Writes to the rumbling of his coach's wheels;
Prescribes in haste, and seldom kills by rule.
But rides triumphant between stool and stool.
Well, let him go ; 'tis yet too early day
To get himself a place in farce or play.
We know not by what name we should arraign him,
For no one category can contain him ;
A pedant, canting preacher, and a quack,
Are load enough to break one ass's back :
At last grown wanton, he presum'd to write, "^
Traduc'd two kings, their kindness to requite; /
One made the doctor, and one dubb'd the knight. J
FOR THE WOMEN,
WHEN THEY ACTED AT THE OLD THEATRE IN
LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS.
Were none of you, Gallants, e'er driv'n so hard.
As when the poor kind soul was under guard,
And could not do't at home, in some by-street
To take a lodging, and in private meet ?
Such is our case ; we can't appoint our house
The lover's old and wonted rendezvous,
But hither to this trasty nook remove ;
The worst the lodging is, the more the love :
For much good pastime, many a dear sweet hug.
Is stol'n in garrets, on the humble rug.
Here's good accommodation in the pitj
The grave demurely in the midst may sit,
And so the hot Burgundian on the side
Ply vizard mask, and o'er the benches stride :
Here are convenient upper-boxes, too,
For those that make the most triumphant show
All that keep coaches must not sit below.
There, Gallants, you betwixt the acts retire,
And at dull plays have something to admire ;
We, who look up, can your addresses mark,
And see the creatures coupled in the ark :
So we expect the lovers, braves, and wits.
The gaudy house with scenes will serve for cits.
SPOKEN AT THE
OPENING OF THE NEIV HOUSE,
aiARCH 26 f 1674.
Though what our prologue said was sadly true, "^
Yet, Gentlemen, our homely house is new; .
A charm that seldom fails with wicked you. J
A country lip may have the velvet touch; ^
Though she's no lady, you may think her such : ,
A strong imagination may do much. ^
But you, loud Sirs, who through your curls look big.
Critics in plume and white Valiancy-wig,
Who lolling on our foremost benches sit,
And still charge first, the true forlorn of wit ;
Whose favours, like the sun, warm w here you roil,
Yet you, like him, have neither heat nor soul ;
So may your hats your foretops never press,
Untouch'd your ribbons, sacred be your dress;
So may you slowly to old age advance.
And have the' excuse of youth for ignorance j
So may Fop-corner full of noise remain,
And drive far off the dull attentive train ;
So may your midnight-scourings happy prove,
And morning-batteries force your way to love;
So may not France your warlike hands recal^
But leave you by each others' swords to fall :
As you come here to ruffle vizard punk,
When sober rail, and roar when you are drunk.
But to the wits we can some merit plead,
And urge what by themselves has oft been said:
Our house relieves the ladies from the frights
Of ill-pav'd streets, and long dark winter-nights ;
The Flanders-horses from a cold bleak road,
Where bears in furs dare scarcely look abroad :
The audience from worn plays and fustian stuff
Of rhyme, more nauseous than three boys in buff.
Though in their house the poets' heads appear,
We hope we may presume their wits are here.
The best which they reserv'd they now will play;
For, like kind cuckolds, though we' have not the
To please, we'll find you abler men who may.
If they should fail, for last recruits we breed
A troop of frisking Monsieurs to succeed;
You know the French sure cards, in time of need.
INTENDED TO HAVE BEEN SPOKEN BY
THE LADY HEN. MAR. WENTWORTH,
WHEN CALISTO WAS ACTED AT COURT.
As Jupiter I made my court in vain,
I'll now assume my native shape again :
I'm weary to be so unkindly us'd.
And would not be a god to be refus'd.
State grows uneasy when it hinders love ;
A glorious burden, which the wise remove.
Now as a nymph I need not sue, nor try
The force of any lightning but the eye.
Beauty and youth more than a god command ;
No Jove could e'er the force of these withstand.
Tis here that sovereign power admits dispute;
Beauty sometimes is justly absolute.
Our sullen Catos, whatsoe'er they say,
Ev'n while they frown and dictate laws, obey.
You, mighty Sir, our bonds more easy make,
And gracefully, what all must suflfer, take :
Above those forms the grave affect to wear;
For 'tis not to be wise to be severe.
True w isdom may some gallantry admit,
And soften business with the charms of wit.
These peaceful triumphs with your cares you
And from the midst of fighting nations brought.
You only hear it thunder from afar.
And sit, in peace — the arbiter of war:
Peace, the loath'd manna which hotbrains despise,
You knew its worth, and made it early prize;
And, in its happy leisure, sit and see
The promises of more felicity;
Two glorious nymphs of your own godlike line,
Whose morning-rays like noontide strike and shine,
Whom you to suppliant monarchs shall dispose,
To bind your friends, and to disarm your foes.
THE MAN OF 31 ODE:
OR, SIR FOPLING FLUTTER.
BY SIR GEORGE ETHEREGE, 1676.
Most modern wits such monstrous fools have
They seem not of Heaven's making, but their own.
Those nauseous harlequins in farce may pass.
But there goes more to a substantial ass :
Something of man must be expos'd to view,
That, Gallants, they may more resemble you.
Sir Fopling is a fool so nicely writ,
The ladies would mistake him for a wit;
And, when he sings, talks loud, and cocks, would
* I vow, methinks he's pretty company : [cry —
So brisk, so gay, so travell'd, so refin'd.
As he took pains to graft upon his kind.'
True fops help Nature's work, and go to school
To file and finish God Almighty's fool.
Yet none Sir Fopling him, or him can call;
He's knight o'the' shire, and represents you all.
From each he meets he culls whate'er he can ;
Legion's his name, a people in a man.
His bulky folly gathers as it goes.
And, rolling o'er you, like a snow-ball grows.
His various modes from various fathers follow;
One taught the toss, and one the new French wallow.
His sword-knot this, his cravat that design'd ;
And this, the yard-long snake he twirls behind.
From one the sacred periwig he gain'd.
Which wind ne'er blew, nor touch of hat profan'd»
Another's diving bow he did adore,
Which, with a shog, casts ail the hair before^
Till he with full decorum brings it back,
And rises with a water-spaniel shake.
As for his songs, the ladies' dear delight,
These, sure, he took from most of you who write.
Yet every man is safe from what he fear'd;
For no one fool is hunted from the herd.
MITHRIDATES, KING OF POXTUS.
BY N. LEE, 1678.
YoY'VE seen a pair of faithful lovers die: ^
And much you care ; for most of you will cry
"Tv.as a just judgment on their constancy.'
For, Heaven be thank'd, we live in such an age
When no man dies for love, but on the stage:
And e'en those martyrs are but rare in plays;
A cursed sign how much true faith decays.
Love is no more a violent desire;
'Tis a mere metaphor, a painted fire.
In all our sex, the name examin'd well,
'Tis pride to gain, and vanity to tell.
In woman 'tis of subtle interest made :
Curse on the punk that made it first a trade!
She first did Wit's prerogative remove,
And made a fool presume to prate of love^.
Let honour and preferment go for gold.
But glorious beauty is not to be sold;
Or, if it be, 'tis at a rate so high,
That nothing but adoring it should buy.
Yet the rich cullies may their boasting spare j
They purchase but sophisticated ware.
'Tis prodigality that buys deceit,
AVhere both the giver and the taker cheat.
Men but refine on the old half-crown way,
And women fight, like Switsers, for their pay.
A TRAGEDY CALLED TAMERLANE.
BY MR. SAUNDERS.
Ladies, the beardless author of this day
Commends to you the fortune of his play :
A woman-wit has often grac'd the stage,
But he's the first boy-poet of our age.
Early as is the year his fancies blow,
Like young Narcissus, peeping through the snow.
Thus Cowley blossom'd soon, yet flourish'd long ;
This is as forward, and may prove as strong.
Youth with the fair should always favour find,"
Or we are damn'd dissemblers of our kind.
What's all this love they put into our parts ?
'Tis but the pit-a-pat of two young hearts.
Should Hag and Greybeard make such tender '\
Faith you'd e'en trust 'em to themselves alone, i
And cry, ' Let's go, here's nothing to be done.' ^
Since love's our business, as 'tis your delight,
The young, who best can practise, best can write.
What though he be not come to his full power,
He's mending and improving every hour.
You sly she-jockeys of the box and pit,
Are pleas'd to find a hot unbroken wit :
By management he may in time be made ;
But there's no hopes of an old batter'd jade ;
Faint and unnerv'd he runs into a sweat,
And always fails you at the second heat.
FOR THE KINGS HOUSE.
We act by fits and starts, like drowning men,
But just peep up, and then pop down again.
Let those who call us wicked change their sense ;
For never men liv'd more on Providence.
Not lottery cavaliers are half so poor,
Nor broken Cits, nor a vacation-whore.
Not courts, nor courtiers living on the rents
Of the three last ungiving Parliaments :
So wretched, that if Pharaoh could divine, "^
He might havespar'd his dream of seven lean kine, ^
And chang'd his vision for the Muses Nine. J
The comet that, they say, portends a dearth,
Was but a vapour drawn from playhouse-earth ;
Pent there since our last fire, and (Lilly says)
Foreshows our change of state, and thin third-days.
'Tis not our want of wit that keeps us poor,
For then the printers' press would suffer more.
Their pamphleteers each day their venom spit ;
They thrive by treason, and we starve by wit.
Confess the truth j which of you has not laid
Four farthings out to buy the Hatfield Maid ?
Or, which is duller yet, and more would spite us,
Democritus' Wars with Heraclitus?
Such are the authors who have run us down,
And exercis'd you critics of the Town.
Yet these are pearls to your lampooning rhymes ;
Ye' abuse yourselves more dully than the times.
Scandal, the glory of the English nation,
Is worn to rags, and scribbled out of fashion.
Such harmless thrusts, as if, like fencers wise,
They had agreed their play before their prize.
Faith they may hang their harps upon the willows;
'Tisjust like children, when they box with pillows.
Then put an end to civil wars for shame ;
Let each knight-errant who has wrong'd a dame
Throw down his pen, and give her, as he can.
The satisfaction of a gentleman.
THE LOYAL BROTHER:
OR, THE PERSIAN PRINCE.
A VIRGIN poet was serv'd up to-day,
Who, till this hour, ne'er cackled for a play.
He's neither yet a Whig nor Tory boy ; "^
But, like a girl, whom several would enjoy, ^
Begs leave to make the best of his own natural toy. J
Were I to play my callow author's game.
The King's House would instruct me by the name.
There's loyalty to one : I wish no more ;
A commonwealth sounds like a common whore.
Let husband or gallant be what they will,
One part of woman is true Tory still.
If any factious spirit should rebel,
Our sex, with ease, can every rising quell.
Then, as you hope we should your failings hide,
An honest jury for our play provide.
AVhigs at their poets never take offence;
They save dull culprits who have murder'd sense.
Though nonsense is a nauseous heavy mass,
The vehicle call'd Faction makes it pass.
Faction in play's the Commonwealth-man's bribe.
The leaden farthing of the canting tribe :
Though void in payment law^sand statutes make it,
The neighbourhood, that knows the man, will take
'Tis Faction buys the votes of half the pit; [it.
Theirs is the pension-parliament of wit.
In city-clubs their venom let them vent ;
For there 'tis safe in its own element.
Here, where their madness can have no pretence.
Let them forget themselves an hour of sense.
In one poor isle why should two factions be? ")
Small difference in your vices I can see: ^
In drink and drabs both sides too well agree. J
Would there were more preferments in the land :
If places fell, the party could not stand.
Of this damn'd grievance every Whig complains ;
They grunt like hogs, till they have got their grains.
Mean time, you see what trade our plots advance;
We send each year good money into France ;
And they that know what merchandise we need,
•Send o'er true Protestants to mend our breed.
THE DUKE OF GUISE.
SPOKEN BY MRS. COOKE.
Much time and trouble this poor play has cost ;
And, faith, I doubted once the cause was lost.
Yet no one man was meant; nor great nor small ;
Our poets, like frank gamesters, threw at all ;
They took no single aim
But, like bold boys, true to their prince and hearty,
Huzza'd, and fir'd broadsides at the whole party.
Duels are crimes : but when the cause is right,
In battle every man is bound to fight.
For what should hinder me to sell my skin "1
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.
They must do all they can
But we, forsooth, must bear a Christian mind;
And fight, like boys, with one hand tied behind.
Nay, and when one boy's down, 'twere wondrous
To cry * box fair' — and give him time to rise.
When fortune favours, none but fools will dally
Would any of you sparks, if Nan or Mally
Tipt you the' inviting wink, stand shall I, shall
A trimmer cried (that heard me tell the story)
^ Fie, Mistress Cooke ; faith, you're too rank a Tory.
Wish not Whigs haug'd ; but pity their hard cases ;
You womeu love to see men make wry faces.' —
* Pray Sir, (said I) don't think me such a Jew :
I say no more — but give the devil his due.'
* Lenitives (says he) suit bestwith our condition.' —
' Jack Ketch (says I) 's an excellent physician.*
* I love no blood.' — ' Nor I, Sir, as I breathe j
But hanging is a fine dry kind of death.' —
' We trimmers are for holding all things even.'
* Yes : — just like him that hung 'twixt hell and
^ Have we not had men's lives enough already?'
*■ Yes sure — but you're for holding all things steady.'
Now, since the weight hangs all on our side, brother,
You trimmers should, to poise it, hang on t'other.
Damn'd neuters, in their middle way of steering,
Are neither fish, nor flesh, nor good red-herring :
Not Whigs nor Tories they; nor this, nor that;
Not birds, nor beasts; but jnst a kind of bat,
A twilight animal, true to neither cause,
With Tory wings, but Whiggish teeth and claws.
UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD.
SPOKEN BY MR. HART, AT THE ACTING OF ^THE
No poor Dutch peasant, wing'd with all his fear,
Flies with more haste, when the French arms draw
Than we with our poetic train come down,
For refuge hither, from the' 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 wayj
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.
The' Italian Merry-Andrews took their place.
And quite debauch'd the stage with lewd grimace.
Instead of wit and hmnour, your delight
Was there to see two hobby-horses fight :
Stout Scaramoucha with rush-laiice rode in,
And ran a-tilt at Centaur-Harlequin.
For love, you heard how amorous asses bray'd,
And cats in gutters gave their serenade.
Nature was out of countenance, and each day
Some new-born monster shown you for a play :
But when all fail'd, to strike the stage quite dumb,
Those wicked engines, call'd Machines, are come,
Thunder and lightning now for wit are play'd,
And, shortly, scenes in Lapland will be laid ;
VOL. III.. H
Art-magic is for poetry profest ;
And cats and dogs, and each obscener beast,
To which Egyptian dotards once did bow,
Upon our English stage are worshipp'd now.
Witchcraft reigns there, and raises to renown
Macbeth, and Simon Magus of the Town ;
Fletcher's despis'd, your Jonson's out of fashion,
And wit — the only drug in all the nation.
In this low ebb our wares to you are shown ; ^
By you those staple authors' worth is known ; >
For wit's a manufacture of your own. J
When you, who only can, their scenes have prais'd,
We'll boldly back, and say — their price is rais'd.
SPOKEN AT OXFORD.
BY MRS. MARSHALL. /
Oft has our poet wish'd — this happy seat
Might prove his fading Muse's last retreat !
I wonder'd at his wish ;— but now I find
He sought for quiet, and content of mind,
Which noiseful towns and courts can never know,
And only in the shades, like laurels, grow.
Youth, ere it sees the world, here studies rest.
And Age, returning thence, concludes it best.
What wonder if we court that happiness
Yearly to share, whicii hourly you possess ;
Teaching e'en you, ( while the vext world we show)
Your peace to value more, and better know r
'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,
And scarcely more to his own Virgil owe ;
Whose age enjoys but what his youth deserv'd,
To rule those Muses whom before he serv'd.
His learning, and untainted manners too,
We find, Athenians, are deriv'd to you :
Such ancient hospitality there rests
In yours, as dwelt in the first Grecian breasts,
Whose kindness was religion to their guests.
Such modesty did to our sex appear, "^
As, had there been no laws, we need not fear, 5-
Since each of you was our protector here : J
Converse so chaste, and so strict virtue shown.
As might Apollo with the Muses own.
Till our return we must despair to find
Judges so just, so knowing, and so kind.
CONSTANTINE THE GREAT,
BY N. LEE, 1683.
Our hero's happy in the play's conclusion ;
The holy rogue at last has met confusion;
Though Arius all along appear'd a saint.
The last act show'd him a true Protectant.
Eusebius, (for you know I read Greek authoi-s)
Keports, that after all tlie^e plots and slaughters,
The court of Constantine was full of glory,
And every Trimmer turn'd addressing Tory.
They follow'd him in herds as th .« were mad ;
When Clause was king, then ail the world was glad.
Whigs kept the places they possest before,
i\.nd most were in a way of getting more ;
Which was as much as saying, ' Gentlemen,
Here's power and money to be rogues again.'
Indeed, there were a sort of peaking tools j
Some call them modest, but I call them fools,
Men much more loyal, though not half so loud ;
But these poor devils were cast behind the crowd :
For bold knaves thrive without one grain of sense,
But good men starve for want of impudence.
Besides all tliese, there were a sort of weights,
(I think my author calls them Tekelites)
Such hearty rogues against the king and laws,
They favour'd e'en a foreign rebel's cause : [aw'd,
When their own damn'd design was quash'd and
At least, they gave it their good word abroad :
As many a man who, for a quiet life,
Thus o'er their darling plot these Trimmers cry,
And though they cannot keep it in their eye,
They bind it 'prentice to Count Tekely.
They believe not the last plot; may I be curst,
If I believe they e'er believ'd the first.
No wonder their own plot no plot they think ;
The man, that makes it, never smells the stink.
And now it comes into my head, I'll tell
Why these damn'd Trimmers lov'd the Turks so
The original Trimmer, though a friend to no man,
Yet in his heart ador'd a pretty woman ;
He knew tliat Mahomet laid up for ever
Rind black-ey'd rogues for every true belieyer;
And, which was more than mortal men e'er tasted.
One pleasure that for threescore twelvemonths
To turn for this may surely be forgiven ;
Who'd not be cii?cumcis'd for such a heaven ?
THE KING AND QUEEN,
UPON THE UNION OF THE TWO COMPANIES, 1686.
New ministers, when first they get in place,
Must have a care to please ; and that's our case : —
Some laws for public welfare we design,
If you, the power supreme, will please to join.
There are a sort of prattlers in the pit,
Who either have, or who pretend to wit :
These noisy Sirs so loud their parts rehearse,
That oft the play is silenc'd by the farce.
Let such be dumb, this penalty to shun.
Each to be thought my lady's eldest son.
But stay ; methinks some vizard-mask I see
Cast out her lure from the mid gallery :
About her all the fluttering sparks are rang'd ;
The noise continues, though the scene is chaug'd :
Now growling, sputtering, wauling, such a clutter,
'Tis jast like puss defendant in a gutter.
Fine love, no doubt ; but ere two days are o'er ye,
The surgeon will be told a woful story.
Let Vizard-Mask her naked face expose.
On pain of being thought to want a nose.
Then for your lackeys, and your train besidr,
By whate'er name or title dignified,
They loar so loud, you'd think behind the stairs
Tom Dove, and all the brotherhood of Bears :
They're grown a nuisance, beyond all disasters;
We've none so great, but their unpaying masters.
We beg you, Sirs, to beg your men, that they
Would please to give you leave to hear the play.
Next, in the playhouse spare your precious lives ;
Think, like good Christians, on your bairns and
Think on your souls ; but, by your lugging forth,
It seems you know how little they are worth.
If none of these will move the warlike mind,
Think on the helpless whore you leave behind.
We beg you, last, our scene-room to forbear.
And leave our goods and chattels to our care.
Alas ! our women are but washy toys,
And wholly taken up in stage-employs :
Poor willing tits they are ; but yet, I doubt,
This double duty soon will wear them out.
Then you are watch'd besides with jealous care;
What if my Lady's page should find you there?
My Lady knows to' a tittle what there's in yej
No passing your gilt shilling for a guinea.
Thus, Gentlemen, we have suram'd up in short
Our grievances, from country, town, and court.
Which humbly we submit to your good pleasure j
Put first vote money, then redress at leisure.
PRINCESS OF CLEVES.
A QUALM of conscience brings me back again.
To make amends to you bespatter'd men.
We women love like cats, that hide their joys
By growling, squalling, and a hideou« noise.
I rail'd at wild young sjjarks ; but, without lying,
Never was man worse thought on for high-flying.
The prodigal of love gives each her part,
And squandering shows, at lea.>t, a noble heart.
I've heard of men who, in some lewd lampoon,
Have hir'd a friend to make tlieir valour known.
That accusation straight this question brings.
What is the man that does such naughty things?
The spaniel-lover, like a sneaking fop,
Lies at our feet : he's scarce worth taking up.
'Tis true, such heroes in a play go far ;
But chamber-practice is not like the bar.
When men such vile, such faint petitions make,
We fear to give, because they fear to take.
Since modesty's the virtue of our kind.
Pray let it be to our own sex confin'd :
When men usurp it from the female nation,
*Tis but a Avork of supererogation —
We show'd a princess in the play, 'tis true,
Who gave her Caesar more than all his due ;
Told her own faults: but I should much abhor
To choose a husband for my confessor.
You see what fate foUow'd the saint-like fool,
For telling tales from out the nuptial-school.
Our play a merry comedy had prov'd,
Had she confess'd so much to him she lovd.
True Presbyterian-wives the means would try^
But damrfd confessing — is flat Popery.
TO HENRY IL
BY 3IR. MOUNTFORT, 1693. SPOKEN BY MRS.
Thus jou the sad catastrophe have seen,
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 ?