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The Art or Crafte of Rhetoryke

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¶ To the reuerende father in god& his singuler good lorde / the lorde HughFaryngton Abbot of Redynge / his poreclient and perpetuall seruaunt LeonardeCockes desyreth longe & prosperouse lyfewith encreace of honour.

Onsiderynge my spe[-]ciall good lorde how great[-]ly and how many ways Iam bounden to your lord-shyp / and among all otherthat in so great a nombreof counynge men whiche are now withinthis region it hath pleased your goodnesto accepte me as worthy for to haue thecharge of the instruction & bryngynge vpof suche youth as resorteth to your gra-mer schole / foГ…В«ded by your antecessours inthis your towne of Redynge / I studied alonge space what thyng I myght do nextthe busy & diligent occupienge of my selfein your sayd seruyce / to the whiche botheconscience and your stipende doth straytlybynde me / that myght be a significacionof my faithfull and seruysable hart whichI owe to your lordeshyp / & agayne a longmemory bothe of your singuler and bene-ficiall fauour towarde me: and of myn in-dustry and diligence employed in your ser-uyce to some profite: or at the leest way tosome delectacion of the inhabitauntes ofthis noble realme now flouryshynge vn-der the most excellent & victorious prynceour souerain Lorde kyng Henry the .viii.

¶ And whan I had thus long prepensedin my mynde what thynge I myght bestchose out: non offred it selfe more conue-nyent to the profyte of yonge studentes(which your good lordshyp hath alwayestenderly fauoured) and also meter to myp[ro]fession: than to make som proper werkeof the right pleasaunt and persuadible artof Rhetorique / whiche as it is very neces-sary to all suche as wyll either be Aduoca[-]tes and Proctours in the law: or els apteto be sent in theyr Prynces Ambassades /or to be techers of goddes worde in suchemaner as may be moost sensible & accepteto theyr audience / and finally to all themhauynge any thyng to purpose or to spekeafore any companye (what someuer theybe) So contraryly I se no science that islesse taught & declared to Scolers / whichought chiefly after the knowlege of Gra-mer ones had to be instructe in this facul[-]tie / without the whiche oftentymes therude vtteraunce of the Aduocate greatlyhindereth and apeyreth his cliÄ“tes cause.Likewise the vnapt disposicion of the pre-cher (in orderyng his mater) confoundeththe memory of his herers / and briefly indeclarynge of maters: for lacke of inuen-cion and order with due elocucion: greattediousnes is engendred to the multitudebeyng present / by occasion wherof the spe[-]ker is many tymes ere he haue ended histale: either left almost aloon to his no li-tle confusiГ…ВЌ: or els (which is a lyke rebuketo hym) the audience falleth for werynesof his ineloquent language fast on slepe.

¶ Wyllynge therfore for my parte to helpsuche as are desirouse of this Arte (as allsurely ought to be which entende to be re-garded in any comynaltie) I haue parte-ly translated out a werke of Rhetoriquewryten in the Latin tongue: and partelycompyled of myn owne: and so made a ly-tle treatyse in maner of an Introductyoninto this aforesayd Science: and that inour Englysshe tongue....