To the City
Newly after the removal of the Duke's Ccmnpany from Lincoln's Inn
Fields to their new theatre near Salisbury Court∘
Our author (like us) finding 'twould scarce do
At t'other end o'th'town, is come to you;∘
And since 'tis his last trial, has that wit
To throw himself on a substantial pit,∘
Lest neighbour i' the cloak, with looks so grum,
Where needy wit or critic dare not come, 5
Should prove a dun;
Where punk in visor dare not rant and tear
To put us out, since Bridewell is so near.
If not, shall be admired, and that's as good--
In short, we shall be heard, he understood; 10
For you to senseless plays have still been kind,
Nay, where no sense was, you a jest would find;
And never was it heard of, that the City
Upon dull poet, or stiff player's action,
Did ever take occasion to be witty 15
But still with claps opposed the hissing faction.
But if you hissed, 'twas at the pit, not stage,
So, with the poet, damned the damning age,
Against the flouting, ticking gentry, who∘
And still (we know) are ready to engage 20
Citizen, player, poet would undo--
The poet? No, unless by commendation,
For on the Change wits have no reputation;
He with you able men would credit get.
And rather than be branded for a wit, 25
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Publication information: Book title: Love in a Wood; The Gentleman Dancing-Master; The Country Wife; The Plain Dealer. Contributors: William Wycherley - Author, Peter Dixon - Editor. Publisher: Oxford University. Place of publication: Oxford. Publication year: 1996. Page number: 99.
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