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Soft B-s and rough C-s, adieu !

Earl Warwick, make your moan; The lively Hk and you

May knock up whores alone.

To drink and droll be Rowe allow'd

Till the third watchman's toll; Let Jervas gratis paint, and Frowde?

Save threepence and his soul.

Farewell Arbuthnot's raillery
On
every

learned sot; And Garth, the best good Christian he,

Although he knows it not.

Lintot, farewell! thy bard must go;

Farewell, unhappy Tonson ! Heaven gives thee for thy loss of Rowe 8

Lean Philips and fat Johnson.

Why should I stay? Both parties rage;

My vixen mistress squalls; The wits in envious feuds engage;

And Homer (damn him !) calls.

i Craggs.

2 Philip Frowde, author of the tragedies of the Fall of Saguntum, and Philotas.

8 When George I. made Rowe one of the land surveyors of the port of London.

4 Ambrose Philips, and Charles Johnson the dramatist.

The love of arts lies cold and dead

In Halifax's urn;
And not one muse of all he fed

Has yet the grace to mourn.

My friends, by turns, my friends confound,

Betray, and are betray'd :
Poor Y—r's sold for fifty pounds,

And B-116 is a jade.

Why make I friendships with the great,

When I no favour seek?
Or follow girls seven hours in eight?-

I need but once a week.

Still idle, with a busy air,

Deep whimseys to contrive; The gayest valetudinaire,

Most thinking rake alive.

Solicitous for others' ends,

Though fond of dear repose; Careless or drowsy with my friends,

And frolic with my foes.

Luxurious lobster-nights, farewell

For sober, studious days! And Burlington's delicious meal,

For salads, tarts, and pease!

6 Eustace Budgell.

Adieu to all but Gay alone,

Whose soul, sincere and free,
Loves all mankind, but flatters none,

And so may starve with me.

PROLOGUE, DESIGNED FOR MR. D’URFEY'S

LAST PLAY.

GROWN old in rhyme, 'twere barbarous to discard
Your persevering, unexhausted bard;
Damnation follows death in other men,
But

your damn’d poet lives and writes again.
The adventurous lover is successful still,
Who strives to please the fair against her will.
Be kind, and make him in his wishes easy,
Who in your own despite has strove to please ye.
He scorn’d to borrow from the wits of yore,
But ever writ, as none e'er writ before.
You modern wits, should each man bring his claim,
Have desperate debentures on your fame;
And little would be left you, I'm afraid,
If all your debts to Greece and Rome were paid.
From this deep fund our author largely draws,
Nor sinks his credit lower than it was.
Though plays for honour in old time he made,
'Tis now for better reasons—to be paid.
Believe him, he has known the world too long,
And seen the death of much immortal song.

He says, poor poets lost, while players won,
As pimps grow rich while gallants are undone.
Though Tom the poet writ with ease and pleasure,
The comic Tom abounds in other treasure.
Fame is at best an unperforming cheat ;
But 'tis substantial happiness to eat.
Let ease, his last request, be of your giving,
Nor force him to be damn'd to get his living.

PROLOGUE TO THE “THREE HOURS AFTER

MARRIAGE.” 1

AUTHORS are judg'd by strange capricious rules : The great ones are thought mad, the small ones

fools : Yet sure the best are most severely fated ; For fools are only laugh'd at, wits are hated. Blockheads with reason men of sense abhor; But fool 'gainst fool, is barbarous civil war. Why on all others then should critics fall ? Since some have writ, and shown no wit at all. Condemn a play of theirs, and they evade it ; Cry, “ Damn not us, but damn the French, who

made it.” By running goods these graceless owlers gain ; Theirs are the rules of France, the plots of Spain. But wit, like wine, from happier climates brought, Dash'd by these rogues, turns English common

1 See Memoir prefixed to these volumes, p. lxi.

draught. They pall Moliere's and Lopez' sprightly strain, And teach dull harlequins to grin in vain.

How shall our author hope a gentler fate, Who dares most impudently not translate ? It had been civil, in these ticklish times, To fetch his fools and knaves from foreign climes. Spaniards and French abuse to the world's end, But spare old England, lest you hurt a friend. If

any fool is by our satire bit, Let him hiss loud, to show you all he's hit. Poets make characters, as salesmen clothes ; We take no measure of your fops and beaux; But here all sizes and all shapes you meet, And fit yourselves like chaps in Monmouth Street.

Gallants, look here ! this fool's cap2 has an air,
Goodly and smart, with ears of Issachar.
Let no one fool engross it, or confine
A common blessing! now ’tis yours, now mine.
But poets in all ages

had the care
To keep this cap for such as will, to wear.
Our author has it now (for every wit
Of course resign'd it to the next that writ)
And thus upon the stage 'tis fairly thrown;'
Let him that takes it wear it as his own.

8

2 Shows a cap with ears. 8 Flings down the cap, and exito

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