Prologue For The Women, When They Acted At The Old Theatre, Lincoln’s-Inn-Fields By John Dryden
Were none of you, gallants, e’er driven so hard,
As when the poor kind soul was under guard,
And could not do ‘t at home, in some by-street
To take a lodging, and in private meet?
Such is our case; we can’t appoint our house,
The lovers’ old and wonted rendezvous,
But hither to this trusty nook remove;
The worse the lodging is, the more the love.
For much good pastime, many a dear sweet hug,
Is stolen in garrets, on the humble rug.
Here’s good accommodation in the pit;
The grave demurely in the midst may sit,
And so the hot Burgundian on the side,
Ply vizard mask, and o’er the benches stride:
Here are convenient upper boxes too,
For those that make the most triumphant show;
All, that keep coaches, must not sit below.
There, gallants, you betwixt the acts retire,
And, at dull plays, have something to admire:
We, who look up, can your addresses mark,
And see the creatures coupled in the ark:
So we expect the lovers, braves, and wits;
The gaudy house with scenes will serve for cits.