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And wou'd to night your loudest praise disclaim, Shou'd his great Thade perceive the doubtful frame, Not to his labours granted, but his name, Boldly he wrote, and boldly told the age, ** He dar'd not prostitute the useful Stage, " Or purchase their delight at such a rate, “ As for it, he himself must justly hate : “ But rather begg'd they would be pleas'd to fee “ From him, such plays, as other plays Thou'd be; “ Wou'd learn from him to scorn a motley scene, “ And leave their monsters, to be pleas’d with men." Thus spoke the Bard-and tho' the times are chang'd, Since his free muse, for fools the city rang'd ; And satire had not then appear’d in state, To lash the finer follies of the great : Yet let not prejudice infect your mind, Nor flight the gold, because not quite refin'd; With no small niceness this performance view, Nor damn for low, whate'er is just and true : Sure those scenes fome honour fou'd be paid, Which Cambden patroniz'd, and Shakespear play'd. Nature was nature then, and still survives; The garb may alter, but the fubftance lives. Lives in this play--where each may find complete His pictur'd self-Then favour the deceit Kindly forget the hundred years between; Become old Britons, and admire old Ben.
WRITTEN BY COLLEY CIBBER, ESQ.
TONQUEST and freedom are at length our own, 2 Nor dread of paying tribute to a foreign throne. All stations now the fruits of conquest share, Except (if small with great things may compare) Th’ opprest condition of the lab'ring Player.
We're still in fears (as you of late in France)
Of the despotic power of song and dance :
For while subscription, like a tyrant, reigns,
Nature's neglected, and the stage in chains,
And English actors laves to swell the Frenchmar's gains.
Like Jop's crow, the poor out-witted stage,
That liv'd on wholesome plays i'th' latter age,
Deluded once to fing, ev'n juftly serv’d,
Let fall her cheese to the fox mouth, and stary'd :
o that our judgment, as your courage has
Your fame extended, wou'd assert our caule,
That nothing Engli might fubmit to foreign laws. : If we but lịve to see that joyful day,
Then of the English Itage, reviv'd we may,
As of your honour pow, with proper application, fay.
So when the Gallick fox by fraud of peace,
Had lull'd the Britijh lion into ease,
And saw that seep compos'd his couchant head,
He bi ls him wake, and see himself betray'd
Jn toils of treacherous politics around him laid :
Shews him how one clofe hour of Gallick, thought
Retook those towns for which he years had fought.
At this th' indignant savage rolls his fiery eyes,
Dauntless, tho’ bluhing at the base surprise,
Pauses awhile--but finds delays are vain :
Compelld to fight, be-fhakes his thaggy mane;
He grinds his dreadful pangs; and stalks to Blenheim's
There with erelied crest, and horrid roar,
He furious plunges on through streams of gore,
And dyes with allé-Bavarian blood the purple Da
In one pusht battle frees the destin'd flaves ;
Revises,old Englif honour, and an einpire fares.
RITICS! I come your favour to implore
He, for a while, has left the gay parade,
Has doff'd the gorget !--and the smart cockade !
Each instrument of war has thrown aside,
To fret! and strut it here-in tragic pride!
From foreign shores are rich materials brought,
Which to your English mode our Bard has wrought.
Phæbus forefend-left he new dangers rur.,
And rise, like liarus, too near the sun;
On waxen pinions just about to sink,
On his own rashness then too late he'll think,
And drown in a black Sea of critic's ink!
Ye gentle, feeling, female hearts be kind !
A soldier sues !--his brows with laurels bind !
In this your empire, your protection yield !
At life's expence--he'll pay you in the field!
Nor fighting battles, nor besieging towns,
He dreads ! --and only trembles at your
But hold !-our Author bid me say one word
To all his honour'd brothers of the sword !
He begs by chem this night to be befriended;
And bids me promise, (this great business ended)
He'll gladly re-assume the Jaß once more,
If they his pristine rank will then reitore,
Nor deem him a dejerter from the CORP3.
Spoken by Mr. SMITH.
E AF to the bar, the pulpit, and the throne.
And aw'd, if aw’d, by ridicule alone,
i ne daring Duellist, in captious pride,
Hath long his friend, bis king, his God defied.
Thrice happy we, if laughter from the stage
Should cure this frantic folly in the age :
Happy the father, after, mother, wife,
Who prize a fon’s, a brother's, husband's life,
Should we dethrone the tyrant, whose caprice
So oft endangers and destroys their peace;
Whose fell despotic fway doth ev'n enslave
The great, the good, the generous, and the brave;
Nay, arrant cowards, fore'd into a fray,
Now fight, because they feasmto run away,
Our modish heroes, it is true, may blufler,
Take heart of grace, and all their spirits muster.
This peaceful reformation to oppose,
And take, in salk, our author by the nose.
But, when the comic mu se true humour fires,
And zcal the pciynant fitiritt inspires
Against absurdity to see his wit,
And folly's mark, altho' in mirth, to bit,
There lies more peril in his pointed words,
I ban lies, alack, in twenty of their swords !
Encourag'd hence, the poet of to-night,
Against thele angry boys hath dar'd to write;
For, by the way, it is on you he reckons,
Najøre's own cause esponsing, as his seconds.
On this presumption doth he take the field,
Hoping to make the stouteit blusterer yield ;
If filent they, who neither love nor fear him,
Consent to fit, and patiently will hear him,
If they do this, he doubts not to disperse
Their present prejudice for carte and tierce;
Their pointless swords to parry with his pen,
And pistol-proof, put down these mighty men!
SE M I RA M I S.,
WRITTEN BY R. B. SHERIDAN, ESOS.
Spoken by Mrs. Yates. -
Ishevella ftill, like Afia's bleeding queen,
No, beauteous mourners from whole downcast eyes
The Muse has drawn her nobleft facrifice !
Whole gentle bofoms, piry's altars-bear
The chryftal incense of each falling tear!
There lives the Poet's praise !-no critic art
Can match the comment of a feeling heart!
When gen’ral plaudits speak the fable o'ers ·
Which mute attention had approv'd before,
Tho' ruder spirits love th' accustom’d jeit,
Which chales forrow from the vulgar breast,
Still hearts refin'd their sadden'd tint reiain
-The figh is pleasure and the jest is pain !
-Scarce have they smiles to honour grace or wit,
Tho' Roscius spoke the verse himself had wris !
Thus thro' the time when vernal fruits receive
The grateful show'rs that hang on April's eve ;
Tho' ev'ry coarser stem of foreit birth
Throws with the morning beam its dews to earth,
Ne'er does the gentle role revive so soon
But bath'd in nature's tears, it droops till noon.
O could the Muse one simple moral teach,;
From scenes like there, which all who heard might reach ! !
-Thou child of sympathy-whoc'er thou art,
Who with Asyria's queen has wept thy part
Go search, where keener woes demand relief,
Go-while thy heart yet beats with fancy'd grief;
Thy lip ftill conscious of the recent figh,
The graceful tear ftill ling'sing in ihy eyem-