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be by having their hard, dull wits softened and harpened with the sweet delight of Poetry; for until they find a pleasure in the exercise of the mind, great promises of much knowledge, will little persuade them that know not the fruits of knowledge. In Wales, the true remnant of the antient Britons, as there are good authorities to shew the long time they had poets, which they called Bards, fo through all the conquests of Romans, Saxons, Danes, and Normans, some of whom did seek to ruin all memo. ry of learning from among them, yet do their poets, even to this day, last; so as it is not more notable in the foon beginning, than in long continuing

But since the authors of most of our sciences were the Romans, and, before them, the Greeks; let us, a little, stand upon their authorities, but even so far, as to see what names they have given unto. this now scorned skill. Among the Romans, a poet was called Vates, which is as much as a diviner, foreseer, or prophet, as by his conjoined words Vaticinium, and Vaticinari, is mani, fest; so heavenly a title did that excellent people bestow upon this heart-ravishing knowledge ! And so far were they carried into the admiration thereof, that they thought in the changeable hitting upon any such verfes, great foresokens of their following fortunes were placed,



Whereupon grew the word of Sortes Virgiliane; when, by sudden opening Virgil's book, they lighted upon some verse, as it is reported by many, whereof the histories of the emperor's lives are full. As of Albinus, the governor of our Island, who, in his childhood, met with this verse,

Arma amens capio, nec sat rationis in armis ; And in his age performed it. Although it were a very vain and godless superftition; as also it was, to think spirits were commanded by such verses: whereupon this word charins, derived of Carmina, cometh, so yet serveth it to shew the great reverence those wits were held in ; and altogether not without ground, since both the oracles of Delphi and the Sibyls prophesies were wholly delivered in verses; for that fame exquisite observing of number and measure in the words, and that high-flying liberty of conceit proper to the poet, did seein to have fome divine force in it.

- And may not I presume a little farther, to shew the reasonableness of this word Vates, and say, That the holy David's Psalms are a divine Poem? If I do, I shall not do it without the testimony of great learned men, both antient and modern. But even the name of Psalms, will speak for me, which being interpreted, is Bothing but Songs : then, that it is fully written


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in metre, as all learned Hebricians agree, although the rules be not yet fully found. Laftly, and principally, his handling his prophecy, which is merely poetical. For what else is the awaking his inusical instruments; the often and free changing of persons ; his notable Prosopopæias, when he maketh you, as it were, fee God coming in his majesty ; his telling of the beasts joyfulness, and hills leaping; but a heavenly Pocsy; wherein, almoft, he sheweth himself a paifionate lover of that unspeakable and everlasting beauty, to be seen by the eyes of the mind, only cleared by faith? But, truly, now, having named him, I fear I seem to profane that holy name, applying it to Poetry, which is, among us, thrown down to so ridiculous an estimation. But they that, with quiet judgments, will look a little deeper into it, shall find the end and working of it fuch, as being rightly applied, deserveth not to be scourged out of the church of God.

But now let us see how the Greeks have named it, and how they deemed of it. The Greeks named him TONTIN; which name hath, as the most excellent, gone through other languages; it cometh of this word or, which is to make : wherein, I know not whether by luck or wildom, we Englismen have met with the Greeks in calling him Maker ! which name, how bigh


and incomparable a title it is, I had rather were known by marking the scope of other sciences, than by any partial allegation. There is no art delivered unto mankind, that hath not the works of nature for his principal object, without which, they could not confift, and on which they fo depend, as they become actors and players, as it were, of what nature will have set forth. So doth the Astronomer look upon the ftars, and by that he feeth set down what order nature hath taken therein. So doth the Geometrician and Arithmetician, in their diverse sorts of quantities. So doth the Mufician, in times, tell

you, which by nature agree, which not. The natural Philosopher thereon hath his name; and the moral Pbilosopber ftandeth upoix the natural virtues, vices, or passions of man: And follow nature, faith hé, therein, and thou shalt not err. The Lawyer faith what. men have determined. The Historian, what men have done. The Grammarian, speaketh only of the rules of speech; and the Rhetorician and Logician, confidering what in nature will sooneft prove, and persuade thereon, give artificial rules, which still are compassed within the circle of a question, according to the proposed inatter. . The Physician weigheth the nature of man's body, and the nature of things helpful and hurtful unto it. And the Nietaphyfick, though it be in


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the second, and abstract notions, and therefore be counted supernatural, yet doth he, indeed, build upon the depth of nature. Only the Poet, disdaining to be tied to any such subjection, lifted up with the vigour of his own invention, doth grow, in effect, into another nature : in making things either better than pature bringeth forth, or quite anew ; forms such as never were in nature, as the Heroes, Demi-gods, Cyclops, Clymeras, Furies, and such like ; so as he goeth hand in hand with nature, not inclosed within the narrow warrant of her gifts, but free: dy ranging within the zodiack of his own wit. Nature never set forth the earth in so rich tapestry as diverse poets have done ; neither with so pleasant rivers, fruitful trees, sweet-smelling flowers, nor whatsoever else may make the too inuch-loved earth inore lovely; Her world is brazen, the poets only deliver a golden.

But let those things alone, and go to Man; for whom, as the other things are, so it seeineth in himn her uttermost cunning is employed; and know, Whether she have brought forth fo truc a lover as Tbeagenes ; so constant a friend as Py'e lades; lo valiant a man as Orlando ; so right a prince as Xenophon's Cyrus; and so excellent a man every way as Virgil's Æneas? Neither let this be jeftingly conceived, because the works of the one be effential, the other in imitation or fic



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