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The husbandman in vain renews his toil, We hope there's something that may please each To cultivate each year a hungry soil ;

taste, And fondly hopes for rich and generous fruit, And though of homely fare we make the feast, When what should feed the tree devours the Yet you will find variety at least. root:

There's humour, which for cheerful friends we Th' unladen boughs, he sees, bode certain dearth,

got, Unless transplanted to more kindly earth. And for the thinking party there's a plot. So, the poor husbands of the stage, who found We've something too to gratify ill-nature, Their labours lost upon ungrateful ground, (If there be any here)—and that is satire; This last and only remedy have proved,

Though satire scarce dares grin, 'tis grown 60 And hope new fruit from ancient stocks removed.

mild, Well may they hope, when you so kindly aid, Or only shews its teeth, as if it smiled. Well plant a soil which you so rich have made. As asses thistles, poets mumble wit, As Nature gave the world to man's first age, And dare not bite, for fear of being bit. So from your bounty we receive this stage; They hold their pens, as swords are held by fools, The freedom man was born to, you've restored, And are afraid to use their own edge-tools. And to our world such plenty you afford,

Since the Plain Dealer's scenes of manly rage, It seems like Eden, fruitful of its own accord. Not oné has dared to lash this crying age. But since in paradise frail flesh gave way, This time, the poet owns the bold essay And when but two were made, both went astray; Yet hopes there's no ill-manners in his play: Forbear your wonder, and the fault forgive, And he declares by me, he has designed If, in our larger family, we grieve

Affront to none; but frankly speaks his mind. One falling Adam, and one tempted Eve. And, should the ensuing scenes not chance to We who remain would gratefully repay,

hit, What our endeavours can, and bring this day He offers but this one excuse'twas writ The first-fruit offering of a virgin play:


your late encouragement of wit.




Miss PRUE,

A Steward, Officers, Sailors, and several Servants,



Val. Well! and now I am poor, I have an opSCENE I.–VALENTINE in his Chamber readportunity to be revenged on them all; I'll puring; JEREMY waiting. Several Books upon

sue Angelica with more love than ever, and apthe Table.

pear more notoriously her admirer in this re

straint, than when I openly rivalled the rich fops Val. Jeremy!

that made court to her. So shall my poverty be Jer. Sir.

a mortification to her pride, and perhaps make Val. Here, take away! I'll walk a turn, and di- her compassionate the love, which has princigest what I have read.

pally reduced me to this lowness of fortune. And Jer. You'll grow devilish fat upon this paper for ihe wits, I'm sure I am in a condition to be diet!

(Aside, and taking away the books. even with them. Val. And, d’ye hear? go you to breakfast Jer. Nay, your condition is pretty even with There's a page doubled down in Epictetus, that theirs, that's the truth on't. is a feast for an emperor.

Val. I'll take some of their trade out of their Jer. Was Epictetus a real cook, or did he only hands. write receipts ?

Jer. Now Heaven of mercy continue the tax Val. Read, read, sirrah, and refine your ap- upon paper !-You don't mean to write ? petite ; learn to live upon instruction ; feast your Val. Yes, I do; I'll write a play. mind, and mortify your flesh. Read, and take Jer. Hem !--Sir, if you please to give me a your nourishment in at your eyes; shut up your small certificate of three lines only to certify mouth, and chew the cud of understanding. So those whom it may concern, That the bearer Epictetus advises.

hereof, Jeremy Fetch by name, has, for the space Jer. O Lord! I have heard much of him, of seven years, truly and faithfully served Valen. when I waited upon a gentleman at Cambridge. tine Legend, Esquire; and that he is not turned Pray what was that Epictetus?

away for any misdemeanour, but does voluntaVal. A very rich man-not worth a groat. rily dismiss his master from any future authority Jer. Humph! and so he has made a very fine

over him feast, where there is nothing to be eaten.

Val. No, sirrah; you shall live with me still. Val Yes.

Jer. Sir, it's impossible-I may die with you, Jer. Sir, you're a gentleman, and probably un starve with you, or be damned with your works : derstand this fine feeding: but, if you please, I but to live, even three days, the life of a play, I had rather be at board wages. Does your Epic no more expect it, than to be canonized for a tetus, or your Seneca here, or any of these poor muse after my decease. rich rogues, teach you how to pay your debts Vul. You are witty, you rogue, I shall want without money? Will they shut up the mouths your help—I'll have you learn to make couplets, of your creditors ? Will Plato be bail for you? to tag the ends of acts. D’ye hear? get the maids or Diogenes, because he understands confine to crambo in an evening, and learn the knack of ment, and lived in a tub, go to prison for you? rhyming; you may arrive at the height of a song Slife, sir, what do you mean to mew yourself up sent by an unknown hand, or a chocolate-house here with three or four musty books in com- lampoon. mendation of starving and poverty?

Jer. But, sir, is this the way to recover your Val. Why, sirrah, I have no money, you know father's favour? Why, Sir Sampson will be irreit; and therefore resolve to rail at all that have: concileable. If your younger brother should come and in that I but follow the examples of the from sea, he'd never look upon you again. You're wisest and wittiest men in all ages-these poets undone, sir; you're ruined; you won't have a and philosophers, whom you naturally hate, for friend left in the world, if you turn poet-Ah, just such another reason ; because they abound pox confound that Will's coffee-house, it has in sense, and you are a fool.

ruined more young men than the Royal Oak lotJer. Ay, sir, I am a fool, and I know it: and tery!-Nothing thrives that belongs to it. The yet, Heaven help me, l'ın poor enough to be a man of the house would have been an alderman wit.-But I was always a fool, when I told you by this time, with half the trade, if he had set up what your expences would bring you to; your in the city:-For my part, I never sit at the door, coaches and your liveries ; your treats and your that I don't get double the stomach that I do at balls ; your being in love with a lady that did not a horse-race. The air upon Banstead Downs is care a farthing for you in your prosperity; and nothing to it for a whetter; yet I never see it, but keeping company with wits, that cared for no the spirit of famine appears to me--sometimes thing but your prosperity, and now, when you are like a decayed porter, worn out with pimping, poor, hate you as much as they do one another. and carrying billet-doux and songs; not like other

your word ?

porters for hire, but for the jest's sake. Now, on the stage.--Nay, I am not violently bent uplike a thin chairman, melted down to half his on the trade.—[One knocks.] Jeremy, see who's proportion, with carrying a poet upon tick, to there. (Jer. goes to the door.]—But tell me what visit some great fortune; and his fare to be paid you would have me do?-What do the world him, like wages of sin, either at the day of mar say of me, and my forced confinement ? riage, or the day of death.

Scan. The world behaves itself, as it uses to Vál. Very well, sir ; can you proceed ? do on such occasions. Some pity you, and con

Jer. Sometimes like a bilked bookseller, with demn your father; others excuse him and blame a meagre terrified countenance, that looks as if you. Only the ladies are merciful, and wish you he had written for himself, or were resolved to well: since love and pleasurable expence bave turn author, and bring the rest of his brethren been your greatest faults. into the same condition. And, lastly, in the form of a worn-out pımk, with verses in her hand,

JEREMY returns. which her vanity had preferred to settlements, Val. How now? without a whole tatter to her tail, but as ragged Jer. Nothing new, sir. I have dispatched as one of the muses; or as if she was carrying some half a dozen duns with as much dexterity her linen to the paper-mill, to be converted into as an hungry judge does causes at dinner-time. folio books of warning to all young maids, not Val. What answer have you given them? to prefer poetry to good sense; or lying in the Scan. Patience, I suppose-the old receipt? arms of a needy wit, before the embraces of a Jer. No, faith, sir: I have put them off so long wealthy fool.

with patience and forbearance, and other fair

words, that I was forced to tell them in plain Enter SCANDAL.

downright EnglishScan. What ! Jeremy holding forth ?

Val. What? Val. The rogue has (with all the wit he could Jer. That they should be paid. muster up) been declaiming against wit.

Val. When? Scan, Ay? Why then I'm afraid Jeremy has Jer. To-morrow.' wit ; for, wherever it is, it's always contriving its Val. And how the devil do you mean to keep own ruin.

Jer. Why so I have been telling my master, Jer. Keep it! not at all : it has been so very sir. Mr Scandal, for Heaven's sake, sir, try if you much stretched, that I reckon it will break of can dissuade bim from turning poet!

course by to-morrow, and nobody be surprised at Scan. Poet! He shall turn soldier first, and ra the matter!—{Knocking.)-Again, sir! If you ther depend upon the outside of his head, than don't like my negociation, will you be pleased to the lining! Why, what the devil! has not your answer these yourself? poverty made you enemies enough? must you Val. See who they are. (Exit JEREMY.] By needs shew your wit to get more!

this, Scandal, you may see what it is to be great. Jer. Ay, more indeed: for who cares for any Secretaries of state, presidents of the council

, body that has more wit than himself?

and generals of an army, lead just such a life as Scan. Jeremy speaks like an oracle. Don't | I do; have just such crowds of visitants in a you see how worthless great men, and dull rich morning, all soliciting of past promises ; which rogues, avoid a witty man of small fortune ? are but a civiller sort of duns, that lay claim to Why, he looks like a writ of inquiry into their voluntary debts. titles and estates; and seems commissioned by Scan. And you, like a truly great man, having Heaven to seize the better half.

engaged their attendance, and promised more Val. Therefore I would rail in my writings, than ever you intended to perform, are more and be revenged.

perplexed to find evasions, than you would be to Scan. Rail ! at whom ? the whole world? Im- invent the honest means of keeping your word, potent and vain! Who would die a martyr to and gratifying your creditors. sense, in a country where the religion is folly? Val. Scandal, learn to spare your friends, and You may

stand at bay for a while; but, when do not provoke your enemies. This liberty of the full cry is against you, you sha'n't have fair your tongue will one day bring confinement on play for your life. If you cann't be fairly run down your body, my friend. by the hounds, you will be treacherously shot by the huntsmen. No, turn pimp, flatterer, quack,

Enter JEREMY. lawyer, parson, be chaplain to an atheist, or Jer. O, sir, there's Trapland the scrivener, stallion to an old woman, any thing but poet. with two suspicious fellows like lawful pads, that A modern poet is worse, more servile, timorous, would knock a man down with pocket tipstaves! and fawning, than any I have named, without -And there's your father's steward, and you could retrieve the ancient honours of the the nurse, with one of your children from Twitname, recal the stage of Athens, and be allowed 'nam. the force of open honest satire.

Val, Pox on her! could she find no other time Val. You are as inveterate against our poets, to fling my sins in my face? Here! give her this, as if your character had been lately exposed up- [Gives money.) and bid her trouble me no more ;


a thoughtless, two-handed whore! She knows buxom black widow in the Poultry-Eight hunmy condition well enough, and might have over dred pounds a-year jointure, and twenty thoulaid the child a fortnight ago, if she had any sand pounds in money. Ahah ! old Trap ! forecast in her.

Val. Say you so, i'faith? Come we'll rememScan. What, is it bouncing Margery with my ber the widow: I know whereabouts you are ; god-son?

come, to the widow. Jer. Yes, sir.

Trap. No more indeed. Scan. My blessing to the boy, with this token Val. What! the widow's health ? Give it him [Gives money.) of my love. And, d'ye hear, bid -off with it. [They drink.]-A lovely girl, i'faith; Margery put more flocks in her bed, shift twice black sparkling eyes, soft pouting ruby lips! Beta week, and not work so hard, that she may not ter sealing there than a bond for a million, ha ! smell so vigorously.-I shall take the air short

Trup. No, no, there's no such thing; we'd ly.

better mind our business-You're a wag! Val Scandal, don't spoil my boy's milk.–Bid Val. No faith, we'll mind the widow's busiTrapland come in. If I can give that Cerberus a

ness : fill again.—Pretty round heaving breasts, sop, I shall be at rest for one day.

a Barbary shape, and a jut with her bum, would (JEREMY goes out, and brings in TRAP- stir an anchorite ; and the prettiest foot! Oh,

if a man could but fasten his eyes on her feet as Val. O, Mr Trapland ! my old friend! welcome, they steal in and out, and play at bo-peep under -Jeremy, a chair quickly: a bottle of sack and her petticoats-ha! Mr Trapland! a toast-Ay a chair firsta

Trap. Verily, give me a glass—you're a wagTrap. A good morning to you, Mr Valentine; and here's to the widow.

[Drinks and to you, Mr Scandal.

Scan. He begins to chuckle-ply him close, or Scun. the morning's a very good morning, if he'll relapse into a dun. you don't spoil it. Val. Come, sit you down; you know his way.

Enter Officer. Trap. [Sits.] There is a debt, Mr Valentine, of fifteen hundred pounds, of pretty long stand- land, if we must do our office, tell us. We have

Ofli. By your leave, gentlemen.—Mr Traping. Val. I cannot talk about business with a thirsty and Covent-garden ; and if we don't make haste, i

half a dozen gentlemen to arrest in Pall-mall palate. Sirrah ! the sack ! Trap. And I desire to know what course you chocolate-houses ; and then our labour's lost


the chairmen will be abroad, and block up the bave taken for the payment. Vul. Faith and troth, I am heartily glad to see

Trap. Odso, that's true. Mr Valentine, I love you--my service to you! fill, fill, to honest Mr mirth; but business must be done ; are you

ready to Trapland-fuller!

Jer. Sir, your father's steward says he comes Trup. Hold! sweetheart—this is not our business.-My service to you, MrScandal—[Drinks.]

to make proposals concerning your debts. -I have forborn as long

Val. Bid him come in : Mr Trapland, send Val. T'other glass, and then we'll talk, Fill, away your officer; you shall have an answer

presently. Jeremy.

Trap. Mr Snap, stay within call. Trap. No more, in truth I have forborn, I

[Erit Officer, say Val. Sirrah! fill when I bid you.-And how

Enter Steward, who whispers VALENTINE. does your handsome daughter? -Come, a good busband to her.

[Drinks. Scan. Here's a dog now, a traitor in his wine ! Trap. Thank you—I have been out of this Sirrah, refund the sack: Jeremy, fetch him some money

warm water ; or I'll rip up his stomach, and go Fat. Drink first. Scandal, why do you not the shortest way to his conscience. drink?

[They drink. Trap. Mr Scandal, you are uncivil. I did not Trap. And, in short, I can be put off no longer. value your sack; but you cannot expect it again,

Val. I was much obliged to you for your sup when I have drunk it. ply: it did me signal service in my necessity. Scan. And how do you expect to have your But you delight in doing good. Scandal, drink money again, when a gentleman has spent it? to me, my friend Trapland's health. An ho Val. You need say no more. I understand nester man lives not, nor one more ready to serve the conditions: they are very hard, but my nehis friend in distress, though I say it to his face. cessity is very pressing : I agree to them. Take Come, fill each man his glass.

Mr Trapland with you, and let him draw the Scan. What! I know Trapland has been a writing--Mr Trapland, you know this man? he whore-master, and loves a wench still. You ne

shall satisfy you. ver knew a whore-master that was not an honest Trup. Sincerely, I am loth to be thus pressing; fellow.

but my necessityTrap. Fie, Mr Scandal, you never knew Vul. No apology, good Mr Scrivener, you Scan, What don't I know? I know the shall be paid.

Trap. I hope you forgive me; my business re of secrecy, aud makes proclamation that he holds quires

private intelligence. He is here. [Exeunt TrAPLAND, Steward, and JEREMY. Scun. He begs pardon like a hangman at an

Enter TATTLE. execution.

Tat. Valentine, good morrow : Scandal, I am Val. But I have got a reprieve.

yours--that is, when you speak well of me. Scan. I am surprised; what! does


father Scan. That is, when I am yours ? for, while I relent?

am my own, or any body's else, that will never Val. No; he has sent me the hardest con- happen. dition in the world. You have heard of a booby Tat. How inhuman ! brother of mine, that was sent to sea three years Val. Why, Tattle, you need not be much conago? This brother, my father hears, is landed; cerned at any thing that he says : for to converse whereupon he very affectionately sends me word, with Scandal, is to play at Losing Loadum ; you if I will make a deed of conveyance of my right must lose a good name to him, before you can win to his estate after his death to my younger bro- | it for yourself. ther, he will immediately furnish me with four Tat. But how barbarous that is, and how uinthousand pounds to pay my debts, and make my fortunate for him, that the world should think the fortune. This was once proposed before, and I better of any person for his calumniation !-I refused it; but the present impatience of my cre thank Heaven, it has always been a part of my ditors for their money, and my own impatience character to handle the reputations of others very of confinement, and absence from Angelica, force tenderly indeed. me to consent.

Scan. Ay, such rotten reputations as you have Scun. A very desperate demonstration of your to deal with are to be handled tenderly indeed. love to Angelica ! and I think she has never gi Tat. Nay, why rotten? why should you say ven you any assurance of hers.

rotten, whea you know not the persons of whom Vul. You know her temper; she never gave you speak? How cruel that is ! me any great reason either for hope or despair. Scan. Not know them? Why, thou never hadst

Scan. Women of her airy temper, as they sel. to do with any one that did not stink to all the dom think before they act, so they rarely give town. us any light to guess at what they mean: but Tut. Ha, ha, ha! nay, now you make a jest of you have little reason to believe that a woman of it indeed. For there is nothing more known, this age, who has had an indifference for you in than that nobody knows any thing of that nature your prosperity, will fall in love with your ill-for- of me. As I hope to be saved, Valentine, I never tune. Besides, Angelica has a great fortune of exposed a woman, since I knew what woman was. her own; and great fortunes eitlier espect ano Val. And yet you have conversed with several ? ther great fortune, or fool.

Tat. To be free with you I haveI don't care

if I own that—nay, more (I'm going to say a bold Enter JEREMY.

word now), I never could meddle with a woman Jer. More misfortunes, sir.

that had to do with any body else. Val. What, another dun ?

Scan. How ! Jer. No, sir; but Mr Tattle is come to wait Val. Nay, faith, I'm apt to believe him~except upon you.

her husband, Tattle. Vai. Well, I cannot help it-you must bring Tat. Oh that, him up; he knows I don't go abroad.

Scan. What think you of that noble commoner,

(Exit JER. Mrs Drab ? Scan. Pox on him! I'll be gone.

Tat. Pooh! I know madam Drab has made her Val. No, pr’ythee stay: Tattle and you should brags in three or four places, that I said this and never be asunder; you are light and shadow, and that, and writ to her, and did I know not what shew one another. He is perfectly thy reverse but, upon my reputation, she did me wrongboth in humour and understanding; and, as you well, well, that was malice-but I know the bot. set up for defamation, he is a mender of repula tom of it. She was bribed to that by one we all tions.

know--a man too_only to bring me into disgrace Scan. A mender of reputations ! ay, just as he with a certain woman of quality is a keeper of secrets, another virtue that he sets Scan. Whom we all know. up for in the same manner. For the rogue will Tat. No matter for tbat-Yes, yes, every body speak aloud in the posture of a whisper; and deny knows-no doubt on't, every body knows my sea woman's name, while he gives you the marks crets !-But I soon satisfied the lady of my innoof her person. He will forswear receiving a let cence ; for I told her-Madam, says I, there are ter from her, and at the same time shew you her some persons who make it their birsiness to tell hand in the superscription: and yet perhaps he stories, and say this and that of one and the other, has counterfeited her hand too, and sworn to a and every thing in the world; and, says I, if your truth ; but he hopes not to be believed; and re

gracefuses the reputation of a lady's favour, as a doc Scun. Grace ! tor says no to a bishoprick, only that it may be Tat. O Lord, what have I said!

My unlucky granted him. In short, he is a public professor

tongue !


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