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The Copy of a Letter written by Sir HENRY
From the College, this 10th of April, 1638.
IT was a special favor, when You lately be ftowed upon me here the first taste of Your "acquaintance, tho' no longer than to make me "know, that I wanted more time to value it, and "to enjoy it rightly. And in truth, if I could then "have imagined Your farther ftay in these parts, "which I understood afterwards by Mr. H., I "would have been bold, in our vulgar phrase, to "mend my draught, for You left me with an ex"treme thirst, and to have begged your converfati“on again jointly with Your faid learned friend, at 66 a poor meal or two, that we might have banded "together fome good authors of the ancient time, << among which I obferved You to have been fa
"Since Your going, You have charged me with new obligations, both for a very kind letter from "You,dated the fixth of this month, and for a dain"ty piece of entertainment, that came therewith; "wherein I should much commend the tragical "part, if the lyrical did not ravish with a certain "Doric delicacy in Your fongs and odes, where "in I must plainly confefs to have feen yet nothing "parallel in our language, Ipfa mollities. But I "muft not omit to tell You, that I now only owe "You thanks for intimating unto me, how mo "deftly foever, the true artificer. For the work "itfelf I had view'd fome good while before with " fingular
fingular delight, having received it from our "common friend Mr. R. in the very clofe of the "late R's poems printed at Oxford; whereunto it "is added, as I now fuppofe, that the acceffory "might help out the principal, according to the "art of stationers, and leave the reader con la "bocca dolce.
"Now, Sir, concerning Your travels, where" in I may challenge a little more privilege of dif"courfe with you; I fuppofe, you will not blanch "Paris in Your way. Therefore I have been bold "to trouble You with a few lines to Mr. M. B. "whom You fhall eafily find attending the young "Lord S. as his governor; and You may furely " receive from him good directions for shaping of "Your farther journey into Italy, where he did "refide by my choice fome time for the king, after "mine own recefs from Venice.
"I fhould think, that Your beft line will be "thro' the whole length of France to Marseilles, "and thence by fea to Genoa, whence the paffage "into Tuscany is as diurnal as a Gravefend barge. "I haften, as You do, to Florence or Sienna, the " rather to tell You a fhort story, from the interest "You have given me in Your fafety.
"At Sienna I was tabled in the houfe of one "Alberto Scipione, an old Roman courtier in dangerous times, having been steward to the Duca "di Pagliano, who with all his family were ftrangled, fave this only man, that escaped by fore"fight of the tempeft. With him I had often "much chat of those affairs; into which he took "pleasure to look back from his native harbour; "and at my departure toward Rome, which had "been the center of his experience, I had won con"fidence enough to beg his advice, how I might carry
carry myself securely there, without offense of "others, or of my own confcience: Signor Arrigo meo, fays he, i penfieri ftretti, & il vifo sci"olto, that is, Your thoughts close, and Your "countenance loofe, will go fafely over the whole "world. Of which Delphian oracle (for fo I "have found it) Your judgment doth need no
commentary; and therefore, Sir, I will com"mit You with it to the best of all fecurities, God's "dear love, remaining Your friend, as much at "command as any of longer date.
P. S. "Sir, I have exprefsly fent this by my "foot-boy to prevent Your departure, without "fome acknowledgment from me of the receipt of "Your obliging letter, having myself thro' fome “ business, I know not how, neglected the ordinary conveyance. In any part where I fhall "understand You fixed, I fhall be glad and dili"gent to entertain You with home-novelties, even "for fome fomentation of our friendship, too soon "interrupted in the cradle,"
The Mafk was prefented in 1634, and confequently in the 26th year of our author's age. In the title page of the first edition printed in 1637, it is faid that it was prefented on Michaelmas night, and there was this motto,
Eheu quid volui misero mihi! floribus auftrum
In this edition, and in that of Milton's poems in 1645, there was prefixed to the Mask, the following dedication.
To the Right Honorable
JOHN Lord Vicount BRACKLY fon and heir apparent to the Earl of BRIDGEWATER &c.
HIS poem, which received its firft occafion of birth from yourself and others of your noble family, and much honor from your own perfon in the performance, now returns again to make a final dedication of itself to you. Although not openly acknowledg'd by the author, yet it is a legitimate ofspring, fo lovely, and fo much defired, that the often copying of it hath tir'd my pen to give my feveral friends fatisfaction, and brought me to a neceffity of producing it to the