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From the Prologue:
As Country Squire, who yet had never known
The long-expected Joy of being in Town;
Whose careful Parents scarce permitted Heir
To ride from home, unless to neighbouring Fair;
At last by happy Chance is hither led,
To purchase Clap with loss of Maidenhead;
Turns wondrous gay, bedizen'd to Excess;
Till he is all Burlesque in Mode and Dress:
Learns to talk loud in Pit, grows wily too,
That is to say, makes mighty Noise and Show.
So a young Poet, who had never been
Dabling beyond the Height of Ballading;
Who, in his brisk Essays, durst ne'er excel
The lucky Flight of rhyming Doggerel,
Sets up with this sufficient Stock on Stage,
And has, perchance, the luck to please the Age.
He draws you in, like cozening Citizen;
Cares not how bad the Ware, so Shop be fine.
As tawdry Gown and Petticoat gain more
(Tho on a dull diseas'd ill-favour'd Whore)
Than prettier Frugal, tho on Holy-day,
When every City-Spark has leave to play,
—Damn her, she must be sound, she is so gay;
So let the Scenes be fine, you'll ne'er enquire
For Sense, but lofty Flights in nimble Wire.
—What we present to Day is none of these,
But we cou'd wish it were, for we wou'd please,
And that you'll swear we hardly meant to do:
Yet here's no Sense; Pox on't, but here's no Show;
But a plain Story, that will give a Taste
Of what your Grandsires lov'd i'th' Age that's past.