To the Reader.
REaders; I speake to you that haue vnderstanding; when these first fruits of my con∣uerted Muses, shall come to your iudicious censures, Do not look for Spencers, or Da∣niels wel composed numbers; or the deep conceits of now florishing Iohnson; no; say tis honest plain matter, & there's as much as I look for. If I haue seem'd to err in any thing suppose me not so obstinate, or wel conceited of my own opinions, but that I may be perswaded by a∣ny that shal produce stronger reasons to the con∣trary. If any thing may seeme to haue a doubtfull interpretation, assure your selues the honestest meaning in it is mine, and although some may think I haue not so wel ioyned things together as I might haue done, I know whē you haue conside∣red the nature of the Subiect, & the diuersity of things therin hādled, you wil accept my good wil & let my yeeres be an excuse for that & al other ignorant ouer-sights whatsoeuer. Some no doubt Page [unnumbered] will mistake my plainnes, in that I haue so blunt∣ly spoken what I haue obserued, without any Poe∣ticall additions or fained Allegories, I am sor∣ry I haue not pleased them therein, but should haue been more sorry if I had displeased my selfe in doing otherwise; for I know if I had wrapt vp vy meaning, in dark riddles, I should haue been more applauded and lesse vnderstood, which I nothing desire. I neither feare nor shame to speake the Trurh, and therefore haue nakedly thrust it forth without a couering. To what end were it, if I (as some do) had appareld my mind in darke Parables, that few or none might haue vnderstood mee? I should doe bet∣ter to be silent; but if it be more in request I may hereafter be obscure enough, yet in this tis not my meaning, for indeed, if I knew how, my de∣sire is to be so plaine, that the bluntest Iober∣nole might vnderstand mee. Our Grand-vil∣laines care not for a secret ierk; well wee may shew an honest wit in couertly nipping them; but either 'tis in vaine cause they perceiue it not, or else ridiculous, seeing they only vnderstand it who will but either malice or flout vs for our la∣bors. Many may dislike the harshnes of the Verse but you know, although it be not stately, yet it we Page [unnumbered] enough befits the matter, and whereas I may seem blame-worthy in mixing Diuinity with Huma∣nity: yet when you haue found my generall ayme; considered with what reuerent respect I haue done it, and what commendable authorities I may haue for it, I nothing misdoubt your approbation. Those things which concerne my selfe, may seeme chil∣dish, nothing pleasing, but you must consider I had a care to please my selfe aswel as others; and if the World blame mee as to sawcy with her, 'tis for want of manners, but her owne fault, that would allow mee no better education. To bee briefe, if I haue any way offended I am so well perswaded you wil mildly conster my errors and infirmities, that I rest wholly, and onely on your sound and incor∣rupted Iudgements.
Readers; I meane you that are no more but Rea∣ders; I make no question if this book come to your spelling, it will haue many halting verses, and disioynted sentenses: for I haue had experience of your insufficiencie: yet haue I striu'd to bee for your sakes I tell you (because I would if it were possible bee vnderstood) as plaine (as they say) as a pack-saddle, and now the doubt is then fooles will ride me. If they doe certainly, I shall Page [unnumbered] be rough & vneasie for their tendernes. Though you vnderstand them not yet because you see this wants some fine Phrases & flourishes, as you find other mens writings stuft withal, perhaps you wil iudge me vnlearned. Wel; and right enough. Yet you will be counted but saucy Coblers to go beyond your Lasts. And if that be a fault did not the subiect and your ignorances, require me to be in that sort faulty? I could with ease haue amen∣ded it, for it cost me (I protest) more labour to ob∣serue this plainenesse then if I had more Poeti∣cally trim'd ii, but for feare if I speake much, I confound your Memories, I will say no more but this, Read and welcome, but Censure not, for your iudgement is weake and I vt∣terly renounce it.
Valete George Wither.