Page images
PDF
EPUB

But which amongst you is there to be found,
Will take his third day's pawn for fifty pound ?
Or, now he is cashier'd, will fairly venture
To give him ready money for's debenture ?
Therefore when he receiv'd that fatal doom,
This play came forth, in hopes his friends would come
To help a poor disbanded foldier home.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Το GUSTAV U S GU

V ASA
B

RITONS! this night presents a state distress’d,
Tho' brave, yet vanquish'd; and tho' great, op-

press'd;
Vice, rav’ning Vulture, on her vitals prey'd,
Her peers, her prelates, sell corruption fway'd ;
Their rights, for pow'r, th' ambitious weakly fo.d,,
The wealthy, poorly, for superfiuous gold ;
Hence wafting ills, hence sev'ring factions rose,
And gave large entrance to invading foes;
Truth, justice, honour Aled th' infected Shore.
For freedom, sacred freedom was no more.

Then, g eatly rising in his country's right,
Her hero, her deliverer sprung to light;
A race of hardy, northern fons he led,
Guiltless of courts, untaiated, and unread,
Whose inborn fpirit Spurn'd th'ignoble fee,
Whose hands scorn’d bondage, for their hearts were free,

Ask ye what law their conqu’ring cause confess'u ?
Great nature's law, the law wiihin the breaft,
Form'd by no art, and to no se confin’d,
But ftamp'd by heav’n upon th' unletter'd mind.

Such, fuch, of old the first-born natives were,
Who breath'd the virtues of Britannia's air,
Their realm, when mighty Cajar vainly fought;
For mightier freedom against Cæfar fought,
And rudely drove the fam'd invader home,
To tyrannize o'er polish'd-venal Rome.

C 3

Our Bard, exalted in a freeborn flame,
To ev'ry nation wou'd transfer this claim.
He to no ftare, no climate bounds his page,
He bids the moral beam thro' ev'ry age;
Then be your judgment gen'rous as his plan,
Ye fons of freedoin !-save the friend of Man.

PROLOGUE

TO

TANCRED AND SIGISMUNDA.

Presumes to tread the chaite corrected itage.
Now, with gay tinsel arts we can no more
Conceal the want of Nature's fterling ore;
Our spells are vanith'd, broke our magic wand,
That us'd to waft you over sea and land.
Before your ligbt the fairy people fade,
The Dæmons ily.--The ghost itself is laid.
In' vain of martial scenes the loud alarms,
The mighty Prompter thund’zing out to arms,
The Playhouse pode clatı'ring from afar,
The close-wedgid batile, and the din of war.
Now ev’n the senate seldom we convene ;
The yawning fathers nod behind the scene.
Your taste rejects the glitt'ring falfe fublime,
To figh in metaphor, and die in rhime.
High rant is tumbled from his gall’ry throne;
Description, dreams-nay, fimiles are gone.

What hall we then ? to please you, how devise ?
Whole judgment fits not in your ears and eyes.
Thrice happy! could we catch great Shakespeare's art,
To trace the deep recefes of the heart;
His fimple, plain sublime ; to which is giv'n
To strike the soul with darted Aame from heaven :
Could we awake soft Orwny's tender woe,
The pomp of verse and golden lines of Rowe.

We to your hearts apply: let them attend ;
Before their filent, cardid bar we bend.
If warn'd they listen ; 'is our noblett praise;
If cold, they wither all the Muse's bays.

PRO

B В

[ocr errors]

PROLOGUE

TO
A PEEP BEHIND THE CURTAIN,

Spoken by Mr. King.
OLD is the man, and compos mentis, scarce-

Who, in these nicer times, dares write a Farce ;-
A vulgar, long-forgotten taste renew ;
All now are Comedies, five acts or two.
Authors have ever in a canting strain
Begg'd mercy for the bantling of their brain :
That you, kind nurse, wou'd fondle't on your lap,
And rear it with applause, that best of pap-
Thus Babes have in their cradles 'scap'd a blow,
Though lame and rickety from top to toe:
Our Bard with Prologue-outworks has not fenc'd him,
For all that I shall say will make against him.
Imprimis, this his piece a Farce we call iter
Ergo, 'tis low-and ten to one you maul it !
Wou'd you, because 'tis low, no quarier give ?
Black-guards, as well as Gentlemen, shou'd live.
'Tis downright Englih too-Nothing from France,
Except some Beasts, which treat you with a dance.
With a Burletta too we Mail present you..
And not Italian- that will discontent

you.
Nay, what is worse--you'll see it, and must know it-,
I Thomas King, of King-freet, am the Poet.
The murder', out, the murderer detected,
May in one night be try'd, condemn'd, diffected.
'Tis said, for Scandal's tongue will never ceale,
That mischief's meant against our little Piece :
Let me look round, lil tell you how the cafe' is-
There's not one frown a single brow disgraces ; ·
I never saw a sweeter fet of faces !
Suppose Old Nick, before you righteous folk,
Produce a farce, brim-full of mirth and joke;
Though he, at other times, wou'd fire your blood,
You'd clap his Piece, and swear, 'twas dev'lil good!
Malice propense ! 'tis false-it cannot be-
Light is my heart, from apprehenfions free-
If you wou'd save Old Nick, you'll never damn poor me.

PRO.

دم

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

B В

T A S T E. WRITTEN BY MR. GARRICK. And spoken by him in the Characker of an AUCTIONEER.

EFORE this Court I PETER PUFF appear,

A Briten born, and bred an Auktioneer ;
Who for myself, and eke a hundred others,
My useful, honest, learned bawling brothers,
With much humility and fear implore ye,
To lay our present, desp'rate cafe before ye.-

'Tis faid, this night a certain Wag intends
To laugh at us, our calling, and our friends ::
If Lords and Ladies, and juch dainty folks,
Are cur'd of Auction-hunting by his jokes ;
Should this odd doctrine spread throughout the land,
Before you buz, te Jure to understand,
Oh! think on us what various ills will flow,
When great Ones only purchase--what they know.
Why laugh at Taste! It is a harmless fahion,
And quite subdues each detrimental paflion ;
The fair Ones hearts will ne'er incline to man,
While thus they rage for~ China and Japan.
The Virtuofo too, and Connoifear,
Are ever deceni, delicate, and pure ;
The smallest hair their looser thoughts might lold,
Juft warm when fingle, and when married cold:
Their blood at sight of beauty gently flows,
Their Venus must be old, and want a nose !
No am'rous paffion with deep know.edge thrives;
'Tis the complaint indeed of all our wives !
'Tis said viriú to such a heighth is grown,
All artists are encourag'd--but our own.
Be not deceiv'd, I here declare on oath,
I never yet fold goods of foreign growth:
Ne'er fent commissions out to Greece or Rome ;
My best antiquities are made at home.
I've Romans, Greeks, Italians near at hand,
True Britons all--and living in the Straní.

I nefer

I ne'er for trinkets rack my pericranium,
They furnish out my room Herculaneum.
But hush
Should it be known that English are employ'd,
Our manufacture is at once destroy'd;
No matter what our countrymen deserve,
They'll thrive as antients, but as moderns starve
If we should fall—to you it will be owing ;
Farewel to arts--they're going, going, going ;;
The fatal hammer's in your hand, oh Town!
Then set. Us up-and knock the Poet down.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

B.

OLD was the man, and fenc'd in every pari,

With oak and ten-fold brass about the heart,
To build a play who tortur'd first his brain,
And then dare launch it on this stormy main.
What though at first he spreads his little fails
To heav'n's indulgent and propitious gales,
As the land gradual lessens to his eye,
He finds a troubled sea and low'ring sky;
Envy, detraction, calumny, and spite
Raise a worse form than when the leas unite.
Around his bark in many. a dang'rous shoal,
Those monsters of the deep, the critics, prowl.
" She's a weak veffel, for those seas unfit,
" And has on board her not one spice of wit:
5. She's French built too, of foreign make, they cry,
“ Like geese fill cackling that the Gards are nigh :
If thrown on rocks like the hoarse dashing wave ;
Th’unhappy crew no hand is stretch'd to save;
But round the wreck, like Mars with furious joy.
The witlings croud, to murder and destroy.
These are known dangers ; and 'tis full as certain,
The Bard meets other ills beliind the curtain,
Little you think, ere yet you fix his fate,
What previous mischiefs there in ambush wait ;

C5

What's

« PreviousContinue »