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Title: The Arte of English Poesie

Author: George Puttenham

Release date: August 3, 2005 [eBook #16420]
Most recently updated: December 12, 2020

Language: English


Produced by Bibliothèque nationale de France, Greg Lindahl,

Charles Bidwell and the Online Distributed Proofreading
Team at



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

[Illustration: AN CHORA SPEI (shield with hand coming out of a cloud and holding onto an anchor entwined with vine)]


Printed by Richard Field, dwelling in the black-Friers, neere Ludgate. 1589.


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

This Booke (right Honorable) coming 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 stand with my dutie, nor be without some prejudice 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 upon the publicke administration and services: I thought it no condigne gratification, nor scarce any good satisfaction for such a person as you. Yet when I considered, that bestowing 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 it giveth euery good thing a speciall grace) and a noueltie so highly tending to the most worthy prayses of her Maiesties most excellent name. So deerer to you I dare conceiue them any worldly thing besides love although I could not deuise to have 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 Book and my selfe a printer alwaies ready and desirous to be at your Honourable commaundement. And thus I humbly take my leave from the Black-friers, this xxvii of May, 1589.

Your Honours most humble at commaundement,


A colei

[Illustration of Queen holding orb and sceptre.]

Che se stessa rassomiglia & non altrui.

THE FIRST BOOKE, _Of Poets and Poesie.


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

A Poet is as much to say as a maker. And our English name well conformes with the Greeke word: for of [Greek: poiein] to make, they call a maker Poeta. Such as (by way of resemblance and reuerently) we may say of God: who without any trauell to his diuine imagination, made all the world of nought, nor also by any paterne or mould as the Platonicks with their Idees do phantastically suppose. Euen 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 describe: and so in that respect is both a maker and a counterfaitor: and Poesiean art not only of making, but also of imitation. And this science in his perfection, can not grow, but by some diuine instinct, 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 peradventure 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 bankers, 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 pursefauours 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.


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

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 as wel 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 as well 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 skill 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 politicians in the world.

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 if it was first 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 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 wholesome 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 than to live chast, and in all holines of life, and in continuall studie and contemplation: they came by instinct divine, 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, Vidontes, for so the Scripture tearmeth them in Latine after 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 virtue 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 Musiciens of the world.

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 prose, which we use in our daily talke: because it is decked and set out with all manner 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 shal be 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 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 licence 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 for as much 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 endeuor themselues to reduce the life of man to a certaine method of good maners, and made the first differences betweene 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, Amphion & 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 scorn 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 versicte and time as our vulgar is.

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 use. But the Hebrues & Chaldees who were more ancient then the Greekes, did not only use a metricall Poesie, but also with the same a maner or 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 split their maner of Poesie.

But 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 altered, 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 frendship 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.

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 excessive authoritie of Popes, and deepe deuotion of Princes strongly fortified and established by erection of orders Monastical in which many simple clerks for deuotion 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 historiographers, 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 Salerno, dedicating their booke of medicinall rules vnto our king of England, with this beginning. Anglorum Regi scripsit tota schola Salerni Sivus incolumem, sivis te reddere sanicari Curas tolle graues, irasci crede prophanum Necretine ventram nec stringas as fortiter annum.

And all the rest that follow throughout the whole booke more curiously than 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 regnio sum rex ego iure paterno Matris iure quidem Francorum nuncupor idem Hinc est armorum variatio facta meorum.

Which verses Philip de Valois then possessing the Crowne as next heire
male by pretexte of the law Salique, and holding our 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 ubi matris non fuit vllum
  Hinc est armorum variatio stulta tuorum.

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 et tyrannus aquarum
  A quo discordat Lucius iste parum
  Deuorat hic hom homines, his piscibus insidiatur
  Esurit hic semper hic aliquando satur
  Amborum vitam si laus aquata notaret
  Plus rationis habet qui ratione caret.

And as this was vsed in the greatest and gayest matters of Princes and Popes by the idle inuention of Monasticall men then raigning al in their superlative. So did every 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 Proverbes and common sayinges, which they would have plausible to the reader and easy to remember and beare away, were of that sorte as these. In mundo mira faciunt duo nummias & ira Molleficant dura peruertunt omnia iura.

And this verse in disprayse of the Courtiers life following the Court of Rome. Vita palatina dura est animaque ruina.

And these written by a noble learned man.
  Ire redire fequi regum sublimia castra
  Eximiius status est, sed non sic itur ad astra.

And this other which to the great injurie of all women was written (no doubt by some forlorne lover, or else some old malicious Monke) for one woman's sake blemishing the whole sex. Fallere stere nere mentari nilque tacere Haec qumque vere statuit Deus in muliere.

If I might have bene his Iudge, I would have 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 revenger for the silly innocent women, for about the same ryming age came an honest civill Courtier somewhat bookish, and wrate these verses against the whole rable of Monkes. O Monachi vestri stomachi sunt amphor a Bacchi Vos estos Deis est restes turpissima pestis.

Anon after came your secular Priestes as jolly rymers as the rest, who
being sore agreeued with their Pope Calixtus, for that he had enjoyned
them from their wives,& railed as fast against him.
  O bone Calixte totus mundus perodit te
  Quondam Presbiteri, poterant vxoribus vti
  Hoc destruxisti, postquam tu Papa fursti.

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

We finde some but very few of these ryming verses among the 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 coem stellas tot habet tua Roma puellas Pascua quotque haedos tot habet tua Roma Cynedos,

The posteritie taking pleasure in this manner of Simphonie had leasure as it seemes to deuise many other knackes in their versifying that the auncient and ciuill Poets had not vfed 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 king's name thus. Carmina clarisona Caluis cantate camenæ.

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, though 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.

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.

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.

And they called it Verse Lyon.

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 languages.


In what reputation Poesie and Poets were in old time with Princes and otherwise generally, and how they be now become contemptible and for what causes.

For the respectes aforesayd in all former ages and in the most ciuill countreys and commons 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, Virgill 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 Chaucer father of our English Poets by Richard the second, who as it was supposed gaue him the maner of new Holme in Oxfordshire. And Gower to Henry the fourth, and Harding to Edward the fourth. Also how Frauncis 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 up. And Queene Mary his daughter for one Epithalamie 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 vniuersall knowledge to be very 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 Cæsar 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 Catulus 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 Antinienides and other Greeke Poets, as Aristotle reportes in his Politiques, had charge in the warres. And Firteus the Poet being also a lame man & halting vpon 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 vniuersally it is not so. For as well Poets as Poesie are despised, & the name become, of honorable infamous, subiect to scorne and derision, and rather a reproch than a prayse to any that vseth it: for commonly who so is studious in th'Arte or shewes himselfe 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 the 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 cuill 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 [Greek: 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 enginer or cunning artificer, nor yet any law maker or counsellor of deepe discourse, yea the Prince of Philosophers stickes not to say animam non intelligere absque phantasmate, which text to another purpose Alexander Aphrodiscus 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 glasses that shew thinges exceeding faire and comely, others that shew figures very monstruous & 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 phantastics 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 Master 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 kisse the faire yong lad Endimion as he lay a sleep: & many noble Queenes that haue bestowed kisses upon 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 neither kisse nor cokes them, and the discret Poet lookes for no such extraordinarie fauours, 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'onely 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, quæ semper regenti similis est. And peraduenture 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 noblemen or gentlemen any good Mathematician, 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 of 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 owne regall titles. As to begin with Salomon the wisest of Kings, Iulius Caesar the greatest of Emperours, Hermes Trisingistus 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 regall 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 artifex 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 Aeneidos 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 wntten, whereof these are part. Frangatur potius legure, veneranda potestas, Quam tot congestos noctesque diesque 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.


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

Wherefore 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 abased and imployed vpon any vnworthy matter & subject, nor vsed to vaine purposes, which neuerthelesse is dayly seene, and that is to vtter contents 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 well be 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 speech corrected and reformed by discreet iudgements, and with no lesse cunning and curiositie than 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 vniversall: 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 matter 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.

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 use of the present time, or good instruction of the posteritie. 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 used by the auncients.


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

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, not vttered with like felicitie. But wherein any one most excelled, thereof he tooke a surname, as to be called a Poet Heroick, Lyrick, Elegiack, Epigrammatist or otherwise. Such therefore as gaue them selves 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 Latines. 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 meane playes and interludes, to receate 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, Seneca among 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 suchlike, 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 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.

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 part of an historie or matter of veritie, the rest altogether figuratiue & misticall, couertly applied to some morall or natural 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 children 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 sacrifices, (for no kinde of gift can be dearer then life) of such quick cattaille, 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.

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 wife 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 wife and graue men, such as at these dayes make the people ashamed rather then afeard, the said auncient Poets used 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 wife as if the gods of the woods, whom they called Satyres or Silvanes, should appeare and recite those verses of rebuke, whereas in deede they were but disguised persons vnder the shape of Satyres 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.

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 altogether 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 new Comedy came in place, more ciuill and pleasant a great deale and not touching any man by name, but in a certain generalitie glancing at euery abuse, so as from thenceforth fearing none ill-will 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 what forme of Poesie the euill and outragious bahauiours of Princes were reprehended.

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 them, 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 Dramatick reprehensiue, & put in execution by the feate & 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.

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 great Princes by Tragedie in especial, (& 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 fame 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 virtues shewed in their actions here vpon earth. They were therefore 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 wholesome 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 commedations 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 were represented to the people.

As it hath bene declared, the Satyres were first vttered in their hallowed places within the woods where they honoured their gods vunder 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 vpon 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 scaffolds 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 fit 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 garments & come in againe, as their speaches & parts were to be renewed. Also there was place appointed for the musiciens to sing or to 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 among the ancient 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 ferce playes, or digladiations of naked men, their wrastlings, runnings leapings and other practises of actiuitie and strength, also their baitings of wild beasts, as Elephants, Rhinocerons, Tigers, Leopards and others, which sights much delighted the common people, and therefore the places required to be large and of great content.


Of the Shepheards or pastorall Poesie called Eglogue, and to what purpose it was first inuented and vsed.

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 other, 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 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 reported.

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 then 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 things 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 then 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 exemplary 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 be fained in one day by a good wit, then many ages through mans frailtie are able to put in vse, 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 Vtopia, 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 recreation, and good example they were all of them. And this may be apparent 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 Ulisses 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 of the round table, Sir Beuys of Southampton, Guy of Warwicke 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 was commended.

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, than in a carter, th'one hauing all opportunities 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 therefore 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 fortunae) 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 then the priuate persons. Therefore 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.

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 fauouring 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 Oprianus of hunting and fishes, and many moe that were too long to recite in this place.


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

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 exemption 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.

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 could 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 they be of diuerse sorts and vpon diuerse occasions growne: 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 pompe 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 of ciuill assembly, and of all these we will speake in order and very briefly.


The forme of Poeticall lamentations.

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, 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 dispraise 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 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 contrarijs] 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 towards the dead, and thereupon are called Obsequies in our vulgare, which was done not onely by cladding the mourners their friendes and seruauntes 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 funeral and commendatorie of the dead parties in the publique place called Procostris: 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.


Of the solemne reioysings at the natiuitie of Princes children.

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 Genethaca, with vs they may be called natall or birth songs.


The maner of reioysings at mariages and weddings.

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 gladsome 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 musitiens) good store of ladies or gentlewomen 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 chamber 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 pauement, for they vsed no mattes nor 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, then afterward to sound cheerfully to the onset and first encounters of that amorous battaile, to declare the comfort of children, & encrease of loue by that meane chiefly caused: the bride shewing her self euery waies well disposed and still 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 them to the recontinuance of the same entertainments, praising and commending (by supposall) the good conformities of them both, & their desire one to vanquish the other by such friendly conflictes: alledging that the first embracements 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 thalamo, 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 good 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 licentia it was borne withal for that time because of the matter no lesse requiring. Catullus hath made of them 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 Iohannes secundus who in that and in his poeme De basis, passeth any of the auncient or moderne Poetes in my iudgment.


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

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 mantel of a chimney in 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 man should know, & descant vpon. Afterward the same came to be put in paper and in bookes, and vsed as ordinarie missiues, some of frendship, some of defiaunce, or as other messages of mirth: Martiall was the cheife of this skil among the Latines, & at ahese days the best Epigrames we finde, & of the sharpest conceit are those that haue bene gathered among the reliques of the two muet Satyres in Rome, Pasquill and Marphorir, which in time of Sede vacante, 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 beginning 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 Caesar habet. Which I haue thus Englished, It raines all night, early the shewes returne God and Caesar, do raigne and rule by turne.

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

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, foure times iterated. Thus. Sic vos non vobis Sic vos non vobis Sic vos non vobis Sic vos non vobis

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

And put to his name Publius Virgilius Maro. 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 used for memoriall of the dead.

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 exceede 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 catftes 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 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 ignorant of poesie that call such long 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.

As frendes be a rich a 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 always 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 Dirae, 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.


Of short Epigrames called Posies.

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 [Greek: 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.


Who in any age haue bene the most commended writers in our English 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 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 Hoywood 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 Virgils 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 seruauntes, 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 Mehunes 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 becoming 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 subtillitie: 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 wholly 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 counterfait action 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 amourous 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 authours 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.



Of Proportion Poeticall.

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


Of proportion in Staffe.

Staffe in our vulgare Poesie I know not why it should be so called, unless 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 sentences 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 sizeine or sixe verses, and is not only most vsual, but also very pleasant to th'eare. The fourth is in seven 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 first proportion is of eight verses very stately and Heroicke, and which I like better then that of seuen, because it receaueth better band. The fixt 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 number 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.

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.

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 agreeable to the eare then the odde is.

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 vsed.

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, & vnlesse 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.

Meeter and measure is all one, for what the Greekes call [Greek: 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 portion (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 member of office and function, and serueth to three purposes, that is to say, to go, to runne, & to stand still so as he must be sometimes swift, sometimes slow, sometime vnegally marching or peraduenture 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 compounded 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 English, 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 then these runners at common games, who setting forth from the first goale, one giueth the start speedely & perhaps before he come half way to th'other goale, decayeth his pace, as a man 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 proportion. This was a pretie phantasticall obseruation of them, & yet brought their meetres to haue a maruelous good grace, which was in Greeke called [Greek: 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 conueniencie 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 computation is, which therefore 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.


How many sorts of measures we use in our vulgar.

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.

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 Re-ue- re-ntli-e

Or a trissillable and one monosillable thus. Soueraine God, or two bissillables and that is plesant thus, Restore againe, or with foure monosillables, 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 when I behold This bright heauen so hye By thine owne hands of old Contrivd so cunningly.

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 are
commendable 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 time haue lasted
  Will be my death, all by thy guilt
  And not by my deseruing
  Since so inconstantly thou wilt
  Not loue but still be sweruing

And all the reason why these meeters in all sillable are allowable is, for that the sharpe accent falles vpon the penulitma 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 feeme so: for the odnes will more notoriously appeare, as for example in the last verse before recited Not loue but still be sweruing, 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 vpon the last sillable, and makes him more audible then if he had slid away with a flat accent, as the word swéruing.

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 eleven 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, and the Cesure fals iust in the middle, as this of the Earle of Surreyes. When raging loue, with extreme payne.

The meeter of ten sillables is very stately and Heroicall, and must haue his Cesure fall vpon the fourth sillable, and leaue sixe behind him thus. 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 usuall: 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 kepeth 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 Davids 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 fayd thus, Robóham Dauids sonne, king of Ierusalem. Letting the sharpe accent fall vpon bo, or thus Restóre king Dáuids sónne 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, & 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 them with intermission 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 easment to the breath) for a treble distinction of sentences or parts of speach, as they happened to be more or lesse perfect in sence. The shortest pause or intermission they called comma as who would say a peece of a speach cut of. The second they called colon, not a peece but as it were a member for his larger length, because it occupied twice as much time as the comma. The third they called periodus, for a complement or full pause, and as a resting place and perfection of so much former speach as had bene 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 example of these common trauailers by the hie ways, where they seeme to allow themselues 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 business 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, leaving 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 in our 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 a 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 hie 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 from 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 accomptable number which we call arithmeticall (arithmos) as one, two, three. There is also a musicall 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 compasiion. This point grew by the smooth and delicate running of their feete, which we haue not in our vulgare, though we use 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 give the name of ryme onely to our concordes, or tunable consentes in the latter end of our verses, and which concords 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 [Greek: illegible] 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 neuertheless 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 metres that be long.


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

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 syllables 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 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 vunto 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) for so is the Greek word. Then bycause euery thing that by nature fals down is said heauy, & whatsoever naturally mounts upward is said light, it gaue occasion to say that there were diuersities in the motion of the voice, as swift & slow, which motion also presupposes time, by cause time is mensura motus, by the Philosopher: so haue you the causes of their primitiue inuention and vse in our arte of Poesie, all this by good obseruation we may perceiue in our vulgar wordes if they be of mo sillables then one, but specially if they be trissillables, as for example in these wordes [altitude] and [heauinesse] the sharpe accent falles vpon [al] & [he] which be the antepenultimaes: the other two fall away speedily as if they were scarse founded in this trissilable [forsaken] the sharp accent fals vpon [sa] which is the penultima, and in the other two is heauie and obscure. Againe in these bisillables, endúre, unsúre, demúre, aspíre, desíre, retíre, your sharpe accent falles vpon the last sillable: but in words monosillable 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 triffilables 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 smoothenesse of your words and sillables running vpon feete of sundrie qualities, make with the Greekes and Latines 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 vsurpation in some English words, to which we giue a sharpe accent vpon the fourth as, Hónorable, mátrimonie, pátrimonie, 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 triuiall, 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 concored) 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 [constraine] the next [restraine] or one [aspire] another [respire] 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.


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

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 is 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 tolerable to help the rime by false orthographie, than to leaue an unpleasant dissonance to the eare, by keeping trewe orthographie and loosing the rime, as for example it is better to rime [Dore] with [Restore] then in 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 Who art the highest God of any heauenly Roy. Which word was neuer yet receiued in our language 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 list to looke vpon the Poemes of both languages.

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 inkhome or borrowed of strangers, the vse of them in ryme is nothing pleasant, sauing perchaunce to the common people, who reioyce 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 delicate.

Chap. IX.

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

But this ye must obserue withall, that bycause your concords containe the chief part of Musicke in your meetre, their distaunces may not be too wide or farre asunder, 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 booke.

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 as I sayd before, like as the Symphonie in a versse 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 thesse Cantabanqui vpon benches and barrels heads where they haue none other audience then boys or countrey fellowes that passse 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 common 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.

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 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 proprotions doth counterfait the harmonicall tunes of the vocall and instrumentall Musickes. As the Dorian 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 precipitation. Euen so by diuersitie of placing and situation of your measures and concords, a short with a long, and by narrow or wide distances, 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.

[Illustration: diagram of four lines with line one connected to line three
and line two connected to line four.]
Scituation in Concord ————— \
                      ————— ) \
                      ————— / )
                      ————— /

Scituation in Measure ——— ——————
                      ———- ————-
                      ———— ——————
                      ————- ———
                      ————- ————-
                      ———— ——————
                      ———- ———
                      ——— ——————

Where ye see the concord or rime in the third distance, and the measure in the fourth, sixth or second distaunces, where of ye may deuise as many others as ye list, 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 ocular proportion doeth declare the nature of the audible: for if it please the eare well, the fame represented by delineation to the view pleaseth the eye well and é conuerso: 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 aboue.

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 away 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 of distance or situation, such as vsed Chaucer in his Canterbury tales, and Gower in all his workes.

[Illustration: diagram of four lines with line one connected to line two and line three connected to line four.]

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 usuall and common, as

[Illustration: diagram of four lines with line one connected to line three and line two connected to line four.]

Third distauce is, when your rime falleth vpon the first and fourth verse ouerleaping two; this manner is not so common but pleasant and allowable inough.

[Illustration: diagram of four lines with line one connected to line four and line two connected to line three.]

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 manner is rare and more artificiall then popular, vnlesse it be in some special 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.

[Illustration: two diagrams: the first of five lines with line 1 connected to line 5 and lines 2, 3, and 4 connected; the second of ten lines with line 1 and 5 connected, lines 2 and 6 connected, lines 3 and 7 connected, lines 4 and 8 connected, lines 5 and 9 connected, and lines 8 and 10 connected.]

And these ten litle meeters make but one Decameter at length.


There be larger distances also, as when the first concord falleth upon the sixt verse & is very pleasant if they be ioyned with other distances not so large as

[Illustration: diagram of six lines with lines 1 and 6 connected, line 2 and 5 connected, and lines 3 and 4 connected.]

There be also, of the seuenth, eight, tenth, and twefth distance, but then they may not go thicke, but two or three such distances serue to proportion a whole song, and all betweene must be of other lesse distances, and these wide distaunces serue for coupling of slaues, or for to declare high and passionate or graue matter, and also for art: Petrarch hath giuen us examples hereof in his Canzoni, and we by lines of sundry lengths & and distances as followeth,

[Illustration: four diagrams: first of eight lines with lines 1 and 8 connected, 2 and 3 connected, 4 and 5 connected, and 6 and 7 connected; second of ten lines with lines 1 and 10 connected, 2 and 4 connected, 3 and 5 connected, 5 and 7 connected, 6 and 8 connected and 7 and 9 connected; third of twelve lines with lines 1 and 12 connected, 2 and 5 connected, 3 and 4 connected, and 6 and 9 connected, 7 and 8 connected, 9 and 12 connected, 10 and 11 connected; fourth of thirteen lines with 1 and 13 connected, 2 and 5 connected, 3 and 4 connected, 6 and 9 connected, 7 and 8 connected, 10 and 13 connected, and 11 and 12 connected.]

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 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.

There is another sort of proportion used 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.
    ———————- )
  ( ———————- )
  ( ———————- )
  ( ———————- )
  ( ———————- )
  ( ———————-

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.

[Illustration: two diagrams: Concord in Plaine compasse, has four lines with 1 and 4 connected and 2 and 3 connected; Concord in Entertangle, has alternating lines connected - 1 and 3, 2 and 4, 3 and 5, etc.]

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

[Illustration: three diagrams of four lines each: first, with lines 1 and 4 connected and lines 2 and 3 connected; second, with lines 1 and 3 connected and lines 2 and 4 connected; third, with lines 1 and 2 connected and lines 3 and 4 connected.]

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

[Illustration: seven diagrams of five lines each: first, connecting these pairs of lines - 1 with 3, 2 with 4, 3 with 5; second, connecting these pairs of lines - 1 with 4, 2 with 5, 3 with 4; third, connecting these pairs of lines - 1 with 2, 2 with 5, 3 with 4; fourth, connecting these pairs of lines - 1 with 4, 2 with 3, 4 with 5; fifth, connecting these pairs of lines - 1 with 5, 2 with 3, 3 with 4; sixth, connecting these pairs of lines - 1 with 3, 2 with 4, 4 with 5; seventh, connecting these pairs of lines - 1 with 2, 2 with 4, 3 with 5.]

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

[Illustration: ten diagrams of six lines each: first, connecting these lines - 1 with 6, 2 with 5, 3 with 4; second, connecting these lines - 1 with 3, 2 with 4, 5 with 6; third, connecting these lines - 1 with 3, 2 with 6, 3 with 4 and 5; fourth, connecting these lines - 1 with 4, 2 with 5, 3 with 6; fifth, connecting these lines - 1 with 6, 2 with 4, 3 with 5; sixth, connecting these lines - 1 with 6, 2 with 3, 4 with 5; seventh, connecting these lines - 1 with 5, 2 with 6, 3 with 4; eighth, connecting these lines - 1 with 2, 5 and 6, 3 with 4; ninth, connecting these lines - 1 with 3, 2 with 5, 4 with 6; tenth, connecting these lines - 1 with 2 and 4, 3 with 5 and 6.]

The staffe of seuen verses hath seuen proportions, whereof one onley 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.

[Illustration: eight diagrams of seven lines each: first, connecting these lines - 1 with 3, 2 with 4, 4 with 6, 5 with 7; second, connecting these lines - 1 with 3, 2 with 4, 3 with 5, 6 with 7; third, connecting these lines - 1 with 4, 2 with 3, 4 with 7, 5 with 6; fourth, connecting these lines - 1 with 2, 6 and 7, 3 with 4 and 5; fifth, connecting these lines - 1 with 7, 2 with 6, 3 with 4 and 5; sixth, connecting these lines - 1 with 2, 5 and 6, 3 with 4 and 7; seventh, connecting these lines - 1 with 4 and 7, 2 with 3, 5 and 6; eighth, connecting these lines - 1 with 2, 3 with 4 and 5, 6 with 7.]

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

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.

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 therefore 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. Sometimes also ye are driuen of neccesitie 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 in some cases a band giuen to euery staffe, 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 intercallaris. 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 or proportion by situation 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.

To finish the learning of this diuision, I will set you downe one example of a dittie written extempore with this deuice, shewing not onley much promptnesse of wit in the maker, but also great arte and a notable memorie. Make me saith this writer to one of the comnpanie, so many strokes or lines with your pen as ye would haue your song containe verses: and let euery line bearue 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 upon: 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 verse. And if he were not copious in his language, he could not haue such store of wordes at commaundement, 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.

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 onley 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 nothing pleasant to an English eare, but time and vsage will 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 represented.

[Illustration: labelled diagrams of lines of different lengths (forming
different shapes):
The Lozange, called Rombus (diamond)
The Fuzie or spindle, called Romboides (narrow diamond)
The Triangle or Tricquet (pyramid)
The Square or quadrangle (square)
The Pillaster or Cillinder (tall rectangle)
The Spire or taper, called piramis (tall pyramid)
The Rondel or Sphere (circle)
The egge or figure ouall (vertical egg)
The Tricquet reuerst (triangle)
The Tricquet displayed (hour-glass)
The Taper reuersed (narrow triangle)
The Rondel displayed (half circle upon the other half)
The Lozange reuersed (wide diamond <>) u
The Egge displayed (half oval upon the other half - n)
The Lozange rabbated (hexagon).]

Of the Lozange.

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 Greekes 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 about thirteene or fifteene or one & 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 of two of those which my Italian friend bestowed vpon me, which as neare as I could I trnslated into the same figure obseruing the phrase of the Orientall speach word for word.

A great Emperor in Tartary whom they cal Can, for his good fortune
in the wars & many notable conquests he had made, was surnamed
Temir Cutzclewe, this man loued the Lady Kermesine, who
presented him returning from the conquest of Corasoon (a great kindgom
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 slide of brite steele
       Hath made his feircest foes so 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 honour hath he wonne
             By doughtie deedes done
                In Cora soon
                  And all the

To which Can Temir answered in 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 ne uer wanne I vic to rie
    I speake it to my greate glorie
     So deare and ioy full vn to me,
      As when I did first con quere thee
       O Kerme sine, of all myne foes
        The most cruell, of all myne woes
         The smartest , the sweetest
           My proude con quest
             My ri chest pray
               O once a daye
                Lend me thy sight
                 Whose only light
                    Keepes me

Of the Triange or Triquet.

The triangle is an halfe square, Lozange or Fuzie parted vpon the crosse 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.

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

    Selamour dearer then his owne life
     To thy di stresssed wretch cap tive,
      Ri buska whome late ly erst
       Most cru el ly thou perst
        With thy dead ly dart,
         That paire of starres
          Shi ning 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

To which Selamour to make the match egall, and the figure entire,
answered in a standing Triquet richly engrauen with letters of like
                    Of death
                  Nor of life
                Hath Selamour,
              With Gods it is rife
            To giue and bereue breath
          I may for pitie perchaunce
        Thy lost libertie re - store,
      Vpon thine othe with this penaunce,
   That while thou liuest thou neuer loue no more.

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

Of the Spire or Taper called Pyramis.

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, whole flame if ye marke it, is alwaies pointed, and naturally by his forme couets to clymbe: the Greekes call him Pyramis. 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 will require diuers rabates to hold so many sizes of meetres as shall serue for his composition, for neare the toppe there wil be roome little 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.

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 deuice.

          Skie, 1
         A zurd 2
         in the
        And better, 3
        And richer,
        Much greter,
      Crowne & empir
      After an hier
      For to aspire 4
      Like flames of fire
      In formes of spire
     To mount on hie,
     Con ti nu al ly
     With trauel & teen
     Most gratious queen
     Ye haue made a vow 5
     Shewes vs plainly how
     Not fained but true
     To euery mans vue
     Shining cleere in you
     Of so bright an hewe
     Euen thus vertwe
   Vanish out of our sight
   Till his fine top be quite
   To taper in the ayre 6
   Endeavors soft and faire
   By his kindly nature
   Of tall comely stature
   Like as this faire figure

_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 furnisht with. Reade downward according to the nature of the deuice.

    1 God
    2 A bove
                  Sends loue,
                  Wise dome,
                  Iu stice
                  Cou rage,
                  Boun tie,
    3 And doth geue
                All that liue
                Life & breath
                Harts ese helth
                Children, welth
                Beauty strength
                Restfull age,
                And at length
                A mild death,
    4 He doeth bestowe
              All mens fortunes
              Both high & low
              And the best things
              That earth can haue
              Or mankind craue,
              Good queens & kings
              Fi nally is the same
              Who gaue you (madam)
              Seyson of this Crowne
              With pouer soueraigne
    5 Impug nable right,
            Redoubt able might,
            Most prosperous raigne
            Eternall re nowne,
            And that your chiefest is
            Sure hope of heavens blis.

The Piller, Pillaster or Cillinder.

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 suffise.

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 woman head
      Her mayden raigne
      In te gri tie:
      In ho nour and
      with ve ri tie:
      Her roundnes stand
      Strengthen the state.
      By their increase
      With out de bate
      Concord and peace
      Of her sup port,
      They be the base
      with stedfastnesse
      Vertue and grace
      Stay and comfort
      Of Albi ons rest,
      The sounde Pillar
      And seene a farre
      Is plainely exprest
    Tall stately and strayt
   By this no ble pour trayt

  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 Maijestie
     Is my ter rene dei tie,
        Thy wit and sense
        The streame & source
        Of e l o quence
        And deepe discours,
        Thy faire eyes are
        My bright load starre,
        Thy speach 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 glo rye flour
        Of myne ho nour,
        Thy loue doth giue
        The lyfe I lyve,
        Thy lyfe it is
        Mine earthly blisse:
   But grace & fauour in thine eies
   My bodies soule & souls paradise.

The Roundell or Spheare.

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 uniuers, & for his indefiniteness 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 circumference, 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 sense.
  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,
  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 beares 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 Roundell.

  First her authoritie regall
  Is the circle compassing all:
  The dominion great and large
  Which God hath geuen to her charge:
  Whithin which most spatious bound
  She enuirons her people round,
  Retaining them by oth and liegeance.
  Whithin the pale of true obeysance:
  Holding imparked as it were,
  Her people like to heards of deere.
  Sitting among them in the middes
  Where foe 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 beams so bright
  And reflect not, till they attaine
  The fardest part of her domaine.
  And makes eche subiect clearley 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.

The square is of all other accompted the figure of most folliditie 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 little aduersitie, hominem quadratum, 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, by cause 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.

This figure taketh his name of an egge, and also as it is thought 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 but 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 at 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 egg) deuide a word in the midst, and peece out the next verse with the other halfe, as ye may see by perusing their meetres.

When I wrate of these deuices, I smiled with myselfe, 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 fauoureth not of Theologie, or altogether graue and worldy, 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 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 cunctae, nam ratione carent. Thus Englished, All is but a iest, all daft, all not worth two peason: For why in mans matters is neither rime nor reason.

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 innouatians were not very scandalous, specially in the lawes of any langage or arte, the use of the Greeke and Latine feete might be brought into our vulgar Poesie, and with good grace enough.

Now neuerthelesse albeit we haue before alledged that our vulgar Saxon English standing most vpon wordes monosillable, and little vpon polysillables doth hardly admit the vse of those 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 fought to bring into our vulgar Poesie some of the auncient feete, to wit the Dactile into verses 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 language. 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 no 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 world 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 license of the Greeks and Latines, who made not their sharpe accent any necessary prolongation of their tunes, 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 & situation as in this word [dáyly] the first sillable for his vsuall and sharpe accentes sake to be always long, the second for his flat accents sake to be alwayes shoft, 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 trissilable [dau-nge`ro`us] the first to be long, th'other two short for the same causes. In this word [da-nge`rou`sne-sse] 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 vpon [re] then vpon [dye] that sillable should be made long and é conuerso, but in this word [remedilesse] bycause many like better to accent the sillable [me] then the sillable [les] therefore I leaue him for a common 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 sometimes it sounds better to say ré-uo`ca-blé then re`uo-ca`ble`, re-cóue`rable then réco-ue`ra`blé for this one thing ye must alwayes marke that if your time fall either by reason of his sharpe accent or otherwise vpon the penultima, ye shal finde many other words to rime with him, bycause such terminations are not geazon, but if the long time fall vpon 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 [co-ue`ra`ble] 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 [re-mu`nèra`ti`on] which makes a couple of good Dactils, and in this word [contribu-ti`o`n] which makes a good spo-ndeus & a good dactill, and in this word [reca-pi`tu`la-tio`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 then 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 finale 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. 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 Ennnius 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 vpon the nature or their ortographie which the Latin Grammariens call the rule of position, as for example if I shall say thus. No-t ma`ni`e daye-s pa-st. Twentie dayes after, This makes a good Dactill and a good spondeus, but if ye turne them backward it would not do so, as. Many dayes, not past. And the distick made all of monosillables. Bu-t no-ne o-f u-s tru-e me-n a-nd fre-e, Could finde so great good lucke as he. Which words serue well to make the verse all spondiacke or iambicke, but not in dactil, as other words or the same otherwise placed would do, for it were at illfauored dactil to say. Bu-t no`ne o`f, u-s a`ll tre`we.

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 remembred. 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 seauen 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 scholars 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, depopulation & such like, which are not naturall Normane 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 superfluous 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: which feete as I say we may 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 observations 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 apparant cause 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 [pe-] in both places long and [ne`] and [lo`] 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 yeares after the first reception of wordes in their seuerall times, was driuen of neceisiitie to accept them in such quantities as they were left him and therefore said. a-rma` ni` ru-mqu-e ca`ro- tro- ie- qui- pri-mu`s a`bo-ris.

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 feet and times that our forefathers neuer vused nor neuer observed 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.

Their Grammarians made a great multitude of feete, I wot not to what huge number, and of so many sizes as their wordes were of length, namely sixe sizes, whereas indeede, the metricall feete are but twelve in number, wherof foure only be of two times, and eight of three times, the rest compounds of the premised two sorts, even 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 received with vs, I say all the whole twelve, for first for the foote, spondeus of two long times ye haue these English words mo-rni-ng, mi-dni-ght, mi-scha-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 words ma-ne`r, bro-ke`n, ta-ke`n, bo-die`, me-mbe`r, and a great many moe if there last sillables abut not vpon the consonant in the beginning of another word, and in these whether they do abut or no wi-tti`e, di-tti`e, so-rro`w, mo-rro`w, & such like, which end in a vowell for your Iambus of a short and a long, ye haue these words [re`sto-re] [re`mo-rse] [de`si-re] [e`ndu-re] and a thousand besides. For your foote pirrichius or of two short silables ye haue these words [ma`ni`e] [mo`ne`y] [pe`ni`e] [si`lie`] and others of that construction or the like: for your feete of three times and first your dactill, ye haue these words & a number moe pa-ti`e`nce, te-mpe`ra`nce, wo-ma`nhea`d, io-li`ti`e, dau-nge`ro`us, du-eti`fu`ll & others. For your molossus, of all three long, ye haue a member of wordes also and specially most of your participles actiue, as pe-rsi-sti-ng, de-spo-ili-ng, e-nde-nti-ng, and such like in ortographie: for your anapestus of two short and a long ye haue these words but not many moe, as ma`ni`fo-ld, mo`ni`le-sse, re`ma`ne-nt, ho`li`ne-sse. For your foote tribracchus of all three short, ye haue very few trissillables, because the sharpe accent will aways make one of them long by pronunciation, which els would be by ortographie short as, [me`ri`ly`] [minion] & such like. For your foote bacchius of a short & two long ye haue these and the like words trissillables [la`me-nti-ng] [re`que-sti-ng] [re`nou-nci-ng] [re`pe-nta-nce] [e`nu-ri-ng]. For your foote antibacchius, of two long and a short ye haue these words [fo-rsa-ke`n] [i-mpu-gne`d] and others many: For your amphimacer that is a long, a short and a long ye haue these words and many more [e-xce`lle-nt] [i-mi`ne-nt] and specially such as be propre names of persons or townes or other things and namely Welsh words; for your foote amphibracchus, of a short, a long and a short, ye haue these words and many like to these [re`si-ste`d] [de`li-ghtfu`ll] [re`pri-sa`ll] [i`nau-nte`r] [e`na-mi`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 than 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 [re-mna-nt] [re`ma-ine] [re-nde`r] [re`ne`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 consonants must needs be accompted the same, besides that [nant] by his Latin originall is long, viz. [remane-ns.] 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 accent upon [ren] makes it long, the sillable [der] falling away swiftly & being also written with a single consonant or liquide is short and makes the trocheus. This word [re`ne`t] hauing both syllables sliding and slipper make the foote Pirrichius, because if he be truly vttered, he beares in maner no sharper accent upon the one then the other sillable, but be 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 used 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 sharpe vpon euery second word rather then contrariwise, as this of Sir Thomas Wiats. I fi-nde no` pea-ce a`nd ye-t mi`e wa-rre i`s do-ne, I feare and hope, and burne and freese like ise.

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, with thy friend or foes harme
  Try but, trust not, all that speake thee so faire.

And some verses made of monosillables and bissillables enterlaced as this of th'Earles, When raging loue with extreme paine And this A fairer beast of fresher hue beheld I neuer none.

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 disdaine full pleasantly perswading
  Easie to gripe but combrous to weld.
  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 will driue us all to dust
  To leaue thy loue ere that we be compeld.

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 versifiers.


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

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 (among the Latines) none accent audible in any long word, therfore to deuise any foote of longer 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 usuall 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 measures. Rende`r a`gai-ne mi`e li-be`rti`e a`nd se-t yo`ur ca-pti`ue fre-e Glo-ri`ou`s i`s the` vi-cto`ri`e Co-nque`ro`urs u-se wi`th le-ni`ti`e

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 bisillable 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 & makes the first two times of a dactil. [Restore]is naturally a Iambus, & in this place could not possibly haue made a pleasant dactil.

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 si volet usus, Quem penes arbitrium est & vis & norma loquendi.

The Earle of Surrey upon the death of Sir Thomas Wiat made among other this verse Pentameter and of ten sillables, What holy graue (alas) what sepulcher

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, thus, Wha-t ho`li`e gra-ue a`la-s wha`t fit se`pu-lche`r. 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 times. But perchance if ye would seeme yet more curious, in place of these four 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. Wha-t ho`li`e gra-ue a`la-s wha`t fit se`pu-lche`r. If ye aske me further why I make [what] 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 common monosillable, that is, apt to receive either accent, & so in the first place receiuing aptly the sharpe accent he is made long: afterward receiuing the flat accent more aptly then 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 from the sillable [las] it had bene to any mans eare a great discord: for euermore this word [alás] is accented 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, Fu-ll ma`ni`e that in presence of thy li-ueli`e he`d, Shed Cæsars teares vpon Po-mpe`iu`s he`d. Th'e-ne`mi`e to life destroi er of all kinde, If a-mo` ro`us faith in an hart un fayned, Myne old dee-re e`ne` my my froward master. The- fu`ri` ous gone in his most ra ging ire.

And many moe which if ye would not allow for dactils the verse would halt vnlesse ye would seeme to helpe 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. Le-t no` no`bi-li`ti`e ri-che`s o`r he-ri`ta`ge Ho-no`r o`r e-mpi`re o`r ea-rthli`e do`mi-ni`o`n Bre-ed I`n yo`ur hea-d a`ni`e pe-euish o`pi-ni`o`n That ye` ma`y sa-fe`r a`uo-uch a`ni`e o-utra-ge.

And in this distique taxing the Prelate symoniake standing all upon
perfect dactils.
  No-w ma-ni-e bi-e mo-ne-y pu-rue`y pro`mo-ti`o`n
  For mony mooues any hart to deuotion.

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 choice of very few words dactilique, or them that ye cannot 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 them as [retribution] restitution] remuneration] recapitulation] and such like: for they smatch more the schoole of common players than of any delicate Poet Lyricke or Elegiacke.


_Of all your other feete of three times and how well they would fashion a meetre in our vulgar.__

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 [pe-rmi-tti-ng] The [Anapestus] of two short and a long by this word [fu`ri`o-us] if the next word beginne with a consonant. The foote [Bacchius] of a short and two long by this word [re`si-sta-nce] the foote [Antibachius] of two long and a short by this word [e-xa-mple`] the foote [Amphimacer] of a long a short & a long by this word [co-nque`ri-ng] the foote of [Amphibrachus] of a short a long and a short by this word [re`me-mbe`r] 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 compounded of the smoothest sort of consonants or sillables vocals, or of three smooth monosillables, or of some peece of a long polysillable & after that sort we may with wresting of words shape the foot [Tribrachus] rather by vsurpation then by rule, which neuertheles is allowed in euery primitiue arte & inuention: & 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 [e`ne`mi`e] re`me`di`e] se`li`ne`s] mo`ni`le`s] pe`ni`le`s] cru`e`lli`e] & such like, or a peece of this long word [re`co-ue`ra`ble`] innu`me`ra`ble`] rea`di`li`e] 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 always 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 Graecians called the halfe foote.

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 Petrarcha: as these Like vnto these, immeasurable mountaines, 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. 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,[i-m me` su`] 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 hang 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 hemimeris 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 vfed 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 pentameter. Ni-l mi` hi` re-scri-ba`s a-tta`me`n i-pse` ve` ni`.

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 used.

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, and his time will appeare the selfe same still and ought not to be altered by our makers, vnlesse it be when such sillable is allowed to be common and to receiue any of both times, as in the dimeter, made of two sillables entier. e-xtre-ame de`si-re

The first is a good spondeus, the second a good iambus, and if the same wordes be broken thus it is not so pleasant. I`n e-x tre-ame de` sire

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 changing your word into another place then where he soundes vnpleasantly, and by breaking, turne a trocheus to a iambus, or contrariwise: as thus: Ho-llo`w va-lle`is u-nde`r hi-e`st mou-ntai`nes Cra-ggi`e cli-ffes bri`ng foo-rth the` fai-re`st fou-ntai`nes

These verses be trochaik, and in mine eare not so sweete and harmonicall
as the iambicque, thus:
  The` ho-llo`wst va-ls li`e u-nde`r hi-e`st mo-unta-ines
  The` cra-ggi`st clifs bri-ng fo-rth the` fai-re`st fou-nta-ines

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.

Which being turned thus makes a new harmonie. The restlesse heart, renues his old desires Ay rauing after that reason doth it deny.

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. He-aui`e I-s the` bu-rde`n of Pri`nce`s i-re

The verse is trochaick, but being altered thus, is iambicque. Fu`ll he-aui`e i-s the` pa-ise o`f Pri-nce`s i-re

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, Fa-rewe`ll lo-ue a`nd a-ll thi`e la-wes fo`r e-ve`r

And in this ditty of th'Erle of Surries, passing sweete and harmonicall:
all be Iambick.
  When raging loue with extreme paine
  So cruell doth straine my hart,
  And that the teares like fluds of raine
  Beare witnesse of my wofull smart.

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

Now furthermore ye are to note, that al 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 trochaick. Go`d grau-nt thi`s pea-ce ma`y lo-ng e`ndu-re

Where the sharpe accent falles more tunably vpon [graunt] [peace] [long] [dure] then it would by conuersion, as to accent then thus: Go-d grau`nt - thi-s pea`ce - ma-y lo`ng - e-ndu-re.

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.

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 dèsíre Geue others theirs, and nothing that is mine Nòr gíue mè thát, wherto all men aspire Then neither gold, nor faire women nor wine.

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. Pro-ue me` (Madame) ere ye re-pro`ue Meeke minds should e-xcu`se not a-ccu`se.

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 re`pro-ue my constancie I will excu-se you curtesly.

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 alteration 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 aduise of women either for the loue he bare to their persons of 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 seek 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 an arras cloth hee himselfe spake in manner of an Oracle in these matters, for so did all the Sybils and sothsaiers in old times giue their answers. 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.

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 self in countenance and 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. Poleman 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. 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 beying sent for my 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 fire side, eating vp the poore husbandmans baken, halfe lost for lacke of a good huswifes looking too.




Of Ornament Poeticall.

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: neuertheless making it nothing the more vnseemely or misbecomming, but rather decenter and more agreable to any ciuill eare and understanding. 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 themselves more amiable in euery mans eye, when they be in their richest attire, suppose of silkes or tyssews & costly embroderies, then when they go in cloth or in any other plaine and simple apparell. Euen so cannot our vulgar Poesie shew it self 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 somewhat our of sight, that is from the common course of ordinary 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 figurative 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 golde vpon the stuffe of a Princely garment, or as th'excellent painter bestoweth the rich Orient coulours vpon his table of pourtraite: so neuerthelessse as if the same coulours in our art of Poesie (as well as in those other mechanicall artes) be not well tempered, or not well layd, or be vused in excesse, or neuer so litle disordered or misplaced, they not onely giue it no maner of grace at all, but rather do disfigure that 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.

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 nothing 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, methinks 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 the 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 iudicall 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 Archbishop 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 the persons or of the cause: wherein I report me to them that knew Sir Nicholas Bacon Lord keeper of the great Seale, or the 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 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, scientia non habet inimicum nisi ignorantem. I haue 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 condemne 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 whene 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 perswasions were not very violent to the minde of man it could not haue wrought so strange an effect as we read that it did once in Ægypt, & 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 gentleman intended, thus it was. There came into Ægypt a notable Oratour, whose name was Hegesias who inueyed so much against the incommodities of this transitory life, & so highly commended death the dispatcher of all euils; as a great number of his hearers destroyed themselues, some with weapon, 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) brings 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 conceits, good perswasion is no lesse requisite then speach it selfe: for in great purposes to speake and not to be able or likely to perswade, is a vayne thing: now let vs returne backe to say more of this Poeticall ornament.


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

This ornament then is of two sortes, one to satisfie & delight th'eare onely by a goodly outward shew fet vpon the matter with wordes, and speaches smothly and tunably running: another by certaine intendments or sence of such wordes & speeches 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 callled 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 common 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.

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 euen and not shagged; thick ranged, a round vaulted pallate, and a long throte, besides an excellent capacitie of wit that maketh him more disciplinable and imitative than any other creature: then as to the 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 & nation, it is called a language, & receaueth none allowed alteration, but by extraordinary occasions by little & little, as it were insensibly bringing in of many corruptions 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 ponounced. 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 towne and Citie in this Realme, for such persons doe abuse good speaches by strange accents or illshapen 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 therefore at these dayes shall not follow Piers plowman nor Gower nor Lydgate nor yet Chaucer, for their language is now out of vfe 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 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 mans 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 peradventure 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 schoolmasters 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 refome 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 himselfe first and before any others.

These be words vsed by th'author in this present treatise, scientificke, but with some reason, for it ausuereth 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 had not bene so cleanly a speech as the other Maior-domo: 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 d'hostell) 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 than any of the rest, other men may iudge otherwise. Politien, this word also is receuied 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, assubriling, 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, harmonicall, 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 termes: for our speach wanteth words to such sense so well to be vsed: yet in steade of indignitie, yee 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, declamation, 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 Latin and French, were not so well to be 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 all in these few verses. Multa renascentur quae iam cecidere cadentque Quae nunc sunt in honore vocabula si volet usus Quem penes artibrium est et ius et norma loquendi. Which I haue thus englished, but nothing with so good grace, nor so briefly as the Poet wrote. Many a word if able shall est 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.

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 Ciceros stile and Salusts were not one, nor Cesars and Linies, nor Homers and Hesiodus, nor Herodotus and Theucidides, nor Euripides & Aristophones, nor Erasmus and Budeus stiles. And because this continuall course and manner of writing or speech sheweth the 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 [mentes 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 minde 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. Then againe may it be said as wel, that men doo chuse their subjects 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 complexions (if I may with leaue so terme them) 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, do vtterly disgrace their poesie and shew themselues nothing skilfull in their arte, nor hauing regard 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 hie and loftie, which be but meane, and which be low and base, to the intent the stiles 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 betwixt 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 chiefs 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, whatsoeuer 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 idleness of Domitian, & the riots of Heliogabalus. But well the magnanimitie and honorable ambition of Caesar, 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, gouernment, 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 aduaunced 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 within their teder, by 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.

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 accidents 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 concerne meane men their life and busines, as lawyers, gentlemen, and marchants, 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 common 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 flile, 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 speaking 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 figuratuie speaches.

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 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 care 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 commendable. 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 virtue in the excrcise of this Arte.


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

Bvt before there had bene yet any precise obseruation made of figuratiue speeches, the first learned artificers of language considered 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.

The Greekes were a happy people for the freedome & liberty of their language, because it was allowed them to inuent any new name that they listed, 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 cortainen ames. The Latines came somewhat behind them in that 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, Verro, Quintilian, & others strained themselues to giue the Greeke wordes Latin 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 illfaring 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 under 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 time, and by custome will frame very well: and such others as are not learned in the primitiue languages, if they happen to hit upon 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 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 therefore 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 division of figures, and how they serue in exornation of language.

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 profession 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 gallantly 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 writing 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, abridgement, opening, closing, enforcing, meekening, or otherwise disposing them to the best purpose whereupon the learned clerks who haue written 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 figures, 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 slie 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 languages 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 speech 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 auricular figures to performe. Therefore as the members of language at large are whole sentence, 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.

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 sillibles and letters suppressing or confounding their seueral 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-doon for doon, endanger for danger, embolden for bolden.

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

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

From the beginning, as to say [twixt for betwixt] [gainsay for againsay] [ill for euill].

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

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

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 smart, sor'smart.]

Your displacing of a sillable as to say [desier for desire] [sier for sire.]

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.

By wrong ranging the accent of a sillable by which meane a short sillable is made long and a long short as to say soueráine for souéraine: gratíous for grátious: éndure for endúre: Salómon for Sálomon.

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.

As your single words may be many waies transfigured to make the meetre or verse more tunable and melodious, so also may your whole and entire clauses be in such sort contriued by the order of their construction as the eare may receiue 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 you 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.

[Sidenote: Eclipsis or the Figure of default.] 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.

[Sidenote: Zeugma or the Single supply.] 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 kindred: as to say Fellowes, and friends and kinne forsooke me quite.

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.

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

[Sidenote: Prozeugma, or the Ringleader.] Yet hath this figure of [Single supply] another propertie, occasioning 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 whom 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 hart; Her presence all the powers of my discourse. &c.

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

  [Sidenote: Mezozeugma, or the Middlemarcher.]
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 us the
[Middlemarcher] thus:
  Faire maydes beautie (alack) with yeares it weares away,
  And with wether and sicknes, and sorrow as they say.

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.

Where this word [talke] serues the clause before and also behind.

  [Sidenote: Hypozeugma, or the Rerewarder.]
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:
  My mates that wont, to keepe me companie
  And my neighbours, who dwelt next to my wall
  The friends that sware, they would not sticke to die
  In my quarrell: they are fled from me all.

Where ye see this word [fled from me] serue all the three clauses requiring but one congruitie & sence.

[Sidenote: Sillepsis, or the Double supply.] 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. Here my sweete sonnes and daughters all my blisse, Yonder mine owne deere husband buried is.

Where ye see one verbe singular supplyeth the plurall and singular, and
  Iudge ye louers, if it be strange or no;
  My Ladie laughs for ioy, and I for wo.

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.

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 vntill I die.

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.

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.

[Sidenote: Hypozeuxis, or the Substitute.] But 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 Greekes Hypozeuxis, we call him the substitute after his originall, and is a supplie with iteration, as thus: Vnto the king she went, and to the king she said, Mine owne liege Lord behold thy poore handmaid.

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 what,
  Geuing me leaue to be her Soueraine:
  For by such gift my Ladie hath done that,
  Which whilest she liues she may not call againe.

Here [my Ladie gaue] and [my Ladie wist] be supplies with iteration, by vertue of this figure.

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 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.

  [Sidenote: Aposiopesis, or the Figure of silence.]
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, thus:
  He said you were, I dare not tell you plaine
  For words once out, neuer returne againe.

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.

If it be for anger or by way of manace or to show a moderation 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.

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

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.

This figure is fit for phantasticall heads and such as be sodaine or lacke memorie. 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.

  [Sidenote: Prolepsis, or the Propounder.]
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 describe the triumphant
enter-view of two great Princesses thus.
  These two great Queenes, came marching hand in hand,
  Vunto 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 white
  With rich rubies, and pearles all bedighte.

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.

By this other example it appeares also.
  Then deare Lady I pray you let it bee,
  That our long loue may lead us to agree:
  Me since I may not wed you to my wife,
  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.

[Sidenote: Hiperbaton, or the Trespasser.] To all of speaches which wrought by disorder by 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 them as they deserue among the vicious or faultie speaches.

[Sidenote: Parenthesis, or the Insertour] 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 neuerthelesse 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 ro yeeld examples euen in the plainest cases, as that of maister Diars very aptly. But now my Deere (for so my loue makes me to call you still) That loue I say, that lucklesse loue, that works me all this ill.

Also in our Eglogue intituled Elpine, which we made being but eightene yeares old, to king Edward 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 why 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.)

And so proceedes to answere the kings question? The shippe thou seest sayling in sea so large, &c.

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.

[Sidenote: Histeron proteron, or the Preposterous.] 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. I kist her cherry lip and tooke my leaue:

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 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. One describing his landing vpon a strange coast, sayd thus preposterously. When we had climbde the clifs, and were a shore,

Whereas he should haue said by good order.
  When we were come ashore and clymed had the cliffs

For one must be on land ere he can clime. And as another said:
  My dame that bred me up and bare me in her wombe.

Whereas the bearing 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 following.


Of your figures Auricular that worke by Surplusage.

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 oratours among the figures rhetoricall, as be those of repetition, and iteration or amplification. All other 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 working by exchange.

[Sidenote: Enallage, or the Figure of Exchange.] 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 no vse of this figure. They called it Enallage.

[Sidenote: Hipallage, or the Changeling.] 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 with me and stay not, come stay with me and dine not.

A certaine piteous louer, to moue his mistres to compassion, wrote among other amorous verses, this one. Madame, I set your eyes before mine woes.

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

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 counsel. 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 counsel 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 wot what I meant Iohn, it is for to stay And company the knaue Carrier, for loosing my way.

The yeoman thinking it good manner to soothe his Sergeant, said againe, I meant what I wot Sir, your best is to hie, And carrie a knaue with you for companie.

Ye see a notorious exchange of the construction, and application of the words in this: I wot what I meane; and I meane what I wot, and in the other, company the knaue Carrier, and carrie a knaue in your company. The Greekes call this figure [Hipallage] the Latins Submutatio, we in our vulgar may call him the [under-change] 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 changelings, 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 which because they serue chiefly to make the meeters tunable and melodious, and affect not the minde but very little, be placed among the auricular.

[Sidenote: Omoioteleton, or the Like loose.] The Greekes 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 expressed. Weeping creeping beseeching I wan, The loue at length of Lady Lucian.

Or thus if we speake in prose and not in meetre.
  Mischaunces ought not to be lamented,
  But rather by wisedome in time preuented:
  For such mishappes as be remedilesse,
  To sorrow them it is but foolishnesse:
  Yet are we all so frayle of nature,
  As to be greeued with euery displeasure.

The craking Scotts as the Cronicle reportes at a certaine time made this
bald rime vpon the English-men.
  Long beards hartlesse,
  Painted hoodes witlesse:
  Gay coates gracelesse,
  Make all England thriftlesse.

Which is no perfect 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 Wyat the most excellent 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.

  [Sidenote: Parimion, or the Figure of like letter.]
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.
  Time tried his truth his trauailes and his trust,
  And time to late tried his integritie.

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.

[Sidenote: Asyndeton, or the Loose language.] 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 language] and doth not a litle alter th'eare as thus. I saw it, I said it, I will sweare it.

Caesar 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 victorie. Veni, vidi, vici, I came, I saw, I overcame.

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

The Prince of Orenge for his deuise of Armes in banner displayed against the Duke of Adua 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 lawes.

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 language.]

  [Sidenote: Polisindeton, or the Couple clause.]
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 thus,
  And I saw it, and I say it and I
  Will sweare it to be true.

So might the Poesie of Caesar haue bene altered thus.
  I came, and I saw, and I ouercame.

One wrote these verses after the same sort,
  For in her mynde no thought there is,
  But how she may be true to is:
  And tenders thee and all thy heale,
  And wisheth both thy health and weale:
  And is thine owne, and so she sayes,
  And cares for thee ten thousand wayes.

  [Sidenote: Irmus, or the Long loose.]
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 concludes 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.
  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 unquiet 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.

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

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.

  [Sidenote: Epitheton, or the Qualifier.]
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 say.
  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 levels at vs.

Or thus commending the Isle of great Brittaine.
  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.

Or as we sang of our Soueraigne Lady giuing her these Attributes besides
her proper name.
  Elizatbeth regent of the great Brittaine Ile,
  Honour of all regents and of Queenes.

But if we speake thus not expressing her proper name Elizabeth, videl.
  The English Diana, the great Britton mayde.

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

[Sidenote: Endiadis, or the Figure of Twinnes.] 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. Not you coy dame your lowrs nor your lookes.

For [your lowring lookes] And as one of our ordinary rimers said,
  Of fortune nor her frowning face,
  I am nothing agast.

In stead of [fortunes frowning face.] 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 whole prowes the Romain Prince did daunt,
  Wild Affricanes and the lawlesse Alarbes:
  The Nubiens marching with their armed cartes,
  And sleaing a farre with venim, and with dartes.

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.

The eare hauing receiued his due satisfaction by the auricular figures, now must the minde also be seured, with his naturall delight by figures sensible such as by alteration of intendments 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.

[Sidenote: Metaphora, or the Figure of transporte.] There is a kinde 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 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 moue vs to vse this figure, one for necessitie or want of a better word, thus: As the drie ground that thirstes after a showr Seems to reioyce when it is well wet, And speedely brings foorth both grasse and flowr, If lacke of sunne or season doo not let.

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 onley 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.

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 Iudged full low, vnder this marble stone:
  Ne neuer were his values so well knowen,
  Whilest he liued here, as now that he is gone.

Here these words, rered, overthrowen, 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.

In these verses the inuersion or metaphore, 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 approach so neere, & so conueniently, 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,

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

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.

These examples I haue the willinger giuen 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.

[Sidenote: Catachresis, or the Figure of abuse] 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 verse. I lent my loue to losse, and gaged my life in vaine.

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, that he that lendeth and is neuer repayde.

[Sidenote: Metonimia, or the Misnamer] 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 wrong 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: Vulcane for fire, Ceres for bread: Bacchus for wine by the same reason; also if one should say to a skilfull craftesman knowen for a 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 poore.

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 foure 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 conteining, for that which is contained, & in many other cases do as it were wromg name the person or the thing. So neuerthelesse as it may be vnderstood, it is by the figure metonymia, or misnamer.

[Sidentote: Antonomasia, or the Surnamer.] 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 dominion 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, But in chaste stile, am borne as I weene To blazon foorth the Brytton mayden Queene.

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.

[Sidenote: Onomatopeia, or the New namer.] 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 money: & 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 lyon brayes, a swine 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.

[Sidenote: Epitheton, or the Quallifier, otherwise the figure of Attribution.] 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, vnlessse 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, vea 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.

[Sidenote: Metalepsis, or the Farreset.] But the sence is much altered & the hearers conceit strangly entangled by the figure Metalepsis, which I call the farset, as when we had rather fetch a word a great way off then to vse one nerer hand 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 farreset and deare bought are good for Ladies: so in this manner of speach we vfe 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: Woe worth the mountaine that the maste bare Which was the first causer of all my care.

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 nursery, 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.

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 long life. Virgill said: Post multas mea regna videns murabor aristas.

Thus in English.
  After many a stubble shall I come
  And wonder at the sight of my kingdome.

By stubble the Poet vnderftoode yeares, for haruests come but once euery yeare, at least wayes with vs in Europe. Thus is spoken by the figure of farre-set Metalepsis.

[Sidenote: Emphasis, or the Renforcer.] 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 laid thus of a faire Lady. O rare beautie, ô grace, and curtesie.

And by a very euill man thus. O sinne it selfe, not wretch, but wretchednes.

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.

[Sidenote: Liptote, or the Moderatour.] 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 us 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. I know you hate me not, nor wish me any ill.

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.

[Sidenote: Paradiastole, or the Curry-fauell.] 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.

  [Sidenote: Meiosis, or the Disabler.]
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.
  A great mountaine as bigge as a molehill,
  A heauy burthen perdy, as a pound of fethers.

[Sidenote: Tapinosis, or the Abbaser.] 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.

[Sidenote: Synecdoche, or the Figure of quick conceite.] 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 vnderftanding, 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, aliudex 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 will speake of him againe in another place, where he is ranged among the figures sensable apperteining to clauses.


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

As by the last remembred figures the sence of single wordes is altered, so by these that follow is that of whole and entire 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 vse, 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 dissimulation] we will speake first as of the chief ringleader and captaine of all other figures, either in the Poeticall or oratorie science.

[Sidenote: Allegoria, or the Figure of false semblant.] And ye shall know that we may dissemble, I meane speake otherwise then we thinke, in earnest as well 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 coueniencie 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 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 last yeare.

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 untwist.

Meaning, that her loue was so stedfast and constant 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.

Which I English thus: Stop up your streames (my lads) the medes haue drunk ther fill.

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.

Ye haue another manner of Allegorie not full, but mixt, as he that wrate
  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.

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

  [Sidenote: Enigma, or the Riddle.]
We dissemble againe vnder couert and darkes speaches, when 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:
  It is my mother well I wot,
  And yet the daughter that I begot.

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

My mother had an old woman 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 I wis:
  There came a yong man with his ginne,
  And he put it a handfull in

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.

  [Sidenote: Parimia, or Prouerb.]
We dissemble after a sort, when we speake by comon 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.

Meaning by the first, that the yong learne by the olde, either to be good or euill in their behauiors: 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 owne 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 prouebiall speeches.

[Sidenote: Ironia, or the Drie mock.] Ye doe likewise dissemble, when ye speake in derision or mokerie, & 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 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 Gentlemen had another time taken them, & becaufe the king forgot to aske for them, neuer restored his ring againe.

[Sidenote: Sarcasmus, or the Bitter taunt.] 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, 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.

[Sidenote: Asteismus or the Merry scoffe, otherwise the ciuill iest.] Or when we speake by manner of pleasantery, or mery skoffe, that is by a kind of mock, whereof the sence is farreset, & 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 if was but a small trifle, not past sixteene shillings matter which he had taken: quoth the king againe, but I warrant you the fellow was sorrie it had not bene sixteene 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 derision.

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.

[Sidenote: Micterismus, or the Fleering frumpe.] 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, no doubt Sir of that. This fleering frumpe is one of the Courtly graces of hicke the scorner.

[Sidenote: Antiphrasis, or the Broad floute.] 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.

[Sidenote: Charientismus, or the Priuy nippe.] Or when ye giue a mocke vnder smooth and lowly wordes as he that hard one call him all to nought and say, thou art 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 appealing mockery: all these be souldiers to the figure allegoria and fight vnder the banner of dissimulation.

[Sidenote: Hiperbole, or the Ouer reacher, otherwise called the loud lyer.] Neuerthelesse ye haue yet two or three other figures that smatch a spice of the same false semblant, 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, Latines Demenitiens 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 when I speake that 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 speech 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 beyond credit, it may not be beyond all measure, specially in the proseman, as he that was a 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 stares of the skie, or to tell the sands of the sea. This Hyperbole was both ultra fidem and also ultra 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 aud 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 fayne: Then doth the sunne the candle light, Or brightest day the darkest night.

And as a certaine noble Gentlewoman lamenting at the vnkindnesse of her
louer said very pretily in this figure.
  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.

  [Sidenote: Periphrasis, or the Figure of ambage.]
Then haue ye the figure Periphrasis, holding somewhat of the disembler,
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:
  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.

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 Phoebus raies into his horned hed.

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 thus: The month and date when Aries receiud, Dan Phoebus raies into his horned head.

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

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 them plaine.

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 mentioned: 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 faults in his verse, so deadly belie the matter by his description, as it would pitie any good maker to heare it.

[Sidenote: Synecdoche, or the Figure of quick conceite.] 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 before alleged, may be put under 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 vnlacing. 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 zonan, saith the Poet, conceiuing out of a thing precedent, a thing subsequent. This may suffice for the knowledge of this figure [quicke conceit.]


Of Figures sententious, otherwise called Rhetoricall.

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. Therefore 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 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.

And your figures rhethoricall, besides their remembered ordinarie vertues, that is, sententiousnes, & 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 vanquished with large loade of speech, than the limmes are with heauie burden. Sweetenes of speech, sentence and amplification, are therefore necessarie to an excellent Orator and Poet, ne may in no wise be spared from any of them.

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.

  [Sidenote: Anaphora, or the Figure of Report.]
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 thus.
  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

And this written by Sir Walter Raleigh of his greatest mistresse iin
most excellent verses.
  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.

Or as the buffon in our enterlude called Lustie London said very
knauishly and like himselfe.
  Many a faire lasse in London towne,
  Many a bawdie basket borne up and downe:
  Many a broker in a thridbare gowne.
  Many a bankrowte scarce worth a crowne.
      In London

  [Sidenote: Antistrophe, or the Counter turne.]
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
two litle ditties which our selues in our yonger yeares played vpon the
Antistrophe, for so is the figures name in Greeke: one vpon the mutable
loue of a Lady, another vpon the meritorious loue of Christ our Sauiour,
  Her lowly lookes, that gaue life to my loue,
  With spitefull speach, curstnesse 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 faith 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.

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 with the costly price, of his most precious bloud,
  He that redeemed man: and by his instance wan
  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.

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.

  [Sidenote: Symploche, or the figure of replie.]
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 repetion, 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.
  _Who made me shent for her loues sake?
      Myne owne mistresse.
  Who would not seeme my part to take,
      Myne owne mistresse.

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

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.

  [Sidenote: Anadiplosis, or the Redouble.]
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:
  Comforte it is for man to haue a wife,
  Wife chast, and wise, and lowly all her life.

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

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

  [Sidenote: Epanalepsis, or the Eccho sound,
             otherwise, the slow return.]
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:
  Much must he be beloued, that loueth much,
  Feare many must he needs, whom many feare.

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

  [Sidenote: Epizeuxis, or the Vnderlay, or Coocko-spel.]
Ye haue another sort of repetition when in one verse or clause of a verse,
ye iterate one word without any intermission, as thus:
  It was Maryne, Maryne that wrought mine woe.

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.

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.

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, 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 the former verses, Maryne, Maryne, without any intermission at all.

[Sidenote: Ploche, or the Doubler.] 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 intermission by inserting one or two words betweene, as in a most excellent dittie written by Sir Walter Raleigh these two closing verses: Yet when I sawe my selfe to you was true, I loued my selfe, bycause my selfe loued you.

And this spoken in common Prouerbe.
  An ape wilbe an ape, by kinde as they say,
  Though that ye clad him all in purple array.

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 wilbe a woodcocke do what ye can.

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.

And an other that did the like in the beginning of his verse, thus: To loue him and loue him, as sinners should doo.

These repetitions 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.

[Sidenote: Prosonomasia, or the Nicknamer.] Ye haue a figure by which ye play with a couple of words or names much resembling, and because the one seemes to answere 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 origninall sense of the 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 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 Cepronimus, 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 Sidney in a dittie plaide very pretily with these two words, Loue and liue, thus. And all my life I will confesse, The lesse I loue, I liue the lesse.

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. [Sidenote: Woer.] 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.

Quoth the nurse. [Sidenote: Nurse.] They be lubbers not louers that so use to say.

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.

Here the words proue and reproue, excuse and accuse, do pleasantly 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.

  [Sidenote Traductio, or the tranlacer.]
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,
  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.

Or as one who much gloried in his owne wit, whom Persius taxed in a verse very pithily and pleasantly, thus. Scire tuum nihil est nisi te scire, hoc sciat alter.

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 weenest thy wit nought worth if other weet it not
  As wel as thou thy selfe, but a thing well I wot,
  Who so in earnest weenes, he doth in mine aduise,
  Shew himselfe witlesse, or more wittie than wise.

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.

  [Sidenote: Antipophora, or Figure of responce.]
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.
  Wylie worldling come tell me I thee pray,
  Wherein hopest thou, that makes thee so to swell?
  Riches? alack it taries not a day,
  But where fortune the fickle list to dwell:
  In thy children? how hardlie shalt thou finde,
  Them all at once, good and thriftie and kinde:
  Thy wife? o' faire but fraile mettall to trust,
  Seruants? what theeues? what threachours 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? o' now thou speakest wel,
  But thy lewd life hath lost his loue and grace,
  Daunting all hope to put dispaire in place.

We read that Crates the Philosopher Cinicke in respect of the manifold
discommodities of mans life, held opinion that it was best for man neuer
to haue bene borne or soone after to dye, [Optimum non nasci vel citò
] of whom certaine verses are left written in Greeke which I haue
Englished, thus.
  What life is the liefest? the needy is full of woe and awe,
  The wealthie full of brawle and brabbles of the law:
  To be a married 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.

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-borned liues safe, the forriene at his ease:
  Housholder hath his home, the roge romes with delight,
  And makes moe merry meales, then dothe the Lordly wight:
  Wed and thost 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 unborne, is best in myne aduise.

Edward 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 whome sweete boy wert thou begot?
  By good conceit men say,
  Tell me who was they nurse?
  Fresh youth in sugred ioy.
  What was thy meate and dayly foode?
  Sad sighes with great annoy.
  What hast thou then to drinke?
  Vnfayned louers teares.
  What cradle wert thou rocked in?
  In hope deuoyde of feares.

[Sidenote: Synteiosis, or the Crosse copling.] 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. The niggards fault and the unthrifts is all one, For neither of them both knoweth how to vse his owne.

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

In this figure of the Crosse-couple we wrate for a forlorne louer
complaining of his mistresse crueltie these verses among other.
  Thus for your sake I daily dye,
  And do but seeme to liue in deede:
  Thus is my blisse but miserie,
  My lucre losse without your meede.

[Sidenote: Atanaclasis, or the Rebounde.] 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. The maide that soone married is, soone marred is.

Or thus better because married & marred be different in one letter.
  To pray for you euer I cannot refuse,
  To pray vpon you I should you much abuse.

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
  _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.

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

[Sidenote: Clymax, or the Marching figure.] 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 proceeds 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 forture came to great estate and dignitie. His vertue made him wise, his wisedome broght him wealth, His wealth won 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 state so hye.

Or as Ihean de Mehune the French Poet.
  Peace makes plentie, plentie makes pride,
  Pride breeds quarrell, and quarrell brings warre:
  Warre brings spoile, and spoile pouertie,
  Pouertie pacience, and pacience peace.
  So peace brings warre, and warre brings peace.

  [Sidenote: Antimetauole, or the Counterchange]
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.
  We dwell not here to build us boures,
  And halles for pleasure and good cheare:
  But halles we build for us and ours,
  To dwell in then whilst we are here.

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 we make warre to maintaine us in peace.

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.

Or as the Philosopher Musonius wrote.
  With pleasure if we worke vnhonestly and ill,
  The pleasure passeth, the bad it bideth still.
  Well if we worke with trauaile and with paines,
  The paine passeth and still the good remaines.

A wittie fellow in Rome wrate vnder the Image of Caesar the Dictator these two verses in Latine, which because they are spoke 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 past, Caesar for casting Consuls out, is of our kings the last.

Cato of any Senatour not onely the grauest but also the promptest and wittiest in any ciuill scoffe, misliking greatly the engrossing of offices in Rome that one should haue many at once, and a great number goe without that were as able men, said thus by Counterchaunge. It seemes your offices are very litle worth, Or very few of you worthy of offices.

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

[Sidenote: Insultatio, or the Disdainefull.] Yee haue another figure much like to the Sarcasimus, 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 chose to name him the Reproachfull or scorner, as when Queene Dido saw, that for all her great loue and entertainements bestowed vpon Æneas, he would needs depart and follow the Oracle of his destinies, she brake out in a great rage and said disdainefully. 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.

Or as the poet Iuuenall reproached the couetous Merchant, who for lucres
sake passed on no perill either by land or sea, thus:
  Goe now and giue thy life unto the winde,
  Trusting unto a piece of bruckle wood,
  Foure inches from thy death or seauen good
  The thickest planke for shipboord that we finde.

[Sidenote: Antitheton, or the renconter] Ye haue another figure very pleasnt 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 scholler in Oxford they called euery such one Iohannes ad oppositum. 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 as my welfare: Who onely bred your blisse, and neuer causd your care.

Or as it is in these two 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 bowre.

Maister Diar in this quarelling figure. Nor loue hath now the force, on me which it ones had, Your frownes can neither make me mourne, nor fauors make me glad.

Socrates 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 commendable.

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 with her goodman, and all by contraries.
  For when 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 peace,
  Bid spare and she will spend, bid spend she spares as fast,
  What first ye would haue done, be sure it shalbe last.
  Say go, she comes, say come, she goes, and leaues him all alone,
  Her husband (as I thinke) calles her ouerthwart Ione.

[Sidenote: Erotema, or the Questioner.] 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 when Medea excusing her great crueltie vsed in the murder of her owne children which she had by Iason, said: Was I able to make them I praie you tell, And am I not able to marre them all aswell?

Or as another wrote very commendably. _Why strive I with the streame, or hoppe against the hill, On search that neuer can be found, and loose my labour still?

Cato vnderstanding 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 employd in any such businesse, said by way of skoffe in this figure. Must not (trowe ye) this message be well sped, That hath neither heart, nor heeles, nor hed?

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:

To whome she in this figure repeting his words:
  No fortune base or frayle can alter thee.
  And can so blind a witch so conquere mee?

[Sidenote: Ecphonisis, or the Outcry.] 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. O soppe of sorrow soonken into care, O caytife Cresseid, for now and evermare.

Or as Gascoine wrote very passionatly and well to purpose:
  Ay me the dayes that I in dole consume,
  Alas the nights which witnesse well mine woe:
  O wrongfull world which makest my fancie faine
  Fie fickle fortune, fie, fie thou art my foe:
  Out and alas so froward is my chance,
  No nights nor daies, nor worldes can me auance.

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 shake the knot
  But straite it to my paine.
  "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.

And so forth, &c.

[Sidenote: Brachiologa, or the Cutted comma] 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. Enuy, malice, flattery, disdaine, Auarice, deceit, falsned, filthy gaine.

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 hast.

  [Sidenote: Parison, or the Figure of euen]
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.
  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 heavy lode,
  Conscience a curst iudge, remorse a priuie goade.
  Disease, age and death still in our eare 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.

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

[Sidenote: Sinonimia, or the Figure of store] 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. It he aliue, Is he as I left him queauing and quick, And hath he not yet geuen up the ghost, Among the rest of those that I haue lost?

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?

Ye see that all these words, face, lookes, fauour, features, visage, countenance, are all 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, what ere the body bide.

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

[Sidenote: Metanoia, or the Penitent.] 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 put 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 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 seaze them all alone: Not pride madame, but praise of the lion, To conquer all and be conquerd by none.

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 weene it be.

Which may imploy rigour and cruelty, than correcteth it thus.
  Not flinte I trowe I am a lier,
  But Siderite that feeles no fire.

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

[Sidenote: Antenagoge, or the Recompencer] 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. I must needs say, that my wife is a shrewe, but such a huswife as I know but a fewe.

Another in his first preposition giuing a very faint commendation to the Courtiers life, weaning to make him amends, made it worse by a second proposition, thus: The Courtiers life full delicate it is, but where no wise man will euer set his blis.

And an other speaking to the incoragement of youth in studie and to be
come excellent in letters and armies, said thus:
  Many are the paines and perils to be past,
  But great is the gaine and glory at the last.

[Sidenote: Epithonema, or the Surclose.] 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 wich a ioyfull approbation, which the Latines call Acclamatio, we therefore call this figure the surcloze or consenting close, as Virgill when he had largely spoken of Prince Eneas his successe and fortunes concluded with this close. Tant molis erat Romanum condere gentens.

In English thus:
  So huge a peece of worke it was and so hie,
  To reare the house of Romane progenie.

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.

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.

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

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.

In English thus: Lo what an outrage, could cause to be done, The peevish scruple of blinde religion.

[Sidenote: Auxesis, or the Auancer] 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: He lost besides his children and his wife, His realme, ronowne, liege, libertie and life.

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 every word that is spoken is one of more weight
then another. And as we lamented the crueltie of an inexorable and
unfaithfull mistresse.
  If by the lawes of love it be a falt,
  The faithfull friend, in absence to forget:
  But if it be (once do thy heart but halt,)
  A secret sinne: what forfet is so great:
  As by despute in view of every eye,
  The solemne vowes oft sworne with teares so salt,
  As holy Leagues fast seald with hand and hart:
  For to repeale and breake so wilfully?
  But now (alas) without all iust desart,
  My lot is for my troth and much goodwill,
  To reape disdaine, hatred and rude refuse,
  Or if ye would worke me some greater ill:
  And of myne earned ioyes to feele no part,
  What els is this (o cruell) but to vse,
  Thy murdring knife to guiltlesse bloud to spill.

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 cruel &
bloudy deede. And thus againe in a certaine lovers complaint made to the
like effect.
  They say it is a ruth to see thy lover neede,
  But you can see me weepe, 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 up with gall:
  Yea you can see 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,
  The for to flea me quicke, or strip me being dead.

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.

[Sidenote: Meiosis, or the Disabler.] After the Auancer followeth the abbaser working by wordes and sentences of extenuation or diminution. Whereupon we call him the Disabler or 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 thus. 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.

It may be also be 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 shew as is said,
  Yea his owne shade; hath often made afraide.

The subtilitie of the scoffe lieth in these Latin wordes [eminus & cominus pugnare.] 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 litle 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 than 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 enter Italie, and for sharpnesse of the weather, and steepnesse of the mountaines their hearts began to faile them.

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.

And we vse the like termes by way of pleasant familiaritie, and as it were for 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 for Robert: or any other like affected termes spoken of pleasure, as in our triumphals calling familiarly vpon our Muse, I called her Moppe. But will you weet, My litle muse, nay prettie moppe: If we shall algates change our stoppe, Chose me a sweet.

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.

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 appertaining to this figure, the (Disabler) more ordinary in other languages than our vulgar.

  [Sidenote: Epanodis, or the figure of Retire]
This figure of retire holds part with the propounder of which we spake
before(prolepsis) because of the resumption of a former proposition
vuttered 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 Greeke name the [Resounde] or the
[retire] for this word [Greek: illegible] 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 wound my heart to death:
  And when death comes at call of inward grief,
  Cold lingring hope doth feede my fainting breath:
  Against my will, and yeelds my wound relief,
  So that I liue, but yet my life is such:
  As neuer death could greeue me halfe so much.

  [Sidenote: Dialisis, or the Dismembrer.]
Then haue ye a maner 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
  It can not be but nigarsdship or neede,
  Made him attempt this foule and wicked deede:
  Nigardship not, for alwayes he was free,
  Nor neede, for who doth not his richesse see?

Or as one than entreated for a faire young maide who was taken by the
watch in London and carried to Bridewell to be punished.
  Now 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 what bootes her punishment.

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 well 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 winne with wordes, where deedes can not preuaile.

  [Sidenote: Merismus, or the Distributer.]
Then 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 coueniently vtter a matter in one entier speach or proportion and
will rather do it peecemeale and by distrbution of euery part for
amplification sake, as for example 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
circumstances, 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 Wyat
translated with very good grace, thus.
  Set me whereas the sunne doth parch the greene,
  Or where his beames do not dissolue the yce:
  In temperate heate where he is felt and seene,
  In presence prest of people mad or wise:
  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 foaming 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.

All which might haue been said in these two verses.
  Set me wherefoeuer ye will
  I am and wilbe yours still.

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 with maiestie:
  Your stately port, which doth not match but staine,
  For your presence, your pallace and your traine,
  All Princes Courts, mine eye could euer see:
  Not of your quicke wits, your sober gouernaunce:
  Your cleare forsight, your faithfull memorie,
  So sweete features, in so staid countenaunce:
  Nor languages, with plentuous utterance,
  So able to discourse, and entertaine:
  Not noble race, farre beyond Caesars 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, with 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.

And then concludes thus.
  Not any one of all these honord parts
  Your Princely happes, and habites that do moue,
  And, as it were, ensorcell 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 farce in flesh and bloud,
  Was force inough to make so many striue
  For your person, which in our world stoode
  By all consents the minionst mayde to wiue.

Where ye see that all the parts of her commendation which were particularly remembred in twenty verses before, are wrapt vp in the two verses of this last part, videl. Not any one of all your honord parts, Those Princely haps and habites, &c.

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

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.

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.

  [Sidenote: Epimone, or the Loue burden.]
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 intercalaris,
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,
  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,
  I cherish his because in me it bides.
    My true loue hath my heart, and I haue his.

  [Sidenote: Paradoxon, or the Wondrer.]
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.
  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, were a thing much unfit.

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 quantitie of salt
marshes, lying neere vnto Capua shore.
  Now is it not, a wonder to behold,
  Yonder gallant skarce twenty winter old,
  By might (marke ye) able to do 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.

  [Sidenote: Aporia, or the Doubtfull.]
Not much vnlike the wondrer haue ye another figure called the
doubtfull, because oftentimes we will seeme to cast perils, and make
doubt or 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.
  Whether the cruell mother were more to blame,
  Or the shrewd childe come of so curst a dame:
  Or whether some smatch of the fathers blood,
  Whose kinne were neuer kinde, nor neuer good.
  Mooued her thereto &c.

[Sidenote: Epitropis, or the Figure of Reference.] 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: Me thinkes that I haue said, what may well suffise, Referring all the rest, to your better aduise.

[Sidenote: Parisia, or the Licentious.] The fine and subtill perswader when his intent is to sting his 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 said: If my speech hap t'offend you any way, Thinke it their fault, that force me so to say.

[Sidenote: Anachinosis, or the Impartener.] 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 noblewomen of a matter somewhat in honour touching the Sex: Tell me faire Ladies, if the case were your owne, So foule a fault would you haue it be knowen?

Maister Gorge in 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.

  [Sidenote: Paramologia, or the figure of Admittance.]
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'other side, 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.
  I know your witte, I know your pleasant tongue,
  Your some sweet 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.

[Sidenote: Etiologia, or the Reason rent, or the Tellcause.] 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 [Greek: illegible] called it Spitewed or wedspite. Master Secretary Wilson gueing 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 [Tellcause.] And this manner of speech is always 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 [Telcause] 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 similitudes. When fortune shall haue spat 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.

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

And in these verses.
  Accused though I be without desart,
  Sith none can proue beleeue it not for true:
  For neuer yet since first ye had my hart,
  Entended I to false or be untrue.

And in this Disticque.
  And for her beauties praise, no right that with her warres:
  For where she comes she shewes her selfe like sun among the stars.

And in this other dittie of ours where the louer complaines of his Ladies
crueltie, rendring for euery 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 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.

  [Sidenote: Dichologia, or the Figure of excuse.]
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 vnkindne speeches which he had
past of her, thus.
  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.

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.

[Sidenote: Noema, or the Figure of close conceit.] Speaking before of the figure [Synechdoche] wee called him [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 Gifford, who had married the Marques sister, and all her life time cound 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, o 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 aliue.

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.

[Sidenote: Orismus, or the Definer of difference.] 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 things, egernesse is an appetite in base and small matters.

[Sidenote: Procatalepsis, or the presumptuous, otherwise the figure of Presupposall.] 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 ground.

[Sidenote: Paralepsis, or the Passager.] 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 ouer 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 common saying is, will say nay and take it. 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.

[Sidenote: Commoratio, or the figure of abode.] It is said by maner of a prouerbiall 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 upon 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.

[Sidenote: Metastasis, or the Flitting figure, or the Remoue.] 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 before was called the figure of aboade.

[Sidenote: _Parecuasis, or the Stragler.] Euen so againe, as it is wisdome for a perswader to tarrie and make his aboad as long as he may conueniently without tediousness 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 allusion 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.

[Sidenote: Expeditio, or the speedie dispatcher.] 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 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 down 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. 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 wrong, Which he hath offred this poore plaintife so long.

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 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 affection, 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 Partheniade. 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.

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.

&c. Concluding. There shall no lesse an ods be seene In mine from euery other Queene.

[Sidenote: Dialogismus, or the right reasoner.] We are sometimes occasioned in our tale to report some speech from another mans mouth, as what a king said to his priuy counsel or subiect, a captaine to his souldier, a souldiar to his captaine, a man to a woman, and contrariwise: in which report we must always 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: and so, in euery sort and degree. Virgil speaking in the person of Eneas, Turnus 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.

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 warretime hazard of our person hardly obteined, our young sonne without any peril at all, for little 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.

[Sidenote: Gnome, or the Director.] 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, thus.

  [Sidenote: Sententia, or the Sage sayer.]
  _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 full milde and patient to bee.

  Nothing stickes faster by us as appeares,
  Then that which we learne in our tender yeares._

And that which our foueraigne Lady wrate in defiance of fortune.
  Neuer thinke you fortune can beare the sway,
  Where vertues force, can cause her to obay.

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

[Sidenote: Sinathrismus, or the Heaping figure.] 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 Latines called it Congeries and we the heaping figure, as he that said To muse in minde how faire, how wise, how good, How braue, how free, how curteous and how true, My Lady is doth but inflame my blood.

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

And thus by maister Edward 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.

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 [Mourua] 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 recapitualtion. 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 wit, 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 unsteady wheele.

[Sidenote: Apostrophe, or the turne tale.] Many times when we haue runne a long race in our tale spoken to the hearers, we do sodainly flye out & either speake or exclaime 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 finde, That rigour and ingratitude soone kill a gentle minde.

And as we in our triumphals, speaking long to the Queenes Maiestie, vpon
the sodaine we burst out in an exclamtion to Phebus, seeming to draw in
a new matter, thus.
  _But O Phebus,
  All glistering in thy gorgious gowne,
  Wouldst thou wit safe to slide a downe:
  And dwell with us,

  But for a day,
  I could tell thee close in thine eare,
  A tale that thou hadst leuer heare
  —I dare well say:

  Then ere thou wert,
  To kisse that unkind runneaway,
  Who was transformed to boughs of bay:
  For her curst hert. &c ._

And so returned againe to the first matter.

[Sidenote: Hypotiposis, or the counterfait representation.] 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 not 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.

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

[Sidenote: Prosopopeia, or the Counterfait in personation.] But if ye wil faine any person with such features, qualities & conditions, or if ye wil attribute any humane quality, as reason or speech to dombe creatures or other insensible things, & do study (as one may say) to giue them a humane person, it is not Prosopographia, but Prosopopeia, because it is by way of fiction, & 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 moralities is taught.

[Sidenote: Cronographia, or the Counterfait time.] 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.

[Sidenote: Topographia, or the Counterfait place.] 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 Grysyll.

[Sidenote: Pragmatographia, or the Counterfait action.] 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 heth in feat and actiutie: we call it then the counterfeit action [Pragmatographia.]

In this figure the Lord Nicholas Vaux a noble gentleman, and much
delighted in vulgar making, & a man otherwise of no great learning 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,
  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 had his souldiers keepe aray.
    The armes the which that Cupid bare,
  We pearced harts with teares besprent:
  In siluer and sable to declare
  The stedfast loue he alwaies meant.
    There might you see his band all drest
  In colours like to white and blacke,
  With pouder and with pellets prest,
  To bring them forth to spoile and sacke,
  Good will the master 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.

[Sidenote: Omiosis, or Resemblance.] 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 of conceits, I will set them 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 general resemblance, or bare similitude, which may be thus spoken. But as the watrie showres delay the raging wind, So doeth good hope cleane put away dispaire out of my mind.

And in this other likening the forlorne louer to a striken deer.
  Then as the striken deere, withdrawes himselfe alone,
  So do I seeke some secret place, where I may make my mone.

And in this of ours where we liken glory to a shadow.
  As the shadow (his nature beying such,)
  Followeth the body, whether it will or no,
  So doeth glory, refuse it nere so much,
  Wait on vertue, be it in weale or wo.
  And euen as the shadow in his kind,
  What time it beares the carkas company,
  Goth oft before, and often comes behind:
  So doth renowne, that raiseth us so hye,
  Come to vs quicke, sometime not till we dye.
  But the glory, that growth not ouer fast,
  Is euer great, and likeliest long to last.

Againe in a ditty to a mistresse of ours, where we likened the cure of
Loue to Achilles launce.
  The launce so bright, that made Telephus wound,
  The same rusty, salued the sore againe,
  So may my meede (Madame) of you redownd,
  Whose rigour was first suthour of my paine.

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 Wiat after his fashion and by myselfe 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 winke,
  Or neuer come abroad till it be darke:
  Others there be so simple, as they thinke,
  Because it shines, so sport them in the fire,
  And feele vnware, the wrong of the desire,
  Fluttring amidst the flame that doth them burne,
  Of this last ranke (alas) am I aright,
  For in my ladies lookes to stand or turne
  I haue no power, ne find place to retire,
  Where any darke may shade me from her sight
  But to her beames so bright whilst I aspire,
  I perish by the bane of my delight.

Againe in these likening a wise man to the true louer.
  As true loue is constant with his enioy,
  And asketh no witnesse nor no record,
  And as faint loue is euermore most coy,
  To boast and brag his troth at euery word:
  Euen so the wise without enother meede:
  Contents him with the guilt of his good deede.

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.

And in these likening the wise man to an idiot.
  A sage man said, many of those that come
  To Athens schoole for wisdome, ere they went
  They first seem'd wise, then louers of wisdome,
  Then Orators, then idiots, which is meant
  That in wisedome all such as profite most,
  Are least surlie, and little apt to boast.

Againe, for a louer, whose credit vpon some report had bene shaken, he
prayeth better opinion by similitude.
  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.

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.

And in these, likening the wise man to the Giant, the foole to
the Dwarfe.
  Set the Giant deepe in a dale, the dwarfe vpon an hill,
  Yet will the one be but a dwarfe, th'other a giant still.
  So will the wise be great and high, euen in the lowest place:
  The foole when he is most aloft, will seeme but low and base.

[Sidenote: Icon, or Resemblance by imagerie.] 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 representation of the thing he describes and painteth in his table. So we commending her Maiestie for the 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 courageous then the Lion, more bewtifull then the Angell. These are our verses in the end of the seuenth Partheniade. Nature that seldome workes amisse, In womans brest by passing art: Hath lodged safe the Lyons hart, And stately fixt with all good grace, To Serpents head an Angels face.

And this maner of resemblance is not onely performed by likening liuely creatures one to another, but also of any other naturall thing bearing a proportion of similitude, as to liken yellow 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 was her forehead hye, Her browes two bowes of hebenie, Her tresses trust were to behold Frizled and fine as fringe of gold.

And of her lips.
  Two lips wrought out of rubie rocke,
  Like leaues to shut and to vnlock.
  As portall dore in Princes chamber:
  A golden tongue in mouth of amber.

And of her eyes.
  Her eyes God wot what stuffe they are,
  I durst be sworne each is a starre:
  As cleere and bright as woont to guide
  The Pylot in his winter tide.

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

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

[Sidenote: Parabola or Resemblance misticall.] But whensoeuer 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 dricklie 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 Aesope, and other apologies inuented for doctrine sake by wise and graue men.

[Sidenote: Paradigma, or a resemblance by example.] 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 expidition to Asia did thus, so did Hanniball comming into Spaine, so did Caesar in Egypt, therfore all great Captains & Generals ought to doe it.

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 Scotland against Robert le brus no lawfull King. So did king Edward the third aide Dampeeter king of Spaine against Henry bastard and vsurper. So haue many English Princes holpen with their forces the poore Dukes of Britaine their ancient friends 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.

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 not 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 mislliked, 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._

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.

[Sidenote: Exargasia or The Gorgious.] For the glorious lustre it setteth vpon our speech and language, the Greeks call it [Exargasia] the Latine [Expolisio] a terme transferred from these polishers of marble or porphirite, who after it is rough hewen & reduced to that fashion 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 intent so as I doubt whether I may terme it a figure, or rather a masse of many figurative speaches, applied to the bewtifying of our tale or argument. In a worke of ours intituled Philocalia we have 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 maintaining 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 being 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 ignorant 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 said 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. The doubt of future foes, exiles my present ioy, And wit me warnes to shun such snares as threaten mine annoy. For falshood now doth flow, and subiect faith doth ebbe, Which would not be, if reason rul'd or widsome wev'd the webbe. But clowdes of tois vntried, do cloake aspiring mindes, Which turne to raigne of late repent, by course of changed windes. The toppe of hope supposed, the roote of ruth wil be, And frutelesse all their grassed guiles, as shortly ye shall see. The dazeld eyes with pride, which great ambition blinds, Shalbe vnseeld by worthy wights, whose foresight falshood finds. The daughter of debate, that eke discord doth sowe Shal reap no gaine where formor rule hath taught stil peace to growe. No forreine bannisht wight shall ancre in this port, Our realme it brookes no strangers force, let them elsewhere resort. Our rusty sworde with rest shall first his edge employ, To polle their toppes that seeke, such change and gape for ioy.

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


Of the vices or deformities in speach and writing principally noted by auncient Poets.

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 always 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 sometimes, or passe without any greate 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 writing are alwayes intollerable, some others now and then borne withall by licence of approued authors and custome.

[Sidenote: Barbarismus, or Forrein speech.] The foulest vice in language is to speake barbarously: this terme grew by the great pride of the Greekes and Latines, when 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, asterday, 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 Appennines, 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 somethat deeper, and many of them haue said that is 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 or 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 Leon a Moore of Granada, will seeme to deriue Barbaria, from this word Bar, twice 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 occasion they say, when the Arabians which were had in chase came to stay and settle themselues 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.

[Sidenote: Solecismus, or Incongruitie.] Your next intollerable vice is solecismus or incongruitie, as when we speake halfe 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.

[Sidenote: Cacozelia, or Fonde affectation.] 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 thenselues among the ignorant the better learned.

[Sidenote: Soraismus, or The mingle mangle.] Another of your intollerable vices is that which the Greekes call Soraismus, & we may call the [mingle mangle] as when 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. O mightie Lord of loue, dame Venus onely ioy, Whose Princely power exceedes ech other heauenly roy.

The verse is good but the terme peeuishly affected.

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 inurious dealing, our sayd maker not being ashamed to vfe these French wordes freddon, egar, superbous, filanding, celest, calabrois, thebanois and 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 trauaile.

Whereas the French word is enfante as much to say borne as a child, in another verse he saith. I will freddon in thine honour.

For I will shake or quiuer my fingers, for so in French is freddon,
and in another verse.
  But if I will thus like pindar,
  In many discourses egar.

This word egar is as much to say as to wander or stray out of the way, which in our English is not receiued, nor these wordes calabrois, thebanois, but rather calabrian, theba [filanding sisters] for the spinning sisters: this man deserues to be endited of pety larceny for pilfring other mens deuices from them & conuerting them to his owne vfe for in deede as I would with euery inuentour which is the very Poet to receaue the prayses of his inuention, so would I not haue a translatour be ashamed to be acknowen of this translation.

[Sidenote: Cacosintheton, or the Misplacer.] Another of your intollerable vices is ill disposiiton or placing of your words in a clause or sentence: as when you will place your adiectiue after your substantiue, thus: Mayde faire, widow riche, priest holy, 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.

All these remembred faults be intollerable and euer vndecent.

[Sidenote: Cacemphaton, or figure of foule speech.] 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 with you, which indeed 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, Iape with me but hurt me not, Bourde with me but shame me not.

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 rune too many like sounding words together.

[Sidenote: Tautologia, or the figure of selfe saying.] Ye haue another manner of composing your metre nothing commendable, specially if it be too much vsed, and is when our maker takes too much delight to fill his verse with wordes beginning all with a letter, as an English rimer that said: The deadly droppes of darke disdaine, Do daily drench my due desartes.

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 clarifone Caluis cantate camena.

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 Epithete. The smoakie sighes: the trickling teares.

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.

[Sidenote: Histeron, proteron, or the Preposterous.] 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: And if I not performe, God let me neuer thriue.

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.

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.

[Sidenote: Acyron, or the Vncouthe.] Ye haue another vicious speech which the Greeks call Acyron, 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 Epithete. A dongeon deep, a dampe as darke as hell.

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 terme. Her haire surmounts Apollos pride, In it such bewty raignes.

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 where loue and Maiestie do raigne, Both milde and sterne, &c.

Because this word Maiestie is a word expressing a certaine 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 unproper or harde Epithets vsed, ye may put them in the number of [uncouths] as one that said, the flouds of graces: I haue heard of the flouds of teares, and the flouds of eloquence, 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 utterance, 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 Tanner 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 certaine rude repentance. I hope I shall be hanged tomorrow.

For [I fear me] I shall be hanged, whereat the king laughed a good, not only to see the Tanners vaine feare, but also to heare his ill shapen terme, and gaue him for recompence 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.

[Sidenote: The vice of Surplusage.] Also the Poet or makers speech becomes vicious and vnpleasant by nothing more than by vsing too much surplusage: and this both 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.

[Sidenote: Pleonasmus, or Too ful speech.] The first surplusage the Greekes call Pleonasmus, I call him [too much speech] and is no great fault, as if one should say, I heard it with 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, For euer may my true loue liue and neuer die And that mine eyes may see her crownde a Queene.

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

[Sidenote: Macrologia, or Long language.] 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.

So said another of our rimers, meaning to shew the great annoy and
difficultie of those warres of Troy, caused for Helenas sake.
  Nor Menelaus was vnwise,
  Or troupe of Troians mad,
  When he with them and they with him,
  For her such combat had.

The clauses (he with them and they with him) are surpluage, and one of them very impertinent, because it could not otherwise be intended, but that Menelaus, fighting with the Troians, the Troians must of necessitie fight with him.

[Sidenote: Periergia, or Ouerlabor, otherwise called the curious.] 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 as great as ye may suppose. The tenth of March when Aries receiued Dan Phoebus raies into his horned head, And I my selfe by learned lore perceiued That Ver approcht and frosty winter fled I crost the Thames to take the cheerefull aire, In open fields, the weather was so faire.

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 man 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 when 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.

[Sidenote: Tapinosis, or the Abbaser.] 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 the towne of S. Quinaines, 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 than spoile it, for he caused it to be defaced and razed flat to the earth, and made in 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 untruly 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.

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 thanks and her hand to kisse. These and such other base wordes do greatly disgrace the thing & the speaker or writer: the Greekes call it [Tapinosis] we the [abbaser.]

[Sidenote: Bomphiologia, or Pompious speech.] 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.

[Sidenote: Amphibologia, or the Ambiguous.] 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 Tayler 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 ignoratnly, but for the nonce. I sat by my Lady soundly sleeping, My mistresse lay by me bitterly weeping.

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

Lucretius 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 Aesculapius, 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 have 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 construed 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 & commeniable and of that which the Latines call Decorum.

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 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 confitted, 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 instrumentall, 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 apprehensiue, 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 objectes 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 discords of musicke do to a well tuned eare. The Greekes call this good grace of euery thing in his kinde, [Greek: illegible], 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 towards vs, and to that purpose may be called [pleasant approche] so as euery way seeking to expresse this [Greek: illegible] 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.

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 as well 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 [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 iudgement 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 business, since there be sundry sortes of discretion all unlike, 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 speech 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 speak, 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 by these few shal ye be able to gather a number more to confirme and establish your iudgement by a perfit discretion.

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 observations. 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, every 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 every 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 whosoever 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.

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 misbecommeth vs, which th'Emperor Anthonine marked well in the Orator Philisetes, 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.

Phanorinus 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, Phanorinus being knowen for an Eunuke or gelded man, came by the same nippe to be noted as an effeminate and degenerate person.

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 or the Samiens, who had tolde him a long message from their Citie, and desired to know his pleasure in it. My masters (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 counsellors who haue little spare leisure to hearken, would haue speeches vsed to them such as be short and sweete.

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.

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, Ceasar 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 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 apparel 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 commission.

And there is decency in that euery man 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 man, 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.

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 Importunitie.

Sometime the vndeceny 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 giuen me a paire of, &c. 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 virtue 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.

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 commaundment, gaue out a rappe nothing faintly, that the king turned him about and said how now sirra? Flamock not well knowing how to excuse his vnmannerly 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 becoming the occasion.

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 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 flowre, That hath my hart.

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 auaunt 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, liked he nothing well to heare speeches of ribaudrie: as they report of th'emperour Octauian: Licet fuerit ipse incontinentissimus, fuit tamen incontinense feuerissimus 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 proposition: 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 encountered 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 becommeth 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 Alexander 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 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, whom 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 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 ingrate? 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 commanded away & no more hard by the Emperor, til by some other means afterward the grief was either pacified or forgotten, & all this inconuenience 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 aduaunced his purpose, as to haue said for this word [ye are ingrate,] ye haue not vsed such gratitude towards him as he hath deserued: so ye may see how a word spoken vndecently, not knowing the phrase or proprietie of a language, maketh a whole matter many times miscarrie. In which respect it is to be wished, that none Ambassadour speake his principall commandements 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 reasonably 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.

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, whereafter 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 his 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 chenauche 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 Chenaucher in the French tongue hath a reprobate sence, specially being spoken of a womans riding.

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 offensive 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.

The like vndencie 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 bitterness 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 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 they 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 counterfait speeches.

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

Another Englishing this word of Virgill [fato profugus] called Æneus [by fate 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 virtue 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 never to find any resting place till he came into Italy, so as ye may euidently 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 words: Insignem pietate virum tot voluere casus tot adire labores compulit. Hee turned it thus, what moued Iuno to tugge so great a captaine as Æneus, 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.

Another of our vulgar makers, spake as illfaringly in this verse written to the dispraise of a rich man and couetous. Thou hast a 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 treate of those that concerne the comelinesse and decencie of mans behauiour.

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 vfed 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.

The like hapned on a time at the Duke of Northumberlandes bourd, where merry John Heywood was allowed to sit at the tables end. The Duke had a very noble and honorable mynde always 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 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.

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 institution 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 shewed.


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

And there is a decency to be obserued in euery mans action & behauiour aswell as in his speach & writing which some peraduenture would thinke impertinent to be treated of in this booke, where we do but informe the commendable fashions of language & stile: but that is otherwise, for the good maker or poet who is in decent speach & good termes to describe all things and with prayse or dispraise to report euery mans behauiour, ought to know the comlinesse of an action aswell as of a word & thereby to direct himselfe both in praise & perswation or any other point that perteines to the Oratours arte. Wherefore some examples we will set downe of this maner of decency in behauiour leauing you for the rest to our booke which we haue written de Decoro, where ye shall see both partes 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 consideration. 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 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.

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 immoderatenesse 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 appetites 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 self, 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 vndecently. For men should not expect till the Prince remembred it of himselfe and began as it were the gratification, but ought to be put in remembraunce by humble folicitations, 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 Amazas 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 pruie 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 bashfullnesse, 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, he 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.

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.

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 from the king to him a letters patents of six thousand crownes 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 tard, 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.

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 guilt, 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.

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, o 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 affection, 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.

And in the choise of a man's 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 indecent.

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 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, o 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.

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.

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.

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 attend his affaires, which out of that time would be vndecent: as to sleepe al day and 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 time.

Callicrasides being sent Ambassador by the Lacedemonians, to _Cirus the young king of Persia to contract 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 ar 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 business vndone, then doe any thing that shall not become the Lacedemonians: meaning to offer conference of so great importance to his Countrey, with a man so distempered by surfet as hee was not likely to geue him any reasonable resolution in the cause.

One Eudamidas brother to the king Agis of Lacedemonia, coming 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 searches after virtue, and if he haue not yet found it quoth Eudamidas when will he vse it, that now at his 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 virtue is, which all his youth he should haue had in exercise.

Another time coming to heare a notable Philosopher dispute, it happened, that all was ended euen as he came, and one of his familiars would haue had him requested the Philosopher to beginner 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?

And the place makes a thing decent or indecent, in which consideration one Eubondae being sent Embassadour into a forraine realme, some of his familiars tooke occasion at the table to praise the wines and women of that country in prefence of their owne husbands, which th'embassadour mislikes, and when supper was ended and the guestes departed, tooke his familiars aside, and told them that is was nothing decent in a strange country to praise thewomen, 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 chief commendation of a chaste matrone, was to be known onely to her husband, and not to be observed by strangers and guestes.

And in the vse of apparel there is no little 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 chief of euery degree from their inferiours, because in confusion and disorder there is no manner of decencie.

The Romaines of any other people most seuere censurers of decencie, thought no vpper garment so comely for a ciuill man as a long playted qowne, 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 Egypt, seeing him clad in a straite narrow garment very licentiously, disclosing euery part of his body, gave him a great checke for it: and said that vnlesse he vsed more saf and comely garments, the Romaines would take no pleasure to hold amitie with him, for by the wantonness 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 scarce reaching to the wast, a long beaked doublet hanging downe to his thies, & an high paire of silke netherstocks that couered all his buttocks and loignes the Councellor marueled to see him in that sort disguised, and otherwise than he had binwoont 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 would say that I was but a lowte, the Councellor laughed hartily at the absurditie of the speech, but what those sower fellows of Rome haue said trowe ye? truly in mine opinion, that all such persons as take pleasure to shew their limbes, specially those that natures hath commanded 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 apparel, vsed by their old honourable auncestors.

And there is a decency of apparel in respect of the place where it is to be vsed: in the Court to be richely apparelled: in the countrey to weare more plain & homely garments. For who would not thinke it a ridiculous thing to see a Lady in her milke-house with a velvet gowne, and at a bridal in her cassock of mockado: a Gentleman of the Countrey among the bushes and briers, goes in a pounced dublet and a paire of embroidered hosen, the the Cities to weare a fries 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 embroideries, 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 them 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 wear courser apparel than in another place or presence a meaner person.

Neuerthelesse in the vse of a garment many occasions alter the decencies, sometimes the qualities of the person, sometimes of the case, otherwise 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 gorgeous apparel 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 hath alwaise 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 it.

And the country custome maketh things decent in ves 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 weare great tolibants of ten, fifteene, and twentie elles of linen 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 as a wall. With them to congratulat and salute by giuing a becke with the head, or a bende of the bodies, with vs here in England, and in Germany, and all other Northern 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 Beso 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 fus pisadae, the shadow of your steps. Which I recite vnto you to shew the phrase of those courtly seruitours in yeelding the mistresses honour and reuerence.

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 and shauen, it will seeme not only to himself, 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.

So it was 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 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 know.

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 therforeto 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 arte, the faultes and imperfections that nature hath wrought in them.

And all singularities or affected parts of a mans behauiour seeme vndecent, as for one man to march or let in the street more stately, or to looke more solempnely, or to go more gayly & in other coulours or fashioned garments then another of the same degree and estate.

Yet such singularities haue had many time 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: 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 own 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 fiat: 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 vunto it, to be able to sustaine so great a number of inhabitants. Truly Sire (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 mean 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 Cite of Alexandria. Thus did Dinocrates singularitie in attire greatly further him to his aduancement.

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.

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 and vnacquainted with vs, will suddenly become our familiar and domestick: and another that hath bene alwaies sterne and churlish, wilbe vpon the suddaine affable and curteous, it is neyther a comely sight, nor a signe of any good towards vs. Which the subtill Italian well obserued by the successes thereof, saying in Prouerbe. _Chi me fa meglio chenon fuole, 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._

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.

And yet in euery of the 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 Iliades or warres of Troy: made his commencement the magnanimous wrath and anger of Achilles in his first verse thus: [Greek: illegible] Sing foorth my muse the wrath of Achilles Peleus sonne: which the Poet would neuer 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, not 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.

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 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, remembering their old familiarity and considering how by the mutabilitie of fortune and frailtie of mans 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.

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 passion, 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 & meekness 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.

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 found 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 us laugh, 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.

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, Phillipus 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.

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.

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 his right wits, but there by your leaue he failed, not 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.

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 end.

It is decent to be affable and curteous at meales & meetings, in 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 vnacqainted with Courtiers or Courtly entertainements, & as the Philosopher saith Oportet iudicem 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 superiours.

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.

Then also there is a decency in respect of the persons with whom 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.

Right so in negotiating with Princes we ought to seeke their fauour by humilitie & not by sternnesse, nor to trafficke with them 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 suffered to haue the victorie and be relented vnto: nor they are not to be challenged 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 hands, for that is but a kind of exprobration, but in crauing their bountie or largesse to remember vnto them all their former beneficences, making no mention 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 exessiue for that is tedious, and alwayes fauours of suttelty more then of sincere loue.

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 chamber 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 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.

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 than 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 expence? Her Maiestie hath bene knowne oftentimes to mislike the superfluous expence of her subiects bestowed vpon her in times of her progresses.

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 Cineas 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.

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.

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 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.

And in their commendable delights to be apt and accommodate, as if the Prince be geuen to hauking, hunting, riding of 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 an 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 uncomely for him to counterfet Alexander the great by holding his head a little awrie, & neerer toward the tone shoulder, because it was not his own naturall.

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 mornings.

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 had not gone in some hastie businesse.

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.

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 the very sterne and vindicatiue, for that sauours 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?

And with these examples 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, & commonly 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 then another, according to the disposition of our nature, constitution of the heart, & facilities of each mans vtterance: 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.


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.

And now (most excellent Queene) having 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 consisting chiefly in the beautie and gallantness 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 entertainment 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 befeemes that place of any other, and may serue as a principall good lesson for al good makers to beare continually 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 & discreetly he behaue himselfe as he may worthily returne 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 slaunt, his chaine en echarpe, a straight buskin al inglesse, a loose alo Turquesque, the cape alla Spaniola, the breech a la Françoise, and by twentie maner of new faishoned 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 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 & conceits, but also all his ordinary actions of behauiour, or the most part of them, 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 attempt & 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 sequestering themselues for a time fro the Court, to be able the frecher & 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 handsomely serue the turne.

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 scoffing Pasquil wrote, Vleus vesicae renum dolor in peno scirrus. Or as I haue seene in diuers places where many make themselues hart whole, when 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 them from the Princes presence, or entertainment 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 somuch 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, Monsieur is dispatching the kings businesse into Languedock, Prouence Piemont, a common phrase with the Secretaries of France. Or as I haue obserued in many of the Princes Courts of Italie, to seeme idle when they be earnestly occupied & entend to nothing but mischieuous practizes, and do busily negotiate 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 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.

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.

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.

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 gardiner seasons his soyle by sundrie sorts of compost: as mucke or marle, clay or sande, and many times by bloud, or lees 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 smal praise for the Phisition & Gardiner to be called good and cunning artificers.

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.

In another respect, we say arte is neither an aider nor a surmounter, but onely a bare immitatour of natures works, following and counterfeyting her actions and effects, as the Marmesot 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 body massife expressing the full and emptie, euen, extant, rabbated, hollow, or whatsoeuer other figure and passion of quantitie. 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 apparant, & most studiously. Man also in all his actions 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 actions 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 & persuasion, 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 wil be granted, 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 is 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.

And yet I am not ignorant that there be artes and methods 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 repetition or reminiscens naturall, reduced into perfection, and made prompt by use 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 Ioyner, 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 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 effects 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 feates of his language and vtterance, because they hold as well 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.

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 preecede 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 Anueris 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 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 althgether 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.

  A Table of the Chapters in this booke,
  and euery thing in them conteyned.

What a Poet and Poesie is, and who may be said the most
  excellent Poet in our time. fol. 1

Whether there may be an arte of our English or vulgar Poesie. 3

How Poets were the first Priests, the first Prophets,
  the first Legis-lators and Polititiens in the world. 3

How Poets were the first Philosophers, the first Astronomeers,
  and Historiographers, and Orators, and Musicians in the world. 5

How euery wilde and sauadge people vse a kind of natural Poesie
  in versiete and rime, as our vulgar is. 7

Whence the riming Poesie came first to the Greekes and Latines,
  and how it had altered, and almost spilt their maner of Poesie. 7

How in the time of Charlemaynes raigne and many yeares after him,
  the Latine Poets wrote in rime. 8

In what reputation Poets and Poesie were in the old time with
  Princes, and otherwise generally, & how they be now become
  contemptible, and for what causes. 11

How Poesie shoulde not be employed vpon vaine conceits,
  nor specially those that bee vicious or infamous. 18

The subiect or matter of Poesie, what it is. 18

Of Poems and their sundrie sortes, and how thereby the
  auncient Poets receaued Surnames. 19

In what forms of Poesie the gods of the gentils were praysed
  and honored. 21

In what forme of Poesie vice, & the common abases of mans life
  were reprehended. 24

How the Poesie for reprehension of vice, was reformed by two
  manner of Poems, more euill than the first. 25

In what forme of Poesie the euill and outrageous behauiours
  of Princes were reprehended. 25

In what forme of Poesie the great Princes and dominators
  of the world were praised and honoured. 27

Of the places where in auncient time their enterludes and other
  Poemes drammaticke were represented vnto the people. 28

Of the shepheards or pastorall poesie called Egologue, and
  to what purpose it was first inuented and deuised. 30

Of historicall Poesie, by which the famous acts of princes and
  the vertuous and worthy liues of our forefathers were reported. 31

In what forms of poesie vertue in the inferior sort was commended. 34

The forme wherein honest & profitable arts and sciences were treated. 35

In what forme of poesie the amarous affections and entertainments were vttered. 36

The forme of poeticall reiocings. 36

The forme of poeticall lamentations. 37

The solemne reioysings at the birth and natiuitie of princes children. 40

The manner of reioysing at weddings and marriages, specially of great
  Ladies and Gentlewomen and Dames of honour. 40

The manner of poesie by which they vttered their bitter tauntes
  or priuy nippes, and witty scoffes and other merry conceits. 43

What manner of poeme they vsed for memorial of the dead. 45

An auncient forme of poesie by which men did vse to reproch their enimies. 46

Of the short poeme called with vs posie. 47

Who in any age have beene the most commended writers in our English poesie, and the Authors censure giuen vpon them. 48

The Table of the second booke.

Of proportion poeticall. fol. 53

Of proportion in Staff. 54

Of proportion in Measure. 55

How many sortes of measures we use in our vulgar. 58

Of the distinctions of mans voice and pauses allowed to our speech, & of the first pause called Ceszure. 61

Of proportion in concord called Rime. 63

Of accent, stirre and time, evidently perceyued in the distinction
  of mans voice, and in that which maketh the flowing of a Meetre. 64

Of your Cadences in which the meeter is made Symphonicall, &
  when they be most sweet and solemne. 65

How the good maker will not wrench his word to helpe his rime,
  either by falsifying his accent or his Ortographie. 67

Of concord in long and short measures, & by neare or farre
  distances, and which of them is most commendable. 68

Of proportion by situation. 69

Of proportion in figure. 75

How if all manner of suddaine innouations were not very scandalous, specially in the lawes of any language, the use of the Greeke and Latine feet might be brought into our vulgar poesie & with good grace inough. 85

A more particular declaration of the Metricall feete of the Greekes
  and Latines, and of your feete of two times. 91

Of the feet of three times, and what vse we may haue of them
  in our vulgar. 103

Of all the other of three times besides the Dactill. 106

Of your halfe foote in a verse & those verses which they called
  perfect and defective. 107

Of the breaking of your wordes of many sillables, & when & how
  it is to be vsed. 108

The Table of the third booke.

Of ornament poeticall and that it resteth in figures. 114

How our writing & speeches publique ought to be figuratiue, and if they be not doo greatly disgrace the cause and purpose of the speaker and writer. 115

How ornament poeticall is of two sortes according to the double nature and efficacy of figures. 119

Of language and what speech our maker ought to vse. 119

Of stile, and that it is of three kindes, loftie, meane, and low according to the nature of the subiect. 123

Of the loftie, meane, and low subiect. 127

Of figures and figuratiue speeches. 128

Sixe points set downe by our learned forefathers for a generall
  rule or regiment of all good vtterance, be it by mouth or by
  writing. 129

How the Greekes first and afterwardes the Latines inuented
  new names for euery figure, which this Author is also enforced
  to do in his vulgar arte. 130

A diuision of figures and how they serue in exornation of language. 131

Of Auricular figures apperteyning to single words and working by their diuers sounds and audible tunes, alteration to the eare onely and not to the minde. 134

Of Auricular figures perteyning to clawses of speech, and by them working no little alteration to the eare. 135

Of Auricular figures working by disorder. 140

Of Auricular figures working by surplusage. 141

Of Auricular figures working by exchange. 142

Of Auricular figures that serue to make the meetre tuneable and melodious, but not by defect nor surplusage, disorder nor exchange. 145

The names of your figures Auricular.

Eclipsis, or the figure of default. 136
Zeugma, or the single supply. 136
Prozeugma, or the ringleader. 137
Mezozeugma, or the middlemarcher. 137
Hypozeugma, or the rerewarder. 137
Sillepsis, or the double supply. 137
Hypozeuxis, or the substitute. 138
Aposiopesis, or the figure of silence, otherwise
   called the figure of interruption.
Prolepsis, or the propounder. 139
Hiperbaton, or the trespasser. 140
Parenthesis, or the insertour. 140
Histeron proteron, or the preposterous. 141
Enallage, or figure of exchange. 142
Hipallage, or the changeling. 143
Omoioteleton, or the figure of likeloose. 144
Patimion, or figure of like letter. 145
Asindeton, or figure of lose language. 145
Polisindeton, or the coople clause. 146
Irmus, or the long lose. 146
Epitheton, or the qualifier. 147
Endiades, or the figure of twinnes. 147

Of the figures which we call Sensable, because they alter and affect
  the minde by alteration of sense and first in single words.
Metaphora, or the figure of transport. 149
Catacresis, or the figure of abuse. 150
Metonymia, or the misnamer. 150
Antonomasia, or the surnamer. 151
Onomatopeia, or the newnamer. 151
Epitheton, or figure of attribution, otherwise
  called the qualifier.
Metalepsis, or the far-set. 152
Liptote, or the moderator. 153
Paradiastole, or the currifauel, otherwise
   called the soother.
Meiosis, or the disabler. 154
Tapinosis, or the abbaser. 154
Synecdoche, or the figure of quick conceit. 154
Of sensable figures appertaining to whole speeches, and by them
 affecting and altering the minde by force of sence and intendment.
Allegoria, or figure of faire semblance. 155
Enigma, or the riddle. 157
Parimia, or the prouerbe. 157
Ironia, or the drie mock. 157
Sarcasmus, or the bitter taunt. 158
Asteismus, the merry scoffe, or ciuill iest. 158
Micterismus, or the fleering frumpe. 158
Antiphrasis, or the broad floute. 159
Charientismus, or the priuie nippe. 159
Hyperbole, or the loud lier, otherwise
  called the ouerreacher.
Periphrasis, or the figure of ambage. 161
Synecdoche, or the figure of quick conceit. 162
Of figures sententious, otherwise called rhetoricall. 163
Anaphora, or the figure of report. 165
Antistrophe, or the counterturne. 165
Simploche, or figure of reiteration. 166
Anadiplosis, or the redouble. 167
Epanalepsis, or the slow returne, otherwise
  called the Eccho sound.
Epizeuxis, or the vnderlay, otherwise
  called the Cuckow spell.
Ploche, or the doubler, otherwise
  called the swift repeate.
Paranomasia, or the nicknamer. 168
Traductio, or the tranlater. 170
Antipophora, or the figure of responce. 170
Sineciosis, or the crossecoople. 172
Atanaclasis, or the rebound. 173
Clymax, or the marching figure. 173
Antimetauole, or the counterchainge. 174
Insultatio, or the disdainfull. 175
Antitheton, or the quareller, otherwise
  called the ouerthwart or rencounter.
Erotema, or the questioner. 176
Echphonisis, or the outcrie. 177
Brachiologia, or the cutted comma. 178
Parison, or the figure of euen. 178
Sinonimya, or the figure of store. 179
Metanoia, or the penitent, otherwise
  called the figure of repentance.
Antenagoge, or the recompencer. 180
Epiphonema, or the close. 181
Auxesis, or the auancer. 182
Meiosis, or the disabler. 183
Dialisis, or the dismembrer. 185
Merismus, or the distributor. 185
Epimone, or the loueburden. 188
Paradoxon, or the wonderer. 189
Aporia, or the doubtfull. 189
Epitropi, or the figure of reference, otherwise
  called the figure of submission.
Parrisia, or the licentious. 190
Anachmosis, or the importuner. 190
Paramologia, or figure of admittance. 190
Etiologia, or the tell-cause, otherwise
  called the reason rendrer.
Dicheologia, or the figure of excuse. 192
Noema, or the figure of close conceit. 193
Orismus, or the definer by difference. 193
Procatalepsis, or the presumptuous. 194
Paralepsis, or the passenger. 194
Commoratio, or figure of aboade. 194
Metastasis, or figure of remoue, otherwise
  called the flitter.
Parecuasis, or the straggler, otherwise
  called the figure of digression.
Expeditio, or the dispatcher. 195
Diologismus, or the right reasoner. 196
Gnome, or the director, otherwise
  called the sagesayer.
Sinathrismus, or the heaping figure. 197
Apostrophe, or the turne tale. 198
Hipotiposis, or the counterfait, otherwise
  called the figure of representation.
Prosopographia, or the counterfet countenance. 199
Prosopopeia, or the false impersonation. 200
Chronographia, or the counterfait of time. 200
Topographia, or counterteit of place. 200
Pragmatographia, or counterfait of action. 203
Omoiosis, or the figure of resemblance. 203
Icon, or resemblance by portrait, and ymagerie. 204
Parabola, or resemblance misticall. 205
Paradigma, or resemblance by example. 205
Exargasia, or the gorgious, otherwise
  called the bewtifull.
Of the vices and deformitie in speech principally noted
  by ancient Poets.
How some vices in speeches are alwaies intollerable, some others
  now and then borne withal by licence of approued authors.
Barbarismus, or barbarous speech. 209
Solecismus, or false speech. 210
Cacozelia, or fonde affectation. 210
Soraismus, or the vice called the mingle-mangle. 211
Cacosintheton, or the misplacer. 212
Cacemphaton, or foule speech. 212
Tautologia, or selfe saying. 213
Acyron, or the vncouth. 214
Pleonasmus, or fault of full speech. 215
Macrologia, or long language. 215
Periergia, or ouerlabor, otherwise called the curious. 216
Tapinosis, or the abbaser. 216
Bomphiologia, or pompous speech. 217
Amphibologia, or the ambiguous. 217
What it is that generally makes our speech vertuous or vicious,
  & of that which the Latines call decorum.
Of decencie in behauiour and action, which also belongs to the
  consideration of a Poet or maker.
How the good poet or maker ought to dissemble his arte, and
  in what cases the artificiall is more commended then the
  naturall and contrariwise.
The conclusion. 257


End of Project Gutenberg's The Arte of English Poesie, by George Puttenham