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The plays that take on our corrupted stage,
Methinks, resemble the distracted age;
Noife, madness, all unreasonable things,
That strike at sense, as rebels do at kings.
The style of forty-one our poets write,
And you are grown to judge like forty-eight.
Such cenfures our mistaking audience make,
That 'tis almoft grown fcandalous to take.
They talk of fevers that infect the brains ;
But nonfenfe is the new disease that reigns.
Weak ftomachs, with a long disease oppreft,
Cannot the cordials of strong wit digest.
Therefore thin nourishment of farce ye choose,
Decoctions of a barley-water muse:
A meal of tragedy would make ye fick,
Unless it were a very tender chick.
Some scenes in fippets would be worth our time;
Those would go down; fome love that's poach'd in rhime;
If these should fail-----
We must lie down, and, after all our coft,
Keep holiday, like watermen in frost ;
you turn players on the world's great stage, And act yourselves the farce of your own age.
TRAGEDY call'd TAMERLANE.
ADIES, 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 Narciffus peeping thro the fnow. Thus Cowley bloffom'd foon, yet flourish'd long; This is as forward, and may prove as ftrong. Youth with the fair fhould always favor find, Or we are damn'd diffemblers 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 grey-beard make fuch tender
Faith, you'd e'en truft them to themselves alone, And cry, Let's go, here's nothing to be done. Since Love's our business, as 'tis your delight, The young, who beft can practise, best can write.
What tho he be not come to his full power,
He's mending and improving every hour.
You fly fhe-jockies 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 fweat,
And always fails you at the fecond heat.
'HE fam'd Italian mufe, whose rhimes advance Orlando, and the Paladins of France, Records, that, when our wit and fenfe is flown, "Tis lodg'd within the circle of the moon, In earthen jars, which one, who thither foar'd, Set to his nofe, fnuff'd up, and was reftor'd. Whate'er the story be, the moral's true;
The wit we loft in town, we find in
Our poets their fled parts may draw from hence,
And fill their windy heads with fober sense,
When London votes with Southwark's difagree,
Here may they find their long-loft loyalty.
Here bufy fenates, to th'old cause inclin’d,
May snuff the votes their fellows left behind :
Your country neighbors, when their grain grows
May come, and find their last provision here:
Whereas we cannot much lament our lofs,
Who neither carry'd back, nor brought one cross.
We look'd what representatives would bring ;
But they help'd us, juft as they did the king.
Yet we despair not; for we now lay forth
The Sibyls books to thofe who know their worth;
And tho the first was facrific'd before,
These volumes doubly will the price restore.
Our poet bade us hope this grace to find,
To whom by long prescription you are kind.
He, whofe undaunted Muse, with loyal rage,
Has never fpar'd the vices of the age,
Here finding nothing that his spleen can raise,
Is forc'd to turn his fatire into praise.
First Appearance at the DUKE'S THEATRE, after his Return from SCOTLAND, 1682.
N thofe cold regions which no fummers chear,
; Where brooding darkness covers half the year, To hollow caves the fhiv'ring natives go;
Bears range abroad, and hunt in tracks of (now :
But when the tedious twilight wears away,
And stars grow paler at th' approach of day,
The longing crowds to frozen mountains run;
Happy who first can see the glimmering sun:
The furly favage offspring difappear,
And curfe the bright fucceffor of the year.
Yet, tho rough bears in covert feek defence,
White foxes stay, with feeming innocence:
That crafty kind with day-light can dispense.
Still we are throng'd fo full with Reynard's race,
That loyal subjects scarce can find a place:
Thus modeft truth is caft behind the croud:
Truth fpeaks too low; hypocrify too loud.