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“If any of you reade and like, why then it likes me: if reade and dislike, yet it likes me : for philosophie hath taught me to set as light by envie as flatterie. Greedines hath got up all the garden plots, and hardly have I a roome left to turn my tub round in : the best field flowers now fade, and better than nettles my lands will not affoord. They that list may take, the rest leave, and so I leave you. Every good meaners well-wisher,
The Tract itself is a Dialogue, in which the interlocutors are Diogenes, Philoplutos, and Cosmosophos. There is a considerable degree of wit in this work, but a strange confusion of time, circumstance and persons. Diogenes is made to quote Virgil, the Evangelists, and Saint Augustine.
THIS Author was exceedingly popular in biş day, and his works are very voluminous, but no accurate account of them has ever yet appeared.
Wood mentions very few of them, and Ritson contents himself with saying, that he was a prolific Author. Many Collectors have thought that I shall render an acceptable service, by bringing together as many of his pieces as could be collected.
I have accordingly consulted the Royal Library, the collection of the laie Duke of Roxburgh, of liarquis Stafford, and of the Museum, from which collectively I give the following catalogue :
1. " THE MYRROUR OF MODESTIE.
Wherein it appeareth, as in a perfect glasse, howe the Lord delivereth the innocent from all imminent perils and plagueth the blood thirstie hypocrites with deserved punishments.
Shewing that the graie heades of dooting adulterers shall not go with peace into the grave, , neither shall the righteous be forsaken in the daie of trouble. By R. G. Maister of Artes.
Imprinted : Imprinted at London by Roger Warde, dwelling at the Signe of the Talbot, neere unto Holburne Conduit. 1584."
The reader will hardly guess that this is a protracted History of Susannah and the Elders. It seems to have been the first of the Author's productions, and written with a spirit very different from that which characterised many of his -succeeding productions.
This Tract is in the Museum, in black letter. 2. “ EUPHUES CENSURE TO PHILAUTUS.
Wherein is presented a philosophical Combat betweene Hector and Achylles, discovering in foure Discourses, interlaced with diverse delightful Tragedies, the Vertues necessary to be incident in every Gentleman, had in question at the Siege of Troy, betwixt sondry Grecian and Troian Lords, especially debated to discover the perfection of a Souldier, containing Mirth to purge Melancholy, holsome Precepts to profit Manners, neither unsaverie to Youth for Delight, nor offensive to Age for Scurrilitie.
Ea habentur optima quæ et jucunda, honesta et utilia.
Robertus Greene in Artibus Magister. 1587.”
Wherein is discovered by a pleasant Historie, that although by the means of sinister Fortune,
Truth may be concealed; yet by Time, in spight of Fortune, it is most manifestly revealed.
Pleasant for Age to avoyde drowsie Thoughts, profitable for Youth to eschue other wanton Pastimes, and bringing to both a desired Content.
Temporis filia Veritas. 1588."
It is in the King's collection, and in the Marquis of Stafford's. 4. " MENAPIION.
. Camillas Alarm to Slumbering Euphuès, in his melancholie Cell at Silenedra.
Wherein are deciphered the variable Effects of Fortune, the Wonders of Love, the Triumphes of inconstant Time.
Displaying, in sundrie conceipted Passions, figured in a continuate Historie, the 'Trophees that Vertue carieth triumphant maugre the wrath of Envie, or the Resolution of Fortune.
A Worke worthie the youngest Eares for Pleasure, or the gravest Censurers for Principles. Robertus Greene, Maister of Arts. .
I was at first inclined to suspect that there was some imposition in this Tract, and that the Title Page was not genuine. It is introduced by a long Prefatory Address from Thoinas Nash “ To the Gentlemen Students of both Uni
This Tract is in the King's collection, and in the Roxburgh library.
5. “THE ROYALL EXCHANGE.
Contayning sundry Aphorisms of Philosophie, and golden Principles of morrall and naturall Quadruplicities. Under pleasant and effectual Sentences, discovering such strange definitions, divissions and distinctions of Vertue and Vice, as may please the gravest Citizens or youngest Courtiers.
First written in Italian, and dedicated to the Signorie of Venice, now translated into English, and offered to the Cittie of London.
Robert Greene in Artibus Magister. 1590."
DELIGHTFUL HISTORY OF DORASTUS AND FAWNIA.
Pleasant for Age to shun drowsie Thoughts,
versities,” in which mention is made of various writers, well known at that time, as Gascoigne, Arthur Golding, Watson, Gabriel Harvey, and others, without any notice whatever of Robert Greene. The doubt is however removed in the next page, in which are some complimentary verses to the Author, by one Henrie Upcher. They conclude with this quaint stanza : Reade all that list, and reade till you mislike
To condemne who can so envie be not judge; No read who can swell more higher till it shricke,
Robin thou hast done well, care not who grudge. Where, by Robin, Greene is evidently meant.