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The Praise Of The Needle. "To all dispersed sorts of arts and trades, I write the needles prayse (that never fades) So long as children shall be got or borne, So long as garments shall be made or worne, So logg as hemp or flax, or sheep shall bear Their linnen wollen fleeces yeare by yeare: So long as silkwormes, with exhausted spoile, Of their own entrailes for man's gaine shall toyle: Yea till the world be quite dissolv'd and past, So long at least, the needles use shall last: And though from earth his being did begin, Yet through the fire he did his honour win: And unto those that doe his service lacke, He's true as Steele and mettle to the backe He hath indeed, I see, small single sight, Yet like a pigmy, Polipheme in fight: As a stout captaine, bravely he leades on, (Not fearing colours) till the worke be done, Through thicke and thinne he is most sharpely set, With speed through stitch, he will the conquest get. And as a souldier (Frenchefyde with heat) Maim'd from the warres is forc'd to make retreat; So when a needles point is broke, and gone, No point Mounsieur, he's maim'd, his worke is done, And more the needles honour to advance, It is a tailor's javelin, or his lauce; And for my countries quiet, I should like, That women kinde should use no other pike. It will increase their peace, enlarge their store, To use their tongues lesse, and their needles more. The needles sharpnesse, profit yields, and pleasure, But sharpnesse of the tongue, bites out of measure. A needle (though it be but small and slender) Yet it is both a maker and a mender: A grave Reformer of old rents decay'd, Stops holes and seames and desperate cuts display'd, And thus without the needle we may see We should without our bibs and biggins bee; No shirts or smockes, our nakednesse to hide, No garments gay, to make us magnifide:
No shadowes, shapparoones, caules, bands, rufFs, kuffs,
No kerchiefes, quoyfes, chinclouts, or marry-mufifes,
No croscloaths, aprons, handkerchiefes, or falls,
N o table-cloathes, for parlours or for halls, No sheetes, no towels, napkins, pillow beares, Nor any garment man or woman weares. Thus is a needle prov'd an instrument Of profit, pleasure, and of ornament. Which mighty queenes have grac'd in hand to take, And high borne ladies such esteeme did make, That as their daughters daughters up did grow, The needles art, they to the children show. And as 'twas then an exercise of praise,
So what deserves more honour in these dayes,
Than this? which daily doth itselfe expresse
A mortall enemy to idlenesse.
The use of sewing is exceeding old,
As in the sacred text it is enrold:
Our parents first in Paradise began,
Who hath descended since from man to man:
The mothers taught their daughters, sires their sons
Thus in a line successively it runs
For generall profit, and for recreation,
From generation unto generation.
With work like cherubims embroidered rare,
The covers of the tabernacle were.
And by the Almighti's great command, we see,
That Aaron's garments broidered worke should be;
And further, God did bid his vestments should
Be made most gay, and glorious to behold.
Thus plainly and most truly is declar'd
The needles worke hath still bin in regard,
For it doth art, so like to nature frame,
As if it were her sister, or the same.
Flowers, plants and fishes, beasts, birds, flyes, and bees,
Hills, dales, plaines, pastures, skies, seas, rivers, trees;
There's nothing neere at hand, or farthest sought,
But with the needle may be shap'd and wrought.
In clothes of arras I have often seene,
Men's figur'd counterfeits so like have bt ene,
That if the parties selfe had been in place,
Yet art would vie with nature for the grace;
Moreover, posies rare, and anagrams, Signifique searching sentences from names, True history, or various pleasant fiction, In sundry colours mixt, with arts commixion, All in dimension, ovals, squares, and rounds, Arts life included within natures bounds:So that art seemeth merely naturall, In forming shapes so geometricall;And though our country everywhere is fild With ladies, and with gentlewomen, skild In this rare art, yet here they may discerne Some things to teach them if they list to learne. And as this booke some cunning workes doth teach, (Too hard for meane capacities to reach) So for weake learners, other workes here be, As plaine and easie as are ABC. Thus skilful, or unskilful, each may take This booke, and of it each good use may make, All sortes of workes, almost that can be nam'd, Here are directions how they may be fram'd:And for this kingdomes good are hither come, From the remotest parts of Christendome, Collected with much paines and industrie, From scorching Spaine and freezing Muscovie, From fertill France, and pleasant Italy, From Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, And some of these rare patternes have beene fet Beyond the bounds of faithlesse Mahomet: From spacious China, and those kingdomes East, And from great Mexico, the Indies West. Thus are these workes, farrefetcht and dearely bought, And consequently good for ladies thought. Nor doe I derogate (in any case) Or doe esteeme of other teachings base,
For tent worke,raised worke, laid worke,frost worke, net worke, Most curious purles, or rare Italian cut worke,
Tine feme stitch, Jinny stitch, new stitch, and chain stitch, Brave bred stitch, Fisher stitch, Irish stitch, and Queen stitch, The Spanish stitch, Rosemary stitch, and Mowse stitch The smarting whip stitch, back stitch, and the crosse stitch All these are good, and these we must allow, And these are everywhere in practise now:
And in this booke there are of these some store,
With many others, never seene before.
Here practise and invention may be free.
And as a squirrel skips from tree to tree,
So maids may (from their mistresse or their mother)
Learne to leave one worke, and to learne another,
For here they may make choice of which is which,
And skip from worke to worke, from stitch to stitch,
Until, in time, delightful practise shall
(With profit) make them perfect in them all.
Thus hoping that these workes may have this guide,
To serve for ornament, and not for pride:
To cherish vertue, banish idlenesse,
For these ends, may this booke have good successe."
"For, round about, the walls yclothed were
With goodly Arras of great majesty,
Woven with gold and silk so close and nere,
That the rich metal lurked privily,
As faining to be hidd from envious eye;
Yet here, and there, and every where unwares
It shew'd itselfe and shone unwillingly;
Like to' a discolour'd Snake, whose hidden snares Through the greene gras his long bright burnisht back declares."
Raphael, whose name is familiar to alls( as a household word," seems to have been equally celebrated for a handsome person, an engaging address, an amiable disposition, and high talents. Language exhausts itself in his eulogy.* But the
* For example :—" Egli avea tenuto sempre un contegno da guadagnarsi il cuore di tutto. Rispettoso verso il maestro, ottenne dal Papa che le sue pitture in una volta delle camere Vaticane rimanessero intatte; giusto verso i suoi emuli ringraziava Dio d'averlo fatto nascere a' tempi del Bonarruoti; grazioso verso i discepoli gl' istrui e gli amd come figli; cortese anche verso gl' ignoti, a chiuuque ricorse a lui per consiglio prestd liberalmente 1' opera sua, e per far disegni al altrui o dar gl' indirizzo lascid indietro talvolta i lavori propri, non sapendo non pure di negar grazia, ma differirla."—Lanzi, vol. ii.
Consequently when his body before interment lay in the room in