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Or, what can wars to after-times affure,
Of which our prefent age is not secure?
All that our monarch would for us ordain,
Is but t'enjoy the bleffings of his reign.
Our land's an Eden, and the main's our fence,
While we preserve our state of innocence:
That loft, then beasts their brutal force employ,
And first their lord, and then themselves deftroy.
What civil broils have coft, we know too well;
Oh! let it be enough that once we fell!
And ev'ry heart confpire, and ev'ry tongue,
Still to have fuch a king, and this king long.
E act by fits and ftarts, like drowning men,
But just peep up, and then pop down again.
Let those who call us wicked change their sense;
For never men liv'd more on Providence.
Not lottery cavaliers are half fo poor,
Nor broken cits, nor a vacation whore.
Not courts, nor courtiers living on the rents
Of the three laft ungiving parliaments:
So wretched, that, if Pharaoh could divine,
He might have spar'd his dream of feven lean kine,
And chang'd his vifion for the mufes nine.
The comet, that, they fay, portends a dearth,
Was but a vapour drawn from play-house earth:
Pent there fince our laft fire, and, Lilly fays,
Forefhews our change of itate, and thin third-days.
'Tis not our want of wit that keeps us poor;
For then the printer's prefs would fuffer more.
Their pamphleteers each day their venom fpit;
They thrive by treason, and we starve by wit.
Confefs the truth, which of you has not laid
Four farthings out to buy the Hatfield maid?
Or, which is duller yet, and more would spite us,
Democritus his wars with Heraclitus?
Such are the authors, who have run us down,
And exercis'd you critics of the town.
Yet these are pearls to your lampooning rhimes,
Y' abuse yourselves more dully than the times.
Scandal, the glory of the English nation,
Is worn to rags, and fcribbled out of fashion.
Such harmless thiufts, as if, like fencers wife,
They had agreed their play before their prize.
Faith, they may hang their harps upon the willows;
'Tis juft like children when they box with pillows.
Then put an end to civil wars for shame;
Let each knight-errant, who has wrong'd a dame,
Throw down his pen, and give her, as he can,
The fatisfaction of a gentleman.
[By Mr. SOUTHERN E, 1682.]
OETS, lawful monarchs, rul'd the
Pillerities, like damn'd Whigs, debauch'd our age.
Mark how they jump: critics would regulate
Our theatres, and Whigs reform our state:
Both pretend love, and both (plague rot them!) hate.
The critic humbly feems advice to bring;
The fawning Whig petitions to the king:
But one's advice into a fatire slides;
T'other's petition a remonftrance hides.
Thefe will no taxes give, and those no pence;
Critics would ftarve the poet, Whigs the prince.
The critic all our troops of friends discards;
Juft fo the Whig would fain pull down the guards.
Guards are illegal, that drive foes away,
As watchful fhepherds, that fright beafts of prey.
1 The Loyal Brother; or, the Perfian Prince, Mr. Southern's first play, was acted at Drury-lane in 1682. The character of the Loyal Brother was a compliment intended for the duke of York. This prologue is a continued invective against the Whigs. Dryden alfo wrote the epilogue. He was at this time famous for prologue and epilogue writing; for which reafon Southern here begged his affiftance at the ofcal price, which was either five or fix guineas. Dryden refufed it under ten: the young bard anfwered, it was more than he had ever heard he demanded before. "Ay, (replied the Laureat) "Lat it is not more than the thing's worth: the players have hitherto "had my work too cheap; and I am refolved hereafter to be paid "for it."
Kings, who difband fuch needlefs aids as thefe,
Are fafe as long as e'er their fubjects please:
And that would be till next queen 2 Befs's night:
Which thus grave penny chroniclers indite.
Sir Edmondbury firft, in woful wife,
Leads up the fhow, and milks their maudlin eyes.
There's not a butcher's wife but dribs her part,
And pities the poor pageant from her heart;
Who, to provoke revenge, rides round the fire,
And, with a civil congé, does retire:
But guiltless blood to ground muft never fall;
There's Antichrift behind, to pay for all.
The punk of Babylon in pomp appears,
A lewd old gentleman of feventy years:
Whofe age in vain our mercy would implore;
For few take pity on an old-caft whore.
The devil, who brought him to the fhame, takes part;
Sits cheek by jowl, in black, to cheer his heart;
Like thief and parfon in a Tyburn-cart.
The word is given, and with a loud huzza
The mitred poppet from his chair they draw:
Queen Befs's night. At the King's-head tavern, the corner of Chancery-lane, and oppofite the inner-Temple-gate, the principal opponents to the court-measures and the chiefs of the Whig-party affembled, under the name of the King's-head Club, and afterwards the Green-ribbon Club, from ribbons of that colour which they wore in their hats. Here they fubfcribed a guinea a-piece for a bonfire, in which the effigies of the pope was to be burnt on the 17th of November, being the anniverfary of Queen Elizabeth's birth, with more than ordinary pomp; for it was heretofore an annual ceremony, ufually made without any remarkable parade. The proceffion now confifted of one reprefenting the dead body of Sir Edmondbury Godfrey, carried on a horfe, with a perfon preceding it ringing a bell, to remind people of his murder: then followed a mob of fellows, dreffed like carmelites, jefuits, bishops, cardinals, &c. and several boys with incenfe-pots furrounding an image of the pope, with that of the devil juft behind him. In this manner they marched from Bishopfgate to the corner of Chancery-lane, where they committed the inoffenfive effigies to the flames; while the balconies and windows of the King's head were filled with people of confequence, who countenanced the tumult.
On the flain corps contending nations fall:
Alas! what's one poor pope among them all!
He burns; now all true hearts your triumphs ring:
And next, for fashion, cry, God save the king,
A needful cry in midst of such alarms,
When forty thousand men are up in arms.
But after he's once fav'd, to make amends,
In each fucceeding health they damn his friends:
So God begins, but ftill the devil ends.
What if some one, inspir'd with zeal, should call,
Come, let's go cry, God fave him at Whitehall?
His best friends would not like this over-care,
Or think him ere the fafer for this prayer.
Five praying faints are by an 3 act allow'd;
But not the whole church-militant in croud.
Yet, fhould heaven all the true petitions drain
Of Prefbyterians, who would king's maintain,
Of forty thoufand, five would scarce remain.
Virgin poet was ferv'd up to-day,
Who, till this hour, ne'er cackled for a play,
He's neither yet a Whig nor Tory-boy;
But, like a girl, whom feveral would enjoy,
Begs leave to make the best of his own nat❜ral toy.
Were I to play my callow author's game,
The king's house would inftruct me by the name.
There's loyalty to one; I wish no more :
A commonwealth founds like a common whore.
Let husband or gallant be what they will,
One part of woman is true Tory still.
3 By the Bartholomew act, not more than five diffenters were allowed to commune together at one time.