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three songs for this “ Amphitryon:" to all which, and particularly to the composition of the pastoral dialogue, the numerous choir of fair ladies gave so just an applause on the third day. I am only sorry, for iny own sake, that there was one star wanting, as beautiful as any in our hemisphere; that young Berenice *, who is misemploying all her charms on stupid country souls, that can never know the value of them; and losing the triumphs, which are ready prepared for her, in the court and town. And yet I know not whether I am so much a loser by her absence; for I have reason to apprehend the sharpness of her judgment, if it were not allayed with the sweetness of her nature; and, after all, I fear she may come time enough to discover a thousand imperfections in my play, which might have passed on vulgar understandings. Be pleased to use the authority of a father over her, on my behalf: enjoin her to keep her own thoughts of " Amphitryon” to herself; or at least not to compare him too strictly with Moliere's. It is true, I have an interest in this partiality of hers : but withal, I plead some sort of merit for it, in being so particularly,
as I am,
Your most obedient,
October 24th, 1690.
* Under this poetical appellation, the author here, and in the dedication to Cleomenes," celebrates Jane Lady Hyde, daughter to Sir William L. Gower, and wife, as has been noticed, to Henry Lord Hyde, eldest son of Lawrence Earl of Rochester.
SPOKEN BY MRS BRACEGIRDLE.
The labouring bee, when his sharp sting is gone,
# Julian, who styled himself secretary to the muses, made a dirty livelihood, by copying and dispersing lampoons at the Wits' coffee-house. He was the subject of a copy of verses, which the reader will find among those ascribed to Dryden on doubtful authority.
Š The poelasters of that age were so numerous, and so active, that the niost deplorable attempt at wit, or satire, was usually answered in one which was yet worse. Parody and personal abuse were the implements of this warfare, which sometimes extended to answers, replies, rejoinders, rebutters, and sur-rebutlers, all only distinguished by malignant scurrility,
If no advice your rhyming rage can stay,
TRAN 10, JOfficers of the Theban Army.
ALCMENA, Wife to AMPHITRYON.
ACT I. SCENE I.
MERCURY and PHBUS descend in two Machines. Phæ. Know you the reason of this present sum
mons ? 'Tis neither council day, nor is this heaven. What business has our Jupiter on earth? Why more at Thebes than any other place? And why we two, of all the herd of gods, Are chosen out to meet him in consult? They call me God of Wisdom; But Mars and Vulcan, the two fools of heaven, Whose wit lies in their anvil and their sword, Know full as much as I. Merc. And Venus may know more than both of
us; For 'tis some petticoat affair, I guess.