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Or, what can wars to after-times affure,
Of which our present age is not secure?
All that our monarch would for us ordain,
Is but t'enjoy the bleffings of his reign.

Our land's an Eden, and the main's our fence,
While we preserve our state of innocence:
That loft, then beasts their brutal force employ,
And first their lord, and then themselves destroy..
What civil broils have coft, we know too well;
Oh! let it be enough that once we fell!
And every heart confpire, and every tongue,
Still to have fuch a king, and this king long.

XVI.

AN EPILOGUE

FOR THE KING'S HOUSE.

WE

E act by fits and ftarts, like drowning men, But just peep up, and then pop down again. Let those who call us wicked change their fenfe; For never men liv'd more on Providence.

Not lottery cavaliers are half so poor,
Nor broken cits, nor a vacation whore.
Not courts, nor courtiers living on the rents
Of the three last ungiving parliaments:

So wretched, that, if Pharaoh could divine,
He might have fpar'd his dream of feven lean kine,
And chang'd his vifion for the Mufes nine.
The comet, that, they fay, portends a dearth,
Was but a vapour drawn from play-house earth :
R 4

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Pent

Pent there fince our laft fire, and, Lilly fays,
Forefhews our change of state, and thin third-days.
'Tis not our want of wit that keeps us poor;
For then the printer's prefs would fuffer more.
Their pamphleteers each day their venom spit;
They thrive by treason, and we starve by wit.
Confefs the truth, which of you has not laid
Four farthings out to buy the Hatfield maid?
Or, which is duller yet, and more would spite us,
Democritus's wars with Heraclitus?

Such are the authors, who have run us down,
And exercis'd you critics of the town.
Yet these are pearls to your lampooning rhymes,
Y'abuse yourselves more dully than the times.
Scandal, the glory of the English nation,
Is worn to rags, and fcribbled out of fashion."
Such harmless thrufts, as if, like fencers wife,
They had agreed their play before their prize.
Faith, they may hang their harps upon the willows;
'Tis just like children when they box with pillows.
Then put an end to civil wars for shame;
Let each knight-errant, who has wrong'd a dame,
Throw down his pen, and give her, as he can,
The fatisfaction of a gentleman.

PROLOGUE

XVII.

PROLOGUE

TO THE LOYAL BROTHER: OR, THE PERSIAN

PRINCE.

[By Mr. SOUTHERNE, 1682.]

OETS, like lawful monarchs, rul'd the ftage, 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 them!) hate.. The critic humbly seems advice to bring; The fawning Whig petitions to the king: But one's advice into a fatire flides; T'other's petition a remonftrance hides. These will no taxes give, and those no pence; Critics would ftarve the poet, Whigs the prince. The critic all our troops of friends discards; Juft fo the Whig would fain pull down the guards. Guards are illegal, that drive foes away, As watchful fhepherds that fright beafts of prey. Kings, who difband fuch needless aids as these, Are fafe as long as e'er their fubjects please: And that would be till next queen Befs's night: Which thus grave penny chroniclers indite. Sir Edmundbury firft, in woful wife,

Leads up 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,

Who, to provoke revenge, rides round the fire,
And, with a civil congé, does retire:
But guiltless blood to ground muft never fall;
There's Antichrift behind, to pay for all.
The punk of Babylon in pomp appears,
A lewd old gentleman of feventy years:
Whose age in vain our mercy would implore;
For few take pity on an old caft-whore.

The devil, who brought him to the shame takes part;)
Sits cheek by jowl, in black, to cheer his heart;
Like thief and parfon in a Tyburn-cart.
The word is given, and with a loud huzza
The mitred moppet from his chair they draw:
On the flain corpfe contending nations fall:
Alas! what's one poor pope among them all!
He burns; now all true hearts your triumphs ring:
And next, for fashion, cry, God fave the king!
A needful cry in midst of such alarms,
When forty thousand men are up in arms.
But after he's once faved, to make amends,
In each fucceeding health they damn his friends:
So God begins, but still the devil ends.

What if fome one, inspir'd with zeal, should call,
Come, let's go cry, God fave him at Whitehall?
His best friends would not like this over-care,
Or think him e'er the fafer for this prayer.
Five praying faints are by an act allow'd;
But not the whole church-militant in crowd.
Yet, fhould heaven all the true petitions drain
Of Prefbyterians, who would kings maintain,
Of forty thousand, five would fcarce remain..

EPILOGUE

XVIII.

EPILOGUE TO THE SAME.

A Virgin poet was ferv'd up to-day,

Who, till this hour, ne'er cackled for a play.
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 natural toy.
Were I to play my callow author's game,
The king's house would inftruct me by the name.
There's loyalty to one; I wish no more:
A commonwealth founds like a common whore.
Let husband or gallant be what they will,
One part of woman is true Tory ftill.
If any factious fpirit fhould rebel,

Our fex, with ease, can every rifing quell.
Then, as you hope we should your failings hide,
An honeft jury for our play provide.

Whigs at their poets never take offence;

They fave dull culprits, who have murder'd fenfe.
Though nonfenfe is a nauseous heavy mass,
The vehicle call'd Faction makes it pass.
Faction in play 's the commonwealth-man's bribe;
The leaden farthing of the canting tribe:
Though void in payment laws and ftatutes make it,
The neighbourhood, that knows the man,
will take it.
"Tis faction buys the votes of half the pit;
Their's is the penfion-parliament of wit.

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