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GE, litt booke: selfe

As child whose parent is unkent,

To him that is the president
Of Noblesse and of chevalree:
And if that Envie barke at thee,
As sure it will, for succoure flee
Under the shadow of his wing;
And, asked who thee forth did bring,
A shepheards swaine, saye, did thee sing,
All as his straying flocke he fedde:
And, when his honor has thee redde,
Crave pardon for my hardyhedde.
But, if that any aske thy name,
Say, thou wert basebegot with blame;
For thy thereof thou takest shame.
And, when thou art past jeopardee,
Come tell me what was sayd of mee,
And I will send more after thee.


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His verie special and singular good frend E. K. com. mendeth the good lyking of this his labour, and the patronage of the new Poete.

NCOUTHE, unkiste, sayde the old famous Poete Chaucer: whom for his excellencie and wonderfull skil in making, his scholler Lidgate, a worthy scholler of so excellent a maister, calleth the Loadstarre of our Language; and whom our Colin clout, in his Æglogue, calleth Tityrus the God of shepheards, comparing hym to the worthines of the Roman Tityrus, Virgile. Which proverbe, myne owne good friend Ma. Harvey, as in that good old Poete it served well Pandares purpose for the bolstering of his baudie brocage, so very well taketh place in this our new Poete, who for that he is uncouthe (as said Chaucer) is unkist, and unknown to most men, is regarded but of few. But I dout not, so soone as his name shall come into the knowledg of men, and his woorthines bee sounded in the tromp of Fame, but that hee shall bee not onely kiste, but also beloved of all, imbraced of the most, and wondred at of the best. No lesse, I thinke, deserveth his wittinesse in devising, his pithinesse in uttering, his complaints of

love so lovely, his discourses of pleasure so pleasantly, his pastoral rudenes, his morall wisenesse, his dewe observing of Decorum everye where, in personages, in seasons, in matter, in speach; and generally, in al seemely simplycitie of handeling his matters, and framing his words: the which, of many thinges which in him be straunge, I know will seeme the straungest, the wordes them selves being so auncient, the knitting of them so short and intricate, and the whole Periode and compaste of speech so delightsome for the roundnesse, and so grave for the straungenesse. And firste of the wordes to speake, I graunt they bee something hard, and of most men unused, yet both English, and also used of most excellent Authours, and most famous Poetes. In whom, when as this our Poet hath bene much traveiled and throughly redd, how could it be, (as that worthy Oratour sayde) but that walking in the sonne, although for other cause he walked, yet needes he mought be sunburnt; and, having the sound of those auncient Poetes still ringing in his eares, he mought needes, in singing, hit out some of theyr tunes. But whether he useth them by such casualtye and custome, or of set purpose and choyse, as thinking them fittest for such rustical rudenesse of shepheards, eyther for that theyr rough sounde would make his rymes more ragged and rustical; or els because such olde and obsolete wordes are most used of country folke, sure I think, and think I think not amisse, that they bring great grace, and, as one would say, auctoritie to the verse. For albe, amongst many other faultes, it specially be objected of Valla against Livie, and of other against Saluste, that with overmuch studie they affect antiquitie, as coveting thereby credence and honor of elder yeeres; yet I am of opinon, and eke the best learned are of the lyke, that those auncient solemne wordes are a great ornament, both in the one, and in the other: the one labouring to set forth in

hys worke an eternall image of antiquitie, and the other carefully discoursing matters of gravity and importaunce. For, if my memory faile not, Tullie, in that booke wherein he endevoureth to set forth the paterne of a perfect Oratour, sayth that ofttimes an ancient worde maketh the style seeme grave, and as it were reverend, no otherwise then we honour and reverence gray heares, for a certein religious regard which we have of old age. Yet nether every where must old words be stuffed in, nor the commen Dialecte and maner of speaking so corrupted therby, that, as in olde buildings, it seme disorderly and ruinous. But all as in most exquisite pictures they use to blaze and portraict not only the daintie lineaments of beautye, but also rounde about it to shadowe the rude thickets and craggy clifts, that, by the basenesse of such parts, more excellency may accrew to the principall: for oftimes we fynde our selves, I knowe not how, singularly delighted with the shewe of such naturall rudenesse, and take great pleasure in that disorderly order. Even so doe those rough and harsh termes enlumine, and make more clearly to appeare, the brightnesse of brave and glorious wordes. So ofentimes a dischorde in Musick maketh a comely concordaunce: so great delight tooke the worthy Poete Alceus to behold a blemish in the joynt of a wel shaped body. But, if any will rashly blame such his purpose in choyse of old and unwonted wordes, him may I more justly blame and condemne, or of witlesse headinesse in judging, or of heedelesse hardinesse in condemning; for, not marking the compasse of hys bent, he wil judge of the length of his cast: for in my opinion it is one speciall praise of many, whych are dew to this Poete, that he hath laboured to restore, as to theyr rightfull heritage, such good and naturall English words, as have ben long time out of use, and almost cleare disherited. Which is the onely cause, that our Mother tonge, which

truely of it self is both ful enough for prose, and stately enough for verse, hath long time ben counted most bare and barren of both. Which default when as some endevoured to salve and recure, they patched up the holes with peces and rags of other languages, borrowing here of the french, there of the Italian, every where of the Latine; not weighing how il those tongues accorde with themselves, but much worse with ours: So now they have made our English tongue a gallimaufray, or hodgepodge of al other speches. Other some, not so wel seene in the English tonge as perhaps in other languages, if they happen to heare an olde word, albeit very naturall and significant, crye out straightway, that we speak no English, but gibbrish, or rather such as in olde time Evanders mother spake: whose first shame is, that they are not ashamed, in their own mother tonge, straungers to bee counted and alienes. The second shame no lesse then the first, that what so they understand not, they streight way deeme to be senselesse, and not at al to be understode. Much like to the Mole in Esopes fable, that, being blynd her selfe, would in no wise be perswaded, that any beast could see. The last, more shameful then both, that of their owne country and natural speach, which together with their Nourses milke they sucked, they have so base regard and bastard judgement, that they will not onely themselves not labor to garnish and beautifie it, but also repine, that of other it shold be embellished. Like to the dogge in the maunger, that him selfe can eate no hay, and yet barketh at the hungry bullock, that so faine would feede: whose currish kinde, though [it] cannot be kept from barking, yet I conne them thanke that they refrain from byting.

Now, for the knitting of sentences, which they call the joynts and members therof, & for al the compasse of the speech, it is round without roughnesse, and learned without hardnes, such indeede as may be

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