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Now to that which commonly is attributed to the praise of Historie, in respect of the notable learning, is got by marking the successe, as though therein a man shuld see vertue exalted, & vice punished: truly that commendation is peculier to Poetrie, and farre off from Historie ; for indeed Poetrie euer sets vertue so out in her best cullours, making fortune her well-wayting handmayd, that one must needs be enamoured of her. Well may you see Vlisses in a storme and in other hard plights, but they are but exercises of patience & magnanimitie, to make them shine the more in the neare following prosperitie. And of the contrary part, if euill men come to the stage, they euer goe out (as the Tragedie writer answered to one that misliked the shew of such persons) so manicled as they litle animate folkes to follow them. But the Historie beeing captiued to the trueth of a foolish world, is many times a terror from well-doing, and an encouragement to vnbrideled wickednes. For see we not valiant Milciades rot in his fetters ? The iust Phocion and the accomplished Socrates, put to death like Traytors? The cruell Seuerus, liue prosperously? The excellent Seuerus miserably murthered? Sylla and Marius dying in their beds? Pompey and Cicero slain then when they wold haue thought exile happinesse? See we not vertuous Cato driuen to kill himselfe, and Rebell Cæsar so aduanced, that his name yet after 1600 yeares lasteth in the highest honor? And marke but euen Cæsars owne words of the forenamed Sylla, (who in that onely, did honestly to put downe his dishonest Tyrannie) Litteras nesciuit: as if want of learning caused him to doo well. He ment it not by Poetrie, which not content with earthly plagues, deuiseth new punishments in hell for Tyrants: nor yet by Philosophy, which teacheth Occidentos esse, but no doubt by skill in History, for that indeed can affoord you Cipselus, Periander, Phalaris, Dionisius, and I know not how many more of the same kennell, that speed well inough in their abhominable iniustice of vsurpation.

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