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WELL then; the promis'd How is come at last;
The present Age of Wit obscures the paft:
Strong were our Sires; and as they fought they Writ,
Conqu’ring with Force of Arms, and Dint of Wit;
Theirs was the Giant Race, before the Flood;
And thus, when Cbarles Return'd, our Empire food,
Like Janus, be the fubborn Soil manur'd,
With Rules of Husbandry, the kankness card:
Tam'd us to Manners, when the Stage was rude ;
And boist'rous English Wit, with Art indu'd.
Our Age was cultivated thus at length;
But what we gaind in Skill, we loft in Strength:
Our Builders were, with Wamt of Genius, curft;
The Second Temple was not like the First:
'Till You, the best Vitruvius, come at length i.
Our Beauties equal; but exel our Strength.
Firm Dorique Pillars found your folid Base:
The fair Corinthian cromns the higher Space;
Thus all below is Strength, and all above is Grace.
In eafy Dialogue is Fletcher's Praise:
He mov’d the Mind, but had no Pow'r to raise.
Great Johnson did by Strength of Judgment please;
Tet doubling Fletcher's Force, he wants his Ease.
In difføring Talents both adorn'd their Age;
One for the Study, t'other for the Stage.
But both to Congreve justly shall submit,
One match'd in Judgment, both o'er-match'd in Wise
In Him all Beauties of this Age we fee,
Etherege bis Courtship, Southern's Purity;
The Satire, Wit, and Strength of Manly Wicherly.
All this in blooming rouih you have Archiev'dj,
Nor are your foil Contemporaries griev'd.;
So much the Sweetnefs of your Maniers moue,
We cannot Envy you, because wo Love,
Fabius might joy in Scipio, when he saw
A Beardless Consul made against the Law,
Arid join his Suffrage to the Votes of Rome;
Though be with Hannibal was overcome.
Thus old Romano bom'd to Raphael's Fame;.
And Scholar to the Youth be taught, became.
Oh that your Brows my Laurel had sustain dg ;
Well had I been Depos'd, if you had Reign'd!:
The Father bad descended for the Son ;-
For only You are lineal to the Throne.
Thus when the State one Edward did depose;
est Greater Edward in his Room arose.
But now, not I, bat Poetry is curi'd;
Eor. Tom the Second Reigns, like Tom the First
But let.'em not mistake my Patron's Part;
Nor call his Charity their own Deferi.
Yet this I Prethely; Thou shalt be seen,
(Tho' with some short Parenthesis between:)
High on the Throne of Wit; and feated there,
Not mine (that's little) but thy Laurel wears
Thy first Attempt an early Promise made,
That early Promise this has more than paid,
So bold, yet so judiciously
That your leaf Praise, is to be Regular.
Time, place and A&tion, may with. Pains be wroughe;
Brut Genius must be born; and never can be taught,
This is Tour Portion; this Your Native Store je
Heav'n, that but once was Prodigal before,..
To Shakefpear gave as much; the cou'd not give bim more,
Maintain gaur Poft: That's all the Fame you need;
For 'tis impoffible gou shou'd proceed.
Already. I am morit with Cares and Ages.
And juft abandoning th' Ungrateful Stage:
Unprofitably kept at Heav'ns Expence,
I live a Rext-charge on bis Providence :
But You, whono ev'ry Muse and Grace adorn, -
Whom I foresee to better Fortune born,
Be kind to my Remains; and ob defend,
Against your Judgment, your departed Friend!
Let nos ib'insulting Foe my Fame pursue;
But made those Laurels which descend to Tou:
And take for Tribare what these Lines express
You merit more; nor cou'd my Love do lefs.
Spoken by Mrs. Bracegirdle.
Whether their Brats are truly got, or no;
Into the Sea, the New-boru Babe is thrown,
There, as Instine dire&ts, to swim, or drown.
A barbarous Device, to try if Spouse
Has kept religiously ker Nuptial Vows.
Such are the Trials, Poets make of Plays:
Only they trust to more inconstant Seas;
30 does our Author, this his Child commit
To the tempestuous Mercy of the Pit,
To know if it be truly born of Wit.
Criticks nvaunt; 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 Sen.
Let Nature work, and do not Damn too foon,
For Life will
struggle long, ere it link down :
And will at least rise thrice, before it drown.
Let us consider, bad it been our Fate,
Thus hardly to be prov'd Legitimate !
I will not say, we'd all in Danger been,
Were each to suffer for his Mother's Sin :
But by my Troth I cannot avoid thinking,
How nearly some good Men might have capa finking,
But, Heau'n be prais'd, this Custom is confin'd
Alone to the Offspring of the Muses kind;
Our Christian Cuckolds are more bent to Pity;
I know not one Moor-Husband in the City.
I'th good Man's Arms the Chopping Bastard thrives,
For he thinks all his own that is bis Wives.
Whatever Fate is for this play design'd,
The Poet's fure he shall fome Comfort find:
For if his Muse has play'd him false, the worf
That can befall him, is, to be divorcd;
You Husbands judge, if that, be to be Curich