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“ Some may think England cannot be safe without a standing army of 30,000 men; and will tell us the King of France has 200,000 in pay, disciplined troops ; that all our neighbours are armed in another manner than they were wont to be; that we must not imagine we can defend ourselves with our ordinary and legal forces.
“ All this is very material, and would have great weight with me if England were not an island, accessible only by sea; and in that case, not till they have destroyed our navy, which is, or may be made superior to any force that can be brought against us.
“ It is very difficult to land forces in an enemy's country; the Spanish armada was beaten at sea, and never set foot on English ground; his present Ma-, jesty with all the navy of Holland could b:ing over but 14,000 or 15,000 men, and that so publicly that. nothing but an infatuated prince would have permitted their landing. Our attempts upon Brest shew us that it is easy with a small force to prevent an assault from t'other side of the water. As we are capable of being attacked in several places, so it may be urged as reason for several troops more than our purposes can bear; but if we burthen the people thus far in
may tempt some to wish for war again, every change carrying a prospect of better times, and none can make it worse than a standing army, of any number of men, will at present. If we are true to ourselves, 10,000 men are enough ; and if not, 100,000 too few.”
The works of Sir Charles Sedley consist of a variety of short poems and six dramatic pieces. The best edition is that of 1719 in two vols. 8vo.
There is a neatness and felicity of expression in some of the shorter pieces of Sir Charles Sedley, which have preserved them from total oblivion, and secured him a place in modern collections. Beyond this, nothing can be said in favour of his poetry.*
Sedley's dramatic pieces are now forgotten, and never appear to have attained any great degree of popularity; those which we have seen are a mixture of prose
and rhyme, the serious scenes being of the latter kind. The
Mulberry Garden” which is one of the best, has the following neat dedication. ** To her Grace the Dutchess of Richmond and Lennox.t - MADAM.
“ Tis an unquestioned priviledge we authors have of troubling whomsoever we please with an epistle dedicatory, as we call it, when we print a play; Kings and Princes have never been able to exempt either themselves or their favourites from our persecution. I think your Grace, for a person of so great eminence, beauty, indulgence to wit, and other advantages that mark you out to suffer under addresses of this nature, has escaped very well hitherto; for I do not remember
made a sanctuary for any of these criminals : but Madam,
you must bear it patiently;-all the favour I can shew you, is that of a good execu
The poetry of Sir Charles Sedley acquired a high reputation with his contemporaries and was distinguished by the Duke of Buckingham by the phrase of “ Sedley's Witcheruft." Langborn remarks that—"he studied human nature, and was distinguished for the art of making himself agreeable ticularly to the ladies; for the verses of Lord Rochester beginning with “Sedley bas that prevailing gentle art,” so often quoted, allude not to his writings, but to his personal address.”
+ This was the famous Miss Stewart, whose adventures form so conspicuous a part of the amusing memoirs of Count Grammont
your time is
tioner, which is not to prolong your pain. You see, Madam, here the unhappiness of being born in our times, in which to that virtue and perfection, the Greeks and Romans would have given temples and altars, the highest thing we dare dedicate, is a play, or some such trifle. This that I now offer to your Grace, you were so kind to when it was in loose sheets, that by degrees you have trained it up to the confidence of appearing in print before you : and I hope you will find it no hard matter to pardon a presumption you have yourself been accessary to, especially in one that is entirely
The Play itself is uninteresting --but little enlivened with witand deficient in plot and character; but does not however disgust with its indelicacy in the same degree with some other contemporary productions.It contains the following Song, which is one of this author's best, and has been very strangely attributed of late years to Duncan Forbes, of Culloden,* set to Scotch music in consequence, and published in more than one collection of the national airs of that country. Ah, Chloris ! that I now could sit,
* See the memoir of Duncan Forbes, forming the “Introduction to the Culloden Papers,” page 11. The song is printed in this place, and the editor does not spare to assert that it was written by Forbes in honour of the lady be afterwards married ; he even professes, upon the testimony of a living witness, to point out the very grey rock in the wood,” where the poet caught his inspiration. This is too bad. The gallant Scotchman, certainly is not the first lover militant who has bor rowed artillery from more acconiplished con, batants, to batter and assa ult the fortress of a lady's heart, but generally such weapons of offence the immediate purpose of the loan accomplished-have in due time been returned to their lawful owners
As unconcern'd as when
No pleasure nor no pain !
And prais’d the coming day;
Must take my rest away.
Like metals in the mine,
Than youth concealed in thine.
In the present instance it is our business as curators of the fame of Kentish poets, to see justice done to the gay Baronet of Aylesford, who may well enough complain with the Mantuan bard.
“ Hos ego versiculos feci; tulit alter honores! We here then assert, deny it who can, Scotchman or other, that the song, which we have copied verbatim above, may be found at page 38 of the quarto edition of the “MulberryGarden," a comedy by Sir Charles Sedley, printed in 1688. We have retained the whole ; Duncan Forbes threw out the two last stanzas, in doing which he shewed good taste, whatever may be said of the petty larceny. It is probable that the enamoured Caledonian felt disposed to try the efficacy of “ Sedley's witchcraft," as it was called by his contemporaries, baving heard of its uncommon powers over the female heart.
Each gloried in their wanton part ;
To make a lover he
To make a beauty she.
Though now I slowly bend to love,
Uncertain of my fate, If your fair self my
approve, I shall
Lovers, like dying men, may well
At first disorder'd be,
What fortune they must see.
FROM HIS MISCELLANEOUS POEMS.
Not Celia, that I juster am
Or better than the rest, For I would change each hour like them,
Were not my heart at rest.
But I am ty'd to very thee,
By every thought I have, Thy face I only care to see,
Thy heart I only crave.
All that in woman is ador'd,
In thy dear self I find,
The handsome and the kind.
Why then should I seek farther store,
And still make love anew;
'Tis easy to be true,