Monday, November 06, 2006


I HAVE a longe time doubted with my self (most loving M. Alphonsus) which of the two were harder for me, either to denye you the thinge that you have with suche instance manye tymes required of me, or to take it in hande: bicause on the one side me thoughte it a verye harde matter to denye anye thynge, especially the request beinge honest, to the personne whom I love deerlye, and of whom I perceyve my selfe deerlye beloved. Againe on the other syde, to undertake an enterpryse whiche I do not knowe my selfe able to brynge to an end, I judged it uncomely for him that wayeth due reproofes so much as they oughte to be wayed. At length after muche debatynge, I have determined to prove in this behalfe what ayde that affection and great desyre to please, can bring unto my dilygence, whyche in other thynges is wont to encreace the laboure of menne. You then require me to wryte, what is (to my thynkynge) the trade and maner of Courtyers, whyche is most fyttynge for a Gentilman that lyveth in the Court of Princes, by the whiche he maye have the knoweleage howe to serve them perfectlye in everye reasonable matter, and obtaine thereby favour of them and prayse of other men. Fynallye, of what sort he ought to be that deserveth to be called so perfect a Courtyer, that there be no wante in him: wherefore I, considering this kinde of request, say, that in case it should not appeare to my selfe a greater blame to have you esteame me to be of smal frendeshippe, then all other men of litle wysdome, I woulde have ryd my handes of this laboure, for feare leaste I shoulde bee counted rashe of all such as knowe, what a harde matter it is, emonge suche diversitye of maners, that are used in the Courtes of Christendome, to picke out the perfectest trade and way, and (as it were) the floure of this Courtiership. Because use maketh us manye times to delite in, and to set litle by the self same thinges: wherby somtime it proceadeth that maners, garmentes, customes, and facions whiche at sometyme have beene in price, becumme not regarded, and contrarywyse the not regarded, becumme of price. Therfore it is manifestlye to be descerned, that use hath greater force then reason, to brynge up newe inventions emonge us, and to abolishe the olde, of the whiche who so goeth about to judge the perfection, is often tymes deceyved. more...


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