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TO HER ROYAL HIGHNESS
But, like some mountain in those happy isles, All loyal English will like him conclude;
THE DUTCHESS OF YORK,
THE HOLLANDERS, JUNE THE 3D, 1665, AND ON ER And, like Olympus' top, th' impression wears
JOURNEY AFTERWARDS INTO THE NORTH.
To swelling seas, and every faithless wind;
A valour fatal to the enemy; Like this new year, whose motions never cease. You lodg'd your country's cares within your breast, For since the glorious course you have begun (The mansion where soft Love should only rest) Is led by Charles, as that is by the Sun,
And, ere our foes abroad were overcome,
Ah, what concerns did both your souls divide!
Those foes be fought with, than to part from you
That glorious day, which two such navies saw,
As each unmatch'd might to the world give law. WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1662.
Neptune, yet doubtful whom he should obey, As needy gallants, in the scrivener's hands, Held to them both the trident of the sea : Court the rich knaves that gripe their mortgag'd | The winds were hush'd, the waves in ranks were cast, The first fat buck of all the season's sent, [lands; As awfully as when God's people past: And keeper takes no fee in compliment;
Those, yet uncertain on whose sails to blow, The dotage of some Englishmen is such,
These, where the wealth of wations ought to flow. To fawn on those who ruin them, the Dutch. Then with the duke your highness rul'd the day: They shall have all, rather than make a war While all the brave did his command obey, With those, who of the same religion are.
The fair and pious under you did pray. The Straits, the Guinea-trade, the herrings too; How powerful are chaste vows! the wind and tide Nay, to keep friendship, they shall pickle you. You brib'd to combat on the English side. Some are resolv'd not to find out the cheat, Thus to your much-lov'd lord you did convey But, cuckold-like, love them that do the feat. An unknown succour, sent the nearest way. What injuries soe'er upon us fall,
New vigour to his wearied arms you brought, Yet still the same religion answers all,
(So Moses was upheld while Israel fought) Religion wheedled us to civil war, [spare. While, from afar, we heard the cannon play, Drew English blood, and Dutchmens' now would Like distant thunder on a shiny day. Be gull'd no longer; for you'll find it true, For absent friends we were asham'd to fear, They have no more religion, faith! than you. When we consider'd what you ventur'd there. Interest 's the god they worship in their state, Ships, men, and arms, our country might restore; And we, I take it, have not much of that.
But such a leader could supply no more. Well monarchies may own Religion's name, With generous thoughts of conquest he did burt, „But states are atheists in their very frame. Yet fought not more to vanquish than return. They share a sin; and such proportions fall, Fortune and Victory he did pursue, That, like a stink, 'tis nothing to them all. To bring them as his slaves to wait on you. Think on their rapine, falsehood, cruelty,
Thus Beauty ravish'd the rewards of Fame, And that what once they were, they still would be. And the fair triumph'd wheu the brave o'ercame. To one well-born th' affront is worse and more, Then, as yon ineant to spread another way When be 's abus'd and baiħed by a boor.
By land your conquests, far as his by sea, With an ill grace the Dutch their mischiefs do; Leaving our southern clime, you march'd along They 've both ill nature and ill manners too. The stubborn North, ten thousand Cupids stroos. Well may they boast themselves an ancient nation; Like commons the nobility resort, For they were bred ere manners were in fashion : In crowding heaps, to fill your moving court: And their new commonwealth has set them free To welcome your approach the vulgar run, Only from honour and civility,
Like some new envoy from the distant Sun, Venetians do not more uncouthly ride,
And country beauties by their lovers go, Than did their lubber state mankind bestride. Blessing themselves, and wondering at the shox. Their sway became them with as ill a mien, So when the new-born phenix first is seen, As their own paunches swell above their chin. Her feather'd subjects all adore their queen, Yet is their empire no true growth but humour, And while she makes her progress through the East, And only two kings' touch can cure the tumour, From every grove her numerous train 's increasid: As Cato, fruits of Afric did display;
Each poet of the air her glory sings, Let us before our eyes their Indies lay:
And round him the pleas'd audience clap their wings
AN HISTORICAL POF.M.
IN A LETTER TO THE
now a phenix in her ashes, and, as far as huANNUS MIRABILIS:
manity can approach, a great emblem of the THE YEAR OF WONDERS, suffering Deity: but Heaven never made so much 1666.
piety and virtue to leave it miserable. I have heard, indeed, of some virtuous persons who have ended unfortunately, but never of any virtuous nation: Providence is engaged too deeply, when
the cause becomes so general; and I cannot To the METROPOLIS of Great Britain, the imagine it has resolved the ruin of that people
most renowned and late flourishing City of at home, which it has blessed abroad with such LONDON, in its Representatives, the Lord successes. I am therefore to conclude, that your Mayor and Court of Aldermen, the Sheriffs, sufferings are at an end; and that one part of and Common Council of it.
my poem has not been more an history of your
destruction, than the other a prophecy of your As perhaps I am the first who ever presented restoration. The accomplishment of which hap. a work of this nature to the metropolis of any piness, as it is the wish of all true Englishmen, so nation, so it is likewise consonant to justice, that is it by none more passionately desired, than by he, who was to give the first example of such a dedication, should begin it with that city which the greatest of your admirers, has set a pattern to all others of true loyalty, in
and most humble of your servants, vincible courage, and unshaken constancy. Other
JOHN DRYDEN. cities have been praised for the same virtues, but I am much deceived if any have so dearly purchased their reputation; their fame has been won them by cheaper trials than an expensive,
ACCOUNT OF THE ENSUING POEM, though necessary war, a consuming pestilence, and a more consuming fire. To submit yourselves with that humility to the judgments of Heaven, and at the same time to raise yourselves with that vigour above all human enemies ; to be I am so many ways obliged to you, and so little able combated at once from above and from below; to return your favours, that, like those wbo owe too to be struck down and to triumph ; I know not much, I can only live by getting further into your
debt. You have not only been careful of my forwhether such trials have been ever paralleled tune, which was the effect of your nobleness, but in any nation: the resolution and successes of you have been solicitous of my reputation, which is them never can be. Never had prince or peo- that of your kindness. It is not long since I gave ple more mutual reason to love each other, if you the trouble of perusing a play for me, and
now, instead of an acknowledgment, I have given suffering for each other can endear affection. You you a greater, in the correction of a poem. But have come together a pair of matchless lovers, since you are to bear this persecution, I will at through many difficulties; be through a long least give you the encouragement of a martyr; you
could never suffer in a nobler cause. For I have exile, varions traverses of fortune, and the inter- chosen the most heroic subject, which any poet position of many rivals, who violently ravished could desire: I have taken upon me to describe the and with-held you from him ; and certainly you motives, the beginning, progress, and successes, of have had your share in sufferings. But Provi
a most just and necessary war; in it, the care, ma
nagement, and prudence of our king; the conduct dence has cast npon you want of trade, that and valour of a royal admiral, and of two incomyou might appear bountiful to your country's ne- parable generals; the invincible courage of our cessities; and the rest of your afflictions are not captains and seamen; and three glorious victories,
the result of all. After this, I have, in the fire, more the effects of God's displeasure, (frequent the most deplorable, but withal the greatest, arguexamples of them having been in the reign of ment that can be imagined: the destruction being the most excellent princes) than occasions for so swift, so sudden, so vast and miserable, as nothe nanifesting of your Christian and civil vir- this poem, relating to the war, is but a due expia
thing can parallel in story. The former part of tues. To you, therefore, this Year of Wonders tion for my not having served my king and country is justly dedicated, because you have made it so. in it. All gentlemen are almost obliged to it: and You, who are to stand a wonder to all years the commonalty of England, to be foremost in brave
I know no reason we should give that advantage to and ages, and who have built yourselves an im- actions, which the nobles of France would never mortal monument on your own ruins. You are suffer in their peasants. I should not have written
HON. SIR ROBERT HOWARD.
this but to a person who has been ever forward to terms of art in every tongue bearing more of the appear in all employments whither his honour and idiom of it than any other words. We hear indeed generosity have called him. The latter part of my among our poets, of the thundering of guns, the poem, which describes the fire, I owe, first to the smoke, the disorder, and the slaughter; bat all piety and fatherly affection of our monarch to his these are common notions. And certainly, as th se suffering subjects; and, in the second place, to the who in a logical dispute keep in general terins courage, loyalty, and magnanimity of the city; would hide a fallacy; so those who do it in any both which were so conspicuous, that I wanted poetical description would veil their ignorance. words to celebrate them as they deserve. I hare called my poem historical, not epic, though both Descriptas servare vices operumque colores, the actions and actors are as much heroic as any Cur ego, si nequeo ignoroque, poeta salutor? poem can contain. But since the action is not properly one, nor that accomplished in the last suc. For my own part, if I had little knowledge of the cesses, I have judged it too bold a title for a few sea, yet I have thought it no shame to learn: and stanzas, which are little more in number than a if I have made some few mistakes, it is only, as single Iliad, or the longest of the Æneids. For this vou can bear me witness, because I have wanted reason (I mean not of length, but broken action, opportunity to correct them; the whole poem being tied too severely to the laws of history) I am apt to first written, and now sent you from a place shere agree with those, who rank Lucan rather among I have not so much as the converse of any seaman. historians in verse than epic poets : in whose room, Yet though the trouble I had in writing it was great, if I am not deceived, Silius Italicus, though a worse it was no more than recompensed by the pleasure. writer, may more justly be admitted. I have cho- I found myself so warm in celebrating the praises sen to write my poem in quatrains, or stanzas of of military men, two such especially as the prince four in alternate rhyme, because I have ever judged and general, that it is no wonder if they inspired them more noble, and of greater dignity, böth for me with thoughts above my ordinary level. And the sound and number, than any other verse in use I am well satisfied, that, as they are incomparably amongst us; in which I am sure I have your ap- the best subject I ever had, excepting only the royal probation. The learned languages have certainly family, so also, that this I have written of them is a great advantage of us, in not being tied to the much better than what I have performed on any slavery of any rhyme; and were less constrained other. I have been forced to help out other arguin the quantity of every syllable, which they mightments; but this has been bountiful to me: they vary with spondees or dactyls, besides so many other have been low and barren of praise, and I have exhelps of grammatical figures, for the lengthening alted them, and made them fruitful; but hereor abbreviation of them, than the modern are in the Omnia sponte sua reddit justissima tellus. I have close of that one syllable, which often confines, and had a large, a fair, and a pleasant field; so fertile, more often corrupts, the sense of all the rest. But that, without my cultivating, it has given me tvo in this necessity of our rhymes, I have always harvests in a summer, and in both oppressed the found the complet verse most easy, though not so reaper. All other greatness in subjects is only proper for this occasion: for there the work is counterfeit: it will not endure the test of danger; soouer at an end, every two lines concluding the the greatness of arms is only real: other greatness labour of the poet; but in quatrains he is to carry burthens a nation with its weight; this supports it it further on, and not only so, but to bear along in with its strength. And as it is the happiness of the his head the troublesome sense of four lines toge- age, so it is the peculiar goodness of the best of ther. For those, who write correctly in this kind, kings, that we may praise his subjects without ofmust needs acknowledge, that the last line of the fending him. Doubtless it proceeds from a just stanza is to be considered in the composition of the confidence of his own virtue, which the lustre of no first. Neither can we give ourselves the liberty of other can be so great as to darken in him ; for the making any part of a verse for the sake of rhyme, good or the valiant are never safely praised under or concluding with a word which is not current a bad or a degenerate prince. But to return from English, or using the variety of female rhynies; all this digression to a further account of my poem; I which our fathers practised: and for the female must crave leave to tell you, that as I bare endearhymes, they are still in use amongst other nations; voured to adorn it with noble thoughts, so much with the Italian in every line, with the Spaniard more to express those thoughts with elocution. The promiscuously, with the French alternately; as composition of all poems is, or ought to be, of wit; those who have read the Alarique, the Pucelle, or and wit in the poet, or wit-writing, (if you will give any of their later poems, will agree with me. And me leave to use a school-distinction) is no other besides this, they write in Alexandrins, or verses of than the faculty of imagination in the writer, which, six feet; such as amongst us is the old translation like a nimble spaniel, beats over and ranges through of Homer by Chapman: all which, by lengthening the field of memory, till it springs the quarry it of their chain, makes the sphere of their activity hunted after: or, without metaphor, which searches the larger. I have dwelt too long upon the choice over all the memory for the species or ideas of those of my stanza, which you may remember is much things which it designs to represent. Wit written better defended in the preface to Gondibert; and is that which is well defined, the happy result of therefore I will hasten to acquaint you with my en-thought, or product of imagination. But to prodeavours in the writing. In general I will only say, ceed from wit, in the general notion of it, to the I have never yet seen the description of any naval proper wit of an heroic or bistorical poem; 1 judge fight in the proper terms which are used at sea : it chiefly to consist in the delightful imaging of and if there be any such in another language, as persons, actions, passions, or things. It is not the that of Lucan in the third of his Pharsalia, yet I jerk or sting of an epigram, nor the seeming contracould not avail myself of it in the English; the diction of a poor antithesis, (the delight of an ill.
judging audience in a play of rhyme) nor the gingle I esteem the divinest part of all his writings, the of a more poor paranomasia ; neither is it so much Plague, the Country, the Battle of the Bulls, the the morality of a grave sentence, affected by Lucan, Labour of the Bees, and those many other excelbut more sparingly used by Virgil; but it is some lent images of Nature, most of which are neither lively and apt description, dressed in such colours great in themselves, nor have any natural ornament of speech, that it sets before your eyes the absent to bear them up: but the words wherewith he deobject, as perfectly, and more delightfully than scribes them are so excellent, that it might be well Nature. So then the first happiness of the poet's applied to him, which was said by Ovid, Materiem imagination is properly invention or finding of the superabat opus: the very sound of his words has thought; the second is fancy, or the variation, de- often somewhat that is connatural to the subject; riving or inoulding of that thought, as the judgment and while we read him, we sit, as in a play, beholdrepresents it proper to the subject; the third is elo- ing the scenes of what he represents. To perform cution, or the art of clothing and adorning that this, he made frequent use of tropes, which you thought, so found and varied, in apt, significant, know change the nature of a known word, by apand sounding words: the quickness of the imagina-plying it to some other signification; and this is it tion is seen in the invention, the fertility in the which Horace means in his epistle to the Pisos : fancy, and the accuracy in the expression. For the two first of these, Ovid is famous amongst the poets; Dixeris egregiè, notum si callida verbum for the latter, Virgil. Ovid images more often the Reddiderit juuctura novummovements and affections of the mind, either combating between two contrary passions, or extremely But I am sensible I have presumed too far to endiscomposed by one. His words therefore are the tertain you with a rude discourse of that art which least part of his care; for he pictures Nature in you both know so well, and put into practice with disorder, with which the study and choice of words so much happiness. Yet, before I leave Virgil, I is inconsistent. This is the proper wit of dialogue must own the vanity to tell you, and by you the or discourse, and consequently of the drama, where world, that he has been my master in this poem : all that is said is to be supposed the effect of sudden I have followed him every where, I know not with thought; which, though it excludes not the quick-what success, but I am sure with diligence enough: ness of wit in repartees, yet admits not a too curi- my images are many of them copied from him, ous election of words, too frequent allusions, or use and the rest are imitations of him. My expressions of tropes, or in fine any thing that shows remoteness also are as near as the idioms of the two languages of thought or labour in the writer. On the other wonld admit of in translation. And this, sir, I have side, Virgil speaks not so often to us in the person done with that boldness, for which I will stand acof another, like Ovid, but in his own : he relates countable to any of our little critics, who, perhaps, almost all things as from himself, and thereby gains are no better acquainted with him than I am. Upon more liberty than the other, to express his thoughts your first perusal of this poem, you have taken nowith all the graces of elocation, to write more figu- tice of some words, which I have innovated (if it be ratively, and to confess as well the labour as the too bold for me to say refined) upon his Latin; force of his imagination. Though he describes his which, as I offer not to introduce into English prose, Dido well and naturally, in the violence of her pas- so I hope they are neither improper, nor altogether sions, yet he must yield in that to the Myrrha, the inelegant in verse; and, in this, Horace will again Biblis, the Althaca, of Ovid; for, as great an ad defend me. mirer of hini as I am, I must acknowledge, that if I see not more of their souls than I see of Dido's, at Et nova fictaque nuper habebunt verba fidem, si least I have a greater concernment for them: and Græco fonte cadant, parcè detortathat convinces me, that Ovid has touched those tender strokes more delicately than Virgil could. The inference is exceeding plain: for if a Roman But when action or persons are to be described, poet might have liberty to coin a word, supposing when any such image is to be set before us, how only that it was derived from the Greek, was put bold, how masterly are the strokes of Virgil! We into a Latin termination, and that he used this lisee the objects he presents us with in their native berty but seldom, and with modesty; how much figures, in their proper motions; but so we see more justly may I challenge that privilege to do it them, as our own eyes could never have beheld with the same prerequisites, from the best and most them so beautiful in themselves. We see the soul judicious of Latin writers! In some places, where of the poet, like that universal one of which he either the fancy or the words were bis, or any other's, speaks, informing and moving through all his pic- I have noted it in the margin, that I might not seem
a plagiary; in others I have neglected it, to avoid Totamque infusa per artus
as well tediousness, as the affectation of doing it too Mens agitat molem, et magno se corpore miscet.
often. Such descriptions or images well wrought,
which I promise not for mine, are, as I have said, We behold him embellishing his images, as he makes the adequate delight of heroic poesy; for they beVenus breathing beauty upon her son Æneas.
get admiration, which is its proper object; as the
images of the burlesque, which is contrary to this, Lumenque juventæ
by the same reason beget laughter; for the one Purpureum, et lætos oculis amârat honores: shows Nature beautified, as in the picture of a fair Quale manus addunt ebori decus, aut ubi flavo woman, which we all admire ; the other shows her Argentum Pariusve lapis circumdatur auro. deformed, as in that of a lazar, or of a fool with dis
torted face and ant que gestures, at which we canSee his Tempest, his Funeral Sports, his Combat not forbear to laugh, because it is a deviation from of Turnus and Æncas: and in bis Georgics, which Nature. But though the same images serve equally
for the epic poesy, and for the historic and panegyric, which are branches of it, yet a several sort
ANNUS MIRABILIS : of sculpture is to be used in them. If some of them are to be like those of Juvenal, stantes in curribus
THE YEAR OF WONDERS, 1666. Æmiliani, heroes drawn in their triumphal chariots, and in their full proportion; others are to be like that of Virgil, spirantia mollius æra : there is some
In thriving arts long time had Holland grown, what more of softness and tenderness to be shown
Crouching at home and cruel when abroad : in them. You will soon find I write not this with Scarce leaving us the means to claim our own; out concern. Some, who have seen a paper of
Our king they courted, and our merchants awd. verses, which I wrote last year to her highness the dutchess, have accused them of that only thing ITrade, which like blood should circularly flow, could defend in them. They said, I did humi ser
Stopp'd in their channels, found its freedom lost: pere; that I wanted not only height of fancy, but Thither the wealth of all the world did go, dignity of words, to set it off. I might well answer
And seem'd but shipwreck'd on so base a coast. with that of Horace, nunc non erat his locus; I knew I addressed them to a lady, and accordingly For them alone the Heavens had kindly heat: I affected the softness of expression, and the smooth
In eastern quarries ripening precious dew: ness of measure, rather than the height of thought; For them the Idumæan balm did sweat, and in what I did endeavour, it is no vanity to say
And in bot Ceilon spicy forests grew. I have succeeded. I detest arrogance; but there is some difference betwixt that and a just defence. The Sun but seem'd the labourer of the year; But I will not further bribe your candour, or the
Each waxing Moon supply'd her watery store, reader's. I leave them to speak for me; and, if | To swell those tides which from the line did bear they can, to inake out that character, not pretend
Their brim-full vessels to the Belgian shore. ing to a greater, which I have given them.
And now, sir, it is time I should relieve you from Thus, mighty in her ships, stood Carthage long, the tedious length of this account. You have better
And swept the riches of the world from far; and more profitable employment for your hours, Yet stoopid to Rome, less wealthy, but more strong: and I wrong the public to detain you longer. In
And this may prove our second Punic war. conclusion, I must leave my poem to you with all its faults, which I hope to find fewer in the print- What peace can be, where both to one pretend? ing by your emendations. I know you are not of
(But they more diligent, and we more strong) the number of those, of whom the younger Pliny Or if a peace, it soon must have an end ; speaks ; nec sunt parum multi, qui carpere ami
For they would grow too powerful were it long. cos suos judicium vocant; I am rather too secure of you on that side. Your candour in pardoning Behold two nations then, engag'd so far, [land: my errours may make you more remiss in correct
That each seven years the fit must shake each ing them; if you will not withal consider that they Where France will side to weaken us by war, come into the world with your approbation, and
Who only can his vast designs withstand. through your hands. I beg from you the greatest favour you can confer upon an absent person, since See how he feeds th’ Iberian with delays, I repose upon your management what is dearest to
To render us his timely friendship vain: me, my fame and reputation; and therefore I hope And while his secret soul on Flanders preys, it will stir you up to make my poem fairer by many
He rocks the cradle of the babe of Spain. of your blots; if not, you know the story of the gamester who married the rich man's daughter, Such deep designs of empire does he lay and, when her father denied the portion, christened
O’er them, whose cause he seems to take in hand; all the children by his surname, that if, in conclu- And prudently would make them lords at sea, sion, they must beg, they should do so by one
To whom with ease he can give laws by land. name, as well as by the other. But since the reproach of my faults will light on you, it is but rea
This saw onr king; and long within his breast son I should do you that justice to the readers, to
His pensive counsels balanc'd to and fro: let them know, that, if there be any thing tolerable He griev'd the land he freed should be oppressid, in this poem, they owe the argument to your choice,
And he less for it than usurpers do. the writing to your encouragement, the correction to your judgment, and the care of it to your friend
His generous mind the fair ideas drew ship, to which he must ever acknowledge himself
Of fame and honour, which in dangers lay; to owe all things, who is,
Where wealth, like fruit on precipices, grew,
Not to be gather'd but by birds of prey.
The loss and gain each fatally were great;
And still his subjects call'd alond for war:
But peaceful kings, o'er martial people set, faithful of your servants, Each other's poize and counterbalance are.
From Charleton in Wiltshire,
Nov. 10, 1666.
He first survey'd the charge with careful eyes,
Which pone but mighty monarchs could maintain; Yet judg’d, like vapours that from limbecs rise,
It would in richer showers descend again.