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Fierce in this cause the letters spoke all,
Liquids grew rough, and mutes turn'd vocal.
Those four proud syllables alone
Were silent, which by Fate's decree
Chim'd in so smoothly, one by one,
To the sweet name of Tom D'Urfy.
N, by whom names subsist, declar'd,
To have no place in this 'twas hard :
And Q maintain'd 'twas but his due
Still to keep company with U;
So hop'd to stand no less than he
In the great name of Tom D'Ursy.
E show’d a Comma ne'er could claim
A place in any British name;
Yet, making here a perfect botch,
Thrusts your poor vowel from his notch;
Hiatus mi valdo doffendus !
From which, good Jupiter, defend us!
Sooner I’d quit my part in thee,
Than be no part in Tom D'Urfy.
P protested, puff"d, and swore,
He’d not be serv’d so like a beast;
He was a piece of emperor,
And made up half a pope at least.
C vow'd, he'd frankly have releas'd
His double share in Cesar Caius
For only one in Tom Durfeius.
I, consonant and vowel too,
To Jupiter did humbly sue,
That of his grace he would proclaim
Durfeius his true Latin name:
For though, without them both, 'twas clear
Himself could ne'er be Jupiter;
D D 2
Yet they'd resign that post so high,
To be the genitive, Dussei.
B and L swore b– and w—s !
X and Z cried, p-x and z—s
G swore, by G-d, it ne'er should be;
And W would not lose, not he,
An English letter's property
In the great name of Tom D'Ursy.
In short, the rest were all in fray,
From christ-cross to et cætera.
They, tho' but standers by, too mutter'd; -
Diphthongs and triphthongs swore and flutter'd:
That none had so much right to be
Part of the name of stuttering T-
Then Jove thus spake: “With care and pain
“We form'd this name, renown'd in rhyme:
“Not thine, immortal Neusgermain * !
“Cost studious cabalists more time.
“Yet now, as then, you all declare,
“Far hence to Egypt you'll repair,
“And turn strange hi'roglyphicks there,
“Rather than letters longer be,
“ Unless i' th' name of Tom D'Ursy.
“Were you all pleas'd, yet what, I pray,
“To foreign letters could I say ?
“What if the Hebrew next should aim
“To turn quite backward D'Ursy's name:
“Should the Greek quarrel too, by Styx, I
“ Could never bring in Psi and Xi ;
• A poet, who used to make verses ending with the last syl1ables of the names of those persons he praised: which Voiture turned against him in a Pocm of the same kind.
“Omicron and Omega from us
“Would each hope to be O in Thomas;
“And all th’ ambitious vowels vie,
“No less than Pythagorick Y,
“To have a place in Tom D'Ursy.
“Then well-belov'd and trusty letters'
“Cons'nants, and vowels much their betters,
“We, willing to repair this breach,
“And, all that in us lies, please each,
“Et caet'ra to our aid must call;
“Et cat'ra represents ye all :
“Et cael'ra, therefore, we decree,
“Henceforth for ever join'd shall be
“To the great name of Tom D'Ursy.”
z DESIGNED FOR MR. D'UR FY's LAST PLAY.
GROWN old in rhyme, ’twere barbarous to discard
Your persevering, unexhausted bard:
Damnation follows death in other men,
But your damn'd poet lives, and writes again.
Th' adventurous lover is successful still,
Who strives to please the fair against her will:
Be kind, and make him in his wishes easy,
Who in your own despite has strove to please ye.
He scorn'd to borrow from the wits of yore,
But ever writ, as none e'er writ before.
You modern wits, should each man bring his claim,
Have desperate debentures on your fame;
And little would be left you, I'm afraid,
If all your debts to Greece and Rome were paid.
D D 3 From
406 PRologue To THE THREE hours, &c.
From his deep fund our author largely draws,
Nor sinks his credit lower than it was.
Tho' plays for honour in old time he made,
'Tis now for better reasons—to be paid.
Believe him, he has known the world too long,
And seen the death of much immortal song.
He says, poor poets lost, while players won,
As pimps grow rich, while gallants are undone.
Tho' Tom the poet writ with ease and pleasure,
The comick Tom abounds in other treasure.
Fame is at best an unperforming cheat;
But 'tis substantial happiness, to EAT.
Let ease, his last request, be of your giving,
Nor force him to be damn'd to get his living.
To T H E
THREE HOURS AFTER MARRIAGE.
AUTHORS are judg’d by strange capricious rules;
The great ones are thought mad, the small ones fools:
Yet sure the best are most severely fated;
For fools are only laugh'd at, wits are hated.
Blockheads with reason men of sense abhor;
But fool 'gainst fool, is barbarous civil war.
Why on all authors then should criticks fall 2
Since some have writ, and shown no wit at all.
Condemn a play of theirs, and they evade it;
Cry, “Damn not us, but damn the French, who
“ made it.”
PRolod UE TO THE THREE Hou Rs, &c. 4O7
By running goods these graceless owlers gain;
Theirs are the rules of France, the plots of Spain:
But wit, like wine, from happier climates brought,
Dash'd by these rogues, turns English common draught.
They pall Moliere's and Lopez' sprightly strain,
And teach dull Harlequins to grin in vain.
How shall our author hope a gentler fate,
Who dares most impudently not translate :
It had been civil, in these ticklish times,
To fetch his fools and knaves from foreign climes.
Spaniards and French abuse to the world's end;
But spare old England, lest you hurt a friend.
If any fool is by our satire bit,
Let him hiss loud, to show you all he's hit.
Poets make characters, as salesmen clothes;
We take no measure of your fops and beaus;
But here all sizes and all shapes you meet,
And fit yourselves, like chaps in Monmouth street.
Gallants, look here ! this fool's cap * has an air,
Goodly and smart, with ears of Issachar.
Let no one fool engross it, or confine
A common blessing ! now 'tis yours, now mine.
But poets in all ages had the care
To keep this cap for such as will, to wear.
Our author has it now (for every wit
Of course resign'd it to the next that writ)
And thus upon the stage 'tis fairly thrown f;
Let him that takes it wear it as his own.
* Shows a cap with ears. # Flings down the cap, and exit.