Your very humble Servant.
[Footnote 1: Thomas Parnell, the writer of this allegory, was the son of a commonwealthsman, who at the Restoration ceased to live on his hereditary lands at Congleton, in Cheshire, and bought an estate in Ireland. Born in 1679, at Dublin, where he became M.A. of Trinity College, in 1700 he was ordained after taking his degree, and in 1705 became Archdeacon of Clogher. At the same time he took a wife, who died in 1711. Parnell had been an associate of the chief Whig writers, had taste as a poet, and found pleasure in writing for the papers of the time. When the Whigs went out of power in Queen Anne’s reign, Parnell connected himself with the Tories. On the warm recommendation of Swift, he obtained a prebend in 1713, and in May, 1716, a vicarage in the diocese of Dublin, worth L400 a year. He died in July, 1717, aged 38. Inheriting his father’s estates in Cheshire and Ireland, Pamell was not in need. Wanting vigour and passion, he was neither formidable nor bitter as a political opponent, and in 1712 his old friends, Steele and Addison, were glad of a paper from him; though, with Swift, he had gone over to the other side in politics.]
[Footnote 2: I Corinthians xi. 10.]
* * * * *
‘—Non Ego credulus illis—’
For want of Time to substitute something else in the Room of them, I am at present obliged to publish Compliments above my Desert in the following Letters. It is no small Satisfaction, to have given Occasion to ingenious Men to employ their Thoughts upon sacred Subjects, from the Approbation of such Pieces of Poetry as they have seen in my Saturday’s Papers. I shall never publish Verse on that Day but what is written by the same Hand; yet shall I not accompany those Writings with Eulogiums, but leave them to speak for themselves.
For the SPECTATOR.
’You very much promote the Interests of Virtue, while you reform the Taste of a Prophane Age, and persuade us to be entertained with Divine Poems, while we are distinguished by so many thousand Humours, and split into so many different Sects and Parties; yet Persons of every Party, Sect, and Humour are fond of conforming their Taste to yours. You can transfuse your own Relish of a Poem into all your Readers, according to their Capacity to receive; and when you recommend the pious Passion that reigns in the Verse, we seem to feel the Devotion, and grow proud and pleas’d inwardly, that we have Souls capable of relishing what the SPECTATOR approves.
’Upon reading the Hymns that you have published in some late Papers, I had a Mind