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For indeed if the question were, whether it were better to haue a particular act truly or falsly set downe, there is no doubt which is to be chosen, no more then whether you had rather haue Vespacians Picture right as he was, or at the Painters pleasure nothing resembling. But if the question be for your owne vse and learning, whether it be better to haue it set downe as it should be, or as it was ; then certainly is more doctrinable, the fained Cyrus in Xenophon, then the true Cyrus in Iustin: and the fained Aeneas in Virgill, then the right Aeneas in Dares Phrigius: as to a Ladie that desired to fashion her countenance to the best grace: a Painter shuld more benefite her to pourtrait a most sweete face, writing Canidia vppon it, then to paint Canidia as shee was, who Horace sweareth was full ill fauoured. If the Poet do his part aright, he wil shew you in Tantalus Atreus, and such like, nothing that is not to be shunned; in Cyrus, Aeneas, Vlisses, each thing to be followed: where the Historian bound to tell things as things were, cannot be liberall, without hee will be Poeticall of a perfect patterne, but as in Alexander, or Scipio himselfe, shew doings, some to be liked, some to be misliked; and then how wil you discerne what to follow, but by your own discretion which you had without reading Q. Curtius. And whereas a man may say, though in vniuersall consideration of doctrine, the Poet preuaileth, yet that the Historie in his saying such a thing was done, doth warrant a man more in that he shall follow. The answere is manifest, that if he stand vpon that was, as if he should argue, because it rained yesterday, therfore it should raine to day, then indeede hath it some aduantage to a grosse conceit. But if hee knowe an example onely enformes a coniectured likelihood, and so goe by reason, the Poet doth so farre exceed him, as hee is to frame his example to that which is most reasonable, be it in warlike, politike, or priuate matters, where the Historian in his bare, was, hath many times that which we call fortune, to ouerrule the best wisedome. Manie times he must tell euents, whereof he can yeeld no cause, or if he do, it must be poetically.

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