Tudor Letters

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TO OUR MOSTE NOBLE AND

vertuous quene KATHERIN, Eliza-

beth her humble daughter wisheth

perpetuall felicitie and everlasting joye

 

NOT ONELY knowing the affe-

ctuous wille and fervent zeale the

wich your highnes hath towardes

all godly lerning as also my duetie

towardes you (most gracious and

souverayne princes) but knowing also that

pusilanimite and ydlenes are most

repugnante unto a reasonable crea-

ture and that (as the philosopher

sayeth) even as an instrument of yron

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or of other metayle waxeth soone

rusty onles it be continualy occupied.

Even so shall the witte of a man, or

woman waxe dull and unapte to

do or understand any thing perfittely

oneles it be alwayes occupied upon

some maner of study, wiche thinges

consydered hath moved so small a

portion as god hath lente me to

prove what i could do. And therfore

have i (as for aseye or beginninge fo-

lowinge the right notable sayeing of the

proverb aforesayd) translated this

lytell boke out of french ryme in to

englishe prose joyning the sentences

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together as well as the capacitie of

my symple witte and small lerning

coulde extende themselves. The wich

booke is intytled, or named the miroir

or glasse, of the synnefull soule where

in is conteyned how she (beholdig

and contempling what she is) doth

perceyve how, of herselfe, and of her

owne strenght, she can do nothing

that good is, or prevayleth for her

salvacioun: onles it be through the

grace of god: whose mother, daugh-

ter, syster, and wife, by the scriptures

she proveth herselfe to be. Trusting

also that through his incoprehen-

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ible love, grace and mercy she (be-

ynge called frome synne to repen-

taunce) doth faythfully hope to be

saved. And althoughe i knowe that

as for my parte, wich i have wrought

in it (as well spirituall as manuall)

there is nothinge done as ut shulde

be nor els worthy to come in youre

graces handes, but rather all unper-

fycte and uncorecte: yet do i truste

also that oubeit it is like a worke wich

is but newe begonne and shapen, that

the syle of youre excellent witte and

godly lerninge in the reding of it (if

so it vouchesafe your highnes to do)

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shall rubbe out, polishe, and mende

(or els cause to mende) the wordes (or

rather the order of my writing) the

wich i knowe in many places to ne

rude, and nothinge done as it shuld

be. But i hope, that after to have ben

in youre graces handes there shall

be nothinge in it worthy of reprehen-

sion and that in the meane whyle

no other (but your highnes onely) shal

rede it or se it, lesse me faultes be

knowen of many. Than shall they be

better excused (as my confidence is in

youre graces accoustumed benevolece)

that if i shuld bestowe a whole yere

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in writtinge, or inventinge wayes for

to excuse them. Prayeng god almigh-

ty the maker and creatoure of all

thinges to garaunte unto youre high-

nes the sam newe yeres daye, a lucky

and a prosperous yere with prospe-

rous yssuem and contunuance of many

yeres in good helthe and contynuall

joye and all to his honnoure, praise, and

glory. Frome assherige, the laste daye

of the year of our lord

god, 1544.

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