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And Jonson, of those few the best, chose this,
As the best model of his master-piece :

Subtle was got by our Albumazar,

That Alchymist by this Astrologer;

Here he was fashioned, and we may suppose,
He liked the fashion well, who wore the clothes.
But Ben made nobly his what he did mould;
What was another's lead, becomes his gold:
Like an unrighteous conqueror he reigns,
Yet rules that well, which he unjustly gains.
But this our age such authors does afford,
As make whole plays, and yet scarce write one word;
Who, in this anarchy of wit, rob all,


And what's their plunder, their possession call;
Who, like bold padders, scorn by night to prey,
But rob by sun-shine, in the face of day:
Nay, scarce the common ceremony use
Of," Stand, Sir, and deliver up your Muse;"
But knock the poet down, and, with a grace,
Mount Pegasus before the owner's face.
Faith, if you have such country Toms abroad,*
"Tis time for all true men to leave that road.
Yet it were modest, could it but be said,
They strip the living, but these rob the dead;
Dare with the mummies of the Muses play,
And make love to them the Egyptian way;
Or, as a rhiming author would have said,
Join the dead living to the living dead.
Such men in poetry may claim some part,
They have the license, though they want the art;
And might, where theft was praised, for laureats
stand, †

Poets, not of the head, but of the hand.

* This seems to have been a cant name for highwaymen. Shadwell's christian name was Thomas.

+ Shadwell succeeded to our author's post of laureat, after the VOL. X.

2 D

They make the benefits of others studying,
Much like the meals of politic Jack-Pudding,
Whose dish to challenge no man has the courage;
"Tis all his own, when once he has spit i'the porridge.
But, gentlemen, you're all concerned in this;
You are in fault for what they do amiss;

Revolution. I am not able to discover, if Shadwell had given any very recent cause for this charge of plagiarism. In the "Libertine," "The Miser," " Bury-fair," and "The Sullen Lovers," he has borrowed, or rather translated, from Moliere. The "Squire of Alsatia" contains some imitations of Terence's "Adelphi." "Psyche" is taken from the French, and "Timon of Athens" from Shakespeare, although Shadwell has the assurance to claim the merit of having made it into a play. He was also under obligations to his contemporaries. The "Royal Shepherdess" was originally written by one Mr Fountain of Devonshire. Dryden, in "Mac-Flecnoe," intimates, that Sedley "larded with wit" his play of "Epsom Wells ;" and in the Dedication to the "True Widow," Shadwell himself acknowledges obligations to that gentleman's revision of some of his pieces. Langbaine, who hated Dryden, and professed an esteem for Shadwell, expresses himself thus, on the latter's claim to originality:

"But I am willing to say the less of Mr Shadwell, because I have publicly professed a friendship for him; and though it be not of so long date as some former intimacy with others, so neither is it blemished with some unhandsome dealings I have met with from persons where I least expected it. I shall therefore speak of him with the impartiality that becomes a critic, and own I like his comedies better than Mr Dryden's, as having more variety of characters, and those drawn from the life; I mean men's converse and manners, and not from other men's ideas, copied out of their public writings: though indeed I cannot wholly acquit our present laureat from borrowing; his plagiaries being in some places too bold and open to be disguised, of which I shall take notice, as I go along; though with this remark, that several of them are observed to my hand, and in great measure excused by himself, in the public acknowledgment he makes in his several prefaces, to the persons to whom he was obliged for what he bor rowed."

For they their thefts still undiscovered think,
And durst not steal, unless you please to wink.
Perhaps, you may award by your decree,
They should refund,-but that can never be;
For, should you letters of reprisal seal,

These men write that which no man else would steal.

Shadwell in the following lines, which occur in the prologue to the "Scowerers," seems to retort on Dryden the accusation here brought against him:

You have been kind to many of his plays,
And should not leave him in his latter days.
Though loyal writers of the last two reigns,
Who tired their pens for Popery and chains,
Grumble at the reward of all his pains;
They would, like some, the benefit enjoy
Of what they vilely laboured to destroy.
They cry him down as for his place unfit,
Since they have all the humour and the wit;
They must write better e'er he fears them yet.
'Till they have shewn you more variety
Of natural, unstolen comedy than he,
By you at least he should protected be.
'Till then, may he that mark of bounty have,
Which his renowned and royal master gave,
Who loves a subject, and contemns a slave;
Whom heaven, in spite of hellish plots, designed
To humble tyrants, and exalt mankind.



You saw our wife was chaste, yet throughly tried,
And, without doubt, you are hugely edified;
For, like our hero, whom we showed to-day,
You think no woman true, but in a play.
Love once did make a pretty kind of show;
Esteem and kindness in one breast would grow;
But 'twas heaven knows how many years ago.
Now some small chat, and guinea expectation,
Gets all the pretty creatures in the nation.
In comedy your little selves you meet;
"Tis Covent Garden drawn in Bridges-street.
Smile on our author then, if he has shown
A jolly nut-brown bastard of your own.
Ah! happy you, with ease and with delight,
Who act those follies, poets toil to write!
The sweating Muse does almost leave the chace;
She puffs, and hardly keeps your Protean vices pace.
Pinch you but in one vice, away you fly

To some new frisk of contrariety.

You roll like snow-balls, gathering as you run,
And get seven devils, when dispossessed of one.

Your Venus once was a Platonic queen,
Nothing of love beside the face was seen;
But every inch of her you now uncase,
And clap a vizard-mask upon the face;
For sins like these, the zealous of the land,
With little hair, and little or no band,
Declare how circulating pestilences
Watch, every twenty years, to snap offences.
Saturn, e'en now, takes doctoral degrees ;*
He'll do your work this summer without fees.


* Perhaps our author had in view the three oppositions of Saturn and Jupiter in June and December 1692, and in April 1693, which are thus feelingly descanted upon by John Silvester: It hath been long observed, that the most remarkable mutations of a kingdom, or nation, have chiefly depended on the conjunctions or aspects of those two superior planets, Saturn and Jupiter; and by their effects past, we perceive that the most wise Creator first placed them higher than all the other planets, that they should respect, chiefly, the highest and most durable affairs and concerns of men on earth.

"And if one opposition of Saturn and Jupiter produceth much, how then can those three oppositions to come do any less than cause some remarkable changes and alterations of laws, or religious orders, in England's chief and most renowned city? because Saturn then will be stronger than Jupiter, who also, at his second opposition, will be near unto the body of Mars, (the planet of war;) and having took possession of religious Jupiter, should contend with him, (with a frowning lofty countenance,) in London's ascendant, from whence I fear some religious disturbances, if not some warlike violence, by insurrections, or otherwise, occasioned by some frowning dissatisfied minds, which will then happen in some part of Britain, or take its beginning there to the purpose in those years.

"Ah poor Jupiter in Gemini! (London,) I fear thou wilt then be so much humbled against thy will, that thou wilt think thou hast a sufficient occasion to bewail thy condition; and if so, God will suffer this, that thou mayest humbly endeavour to forsake thy accustomed sins, and that thou mayest know power is not in thee to help thyself. But yet I think thou wilt then have no need to fear that God hath wholly forsaken thee; for look but a little

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