Zelauto.The Fountaine of Fame.
Erected in an Orcharde of Amorous Aduentures.
Containing A Delicate Disputation, Gallantly
discoursed betweene two noble Gentlemen of
Italye. Giuen for a freendly entertain-
ment to Euphues, at his late ariuall
into England. By A. M. Seruant
to the Right Honourable
the Erle of Oxenford.Honos alit Artes.Imprinted at Londond by Iohn Charlewood. 1580.TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE, HIS
singuler good Lord and Maister, Edward de Vere,
Earle of Oxenford, Viscount Bulbeck, Lord Sand-
ford, and of Badelesmere, and Lord high
Cbamberlaine of England, Antony
Munday, visbeth all happines
in this Honorable estate,
and after death eter-
nall life.AFTER that the Englishe Prince (Right Honorable and my verie good Lord) had taken view of the seemelye Portrature of Gridonia, her tender Infant lying by her, and leading two Lions in her hand: he presently left the Court, and tooke himselfe to trauayle. When the princely Primaleon, heard pronounced before his famous father the Emperour of Constantinople, the sorrowfull Letters sent by the Lady of the Lake, how his best belooued brother was loste in the vnfortunate Forest of England: he abandoned all his Courtly delights, and neuer ceassed wandring, till he became prisoner in the same place. So my simple selfe (Right Honourable) hauing sufficiently seene the rare vertues of your noble Minde, the heroycall quallities of your prudent Person: thought, though abilitie were inferiour to gratifie with some gift, yet good will was ample to bestowe with the best. When all the braue Gallants and woorthy Gentlemen in Roome, presented vnto the Emperour Iewels and gifts of great value and estimation: a Poore Cittizen amongst them all brought a handfull of Flowers, and offered them to the Emperour, the which he receiued gratiously and with great affection, and gaue him a great reward. Why (quoth one of the Gentlemen) how durst thou presume to giue so Poore a present, to so puissant a person? Why (quoth the Citizen) how durst they be so bolde to giue such great gifts? Quoth the Gentleman, they are of great credit, and beside, their gifts woorthy the receiuing. And I am Poore (quoth the Cittizen) and therefore I giue such a meane gift, yet hath it beene gratefully accepted: And although they discend of such noble Linages: yet doo they owe dutifull alleageaunce vnto the Emperour, and as Poore as I am, I beare him as true a heart as the best: Euen so my Poore gift hath beene as faithfully deliuered: as the richest Iewell that was by them presented.
And loe Right Honourable, among such expert heads, such pregnaunt inuentions, and such commendable writers, as preferre to your seemely selfe, woorkes woorthy of eternall memory: A simple Soule, (more imboldened on your clemencie, then any action whatsoeuer he is able to make manifest) presumeth to present you with such vnpullished practises: as his simple skill is able to comprehend. Yet thus much I am to assure your Honour, that among all them which owe you dutifull seruice, and among all the braue Bookes which haue beene bestowed: these my little labours containe so much faithfull zeale to your welfare, as others whatsoeuer, I speake without any excepcion. But least that your Honour should deeme I forge my tale on flatterie, and that I vtter with my mouth, my hart thinketh not: I wish for the tryall of my trustinesse, what reasonable affayres your Honour can best deuise, so shall your Minde be deliuered from doubt: and my selfe rid of any such reproche. But as the puissantest Prince is not voyde of enemies, the gallantest Champion free from foes, and the moste honest liuer without some backbiters: euen so the brauest Bookes hath many malicious iudgements, and the wisest writers not without rashe reports. If then (Right Honourable) the moste famous are found fault withall, the cuningest controlled, and the promptest wits reproched by spitefull speeches: how dare so rude a writer as I, seeme to set foorth so meane a mat-ter, so weake a woorke, and so skillesse a stile? When the learned are deluded: I must needes be mocked, and when the skilfullest are scorned: I must needes be derided: But yet I remember, the wise will not reprehend rashly, the learned condemne so lightly, nor the courteous misconster the good intent of the writer: But onely sutch as Æsops Dog, that brags but dares not bite, hid in a hole and dare not shewe their heads, against all such, the countenaunce of your Honour is suffi-cient to contend, which makes me not feare the force of their enuie. The Chirurgion more douteth the hidden Fistule: then the wide wound, the woorthiest warriour more feareth the secret assault: then the boldest battaile, A little hooke taketh a great Fish, a little winde falleth downe big fruit, a smal spark kindleth to a great fire, a little stone may make a tall man stumble, and a small wound kill a puissant person: Euen so the hidden enemy may sooner harme a man: then when he trieth his quarrell face to face, and the least report of a slaundrous toung (beeing lightly beleeued) may discredit him to his vtter vndooing. But for my part I feare not) let them prate at their pleasure, and talke till their toungs ake, your Honour to please, is the cheefe of my choise, your good will to gaine is my wished reward: which shalbe more welcome then Cressus aboundaunce, and more hartily accepted then any worldly wealth. The last part of this woorke remaineth vnfinished, the which for breuity of time, and speedines in the Imprinting: I was constrained to permit till more limitted leysure. Desiring your Honour to accept this in meane time, as a signe and token of my dutifull goodwill.
Not long it will be before the rest be finished and
the renowned Palmerin of England with all
speede shall be sent you. Thus praying for
your prosperitie, and the increase of your
Honourable dignitie: I commend your
woorthye state to the heauenly erernitie.
Your Honours moste dutifull
seruaunt at all assayes.
1580: Dedication to Oxford in John Lyly‘s Euphues and His England.
To the Right Honourable my
very good Lorde and Maister, Edward de Vere,
Earle of Oxenforde, Vicount Bulbeck, Lorde of
Escales and Badlesmere, and Lorde great
Chamberlaine of England, Iohn Lyly
wisheth long lyfe, with en-
crease of Honour.
THE first picture that Phydias the first Paynter shadowed, was the protraiture of his owne person, saying thus: if it be well, I will paint many besides Phydias, if ill, it shall offend none but Phydias.
In the like manner fareth it with me (Right Honourable) who neuer before handling the pensill, did for my fyrst counterfaite, coulour mine owne Euphues, being of this minde, that if it wer lyked, I would draw more besides Euphues, if loathed, grieue. none but Euphues.
Since that, some there haue bene, that either dissembling the faultes they saw, for feare to discourage me, or not examining them, for the loue they bore me, that praised mine olde worke, and vrged me to make a new, whose words I thus answered. If I should Coyne a worse, it would be thought that the former was framed by chaunce, as Protogenes did the foame of his dogge, if a better, for flatterie, as Narcissus did, who only was in loue with his own face, if none at all, as froward as the Musition, who being entreated, will scarse sing sol fa, but not desired, straine aboue Ela.
But their importunitie admitted no excuse, in-so-much that I was enforced to preferre their friendship before mine owne fame, being more carefull to satisfie their requestes, then fearefull of others reportes: so that at the last I was content to set an other face to Euphues, but yet iust behind the other, like the Image of Ianus, not running together, lik the Hopplitides of Parrhasius least they should seeme so vnlike Brothers, that they might be both thought bastardes, the picture wherof I yeeld as common all to view, but the patronage onely to your Lordshippe, as able to defend, knowing that the face of Alexander stamped in copper doth make it currant, that the name of Cæsar, wrought in Canuas, is esteemed as Cambricke, that the very feather of an Eagle, is of force to consume the Beetle.
I haue brought into the worlde two children, of the first I was deliuered, before my friendes thought mee conceiued, of the second I went a whole yeare big, and yet when euerye one thought me ready to lye downe, I did then quicken: But good huswiues shall make my excuse, who know that Hens do not lay egges when they clucke, but when they cackle, nor men set forth bookes when they promise, but when they performe. And in this I resemble the Lappwing, who fearing hir young ones to be destroyed by passengers, flyeth with a false cry farre from their nestes, making those that looke for them seeke where they are not: So I suspecting that Euphues would be carped of some curious Reader, thought by some false shewe to bringe them in hope of that which then I meant not, leading them with a longing of a second part, that they might speake well of the first, being neuer farther from my studie, then when they thought mee houering ouer it.
My first burthen comming before his time, must needes be a blind whelp, the second brought forth after his time must needes be a monster. The one I sent to a noble man to nurse, who with great loue brought him vp, for a yeare: so that where-soeuer he wander, he hath his Nurses name in his forhead, wher sucking his first milke, he can-not forget his first Master.
The other (right Honourable) being but yet in his swathe cloutes, I commit most humbly to your Lordships protection, that in his infancie he may be kepte by your good care from fals, and in his youth by your great countenaunce shielded from blowes, and in his age by your gracious continuaunce, defended from contempt. He is my youngest and my last, and the paine that I sustained for him in trauell, hath made me past teeming, yet doe I thinke my selfe very fertile, in that I was not altogether barren. Glad I was to sende them both abroad, least making a wanton of my first, with a blinde conceipt, I should resemble the Ape, and kill it by cullyng it, and not able to rule the second, I should with the Viper, loose my bloud with mine own brood. Twinnes they are not, but yet Brothers, the one nothing resemblyng the other, and yet (as all children are now a dayes) both like the father. Wherin I am not vnlike vnto the vnskilfull Painter, who hauing drawen the Twinnes of Hippocrates, (who wer as lyke as one pease is to an other) & being told of his friends that they wer no more lyke then Saturne and Appollo, he had no other shift to manifest what his worke was, then ouer their heads to write: The Twinnes of Hippocrates. So may it be, that had I not named Euphues, fewe woulde haue thought it had bene Euphues, not that in goodnes the one so farre excelleth the other, but that both beeing so bad, it is hard to iudge which is the worst.
This vnskilfulnesse is no wayes to be couered, but as Accius did his shortnesse, who being a lyttle Poet, framed for himselfe a great picture, & I being a naughtie Painter, haue gotten a most noble Patron: being of Vlysses minde, who thought himselfe safe vnder the Shield of Aiax.
I haue now finished both my labours, the one being hatched in the hard winter with the Alcyon, the other not daring to bud till the colde were past, like the Mulbery, in either of the which or in both, if I seeme to gleane after an others Cart, for a few eares of corne, or of the Taylors shreds to make nie a lyuery, I will not deny, but that I am one of those Poets, which the painters faine to come vnto Homers bason, there to lap vp, that he doth cast vp.
In that I haue written, I desire no praise of others but patience, altogether vnwillyng, bicause euery way vnworthy, to be accompted a workeman.
It sufficeth me to be a water bough, no bud, so I may be of the same roote, to be the yron, not steele, so I be in the same blade, to be vineger, not wine, so I be in the same caske, to grinde colours for Appelles, though I cannot garnish, so I be of the same shop. What I haue done, was onely to keepe my selfe from sleepe, as the Crane doth the stone in hir foote, & I would also witb the same Crane, I had bene silent holding a stone in my mouth.
But it falleth out with me, as with the young wrastler, that came to the games of Olympia, who hauing taken a foyle, thought scorne to leaue, till he had receiued a fall, or him that being pricked in the finger with a Bramble, thrusteth his whole arme among the thornes, for anger. For I seeing my selfe not able to stande on the yce, did neuerthelesse aduenture to runne, and being with my first booke striken into disgrace, could not cease vntil I was brought into contempt by the second: wherein I resemble those that hauing once wet their feete, care not how deepe they wade.
In the which my wading (right Honourable) if the enuious shal clap lead to my heeles to make me sinke, yet if your Lordship with your lyttle finger doe but holde me vp by the chinne, I shall swimme, and be so farre from being drowned, that I shall scarce be duckt.
When Bucephalus was painted, Appelles craued the iudgement of none but Zeuxis: when Iuppiter was carued, Prisius asked the censure of none but Lysippus: now Euphues is shadowed, only I appeale to your honour, not meaning thereby to be carelesse what others thinke, but knowing that if your Lordship allowe it, there is none but wil lyke it, and if ther be any so nice, whom nothing can please, if he will not commend it, let him amend it.
And heere right Honourable, although the Historie seeme vnperfect, I hope your Lordship will pardon it.
Appelles dyed not before he could finish Venus, but before he durst, Nichomachus left Tindarides rawly, for feare of anger, not for want of Art, Timomachus broke off Medea scarce halfe coloured, not that he was not willing to end it, but that he was threatned: I haue not made Euphues to stand without legges, for that I want matter to make them, but might to maintein them: so that I am enforced with the olde painters, to colour my picture but to the middle, or as he that drew Ciclops, who in a little table made hirn to lye behinde an Oke, wher one might perceiue but a peece, yet conceiue that al the rest lay behinde the tree, or as he that painted an horse in the riuer with halfe legges, leauing the pasternes for the viewer, to imagine as in the water.
For he that vieweth Euphues, wil say that he is drawen but to the wast, that he peepeth, as it were behinde some screene, that his feet are yet in the water: which maketh me present your Lordship, with the mangled body of Hector, at it appeared to Andromache, & with half a face as the painter did him that had but one eye, for I am compelled to draw a hose on, before I can finish the legge, & in steed of a foot to set downe a shoe. So that whereas I had thought to shew the cunning of a Chirurgian by mine Anatomy with a knife, I must play the Tayler on the shoppe boorde with a paire of sheeres. But whether Euphues lympe with Vulcan, as borne lame, or go on stilts with Amphionax, for lack of legs, I trust I may say, that his feet shold haue ben, olde Helena: for the poore Fisher-man that was warned he should not fish, did yet at his dore make nets, and the olde Vintener of Venice, that was forbidden to sell wine, did notwithstanding hang out an Iuie bush.
This Pamphlet right honorable, conteining the estate of England, I know none more fit to defend it, then one of the Nobilitie of England, nor any of the Nobilitie, more auntient or more honorable the your Lordship, besides that, describing the condition of the English court, & the maiestie of our dread Souereigne, I could not finde one more noble in court, then your Honor, who is or should be vnder hir Maiestie chiefest in court, by birth borne to the greatest Office, & therfore me thought by right to be placed in great authoritie: for who so compareth the honor of your L. noble house, with the fidelitie of your auncestours, may wel say, which no other can truly gainsay, Vero nihil verius. So that I commit the ende of al my pains vnto your most honorable protection, assuring my self that the little Cock boat is safe, when it is hoised into a tall ship, that the Cat dare not fetch the mouse out of the Lions den, that Euphues shal be without daunger by your L. Patronage, otherwise, I cannot see, wher I might finde succour in any noble personage. Thus praying continually for the encrease of your Lordships honour, with all other things that either you woulde wish, or God will graunt, I ende.
Your Lordships most dutifully to commaund.
A SHORT DISCOURS
Of the excellent Doctour and
Knight, miaster Leonardo
With a declaration of many
thinges, necessarie to be knowne, neuer
written before in this order: wher-
vnto is added a number of no-
table secretes, found out by
the faire Author.
Translated out of Italyan into English, by
Iohn Hester, Practicioner in the are
Imprinted at London by
Thomas Est, 1580.
To the Right Honourable his
singular good Lorde and Patrone
EDWARDE DE VERE, Earle of Oxen-
forde, Viscount Bulbecke, Lorde of Escales and
Bladesmore, and Lord great Chamberlaine of England:
Iohn Hester wisheth health of bodye, tran-
quilitie of mynde, with continuall
increase of most godly
TRIE, AND THEN TRUST, saith the olde Adage: but I must hope for trust without triall: bicause as I can compareyou, (Right Honourable) to none more fit, then to ALEXANDER the Macedon: So must I humbly request your good Lordship, to imitate that famous worthie: who being sicke, was aduertised by letters, that his Phisition would empoyson him. The good Prince notwithstanding being offered the medicine by the accused, first tooke it, and dranke it vp, and then gaue the Phisition the letter of his accuser to reade: but perceyuing no alteration of countenaunce in the man, he tooke good courage, and by that same medicine (although extreame in operation) presently recouered his former health. In like manner (Right Honourable) hauing translated and gathered together this compendious & short way of Chirurgerie, as I thought none so meete, to whome I might consecrate these fruites of my trauailes: So must I moste humbly desire your good Lordship to peruse it, and then make triall of the contentes thereof: which being deuised and practised by a worthye and famous Capitaine, called Signior LOENARDO PHIORAVANTI of Bolognia, doth shewe both the names and natures of eche wounde, with the order and manner to cure them in halfe the time which is or hath bene vsed heretofore, by either ignoraunt or arrogant Professors and Practicioners of that noble and profounde Science, which as they more esteeme a great gaines to them-selues, then a little ease to their pacientes, and a long protracting of the cure for a large payment: So I knowe although I ease the rich, relieue the poore, and teach the ignorant: yet are they such, which being more wilfull then skilfull, will beare me a priuate grudge for this publique commodity, and will attempt more then eyther they can or are able to answer: the which to auoyde, I most humbly craue your Honorable patronage, that according to your name and poesie, your name and propertie may be to protect the truth: So shal both the Translator the lesse doubt his foes, the Booke benefit more his friendes, and they both moste reioyce of so worthy a Patrone. Whose lyfe God prolonge with health and increase of honour, and after the course of this pilgrimage finished, enstall you among his chosen, to reigne with him in eternall felicitie.
The moste affectioned of all
those, which owe your L.
dutifull seruice, Iohn
“From forth this Tent came the noble Earle of Oxenford in rich gilt Armour, and sate down vnder a great high Bay-tree, the whole stocke, branches and leaues whereof, were all gilded ouer, that nothing but Gold could be discerned. [ . . . ] After a solemne sound of most sweet Musique, he mounted on his Courser, verie richly caparasoned, whe[n] his page ascending the staires where her Highnesse stood in the window, deliuered to her by speech [his] Oration [ . . . ] both the rich Bay-tree, and the beautifull Tent, were by the standers by, torne and rent in more peeces then can be numbered ….”
[From the preface of Oxford’s tournemant speech in Edmund Spenser’s Axiochus (1592)]
[Read Daniel Wright’s Shaking the Spear at Court: Oxford as “The Knight of the Tree of the Sunne”.]
by Thomas Watson
Transcribed by Barboura Flues.
Web version created by Robert Brazil.
copyright © 2002
T H E
P A S S I O N A T E
Divided into two parts: where-
of, the first expresseth the Au-
thours sufferance in Love: the
latter, his long farewell to Love
and all his tyrannie.
Composed by Thomas Watson
Gentleman; and publifhed at
the request of certain Gentle-
men his very frendes.
L O N D O N
Emprinted by John Wolfe for Gabriell
Cawood, dwellinge in Paules
Churchyard at the Signe of
the Holy Ghost.
C A R D E O F
F A N C I E.Wherein the Folly of those car-
pet Knights is deciphered, which gui-
ding their course by the compase of Cu-
pid, either dash their ship against most
dangerous Rocks, or else attaine
the hauen with pain & peril.Wherein also is described in the person
of Gwydemus a cruell Combate be-
tween Nature and Necessitie.By ROBERT GREEN Master of
Art, in Cambridge.At London
Printed for William Ponsonby,
1587.To The Right Honorable,
Edward de Vere Earle of
Oxenford, Viscount Bulbeck, Lord of Escales
and Badlesmire, and Lord Great Chamber-
lain of England: Robert Greene
wisheth long life with increase
THE poet Castilian Frontino (Right Honourable) being a very vnskilful Painter, presented Alphonsus, the Prince of Aragon, with a most imperfect Picture, which the King thankfully accepted, not that hee liked the work, but that hee lou’d the art. The paltering Poet Cherillus, dedicated his duncing Poems to that mightie Monarch Alexander, saying that he knew assuredly if Alexander would not accept them, in they were not pithie, yet he would not vtterly reject them, in that they had a shew of Poetry. Cæsar oft times praised the Souldiers for their wit, altho’ they wanted skil: and Cicero as well commended stammering Lentulus for his paynfull industrie, as learned Lælius for his passing eloquence, which considered (although wisdom did me not wil to strain/further than my sleeue would stretch) I thought good to present this imperfect Pamphlet to your Honours Protection; hoping your Lordship will deign to accept the matter in that it seemeth to be prose, tho’ something vnsauourie for want of skill, and take my wel meaning for an excuse of my boldnesse, in that my poor will is not on the wane, whatsoever this imperfect work do want. The Emperour Trajan, was neuer without suters, because courteously he would heare every complaint. The Lapidarie continually frequented the Court of Adrobrandinus, because it was his chief study to search out the nature of Stones; All that courted Atlanta were hunters, and none sued to Sapho but Poets; Whosoever Mecænas lodgeth, thither no doubt will Schollers flock. And your Honour being a worthy favorer and fartherer of Learning, hath forced many, thro’ your exquisite virtue to offer the fruits of their studie at the shrine of your Lordships curtesie. But though they have waded farre and found mires, and I gadded abroad to get nothing but mites, yet this I assure myself, they neuer presented vnto your Honour their treasure with a more willing minde, then I do this simple Truth; which I hope your Lordship will so accept. Resting therefore vpon your Honours wonted Clemencie, I commit your Lordship to the Almighty.
Your Lordship’s most dutifully to command
VVherein is contayned,
A PERFECT METHOD,
for the inditing of all manner of Epi-
stles and familiar Letters, together with their
diuersities, enlarged by examples vnder
their seuerall Tytles.
In which is layd forth a Path-waye, so apt, plaine
and easie, to any learners capacity, as the like wherof
hath not at any time hereto fore beene deliuered.
Nowe first deuized, and newly published, by
Altior fortuna Virtus.
Printed by Robert Walde-graue,
and are to be solde by Richard Iones, dwel-
ling at the signe of the Rose and the
Crowne, neere vnto Holburn Bridge.
1 5 8 6.
To the right Honourable Lord,
EDWARD de UERE, Earle of
Oxenford, Viscount Bulbeck, Lord Sandford
and of Badalesmere, and Lord great Camberlaine of England
all Honour and happinesse, correspondent to his most Noble de-
sires, and in the commutation of this earthlie beeing,
endlesse ioyes and an euerlasting
ZEVXES endeuouring to paint excellent lie, made Grapes in shewe so naturall, that presenting them to view men were deceaued with their shapes and the birdes with their cullours.
When Apelles drew Venus (though the shew of bewtie seemed woonderful) he daunted not in his workmanship, because he knew his cunning excellent.
If in penning I were as skilful as the least of these in painting: I should neither faint to present a discourse to Alexander, nor to tell a tale to a Philosopher.
My honourable L. the exceeding bountie wherewith your good L. hath euer wonted to entertaine the desertes of all men, and very apparaunce of Nobility herselfe, wel known to haue reposed her delights in the worthines of your stately mind warranteth me: almost, that I need not blush to recommend vnto your curteous vew, the first fruits of these my formost labours, and to honour this present discourse with the memorie of your euerlasting worthinesse. And albeit by the learned view and insight of your L. whose infancy from the beginning was euer sacred to the Muses, the whole course heerof may be found nothing suche, as in the lowest part of the same may appeare in any sort answerable to so greate and forward excellence: and that the continuaunce of this slender substance, is in no point matchable to manie thinges of greater science, passing vnder your honourable countenaunce: yet may your L. please to consider, that presentes (not out of the rich store and plentye a lone of wealthiest) are alwaies receiued as testimonies of regarde, in the reputation of the mightiest: but sometimes trifles also ensuing of lesse habilitie, (not honoured or reputed of by theyr valew, but by the generous estate and surpassing bountie of the recieuer) are accompted of, moste especially.
For the shrowd of my defence, that haue so much dared vpon presumption of your accustomed fauor, to infixe your honoured name in the forefronte of this my traueile: I can propoz no one in example vnto your L. more worthie then your selfe, who not vnacquainted with the speciall partes and æternized memorie of them all, haue long since endeuoured your self to become a noble, patterne of them all, the exemplifieng of whose praise, cannot by anie speeches of mine, be herein more greatlye put forwardes, then the same long since hath bene published by the renowme of your own proper vertues.
My humble request vnto your L. is, that your gentle acceptance hereof may be an encouragement to my after endeuours, for whose sake I knowe the same shalbe of many regarded, and the insufficiency thereof the better protected. In which, besides the continuall manifestation of your owne worthinesse, your L. shall binde me to honor you in al duetie and humblenes, praying the eternall creattor and guid of all your stately enterprises, to haue the same with your L. in his fauorable protection.
You L. most deuoted and
The Mirrour of nobili-
tie, Mappe of honor, Anotamie of rare
fortunes, Heroycall president of Loue
VVonder for Chiualrie, and most accomplished
Knight in all perfections.
Presenting to noble mindes, theyr Courtlie desires, to Gentles, theyr choise expectations, and to the inferiour sorte, how to imitate theyr vertues: handled vvith modestie, to shun offence, yet all delightfull, for recreation.
Written in the Spanish, Italian and French, and from them turned into English by A. M. one of the Mes-singers of her Maiesties Chamber. Patere aut abstine. At London,
Printed by I. Charlewood, for William VVright, and are to bee solde at his Shoppe, adioyning to S. Mildreds Church in the Poultrie, the middle Shoppe in the rowe.
To the right noble, learned, and
worthieminded Lord, Edward de Vere, Earle of Ox-
enford, Viscount Bulbeck, Lord Sanford, and of Ba-
delsmere, and Lord high Chamberlaine of England: A. M.
wisheth continuall happines in this life, and
in the world to come.
AMong the Spartanes right noble Lord, and sometime my honorable Maister, nothing was accounted mor odious, then to forgetfulnes of the seruaunt towardes his Maister: which made Mucronius, who had beene seruaunt to Hagarbus a poore Artisan, and for his vertues afterward called to the office of a Senatour, in all assemblies to reuerence his poore Maister, so that he would often say: It was honour to Mucronius, that he had beene seruaunt to Hagarbus.
Though this example (my good Lord) be vnfit for me, in what respect, beseemes me not to speake: Yet that excellent opinion of the Spartanes, I count it religion for me to immitate. For if this vice was so despised among such famous persons, what reproch wold it be to so poore an abiect as my selfe, beeing once so happy as to serue a Maister so noble: to forget his precious vertues, which makes him generally beloued, but cheefely mine owne dutie, which nothing but death can discharge, In remembraunce therfore of my officious zeale, I present your Honour the eilling endeuours of your late seruaunt: howe simple soeuer they be, right perfect shall you make them by your fauourable acceptaunce, this being added, that were I equall in ability with the best, all should be offered to my noble Maister.
If Palmerin hath sustained any wrong by my bad translation, being so worthely set downe in other languages: Your Honour hauing such speciall knowledge in them, I hope will let slip any fault escaped, in respect I haue doone my good will, the largest talent I haue to bestowe.
And seeing the time affordes me such oportunitie, that with ending this first parte, the olde yeere is expired: I present it my noble Lord as yoru seruauntes New yeeres gift., and therewithall deliuer my most affectionate dutie, euermore ready at your Honours commaundment.
Needeless were it, by tediousnes to growe troublesome, when a woord suffiseth to so sound iudgement: I submit my sekfe and my Booke to your gracious conceit, and the second part, now on the presse, and well neere finished I will shortly present my worthie Patrone.
In meanewhile, I wish your Honor so many New yeers of happines, as may stand with the heauenly appointment, and my modestie to desire.
Sometime your Honours seruant,
yet continuing in all humble duty.
1589: Praise of Oxford in The Arte of English Poesie, by Lord Lumley? (often attributed to George Puttenham)
Who in any age haue bene the most commended writers in our En-
glish Poesie, and the Authors censure giuen upon them.
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 translations, 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 sprong vp a new company of courtly makers, of whom Sir Thomas Wyat at 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 Italian 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 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 Ferrys a man of no lesse mirth & felicitie that way, but of much more skil, & magnificence in this 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 Aeneidos. 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 Aeneidos, 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 Troilus and Cresseid, and the Romant of the Rose, whereof he translated but one halfe, the deuice was Iohn de Mahunes 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 subtiltie 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 difference, I repute them (as before) for the two chief lanternes 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 Petrarcha. The Lord Vaux his commendation 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 counterfaie action very liuely & pleasantly. Of the later sort I thinke thus. That for Tragedie, the Lord of Burckhurst, & Maister Edward Ferrys for such doings as I haue sene of their 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 faithfuly 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 written 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 vassalls. “
“Edvvard 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.“