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,∘
Where needy wit or critic dare not come, 5 Lest neighbour i' the cloak, with looks so grum,
Should prove a dun;
Where punk in visor dare not rant and tear
To put us out, since Bridewell is so near.
In short, we shall be heard, he understood; 10 If not, shall be admired, and that's as good--
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
Did ever take occasion to be witty 15 Upon dull poet, or stiff player's action,
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,
And still (we know) are ready to engage 20 Against the flouting, ticking gentry, who∘
Citizen, player, poet would undo--
The poet? No, unless by commendation,
For on the Change wits have no reputation;
And rather than be branded for a wit,25 He with you able men would credit get.