A discourse of the adventures passed by Master F. J.

H. W. to the Reader.

In August last passed, my familiar friend Master G. T. bestowed upon me the reading of a written Book wherein he had collected divers discourses & verses invented upon sundry occasions by sundry gentlemen, in mine opinion right commendable for their capacity. And herewithal my said friend charged me that I should use them only for mine own particular commodity, and eftsoons safely deliver the original copy to him again; wherein I must confess myself but half a merchant, for the copy unto him I have safely redelivered.

But the work (for I thought it worthy to be published) I have entreated my friend A. B. to imprint: as one that thought better to please a number by common commodity then to feed the humor of any private person by needless singularity. This I have adventured for thy contentation, learned Reader. And further have presumed of myself to christen it by the name of A hundred sundry Flowers: In which poetical posy are set forth many trifling fantasies, humoral passions, and strange affects of a lover.

And therein (although the wiser sort would turn over the leaf as a thing altogether fruitless) yet I myself have reaped this commodity, to sit and smile at the fond devises of such as have enchained themselves in the golden fetters of fantasy, and having bewrayed themselves to the whole world, do yet conjecture that they walk unseen in a net. Some other things you may also find in this Book which are as void of vanity as the first are lame for government.

And I must confess that (what to laugh at the one, & what to learn by the other) I have contrary to the charge of my said friend G. T. procured for these trifles this day of publication. Whereat if the authors only repine, and the number of other learned minds be thankful, I may then boast to have gained a bushel of good will in exchange for one pint of peevish choler.

But if it fall out contrary to expectation that the readers judgments agree not with mine opinion in their commendations, I may then (unless their courtesies supply my want of discretion), with loss of some labor, accompt also the loss of my familiar friends; in doubt whereof, I cover all our names, and refer you to the well written letter of my friend G. T. next following, whereby you may more at large consider of these occasions.

And so I commend the praise of other mens travails, together with the pardon of mine own rashness, unto the well willing minds of discrete readers. From my lodging near the Strand the xx. of January, 1572.

H. W.

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The Adventures of Master F. J. by George Gascoigne, 1573