Rival Queans.


[Price 1 s.]






Rival Queans:





As it was lately Acted, with great Applause, at

H—d—r’s private Th—re near the

H— — —Y  M— — —T.



Et cantare pares, & respondere paratae.  Virg. Bucol. 7ma.


Both young Italians, both alike inspir’d

To sing, or scold; just as the time requir’d.

Modern Translation.




Printed for A. MOORE, near St. Paul’s.  1727.

[Price 1 s.]




Dramatis Personae.


F----s----na,  Queen of Bologna.


C----z----ni,  Princess of Modena.


H-----d----r,  High-priest to the Academy of Discord.


H-----d-----l,  Professor of Harmony to the Academy.


S----s-----no,  Chief of the Choir.


M----u-----o,  Violino primo to the Queen of Bologna, to

keep her Majesty’s Body in tune.


S----d-----ni,  Basso Continuo, and Treasurer to the

Princess of Modena.


A Chorus of P---rs and Tupees, with Cat-calls.


SCENE the Temple of Discord near the H----y-M----t.


Time equal to the Representation.









Rival Queans.


SCENE opens and discovers the Temple of Discord:

An Altar with Crowns, Globes, Sceptres and

other Ensigns of Royalty.  The Queen and

Princess on either side the Altar.  The High-Priest

in his Pontificabilus.  The great Officers in their

proper Stations.


The Chorus of D--k--s, L--d--s and Tupees rang’d on

each side the Stage according to their Factions;

Cat-calls in their Hands, and Whistles, with Bells

about their Necks; officiating as Under-Priests.

After a short Symphony, and some small Ceremonies,

the High-Priest comes forward.



DRead Queen and Princess, hail! we thus are met,

To settle matters of the greatest weight:

From this propitious hour, for years to come,

The world expects its peace, and we our doom:

Here discord reigns, but all the muses know,

From discord sweetest harmony does flow;

The omen’s good! — oh! let it here prove so: [6]

Agree my Queens! — or we must perish all,

With you the sons of harmony will fall;

All other civil feuds, or foreign jars,

Domestick broils, and long projected wars,

Are now forgot: — Here hopes and fears attend,

And wait with panting hearts the dubious end;

Nor Gibraltar we seek, nor Port-Mahon;

Possessing you, makes all the world our own:

Who wails expiring Sp—n, or dead Cza—na?

Leave us kind heav’n! — C--z--ni and F--s--na!

With bright F--s--na, we lose allm our Beaus;

And D---ks must die, when sweet C--z--ni goes:



— Nor shall the Saxon ever more compose.



On this alliance think how much depends;

Great-Britain pity, and embrace as friends:

Why shou’d ambition now your hearts divide?

In gay triumphal chariots both shall ride;

From gilded thrones the kneeling world command,

While globes and sceptres grace each pretty hand;

Your glitt’ring crowns shall o’er the stars prevail,

And pages sweat beneath th’ embroider’d tail;

Vast whisker’d guards your honour shall maintain,

And tinsell damsels swell the shining train; [7]

Address’d with majesty at ev’ry word,

And off the stage like goddesses ador’d:

What wou’d you more? —— —— ——



—— —— Count H--g--r I grant;

Your prudence justly touches all we want:

The case full plain and open you have laid,

And push’d the very point up to the head;

Pride rules our female souls; thus fir’d, we dare

Like man all dangers scorn; and thirst for war:

Our little breasts will pant and heave for fame,

Swell’d with th’ ambition of the foremost name.

Shall then that chit with me claim equal sway?

That mushroom songstress of the other day!

With me contend?  -- ye gods!  -- with me compare?

Unskill’d in notes, and ev’ry graceful air!

[C--z--ni’s faction play their instruments.]



Vain insolence!  -- how shall our cause be try’d?

So small your merit, and so great your pride:

My equal held!  --- what more can you pretend?

Nor cou’d your majesty that plea defend;

For peace, did I not vastly condescend; [8]

Of honour if I grant th’ alternate part,

’Tis more my goodness thought, than your desert:

The title of a queen is but a name,

The empty sounding of a blast of fame;

Since piqu’d, te grandeur of th’ affair you hope;

For honour’s sake I cannot give it up:

My friends are firm as yours, my claim as strong;

As great my courage, and my nails as long.

[F—st—na’s Faction tune their pipes.]



Great Ladies!  -- Chief -- supporters of this stage,

Let faction cease, and moderate your rage:

Why on your selves this threatned ruin hurl’d?

Your forces join, and you’ll enslave the world:

Both parties this division renders weak,

And this Vanbrughian dome it self does shake;

If no respect you have for S----ino,

Think of what sums you leave of ready rino.

[Both Factions make a terrible noise.]



Aside.]  How difficult’s my task betwixt these two;

Each hopes my aid, and nothing can I do; [9]

Serenely tho’ I stand th’ alternate brunt,

And pocket, for my ease, a small affront;

Yet when their factions deal their vengeance round,

Hisses and cat-calls undistinguish’d wound.



My Caro Si, thanks for your kind advice;

There’s nothing can be finer, but your voice:

This horrid puss presumes, that I’d engage,

To sing the second on the British stage;

What were you, thing, — to whom did you belong,

When I charm’d Italy by force of song;

When greatest princes did my fetters wear,

In droves they ran my triumphs to prepare,

While purpl’d cardinals brought up the rear:

Then crowded theatres I cou’d controul,

While you were sniv’ling at your fa, mi, sol;

Unrival’d I in action, voice and fame;

Nor durst C---z---ni breath, where e’er F---s---na came.



Unthinking wretch!  --- to boast of what you were;

Thus mouldy virgins cry; we once were fair!

Too long the reins of empire you did hold,

Resign the charge, you’re past it now, and old; [10]

At best an impotent, and royal drone,

Unfit, as unbecoming on a throne:

If here you arrogantly boast applause,

We need no conjurers to guess the cause:

The judging Tupees on your action doat,

Astonish’d at the warble of that throat,

And dwell with raptures on your shaking note:

While cunning you, the want of voice supply,

By dint of wanton hand, and rolling eye.



Old! did she say? — — the malice of my fate!

What was old woman ever good for yet?

Fiend-like you strive t’ anticipate my time,

And hurry me to hell, while in my prime;

But monster to thy just confusion know,

I’m found within, without, from top to toe;

And much the world’s deceiv’d; or you’re not so:

Cou’d I to Nestor’s years my life prolong,

Still shou’d my voice enchant, still clear as strong;

While you in rip’ning, like a medlar, rot,

At best a Gorgon’s face, and Siren’s throat;

Help your decaying lungs, and chew eringo:

Thou little awkard creature! -- can you stringo? [11]



By juster means my empire I maintain,

And scorn from such poor arts applause to gain;

Kind heav’n bestow’d my voice to charm mankind,

While you the body move --- I touch the mind:

Nor do I meanly condescend to charm,

By tickling fingers or a twining arm;

To do you justice tho’; -- I think -- ’tis known,

That you to please, imploy more pipes than one.



Nature of ways to please gave you no choice,

But just equipp’d you with a trifling voice;

A small canary bird! — below my rage!

I’ll fix the pretty chirper in its cage:

Thus on the stage superior pow’r you’ll own,

While from your prison, I ascend my throne;

Then thro’ the world led after me in state,

As Tamerlane serv’d vanquish’d Bajazet. [12]



How fine are those majestick words, and stalk!

’Tis hard! — you cannot sing, as well as talk:

’Twere proper first at conquest you shou’d aim,

Nor triumph yet, till victory you claim:

Before those judges let our plea be try’d,

Whose ears unbyass’d can what’s just decide;

Such who dare own, they’re pleas’d with notes in tune,

And musick’s too luxuriant branches prune:

Such who your wild chromatick rants despise;

And to my sweet pathetick yield the prize:

Such who distinguish nicely in each note,

The gargle from the warble of a throat.



O spare your lungs, and close this strange contest;

In equal merits neither is the best:

But now the bold cascade delights our eyes,

Its falling cataracts give wild surprize;

Anon we chuse the solitary grove,

Where gentle streams in softest murmurs move;

There down the precipice loud torrents roll,

Here sweet meanders wind into the soul. [13]



Let not one inch of merit pray be lost;

Her pipe I think is all tat she can boast;

And poor S—nd—ni finds, when e’er ’tis try’d,

That she’s all over pipe, from side to side;

Her body looks as from the fairies stole,

Enough of carcass to make one large hole;

Where he in love’s wide Bay of Biscay tost,

Hard plys his oar; but ne’er can touch the toast.



Speak of your triumphs over bleeding hearts,

But do not thus affront our nat’ral parts.



My person touch’d! — your malice I despise;

I’ll spoil your singing and tear out your eyes;

Each limb, each motion mar, each graceful air,

Those ornaments you practise with such care;

Thus end the wond’rous magick of your voice,

Which all in clever execution lies: [14]

Your courage like your voice may be a sham,

To try, thus down your throat your lies I’ll cram:

[Lays hold of Fau--na’s head-cloaths.]


S—D—NI.  [Holding C--z--ni.]

Mais je vous prie doucement ma petitte femme.



Nay, Madam, if you like bear-garden play,

On ev’ry stage I’ll match you any way,

[Lays hands on C--z--ni’s head-dress]

[The Queen and Princess box.]

[S--d--ni and M--ro strive to part them.]



My Queen! -- in bounds this swelling tide restrain;

She’s deaf to all advice! -- I strive in vain!



Fury so obstinate who can perswade?

A dozen of the guards bring to our aid: [15]

What’s to be done? -- they can’t outlive this bout,



I think ’tis best -- to let ’em fight it out:

Oil to the flames you add, to stop their rage;

When tir’d, of course, their fury will asswage.

[They stop to take breath.]



Your Majesty’s convinc’d now at your heart,

I’m capable to play a premier part:

If not yet satisfied —— ——



—— —— As I’m a sinner

The furious minx has tore my mechlin pinner;

She shall repent it tho’ the devil’s in her:

To arms, to arms; -- too long we’ve idle stood —

Sound instruments of war, revenge and blood.


The Queen and Princess again engage; Both factions

play all their warlike Instruments; Cat-calls, Serpents

and Cuckoos make a dreadful din:  F--s--na lays flat

C--z--ni’s nose with a Sceptre; — C--z--ni [16] breaks

her head with a gilt-leather crown:  H--l desirous to

see an end of the battle, animates them with a kettle-

drum; a globe thrown at random hits the high-priest

on the temples, he staggers off the Stage:  S—d—ni

and M—ro quit their posts and take shelter behind the

Scenes —— The Queen looses her head of hair, and

the Princess her nose in the skirmish:  At last the

goddess discord inspires C—z—ni with more than

mortal bravery, she plys her Antagonist so warmly,

the Queen is obliged to fly —— the Princess follows;

S—s—no creeps from under the Altar where he lay

hid, and moralizes in the following simile.



So have I seen two surly bull-dogs tear

Firm limb from limb, and strip the flesh of hair;

Mangled all o’er, each carcass but one wound,

They snarling, biting, bleeding, stand their ground;

When tir’d at last, the noisy fray is done,

The mighty cause of war was but a bone:

The pageant glory of a title thus

To rage provokes each catterwauling puss;

So much the shew of greatness is their care,

They’ll lose the substance for a puff of air.


The Curtain drops.[1]




[1] advertised as “Lately published” in The Daily Journal, no. 2115, Tuesday 24 October 1727, [2].