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Our young poet has brought a piece of work,

In which, though much of art there does not lurk, may hold out three days-and that's as long as



But, for this play-(which till I have done, we show not)
What may be its fortune-by the Lord-I know not.
This I dare fwear, no malice here is writ:
'Tis innocent of all things-ev'n of wit.
He's no high-flyer-he makes no fky-rockets.
His fquibs are only level'd at your pockets.
And if his crackers light among your pelf,
You are blown up; if not, then he's blown
By this time, I'm fomething recover'd of


up himfelf.

my fufter'd

And now, a word or two in fober sadness.
Ours is a common play; and you pay down
A common harlot's price-juft half a crown.
You'll fay, I play the pimp, on my friend's fcore;
But, fince 'tis for a friend, your gibes give o'er
For many a mother has done that before.

How's this, you cry? an actor write?—we know it;
But Shakespeare was an actor, and a poet.
Has not great Jonfon's learning, often fail'd?
But Shakespeare's greater genius ftill prevail'd.
Have not fome writing actors, in this age
Deferv'd and found fuccefs upon the stage?
To tell the truth, when our old wits are tir'd,
Not one of us but means to be infpir'd.
Let your kind presence grace our homely cheer;
Peace and the butt, is all our business here:


So much for that;-and the devil take finall beer. XXXIV. EPI



[By Mr. Mo UNT FORT, 1693.}
Spoken by Mrs. BRACEGIRDLE.

THUS you the fad catastrophe have feen,
Occasion'd by a mistress and a queen.

Queen Eleanor the proud was French, they fay,
But English manufacture got the day.

Jane Clifford was her name, as books aver:
Fair Rofamond was but her Nom de guerre.
Now tell me,, gallants, would you lead your life
With fuch a miftrefs, or with fuch a wife?
If one must be your choice, which d'ye approve,
The curtain lecture, or the curtain love?
Would ye be godly with perpetual strife,
Still dradging on with homely Jean your wife:
Or take your pleasure in a wicked way,
Like honest whoring Harry in the play?
I guess your minds: the miftrefs would be taken,
And naufeous matrimony fent a packing.
The devil's in your all; mankind 's- a rogue;
You love the bride, but you deteft the clog.
After a year, poor spouse is left i' th' lurch,
And you, like Haynes, return to mother-church.
Or, if the name of Church comes crofs your mind,,
Chapels of eafe behind our fcenes you find.

The playhoufe is a kind of market-place;
One chaffers for a voice, another for a face:

Nay, fome of you, I dare not fay how many,
Would buy of me a pen'worth for your penny.
Ev'n this poor face, which with my fan I hide,
Would make a fhift my portion to provide,
With fome small perquifites I have befide.
Though for your love, perhaps, I should not care,
I could not hate a man that bids me fair.
What might enfue, 'tis hard for me to tell;
But I was drench'd to-day for loving well,
And fear the poifson that would make me swell.



GALLANTS, a bashful poet bids me fay,

He's come to lose his maidenhead to-day..
Be not too fierce; for he 's but green of age,
And ne'er, till now, debauch'd upon the stage..
He wants the suffering part of resolution,
And comes with blushes to his execution.
Ere you deflower his Mufe, he hopes the pit
Will make fome fettlement upon his wit.
Promife him well, before the play begin:
For he would fain be cozen'd into fin.
'Tis not but that he knows you mean to fail;
But, if you leave him after being frail,
He'll have, at least, a fair pretence to rail:
To call you base, and fwear you us'd him ill,
And put you in the new deferters bill.
Lord, what a troop of perjur'd men we fee
Enow to fill another Mercury!




But this the ladies may with patience brook :
Theirs are not the first colours you forsook.
He would be loth the beauties to offend;
But, if he should, he's not too old to mend.
He's a young plant, in his first year of bearing;
But his friend fwears, he will be worth the rearing..
His glofs is ftill upon him: though 'tis true
He's yet unripe, yet take him for the blue..
You think an apricot half green is best;

There's fweet and four, and one fide good at least.
Mangos and limes, whofe nourishment is little,
Though not for food, are yet preferv'd for pickle.
So this green writer may pretend, at least,
To whet your ftomachs for a better feast.
He makes this difference in the fexes too;
He fells to men, he gives himself to you..
To both he would contribute fome delight ;-
A meer poetical hermaphrodite.

Thus he's equipp'd, both to be woo'd, and woo;
With arms offenfive and defenfive too;

'Tis hard, he thinks, if neither part will do.




TO fay, this Comedy pleas'd long ago,

Is not enough to make it pass you now.
Yet, gentlemen, your ancestors had wit;
When few men cenfur'd, and when fewer writ.

T 4.

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And Jonfon, of those few the best, chofe this,
As the best model of his mafter-piece :
Subtle was got by our Albumazar,
That Alchemift by this Aftrologer ;

Here he was fashion'd, and we may fuppofe
He lik'd the fashion well, who wore the clothes.
But Ben made nobly his 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 fcarce write one word:
Who, in this anarchy of wit, rob all,

And what's their plunder, their poffeffion call:
Who, like bold padders, fcorn by night to prey,
But rob by fun-shine, in the face of day:
Nay fcarce the common ceremony use

Of, Stand, Sir, and deliver up your Mufe ;
But knock the Poet down, and, with a grace,
Mount Pegasus before the owner's face.
Faith, if you have fuch country Toms abroad,
'Tis time for all true men to leave that road.
Yet it were modeft, could it but be faid,
They trip the living, but these rob the dead;
Dare with the mummies of the Mufes play,
And make love to them the Ægyptian way;
Or, as a rhyming author would have faid,
Join the dead living to the living dead.
Such men in Poetry may claim fome part:
"They have the licence, though they want the art;


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