Friday, 8 September 2000

From "Playes Confuted in fiue Actions"

By Stephen Gosson.

I woulde Readers considered yt when they come to the view of any newe booke, they are bidde by their frend as ghestes to a banquet: at a banket if any dish bee before you, which your stomacke abhors, It is a pointe of good manners, somewhat orderly to remoue it: In bokes if any thing bee offred that you cannot rellish, curtesy wils you, with a thankefull kinde of modestie to refuse it. Our fathers forefathers in older time, were wont to place Mercurie in their Temples amonge the Graces, whose meaninge was, that as Mercurie was counted the God of vtterance: and the three Graces, the Ladies of Curtesy: so placinge the shrines of them together, might teach vs to know that speech is desirous of frendlye eares, and writers haue great need of Gentle Readers. When Gentlemen reade with a minde to barke, their throtes are no narrow that nothing wil downe; whatsoeuer we speake is too rounde or too flatte, too blunte or too sharpe, too square or too crooked, one waye or other it standes a wry.

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