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If his Ambition may those Hopes pursue,
Who with Religion loves your Arts and you,
Oxford to him a dearer Name shall be,
Than his own Mother University.
Thebes did his green, unknowing Youth ingage,
He chuses Athens in his riper Age.
The PROLOGUE at Oxford, 1680.
Hefpis, the firft Professor of our Art,
At Country Wakes, Sung Ballads from a Carte To prove this true, if Larin be no Trespass, Dicitur & Plauftris, vexisse Poemata Thespiş. But Æschylus, says Horace in some Page, Was the first Mountebank that trod the Stage: Yer Athens never knew your learned Sport, tit:9 Of tosling Poets in a Tennis-Court ; But 'tis the Talent of our English Nation, $. stk Still to be plotting some new Reformation: 3 3.1 And few Years hence, if Anarchy goes on,
131 Jack Presbyter shall here erect his Throne...) Knock out a Tub with Treaching once a Day, And every Prayer be longer than a Play. 1; ?! Then all you Heathen Wits fhall go to pot, For disbelieving of a Popish-plot: Your Poets shall be us'd like Infidels, vi to! 13 And worft the Author of the Oxford Bells :983 pm Nor should we fcape the Sentence, to depart, in, Ev’n in our firft Original, a Cart. No Zealous Brother there wou'd want a Stone, To maul us Cardinals, and pelt Pope Joan : Rcligion, Learning, Wit, wou'd be suppresty rus Rags of the Whore, and Trappings of the Beast: Scot, Suarez, Tom of Aquin, must go down, As chief Supporters of the Triple Crown;
And Aristotle's for destruction ripe,
Some say he call'd the Soul an Organ-pipe,
Which by some little help of Derivation,
Shall then be prov'd a Pipe of Inspiration.
The Prologue to AL BUMAZAR.
Written by Mr. Dryden.
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 Johnson (of those few the beft) chose this
As the best Model of his Master-piece :
Subtle was got by our Albumazar,
That Alchymgift by this Aftrologer ;
Here he was fafhion'd, and we may suppose,
He lik’d the fashion well, who wore the Cloaths,
But Ben made nobly his, what he did Mould,
What was another's Lead, becomes his Gold:
Like an unrighteous Conqueror he Reigns,
Yet Rules that well, which he unjustly Gains.
But this our Age such Authors does afford,
As make whole Plays, and yet scarce write one word i
Who in this Anarchy of Wit, rob all ;
And what's their Plunder, their possession call.
Who, like bold Padders, scorn by Night to prey,
But rob by Sun-fhine, in the Face of Day,
Nay scarce the common Ceremony use,
Of Stand Sir, and deliver up your Muse ;
But knock the Poet down, and, with a Grace,
Mount Pegasus before the Owner's Face.
Faith, if you have such Country Toms abroad,
'Tis time for all true Men to leave that Road,
Yet it were modeft, could it but be said
They Arip the Living, but these rob the Dead;
Dare with the Mummies of the Muses play,
And make Love to them the Agrptian way:
Or as a Rhiming Author would have said,
Join the Dead Living to the Living Dead.
Such Men in Poetry may claim some Part,
They have the License, tho' they want the Art.
And might, where Theft was prais'd, for Laureats
Poets, not of the Head, but of the Hand. [stand
They make the Benefits of others studying,
Much like the Meals of Politick fack-Pudding,
Whose diffi to challenge, no Man has the Courage,
'Tis all his own when once h'has fpit i'th' Porridge,
But, Gentlemen, you're all concern’d in this,
You are in fault for what they do amiss.
For they their Thefts ftill undiscover'd think,
And durft not fteal, unless you please to wink.
Perhaps, you may award by your Decree,
They shou'd refund, but that can never be.
For lhould you Letters of Reprifal seal,
These Men write that which no Man elfe would feal.
Prologue to A VIRAGUS Reviv'd :
Spoken by Mr. HARI,
Written by Mr. DrYDEN.
TITH fickly A&ors and an old House too,
We're match'd with glorious Theatres and
And with our Ale-house Scenes, and Cloaths bare
Can neither raise old Plays, nor new adorn.
If all these 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 see some serious Piece, which we presume
Is fall’n from some 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 you like 'em they are Frencha
Therefore some go with Courtefie exceeding,
Neither to hear nor see, but show their Breeding,
Each Lady striving to out-laugh the test;
To make it seem they understood the Jeft :
Their Countrymen come in, and nothing pay,
To teach us English where to clap the Play:
Civil Igad: Our Hospicable Land,
Bears all the charge for them to understand:
Mean time we languish, and neglected lye,
Like Wives, while you keep better Company;
And with for our own sakes, without a Satyr,
You'd less good Breeding,or had more good Nature,
Prologue spoken the first Day of the King's House Asting after the Fire.
-Writ by Mr. DrYDEN. S , ftand
O shipwreckt Passengers escape to Land, Dropping and cold, and their first fear scarce o’er, Expecting Famine on a Defart Shore. From that hard Climate we must wait for Bread, Whence ev'n the Natives, forc'd by hunger, fed, Our Stage does human Chance present to view But ne'er before was seen so fadly true. You are chang'd too, and your Pretence to see, Is but a Nobler Name for Charity. Your own Provisions furnish out our Feafts, While you the Founders make your felves the Guests,
of all Mankind beside Fate had some Care,
But for poor Wit no portion did prepare.
'Tis left a Rent-Charge to the Brave and Fair.
You cherish'd it, and now its fall you mourn,
Which blind unmanner'd Zealots make their scorn,
Who think that Fire a Judgment on the Stage,
Which spard not Temples in its furious Rage.
But as our new built City rises higher,
So from old Theatres may new aspire,
Since Fate contrives Magnificence by Fire.
Our Great Metropolis does far surpass
Whate'er is now, and equals all that was:
Our Wit as far does Foreign Wit excel,
And, like a King, shou'd in a Palace dwell.
But we with Golden Hopes are vainly fed,
Talk high, and entertain you in a fhed:
Your Presence here (for which we humbly sue)
Will grace Old Theatres, and build up New.
PROLOGUE for the Women, when
they Afted at the old Theatre in Lincoln's-Inn-Fields.
Written by Mr. DRYDEN.
Ere none of you, Gallants, e'er driven so hard,
And could not do't at home, in some. By-itreet,
To take a Lodging, and in private meet?
Such is our Case, we can't appoint our House,
The Lovers old and wonted Rendezvouz ;
But hither to this trusty Nook remove,
The worse the Lodging is, the more the Love.
For much good Pastime, many a dear sweet hug
Is stol'n in Garrets on the humble Rugg.