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To the Reverend Dr. Wilkins, Warden of Wadham College in Oxford.
Eeing you are pleased to think fit that these Papers U should come into the Publick, which were at first defign'd to live only in a Deck, or some private Friends hands; I humbly take the boldness to commit them to the Security which your Name and Protection will give them with the most knowing Part of the World. There are two things especially in which they stand in need of yoør Defence: One is, That they fall so infinitely below the full and lofty Genius of that excellent Poet, who made this way of writing free of our Nation : The other, That they are so little proportioned and equal to the Renown of that Prince, on whom they were written. Such great
A&tions and Lives de serving rather to be the Subjects of the noblest Pens and divine Fancies, than of such small Bear ginners and weak Esayers in Poetry as my self. Against thefe dangerous Prejudices, there remains no other Sbield, than the Universal Esteem and Authority which yor' Judgment and Approbation carries with it. The Right you have to them, Sir, is not only on the account of the Relation you had.to this great perfon, mor of the gretera? faom which all Arts receive from you; but more particularly by reason of that Obligation and Zeal with wbich I am bound to dedicate my self to your Service : For bading been a long time the object of your Care and Indulgence towards the advantage of my Studies and Fertsne, baving been moulded (as it were) by your own Hards, and formed under your Government, not to in. tult you to any thing which my meannef's produces, would not only be Injustice, but Sacrilege: So that if ibere be any thing here tolerably said, whith deferdes Para ere, it is yours Sir, as well as he, who is, Your moft Devoted, and Obliged Servant,