Page images

Sit still, and try them, Sirs ! I long to please ye !
How well they fit! I hope you find them easy:
If the shoe pinches, swear you cannot bear it,
But if well madem wilh you, health to wear it.

Ε Ρ Ι Ε Ο G 0 E


Spoken by Mrs. ABINGTON.

AN it be thought, ye wives ! this scribbling fool,

Will draw you here, by calling you to School?
Does not he know, poor soul! to be directed, .
Is what you hate, and more to be corrected !
Long have these walls to public fame been known,
An antient College to instruct the town!
We've Schools for Rakes, for Fathers, Lovers, Wives,
For naughty girls and boys, to mend their lives :
Where some to yawn, fome round about to look,
Some to be seen, few come to mind their book :
Some with high wit and humour hither run,
To sweat the matters--and they call it fun.
Some modifh sparks, true tłoicks, and high bred,
Coine, but ne'er know what's done, or lung, or said ;
Should the whole herd of critics round them roar,
And with one voice cry out, encore ! encore !
Or louder yet, off, off; no more! na more!
Should Pit, Box, Gall'ry, with convulsions shake,
S:ill are they halt asleep, nor t'other half awake :
0, Ladiez fair! are there fit mer to wed ?
Such husbands, balf, had better be quite

But, to return vain inen, throughout the nation,
Boait, they alone, have College education :
Are not we qualify'd to teach degrees?
We've caps and gowns, nay bonds too, if you please,
Cornelly's, and Aimack's, our Univerfries !
Young female students rise, if girls of parts,
From under graduates, -mijlrefjes of arts !
The bashful spipsters, turn important spouses,
Strive to be maffers, and the beads of houses !

Will 1


Will any of you here, bleft with a wife,
Dispute the fact, -you dare not for your life.

Pray tell me truly, critics, and be free,
Do you this night, prefer the Wife to me
Shall Mrs. Belville give the Play a name?
What are her merits? a cold, smiling dame,
While I, a salamander, liv'd in flame !
Preis’d by three lovers !—'twas indeed provoking !
Ladies, upon my word, it was no joking.
Can you from nortal woman more require,

Than save her fingers, and yet play with fire ?
The risks I run, the partial Bard upbraids ;
Wives won't be taught,--

be it the School for Maids.




Spoken by Mr. REDDISH.
RITICS, hark forward! noble

A fine West Indian started full in view :
Hot as the soil, the clime, which gave him birth,
You'll run him on a burning scent to earth;
Yet don't devour him in his niding place,
Bag him, he'll serve you for another chace;
For fure that country has no feeble claim,
Which swells.our commerce, and supports your fame.
And in this humble sketch, we hope you'll find,
Some emanations of a noble mind;
Some little touches, which, tho' void of art,
May find perhaps their way into the heart.
Another hero your excufe implores,
Sent by your sister kingdom to your shores;

. Doom'a by Religion's too severe command, To fight for bread against his native land: A brave, unthinking, animated rogue, With here and'there a touch upon the brogue : Laugh, but despise him not, for on his lip His errors lie; his heart can acver trip.


Others there are—but may we not prevail
To let the Gentry tell their own plain tale ?
Shall they come in? They'll please you, if they can ;
If not, condemn the Bard-but spare the man.
For speak, think, act, or write in angry times,
A with to please is made the worst of crimes ;
Dire Nander now with black envenom'd dart,
Stands ever arm’d to Itab you to the heart.

Rouse, Britons, rouse for honour of your ille,
Your old good humour ; and be seen to smile.
You say we write not like our fathers--true,
Nor were our fathers half so strict as you.
Damn'd not each error of the poet's pen,
But judging man, remember'd they were men,
Awd into tilence by the time's abuse,
Sleep many a wise, and many a witty muse;
We that for mere experiment come out,
Are but the light arm'd rangers on the scout:
High on Parnassus' lofty summit stands
The immortal camp; there lie the chosen bands !
But give fair quarters to us puny elves,
The giants then.will sally forth themselves ;
With wit's sharp weapons vindicate the age,
And drive ev'n Arthur's magic from the Stage.

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


Spoken by Mr. REDDISH.
RITICS be dumb-To-night a lady fues,

C I an

Tho' fate there binds her in a plealing chain,
Sends to our Stage the offspring of her brain,
True to her birth the pants for British bays,
And to her country truits for genuine praife.
From infancy we'll read in tragic lore,
She creads the path her father trod before ;

To the same candid judges trusts her cause,
And hopes the lame indulgence and applause.
No Salick Law here bars the female's claim,
Who pleads hereditary right to fame.

Of Love and Arms the fings, the mighty two,
Whose powers uniting must the world subdue ;
Of Love and Arms! in that heroic age,
Which knew no poet's, no historian's page ;
But war to glory form’d th' unletter'd mind,
And chivalry alone taught morals to mankind ;
Nor taught in vain, the youth who dar'd aspire
To the nice honours of a lover's fire,
Observ'd with duteous care each rigid rule,
Each fern command of labour's patient school ;
Was early train’d to bear the sultry beams
Of burning suns, and winter's fierce extremes ;
Was brave, was temperate : to one idol fair
His vows he breath’d, his wishes center'd there :
Honour alone could gain her kind regard,
Honour was virtue, beauty its reward.
And shall not British breasts, in beauty's cause,
Adopt to-night the manners which the drawst
Male writers we confess are lawful prize,
Giants and monsters that but rarely rise !
With their enormous spoils your triumphe grace,
Attack, confound, exterminate the race;
But when a Lady tempts the critic war,
Be all knights errant, and protect the fair.

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


OU'D those, who never try'd, conceive the sweat,
They'd pardon, or encourage all that cou'd
Pretend to be but tolerably good.

Plot, wit, and humour's hard to meet in one,
And yet without 'em all-all's lamely done :


One wit, perhaps, another humour paints; "
A third designs you well, but genius wants ;
A fourth begins with fire-but, ah! to woak too hold

it, faints.
A modern Bard, who late adorn'd the bays,
Whose muse advanc'd his fame to envy'd praise,
Was still observ'd to want his judgment molt in Plays.
Those, he too often found, required the pain,
And stronger forces of a vig’rous brain :
Nay, even alter'd Plays, like houses mended,
Coft little less than new, before they're ended ;
At least, our Author finds the experience true,
For equal pains had made this wholly new :
And tho' the name seems old, the frenes will show
That 'tis, in fact, no more the same, than row
Fam'd Chatsworth is, what 'twas some years ago.
Pardon the boldness, that a Play Thou'd dare,
With works of so much wonder to compare:
But as that fabrick's antient walls or wood
Were little worih, to make this new one good ;
So of this Play, we hope, 'tis understood.
l'or tho' from former scenes some hints he draws,
The ground-plot's wholly chang'd from what it was :
Not but he hopes you'll find enough that's new,
In plot, in persons, wit, and humour tco :
Yei what's not his, he owns in other's right,
Nor toils he now for fame, but your delight.
If that's attain’d, what matters whose the Play's;
Applaud the scenes, and trip him of the praile.

P R O L OG U E, At the Revival of EVERY MAN IN HIS HUMOUR,

Spoken by Mr. GARRICK, RITICS! your favour is our author's right

C ,

Are no weak efforts of a modern pen,

A rough old Bard, whose honest pride disdain'd
Applause itself unless by merit gain'd-


« PreviousContinue »