DIRECTOR   Venera Darby


Now History is a Narration of Actions, either with praise or dispraise, which declares and sets forth the conduct and event of great things, the Actions of Kings and Illustrious Men, according to the order of Time and Place. Therefore most Men think this to be the Mistress pf well-living, and most useful for the instruction thereof ., for that by the examples of tveat things, it both incites the best of Men, out of a esire of Immortal Glory, to undertake great and noble Actions, and also tor fear of perpetual Infamy, it deters wicked Men from Vice. But it often falls out contrary j and many, as Livie relates of Manlim Capitolinut, had rather purchase great than good Fame : and when they cannot obtain their desired greatness by vertuous means, wiil endeavour to atchieve it by Acts of Impiety i as Jufrin out of "trogus relates of Paufanias the yourg Macedonian, famous for the Murder of King Philip , and is also, justifyed of Herostrar ait, who burnt the Temple of "Diana, the most famous Structure in the World,whjch had been two hundred years in building, at the expence of all Asia , as GelHuttilts, Valerius, and Solinut report. And although it was enacted under most severe Penalties, that no Man should so much as-make mention of his name, either by Word dr Wining, yet he attain'd the end which spurr'd him on to commit so great a Villany, his name being still remembred, and yet living to this our present Age. But let Id return to History * Which being a thing that above all things promises Order, Fidelity, Coherence, and Ttuth, is yet defective in every one , For Historians are at such-variance, among themselves , delivering several Tales of one and the fame Story, that it is impossible but that most of them must be the greatest Lyers in the World. For to omit she beginning of the World, the Univerfal Deluge, the Building of Rome, or of any other great City from whence they generally commence the rirst beginnings of all their huge Narratives, of which they are all altogether ignorant, of the other generally very incredulous, and of the third very uncertain what to determine: For these things being the most remote in time, moie easily gain Pardon for vulgar Error. But as to what concerns later times and Ages, within the memory of our Ancestors, there is no excuse that c£n be admitted for their Lying. Now the causes why they so much differ among themselves, are many. For the most of Historians, because they were not living at the fame time, or were not present at the Actions, or converfant with the persons, taking their Relations upon trust at the second hand, milt the chief scope of Truth and Certainty. Of which Vice Ixatohenes, Metrodorut, Sfepins , tofjidonius , and Patroclef the Geographtr, are -accused by Strata.