We might well call this short mock-play of ours
A posy made of weeds instead of flowers;
Yet such have been presented to your noses,
And there are such, I fear, who thought 'em roses.
What stuff it is in which they took delight. Here, brisk, insipid rogues, for wit, let fall
Would some of 'em were here, to see, this night, 5
Sometimes dull sense; but oft'ner, none at all:
There, strutting heroes, with a grim-faced train,
For (changing rules, of late, as if men writ
Shall brave the gods, in King Cambyses' vein.1 10
In spite of reason, nature, art, and wit)
Our poets make us laugh at tragedy,
And with their comedies they make us cry.
For, like a rook, I have hedged in my bet.2
Now, critics, do your worst, that here are met; 15
If you approve, I shall assume the state
Of those high-flyers whom I imitate:
And justly too, for I will show you more
I will not only show the feats they do, But give you all their reasons for 'em too.
Than ever they would let you know before: 20
Some honor may to me from hence arise;
But if, by my endeavors, you grow wise,
And what you once so praised shall now despise,
Then I'll cry out, swelled with poetic rage,
'Tis I, John Lacy,3 have reformed your stage.