Look back on flourishing_ Rome, ye proud Ingrates,
And see how she her thriving Poets treats:
Wisely she priz’d ’em at the noblest Rate, |
As necessary Ministers of State, |
And Contributions rais’d to make ’em great. |
They from the publick Bank she did maintain,
And freed from want, they only writ for Fame;
And were as useful in a City held,
As formidable Armies in the Field.
They but a Conquest over Men pursued,
While these by gentle force the Soul subdu’d.
Not Rome in all her happiest Pomp cou’d show |
A greater Caesar than we boast of now; |
Augustus reigns, but Poets still are low. |
May Caesar live, and while his mighty Hand
Is scattering Plenty over all the Land;
With God-like Bounty recompensing all,
Some fruitful drops may on the Muses fall;
Since honest Pens do his just cause afford
Equal Advantage with the useful Sword_.
NOTES ON THE TEXT.
THE TOWN FOP.
p. 7 Dramatis Personae. I have added ’Page to Bellmour; Page to Lord Plotwell; Sir Timothy’s Page; Guests; Fiddlers; Ladies.’
p. 12, l. 36 honoured. 1724 ‘honourable’.
p. 13, l. 2 answered the Civility. 1724 ‘answered her the Civility’.
p. 13, l. 23 whats. 1724 ‘what’.
p. 13, l. 26 any thing in Life. 1724 ‘any thing in this Life’.
p. 14, l. 3 God forbid it; 1724 omits ‘it’.
p. 15, l. 11 you speak well. 1724 omits ‘well’.
p. 15, l. 20 Mrs. Celinda Dresswell. Following 4to 1677 and 1724 I have retained the name Dresswell although it should obviously be Friendlove. In the first draft Friendlove was called Dresswell, and in altering the nomenclature of the character Mrs. Behn forgot to make the change here. The same slip occurs in this same scene (p. 20, l. 23) when Friendlove is alluded to as Dresswell.
p. 16, l. 2 help. 1724 ‘help’d’.
p. 16, l. 30 me to. 1724 omits ‘to’.
p. 17, l. 9 and Allurements. 1724 omits ‘and’.
p. 19, l. 29 beholding. 1724 ‘beholden’.
p. 19, l. 31 belong’d. 1724 ‘belongs’.
p. 20, l. 6 Murder. 4to 1677 has here the marginal stage direction ‘[A Letter’, to remind the prompter to have that property ready for the immediate entry of Friendlove.
p. 22, l. 4 Exit Sir Tim. 4to 1677 has ‘Ex.’ after ‘Celinda.’ 1724 ‘Exit’ after ‘Southampton House.’
p. 22, l. 6 Exeunt. I have supplied this stage direction. 4to 1677 has ‘The End of the First Act.’
p. 22, l. 8 A Palace. I have left this quaint locale untouched although the scene is merely an antechamber in Friendlove’s house, and can have been no more than a drop cloth.