Sidor som bilder



By Mr. N. LE E, 1678.

'OU'VE feen a pair of faithful lovers die :
And much you care; for most of you will
'Twas a juft judgment on their conftancy.
For, heaven be thank'd, we live in such an age,
When no man dies for love, but on the ftage:
And e'en those martyrs are but rare in plays;
A curfed fign how much true faith decays.
Love is no more a violent defire;
'Tis a mere metaphor, a painted fire.
In all our fex, the name examin'd well,
'Tis pride to gain, and vanity to tell.
In woman, 'tis of fubtle int'reft made:
Curfe on the punk that made it first a trade!
She first did wit's prerogative remove,
And made a fool prefume to prate of love.
Let honour and preferment go for gold;
But glorious beauty is not to be fold:
Or, if it be, 'tis at a rate fo high,

That nothing but adoring it fhould buy.
Yet the rich cullies may their boafting spare;
They purchase but fophifticated ware.
"Tis prodigality that buys deceit,

Where both the giver and the taker cheat.
Men but refine on the old half-crown way;
And women fight, like Swiffers, for their pay.

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By Mrs. BEHN, 1690,

Eaven fave ye, gallants, and this hopeful age; Y'are welcome to the downfal of the stage: The fools have labour'd long in their vocation; And vice, the manufacture of the nation,

O'erstocks the town fo much, and thrives fo well, That fops and knaves grow drugs, and will not fell, In vain our wares on theatres are shown,

When each has a plantation of his own.

His caufe ne'er fails; for whatfoe'er he spends,
There's ftill God's plenty for himself and friends.
Should men be rated by poetic rules,

Lord! what a poll would there be rais'd from fools!
Mean time poor wit prohibited must lie,

As if 'twere made fome French commodity.

Fools you will have, and rais'd at vast expence;

And yet, as foon as feen, they give offence.

Time was, when none would cry, That oaf was me;
But now you ftrive about your pedigree.

Bauble and cap no fooner are thrown down,
But there's a mufs of more than half the town.
Each one will challenge a child's part at least;
A fign the family is well increast.

Of foreign cattle there's no longer need,
When we're fupply'd fo faft with English breed.

Well! flourish, countrymen, drink, fwear, and roar;
Let ev'ry free-born fubject keep his whore,


And wand'ring in the wilderness about,
At end of forty years not wear her out.
But when you fee these pictures, let none dare
To own beyond a limb or fingle share :
For where the punk is common, he's a sot,
Who needs will father what the parish got.



[By Mr. N. LEE, 1680.]

'H' unhappy man, who once has trail'd a pen,

Is always drudging, waftes his life and blood,
Yet only eats and drinks what you think good.
What praise foe'er the poetry deferve,
Yet ev'ry fool can bid the poet ftarve.
That fumbling letcher to revenge is bent,
Because he thinks himself or whore is meant:
Name but a cuckold, all the city fwarms;
From Leadenhall to Ludgate is in arms:
Were there no fear of Antichrift or France,
In the bleft time poor poets live by chance.
Either you come not here, or, as you grace
Some old acquaintance, drop into the place,
Carelefs and qualmifh with a yawning face:
You fleep o'er wit, and by my troth you may;
Moft of your talents lie another way.
You love to hear of fome prodigious tale,
The bell that toll'd alone, or Irish whale.

R 2



News is your food, and you enough provide,
Both for yourselves, and all the world befide.
One theatre there is of vaft resort,

Which whilome of Requests was called the Court;.
But now the great Exchange of News 'tis hight,
And full of hum and buz from noon 'till night.
Up ftairs and down you run, as for a race,
And each man wears three nations in his face.
So big you look, tho' claret you retrench,
That, arm'd with bottled ale, you huff the French.
But all your entertainment ftill is fed

By villains in your own dull island bred.
Would you return to us, we dare engage
To fhew you better rogues upon the stage.
You know no poifon but plain ratfbane here;
Death's more refin'd, and better bred elsewhere.
They have a civil way in Italy

By smelling a perfume to make you die;

A trick would make you lay your fnuff-box by.
Murder's a trade, fo known and practis'd there,
That 'tis infallible as is the chair.

But, mark their feaft, you fhall behoid fuch pranks;
The pope fays grace, but 'tis the devil gives thanks.




To SOPHONISBA, acted at Oxford, 1680.


Written by NAT LEE.

HESPIS1, the first profeffor of our art,
At country wakes, fung ballads from a cart.
To prove this true, if Latin be no trespass,
Dicitur & plauftris vexiffe Poemata Thefpis.
But fchylus, fays Horace in fome page,
Was the first mountebank that trod the stage:
Yet Athens never knew your learned sport
Of toffing poets in a tennis-court.

But 'tis the talent of our English nation.
Still to be plotting fome new reformation:
And few years hence, if anarchy goes on,
Jack Prefbyter fhall here erect his throne,
Knock out a tub with preaching once a day,
And ev'ry prayer be longer than a play.
Then all your heathen wits fhall go to pot,
For disbelieving of a Popifh-plot:
Your poets fhall be us'd like infidels,
And worst the author of the Oxford bells:
Nor fhould we 'fcape the fentence, to depart,
E'en in our firft original, a cart.

1 Thefpis was born in Icaria, a town of Attica.

He is called the

Inventor of tragedy, as having reduced it to fome regularity. He carried his company from town to town in a cart, and they coloured their faces with lees of wine, that they might more naturally refemble the fatyrs, whofe faces were red and glowing.

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