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poets but foresee how plays would take, Then they could tell what epilogues to make ; Whether to thank or blame their audience most : But that late knowledge does much hazard cost, 'Till dice are thrown, there's nothing won, nor lost, So 'till the thief bas stol'n, he cannot know Whether he sball escape the law, or no. But poets run much greater bazards far, Than they who stand their trials at the bar; The law provides a curb for its own fury, And suffers judges to direct the jury. But in this court, what dif'rence does appear! For every one's both judge and jury here; Nay, and what's worse, an executioner. All have a right and title to some part, Each choosing that in which be bas most art. The dreadful men of learning all confound, Unless the fable’s good and moral sound. The vizor-masks that are in pit and gallery, Approve or damn the repartee and raillery. The lady critics, who are better read, Inquire if characters are nicely bred; If the soft things are penn'd and spoke with grace : They judge of action too, and time and place; In which we do not doubt but they are discerning
For that's a kind of assignation learning,
BY WILLIAM CONGREVE, Esq.
AS PERFORMED AT THE
REGULATED FROM THE PROMPT-BOOK,
By Permission of the Manager.
The Lines distinguished by inverted Commas, arc omitted in the Representation
Printed for the Proprietors, under the Direction of
John Bell, British Library, STRAND, Bookseller to His Royal Highness the PRINCE of WALIS
How this vile world is chang'd! in former days,
your comfort, it falls out to-day,
- bless me! what shall I do now?
sake then But l'm in such confusion,