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N OT having the fame Argument as at first
to persuade the Author that I might print his Verses more corre&ly, which he found so ill done at his Return: I have now adventured, without giving him farther Trouble, by importuning him for a new Permifsion, to colleet all I can find, either left out of the former Edition, or such as have been since made by him; to which I am the more encouraged, because the first (tho' most of them were compos'd Fifty or Sixty Years since) seem still new; which would be more
trange in so changing a Language, had it not been by him improved; which inay make one think it true, that I have heard from some Icarned Criticks, that Virgil, when he laid - Nova carmina pango, meant not V'erfes that were never seen before, (for in that Sense all at first are new,) but such as he thought might be ever New. May. these still appear to be so, for the Diversion of the Readers, and Interest of
Their Humble Servant.
a r. Edmond Waller, Author of the
following Poems, was the Son of
Hampden of Hampdex, in that County, one of the most ancient Families in England, and Sitter to Colonel John Hampden, as Dr. Birch affur'd us, who having been a leading Member in the Para
liament in 1641, dyed in its Service. Mr. Waller was born on the 3d of March 1605, at Colespill, which gives Hertfordshire the Honour of his Birth; for though Colesbill be in the Parish of Agmondefam, 'is in the County of Hertford. His Father had the Reputation of a Wise Man, and his Oeconomy was one of the distinguishing Marks of his Prudence: For though the Family of Waller in Buckinghamshire was but a younger Branch of the Wallers in Kent, yet this Gentleman at his Death left his Son, our Mr. Waller, an Estate of 3500l. a Year; a Fortune at that Time fit for a Nobleman: And indeed, the Antiquity of this Family, and the Services they have rendred their Country, deservedly place it among the moft How nourable in England. "Mr. Robert Waller, Father of Edmond, was bred a Lawyer, and pra&tised at the Bar some time, but quitted it, to live the Life of a Country Gentleman; which he often repented, looking upon it as too idle. He had a great Efteem for the Common Law, the Study of which he preferr'd to the Civil. He was a Man of Parts and Virtue, and wrote Advice to his Son, Mr. Edmond Waller; which Manuscript is in the Hands of Mrs. Waller, Widow of Dr. Stephen Waller, our Poet's Son. Those who have seen it, commend it.' This Mr. Waller, as has been observ'd, iimprov'd the Efate so much, that 'twas look'd upon to be one of the best in the County, and there was a kind of Emulation be'tween the Families of Hampden and Waller on that Score. Richard Waller, of Spendhurst in the County of Kent, Erg; was Sheriff of that County the 16th of Henry VI. of whom we read this remarkable Account in the Villare Cantianum. He
fery'd in the Wars of France, under Henry V.. and signaliz'd himself so far that he took Charles Duke of Orleans, General of the French Army, Prisoner at the Battel of Agencourt. He brought him into England, and according to the Custoin of those Times, had the Custody of that Prince, whom he kept in honourable Restraint at Gromebridge, his Seat, near Spendhurst; as appears by a Manuscript in the Heralds Office. The Duke was his Prisoner there twenty four Years; and in the time of this Retirement he rebuilt his Manfion-House at Gromebridge on the old Foundation. He was a great Benefactor to the Church of Spendhurst, where his Arms remain in Stonework over the Porch; and in them we find an Addition to the former Bearing of the Family, asligned by King Henry to him and his Descendants, viz. A Crest with the Arms of France hanging by a Label on an Oak, with this Motto, Hic fructus Virmutis, in Remembrance of the glorious Services of Richard W'aller at A court. From him Sir William Waller, who was Sheriff of Kent the 22d of Henry VII. lineally descended; and Tradition says, the Family had then 70001. a Year. But it was very much reduced in the Time of Sir William I'aller, famous in the Wars between the King and Parliainent for his good and bad Fortune, which Sir William lineally descended froin the former, of whom probably is that poble Monument in Spende hurst Church of Sir Walter Waller and his Lady, who in the Roll of Sheriffs may by mistake be written Sir William. We could not learn at what Time the Wallers of Buckinghampire removed thither out of Kent, and feuiled at Agmos.
despam; but it seems not to have been long before Mr. Waller's Father's Time, because a Fa-., mily of such a Fortune could not have escap'd furnishing the County with a Sheriff, and we find none of this Name in the Rolls. The House at Agmondesbam being old and decaying, Mr. Waller, of whom we write, lived mostly at Beconsfield, where his Mother dwelt in her Widowhood, and often entertain'd 'Oliver Cromwell there, during his Usurpation, he being related to her. But notwithstanding her Relation to the . Usurper, and Colonel Hampden, she was a Royalift in her Principles ; and when Oliver visited her at Beconsfield, she would frankly tell him how his Pretensions would end. The Usurper us'd merrily to throw a Napkin at her in return, and said he would not enter into further Disputes with his Aunt; for so he us’d to call her, though not quite so nearly related. However, finding at last that Mrs. Waller was more in earnest than he was in jest, and that the corresponded with Persons of her own Principles, in favour of the King, she was for some time made a Prisoner to her Daughter in her own House.
Mr. Waller's Father dying when he was very young, the Care of his Education fell to his Mother, who sent him to Eaton School, where having made a good Proficiency in Grammar Learning, he was remov'd to King's College in Cambridge, and it is very manifeft, that both at Eaton and at Cambridge he must have been assiduous in his Studies, since he acquir'd so fine a Taste of the Ancients in so short a Time; for at fixteen or seventeen Years of Age he was chosen into the lat Parliament of King James I. and