1702 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Thomas Herbert

Anonymous, "To the Reader" in Memoirs of the Last Two Years of ... Charles I (1702) in Brydges, Censura Literaria 3 (1807) 247.



These Memoirs were written by a gentleman of great integrity and wisdom, who by means of his stations and employments under King Charles the first, of blessed memory, and near attendance on his person, had great opportunities of knowing the most considerable occurrences of those times, with the secret springs by which they moved: as also the characters of the persons that were most concerned and active in them.

And as the vindicating of the cause and actions of his Royal Master and his friends, and to do right truth, were the great inducements to his writing these remarks: so to rectify mistakes, and rescue the memory of that injured Prince from the false imputations and indignities, that have been cast upon him by prejudiced and malicious men, is the cause of this publication.

More is not needful to be said, than to assure the world, that these papers are genuine, and published from the author's original manuscripts, by a faithful friend, with whom they were intrusted. Except I may have leave to add that, as the author wrote with freedom according to his genius and principles, so 'tis hoped he will be read with candour and just allowance by all gentlemen of what sentiments soever.