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When they with happy gales are gone away,
With your propitious presence grace our play;
And with a figh their empty seats survey:
Then think, on that bare bench my servant fat;
I see him ogle ftill, and hear him chat ;
Selling facetious bargains, and propounding
That witty recreation, call'd dum-founding,
Their loss with patience we will try to bear ;
And would do more, to see you often here :
That our dead stage, reviv'd by your fair eyes,
Under a female regency may rise.
* Entlemen, we must beg your pardon; here's no
Prologue to be had to-day ; our new play is like to come on, without a frontispiece; as bald as one of you young beaux, without your periwig. I left our young poet, snivelling and sobbing behind the scenes, and curfing somebody that has deceived him.
Enter Mr. Bowen. HOLD your prating to the audience : here is ho. neft Mr. Williams, just come in, half mellow, from the Rose-Tavern. He swears he is inspired with claret, and will come on, and that extempore too, either with
a prologue of his own or something like one: O here he comes to his tryal, at all adventures: for my part I wish him a good deliverance.
[Exeunt Mr. Bright and Mr. Bowen.
Enter Mr. WILL JA MS.
SAVE ye Sirs, save ye ! I am in a hopeful way.
I should speak something, in rhyme, now, for the play:
But the duce take me, if I know what to say.
I'll stick to my friend the author, that I can tell ye,
To the last drop of claret, in my belly.
So far I'm sure 'tis rhymemthat needs no granting :
And, if my verses feet stumble
my own are
Our young poet has brought a piece of work,
In which, cho' much of art there does not lurk,
It may hold out three days--and that's as long as Cork.
But for this play-(which till I have done, we show not)
What may be its fortune--by the Lord-I know not.
This I dare swear, no malice here is writ:
» Tis innocent of all things- even of wit.
He's no high-flyerhe makes no kky-rockets,
His fquibbs are only levell’d at your pockets.
And if his crackers light among your pelf,
You are blown up;. if not, then he's blown up himself,
By this time, I'm something recover'd of my flufter'd
And now, a word or two in sober sadness.
Ours is a common play; and you pay
A common harlot's price-jutt half a crown.
You'll say, I play the pimp, on my friend's score; 2
But since 'tis for a friend your gibes give o'er :
For many a mother has done that before.
How's this, you cry? an actor write-?we know it;
But Shakespear was an actor, and a poet.
Has not great sonson's learning, often faild?
But Shakespear's greater genius Axl prevail d.
Have not some writing actors, in this age
Deserv'd and found success upon the stage ?
To tell the truth, when our old wits are tir’d,
Not one of us but means to be inspir’d.
Let your kind presence grace our homely cheer ;
Peace and the butt, is all our bus’ness here:
So much for that;--and the devil take small beer.
[By Mr. MOUNTFORT, 1693.)
Spoken by Mrs. BRACEGIRDLE,
HUS you the fad catastrophe have seen,
Occasion'd by a mistress and a queen.
Queen Eleanor the proud was French, they say ;
But English manufacture got the day.
Jane Clifford was her name, as books aver :
Fair Rosamond was but her Nom de guerre.
Now tell me, gallants, would you lead your life
With such a mistress, or with such a wife?
If one must be your choice, which d'ye approve,
The curtain lecture, or the curtain love ?
Would ye be godly with perpetual ftrife,
Still drudging on with homely Joan your wife ;
Or take your pleasure in a wicked way,
Like honest whoring Harry in the play?
I guess your minds: the mistress would be taken,
And nauseous matrimony fent a packing.
The devil's in you all; mankind's a rogue;
You love the bride, but you detest the clog.
After a year, poor spouse is left i’th’lurch,
And you, like Haynes, return to mother-church.
Or, if the name of Church comes cross your mind,
Chapels of ease behind our scenes you find.
The playhouse is a kind of market-place;
One chaffers for a voice, another for a face :
Nay, some of you, I dare not fay how many,
Would buy of me a pen’worth for your penny.
E’en this poor face, which with my fan I hide,
Would make a thift my portion to provide,
With some small perquisites I have beside.
Tho' for your love, perhaps, I should not care,
I could not hate a man that bids me fair.
What might ensue, 'tis hard for me to tell ;
But I was drench'd to-day for loving well,
And fear the poison that would make me swell.
Allants, a bashful poet bids me say,
He's come to lose his maidenhead to-day,
Be not too fierce; for he's but green
And ne'er, till now, debauch'd upon the stage.
He wants the suff’ring part of resolution,
And comes with blushes to his execution,
deflow'r his Muse, he hopes the pit
Will make some settlement upon his wit.
Promise him well, before the play begin;
For he would fain be cozen'd into fin,
'Tis not but that he knows you mean to fail ;
But, if you leave him after being frail,
He'll have, at least, a fair pretence to rail ;
To call you base, and swear you us’d him ill,
And put you in the new deserters bill.
Lord, what a troop of perjur'd men we see ;
Enow to fill another Mercury !
But this the ladies may with patience brook :
Theirs are not the first colours you forsook.
He would be loth the beauties to offend;
But, if he should, he's not too old to mend.
He's a young plant, in his first year of bearing;
But his friend swears, he will be worth the rearing.
His gloss is still upon him : tho''tis true
He's yet unripe, yet take him for the blue.
You think an apricot half green
There's sweet and four, and one side good at least.
Mangos and limes, whose nourishment is little,
Tho' not for food, are yet preserv'd for pickle.
So this green writer may pretend, at least,
stomachs for a better feaft.
He makes this difference in the sexes too;
He fells to men, he gives himself to you.
To both he would contribute fome delight;
A mere poetical hermaphrodite.
Thus he's equipp’d, both to be woo’d, and woo;
With arms offensive, and defensive too;
'Tis hard, he thinks, if neither part will do,