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It was your love before made discord cease;
Your love is destin'd to your country's peace.
Both Indies, rivals in your bed, provide
With gold or jewels to adorn your bride.
This to a mighty King presents rich ore,
While that with incense does a god implore.
Two kingdoms wait your doom, and, as you choose,
This must receive a crown, or that must lose.
Thus from your royal oak, like Jove's of old,
Are answers sought, and destinies foretold;
Propitious oracles are begg'd with vows,

And crowns that grow upon the sacred boughs.
Your subjects, while you weigh the nation's fate,
Suspend to both their doubtful love or hate;
Choose only, Sir, that so they may possess,
With their own peace, their children's happiness.



As needy gallants, in the scrivener's hands,
Court the rich knaves that gripe their mortgag'd


The first fat buck of all the season's sent,
And keeper takes no fee in compliment ;
The dotage of some Englishmen is such,
To fawn on those who ruin them, the Dutch!
They shall have all, rather than make a war
With those who of the same religion are.
The Straits, the Guinea-trade, the herrings too;
Nay, to keep friendship, they shall pickle you.

Some are resolv'd not to find out the cheat,
But, cuckold-like, love them that do the feat.
What injuries soe'er upon us fall,

Yet still the same religion answers all.
Religion wheedled us to Civil war,


Drew English blood, and Dutchmen's now would
Be gull'd no longer; for you'll find it true,
They have no more religion, faith! than you.
Interest's the god they worship in their State,
And we, I take it, have not much of that.
Well monarchies may own religion's name,
But states are atheists in their very frame.
They share a sin; and such proportions fall,
That, like a stink, 'tis nothing to them all.
Think on their rapine, falsehood, cruelty,
And that what once they were, they still would be.
To one well-born the' affront is worse and more,
When he's abus'd and baffled by a boor.

With an ill grace the Dutch their mischiefs do;
They've both ill nature and ill manners too.
Well may they boast themselves an ancient nation,
For they were bred ere manners were in fashion;
And their new Commonwealth has set them free
Only from honour and civility.

Venetians do not more uncouthly ride,

Than did their lumber State mankind bestride.
Their sway became 'em with as ill a mien,
As their own paunches swell above their chin.
Yet is their empire no true growth but humour,
And only two kings' touch can cure the tumour.
As Cato did in Afric fruits display,
Let us before our eyes their Indies lay;
All loyal English will like him conclude,
Let Cæsar live, and Carthage be subdued.









I AM SO many ways obliged to you, and so little able to return your favours, that, like those who owe too much, I can only live by getting farther into your debt. You have not only been careful of my fortune, which was the effect of your nobleness, but you have been solicitous of my reputation, which is that of your kindness. It is not long since I gave you the trouble of perusing a play for me,* and now, instead of an acknowledgment, I have given you a greater, in the correction of a Poem. But since you are to bear this persecution, I will at at least give you the encouragement of a martyr; ---you could never suffer in a nobler cause. For I

*Conjectured to be " The Indian Queen."

have chosen the most heroic subject which any Poet could desire: I have taken upon me to describe the motives, the beginning, progress, and successes, of a most just and necessary war; in it, the care, management, and prudence of our King; the conduct and valour of a royal admiral,* and of two incomparable generals ;† the invincible courage of our captains and seamen; and three glorious victories, the result of all. After this, I have in the fire the most deplorable, but, withal, the greatest argument that can be imagined; the destruction being so swift, so sudden, so vast and miserable, as nothing can parallel in story. The former part of this Poem, relating to the war, is but a due expiation for my not serving my king and country in it, All gentlemen are almost obliged to it; and I know no reason we should give that advantage to the commonalty of England, to be foremost in brave actions, which the nobles of France would never suffer in their peasants. I should not have written this, but to a person who has been ever forward to appear in all employments whither his honour and generosity have called him. The latter part of my Poem, which describes the fire, I owe first to the piety and fatherly affection of our Monarch to his suffering subjects; and, in the second place, to the courage, loyalty, and magnanimity of the City: both which were so conspicuous, that I have wanted words to celebrate them as they deserve.

James, Duke of York.

Prince Rupert. and the Duke of Albemarle.

The fire of London, which destroyed more than 13,000 houses.

I have called my Poem Historical, not epic; though both the actions and actors are as much heroic as any poem can contain. But, since the action is not properly one, nor that accomplished in the last successes, I have judged it too bold a title for a few stanzas, which are little more in number than a single Iliad, or the longest of the Eneids. For this reason (I mean not of length, but broken action, tied too severely to the laws of History) I am apt to agree with those who rank Lucan rather among Historians in verse, than epic poets; in whose room, if I am not deceived, Silius Italicus, though a worse writer, may more justly be admitted.

I have chosen to write my Poem in quatrains, or stanzas of four in alternate rhyme, because I have ever judged them more noble, and of greater dignity, both for the sound and number, than any other verse in use amongst us; in which I am sure I have your approbation. The learned languages have, certainly, a great advantage of us, in not being tied to the slavery of any rhyme, and were less constrained in the quantity of every syllable, which they might vary with spondees or dactyls, besides so many other helps of grammatical figures, for the lengthening or abbreviation of them, than the modern are in the close of that one syllable, which often confines and more often corrupts the sense of all the rest. But in this necessity of our rhymes, I have always found the couplet-verse most easy, (though not so proper for this occasion) for there the work is sooner at an end, every two lines concluding the labour of the poet; but in quatrains he

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