Gambar halaman

Contriving characters, and scenes, and plots,
Is grown as common now, as knitting knots:
With the fame eafe, and negligence of thought,
The charming play is writ, and fringe is wrought.
Though this be frightful, yet we 're more afraid,
When ladies leave, that beaux will take the trade:
Thus far 'tis well enough, if here 'twould ftop,
But should they write, we must e'en fhut up shop.
How fhall we make this mode of writing fink?
A mode, faid I? 'tis a difeafe, I think,

A ftubborn tetter that 's not cur'd with ink.
For ftill it fpreads, 'till each th' infection takes,
And feizes ten, for one that it forfakes.

Our play to-day is fprung from none of these;
Nor should you damn it, though it does not please,
Since born without the bounds of your four feas..
For if you grant no favour as 'tis new,
Yet as a ftranger, there is fomething due:
From Rome (to try its fate) this play was fent;
Start not at Rome! for there's no popery meant ;
Though there the poet may his dwelling chufe,
Yet ftill he knows his country claims his Mufe.
Hither an offering his first-born he fends,
Whofe good, or ill fuccefs, on you depends.
Yet he has hope some kindness may be shown,
As due to greater merit than his own,
And begs the fire may for the fon atone.
There's his laft refuge, if the play don't take,
Yet fpare young Dryden for his father's fake.




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HERE's a young fellow here an actor-Powell!

One whose perfon, perhaps, you all may know well; And he has writ a play---this very play

Which you are all come here to fee, to-day;
And fo, it being an ufual thing, to fpeak
Something or other, for the author's fake,
Before the play (in hopes to make it take)
I'm come, being his friend and fellow-player,
To fay what (if you please) you're like to hear.
First know, that favour which I'd fain have fhown,
I afk not for, in his name, but my own;
For, without vanity, I'm better known.
Mean time then, let me beg you would forbear
Your cat-calls, and the inftruments of war.
For mercy, mercy, at your feet we fall,
Before your roaring gods destroy us all!
I'll fpeak with words fweet as diftilling honey,
With words---as if I meant to borrow money;





Fair, gentle firs, moft foft alluring beaux, Think 'tis a lady, that for pity fues. Bright ladies---but to gain the ladies grace, I think I need no more than fhew my face. Next then, you authors, be not you severe ; Why, what a swarm of scribblers have we here! One, two, three, four, five, fix, feven, eight, nine, ten, All in one row, and brothers of the pen. All would be poets; well, your favour's due To this day's author, for he 's one of you. Among the few which are of noted fame, I'm fafe; for I myself am one of them. You've seen me fmoak at Will's among the wits I'm witty too, as they are---that's by fits. Now, you, our city friends, who hither come By three o'clock, to make fure elbow-room: While fpoufe, tuckt-up, does in her pattens trudge it, With handkerchief of prog, like trull with budget, And here, by turns, you eat plumb-cake and judge it; Pray be you kind, let me your grace importune, Or elfe---egad, I'll tell you all your fortune. Well now, I have but one thing more to fay, And that's in reference to our third day; An odd requeft---may be you 'll think it fo; Pray come, whether you like the play or no : And if you'll stay, we shall be glad to fee you, If not---leave your half-crowns, and peace be wi' you!



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To the Court on the


THE happy Mufe, to this high scene preferrd,

Hereafter fhall in loftier ftrains be heard:
And, foaring to tranfcend her ufual theme,
Shall fing of virtue and heroic fame.
No longer shall she toil upon the stage,
And fruitlefs war with vice and folly wage;
No more in mean difguife the fhall appear,

And shapes fhe would reform be forc'd to wear :
While ignorance and malice join to blame,

And break the mirror that reflects their fhame.

Henceforth he fhall pursue a nobler task,

Shew her bright virgin face, and fcorn the Satyr's mask. Happy her future days! which are defign'd

Alone to paint the beauties of the mind.

By juft originals to draw with care,
And copy from the court a faultless fair:
Such labours with fuccefs her hopes may crown,
And shame to manners an incorrigible town.
While this defign her eager thoughts pursues,
Such various virtues all around the views,
She knows not where to fix, or which to chufe.
Yet, ftill ambitious of the daring flight,
ONE only awes her with fuperior light.



From that attempt the confcious Mufe retires,
Nor to inimitable worth afpires:

But fecretly applauds, and filently admires.
Hence the reflects upon the genial ray
That firft enliven'd this aufpicious day :
On that bright ftar, to whofe indulgent power
We owe the bleffings of the present hour.
Concurring omens of propitious fate

Bore, with one facred birth, an equal date;
Whence we derive whatever we poffefs,
By foreign conqueft, or domeftic peace.

Then, Britain, then thy dawn of blifs begun :
Then broke the morn that lighted-up this fun!
Then was it doom'd whofe councils fhould fucceed;
And by whofe arm the chriftian world be freed;
Then the fierce foe was pre-ordain'd to yield,


And then the battle won at Blenheim's glorious field.


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