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The plays that take on our corrupted stage,
Methinks, resemble the distracted
Noise, madness, all unreasonable things,
That strike at sense, as rebels do at kings.
The style of forty-one our poets write,
you are grown to judge like forty-eight.
Such censures our mistaking audience make,
That 'tis almost
scandalous to take.
They talk of fevers that infect the brains ;
But nonsense is the new disease that reigns.
Weak stomachs, with a long disease opprest,
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 fick
Unless it were a very tender chick.
Some scenes in fippets would be worth our time;
Those would go down; some love that's poach'd
If these should fail-------
We must lie down, and, after all our cost,
Keep holiday, like watermen in frost
While you turn players on the world's great stage,
And act yourselves the farce of your own age.
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 blossom'd soon, yet flourish'd long; This is as forward, and may prove as strong. Youth with the fair should always favor find, Or we are damn'd dissemblers of our kind. Wirat's all this love they put into our parts ? 'T'is but the pit-a-pat of two young hearts. Should hag and grey-beard make such tender
moad, Faith, you'd e'en trust 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 best 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 unnery'd he runs into a sweat,
And always fails you
at the second heat.
HE fam'd Italian muse, whose chimes advance
Orlando, and the Paladins of France,
Records, that, when our wit and sense is flown,
'Tis lodg’d within the circle of the moon, ,
In earthen jars, which one, who thither foar’d,
Set to his nose, snuff'd
and was restor'd. Whate'er the story be, the moral's true ; The wit we lost in town, we find in
you. Our poets their fled parts may draw from hence, And fill their windy heads with sober sende.
When London votes with Southwark's disagree,
Here may they find their long-lost loyalty.
Here busy senates, 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 loss,
Who neither carry'd back, nor brought one cross.
We look'd what representatives would bring;
But they help'd us, just as they did the king.
Yet we despair not ; for we now lay forth
The Sibyls books to those who know their worth;
And tho the first was sacrific'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, whose undaunted Muse, with loyal rage,
Has never spar’d the vices of the age,
Here finding nothing that his spleen can raise,
Is forc'd to turn his satire into praise.
First Appearance at the DUKE'S THEATRE,
after his Return from SCOTLAND, 1682.
N those cold regions which no summers chear,
Where brooding darkness covers half the year,
To hollow caves the shiv'ring natives go ;
Bears range abroad, and hunt in tracks of snow :
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 surly favage offspring disappear,
And curse the bright successor of the year.
Yet, tho rough bears in covert seek defence,
White foxes stay, with seeming innocence:
That crafty kind with day-light can dispense.
Still we are throng'd so full with Reynard's race,
That loyal subjects scarce can find a place :
Thus modest truth is cast behind the croud :
Truth speaks too low; hypocrisy too loud.