Whom-to can so rightly appertaine this Booke of instructions3 to a Prince in all the points of his calling, aswell generall, as a Christian towards God; as particular, as a King towards his people? Whom-to, I say, can it so justly appertaine, as unto you my dearest Sonne? Since I the authour thereof, as your naturall Father, must be carefull for your godly and vertuous education, as my eldest Sonne, and the first fruits of Gods blessing towards mee in my posteritie: and as a King must timously* provide for your trayning up in all the points of a Kings Office; since yee are my naturall and lawfull successour therein: that being rightly informed hereby, of the waight of your burthen, ye may in time beginne to consider, that being borne to be a king, ye are rather borne to onus, than honos:4 not excelling all your people so farre in ranke and honour, as in daily care and
hazardous paines-taking, for the dutifull administration of that great office, that God hath laide upon your shoulders. Laying so a just symmetric and proportion, betwixt the height of your honourable place, and the heavie waight of your great charge: and consequently, in case of failing, which God forbid, of the sadnesse of your fall, according to the proportion of that height. I have therefore for the greater ease to your memory, and that yee may at the first, cast up any part that yee have to doe with, devided this Treatise5 in three parts. The first teacheth you your duetie towards God as a Christian: the next, your duetie in your Office as a King: and the third informeth you how to behave your selfe in indifferent things, which of them-selves are neither right nor wrong, but according as they are rightly or wrong used; and yet will serve according to your behaviour therein, to augment or empaire your fame and authoritie at the handes of your people. Receive and welcome this Booke then, as a faithfull Praeceptour and counsellour unto you: which, because my affaires will not permit mee ever to bee present with you, I ordaine to bee a resident faithfull admonisher of you: And because the houre of death is uncertaine to mee, as unto all flesh, I leave it as my Testament and latter will unto you. Chargeing you in the presence of GOD, and by the fatherly authoritie I have over you, that yee keepe it ever with you, as carefully, as Alexander did the Iliads of Homer. Yee will finde it a just and impartiall counsellour; neither flattering you in any vice, nor importuning you at unmeete times. It will not come un-called, neither speake unspeered* at: and yet conferring with it when yee are at quiet, yee shall say with Scipio, that yee are nunquam minus solus, quam cum solus.6 To conclude then, I charge you, as ever yee thinke to deserve my Fatherly blessing, to follow and put in practise, as farre as Iyeth in you, the prsecepts hereafter following. And if yee follow the contrary course, I take the Great GOD to record, that this Booke shall one day bee a witnesse betwixt mee and you; and shall procure to bee ratified in Heaven, the curse that in that case here I give unto you. For I protest before that Great GOD, I had rather not bee a Father, and childlesse, then bee a Father of wicked children. But hoping, yea, even promising unto my selfe, that GOD, who in his great blessing sent you unto mee; shall in the same blessing, as hee hath given mee a Sonne; so make him a good and a godly Sonne; not repenting him of his Mercie shewed unto mee, I end, with my earnest prayer to GOD, to worke effectually into you, the fruites of that blessing, which here from my heart I bestow upon you.