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Such modefty did to our fex appear,
As, had there been no laws, we need not fear,
Since each of you was our protector here.
Converse fo chaßte, and so strict virtue shown,
As might Apollo with the Mufes own.
Till our return, we muft defpair to find
Judges fo juft, fo knowing, and fo kind.
To the UNIVERSITY of OXFORD.
Ifcord, and plots, which have undone our age, With the fame ruin have o'erwhelm'd the stage. Our house has fuffer'd in the common woe,
We have been troubled with Scotch rebels too.
Our brethren are from Thames to Tweed departed,
And of our fifters, all the kinder-hearted,
To Edinburgh gone, or coach'd, or carted.
With bonny bluecap there they act all night
For Scotch half-crown, in English three-pence hight.
One nymph, to whom fat Sir John Falstaff's lean,
There with her fingle perfon fills the scene.
Another, with long ufe and age decay'd,
Div'd here old woman, and rofe there a maid.
Our trufty door-keepers of former time
There ftrut and fwagger in heroic rhime.
Tack but a copper-lace to drugget fuit,
And there's a hero made without difpute:
And that, which was a capon's tail before,
Becomes a plume for Indian emperor.
But all his fubjects, to exprefs the care
Of imitation, go, like Indians, bare:
Lac'd linen there would be a dangerous thing;
It might perhaps a new rebellion bring;
The Scot, who wore it, would be chofen king.
But why should I these renegades describe,
When you yourselves have seen a lewder tribe?
Teague has been here, and, to this learned pit,
With Irish action flander'd English wit:
You have beheld fuch barb'rous Macs appear,
As merited a fecond maffacre:
Such as, like Cain, were branded with difgrace,
And had their country stamp'd upon their face.
When ftrollers durft prefume to pick your purse,
We humbly thought our broken troop not worse.
How ill foe'er our action may deserve,
Oxford's a place where wit can never starve.
To the UNIVERSITY of OXFORD.
HO' actors cannot much of learning boast,
Of all who want it, we admire it most :
We love the praises of a learned pit,
As we remotely are ally'd to wit.
We speak our poets wit, and trade in ore,
Like thofe, who touch upon the golden fhore:
Betwixt our judges can distinction make,
Difcern how much, and why, our poems take:
Mark if the fools, or men of fenfe, rejoice;
Whether th' applause be only found or voice.
When our fop gallants, or our city folly
Clap over-loud, it makes us melancholy :
We doubt that scene which does their wonder raise,
And, for their ignorance, contemn their praise.
Judge then, if we who act, and they who write,
Should not be proud of giving you delight.
London likes grofly; but this nicer pit
Examines, fathoms all the depths of wit;
The ready finger lays on every blot;
Knows what should juftly please, and what should not.
Nature herfelf lies open to your view;
You judge by her, what draught of her is true,
Where outlines falfe, and colours feem too faint,
Where bunglers dawb, and where true poets paint.
But by the facred genius of this place,
By ev'ry Muse, by each domeftic grace.
Be kind to wit, which but endeavours well,
And, where you judge, prefumes not to excel.
Our poets hither for adoption come,
As nations fued to be made free of Rome:
Not in the fuffragating tribes to stand,
But in your utmoft, laft, provincial band.
If his ambition may thofe hopes pursue,
Who with religión loves your arts and you,
Oxford to him a dearer name fhall be,
Than his own mother university.
Thebes did his green, unknowing, youth engage;
He chooses Athens in his riper age.
TO CONSTANTINE the GREAT.
[By Mr. N. LE E, 1684.]
UR hero's happy in the play's conclufion;
The holy rogue at laft has met confufion:
Tho' Arius all along appear'd a faint,
The laft act fhew'd him a true Proteftant.
Eufebius, for you know I read Greek authors,
Reports, that, after all thefe plots and flaughters,
The court of Conftantine was full of glory,
And every Trimmer turn'd addreffing Tory.
They follow'd him in herds as they were mad:
When Claufe was king, then all the world was glad.
Whigs kept the places they poffest before,
And moft were in a way of getting more;
Which was as much as faying, Gentlemen,
Here's power and money to be rogues again.
Indeed, there were a fort of peaking tools,
Some call them modeft, but I call them fools,
Men much more loyal, tho' not half so loud;
poor devils were caft behind the croud.
For bold knaves thrive without one grain of fense,
But good men ftarve for want of impudence.
Befides all thefe, there were a fort of wights,
I think my author calls them Tekelites,
Such hearty rogues against the king and laws,
They favour'd e'en a foreign rebel's cause.
When their own damn'd defign was quafh'd and aw'd,
At leaft, they gave it their good word abroad.
As many a man, who, for a quiet life,
Breeds out his baftard, not to noife his wife;
Thus o'er their darling plot thefe Trimmers cry;
And tho' they cannot keep it in their eye,
They bind it prentice to Count Tekely 1.
They believe not the last plot; may I be curft,
If I believe they e'er believ'd the first,
No wonder their own plot no plot they think;
The man, that makes it, never fmells the ftink.
And now it comes into my head, I'll tell
Why thefe damn'd Trimmers lov'd the Turks fo well. The original Trimmer, tho' a friend to no man,
Yet in his heart ador'd a pretty woman;
A famous Hungarian commander.
He knew that Mahomet laid up for ever
Kind 2 black-ey'd rogues, for every true believer;
And, which was more than mortal man e'er tafted,
One pleasure that for threefcore twelvemonths lafted:
To turn for this, may furely be forgiven:
Who'd not be circumcis'd for fuch a heaven?
To the DISSAPPOINTMENT:
Or, the MOTHER in FASHION.
[By Mr. SOUTHERNE, 1684.]
Spoken by Mr. BETTERTON.
OW comes it, gentlemen, that now a-days,
HOW When all of you fo fhrewdly judge of plays,
Our poets tax you fill with want of fenfe?
All prologues treat you at your own expence.
Sharp citizens a wifer way can go;
They make you fools, but never call you
They, in good manners, feldom make a slip,
But treat a common whore with ladyfhip:
But here each faucy wit at random writes,
And ufes ladies as he ufes knights.
Our author, young and grateful in his nature,
Vows, that from him no nymph deserves a fatire:
Nor will he ever draw-I mean his rhime,
Against the sweet partaker of his crime.
2 Among the pleasures Mahomet promis'd to his followers in paradife, one was that they fhould enjoy nymphs of amazing beauty with large black eyes.