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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 bald as one of you young beaux, without your periwig. I left our young poet, sniveling and sobbing behind the scenes, and cursing somebody that has deceived him..

Enter Mr. Bowen. Hold your prating to the audience: here's honeft Mr. Williams, just come in, half mellow, from the Rose Tavern. He swears he is inspired with claret, and will come on, and that extempore too, either with a prologue of his own, or something like one: O here he comes to his trial, at all adventures; for my part, 1 with him a good deliverance.

[Exeunt Mr. Bright and Mr. Bowen.

Enter Mr. WILLIAMS. Save ye firs, save ye! I am in a hopeful way. I should 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 last drop of claret, in my belly. So far I'm sure 'tis rhyme--that needs no granting: And, if my verses feet fumble - you see my own are wanting.

Our

3

Our young poet has brought a piece of work,
In which, though much of art there does not lurk,
It may hold out three days—and that's as long as

Corke.
But, for this play_(which tilt I have done, we show not)
What

may

be its fortune-by the Lord I know not. This I dare swear, 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 fluster'd

madness: And now,

a word or two in sober sadness. Ours is a common play; and you pay down A common harlot's price-juft half a crown. You'll say, I play the pimp, on my friend's score; But, since 'tis for a friend, your gibes give o'er For many a mother has done that before. How's this, you cry? an actor write? -we know it; But Shakespeare was an actor, and a poet. Has not great Jonson's learning, often faild? But Shakespeare's greater genius still prevail'd. Have not some writing actors, in this age Deserv'd and found success

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 presence 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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XXXVII.

TH

EPILOGUE TO HENRY II.

[By Mr. MountFORT, 1693.]
Spoken by Mrs. BRACE GIRDL E.
HUS you the fad catastrophe have feen,
Occasion'd by a mistress and a

queen.
Queen Eleanor the proud was French, they say ;
But English manufacture got the day.
Jane Clifford was her name, as books aver:
Fair Rosamond was but her Nom de guerre.
Now tell me, gallants, would you lead your life
With such a mistress, or with such a wife?
If one must be your choice, which d'ye approve,
The curtain lecture, or the curtain love?
Would ye be godly with perpetual ftrife,
Still drudging on with homely Joan your wife:
Or take your pleasure in a wicked way,
Like honest whoring Harry in the play?
I guess your minds: the mistress would be taken,
And nauseous matrimony fent a packing.
The devil's in you all; mankind's a rogue;
You love the bride, but you deteft the clog.
After a year, poor spouse is left i'th' lurch,
And you, like Haynes, return to mother-church.
Or, if the name of Church comes cross your mind,
Chapels of eafe behind our scenes

you The playhouse is a kind of market-place; One chaffers for a voice, another for a face:

Nay,

find.

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Nay, some of you, I dare not say how many,
Would buy of me a pen’worth for your penny.
Ev'n this poor face, which with my fan I hide,
Would make a shift my portion to provide,
With some small perquisites I have befide.
Though for your love, perhaps, I should not care,
I could not hate a man that bids me fair.
What might ensue, 'tis hard for me to tell;
But I was drench'd to-day for loving well,
And fear the poison that would make me swell.

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GAL

of

XXXVIII.
A PROLOG U E.
ALLANTS, a bashful poet bids me say,

He's come to lose his maidenhead to-day.
Be not too fierce; for he's but

green age,
And ne'er, till now, debauch'd upon the ftage.
He wants the suffering part of resolution,
And comes with blushes to his execution.
Ere you deflower his Muse, he hopes the pit
Will make some settlement upon his wit.
Promise him well, before the play begin:
For he would fain be cozen'd into fin.
'Tis not but that he knows you mean to fail;
But, if you leave him after being frail,
He 'll have, at least, a fair pretence to rail:
To call you base, and swear you us'd him ill,
And put you in the new deserters bill.
Lord, what a troop of perjur'd men we see;
Enow to fill another Mercury!

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But

But this the ladies may with patience brook:
Theirs are not the first colours

you

forsook. He would be loth the beauties to offend; But, if he should, he's not too old to mend. He's a young plant, in his first year of bearing; But his friend swears, he will be worth the rearing, His glofs is still upon him: though 'tis true He's yet unripe, yet take him for the blue. You think an apricot half green is beft; There's sweet and sour, and one side good at least. Mangos and limes, whose nourishment is little, Though not for food, are yet preserv'd for pickle. So this green writer may pretend, at least, To whet your ftomachs for a better feast. He makes this difference in the sexes too; He sells to men, he gives himself to you. To both he would contribute fome delight; A mere poetical hermaphrodite. Thus he's equipp'd, both to be woo'd, and woo; With arms offensive and defensive too; "Tis hard, he thinks, if neither part will do.

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XXXIX.

PROLOGUE TO ALBUMAZAR.

TO

10 fay, this Comedy pleas'd long ago,

Is not enough to make it pass you now.
Yet, gentlemen, your ancestors had wit;
When few men censur'd, and when fewer writ.

And

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