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A Farewell. Entituled to the famous and fortunate Generalls of our English forces: Sir John Norris and Syr Frauncis Drake Knights, and all theyr brave and resolute followers. Whereunto is annexed: A tale of Troy. Ad lectorem. Parve mec invideo sine me (liber) ibis ad arma, Hei mihi, quod domino non licet ire two. Doone by George Peele, Maister of Artes in Oxforde. At London Printed by J. C. and are to bee solde by William Wright, at his shop adjoyning to S. Mildred's Church in the Poultrie. Anno. 1589. - A On the back of the title are the arms of Elizabeth, with the motto “semper eadem,” and under them these verses; “Gallia victa dedit flores, invicta leones Anglia: jus belli in flore, leone suum : O sic, O semper ferat Elizabetha triumphos, Inclyta Gallorum flore, leone suo.”
In 1589, while the public exultation at the defeat of the Spanish Armada had not yet subsided, a band of gallant adventurers (excited chiefly by the desire of gain or glory) fitted out, almost entirely at their own expense, a fleet for an expedition to Portugal, for the declared purpose of seating on the throne of that country the bastard Don Antonio, who had taken refuge in England. On the 18th of April the armament set sail from Plymouth, consisting of 180 vessels and 21,000 men, under the command of Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Norris. A minute detail of the disasters which ensued would here be out of place; suffice it to say, that about eleven thousand persons perished in this expedition, and of the eleven hundred gentlemen, who accompanied it, only three hundred and fifty returned to their native
TO THE MOST FAMOUS GENERALS OF OUR . ENGLISH FORCES BY LAND AND SEA, SIR JOHN NORRIS, AND SIR FRANCIS DRAKE, KNIGHTS.
You R virtues famed by your fortunes, and fortunes renowned by your virtues, thrice honourable Generals, together with the admiration the world hath worthily conceived of your worthiness, have at this time encouraged me, a man not unknown to many of your brave and forward followers, captains and soldiers, to send my short farewell to our English forces. Whereunto I have annexed an old poem of mine own, the tale of Troy, a pleasant discourse, fitly serving to recreate by the reading the chivalry of England; to whom, as to your ingenious judgments, I dedicate the same: that good minds, inflamed with honourable reports of their ancestry, may imitate their glory in highest adventures; and my countrymen, famed through the world for resolution and fortitude, may march in equipage of honour and arms with their glorious and renowned predecessors, the Troyanā, so it, 2 of , , , , it Z on Beseeching God mercifully a d miraculously, aS hitherto he hath done, to defend fair England, that her soldiers may in their departure be fortunate, and in their return triumphant.
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* rests] i.e. supports for the muskets, which in Peele's days were very heavy.
+ And let God Mars his consort make you mirth;
The roaring cannon, &c.] Shakespeare perhaps remembered
this passage when he wrote Othello’s “farewell” to war: in Singer's Shakespeare (vol. 10. p. 443.) where Peele's lines are quoted, “trumpet” is printed instead of “consort.”
It is necessary to observe, that when this poem was produced, and a considerable time after, the expression “consort of music” was in use —the term “concert” is comparatively modern.