The Arte of Poesie (1589)


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


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


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A colei

[[portrait of Queen Elizabeth]]

Che se stessa rassomiglia 
|&| non altrui.

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

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

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

Your Honours most humble at 

R. F.


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Of Poets and Poesie.



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


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

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


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



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


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

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

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



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


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

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



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

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



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


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

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



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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

Vita palatina dura est animae|que| ruina


¶1.7.7 And these written by a noble learned man.

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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


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

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

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


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

Carmina clarisonæ Caluis cantate camenæ


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


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

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


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

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


¶1.7.16 And they called it Verse Lyon.


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hauserit vna dies

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

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


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



The subiect or matter of Poesie. 


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

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



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


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

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

{{Page 21}}

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



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


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

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

{{Page 23}}

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

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



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


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

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



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


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

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



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


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

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



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


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

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



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


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

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

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



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


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

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



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


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

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

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

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



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


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

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



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


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

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


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



The forme of Poeticall reioysings. 


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

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



The forme of Poeticall lamentations. 


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

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

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

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Of the solemne reioysings at the natiuitie of Princes 


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



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


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

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

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

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



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


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

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

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


¶1.27.2 Which I haue thus Englished,

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


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


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

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


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

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

And then finished the foure half metres, thus.

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


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



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


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

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



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


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

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Of short Epigrames called Posies. 


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

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


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

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

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

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


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Of Proportion Poeticall. 


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

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



Of proportion in Staffe. 


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

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


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


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


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


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



Of proportion in measure. 


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

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

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

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How many sorts of measures we vse in our vulgar.


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


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


¶2.4.3 Rèue rèntl{_i}e


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When raging loue, with extreme payne.

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

I serue at ease, and gouerne all with woe.

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

Salomon Dauids sonne, king of Ierusalem.

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

Robóham Dauids sonne king of Iersualem,

Letting the sharpe accent fall vpon bo, or thus

Restóre king D{'a}uids sonne vntó Ierúsalém

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

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

Of Cesure.

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

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

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



Of Proportion in Concord, called Symphonie or rime.

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

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



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

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

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



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

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

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tines the body of their verses numerous or Rithmicall, so in
our vulgar Poesie, and of all other nations at this day,
your verses answering eche other by couples, or at larger
distances in good [cadence] is it that maketh your
meeter symphonicall. This cadence is the fal of a verse in
euery last word with a certaine tunable sound which being
matched with another of like sound, do make a [
concord.] And the whole cadence is contained sometime
in one sillable, sometime in two, or in three at the most:
for aboue the antepenultima there
reacheth no accent (which is chiefe cause of the cadence)
vnlesse it be by vsurpati|on| in some English words, to
which we giue a sharpe accent vpon the fourth as,
p{'a}trimoniemíserable, 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
diréction, and these bissilables, Ténder
lústie, but alwayes the cadence which falleth vpon
the last sillable of a verse is sweetest and most
commendable: that vpon the penultima
more light, and not so pleasant: but falling vpon the
antepenultima is most vnpleasant
of all, because they make your meeter too light and triuall,
and are fitter for the Epigrammatist or Comicall Poet then
for the Lyrick and Elegiack, which are accompted the sweeter
Musickes. But though we haue sayd that (to make good
concord) your seuerall verses should haue their cadences
like, yet must there be some difference in their
orthographie, though not in their sound, as if one cadence
be [constraíne] the next [restraíne
] or one [aspíre] another [respíre
] this maketh no good concord, because they are all one,
but if ye will exchange both these consonants of the
accented sillable, or voyde but one of them away, then will
your cadences be good and your concord to, as to say,
restrainerefraineremaine: aspire
desireretire: which rule
neuerthelesse is not well obserued by many makers for lacke
of good iudgement and a delicate eare. And this may suffise
to shew the vse and nature of your cadences, which are in
effect all the sweetnesse and cunning in our vulgar Poesie.

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


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

O mightie Lord of loue, dame Venus onely ioy

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Who art the highest God of any heauenly Roy


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


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



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


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


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

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



Of proportion by situation.


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

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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


¶2.7.9 --,--,--,--,--,--,--,--,--,--,


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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



Of Proportion in figure.


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

{{Page 76}}

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


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


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


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


Of the Lozange


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

{{Page 77}}

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


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

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


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

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

{{Page 78}}

Of the Triangle or Triquet


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


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

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


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

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


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

Of the Spire or Taper called Pyramis


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

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


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

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


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

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

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The Piller, Pillaster or Cillinder


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


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

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


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

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

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The Roundell or Spheare


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

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

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

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

A speciall and particular resemblance of her Maiestie to the 

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

{{Page 83}}

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

Of the square or quadrangle equilater


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

The figure Ouall


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

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

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


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

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


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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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


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

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


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

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


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


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

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

Of the Anagrame, or posie transposed


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

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


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

Elissabet Anglorum Regina


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

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

Then transposing the word [ense] it came to be

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

Both which resultes falling out vpon the very first 
marshalling of

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


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


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

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

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

Thus Englished,

All is but a iest, all dust, all not {w}orth t{w}o 
For {w}hy in mans matters is neither rime nor reason


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



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


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

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

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

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


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


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


¶2.9.4 Many dayes, not past.


¶2.9.5 And the distick made all of 

B{_u}t n{_o}ne {_o}f {_u}s tr{_u}e m{_e}n {_a}nd 
Could finde so great good lucke as he


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

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ced would do, for it were an illfauored dactil to 


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


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

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

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

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


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



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


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

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

For your foote tribracchus of all three short, ye 
haue very few trissillables, because the sharpe 
accent will always make one of them long by pronunciation, 
which els would be by ortographie short as [m{-e}r{-
] [minion] |&| such like. For your foote 
bacchius of a short |&| two long ye haue these and 
the like words trissillables [l{-
] [r{-e}qu{-e}st{_i}ng] [
r{-e}no{_u}nc{_i}ng] [r{-e}p{_e}nt{_a}nce
[{-e}n{_u}r{_i}ng]. For your foote 
antibacchius, of two long and a short ye haue these 
wordes [f{_o}rs{_a}k{-e}n] [{_i}mp{_u}gn{-
] and others many: for your amphimacer 
that is a long a short and a long ye haue these wordes and 
many moe [éxcellént] [{_i}m{-
] and specially such as be propre names of 
persons or townes or other things and namely Welsh wordes: 
for your foote amphibracchus, of a short, a long 
and a short, ye haue these wordes and

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

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

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


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

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


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

When raging loue with extreme paine 


¶2.10.4 And this

A fairer beast of fresher hue beheld I neuer none. 


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

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

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


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



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


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

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

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


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


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

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


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

What holy graue (alas) {w}hat sepulcher 


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

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


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

{{Page 105}}

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


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


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

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


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

{{Page 106}}

L{_e}t n{-o} n{-o}b{_i}l{-i}t{-i}e r{_i}ch{-e}s {-o}r 
H{_o}n{-o}ur {-o}r emp{-i}re {-o}r e{_a}rthl{-i}e d{-
Br{_e}ed {-i}n y{-o}ur he{-a}d {-a}n{-i}e p{_e}euish {-
That y{-e} m{-a}y s{_a}f{-e}r {-a}u{_o}uch {-a}n{-i}e 


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

No{w} m{_a}n{_i}e b{_i}e m{_o}n{_e}y p{_u}ru{-e}y pr{-
For mony mooues any hart to deuotion


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



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


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

{{Page 107}}

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



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


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

Like vnto these, immeasurable mountaines, 

{{Page 108}}

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


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

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


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



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


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

{{Page 109}}

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


¶2.14.2 {_e}xtr{_e}ame d{-e}s{_i}re


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


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


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

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


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

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


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

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


¶2.14.8 Which being turned thus makes a new 

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


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

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


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

{{Page 110}}

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


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

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


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

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


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


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

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


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

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


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


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

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

{{Page 111}}

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


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

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


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

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


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

{{Page 112}}

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

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


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

{{Page 113}}

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


{{Page 114}} 




Of Ornament Poeticall. 


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

{{Page 115}}

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



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


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

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

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

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

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


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



Of Language. 


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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



Of Stile. 


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

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

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

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

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



Of the high, low, and meane subiect. 


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

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



Of Figures and figuratiue speaches. 


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

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



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


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

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



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


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

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

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



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


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

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

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



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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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


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

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

or the Figure 
of default 


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

or the 
Single supply 

Fellowes and friends and kinne forsooke me quite.


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

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


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


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

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

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

or the 


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


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

or the 
Middle marcher. 

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


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

Either the troth or talke nothing at all


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

or the 

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


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

or the 
Double supply.

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

or the 

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


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

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

{{Page 139}}

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


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


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

or the 
Figure of sil|en|ce 

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


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

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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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

or the 

{{Page 140}}

describe the triumphant enter-view of two great Princesses 

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


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


¶3.12.26 By this other example it appeares also.

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



Of your figures Auricular working by disorder. 


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

or the 


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

or the 

{{Page 141}}

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

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


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

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


¶3.13.4 And so proceedes to answere the kings 

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


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


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

Histeron proteron
or the 

I kist her cherry lip and tooke my leaue: 


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

{{Page 142}}

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

When we had climbde the clifs, and were a shore


¶3.13.8 Whereas he should haue said by good order.

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


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

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


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



Of your figures Auricular that worke by Surplusage. 


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



Of auricular figures {w}orking by exchange. 


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

or the 
Figure of exchange.

{{Page 143}}

no vse of this figure. The called it 


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

or the 


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

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


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


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

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


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

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


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

{{Page 144}}

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



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


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

or the 
Like loose. 

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


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

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


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

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

{{Page 145}}


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


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

or the 
Figure of like letter. 

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


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


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

or the 
Loose langage. 

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


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

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


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

{{Page 146}}


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

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


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


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

or the 
Coople clause. 

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


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

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


¶3.16.14 One wrote these verses after the same 

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


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

or the 
Long loose. 

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


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

{{Page 147}}

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

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


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


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

or the 

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


¶3.16.19 Or thus commending the Isle of great 

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


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

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


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

The English Diana, the great Britton mayde


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


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

or the 
Figure of Twinnes. 

Not you coy dame your lowrs nor your lookes


{{Page 148}}


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

Of fortune nor her frowning face, 
I am nothing agast


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

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


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



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


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

or the 
Figure of transporte. 

{{Page 149}}

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

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


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


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

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


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

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


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

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

{{Page 150}}


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


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

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


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


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

or the 
Figure of abuse 

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


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


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

or the 

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

Thy hands they made thee rich, thy pallat made thee 


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


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

or the 

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


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


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

of the 
New namer.

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


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

or the 
otherwise the 
figure of 


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

or the 

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


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

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

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


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

Post multas mea regna videns mirabor aristas


¶3.17.20 Thus in English.

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


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


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

or the 

O rare beautie, ô grace, and curtesie


¶3.17.23 And by a very euill man thus.

O sinne it selfe, not wretch, but wretchednes


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


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

or the 

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

{{Page 154}}


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


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

or the 


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

or the 

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


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

or the 


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

or the 
Figure of quick 

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



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


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


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

or the 
Figure of false 

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

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


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

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


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

Claudite iam riuos pueri sat prata biberunt


¶3.18.5 Which I English thus:

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


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


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

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


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


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

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

or the 

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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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

or the 
Drie mock.

{{Page 158}}

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


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

or the 
Bitter taunt. 


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

or the 
Merry scoffe. 
The ciuilliest.

{{Page 159}}

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


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


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

or the 
Fleering fr|um|pe. 


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

or the 
Broad floute. 


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

or the 
Priuy nippe. 


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

or the 
Ouer reacher. 
called the loud 

{{Page 160}}

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

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


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

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


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

or the 
Figure of 

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


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

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


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

{{Page 162}}

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


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


¶3.18.28 The Noble Earle of Surrey wrote thus:

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


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


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

or the 
Figure of quick 

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



Of Figures sententious, otherwise called Rhetoricall. 


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

{{Page 164}}

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


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

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


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


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

or the 
Figure of 

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


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

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


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

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


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

or the 
Counter turne.

{{Page 166}}

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

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


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

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


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


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

or the 
Figure of replie. 

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

{{Page 167}}

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


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


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

or the 

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


¶3.19.13 Or thus:

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


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


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

or the 
Eccho sound. 
the slow return. 

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


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


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

or Coocko-spel. 

It was Maryne, Maryne that wrought mine woe


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

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


¶3.19.19 And that of Sir Walter Raleighs 
very sweet.

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


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

{{Page 168}}

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


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

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


¶3.19.22 And this spoken in common Prouerbe.

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


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

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


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

adieu, adieu, 
my face, my face


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

To loue him and loue him, as sinners should doo


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


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

or the 

{{Page 169}}

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

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


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

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



¶3.19.29 Quoth the nurse.

They be lubbers not louers that so vse to say



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

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


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

{{Page 170}}

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


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

or the 

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


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

Scire tuum nihil est nisi te scire, hoc sciat alter


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

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


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


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

or Figure of 

Wylie {w}orldling come tell me I thee pray, 
Wherein hopes thou, that makes thee so to s{w}ell?
Riches? alack it taries not a day, 

{{Page 171}}

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


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

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


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

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

{{Page 172}}

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


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

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


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

or the 
Crosse copling. 

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


¶3.19.41 Or thus.

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


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

Thus for your sake I dayly dye, 

{{Page 173}}

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


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

or the 

The maide that soone married is, soone marred is


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

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


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

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


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


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

or the 

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


¶3.19.48 Or as Ihean de Mehune the 
French Poet.

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

{{Page 174}}

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


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

or the 

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


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

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


¶3.19.51 Or thus.

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


¶3.19.52 Or as the Philosopher Musonius 

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


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

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


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

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


¶3.19.55 Againe:

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


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

or the 

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


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

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


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

or the 
The renconter

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


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

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

{{Page 176}}


¶3.19.60 Maister Diar in this 
quarrelling figure.

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


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


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

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


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

or the 

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


¶3.19.64 Or as another wrote very commendably.

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


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

{{Page 177}}

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


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

No fortune base or frayle can alter me: 


¶3.19.67 To whome she in this figure repeting his 

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


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

or the 

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


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

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


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

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

{{Page 178}}

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


¶3.19.71 And so forth, |&c.|


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

or the 
Cutted comma 

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


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


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

or the 
Figure of euen. 

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


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

{{Page 179}}


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

or the 
Figure of store. 

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


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

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


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

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


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


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

or the 

{{Page 180}}

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

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


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

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


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

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


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


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

or the 

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


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

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


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

{{Page 181}}

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


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

or the 

Tantæ molis erat Romanam condere gentem


¶3.19.88 In English thus:

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


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

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


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

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


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


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

Tantum relligio potuit suadere malorum


¶3.19.93 In English thus:

{{Page 182}}

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


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

or the 

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


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


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

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


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

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

{{Page 183}}

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


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


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

or the 

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


¶3.19.100 It may be also done for despite to bring 
our aduersaries in contempt, as he that sayd by one 
(commended for a very braue souldier) disabling him 
scornefully, thus.

A iollie man (forsooth) and fit for the warre, 
Good at hand grippes, better to fight a farre: 
Whom bright weapon in she{w} as it is said, 
Yea his o{w}ne shade, hath often made afraide


¶3.19.101 The subtilitie of the scoffe lieth in 
these Latin wordes [eminui |&| cominus 
.] Also we vse this kind of Extenuation when we 
take in hand to comfort or cheare any perillous enterprise, 
making a great matter seeme small, and of litel difficultie, 
|&| is much vsed by captaines in the warre, when they (to 
giue courage to their souldiers) will seeme to disable the 
persons of their enemies, and abase their forces, and make 
light of euery thing that might be a discouragement to the 
attempt, as Hanniball did in his Oration to his 
souldiers, when they should come to passe the Alpes to en{\-

{{Page 184}}

ter Italie, and for sharpnesse of the weather, and 
steepnesse of the mountaines their hearts began to faile 


¶3.19.102 We vse it againe to excuse a fault, |&| 
to make an offence seeme lesse then it is, by giuing a terme 
more fauorable and of lesse vehemencie then the troth 
requires, as to say of a great robbery, that it was but a 
pilfry matter: of an arrant ruffian that he is a tall fellow 
of his hands: of a prodigall foole, that he is a kind 
hearted man: of a notorious vnthrift, a lustie youth, and 
such like phrases of extenuation, which fall more aptly to 
the office of the figure 
Curry fauell before remembred.


¶3.19.103 And we vse the like termes by way of 
pleasant familiaritie, and as it were for a Courtly maner of 
speach with our egalls or inferiours, as to call a young 
Gentlewoman Mall for MaryNell
for ElnerIack for Iohn
Robin or Robert: or any other like 
affected termes spoken of pleasure, as in our triumphals 
calling familiarly vpon our Muse, I called her 

But {w}ill you {w}eet, 
My litle muse, my prettie moppe: 
If {w}e shall algates change our stoppe, 
Chose me a s{w}eet


¶3.19.104 Vnderstanding by this word [Moppe
] a litle prety Lady, or tender young thing. For so we 
call litle fishes that be not come to their full growth [
moppes,] as whiting moppes, gurnard moppes.


¶3.19.105 Also such termes are vsed to be giuen in 
derision and for a kind of contempt, as when we say Lording 
for Lord, |&| as the Spaniard that calleth an Earle of small 
reuenue Contadilio: the Italian calleth the poore 
man, by contempt pouerachio, or pouerino
, the little beast animalculo or 
animaluchio, and such like diminutiues 
apperteining to this figure, the [Disabler] more 
ordinary in other languages than in our vulgar.


¶3.19.106 This figure of retire holds part with 
the propounder of which we spake before (prolepsis
) because of this resumption of a former proposition 
vttered in generalitie to explane the same better by a 
particular diuision. But their difference is, in that the 
propounder resumes but the matter only. This [retire
] resumes both the matter and the termes, and is therefore 
accompted one of the figures of repetition, and in that 
respect may be called by his originall 

the figure of 

{{Page 185}}

Greeke name the [Resounde] or the [retire
] for this word [odos] serues both sences 
resound and retire. The vse of this figure, is seen in this 
dittie following.

Loue hope and death, do stirre in me much strife, 
As neuer man but I lead such a life: 
For burning loue doth {w}ound my heart to death: 
And {w}hen death comes at call of in{w}ard grief, 
Cold lingring hope doth feede my fainting breath: 
Against my {w}ill, and yeelds my {w}ound relief, 
So that I liue, but yet my life is such: 
As neuer death could greeue me halfe so much


¶3.19.107 Then haue ye a maner of speach, not so 
figuratiue as fit for argumentation, and worketh not vnlike 
the dilemma of the Logicians, because he propones 
two or moe matters entierly, and doth as it were set downe 
the whole tale or rekoning of an argument and then cleare 
euery part by it selfe, as thus. 

the Dismembrer. 

It can not be but nigardship or neede, 
Made him attempt this foule and {w}icked deede: 
Nigardship not, for al{w}ayes he {w}as free, 
Nor neede, for {w}ho doth not his richesse see?


¶3.19.108 Or as one that entreated for a faire 
young maide who was taken by the watch in London and carried 
to Bridewell to be punished.

No{w} gentill Sirs let this young maide alone, 
For either she hath grace or els she hath none: 
If she haue grace, she may in time repent, 
If she haue none {w}hat bootes her punishment


¶3.19.109 Or as another pleaded his deserts with 
his mistresse.

Were it for grace, or els in hope of gaine, 
To say of my deserts, it is but vaine: 
For {w}ell in minde, in case ye do them beare, 
To tell them oft, it should but irke your eare: 
Be they forgot: as likely should I faile, 
To {w}inne {w}ith {w}ordes, {w}here deedes can not 


¶3.19.110 The haue ye a figure very meete for 
Orators or eloquent perswaders such as our maker or Poet 
must in some cases shew him selfe to be, and is when we may 
conueniently vtter a matter in one

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entier speach or proposition and will rather do it 
peecemeale and by distributi|on| of euery part for 
amplification sake, as for ex|am|ple he that might say, a 
house was outragiously plucked downe: will not be satisfied 
so to say, but rather will speake it in this sort: they 
first vndermined the groundsills, they beate downe the 
walles, they vnfloored the loftes, they vntiled it and 
pulled downe the roofe. For so in deede is a house pulled 
downe by circ|um|stances, which this figure of distribution 
doth set forth euery one apart, and therefore I name him the 
distributor according to his originall, as wrate 
the Tuscane Poet in a Sonet which Sir Thomas 
 translated with very good grace, thus.

Set me {w}hereas the sunne doth parch the greene, 
Or {w}here his beames do not dissolue the yce: 
In temperate heate {w}here he is felt and seene, 
In presence prest of people mad or {w}ise: 
Set me in hye or yet in low degree, 
In longest night or in the shortest day: 
In clearest skie, or where clouds thickest bee, 
In lustie youth or when my heares are gray: 
Set me in heauen, in earth or els in hell, 
In hill or dale or in the foming flood: 
Thrall or at large, aliue where so I dwell, 
Sicke or in health, in euill fame or good: 
Hers will I be, and onely with this thought, 
Content my selfe, although my chaunce be naught


¶3.19.111 All which might haue bene said in these 
two verses.

Set me wheresoeuer ye {w}ill, 
I am and {w}ilbe yours still


¶3.19.112 The zealous Poet writing in prayse of 
the maiden Queene would not seeme to wrap vp all her most 
excellent parts in a few words them entierly comprehending, 
but did it by a distributor or merismus in the 
negatiue for the better grace, thus.

Not your bewtie, most gracious soueraine, 
Nor maidenly lookes, mainteind {w}ith maiestie: 
Your stately port, {w}hich doth not match but staine, 
For your presence, your pallace and your traine, 
All Princes Courts, mine eye could euer see:

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Not your quicke {w}its, your sober gouernaunce: 
Your cleare forsight, your faithfull memorie, 
So sweete features, in so staid countenaunce: 
Nor languages, with plentuous vtterance, 
So able to discourse, and entertaine: 
Not noble race, farre beyond Cæsars raigne, 
Runne in right line, and bloud of nointed kings: 
Not large empire, armies, treasurs, domaine, 
Lustie liueries, of fortunes dearst darlings: 
Not all the skilles, fit for a Princely dame, 
Your learned Muse, {w}ith vse and studie brings. 
Not true honour, ne that immortall fame 
Of mayden raigne, your only owne renowne 
And no Queenes els, yet such as yeeldes your name 
Greater glory than doeth your treble crowne


¶3.19.113 And then concludes thus.

Not any one of all these honord parts 
Your Princely happes, and habites that do moue, 
And as it were, enforcell all the hearts 
Of Christen kings to quarrell for your loue, 
But to possesse, at once and all the good 
Arte and engine, and euery starre aboue 
Fortune or kinde, could force in flesh and bloud, 
Was force inough to make so many striue 
For your person, which is our world stoode 
By all consents the minionst mayde to wiue


¶3.19.114 Where ye see that all the parts of her 
commendation which were partitularly
remembred in twenty verses before, are wrapt vp the the 
two verses of this last part, videl.

Not any one of all your honord parts, 
Those Princely haps and habites, |&c.|


¶3.19.115 This figure serues for amplification, 
and also for ornament, and to enforce perswasion mightely. 
Sir Geffrey Chaucer, father of our English Poets, 
hath these verses following in the distributor.

When faith failes in Priestes sawes, 
And Lords hestes are holden for lawes, 
And robberie is tane for purchase,

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And lechery for solace 
Then shall the Realme of Albion 
Be brought to great confusion


¶3.19.116 Where he might haue said as much in 
these words: when vice abounds, and vertue decayeth in 
Albion, then |&c.| And as another said,

When Prince for his people is wakefull and wise, 
Peeres ayding with armes, Counsellors with aduise, 
Magistrate sincerely vsing his charge, 
People prest to obey, nor let to runne at large, 
Prelate of holy life, and with deuotion 
Preferring pietie before promotion, 
Priest still preaching, and praying for our heale: 
Then blessed is the state of a common-weale


¶3.19.117 All which might haue bene said in these 
few words, when euery man in charge and authoritie doeth his 
duety, |&| executeth his function well, then is the common-
wealth happy.


¶3.19.118 The Greeke Poets who made musicall 
ditties to be song to the lute or harpe, did vse to linke 
their staues together with one verse running throughout the 
whole song by equall distance, and was, for the most part, 
the first verse of the staffe, which kept so good sence and 
conformitie with the whole, as his often repetition did geue 
it greater grace. They called such linking verse 
Epimone, the Latines versus 
, and we may terme him the Loue-
burden, following the originall, or if it please you, the 
long repeate: in one respect because that one verse alone 
beareth the whole burden of the song according to the 
originall: in another respect, for that it comes by large 
distances to be often repeated, as in this ditty made by the 
noble knight Sir Philip Sidney

or the 

My true loue hath my heart and I haue his, 
By iust exchange one for another geuen: 
I holde his deare, and mine he cannot misse, 
There neuer was a better bargaine driuen. 
My true loue hath my heart and I haue his. 
My heart in me keepes him and me in one, 
My heart in him his thoughts and sences guides: 
He loues my heart, for once it was his owne,

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I cherish his because in me it bides. 
My true loue hath my heart, and I haue his


¶3.19.119 Many times our Poet is caried by some 
occasion to report of a thing that is maruelous, and then he 
will seeme not to speake it simply but with some signe of 
admiration, as in our enterlude called the Woer

or the 

I woonder much to see so many husbands thriue, 
That haue but little wit, before they come to wiue: 
For one would easily weene who so hath little wit, 
His wife to teach it him, {w}ere a thing much vnfit


¶3.19.120 Or as Cato the Romane Senatour 
said one day merily to his companion that walked with him, 
pointing his finger to a yong vnthrift in the streete who 
lately before had sold his patrimonie, of a goodly 
qu|an|titie of salt marshes, lying neere vnto Capua

Now is it not, a wonder to behold, 
Yonder gallant skarce twenty winter old, 
By might (marke ye) able to doo more? 
Than the mayne sea that batters on his shore? 
For what the waues could neuer wash away, 
This proper youth hath wasted in a day


¶3.19.121 Not much vnlike the {w}ondrer 
haue ye another figure called the 
doubtfull, because oftentimes we will seeme to 
cast perils, and make doubt of things when by a plaine 
manner of speech wee might affirme or deny him, as thus of a 
cruell mother who murdred her owne child. 

or the 

Whether the cruell mother were more to blame, 
Or the shre{w}d childe come of so curst a dame: 
Or {w}hether some smatch of the fathers blood, 
Whose kinne {w}ere neuer kinde, nor neuer good. 
Mooued her thereto, |&c.|


¶3.19.122 This manner of speech is vsed when we 
will not seeme, either for manner sake or to auoid 
tediousnesse, to trouble the iudge or hearer with all that 
we could say, but hauing said inough already, we referre the 
rest to their consideration, as he that said thus: 

or the 
Figure of 

Me thinkes that I haue said, {w}hat may {w}ell suffise, 
Referring all the rest, to your better aduise


¶3.19.123 The fine and subtill perswader when his 
intent is to sting his

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aduersary, or els to declare his mind in broad and liberal 
speeches, which might breede offence or scandall, he will 
seeme to bespeake pardon before hand, whereby his 
licentiousnes may be the better borne withall, as he that 

or the 

If my speech hap t'offend you any {w}ay, 
Thinke it their fault, that force me so to say


¶3.19.124 Not much vnlike to the figure of 
reference, is there another with some little 
diuersitie which we call the impartener, because 
many times in pleading and perswading, we thinke it a very 
good policie to acquaint our iudge or hearer or very 
aduersarie with some part of our Counsell and aduice, and to 
aske their opinion, as who would say they could not 
otherwise thinke of the matter then we do. As he that had 
tolde a long tale before certaine noble women, of a matter 
somewhat in honour touching the Sex. 

or the 

Tell me faire Ladies, if the case were your owne, 
So foule a fault would you haue it be knowen?


¶3.19.125 Maister Gorge is this figure, 
said very sweetly.

All you who read these lines and skanne of my desart, 
Iudge whether was more good, my hap or els my hart.


¶3.19.126 The good Orator vseth a manner of speach 
in his perswasion and is when all that should seeme to make 
against him being spoken by th'otherside, he will first 
admit it, and in th'end auoid all for his better aduantage, 
and this figure is much vsed by our English pleaders in the 
Starchamber and Chancery, which they call to confesse and 
auoid, if it be in case of crime or iniury, and is a very 
good way. For when the matter is so plaine that it cannot be 
denied or trauersed, it is good that it be iustified by 
confessall and auoidance. I call it the figure of 
admittance. As we once wrate to the reproofe of a 
Ladies faire but crueltie. 

or the 
figure of 

I know your witte, I know your pleasant tongue, 
Your some sweete smiles, your some, but louely lowrs: 
A beautie to enamour olde and yong. 
Those chast desires, that noble minde of yours, 
And that chiefe part whence all your honor springs, 
A grace to entertaine the greatest kings. 
All this I know: but sinne it is to see, 
So faire partes spilt by too much crueltie

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¶3.19.127 In many cases we are driuen for better 
perswasion to tell the cause that mooues vs to say thus or 
thus: or els when we would fortifie our allegations by 
rendring reasons to euery one, this assignation of cause the 
Greekes called Etiologia, which if we might 
without scorne of a new inuented terme call [
Tellcause] it were right according to the Greeke 
originall: |&| I pray you why should we not? and with as 
good authoritie as the Greekes? Sir Thomas Smith
her Maiesties principall Secretary, and a man of great 
learning and grauitie, seeking to geue an English word to 
this Greeke word agams called it Spitewed, 
or wedspite. Master Secretary Wilson geuing an 
English name to his arte of Logicke, called it 
Witcraft, me thinke I may be bolde with like liberty 
to call the figure Etiologia [Tell cause
.] And this manner of speech is alwayes contemned, with 
these words, for, because, and such other confirmatiues. The 
Latines hauing no fitte name to geue it in one single word, 
gaue it no name at all, but by circumlocution. We also call 
him the reason-rendrer, and leaue the right English word [
Tel cause] much better answering the Greeke 
originall. Aristotle was most excellent in vse of 
this figure, for he neuer propones any allegation, or makes 
any surmise, but he yeelds a reason or cause to fortifie and 
proue it, which geues it great credit. For example ye may 
take these verses, first pointing, than confirming by 

or the 
Reason rend 
or the 
Tell cause. 

When fortune shall haue spit out all her gall, 
I trust good luck shall be to me allowde, 
For I haue seene a shippe in hauen fall, 
After the storme had broke both maste and shrowde


¶3.19.128 And this.

Good is the thing that moues vs to desire, 
That is to ioy the beauty we behold: 
Els were we louers as in an endlesse fire, 
Alwaies burning and euer chill a colde


¶3.19.129 And in these verses.

Accused though I be without desart, 
Sith none can proue beleeue it not for triue: 
For neuer yet since first ye had my hart, 
Entended I to false or be vntrue

{{Page 192}}


¶3.19.130 And in this Disticque.

And for her beauties praise, no wight that with her 
For where she comes she shewes her selfe like sun among 
the stars


¶3.19.131 And in this other dittie of ours where 
the louer complaines of his Ladies crueltie, rendring for 
euer surmise a reason, and by telling the cause, seeketh (as 
it were) to get credit, thus.

Cruel you be who can say nay, 
Since ye delight in others wo: 
Vnwise am I, ye may well say, 
For that I haue, honourd you so. 
But I blamelesse I, who could not chuse, 
To be enchaunted by your eye: 
But ye to blame, thus to refuse 
My seruice, and to let me die


¶3.19.132 Sometimes our error is so manifest, or 
we be so hardly prest with our aduersaries, as we cannot 
deny the fault layd vnto our charge: in which case it is 
good pollicie to excuse it by some allowable pretext, as did 
one whom his mistresse burdened with some vnkinde speeches 
which he had past of her, thus. 

or the 
Figure of 

I said it: but by lapse of lying tongue, 
When furie and iust griefe my heart opprest: 
I sayd it: as ye see, both fraile and young, 
When your rigor had ranckled in my brest. 
The cruell wound that smarted me so sore, 
Pardon therefore (sweete sorrow) or at least 
Beare with mine youth that neuer fell before, 
Least your offence encrease my griefe the more


¶3.19.133 And againe in these,

I spake amysse I cannot it deny 
But caused by your great discourtesie: 
And if I said that which I now repent, 
And said it not, but by misgouernment 
Of youthfull yeres, your selfe that are so young 
Pardon for once this error of my tongue, 
And thinke amends can neuer come to late: 
Loue may be curst, but loue can neuer hate


¶3.19.134 Speaking before of the figure [
Synecdoche] wee call him

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[Quicke conceit] because he inured in a single 
word onely by way of intendment or large meaning, but such 
as was speedily discouered by euery quicke wit, as by the 
halfe to vnderstand the whole, and many other waies 
appearing by the examples. But by this figure [Noema
] the obscurity of the sence lieth not in a single word, 
but in an entier speech, whereof we do not so easily 
conceiue the meaning, but as it were by coniecture, because 
it is wittie and subtile or darke, which makes me therefore 
call him in our vulgar the [Close conceit] as he 
that said by himselfe and his wife, I thanke God in fortie 
winters that we haue liued together, neuer any of our 
neighbours set vs at one, meaning that they neuer fell out 
in all that space, which had bene the directer speech and 
more apert, and yet by intendment amounts all to one, being 
neuerthelesse dissemblable and in effect contrary. 
Pawlet Lord Treasorer of England, and first Marques 
of Winchester, with the like subtill speech gaue a quippe to 
Sir William Gyfford, who had married the Marques 
sister, and all her life time could neuer loue her nor like 
of her company, but when she was dead made the greatest 
moane for her in the world, and with teares and much 
lamentation vttered his griefe to the L. Treasorer, ô 
good brother quoth the Marques, I am right sory to see you 
now loue my sister so well, meaning that he shewed his loue 
too late, and should haue done it while she was a liue. 

or the 
Figure of 
close c|on|ceit. 


¶3.19.135 A great counsellour somewhat forgetting 
his modestie, vsed these words: Gods lady I reckon my selfe 
as good a man as he you talke of, and yet I am not able to 
do so. Yea sir quoth the party, your L. is too good to be a 
man, I would ye were a Saint, meaning he would he were dead, 
for none are shrined for Saints before they be dead.


¶3.19.136 The Logician vseth a definition to 
expresse the truth or nature of euery thing by his true 
kinde and difference, as to say wisedome is a prudent and 
wittie foresight and consideration of humane or worldly 
actions with their euentes. This definition is Logicall. The 
Oratour vseth another maner of definition, thus: Is this 
wisedome? no it is a certaine subtill knauish craftie wit, 
it is no industrie as ye call it, but a certaine busie 
brainsicknesse, for industrie is a liuely and vnweried 
search and occupation in honest 

or the 
Definer of 

{{Page 194}}

things, egernesse is an appetite in base and small matters.


¶3.19.137 It serueth many times to great purpose 
to preuent our aduersaries arguments, and take vpon vs to 
know before what our iudge or aduersary or hearer thinketh, 
and that we will seeme to vtter it before it be spoken or 
alleaged by them, in respect of which boldnesse to enter so 
deepely into another mans conceit or conscience, and to be 
so priuie of another mans mynde, gaue cause that this figure 
was called the [presumptuous]. I will also call 
him the figure of presupposall or the 
preuenter, for by reason we suppose before what may 
be said or perchaunce would be said by our aduersary or any 
other, we do preuent them of their aduantage, and do catch 
the ball (as they are wont to say) before it come to the 

the presumptuous, 
the figure of 


¶3.19.138 It is also very many times vsed for a 
good pollicie in pleading or perswasion to make wise as if 
we set but light of the matter, and that therefore we do 
passe it ouers lightly when in deede we do then intend most 
effectually and despightfully if it be inuectiue to remember 
it: it is also when we will not seeme to know a thing, and 
yet we know it well inough, and may be likened to the maner 
of women, who as the c|om|mon saying is, will say nay and 
take it. 

or the 

I hold my peace and will not say for shame, 
The much vntruth of that vnciuill dame: 
For if I should her coullours kindly blaze, 
It would so make the chast eares amaze. |&c.|


¶3.19.139 It is said by maner of a pouerbiall 
speach that he who findes himselfe well should not wagge, 
euen so the perswader finding a substantiall point in his 
matter to serue his purpose, should dwell vpon that point 
longer then vpon any other lesse assured, and vse all 
endeuour to maintaine that one, |&| as it were to make his 
chief aboad thereupon, for which cause I name him the figure 
of aboad, according to the Latine name: Some take it not but 
for a course of argument |&| therefore hardly may one giue 
any examples thereof. 

or the 
figure of abode 


¶3.19.140 Now as arte and good pollicy in 
perswasion bids vs to abide |&| not to stirre from the point 
of our most aduantage, but the same to enforce and tarry 
vpon with all possible argument, so doth discretion will vs 
sometimes to flit from one matter to another, as a thing 
meete to be forsaken, and another entred vpon, I call him 
therefore the flitting figure, or figure of 
remoue, like as the other 

or the 
flitting figure. 
or the 

{{Page 195}}

before was called the figure of aboade.


¶3.19.141 Euen so againe, as it is wisdome for a 
perswader to tarrie and make his aboad as long as he may 
conueniently without tediousnes to the hearer, vpon his 
chiefe proofes or points of the cause tending to his 
aduantage, and likewise to depart againe when time serues, 
and goe to a new matter seruing the purpose aswell. So is it 
requisite many times for him to talke farre from the 
principall matter, and as it were to range aside, to 
th'intent by such extraordinary meane to induce or inferre 
other matter, aswell or better seruing the principal 
purpose, and neuertheles in season to returne home where he 
first strayed out. This maner of speech is termed the figure 
of digression by the Latines, following the Greeke 
originall, we also call him the straggler by 
allusi|on| to the souldier that marches out of his array, or 
by those that keepe no order in their marche, as the 
battailes well ranged do: of this figure there need be geuen 
no example. 

or the 


¶3.19.142 Occasion offers many times that our 
maker as an oratour, or perswader, or pleader should go 
roundly to worke, and by a quick and swift argument dispatch 
his perswasion, |&| as they are woont to say not to stand 
all day trifling to no purpose, but to rid it out of the way 
quickly. This is done by a manner of speech, both figuratiue 
and argumentatiue, when we do briefly set downe all our best 
reasons seruing the purpose, and reiect all of them sauing 
one, which we accept to satisfie the cause: as he that in a 
litigious case for land would prooue it not the aduersaries, 
but his clients. 

or the 
speedie dispatcher. 

No man can say its his by heritage, 
Nor by Legacie, or Testatours deuice: 
Nor that it came by purchase or engage, 
Nor from his Prince for any good seruice. 
Then needs must it be his by very {w}rong, 
Which he hath offred this poore plaintife so long


¶3.19.143 Though we might call this figure very 
well and properly the [Paragon] yet dare I not so 
to doe for feare of the Courtiers enuy, who will haue no man 
vse that terme but after a courtly manner, that is, in 
praysing of horses, haukes, hounds, pearles, diamonds, 
rubies, emerodes, and other precious stones: specially of 
faire women whose excellencie is discouered by paragonizing 
or setting one to

{{Page 196}}

another, which moued the zealous Poet, speaking of the 
mayden Queene, to call her the paragon of Queenes. This 
considered, I will let our figure enioy his best beknowen 
name, and call him stil in all ordinarie cases the figure of 
comparison: as when a man wil seeme to make things appeare 
good or bad, or better or worse, or more or lesse excellent, 
either vpon spite or for pleasure, or any other good 
affecti|on|, then he sets the lesse by the greater, or the 
greater to the lesse, the equall to his equall, and by such 
confronting of them together, driues out the true ods that 
is betwixt them, and makes it better appeare, as when we 
sang of our Soueraigne Lady thus, in the twentieth 

As falcon fares to bussards flight, 
As egles eyes to owlates sight, 
As fierce saker to coward kite, 
As brightest noone to darkest night: 
As summer sunne exceedeth farre, 
The moone and euery other starre: 
So farre my Princesse praise doeth passe, 
The famoust Queene that euer was


¶3.19.144 And in the eighteene Partheniade thus.

Set rich rubie to red esmayle, 
The rauens plume to peacocks tayle, 
Lay me the larkes to lizards eyes, 
The duskie cloude to azure skie, 
Set shallow brookes to surging seas, 
An orient pearle to a white pease:


¶3.19.145 |&c.| Concluding.

There shall no lesse an ods be seene 
In mine from euery other Queene


¶3.19.146 We are sometimes occasioned in our tale 
to report some speech from another mans mouth, as what a 
king said to his priuy counsell or subiect, a captaine to 
his souldier, a souldiar to his captaine, a man to a woman, 
and contrariwise: in which report we must alwaies geue to 
euery person his fit and naturall, |&| that which best 
becommeth him. For that speech becommeth a king which doth 
not a carter, and a young man that doeth not an old: an so 
in euery sort and degree. Virgil speaking in the 
person of Eneas, Tur- 

the right 

{{Page 197}}

nus and many other great Princes, and sometimes of 
meaner men, ye shall see what decencie euery of their 
speeches holdeth with the qualitie, degree and yeares of the 
speaker. To which examples I will for this time referre you.


¶3.19.147 So if by way of fiction we will seem to 
speake in another mans person, as if king Henry 
the eight were aliue, and should say of the towne of 
Bulleyn, what we by warre to the hazard of our person hardly 
obteined, our young sonne without any peril at all, for 
litle mony deliuered vp againe. Or if we should faine king 
Edward the thirde, vnderstanding how his 
successour Queene Marie had lost the towne of 
Calays by negligence, should say: That which the sword 
wanne, the distaffe hath lost. This manner of speech is by 
the figure Dialogismus, or the right reasoner.


¶3.19.148 In waightie causes and for great 
purposes, wise perswaders vse graue |&| weighty speaches, 
specially in matter of aduise or counsel, for which purpose 
there is a maner of speach to alleage textes or authorities 
of wittie sentence, such as smatch morall doctrine and teach 
wisedome and good behauiour, by the Greeke originall we call 
him the directour, by the Latin he is called 
sententia: we may call him the sage sayer

or the 

"Nature bids vs as a louing mother, 
"To loue our selues first and next to loue another. 
"The Prince that couets all to know and see, 
"Had neede fall milde and patient to bee. 
"Nothing stickes faster by vs as appeares, 
"Then that which we learne in our tender yeares

or the 
Sage sayer. 


¶3.19.149 And that which our soueraigne Lady wrate 
in defiance of fortune.

Neuer thinke you fortune can beare the s{w}ay, 
Where vertues force, can cause her to obay


¶3.19.150 Heede must be taken that such rules or 
sentences be choisly made and not often vsed least excesse 
breed lothsomnesse.


¶3.19.151 Arte and good pollicie moues vs many 
times to be earnest in our speach, and then we lay on such 
load and so go to it by heapes as if we would winne the game 
by multitude of words |&| speaches, not all of one but of 
diuers matter and sence, for which cause the 

or the 
Heaping figure.

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Latines called it Congeries and we the 
heaping figure, as he that said

To muse in minde how faire, ho{w} {w}ise, ho{w} good, 
Ho{w} braue, ho{w} free, ho{w} curteous and ho{w} true, 
My Lady is doth but inflame my blood


¶3.19.152 Or thus.

I deeme, I dreame, I do, I tast, I touch, 
Nothing at all but smells of perfit blisse


¶3.19.153 And thus by maister Ed{w}ard Diar
, vehement swift |&| passionatly.

But if my faith my hope, my loue my true intent, 
My libertie, my seruice vowed, my time and all be spent. 
In vaine, |&c.|


¶3.19.154 But if such earnest and hastie heaping 
vp of speaches be made by way of recapitulation, which 
commonly is in the end of euery long tale and Oration, 
because the speaker seemes to make a collection of all the 
former materiall points, to binde them as it were in a 
bundle and lay them forth to enforce the cause and renew the 
hearers memory, then ye may geue him more properly the name 
of the [collectour] or recapitulatour, and serueth 
to very great purpose as in an hympne written by vs to the 
Queenes Maiestie entitled (Minerua) wherein 
speaking of the mutabilitie of fortune in the case of all 
Princes generally, wee seemed to exempt her Maiestie of all 
such casualtie, by reason she was by her destinie and many 
diuine partes in her, ordained to a most long and constant 
prosperitie in this world, concluding with this 

But thou art free, but were thou not in deede, 
But were thou not, come of immortall seede: 
Neuer yborne, and thy minde made to blisse, 
Heauens mettall that euerlasting is: 
Were not thy {w}it, and that thy vertues shall, 
Be deemd diuine thy fauour face and all: 
And that thy loze, ne name may neuer dye, 
Nor thy state turne, stayd by destinie: 
Dread were least once thy noble hart may feele, 
Some rufull turne, of her vnsteady {w}heele


¶3.19.155 Many times when we haue runne a long 
race in our tale spoken to the hearers, we do sodainly flye 
out |&| either speake or ex- 

the turne tale.

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claime at some other person or thing, and therefore the 
Greekes call such figure (as we do) the turnway or 
turnetale, |&| breedeth by such exchaunge a certaine 
recreation to the hearers minds, as this vsed by a louer to 
his vnkind mistresse.

And as for you (faire one) say now by proofe ye 
That rigour and ingratitude soone kill a gentle minde


¶3.19.156 And as we in our triumphals, speaking 
long to the Queenes Maiestie, vp|on| the sodaine we burst 
out in an exclamation to Phebus, seeming to draw 
in a new matter, thus.

But O Phebus, 
All glistering in thy gorgious gowne, 
Wouldst thou {w}it safe to slide a do{w}ne: 
And d{w}ell with vs, 
But for a day, 
I could tell thee close in thine eare, 
A tale that thou hadst leuer heare 
I dare {w}ell say: 
Then ere thou {w}ert, 
To kisse that vnkind runnea{w}ay, 
Who {w}as transformed to boughs of bay: 
For her curst hert. |&c.|


¶3.19.157 And so returned againe to the first 


¶3.19.158 The matter and occasion leadeth vs many 
times to describe and set foorth many things, in such sort 
as it should appeare they were truly before our eyes though 
they were not present, which to do it requireth cunning: for 
nothing can be kindly counterfait or represented in his 
absence, but by great discretion in the doer. And if the 
things we couet to describe be not naturall or nor 
veritable, than yet the same axeth more cunning to do it, 
because to faine a thing that neuer was nor is like to be, 
proceedeth of a greater wit and sharper inuention than to 
describe things that be true. 

the counterfait 


¶3.19.159 And these be things that a poet or maker 
is woont to describe sometimes as true or naturall, and 
sometimes to faine as artificiall and not true. viz
. The visage, speach and countenance of any person absent 
or dead: and this kinde of representation is called the 
Counterfait countenance: as Homer doth in his 
Ilades, diuerse 


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personages: namely Achilles and Thersites
, according to the truth and not by fiction. And as our 
poet Chaucer doth in his Canterbury tales set 
forth the Sumner, Pardoner, Manciple, and the rest of the 
pilgrims, most naturally and pleasantly.


¶3.19.160 But if ye wil faine any person with such 
features, qualities |&| c|on|diti|on|s, or if ye wil 
attribute any humane quality, as reason or speech to d|om|be 
creatures or other insensible things, |&| do study (as one 
may say) to giue th|em| a humane person, it is not 
Prosopographia, but 
Prosopopeia, because it is by way of ficti|on|, 
|&| no prettier examples can be giuen to you thereof, than 
in the Romant of the rose translated out of French by 
Chaucer, describing the persons of auarice, enuie, 
old age, and many others, whereby much moralitie is taught. 

or the 
Counterfait in 


¶3.19.161 So if we describe the time or season of 
the yeare, as winter, summer, haruest, day, midnight, noone, 
euening, or such like: we call such description the 
counterfait time. Cronographia examples are euery 
where to be found. 

or the 


¶3.19.162 And if this description be of any true 
place, citie, castell, hill, valley or sea, |&| such like: 
we call it the counterfait place Topographia, or 
if ye fayne places vntrue, as heauen, hell, paradise, the 
house of fame, the pallace of the sunne, the denne of 
sheepe, and such like which ye shall see in Poetes: so did 
Chaucer very well describe the country of 
Saluces in 
Italie, which ye may see, in his report of the 
Lady Gryfyll

or the 


¶3.19.163 But if such description be made to 
represent the handling of any busines with the circumstances 
belonging therevnto as the manner of a battell, a feast, a 
marriage, a buriall or any other matter that lieth in feat 
and actiuitie: we call it then the counterfait action [

or the 


¶3.19.164 In this figure the Lord Nicholas 
 a noble gentleman, and much delighted in vulgar 
making, |&| a man otherwise of no great leaning but hauing 
herein a maruelous facillitie, made a dittie representing 
the battayle and assault of Cupide, so excellently 
well, as for the gallant and propre application of his 
fiction in euery part, I cannot choose but set downe the 
greatest part of his ditty, for in truth it can not be 

When Cupid scaled first the fort, 
Wherein my hart lay wounded sore

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The battrie was of such a sort, 
That I must yeeld or die therefore. 
There saw I loue vpon the wall, 
How he his banner did display, 
Alarme alarme he gan to call, 
And bad his souldiers keep aray. 
The armes the {w}hich that Cupid bare, 
Were pearced harts {w}ith teares besprent: 
In siluer and sable to declare 
The stedfast loue he al{w}aies meant. 
There might you see his band all drest 
In colours like to {w}hite and blacke, 
With pouder and {w}ith pellets prest, 
To bring them forth to spoile and sacke, 
Good {w}ill the maister of the shot, 
Stood in the Rampire braue and proude, 
For expence of pouder he spared not, 
Assault assault to crie aloude. 
There might you heare the Canons rore, 
Eche peece discharging a louers looke, |&c.|


¶3.19.165 As well to a good maker and Poet as to 
an excellent perswader in prose, the figure of 
Similitude is very necessary, by which we not onely 
bewtifie our tale, but also very much inforce |&| inlarge 
it. I say inforce because no one thing more preuaileth with 
all ordinary iudgements than perswasion by similitude
. Now because there are sundry sorts of them, which also 
do worke after diuerse fashions in the hearers conceits, I 
will set them all foorth by a triple diuision, exempting the 
generall Similitude as their common Auncestour, 
and I will cal him by the name of Resemblance 
without any addition, from which I deriue three other sorts: 
and giue euery one his particular name, as 
Resemblance by Pourtrait or Imagery, which the Greeks 
call Icon, Resemblance morall or misticall, which 
they call Parabola, |&| Resemblance by 
example, which they call Paradigma, and first we 
will speake of the generall resemblance, or bare 
similitude, which may be thus spoken. 

or Resemblance. 

But as the watrie showres delay the raging wind, 
So doeth good hope cleane put away dispaire out of my mind

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¶3.19.166 And in this other likening the forlorne 
louer to a striken deere.

Then as the striken deere, withdrawes himselfe alone, 
So do I seeke some secret place, where I may make my mone


¶3.19.167 And in this of ours where we liken glory 
to a shadow.

As the shadow (his nature beyng such,) 
Followeth the body, {w}hether it {w}ill or no, 
So doeth glory, refuse it nere so much, 
Wait on vertue, be it in {w}eale or {w}o. 
And euen as the shadow in his kind, 
What time it beares the carkas company, 
Goth oft before, and often comes behind: 
So doth renowme, that raiseth vs so hye, 
Come to vs quicke, sometime not till {w}e dye. 
But the glory, that growth not ouer fast, 
Is euer great, and likeliest long to last


¶3.19.168 Againe in a ditty to a mistresse of 
ours, where we likened the cure of Loue to Achilles

The launce so bright, that made Telephus {w}ound, 
The same rusty, salued the sore againe. 
So may my meede (Madame) of you redownd, 
Whose rigour {w}as first authour of my paine


¶3.19.169 The Tuskan poet vseth this 
Resemblance, inuring as well by Dissimilitude
as Similitude, likening himselfe (by 
Implication) to the flie, and neither to the eagle 
nor to the owle: very well Englished by Sir Thomas 
 after his fashion, and by my selfe thus:

There be some fowles of sight so prowd and starke, 
As can behold the sunne, and neuer shrinke, 
Some so feeble, as they are faine to {w}inke, 
Or neuer come abroad till it be darke: 
Others there be so simple, as they thinke, 
Because it shines, to sport them in the fire, 
And feele vn{w}are, the {w}rong of their desire, 
Fluttring amidst the flame that doth them burne, 
Of this last ranke (alas) am I a right, 
For in my ladies lockes to stand or turne 
I haue no po{w}er, ne find place to retire, 
Where any darke may shade me from her sight

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But to her beames so bright whilst I aspire, 
I perish by the bane of my delight


¶3.19.170 Againe in these likening a wise man to 
the true louer.

As true loue is content with his enioy, 
And asketh no witnesse nor no record, 
And as faintloue is euermore most coy, 
To boast and brag his troth at euery {w}ord: 
Euen so the {w}ise {w}ithouten other meede: 
Contents him {w}ith the guilt of his good deede


¶3.19.171 And in this resembling the learning of 
an euill man to the seedes sowen in barren ground.

As the good seedes sowen in fruitfull soyle, 
Bring foorth foyson when barren doeth them spoile: 
So doeth it fare when much good learning hits, 
Vpon shrewde willes and ill disposed wits


¶3.19.172 And in these likening the wise man to an 

A sage man said, many of those that come 
To Athens schoole for {w}isdome, ere they went 
They first seem'd wise, then louers of wisdome,&nb