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Spaken by Mr. SHUTER, at the Opening of the Old Theatre,
at Richmond, on Saturday, June 6, 1767.
WELCOME, ye Generous, Polite, and Fair,
Who to our lowly Roof this Night repair ! Who come, invited by our humble Bill, To the Old Theatre on Richmond Hill; Where to those guests, whose raste not over-nice is, We serve up common fare-at common prices.
No Cornice here, no Frieze to feast your eyes, No Galleries on Dorick Pillars rise; No gaudy Paintings on the Roof we deal in, To break your Necks with looking tow'rds the
Cieling; No Theatre we boast superbly built, A Gingerbread Round 0, a Cock-pit gilt; But a plain Booth, of Boards ill put together, To raise a Stage, and kcep out Wind and Weather.
Yet here shall Heroes in their Buskins italk, And Shakespeare's Ghosts in this small Circle walk; Here Tragedy shall take three narrow Strides; And laughing Comedy hold both her Sides : Here shall the Moor say~" Haply for I am black !" And here plump Falstaff_"Give me a Cup of Sack,**. Here Bobadill shall don his dirty Buff, And cryế" the Cabin is convenient enough."
Ovid (by those who read him I am told) Says, one Philemon feafted Jove of old: With Flitch of Bacon did the God regale, While Goody Baucis fill’d the Jug of Ale!
For Baucis and Philemon, 'tis well known, Were of those days the Darby and Old Joan.In Wicker-Chair well-pleas’d the Thunderer fat, Laugh’d, sung, drank, smok’d, and join’d theis
rustick chat : The naked rafters view'd not with disdain, Nor sat beneath the humble Thatch in pain.
Thus, while you deign to visit our poor Cottage, And kindly taste of our Dramatick Pottage, We, all intent to shew our Zeal and Love, Sball each a Baucis or Philemon prove, And every guest lhall seem to us-a Jove !
Spoken by Mr. Powell at the closing of the Theatre Royal,
in Covent-Garden, on Saturday, June 4, 1768, being tbe Anniversary of His Majesty's Birth-Day.
LET us, ere, yet we finish our career,
, And close the labours of the circling year, Due homage to our Royal Master pay, And hail with Plaudits this auspicious Day! His Birth diftinguish'd this illustrious Morn: His Birth, who boasts HE WAS A BRITON BORN:
Tyrants, whose vaffals tremble and obey,
Empire like this a British King disdains :
Thrice happy Britain, on whose Sea-girt Isle,
On the Appearance of Miss Morris in the Character of JULIET, at the THEATRE Royal in Covent GARDEN.
Spoken by Mr. POWELL.
HEN frighten'd Poets give the Town a Play,
Some bold or gentle Prologue leads the way: But when new Players their weak powers engage, And risque their future fortunes on the stage ; No Bard appears to plead their defp'rate cause, To filence censure, or bespeak applause. Authors too cautious to direct your choice, Mere empty echoes of the publick voice, With less Poetick Fire than Critick Phlegm, Praise as you praise, and blame what you condemn.
Actors, as Actors feel ; and few fo fear'd, But well remember when they first appear'd; When sudden tumult shook the lab'ring breast, With Hope, and Fear, and Shame at once poffeft; When the big tear stood trembling in the eye, And the breath ftruggled with the rifing figh.