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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 sent 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
I dare not say how many; Would buy of me a pen’worth for your penny: E’en this poor face, which with
fan I hide,
Would make a shift 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.
U He's come to lose his maidenhead to-day.
P R o L o GUE. 15
ALLANTS, a bashful poet bids me say,
Be not too fierce; for he's but
age, And ne'er, 'till now,
upon the stage.
He wants the suff'ring part of resolution,
And comes with blushes to his execution.
Ere you 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 ;
leave him after being frail,
He'll have, at least, a fair pretence to rail ;
you base, and swear
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 colors 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 is best;
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.
writer may pretend, at least,
To whict your stomachs for a better feast.
He makes this difference in the sexes too;
He sells to men, he gives himself to you.
To both he would contribute fome delight;
A meer 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.
fay, this Comedy pleas'd long ago,
Is not enough to make it pass you now.
Yet, gentlemen, your ancestors had wit;
When few men cenfur'd, and when fewer writ.
And Johnson, of those few the best, chose this,
As the best model of his master-piece:
Subtle was got by our Albumazar,
That Alchymist by this Astrologer;
Here he was fashion'd, and we may suppose
He lik’d the fashion well, who wore the clothes.
But Ben made nobly his what he did mould ;
What was another's lead, becomes his gold:
Like an unrighteous conqueror he reigns,
Yet rules that well, which he unjustly gains.
But this our age such authors does afford,
As make whole plays, and yet scarce write one
Who, in his anarchy of wit, rob all,
And what's their plunder, their possession call :
Who, like bold padders, scorn by night to prey,
But rob by sun-shine, in the face of day:
Nay scarce the common ceremony use
Of, Stand, Sir, and deliver up your Muse;
But knock the Poet down, and, with a grace,
Mount Pegasus before the owner's face.
you have such country Toms abroad,
'Tis time for all true men to leave that road.
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 Ægyptian way;
Or, as a rhiming author would have said,
Join the dead living to the living dead.
Such men in Poetry may claim fome part :
They have the license, tho' they warit the art;
And might, where theft was prais’d, for Laureats
Poets, not of the head, but of the hand.
They make the benefits of others studying,
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 :