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We might well call this short mock-play of ours, | Now, critics, do your worst, that here are met;
A posie made of weeds instead of flowers; For, like a rook, I have hedg'd in my bet :
Yet such have been presented to your noses, If you approve, I shall assume the state
And there are such, I fear, who thought'em roses. Of those high-Ayers whom I imitate ;
Would some of 'em were here, to see, this night, And justly too ; for I will teach you more
What stuff it is in which they took delight. Than ever they would let you know before :
Here brisk, insipid rogues, for wit, let fall I will not only shew the feats they do,
Sometimes dull sense, but oft'ner none at all : But give you all their reasons for 'em too.
There strutting heroes, with a grim-fac'd train, Some honour may to me from hence arise :
Shall brave the gods, in King Cambyses vein. But if, by my endeavours, you grow wise,
For (changing rules, of late, as if men writ And what you once so prais’d, shall now despise,
In spite of reason, nature, art, and wit,) Then I'll cry out, swell’d with poetic rage,
Our poets make us laugh at tragedy,

'Tis 1, John Lacy, have reform'd your stage. And with their comedies they make us cry.

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an ass.

John. Gad so! this is an author : I'll go fetch

Smi. No, pr’ythee let him alone.

John. Nay, by the Lord, I'll have him.-
John. Honest Frank! I am glad to see thee

(Goes after him. with all my heart. How long hast thou been in Here he is; I have caught him.–Pray, sir, now, town?

for my sake, will you do a favour to this friend of Smi. Faith, not above an hour: and, if I had mine? not met you here, I had gone to look you out ; Bayes. Sir, it is not within my small capacity for I long to talk with you freely, of all the strange to do favours, but receive 'em, especially from a new things we have heard in the country. person that does wear the honourable title you

John. And, by my troth, I have long’d as much are pleas’d to impose, sir, upon this — Sweet to laugh with you, at all the impertinent, dull, fan- sir, your servant. tastical things, we are tir'd out with here.

Smi. Your humble servant, sir. Smi. Dull and fantastic! that's an excellent John. But wilt thou do me a favour, now? composition.- Pray, what are our men of busi- Bayes. Ay, sir : What is't? ness doing?

John. Why, to tell him the meaning of thy last John. I ne'er enquire after 'em. Thou know. play. est my humour lies another way. I love to please Buyes. How, sir, the meaning ? Do you mean myself as much, and to trouble others as little as I can; and therefore do naturally avoid the com- John. Ay, ay; any thing. pany of those solemn fops, who, being incapable Bayes. Faith, sir, the intrigo's now quite out of of reason, and insensible of wit and pleasure, are my head; but I have a new one in my pocket, always looking grave, and troubling one another, that I may say is a virgin ; 't has never yet beer in hopes to be thought men of business.

blown upon. I must tell you one thing. — 'Tis all Smi. Indeed I have ever observ'd that your new wit, and, though I say it, a better than my grave lookers are the dullest of men.

last; and you know well enough how that took. John. Ay, and of birds and beasts too : Your In fine, it shall read, and write, and act, and plot, gravest bird is an owl, and your gravest beast is and shew, ay, and pit, box, and gallery, 'egad,

with any play in Europe. This morning is its Smi. Well; but how dost thou pass thy time? last rehearsal, in their habits, and all that, as it

John. Why, as I use to do; eat, drink as well is to be acted ; and if you and your friend will do as I can, have a she-friend to be private with in it but the honour to see it in its virgin attire, the afternoon, and sometimes see a play; where though, perhaps, it may blush, I shall not be there are such things, Frank ! such hideous, mon- asham’d to discover its nakedness unto you-I strous things, that it has almost made me forswear think it is in this pocket. the stage, and resolve to apply myself to the solid

[Puts his hand in his pocket. nonsense of your men of business, as the more John. Sir, I confess I am not able to answer ingenious pastime.

you in this new way; but if you please to lead, ! Smi. I have heard, indeed, you have had lately shall be glad to follow you; and I hope my friend many new plays; and our country wits commend will do so too. 'em.

Smi. Sir, I have no business so considerable John. Ay, so do some of our city wits too; but as should keep me from your company. they are of the new kind of wits.

Buyes. Yes, here it is. No, cry you mercy ! Šmi. New kind! what kind is that?

This is my book of Drama Common-places; the John. Why, your virtuosi, your


persons, mother of many other plays. your drolls; fellows that scorn to imitate nature, John. Drama Common-places! Pray what's but are given altogether to elevate and surprise. that?

Smi. Elevate and surprise! pr’ythee make me Bayes. Why, sir, some certain helps, that we understand the meaning of that.

men of art have found it convenient to make use John. Nay, by my troth; that's a hard matter; of. I don't understand that myself:—'Tis a phrase Smi. How, sir, helps for wit ? they have got among them, to express their no Bayes. Ay, sir, that's my position. And I do here meaning by. I'll tell you, as near as I can, what aver, that no man yet the sun e'er shone upon it is. Let me see :-'tis fighting, loving, sleeping, has parts sufficient to furnish out a stage, except rhyming, dying, dancing, singing, crying, and every it were by the help of these my rules. thing, but thinking and sense.

John. What are those rules, I pray ?

Buyes. Why, sir, my first rule is the rule of Mr BAYES pusses over the Stage.

transversion, or regula dupler ; changing verse Bayes. Your most obsequious and most obser- into prose, or prose into versc, alternative, as you vant very humble servant, sir.


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Smi. Well; but how is this done by rule, sir ? them before the end of the first act: now, here,

Bayes. Why, thus, sir; nothing so easy, when every line surprises you, and brings in matter. understood! I take a book in my hand, either at And then, for scenes, clothes, and dances, we put home or elsewhere, for that's all one; if there be 'em quite down, all that ever went before us: and any wit in't, as there is no book but has some, I those are the things, you know, that are essentransverse it; that is, if it be prose, put it into tial to a play. verse, (but that takes up some time,) and if it be 2d Play. Well, I am not of thy mind; but, so verse, put it into proses

it gets us money, 'tis no great matter. John, Methinks, Mr Bayes, that putting verse into

Enter BAYES, JOHNSON, and SMITH. should be call'd transprosing. prose Bayes. By my troth, sir, 'tis a very good no- Bayes. Come, come in, gentlemen. Y'are very tion, and hereafter it shall be so.

welcome. Mr —a— ha' you your part ready? Smi. Well, sir, and what d'ye do with it then ? 1st Play. Yes, sir.

Bayes. Make it my own. 'Tis so chang'd that Bayes. But do you understand the true humour no man can know it.—My next rule is the rule of it? of record, by way of table-book. Pray observe. 1st Play. Ay, sir, pretty well. John. We hear you, sir ; go on.

Bayes. And Amarillis, how does she do? Does Bayes. As thus:-- I come into a coffee-house, or not her armour become her? some other place where witty men resort ; I make 3d Play. (), admirably ! as if I minded nothing ; (do you mark ?) but as Bayes. l'll tell you, now, a pretty conceit. soon as any one speaks, pop 1 slap it down, and What do you think I'll make 'em call her anon, make that, too, my own.

in this play? John. But, Mr Bayes, are you not some time in Smi. What, I pray ? danger of their making you restore, by force, what Bayes. Why, I make 'em call her Armarillis, you have gotten thus by art?

because of her armour; ha, ha, ha! Bayes. No, sir ; the world's unmindful: they John. That will be very well, indeed. never take notice of these things.

Buyes. Ay, it's a pretty little rogue; I knew Smi. But pray, Mr. Bayes, among all your her face would set off armour extremely; and, other rules, have you no one rule for invention? to tell you true, I writ that part only for her.

Bayes. Yes, sir, that's my third rule, that I have You must know she is my mistress. here in my pocket.

John. Then I know another thing, little Bayes, Smi. What rule can that be, I wonder ! —that thou hast had her, 'egad.

Bayes. Why, sir, when I have any thing to in- Buyes. No, 'egad, not yet ; but I am sure I vent, I never trouble my head about it, as other shall; for I have talk'd bawdy to her already. men do, but presently turn over this book, and John. Hast thou, faith? Pr’ythee how was there I have, at one view, all that Persius, Mon- that? taigne, Seneca's Tragedies, Horace, Juvenal, Buyes. Why, sir, there is, in the Prench tongue, Claudian, Pliny, Plutarch's Lives, and the rest, a certain criticism, which, by the variation of the have ever thought upon this subject : and so, in masculinc adjective instead of the feminine, makes a trice, by leaving out a few words, or putting in a quite different signification of the word : as, for others of my own, the business is done.

example, ma vie is my life; but if, before vie you John. Indeed, Mr Bayes, this is as sure and put mon instead of ma, you make it bawdy. compendious a way of wit as ever I heard of. John. Very true.

Bayes. Sirs, if you make the least scruple of Bayes. Now, sir, I, having observ'd this, set a the efficacy of these my rules, do but come to trap for her, the other day, in the tyring-room; the play-house, and you shall judge of 'em by for this said I: Adieu, bel esperansa de ma vie ; the effects.

(which, 'egad, is very pretty ;) to which she anSmi. We'll follow you, sir. [Exeunt. swer’d, I vow, almost as prettily every jot ; for

said she, Songez a ma vie, inonsieur ; whereupon Enter three Players upon the Stage.

I presently snapp'd this upon her:-Non, non, 1st Play. Have you your part perfect? madam-Songez vous a mon, by gad; and nam'd

2d Play. Yes, I have it without book; but I the thing directly to her. don't understand how it is to be spoken.

Smi. This is one of the richest stories, Mr 3d Play. And mine is such a one, as I cann't Bayes, that ever I heard of. guess, for my life, what humour l’m to be in ; Bayes. Ay, let me alone, 'egad, when I get to whether angry, melancholy, merry, or in love. I l'em; I'll nick ’em, I warrant you : But I'm a litdon't know what to make on't.

tle nice; for you must know, at this time, I am 1st Play. Pho! the author will be here pre- kept by another woman, in the city. sently, and he'll tell us all. You must know, this Smi. How kept ? for what? is the new way of writing; and these hard things Bayes. Why, for a beau garçon : I am, i'fackins. please forty times better than the old plain way; Sini. Nay, then we shall never have done. for, look you, sir, the grand design upon the Bayes. And the rogue is so fond of me, Mr stage is, to keep the auditors in suspense; for Johnson, that I vow to gad, I know not what to to guess presently at the plot and the sense, tires

do with myself.

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my life.


John. Do with thyself! no; I wonder how two ways of making very good prologues. The thou canst make a shift to hold out at this rate.

one is by civility, by insinuation, good language, Bayes. O, devil! I can toil like a horse; only and all that,a~in a manner, steal your plausometimes it makes me melancholy; and then, I dit from the courtesy of the auditors; the other, vow to gad, for a whole day together, I am not by making use of some certain personat things, able to say you one good thing, if it were to save which may keep a hank upon such censuring

persons as cannot otherways, 'egad, in nature, Smi. That we do verily believe, Mr Bayes. be hindered from being too free with their tongues. Bayes

. And that's the only thing, 'cgad, which To which end, my first prologue is, that I come mads me in my amours; for I'll tell you, as a out in a long black veil, and a great huge hangfriend, Mr Johnson, my acquaintances, I hear, man behind me, with a furred cap, and his sword begin to give out that I am dull: now I am the drawn; and there tell 'em plainly, that if, out of furthest from it in the world, 'egad; but only, good nature, they will not like my play, 'egad, I'll forsooth, they think I am so, because I can say e'en kneel down, and he shall cut my

head off. nothing.

Whereupon they, all clapping,-aJohn. Pho! pox! That's ill-natur’dly done Smi. Ay, but suppose they don't. of em.

Bayes. Suppose! sir; you may suppose what Bayes. Ay, gad, there's no trusting o’ these you please ; I have nothing to do with your suprogues ; but-a-Come, let's sit down.-Look pose, sir, nor am not at all mortified at it ; not at you, sirs, the chief hinge of this play, upon which all, sir

, 'egad, not one jot, sir. Suppose, quoth-a! the whole plot moves and turns, and that causes - ha, ha, ha!

(Walks away. the variety of all the several accidents, which, you John. Pho! prythee, Bayes, don't mind what know, are the things in nature that makes up the he says, he is a fellow newly come out of the grand refinement of a play, is, that I suppose two country; he knows nothing of what's the relish kings of the same place, as, for example, at Brent- here of the town. ford; for I love to write familiarly: now the Bayes. If I writ, sir, to please the country, I people having the same relations to 'em both, the should have followed the old plain way; but I same affections, the same duty, the same obe- write for some persons of quality, and peculiar dience, and all that, are divided amongst them- friends of mine, that understand what fame and selves in point of devoir and interest, how to

power in writing is : and they do me right, sir, to behave themselves equally between 'em, the approve of what I do. kings differing sometimes in particular, though in John. Ay, ay, they will clap, I warrant you ; the main they agree. (I know not whether I

never fear it. make myself well understood.)

Buyes. I'm sure the design's good, that canJohn. I did not observe you, sir; pray say that not be denied. And then for language, 'egad, I again.

defy 'em all, in nature, to mend it. Besides, sir, Bayes. Why, look you, sir, (nay, I beseech you, I have printed above a hundred sheets of paper, be a little curious in taking notice of this, or to insinuate the plot into the boxes, and, withelse you'll never understand my notion of the al, have appointed two or three dozen of my thing) the people being embarrass’d by their equal friends to be ready in the pit, who, I am sure, will ties to both, and the sovereigns concerned in a clap, and so the rest, you know, must follow reciprocal regard, as well to their own interest and then, pray, sir, what becomes of your suppose as the good of the people, may make a certain -ha, ha, ha! kindofa-you understand me-upon which there John. Nay, if the business be so well laid, it does arise several disputes, turmoils, heartburn- cannot miss. ings, and all that-In fine, you'll apprehend it Bayes. I think so, sir, and therefore would better when you see it. [Exit, to call the players. chuse this to be the prologue; for if I could en

Smi. I find the author will be very much ob- gage 'em to clap before they see the play, you liged to the players, if they can make any sense know it would be so much the better; because out of this.

then they were engaged ; for let a man write

never so well, there are, now-a-days, a sort of perEnter BAYES.

sons they call critics, that, 'egad, have no more Bayes. Now, gentlemen, I would fain ask your wit in them than so many hobby-horses ; but opinion of one thing. I have made a prologue they'll laugh at you, sir, and find fault, and cenand an epilogue, which may both serve for either; sure things, that, 'egad, I'm sure they are not able that is, the prologue for the epilogue, or the to do themselves : a sort of envious persons, epilogue for the prologue ; (do you mark ?) nay, that emulate the glories of persons of parts, and they may both serve, too, 'egad, for any other think to build their fame by calumniation of perplay as well as this.

sons, that, e'gad, to my knowledge, of all persons Šmi. Very well. That's indeed artificial. in the world, are, in nature, the persons that do

Bayes. And I would fain ask your judgments, as much despise all that, as- -In fine, I'll now, which of them would do best for the pro- say no more of 'em. logue; for you must know there is in nature but John. Nay, you have said enough of 'em, in


all conscience, I'm sure more than they'll e'er Pensive in mud they wallow all alone, be able to answer.

And snore and gruntle to each other's moan! Bayes. Why, I'll tell you, sir, sincerely, and bona

How do you like it now? ha! fide , were it not for the sake of some ingenious John. Faith, 'tis extraordinary fine, and very persons, and choice females pirits, that have a va

applicable to Thunder and Lightning, methinks, lue for me, I would see 'em all hang'd, 'egad, see because it speaks of a storm. 'em all hang d, before I would e'er set pen to pa- Bayes. 'Egad, and so it does, now I think on't. per, but let 'em live in ignorance, like ingrates. Mr Johnson, I thank you ; and I put it in pro

John. Ay, marry! that were a way to be reven- fecto.—Come out, Thunder and Lightning. ged of 'em indeed; and if I were in your place now, I would do so.

Enter THUNDER and LIGHTNING. Bayes. No, sir; there are certain ties upon Thun. I am the bold Thunder. me, that I cannot be disengaged from ; otherwise, Bayes. Mr Cartwright, pr’ythee speak that a I would.—But pray, sir, how do you like my little louder, and with a hoarse voice.- I'm the hangman?

bold Thunder ! --Psha! speak it in a voice that Smi. By my troth, sir, I should like him very well. thunders it out indeed.— I am the bold Thunder.

Bayes. But how do you like it, sir ? (for I see Thun. I am the bold Thunder. you can judge:) would you have it for a prologue, Light. The brisk Lightning I. or the epilogue ?

Buyes. Nay, but you must be quick and nimble. John. Faith, sir, 'tis so good, let it e'en serve -The brisk Lightning I.-That's my meaning. for both.

Thun. I am the bravest Hector of the sky. Buyes. No, no, that won't do. Besides, I have Light. And I fair Helen, that made Hector die. made another.

Thun. I strike men down. John. What other, sir?

Light. I fire the town. Bayes. Why, sir, my other is Thunder and Thun. Let critics take heed how they grumble, Lightning.

For then I begin for to rumble. John. That's greater ; I'd rather stick to that. *

Light. Let the ladies allow us their graces, Bayes. Do you think so ? I'll tell you, then, Or I'll blast all the paint on their faces, though there have been marry witty prologues And dry up their peter to soot. written of late, yet I think you'll say this is a Thun. Let the critics look to't. non pareillo : I'm sure nobody has hit upon it Light. Let the ladies look to't. yet; for here, sir, I make my prologue to be a Thun. For Thunder will do't. dialogue; and as in my first, you see, I strive to Light. For Lightning will shoot. oblige the auditors by civility, by good nature, Thun. I'll give you dash for dash. good language, and all that ; so in this, by the Light. I'll give you flash for flash. other way, in terrorem, I chuse for the persons Gallants I'll singe your feather. Thunder and Lightning.–Do you apprehend the Thun. I'll Thunder you together. conceit?

Both. Look to't, look to't ; we'll do't, we'll John. Pho! pox! then you have it cock sure. do't; look to't; we'll do't. [Twice or thrice reThey'll be hang'd before they'll dare affront an


(Exeunt ambo. author that has 'em at that lock.

Bayes. There's no more. 'Tis but a flash of Bayes. I have made, too, one of the most deli- a prologue, a droll. cate, dainty similies in the whole world, 'egad, if Smi. Yes, 'tis short indeed, but very terrible. I knew how to apply it.

Bayes. Ay, when the simile's in, it will do to a Smi. Let's hear it, I pray you.

miracle, 'egad.—Come, come, begin the play. Bayes. 'Tis an allusion of love.

Enter First Player.
So boar and sow, when any storm is nigh,
Snuff up, and smell it gathering in the sky;

1st Play. Sir, Mr Ivory is not come yet, but Boar beckons sow to trot in chesnut groves,

he'll be here presently ; he's but two doors off. And there consummate their unfinished loves :

Bayes. Come then, gentlemen, let's go out, and take a pipe of tobacco.



Bayes. Come, take your seats.- Begin, sirs. SCENE I.

Enter Gentleman-Usher and Physician. BAYES, JOHNSON, and SMITH.

Phy. Sir, by your habit, I should guess you to Bayes. Now, sir, because I'll do nothing here be the gentleman-usher of this sumptuous place. that ever was done before, instead of beginning Gento-Ush. And, by your gait and fashion, I with a scene that discovers something of the plot, should almost suspect you rule the healths of I begin this play with a whisper.

both our noble kings, under the notion of phy. Smi. Umph! very new indeed,



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