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For what should hinder me to sell my skin

Dear as I could, if once my hand were in?

Se defendendo never was a sin.

'Tis a fine world, my masters, right or wrong,

The Whigs must talk, and Tories hold their tongue. TO THE DUKE OF GUISE, 1683.

They must do all they can — Our play 's a parallel : the Holy League

But we, forsooth, must bear a Christian mind; Begot our Covenant: Guisards got the Whig: And fight, like boys, with one hand ty'd behind. Whate'er our hot-brain'd sheriff's did advance Nay, and when one boy 's down, 'twere wondrous Was, like our fashions, first produc'd in France ; To cry, bor fair, and give him time to rise. [nice, And, when worn out, well scourg'd, and banish'd When Fortune favours, none but fools will dally: there,

Would any of you sparks, if Nan or Mally Sent over, like their godly beggars, here.

Tipt you th' inviting wink, stand shall I; shall I ? Could the same trick, twice play'd, our nation gull ? A trimmer cry'd, (that heard me tell the story) It looks as if the Devil were grown dull,

“ Fie, mistress Cooke'! faith, you 're too rank a Or serv'd us up, in scorn, his broken meat,

Tory ! And thought we were not worth a better cheat. Wish not Whigs hang'd, but pity their hard cases; The fulsome Covenant, one would think in reason,

You women love to see men make wry faces." Had given us all our bellies full of treason: Pray sir, said I, dont think me such a Jew; And yet, the name but chang’d, our nasty nation

I say no more, but give the Devil his due. Chaws its own excrement, th' Association.

“Lenitives," says he, “suit best with our condition.” "Tis true we have not learn'd their poisoning way,

Jack Ketch, says I, 's an excellent physician. For that 's a mode, but newly come in play;

“ I love no blood"-Nor I, sir, as I breathe; Besides, your drug 's uncertain to prevail ;

But hanging is a fine dry kind of death. But your true Protestant can never fail,

“ We trimmers are for holding all things even :" With that compendious instrument a fail

. Yes-just like him that hung 'twixt Hell and Heaven. Go on; and bite, e'en though the book lies bare:

“ Have we not had men's lives enough already ?” Twice in one age expel the lawful heir:

Yes sure ;-hut you're for holding all things steady: Once more decide religion by the sword;

Now, since the weight hangs all on our side, brother, And purchase for us a new tyrant lord.

You trimmers should to poize it, hang on t’ other. Pray for your king; but yet your purses spare:

Damn'd neuters, in their middle way of steering, Make him not twopence richer by your prayer.

Are neither fish, nor flesh, nor good red-herring : To show you love him much, chastise him more;

Not Whigs nor Tories they ; nor this, nor that; And make him very great, and very poor.

Not birds, nor beasts; but just a kind of bat, Push him to wars, but still no pence advance;

A twilight animal, true to neither cause, Let him lose England, to recover France.

With Tory wings, but Whiggish teeth and claws.
Cry freedom up with popular noisy votes :
And get enough to cut each other's throats.
Lop all the rights that fence your monarch's throne;

For fear of too much power, pray leave him none.
A noise was made of arbitrary sway;

But, in revenge, you Whigs have found a way,


Let his own servants turn, to save their stake;
Glean from bis plenty, and his wants forsake. Two houses join'd, two poets to a play?
But let some Judas near his person stay,

You noisy Whigs will sure be pleas'd to day; To swallow the last sop, and then betray.

It looks so like two shrieves the city way. Make London independent of the crown :

But since our discords and divisions cease, A realm apart; the kingdom of the town.

You, Bilboa gallants, learn to keep the peace: Let ignoramus juries find no traitors :

Make here no tilts: let our poor stage alone; And ignoramus poets scribble satires.

Or, if a decent murder must be done, And, that your meaning none may fail to scan, Pray take a civil turn to Marybone. Ho what in coffee-houses you began;

If not, I swear, we 'll pull up all our benches; Pull down the inaster, and set up the man. Not for your sakes, but for our orange-wenches:

For you thrust wide sometimes; and many a spark,
That misses one, can hit the other mark.

This makes our boxes full; for men of sense

Pay their four shillings in their own defence;

That safe behind the ladies they may stay,

Peep o'er the fans, and judge the bloody fray,
Much time and trouble this poor play has cost;
And, faith, I doubted once the cause was lost. · The actress, who spake the epilogue. N.
Yet no one man was meant; nor great nor small;

* Langbaine says, this play found many enemies Our poets, like frank gamesters, threw at all.

at its first appearance on the stage. They took no single aim-But, like bold boys, true to their prince and hearty,

3 Hence Mr. Pope's couplet, Essay on Criticism, Huzzad, and fir'd broadsides at the whole party.

ver. 543. Duels are crimes; but, when the cause is right,

The modest fan was lifted up no more, In battle every man is bound to fight.

And virgins smild at what they blush'd before.

But other foes give beauty worse alarms;

And if they hit in order by some chance, The posse poetarum 's up in arms :

They call that Nature, which is igporance. No woman's fame their libels has escap'd;

To such a fame let mere town-wits aspire, Their ink runs venom, and their pens are clapt. And their gay nonsense their own cits admire. When sighs and prayers their ladies cannot move, Our poet, could he find forgiveness here, They rail, write treason, and turn Whigs to love. Would wish it rather than a plaudit there. Nay, and I fear they worse designs advance, He owns no crown from those prætorian bands, There 's a damn'd love-trick now brought o'er from But knows that right is in the senate's hands, France;

Not impudent enough to hope your praise, We charm in vain, and dress, and keep a pother, Low at the Muses' feet his wreath be lays, Whilst those false rogues are ogling one another. And, where he took it up, resigns his bays. All sins besides admit some expiation ;

Kings make their poets whom themselves think fit, But this against our sex is plain darnnation. But 'tis your suffrage makes authentic wit. They join for libels too these women-haters; And, as they club for love, they club for satires : The best on 't is they hurt not: for they wear

Stings in their tails, their only venom 's there.
"Tis true, some shot at first the ladies hit,

While able marksmen made, and men of wit :
But now the fools give fire, whose bounce is louder:

And yet, like mere train-bands, they shoot but

No powder.

poor Dutch peasant, wing'd with all his fear,

Flies with more haste, when the French arms draw Libels, like plots, sweep all in their first fury; Then dwindle like an ignoramus jury:


Than we with our poetic train come down,
Thus age begins with touzing and with tumbling;
But grunts, and groans, and ends at last in fumbling. Por refuge hither, from th’ infected town:

Heaven for our sins this summer has thought fit
To visit us with all the plagues of wit.

A French troop first swept all things in its way;

But those hot Monsieurs were too quick to stay:

Yet, to our cost, in that short time, we find

They left their itch of novelty behind.

Th' Italian merry-andrews took their place,

And quite debauch'd the stage with lewd grimace:

Instead of wit, and humours, your delight

Was there to see two hobby-horses fight;

Stout Scaramoucha with rush lance rode in,
What Greece, when learning flourish'd, only knew, And ran a tilt at centaur Arlequin.
Athenian judges, you this day renew.

For love, you heard how amorous asses bray'd, Here too are annual rites to Pallas done,

And cats in gutters gave their serenade. And here poetic prizes lost or won.

Nature was out of countenance, and each day Methinks I see you, crown'd with olives, sit, Some new-born monster shown you for a play, And strike a sacred horrour from the pit.

But when all faild, to strike the stage quite dumb, A day of doom is this of your decree,

Those wicked engines call'd machines are come. Where ev'n the best are but by mercy free: [see. Thunder and lightning now for wit are play'd, A day, which none but Jonson durst have wish'd to And shortly scenes in Lapland will be laid; Here they, who long have known the useful stage, Art magic is for poetry profest; Come to be taught themselves to teach the age. And cats and dogs, and each obscener beast, As your commissioners our poets go,

To which Egyptian dotards once did bow, To cultivate the virtue which you sow:

Upon our English stage are worshippd now. In your Lycæum first themselves refin'd,

Witchcraft reigns there, and raises to renown And delegated thence to human kind.

Macbeth and Simon Magus of the town, But as ambassadors, when long from home, Fletcher 's despis'il, your Jonson 's out of fashion, For new instructions to their princes come;

And wit the only drug in all the nation. So poets, who your precepts have forgot,

In this low ebb our wares to you are shown; Return, and beg they may be better taught: By you those staple authors' worth is known: Follies and faults elsewhere by them are shown,

For wit 's a manufacture of your own. But by your manners they correct their own. When you, who only can, their scenes have prais, Th’illiterate writer, emp'ric-like, applies

We 'll boldly back, and say, the price is rais d.
To minds diseas'd, unsafe, chance remedies :
The learn'd in schools, where knowledge first began,
Studies with care th' anatomy of man;

Sees virtue, vice, and passions, in their cause,
And fame from Science, not from Fortune, draws.

So Poetry, which is in Oxford made

An art, in London only is a trade.
'There haughty dunces, whose unlearned pen Oft has our poet wish'd, this happy seat
Could ne'er spell grammar, would be reading men. Might prove his fading Muse's last retreat:
Such build their poems the Lucretian way;

I wonder'd at his wish, but now I find
So inany huddled atoms make a play;

He sought for quiet, and content of mind;

Which noiseful towns and courts can never know, When strollers durst presume to pick your purse, And only in the shades, like laurels, grow.

We humbly thought our broken troop not worse. Youth, ere it sees the world, here studies rest, How ill soe'er our action may deserve, And age returning thence concludes it best. Oxford 's a place where Wit can never starve. What wonder if we court that happiness Yearly to share, which honrly you possess, Teaching ev'n you, while the vext world we show, Your peace to value more, and better know?

XXVI. 'Tis all we can return for favours past,

Whose holy memory shall ever last,
For patronage from him whose care presides

O’er every noble art, and every science guides :
Bathurst, a name the learn'd with reverence know, Though actors cannot much of learning boast,
And scarcely more to his own Virgil owe;

Of all who want it, we admire it most:
Whose age enjoys but what his youth deserv'd, We love the praises of a learned pit,
To rule those Muses whom before he serv'd. As we remotely are ally'd to Wit.
His learning, and untainted manners too,

We speak our poets' wit; and trade in ore,
We find, Athenians, are deriv'd to you:

Like those, who touch upon the golden shore : Such ancient hospitality there rests

Betwixt our judges can distinction make, In yours, as dwelt in the first Grecian breasts, Discern how much, and why, our poems take: Whose kindness was religion to their guests. Mark if the fools, or men of sense, rejoice; Such modesty did to our sex appear,

Whether th' applause be only sound or voice. As, had there been no laws, we need not fear, When our fop gallants, or our city folly, Since each of you was our protector here.

Clap over-loud, it makes us melancholy: Converse so chaste, and so strict virtue shone, We doubt that scene which does their wonder raise, As might Apollo with the Muses own.

And, for their ignorance, contemn their praise. Till our return, we must despair to find

Judge then, if we who act, and they who write, Judges so just, so knowing, and so kind.

Should not be proud of giving you delight.
London likes grossly; but this nicer pit
Examines, fathoms all the depths of wit;

The ready finger lays on every blot; [not.

Knows what should justly please, and what should

Nature herself lies open to your view;

You judge by her, what draught of her is true,

Where outlines false, and colours seem too faint, TO THE UNIVERSITY, OF OXFORD.

Where bunglers daub, and where true poets paint.

But, by the sacred genius of this place, DISCORD, and plots, which have undone our age, By every Muse, by each domestic grace, With the same ruin have o'erwhelm'd the stage. Be kind to Wit, which but endeavours well, Our house has suffer'd in the common woe, And, where you judge, presumes not to excel. We have been troubled with Scotch rebels too.

Our poets hither for adoption come,
Our brethren are from Thames to Tweed departed, As nations sued to be made free of Rome:
And of our sisters, all the kinder-hearted,

Not in the suffragating tribes to stand,
To Edinburgh gone, or coach'd, or carted.

But in your utmost, last, provincial band. With bonny bluecap there they act all night, If his ambition may those hopes pursue, For Scotch half-crown, in English three-pence Who with religion loves your arts and you, bight.

Oxford to bim a dearer name shall be,
One nymph, to whom fat sir John Falstaff's lean, Than his own mother university.
There with her single person fills the scene. Thebes did his green, unknowing, youth engage;
Another, with long use and age decay'd,

He chooses Athens in his riper age.
Div'd bere old woman, and rose there a maid.
Our trusty door-keepers of former time
There strut and swagger in heroic rhyme.
Tack but a copper-lace to drugget suit,

And there 's a hero made without dispute:
And that, which was a capon's tail before,

Becomes a plume for Indian emperor.

But all his subjects, to express the care
Of imitation, go, like Indians, bare:


LEE, 1683.]
Lac'd linen there would be a dangerous thing;
It might perhaps a new rebellion bring :

Our hero's happy in the play 's conclusion;
The Scot, who wore it, would be chosen king. The holy rogue at last has met confusion:
But why should I these renegades describe, Though Arius all along appear'd a saint,
When you yourselves have seen a lewder tribe? The last act show'd him a true Protestant.
Teague has been here, and, to this learned pit, Eusebius (for you know I read Greek authors)
With Irish action slander'd English wit :

Reports, that, after all these plots and slaughters, You have beheld such barbarous Macs appear, The court of Constantine was full of glory, As merited a second massacre:

And every Trimmer turn'd addressing Tory. Such as, like Cain, were branded with disgrace, They follow'd him in herds as they were mad: And had their country stamp'd upon their face. When Clause was king, then all the world was glad.

Whigs kept the places they possest before, The dry nurse was your mother's ancient maid, And most were in a way of getting more;

Who knew some former slip she ne'er betray'd. Which was as much as saying, gentlemen, Betwixt them both, for milk and sugar-candy, Here's power and money to be rogues again. Your sucking-bottles were well stor'd with brar.dy. Indeed, there were a sort of peaking tools, Your father, to initiate your discourse, (Some call them modest, but I call them fools) Meant to have taught you first to swear and curse, Men much more loyal, though not half so loud; But was prevented by each careful nurse: But these poor devils were cast behind the crowd. For, leaving dad and mam, as names too common, For bold knaves thrive without one grain of sense, They taught you certain parts of man and woman. But good men starve for want of impudence. I pass your schools; for there when first you came, Besides all these, there were a sort of wights, You would be sure to learn the Latin name. I think my author calls them Teckelites, In colleges you scorn'd the art of thinking, Such hearty rogues against the king and laws, But learn'd all moods and figures of good drinking: They favour'd ev'n a foreign rebel's cause. Thence come to town, you practise play, to know When their own damn'd design was quash'd and aw'd, The virtues of the high dice, and the low. At least, they gave it their good word abroad, Each thinks himself a sharper most profound: As many a man, who, for a quiet life,

He cheats by pence; is cheated by the pound. Breeds out his bastard, not to nose his wife; With these perfections, and what else he gleans, Thus o'er their darling plot these Trimmers cry; The spark sets up for love behind our scenes; And though they cannot keep it in their eye, Hot in pursuit of princesses and queens. They bind it 'prentice to count Teckeley.

There, if they know their man, with cunning carriage, They believe not the last płot; may I be curst, Twenty to one but it concludes in marriage. If I believe they e'er believ'd the first.

He hires some homely room, love's fruits to gather, No wonder their own plot no plot they think ; And, garret-high, rebels against his father: The man, that makes it, never smells the stink. But he once deadAnd now it comes into my head, I'll tell

Brings her in triumph, with her portion, down, Why these damn'd Trimmers lov'd the Turks so well. A toilet, dressing-box, and half a crown. Th’ original Trimmer, though a friend to no man, Some marry first, and then they fall to scovering, Yet in his heart ador'd a pretty woman;

Which is, refining marriage into whoring. He knew that Mahomet laid up for ever

Our women batten well on their good-nature; Kind black-ey'd rogues, for every true believer ; All they can rap and rend for the dear creature. And, which was more than mortal man e'er tasted, But while abroad so liberal the dolt is, One pleasure that for threescore twelvemonths Poor spouse at home as ragged as a colt is. lasted :

Last, some there are, who take their first degrees To turn for this, may surely be forgiven :

Of lewdness in our middle galleries.
Who'd not be circumcis’d for such a Heaven? The doughty bullies enter bloody drunk,

Invade and grubble one another's punk:
They caterwaul, and make a dismal rout,

Call sons of whores, and strike, but ne'er lug out:

Thus while for paltry punk they roar and stickle, PROLOGUE

They make it bawdier than a conventicie. TO THE DISAPPOINTMENT; OR, THE MOTHER IN FASHION. [BY MR. SOUTHERNE, 1684.]




How comes it, gentlemen, that now a-days,
When all of you so shrewdly judge of plays,

TO THE KING AND QUEEN ', UPON THE UNION OF THE Our poets tax you still with want of sense?

All prologues treat you at your own expense.
Sharp citizens a wiser way can go;

Since faction ebbs, and rogues grow out of fashion, They make you fools, but never call you so.

Their penny-scribes take care to inform the nation, They, in good-manners, seldom make a slip,

How well men thrive in this or that plantation : But treat a common whore with ladyship: How Pensylvania's air agrees with Quakers, But here each saucy wit at random writes, And Carolina's with Associators : And uses ladies as he uses knights.

Both ev'n too good for madmen and for traitors. Our author, young and grateful in his nature, Vows, that from him no nymph deserves a satire : Truth is, our land with saints is so run o'er, Nor will he ever draw-I mean his rhyme- And every age produces such a store, Against the sweet partaker of his crime.

That now there's need of two New Englands more. Nor is he yet so bold an undertaker, To call men fools ; 'tis railing at their Maker.

What's this, you'll say, to us and our vocation? Besides, he fears to split upon that shelf;

Only thus much, that we have left our station, He's young enough to be a fop himself:

And made this theatre our new plantatiou.
And, if his praise can bring you all a-bed, The factious natives never could agree;
He swears such hopeful youth no nation ever bred. But aiming, as they call'd it, to be free,

Your nurses, we presume, in snch a case, Those play-house Whigs set up for property.
Your father chose, because he lik'd the face;
And, often, they supply'd your mother's place.

" At the opening of their theatre, 1683.



Some say, they no obedience paid of late; Next in the play-house spare your precious lives; But would new fears and jealousies create; Think, like good Christians, on your bearns and Till topsy-turvy they had turn'd the state.

wives :

Think on your souls ; but by your lugging forth, Plain sense, without the talent of foretelling,

It seems you know how little they are worth. Might guess 'twould end in downright knocks and if none of these will move the warlike mind, quelling :

Think on the helpless whore you leave behind. For seldom comes there better of rebelling.

We beg you, last, our scene-room to forbear, When men will, needlessly, their freedom barter And leave our goods and chattels to our carc. For lawless power, sometimes they catch a Tartar; Alas! our women are but washy toys, There's a damn'd word that rhymes to this, call's And wholly taken up in stage employs: charter.

Poor willing tits they are: but yet I doubt

This double duty soon will wear them out. But, since the victory with us remains,

Then you are watch'd besides with jealous care; You shall be call'd to twelve in all our gains ;

What if my lady's page should find you there? If you'll not think us saucy for our pains.

My lady knows t'a tittle what there's in ye; Old men shall have good old plays to delight them: No passing your gilt shilling for a guinea. And you, fair ladies and gallants, that slight them, | Thus, gentlemen, we have summ’d up in short We'll treat with good new plays; if our new wits Our grievances, from country, town, and court: can write them.

Which humbly we submit to your good pleasure;

But first vote money, then redress at leisure.
We'll take no blandering verse, no fustian tumor,
No dribbling love, from this or that presumer;
No dull fat fool shamm'd on the stage for humour.
Por, faith, some of them such vile stuff have made,

As none but fools or fairies ever play'd;
But 'twas, as shopmen say, to force a trade.
We've given you tragedies, all sense defying,
And singing men, in woful metre dying ;

[BY MR. N. LEE, 1689.]
This 'tis when heavy lubbers will be flying.
All these disasters we well hope to weather ;

Ladies! (I hope there's none behind to hcar) We bring you none of our old lumber hither:

I long to whisper something in your ear:
Whig poets and Whig sheriffs may hang together. There's treason in the play against our sex.

A secret, which does much my mind perplex:
A man that 's false to love, that vows and cheats,

And kisses every living thing he meets.

A rogue in mode, I dare not speak too broad,
One that does something to the very bawd.
Out on him, traitor, for a filthy beast;
Nay, and he's like the pack of all the rest,

None of them stick at mark; they all deceive. New ministers, when first they get in place, Some Jew has chang’d the text, I half believe, Must have a care to please ; and that's our case: There Adam cozen'd our poor grandame Eve. Some laws for public welfare we design,

To hide their faults, they rap out oaths, and If you, the power supreme, will please to join :

tear: There are a sort of prattlers in the pit,

Now, though we lie, we're too well-bred to swear, Who either have, or who pretend to wit:

So we compound for half the sin we owe, These noisy sirs so loud their parts rehearse, But men are dipt for soul and body too; That oft the play is silenc'd by the farce.

And, when found out, excuse themselves, pox cant Let such be dumb, this penalty to shun,

them, Each to be thought my lady's eldest son.

With Latin stuff, “ Perjuria ridet amantûm.” But stay: methinks some vizard mask I see, I'm not book-learn'd, to know that word in vogue, Cast out her lure from the mid gallery :

But I suspect 'tis Latin for a rogue. About her all the fluttering sparks are rangd; I'm sure, I never heard that scritcb-ow) hollow'd The noise continues though the scene is chang'd: In my poor ears, but separation follow'd. Now growling, sputtering, wauling, such a clutter, How can such perjur'd villains e'er be saved ? Tis just like puss defendant in a gutter :

Achitophel 's not half so false to David. Fine love, no doubt; but ere two days are o'er ye, With vows and soft expressions to allure, The surgeon will be told a woful story.

They stand, like foremen of a shop, demure: Let vizard mask her naked face expose,

No sooner out of sight, but they are gadding, On pain of being thought to want a nose:

And for the next new face ride out a-padding. Then for your lacqueys, and your train bcside, Yet, by their favour, when they have been kiss. By whate'er name or title dignify'd,

ing, They roar so loud, you'd think behind the stairs We can perceive the ready money missing. Tom Dove, and all the brotherhood of bears : Well! we may rail; but 'tis as good ev'n wink; They 're grown a nuisance, beyond all disasters; Something we find, and something they will sink. We've none so great but their unpaying masters. But since they 're at renouncing, 'tis our parts, We beg you, sirs, to beg your men, that they To trump their diamonds, as they trump our Would please to give you leave to hear the play.




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