Page images
PDF
EPUB

some occasion, that hensforward this honest Ientleman shal be fully restored to the integrity of his duly deserued honest * name and fame; and also receyue great publick thanks, comfort, and ayde of the whole Brytish state, to the honor, welfare, and preseruation wherof (next vnto his duty doing vnto God) he hath directed all the course of his manifold studies, great trauailes, and incredible costes. As both by these his Hexameron Lessons (first here for security of the same) speedily dictated, and also by very many other his wordes, workes, and writings els, both in England and other where spoken, done, communicated, and published, will or may abundantly be testified. And so fare you well in Christ, my courteous and vnpartiall cuntryman; and for a remembrance at this our most freendly farewel, take this beauenly counsail with thee: Omnia quecunque volueritis vt faciant robis homines, sic & vos facite illis ; hic enim est Lex & Prophetæ.

Which kinde of skantlin and measure diuine, being before hand, and in due tyme layd vnto all qur thoughts, wordes and dedes, may be as a

* Da operam vt Fama tua integra sit. Hæc enim durabilior quàm mille thesauri. Vita quam vis bona, ad breue exiguumq. têpus durat; bonum verò nomen, ad perpetuitatem stabile est. Jesus Siracida, eap. 41.

good

1

good and familiar angell vnto vs; to help vs to shonne and flie from all sklandrous-speeches vsing, all malicious or seditious libels skattring, and all other vniust and vncharitable dealings, yea, and from consenting to or suffering the same, where we can or ought to redres the cause.

And then the glory and peace of God will florish in this BRYTAN MONARCHIE. Ouer which (so reformed) that our most Gracious and Soueraign QUEENE ELIZABETH may, very many yeres, most prosperously and triumphantly raigne, it is (vndowtedly) our bounden duty, feruently and full oft, by prayer, to request at his hands, who is the King of kings, Almighty. To whose protection and furderance also, most hartily and dutifully, I commende the very waighty case of this Common Wealth; not vtterly vnduly, or (yet) out of season (I hope) in this first booke ensuing, somewhat considered of; as in a * Preface very nedefull to the BRÝTISH COMPLEMENT, OF THE PERFECT ARTE OF NAVIGA

TION.

* The first book here following is but (as it were) a preface to the second, conteyning in it the Art to this Kingdoine most beneficiall, if it might be duely vsed.

And

GEORGE GASCOIGNE.

THE works of this early English Poet now sell for a most enormous price. Collectors in general are not aware, that there exists in the British Museum an unpublished Poem by Gas. coigne.

Great as the research is, and extravagant as the price which is given, for the printed publications of Gascoigne, 1 question whether it would not be a very hazardous experiment to print this Poem. I shall, however, venture to describe it.

“ THE GRIEF OF JOY,

Certeyne Elegies, wherein the doubtfull De lightes of Manes Lyfe are displaied.

Written to the Queenes moste excellent Maois.

Tam Marti quam Mercurio.

1576.

To the highe and mightie Pryncesse Elizabeth, by y Grace of God, Queene of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faithe, &c. George Gascoigne, Esquier, one of her Maties most huible and faithtull servants, wisheth longe lyfe, with trew feliciue nowe and ever:

The The life of mann (my most gracious and soveraigne Lady) is besett withe sundrie enemyes, and subjected to manye perilles; neither have wee in this worlde, any joye that maye

be accounted sure and stable, nor yet any suche: stabilitie as maie yielde us sufficient cause of perfecte joye and contentation. But amongst all other occurrents I have noted, that even in greatest prosperities, man is oftentymes burdened with great cares, and bearethe continually on his shoulders an untollerable weight of woes; soe that oure age seemeth (unto mee) a flyeng chase, continuallie hunted -withe calamities. And even as the harte, hare, or foxe do oftentymes lyght in the nett or snare (unseene) whyles theye flie to eschewe the open mouthed hounde, in like manner do we most comonly fall into the botomless pitt of abuse, whiles we seeke things that seeme most necessarie for sustentation of oure bodies (yea as hunters doe soonest kyll their chase) whiche lurke in the faire pretence of oure fading pleasures, and lye closely wrapped upp inn the mantle of oure posting fellicities. To conclude, as the stoutest chieftaines have often founde much travaile to keep the victorie whiche they had (withe payne and danger) ones obteined, even so the wisest and most polletyke braynes shall hardly hold their heapes from deminishing, and with much adoo shall they so bridle their affections, as that extreeme

U4

delights present for accomplishment of any least service acceptable to so worthie a Queene, whome God preserve this first of January, 1577, and ever, Amen.

Youre Matics joyfull

joyfull greeved servant,

GEORGE GASCOIGNE,

four songs.

The Poem consists of what the Author calls

At the end of the last he has written“ Left unperfect for feare of horsmen."

Tam Marti quam Mercurio. .

The following specimen of the Poein is taken from the fourth song or section.

1 graunt yong mynds may youthfully delight
Yn sondrie sortes of exercyse and sporte;
I graunt the meane to heele a heavy spright
Ys myrth and glee where idly guests resort;
I graunt that pastyme ys the lowly porte
Wherein mans mynde maie shrewd yt selfe full oft,
Whyle crewell cares bestowe theire blasts alloft.

But as the bell can hardly holde the hawke
From soaring sometynies when shee list to gadd,
Even so the mynde whiche woontedly dothe walke,
In fancies fields most lyke a lusty ladd,
Can seldom be so bridled from the badd,
But that delight maie drawe one foote to farre
Whilst vayne excesse,

mery meane doth marre.

the

Ta

« PreviousContinue »