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Why should a foolish marriage vow,
Which long ago was made,
When passion is decay'd ?
sure is fled: 'T was pleasure first made it an oath.
[This Song and the following Answer to it are found in Covent Garden Drollery, 1672, and New Court Songs and Poems, by R. V., Gent., 1672, from the latter of which collections the following texts are taken. They were never published under Dryden's name during his lifetime. A parody of the second stanza of the Song appears in the third (1675) and later editions of The Rehearsal. The Key to that piece, published in 1704, states that the song ridiculed was " made by Mr. Bayes [Dryden) on the death of Captain Digby, son of George, Earl of Bristol, who was a passionate admirer of the Duchess Dowager of Richmond, called by the author Armida: he lost his life in a sea-fight against the Dutch, the twenty-eighth of May, 1672." The Song may probably be accepted as Dryden's work; the Answer has not so strong evidence in its favor, as it may easily be the work of an imi. tator.
Christie suggests that another song in the same meter in Covent Garden Drollery, ad. dressed to “dear Revecchia," may also be by Dryden, in honor of his mistress Anne Reeve. The piece is given below (see Appendix I, p. 904) among Poems attributed to Dryden.]
Whilst Alexis lay press’d
In her arms he lov'd best,
head on her breast,
stay, And his soul in the tempest just flying away.
When Celia saw this,
FAREWELL, fair Armeda, my joy and my With a sigh and a kiss,
grief; She cried: “O my dear, I am robb’d of my In vain I have lov'd you, and find no rebliss !
lief; 'T is unkind to your love, and unfaithfully Undone by your virtue, too strict and sedone,
vere, To leave me behind you, and die all alone.” Your eyes gave me love, and you gave me
Now call’d by my honor, I seek with conThe youth, tho' in haste,
tent And breathing his last,
A fate which in pity you would not preIn pity died slowly, while she died more
To languish in love, were to find by deTill at length she cried: “ Now, my dear, lay now let us go;
A death that's more welcome the speediest Now die, my Alexis, and I will die too ! ”
nation as if it were a recent event. The play On seas and in battles, in bullets and fire, was probably produced late in 1672. It was
The danger is less than in hopeless desire; 10 entered on the Stationers' Register March 18, nii My death's wound you gave me, tho' far
1673 (Malone, I, 1, 107), and published in the off I bear
same year.] My fate from your sight, not to cost you a
PROLOGUE tear. But if the kind flood on a wave should con- PROLOGUES, like bells to churches, toll you vey,
in And under your window my body should With chiming verse, till the dull plays belay,
gin: The wound on my breast when you happen With this sad difference, tho', of pit and
pew, You'll say with a sigh: “It was given by You damn the poet, but the priest damns me.”
But priests can treat you at your own exTHE ANSWER
pense, And gravely call you fools, without offense.
Poets, poor devils, have ne'er your folly BLAME not your Armeda, nor call her your shown, grief;
But, to their cost, you prov'd it was their 'T was honor, not she, that denied you relief;
own; Abuse not her virtue, nor call it severe;
For, when a fop's presented on the stage, Who loves without honor, must meet with Straight all the coxcombs in the town indespair.
gage: Now prompted by pity I truly lament, For his deliverance and revenge they join, And mourn for your fall, which I could And grunt, like hogs, about their captive not prevent;
swine. I languish to think that your blood should Your poets daily split upon this shelf:
You must have fools, yet none will have The expense of a fate, tho' so noble a way.
himself; Or, if in kindness you that leave would
give, On seas and in battles that you did expire No man could write you at that rate you Was th' effect of your valor, not hopeless
For some of you grow fops with so much Of the fame you ́acquir'd I greedily hear,
haste, And grieve when I think that it cost you Riot in nonsense, and commit such waste, so dear.
'T would ruin poets should they spend so And when dismal fate did your body convey
fast. By my window, your funeral rites for to pay, He who made this, obsery'd what farces I sigh that your fate I could not reverse,
hit, And all my kind wishes Ilstrew on your And durst not disoblige you now with wit. hearse.
But, gentlemen, you overdo the mode;
road. PROLOGUE, EPILOGUE, AND Th' unnatural strain'd buffoon is only takSONG FROM THE ASSIGNA
No fop can please you now of God's own
making. OR, LOVE IN A NUNNERY
Pardon our poet, if he speaks his mind;
You come to plays with your own follies (Ravenscroft, in his prologue to The Care
lin'd: less Lovers, produced in Lent, 1673, exults Small fools fall on you, like small showers, over the failure of Dryden's comedy, The Assig
defray you are
Your own oil'd coats keep out all common
rain. You must have Mamamouchi, such a fop As would appear a monster in a shop: He 'll fill your pit and boxes to the brim, Where, ramm'd in crowds, you see your
selves in him. Sure there's some spell our poet never
knew, In hullababilah da, and chu, chu, chu. But marabarah sahem most did touch you; That is: “O how we love the Mamamou
chi!” Grimace and habit sent you pleas'd away: You damn'd the poet, and cried up the play. This thought had made our author more
uneasy, But that he hopes I'm fool enough to
please ye. But here's my grief: tho' nature, join'd
with art, Have cut me out to act a fooling part, Yet, to your praise, the few wits here will
say, ’T was imitating you taught Haynes to play.
'T is pity love so true should be mistaken;
But, if this night he be
PROLOGUE, EPILOGUE, AND
SONGS FROM AMBOYNA
OR, THE CRUELTIES OF THE DUTCH TO
THE ENGLISH MERCHANTS
SOME have expected from our bills to-day,
shown Some sister, playing at content alone. This they did hope; the other side did fear; And both you see alike are cozen'd here. Some ght the title of our play to blame: They lik’d the thing, but yet abhorr'd the
name; Like modest punks, who all you ask afford, But, for the world, they would not name
that word. Yet, if you 'll credit what I heard him say, Our poet meant no scandal in his play; His nuns are good, which on the stage are
shown, And, sure, behind our scenes you 'll look
[This worthless tragedy, the poorest of all Dryden's dramatic works, must have been performed before the end of 1672, since in a prologue included in Covent Garden Drollery (p. 33), printed in that year, there is an unmistakable reference to it:
But when fierce critics get them in their clutch,
Then in Amboyna they the limbs of men. It was entered on the Stationers' Register June 26, 1673 (Malone, I, 1, 10S), and published in the same year.
Amboyna was written for a political purpose, to stir up the national feeling against the Dutch, with whom England was then at war.
From this prologue and epilogue a bookseller
EPILOGUE concocted à Satire upon the Dutch, written by Mr. Dryden in the year 1662, which was first
A POET once the Spartans led to fight, printed in Poems on Affairs of State, vol. iii, 1704; and was afterwards regularly included
And made 'em conquer in the Muses' right:
So would our poet lead you on this day, in editions of Dryden. Christie called attention to the imposture.]
Showing your tortur'd fathers in his play.
To one well born th' affront is worse, and PROLOGUE
When he 's abus’d and baffled by a boor: As needy gallants in the scriv'ners' hands, With an ill grace the Dutch their mischiefs Court the rich knave that gripes their mort- do, gag'd lands,
They ’ve both ill nature and ill manners The first fat buck of all the season 's sent,
too. And keeper takes no fee in compliment: Well may they boast themselves an ancient The dotage of some Englishmen is such,
nation, To fawn on those who ruin them - the For they were bred ere manners were in Dutch.
fashion; They shall have all, rather than make a war And their new commonwealth has set 'em With those who of the same religion are.
free The Straits, the Guinea trade, the herrings Only from honor and civility. too,
Venetians do not more uncouthly ride, Nay, to keep friendship, they shall pickle Than did their lubber state mankind beyou.
stride; Some are resolv'd not to find out the cheat, Their sway became 'em with as ill a mien, But, cuckold-like, love him who does the feat: As their own paunches swell above their What injuries soe'er upon us fall,
chin: Yet, still the same religion answers all: Yet is their empire no true growth, but Religion wheedled you to civil war,
humor. Drew English blood, and Dutchmen's now And only two kings' touch can cure the
tumor. Be gulld no longer, for you 'll find it true, As Cato did his Afric fruits display, They have no more religion, faith - then So we before your eyes their Indies lay: you;
All loyal English
will, like him, conclude, Interest's the god they worship in their Let Cæsar live, and Carthage be subdued !
The day is come, I see it rise,
shews Holland truer then our play: Betwixt the bride's and bridegroom's eyes; Their pictures and inscriptions well we That golden day they wish'd so long, know;
Love pick'd it out amidst the throng; We
may be bold one medal sure to show. He destin'd to himself this sun, View then their falsehoods, rapine, cruelty; And took the reins, and drove him on; And think what once they were, they still In his own beams he dress’d him bright, would be;
Yet bid him bring a better night. But hope not either language, plot, or art; 'Twas writ in haste, but with an English heart:
The day you wish'd arriv'd at last, And least hope wit; in Dutchmen that would You wish as much that it were past; be
One minute more, and night will hide As much improper, as would honesty. The bridegroom and the blushing bride.
The virgin now to bed does go:
PROLOGUE AND EPILOGUE TO
SPOKEN BY MR. HART, AT THE ACTING
OF THE SILENT WOMAN
The bridegroom comes, he comes apace,
[These are evidently the pieces to which Dry
den refers in a letter to Lord Rochester, dated With love and fury in his face;
1673 by Malone, from internal evidence: “I She shrinks away, he close pursues,
have sent your lordship a prologue and epiAnd prayers and threats at once does
logue which I made for our players, when they
went down to Oxford. I hear they have sucShe, softly sighing, begs delay,
ceeded; and by the event your lordship will And with her hand puts his away;
judge how easy 't is to pass any thing upon an Now out aloud for help she cries,
university, and how gross flattery the learned And now despairing shuts her eyes.
will endure” (Malone, I, 2, 11-13). Both poems were first printed in Miscellany Poems,
PROLOGUE Who ever saw a noble sight,
What Greece, when learning flourish'd, That never view'd a brave sea-fight !
only knew, Hang up your bloody colors in the air, Athenian judges, you this day renew. Up with your fights, and your nettings pre- Here too are annual rites to Pallas done, .pare;
And here poetic prizes lost or won. Your merry mates cheer, with a lusty bold Methinks I see you, crown'd with olives, sit, sprite,
And strike a sacred horror from the pit. Now each man his brindice, and then to the A day of doom is this of
your decree, fight.
Where even the best are but by mercy St. George, St. George, we cry,
free: The shouting Turks reply.
A day, which none but Jonson durst have O now it begins, and the gun-room grows
wish'd to see. hot;
Here they, who long have known the usePly it with culverin and with small shot; 10
ful stage, Hark, does it not thunder ? no, 't is the guns' Come to be taught themselves to teach the roar,
age. The neighboring billows are turn'd into As your commissioners our poets go, gore;
To cultivate the virtue which you sow; Now each man must resolve to die,
In your Lycæum first themselves refin’d, For here the coward cannot fly.
And delegated thence to humankind. Drums and trumpets toll the knell,
But as embassadors, when long from home, And culverins the passing bell.
For new instructions to their princes come; Now, now they grapple, and now board So poets, who your precepts have forgot, amain;
Return, and beg they may be better taught: Blow up the hatches, they 're off all Follies and faults elsewhere by them are again:
shown, Give 'em a broadside, the dice run at But by your manners they correct their Down comes the mast and yard, and Th' illiterate writer, empiric-like, applies tacklings fall.
To minds diseas’d, unsafe, chance remeShe grows giddy now, like blind Fortune's
The learn’d in schools, where knowledge She sinks there, she sinks, she turns up her
first began, keel.
Studies with care th' anatomy of man; Who ever beheld so noble a sight,
Sees virtue, vice, and passions in their As this so brave, so bloody sea-fight !