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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 HIGH AND MIGHTY Prince, CHARLES, Prince of Wales, &c

Fair'st Blossome of our hopes; and Morning-starre
To all these Ilands, which inclosed are
By Neptunes armes, within our Northern climes;
And who (wee trust) shall rise, in future times,
To be the brightest Light, that, then will shine,
Betwixt the Artick-Circle, and the Line.
To Yov (as now you are) that I present
These Emblems, 'tis not so impertinent
As those may thinke it, who have neither seene
What, of your Cradle-sports, hath heeded beene;
Nor heard how many serious Questionings,
Your Child-hood frameth, out of trifling things:
And, if mine aime I have not much mistooke,
I come not oversoone with such a Booke.
So long as in this Infant-Age you are,
(Wherein, the speechlesse Portraitures appeare
A pleasurefull delight) your Highnesse may
Among our Emblems, finde a Harmelesse-play:
And, those mute Objects will from time to time,
Still Riper, seeme, till you to ripenesse clime.
When their dumb Figures, no more sport can make,
Their Illustrations, will begin to speake;
And, ev'ry day, new matter still disclose,
Vntill your Iudgement to perfection growes.
They likewise, who their Services, to do
Frequent your Presence, may have pleasure too,
From this your Play-game: yea, and some perchance,
May cure a Folly, or an Ignorance
By that, which they shall either heare or view
In these our Emblems, when they wait on You;
Or, shall be called, by your Excellence,
To try what Lot, they shall obtaine from thence.
It may, moreover, much increase the sport,
Which is allowed in a vertuous Covrt;
When they whose faults have long suspected bin,
Shall draw forth private Censures of their Sin,


And, heare their Emblems, openly, display,
What, others dare not, but in private, say:
Nor will, to Yov, the Morals be in vaine,
Ev'n when to manly Knowledge you attaine;
For, though to Teach, it will not them become
To be Remembrancers, they may presume:
And, that which in their Child-hood, men shall heed,
Will soonest come to minde, in time of need.
Incourag'd by these Hopes, I thought it meet
To lay this humble Present at your feet.
Accept it, now; and, please to favour me,
When I growe old, and, You a Man shall be.
To your Highnesse most humbly devoted, Geo: Wither.