To the Reader.
PHTHONIVS a famous man, wrotein Greke of soche declamacions, to en-structe the studentes thereof, with all fa-cilitée to grounde in them, a moste plenti-ous and riche vein of eloquence. No manis able to inuente a more profitable waieand order, to instructe any one in the ex-quisite and absolute perfeccion, of wisedome and eloquence,then Aphthonius Quintilianus and Hermogenes. Tullie al-so as a moste excellente Orator, in the like sorte trauailed,whose Eloquence and vertue all tymes extolled, and the of-spryng of all ages worthilie aduaunceth. And because as yetthe verie grounde of Rhetorike, is not heretofore intreatedof, as concernyng these exercises, though in fewe yeres past,a learned woorke of Rhetorike is compiled and made in theEnglishe toungue, of one, who floweth in all excellencie ofarte, who in iudgement is profounde, in wisedome and elo-quence moste famous. In these therefore my diligence is em-ploied, to profite many, although not with like Eloquence,beutified and adorned, as the matter requireth. I haue cho-sen out in these Oracions soche questions, as are right ne-cessarie to be knowen and redde of all those, whose cogitaciГ…ВЌpondereth vertue and Godlines. I doubte not, but seyng mytrauaile toucheth vertuous preceptes, and vttereth to light,many famous Histories, the order of arte obserued also, butthat herein the matter it self, shall defende my purpose aga-inste the enuious, whiche seketh to depraue any good enter-prise, begon of any one persone. The enuious mannethough learned, readeth to depraue that, which hereadeth, the ignoraunt is no worthie Iudge,the learned and godlie pondereth vp-rightly & sincerely, that whichhe iudgeth, the order ofthese Oracionsfolloweth afterward, andthe names of thГ„вЂњ.
¶ The contentes ofthis Booke.
N made, vpon the Fable of the Shepher-des and the Wolues, the Wolues requestyng theBandogges: wherein is set forthe the state of eue-ry subiecte, the dignitie of a Prince, the honoura-ble office of counsailours.
An vpon the Fable of the Ante and the Gres-hopper, teachyng prouidence.
An Historicall, howe Semiramis came to beeQuéene of Babilon.
An Historicall, vpon Kyng Richard the thirdesometyme Duke of Glocester.
An Historicall, of the commyng of Iulius Ce-ser into Englande.
An Ciuill or Iudiciall, vpon Themistocles, ofthe walle buildyng at Athenes.
An Poeticall vpon a redde Rose.
A profitable , shewyng the decaie of kingdomesand nobilitie.
An vpon a Sentence, preferryng a Monarchie,conteinyng all other states of common wealthe.
The of the battaile of Troie.
A of the noble facte of Zopyrus.
An called a Common place against Theues.
The of Epaminundas Duke of Thebes, whereinthe grounde of nobilitée is placed.
The of Domicius Nero Emperour of Roome.
A betwene Demosthenes and Tullie.
A lamentable of Hecuba Queene of Troie....