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A thousand daily sects rise up and die;
The danger's much the same; on several shelves
What then remains, but, waiving each extreme, The tides of ignorance and pride to stem; Neither so rich a treasure to forego,
Nor proudly seek beyond our power to know?
The things we must believe are few and plain :
Thus have I made my own opinions clear,
That first run all religion down,
Hudibras, Part III. canto 2.
For while from sacred truth I do not swerve, Tom Sternhold's, or Tom Shadwell's rhymes will serve."
* The famous Tom Brown is pleased to droll on this association of persons; being a part of the punishment which he says the Laureat inflicted on Shadwell for presuming to dispute his theatrical infallibility. "But, gentlemen, when I had thus, in the plenitude of my power, issued out the above-mentioned decretal epistles, you cannot imagine what abundance of adversaries I created myself: some were for appealing to a free unbiassed synod of impartial authors; others were for suing out a quo warranto, to examine the validity of my charter. Not to mention those of higher quality, I was immediately set upon by the fierce Elkanah, the Empress of Morocco's agent, who at that time commanded a party of Moorish horse, in order to raise the Siege of Grenada; and a fat old gouty gentleman, commonly called the King of Basan, who had almost devoured the stage with free quarter for his men of wit and humourists. But I countermined all their designs against my crown and person in a moment; for I presently got the one to be dressed up in a sanbenit, under the unsanctified name of Doeg; the other I coupled myself with his namesake Tom Sternhold. Being thus degraded from their poetical functions, and become incapable of crowning princes, raising ghosts, and offering any more incense of flattery to the living and the dead, I delivered them over to the secular arm, to be chastised by the furious dapper-wits of the Inns of Court, and the young critics of the university. Furthermore, to prevent all infection of their errors, I directed my monitory letters to the Sieur Batterton, advising him to keep no correspondence, either directly, or indirectly, with those foresaid apostates from sense and reason; adding, that in case of neglect, I would certainly put the theatre under an interdict, send a troop of dragoons from Drury-Lane to demolish his garrison in Salisbury-court, and absolve all his subjects, even to the sub-deacons and acolythes of the stage, his trusty door-keepers and candle-lighters, from their oaths of fealty and allegiance."-Reasons for Mr Bayes' changing his Religion.
FUNERAL PINDARIC POEM,
SACRED TO THE
HAPPY MEMORY OF
KING CHARLES II.
Fortunati ambo si quid mea carmina possunt,