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Well, let him go; 'tis yet too early day, To get himfelf a place in farce or play.

We know not by what name we should arraign him,
For no one category can contain him;

A pedant, canting preacher, and a quack,
Are load enough to break one afs's back:
At laft grown wanton, he prefum'd to write,
Traduc'd two kings, their kindness to requite;
One made the doctor, and one dubb'd the knight.


To the PILGRI M.

Perhaps the parfon ftretch'd a point too far 1,

When with our Theatres he wag'd a war.
He tells you, that this very moral age
Receiv'd the first infection from the ftage.
But fure, a banifh'd court, with lewdnefs fraught,
The feeds of open vice, returning, brought.
Thus lodg'd (as vice by great example thrives)
It first debauch'd the daughters and the wives.
London, a fruitful foil, yet never bore
So plentiful a crop of horns before.

The Poets, who muft live by courts, or starve,
Were proud, fo good a government to ferve;
And, mixing with buffoons and pimps prophane,
Tainted the Stage, for fome fmall fnip of gain.

I Dryden in this epilogue labours to throw the fault of the licentiouf nefs of dramatic writers, which had been fo feverely cenfured by the Rev. Dr. Jeremy Collier, upon the example of a court returned from banishment, accompanied by all the vices and follies of foreign climates; and whom to please was the poet's bufinefs, as he wrote to eat, VOL. II.



For they, like harlots, under bawds profest,
Took all the ungodly pains, and got the leaft.
Thus did the thriving malady prevail,

The court, its head, the Poets but the tail.
The fin was of our native growth, 'tis true;
The fcandal of the fin was wholly new.
Miffes they were, but modeftly conceal'd;
White-hall the naked Venus first reveal'd.
Who ftanding as at Cyprus, in her shrine,
The ftrumpet was ador'd with rites divine.
Ere this, if faints had any fecret motion,
'Twas chamber-practice all, and clofe devotion.
I pass the peccadillos of their time;
Nothing but open lewdnefs was a crime.
A monarch's blood was venial to the nation,
Compar'd with one foul act of fornication.
Now, they wou'd filence us, and shut the door,
That let in all the bare-fac'd vice before.
As for reforming us, which fome pretend,
That work in England is without an end:
Well may we change, but we shall never mend.
Yet, if you can but bear the prefent Stage,
We hope much better of the coming age.
What wou'd you fay, if we shou'd first begin
To ftop the trade of love behind the scene:
Where actreffes make bold with married men ?
For while abroad so prodigal the dolt is,
Poor spouse at home as ragged as a colt is.
In short, we'll grow as moral as we can,
Save here and there a woman or a man:

But neither you, nor we, with all our pains,
Can make clean work; there will be fome remains,
While you have ftill your Oates, and we our Haines 2.

2 Jo. Haines is well known to all lovers of the ftage, as a good actor; but by this infinuation we are to fappofe he was not fo good a chriftian. Cibber calls him a wicked wit.


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FOR this laft half year I have been troubled with


the disease (as I may call it) of translation: the cold profe fits of it, which are always the most tedious with me, were spent in the hiftory of the League; the hot, which fucceeded them, in verse mifcellanies. The truth is, I fancied to myfelf a kind of eafe in the change of the paroxyfm; never fufpecting but the humour would have wafted itself in two or three paftorals of Theocritus, and as many odes of Horace. But finding, or at least thinking I found, fomething that was more pleasing in them than my ordinary productions, I encouraged myself to renew my old acquaintance with Lucretius and Virgil; and immediately fixed upon fome parts of them, which had moft affected me in the reading. These were my natural impulfes for the undertaking. But there was an accidental motive which was full as forcible. It was my Lord Rofcommon's Effay on Tranflated Verfe; which made me uneafy until I tried whether or no I was capable of following his rules, and of reducing the fpeculation into practice. For many a fair precept in Poetry is, like a feeming demonftration in the Mathematics, very specious in the diagram, but failing in the mechanic operation, I think I have generally observed his inftructions; I am fure my reason is fufficiently convinced both of their truth and usefulness; which, in other words, is to confess no lefs a vanity, than to pretend that I have at least in fome

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