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But why shou'd I these Renegades describe,
When you your selves have seen a lewder Tribe?
Teague has been here, and, to this learned Pit,
With Irish Action slander'd English Wit:
You have beheld such barb'rous Mac's appear,
As merited a second Massacre :
Such as, like Cain, were branded with disgrace,
And had their Country stamp'd upon their face.
When Strolers durft presume to pick your Purse,
We humbly thought our broken Troop not worse.
How ill soe'er our Adion may deserve,
Oxford's a Place, where Wit can never starve.
PROLOGUE to the University of
HO' A&ors cannot much of Learning boaft,
We love the Praises of a learned Pit,
As we remotely are ally'd to Wit.
We speak our Poets Wit, and trade in Ore,
Like those, who touch upon the Golden Shore:
Betwixt our Judges can distinction make,
Discern how much, and why, our Poems take:
Mark if the Fools, or Men of Sense, rejoice;
Whether th’ Applause be only Sound or Voice.
When our Fop Gallants, or our City Folly
Clap over-loud, it makes us melancholy :
We doubt that Scene which does their wonder raise,
And, for their Ignorance, contemn their Praise.
Judge then, if we who act, and they who write,
Shou'd not be proud of giving you delight.
London likes grofly; but this nicer Pit.
Examines, fachoms all the Depths of Wit;
The ready Finger lays on every Blot ;
Knows what shou'd juftly please, and what shou'd not.
Nature herself lies open to your view ;
You judge by her, what draught of her is true,
Where Out-lines false, and Colours seem too faint,
Where Bunglers dawb, and where true Poets paint.
But by the sacred Genius of this Place,
By ev'ry Muse, by each Domestick Grace,
Be kind to Wit, which but endeavours well,
And, where you judge, prefumes not to excel.
Our Poets hither for Adoption come,
As Nations fu'd to be made free of Rome :
Not in the fuffragating Tribes to stand,
But in your utmoit, lait, provincial Band.
If his Ambition may those Hopes pursue,
Who with Religion loves your Arts and you,
Oxford to him a dearer Name shall be,
Than his own Mother Univerfity,
Thebes did his green, unknowing, Youth engage;
He chcoles Athens in his riper Age.
PROLOGUE 'to ALBUMA ZA R.
o say, this Comedy pleas'd long ago, TI
Is not enough to make it pass you now.
Yet, Gentlemen, your Ancestors had wit ;
When few Men censur’d, and when fewer writ.
And Johnjon, of those few the best, chofe this,
As the best Model of his Master-piece :
Subtle was got by our Albumazar,
That Alchymist by this Aftrologer ;
Here he was fashion'd, and we may suppose
He lik'd the fashion well, who wore the Clothes.
But Ben made nobly bis what he did Mould ;
What was another's Lead, becomes his Gold :
Like an unrighteous Conqueror. he Reigns,
Yet Rules that well, which he unjustly Gains.
But this our Age fuch Authors does afford,
As make whole Plays, and yet scarce write one word :
Who, in this Anarchy of Wit, rob all,
And what's their Plunder, their Poffeffion call :
Who, like bold Padders, scorn by Night to prey,
But rob by Sun-fhine, in the Face of Day :
Nay scarce the common Ceremony use
Of, Stand, Sir, and deliver up your Muse ;
But knock the Poet down, and, with a Grace,
Mount Pegasus before the Owner's Face.
Faith, if you have such Country Toms abroad,
'Tis time for all true Men to leave that Road.
Yet it were modeft, could it but be faid,
They ftrip the Living, but these rob the Dead;
Dare with the Mummies of the Muses play,
And make Love to them the Ægyptian way;
Or, as a Rhiming Author would have said,
Join the Dead Living to the Living Dead.
Such Men in Poetry may claim fome Part :
They have the License, tho' they want the Art ;
And might, where Theft was prais’d, for Laureats stand,
Poets, not of the Head, but of the Hand.
They make the Benefits of others ftudying,
Much like the Meals of Politick Jack-Pudding,
Whose dish to challenge no Man has the Courage;
'Tis all his own when once h' has spit i' th' Porridge.
But, Gentlemen, you're all concern'd in this ;
You are in fault for what they do amiss :
For they their Thefts ftill undiscover'd think,
And durst not steal, unless you please to wink.
Perhaps, you may award by your Decree,
They shou'd refund; but that can never be.
For should you Letters of Reprisal seal,
Thefe Men write that which no Man else would steal.
PROLOGUE to ARVIRA GUS and
PHILICIA Revived :
( By LODOWICK CARLELL, E/9; )
Spoken by Mr. HART,
ITH fickly Actors and an old House too,
We're match'd with glorious Theatres and new; And with our Ale-house Scenes, and Clothes bare worn, Can neither raise old Plays, nor new adorn. If all these Ills could not undo us quite, A brisk French Troop is grown your dear delight; Who with broad bloody Bills call you each day, To laugh and break your Buttons at their Play ; Or see some serious Piece, which we presume Is fall’n from some incomparable Plume; And therefore, Mefieurs, if you'll do us Grace, Send Lacquies early to preserve your place. We dare not on your Privilege intrench, Or ak you why you like 'em ? they are French. Therefore some go with Courtesy exceeding, Neither to hear nor see, but show their Breeding : Each Lady striving to out-laugh the rest; To make it seem they understood the Jeft. Their Countrymen come in, and nothing pay, To teach us English where to clap the Play :
Civil Igad! Oar Hospitable Land
Bears all the Charge, for them to understand :
Mean time we languish, and neglected lie,
Like Wives, while you keep better Company ;
And with for your own fakes, without à Sátire,
You'd less good Breeding, or had more Good-nature.
PROLOGUE Spoken the first Day of the
King's House AEling after the Fire.
Shipwreck's Paffengers escape to Land,
So look they, when on the bare Beach they stand
Dropping and cold, and their first fear scarce o'er,
Expecting Famine on a Desart Shore.
From that hard Climate we must wait for Bread,
Whence e'en the Natives, forc'd by hunger, fled.
Our Stage does human Chance present to view,
But ne'er before was seen so fadiy true:
You are chang’d too, and your Pretence to see
Is but a Nobler Name for Charity.
Your own Provisions furnish out our Feafts,
you the Founders make your felves the Guests. Of all Mankind beside Fate had some Care, But for
Wit no portion did prepare, 'Tis left a Rent-Charge to the Brave and Fair. You cherish'd it, and now its Fall you mourn, Which blind unmanner'd Zealots make their fcorn, Who think that Fire a Judgment on the Stage, Which spar'd not Temples in its furious Rage. But as our new-built City rises higher, So from old Theatres may new aspire, Since Fate contrives Magnificence by Fire.