John Harrington, letter to Thomas Howard (April 1603), in The Letters and Epigrams of Sir John Harrington
, ed. Norman Egbert McClure (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1930), pp. 99-100:
I am now settynge forthe for the countrie, where I will read Petrarch, Ariosto, Horace, and such wise ones. I will make verses on the maidens, and give my wine to the maisters; but it shall be such as I do love, and do love me. I do muche delight to meete my goode freindes, and discourse of getting rid of our foes. Each nighte do I spende, or muche better parte thereof, in counceil with the aunciente examples of lerninge; I con over their histories, their poetrie, their instructions, and thence glean my own proper conducte in matters bothe of merrimente or discretion...
Hat tip: Ian Jackson.