Infomotions, Inc.Preface to the Campaigners (1689) and Preface to the Translation of Bossuet's Maxims and Reflections on Plays (1699) / D'Urfey, Thomas, 1653-1723



Author: D'Urfey, Thomas, 1653-1723
Title: Preface to the Campaigners (1689) and Preface to the Translation of Bossuet's Maxims and Reflections on Plays (1699)
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): collier; absolver; don quixot; stage
Contributor(s): Krutch, Joseph Wood [Commentator]
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Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 22,777 words (really short) Grade range: 14-17 (college) Readability score: 49 (average)
Identifier: etext16335
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Title: Essays on the Stage
       Preface to the Campaigners (1689) and Preface to the
       Translation of Bossuet's Maxims and Reflections on Plays
       (1699)

Author: Thomas D'Urfey and Bossuet

Commentator: Joseph Wood Krutch

Release Date: July 20, 2005 [EBook #16335]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ESSAYS ON THE STAGE ***




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Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net






                     Series Three:
                 _Essays on the Stage_

                         No. 4


  Thomas D'Urfey, Preface to _The Campaigners_ (1698)

                          and

  Anonymous, Preface to the Translation of Bossuet's
      _Maxims and Reflections upon Plays_ (1699)


                With an Introduction by
                   Joseph Wood Krutch




The Augustan Reprint Society
March, 1948
Price: $1.00


           *       *       *       *       *

GENERAL EDITORS

RICHARD C. BOYS, University of Michigan
EDWARD NILES HOOKER, University of California, Los Angeles
H.T. SWEDENBERG, JR., University of California, Los Angeles


ASSISTANT EDITOR

W. EARL BRITTON, University of Michigan


ADVISORY EDITORS

EMMETT L. AVERY, State College of Washington
BENJAMIN BOYCE, University of Nebraska
LOUIS I. BREDVOLD, University of Michigan
CLEANTH BROOKS, Yale University
JAMES L. CLIFFORD, Columbia University
ARTHUR FRIEDMAN, University of Chicago
SAMUEL H. MONK, University of Minnesota
ERNEST MOSSNER, University of Texas
JAMES SUTHERLAND, Queen Mary College, London




   Lithoprinted from copy supplied by author
                      by
             Edwards Brothers, Inc.
           Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A.
                     1948

       *       *       *       *       *


Introduction

The three parts of D'Urfey's "The Comical History of Don Quixote" were
performed between 1694 and (probably) the end of 1696. Some of the
songs included were conspicuously "smutty"--to use a word which D'Urfey
ridiculed--but the fact that the plays were fresh in the public mind
was probably the most effective reason for Jeremy Collier's decision
to include the not very highly respected author among the still living
playwrights to be singled out for attack in "A Short View of the
Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage", which appeared at
Easter time 1698. In July of the same year D'Urfey replied with the
preface to his "smutty" play "The Campaigners". It is this preface
which is given as the first item of the present reprint.

Pope's contemptuous prologue, written many years later and apparently
for a benefit performance of one of D'Urfey's plays, is sufficient
evidence that the playwright was not highly regarded; but he was reputed
to be a good natured man and, by the standards of the time, his twitting
of Collier--whom he accused of having a better nose for smut than a
clergyman should have--is not conspicuously vituperative. Even his
attack on the political character of the notorious Non-Juror is bitter
without being really scurrilous. But like his betters Congreve and
Vanbrugh, D'Urfey both missed the opportunity to grapple with the real
issues of the controversy and misjudged the temper of the public. Had
that public been, as all the playwrights seem to have assumed, ready to
side with them against Collier, there might have been some justification
in resting content as he and Congreve did with the scoring of a few
debater's points. But the public, even "the town", was less interested
in mere sally and rejoinder than it was in the serious question of the
relation of comedy to morality, and hence Collier was allowed to win the
victory almost by default.

Collier's own argument was either confused or deliberately disingenuous,
since he shifts his ground several times. On occasion he argues merely
in the role of a moderate man who is shocked by the extravagances of the
playwrights, and on other occasions as an ascetic to whom all worldly
diversion, however innocent of any obvious offence, is wicked. At one
time, moreover, he accuses the playwrights of recommending the vices
which they should satirize and at other times denies that even the most
sincere satiric intention can justify the lively representation of
wickedness. But none of his opponents actually seized the opportunity
to completely clarify the issues. Vanbrugh, it is true, makes some real
points in his "A Short Vindication of The Relapse and The Provok'd
Wife", and John Dennis, in his heavy handed way, showed some realization
of what the issues were both in "The Usefulness of the Stage to the
Happiness of Mankind, to Government and to Religion" (1698) and, much
later, In "The Stage Defended" (1726). But, Vanbrugh is casual, Dennis
is slow witted, and it is only by comparison with the triviality of
D'Urfey or the contemptuous disingenuity of Congreve's "Amendments of
Mr. Collier's False and Imperfect Citations" (1698) that they seem
effective.

At least forty books and pamphlets published between 1698 and 1725 are
definitely part of the Collier controversy, but the fact that none of
them really discusses adequately fundamental premises concerning the
nature, method, and function of comedy had serious consequences for the
English stage. The situation was further complicated by the rise of
sentimental comedy and the fact that the theories supposed to justify
it were expounded with all the completeness and clarity which were so
conspicuously lacking in the case of those who undertook halfheartedly
to defend what we call "high" or "pure", as opposed to both sentimental
and satiric comedy. Steele's epilogue to "The Lying Lover", which
versified Hobbes' comments on laughter and then rejected laughter itself
as unworthy of a refined human being, is a triumphant epitaph inscribed
over the grave of the comic spirit.

The second item included in the present reprint, namely the anonymous
preface to a translation of Bossuet's "Maxims and Reflections Upon
Plays", belongs to a different phase of the Collier controversy. It
serves as an illustration of the fact that Collier was soon joined by
men who were, somewhat more frankly than he had himself admitted he was,
open enemies of the stage as such. He had begun with arguments supported
by citations from literary critics and he called in the support of
ascetic religious writers after his discourse was well under way. But
the direct approach by way of religion was soon taken up by others,
of whom Arthur Bedford was probably the most redoubtable as he was
certainly the most long winded, since his "Evil and Danger of Stage
Plays" (1706) crowds into its two hundred and twenty-seven pages some
two thousand instances of alleged profaneness and immorality with
specific references to the texts of scripture which condemn each one.
But Bedford had not been the first to treat the issue as one to be
decoded by theologians rather than playwrights or critics. Somewhat
unwisely, perhaps, Motteux had printed before his comedy "Beauty in
Distress" a discourse "Of the Lawfulness and Unlawfulness of Plays"
(1698), written by the Italian monk Father Caffaro, who was professor of
divinity at the Sorbonne. Unfortunately Caffaro had, some years before
this English translation appeared, already retracted his mild opinion
that stage plays were not, _per se_, unlawful, and it was possible not
only to cite his retraction but also to offer the opinions of the Bishop
of Meux, who was better known to English readers than Father Caffaro.
The anonymous author of the preface to "Maxims and Reflections"
grants that dramatic poetry might, under certain circumstances, be
theoretically permissible, but rather more frankly than Collier he makes
it clear that his real intention is to urge the outlawing of the theater
itself, since all efforts to reform it are foredoomed to failure. "But
if", he writes, "the Reformation of the Stage be no longer practicable,
reason good that the incurable Evil should be cut off". That lets the
cat out of the bag.

Both pieces reprinted here are from copies owned by the University of
Michigan.

    Joseph Wood Krutch
    Columbia University

       *       *       *       *       *


                The Campaigners:
                    or, the
       _Pleasant Adventures at_ Brussels.

                       A
                    COMEDY

     As it is Acted at the _Theatre-Royal_.


                    with a
                Familiar Preface
                     upon
       _A Late Reformer of the STAGE._

         Ending with a Satyrical Fable
                      of
             the DOG and the OTTOR.


            Written by Mr. _D'urfey_.

                    LONDON,


Printed for _A. Baldwin_, near the _Oxford Arms_ Inn
          in _Warwick lane_. MDCXCVIII.




PREFACE.


I Must necessarily inform the Partial, as well as Impartial Reader,
that I had once design'd another kind of Preface to my Comedy than what
will appear in the following sheets; but having in the interim been
entertain'd with a Book lately Printed, full of Abuses on all our
Antient as well as Modern Poets, call'd _A view of the Immorality and
Prophaness of the English Stage_; and finding the Author, who, no doubt,
extreamly values himself upon his Talent of _Stage-reforming_, not
only (to use his own Ironical words) _particular in his Genius and
Civilities_, but indecently, unmanner'd, and scurrilous in his unjust
Remarks on me, and two of my Plays, _viz._ the first and second parts
of the _Comical History of_ Don Quixote. [Footnote: Collier, p. 196.]
I thought I cou'd not do better, first as a Diversion to the Town, and
next to do a little Iustice to my self, than (instead of the other) to
print a short Answer to this very Severe and Critical Gentleman; and at
the same time give him occasion to descant upon the following Comick
Papers, and my self the opportunity of vindicating the other; with some
familiar Returns (_en Raillere_) upon his own Extraordinary _Integrity_,
and Justness of the _Censure_.

But first, lest I should plunge my self out of my depth, or like an
unskilful Swimmer, endanger my self by a too precipitate Rashness, let
me warily consider the Office and Habit of this unchristianlike Critick
before I Attack him: He has, or had the honour to wear the Robe of a
Clergyman of the Church of _England_: A Church, which for its Purity,
Principles, and most Incomparable Doctrines, surpasses without objection
all others in the world, which with a number of its pious, virtuous and
learned Rulers and Ministers, I admire and acknowledge with all the
faculties of my soul, heart and understanding; and on which I never
seriously reflect, but I feel a secret shame for my remissness of duty,
and my neglect, in not living hitherto up to its Admirable Principles.
This reflection would indeed have been enough to awe any one in my
circumstances from proceeding to answer his bold Censures, had I not
Courage to consider that the rest of the worthy Gentlemen of that Robe
are so good, that they will not excuse or defend our aforesaid Critick's
Injustice or Mistakes in some places, tho they are pleas'd with his
Truths in others; or be angry at me for endeavouring to gain their good
opinion, by defending my self from most of his black Aspersions (how
fair soever as yet they seem) and by unfolding him be judg'd by their
impartial reason, start a question, whither he, tho a happy member of
the aforesaid Adorable Church, does not come in for his share of
_Immorality_, and other frailties; and consequently is not as fit to be
detected, by the Wit of a Satyrical Poet; as the Poet by the positive
Authority of an Angry Malecontent, tho in the garb of an humble
Churchman.

The _Vates_, or Poets in antient times were held in special veneration,
even their Kings, and other chief Rulers, often submitted to the virtue
of their Inspiration: Amongst which, the never enough admir'd Mr
_Cowley_, in his noble version of the _Davideidos_, gives the _Royal
David_ this Title, _Rex olim & Vates duo Maxima munera Coeli_; and
numbers of others might be inserted to prove Poetical Authority, and
the respect it bore in past Ages; which, tho I have not capacity to
parallel, I hope I may be allow'd to imitate on another subject; and in
this have leave to acquit my self of several heinous Accusations, which
this Tyrannical Critick has Impos'd upon me.

I am not at all Ignorant of his eminent parts, Learning, and other
qualifications; nor am I insensible, as well as the rest of his Readers,
that his Book has a very fair and engaging Title-page, and is no less
Illustrated with many weighty and just censures upon the _Immorality of
the Stage_, and our licentious Writings for many years past; and tho
this has been proved by the late Ingenious Author of _the Vindication of
the Stage_ to be occasion'd by the vices of the Times, and not those of
the Poets; yet thus for we can endure the Scourge, and kiss his Rod with
patience enough: And for my own part, I declare if I had found his
Severity had been moral, and had ended in the good design of cleansing
the Stage from its Impurities, and had been only a kind Instruction to
my Brethren and my self, to reform our Immoral errors, I had, as the
rest of us, with all humility imaginable, thank'd him for his wit and
good reproof; and had been so far from answering in this manner, that I
should have been proud to have my name before his Book, with a Copy of
Verses in applause of his Admirable Design. But when, instead of this,
I find he strikes at the root of our Dramatick Labours, and the Town's
diversion, for some sly and selfish ends; and instead of reproving us
with a Pastorly Mildness, Charity and Good Nature, gives us the basest
language, and with the most scurillous expression, sometimes raging and
even foaming at mouth, taxing the little liberty has always been us'd,
with horrid horrid Blasphemy, Prophaneness, and Damnable Impiety; when
Reason must inform every one we intend nothing of the matter, besides
the poor priviledge _Poetica Licentia_: and pretending to prove this
with false Quotations, unnatural Mistakes, and Hypocritical Hypotheses,
I resolv'd to controvert him, and endeavour to prove that 'tis meerly
his malice that has abus'd me and the rest, without Reason or
Provocation; and that his own Wit and Morals are not so Infallible,
but they lye also open to the censure of any Poetical Critick, who
has Courage and Sense enough to attack 'em.

I once more therefore address my self to the Reverend of the Gown, from
highest to the lowest, and humbly desire that they will not appear
Interested against me, because I defend myself against one that has
abus'd me, and has the honour to wear one, (to what purpose the Judgment
and Clemency of our Government knows best) I assure 'em my design is
only to turn, like the Worm that is trod upon, complain being hurt,
vindicate my self from abusive malice, and at the same time am heartily
sorry that ever I had the occasion.

'Tis a pleasure to me however to know that I have for many years, as
well as now, the honour of the Conversation of several eminent men of
the Church; and I dare say, upon occasion, I could easily gain their
good words to prove my good behaviour. I do declare I never abus'd the
sacred order in my life, but have always had, and still have, all the
veneration for 'em that's possible; nor have any of my printed Writings
contradicted this, unless when spoken in the person of Atheists,
Libertines, and Ignorants, where 'tis natural in Comedy; nay, in my Book
of Poems you will find a _Satyr against Atheists_, and in another Book,
call'd _Colin's walk thro' London and Westminster_, a Moral through the
whole, and design'd in the honour of the Church of _England_, to shew
the stubbornness of _Romanists_, Grumblers, and other dissenting Sects;
but this my partial Antagonist never read, nor heard of; nay, tho by his
Book we may suppose he has read a thousand, yet amongst twenty of my
Comedies Acted and Printed, he never heard of the _Royalist_, the
_Boarding School_, the _Marriage Hater Match'd_, the _Richmond Heiress_,
the _Virtuous Wife_, and others, all whose whole Plots and designs I
dare affirm, tend to that principal instance, which he proposes, and
which we allow, _viz._ the depression of Vice and encouragement of
Virtue. Not he, he has not had leisure since his last _holding forth in
the late Reign_, to do me this Justice, 'tis enough for him that he has
encounter'd _Don Quixot_. [Footnote: Collier, p.] And truly, I must own,
was a most proper Combatant for him; for if he had not been mad with the
Wind-mill that was in his pate, or had ever perus'd that _Giant_ of an
Author, upon whom I am the _Pigmy_, as he wittily observes, he would
have found the Bockheaded Chaplain had been greazing his old Gassock
there long before I new rigg'd him: But that's all one, I, poor I, must
be denounc'd as Criminal; I brought him upon the Stage, I wash'd his
Face, put on a new Crape Vest, and a clean Band, which, oh, fatal
accident, made him look so like somebody, that I, in his opinion, and
condemn'd by his infallibility, have been no body ever since, _vox &
praeterea nihil_. Well, however this is determin'd, let me beg of my
impartial Readers, to give me leave to try what I can be, I have had
good fortune I am told by others in Lyrical Verse, which I am sure is
one principal part of Poetry, I'll see now if I can match my Antagonist
in Rallying Prose. Several ingenious Authors have already, I think, so
well confuted his Assertions against the Stage, by proofs from the
Antient Poets, the Primitive Fathers, and their Authorities, that they
have far excell'd what I can pretend to do there; only, I could have
wish'd one who is best able, and whose admirable Genius and Skill in
Poetry would have been remarkably serviceable, had drawn his Pen to
defend the Rights of the Stage, tho he had own'd the loosenesses of it,
and had ventured the being presented for it; but since we, the forlorn,
are not so happy to have that Aid, let my Antagonist, the Reformer, who,
for all the gravity in some part of his Book, and the solid Piety he
would insinuate in his Arguments, I perceive to be a Joker, and as full
of Puns, Conundrums, Quibbles, Longinquipetites, and Tipiti-witchets, as
the rest of us mortals, be pleas'd to take the length of my Weapon at
that sport, for now I cannot help telling my Audience, which is the
Town, that he has laid his reforming Cudgel upon me so severely, and it
smarts so damnably, that I can't forbear smiting again if I were to be
hang'd, desiring only, as the usual method is, a clear Stage, and from
him no favour.

To begin then, I shall illustrate my first Scene with a comical hint
upon some part of his Character; and that the Jest may be worthy of
making you laugh, you are to know, that the first view I ever had of
this extraordinary Person, was neither better nor worse than under the
_Gallows_. Well, but think you, I warrant, 'twas about some Charitable
Duty that his sacred Function and Piety oblig'd him to, such as
Exhorting the poor Souls to confess their Crimes, in order to be sav'd,
or the like; no, faith, but quite contrary, for he was rather hardning
them, and infusing a strong Portion of his own obstinacy, to fortifie
'em for their dubious Journey; and in few minutes after, possess'd with
a stronger Spirit of Priesthood than e'er, for some past Ages there has
been Example for, pronounc'd the _Absolution_, the extremest and most
mysterious Grace the Church can possibly give to the most repentant
Sinner, to wretches Justly condemn'd by Law to die, for the most
horrible Crimes in nature, _viz._ the intended Murder of the King,
and Subversion of the Protestant Religion and Government. Now that
such a Person should set up for a Protestant Example, and a Teacher
of Morality, is somewhat new, for upon my veracity, this Gentleman may
insinuate as he pleases, that our Church, and its Doctrines govern his
heart; but as to that matter what may be in his heart I can't tell, but
if a Pope is not crept into his belly, very near it, I am very much
mistaken.

_Pliny_ indeed, in his Natural History, _Lib._ 28, _Cap._ 10. tells ye,
He that is bitten by a Scorpion may have relief, if immediately he go
and whisper his grief into the Ear of an Ass. This Historian, perhaps,
had so great credit with these Malefactors that they thought the remedy,
by Auricular Confession, might serve too in their Concerns. But we are
confirm'd, they were enough mistaken in the rest of their Opinions, and
so 'tis very likely were in this. If this Parallel be found a little
gross, I hope the Reader will excuse it, when he examines the bold
Critick's Stile relating to the Poets. Besides, how wise soever he may
be in other things, I'm sure all those that are so, and true Sons of
the Church, when they reflect on that Action of his, will own that he
deserves that, or a worse Title. And so to proceed.

But before we inspect further, or touch upon the Moralist's Immorality,
for I dare ingage it is not altogether impossible to prove, the
_Pulpiteer_ may be tainted a little as well as the _Poetaster_, let us
see whether we can find him guilty of the first Charge against us, which
is _Immodesty_; and upon this subject indeed, if our Learn'd Reformer
did not impose upon us with a Fallacy, I should (to shew my good Nature
walk hand in hand with my resentment) once more admire him for his
Character of Modesty in the 11th page of his Book, which is, to do him
Justice, very fine; but then he only tells us of one kind of Modesty,
when he knows there are two, and therein he is Falacious, in not
exposing the other, which is decency of Speech and Behaviour; and truly,
meerly, I believe, through a conscious reflection of his own frequent
miscarriages in that case. If therefore, these Papers differ a little
from that Civility which is proper, I beg the Readers pardon, and assure
him 'tis only in imitation of his Stile to me, as all those that read
his Book may find.

For, in the first place, he does not shew his own, nor, indeed, any part
of decent modesty, in exposing any Gentlemans Name in print, when the
subject matter is Satyr, Reflection, Scandal, _&c._ and in which case I
believe the Law might do Justice, if apply'd to; but if not, I am sure
good Manners, and civil Education, ought to tie the Cassock as close as
the Sash or Sursingle; but this our Divine helper, most Bully-like,
disallows; for he, puff'd with his Priestly Authority, calls us boldly
to the Bar of his Injustice by our own Names, the same minute that he is
roaringly accusing us of Blasphemy, Smuttery, Foolery, and a thousand
Monstrosities besides, as he'd make you believe; unless for variety, he
picks out one amongst the rest, now and then, to abuse a little more
civilly, and then, rubbing up his old College Wit, he Nicknames 'em,
as you may find elegantly made out at the latter end of his Book,
(for he shall see that I have read it quite through, and can hop over
pages as fast as he for the life of him) where he can find no other
Name or Character for two Gentlemen of Honour and Merit, _viz._ Mr.
_Congreve_ and Captain _Vanbrooke_, who have written several excellent
Plays, and who are only scandalous to our Critick, by being good Poets,
yet these he can give no other Names or Characters, but what are Abusive
and Ridiculous. [Footnote: Collier, p. 74] The first, for only making
_Jeremy_, in _Love for Love_, call the Natural inclinations to eating
and drinking, _Whorson Appetites_, he tells, That the _Manicheans,
who made Creation the Work of the Devil, scarcely spoke any thing so
course_. And then very modestly proceeding onwards says, _The Poet was
_Jeremy_'s Tutor_. The t'other Gentleman he dignifies by a new Coin'd
name of his own, _viz._ _The Relapser_, and much like an humble Son of
the Church, a Man of Morals and Manners tells us, _This Poet is fit to
Ride a Match with Witches: And, that _Juliana Cox_ (_a Non-juring Hag,
I suppose, of his Acquaintance_) never switch'd a Broom-stick with more
expedition._ [Footnote: Collier, p. 230.] Faith, such sentences as
these, may be taking enough amongst his Party; but if this be his way of
Reproving the Stage, and Teaching the Town Modesty, he will have fewer
Pupils, I believe, than he imagines.

But to do that Gentleman Broom-stick Rider some Justice, and because we
shall want a Name hereafter to Christen the t'other, as he has given the
Name of _Relapser_, so I think that of the _Absolver_ will be a very
proper one to distinguish our Switcher, by which the Reader may observe,
that we are civiller to him than he to us however. And first then, I
desire all Persons to observe, that in other places of the same Chapter
of his Book, our _Absolver_, for all his detestation of the Stage, and
of Poetry in general, yet takes a huge deal of pains in taking to
pieces, and mending the Comedy of the _Relapse_; nay, and to shew how
transcendent his own Skill in these things is, he has help'd the Author
to a better Name for his Play, and says, _The Younger Brother_, or, _The
Fortunate Cheat_, had been much properer. [Footnote: Collier, p. 210.]
This shews some good will he has to the Comick Trade however; and I
doubt not, but if his Closet were Ransack'd, we might find a divertive
Scene or two, effects of his idle Non-preaching hours, where Modesty,
Wit, and good Behaviour, would be shewn in perfection.

And yet, as to his own humour, we find it to be, by his Book, more
fickle than even the Wind, or Feminine frailty in its highest
Inconstancy. One while he's for Instructing our Stage, Modelling our
Plays, Correcting the Drama, the Unity, Time and Place, and acts as very
a Poet as ever writ an ill Play, or slept at an ill Sermon; and then,
presently after, wheiw, in the twinkling of an Ejaculution, as Parson
_Say-grace_ has it, he's summoning together a Convocation of old
Fathers, to prove the Stage in past Ages exploded, and all Plays
horrible, abominable Debauchers of youth, and not to be encourag'd in a
Civil Government. What can we think of this, especialiy when I find him
in this Paragraph of his Book * raving on at this rate, and quoting to
us, That St. _Cyprian_, or the Author _de Spectaculis_, argues thus
against those who thought the Play-House no unlawful diversion; 'tis too
tedious to recite all, but enough of St. _Cyprian_ for my purpose runs
thus:

  What business has a Christian at such Places as these? A Christian
  who has not the liberty so much as to think of an ill thing, why
  does he entertain himself with lewd Representations? Has he a mind
  to discharge his Modesty, and be flesh'd for the Practice? Yes,
  this is the consequence, by using to see these things, he'll learn
  to do them; what need I mention the Levities and Impertinencies in
  Comedies, or the Ranting distractions of Tragedy, were these things
  unconcern'd with Idolatry, Christians ought not to be at them, for
  were they not highly Criminal, the foolery of them is Egregious,
  and unbecoming the gravity of Believers.

And then again, before he is out of breath,

  A Christian has much better Sights than these to look at, he has
  solid Satisfactions in his power, which will please and improve him
  at the same time. Would a Christian be agreeably refresh'd, let him
  read the Scriptures, here the Entertainment will suit his Character,
  and be big enough for his quality. Ah, Beloved, how noble, how
  moving, how profitable a thing is it, to be thus employ'd, to have
  our expectations always in prospect, and be intent on the glories
  of Heaven!

Very good, and who is he so reprobated, that will not allow this
to be devout, and admirable good Counsel? But now let us see how the
_Absolver_, for all Pious quotation, has follow'd St. _Cyprian_'s
Advice; that holy Father charges him not to entertain himself with such
lewd things as Plays, and he very dutifully reads a thousand as fast as
he can; nay, scans and weighs 'em, and, no doubt, not without tickling
satisfaction, at the present, for all his Saturnine Remarks at last.
Now if his Answer to this is, That it belongs to his Office, as a
Church-man, and that he could not reprehend the Vices in 'em without
reading the Books themselves, I must tell him, That St. _Cyprian_, nor
the rest of the Fathers, did not allow that, neither do we find they did
it themselves, for all their inveighing against the Stage; so that he
makes his own Quotation altogether invalid, _He not being to do ill
that good might come of it._

And therefore, why may not a Poet now, who, perhaps, is a greater Votary
to St. _Cyprian_ in other Matters than the _Absolver_ is in this, rally
him thus, and turn his Quotation upon himself, Phrase by Phrase? "What
business has a Parson with such Books as these? A Parson who has not the
liberty so much as to think of an ill thing? Why does he entertain
himself with lewd Comedies? Has he a mind to discharge his Priestcraft,
and flesh himself up for a Poet? Yes, this is the consequence, by using
to see these _smutty_ things, he'll learn to write 'em. What need I
mention the Sham-Oaths, and looseness of Farce, or the Fustian raving
against the Gods in Tragedy, were these things really unconcern'd with
Idolatry, a Parson, of all Mankind, should not be known to ogle them,
for were they not highly Criminal, the foolery of them is Egregious, and
unbecoming the gravity of all that thump the Cushion, or intend to thump
a true Belief into the Pates of an incorrigible Congregation."

And now methinks I see the Spiritual Critick, with a certain sallow
Male-contented Phiz, poring upon this Page, and sucking his Ring-finger,
gives himself an unpleasurable minute to Judge whether I have
paraphras'd right or no; well, all's one, fall back fall edge, I'm
resolv'd to bait him with St. _Cyprian_ a little more. "A Parson has,
or should have, much better Books than Plays to look in; he has many
Authors of Pious and Solid Authorities to please, and improve himself
with, at the same time. Would a Parson be agreeably refresh'd, let him
read the Scriptures, let him find out Treatises of Morality, Meekness,
Charity, and holy Life, there the Entertainment will suit his Character.
Ah, Beloved, how noble, how moving, how profitable a pleasure would it
be to us, to see a Parson thus employ'd, to let the Stage's diversions
be too little for his grave Consideration, and be intent himself on the
glories of Heaven!" And here now, I do not at all question but the
_Absolver_, a little nettled at this last Parallel, will fall to biting
of his fingers again, his Righteous Spirit being offended at my
Insolence, in scribling the Word _Parson_ so oft, it being a Nickname,
and only invented by some idle fellow, who resolv'd to use the Order
with no more respect. Why truly, I confess, in this Case, Modesty is
a little gravell'd, but then she may thank him for it, for he has
dignify'd the Poets with so many _Hell-defying_, _deep-mouth'd
Swearing_, _Relapsing_, _Witch-riding Titles_, that the worthy Ministry
cannot reasonably be angry, especially when the Word is only meant to
him, whom I shall prove has lessen'd the true Title, by his _Immorality_
and _Hypocrisie_, more than ever the Poets did the Reputation of the
Stage, by their Time-serving Loosenesses and Licentious Diversions.

It is, no doubt, a considerable Maim to us, in some Peoples opinions,
who never digested the benefits arising from the Stage in its Moral
Representations, that this smarting Lash is given us by a Clergy-man of
the Church of _England_, that is, good friends, if he be so, for some
Judicious Heads are not resolv'd in that Affirmative--but let that be
_discuss'd_ in another place, I'm sure, if he is, _Obedience to
Government, in the first place, should be his principal Tenet_; and
whether that is a part of the _Absolver_'s Character, I think has
sufficiently appear'd. But let him be what he will, I shall now take the
pleasure to inform those People, that but few years since, we had a Man
of Wit and Learning, that wore the Gown, and as true a Son of the Church
as she could possibly breed; that was intirely devoted a Champion in our
Cause, and Asserted the Rights of the Stage with Success and Applause;
and whoever will but look back a little, and incline his Eyes towards
the delectable River _Cam_, may Encounter the fam'd Wit of that
University, the Ingenious Mr. _Thomas Randolph_, who in one of his great
many admirable Pieces, call'd the _Muses Looking-glass_, makes his whole
Moral to be the Vindication of the Stage, and its usefulness, and by
shewing the passions in their Kinds, contrives to confute some canting
prejudic'd Zealots, whose ignorance and frenzy had conspir'd before to
run it down; I will treat the Reader here with some of it.

  A Country Lass, for such she was, tho here
  In th' City may be Sluts as well as there;
  Kept her hands clean, for those being always seen,
  Had told her else how sluttish she had been;
  Yet was her Face, as dirty as the Stall
  Of a Fish-monger, or a Usurer's Hall
  Begrim'd with filth, that you might boldly say,
  She was a true piece of _Prometheus_'s Clay.
  At last, within a Pail, for Country Lasses
  Have oft you know, no other Looking-glasses,
  She view'd her dirty Face, and doubtless would
  Have blush'd, if through so much dirt she could.
  At last, within that Water, that I say,
  That shew'd the Dirt, she wash'd the Dirt away.
    _So, Comedies, as Poets still intend 'em,_
    _Serve first to shew your faults, and then to mend 'em._

  [Footnote: _Muses Looking-Glass._]

Here was a pretty Compliment to our Art now, a good Moral with good
Manners into the bargain; and yet 'tis certain the times then were as
Licentious as now, and the Poets took as little care of their Writings;
but Mr _Randolph_ always made his good Nature agree with his Wit, and
put as favourable construction upon Scenes of Diversion, as reason would
allow, tho he perhaps had as much occasion for 50 _l._ as the Absolver
when he writ his Book. He knew that if there was so stupid a Temper,
that the Moral of a Play could not reform, the looseness that was in it
could not prejudice; nor if a wild Town-Fellow, or a baffl'd Bully, or
passionate Lover, being characters in a Play, spoke some extravagances
proper for 'em, would he roar it out for Blasphemy, Profaneness, &_c._
and make a malicious scrutiny, and unreasonable interpretation of words,
which had no other intention but to make the Character natural by
customary manner of Speech, as he has shewn examples by two of his own,
in the extremes of Vain-glory and Hypocrisie: And yet this Gentleman
was as Learned, as good a Critick, and as Consciencious a man, as our
Absolver can pretend to be; and if I say, I had somewhat a better Title
to Modesty and good Manners, I think it may be made out, he having a
civil regard to the Poets, defended their Cause, and excus'd some
failings for the sake of some other Merits, when this treats 'em all
like fools, tho he has only rak'd up a few of their errors, which he
has made a huge heap of Rubbish, by peering through his own Magnifying
Glass, without any allowance to their qualifications, or any modest
care to do 'em justice, which ought to have been one way as well as
another.

So much then for his _Modesty_ in one of its kinds, which is decency of
behaviour and expression; as for the other, he has plaid such a Game at
Hide and Seek with us, that we have been long in a Mist, not knowing how
to discover it: But the Air clears, and 'tis time for us now to take the
right end of the perspective, tho he would give us the Wrong, and then
try if we cannot discern, in the midst of his Garden of Divinity, a neat
friend of his call'd Immorality, tho he would subtly insinuate him into
the world as a stranger, leading his darling daughter dear Hypocrisie
into an Arbor; where, after they had been some time alone, our Critick
knowing how to be civil to his own creature, and to give 'em time enough
to beget a right understanding, he is very glad at last to be a third in
the company.

I should not have put him upon this warm Office, if I had not found him
too hot and bold with our Famous Ancient Truth-telling Poet _Juvenal_,
when in his Book he tells us, _he teaches those vices he would correct,
and writes more like a Pimp than a Poet_ [Footnote: Collier, p. 70,
71.]--But upon just consideration, I believe if the Absolver taught the
Art of Rebellion no more than _Juvenal_ the Art of Pimping, the one
would be respected in after Ages, as much as we know the other has
in the former: But every one is Fool or Knave that is not of this
Gentlemans kidney. A little while after, at the usual rate of his own
accustom'd civility, he falls upon the _Renown'd Shakespear_, and says,
he is so guilty, that he is not fit to make an Evidence. [Footnote:
Collier, p. 50.] Why now it 'twere possible for his Complexion to blush,
there's ne're a Robe of any Friend Cardinal the Absolver has at _Rome_,
that can be redder than his would be for such a Position: Nor does it
end here, but is mixt with some more foolish and insolent Remarks in
another place, upon the admirable Tragedy of _Hamlet_. And here he has
no other way to shew his malice, but by ridiculously quibbling upon the
prettiest Character in it, the innocent young Virgin _Ophelia_, who,
because the Poet makes her run mad for the death of her Father, and loss
of her Lover, and consequently makes her sing and speak some idle
extravagant things, as on such an occasion is natural, and at last drown
her self, he very masterly tells us, the Poet, _since he was resolv'd to
drown her like a Kitten, should have set her a swimming a little sooner;
to keep her alive, only to sully her Reputation, is very cruel_.
[Footnote: Collier, p. 10.] Yes, but I would fain ask Doctor Absolution
in what she has sullied her Reputation, I am sure five hundred Audiences
that have view'd her could never find it out, tho he has; but the
Absolver can't help being positive and partial to his own humour, tho
he were to be hang'd, as the Lady was drown'd, for he is very angry in
another place with the aforesaid Author, for making Sir _Hugh Evens_ in
the Merry Wives of Windsor, a silly, eating, chattering _Welch_ Priest,
but vindicates and speaks well, of Sir _John_, Parson of _Wrotham_, in
the History of Sir _John Oldcastle_; [Footnote: Collier, p. 125.] tho
he swears, games, wenches, pads, tilts and drinks, and does things which
our Reformers Guts are ready to come up at another time, only, forsooth,
because he is stout; but 'tis indeed only _because he is a Parson_, and
sullen, which he thinks wise, for he cannot endure that Copyhold should
be touch'd, as you may see more plainly a little further, where he says
in _Loves Labour Lost_, the Curate plays the fool egregiously; and so
does the Poet too: there he clenches the Nail, there he gives
_Shakespear_ a bold stroke, there obstinacy and malice appear in true
colours: And yet if a parcel of the ones Plays, were set up by way of
Auction against t'others _Sermons and Essays_; nay, tho the Loyal and
Politick _Desertion discussd_ was thrown in to boot, I know not what the
Grave would do, but I am sure the Wise would quickly find difference.
And yet to Remark him nicely, this humour of railing is only where the
Poets do not suit with his design; for in another place you'll find this
same _Shakespear_, that was before too guilty to make an Evidence, a
very civil person now; for the Reformer is troubl'd with Fits, you must
know, disturbances i th' brain, which makes him forget one hour what he
rails at another, for here now _Shakespear_'s _Falstaff_ is call'd the
admir'd, because he is to serve his turn. And that the Poet _was not so
partial as to let his humour compound for his lewdness_; but punishes
him at last, tho he makes him all his life time a damnable, _smutty_
fellow. [Footnote: ...54] And now, I think, having said enough of his
modest behaviour, 'twon't be amiss to have a touch or two at his
Hypocrisy. And first, concerning the word Smutt.

"Smutt, Smutt"! Why does this tarmagant Correcter of our Lives and
Manners pretend to make us believe that his Mouth or Conscience is so
streight, that the t'other word can't get passage, or did his Mistress
(honourable I mean) sit knotting under his Nose when he was writing,
and so gave occasion for the changing it instead of Bawdy, that that
odious word might not offend her, tho the Phrase was made Nonsence by
it--hum--No faith, the case seems to me now to be quite otherwise, and
really the effect of downright _Hypocrisy_, unless done as I said for
the last reason; for those that have read his Book, may find sprinkling
up and down the other words extreamly plain upon occasion, _Ribaldry_
and _Bawdy_, and _Whores_, and _Whoring_, and _Strumpets_, and
_Cuckoldmakers_, with as fat a signification as any of the last nam'd
could wish for their hearts; for example, by way of Tract, first, he
says, _Euripides_ in his _Hipolitus_, calls _Whoring_ stupidness and
playing the fool; and secondly, does _Ribaldry_, (not Smut) and Nonsence
become the dignity of their station. [Footnote: Collier, p 30, 32.]
Again, _Berinthia_ incourages _Amanda_ to play the _Whore_; and then
sowse upon _Don Quixot_, [Footnote: p. 74.] when there is not so much
as one little tiny todpol of _Smut_, that I know of, unless he creates
it--Yet I am Crambo'd with, _who, with low, nauseous Bawdry fills his
Plays_. [Footnote: p. 208.] Again speaking of _Jupiter_ and _Alcmena_--
but her Lover--_that is her Whore-master_. [Footnote: p. 178.] And at
last with a Rowzer upon Mr _Congreeve_'s _Double Dealer_, where he
particularly Remarks, _that there are but four Ladies in his Play, and
three of em are Whores_; adding, withal, that 'tis _a great Compliment
to Quality, to tell em there is but a quarter of 'em honest_. [Footnote:
p. 12.] Why who, in the name of _Diana_, and all the rest of the Maiden
_Goddesses_, does tell 'em so, unless it be Doctor _Crambo_ here--If any
one calls 'em _Whores_ 'tis he, he that by an assum'd Authority thinks
he may say any thing; the Ladies, I dare say for the Poet, were drest in
such clean Linnen, and were so far from being Tawdry, that no Scrutineer
but our severe Master of Art but wou'd have thought Charitably of 'em.
Well, but huge Rampant _Whores_ they must be with him tho, and through
that very mouth that simper'd and primm'd before, as if such a filthy
word cou'd not possibly break through: It comes out now in sound and
emphasis, and the modest Pen is as prone and ready to write it. So that
I once more affirm, that if it were not done in respect to his Lady,
who, no doubt, peruses him extreamly, it must naturally be the effect
of _Hypcrisie_, for, to be squeamish in one place and not in another is
Ridiculous, especially when one word is Innocent in its kind, and makes
the sense, and the other when us'd makes it wretched Affectation, and
almost Nonsence.

Now if the _Absolver_ thought Affectation would appear a vertue in him,
he ought to have squeamifyed the before-mention'd Ladies with some title
that was new, and if _Smutt_ was chosen to be his fine darling word (and
the course one of _Whores_ slipt out of his Mouth, or from his Pen, by
misfortune or chance) he should, in my opinion, have given 'em the title
of _Smutters_: a primming neat word extremely proper for the occasion:
And I hope I shall live to see the Master of Art have Modesty enough to
thank me for't; or else (for my fancy wou'd fain oblige him if it cou'd)
to make it yet more _German_ to the matter, as _Shakespear_ has it, to
call em _Colliers_ would be as significant as any thing; for there's
allusion enough to _Smutt_, or the Devil's in't: For, to deal sincerely,
and without _Hypocrisie_, I cannot imagine what this learned Gentleman
can mean by all that Smutt, Smutt, when the other word is as decent and
more significant, unless he banters, or dissembles, or fear'd the Ladies
peeping, or is so full of his own name, that he goes along quibbling
upon't through his Book, with design that way to make himself more
famous.

In another part of his Treatise too I fancy I find the _Hypocrite_ a
great deal more than the _Moralist_, and that is, in his kecking at a
word in one place, and gobbling it up in another. To prove this, I find
him very like a Ghostly Father of the old _Roman_ Kidney, condemning
even to the Inquisition: One _Carlos_ in Mr _Dryden_'s _Love
Triumphant_, for blundring out this _horrible Expression_, as he calls
it, _Nature has given me my portion of Sense, with a Pox to her_.
[Footnote: Collier, p. 82.] Now pray observe, the _Absolvers_ Stomach
is so horribly squeamish, at this he belches, turns pale, and is so very
sick, that a quartern of Cherry is administered in vain, to set him to
rights; he prints instead of the word only a great P---- and tells the
gentle Reader, (that he is intending to lead by the Nose) that the
_Hellish syllable_ may be found there at length if he pleases. Would
not any one think now, that did not know that the Small Pox is a common
Disease, that this word had been _Blasphemy_ in the extremity, the
renouncing the Deity, or something beyond pardon, and would not one lay
a Scholars Egg against a Tost and Ale, that the Doctor would ne're be
concern'd with it as long as he was able to eat or drink either of 'em.
Why see now how an honest man may be cheated; do but turn to the one
hundred seventy second page of his Book, and you will find this
horrible, this hellish, syllable, in its Pontificallibus, at length,
sitting almost a straddle upon the top of the Page, and us'd familiarly
and friendly, without so much as once kacking at it, or one invective
near it, tho the sense of the Curse is as broad as t'other, and has
rather the worse signification. [Footnote: Collier, p. 172.]

And pray what can this be else but Hypocrisy; if the word were really
terrifying and horrible to him, it would certainly be so in one place as
well as another. No, no, these are only flights and amusements, tricks
of his own studied Legerdemain, to make the bubbled ignorants believe
him a Saint, and admire his Divinity, when, if they could dive to the
bottom of the secret, 'tis solemnly believ'd by many of the dutiful Sons
of the Church, that our Sham-reformer is a much fitter man to win Money
by his skill at a game of Whisk and Swabbers, than as the case of
Allegiance, and Morality, stand with him, to win Souls from Reprobation
by the Integrity of his Principles.

I must treat ye with one instance more of his _Hypocrisie_, and then I
pass on to another Head. This instance I find Mr _Vanbrook_ has taken
particular notice of at the latter end of his Book, where, 'tis true,
every one may see the _Absolvers_ Foible is very plain, but that Author
has not made the Case parallel with the others Remark upon _Mr.
Congreve_'s Comedy the _Old Batchelor_, which shews his contradiction of
himself, and his fallacy undeniable, for there he seems to roar at young
_Belmour_ for his forgetfulness of Religion, at a minute when he is
desiring _Letitia to give him leave to swear by her Lips and Eyes_, when
he is kissing and telling her, _Eternity was in that moment_. [Footnote:
Collier, p. 63.] In short, when he has got her fast in his Arms, and
intends to go through stitch with the matter; for which he calls the
Lady Strumpet, and raves at the smuttiness of the Action; and yet, a
little while after, in another page, rallies, jokes upon, and banters
young _Worthy_ in the _Relapse_, for letting his Lady slip through his
fingers, and calls him a _Town-Spark_, and a _Platonick Fool_ for't.
[Footnote: Collier, p. 127.] Hey Jingo, here's Riddling for ye! what
would this whimsical Gentleman be at? first he rails at a Lover for
holding a pretty Woman fast, and then he jokes upon him for letting
her go; this runs almost parallel with the Fable of the Satyr and the
Traveller; but if the Doctor is observ'd to have the faculty of blowing
hot and cold thus, I believe he may keep his breath either to cool his
Porridge, or to warm his fingers, and be much better employ'd, than by
using it to make any Proselytes to his Doctrine; and so much for this
Head. Now let us try if we can scratch another, and find it out under
his Night-cap of


    _Immorality._

It is not enough to prove a Man is a Moralist, only because he is noted
for a Regular Life; that may be one good instance indeed; but it can
never arrive to a proof of the whole, for his living Soberly, and by
Rule, may as well be caus'd by the defect of his Constitution, as by the
effect of his Inclination, but 'tis the Spirit and Will, by the fire of
whose other Virtues, this of Morality is kindled and illustrated. Now I
will not be so byass'd by other Peoples opinions that know him, to say,
That our devout Critick owes him seeming Piety, and good life, to his
ill habit of Body; nor will I load him with Abuse, _right or wrong, as
he has done me, particularly through a whole Chapter_, but leave that
charitably to natural Conscience, or studied Artifice, which he pleases,
and only reflect a little on the temper of his Mind, as I have found it
blazing in this last, as well as others of his Books. In the first
place, if Stubbornness, which causes wrong opinion of the present Regal
Authority and Government, is an Immoral Vice, if he is not tainted,
I know not who is; for let any one, who is not blinded with Partiality,
but read his _Desertion Discuss'd_, with the admirable Answer to it, and
I am satisfied he cannot help joining with me in this opinion, That what
he would insinuate to be the effect of Right in others, and of
Conscience in himself, is nothing but the effect of Error in one, and
Obstinacy and Stubborn Will in t'other, a humour resolv'd to defend and
carry on a hot Argument, tho it has been never so plain and reasonably
confuted: the Positions and Answers on this subject I shall not insert
here, but leave the Reader, whose curiosity obliges him, to the Papers
themselves, only I wish the _Absolver_ had made _Newgate_ the last Scene
of that part of his _Immorality_, and by an humble acknowledgment to his
Patron that redeemed him, (I hope the word will bear in this place) have
spar'd his Office of _Absolution_ in another Scene, and consequently
given no occasion to believe that his disobedient humour, and turbulent
nature, still proceeds daily, to cultivate his Party with the same
Principles as far as he can.

Another spice of _Immorality_ I believe I can make appear by his Pride,
and tho' in other places it is to be found, yet is most fairly instanc'd
in his _Book of Essays_, where, tho' we find one Chapter wholly upon
that Vice, which, to shew his Justice, begins with a Compliment upon the
same _Juvenal_, now he has use for him whom he call'd Pimp before, yet
it has not bulk enough to Skreen from us his haughtiness in another,
which he calls the _Office of a Chaplain_, for there you shall find
he has collected the Spirit of them all, and blended them into one
Character; I mean the ill Spirits of the ill _Chaplains_, _those that
are good I honour_. Here you may find his Likeness in _Don Quixot_,
_Roger_ in the _Scornful Lady_, _Bull_ in the _Relapse_, _Say-grace_,
_Cuff-cushion_, and others, all learning their Lessons of their stubborn
Superior our Reformer, and all tending to governing, brow-beating,
snubbing, commanding Families, and the like, but not one word of
_humility_ tack'd to't, for fear of spoiling the Character; there
you may find 24 pages, one after another, all written to prove most
gloriously, that 'tis impossible for a _Chaplain_ to be a Servant; that
tho' you find a poor fellow in a tatter'd Excommunicated Gown with one
sleeve, Shoes without heels, miserable Antichristian breeches, with
some two dozen of creepers brooding in the seams; and tho' you take
him charitably to your House, feed, clothe, and give him wages, yet
he belongs only _to God_, and not you, and you must not think him your
_Domestick_, but your _Superior_. Why, what a Scheme is here laid for
Vanity and Folly, add how much more shining and beautiful does gratitude
and humility appear in such a Depender, than such a bloated opinion as
this? Would any honest Gentleman, that has his sences, shew his
Indulgence and Generosity to Wit or Learning, on such terms as these?
And does not this Chapter shew more the Spirit of Pride in our
_Absolver_, relating to his own humour, than the veneration he has for
the Clergy, or the Justice he would seem to do them in it? I dare
affirm, most of them are against this Opinion, at least I'm sure all
the modest part are, who cannot but own themselves subservient to their
Patrons that maintain them, tho' at the same time they are Ministers of
_Gods holy Words and Sacraments_. Yet he buffly goes on, _He is Gods
Minister, not Mans Servant_. [Footnote: _Office of a Chaplain_, p. 178.]
And a little way further, he clenches this admirable Notion through and
through; therefore, says he, _for a Patron to acconnt such a Consecrated
Person, as if he belong'd to him as a Servant, is in effect to challenge
Divine Honours, and set himself up for a God_. [Footnote: Ib. _p._ 185.]
Here's Ambition, here's Perfection, here's old _Bonner_ for ye. Now by
his _Hollidame_, for I can't forbear that Oath now, what can a squeamish
Critick, that would make _Remarks_ upon the _Remarker_ call this? But
stay, he's at it again, _Dolopion_, says he, _was Priest to _Scamander_,
and regarded like the God he belong'd to_. [Footnote: Collier, _p.
113._] Pray mind him, the Priest was worshipp'd equal with the God--oh
rare Moralist--if he were, 'twas an _AEgyptian_ Worship, where only
_Calves_ and _Apes_, and _Carrots_ and _Onions_, were _Gods_. But pray
let us see a little, has not this Divine quotation a tang of _Blasphemy_
in't? Oh fie, no; what, the _Moralist_! _Reformer_ of _Vices_! Speak
_Blasphemy_! Impossible! he can't sure! Yes, yes, he may, when he thinks
no body can find him out: and faith, to my sence now, this smells as
rank of _Pandemonium_, of fire and brimstone, to the full, if not worse,
than Mr. _Dryden_'s Verse, _Whether inspir'd with a Diviner Lust his
father got him_, &c. [Footnote: Absalom _and_ Achit.] which is spoken
only in the figurative Person of _David_; yet he says 'tis _downright
defiance of the Living God, and the very Essence and Spirit of
Blasphemy_. [Footnote: Collier _p. 184._] And here now his Stomach
wambled more terribly than before; so that if his Friend were by, he
must of necessity hold the Bason. Oh me! he reaches and reaches, and
first up comes--egh--_I question whether_--egh--_the torments and
despair of the Damn'd_--egh--_dare venture at such flights as these_.
And now the Head being held by the same hand, at two reaches more it
comes all up, mix'd with a Tincture of old _Bonner_ again--egh--
_I can't forbear saying, that the next bad thing to writing these
Impieties_--egh--_is to suffer them_. And now the Fit's over, leaving
us to imagine what rare Church Discipline we should have, if this
Gentleman, and his Cat with nine Tails, were in Power; I think a Couplet
or two here, by way of Advice to him, is not improper.

  Your Tribe should all be in Opinion steady,
  Not turn or wind for Power or for Place,
  Nor covet Wealth but in Spiritual Grace.
  The Gifts of _Mammon_ you should ne'r implore,
  Nor wish for Gold, unless to give the Poor;
  It makes your Art contemptible appear,
  Less follow'd too, and look'd into more near;
  For if all those that preach up Paradise,
  Will have their shares of every human Vice,
  They shall Cant long enough e're I believe,
  Or pin my Soul's Salvation on their sleeve.

  [Footnote: Weesils, p. 11.]

Here now, ten to one, but I shall make our Reformer fall into another
fit, by pretending to Counsel him, or take his Office of Ordinary upon
my self; for in page 138, he will not give up that leave, _What, is the
Pulpit under the Discipline of the Stage? And are those fit to correct
the Church, that are not fit to come into it_? [Footnote: Collier, p.
138.] Ah! Doctor, rub your eyes a little, and see what the Vindicator
of the Stage says, quoting Divine _Herbert_:

  A Verse may find him who a Sermon flies,
  And turn delight into a Sacrifice.

Besides I do assure you, spite of your Ghostly Authority, and
Uncharitable Position, that we are not fit, we will come in, and not
only imbibe the Mystery of _Divinity_ from the Pulpit, but unriddle
the Mystery of _Iniquity_, if we can find any there. _Ben Johnson_
found out _Ananias_ and _Rabby Buisy_; _Fletcher_, _Hypocritical
Roger_; _Shakespear_, _Sir John_ of _Wrotham_; _Congreve_, _Say-grace_;
_Vanbrook_, _Bull_; _Shadwell_, _Smirk;_ and if _Durfey_ can find out
a proud, stubborn, immoral _Bernard_, [Footnote: The Chaplains Name
in _Don Quixot_.] one, that when he was a Country Curate, _would not
let the Children be brought to Church to be Christned for some odd
Jesuitical Reasons_ best known to himself, he shall presume to draw his
Picture, tho the _Absolver_ drop another Chapter of Abuse upon him for
so doing.

We find, for many Ages past, Poets have enjoy'd this Priviledge; our
Prince of Poets, _Chaucer,_ had so much to do in this kind, that we find
him weary himself, and loth to weary others with.

  Of Freers I have told before,
    In a making of a Crede,
  And yet I cold tell worse, or more,
    But Men would werien it to read.

  [Footnote: Chaucer]

This I think is pithy, but here again I think his Counsel to them is
much better.

  Fly fro the Prease and dwell with soothfastness,
    Suffice unto thy good, tho it be small,
  For horde hath, and climbing tickleness,
    Prease hath Envy, and wele is blent ore all;
  Savour no more then thee behove shall,
  Rede wele thy self that other folk canst rede,
  And trouth thee shall deliver it is no drede.

Now if he be Moral enough to take old _Chaucer_'s Advice I shall be
glad; and so much for that subject. There is nothing now remains, before
I come to vindicate _Don Quixot_, but a large Remark of his, upon the
little or no swearing in Plays, which commonly is only a kind of an
Interjection, as gad, I cod, oonz, _&c._ which I don't defend neither,
and if any others have carelesly past the Press I'm sorry for't, for I
hate them as much as he, yet because the Doctor has quoted the Statute
Law against it and Players, to slander on one side, tho to reform on
t'other, I will in return quote another piece of Law relating to Oaths,
extreamly for his advantage, for there is only this quibbling difference
between us, 'Tis a fault in us in swearing when we should not, and in
him for not swearing when he should; but that now he may have occasion
to say my Civilities are particular to him, I will make him do't.

  I _J.C._ do sincerely promise and swear, that I will be faithful,
  and bear true Allegiance to His Majesty King _William_: And I do
  swear that I do, from my heart, abhor, detest and abjure, as Impious
  and Heretical, that damnable Doctrine and Position, that Princes
  excommunicated, or depriv'd by the Pope, or any Authority of the
  See of _Rome_, may be Depos'd or Murther'd by their Subjects, or
  any other whatsoever.

  And I do declare that no Foreign Prince, Person, Prelate, State
  or Potentate, hath, or aught to have, any Jurisdiction, Power,
  Superiority, Preeminence or Authority, Ecclesiastical or Spiritual,
  within this Realm. _So help me God._

This now, with a sincerity proper, and coming to Church to hear our
Divine Service, with the _Prayer_ for the _King_ in't, would give one a
little satisfaction as to the Doctors present opinion, for what he has
been, if you will but examine and scan it by his Book, tho it be a
Reforming Book, is I am sure very disputable; in one Page of it he seems
very zealous for the Protestant Reformation, and says, being very much
piqu'd at _Sir John Brute_'s putting on a Clergy-man's Habit in the
_Provok'd Wife_, _that the Church of _England_, he means the Men in her,
is the only communion in the world, that will endure such insolencies as
these_ [Footnote: Collier, p. 108.]; and this, tho it be somewhat
_Bonnerish_ again, and _Switcher_-like, yet however seems to leer of
our side; but then presently in another place he's as zealous for the
_Roman_ Sect, and Jesuitically condemns a little wholesom Satyr in the
Character of a pamper'd hypocritical covetous _Spanish Fryer_, for
incivility in making him a Pimp to _Lorenzo_, and is very angry at the
Author for calling this virtuous person _a parcel of holy Guts and
Garbidge_, and telling him _that he has room in his Belly for his
Church-steeple_; [Footnote: Collier, p. 98.] and here his Lash is up
again for abusing them--oh--if _Doctor Absolution_ were Inquisitor
general, and a Satyrist against Priests came under his hand, mercy upon
us, how that poor Rascal would be flaug'd, for I find 'tis only the
person of the Priest that he would have reverenc'd, let his opinion be
what it will; nay, tho he were a _Priest of Baal_, as may be prov'd a
little further, for here his Zeal shews itself not only for Christians,
but the very _Turks_ too; and cavils again with _Jacinta_, in the _Mock
Astrologer_, for jesting with _Alla_, and honest _Mahomet_, for he was
a Brother Priest too: [Footnote: Collier, p. 61.] But stay, what's worst
of all, have but patience to walk to another Page, and here you will
find him just sinking into a downright doze and despondency, whither he
had best set up for any Religion at all, or at least for one very
indifferent.

_Our Poets, I suppose, would call this Preaching, and think it a dull
business; however, I can't forbear saying, an honest Heathen is none
of the worst men, a very indifferent Religion well believ'd, will go a
great way._ [Footnote: Collier, p. 28.] --Will it so, pray friends de'e
not think our hot reforming Gentleman is very Luke-warm here, or not a
little craz'd when he writ this, or, as the vulgar have it, was not his
mighty Wit run a Wool-gathering; for if he be for _Protestantism_, and
_Popery_, and then whip--amongst the _Bens of the _Arabians_ for _Alla_
and _Mahomet_,_ and at last for little or no Religion at all, I'm afraid
I shall never bring my self to be reform'd by him. And so at him agen
Weesil.

  For who with Reason, if this be your way,
  Will ever value what you Preach or Pray.

  [Footnote: _Weesils_.]

But now I think I have said enough for the Plays, whose Authors are much
better able to speak for themselves; and therefore will fall off to
vindicate my self a little, and my Acquaintance _Don Quixot_; in which
I will endeavour to prove another Immoral Vice in our Stage-Reformer,
which is


    _Injustice and Error in Criticism._

And first, his _Injustice_ appears by his ungentlemanlike exposing me
and others by name, upon a scandalous occasion (as he endeavours to
make it) without any Injury done by me to him, or ever giving him any
provocation, or the Play's any way deserving it. Oh, but he'll say his
Conscience urg'd him to do it--No--not a jot; 'twas dear darling
Interest, in good faith, as shall hereafter appear; but in the mean
time I am planted upon the shoulders of a Gyant, which is the Ingenious
Author of the History of _Don Quixote_; and there indeed he guesses
right, tho he knows nothing of him or of his History, as I will prove
by and by, yet confidently, and Absolver-like, he ranges his objections
under three heads, which are every one malicious and false, _viz._

First, _The Prophaneness, with respect to Religion and the Holy
Scriptures_.

Secondly, _The Abuse of the Clergy_.

Thirdly, _The want of Modesty, and Regard to the Audience_.

Well, to prove the Prophaneness, he first instances a bold Song of mine,
as he calls it, against Providence; four of the last lines of which he
is only pleas'd to shew ye.

  But Providence, that form'd the fair
    In such a charming skin,
  Their outside made its only care,
    And never look'd within.

  [Footnote: D. Quix. p. 1. p. 20.]

_Here_, says he, _the Poet tells ye Providence makes Mankind by halves,
huddles up the Soul, and takes the least care of the better Moyety; this
is direct blaspheming the Creation, and a Satyr upon God Almighty_.
[Footnote: Collier p. 97.] Why, now this, I confess, is enough to
provoke some heat in a fellow of my Constitution, to hear this Religious
Raving; but yet it looks so like _Oliver's Porter's in Bedlam_, that I
will be calm, and patiently holding up my hand, plead _Not Guilty_--to
all of these objections. But first, pray why does he foyst in the word
Mankind here to express the Female Sex, when t'other word is so much
more proper. I did intend indeed a small Satyr upon _Womankind_,
pursuant to _Marcella_'s Character, and he has vary'd from that word,
I suppose, to amuse the Reader--I'll give ye the whole Stanza.

  Did coy _Marcella_ own a Soul
    As beauteous as her Eyes,
  Her Judgment wou'd her Sence controul,
    And teach her how to prize.
  But Providence, that form'd the fair
    In such a charming Skin,
  Their outside made its only care,
    And never look'd within.

I only rally a pretty coy wench here for her sullen ill nature, without
any Satyr on the Deity, or any thing like it; for as to the _Blasphemy_,
as he calls it, by naming the word _Providence_, 'tis generally intended
in Lyrical Poetry for _Goddess Nature_, or _Fortune_, as Mr _Vanbrooke_
notes; but never apply'd seriously to the true Deity, but only by Dr
_Crambo_. How often have we this phrase in Poetry, _Nature has made her
Body charming; see her bright Eyes, the charming gifts of Nature_, &c.
making use still of the second cause instead of the first, which we yet
know to be the original of all. And 'tis no more Blasphemy to say that
Providence took more care of a perverse beautiful Womans Body than her
Soul, than 'tis to say that the Sun made a gay Tulip flourish in a
Garden to delight the Eye, not caring three-pence tho it never smelt
so sweet as a Province rose.

But I have a Rigid Critick and a Severe Inquisitor to deal with--He will
have a Satyr upon the true Deity, tho I intend nothing of it. And to go
on, my next advance he says is to Droll upon the _Resurrection_; and to
prove it, squirts out these two lines, which are pick'd out of
twenty--which he thinks are fit for his purpose--

  Sleep and Indulge thy self with rest,
  Nor dream thou e're shalt rise again.

  [Footnote: Ibid.]

Now you must know this Song was design'd a solemn piece of morality,
and sung as a Requiem or Dirge at the Funeral of _Ambrosio_--A young
Gentleman that dy'd for Love of the aforesaid _Marcella_--You shall have
it all, that you may judge what Drolling is in't.

      (1.)
  Sleep, sleep, poor Youth, sleep, sleep in Peace,
    Reliev'd from Love, and mortal care,
  Whilst we that pine in Life's disease,
    Uncertain blest, less happy are.
      (2.)
  Couch'd in the dark and silent Grave,
    No ills of Fate thou now canst fear;
  No more shall Tyrant Power inslave,
    Or scornful Beauty be severe.
      (3.)
  Wars, that do fatal storms disperse,
    Far from thy happy Mansion keep;
  Earthquakes, that shake the Universe,
    Can't rock thee into sounder sleep.
      (4.)
  With all the Charms of Peace possest,
    Secur'd from Life's tormentor, Pain:
  Sleep and indulge thy self with rest,
    Nor dream thou e're shall rise again.
      (5.)
  Past are the Pangs of fear and doubt,
    The Sun is from the Dial gone,
  The Sands are sunk, the Glass is out,
    The folly of the Farce is done.

  [Footnote: D. Quix. p 20.]

Now will I be judg'd by any reasonable Man, if these words comparatively
are not fitter for an _Anthem_ than a Droll, but the Reformers way of
doing me Justice, is to take bits and morsels out of things, that for
want of the connexion, they may consequently appear ridiculous, as here
he does. Again, in his third objection against my third Song, where he
says-- _I_, (that is in my own person) _make a jest of the Fall, rail
at _Adam_ and _Eve_;_ and then _Oliver's Porter_, raving again, says,
_I burlesque the Conduct of God Almighty_; [Footnote: Ibid.] now, pray
judge whether it ought to be Constru'd so or no. This Song is suppos'd
to be made and sung by _Gines de Passamonte_, a most notorious
Atheistical Villain, who, as he is going Chain'd to the Galleys, is
redeem'd from them by _Don Quixot_ in his frantick fit; after which,
being extreamly pleas'd at the success, he, to make his deliverer merry,
entertains him with this Vindication of a Rogue, which is indeed a Satyr
upon Humanity in general. I will add agen to our Criticks morsel, for he
notes but the four first lines in a place, and give ye one whole Stanza.

      When the World first knew Creation,
      A Rogue was a Top profession;
      When there were no more
        In all Nature but four,
    There were two of 'em in Transgression.
      And the seeds are no less
      Since that we may guess,
    But have in all Ages bin growing apace;
      And Lying and Thieving,
      Craft, Pride and Deceiving,
    Rage, Murder and Roaring,
      Rape, Incest and Whoring,
  Branch out from Stock, the rank Vices in vogue,
    And make all Mankind one Gigantical Rogue.

And so on: Now tho I grant this might be look'd on as prophane in it
self, without application, yet when spoken by one of his character, whom
I design to expose, it is no more than natural Character, and has so
little the quality of Prophaneness, that my impartial Reader will find a
very good Moral in it, by the odious representation of such Atheistical
impudence; yet our good natur'd Critick makes me the Prophaner. He,
cramm'd full of wonderful Justice, makes me the _Vice_ my self, that
only act the true duty of a Poet, and hold up the Glass for others to
see their _Vices_ in, but his Malice will not be Authentick with every
one, no more than his next Addle Criticism, upon my using the word
_Redeemer_ will bear the Test; for he that will argue that that word may
not be innocently spoken in Temporal Matters, because it is sometimes
us'd as a _Divine Attribute_, will prove himself rather a Coxcomb than a
Casuist: And yet for only this poor word the Cat with Nine Tails are up
again, and the Inquisitor in a rage cries out, _these insolencies are
too big for the Correction of a Pen_. [Footnote: Collier, p. 198.] Very
fine, what horrible correction this deserves, is easily judg'd, and I
believe 'twill be own'd too, that if Doctor Absolution (when the
charitable Prelates good Nature and Purse got him out of his Stone
Apartment yonder, into which _his bigotted obstinacy and not his tender
Conscience_ had thrown him) did not think him his _Redeemer_, and thank
him as his _Redeemer_, he does not only deserve Correction for his
wicked ingratitude, (which _especially in one of his Coat, is an immoral
Cheat upon Heaven_) but to have the same punishment that another of
his Coat and Kidney lately had, for a Cheat upon the Government and
People.

But to go on: In the next place he finds fault with my making sport with
Hell, and recites six Lines, which are made of Dogril Stuff, on purpose
by the Duke's Servants, who, for his diversion, Acting a kind of Farce
are to fright _Sancho_ with Goblings and Furies--but to shew his own Wit
in the first Onset here, he has notably made the two first Lines half
nonsence.

  Appear ye fat Fiends that in Limbo do groan,
  That were, when in flesh, the same Souls as his own.

Instead of-- _that wore when in flesh_, &c.

  You that always in _Lucifer_'s Kitchin reside,
  'Mongst Sea-coal and Kettles, and grease newly Try'd,
  That pamper'd each day with the Garbidge of Souls,
  Broil Rashers of Fools for a Break-fast on Coals.

  [Footnote: Collier, p. 198.]

Words adapted only to _Sancho_'s Clownship, course Breeding, and Kitchin
Profession, and with no more intent of Impiety in them, than if one
should put on a Devils Vizard to play with a Child, does he note again
as horrible Prophaneness, and says he does me no wrong in't; now if he
insists that Hell is too serious a thing to ridicule, why, perhaps, I
think so too, in its Intense quality; but to act a Goblin, a Ghost, a
Frog, or a Fury, and to sing to a Country Clown of such Bugbear matters,
only to cause a little Diversion in a Noblemans House, has always been
very customary, especially at Festivals, and far from being thought to
ridicule the main matter. The _Absolver_, to turn back a little, affirms
indeed, That _those that bring Devils upon the stage, can hardly
believe them any where else_ [Footnote: Collier, p. 189.]; but I can
give an instance, that our famous _Ben Johnson_, who I will believe had
a Conscience as good as the Doctors, and who liv'd in as Pious an Age,
in his Comedy call'd the _Devil's an Ass_ [Footnote: Vid. _Devil's an
Ass_, p. 9.], makes his first Scene a Solemn Hell, where _Lucifer_ sits
in State with all his Privy-Council about him: and when he makes an
under Pug there beaten and fool'd by a Clod-pated Squire and his wanton
Wife, the Audience took the Representation morally, and never keck'd at
the matter. Nay, _Milton_, tho' upon his secred Subject, comes very near
the same thing too; but we must not laugh at silly _Sancho_, nor put on
a Devils face to fright him, but we must be disciplin'd; nay, more,
Presented for it. Here, tho' I digress a little, I cannot forbear
telling some, that were too busie in doing that Office, that 'tis more
easie to accuse our Writings for Blasphemous, than to prove them to be
so. To detect us indeed fairly, and prove it upon us, would deserve
severe Chastisement; but if it be mistake, and our reputations are
injur'd by Rashness and Injustice, or Ignorance, reflection upon it is
at least reasonable, and just reproof I think not improper. But to go
on; my next fault is the Ass that's brought upon the Stage in the
Epilogue, with two lines alluding to _Balaam_'s.

  And as 'tis said a Parlous Ass once spoke,
  When Crab-tree Cudgel did his rage provoke, &c.

Here he says, _I brought the Ass in only to laugh at the Miracle_:
[Footnote: Collier, p. 199.] Not I, truly, I had no such intention upon
my word; I brought the Ass in, and _Dogget_ upon him, only to make the
Audience laugh at his figure at the end of the Play, as well as they had
at the beginning; but I believe if I had put an _Absolver_ upon his
back, giving him a Blessing, it would have been more divertive by half;
but let him alone, the next horrible Crime is, I meddle with Churchmen,
and there my _malice makes me_, he says, _lay about me like a Knight
Errant_; [Footnote: Collier, p. 200.] but I believe I shall prove, for
all the modesty he pretends to, that his malice is more in reference to
Poets, than ever mine was to Churchmen. Well, my Second Part begins, he
says, with _Devil's being brought upon the Stage_, who cries, _As he
hopes to be sav'd; and _Sancho_ warrants him a good Christian._ Now this
is a ridiculous mistake, for this Devil is only a Butler, and a Jest of
his _Giants_, the witty Author of the History of _Don Quixot_, where one
of the Duke's Servants acting a Devils Part to fright the Knight and
Squire, blunders it out before he is aware, and _Sancho _hearing it, as
foolishly replies. This would be humorously witty now with any one but
our Critick; but he's resolv'd to see double, as he does presently again
with my _deep-mouth'd swearing_ which he says is frequent, tho he has
quoted none on't, and therefore the Reader is not oblig'd to believe
him. But then I have made the _Curate _Perez_ assist at the ridiculous
Ceremony of _Don Quixot_;_ I have so--what then?--but I have made him
_have wit enough_, however, to know _Don Quixot_ for a Madman; but then
_Sancho_, by way of Proverb, tells him, _Ah--Consider dear Sir, no Man
is born wise_: to which briskly replies the Doctor, _What if he were
born wise, he might be bred a Fool_. [Footnote: Collier, Ibid.] Faith,
no Doctor: and to be free with ye, (_en Raillere_) as you have been with
me, must beg leave to tell ye, If you had been born wise enough to be
a Reformer, your Breeding could never have made ye Fool enough to be
an Absolver; I mean in a Case like you know what; but let us proceed.
The next is a swinger, and his Lash cuts even to the blood: for here
_Sancho_, full of innocent simplicity, says, _A Bishop is no more than
another Man, without Grace and good Breeding_. To which he presently
darts out, _I must needs say, if the Poet had any share of either of
these Qualities, he would be less bold with his Superiors, and not give
his Clowns the liberty to Droll thus heavily upon a solemn Character_.
[Footnote: Ibid.] Why, faith, now this is very hard, I have known a
Country Wench name a _Bishop_ in the Burning-too of a Hasty-Pudding,
and never heard that any of the Reverend took it ill, because it was
a Common Saying, and below their notice. But poor _Sancbo_, or rather
indeed _Sancho_'s Poet, my self, must be corrected for it, tho the
Phrase be Moral, and no more than an honest truth: But come, since it
must be so, let me ask the doctor why he does not shew me an example
for this himself, and Practice better before he Accuses; for let the
Reader look into his _Desertion Discuss'd_ (for he shall find that I
have trac'd him through all his Writings), and page the 3d you will
find him, I think, somewhat more guilty of this fault than I have been,
for there you'll see he insolently affirms, _That the Succession cannot
be interrupted by an Act of Parliament, especially when the Royal Assent
is given by a King _de Facto_, and not _de Jure_. [Footnote: _Desertion
Discuss'd_, Anno 1688.] And again; tho this next is hinted covertly,
with the meaning disguis'd, yet Sir _William Temple_ in his Memoirs,
page 295, and the aforesaid Vindicater of the Stage, as well as my self,
have observed, that the _Absolver_ in the first Volume of his Essays,
page 120, in his Chapter of the _A..._ tells us, _Whether the honesty or
dishonesty are discernable in the face, is a question which admits of
dispute; King _Charles_ the Second thought he could depend upon these
Observations, but with submission, I believe an instance might be
given, in which his Rules of Physiognomy fail'd_ [Footnote: _Essays_,
p.120.]. Now I'm sure the first is insolently plain, and the next shews
enough to let us into his meaning; which granted, I think I may say, he
ought to be less bold with his Superiors too, and not give himself the
liberty to treat at this rate, not only a Solemn, but a _Royal
Character_. Well, the next is, I, (naming me) take care to tell ye, that
_Sancho_ is _a dry shrewd Countryfellow_ in his Character, _because he
blunders out Proverbs upon all occasions, tho never so far from the
purpose_--and merrily drolls upon me for making blundering and talking
nothing to the purpose, an argument of shrewdness--Why truly, I must
confess to the Doctor, there is no great matter in that Argument, and
not much whither there be or no--But, as unperforming as I am, I fancy I
shall find as great a Blunder in his performance presently-- _We ought
to be just in our Looks, as well as in our Actions_, says he in his
Essays, _for the mind may be declar'd one way no less than the other:
A man might as good break his Word as his Face, especially upon some
Critical occasions_ [Footnote: Essays p. 118.]. Now what he means by a
mans breaking his Face there, unless he is to run his Nose against a
Post, I can't imagine; and therefore will set it down for a Blunder--And
so there's Tit for Tat, and the Dice in my hand still. But poor _Sancho_
is horribly unfortunate agen, for by and by he catches him answering the
Curate, who threatens him for calling him Finisher of Fornication, and
Conjunction Copulative, with Excommunication, _I care not if you do,
says Sancho, I shall lose nothing by it but my Nap in an afternoon_
[Footnote: Collier, p. 201.]. Why truly this might be thought a little
sawcy from one in Trowsers, to one in a Cassock, especially as the
Reformer would have him reverenc'd. But perhaps this Pragmatical Curate
_Perez_ was some _Non-Juror_, and poor _Sancho_ did not think he should
profit by his Doctrine; and then the honest fellow was much in the
right. This puts me in mind of a passage in one of Mr _Crown_'s
Comedies, where a surly Joyner is rallying with a Doctor of no very
good Reputation too; _Sirrah, Sirrah, says the Doctor, I shall have
your Ears--No, No, says _Chizzel_, never when you preach, Doctor_.
Our Absolver may apply this now as he pleases.

And here are a bundle of faults together--_Jodolet_, another Priest, is
call'd holy Cormorant [Footnote: Ibid.], only because he eats a Turkey,
and drinks a Bottle or two of Malaga for his Breakfast; and the Poet is
jerk'd because a gormandizing _Romish_ Priest is call'd a Pimp agen; and
the Duke's Steward, _Manuel_, is no _witty pleasant fellow_, because he
calls the Chaplain, whom I mentioned in the beginning of my Preface, and
who is, no doubt, the sole occasion of this Gentleman's Pique to me--Mr
_Cuff-cushion_; and because having an insight into his Character, he
tells him, _a Whore is a Pulpit be loves_ [Footnote: Ibid.]; but my hope
is, that my Reader will think him no fool for this, tho the Carper does,
who then tells the Chaplain _Saygrace_, _and he supposes prays to God
to bless the entertainment of the Devil_, tho there is not a word of
a Grace spoke at all; and after, when he grows hot, positive, and
impertinent, which the Duke his patron being at Table, only bears with,
to divert himself, he insolently calls _Don Quixot_, Don Coxcomb, who
justly enrag'd, returns him in this Language:

  Oh thou vile black Fox, with a Firebrand in thy Tail, thou very
  priest, thou kindler of all Mischiefs in all Nations, de'e hear,
  Homily, did not the reverence I bear these Nobles--I would so thrum
  your Cassock, you Church Vermin-- [Footnote: Collier, p. 202.]

Here now, to shew his Justice he slily stops and gives a dash, so
makes it Nonsense, but I shall make bold to piece it out again. _Did
not the reverence I bear these Nobles, tye up my hands from doing myself
Justice, I would so thrum your Cassock you Church Vermin_--Now, because
my Reader shall find that I have naturally pursu'd the character of this
Chaplain, as _Don Quixot_'s Historian has presented him to me, you shall
hear what account he gives of him. Here is, says he,

  a good Character of a poor Pedant; one of them that govern great
  men's Houses, one of those, that as they are not born Noble, so they
  know not how to instruct those that are; one of those, that would
  have great men's Liberality measur'd by the streightness of their
  own Minds; one of those, that teaching those they govern to be
  frugal, would make 'em miserable. [Footnote: Shelton's _Translation
  of the History of _D. Quix._ Chap._ 31. p. 152.]

Now this considerable person as you find him here, who was indeed for
his senseless humour of designing to govern--us'd no otherwise than as
the Buffoon of the Family--takes upon him to call _Don Quixot_ (whom the
Authour imbellishes, with all manner of learning and good sense, bating
his whimsical Chimaera of Knight Errantry,) _Goodman Dulpate_ and _Don
Coxcomb_. Well, however the _Switcher_ here has escap'd for his usage of
a Gentleman in or near this manner, I believe my Judges will agree, that
my Knight was so far from injuring the sawcy Trencherfly, by the reply
he give him, that if he had not known and practic'd good breeding,
better than the other, he would have broke his head into the bargain. As
for his bidding him adieu in Language too prophane and scandalous for
our Reformer to relate, is impossible, for he has prov'd often enough
the contrary of that in his Book already. But for the Song in the Fourth
Act, where the Country Fellow says, _Folks never mind now what those
black Cattle say_ [Footnote: Ibid.]: He is only suppos'd for another
Bumpkin, that amongst the rest of the Parishioners, had found out the
Parsons blind side, and so behind his back took occasion to put a joke
upon him, as well as the rest in that Satyr mention'd.

And now his third place is to prove my want of Modesty, and regard to
the Audience--And here he's chewing his savoury word _Smutt_ agen, and
says _Sancho_ and _Teresa_ talk it broad [Footnote: Collier, p. 203.];
but since his Modesty has not quoted it, I hope my Reader will believe
so well of mine, to think I have not written it; I assure him I don't
know of any. And I have prov'd our Reformer can mistake, as he does of
_Marcellas_ Epilogue, who Raves, he says, with Raptures of Indecency,
when the poor Creature is so cold, after her hot fit, that she rather
wants a dram of the Bottle--But now, Bounce, for a full charge of Small
Shot; here he has gather'd up a heap of Epithets together, without any
words between, or connexion to make 'em sense; and this he says I divert
the Ladies with--_Snotty nose, filthy vermin in the Beard, Nitty Jerkin,
and Louse snapper, with the Letter in the Chamber-pot, and natural
evacuation_. Why truly this is pretty stuff indeed, as his Ingenuity
has put it together--but I hope every one will own, that each of these
singly, when they are tagg'd to their sensible phrases, may be proper
enough in Farce or Low Comedy; but as he has modell'd 'em, 'tis true
they are very frightful--And if I had nothing to sing or say to divert
Ladies better than this, I should think my self so despicable, that I
would e'en get into the next Plot, amongst his Brother Grumblers--then
despairing, do some doughty thing to deserve hanging, and depend upon
no other comfort but his Absolution.

I remember, being lately at St. _James_'s, this very part of the Doctors
Book was read or rather spelt out to me, with tickling satisfaction, by
one whose Wit and good Manners are known to be just of the same weight,
who, since he can be merry so easily, he shall laugh at some of the
Reformers Hotch-potch too, as I have mingled it for him. _Jewish
Tetragramaton, Stigian Frogs, reeking Pandaemoniums, Debauch'd
Protagonists, Nauseous Ribaldry, Ranting Smutt, Abominable Stench_,
Venus _and St _George_, _Juliana_, the Witch and the Parson of _Wrotham_
[Footnote: Collier's Epithetes.], with the admirable Popish story of the
Woman that went to the Play-House and brought home the Devil with her_
[Footnote: Collier, p. 257.]--And the Devil's in't indeed, if this
charming Rhetorick of his, (since he calls mine so) especially joyn'd
with that fine story from _Tertullian_, don't divert the Ladies as well
as t'other; for 'tis very like a Catholick miracle you must know, and
the top wit of it is, that when the Parson is Conjuring, _he asks the
Devil how he durst attack a Christian?_ who, like an admirable Joker as
he was, answers, _I have done nothing but what I can justify, for I
seiz'd her upon my own ground_. Now let the Devil be as witty as he can,
I am sure the story, maugre _Tertullian_'s Authority, or the Doctor's
either, is confounded silly, and downright nonsense, what credit soever
it has with him for its likeness to Jesuiticism. And now I think I have
prov'd too, that _a Clergy man can speak nonsense, pass it for humour
too, and gratify his ease and his malice at once, without a Poet's
putting his into his Mouth_. And since we have been speaking of
quibbling, I shall digress a little to entertain the Reader on that
subject. Our Critick rallies Mr _Dryden_'s _Sancho_ in _Love
Triumphant_, for saying, _dont provoke me, I'm mischievously bent_,
to which _Carlos_ a man of sense replys, _nay you are bent enough in
conscience, but I have a bent Fist for Boxing; Here_ says he (smartly)
_you have a brace of quibbles started in a line and a half [Footnote:
Collier, p. 170.]_--Very true, you have so--But suppose quibbling or
punning--but I think this is call'd punning--Is this Gentlemans
humour--if so, being a Soldier, I don't see it calls his sense in
question at all--but now pray let's see, how our Critick manages a
quibble, with a blunder tack'd to the Tail on't, in the page before,
there, in the aforesaid Play, _Celidea_ in a passion cries,

  Great Nature break thy Chain that links together
  The Fabrick of this Globe, and make a Chaos,
  Like that within my Soul--

  [Footnote: Collier, p. 68.]

_Now_, says the Doctor, keen as a Razor, _if she had call'd for a Chair,
instead of a Chaos, tripp'd off, and kept her folly to herself, the
woman had been wiser._ Calling for a Chair instead of a Chaos is an
extreme pretty Quibble truly--but if the Critick had let the Chair-men
have tripp'd off with her, instead of doing it herself as she sat in a
Chair, I'm sure the blunder had been sav'd, and I think he had exprest
himself a little wiser than he has--And come, now my hand's in, let's
parallel Mr _Dryden_ with our Reformer a little longer--_Church-men_
(says _Benducar_ in _Don Sebastian_,

  Tho they Itch to govern all,
  Are silly, woful awkward Politicians,
  They make lame mischiefs, tho they meant it well.

  [Footnote: Collier, p.104.]

So much the better_, says he, _for tis a sign they are not beaten to the
trade_--Oh, that's a mistake, Doctor, they may be beaten to the Trade,
and yet be bunglers--And proceeding:

  _Their Interest is not finely drawn, and hid,_
  _But Seams are coursely bungled up, and seen.

  [Footnote: Ibid.]

_These Lines_, says he, _are an Illustration taken from a Taylor._ They
are so, but what Justice is it in him to lessen 'em, whose own flights
are ten times more ridiculous: For example, talking just before of
tumbling the Elements together, he says, _and since we have shewn our
skill of Vaulting on the High Ropes, a little Tumbling on the Stage
may not do amiss for variety_ [Footnote: Collier, p. 158.]. And now I
will refer my self to the severest Critick of his party, whether an
Illustration taken from a Taylor is not better than one taken from a
Vagabond Rope-dancer, or Tumbler, forty times over; but his sense and
way of Writing he thinks will infallibly overcome censure; not with
me I assure him, to confirm it I must remark him once more, and then
my digression shall end. He tells ye _Cleora_, in the Tragedy of
_Cleomenes_, _is not very charming, her part is to tell you_, her
Child suck'd to no purpose.

  It pull'd and pull'd but now, but nothing came;
  At last it drew so hard that the Blood follow'd,
  And that red Milk I found upon its Lips,
  Which made me swoon for fear.

  [Footnote: Cleomenes.]

There, says he, is a description of sucking for ye: And then like
another Devil of a Joker runs on, truly _one would think the Muse on't
were scarcely wean'd_--Very likely; and here I warrant he thinks his
Witty Criticism, as safely hous'd now as a Thief in a Mill, as the old
Saw has it, did not his plaguee want of Memory now and then contrive to
disgrace him; or if you turn to the thirty fourth page of his Lampoon,
as Mr _Vanbrooke_ calls it, after he has been comparing a fine young
Lady to a _Setting-bitch-teacher.

Lower yet--down, down_, and after he has been bringing forth a Litter
of Mr. _Congreeves_ Epithetes, as he calls them, _soothing softness,
sinking Ease, wafting Air, thrilling Fears, and incessant scalding Rain_
[Footnote: Collier, p. 34.], all Crude, just as he did mine before,
without any connexion of sense to 'em: He tells ye more plain in troth
than wittily, that _they make the Poem look like a Bitch overstock'd
with Puppies, and suck the sense almost to Skin and Bone_. [Footnote:
Ibid, --.] For a Child to suck the Mother till the Blood follows,
I think is not unreasonable, but for a Litter of Epithetes to suck
the sense of a Poem to the Skin and Bone, is such Fustian stuff that
nothing but a Creature, only fit for a Sucking-bottle, could be
Author of--And now I think if he has given me any _Crocus Metallorum_,
I am even with him with a Dose of _Jollop_, and can whisk too from one
Play to another indifferently well, tho not so fast as he; for when I
perus'd him first, I could compare him to nothing but an Humble Bee
in a Meadow, Buz upon this Daizy, Hum upon that Clover, then upon that
Butter-flower--sucking of Honey, as he is of Sense--or as if upon the
hunt for knowledge, he could fly from hence to the Colledge at _Downy_,
then to St. _Peter_'s at _Rome_, then to _Mahomet_ at _Mecha_, then to
the Inquisition at _Goa_--And then buz home again to his own dormitory
in _Shooe-lane_: And so much for his injustice, now to his errour in
Criticism again, and to proceed in defence of _Don Quixot_.

_Mary_ the Buxom, he says now swears faster 'tis false, and I deny it,
she is so far from swearing fast, that she does not (rude as her
character is) swear at all, unless the poor interjection I'cod--by his
Authority can be made an Oath; and then if you'll peruse him on, here is
a whole page and half upon this hint, That the Ladies must have left
their Wits and Modesties behind them that came, and lik'd her Words or
Actions; and that her Nastiness, and dirty Conversation, is a Midnight
Cart, or a Dunghil, instead of an Ornamental Scene. [Footnote: Collier,
p. 204.] Now you don't find out our Gentlemans malicious meaning by
this, but I shall inform ye. He says, I'm sorry the Ladies brought their
Wits and Modesties with them, that came to see this Character; and yet
all the whole Town can witness, that as many of the Ladies as could get
into the Play-House came thither, to wait upon Her late _Majesty of
Sacred Memory_, who did me that honour only for my benefit; and who
was of so nice a Temper, relating to Modesty, that if so much as a hint
had been given her by those had seen it before, of such a thing as
Immodesty, she had never came, much less had been diverted, as she was,
when she did come; but this I take as striking at _her_ through my
sides; and I think, to use his own words, _is above the Correction of
the Pen_. [Footnote: Collier, p. 206.] The next is such senseless
malice, or ignorance, that it deserves a hoot; he finds _Manuel_ in
_Don Quixot_ (playing in his Farce for the Dukes diversion) addressing
to the Dutchess in this manner, in a Jargon of Phrase made ridiculous
on purpose: _Illustrious beauty, I must desire to know whether the most
purifidiferous _Don Quixot_ of the _Manchissima_, and the Squireiferous
_Pancha_, be in this Company or no_. To whom _Sancho_ replies,
imitating, as he thinks this fine stile, _Why lookee, forsooth,
without any more flourishes, the Governor _Pancha_ is here, and _Don
Quixotissimo_ too, therefore, most Afflictedissimous Matronissima, speak
what you Willissimus, for we are all ready to be your Servitorissimus_.
[Footnote: Vid. Shelton's _Translation of _Don Quixot_, p._ 205.] And
this now he inserts as my own Invention and manner of Stile, which is
taken _verbatim_ from the History of _Don Quixot_, and is by all those
that can judge of humour, very pleasant and fit for that purpose. Now if
he has never read that History, his ignorance has abus'd me; and if he
has, his impudence has, of which us perceiv'd he has Stock enough, for
presently he worries me for saying, in my Epistle Dedicatory to the
Duchess of _Ormond_, That _I date my good fortune from her prosperous
influence_, and says 'tis _Astrological_. [Footnote: Collier, p. 207.] I
don't know whether it has that sort of Learning in't or no, but 'tis as
good sense as when he says, like a Wag as he is, that the Ladies fancy
is just _slip-stocking high, and she seems to want sense more than her
Break-fast_. [Footnote: Collier, p. 92.] Fancy slip-stocking high? no,
no, the merry Grig must mean her pretty Leg was seen so high, for the
Master of Art, I beg pardon of the rest that their Title is scandaliz'd,
could never mean such Nonsence as t'other sure.

And now drawing near to an end, his malice grows more plainly to a head,
by endeavouring to lessen my Credit with my Patron Mr. _Montague_, whose
generous Candor and good Nature to me, and indeed to us all, he perhaps
has heard of, for here our modest and moral Critick, has either mistaken
the words, or found out a slip of the Press, which because it happens to
be Nonsence, he has very gladly exposed for mine; 'tis in my Epistle to
my aforesaid Patron, thus:

  Had your Eyes shot the haughty Austerity upon me of a right Courtier,
  your valued minutes had never been disturbed with dilatory Trifles
  of this nature; but my heart, on dull Consideration of your Merit,
  had supinely wish'd you Prosperity at a distance_.
  [Footnote: Collier, p. 207.]

Mine in my Copy was written [_due Consideration_] but Doctor Crambo
will have you believe, I consider'd so little to write the t'other; but
now I will hold twenty Stubble Geese to the same number of Tithe Pigs,
whenever he is preferr'd to be a Curate again, that I make my Patron
smile more at my Entertainment of him at his own Cost, than ever he did
at his quoting my _dull Consideration_, which no body but the _dull
Absolver_ could imagine a Man with any Brains could write. And to prove
I have yet a few, I will try to Paraphrase upon his Farewel to me, the
Translation in Verse, but the Reader shall have his first.

  I like an Author that Reforms the Age,
  And keeps the right Decorum of the Stage;
  That always pleases by Just Reason's Rule;
  But for a tedious Droll, a quibbling Fool,
  Who with low nauseous Bawdry fills his Plays,
  Let him be gone, and on two Tressels raise
  Some _Smithfield_ Stage, where he may act his Pranks,
  And make _Jack Puddings_ speak to Mountebanks.

  [Footnote: Collier,]

Your humble Servant good Doctor--Well, now for me.

  I like a Parson, that no Souls does Lurch,
  And keeps the true Decorum of the Church;
  That always preaches by Just Reason's Rule;
  But for a Hypocrite, a Canting Fool,
  Who, cramm'd with Malice, takes the Rebels side,
  _And would, for Conscience, palm on us his Pride,_
  Let him, for Stipend, to the _Gubbins*_ sail,
  And there Hold-forth for Crusts and Juggs of Ale.

  [*: A Savage kind of People in the West of _England_.]

And so much by way of Prose, I shall only now give the Reformer a
little further Advice, in return of his, in my Lyrical way, which is in
a Fable of _A Dog and an Otter_; and to turn his own words upon him, the
Citation may possibly be of some service to him, for if not concern'd in
the Application, he may at least be precaution'd by the Moral. I find he
knows I can sing to other Peoples sense, I'll try now if I can make him
sing to mine: And when he Diverts, or is Diverted with _Vox_, then,
_Preterea nihil_.

       *       *       *       *       *


           _Maxims_ and _Reflections_

                     upon

                    PLAYS.


 (_In Answer to a Discourse, Of the Lawfullness
      and Unlawfullness of PLAYS. Printed
         Before a late PLAY Entituled,
              BEAUTY in DISTRESS_.)



             Written in FRENCH by
               the Bp. of MEAVX.

             And now made ENGLISH



          The PREFACE By another HAND.



                   _LONDON_,

Printed for R. Sare, at _Grays-Inn_ Gate, in
               _Holborne_. 1699.

       *       *       *       *       *



                  THE PREFACE


The Charge drawn up by _Mr. Collier_, against the English Stage hath
obliged the Persons concerned in it, to use all possible methods for
their own Vindication. But their Endeavours of this kind have been such
as seem to have done no great Service to their Cause. The natural
Reflection, arising upon the present State of the Controversy, is, that,
when Persons so nearly concerned and so well qualified, to say all that
the case will bear, have yet been able to say so little to the main
points of the Accusation brought against them, the only effectual Reply
would be either to write no more for the Stage, or to write for it
after quite another manner, than of late hath been done. They that have
attempted to answer the _View_ are in good hands already. But since
other Succours are called in from abroad, 'tis fit the World should
know, that this Reserve too hath been already defeated in it's own
Countrey. And that we ought not to be imposed upon here in England, with
an Adversary, _whose Arguments have been not only confuted and Scorned
by Others, but also retracted by Himself, at home.

That Moroseness of humour, which Some in great good manners have of late
been pleased to fix upon the English as their peculiar Character, might
possibly be thought to dispose us to a blameable Extreme of Rigor in
these matters. And therefore a Forreign Authority was artificially
enough brought in, to reproach our pretended Niceness and Austerity.
But when the Arguments of this Reply are observed to carry the Point
as high, as even the so much upbraided _View_ it self; All but the
Willfully blind must see, that even the Gayeties of France could not
endure the Corruptions of the Modern Theatres. And that the Complaints
against such detestable Abuses are not due to any Quality of the
Climate, or particular turn of Temper; but to the common and uniform
Principles of Christianity and Virtue, which are the same in every
Nation, professing to be governed by them.

To give that _Discourse_ a better face, it is introduced by way of
Letter from a _Worthy Divine_ of the Church of England; and published
before a late Play called _Beauty in Distress_. [Footnote: P. IX. X.
XXVI.] Tis said to be approved, and recommended by that Reverend Person,
for the satisfying some Scruples, _whether a man may Lawfully write for
the Stage_. For a full Resolution whereof the doubting Poet is referred
to this _Discourse_, as that which is presumed _to come fully up to his
purpose_. But we are not told, whether the _Divine_ or the _Poet_, or
who else was the Translator of this Discourse: Or whether that _Worthy_
Friend perused it in French, or in English only. Which yet in the
present Case are Material Circumstances, and such as ought not to have
been concealed, for Two Reasons particularly, which I hold myself
obliged to give the Reader Intimation of.

The First is, That the following Reply produces and answers some
Passages of the French Discourse, not to be found in the English. And
these not only Expressions or single Sentences, but entire Arguments.
Such is that of Plays being a Diversion suitable to the Design of
instituting the Sabbath. Such again That which justifies the Acting them
the whole Lent throughout. Now this manner of dealing is not exactly
agreeable with that _Impartiality_ and _Freedom_ promised in the
beginning of the _Worthy Divines_ Letter. [Footnote: _P. IX._] And
therefore I can very hardly be perswaded, that One of that Character
and Function, had the Forming of the _Discourse_, in the manner it now
appears before _Mr. M's._ Play.

The other Reason, why I Suspect the _Discourse_ not to be translated,
or indeed so throughly approved, by a _Divine of the Church of England_,
is, that, even in what does appear there, he speaks very favourably of
acting Plays upon Sundays. Now admitting, that all the Profession are
not such sowr Criticks as _Mr. Collier_, yet this is a Liberty, which I
do not remember to have heard, that any Modern Divines of that Church
allow. And whatever the Poet's Friend may be in _His_ esteem, I shrewdly
suspect, that He would hardly pass for a very _Worthy Divine_, who
should so far Countenance these _Diversions_, as to let them into a
share of that Holy day, dedicated to the Worship and more immediate
Service of Almighty God,

One would not hastily question Testimonies in matters of Fact, where
there appears any probable Arguments to support them. And therefore
I am far from objecting against the Knowledge and Integrity of the
Booksellers called in to vouch for that Letter, But withall I must beg
leave to think it strange, that a Person of Learning and Character
should so incautiously espouse a _Discourse_, and recommend it for the
direction of a Gentleman's Conscience, who consulted him for Advice; the
Reasoning whereof is not only so weak and Superficiall, but grounded
upon Misconstruction in some, and Misrepresentation in Other Authorities
cited by it. Methinks these ought to have been well examined, before a
man had so perfectly gone into the Consequences drawn from them: such of
them at least as are exceeding obvious, and might have been detected by
recurring to Books, which almost every Divine hath ready at hand.

In this translated Reply the Reader will not have cause to complain of
such Neglect. The Passages out of _Thom: Aquinas, St. Jerom_, and some
others, have been diligently compared, and the Originals faithfully
inserted in most material points. And I cannot but wish, that this Book,
extant at Paris ever since _1694_, had fallen into the hands of this
Doubting Gentleman, instead of that _Discourse_, which it was intended
to confute: That neither the Translator, nor his Friend the _Worthy
Divine_, might have given themselves the Trouble of a Vindication of
Plays; so reproachfully treated, and so substantially answered, that
one would wonder it should have the confidence to appear in English
afterwards, to tempt the same Scorn here, when followed cross the Seas
by the Bishop of Meaux.

By some expressions, I confess one might be apt to think, that the
Author of the Discourse was not perfectly known. But of that no
reasonable Doubt can remain, when we find the Replyer to have retracted:
and Submitted to the Censure of the Church, Why the Author expresses
himself in Terms so soft and general I undertake not to determine. He
might in Tenderness forbear his Adversarys Name; He might be content to
look upon him as an unwary Publisher, rather than the Writer; and, after
Submission made, might charitably desire, as far as might be, to cover
his Reproach. It Suffices, that the Opinions in the Book be confuted,
and exposed to shame; and when this is done in the Punishment of the
Reputed Author, the matter is not great, if the Name from thenceforth
be forgotten. If Mons'r _Caffaro_ had the Hardiness to assert a Tract
so unworthy his Character, his Answerer would not add perhaps to the
Scandall, when that Shame had been taken to himself, with a Remorse
becoming the Fact. But be this how it will, Censures, we know, are not
inflicted upon _Indefinite Some-bodies_; that such were inflicted, and a
Retractation made, the very first period is peremptory: And I hope the
Bp. of Meaux, and his manner of writing, are at least as credible an
Evidence of this, as the Booksellers can be Allowed to be, of that
Letter being genuine, which refers _Mr. M's_ Conscience to the
_Discourse_ for Satisfaction.

I am heartily glad, if the Plays written by that ingenious Gentleman are
so chast and inoffensive, as he declares them to be. The rather, because
the Success he mentions overthrows that frivolous Pretence, of the Poets
lying under a Necessity of writing lewdly in order to please the Town.
And if this Gentleman do yet retain the same tenderness of doing nothing
for Gain or Glory, which does not strictly become him: If he be still as
desirous to be satisfied what does, or does not, become him to do, with
regard to the matter in hand, as I ought to presume he was, when he
consulted his Friend, I would make it my request, that this Reply may be
Seriously and impartially considered. And I cannot but hope, that it may
disabuse him of the Errours the _Discourse_ might lead him into, and I
am much mistaken, if, upon these Terms, he ever writes for the Stage
any more. Prejudice and Passion, Vainglory and Profit, not Reason, and
Virtue, and the Common Good, seem but too plainly, to support this
Practice, and the Defence of it, as the matter is at present managed
among us. And a Person of _Mr. M's_ Parts and Attainments cannot be
at a loss, for much nobler subjects to employ them upon.

A Popular one perhaps it may be, but sure a wilder Suggestion, never
was offered to men of Common sense, than, that _if the Stage be damned_,
the _Art used_ by _Moses, and David, and Solomon, must be no more_.
[Footnote: _See Mr. D's. verses before Beauty, in Distress._] Are we
fallen into an Age so incapable of of distinguishing, that there should
be no visible difference left between, the Excellencies and the Abuse of
any Art? No. _Mr: Dryden_ himself hath taught us better. We will have
all due regard for the Author of _Absalom_ and _Achitophel_, and several
other pieces of just renown, and should admire him for a rich Vein of
Poetry, though he had never written a Play in his whole Life. Nor shall
we think our selves obliged to burn the Translation of _Virgil_ by
vertue of that sentence, which seems here to be pronounced upon that of
the Fourth Book of _Lucretius_. The World, I Suppose, are not all
agreed, that then is but _One_ Sort of Poetry, and as far from allowing,
that the _Dramatick_, is that One. They who write after those_ Divine,
Patterns of Moses &c_: will be no whit the less Poets, though there were
not a Theatre left upon the Face of the Earth; Their Honours will be
more deserved, Their Laurells more verdant and lasting, when blemished
with none of those Reproaches from Others, or their own breasts, which
are due to the Corrupters of Mankind, And such are all They, who soften
men's abhorrence of Vice, and cherish their dangerous Passions. To tell
us then, that All, even Divine, Poetry must be silenced and for ever
lost, when the Play-houses are once shut up, is to impose too grossely
upon our Understandings. And their Sophistry bears hard, methinks, upon
Profaneness, which insinuates the Hymns dictated by the Holy Spirit, of
God, to be so nearly related to the Modern Compositions for the Stage,
that both must of necessity stand and fall together.

If Poetry have of late sunk in its credit, that misfortune is owing to
the degenerate and Mercenary Pens, of some who have set up for the great
Masters of it. No man I presume, is for exterminating that noble Art,
no not even in the _Dramatick_ part; provided it can be effectually
reformed. But if the Reformation of the Stage be no longer practicable,
reason good that the incurable Evil should be cut off: If it be
practicable, let the Persons concerned give Evidence of it to the World,
by tempering their Wit so, as to render it Serviceable to Virtuous
purposes, without giving just offence to wise, and Good men. For it is
not the Pretence of a good Design which can free the Undertakers from
Blame, unless the Goodness of the end and Intention be Seconded with a
Prudent Management of the Means. And if Matters once should come to that
Extremity, better and much more becoming of the Two, no doubt it were,
that our _Maker's Praises should be sunk into Prose_ (as this Ingenious
Person phrases it) than that in the midst of a Christan City, that
_Maker_ should be six days in seven publickly insulted and blasphemed
in poetry.

       *       *       *       *       *

         THE AUGUSTAN REPRINT SOCIETY

                 Announces Its

  _Publications for the Third Year (1948-1949)_


_At least two_ items will be printed from each of the _three_
following groups:

[Transcriber's Note:
Many of the listed titles are or will be available from Project
Gutenberg. Where possible, the e-text number is given in brackets.]

Series IV: Men, Manners, and Critics

Sir John Falstaff (pseud.), _The Theatre _(1720).
Aaron Hill, Preface to _The Creation_; and Thomas Brereton, Preface
  to _Esther_. [#15870]
Ned Ward, Selected Tracts.


Series V: Drama

Edward Moore, _The Gamester_ (1753). [#16267]
Nevil Payne, _Fatal Jealousy_ (1673).
Mrs. Centlivre, _The Busie Body_ (1709).
Charles Macklin, _Man of the World_ (1781).


Series VI: Poetry and Language

John Oldmixon, _Reflections on Dr. Swifts Letter to Harley_ (1712);
  and Arthur Mainwaring, _The British Academy_ (1712).
Pierre Nicole, _De Epigrammate_.
Andre Dacier, Essay on Lyric Poetry.


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NOTE: All income received by the Society is devoted to defraying cost
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      *       *       *       *       *

       _THE AUGUSTAN REPRINT SOCIETY_

               Makes Available


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                    from

           ENGLISH LITERATURE OF THE

      SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES


Students, scholars, and bibliographers of literature, history, and
philology will find the publications valuable. _The Johnsonian News
Letter_ has said of them: "Excellent facsimiles, and cheap in price,
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The Augustan Reprint Society is a non-profit, scholarly organization,
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During the first two years the publications are issued in three
series: I. Essays on Wit; II. Essays on Poetry and Language; and III.
Essays on the Stage.

      *       *       *       *       *

PUBLICATIONS FOR THE FIRST YEAR (1946-1947)

MAY, 1946: Series I, No. 1--Richard Blackmore's _Essay upon Wit_
(1716), and Addison's _Freeholder_ No. 45 (1716). [#13484]

JULY, 1946: Series II, No. 1--Samuel Cobb's _Of Poetry_ and
_Discourse on Criticism_ (1707) [#14528]

SEPT., 1946: Series III, No. 1--Anon., _Letter to A.H. Esq.;
concerning the Stage_ (1698), and Richard Willis' _Occasional Paper_
No. IX (1698).

NOV., 1946: Series I, No. 2--Anon., _Essay on Wit_ (1748), together
with Characters by Flecknoe, and Joseph Warton's _Adventurer_ Nos. 127
and 133. [#14973]

JAN., 1947: Series II, No. 2--Samuel Wesley's _Epistle to a Friend
Concerning Poetry_ (1700) and _Essay on Heroic Poetry_ (1693).

MARCH, 1947: Series III, No. 2--Anon., _Representation of the Impiety
and Immorality of the Stage_ (1704) and anon., _Some Thoughts
Concerning the Stage_ (1704). [#15656]


PUBLICATIONS FOR THE SECOND YEAR (1947-1948)

MAY, 1947: Series I, No. 3--John Gay's _The Present State of Wit_;
and a section on Wit from _The English Theophrastus_. With an
Introduction by Donald Bond. [#14800]

JULY, 1947: Series II, No. 3--Rapin's _De Carmine Pastorali_,
translated by Creech. With an Introduction by J. E. Congleton. [#14495]

SEPT., 1947: Series III, No. 3--T. Hanmer's (?) _Some Remarks on the
Tragedy of Hamlet_. With an Introduction by Clarence D. Thorpe. [#14899]

NOV., 1947: Series I, No. 4--Corbyn Morris' _Essay towards Fixing the
True Standards of Wit_, etc. With an Introduction by James L. Clifford.
[#16233]

JAN., 1948: Series II, No. 4--Thomas Purney's _Discourse on the
Pastoral_. With an Introduction by Earl Wasserman. [#15313]

MARCH, 1948: Series III, No. 4--Essays on the Stage, selected, with
an Introduction by Joseph Wood Krutch.


The list of publications is subject to modification in response to
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GENERAL EDITORS

RICHARD C. BOYS, University of Michigan
EDWARD NILES HOOKER, University of California, Los Angeles
H.T. SWEDENBERG, JR., University of California, Los Angeles


ADVISORY EDITORS

EMMETT L. AVERY, State College of Washington
LOUIS I. BREDVOLD, University of Michigan
BENJAMIN BOYCE, University of Nebraska
CLEANTH BROOKS, Yale University
JAMES L. CLIFFORD, Columbia University
ARTHUR FRIEDMAN, University of Chicago
SAMUEL H. MONK, University of Minnesota
JAMES SUTHERLAND, Queen Mary College, London

       *       *       *       *       *

[Errors, Problems and Anomalies
(all in _The Campaigners_ unless otherwise noted):

J. W. Krutch Introduction (1948)
  good natured, heavy handed, slow witted, long winded
    _no hyphens in original_

title page
  the DOG and the OTTOR
    spelling as in the original

p. 2
  horrid horrid Blasphemy
    _duplication in original_

p. 3
  [Footnote: Collier, p.]
    _number missing in original_

p. 3
  the Blockheaded Chaplain had been greazing his old Cassock
    _original reads_ Bockheaded ... Gassock

p. 6
  in the twinkling of an Ejaculation, as Parson _Say-grace_ has it
    _original reads_ Ejaculution
    (source is Congreve, _The Double-Dealer_:
      all texts consulted have _a_)
  when I find him in this Paragraph of his Book * raving on at this rate
    _asterisk in original_

p. 8
  contrives to confute some canting prejudic'd Zealots
    _original reads_ coutrives
  would he roar it out for Blasphemy, Profaneness, &_c._
    _original reads_ Balsphemy

p. 10
  [Footnote: ...54]
    _5 or 6 letters missing_
  Again speaking of _Jupiter_ and _Alcmena_
    _original reads_ Aclmena

p. 13
  Yet he buffly goes on,
    _so in original, possibly error for_ busily
    (printed text uses long _s_ but reading is unambiguous)

p. 14
  _Ben Johnson_ found out _Ananias_ and _Rabby Buisy_
    _spellings as in original_

p. 16
  yet however seems to leer of our side
    _reading uncertain, possibly_ loer

p. 17
  [Footnote: D. Quix. p. 1. p. 20.]
    _? part 1, page 20_

p. 19
  and has so little the quality of Prophaneness
    _original reads_ Prohaneness

p. 20
  those that bring Devils upon the Stage
    _conjectural reading: entire word "Stage" is illegible_

p. 21
  But then I have made the Curate _Perez_ assist
    _original reads_ Per..
    (character's name in _Don Quixote_ is Pero Perez)

  let me ask the doctor why he does not shew me an example for this
  himself, and Practice better before he Accuses; for let the Reader
  look into his _Desertion Discuss'd_ (for he shall find that I have
  trac'd him through all his Writings) and
    _original reads_
    let me ask the ..ctor why he does not shew me an example for this
    himself, and Pract... better before he Accuses; for let the Reader
    look into his _Desertion Discuss'd_ (for he shall find that I have
    trac'd him through all his Writing.....d

  that the _Absolver_ in the first Volume of his Essays, page 120,
  in his Chapter of the _A..._ tells us, _Whether the honesty or
  dishonesty are discernable in the face, is a question which
  admits of dispute
    _original reads_
    that the _Ab......_ in the first Volume of his Essays, page 120,
    in his Chapter of the _A...._ tells us, _Whether the honesty or
    dishonesty are discernable in the face, .. . .uestion which
    admits of dispute

  I believe an instance might be given
    _original reads_
    an instan.. .ight be

p. 23
  here has escap'd for his usage of a Gentleman
    _original reads_ Gentlemen

p. 24
  as she sat in a Chair
    _original reads_ Chiar

p. 25
  he thinks will infallibly overcome censure
    _original reads_ iufallibly

  There, says he, is a description of sucking for ye
    _original reads_
    There, says he, .. . description of sucking for ye

  And then like another Devil of a Joker runs on
    _original reads_ ruus

  did not his plaguee want of Memory
    _so in original_

  after he has been bringing forth a Litter of Mr. _Congreeves_
  Epithetes, as he calls them
    _original reads_
    Epithetes, [blank] calls them

  and incessant scalding Rain
    _original reads_ incess...

  He tells ye more plain in troth than wittily
    _original reads_
    He tells ye more plain in trot. ..an wittily

  they make the Poem look like a Bitch overstock'd with Puppies, and
  suck the sense almost to Skin and Bone. For a Child to suck the
  Mother till the Blood follows, I think is not unreasonable, but
  for a Litter of Epithetes to suck the sense of a Poem to the Skin
  and Bone, is such Fustian stuff that
    _original reads_
    they make the Poem look like a Bitch overstock'd with Pup...s, and
    suck ... sense almost to Skin and Bone. For a C.ild to suck t..
    Mother t... ... Blood follows, I think is not unrea...able, but
    fo. . ..tter of Ep....... .o suck the sense of a Poem to the Skin
    and Bone, is such Fustian ..... that

  I am even with him with a Dose of _Jollop_
    _capital J uncertain_

  And then buz home again to his own dormitory in _Shooe-lane_
    _original reads_ Sho.e-lane

p. 27
  [Footnote: Collier,]
    _page reference missing in original_

p. A2v (_Maxims_ ...)
  might possibly be thought
    _original reads_ possibly ]


[_Supplementary Note_:

Neither of the verse passages quoted on pg. 15 is by Chaucer. The first
is from _The Plowman's Tale_, written about 1380 and traditionally
attributed to Chaucer:

  Of freres I have tolde before,
    In a makynge of a Crede.
  And yet I coulde tell worse and more,
    But men wolde weryen it to rede.

The second was printed in Tottel's Miscellany ("Songes and Sonettes
written by the ryght honorable Lorde Henry Haward late Earle of Surrey,
and other", 1557):

  Flee fro the prese & dwell with sothfastnes
  Suffise to thee thy good though it be small,
  For horde hath hate and climyng ticklenesse
  Praise hath enuy, and weall is blinde in all
  Fauour no more, then thee behoue shall.
  Rede well thy self that others well canst rede,
  And trouth shall the deliuer it is no drede. ]





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