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As feamen, fhipwreck'd on fome happy shore,

Difcover wealth in lands unknown before;

* Mr. Dryden's firft play, called the Wild Gallant, was exhibited with but indifferent fuccefs. The lady, whofe patronage he acknowledges in this epiftle, was Barbara, daughter of William Villiers Lord Grandifon, who was killed in the king's fervice at the battle of Edge-hill, in 1642, and buried in Chriftchurch, in Oxford. This lady was one of Charles the Second's favourite miftreffes for many years, and fhe bore him several children. 1. Charles Fitzroy, Duke of Southampton; 2. Henry Fitzroy, Earl of Eufton and Duke of Grafton; 3. George Fitzroy, Earl of Northumberland; 4. Charlotta, married to Sir Edward Henry Lee, of Ditchley, in Oxfordshire, afterwards Earl of Litchfield, and brother to Eleonora, Countess of Abingdon, on whom Dryden has written a beautiful elegy; 5. A daughter, whom the King denied to be his.

This lady was, before the was known to his Majefty, married to Roger Palmer, Efq. who was created Earl of Castlemain, by whom he had a daughter, whom the King adopted, and who married with Thomas Lord Dacres, Earl of Suffex.

The Countess of Caftlemain was afterwards created Dutchefs of Cleveland. DERRICK.

And, what their art had labour'd long in vain, By their misfortunes happily obtain : So my much-envy'd mufe, by fiorms long toft, 5 Is thrown upon your hofpitable coast, And finds more favour by her ill fuccefs, Than fhe could hope for by her happiness. Once Cato's virtue did the gods oppofe; While they the victor, he the vanquish'd chose: But you have done what Cato could not do, 11 To choose the vanquifh'd, and restore him too. Let others ftill triumph, and gain their caufe By their deferts, or by the world's applause ; Let merit crowns, and juftice laurels give, But let me happy by your pity live. True poets empty fame and praise defpife, Fame is the trumpet, but your smile the prize, You fit above, and fee vain men below Contend for what you only can bestow: But thofe great actions others do by chance, Are, like your beauty, your inheritance: So great a foul, fuch fweetnefs join'd in one, Could only fpring from noble Grandifon. You, like the stars, not by reflection bright, 25 Are born to your own heaven, and your own

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light;

Ver. 9. Once Cato's virtue did the gods oppofe;
While they the victor, he the vanquish'd chofe:]
Victrix caufa deis placuit fed victa Catone.
JOHN WARTON.

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Like them are good, but from a nobler cause, From your own knowledge, not from nature's laws.

Your power you never ufe, but for defence,
To guard your own, or other's innocence : 30
Your foes are fuch, as they, not you, have made,
And virtue may repel, though not invade.
Such courage
did the ancient heroes fhow,
Who, when they might prevent, would wait the

blow:

With fuch affurance as they meant to fay, 35
We will o'ercome, but fcorn the fafest way.
What further fear of danger can there be?
Beauty, which captives all things, fets me free.
Pofterity will judge by my fuccefs,
I had the Grecian poet's happiness,

Who, waving plots, found out a better way;
Some God defcended, and preferv'd the play.
When first the triumphs of your fex were fung
By thofe old poets, beauty was but
young,
And few admir'd the native red and white, 45
Till poets drefs'd them up to charm the fight;
So beauty took on truft, and did engage
For fums of praises till fhe came to age.
But this long-growing debt to poetry
You justly, madam, have discharg'd to me, 50
When your applause and favour did infuse
New life to my condemn'd and dying mufe.

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EPISTLE THE FOURTH.

TO

MR. LEE,

ON HIS

ALEXANDER.

THE blaft of common cenfure could I fear, Before your play my name fhould not appear;

Ver. 1. The blast of common] Every reader of taste must agree with Addifon, from whofe opinions it is always hazardous to diffent, that none of our poets had a genius more strongly turned for tragedy than Lee. Notwithstanding his many rants and extravagancies, for which Dryden fkilfully and elegantly apologizes in ten admirable lines of this epiftle, from verfe 45, yet are there many beautiful touches of nature and paffion in his Alexander, his Lucius J. Brutus, and Theodofius. So true was what he himself once replied to a puny objector: "It is not an eafy thing to write like a madman, but it is very easy to write like a fool." When Lord Rochester objected,

"That Lee makes temperate Scipio fret and rave,
And Annibal a whining amorous flave:"

It ought to be remembered, that this is a fault into which the moft applauded tragedians have frequently fallen, and none more fo than Corneille and Racine, though the latter was fo correct a scholar. Lee loft his life in a lamentable manner : returning home at midnight, in one of his fits of intoxication, he ftumbled and fell down in the ftreet, and perifhed in a deep fnow, 1692. Dr. J. WARTON.

For 'twill be thought, and with some colour too,

I pay the bribe I first receiv'd from you;
That mutual vouchers for our fame we stand, 5
And play the game into each other's hand;
And as cheap pen'orths to ourselves afford,
As Beffus and the brothers of the fword.
Such libels private men may well endure,
When states and kings themselves are not se-

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cure:

For ill men, confcious of their inward guilt,
Think the best actions on by-ends are built.
And yet my filence had not 'scap'd their spite;
Then, envy had not fuffer'd me to write;
For, fince I could not ignorance pretend,
Such merit I muft envy or commend.
So
many candidates there ftand for wit,
A place at court is fcarce fo hard to get :
In vain they crowd each other at the door;
For e'en reverfions are all begg'd before:
Defert, how known foe'er, is long delay'd;
And then too fools and knaves are better

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So has the mighty merit of your play
Extorted praife, and forc'd itself away.

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pay'd:

Yet, as fome actions bear fo great a name, That courts themselves are juft, for fear of fhame;

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