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With joy we bring what our dead authors writ,
the value of their wit : That Shakespear's, Fletcher's, and great Johnson's
claim, May be renew'd from those who gave them fame. None of our living poets dare appear ; For muses so severe are worshipp'd here, That, conscious of their faults, they fhun the eye, And, as prophane, from sacred places fly, Rather than see the offended God, and die. We bring no imperfections, but our own ; Such faults as made are by the makers shown: And you
have been so kind, that we may boast, The greatest judges still can pardon most. Poets must stoop, when they would please our pit, Debas'd even to the level of their wit ; Disdaining that, which yet they know will take, Hating themselves what their applause must make. But when to praise from you they would aspire, Tho they like eagles mount, your Jove is higher. So far your knowlege all their power transcends, As what should be beyond what Is extends.
PROLOGUE to CIR CE.
[By Dr. DAVENANT, 1675.]
but half so wise as you're severe, Our youthful poet should not need to fear: To his green years your censures you would suit, Not blast the blossom, but expect the fruit, The sex, that best does pleasure understand, Will always choose to err on t'other hand. They check not him that’s aukward in delight, But clap the young rogue's cheek, and set him
right. Thus hearten'd well, and flesh'd
prey, The youth may prove a man another day. Your Ben and Fletcher, in their first young flight, Did no Volpone, nor no Arbaces write; But hopp'd about, and short excursions made From bough to bough, as if they were afraid, And each was guilty of some slighted maid. Shakefpear's own muse her Pericles first bore ; The prince of Tyre was elder than the Moore : 'Tis miracle to see a first good play ; All hawthorns do not bloom on Christmas-day.
A slender poet must have time to grow,
you to judge.
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E P I L OG
Intended to have been spoken by
The Lady HEN. MAR. WENT WORTH,
When CALISTO was acted at Court.
S Jupiter I made my coạrt in vain ;
native shape again,
Now as a nymph I need not sue, nor try
may some gallantry admit,
you to supplant monarchs shall dispose, To bind your friends, and to difarm
EPILOGUE to the Man of Mode;
Sir FOPLING FLUTTER.
[By Sir George ETHERIDGE, 1676.]
OST modern wits such monstrous fools
have shown, They seem not of heaven's making, but their own Those nauseous harlequins in farce may pass ; But there goes more to a substantial ass : Something of man must be expos’d to view, That, gallants, they may more resemble you. Sir Fopling is a fool so nicely writ, The ladies would mistake him for a wit; And, when he fings, talks loud, and cocks,
I vow, methinks, he's pretty company :