Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Thomas Lodge
Editor: David Bevington
Not Peer Reviewed

Rosalind: Euphues' Golden Legacy


TO THE GENTLEMEN READERS

5Gentlemen, look not here to find any sprigs of Pallas' bay tree, nor to hear the humor of any amorous laureate, nor the pleasing vein of any eloquent orator. Nolo altum sapere, they be matters above my capacity; the cobbler's check shall never light on my headNe sutor ultra crepidam, I will go no further than the latchet, and then all is well. Here you may perhaps find some leaves of Venus's myrtle, but hewn down by a soldier with his curtal-ax, not bought with the allurement of a filed tongue. To be brief, gentlemen, room for a soldier and a sailor, that gives you the fruits of his labors that he wrote in the ocean, when every line was wet with a surge, and every humorous passion counterchecked with a storm. If you like it, so; and yet I will be yours in duty if you be mine in favor. But if Momus or any squint-eyed ass that hath mighty ears to conceive with Midas and yet little reason to judge--if he come aboard our bark to find fault with the tackling when he knows not the shrouds, I'll down into the hold and fetch out a rusty pole-ax that saw no sun this seven year, and either well baste him or heave the coxcomb overboard to feed cods. But, courteous gentlemen, that favor most, backbite none, and pardon what is overslipped, let such come and welcome; I'll into the steward's room and fetch them a can of our best beverage. Well, gentlemen, you have Euphues' Legacy. I fetched it as far as the island of Terceras, and therefore read it; censure with favor, and farewell.

Yours, T[homas]L[odge].