THE PROLOGUE TO Mr. LACY'S New Play, Sir HERCULES BUFFOON or the Poetical Esquire

Spoken by Mr. HAYNES.
YE Scribling Fops, (cry mercy if I wrong ye)
But without doubt, there be must some among ye
Know, that fam'd Lacy, Ornament o'th' Stage,
That Standard of true Comedy in our Age;
Wrote this new Play,
And if it takes not, all that we can say on't,
Is we have his Fiddle, not his Hands to play on't:
Against our Interest, he to do you right,
Your Foes, the Poets, has abus'd to night;
And made us like rude Birds our Nest Besh—te.
We know,
If you would Write us Plays, they'd lose their ends,
Kind Parties still would make your pains amends;
For there's no Fop but has a world of friends:
Who will like City-Whiggs help one another,
And every noisie Fool cry up his Brother:
No more then rack for Prologue or for Song,
Such Trif [...]s, to dull Quality belong;
Nor Lampoon Ladies, that your Virtues trust,
That Bask in the hot Malls Pulvillio dust;
Whose low hung Fringes, with Attractive Arts,
Sweep heaps of straws, 'mongst Crowds of Lovers Hearts;
[Page]Subjects like these will never get you Fame,
Nor can you Write, if this be all your Aim;
More than a Rogue can Sing that sets a Psalm.
But if like Wits you would the Town oblige,
Write a good Comedy on some fam'd Siege,
But not in Rhime, and if to please you mean,
Let Luxemberg be taken the first Scene;
Yet, now I think on't, choose another story,
Some Sparks that late went o're to hunt for Glory;
Have spoyl'd that jest, and ta'ne the Town before ye:
No wonder too, for who could stand their Rage,
Since they with Conningsmark-broad-Swords Ingage;
I fancy you'l turn Butchers the next Age:
For these new Weapons look that guard your Lives,
Like bloody Cozen Germans to their Knives:
I'le put a question t'ee, pray does the Writer
As times go, get most Credit, or the Fighter?
Wit is aplauded when with fancy dress't,
But to be knockt o'th' head's a cursed jest;
A fate in which your forward Fool miscarries,
No, 'tis much better, to ly sick at Paris;
Where we can Write, what the French King intends,
And storm a Town, in Letters to our Friends.
Another Inconvenience we must own,
There's many a Fool is by a Bullet known,
That once pass't for a Wit of high renown.
The proof of sence, lyes hid in safety, here;
But when the Scull is broke the Brains appear.
Ah Sirs! if you to the rough Wars should follow,
How many Pates like mine would be found hollow;
Faith then take my Advice, stick to Apollo.
Write, and be studious in Dramatick Rules,
For should our Poets sound your shallow Sculls,
You were undone for Wits, and we for Fools.

LONDON, Printed for Ioseph Hindmarsh, Bookseller to His ROYAL HIGHNESS, living at the Black Bull in Cornhill. 1684.

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