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The Copy of a Letter written by Sir HENRY

Wootton, to the Author, upon the following Poem.

From the College, this 13th of April, 163&.

T was a special favour, when you lately bestowed upon

me here the first taste of your acquaintance, though no longer than to make me know that I wanted more time to value it, and to enjoy it rightly; and in truth, if I could then have imagined your farther stay in these parts, which I understood afterwards by Mr. H. I would have been bold in our vulgar phrase to mend my draught, (for you left me with an extreme thirst) and to have begged your conversation again, jointly with your faid learned friend, at a poor meal or two, that we might have banded together some good authors of the ancient time: among which, I observed you to have been familiar.

Since your going you have charg'd me with new obli. gations, both for a very kind letter from you dated the sixth of this month, and for a dainty piece of entertainment which came therewith. Wherein I should much commend the tragical part, if the lyrical did not ravish me with a certain dorique delicacy in your songs and odes, whereunto I must plainly confess to have seen yet nothing parallel in our language: ipfa mollities. But I must not omit to tell you, that I now only owe you thanks for intimating unto me Chow modestly foever) the true artificer. For the work it self I had view'd some good, while before, with


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138 A Letter from Sir H. Wootton. singular delight, having receiv'd it from our common friend Mr R. in the very close of the late R's poems, printed at Oxford, whereunto it was added fas I now suppose) that the accessory might help out the principal, according to the art of stationers, and to leave the reader con la bocca dolce.

Now Sir, concerning your travels, wherein I may chata lenge a little more privilege of discourse with you ; I'fuppose you will not blanch Paris in your way: therefore I have been bold to trouble you with a few lines to Mr. M. B. whom you shall easily find attending the young Lord S. as his governor ; and you may surely receive from him good dire&tions for the paping of your farther journey into Italy, where he did refide, by my choice fome time for the king, after mine own recess from Venice.

I mould think that your best line will be thorough the whole length of France to Marseilles, and thence by sea to Genoa, whence the passage into Tuscany is as diurnal as a Gravesend bargė: I basten as you do to Florence, or Siena, the rather to tell you a short story from the interest you have given me in your safety.

At Siena I was tabled in the house of one Alberto Scipioni, an old Roman courtier in dangerous times, having been steward to the Duca di Pagliano, who with all his fa'mily were strangled, save this only man that escap'd by foresight of the tempeft: with him I had often much chat af those affairs ; into which he took pleasure to look back from bis native harhour ; and at my departure toward Rome (which had been the center of his experience) I had won confidence enough to beg his advice, how I might carry myself securely there, without offence of others, or of mine

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own conscience. Signor Arrigo mio (says he) I pensieri stretti, et il viso sciolto, will go safely over the whole world: of which Delphian oracle (for so I have found it) your judgment doth need no commentary ; and therefore (Sir) I will commit you with it to the best of all securities, God's dear love, remaining

Your friend as much at command

as any of longer date,

Henry Wootton.



Have expresly sent this my foot-boy to prevent your

departure without some acknowledgment from me of the receipt of your obliging letter, having myself through some business, I know not how, neglected the ordinary conveyance. In any part where I shall understand you fixed, I shall be glad, and diligent to entertain you with home-novelties; even for some fomentation of our friendship, tuo foon interrupted in the cradle.

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The attendant pirit, afterwards in the habit of


Comus with his crew.

The lady.

I Brother.

2 Brother.

Sabrina the nymph.

The chief persons who presented, were,

The Lord Bracly.

Mr. Thomas Egerton his brother.

The Lady Alice Egerton.



! M A S K.

The first Scene discovers a wild Wood.

The attendant fpirit defcends or enters.

Eror e the starry threshold of Jove's court

My mansion is, where those immortal lapes.
Of bright aereal spirits live inspher'd
In regions mild of calm and ferene air,
Above the smoak and stirr of this dim spot,
Which men call earth, and with low-thcughted cart
Confin'd, and pester'd in this pin-fold here,
Strive to keep up a frail and feverish being,
Unmindful of the crown that virtue gives,
After this mortal change, to her true servants
Amongst the enthron'd gods on sainted seats.
Yet some there be that by due steps aspire
To lay their just hands on that golden key
That ope's the palace of eternity :
To such my errand is, and but for such,
I would not soil these pure ambrosial weeds,
With the rank vapours of this sin-worm mould.

But to my task. Neptune, besides the Sway.

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