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Told her own faults: but I should much abhor
To choose a husband for my confeffor.
You see what fate follow'd the saint-like fool,
For telling tales from out the nuptial school.

Our play a merry comedy had prov'd,
Had she confess'd so much to him fhe lov’d.
True Presbyterian wives the means would try;
But damnd confessing is fiat Popery.

XXXIII.

PROLOGUE TO THE WIDOW RANTER.

[By Mrs. Behn, 1690.]

HE

EAVEN save you, gallants, and this hopeful age;

Ye're welcome to the downfall of the stage: The fools have labour'd long in their vocation; And vice, the manufacture of the nation, O’erstocks the town so much, and thrives so well, That fops and knaves grow drugs, and will not fell. In vain our wares on theatres are shown, When each has a plantation of his own. His cause ne'er fails; for whatsoe'er he spends, There 's still God's plenty for himself and friends, Should men be rated by poetic rules, Lord! what a poll would there be rais'd from fools! Mean time poor wit prohibited must lie, As if 'twere made fome French commodity.

Fools

T 2

Fools

you

will have, and rais d at vast expence; And yet, as soon as seen, they give offence. Time was, when none would cry, That oaf was me; But now you strive about your pedigree. Bauble and cap no sooner are thrown down, But there's a muss of more than half the town. Each one will challenge a child's part at least; A sign the family is well increasid. Of foreign cattle there's no longer need, When we're fupply'd so fast with English breed. Well! Alourish, countrymen, drink, swear, and roar; Let every free-born subject keep his whore, And wandering in the wilderness about, At end of forty years not wear her out. But when you see these pictures, let none dare To own beyond a limb or single share: For where the punk is common, he's a sot, Who needs will father what the parish got.

XXXIV.

PROLOGUE
TO ARVIRAGUS AND PHILICIA REVIVED.
[By LODOWICK CARLELL, Esq.]

Spoken by Mr. Hart.
ITH fickly actors and an old house too,

We're match'd with glorious theatres and new, And with our alehouse scenes, and cloaths bare worn, Can neither raise old plays, nor new adorn.

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If all these ills could not undo us quite,
A brik 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 serious piece, which we presume
Is fallen from fome incomparable plume;
And therefore, Messieurs, 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 see, but shew their breeding:
Each lady striving to out-laugh the rest ;
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 hospitable 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 satire,
You'd less good breeding, or had more good-nature.

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WHA

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Revived by Mr. DRYDEN.
Spoken by Mr. BETTERTON.
HAT Nostradame, with all his art, can guess

The fate of our approaching Prophetess?
A play, which, like a perspective set right,
Presents our vast expences close to fight;
But turn the tube, and there we sadly view
Our distant gains; and those uncertain too:
A sweeping tax, which on ourselves we raise,
And all, like you, in hopes of better days.
When will our losses warn us to be wise?
Our wealth decreases, and our charges rife.
Money, the sweet 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.
False men, ev'n fo

you
serve
your

mistresses:
They rise three stories 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

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their vows,

In plume and scarf, jack-boots, and Bilboa blade,
Your filver goes, that should fupport our trade.
Go, unkind heroes, leave our stage to mourn;
Till rich from vanquish'd rebels you return;
And the fat spoils of Teague in triumph draw,
His firkin-butter, and his usquebaugh.
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 pay
And furnish all their laurels for your brows;
Their tuneful voice shall raise for your delights:
We want not poets fit to sing your flights.
But you, bright beauties, for whose only fake
Those doughty knights such dangers undertake,
When they with happy gales are gone away,
With your propitious presence grace our play;
And with a sigh their empty seats survey:

:
Then think, on that bare bench my servant sat;
I see him ogle ftill, and hear him chat;
Selling facetious bargains, and propounding
That witty recreation, call'd dum-founding.
Their loss with patience we will try to bear;
And would do more, to see you

often here: That our dead stage, revivid by your fair eyes, Under a female regency may rise.

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