And, mixing with buffoons and pimps prophane,
Tainted the Stage, for fome fmall fnip of gain.
For they, like harlots, under bawds profeft,
Took all th' ungodly pains, and got the leaft.
Thus did the thriving malady prevail,
The court its head, the Poets but the tail.
The fin was of our native growth, 'tis true;
The fcandal of the fin was wholly new.
Miffes they were, but modeftly conceal'd;
White-hall the naked Venus firft reveal'd.
Who ftanding as at Cyprus, in her shrine,
The ftrumpet was ador'd with rites divine.
Ere this, if faints had any fecret motion,
'Twas chamber-practice all, and close devotion
I pass the peccadillos of their time;
Nothing but open lewdness was a crime.
A monarch's blood was venial to the nation,
Compar'd with one foul act of fornication.
Now, they would filence us, and shut the door,
That let in all the bare-fac'd vice before.
As for reforming us, which fome pretend,
That work in England is without an end:
Well may we change, but we fhall never mend.
Yet, if you can but bear the present Stage,
We hope much better of the coming age.
What would you fay, if we should first begin
To ftop the trade of love behind the scene:
Where actreffes make bold with married men?
For while abroad so prodigal the dolt is,
Poor spouse at home as ragged as a colt is.