chapter  34
2 Pages

William Cowper, 'A Letter to Isaac Bickerstaff', 1710

I own that from your setting out, I hop'd for great Benefit to the Publick from your Lucubrations; but before you had pass'd a reasonable time of Probation, one could not absolutely assure one's self, that you would make a right use of that excellent Genius which Heaven has given you. Wit had so long and so generally been made to serve the vilest Purposes, on pretence its end is to please, that the plainest Truth in Nature, namely, that Honesty and Pleasure are inseparable, seem'd irrecoverably sunk into Oblivion, till you undertook to bring it up again into clear day, not by Argument, but Example, by numerous Sketches and some finish'd Pieces drawn with irresistible Strength and Beauty.