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No boy on errands to be sent,
On his own messages he went :
And once with conscious pride and Mame,
As from the chandler's-thop he came,
Under his thread-bare cloak, poor soul,
He cover'dm-half a peck of coal.
A wag (his friend) began to smoke,

George, tell us, what's beneath your cloak ?

-Tcil you! it were as well to thow,-
I hide it - that you fou'd not know.

Yet farce and title, one to t’other
Should feem, like Sofias, a twin brother.'
Prologues, like Andrews at a fair,
To draw you in, mould make you stare.
“ The notified !--the only booth! ---walk in!
* Gem'mcn, in here, juft going to begin."
And if our author don't produce
Some character that plays the deuce ;
If there's no frolic sense, nor whim,
Retort, and play the devil with him!

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HE pashs of truth with fancy's Aow'rs to strow,

To teach improvement from delight to flow,
The bards of old first bade the comic strain
With mirth inftruct, with moral entertain.
No vice or folly that disgrac'd the age,
Escap'd the daring poet's honelt rage;
But fatire, uncontroll'd, pursu'd her plan,
Nor fopp'd at general lies, but mark'd the Man ;
Ev'n seatures, voice, dress, gait, the scene display'd,
And living characters to scorn betray'd.

Such rude attacks be banilh'd in our times,
Be persons sacred, but expos’d their crimes :
For wife, and good, and polish'd as we are,
We still may find some vices where and there,

And

And if a modern, in this prudent age,
Dates to obtrude a moral on the stage,
Critics, be mild ; tho' unadorn'd our play,
Nor wisely grave, nor elegantly gay,
How rude foe'er it shocks not virtue's eye,
Nor injures the chatte ear of modesty ;
Nor with soft blandishment bids vice allure,
Nor draws the good in odious portraiture.
Our son of folly is of vice's brood,
And willingly bids evil be his good.

Is there a wretch that views, without remorse,
The better path, and yet pursues the worse,
Proud of imputed guilt, yet vainly blind, .,

Calls folly sense ; vice, knowledge of mankind; . Dup'd by the knave he scorns and ridicules,

Rul'd by the wanton whom he thinks he rules ;
This, this is folly; a determin'd fool
Provokes and justifies our ridicule.

PR () LOGUE

то

0,1

T

R
0 O

N 0 K
· Alter'd by Dr. HAWKSWORTH.
HIS night your tributary tears we claim,

For scenes that Southern drew; a fav'rite name!
He touch'd your fathers' hearts with gen'rous woe,
And taught your mothers' youthful eyes to flow;
For this he claims hereditary praise,
From wits and beauties of our modern days;
Yet, Ilave to custom in a laughing age,
With ribald mirth he stain'd the sacred page:
While virtue's thrine he rear'd, taught vice to mock
And join'd, in sport, the bukin and the fock:
O! haste to part them !-burit the opprobrious band
Thus Art and Nature, with one voice demand :
O! haste to part them ! blushing virtue cries ;-
Thus urg'd, our bard this night to part them tries.-
To mix with Southern's, though his verse aspire,
He bows with rev'rence to the houry fire :

With

M 3

Such quiet as your foes shall ne'er destroy ;
Then shake off fears, and clap your hands for joy.

P R O L 0 G U E

Το THE
CONSCIOUS LO VER S.
WRITTEN BY

WELSTEAD.
Spoken by Mr. WILKS.

MR.

o win your hearts, and to secure your praise,

by
-By subtle stratagems they act their game,
And leave untry'd no avenue to fame.
One writes the spouse a beating from his wife,
And says, each stroke was copy'd from the life.
Some fix all wit and humour in grimace,
And make a livelihood of Pinkey's face :
Here, one gay shew and costly habits tries,
Confiding to the judgment of your eyes :
Another {muts his scene (a cunning shaver)
Sure of the rakes and of the wenches favour.
Oft' have these arts prevail'd ; and one may guess,
If practis'd o'er again, would find success.
But the bold fage, the poet of to-night,
By new and desp’rate rules refolvid to write ;
Fain would he give.more just applauses rise,
And please by wit that scoins the aids of vice :
The praise he seeks, from worthier motives fprings,
Such praise, as praise to those that give, it brings.

Your aid, most humbly fought, then Britons lend,
And lib’ral mirth, like lib'ral men, defend :
No more let ribaldry, with licence writ,
Usurp the name of eloquence or wit;
No more let lawless farce uncensur'd go,
The lewd dull gleanings of a Smithfield show.
Tis yours, with breeding to refine the age,
To chatten wit, and moralize the itage,

Ye modeft, wise and good, ye fair, ye brave, Tc-night the champion of your virtues fave, Redcem from long contempt the comic name, And judge politely for your country's fame.

PRO.

PROLOGUE

Το

THE
W I DO W'D W I F E

Spoken by Mr. HOLLAND.
O gain the public e r, the man of rhimes

Should always speak the language of the times;
And little else hath been of late in hearing
Than terms and phrases of electioneering.

Our author therefore sends me to assure ye,
Worthy and free electors of old Drury,
How happy he thould prove, if it content you,
That he be one of those who represent you ;
The state Poetic, laws and legislature,
Like the Politica!, in form and nature ;
Phoebus, the nine, and bards of reputation,
King, peerage, commons of the feribbling nation,

Now from Parnislus' throne the prince of wit,
It seems, hath issued out his royal writ
For a new member. ---No offence to give
To a late worthy reprefentative;
Who, ris'n to favour, hath from us retreated,
And ’mongst the lords of t'other houle is feated,-
His service lost, presuming you may need him,
The present candidate would fain fucceed him.

Not that he vainly boasts, on this occasion,
He met encouragement from your persuasion ;
Or that both friends, who love, and foes who hate him,
Have been unanimous to nominate him.

'Tis for this loyal borough his affection,
And patriot zeal, that makes him risk th'election;
To his constituents subject to controul ;
With whose good leave, he means to stand the pull ; ;
Trusting secure to their impartial choice :
The town uncanvass'd for a single voice;
Nay, brib’d no brother burgess bard of nute,
Nor by corruption gain'd one critick's vote.

Too proud to beg, too modeft to demand,
By merit only would he fall or ítand :
Nor enmity nor friend thip interfering,
He only alks a fair and candid hearing,

If, after that, you should with scorn reject him,
Or make one honest scruple to elect him,
He'll lay his unadvised scheme aside,
And frankly own himself not qualified.

Το

P R O L O G U E

THE I E ALOUS W I F E. WRITTEN BY MR. LLOYD.

Spoken by Mr. GARRICK. THE Jealous Wife! a comedy ! poor man!

A charming subje&, but a wretched plan ;
His kitoith wit, o'erleaping the cue bound,
Commits fat trespass upon tragic ground.
Quarrels, upbraidings, jealoufies, and spleen,
Grow too familiar in the comic ne.
Tinge but the language with heroic chime,
'Tis passion, pathos, character, sublime !
What round big words had swellid che pompous sceney.
A king the husband, and the wife a queen;
Then might diftraction rend her graceful hair,
See fightless forms, and scream, and gape, and fare. -
Drawcanfir death had rag'd without controul,
Here the drawn dagger, there the poison'd bowl,
What eyes had stream'd at all the whining woe!
What hands had thunder'd at each ha! and ho?.

But peace ! the gentle prologue custom sends,
Like drum and serjeant, to beat up for friends..
At vice and folly, each a lawful game,
Our author fies, but with no partial aim.
He read the manners, open as they lie
In nature's yolume to the general eye.
Books too he read, nor blush'd to use their store, .
He does but what his betters did before.
Shakespeare has done it, and the Grecian ftage
Caught truth of character from Homer's page.

If in his scenes an honeft skill is Mown,
And borrowing little, much appears his cwn;
If what a maiter's happy pencil drew,
He brings more forward in dramatic view;

76

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