others. But you (Madame) my most
Honored and Gracious: if I should seeme to offer you this my
deuise for a discipline and not a delight, I might well be
reputed, of all others the most arrogant and iniurious: your
selfe being alreadie, of any that I know in our time, the
most excellent Poet. Forsooth by your Princely purse fauours
and countenance, making in maner what ye list, the poore man
rich, the lewd well learned, the coward couragious, and vile
both noble and valiant. Then for imitation no lesse, your
person as a most cunning counterfaitor liuely representing
Venus in countenance, in life Diana,
Pallas for gouernement, and Iuno in all
honour and regall magnificence.

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That there may be an Art of our English Poesie, aswell as
there is of the Latine and Greeke.

¶1.2.1 THen as there was no art in the
world till by experience found out: so if Poesie be now an
Art, |&| of al antiquitie hath bene among the Greeks and
Latines, |&| yet were none, vntill by studious persons
fashioned and reduced into a method of rules |&| precepts,
then no doubt may there be the like with vs. And if th'art
of Poesie be but a skill appertaining to vtterance, why may
not the same be with vs aswel as with them, our language
being no lesse copious pithie and significatiue then theirs,
our conceipts the same, and our wits no lesse apt to deuise
and imitate then theirs were? If againe Art be but a
certaine order of rules prescribed by reason, and gathered
by experience, why should not Poesie be a vulgar Art with vs
aswell as with the Greeks and Latines, our language
admitting no fewer rules and nice diuersities then theirs?
but peraduenture moe by a peculiar, which our speech hath in
many things differing from theirs: and yet in the generall
points of that Art, allowed to go in common with them: so as
if one point perchance which is their feete whereupon their
measures stand, and in deede is all the beautie of their
Poesie, and which feete we haue not, nor as yet neuer went
about to frame (the nature of our language and wordes not
permitting it) we haue in stead thereof twentie other
curious points in that still more then they euer had, by
reason of our rime and tunable concords or simphonie, which
they neuer obserued. Poesie therefore may be an Art in our
vulgar, and that verie methodicall and commendable.


How Poets were the first priests, the first prophets, the
first Legislators and polititians in the world.

¶1.3.1 THe profession and vse of Poesie
is most ancient from the beginning, and not as manie
erroniously suppose, after, but before any ciuil society was
among men. For it is written, that Poesie was th'originall
cause and occasion of their first assemblies, when before
the people remained in the woods and mountains, vagarant and
dipersed like the wild beasts,
lawlesse and naked, or verie ill

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clad, and of all good and necessarie prouision for harbour
or sustenance vtterly vnfurnished: so as they litle diffred
for their maner of life, from the very brute beasts of the
field. Whereupon it is fayned that Amphion and
Orpheus, two Poets of the first ages, one of them, to
wit Amphion, builded vp cities, and reared walles
with the stones that came in heapes to the sound of his
harpe, figuring thereby the mollifying of hard and stonie
hearts by his sweete and eloquent perswasion. And
Orpheus assembled the wilde beasts to come in heards
to harken to his musicke, and by that meanes made them tame,
implying thereby, how by his discreete and wholsome lessons
vttered in harmonie and with melodious instruments, he
brought the rude and sauage people to a more ciuill and
orderly life, nothing, as it seemeth, more preuailing or fit
to redresse and edifie the cruell and sturdie courage of man
then it. And as these two Poets and Linus before
them, and Museus also and Hesiodus in
Greece and Archadia: so by all likelihood had mo Poets done
in other places, and in other ages before them, though there
be no remembrance left of them, by reason of the Recordes by
some accident of time perished and failing. Poets therfore
are of great antiquitie. Then forasmuch as they were the
first that entended to the obseruation of nature and her
works, and specially of the Celestiall courses, by reason of
the continuall motion of the heauens, searching after the
first mouer, and from thence by degrees comming to know and
consider of the substances separate |&| abstract, which we
call the diuine intelligences or good Angels (
Demones) they were the first that instituted
sacrifices of placation, with inuocations and worship to
them, as to Gods: and inuented and stablished all the rest
of the obseruances and ceremonies of religion, and so were
the first Priests and ministers of the holy misteries. And
because for the better execution of that high charge and
function, it behoued them to liue chast, and in all holines
of life, and in continuall studie and contemplation: they
came by instinct diuine, and by deepe meditation, and much
abstinence (the same assubtiling and refining their spirits)
to be made apt to receaue visions, both waking and sleeping,
which made them vtter prophesies, and foretell things to
come. So also were they the first Prophetes or seears,
Videntes, for so the Scripture tearmeth
them in Latine after

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the Hebrue word, and all the oracles and answers of the gods
were giuen in meeter or verse, and published to the people
by their direction. And for that they were aged and graue
men, and of much wisedome and experience in th'affaires of
the world, they were the first lawmakers to the people, and
the first polititiens, deuising all expedient meanes for
th'establishment of Common wealth, to hold and containe the
people in order and duety by force and vertue of good and
wholesome lawes, made for the preseruation of the publique
peace and tranquillitie. The same peraduenture not purposely
intended, but greatly furthered by the aw of their gods, and
such scruple of conscience, as the terrors of their late
inuented religion had led them into.


How the Poets were the first Philosophers, the first
Astronomers and Historiographers and Oratours and Musitiens
of the world.

¶1.4.1 VTterance also and language is
giuen by nature to man for perswasion of others, and aide of
them selues, I meane the first abilite to speake. For speech
it selfe is artificiall and made by man, and the more
pleasing it is, the more it preuaileth to such purpose as it
is intended for: but speech by meeter is a kind of
vtterance, more cleanly couched and more delicate to the
eare then prose is, because it is more currant and slipper
vpon the tongue, and withal tunable and melodious, as a kind
of Musicke, and therfore may be tearmed a musicall speech or
vtterance, which cannot but please the hearer very well.
Another cause is, for that it is briefer |&| more
compendious, and easier to beare away and be retained in
memorie, then that which is contained in multitude of words
and full of tedious ambage and long periods. It is beside a
maner of vtterance more eloquent and rethoricall then the
ordinarie profe, which we vse in our daily talke: because it
is decked and set out with all maner of fresh colours and
figures, which maketh that it sooner inuegleth the iudgement
of man, and carieth his opinion this way and that whither
soeuer the heart by impression of the eare shalbe most
affectionatly bent and directed. The vtterance in prose is
not of so great efficacie, because not only it is dayly
vsed, and by that occasion the eare is ouerglutted with it,
but is also not so voluble

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and slipper vpon the tong, being wide and lose, and nothing
numerous, nor contriued into measures, and sounded with so
gallant and harmonical accents, nor in fine alowed that
figuratiue conueyance, nor so great license in choise of
words and phrases as meeter is. So as the Poets were also
from the beginning the best perswaders and their eloquence
the first Rethoricke of the world. Euen so it became that
the high mysteries of the gods should be reuealed |&|
taught, by a maner of vtterance and language of
extraordinarie phrase, and briefe and compendious, and aboue
al others sweet and ciuill as the Metricall is. The same
also was meetest to register the liues and noble gests of
Princes, and of the great Monarkes of the world, and all
other the memorable accidents of time: so as the Poet was
also the first historiographer. Then forasmuch as they were
the first obseruers of all naturall causes |&| effects in
the things generable and corruptible, and from thence
mounted vp to search after the celestiall courses and
influences, |&| yet penetrated further to know the diuine
essences and substances separate, as is sayd before, they
were the first Astronomers and Philosophists and
Metaphisicks. Finally, because they did altogether endeuour
th|em| selues to reduce the life of man to a certaine
method of good maners, and made the first differences
between vertue and vice, and then tempered all these
knowledges and skilles with the exercise of a delectable
Musicke by melodious instruments, which withall serued them
to delight their hearers, |&| to call the people together by
admiration, to a plausible and vertuous conuersation,
therefore were they the first Philosophers Ethick, |&| the
first artificial Musiciens of the world. Such was
Linus, Orpheus, Amphi|on| |&| Museus the most ancient
Poets and Philosophers, of whom there is left any memorie by
the prophane writers. King Dauid also |&|
Salomon his sonne and many other of the holy Prophets
wrate in meeters, and vsed to sing them to the harpe,
although to many of vs ignorant of the Hebrue language and
phrase, and not obseruing it, the same seeme but a prose. It
can not bee therefore that anie scorne or indignitie should
iustly be offred to so noble, profitable, ancient and diuine
a science as Poesie is.


How the wilde and sauage people vsed a naturall Poesie in
versicle and rime as our vulgar is.

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¶1.5.1 ANd the Greeke and Latine Poesie
was by verse numerous and metricall, running vpon pleasant
feete, sometimes swift, sometime slow (their words very
aptly seruing that purpose) but without any rime or tunable
concord in th'end of their verses, as we and all other
nations now vse. But the Hebrues |&| Chaldees who were more
ancient then the Greekes, did not only vse a metricall
Poesie, but also with the same a maner of rime, as hath bene
of late obserued by learned men. Wherby it appeareth, that
our vulgar running Poesie was common to all the nations of
the world besides, whom the Latines and Greekes in speciall
called barbarous. So as it was notwithstanding the first and
most ancient Poesie, and the most vniuersall, which two
points do otherwise giue to all humane inuentions and
affaires no small credit. This is proued by certificate of
marchants |&| trauellers, who by late nauigations haue
surueyed the whole world, and discouered large countries and
strange peoples wild and sauage, affirming that the
American, the Perusine |&| the very Canniball, do sing and
also say, their highest and holiest matters in certaine
riming versicles and not in prose, which proues also that
our maner of vulgar Poesie is more ancient then the
artificiall of the Greeks and Latines, ours comming by
instinct of nature, which was before Art or obseruation, and
vsed with the sauage and vnciuill, who were before all
science or ciuilitie, euen as the naked by prioritie of time
is before the clothed, and the ignorant before the learned.
The naturall Poesie therefore being aided and amended by
Art, and not vtterly altered or obscured, but some signe
left of it, (as the Greekes and Latines haue left none) is
no lesse to be allowed and commended then theirs.


How the riming Poesie came first to the Grecians and
Latines, and had altered and almost spilt their maner of

¶1.6.1 BVt it came to passe, when
fortune fled farre from the Greekes and Latines, |&| that
their townes florished no more in traficke, nor their
Vniuersities in learning as they had done continuing those
Monarchies: the barbarous conquerers inuading them with
innumerable swarmes of strange nations, the Poesie metricall
of the Grecians and Latines came to be much corrupted and

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in so much as there were times that the very Greekes and
Latines themselues tooke pleasure in Riming verses, and vsed
it as a rare and gallant thing: Yea their Oratours proses
nor the Doctors Sermons were acceptable to Princes nor yet
to the common people vnlesse it went in manner of tunable
rime or metricall sentences, as appeares by many of the
auncient writers, about that time and since. And the great
Princes, and Popes, and Sultans would one salute and greet
an other sometime in friendship and sport, sometime in
earnest and enmitie by ryming verses, |&| nothing seemed
clerkly done, but must be done in ryme: Whereof we finde
diuers examples from the time of th'Emperours Gracian |&|
Valentinian downwardes: For then aboutes began the
declination of the Romain Empire, by the notable inundations
of the Hunnes and Vandalles in Europe,
vnder the conduict of Totila |&| Atila
and other their generalles. This brought the ryming Poesie
in grace, and made it preuaile in Italie and Greece (their
owne long time cast aside, and almost neglected) till after
many yeares that the peace of Italie and of th'Empire
Occidentall reuiued new clerkes, who recouering and perusing
the bookes and studies of the ciuiler ages, restored all
maner of arts, and that of the Greeke and Latine Poesie
withall into their former puritie and netnes. Which
neuerthelesse did not so preuaile, but that the ryming
Poesie of the Barbarians remained still in his reputation,
that one in the schole, this other in Courts of Princes more
ordinary and allowable.


How in the time of Charlemaine and many yeares after him the
Latine Poetes wrote in ryme.

¶1.7.1 ANd this appeareth euidently by
the workes of many learned men, who wrote about the time of
Charlemaines raigne in the Empire
Occidentall, where the Christian Religion, became
through the excessiue authoritie of Popes, and deepe
deuotion of Princes strongly fortified and established by
erection of orders Monastical, in which many
simple clerks for deuoti|on| sake |&| sanctitie were
receiued more then for any learning, by which occasion |&|
the solitarinesse of their life, waxing studious without
discipline or instruction by any good methode, some of them
grew to be histo-

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riographers,some Poets, and following either the barbarous
rudenes of the time, or els their own idle inuentions, all
that they wrote to the fauor or prayse of Princes, they did
it in such maner of minstrelsie, and thought themselues no
small fooles, when they could make their verses goe all in
ryme as did the schoole of Salerne, dedicating
their booke of medicinall rules vnto our king of England,
with this beginning.

Anglorum Rege scripsit tota schola Salerni
Sivis incolumem, sivis te reddere sanum
Curas tolle graues, irasci crede prophanum
Nec retine ventrem nec stringas fortiter annum

¶1.7.2 And all the rest that follow throughout the
whole booke more curiously then cleanely, neuerthelesse very
well to the purpose of their arte. In the same time king
Edward the iij. him selfe quartering the Armes of
England and France, did discouer his pretence and clayme to
the Crowne of Fraunce, in these ryming verses.

Rex sum regnorum bina ratione duorum
Anglorum regno sum rex ego iure paterno
Matris iure quidem Francorum nuncuporidem
Hinc est armorum variatio facta meorum

¶1.7.3 Which verses Phillip de Valois
then possessing the Crowne as next heire male by pretexte of
the law Salique, and holding out Edward
the third, aunswered in these other of as good stuffe.

Prædo regnorum qui diceris esse duorum
Regno materno priuaberis atque paterno
Prolis ius nullum vbi matris non fuit vllum
Hinc est armorum variatio stulta tuorum.

¶1.7.4 It is found written of Pope Lucius
, for his great auarice and tyranny vsed ouer the Clergy
thus in ryming verses.

Lucius est piscis rex |&| tyrannus aquarum
A quo discordat Lucius iste parum
Deuorat hic homines, hic piscibus insidiatur
Esurit hic semper hic aliquando satur
Amborum vitam silaus equata notaret
Plus rationis habet qui ratione caret

¶1.7.5 And as this was vsed in the greatest and
gayest matters of Princes and Popes by the idle inuention of
Monasticall men then rai-

{{Page 10}}

gning al in their superlatiue. So did euery scholer |&|
secular clerke or versifier, when he wrote any short poeme
or matter of good lesson put it in ryme, whereby it came to
passe that all your old Prouerbes and common sayinges, which
they would haue plausible to the reader and easie to
remember and beare away, were of that sorte as these.

Inmundo mira faciunt duo nummus |&| ira
Mollificant dura peruertunt omnia iura

¶1.7.6 And this verse in disprayse of the
Courtiers life following the Court of Rome.

Vita palatina dura est animae|que| ruina.

¶1.7.7 And these written by a noble learned man.

Ire redire sequi regum sublimia castra
Eximius status est, sed non sic itur ad astra

¶1.7.8 And this other which to the great iniurie
of all women was written (no doubt by some forlorne louer,
or els some old malici ous Monke) for one womans sake
blemishing the whole sexe.

Fallere flere nere mentiri nil |que| tacere
Haec quinque vere statuit Deus in muliere

¶1.7.9 If I might haue bene his Iudge, I would
haue had him for his labour, serued as Orpheus was
by the women of Thrace. His eyes to be picket out with
pinnes, for his so deadly belying of them, or worse handled
if worse could be deuised. But will ye see how God raised a
reuenger for the silly innocent women, for about the same
ryming age came an honest ciuill Courtier somewhat bookish,
and wrate these verses against the whole rable of Monkes.

O Monachi vestri stomachi sunt amphora Bacchi
Vos estis Deus est testis turpissima pestis

¶1.7.10 Anon after came your secular Priestes as
iolly rymers as the rest, who being sore agreeued with their
Pope Calixius, for that he had enioyned them from
their wiues, |&| railed as fast against him.

O bone Calixte totus mundus perodit te
Quondam Presbiteri, poterant vxoribus vti
Hoc destruxisti, postquam tu Papa fursti.

¶1.7.11 Thus what in writing of rymes and
registring of lyes was the Clergy of that fabulous age
wholly occupied.

¶1.7.12 We finde some but very few of these ryming
verses among the

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Latines of the ciuiller ages, and those rather hapning by
chaunce then of any purpose in the writer, as this
Distick among the disportes of Ouid.

Quot caelum stellas tot habet tua Roman puellas
Pascua quot|que| haedos tot habet tua Roma Cynaedos

The posteritie taking pleasure in this manner of
Simphonie had leasure as it seems to deuise many
other knackes in their versifying that the auncient and
ciuill Poets had not vsed before, whereof one was to make
euery word of a verse to begin with the same letter, as did
Hugobald the Monke who made a large poeme to the
honour of Carolus Caluus, euery word beginning
with C. which was the first letter of the kings
name thus.

Carmina clarisonæ Caluis cantate camenæ.

¶1.7.13 And this was thought no small peece of
cunning, being in deed a matter of some difficultie to finde
out so many wordes beginning with one letter as might make a
iust volume, thought in truth it were but a phantasticall
deuise and to no purpose at all more then to make them
harmonicall to the rude eares of those barbarous ages.

¶1.7.14 Another of their pretie inuentions was to
make a verse of such wordes as by their nature and manner of
construction and situation might be turned backward word by
word, and make another perfit verse, but of quite contrary
sence as the gibing Monke that wrote of Pope
Alexander these two verses.

Laus tua non tua fraus, virtus non copia rerum,
Scandere te faciunt hoc decus eximium

¶1.7.15 Which if ye will turne backward they make
two other good verses, but of a contrary sence, thus.

Eximium decus hoc faciunt te scandere, rerum
Copia, non virtus, fraus tua non tua laus.

¶1.7.16 And they called it Verse Lyon.

¶1.7.17 Thus you may see the humors and appetites
of men how diuers and chaungeable they be in liking new
fashions, though many tymes worse then the old, and not
onely in the manner of their life and vse of their garments,
but also in their learninges and arts and specially of their

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In what reputation Poesie and Poets were in old time with
Princes and otherwise generally, and ho{w} they be no{w}
become contemptible and for {w}hat causes.

¶1.8.1 FOr the respectes aforesayd in
all former ages and in the most ciuill countreys and common
wealthes, good Poets and Poesie were highly esteemed and
much fauoured of the greatest Princes. For proofe whereof we
read how much Amyntas king of Macedonia
made of the Tragicall Poet Euripides. And the
Athenians of Sophocles. In what price the
noble poemes of Homer were holden with
Alexander the great, in so much as euery night they
were layd vnder his pillow, and by day were carried in the
rich iewell cofer of Darius lately before
vanquished by him in battaile. And not onely Homer
the father and Prince of the Poets was so honored by him,
but for his sake all other meaner Poets, in so much as
Cherillus one no very great good Poet had for
euery verse well made a Phillips noble of gold,
amounting in value to an angell English, and so for euery
hundreth verses (which a cleanely pen could speedely
dispatch( he had a hundred angels. And since
Alexander the great how Theocritus the
Greeke Poet was fauored by Tholomee king of Egipt
|&| Queene Berenice his wife, Ennius
likewise by Scipio Prince of the Romaines,
also by th'Emperour Augustus. And in
later times how much were Iehan de Mehune |&| Guillaume
de Loris
made of by the French kinges, and Geffrey
father of our English Poets by Richard
the second, who as it was supposed gaue him the maner of
new Holme in Oxfordshire. And Go{w}er to
Henry the fourth and Harding to
Ed{w}ard the fourth. Also how Fraunces the
Frenche king made Sangelais, Salmonius, Macrinus,
and Clement Marot of his priuy Chamber for their
excellent skill in vulgare and Latine Poesie. And king
Henry the 8. her Maiesties father for a few
Psalmes of Dauid turned into English meetre by
Sternhold, made him groome of his priuy chamber, |&| gaue
him many other good gifts. And one Gray what good
estimation did he grow vnto with the same king Henry
, |&| afterward with the Duke of Sommerset Protectour, for
making certaine merry Ballades, whereof one chiefly was,
The hunte is vp, the hunte is vp. And Queene
Mary his daughter for one Epi-

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thalamie or nuptiall song made by Vargas
a Spanish Poet at her mariage with king Phillip in
Winchester gaue him during his life two hundred Crownes
pension: nor this reputation was giuen them in auncient
times altogether in respect that Poesie was a delicate arte,
and the Poets them selues cunning Princepleasers, but for
that also they were thought for their vniversall knowledge
to be vary sufficient men for the greatest charges in their
common wealthes, were it for counsell or for conduct,
whereby no man neede to doubt but that both skilles may very
well concurre and be most excellent in one person. For we
finde that Iulius Caesar the first Emperour and a
most noble Captaine, was not onely the most eloquent Orator
of his time, but also a very good Poet, though none of his
doings therein be now extant. And Quintus Catalus
a good Poet, and Cornelius Gallus treasurer of
Egipt, and Horace the most delicate of all the
Romain Lyrickes, was thought meete and by many
letters of great instance prouoked to be Secretarie of
estate to Augustus th'Emperour, which
neuerthelesse he refused for his vnhealthfulnesse sake, and
being a quiet mynded man and nothing ambitious of glory:
non voluit accedere ad Rempublicam, as it is
reported. And Ennius the Latine Poet was not as
some perchaunce thinke, onely fauored by Scipio
the Africane for his good making of verses, but
vsed as his familiar and Counsellor in the warres for his
great knowledge and amiable conuersation. And long before
that Antimenides and other Greeke Poets, as
Aristotle reportes in his Politiques, had charge in
the warres. And Tyrteus the Poet being also a lame
man |&| halting vp|on| one legge, was chosen by the Oracle
of the gods from the Athenians to be generall of
the Lacedemonians armie, not for his Poetrie, but
for his wisedome and graue perswasions, and subtile
Stratagemes whereby he had the victory ouer his enemies. So
as the Poets seemed to haue skill not onely in the
subtilties of their arte, but also to be meete for all maner
of functions ciuill and martiall, euen as they found fauour
of the times they liued in, insomuch as their credit and
estimation generally was not small. But in these dayes
(although some learned Princes may take delight in them) yet
vniversally it is not so. For as well Poets and Poesie are
despised, |&| the name become, of honorable infamous,
subiect to scorne and deri-

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sion, and rather a reproch than a prayse to any that vseth
it: for commonly who so is studious in th'Arte or shewes him
selfe excellent in it, they call him in disdayne a
phantasticall: and a light headed or phantasticall
man (by conuersion) they call a Poet. And this proceedes
through he barbarous ignoraunce of the time, and pride of
many Gentlemen, and others, whose grosse heads not being
brought vp or acquainted with any excellent Arte, nor able
to contriue, or in manner conceiue any matter of subtiltie
in any businesse or science, they doe deride and scorne it
in all others as superfluous knowledges and vayne sciences,
and whatsoeuer deuise be of rare inuention they terme it
phantasticall, construing it to the worst side: and
among men such as be modest and graue, |&| of litle
conuersation, nor delighted in the busie life and vayne
ridiculous actions of the popular, they call him in scorne a
Philosopher or Poet, as much to say as a
phantasticall man, very iniuriously (God wot) and to the
manifestation of their own ignoraunce, not making difference
betwixt termes. For as the euill and vicious disposition of
the braine hinders the sounde iudgement and discourse of man
with busie |&| disordered phantasies, for which cause the
Greekes call him phantasikos, so is that
part being well affected, not onely nothing disorderly or
confused with any monstruous imaginations or conceits, but
very formall, and in his much multiformitie vniforme
, that is well proportioned, and so passing cleare, that
by it as by a glasse or mirrour, are represented vnto the
soule all maner of bewtifull visions, whereby the inuentiue
parte of the mynde is so much holpen, as without it no man
could deuise any new or rare thing: and where it is not
excellent in his kind, there could be no politique Captaine,
nor any witty engineer or cunning artificer, nor yet any law
maker or counsellor of deepe discourse, yea the Prince of
Philosophers stickes not to say animam n|on|
intelligere absque phantasmate
, which text to
another purpose Alexander Aphrodiseus well noteth,
as learned men know. And this phantasie may be resembled to
a glasse as hath bene sayd, whereof there be many tempers
and manner of makinges, as the perspectiues doe
acknowledge, for some be false glasses and shew thinges
otherwise than they be in deede, and others right as they be
in deede, neither fairer nor fouler, nor greater nor
smaller. There be againe of these

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glasses that shew thinges exceeding faire and comely, others
that shew figures very monstrous |&| illfauored. Euen so is
the phantasticall part of man (if it be not disordered) a
representer of the best, most comely and bewtifull images or
apparances of thinges to the soule and according to their
very truth. If otherwise, then doth it breede
Chimeres |&| monsters in mans imaginations, |&| not
onely in his imaginations, but also in all his ordinarie
actions and life which ensues. Wherefore such persons as be
illuminated with the brightest irradiations of knowledge and
of the veritie and due proportion of things, they are called
by the learned men not phantastici
but euphantasiote, and of this
sorte of phantasie are all good Poets, notable Captaines
stratagematique, all cunning artificers and enginers, all
Legislators Polititiens |&| Counsellours of estate, in whose
exercises the inuentiue part is most employed and is to the
sound |&| true iudgement of man most needful. This
diuersitie in the termes perchance euery man hath not noted,
|&| thus much be said in defence of the Poets honour, to the
end no noble and generous minde be discomforted in the
studie thereof, the rather for that worthy |&| honorable
memoriall of that noble woman twise French Queene, Lady
Anne of Britaine, wife first to king Charles
the viij. and after to Lewes the xij. who
passing one day from her lodging toward the kinges side, saw
in a gallerie Maister Allaine Chartier the kings
Secretarie, an excellent maker or Poet leaning on a tables
end a sleepe, |&| stooped downe to kisse him, saying thus in
all their hearings, we may not of Princely courtesie passe
by and not honor with our kisse the mouth from whence so
many sweete ditties |&| golden poems haue issued. But me
thinks at these words I heare some smilingly say, I would be
loath to lacke liuing of my own till the Prince gaue me a
maner of new Elme for my riming. And another to say I haue
read that the Lady Cynthia came once downe out of
her skye to kiss the faire yong lad Endimion as he
lay a sleep: |&| many noble Queenes that haue bestowed
kisses vpon their Princes paramours, but neuer vpon any
Poets. The third me thinks shruggingly saith, I kept not to
sit sleeping with my Poesie till a Queene came and kissed
me. but what of all this? Princes may giue a good Poet such
conuenient countenaunce and also benefite as are due to an
excellent artificer, though they nei-

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ther kisse nor cokes them, and the discret Poet lookes for
no such extraordinarie fauors, and aswell doth he honour by
his pen the iust, liberall, or magnanimous Prince, as the
valiaunt, amiable or bewtifull though they be euery one of
them the good giftes of God. So it seemes not altogether the
scorne and ordinarie disgrace offered vnto Poets at these
dayes, is cause why few Gentlemen do delight in the Art, but
for that liberalitie, is come to fayle in Princes, who for
their largesse were wont to be accompted th'onley patrons of
learning, and first founders of all excellent artificers.
Besides it is not perceiued, that Princes them selues do
take any pleasure in this science, by whose example the
subiect is commonly led, and allured to all delights and
exercises be they good or bad, according to the graue saying
of the historian. Rex multitudinem religione
impleuit, quae semper regenti similis est
. And
peradu|en|ture in this iron |&| malitious age of ours,
Princes are lesse delighted in it, being ouer earnestly bent
and affected to the affaires of Empire |&| ambition, whereby
they are as it were inforced to indeuour them selues to
armes and practises of hostilitie, or to entend to the right
pollicing of their states, and haue not one houre to bestow
vpon any other ciuill or delectable Art of naturall or
morall doctrine: nor scarce any leisure to thincke one good
thought in perfect and godly contemplation, whereby their
troubled mindes might be moderated and brought to
tranquillitie. So as, it is hard to find in these dayes of
noblem|en| or gentlemen any good Mathematici|an|,
or excellent Musitian, or notable
Philosopher, or els a cunning Poet: because we find
few great Princes much delighted in the same studies. Now
also of such among the Nobilitie or gentrie as be very well
seene in many laudable sciences, and especially in making or
Poesie, it is so come to passe that they haue no courage to
write |&| if they haue, yet are they loath to be a knowen of
their skill. So as I know very many notable Gentlemen in the
Court that haue written commendably, and suppressed it
agayne, or els suffred it to be publisht without their owne
names to it: as if it were a discredit for a Gentleman, to
seeme learned, and to shew himselfe amorous of any good Art.
In other ages it was not so, for we read that Kinges |&|
Princes haue written great volumes and publisht them vnder
their own regall titles. As to begin with Salomon
the wisest

{{Page 17}}

of Kings, Iulius Caesar the greatest of Emperours,
Hermes Trismegistus the holiest of Priestes and
Prophetes, Euax king of Arabia wrote a
booke of precious stones in verse, Prince Auicenna
of Phisicke and Philosophie, Alphonsus king of
Spaine his Astronomicall Tables, Almansor a king
of Marrocco diuerse Philosophicall workes, and by
their regal example our late soueraigne Lord king
Henry the eight wrate a booke in defence of his
faith, then perswaded that it was the true and Apostolicall
doctrine, though it hath appeared otherwise since, yet his
honour and learned zeale was nothing lesse to be allowed.
Queenes also haue bene knowen studious, and to write large
volumes, as Lady Margaret of Fraunce Queene of
Nauarre in our time. But of all others the Emperour
Nero was so well learned in Musique and Poesie, as
when he was taken by order of the Senate and appointed to
dye, he offered violence to him selfe and sayd,
O quantus artisex pereo! as much to say, as,
how is it possible a man of such science and learning as my
selfe, should come to this shamefull death? Th'emperour
Octauian being made executor to Virgill,
who had left by his last will and testament, that his bookes
of the Æneidos should be committed to the fire
as things not perfited by him, made his excuse for
infringing the deads will, by a nomber of verses most
excellently written whereof these are part.

Frangatur potiùs legum veneranda potestas,
Quàm tot congestos noctésque diésque labores

Hauserit vna dies.

And put his name to them. And before him his vncle |&|
father adoptiue Iulius Caesar was not ashamed to
publish vnder his owne name, his Commentaries of the French
and Britaine warres. Since therefore so many noble
Emperours, Kings and Princes haue bene studious of Poesie
and other ciuill arts, |&| not ashamed to bewray their skils
in the same, let none other meaner person despise learning,
nor (whether it be in prose or in Poesie, if they them
selues be able to write, or haue written any thing well or
of rare inuention) be any whit squeimish to let it be
publisht vnder their names, for reason serues it, and
modestie doth not repugne.

{{Page 18}}


How Poesie should not be imployed vpon vayne conceits or
vicious or infamous.

¶1.9.1 {W}Herefore the Nobilitie and
dignitie of the Art considered aswell by vniuersalitie as
antiquitie and the naturall excellence of it selfe, Poesie
ought not to be abashed and imployed vpon any vnworthy
matter |&| subiect, nor vsed to vaine purposes, which
neuerthelesse is dayly seene, and that is to vtter conceits
infamous |&| vicious or ridiculous and foolish, or of no
good example |&| doctrine. Albeit in merry matters (not
vnhonest) being vsed for mans solace and recreation it may
be well allowed, for as I said before, Poesie is a pleasant
maner of vtterance varying from the ordinarie of purpose to
refresh the mynde by the eares delight. Poesie also is not
onely laudable, because I said it was a metricall speach
vsed by the first men, but because it is a metricall speach
corrected and reformed by discreet iudgements, and with no
lesse cunning and curiositie then the Greeke and Latine
Poesie, and by Art bewtified |&| adorned, |&| brought far
from the primitiue rudenesse of the first inuentors,
otherwise it might be sayd to me that Adam and
Eues apernes were the gayest garmentes, because they
were the first, and the shepheardes tente or pauillion, the
best housing, because it was the most auncient |&| most
vniuersall: which I would not haue so taken, for it is not
my meaning but that Art |&| cunning concurring with nature,
antiquitie |&| vniuersalitie, in things indifferent, and not
euill, doe make them more laudable. And right so our vulgar
riming Poesie, being by good wittes brought to that
perfection we see, is worthily to be preferred before any
other maner of vtterance in prose, for such vse and to such
purpose as it is ordained, and shall hereafter be set downe
more particularly.


The subiect or matter of Poesie.

¶1.10.1 HAuing sufficiently sayd of the
dignitie of Poets and Poesie, now it is tyme to speake of
the matter or subiect of Poesie, which to myne intent is,
what soeuer wittie and delicate conceit of man meet or
worthy to be put in written verse, for any necessary vse of
the present time, or good instruction of the posteri-

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tie. But the chief and principall is: the laud honour |&|
glory of the immortall gods (I speake now in phrase of the
Gentiles.) Secondly the worthy gests of noble Princes: the
memoriall and registry of all great fortunes, the praise of
vertue |&| reproofe of vice, the instruction of morall
doctrines, the reuealing of sciences naturall |&| other
profitable Arts, the redresse of boistrous |&| sturdie
courages by perswasion, the consolation and repose of
temperate myndes, finally the common solace of mankind in
all his trauails and cares of this transitorie life. And in
this last sort being vsed for recreation onely, may
allowably beare matter not alwayes of the grauest, or of any
great commoditie or profit, but rather in some sort, vaine,
dissolute, or wanton, so it be not very scandalous |&| of
euill example. But as our intent is to make this Art vulgar
for all English mens vse, |&| therefore are of necessitie to
set downe the principal rules therein to be obserued: so in
mine opinion it is no lesse expedient to touch briefly all
the chief points of this auncient Poesie of the Greeks and
Latines, so far forth as it is conformeth with ours. So as
it may be knowen what we hold of them as borrowed, and what
as of our owne peculiar. Wherefore now that we haue said,
what is the matter of Poesie, we will declare the manner and
formes of poemes vsed by the auncients.


Of poemes and their sundry formes and how thereby the
auncient Poets receaued surnames.

¶1.11.1 AS the matter of Poesie is
diuers, so was the forme of their poemes |&| maner of
writing, for all of them wrote not in one sort, euen as all
of them wrote not vpon one matter. Neither was euery Poet
alike cunning in all as in some one kinde of Poesie, nor
vttered with like felicitie. But wherein any one most
excelled, thereof he tooke a surname, as to be called a Poet
Heroick, Lyrick, Elegiack, Epigr|am|matist or
otherwise. Such therefore as gaue them selues to write long
histories of the noble gests of kings |&| great Princes
entermedling the dealings of the gods, halfe gods or
Heroes of the gentiles, |&| the great |&| waighty
consequences of peace and warre, they called Poets
Heroick, whereof Homer was chief and most
auncient among the Greeks, Virgill among the

{{Page 20}}

Others who more delighted to write songs or ballads of
pleasure, to be song with the voice, and to the harpe, lute,
or citheron |&| such other musical, instruments, they were
called melodious Poets [melici] or by a more
common name Lirique Poets, of which sort was
Pindarus, Anacreon and Callimachus with
others among the Greeks: Horace and
Catullus among the Latines. There were an other sort,
who sought the fauor of faire Ladies, and coueted to bemone
their estates at large, |&| the perplexities of loue in a
certain pitious verse called Elegie, and thence
were called Eligiack: such among the Latines were
Ouid, Tibullus, |&| Propertius. There were also
Poets that wrote onely for the stage, I means playes and
interludes, to recreate the people with matters of disporte,
and to that intent did set forth in shewes |&| pageants,
accompanied with speach the common behauiours and maner of
life of priuate persons, and such as were the meaner sort of
men, and they were called Comicall Poets, of whom
among the Greekes Menander and Aristophanes
were most excellent, with the Latines Terence
and Plautus. Besides those Poets Comick
there were other who serued also the stage, but medled not
with so base matters: For they set forth the dolefull falles
of infortunate |&| afflicted Princes, |&| were called Poets
Tragicall. Such were Euripides and
Sophocles with the Greeks, Senecaamong the
Latines. There were yet others who mounted nothing so high
as any of them both, but in base and humble stile by maner
of Dialogue, vttered the priuate and familiar talke of the
meanest sort of men, as shepheards, heywards and such like,
such was among the Greekes Theocritus: and
Virgill among the Latines, their poemes were named
Eglogues or shepheardly talke. There was yet another
kind of Poet, who intended to taxe the common abuses and
vice of the people in rough and bitter speaches, and their
inuectiues were called Satyres, and them selues
Satyricques. Such were Lucilius, Iuuenall
and Persius among the Latines, |&| with vs he that
wrote the booke called Piers plowman. Others of a more fine
and pleasant head were giuen wholly to taunting and scoffing
at vndecent things, and in short poemes vttered pretie merry
conceits, and these men were called Epigrammatistes.
There were others that for the peoples good instruction,
and triall of their owne witts vsed in places of great
assembly, to

{{Page 21}}

say by rote nombers of short and sententious meetres, very
pithie and of good edification, and thereupon were called
Poets Mimistes: as who would say, imitable and
meet to be followed for their wise and graue lessons. There
was another kind of poeme, inuented onely to make sport, |&|
to refresh the company with a maner of buffonry or
counterfaiting of merry speaches, conuerting all that which
they had hard spoken before, to a certaine derision by a
quite contrary sence, and this was done, when
Comedies or Tragedies were a playing, |&|
that betweene the actes when the players went to make ready
for another, there was great silence, and the people waxt
weary, then came in these maner of counterfaite vices, they
were called Pantomimi, and all
that had before bene sayd, or great part of it, they gaue a
crosse construction to it very ridiculously. Thus haue you
how the names of the Poets were giuen them by the formes of
their poemes and maner of writing.


In what forme of Poesie the gods of the Gentiles were
praysed and honored.

¶1.12.1 THe gods of the Gentiles were
honoured by their Poetes in hymnes, which is an
extraordinarie and diuine praise, extolling and magnifying
them for their great powers and excellencie of nature in the
highest degree of laude, and yet therein their Poets were
after a sort restrained: so as they could not with their
credit vntruly praise their owne gods, or vse in their lauds
any maner of grosse adulation or vnueritable report. For in
any writer vntruth and flatterie are counted most great
reproches. Wherfore to praise the gods of the Gentiles, for
that by authoritie of their owne fabulous records, they had
fathers and mothers, and kinred and allies, and wiues and
concubines: the Poets first commended them by their
genealogies or pedegrees, their mariages and aliances, their
notable exploits in the world for the behoofe of mankind,
and yet as I sayd before, none otherwise then the truth of
their owne memorials might beare, and in such sort as it
might be well auouched by their old written reports, though
in very deede they were not from the beginning all
historically true, and many of them verie fictions, and such
of them as were true, were grounded vpon some

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part of an historie or matter of veritie, the rest
altogether figuratiue |&| misticall, couertly applied to
some morall or naturall sense, as Cicero setteth
it foorth in his bookes de natura deorum.
For to say that Iupiter was sonne to
Saturne, and that he maried his owne sister
Iuno, might be true, for such was the guise of all
great Princes in the Orientall part of the world both at
those dayes and now is. Againe that he loued Danae,
Europa, Leda, Calisto
|&| other faire Ladies daughters
to kings, besides many meaner women, it is likely enough,
because he was reported to be a very incontinent person, and
giuen ouer to his lustes, as are for the most part all the
greatest Princes, but that he should be the highest god in
heauen, or that he should thunder and lighten, and do manie
other things very vnnaturally and absurdly: also that
Saturnus should geld his father Celius, to
th'intent to make him vnable to get any moe children, and
other such matters as are reported by them, it seemeth to be
some wittie deuise and fiction made for a purpose, or a very
noble and impudent lye, which could not
be reasonably suspected by the Poets, who were otherwise
discreete and graue men, and teachers of wisedome to others.
Therefore either to transgresse the rules of their primitiue
records, or to seeke to giue their gods honour by belying
them (otherwise then in that sence which I haue alledged)
had bene a signe not onely of an vnskilfull Poet, but also
of a very impudent and leude man. For vntrue praise neuer
giueth any true reputation. But with vs Christians, who be
better disciplined, and do acknowledge but one God
Almightie, euerlasting, and in euery respect selfe suffizant
[autharcos] reposed in all
perfect rest |&| soueraigne blisse, not needing or exacting
any forreine helpe or good. To him we can not exhibit
ouermuch praise, nor belye him any wayes, vnlesse it be in
abasing his excellencie by scarsitie of praise, or by
misconceauing his diuine nature, weening to praise him, if
we impute to him such vaine delights and peeuish affections,
as commonly the frailest men are reproued for. Namely to
make him ambitious of honour, iealous and difficult in his
worships, terrible, angrie, vindicatiue, a louer, a hater, a
pitier, and indigent of mans worships: finally so passionate
as in effect he shold be altogether
Anthropopathis. To the gods of the Gentiles
they might well attribute these infirmities, for they were
but the chil-

{{Page 23}}

dren of men, great Princes and famous in the world, and not
for any other respect diuine, then by some resemblance of
vertue they had to do good, and to benefite many. So as to
the God of the Christians, such diuine praise might be
verified: to th'other gods none, but figuratiuely or in
misticall sense as hath bene said . In which sort the
ancient Poets did in deede giue them great honors |&|
praises, and made to them sacrifices, |&| offred them
oblations of sundry sortes, euen as the people were taught
and perswaded by such placations and worships to receaue any
helpe, comfort or benefite to them selues, their wiues,
children, possessions or goods. For if that opinion were
not, who would acknowledge any God? the verie
Etimologie of the name with vs of the North partes of
the world declaring plainely the nature of the attribute,
which is all one as if we sayd good, [bonus
] or a giuer of good things. Therfore the Gentiles
prayed for peace to the goddesse Pallas: for warre
(such as thriued by it) to the god Mars: for honor
and empire to the god Iupiter: for riches |&|
wealth to Pluto: for eloquence and gayne to
Mercurie: for safe nauigation to Neptune:
for faire weather and prosperous windes to Eolus:
for skill in musick and leechcraft to Apollo: for
free life |&| chastitie to Diana: for bewtie and
good grace, as also for issue |&| prosperitie in loue to
Venus: for plenty of crop and corne to Ceres
: for seasonable vintage to Bacchus: and for
other things to others. So many things as they could imagine
good and desirable, and to so many gods as they supposed to
be authors thereof, in so much as Fortune was made
a goddesse, |&| the feuer quartaine had her aulters, such
blindnes |&| ignorance raigned in the harts of men at that
time, and whereof it first proceeded and grew, besides
th'opinion hath bene giuen , appeareth more at large in our
bookes of Ierotekni, the matter being of another
consideration then to be treated of in this worke. And these
hymnes to the gods was the first forme of Poesie and the
highest |&| the stateliest, |&| they were song by the Poets
as priests, and by the people or whole congregation as we
sing in our Churchs the Psalmes of Dauid, but they
did it commonly in some shadie groues of tall tymber trees:
In which places they reared aulters of greene turfe, and
bestrewed them all ouer with flowers, and vpon them offred
their oblations and made their bloudy sa-

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crifices,(for no kinde of gift can be dearer then life) of
such quick cattaile, as euery god was in their conceit most
delighted in, or in some other respect most fit for the
misterie: temples or churches or other chappels then these
they had none at those dayes.


In what forme of Poesie vice and the common abuses of mans
life was reprehended.

¶1.13.1 SOme perchance would thinke
that next after the praise and honoring of their gods,
should commence the worshippings and praise of good men, and
specially of great Princes and gouernours of the earth in
soueraignety and function next vnto the gods. But it is not
so, for before that came to passe, the Poets or holy
Priests, chiefly studied the rebuke of vice, and to carpe at
the common abuses, such as were most offensiue to the
publique and priuate, for as yet for lacke of good ciuility
and wholesome doctrines, there was greater store of lewde
lourdaines then of wise and learned Lords, or of noble and
vertuous Princes and gouernours. So as next after the
honours exhibited to their gods, the Poets finding in man
generally much to reproue |&| litle to praise, made certaine
poems in plaine meetres, more like to sermons or preachings
then otherwise, and when the people were assembled togither
in those hallowed places dedicate to their gods, because
they had yet no large halles or places of conuenticle, nor
had any other correction of their faults, but such as rested
onely in rebukes of wise and graue men, such as at these
dayes make the people ashamed rather then afeard, the said
auncient Poets vsed for that purpose, three kinds of poems
reprehensiue, to wit, the Satyre, the
Comedie, |&| the Tragedie: and the first
and most bitter inuectiue against vice and vicious men, was
the Satyre: which to th'intent their bitternesse
should breede none ill will, either to the Poets, or to the
recitours, (which could not haue bene chosen if they had
bene openly knowen) and besides to make their admonitions
and reproofs seeme grauer and of more efficacie, they made
wise as if the gods of the woods, whom they called
Satyres or Siluanes, should appeare and
recite those verses of rebuke, whereas in deede they were
but disguised persons vnder the shape of Sa-

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tyres as who would say, these terrene and base
gods being conuersant with mans affaires, and spiers out of
all their secret faults: had some great care ouer man, |&|
desired by good admonitions to reforme the euill of their
life, and to bring the bad to amendment by those kinde of
preachings, whereupon the Poets inuentours of the deuise
were called Satyristes.


How vice was afterward reproued by two other maner of poems,
better reformed then the Satyre, whereof the first was
Comedy, the second Tragedie.

¶1.14.1 BVt when these maner of
solitary speaches and recitals of rebuke, vttered by the
rurall gods out of bushes and briers, seemed not to the
finer heads sufficiently perswasiue, nor so popular as if it
were reduced into action of many persons, or by many voyces
liuely represented to the eare and eye, so as a man might
thinke it were euen now a doing. The Poets deuised to haue
many parts played at once by two or three or foure persons,
that debated the matters of the world, sometimes of their
owne priuate affaires, sometimes of their neighbours, but
neuer medling with any Princes matters nor such high
personages, but commonly of marchants, souldiers,
artificers, good honest housholders, and also of vnthrifty
youthes, yong damsels, old nurses, bawds, brokers, ruffians
and parasites, with such like, in whose behauiors, lyeth in
effect the whole course and trade of mans life, and
therefore tended altogither to the good amendment of man by
discipline and example. It was also much for the solace |&|
recreation of the common people by reason of the pageants
and shewes. And this kind of poeme was called Comedy
, and followed next after the Satyre, |&| by
that occasion was somwhat sharpe and bitter after the nature
of the Satyre, openly |&| by expresse names taxing
men more maliciously and impudently then became, so as they
were enforced for feare of quarell |&| blame to disguise
their players with strange apparell, and by colouring their
faces and carying hatts |&| capps of diuerse fashions to
make them selues lesse knowen. But as time |&| experience do
reforme euery thing that is amisse, so this bitter poeme
called the old Comedy, being disused and taken
away, the

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new Comedy came in place, more ciuill and pleasant
a great deale and not touching any man by name, but in a
certaine generalitie glancing at euery abuse, so as from
thenceforth fearing none illwill or enmitie at any bodies
hands, they left aside their disguisings |&| played bare
face, till one Roscius Gallus the most excellent
player among the Romaines brought vp these vizards, which we
see at this day vsed, partly to supply the want of players,
when there were moe parts then there were persons, or that
it was not thought meet to trouble |&| pester princes
chambers with too many folkes. Now by the chaunge of a
vizard one man might play the king and the carter, the old
nurse |&| the yong damsell, the marchant |&| the souldier or
any other part he listed very conueniently. There be that
say Roscius did it for another purpose, for being
him selfe the best Histrien or buffon that was in
his dayes to be found, insomuch as Cicero said
Roscius contended with him by varietie of liuely
gestures to surmount the copy of his speach, yet because he
was squint eyed and had a very vnpleasant countenance, and
lookes which made him ridiculous or rather odious to the
presence, he deuised these vizards to hide his owne
ilfauored face. And thus much touching the Comedy.


In {w}hat forme of Poesie the euill and outragious
behauiours of Princes {w}ere reprehended.

¶1.15.1 BVt because in those dayes when
the Poets first taxed by Satyre and Comedy
, there was no great store of Kings or Emperors or such
high estats (al men being yet for the most part rude, |&| in
a maner popularly egall) they could not say of them or of
their behauiours any thing to the purpose, which cases of
Princes are sithens taken for the highest and greatest
matters of all. But after that some men among the moe became
mighty and famous in the world, soueraignetie and dominion
hauing learned them all maner of lusts and licentiousnes of
life, by which occasions also their high estates and
felicities fell many times into most lowe and lamentable
fortunes: whereas before in their great prosperities they
were both feared and reuerenced in the highest degree, after
their deathes when the posteritie stood no more in dread of

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their infamous life and tyrannies were layd open to all the
world, their wickednes reproched, their follies and extreme
insolencies derided, and their miserable ends painted out in
playes and pageants, to shew the mutabilitie of fortune, and
the iust punishment of God in reuenge of a vicious and euill
life. These matters were also handled by the Poets and
represented by action as that of the Comedies: but
because the matter was higher then that of the
Comedies the Poets stile was also higher and more
loftie, the prouision greater, the place more magnificent:
for which purpose also the players garments were made more
rich |&| costly and solemne, and euery other thing
apperteining, according to that rate: So as where the
Satyre was pronounced by rusticall and naked
Syluanes speaking out of a bush, |&| the common
players of interludes called Plampedes, played
barefoote vpon the floore: the later Comedies vpon
scaffolds, and by men well and cleanely hosed and shod.
These matters of great Princes were played vpon lofty
stages, |&| the actors thereof ware vpon their legges
buskins of leather called Cothurni, and other
solemne habits, |&| for a speciall preheminence did walke
vpon those high corked shoes or pantofles, which now they
call in Spaine |&| Italy Shoppini. And because
those buskins and high shoes were commonly made of goats
skinnes very finely tanned, and dyed into colours: or for
that as some say the best players reward, was a goate to be
giuen him, or for that as other thinke, a goate was the
peculiar sacrifice to the god Pan, king of all the
gods of the woodes: forasmuch as a goate in Greeke is called
Tragos, therfore these stately
playes were called Tragedies. And thus haue ye
foure sundry formes of Poesie Dr|am|matick
reprehensiue, |&| put in execution by the seate |&|
dexteritie of mans body, to wit, the Satyre, old
Comedie, new Comedie, and
Tragedie, whereas all other kinde of poems except
Eglogue whereof shalbe entreated hereafter, were
onely recited by mouth or song with the voyce to some
melodious instrument.


In what forme of Poesie the great Princes and dominators of
the world were honored.

¶1.16.1 BVt as the bad and illawdable
parts of all estates and degrees were taxed by the Poets in
one sort or an other, and those of

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great Princes by Tragedie in especiall, (|&| not till after
their deaths) as hath bene before remembred, to th'intent
that such exemplifying (as it were) of their blames and
aduersities, being now dead, might worke for a secret
reprehension to others that were aliue, liuing in the same
or like abuses. So was it great reason that all good and
vertuous persons should for their well doings be rewarded
with commendation, and the great Princes aboue all others
with honors and praises, being for many respects of greater
moment, to haue them good |&| vertuous then any inferior
sort of men. Wherfore the Poets being in deede the
trumpetters of all praise and also of slaunder (not
slaunder, but well deserued reproch) were in conscience |&|
credit bound next after the diuine praises of the immortall
gods, to yeeld a like ratable honour to all such amongst
men, as most resembled the gods by excellencie of function,
and had a certaine affinitie with them, by more then humane
and ordinarie vertues shewed in their actions here vpon
earth. They were therfore praised by a second degree of
laude: shewing their high estates, their Princely
genealogies and pedegrees, mariages, aliances, and such
noble exploites, as they had done in th'affaires of peace
|&| of warre to the benefit of their people and countries,
by inuention of any noble science, or profitable Art, or by
making wholsome lawes or enlarging of their dominions by
honorable and iust conquests, and many other wayes. Such
personages among the Gentiles were Bacchus, Ceres,
Perseus, Hercules, Theseus
and many other, who thereby
came to be accompted gods and halfe gods or goddesses [
Heroes] |&| had their c|om|m|en|dations giuen by
Hymne accordingly or by such other poems as their memorie
was therby made famous to the posteritie for euer after, as
shal be more at large sayd in place conuenient. But first we
will speake somewhat of the playing places, and prouisions
which were made for their pageants |&| pomps representatiue
before remembred.


Of the places where their enterludes or poemes drammaticke
{w}ere represented to the people.

¶1.17.1 AS it hath bene declared, the
Satyres were first vttered in their hallowed
places within the woods where they honoured their

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gods vnder the open heauen, because they had no other
housing fit for great assemblies. The old comedies were
plaid in the broad streets vpon wagons or carts vncouered,
which carts were floored with bords |&| made for remouable
stages to passe from one streete of their townes to another,
where all the people might stand at their ease to gaze
vp|on| the sights. Their new comedies or ciuill enterludes
were played in open pauilions or tents of linnen cloth or
lether, halfe displayed that the people might see. Afterward
when Tragidies came vp they deuised to present them vpon
scaffoldes or stages of timber, shadowed with linen or
lether as the other, and these stages were made in the forme
of a Semicircle, wherof the bow serued for the
beholders to sit in, and the string or forepart was
appointed for the floore or place where the players vttered,
|&| had in it sundry little diuisions by curteins as
trauerses to serue for seueral roomes where they might
repaire vnto |&| change their garm|en|ts |&| come in againe,
as their speaches |&| parts were to be renewed. Also there
was place appointed for the musiciens to sing or play vpon
their instrumentes at the end of euery scene, to the intent
the people might be refreshed, and kept occupied. This maner
of stage in halfe circle, the Greekes called
theatrum, as much to say as a beholding
place, which was also in such sort contriued by benches and
greeces to stand or sit vpon, as no man should empeach
anothers sight. But as ciuilitie and withall wealth
encreased, so did the minde of man growe dayly more haultie
and superfluous in all his deuises, so as for their
theaters in halfe circle, they came to be by the
great magnificence of the Romain princes and people
somptuously built with marble |&| square stone in forme all
round, |&| were called Amphitheaters, wherof as
yet appears one am|on|g the anci|en|t ruines of Rome, built
by Pompeius Magnus, for capasitie able to receiue
at ease fourscore thousand persons as it is left written,
|&| so curiously contriued as euery man might depart at his
pleasure, without any annoyance to other. It is also to be
knowne that in those great Amphitheaters, were
exhibited all maner of other shewes |&| disports for the
people, as their sence playes, or digladiations of naked
men, their wrastlings, runnings, leapings and other
practises or actiuitie and strength, also their baitings of
wild beasts, as Elephants, Rhinocer|on|s, Tigers, Leopards

{{Page 30}}

and others, which sights much delighted the common people,
and therefore the places required to be large and of great


Of the Shepheards or pastorall Poesie called Eglogue, and to
{w}hat purpose it {w}as first inuented and vsed.

¶1.18.1 SOme be of opinion, and the
chiefe of those who haue written in this Art among the
Latines, that the pastorall Poesie which we commonly call by
the name of Eglogue and Bucolick, a
tearme brought in by the Sicilian Poets, should be the first
of any others, and before the Satyre comedie or
tragedie, because, say they, the shepheards and haywards
assemblies |&| meetings when they kept their cattell and
heards in the common fields and forests, was the first
familiar conuersation, and their babble and talk vnder
bushes and shadie trees, the first disputation and
contentious reasoning, and their fleshly heates growing of
ease, the first idle wooings, and their songs made to their
mates or paramours either vpon sorrow or iolity of courage,
the first amorous musicks, sometime also they sang and
played on their pipes for wagers, striuing who should get
the best game, and be counted cunningest. All this I do
agree vnto, for no doubt the shepheards life was the first
example of honest felowship, their trade the first art of
lawfull acquisition or purchase, for at those daies robbery
was a manner of purchase. So saith Aristotle in
his bookes of the Politiques, and that pasturage was before
tillage, or fishing or fowling, or any other predatory art
or cheuisance. And all this may be true, for before there
was a shepheard keeper of his owne, or of some other bodies
flocke, there was none owner in the world, quick cattel
being the first property of any forreine possession. I say
forreine, because alway men claimed property in their
apparell and armour, and other like things made by their
owne trauel and industry, nor thereby was there yet any good
towne or city or Kings palace, where pageants and pompes
might be shewed by Comedies or Tragedies. But for all this,
I do deny that the Eglogue should be the first and
most auncient forme of artificiall Poesie, being perswaded
that the Poet deuised the Eglogue long after the
other drammatick poems, not of purpose to
counterfait or represent the

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rusticall manner of loues and communication: but vnder the
vaile of homely persons, and in rude speeches to insinuate
and glaunce at greater matters, and such as perchance had
not bene safe to haue beene disclosed in any other sort,
which may be perceiued by the Eglogues of Virgill,
in which are treated by figure matters of greater importance
then the loues of Titirus and Corydon.
These Eglogues came after to containe and enforme morall
discipline, for the amendment of mans behauiour, as be those
of Mantuan and other moderne Poets.


Of historicall Poesie, by which the famous acts of Princes
and the vertuous and worthy liues of our forefathers were

¶1.19.1 THere is nothing in man of all
the potential parts of his mind (reason and will except)
more noble or more necessary to the actiue life th|en|
memory: because it maketh most to a sound iudgement and
perfect worldly wisedome, examining and comparing the times
past with the present, and by them both considering the time
to come, concludeth with a stedfast resolution, what is the
best course to be taken in all his actions and aduices in
this world: it came vpon this reason, experience to be so
highly commended in all consultations of importance, and
preferred before any learning or science, and yet experience
is no more than a masse of memories assembled, that is, such
trials as man hath made in time before. Right so no kinde of
argument in all the Oratorie craft, doth better perswade and
more vniuersally satisfie then example, which is but the
representation of old memories, and like successes happened
in times past. For these regards the Poesie historicall is
of all other next the diuine most honorable and worthy, as
well for the common benefit as for the speciall comfort
euery man receiueth by it. No one thing in the world with
more delectation reuiuing our spirits then to behold as it
were in a glasse the liuely image of our deare forefathers,
their noble and vertuous maner of life, with other things
autentike, which because we are not able otherwise to
attaine to the knowledge of, by any of our sences, we
apprehend them by memory, whereas the present time and

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so swiftly passe away, as they giue vs no leasure almost to
looke into them, and much lesse to know |&| consider of them
throughly. The things future, being also euents very
vncertaine, and such as can not possibly be knowne because
they be not yet, can not be vsed for example nor for delight
otherwise th|en| by hope. Though many promise the contrary,
by vaine and deceitfull arts taking vpon them to reueale the
truth of accidents to come, which if it were so as they
surmise, are yet but sciences meerely coniecturall, and not
of any benefit to man or to the common wealth, where they be
vsed or professed. Therefore the good and exemplarie things
and actions of the former ages, were reserued only to the
historicall reportes of wise and graue men: those of the
present time left to the fruition and iudgement of our
sences: the future as hazards and incertaine euentes vtterly
neglected and layd aside for Magicians and mockers to get
their liuings by: such manner of men as by negligence of
Magistrates and remisses of lawes euery countrie breedeth
great store of. These historical men neuerthelesse vsed not
the matter so precisely to wish that al they wrote should be
accounted true, for that was not needefull nor expedient to
the purpose, namely to be vsed either for example or for
pleasure: considering that many times it is seene a fained
matter or altogether fabulous, besides that it maketh more
mirth than any other, works no lesse good conclusions for
example then the most true and veritable: but often times
more, because the Poet hath the handling of them to fashion
at his pleasure, but not so of th'other which must go
according to their veritie |&| none otherwise without the
writers great blame. Againe as ye know mo and more excellent
examples may fained in one day by a good wit, then many ages
through mans frailtie are able to put in vre, which made the
learned and wittie men of those times to deuise many
historicall matters of no veritie at all, but with purpose
to do good and no hurt, as vsing them for a maner of
discipline and president of commendable life. Such was the
common wealth of Plato, and Sir Thomas Moores
, resting all in deuise, but neuer put in
execution, and easier to be wished then to be performed. And
you shall perceiue that histories were of three sortes,
wholly true and wholly false, and a third holding part of
either, but for honest re-

{{Page 33}}

creation, and good example they were all of them. And this
may be apparant to vs not onely by the Poeticall histories,
but also by those that be written in prose: for as
Homer wrate a fabulous or mixt report of the siege of
Troy, and another of Vlisses errors or wandrings,
so did Museus compile a true treatise of the life
|&| loues of Leander and Hero, both of
them Heroick, and to none ill edification. Also as
Theucidides wrate a worthy and veritable historie,
of the warres betwixt the Athenians and the
Peloponeses: so did Zenophon, a most graue
Philosopher, and well trained courtier and counsellour make
another (but fained and vntrue) of the childhood of
Cyrus king of Persia, neuertheles both to
one effect, that is for example and good information of the
posteritie. Now because the actions of meane |&| base
personages, tend in very few cases to any great good
example: for who passeth to follow the steps, and maner of
life of a craftes man, shepheard or sailer, though he were
his father or dearest frend? yea how almost is it possible
that such maner of men should be of any vertue other then
their profession requireth? Therefore was nothing committed
to historie, but matters of great and excellent persons |&|
things that the same by irritation of good courages (such as
emulation causeth) might worke more effectually, which
occasioned the story writer to chuse an higher stile fit for
his subiect, the Prosaicke in prose, the Poet in meetre, and
the Poets was by verse exameter for his grauitie and
statelinesse most allowable: neither would they intermingle
him with any other shorter measure, vnlesse it were in
matters of such qualitie, as became best to be song with the
voyce, and to some musicall instrument, as were with the
Greeks, all your Hymnes |&| Encomia of
Pindarus |&| Callimachus, not very histories but a
maner of historicall reportes in which cases they made those
poemes in variable measures, |&| coupled a short verse with
a long to serue that purpose the better, and we our selues
who compiled this treatise haue written for pleasure a litle
brief Romance or historicall ditty in the English
tong of the Isle of great Britaine in short and
long meetres, and by breaches or diuisions to be more
commodiously song to the harpe in places of assembly, where
the company shalbe desirous to heare of old aduentures |&|
valiaunces of noble knights in times past, as are those of
king Arthur and his knights

{{Page 34}}

of the round table, Sir Beuys of
Southampton, Guy of
War{w}icke and others like. Such as haue not
premonition hereof, and consideration of the causes
alledged, would peraduenture reproue and disgrace euery
Romance, or short historicall ditty for that they be
not written in long meeters or verses Alexandrins,
according to the nature |&| stile of large histories, wherin
they should do wrong for they be sundry formes of poems and
not all one.


In what forme of Poesie vertue in the inferiour sort {w}as

¶1.20.1 IN euerie degree and sort of
men vertue is commendable, but not egally: not onely because
mens estates are vnegall, but for that also vertue it selfe
is not in euery respect of egall value and estimation. For
continence in a king is of greater merit, then in a carter,
th'one hauing all oportunities to allure him to lusts, and
abilitie to serue his appetites, th'other partly, for the
basenesse of his estate wanting such meanes and occasions,
partly by dread of lawes more inhibited, and not so
vehemently caried away with vnbridled affections, and
therfore deserue not in th'one and th'other like praise nor
equall reward, by the very ordinarie course of distributiue
iustice. Euen so parsimonie and illiberalitie are greater
vices in a Prince then in a priuate person, and
pusillanimitie and iniustice likewise: for to th'one,
fortune hath supplied inough to maintaine them in the
contrarie vertues, I meane, fortitude, iustice, liberalitie,
and magnanimitie: the Prince hauing all plentie to vse
largesse by, and no want or neede to driue him to do wrong.
Also all the aides that may be to lift vp his courage, and
to make him stout and fearelesse (augent animos
) saith the Mimist, and
very truly, for nothing pulleth downe a mans heart so much
as aduersitie and lacke. Againe in a meane man prodigalitie
and pride are faultes more reprehensible then in Princes,
whose high estates do require in their countenance, speech
|&| expense, a certaine extraordinary, and their functions
enforce them sometime to exceede the limites of mediocritie
not excusable in a priuat person, whose manner of life and
calling hath no such exigence. Besides the good and bad of
Princes is more exemplarie, and thereby of greater moment

{{Page 35}}

the priuate persons. Therfore it is that the inferiour
persons, with their inferiour vertues haue a certaine
inferiour praise, to guerdon their good with, |&| to comfort
them to continue a laudable course in the modest and honest
life and behauiour. But this lyeth not in written laudes so
much as in ordinary reward and commendation to be giuen them
by the mouth of the superiour magistrate. For histories were
not intended to so generall and base a purpose, albeit many
a meane souldier |&| other obscure persons were spoken of
and made famous in stories, as we finde of Irus
the begger, and Thersites the glorious noddie,
whom Homer maketh mention of. But that happened
(|&| so did many like memories of meane men) by reason of
some greater personage or matter that it was long of, which
therefore could not be an vniuersall case nor chaunce to
euery other good and vertuous person of the meaner sort.
Wherefore the Poet in praising the maner of life or death of
anie meane person, did it by some litle dittie or Epigram or
Epitaph in fewe verses |&| meane stile conformable to his
subiect. So haue you how the immortall gods were praised by
hymnes, the great Princes and heroicke personages by
ballades of praise called Encomia, both of them by
historicall reports of great grauitie and maiestie, the
inferiour persons by other slight poemes.


The forme wherein honest and profitable Artes and sciences
were treated.

¶1.21.1 THe profitable sciences were no
lesse meete to be imported to the greater number of ciuill
men for instruction of the people and increase of knowledge,
then to be reserued and kept for clerkes and great men
onely. So as next vnto the things historicall such doctrines
and arts as the common wealth fared the better by, were
esteemed and allowed. And the same were treated by Poets in
verse Exameter fauoring the Heroicall,
and for the grauitie and comelinesse of the meetre most vsed
with the Greekes and Latines to sad purposes, Such were the
Philosophicall works of
Lucretius Carus among the Romaines, the
Astronomicall of Aratus and Manilius,
one Greeke th'other Latine, the Medicinall of
Nicander, and that of Oppianus of hunting
and fishes, and many moe that were too long to recite in
this place.

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In what forme of Poesie the amorous affections and
allurements were vttered.

¶1.22.1 THe first founder of all good
affections is honest loue, as the mother of all the vicious
is hatred. It was not therefore without reason that so
commendable, yea honourable a thing as loue well meant, were
it in Princely estate or priuate, might in all ciuil common
wealths be vttered in good forme and order as other laudable
things are. And because loue is of all other humane
affections the most puissant and passionate, and most
generall to all sortes and ages of men and women, so as
whether it be of the yong or old or wise or holy, or high
estate or low, none euer could truly bragge of any
exempti|on| in that case: it requireth a forme of Poesie
variable, inconstant, affected, curious and most witty of
any others, whereof the ioyes were to be vttered in one
sorte, the sorrowes in an other, and by the many formes of
Poesie, the many moodes and pangs of louers, throughly to be
discouered: the poore soules sometimes praying, beseeching,
sometime honouring, auancing, praising: an other while
railing, reuiling, and cursing: then sorrowing, weeping,
lamenting: in the ende laughing, reioysing |&| solacing the
beloued againe, with a thousand delicate deuises, odes,
songs, elegies, ballads, sonets and other ditties, moouing
one way and another to great compassion.


The forme of Poeticall reioysings.

¶1.23.1 PLeasure is the chiefe parte of
mans felicity in this world, and also (as our Theologians
say) in the world to come. Therefore while we may (yea
alwaies if it coulde be) to reioyce and take our pleasures
in vertuous and honest sort, it is not only allowable, but
also necessary and very naturall to man. And many be the
ioyes and consolations of the hart: but none greater, than
such as he may vtter and discouer by some conuenient meanes:
euen as to suppresse and hide a mans mirth, and not to haue
therein a partaker, or at least wise a witnes, is no little
griefe and infelicity. Therfore nature and ciuility haue
ordained (besides the priuate solaces) publike reioisings
for the comfort and recreation of many. And

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they be of diuerse sorts and vpon diuerse occasions grown:
one |&| the chiefe was for the publike peace of a countrie
the greatest of any other ciuill good. And wherein your
Maiestie (my most gracious Soueraigne) haue shewed your
selfe to all the world for this one and thirty yeares space
of your glorious raigne, aboue all other Princes of
Christendome, not onely fortunate, but also most sufficient
vertuous and worthy of Empire. An other is for iust |&|
honourable victory atchieued against the forraine enemy. A
third at solemne feasts and pompes of coronations and
enstallments of honourable orders. An other for iollity at
weddings and marriages. An other at the births of Princes
children. An other for priuate entertainements in Court, or
other secret disports in chamber, and such solitary places.
And as these reioysings tend to diuers effects, so do they
also carry diuerse formes and nominations: for those of
victorie and peace are called Triumphall, whereof
we our selues haue heretofore giuen some example by our
Triumphals written in honour of her Maiesties long
peace. And they were vsed by the auncients in like manner,
as we do our generall processions or Letanies with bankets
and bonefires and all manner of ioyes. Those that were to
honour the persons of great Princes or to solemnise the
pompes of any installment were called Encomia, we
may call them carols of honour. Those to celebrate marriages
were called songs nuptiall or Epithalamies, but in
a certaine misticall sense as shall be said hereafter.
Others for magnificence at the natiuities of Princes
children, or by custome vsed yearely vpon the same dayes,
are called songs natall or Genethliaca. Others for
secret recreation and pastime in chambers with company or
alone were the ordinary Musickes amorous, such as might be
song with voice or to the Lute, Citheron or Harpe, or
daunced by measures as the Italian Pauan and galliard are at
these daies in Princes Courts and other places of honourable
or ciuill assembly, and of all these we will speake in order
and very briefly.


The forme of Poeticall lamentations.

¶1.24.1 LAmenting is altogether
contrary to reioising, euery man saith so, and yet is it a
peece of ioy to be able to lament with ease,

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and freely to poure forth a mans inward sorrowes and the
greefs wherewith his minde is surcharged. This was a very
necessary deuise of the Poet and a fine, besides his poetrie
to play also the Phisitian, and not onely by applying a
medicine to the ordinary sicknes of mankind, but by making
the very greef it selfe (in part) cure of the disease. Nowe
are the causes of mans sorrowes many: the death of his
parents, friends, allies, and children: (though many of the
barbarous nations do reioyce at their burials and sorrow at
their birthes) the ouerthrowes and discomforts in battell,
the subuersions of townes and cities, the desolations of
countreis, the losse of goods and worldly promotions, honour
and good renowne: finally the trauails and torments of loue
forlorne or ill bestowed, either by disgrace, deniall,
delay, and twenty other wayes, that well experienced louers
could recite. Such of these greefs as might be refrained or
holpen by wisedome, and the parties owne good endeuour, the
Poet gaue none order to sorrow them: for first as to the
good renowne it is lost, for the more part by some default
of the owner, and may be by his well doings recouered
againe. And if it be vniustly taken away, as by vntrue and
famous libels, the offenders recantation may suffise for his
amends: so did the Poet Stesichorus, as it is
written of him in his Pallinodie vpon the
disprayse of Helena, and recouered his eye sight.
Also for worldly goods they come and go, as things not long
proprietary to any body, and are not yet subiect vnto
fortunes dominion so, but that we our selues are in great
part accessarie to our own losses and hinderaunces, by
ouersight |&| misguiding of our selues and our things,
therefore why should we bewaile our such voluntary
detriment? But death the irrecouerable losse, death the
dolefull departure of frendes, that can neuer be recontinued
by any other meeting or new acquaintance. Besides our
vncertaintie and suspition of their estates and welfare in
the places of their new abode, seemeth to carry a reasonable
pretext of iust sorrow. Likewise the great ouerthrowes in
battell and desolations of countreys by warres, aswell for
the losse of many liues and much libertie as for that it
toucheth the whole state, and euery priuate man hath his
portion in the damage: Finally for loue, there is no
frailtie in flesh and bloud so excusable as it, no comfort
or discomfort greater

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then the good and bad successe thereof, nothing more
naturall to man, nothing of more force to vanquish his will
and to inuegle his iudgement. Therefore of death and
burials, of th'aduersities by warres, and of true loue lost
or ill bestowed, are th'onely sorrowes that the noble Poets
sought by their arte to remoue or appease, not with any
medicament of a contrary temper, as the Galenistes
vse to cure [contraria contrariis]
but as the Paracelsians, who cure [
similia similibus] making one dolour to
expell another, and in this case, one short sorrowing the
remedie of a long and grieuous sorrow. And the lamenting of
deathes was chiefly at the very burialls of the dead, also
at monethes mindes and longer times, by custome continued
yearely, when as they vsed many offices of seruice and loue
towardes the dead, and thereupon are called Obsequies
in our vulgare, which was done not onely by cladding the
mourners their friendes and seruantes in blacke vestures, of
shape dolefull and sad, but also by wofull countenaunces and
voyces, and besides by Poeticall mournings in verse. Such
funerall songs were called Epicedia if they were
song by many, and Monodia if they were vttered by
one alone, and this was vsed at the enterment of Princes and
others of great accompt, and it was reckoned a great
ciuilitie to vse such ceremonies, as at this day is also in
some countrey vsed. In Rome they accustomed to make orations
funerall and commendatorie of the dead parties in the
publique place called Prorostris: and our
Theologians, in stead thereof vse to make sermons,
both teaching the people some good learning, and also saying
well of the departed. Those songs of the dolorous discomfits
in battaile, and other desolations in warre, or of townes
saccaged and subuerted, were song by the remnant of the army
ouerthrowen, with great skrikings and outcries, holding the
wrong end of their weapon vpwards in signe of sorrow and
dispaire. The cities also made generall mournings |&| offred
sacrifices with Poeticall songs to appease the wrath of the
martiall gods |&| goddesses. The third sorrowing was of
loues, by long lamentation in Elegie: so was their
song called, and it was in a pitious maner of meetre,
placing a limping Pentameter, after a lusty
Exameter, which made it go dolourously more then any
other meeter.

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Of the solemne reioysings at the natiuitie of Princes

¶1.25.1 TO returne from sorrow to
reioysing it is a very good hap and no vnwise part for him
that can do it, I say therefore, that the comfort of issue
and procreation of children is so naturall and so great, not
onely to all men but specially to Princes, as duetie and
ciuilitie haue made it a common custome to reioyse at the
birth of their noble children, and to keepe those dayes
hallowed and festiuall for euer once in the yeare, during
the parentes or childrens liues: and that by publique order
|&| consent. Of which reioysings and mirthes the Poet
ministred the first occasion honorable, by presenting of
ioyfull songs and ballades, praysing the parentes by proofe,
the child by hope, the whole kinred by report, |&| the day
it selfe with wishes of all good successe, long life, health
|&| prosperitie for euer to the new borne. These poems were
called in Greeke Genetliaca, with vs they may be
called natall or birth songs.


The maner of reioysings at mariages and {w}eddings.

¶1.26.1 AS the consolation of children
well begotten is great, no lesse but rather greater ought to
be that which is occasion of children, that is honorable
matrimonie, a loue by al lawes allowed, not mutable nor
encombred with such vaine cares |&| passions, as that other
loue, whereof there is no assurance, but loose and fickle
affection occasioned for the most part by sodaine sights and
acquaintance of no long triall or experience, nor vpon any
other good ground wherein any suretie may be conceiued:
wherefore the Ciuill Poet could do no lesse in conscience
and credit, then as he had before done to the ballade of
birth: now with much better deuotion to celebrate by his
poeme the chearefull day of mariages aswell Princely as
others, for that hath alwayes bene accompted with euery
countrey and nation of neuer so barbarous people, the
highest |&| holiest, of any ceremonie apperteining to man: a
match forsooth made for euer and not for a day, a solace
prouided for youth, a comfort for age, a knot of alliance
|&| amitie indissoluble: great reioysing was therefore due
to such a matter and to so glad-

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some a time. This was done in ballade wise as the natall
song, and was song very sweetely by Musitians at the chamber
dore of the Bridegroome and Bride at such times as shalbe
hereafter declared and they were called Epithalamies
as much to say as ballades at the bedding of the bride:
for such as were song at the borde at dinner or supper were
other Musickes and not properly Epithalamies.
Here, if I shall say that which apperteineth to th'arte, and
disclose the misterie of the whole matter, I must and doe
with all humble reuerence bespeake pardon of the chaste and
honorable eares, least I should either offend them with
licentious speach, or leaue them ignorant of the ancient
guise in old times vsed at weddings (in my simple opinion)
nothing reproueable. This Epithalamie was deuided
by breaches into three partes to serue for three seuerall
fits or times to be song. The first breach was song at the
first parte of the night when the spouse and her husband
were brought to their bed |&| at the very chamber dore,
where in a large vtter roome vsed to be (besides the
musiti|en|s) good store of ladies or g|en|tlewomen of their
kinsefolkes, |&| others who came to honor the mariage, |&|
the tunes of the songs were very loude and shrill, to the
intent there might no noise be hard out of the bed ch|am|ber
by the skreeking |&| outcry of the young damosell feeling
the first forces of her stiffe |&| rigorous young man, she
being as all virgins tender |&| weake, |&| vnexpert in those
maner of affaires. For which purpose also they vsed by old
nurses (appointed to that seruice) to suppresse the noise by
casting of pottes full of nuttes round about the chamber
vpon the hard floore or pauem|en|t, for they vsed not mattes
no rushes as we doe now. So as the Ladies and gentlewomen
should haue their eares so occupied what with Musicke, and
what with their handes wantonly scambling and catching after
the nuttes, that they could not intend to harken after any
other thing. This was as I said to diminish the noise of the
laughing lamenting spouse. The tenour of that part of the
song was to congratulate the first acquaintance and meeting
of the young couple, allowing of their parents good
discretions in making the match, th|en| afterward to sound
cherfully to the onset and first encounters of that amorous
battaile, to declare the c|on|sort of childr|en|, |&|
encrease of loue by that meane chiefly caused: the bride
shewing her self euery waies well disposed and still

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supplying occasions of new lustes and loue to her husband,
by her obedience and amorous embracings and all other
allurementes. About midnight or one of the clocke, the
Musicians came again to the chamber dore (all the Ladies and
other women as they were of degree, hauing taken their
leaue, and being gone to their rest.) This part of the
ballade was to refresh the faint and weried bodies and
spirits, and to animate new appetites with cherefull wordes,
encoraging th|em| to the recontinuance of the same
entertainments, praising and comm|en|ding (by supposall) the
good conformities of them both, |&| their desire one to
vanquish the other by such fr|en|dly conflictes: alledging
that the first embracementes neuer bred barnes, by reason of
their ouermuch affection and heate, but onely made passage
for children and enforced greater liking to the late made
match. That the second assaultes, were less rigorous, but
more vigorous and apt to auance the purpose of procreation,
that therefore they should persist in all good appetite with
an inuincible courage to the end. This was the second part
of the Epithalamie. In the morning when it was
faire broad day, |&| that by liklyhood all tournes were
sufficiently serued, the last actes of the enterlude being
ended, |&| that the bride must within few hours arise and
apparrell her selfe, no more as a virgine, but as a wife,
and about dinner time must by order come forth
Sicut sponsa de thalanio, very demurely and
stately to be sene and acknowledged of her parents and
kinsfolkes whether she were the same woman or a changeling,
or dead or aliue, or maimed by any accident nocturnall. The
same Musicians came againe with this last part, and greeted
them both with a Psalme of new applausions, for that they
had either of them so well behaued them selues that night,
the husband to rob his spouse of her maidenhead and saue her
life, the bride so lustely to satisfie her husbandes loue
and scape with so litle daunger of her person, for which
good chaunce that they should make a louely truce and
abstinence of that warre till next night sealing the placard
of that louely league, with twentie maner of sweet kisses,
then by good admonitions enformed them to the frugall |&|
thriftie life all the rest of their dayes. The good man
getting and bringing home, the wife sauing that which her
husband should get, therewith to be the better able to keepe

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hospitalitie, according to their estates, and to bring vp
their children, (if God sent any) vertuously, and the better
by their owne good example. Finally to perseuer all the rest
of their life in true and inuiolable wedlocke. This ceremony
was omitted when men maried widowes or such as had tasted
the frutes of loue before, (we call them well experienced
young women) in whom there was no feare of daunger to their
persons, or of any outcry at all, at the time of those
terrible approches. Thus much touching the vsage of
Epithalamie or bedding ballad of the ancient
times, in which if there were any wanton or lasciuious
matter more then ordinarie which they called
Ficenina luc|en|tia it was borne withal for
that time because of the matter no lesse requiring.
Catullus hath made of th|em| one or two very
artificiall and ciuil: but none more excellent then of late
yeares a young noble man of Germanie as I take it
Ioh|an|nes secundus who in that and in his poeme
De basijsh any of the auncient or
moderne Poetes in my iudgment.


The manner of Poesie by which they vttered their bitter
taunts, and priuy nips, or witty scoffes and other merry

¶1.27.1 BVt all the world could not
keepe, nor any ciuill ordinance to the contrary so preuaile,
but that men would and must needs vtter their splenes in all
ordinarie matters also: or else it seemed their bowels would
burst, therefore the poet deuised a prety fashioned poeme
short and sweete (as we are wont to say) and called it
Epigramma in which euery mery conceited man might
without any long studie or tedious ambage, make his frend
sport, and anger his foe, and giue a prettie nip, or shew a
sharpe conceit in few verses: for this Epigramme
is but an inscription or writting made as it were vpon a
table, or in a windowe, or vpon the wall or mantell of a
chimney of some place of common resort, where it was allowed
euery man might come, or be sitting to chat and prate, as
now in our tauernes and common tabling houses, where many
merry heades meete, and scrible with ynke with chalke, or
with a cole such matters as they would euery m|an| should
know, |&| descant vp|on|. Afterward the same came to be put
in paper and in bookes, and vsed as ordinarie missiues, some
of frendship, some

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of defiaunce, or as other messages of mirth: Martiall
was the chiefe of this skil among the Latines, |&| at
these days the best Epigr|am|mes we finde, |&| of the
sharpest conceit are those that haue bene gathered among the
reliques of the two muet Satyres in Rome,
Pasquill and
Marphorius, which in time of sede
, when merry conceited men listed to
gibe |&| iest at the dead Pope, or any of his Cardinales,
they fastened them vpon those Images which now lie in the
open streets, and were tollerated, but after that terme
expired they were inhibited againe. These inscriptions or
Epigrammes at their begining had no certaine author that
would auouch them, some for feare of blame, if they were
ouer saucy or sharpe, others for modestie of the writer as
was that disticke of Virgil which he set
vpon the pallace gate of the emperour Augustus,
which I will recite for the breifnes and quicknes of it, |&|
also for another euente that fell out vpon the matter worthy
to be remembred. These were the verses.

Nocte pluit tota, redeunt spectacula mane
Diuisum imperium cum Ioue Cæsar habet

¶1.27.2 Which I haue thus Englished,

It raines all night, early the shewes returne
God and Cæsar, do raigne and rule by turne

¶1.27.3 As much to say, God sheweth his power by
the night raines. Cæsar his magnificence by the pompes of
the day.

¶1.27.4 These two verses were very well liked, and
brought to th'Emperours Maiestie, who tooke great pleasure
in them, |&| willed the author should be knowen. A sausie
courtier profered him selfe to be the man, and had a good
reward giuen him: for the Emperour him self was not only
learned, but of much munificence toward all learned men:
whereupon Virgill seing him self by his ouermuch
modestie defrauded of the reward, that an impudent had
gotten by abuse of his merit, came the next night, and
fastened vpon the same place this halfe metre, four times
iterated. Thus.

Sic vos non vobis
Sic vos non vobis
Sic vos non vobis
Sic vos non vobis

¶1.27.5 And there it remained a great while
because no man wist what

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it meant, till Virgill opened the whole fraude by
this deuise. He wrote aboue the same halfe metres this whole
verse Exameter. Hos
ego versiculos feci tulit alter honores
And then finished the foure half metres, thus.

Sic vos non vobis Fertis aratra boues.
Sic vos non vobis Vellera fertis oues.
Sic vos non vobis Mellificatis apes.
Sic vos non vobis Indificatis aues.

¶1.27.6 And put to his name Publius Virgilius
. This matter came by and by to Th'emperours eare,
who taking great pleasure in the deuise called for
Virgill, and gaue him not onely a present reward,
with a good allowance of dyet a bonche in court as we vse to
call it: but also held him for euer after vpon larger triall
he had made of his learning and vertue in so great
reputation, as he vouchsafed to giue him the name of a frend
(amicus) which among the Romanes
was so great an honour and speciall fauour, as all such
persons were allowed to the Emperours table, or to the
Senatours who had receiued them (as frendes) and they were
the only men that came ordinarily to their boords, |&|
solaced with them in their chambers, and gardins when none
other could be admitted.


Of the poeme called Epitaph vsed for memoriall of the dead.

¶1.28.1 AN Epitaph is but a kind of
Epigram only applied to the report of the dead persons
estate and degree, or of his other good or bad partes, to
his commendation or reproch: and is an inscription such as a
man may commodiously write or engraue vpon a tombe in few
verses, pithie, quicke and sententious for the passer by to
peruse, and iudge vpon without any long tariaunce: So as if
it exceed the measure of an Epigram, it is then (if the
verse be correspondent) rather an Elegie then an Epitaph
which errour many of these bastard rimers commit, because
they be not learned, nor (as we are wont to say) their
catstes masters, for they make long and tedious discourses,
and write them in large tables to be hanged vp in Churches
and chauncells ouer the tombes of great men and others,
which be so exceeding long as one must haue halfe

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a dayes leasure to reade one of them, |&| must be called
away before he come halfe to the end, or else be locked into
the Church by the Sexten as I my selfe was once serued
reading an Epitaph in a certain cathedrall Church of
England. They be ignor|an|t of poesie that call such l|on|g
tales by the name of Epitaphes, they might better call them
Elegies, as I said before, and then ought neither to be
engrauen nor hanged vp in tables. I haue seene them
neuertheles vpon many honorable tombes of these late times
erected, which doe rather disgrace then honour either the
matter or maker.


A certaine auncient forme of poesie by which men did vse to
reproch their enemies.

¶1.29.1 AS frendes be a rich and
ioyfull possession, so be foes a continuall torment and
canker to the minde of man, and yet there is no possible
meane to auoide this inconuenience, for the best of vs all,
|&| he that thinketh he liues most blamelesse, liues not
without enemies, that enuy him for his good parts, or hate
him for his euill. There be wise men, and of them the great
learned man Plutarch that tooke vpon them to
perswade the benefite that men receiue by their enemies,
which though it may be true in manner of Paradoxe,
yet I finde mans frailtie to be naturally such, and alwayes
hath beene, that he cannot conceiue it in his owne case, nor
shew that patience and moderation in such greifs, as
becommeth the man perfite and accomplisht in all vertue: but
either in deede or by word, he will seeke reuenge against
them that malice him, or practise his harmes, specially such
foes as oppose themselues to a mans loues. This made the
auncient Poetes to inuent a meane to rid the gall of all
such Vindicatiue men: so as they might be a wrecked of their
wrong, |&| neuer bely their enemie with slaunderous
vntruthes. And this was done by a maner of imprecation, or
as we call it by cursing and banning of the parties, and
wishing all euill to a light vpon them, and though it neuer
the sooner happened, yet was it great easment to the boiling
stomacke: They were called Diræ
, such as Virgill made aginst Battarus
, and Ouide against Ibis: we
Christians are forbidden to vse such vncharitable fashions,
and willed to referre all our reuenges to God alone.

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Of short Epigrames called Posies.

¶1.30.1 THere be also other like
Epigrammes that were sent vsually for new yeares giftes or
to be Printed or put vpon their banketting dishes of suger
plate, or of march paines, |&| such other dainty meates as
by the curtesie |&| custome euery gest might carry from a
common feast home with him to his owne house, |&| were made
for the nonce, they were called Nenia or
apophoreta, and neuer contained aboue one verse, or
two at the most, but the shorter the better, we call them
Posies, and do paint them now a dayes vpon the backe sides
of our fruite trenchers of wood, or vse them as deuises in
rings and armes and about such courtly purposes. So haue we
remembred and set forth to your Maiestie very briefly, all
the commended fourmes of the auncient Poesie, which we in
our vulgare makings do imitate and vse vnder these common
names: enterlude, song, ballade, carroll and ditty:
borrowing them also from the French al sauing this word
(song) which is our naturall Saxon English word. The rest,
such as time and vsurpation by custome haue allowed vs out
of the primitiue Greeke |&| Latine, as Comedie, Tragedie,
Ode, Epitaphe, Elegie, Epigramme, and other moe. And we haue
purposely omitted all nice or scholasticall curiosities not
meete for your Maiesties contemplation in this our vulgare
arte, and what we haue written of the auncient formes of
Poemes, we haue taken from the best clerks writing in the
same arte. The part that next followeth to wit of
proportion, because the Greeks nor Latines neuer had it in
vse, nor made any obseruation, no more then we doe of their
feete, we may truly affirme to haue bene the first deuisers
thereof our selues, as autodidaktoi, and
not to haue borrowed it of any other by learning or
imitation, and thereby trusting to be holden the more
excusable if any thing in this our labours happen either to
mislike, or to come short of th'authors purpose, because
commonly the first attempt in any arte or engine artificiall
is amendable, |&| in time by often experiences reformed. And
so no doubt may this deuise of ours be, by others that shall
take the penne in hand after vs.

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Who in any age haue bene the most commended writers in our
English Poesie, and the Authors censure giuen vpon them.

¶1.31.1 IT appeareth by sundry records
of bookes both printed |&| written, that many of our
countreymen haue painfully trauelled in this part: of whose
works some appeare to be but bare translati|on|s, other some
matters of their owne inuention and very commendable,
whereof some recitall shall be made in this place, to
th'intent chiefly that their names should not be defrauded
of such honour as seemeth due to them for hauing by their
thankefull studies so much beautified our English tong (as
at this day it will be found our nation is in nothing
inferiour to the French or Italian for copie of language,
subtiltie of deuice, good method and proportion in any forme
of poeme, but that they may compare with the most, and
perchance passe a great many of them. And I will not reach
aboue the time of king Edward the third, and
Richard the second for any that wrote in English
meeter: because before their times by reason of the late
Normane conquest, which had brought into this Realme much
alteration both of our langage and lawes, and there withall
a certain martiall barbarousnes, whereby the study of all
good learning was so much decayd, as long time after no man
or very few entended to write in any laudable science: so as
beyond that time there is litle or nothing worth
commendation to be founde written in this arte. And those of
the first age were Chaucer and Gower
both of them as I suppose Knightes. After whom followed
Iohn Lydgate the monke of Bury, |&| that nameles, who
wrote the Satyre called Piers Plowman, next him
followed Harding the Chronicler, then in king
Henry th'eight times Skelton, (I wot not
for what great worthines) surnamed the Poet Laureat
. In the latter end of the same kings raigne spr|on|g vp a
new company of courtly makers, of whom Sir Thomas
th'elder |&| Henry Earle of Surrey were
the two chieftaines, who hauing trauailed into Italie, and
there tasted the sweete and stately measures and stile of
the Itali|an| Poesie as nouices newly crept out of the
schooles of Dante Arioste and Petrarch,
they greatly pollished our rude |&| homely maner of vulgar
Poesie, from that it had bene before, and for that cause may
iustly be sayd the first reformers of our English

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meetre and stile. In the same time or not long after was the
Lord Nicholas Vaux, a man of much facilitie in
vulgar makings. Afterward in king Edward the
sixths time came to be in reputation for the same facultie
Thomas Sternehold, who first translated into
English certaine Psalmes of Dauid, and Iohn Heywood
the Epigrammatist who for the myrth and quicknesse of his
conceits more then for any good learning was in him came to
be well benefited by the king. But the principall man in
this profession at the same time was Maister Edward
a man of no lesse mirth |&| felicitie that way,
but of much more skil, |&| magnificence in his meeter, and
therefore wrate for the most part to the stage, in Tragedie
and sometimes in Comedie or Enterlude, wherein he gaue the
king so much good recreation, as he had thereby many good
rewardes. In Queenes Maries time florished aboue
any other Doctour Phaer one that was well learned
|&| excellently well translated into English verse Heroicall
certaine bookes of Virgils Æneidos. Since him
followed Maister Arthure Golding, who with no
lesse commendation turned into English meetre the
Metamorphosis of Ouide, and that other Doctour,
who made the supplement to those bookes of Virgiles
, which Maister Phaer left vndone.
And in her Maiesties time that now is are sprong vp an other
crew of Courtly makers Noble men and Gentlemen of her
Maiesties owne seruantes, who haue written excellently well
as it would appeare if their doings could be found out and
made publicke with the rest, of which number is first that
noble Gentleman Edward Earle of Oxford.
Thomas Lord of Bukhurst, when he was young,
Henry Lord Paget, Sir Philip Sydney, Sir
Walter Rawleigh, Master Edward Dyar,
Maister Fulke Greuell, Gascon, Britton, Turberuille
and a great many other learned Gentlemen, whose names I
do not omit for enuie, but to auoyde tediousnesse, and who
haue deserued no little commendation. But of them all
particularly this is myne opinion, that Chaucer,
with Gower, Lidgat and Harding for their
antiquitie ought to haue the first place, and Chaucer
as the most renowmed of them all, for the much learning
appeareth to be in him aboue any of the rest. And though
many of his bookes be but bare translations out of the Latin
|&| French, yet are they wel handled, as his bookes of

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and Cresseid, and the Romant of the Rose, whereof
he translated but one halfe, the deuice was Iohn de
a French Poet, the Canterbury tales were
Chaucers owne inuention as I suppose, and where he
sheweth more the naturall of his pleasant wit, then in any
other of his workes, his similitudes comparisons and all
other descriptions are such as can not be amended. His
meetre Heroicall of Troilus and Cresseid
is very graue and stately, keeping the staffe of seuen, and
the verse of ten, his other verses of the Canterbury tales
be but riding ryme, neuerthelesse very well becomming the
matter of that pleasaunt pilgrimage in which euery mans part
is playd with much decency. Gower sauing for his
good and graue moralities, had nothing in him highly to be
commended, for his verse was homely and without good
measure, his wordes strained much deale out of the French
writers, his ryme wrested, and in his inuentions small
subtilitie: the applications of his moralities are the best
in him, and yet those many times very grossely bestowed,
neither doth the substance of his workes sufficiently
aunswere the subtilitie of his titles. Lydgat a
translatour onely and no deuiser of that which he wrate, but
one that wrate in good verse. Harding a Poet Epick
or Historicall, handled himselfe well according to the time
and maner of his subiect. He that wrote the Satyr of Piers
Ploughman, seemed to haue bene a malcontent of that time,
and therefore bent himselfe wholy to taxe the disorders of
that age, and specially the pride of the Romane Clergy, of
whose fall he seemeth to be a very true Prophet, his verse
is but loose meetre, and his termes hard and obscure, so as
in them is litle pleasure to be taken. Skelton a
sharpe Satirist, but with more rayling and scoffery then
became a Poet Lawreat, such among the Greekes were called
Pantomimi, with vs Buffons, altogether applying their
wits to Scurrillities |&| other ridiculous matters.
Henry Earle of Surrey and Sir Thomas Wyat,
betweene whom I finde very litle differ|en|ce, I repute them
(as before) for the two chief l|an|ternes of light to all
others that haue since employed their pennes vpon English
Poesie, their conceits were loftie, their stiles stately,
their conueyance cleanely, their termes proper, their meetre
sweete and well proportioned, in all imitating very
naturally and studiously their Maister Francis

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The Lord Vaux his commendati|on| lyeth chiefly in
the facillitie of his meetre, and the aptnesse of his
descriptions such as he taketh vpon him to make, namely in
sundry of his Songs, wherein he sheweth the counterfait
acti|on| very liuely |&| pleasantly. Of the later sort I
thinke thus. That for Tragedie, the Lord of Buckhurst, |&|
Maister Edward Ferrys for such doings as I haue
sene of theirs do deserue the hyest price: Th'Earle of
Oxford and Maister Edwardes of her Maiesties
Chappell for comedy and Enterlude. For Eglogue and pastorall
Poesie, Sir Philip Sydney and Maister
Challenner, and that other Gentleman who wrate the
late shepheardes Callender. For dittie and amorous
Ode I finde Sir Walter Rawleyghs vayne most
loftie, insolent, and passionate. Maister Edward Dyar
, for Elegie most sweete, solempne and of high conceit.
Gascon for a good meeter and for a plentifull vayne.
Phaer and Golding for a learned and well
corrected verse, specially in translation cleare and very
faithfully answering their authors intent. Others haue also
written with much facillitie, but more commendably perchance
if they had not written so much nor so popularly. But last
in recitall and first in degree is the Queene our soueraigne
Lady, whose learned, delicate, noble Muse, easily
surmounteth all the rest that haue writt|en| before her time
or since, for sence, sweetnesse and subtillitie, be it in
Ode, Elegie, Epigram, or any other kinde of poeme Heroick or
Lyricke, wherein it shall please her Maiestie to employ her
penne, euen by as much oddes as her owne excellent estate
and degree exceedeth all the rest of her most humble


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Of Proportion Poeticall.

¶2.1.1 IT is said by such as professe
the Mathematicall sciences, that all things stand by
proportion, and that without it nothing could stand to be
good or beautiful. The Doctors of our Theologie to the same
effect, but in other termes, say: that God made the world by
number, measure and weight: some for weight say tune, and
peraduenture better. For weight is a kind of measure or of
much conueniencie with it: and therefore in their
descriptions be alwayes coupled together (
statica |&| metrica) weight and measures.
Hereupon it seemeth the Philosopher gathers a triple
proportion, to wit, the Arithmeticall, the Geometricall, and
the Musicall. And by one of these three is euery other
proportion guided of the things that haue conueniencie by
relation, as the visible by light colour and shadow: the
audible by stirres, times and accents: the odorable by
smelles of sundry temperaments: the tastible by fauours to
the rate: the tangible by his obiectes in this or that
regard. Of all which we leaue to speake, returning to our
poeticall proportion, which holdeth of the Musical, because
as we sayd before Poesie is a skill to speake |&| write
harmonically: and verses or rime be a kind of Musicall
vtterance, by reason of a certaine congruitie in sounds
pleasing the eare, though not perchance so exquisitely as
the harmonicall concents of the artificial Musicke
consisting in strained tunes, as is the vocall Musike, or
that of melodious instruments, as Lutes, Harpes, Regals,
Records and such like. And this our proportion Poeticall

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resteth in fiue points: Staffe, Measure, Concord, Scituation
and figure all which shall be spoken of in their places.


Of proportion in Staffe.

¶2.2.1 STaffe in our vulgare Poesie I
know not why it should be so called, vnlesse it be for that
we vnderstand it for a bearer or supporter of a song or
ballad not vnlike the old weake bodie, that is stayed vp by
his staffe, and were not otherwise able to walke or to stand
vpright. The Italian called it Stanza, as if we
should say a resting place: and if we consider well the
forme of this Poeticall staffe, we shall finde it to be a
certaine number of verses allowed to go altogether and ioyne
without any intermission, and doe or should finish vp all
the sent|en|ces of the same with a full period vnlesse it be
in som special cases, |&| there to stay till another staffe
follow of like sort: and the shortest staffe conteineth not
vnder foure verses, nor the longest aboue ten, if it passe
that number it is rather a whole ditty then properly a
staffe. Also for the more part the staues stand rather vpon
the euen nomber of verses then the odde, though there be of
both sorts. The first proportion then of a staffe is by
quadrien or foure verses. The second of fiue verses,
and is seldome vsed. The third by
sizein or sixe verses, and is not only most vsual,
but also very pleasant to th'eare. The fourth is in seu|en|
verses, |&| is the chiefe of our ancient proportions vsed by
any rimer writing any thing of historical or graue poeme, as
ye may see in Chaucer and Lidgate th'one
writing the loues of Troylus and Cresseida
, th'other of the fall of Princes: both by them translated
not deuised. The fift proportion is of eight verses very
stately and Heroicke, and which I like better then
that of seuen, because it receaueth better band. The sixt is
of nine verses, rare but very graue. The seuenth proportion
is of tenne verses, very stately, but in many mens opinion
too long: neuerthelesse of very good grace |&| much
grauitie. Of eleuen and twelue I find none ordinary staues
vsed in any vulgar language, neither doth it serue well to
continue any historicall report or ballade, or other song:
but is a dittie of it self, and no staffe, yet some moderne
writers haue vsed it but very seldome. Then last of all haue
ye a proportion to be vsed in the num-

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ber of your staues, as to a caroll and a ballade, to a song,
|&| a round, or virelay. For to an historicall poeme no
certain number is limited, but as the matter fals out: also
a distick or couple of verses is not to be
accompted a staffe, but serues for a continuance as we see
in Elegie, Epitaph, Epigramme or such meetres, of plaine
concord not harmonically entertangled, as some other songs
of more delicate musick be.

¶2.2.2 A staffe of foure verses containeth in it
selfe matter sufficient to make a full periode or complement
of sence, though it doe not alwayes so, and therefore may go
by diuisions.

¶2.2.3 A staffe of fiue verses, is not much vsed
because he that can not comprehend his periode in foure
verses, will rather driue it into six then leaue it in fiue,
for that the euen number is more agreable to the eare then
the odde is.

¶2.2.4 A staffe of sixe verses, is very pleasant
to the eare, and also serueth for a greater complement then
the inferiour staues, which maketh him more commonly to be

¶2.2.5 A staffe of seuen verses, most vsuall with
our auncient makers, also the staffe of eight, nine and ten
of larger complement then the rest, are onely vsed by the
later makers, |&| unlesse they go with very good bande, do
not so well as the inferiour staues. Therefore if ye make
your staffe of eight, by two fowers not entertangled, it is
not a huitaine or a staffe of eight, but two quadreins, so
is it in ten verses, not being entertangled they be but two
staues of fiue.


Of proportion in measure.

¶2.3.1 MEeter and measure is all one,
for what the Greekes call
metron, the Latines call
Mensura, and is but the quantitie of a verse,
either long or short. This quantitie with them consisteth in
the number of their feete: |&| with vs in the number of
sillables, which are comprehended in euery verse, not
regarding his feete, otherwise then that we allow in
scanning our verse, two sillables to make one short
porti|on| (suppose it a foote) in euery verse. And after
that sort ye may say, we haue feete in our vulgare rymes,
but that is improperly: for a foote by his sence naturall is
a m|en|ber of office and function, and serueth to three
purposes, that is to say, to go, to

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runne, |&| to stand still: so as he must be sometimes swift,
sometimes slow, sometime vnegally marching or peradu|en|ture
steddy. And if our feete Poeticall want these qualities it
can not be sayd a foote in sence translatiue as here. And
this commeth to passe, by reason of the euident motion and
stirre, which is perceiued in the sounding of our wordes not
alwayes egall: for some aske longer, some shorter time to be
vttered in, |&| so by the Philosophers definition, stirre is
the true measure of time. The Greekes |&| Latines because
their wordes hapned to be of many sillables, and very few of
one sillable, it fell out right with them to conceiue and
also to perceiue, a notable diuersitie of motion and times
in the pronuntiation of their wordes, and therefore to euery
bissillable they allowed two times, |&| to a
trissillable three times, |&| to euery
polisillable more, according to his quantitie, |&|
their times were some long, some short according as their
motions were slow or swift. For the sound of some sillable
stayd the eare a great while, and others slid away so
quickly, as if they had not bene pronounced, then euery
sillable being allowed one time, either short or long, it
fell out that euery tetrasillable had foure times,
euery trissillable three, and the
bissillable two, by which obseruation euery word, not
vnder that sise, as he ranne or stood in a verse, was called
by them a foote of such and so many times, namely the
bissillable was either of two long times as the
spondeus, or two short, as the pirchius, or
of a long |&| a short as the trocheus, or of a
short and a long as the iambus: the like rule did
they set vpon the word trissillable, calling him a
foote of three times: as the dactilus of a long
and two short: the mollossus of three long, the
tribracchus of three short, the amphibracchus
of two long and a short, the amphimacer of two
short and a long. The word of foure sillables they called a
foote of foure times, some or all of them, either long or
short: and yet not so content they mounted higher, and
because their wordes serued well thereto, they made feete of
sixe times: but this proceeded more of curiositie, then
otherwise: for whatsoeuer foote passe the
trissillable is c|om|pounded of his inferiour as
euery number Arithmeticall aboue three, is compounded of the
inferiour numbers as twise two make foure, but the three is
made of one number, videl. of two and an vnitie. Now because
our naturall |&| primitiue language of the Saxon En-

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glish, beares not any wordes (at least very few)
of moe sillables then one (for whatsoeuer we see exceede,
commeth to vs by the alterations of our language growen vpon
many conquestes and otherwise) there could be no such
obseruation of times in the sound of our wordes, |&| for
that cause we could not haue the feete which the Greeks and
Latines haue in their meetres: but of this stirre |&| motion
of their deuised feete, nothing can better shew the qualitie
th|en| these runners at common games, who setting forth from
the first goale, one giueth the start speedely |&| perhaps
before the come half way to th'other goale, decayeth his
pace, as a m|an| weary |&| fainting: another is slow at the
start, but by amending his pace keepes euen with his fellow
or perchance gets before him: another one while gets ground,
another while loseth it again, either in the beginning, or
middle of his race, and so proceedes vnegally sometimes
swift somtimes slow as his breath or forces serue him:
another sort there be that plod on, |&| will neuer change
their pace, whether they win or lose the game: in this maner
doth the Greeke dactilus begin slowly and keepe on
swifter till th'end, for his race being deuided into three
parts, he spends one, |&| that is the first slowly, the
other twaine swiftly: the anapestus his two first
parts swiftly, his last slowly: the Molossus
spends all three parts of his race slowly and egally
Bacchius his first part swiftly, |&| two last parts
slowly. The tribrachus all his three parts
swiftly: the antibacchius his two first partes
slowly, his last |&| third swiftly: the amphimacer
, his first |&| last part slowly |&| his middle part
swiftly: the amphibracus his first and last parts
swiftly but his midle part slowly, |&| so of others by like
proporti|on|. This was a pretie phantasticall obseruation of
them, |&| yet brought their meetres to haue a maruelous good
grace, which was in Greeke called rithmos:
whence we haue deriued this word ryme, but improperly |&|
not wel because we haue no such feete or times or stirres in
our meeters, by whose simpathie, or pleasant
c|on|u|en|iencie with th'eare, we could take any delight:
this rithmus of theirs, is not therfore our rime,
but a certaine musicall numerositie in vtterance, and not a
bare number as that of the Arithmeticall c|om|putation is,
which therfore is not called rithmus but
arithmus. Take this away from them, I meane the
running of their feete, there is nothing of curiositie among
them more then with vs nor yet so much.

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How many sorts of measures we vse in our vulgar.

¶2.4.1 TO returne from rime to our
measure againe, it hath bene sayd that according to the
number of the sillables contained in euery verse, the same
is sayd a long or short meeter, and his shortest proportion
is of foure sillables, and his longest of twelue, they that
vse it aboue, passe the bounds of good proportion. And euery
meeter may be aswel in the odde as in the euen sillable, but
better in the euen, and one verse may begin in the euen, |&|
another follow in the odde, and so keepe a commendable
proportion. The verse that containeth but two silables,
which may be in one word, is not vsuall: therefore many do
deny him to be a verse, saying that it is but a foot, and
that a meeter can haue no lesse then two feete at the least,
but I find it otherwise aswell among the best Italian Poets,
as also with our vulgar makers, and that two sillables serue
wel for a short measure in the first place, and midle, and
end of a staffe: and also in diuerse scituations and by
sundry distances, and is very passionate and of good grace,
as shalbe declared more at large in the Chapter of
proportion by scituation.

¶2.4.2 The next measure is of two feete or of
foure sillables, and then one word
tetrasillable diuided in the middest makes vp the
whole meeter, as thus

¶2.4.3 Rèue rèntl{_i}e

¶2.4.4 Or a trissillable and one monosillable
thus. Soueraine God, or two bissillables and that
is plesant thus, Restore againe, or with foure
monossillables, and that is best of all thus, When I
doe thinke
, I finde no fauour in a meetre of three
sillables nor in effect in any odde, but they may be vsed
for varietie sake, and specially being enterlaced with
others: the meetre of six sillables is very sweete and
dilicate as thus.

O God {w}hen I behold
This bright heauen so hye
By thine o{w}ne hands of old
Contriud so cunningly.

¶2.4.5 The meter of seuen sillables is not vsual,
no more is that of nine and eleuen, yet if they be well
composed, that is, their Cesure well appointed,
and their last accent which makes the concord, they

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are c|om|mendable inough, as in this ditty where one verse
is of eight an other is of seuen, and in the one the accent
vpon the last, in the other vpon the last saue on.

The smoakie sighes, the bitter teares
That I in vaine haue wasted
The broken sleepes, the woe and feares
That long in me haue lasted
Will be my death, all by thy guilt
And not by my deseruing
Since so inconstantly thou wilt>br> Not loue but still be sweruing.

And all the reason why these meeters in all sillable are
alowable is, for that the sharpe accent falles vpon the
penultima or last saue one
sillable of the verse, which doth so drowne the last, as he
seemeth to passe away in maner vnpronounced, |&| so make the
verse seeme euen: but if the accent fall vpon the last and
leaue two flat to finish the verse, it will not seeme so:
for the odnes will more notoriously appeare, as for example
in the last verse before recited Not loue but still be
, say thus Loue it is a maruelous thing.
. Both verses be of egall quantitie, vidz. seauen
sillables a peece, and yet the first seemes shorter then the
later, who shewes a more odnesse then the former by reason
of his sharpe accent which is vp|on| the last sillable, and
makes him more audible then if he had slid away with a flat
accent, as the word sw|'e|ruing.

Your ordinarie rimers vse very much their measures in the
odde as nine and eleuen, and the sharpe accent vpon the last
sillable, which therefore makes him go ill fauouredly and
like a minstrels musicke. Thus sayd one in a meeter of
eleuen very harshly in mine eare, whether it be for lacke of
good rime or of good reason, or of both I wot not.

Now sucke childe and sleepe childe, thy mothers owne ioy
Her only sweete comfort, to drowne all annoy
For beauty surpassing the azured skie
I loue thee my darling, as ball of mine eye.

This sort of compotition in the odde
I like not, vnlesse it be holpen by the Cesure or
by the accent as I sayd before.

The meeter of eight is no lesse pleasant then that of sixe,

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the Cesure fals iust in the middle, as this of the
Earle of Surreyes.

When raging loue, with extreme payne.

The meeeter of ten sillables is very
stately and Heroicall, and must haue his Cesure
fall vpon the fourth sillable, and leaue sixe behinde him

I serue at ease, and gouerne all with woe.

This meeter of twelue sillables the French man calleth a
verse Alexandrine, and is with our moderne rimers
most vsuall: with the auncient makers it was not so. For
before Sir Thomas Wiats time they were not vsed in
our vulgar, they be for graue and stately matters fitter
than for any other ditty of pleasure. Some makers write in
verses of foureteene sillables, giuing the Cesure
at the first eight, which proportion is tedious, for the
length of the verse keepeth the eare too long from his
delight, which is to heare the cadence or the tuneable
accent in the ende of the verse. Neuerthelesse that of
twelue if his Cesure be iust in the middle, and
that ye suffer him to runne at full length, and do not as
the common rimers do, or their Printer for sparing of paper,
cut them of in the middest, wherin they make in two verses
but halfe rime. They do very wel as wrote the Earle of
Surrey translating the booke of the preacher.

Salomon Dauids sonne, king of Ierusalem.

This verse is a very good Alexandrine, but
perchaunce woulde haue sounded more musically, if the first
word had bene a dissillable, or two monosillables and not a
trissillable: hauing his sharpe accent vppon the
Antepenultima as it hath, by which occasion it runnes
like a Dactill, and carries the two later
sillables away so speedily as it seemes but one foote in our
vulgar measure, and by that meanes makes the verse seeme but
of eleuen sillables, which odnesse is nothing pleasant to
the eare. Iudge some body whether it would haue done better
(if it might) haue bene sayd thus,

Robóham Dauids sonne king of Iersualem,

Letting the sharpe accent fall vpon bo, or thus

Restóre king D{'a}uids sonne vntó Ierúsalém

For now the sharpe accent falles vpon bo,
and so doth it vpon the last in restóre, which
was not in th'other verse. But because we haue seemed to
make mention of Cesure, and to appoint his place
in euery measure, it shall not be amisse to say somewhat
more of it,

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|&| also of such pauses as are vsed in vtterance, |&| what
commoditie or delectation they bring either to the speakers
or to the hearers.

Of Cesure.

THere is no greater difference betwixt a ciuill
and brutish vtteraunce then cleare distinction of voices:
and the most laudable languages are alwaies most plaine and
distinct, and the barbarous most confuse and indistinct: it
is therefore requisit that leasure be taken in
pronuntiation, such as may make our wordes plaine |&| most
audible and agreable to the eare: also the breath asketh to
be now and then releeued with some pause or stay more or
lesse: besides that the very nature of speach (because it
goeth by clauses of seuerall construction |&| sence)
requireth some space betwixt th|em| with intermissi|on| of
sound, to th'end they may not huddle one vpon another so
rudly |&| so fast that th'eare may not perceiue their
difference. For these respectes the auncient reformers of
language, inuented, three maner of pauses, one of lesse
leasure then another, and such seuerall intermissions of
sound to serue (besides easm|en|t to the breath) for a
treble distinction of sent|en|ces or parts of speach, as
they happened to be more or lesse perfect in sence. The
shortest pause or intermissi|on| they called comma
as who would say a peece of a speach cut of. The sec|on|d
they called colon, not a peece but as it were a
member for his larger length, because it occupied twise as
much time as the comma. The third they called
periodus, for a c|om|plement or
full pause, and as a resting place and perfection of so much
former speach as had been vttered, and from whence they
needed not to passe any further vnles it were to renew more
matter to enlarge the tale. This cannot be better
represented then by ex|am|ple of these c|om|m|on| trauailers
by the hie ways, where they seeme to allow th|em|selues
three maner of staies or easements: one a horsebacke calling
perchaunce for a cup of beere or wine, and hauing dronken it
vp rides away and neuer lights: about noone he commeth to
his Inne, |&| there baites him selfe and his horse an houre
or more: at night when he can conueniently trauaile no
further, he taketh vp his lodging, and rests him selfe till
the morrow: from whence he followeth the course of a further
voyage, if his businesse

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be such. Euen so our Poet when he hath made one verse, hath
as it were finished one dayes iourney, |&| the while easeth
him selfe with one baite at the least, which is a
Comma or Cesure in the mid way, if the
verse be euen and not odde, otherwise in some other place,
and not iust in the middle. If there be no Cesure
at all, and the verse long, the lesse is the makers skill
and hearers delight. Therefore in a verse of twelue
sillables the Cesure ought to fall right vpon the
sixt sillable: in a verse of eleuen vpon the sixt also
leauing fiue to follow. In a verse of ten vpon the fourth,
leauing sixe to follow. In a verse of nine vpon the fourth,
leauing fiue to follow. In a verse of eight iust in the
middest, that is, vpon the fourth. In a verse of seauen,
either vpon the fourth or none at all, the meeter very ill
brooking any pause. In a verse of sixe sillables and vnder
is needefull no Cesure at all, because the breath
asketh no reliefe: yet if ye giue any Comma, it is
to make distinction of sense more then for any thing else:
and such Cesure must neuer be made in the middest
of any word, if it be well appointed. So may you see that
the vse of these pawses or distinctions is not generally
with the vulgar Poet as it is with the Prose writer because
the Poetes cheife Musicke lying in his rime or concorde to
heare the Simphonie, he maketh all the hast he can to be at
an end of his verse, and delights not in many stayes by the
way, and therefore giueth but one Cesure to any
verse: and thus much for the sounding of a meetre.
Neuerthelesse he may vse in any verse both his comma
, colon, and interrogatiue point, as
well as in prose. But our auncient rymers, as Chaucer
, Lydgate |&| others, vsed these Cesures
either very seldome, or not at all, or else very
licentiously, and many times made their meetres (they called
them riding ryme) of such vnshapely wordes as would allow no
conuenient Cesure, and therefore did let their
rymes runne out at length, and neuer stayd till they came to
the end: which maner though it were not to be misliked in
some sort of meetre, yet in euery long verse the
Cesure ought to be kept precisely, if it were but to
serue as a law to correct the licentiousnesse of rymers,
besides that it pleaseth the eare better, |&| sheweth more
cunning in the maker by following the rule of his restraint.
For a rymer that will be tyed to no rules at all, but range
as he list, may easily vtter what he will: but such maner of
Poesie is called id our

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vulgar, ryme dogrell, with which rebuke we will in no case
our maker should be touched. Therfore before all other
things let his ryme and concordes be true, cleare and
audible with no lesse delight, then almost the strayned note
of a Musicians mouth, |&| not darke or wrenched by wrong
writing as many doe to patch vp their meetres, and so follow
in their arte neither rule, reason, nor ryme. Much more
might be sayd for the vse of your three pauses, comma
, colon, |&| periode, for perchance it
be not all a matter to vse many commas, and few,
nor colons likewise, or long or short
periodes, for it is diuersly vsed, by diuers good
writers. But because it apperteineth more to the oratour or
writer in prose then in verse, I will say no more in it,
then thus, that they be vsed for a commodious and sensible
distinction of clauses in prose, since euery verse is as it
were clause of it selfe, and limited with a Cesure
howsoeuer the sence beare, perfect or imperfect, which
difference is obseruable betwixt the prose and the meeter.


Of Proportion in Concord, called Symphonie or rime.

BEcause we vse the word rime (though by maner of
abusion) yet to helpe that fault againe we apply it in our
vulgar Poesie another way very commendably |&| curiously.
For wanting the currantnesse of the Greeke and Latine feete,
in stead thereof we make in th'ends of our verses a certaine
tunable sound: which anon after with another verse
reasonably distant we accord together in the last fall or
cadence: the eare taking pleasure to heare the like tune
reported, and to feele his returne. And for this purpose
serue the monosillables of our English Saxons
excellently well, because they do naturally and
indifferently receiue any accent, |&| in them if they finish
the verse, resteth the shrill accent of necessitie, and so
doth it not in the last of euery bissillable, nor
of euery polisillable word: but to the purpose,
ryme is a borrowed word fr|om| the Greeks by the
Latines and French, from them by vs Saxon angles, and by
abusion as hath bene sayd, and therefore it shall not do
amisse to tell what this rithmos was with the
Greekes, for what is it with vs hath bene already sayd.
There is an acc|om|ptable number which we call
arithmeticall (arithmos) as one, two, three. There is
also a musi-

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call or audible number, fashioned by stirring of tunes |&|
their sundry times in the vtterance of our wordes, as when
the voice goeth high or low, or sharpe or flat, or swift or
slow: |&| this is called rithmos or numerositie,
that is to say, a certaine flowing vtteraunce by slipper
words and sillables, such as the toung easily vtters, and
the eare with pleasure receiueth, and which flowing of
wordes with much volubilitie smoothly proceeding from the
mouth is in some sort harmonicall and breedeth to
th'eare a great compassion. This point grew by the smooth
and delicate running of their feete, which we haue not in
our vulgare, though we vse as much as may be the most
flowing words |&| slippery sillables, that we can picke out:
yet do not we call that by the name of ryme, as the Greekes
did: but do giue the name of ryme onely to our concordes, or
tunable consentes in the latter end of our verses, and which
concordes the Greekes nor Latines neuer vsed in their Poesie
till by the barbarous souldiers out of the campe, it was
brought into the Court and thence to the schoole, as hath
bene before remembred: and yet the Greekes and Latines both
vsed a maner of speach, by clauses of like termination,
which they called omioteluton, and was the
nearest that they approched to our ryme: but is not our
right concord: so as we in abusing this terme (ryme
) be neuerthelesse excusable applying it to another point
in Poesie no lesse curious then their rithme or
numerositie which in deede passed the whole verse
throughout, whereas our concordes keepe but the latter end
of euery verse, or perchaunce the middle and the end in
meetres that be long.


Of accent, time and stir perceiued euidently in the
distinction of mans voice, and which makes the flowing of

NOwe because we haue spoken of accent, time and
stirre or motion in wordes, we will set you downe more at
large what they be. The auncient Greekes and Latines by
reason their speech fell out originally to be fashioned with
words of many sillables for the most part, it was of
necessity that they could not vtter euery sillable with one
like and egall sounde, nor in like space of time, nor with
like motion or agility: but that one must be more suddenly
and quickely forsaken, or longer pawsed vpon

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then another: or sounded with a higher note |&| clearer
voyce then another, and of necessitie this diuersitie of
sound, must fall either vpon the last sillable, or vpon the
last saue one, or vpon the third and could not reach higher
to make any notable difference, it caused them to giue vnto
three different sounds, three seuerall names: to that which
was highest lift vp and most eleuate or shrillest in the
eare, they gaue the name of the sharpe accent, to the lowest
and most base because it seemed to fall downe rather then to
rise vp, they gaue the name of the heauy accent, and that
other which seemed in part to lift vp and in part to fall
downe, they called the circumflex, or compast accent: and if
new termes were not odious, we might very properly call him
the (windabout) fo so is the Greek word. Th|en| bycause
euery thing that by nature fals down is said heauy, |&|
whatsoeuer naturally mounts vpward is said light, it gaue
occasi|on| to say that there were diuersities in the motion
of the voice, as swift |&| slow, which moti|on| also
presupposes time, bycause time is mensura
, by the Philosopher: so haue you the
causes of their primitiue inuention and vse in our arte of
Poesie, all this by good obseruati|on| we may perceiue in
our vulgar wordes if they be of mo sillables th|en| one, but
specially if they be trissillables, as for example
in these wordes [altitude] and [heauinesse
] the sharpe accent falles vp|on| [al] |&| [
he] which be the antepenultimates: the
other two fall away speedily as if they were scarse sounded
in this trissilable [forsaken] the sharp
accent fals vp|on| [sa] which is the
penultima, and in the other two is heauie and
obscure. Againe in these bissillables, endúre,
vnsúre, demúre: aspíre, desíre, retíre
your sharpe accent falles vpon the last sillable: but in
words monsillable which be for the more part our
naturall Saxon English, the accent is indifferent, and may
be vsed for sharp or flat and heauy at our pleasure. I say
Saxon English, for our Normane English alloweth vs very many
bissillables, and also trissillables as,
reuerence, diligence, amorous,
desirous, and such like.


Of your Cadences by which your meeter is made Symphonicall
when they be sweetest and most solemne in a verse.

AS the smoothnesse of your words and sillables
running vpon feete of sundrie quantities, make with the
Greekes and La-

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tines the body of their verses numerous or Rithmicall, so in
our vulgar Poesie, and of all other nations at this day,
your verses answering eche other by couples, or at larger
distances in good [cadence] is it that maketh your
meeter symphonicall. This cadence is the fal of a verse in
euery last word with a certaine tunable sound which being
matched with another of like sound, do make a [
concord.] And the whole cadence is contained sometime
in one sillable, sometime in two, or in three at the most:
for aboue the antepenultima there
reacheth no accent (which is chiefe cause of the cadence)
vnlesse it be by vsurpati|on| in some English words, to
which we giue a sharpe accent vpon the fourth as,
Hónorable, m{'a}trimonie,
p{'a}trimonie, míserable, and such other
as would neither make a sweete cadence, nor easily find any
word of like quantitie to match them. And the accented
sillable with all the rest vnder him make the cadence, and
no sillable aboue, as in these words, Agíllitie
, facíllitie, subiéction,
diréction, and these bissilables, Ténder
, slénder, trústie,
lústie, but alwayes the cadence which falleth vpon
the last sillable of a verse is sweetest and most
commendable: that vpon the penultima
more light, and not so pleasant: but falling vpon the
antepenultima is most vnpleasant
of all, because they make your meeter too light and triuall,
and are fitter for the Epigrammatist or Comicall Poet then
for the Lyrick and Elegiack, which are accompted the sweeter
Musickes. But though we haue sayd that (to make good
concord) your seuerall verses should haue their cadences
like, yet must there be some difference in their
orthographie, though not in their sound, as if one cadence
be [constraíne] the next [restraíne
] or one [aspíre] another [respíre
] this maketh no good concord, because they are all one,
but if ye will exchange both these consonants of the
accented sillable, or voyde but one of them away, then will
your cadences be good and your concord to, as to say,
restraine, refraine, remaine: aspire
, desire, retire: which rule
neuerthelesse is not well obserued by many makers for lacke
of good iudgement and a delicate eare. And this may suffise
to shew the vse and nature of your cadences, which are in
effect all the sweetnesse and cunning in our vulgar Poesie.

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How the good maker will not wrench his word to helpe his
rime, either by falsifying his accent, or by vntrue

¶2.5.1 NOw there can not be in a maker
a fowler fault, then to falsifie his accent to serue his
cadence, or by vntrue orthographie to wrench his words to
helpe his rime, for it is a signe that such a maker
it not copious in his owne language, or (as they
are wont to say) not halfe his crafts maister: as for
example, if one should rime to this word [Restore]
he may not match him with [Doore] or [Poore
] for neither of both are of like terminant, either by
good orthography or in naturall sound, therfore such rime is
strained, so is it to this word [Ram] to say [
came] or to [Beane [
Den] for they sound not nor be written alike, |&|
many other like cadences which were superfluous to recite,
and are vsuall with rude rimers who obserue not precisely
the rules of [prosodie] neuerthelesse in all such
cases (if necessitie constrained) it is somewhat more
tollerable to help the rime by false orthographie, then to
leaue an vnpleasant dissonance to the eare, by keeping trewe
orthographie and loosing the rime, as for example it is
better to rime [Dore] with [Restore]
then his truer orthographie, which is [Doore] and
to this word [Desire] to say [Fier] then
fyre though it be otherwise better written fire.
For since the cheife grace of our vulgar Poesie consisteth
in the Symphonie, as hath bene already sayd, our maker must
not be too licentious in his concords, but see that they go
euen, iust and melodious in the eare, and right so in the
numerositie or currantnesse of the whole body of his verse,
and in euery other of his proportions. For a licentious
maker is in truth but a bungler and not a Poet. Such men
were in effect the most part of all your old rimers and
specially Gower, who to make vp his rime would for
the most part write his terminant sillable with false
orthographie, and many times not sticke to put in a plaine
French word for an English, |&| so by your leaue do many of
our common rimers at this day: as he that by all likelyhood,
hauing no word at hand to rime to this word [ioy]
he made his other verse ende in [Roy] saying very
impudently thus,

O mightie Lord of loue, dame Venus onely ioy

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Who art the highest God of any heauenly Roy.

¶2.5.2 Which word was neuer yet receiued in our
l|an|guage for an English word. Such extreme licentiousnesse
is vtterly to be banished from our schoole, and better it
might haue bene borne with in old riming writers, bycause
they liued in a barbarous age, |&| were graue morall men but
very homely Poets, such also as made most of their workes by
translation out of the Latine and French toung, |&| few or
none of their owne engine as may easely be knowen to them
that lift to looke vpon the Poemes of both languages.

¶2.5.3 Finally as ye may ryme with wordes of all
sortes, be they of many sillables or few, so neuerthelesse
is there a choise by which to make your cadence (before
remembred) most commendable, for some wordes of exceeding
great length, which haue bene fetched from the Latine
inkhorne or borrowed of strangers, the vse of them in ryme
is nothing pleasant, sauing perchaunce to the common people,
who reioyse much to be at playes and enterludes, and besides
their naturall ignoraunce, haue at all such times their
eares so attentiue to the matter, and their eyes vpon the
shewes of the stage, that they take little heede to the
cunning of the rime, and therefore be as well satisfied with
that which is grosse, as with any other finer and more


Of concorde in long and short measures, and by neare or
farre distaunces, and which of them is most commendable.

¶2.6.1 BVt this ye must obserue
withall, that bycause your concordes containe the chief part
of Musicke in your meetre, their distaunces may not be too
wide or farre a sunder, lest th'eare should loose the tune,
and be defrauded of his delight, and whensoeuer ye see any
maker vse large and extraordinary distaunces, ye must thinke
he doth intende to shew himselfe more artificiall then
popular, and yet therein is not to be discommended, for
respects that shalbe remembred in some other place of this

¶2.6.2 Note also that rime or concorde is not
commendably vsed both in the end and middle of a verse,
vnlesse it be in toyes and trifling Poesies, for it sheweth
a certaine lightnesse either of the matter or of the makers
head, albeit these common rimers vse it much, for

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as I sayd before, like as the Symphonie in a verse of great
length, is (as it were) lost by looking after him, and yet
may the meetre be very graue and stately: so on the other
side doth the ouer busie and too speedy returne of one maner
of tune, too much annoy |&| as it were glut the eare,
vnlesse it be in small |&| popular Musickes song by these
Cantabanqui vpon benches and barrels heads where they
haue none other audience then boys or countrey fellowes that
passe by them in the streete, or else by blind harpers or
such like tauerne minstrels that giue a fit of mirth for a
groat, |&| their matters being for the most part stories of
old time, as the tale of Sir Topas, the reportes
of Beuis of Southampton, Guy
of Warwicke, Adam Bell, and
Clymme of the Clough |&| such other old
Romances or historicall rimes, made purposely for recreation
of the c|om|mon people at Christmasse diners |&| brideales,
and in tauernes |&| alehouses and such other places of base
resort, also they be vsed in Carols and rounds and such
light or lasciuious Poemes, which are commonly more
commodiously vttered by these buffons or vices in playes
then by any other person. Such were the rimes of
Skelton (vsurping the name of a Poet Laureat) being
in deede but a rude rayling rimer |&| all his doings
ridiculous, he vsed both short distaunces and short measures
pleasing onely the popular eare: in our courtly maker we
banish them vtterly. Now also haue ye in euery song or ditty
concorde by compasse |&| concorde entertangled and a mixt of
both, what that is and how they be vsed shalbe declared in
the chapter of proportion by scituation.


Of proportion by situation.

¶2.7.1 THis proportion consisteth in
placing of euery verse in a staffe or ditty by such
reasonable distaunces, as may best serue the eare for
delight, and also to shew the Poets art and variety of
Musick, and the proportion is double. One by marshalling the
meetres, and limiting their distaunces hauing regard to the
rime or concorde how they go and returne: another by placing
euery verse, hauing a regard to his measure and quantitie
onely, and not to his concorde as to set one short meetre to
three long, or foure short and two long, or a short measure
and a long, or of diuers

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lengthes with relation one to another, which maner of
Situation, euen without respect of the rime, doth
alter the nature of the Poesie, and make it either lighter
or grauer, or more merry, or mournfull, and many wayes
passionate to the eare and hart of the hearer, seeming for
this point that our maker by his measures and concordes of
sundry proportions doth counterfait the harmonicall tunes of
the vocall and instrumentall Musickes. As the Dorien
because his falls, sallyes and compasse be diuers from
those of the Phrigien, the Phrigien
likewise from the Lydien, and all three from the
Eolien, Miolidien and Ionien, mounting
and falling from note to note such as be to them peculiar,
and with more or lesse leasure or precipation. Euen so by
diuersitie of placing and scituation of your measures and
concords, a short with a long, and by narrow or wide
distaunces, or thicker or thinner bestowing of them your
proportions differ, and breedeth a variable and strange
harmonie not onely in the eare, but also in the conceit of
them that heare it: whereof this may be an ocular example.

¶2.7.2 Scituation in [[ illustration]]
[[illustration]]Concord Measure

¶2.7.3 Where ye see the concord or rime in the
third distance, and the measure in the fourth, sixth or
second distaunces, whereof ye may deuise as many other as ye
lift, so the staffe be able to beare it. And I set you downe
an occular example: because ye may the better conceiue it.
Likewise it so falleth out most times your occular
proportion doeth declare the nature of the audible: for if
it please the eare well, the same represented by delineation
to the view pleaseth the eye well and è
and this is by a naturall
simpathie, betweene the eare and the eye, and
betweene tunes |&| colours, euen as there is the like
betweene the other sences and their obiects of which it
apperteineth not here to speake. Now for the distances
vsually obserued in our vulgar Poesie, they be in the first
second third and fourth verse, or if the verse be very short
in the fift and sixt and in some maner of Musickes farre

¶2.7.4 And the first distance for the most part
goeth all by distick or couples of verses agreeing
in one cadence, and do passe so speedily

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away and so often returne agayne, as their tunes are neuer
lost, nor out of the eare, one couple supplying another so
nye and so suddenly, and this is the most vulgar proportion
or distance of situation, such as vsed Chaucer in
his Canterbury tales, and Go{w}er in all his
workes. [[illustration]]

¶2.7.5 Second distance is, when ye passe ouer one
verse, and ioyne the first and the third, and so continue on
till an other like distance fall in, and this is also vsuall
and common, as [[illustration]]

¶2.7.6 Third distaunce is, when your rime falleth
vpon the first and fourth verse ouerleaping two, this maner
is not so common but pleasant and allowable inough.

¶2.7.7 In which case the two verses ye leaue out
are ready to receiue their concordes by the same distaunce
or any other ye like better. The fourth distaunce is by
ouerskipping three verses and lighting vpon the fift, this
maner is rare and more artificiall then popular, vnlesse it
be in some speciall case, as when the meetres be so little
and short as they make no shew of any great delay before
they returne, ye shall haue example of both.

¶2.7.8 And these ten litle meeters make but one
Exameter at length.

¶2.7.9 --,--,--,--,--,--,--,--,--,--,

¶2.7.10 There be larger distances also, as when
the first concord falleth vp|on| the sixt verse, |&| is very
pleasant if they be ioyned with other distances not so
large, as [[illustration]].

¶2.7.11 There be also, of the seuenth, eight,
tenth, and twefth distance, but then they may not go thicke,
but two or three such dist|an|ces serue to proporti|on| a
whole song, and all betweene must be of other lesse
distances, and these wide distaunces serue for coupling of
staues, or for to declare high and passionate or graue
matter, and also for art: Petrarch hath giuen vs
examples hereof in his Canzoni, and we by lines of
sundry lengths |&| distances as followeth, [[illustration]].

¶2.7.12 And all that can be obiected against this
wide distance is to say that the eare by loosing his concord
is not satisfied. So is in deede the rude and popular eare
but not the learned, and therefore the

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Poet must know to whose eare he maketh his rime, and
accommodate himselfe thereto, and not giue such musicke to
the rude and barbarous, as he would to the learned and
delicate eare.

¶2.7.13 There is another sort of proportion vsed
by Petrarche called the
Seizino, not riming as other songs do, but by
chusing sixe wordes out of which all the whole dittie is
made, euery of those sixe commencing and ending his verse by
course, which restraint to make the dittie sensible will try
the makers cunning, as thus. [[illustration]]

¶2.7.14 Besides all this there is in
Situation of the concords two other points, one that
it go by plaine and cleere compasse not intangled: another
by enterweauing one with another by knots, or as it were by
band, which is more or lesse busie and curious, all as the
maker will double or redouble his rime or concords, and set
his distances farre or nigh, of all which I will giue you
ocular examples, as thus.

¶2.7.15 Concord in
Plaine compasse [[illustration]] Entertangle

¶2.7.16 And first in a Quadreine there
are but two proportions,
[[illustration]] for foure verses in this last sort coupled,
are but two Disticks, and not a staffe
quadreine or of foure.

¶2.7.17 The staffe of fiue hath seuen proportions,
whereof some of them be harsher and vnpleasaunter to the
eare then other some be.

¶2.7.18 The Sixaine or staffe of sixe
hath ten proportions, whereof some be vsuall, some not
vsuall, and not so sweet one as another.

¶2.7.19 The staffe of seuen verses hath seuen
proportions, whereof one onely is the vsuall of our vulgar,
and kept by our old Poets Chaucer and other in
their historicall reports and other ditties: as in the last
part of them that follow next.

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The huitain or staffe of eight verses, hath eight
proportions such as the former staffe, and because he is
longer, he hath one more then the settaine.

¶2.7.20 The staffe of nine verses hath yet moe
then the eight, and the staffe of ten more then the ninth
and the twelfth, if such were allowable in ditties, more
then any of them all, by reason of his largenesse receiuing
moe compasses and enterweauings, alwayes considered that the
very large distances be more artificiall, then popularly
pleasant, and yet do giue great grace and grauitie, and moue
passion and affections more vehemently, as it is well to be
obserued by Petrarcha his Canzoni.

¶2.7.21 Now ye may perceiue by these proportions
before described, that there is a band to be giuen euery
verse in a staffe, so as none fall out alone or vncoupled,
and this band maketh that the staffe is sayd fast and not
loose: euen as ye see in buildings of stone or bricke the
mason giueth a band, that is a length to two breadths, |&|
vpon necessitie diuers other sorts of bands to hold in the
worke fast and maintaine the perpendicularitie of the wall:
so in any staffe of seuen or eight or more verses, the
coupling of the moe meeters by rime or concord, is the
faster band: the fewer the looser band, and therfore in a
huiteine he that putteth foure verses in one concord
and foure in another concord, and in a dizaine
fiue, sheweth him selfe more cunning, and also more copious
in his owne language. For he that can find two words of
concord, can not find foure or fiue or sixe, vnlesse he haue
his owne language at will. Sometime also ye are driuen of
necessitie to close and make band more then ye would, lest
otherwise the staffe should fall asunder and seeme two
staues: and this is in a staffe of eight and ten verses:
whereas without a band in the middle, it would seeme two
quadriens or two quintaines, which is an
error that many makers slide away with. Yet Chaucer
and others in the staffe of seuen and sixe do almost as
much a misse, for they shut vp the staffe with a
disticke, concording with none other verse that went
before, and maketh but a loose rime, and yet bycause of the
double cadence in the last two verses serue the eare well
inough. And as there is in euery staffe, band, giuen to the
verses by concord more or lesse busie: so is there is in
some cases a band giuen to euery staffe,

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and that is by one whole verse running alone throughout the
ditty or ballade, either in the middle or end of euery
staffe. The Greekes called such vncoupled verse
Epimonie, the Latines Versus
. Now touching the situation of
measures, there are as manie or more proportions of them
which I referre to the makers phantasie and choise,
contented with two or three ocular examples and no moe.


Which maner of proportion by situati|on| of measures giueth
more efficacie to the matter oftentimes then the concords
them selues, and both proportions concurring together as
they needes must, it is of much more beautie and force to
the hearers mind.

¶2.7.22 To finish the learning of this diuision, I
will set you downe one example of a dittie written extempore
with this deuise, shewing not onely much promptnesse of wit
in the maker, but also great arte and a notable memorie.
Make me saith this writer to one of the companie, so many
strokes or lines with your pen as ye would haue your song
containe verses: and let euery line beare his seuerall
length, euen as ye would haue your verse of measure. Suppose
of foure, fiue, sixe or eight or more sillables, and set a
figure of euerie number at th'end of the line, whereby ye
may knowe his measure. Then where you will haue your rime or
concord to fall, marke it with a compast stroke or
semicircle passing ouer those lines, be they farre or neare
in distance, as ye haue seene before described. And bycause
ye shall not thinke the maker hath premeditated beforehand
any such fashioned ditty, do ye your selfe make one verse
whether it be of perfect or imperfect sense, and giue it him
for a theame to make all the rest vpon: if ye shall perceiue
the maker do keepe the measures and rime as ye haue
appointed him, and besides do make his dittie sensible and
ensuant to the first verse in good reason, then may ye say
he is his crafts maister. For if he were not of a plentiful
discourse, he could not vpon the sudden shape an entire
dittie vpon your imperfect theame or proposition in one

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verse. And if he were not copious in his language, he could
not haue such store of wordes at commandement, as should
supply your concords. And if he were not of a maruelous good
memory he could not obserue the rime and measures after the
distances of your limitation, keeping with all grauitie and
good sense in the whole dittie.


Of Proportion in figure.

¶2.8.1 YOur last proportion is that of
figure, so called for that it yelds an ocular
representation, your meeters being by good symmetrie reduced
into certaine Geometricall figures, whereby the maker is
restrained to keepe him within his bounds, and sheweth not
onely more art, but serueth also much better for briefenesse
and subtiltie of deuice. And for the same respect are also
fittest for the pretie amourets in Court to entertaine their
seruants and the time withall, their delicate wits requiring
some commendable exercise to keepe them from idlenesse. I
find not of this proportion vsed by any of the Greeke or
Latine Poets, or in any vulgar writer, sauing of that one
forme which they cal Anacreens egge. But being in
Italie conuersant with a certaine gentleman, who had long
trauailed the Orientall parts of the world, and seene the
Courts of the great Princes of China and Tartarie. I being
very inquisitiue to know of the subtillities of those
countreyes, and especially in matter of learning and of
their vulgar Poesie, he told me that they are in all their
inuentions most wittie, and haue the vse of Poesie or
riming, but do not delight so much as we do in long tedious
descriptions, and therefore when they will vtter any pretie
conceit, they reduce it into metricall feet, and put it in
forme of a Lozange or square, or such other
figure, and so engrauen in gold, siluer or iuorie, and
sometimes with letters of ametist, rubie, emeralde or topas
curiousely cemented and peeced together, they sende them in
chaines, bracelets, collars and girdles to their mistresses
to weare for a remembrance. Some fewe measures composed in
this sort this gentleman gaue me, which I translated word
for word and as neere as I could followed both the phrase
and the figure, which is somewhat hard to performe, because
of the restraint of the figure from which ye may not
digresse. At the beginning they wil seeme

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nothing pleasant to an English eare, but time and vsage wil
make them acceptable inough, as it doth in all other new
guises, be it for wearing of apparell or otherwise. The
formes of your Geometricall figures be hereunder

The Lozange called Rombus The Fuzie or spindle, called
Romboides The TRiangle, or Tricquet The Square or
quadrangle The Pillaster, or Cillinder


The Spire or taper, called piramis The Rondel or Sphere
The egge or figure ouall The Tricquet reuerst The
Tricquet displayed


The Taper reuersed The R|on|del displayed The
Lozange reuersed The egge displayed The Lozange


Of the Lozange.

¶2.8.4 The Lozange is a most beautifull
figure, |&| fit for this purpose, being in his kind a
quadrangle reuerst, with his point vpward like to a quarrell
of glasse the Greeks and Latines both call it Rombus
which may be the cause as I suppose why they also gaue
that name to the fish commonly called the Turbot,
who beareth iustly that figure, it ought not to containe
aboue thirteene or fifteene or one

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|&| twentie meetres, |&| the longest furnisheth the middle
angle, the rest passe vpward and downward, still abating
their lengthes by one or two sillables till they come to the
point: the Fuzie is of the same nature but that he is
sharper and slenderer. I will giue you an example or two of
those which my Italian friend bestowed vpon me, which as
neare as I could I translated into the same figure obseruing
the phrase of the Orientall speach word for word.

¶2.8.5 A great Emperor in Tartary wh|om| they cal
Can, for his good fortune in the wars |&| many
notable conquests he had made, was surnamed Temir
, this m|an| loued the Lady Kermesine
, who presented him returning fr|om| the c|on|quest of
Corasoon (a great kingdom adioyning) with this
Lozange made in letters of rubies |&| diamants
entermingled thus

O Harpe
Shril lie out
Temir the stout
Rider who with sharpe
Trenching blade of bright steele
Hath made his fiercest foes to feele
All such as wrought him shame or harme
The strength of his braue right arme,
Cleauing hard downe vnto the eyes
The raw skulles of his enemies,
Much honor hath he wonne
By doughtie deedes done
In Cora soon
And all the

¶2.8.6 To which Can Temir answered
Fuzie, with letters of Emeralds and Ametists
artificially cut and entermingled, thus

Sore batailes
Manfully fought
In blouddy fielde
With bright blade in hand
Hath Temir won |&| forst to yeld
Many a Captaine strong and stoute
And many a king his Crowne to vayle,
Conquering large countreys and land,
Yet neuer wanne I victorie,
I speake it to my greate glorie,
So deare and ioyfull vnto me,
As when I did first conquere thee
O Kerme fine, of all myne foes
The most cruell, of all myne woes
The smartest, the sweetest
My proude Conquest
My richest pray
O once a daye
Lend me thy sight
Whose only light
Keepes me

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Of the Triangle or Triquet.

¶2.8.8 The Triangle is an halfe square,
Lozange or Fuzie parted vpon the croste
angles: and so his base being brode and his top narrow, it
receaueth meetres of many sizes one shorter then another:
and ye may vse this figure standing or reuersed, as thus.

¶2.8.9 A certaine great Sultan of Persia called
Ribuska, entertaynes in loue the Lady Selamour
, sent her this triquet reuest pitiously bemoning his
estate, all set in merquetry with letters of blew Saphire
and Topas artificially cut and entermingled.

Selamour dearer than his owne life,
To thy distressed wretch captiue,
Ribuska whome lately erst
Most cruelly thou perst
With thy deadly dart,
That paire of starres
Shining a farre
Turne from me, to me
That I may |&| may not see
The smile, the loure
That lead and driue
Me to die to liue
Twise yea thrise
In one

¶2.8.11 To which Selamour to make the
match egall, and the figure entire, answered in a standing
Triquet richly engrauen with letter of like stuffe.

Of death
Nor of life
Hath Selamour,
With Gods it arise
To geue and bereue breath,
I may for pitie perchaunce
Thy lost libertie restore,
Vpon thine othe with this penaunce,
That while thou liuest thou neuer loue no more.

¶2.8.13 This condition seeming to Sultan
Ribuska very hard to performe, and cruell to be
enioyned him, doeth by another figure in Taper, signifying
hope answere the Lady Selamour, which dittie for
lack of time I translated not.

Of the Spire or Taper called Pyramis

¶2.8.15 The Taper is the longest and sharpest
triangle that is, |&| while he mounts vpward he waxeth
continually more slender, taking both his figure and name of
the fire, whose flame if ye marke it, is alwaies pointed and
naturally by his forme couets to clymbe: the

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Greekes call him Pyramis of pur. The
Latines in vse of Architecture call him Obeliscus,
it holdeth the altitude of six ordinary triangles, and in
metrifying his base can not well be larger then a meetre of
six, therefore in his altitude he wil require diuers rabates
to hold so many sizes of meetres as shall serue for his
composition, for neare the toppe there wilbe roome litle
inough for a meetre of two sillables, and sometimes of one
to finish the point. I haue set you downe one or two
examples to try how ye can disgest the maner of the deuise.

¶2.8.16 Her Maiestie, for many parts in her
most noble and vertuous nature to be found, resembled to the
spire. Ye must begin beneath according to the nature of the

Skie 1
in the
And better, 2
And richer,
Much greter.
Crown |&| empir
After an hier
For to aspire 4
Like flame of fire
In forme of spire
To mount on hie,
Con{ }ti{ }nu{ }al{ }ly
With trauel |&| teen
Most gratious queen
Ye haue made a vow 5
Shews vs plainly how
Not fained but true,
To euery mans vew,
Shining cleere in you
Of so bright an hewe,
Euen thus vertewe
Vanish out of our sight
Till his fine top be quite
To Taper in the ayre 6
Endeuors soft and faire
By his kindly nature
Of tall comely stature
Like as this faire figure.

¶2.8.17 From God the fountaine of all good,
are deriued into the world all good things: and vpon her
maiestie all the good fortunes any worldly creature can be
furnished with. Reade downward according to the nature of
the deuice.

1 God
2 From
Sends loue,
And doth geue
Al that liue,
Life |&| breath
Harts ese helth
Childr|en|, welth
Beauty str|en|gth
Restfull age,
And at length
A mild death,
4 He doeth bestow
All mens fortunes
Both high |&| low
And the best things
That earth c|an| haue
Or mankind craue,
Good queens |&| kings
Finally is the same
Who gaue you (mad|am|)
Seyson of this Crowne
With poure soueraigne
5 Impug{ }{ }{ }nable right,
Redoubtable might,
Most prosprous raigne
Eternall renowme,
And that your chiefest is
Sure hope of heauens blis.

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The Piller, Pillaster or Cillinder.

¶2.8.19 The Piller is a figure among all the rest
of the Geometricall most beawtifull, in respect that he is
tall and vpright and of one bignesse from the bottom to the
toppe. In Architecture he is considered with two accessarie
parts, a pedestall or base, and a chapter or head, the body
is the shaft. By this figure is signified stay, support,
rest, state and magnificence, your dittie then being reduced
into the forme of a Piller, his base will require to beare
the breath of a meetre of six or seuen or eight sillables:
the shaft of foure: the chapter egall with the base, of this
proportion I will giue you one or two examples which may

¶2.8.20 Her Maiestie resembled to the crowned
piller. Ye must read vpward.

Is blisse with immortalitie.
Her trymest top of all ye see,
Garnish the crowne
Her iust renowne
Chapter and head,
Parts that maintain
And womanhead
Her mayden raigne
In{ }te{ }ri{ }tie :
In honour and
With ve{ }ri{ }tie
Her roundnes stand
Str|en|gthen the state.
By their increase
Without debate
Concord and peace
Of her sup{ }port,
They be the base
With stedfastnesse
Vertue and grace
Stay and comfort
Of Albions rest,
The sounde Pillar
And seene a farre
Is plainely exprest
Tall stately and strayt
By this nob{ }le pour{ }trayt.

¶2.8.21 Philo to the Lady Calia, sendeth this
Odolet of her prayse in forme of a Piller, which ye must
read downward.

Thy Princely port and Maiestie
Is my ter{ }rene dei{ }tie,
Thy wit and sence
The streame |&| source
Of e{ }lo{ }quence
And deepe discours,
Thy faire eyes are
My bright loadstarre,
Thy speache a darte
Percing my harte,
Thy face a{ }las,
My loo{ }king glasse,
Thy loue{ }ly lookes
My prayer bookes,
Thy pleasant cheare
My sunshine cleare,
Thy ru{ }full sight
My darke midnight,
Thy will the stent
Of my con{ }tent,
Thy glorye flour
Of myne ho{ }our,
Thy loue doth giue
The lyfe I lyue,
Thy lyfe it is
Mine earthly blisse:
But grace |&| fauour in thine eies
My bodies soule |&| souls paradise.

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The Roundell or Spheare.

¶2.8.22 The most excellent of all the figures
Geometrical is the round for his many perfections. First
because he is euen |&| smooth, without any angle, or
interruption, most voluble and apt to turne, and to continue
motion, which is the author of life: he conteyneth in him
the commodious description of euery other figure, |&| for
his ample capacitie doth resemble the world or vnivers, |&|
for his indefinitenesse hauing no speciall place of
beginning nor end, beareth a similitude with God and
eternitie. This figure hath three principall partes in his
nature and vse much considerable: the circle, the beame, and
the center. The circle is his largest compasse or
circumference: the center is his middle and indiuisible
point: the beame is a line stretching directly from the
circle to the center, |&| contrariwise from the center to
the circle. By this description our maker may fashion his
meetre in Roundel, either with the circumference, and that
is circlewise, or from the circ|um|ference, that is, like a
beame, or by the circumference, and that is ouerthwart and
dyametrally from one side of the circle to the other.

A generall resemblance of the Roundell to God, the
world and the Queene.

All and whole, and euer, and one,
Single, simple, eche where, alone,
These be counted as Clerkes can tell,
True properties, of the Roundell.
His still turning by consequence
And change, doe breede both life and sence.
Time, measure of stirre and rest,
Is also by his course exprest.
How swift the circle stirre aboue,
His center point doeth neuer moue:
All things that euer were or be,
Are closde in his concauitie.
And though he be, still turnde and tost,
No roome there wants nor none is lost.
The Roundell hath no bonch or angle,
Which may his course stay or entangle.
The furthest part of all his spheare,

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It is equally both farre and neare.
So doth none other figure fare
Where natures chattels closed are:
And beyond his wide compasse,
There is no body nor no place,
Nor any wit that comprehends,
Where it begins, or where it ends:
And therefore all men doe agree,
That it purports eternitie.
God aboue the heauens so hie
Is this Roundell, in world the skie,
Vpon earth she, who heares the bell
Of maydes and Queenes, is this Roundell:
All and whole and euer alone,
Single, sans peere, simple, and one

A speciall and particular resemblance of her Maiestie to the

FIrst her authoritie regall
Is the circle compassing all:
The dominion great and large
Which God hath geuen to her charge:
Within which most spatious bound
She enuirons her people round,
Retaining them by oth and liegeance.
Within the pale of true obeysance:
Holding imparked as it were,
Her people like to heards of deere.
Sitting among them in the middes
Where she allowes and bannes and bids
In what fashion she list and when,
The seruices of all her men.
Out of her breast as from an eye,
Issue the rayes incessantly
Of her iustice, bountie and might
Spreading abroad their beames so bright,
And reflect not, till they attaine

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The fardest part of her domaine,
And makes eche subiect clearely see,
What he is bounden for to be
To God his Prince and common wealth,
His neighbour, kinred and to himselfe.
The same centre and middle pricke,
Whereto our deedes are drest so thicke,
From all the parts and outmost side
Of her Monarchie large and wide,
Also fro whence reflect these rayes,
Twentie hundred maner of wayes
Where her will is them to conuey
Within the circle of her suruey.
So is the Queene of Briton ground,
Beame, circle, center of all my round.

Of the square or quadrangle equilater.

¶2.8.23 The square is of all other accompted the
figure of most solliditie and stedfastnesse, and for his
owne stay and firmitie requireth none other base then
himselfe, and therefore as the roundell or Spheare is
appropriat to the heauens, the Spire to the element of the
fire: the Triangle to the ayre, and the Lozange to the
water: so is the square for his inconcussable steadinesse
likened to the earth, which perchaunce might be the reason
that the Prince of Philosophers in his first booke of the
Ethicks, termeth a constant minded man, euen egal and
direct on all sides, and not easily ouerthrowne by euery
litle aduersitie, hominem quadrat|um|
, a square man. Into this figure may ye reduce your
ditties by vsing no moe verses then your verse is of
sillables, which will make him fall out square, if ye go
aboue it wil grow into the figure Trapezion, which
is some portion longer then square. I neede not giue you any
example, bycause in good arte all your ditties, Odes |&|
Epigrammes should keepe |&| not exceede the nomber of twelue
verses, and the longest verse to be of twelue sillables |&|
not aboue, but vnder that number as much as ye will.

The figure Ouall.

¶2.8.24 This figure taketh his name of an egge,
and also as it is thought

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his first origine, and is as it were a bastard or imperfect
rounde declining toward a longitude, and yet keeping within
one line for his periferie or compasse as the rounde, and it
seemeth that he receiueth this forme not as an imperfection
by any impediment vnnaturally hindring his rotunditie, but
by the wisedome and prouidence of nature for the commoditie
of generation, in such of her creatures as bring not forth a
liuely body (as do foure footed beasts) but in stead thereof
a certaine quantitie of shapelesse matter contained in a
vessell, which after it is sequestred from the dames body
receiueth life and perfection, as in the egges of birdes,
fishes, and serpents: for the matter being of some
quantitie, and to issue out at a narrow place, for the easie
passage thereof, it must of necessitie beare such shape as
might not be sharpe and greeuous to passe as an angle, nor
so large or obtuse as might not essay some issue out with
one part moe then other as the rounde, therefore it must be
slenderer in some part, |&| yet not without a rotunditie |&|
smoothnesse to giue the rest an easie deliuerie. Such is the
figure Ouall whom for his antiquitie, dignitie and vse, I
place among the rest of the figures to embellish our
proportions: of this sort are diuers of Anacreons
ditties, and those other of the Grecian Liricks, who wrate
wanton amorous deuises, to solace their witts with all, and
many times they would (to giue it right shape of an egge)
deuide a word in the midst, and peece out the next verse
with the other halfe, as ye may see by perusing their

Of the deuice or embleme, and that other which the
Greekes call Anagramma, and we the Posie transposed

¶2.8.25 A
Nd besides all the remembred
points of Metricall proportion, ye haue yet two other sorts
of some affinitie with them, which also first issued out of
the Poets head, and whereof the Courtly maker was the
principall artificer, hauing many high conceites and curious
imaginations, with leasure inough to attend his idle
inuentions: and these be the short, quicke and sententious
propositions, such as be at these dayes all your deuices of
armes and other amorous inscriptions which courtiers vse to
giue and also to weare in liuerie for the honour of their
ladies, and commonly containe but two or three words of
wittie sentence or secrete conceit till they

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vnfolded or explaned by some interpretati|on|. For which
cause they be commonly accompanied with a figure or
purtraict of ocular representation, the words so aptly
corresponding to the subtiltie of the figure, that aswel the
eye is therwith recreated as the eare or the mind. The
Greekes call it Emblema, the Italiens
Impresa, and we, a Deuice, such as a man may put into
letters of gold and sende to his mistresses for a token, or
cause to be embrodered in scutchions of armes, or in any
bordure of a rich garment to giue by his noueltie maruell to
the beholder. Such were the figures and inscriptions the
Romane Emperours gaue in their money and coignes of
largesse, and in other great medailles of siluer and gold,
as that of the Emperour Augustus, an arrow
entangled by the fish Remora, with these words,
Festina lento, signifying that
celeritie is to be vsed with deliberation: all great
enterprises being for the most part either ouerthrowen with
hast or hindred by delay, in which case leasure in
th'aduice, and speed in th'execution make a very good match
for a glorious successe.

¶2.8.26 Th'Emperour Heliogabalus by his
name alluding to the sunne, which in Greeke is Helios
, gaue for his deuice, the cœlestial sunne, with these
words [Soliinuicto] the subtilitie lyeth in the
word [sol] which hath a double sense, viz. to the
Sunne, and to him onely.

¶2.8.27 We our selues attributing that most
excellent figure, for his incomparable beauty and light, to
the person of our Soueraigne lady altring the mot, made it
farre passe that of Th'Emperour Heliogabalus both
for subtilitie and multiplicitie of sense, thus, [
Soli nunquam deficienti] to her onely that
neuer failes, viz. in bountie and munificence toward all
hers that deserue, or else thus, To her onely (whose glorie
and good fortune may neuer decay or wane. And
so it inureth as a wish by way of resemblaunce in [
Simile dissimile] which is also a
subtillitie, likening her Maiestie to the Sunne for his
brightnesse, but not to him for his passion, which is
ordinarily to go to glade, and sometime to suffer eclypse.

¶2.8.28 King Ed{w}arde the thirde, her
Maiesties most noble progenitour, first founder of the
famous order of the Garter, gaue this posie with it.
Hony soit qui mal y pense, commonly thus
Englished, Ill be to him that thinketh ill, but in mine
opinion better thus, Dishonored be he, who meanes vnho-

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norably. There can not be a more excellent deuise, nor that
could containe larger intendment, nor greater subtilitie,
nor (as a m|an| may say) more vertue or Princely
generositie. For first he did by it mildly |&| grauely
reproue the peruers construction of such noble men in his
court, as imputed the kings wearing about his neck the
garter of the lady with whom he danced, to some amorous
alliance betwixt them, which was not true. He also iustly
defended his owne integritie, saued the noble womans good
renowme, which by lic|en|tious speeches might haue bene
empaired, and liberally recompenced her iniurie with an
honor, such as none could haue bin deuised greater nor more
glorious or permanent vpon her and all the posteritie of her
house. It inureth also as a worthy lesson and discipline for
all Princely personages, whose actions, imaginations,
co|un|tenances and speeches, should euermore corrrespond in
all trueth and honorable simplicitie.

¶2.8.29 Charles the fift Emperour, euen
in his yong yeares shewing his valour and honorable
ambition, gaue for his new order, the golden Fleece,
vsurping it vpon Prince Iason |&| his Argonants rich spoile
brought from Cholcos. But for his deuice two
pillers with this mot Plus vltra, as one not
content to be restrained within the limits that
Hercules had set for an vttermost bound to all his
trauailes, viz. two pillers in the mouth of the straight
Gibraltare, but would go furder: which came
fortunately to passe, and whereof the good successe gaue
great commendation to his deuice: for by the valiancy of his
Captaines before he died he conquered great part of the west
Indias, neuer knowen to Hercules or any of our
world before.

¶2.8.30 In the same time (seeming that the heauens
and starres had conspired to replenish the earth with
Princes and gouernours of great courage, and most famous
conquerous) Selim Emperour of Turkie gaue for his
deuice a croissant or new moone, promising to him self
increase of glory and enlargem|en|t of empire, til he had
brought all Asia vnder his subiection, which he reasonably
well accomplished. For in lesse then eight yeres which he
raigned, he conquered all Syria and Egypt, and layd it to
his dominion. This deuice afterward was vsurped by
Henry the second French king, with this mot
Donec totum compleat orbem, till he be
at his full: meaning it not so largely as did Selim
, but onely that his friendes should knowo

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how vnable he was to do them good, and to shew beneficence
vntil he attained the crowne of France vnto which he aspired
as next successour.

¶2.8.31 King Le{w}is the twelfth, a
valiant and magnanimous prince, who because hee was on euery
side enuironed with mightie neighbours, and most of them his
enemies, to let them perceiue that they should not finde him
vnable or vnfurnished (incase they should offer any
vnlawfull hostillitie) of suffificient forces of his owne,
aswell to offende as to defend, and to reuenge an iniurie as
to repulse it. He gaue for his deuice the Porkespick with
this posie pres |&| loign, both
farre and neare. For the Purpentines nature is, to such as
stand aloofe, to dart her prickles from her, and if they
come neare her, with the same as they sticke fast to wound
them that hurt her.

¶2.8.32 But of late yeares in the ransacke of the
Cities of Cartagena and S.
Dominico in the West Indies, manfully put in
execution by the prowesse of her Maiesties men, there was
found a deuice made peraduenture without King Philips
knowledge, wrought al in massiue copper, a king sitting
on horsebacke vpon a monde or world, the horse
prauncing forward with his forelegges as if he would leape
of, with this inscription, Non sufficit orbis
, meaning, as it is to be c|on|ceaued, that one
whole world could not content him. This immeasurable
ambition of the Spaniards, if her Maiestie by Gods
prouidence, had not with her forces, prouidently stayed and
retranched, no man knoweth what inconuenience might in time
haue insued to all the Princes and common wealthes in
Christendome, who haue founde them selues long annoyed with
his excessiue greatnesse.

¶2.8.33 Atila king of the Huns, inuading
Fr|an|ce with an army of 300000 fighting men, as it is
reported, thinking vtterly to abbase the glory of the Romane
Empire, gaue for his deuice of armes, a sword with a firie
point and these words, Ferro |&| flamma
, with sword and fire. This very deuice being as
ye see onely accommodate to a king or conquerour and not a
coillen or any meane souldier, a certaine base man of
England being knowen euen at that time a bricklayer or mason
by his science, gaue for his crest: whom it had better
become to beare a truell full of morter then a sword and
fire, which

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is onely the reuenge of a Prince, and lieth not in any other
mans abilitie to performe, vnlesse ye will allow it to euery
poore knaue that is able to set fire on a thacht house. The
heraldes ought to vse great discretion in such matters: for
neither any rule of their arte doth warrant such
absurdities, nor though such a coat or crest were gained by
a prisoner taken in the field, or by a flag found in some
ditch |&| neuer fought for (as many times happens) yet is it
no more allowable then it were to beare the deuice of
Tamerlan an Emperour in Tartary, who gaue the
lightning of heauen, with a posie in that language
purporting these words, Ira Dei,
which also appeared well to answer his fortune. For from a
sturdie shepeheard he became a most mighty Emperour, and
with his innumerable great armies desolated so many
countreyes and people, as he might iustly be called [
the {w}rath of God]. It appeared also by his strange
ende: for in the midst of his greatnesse and prosperitie he
died sodainly, |&| left no child or kinred for a successour
to so large an Empire, nor any memory after him more then of
his great puissance and crueltie.

¶2.8.34 But that of the king of China in the
fardest part of the Orient, though it be not so terrible is
no lesse admirable, |&| of much sharpnesse and good
implication, worthy for the greatest king and conquerour:
and it is, two strange serpents entertangled in their
amorous congresse, the lesser creeping with his head into
the greaters mouth, with the words purporting [
ama |&| time] loue |&| feare. Which posie
with maruellous much reason and subtillity implieth the
dutie of euery subiect to his Prince, and of euery Prince to
his subiect, and that without either of them both, no
subiect could be sayd entirely to performe his liegeance,
nor the Prince his part of lawfull gouernement. For without
feare and loue the soueraigne authority could not be
vpholden, nor without iustice and mercy the Prince be
renowmed and honored of his subiect. All which parts are
discouered in this figure: loue by the serpents amorous
entertangling: obedience and feare by putting the inferiours
head into the others mouth hauing puissance to destroy. On
th'other side, iustice in the greater to prepare and manace
death and destruction to offenders. And if he spare it, then
betokeneth it mercie, and a grateful recompence of the loue
and obedience which the soueraigne receaueth.

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¶2.8.35 It is also worth the telling, how the king
vseth the same in pollicie, he giueth it in his ordinarie
liueries to be worne in euery vpper garment of all his
noblest men and greatest Magistrats |&| the rest of his
officers and seruants, which are either embrodered vpon the
breast and the back with siluer or gold or pearle or stone
more or lesse richly, according to euery mans dignitie and
calling, and they may not presume to be seene in publick
without them: nor also in any place where by the kings
commission they vse to sit in iustice, or any other publike
affaire, wherby the king is highly both honored and serued,
the common people retained in dutie and admiration of his
greatnesse: the noblemen, magistrats and officers euery one
in his degree so much esteemed |&| reuerenced, as in their
good and loyall seruice they want vnto their persons litle
lesse honour for the kings sake, then can be almost due or
exhibited to the king him selfe.

¶2.8.36 I could not forbeare to adde this forraine
example to acc|om|plish our discourse touching deuices. For
the beauty and gallantnesse of it, besides the subtillitie
of the conceit, and princely pollicy in the vse, more exact
then can be rem|en|bred in any other of any European
Prince, whose deuises I will not say but many of them be
loftie and ingenious, many of them louely and beautifull,
many other ambitious and arrogant, and the chiefest of them
terrible and ful of horror to the nature of man, but that
any of them be comparable with it, for wit, vertue,
grauitie, and if ye list brauerie, honour and magnificence,
not vsurping vpon the peculiars of the gods. In my conceipt
there is none to be found.

¶2.8.37 This may suffice for deuices, a terme
which includes in his generality all those other, viz.
liueries, cogniz|an|ces, emblemes, enseigns and impreses.
For though the termes be diuers, the vse and intent is but
one whether they rest in colour or figure or both, or in
word or in muet shew, and that is to insinuat some secret,
wittie morall and braue purpose presented to the beholder,
either to recreate his eye, or please his phantasie, or
examine his iudgement or occupie his braine or to manage his
will either by hope or by dread, euery of which respectes be
of no litle moment to the interest and ornament of the
ciuill life: and therefore giue them no litle commendation.
Then hauing produced so many worthy and wise founders

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of these deuices, and so many puissant patrons and
protectours of them, I feare no reproch in this discourse,
which otherwise the venimous appetite of enuie by detraction
or scorne would peraduenture not sticke to offer me.

Of the Anagrame, or posie transposed.

¶2.8.38 ONe other pretie conceit we
will impart vnto you and then trouble you with no more, and
is also borrowed primitiuely of the Poet, or courtly maker,
we may terme him, the [posie transposed] or in one
word [a transpose] a thing if it be done for
pastime and exercise of the wit without superstition
commendable inough and a meete study for Ladies, neither
bringing them any great gayne nor any great losse vnlesse it
be of idle time. They that vse it for pleasure is to breed
one word out of another not altering any letter nor the
number of them, but onely transposing of the same, wherupon
many times is produced some grateful newes or matter to them
for whose pleasure and seruice it was intended: and bicause
there is much difficultie in it, and altogether standeth
vpon hap hazard, it is compted for a courtly conceit no
lesse then the deuice before remembred. Lycophron
one of the seuen Greeke Lyrickes, who when they met together
(as many times they did) for their excellencie and louely
concorde, were called the seuen starres [pleiades]
this man was very perfit |&| fortunat in these transposes,
|&| for his delicate wit and other good parts was greatly
fauoured by Ptoleme king of Egypt and Queene
Arsinoe his wife. He after such sort called the king
apomilitos, which is letter for letter
Ptolomæus and Queene Arsinoe he called
[[missing]], which is Arsinoe, now the subtillitie lyeth
not in the conuersion but in the sence in this that
Apomelitos, signifieth in Greek [hony sweet
] so was Ptolome the sweetest natured man in the
world both for countenance and conditions, and
Ioneras, signifieth the violet or flower of
Iuno a stile among the Greekes for a woman endued
with all bewtie and magnificence, which construction falling
out grateful and so truly, exceedingly well pleased the King
and the Queene, and got Lycophron no litle thanke
and benefite at both their hands.

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¶2.8.39 The French Gentlemen haue very sharpe
witts and withall a delicate language, which may very easily
be wrested to any alteration of words sententious, and they
of late yeares haue taken this pastime vp among them many
times gratifying their Ladies, and often times the Princes
of the Realme, with some such thankfull noueltie. Whereof
one made by François de Vallois, thus
De façon suis Roy, who in deede was
of fashion countenance and stature, besides his regall
vertues a very king, for in a world there could not be seene
a goodlier man of person. Another found this by Henry
de Vallois
[Roy de nulz hay] a king hated of
no man, and was apparant in his conditions and nature, for
there was not a Prince of greater affabilitie and mansuetude
then he.

¶2.8.40 I my selfe seing this conceit so well
allowed of in Fraunce and Italie, and being informed that
her Maiestie tooke pleasure sometimes in desciphring of
names, and hearing how diuers Gentlemen of her Court had
essayed but with no great felicitie to make some delectable
transpose of her Maiesties name, I would needs try my luck,
for cunning I know not why I should call it, vnlesse it be
for the many and variable applications of sence, which
requireth peraduenture some wit |&| discreti|on| more then
of euery vnlearned m|an| and for the purpose I tooke me
these three wordes (if any other in the world) containing in
my conceit greatest mysterie, and most importing good to all
them that now be aliue, vnder her noble gouernement.

Elissabet Anglorum Regina.

¶2.8.41 Which orthographie (because ye shall not
be abused) is true |&| not mistaken, for the letter
zeta, of the Hebrewes |&| Greeke and of all other
toungs is in truth but a double ss. hardly vttered, and H.
is but a note of aspiration onely and no letter, which
therefore is by the Greeks omitted. Vpon the transposition I
found this to redound.

Multa regnabis ense gloria.
By thy sword shalt thou raigne in great renowne

Then transposing the word [ense] it came to be

Multa regnabis sene gloria.
Aged and in much glorie shall ye raigne

Both which resultes falling out vpon the very first
marshalling of

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the letters, without any darknesse or difficultie, and so
sensibly and well appropriat to her Maiesties person and
estate, and finally so effectually to mine own wish (which
is a matter of much moment in such cases) I tooke them both
for a good boding, and very fatalitie to her Maiestie
appointed by Gods prouidence for all our comfortes. Also I
imputed it for no litle good luck and glorie to my selfe, to
haue pronounced to her so good and prosperous a fortune, and
so thankefull newes to all England, which though it cannot
be said by this euent any destinie or fatal necessitie, yet
surely is it by all probabillitie of reason, so likely to
come to passe, as any other worldly euent of things that be
vncertaine, her Maiestie continuing the course of her most
regal proceedings and vertuous life in all earnest zeale and
godly contemplation of his word, |&| in the sincere
administration of his terrene iustice, assigned ouer to her
execution as his Lieutenant vpon earth within the compasse
of her dominions.

¶2.8.42 This also is worth the noting, and I will
assure you of it, that as the first search whereupon this
transpose was fashioned. The same letters being by me tossed
|&| tranlaced fiue hundreth times, I could neuer make any
other, at least of some sence |&| conformitie to her
Maiesties estate and the case. If any other man by triall
happen vpon a better omination, or what soeuer els ye will
call it, I will reioyse to be ouermatched in my deuise, and
renounce him all the thankes and profite of my trauaile.

¶2.8.43 When I wrate of these deuices, I smiled
with my selfe, thinking that the readers would do so to, and
many of them say, that such trifles as these might well haue
bene spared, considering the world is full inough of them,
and that it is pitie mens heades should be fedde with such
vanities as are to none edification nor instruction, either
of morall vertue, or otherwise behooffull for the common
wealth, to whose seruice (say they) we are all borne, and
not to fill and replenish a whole world full of idle toyes.
To which sort of reprehendours, being either all holy and
mortified to the world, and therefore esteeming nothing that
sauoureth not of Theologie, or altogether graue and worldly,
and therefore caring for nothing but matters of pollicie,
|&| discourses of estate, or all giuen to thrift and passing
for none art that is not gainefull and lucratiue, as the

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sciences of the Law, Phisicke and marchaundise: to these I
will giue none other aunswere then referre them to the many
trifling poemes of Homer, Ouid, Virgill, Catullus
and other notable writers of former ages, which were not of
any grauitie or seriousnesse, and many of them full of
impudicitie and ribaudrie, as are not these of ours, nor for
any good in the world should haue bene: and yet those
trifles are come from many former siecles vnto our times,
vncontrolled or condemned or supprest by any Pope or
Patriarch or other seuere censor of the ciuill maners of
men, but haue bene in all ages permitted as the conuenient
solaces and recreations of mans wit. And as I can not denie
but these conceits of mine be trifles: no lesse in very
deede be all the most serious studies of man, if we shall
measure grauitie and lightnesse by the wise mans ballance
who after he had considered of all the profoundest artes and
studies among men, in th'ende cryed out with this Epyphoneme
Vanitas vanitatum |&| omnia vanitas
. Whose authoritie if it were not sufficient to make me
beleeue so, I could be content with Democritus
rather to condemne the vanities of our life by derision,
then as Heraclitus with teares, saying with that
merrie Greeke thus,

Omnia sunt risus, sunt puluis, |&| omnia nil sunt.
Res hominum cunctæ, nam ratione carent.

Thus Englished,

All is but a iest, all dust, all not {w}orth t{w}o

For {w}hy in mans matters is neither rime nor reason

¶2.8.44 Now passing from these courtly trifles,
let vs talke of our scholastical toyes, that is of the
Grammaticall versifying of the Greeks and Latines and see
whether it might be reduced into our English arte or no.


How if all maner of sodaine innouations were not very
scandalous, specially in the lawes of any langage or arte,
the vse of the Greeke and Latine feete might be brought into
our vulgar Poesie, and with good grace inough.

¶2.9.1 NOw neuerthelesse albeit we haue
before alledged that our vulgar Saxon English
standing most vpon wordes monosillable, and little
polysillables doth hardly admit the vse of those

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fine inuented feete of the Greeks |&| Latines, and that for
the most part wise and graue men doe naturally mislike with
all sodaine innouations specially of lawes (and this the law
of our auncient English Poesie) and therefore lately before
we imputed it to a nice |&| scholasticall curiositie in such
makers as haue sought to bring into our vulgar Poesie some
of the auncient feete, to wit the Dactile into
exameters, as he that translated certaine bookes
of Virgils Eneydos in such measures |&| not
vncommendably: if I should now say otherwise it would make
me seeme contradictorie to my selfe, yet for the information
of our yong makers, and pleasure of all others who be
delighted in noueltie, and to th'intent we may not seeme by
ignorance or ouersight to omit any point of subtillitie,
materiall or necessarie to our vulgar arte, we will in this
present chapter |&| by our own idle obseruations shew how
one may easily and commodiously lead all those feete of the
auncients into our vulgar langage. And if mens eares were
not perchaunce to daintie, or their iudgementes ouer
partiall, would peraduenture nothing at all misbecome our
arte, but make in our meetres a more pleasant numerositie
then now is. Thus farre therefore we will aduenture and not
beyond, to th'intent to shew some singularitie in our arte
that euery man hath not heretofore obserued, and (her
maiesty good liking always had) whether we make the common
readers to laugh or to lowre, all is a matter, since our
intent is not so exactlie to prosecute the purpose, nor so
earnestly, as to thinke it should by authority of our owne
iudgement be generally applauded at to the discredit of our
forefathers maner of vulgar Poesie, or to the alteration or
peraduenture totall destruction of the same, which could not
stand with any good discretion or curtesie in vs to attempt,
but thus much I say, that by some leasurable trauell it were
not hard matter to induce all their auncient feete into vse
with vs, and that it should proue very agreable to the eare
and well according with our ordinary times and
pronunciation, which no man could then iustly mislike, and
that is to allow euery word
polisillable one long time of necessitie, which
should be where his sharpe accent falls in our owne
ydiome most aptly and naturally, wherein we would not
follow the licence of the Greeks and Latines, who made not
their sharpe accent any necessary pro-

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longation of their times, but vsed such sillable sometimes
long sometimes short at their pleasure. The other sillables
of any word where the sharpe accent fell not to be accompted
of such time and quantitie as his ortographie
would best beare hauing regard to himselfe, or to his next
neighbour, word, bounding him on either side, namely to the
smoothnes |&| hardnesse of the sillable in his vtterance,
which is occasioned altogether by his ortographie
|&| scituation as in this word [d{'a}yly] the
first sillable for his vsuall and sharpe accentes sake to be
alwayes long, the second for his flat accents sake to be
alwayes short, and the rather for his ortographie,
bycause if he goe before another word commencing with a
vowell not letting him to be eclipsed, his vtterance is
easie |&| currant, in this trisillable [da{_u}ng{-e}r{-
] the first to be long, th'other two short for the
same causes. In this word [d{_a}ng{-e}r{-o}usnesse
] the first |&| last to be both long, bycause they receiue
both of them the sharpe accent, and the two middlemost to be
short, in these words [remedie] |&| [
remedilesse] the time to follow also the accent, so
as if it please better to set the sharpe accent vp|on| [
re] then vpon [dye] that sillable should be
made long and è conuerso, but in this word [
remedilesse] bycause many like better to accent the
sillable [me] th|en| the sillable [les]
therfore I leaue him for a c|om|mon sillable to be able to
receiue both a long and a short time as occasion shall
serue. The like law I set in these wordes [reuocable
] [recouerable] [irreuocable] [
irrecouerable] for sometime it sounds better to say
r{-e}u{-o} c{_a}bl{-e} then r{-e} u{_o}c{-
, r{_e}c{-o}u{-e}r{_a}ble th|en|
r{-e}c{_o}u{-e}r {-a}bl{-e} for this one thing ye
must alwayes marke that if your time fall either by reason
of his sharpe acc|en|t or otherwise vpon the
penultima, ye shal finde many other words to rime
with him, bycause such terminati|on|s are not geazon, but if
the l|on|g time fall vp|on| the antepenultima ye
shall not finde many wordes to match him in his termination,
which is the cause of his concord or rime, but if you would
let your long time by his sharpe accent fall aboue the
antepenultima as to say [c{_o}u{-e}r{-a}bl{-e}
] ye shall seldome or perchance neuer find one to make vp
rime with him vnlesse it be badly and by abuse, and
therefore in all such long polisillables ye doe
commonly giue two sharpe accents, and thereby reduce him
into two feete as in this word [r{_e}m{-u} n{-
] which makes a couple of good
Dactils, and

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in this word [contribution] which makes a good
sp|on|deus |&| a good dactill, and in this
word [rec{_a}p{-i}t{-u}l{_a}ti{-o}n] it makes two
dactills and a sillable ouerplus to annexe to the
word precedent to helpe peece vp another foote. But for
wordes monosillables (as be most of ours) because
in pronouncing them they do of necessitie retaine a sharpe
accent, ye may iustly allow them to be all long if they will
so best serue your turne, and if they be tailed one to
another, or th'one to a dissillable or
polyssillable ye ought to allow them that time that
best serues your purpose and pleaseth your eare most, and
truliest aunsweres the nature of the ortographie
in which I would as neare as I could obserue and keepe the
lawes of the Greeke and Latine versifiers, that is to
prolong the sillable which is written with double consonants
or by dipthong or with single consonants that run hard and
harshly vpon the toung: and to shorten all sillables that
stand vpon vowels, if there were no cause of elision
and single consonants |&| such of them as are most
flowing and slipper vpon the toung as n. r. t. d. l.
and for this purpose to take away all aspirations, and
many times the last consonant of a word as the Latine Poetes
vsed to do, specially Lucretius and Ennius
as to say [finibu] for [finibus] and
so would not I stick to say thus [delite] for [
delight] [hye] for [high] and
such like, |&| doth nothing at all impugne the rule I gaue
before against the wresting of wordes by false
ortographie to make vp rime, which may not be
falsified. But this omission of letters in the middest of a
meetre to make him the more slipper, helpes the numerositie
and hinders not the rime. But generally the shortning or
prolonging of the monosillables dependes much
vp|on| the nature of their ortographie which the
Latin Grammariens call the rule of position, as for example
if I shall say thus.

¶2.9.2 N{-o}t m{-a}n{-i}e day{-e}s p{-a}st
. Twentie dayes after,

¶2.9.3 This makes a good Dactill and a
good spondeus, but if ye turne them backward it
would not do so, as.

¶2.9.4 Many dayes, not past.

¶2.9.5 And the distick made all of

B{_u}t n{_o}ne {_o}f {_u}s tr{_u}e m{_e}n {_a}nd

Could finde so great good lucke as he.

¶2.9.6 Which words serue well to make the verse
all spondiacke or
iambicke, but not in dactil, as other
words or the same otherwise pla-

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ced would do, for it were an illfauored dactil to

¶2.9.7 B{_u}t n{-o}ne {-o}f, {_u}s {-a}ll

¶2.9.8 Therefore whensoeuer your words will not
make a smooth dactil, ye must alter them or their
situations, or else turne them to other feete that may
better beare their maner of sound and orthographie: or if
the word be polysillable to deuide him, and to
make him serue by peeces, that he could not do whole and
entierly. And no doubt by like consideration did the Greeke
|&| Latine versifiers fashion all their feete at the first
to be of sundry times, and the selfe same sillable to be
sometime long and sometime short for the eares better
satisfaction as hath bene before rem|en|bred. Now also
wheras I said before that our old Saxon English for his many
monosillables did not naturally admit the vse of
the ancient feete in our vulgar measures so aptly as in
those languages which stood most vpon polisillables
, I sayd it in a sort truly, but now I must recant and
confesse that our Normane English which hath growen since
William the Conquerour doth admit any of the auncient
feete, by reason of the many polysillables euen to
sixe and seuen in one word, which we at this day vse in our
most ordinarie language: and which corruption hath bene
occasioned chiefly by the peeuish affectation not of the
Normans them selues, but of clerks and scholers or
secretaries long since, who not content with the vsual
Normane or Saxon word, would conuert the very Latine and
Greeke word into vulgar French, as to say innumerable for
innombrable, reuocable, irreuocable, irradiation,
depopulati|on| |&| such like, which are not naturall Normans
nor yet French, but altered Latines, and without any
imitation at all: which therefore were long time despised
for inkehorne termes, and now be reputed the best |&| most
delicat of any other. Of which |&| many other causes of
corruption of our speach we haue in another place more amply
discoursed, but by this meane we may at this day very well
receiue the auncient feete metricall of the Greeks
and Latines sauing those that be superflous as be all the
feete aboue the trissillable, which the old
Grammarians idly inuented and distinguisht by speciall
names, whereas in deede the same do stand compounded with
the inferiour feete, and therefore some of them were called
by the names of didactilus, dispondeus
and disiambus: all which feete as I say we may

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be allowed to vse with good discretion |&| precise choise of
wordes and with the fauorable approbation of readers, and so
shall our plat in this one point be larger and much surmount
that which Stamhurst first tooke in hand by his
exameters dactilicke and spondaicke in the
translation of Virgills Eneidos, and such as for a
great number of them my stomacke can hardly digest for the
ill shapen sound of many of his wordes polisillable
and also his copulation of monosillables
supplying the quantitie of a trissillable to his
intent. And right so in promoting this deuise of ours being
(I feare me) much more nyce and affected, and therefore more
misliked then his, we are to bespeake fauour, first of the
delicate eares, then of the rigorous and seuere
dispositions, lastly to craue pardon of the learned |&|
auncient makers in our vulgar, for if we should seeke in
euery point to egall our speach with the Greeke and Latin in
their metricall obseruations it could not possible
be by vs perfourmed, because their sillables came to be
timed some of them long, some of them short not by reason of
any euident or apparent case in writing or sounde remaining
vpon one more then another, for many times they shortned the
sillable of sharpe accent and made long that of the flat,
|&| therefore we must needes say, it was in many of their
wordes done by preelection in the first Poetes, not hauing
regard altogether to the ortographie, and
hardnesse or softnesse of a sillable, consonant, vowell or
dipthong, but at their pleasure, or as it fell out: so as he
that first put in a verse this word [Penelope]
which might be Homer or some other of his
antiquitie, where he made [p{_e}] in both places
long and [ne] and [l{-o}] short, he
might haue made them otherwise and with as good reason,
nothing in the world appearing that might moue them to make
such (preelection) more in th'one sillable then in the other
for pe. ne. and lo. being
sillables vocals be egally smoth and currant vpon the toung,
and might beare aswel the long as the short time, but it
pleased the Poet otherwise: so he that first shortned,
ca. in this word
cano, and made long tro, in troia
, and o, in oris, might haue aswell
done the contrary, but because he that first put them into a
verse, found as it is to be supposed a more sweetnesse in
his owne eare to haue them so tymed, therefore all other
Poets who followed, were fayne to doe the like, which made
that Virgill who came many

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yeares after the first reception of wordes in their seuerall
times, was driuen of necessitie to accept them in such
quantities as they were left him and therefore said.

{_a}rm{-a} u{-i} r{_u}mq{_u}e c{-a} n{_o} tr{_o} i{_e}
quì pr{_i}m{-u}s {-a}b {_o}rìs

¶2.9.9 Neither truely doe I see any other reason
in that lawe (though in other rules of shortning and
prolonging a sillable there may be reason) but that it
stands vpon bare tradition. Such as the Cabalists
auouch in their mysticall constructions Theologicall and
others, saying that they receaued the same from hand to hand
from the first parent Adam, Abraham and
others, which I will giue them leaue alone both to say and
beleeue for me, thinking rather that they haue bene the idle
occupations, or perchaunce the malitious and craftie
constructions of the Talmudists, and others of the
Hebrue clerks to bring the world into admiration of their
lawes and Religion. Now peraduenture with vs Englishmen it
be somewhat too late to admit a new inuention of feete and
times that our forefathers neuer vsed nor neuer obserued
till this day, either in their measures or in their
pronuntiation, and perchaunce will seeme in vs a
presumptuous part to attempt, considering also it would be
hard to find many men to like of one mans choise in the
limitation of times and quantities of words, with which not
one, but euery eare is to be pleased and made a particular
iudge, being most truly sayd, that a multitude or
comminaltie is hard to please and easie to offend, and
therefore I intend not to proceed any further in this
curiositie then to shew some small subtillitie that any
other hath not yet done, and not by imitation but by
obseruation, nor to th'intent to haue it put in execution in
our vulgar Poesie, but to be pleasantly scanned vpon, as are
all nouelties so friuolous and ridiculous as it.


A more particular declaration of the metricall feete of the
ancient Poets Greeke and Latine and chiefly of the feete of
two times.

¶2.10.1 T
Heir Grammarians made a great
multitude of feete. I wot not to what huge number, and of so
many sizes and their wordes

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were of length, namely sixe sizes, whereas in deede, the
metricall feete are but twelue in number, whereof foure only
be of two times, and eight of three times, the rest
compounds of the premised two sorts, euen as the
Arithmeticall numbers aboue three are made of two and three.
And if ye will know how many of these feete will be
commodiously receiued with vs, I say all the whole twelue,
for first for the foote spondeus of two long times
ye haue these English wordes m{_o}rn{_i}ng,
m{_i}dnìght, m{_i}sch{_a}unce
, and a number moe
whose ortographie may direct your iudgement in this point:
for your Trocheus of a long and short ye haue
these wordes m{_a}n{-e}r, br{_o}k{-e}n, t{_a}k{-e}n,
b{_o}d{-i}e, m{_e}mb{-e}r
, and a great many moe if
their last sillables abut not vpon the consonant in the
beginning of another word, and in these whether they do abut
or no w{_i}tt{-i}e, d{_i}tt{-i}e, s{_o}rr{-o}w,
, |&| such like, which end in a vowell for
your Iambus of a short and a long, ye haue these
wordes [r{-e}st{_o}re] [r{-e}m{_o}rse]
[d{-e}s{_i}re] [{-e}nd{_u}re] and a
thousand besides. For your foote pirrichius or of
two short silables ye haue these words [m{-a}n{-i}e
] [m{-o}n{-e}y] [p{-e}n{-i}e] [
s{-i}l{-i}e] and others of that constitution or the
like: for your feete of three times and first your
dactill, ye haue these wordes |&| a number moe
p{_a}t{-i}{-e}nce, t{_e}mp{-e}r{-a}nce, {w}{_o}m{-a}nhe{-
a}d, i{_o}l{-i}t{-i}e, da{_u}ng{-e}r{-o}us, d{_u}et{-i}f{-
|&| others. For your molossus, of all
three long, ye haue a member of wordes also and specially
most of your participles actiue, as
p{_e}rs{_i}st{_i}ng, dèspòil{_i}ng,
, and such like in ortographie: for
your anapestus of two short and a long ye haue
these words but not many moe, as m{-a}n{-i}f{_o}ld, m{-
o}n{-i}l{_e}sse, r{-e}m{-a}n{_e}nt, h{-o}l{-i}n{_e}sse
For your foote tribracchus of all three short, ye
haue very few trissillables, because the sharpe
accent will always make one of them long by pronunciation,
which els would be by ortographie short as [m{-e}r{-
] [minion] |&| such like. For your foote
bacchius of a short |&| two long ye haue these and
the like words trissillables [l{-
] [r{-e}qu{-e}st{_i}ng] [
r{-e}no{_u}nc{_i}ng] [r{-e}p{_e}nt{_a}nce]
[{-e}n{_u}r{_i}ng]. For your foote
antibacchius, of two long and a short ye haue these
wordes [f{_o}rs{_a}k{-e}n] [{_i}mp{_u}gn{-
] and others many: for your amphimacer
that is a long a short and a long ye haue these wordes and
many moe [éxcellént] [{_i}m{-
] and specially such as be propre names of
persons or townes or other things and namely Welsh wordes:
for your foote amphibracchus, of a short, a long
and a short, ye haue these wordes and

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many like to these [r{-e}s{_i}st{-e}d] [d{-
] [r{-e}pr{_i}s{-a}ll] [
{-i}na{_u}nt{-e}r] [{-e}n{_a}m{-i}ll] so as
for want of English wordes if your eare be not to daintie
and your rules to precise, ye neede not be without the
metricall feete of the ancient Poets such as be most
pertinent and not superfluous. This is (ye will perchaunce
say) my singular opinion: then ye shall see how well I can
maintaine it. First the quantitie of a word comes either by
(preelection) without reason or force as hath bene alledged,
and as the auncient Greekes and Latines did in many wordes,
but not in all, or by (election) with reason as they did in
some, and not a few. And a sound is drawen at length either
by the infirmitie of the toung, because the word or sillable
is of such letters as hangs long in the palate or lippes ere
he will come forth, or because he is accented and tuned hier
and sharper then another, whereby he somewhat obscureth the
other sillables in the same word that be not accented so
high, in both these cases we will establish our sillable
long, contrariwise the shortning of a sillable is, when his
sounde or accent happens to be heauy and flat, that is to
fall away speedily, and as it were inaudible, or when he is
made of such letters as be by nature slipper |&| voluble and
smoothly passe from the mouth. And the vowell is alwayes
more easily deliuered then the consonant: and of consonants,
the liquide more then the mute, |&| a single consonant more
then a double, and one more then twayne coupled together:
all which points were obserued by the Greekes and Latines,
and allowed for maximes in versifying. Now if ye
will examine these foure bissillables [
r{_e}mn{_a}nt] [r{-e}m{_a}ine] [r{-
] [r{-e}n{-e}t] for an example by which
ye may make a generall rule, and ye shall finde, that they
aunswere our first resolution. First in [remnant]
[rem] bearing the sharpe accent and hauing his
consonant abbut vpon another, soundes long. The sillable [
nant] being written with two c|on|sonants must needs
be accompted the same besides that [nant] by his
Latin originall is l|on|g, viz. [remanens]. Take
this word [remaine] because the last sillable
beares the sharpe accent, he is long in the eare, and [
re] being the first sillable, passing obscurely away
with a flat accent is short, besides that [re] by
his Latine originall and also by his ortographie is short.
This word [render] bearing the sharpe acc|en|t
vpon [ren] makes it long, the sillable [der
] falling

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away swiftly |&| being also writt|en| with a single
c|on|sonant or liquide is short and makes the
trocheus. This word [r{-e}n{-e}t] hauing
both sillables sliding and slipper make the foote
Pirrichius, because if he be truly vttered, he beares
in maner no sharper accent vp|on| the one then the other
sillable, but he in effect egall in time and tune, as is
also the Spondeus. And because they be not written
with any hard or harsh consonants, I do allow them both for
short sillables, or to be vsed for common, according as
their situation and place with other words shall be: and as
I haue named to you but onely foure words for an example, so
may ye find out by diligent obseruation foure hundred if ye
will. But of all your words bissillables the most
part naturally do make the foot
Iambus, many the Trocheus, fewer the
Spondeus, fewest of all the Pirrichius,
because in him the sharpe accent (if ye follow the rules of
your accent, as we haue presupposed) doth make a litle
oddes: and ye shall find verses made all of
monosillables, and do very well, but lightly they be
Iambickes, bycause for the more part the accent
falles sharp vpon euery second word rather then
contrariwise, as this of Sir Thomas Wiats.

I f{_i}nde n{-o} pe{_a}ce {-a}nd y{_e}t m{-i}e w{_a}rre
{-i}s d{_o}ne,
I feare and hope, and burne and freese like ise

¶2.10.2 And some verses where the sharpe accent
falles vpon the first and third, and so make the verse
wholly Trochaicke, as thus,

Worke not, no nor, wish thy friend or foes harme
Try but, trust not, all that speake thee so faire

¶2.10.3 And some verses made of
monosillables and bissillables enterlaced
as this of th'Earles,

When raging loue with extreme paine

¶2.10.4 And this

A fairer beast of fresher hue beheld I neuer none.

¶2.10.5 And some verses made all of
bissillables and others all of
trissillables, and others of polisillables
egally increasing and of diuers quantities, and sundry
situations, as in this of our owne, made to daunt the
insolence of a beautifull woman.

Brittle beauty blossome daily fading
Morne, noone, and eue in age and eke in eld
Dangerous disdainefull pleasantly perswading
Easie to gripe but combrous to weld

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For slender bottome hard and heauy lading
Gay for a while, but little while durable
Suspicious, incertaine, irreuocable,
O since thou art by triall not to trust
Wisedome it is, and it is also iust
To sound the stemme before the tree be feld
That is, since death {w}ill driue vs all to dust
To leaue thy loue ere that {w}e be compeld

¶2.10.6 In which ye haue your first verse all of
bissillables and of the foot
trocheus. The second all of monosillables
, and all of the foote Iambus, the third all of
trissillables, and all of the foote
dactilus, your fourth of one bissillable,
and two monosillables interlarded, the fift of one
monosillable and two bissillables
enterlaced, and the rest of other sortes and scituations,
some by degrees encreasing, some diminishing: which example
I haue set downe to let you perceiue what pleasant
numerosity in the measure and disposition of your words in a
meetre may be contriued by curious wits |&| these with other
like were the obseruations of the Greeke and Latine


Of your feet of three times, and first of the Dactil.

¶2.11.1 YOur feete of three times by
prescription of the Latine Grammariens are of eight sundry
proportions, for some notable difference appearing in euery
sillable of three falling in a word of that size: but
because aboue the antepenultima there was (am|on|g
the Latines) none accent audible in any long word, therfore
to deuise any foote of l|on|ger measure then of three times
was to them but superfluous: because all aboue the number of
three are but compounded of their inferiours. Omitting
therefore to speake of these larger feete, we say that of
all your feete of three times the Dactill is most
vsuall and fit for our vulgar meeter, |&| most agreeable to
the eare, specially if ye ouerlade not your verse with too
many of them but here and there enterlace a Iambus
or some other foote of two times to giue him grauitie and
stay, as in this quadrein Trimeter or of three

Rend{-e}r {-a}ga{_i}ne m{-i}e l{_i}b{-e}rt{-i}e
{-a}nd s{_e}t yo{-u}r c{_a}pt{-i}ue fr{_e}e

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Gl{_o}r{-i}o{-u}s {_i}s th{-e} vìct{-o}r{-i}e
C{_o}nqu{-e}r{-o}urs {-u}se with l{_e}n{-i}t{-i}e

¶2.11.2 Where ye see euery verse is all of a
measure, and yet vnegall in number of sillables: for the
second verse is but of sixe sillables, where the rest are of
eight. But the reason is for that in three of the same
verses are two Dactils a peece, which abridge two
sillables in euery verse: and so maketh the longest euen
with the shortest. Ye may note besides by the first verse,
how much better some bissillable becommeth to
peece out an other longer foote then another word doth: for
in place of [render] if ye had sayd [
restore] it had marred the Dactil, and of
necessitie driuen him out at length to be a verse
Iambic of foure feet, because [render] is
naturally a Trocheus and makes the first two times
of a dactil. [Restore] is naturally a
Iabus, |&| in this place could not possibly haue made
a pleasant dactil.

¶2.11.3 Now againe if ye will say to me that these
two words [libertie] and [conquerours]
be not precise Dactils by the Latine rule. So much
will I confesse to, but since they go currant inough vpon
the tongue, and be so vsually pronounced, they may passe wel
inough for Dactils in our vulgar meeters, |&| that
is inough for me, seeking but to fashion an art, |&| not to
finish it: which time only |&| custom haue authoritie to do,
specially in all cases of language as the Poet hath wittily
remembred in this verse volet vsus

Quem penes arbitrium est |&| vis |&| norma loquendi

¶2.11.4 The Earle of Surrey vpon the death of Sir
Thomas Wiat made among other this verse
Pentameter and of ten sillables,

What holy graue (alas) {w}hat sepulcher

¶2.11.5 But if I had had the making of him, he
should haue bene of eleuen sillables and kept his measure of
fiue still, and would so haue runne more pleasantly a great
deale: for as he is now, though he be euen he seemes odde
and defectiue, for not well obseruing the natural accent of
euery word, and this would haue bene soone holpen by
inserting one monosillable in the middle of the
verse, and drawing another sillable in the beginning into a
Dactil, this word [holy] being a good
[Pirrichius] |&| very well seruing the turne,

Wh{_a}t h{-o}l{-i}e gr{_a}ue {-a} l{_a}s wh{-a}t f{_i}t

¶2.11.6 Which verse if ye peruse throughout ye
shall finde him after the first dactil all
Trochaick |&| not Iambic, nor of any other
foot of two

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times. But perchance if ye would seeme yet more curious, in
place of these foure Trocheus ye might induce
other feete of three times, as to make the three sillables
next following the dactil, the foote [
amphimacer] the last word [Sepulcher] the
foote [amphibracus] leauing the other midle word
for a [Iambus] thus.

¶2.11.7 Wh{_a}t h{-o}li{-e} gr{_a}ue {-a}
l{_a}s wh{-a}t f{_i}t s{-e}p{_u}lch{-e}r

¶2.11.8 If ye aske me further why I make [
{w}hat] first long |&| after short in one verse, to
that I satisfied you before, that it is by reason of his
accent sharpe in one place and flat in another, being a
comm|on| monosillable, that is, apt to receiue
either accent, |&| so in the first place receiuing aptly the
sharpe accent he is made long: afterward receiuing the flat
accent more aptly th|en| the sharpe, because the sillable
precedent [las] vtterly distaines him, he is made
short |&| not long |&| that with very good melodie, but to
haue giuen him the sharpe accent |&| plucked it fr|om| the
sillable [las] it had bene to any mans eare a
great discord: for euermore this word [alas] is
acc|en|ted vpon the last, |&| that lowdly |&| notoriously as
appeareth by all our exclamations vsed vnder that terme. The
same Earle of Surrey |&| Sir Thomas Wyat the first
reformers |&| polishers of our vulgar Poesie much affecting
the stile and measures of the Italian Petrarcha,
vsed the foote dactil very often but not many in
one verse, as in these,

F{_u}ll m{-a}n{-i}e that in presence of thy l{_i}uel{-
i}e h{-e}d,
Shed Cæsars teares vpon P{_o}mp{-e}i{_u}s h{-e}d.
Th'{_e}n{-e}m{-i}e to life destroi er of all kinde,
If {_a}m{-o} r{-o}us faith in an hart vn fayned,
Myne old de{_e}re {-e}n{-e} my my froward master.
Th{_e} f{-u}r{-i} ous gone in his most ra ging ire.

¶2.11.9 And many moe which if ye would not allow
for dactils the verse would halt vnlesse ye would
seeme to help it contracting a sillable by vertue of the
figure Syneresis which I thinke was neuer their
meaning, nor in deede would haue bred any pleasure to the
eare, but hindred the flowing of the verse. Howsoeuer ye
take it the dactil is commendable inough in our
vulgar meetres, but most plausible of all when he is sounded
vpon the stage, as in these comicall verses shewing how well
it becommeth all noble men and great personages to be
temperat and modest, yea more then any meaner man, thus.

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L{_e}t n{-o} n{-o}b{_i}l{-i}t{-i}e r{_i}ch{-e}s {-o}r

H{_o}n{-o}ur {-o}r emp{-i}re {-o}r e{_a}rthl{-i}e d{-

Br{_e}ed {-i}n y{-o}ur he{-a}d {-a}n{-i}e p{_e}euish {-

That y{-e} m{-a}y s{_a}f{-e}r {-a}u{_o}uch {-a}n{-i}e

¶2.11.10 And in this distique taxing the Prelate
symoniake standing all vpon perfect

No{w} m{_a}n{_i}e b{_i}e m{_o}n{_e}y p{_u}ru{-e}y pr{-

For mony mooues any hart to deuotion.

¶2.11.11 But this aduertisement I will giue you
withall, that if ye vse too many dactils together
ye make your musike too light and of no solemne grauitie
such as the amorous Elegies in court naturally
require, being alwaies either very dolefull or passionate as
the affections of loue enforce, in which busines ye must
make your choise of very few words dactilique, or
them that ye can not refuse, to dissolue and breake them
into other feete by such meanes as it shall be taught
hereafter: but chiefly in your courtly ditties take heede ye
vse not these maner of long polisillables and
specially that ye finish not your verse with th|em| as [
retribution] restitution [
remuneration [recapitulation] and such
like: for they smatch more the schoole of common players
than of any delicate Poet Lyricke or


Of all your other feete of three times and ho{w} {w}ell they
{w}ould fashion a meetre in our vulgar.

¶2.12.1 ALl your other feete of three
times I find no vse of them in our vulgar meeters nor no
sweetenes at all, and yet words inough to serue their
proportions. So as though they haue not hitherto bene made
artificiall, yet nowe by more curious obseruation they might
be. Since all artes grew first by obseruation of natures
proceedings and custome. And first your [Molossus]
being of all three long is euidently discouered by this word
[p{_e}rm{_i}tt{_i}ng]. The [Anapestus]
of two short and a long by this word [f{-u}r{-
] if the next word beginne with a consonant.
The foote [Bacchius] of a short and two long by
this word [r{-e}s{_i}st{_a}nce] the foote [
Antibachius] of two long and a short by this word [
{_e}x{_a}mpl{-e}] the foote] Amphimacer] of
a long a short |&| a long by this word [c{_o}nqu{-
] the foote of [Amphibrachus] of a
short a long and a short by this word [r{-e}-]

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m{_e}mber] if a vowell follow. The foote [
Tribrachus] of three short times is very hard to be
made by any of our trissillables vnles they be
c|om|pounded of the smoothest sort of consonants or
sillables vocals, or of three smooth monosillables
, or of some peece of a l|on|g
polysillable |&| after that sort we may with
wresting of words shape the foot [Tribrachus]
rather by vsurpation th|en| by rule, which neuertheles is
allowed in euery primitiue arte |&| inuenti|on|: |&| so it
was by the Greekes and Latines in their first versifying, as
if a rule should be set downe that from henceforth these
words should be counted al Tribrachus [{-
] r{-e}m{-e}d{-i}e] s{-
] m{-o}n{-i}l{-e}s] p{-
] cr{-u}{-e}ll{-i}e] |&| such
like, or a peece of this long word [r{-e}c{_o}u{-e}r{-
] inn{-u}m{-e}r{-a}bl{-e} re{-a}d{-i}l{-
] and others. Of all which manner of apt wordes to
make these stranger feet of three times which go not so
currant with our eare as the dactil, the maker
should haue a good iudgement to know them by their manner of
orthographie and by their accent which serue most fitly for
euery foote, or else he shoulde haue alwaies a little
calender of them apart to vse readily when he shall neede
them. But because in very truth I thinke them but vaine |&|
superstitious obseruations nothing at all furthering the
pleasant melody of our English meeter, I leaue to speake any
more of them and rather wish the continuance of our old
maner of Poesie, scanning our verse by sillables rather than
by feete, and vsing most commonly the word Iambique
|&| sometime the Trochaike which ye shall
discerne by their accents, and now and then a dactill
keeping precisely our symphony or rime without any other
mincing measures, which an idle inuentiue head could easily
deuise, as the former examples teach.


Of your verses perfect and defectiue, and that which the
Græcians called the halfe foote.

¶2.13.1 THe Greekes and Latines vsed
verses in the odde sillable of two sortes, which they called
Catalecticke and Acatalecticke, that is
odde vnder and odde ouer the iust measure of their verse,
|&| we in our vulgar finde many of the like, and specially
in the rimes of Sir Thomas Wiat, strained perchaunce out of
their originall, made first by Francis Patrarcha:
as these

Like vnto these, immeasurable mountaines,

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So is my painefull life the burden of ire:
For hie be they, and hie is my desire
And I of teares, and they are full of fountaines

¶2.13.2 Where in your first second and fourth
verse, ye may find a sillable superfluous, and though in the
first ye will seeme to helpe it, by drawing these three
sillables, [{_m} m{-e} s{-u}] into a dactil
, in the rest it can not be so excused, wherefore we must
thinke he did it of purpose, by the odde sillable to giue
greater grace to his meetre, and we finde in our old rimes,
this odde sillable, sometime placed in the beginning and
sometimes in the middle of a verse, and is allowed to go
alone |&| to h|an|g to any other sillable. But this odde
sillable in our meetres is not the halfe foote as the
Greekes and Latines vsed him in their verses, and called
such measure pentimimeris and eptamimeris
, but rather is that, which they called the
catalectik or maymed verse. Their h|en|mimeris
or halfe foote serued not by licence Poeticall or
necessitie of words, but to bewtifie and exornate the verse
by placing one such halfe foote in the middle Cesure
, |&| one other in the end of the verse, as they vsed all
their pentameters elegiack: and not by coupling
them together, but by accompt to make their verse of a iust
measure and not defectiue or superflous: our odde sillable
is not altogether of that nature, but is in a maner drownd
and supprest by the flat accent, and shrinks away as it were
inaudible and by that meane the odde verse comes almost to
be an euen in euery mans hearing. The halfe foote of the
auncients was reserued purposely to an vse, and therefore
they gaue such odde sillable, wheresoeuer he fell the
sharper accent, and made by him a notorious pause as in this

N{_i}l m{-i} h{-i} r{_e}scr{-i}b{-a}s {_a}tt{-a}m{-e}n
{_i}ps{-e} v{-e} nì

¶2.13.3 Which in all make fiue whole feete, or the
verse Pentameter. We in our vulgar haue not the
vse of the like halfe foote.


Of the breaking your bissillables and polysillables and when
it is to be vsed.

¶2.14.1 BVt whether ye suffer your
sillable to receiue his quantitie by his accent, or by his
ortography, or whether ye keepe your bissillable
whole or whether ye breake him, all is one to his quantitie,

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and his time will appeare the selfe same still and ought not
to be altered by our makers, vnlesse it be wh|en| such
sillable is allowed to be common and to receiue any of both
times, as in the dimeter, made of two sillables

¶2.14.2 {_e}xtr{_e}ame d{-e}s{_i}re

¶2.14.3 The first is a good spondeus,
the second a good iambus, and if the same wordes
be broken thus it is not so pleasant.

¶2.14.4 {-i}n {_e}x tr{_e}ame d{-e} sire

¶2.14.5 And yet the first makes a iambus
, and the second a trocheus ech sillable
retayning still his former quantities. And alwaies ye must
haue regard to the sweetenes of the meetre, so as if your
word polysillable would not sound pleasantly
whole, ye should for the nonce breake him, which ye may
easily doo by inserting here and there one
monosillable among your polysillables, or
by chaunging your word into another place then where he
soundes vnpleasantly, and by breaking, turne a
trocheus to a iambus, or contrariwise: as

H{_o}ll{-o}w v{_a}ll{-e}is {_u}nd{-e}r hì{-e}st mo{-
Cr{_a}gg{-i}e cliffes br{-i}ng fo{_o}rth th{-e} fa{_i}r{-
e}st fo{_u}nta{-i}nes

¶2.14.6 These verses be trochaik, and in
mine eare not so sweete and harmonicall as the
iambicque, thus:

Th{-e} h{_o}ll{-o}wst v{_a}ls l{-i}e {_u}nd{-e}r
h{_i}{-e}st m{_o}unt{_a}ines
Th{-e} cr{_a}gg{-i}st cl{_i}fs br{_i}ng f{_o}rth th{-e}
fa{_i}r{-e}st fo{_u}nt{_a}ines

¶2.14.7 All which verses bee now become
iambicque by breaking the first
bissillables, and yet alters not their quantities
though the feete be altered: and thus,

Restlesse is the heart in his desires
Rauing after that reason doth denie

¶2.14.8 Which being turned thus makes a new

The restlesse heart, renues his old desires
Ay rauing after that reason doth it deny.

¶2.14.9 And following this obseruation your
meetres being builded with
polysillables will fall diuersly out, that is some
to be spondaick, some iambick, others
dactilick, others trochaick, and of one
mingled with another, as in this verse.

H{_e}au{-i}e {_i}s th{-e} b{_u}rd{-e}n of Pr{-i}nc{-e}s

¶2.14.10 The verse is trochaick, but
being altered thus, is iambicque.

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F{-u}ll h{_e}au{-i}e {_i}s th{-e} p{_a}ise {-o}f
Pr{_i}nces {_i}re

¶2.14.11 And as Sir Thomas Wiat song in
a verse wholly trochaick, because the wordes do
best shape to that foote by their naturall accent, thus,

F{_a}rew{-e}ll l{_o}ue {-a}nd {-a}ll th{_i}e l{_a}wes
f{-o}r {_e}u{-e}r

¶2.14.12 And in this ditty of th'Erle of Surries,
passing sweete and harmonicall: all be Iambick.

When raging loue with extreme paine
So cruelly doth straine my hart,
And that the teares like fluds of raine
Beare witnesse of my wofull smart

¶2.14.13 Which beyng disposed otherwise or not
broken, would proue all
trochaick, but nothing pleasant.

¶2.14.14 Now furthermore ye are to note, that al
your monosyllables may receiue the sharp accent,
but not so aptly one as another, as in this verse where they
serue well to make him iambicque, but not

G{-o}d gra{-u}nt th{-i}s pe{_a}ce m{-a}y l{_o}ng {-

¶2.14.15 Where the sharpe accent falles more
tunably vpon [graunt] [peace] [
long] [dure] then it would by conuersion,
as to accent them thus:

G{_o}d gra{-u}nt -- th{-i}s pe{-a}ce -- m{_a}y l{-o}ng
-- {_e}nd{_u}re

¶2.14.16 And yet if ye will aske me the reason, I
can not tell it, but that it shapes so to myne eare, and as
I thinke to euery other mans. And in this meeter where ye
haue whole words bissillable vnbroken, that
maintaine (by reason of their accent) sundry feete, yet
going one with another be very harmonicall.

¶2.14.17 Where ye see one to be a trocheus
another the iambus, and so entermingled not by
election but by constraint of their seuerall accents, which
ought not to be altred, yet comes it to passe that many
times ye must of necessitie alter the accent of a sillable,
and put him from his naturall place, and then one sillable,
of a word polysillable, or one word
monosillable, will abide to be made sometimes
long, sometimes short, as in this quadreyne of
ours playd in a mery moode.

Gèue mé mìne ówne ànd whén I dó
Geue others theirs, and nothing that is mine

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Nòr gíue mè th{'a}t, wherto all men aspire
Then neither gold, nor faire women nor wine

¶2.14.18 Where in your first verse these two words
[giue] and [me] are accented one high
th'other low, in the third verse the same words are accented
contrary, and the reason of this exchange is manifest,
because the maker playes with these two clauses of sundry
relations [giue me] and [giue others] so
as the monosillable [me] being
respectiue to the word [others] and inferring a
subtilitie or wittie implication, ought not to haue the same
accent, as when he hath no such respect, as in this
distik of ours.

Pr{_o}ue m{-e} (Madame) ere ye r{_e}pr{-o}ue
Meeke minds should {_e}xc{-u}se not {_a}cc{-u}se.

¶2.14.19 In which verse ye see this word [
reprooue,] the sillable [prooue] alters his
sharpe accent into a flat, for naturally it is long in all
his singles and compoundes [reproòue] [
approòue] [disproòue] |&| so is the
sillable [cuse] in [excuse] [
accuse] [recuse] yet in these verses by
reason one of them doth as it were nicke another, and haue a
certaine extraordinary sence with all, it behoueth to remoue
the sharpe accents from whence they are most naturall, to
place them where the nicke may be more expresly discouered,
and therefore in this verse where no such implication is,
nor no relation it is otherwise, as thus.

If ye r{-e}pr{_o}ue my constancie
I will exc{_u}se you curtesly

¶2.14.20 For in this word [reproóue]
because there is no extraordinary sence to be inferred, he
keepeth his sharpe accent vpon the sillable [
proóue] but in the former verses because they
seeme to encounter ech other they do thereby merite an
audible and pleasant alterati|on| of their accents in those
sillables that cause the subtiltie. Of these maner of
nicetees ye shal finde in many places of our booke, but
specially where we treate of ornament, vnto which we referre
you, sauing that we thought good to set down one example
more to solace your mindes with mirth after all these
scholasticall preceptes, which can not but bring with them
(specially to Courtiers) much tediousnesse, and so to end.
In our Comedie intituled Ginecocratia: the king
was supposed to be a person very amorous and effeminate, and
therefore most ruled his ordinary affaires by the

{{Page 112}}

aduise of women either for the loue he bare to their persons
or liking he had to their pleasant ready witts and
vtterance. Comes me to the Court one Polemon an
honest plaine man of the country, but rich: and hauing a
suite to the king, met by chaunce with one Philino
, a louer of wine and a merry companion in Court, and
praied him in that he was a stranger that he would vouchsafe
to tell him which way he were best to worke to get his
suite, and who were most in credit and fauour about the
king, that he might seeke to them to furder his attempt.
Philino perceyuing the plainnesse of the man, and
that there would be some good done with him, told
Polemon that if he would well consider him for his
labor he would bring him where he should know the truth of
all his demaundes by the sentence of the Oracle.
Polemon gaue him twentie crownes, Philino
brings him into a place where behind and arras cloth hee
himselfe spake in manner of an Oracle in these meeters, for
so did all the Sybils and sothsaiers in old times giue their

Your best way to worke - and marke my words well,
Not money: nor many,
Nor any: but any,
Not weemen, but weemen beare the bell

¶2.14.21 Polemon wist not what to make
of this doubtfull speach, |&| not being lawfull to importune
the oracle more then once in one matter, conceyued in his
head the pleasanter construction, and stacke to it: and
hauing at home a fayre yong damsell of eighteene yeares old
to his daughter, that could very well behaue her selfe in
countenance |&| also in her language, apparelled her as gay
as he could, and brought her to the Court, where
Philino harkning daily after the euent of this
matter, met him, and recommended his daughter to the Lords,
who perceiuing her great beauty and other good parts,
brought her to the King, to whom she exhibited her fathers
supplication, and found so great fauour in his eye, as
without any long delay she obtained her sute at his hands.
Polemon by the diligent solliciting of his
daughter, wanne his purpose: Philino gat a good
reward and vsed the matter so, as howsoeuer the oracle had
bene construed, he could not haue receiued blame nor
discredit by the successe, for euery waies it would haue
proued true, whether Polemons daughter had
obtayned the sute, or not obtained it.

{{Page 113}}

And the subtiltie lay in the accent and Ortographie of these
two wordes [any] and [weemen] for [
any] being deuided sounds [a nie or neere
person to the king: and [weemen] being diuided
soundes wee men, and not [weemen] and so
by this meane Philino serued all turnes and
shifted himselfe from blame, not vnlike the tale of the
Rattlemouse who in the warres proclaimed betweene the foure
footed beasts, and the birdes, beyng sent for by the Lyon to
beat his musters, excused himselfe for that he was a foule
and flew with winges: and beyng sent for by the Eagle to
serue him, sayd that he was a foure footed beast, and by
that craftie cauill escaped the danger of the warres, and
shunned the seruice of both Princes. And euer since sate at
home by the fires side, eating vp the poore husbandmans
baken, half lost for lacke of a good huswifes looking too.


{{Page 114}}



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

{{Page 115}}

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-

{{Page 116}}

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

{{Page 117}}

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.

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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

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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

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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

{{Page 162}}

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

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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.

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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,

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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

{{Page 186}}

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:

{{Page 187}}

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,

{{Page 188}}

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,

{{Page 189}}

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

{{Page 190}}

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.

{{Page 199}}

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


{{Page 200}}

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

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¶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

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¶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.

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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.

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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.

{{Page 211}}

¶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

{{Page 258}}

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.

Other works by George Puttenham