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ture, used ! nor to warne you of oughte you lacked, but to sette forthe your perfection: the proufe whereof the deede mighte wytnesse, and their offspring hath just cause to knoulage it, as mo can recorde it then can requite it. And such

your freendly stedfastnesse declared to the deade, doth assertaine us of your stedfast frend-, linesse towards the livyng, whiche the many have felte and diverse doe prove and fewe can want. Of whiche number youre Grace hathe made me one, that neyther leaste nor seldomest have tasted of your benefites both in my trouble and also libertie. Wherfore your Grace in my sight is of all other most worthy this small fruite of my . prisons laboure, as a fitte patronesse to the hu-. nour of suche a worke and a trewe example in whom it is fulfilled. Thus the lord of trueth preserve you in freendshyp, encrease youre frendes and defend


from enemyes.


It is here acknowledged by Sir John Harrington himself, that he translated this tract, not from the original Latin, but from the French Version, After having translated it from the French,“he caused his Version to be conferred with the latine Auctor, and so by the knowen well lerned to be corrected.”




This version is of particular importance to ascertain the orthography of the time, as adopted in the most polished society. Sir John Harrington was a courtier, and to him we may safely look for the terms, expressions, and mode. of spelling, in fashionable vogue. The more remarkable peculiarities seem to be these : joined is spelt joygned, commoditees now obsolete is used for advantages, knowlage occurs instead of knowledge, hertes for hearts, freendes instead of friends, none lyked me for none I liked, phantasied for admired, mete for moe, interesting to many, unlatined for those ignorant of Latin, trewe for true, &c. &c.

The style, considering the period at which it was written, may be allowed to be sufficiently easy and elegant. At the end of the volume is

Imprinted at London, in Fletestreete, by Tho. Powell.”

The Copy which I have used is the property of Mr. Douce,




OF this personage I have been able to obtain no farther information than that he was the first who translated Cebes into English: he did this, as the advertisement informs us, at the request of his brother, Syr Antony Poyngs.

The volume, if so it may be called, for it is of very diminutive size, was printed by Berthelette. It is in black letter, and without date.

The following is its title.

How one maye take profite of his ennemies, translated oute of Plutarche.

A Treatyse perswading a man paciently to suffer the death of his freende."

This last Tract is translated from Erasmus.

The following is the Address from the Printer to the Reader.

“ This Table of Cebes, shewing how mortall creatures wander in this worlde, and can not atteyne to very felicitee for that they be mysled by false opinions and wrong weenynges: was translated out of latine into english by Syr Frances Poyngs, at the request of his brother Syr Antony Poyngs, which translacion is woorthy of high commendation. And if any faute be A a 2


therein, I knowe well it is mistakinge, for my copie was somewhat combroise what for the enterlining and yll writing.”

As this is the first translation of Cebes, and in itself a i.ost curious and rare book, I subjoin the following example of its style and execution.'

“ What is this place called? The habitation of blessed folke (quoth he). For here dwell all vertues and felicitee. It must needes then be a fayre place, quoth I. Then thou secst at, the gate a certeyne woman, the which is verye fayre and of a constant face and behaveour, in hir middel and lusti age, and hauynge hir apparell and garmentes symple. She standeth not upon a rounde stoane, but on a square surely set and fixed : and with hir there be two other that seeme to be hir daughters?. It appereth so. Of these, the myddlemoste is Learning, the other trouth, the other perswasion. But why standeth this woman upon a square stoane? It is a token, quoth he, that the way that leadeth folk to her is to them bothe fyrme and sure; and the gifte of . those thynges that she geveth is to the receivours sure and stable. And what thynges be they that she geveth ? Boldnes and assurednes without feare, quoth he. What be thei? Knowlage, quoth he, to suffer nothing grevously int his lyfe. By God, quoth I, these bee goodly gyftes: But stādeth she so without the compasse ? To the intent, quoth he, she may heale these the wbiche come ,


thy therand maketh them to drinke a pourgacion; whan they be pourged from thence she bringeth them into the vertues. How is this, quoth I? I understād it not well yet. But thou shalt understande it, quoth he. In lykewyse as yf a man the whiche is verye sicke, cometh to a Phisicion, the Phisicion doth first by purgacion expell all those thinges that caused the sicknes: and so after restoreth the Pacient to his recovery and helth again. If the Pacient do not obey to those thinges the whiche the Phisicion comaundeth he should, not without a cause he is caste up of the Physicion and undooen by the syckenesse. This I understande (quoth 1). Even in the same maner, quoth he, it is whan a man commeth to Learning, she cureth him and maketh bim drinke hir vertue, first to purge him and to caste awaye all the evils the whiche he had whan he came to hir. What be those ? Ignoraunce and Errour, the whiche he drancke of Deceyte, and pryde also and arrogance, concupiscence, intemperaunce, furie, covetousnesse, and all other with whiche he was replenished in the first copasse. Then when he is pourged, whyther doeth she sende him? In (quoth he) to knowlage, and to other vertues. To what yertues ? Dooest thou not see (quoth he) within the gate a companye of women, the whiche seeme to be of good disposition and well ordred, having their apparell not gaie but symple, nor thei be not so trymme, nor so pickedly atАа 3


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