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Seaven Bookes of the Shades of Homere, Prince of Poets.
Translated according to the Greeke, in Judgement of his best Commentaries, by George Chapman, Gent. &c.
London. Printed by John Windet, and are to be solde at the Sign of the Crosse Keyes, neare Puules Wharffe. 1592.
MY only motive for making mention of this book, so well known to the collectors and readers of old English Poetry, is to observe that the Museum Copy belonged to Ben Jonson, and has his autograph, "Sum Ben Jonsonii" in the Title Page.
OF the Dramatic performances of this writer, I have before given an account in a former volume. He was also the author of the Poetical Tract hereafter described, as well as of a Collection
of Tales or Jests. Both the last are of extraordinary rarity. I know of no other copy of the first, but that which belongs to the Museum. For the means of describing the second, which I shall do hereafter, I am indebted to Mr. George Nicol, who is always prompt and zealous to forward any undertaking which has the benefit of literature, or the gratification of the curious, in view.
The subject of the tract next described, is so popular in itself, and so patriotic in its tendency, that I have, without scruple, subjoined the whole of the introductory part.
On the back of the Title page are the arms of
There is also this motto: "Semper eadem."
Gallia victa dedit flores, invicta leones,
Entituled to the famous and fortunate-
A Tale of Troy
Parve nec invideo sine me (liber) ibis ad Hei mihi quod domino non licet ire tuo. Doone by George Peele, Maister of Artes, in Oxforde. At London.
Printed by J. C. and are to bee solde by William Wright, at his Shop adjoyning to St. Mildreds Church, in the Poultrie.
To the most famous Generalles of our English Forces by Land and Sea, Sir John Norris and Sir Frauncis Drake, Knightes.
Your vertues famed by your fortunes, and fortunes renowned by your vertues (thryce honorable Generalles) together with the admiration the worlde hath worthily conceived of your woorthines; have at thys time encouraged mee, a man not unknowne to many of your brave and forwarde followers, Captaynes and Souldiers, to send my short farewell to our English forces, whereunto I have annexed an olde Poeme of myne owne, The Tale of Troy. A pleasant dyscourse, fitly serving to recreate by the reading, the Chivalrie of England. To whom, as to your ingenious judgments, I dedicate the same: that good mindes enflamed wyth honorable reports of their auncestry, may imitate theyr glory in highest adventures, and my countrymen famed through the worlde for resolution and fortitude, may marche in equipage of honour and armes,
wyth theyr glorious aud renowned predecessours, the Troyans.
Beseeching God mercifully and miraculously, as hetherto he hath doone, to defend fayre England, that her souldiours may in thyr departure bee fortunate, and in theyr returne tryumphante.
A FAREWELL, ENTITULED TO THE FAMOUS AND FORTUNATE GENERALLS OF OUR ENGLISH FORCES, &c.
Have doone with care my harts, aborde amaine
Begins her quiet glide, and runnes along,
To that brave bridge the barre that th'warts her course,
Change love for armes, gyrt to your blades my boyes,
The angry sounding drum, the whistling fife,
That under many a standarde well advanc'd,
Bid Mahomets Poo, and mightie Tamburlaine,
And hewe a passage with your conquering swordes
To armes, my fellow souldiers, sea and land