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Por eter are you bound to curse those quacks Are qualify'd to be destroy'd by Fate,
For other mortals to take warning at.
weak, Nor forc'd upon the king's account to lay
And give diversion to the great to break; All that, in serving him, you lost at play! To make a less delinquent to be brought For nothing but your brain was erer found
To answer for a greater person's fault, To suffer sequestration, and compound.
And suffer all the worst the worst approver Yet yon ’ave an imposition laid on brick,
Can, to excuse and save himself, discover.
No longer shall dramatics be contin'd
Reprieve the innocent, and hang the false;
For nothing, whomsoe'er they please, at will,
These are the reformations of the stage,
Like other reformations of the age,
On purpose to destroy all wit and sense,
As th' other did all law and conscience;
No better than the laws of British plays, WHOEVER will regard poetic fury,
Confirm'd in th' ancient good king Howell's days; When it is once found ideot by a jury,
Who made a general council regulate And every pert and arbitrary fool
Men's catching women by the-you know what, Can all poetic licence orer-rule;
And set down in the rubric at what time Assume a barbarous tyranny, to handle
It should be counted legal, when a crime; The Muses worse than Ostrogoth and Vandal; Declare when 'twas, and when 'twas not a sin, Make them submit to verdict and report,
And on what days it went out or came in. And stand or fall to th' orders of a court ?
An English poet should be try'd b'bis peers, Much less be sentenc'd by the arbitrary
And not by pedants and philosophers, Proceedings of a witless plagiary,
Incompetent to judge poetic fury, That forges old records and ordinances
As butchers are forbid to b’ of a jury;
Besides the most intolerable wrong
Or tales, falser than Euripides;
When not an English native dares appear Reduce all tragedy, by rules of art,
To be a witness for the prisoner ; Back to its antique theatre, a cart,
When all the laws they use t' arraign and try And make them henceforth keep the beaten roads The innocent and wrong'd delinquent by, Of reverend choruses and episodes;
Were made b' a foreign lawyer and his pupils, Reforn and regulate a puppet play,
To put an end to all poetic scruples, According to the true and ancient way,
And, by th' advice of virtuosi Tuscans, That pot an actor shall presume to squeak,
Determin'd all the doubts of socks and buskins; Unless he have a licence for 't in Greek;
Gave judgment on all past and future plays,
And after him the French filou Corneille;
And since our English plagiaries nim Not Devil in the puppet-play b' allow'd
And steal their far-fet criticisms from him, To roar and spit fire, but to fright the crowd, And, by an action falsely laid of trover, Unless some god or demon chance t' have piques
The lumber for their proper goods recover, Agaist an ancient family of Greeks;
Enough to furnish all the lewd impeachers
Of witty Beaumont's poetry and Fletcher's;
Are charg'd by those who ten times worse commit; That have been ruin'd only to be pity'd:
And, for misjudging some unhappy scenes, And only those held proper to deter,
Are censur'd for 't with more unlucky sense; Who've had th' ill luck against their wills to err.
When all their worst miscarriages delight, Whence only such as are of middling sizes,
And please more than the best that pedants Between morality and venial vices,
"This warm invective was very probably occa- find some few inaccuracies to censure in this comsigned by Mr. Rymer, historiographer to Charles II. position; but the reader of taste will either overwho censured three tragedies of Beaumont's and look or pardon them for the sake of the spirit that Fletcher's The cold,
vere critic may perhaps runs through it.
PHILIP NYE'S THANKSGIVING BEARDI,
A BEARD is but the vizard of a face,
That Nature orders for no other place ; ACTED BEFORE THE DUKE OP YORK, UPON HIS BIRTH-DAY.
The fringe and tassel of a countenance,
That hides his person from another man's, Sir, while so many nations strive to pay
And, like the Roman habits of their youth, The tribute of their glories to this day,
Is never worn until his perfect growth; That gave them earnest of so great a sum
A privilege no other creature has, Of glory (from your future acts) to come,
To wear a natural mask upon his face, And which you have discharg'd at such a rate,
That shifts its likeness every day he wears, That all succeeding times must celebrate;
To fit some other persons' characters, We, that subsist by your bright influence,
And by its own mythology implies,
That men were born to live in some disguise.
This satisfy'd a reverend man, that clear'd
His disagreeing conscience by his beard.
He 'ad been preferr'd i'th' army, when the church
Was taken with a Why not? in the lurch; We bring you only what your great commands
When primate, metropolitan, and prelates, Did rescue for us from engrossing hands,
Were turn'd to officers of horse and zealots, That would have taken out administration
From whom he held the most pluralities Of all departed poets' goods i' th' nation;
Of contributions, donatives, and salaries; Or, like to lords of manors, seiz'd all plays Was held the chiefest of those spiritual trumpets, That come within their reach, as wefts and strays, That sounded charges to their fiercest conibats; And claim'd a forfeiture of all past wit,
But in the desperatest of defeats But that your justice put a stop to it.
Had never blown as opportune retreats, 'Twas well for us, who else must have been glad
Until the synod orderd his departure
To London, from his caterwauling quarter,
To sit among them, as he had been chosen,
And pass or null things at his own disposing : And though those fierce inquisitors of wit,
Could clap up souls in limbo with a rote, The critics, spare no flesh that ever writ,
And for their fees discharge and let them out; But, just as tooth-drawers, find, among the rout, Which made some grandees bribe him with the p'ace Their own teeth work in pulling others out; Of holding-forth upon thanksgiving-days; So they, decrying all of all that write,
Whither the members, two imd two abreast, Think to erect a trade of judging by 't.,
March'd to take in the spoils of all the feast; Small poetry, like other heresies,
But by the way repeated the oh-hones By being persecuted multiplies;
Of his wild Irish and chromatic tones; But here they 're like to fail of all pretence;
His frequent and pathetic hums and haws, For he that writ this play is dead long since,
He practis'd only ť animate the cause, And not within their power; for bears are said With which the sisters were so prepossest, To spare those, that lie still and seein but dead.
They could remember nothing of the rest.
TO THE DUTCHESS.
" As our poet has thought fit to bestow so mary
verses upon this trumpeter of sedition, it may, pero EPILOGUE TO THE SANIE.
haps, be no thankless office to give the reader some further information about him, than what merelv relates to his beard.--He was educated at Oxforci,
first in Brazen Nose College, and afterwards in Madan, the joys of this great day are due, Magdalen Hall; where, under the influence of a No less than to your royal lord, to you;
puritanical tutor, he received the first tincture of And, while three mighty kingdoms pay your part, sedition and disgust to our ecclesiastical establishYou have, what 's greater than them all, his ment. After taking his degrees, he went into orders, heart;
but soon left England to go and reside in Holland, That heart that, when it was his country's guard, where he was not very likely to lessen those preThe fury of two elements outdar'd,
judices which he had already imbibed.
In the And made a stubborn haughty enemy
year 1640, he returned home, became a furious The terronr of his dreadful conduct Ay;
presbyterian, and a zealous stickler for the parliaAnd yet you conquerd it—and made your charms ment; and was thought considerable enough, in Appear no less victorious than his arms;
his way, to be sent by bis party into Scotland, to For which you oft have triumph'd on this day, encourage and spirit-up the cause of the covenant ; And many more to come Heaven grant you may! in defence of which he wrote several pamphlets. But, as great princes use, in solemn times
However, as his zeal arose from self-interest and Of joy, to pardon all but heinous crimes,
ambition, when the independents began to have the If we have sinn'd without an ill intent,
ascendant, and power and profit ran in that chan. And done below what really we meant,
nel, he faced about, and became a strenuous We humbly ask your pardon for 't, and pray preacher on that side; and in this situation he was You would forgive, in honour of the day.
when he fell under the lash of Butler's satire.
He thought upon it, and resolv'd to put
THE WEAKNESS AND MISERY OF MAN.
Who would believe that wicked Earth,
Where Nature only brings us forth
To be found guilty and forgiven,
Should be a nursery for Heaven;
When all we can expect to do
Will not pay half the debt we owe,
And yet more desperately dare,
As if that wretched trifle were
Too much for the eternal Powers,
Our great and mighty creditors,
But pay it in adulterate coin?
We only in their inercy trust,
To be more wicked and unjust;
All our devotions, vows, and prayers,
Are our own interest, not theirs ;
Our offerings, when we come t'adore,
But begging presents to get more ;
The purest business of our zeal
Is but to err, by meaning well,
And make that meaning do more harm
Than our worst deeds, that are less warm;
For the most wretched and perverse
Our holiest actions have been
Th’ effects of wickedness and sin;
Religious houses made compounders
For th' horrid actions of the founders;
Steeples that totter'd in the air,
By letchers sinn'd into repair ;
As if we had retain'd no sign
Nor character of the divine
And heavenly part of human nature,
But only the coarse earthy matter.
other little sketches upon the same subject, but Then do your office with your greatest skill,
none worth printing, except the following one may And let th' event befal us how it will.”
be thought passable, by way of note.
Did wear a tail upon his throat,
The fringe and tassel of a face,
That gives it a becoming grace,
But set in such a curious frarne,
As if 'twere wrought in filograin,
Drawn with a pen upon his chin.
Was e'er so neatly cut or thick set,
That made beholders more admire,
Than China-plate that 's made of wire ;
But being wrought so regular
In every part, and every hair,
To unconforming-inward mortal ?
And yet it was, and did dissent
No less from its own government,
Than from the church's, and detest
That which it held forth and profest ;
Did equally abominate
And, like an hypocritic brother,
Profess'd one thing and did another;
As all things, where they 're most profest, i I lind among Butler's manuscripts several Are found to be regarded least.
Our universal inclination
Hence bloody wars at first began, Tends to the worst of our creation ;
The artificial plague of man, As if the stars conspir'd t'imprint,
That from his own invention rise, In our whole species, by instinct,
To scourge his own iniquities; A fatal brand and signature
That, if the heavens should chance to spare Of nothing else but the impure.
Supplies of constant poison'd air, The best of all our actions tend
They might not, with unfit delay, To the preposterousest end,
For lingering destruction stay ; And, like to mongrels, we 're inclin'd
Nor seek recruits of Death so far, To take most to th' ignobler kind;
But plague themselves with blood and war. Or monsters, that have always least
And if these fail, there is no good Of th’ human parent, not the beast.
Kind Nature e'er ou man bestow'd, Hence 'tis we 've no regard at all
But he can easily divert Of our best half original;
To his own misery and hurt; But, when they differ, still assert
Make that which Heaven meant to bless The interest of th' ignobler part;
Th’ungrateful world with, gentle Peace, Spend all the time we have upon
With luxury and excess, as fast The vain capriches of the one,
As war and desolation, waste; But grudge to spare one hour to know
Promote mortality, and kill, What to the better part we owe.
As fast as arms, by sitting still; As, in all compound substances,
Like earthquakes, slay without a blow, The greater still devours the less;
And, only moving, overthrow; So, being born and bred up near
Make law and equity as dear Our earthy gross relations here,
As plunder and free-quarter were, Far from the ancient nobler place
Aud fierce encounters at the bar Of all our high paternal race,
Undo as fast as those in war; We now degenerate, and grow
Enrich bawds, whores, and usurers, As barbarous, and mean, and low,
Pimps, scriveners, silenc'd ministers, As modern Grecians are, and worse,
That get estates by being undone To their brave nobler ancestors.
For tender conscience, and have none. Yet, as no barbarousness beside
Like those that with their credit drive Is half so barbarous as pride,
A trade, without a stock, and thrive ; Nor any prouder insolence
Advance men in the church and state Than that which has the least pretence,
For being of the meanest rate, We are so wretched to profess
Rais'd for their double-guild deserts, . A glory in our wretchedness;
Before integrity and parts ; To vapour sillily, and rant,
Produce more grievious complaints Of our own misery and want,
For plenty, than before for wants, And grow vain-glorious on a score
And make a rich and fruitful year We ought much rather to deplore;
A greater grievance than a dear; Who, the first moment of our lives,
Make jests of greater dangers far, Are but condemn'd, and giv'n reprieves ;
Than those they trembled at in war; And our great'st grace is not to know
Till, unawares, they 've laid a train When we shall pay them back, nor how;
To blow the public up again ; Begotten with a vain caprich,
Rally with horrour, and, in sport, And live as vainly to that pitch.
Rebellion and destruction court, Our pains are real things, and all
And make fanatics, in despight Our pleasures but fantastical;
Of all their madness, reason right, Diseases of their own accord,
And vouch to all they have foreshown, But cures come difficult and hard.
As other monsters oft have done, Our noblest piles, and stateliest rooms,
Although from truth and sense as far, Are but outhouses to our tombs;
As all their other maggots are: Cities, though e'er so great and brave,
For things said false, and never meant, But mere warehouses to the grave.
Do oft prove true by accident. Our bravery 's but a vain disguise,
That wealth, that bounteous Fortune sends To hide us from the world's dull eyes,
As presents to her dearest friends, The remedy of a defect,
Is oft laid out upon a purchase With which our nakedness is deckt;
Of two yards long in parish-churches, Yet makes as swell with pride, and boast,
And those too-happy men that bought it As if we ’d gain’d by being lost.
Had liv'd, and happier too, without it: All this is nothing to the evils
For what does vast wealth bring but cheat, Which men, and their confederate devils,
Law, luxury, disease, and debt; Inflict, to aggravate the curse
Pain, pleasure, discontent, and sport,
An easy-troubled life, and short'?
'Though this satire seems fairly transcribed for And study their own punishment;
the press, yet, ou a vacancy in the sheet opposite That, as their crimes should greater grow,
to this line, I find the following verses, which proSo might their owu inflictions too.
bably were intended to be added; but as they are
UPON THE LICENTIOUS AGE OF CHARLES II.
205 But all these plagues are nothing near
Is lost in both, and breaks his blade Those, far more cruel and severe,
Upon the anvil where 'twas made: Unhappy man takes pains to find,
For, as abortions cost more pain Tinflict himself upon his mind :
Than vigorous births, so all the vain And out of his own bowels spins
And weak productions of man's wit, A rack and torture for his sins;
That aim at purposes unfit, Torments himself in vain, to know
Require more drudgery, and worse,
Than those of strong and lively force.
TUE LICEVTIO'S AGE OF CHARLES IT.
Tis a strange age we 've liv'd in, and a lewd, Grounds everlasting disquisitions,
As e'er the Sun in all his travels view'd; And raises endless controversies
An age as vile as ever Justice urg'd, On vulgar theorems and hearsays;
Like a fantastic letcher, to be scourg'd; Grows positive and confident,
Nor has it scap'd, and yet has only learn'd, In things so far beyond th' extent
The more 'tis plagued, to be the less concern'd. Of human sense, he does not know
Twice have we seen two dreadful judgments rage, Whether they be at all or no,
Enough to fright the stubborn'st-hearted age; And doubts as much in things that are
The one to mow vast crowds of people down, As plainly evident and clear;
The other (as then needless) half the town; Disdains all useful sense, and plain,
And two as mighty miracles restore To apply to th' intricate and vain ;
What both had ruin'd and destroy'd before; And cracks his brains in plodding on
In all as unconcern'd, as if they 'ad been That, which is never to be known;
But pastimes for diversion to be seen, To pose himself with subtleties,
Or, like the plagues of Egypt, meant a curse, And bold no other knowledge wise;
Not to reclaim us, but to make us worse. [head) Although, the subtler all things are,
Twice have men turn'd the World (that silly blockThey 're but to nothing the more near;
The wrong side outward, like a juggler's pocket, And, the less weight they can sustain,
Shook out hypocrisy as fast and loose The more he still lays on in vain,
As e'er the Devil could teacb, or singers use, And hangs his soul upon as nice
And on the other side at once put in And subtle curiosities,
As impotent iniquity and sin. As one of that vast multitude,
As sculls that have been crack'd are often found That on a needle's point have stood;
Upon the wrong side to receive the wound;
To break at th’ other still that 's opposite:
So men, who one extravagance would shun, With th' hundredth part of half a grain,
Into the contrary extreme have run; And still the subtler tbey move,
And all the difference is, that, as the first The sooner false and useless prove.
Provokes the other freak to prove the worst, So man, that thinks to force and strain,
So, in return, that strives to render less Beyond its natural sphere, his brain,
The last delusion, with its own excess, In vain torments it on the rack,
And, like two unskill'd gamesters, use one way, And, for improving, sets it back;
With bungling t’ help out one another's play. Is ignorant of his own extent,
For those who heretofore sought private holes, And that to which his aims are bent;
Secure in the dark to damn their souls,
Wore vizards of hypocrisy to steal not regularly inserted, I choose rather to give them Now bring their crimes into the open Sun,
And slink away in masquerade to Hell, by way of note.
For all mankind to gaze their worst upon, For men ne'er digg'd so deep into
As eagles try their young against his rays, The bowels of the Earth below,
To prove if they 're of generous breed or base; Por metals, that are found to dwell
Call Heaven and Earth to witness how they've aim'd, Near neighbour to the pit of Hell,
With all their utmost vigour, to be damn'd, And have a magic power to sway
And by their own examples, in the view The greedy souls of men that way,
Of all the world, striv'd to damn others too; But with their bodies have been fain
On all occasions sought to be as civil To fill those trenches up again;
As possible they could this grace the Devil, When bloody battles have been fought
To give him no unnecessary trouble, For sharing that which they took out:
Nor in small matters use a friend so noble, For wealth is all things that conduce
But with their constant practice done their best To man's destruction or his use;
T'improve and propagate his interest : A standard both to buy and sell
For men have now made vice so great an art, All things from Heaven down to Hell.
The matter of fact 's become the slightest part ;