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WEST O N.
It is fo, I grant it, So here, take the Prologue, and now you don't want it. [Gives the man a freet of paper, and is going.
M A N. But, Sir,- Who's to speak it?
W ESTO N.
To speak it, why-whoGo ask Mr. Foote, friend.
M A N.
He says, Sir, 'tis you.
WEST O N.
He's mistaken, for once, I will venture to say,
'Tis a serious affair, and quite out of my way:
Sentimental, pathetical, tender, affecting,
Just like his last piece, and his new way of acting.
M A N.
Your speaking, l'am sure, Sir, would give it such grace.
WEST O N.
I wou'd ;-but who'll give me a tragedy face?
I tell you, I neither like whining nor ranting,
The groanings and toanings of tragedy, canting;
To figh, and to strut, and to start, and to stare,
My arms throw about, up and down, here and there,
Kick my train in a pet, and with passionate rumble,
Make sun, moon, and stars, a bombastical jumble ;
'Till quite out of breath with heroical swagger,
The poison bowl enters, or polish'd tia dagger :
Then quivering I fall, or in fimile die,
So fo, or as if, or as when, or as why,
Ti, ti, tum, Ti, ti, tum, Tum, tum, tum, Ti, ti,
M A N.
WEST O N.
I don't like it, -that's all I've to say..
So pray take yourself and the Prologue away,
[Exit M AN, leaving W ESTO N.):
So now I am Solus, that is, I'm alone,
Suppose I shou'd try at a speech of my own
An extempore Prologue The fancy is new-
With your leaves, you shall judge what Tom Weston can
Once on a time, tho''twas in Shakespear's days,
Nature and Common Sense embellish'd plays;
Before old English humour turn’d buffoon,
And long e'er Op’ras put Wit out of tune.
In that same time; folks did not think by rules,
But as they felt, they spoke-Our fathers were no fools.
Their song was, Mirth admit me of your crew :
But that's all old-'tisn't the thing, 'twont do;
The tone is now,--we must have something new.
New fights we've had, new grand Illuminations,
With Jubilees, and Trips, and Installations.
We have a trip to-night, to thew some shipping;
Suppose the Author is to-night caught tripping ?
Thele fame Play-jobbers, though it is furprizing,
Will always send me on, apologizing.
Thus they come o'er me: Weften, you're a Soul!
Dc Speak my Prologue - you're so dry and droll.
I must go on then I'm ferv'd so this night,
A common bail for what bad Poets write.
1f-but I hope not-If we're brought to shame.
If you the Author, or the Actors blame,
May we in one request, good sirs, be friended,
Pray don't give sentence till the Piece is ended.
PROLO GU E, Spoken at the Theatre-Royal, in Covent-Garden, on
Occasion of a Monument to be created by Contribution to SHAKESPEAR. WRITTEN
MR. THEO BALD. Spoken by Mr. Ryan. [ The Curtain drawn up 10 solemn Music, foews
tbe Stage in Mourning.
With awe, and seem to tread on hallow'd ground; The vaulted scene assumes a gloom of dread, Like that, where seep the venerable dead :
And you, a pious train, in pleas'd array,
Are rang'de the folemn obsequies to pay.
Immortal Shakespeare! we thy claim admit;
For, like thy Cajar, thou art mighty yet!
Thy spirit walks abroad ; and at our hands
The honorary tomb, thy right, demands.
That debt is paid; and, to thy mem'ry juft,
We press to execute the pious trust.
Fast rise the marble, and long last the pile,
O’er which thy venerable bust shall smile !
A long respect must guard the sacred tomb,
Where Aati'ry's tongue is mute, and envy dumb.
Britons, with virtuous pride your merit know,
You've done, what kings of old, were fond to do:
Then, when the poet died, the monarch mourn'd;
And, by command, his alhes were inurn'd.
The due respect, you've in this tribute thewn, Bespeaks the poet's worth, and crowns your own : And, haply, hence hall spring new tragic rage, And diftant Sbakespear's rise to charm the stage.
What muse can languish, who may hope to boas
A fame freih-blooming at the publick cost?
For the dead bard, receive our thanks and praise ;
And make us sharers in the tomb you raise.
Ye fair, who have diftinguith'd favours shewn,
And made this poet's patronage your own ;
Urge those, whose gen'rous hearts confess your sway,
To follow, where your virtues point the way:
Then think, this pile his honour'd bones contains,
And frequent visit-here-- the lov'd remains.
E - Ρ Ι Ι Ο G U E
I RE N E.
ARRY a Turk! a haughty tyrant king,
Who thinks us women born io dress and fing!
To please his fancy,- see no other man-
Let persuade me to it - if he can:
Besides he has fifty wives ; and who can bear
To have the fiftieih part her paltry Ihare?
'Tis true, the fellow's handsome, strait and tall;
But how the devil should he please us all !
My swain is little-true-but be it known,
My pride's to have that little all my own.
Men will be ever to their errors blind,
Where woman's not allow'd to speak her mind.
I swear this eastern pageantry is nonsense,
And for one man-one wife's enough in conscience.
In vain proud man usurps what's woman's due ;
For us alone, they honour's paths pursue :
Inspir'd by us, they glory's heights ascend;
Woman the source, the object, and the end.
Tho' wealth, and pow's, and glory they receive,
These all are trifles, to what we can give.
For us the statesinan labours, hero fights,
Bears toilsome days, and wakes long tedious nights :
And when blest peace has filenc'd war's alarms,
Receives his full reward in beauty's arms.
ETHINKS I hear some powder'd critics say,
“ Damn it! this wife reform'd has spoil'd the play! * The coxcomb should have drawn her more in fashion, “ Have gratify'd her softer inclination, “ Have tipt her a galant, and clinch'd the provocation. But there our Bard stopt short : for 'were uncivil T'have made a modern Belle, all o'er a Devil ! He hop'd, in honour of the fex, the age Would bear one mended woman on the stage.
From whence, you see, by common sense's rules,
Wives might be govern’d, were not husbands fools.
Whate'er by nature dames are prone to do,
They feldcin ftray but when they govern you.
When the wild wife perceives her deary tame,
No wonder then she plays him all the game.
But men of sense meet rarely that disaster ;
Women take pride, where merit is their maler:
Nay, she that with a weak man wisely lives,
Will seem t' obey the due commands he gives !
Happy obedience is no more a wonder,
When men are men, aod keep them kindly under.
But modern consorts are such high-bred creatures ;
They think a husband's power degrades their features;
That nothing more proclaims a reigning beauty,
Than that she never was reproach'd with dury:
And that the greatest blefling heav'n e'er sent,
Is in a spouse, incurious and content.
To give such dames a diff'rent cast of thought,
By calling home the mind, these scenes were wrought.
If with a hand too rude, the task is done,
We hope the scheme, by Lady Grace, laid down,
Will all such freedom with the sex atone.
That virtue there unsoil'd, by modish art,
Throws out attractions for a Manly's heart.
You, you then, ladies, whose unquestion'd lives
Give you the foremost fame of happy wives,
Protect, for its attempt, this hapless play ;
Nor leave it to the vulgar taste a prey ;
Appear the frequent champions of its cause,
Direct the crowd and give yourselves applause.
- SHE WOU'D and SHE WOU'D NOT,
ONGST all the rules the ancients had in vogue,
We find no mention of an EPILOGUE.
Which plainly shews they're innovations, brought
Since rules, design, and nature, were forgot.
The custom therefore, our next play Mall break,
But now a joyful motive bids us speak.
or, while our arms return with conquest home, While children pratile Vigo, and the boom, It's fit the mouth of all mankind, the stage, be dumb?