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A Collection of Emblemes

Ancient and Moderne: Quickened VVith Metricall Illvstrations, both Morall and Divine: And disposed into Lotteries, That Instruction, and Good Counsell, may bee furthered by an Honest and Pleasant Recreation. By George Wither

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TO THE MOST HIGH-BORNE and hopefull Prince JAMES, Duke of Yorke, &c.
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TO THE MOST HIGH-BORNE and hopefull Prince JAMES, Duke of Yorke, &c.

Sweet Prince,

Your hand I kisse; and, thus my Lines addresse
Vnto your wise, and vertuous

The Countesse of Dorset.


For, Madame, (at his Proxy) it is fit,
That, Yov both Read, and answere for him, yet.
To Yov for Him, J therefore tender, here,
To welcome-in the New-beginning Yeare,
This harmelesse Play-Game; that, it may have place,
When somewhat riper Daies, shall Make his GRACE,
Affect such Objects; which, to looke upon
May pleasure yeeld him, e're this Yeare be gone.
'Tis not the least Discretion, in great Covrts,
To know what Recreations, and what Sports
Become young Princes; or, to find out those,
Which may, with harmelesse pleasantnesse, dispose
Their Mindes to VERTVE: neither in their Cradles,
Should this be heeded lesse, than in their Sadles:
Because, when first to know, we doe begin,
A small Occasion, lets much Evill in.
Among those things, which both Instruct and please;
But few, (for Children) are surpassing these:
For, they, to looke on Pictures, much desire:
And, not to Looke alone, but, to enquire
What things those are, that represented be,
In ev'ry Map, or Emblem, which they see.
And, that which they shall view, or shall be told,
(By meanes of any Figure they behold)
Experience breedes; assisteth Memory:
Or, helps to forme a Witty Fantasie:
And, if those Formes to good Instruction tend,
Oft steads them, also, till their lives have end.
Then, since ev'n all of us, much God receive
By Vertuous Princes; And should, therefore, strive
To adde some helpes, whereby they might acquire
That Excellence, which wee in them desire.


I (being able, to present his GRACE,
With nothing but a Rattle, or a Glasse,
Or some such Cradle-play-game) bring, to day,
This BOOKE, to be as usefull as it may:
And, how, and when, it will most usefull grow,
Without my Teaching, YOV can fully show.
For, what is of your Ablenesse believ'd,
Through all these famous Ilands, hath receiv'd,
A large applause; in that, from out of those
Which ablest were, both King and State have those
Your Faith and Wisedome, to be TREASVRESSE
Of their chiefe Iewels; and the GOVERNESSE
Of our prime Hopes. And, now Jibi have weigh'd,
Me thinks, there needs no more, by me, be said,
But, (having pray'd your HONORE to receive
This PRESENT for the DVKE) to take my leave;
And Versifie to him, some other day,
When Hee can understand mee, what I say.
Till then, let it please your Honour sometimes to remember Him, that I am his Graces daily and humble Oratour, Geo: Wither.