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your interest or favour with him, you are to be the shorter or longer, more familiar or submiss, as he will afford you time. For his capacity, you are to be quicker and fuller of those reaches and glances of wit or learning, as he is able to entertain them. For his leisure, you are commanded to the greater briefness, as his place is of greater discharges and cares. But with your betters, you are not to put riddles of wit, by being too scarce of words: not to cause the trouble of making breviates by writing too riotous and wastingly. Brevity is attained in matter, by avoiding idle compliments, prefaces, protestations, parentheses, superfluous circuit of figures and digressions: in the composition, by omitting conjunctions [not only, but also; both the one and the other, whereby it cometh to pass] and such like idle particles, that have no great business in a serious letter but breaking of sentences, as oftentimes a short journey is made long by unnecessary baits.

Quintilian.-But, as Quintilian saith, there is a briefness of the parts sometimes that makes the whole long; as, I came to the stairs, I took a pair of oars, they launched out, rowed apace, I landed at the court gate, I paid my fare, went up to the presence, asked for my lord, I was admitted. All this is but, I went to the court, and spake with my lord. This is the fault of some Latin writers, within these last hundred years, of my reading; and perhaps Seneca may be appeached of it; I accuse him not.

2. Perspicuitas.The next property of epistolary style is perspicuity, and is oftentimes by affectation of some wit ill angled for, or ostentation of some hidden terms of art. Few words they darken speech, and so do too many; as well too

much light hurteth the eyes, as too little; and a long bill of chancery confounds the understanding, as much as the shortest note; therefore let not your letters be penn'd like English statutes, and this is obtained. These vices are eschewed by pondering your business well and distinctly concerning yourself, which is much. furthered by uttering your thoughts, and letting them as well come forth to the light and judgment of your own outward senses, as to the censure of other men's ears; for that is the reason why many good scholars speak but fumblingly; like a rich man, that for want of particular note and difference, can bring you no certain ware readily out of his shop. Hence it is, that talkative shallow men do often content the hearers more than the wise. But this may find a speedier redress in writing, where all comes under the last examination of the eyes. First mind it well, then pen it, then examine it, then amend it, and you may be in the better hope of doing reasonably well. Under this virtue may come plainness, which is not to be curious in the order as to answer a letter, as if you were to answer to interrogatories. As to the first, first; and to the second, secondly, &c. but both in method to use (as ladies do in their attire) a diligent kind of negligence, and their sportive freedom; though with some men you are not to jest, or practise tricks; yet the delivery of the most important things may be carried with such a grace, as that it may yield a pleasure to the conceit of the reader. There must be store, though no excess of terms; as if you are to name store, sometimes you may call it choice, sometimes plenty, sometimes copiousness, or variety; but ever so, that the word which comes in lieu, have

not such difference of meaning, as that it may put the sense of the first in hazard to be mistaken. You are not to cast a ring for the perfumed terms of the time, as accommodation, complement, spirit, &c. but use them properly in their place, as others.

3. Vigor.-There followeth life and quickness, which is the strength and sinews, as it were, of your penning by pretty sayings, similitudes, and conceits; allusions from known history, or other common place, such as are in the Courtier, and the second book of Cicero de oratore.

4. Discretio. The last is, respect to discern what fits yourself, him to whom you write, and that which you handle, which is a quality fit to conclude the rest, because it doth include all. And that must proceed from ripeness of judgment, which, as one truly saith, is gotten by four means, God, nature, diligence and conversation. Serve the first well, and the rest will serve you.

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De Poetica. We have spoken sufficiently of oratory, let us now make a diversion to poetry. Poetry, in the primogeniture, had many peccant humours, and is made to have more now, through the levity and inconstancy of men's judgments. Whereas indeed it is the most prevailing eloquence, and of the most exalted caract. Now the discredits and disgraces are many it hath received, through men's study of depravation or calumny; their practice being to give it diminution of credit, by lessening the professors' estimation, and making the age afraid of their liberty and the age is grown so tender of her fame, as she calls all writings aspersions.

That is the state word, the phrase of court

(Placentia college) which some call Parasites place, the Inn of Ignorance.

D. Hieronymus. -Whilst I name no persons, but deride follies, why should any man confess or betray himself? why doth not that of S. Hierome come into their mind, Ubi generalis est de vitiis disputatio, ibi nullius esse personæ injuriam? Is it such an inexpiable crime in poets, to tax vices generally, and no offence in them, who, by their exception, confess they have committed them particularly? Are we fallen into those times that we must not

Auriculas teneras mordaci rodere vero.

Remedii votum semper verius erat, quàm spes." -Sexus fœmin.-If men may by no means write freely, or speak truth, but when it offends not; why do physicians cure with sharp medicines, or corrosives? is not the same equally lawful in the cure of the mind, that is in the cure of the body? Some vices, you will say, are so foul, that it is better they should be done than spoken. But they that take offence where no name, character, or signature doth blazon them, seem to me like affected as women, who if they hear any thing ill spoken of the ill of their sex, are presently moved, as if the contumely respected their particular: and on the contrary, when they hear good of good women, conclude, that it belongs to them all. If I see any thing that toucheth me, shall I come forth a betrayer of myself presently? No, if I be wise, I'll dissemble it; if honest, I'll avoid it, lest I publish that on my own forehead which I saw

Per. Sat. 1.

h Livius.

there noted without a title. A man that is on the mending hand will either ingenuously confess or wisely dissemble his disease. And the wise and virtuous will never think any thing belongs to themselves that is written, but rejoice that the good are warned not to be such; and the ill to leave to be such. The person offended hath no reason to be offended with the writer, but with himself; and so to declare that properly to belong to him, which was so spoken of all men, as it could be no man's several, but his that would wilfully and desperately claim it. It sufficeth I know what kind of persons I displease, men bred in the declining and decay of virtue, betrothed to their own vices; that have abandoned or prostituted their good names; hungry and ambitious of infamy, invested in all deformity, enthralled to ignorance and malice, of a hidden and concealed malignity, and that hold a concomitancy with all evil.

What is a Poet?

Poeta.-A poet is that which by the Greeks is called xar' oxy, o Пonrns, a maker, or a feigner: his art, an art of imitation or feigning; expressing the life of man in fit measure, numbers, and harmony, according to Aristotle; from the word WO, which signifies to make, or feign. Hence he is called a poet, not he which writeth in measure only, but that feigneth and formeth a fable, and writes things like the truth. For the fable and fiction is, as it were, the form and soul of any poetical work, or poem.

What mean you by a Poem?

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