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Three LADIES, fent with the Book.

To the M. H. the *

LADY, whole fair approof I wish should


A glorious fanction to whate'er I write;

Since what your well-pois'd judgment marks with white

Secure from envy will to ages live,

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So may I in this arduous emprise thrive, s

As I not follow in the chase for spite;

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But led by Love of True, and Fit, and Right, In which good caufe each gentle breaft should strive:


While I with hasard of my own good name i

Like Calidore pursue the Blatant Beast ADIT In dear defenfe of Ladies' honeft fame, Which his foul mouth profanely taints with blame; Let me, howe'er with dread and dangers prefs'd, Enjoy the fmiles of ev'ry virtuous dame.




To the R. H. the

ET HIM rail on, till ev'ry mouth cry fhame;

Of his ill word I little reckoning make

For Ladies' honor, and for Shakespear's fake; So these I may defend from blot or blame :


But ill I bear, that any worthy name

Of thofe, who virtue for their mistress take, And hate the fland'rer like the poisonous fnake; Should deem my just reproof deferving blame.

Yet, if fair


Speak in my defenfe,


vouchfafe her fanction to my page, * fweetly deign to fmile applause; Aided by thefe and confcious innocence, I'll boldly brave the CRITIC's utmost rage And glory fuff'ring in fo juft a caufe.

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To Mifs


WEET Modefty, the third of that fair


Whom virtuous friendship, ill by churls deny'd
To Ladies' gentle bofoms, hath ally'd;
May I unblam'd your favoring voice demand,

While arm'd with Truth's good fhield alone I stand
In Shakespear's caufe determin'd to abide
Th' outrageous efforts of infulting pride,
And marks of Calumny's detefted brand?

Deep are the wounds fhe gives, and hard to heal.

Yet though enrag'd her hundred tongues she join
With canker'd fpite to blaft my honeft name,
I reck not much, nor bate my pious zeal;

But to the Fair and Good my cause refign,
Who smile on Virtue, and whose smiles are Fame.

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