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The friends of Job, who rail'd at him before,
35 O welcome to this much-offending land, The Prince that brings forgiveness in his hand ! Thus angels on glad messages appear ; Their first salute commands us not to fear; Thus Heav'n, that could constrain us to obey, 40 (With rev’rence if we might presume to say) Seems to relax the rights of sov'reign sway ; Permits to man the choice of good and ill, And makes us happy by our own free-will.
PROLOGUE TO THE EARL OF ESSEX. By Mr. J. BANKS
1682. Spoken to the King and the Queen, at their coming to the House.
When first the ark was landed on the shore,
When tops of hills the longing patriarch saw,
25 Is but t' enjoy the blessings of his reign. Our land's an Eden, and the main's our fence, While we preserve our state of innocence: That lost, then beasts their brutal force employ, And first their lord, and then themselves, destroy. 30
What Civil broils have cost we know too well ;
PROLOGUE TO THE LOYAL BROTHER: Or, THX PER
SIAN PRINCE. By Mr. SOUTHERN, 1682. Poets, like lawful monarchs, rul'd the stage, Till critics, like damn'd Whigs, debauch'd our age. Mark how they jump: critics would regulate Our theatres, and Whigs reform our state: Both pretend love, and both (plague rot 'em!) hate. The critic humbly seenis advice to bring, The fawning Whig petitions, to the King: But one's advice into a satire slides; Th’ other's petition a remonstrance hides. These will no taxes give, and those no pence; Critics would starve the poet, Whigs the prince. The critic all our troops of friends discards; Just so the Whig would feign pull down the Guards, Guards are illegal, that drive foes away, As watchful shepherds that fright beasts of prey. Kings, who disband such needless aids as these, 16 Are safe—as long as e'er their subjects please, And that would be till next Queen Bess's night, Which thus grave penny chroniclers indite,
sir Edmond Bury first, in woeful wise,
45] What if some one inspir’d with zeal, should call, Come, let's go cry God save him, at Whiteball?
His best friends would not like this over-care,
PROLOGUE to the University of Oxford. Spoken by Mr.
HART, at the acting of THE SILENT WOMAN. What
Har Greece, when learning flourish'd, only knew, Athenian judges, you this day renew. Here, too, are annual rites to Pallas done, And here poetic prizes lost or won. Methinks I see you, crown'd with olives, sit, 5 And strike a sacred horror from the pit. A day of doom is this of your decree, Where ev’n the best are but by mercy free ;[to see. A day which none but Johnson durst bave wish'd} Here they, who long have known the useful stage, 10 Come to be taught themselves, to teach the age. As your commissioners, our poets go To cultivate the virtue which you sow; In your Lycæum first themselves refin'd, And delegated thence to human kind,