Scarron's novels ... rendred into English, with some additions, by John Davies ...
Scarron, Monsieur, 1610-1660., Davies, John, 1625-1693.
Page  [unnumbered]

TO THE READER, Who never saw me.

REader, who never saw'st me, and haply are not much troubled at it, out of con∣ceit, that there is little to be gotten by the sight of such a person as I am, know, that, for my part, I should have been as in∣different, as thou art, whether I were seen by thee or not, if I had not been inform'd, that some, very ingenious Persons, make my mi∣sery their sport, and give a dscription of me quite different from what I am. Some say, that, if I could be capable of any motion, it would not be much unlike that of those exemplary Cripples, who go on their Hands and Britch; others affirm I have no Thighs, and that, being set on the Table in a Box, purposely made for me, I there fall a prating like an one-ey'd Parrat: And others yt are so pleasant, as to say, that, my Hat being ty'd to the end of a Cord, which runs Page  [unnumbered] through a Pully fasten'd to the Roof of my Chamber, I, having the other end of the said Cord in my hands (which it seems I must not be able to lift up to my head) make a shift, to raise up, and let it fall, to salute those who come to visit me.

I conceive my self therefore oblig'd in conscience, to give a check to these calum∣nies, that the World may at length be unde∣ceiv'd, and to that end, have I caus'd the Plate, which thou maist see at the beginning of this Preface, to be graven. I doubt not, Reader, but thou wilt grumble, (for grum∣bling is very natural to all Readers, and I am inclin'd to it my self, as well as others, when I am a Reader) thou wilt grumble, I say, and quarrel at me, that thou hast not a sight of my fore-part. To satisfie thee, know, that it is not out of any irreverence, or want of civility, that I turn my back-side to the Company, but for this reason, that the convexity of my Back is fitter to receive an inscription, than the concavity of my Breast, which is over-shadow'd by the pendency of my Head, and that by that side, as well as the other, a Man may take a survey of the Site, or rather, the irregular platform of my Person. Without any imagination, that the Page  [unnumbered] world should think it self oblig'd by such a Present (for, by the Nine Gentle-Lasses that stand about me, I never hop'd my Head would ever become the Original of a Me∣dal) I would have had my Picture drawn, if any Painter durst have attempted it. For want of that, take this account of my Person.

I am somewhat above thirty years of age, as thou maist see by the back of my chair. If I live to forty, I shall make a great addition of miseries, to those I have al∣ready suffer'd, within these eight or nine years. I was of a passable stature, though somewhat below the middle size; but my diseases have shortned it by a foot and bet∣ter. My head is somewhat of the biggest, considering my stature. My face is pretty full, and plump, compar'd to the Skele∣ton I am thence downwards. I am so well furnish'd with hair, that I need wear no Periwig, and much of it is turn'd grey, in spight of the Proverb. My sight is good enough, though my eyes somewhat larger than they should be: they are blew, and one of them more sunk into my head than the other. My nose stands well enough. My teeth, sometimes so many pearls, are Page  [unnumbered] now of a colour between black and blew. I have lost one and a half on the left side, and two and a half on the right, and I have two a little broken. My legs and thighs made at first an obtuse, then an equal, and at last, an acute angle. My thighs and my body making another, and my head hanging down over my breast, I am a certain representative or Hierogly∣phick of the Letter Z. My arms are con∣tracted as well as my legs, and my fin∣gers as well as my arms. In a word, I am a certain contraction or Epitome of hu∣mane misery.

Thus much as to my figure; and since I am so far in my way, I will give thee a slight touch of my humour. 'Tis more than I promis'd; but, to deal freely with thee, Reader, take notice, that this Preface is design'd onely to swell the Book, upon the importunity of the Seller, whose fear it was, he should not save himself by the Im∣pression. Were it not for that, it would be to as little purpose as many others are. But this is not the first time, that some people shew themselves fools, out of compliance with others, besides the fooleries they are guilty of upon their own account.

Page  [unnumbered]As to my humour then; I am to confess, that I am somewhat cholerick, a lover of good meat, and inclin'd to sloath. I often call my Man fool or coxcomb, and pre∣sently after, Sir, and Monsieur. I hae no body, God grant others have the same kind∣ness for me. I am very glad when I have mony, and would be much more, if I had my health. I am merry enough in company, and not much unsatisfi'd, when I am alone. I endure my miseries patiently enough. And now I think my Preface is long enough, and that it is time I should make an nd of it.

So far the Author's description of him∣self, upon the occasion before mentioned. What we have from his friends is before his Virgil Travesty, consisting of certain Papers of Verses before that Piece, whereof some be∣ing in French, some in Latine, we shall cull out onely the Latine Copies, as more parti∣cularly describing his Person and Indispositions.