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he alludes in the dedication of the play. His readiness, in the Prologue, to disavow any satire, nay, perhaps, with some, strengthen the suspicion that it was intended; but to whom it was appropriated, it is impossible now to tell with certainty. This comedy was revived at Drury-lane, in 1749; but rejected on account of it's indecency. No modern audience, indeed, would endure the scene in the fourth act, where the grossest and most immoral conduct is supposed to take place, almost under the eyes of the spectators.

It was performed, and printed in 4to. 1678.

TO

THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

CHARLES,
EARL OF DORSET AND MIDDLESEX,

GENTLEMAN OF HIS MAJESTY'S BED-CHAMBER.

MY LORD,

Your lordship has so often and so highly obliged me, that I cannot but condemn myself for giving you a trouble so impertinent as this is: considering how remiss I have been in my respects to your lordship, in that I have not waited on you so frequently as the duty I owe your lordship, and my own inclinations required; but the circumstances of my condition, whose daily business must be daily bread, have not, nor will allow me that happiness. Be pleased then, my lord, to accept this humble dedication as an instance of his gratitude, who in a high measure owes his well-being to you. I cannot doubt but your lordship will protect it, for nothing ever flew to you for succour unsuccessfully: I am sure I have reason to acknowledge it. As for the unlucky censures some have past on me for this play, I hope your lordship will believe I hardly deserve them. For to my best remembrance, when I first was accused of the thing by some people of the world, who had perhaps as little reason to think I could be guilty of it, as to believe themselves deserved it, I made it my business to clear myself to your lordship, whose good opinion is dearer to me than any thing which my worst enemies can wrong me of else: I hope I convinced

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your lordship of my innocence in the inatter, which I would not have endeavoured, had it not been just. For I thank my stars I know myself better than (for all the threats some have been pleased to bestow upon me) to tell a lie to save my throat. Forgive me, my lord, this trouble, continue me in your lordship’s favour and good opinion, and accept of the prayers and wellwishes of

Your inost humble, and

Most obliged Servant,

THO, OTWAY.

PROLOGUE.

}

How hard a task hath that poor drudge of stage,
That strives to please in this fantastic age.
It is a thing so difficult to hit,
That he's a fool that thinks to do't by wit;
Therefore our author bid me plainly say,
You must not look for any in his play.
I'th' next place, ladies, there's no bawdy in't,
No, not so much as one well-meaning hint;
Nay more, 'twas written every word, he says,
On strictest vigils, and on fasting days,
When he his filesh to penance did enjoin,
Nay, took such care to work it chaste and fine,
He disciplin’d himself at ev'ry line.
Then, gentlemen, no libel he intends,
Tho' some lave strove to wrong him with his friends;
And poets have so very few of those,
They'd need take care whose favour 'tis they lose.
Who'd be a poet? Parents all beware,
Cherish and educate your sons with care:
Breed 'em to wholesome law, or give 'em trades;
Let 'em not follow th' Muses, they are jades.
How many very hopeful rising Cits
Have we of late known spoild by turning wits!
Poets by critics are worse treated here
Than on the Bankside butchers do a bear.
Faith, sirs, be kind, since now his time is come,
When he must stand or fall as you shall doom:
Give him bear-garden law, that's fair play fort,
And he's content for once, to make you sport.

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DRAMATIS PERSONÆ,

GOODVILE.
TRUMAN.
VALENTINE, in love with Camilla.
Sir Noble CLUMSEY, a Country Knight, aiming at politeness,
MALAGENE.
CAPEP,
SAUNTER,

} two affected Coxcombs.
PAGE.
Boy.

Mrs. GOODVILE.
VICTORIA,
CAMILLA.
Lady SQUEAMISH.
LETTICE, Servant to Mrs. Goodvile.
Bridget, Servant to Lady Squeamish.

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