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Or whate'er libel, for the public good,

Stirs up the fhrove-tide crew to fire and blood,
Reinove your benches, you apostate pit,
And take, above, twelve pennyworth of wit ;
Go back to your dear dancing on the rope,
Or fee what's worfe, the devil and the pope.
The plays that take on our corrupted stage,
Methinks, refemble the distracted age;
Noife, madness, all unreasonable things,
That ftrike at fenfe, as rebels do at kings.
The ftyle of forty-one our poets write,
And you are grown to judge like forty-eight.
Such cenfures our mistaking audience make,
That 'tis almoft grown fcandalous to take.
They talk of fevers that infect the brains;
But nonfenfe is the new difeafe that reigns.
Weak ftomachs, with a long difeafe oppreft,
Cannot the cordials of strong wit digeft.
Therefore thin nourishment of farce ye
Decoctions of a barley-water Mufe:
A meal of tragedy would make you fick,
Unless it were a very tender chick.


Some scenes in fippets would be worth our time;

Thofe would go down; fome love that's poach'd in rhyme ;

If thefe fhould fail

We must lie down, and, after all our coft,

Keep holiday, like watermen in frost;

While you turn players on the world's great flage,


And a&t yourselves the farce of


own age.



EPILOGUE to a Tragedy called TAMERLANE. [By Mr. SAUNDERS.]

LADIES, the beardless author of this day

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 Narciffus peeping through the fnow. Thus Cowley blossom'd soon, yet flourish'd long This is as forward, and may prove as strong. Youth with the fair fhould always favour find, Or we are damn'd diffemblers of our kind. What's all this love they put into our parts? 'Tis but the pit-a-pat of two young hearts. Should hag and grey-beard make fuch tender moan, Faith, you'd ev'n trust them to themselves alone, And cry, Let's go, here's nothing to be done. Since Love 's our bufinefs, as 'tis your delight, The young, who best can practise, best can write. What though he be not come to his full power, He's mending and improving every hour. You fly fhe-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; Faint and unnerv'd he runs into a fweat, And always fails you at the second heat.






HE fam'd Italian Muse, whose rhymes advance Orlando, and the Paladins of France, Records, that, when our wit and sense is flown, 'Tis lodg'd within the circle of the moon, In earthen jars, which one, who thither foar'd, Set to his nofe, fnuff'd up, and was reftor'd, Whate'er the story be, the moral 's true; The wit we loft in town, we find in you. Our poets their fled parts may draw from hence, And fill their windy heads with fober fenfe. When London votes with Southwark's disagree, Here may they find their long-loft loyalty. Here bufy fenates, to th' old cause inclin'd, May fnuff the votes their fellows left behind: Your country neighbours, when their grain grows dear, May come, and find their laft provifion here: Whereas we cannot much lament our loss, Who neither carry'd back, nor brought one cross. We look'd what reprefentatives would bring ; But they help'd us, just as they did the king. Yet we defpair not; for we now lay forth The Sibyls books to those who know their worth; And though the firft was facrific'd before, Thefe volumes doubly will the price restore.

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Our poet bade us hope this grace to find,
To whom by long prefcription you are kind.
He, whofe undaunted Mufe, with loyal rage,
Has never fpar'd the vices of the age,

Here finding nothing that his fpleen can raife,
Is forc'd to turn his fatire into praise.


PROLOGUE to his Royal Highness, upon his first
Appearance at the Duke's Theatre, after his
Return from Scotland, 1682.


N thofe cold regions which no fummers chear,
Where brooding darknefs covers half the year,
To hollow caves the fhivering natives go;
Bears range abroad, and hunt in tracks of fnow.
But when the tedious twilight wears away,
And ftars grow paler at th' approach of day,
The longing crowds to frozen mountains run;
Happy who first can fee the glimmering fun :
The furly favage offspring difappear,
And curfe the bright fucceffor of the year.
Yet, though rough bears in covert seek defence,
White foxes stay, with feeming innocence :
That crafty kind with day-light can dispense.
Still we are throng'd fo full with Reynard's race,
That loyal fubjects fcarce can find a place :
Thus modeft truth is caft behind the croud:
Truth fpeaks too low; hypocrify too loud.


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Let them be firft to flatter in fuccefs;

Duty can stay, but guilt has need to prefs;
Once, when true zeal the fons of God did call,
To make their folemn fhew at Heaven's Whitehall,
The fawning devil appear'd among the reft,
And made as good a courtier as the best.

The friends of Job, who rail'd at him before,
Came cap in hand when he had three times more.
Yet late repentance may, perhaps, be true;
Kings can forgive, if rebels can but fuc :
A tyrant's power in rigour is exprest;
The father yearns in the true prince's breast.

We grant, an o'ergrown Whig no grace can mend ;
But most are babes, that know not they offend.
The croud, to reftlefs motion ftill inclin'd,

Are clouds, that tack according to the wind.
Driven by their chiefs they ftorms of hailstones pour ;
Then mourn, and foften to a filent fhower.

O welcome to this much-offending land,

The prince that brings forgiveness in his hand!
Thus angels on glad meffages appear :
Their firft falute commands us not to fear:
Thus heaven, that could conftrain us to obey,
(With reverence if we might presume to say)
Seems to relax the rights of fovereign sway :
Permits to man the choice of good and ill,
And makes us happy by our own free-will.


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