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The rest may satisfy their curious Itch
With City Gazettes, or some Factious Speech,
Or what-e'er Libel, for the Publick Good,
Stirs up the Shrove-tide Crew to Fire and Blood.
Remove your Benches, you Apoftate Pit,
And take, above, twelve penny-worth of Wit ;
Go back to your dear dancing on the Rope,
Or see what's worse, the Devil and the Pope.
The Plays that take on our Corrupted Stage,
Methinks, resemble the distracted Age ;
Noise, Madness, all unreasonable Things,
'That Itrike at Sense, as Rebels do at Kings.
The style of Forty one our Poets write,
And you are grown to judge like Forty Eight.
Such Censures our mistaking Audience make,
That 'tis almost grown Scandalous to Take.
They talk of Fevers that infect the Brains ;
But Nonsense is the new Disease that reigns.
Weak Stomachs, with a long Disease oppreft,
Cannot the Cordials of strong Wit digeft.
Therefore thin Nourishment of Farce ye choose,
Decoctions of a Barley-water Muse:
A Meal of Tragedy would make ye fick,
Unless it were a very tender Chick.
Some Scenes in Sippets wou'd be worth our time ;
Those would go down ; some Love that's poach'd in
If these should fail-
We must lie down, and, after all our cost,
Keep Holy-day, like Water-men in Frost;
While you turn Players on the World's great Stage,
And Act your selves the Farce of your own Age.
EPILOGU e to a Tragedy called
(By Mr. SA UN DER s.)
Commends to you
the Fortune of his Play. A Woman Wit has often grac'd the Stage ; But he's the first Boy.Poet of our Age. Early as is the Year his Fancies blow, Like young Narcisus peeping through the Snow. Thus Cowley blossom'd soon, yet flourish'd long ; This is as forward, and may prove as strong. Youth with the Fair should always Favour find, Or we are damn'd Diffemblers of our kind. What's all this Love they put into our Parts ? 'T'is but the pit-a-pat of Two young Hearts. Should Hagand Gray. Beard make such tender moan, Faith, you'd e'en trust 'em to themselves alone, And cry, Let's go, here's nothing to be done. Since Love's our Business, as ʼtis your Delight, The Young, who best can practise, best can write. What though he be not come to his full Pow'r, He's mending and improving every Hour. You fly She-Jockies of the Box and Pit, Are pleas'd to find a hot unbroken Wit : By management he may in time be made, But there's no hopes of an old batter'd Jade ; Paint and unnery'd he runs into a Sweat, And always fails you at the Second Heat.
OU faw our Wife was Chafte, yet throughly tryd,
And, without doubt, y'are hugely edify'd;
For, like our Hero, whom we shew'd to-day,
You think no Woman true, but in a Play.
Love once did make a pretty kind of Show;
Esteem and Kindness in one Breast would grow:
But 'twas Heav'n knows how many years ago.
Now some small Chat, and Guinea Expectation,
Gets all the pretty Creatures in the Nation :
In Comedy your little Selves you meet ;
'Tis Covent- Garden drawn in Bridges-street.
Smile on our Author then, if he has shown
A jolly Nut-brown Bastard of your own.
Ah! happy you, with Eafe and with Delighte
Who act those Follies, Poets toil to write !
The fwéaling Muse does almost leave the Chace ;
Slie puffs, and hardly keeps your Protean Vices pace.
but in one Vice, away you fly
To some new Frisk of Contrariety.
You rowl like Snow-Balls, gathering as you run,
And get seven Dev'ls, when dispoffess'd of one.
Your Venus once was a Platonick Queen ;
Nothing of Love beside the face was seen ;
But every Inch of her you now Uncase,
And clap a Vizard-Mask upon
For Sins like these, the 'Zealous of the Land,
With little Hair, and little or no Band,
Declare how circulating Pestilences
Watch, every Twenty Years, to snap Offences.
Saturn, e'en now, takes Doctoral Degrees ;
He'll do your work this Summer, without Fees.
Let all the Boxes, Pbæbus, find thy Grace,
And, ah, preserve the Eighteen-penny Place!
But for the Pit Confounders, let 'em go,
And find as little Mercy as they sho! :
The Actors thus, and thus thy Poets Pray ;
For ev'ry Critick lay'd, thou damn'it a Play.
PROLOOU É to the PROPHE TESS.
( By Beaumont and Fletcher. Revived by Mr. Dryden.)
Spoken by Mr. BET TERTON.
Hat Nostradame, with all his Art, can guess
The Fate of our approaching Prophetess?
A Play, which, like a Perspective fet right,
Presents our valt Expences close to Sight ;
But turn the Tube, and there we sadly view
Our distant Gains ; and those uncertain too :
A sweeping Tax, which on our selves we raise,
And all, like you, in hopes of better Days,
When will our Loffes warn us to be Wife'?
Our Wealth decreases, and our Charges rise.
Money, the sweet Allurer of our Hopes,
Ebbs out in Oceans, and comes in by Drops.
We raise new Objects to provoke Delight ;
But you grow fated, ere the second Sight.
False Men, e'en so you serve your Mistreffes :
They rise three Stories in their Tow'ring Dress 5
And, after all, you Love net long enough
To pay the Rigging, ere you leave 'em off.
Never content with what
had before, But true to Change, and English Men all o'er.
Now Honour Calls you hence ; and all your Care
Is to provide the horrid Pomp of War.
In Plume and Scarf, Jack-Boots, and Bilbo Blade,
Your Silver goes, that Mou'd support our Trade.
Go, unkind Heroes, leave our Stage to mourn ;
'Till rich from vanquish'd Rebels you return;
And the fat Spoils of Teague in Triumph draw,
His Firkin-Butter, and his Usquebaugh.
Go, Conqu’rors of your Male and Female Foes;
Men without Hearts, and Women without Hose.
Each bring his Love a Bogland Captive home;
Such proper Pages will long Trains become ;
With Copper Collars, and with Brawny Backs,
Quite to put down the Fashion of our Blacks.
Then shall the Pious Muses pay their Vows,
And furnith all their Laurels for your Brows ;
Their tuneful Voice shall raise for your Delights 3
We want not Poets fit to sing your Fights.
But you, bright Beauties, for whose only fake
Those Doughty Knights such Dangers undertake,
When they with happy Gales are gone away,
With your propitious Presence grace our Play ;
And with a Sigh their Empty Seats survey :
Then think, on that bare Bench my Servant sat ;
I see him Ogle still, and hear him Chat;
Selling facetious Bargains, and propounding
That witty Recreation, callid Dum-founding.
Their Loss with Patience we will try to bear ;
And wou'd do more, to see you often here:
That our dead Stage, reviv'd by your fair Eyes,
Under a Female Regency may rise.