button to main menu  Drayton 1622, preface part 1, 4

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preface to part 1, 4:-
Florence of Worcester (that published under name of Florence hath the very syllables of most part of Marion the Scots Story, fraught with English Antiquities; which will shew you how easily to answer Buchanan's objection against our Historians about Athelstans being king of all Albion, being deceiv'd when he imagined that there was no other of Marian but the common printed Chronicle, which is indeed but an Epitome or Defloration made by Robert of Lorraine, Bishop of Hereford under Hen. I.) and the numerous rest of our Monkish and succeeding Chronographers. In all, I beleeve him most which freest from Affection and Hate (causes of corruption) might best know, and hath, with most likely assertion, delivered his report. Yet so, that, to explaine the Author, carrying himselfe in this part, an Historicall, as in the other, a Chorographical Poet, I insert oft, out of the British story, what I importune you not to credit. Of that kind, are those Prophecies out of Merlin sometime interwoven: I discharge my selfe; nor impute you to me any serious respect of them. Inviting, not wresting in, occasion, I adde sometime what is different from my task, but such as I guesse would any where please an understanding Reader. To aide you in course of Times, I have in fit place drawn Chronologies, upon Credit of the Ancients; and, for matter of that kinde, have admonisht (to the IV. Canto) what as yet I never saw by any observ'd, for wary consideration of the Dionysian Cycle, and mis-interpreted Roote of his Dominicall yeere. Those old Rimes, which (some number) you often meet with, are offer'd the willinger, both for Variety of your Mother Tongue, as also, because the Author of them Robert of Gloster never yet appear'd in common light. He was, in Time, an Age before; but, in Learning and Wit, as most others, much behind our Worthy Chaucer: whose name by the way Occuring, and my worke here being but to adde plaine song after Muses descanting, I cannot but digresse to admonition of abuse which this Learned allusion, in his Troilus, by ignorance hath indured.

I am till God mee better mind send
At Dulcarnon right at my wits end.
Its not Necham, or any else, that can make mee entertaine the least thought of the signification of Dulcarnon to be Pythagoras his sacrifice after his Geometricall Theorem in finding the Squares of an Orthogonall Triangles sides, or that it is a word of Latine deduction; but indeed by easier pronunciation it was made of [...Arabic...] .i. Two horned: which the Mahometan Arabians use for a Root in Calculation, meaning Alexander, as that great Dictator of knowledge Joseph Scaliger (with some Ancients) wills, but, by warranted opinion of my learned friend Mr. Lydyat in his Emendatio Temporum, it began in Seleucus Nicanor, XII.. yeares after Alexanders death; The name was applyed, either because af-
[margin1] Chaucer explained.
[margin2] Epocha Seleucidarum.
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