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PROLOGUE.

LORD, how reformed and quiet are we grown,
Since all our braves and all our wits are gone!
Fop-corner now is free from civil war,
White-wig and vizard make no longer jar,
France, and the fleet, have swept the town so clear,
That we can act in peace, and you can hear.
'Twas a sad sight, before they marched from home,
To see our warriors in red waistcoats come,
With hair tucked up, into our tireing-room.
But 'twas more sad to hear their last adieu :
The women sobbed, and swore they would be true;
And so they were, as long as e'er they could,
But powerful guinea cannot be withstood,
And they were made of play-house flesh and blood.
Fate did their friends for double use ordain ;
In wars abroad they grinning honour gain,
And mistresses, for all that stay, maintain.
Now they are gone, 'tis dead vacation here,
For neither friends nor enemies appear.
Poor pensive punk now peeps ere plays begin,
Sees the bare bench, and dares not yenture in;
But manages her last half-crown with care,
And trudges to the Mall, on foot, for air.
Our city friends so far will hardly come,
They can take up with pleasures nearer home;
And see gay shows, and gaudy scenes elsewhere ;
For we presume they seldom come to hear.
But they have now ta’en up a glorious trade,
And cutting Morecraft * struts in masquerade.

* In the conclusion of Beaumont and Fletcher's play of “ The Scornful Lady," Morecraft, an usurer, turns a cutter, or, as we now say; a buck. Dryden seems to allude to Ravenscroft's play of “ The Citizen turned Gentleman,” a transmigration somewhat resembling that of cutting Morecraft. This play was now acting by the Duke's company in Dorset Gardens, which, from its situation, says Mr Malone, was much frequented by citizens, as here insinuated.

VOL. IV.

There's all our hope, for we shall shew to-day
Á masking ball, to recommend our play;
Nay, to endear them more, and let them see
We scorn to come behind in courtesy,
We'll follow the new mode which they begin,
And treat them with a room, and couch within:
For that's one way, howe'er the play fall short,
To oblige the town, the city, and the court.

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DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

POLYDAMAS, Usurper of Sicily.
LEONIDAS, the rightful Prince, unknown.
ARGALEON, favourite to POLYDAMAS.
HERMOGENES, foster-father to LEONIDAS.
EUBULUS, his friend and companion.
RHODOPHIL, captain of the guards.
PALAMEDE, a courtier.

PALMYRA, daughter to the Usurper.
AMALTHEA, sister to ARGALEON.
DORALICE, wife to RHODOPHIL.
MELANTHA, an affected lady.
PHILOTIS, woman to MELANTHA.
BELIZA, woman to DORALICE.
ARTEMIS, a court lady.

SCENE,—Sicily.

MARRIAGE A-LA-MODE.

ACT I.

SCENE 1.Walks near the Court.

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Enter Doralice and BELIZA. Dor. Beliza, bring the lute into this arbour; the walks are empty: I would try the song the princess Amalthea bade me learn.

[They go in, and sing.

Why should a foolish marriage vow,

Which long ago was made,
Oblige us to each other now,

When passion is decayed ?
We loved, and we loved, as long as we could,

Till our love was loved out in us both;
But our marriage is dead, when the pleasure is fled :

'Twas pleasure first made it an oath.

II.

If I have pleasures for a friend,

And further love in store,
What wrong has he, whose joys did end,

And who could give no more?

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