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SIR CHARLES SEDLEY,
Son of Sir John Sedley, of Aylesford in Kent, bart, was
born about 1639, entered at Wadham College, Oxford, 1656, where he spent only a short time, lived in retirement during Cromwell's usurpation, and coming to court after the Restoration, soon distinguished himself by superior wit and debauchery amongst the witty and profligate companions of Charles II. His conduct in Parliament shewed that he possessed in an equal degree the talents necessary for serious business. He was the author of six plays, and
of a volume of poems, and died in 1701. See a more particular account in the Biographia Dramatica.
Phillis, let's shun the common fate,
Both shall be glad to draw the stake:
A smile of thine shall make my bliss,
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 tied 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;
For the whole sex can but afford
The handsome and the kind.
Why then should I seek farther store,
And still make love anew? When change itself can give no more,
'Tis easy to be true.
CLORIS, I cannot say your eyes
No drowning man can know which drop
· He that doth lips or hands adore
Deserves them only, and no more:
Love, when 'tis true, needs not the aid
Of sighs, nor oaths, to make it known: And, to convince the cruell'st maid,
Lovers should use their love alone.
Into their very looks 'twill steal,
And he that most would hide his flame Does in that case his pain reveal:
Silence itself can love proclaim.
This, my Aurelia, made me shun
The paths that common lovers tread, Whose guilty passions are begun
Not in their heart, but in their head,
I could not sigh, and with cross’d arms
Accuse your rigour, and my fate; Nor tax your beauty with such charms
As men adore, and women hate ;
But careless liv'd, and without art,
Knowing my love you must have spied; And thinking it a foolish part
To set to show what none can hide.
To a dedout young Gentlewoman.
Phillis, this early zeal assuage !
You overact your part:
Gave heaven but half their heart.
Old men till past the pleasure ne'er
Declaim against the sin: 'Tis early to begin to fear
The Devil at fifteen.
The world to youth is too severe,
And, like a treacherous light, Beauty the actions of the fair
Exposes to their sight.