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E P I L O GUE

At the Opening of the

QUEEN'S THEATRE, IN THE HAY-MARKET,

WITH AN ITALIAN PASTORAL.

Whatever future fate our house may find,
At prefent we expect you should be kind;

Inconftancy itself can claim no right,

Before enjoyment and the wedding-night.
You must be fix'd a little ere you range,
You must be true till you have time to change.
A week, at leaft; one night is fure too foon :
But we pretend not to a honey-moon.
To novelty we know you can be true,
But what, alas! or who, is always new?
This day, without prefumption, we pretend
With novelty entire you 're entertain❜d ;
For not alone our house and fcenes are new,
Our fong and dance, but ev'n our actors too.
Our play itself has fomething in't uncommon,
Two faithful lovers, and one conftant woman.
In fweet Italian ftrains our fhepherds fing,
Of harmless loves our painted forefts ring,
In notes, perhaps, lefs foreign than the thing.
To found and show at firft we make pretence,
In time we may regale you with fome fenfe,
But that, at prefent, were too great expence.

We only fear the beaux may think it hard,
To be to-night from fmutty jefts debarr'd:
But, in good-breeding, fure they'll once excufe
Ev'n modefty, when in a stranger-mufe.

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The day's at hand when we shall shift the scene,
And to yourselves fhew your dear felves again :
Paint the reverse of what you 've feen to-day,
And in bold strokes the vicious town display.

PR O L O G

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PYRRHUS KING OF EPIRUS.

UR age has much improv'd the warrior's art;

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For fighting, now, is thought the weakest part;
And a good head, more useful than a heart.
This way of war does our example yield;

That stage will win, which longeft keeps the field.
We mean not battle, when we bid defiance;
But ftarving one another to compliance.
Our troops encamp'd are by each other view'd;
And those which first are hungry, are fubdued.
And there, in truth, depends the great decifion :
They conquer, who cut off the foes' provision.
Let fools with knocks and bruifes keep a pother,
Our war and trade is to outwit each other;
But, hold: will not the politicians tell us,
That both our conduct and our forefight fail us ;

To

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To raise recruits, and draw new forces down;
Thus, in the dead vacation of the town,
To mufter up our rhymes, without our reafon,
And forage for an audience out of season ?
Our author's fears must this falfe ftep excufe;
'Tis the firft flight of a juft-feather'd Mufe:
Th' occafion ta'en, when critics are away;
Half wits and beaux, those ravenous birds of prey.
But, heaven be prais'd, far hence they vent their wrath,
Mauling, in mild lampoon, th' intriguing Bath.
Thus does our author his firft flight commence ;
Thus, against friends at firft, with foils we fence:
Thus prudent Gimcrack try'd if he were able
(Ere he'd wet foot) to swim upon a table.

Then fpare the youth; or, if you'll damn the play,
Let him but firft have his, then take your day.

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OU fee we try all shapes, and shifts and arts,

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To tempt your favours, and regain your hearts. We weep, and laugh, join mirth and grief together, Like rain and funshine mix'd, in April weather. Your different taftes divide our poet's cares: One foot the fock, t' other the bufkin wears:

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Thus while he ftrives to please, he's forc'd to do 't,
Like Volfcius, hip-hop, in a single boot.

Criticks, he knows, for this may damn his books:
But he makes feafts for friends, and not for cooks.
Though errant-knights of late no favour find,
Sure you will be to ladies-errant kind.

To follow fame, knights-errant make profeffion :
We damfels fly, to fave our reputation :
So they, their valour show; we, our difcretion.
To lands of monfters and fierce beafts they go:
We to those islands where rich husbands grow:
Though they're no monsters, we may make them so.
If they're of English growth, they'll bear 't with
patience :

But fave us from a spouse of Oroonoko's nations!
Then blefs your ftars, you happy London wives,
Who love at large, each day, yet keep your lives:
Nor envy poor Imoinda's doating blindness,
Who thought her husband kill'd her out of kindness.
Death with a husband ne'er had fhewn fuch charms,
Had fhe once died within a lover's arms.

Her error was from ignorance proceeding:

Poor foul! fhe wanted fome of our town-breeding!
Forgive this Indian's fondness of her spouse ;
Their law no christian liberty allows :

Alas! they make a confcience of their vows!

If virtue in a heathen be a fault;

Then damn the heathen school where fhe was taught. She might have learn'd to cuckold, jilt, and sham, Had Covent-Garden been in Surinam.

PRO

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A COMEDY, WRITTEN BY MR. J. DRYDEN, JUN.

HIS year has been remarkable two ways,

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For blooming poets, and for blasted plays:
We've been by much appearing plenty mock'd,
At once both tantaliz'd and over-ftock'd.
Our authors too, by their fuccefs of late,
Begin to think third-days are out of date.
What can the caufe be, that our plays won't keep
Unless they have a rot fome years like sheep?
For our parts, we confefs, we 're quite afham'd,
To read fuch weekly bills of poets damn'd.
Each parith knows 'tis but a mournful cafe
When christenings fall, and funerals increase.
Thus 'tis, and thus 'twill be when we are dead,
There will be writers which will ne'er be read:
Why will you be fuch wits, and write fuch things?
You 're willing to be wafps, but want the ftings.
Let not your spleen provoke you to that height,
'Odslife you don't know what you do, firs, when

write.

You'll find that Pegafus has tricks, when try'd,
Though you make nothing on 't, but up and 'ride;
Ladies and all, I'faith, now get aftride.

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