1791 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Townshend

Thomas Townshend, "To the Reader" in Poems by Thomas Townshend, Esq. (1791) iii.



The Reader of the following Poems, it is hoped, will peruse them with this impression — that they were not originally intended by the Author to appear collectively, nor consequently designed to accomplish any aim of interest or reputation, but that they are simply the occasional productions of such leisure hours as he could steal from more serious pursuits of literature.

A very few of these cannot seem entirely new to the public, as the Author's indifference to his own compositions made him negligent of the safety of them, and therefore these alluded to have already appeared in very imperfect conditions, through the medium of the public prints.

The Author doubts whether any motive could have induced him to consent to their present publication except that which now influences him — and that is, to indulge the liberal and untiring zeal, with which this collection was made by the publisher, (Mr. R. White) from copies which were forgotten by the Author, and in the possession of his friends only.

This industry of a Person so ingenious as the Publisher, was too gratifying to the Author, not to tempt him to forego all objections to the appearance of this Volume; and with such an implication of its merits he is led to consider it as not utterly unworthy of public observation.