Spoken by Dapperwit
Now, my brisk brothers of the pit, you'll say
I'm come to speak a good word for the play.
But, gallants, let me perish if I do,
For I have wit, and judgement, just like you;
For fear or friendship never bought or sold, Nor by good nature e'er to be cajoled.
Wit never partial, judgement free and bold, 5
Good nature in a critic were a crime,
Like mercy in a judge, and renders him
Besides, if thief from gallows you reprieve, He'll cut your throat; so poet saved from shame,
Guilty of all those faults he does forgive. 10
In damned lampoon will murder your good name.
Yet in true spite to him, and to his play,
But to be more his foe, seem most his friend, And so, maliciously, the play commend,
Good faith, you should not rail at 'em today; 15
That he may be betrayed to writing on,
And poet let him be--to be undone.