The Fardle of Facions, by Johannes Boemus







Aftre what time the barrein traueiles of longe seruice, had driuen me to thinke libertie the best rewarde of my simple life, right honorable Erle and that I had determined to leaue wrastlyng with fortune, and to giue my self wholie to liue vpon my studie, and the labours of my hand: I thought it moste fitting with the dutie that I owe to God and manne, to bestowe my time (if I could) as well to the profite of other, as of myself. Not coueting to make of my floudde, a nother mannes ebbe (the Cancre of all commune wealthes) but rather to sette other a flote, where I my self strake on ground. Tourning me therefore, to the searche of wisedome and vertue, for whose sake either we tosse, or oughte to tosse so many papers and tongues: although I founde aboute my self, verie litle of that Threasure, yet remembred I that a fewe yeres paste, at the instaunce of a good Citezein, (who might at those daies, by aucthoritie commaunde me) I had begonne to translate, a litle booke named in the Latine, Omnium gentium mores, gathered longe sence by one Iohannes Boemus, a manne as it appereth, of good iudgemente and diligence. But so corrupted in the Printing, that after I had wrasteled a space, with sondrie Printes, I rather determined to lose my labour of the quartre tanslacion, then to be shamed with the haulf. And throwing it a side, entended no further to wearie my self therwithall, at the leaste vntill I mighte finde a booke of a bettre impression. In searching whereof at this my retourne to my studie, although I found not at the full that, that I sought for: yet vndrestanding among the booke sellers (as one talke bringes in another) that men of good learning and eloquence, bothe in the Frenche and Italien tonge, had not thought skorne to bestowe their time aboute the translacion therof, and that the Emperours Maiestie that now is, vouched saulfe to receiue the presentacion therof, at the Frenche translatours hande, as well appereth in his booke: it kindled me againe, vpon regard of mine owne profite, and other mennes moe, to bring that to some good pointe, that earst I had begonne. For (thought I) seing the booke hath in it, much pleasant varietie of thinges, and yet more profite in the pitthe: if it faile to bee otherwise rewarded, yet shal it thankefully of the good be regarded. Wherefore setting vpon it a fresshe, where the booke is deuided acording to thaunciente diuision of the earth into thre partes, Affrique, Asie, and Europe: hauing brought to an ende the two firste partes, I found no persons in mine opinion so fitte as your honour, to present theim vnto. For seing the whole processe ronneth vpon gouernaunce and Lawes, for thadministracion of commune wealthes, in peace and in warre, of aunciente times tofore our greate graundfathers daies: to whom mighte I bettre presente it, then to a Lorde of verie nobilitie and wisedome, that hath bene highe Mareshalle in the field abrode, deputie of the locke and keie of this realme, and a counsailour at home, of thre worthie princes. Exercised so many waies in the waues of a fickle Commune wealthe: troubled sometime, but neuer disapoincted of honourable successe. To your good Lordeshippe then I yelde and committe, the firste fruictes of my libertie, the firste croppe of my labours, this first daie of the Newe yere: beseching the same in as good parte to receiue it, as I humblie offre it, and at your pleasure to vnfolde the Fardle, and considre the stuffe. Whiche euer the farder in, shall sieme I truste the more pleasaunte and fruictefulle. And to conclude, if I shall vndrestande, that your honour delighteth in this, it shal be a cause sufficiente, to make me go in hande with Europe, that yet remaineth vntouched. Almightie God giue vnto your Lordeshippe prosperous fortune, in sounde honour and healthe.

Your Lordshippes moste humblie at commaundemente,


Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 20:27