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Such modesty did to our sex appear,
As, had there been no laws, we need not fear,
Since each of you was our protector here.
Converse fo chafte, and so ftrict virtue shown,
As might Apollo with the Muses own.
Till our return, we must despair to find
Judges'fo juft, so knowing, and so kind.
Iscord, and plots, which have undone our age,
With the fame ruin have o’erwhelm'd the ftage.
Our house has suffer'd in the common woe,
We have been troubled with Scotch rebels too.
Our brethren are from Thames to Tweed departed,
And of our fifters, all the kinder-hearted,
To Edinburgh gone, or coach'd, or carted.
With bonny bluecap there they act all night
For Scotch half-crown, in English three-pence hight.
One nymph, to whom fat Sir John Falstaff's lean,
There with her single person fills the scene.
Another, with long use and age decay'd,
Div'd here old woman, and rose there a maid.
Our trusty door-keepers of former time
There strut and swagger in heroic rhime.
Tack but a copper-lace to drugget fuit,
And there's a hero made without dispute :
And that, which was a capon's tail before,
Becomes a plume for Indian emperor,
But all his subjects, to express the care
Of imitation, go, like Indians, bare :
Lac'd linen there would be a dangerous thing ;
It might perhaps a new rebellion bring;
The Scot, who wore it, would be chosen king,
But why should I these renegades describe,
When you yourselves have seen a lewder tribe?
Teague has been here, and, to this learned pit,
With Irish action.flander'd English wit:
You have beheld such barb'rous Macs appear,
As merited a second massacre :
Such as, like Cain, were branded with disgrace,
And had their country stamp'd upon their face.
When strollers durst presume to pick your purse,
Wę humbly thought our broken troop not worse.
How ill foe'er our action may deserve,
Oxford's a place where wit can never starve.
HO’actors cannot much of learning boast,
Of all who want it, we admire it moft ;
We love the praises of a learned pit,
As we remotely are ally'd to wit.
We speak our poets wit, and trade in ore,
Like those, who touch upon the golden shore:
Betwixt our judges can distinction make,
Discern how much, and why, our poems take:
Mark if the fools, or men of sense, rejoice;
Whether th’applause be only found or voice,
When our fop gallants, or our city folly
Clap over-loud, it makes us melancholy:
We doubt that scene which does their wonder raise,
And, for their ignorance, contemn their praise.
Judge then, if we who act, and they who write,
Should not be proud of giving you delight.
London likes grolly; but this nicer pit
Examines, fathoms all the depths of wit ;
The ready finger lays on every blot;
Knows what should justly please, and what should not.
Nature herself lies open to your view;
You judge by her, what draught of her is true,
Where outlines false, and colours seem too faint,
Where bunglers dawb, and where true poets paint.
But by the facred genius of this place,
By ev'ry Muse, by each domestic grace.
Be kind to wit, which but endeavours well,
And, where you judge, presumes not to excel.
hither for adoption come,
As nations sued to be made free of Rome:
Not in the fuffragating tribes to stand,
But in your utmost, last, provincial band.
If his ambition may those hopes pursue,
Who with religion loves your arts and you,
Oxford to him a dearer name shall be,
Than his own mother university.
Thebes did his green, unknowing, youth engage;
He chooses Athens in his riper age.
Ε Ρ Ι L Ο G GUE To CONSTANTINE the GREAT.
[By Mr. N. LEE, 1684.] O
UR hero's happy in the play's conclusion ;
The holy rogue at last has met confufion :
Tho' Arius all along appear'd a faint,
The last act shew'd him a true Protestant.
Eusebius, for you know I read Greek authors,
Reports, that, after all these plots and slaughters,
The court of Conftantine was full of glory,
And every Trimmer turn'd addressing Tory.
They follow'd him in herds as they were mad :
When Clause was king, then all the world was glad.
Whigs kept the places they poffeft before,
And most were in a way of getting more;
Which was as much as saying, Gentlemen,
Here's power and money to be rogues again.
Indeed, there were a sort of peaking tools,
Some call them modest, but I call them fools,
Men much more loyal, tho' not half so loud;
devils were caft behind the croud.
For bold knaves thrive without one grain of sense,
But good men ftarve for want of impudence.
Besides all these, there were a sort of wights,
author calls them Tekelites, Such hearty rogues against the king and laws, They favour'd e'en a foreign rebel's cause. When their own damn’d design was quash'd and aw'd, At least, they gave it their good word abroad. As many a man, who, for a quiet life, Brecds out his bastard, not to noise his wife; Thus o'er their darling plot these Trimmers cry; And tho' they cannot keep it in their eye, They bind it prentice to Count Tekely 1. They believe not the last plot; may I be curft, If I believe they e'er believ'd the first. No wonder their own plot no plot they think; The man, that makes it, never smells the stink, And now it comes into my head, I'll tell Why these damn’d Trimmers lov'd the Turks so well. The original Trimmer, tho' a friend to no man, Yet in his heart ador'd a pretty woman ; 1 A famous Hungarian commander.
He knew that Mahomet laid up for ever
Kind 2 black-ey'd rogues, for every true believer;
And, which was more than mortal man e'er tasted,
One pleasure that for threescore twelvemonths laited :
To turn for this, may surely be forgiven:
Who'd not be circumcis'd for such a heaven?
Or, the MOTHER in FASHION,
[By Mr. SOUTHERNE, 1684.]
Spoken by Mr. BETTER TON.
OW comes it, gentlemen, that now a days,
When all of you so shrewdly judge of plays,
Our poets tax you still with want of sense ?
All prologues treat you at your own expence,
Sharp citizens a wiser way can go;
They make you fools, but never call you
They, in good manners, feldom make a flip,
But treat a common whore with ladyship :
But here each faucy wit at random writes,
And uses ladies as he uses knights.
Our author, young and grateful in his nature,
Vows, that from him no nymph deserves a satire :
Nor will he ever draw-I mean his rhime,
Against the sweet partaker of his crime.
2 Among the pleasures Mahomet promis'd to his followers in paradise, one was that they should enjoy nymphs of amazing beauty with large black eyes.