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MARTIN LUTHER, TO THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS PRINCE AND LORD, FREDERIC, ARCHMARSHAL OF THE SACRED ROMAN EMPIRE, ELECTOR, DUKE OF SAXONY, MARQUIS OF MISNIA, LANDGRAVE OF THURINGA, HIS MOST KIND PATRON, SENDETH GREETING.
THOSE who dedicate their labours and the productions of their mind to illustrious personages, and send them forth into the world under the sanction of their names, seem to act prudently and rightly; because, by such means, they procure to their works both authority, and a protection against those aims of malignity which are sure to be levelled at them: for such is the state of human affairs, that, the more excellent things are, the more they are exposed to envy and to the shafts of the malevolent. Whence it comes to pass, that laudable literature, and all the productions of genius and erudition, (which are without doubt some of the best of things, and things worthy the particular and serious attention of man,) do not a little stand in need of their Mecænas, their Augustus, and also of their Ulysses, who may strike their Thyrsites with his ivory sceptre.-And some
procure the sanction of the names of illustrious personages, that they may thereby immortalize those names, and hand down to the records of fame the individuals to whom they make their dedication: with the view, that posterity may be led to love their virtues, and that many may be animated by the examples thus held before them in such praises.-Others again do it from this motive, that they may thereby express their thanks, and thus in some degree make a return for benefits received; and leave behind them a testimony of their gratitude to those by whom they have been treated with