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your Zeal

And all to preach to German dame,
Where sound of Cupid never came.
Less had you done, had you been sent
As far as Drake or Pinto went,
For cloves or nutmegs to the line a,
Or even for oranges to China.
That had indeed been charity,
Where love-sick ladies helpless lie,
Chapt, and, for want of liquor, dry.
But you have made

Within the circle of the Bear.
What region of the earth's so dull,
That is not of your labours full ?
Triptolemus (so sung the Nine,)

Strew'd plenty from his cart divine ;
But spite of all these fable-makers,
He never sow'd an Almain acres.
No, that was left by fate's decree
To be perform'd and sung by thee.
Thou break’st through forms with as much ease
As the French king through articles.
In grand affairs thy days are spent,
In waging weighty compliment,
With such as monarchs represent.
They whom such vast fatigues attend,
Want some soft minutes to unbend,
To shew the world that, now and then,
Great ministers are mortal men.
Then Rhenish rummers walk the round;
In bumpers every king is crown'd;
Besides three holy mitred Hectors,*
And the whole college of Electors.


* The three ecclesiastical Electors WERE, the Electors of Treves, Cologne, and Mentz. At this time the Diet of the empire was sitting at Ratisbon.

No health of potentate is sunk,
That pays to make his envoy drunk.
These Dutch delights, I mention'd last,
Suit not, I know, your English taste :
For wine to leave a whore or play,
Was ne'er your Excellency's way.t



+ Etherege has been pleased to confirm our author's opinion of the German jollity, and his own inclination to softer pleasures, by the following passage of a letter to the Duke of Buckingham.

“ I find that to this day, they (e. e. the Germans) make good the observation that Tacitus made of their ancestors; I mean, that their affairs (let them be never so serious and pressing) never put a stop to good eating and drinking, and that they debate their weightiest negociations over their cups.

'Tis true, they carry this humour by much too far for one of my complexion ; for which reason I decline appearing among them, but when my master's concerns make it necessary for me to come to their assemblies: They are, indeed, a free-hearted open sort of gentlemen that compose the Diet, without reserve, affectation, and artifice ; but they are such unmerciful plyers of the bottle, so wholly given up to what our sots call good-fellowship, that 'tis as great a constraint upon my nature to sit out a night's entertainment with them, as it would be to hear half a score long-winded Presbyterian divines cant successively one after another.

“ To unbosom myself frankly and freely to your grace, I al. ways looked upon drunkenness to be an unpardonable crime in a young fellow, who, without any of these foreign helps, has fire enough in his veins to enable him to do justice to Cælia whenever she demands a tribute from him. In a middle-aged man, I con

a sider the bottle only as subservient to the nobler pleasures of love; and he that would suffer himself to be so far infatuated by it, as to neglect the pursuit of a more agreeable game, I think deserves no quarter from the ladies : In old age, indeed, when it is convenient


very often to forget and even steal from ourselves, I am of
opinion, that a little drunkenness, discreetly used, may as well
contribute to our health of body as tranquillity of soul.
“ Thus I have given your grace a short- system


morals and belief in these affairs. But the gentlemen of this country go upon a quite different scheme of pleasure ; the best furniture of their parlours, instead of innocent china, are tall overgrown rum




Nor need this title give offence,
For here you were your Excellence;
For gaming, writing, speaking, keeping,
His Excellence for all—but sleeping.
Now if you tope in form, and treat,
'Tis the sour sauce to the sweet meat,
The fine you pay for being great.
Nay, here's a harder imposition,
Which is indeed the court's petition,
That, setting worldly pomp aside,
Which poet has at font denied,
You would be pleased in humble way
To write a trifle calld a Play.
This truly is a degradation,
But would oblige the crown and nation
Next to your wise negociation.
If you pretend, as well you may,
Your high degree, your friends will say,
The Duke St Aignon made a play.
If Gallic wit convince you scarce,
His Grace of Bucks has made a farce,
And you, whose comic wit is terse all,
Can hardly fall below Rehearsal.


mers ; and they take more care to enlarge their cellars, than their

; patrimonial estates. In short, drinking is the hereditary sin of this country ; and that hero of a deputy here, that can demolish, at one sitting, the rest of his brother envoys, is inentioned with as much applause as the Duke of Lorrain for his noble exploits against the Turks, and may claim a statue, erected at the public expence, in any town in Germany.

Judge, then, my lord, whether a person of my sober principles, and one that only uses wine (as the wiser sort of Roman Catholics do images,) to raise up my imagination to something more exalted, and not to terminate my worship upon it, must not be reduced to very mortifying circumstances in this place ; where I cannot pretend to enjoy conversation, without practising that vice that directly ruins it."

Then finish what you have began,
But scribble faster if you can;
For yet no George, to our discerning,
Has writ without a ten years warning. *

* This is the only mention that our author makes of the 6 Rehearsal” in poetry : In prose

he twice notices that satirical farce with some contempt. The length of time which the Duke spent upon it, or at least which elapsed between the first concoction and the representation, is mentioned by Duke in his character of Valerius :

But with play-houses, wars, immortal wars,
He waged, and ten years rage produced a farce.
As many rolling years he did employ,
And hands almost as many, to destroy
Heroic rhyme, as Greece to ruin Troy.
Once more, says fame, for battle he prepares,
And threatens rhymers with a second farce ;
But if as long for this as that we stay,

He'll finish Čliveden sooner than his play. The last line alludes to the magnificent structure at Cliveden, which Buckingham planned, but never completed. Another satirist has the same idea :


I come to his farce, which must needs well be done,
For Troy was no longer before it was won,
Since 'tis more than ten years since this war was begun.







ACTED IN 1692.

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SOUTHERNE,well known to the present age as a tragic writer, for his Isabella has been ranked among the first-rate parts of our inimitable Siddons-was also distinguished by his contemporaries as a successful candidate for the honours of the comic muse. Two of his comedies, “ The Mother in Fashion,” and “ Sir Anthony Love,” had been represented with success, when, in 1692, the “Wives' Excuse, or Cuckolds make themselves," was brought forward. The tone of that piece approaches what we now call genteel comedy : but, whether owing to the fatness into which such plays are apt to slide, for want of the vis comica which enlivens the more animated, though coarser, effusions of the lower comedy, or to some strokes of satire directed against music meetings, and other places of fashionable resort, “The Wives' Excuse" was unfortunate in the representation. The author of the dedication of the printed play,t has hinted at the latter cause as that

+ To the honourable Thomas Wharton, Esq. comptroller of his majesty's household.

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