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We'd wars with the French, and we'd wars with
the Dutch, With France very little, with Holland too much; Van TROMP and De Ruyter in each left a name, With Rupert and Sandwich coeval in fame.
Some genuine plots on their authors were fixt, With plots to invent plots, most curiously mixt; For DANGERFIELD, Bedloe and Oates found
a Tongue,* To affirm half the natives deserv'd to be hung.
66 And DRYDEN, in immortal strain,
• Dr. Tongue,
How shall we here pursue th’ unpolish'd strain,
Two foes were added, Discord and Distrust;
* The Reign of Charles II. which some preposterously represent as our augustan age, retarded the progress of polite literature, and the immeasurable licentibusness indulged, or rather applauded at Court, was more destructive to the refined arts, than even the Court nonsense and enthusiasm of the preceding period.
HOME. + Pope.
The kingdom's good thus lavish to support The enervating vices of the court. Cromwell and his most hypocritic crew, ('Tis fit the devil should receive his due), Altho' subversive of domestic law, Still kept our foreign enemies in awe ; While Charles by stern adversity untaught, Bought folly,—and we paid for what he bought. At CHARLES's death a strange suspicion rose, That poison brought his being to a close ;* His quondam friends enquiry seem to shun, In haste to how before the rising sun. No splendid rites the monarch's corpse await, † Befitting Charles's rank and England's state ; Coldly to earth consigning his remains, His brother mourns,-I mean his brother reigns. 'Twou'd ask a larger field and better brains To give more samples of the British muse, Whose works are extant, -read 'em if you chuse;
* There were apparent suspicions of his having been poisoned, but, I must add, I never heard any laid those suspicions on his Brother.
Bishop Burner's History of his own Times. + The King's body was indecently neglected: his funeral was. very mean; he did not lie in state; no mourning was given; and the expence of it was not equal to what an ordinary nobleman's funeral will rise to,
IBID. · While
While with an humble hope to pleasure thos Who wou'd the ages current style peruse,
Two subjects I'll select of common prose; Subjects which might a Milton's pen inspire, The dreadful PLAGUE and swift succeeding Firto
FROM A JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE:
SUPPOSED BY DANIEL DE FOE.
“It was on the 10th of September, at night, my curiosity led one, or rather drove me, to see a pit where near four hundred had been buried ; this may serve a little to describe the dreadful condition of tliat day, tho'it is impossible to say any thing that is able to give a true idea of it to those who did not see it, other than this : but it was indeed very, very, very dreadful, and such as no tongue can express.
“I got admittance into the church-yard, by being acquainted with the sexton, who, tho” he
did not refuse me, yet earnestly persuaded me not to go, telling me very seriously (for he was a good, religious, and sensible man,) that it was indeed their business and duty to venture, and to rün all hazards, and that in it they might hope to be preserved ; but I had no apparent will to it but my own curiosity, which, he believed, I wou'd not pretend was sufficient to justify my running that hazard. I told him I had been pressed in my mind to go, and that perhaps it might be an instructing sight that might not be without its uses. “ Nay,” says the good man, “ if you will venture, in the name of God, go in : 'twill be a sermon to you, it may be the best you ever heard in your life: 'tis a speaking sight, and has a voice with it, and a loud one, to call us all to repentance ;” and with that he opened the door, and said, “Ġo if you will.” – His discourse had shock'd my resolution, and I stood wavering, but just at that interval I saw two links come over from the end of the Ninories, and heard the bellman, and then appeared a dead cart, so I could no longer resist my desire of seeing, and went in : there was nobody I could perceive at first in the church-yard, but the buryers and the