Dedication, no date (1580), John Hester to John Watson, Bischof von Winchester (BP184)

From Theatrum Paracelsicum
Author: John Hester
Recipient: John Watson, Bischof von Winchester
Type: Dedication
Date: no date [1580]
Pages: 8
Language: English
Quote as:
Editor: Edited by Julian Paulus
John Hester, The first part of the Key of Philosophie, London: Richard Daye 1580, sig. *2r-*5v [BP184]
CP: Not in Kühlmann/Telle, Corpus Paracelsisticum
Translation: Raw translation see below
Abstract: Hester refers to a tale from Plato's Protagoras to underscore the importance of societal unity and mutual accountability, where the strength of a community lies in its members' shared sense of justice and shame. He implies his translation amplifies this concept, offering clarity, refinement, and deeper understanding than the original writer, yet without arrogance. He shares his struggles in the process, emphasizing the valuable knowledge he gained. He admits that the subtlety of the matter makes it easier to demonstrate than explain. (generated by Chat-GPT)
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[sig. *2r] To the righte reuernede Father in God, and his singular good Lord Jhon Watson, by the grace of God Bishop of Winchester, and Prelate of the right honourable order of the Garter. J[ohn] H[ester] wisheth healthe and peace, and long life in Jesus Christ.

Pretie and pithie is the tale (my good lorde) that Plato tells in his Protagoras, and somehat appliable to my present purpose, and therefore not absurd for me to sett doune, to the better preferment of my pretence. Emong other his excellent inuentions (as he is in all his thinges moste like hymself still verie diuine) he she- [sig. *2v] with how Joue looking doune from Heauen with a pitifull regarde, vpon the harde and vntowarde condition of men, seeyng the sondrie calamities, and infinite miseries that the were subiect vnto, while yet the liued suaage like beastes amongst beastes, euery man leadyng his life after the leuell of his owne lust: tooke order straight with his winged messenger Mercurie, to descende doune with expedition, with trauell to collecte and gather together the dispersed multitude, that so vnited they might bothe bee stronger to defende them selues from the bruite beastes their common ene- [sig. *3r] mie: & lincked as it were in a bodie pollique, each presented as wel with the daily viewe of his owne want, as the continuall showe of like lacke in others, might with ioynt assent and consent (as driuen by necessitie) endeuor to driue necessitie from themselues. For the spedier accomplishyng whereof, he had in charge to establishe a law, that if any amongest them weare founde vnfurnished with Iustice, and voide of shamefastnesse: the same should bee accompted as an vnprofitable Droane among labouryng Bees, and should suffer punishement accordyngly. A worthie tale, and fit to worthie a Phi- [sig. *3v] losopher. By the which he liuely deliuered in generall tearmes, that whiche wee daiely finde in particulare proof: to weete, no common wealth, nor societie to continewe long happie where the members & partes therof either for loue of iustice, or feare of shame are not like affectioned eche other. Now least J should seeme to allowe of this tale in speeche, and to dislike it in practise, J haue presumed by this bare translation, to testifie my forwardnesse in furtheryng her that fosters me. And yet is not my translation so bare (my good lorde) but that it carrieth in it more plainnesse to the readers, then perhapps [sig. *4r] thei shall finde in the first writer: For beside that J haue culled out their choise thynges, J haue from the same choise proined, and cut of their superfluities, I haue supplied their defectes, J haue laied open their obscuritie, and I haue shadowed their defaultes, neither yet arrogating to my self, nor derogatyng from them, but as Dies diem docet, so Experimentum experiendo confirmatur. VVhat my trauaile herein shall profite, J knowe not: but sure J am my trouble in the triall of them hath been great, my expences large, my proffs painfull, and nothing at all herein pleasant saue onely a little knowledge that [sig. *4v] I haue gott, aboue the capacitie of the common sort, a thing sure that I value farre aboue the price that it coste me. VVhich knowledge in deede such is my grosnesse, or such the subtilnesse of the matter it self that I can easilyer by demonstration shew it, the by declaration teach it: and therefore dare I not vnder credite warrant perspicuitie to all men, but to those that are Filij artis. I promise more then I founde, and yet founde J more then thei hauing would willingly lose: to the residue I maie saie, that as hennes sit, but hatche not chickens in one daie: so men read, but learne not artes in one daie. To you my good [sig. *5r] Lord, whose countenance herein I craue for protection, whose iudgement and skill I appeale to for fauor, I must needes confesse thei are not written (although loth to haue them masterlesse like their master, J am ouer bolde, to shroude them vnder your winges) to you J saie thei are not written, except ouerladen with the deepe & graue misteries of higher and more heauenly Philosophie, it maire please you for delight, now and then to looke doune into the plentifull and pleasant storehouse of Nature, a matter no doubt that all your whole life time you haue been singularly delighted with, as most plainly do [sig. *5v] declare the singularitie, that you haue happely attained vnto in alle and euery the partes of her, no lesse to your great content at home, then to your like commendation abroad: which because I can neither praise to your sesarte, nor in praisyng please your desire, I leaue to speake farther of: only defirinig your good lordship with your wonted clemencie, to accept of this small testimonie of my great good will, assuring your self, that emongst the greate number of your well willers, there is no one more duetifull then your poore

Jhon Hester.

Modernized English

Generated by ChatGPT on 2 April 2023. Attention: This translation is a machine translation by artificial intelligence. The translation has not been checked and should not be cited without additional human verification.

To the Right Reverend Father in God, and his singular good lord John Watson, by the grace of God Bishop of Winchester, and Prelate of the Right Honourable Order of the Garter.

John Hester wishes health and peace, and long life in Jesus Christ.

Pretty and pithy is the tale (my good lord) that Plato tells in his Protagoras, and somewhat applicable to my present purpose, and therefore not absurd for me to set down, to the better promotion of my intention.

Among other his excellent inventions (as he is in all his things most like himself still very divine), he shows how Jove, looking down from heaven with a pitiful regard upon the hard and untoward condition of men, seeing the sundry calamities and infinite miseries that they were subject unto, while yet they lived savage like beasts amongst beasts, every man leading his life after the level of his own lust: took order straight with his winged messenger Mercury, to descend down with expedition, with travel to collect and gather together the dispersed multitude, that so united they might both be stronger to defend themselves from the brute beasts their common enemy: and linked as it were in a body politic, each presented as well with the daily view of his own want, as the continual show of like lack in others, might with joint assent and consent (as driven by necessity) endeavor to drive necessity from themselves.

For the speedier accomplishing whereof, he had in charge to establish a law, that if any amongst them were found unfurnished with justice, and void of shamefastness, the same should be accounted as an unprofitable drone among laboring bees, and should suffer punishment accordingly.

A worthy tale, and fit to worthy a philosopher.

By the which he lively delivered in general terms, that which we daily find in particular proof: to wit, no commonwealth, nor society to continue long happy where the members and parts thereof either for love of justice, or fear of shame are not like affectioned each other.

Now, lest I should seem to allow of this tale in speech, and to dislike it in practice, I have presumed by this bare translation to testify my forwardness in furthering her that fosters me.

And yet, my good lord, my translation is not so plain that readers will not find it clearer than the original writer's words. For in addition to selecting their choicest things, I have pruned and cut away their superfluities, supplied their defects, opened their obscurities, and covered their faults, neither claiming credit for myself nor detracting from them. As day teaches day, so experience is confirmed by experimentation.

What benefit my efforts will bring, I do not know. But I am certain that my trouble in the attempt has been great, my expenses large, my profits painful, and nothing at all in this venture has been pleasant except the little knowledge I have gained, which I value far above its cost.

That knowledge, in truth, is such that my own lack of skill, or the subtlety of the subject itself, makes it easier for me to demonstrate than to teach by explanation. Therefore, I dare not guarantee clarity to all men, but only to those who are sons of the art.

To you, my good lord, whose protection I seek and whose judgment and skill I appeal to for favor, I must confess that these writings are not intended for anyone else. Unless laden with the deep and serious mysteries of higher and more heavenly philosophy, may it please you to occasionally look down into the abundant and delightful storehouse of Nature. A matter that, no doubt, you have been singularly delighted with throughout your entire life, as most plainly evidenced by the uniqueness that you have happily attained in all parts of it, no less to your great satisfaction at home than to your like commendation abroad. Since I cannot praise your merits in full measure, nor in praising them satisfy your desires, I leave off speaking further of them, and only ask that your lordship, with your customary kindness, accept this small token of my great good will, assuring yourself that among the great number of your well-wishers, none is more dutiful than your poor

John Hester.