Spoken at the Opening of the New House,
March 26, 1674.
Will send you half unsatisfy'd away ;
When, fall'n from your expected pomp, you find
A bare convenience only is design'd.
You, who each day can theatres behold,
Like Nero's palace, thining all with gold,
Our mean ungilded stage will scorn, we fear,
And, for the homely room, disdain the cheer,
Yet now cheap druggets to a mode are grown,
And a plain fuit, since we can make but one,
Is better than to be by tarnish'd gawdry known.
They, who are by your favours wealthy made,
With mighty sums may carry on the trade :
We, broken bankers, half deftroy'd by fire,
With our small stock to humble roofs retire ;
Pity our loss, while
For fame and honour we no longer strive,
We yield in both, and only beg to live:
Unable to support their vast expence,
Who build and treat with such magnificence s
That, like th’ambitious monarchs of the
They give the law to our provincial stage.
Great neighbours envioufly promote excess,
While they impose their splendor on the lesse
But only fools, and they of vast eftate,
Th'extremity of modes will imitate,
The dangling knee-fringe, and the bib-cravat.
• This Prologue was wrote for the King's company, who hud just opened their house in Drury-lane,