button to main menu  Drayton 1622, preface part 1, 1

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preface to part 1, 1:-
preface, part 1
  female readers

IN publishing this Essay of my Poeme, there is this great disadvantage against me; that it commeth out at this time, when Verses are wholly deduc'd to Chambers, and nothing esteem'd in this lunatique Age, but what is kept in Cabinets, and must only passe by Transcription; In such a season, when the Idle Humerous world must heare of nothing, that either favors of Antquity, or may awake it to seeke after more, then dull or slothfull ignorance may easily reach unto: These, I say, make much against me; and especially in a Poeme, from any example, either of Ancient, or Modern, that have proved in this kind: whose unusual tract may perhaps seeme difficult, to the female Sex; yea, and I feare, to some that think themselves not meanly learned, being not rightly inspired by the Muses: such I meane, as had rather read the fantasies of forraine inventions, then to see the Rarities & Historie of their owne Country delivered by a true native Muse. Then, whosoever thou be, posseste with such stupidity & dulnesse, that, rather then thou wilt take paines to search into ancient and noble things, choosest to remaine in the thicke fogges and mists of ignorance, as neere the common Lay-stall of a Citie; refusing to walke forth into the Tempe and Fields of the Muses, where through most delightful Groves the Angellique harmony of Birds shall steale thee to the top of an easie hill, where in artificiall caves, cut out of the most naturall Rock, thou shalt see the ancient people of this Ile delivered thee in their lively images: from whose height thou mai'st behold both the old and later times, as in thy prospect, lying farre under thee; then convaying thee downe by a soule-pleasing Descent through delicate embrodered Meadowes, often veined with gentle gliding Brooks; in which thou maist fully view the dainty Nymphes in their simple naked bewties, bathing them in Crystalline streames; which shall lead thee, to most pleasant Downes, where harmless Shepheards are, some exercising their pipes, some singing roundelaies, to their grazing flocks: If as, I say, thou hadst rather, (because it asks thy labour) remaine, where thou wert, then straine thy selfe to walke forth with the Muses; the fault proceeds from thy idlenesse, not from any want in my industrie. And to any that shall demand wherfore having promised this Poeme of the generall Island so many yeeres, I now publish only this part of it; I plainly answere, that many times I had determined with my selfe, to have left it off, and have neglected my papers sometimes two yeeres together, finding the times since his Majesties happy comming in, to fall so heavily upon my distressed fortunes, after my zealous soule had labored so long in that, which with the generall happiness of the kingdom, seem'd not then impossible somewhat also to have advanced me. But I instantly saw all my long nourisht hopes even buried alive before my face: so uncertaine (in this world) be the ends of our cleerest endevors. And what ever is herein that tastes of a free spirit, I thankfully confesse it to proceed fro~ the continuall bounty of my truly Noble friend Sir Walter Aston; which hath
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