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Home > Early Dance Texts >The Honest Man, and The Art to Please in Court

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The Honest Man: or, the Art to Please in Court

Two transcriptions: 1632 and 1754.

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My transcription from the EEBO facsimile of the copy in the British Library. I have retained pagination, but not column widths, which, in this octavo, are very narrow. It's very poorly photographed, so please take transcription with a grain of salt.

Faret, Nicolas. The honest man: or, The art to please in court. Written in French by Sieur Faret. Translated into English by E.G., London: Printed by Thomas Harper, for Edward Blount, 1632.

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THE

HONEST

MAN:

OR,

The Art to please

in Court.

Written in French by

Sieur Faret.

Translated into English

by E.G.

<image>

LONDON:

Printed by THOMAS HARPER,

for Edward Blount. 1632.

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...

Of the disposition of the body.

VVIth all these aduantages of a good birth, and of courage, which are required in any man that will cast himselfe into the Court; I finde that an able body is most necessary, that hee bee

of

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of a goodly stature, rather mean, then to[o] tall, rather slender then too fat, his limbs well fashioned, strong, supple, actiue, and easie to accommodate himselfe to all sorts of exercises, either of war or pleasure. Hauing all these gifts of nature, it doth import to imploy them, and not only to learne all that is taught in the Academies and Schooles, but also all the actions of dexterity [margin: Of exercises.]

which

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which are in vse, and fitting for a Gentleman. Not to bee a good horsman, nor to know how to mange Armes, it were not only a great disaduantage, but also a shamefull ignorance, not to know the essentiall principles of his profession. Other exercises, although lesse necessary, are vsefull in a thousand occasions, to gain the esteeme and affection of those by whom

we

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wee desire to bee beloued. I doe not only ex[act?] that hee bee expert in all sorts of managing, as to vault, break a Launce, runne at the Ring, and all the combats at Barriers, Tilt and Turney: These actions are too apparent, and are too commendable in the world, to bee vnknowne by him, that will make himselfe to bee looked on with approbation, and deserue glory and

praise.

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praise. I will also (- it may be) that he learn to play of the lute, and Gitterne, and Viall, seeing that our Masters and Mistresses are pleased therewith; that he be skilfull in Hunting, that hee bee active to Dance, play at Tennice, to Wrastle, to Leap, to Swim, to Shoot and in all other sports which are not so simply honest, but they many times proue profitable. The gretest

part

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part of these things being diuided, are in [wor]eth of small moment, but being all valued together, they make a perfect man, who is not look't on, but with some kind of admiration, especially when they are beautified with the qualities of the minde, which giues them the last lineaments of perfection. I could desire alsoe, that hee should not be ignorant of any

games

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p. 44

[margin: Of games of Hazard.] games at Hazard which haue course amongst great men, for that thereby hee may sometimes grow familiar in their companie prouided notwithstanding, that hee bee no gamester.

...

 

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-- My transcription of dance-relevant passages from the NYPL Mid-Manhattan Research Library's copy of Nicholas Faret's The Art to Please in Court, translated 1754, a French courtly handbook.

-- As concessions to Dreamweaver and web compatibility, double spaces between sentences have been reduced to single spaces, certain irregularities of spacing and punctuation for margin justification have been regularised, and the ∫/s is modernised except in titles. The ' ------ ' denotes page breaks. Obviously this does not replicate the look or type face of the original... but I've done my best! --E. F. Winerock

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THE
A R T
OF
Pleasing at COURT;
BEING A
NEW TRANSLATION
(With Some ADDITIONS )
OF AN
OLD FRENCH BOOK
ENTITLED
L'HONNESTE-HOMME;
OU,
L'Art de plairea la Cour.

Par le Sieur FARET.

Containing, however, some Precepts necessary to
be observ'd by both Gentlemen and Ladies,
Courtiers and Others.

__________________________________
__________________________________

BIRMINGHAM :
Printed by T. ARIS, for the TRANSLATOR.
MDCCLIV.

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Of the DISPOSITION of the BODY.

WITH all these Advantages of Birth
and Courage, which are requisite to
constitute a Courtier, a graceful Person,
of middle Stature, will be found very ne-
cessary. He should have Limbs rather
slender than too large, well form'd, strong,
souple, disengaged, and easy to be accom-
modated to all the Exercises of War and
Pleasure. Having all these Gifts of Na-
ture, 'tis of some Consequence to employ
them, and to learn not only all that is
taught in the Academies, but also all the
Gallantries of Address which are in Use,
and becoming a Gentleman. to be a bad
Horseman, to be ignorant of the Use of
Armes, is not only a great Disadvantage,
but also a shameful Ignorance, since 'tis to
be ignorant of the most essential Principles
of his Business. Other Exercises, tho' less
necessary, yet come into Use upon a thousand
Oc-

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Occasions, and gain the Esteem, and after
that the Inclination of those by whom we
desire to be beloved. We therefore don't
only insist that he should understand the
whole Art of managing a Horse, but all o-
ther manly Exercises that are in Use. There
are many such Exercises which are too
much esteemed in the World for a Man to
be ignorant of, who would be regarded in,
and deserve Glory and Praise from it *.

If

* [ long footnote on Israelites, Egyptians,
Greeks and Romans regarding exercise.]

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If it might be, our Courtier should not only
understand, but be able to perform in, Mu-
sic. He should not be ignorant of Hunt-
ing, should be dextrous in Dancing, at the
Tennis - Court, at Wrestling, Leaping,
Swimming, Shooting, and all other Diver-
sions, which are not so merely
polite, but
that they often become
useful. Most of
these Things, separately considered, are in-
deed small ; but together, render a Man
accomplished, and cause him to be looked
upon with some Kind of Admiration ; es-
pecially when they are brightened by the
Qualities of the Mind, which give them
the last Features of Perfection. Nay, let
it be said, that he should not be ignorant
of any of the Plays of Hazard, which have
a Run among the Great, because by them
he may familiarly join in their Company ;
provided, however, that he be not a
Gamester.

(pp. 12-14)

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