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.