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The Poets did not induce such opinions, but did imitate those opinions alreadie induced. For all the Greeke stories can well testifie, that the verie religion of that time, stood vpon many, and many fashioned Gods: Not taught so by Poets, but followed according to their nature of imitation. Who list may read in Plutarch, the discourses of Isis and Osiis, of the cause why Oracles ceased, of the diuine prouidence, & see whether the Theology of that nation, stood not vpon such dreams, which the Poets indeede superstitiously obserued. And truly since they had not the light of Christ, did much better in it, then the Philosophers, who shaking off superstition, brought in Atheisme. Plato therfore, whose authoritie, I had much rather iustly consture, then vniustly resist: ment not in generall of Poets, in those words of which Iulius Scaliger saith; Qua authoritate barbari quidam atque hispidi abuti velint ad poetas et è rep. Exigendos. But only ment to driue out those wrong opinions of the Deitie: wherof now without further law, Christianitie hath taken away all the hurtful beliefe, perchance as he thought nourished by then esteemed Poets. And a man need go no further then to Plato himselfe to knowe his meaning: who in his Dialogue called Ion, giueth high, and rightly, diuine commendation vnto Poetrie. So as Plato banishing the abuse, not the thing, not banishing it, but giuing due honour to it, shall be our Patron, and not our aduersarie. For indeed, I had much rather, since truly I may do it, shew their mistaking of Plato, vnder whose Lyons skinne, they would make an Aslike braying against Poesie, then go about to ouerthrow his authoritie ; whome the wiser a man is, the more iust cause he shall finde to haue in admiration: especially since he attributeth vnto Poesie, more then my selfe do ; namely, to be a verie inspiring of a diuine force, farre aboue mans wit, as in the forenamed Dialogue is apparant.

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