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y come to them: for the exercise of all men's wit must be always proper for their age, and never too much above it, and by practice and use in lighter arguments, they grow up at last to excell in the most weighty. I am not therefore ashamed to commend Mr. Cowley's Mistress. I only except one or two expressions, which I wish I could have prevailed with those that had the right of the other edition to have left out; but of all the rest, I dare boldly pronounce, that never yet was written so much on a subject so delicate, that can less offend the severest rules of morality. The whole passion of love is intimately described by all its mighty train of hopes, joys and disquiets. Besides this amorous tenderness, I know not how in every copy there is something of more useful knowledge gracefully insinuated; and every where there is something feigned to inform the minds of wise men, as well as to move the hearts of young men or women." Our author's comedy, named the Guardian, he afterwards altered, and published under the title of the Cutter of Coleman-Street. Langbaine says, notwithstanding Mr. Cowley's modest opinion of this play, it was acted not only at Cambridge, but several times afterwards privately, during the prohibition of the stage, and after the King's return publickly at Dublin; and always with applause. It was this probably that put the author upon revising it; after which he permitted it to appear publickly on the stage under a new title, at his royal highness the Duke of York's theatre. It met with opposition at first from some who envied the author's unshaken loyalty; but afterwards it was acted with general applause, and was esteemed by the critics an excellent comedy. In the year 1656 it was judged proper by those on whom Mr. Cowley depended, that he should come over into England, and under pretence of privacy and retirement, give notice of the situation of affairs in this nation. Upon his return he published a new edition of all his poems, consisting of four parts, viz. 1. Miscellanies. 2. The Mistress; or several copies of love-verses. 3. Pindarique Odes, written in imitation of the stile and manner of Pindar. 4. Davedeis, a sacred poem of the troubles of David in four books. "Which, says Dr. Sprat, was written in so young an age, that if we shall reflect on the vastness of the argument, and his manner of handling it, he may seem like one of the miracles that he there adorns; like a boy atte
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