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EPILOGUE

ΤΟ

THE SAME.

A QUALM of conscience brings me back again,
To make amends to you bespatter'd men.
We women love like cats, that hide their joys,
By growling, squalling, and a hideous noise.
I rail'd at wild young sparks; but, without lying,
Never was man worse thought on for high-flying.
The prodigal of love gives each her part,
And, squandering, shows at least a noble heart.
I've heard of men, who, in some lewd lampoon,
Have hired a friend to make their valour known.
That accusation straight a question brings,
What is the man that does such naughty things?
The spaniel lover, like a sneaking fop,
Lies at our feet :-he's scarce worth taking up.
'Tis true, such heroes in a play go far;
But chamber-practice is not like the bar.
When men such vile, such faint petitions make,
We fear to give, because they fear to take;
Since modesty's the virtue of our kind,
Pray let it be to our own sex confined.
When men usurp it from the female nation,
'Tis but a work of supererogation.

We shew'd a princess in the play, 'tis true,
Who gave her Cæsar* more than all his due;
Told her own faults; but I should much abhor
To choose a husband for my confessor.

You see what fate follow'd the saint-like fool,
For telling tales from out the nuptial school.
Our play a merry comedy had proved,
Had she confess'd so much to him she loved.
True Presbyterian wives the means would try;
But damn'd confessing is flat Popery.

*The Princess of Cleves, in the play, confesses to her husband her love for Nemours.

PROLOGUE

TO

ARVIRAGUS AND PHILICIA.

BY LODOWICK CARLELL, ESQ.

SPOKEN BY MR HART.

66

Lodowick Carlell, according to Langbaine, was an ancient courtier, being gentleman of the bows to King Charles I., groom of the king and queen's privy chamber, and servant to the queen-mother many years. His plays, the same author adds, were well esteemed of, and acted chiefly at the private house in Blackfriars. They were seven in number. Arviragus and Philicia" consisted of two parts, and was first printed in 8vo, 1639. The prologue, which was spoken upon the revival of the piece, turns upon the caprice of the town, in preferring, to the plays of their own poets, the performances of a troop of French comedians, who, it seems, were then acting both tragedies in their own language.

W

ITH sickly actors, and an old house too, We're match'd with glorious theatres, and new; And with our alehouse scenes, and clothes bare worn, Can neither raise old plays, nor new adorn. If all these ills could not undo us quite, A brisk French troop is grown your dear delight; Who with broad bloody bills call you each day, To laugh and break your buttons at their play;

Or see some serious piece, which, we presume,
Is fall'n from some incomparable plume;
"And therefore, Messieurs, if you'll do us grace,
Send lacquies early to preserve your place."
We dare not on your privilege intrench,

Or ask you, why you like them ?-they are French.
Therefore, some go with courtesy exceeding,
Neither to hear nor see, but shew their breeding;
Each lady striving to outlaugh the rest,
To make it seem they understood the jest.
Their countrymen come in, and nothing pay,
To teach us English where to clap the play.
Civil, egad! our hospitable land

Bears all the charge for them to understand.
Mean time we languish, and neglected lie,
Like wives, while you keep better company;
And wish for your own sakes, without a satire,
You'd less good breeding, or had more good nature,

PROLOGUE

ΤΟ

THE PROPHETESS.

BY

BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER,

REVIVED

BY DRYDEN.

SPOKEN BY MR BETTERTON,

"The Prophetess" of Beaumont and Fletcher, even in its original state, required a good deal of machinery; for it contains stagedirections for thunder-bolts brandished from on high, and for a chariot drawn through mid-air, by flying-dragons; but it was now altered into an opera, with the addition of songs and scenical decorations, by Betterton, in 1690. Our author wrote the following prologue, to introduce it upon the stage in its altered state. The music was by Henry Purcell, and is said to have merited applause. Rich, whose attachment to scenery and decoration is ridiculed by Pope, revived this piece, and piqued himself particularly upon a set of dancing chairs, which he devised for the nonce. The prologue gave offence to the court, and was prohibited by the Earl of Dorset, Lord Chamberlain, after the first day's representation. It contains, Cibber remarks, some familiar metaphorical sneers at the Revolution itself; and, as the poetry is good, the offence was less pardonable. King William was at this time prosecuting his campaigns in Ireland; and the author not only ridicules the warfare in which he was engaged, and the English volunteers who attended him, but even the government of Queen Mary in his absence.

WHAT Nostradame, with all his art, can guess
The fate of our approaching Prophetess?
A play, which, like a perspective set right,
Presents our vast expences close to sight;

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