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of this opinion, as Cicero is pleased to translate

him for us:

Tales sunt hominum mentes quali pater ipse

Jupiter auctifera lustravit lampade terras.

Or as the same author in his Tusculan Questions speaks, with more modesty than usual, of himself: Nos in diem vivimus; quodcunque animos nostros probabilitate percussit, id dicimus. It is not therefore impossible but that I may alter the conclusion of my play, to restore myself into the good graces of my fair criticks; and your Lordship, who is so well with them, may do me the office of a friend and patron, to intercede with them on my promise of amendment. The impotent lover in Petronius, though his was a very unpardonable crime, yet was received to mercy on the terms I offer. Summa excusationis meæ hæc est: placebo tibi, si culpam emendare permiseris.

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But I am conscious to myself of offering at a greater boldness in presenting to your view what my meanness can produce, than in any other errour of my play; and therefore make haste to break off this tedious address, which has, I know not how, already run itself into so much of pedantry, with an exeuse of Tully's, which he sent with his books De Finibus, to his friend Brutus : De ipsis rebus autem, sæpenumerò, Brute, vereor ne reprehendar, cum hæc ad te scribam, qui tum in poesi, (I change it from philosophia,) tum in optimo genere poeséos tantum processeris. Quod si faceren

quasi te erudiens, jure reprehenderer. Sed ab eo plurimùm absum: nec, ut ea cognoscas quæ tibi notissima sunt, ad te mitto; sed quià facilimè in nomine tuo acquiesco, et quia te habeo æquissimum eorum studiorum quæ mihi communia tecum sunt, æstimatorem et judicem ; which you may please, my Lord, to apply to yourself, from him, who is


Most obedient,

humble servant,


7 This is the only instance I have found of our author's subscribing his surname, in the French mode, without the Christian name. His friend, Sir William D'Avenant sometimes adopted the same mode.

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In the Prologue to this tragedy, which was acted by the King's Servants at the Theatre Royal, Dryden acknowledged, that he was grown weary of his long-lov'd mistress, rhyme.” He accordingly never afterwards produced an heroick play. The reign of rhyming trage-. dies, which were introduced by the bad taste of Charles the Second, who had learned to admire them during his residence in France, lasted about fifteen years; from 1662 to 1676. A few heroick plays afterwards appeared, but they were not long-lived.


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