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Or, what can wars to after-times assure,
Of which our present age is not secare?
All that our monarch would for us ordain,
Is but t' enjoy the blessings of his reign.
Our land's an Eden, and the main's our fence,
While we preserve our state of innocence:
That loft, then beasts their brutal force employ,
And first their lord, and then themselves destroy,
What civil broils have cost, we know too well;
Oh! let it be enough that once we fell!
And ev'ry heart conspire, and ev'ry tongue,
Still to have such a king, and this king long.
E 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 have spar'd his dream of seven lean kine,
And chang’d his vision for the muses nine.
The comet, that, they say, portends a dearth,
Was but a vapour drawn from play-house earth:
Pent there fince our last fire, and, Lilly says,
Foreshews our change of state, and thin third-days.
"Tis not our want of wit that keeps us poor ;
For then the printer's press would suffer more.
Their pamphleteers each day their venom spit;
They thrive by treason, and we starve by wit.
Confess the truth, 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 his 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 rhimes,
Y'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 barps upon the willows;
'Tis just 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.
OETS, like lawful monarchs, ruld the stage,
Till critics, like damn'd Whigs, debauch'dourage.
Mark how they jump: critics would regulate
Our theatres, and Whigs reform our state :
Both pretend love, and both (plague rot them!) hate.
The critiç humbly seems advice to bring;
The fawning Whig petitions to the king :
But one's advice into a satire slides ;
T'other's petition a remonstrance hides.
These will no taxes give, and those no pence ;
Critics would starve the poet, Whigs the prince.
The critic all our troops of friends discards;
Just fo the Whig would fain pull down the guards.
Guards are illegal, that drive foes away,
As watchful shepherds, that fright beasts of prey.
I The Loyal Brother; or, the Persian Prince, Mr. Southern's first play, was acted at Drury-lane in 1682. The character of the Loyal Brother was a compliment intended for the duke of York. This prologue is a continued invective against the Whigs. Dryden also wrote the epilogue. He was at this time famous for prologue and epilogue writing ; for which reason Southern here begged his affiftance at the usual price, which was either five or fix guineas. Dryden refused it under ten : the young bard answered, it was more than he had ever heard he demanded before. “Ay, (replied the Laureat) “ but it is not more than the thing's worth: the players have hitherto ļ" had my work too cheap ; and I am rcfolved hereafter to be paid « for it."
Kings, who disband fuch needless aids as these,
Are fafe--as long as e'er their subjects please :.
And that would be till next queen 2 Bess's night :
Which thus grave penny chroniclers indite.
Sir Edmondbury writ, in woful wife,
Leads up the show, and milks their maudlin eyes,
There's not a butcher's wife but dribs her part,
And pities the poor pageant from her heart;
Who, to provoke revenge, rides round the fire,
And, with a civil congé, does retire :
But guiltless blood to ground must never fall;
There's Antichrist behind, to pay for all.
The punk of Babylon in pomp appears,
A lewd old gentleman of seventy years :
Whose age in vain our mercy would implore;
For few take pity on an old-cast whore.
The devil, who brought him to the shame, takes part;
Sits cheek by jowl, in black, to cheer his heart;
Like thief and parson in a Tyburn-cart.
The word is given, and with a loud huzza
The mitred poppet from his chair they draw:
Queen Bess's right. At the King's-head tavern, the corner of Chancery-lane, and opposite the inner-Temple-gate, the principal opponents to the court-measures and the chiefs of the Whig-party ailembled, under the name of the King's-head Club, and afterwards the Green-ribbon Club, from ribbons of that colour which they were in their hats. Here they subscribed a guinea a-piece for a bonfire, in which the effigies of the pope was to be burnt on the 17th of November, being the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's birth, with more than ordinary pomp; for it was beretofore an annual ceremony, usually made without any remarkable parade. The procffion now consisted of one representing the dead body of Sir Edmondbury Godfrey, carried on a horse, with a person preceding it ringing a bell, to remind people of his murder : then followed a mob of fellows, dressed like carmelites, jeluits, bihops, cardinals, &c. and several boys with incenfe pots surrounding an image of the pope, with that of the devil just behind him. In this manner they marched from Bishopsgate to the corner of Chancery-lane, where they committed the inoffensive effigies to the flames; while the balconies and windows of the King's head were fled with people of consequence, who countenanced the tumult.
On the slain corps contending nations fall:
Alas! what's one poor pope among them all!
He burns; now all true hearts your triumphs ring:
And next, for fashion, cry, God save the king,
A needful cry in midst of such alarms,
When forty thousand men are up in arms.
But after he's once sav’d, to make amends,
In each succeeding health they damn his friends :
So God begins, but still the devil ends.
What if some one, inspir'd with zeal, should call,
Come, let's go cry, God save him at Whitehall ?
His best friends would not like this over-care,
Or think him ere the safer for this
Five praying faints are by an 3 act allow'd;
But not the whole church-militant in croud.
Yet, should heaven all the true petitions drain
Of Presbyterians, who would king's maintain,
Of forty thousand, five would scarce remain.
Virgin poet was ferv'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 nat’ral toy,
Were I to play my callow author's game,
The king's house would instruct me by che 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,
part of woman is true Tory still.
3 By the Bartholomew act, not more than five disenters were
allowed to commune together at one time,