Love in a Wood; The Gentleman Dancing-Master; The Country Wife; The Plain Dealer

By William Wycherley; Peter Dixon | Go to book overview

Prologue Spoken by Mr Hart

Poets, like cudgelled bullies, never do
At first, or second blow, submit to you,
But will provoke you still, and ne'er have done
Till you are weary first, with laying on.

The late so baffled scribbler of this day,∘ 5
Though he stands trembling, bids me boldly say What we before most plays am used to do--
For poets, out of fear, first draw on you,
In a fierce prologue the still pit defy,
And ere you speak, like Kastril give the lie.∘ 10
But though our Bayses' battles oft I've fought,∘ And with bruised knuckles their dear conquests bought--
Nay, never yet feared odds upon the stage--
In prologue dare not hector with the age,
But would take quarter from your saving hands, 15
Though Bays (within) all yielding countermands,∘ Says you confed'rate wits no quarter give,
Therefore his play shan't ask your leave to live.
Well, let the vain rash fop, by huffing so,
Think to obtain the better terms of you; 20
But we the actors humbly will submit, Now, and at any time, to a full pit--
Nay, often we anticipate your rage,
And murder poets for you, on our stage.
We set no guards upon our tiring-room,∘ 25
But when with flying colours there you come, We patiently, you see, give up to you
Our poets, virgins, nay our matrons too.

-193-

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Love in a Wood; The Gentleman Dancing-Master; The Country Wife; The Plain Dealer
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Country Wife and Other Plays i
  • Oxford English Drama ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements vi
  • Introduction vii
  • Note on Staging xxii
  • Note on the Texts xxv
  • Select Bibliography xxix
  • A Chronology of William Wycherley xxxiii
  • Love in a Wood,∘ - Or, St James's Park 1
  • [dedicatory Epistle] to Her Grace the Duchess of Cleveland.∘ 2
  • Prologue∘ 5
  • Epilogue 95
  • The Gentleman Dancing-Master 97
  • Prologue 99
  • Epilogue Spoken by Flirt 189
  • The Country Wife 191
  • Prologue Spoken by Mr Hart 193
  • Epilogue Spoken by Mrs Knepp∘ 282
  • The Plain Dealer∘ 283
  • [dedicatory Epistle] to My Lady B-----∘ 289
  • Prologue Spoken by the Plain Dealer 290
  • Epilogue 399
  • Explanatory Notes 400
  • Glossary 467
  • Selection of Oxford World's Classics 487
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