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EPISTLE THE SEVENTH.

А

LETTER

TO

SIR GEORGE ETHEREDGE.

To you who live in chill degree,
As map informs, of fifty-three,
And do not much for cold atone,
By bringing thither fifty-one,
Methinks all climes should be alike,
From tropic e’en to pole artique ;
Since you have such a constitution
As no where suffers diminution.

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Ver. 1. To you who live] Sir George Etheredge gained great reputation by his three comedies, The Comical Revenge, 1664, She Would if she could, 1668, The Man of Mode, 1676. The last has been deemed one of our most elegant comedics, and contains a moft just and lively picture of the manners of persons in high life in the age of Charles II. Having dedicated this comedy to the Dutchess of York, the procured his being fent ambassador to Ratisbon, where he resided when Dryden addrest this epistle to him, and where, in a fit of intoxication, to which he was too much habituated, he tumbled down stairs and broke his neck. He had a daughter by Mrs. Barry, to whom he left fix thousand pounds.

Dr. J. WARTON,

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You can be old in grave debate,
And young in love-affairs of state;
And both to wives and husbands show
The vigor of a plenipo.
Like mighty missioner you come
" Ad Partes Infidelium."
A work of wond'rous merit sure,
So far to go, fo much t'endure ;
And all to preach to German dame,
Where found of Cupid never came,
Less had you done, had you been sent,
As far as Drake or Pinto went,
For cloves or nutmegs to the line-a,
Or e'en for oranges to China.
That had indeed been charity ;
Where love-lick ladies helpless lie,
Chapt, and for want of liquor dry.
But

you have made your zeal appear
Within the circle of the Bear.
What region of the earth's so dull,
That is not of your labors full?
I'riptolemus (fo lung the Nine);
Strew'd plenty from his cart divine.
But spite of all these fable-makers,
He never fow'd on Almain acres :
No, that was left by fate's decree,
To be perform’d and sung by thee.

85 Thou break'st through forms with as much ease As the French king through articles.

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pays to make his

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In grand affairs thy days are spent,
In waging weighty compliment,
With such as monarchs represent.
They, whom such vast fatigues attend,
Want some foft minutes to unbend,
To fhew the world that now and then
Great ministers are mortal men.
Then Rhenish rummers walk the round;
In bumpers every king is crown'd;
Besides three holy mitred Hectors,
And the whole college of Electors.
No health of potentate is sunk,
That

envoy

drunk.
These Dutch delights, I mention'd last
Suit not, I know, your English tafte:
For wine to leave a whore or play
Was ne'er your Excellency's way.
Nor need this title give offence,
For here you were your Excellence,
For gaming, writing, speaking, keeping,
His Excellence for all but Neeping.
Now if you tope in form, and treat,

,
"Tis the four sauce to the sweet meat,
The fine you pay for being great.
Nay, here's a harder imposition,
Which is indeed the court's petition,
That setting worldly pomp aside,
Which poet bas at font deny'd,

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You would be pleas'd in humble way
To write a trifle call'd a Play.
This truly is a degradation
But would oblige the crown and nation
Next to your wise negotiation.
If you pretend, as well you may, ,
Your high degree, your friends will say,
The duke St. Aignon made a play.
If Gallic wit convince you scarce,
His
grace

of Bucks has made a farce,
And
you,

whose comic wit is terse all,
Can hardly fall below Rehearsal.
Then finith what you have began;
But scribble faster if
For yet no George, to our discerning,
Has writ without a ten years warning.

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EPISTLE THE EIGHTH.

TO

Mr. . SOUTHERNE,

ON HIS COMEDT CALLED,

THE WIVES' EXCUSE*.

SURE there's a fate in plays, and 'tis in

vain To write, while these malignant planets reign.

The success of this play was but indifferent; but fo high was our author's opinion of its merit, that, on this very account, he bequeathed to this poet the writing of the last act of his Cleomenes; which, Southerne says, “ when it comes into the world, will appear to considerable a trust, that all the town will pardon me for defending this play, that preferred me to it."

DERRICK Ver. 1. Sure there's a fate] No two writers were ever of more diffimilar geniuses than Southerne and Dryden, the latter having no turn for, por idea of the pathetic, of which the former was so perfect a master, and of which his Oronooko and Isabella will remain lasting and striking examples. But Dryden used to confess that he had no relish for Euripides, and affected to defpife Otway. Of all our poets, Southerne was distinguished by three remarkable circumstances, for the purity of his morals and irreproachable conduct, for the length of his life, and for gaining more by his dramatic labours than certainly any of his predeceffors, or perhaps of his fucceffors.

Dr. J. WARTON.

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