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Ρ Ο Ε Μ,
Written by the Honourable
Knight of the Bath.
near the Water.side, 1709.
Fter the delivery of your Royal Father's Person into the hands of the Army, I undertaking to the Queen Mother, that I would find Some means to get access to him she was pleased to send me,
and by the help of Hugh Peters I got my admittance, and coming well instructed from the Queen (his Majesty having been long kept in the dark) he was pleased to discourse very freely with me of the whole state of his Affairs ; But, Sir, I will not launch into a Hiftory, inftead of an Epiftle. One morning waiting on him at Caulham, Smiling upon me, he said he could tel me some News of my self, which was, that he had seen some Verses of mine the Evening before being those to Sir Richard Fanshaw) and asking me when I made them, I told him two or three years since ; be 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 ihem well, He would advise me to write no more, alledging, that when men are young, and have little else to do, they mighe vent the overflowings of their Fancy that way; but when they were thought fit for more serious Employments, if they still perfifted in that course, it would look as if they minded not the pay to any better.
Whereupon I flood corrected as long as I had the honour to wait upon him, and at his departure from Hampton Court, he was pleased to comenand me to stay privately at London, to send to him and receive from him all bis Letters from and to all bis Correspondents at home and abroad, and I was furnisl’d with nine several Cyphers in order to it: Which truft I performed with great safety, to the persons with whom we corresponded ; but about nine months after being discovered by their knowledge of Mr. Cowley's Hand I 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 #pon 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 fell not short of Your Majesty's expectation,
After, when Your Majesty departing from St. Germans ta Jerry, w.as pleased freely (without my asking) to confer upon me that place wherein I have now the honour to serve you, I then gave over Paetical Lines,
The Epiftle Dedicătory. and made it my business to draw such others, as might be more serviceable to Your Majesty, and I hope more lasting. Since that time I never disobeyed my
old Master's Commands till this summer at the We'ls my Retirement there tempting me to devert those melancholy Thoughts, which the new Apperitions of Foreign Invasion, and Domestick Discontent gaye us: But these Clouds being now happily blown over, and our Sun clearly foining out again, I have recovered ihe Relapse, it being suspected that it would bave proved the Epidemical Disease of Age, which is apt to fall back into the Folies in Youth; yet Socrates, Aristotle and Caro did the fame, and Scaliger faith that Fragment of Aristotle was beyond any thing that Pindar or Homer ever wrete I will not call this a Dedication, for those Epifles are commonly greater - Absurdities than any that come after: For w bat Author can reasonably believe, that fixing the great Name of some eminent Patron in the Forebead of his Book can charm away Cenfüre, and that the firlf Leaf jould be a Curtain to draw over and hide all the deformities thas land bebind :t? Neither lave I any need of sach shifts, for most of the parts of this Body have already had your Majesty's View, and having paft the Teft of so clear and sharp lighted a fudgment, which has as good a Title to give Law in Matters of this Nature as in any other, they po hi fall presume to diffent from Your Majesty, will do more wrong to their own Judgment, thin their fudgment can do to me. And for those latser Parts which have not yet recersed your Majesty's favourable Aspect, if they who have seen them do not flrler me, (for I dare not truff iny Judgmen!) i bey will make it appear, that it is not with me as with most of Mankind. who never forsake their Darling Vices, till their Vices forJake them; and that this Divorce was not Frigiditatis causâ, but an AEE of Choice, and not of Neceflity Therefore, Sir, I shall only call at an bumble Petition. That Your Niajelly will please to pørdon this new Amour to my old vili ress. and my Di;obedience to his commands to whose Memory I look upon
with bgreat Reverince and Devotion, and making a serionus ReBettion upon that wife Advice, it carries much greater weight with it pow than when it was given; fr when Age and Experience has so ripened Man's Discretion as to make it fit for use, erther in private or publick ffairs, nothing blalts and corrupts the Fruit of it so much as the empty, airy Ripurarion of being nimis Poera; and therefore I shall Take my leave of the Muses, as two of my Predeceffors did, saying,
Splendidis longum vale dico nugis,
Your Majesty's most faithful
COOPER S-HILL. S
URE there are Poets which did never dream
Of Helicon, we therefore may suppose