1594 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Edward Dyer

John Dickenson, "To the Right Worshipfull Maister Edward Dyer Esquire" Dickenson, Arisbas: Euphues amidst his Slumbers (1594) sig. Aii-Aiiv.



Well might Telamonian Ajax (Right worshipfull) a Peere of the peerlesse Iliade, and owner of the seven-fold target, stoutly oppose himself to invading Hector, that vaunted his dreaded prowesse, backed by succor of the gods, and strongly repulse the thick-darted Trojan sires from their endaungered navy, the sole staie of their then-doubted return, having for his vigorous arme so massy a bulwarke, and for his valiant heart so man-like a bodie. And (si magnis componere parva licebit) in like sort I, shrouded under the shadow of your worships winges, have therefore the more boldly adventured to thrust into the open light, this mine abortive issue, the frute of some fewe idle houres, sith after many thoughts, I could not excogitate any more pleasing recreation wheron I might bestow times of leasure, hoping that for the common good liking which all men conceive of you, and for the generall good speeches which all men use of you, they will the better censure of my dooing, when they see your worshippes name to whose worth this worthlesse Pamphlet is entitled, standing in the front as a strong sort of defence, to shield me from the descanting verdites of such unfriendly readers, which conceiting the Authors entent amisse, may wrest his meaning by wrong conjectures, and from the sowre censures of the over-curious Moralists of our age, which glory to be termed the new-uprearers of the long ago confuted Stoical Apathy, although these harsh ensuing lines merit no such high protection, sith they are not over-curiously labored: for I deem it mere folly to make a trifle a labor, or my pleasure my paine: and they may be tearmed the worke of a slumbring, rather then of a wakefull Muse: yet I have observed that Poetical method in my discourse, which the best and most approved Authors of the ancientest and most famous languages have alwaies used and allowed, beginning in Medio, and afterward at occasions, unfolding former accidents. Howsoever, if these the sapless frutes of greene youth, and pithless blossomes of a simple Authors unripe wit, purchase such favor and acceptance as I desire, though they deserve it not, I shall be emboldened to raise my Muses note that now yeelds harsh Musick, to an higher key, a fairer frute of my better ordred vacant houres, and manifest my dutie to your worship in some matter of greater import, then a superficial toye: for I judge it the extremitie of folly to trouble the worlde with heapes of trifles. But fearing to grow offensive through tedious interrupting of your worshippes serious affaires, and humbly craving pardon of mine audacious enterprise, I ende, wishing to your worship manie daies of happiness in this life, and heaven in the other life.

Your Worships most firmely devoted

in all dutie and service,

John Dickenson.