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of George Gascoigne
Corrected, perfected, and augmented
by the Authour. 1575.
Tam Marti quàm Mercurio.
Printed at London for Richard Smith,
and are to be solde at the Northweast
doore of Paules Church.
John W. Cunliffe, M.A., D.Lit. (London)
Professor of English in the University
of Wisconsin, U.S.A.
at the University Press
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To the reverende Divines, unto
whom these Posies shall happen to be pre-
sented, George Gascoigne Esquire (professing
armes in the defence of Gods truth) wisheth
quiet in conscience, and all consolation
in Christ Jesus.
Right reverend: I have thought it my part (before I wade further in publishing of these Posies) to lay open before your grave judgementes, aswell the cause which presently moveth mee to present them, as also the depth and secrets of some conceytes, which (being passed in clowdes and figurative speeches) might percase both be offensive to your gravitie, and perillous to my credite.
It is verie neare two yeares past, since (I beeing in Hollande in service with the vertuous Prince of Orenge) the most parte of these Posies were imprinted, and now at my returne, I find that some of them have not onely bene offensive for sundrie wanton speeches and lascivious phrases, but further I heare that the same have beene doubtfully construed, and (therefore) scandalous.
My reverence and welbeloved: whatsoever my youth hath seemed unto the graver sort, I woulde bee verie loth nowe in my middle age to deserve reproch: more loth to touch the credite of any other, and moste loth to have mine own name become unto you odious. For if I shoulde nowe at this age seeme as carelesse of reproche, as I was in greene youth readie to goe astray, my faultes might quickely growe double, and myne estimation shoulde bee woorthie too remayne but single. I have learned that although there may bee founde in a Gentleman whereby to be reprehended or rebuked, yet ought he not to be woorthie of reproofe or condemnation.
All this I set downe in preamble, too the ende I maye thereby purchase youre pacience. And as I desyre that you wyll not condemne mee wythoute proofe, so am I contented, that if heereafter you finde mee guiltie, youre definitive sentence shall then passe publikelye under the Seale of Severitie.
It were not reason (righte reverence) that I shoulde bee ignoraunt howe generally wee are all magis proni ad malum quàm ad bonum. Even so is it requisite that I acknowledge a generall reformation of maners more necessarie to bee taught, than anye Whetstone of Vanities is meete (in these dayes) to bee suffered. And therefore as youre gravitie bathe thought requysite that all ydle Bookes or wanton Pamphlettes shoulde bee forbidden, so might it seeme that I were woorthie of greate reprehension, if I shoulde bee the Aucthour of evill wilfully, or a provoker of vyces wittingly. And yet some there are who have not spared too reporte that I receyved greate summes of money for the first printing of these Posies, whereby (if it were true) I mighte seeme not onely a craftie Broker for the utteraunce of garishe toyes, but a corrupte Merchaunte for the sale of deceyptfull wares.
For answere heereof it is moste true (and I call Heaven and Earth too witnesse) that I never receyved of the Printer, or of anye other, one grote or pennie for the firste Copyes of these Posyes. True it is that I was not unwillinge the same shoulde bee imprinted: And that not of a vaineglorious desyre too bee thought a pleasaunt Poet, neyther yet of a lyghte minde too bee counted a cunning Lover. For though in youth I was often overhardie too put my name in Ballaunce of doubtfull judgementes, yet nowe I am become so bashfull that I coulde rather bee content boo leese the prayse of my follyes, than too hazarde the misconceyte of the grave and graye headed Judges. But too confesse a truthe untoo you right reverence (with whome I maye not dissemble in cases whiche so generally doe touche all menne) I was the rather contented too see them imprinted for these sundrie considerations.
First, for that I have scene dyverse Authours, (both learned and well learned) which after they have both reformed their lives, and converted their studies, have not yet disdeyned to reade the Poems which they let passe their pennes in youth. For it seemeth untoo mee that in all ages Poetrie hath beene not
onely permitted, but also it hath beene thought a right good and excellent qualitie.
Next unto this, I have alwayes benne of opinion, that it is not unpossible eyther in Poemes or in Prose too write both compendiously, and perfectly in our Englishe tongue. And therefore although I chalenge not unto my selfe the name of an English Poet, yet may the Reader finde oute in my wrytings, that I have more faulted in keeping the olde English wordes (quamvis iam obsoleta) than in borowing of other languages, such Epithetes and Adjectives as smell of the Inkhorne.
Thirdly, as I seeke advauncement by vertue, so was I desirous that there might remaine in publike recorde, some pledge or token of those giftes wherwith it hath pleased the Almightie to endue me: To the ende that thereby the vertuous might bee incouraged to employ my penne in some exercise which might tende both to my preferment, and to the profite of my Countrey. For many a man which may like mine outwarde presence, might yet have doubted whether the qualityes of my minde had bene correspondent to the proportion of my bodie.
Fourthly, bicause I had written sundry things which coulde not chuse but content the learned and Godlye Reader, therefore I hoped the same should serve as undoubted proofe, that I had layde aside vanities, and delighted to exercise my penne in morall discourses, at least the one passing (cheeke by cheek) with the other, muste of necessitie persuade both the learned, and the light minded, that I coulde aswell sowe good graine, as graynes or draffe. And I thought not meete (beeing inntermingled as they were) to cast away a whole bushell of good seede, for two or three graynes of Darnell or Cockle.
Lastly, I persuaded my selfe that as in the better sort of the same I shoulde purchase good lyking with the honourable aged: So even in the worst sorte, I might yet serve as a myrrour for unbrydled youth, to avoyde those perilles which I had passed. For little may he do which hath escaped the rock or the sandes; if he cannot waft with his hande to them that come after him.
These considerations (right reverend) did first move me to consent that these Poemes shoulde passe in print. For recapitulation whereof, and to answere unto the objections that may bee given: I say to the first that I neither take example of wanton
Ovid, doting Nigidius, nor foolish Samocratius. But I delight to thinke that the reverend father Theodore Beza, whose life is worthily become a lanterne to the whole worlde, did not yet disdaine too suffer the continued publication of such Poemes as he wrote in youth. And as he termed them at last Poëmata castrata, So shal your reverend judgements beholde in this seconde edition, my Poemes gelded from all filthie phrases, corrected in all erronious places, and beautified with addition of many moral examples.
To the seconde, although I be sometimes constreyned for the cadence of rimes, or per licentiam Poeticam, to use an ynkehorne terme, or a straunge word: Yet hope I that it shall be apparent I have rather regarde to make our native language commendable in it selfe, than gay with the feathers of straunge birdes.
To the thirde reason may be objected, that if I were so desirous to have my capacitie knowne, I shoulde have done much better to have travelled in some notorious peece of worke, which might generally have spred my commendation. The which I confesse. But yet is it true that I must take the Foord as I finde it: Sometimes not as I woulde, but as I may. And since the oversight of my youth had brought mee farre behinde hande and indebted unto the world, I thought good in the meane time to pay as much as I had, untill it might please God better to inable me. For commonly the greediest creditor is appeased, if he see his debitor willing to pay when he hath any thing. And therefore being busied in martiall affayres (whereby also I sought some advauncement) I thought good to notifie unto the worlde before my returne, that I coulde as well persuade with Penne, as pearce with launce or weapon: So that yet some noble minde might be incouraged both to exercise me in time of peace, and to emploie mee in time of service in warre.
To the fourth and last considerations, I had alledged of late by a right reverence father, that although in deede out of everie floure the industrious Bee may gather honie, yet by proofe the Spider thereout also sucks mischeevous poyson. Whereunto I can none otherwise answere, but that he who will throw a stone at everie Dogge which barketh, had neede of a great satchell or pocket. And if the learned judgements
and honest mindes doe both construe my doings aright, and take therein either councell or commoditie, then care I the lesse what the wicked conceyve of my conceytes. For I esteeme more the prayse of one learned Reader, than I regard the curious carping of ten thousande unlettered tattlers.
To conclude (right reverend) as these considerations did specially move me at first to consent to the imprinting of these posies, so nowe have I yet a further consideration which moveth mee most earnestly to sue for this second edition or publishing of the same. And that is this. I understande that sundrie well disposed mindes have taken offence at certaine wanton wordes and sentences passed in the fable of Ferdinando Jeronimi, and the Ladie Elinora de Valasco, the which in the first edition was termed The adventures of master F. J. And that also therwith some busie conjectures have presumed to thinke that the same was indeed written to the scandalizing of some worthie personages, whom they woulde seeme therby to know. Surely (right reverend) I smile to see the simplicitie of such, who being indeed starke staring blind, would yet seeme to see farre into a milstone. And the rather I scorne their rash judgements, for that in talking with .xx. of them one after another, there have not two agreed in one conjecture. Alas, alas, if I had bene so foolishe as to have passed in recitall a thing so done in deede, yet all the world might thinke me verie simple if I woulde call John, John, or Mary, Mary. But for the better satisfying of all men universally, I doe here protest unto you (reverend) even by the hope of my salvation, that there is no living creature touched or to be noted therby. And for the rest you shall find it now in this second imprinting so turquened and turned, so clensed from all unclenly wordes, and so purged from the humor of inhumanitie, as percase you woulde not judge that it was the same tale. For although I have bin heretofore contented to suffer the publication thereof, only to the ende men might see my Methode and maner of writing: yet am I nowe thus desirous to set it forth eftsoones, to the ende all men might see the reformation of my minde: And that all suspitions may be suppressed and throughly satisfied, by this mine unfeined protestation which I make unto you in that behalfe. Finally, were it not that the same is alreadie extant in such sort as hath moved offence, I should rather be
content to cancel it utterly to oblivion, than thus to returne it in a new patched cote. And for full proofe of mine earnest zeale in Gods service, I require of you (reverence) most instantly, that if hereby my skill seeme sufficient to wade in matters of greater importance, you will then vouchsafe to employ mee accordingly. Surely you shall finde me no lesse readie to undertake a whole yeares travaile in anie worke which you shall thinke me able to overcome, than I have beene willing heretofore to spende three houres in penning of an amorous Sonnet. Even so being desirous that all men generally (and you especially) should conceive of me as I meane, I have thus farre troubled your lerned eies with this plaine Epistle, written for my purgation, in matters whiche (else) might both have offended you, and given great batterie to the ramparts of my poore credite. The God of peace vouchsafe to governe and product you, and me, and all his, in quiet of conscience, and strength of spirit. Amen. From my poore house at Waltamstow in the Forest, this last day of Januarie. 1574.
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To al yong Gentlemen, and general -
ly to the youth of England, George Gas-
coigne Esquire by birth, and Souldiour by
profession, wisheth increase of knowledge in
all vertuous exercises.
Gallant Gentlemen, and lustie youthes of this my native Countrey, I have here (as you see) published in print suche Posies and rymes as I used in my youth, the which for the barbarousnesse of the stile may seeme worthlesse, and yet for the doubtfulnesse of some darke places they have also seemed (heretofore) daungerous. So that men may justly both condemne me of rashnesse, and wonder at my simplicitie in suffering or procuring the same to be imprinted.
A yong man well borne, tenderly fostered, and delicately accompanied, shall hardly passe over his youth without falling into some snares of the Divell, and temptations of the flesh. But a man of middle yeares, who hath to his cost experimented the vanities of youth, and to his perill passed them: who hath bought repentance deare, and yet gone through with the bargaine: who seeth before his face the tyme past lost, and the rest passing away in post: Such a man had more neede to be well advised in his doings, and resolute in his determinations. For with more ease and greater favour may we answere for tenne madde follies committed in grene youth, than one sober oversight escaped in yeares of discretion. Lycurgus the good princely Philosopher, ordeyned that if an olde man perceiving a yong man to commit any dishonestie, did not rebuke but suffer him: the aged shoulde be chastised, and the yong man should be absolved.
All this rehearsed and considered, you may (as I say) growe
in some doubt, whether I were worse occupied in first devising, or at last in publishing these toies & pamphlets: and much the rather, for that it is a thing commonly scene, that (nowe adayes) fewe or no things are so well handled, but they shall bee carped at by curious Readers, nor almost any thing so well meet, but may bee muche misconstrued.
And heerewithall I assure my selfe, that I shall bee generally condemned as a man verie lightly bent, and rather desyrous to continue in the freshe remembraunce of my follyes, than content too cancell them in oblivion by discontinuance: especially since in a house where many yong children are, it hath bene thought better pollicie quite to quench out the fire, than to leave any loose cole in the imbers, wherewith Babes may play and put the whole edifice in daunger.
But my lustie youthes, and gallant Gentlemen, I had an intent farre contrarie untoo all these supposes, when I fyrst [permitted] the publication heereof. And bycause the greatest offence that hath beene taken thereat, is, least your mindes might heereby become envenomed with vanities, therefore unto you I will addresse my tale, for the better satisfying of common judgements. And unto you I will explane, that which being before mistically covered, and commonly misconstrued, might be no lesse perillous in seducing you, than greevous evidence for to prove mee guiltie of condemnation.
Then to come unto the matter, there are three sortes of men which (beeing wonderfully offended at this booke) have founde therein three maner of matters (say they) verie reprehensible. The men are these: curious Carpers, ignorant Readers, and grave Philosophers. The faults they finde are, Iudicare in the Creede: Chalke for Cheese: and the common infection of Love. Of these three sorts of men and matters, I do but very little esteeme the two first. But I deeply regarde the thirde. For of a verie troth, there are one kinde of people nowadayes which will mislyke any thing, being bred (as I thinke) of the spawne of a Crab or Crevish, which in all streames and waters will swimme eyther sidewayes, or flat backwards: and when they can indeede finde none other fault, will yet thinke Iudicare verie untowardlye placed in the Creede. Or (beeing a simple Sowter) will finde fault at the shape of the legge: or if they be not there stopped, they wil not spare to
step up higher, and say, that Apelles paynted Dame Venus verie deformed or evill favoured.
Of this sort I make small accounte, bycause indeede they seeke a knotte in the Rushe, and woulde seeme to see verie farre in a Mylstone.
There are also certaine others, who (having no skill at all) will yet be verie busie in reading all that may bee read, and thinke it sufficient if (Parrot like) they can rehearse things without booke: when within booke they understande neyther the meaning of the Authour, nor the sense of the figurative speeches, I will forbeare to recyte examples by any of mine owne doings. Since all comparisons are odious, I will not say how much the areignment and divorce of a Lover (being written in jeast) have bene mistaken in sad earnest. It shall suffice that the contentions passed in verse long sithence, betwene maister Churchyard and Camell, were (by a blockheaded reader) construed to be indeed a quarell betwene two neighbors. Of whom that one having a Camell in keping, and that other having charge of the Churchyard, it was supposed they had grown to debate, bicause the Camell came into the Churchyarde. Laugh not at this (lustie yonkers) since the pleasant dittie of the noble Erle of Surrey (beginning thus: In winters just returne) was also construed to be made indeed by a Shepeherd. What shoulde I stance much in rehersall how the L. Vaux his dittie (beginning thus: I loth that I did love) was thought by some to be made upon his death bed? and that the Soulknill of M. Edwards was also written in extremitie of sicknesse? Of a truth (my good gallants) there are such as having only lerned to read English, do interpret Latin, Greke, French and Italian phrases or metaphors, even according to their owne motherly conception and childish skill. The which (bicause they take Chalke for Cheese) shall never trouble me, whatsoever fault they finde in my doings.
But the third sort (beeing grave Philosophers, and finding just fault in my doings at the common infection of love) I must needes alledge suche juste excuse as may countervayle their juste complaynts. For else I shoulde remayne woorthie of a severe punishment. They wysely considering that wee are all in youth more apt to delight in harmefull pleasures, than to disgest wholesome and sounde advice, have thought meete to
forbid the publishing of any ryming tryfles which may serve as whetstones to sharpen youth unto vanities.
And for this cause, finding by experience also, how the first Copie of these my Posies hath beene verie much i[n]quired for by the yonger sort: and hearing likewise that (in the same) the greater part hath beene written in pursute of amorous enterpryses, they have justly conceyved that the continuance thereof hath beene more likely to stirre in all yong Readers a venemous desire of vanitie, than to serve as a common myrrour of greene and youthfull imperfections. Whereunto I must confesse, that as the industrious Bee may gather honie out of the most stinking weede, so the malicious Spider may also gather poyson out of the fayrest floure that growes.
And yet in all this discourse I see not proved, that either that Gardener is too blame which planteth his Garden full of fragrant floures: neyther that planter to be dispraysed, which soweth all his beddes with seedes of wholesome herbes: neyther is that Orchard unfruitfull, which (under skew of sundrie weedes) hath medicinable playsters for all infirmities. But if the Chirurgian which should seeke Sorrell to rypen an Ulcer, will take Rewe which may more inflame the Impostume, then is hee more to blame that mistooke his gathering, than the Gardener which planted aright, and presented store and choyse to be taken. Or if the Phisition will gather hote Perceley in stead of cold Endive, shall he not worthily beare the burthen of his owne blame?
To speake English it is your using (my lustie Gallants) or misusing of these Posies that may make me praysed or dispraysed for publishing of the same. For if you (where you may learne to avoyd the subtile sandes of wanton desire) will runne upon the rockes of unlawfull lust, then great is your folly, and greater will growe my rebuke. If you (where you might gather wholesome hearties to cure your sundrie infirmities) will spende the whole day in gathering of sweete smelling Posies, much will be the time that you shal mispende, and much more the harme that you shall heape upon my heade. Or if you will rather beblister your handes with a Nettle, than comfort your senses by smelling to the pleasant Marjoram, then wanton is your pastime, and small will be your profite.
I have here presented you with three sundrie sortes of
Posies: Floures, Hearbes, and Weedes. In which division I have not ment that onely the Floures are to be smelled unto, nor that onely the Weedes are to be rejected. I terme some Floures, bycause being indeed invented upon a verie light occasion, they have yet in them (in my judgement) some rare invention and Methode before not commonly used. And therefore (beeing more pleasant than profitable) I have named them Floures.
The seconde (being indeede morall discourses, and reformed inventions, and therefore more profitable than pleasant) I have named Hearbes.
The third (being Weedes) might seeme to some judgements, neither pleasant nor yet profitable, and therefore meete to bee cast away. But as many weedes are right medicinable, so may you find in this none so vile or stinking, but that it hath in it some vertue if it be rightly handled. Mary you must take heede how you use them. For if you delight to put Hemlocke in your fellowes pottage, you may chaunce both to poyson him, and bring your selfe in perill. But if you take example by the harmes of others who have eaten it before you, then may you chaunce to become so warie, that you will looke advisedly on all the Perceley that you gather, least amongst the same one braunch of Hemlock might anoy you.
I assure you, my yong blouds, I have not published the same to the intent that other men hereafter might be infected with my follies forepassed. For though it be a comfort in miseriis habere consortem, yet is it small consolation to a fellon, to have a Coyner hanged in his companie. And I assure you (although you will think it straunge) that I have not caused them to bee imprinted for anie vaine delight which I have (my selfe) therein conceyved. For the most of them being written in my madnesse, might have yeelded then more delight to my frantike fansie to see them published, than they now do accumulate cares in my minde to set them forth corrected: and a deformed youth had bene more likely to set them to sale long sithence, than a reformed man can be able now to protect them with simplicitie.
The scope of mine intent, and the marke whereat I shoote is double. I meane grounded upon two sundrie causes: the one that being indebted unto the worlde (at the least five
thousande dayes verie vainly spent) I may yeeld him yet some part of mine account in these Poemes. Wherein as he may finde great diversitie both in stile and sense, so may the good bee incouraged to set mee on worke at last, though it were noone before I sought service. The other reason is, that bicause I have (to mine owne great detriment) mispent my golden time, I may serve as ensample to the youthfull Gentlemen of England, that they runne not upon the rocks which have brought me to shipwracke. Beware therefore, lustie Gallants, howe you smell to these Posies. And learne you to use the talent which I have highly abused. Make me your myrrour. And if hereafter you see me recover mine estate, or reedifie the decayed walls of my youth, then beginne you sooner to builde some foundation which may beautifie your Pallace. If you see me sinke in distresses (notwithstanding that you judge me quick of capacitie) then lerne you to mainteyne your selves swimming in prosperitie, and eschue betymes the whirlepoole of misgovernment.
Finally, I beseech you, and conjure you, that you rather encourage me to accomplish some worthier travaile, by seeing these Posies right smelled unto, than discourage me from attempting other labours, when I shall see these first fruites rejected or misused. I have corrected them from sundrie faultes. Which if they had not brought suspition in the first copie, be you then out of doubt you had never bene troubled with these seconde presents, nor persuaded to flourishe wisely with a two edged swoorde in your naked hands. But as I have ment them well, so I crave of God, that they may both pleasure and profite you for the furtherance of your skill in any commendable enterprise. From my poore house at Waltamstow in the Forest the second of Januarie. 1575.
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To the Readers generally a gene-
rall advertisement of the
ALl that is written is written for our instruction, as the holy Apostle witnesseth to the Romaines in his .xv. Chapter. And in his ninth Chapter of his first Epistle to the Corinthians, hee glorieth that hee coulde (as it were) transforme himself into all professions, therby to winne all kinde of men to God: saying that with the Jewes he became a Jew: with them that were under the law, he seemed also under the lawe: with the feeble, he shewed himselfe feeble. And to conclude, he became all things to all men, to the ende that hee might thereby winne some to salvation. My Schoolemaster which taught me Grammer, woulde alwayes say that some schollers he woonne to studie by strypes, some other by fayre meanes, some by promises, some other by prayses, some by vainglorie, and some by verie shame. But I never hard him repent him that ever he had persuaded any scholler to become studious, in what sort soever it were that hee woonne him. For whether the brave Gennet be broken with the bitte, or with the snaffle, whither he be brought in awe with a Spurre, or with a wand, all is one if he prove readie and well mouthed.
Thus much I write (gentle Reader) to the ende that myne intent may appeare in publishing of these Posies. Wherein as there are many things morall, so are there also some verses more sauced with wantonnesse than with wisedome. And as there are some ditties which may please and delight the godly and graver sort, so are there some which may allure the yonger sort unto fond attempts. But what for that? Hath Terence bene forbidden to be read, bicause his Comedies are rehearsals of many madde prankes played by wanton youthes? No surely.
Paracelsus, and sundrie other Phisitions and Philosophers, declare, that in everie thing naturall there is to be founde Salt, Oyle, and Brimstone. And I am of opinion, that in every thing which is written (the holy scriptures excepted) there are to be founde wisedome, follie, emulation, and detraction. For as I never yet saw any thing so clerkly handled, but that therein might be found some imperfections: So coulde I never yet reade fable so ridiculous but that therein some morallitie might be gathered. And as the good writer shall be sure of some to bee maliced: so the bad shall never escape the byting tongues of slaunderers.
But to returne to my purpose: If in the hardest flint there may be found sparkes of lively fire, and the most knottie peece of Box, may be wrought to a fayre Doogen hafte: let these fewe suffice to persuade thee, that I have not procured the publication heereof to any ende, so much as that the youthful, sort might therein take example, and the aged recreation.
Nowe if any (misgoverning their owne wittes) doe fortune to use that for a Spurre, which I had heere appoynted for a Brydle, I can none otherwise lament it, but to say that I am not the first which hath bene misjudged. Truely (gentle Reader) I protest that I have not ment heerein to displease any man, but my desire hath rather bene to content most men: I meane the divine with godly Hymnes and Psalmes, the sober minde with morall discourses, and the wildest will with sufficient warning. The which if it so fall out, then shall I thinke my selfe right happie. And if it fall out otherwise, I shall yet never bee ashamed to become one of their corporation which reape floutes and reprehension for their travayles.
But bicause these Posies growe to a great bundell, and thereof also the number of loving lynes exceedeth in the Superlative, I thought good to advertise thee, that the most part of them were written for other men. And out of all doubt, if ever I wrote lyne for my selfe in causes of love, I have written tenne for other men in layes of lust. For I counte greater difference betweene love and lust, than there is diversitie betweene witte and wisedome: and yet witte and I did (in youth) make such a fray, that I feare his cosen wisedome will never become freendes with me in my age. Well,
though my folly bee greater than my fortune, yet overgreat were mine unconstancie, if (in mine owne behalfe) I shoulde compyle so many sundrie Songs or Sonets. I have heard of an honest plaine meaning Citizen, who (being overcharged with many matters in the lawe, and hearing of a common solicitor of causes in the Citie) came home to comfort his wife, and tolde hir that he had heard of one which dwelt at Billingsgate, that coulde helpe all men. Even so (good Reader) I was a great while the man which dwelt at Billingsgate. For in wanton delightes I helped all men, though in sad earnest I never furthered my selfe any kinde of way. And by that it proceedeth, that I have so often chaunged my Posie or worde. For when I did compile any thing at the request of other men, if I had subscribed the same with mine owne usuall mot or devise, it might have bewrayed the same to have beene of my doing. And I was ever curious in that behalfe, as one that was lothe to bewray the follies of other men. And yet (as you see) I am not verie daungerous to lay my selfe wide open in view of the worlde. I have also sundrie tymes chaunged mine owne worde or devise. And no mervaile: For he that wandereth much in those wildernesses, shall seldome continue long in one minde.
Well, it were follie to bewayle things which are unpossible
to be recovered, sithence Had I wist doth seldome serve as a
blasone of good understanding. And therefore I will spende
no more wordes in this Preface, but I pray thee to smell
unto these Posies, as Floures to comfort, Herbes
to cure, and Weedes to be avoyded. So have
I ment them, and so I beseech thee
Reader to accept them.
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