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Nor is he yet fo bold an undertaker,
To call men fools; 'tis railing at their Maker.
Befides, he fears to split upon that shelf;
He's young enough to be a fop himself:
And, if his praife can bring you all a-bed,
He fwears fuch hopeful youth no nation ever bred.
Your nurses, we prefume, in fuch a cafe,
Your father chofe, because he lik'd the face;
And, often, they supply'd your mother's place.
The dry nurse was your mother's ancient maid,
Who knew fome former flip fhe ne'er betray'd.
Betwixt them both, for milk and fugar-candy,
You fucking bottles were well ftor'd with brandy.
Your father, to initiate your discourse,
Meant to have taught you first to swear and curse,
But was prevented by each careful nurse.
For, leaving dad and mam, as names too common,
They taught you certain parts of man and woman.
I pass your schools; for there when firft you came,
You would be fure to learn the Latin name.
In colleges you fcorn'd the art of thinking,
But learn'd all moods and figures of good drinking:
Thence come to town, you practise play, to know
The virtues of the high dice, and the low.
Each thinks himself a fharper moft profound:
He cheats by pence; is cheated by the pound.
With these perfections, and what else he gleans,
The spark fets up for love behind our fcenes;
Hot in purfuit of princeffes and queens.
There, if they know their man, with cunning carriage,
Twenty to one but it concludes in marriage.
He hires fome homely room, love's fruits to gather,
And garret-high rebels against his father:
Brings her in triumph, with her portion, down,
A toilet, dreffing-box, and half a crown.
Some marry firft, and then they fall to fcow'ring,
Which is, refining marriage into whoring.
Our women batten well on their good-nature;
All they can rap and rend for the dear creature.
But while abroad fo liberal the dolt is,
Poor spouse at home as ragged as a colt is.
Laft, fome there are, who take their first degrees
Of lewdness in our middle galleries.
The doughty bullies enter bloody drunk,
Invade and grubble one another's punk :
They caterwaul, and make a dismal rout,
Call fons of whores, and strike, but ne'er lug out:
Thus while for paltry punk they roar and stickle,
They make it bawdier than a conventicle.
Upon the UNION of the Two Companies in 1686.
INCE faction ebbs, and rogues grow out of fashion, Their penny-fcribes take care t' inform the nation, How well men thrive in this or that plantation :
How Penfylvania's air agrees with Quakers,
And Carolina's with Affociators:
Both e'en too good for madmen and for traitors.
1 The wanton change of the publick tafte, after the introducing operas at the Duke's theatre, began to fall as heavy upon the King's company, as their excellence in acting had before fallen on their competitors. Mr. Betterton who had a fhare in the management of the former, finding their expensive struggles hurt both theatres, projected an union of the two companies; in this project he fucceeded, and from this union, Cibber fays, fprüng the beft company of actors that ever appear'd upon the English stage.
Truth is, our land with faints is fo run o'er,
And every age produces fuch a store,
That now there's need of two New-Englands more.
What's this, you'll fay, to us and our vocation?
Only thus much, that we have left our station,
And made this theatre our new plantation.
The factious natives never could agree;
But aiming, as they call'd it, to be free,
Thofe play-houfe Whigs fet up for property.
Some fay, they no obedience paid of late;
But would new fears and jealoufies create;
Till topfy-turvy they had turn'd the state.
Plain fenfe, without the talent of foretelling,
Might guefs 'twould end in downright knocks and
For feldcm comes there better of rebelling.
When men will, needlefly, their freedom barter
For lawless power, fometimes they catch a Tartar;
There's a damn'd word that rhimes to this, call'd Charter.
But, fince the victory with us remains,
You fhall be call'd to twelve in all our gains;
If you'll not think us faucy for our pains.
Old men shall have good old plays to delight them:
And you, fair ladies and gallants that flight them,
We'll treat with good new plays; if our new wits can
We'll take no blund'ring verse, no fuftian tumor,
No dribling love, from this or that prefumer;
No dull fat fool fhamm'd on the ftage for humour.
For, faith, fome of them fuch vile ftuff have made
As none but fools or fairies ever play'd;
But 'twas, as fhopmen fay, to force a trade.
We've given you Tragedies, all fenfe defying,
And finging men, in woful metre dying;
This 'tis when heavy lubbers will be flying.
All these difafters we well hope to weather;
We bring you none of our old lumber hither:
Whig poets and Whig fheriffs may hang together.
EW minifters, when firft they get in place,
Muft have a care to pleafe; and that's our cafe:
Some laws for public welfare we defign,
If you, the power fapreme, will please to join:
There are a fort of prattlers in the pit,
Who either have, or who pretend to wit:
These noify firs fo loud their parts rehearse,
That oft the play is filenc'd by the farce.
Let fuch be dumb, this penalty to fhun,
Each to be thought my lady's eldeft fon.
But ftay: methinks fome vizard mask I fee,
Caft out her lure from the mid gallery:
About her all the flutt'ring fparks are rang'd;
The noise continues tho' the fcene is chang'd:
Now growling, fputt'ring, wauling, fuch a clutter,
'Tis just like pufs defendant in a gutter:
Fine love no doubt; but ere two days are o'er ye,
The furgeon will be told a woful story.
Let vizard mask her naked face expofe,
On pain of being thought to want a nose:
Then for your lacqueys, and your train befide,
By whate'er name or title dignify'd,
They roar fo loud, you'd think behind the ftairs
Tom Dove, and all the brotherhood of bears:
They're grown a nuifance, beyond all difafters;
We've none fo great but their unpaying masters.
We beg you, firs, to beg your men, that they
Would please to give you leave to hear the play.
Next in the play-house spare your precious lives;
Think, like good chriftians, on your bearns and wives:
Think on your fouls; but by your lugging forth,
It seems you know how little they are worth.
If none of these will move the warlike mind,
Think on the helpless whore you leave behind.
We beg you, laft, our fcene-room to forbear,
And leave our goods and chattels to our care.
Alas! our women are but washy toys,
And wholly taken up in ftage employs :
Poor willing tits they are: but yet I doubt
This double duty foon will wear them out.
Then you are watch'd befides with jealous care;
What if my lady's page fhould find you there?
My lady knows t'a tittle what there's in ye;
No paffing your gilt fhilling for a guinea.
Thus, gentlemen, we have fumm'd up in short
Our grievances, from country, town, and court:
Which humbly we fubmit to your good pleasure;
But firft vote money, then redress at leisure.