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EPISTLE THE SEVENTH.
DUCHESS OF YORK,
RETURN FROM SCOTLAND, IN THE YEAR 1682.
These smooth and elegant lines are addressed to Mary of Este, second wife of James Duke of York, and afterwards his queen. She was at this time in all the splendour of beauty; tall, and admirably formed in her person ; dignified and graceful in her deportment, her complexion very fair, and her hair and eye-brows of the purest black. Her personal charms fully merited the encomiastic strains of the following epistle.
The Duchess accompanied her husband to Scotland, where he was sent into a kind of honorary banishment, during the dependence of the Bill of Exclusion. Upon the dissolution of the Oxford parliament, the Duke visited the court in triumph; and after two months stay, returned to Scotland, and in his voyage suffered the misfortune of shipwreck, elsewhere mentioned particularly. * Having settled the affairs of Scotland, he returned with his family to England; whence he had been virtually banished for three
* Vol. IX. p. 402.
years. His return was hailed by the poets of the royal party with unbounded congratulation. It is celebrated by Tate, in the Second Part of " Absalom and Achitophel ;” † and by our author, in a prologue spoken before the Duke and Duchess. I But, not contented with that expression of zeal, Dryden paid the following additional tribute upon the same occasion.
+ Vol. IX. p. 344.
EPISTLE THE SEVENTH.
When factious rage to cruel exile drove
verge As if the sun and he had lost their
way. But now the illustrious nymph, returned again, Brings every grace triumphant in her train. The wondering Nereids, though they raised no storm, Foreslowed her passage, to behold her form: Some cried, A Venus; some, A Thetis past; But this was not so fair, nor that so chaste. Far from her sight flew Faction, Strife, and Pride ; And Envy did but look on her, and died. Whate'er we suffered from our sullen fate, Her sight is purchased at an easy rate. Three gloomy years against this day were set; But this one mighty sum has cleared the debt; Like Joseph's dream, but with a better doom, The famine past, the plenty still to come. For her, the weeping heavens become serene; For her, the ground is clad in cheerful green;
For her, the nightingales are taught to sing,
EPISTLE THE EIGHTH.
TO MY FRIEND,
MR J, NORTHLEIGH,
TRIUMPH OF THE BRITISH MONARCHY,
THESE verses have been recovered by Mr Malone, and are transferred, from his life of Dryden, into the present collection of his works. John Northleigh was by profession a student of law, though he afterwards became a physician ; and was in politics a keen Tory. He wrote“ The Parallel, or the new specious Association, an old rebellious Covenant, closing with a disparity between a true Patriot and a factious Associator.” . London, 1682, folio. This work was anonymous; but attracted so much applause among the High-churchmen, that, according to Wood, Dr Lawrence Womack called the author 66
an excellent person, whose name his own modesty, or prudence, as well as the iniquity of the times, keeps from us."
Proceeding in the same track of politics, Northleigh published two pamphlets on the side of the Tories, in the dispute between the petitioners and abhorrers; and finally produced, “ The Triumph of our Monarchy, over the Plots and Principles of our Rebels and Republicans, being remarks on their most eminent