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HEROI-COMICAL PO E M,
In Four C Α Ν Τ Ο S.
Dedicated to Mifs ANNA-MARIA WOODFOrd.
By a GENTLEMAN of OXFORD.
Virginibus puerifque canto. HORA ce.
Printed for J. SHUCKBURGH, at the Sun in Fleet-ftreet;
Mifs ANNA MARIA WOODFORD.
S the Subject of the following Poem naturally led me to infcribe it to one of your Sex, I found myself in a Manner obliged to dedicate it to You, even without your Knowledge and Permiffion; and though I have not the Happiness to be perfonally acquainted with you, I could not but hope, that the Juftness of the present Address would be a fufficient Apology for the Presumption of it. But though I may have the Misfortune to incur your Difpleafure, by offending your Humility, I fhall even, under the Senfe of your Disapprobation, have the Satiffaction to reflect, that I have been guilty of a very artful Piece of Impertinence, fince by inserting your Name before my Performance, I have taken the most effectual Method to recommend it to the Publick.
Your Example, Madam, is a Reproach to the prefent indolent Generation; your Glory is not established upon those personal Advantages, which you poffefs in fo eminent a Manner; these, great as they are, your good Senfe affures you, are at the best but the Subjects of present Admiration, and can never be the Bafis of a lafting Fame.
Your Handy-work, Madam, which has very justly a Place among the choiceft Curiosities of that famous University, of which I have the Honour and Happiness to be an inconfiderable Member, has render'd your Name immortal; and your nice Management of the Needle, that little, but important Implement of Oeconomy, has entitled you to the Reputation of the compleatest Housewife in Europe; a Character, to which all Virgins and Wives fhould afpire.
You have taught us to acknowledge, that the most minute Utenfil of Art may, by an ingenious Application of it, be made fubfervient, in the highest Degree, to the Honour of the Artist: A Pin, or a Needle, in your Hands,
DEDICATION. v are Inftruments as effectual for that Purpose, as the Poet's Pen, or the Hero's Sword.
I am at present, Madam, in a very perplex'd Situation of Mind; I have the Pleasure to confider, that I am now upon a Subject that must be agreeable to all my Readers, and at the fame time I have the Mortification to recollect, that 'tis distasteful to yourself.
Though therefore all I could fay in Com-mendation of your Merit, the World would think too little, yet, as what I have faid you: will think too much, I find myself under a Neceffity of defiring your Pardon for this Liberty I have taken, and for another in the fourth Canto of this Poem, wherein I have presumed to put a fhort Prediction, relating to your amiable Character, into the Mouth of the Queen of Love. This I need not otherwife have intimated, fince every one must at first Sight perceive, that this Prediction is properly applicable to none but yourself.
After what I have faid, Madam, May I venture to hope you have fome Patience in Reserve for the Poem? 'Twas defign'd for your Amusement,