chapter  39
DANIEL DEFOE [?] from a Life of Sedley 1721
Pages 2

It is true, it [the writing of love poetry] was an Art too successful in those Days, to propagate1 the Immoralities of those Times; nor did it at all assist to protect the Vertue of the Readers, whether of one Sex or another. But it must be acknowledg’d, he [Sedley] excell’d Dorset, Rochester, and those superior Poets, who, as they conceiv’d lewdly, so they wrote in plain English, and took no care to cover up the worst of their Thoughts in clean Linnen; which scandalous Custom, in a Word, has assisted to bury the best Performances of that Age, because blended with Prophaneness or Indecency. They are not fit to be read by People whose Religion and Modesty have not quite forsaken them; and which, had those grosser Parts been left out, would justly have pass’d for the most polite Poetry that the World ever saw.