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Then for th' encouragement and propagation of such a great concernment to the nation, all people were so full of complacence, and civil duty to the public sense,
they had no name t' express a cuckold then,
and no man understands on what account
his forehead's shot free, and he's ne'er the worse:
'Get children, friends, and honour too, and money, by prudent managing of matrimony;
for if 'tis honourable by all confest, adult'ry must be worshipful at least,
and these times great, when private men are come up to the height and politic of Rome. All by-blows were not only freeborn then, but, like John Lilburn, free-begotten men; had equal right and privilege with these that claim by title right of the four seas: for being in marriage born, it matters not after what liturgy they were begot; and if there be a difference, they have th' advantage of the chance in proving brave, by b'ing engender'd with more life and force than those begotten the dull way of course. The Chinese place all piety and zeal in serving with their wives the commonweal; fix all their hopes of merit and salvation upon their women's supererogation;
with solemn vows their wives and daughters bind
like Eve in Paradise, to all mankind;
and those that can produce the most gallants,
are held the preciousest of all the saints:, wear rosaries about their necks, to con
their exercise of devotion on;
that serve them for certificates, to shew
and she that has been oft'nest prostituted,
they stood for conscience, and resolv❜d to die, rather than change the ancient purity of that religion which their ancestors and they had prosper'd in so many years; vow'd to their gods to sacrifice their lives, and die their daughters martyrs and their wives, before they would commit so great a sin against the faith they had been bred up in.
TO HIS MISTRESS.
Do not unjustly blame
for vent'ring to disclose a flame
it had so long supprest.
In it's own ashes it design'd
for ever to have lain ;
but that my sighs, like blasts of wind,
TO THE SAME.
Do not mine affection slight
'cause my locks with age are white:
your breasts have snow without, and snow within, while flames of fire in your bright eyes are seen.
SIR JOHN DENHAM
was the only son of Sir John Denham, knight, of Little Horsley in Essex, some time chief Baron of the Exchequer in Ireland, and one of the Lord Justices of that kingdom, by Eleanor daughter of Sir GarretMore, Baron of Mellefont in Ireland. He was born at Dublin in 1615. But in the space two years afterwards, his father being made one of the barons of the Exchequer in England, theson was brought with his parents to London, where he received his grammatical education. In 1631 he was entered a GentlemanCommoner in Trinity-College, Oxford. He was then 16 years of age, and according to Anthony Wood, looked upon as a slow, dreaming, young man, more addicted to gaming than to study. He resided here three years, passed his examinations, and was admitted to the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He next took chambers in Lincoln's-Inn, and applied, for a time, closely to the study of common law. His propensity to gaming, however, continued, and subjected him to the depredations of adepts in the art. His father chid and threatened him; he grew repentant, and wrote, an Essay on Gaming, which he presented to his father. This effected a reconciliation. His father died in 1638. He again fell to gaming, and lost several thousand pounds. In 1641 he published a tragedy called The Sophy, which was much admired. Soon after he was high-sheriff for the county of Surry, and made governor of Farnham-Castle, by king Charles 1, but not understanding military affairs, he relinquished his post, and went to the king at Oxford.
In 1643 he there published his Cooper's Hill; "A poem," says Dryden, " which for majesty of style is, and ever will be, the standard of good writing." His attachment to the royal cause during the civil wars gained him the confidence of the queen. She intrusted to our author, therefore, a message to the king, then a captive in the army. He afterwards resided some time in France, in the train of exiled royalty, and occasionally diverted the melancholy of the king and his retinue by poetic effusions. He return ed to England in 1652, but as his estates had been seized and sold by an order of parliament, he accepted the hospitality of the earl of Pembroke, at WilAt the restoration he was received into the sunshine of court favour, succeeded Inigo Jones as surveyor genera! to the king's buildings, and at the coronation of Charles 2, dignified with the order of K. B. Indulged by his royal master, and publicly esteemed, there was reason to hope that Sir John might have been securely happy, but human felicity is short and precarious, and man while deeming himself most secure, plunges unwarily into deep calamity. It was thus that our author by an injudicious marriage subjected himself to the bad dispositions of a wife. This unfortunate situation preyed so strongly upon his mind, that his understanding became disordered. This alienation of reason, was, however, only temporary, for he afterwards enjoyed his wonted faculties, so as to write some verses on Cowley's death, whom he did not long survive. He died in March, 1668, at his office near White-hall, and was interred in Westminsterabbey, near Chaucer, Spencer, and Cowley, the l of whom was his intimate friend. Tho' his early seem to have been unruly and agitated, yet in