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Her ROYAL HIGHNESS, the
PRINCESS of WALES.
SI am confcious, that no compo
As fition of my own could be wor
thy to be laid at your Royal Highnefs's feet; it is my happiness, as an Editor, to have this opportunity of approaching you, by submitting to your protection the best Dramatic Poet that these kingdoms could ever boast of. He enjoy'd; whilst living, the favour of the greatest A 3
Queen that has fat on the English throne; and therefore, I hope, is entitled to your Royal Highness's fmiles over his urn.
Could I picture out his character equal to its merits, the world would foon difcover a fort of parallel betwixt the Poet and his Patronefs. His excellencies were as great, as they were various; his beauties ftrong, and all native; the frame of his mind as fweet and candid, as his countenance was open and engaging; and his fentiments as chafte, as his conceptions were noble: He knew how to charm without affectation; and had the wondrous force of preserving all hearts, that once felt the influence of his attractions.
After what I have faid, MADAM, I am afraid the duty of this address should be misconftrued a panegyrick on your Royal Highness. But I have profefs'd myself unequal to the task of drawing his portraiture, and my humble sphere in
life fets meat too great a distance to take even the outlines of your perfections. I would not therefore, where I cannot prefume to do justice, be thought to descend to the unbecoming art of flattery. I must launch out, indeed, a great way, to make myself liable to that imputation, with regard to your Royal Highness; but Dedications are generally fufpected of overstraining.
How far foever, MADAM, my vanity or my ambition might mislead me into that tract, I'll oblige myself to govern both by duty; and turn all attempts of praife and compliment into veneration and pious wishes. That You may long continue to bless the eyes and arms of the PRINCE, your Illuftrious Confort; and that you may continue to bless the nation with a numerous fucceffion of Princes, to the future glory and fecurity of our establishment, is my ardent A 4
prayer; and in that I will center the only merit, by which I would pretend to profess myself,
Your ROYAL HIGHNESS's
Moft dutiful and moft obedient,
An EPITAPH on the admirable Dramatic Poet, W. SHAKESPEARE.
WHAT neede my Shakespeare for his honour'd bones
Or that his hallow'd reliques fhould be hid
Deare fonne of memory, great heire of Fame,
This Epitaph was written in 1630, when Milton was in his two and twentieth year; for he was born in 1608.
In Remembrance of
Mafter WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE,
O D E.
Eware (delighted Poets!) when you fing
Each tree, whofe thick and spreading growth hath made Rather a night beneath the boughs, than fhade,