Thomas Churchyarde gen∣tleman, to the Reader.
IF I had (gentle Reader) as greate Art to perswade as desyre to do the good, the force of my wrytinge and truthe of the matter shoulde bee a sufficiente meane, to make thee delight in the deuine discourses of this booke: whereon as Cardanus hath bestowed great studye, so maister Bedingefelde hath shewed no litle labour. And setting forth to sale the hiddē treasures of the minde (that long might haue lurked in the latine) hee biddeth euery man bie somewhat of the ware (or cheapen at the least) those things that serueth best for their purpose, & peraduenture by touching of tryfles, they may be attempted wyth noble Iewels, & so fall to beate a price of more mighty matter. For sure in this shoppe of secrets, are sondrye sorts of farre fetched marchandise, the goodnes whereof maye as well content the inwarde iudgement, as the gayest riches of the worlde doth please the gazinge eyes, but if wyth han∣dlinge alone and carelesse lokinge of the same you laye it a syde (refusing that is offered) I skarce thincke you worthye of so worthye a benefite, and misdoubt ye wante a storehouse for so stately a treasure. O who could hold you from gad∣ding after Maye games, runninge vnto tryumphes, staring on strangers, wondring on Maskes, waytinge for Piayes, & blasinge of your owne braueryes. Whose beggery beauties in generall, are all as vayne, as the shadow of the Sunne: & Ioe beinge so vnbrydled in suche baggage, so readye to wret∣chednes, so apte for apishe pastimes, so gredy of vaine glory, and soe glad to gaze on games whereon no gayne groweth, but losse of witte wealth and time. Mee thincke you shoulde blushe to forgoe the blessednes this booke may bring you and blesse the beginner of the same and setter forth of the worke. But I feare as the horse waxeth whot when his ryder takes him vp from stombling, or as a churlish childe waxeth worse for the checke of a wyse father, you wil fling away the glasse, that shal bewraye your blotted browes, and so followe your Page [unnumbered] follyes so farre, that neither Cardanus Comfortes nor no o∣ther yt cals you backe againe (to see through your selues) shal anye whit preuaile, if so you be bewitched and rather yeld to Cyrses charmes then Vlysses coūsell, I lacke Apollos pype to please your eares, and leaue you in a labourinth of endles trauaile, me thincks the hard nut being cracked and presen∣ted vnto you with clouen shell, argues of it selfe, if you scorne to pill awaye the skin of the kyrnel, ye ought not to tast anye peece or part of the fruite: so if you but reade your sences a sleepe, and wyth slacke searche of knowledge slomber oute a sentence conninglye shaped for the safetye of man, you gaine little by this woorke, and loose but labour with slobberinge handes or head to blot or blemishe the beauty of this booke. For neyther ye mislyking of your head, nor tryfling with your handes, can hinder the fame of so famous a studye. And I pray you consider how hardlye it comes to your hands. The translatour therof (as many others the more pitty do y• like) sent the coppye to a noble man to be reade and lapt vp in sy∣lence, hee groping the grounde and bowels of the booke, sets incontinent openlye abroad the body, ye euery good imagina∣tion might make a noble notamy of the matter, yet making courtsye (in any cause) to offende his frend, he shewed me the booke, and the translatours desyre (alwayes eger to pleaser good people as I coniectured by his countenaunce) & I who founde mine owne infirmityes finely healed (or fauourablye handled by this good happe) perswaded as I durst the pub∣lishing of this precious present, hoping that some as sicke as my selfe shalbe cured or eased by this good counsell. The person yt puts it out, I tel you may a little (yea & very much) leade you to good lykinge: My Verses thoughe simple they are, somewhat shall tel you of the nature of the booke. Giue credite as you please, disdaine no good meaninge, doe some∣what your selues eare you finde fault with others, cloke not your slouth with the barenes of barraine braynes, yeld fruit as you flourishe, and beare wyth the blossoms that buddeth from this tree. So fare you vvell.