« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
tended no more than to put the Reader in mind what respect was due to any thing that fell from the pen of Mr. Waller. I have heard his last printed copies, which are added in the several editions of his poems, very fightly spoken of; but certainly they do not deserve it. They do indeed discover themselves to be his last, and that is the worst we can say of them. He is there
* Jam senior; sed cruda Deo viridisque senectus.
The same censure perhaps will be paffed on the pieces of this Second Part. I shall not so far
engage for them, as to pretend they are all equal to whatever he wrote in the vigor of his youth: yet, they are so much of a piece with the rest, that any man will at first fight know them to be Mr. Waller's. Some of them were wrote very early, but not put into former collections, for reasons obvious enough, but which are now ceased. The play + was altered to please the Court: it is not to be doubted who fat for the Two Brothers' characters. It was agreeable to the sweetness of Mr. Waller’s temper, to soften the rigor of the Tragedy, as he expresses it: but, whether it be so agreeable to the nature of Tragedy itself, to make every thing comeoff easily, I leave to the Critics. In the Prologue, and Epilogue, there are a few verses that he has made use of upon another occasion : but, the Reader may be pleased to allow that in Him, that has been allowed so long in Homer, and Lucretius. Exact writers dress up their
* Virg. Æn. vi. 304.
† “ The Maid's Tragedy;" which does not come within the plan of the present publication,
thoughts thoughts so very well always, that, when they have need of the same sense, they cannot put it into other words, but it must be to its prejudice. Care has been taken in this Book to get together every thing of Mr. Waller's that is not put into the former collection : fo that between both, the Reader may make the set complete.
It will perhaps be contended after all, that some of these ought not to have been published : and Mr. * Cowley's decision will be urged, that a neat tomb of marble is a better monument than a great pile of rubbish. It might be answered to this, that the Pictures, and Poems, of great Masters have been always valued, though the last hand were not put to them. And I believė none of those Gentlemen that will make the objection, would refuse a sketch of Raphael's, or one of Titian's draughts of the first fitting. I might tell them · too, what care has been taken by the learned, to preserve the fragments of the antient Greek and Latin Poets : there has been thought to be a Divinity in what they said; and therefore the least pieces of it have been kept up, and reverenced like religious reliques. And, I am sure, take away the " + mille anni ;” and impar
tial * In the Preface to his Works. + Alluding to that verse in Juvenal,
* * * Et uni cedit Homero
Mr. C. Dryden.
tial reasoning will tell us there is as much due to the memory of Mr. Waller, as to the most celebrated nanies of antiquity.
But, to wave the dispute now of what ought to have been done; I can assure the Reader, what would have been, had this edition been delayed. The following Poems were got abroad, and in a great many hands : it were vain to expeci, that among so many admirers of Mr. Waller, they should not meet with one fond enough to publish them. They might have staid, indeed, till by frequent transcriptions they had been corrupted extremely, and jumbled together with things of another kind: but, then they would have found their way into the world. So it was thought a greater piece of kindness to the Author, to put them out whilst they continue genuine and unmixed; and such as He Hima self, were He alive, might own.
Of the Danger his MAJESTY (being Prince) escaped
in the Road at Saint Andero.
OW had his Highness bid farewell to Spain,
And reach'd the sphere of his own power, the With British bounty in his ship he feasts [main : Th' Hesperian Princes, his amazed guests, To find that watery wilderness exceed The entertainment of their great Madrid. Healths to both Kings, attended with the roar Of cannons echoed from th' affrighted shore, With loud resemblance of his thunder, prove Bacchus the feed of cloud-compelling Jove: While to his harp divine Arion lings The loves, and conquests, of our Albion Kings.
Of the fourth Edward was his noble song, Fierce, goodly, valiant, beautiful, and young: He rent the crown from vanquish'd Henry's head; Rais’d the White Rose, and trampled on the Red : Till Love, triumphing o'er the victor's pride, Brought Mars and Warwick to the conquer'd fide:
Neglected Warwick, (whose bold hand, like Fate,
What the prophetic Muse intends, alone
With the sweet sound of this harmonious lay,
These mighty Peers plac'd in the gilded barge,