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With equal reason, when she has made you laugh,
Melpomene should send you (niveling off;
But our Bard, unequal to the talk,
Rejects the dagger, and retains the masque :
Fain would he send you chearful home to.night,
And harmless mirth by honest means excite;
Scorning with luscious phrase or double fense,
To raise a laughter at the Fair's expence.
What method Thall we choose your taste to hit ?
Will no one lend our Bard a little wit ?
Thank ye, kind souls, I'll take it from the pit.
The piece concluded, and the curtain down,
Up starts that fatal Phalanx, calls the Town :
In full assembly weigh our Author's fate,
And Surly thus commences the debate :
Pray, among Friends, does not this poisoning scene
The sacred rights of Tragedy prophane?
If Farce may mimic thus her awful bowl :
Oh fie, all wrong, stark naught, upon my foul !
Then Buck, cries Billy, can it be in nature ?
Not the least likeness in a single feature.
My lord, lord love him, 'tis a precious piece ;
Let's come on Friday night and have a hiss,
To this a Peruquier asients with joy,
Parcequ'il affronte les Francois, oui, ma foi.
In such distress what can the Poet do?
Where seek for shelter when these foes pursue ?
He dares demand protection, firs, from you.
P R O L OG U E
то THE DI S C O V E RY.
FEMALL culprit at your bar appears,
Not deftitute of hope, nor free from fears,
Her utmost crime she's ready to confess,
A simple trespass-neither more nor less ;
For, truant-like, she rambled out of bounds,
And dar'd to venture on poetic grounds.
The fault is deem'd high treason by the med,
Those lordly tyrants who usurp the pen!
Then try the vile monopoly to hide
With Aattering arts, 'You ladies have beside
. So many ways to conquer-sure 'tis fit
• You leave to us that dangerous weapon wit!
For women, like ftate criminals, they think
Should be debarr'd the use of pen and ink.
Our Author, who disclaims such partial laws,
To her own sex appeals to judge her cauté.
She pleads old Magna Charta on her fide,
That British subjects by their peers be try'd,
Ladies, to you the dedicates her lays,
Allert your right to censure or to praise ;
Nor doubt a sentence by such lips decreed,
Firm as the laws of Persian or of Mede :
Boldly your will in open court declare,
And let the men dispute it if they dare.
Qur humble scenes no charms of art can boast,
But simple nature, and plain sense at moft:
Perhaps some character-a moral too-
And what is stranger still—the story's new::
No borrow'd thoughts throughout the piece are Mown,
But what our author writes is all her own,
By no fly hint, or incident she tries
To bid on modest cheeks the blush arise :
The loosest thoughts our decert scenes suggest,
Virtue herself might harbour in her breast;
And where our harmless satire vents its spleen,
The fobereft prude may laugh, without a skreen.
But not to mirth alone we claim your or,
Some tender scenes demand the melting tear ;
The comic dame, her different powers to prove,
Gives you the dear variety you love ;
Sometimes assumes her graver fifter's art,
Borrows her form, and tries to touch the heart."
But fancy's pictures float upon the brain,
And short-liv'd o'er the heart is passion's reign,
Till judgment ftamp her fanction on the whole,
And fink th' impresion deep into the foul.--
1 L OG G U E
Τ ο Do U
L А S.
Spoken by Mr. BARRY.
Our bard will write. He vows 'cis most absurd
With comic wit to contradict the strain
Of tragedy, and make your sorrows vain.
Sadly he says, that pity is the best,
The noblest passion of the human breast :
For when its sacred streams the heart o'er-flow,
In gushes pleasure with the tide of woe ;
And when its waves retire, like those of Nile,
They leave behind them such a golden soil,
That there the virtues without culture grow,
There the sweet blossoms of affection blow.
These were his words ;-void of delusive art
I felt them ; for he spoke them from his heart.
Nor will I now attempt, with witty fol.y,
To chace away celestial melancholy.
PILOGU U E
B RO THE R.S.
By the AUTHOR.
N Epilogue, through custom, is your right,
But ne'er perhaps was needful till this night:
To night the virtuous falls, the guilty flies,
Guilt's dreadful close our narrow scene denies.
In history's authentic record read
What ample vengeance gluts Demetrius' Made;
Vengeance fo great, that when his tale is told,
With pity some ev'n Perseus may behoid.
Perseus surviv'd, indeed, and fill'd the throne,
But ceaseless cares in congaeft made him groan:
Nor reign'd he long; from Rome swift thunder few,
And headlong from his throne the tyrant threw :
Thrown headlong down, by Rome in triumph led,
For tbis night's deed his perjur'd bosom bled :
His brother's ghost each moment made him start,
And all his father's anguilh rent his heart,
When, rob'd in black, his children round him hung,
And their rais'd arms in early forrow wrung;
The younger smild, unconscious of their woe;
At which thy tears, O Rome! began to flow;
So sad the scene : what then must Perfeus feel,
To see Jove's race attend the victor's wheel :
To see the Naves of his worst foes increase,
From such a source !- An emperor's embrace ?
He ficken'd soon to death ; and, what is worse,
He well deserv'd, and felt, the coward's curse;
Unpity'd, scorn'd, insulted his last hour,
Far, far from home, and in a vassal's power:
His pale cheek rested on his shameful chain,
No friend to mourn, no flatterer to feign;
No suit retards, no comfort fooths his doom,
And not one tear bedews a monarch's tomb.
Nor ends it thus-dire vengeance to complete,
His antient empire falling, shares his fate :
His chrone forgot! His weeping country chain'd!
And nations ask-Where Alexander reign'd ?
As public woes a prince's crimes pursue,
So public bleflings are his virtue's due.
Shout, Britains, thout-auspicious fortune bless!
And cry, Long live-Our title to fuccefs !
Ε Ρ Ι L O G 0 E
TO EDWARD THE
THE BLACK PRINCE.
Spoken by Mrs. Clive. GAINST such odds if Eduard could succeed,
But, mournful thought! we surely must complain,
They're sadly alter'd from King Edward's reign :
Yet some there are, who merit ev'ry praise,
Stems of that stock, and worthy of those days;
Illuftrious Heroes !--How unlike to thole,
Whose valour, like their wit, lies only in their clothes ?
Such arrant Beaux, so trim, so degagée,
That ev'n French Ladies wou'd not run away.
They'll huff, indeed, and strut, look proud, and swear,
And all this they can do because they dare.
But know, poor souls, all this implies no merit,
Ev'n women soon discern a man of spirit;
Judges alike of warriors and of wooers :
The mightiett talkers are the poorest doers,
Such to subdue, requires no martial fire,
One Joan of Arc wou'd make 'em all retire,
But hold-I wander,--Poitiers be my story,
And warm my breast with British love of glory;
When each bold Briton took his country's part,
And wore her freedom blazon'd on his heart.
Such were our Sires-But now, O dire disgrace !
Lo, half their offspring lost in filk and lace.
Ye, Britons, from this lethargy arise,
Burft forth from folly's bondage, and be wise:
Once more let virtue, dignity be priz'd,
Nor copy what your ancestors despis'd.
Each false refinement study to disdain,
And harden into manhood back again :
So fall our Britain's honours mount on high,
And future fields with that of Poitiers vie.
GIL B L A S.
WRITTEN BY MR, GARRICK.
Spoken by Mrs. PRITCHAR D.
S the success of Authors is uncertain,
Poets are puzzled in our dangerous times,
How to address you in these after-rhymes.