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and asking me when I made them, I told him two or three Years since; he was pleased to say, that having never seen them before, He was afraid I had written them since my Return into England, and though he liked them well, he would advise me to write no more; alledging, that when Men are young, and have little else to do, they might vent the Over-flowings of their Fancy that way; but when they were thought fit for more serious Employments, if they still persisted in that Course, it would look, as if they minded not the way to any better.

Whereupon 1 stood corrected as long as I had the Honour to wait upon him, and at his Departure from Hampton-Court, he was pleafed to command me to stay privately at London, to send to him and receive from him

all his Letters from and to all his Correspon· dents at home and abroad, and I was fur

nith’d with nine several Cyphers, in order to it: Which Trust I performed with great Safety to the Persons with whom we corresponded; but about nine Months after being discovered

by

by their knowledge of Mr. Cowley's Hand, 1 happily escaped both for my self, and those that held Correspondence with me; that Time was too hot and busie for such idle Speculations, but after I had the good Fortune to wait upon your Majesty in Holland and France, you were pleased sometimes to give me Arguments to divert and put off the evil hours of our Banishment, which now and then tell not short of your Majesty's Expectation.

After, when your Majesty, departing from St. Germains to Jersey, was pleased freely (without my asking) to confer upon me chat *Place wherein I have now the Honour to serve you, 1 then gave over Poetical Lines, and made it my business to draw such others as might be inore ferviceable to your Majesty, and I hope more lasting. Since that time I never disobeyed my old Master's Commands cill this Summer at the Wells, my Retirement there tempting me to divert those melancholy Thoughts, which the new Apparitions of Foreign Invasion, and domestick Discontent gave us: But these Clouds being now happily blown

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I will not

over, and our Sun clearly lhining out again, I have recovered the Relapse, it being suspected that it would have proved the Epidemical Difease of Age, which is apt to fall back into the Follies in Youth; yet Socrates, Aristotle, and Cato did the fame; and Scaliger faith, that Fragment of Aristotle, was beyond any thing that Pindar or Homer ever wrote. call this a Dedication, for those Epistles are commonly greater Absurdities than any that come after; for what Author can reasonably believe, that fixing the great Name of some eminent Patron in the Forehead of his Book can charm away Censure, and that the first Leaf should be a Curtain to draw over and hide all the Deformities that stand behind it? neither have I any need of such Shifts, for most of the Parts of this Body have already had Your Majesty's View, and having past the Test of fo clear and sharp-lighted a Judgment, which has as good a Title to give Law in Matters of this Nature as in any other, they who {hall presume to dissent from your Majesty, will do more wrong to their own Judgment,

than

than their Judgment can do to me: And for those lacter Parts which have not yet received Your Majesty's favourable Aspect, if they who have seen them do not flatter me, (for 1 dare not trust my ova Judgment) they will make it appear, that it is not with me as with most of Mankind, who never forsake their darling Vices, till their Vices forsake them ; and that this Divorce was not Frigiditatis causa, but an Act of Choice, and not of Necessity. Therefore, Sir, I shall only call it an humble Petition, that Your Majesty will please to pardon this new Amour to my old Mistress, and my Disobedience to his Commands, to whose Memory I look up with great Reverence and Devotion, and making a serious Reflection upon that wise Advice, it carries much greater weight with it now, than when it was given; for when Age and Experience has so ripen’d Man's Discretion as to make it fit for use, either in private or publick Affairs, nothing blasts and corrupts the Fruit of it so much as thie empty, airy Reputation of being Nimis Poeta, and therefore I shall take my Leave of

the

the Muses, as two of my Predecessors did,
saying

Splendidis longum vale dico nugis
Hic versus eu cætera ludicra pono.

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Tour Majesty's most Faithful
and Loyal Subject, and most

Dutiful and Devoted Servant,

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