1622
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

To the right honorable, William, Lord Maynard, my very good Lord.

Thrifts Equipage: viz. Five Divine and Morall Meditations, of 1. Frugalitie. 2. Providence. 3. Diligence. 4. Labour and Care. 5. Death.

Robert Aylett


Four Spenserians: the dedicatory epistle presents an overview of the contents of Thrifts Equipage: "If thou wilt pleased be to entertaine | Thrift and her traine, into thy Patronage, | I boldly dare in her behalfe maintaine, | Shee is faire, bounteous, sober, grave and sage, | And fit to counsell thee, in Youth, in Strength, and Age."

F. M. Padelford describes Maynard as "a representative of another prominent Essex family" "Robert Aylett" (1936) 10.



To whom should I these pleasing paines commend,
My Muse hath tane Frugality to trace?
But to the Muses deare and noble friend,
Who, as in Honour, seekes to thrive in Grace:
Who, truly nob'e, honoureth his Place;
Nor for his Place is onely honoured:
Whom should the Muses more desire to grace,
Then whom they have up in their Bosomes bred;
And who with bounteous gifts them hath reguerdoned?

Such Bounty is true Thrift: Thus thou dost lay
Thy treasure up in heav'n; thus thou dost gaine:
By giving of some fading goods away,
True honour, which for ever shall remaine:
If thou wilt pleased be to entertaine
Thrift and her traine, into thy Patronage,
I boldly dare in her behalfe maintaine,
Shee is faire, bounteous, sober, grave and sage,
And fit to counsell thee, in Youth, in Strength, and Age.

Next, Providence shall guide thee and protect,
In all wherein thine hand is diligent,
And holy Care and Labour shall direct
Thy Counsells to a just and good event,
To hav'n of Rest, to harbour of Content:
And if thou please to reade Deaths Meditation,
Thou shalt perceive her as an Herald sent,
To summon thee to heav'nly habitation,
To blessed Bride and Bridegroomes marriage-consummation:

Most happy end of all, that rightly runne
Their courses in the dayes of vanity!
With Wisedomes study Solomon begun,
But ends all with this Epithalamie:
Sweet Swan-like Farewell of Mortality!
Taste of true Joy which ever shall remaine!
Then know, it is thy highest Dignitie,
This Earnest sure, of heav'n on earth, to gaine;
Which I will pray for, Thou must labour to attayne.

[Sig. A2-A2v]