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When they with happy gales are gone away,
With your propitious prefence grace our play;
And with a figh their empty feats survey:
Then think, on that bare bench my servant fat;
I fee him ogle ftill, and hear him chat;
Selling facetious bargains, and propounding
That witty recreation, call'd dum-founding.
Their lofs with patience we will try to bear;
And would do more, to fee you often here:
That our dead ftage, reviv'd by your fair eyes,
Under a female
regency may rife.

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PROLOGU E

To the MISTAKES.

(By JOSEPH HARRIS, Comedian, 1690.)

Enter Mr. BRIGHT.

Entlemen, we muft beg your pardon; here's no

to come on, without a frontifpiece; as bald as one of you young beaux, without your periwig. I left our young poet, fnivelling and fobbing behind the scenes, and curfing somebody that has deceived him.

Enter Mr. BOWEN.

HOLD your prating to the audience: here is ho neft Mr. Williams, juft come in, half mellow, from the Rose-Tavern. He fwears he is inspired with claret, and will come on, and that extempore too, either with

a

I

a prologue of his own or something like one: O here he comes to his tryal, at all adventures; for my part with him a good deliverance.

[Exeunt Mr. Bright and Mr. Bowen.

Enter Mr. WILLIAMS.

SAVE ye Sirs, fave ye! I am in a hopeful way. I should speak fomething, in rhyme, now, for the play: But the duce take me, if I know what to say.

I'll stick to my friend the author, that I can tell ye,” To the last drop of claret, in my belly.

So far I'm fure 'tis rhyme-that needs no granting: And, if my veríes feet ftumble- you fee my own are wanting.

Our young poet has brought a piece of work,

In which, tho' much of art there does not lurk,

It

may hold out three days-and that's as long as Cork. But for this play-(which till I have done, we show not) What may be its fortune-by the Lord-I know not. This I dare fwear, no malice here is writ: 'Tis innocent of all things—even of wit. He's no high-flyer-he makes no sky-rockets, His fquibbs are only levell'd at your pockets. And if his crackers light among your pelf,

You are blown up; if not, then he's blown up himself. By this time, I'm fomething recover'd of my fluiter'd madness:

And now, a word or two in fober fadnefs.

Ours is a common play; and you pay down
A common harlot's price-juft half a crown.
You'll fay, I play the pimp, on my friend's fcore; 7
But fince 'tis for a friend your gibes give o'er:
For many a mother has done that before.

How's this, you cry? an actor write ?we know it;
But Shakespear was an actor, and a poet.
Has not great Jonfon's learning, often fail'd?
But Shakespear's greater genius till prevail'd.

T 4

Have

Have not fome writing actors, in this age
Deferv'd and found fuccefs upon the stage?
To tell the truth, when our old wits are tir'd,
Not one of us but means to be infpir'd.

Let your kind prefence grace our homely cheer;
Peace and the butt, is all our bus'nefs here:
So much for that;-and the devil take small beer.

EPILOGU E

ΤΗ

To HENRY II.

[By Mr. MOUNTFORT, 1693.1

Spoken by Mrs., BRACEGIRDLE.

HUS you the fad catastrophe have seen,
Occafion'd by a mistress and a queen.
Queen Eleanor the proud was French, they fay;
But English manufacture got the day.
Jane Clifford was her name, as books aver:
Fair Rofamond was but her Nom de guerre,
Now tell me, gallants, would you lead your life
With fuch a mistress, or with fuch a wife?
If one must be your choice, which d'ye approve,
The curtain lecture, or the curtain love?
Would ye be godly with perpetual ftrife,
Still drudging on with homely Joan your wife;
Or take your pleafure in a wicked way,
Like honeft whoring Harry in the play?
I guess your minds: the miftrefs would be taken,
And naufeous matrimony fent a packing.

The

The devil's in you all; mankind's a rogue;
You love the bride, but you deteft the clog.
After a year, poor spouse is left i'th' lurch,
And you, like Haynes, return to mother-church.
Or, if the name of Church comes cross your mind,
Chapels of cafe behind our fcenes you find.
The playhouse is a kind of market-place;
One chaffers for a voice, another for a face:
Nay, fome of you, I dare not fay how many,
Would buy of me a pen'worth for your penny.
E'en this poor face, which with my fan I hide,
Would make a shift my portion to provide,
With fome fmall perquifites 1 have befide.
Tho' for your love, perhaps, I should not care,
I could not hate a man that bids me fair.
What might enfue, 'tis hard for me to tell;
But I was drench'd to-day for loving well,
And fear the poifon that would make me fwell.

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PROLOGUE.

G

Allants, a bafhful poet bids me fay,
He's come to lose his maidenhead to-day.
Be not too fierce; for he's but green of age,
And ne'er, till now, debauch'd upon the stage.
He wants the fuff'ring part of refolution,
And comes with blushes to his execution.
Ere you deflow'r his Mufe, he hopes the pit
Will make fome fettlement upon his wit.
Promise him well, before the play begin;
For he would fain be cozen'd into fin.

'Tis not but that he knows you mean to fail;
But, if you leave him after being frail,
He'll have, at least, a fair pretence to rail;
To call you base, and swear you us'd him ill,
And put you in the new deferters bill.
Lord, what a troop of perjur'd men we fee;
Enow to fill another Mercury!

But this the ladies may with patience brook :
Theirs are not the firft colours you forfook.
He would be loth the beauties to offend;
But, if he fhould, he's not too old to mend.
He's a young plant, in his firft year of bearing;
But his friend fwears, he will be worth the rearing.
His glofs is ftill upon him: tho''tis true
He's yet unripe, yet take him for the blue.
You think an apricot half green is beft;
There's sweet and four, and one fide good at least.
Mangos and limes, whofe nourishment is little,
Tho' not for food, are yet preferv'd for pickle.
So this green writer may pretend, at least,
To whet your ftomachs for a better feast.
He makes this difference in the fexes too;
He fells to men, he gives himself to you.
To both he would contribute fome delight;
A mere poetical hermaphrodite.

Thus he's equipp'd, both to be woo'd, and woo;
With arms offenfive, and defenfive too;
'Tis hard, he thinks, if neither part will do.

XX

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