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Lac'd linen there would be a dangerous thing;
It might perhaps a new rebellion bring;
The Scot, who wore it, would be chofen king.
But why should I thefe renegades describe,
When you yourselves have feen a lewder tribe?
Teague has been here, and, to this learned pit,
With Irish action flander'd English wit:
You have beheld fuch barb'rous Macs appear,
As merited a fecond maffacre:
Such as, like Cain, were branded with disgrace,
And had their country ftamp'd upon their face.
When ftrollers durft prefume to pick your purse,
We humbly thought our broken troop not worse.
How ill foe'er our action may deserve,
Oxford's a place where wit can never starve.
To the UNIVERSITY of OXFORD,
HO' actors cannot much of learning boast,
Of all who want it, we admire it most ;
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 thofe, who touch upon the golden fhore:
Betwixt our judges can distinction make,
Difcern how much, and why, our poems take:
Mark if the fools, or men of fenfe, rejoice;
Whether th' applaufe 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 grofly; 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 herfelf lies open to your view;
You judge by her, what draught of her is true,
Where outlines falfe, and colours feem too faint,
Where bunglers dawb, and where true poets paint.
But by the facred genius of this place,
By ev'ry Mufe, by each domeftic grace.
Be kind to wit, which but endeavours well,
And, where you judge, prefumes not to excel.
Our poets hither for adoption come,
As nations fued to be made free of Rome:
Not in the fuffragating tribes to stand,
But in your utmoft, laft, provincial band.
If his ambition may thofe hopes purfue,
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.
To CONSTANTINE the GREAT.
[By Mr. N. LEE, 1684.]
UR hero's happy in the play's conclufion
The holy rogue at laft has met confufion:
Tho' Arius all along appear'd a faint,
The last act shew'd him a true Protestant.
Eufebius, for you know I read Greek authors,
Reports, that, after all thefe plots and flaughters,
The court of Conftantine was full of glory,
And every Trimmer turn'd addreffing Tory.
They follow'd him in herds as they were mad:
When Claufe 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 faying, Gentlemen,
Here's power and money to be rogues again.
Indeed, there were a fort of peaking tools,
Some call them modeft, but I call them fools,
Men much more loyal, tho' not half fo loud;
But these poor devils were caft behind the croud.
For bold knaves thrive without one grain of sense,
But good men ftarve for want of impudence.
Befides all thefe, there were a fort of wights,
I think my 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 defign was quafh'd and aw'd,
At least, they gave it their good word abroad.
As many a man, who, for a quiet life,
Breeds out his baftard, not to noife his wife;
Thus o'er their darling plot thefe Trimmers cry;
And tho' they cannot keep it in their
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 fmells the flink.
And now it comes into my head, I'll tell
Why thefe damn'd Trimmers lov'd the Turks fo 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 tafted,
One pleasure that for threescore twelvemonths lafted:
To turn for this, may furely be forgiven:
Who'd not be circumcis'd for fuch a heaven?
To the DISSAPPOINTMENT:
Or, the MOTHER in FASHION.
[By Mr. SOUTHERNE, 1684.]
OW comes it, gentlemen, that now a-days,
When all of you fo fhrewdly judge of plays,
Our poets tax you ftill with want of fenfe?
All prologues treat you at your own expence.
Sharp citizens a wifer way can go;
They make you fools, but never call you fo.
They, in good manners, feldom make a flip,
But treat a common whore with ladyship:
But here each faucy wit at random writes,
And ufes ladies as he ufes knights.
Our author, young and grateful in his nature,
Vows, that from him no nymph deferves a fatire:
Nor will he ever draw-I mean his rhime,
Against the fweet partaker of his crime.
2 Among the pleasures Mahomet promis'd to his followers in paradife, one was that they fhould enjoy nymphs of amazing beauty with large black eyes.
Nor is he yet fo bold an undertaker,
To call men fools; 'tis railing at their Maker.
Befides, he fears to fplit upon that shelf;
He's young enough to be a fop himself:
And, if his praife can bring you all a-bed,
He fwears fuch hopeful youth no nation ever bred.
Your nurfes, we prefume, in fuch a cafe,
Your father chofe, becaufe he lik'd the face;
And, often, they fupply'd your mother's place.
The dry nurfe was your mother's ancient maid,
Who knew fome former flip the ne'er betray'd.
Betwixt them both, for milk and fugar-candy,
You fucking bottles were well flor'd with brandy.
Your father, to initiate your discourse,
Meant to have taught you first to swear and curse,
But was prevented by each careful nurse.
For, leaving dad and mam, as names too common,
They taught you certain parts of man and woman.
1 país your schools; for there when firft you came,
You would be fure to learn the Latin name.
In colleges you fcorn'd the art of thinking,
But learn'd all moods and figures of good drinking:
Thence come to town, you practife play, to know
The virtues of the high dice, and the low.
Each thinks himself a sharper most profound:
He cheats by pence; is cheated by the pound.
With thefe perfections, and what else he gleans,
The fpark fets up for love behind our scenes;
Hot in pursuit of princeffes and queens.
There, if they know their man, with cunning carriage, Twenty to one but it concludes in marriage.
He hires fome homely room, love's fruits to gather, And gariet-high rebels againft his father:
Brings her in triumph, with her portion, down,
A toilet, dreffing-box, and half a crown.