TO HIS LOVING FRIEND THE AUTHOR,
UPON HIS TRAGEDY "THE REBELLION."To praise thee, friend, and show the reason why,Issues from honest love, not flattery.My will is not to flatter, nor for spiteTo praise or dispraise, but to do thee rightProud daring rebels in their impious wayOf Machiavellian darkness this thy playExactly shows; speaks thee truth's satirist,Rebellion's foe, time's honest artist.Thy continu'd scenes, parts, plots, and language canDistinguish (worthily) the virtuous manFrom the vicious villain, earth's fatal ill,Intending mischievous traitor Machiavel.Him and his treach'rous 'complices, that strove(Like the gigantic rebels war 'gainst Jove)To disenthrone Spain's king (the Heaven's anointed),By stern death all were justly disappointed.Plots meet with counterplots, revenge and blood:Rebels' ruin makes thy tragedy good.
TO HIS WORTHY ESTEEMED MASTER,
THOMAS RAWLINS, ON HIS "REBELLION."I may not wonder, for the world does know,What poets can, and ofttimes reach unto.They oft work miracles: no marvel, then,Thou mak'st thy tailor here a nobleman:Would all the trade were honest too; but heHath learn'd the utmost of the mystery,Filching with cunning industry the heartOf such a beauty, which did prove the smartOf many worthy lovers, and doth gainThat prize which others labour'd for in vain.Thou mak'st him valiant too, and such a spirit,As every noble mind approves his merit.But what renown th' hast given his worth, 'tis fitThe world should render to thy hopeful wit,And with a welcome plaudit entertainThis lovely issue of thy teeming brain.That their kind usage to this birth of thineMay win so much upon thee, for each lineThou hast bequeath'd the world, thou'lt give her ten,And raise more high the glory of thy pen.Accomplish these our wishes, and then seeHow all that love the arts will honour thee.
TO MY FRIEND MASTER RAWLINS,
UPON THIS PLAY, HIS WORK.Friend, in the fair completeness of your playY' have courted truth; in these few lines to saySomething concerning it, that all may knowI pay no more of praise than what I owe.'Tis good, and merit much more fair appearsAppareled in plain praise, than when it wearsA complimental gloss. Tailors may boastTh' have gain'd by your young pen what they long lostBy the old proverb, which says, Three to a man:But to your vindicating muse, that canMake one a man, and a man noble, theyMust wreaths of bays as their due praises pay.
TO THE AUTHOR, ON HIS "REBELLION."Thy play I ne'er saw: what shall I say then?I in my vote must do as other men,And praise those things to all, which common fameDoes boast of such a hopeful growing flameWhich, in despite of flattery, shall shine,Till envy at thy glory do repine:And on Parnassus' cliffy top shall stand,Directing wand'ring wits to wish'd-for land;Like a beacon o' th' Muses' hill remain,That still doth burn, no lesser light retain;To show that other wits, compar'd with thee,Is but Rebellion i' th' high'st degree....