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Two Dyaloges (c. 1549)   By: (1469-1536)

Book cover

First Page:

[Transcriber's note: The original text has no page numbers. Page breaks have been marked with double lines like this. Three apparent typographic errors were corrected and are listed at the end of this text. All other spelling and punctuation are as in the original.]

[C]Two dyaloges wrytten in laten by the famous clerke. D. Eras mus of Roterodame/ one called Polyphemus or the gospeller/ the other dysposyng of thynges and names/ translated in to Englyshe by Edmonde Becke. And prynted at Cantorbury in saynt Paules paryshe by Johñ Mychell. []

The preface to the Reader.

Lucius Anneus Seneca amonge many other pratie saienges (gentle reder) hathe this also, whiche in my iudgement is as trew as it is wittie. Rogãdo cogit qui rogat superior. And in effecte is thus moch to say, yf a mãnes superior or his better desyre any thige, he might aswell cõmãde it by authoritie as ones to desyre it.

A gentleman a nere cosyn of myne, but moch nerer in fryndshyp, eftesones dyd instant and moue me to translate these two dyaloges folowynge, to whose getlenes I am so moch obliged, indetted and bounde, that he myght well haue cõmaunded me to this and more paynes: to whome I do not onely owe seruyce, but my selfe also. And in accõplysshynge of his most honest request (partly by cause I wolde not the moost inhumane fawte of Ingratitude shuld worthely be imputed to me, & that I might in this thynge also (accordynge to my bounden dutie) gratifie my frende) I haue hassard my selfe in these daungerous dayes, where many are so capcyous, some prone and redy to malygne & depraue, and fewe whose eares are not so festidious, tendre, and redy to please, that in very tryfles & thynges of small importaunce, yet exacte dylygence and exquisite iudgement is loked for and requyred, of them whiche at this present wyll attempte to translate any boke be it that the matter be neuer so base. But what diligence I have enployed in the translaciõ hereof I referre it to the iudgement of the lerned sort, whiche cõferynge my translacion with the laten dyaloges, I dowte not wyl condone and pardone my boldnesse, in that that I chalenge the semblable lybertie whiche the translatours of this tyme iustlie chalenge. For some heretofore submytting them selfe to seruytude, haue lytle respecte to the obseruaciõ of the thyng which in translacyõ is of all other most necessary and requisite, that is to saye, to rendre the sence & the very meanyng of the author, not so relygyouslie addicte to translate worde for worde, for so the sence of the author is oftentimes corrupted & depraued, and neyther the grace of the one tonge nor yet of the other is truely observed or aptlie expressed. The lerned knoweth that euery tonge hathe his peculyer proprietie, phrase, maner of locucion, enargies and vehemêcie, which so aptlie in any other tõg can not be expressed. Yf I shal perceyue this my symple doinge to be thankefully taken, and in good parte accepted, it shall encorage me hereafter to attempte the translaciõ of some bokes dysposing of matters bothe delectable, frutefull, & expedient to be knowen, by the grace of God, who gyuynge me quyetnes of mynde, lybertie, and abylytie, shall not desyste to communicat the frute of my spare howers, to such as are not lerned in the laten tonge: to whome I dedycat the fyrste frutes of this my symple translacyon.

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