« PreviousContinue »
News is your food, and you enough provide,
Both for yourselves, and all the world beside.
One theatre there is of vast resort,
Which whilome of Requests was called the Court;
But now the great Exchange of News 'tis hight,
And full of hum and buz from noon 'till night.
Up stairs and down you run, as for a race,
And each man wears three nations in his face.
So big you look, tho claret you retrench,
That, arm'd with bottled ale, you huff the French.
But all your entertainment still is fed
By villains in your own dull island bred.
Would you return to us, we dare engage
rogues upon the stage.
You know no poison but plain ratsbane here ;
Death's more refin'd, and better bred elsewhere.
They have a civil way in Italy
By smelling a perfume to make you
die A trick would make you lay your
you lay your snuff-box by. Murder’s a trade, so known and practis'd there, That 'tis infallible as is the chair. But, mark their feast, you shall behold such pranks; The pope saysgrace, but 'tis the devil gives thanks.
HESPIS, the first professor of our art,
At country wakes, sung ballads from a cart. To prove
if Latin be no trespass, Dicitur & plaustris vexifle Poemata Thespis. But Æschylus, says Horace in some page, Was the first mountebank that trod the stage : Yet Athens never knew your learned sport Of toffing poets in a tennis-court. But 'tis the talent of our English nation, Still to be plotting some new reformation: And few years hence, if anarchy goes on, Jack Presbyter shall here erect his throne, Knock out a tub with preaching once a day, And ev'ry prayer be longer than a play. Then all your heathen wits shall go to pot, For disbelieving of a Popish-plot : Your poets shall be us'd like infidels, , And worst the author of the Oxford bells: Nor should we 'scape the sentence, to depart, E'en in our first original, a cart.
No zealous brother there would want a stone,
To maul us cardinals, and pelt pope Joan :
Religion, learning, wit, would be supprest,
Rags of the whore, and trappings of the beast :
Scot, Suarez, Tom of Aquin, must go down,
As chief supporters of the triple crown;
And Aristotle's for destruction ripe ;
Some fay, he call’d the soul an organ-pipe,
Which, by some little help of derivation,
Shall then be prov'd a pipe of inspiration.
there be a few that take delight
In that which reasonable men should write ;
To them alone we dedicate this night.
The rest may satisfy their curious itch
With city-gazettes, or some factious speech,
Or whate'er libe!, for the public good,
the shrove-tide crew to fire and blood. Remove your benches, you apostate pit, And take, above, twelve pennyworth of wit ; Go back to your dear dancing on the rope, Or fee what's worse, the devil and the
The plays that take on our corrupted stage,
Methinks, resemble the distracted
Noise, madness, all unreasonable things,
That strike at sense, as rebels do at kings.
The style of forty-one our poets write,
And you are grown to judge like forty-eight.
Such censures our mistaking audience make,
That 'tis almost grown scandalous to take.
They talk of fevers that infect the brains
But nonsense is the new disease that reigns.
Weak stomachs, with a long disease opprest,
Cannot the cordials of strong wit digest.
Therefore thin nourishment of farce
Decoctions of a barley-water muse :
A meal of tragedy would make ye fick, ,
Unless it were a very tender chick.
Some scenes in fippets would be worth our time;
Those would go down; some love that's poach'd
If these should fail---
We must lie down, and, after all our cost,
Keep holiday, like watermen in frost;
you turn players on the world's great stage, And act yourselves the farce of your own age.
TRAGEDY call'd TAMERLANE.
ADIES, the beardless author of this day
Commends to you
the fortune of his play.
A woman wit has often grac’d the stage ;
But he's the first boy-poet of our age.
Early as is the year his fancies blow,
young Narciffus peeping thro the fnow.
Thus Cowley blosfom'd soon, yet flourish'd long :
This is as forward, and may prove as ftrong.
Youth with the fair should always favor find,
Or we are damn'd diffemblers of our kind.
What's all this love they put into our parts ?
'Tis but the pit-a-pat of two young hearts.
Should hag and grey-beard make fuch tender
moan, Faith, you'd e'en trust them to themselves alone,
go, here's nothing to be done. Since Love's our business, as 'tis your delight, The
young who best can practise, best can write.