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THE

HE Bards, triumphant, of a brighter age,

Unrivall’d Monarchs of the Comic Stage,
Held o'er Wit's empire an unbounded sway,
And taught each subje&t Province to obey.
Their treasury, Nature's unexhausted mine,
Yielded prompt payment in the purest coin.
And ev'ry note was current thro' the land,
By Farquhar drawn, or Congreve's mightier hand;
They, not for mere accommodation drew,
They had effects whene'er their paper xiew.
Their drafts, by all, were anfwer'a by delight,
Indors'd by thousands, and paid down at fight.
Our poverty consents, but not oor will,
Our humbler fage with dubious groupes to fill ;
With characters, perchance, whose tole existence
Is owing to the Muse's kind assistance ;
Or, drawn from modern life, scarce boast the power,
On stage, or off, to frut beyond the hour.

All arts beside by sure progression rise,
And win from Time fresh honors as he flies,
But our poor Bard--to scribbling doom'd by fate,
Whose pen, precarious, is his whole estate :
Years following years (kind friends, believe it) will
Wear out the best fee-fimple of a quill.
The land, (pointing to the bead,) so aipp'd by many a former play,
Can ill afford his annual rent to pay,
Yet ftill he'll toil and toil from night 'till morning,
Till you, his bountcous landlords, give bim warning,

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SCENE I. - Án elegant Apartment at Sir Herbert

Melinoth's.

Sir Herbert and Cursitor discovered at a Táble, with

Writing Materials upon it.

$

writing ELL,

Sir in bis pocket) I'll draw the deeds of conveyance accord. ing to these instructions. (Rises and takes out bis watch.) Bless me, past four in the morning! why, my lady is as late as usual.

Sir Herb. Palt four ! and not yet come home. Oh, Ellen ! Ellen!

Curstor. Nay; fretting won't bring her. I'll warrant The won't return from lady Malcour's assembly these two hours; and I ask you again, Sir Herbert, after getting rid of one troublesome wife, what could induce you to marry your own ward ? a girl not twenty years of age.

Sir Heró. That which even now makes me endure her diffipation and extravagance-affection-uncontroul . able affèétion.-My former marriage was against my choice, and yielded me no happiness.

Cursitor. No! why it gave you a son,-as noblea. youth as any in the service of his country. A 3

Sir

Sir Herb. Yes; and love has not so amply filled my heart, but there is room tor Leonard. Yet, in Ellen, in her disinterested, artless mind, I thought to find unceasing consolation.- offered her my hand, and she, regardless of the difference of years, preferred her guardian to unnumbered suitors.

Cursitor. She did even to the son of the lady Me is now visiting-the handsome, the honourable Mr. Male

Cour.

Sir Herb. Yes: she chose me as her friend-protector-husband.

Curfitor. Granted—and a lucky preference ir was: for, in the two years you have been married, she has been uncommonly active and industrious. Let me fee - she has got through the fifteen thousand in the funds run you in debt as many more-and compelled you to send for your son Leonard, lo cut off the entail of the finest estate in all Pembrokeshire.

Sir Herb. Sir, I am the person to condemn her, not you.

Curfitor. Nay; I am, perhaps, somewhat blunt ; but I remember, there was a time when Sir Herbert Melmoth would have blushed to owe any man a shilling, and would have perished, rather than have asked an affec. tionate son to sign away his inheritance.

Sir Herb. Why, yes: there was a time-Oh! how narrow are the bounds 'twixt virtue and disgrace! One crime so rapidly begets another, that he, who by extravagance is the author of his own poverty, will climb by any guilty steps till he ascend the heighth from whence he fell. What would you have me do ?

Cursitor. What! control your wife-insist on her setrenching

Sir Herb. I will-I'll talk to her-(knocking at the door) And, hark-most opportunely she's arrived - I'll

go, and

Enter Shenkin.

Shenkin.' Look you, Sir Herbert-there be my Lady, and Miss Georgiana, and Mr. Malcour.

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