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WOOD AND INNES, PRINTERS, POPPIN'S-COURT, FLEET-STREET.

A

COMEDY,

IN FIVE ACTS,

AS IT IS

PERFORMED AT THE THEATRE-ROYAL,

DRURY- LANE.

BY

FREDERICK REYNOLDS.

THE FOURTH EDITION.

LONDON:

PRINTED FOR LONGMAN, HURST, REES, AND ORME,

PATER - NOSTER ROW.

!

PROLOGUE:

WRITTEN BY JOHN TAYLOR, ESQ.

SPOKEN BY MR. R. PALMER.

No new offender ventures here to-night:
Our present Culprit is a well-known wight;
Who, since his errors with such ease obtain
A pardon, has presum'd to sin again.
We own his faults; but, ere the cause proceed,
Something in mitigation let us plead.
If he was found on Fashion's broad high-way,
There Vice and FOLLY were his only prey;
Nor had he in his perilous career
E'er put a single passenger in fear;
All his unskill'd attempts were soon o'erthrown,
And the rash youth expos'd himself alone.

Let us the objects he attack'd review Unhurt they all their wonted course pursue. « * BARDS still to Bards, as waves to waves succeed, And most we find are of the Vapidt breed; “ A truth, perchance, 'tis needless to declare. “For ah! to-night, a luckless proof may glare.” Still LAWYERS strain their throats with venal fury, Brow-beat an evidence, or blind a jury. Still the High GAMESTER and obedient mate Veil deep-laid schemes in hospitable state;

* The lines mark'd thus “ were not spoken. + Vide “THE DRAMATIST."

PAARO, though routed, still may Justice dare,
Fine a few pounds, and many a thousand share.
Still can our Bloods of Fashion arm in arm
March six abreast, and meaner folks alarm;
Still saunter through Pall-Mall with callous ease,
And jostle Worth and Beauty as they please;
Still, drunk in Theatres, with savage ire,
Bid Sense and Decency abash'd retire;
Or, more to dignify superior life,
Cheat their best friend of money and of wife.
If such the age, in vain may Satire toil,
And her weak shafts must on herself recoil.

As some may wonder why our Author's found Poaching for prey on this unusual groundWhy thus his old and fav'rite haunt forsake, Familiar to each secret dell and brake The simple truth at once we fairly own His subtlest toils were in that covert known; The bushes he had beaten o'er and o'er For some new quarry, but could start no more : Hence he resolv'd a vain pursuit to yield, And abler sportsmen left to range the field. Besides, so many lenient trials past, Well might he fear to suffer there at last. At length to this dread Court he trusts his fate, Where mighty Critics sit in solemn state : But, sure that Candour will assert her claim, He scorns to sculk beneath a borrow'd name : And since no bad intention sway'd his mind, Whate'er the deed, it must indulgence find; Nor should a rigid sentence drive him hence, For here, at least, it is his first offence.

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