Iudge not too rashly, till through all you looke;
If nothing then doth please you, burne the Booke.
[depiction of master and student]

By William Hornbye, Gent.

London, Printed by Aug. Math. for Thomas Bayly, and are to be sold at his shop in the middle Rowneere Staple Inn. 1622.

TO THE HO­NOVRABLE AND HOPEFVLL YOVNG Gentleman, Sir ROBERT CARR, Barronet, W. H. wisheth increase of all honorable ver­tues.

MY honest, humble, harmlesse horning-book,
From whence young Schollers their first learning tool
To you I dedicate (true generous spirit)
Your early towardnesse, and vertues merit
A farre more worthy worke, then here I can
Set out, that ne're was Accademian:
Yet in my homely verse (perhaps) you'l find
Something, a little which may please your mind.
My booke's but Harden to some Holland wit,
And so with home-spun plainest best doth fit;
For in a plaine and honest simple stile,
There lurkes no craft, no subtiltie, nor guile.
Here is no vaine, nor yet prophane discourse,
To make you by the reading be the worse;
I would not staine your thoughts with such a booke,
Nor haue your chaste eyes on such follies looke.
This in a manner doth but plainely show
How Schollers doe begin, and how they grow
To Learning by their industrie and paine,
That rich inestimable Iem to gaine.
(The Horn-book is at first Arts Nurce, frō whence
We suck the milke of our intellîgence)
We must be perfect in our letters all,
E're we to spelling, and to reading fall.
By this Originall, we win (indeed)
The Muses glory, if we so proceede:
And as this booke (sweet Sir) but young appeares
So tis respondent vnto youthfull yeares,
Fit for your young dayes and minoritie,
Vntill you come to senioritie.
Into my mind this cogitation came,
Vnto your selfe to dedicate the same,
Presuming of your fauour, and your loue,
That what I write your vertues will approue
Vpon your face, although your yeares be greene,
The portrature of modestie is seene.
Though in the Teenes you scarce haue enterd yet,
You haue a manly Carriage, pregnant Wit.
God be your good guide, and your happy speede
Euen as you haue begun, so to proceede
In honourable vertues worthy Car,
To make your name shine like the Morning-Star.
Thus Honourable Sir, I take my leaue,
In hope you kindly will (this mite) receiue.
Yours in all humble seruice, W. H.

TO THE VVOR­SHIPFVLL YOVNG GEN­TLEMAN, THOMAS GRANTHAM, Esquire, Sonne and Heire to Sir THO­MAS GRANTHAM, Knight; W.H. wisheth all Health and Hap­pinesse.

BEtwixt two Roses, I a Lilly place,
Three flowers most sweet, and louely flourishing,
All hopefull, by Gods blessing and his grace,
In Vertues Garden sweetly vp to spring;
A true and worthy Gardiner they haue
From choaking weedes, them to preserue and saue.
God was assistant to so wise Elector,
When first he chose so sure a friend indeed
To be his childrens Gardian and Protector,
Who with an honourable care, and heed,
Kindly respects his deare posteritie,
Which sure shall lift his honour to the skie.
To you sole Sonne vnto this worthy Knight,
I likewise dedicate my simple Muse,
Conioyning you together, as tis right,
Because a Simpathie in loue you vse:
As you are Fellowes both at Schoole and play,
(I hope) I blamelesse ioyne you partners may.
And thus relying on your kind affection,
That courteously you will this booke receiue,
I boldly shroud it vnder your protection:
And here in briefe I humbly take my leaue,
Wishing your vertues to grow more and more
In multitudes, like Sand vpon the shore.
Yours most officious and obse­quius in what he can, W. H.

To the Worshipfull and vertu­ous young Gentleman, Mr. Rochester Carre: W.H. wisheth increase of all spirituall and temporall blessings.

RIght (generous Sir) I kindly you intreate
To be Copartner, for to patronize
This little Orphant of my braines conceite,
Which to you also in all humble wise
I dedicate; my Muse shall still ingage her
As well vnto the Minor as the Maior.
And thus my loue in equall ballance peasde
I equallize your worths with equall thought,
My onely wishes are, you would be pleasde,
Kindly to take what my poore wit hath wrought,
Your kind acceptance is my chiefest gaines,
I wish no greater gurdeon for my paines.
At your seruice to be commanded, W. H.


MY Braine now (gentle Reader)'s brought to bed
Of that a while she painefull laboured:
[...]ypen a carefull Mid-wiues part hath plaid
[...]o see her of her Orphant safely layd,
Wrap'd vp in raggs of meane intelligence,
Without the Robes of learned eloquence:
And though she be shees not abortiue borne,
Though Retorique her shaps did ne're adorne:
Nor is she of a base and bastard straine,
Her Parentage is honest, simple, plaine,
All of her Father, true Inuentions getting,
As tis most honest, requisite and fitting.
She is no filtch-line of anothers wit,
Such Theft she hateth and abhorreth it,
And she dare looke euen with a modest grace,
Her better Muse with boldnesse in the face.
A Cottyers child may be as truly got,
As is a Courtyers euery way, why not?
As faire and louely too in shape and face,
And euen as well adorn'd with inward grace,
And proue as faithfull, iust, and plaine a man,
For he nere temporise, nor flutter can;
He doth not know the art of Adulation,
He neuer is acquainted with such fashion,
The difference of these two in this appears,
Th'one Robes of silke, th'otherraggs doth weare:
Euen so although (this homely brat of mine)
Doth want rich robes of Art to make it shine
Through out all places, where it haplie goes,
Yet meere simplicitie, and truth it showes.
The two collauded, and applauded springs,
Where all the Muses most delitious sings,
Within their armes did neuer me infold,
Nor did my eyes their glory yet behold;
Such blisse to me (alas) did ne're belong,
I had the greater iniurie and wrong.
Then (gentle Reader) if that title faire,
With thy good nature I may right compare:
Pardon my Muse, which for no ill intent,
Into the world I homely here haue sent.
Here is no enuy that at all doth lurke
In this my harmelesse Muses little worke:
And if that any discontent doth grow,
Tis not my fault, but theirs which take it so.
Those people then whose consciences are cleare
From all such things as I haue written here,
Accept my minds true meaning and good will,
More then my Retorique, my Art and skill;
If some cannot commend it nor defend it,
Then in their wisdomes let them kindly mend it:
If neither; cease then a malignant tongue,
And doe a harmlesse honest Muse no wrong.
Yours, as you like him, Cornu-apes.


THe Horn-booke of all books I doe commend,
For the worlds knowledge, it doth cōprehēd.
There is no book vnder heauens copious cope,
Of mightie volume, large and full of scope,
Composde of the pure quintissence of wit,
But sure the Horn-booke full containeth it.
What euer can be written, read, or said,
Are first of letters fram'd, composde, and made;
Each word, and sentence are in order set,
Deriued from the English Alphabet.
Of all chiefe learning, litrature and Art,
The Horn-booke is the ground, which doth impart
A world of Science; and great Art and skill
Comes from the Horn-booke be it good, or ill;
And I haue reason to colland the same,
Because tis sounding somewhat neere my name.
The Rtoritian, and the great Logition;
Th' Arethmatition, and the black Magition;
The learn'd Phisitian, and the quaint Musitian;
The grounded Grecian, and the sound Hebritian,
Which mount Parnassus
Vni­ [...]ersity.
Hill; and not to seeke
In English, Latin, Hebrew, and in Greeke.
And all that deeply politick are found,
Had first their knowledge from the Horn-bookes ground▪
Great learned Preachers of Diuinitie,
Which with the heauens haue neare affinitie;
Profound sound Doctors of the Morrall Law,
First from the Horn-booke did their reason draw.
And from Christs Cradle, to his bloody Crosse,
In Christ-crosse-row is Character'd each losse,
And great affliction that to man doth fall;
Being taught by Patience how to beare withall.
There's an old saying to be vnderstood,
And yet (in deed) is not so old, as good:
In my beginning God be my good speed,
In grace and vertue that I may proceed.
So vertue is the Alpha of Gods grace,
How we should run th'Omega of our race.
And what is Patience but a vertue pure,
Which to the end all Crosses doth endure:
He that hath Patience, is a perfect man,
And well is skild the Christ-crosse-row to skan:
Patience is euen the ground, frō whence proceeds
All goods conceits, and charitable deeds.
And charitie is euen the firme foundation,
On which a man doth found his soules saluation.
Then to conclude, these vertues first doe flow
From the Originall, the Christ-crosse-row.
The little Infant that receiues his birth,
To passe his pilgrimage vpon the earth,
Takes first a respite, and a time to grow,
Before he comes vnto the Christ-crosse-row;
And at his Baptisme, euen from the Font,
Receiues the Crosse of Christ vpon his front,
In signe that he should neuer shame, nor feare,
The Crosse of Christ and Christian life to beare.
For three or fower yeares space, like to a lamb,
He spends his time in sporting, and in gam:
His wanton courage somewhat then to Coole,
His Parents puts him to a petty Schoole.
Then after that, he takes a pritty pride,
To weare the Horn-booke dangling by his side:
And was it not well arm'd with plate and horne,
T'was in great danger to be rent and torne:
For in his sport, sometimes he falleth out
With his Schoole-fellow, so they haue a bout
At Buff, and counter-buff; the Horr-bookes then
Are all the weapons for these stout tall men;
As tis agreeing with their childish yeares,
They briefely fall together by the eares
For a small cause, their quarrell doth begin,
Euen for a Point, a Counter, or a Pin,
And as a trifle small their friendship brake;
Euen so a toy, them friends againe doe make:
For they (good Lads) in mallice cannot sleepe,
Within their brests they anger neuer keepe;
So to their sports they fresh againe doe fall,
As if they had not fallen out at all:
The good nature and dis­position of Chil­dren.
For he to learne yet, cannot well betake him,
But finding toyes, & sports, sits down to lake him
With Top, and Top-stick, and his Eldern-guns,
And neuer thinks of time, how fast it runs;
And thus with such like lakings, childish play,
He many times doth passe the time away,
Vntill his Tutor with an awfull hand,
Not sternely tho but with a mild command,
Makes him affect his booke, not with a twig,
But with a Nut, an Almond, or a Fig.
And hauing so the childs affection won
(He saith) sweet Lad come, and thy Horn-book con.
And so the A.B.C. he first is taught;
From that to spelling, he is after brought;
And being right instructed for to spell,
He learn's his Sillables and Vowels well.
Then with due teaching he doth well consider
By's Masters rule how he may put together.
The Horn-booke hauing at his singers end,
Vnto the Primer he doth next ascend;
When his capacitie, againe doth alter
From that, he goes into the holy Psalter;
Then next to that, into the Booke of Bookes
The sacred Bible modestly he lookes;
As in a glasse, where he may plainely see
Both what he is, and what he ought to bee.
How that he was conceiu'd-and borne in sin,
Since his first breath to draw, he did begin:
There he may see that he's a mortall man,
Subiect to sin, and hard resist it can;
There is a soueraigne salue most gratious sent
To heale sick soules which truly doe repent;
There he may see, that sin originall
Came first from Eue and Adam by their fall;
Before the Masculine I here prefer
The Feminine, because she first diderr:
The woman with inticements did begin
To draw old Father Adam vnto sin;
And since her first disease, it still infects
Vnto this day a number of her sects.
There he may see by the first Adams fall,
A second Adam did redeeme vs all
With bis most dearest blood, shed on the Crosse,
The greatest gratious blessing that e're was.
And as the Prouerbe old doth teach vs, so
We first must creepe, before we well can goe:
So from the Horn-booke we must first incline,
Before we can attaine to things diuine.
Diuine or humaine, or in what degree
Of Art and knowledge, what so e're it be;
And as the Bible is the well of preaching,
Euen so the Horn-booke is the ground of teaching;
Yet [...]e not hold my argument so strong,
To doe the Accidence one iot of wrong.
A second worthy ground there is in truth
Of learning, apter for more able Youth:
But yet he cannot vnto this attaine,
Before the Horn booke doth direct him plaine;
By skill, good will, and times experience,
He enters straight into the Accedence:
There's the true ground Gramarians ground vpon,
To clime vnto the Hill of
To that, they'r brought with charge & large expences,
To know their Monds, their Cases, & their Tences:
By that th'ar learn'd to scan and proue a Verse;
And also how to Conster, and to Perse;
Then with the Latin Abcee they begin,
And so from step to step, more skill doe win:
Puriles next is vsde in Schollers making,
In which Youth gather profit by paines taking.
By viewing Cato, there they may rehearse
For good examples, many a golden verse;
Ouids lasciuious booke, in's [...]rt to loue,
Is good to reade, but not so good to proue.
Tully for eloquence doth beare the bell,
For a sweet stile, he doth the rest excell.
Corderus Dyalogues doth true relate
Good presidents for youth to i [...]mitate.
Terence a worthy booke, and ready meanes
Timboulden boyes, by acting of his Sceanes.
In Ouids Metamorphosis is had
Diuers examples, that are good and bad:
There Phaeton through pride did get a fall,
A goodly president for pride to all;
For he beyond his skill, needs would assay,
That which turn'd quickly to his owne decay.
Acteon, for his longing, and his lust
After chast Dyna, was transformed iust.
Narcissus that proud selfe-conceited Else,
Louing his shadow, fondly lost himselfe.
There may they find Diana's dignitie,
For simple purenesse, and pure chastetie:
With diuers more examples I could write,
But time will not permit me to recite.
Virgell, a booke that doth exceed the rest;
And Horace, equallized with the best.
By these good meanes, and Gods assisting grace,
They run the happy Helliconian race;
If God preserue their labours, and their health,
They proue good members in a Common-wealth
As Musterd-seed of all the seeds that be,
Is the least graine: but yet by proofe we see,
The flittering foules of heauen may liue & breed
In those large branches that from it doe spread;
And though it be (indeed) a graine but small,
Yet doth it beare a sound round price withall.
Euen so the Horn-booke is the seede and graine
Of skill, by which we learning first obtaine:
And though it be accompted small of many,
And haply bought for two pence, or a penny,
Yet will the teaching somewhat costly be,
Ere they attaine vnto the full degree
Of Schollership and Art: for at a word,
It first doth hatch the
Vni­ [...]ersitie chollers
Helliconian bird,
Learning; a pretious Iem I doe account,
Which doth all treasure in the world surmount;
It is a blessing, if it well be vsde,
But to a curse it turns, if ill abusde;
Learning's a Ladder, grounded vpon faith,
By which we clime to heauen (the Scripture saith.
And tis a meanes to hurrie men to hell,
If grace be wanting for to vse it well:
So the Horn-book without Gods grace-guiding still
May be an introduction vnto ill;
To euery one God doth a Talent giue,
To trie how they can prosper, thriue and liue.
That profitable seruant that hath fower,
If frugall, shall haue thrice as many more;
He that hath three, his labour shall not cease;
For to inrich him with a great increase.
He that hath two, with diligence and paine,
Shall be requited with a double gaine;
And that same sloathfull sluggard that hath one,
If fruitlesse buried, shall be sure of none.
And now my Horn-booke I may rightly apply
Both to the Clergie, and the Laetie,
How many Pastors are there,
Careles and un­profita­ble shep­heards.
that should feede
Their flocke (alas) yet starue them in their need
Which doe that worthy function much neglect
For worldly causes, or some by respect,
Who the regardles hirelings part doe play
That care not how their sheepe doe goe astray,
But leaue them all at random, here and there,
For greedy Wolues to spoyle, deuower, & teare;
These ill deserue (I say) in such a case,
Their liuings, learning, and so worthy place:
These are blind guids, blind in their inward sight,
Which grope at Noone-tide, with a Candle light.
(Me thinks) neglect of this their sacred function
Should strike with horror, a most sharp cōpunctiō
Into their Marble hearts: for there's a woe
Pronounc'd gainst those, which slip their duty so;
Who more respect the world, and worldly pelfe,
Then for to profit others, or himselfe
In soules saluation; such desire to gaine
The riches of this world, which are but vaine:
Like Isops Cock, which of more worth did deeme
A Barly-corne, then Iem of of great esteeme.
These kind of scatter-graces right are found
Like him that hid his Talent in the ground:
For such as these I mourne, & make great mone,
They better neuer had the Horn-booke knowne.
Yet many a Citie,
Proui­dent and carefull Pastors.
many a Towne is blest
Here in our Land, with Pastors of the best,
Who take most earnest paines, and honest heed,
Not for to fleece their flocks, but them to feede,
And with a speciall care, and conscience cause,
Reforme the wicked to religious lawes:
So they which sit in Ignorance black night,
They doe inlighten with their splendent light.
These are true Shepheards, euen to Christs desire,
And hee'l reward them with a Heauenly hire:
Blessed are they, that euer they did know
The Horn-booke, and the happy Christ-crosse-row.
The great graue worthy Iudges of the Land,
Just Judges
That doe with care and conscience vnderstand
The poore mens causes, be they right or wrong,
To giue the right, where right doth true belong,
(I hope) will with my Horn-booke free dispence,
Knowing that knowledge is deriu'd from thence.
Before we learne, we learne to know each letter,
Or else to learne to reade, is nere the better.
And to all gentle Iustices of Peace,
Vpright Justices.
Who doe their Talents (in their charge) increase,
In doing Iustice with a single eie,
Without respect of men, or briberie,
My Horn-booke very humbly I commend,
Hoping that learning they will still defend.
To all Schoole-founders,
that haue euer been
Most beneficiall vnto Schollers seene,
By Schooles errecting, and protecting those
Vnder their fauours, which in learning growes
To full maturitie; these doe support
Poore Schollers in a charitable sort,
These happy Stewards haue their Talents spent
Pleasing to God, and for a good intent:
To these my Horn-booke likewise I commend,
Knowing the Muses they doe best befrend.
Lavvyers and At­turnies.
The busie Lawyers, and the briefe Atturneys,
Which euery Term-time take most tedious iornies
To toyle, and moyle, to ride through thick & thin,
And all to bring their fees more roundly in;
Whose onely labours to this purpose tends,
They would haue all men rathere foes then friends,
Because by controuersie they doe gaine,
And concord makes thē beggers, they complaine.
These from the Horn-book first did draw their skill,
Good cause haue they to beare it great good will.
A Constable's a iudicious man,
A Con­ [...]able.
If he performe his Office wisely can:
But if vnlearnedly he doe amisse,
(Ales) the Horn-booke was no friend of his.
The learned Poet,
The lear­ned Poet
that in Poetrie
Doth mount aloft vnto the loftie skie
In high conceits, through diuine inspiration
Who for his Art, is held in admiration;
That which I write, will grant for to be true,
And giue vnto the Horn-booke praise due.
The Third-bare Poet,
The Thread­bare Poet.
or the Ballad-maker,
That of lassiuious Rimes, is full partaker,
And baudy songs writes with his vnchast pen,
Which stinke i'th nostrils of vertuous men:
These shew the very dreggs, and froth of wit,
Which an vnprofitable, and vnfit;
These did at first the Horn-booke learne in waste,
Whose wits ill spent, giue euen as ill a taste.
And the Pet-Poet I must not forget,
The Pe [...] Poet.
Which with good liquor doth accute his wit;
And when tis got a little into's Crowne,
He makes his Pen to gallup vp and downe;
Writing a song like vnto Smug and's Daughter,
Or some such od conceite, procuring laughter.
These make braue songs, and for their greater gra­ces,
Sing them in priuat, & in publike places.
To these (I say) as Drinke doth them imbolden,
So to the Horn-booke they were first beholden.
The Free-Schoole-Masters,
The Fre [...] Schoole Masters
which paines doe take,
Good Schollers fit for Cambridge to mak,
Were Infants first themselues, and little Boyes,
Which did delight in trifles, and in toyes,
And at the Horn-booke likewise did begin,
Before they doe such good preferment win
(Where youth is brought to reuerence and grace,
I hold a very venerable place.)
But yet some bad and basely doe abuse it,
Because they want discretion how to vse it,
Knowing no meane, nor mediocritie
In their correction, but extremitie.
As for example, I will here be bold
To tell a tale, the like was neuer told;
In the braue Historie of valliant Guy,
You shall not reade the like for veritie:
Nor in the Mirror of Knight-hood can be found
The like; for there huge lies doe loudly sound:
This is plaine truth, I pray you note it well,
It is no fained fable that I tell.

A Tale.

I Still remember, when I was a Lad,
Long after I the Horn-booke learned had,
I passed ouer euery petty booke,
In which young Schollers first doe vse to looke;
When as through care and cost, I then began
To be a pretty good Gramarian.
Vnto the Free-schoole I was forthwith sent
By my good Parents, with a good intent,
(That learning still my mind might more adorne;
A sweet light burden, that is easie borne.)
Now I begin to tell a tale of forrow
Euen of my taile: I went to Peterborrow
To reape more learning, then before I had;
But yet I prou'd more backward, and more bad,
By reason that my Masters strict correction,
Turn'd quite from him my loue, and my affection,
That vnto learning then I had no mind,
To which before I greatly was inclind.
Before a Christmasse time,
Schollers desire libertie to play, but the euent vvas costly.
we did conspire
Against our Master, for to haue desire
Of libertie, for double paines we tooke
All the yeare long by toyling at our booke,
VVith many a wofull smarting lash beside,
VVhich our poore buttocks patient did abide.
So with a generall and free consent,
VVe shut him forth of dores incontinent;
For this did strongly for our reason stand,
It was a common custome through the land,
And since that others did attempt the same,
If we should not doe so, it was a shame.
This we resolu'd, and this we did performe,
VVhich made him for to stare, to stamp, & storme;
But yet we car'd not for his threatning words,
VVe stoutly stood with Pistals, Pikes, & Swords,
Euen like a little Armie in the field.
He could not daunt our harts, nor make vs yeeld;
Though we were boyes, yet we by this exclusion,
Manly hearts in Boyes breasts.
Shew'd in each one a manly resolution.
Fower nights together we were prisoners kept,
The boards our beds, on which we nightly slept,
And for our victuals, they were neuer scant,
For we found friends that did relieue our want:
Yet were abundance faint and Capon-hearted,
That from their businesse very basely started.
Of sixtie proper Schollers that were found,
But sixe of sixtie that would stand their ground;
Hearing great threats, the rest durst neuer stay,
But like right Cowards ran with speed away.
Had these been Marciall men, then Marciall law
Would sure haue held them all in better awe,
They durst not then haue run'd away at all,
For feare of hanging, that might after fall.
Thus were we six euen left vnto our selues,
By reason of those base white-liuerd Elues:
The residue like fooles, and shallow-witted,
Went to their Master, and themselues submitted;
Because (indeed) their bumbs began to itch,
They all went crouching for to saue their britch▪
Thus they esteemed more their nether part,
Thē foule disgrace, which woundeth som to t'hart▪
Some carried tokens, bribes, and petty gifts,
To saue their tayles from heating by such shifts.
But all this while we very stout did stand
Vnto the exploit that we tooke in hand;
Nor to our Master would we yeeld a iot,
Till a false pardon fondly we had got:
For he like to a false pernitious Wretch,
Did violate his word, and conscience stretch;
He vow'd vnto the Bishop and the Deane,
For that offence he would remit vs cleane:
But afterwards (alas) too true we try'd,
That he like a perfidious villane ly'd;
We one by one were brought a little space
Vnto the wofull execution place.
Vnto the Bishops Bach-house we were led,
Where they doe vse to make, and bake his bread▪
Ouer that house there certaine Chambers were,
Where we were brought the, with no little feare,
All intricate; and winding to and fro,
As if we in a Labyrinth did goe.
When I came there, my heart began to faile,
To see such cost prouided for my taile:
For he prouision priuily had got,
Which made my brich tosting, it was so hot;
There was prepared Rods a large [...]elne long,
Scholler vvhip­ped, pep­pered, and sal­ted at Peter­borovv.
Of tuffe-red-willowes binded very strong;
Pepper and salt he did together blend,
Full halfe a pecke he on our tayles did spend:
Twixt euery fower yerkes, we a handfull had
On our bare bumbs, which almost made vs mad.
This Tyrant-part he playd, and n'ere gaue o're,
Till he had giuen vs lashes, fower times fower.
Thus he had season'd well vnto his thinking,
Our wofull tay les, to keep them all from stinking:
And sure (I think) that he did vnderstand,
He Haunches had of Venison in hand;
For I'me perswaded, neuer man did know,
That euer Schollers tayles were powderd so.
It was no boote for to resist at all,
Our strength (alas) and number was but small,
Our fellowes did our fellowship forsake,
And on our Masters side they all did take;
We force and helpe, and weapons all did lack,
Which made our hinder-parts to goe to wrack.
Whilst we to shut him out did vndertake,
This Bach-house he a School-house then did make,
And so some fifty of them there he taught,
Where we to this sam doleful place were brought,
I would himselfe the cruell smart had felt,
Which by his deuillish sauage hand was delt,
Then should he know, that our so small a falting,
Neuer deserued peppering and salting.
For my owne griefe, to me it was best knowne,
I felt no bodies sorrow but my owne;
I was in such a wofull case, I'me sure,
That in no certaine place I could indure:
My tayle did smart, I euery where was flinging,
As if a swarme of Bees had there been stinging,
I could not sit, nor lye, nor stand, nor goe,
The salt and pepper vildly plagu'd me so.
Thus haue you heard a tayle of lamentation,
Euen of our tailes great griefe, and sore vexation;
As sure as I the Horn-booke first did know,
So surely is he named in this Roe.
This true we found to our great smart and paine:
Now to my Horn-booke I returne againe.
Young men and Maydens, when they first doe wed,
And chastly enter in their nuptiall bed,
Not suffering lust their bodies to beguile,
Nor marriage rites, to spot and to defile,
According to that solemne vow they make,
That they each other neuer shall forsake
Till death depart, come pouertie, come wealth,
Come painefull sicknes, or come perfect health:
To these a worthy praise belongs to either,
When they in Matrimony ioyne together
In a Coniunction Copplatiue most chaste,
And of their neighbors Commons make no waste.
To these the Horn-book proues not crosse, but when
Women doe teach it vnto married men.
The filthy Leacher, that on drabs and queanes,
Consumes his flesh, his marrow, and his meanes,
Making his body to resemble most
A sinke, then temple of the holy Ghost;
Who cannot be contented with a wife,
Nor yet liue honest by a single life.
The married man may be compar'd (indeed)
To a rich thiefe which steales, yet stands no need,
And for so grieuous and so great abuse,
With his best cunning cannot pleade excuse
To saue himselfe; Gods sacred Malestie
Did preordaine a meanes and remedie
Gainst fornication; and to hate that vice,
He honor'd Marriage first in Paradice;
To this intent, he did that honour giue,
That all therein, might honorably liue,
Without infringing of those nuptiall bands,
By which vnited are both hearts and hands.
The Bride-groome with a Ring his Bride doth wed,
In signe none should perticipate his bed:
And as a Ring that hath no end but round,
So should no ending of their loue be found▪
But they which other womens kindnes proue,
There is a breach of Wedlocks honest loue.
These doe euen Hell for a iust stipend earne,
And so (indeed) the Horn-booke backwards learne.
Both married wiues, & maidens here may look,
With modest eyes vpon my Horning-booke:
My Horne-bookes honesty will their's affront,
If that they can vouchsafe to looke vpont;
If they be chaste, it chastetie imbraceth;
It taunteth vices, and true vertue graceth:
And though the Horn-book be my books right stile,
Here's no lasciuious lines yet, to beguile
The eares of them that heare, or reade the same,
Though vnto some may harshly seeme the name.
The Horn-booke, if it true be vnderstood,
Containeth nothing but is right and good.
Then wiues and Maidens, this is my request,
Befriend the Horn-booke, for it is your best.
Young hopefull Gentlemen, that doe resort
By Art and learning to the Inns of Court,
Which doe through time and paines much vnderstand
To grow great men, and Iudges of the land:
All these I reuerence with a due respect,
Whose labours turne vnto a good effect,
(I hope) their splendent fauours all will shine
Vpon my Horn-booke; though that some repine
And Crittick-like, doe my good meaning wrest
To the worst sense, though I conceiue the best;
For (I protest) I thinke not an ill thought,
Though I doe itterate the Horn-booke oft;
My modest Muse like to a Maid would blush,
If vnaduisedly I should but rush
Into a sentence sorded and vnsit,
And check my Pen, to run before my wit.
That man whose hart and tongue do not agree,
Though pure his words, his thoughts pernitious be,
The glozing speeches which he doth impart,
Are characters of his deceitfull heart,
His double in-side, out ward doth appeare
Like to the habit, that he best might weare,
As in a sute of Linsie-woolsie-stuff,
Of lace, call'd (lack of both-sides) for his Ruff;
His Cuffs about his wrests iust of the same,
And Ambodexter, fitteth right his name.
Religion for a cloake he putteth on
To hide his faults, when falsely he hath don,
Vnto the Church he goeth most demure,
As if he was extreame deuout and pure;
Vnder his arme, a Bible he doth beare,
To make his luke-warme zeale more hot appeare;
When he speaks faire, he then pretends most euill,
And Scripture falsely vseth; like the deuill,
Who in his Disputation went about
To tempt our Sauiour, like a Tempter stout.
From these more deuilish villany proceed,
Then from those men that sinfull seeme (indeed.)
These be not Hel-black Deuils, no, they are white,
Which doe through holinesse, in sinne delight;
These learn'd the Horn-booke to a bad intent,
Their time of learning was but vainely spent.
And now (my Muse) I will not ouercharge,
I else could write of Pallaters at large,
Of Sumners, Baylifes and such knauish men,
But that with them I will not foyle my pen;
Yet in their praises (thus much) I can tell,
Euen in a word or two, and so farwell.
On the worlds stage, they do the deuils part play,
Which vp and downe do range to seek their pray,
And dailie hunt for booties where to speed
On poore mens purses most of all they feed,
In taking fees they simple men abuse
By vild extortion, which they often vse,
For poore men they quite swagger & out sweare,
Where they suppose that they can dominere;
These all are Lawyers factors, for to doe
Such like imployments as they put them to.
These from the Horn-books honest meaning swerue,
And in their places right like knaues doe serue.
Now cease (my Muse) in quiet silence rest,
For of the Horn-booke thou hast said thy best.

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