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the title page.
THIS curious little volume was translated by the father of the famous Sir John Harrington, and has, I believe, been somewhere mentioned by Mr. Parke.
It is of great rarity, and deserves a conspicuous place here. It is printed in a very minute form, which perhaps may be denominated 32mo. B. L. I
copy “ THE BOOKE OF FREENDSHIP OF MARCUS TULLIE Cicero.
1562." It is thus inscribed:
“To the righte vertuouse and my singuler good Lady Katharine Duches of Suffolke.
As my prisonment and adversitee moste honorable Lady was of their own nature joygned with greate and sundrie miseries, so was the sufferance of the same eased by the chaunce of dyverse and many Commoditees. For there. by founde I a great soul profile, a little mynde knoulage, some holow hertes, and a few faithful freendes. Whereby I tried prisonmente of the body to bee the libertee of spirite : adversytee of fortune : the touche stone of vanitees, and in the ende quietnes of minde the occasion of study. And thus somewhat altered to avoyde my olde idelnesse, to recompense my loste tyme, and to take profite of my
calamitee, I gave my selfe
amonge other thynges to studie and learne the Frenche tonge, havynge both skilful prysoners to enstruct me, and therto plentie of bookes to learne the language. Among whyche as there were dyverse notable and for their sundry mattier woorthy readynge, so none lyked me above this Tullius booke of freendshyp, nor for the argument any with it to be compared. The whole whereof whan I had perused and save the goodly rules, the naturall order and civyle use of freendshyp, where before I but liked than was I ravished, and in a certaine wonder with the. heathen lerning which chiefly for itselfe I phanjasied, and for my state I deemed good to bee embrased as a glasse to dyscerne my freendes in, and a civile rule to leade my life by.
These causes moved mee to think it mete for moe. Whereupon I (as I coulde) translated it, and though not so lyvely, not yet so aptlye ay. some wold loke for, and many could doe, yet I trust they will rather beare with my good will then rebuke my boldness, for that it proceded more of a good mynd then of anie presumption of knoulage : and so my enterpryse is to bee interpreted rather by freends as a treatise of freend.
ship, then by lerned clerkes in an argument of translacion.
Well how so ever it shalbe lyked of the learned, I hope it shall be allowed of the unlatined. Whose Capacitees by my owne I consider, and for lacke of a fine and flowynge stile I have used the playne and common speeche, and to thende the sense mighte not be chaunged, nor the goodnes of the matter by shift of tounges ynuche mynished, I caused it to bee conferred wyth the Jatine Auctor, and so by the knowen well lerned to be corrected : after whose handelynge me thought a newe spirite and life was geven it, and many parles seemed as it were wyth a newe cote arayed, as well for the orderly placynge and eloquently changeynge of some woordes, as also for the plainly openyng and learnedly ainending of the sence, whiche in the Frenche translatyon was somewhat darkened, and by me for lacke of knoulage in many places missed.
Thus when the thinge was perfected and I beheld the fame of the Auctor, the nature of the treatise, and the clerenesse of his teachyng, I coulde not judge to whome I shoulde rather offer it then unto your Grace, whome the freendelesse daily finde their defence and the helples repaire to as a refuge.
This did I not to teache you, but to let you see in learnynge aunciente that you have by na
ture used! nor to warne you of oughte you lacked, but to sette forthe your perfection: the proufe whereof the deede mighte wytnesse, and their offspring hath just cause to knoulage it, as mo can recorde it then can requite it. And such your freendly stedfastnesse declared to the deade, doth assertaine us of your stedfast frendlinesse towards the livyng, whiche the many have felte and diverse doe prove and fewe can want Of whiche number youre Grace hathe made me one, that neyther leaste nor seldomest' have tasted of your benefites both in my trouble and also libertie. Wherfore your Grace in my sight is of all other most worthy this small fruite of my. prisons laboure, as a fitte patronesse to the honour of suche a worke and a trewe example in whom it is fulfilled. Thus the lord of trueth preserve you in freendshyp, encrease youre frendes and defend you from enemyes.
It is here acknowledged by Harrington himself, that he translated this tract, not from the original Latin, but from the French Version. After have translated it from the French, “he caused his Version to be conferred with the latine Auctor, and so by the knowen well lerned to be corrected.”
This version is of particular importance to ascertain the orthography of the time, as adopted in the most polished society. Harrington was a courtier, and to him we may safely look for the terms, expressions, and mode of spelling, in fashionable vogue. The more remarkable pecaliarities seem to be these: joined is spelt joygned, commoditees now obsolete is used for advantages, knowlage occurs instead of knowledge, hertes for hearts, freendes instead of friends, none lyked me for none I liked, phantasied for admired, mete for moe, interesting to muny unlatined for those ignorant of Latin, trewe for true, &c. &c.
The style, considering the period at which it was written, may be allowed to be sufficiently easy and elegant.
At the end of the volume is
“ Imprinted at London, in Fletestreete, by Tho. Powell."
The Copy which I have used is the property of Mr. Douce.