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[By Mr. Sou THE R N E, 1682.]
OETS, like lawful monarchs, ruld the stage,
Till critics, like damn'd Whigs, debauch'd
Mark how they jump: critics would regulate
And that would be till next queen Bess's night:
the show, and milks their maudlin eyes. There's not a butcher's wife but dribs her part, , And pities the poor pageant from her heart; Who, to provoke revenge, rides round the fire, And, with a civil congé, does retire : But guiltless blood to ground must never fall There's Antichrist behind, to pay for all. The punk of Babylon in pomp appears, A lewd old gentleman of seventy years : Whose age in vain our mercy would implore ; For few take pity on an old-cast whore. The devil, who brought him to the shame,
Sits cheek by jowl, in black, to cheer his heart;
But after he's once sav'd, to make amends,
God save him at Whitehall ?
EPILOGUE to the same.
A Virgin poet was serv'd up to-day,
Who, till this hour, ne'er cackled for a plays He's neither yet a Whig nor Tory-boy ; But, like a girl, whom several would enjoy, Begs leave to make the best of his own nat’ral toy. Were I to play my callow author's
game, The king's house would instruct me by the name. There's loyalty to one ; I wish no more: A commonwealth sounds like a common whore.
Let husband or gallant be what they will,
part of woman is true Tory still. If
any factious spirit should rebel, Our sex, with ease, can ev'ry rising quell. Then, as you hope we should your failings hide, An honest jury for our play provide. Whigs at their poets never take offence; They save dull culprits, who have murder'd sense. Tho nonsense is a nauseous heavy mass, The vehicle calld Faction makes it pass. Faction in play's the commonwealth-man's bribe; The leaden farthing of the canting tribe : Tho void in payment laws and statutes make it, The neighbourhood, that knows the man, will
take it. 'Tis faction buys the votes of half the pit ; Their’s is the pension-parliament of wit. In city-clubs their venom let them vent; For there 'tis safe, in its own element. Here, where their madness can have no pretence, Let them forget themselves an hour of sense. In one poor isle, why should two factions be? Small diff'rence in your vices I can see: In drink and drabs both sides too well
agree. Would there were more preferments in the land: If places fell, the party could not stand;
1 Of this damn'd grievance ev'ry Whig complains; They grunt like hogs till they have got their grains, Mean time you see what trade our plots advance ; We send each year good money into France; And they that know what merchandize we need, Send o'er true Protestants to mend our breed.
SPOKEN by Mr. HART, At the Acting of the SILENT WOMAN.
HAT Greece, when learning fourish'd,
only knew, Athenian judges, you this day renew. Here too are annual rites to Pallas done, And here poetic prizes loft or won. Methinks I see you, crown'd with olives, fit, And strike a sacred horror from the pic. A day of doom is this of your decree, Where even the best are but by mercy free: A day, which none but Jonson durst have wilh'd