In humble maner, and moost due reverence
Tremblynge for drede afore thy soverayne
Yf thy chaunce be to come in presence
Where ony person shall the there retayne
Submytte thy selfe as one that wolde be fayne
His grace to please in al maner degre
And of thy rudenesse for to pardon the.
And where as thou art but as an abstract
As touchynge the auctours compylacyon
Yf I therfore be ony wyse detract
In defaut of thy abrevyacyon
Lay thou the blame in the frensshe translacyon
Whiche I have folowed as nygh as I can
Under correcyon of every wyse man.
Yf ony may dyspyse the language rude
Whiche barayne is, of puryd eloquence
Desyre them that they do not delude
Thy fronsayte mater full of sentence
But in theyr hertes, enprynt thy morall sence,
Which compyled is, by wysdome naturall
Of prudent men, the veray governall.
Where many wedes be in a felde of corne
All though the weders thynk to wede it clene
Some shall remayne, whan the fylde is shorne.
Drawke or cokle, yet there wyll be seen
The fawtes therof, is in the handes and eyen
Lykewyse where many wordes and lettres be
No mervayle is, though I some overse.
Yf by impressyon, ony thynge be amys
In worde, in sence, or in ortography
I you requyre, to mende where the faute is
In the best wyse, it for to Justyfy
For though all be not to your fantasy
In formall maner, do ye it dyscus
Save onely god, nemo est perfectus.
Tost ou tard, pres ou loing
A le fort du foible besoing.
Thus undeth the secrete of secretes of Arystotle with the governayle of prynces and every maner of estate with rules of helthe for body and soule very prouffytable for every man, and also veray good to teche chyldren to lerne to rede Englysshe.
[Newly translated & emprynted by Robert Copland at London in the Flete-strete at the sygne of the Rose garlande the yere of our lorde .M.CCCCC.xxviij. the .vij. day of August the .xx. yere of the reygne of our moost dradde soverayne and naturall kynge Henry the .viij. defender of the fayth.]