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Debts making him uneasie to the City Harpies, he was forced to retire into Torkshire, where he made an Exit very unworthy of the Great Duke of Buckingham ; who if he had pleas'd, might have made as brilliant a Figure in History, as any Nobleman of this Age.
I will not pretend to justifie this Chara&er in every branch of it, which perhaps, is a little too severe upon his Grace's Conduct ; only this, I think, I may venture to say of it, That take it altogether, 'tis one of the finest, that are to be found in any of our Modern Historians, and as the Book, from whence I translated it, is not to be met with in the common Shops, and hardly in the best furnished Libraries, I hope, I have obliged the Reader by presenting him with a faithful Version of it. To come now to his Grace's Miscellaneous Tra&ts; True it is, that some few of them have seen the light before, but having been Copied out by ignorant Transcribers, who fre. quently mistook his Grace's Words and Meanning, 'twas thought but a piece of Justice to his Reputation, to print them from the true Genuine Originals, which were luckily procured from one of his intimate Domesticks. And the same I may affirm of some other Poems and Speeches in this colle&ion; for altho' they flipe long agoe, clandestinely into the Press, yet they were so full of Mistakes and Blunders, that since they are now first of all
purg'd and clear'd from those Errata's, that either clouded or wholly maim'd the sense of them, they may now, in true propriety of Specch, be faid to be first communicated to the World.
I might add, That several Copies of Verfes in this Edition are now restored to their proper Authors, which were attributed before to Persons, to whom they never belong'd; the Transcribers of the last Age, as well as those of the former, either following common Re.. port, wbich is often mistaken, or else setting any plausible Names before their Copies, (no matter with what justice this was done) provided it would but promote the value of their Manuscript. And here I mus inform the Reader that by the miltake of the Composer, one single Copy has been inadvertently put in, which certainly was never written by his Grace, I mean that upon Felton; for what Man in his Şenses can believe, that the Duke of Buckingham wou'd write a Commendatory Epitapb upon a furious Enthusiast that Affassinated his Father at Purismouth? And yet I have seen it ascribed to the Duke in several Mfl. Collections of State Poems, now in the Custody of some curious Gentlemen ; and what is more, Printed as such in a Miscellany, Published in the Year 1692, by Peter Buck.
To adapt this Colle&ion as far as might be to the Palate of all Readers, some of wbom perbaps might be disgusted to see it wholly Composed
of jocose and pleasant Pieces, I was advised to insert a judicious Set of Speeches spoken in Parliament by some of our most celebrated Statesmen and Senators. I have often wondered indeed, that since our Neighbouring Nations have thought it convenient for the Inftru&ion of their Youth, to publish a sele& Col. lection of the best Speeches out of Livy, Salluft, Tacitus, 2n. Curtins, and other eminent Authors, none of our Countrymen have either had the inclination or leisure, to make such a Dele&tus, out of our own great Masters of Eloquence, than which nothing cou'd be more ad. vantageous to our young Gentlemen, to in. struct them, how to express themselves justly and hansomely in any great Afsemblies, to which they may be called. Not to revive the Quarrel between the Ancients and the Moderns I am intirely of the Opinion, that we have not fallen much short of them upon these Occasions; and as for our Rivals the French, who pretend to carry the Prize of Eloquence from all the World besides, I would only deGre any unprejudiced Reader to compare their most celebrated Compositions, with what he will find in this Miscellany, to the Honour of our Constitution be it said, which allows our Members of Parliament to express themselves with that Liberty and Vigour, which is wholly unknown to all other Governments : I dare maintain, that my Lord Falkland, and some few of his contemporaries in the long Parlia
ment, my Lord Bristol, my Lord Chancellor Hyde, &c. have deliver'd in those Affemblies, Discourfes as full of Warmth and Spirit, purity of Language, and justnefs of Reasoning, as ever Athens or Rome were known to produce, in the most flourishing Periods of thofe two famous Republicks. I have a proper occafion here to mention fome worthy Gentlemen now alive, who are in no respe& inferiour to their Predeceffors? But the wife Observation of Paterculus hinders me from dwelling upon fo inviting a Subject, who checks'me with Vivotum ut magna admiratio, ita Censura difficilis.
To relieve the Reader, I thought it not a miss to entertain him with two or three facetious Speeches, written by the late Loyal and Witty Sir 7. Berkenhead, in the time of that long unnatural. Rebellion, fathered upon Alderman Atkins, and others. As they were out of Print, and hardly to be found any where, but in a few Libraries, I was eafily perswaded to retrieve such valuable Papers from the onwor: thy Oblivion they had so long been buried under.
Dramatic Pieces, or Plays.
HE Restauration, or right will take place,
a Trag. Com.