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To the right Honourable, and his berie singuler good maister, maister William Cecylle esquiere, one of the twoo prin. cipall secretaries to the kyng his moste excellente maiestie, Raphe Robynson wissheth continuaunce of health, with daply increase of ber

tue, and honoure.

PON a tyme, when tidynges came too the citie

of Corinthe that kyng Philippe father to Alexander surnamed the Great, was comming thether

warde with an armie royall to lay siege to the 5

citie: The Corinthians being forth with stryken with greate feare, beganne busilie, and earnestly to looke aboute them, and to falle to worke of all handes. Some to skowre and trymme up harneis, some to carry stones, some to amende

and buylde hygher the walles, some to rampiere and fortyfie 10 the bulwarkes, and fortresses, some one thynge, and some

another for the defendinge, and strengthenynge of the citie. The whiche busie labour, and toyle of theires when Diogenes the phylosopher sawe, having no profitable busines

whereupon to sette himself on worke (neither any man 15 required his labour, and helpe as expedient for the commen

wealth in that necessitie) immediatly girded about him his phylosophicall cloke, and began to rolle, and tumble up and downe hether and thether upon the hille syde, that lieth adjoyninge to the citie, his great barrel or tunne, wherein he dwelled : for other dwellynge place wold he have none.


This seing one of his frendes, and not a litell musynge therat, came to hym: And I praye the Diogenes (quod he) whie doest thou thus, or what meanest thou hereby? Forsothe I am tumblyng my tubbe to (quod he) 5 bycause it where no reason that I only should be ydell, where so many be working. In semblable maner, right honorable sir, though I be, as I am in dede, of muche lesse habilitie then Diogenes was to do any thinge, that shall or may be for the avauncement and commoditie of the publique 10 wealth of my native countrey: yet I seing every sort, and kynde of people in theire vocation, and degree busilie occupied about the common wealthes affaires : and especially learned men dayly putting forth in writing newe inventions, and devises to the furtheraunce of the same: thought it my 15 bounden duetie to God, and to my countrey so to tumble my tubbe, I meane so to occupie, and exercise meself in bestowing such spare houres, as I beinge at the becke, and Commaundement of others, cold conveniently winne to me self: that though no commoditie of that my labour, and 20 travaile to the publique weale should arise, yet it myght by this appeare, that myne endevoire, and good wille hereunto was not lacking. To the accomplishement therfore, and fulfyllyng of this my mynde, and purpose: I toke upon me to tourne, and translate oute of Latine into oure Englishe 25 tonge the frutefull, and profitable boke, which sir Thomas More knight compiled, and made of the new yle Utopia, conteining and setting forth the best state, and fourme of a publique weale: A worke (as it appeareth) written almost fourtie yeres ago by the said sir Thomas More the authour 30 therof. The whiche man, forasmuche as he was a man of late tyme, yea almost of thies our dayes : and for the excellent qualities, wherewith the great goodnes of God had

plentyfully endowed him, and for the high place, and rowme, wherunto his prince had most graciously called him, notably wel knowen, not only among us his countremen,

but also in forrein countreis and nations : therfore I have 5 not much to speake of him. This only I saye : that it is

much to be lamented of al, and not only of us English men, that a man of so incomparable witte, of so profounde knowlege, of so absolute learning, and of so fine eloquence was

yet neverthelesse so much blinded, rather with obstinacie, 10 then with ignoraunce that he could not or rather would not

see the shining light of godes holy truthe in certein principal pointes of Christian religion : but did rather cheuse to persever, and continue in his wilfull and stubbourne obsti

nacie even to the very death. This I say is a thing much 15 to be lamented. But letting this matter passe, I retourne

again to Utopia. Which (as I said befor) is a work not only for the matter that it conteineth fruteful and profitable, but also for the writers eloquent Latine stiele pleasaunt and

delectable. Which he that readeth in Latine, as the authout 20 himself wrote it, perfectly understanding the same, doubtles

he shal take great pleasure, and delite both in the sweete eloquence of the writer, and also in the wittie invencion, and fine conveiaunce, or disposition of the matter : but

most of all in the good, and holsome lessons, which be 25 there in great plenty, and aboundaunce. But nowe I feare

greatly that in this my simple translation through my rudenes and ignoraunce in our English tonge all the grace and pleasure of the eloquence, wherwith the matter in Latine

is finely set forth may seme to be utterly excluded, and lost: 30

and therfore the frutefulnes of the matter it selfe muche peradventure diminished, and appayred. For who knoweth not whiche knoweth any thyng, that an eloquent styele setteth forth and highly commendeth a meane matter? Whereas on the other side rude, and unlearned speche defaceth and disgraceth a very good matter. According as I harde ones a wise man say: A good tale evel tolde were better untold, and an evell tale well tolde nedeth none other sollicitour. This thing I well pondering and wayinge 5 with me self, and also knowing, and knowledging the barbarous rudenes of my translation was fully determined never to have put it forth in printe, had it not bene for certein frendes of myne, and especially one, whom above al other I regarded, a man of sage, and discret witte and in wor[1]dly 10 matters by long use well experienced, whoes name is George Tadlowe : an honest citizein of London, and in the same citie well accepted, and of good reputation : at whoes request, and instaunce I first toke upon my weake and feble sholders the heavie and weightie bourdein of this great 15 enterprice. This man with divers other, but this man chiefely (for he was able to do more with me, then many other) after that I had ones rudely brought the worke to an ende, ceassed not by al meanes possible continualy to assault me, until he had at the laste, what by the force of 20 his pitthie argumentes and strong reasons, and what by hys authority so persuaded me, that he caused me to agree and consente to the impryntynge herof. He therfore, as the chiefe persuadour, must take upon him the daunger, whyche upon this bolde and rashe enterpryse shall ensue. suppose, am herin clerely acquytte and discharged of all blame. Yet, honorable Syr, for the better avoyding of envyous and malycyous tonges, I (knowynge you to be a man, not onlye profoundely learned and well affected towardes all suche, as eyther canne or wyll take paynes in the 30 well bestowing of that poore talente, whyche GOD hath endued them wyth : but also for youre godlye dysposytyon and vertuous qualytyes not unworthelye nowe placed in

I, as I 25 aucthorytye and called to honoure) am the bolder humblye to offer and dedycate unto youre good maystershyppe thys my symple woorke. Partly that under the sauffe conducte

of your protection it may the better be defended from the 5 obloquie of them, which can say well by nothing that

pleaseth not their fond and corrupt iudgementes, though it be els both frutefull and godly: and partlye that by the meanes of this homely present I may the better renewe and

revive (which of late, as you know, I have already begonne 10 to do) that old acquayntaunce, that was betwene you and

me in the time of our childhode, being then scolefellowes togethers. Not doubting that you for your native goodnes, and gentelnes will accept in good parte this poore gift, as an

argument, or token, that mine old good wil and hartye 15 affection towardes you is not, by reason of lo tract of time

and separation of our bodies, any thinge at all quayled and diminished, but rather (I assuer you) much augmented and increased. This verely is the chieffe cause, that hath incou

raged me to be so bolde with youre maistershippe. Els 20 truelye this my poore present is of such simple and meane

sort, that it is neyther able to recompense the least portion of your great gentelnes to me, of my part undeserved, both in the time of our olde acquayntance, and also now lately

again bountifully shewed: neither yet fitte and mete for the 25 very basenes of it to be offered to one so worthy as you be.

But Almighty God (who therfore ever be thanked) hath avaunced you to such fortune and dignity, that you be of hability to accept thankefully as well a mans good will as his

gift. The same god graunte you and all yours long, 30

and joyfully to contynue in all godlynes

and prosperytye.

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