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Dare with the mummies of the Muses play,
And make love to them the Egyptian way;
Or, as a rhiming author would have faid,

Join the dead living to the living dead.
Such men in Poetry may claim fome part:
They have the licenfe, tho' they want the art;

And might, where theft was prais'd, for Laureats stand,
Poets, not of the head, but of the hand.

They make the benefits of others ftudying,
Much like the meals of politic Jack-Pudding,

Whose dish to challenge no man has the courage;
"Tis all his own, when once he has fpit i' th' porridge,
But, gentlemen, you're all concern'd in this;
You are in fault for what they do amifs:
For they their thefts ftill undiscover'd think,
And durft not steal, unless you please to wink.
Perhaps, you may award by your decree,
They should refund; but that can never be.
For fhould you letters of reprifal feal,

Thefe men write that which no man else would steal.



OU faw our wife was chafte, yet throughly try'd And, without doubt, y' are hugely edify'd; For, like our hero, whom we fhew'd to-day, You think no woman true, but in a play. Love once did make a pretty kind of show: Efteem and kindness in one breaft would grow: But 'twas Heav'n knows how many years ago. Now fome fmall chat, and guinea expectation, Gets all the pretty creatures in the nation: In Comedy your little felves you meet; 'Tis Convent Garden drawn in Bridges-ftreet.

Smile on our author then, if he has shown
A jolly nut-brown bastard of your own.
Ah! happy you, with ease and with delight,
Who act thofe follies, Poets toil to write!

The fweating Mufe does almoft leave the chace;
She puffs, and hardly keeps your Protean vices pace.
Pinch but in one vice, away you fly


To fome new frifk of contrariety.

You rowl like fnow-balls, gathering as you run,
And get feven devils, when difpoffefs'd of one.
Your Venus once was a Platonic queen;
Nothing of love befide the face was seen;
But every inch of her you now uncafe,
And clap a vizard-mask upon the face,
For fins like thefe, the zealous of the land,
With little hair, and little or no band,
Declare how circulating peftilences

Watch, every twenty years, to snap offences.
Saturn, e'en now, takes doctoral degrees;
He'll do your work this fummer without fees.
Let all the boxes, Phoebus, find thy grace,
And, ah, preferve the eighteen-penny place!
But for the pit confounders, let 'em go,
And find as little mercy as they show:
The Actors thus, and thus thy Poets pray;
For ev'ry critic fav'd, thou damn't a play.


To the HUSBAND his own CUCKOLD.

[By Mr. JOHN DRYDEN, Jun', 1696.]


IKE fome raw fophifter that mounts the pulpit,
So trembles a young Poet at a full pit.
Unus'd to crowds, the Parfon quakes for fear,
And wonders how the devil he durft come there;
Wanting three talents needful for the place,
Some beard, fome learning, and fome little grace:
Nor is the puny Poet void of care;

For authors, fuch as our new authors are,

Have not much learning, nor much wit to fpare:
And as for grace, to tell the truth, there's fcarce one,

But has as little as the very Parson :

Both fay, they preach and write for your inftruction:

But 'tis for a third day, and for induction.
The difference is, that tho' you like the play,
The Poet's gain is ne'er beyond his day.
But with the Parfon 'tis another cafe,
He, without holiness, may rife to grace;
The Poet has one disadvantage more,
That if his play be dull, he's damn'd all o'er,
Not only a damn'd blockhead, but damn'd poor,
But dulness well becomes the fable garment;
I warrant that ne'er fpoil'd a Prieft's preferment:
Wit's not his business, and as wit now goes,
Sirs, 'tis not fo much yours as you fuppofe,
For you like nothing now but naufeous beaux.
You laugh not, gallants, as by proof appears,
At what his beaufhip fays, but what he wears;
So 'tis your eyes are tickled, not your ears:



The taylor and the furrier find the stuff,
The wit lies in the drefs, and monftrous muff.
The truth on't is, the payment of the pit
Is like for like, clipt money for clipt wit.
You cannot from our absent author hope
He fhould equip the ftage with fuch a fop:
Fools change in England, and new fools arife,
For tho' the immortal fpecies never dies,

Yet ev'ry year new maggots make new flies.
But where he lives abroad, he scarce can find
One fool, for million that he left behind.




To the PILGRI M.


Revived for our Author's Benefit, Anno 17c0.


OW wretched is the fate of those who write!

Brought muzzled to the ftage, for fear they bite. Where, like Tom Dove, they stand the common foe; Lugg'd by the critic, baited by the beau. Yet worse, their brother Poets damn the play, And roar the loudeft, tho' they never pay. The fops are proud of fcandal, for they cry, At every lewd, low character, -That's I. He, who writes letters to himfelf, would fwear, The world forgot him, if he was not there. What should a Poet do? "Tis hard for one To pleasure all the fools that wou'd be shown: And yet not two in ten will pass the town.



Moft coxcombs are not of the laughing kind;
More goes to make a fop, than fops can find.
Quack Marus, tho' he never took degrees
In either of our universities;

Yet to be shown by fome kind wit he looks,
Because he play'd the fool and writ three books,
But, if he wou'd be worth a Poet's pen,

He must be more a fool, and write again :
For all the former fuftian ftuff he wrote,
Was dead-born doggrel, or is quite forgot;
His man of Uz, ftript of his Hebrew robe,
Is just the proverb, and As poor as Job.
One wou'd have thought he cou'd no longer jog
But Arthur was a level, Job's a bog.

There, tho' he crept, yet ftill he kept in fight;
But here, he founders in, and finks down right.
Had he prepar'd us, and been dull by rule,
Tobit had firft been turn'd to ridicule:
But our bold Briton, without fear or awe,
O'er-leaps at once the whole Apocrypha;
Invades the Pfalms with rhymes, and leaves no room
For any Vandal Hopkins yet to come.

But when, if after all, this godly geer
Is not fo fenfelefs as it wou'd appear;
Our mountebank has laid a deeper train,
His cant, like Merry Andrew's noble vein,
Cat-calls the fects to draw 'em in again.
At leisure hours, in epic fong he deals,
Writes to the rumbling of his coach's wheels,
Prescribes in hafte, and feldom kills by rule,
But rides triumphant between ftool and ftool.


1 Quack Maurus, &c. Sir Richard Blackmore the phyfician, &c. He wrote two long heroic poems of twelve books each, one entitled Prince, the other King Arthur, a paraphrafe upon Job, the Song of Mofes and Deborah, and a new verfion of the Pfalms, which are all glanced at in this prologue.


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