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To the METROPOLIS of GREAT-BRITAIN, the most renowned and late flourishing CITY of LONDON, in its REPRESENTATIVES, the LORD-MAYOR and Court of ALDERMEN, the SHERIFFS, and COMMON-COUNCIL of it.

AS perhaps I am the first who ever presented a work

of this nature to the metropolis of any nation; fo it is likewife confonant to juftice, that he who was to give the first example of fuch a dedication fhould begin it with that city, which has fet a pattern to all others of true loyalty, invincible courage, and unfhaken conftancy. Other cities have been praised for the fame virtues, but I am much deceived if any have fo dearly purchased their reputation; their fame has been won them by cheaper trials than an expenfive, though neceffary war, a confuming peftilence, and a more confuming fire. To submit yourselves with that humility. to the judgments of heaven, and at the fame time to raise yourselves with that vigour above all human enemies; to be combated at once from above and from below, to be ftruck down and to triumph: I know not whether fuch trials have been ever paralleled in any nation the refolution and fucceffes of them never can be. Never had prince or people more mutual reason to love each other, if fuffering for each other can endear affection. You have come together a pair of matchless lovers, through many difficulties; he, through a long exile, various traverfes of fortune, and the interpofition


of many rivals, who violently ravished and with-held you from him: and certainly you have had your share in fufferings. But Providence has caft upon you want of trade, that you might appear bountiful to your country's neceffities; and the rest of your afflictions are not more the effects of God's difpleasure (frequent examples of them having been in the reign of the most excellent princes) than occafions for the manifefting of your christian and civil virtues. To you therefore this Year of Wonders is justly dedicated, because you have made it fo. You, who are to ftand a wonder to all years and ages; and who have built yourselves an immortal monument on your own ruins. You are now a Phoenix in her afhes, and, as far as humanity can approach, a great emblem of the fuffering Deity: but heaven never made fo much piety and virtue to leave it miserable. I have heard, indeed, of fome virtuous perfons who have ended unfortunately, but never of any virtuous nation: Providence is engaged too deeply when the cause becomes fo general; and I cannot imagine it has refolved the ruin of that people at home, which it has bleffed abroad with fuch fucceffes. I am therefore to conclude, that your sufferings are at an end; and that one part of my poem has not been more an history of your destruction, than the other a prophecy of your reftoration. The accomplishment of which happiness, as it is the wish of all true Englishmen, fo is it by none more paffionately defired, than by,

The greatest of your admirers,

And most humble of your fervants,



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An ACCOUNT of the enfuing POEM,

In a LETTER to the



IAM fo many ways obliged to you, and fo little
able to return your favours, that, like thofe 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 folicitous of my reputation, which is
that of your kindness. It is not long fince 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 fince you are to bear
this perfecution, I will at least give you the encourage-
ment of a martyr; you could never fuffer in a nobler
caufe. For I have chofen the most heroic fubje&t,
which any poet could defire: I have taken upon me to
describe the motives, the beginning, progress, and fuc-
ceffes, of a moft juft and neceffary war; in it, the care,
management, and prudence of our king; the conduct
and valour of a royal admiral, and of two incompara-
ble generals; the invincible courage of our captains
and feamen; and three glorious victories, the result of
all. After this, I have, in the Fire, the most deplor-
able, but withal the greatest, argument that can be ima-



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