The object of this number of the English Studies of the University of Chicago is to make accessible in a literal reprint the first Rhetoric printed in the English language. The work here reproduced is one of the earliest English schoolbooks and is significant for the history of English prose in the first half of the sixteenth century. It is moreover a work connected in many interesting ways with the humanistic movement and the revival of learning in England, and with Erasmus, Melanchthon, and their associates. In the Introduction I have endeavored to arrange and present all the important material available for the elucidation of the life and work of Cox, himself one of this circle. Much of this material apparently has been hitherto overlooked or insufficiently considered, but I have studied to present it without comment so far as possible. I regret that several points still remain in doubt and that i have been unable to discover and consult several works ascribed to Cox and here listed in the Bibliography of his Works.
The digest of Melanchthon, Cox's principal source, by Mosellanus, is here given, inasmuch as the correspondence between the works of Cox and Melanchthon is so close that this digest serves equally well as an analytical table of contents for Cox. Later on the source in full in Melanchthon, so far as used by Cox, also is reprinted. The reprint of Cox's own text follows the undated first edition (A) of circa 1530, usually assigned by bibliographers to 1524. Corrections and variant readings from the edition of 1532 (B) are noted at the foot of the page; but a few corrections in punctuation introduced in B have been silently adopted. Contractions have been generally expanded and in all cases are indicated by italics.
I desire to express my especial obligations to Professor W. D. MacClintock of the University of Chicago, who first suggested the