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they still perfifted in that course, it would look as if they minded not the way to any better.

Whereupon I ftood corrected as long as I had the honour to wait upon him, and at his departure from Hampton-Court, he was pleafed to command me to ftay privately at London, to fend to him and receive from him all his letters from and to all his correfpondents at home and abroad, and I was furnished with nine feveral cyphers in order to it: which truft I performed with great fafety to the perfons with whom we correfponded; but about nine months after being difcovered by their knowledge of Mr. Cowley's hand, I happily escaped both for myself, and those that held correfpondence with me. That time was too hot and bufy for fuch idle fpeculations: but after I had the good fortune to wait upon your majefty in Holland and France, you were pleased fometimes to give me arguments to divert and put off the evil hours of our banishment, which now and then fell not fhort of your majefty's expectation.

After, when your majefty, departing from St. Germains to Jerfey, was pleafed freely (without my afking) to confer upon me that place wherein I have now the honour to ferve you, I then gave over poctical lines, and made it my business to draw fuch others as might be more ferviceable to your majefty, and I hope more lafting. Since that time I never difobeyed my old master's commands till this fummer at the Wells, my retirement there tempting me to divert those melancholy thoughts, which the new apparitions of fo

reign invafion and domeftic difcontent gave us : but thefe clouds being now happily blown over, and our fun clearly fhining out again, I have recovered the relapfe, it being fufpected that it would have proved the epidemical disease of age, which is apt to fall back into the follies of youth; yet Socrates, Aristotle, and Cato did the fame; and Scaliger faith, that fragment of Aristotle was beyond any thing that Pindar or Homer ever wrote. I will not call this a dedication, for those epiftles are commonly greater abfurdities than any that come after; for what author can reafonably believe, that fixing the great name of fome eminent patron in the forehead of his book can charm away cenfure, and that the first leaf fhould be a curtain to draw over and hide all the deformities that stand behind it? neither have I any need of fuch fhifts, for most of the parts of this body have already had your majesty's view, and having past the test of fo clear and sharp-fighted a judgment, which has as good a title to give law in matters of this nature as in any other, they who shall presume to diffent from your majesty, will do more wrong to their own judgment than their judgment can do to me and for those latter parts which have not yet received your majefty's favourable afpect, if they who have feen them do not flatter me (for I dare not truft my own judgment) they will make it appear, that it is not with me as with most of mankind, who never forsake their darling vices, till their vices forfake them; and that this divorce was not Frigiditatis caufa, but an act of choice,

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and not of neceffity. Therefore, fir, I fhall only call it an humble petition, that your majesty will please to pardon this new amour to my old mistress, and my difobedience to his commands, to whofe memory I look up with great reverence and devotion: and making a serious reflection upon that wife advice, it carries much greater weight with it now, than when it was given; for when age and experience has fo ripened man's difcretion as to make it fit for use, either in private or public affairs, nothing blafts and corrupts the fruit of it fo much as the empty, airy reputation of being Nimis Poëta; and therefore I shall take my leave of the Mufes, as two of my predeceffors did, faying,

"Splendidis longum valedico nugis.
"Hic verfus & cætera ludicra pono."

Your majefty's most faithful

and loyal fubject, and most

dutiful and devoted fervant,







there are poets


which did never dream

Upon Parnaffus, nor did taste the stream

Of Helicon; we therefore may fuppofe

Those made not poets, but the poets thofe..

And as courts make not kings, but kings the court,,
So where the Mufes and their train refort,
Parnaffus ftands; if I can be to thee
A poet, thou Parnaffus art to me.

Nor wonder, if (advantag'd in my flight,
By taking wing from thy aufpicious height)
Through untrac'd ways and airy paths I fly,
More boundlefs in my fancy than my eye:
My eye, which swift as thought contracts the space
That lies between, and first falutes the place
Crown'd with that facred pile, so vast, so high,
That, whether 'tis a part of earth or sky,,

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Uncertain feems, and may be thought a proud
Afpiring mountain, or defcending cloud,

Paul's, the late theme of fuch a* Mufe whofe flight
Has bravely reach'd and foar'd above thy height:
Now fhalt thou ftand, though fword, or time, or fire,
Or zeal more fierce than they, thy fall confpire,
Secure, whilft thee the beft of poets fings,
Preferv'd from ruin by the best of kings.
Under his proud furvey the city lies,

And like a mift beneath a hill doth rife;

Whofe ftate and wealth, the business and the crowd,
Seems at this diftance but a darker cloud :

And is, to him who rightly things esteems,
No other in effect than what it feems:

Where, with like hafte, though several ways, they run,
Some to undo, and fome to be undone ;

While luxury, and wealth, like war and peace,
Are each the other's ruin, and increase;

As rivers loft in feas, fome fecret vein
Thence reconveys, there to be loft again.
Oh happiness of sweet retir'd content!

To be at once fecure, and innocent.

Windfor the next (where Mars with Venus dwells,
Beauty with strength) above the valley fwells
Into my eye, and doth itself present

With fuch an eafy and unforc'd afcent,
That no ftupendous precipice denies
Accefs, no horror turns away our eyes:

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