OR, Some few ERRATA'S to be Printed instead of the SCULPTURES with the Second Edition of that PLAY.

—Nunquamne reponam,
Vexatus toties rauci Theseide Codri?

LONDON, Printed in the Year, 1674.


WHen I first saw the Empress of Morocco, though I found it then to be a Rapsody of non-sense, I was very well contented to have let it pass, that the Reputation of a new Authour might not be wholly damn'd; but that he might be encourag'd to make his Audience some part of amends another time. In order to this, I strain'd a point of Conscience to cry up some passages of the Play, which I hop'd would recommend it to the liking of the more favourable Judges. But the ill report it had from those that had seen it at Whitehall, had already done its Buisness with Iudicious Men. It was generally dis­lik'd by them; and but for the help of Scenes and Habits, and a Dancing Tree, even the Ludgate Audience had for­saken it. After this ill success, one would have thought the Poet should have been sufficiently mortified, and though he were not naturally modest, should at least have deferr'd the showing of his Impudence till a fitter season. But instead of this, he has written before his Play, the most arrogant, calumniating, ill manner'd, and senseless Preface I ever saw. This upstart illiterate Scribler, who lies more open to censure then any writer of the Age, comes amongst the Poets, like one of the Earth-born Brethren, and his first buisness [Page] in the World is, to Attack and Murder all his Fellows. This I confess rais'd a little Indignation in me, as much as I was capable of, for so contemptible a Wretch, and made me think it somewhat necessary that he should be made an Ex­ample, to the discouragement of all such petulant Ill Wri­ters, and that he should be dragg'd out of that Obscurity to which his own Poetry would for ever have condemn'd him. I knew indeed that to Write against him, was to do him too great an Honour: But I consider'd Ben. Johnson had done it before to Deeker, our Authors Pred [...]cessor, whom he chastis'd in his Poet aster under the Character of Crispinus; and brought him in Vomiting up his Fustian and Non-sense. Should our Poet have been introduc'd in the same manner, he must have disgorg'd his whole Play ere he had been cleans'd. Never did I see such a confus'd heap of false Grammar, improper English, strain'd Hyperboles, and downright Bulls. His Plot is incoherent and full of absurdities; and the Cha­racters of his Persons so ill chosen, that they are all either Knaves or Fools; only his Knaves are Fools into the Bar­gain: and so must be of necessity while they are in his Man­agement. They all speake alike, and without distinction of Character: That is, every one Rants and Swaggers, and talks Non-sense abundantly. He steals notoriously from his Contemporaries; but he so alters the property, by disguising his Theft in ill English, and [...]ad Applications, that he makes the Child his own by deforming it. Male dum re [...]citas incipit esse tuus. A Poet when he sees his thoughts in so ill a dress, is asham'd to confess they ever belong'd to him. For the Latine and Greek Authors, he had certainly done them the same injurie he has done the English, but that he has the excuse of Aretine for not railing against [Page] God: he Steals not from them, because he never knew them. In short, he's an Animal of a most deplor'd understanding, without Reading & Conversation: his being is in a twilight of Sence, and some glimmering of thought, which he can never fashion either into Wit or English. His Stile is Boisterous and Rough Hewen: his Rhyme incorrigibly lewd, and his numbers perpetually harsh and ill sounding. That little Talent which he has is Fancy. He sometimes labours with a thought, but with the Pudder he makes to bring it into the World, 'tis commonly Still-born: so that for want of Learning and Elocution, he will never be able to express any thing either naturally or justly. This subjects him on all occasions to false allusions, and mistaken points of Wit. As for Iudgment he has not the least grain of it: and therefore all his Plays will be a mere confusion. What a beastly Pattern of a King, whom he intends vertuous, has he shown in his Muley Labas? Yet he is the only person who is kept to his Character; for he is a perpetual Fool: and I dare undertake that if he were Play'd by Nokes, who Acted just such another Monarch in Mackbeth, it would give new life to the Play, and do it more good then all its Devils. But of all Women, the Lord Bless us from his Laula: no body can be safe from her; she is so naturally mischievous, that she kills without the least occasion, for the mere Letchery of Blood-shed. I suspect he took her Character from the poison­ing Woman, who, they say, makes almost as little ceremony of a Murder as that Queen. It were endless to run over the rest; but they are all of the same S [...]amp: He has a heavy hand at Fools, and a great felicity in writing Non-sense for them. Fools they will be in spight of him. His King, his two Empresses, his Villain and his Sub-villain, nay [Page] his Heroe have all a certain natural cast of the Father: one turn of the Countenance goes through all his Children. Their Folly was born and bred in 'em; and something of the Elkanah will be visible. Our Poet in writing Fools, has very much in him of that Sign-post Painter, who was fa­mous only for drawing Roses; when a Vintner desir'd him to paint him a Lyon, he answer'd he would do it to content him, but he was sure it would be like a Rose. Yet since the com­mon Audience are much of his levell, and both the great Vulgar and the small (as Mr. Cowly calls them) are apt to admire what they do not understand; (omne ignotum ha­bent pro magnifico) and think all which rumbles is He­roick: It will be no wonder if he pass for a great Authour amongst Town Fools and City Wits. With these Men, they who laugh at him, will be thought envious, for they will be sure to rise up in Arms for Non-sense, and violently defend a cause, in which they are engag'd by the tyes of Nature and Education. But it will be for the benefit of Mankind here­after, to observe what kind of People they are, who frequent this Play: that Men of common sense may know whom to shun. Yet I dare assure the Reader, that one half of the faults and absurdities are not shown; what is here, is only Selected Fustian, Impertinence, and false Grammar. There is as much behind as would reasonably damn as many Plays as there are Acts: for I am sure there are no four Lines to­gether, which are free from some errour; and commonly a gross one. But here is enough to take a tast of him: to have observ'd all, were to have swell'd a Volume, and have made you pay as dear for a Fools Picture, as you have done for his Tragedy with Sculptures.

Errata's in the EPISTLE.

My LORD, The Impudence of Scriblers, &c.

OUR Poet to shew he has as little Manners as Wit, be­gins his Address to his Patron with Impudence, and in­stead of making those humble and modest approaches which become him to a person of his Patrons great quality, he very saucily (as he phrases it) Attacks him, that is, mounts his wooden Pegasus, and runs a tilt at him, or at best rides cheek by jole by him, and makes his dumb Beast Wince and Kick Dirt in the Face of all his fellow Impudent Scriblers, whom he looks down with much contempt upon, as Rascalls not worthy to hold his Stirrup, nor to walk by his Horse sides, whilst he keeps company with Princes. Whence arises this mighty pride? is it the extraordi­nary mettle of his Beast, the rich trappings of his Muse, t [...]e splendid equipage he rides in, that makes him thus scorn the poor Hackney Jades of other Scriblers? I am afraid the following page will prove the contrary; nay, I need go no further then his own confessions in this Epistle; so that for all that I can perce [...]ve, he is but a Jackanapes a Horse-back, that because his prances and makes sport to the peo­ple, is proud of being ridiculous, and enviously bi [...]es his fellow Jack­anapes that would fain get a Horse-back as well as himself. Put what is it that he excuses his [...]ellow Scriblers of?

The Impudence, &c. has so corrupted the Original design of Dedications, that before I dare tell you this trifle begs your Lordsh [...]ps Protection, I ought first to examine on what grounds I make the Attack; for now every thing that e're saw the Stage, how modest soever it has been there, without daring to shew its face above three days, has yet the arrogance to thrast [...]t self into the World in Print, with a great name before it — where the Fawning Scribler shall compendiously say— &c. And thus a Dedication which was formerly a present to a Person of Quality, is now made a Li [...]ell o [...] him, whilst the Poet either supposes his Patron so great a Sot, as to defend that in Print which he hist off the Stage, or makes himself a greater in asking a favour from him which [...]e ne [...]re expects to ob [...]ain.

[Page]This is the sum of his Accusation, and of the first part of his Epi­stle. To let pass the Non-sense of corrupting the Origi [...]al design of Dedications; as if one mans [...]esi [...]ns could corrupt anothers. And of a Dedication which was a present becoming a Libell, as if Dedications were like Ale in Summer, the same Dedication which was a present, could sowre into a Libell; The sense of the whole is this: Impudent Scriblers, that is, Sawcy and Foolish Writers, by making great per­sons patronize their damn'd Plays; that is, by Attacking them with Trifles, make all Dedications so suspected for Libells; that he dares not At­tack his Patron with his Triflle, before he tells him on what grounds he does it, least he should be thought a Libeller as well as they One would think by the horrid bluster that he made at Starting, the sawcy­ness wherewith he demeans himself all along in his Epistle to so great a person as his Patron, the contempt he shews to his poor fellow Scriblers, strutting and crowing over them at the rate he does, that for certain he must be some extraordinary inspired mortal, his Play some very transcendent piece, and his Dedication so secure from being a Libell, that (to speak in his own phrase) he infinitely obliges his Patron to condescend to grant him that honour. But alas! this Huff, like all those in his Play, dwindles, when examin'd, into non-sense or nothing. Here all that he has to say against the poor Wretches is, that they are so sawcy and impudent as to Attack great persons with Trifles, and yet confesses he do [...]s the same; and this he takes a great deal of pains to prove is plain Libelling of them, and by consequence (though he is so silly as not to see it) is industrious to prove himself a Libeller and impudent Scribler. And (as there is always sure to be Non sense in the tayle of all his huffs) All that he has to say for him­self is, that he has grounds for what he do's, as if any one could have grounds for Libelling a Person of Honour. For taking Libell in the strictest and most proper signification, to say a Man has grounds to write a Libell of any one, is to say, he has grounds to write a paper full of Scandalous lyes of him, which non-sensically infers the lyes he writes of him are true. But suppose he will take Libell in the largest signi­fication, that is, only a scandalous paper, then the more grounds he bra [...]s of, the worse he makes the business. Such a Pur-blind Animal is our Poet, that he cannot see to the end of his own sentences, but before he gets half way, knocks his foolish head against some non­sense, inconvenience, contradiction or other. But he will say, I take him up before he is down, by Trifle he means modest Trifles that [Page] n [...]ver durst show their Faces upon the Stage above three days; As if a Fool, whether modest or sawcy, were not a Fool. A Fool is a Fool and a Trifle is a Trifle, whether modest or impudent; and the more impudent the worse. And I am sure his is an impudent Trifle, that being so wretched a one, durst not only shew its Face upon a Court Stage, but after dedi­cate it self to a Person of so great quality and honour as its Patron, and had the impudence to begin that very Dedication with Impudence, this is Impudence upon Impudence. I but still you mistake him, he intends not when he calls his Play a Trifle, that you should be so dull as to think it so, he only says this to get a Complement. Then I shall for once disappoint him, and take him at his word, and by the fol­lowing pages prove it the most non-sensical and ridiculous Trifle that ever was written; and himself an impudent Scribler, that not only has corrupted the Original design of Dedications, but of all Verse and Tragedy. For whereas the design of Verse is to please the Ear with the Chime and Musick of it; and of Tragedy to move Admiration and Passion; he by his blundering hobling Verse, disagreeing and (to imitate his non-sense) almost never-riming [...]ime, has made all Verse ridiculous; and by his foolish, barbarous, and unnatural Cha­racters, impossible Designs, childish Turns and Tricks; and these clothed with intolerable Fustian, nauseous and senseless Huffing, end­less Tautology, and palpable Non-sense, has debased Tragedy to farce, and accordingly upon the ridiculous mirth of it, depends the sole success this merry Tragedy has had among Fools. So that by all his Wincing and Floundring to dash out the Teeth of others, he has but bemired and bogged himself. Others he calls [...]awning Scriblers, and confesses himself an impudent Attacker. Others if the worst come to the worst, do but make So [...]s of themselves, in as [...]ing favours of their Patrons which they never expect to obtain, for that is the only horn of his Dilemma that he can hurt his weak brethren with; and if they must be gored the wound will not be mortal: for I hope any one may if he please make bold with himself. But it is apparent by his arro­gance, he neither thinks nor designs to make himself a Sot: then to turn his own horn upon him, it is as apparent from his own confession, how bold he makes with the favour of his Patron, and how guilty he is of that very Impudence he so much rails against. Ay! — But he says he has grounds for it. This indeed seems to be a pretty Riddle, and well worth examining, that he should have grounds for being Im­pudent. And he Apologizes finely, to confess that truly he is very [Page] Sawcy and Affronting in making an Attack with such a Trifle▪ but he has reason for it: I cannot devise how he will prove it; but I am sure the more reasons he brings for his Sawcyness, the more Sawcy he is, so ill does he mend the matter. However, I long to see what these reasons are; and it is high time we came at them; for he pro­mised in the beginning of the Epistle, that he would examin them the first thing he did, so careful was he then to show his good Breeding; and it is one point of Manners to perform what one promises, espe­cially to great People; but his memory it seems is very short; for he has no sooner made the promise, but he instantly forgets it, and spends above half his [...]pistle in silly railing, without so much as once men­tioning the grounds he promised, as it is always the manner of fools to talk a great while about nothing, before they come to the point. But now we shall have them.

But my Lord, whilst I trouble you with this kind of discourse, I beg you would not think I design▪

Ridiculous Poet, does he think so great a Person as his Patron trou­bles himself with the foolish designs of such a Wretch? He begs to be thought considerable.

To give rules to the Press, as others have done to the Stage.

No, Heaven forbid he should, they would be miserable Rules, his Printing would be like his Writing; he would do by Letters as he does by Words, take any that comes next, as he puts Breath for the Mind, Hands for the Tongue, Eyes for the Nose, &c, and makes an unintelligible Poetical cant: so he would A for B; and B. for C, and let any body read his Cant that could.

Or that I find fault with their Dedications in Complement to my own: No, that's a Trick I do not pretend to.

Our Authour continues his good Manners: He talks of nothing throughout the Epistle, but Impudence, Fawning Scriblers, compendious S [...]ts and Tricks. He behaves himself rather like some malapert Coun­try Justice upon the Bench, in equal Commission with the Judge, and examining fawning Scriblers with Authority, then a poor Poet at the Feet of a great Person, on whose favour he depends. And now having all along rail'd at Scriblers and Dedicators of bad Plays, indi­ted all such for Libellers, proved e'm by dint of Logick Compendious Sots, and yet after all, having foolishly confessed himself guilty of the same Crimes, fearing by consequence that he had intangled himself in his own Nooze; and that he if in so plain a Case could bring himself off, [Page] he must be suspected to deal in strange tricks of Legerdemain, he re­plies very peartly, No, my Lord, no such matter, I have no occasion for any Tricks, what I have done I have grounds for, and the reason of my Attack was this. And now we come full butt upon his Grounds:

Besides your particular favours in the publick honours you have condes­cended to grant this Play, and its Authour, have heightned my sense of Gratitude beyond my power of expressing it. This Play, which for no other merit durst take Sanctuary here, throws it self at your feet as your own, the Story of which I owe to your hands, &c.

What a Medley of confounded stuff is here? in the publick honours you have condescended; condescend honours is a new and a very pro­per phrase. To grant this Play and its Authour, have heightned my sense. Here he distinguishes betwixt himself and the Authour of the Play; if spoke with design, it is the only thing in the Epistle that has Wit in it; for no one but would be ashamed of owning such a Play; but there is very little reason to think that is his design, and so I must place it among the rest of his Fustian. Besides the publick honours you have condescended — have heightned: Here is have — have twice. And then what tolerable connexion is there in the words? This Play which for no other merit, i. e, No other merit then the ho­nours condescended; he makes conferring of honours to confer me­rit. Merit sometimes procures Honour, but Honour never bestows Merit. For no other merit durst take Sanctuary: I had thought People had used to take Sanctuary for Guilt and not for Merit. Poor Mo­rocco, heaven knows, is much injured to be so accused of Merit, that in a great fright it must take Sanctuary to be protected from it. Durst take Sanctuary here, throws it self at your Feet. Take Sanctuary here: where? at your Feet; then it is Tautology. This Play, which for no other merit durst take Sanctuary at your feet, does take Sanctuary at your Feet▪ If not at your feet, where then? I am sure the foot is the fitting'st place for such Stuff, and yet by the Authours arrogance, he rather seems to aim at the crown of the head; and yet such non-sense should not choose the Head for Sanctuary of all parts of the body; I am sure no Head but his own but would be ashamed to give it Sanctuary. There is ano­ther part of the body which his Plays and Scribbles would be more useful too. Throws it self at your feet as your own. This is the great­est piece of Saucyness and Arrogance we have met with yet, to accuse his Lordship of being the Authour of his damn'd Play▪ Cannot a [Page] great Person take a little pitty of a Fool, but he must be charg'd with his Follies? I must confess it is hard for one to stroke a Changling, and not be slavered. If the Play be his Lordships, he is very sawcy to throw it at his feet, if it be not, (which I think no one need dis­pute) he is more sawcy to lay all his Bul [...]s and Bombast to his charge. But perhaps he will say, he means the Story only is his Lordships; The Story of which I owe to your hands. What, did his hands tell the Story? they say indeed that in Spain, persons that cannot get access to each other to talk, have a knack of imparting their minds by their fingers and thumbs; but this needed not to have been used in this case. The too frequent access he has had to this Great and Noble Person, is that which swells him to this arrogance. Besides, if he owes the Story to his Lordships hands, why does he pay it to his feet? This is robbing Peter to pay Paul. Every thing that he does, as well as all he writes must be incongruous. But I do also say, the Story is not his Lordships, I mean as this Poet has manag'd it; for though I know not what story he received, yet I am pretty sure it never was this barbarous and ridiculous Tale that he has pester'd us with. He may well tell his Lordship, he throws it at his Feet as his own: that is, as it were his own; fo [...] I am confident it is nothing like it as it came from him. And his Lordship needed that information to know his own Story when he met it in that disguise. And he was very patient when the Poet had the i [...]pudence to throw his Story at his feet so abus'd and mangl'd, that he did not make one of his Grooms to throw him there after it. But now to collect, if possible, out of this heap of Rubbish, the grounds we heard so much talk of: The sum total amounts to no more then this: the honours condescended, &c Favours from a Person of Honour, are incomparable grounds for being Sawcy with him. Truly, ingenious Men they use to render more modest and submissive; but Fools it seems more arrogant. And this heightned his sense of Gratitude beyond his power of expressing it. And this so transported our Poet, he has not been able to speak one wise word. Poor Poet! he has it seems a very weak head, he cannot bear a little favour, but he must presently be intoxicated; and in his Drink he has another infirmity, to be Sawcy. But is this all he has to brag of? Other Scriblers for ought he knows may be fuddled with Favour, and sawcy in their Drink as well as he; and then why must they be jerked and he be stroked: What equity is there in that? This it is [...]o give a Babboon Brandy, twenty to one but he sawcily Attacks you. [Page] I have tyred my self and I fear my Reader, with raking into the end­less absurdities of this Epistle; there are many more, almost as many as words; but I shall but touch at some few, and the next that offers it self, is I think worth observing.

I present it to your Patronage, as the Jews made their Sacrifices, which we read took Fire from Heaven: the Incence was lighted by that Divinity to whom it was offered.

Here he compares presenting to making, and has Tautology upon Tautology, Made and Offered, Fired and Lighted, Heaven and Di­vinity, and which is most gross of all, Incence and Sacrifice must be added to the Tautology: for it is apparent he takes 'em to be the same. He says he presented it, as the Iews made their Sacrifices, which we read took fire from Heaven. How did the Iews make such Sacrifi­ces? Answ. The Incence was lighted by the Divinity to whom it was offer'd. Besides, the absurdity of saying the same thing over again, as if I should ask one how the paper come to be blotted, and he should answer me by blotting the paper; It further appears he takes them to be the same, by his saying that of Incence which was only true of Sacrifice: for Sacrifice indeed did take Fire from Heaven, but In­cence it is known, had a distinct Altar appointed for it, and if he would but have vouchsafed to have looked into the Bible, he might have found Incence was lighted by the Priest, with a Coal from the Altar of Sacrifice; but I suppose he avoids reading the Bible, as he says he does other books, for fear of spoiling his Fancy. I do not wonder he cannot distinguish betwixt Sense and Bulls, sin [...]e he knows no difference betwixt Frankincence and Myrrh, and Sheep and Oxen. To imitate his non-sense in presenting this Play to his Noble Patron, he offers up the Incence of whole Hecatombs of Bulls in Sacrifice to him.

Thus has your Lordship shewed your self so great a Friend to the Muses, that as in former Ages, when all that is left of is that Maecenas — &c.
That as in former Ages when all that is left of —

This Poet sure never learnt his Accidence, no ten lines pass him without false English; but he does by Tenses as he does by Words and Sentences, put 'em together Higglety Pigglety, first that come into his head first served, and what stuff they make when they come together he is unconcerned at.

Your influence on the contrary makes the Poet.

With all respect to his Honourable Patron be it spoken: if he did [Page] make this Poet, he is not the best Poet-maker in England; but he does it like a Gentleman, only for his Divertisement. I thought the Poet was not of Natures making he is so awkard a piece. But per­haps this is that Honourable Persons first Essay, the next Poet he is pleased to make, perhaps will be better. 'Ere I let this pass, I must beg pardon, if tracing the footsteps of this Impudent Scribler, I use any unfitting freedom; but I am thrust upon it by my Authour, whose non-sensicall and arrogant Epistle, like a Fanatick Prayer is hard ro expose without seeming profaneness, and entrenching upon things that are Sacred.

And if this Play live or have success enough to preserve a Name, 'tis by being your Creature, and enjoying your Smiles.

Then the Play will live and live Merrily; for it is impossible for any one to abstain from Smiling that ever sees or reads it, it is so plea­sant a Tragedy. Will▪ Doll the Sculptor too, has a little helped on the Mirth with his Sculptures, if the charge of 'em like the double rates at Foolish operaes, does not spoil the Mirth among our Poets upper Gallery Friends, and make 'em see his Plays with Smiles upon their Brows, as in the fourth Act he makes his Queen-Mother meet Death, that is with Frowns. But that which is an abuse to them is a Com­plement to the Book-Seller, who whisper'd the Poet and told him, Sir, your Play had misfortune, was thought a little non-sensical, and all that—but if you would be at the charge of a Sculpture or two — the Poet takes the hint; lets the Book-seller (as 'tis said) pick his Pocket — and all that — 'Tis not to be imagin'd how far a Sculpture or two at the Poets charge, goes to make the Book-seller Rich, and the Poet Ridiculous. I will conclude my observations on this Epistle with four lines of our Poets.

Kings Bounties act like the Suns courteous Smiles,
Whose race produce kind Flowers on fruitful Soiles;
But cast on barren Sands and baser Earth,
Only breed poysons, and give Monsters Birth.

I will not engage in the non-sense of these lines, my buisness here being only to return his Simile upon him, and leave the examination of the non-sense of the expression to another place, it being too much for this, witness the plenty contained but in the first line.

Kings Bounties act like the Suns courteous Smiles.

He calls a Smile courteous, and says a Kings Bounty acts like a Smile; it had been more like sense to have said Kings in their boun­ties act like Smiles; and yet it had been ridiculous enough to com­pare [Page] a King to a Smile. But I observe our Poet is much delighted with Smiles, and they are things that have great power over him.

In his Epilogue to Cambises, he begg'd Smiles to help him to write a Play.

Faith for once grant it, that the World may say,
Your Smiles have been the Authour of a Play.

In this Epistle he begs his Patrons Smiles to preserve his Play. And in his Epilogue to this Play he begs Smiles in general for the Scribling Trade.

So your kind Smiles advance the Scribling Trade.

Oh: Witty Smiles, what cannot Smiles do? write Plays, preserve Plays, and advance Play-making! sure Smiles cannot but be very proud of themselves. But I doubt our Poet means he will write the Plays, and Smiles shall have the credit of them; an excellent Whe­dle! Truly if Smiles get no more credit by their Plays, then they get by Morocco, Smiles will give over Smiling, or Smile upon the Brow; which is worse. And I believe Smiles cannot but be vext, that they were drawn in to be the Authours of a Play, since it was such a wretched one. A barbarous thing it is of the Poet, with his non-sense to force Smiles to Smile, and then accuse Smiles of all his non-sense. If this be the trade, there will be no end of Smiling and Non-sense; for his Non-sense will beget Smiles, and Smiles will beget Non-sense, and so to the end of the Chapter, unless Smiles convinced of the evil consequence contain themselves though never so much provok'd. But to apply his Simile: As the Suns raies cast on fruitful Soils produce Flow­ers, but on barren Sands and baser Earth only breed Monsters and Poisons, (where by the way it is hard to find any baser Earth then barren Sands, nor are those Sands properly barren that produce poisons, nor the Womb that breeds Monsters, but the Sands or Womb that produce nothing.) So the favours of persons of Honour and Generosity cast on ingenious Men, encourage them to produce excellent things, and are bestowed for the advantage of the World; but thrown away on such unimprovable Dunces as this, only produce such things as they say are bred of Sun and Slime in Aegypt, things half Mud and half Monster, and such another thing is this Play, a thing made up of Fustian and non-sense, which with much a do, after two years painful hatching, crawl'd out of the muddy head where it was engendred.


PAg. 34. l. 29. r. this news. p. 45. l. 32. r. ravisher. p. 50. l. 2. dele To expiate. p. 51. l. 9. r. signifie both. l. 32. r. to Martyr`d Monarchs. p. 54. l. 29. r. thy fame. p. 55. l. II. r. raising. p. 54. l. 12. r. little better than fools bolts. p. 68. l. 26. dele with the story. p. 70. l. 11. r. fancy is. p. 71. l. 5. r. he would be thought. l. 34. r. quote. p. 72. l. 2. dele own. l. 3. r. out of. l. 5. r. but not the Excellencies which Schoolmasters, &c. l. 8. r. disertis.

The First ACT.

Condemn'd to Fetters, and to Scepters born.

THAT we may know what to expect, our Poet stuffs non-sence in the very first Line of his Play; and condemns his simple Mulylabas before he was born. To have said he had a knock in his Cradle, had been good sense, and every one would have be­lieved it; but to damn him to Fetters before he was so much as in Swadling-cloaths, is very severe. But this kind of Figure is frequent with out Poet, who not only damns People before they die, as Pluto in the Masque does Orpheus,

Thy Breath has damn'd thee, thou shalt die,

But before they are born, and Routs Armies before they fight. As if our Poets Plays should be damn'd before they were made; to say our Poet is a damn'd Poet, is not only Sense but Truth; but to say his Plays are damn'd Plays before he writes them, is I think as great non-sense as any he can write.

'Tis in this Garb unhappy Princes mourn.

Fetters are the Crape, the Purple, or what you will, that Princes mourn in, or else Princes are out of humour, and mourn when they are in Fetters.

Yet Fortune to great Courages is kind.

Here he makes the King call himself a Man of small Courage; for immediately before he makes him complain of his Fetters, and by con­sequence of Fortunes unkindness to him, and here he says,

Yet Fortune to great Courages is kind.

An excellent Character of a King both Fool and Coward. But perhaps he means Fortune is kind to great Courages in their very mis­fortunes; and then it is absolute non-sense. That is; Great Cou­rages though unfortunate, are fortunate.

[Page 2]
'Tis he wants liberty whose Soul's confin'd.

Then all the people in the world want liberty; for all their Souls are confin'd within their Bodies. But there is farther non-sense in it; for this Line is design'd for a proof of the former, else it is all empty Tautology.

'Tis he wants liberty whose Soul's confin'd.

He means not Corporal Liberty, it is plain; for his King who speaks it, and who would fain proove (if he would speak sense) that he does not want the nobler kind of Liberty which is that of the Mind, yet confesses himself to want the former, and shews his Fetters. And therefore the sense is, he who has a confin'd Soul, has a confin'd Soul. But if it relates to the former Line, there is this non-sence in it.

Yet Fortune to great Courages is kind;
'Tis he wants liberty whose Soul's confin'd.

'Tis apparent, that great Courages and unconfin'd Souls are here the same thing, and then the sence is this: Great Courages, or un­confin'd Souls are unconfin'd by the kindness of Fortune; that is, great Courages are valiant by chance or by good luck.

What stuff may not a silly unattending Audience swallow, wrapt up in Rhime; certainly our Poet writes by chance, is resolv'd upon the Rhime before hand, and for the rest of the Verse has a Lottery of words by him, and draws them that come next, let them make sense or non-sense when they come together he matters not that; and his luck is so bad, that he seldom hits upon any that agree any more, than so many Men of several Languages would do.

My thoughts out-fly that mighty Conqueror,
Who having one world vanquisht, wept for more.
Fetter'd in Empires, he enlargement crav'd,
To the short walk of one poor Globe enslav'd,
My Soul mounts higher, and fates power disdains,
And makes me Reign a Monarch in my Chains.

To pass by the non-sense of enslaving a Man to a walk, and to the walk of a Globe, a thing so improper for a walk, that a Woman up­on a Globe is the Embleme of Fortunes inconstancy; a Globe being a thing that no one can with ease so much as stand upon; and to the walk of a poor Globe, as if there could be poverty in a Globe; the whole is unintelligible Fustian. He brings in his foolish King, after he had as good as confest himself a Man of mean Courage, preferring himself before Alexander the Great, but no body can tell in what. He [Page 3] says his thoughts out-fly that mighty Conqueror; that mighty Con­queror never pretended to flying that I know. But I suppose he means his thoughts out-fly that mighty▪ Conquerors thoughts; and then wherein? In this it seems; Alexanders thoughts were too big for the World, and Mulylabas his for a Prison. As if he should say: He scorned the World, but I scorn a Goale, he scorned Empires, but I scorn Fetters, I am a greater Man than he, because he was a greater Man than I; and my thoughts out-fly his, because his out-flew mine.

Thy rage brave Prince mean Subjects does despise;
None but thy Son shall be thy Sacrifice.

A pretty Character Mulylabas gives of his Father: A malicious and bloody Man that must hate and murder some body, he could not tell whom nor why; but since it must be some body, he scorns it should be any one inferiour to his Son.

This dazling Object my weak sight invades.

That is, this dazling Object comes before my sight, and my weak Eyes make a shift to see it.

Such Beauty would make Dungeons lose their Shades.

Shades for darkness.

Remember Sir, when first you were a guest
To Taffaletta's Court, and to my Breast.

A new way of Courtship to a Mistress, to become a Guest to her Breast.

That I fond Woman in a borrow'd shape.

It seems she begins to repent her bargain, and no wonder, marrying such a Fool, and yet I admire she should discover it, for she was as errand a Fool as he, and accordingly she talks non-sence all along.

Was a Conspirator in my own Rape.

By consequence it was no Rape.

Heir only to an unkind fathers frown.

She is Heir apparent to her fathers frowns. By our Common Law, which the Poet by an expression in the fourth Act would make us be­lieve is at force in Morocco, she can be but Executrix or Administra­trice; for frowns can be but reckoned among Goods and Chattels at the best, and how can she be possessed of this Estate, and her Father leave these frowns behind him after his death, I cannot understand.

[Page 4]
Our amorous flights like threatning Comets are,
VVhich thus draws after 'um a Train of blare.

Here he compares an amorous thing to a threatning thing; and a flight to a Comet, a motion to a substance. And th [...]s motion he calls an amorous motion: I know no motion but one that can pro­perly be called amorous; he has scarce so many Syllables in his Lines as non-sensical meanings.

Now I recount the Scenes of our past storms,
To arme our fancy with more pleasing forms.

She will arm his fancy with a more pleasing form than the Scene of a storm,

As Purgatory does make away for Heaven.

He makes Mohometans believe a Purgatory.

And ha's my Father, shall we then — and are our Loves and Hopes —
Oh! my unruly Ioy —

The soft headed King is so blunder'd with Morena's non-sense, that he cannot bring out a plain word.

And the same jealousie that made his breath
Decree your Chains, made him pronounce your death.

This Poet has so perverse a fancy, that he inverts the whole order of nature; he will make people see with their Ears, and hear wth their Noses: Here he makes the old Emperour pronounce with no body knows what, and contrive and decree with his Breath. It is frequent with him to put one faculty upon an imployment which be­longs to another. If he tells you a man sees a thing, it is indifferent to him whether he tells you he sees with his Eyes or his Nose. But he is not so large in his Commissions to any thing as Breath. Here he makes Breath decree. In the next Page he makes it Paint, Write, Print, Guild, or something of that kind; for he says, —

Whose couragious Breath,
Can set such glorious Characters on death.

Breath has Courage too, and in the second Act he makes it hear. —

Her gentle Breath already from just fame.
Has kindly entertain'd your glorious name.

In the third Act he gives he gives it Regal Dominion, the Queen Mother claims a supremacy above her Son the King, because

She gave him Breath by which he does command.

And yet she gave him not Breath neither; at most she gave him but Lungs wherewith to breath, and the poor Fool might have sound [Page 5] Lungs and yet be still-born. Nay in the same Act he makes Breath transmigrate like Souls, and subsist after a Mans death in Parchment and Paper,

For this guilt, our Prophets Breath,
Has in our sacred Laws pronounc'd your death.

It seems Mahomets Breath subsisted in his Books for above a thou­sand years after his death, a very strange Miracle, and could our Poet prove it to be true, he would do infinite service to the Turkish Religi­on, and the Mufti could do no less than procure him to be made a Mamamouchi. But I am afraid this miracle, when all is done, is but a Cheat, is wholly subject to faith, and not to sense; being indeed all non-sense: For the Prophets breath subsists in the Book, and yet the Book I suppose does not breath, as if sight could be in Eyes and yet Eyes not see. To Conclude, breath can command the fates them­selves. In the same Act the Queen mother says,

You see the fates do their allegiance know,
And to my powerfull breath their conduct owe.

It is pleasant to make a Queen brag of her strong breath. Put any thing to exalt breath. Oh! wonderfull Breath! what canst thou not do? oh! Breath.

Life is a Debt we to our Parents owe.

Parents should have power of life and death over their Children as he argues.

No shape of ill can come within her Sphere.

I would fain know what part of a Woman her Sphere is. It seems Morena's was a sque [...]mish Sphere, and would admit no shape of ill in­to it, or nothing of ill shape.

When e're she bleeds,
He no severer a damnation needs,
That dares pronounce the sentence of her death,
Than the infection that attends that breath.

That attends that Breath. — The Poet is at Breath again, Breath can never scape him; and here he brings in a Breath that must be in­fectious with pronouncing a Sentence, and this Sentence is not to be pronounced till the condemned party bleeds; that is she must be exe­cuted first and sentenced after, and the pronouncing of this Sentence will be infectious, that is others will catch the disease of that Sentence, and this infecting of others will torment a mans self. The whole is thus, when she bleeds thou needest no greater Hell or Torment to thy [Page 6] self, than infecting of others by pronouncing a Sentence upon her. What hodge podge does he make here? Never was Dutch Grout such Clogging, thick indigestible stuff; but this is but a tast to stay the Stomach, we shall have a more plentifull Mess presently.

Hold Sir, and your unmanly fears remove.

Morena h [...]re tells the King he is fearfull and unmanly, and to speak in the Poets Phrase;

Like a weak animal of Mortal Race,
Affronts her Husband to's face.

But now to dish up the Poets Broth that I prom [...]sed,

For when we'r dead, and our freed Souls enlarg'd,
Of Natures grosser burden we are discharg'd.
Then gentle as a happy lovers sigh,
Like wandring Meteors through the Air we'l flie;
And in our Airy walk, as subtil Guests,
VVe'l steal into our cruel Fathers Breasts,
There read the [...]r Souls, and track each passions Sphere:
See how Revenge moves there, Ambition here:
And in their Orbes view the dark Characters
Of Sieges, Ruins, Murders, Blood and VVars.
VVe [...]l blot out all those hideous draughts, and write
Pure and white forms; then with a radiant light
Their Breasts encircle, till their passions be
Gentle as Nature in its Infancy:
Till soften'd by our Charms their furies cease,
And their Revenge dissolves into a Peace.
Thus by our death their Quarrel ends,
VVhom living we made Foes, dead we'l make Friends.

If this be not a very liberall Mess, I will refer my self to the Sto­mach of any moderate Guest. And a rare Mess it is, far excelling any VVestminster White-broth. It is a kind of Giblet Porridge, made of the Giblets of a couple of young Geese, stodg'd full of Metiors, Orbes, Spheres tract, hideous Draughts, dark Cha­racters, White Forms, and Radiant Light, and designed not only to please Appetite, and indulge luxury, but it is also Physical, being an approved Medicine to purge Choler; for it is propounded by Mo­rena as a Receipt to cure their Fathers of their Cholerick Humours; and were it written in Characters as barbarous as the words, might very well pass for a Doctors Bill. To Conclude, it is Porridge, 'tis a [Page 7] Receipt, 'tis a Pig with a Pudding in the belly, t'is I know not what; for certainly never any one that pretended to write sense, had the impudence before to put such stuff as this into the mouths of those that were to speak it before an Audience, whom he did not take to be all Fools; and after that to Print it too, and expose it to the examination of the World. But let us see what we can make of this stuff,

For when we▪r dead and our freed Souls enlarg'd.

Here he tells us what it is to be dead; it is to have our free'd Souls set free. Now if to have a Soul set free is to be dead, then to have a free'd Soul set free, is to have a dead man die.

Then gentle as a happy lovers sigh.

They two like one sigh, and that one sigh like two wandring Me­teors. [Shall fly through the Air.] That is, they shall mount above like falling Stars, or else they shall skip like two Iacks with Lanthorns, or Will with a Wisp, and Madge with a Candle. [And in their Airy walk steal into their c [...]uel [...]athers Breasts, like subtile Guests.] So that their Fathers Breasts must be in an Airy walk, an Airy walk of a Flyer. [And there they will read their Souls, and track the Spheres of their Passions] That is, these walking Flyers, Iack with a Lanthorn, &c. will put on his Spectacles and fall a reading Souls, and put on his Pumps and fall a tracking of Spheres, so that he we will read and run, walk and fly at the same time! Oh! Nimble Iack. [Then he will see how Revenge here, how Ambition there.] The Birds will hop about. [And then view the dark Characters of Sieges, Ruines, Murders, Blood, and Wars in their Orbes.] Track the Characters to their forms! Oh, rare sport for Iack! Never was place so full of Game as these Breasts! You cannot stir but you flush a Sphere, start a Character, or unken­nel an Orbe! [Then we [...]l blot out those hideous Draughts, and write Pure and VVrite Forms.] Now Iack must out with his Pen and Ink, and fall a scribling of White Forms with intent I suppose to Conjure the Game. [Then incircle their Breast with radiant light, till their Passions be gentle as nature in its Infancy.] Now Iack must round the bush with his Lanthorn, till the Birds are so dead he may take them up with his hand: Or to speak in our Poets Phrase, [As gentle Nature as in its Infancy.] Which in the latter end of the Third Act he says was [wild, savage and strong;] but I suppose he means as gentle, as wild, savage and strong things can be; as if I should say his Play is as full of sense as a Play all non-sense can be. [Then soften'd by our Charms their fu­ries [...]ease, &c. —] Now Iacks sport is at an end, and the old [Page 8] people are quiet: No wonder they were troublesome when they had all this bustle in their Bellies, and now Iack and Madge may go marry. But me thinks these are a kind of humour some people, both Fathers and Childten, that the fathers will not be reconciled, nor their Chil­dren marry, till the Children are become Ignes fatuus's; Helena, Castor and Pollux's fiery Whirlegiggs, and no body knows what. By all these Orbes, Characters, hideous Draughts, &c. it seems as if our Poet would set up for a Teutonique Philosopher, a second Iacob Bhemen, and because he is conscious to himself he cannot write any tollerable sense; he subtilly wraps up empty and insignificant stuff in big and barbarous Phrase, to confound people, and make them believe he conceals some notable meaning, which they cannot discover. But the best of it is, all that know our Poet are sufficiently assured, he cannot be guilty of so wise a Plot: And to Conclude, this is the best sense that he can write, As this intollerable stuff has had the luck to please some Fools, though of them but few: So it infinitely pleases Mulylabas, who presently cries out [Oh! generous Princess! whose couragious Breath, &c.] Oh, witty Creat [...]re! What fine whim whams and Conumdrums hast thou in thy Head? And thus he proceeds in his senseless transports.

The antient world did but too modest prove
In giving a Divinity to love.

A Divinity is a triflling thing! Love ought to have been something above a Divinity, though what thing that is no body can tell; for it has no name, neither indeed can there such a thing be, yet that thing Love is, whether such a thing can be or no, and that for this most ex­cellent Reason.

Love the great power of th' higher world controuls:
Heaven but creates, but love refines our Souls.

The very Reason that proves directly the contrary; for certainly to Create is much more than to Refine; but thus does our Poet per­p [...]tually argue, when he offers at reasoning, as if his Brains were turn'd the wrong side outward, and the whole world appeared chim cham to him, perfectly contrary to what it is.

— Hold your tears,
Confound my hopes, Oh! my presaging fears!
Has he? — it cannot be! — Has he decreed
Morena must not, — no she shall not bleed.

This Ki [...]g has a strange infirmity in his Speech, and like some [Page 9] other Fools that I know is perpetually stammering. Perhaps our Au­thor thinks it an Ornament; no wonder if he makes such ridiculous Characters when he Copies himself.

— Iust as he sate
Pronouncing yours, and your Morena's fate:
A sudden check his hasty breath controul'd,
He startled, trembled, and his Eye-balls rowld:
His wandring fears, his unshap'd thoughts supply'd
With horrors Then Mulylabas he cryed,
Forgive what my mistaken rage has done,
In peace possess thy Mistress, and my Throne.
Then with his dying Breath his Soul retir'd,
And with a sullen sigh his life expir'd.

This Relation agrees not so much as in one passage, with the Re­lation Crimalhaz makes in the very next Page.

She says he dyed sitting. — Iust as he sate, &c.

He says he dyed standing. —

Vp from his seat he rose, and sighing cryed,
Oh! unkind Lawla, and then groan'd and dyed.

She sayes, — Mulylabas he cryed,

Forgive what my mistaken rage —

He sayes, —

He sighing cryed,
Oh! unkind Lawla, &c.

It is hard to know which of these two we should believe, for both of them were profest Lyers, and their Authoriti [...]s of very little value. The King is like to suffer by the bargain; for the old Emperor be­queathed Morena to him, but the two principal Witnesses that were present disagreeing so vastly in their Testimo [...]y, he can never be able to prove the Will. [...]esides, the disagreement betwixt this Relation and the other, I must also take notice of the non sense in it.

His wandring fears, his unshap'd thoughts supplyed
With horrors.

That is, fear made him horribly fearfull.

Then with his dying Breath his Soul retir'd,
And in a sullen sigh his life expir'd.

That is, just as he dyed, he dyed, and when he dyed his Soul ex­pired, his life retired, and he dyed.

The Emperour dead! — and with his dying breath.

He has met again with his darling word Breath: He has it up no [Page 10] less than three times in nine Lines. He could almost wish there were no other word in our Language: And to shew 'tis all out of pure kind­ness, any other word would serve turn as well in most of the places where he uses it, but Breath is the favourite Syllable, and it shall come in, whether it signifies any thing or nothing; and if you do not like it he cares not, he will not part with his babble to please your hu­mour.

For those just tears which nature ought t'imploy,
To pay my last Debt to his memory.
The Crowning of my passion disallows,
Grief slightly sits on happy lovers brows.

Here he makes Mulylabas so overjoyed for Morena, that he has but little sense of his Fathers death; in his next Speech he absolutely con­tradicts it.

Enjoy a Throne, and my Morena wed,
A Ioy too great, were not my Father dead.

Here his great Sorrow for his fathers death, allays his Joy for Mo­rena. Li [...]e a Scaramouche he laughs on side of his Face, and cries on the other. His Passions are at Leap-frog within him; Joy jumps over Grief, and Grief jumps over Joy, and keep such a tumbling within him, that in great disorder he breaks out into the most unintelligible piece of non-sense that ever he spoke yet.

Heaven fits our squelling Passions to our Souls.

If every word had been Spheres, Breath, Infection, Orbes, White Forms, &c. the sense had been full as good as it is, and so the Au­thor might have met his Friends, and done no body any hurt, but per­haps he thinks he mends it in the next Lines.

When some great Fortune to Mankind's conveigh'd,
Such blessings are by Providence allay'd:
Thus Nat [...]re to the World a Sun Creates;
But with cold Winds its pointed Rayes rebates.

That is, the Blessing of great Fortunne, or the Fortune of great Bles­sings are allayed by something, as here in Morocco. Cool winds allay the Blessing of the scorching Sun. The King is gone, and now that which pleases me infinitely is, his Mother and Crimalhaz are plot­ting his death, but a very odd kind of death they once designed him.

[Page 11]
Thy early growth we in thy Chains had crusht,
And mixt thy Ashes with thy Fathers Dust.

A strange Engine it must be that can crush a Man to Ashes, and as strange a Poison that can turn a Man to Dust in two hours time, for it could be no longer since the Emperor was Poisoned.

Poison'd my Husband, Sir, and if there need
Examples to instruct you in the deed:
I'le make my Actions plainer understood,
Copying his death on all the Royal Blood.

She will instruct him by an Example to do a deed that is done; and by an Example that must be Copyed after his Example, which he again is to Coppy. As if a Writing-Master that were to teach me to Write should say, I will set you a Coppy, which shall be written after your Coppy, to teach you to write after my Coppy, the same words you have already written in your own Coppy; which Coppy I Coppy, for you to Coppy again. Oh! thou wretched Blunderhead! How confoundedly dost thou entangle thy Brain, and cannot wind off it one clean Thread of Sense?

I am a Convert, Madam, for kind Heaven
Has to Mankind Immortal Spirits given.

The Poet is at his Mock-reasons again. Chrimalhaz is Conver­ted to Villany, (for that the Poets Phrase) Because kind Heaven has given Man an Immortal Spirit: That is, because having an Im­mortal Spirit there are some hopes of damnation, and he opposes Heaven because Heaven is kind. He turns Villain for the very Reasons why he should by honest. But perhaps the Poet will say he has a far­ther meaning in it; yes there is more non-sense.

And Courage is their life, but when that sinks
Into tame fears, and Coward faintness shrinks.
We the great work of that bright frame destroy,
And shew the World that even our Souls can die.

Man has an Immortal Spirit, and Courage is the life of it, now when Courage sinks and shrinks into tameness and faintness, and fear­fulness and Cowardise, then we shew that Immortality can die. A pretty Riddle this, Riddle my Riddle, when can Immortality become Mortal, when Courage becomes Cowardise, when an Egg becom [...]s an Oyster.

[Page 12]
And by such subtilty his Breast infect,
Till he his Generalls Layalty suspect.

Hametalhaz says he will infect the Kings Breast with suspicion of his Generalls Loyalty, but no Man can infect another with a Disease which he has not himself, or carries not about him some way or other: Ha­metalhaz then must have suspition of the Generalls Loyalty, or carry the Disease about him, else he cannot infect the King with it, but this the Poet never considers, but every thing is infectious with him, in this Act Sentences are infectious; in the Fourth Act Earth, and Earth infects Gold with Venome, and Venome infects people with Rapes, &c. All things are infectious but Wit and Sense, and them he can catch from no body.

And to that pitch his heightned Virtues raise;
That their perfection shall appear their Crime,
As Gyants by their heights do Monsters seem.

Crime and seem are excellent Rhime; to take notice of all his damn'd Rhimes, as well as all his non-sense, would swell up this Pamphlet to a Volume; and therefore I must pass by all the first, and on [...]y take no­tice of some of the latter.

Here he makes Gygantickness the perfection of Humane Stature; and says Gyants are not Monsters, only seem so to Mankind: By con­sequence all that are not Gyants are imperfect, if not Monsters.

Brave Chrimalhaz thy Breast and mine agree,
Now thou art worthy of a Crown, and me.

He deserves a Crown and her, because he is a Villain and talks non-sense. And their Breasts agree: How Breasts can agree or quarrel, any more than Backs or Necks, I cannot tell.

— We'l act his death in state.

How can one act anothers death? Perhaps the Queen Mother will have a Play made of her Son, and she will Act in it. I would to Heaven our Poet were sent for to Morocco to make it, and to reward him, made Poet to Mariamne; then he would be disposed of to his own content, and we should be troubled with his non-sence no more.

— We'l act his death in state,
And dash his Blood against his Palace Gate.

A stately thing to dash a Pale-full of Blood against a Palace-Gate.

To Conclude this Act with the most rumbling piece of non sense that has been spoken yet.

[Page 13]
To flattering Lightning our feign'd smiles conforme,
Which backt with Thunder do but guild a Storm.

Conforme a smile to Lightning; make a smile imitate Lightning, and flattering Lightning; Lightning sure is a threatning thing, and this Lightning must Guild a Storm; now if I must conform my smiles to Lightning, then my Smiles must guild a Storm too: To Guild with smiles is a new invention of Guilding, and Guild a Storm by be­ing backt with Thunder. Thunder is part of the Storm; so one part of the Storm must help to Guild another part, and help by backing; as if a Man would Guild a thing the better for being backt, or having a Load on his back, So that here is, Guilding by conforming, Smiling, Lightning, Backing and Thundring. The whole is as if I should say thus.— I will make my counterfeit Smiles look like a flattering Stone Horse, which being backt with a Trooper, does but Guild a Battle. I am mistaken if non-sense is not here pretty thick sowed. Sure the Poet writ these two Lines Aboard some Smack in a Storm, and being Sea- [...]ick, Spued up a good Lump of clotted non-sense at once. They say fancy is his Talent, I say writing non-sense; for no one in England besides himself could have crowded so much in so little room: With this Storm he concludes this Act, and presently goes Aboard a Fleet in the beginning of the next.

The Second ACT.

THis Act begins with the description of a great Fleet coming up a River, and Sailing to Morocco, an in-land City, where Ship [...] were never seen; and a great Army is Aboard this Fleet; as if a Generall that had been at Sea with Land Forces, to reduce some places upon the Shore, should bring his Army after Victory up the River Thames. But all these Absurdities must be committed for the sake of a description, which is of no more concern to his Plot than his Sc [...]lptures are; but it is designed like them for Ornament, and Ornaments they are alike. It is hard to say who has pictured Ships worst, the Poet Elkanah, or the Sculpture-maker VVill. Doll: Of the two I think VVill. Doll has done best; for he has scratched out five things which look a little like Ships, (which our Poet calls a glorious Fleet) but the things which the Poet designs for [Page 14] Ships, are Pageants, Masques, things with instinct Animals, and no body knows what. And because some people before this stuff was exposed had so little wit as to commend it, to shew how much we may rely upon their Judgments another time. I will examine every Line, and if there are two that afford us not either non-sense or Bom­bast, I will be obliged to confide in their Judgments again.

Great Sir, your Royal Fathers Generall,
Prince Mulyhamets Fleet does homeward Sail.

Here he makes Mulyhamets Fleet to be the Old Emperours Gene­rall; and Generall of a Prince that is dead.

And in a solemn and triumphant Pride.

What is it to Sail in a Pride? and in a triumphant Pride? then the Pride was Victorious before: So the Ships Conquered with their Pride.

Their course up the great River Tensift guide.

They guide their course; that is, they steer themselves.

Whose Guilded Currents do new Glories take.

If the Currents were Guilded when they take new Glories, then the Currents are double Hatcht,

From the reflection his bright Streamers make.

I thought the Water had made the reflection, and not the Strea­mers; and his Streamers: That is, the Streamers of this Excellency the Fleet, the Old Emperours Generall.

The VVaves a Masque of Martial Pageants yield.

The Waves yield a Masque; that is, the Masque is made of the Waves, or the Waves produce a Masque; a new kind of Ships built of Water.

A flying Army on a floating Field.

Flying is an excellent Epithete for a Victorious Army; but now the Martial Pageants, which I took to be Ships, are a Flying Army: Our Fleet is sunk already, and turned into an Army.

Order and harmony in each appear.

In each? In what? in the Flying Army, the Waves, the Masque, or the Floating Field.

Their lofty Bulks, their foaming Billows bear.

Now the Ships are Buoyed up again, and the foaming Billows bear their lofty Bulks; that is, the Water bears them. It is no great News to us in England that Water should bear Ships; but perhaps the River Tensift never bore any before; and at Morocco they may ad­mire [Page 15] how it should become Navigable of a sudden to bear lofty Bulks; and yet it is a considerable River, for it has foaming Billows, and those more furious than any in the Bay of Biscay, or Gulf of Florida; for they toss Ships quite out of the Water.

In state they move, and on the VVaves rebound.

To rebound on the VVaves is to leap up from the Water into the Air; and this rebounding he calls a stately Motion.

As if they danc'd to their own Trumpets sound.

Merry Ships that cut Capers as they Sail.

By winds inspired with lively Grace they rowl.

Now doubt there may be great Grace in Rowling as the posture may be managed; but then Ships never Rowl but when they are not not inspired with Winds, that is in Calmes.

As if that breath and motlon lent a Soul.

Here he makes the Effect produce the Cause. Whereas it is a Soul that lends Breath and Motion he makes Breath and Motion lend a Soul, as if sight could lend Eyes; if so, then sight must be before Eyes.

And with that Soul they seem taught Duty too.

He takes it for granted Breath and Motion has lent a Soul, and this Soul is lent by instruction, they are taught a Soul, and with it taught Duty. And they are taught a Soul; that is, they have one Soul among all.

Their Topsails Lowr`d, their heads with reverence bow.

That is, they put off their Caps and make Legs, Oh, mannerly Ships!

As if they would their Generalls worth enhance.

That is, they make Legs to shew their Generalls Manners, or the Generall make his Honours to the King with their Legs.

From him by instinct taught allegiance.

The instinct of a Ship, and the Ship learns by instinct, that is, it learns from another, by having it naturally of it self. And it learns Alle­giance, which it shews by bowing with revere [...]ce. There is much Allegiance in making Legs.

Whilst the loud Cannons eccho to the Shore.

I thought the Shore should have ecchoed to the Cannons.

Their Flaming Breaths salute you Emperour.

An Odd way of Salutation, and as the Breath may be, an unpleasant one to salute with Breath.

[Page 16]
From their deep mouths he does your Glory sing.

He sings Glory: And he sings with their mouths. — As if one man could sing with another mans mouth. Perhaps the Poet intends for excuse, that he he studyed this non-sense with another Fools Brains.

With Thunder and with Lightning greets his King.

With and with, — and Salute, and Greet, and Breath and Thun­der, and Emperour and King; this is the hodge podge we perpetually meet with. But the Poet perhaps makes a distinction betwixt Saluting and Greeting. Sea Captains do indeed observe differences in the manner of Saluting, according to what it is they Salute, a Merchant Man, a Man of War, or a Castle; but they know no difference be­tween Saluting and Greeting, or rather Greeting seems a very absurd Tearm, for a Salutation at Sea. But the Poet seems to make it a higher sort of Salutation; observing still their Rules in Saluting: For if it be but an Emperour you meet with, then you are but to Salute with Breath; that is, to flash in the Pan only: But if a King, then Greet is the word, and you let off all the Thunder and Lightning; that is, you fire all your upper and lower Teer; for King is a more thundring Title than Emperour.

Thus to express his Ioys in a loud Quire.

He serevaded the King with a Quire of Guns: Serevading and Greeting are proper Sea Tearms.

And Consort of winged Messengers of fire.

Singers sure, and not Messengers make a Consort, and they make it with their Voices, and not with their Wings. And they are winged Messengers of Fire: by this it should appear he shot Bullets; for what else can he mean by Messengers of Fire? unless the Fire blew all the Guns in the Air; perhaps he means every Corn of Powder was a winged Messenger, and if so, their Wings must be small.

He has his Tribute sent and Homage given.

A Tributary Subject.

As Men in Incense send up vows to Heaven.

Is if Incense could carry up Thoughts, or a Thought go up in smoak: He may as well say he will Roast or Bake Thoughts as smoke them. And the allusion too is very agreeable and naturall. He com­pares Thunder, Lightning, and Roaring of Guns to Incense: And says thus; he expresses his loud Joys in a Consort of Thundring Guns, as Men send up silent Vows in gentle Incense. If this description is not plentifully supplyed with non-sense, I will refer my self the Reader. [Page 17] No doub [...] it was worth our Poets pains to cut a River up to Morocco for the sake of such a description of Ships as this: A rare and studyed piece it is. The Poet has imployed his Art about every Line, that it may be esteemed a Curiosity in its kind, and himself a person en­dowed with a peculiar Talent in writing new and exact non-sense. And for this no doubt it was that our Poet was so much courted, sent for from place to place, that you could hardly cross a street, but you met him puffing and blowing, with his Fardel of non-sense under his arm, driving his Bu [...]ls in hast to some great person or other to shew them, as if he had lately come out of Asia or Affrica with strange kinds of Dromedaries, Rhinoceroses, or a new Cambises, a Beast more monstrous than any of the former, Nay, both the Play-houses con­tended for him, as if he had found out some new way of eating fire. No doubt their design was to entertain the Town with a rarity. Peo- had been long weary of good sense that lookt like non-sense, and now they would treat [...]um with non-sense which yet lookt very like sense. But as he that pretended he would shew a Beast, which was very like a Horse, and was no Horse, set people much admiring what strange Animal it should be; but when they came in, and found it was nothing but a plain Grey Mare, laught a while at the conceit, but were ready after to stone the Fellow for his Impudence. So it must needs fare with our Poet, when his upper Gallery Fools discover they have tricks put upon them, and all that they have so ignorantly clapt, is down­right non-sense. And for my part I cannot but admire, that not only to those who know, or at least have had time enough to learn, what sense is, but also to a people who of all Nations in the World pre­tend to understand best what belongs to shiping, our Poet should dare to offer this Fustian for sense, and a description of Ships. A descri­tion so ridiculous, that Mulylabas, as errant a Fool, and as ignorant of Ships as he is, must needs discover that he is abused; and that Ships cannot be such things as the Poet makes them: But the Poet has not only been so Impudent to expose all this stuff, but so arrogant to defend it with an Epistle; like a sawcy Booth-keeper, that when he had put a Cheat upon the people, would wrangle and fight with any that would not like it, or would offer to discover it; for which arro­gance our Poet receives this Correction, and to jerk him a little the sharper, I will not Transprose his Verse, but by the help of his own words trans non-sense sense, that by my stuff people may judge the better what his is.

[Page 18]
Great Boy, thy Tragedy and Sculptures done
From Press and and Plates in Fleets do homeward come:
And in ridiculous and humble Pride,
Their Course in Ballet-singers baskets guide,
Whose Greazy Twigs do all new Beauties take,
From the gay shews thy dainty Sculptures make.
Thy Lines a Mess of Rhiming non-sense yield,
A senseless Tale, with fluttering Fustian Fill'd.
No grain of sense does in one Line appear,
Thy words big bulks of boistrous bombast bear.
With noise they move, and from Players mouths rebound,
When their Tongues dance to thy words empty sound.
By thee inspired thy rumbling Verses rowl,
As if that Rhim and bombast lent a Soul:
And with that Soul they seem taught duty too,
To huffing words does humble non-sense bow,
As if it would thy worthless worth enhance,
To the lowest rank of fops thy praise advance.
To whom by instinct all thy stuff is dear;
Their loud claps eccho to the Theatre.
From breaths of Fools thy commendation spreads,
Fame sings thy praise with mouths of Loggerheads.
With noise and laughing each thy Fustian Greets,
'Tis clapt by Quires of empty headed Cits.
Who have their Tribute sent, and Homage given,
As men in whispers send loud noise to Heaven.

Thus I have daubed him with his own Puddle, And now we are come from Aboard his Dancing, Masquing, Rebounding, Breathing Fleet; and as if we had landed at Gotham, we meet nothing but Fools and non-sense.

Sayes the King,

Wellcome true owner of the fame you bring,
A Conqueror is a Guardian to a King:
Conquest and Monarchy consistent are;
'Tis Victory secures the Crowns we wear.

An ingenious Speech! every Line in it rises, and is more foolish than other,—

Wellcome true Owner.

As if a Man could be a false Owner — or have a wrong right to a thing.

[Page 19]
A Conquerour is a Guardian to a King.

Poor King! the Poet makes thee here confess thy self fit to be beg'd for a Fool, and so chuse thy Cousin Mulyhamet for thy Guardian. But perhaps the Poet has a deeper search in Politiques, and would imply that that King who trusts a Subject to Conquer for him, makes himself the Conquerours ward, and deserves to be beg'd: But I doubt both Poet and King are too much Fool to have so wise a meaning. The former therefore must be the Poets design; and as if he had brought the King before a Court to be tryed whether he could count five, tie a Knot, and was fit to be beg'd or no, he makes him say,

Conquest and Monarchy consistent are.

A wise Apothegme! implying it is possible for a Monarch to Con­quer, or a Conquerour to be, or to serve a Monarch. And the sense rises well too from the former Line. In the former he had said, a Conquerour is a Kings Guardian, or protects a King, and here he says he is consistent with a King; that is, he is a brave fellow, and 'tis possible for him to be an honest fellow: Just as if he had been askt, how many are the Five Vowels, and he had answered almost five. Poor King! thou art beg'd, there is no saving thy Estate; but per­haps the Poet thinks he helps him in the next Line.

'Tis Victory secures those Crowns we wear.

Not at all! this Line is as silly as any of the rest. ['Tis Victory secures!] That is, whilst we Conquer, we shall not be Conquered, and whilst we Conquer we are safe. As if he had been asked, which was safer to beat or to be beaten? and he answers, 'tis as safe a thing to beat as to be beaten. Now let us take the whole Speech together. Wellcome, Oh! thou owner of thy own Things▪ Conquerour is a brave fellow, and guards his King, and 'tis possible for him to be an ho­nest fellow, and for his King and him to agree; and whilst we beat others, others will not beat us; and so we are safer than if we had been beaten.

Mulyhamet, though a Conquerour, is Humble and Civil, a [...]d to comply with the Kings weakness, answers in the same kind of non-sense, cunningly (I suppose) to gain upon him▪ and make him pro­ceed in chusing him his Guardian, which yet was his right, as being his near Cousin, and they have the same Laws you know at Morocco, as we have.

My actions all are on your name enroll'd.

What it is to Enroll upon Parchment, I know, but not upon Names. Strange kinds of Records they keep in Morocco.

[Page 20]
With burning Ships made Beacons on the Sea.

He fired Beacons after the Victory.

Whose very looks so much your foes surprize,
That you like Beauty Conquer with your Eyes.

Here he gives Eyes to a Notion, Beauty is a thing consists in Har­mony, features and proportion; and to say the Eyes of Beauty, is to say the Eyes of Harmony, or the Eyes of Proportion; that is, the Eyes of Tallness, and Streightness, or the Eyes of evenness, and the Eyes of Features, that is the Eyes of ones Nose, or of ones Mouth. But perhaps he means you like a Beauty Conquer, &c. and then it is an Heroick Epithete to call a Generall a Beauty, and tell him he Conquer'd with his Eyes like a pretty Wench.

No Madam, War has taught my hands to aim.

As in the former Speech he gave Eyes to the Nose, so here he makes Hands to aim, in another place he makes 'em give a blast.

Blasted with the hand of Heaven.

Where me thinks he is very unkind to his Friend Breath, to give to Hands what was its proper right.

I do command you love where I admire.

Mulyhamet is now absolutely chose Guardian; and mighty fond his Ward is of him.

Though Mariamne's love appear'd before,
The highest happiness fate had in store;
Yet when I view it as an Offering
Made by the hand of an obliging King,
It takes new charms, looks brighter, lends new heat:
No Objects are so glorious or so great.
But what may still a greater form put on,
As Optique Glasses magnifie the Sun.

Mulyhamet by this Speech seems to be a kind of jeering Compa­nion; under pretence of complementing the King and his Sister, he abuses them both. The King he calls by craft a pittifull Optique Glass, a thing to see through, and he tells Mariamne that her love seen through that Optique Glass called a King, seems to be a greater hap­piness than it is indeed. And that this is the sense of his words the following Lines plainly prove.

[Page 21]
No Objects are so glorious or so great.
But what may still a greater forme put on,
As Optique Glasses magnifie the Sun.

That is, though Mariamne's love be the most glorious thing in the World; yet there is no Object so great or glorious, but what may put on a greater form than it hath, as the Sun does by the help of an Optique or Magnifying Glass. By this he affirms too, that an Optique Glass makes the Sun look bigger than [...]t is. No other tol­lerable sense can be made of this Speech; for it would be most ridi­culous to say, no Objects are so great, but what may appear almost as great as they are, that would be as much as to say, no Objects are so great, but what may appear pretty great; as if it were wonder for great Objects to appear great; I wonder what should appear great, but great Objects. The wonder is, that no Object is so great, but may seem greater than it is by the help of Art, and saying this, he speaks sense, but then his allusion abuses Mariamne, as I said before, and affirms an Optique Glass makes the Sun look bigger than it is. Such blundring does the Poet make when he endeavours never so little to flie.

Your Subjects wait with eager Ioys, to pay
Their Tribute to your Coronation day.

Tributary Subjects again! But the King is beg'd, and so they only give him Tribute; I suppose he means a small allowance to maintain him, for an acknowledgement. Witness these two following Lines▪

Whilst they behold triumphant on one Throne,
The wearer and defender of a Crown.

It is something unusual for a Subject to sit on a Throne with a King, but it is his Guardian, whose authority sways all; as it appears by the next words.

Lead on —

Mulyh: — Lead on, — and all that kneel to you shall bow to me; this Conquest makes it due.

The Kings word of command signified nothing, he is but a Cypher; and therefore his Protector Mulyhamet gives it; but yet to please the King they mock him with a Coronation, and have a fine Childish babble at it, a dancing Palm-tree, which dan [...]es to a Consort of Hearts, as the Ships did to a Consort of Messengers.

[Page 22]
No Musick like that, which Loyalty sings
A Consort of Hearts at the Crowning of Kings.

Loyalty sings Musick, and sings a Consort of Hearts: This is like singing with anothers mouth, for one to sing a Consort, and sing the Consort of others.

There is no such delightfull and ravishing strein,
As the ecchoes and shouts of long live, and Reign.

Long live, and Reign, is a most ravishing strein, and it is not only a stre [...]n, but it has shouts and ecchoes: It must strain hard to make ecchoes; for it is only some Concave Places or Woods that make ecchoes.

No Homage like that which from Loyalty springs.

Like that which from — is a soft Line for a Song.

And Loyalty was Musick before, now it is Homage; as if one could pay Homage with Musick: We shall hear of Tributary Fidlers pre­sently sure; it seems the King parts with his Crown for a Song.

No raising of Alters, like long live, and Reign.

This long live, and Reign, is a strange ravishing strein; it not only ravishes the Air, and makes Ecchoes, but Stones, and raises Altars: It was long live and Reign sure built the Theba [...] Walls; but yet what e're the matter is, it ravishes no reasonable Creature.

Her gentle Breath already from just fame,
Has kindly entertain'd your glorious name.

Spoke to in the first Act.

Who beyond love can wish a higher state.

Higher beyond.

Turns Vassal to a smile, a looks disguise.

As if a smiling look were not a look, as well as other sort of looks.

Fate sets commanding Beauty in their way.
Beauty that has more God-like power than they.

Fate sets Beauty in their way that has more power than it; here he puts false Grammar for Rhimes sake. And Fate sets Beauty in their way, which has more power than it self. By consequence it is not of fates setting, but of its own; for without its own consent Fate could never set it, if it has more power than fate.

The Third ACT.

'Tis now our Royal Mothers Breath must bind,
That Sacred tie of Love, my King has sign'd,
And Providence has seald; make her but kind.

THe King has sign'd it, and Providence has seal'd it; the Deed being sign'd and seal'd, how is his Mother to bind all with Breath? Is she to set her mark with her Breath? Or in Wit­ness that it is sooth, is she to bite the Wax with her Tooth? for why may not Breath mean Tooth, as well as Regal Power, &c. but perhaps she is to bind all with her Breath; that is, to deliver the Deed with her Breath; that is, to puff the Parchment into his Hands! This Queen has a strong blast.

— Make her but kind.

That I suppose is a private ejaculation, for it has no dependance on the rest.

— Has lust such Charms,
Can make her fly to an Adulterers arms.

Can Lust make her a Whore? Can lust make one lustfull? can Folly make one a Fool?

I'le right her wrongs, but I [...]le conceal her shame.

This Mulyhamet is an impertinent Fellow, he will kill a Man for lying with the Queen, though for ought he knows he may be her Husband; and lying with her, though with her own consent he calls wronging of her; and to revenge it he carries away Crimalhaz his Sword under his Coat: But meeting the King immediately, the King, (as it is the Nature of Fools to be inquisitive) would needs see what Mulyhamet had got, and cries,

Mulyhamet stay!
What have you there.

Just Iack Adams like! Cudden! What have you under your Coat! Cudden? — Some people mistake this Play, and think it a Tragedy; I take it to be the merryest Rhiming Farce that I ever saw, much be­yond Mock-Pompey, old Simpleton the Smith, — or any of that Kind.

[Page 24]
But she's my Mother, and I dare not guess;
But she's a Woman, and I can no less
Then start at horrours which my Honours stain.

The Women are much beholding to the Poet for the good Cha­racter he gives them. His King can no less than guess his own Mother to be a VVhore, because she is a VVoman.

And starts at horrours which stains his honour.

How can his horrours stain his Honour? Perhaps Horrour, or a great Fright, might make him stain his Breeches, and so it might re­flect upon his Honour.

I'le make him infamous, low and contemned,

He will disgrace Crimalhaz for lying with his Mother; he will tell all the world, and make him ashamed of it.

Yet nothing is so bright, but has some scars:
Men can through Glasses find out spots in Stars.

He opposes Scars to Brightness: And makes his Hero ridiculous Coxcombe, that is vext he is not faultless and immaculate.

Love acts the part of Tributary things,
As they pay Homage to their Conquerour:
Our kind embraces are but Offerings
Of Tribute, to Triumphant Beauties power.

VVhy does not Love as well act the part of Under-Sheriffs, or Bum­bayliffs as they pay Fees, to the High-Sheriff, &c. and yet their love did not pay Tribute, only offer it.

Our kind embraces are but Offerings
Of Tribute▪ —

So that their Love did the part of Fumblers act, and in their em­braces did but offer at it, — though they liked one another; for they mutually offer'd Tribute to Triumphant Beauties power; that is, he offer'd to her Beauty, and she to his Beauty: 'Tis strange then they should proceed no farther than Offering.

'Tis Blasphemy to name, nay understand
What Princes act.

'Tis Blasphemy to understand a thing: This I think is as bold a piece of Settlian non-sense as we have met with yet. It is pretty well to say it is [...]lasphemy to name what Princes act; for if their actions be good, to name 'em is to speak well of Princes, and yet with him it is Blas­phemy; that is, it is speaking ill of'em, to speak well of'em. But he carries the non-sense farther, and says it is Blasphemy to under­stand; [Page 25] he might as well have said it was Fornication or Adul­tery.

Know Traytor, I am Mother to a King,
His power subordinate from me does spring.

That is, it is originally her power subordinate, and it sprung from her, because she is Mother to the King. The King and his Power are Twins, she gave 'em Birth. And why may not his Nurse too put in for a share, since she suckled the King and his Power?

Is it not pity now,
That grave Religion, and dull sober Law
Should the high flights of sporting lovers awe?

A very Heroick expression! is it not pity now, there is a Law against Wenching, the recreation is so sportive.

And the high flights of sportive lovers! —

It seems though the sportive Couple, did but offer, they tost and flung extreamly, that they had such high flights.

No, though I lose that head, which I before
Design'd should the Morocco Crown have wore.

Wore instead of worn.

Yet what's the fear of Tortures, Death, Hell? — Death
Like a faint lust, can only stop the Breath.
Tortures weak Engines, that can run us down,
Or skrew us up, till we are out of Tune.

Down and Tune are excellent Rhime.

And Hell a feeble puny cramp of Souls,
Such infant pains may serve to frighten Souls.

A Mess of abs [...]rd stuff. No, though I lose my Head; yet what's the fear of death? If a Man will not fear death when he is to lose his Head, I do not know when he will fear it! Oh, but he means He­roically! what if I lose my head? why then I loose my Head! I, but to lose ones Head is to die. What is Death? Death can but stop the Breath. To stop the Breath, properly implyes a Death by Smother­ing, Choaking or Strangling; So that he is for Hanging Crimalhaz with a Hatchet. And Death, like a faint Lust, only stops the Breath: Why like a faint Lust? It must be a strong Lust can stop the Breath. Nay, with the Poets leave, Breath if it be strong, will quell the strongest Lust that is. And then what are Tortures! Tortures are only things that can know us up and run us down, break all our Arteries, Nerves, Sinews and Bones; in short they can only Torture us. And what [Page 26] is Hell? a Feeble, Puny, Cramp, an Infant Pain; he allows a Hell, and yet says it is no Hell; it is but a Cramp. He calls a place a Di [...]ease: To write the non-sense he stuffs in every Line would put the Cramp in my fingers.

The Powers above are Titular below. —

After in the same Speech she says,

But fear no danger, to our aid I'le call,
My Arts and Friends in Hell, to stop our fall.

Heaven is Titular it seems, but Hell is not.

No matter for Heaven, you are secure as long as you have the De­vil of your side.

Since you have sullyed thus our Royal Blood,
The Grounds and Rise of this past Crime relate:
That having your Offences understood,
We, what we can't recall may expiate.

That is, Come since you have lain with my Mother, tell the Truth how it was, and since it cannot be helped, no words shall be made of it.

A Womans frailty▪ from a Womans Tongue.

As if it was a frailty to be ravished; she like the young Queen con­fesses her self a Conspirator in her own Rape. The very first word of her Tale, before any Judge but such a Fool as Mulylabas, would have made the Indictment be thrown out of the Court, and cleared Mulyhamet without any further Process.

Mulyhamet then your cruel Breast.

He ravished her with his Breast, having a White Skin: I suppose he unbuttoned himself, and opened his Breast.

— His alter'd brow,
Wore such fierce looks, as had more proper been
To lead an Army with, than Court a Queen.

He places a Mans Looks upon his Brow; and says his Brows wore Looks fit to lead an Army. What kind of habit Looks are I cannot Ima­gine; perhaps the Poet pursues his fancy of comparing his Hero to a pretty Wench, and so he makes his Btow wear a Fore-head Cloth of Looks.

And as a ravisher I abhor'd him more
In that Black form, than I admir'd before.

She abhor'd him as a ravisher in a Black Form, more than she ad­mir'd before; that is as a Ravisher in a Black Form she abhor'd him more than lik'd him: Or she abhor'd him as a Ravisher more than she [Page 27] admir'd him in a Black Form, for no body can tell what to make of it.

His kind soft words do but confirm th' Offence;
Men are n'ere losers by their Breaths expence.

One Line Contradicts the other; he says his speaking confirms his Offence, and yet he is no loser by it.

Mulyhamet, for this guilt our Prophets Breath
Has in his Sacred Laws pronounc'd your Death.

Spoke to in the first Act.

Our Holy Prophet dares not see him fall,
Im sure had he my Eyes —

As if changing of Eyes would alter ones mind. If he had her Eyes, if he had not her inclination to him, he would dare to see him fall.

The Powers above would shrink at what he felt.

He hath felt nothing yet that I know of, but her: Very probable the Powers above and below would shrink at that.

His Death to Tears the Christal Orbes would melt.

It must be a hot Death that can melt Christal as far as the Orbes. But I suppose the Poet means the Orbes would cry at Mulyhamets death. Good Natured Orbes! If Mulyhamet dies, poor Orbes will cry their Eyes out, therefore for the sweet Orbes sake spare his life. But how came there such mighty Friendship between him and the Orbes. If this be not a merry Play let any one Judge. Witness also that which follows.

Here bind the Traytor, and conveigh him streight,
To Prison, there to linger out his fate:
Till his hard Lodging, and his slender Food,
Allay the fury of his lustfull Blood.

that is, here, take this letcherous Fellow away, carry him to Pri­son, mortifie him, and take down his Mettle, that my Mother and my Women may live in quiet for him.

My Soul! Dull Man! What has my Soul to do
With such mean Acts, as my betraying you?
Murder and Treason,
Without the help of Souls, when I think good
Such toys I act, as I'm but Flesh and Blood.

Murder and Treason without the help of Souls, when I think good, such Toys I act. —

[Page 28]There is excellent Coherence in these wo [...]ds! but it is written like one that thinks without a Soul, as he makes his Queen Mother do: Dull Man! What has my Soul to do with thinking? Such Villanies I act and think, as I'm but Flesh and [...]lood, as I▪m an unthinking Carcas.

This Poet is all for pure matter; he will not allow any use for Souls: He makes Flesh and Blood think, Breath decree, Hands aim.

Hell, no of that I scorn to be afraid:
Betray, and Kill, and Damn to that Degree,
Ile Crowd up Hell till there's no room for me.

A senseless and ridiculous huff; where there is scarce a word but contains non-sen [...]e, or contradiction. The Queen Mother says she scorns to be afraid of Hell, and yet plainly confesses she is afraid of it; for she will Kill and Damne to a horrible Degree to avoid it: One would think the course she takes should rather bring her to it, than help to escape it; but she has found out a new [...]nack, she will murder such Crowds of People as shall fill Hell so full there shall be no room for her. It seems she is exactly informed of the Dimensions of Hell, what numbers it will hold, and what it wants to fill it. How she should come by this Knowledge I cannot tell, unless she had correspondence with some Devil, and by consequence be a Witch: Dull Poet! that from his own words could not ta [...]e the hint; he lost an excellent op­portunity of Gracing his Play with Flying and Machines. But is Hell so near filling, happy People they that are born after the Reign of Queen Lawla, she pin'd the Basket an universal Benefactrice to the World; Man [...]ind may live as jollily as they please, we ought to have a Holyday kept for her; but the News is too good to be true, I doubt the Devil played the lying Rascal, and cheated the foolish cre­dulous old Witch. But suppose it true, I do not see how she can Crowd up Hell yet; for must all that she kills needs be damned? if so she has a strange unlucky Fist: and poor murder'd People would be very hardly dealt with at that rate, to be kill'd and damn'd too, nay damn'd for being [...]ill'd; And the murderess escape, only because she has Crowded the Goal so full of Innocent People, that there is no room for the guilty. Sure the murdered parties will Crowd and Squ [...]eze to make a little room for her out of revenge. But after all, I do not find she will Crowd up Hell with the number she kills; for she only says, Betray, and Kill, and Damn to that Degree. Here he puts Degree for Number, and for Rhime sake makes it palpable non-sense; for whatever there is in Betraying and Damning, in Killing there is no [Page 29] Degree; no Man can be more or less Kill'd. In Betraying and Damn­ing indeed there may be Degrees; but that relates not to the Number of the damned, but the Excess of their punishment. It is direct non-sense to say I will damn People so horribly, that there shall be no room for me to be damned by 'em. This is the principal huff of his Play, and by consequence the thickest of non-sense, for I always ob­serve, where he endeavours most to flatter, there he is sure to be most bemired.

Monarchs do nothing ill, unless when they
By their own Acts of Grace their Lives betray.

They do not do ill it seems to betray their Lives, provided they do not do it by Acts of Grace.

Your Counsels weakly do my Ears attract.

What is it to attract ones Ears? does he mean your Counsels but weakly lug me by the Ears? if so it is no very Heroick Expression; and yet it must be either that or non-sense.

Live then, till time this sense of horrour brings,
What 'tis to ravish Queens, and injure Kings.

Live till time brings the sense of horrour. Horrour is a thing that sur­prizes, And brings this sense of horrour. What sense? for no body can tell. What 'tis to ravish Qeens and injure Kings. What it is to ravish my Mother, and not only so, but to do me an unkindness.

The Queen Mother says upon the success of her Lies.

You see the Fates do their Allegiance know.

As if she was Queen of Fates. Rather by her Character she is Queen of Sluts.

'Tis pity Monarchs are so scarce —
Such generous, easie, kind, good-natur'd things.

As if all Kings were Fools, because her Son was one.

Our guilded Treason thus like Coral seems;
Which appears Black within its native Streams:
But when disclos'd it sees the open Air;
It changes Colour, and looks Fresh and Fair.

Here he makes a Guilded thing look like Coral; and like a Thing which first looks Black, and then looks Fair.

Disrob'd of all at once! what turns more strange
Can Ages, if an Hour can make such Change?

Why, what can Ages do more than rob one of all? Because an Hour took all, he thinks Ages may take Ten Thousand times more than all.

[Page 30]
The Daughters easie Breast would ill confer
A kindness on her Mothers Ravisher.

What do you think I will be kind to a Man that is kind to my Mo­ther: Very proper discourse for a Tragedy; our Poet will shortly make a Tragedy of the Italian Seignior.

— Cruel Princes! to whom Heaven
Has all its Titles but its Knowledge given.

Here he makes Knowledge a Title.

Were I that Savage Ravisher I seem,
I still might father this imputed Crime.

Crime and seem Rhime incomparably. And the sense is this: Were I that real Ravisher I seem, then I might seem the real Ravisher I was.

This Prison, and Our private Interview,
Giving me pow▪r t'Attempt that force on You.

He pursues his former pleasant discourse, and says to this Effect. Were I such a Letcherous Fellow as you take me to be, I might with the Liberty and Opportunity you give me have a Bout with you, as well as I had with your Mother, and now could lay you down in spite of your Teeth. — Mariamne hearing him talk of attempting her is much pleased with him, and thinks him a virtuous Man presently.

Virtue ne're dies, where so much Love does live.

And now she will huff the Gods in his behalf; what will she not do to save a Man so lusty?

But since of injur'd innocence Heav'n dares
Be a Spectator, I'le correct the Stars.

This power of huffing Gods, and correcting Stars, I suppose she derives from her Mother, who is Queen of Fates; but the Poet makes it so common, that the Command is not worth begging.

Fly these infected Walls, this barbarous Town.

The Walls are infected with Barbarity. Then supposing they were Cured, the Walls would be civil well-bred Walls.

Yes, in my Memory.
Absent you shall in my remembrance Reign.

He shall not only Reign in her Memory, but in her Remembrance.

To make You share those Frowns which threatned me.

As before our Poet made the Queen Heir to Future Frowns; so here Muly Hamet and Mariamne are to share Frowns past. I wonder what knack they have in M [...]occo of preserving Frowns; sure they [Page 31] have an Art of Pickling of 'em, that we know not of in these Coun­tries; and so these Lovers are to divide a Barrel of Pickled Frowns.

If his rash passion natures bonds should quit,
And make him both my Sex, and Birth forget;
Remember that you wear a Sword, and you
As you're my Servant, be my Champion too.

Muly Hamet having told her, he is afraid the King her Brother will be displeased with her, for giving him liberty she replies: — [If his Passions, &c.] That is, if the Fool grows troublesome and im­pertinent, you wear a Sword, come and cut the Coxcombe o're the Pate. This Poet shews an excellent Judgment in his choice of Cha­racters.

How! Rebel, dare you with things Sacred sport,
Ravish the Mother, and the Daughter Court.

Just as Citizens carry their Wives to see the Mad-folks in Bedlam; the King here brings his Wife, his Mother, and his whole Family to see Muly Hamet in Prison, and as it happened catched him Courting his Sister, and very like himself falls a railing, and asks him how he dares sport with Sacred things; Ravishing, and Courting are the same things with him, both but Sporting.

Since Prisons no restraint o're Lust can have
Why did I not confine him to a Grave?

Since nothing can rule this Town-Bull, I will have his Brains knock­ed out. This discourse must needs move Pity.

Not circled in a Chain, but in a Crown.

To be circled in a Crown, as Men are in Chains, is to wear a Crown about his middle, or upon his Legs.

Sir, You mistake a Dungeon for a Throne.

A very Foolish mistake, as if one should mistake a Room for a Joint-stool.

— T'unravel your Scenes of Love,

Unraveling of Scenes, implyes they were Knit.

These Prison-walls have Eccho'd to their Sighs.

That Prison was Built in imitation sure of the Whispring place in Gloucester, else it could never Eccho to a Sigh; but why may not there be loud Sighs, as well as roaring Incense?

Tortures, nor Chains, shall not my love rebate.

Tortures nor Chains. — As if it was a worse thing to be Chain­ed than Tortured.

[Page 32]
These Traitors walk like mad-men in a Trance:
Seem not to understand the Crimes they act..

As if Mad-men only pretended to be mad; and were most cun­ningly mad in Trances, when they are most still and understand least.

From Springs so deep shall sink thee down to Hell.

I have heard of sinking of a Well, but never of sinking People with Springs before. She will Knock him over the Pate with a Spring, with a Spring-Lock indeed she may, and do Execution.

I shed my Tears, as Rain in Egypt falls,
Sent for no common cause, but to foretel
Destructions, Ruins, Plagues, and Funerals.
I ne're draw Tears, but when those Tears draw Blood.

She sheds and draws Tears, as Rain falls and is sent. And she draws Tears; That is she Taps her Eyes. One may guess with whom the Poet converses by his Metaphors.

And she never draws Tears but when those Tears draw Blood. Then they are not sent like Rain in Egypt to foretell. Omens do no [...] use to accom­pany or cause Mischiefs, but threaten 'em; our Poets Omens foretell things after they are come to pass

— View that Brow, that Charming Eye:
See there the Grace and Meen of Majesty.
Can you to Exile then that man enjoine,
Whose Soul must, like his Aspect, be Divine?

She accuses him of Ravishing her, and yet pleads for his Pardon, and says he hath a Divine Soul, and a Charming Countenance, De­licate Eye-brows, fine Rowling Eyes, and has a lovely Meen, is an excellent Dancer, Words that before any one but such a Fool as Mulylabas would absolutely clear him, Nay, he has some suspition that it was no Rape when all was done.

His Sentence is already past;
And now her Kindess does his Ruine hast▪

I plainly see she likes him, he's a lusty taking Fellow, I'le send him away.

Be gone, and fly to some infected Air,
Where Poysons brood, where men derive their Crimes,
Their Lusts, their Rapes, and Murthers from their Climes:
And all the Venome which their Souls do want,
May the Contagion of your Presence grant.

Fly to some infected Air where Poysons brood. He is for infecting the [Page 33] Air with Poysons, and deriving Crimes from Climes. And all the Venome which their Soyls do want. Their Soyls? — The Soyls of the infected Air, or the Soyls of the Climes. May the Contagion of your presence grant. He curses other places for the Villany Muly Hamet has done, and wishes the Contagion of his presence may supply 'em with Venome. The whole is thus; Go to infected Airs, and there Piss Poyson like a Toad, till the Contagion fills the Soyl of their Climes with Venome; and for the Letchery thou hast shewn, mayst thou in­fect infected places with all the Rapes and Murders they want. A most wise doom.

Since in your Kingdoms limits I'm deny'd
A seat, may your great Empire spread so wide,
Till its vast largeness does Reverse my doom;
And for my Banishment the World wants room.

There are but these Lines that have any tollerable fancy through­out the whole Play: But like good Cloaths sent to a Botcher to finish, the fancy is so bungled together, so filled with Bombazeene stiff­ning, that one abhors it in the shape he has put it.

Since in your Kingdoms limits I'm deny'd
A seat, may your great Empire —

Since I am Banished your Kingdom, Heavens Blessing on your Empire.

May your great Empire spread so wide,
Till its vast largeness —

Bombazeene in abundance. — May your great Empire grow so great, till its great greatness, — or till its vast vastness, or large largeness.

— The Great
Are never fully darkened till they set.

That is, Great Links are never dark till they are out, as if little Links were out before they were out.

I'le work him from the Town up to the Gamp.

She may as well say she will Churne him up to the Camp.

No, the more barbarous garb our Deeds assume,
We nearer to our first perfection come.
Since Nature first made man wild, savage, strong,
And his Blood hot, then when the World was Young:
If infant-times such Rising valours bore,
Why should not Riper Ages now do more?

[Page 34]I observe our Poet towards the latter end of an Act, does, like his Muly Hamet near landing, express his Joys in a loud Qu [...]re of ramp­ing non-sense. He offers here at a Notion about the state of Nature; but his thoughts are so clumsey, that if he attempts to untie a Knot, he entangles it ten times more. To pass by his ridiculous Phrase of the Gar [...] of Deeds; and incoherent stuff of since Nature made Man, then, when, if his Notion be this that which Religion calls Sin is not Sin; for the more barbarous we grow, the nearer we come to the perfection we had in the state of Nature; for by Nature we are wild and savage: Now if Infant-times had such perfection, why should not riper Ages do more; that is, go beyond perfection. That is; if the World was so old and perfect, whilst it was young, why should it not grow younger, and more perfect now it is old? an ingenious inference.

To him who climbs by Blood, no track seems hard:
The sense of Crimes is lost in the Reward:
Aspirers neither Guilt nor Danger Dread:
No path so rough Ambition dares not Tread.

These two last Lines are the same with one another, and with the first, the Phrases are only varyed. In the first Line it is, Climbes by Blood care for no Track (except Tracking of Spheres.) In the third Aspirers fear no Colours: And in the last, Ambition Treads a [...]y Path. And thus having Twisted three Lines, and Tagged them with hard words, he ends this Act.

The Fourth ACT.

How! Crimalhaz up to the Mountains fled,
And with him the Morocco Forces led.
Oh Rebel!

HEre his Foolish King, upon his News, most Heroically ex­claims against him with Oh Rebel! and that's all; that be­ing all he says of him is as Comical, as if he had call'd him Arch-wag; immediately a nameles Lord tells Mulylabas, that Crimalhaz has been too strict a Guardian of his Gold: And his Reason is, [Page 35] because he has stoln it away by night, so that he makes a Thief a strict Guardian; then he says, Crimalhaz

Encamped on Atlas skirts, he by your Gold
Has Rrais'd new Forces, and Confirm'd the Old.

In the last Scene of the Third Act, Crimalhaz was in Morocco; 'tis a pretty leap Elkanah makes him take from thence to Atlas 130. Miles, and a pretty Interval of time he passes over to make him have Rais'd new Forces after he was Encamped there▪ and the News to be brought of it; but this Rebellion would have made any but a Pidgeon-Li­ver'd King, who had as little Gall as Brains, to have been angry with the Rebel. (But by the way, if Elkanah had had as little Gall as Brains, he had not shewn all Malice in his Epistle, and no Wit:) But to go on, Muly Labas says not a word against Crimalhaz, but is bitter­ly satyrical, and abuses poor Gold Inhumanely; which being a flight of his, 'tis (like all the rest of his flights) stuffed with non-sense.

Oh prophane Gold, which from infectious Earth,
From Sulphrous and Contagious Mines takes Birth.

Gold is prophane, because it takes Birth from infectious Earth, viz. Infection is Prophaneness; From Infectious Earth, and from Contagious Mines; that is, from, from, two froms to the same thing, then takes Birth; to be Born has a Passive signification, but to take Birth an Active one; and one that takes Birth is Author of his own Birth.

Then he makes the same thing Sulphurous and Contagious, where­as Sulphur is one of the best things in the world against Contagion, and then after it has taken Birth both from Infectious Earth and Conta­tagious Mines,

It grows from Poysons, and has left behind
Its native Venome to infect Mankind

Gold has left Venome behind; this has no Construction in it, unless Gold had first fled away, and l [...]ft Mankind its Venome: But though Muly Labas's G [...]ld fled from him, it was with M [...]nkind still: Or else he must mean, that the Birth of Gold had fled and left Venome behind, which is equal non-sense: Nor is it intelligible how Gold by its Sul­phur or Con [...]agion makes Men wicked, it cannot by Contagion make Men wicked, unless it were wicked it self.

Rapes, Murders, Treasons, what has Gold not done?

That is, What has Gold not done, Rapes, Murders, Treasons.

[Page 36]This is excellent English! What Verb governs Rapes, Murders, Treasons? Next he says, if ever it has won Glory by Rewarding Virtue, a Pious Vse, or Charitable Deed.

That Sacred Power's but borrowed, which it bears,
Lent from the Royal Images it wears.

Here Muly Labas complements his own pretty Image, among others, and would infer, that no Gold can be given to a Pious Use but stamp'd Gold, viz. Money; — Ingots, or Plate can do nothing▪ or are worth nothing, the Intrinsick value of Gold being in the stamp: I am afraid El­kanah has very little acquaintance with Gold, that he mistakes it so much; but presently he compares

Kings Bounties to — the Suns Courteous smiles,
Whose Rayes produce kind Flowers —

Bounties are very like Smiles, besides he might have said Civil or Well-bred as well as Courteous, and Civil as well as kind Flowers: But his Epithetes never signifie any thing, but serve to make up his Verse. —

Perhaps you've mis-interpreted his Breast.

This is a new Phrase, and not very proper. —

He who forced Favours both from Fate and Fame;
Made War a sport, and Conquest but a Game.

Forcing Fate is altering on't, which is very ill Divinity in Morocco; where they believe absolute predestination being Mahometans: But he made War a sport very pretty sport; but I believe it is a sport and a Game which the Poet delights not in, though he may more easily be thought to force Favours, &c. then Crimalhaz if he has any; for I am sure he deserves 'em not; but the Lord who has as little Wit as Muly Labas, goes on, and would perswade him that Crimalhaz has put a very Honourable Trick upon him with running away to Atlas with his Army, which should defend Morocco against T [...]ffaletta, as he says a while after, and that honest Crimalhaz has

— From the common Rout
Of the Worlds beauties singled Honours out.

The Common Rout of Beauties is excellent sense, and a very Ho­nourable thing it is to run away with the Army whether the King would or no, which the Lord in the next Line but one calls a Flight of Ho­nour; but Muly Labas says no: He's a Traytor, subtilly found out. This is the first time Little Labas was ever in the right, but presently after he slips, where he Compares swoln Power to Showers, and

[Page 37]
— Showers,
Luxurious grown, —

The Luxury of Showers I never understood; but that Raine takes no pleasure in its Luxury I am certain. —

But when misplaced, those Arms our Ruins be:
As Mountains Bulwarks are at Land, but Rocks at Sea.

Here he compares Arms, viz. Swords (as he names 'em before) to Mountains, which if any body should misplace; that is, whip 'em up, and carry 'em into the Sea, would turn Rocks ipso facto.

Out-face its Treason e're its Rise begins. —

Here the Pious Queen Mother advises her Son to out-face Crimal­haz's Treason before it be Treason, viz. Out-face that which is now Treason before it be Treason. Besides the English of its Rise, Begin­ning is naught. Treason may begin its Rise, but Treasons Rise can­not begin of it self; for this he admires her Courage he tells her, but not her Wit, for he says,

Her thoughts can't reach the flight which Treason makes.

If he means by Flight the Wit of Treason it must be thus, Trea­son's a very witty thing which you do'nt understand; he takes her for as er­rant a Fool as himself: But to pass by a great deal of non-sense; (for I pass by more than half) Muly Labas says,

Kings that want Arms, do not want Majesty.

For as he says in the precedent Line he can frown and bow (for bend) Crimalhaz's thoughts with his Brow, though he has no Arms; but the subsequent Line is,

Heav'n is not Heav'n, though't lays its Thunder by.

As if any Fool believ'd that Thunder made it Heaven: Here he modestly compares himself to Heaven, and his having his Army ta­ken from him to Heavens voluntary laying its Thunder by: For if it wanted Thunder as he Arms, or could be rob'd of it, it were no Heaven as certainly as Mr. Settle is no Poet; but the Queen Mother says very well,

Go easie Fool, —

For certainly if ever there was one Muly Labas was, —

— And die, and when you Bleed,
Remember I was Author of the Deed.

Here she bids him die first, and then Bleed, and Remember that which he did not nor could not know: then she calls his Bleeding a Deed; Bleeding is a Suffering and no Action with the Poets leave.—

[Page 38]
T'enlarge Fates black Records, search but my Soul:
There ye infernal Furies read a scrowl
Of Deeds, —

Here he supposes Fate that necessitates all Actions to be done, Records them done, — which is non-sense. Fate has nothing to do but to determine, and it cannot determine things past; besides heis at Reading a Soul again, as he was in the First Act, but he has the greatest Passion for non-sense, and is the most constant Man alive to it.

Such Storms as these, our Climate never knew:
A Shower of Hail —

Such Storms as one Shower is admirable English, and a Shower of Hail is no more proper than a Shower of Snow.

My Country, Princess, and my King forsook.

Forsook is false English, it should be forsaken. 'Tis strange, he hav [...]ng no learning but that of a School-boy, should perpetually for­get his Grammar,

Tempests are to my Sufferings due

Says Muly Hame [...], and his Reason is,

When my King Frowns tis just that Heaven Frown too.

When my King Frowns 'tis just that it should Hail; but I am infinite­ly tired with ill sense, and must pass by a great deal: But now the Vaga­bond, the Gipsey Mariamne, who never thought on't when her Lover and she parted, has bethought her self, and alone found out her Muly Hamet, and says,

Wing'd by that zeal united Souls do bear
Those Stars that smile on Lovers, brought me here.

That is, first carryed upon Wings of zeal, and then upon Stars; besides the single zeal of her own Soul is that which two Souls bear: But she goes on well.

I for your sake my wandring steps engage:
Devotion is the Rise of Pilgrimage.

This Princess is no better than she should be to tell one whom she is not Marryed to, that she adores him, and she is something confident and prophane too to compare her Love to Worship or Devotion.

Lovers, &c.
— have Souls that scorn
The Guilded VVreaths which swelling Brows adorn

What does he mean by Swelling Brows? Brows that are beaten Black and Blew and Swelled? or Beetle Brows? that would run well.

[Page 39]
The guilded VVreaths which Beetle Brows Adorn:
But they who have Soul enough to love like me.

He, by, they, and soul, which are of different Numbers, would in­fer that many Men have but one Soul amongst them.

For all his Ships which he describes had but one Soul amongst them, but that was enough of all Conscience for Ships.

But now Hametalhaz having a great many Men in Ambush, comes in the Habit of a Priest with Six Villains▪ to disguise himself from two Men and a Woman, viz. Muly Hamet, Abdelcador, and Mariamne! and tells him his Prophet has doom'd his Love to be unfortunate, says Muly Hamet,

No Sir, — Thou dost belye his Name.

He calls him Sir first, and then gives him the Lye, and wrong­fully, for he does not belye Mahomets name, when he calls him his Prophet: Am is the Rhime to Name too, it should be Nam; but Hametalhaz takes no notice, but goes on.

Your Mistress too m [...]st your misfortune find.

That could not be; for his misfortune was his own: Hers could not be the same; for she could not loose a Mistress: Besides he says, 'tis his Fate, and his Prophet had doom'd him to [...]t into the bargain yet calls it his Misfortune, as if that happened by chance that were necessitated: Read Philosophy Elkanah, for Rhime and Measure (which are im­perfect too in thee) are not enough to make a Man a Poet.

— His Eternal will confute.

Here he makes the Will which is Caeca facultas to be Opinion: For nothing can be confuted but Opinion; it had been nearer sense, though it had not been sense, if he had said Confute Understanding.

She is a Beauty and that names her Guard.

Here he makes the Quality of a Woman to be her Name, besides it is a rare Argument that he must have Mariamne, and she must be hap­py in him, because she is Beauty-Mariamne, I have heard a Hound Bitch called so, but never a Princess before.

Good Fates as due should be to Beauty given:

Give a Debt is none of the best sense.

Beauty which decks our Earth, and props his Heaven.

Whose Heaven? Beauty is the proximum an [...]ecedens, Mahomet is not spoke of within Five Lines: Besides he did not believe it to be Ma­homets Heaven, but a greater power's▪ Then how Beauty props Heaven he must tell us; for most think it sends more to Hell than Heaven. —

[Page 40]
When Heaven to Beauty is propitious,
It payes those Favours it but lends to us.

Favours are Gifts, he gave Debts before and now he lends Gifts: Heaven pays Favours to Beauties but lends 'em to Men. If Men be honest they must pay those Favours back, and then Men may favour and be propitious to Heaven.

With patience hear the Language of the Sky.
Heaven, &c.

Here for want of Philosophy he calls Heaven the Sky, and the Language of the Sky as he describes it, presently is Hail, a fine white Language; which Hail he thinks is ingendred in the Sky; he has never heard sure of the middle Region.

Heaven writes above what we must read below.

Heaven writes is non-sense, and we must whether we can or no read below what that writes above, If he means from below he has ex­cellent Eyes whom any Optique Glass can help to do that. But El­kanah runs on to an impertinent description of 20 Lines to say it Hail'd, which the Audience and Muly Hamet knew before, and this is very inartificial.

The Etherial Walk was uninhabited.

No walk was ever inhabited: This Line is spoken but not Printed.

But strait, as if it had some Penance bore.

There's bore for born, besides the proper Phrase is doing not bearing Penance.

— A mourning Garb of thick black Clouds it wore.

Penance is done in White, and that White is no Garb, besides Garb includes Motion and Meen; but this it seems is a Black Pe­nance.

The Clouds dishevel'd from their crusted Locks,
Something like Gems Coin'd out of Chrystal Rocks.

Besides the non-sense of Crusted Locks of Clouds, dishevel'd is never made a Verb, but if it were, to dishevel Gems from Locks is non-sense: But 'tis as proper as Coining of Gems, no body stamps Jew­els, nor are little bits of Chrystal Gems.

As if Heaven in affront to Nature had
Design'd some new found Tillage of its own;
And on the Earth these un [...]nown Seeds had sown.

Heaven affronts Nature, that is Heaven affronts it self, if he means [...]ura Naturans; if Natura Naturata, Heaven can a thousand times [Page 41] less be said to affront what it has Created, than a Father can be said to affront his Child, or a Gentleman his own Servant; an affront implies superiority, or at least parity, in the affronted.

Of this I reacht a Grain, which to my sense
Appear'd as cool as Virgin-innocence: [A fine Botch.]
And like to that (which chiefly I admir'd)
Its ravisht Whiteness with a Touch expir'd.

Here is no manner of sense: It appear'd cool to his Touch; no­thing appears but to sight, but his Touch saw it cool, as Virgin-Inno­cence. Why is not Innocence warm? but he had toucht Innocence, to touch a Quality; an abstract! is fine indeed: Cool as Virgin-In­nocence! Virgins are far from being cooler than other Women: I am sure they have less Reason, having parted with less of their Heat and Vigour. — It's Ravish'd Whiteness with a touch expir'd. No­thing can expire unless it Breaths first: Does a Colour Breath? Then its Ravish'd Whiteness; Is a Woman the less Innocent for being Ravish'd: Being Ravish'd is no Sin, besides the non-sense of touching Whiteness is admirable. —

Those showers of Hail Morocco never see. —

For Morocco never saw. —

And all that Story which the Slave did frame,
Was only to gain time to take their aim.

Oh the cunning contrivance of our Poet, first it Hails, and then a long description of Hail is made only to give the Men in Ambush time to take aim. He makes them very ill Marks-men; for no Man could have been so long aiming at a Wren as they were at a Man.

But missing of your Blood, your brave Escape
Chang'd the intended murder to a Rape.

A Horse might as soon be transformed into a Poet, nay sooner into Elkanah than Murder into a Rape: his sense is, your brave escape made them so letcherous to Ravish your Mistress.

I should have Fought till I my Princess freed
Though I had waded through the Blood I shed.

This is very Heroick! he would have freed his Mistress, though after he had shed Blood, he had waded through it and spoiled his Shooes and Stockins! well said Elkanah, to make the sum of his da­ring to wade. A most admirable Hero, and a brave Generosity! which is one of the Poets own words.

[Page 42]
Banish'd the Temple to be banisht Heaven.
Horrours and Tortures now my Iaylours be,
Who paints Damnation need but Copy me.

Here Muly Hamet compares himself to banish'd Men; and in the next Line says he is a Prisoner, and Horrours and Tortures are his Jaylors: At the same time to be Banished and a Prisoner is a Bull: Nor did I ever hear of Horrours and Tortures being Jaylors before. Paints Damnation: Damnation is either pain of sense or pain of loss, and can any Man Paint Pain? and he is to be painted for Damnation. Can a Man be like Damnation.

And to appear extravagantly great
He makes a splendid Mask in this nights Treat.

His Mask of Orpheus (as shall shortly be made appear) is very ex­travagant, but neither splendid nor great; there being nothing great in it but great non-sense: But the entertainment might pass upon the Skirts of Atlas, if it could be supposed they should understand recita­tive Musick, and make Masks in that Countrey; but Elkanah thinks it the most Extravagant, Great and Honourable thing in the World to present a Mask.

The Queen says she has been an Actor in such Comick Sports in her Father Taffaletta's Court: His Mask is Burlesque, but not Comick; but observe what she calls Comick Sport.

He took delight i' th' represented Spoils
Of Cyrus, Cesar, and Aeneas Toils.

These are very Comick things indeed, and would make a Man laugh extreamly, if honest El [...]anah had the writing of them; but I believe by the way she lyes, for Taffaletta had no such Masks.

The Queen Mother perswades Morena to go in Masquerade, which Morena thinks is a very valiant thing, saying

I dare do any thing to shew, &c.

A generous brave thing to go in Masquerade, &c.

Immediately Muly Hamet says,

My Entertainmen [...]s, &c.
All shows of Loyalty and Friendship bear.
But does he in that Garb? &c.

He calls Loyalty and Friendship a Garb: Garb is a beloved word with him, and he often uses it to as little purpose as Breath, and there is no one thing which he will not either call Breath or Garb.

[Page 43]
Traytors rarely look like what they act.

Can the looks of Traytors be like Treason? indeed as like as any of his Similitudes.

And by what Arts was it disclos'd by you?
Enter Queen Mother.

Here she enters abruptly, and answers to what she did not hear.

That were too long to tell: th' unhappy Son
This night too must the Fathers Fortune run▪

And within Three Lines she contradicts her self, saying to him.

I'le save your life, your Empress, and your Throne.
And the intrigue of this Dramatique sport.

Very pretty sport; his Mask looks as if it were written in jest, but he meant it in earnest: But the Intrigue is Orpheus his Descent to fetch Euridice a very Intricate thing indeed.

On this Foundation I've this Structure laid.

To lay a Foundation is proper, or to Build a House upon a Founda­tion; but to lay a House upon a Foundation is not English. Then she compares her Story to a Structure a Lye is very like a Structure indeed. But this Structure passes upon the foolish King, — and he'l in Honour stay and die: Ay, marry will he! his reason to his Mother is,

Knowing how ill your kindness he'l requite,
If he should find you Author of my flight.

He will if he should is false English, he would if he should it should be: — Besides Author of a Flight is a base Phrase; but she replyes.

Leave that to Providence; but grant he shou'd —
He will not sure attempt a Womans Blood.
At least when he considers how t'was done,
A Mothers Piety to save a Son.

That is, what if he should know that I your Mother am Author of your Flight being my Son? Yet when he considers, that you being my Son, I your Mother, let you escape, &c. Again his Grammar's ex­cellent, when he considers how 'twas done; to find me Author of your flight, a Mothers Piety to save a Son. How 'twas done, a Mothers Piety.

I'le lead you where you may all Eyes escape,
And privately put on this borrow'd shape.

What need he put on a borrowed shape, after he had escaped all Eyes.

[Page 44]
Whilst with the noise of Drums, and Trumpets sound.

Tautology! noise and sound, viz. noise and noise.

Inhumane Monster! such a bloody Fact
No Mortal sure can think, &c.

To think a Fact is non sense, any one but Mr. Settle thinks Thoughts, not Facts: I suppose if he has any meaning 'tis think on such a Fact.

— To take
This brave resolve —

Resolve for Resolution: The Verb is never used substantively by any but affected Fools who understand not good English.

In your Defence act your own Champions part,
With your drawn Dagger stab him to the Heart.

To stab him to the Heart in her Defence was not to act her own Cham­pions part, but to be her own Champion: But Lawla subtilly advises it to be done with a drawn Dagger, Morena might else have been such a Fool to have stabbed at him with a sheathed Dagger.

And this Heroick act looks brave and great.

A very Heroick brave and great thing to Stab: Well, said Elkanah,

My Deeds above their reach, aend Power aspire.

The Doer may aspire but not the Deeds.

My Bosom holds more rage than all Hell Fire.

This is so silly a Rant, that it has no meaning in it, unless it be that she is wickeder than all the Devils in Hell; and then it is a fine thing to brag on, which she does so zealously, as if she had set up a Re­ligion to the Devil; and had obliged her self in Conscience to be Im­pious: This is foolishly unnatural; none ever loved and gloryed in Wickedness for Wickedness sake: But now comes the Splendid Mask, and he cannot refrain from non-sense in his direction. —

The Scene opened is presented a Hell, —

Viz. The opened Scene is presented a Hell. Very good English: and a Hell, as if there were more than one.

In which Pluto, Proserpine, and other Women-Spirits, &c.

As if Pluto and Proserpine were Women Spirits. This is as bad as Twelve Cows whereof one was a Bull: Besides it is non-sense to say Women-Spirits, as if Spirits had Sexes: Then he says the Stage is filled on each side with Crimalhaz, &c. and all the Court: so that all the Court is on each side, that is in two places at once.

And now he is no more civil to Orpheus, Pluto or Proserpine, than to the rest in the Play; for he puts as much non-sense in their mouths as in any: And Orpheus begins.

[Page 45]
The Groans of Ghosts and Sighs of Souls.

Sights of Souls! Sighs are with his leave the effects of Lungs; how a Soul can sigh without Lungs I cannot imagine, or how Spirits can howl; but some Fools that admire him will say it is poetical. This is the general excuse for any thing that is unintelligible or non-sense. So that poetical, as they apply the word, signifies nonsensical. —

A gentle Gust
Has all things husht.

Besides his barbarous Rhime, what can he mean by a Gust hushing all things? Orpheus it seems came down to Hell with a gentle Gust; besides, a gentle Gust is a Bull, for a Gust is a sudden violent Storm of Wind.

Whilst ravisht by my warbling Strings,
The Vultures moult their Wings.

Warbling Voices I have heard of; but if Elkanah had but under­stood a Cittern, (which I wonder he does not) he would have known that Strings never warble, nor do Vultures care for Strings, though they did warble not so much as to moult their Feathers, much less their Wings; moulting of Wings is very new.

And Hell it self forget their Tyrant Kings.

Hell it self forgets its Tyrant Kings, would be true Grammar, though not very good sense: Hell forget their Kings, is such false Grammar, that the lowest Boy in Westminster School would be ashamed to write it.

Whence Mortal does thy Courage grow,
To dare to take a Walk so low?

Says Pluto; to which Orpheus answers, —

To tell thee God, thou art a Ravisher.
No Tears nor Prayer
Your unresisted will Controuls,
VVho Commit force on Virtue, Rapes on Souls.

These are Four excellent Lines. Pluto asks, VVhence does thy Cou­rage grow? Orpheus answers, from to tell thee God thou art a Ravishe; besides Orpheus came a long Journey to tell Pluto very great news, viz. that he was a Ravisher, as if he did not know that before: Be­sides Tears or Prayer never Controul any thing, they may per­swade indeed: Nor can any thing that is unresisted be controuled? How can a thing be controuled that is never resisted? This was great News too. This was not Orpheus's way to charm Hell; he had as good have stayed at home if he could have spoken no [Page 46] better. Again your unresisted Will who Commit, &c. VVill be­ing the Proximum Antecedens to who, makes it false English, who for which, and Commit for Commits: if it be which Commits, and so true Grammar, 'tis not sense; for Pluto's Will does not Commit Rapes, it only inclines him to Commit Rapes on Souls.

Dares a weak Animal of Mortal Race
Affront a God t'his Face.

An Animal of Mortal Race is very Elegant as much as to say an Animal of Animal Race, or a Mortal of Mortal Race; there being no Animal but what is Mortal; the other Line is Burlesque.

Thy Breath has damn [...]d thee thou shalt die.

First he's damn'd, and afterwards he shall die: Here is Breath again, which is every thing, and does every thing with Elkanah; nay, Breath that makes others live shall make Orpheus die.

Vnloose your twisted Crests of Snakes;
Into his Breast those swift Tormentors fling,
And his tortur [...]d Entrals Sting.

Twisted Crests I take to be Fustian and non-sense; and why swift Snakes? Snakes are far from being swift Creatures; and his tortur'd En­trals; If his Entrals were tortured before, why should they be Stung afterwards? But now Proserpine,

Oh Sir, &c.
Let not such Noble worth your Victim fall.

Here Proserpine calls a God Sir: 'Tis a very new Title for a God; she might as well have said your Worship. Then how can worth fall a Victim, a worthy Man may, but worth cannot; then Attendant trolls it away, he has not Poetry enough to know what to call an Attendant of Proserpine: This is her Suivante, her waiting Woman it seems.

Rage is a venial Sin in Lovers:

Then says Proserpine.

Then gentle Stranger tell;
VVhat Fortune has befell,
That brings a Lover down to Hell?

Then viz. Since or because Rage is a venial Sin, tell what For­tune has befell, for has befallen: Has be-fell is false Grammar.

I have a Mistress in your Spheare,
Forc'd from my Armes
By Deaths Alarm's?

The Sphear of Hell is non-sense; nor is any thing forced by alarmes. An alarme is but a preparation to s [...]e.

[Page 47]
Oh take me down to her, or send her back to me.

Here Orpheus speaks as if he were upon the Stage, and not in Hell. Would he have himself taken down from Hell to Hell, or her brought back from Hell to Hell. This is admirable, but his non sense is so very various, and so very frequent, a Man had need have a sound Head to endure the many turnings and windings of it.

Your tiresome Story pleads in vain;
Be gon,

Says Pluto; but Proserpine it seems wears the Breeches, and for all what Pluto says, she says, —

With thee thy fair Treasure take,
Releast by Love from that Eternal Chain
Which destin'd Kings and Conquerours cannot break.

Released from an Eternal Chain is a Bull; if her Chain had been Eternal she could never have bro [...]en it: Therefore it is no wonder that destin'd Kings and Conquerours cannot break an Eternal Chain: But why destin'd Kings? Elkanah with all his little sense cannot tell me, unless it be to make up the Verse.

To th' wondring World he in soft Airs may tell,
Mercy as well as Iustice rules in Hell.

To tell in soft Tunes or Airs to the World: How shall the whole World hear soft Tunes. They had need be lowd ones one would think.

No Law there nor here, no God so severe,
But Love can Repeale, or Beauty can Tame.

He makes Love to Repeale a God, and thus ends the splendid Mask, in which there are not Two Lines without false Grammar or non-sense. —

My Son kill'd by her hand! —

Says Crimalhaz! Call my Physitians since he is Killed. — Since, as he says the Emperour Stabbed! the Queen his Murderer! A Physi­tian is very usefull to a dead Man: But though he thought Muly Labas was dead, he was not yet, but said your hand, &c.

Has reach'd my Heart, but not the Love it held.

How could a Hand touch Love, or a Dagger Stab Love, &c. But says Morena,

[Page 48]
Good, Gentle, Kind, give me the Dagger back, &c.
If my Request appear too burdensome,
Grant but this one, — That pointed Steel restore, &c.

That is, give me back the Dagger; or if my Request appear (for appears) too burdensome, give me the Dagger back!

Oh cruel Queen! what has your fury done?
That made you lose a Husband, me a Son;
This Realm a King, the world a Virtue, grown
Too fit for Heaven, but not to go so soon.

The Question is an Answer to it self; she asks what her fury had done that made her loose a Husband, &c. Why it answers it self, it made one loose a Husband, the other a Son. 'Twas a very imperti­nent Question: The World a Virtue! Here the Poet calls a Man, viz. Muly Labas a Virtue. What non-sense that is need not be de­monstrated: Too fit for Heaven is a Bull, nothing can be too fit for any end it is designed for, much less for Heaven: But after he calls Muly Labas a Virtue too fit for Heaven; he says, — but not to go so soon, viz. he was too fit▪ to go to Heaven at all, but not too fit to go to Heaven so soon.

VVas it not you that arm'd me to this guilt,
Told me I should a Ravishers Blood have spilt?
No, 'twas by your design, &c.

Arming one to guilt is base English; besides I should have spilt before she did it, is non-sense: It must be I should spill. But what does he mean by no there? But this, [...]twas your Design. No 'twas your Design. —

Madness always ushers in great Sins.

Madness takes away all Sin! Mad-men cannot sin.

This is no news to that which she has done

Done News, to use a Phrase like this, — this is no non-sense to that which he has done.

She mov'd, star'd, walk'd, storm'd, rag'd, curs'd, rav'd, and damn'd.

This is the sillyest Line of Mono-syllables that ever was written. She moved and walked, as if any body could walk without moving: She stormed, raged, and raved, that is, raged, raged, and raged: What he means by damned, unless she swore God Damn her, I cannot tell.

Her Face discolour'd grew to a deep Red.

That is, either her Red Face grew Red, or her Tawny, or Black and Blew Face grew Red.

[Page 49]
Then with an Infant rage, more soft, and mild,
She plaid with madness, leap'd, sung, danc'd, and smil'd.

She plaid, leap'd, sung, danc'd, and smil'd; these are pretty effects of rage, but tis an Infant rage: rage is the excess of passion: but he means either Childish rage, and that way it is not sense, because Chil­dren when they rage

Bite, scratch, stare, stamp, cry and roare. —

If he means little or moderate rage, then 'tis moderate excess, which is a Bull.

But see how idly her wild Fancies walk,
But she who acts so ill, as ill may talk,

Though the Poet thinks his own Fancy flies, he makes the Queens Wild Fancy but walk, and walk idly too: But she who acts so ill. The word Act refers not to the Queen, but to Mrs. Iohnson who acted the Part, and then he does her wrong; for she acted very well though she talked ill; he having put such foolish words into her mouth. Her acti­on exceeds his Poetry as much as her Beauty and Meene does his.

The Wits and Senses lost, the Soul may stray.

That is as he meanes when the wits and senses are gone, 'tis possible to be mad; never was any man so unlicky at sentences, similes, or des­criptions as this Fumbler in poetry by name Elkanah Settle.

I'st not enough that my dear Lord I slew,
But must be Actor and Designer too?
No, barbarous stepmother —

It should be but I must; I being as necessary as any word in the Verse. But she saies no Barbarous Stepmother, viz. no, 'tis not e­nough. This is as good a No as that before.

How she disowns that blood which she has spilt!

She did not disown his blood, for she said before 'twas her Sonns: but I suppose though the Poet dos not say so, he means she disowns the spilling of it; but I will pass by a great deal of unpardonable stuff to come to the end of this tedious Act.

Morena's hand shall wash the staine she wears,
As condemn'd men turne Executioners.

This is one of his similes, which are commonly the most unlike things to what they are compar'd in the world; Morena must execute her self as condemn'd men execute others, and she must wash the staine off her [...]elf as condemnd men wash the staine off themselves by being Hangmen.

[Page 50]
To explate thy blood, I let out mine.

His blood was good to expiate and had no Crime in it.

In his next two lines he makes Skyes and Sighes to Rhime—

Wing'd by my Love I will my passage steer.

To steer a flight is a phrase, which none but he would have used, and then his reason why he cannot miss his way is excellent, and undeniable.

Nor can I miss my way when you shine there.

And thus ends the most tedious insipid dull Act I ever read.

The Fifth Act.

Mysterious Majesty best fitts a Throne.

THis is one of his Sentences; which are commonly sounding Nonsense. For why Misterious Majesty becomes a Throne better than plain Majesty, is to me a Misterious riddle. But this fellow has a Buz of poetry in his head; a [...]d never thinking clearely, can never expresse him self intelligibly.

Men have ador'd; and have made Offerings
To unknown Gods why not to unknown Kings?

H [...]e [...]is a bundle of Nonsense: for his Tyrant, who speakes it was no unknown King, though he was an Vsurper: They all saw him, knew him and were forc'd to acknowledge him: Next his Phrase of makeing offerings, is improper English. No man makes the Oxen and the Sheep he Sacrifices; I confess our Authour makes Bulls not seldom.

Expecting when the Martiall Summon calls,

That is when the Summon Summons; a Figure called Ta [...]tology [...]ery frequent in this Authour.

The number of my Foes enhance my Crown:

Numbers of Foes most Commonly pull down Crownes; but the [...]own of Morocco has the priviledge onely to be inhanc'd by them: [...] number of his Faults inhance his Play by the same reason. And [...]nhance a Crown is excellent English into the bargain.

[Page 51]
Muley Hamet and Mariamne are the last

Wou'd any one take this for a Verse: it runs like a foundred Jade upon pebbles: and must be pronounc'd thus.

Muley Hamet and Marjamne are the last, to write not onely non-sense, but hobling non-sense too! —

But though your hand did of his Murder miss;
How 'ere his Exile has restraind his pov'r:

In profe thus: But though howere your hand did miss: but though, and Howere signifies all one thing: but he would have you think he immitates Homers Expletives▪ [...] he fils a Verse, as Ma­sons do Brick-walls, with broken peeces in the middle.

Iv'e shook my late familiars from my brest

I shook is English, and I have shaken: he constantly mistakes the Aorist for the preterperfect tence; And an ill Grammarian is like to make a good Poet.

— I must
To the dead King, before my Love, be just.

He meanes, before I Love, I must be just to the dead King: but he expresses it so awkardly, that he clouds his meaning, for before my Love, is in the presence of my Love, or in her sight.

In Common murders Blood for Blood may play:
But when a martyr'd monarch dyes we may
His murderers condemn; but that's not all;
A vengance hangs or'e Nations where they fall.

He has the worst luck in Sentences of any man:

In common murders Blood may pay for Blood; but when a Martyr'd Monarch dyes then we may condem'n his Murderer: A man may be ex­ecuted for a common Murder, but he may be condemn'd for Regicide: But that's not all; A vengance hangs or'e Nations where they fall: What does a vengance hangs or'e a Nation, where Murderers are condemn'd for killing Kings? — where they fall: pray, Mr. Morocco, to what does they relate? if to [...]s Martyrd Monarch they fa'l, tis false Grammar: If to his Murderers, your sense must be that a vengance hangs or'e Nations where the Murderers of Kings fall, that is a Nation is curs'd where Murderers of Kings are punished.

[Page 52]
No prologue to her death; let it be done.

Let what be done? Let her death be done is that your English▪

I on his murderer must pronounce a Doom
— As may express
I can't do more; Nor can his Blood ask less:
Guards I on you that Office do conferre;
Obey my Oraers; Seize this murderer.

He sayes he must pronounce a Doom; and in the same breath con­fers that Office on his Guards: then the Guards must pronounce the Doom; for he speakes not of Obeying his Orders, and seizing the Murderer till afterwards.

Thy poyson'd Husband, and thy murdred Son
This injured Empress and Morocco's Throne
Which thy accursed hand so oft has shook,
Deserves a blow more fierce &c.

As i observed before he mistakes the Aorist for the prete [...]perfect tence has shoo [...], for has shaken: then the word deserves is false Grammer; for deserve: Thy poyson'd Husband and thy murdered Son, &c. de­serve: but now why do's her poyson'd Husband deserve a blow: and why does her murdered Son deserve another; because her Son was a Foole when he was alive, he must be beaten now he is Dead? What has the injured Emperour done, or Morocco's Throne, that they deserve a blow too! I shrewdly suspect who deserves a Lash.

— Stop her poison'd Breath.
And check her growing outrage by her Death.

If her Breath were poyson'd, there was no need of stopping it: but he means her poisnous Breath, and her growing outrage which he would check by Death: To check a man by Death, is a very ci­vil kind of reprehention. As if a Iudge should say to a Malefactor, sirrah you have transgressed the Laws, and therefore I will check your outrage with a halter, and stop your poyson'd Breath with a ropes end.

Bid my Physitians a strong Draught prepare;
And leave her Execution to their Care.

Just now he commanded his Guards to kill her; now no Body know's why his Physitians must do it. Yet it may be he intends not her Death, for he bids his Physitians onely prepare a strong Draught, and a strong Draught may be as well strong Ale as strong Poyson.

[Page 53]
Guilt onely thus to Guilty minds appeares;
As Syrens do to drowning Mariners;
Seen onely by their eyes, whose Deaths are nigh:
We rarely see our Crimes before we Dye.

First here is a false Allusion: For Syrens appeare not like Procpisses before a Storme, or in it: but if you will beleive Homer in a Calme; enticeing Marriners to the rocks by their Songs, who may escape them as Vlysses did. Next observe he sayes Guilt — Seen onely by their eyes whose Deaths are nigh; this line and the two former prove that guilt appears to dying men; Yet in the very next he contradicts himself.

We rarely see our Crimes before we dye.

These four lines are two grave sentences, of our Sententious Numps: he will be wise, and see what comes on't.

But since my Daggar has so feebly done,
Missing thy Brest Iv'e sent it to my own.

To send a thing is to part with the Possession of it: but she, it seems sends the Dagger to her Selfe.

If some kind Devil had but took my part. &c.

Had took (for had taken) will be false English in spite of all his Devils.

Curse on weak Nature which my rage unman'd
A Mascline heart link'd with a Female hand.

How does a Womans rage become unman'd? or what reason has she to fall foul upon Nature for unmanning her, who had never made her a man? One would have thought it had been the Curse of an Im­potent Lover, who accused Nature for unmanning his rage, rather than of a Lady whose unman'd rage, might at least Supply her with a Sigmor.

Your Courteous arme retriv'd mine from a guilt:
Morenas hand Morenas blood had spilt &c.

To retrive, is to finde a thing which is lost: as to retrive a Par­tridge is to spring her the second time. To retrive an arme from guilt, is very metaphoricall non-sense.

[Page 54]
Is this your thanks! for all her love has done.
Who stak'd her Soule, to raise thee to a throne!

Here is excellent Grammar betwixt is and thanks: but you must [...]onsider the poor Woman was just dying, and could not mind true English: this may excuse her for youing him in one line, and theeing him in the next; and for stakeing her Soule: against what did she stake it, or with whom did she play her Soul? or did she stake it upon Crimalhazzes Gaunches?

Kind Taffalet does for my presence call;
I am invited to his Funerall:

He was a kind man indeed to invite him to his Funerall.

The little Champion with impatience waites
To beg a tomb before Morocco's Gates.

Believe it who will; for my part I can never think that Taffalet would bring an Army to the Walls of Morocco, onely to beg a Tomb before the Gates; and to invite Crimalhaz to his Buriall.

His heat of Blood, and lust of Crownes shall cease:
Lash'd to a Calm; and cool'd into a Peace

Here Crimalhaz discovers himself to be a Tyran [...]; and a wicked man, as the Poet intends him all along: For kind [...]affalet came to in­vite him to his Funerall, and to beg a Tomb before Morocco's walls; and he very uncivilly flies out upon him, and sayes his heat of Blood and lust of Crownes shall Cease: This Threatning was very high; but he comes off very strangely in the next line: Lash [...]d to a Calm, and cool'd into a Peace: As if he would have said, I will not onely Murder him and give him a Tomb, but I will also lash him, and coole him into a Peace: Or to apply it to our Poet [...] reputation,

Not onely thou in London hast a name
But Islington has also heard the same.

A notable Climax like that of shouts of Arrow's and of raine.

Your Army's routed er'e the Wars begun.

The rout of an Army commonly presupposes fighting: but it seems this rout was so very quick, that it was not onely before any Battell: but before even the Warr was begun. This was intended for a flight: but our Poet where ever he begins his Flight is sure to end it where the Beetle does: I have heard him resembled in these extraordinary sallies of his fancy; to an Vnfortunate Dog leaping at a high stile; and per­petually hanging by the Buttocks.

[Page 55]
Muley Hamet ner'e was taught
To back, but head those Armyes where he fought.

Here I am absolutely of the Poets opinion, that Muley Hamet was never taught to back an Army; nor any body else of whom I ever heard: I will allow Muley Hamet being a Heroe, to have a back as broad as Hercules, but I am confident he could never have been taught to back whole Armyes with it:

Draw up my Forces raise my Guard

The Usurper (you must know) had been just told that his Army was beaten, or revolted and that Muley Hamet was proclaimd King; yet he talks of drawing up his Forces, and raise afterwards his Guards.

His Blood, Deare Prince shall pay for shedding thine:

Did his Blood shed the others Blood?

He by no force with stood,
Comes now this way to Sacrifice your Blood.

This Elkanah is a very Bloody Poet; but he is perpetually mis­taken in his wrath: for to Sacrifice Blood, is as improper as the former.

Whose Fortune and whose Sword has wonders done:

Whose hand and whose pen has writ false Grammar; has for have.

He be a Monarch, to act deeds, like thee.

To act deeds is only to represent them: ti's well for him his Monarchs are Players, to save the propriety of his English.

His Blood shall pay, What to your Brothers dust I owe

Her Brother was kil'd two days before: he turn'd dust very quickly in a Country which preserves mummey 3000 years.

— Though I am fall'n so low,
My Fortune lost, I may a Begger grow:

That is, Though my Fortune be lost, yet I may grow poore; and though I grow poore, yet I may grow a Begger; though our Au­thour has no wit, yet he may grow a Foole.

Immur'd within the Walls: —

That is, walld within the Walls.

I know your vertue is so strong, that if
You sweare you will protect my Throne and life: —

[Page 56]That if is a most excellent ending of a Verse; and it rhimes as well to life: half he writes is such: powers and adores are the very next rhymes.

—Theres not one Dart
In Heaven that would not strike the murderers heart
Before his hand should touch her sacred Brest.

Pray answer me one civil question; how could he be a murderer bafore his hand had touch'd her sacred Breast; that is in your sence, kil'd her: And besides, how comes all the Darts in Heaven to be so much concern'd, that they must all strike the Murderer together; then a Murderers heart is not so very large that all the Darts in Heaven can stick there: this is very poeticall non-sense; and these Darts are bolts.

— Ile try
Whose the best Executioner, Heaven or I.

A man may Cry out to him with his next ensuing words, Hold, Barbrous, Cruell; hold your Murdering hands: never was poore verse so Executed: Executioner must be read Execus [...]ner, to bring the verse into Compass: he cuts of Syllables as the Tyrant did Legs and Feete that were too long for his Bed.

Ile to a thousand Deaths my life expose
Before I will one inch of Empire loose.

A Crittick can gaine no Credit from this play; he can never make cleare riddance but must of necessity leave more non-sense behind him, than he takes away I overpassed silent Grotto as if any Grotto talked▪ and though your hand and Hers no Septers beares? false english for beare: But who ever exposed their lives to a thousand Deaths? How many lives had Mariamne to expose to those thousand Deaths? yet all this She will do rather then loose one inch of Empire: An inch of Empire is no great matter; But she is a Woman who speakes it, and an inch may be somewhat to her.

Ile travell, then, to some remoter Sphere,
Till I finde out new worlds; and Crown you there.

I believe our learned Authour takes a Sphere for a Country▪ so he had the Sphere of Hell in his maske before▪ here he means the Sphere of Morocco; as if Morocco were the Globe of Earth and Water; and he not contented with this vniverse of Barbary, would travail to the vniverse of Europe or the Sphere of Asia, and Crown her there. But the jeast of it is, that the Earth and Water makeing but one Globe (which is not a Sphere neither by his leave) He will be shrewdely put to [...]t, to travail farther.

[Page 57]
—You this great deeed fulfill'd.

To fulfil a deed: most admirable English. Since you at Scorn and dareing are so good, very Heroicke.

Ile sing my Funerall Obsquies in these Armes:

First he sings after he is dead. then Funeral obsquies are very finely shortned Euphonioe Gratia: buthe who perpetually curtailes Sence, may be allow'd to curtaile words: So immediately, he says, What have th' hig'r powers to do.

Sure Heaven acts wonders; wonders, no tis none!

First Heaven is an Actor; for to act a thing, and to do it, are of several Significations (as was said before:) next see how he runs out of one Number into another: sure Heaven acts Wonders! Wonders, no tis none: That is, the Wonders is no Wonders; A rare Gramarian!

So may my body rot when I am dead
Till my ranck dust has such Contagion bred
My grave may dart forth Plagues, as may strike death
Through the infected aire where thou drawst breath.

He meanes this for an Imprecation but makes no sense of it: for he begins the sentence with so may my Body rot: Now we expect as somewhat to follow: but he leaves us in the Lurch; he has already done; his armies routed, er'e the Warrs begun. He will tell you he pursues till my ranck dust, but till has no relation to so: but supose that sense: till my ranck dust has such Contagion bred: by that time 'tis dust it will cease to be ranck, and consequently breed no Contagion, if it bred none before.

Subjects my Homage pay; but Monarcks thine.

To pay my Homage, is to pay that Homage which is my due to a­nother person. But he meant Subjects pay me Homage, and I pay it the. Then Monarchs pay thine. How many Monarchs is Muley Hamet!

And saves her Blood to be ally'd to yours.

By this allyance he means Marriage: But to be married and to be ally'd are as different, as Cousen and Husband.

A Nobler passion, Story never writ,
That turn'd a Traytor to a Proselite.

Put it into prose for non-sense sake: Story never writ a Nobler passion That turn'd a Traytor to a Proselite. How could Story write? and then a Proselite is one that changes his Religion, and he is the likest to make a Traytor.

[Page 58]
Pilgrims, go meet their Saints.

I thought they had gone quite to them; and that the Saints had staid for them in their Shrines: But Mr. Settles Saints are civiller than any other.

I from those eyes for ever will remove:
I cannot stand the sight of hopeless love
To what ere place my wandering steps incline
Ile fancy Empyres; for Ile think her mine.

His love is Hopele [...]s and yet he'l thinke her his:

See the reward of treason: Death's the thing
Distinguishes th' Vsurper from the King:
Kings are immortal; and from life remove;
From their Low'r thrones, to weare new Crowns abov [...]
But Heaven for him has scarse that bliss in store:
When an Usurper dyes he reignes no more.

If he would have studied for non-sense; (but God be thanked he needs not) he could scarce have crouded more together in six lines.

Deaths the thing, Distinguishes th' Vsurper from the King, this is his first Sentence; and tis non-sense, for Death makes all men equall.

Kings are immortal and from life remove:

Another Sentence: Kings are immortal and yet dye: from life remove; from their Lower thrones: that is from, from; then all Kings go to Heaven too: that is good Divinity: but if they weare new Crowns above, we shall be sure to know them from Vulgar Saints, who either weare no Crownes, or none but old.

When an Vsurper dies he raignes no more;

Sentences are fatall to this fellow: this is a very glorious one; when a man dies he reignes no more: I think I can make one as good of this Poet, when he has done this Play he writes no more: or which is all one, he will never get it acted; or which is even yet all one, It will never get an Audience.

My Iustice ended, now Ile meete a Crown;

Then it seems he intends not to doe Justice any longer, now he's a King; but either to turn Rogue like Crimalhaz, or Foole like Muley Labas — Before he was for meeting a Saint, and now he's for meet­ing a Crown. Is it a walking or a flying Crown?

[Page 59]
Reignings a whole life toyle; the work of years,

I observe that in the last pages, his Play thickens with non-sense? as he comes nearer the gole he mends his pace. Raigning, is neither a whole lives toyle, if the King be not Crownd in his Cradle; nor the work of years, in case he Reign but one year.

In Love, a Day, an houre a minutes bliss
Is all flight, Rapture, flame and Extasyes.

A minutes bliss is all Extasyes: is and Extasyes are of several num­bers. When our Poet talkd of flight, rapture and flame, he might have added, Salt fire and great Nature, to make it absolute Poet Ninny.

An Age in Empyre's but an houre in love.

This is the last line; and he is as true to Non-sense in it, as he was in the first: How an age in Empyre is but an houre in love, I can­not understand; and if he can make me, I will conclude him to be as great an Apollo, as he over the Kings Boxe, which seems to be made for Mr. Settles statue, amongst the poets heads.

Of the Plott and Conduct of the Play.

ONe would have thought that a Fellow who takes upon him to Dedicate to a Person of High Quality, and to entertain him▪ (though very sawcily by the way) with the Faults and Errors of other Poets, should have had enough of judgement to avoid them in his own Writings. But, nil malo securius Poeta. He was Ar­rogant, because he saw not his own mistakes, though they are now grown so notorious, that his Tragedy is turned round into a Farce, and the judicious part of his Audience came only to laugh, as they did to Harlequin and Scaramucha. and to find an entertainment, which is therefore pleasant, because 'tis so extreamly absurd, and out of Na­ture. What picture [...] of Man-kind is such as Creature like to draw, who is never admitted into the conversation of Gentlemen, who can talk of nothing but Plays, and of them too so sillily, that he is a shame to his Profession; no man will be called a Poet for his sake, such a crosgraind block, that he can never be contriv'd into a Mercury; for this wretch who is in one, all the Muley Labasses, Muley Hamet, Morenas, I mean all the Fools of his own Play, for him to Censure or her Po­ets, who can never arrive any further than to be their Zany, and to do [Page 60] that, on the low Rope, which they do on the high, is so unsufferable an impudence, that he has provoked me to lay him open, to pluck his bo­rowed Feathers from him, and strip him naked to his own natural Non-sense. First therefore let us look on him in the judicious part of a Poet, his Plot, and the management of his Play▪ you see him stum­bling in the very beginning of the First Act; there his Morena tells the Story of her love to her lover; How he stole her away from her Fathers Court; where she (sayes this incorigible Dunce) was a Conspirator in her own Rape, and from thence brought her to Morocco, Where they were both imprisoned by his Father, and to be put to death for the stealing away of one another; Yet in the mean time, her Father is so far offended, that he is wageing Warr, against his; and coming with an Army against Morocco.

On this foundation of Nonsence his play is built.

For observe first she relates a thing to one who knows it as well as her self and upbrayds him with what she suffered for his sake. A pretty Character of his Heroine, to make her an ill natured fool.

In the next place why should this Muley Labas steale her away, or, to follow our Authors Bull, ravish her with her own consent? who for ought we know might have had her for speaking. And it ought to have been the first bargain her Father should have made: He was a Prince, her equall or Superiour; and as errant a foole as his Daughter; So that they were onely fit for one anoher▪ And as good as married in their Characters. — Yet since nothing would serve the Poets turn but an Action of Knights-errantry: that, the Lady must be stoln, why should Muley Labas his [...]ather put his onely Son in Prison, at his return. That was more than Priam did to Paris for stealing Helena, though he had fifty Sons besides him: If he would not have defended him for fear of indangering his Estate, he might have sent the Lady back and avoided the inconvenience of the Warr. [...]ut instead of this nothing will serve his turn but to kill them both: that was to leave himself without a Son, and to ex­a [...]perat her Father by her Death. A pretty match of our Poets making, where the friends on both sides were displeased: and a rediculous sence­less War to be made, onely that the Authour might have an Argu­ment for a Play.

But pray marke what reasons are given by the Emperour for killing his Son and Daughter in Law, he sayes he will present her Father with her head, a good way to pacify him, and to make him with­draw [Page 61] his Seige: And for his Son he will execute him for suspition of treason! Who he a Traytor! I wonder his Father knew him no better than to suspect him of so much wit as goes to the makeing one! I dare say there was not one honest Citizen in the pit, but his Sto­mach was ready to rise to heare him so miscall'd: by the first twenty lines he spoke you might finde he was never like to make such a designing person. The old Gentleman, might have set his heart at rest for any harme his Son wou [...]d do him: Indeed if he had knockt him on the head for a Foole, he had shown some reason, and the Audience would have thank'd him: As to matter of Plots I dare be Compurgator both for Muley Labas and for the Poet, Our Elkanah shall never suffer for Treason in the Raign of King Charles the Second. He is certainly the most Innocent servant his Majesty has; and there­fore I am sorry that I finde by the Gazette he must loose his priviledge of poet in extraordinary to his Majesty

But what if after all this, Morena can furnish us with a reason why she maks this relation to her Lover, of what she suffered for him, will the Critticks he then contented? she tells him 'tis not to upbrayd him, but to arm his fancy for more pleasing formes: (that expression is non-sense too, by the way, to arme against an Enemy is proper, but to arme for a more pleasing form, that is where there is no danger, is ridiculonsly absurd:) but she wou'd say she relates their past troubles to make him taste the pleasures which must follow; For now his Father is grown kind; and has designd their mutual Happiness. This is good news indeed; and surprizes Muley Labas so much that he falls into a fit of nonsense (very natural to our Author) And in broken sentences, expresses his joy. But after she has let him run on for six lines together, and has heightned his expectation with the hope of great and glorious things, and fit onely [...]or the breath of Kings, that he approves their passions and will Cown their Loves; she turns short like a Damned [...]lting Bitch, and tells him, it is decreed they shall — together Dye. O Barbarous Morena, to wriggle and pull back her — from her, Lover to forsake him in the midest of his pleasure when he was just ready to have — (those two strokes were in imitation of our Authour) But what a Character of a Woman was this; of one whome he intends a vertuous Woman, to put her Lover in hope, that she might make his dispair the greater af­terwards: And all this that the Poet might surprise his Audience, — for the worse.

[Page 62]But I find he gathers new non-sense every line; as a Snow ball grows by rowling. For how the Devil should Morena know the News She tells Muley Labas, before him? either they were both in the same Prison or kept seperate. If they were seperated who brought her to him, or how came she to have the first Intelligence, who was a Strainger as well as a Prisoner in Morocco! If they were together The news must have arrived by some other hand, and have b [...]en brought to both.

Well, from whencesoever the News arrives, Muley Labas is thun­der-struck with it: He wonders his Father should suspect him of Treason; and pray observe how he cleares himself—

— Can he thinke so foule
A thought as Treason harbours in his Soule
Which does Morena's Sacred Image beare?
No shape of ill can come within her Sphere.

A wonderfull Demonstration of his innocence, that he was in Love with Morena: for nothing of ill could come within her Sphere. What he meanes by coming into her Sphere I know not: for Sphere signi­fies every thing with this Authour: the Sphere of Moren [...], the Sphere of passions in the next Page, the Sphere of Morocco, and the Sphere of Hell. And all these within the Sphere of our Au­thours activity. His argument runs thus: No Traitor can come within the Sphere of Morena, but I can come within the Sphere of Morena, therefore I am no Traitor: what could his Father reply to this; but that his Treason greater was for being small; And had been greater were it none at all.

Imagin what a kind of Plott: we are like to have on this Foundation Immediately after this first Scene, or opening, enters the Queen-Mother, and brings News to Muley Labas that his Father the old Emperour is suddenly Dead, as he was pronouncing the sentence of his Death: She tells the manner of it with all the Circumstances; and yet being afterwards alone with Crimalhaz her Confiden [...], and Adu [...] ­terer, tells us her Husband was poison'd by her procurement; and desires Crimalhaz to relate the manner of it. This was a miserable shift of the Poet, to let the Audience know how the old Emperour Dyed: For she her self, could not be ignorant of it: She who was whor'd by Grimalhaz who set him on, and who could not have known her Husbands Death, but she must know the Circumstances also. So he did before in the first Scene betwixt Muley Labas and his Morena: [Page 63] to make the Storie plaine to us he makes it told to those who knew it before, But we must excuse him he had but that one trick, and was forc'd to use it twice, like him who haveing but one Trump in his game takes it up to play again.

After this you have a wonderful politick speech of the Queen Mother, that she has onely set up her Son to throw him down: That he was not yet ripe for Ruine, till she had undermind his absent General; who being taken from him, the King would be left without a Prop, and then she might safely murther him to make way for her Lover Crimalhaz.

Mark here the head Peice of our Poet: How rediculously he con­trives in the Person of this great plotter, the Queen Mother. The General was absent, his return uncertain, (for there was no News of it in the first Act) Her Son in Prison, and a foole into the bargain, so that the City was at her disposing, and she and her Gallant had a much fairer game to play, i [...] they immediately possessed themselves of the Crown, now in their reach, Than if they waited for the Generals comming, who was a Friend to the King, and whom they were not certain they could render suspected to him: — But then the Play must have ended in the first Act, or the Poet had been to seek for a more reasonable Plot. But wanting that, he has drawn his buisness out at length; and like a Roguish Chyrurgeon has made a sore first, that he might make a cure afterwards.

His Address is admirable too. He acquaints his Audience with what he intends to do; which is the way never to surprize them: As if a man who intended to cheat another, should tell him his design before hand.

But what a Character of a Woman was here in his Queen-Mother: He designes her Bloody, and Cunning, and Ambitious: we will grant she might be unnaturall enough to commit Murthers on her nearest Relation: But no body was ever wicked for the sake of Wickedness, and without design. She was ambitious and Crafty, as well as Cru­ell, and neither of those two Qualities were consistent with her Actions. For as she was ambitious she ought to have let her Husband have lived, because by his life she was a Queen. And as she was Crafty and Ambitious, she ought, when she had kild him, not to have overskipd the occasion of taking the Power again into her hands, to have pos­sessed it with her Lover.

[Page 64]The Second Act contains nothing in it of design. You have onely the Description of Muley Hamets return with his Fleet a Song and Dance, the appearance of two new Characters Muley Hamet and Mariamne, with a promise of their Marriage, The Discription opens the Act, which he begins with calling not Muley Hamet the General, but his Fleet.

Your Royal Fathers General, Prince Muley Hamets Fleet, does homewards sayle. — And one may see at first sight that he has been borrowing from the relation made by Guyomar of the Spanish Navy in the Indian Emperour. But he is so damn'd a Copier, that he always discredits the Originall. I marke (besides the frequent Barbarism of his Language in it, and Non-sense,) that he expresses himself three severall times the same way.

As if they danc'd to their own Trumpets sound.
As if that Breath and motion lent a Soule.
As if they would their Generals worth enhance.

Every thing is as if he meant wit and sense but is not so. This Fel­low will as certainly be the ruine of Heroick verse, as Hyperbolus was of the ostracism: by his writing in it he will shame it out of use.

His Muley Hamet is an ill imitation of Porphyrius in Maximin; who being General to the Emperour; brings his Army back to his aid: compare the verses, and the theft will be visible

Maxim. Porphyrius, whom you Egypts Praetor made
Is come from Alexandria to your aid.
Morocco. Hearing whose force Morocco will invade
I have brought home your Army to your aid.

His Hameltaz is likewise as plainly stollen from Placidius: Placidius envy'd Porphyrius, Hametalhaz, Muley Hamet.

Placid. May all the Curses envy ever knew
Or could invent, Porphirius pursue. —aside
Hametal. But in Morocco his high pride may find
His name less Glorious, and his shews less kind. — asid

The Image of Morena desiring Muley Hamet to spare her Father in the Battell is taken from Cidaria speaking to Cartez in the Indian Em­perour, on the same occasion. And Cortez his answer to her, is the same in effect with that of Muley Hamet to Morena.

[Page 65]
Cort: The edge of War ile from the battel take,
And spare your Fathers Subjects for your sake.
Morocco But the rough hand of War more gentle make;
And spare his Blood for his Morenas sake:
We onely do aspire to this great end
To make your Father not our Prize but friend.

Tis a plaine Case that when ever Mr. Dryden leaves writing in He­roick verse Mr. Morocco will be starved. He lives upon his off [...]ls onely; and yet like an ill natur'd Cur, is perpetually snarling at him, who feeds him:

He has us'd all the licence of a Poet in the Conquests of his Heroe Muley Hamet: for he has very bountifully given into his hands.

Saphee and Sally, Mugadore, Oran
The fam [...]d Arzille, Alcazer, Tituan.

If he had been never so little conversant in Historie, he must have known that Oran has been in the Possession of the Spaniards above these hundred years: But he satisfied himself with looking over a Map of Affrica, and finding Oran on the Sea-coast, and that it rhym [...]d with Tituan, he laid Seige to it and took it for his Heroe.

He makes his Labas a very Courteous Monarch to set Muley Hamet with him on the Throne on his Coronation day▪ a Civility which is not ordinarily practis'd by Kings to their Subjects.

Whilst they behold triumphant on one Throne
The Wearer and defender of a Crown.

And his Muley Hamet takes him very confidently at his word bid­ding him Lead on; — for (s [...]yes he)

— all that kneele to you
Shall bow to me; this Conquest makes it due.

By his Conquest he means Mariamne; whom it seems, he had new­ly taken in, amongst the rest of his Saphees and Sallyes: But as I take it, 'tis not very Heroick in his Heroe, to assume to himself the Con­quest of his Mistress; nor savours of much good manners in him, to tell the Emperour that it is his due,

To conclude the Absurdities of this Act; the Emperour gives Muly Hamet a Ring, that by shewing it he might be admitted to visit the Queen Mother, who was a close mourner for her Husbands death; and was not to stir from her private Lodgings. Tis true, in decency she ought not: but yet our Poet, though he calls himself the Kings Servant, is a little forgetfull of the Court mode▪ He did not think time enough [Page 66] of the Ceremony; for after her Husbands death the Queen dowager appear'd in the first Act, to bring her Son the news in Prison: and ap­pears abroad again in the third Act, that is the next day after, to catch Mariamne with Muley Hamet: the onely excuse that can be found is that it may be there was a Prison in the Kings Palace; and that Muly Labas and after him Muley Hamet, were onely sent to be whipt at the Porters Lodge.

The third Act has more of buisness in it than the second, and conse­quently is faller of Absurdities. Here it is that Poet Ninnyes play begins to thicken. Muley Hamet haveing the Emperours signet come [...] in­to the Seraglio, and surprizes the Queen mother with Crimalhaz asleep, takes away his Sword, and not to spoile sport where he could make none, civilly withdraws: The lustfull Villian wakes and misses his weapon; His Queen and he devise a story to turn the mischief on Muley Hamet by perswading the Emperour that Muley Hamet was the Ravisher, and Crimalhaz the defender, which succeeds, and Muley Hamet is imprison'd, &c.

In the next place 'tis to be considered that the Emperour gave his sig­net to Muley Hamet in publick: So that the Queen and Crimalhaz had fair warning of their danger.

Then, though Muley Hamet gain'd admission into the Seraglio, he could not git into the Queens Lodgings without the notice of some of her Attendance: so that it was, impossibe he should have surpris'd the Lovers. Nay you see Achmat the Eunuch afterwards confesses that he met Muley Hamet, and did not stop him; which makes the story more ridiculous▪ for Achmat knew what was doing within, as being their confident a [...]d in reason could not have made so great a mistake▪ as to have let Muley Hamet passe without notice given.

The Queens defence is yet more improbable: She sayes that Muley Hamet would have ravished her; and Crimalhaz came in to her rescue.

Muley Hamet was in love with her Daughter, and came to ask her consent to the Marriage: He was a heroe indeed and a very bold one, to fly upon the old Gentlewoman with so much violence to forsake the Daughter for the Mother; and to attempt a rape in her own Seraglio, in the midst of her Servants: Yet Muley Labas is foole enough to be­eive all this: But how came Crimalha [...] to her rescue! He had not the [Page 67] Emperours signet too? did he drop from the Clouds into the Seraglio; this is so manifestly absur'd that it is not to be suffered.

Muley Hamet all this while sayes nothing to the purpose in his own defence; but onely that their mystique Language does his sense con­found, and can th' eternal powers such Trechery permit oh horrour! and such balderdash stuff, he suffers himself to be run down without telling his own Story. Onely he offers Crimalhaz the duel in these words

That justice by his hand might give him death
And stifle with his Blood his perjur'd breath.

Put that a man should stiffle anothers breath with his Blood, seems rather a desire to be his Hangman, than to fight with him.

The Emperour is ever sure to take all things wrong: and therefore in stead of granting the Combat to Muley Hamet; he thinks his offer­ing it a proof of his guilt. If you this rash attempt pursue, you'l make me thinks that what he sayes is true! That is if you will offer to cleare your selfe, I shall conclude you guilty. Admirably argued, If you dare fight, I am sure you are a Rascall. presently upon this he pro­nounces the sentence of his Death: And now what can the Poet do to save his heroe.

Of all the world who could imagine the Queen Mother should be the Woman? yet the Poet makes use of her to do it: and gives his reason in these lines aside;

But hold the King will then my cheat descry:
I wish his Death, who tamely see him die.

Which i confess I either do not understand, or if I do they are flat non-sense. The Queen-Mother's great design with her Gallant was to ruine Muley Hamet: Now she has it in her power she sayes the King will descry her cheat, if she desires his Death. If the Poet had so thought fit, it was the onely way in the World to keepe her cheat undiscover'd: for who should reveale it when he was dead on whom it was practised; or doth he meane, the King will find out the Cheat, that she wishes his death is she tamely see him die; take his bad English in the most favourable meaning, Yet what reason had she to ca [...]e if the King knew she desired Muley Hamets death, who was supposed to have attempted a rape upon her! So that ti's false reasoning and non-sense every way onely Muley Hamet was not to be kild; and there­fore rather then faile, the Queen must preserve him against her in­t [...]est and her Character: for when he askes her, aside, how [...]ofowle a treason gaind admission to her Soule; She answers him in very refin'd [...]ustian.

[Page 68]
Without the help of Soules, when I think good
Such Crimes I do as i'm meer flesh and blood.

That is without reason, thought, or understanding: without sense I am sure.

Another part of the Heroes Character is that he will not plead for himself because the Kings-Mother accuses him:

Believe me her intended Ravisher
Appearing so I take the guilt from her.

A very well bred Heroe, to be hang'd out of pure respect to her who accused him.

His Mistres coming to see him in Prison, and freeing him, is one of our Poets Generosityes: 'tis an usuall saying with him, that 'tis an easy thing to make an Heroicke play: Som forty rants and some four or five Generosityes and the buisness is done (at least for ought he knows But this Generosity, by his favour; was a very Senseless one for Mari­omne to free Muley Hamet, because he had been false to love and would have ravished her own mother, I am affraid she had some other design in coming thither and hearing of his manhood in enterprising upon an old Woman, she thought he would do miracles to her.

But how knew she he was in Prison: she was not by, when he was committed; and yet within Ten or Twelve lines, after his going off, she has not onely heard of it, but has gone to his Jaile and bribd his Keeper for his delivery, very quick work of a nimble witted Poet: and yet all this is suppos'd too: for we heare nothing of those Circum­stances. So the Play goes forward till it comes to a broad place, and there the Authours comes tothe ditch leaps over with the Story, and leaves the plot to come after as it can.

When it was not for his purpose that Muley Hamet should cl [...]ea himsel [...]; then he had not a word to say in his own defence: But when the buisness is over he makes out his innocence to Mariomne: But when Muley Labas and that close mourner the Queen-mother came in the second time, he is bewitchd againe and cannot speake to the King. So though he be the Heroe and the Emperour the Foole of the Play, yet the the Foole rides the Heroe, and has the whip hand of him perpetually. Once more the King will have his blood, and once more the Queen-mother, whose second thoughts are no wiser than her first, would save him: At last tis concluded he must be banished. Upon this the old Queen and Crimalhaz plot a new to destroy him by an Ambuscade which they would lay for him, in his way to Banishment. They might have [Page 69] done it more easily and less Suspiciously by the Kings otder and by Law; but they will needs wave the certain way for the uncertain, and the plausible for the Suspicious. So her's a Play spun out of Accidents as unnatural, as Scaramoucha's farc [...]s; and a heaping Adventure up­on Adventure, without any probable way of producing them from each other; He has given us a Babell, instead of a Morocco: and had need have a whole Audience as favourable as that good natur'd Gentle man was, who being ask'd by another, at some Tragady as absur'd as this, how such a man in the play came thither, answerd very civily what need [...]st thou care how he came, so long as thou hast him here for thy half Crown.


SOme who are pleased with the bare sound of Verse, or the Rumbling of Robustuous non-sense, will be apt to think Mr. Settle too severely handled in this Pamphlet; but I do assure the Reader that there are a vast number of Errors past by, per­haps as many or more then are taken notice of, both to avoid the Tediousness of the work and the greatness: it might have occasi­on'd of a volume upon such a trifle: I dare affirm that no objections in this Book are fruitless cavills, but if through too much hast Mr. Settle may be accused of any seeming fault which may reasonably be defen­ded, Let the passing by many gross Errors without reprehension com­pound for it; I am not ignorant that his admirers who most com­monly are Women, will resent this very ill; and some little friends of his who are Smatterers in Poetry, will be ready for most of his gross Errors to use that much mistaken plea of Poetica Licentia, which words Fooles are apt to use for the Palliateing the most absurd non-sense in any Poem. I can not find when Poets had Liberty from any Autority to write non-sense more then any other men, Nor is that Plea of Poetica Licentia used as a Subterfuge, by any but weake professors of of that Art, who are commonly given over to a mist of Fancy a buz­zing of invention and a sound of something like Sense, and have no [Page 70] use of Judgement: They never think throughly but the best of their thoughts are like those we have in dreams imperfect; which though per­haps wee are often pleased with sleeping, we blush at wakeing. The licentious wildeness and extravagance of such mens conceits have made Poetry contemn'd by some, though it be very unjust for any to con­demne the Science for the Weakness of some of the Professors.

Men that are given over to sancy onely, are little better then Mad­men: What people say of Fire (Viz. That it is a good Servant, but an ill Master.) May not unaptly be applyed to Fancy, which when it is too active Rages, but when cooled aud allay'd by the Judgement, produ­ces admirable Effects. But this rage of is Fancy never Mr. Settles crimes he has too much flegme, and too little Choller to be accused of this, He has all the pangs and throws of a fancyfull Poet, but is never deli­vered of any more perfect issue of his Flegmatick braine, then a dull Dutchwomans-Sooterkin is of her body.

His stile is very muddy, and yet much Lobour'd; for, his meaning (for Sense there is not much) is most commonly obscure, but never by reason of too much height, but Lowness. His Fancy never flyes out of sight, but often sinkes out of sight: But now I hope the Reader will excuse some digression upon the extravagant use of Fancy and Poeticall Lycence.

Fancyfull Poetry, and Mutsik, us [...]d with moderation are good, but men who are wholy given over to either of them, are commonly as full of whimseyes as diseas'd and Splenatick men can be: Their heads are con­tinually hot, and they have the same elevation of Fancy sober, which men of Sense have when they drink. So Wine use'd moderately does not take away the Judgement, but used continually debauches mens understandings; and turns 'em into Sots, makeing their heads continually hot by accident, as the others heads are by nature; so meer Poets and meer Musicians, are as sottish as meer Drunkards are, who live in a continuall mist without seeing, or judgeing any thing clearly.

A man should be learn [...]d in severall Sciences, and should have a rea­sonable Philosophicall, and ni some measure a Mathematicall head; to be a compleat and excellent Poet. And besides this should have experience in all sorts of humours and manners of men: should be throughly skil'd in conversation, and should have a great Knowledge of mankind in generall. Mr. Settle haveing never studied any sort of Learning but Poetry, and that but slenderly as you may find by his Writeings, and haveing besides no other advantages, must make but [Page 71] very lame work on't; He himselfe declares he neither reads, nor cares for Conversation, so that he would perswade us he is a kind of Phana­tick in Poetry, and has a light within him; and writes by an inspiration which (like that of the Heathen Prophets) a man must have no sense of his own when he receives, and no doubt some body would be thought inspired and would be reverenc'd extreamly in the Country where Santons are worship'd; But some will I doubt not object, That Poetry should not be reduced to the strictnesse of Mathematicks, to which I answer it ought to be so far Mathematicall, as to have like­ness, and Proportion, since they will all confess that it is a kind of Paintaing: But they will perhaps say that a Poem is a Picture to be seen at a distance, and therefore ought to be bigger then the life; I confess there must be a due distance allowd for the seeing of any thing in the World: For an object can no more be seen at all too neare, then too far off the eye; but granting that a Poem is a Picture to be viewd at a great distance, the distance and the bigness ought to be so suited, as though the Picture be much bigger then the life, yet it must not seem so, and what miserable mistakes some Poets make for want of Knowing this truly I leave to men of Sense to Judge, and by the way let us consider that drammatick Poetry, especially the English brings the Picture nearer the eye, then any other sort of poetry.

But some will say after this, what Licence is left for Poets, cer­tainly the same that good Poets ever tooke, without being faulty (for surely the best were so somtimes, because they were but men) and that Licence is Fiction, which kind of Poetry is like that of Landschap painting and poems of this nature, though they be not Vera ought to be Verisimilia.

The great art of poets is either the adorning and be autifying of truth or the inventing pleasing, and probable fictions. If they invent impossible fables, like some of Aesops, they ought to have such Morals couch'd under them as may tend to the instruction of mankind, or the regula­tion of manners; or they can be of no use nor can they really delight any (but such as would be pleas'd with Tom Thumb) without these circum­stances. But there are some pedants who will quit Authoritie from the ancients for the faults and extravagancies of some of the modernes, who being able to immitate nothing but the faults of the clasick Authours mistakes 'em for their excellencyes. I speake with all due reverence to the Antients for no man esteemes their perfections more then my self though I confess I have not that blind implicit faith in them which [Page 72] some ignorant Schoolmasters would impose upon us to believe in all their errours and owne own all their crims to some pedants every thing in 'em is of that Authoritie that they will create a new Figure of Rhe­torick upon the fault of an old poet. I am apt to believe the same faults were found in them, when they wrote which men of Sense find now; but not, and that those if mine excellencies in 'em as Schoolemasters would perswade us, Yet I must say now,

Nobis non Licet esse tam desertis
Musas qui colimus Severiores.

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