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If we could hit on't, gallants, there are due
Certain respects from writers, and from you;
Which, well observ'd, would celebrate this age,
And both support, and vindicate the stage.
If there were only candour on your part,
And on the poet's judgment, fancy, art;
If they remember that their audience
Are persons of the most exalted sense;
And you consider well the just respect
Due to their poems, when they are correct;
Our two houses, then, may have the fate,
To help to form the manners of the state:
For there are crimes arraign'd a' th' poets bar,
Which cannot be redress'd at Westminster.
Our ancient bards their morals did dispense
In numbers, to insinuate the sense,
Knowing that harmony affects the soul,

And who our passions charm, our wills controul.
This our well-meaning author had in view,
And though but faintly executed, you

Indulg'd the attempt with such benevolence,
That he has been uneasy ever since;
For though his vanity you gratified,
The obligation did provoke his pride.
But he has now compounded with ambition,
For that more solid greatness, self-fruition;
And, going to embrace a civil death,

He's loath to die indebted to your breath;

Therefore he would be even w' you, but wants force; The stream will rise no higher than the source.

This prologue first appeared in the edition of 1671, after the revival of the play. C.


And they who treat such judges, should excel;
Here, 'tis to do ill, to do only well.

He has, as other writers have, good will,
And only wants (like those) nature and skill;
But, since he cannot reach the envied height,
H' has cast some grains in this to mend the weight;
And being to part w' you, prays you to accept
This revived piece, as legacy or debt.





DON HENRIQUE, In love with Camil- Choleric, jealous,

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DON ANTONIO, Contracted to Por- A soldier,haughty,

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*In this list of characters three very unimportant personages, Mirabel, Floridor, and a Page, are omitted. C.




SCENE-Don Antonio's House.


Don Henrique. How happy are the men of easy phlegm !

Born on the confines of indifference,

Holding from nature the securest tenure,

The peaceful empire o'er themselves; which we,
Th' unhappy men of fire, without the aids

Of mighty reason or almighty grace,
Are all our lives contending for in vain.
'Tis evident, that solid happiness

Is founded on the conquest of our passions;

This play, in the third edition, from which it is here printed, received some additions and improvements. Downes says, the Earl of Bristol joined in writing it. The first performance of it was at court; and on its appearance on the stage at the Duke's theatre, it met with great applause, and was acted thirteen nights successively. Echard, in the preface to his translation of Terence, gives it this general character, that it "is one of the pleasantest stories that ever appeared upon our stage, and has as much variety of plots and intrigues, without any thing being precipitated, improper, or unnatural, as to the main action.' In the year 1767, Mr. Hull made some alterations in it, with which it was acted at Covent-garden theatre about nine nights, under the title of THE PERPLEXITIES. To the second edition were prefixed complimentary verses by James Long, J. Evelyn, A. Cowley, Jasper Nedham, M.D. Lod. Carlile, Chr. Wase, William Joyner, and one copy signed Melpomene. In Sir Wm. Davenant's Works, p. 339, is a prologue written by him, addressed to the Lord Chancellor, on the acting of this play at the Inner Temple.

But since they are the favourites of sense,
Self-love bribes reason still in their defence:
Thus, in a calm, I reason; but when cross'd,
The pilot quits the helm, and I am toss'd.

Silvio. Sir, Don Carlos is without.
Don Henrique. Wait on him in.


Don Carlos. Cousin, methinks this day hath longer seem'd

Than usual; since 'tis so far advanc'd
Without our seeing one another.

Don Henrique. If I had not been hinder'd by some business,

I'should, ere this, have seen you, t' have told
Some pleasing news I lately have receiv'd:
You have so often borne with my distempers,
"Tis fit that once, at least, you should partake
Of my good humour.


Don Carlos. What cause soever has produc'd this change,

I heartily rejoice in the effect,

And may it long continue.

Don Henrique. I can inform you, by experience, now, How great a satisfaction 'tis to find

A heart and head eas'd of a weighty care;

For a gentleman of my warm temper,

Jealous of the honour of his family,

(As yet ne'er blemish'd) to be fairly freed From the tuition of an orphan sister, Rich, beautiful, and young.

Don Carlos. You know, Don Henrique, for these thirteen years,

That I have been with the like province charg'd:
An only sister, by our parents' will,

(When they were call'd from all their cares below)

• Till now the measure was spoiled by the omission of the word all. The four editions read the line as it now stands. The play has been hitherto very carelessly printed, and a few of the errors are pointed out in the notes. C.

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