MOORS have this way (as ftory tells) to know
Whether their brats are truly got, or no;
Into the fea, the new-born babe is thrown,
There, as inftinct directs, to fwim, or drown.
A barbarous device, to try if Spouse
Has kept religiously her nuptial vows.
Such are the trials, poets make of plays:
Only they trust to more inconftant seas;
So does our author, this his child commit
To the tempeftuous mercy of the pit,
To know if it be truly born of wit.
Criticks avaunt; for you are fish of prey,
And feed, like sharks, upon an infant play,
Be ev'ry monster of the deep away;
Let's have a fair trial, and a clear fea.
Let Nature work, and do not damn too foox,
For life will ftruggle long, ere it fink down :
And will at least rife thrice, before it drown.
Let us confider, had it been our fate,
Thus hardly to be prov'd legitimate!
I will not fay, we'd all in danger been,
Were each to fuffer for his mother's fin:
But by my troth I cannot avoid thinking,
How nearly fome good men might have 'cap'd finking.
But, Heav'n be prais'd, this cuftom is confin'd
Alone to th' offspring of the Mufes kind:
Our chriftian cuckolds are more bent to pity;
I know not one Moor-bufband in the city.
I'th' good man's arms the chopping baftard thrives,
For he thinks all his own that is his wife's.
Whatever fate is for this play defign'd,
The poet's fure he fball fome comfort find:
For if his Mufe has play'd him false, the worst
That can befall him, is, to be divorc'd ;
You busbands judge, if that, be to be curs'd.