Richard Jonas’s Dedication of the 1540 Edition to Queen Katherine Howard
Unto the most gracious and in all goodness most excellent virtuous lady Queen Katherine,1 wife and most dearly beloved spouse unto the most mighty sapient Christian prince King Henry VIII, Richard Jonas wisheth perpetual joy and felicity.
Whereas of late (most excellent virtuous queen) many goodly and proper treatise, as well concerning holy scripture, wherein is contained the only comfort and consolation of all godly people, as other profane2 arts and sciences right necessary to be known and had in use, have been, by the painful diligence of such clerks3 which have embusied them in the same, very earnestly and circumspectly4 set forth in this our vulgar5 English tongue, to the great enriching of our mother language, and also the great utility and profit of all people using the same; and among all other things, out of the noble science of physic6 have been divers proper and profitable matters compiled and translated from the Latin tongue into English, by the reading of the which right many have confessed themselves to have received great light and knowledge of such things in the which they have found no small comfort and profit. And in this behalf there is in the Latin speech a book entitled De Partu Hominis: that is to say, Of the Birth of Mankind, compiled by a famous doctor in physic called Eucharius, the which he wrote in his own mother tongue, that is being a German, in the German speech, afterward by another honest clerk, at the request and desire of his friend, transposed into Latin;7 the which book for the singular utility and profit that ensueth unto all such as read it, and most specially unto all women (for whose only cause it was written) hath been sith8 in the Dutch and French speech set forth and imprinted in great number, so that there be few matrons9 and women in that parts but (if they can read) will have this book always in readiness. Considering, then, that the same commodity10 and profit which they in their regions do obtain by enjoying of this little book in their maternal language