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To-morrow comes. I know your merit,
And see the piece's fire and spirit;
Yet friendship’s zeal is ever hearty,
And dreads the efforts of a party.

The coach below, the clock gone five,
Now to the theatre we drive :
Peeping the curtain's eyelet through,
Behold the house in dreadful view!
Observe how close the critics fit,
And not one bonnet in the pit.
With horror hear the galleries ring,
Nosy! Black Joke! God save the King !
Sticks clatter, catcalls scream, Encore !
Cocks crow, pit hisses, galleries roar:
E’en cha' fome oranges is found
This night to have a dreadful sound :
'Till, decent sables on his back,
(Your prologuizers all wear black)
The prologue comes; and, if its mine,
Its very good, and very fine.

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If not, I take a pinch of snuff,
And wonder where you got such stuff.

That done, a-gape the critics sit,
Expectant of the comic wit.
The fiddlers play again pell-mell,

- But hist ! — the prompter rings his bell. - Down there! hats off!--the curtain draws! What follows is – the just applause.

PRO

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THE

HE Jealous Wife! a Comedy! poor man

! A charming subject! but a wretched plan. His skittish wit, o’erleaping the due bound, Commits flat trespass upon tragic ground. Quarrels, upbraidings, jealousies, and spleen, Grow too familiar in the comic scene. Tinge but the language with heroic chime, 'Tis Passion, Pathos, Character, Sublime ! What round big words had swell’d the pompous scene, A king the husband, and the wife a queen ! Then might Distraction rend her graceful hair, See sightless forms, and scream, and gape, and stare. Drawcansir death had rag'd without controul, Here the drawn dagger, there the poison'd bowl.

What

had stream'd at all the whining woe! What hands had thunder'd at each Hab! and Ob!

What eyes

But peace! the gentle prologue cuítom sends, Like drum and serjeant, to beat up for friends. At vice and folly, each a lawful

game, Our author flies, but with no partial aim. He read the manners, open as they lie In nature's volume 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 stage Caught truth of character from Homer's page.

If in his scenes an honest skill is shewn,
And borrowing, little, much appears his own;
If what a master's happy pencil drew
He brings more forward, in dramatic view;
To

your decision he submits his cause, Secure of candour, anxious for applause.

But

But if, all rude, his artless scenes deface
The simple beauties which he meant to grace ;
If, an invader upon others land,
He spoil and plunder with a robber's hand,
Do justice on him! - As on fools before,
And give to Blockheads past one Blockhead more.

The

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