A dialogue on the
picture of the most noble Earl
of Oxford and on his
most elegant motto.
Naught verier than Vere
Is it a picture of Vere? P. Verily. S. Nothing is verier. Pa. Nothing is verier than this. S. That's its merit and yours. Sp. Whence his name? P. Because he embraces verity and hates what's false, verily loving his king and his God. Sp. Very is the love of a Vere, who holds in esteem Verity, king, God, country, and the very honor of his country. Pa. Go now, tell the Earl Vere that nothing's verier than he, not the goddess who is held the child of father Time: Blue, says the herald, is the veriest color of them all; how well does he now agree with his boar! Let others have their eagles, their bears, and their lions; what will best suit Vere is the figure of a blue boar!
Another dialogue on the much
desired coming of the same.
Gu. Is it verity that Vere has come here with the sovereign?
Co. Verily; there's nothing verier than that same verity.
Gu. But that can't be; it can't be verier than Vere himself; this same Vere is more verily very than
your verity is. Co. That is his name and always has been, just as if it were his essence; thus Vere
was a veracious conqueror. Gu. This was a very subject, that was verily a conqueror, yet each
was equally a very cultivator of his country. Co. Who is not pleased with this omen, may he be
not pleased either with the name or the veracious glory of his land! Gu. Long live, noble Earl
Vere, may Verity herself favor you, and the daughter of Verity, a veracious goddess! May she
often, may she often offer you her honied lips; O how precious, how great a goddess is
Veraciousness! He alone revere, her, most veracious Vere, carry ever in your mind, in your eyes,
your heart and your mouth! To her not Juno, not Pallas, not any single Grace, nor mother Venus
is equal; Themis is not to be so venerated. What wonder, if so great a Hero should serve so great
a Heroide? what wonder if you, too, a goddess cherishes? Go in that strength, Earl; plant
everywhere the tracks of Veracious deeds; nothing is more very, nor will it be! Now Hail, and if
there is naught verier than the Veres, surpass them and you will surpass others of equal rank.
Gabriel Harvey's Apostrophe
to the same
This is my "Hail"; thus, thus it pleased me to say Welcome to you and the other nobles, though your splendid fame asks, great Earl, a more grandiloquent poet than I. Your virtue does not creep the earth, nor is it confined to a song; it wondrously penetrates the aetherial orbs! Up and away! with that mind and that fire, noble heart, you will surpass yourself, surpass others; your great glory will everywhere spread beyond the frozen ocean!
England will discover in you its hereditary Achilles. Go, Mars will see you in safety and Hermes attend you; aegis-sounding Pallas will be by and will instruct your heart and spirit, while long since did Phoebus Apollo cultivate your mind with the arts. Your British numbers have been widely sung, while your Epistle testifies how much you excel in letters, being more courtly than Castiglione himself, more polished. I have seen your many Latin things, and more English are extant; of French and Italian muses, the manners of many peoples, their arts and laws you have drunk deeply. Not in vain was Sturmius himself known to you, nor so many Frenchmen and polished Italians, nor Germans. But, O celebrated one, put away your feeble pen, your bloodless books, your impractical writings! Now is need of swords! Steel must be sharpened! Everywhere men talk of camps, everywhere of dire arms! You must even deal in missiles! Now war is everywhere, everywhere are the Furies, and everywhere reigns Enyo. Take no thought of Peace; all the equipage of Mars comes at your bidding. Suppose Hannibal to be standing at the British gates; suppose even now, now, Don John of Austria is about to come over, guarded by a huge phalanx! Fated events are not known to man, for the Thunderer's counsels are not plain: what if suddenly a powerful enemy should invade our borders? if the Turk should arm his immense cohorts against us? What if the terrible trumpet should now resound the "Taratantara"? You are being observed as to whether you would care to fight boldly. I feel it; our whole country believes it: your blood boils in your breast, virtue dwells in your brow, Mars keeps your mouth, Minerva is in your right hand, Bellona reigns in your body, and Martial ardor, your eyes flash, your glance shoots arrows: who wouldn't swear you Achilles reborn? Up, great Earl, you must feed that hope of courage. It befits a man to keep the horrid arms of Mars busy even in peace: "'Tis wise to accustom oneself", and "Use is worth everything". You, O you can be most mighty! Though there be no war, still warlike praise is a thing of great nobility; the name of Leader suits the great. It is wise to watch for effects and to see what threatens beforehand, like the prince who in time of peace strolling the fields with his family: "Tell me (he said), if the enemy were to hold this hill or maybe that hump, what would you do? Which of you'd be better protected? Which side would have the honor to win on its right? In what manner would you attack? With what strategies would you advance? Which is our safest position? Which is unsafe for them? If retreat's the thing, if delay, if force or impetuosity, whence would show our beat escape or entry? Suppose these humps here or these streams were in the way; here hostile cities and troops of the enemy opposed you: many are the chances, the uncertain dangers of wars! Battles are doubtful; everything has to be anticipated in the mind first; neither our advantages nor disadvantages should seem to have been poorly explored. Tell me, what would you do? what occurs to you, my good Pyrrhus? What to you, veteran? You speak sagely, but the thing is difficult. But pluck up, Fortune favors the brave. The only fear is lest the enemy should judge by those documents of your leisure: we should do cunningly whatever we approach. May God favor so great daring, but let us imitate that god who looks in both directions."
These things and more this leader used to inculcate in his friends' minds with frequent discourses, and thus to inflame their brave minds and kindle Mars within them. It was no time of war; he had not anticipated an enemy; among pleasant scenes and through delightful meadows he held imitation battles and pondered a bitter business.
And often indeed, he (but perhaps it was another; it matters little) read the illustrious testimonials of great deeds, and putting before his eyes every act of some preeminent chief, he would keep it there for imitation. This (he would say) plumed Achilles used to do, and this, too, Ajax did, the mighty lord of the seven-fold shield. These were the wiles of Diomedes, thus stern Ulysses raged at the Greeks; but those were the counsels of Palamedes, and that was the opinion of savage Stheneleus. Peledean Neoptolemus, and even Menelaus himself pronounced thus and so. Not Jupiter could repress this one's daring, nor the Mavortian repress that one's spirits; nor Fortune overrule this other. Than he there was no one more cautious, than he no one more prudent in council-place; how mighty this, how brave of heart and hand! how resourceful this one! how unterrified stood that [one] in any discomfiture! how this old soldier gained none of his hoped-for goals! what towns taken, what disaster dealt! O celestial power of the everlasting ones, with what terror shook he in his fury the dejected enemy! Do you see how he unleashes all the reins of his ire? how the other rules his indomitable spirit? how with strength and cunning he reduces obstacles and saves land and walls by undying effort, eludes the snares and pitfalls of the enemy, and keeps all from invincible Mars. May God favor me: it is settled that I imitate the deeds of this man; but I shall follow others, too, and outdo the beginnings of other leaders. I shall make my deeds be everywhere sung; I shall seize all chances to win, following all arts of the war-like, observing causes and effects in old happenings, watching the time, the hour, and the place, and meditating single examples: hardly shall I fear to accumulate greater trophies myself. This will be the use, that the fruit of my study.
O sagacious man! who from such a king would withhold any praise? who would not deem him worthy of honor from the gods? What soldier would not serve him? what general? "A provident man is hardly ever wretched." In peace it behooves us to endure toil and thirst and hunger and cold and irksome heat and watches, both day and night; to brandish menacing weapons with a terrible right hand. Let your enemies trifle, the opponent enjoy his rest; let the sluggish indulge in the allurements of the moment and in the blandishments of sportive peace. To me there is the noble oracle of a great Prince: "One is happy (so all persuade who are guided by Minerva) by as much as he has been careful." O voice worthy the Thunderer! The prince of Physicians, too, warns that when well and free from taint of disease, I should fortify my body against the same and assiduously practise all the precepts of health, thus repressing each evil apparition. So persuaded that old poet that it was a great disgrace: "Truly, ye youths, ye have the spirits of women!" I delight too, have always delighted, and will always, in, "Whether Hera wants you or me to rule, whatever Fate intends, let us prove it with courage" -- the resolve of Pyrrhus, resolve worthy the great-souled Aeacus's fury. O Earl, O Hero, more courageous than Pyrrhus himself, you too meditate such thoughts. Better things can befall and will befall you. The greatest pleasure in peace is to occupy your mind with camps, skirmishes, and warlike shields, to deal in destructive balls and dire missiles. And I warn you to be awake; you, with Mars and Mercury propitious, may combine the merits of the camp and city. There your great courage calls you, go, with lucky foot! Be indulgent, I pray: whosoever asks to surpass what you now do, by inciting you to acts foretells and approves them. It was that I might not seem to have talked and said nothing, and that my "Hail" might be somewhat more congenial to you, that I chose material to suit such ardor as yours. Would that the land would salute you in the same tones: how, great-hearted Hero, you ought to save yourself for war and to return safe to mother Peace! That is the care of men in command; that agrees with Nobility. The stars hate the inactive; they station the brave on the throne of glory and crown them with honor. Proceed, proceed with sense alert, noble heart; Heaven itself will attend your ventures, and Aether will smile and applaud them; great Jupiter will give you all happiness! O, think before dismissing lightly such praise. And now once more, noble one, Farewell; none more loved, none dearer is present. Each and all say you joy.