« VorigeDoorgaan »
TO ARTIRAGUS AND PHILICIA REVIVED.
SPOKEN BY MR. HART.
Well! flourish, countrymen, drink, swear, and roar; XXXII.
Let every free-born subject keep his whore,
And, wandering in the wilderness about,
At end of forty years not wear her out.
But when you see these pictures, let none dare To make amends to you bespatter'd men.
To own beyond a limb or single share: We women love like cats, that hide their joys,
For where the punk is common, he 's a sot,
Who needs will father what the parish got.
[BY LODOWICK CARLELL, ESQ.]
Wita sickly actors and an old house too, But chamber-practice is not like the bar.
We're match'd with glorious theatres and new, When men such vile, such faint, petitions make, And with our alehouse scenes, and clothes bare worn, We fear to give, because they fear to take; Can neither raise old plays, nor new adom. Since modesty's the virtue of our kind,
If all these ills could not undo us quite, Pray let it be to our own sex confin'd.
A brisk French troop is grown your dear delight; When men usurp it from the female nation, Who with broad bloody bills call you each day, 'Tis but a work of supererogation
To laugh and break your buttons at their play; We show'd a princess in the play, 'tis true, Or see some serious piece, which we presume Who gave her Cæsar more than all his due; Is fallen from some incomparable plume ; Told her own faults: but I should much abhor And therefore, messieurs, if you'll do us grace, To choose a husband for my confessor.
Send lacquies early to preserve your place. You see what fate follow'd the saint-like fool, We dare not on your privilege intrench, For telling tales from out the nuptial school. Or ask you why ye like them ? they are French. Our play a merry comedy had prov'd,
Therefore some go with courtesy exceeding,
To make it seem they understood the jest.
Civil, egad! our hospitable land
Bears all the charge, for them to understand:
Mean time we languish, and neglected lie,
Like wives, while you keep better company;
And wish for your own sakes, without a satire, [BY MRS. BEHN, 1690.]
You 'ad less good breeding, or had more good-nature.
TO THE WIDOW RANTER.
HEAVEN save you, gallants, and this hopeful age;
PROLOGUE TO THE PROPHETESS.
BY BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER.
REVIVED BY MR. DRYDEN.-SPOKEN BY MR. BETTERTON. When each has a plantation of his own. His cause ne'er fails; for whatsoe'er he spends, What Nostradame, with all his art, can guess There 's still God's plenty for himself and friends. The fate of our approaching Prophetess? Should men be rated by poetic rules,
A play, which, like a perspective set right,
But turn the tube, and there we sadly view
Our wealth decreases, and our charges rise.
But you grow sated, ere the second sight.
False men, ev'n so you serve your mistresses: When we're supply'd so fast with English breed. They rise three stories in the toweriug dress;
And, after all, you love not long enough
Our young poet has brought a piece of work, To pay the rigging, ere you leave them off. In which, though much of art there does not lurk, Never content with what you had before,
It may hold out three days and that's as long as But true to change, and Englishmen all o'er.
(not) Now honour calls you hence; and all your care But, for this play-(which till I have done, we show Is to provide the horrid pomp of war.
What may be its fortune-by the Lord, I know not. In plume and scarf, jack-boots, and Bilboa blade, This I dare swear, no malice here is writ: Your silver goes, that should support our trade. 'Tis inuocent of all things-ev'n of wit. Go, unkind heroes, leave our stage to mourn; He's no high-flyer- he makes no sky-rockets, Till rich from vanquish'd rebels you return; His squibs are only level'd at your pockets. And the fat spoils of Teague in triumph draw, And if his crackers light among your pelf, His firkin-butter, and his usquebaugh.
You are blown up; if not, then he's blown up him. Go, conquerors of your male and female foes;
[ter'd madness : Men without hearts, and women without hose. By this time, I'm something recover'd of my flusEach bring his love a Bogland captive home; And now, a word or two in sober sadness. Such proper pages will long trains become; Ours is a common play; and you pay down With copper collars, and with brawny backs, A common harlot's price-just half a crown. Quite to put down the fashion of our blacks. You'll say, I play the pimp, on my friend's score; Then shall the pious Muses pay their vows, But, since 'tis for a friend, your gibes give o'er, And furnish all their laurels for your brows; Por many a mother has done that before. [it; Their tuneful voice shall raise for your delights: “How's this,” you cry? "an actor write?"-we know We want not poets fit to sing your flights.
But Shakspeare was an actor, and a poet. But you, bright beauties, for whose only sake Has not great Jonson's learning often fail'd ? Those doughty knights such dangers undertake, But Shakspeare's greater genius still prevail'd. When they with happy gales are gone away, Have not some writing actors in this age With your propitious presence grace our play; Deserv'd and found success upon the stage? And with a sigh their empty seats survey:
To tell the truth, when our old wits are tir'd, Then think, on that bare bench my servant sat; Not one of us but means to be inspir'd. I see bim ogle still, and hear bim chat;
Let your kind presence grace our homely cheer; Selling facetious bargains, and propounding Peace and the butt is all our business here: That witty recreation, call’d dum-founding. So much for that;-and the Devil take small beer, 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.
EPILOGUE TO HENRY THE SECOND,
[BY MRS. MOUNTFORT, 1693.]
SPOKEN BY MRS. BRACEGIRDLE.
PROLOGUE TO THE MISTAKES.
Thus you the sad catastrophe have seen,
Occasion’d by a mistress and a queen. GENTLEMEN, we must beg your pardon; here's no Queen Eleanor the proud was French, they say; prologue to be had to day; our new play is like to But English manufacture got the day. come on without a frontispiece; as bald as one of Jane Clifford was her name, as books aver: you young beaux, without your periwig. I left our Fair Rosamond was but her nom de guerre. young poet sniveling and sobbing behind the scenes, | Now tell me, gallants, would you lead your life and cursing somebody that has deceived him. With such a mistress, or with such a wife?
If one must be your choice, which d’ye approve, Enter Mr. Bowen.
The curtain lecture, or the curtain love? Hold your prating to the audience: here's ho- Would ye be godly with perpetual strife, nest Mr. Williams, just come in, half mellow, from Still drudging on with homely Joan your wife: the Rose Tavern. He swears he is inspired with Or take your pleasure in a wicked way, claret, and will come on, and that extempore too, Like honest whoring Harry in the play? either with a prologue of his own, or something I guess your minds: the mistress would be taken, like one: O here he comes to his trial, at all ad- | And nauseous matrimony sent a packing. ventures; for my part, I wish him a good deliver- The Devil's in you all ; mankind 's a rogue ; [Exeunt Mr. Bright and Mr. Bowen. 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.
The playhouse is a kind of market-place; But the deuce take me, if I know what to say. One chaffers for a voice, another for a face: I'll stick to my friend the author, that I can tell ye, Nay, some of you, I dare not say how many, To the last drop of claret in my belly.
Would buy of me a pen'worth for your penny. So far I'm sure 'tis rhyme-that needs no granting: Ev'n this poor face, which with my fan I hide, And, if my verses' feet stumble--you see my own Would make a shift my portion to provide, are wanting.
With some small perquisites I have beside. VOL. VIII.
Though for your love, perhaps, I should not care, But this our age such authors does afford,
As make whole plays, and yet scarce write one word:
And what 's their plunder, their possession call: And fear the poison that would make me swell. Who, like bold padders, scorn by night to prey,
But rob by sunshine, in the face of day:
Of,“ Stand, sir, and deliver up your Muse;"
But knock the poet down, and, with a grace,
Mount Pegasus before the owner's face.
Faith, if you hare such country Toms abroad,
'Tis time for all true men to leare that road. GALLANTS, a bashful poet bids me say,
Yet it were modest, could it but be said,
They strip the living, but these rob the dead;
Dare with the mummies of the Muses play,
And make love to them the Egyptian yay;
Or, as a rhyming author would have said,
Join the dead living to the living dead., Will make some settlement upon his wit.
Such men in poetry may claim some part: Promise him well, before the play begin:
They have the licence, though they want the art; For he would fain be cozen'd into sin.
And might, where theft was prais'd, for laureats "Tis not but that he knows you mean to fail;
Poets, not of the bead, but of the hand. But, if you leave him after being frail,
They make the benefits of others studying, He'll have, at least, a fair pretence to rail :
Much like the ineals of politic Jack Pudding, To call you base, and swear you usd him ill,
Who e dish to challenge no man has the courage; And put you in the new deserters bill. Lord, what a troop of perjur'd men we soe;
'Tis all his own, when once he has spit i'th' porridge. Enow to fill another Mercury!
But, gentlemen, you 're all concern'd in this; But this the ladies may with patience brook:
You are in fault for what they do amiss : Theirs are not the first colours you forsook.
For they their thefts still undiscover'd think, He would be loth the beauties to offend;
And durst not steal, unless you please to wink. But, if he should, he 's not too old to mend.
Perhaps, you may award by your decree,
They should refund; but that can never be.
For should you letters of reprisal seal,
You saw our wife was chaste, yet throughly try'd, To whet your stomachs for a better feast. He makes this difference in the sexes tvo; .
And, without doubt, y' are hugely edify'd;
For, like our hero, whom we show'd to day,
You think no woman true, but in a play.
Love once did make a pretty kind of show :
Esteem and kindness in one breast would grow : Thus he's equipp d, both to be woo'd and woo;
But 'twas Heaven knows how many years ago. With arms offensive and defensive too;
Now some small-chat, and guinea expectation, 'Tis hard, he thinks, if neither part will do.
Gets all the pretty creatures in the nation:
Smile on our author then, if he has shown
A jolly nut-brown bastard of your own.
Ab ! happy you, with ease and with delight,
Who act those follies poets toil to write ! To say this comedy pleas'd long ago,
The swearing Muse does almost leave the chase; Is not enough to make it pass you now.
She puffs, and hardly keeps your Protean vices para Yet, gentlemen, your ancestors had wit;
Pinch you bnt in one vice, away you fly When few men censur'd, and when fewer writ. To some new frisk of contrariety. And Jonson, of those few the best, chose this You roll like snow-balls, gathering as you run; As the best model of his masterpiece:
And get seven devils, when dispossess'd of one. Subtle was got by our Albumazar,
Your Venirs once was a Platonic queen;
Nothing of love beside the face was seen;
Declare how circulating pestilences
TO THE HUSBAND HIS OWN CUCKOLD.
Saturn, er'n now, takes doctoral degrees;
He, who writes letters to himself, would swear He'll do your work this suinmer without fees. The world forgot bim, if he was not there. Let all the boxes, Phæbus, find thy grace,
What should a poet do? 'T is hard for one And, ah, preserve the eighteen-penny place! To pleasure all the fools that wonld be shown: But for the pit confounders, let them go,
And yet not two in ten will pass the town. And find as little mercy as they show:
Most coxcombs are not of the laughing kind; The actors thus, and thus thy poets prav;
More goes to make a fop, than fops can find. For every critic sar'd, thou damn'st a play.
Quack Maurus, though he never took degrees
Because he play'd the fool and writ three books.
But, if he would be worth a poet's pen,
He must be more a fool, and write again :
Was dead-born doggrel, or is quite forgot :
His inan of Uz, stript of his Hebrew robe, So trembles a young poet at a full pit.
Is just the proverb, and as poor as Job. Unus'd to crowds, the parson quakes for fear,
One would have thought he could no longer jog; Aud wonders how the devil he durst come there;
But Arthur was a level, Job's a bog. Wanting three talents needful for the place,
There, though he crept, yet still he kept in sight; Some beard, some learning, and some little grace: Had he prepard us, and been dull by rule,
But here, he founders in, and sinks downright. Nor is the puny poet void of care,
Tobit had first been turn'd to ridicule:
But our bold Briton, without fear or awe,
O'erleaps at once the whole Apocrypha;
Invades the Psalms with rhymes, and leaves no room Roth say, they preach and write for your instruction: For any Vandal Hopkins yet to come. But 't is for a third day, and for induction.
But when, if, after all, this godly geer
Is not so senseless as it would appear;
Our mountebank bas laid a deeper train,
His cant, like merry Andrew's noble vein,
Cat-calls the sects to draw them in again.
At leisure hours, in epic song he deals,
Writes to the rumbling of his coach's wheels, Not only a damn'd blockhead, but damn'd poor.
Prescribes in haste, and seldom kills by rule, But dulness well becomes the sable garment ;
But rides triumphant between stool and stool. I warrant that ne'er spoil'd a priest's preferment:
Well, let him go; 't is yet too early day, Wit's not his business; and as wit now goes,
To get himself a place in farce or play. Sirs, 't is not so much yours as you suppose,
We koew not by what name we should arraign him, For you like nothing now but nauseous beaux.
For no one category can contain him; You laugh not, gallants, as by proof appears,
A pedant, canting preacher, and a quack,
Are load enough to break one ass's back :
At last grown wanton, he presum'd to write,
Traduc'd two kings, their kindness to requite;
One made the doctor, and one dubb'd the knight.
EPILOGUE TO THE SAME.
Perhaps the parson stretch'd a point too far,
When with our theatres he wag'd a war.
He tells you, that this very moral age
But sure, a banish'd court, with lewdness fraught,
The seeds of open vice, returning, brought.
Thus lody'd (as vice by great example thrives) PROLOGUE TO THE PILGRIM.
It first debauch'd the daughters and the wives. REVIVED FOR OUR AUTHOR'S BENEFIT, ANNO 1700.
London, a fruitful soil, yet never bore
So plentiful a crop of horns before. How wretched is the fate of those who write! The poets, who must live by courts or starve, Brought muzzled to the stage, for fear they bite. Were proud so good a government to serve; Where, like Tom Dove, they stand the common foe; And, mixing with buffoons and pimps profane, Lugg'd by the critic, baited by the beau.
Tainted the stage, for some small snip of gain. Yet, worse, their brother poets damn the play, For they, like harlots, under bawds professid, And roar the loudest, though they never pay. Took all th' ungodly pains, and got the least. The fops are proud of scandal, for they cry, Thus did the thriving malady prevail, At every lewd, low character, --That 's I.
The court its head, the poets but the tail.
The sin was of our native growth, 't is true; As for reforming us, which some pretend,
That work in England is without an end :
Yet, if you can but bear the present stage, Who standing as at Cyprus, in her shrine,
We hope much better of the coming age. The strumpet was ador'd with rites divine. What would you say, if we should first begin Ere this, if saints had any secret motion,
To stop the trade of love behind the scene : 'Twas chamber-practice all, and close devotion. Where actresses make bold with married men ? I pass the peccadillos of their time;
For while abroad so prodigal the dolt is, Nothing but open lewdness was a crime.
Poor spouse at home as ragged as a colt is. A monarch's blood was venial to the nation, In short, we'll grow as moral as we can, Compar'd with one foul act of fornication.
Save here and there a woman or a man:
Can make clean work; there will be some remains
END OF VOL. VIII.
Printed by C. Whittingham,
10.1, Goswell Street