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They roar so loud, you'd think behind the stairs Tom Dove,* and all the brotherhood of bears: They've grown a nuisance, beyond all disasters; We've none so great but their unpaying masters. We beg you, sirs, to beg your men, that they Would please to give you leave to hear the play.
Next, in the play-house, spare your precious lives; Think, like good Christians,on your bairns and wives; Think on your souls; but, by your lugging forth,† It seems you know how little they are worth. If none of these will move the warlike mind, Think on the helpless whore you leave behind. We beg you, last, our scene-room to forbear, And leave our goods and chattels to our care. Alas! our women are but washy toys, And wholly taken up in stage employs : Poor willing tits they are; but yet, I doubt, This double duty soon will wear them out. Then you are watch'd besides with jealous care; What if my lady's page should find you there? My lady knows t' a tittle what there's in ye; No passing your gilt shilling for a guinea.
Thus, gentlemen, we have summ'd up in short Our grievances, from country, town, and court; Which humbly we submit to your good pleasure; But first vote money, then redress at leisure.‡
* A Bear so called, which was a favourite with the courtly audience of the Bear Garden.
+ See Note, p.
This was the course which Charles usually recommended to Parliament, who generally followed that which was precisely opposite.
THE PRINCESS OF CLEVES.
BY MR N. LEE, 1689.
This play is one of the coarsest which ever appeared upon the stage. The author himself seems to be ashamed of it, and gives, for the profligacy of his hero, the Duke of Nemours, the odd reason of a former play on the subject of the Paris massacre having been prohibited, at the request, I believe, of the French ambassador. See Vol. VII. p. 188.
LADIES! (I hope there's none behind to hear)
A rogue in mode,-I dare not speak too broad,-
So we compound for half the sin we owe,
And, when found out, excuse themselves, pox cant them,
With Latin stuff, Perjuria ridet Amantum.
I'm not book-learn'd, to know that word in vogue,
I'm sure, I never heard that screech-owl hollow'd
*Alluding to Shaftesbury and Charles II. in his own admirable satire.
A QUALM of conscience brings me back again,
Lies at our feet:-he's scarce worth taking up.
When men such vile, such faint petitions make,
We shew'd a princess in the play, 'tis true,
You see what fate follow'd the saint-like fool,
* The Princess of Cleves, in the play, confesses to her husband her love for Nemours.