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he became the most perfect Orator in the world. S. that, not fo much to have made verfes, as not to give over in time, leaves a man without excufe: the former presenting us with an opportunity at least of doing wifely, that is, to conceal those we have made; which I fhall yet do, if my humble request may be of as much force with your Ladyship, as your commands have been with me. Madam, I only whisper these in your ear; if you publish them, they are your own : and therefore, as you apprehend the reproach of a Wit and a Poet, caft them into the fire: or, if they come where green boughs are in the chimney, with the help of your fair friends, (for, thus bound, it will be too hard a task for your hands alone) tear them in pieces, wherein you will honour me with the fate of Orpheus; for fo his Poems, whereof we only hear the form, (not his limbs, as the ftory will have it) I fup-" pose were scattered by the Thracian dames. Here, Madam, I might take an opportunity to celebrate your virtues, and to inftruct you how unhappy you are, in that you know not who you are: how much you excel the most excellent of your own, and how much you amaze the leaft inclined to wonder of our, But as they will be apt to take your Ladyship's for a Roman name, fo would they believe that I endeavoured the character of a perfect Nymph, worshiped an image of my own making, and dedicated this to the Lady of the brain, not of the heart, of

fex.

Your Ladyship's

moft humble Servant,

EDM. WALLER.

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Printed in the Year 1664.

HEN the Author of these verfes (written only

to please himself, and fuch particular persons to whom they were directed) returned from abroad fome years fince, he was troubled to find his name in Print: but, fomewhat fatisfied, to fee his Lines fo ill rendered that he might juftly difown them; and fay to a mistaking Printer, as one did to an ill Reciter,

*

*** Male dum recitas, incipit effe tuus.

Having been ever since pressed to correct the many and grofs faults (fuch as ufe to be in impreffions wholly neglected by the Authors); his anfwer was, that he made thefe when ill Verfes had more favor, and efcaped better, than good ones do in this age: the feverity whereof he thought not unhappily diverted by those faults in the impreffion, which hitherto have hung upon his Book, as the Turks hang old rags, or

* Martial, Lib. i. Ep. 39.

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fuch-like

fuch-like ugly things, upon their faireft horses, and other goodly creatures, to fecure them against fascination. And, for those of a more confined understanding, who pretend not to cenfure; as they admire most what they least comprehend, fo, his verfes (maimed to that degree that himself scarce knew what to make of many of them) might, that way at least, have a title to fome admiration: which is no small matter, if what an old Author obferves be true, that the aim of Orators, is victory; of Hiftorians, truth; and of Poets, admiration. He had reafon therefore to indulge those faults in his Book, whereby it might be reconciled to fome, and commended to others.

The Printer alfo he thought would fare the worse, if thofe faults were amended; for we fee maimed statues fell better than whole ones; and clipped and washed money goes about, when the entire and weighty lies hoarded up.

These are the reasons which for above twelve years past he has opposed to our requeft; to which it was replied, that as it would be too late to recall that which had fo long been made public; fo, might it find excufe from his youth, the feafon it was produced in. And, for what had been done fince, and now added, if it commend not his Poetry, it might his Philofophy, which teaches him fo chearfully to bear fo great a calamity, as the lofs of the best part of his fortune, torn from him in prifon (in which, and in banishment, the best portion of his life hath also been spent), that

he

5

he can ftill fing under the burthen, not unlike that Roman *,

Quem dimifere Philippi

Decifis humilem pennis, inopemque paterni
Et Laris, & fundi.

Whofe fpreading wings the civil war had clip'd,
And him of his old patrimony ftrip'd;

Who yet not long after could fay,

Mufis amicus, triftitiam & metus

Tradam protervis in mare Creticum

Portare ventis

Lib. I. Ode xxvi.

They that acquainted with the Mufes be,
Send care, and forrow, by the winds to fea.

Not fo much moved with these reasons of ours (or pleas'd with our rhymes) as wearied with our importunity, he has at laft given us leave to affure the Reader, that the Poems which have been fo long, and fo ill fet forth under his name, are here to be found as he first writ them: as alfo, to add fome others which have fince been compofed by him. And though his advice to the contrary might have discouraged us; yet, obferving how often they have been reprinted, what price they have borne, and how earnestly they have been

*Horace, Lib. II. Epift. ii.

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always

always inquired after, but efpecially of late; (making

good that of Horace,

Meliora dies, ut vina, poemata reddit:

Lib. II. Epift. i.

"Some verses being, like fome vines, recommended "to our taste by time and age,")

We have adventured upon this new and well-corrected Edition; which, for our own fakes as well as thine, we hope will fucceed better than he apprehended.

Vivitur ingenio, cætera mortis erunt.

ALBINOVANUS.

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