|Henry Craik, ed. English Prose. 1916.|
Vol. I. Fourteenth to Sixteenth Century
|A Defence of Rhyme|
|By Samuel Daniel (15621619)|
To All the Worthy Lovers and Learned Professors of Rhyme within His Majestys Dominions
WORTHY GENTLEMENAbout a year since, upon the great reproach given the professors of rhyme, and the use thereof, I wrote a private letter, as a defence of my own undertakings in that kind, to a learned gentleman, a friend of mine, then in court. Which I did, rather to confirm myself in mine own courses, and to hold him from being won from us, than with any desire to publish the same to the world.
| But now, seeing the times to promise a more regard to the present condition of our writings, in respect of our sovereigns happy inclination this way: whereby we are rather to expect an encouragement to go on with what we do, than that any innovation should check us, with a show of what it would do in another kind, and yet do nothing but deprave: I have now given a greater body to the same argument; and here present it to your view, under the patronage of a noble earl, who in blood and nature is interested to take our part in this cause, with others who cannot, I know, but hold dear the monuments that have been left unto the world in this manner of composition; and who, I trust, will take in good part this my defence, if not as it is my particular, yet in respect of the cause I undertake, which I here invoke you all to protect.|| 2|