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The Preface to divers learned Gentlemen,
and other my louing friendes.
ABout nineteene yeeres past (curteous Gentlemen) comming out of Spaine into my natiue countrey, and hauing spent welny three yeeres in some serious studies and certaine affaires, with no meanes or occasion to exercise the Spanish toong (by disâˆ£continuance whereof it had almost shaken hands with me) it was my good hap to fall into the companie and acquaintance of my especiall good friend Edward Banister of Idesworth in the Countie of Southampton Esquier; who perceiuing my remissenes in the saide language, perswaded & encouraged me earnestly, by some good translation to recal it to her former place: And to that intent he gaue me the first and second Part of Diana of Montemayor in Spanish, which Booke (although I had beene two yeeres in Spaine) till then I neuer saw nor heard of; whose friendly care and desire to preuent so great a losse, and to preserue such an ornament in me, I confesse was the chiefe and principall cause (and therefore the onely credit) of this translation, whereby I recouered that toong againe that lay (as it were) smothered in the cinders of obliâˆ£uion. The second cause of this my labour, was the delight I passed in discurring most of those townes and places in it with a pleasant recordation of my pen, which mine eies so often with ioy and sorrow had beheld. The third, the resolued then inâˆ£tent I had neuer (howsoeuer now it hath escaped my hands) to put it in Print, in proofe whereof it hath lyen by me finished Horaces ten and sixe yeeres more. For till then I neuer tried my vnproper vaine in making an English verse: how well or ill then the hard and strange kinde of Spanish is turned, I leaue to your fauourable censure and pardon: The low and pastorall stile hereof, Montemayor in his Epistle to the L. of Villanoua excuseth, entreating of Shepherds, though indeed they were but shadowes of great and honorable personages, and of their marriages, that not many yeeres agoe liued in the Court of Spaine, whose posteritie to this day liue in noble estate. But touching the Bookes following, you must vnderstand that George of Montemayor a Gentleman sprung out of the noble house of Montemayor in Portuâˆ£gal, after he had ended his first Part of Diana,which he distributed into seuen Bookes, intending to set forth the second Part, and before his departure into Italie (where I heard he died) imparted his purpose, and the subiect of his intended second Part, to Alonso Perez, who answering his intent, wrote the second Part of Diana, contayning eight Bookes, promising in the end thereof to continue it with a third Part, which yet he hath not done, although I heare he hath a purpose to do it. But Gaspar Gil Polo a Valentian Gentleman, who in my opinion excelleth for fine conceit (whether beâˆ£fore or after that Alonso Perez second Part came forth) made another Part of Diana, naming it the first Part of Enamoured Diana; the which being diuided into fiue Bookes, he intituleth to follow in due sequence the first seuen Bookes of Diana of George of Montemayor. And in the ende of that first Part of Enamoured Diana, he likewise maketh a reference to another Part which he promised to set foorth; the which and that of Alonso Perez, if euer they come to light, I leaue to some finer wit and better iudgement to English, my selfe hauing done too much by launching so far into the maine, vnlesse (happily) in your fauourable iudgements it may finde a
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