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Copernicus, Nicolaus / Prefaces and Prologues to Famous Books with Introductions, Notes and Illustrations
Produced by Leah Moser and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team
from images provided by the Million Book Project,






[Illustration: _Hippolyte Adolphe Taine From the etching by Asher B.
Durand_]

THE HARVARD CLASSICS EDITED BY CHARLES W. ELIOT LL.D.


PREFACES AND PROLOGUES TO FAMOUS BOOKS

WITH INTRODUCTIONS, NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS

[Illustration]

"DR. ELIOT'S FIVE-FOOT SHELF OF BOOKS"


P.F. COLLIER & SON

NEW YORK

1909 BY LITTLE BROWN & COMPANY

1910 BY P.F. COLLIER & SON




CONTENTS


TITLE, PROLOGUE AND EPILOGUES TO THE RECUYELL OF THE
HISTORIES OF TROY WILLIAM CAXTON

EPILOGUE TO DICTES AND SAYINGS OF THE PHILOSOPHERS
WILLIAM CAXTON

PROLOGUE TO GOLDEN LEGEND WILLIAM CAXTON
PROLOGUE TO CATON WILLIAM CAXTON
EPILOGUE TO AESOP WILLIAM CAXTON
PROEM TO CHAUCER'S CANTERBURY TALES WILLIAM CAXTON
PROLOGUE TO MALORY'S KING ARTHUR WILLIAM CAXTON
PROLOGUE TO VIRGIL'S ENEYDOS WILLIAM CAXTON

DEDICATION OF THE INSTITUTES OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION
JOHN CALVIN
TRANSLATED BY JOHN ALLEN

DEDICATION OF THE REVOLUTIONS OF THE HEAVENLY BODIES
NICOLAUS COPERNICUS

PREFACE TO THE HISTORY OF THE REFORMATION IN SCOTLAND
JOHN KNOX

PREFATORY LETTER TO SIR WALTER RALEIGH ON THE FAERIE
QUEENE EDMUND SPENSER

PREFACE TO THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD SIR WALTER RALEIGH

PROOEMIUM, EPISTLE DEDICATORY, PREFACE, AND PLAN OF THE
INSTAURATIO MAGNA, ETC. FRANCIS BACON
TRANSLATION EDITED BY J. SPEDDING

PREFACE TO THE NOVUM ORGANUM FRANCIS BACON

PREFACE TO THE FIRST FOLIO EDITION OF SHAKESPEARE'S
PLAYS HEMINGE AND CONDELL

PREFACE TO THE PHILOSOPHIAE NATURALIS PRINCIPIA
MATHEMATICA SIR ISAAC NEWTON
TRANSLATED BY ANDREW MOTTE

PREFACE TO FABLES, ANCIENT AND MODERN
JOHN DRYDEN

PREFACE TO JOSEPH ANDREWS HENRY FIELDING
PREFACE TO THE ENGLISH DICTIONARY SAMUEL JOHNSON
PREFACE TO SHAKESPEARE SAMUEL JOHNSON
INTRODUCTION TO THE PROPYLÄEN J.W. VON GOETHE

PREFACES TO VARIOUS VOLUMES OF POEMS
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH
APPENDIX TO LYRICAL BALLADS WILLIAM WORDSWORTH
ESSAY SUPPLEMENTARY TO PREFACE WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

PREFACE TO CROMWELL VICTOR HUGO
PREFACE TO LEAVES OF GRASS WALT WHITMAN
INTRODUCTION TO THE HISTORY OF ENGLISH LITERATURE
H.A. TAINE




_INTRODUCTORY NOTE_


_No part of a book is so intimate as the Preface. Here, after the long
labor of the work is over, the author descends from his platform, and
speaks with his reader as man to man, disclosing his hopes and fears,
seeking sympathy for his difficulties, offering defence or defiance,
according to his temper, against the criticisms which he anticipates.
It thus happens that a personality which has been veiled by a formal
method throughout many chapters, is suddenly seen face to face in the
Preface; and this alone, if there were no other reason, would justify
a volume of Prefaces.

But there are other reasons why a Preface may be presented apart from
its parent work, and may, indeed, be expected sometimes to survive
it. The Prologues and Epilogues of Caxton were chiefly prefixed to
translations which have long been superseded; but the comments of this
frank and enthusiastic pioneer of the art of printing in England
not only tell us of his personal tastes, but are in a high degree
illuminative of the literary habits and standards of western Europe
in the fifteenth century. Again, modern research has long ago put
Raleigh's "History of the World" out of date; but his eloquent Preface
still gives us a rare picture of the attitude of an intelligent
Elizabethan, of the generation which colonised America, toward the
past, the present, and the future worlds. Bacon's "Great Restoration"
is no longer a guide to scientific method; but his prefatory
statements as to his objects and hopes still offer a lofty
inspiration.

And so with the documents here drawn from the folios of Copernicus and
Calvin, with the criticism of Dryden and Wordsworth and Hugo, with
Dr. Johnson's Preface to his great Dictionary, with the astounding
manifesto of a new poetry from Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass"--each
of them has a value and significance independent now of the work which
it originally introduced, and each of them presents to us a man._




PREFACES AND EPILOGUES

BY WILLIAM CAXTON[A]




THE RECUYELL OF THE HISTORIES OF TROY

TITLE AND PROLOGUE TO BOOK I


Here beginneth the volume entitled and named the Recuyell of the
Histories of Troy, composed and drawn out of divers books of Latin
into French by the right venerable person and worshipful man, Raoul le
Feure, priest and chaplain unto the right noble, glorious, and mighty
prince in his time, Philip, Duke of Burgundy, of Brabant, etc. in the
year of the Incarnation of our Lord God a thousand four hundred sixty
and four, and translated and drawn out of French into English by
William Caxton, mercer, of the city of London, at the commandment of
the right high, mighty, and virtuous Princess, his redoubted Lady,
Margaret, by the grace of God Duchess of Burgundy, of Lotrylk, of
Brabant, etc.; which said translation and work was begun in Bruges
in the County of Flanders, the first day of March, the year of the
Incarnation of our said Lord God a thousand four hundred sixty and
eight, and ended and finished in the holy city of Cologne the 19th day
of September, the year of our said Lord God a thousand four hundred
sixty and eleven, etc.

And on that other side of this leaf followeth the prologue.

When I remember that every man is bounden by the commandment and
counsel of the wise man to eschew sloth and idleness, which is
mother and nourisher of vices, and ought to put myself unto virtuous
occupation and business, then I, having no great charge of occupation,
following the said counsel took a French book, and read therein many
strange and marvellous histories, wherein I had great pleasure and
delight, as well for the novelty of the same as for the fair language
of French, which was in prose so well and compendiously set and
written, which methought I understood the sentence and substance of
every matter. And for so much as this book was new and late made and
drawn into French, and never had seen it in our English tongue, I
thought in myself it should be a good business to translate it into
our English, to the end that it might be had as well in the royaume
of England as in other lands, and also for to pass therewith the time,
and thus concluded in myself to begin this said work. And forthwith
took pen and ink, and began boldly to run forth as blind Bayard
in this present work, which is named "The Recuyell of the Trojan
Histories." And afterward when I remembered myself of my simpleness
and unperfectness that I had in both languages, that is to wit in
French and in English, for in France was I never, and was born and
learned my English in Kent, in the Weald, where I doubt not is
spoken as broad and rude English as in any place of England; and have
continued by the space of 30 years for the most part in the countries
of Brabant, Flanders, Holland, and Zealand. And thus when all these
things came before me, after that I had made and written five or six
quires I fell in despair of this work, and purposed no more to have
continued therein, and those quires laid apart, and in two years after
laboured no more in this work, and was fully in will to have left it,
till on a time it fortuned that the right high, excellent, and right
virtuous princess, my right redoubted Lady, my Lady Margaret, by
the grace of God sister unto the King of England and of France,
my sovereign lord, Duchess of Burgundy, of Lotryk, of Brabant, of
Limburg, and of Luxembourg, Countess of Flanders, of Artois, and of
Burgundy, Palatine of Hainault, of Holland, of Zealand and of Namur,
Marquesse of the Holy Empire, Lady of Frisia, of Salins and of
Mechlin, sent for me to speak with her good Grace of divers matters,
among the which I let her Highness have knowledge of the foresaid
beginning of this work, which anon commanded me to show the said five
or six quires to her said Grace; and when she had seen them anon she
found a default in my English, which she commanded me to amend, and
moreover commanded me straitly to continue and make an end of the
residue then not translated; whose dreadful commandment I durst in no
wise disobey, because I am a servant unto her said Grace and receive
of her yearly fee and other many good and great benefits, (and also
hope many more to receive of her Highness), but forthwith went and
laboured in the said translation after my simple and poor cunning,
also nigh as I can following my author, meekly beseeching the
bounteous Highness of my said Lady that of her benevolence list to
accept and take in gree this simple and rude work here following; and
if there be anything written or said to her pleasure, I shall think my
labour well employed, and whereas there is default that she arette it
to the simpleness of my cunning which is full small in this behalf;
and require and pray all them that shall read this said work to
correct it, and to hold me excused of the rude and simple translation.

And thus I end my prologue.

[Footnote A: William Caxton (1422?-1491), merchant and translator,
learned the art of printing on the Continent, probably at Bruges or
Cologne. He translated "The Recuyell of the Histories of Troy" between
1469 and 1471, and, on account of the great demand for copies, was led
to have it printed--the first English book to be reproduced by this
means. The date was about 1474; the place, probably Bruges. In
1476, Caxton came back to England, and set up a press of his own at
Westminster. In 1477, he issued the first book known to have been
printed in England, "The Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers."
The following Prefaces and Epilogues from Caxton's own pen show his
attitude towards some of the more important of the works that issued
from his press.]




EPILOGUE TO BOOK II


Thus endeth the second book of the Recule of the Histories of Troy.
Which bookes were late translated into French out of Latin by the
labour of the venerable person Raoul le Feure, priest, as afore
is said; and by me indigne and unworthy, translated into this rude
English by the commandment of my said redoubted Lady, Duchess of
Burgundy. And for as much as I suppose the said two books be not had
before this time in our English language, therefore I had the better
will to accomplish this said work; which work was begun in Bruges
and continued in Ghent and finished in Cologne, in the time of the
troublous world, and of the great divisions being and reigning, as
well in the royaumes of England and France as in all other places
universally through the world; that is to wit the year of our Lord a
thousand four hundred seventy one. And as for the third book, which
treateth of the general and last destruction of Troy, it needeth
not to translate it into English, for as much as that worshipful and
religious man, Dan John Lidgate, monk of Bury, did translate it but
late; after whose work I fear to take upon me, that am not worthy to
bear his penner and ink-horn after him, to meddle me in that work.
But yet for as much as I am bound to contemplate my said Lady's good
grace, and also that his work is in rhyme and as far as I know it is
not had in prose in our tongue, and also, peradventure, he translated
after some other author than this is; and yet for as much as divers
men be of divers desires, some to read in rhyme and metre and some
in prose; and also because that I have now good leisure, being in
Cologne, and have none other thing to do at this time; in eschewing
of idleness, mother of all vices, I have delibered in myself for the
contemplation of my said redoubted lady to take this labour in hand,
by the sufferance and help of Almighty God; whom I meekly supplye to
give me grace to accomplish it to the pleasure of her that is causer
thereof, and that she receive it in gree of me, her faithful, true,
and most humble servant etc.




EPILOGUE TO BOOK III


Thus end I this book, which I have translated after mine Author as
nigh as God hath given me cunning, to whom be given the laud and
praising. And for as much as in the writing of the same my pen is
worn, my hand weary and not steadfast, mine eyne dimmed with overmuch
looking on the white paper, and my courage not so prone and ready to
labour as it hath been, and that age creepeth on me daily and feebleth
all the body, and also because I have promised to divers gentlemen and
to my friends to address to them as hastily as I might this said book,
therefore I have practised and learned at my great charge and dispense
to ordain this said book in print, after the manner and form as ye may
here see, and is not written with pen and ink as other books be, to
the end that every man may have them at once. For all the books of
this story, named "The Recule of the Histories of Troy" thus imprinted
as ye here see, were begun in one day and also finished in one day,
which book I have presented to my said redoubted Lady, as afore
is said. And she hath well accepted it, and largely rewarded me,
wherefore I beseech Almighty God to reward her everlasting bliss after
this life, praying her said Grace and all them that shall read this
book not to disdain the simple and rude work, neither to reply against
the saying of the matters touched in this book, though it accord not
unto the translation of others which have written it. For divers men
have made divers books which in all points accord not, as Dictes,
Dares, and Homer. For Dictes and Homer, as Greeks, say and write
favorably for the Greeks, and give to them more worship than to the
Trojans; and Dares writeth otherwise than they do. And also as for the
proper names, it is no wonder that they accord not, for some one name
in these days have divers equivocations after the countries that they
dwell in; but all accord in conclusion the general destruction of that
noble city of Troy, and the death of so many noble princes, as
kings, dukes, earls, barons, knights, and common people, and the ruin
irreparable of that city that never since was re-edified; which may be
example to all men during the world how dreadful and jeopardous it is
to begin a war and what harms, losses, and death followeth. Therefore
the Apostle saith: "All that is written is written to our doctrine,"
which doctrine for the common weal I beseech God may be taken in such
place and time as shall be most needful in increasing of peace,
love, and charity; which grant us He that suffered for the same to be
crucified on the rood tree. And say we all Amen for charity!




DICTES AND SAYINGS OF THE PHILOSOPHERS

FIRST EDITION (1477). EPILOGUE


Here endeth the book named _The Dictes or Sayings of the
Philosophers_, imprinted by me, William Caxton, at Westminster, the
year of our Lord 1477. Which book is late translated out of French
into English by the noble and puissant Lord Lord Antony, Earl of
Rivers, Lord of Scales and of the Isle of Wight, defender and director
of the siege apostolic for our holy father the Pope in this royaume of
England, and governor of my Lord Prince of Wales. And it is so that at
such time as he had accomplished this said work, it liked him to send
it to me in certain quires to oversee, which forthwith I saw,
and found therein many great, notable, and wise sayings of the
philosophers, according unto the books made in French which I had
often before read; but certainly I had seen none in English until that
time. And so afterward I came unto my said Lord, and told him how I
had read and seen his book, and that he had done a meritorious deed in
the labour of the translation thereof into our English tongue, wherein
he had deserved a singular laud and thanks, &c. Then my said Lord
desired me to oversee it, and where I should find fault to correct it;
whereon I answered unto his Lordship that I could not amend it, but
if I should so presume I might apaire it, for it was right well
and cunningly made and translated into right good and fair English.
Notwithstanding, he willed me to oversee it, and shewed me divers
things, which, as seemed to him, might be left out, as divers letters,
missives sent from Alexander to Darius and Aristotle, and each to
other, which letters were little appertinent unto dictes and sayings
aforesaid, forasmuch as they specify of other matters. And also
desired me, that done, to put the said book in imprint. And thus
obeying his request and commandment, I have put me in devoir to
oversee this his said book, and behold as nigh as I could how it
accordeth with the original, being in French. And I find nothing
discordant therein, save only in the dictes and sayings of Socrates,
wherein I find that my said Lord hath left out certain and divers
conclusions touching women. Whereof I marvel that my Lord hath not
written them, ne what hath moved him so to do, ne what cause he had at
that time; but I suppose that some fair lady hath desired him to leave
it out of his book; or else he was amorous on some noble lady, for
whose love he would not set it in his book; or else for the very
affection, love, and good will that he hath unto all ladies and
gentlewomen, he thought that Socrates spared the sooth and wrote of
women more than truth; which I cannot think that so true a man and so
noble a philosopher as Socrates was should write otherwise than truth.
For if he had made fault in writing of women, he ought not, ne should
not, be believed in his other dictes and sayings. But I perceive that
my said Lord knoweth verily that such defaults be not had ne found in
the women born and dwelling in these parts ne regions of the world.
Socrates was a Greek, born in a far country from hence, which country
is all of other conditions than this is, and men and women of
other nature than they be here in this country. For I wot well, of
whatsoever condition women be in Greece, the women of this country be
right good, wise, pleasant, humble, discreet, sober, chaste, obedient
to their husbands, true, secret, steadfast, ever busy, and never idle,
attemperate in speaking, and virtuous in all their works--or at least
should be so. For which causes so evident my said Lord, as I suppose,
thought it was not of necessity to set in his book the sayings of his
author Socrates touching women. But forasmuch as I had commandment of
my said Lord to correct and amend where I should find fault, and other
find I none save that he hath left out these dictes and sayings of the
women of Greece, therefore in accomplishing his commandment--forasmuch
as I am not certain whether it was in my Lord's copy or not, or else,
peradventure, that the wind had blown over the leaf at the time of
translation of his book--I purpose to write those same sayings of that
Greek Socrates, which wrote of the women of Greece and nothing of them
of this royaume, whom, I suppose, he never knew; for if he had, I dare
plainly say that he would have reserved them specially in his said
dictes. Always not presuming to put and set them in my said Lord's
book but in the end apart in the rehearsal of the works, humbly
requiring all them that shall read this little rehearsal, that if they
find any fault to arette it to Socrates, and not to me, which writeth
as hereafter followeth.

Socrates said that women be the apparels to catch men, but they take
none but them that will be poor or else them that know them not.
And he said that there is none so great empechement unto a man as
ignorance and women.



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