The compleat gentleman fashioning him absolute in the most necessary & commendable qualities concerning minde or bodie that may be required in a noble gentleman. By Henry Peacham, Mr. of Arts sometime of Trinity Coll: in Cambridge.
Peacham, Henry, 1576?-1643?, Delaram, Francis, 1589 or 90-1627, engraver.
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To my Reader.

I Am not ignorant (Iudicious Reader) how many peeces of the most curious Masters haue beene vttered to the world of this Subiect, as Plutarch, Eras∣mus, Viues, Sadolet, Sturmi∣us, Osorius, Sir Thomas Eli∣ot, M. Askham, with sundry others; so that my small Taper among so many Tor∣ches, were as good out, as seeming to giue no light at all. I confesse it true. But as rare and curious stamps vpon Coynes, for their varietie and strangenesse, are daily enquired after, and bought vp, though the Sil∣uer be all one and common wth ours: so fares it with Bookes, which (as Meddailes) beare the Pictures and deuices of our various Inuention, though the matter be the same, yet for variety sake they shall bee read, yea (and as the same dishes drest afer a new fashion) perhaps please the tastes of many bet∣ter. But this regard neither mooued me. When I was beyond the Seas, and in a part of France, adiorning vpon Artoise, I was inu••ed oftentimes to the house of a Noble personage, who was both a great Soulder Page  [unnumbered] and an excellent Scholler; and one day aboue the rest, as we sate in an open and goodly Gallerie at dinner, a young English Gentleman, who desirous to trauaile, had beene in Italy, and many other places, fortuned to come to his house; and (not so well furnished for his returne home as was sitting) desired entertaine∣ment into his seruice. My Lord, who could speake as little English, as my Country-man French, bad him welcome, and demaunded by me of him, what hee could doe: For I keepe none (quoth he) but such as are commended for some good qualitie or other, and I giue them good allowance; some an hundred, some sixtie, some fiftie Crownes by the yeare: and calling some about him, (very Gentleman like, as well in their behauiour, as apparell) This (saith he) rideth and breaketh my great Horses, this is an excellent Lutenist, this a good Painter and Surueyer of land, this a passing Linguist and Scholler, who instructeth my Sonnes, &c. Sir (quoth this young man) I am a Gentleman borne, and can onely attend you in your Chamber, or waite vpon your Lordship abroad. See (quoth Monsieur de Ligny, for so was his name) how your Gentry of England are bred: that when they are distressed, or want means in a strange Coun∣trey, they are brought vp neither to any qualitie to preferre them, nor haue they so much as the Latine tongue to helpe themselues withall. I knew it gene∣rally to be true, but for the time, and vpon occasion excused it as I could; yet he was receiued, and after returned to his friends in good fashion. Hereby I onely giue to know, that there is nothing more deplo∣rable, then the breeding in generall of our Gentle∣men, Page  [unnumbered] none any more miserable then one of them, if he fall into miserie in a strange Country. Which I can impute to no other thing, then the remisnesse of Pa∣rents, and negligence of Masters in their youth. Wherefore at my comming ouer, considering the great forwardnesse and proficience of children in other Countries, the backwardnesse and rawnesse of ours; the industry of Masters there, the ignorance ad idlenesse of most of ours; the exceeding care of Parents in their childrens Education, the negligence of ours: Being taken through change of ayre with a Quartane Feuer, that leasure I had 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as I may truly say, by fits I employed vpon this Discourse for the priuate vse of a Noble young Gentleman my friend, not intending it should euer see light, as you may perceiue by the plaine and shallow current of the Discourse, fitted to a young and tender capacitie. Howsoeuer I haue done it, and if thou shalt find here∣in any thing that may content, at the least, not distaste thee, I shall be glad and encouraged to a more serious Peece: if neither, but out of a malignant humour, disdaine what I haue done, I care not; I haue pleased my selfe: and long since learned, Enuie, together with her Sister Ignorance, to harbour onely in the basest and most degenerate breast.