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EARL OF PEMBROKE.
earl, who in blood and nature is interested to And the rather, for that this detractor iste take our part in this canse, with others who can commendable rhyme, albeit now himself an en not, I know, but hold dear the monuments that best notice of bis worth) is a man of fair para
to rhyme, have given heretofore to the world be have been left onto the world in this manner of and good repatation, and therefore the repang composition; and who, I trust, will take in forcibly cast from such a hand, may thros de good part this my defence, if not as it is my par- long time build up again, especially upon the
more at once than the labours of many strate ticular, yet in respect of the cause I undertake, pery foundation of opinion, and the warid's ise which I here invoke you all to protect. stancy, which knows not well what it would has
Discit enim citius, meminitque libentinas il
Quod quis deridet quam quod probat et venerate"
And he who is thus become our unkind ades
not, in a thing that concerns us so near, but ban
a feeling of the wrong done, wherein erery rte.
drawn with his learning, he would bare forbins
Druids above rhymes used, and therefore te
I called romansi, as some Italians hold; or, howso
.................non ego paucis He ever, it is likewise number and harmony of words, Offendor maculis quas aut incuria fudit
consisting of an agreeing sound in the last syllables Aut humana parum cavet natura. 1.113 of several verses, giving both to the ear an echo son of a delightful report, and to the memory a For all men have their errours, and we must take 12h deeper impression of what is delivered therein; the best of their powers, and leave the rest, as not = for as Greek and Latin verse consists of the num- appertaining unto us. 254 ber and quantity of syllables, so doth the English Ill customs are to be left, I grant it; but I see La vérse of measure and accent: and though it doth not how that can be taken for an ill custom, which Se pot strictly observe long and short syllables, yet it nature hath thus ratified, all nations received,
most religiously respects the accent; and as the time so long confirmed, the effects such, as it per
short and the long make number, so the accute forms those offices of motion for which it is emam and grave accent yield barmony, and harmony ployed; delighting the ear, stirring the heart, and ate is likewise number; so that the English verse satisfying the judgment in such sort, as I doubt
then hath number, measure, and harmony, in the whether ever single numbers will do io our climate, e best proportion of music; which being more cer- if they show no more work of wonder than yet we en tain and more resounding, works that effect of see: and if ever they prove to become any thing, ## motion with as happy success as either the Greek it must be by the approbation of many ages that se or Latin: and so natural a melody is it, and so must give them their strength for any operation,
universal, as it seems to be generally born with or before the world will feel where the pulse, life, e all the nations of the world, as an hereditary elo- and energy lies, which now we are sure where to i quence proper to all mankind. The universality have in our rhymes, whose known frame hath those
argues the general power of it; for if the barba- due stays for the mind, those encounters of touch, trian use it, then it shows that it sways the affec- as makes the motion certain, though the variety
tion of the barbarian; if civil nations practise it, be infinite. Nor will the general sort, for whom it proses that it works upon the hearts of civil we write (the wise being above books) taste these nations; if all, then that it hath a power in nature lavoured measures but as an orderly prose when
on all. Georgieuez de Turcarum moribus, hath we have all done. For this kind acquaintance and *an example of the Turkish: rhymes, just of the continual familiarity ever had betwixt our ear and
measure of our verse, of eleven syllables, in femi- this cadence, is grown to so intimate a friendship, nine rhyme; never begotten, I am persuaded, by as it will now hardly ever be brought to miss it. any example in Europe, but born, no doubt, in For be the verse never so good, never so full, it Seythia, and brought over Caucasus and Mount Tau- seems not to satisfy nor breed that delight, as rus. The Sclavonian and Arabian tongues acquaint a when it is met and combined with a like sounding gréat part of Asia and Afric with it; the Mosco- accent; which seems as the jointure, without vite, Polac, Hungarian, German, Italian, French, which it hangs loose, and cannot subsist, but runs and Spaniard, use no other harmony of words; wildly on, like a tedious fancy, without a close.. the Irish, Briton, Scot, Dane, Saxon, English, suffer the world to enjoy that which it knows, and and all the inhabiters of this island, either have what it likes; seeing whatsoever form of words hither brought, or here found the same in use: doth move, delight and sway the affections of men, aod such a force hath it in nature, or so made by in what Scythian sort soever it be disposed or utnature, as the Latin numbers, notwithstanding tered, that is, true number, measure, eloquence,
their excellency, seemned not sufficient to satisfy and the perfection of speech; which I said, hath party the ear of the world theretato accustomed, with as many shapes as there be topgues or nations in
Outt this harmonical cadence, which made the the world, nor can with all the tyrannical rules of most learted of all nations labour, with exceeding idle rhetoric be governed otherwise than custom,
travail, to bring those numbers likewise unto it; and present observation will allow. And being nou * which many did, with that happiness, as neither the trim and fashion of the times, to suit a man
tveir purity of tongue, nor their material contem- otherwise, cannot but give a touch of singularity, piations, are thereby any way disgraced, but ra- for when he hath done all, he hath but found other ther deserve to be reverenced of all grateful pos- clothes to the same body, and peradventure not.so terity, with the due regard of their worth. And fitting as the former. But could our adversary
for Schola Salerna, and those Carmina Proverbia- hereby set up the music of our times to a higher per ba, who finds not therein more precepts for use, note of judgment and discretion, or could these gh concernmg diet, health, and conversation, than new laws of words better our imperfections, it were
Cato, Theognes, or all the Greeks and Latins can a happy attempt; but when hereby we shall but,
sbor us in that kind of teaching; and that in so as it were, change prison, and put off these fetters en tew words,' both for delight to the ear, and the to receive others, what have we gajned? as good aliyet hold of the memury, as they are to be embraced still to use rhyme and a little reason, as neither
of all modest readers, that study to know and not rhyme nor reason? For no doubt, as idle wits will to depraves:
write, in that kind, as do now in this; imitation Methinks it is a strange imperfection, that men will after, though it break her neck. Scribimus should thus over-run the estimation of good things indocti doctique poemata passim. And this mulwith so violent a censure, as though it must please titude of idle writers can be no disgrace to the
Done else, because it likes not them; whereas, good, for the same fortune in one proportion or w Oportet arbitratores esse non contradictores eos other is proper in a like season to all states in their
qui verum judicaturi sunt, saith Aristotle, though, turn; and the same unmeasurable confluence of be could not observe it himself. And mild charity scribblers happened, when measures were most in
use among the Romans, as we find by this reprohension,
Mutavit mentem populus levis, et calet uno tation, and comparable to the best iorentions of Scribendi studio, pueri, patresque severi the world; for sure in an eminent spirit bon Fronde comas vincti cænant, et carmina dictant. nature hath fitted for that mystery, rhyme is no
impediment to his conceit, but rather gires to So that their plenty seems to have bred the wings to mount, and carries him not out of his same waste and contempt as ours doth pow, though course, but as it were beyond his power to a ta it had not power to disvalue what was worthy of happier flight. All excellencies being sold as posterity, nor keep back the reputation of excel- the hard price of labour, it follows, where we be lencies, destined to continue for many ages. For stow most thereof, we buy the best success, and seeing it is matter that satisfies the judicial, ap- rhyme being far more laborious than loose measuca pear it in what habit it will, all these pretended (whatsoever is objected) must needs, meeting with proportions of words, howsoever placed, can be but wit and industry, breed greater and worthier ellerts words, and peradventure serve but to embroil our in our language. So that if oor labours have understanding, whilst seeking to please our ear, wrought out a manumissiog from bondage, and we enthral our judgment; to delight an exterior that we go at liberty, notwithstanding these te sense, we smooth up a weak confused sense, affect- we are no longer the slaves of thyme, but we make ing sound to be unsound, and all to seem servum it a most excellent instrument to serve us. Na pecus, only to imitate the Greek and Latins, whose is this certain limit observed in sonnets, any tyre felicity, in this kind, might be something to them- nical bounding of the conceit, but rather a redes selves, to whom their own idiom was natural, buting it in girum, and a just form, neither too kes to us it ean yield no other commodity than a sound. for the shortest project, nor too short for the longWe admire them not for their smooth gliding est, being but only employed for a present passion words, nor their ineasures, but for their inventions; For the body of our imagination being as an ubwhich treasure, if it were to be found in Welsh formed chaos, without fashion, without day, if by and Irish, we should hold those languages in the the divine power of the spirit it be wrought into a same estimation, and they may thank their sword orb of order and form, is it not more pleasing te that made their tongues so famous and universal nature, that desires a certainty, and comports best as they are. For to say truth, their verse is many with what is infinite ? to have these closes, rather times but a confused deliverer of their excellent than not to know where to end, or how far to conceits, whose scattered limbs we are fain to look especially seeing our passions are often withou. out and join together, to discern the image of measure : and we find the best of the Latins many what they represent unto us. And even the times, either not concluding, or else otherwise in Lutines, who profess not to be so licentious as the the end then they began. Besides, is it not mes Greeks, shows us many times examples, but of delightful to see much excellency ordered in a strange cruelty, in torturing and dismembering small room, or little gallantry disposed and made of words in the middle, or disjoining sucb as na- to fill up a space of like capacity, in such sort, turally should be married and march together, by that the one would not appear so beautiful in s setting them as far asunder as they could possibly larger circuit, nor the other do well in a less! stand ; that sometimes, unless the kind reader, which often we find to be so, according to the out of his own good nature, will stay them up by powers of nature, in the workman. And these their measure, they will fall down into fat prose, limited proportions, and rests of stanzas, consisting and sometimes are no other indeed in their natural of six, seven, or eight lines, are of that happiness, both sound; and then again, when you find them dis- for the disposition of the matter, the apt planting the obedient to their own laws, you must hold it to be sentence where it may best stand to hit the certain licentia poetica, and so dispensable. The striving close of delight with the full body of a just period to show their changeable measures in the variety well carried, is such, as neither the Greeks or of their odes, have been very painful, no doubt, Latins ever attained unto. Por their bouadless run unto them, and forced them thus to disturb the ning on often so confounds the reader, that having quiet stream of their words, which by a natural once lost himself, must either gire off unsatisfied, succession otherwise desire to follow in their due or uncertainly cast back to retrieve the escaped course.
sense, and to find way again into his matter. But such affliction doth laboursome curiosity Methinks we should not so soon yield up our still lay upon our best delights (which ever must be consents captive to the authority of antiquity, inmade strange and variable) as if art were ordained less we saw more reason; all our understandings to afflict nature, and that we could not go but in are not to be built by the square of Greece and fetters. Every science, every profession, must be Italy. We are the children of nature as well as so wrapt up in unnecessary intrications, as if it they, we are not so placed out of the way of judgwere not to fashion, but to confound the under- ment, but that the same sun of discretion shineth standing, which makes me much to distrust man, upon us; we have our portion of the same virtues and fear that our presumption goes beyond our as well as of the same vices, et Catilinam quo ability, and our curiosity is more than our judg- cunque in populo videas, quocunque sub axe. ment; labouring ever to seem to be more than we Time and the turn of things bring about these are, or laying greater burthens upon our minds faculties according to the present estimation ; and, than they are well able to bear, because we would res temporibus non tempore rebus servire opportet. not appear like other men.
So that we must never rebel agaiost use ; quem And indeed I have wished there were not that penes arbitrium est, et vis et norma loquendi. multiplicity of rhymes as is used by many in son- It is not the observing of trochaics nor their iamnets, which yet we see in some so happily to suc-bics, that will make our writings onght the wiser: ceed, and hath been so far from bindering theirin all their poesy, and all their philosopby, is nothing, ventions, as it hath begot conceit beyond expec- unless we bring the discerning light of conceit
with us to apply it to use. It is not books, but | cients, in any other form than the accustomed only that great book of the world, and the all over
spreading grace of Heaven that makes men truly And with Petrarch lived his scholar Boccacius, to judicial. Nor can it but touch of arrogant igno- and near about the same time Johannes Ravenen
rance, to hold this or that nation barbarous, these sis, and from these tanquam ex equo Trojano, of those times gross, considering how this mani- seems to have issued all those famous Italian
fold creature man, wheresoever he stand in the writers, Leonardus Aretinus, Laurentius Valla, En world, hath always some disposition of worth, Poggius, Blondus, and many others. Then Ema
entertains the order of society, affects that which nuel Chrysolarus, a Constantinopolitan gentleman, is most in use, and is eminent in some one thing renowned for his learning and virtue, being emor other that fits his humour and the times. The ployed by John Paleologns, emperor of the east, to
Grecians held all other nations barbarous but implore the aid of Christian princes, for the sucin themselves; yet Pyrrhus, when he saw the well couring of perishing Greece; and understanding 5 ordered marching of the Romans, which made in the mean time, bow Bajazeth was taken prisoner 15 them see their presumptuous errour, could say it by Tamburlane, and his country freed from dana
was no barbarons manner of proceeding. The ger, staid still at Venice, and there taught the 41 Goths, Vandals, and Longobards, whose coming Greek tongue, discontinued before in these parts
down like an inundation overwhelmed, as they the space of seven hundred years. say, all the glory of learning in Europe, have yet Him followed Bessarion, George Trapezantius, Jeft us still their laws and customs, as the originals Theodorus Gaza, and others, transporting philosoof most of the provincial constitutions of Christen-phy, beaten by the Turk out of Greece, into Christdom; which well considered with their other endom. Hereupon came that inighty confluence courses of government, may serve to clear them of learning in these parts, which returning, as it from this imputation of ignorance. And though were per post liminium, and here meeting then the vanquished never speak well of the conqueror, with the new invented stamp of printing, spread it. yet even thorough the unsound coverings of male- self indeed in a more universal sort than the world, diction appear those monuments of truth, as argue ever heretofore had it. well their worth, and proves them not without When Pomponius Lætus, Æneas Sylvius, Angejudgment, though without Greek and Latin. lus Politianus, Hermolaus Barbarus, Johannes
Will not experience confute us, if we should say Picus de Mirandula, the miracle and phoenix of the state of China, which never heard of anapes- the world, adorned Italy, and wakened other na. tics, trochies, and tribracs, were gross, barba. tions likewise with this desire of glory, long before rous, and uncivil? And is it not a most apparent it brought forth Rewclin, Erasmus, and Moore, ignorance, both of the succession of learning in worthy men, I confess, and the last a great ornaEurope, and the general course of things, to say, ment to this land, and a rhymer. that all lay pitifully deformed in those lack- And yet long before all these, and likewise with learning times from the declining of the Roman these, was not our nation behind in her portion of empire, till the light of the Latin tongue was re- spirit and worthiness, but concurrent with the best vived by Rewcline, Erasmus, and Moore. When of all this lettered world; witness venerable Bede, for three hundred years before them, about the that Aourished about a thousand years since; Alcoming down of Tamburlaine into Europe, Fran- delmus Durotelmus, that lived in the year 739, of ciscus Petrarcha (who then no doubt likewise found whom we find this commendation registered: Omwhom to imitate) showed all the best notions of nium poetarum sui temporis facile primus, tantæ learuing, in that degree of excellence, both in eloquentiæ, majestatis et eruditionis bomo fuit, ut Latin, prose, and verse, and in the vnlgar Italian, nunquam satis admirari possim unde illi in tam as all the wits of posterity have not yet over barbara ac rudi ætate facundia accetverit, usque matched him in all kinds to this day; his great adeo omnibus numeris tersa, elegans et rotunda, volumes written in moral philosophy, show his in- versus edidit cum antiquitate de palma contenfivite reading, and most happy power of dispo- dentes. Witness Josephus Devonius, who wrote sition; his twelve eclogues, his Africa, containing De Bello Trojano, in so excellent a manner, and so nine books of the last Punic war, with bis three near resembling antiquity, as printing his work bebooks of epistles in Latin verse, show all the trans- yond the seas, they have ascribed it to Cornelius formations of wit and invention, that a spirit na- Nepos, one of the ancients. turally born to the inheritance of poetry and ju- What should I name Walterus Mape, Gulielmus dicial knowledge could express: all which, not- Nigellus, Gervasius Tilburiensis, Bracton, Bacon, withstanding, wrought him not that glory and Ockam, and an infinite catalogue of excellent men, fame with his own nation, as did his poems in most of them living about four hundred years Italian, which they esteem above all, whatsoever since, and have left behind them monuments of wit could have invented in any other form than most profound judgment and learning in all sciwherein it is; which questionless they will not
So that it is but the clouds gathered about change with the best measures Greeks or Latins our own judgment that makes us think all other can show them, howsoever our adversary ima- ages wrapped up in mists, and the great distance gines.
betwixt us, that causes us to imagine men so far Nor could this very same innovation in verse, off to be so little in respect of ourselves. begun amongst them by C. Tolomæi, but die in the We must not look upon the immense course of attempt, and was buried as soon as it came born, times past, as men overlook spacious and wide neglected as a prodigious and unnatural issue countries, from off high mountains, and are never amongst them; nor could it ever induce Tasso, the nearer to judge of the true nature of the soil, the wonder of Italy, to write that admirable poem or the particular site and face of those territories of Jerusalem, comparable to the best of the an- they see. Nor must we think, viewing the super
ficial figure of a region in a map, that we know the omaments that do but deck the house of stats straight the fashion and place as it is. Or reading et imitatur publicos mores: hunger is as well an history, which is but a map of men, and doth tisfied with meat served in pewter as silver. Dis no otherwise acquaint us with the true substance cretion is the best measure, the rightest foot in of circumstances, than a superficial card doth the what pace soever it run. Erasmus, Rewclin, 201 seamen with a coast never seen (which always Moore, brought no more wisdom into the world, proves other to the eye than the imagination fore- with all their new revived words, than we find a casts it) that presently we know all the world, and before; it bred not a profounder divine than Said can distinctly judge of times, men, and manners, Thomas, a greater lawyer than Bartolus, a mere just as they were.
acute logician than Scotus; nor are the effects of When the best measure of man is to be taken all this great amass of eloquence so admirable, a by his own foot, bearing ever the nearest propor- of that consequence, bat that impexa illa antiquition to himself, and is never so far different and tas can yet compare with it. unequal in his powers, that he hath all in perfec- Let us go no further, but look upon the wooder. tion at one time, and nothing at another.
ful architecture of this state of England, and see The distribution of gifts are universal, and all whether they were deformed times that could gire seasons have them in some sort. We must not it such a form. Where there is no one the least think but that there were Scipios, Cæsars, Catos, pillar of majesty, but was set with most profood and Pompeys, born elsewhere thau at Rome; the judgment, and borne up with the just conveniency rest of the world hath ever had them in the same of prince and people. No cont of justice, bat taid degree of nature, though not of state; and it is our by the rule and square of Nature, and the best of weakness that makes us mistake, or misconceive in the best commonwealths that ever were in the these delineations of men the true figure of their world ; so strong and substantial as it hath stood worth; and our passion and belief is so apt to lead against all the storms of factions, both of belief us beyond truth, that unless we try them by the and ambition, which so powerfully beat upon it, just compass of humanity, and as they were men, and all the tempestuous alterations of humorous we shall cast their figures in the air, when we times whatsoever; being continually, in all ages, should make their models upon Earth. It is not furnished with spirits fit to maintain the majesty the contexture of words, but the effects of action of her own greatness, and to march in an equal that gives glory to the times: we find they had concurrency all other kingdoms round about her Mercurium in pectore, though not in lingua; and with whom it had to encounter. in all ages, though they were not Ciceronians, they But this innovation, like a riper, must ever make knew the art of men, which only is, ars artium, way into the world's opinion, thorough the boxes the greatest gift of Heaven, and the chief grace of her own breeding, and is always born with reand glory on Earth; they had the learning of go- proach in her mouth; the disgracing others is the vernment and ordering their state, eloquence enough best grace it can put on, to win reputation of cit, to show their judgments, and, it seems, the best and yet it is vever so wise as it would seem, Doe times followed Lycurgus's council: Literas ad doth the world ever 'get so much by it as it imausum saltem discebant, reliqua omanis disciplina gineth ; which being so often deceived, and seeing erat, at pulchre parerent, ut labores preferrent, &c. it never performs so much as it promises, methints Had not unlearned Rome laid the better founda- men should never give more credit unto it: for, tion, and built the stronger frame of an admirable let us change dever so often, we cannot change state, eloquent Rome had confounded it utterly, man, our imperfections must still run on with us, which we saw ran the way of all confusion, the and therefore the wiser nations have taught men plain course of dissolution in her greatest skill; always to use, Moribus legibusque presentibus and though she had not power to undo herself, yet etiamsi deteriores sint. The Lacedemonians, when wrought she so, that she cast herself quite away a musician, thinking to win himself credit by his from the glory of a commonwealth, and fell upon new invention, and be before his fellows, had added that form of state she ever most feared and ab- one string more to his crowd, brake his fiddle, and horred of all other; and then scarce was there banished him the city, holding the innovator, seen any shadow of policy under her first empe- though in the least things, dangerous to a public rors, but the most horrible and gross confusion that society. It is but a fantastic giddiness to forsake could be conceived; notwithstanding it still en- the way of other men, especially were it lies toler., dured, preserving not only a monarchy, locked up able: Ubi nunc est respublica, ibi simus potius in her own limits, but therewithal beld under her quam dum illum veterem sequimur, simus in obedience so many nations, so far distant, so ill nulla. affected, so disorderly commanded and unjustly But shall we not tend to perfection. Yes, and conquered, as it is not to be attributed to any other that ever best by going on in the course we are in, fate, but to the first frame of that commonwealth, where we have advantage, being so far opward, of which was so strongly jointed, and with such infi- him that is but now setting forth; for we shall nite combinations interlinked, as one nail or other never proceed, if we be ever beginning, nor arrive ever held up the majesty thereof.
at any certain port, sailing with all winds that * There is but one learning, which omnes gentes blow, non convalescit planta quæ sæpius transferhabent scriptum in cordibus suis, one and the self-tar, and theretore let us hold on in the course we same spirit that worketh in all. We have but one have undertaken, and not still be wandering. Per. body of justice, one body of wisdom throughout fection is not the portion of man; and if it were, the whole world, which is but apparelled according why may we not as well get to it this way as atto the fashion of every nation,
other? And suspect these great vodertakers, lest Eloquence and gay words are not of the sub- they have conspired with envy to betray our prostance of wit ; it is but the garnish of a nice time, ceedings, and put us by the honour of our at