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If all thefe ills could not undo us quite,
A brisk French troop is grown your dear delight;
Who with broad bloody bills call you each day,
To laugh and break your buttons at their play;
Or fee fome ferious piece, which we prefume
Is fallen from fome incomparable plume;
And therefore, Meffieurs, if you'll do us grace,
Send lacquies early to preserve your place.
We dare not on your privilege intrench,
Or ask you why ye like them? they are French.
Therefore fome go with courtesy exceeding,
Neither to hear nor fee, but fhew their breeding:
Each lady ftriving to out-laugh the reft;
To make it seem they understood the jest.
Their countrymen come in, and nothing pay,
To teach us English where to clap the play:
Civil, egad! our hofpitable land
Bears all the charge, for them to understand:
Mean time we languish, and neglected lie,
Like wives, while you keep better company;
And wish for your own fakes, without a fatire,
You'd lefs good breeding, or had more good-nature.

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XXXV.

PROLOGUE TO THE PROPHETESS. By BEAUMONT and FLETCHER.

Revived by Mr. DRYDEN.
Spoken by Mr. BETTERTON.

WHAT Noftradame, with all his art, can guess

The fate of our approaching Prophetefs?
A play, which, like a perspective set right,
Prefents our vast expences clofe to fight;
But turn the tube, and there we fadly view
Our diftant gains; and those uncertain too:
A fweeping tax, which on ourfelves we raife,
And all, like you, in hopes of better days.
When will our loffes warn us to be wife?.
Our wealth decreases, and our charges rife.
Money, the fweet allurer of our hopes,
Ebbs out in oceans, and comes in by drops.
We raise new objects to provoke delight;
But you grow fated, ere the second fight.
Falfe men, ev'n fo you ferve your mistreffes:
They rife three ftories in their towering dress;
And, after all, you love not long enough
To pay the rigging, ere you leave them off.
Never content with what you had before,
But true to change, and Englishmen all o'er.
Now honour calls you hence; and all your care
Is to provide the horrid pomp of war.

In plume and scarf, jack-boots, and Bilboa blade,
Your filver goes, that fhould fupport our trade.
Go, unkind heroes, leave our ftage to mourn;
Till rich from vanquish'd rebels you return;
And the fat fpoils of Teague in triumph draw,
His firkin-butter, and his ufquebaugh.
Go, conquerors of your male and female foes;
Men without hearts, and women without hose.
Each bring his love a Bogland captive home;
Such proper pages will long trains become;
With copper collars, and with brawny backs,
Quite to put down the fashion of our blacks.
Then shall the pious Muses
their vows,
pay
And furnish all their laurels for your brows;
Their tuneful voice shall raise for your delights;
We want not poets fit to fing your flights.
But you, bright beauties, for whose only fake
Thofe doughty knights fuch dangers undertake,
When they with happy gales are gone away,
With your propitious prefence grace our play;
And with a figh their empty feats survey:
Then think, on that bare bench my fervant fat;
I fee him ogle ftill, and hear him chat;
Selling facetious bargains, and propounding
That witty recreation, call'd dum-founding.
Their lofs with patience we will try to bear;
And would do more, to fee you often here:
That our dead stage, reviv'd by your
fair eyes,
Under a female regency may rise.

T 4

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PROLOGUE

XXXVI.

PROLOGUE TO THE MISTAKES.

Enter Mr. BRIGHT.

G

ENTLEMEN, we must beg your pardon; here's no Prologue to be had to-day; our new play is like to come on, without a frontispiece; as hald as one of you young beaux, without your periwig.. I left our young poet, fniveling and fobbing behind the fcenes, and curfing fomebody that has deceived him..

Enter Mr. BOWEN.

Hold your prating to the audience: here's honeft Mr. Williams, juft come in, half mellow, from the RofeTavern. He fwears he is infpired with claret, and will come on, and that extempore too, either with a prologue of his own, or fomething like one: O here he comes to his trial, at all adventures; for my part, I wish him a good deliverance.

[Exeunt Mr. Bright and Mr. Bowen. Enter Mr. WILLIAMS.

Save ye firs, fave ye! I am in a hopeful way.

I fhould speak fomething, in rhyme, now, for the play:

But the duce take me, if I know what to say.

I'll stick to my friend the author, that I can tell ye, To the laft drop of claret, in my belly.

So far I'm fure 'tis rhyme-that needs no granting: And, if my verses feet ftumble-you see my own are wanting.

Our

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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

It

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Corke.

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 sky-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 up himself.
By this time, I'm fomething recover'd of my flufter'd
madness:

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

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How's this, you cry? an actor write?-we know it;
But Shakespeare was an actor, and a poet.

1

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 inspir❜d.
Let your kind prefence grace our homely cheer;
Peace and the butt, is all our business here:
So much for that;-and the devil take small beer.

EPILOGUE

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