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Do we not see skill of Phisicke the best ramper to our often assaulted bodies, being abused, teach poyson the most violent destroyer ? Doth not knowledge of Law, whose end is, to euen & right all things, being abused, grow the crooked fosterer of horrible iniuries? Doth not (to go to the highest) Gods word abused, breede heresie, and his name abused, become blasphemie? Truly a Needle cannot do much hurt, and as truly (with leaue of Ladies be it spoken) it cannot do much good. With a swoord thou maist kill thy Father, and with a swoord thou maist defende thy Prince and Countrey: so that, as in their calling Poets, fathers of lies, they said nothing, so in this their argument of abuse, they prooue the commendation. They alledge herewith, that before Poets began to be in price, our Nation had set their hearts delight vppon action, and not imagination, rather doing things worthie to be written, then writing things fit to be done. What that before time was, I think scarcely Spinx can tell: since no memerie is so ancient, that hath not the precedens of Poetrie. And certain it is, that in our plainest homelines, yet neuer was the Albion Nation without Poetrie. Marry this Argument, thou it be leuiled against Poetrie, yet is it indeed a chain-shot against all learning or bookishnes, as they commonly terme it. Of such mind were certaine Gothes, of whom it is written, that hauing in the spoile of a famous Cittie, taken a faire Librarie, one hangman belike fit to execute the frutes of their wits, who had murthered a great number of bodies, would haue set fire in it. No said an other verie grauely, take heed what you do, for while they are busie about those toyes, wee shall with more leisure conquere their Countries. This indeed is the ordinarie doctrine of ignorance, and many words sometimes I haue heard spent in it: but bicause this reason is generally against al learning, as wel as Poetrie, or rather all learning but Poetrie, because it were too large a digression to handle it, or at least too superfluous, since it is manifest that all gouernment of action is to be gotten by knowledge, and knowledge best, by gathering manie knowledges, which is reading; I onely with Horace, to him that is of that opinion, Iubio stultum esse libenter: for as for Poetrie it selfe, it is the freest from this obiection, for Poetrie is the Companion of Camps. I dare vndertake, Orlando Furioso, or honest king Arthure, will neuer displease a souldier: but the quidditie of Ens et Prima materia, will hardly agree with a Corcelet.

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