SPOKEN BY THE WIDOW BLACKACRE
To you, the judges learnèd in stage-laws,
Our poet now, by me, submits his cause;
For with young judges, such as most of you,
The men by women best their bus'ness do:
To keep for us a term throughout the year,
We could not live by'r tongues; nay, but for you,
|And, truth on't is, if you did not sit here, ||5|
Our chamber-practice would be little too.
And 'tis not only the stage-practiser
For as in Hall of Westminster
|Who by your meeting gets her living here; ||10|
Sleek sempstress vents amidst the courts her ware;
So, while we bawl, and you in judgment sit,
The visor-mask sells linen too i' th' pit.
Do live by putting off their several ware.
Here's daily done the great affair o' th' nation;
|Oh, many of your friends, besides us here, ||15|
Let love and us then ne'er have long-vacation.
But hold! like other pleaders I have done
Spare me a word, then, now for him. First know,
Squires of the long robe, he does humbly show
|Not my poor client's bus'ness, but my own. ||20|
He has a just right in abusing you,
Because he is a brother-Templar too:
Nay, 'fool' and 'knave' is swallowed from a brother:
If not the poet here, the Templar spare,
|For at the bar you rally one another; ||25|
And maul him when you catch him at the bar.
From you, our common modish censurers,
|Your favor, not your judgment, 'tis he fears: ||30|
Of all loves begs you then to rail, find fault;|
For plays, like women, by the world are thought,
When you speak kindly of 'em, very naught.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan.
Contributors: George Henry Nettleton - Editor, Arthur Eillicot Case - Editor.
Publisher: Boston ; Houghton Mifflin company,..
Place of publication: Boston; New York.
Publication year: 1939.
Page number: 257.
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