Love for Love
Nudus agris, nudus nummis paternis,
Insanire parat certa ratione modoque.
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
CHARLES, EARL OF DORSET AND MIDDLESEX,
LORD CHAMBERLAIN OF HIS MAJESTY'S HOUSEHOLD,
AND KNIGHT OF THE MOST NOBLE ORDER OF THE GARTER, ETC.
My Lord,--A young poet is liable to the same vanity and indiscretion with a young
lover; and the great man who smiles upon one, and the fine woman who looks
kindly upon t'other, are both of 'em in danger of having the favour published with
the first opportunity.
But there may be a different motive, which will a little distinguish the offenders.
For though one should have a vanity in ruining another's reputation, yet the other
may only have an ambition to advance his own. And I beg leave, my lord, that I
may plead the latter, both as the cause and excuse of this dedication.
Whoever is king is also the father of his country; and as nobody can dispute your
lordship's monarchy in poetry, so all that are concerned ought to acknowledge
your universal patronage. And it is only presuming on the privilege of a loyal
subject that I have ventured to make this, my address of thanks, to your lordship,
which at the same time includes a prayer for your protection.
I am not ignorant of the common form of poetical dedications, which are
generally made up of panegyrics, where the authors endeavour to distinguish
their patrons, by the shining characters they give them, above other men. But
that, my lord, is not my business at this time, nor is your lordship NOW to be
distinguished. I am contented with the honour I do myself in this epistle without
the vanity of attempting to add to or explain your Lordships character.
I confess it is not without some struggling that I behave myself in this case as I
ought: for it is very hard to be pleased with a subject, and yet forbear it. But I
choose rather to follow Pliny's precept, than his example, when, in his panegyric
to the Emperor Trajan, he says:-