Richard Lovelace: The Epilogue

THE stubborne author of the trifle, Crime, 
That just now cheated you of 2 hours' time, 
Presumptuous, it lik't him, began to grow 
Carelesse, whether it pleased you or no. 

    But we who ground th' excellence of a Play 
On what the women at the dores wil say, 
Who judge it by the Benches, and afford 
To take your money ere his Oath or word 
His Schollars school'd, sayd if he had been wise 
He should have wove in one, two Comedies ; 
The first for th' Gallery, in which the Throne 
To their amazement should descend alone, 
The rosin-lightning flash, and Monster spire 
Squibs, and words hotter then his fire. 

    Th' other for the Gentlemen oth' Pit, 
Like to themselves, all Spirit, Fancy, Wit, 
In which plots should be subtile as a Flame, 
Disguises would make Proteus stil the same : 
Humours so rarely humour'd, and exprest, 
That ev'n they should thinke 'em so, not drest ; 
Vices acted and applauded too, Times 
Tickled, and th' Actors acted, not their Crimes, 
So he might equally applause have gain'd 
Of th' hardned, sooty, and the snowy hand. 

    Where now one so so spatters, t'other, no ; 
Tis his first Pla, twere Solecisme 'tshould goe ; 
The next, 't shew'd pritily, but searcht within 
It appeares bare and bald, as is his Chin ; 
The Towne-wit Sentences ; a Scholar's Play ! 
Pish! I know not why—but—th'ave not the way. 

    We, whose gaine is all our pleasure, ev'n these 
Are bound by Justice and Religion to please ; 
Which he whose Pleasure's all his gaine, goes by 
As slightly, as they doe his Comædy. 

    Cull's out the few the worthy, at whose feet 
He sacrifices both himselfe, and it 
His Fancies first fruits : Profit he knowes none 
Unles that of your Approbation, 
Which if your thoughts at going out will pay, 
Hee'l not looke farther for a Second Day


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