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amendment of our morals. But I am not to prejudice the cause of my fellow-poets, though I abandon my own defence : they have some of them answered for themselves ;' and neither they nor I can think Mr. Collier so formidable an enemy that we should shun him. He has lost ground at the latter end of the day, by pursuing his point too far, like the Prince of Condé, at the battle of Senef:* from immoral plays to no plays, ab abusu ad usum, non valet consequentia. But being a party, I am not to erect myself into a judge. As for the rest of those who have written against me, they are such scoundrels, that they deserve not the least notice to be taken of them. Blackmore and Milbourne are only distinguished from the crowd, by being remembered to their infamy :
Demetri, teque, Tigelli, Discipularum inter jubeo plorare cathedras. } Congreve, Vanbrugh, and Dennis.
+ The battle of Senef, in Flanders, in which the Prince of Condé was opposed to the Prince of Orange, was fought on the 11th of August, 1674. Condé, not content with having defeated the rear-guard of the enemy, in attempting to destroy the remainder of the Prince of Orange's army, who had left his flank exposed as he decamped, lost a great number of men. The contest was so bloody, that in a circumference of six miles, twentyseven thousand dead bodies were buried. Each of the Generals claimed the honour of the victory.
We are now arrived to the conclusion of our Author's Prefatory Disquisitions, after having travelled with him through all the various regions of Criticism for near forty years. With what vivacity and vigour his last composition, of that kind, was written, we have just seen; and of the spirit and elegance with which the old Bard could address a beautiful woman in his sixty-ninth year, the following harmonious verses prefixed to PALAMON AND ARCITE, (the last he ever wrote except the SECULAR MASQUE, and the Prologue and Epilogue to the PILGRIM,) afford a very pleasing proof. I shall therefore subjoin them as a kind of Envoy to this Collection of his Prose Works.
TO HER GRACE
THE DUCHESS OF ORMOND. 5
Vouchsafe, illustrious ORMOND, to behold,
If Chaucer, by the best idea wrought,
s This lady, as has been already mentioned, was a daughter of Henry, Duke of Beaufort. She was born at Beaufort House near Chelsea, in 1665, and died in the year 1733. She and the Duke had recently visited his estate in Ireland, in a private capacity, to which our author refers in this poem. The Duke of Ormond afterwards went to Ireland as Lord Lieutenant, in June 1703.
Like her, of equal kindred to the throne, You keep her conquests, and extend your own. As when the stars in their etherial race, At length have rollid around the liquid space, At certain periods they resume their place; Froin the same point of heaven their course advance, And move in measures of their former dance: Thus, after length of ages, she returns, Restor'd in you, and the same place adorns ; Or you perform her office in the sphere, Born of her blood, and make a new Platonick year.
O true Plantagenet, Orace divine ! (For beauty still is fatal to the line,) Had Chaucer liv'd that angel-face to view, Sure he had drawn his Emily from you: Or had you liv’d, to judge the doubtful right, Your noble Palamon had been the Knight ; And conqu’ring Theseus from his side had sent Your gen'rous Lord, to guide the Theban government.
Time shall accomplish that; and I shall see
Already have the Fates your path prepar'd,