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Prologue and Epilogue,
TO THE LAST NEW PLAY;
Conſtantine the Great.
PROLOGUE, Spoken by Mr. Goodman:
WHat think ye meant Wiſe Providence, when firſt
POETS were made? We tell you if I durſt
That 'twas in Contradiction to Heaven's Word,
That when its Spirit o're the Waters ſtir'd
When it ſaw All, and ſaid that All was good,
The Creature P O E T was not underſtood.
For were it worth the pains of Six long Days,
To Mould Retailers' of dull Third-Day-Plays,
That ſtarve out Three-ſcore Years in Hopes of Bays
'Tis plain they ne're were of the Firſt Creation,
But came by meer Equiv'cal Generation.
Like Rats in Ships, without Coition bred;
As hated too, as they are, and unfed.
Nature their Species ſure muſt need diſown,
Scarce knowing POETS, leſs by POETS know.
Yet this poor Thing ſo ſcorn'd, and ſet at nought.
Ye all pretend to, and would fain be though.
Diſabl'd waſting Whore-Maſters, are not
Prouder to own the Brats they never got;
Then Fumbling Itching Rhimers of the Town,
T' Adopt ſome baſe Born Song that's not their won.
Spite of his State, my Lord ſometimes Deſcends,
To pleaſe the Importunity of Friends.
The dulleſt He thought moſt for buſineſs fit,
'Twill Venture his bought Place, to' Aim at Wit.
And though He finks with His Imploys of State,
Till Common Senſe forſake Him, Hel Tranſlate.
The POET and the WHORE, alike Complains
Of Trading Quality, that ſpoils their Gains;
The Lords will Write, and Ladies will have Swains.
Therefore all you, who have Male Iſſe born,
Under the Starving Sign of CAPRICORN;
Prevent the Malice of their Stars in Time,
And warn them Early from the Sin of Rhime.
Tell 'em how Spencer ſtarv'd, how Cowley mourn'd,
How Butler's Faith and Service was. return'd;
And if ſuch Warning they refuſe to take,
This laſt Experiment, O Parents make!
With Hands behind them ſee the Offender ty'd,
The Pariſh Whip, and Beadle by his Side.
Then lead him to ſome Stall that does Expoſe
The Authors he loves moſt, there rub his Noſe,
Till like a Spannel laſht, to know Command,
He by the due Correction underſtand,
To keep his Brains clean, and not foul the Land.
Till he againſt his Nature learn to ſtrive,
And get the Knack of Dulneſi how to Thrive.
A E P I L O G U E
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