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Artists, who furnish'd pictures for the stage,
In good Queen Bess's memorable age,
With a juft pencil City-portraits drew,
Mark'd ev'ry vice, and mark'd each virtue too:
The City Madam's vanities display'd,
Prais'd honest gains, but damn'd the tricks of trade,
Artists like these, (Old Ben the chief) to-night
Bring Idleness and Industry to light.
Their Sketch, by Time perhaps impair’d too much,
A female hand has ventur'd to retouch.
Hence too our Hogarth drew, nor scorn'd to glean
The Comick stubble of the Moral Scene;
Hence Fellow-Prentices he brought to life,
And shew'd their manners, and their fate, at strife;
Shew'd to what ends both Good and Evil ftretch
To Honour one, and t’other to Jack Ketch;
Turn'd ridicule 'gainst folly, fraud, and pride,
And fought with Humour's lance on Virtue's side.
Such be henceforth each Comick Artist's aim,
Poets, or Painters, be their drift the fame!
Such are the lessons which To-Night we read ;
And may next sessions prove that we succeed !
PROLOGUE, On opening the New Theatre ROYAL at MANCHESTER.
Spoken by MR. YOUNGER.
IN days of old, they say, the Poet’s Lays
Cities could build, and mighty temples raise.
When Orpheus play'd so powerful was his song,
He drew stocks, stones, and savage beasts along.
Amphion harp'd; obedient to his call,
The moving quarry jump'd into a wall.
Verse of fair government first taught the plan,
Religion, Laws, and Arts, in Verse began.
Thus fables tell; and mystick truths they hide, For Arts and Freedom with the Muse abide, When fogs of ignorance o’erspread the land, Grim Perfecution rules with iron hand. The social Arts to kinder climates fly, The Muses' Temples all in Ruins lie. But let the ray of Science chase the gloom, The plough, the fail, the shuttle, and the loom, Plied by the fons of Industry, bring in The kindred Arts, and Freedom's joys begin.
Meanwhile well-pleas'd their triumphs to proclaim,
The Muses celebrate, and share their fame;
And while their grateful incense seeks the skies,
Temples and Theatres in splendor rise.
Such be your boast! here let the Muse retreat,
Where Pallas long has fixt her fav'rite seat!
If you upon our humble labour smile,
In happy hour to Shakespeare rofe this Pile.
But, if you frown, our splendid Scenes decay,
And all our baseless fabrick melts away.
Our cloud-capt tow'rs, our gorgeous palaces,
Our mounts, our woods, our rivers, and our seas,
Our folemn temples, and each folemn robe
That stuffs this wooden O, this little globe,
Sball fade! and like the insubstantial wind,
Or empty dreams, leave not a rack behind.
Smile then, and for your clemency be praisid,
And, oh! support the Building you have rais'd!
On that foundation must we rest alone,
Your patronage our Prop, our Corner-Stone,
PROLOGUE TO THE CAPUCHIN.
Spoken by Mr. FOOTE.
RITICKS, whene'er I write, in every Scene
Discover meanings that I never mean; Whatever character I bring to view, I am the father of the child 'tis true, But every babe his christening owes to you. “ The Comick Poet's eye, with humorous air, Glancing from Watling-street to Grosvenor-square, He bodies forth a light ideal train, And turns to shape the phantoms of his brain; Meanwhile your fancy takes more partial aim, And gives to airy nothing Place and Name."
A Limner once, in want of work, went down To try his fortune in a country town; The waggon, loaded with his goods, convey'd To the same spot his whole dead stock in trade, Originals and Copies--ready made. To the new Painter all the country came, Lord, Lady, Doctor, Lawyer, 'Squire, and Dame, The humble Curate, and the Curate's wife; All alk a likeness taken from the life.
Behold the canvass on the easel itand!
A pallet grac'd his thumb, and brushes fill'd his hand :
But, ah! the Painter's skill they little knew,
Nor by what curious rules of Art he drew.
The waggon-load unpack'd, his ancient store
Furnish'd for each a face drawn long before,
God, Dame, or Hero-of the days of yore.
The Cæfars, with a little alteration,
Were turn’d into the Mayor and Corporation;
To represent the Rector and the Dean,
He added wigs and bands to Prince Eugene :
The ladies, blooming all, deriv'd their faces
From Charles the Second's Beauties and the Graces.
Thus done, and circled in a splendid frame,
His works adorn'd each room, and spread his fame.
The countrymen of taste admire and stare,
My Lady's leer! Sir John's majestick air!
Mifs Dimple's languish too!-extremely like!
And in the style and manner of Vandyke!-
Oh this new Limner's pictures always strike !
Old, young, fat, lean, dark, fair; or big, or little;
The very man or woman to a tittle!"
Foote and this Limner in some points agree, And thus, good sirs, you often deal by me, When, by the Royal Licence and Protection, I few my small Academy's collection,