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The thyrd ryver is called Novelry;
The fourth ryver is called Carbuncles,
Amyddes of whom the toure is so goodly
Of Vyrgyll standeth, most solacious,
Where he is entered in stones precious;
By thys fayre toure, in a goodly grene,
Thys well doth spryng both bryght and sheen.
To understandyng these iiii. accident:
Doctryne, perceyveraunce, and exercyse,
And also therto is equypolent
Evermore the perfyt practyse,
For fyrst doctryne in all goodly wyse
The perceyveraunt trowthe in hys bote of wyll In understandyng for to knowe good from yll.
So famous poetes did us endoctrine
Of the ryght way for to be intellectyfe;
Theyr fables they dyd ryght so ymagyne,
That by example we may voyde the stryfe,
And wythout myschefe for to lede our lyfe,
By the advertence of theyr storyes olde,
The fruit wherof we may full well beholde
Depaynted on aras, how in antiquitie,
Dystroyed was the grete citie of Troye,
For a lytell cause, grounded on vanitie,
To mortall ruyn they tourned theyr joye.
Theyr understandyng they dyd than occupy,
Nothyng prepensyng how they dyd prepare
To scourge them selfe and bryng them in a snare.
Who is opprest with a lytell wrong,
Revengyng it he may it soone encrease;
For better it is for to suffer among
An injury, as for to keepe the peace,
Than to begyne whych he shall never cease.
Warre ones begon, it is hard to know
Who shall abyde and who shall overthrowe.
The hygh power, honour, and noblenes,
Of the myghty Romaynes, to whose excellence
All the wyde worlde so muche of gretenes
Unto theyr empyre was in obedience,
Suche was theyr famous porte and preemynence,
Tyll within themselfe there was a contraversy
Makyng them lese theyr worthy sygneoury.
It is ever the grounde of sapience,
Before that thou accomplysh outwardly,
For to revolve understandyng and prepence
All in thy selfe full often inwardly,
The begynnyng and the myddle certaynly
Wyth the ende, or thou put it in ure,
And werke wyth councell that thou mayst be sure.
And who that so doth shall never repent,
For his dede is founded on a perfyt grounde,
And for to fall it hath none impediment,
Wyth surenes it is so hygh-walled rounde.
In welth and ryches it must needes habound,
On every syde it hath suche ordinaunce
That nothynge can do it anoyaunce.
Thus the poetes conclude full closely
Their fruitfull problemes for reformacion,
To make us lerne to lyve directly,
Theyr good entent and true construccion,
Shewyng to us the whole affeccion
Of the way of vertue, welth, and stablenes,
And to shut the gate of myschevous entres.
And evermore they are ymaginatyfe,
Tales newe from daye to daye to fayne,
The erryng people, that are retractif,
As to the ryght way to bryng them agayne:
And who that lyst their sentence retayne,
It shall hym prouffyt yf he wyll apply
To doo therafter ful conveniently.
Carbuncles in the most derke nyght
Dothe shyne fayre wyth clere radiant beames,
Exylyng derkenes wyth his rayes lyght;
And so these poetes, with theyr golden streames,
Devoyde our rudenes wyth grete fyry lemes;
Theyr centencious verses are refulgent
Encensyng out the odour redolent.
And is theyr worke also extynguyshible?
Nay, truely, for it doth shyne ryght cleere
Thrugh cloudes derke unto the odyble,
To whom truely it may nothyng appeere
Where connyng fayleth, the scyence so deere
Ignoraunce hateth wyth fervent envy,
And unto connyng is mortall ennemy.
O ygnoraunce, wyth slouth so opprest,
Open thy curtayne, so ryght dymme and derke, And evermore remembre the behest
Of thy labour to understande thy werke,
Of many a noble and ryght famous clerke.
Fy upon slouth, the nourysher of vyce,
Whych unto youth doth often prejudice.
Who in youth lyst nothyng to lerne,
He wyl repent hym often in hys age,
That he the connynge can nothynge decerne;
Therfore now youth, with lusty courage,
Rule thy fleshe and thy slouth aswage,
And in thy youth the scyence engender
That in thyne age it may the worship render.
Connyng is lyght and also pleasaunt,
A gentyll burden wythout grevousnes,
Unto hym that is ryght well applyaunt
For to bere it wyth al his besenes;
He shal attaste the well of frutefulnes,
Which Vyrgyl claryfied, and also Tullyus,
Wyth Latyn pure, swete, and delicyous.
From whense my mayster Lydgate veryfyde
The depured rethoryke in Englysh language;
To make our tongue so clerely puryfyed,
That the vyle termes should nothing arage
As like a pye to chatter in a cage,
But for to speke wyth rethoryke formally,
In the good order, wythouten vylany.
And who his bokes lyst to here or se,
In them he shall fynd elocucyon,
With as good order as any may be,
Kepyng ful close the moralyzacyon
Of the trouth of his great intencyon,
Whose name is regestred in remembraunce
For to endure by longe contynuaunce.
Nowe after this, for to make relacyon
Of famous rethoryke so in this party,
As to the fourth part, Pronouncyacyon,
I shal it shew anone ryght openly,
Wyth many braunches of it sykerly;
And how it taketh the hole effect
In every place, degre, and aspecte.
OF PRONUNCIATION, THE IV. PART OF RETHORIKE.
WHAN the matter is founde by invencyon,
Be it mery or yet of grete sadnes,
Sette in a place by the disposycyon,
And by elocucyons famous clerenes
Exornate well and redy to expres,
Then pronouncyacyon, wyth chere and countenance,
Convenyently must make the utteraunce.