TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE SIR JOHN Puckering Knight, Lord keeper of the great seale of England.
Albeit (Right Honorable) it may seeme to some men at the first sight, a matter importunate to interrupt your Lordships grave, deep, and weightie considerations, sitting as you do at the sterne of the commonwelth in these daies of danger, yet seeing the infimitie of our mortall estate cannot possiblie indure to stand continually bent, no, not in the contemplation of the most excellent subject, or matter of greatest importance, May it therefore please your good Lordship (if for no other cause yet) partly for your owne ease, release, and recreation, and partly for patronage to poore and painfull studentes, to lend your honorable view to those my simple labours, hoping that as you are not wont either to close your eies, or stop your eares to the meanest or the poorest, so your Lordship wil not refuse to spare some time (when your leasure may best permit) to cast your eie uppon these meane and simple frutes of my studies: The argument whereof albeit I confesse it subject to the exceptions of many, and peradventure to the reprehensions of some, which seeme to make a divorce betweene nature and art, and a seperation betweene pollicie and humanitie: yet Cicero being both a most excellent Orator and prudent politick, doth mightily support, and defend it against all objections, as we may plainly see in one short sentence of his (among many other tending to this purpose) where he saith: Ut hominis decus est ingenium, sic ingenii lumen, est eloquentia:
De claris oratoribum.
that is, as wit is mans worship, or wisedome man honor, so eloquence is the light and brightnesse of wisedome, in which sentence, he both expresseth the singular praises of two most worthie vertues, and also enforceth the necessitie, and commendeth the utilitie of their excellent conjunction. And true it is that if we joine with this prudent Orator in a diligent inquisition and contemplation of wisedome, and in a deliberate consideration of art, we shal see that verified which he hath here affirmed. For if we enquire what wisedome is, we shall find that it is the knowledge of divine and humane thinges, if whose gift it is, we shall find that it is the knowledge of divine and humane thinges, if whose gift it is, we shalbe certified, that it is the gift of God, if we consider the inventions thereof they are woonderfull, if the works they are infinit, if the frutes, they are in use sweete, in nature necessarie, both for the search of truth and for the direction of humane life. Brieflie this vertue is the loving & provident mother of mankind, whom shee nourisheth with the sweete milke of prosperitie, defendeth against manifolde dangers, instructeth with her counsell, and prefereth to the imperiall dominion over all earthly creatures: and lest dissenting with himselfe, he should by his owne contention worke his owne confusion: she deviseth lawes to support equitie, and appointeth punishments to represse injurie, she inventeth the art and skill of warre, to resist violence offending against peace, she maintaineth the one, and directeth the other, and is the mightie Empresse of them both.

Finallie, by her the true felicitie of man is found out and held up, without her it falleth by a sudden, and wofull ruine: by her it falleth by a sudden, and wofull ruine: by her his honor is highly advaunced, without her it sinketh into shame and reproach, and is utterlie confounded: by her hee is indued with a blessed state of life, without her he perisheth in miserie and death. Now lest so excellent a gift of the divine goodnesse (as wisedome here appeareth to be, and is) should lye supprest by silence, and so remaine hid in darkenesse, almightie God the deep sea of wisedome, and bright sunne of majestie, hath opened the mouth of man, as the mouth of a plentifull fountaine, both to powre forth the inward pasions of his heart, and also as a heavenly planet to shew foorth, by the shining beames of speech) the privie thoughts and secret conceites of his mind. By the benefit of this excellent gift, (I meane of apt speech given by nature, and guided by Art) wisedome appeareth in her beautie, sheweth her majestie, and exerciseth her power, working in the minde of the hearer, partly by a pleasant proportion, & as it were by a sweet & musicall harmonie, and partly by the secret and mightie power of perswasion after a most wonderfull manner. This then is the vertue which the Orator in his praise before mentioned calleth eloquence, & the brightnesse of wisedome, for that by the mean hereof, as well the rare inventions & pleasant devises, as the deepe understanding, the secret counselles, & politick considerations of wisedome, are most effectually expressed, and most comely beautified, for even as by the power of the Sun beames, the nature of the roote is shewed in the blossome, & the goodnesse of the sap tasted in the sweetnesse of the frute, even so the precious nature, and wonderfull power of wisedome, is by the commendable ARt and use of eloquence, produced and brought into open light. So that hereby plainlie appeareth, both the great necessitie & singular utilitie of their conjunction before commended, for the one without the other, do finde both great want, and shew great imperfection, for to possesse great knowledge without apt utterance, is, as to possesse great treasure without use: contrariwise to affect eloquence without the discretion of wisdom, is, as to handle a sweete instrument of musicke without skill. But the man which is well furnished with both: I meane with ample knowledge and excellent speech, hath bene judged able, and esteemed fit to rule the world with counsell, provinces with lawes, cities with pollicy, & multitudes with persuasion: such were those men in times past, who by their singular wisdom and eloquence, made savage nations civil, wild people tame, and cruell tyrants not only to become meeke, but likewise mercifull. Hence it was, that in ancient time men did attribute so great opinion of wisedome to the eloquent Orators of those daies, that they called them sacred, holy, divine, & the interpreters of the goddes, for so doth Horace commending Orpheus, his words be these.

“ Agrestes homines sacer interpresque Deorum.
Caecibus, & faedo victu deterruit Orpheus.
Dictus ob id, lenire tigres rigidosque leones.

” The Poet here under the name of tigres and lions, meant not beasts but men, & such men as by their savage nature & cruell manners, might well be compared to fierce tigres and devouring lions, which notwithstanding by the mightie power of wisdome, and prudent art of perswasion were converted from that most brutish condition of life, to the love of humanitie, & polliticke government, so might is the power of this happie union. (I meane of wisdom & eloquence) that by the one the Orator forceth, and by the other he allureth, and by both so worketh, that what he commendeth is beloved, what he dispraiseth is abhorred, what he perswadeth is obeied, & what he disswadeth is avoided: so that he is in a maner the emperour of mens minds & affections, and next to the omnipotent God in the power of perswasion, by grace, & divine assistance. The principal instruments of mans help in this wonderfull effect, are those figures and formes of speech conteined in this booke, which are the frutefull branches of eloquution, and the mightie streames of eloquence: whose utilitie, power, and vertue, I cannot sufficiently commend, but speaking by similitude, I say they are as stars to give light, as cordials to comfort, as harmony to delight, as pitiful spectacles to move sorrow full passions, and as orient colours to beautifie reason. Finally they are as martiall instruments both of defence & invasion, and being so, what may be either more necessary, or more profitable for us, then to hold those weapons alwaies readie in our handes, wherewith we may defend our selves, invade our enemies, revenge our wrongs, ayd the weake, deliver the simple from danges, conserve true religion, & confute idolatry? for looke what the sword may do in war, for that with violence, this with perswasion, that with shedding of blood, this with pearcing the sffections, that with desire of death, this with speciall regard of life.

Now, lest this part should seeme an emptie art of wordes, without wisedome or substance of matter, I have gathered out of the most excellent Orators, & best approved authors, varietie of fit examples for everie figure by it selfe: which figures or formes of speech, I have disposed into orders, described by their properties, distinguished by their differences, noted their singular uses, & added certain Cautions to compasse them for feare of abuse. And now Right Honourable, having finished this little booke (alhtough with no little labor) I hope to the good of many, and hurt of none, with sincere affection, & with most humble dutie, I present it to your good Lordship, as to a lover & favourer of learning, in hope of your favourable acceptation, being mooved hereunto by long experience of your lordships excellent wisdome, & constant goodnes, ready at al time to lend your helping hand (in good causes) to them which by necessitie & distresse, stood in need therof, among which, I am one that have tasted of your goodnes & comfort: the remembrance wherof, hath bin one principall motive, of taking this labor in hand, to the end that I among the rest which love and honour your Lordship, might have somewhat to signifie my gratitude and bound dutie: beseeching your Honor, albeit this worke be such as your Lordship shall litle need, being so richly furnished by nature, yet for their sakes who may take benefit by it, you will please to shadow and protect it under the wings of your honourable favour. That I may not trouble your Lordship any further, I commend your Honour with my hartie praiers, to the mercifull protection of the Almightie, beseeching him, that by his grace and mercy you may long continue, to her most excellent Majestie a most faithfull and prudent Counsellour, to the oppressed a reliefe, to innocents a sure protection, to your country a treasure, to your friends a sure protection, to your country a treasure, to your friends a comfort, to godlie and painfull students a gracious Mecaenas, and to the posteritie of many ages, a renowmed president of equitie.

At North Mymmes the 3. of February. 1593.
Your Honors most humble to be commanded,
Henry Peacham.

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