People in this entry
Right honorable Sir, my moſt humble obeyſance in due ſort conſidered. Yt maye pleas you to underſtand, that the approved wiſdome wherewith th’ Almighty hath endued you, and the exact bilance of Juſtice, wherby mens doinges in your handes are ordred, and the naturall zeale aſwell to good letters (which from your tender age hath in your breſt contynually encreaſed) as to the honor and weale publik of our cuntrye which now in you freſhly flowreth and eke yeldeth frute abundantly) : theſe and other regardes have directed my choiſe to you onely among ſo many other in place of high honor and governance. Choiſe, I ſay, whereby your wiſdome juſtice and foreſaid zeale may (if it ſo ſtand with your good will) be tranſplanted in landes full far, and people ſtraunge ; yf my hand be not unlucky in guyding ſo weldy a chardge. Therfore briefly to place before your eyes the chief of my requeſt, thus ſtandeth my caſe. Albiet that our Univerſities, bothe, in them have men in ſundrye knowledges right excellent, as in divinitie, the Hebrue, Greke and Latin tung, &c. yet foraſmuche as the wiſdome infinite of our Creator is braunched into manifold mo ſortes of wunderfull ſciences, greatly ayding our dymme fightes to the better view of his powre and goodnes, wherein our cuntry hath no man (that I ever yet could here of) hable to ſet furth his fote, or ſhew his hand : as in the ſcience De numeris formalibus, the ſcience De Ponderibus myſticis, and the ſcience De Menſuris divinis : (by which three the huge frame of this world is faſhioned, compact, rered, ſtabliſhed, and preſerved) and in other ſciences, eyther with theſe collaterall, or from them derived, or to themwardes greatly us fordering. And for that ſome ſuch knowledges, after my long ſerche and ſtudy, great coſt and travaile (through Godes mercy and grace) have fallen under my perſeverance and underſtanding, (whereof I am taught to render account, with encreaſe of the Talent) and ſo have forced my witt and payned my ſelf to draw togyther and diſcloſe by writing, ſuch proffitable and pleaſant ſciences. And, forſlowing no tyme (the frailty of our life and health being as it is) I thought good this ſeaſon of Chriſtmas feſtivalls (commenly otherwiſe ſpent) to make but a ſtart to Antwerp, and there to employe that tyme in taking and ſetting order with ſundry Duch printers and other artificers, for the true and diligent printing of ſuch my labors, as I have by me ready for the pres, and thereuppon I entended furthwith to returne before Eaſter at the fardeſt, bicauſe I hoped to have founde thinges and men apt to my purpoſe. But lo, ſo falleth it now owte, that I cannot cumpas this my entent on this wiſe, but am driven to deale with printers of High Germany, whereby a longer tyme will runne. And alſo ſyns my cumming (ſee I pray you) by diligent ſerche and travaile (for ſo ſhort a tyme) almoſt incredible, ſuch men and ſuch bookes are come to my knowledge, where they are, as, to the former great ſciences I hoped never to have had ſo good ayde, eyther by the one or the other. So that in moſt reverent wiſe (the premiſſes conſidered) I make to your Honor my humble petition, that ye will charitably advertiſe me of your pleaſure adviſe and cownſaile, whether ye will have me furthwith to retorne, my bokes unprinted and oute of my handes, and alſo to diſdayne and neglect this offer and noble occaſion at God his hand, whereby his glory, the honor, ye and (ſo may it chaunce) the weale of my cuntrye be advaunced. Or that you will herin declare your wiſdome, juſtice and zeale, (which in many other caſes far inferior to this you have not withdrawne) in procuringe leave, ye and ayde to my ſmall habilytye to abyde the better by the achieving ſo great a feate, as (by the enjoying of theſe men and bokes) by Godes leave I entend to aſſaye. And for a profe more evident of my endevor and purpoſe, yt may pleas you to underſtand, that allready I have purchaſed one boke, for which a thowſand crownes have ben by others offred, and yet could not be obteyned ; a boke, for which many a lerned man hath long ſought and dayly yet doth ſeeke ; whoſe uſe is greater than the fame thereof is ſpread ; the name thereof to you is not unknowne. The title is on this wiſe, Steganographia Joannis Tritemij ; whereof in both the editions of his Polygraphia mention is made, and in his epiſtles, and in ſundry other mens bokes. A boke for your Honor, or a Prince, ſo meet, ſo nedefull and commodious, as in humayne knowledg none can be meeter or more behovefull. Of this boke the one half (with contynuall labor and watch, the moſt part of 10 dayes) I have copyed oute. And now I ſtand at the curteſye of a noble man of Hungarie for writing furth the reſt ; who hath promiſed me leave therto, after he ſhall perceyve that I may remayne by him longer (with the leave of my Prince) to pleaſure him alſo with ſuch pointes of ſcience, as at my handes he requireth.
I aſſure you the meanes that I uſed to cumpas the knowledg where this man and other ſuch are, and likewiſe of ſuch bokes as for this preſent I have advertiſment of, have coſt me all that ever I could here with honeſty borrow, beſydes that which (for ſo ſhort a tyme entended) I thowght nedefull to bring with me, to the value of ⅩⅩ£. God knoweth my zeale to honeſt and true knowledge ; for which my fleſh, blud, and bones ſhuld make the marchandyſe, yf the caſe ſo requyred. Thys boke, either as I nowe have yt, or hereafter ſhall have yt, fully wholl and perfit, (yf it pleas you to accept my preſent) I give unto your Honor, as the moſt precyous juell that I have yet of other mens travailes recovered. The underſtanding whereof I doubt not to atteyne, by Godes grace, and the conference with ſuch men as allready are in my Kalender. Men hard to finde, although daily ſeen. And than that alſo, ſhall I think your Honor moſt worthy of, for procuring unto me dulcia illa ocia, the frute wherof my cuntry et tota Reſp. literaria, juſtly ſhall aſcribe to your wiſdome and honorable zeale toward the advauncement of good letters and wonderfull divine and ſecret ſciences. And herein that your will and order with me ſhal be, I will requeſt ſome of my frendes to reſort to your Honor to underſtand ; the caſe being unto them as ſtraunge as it to me alſo falleth præter expectationem. As knowethe the Almighty, who preſerve your Honor with contynuance of health and abundance of his grace according to his good pleaſuer. Anno 1562. 16 Februarij.
Antwerpiæ apud Gulielmum Silvium
in Angelo aureo ; in platea, vulgirater,
Den Camer ſtraet, vocata. Joannes Dee.
Domine ſalvam fac Reginam nr̃am
To the right honorable Syr
William Cecyl, Knight,
Secretary to the Quenes moſt