by Richard Lovelace
The stubborne author of the trifle crime,
That just now cheated you of two hours' time,
Presumptuous it lik't him, began to grow
Carelesse, whether it pleased you or no.
But we who ground th' excellence of a play
On what the women at the dores wil say,
Who judge it by the benches, and afford
To take your money, ere his oath or word
His SCHOLLARS school'd, sayd if he had been wise
He should have wove in one two COMEDIES;
The first for th' gallery, in which the throne
To their amazement should descend alone,
The rosin-lightning flash, and monster spire
Squibs, and words hotter then his fire.
Th' other for the gentlemen oth' pit,
Like to themselves, all spirit, fancy, wit,
In which plots should be subtile as a flame,
Disguises would make PROTEUS stil the same:
Humours so rarely humour'd and exprest,
That ev'n they should thinke 'em so, not drest;
Vices acted and applauded too, times
Tickled, and th' actors acted, not their crimes,
So he might equally applause have gain'd
Of th' hardned, sooty, and the snowy hand.
Where now one SO SO spatters, t'other: no!
Tis his first play; twere solecisme 'tshould goe;
The next 't show'd pritily, but searcht within
It appeares bare and bald, as is his chin;
The towne-wit sentences: A SCHOLARS PLAY!
Pish! I know not why, but th'ave not the way.
We, whose gaine is all our pleasure, ev'n these
Are bound by justice and religion to please;
Which he, whose pleasure's all his gaine, goes by
As slightly, as they doe his comaedy.
Culls out the few, the worthy, at whose feet
He sacrifices both himselfe and it,
His fancies first fruits: profit he knowes none,
Unles that of your approbation,
Which if your thoughts at going out will pay,
Hee'l not looke farther for a second day.