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In the first act, brisk sallies, (miss or hit,) Where, wanting operas, basset, and a play,
[abound; Where many a courtier may their wants re-
That runs spruce neckcloths for attorneys'
At all assemblies rakes are up and down,
known. Runs wildly up and down, forgets to huff, Should I denounce our author's fate to-day, And would give all he's plunder'd—to get off. To cry down prophecies, you'd damn the play; So-Don, and Monsieur-Bluff, before the Yet whims like these have sometimes made siege,
"Let your indulgence all her fears allay,
Our female author trembling stands within,
Her fear arises from another's sin : Then grant 'em gen'rous terms who dare to One of her sex has so abus'd the town, write,
That on her score she dreads your angry Since now—that seems as desp'rate as to fight.
frown; If we must yield-yet, ere the day be fix'd, Though, I dare say, poor soul, she never writ Let us hold out the third, and, if we may, the Lampoon, or satire, on the box or pit; sixth.
A harmless, hum'rous play is her extent of wit.
Though Bickerstaflos vast genius may engage, 15. Prologue to the Busybody. 1708. And lash the vice and follies of the age ;
CENTLIVRE. Why should the tender Delia tax the nation, Though modern prophets were expos’d of Stickle and make a noise for reformation, late,
Who always gave a loose herself to inclination ?
to catch the ladies' hearts, But these, alas ! are melancholy days And good assurance pass for mighty parts : For modern prophets, and for modern plays. The cits may bring their spouses without fear; Yet since prophetic lies please fools of fashion, We show no wife that's poaching for an heir, And women are so fond of agitation; Nor teach the use of fine gauze handkerchier. To men of sense I'll prophesy anew,
Cowards may huff, and talk of mighty wonders, And tell you wondrous things that will prove And jilts set up-for twenty-thousand-pound
true. Undaunted colonels will to camps repair, Our author, even though she knows full well, Assur'd there'll be no skirmishes this year ; Is so good-natur’d, she forbears to tell, On our own terms will flow the wish'd-for What colonels, lately, have found out the peace,
knack All wars, except 'twixt man and wife, shall To muster madam, still, by Ned or Jack;
To keep their pleasures up, a frugal way,
VUL vi. Nos. 97 & 98.
But if I find ’mongst all one gen'rous heart, 0 17 Epilogue to the same. Spoken by Mrs.
That. deaf to stories, takes the stage's part; Oldfield. 1710. CENTLİVRE.
That thinks that purse deserves to keep the (A Porter delivers a letter, just as
[eras she is going to speak.]
Whose fortune's bound for the support of opWhat's this ? a billet-doux from hands un- That thinks our constitution here is justly known?
(plex'd ; "Tis new to send it thus 'fore all the town : And now no more with lawyers' brawls perBut since the poor man's so agog,
He, I declare, shall my whole heart receive; I'll read it out, by way of epilogue.
And (what's more strange) I'll love him while
[Reads. I live. Madam, Permit a wretch to let you know,
18. Prologue to Lady Jane Grey. 1715. That he's no more in statu quo ;
Rowe. My ruin from this night commences, To-night the noblest subject swells our Unless your smiles refund my senses;
scene, For, with one thrust of Cupid's dart, A heroine, a martyr, and a queen; You've whipp'd your slave quite through And, though the poet dares not boast his art, the heart;
The very theme shall something great impart, Therefore, I beg you, cast your eye To warm the gen'rous soul, and touch the tenO'er boxes, pit, and gallery,
der heart. In pity of my pains and doubt,
To you, fair judges, we the cause submit; And try if you can't find me out. Your eyes shall tell us how the tale is writ. Poor soul ! he seems indeed in dismal plight; If your soft pity waits upon our woe, Let's see! it can't be, sure, from th’ upper If silent tears for suff’ring virtue flow; flight,
[write : Your grief the muses' labor shall confess, No, no-that's plain-for-none of them can The lively passions, and the just distress. Nor can I think it from the middle fell, O! could our author's pencil justly paint, For I'ın afraid as few of them can spell ; Such as she was in life, the beauteous saint; Beside, their haggling passions never gain Boldly your strict'attention might we claim, Beyond the passage-walking nymphs of Drury- And bid you mark and copy out the dame.
[rovers, No wand’ring glance one wanton thought conAnd then the pit's more stock'd with rakes and Than any of these senseless, whining lovers. No guilty wish inflam'd her spotless breast : The backs o'th' boxes too seem mostly lin’d The only love that warin'd her blooming youth, With souls whose passion's to themselves con- Was husband, England, liberty, and truth. fin'd.
[sparks, For these she fell; while, with too weak a In short, I can't perceive, 'mongst all your hand, The wretch distinguish'd by these bloody She strove to save a blind, ungrateful land. marks :
(mands, sir, But thus the secret laws of fate ordain, But since the town has heard your kind com- William's great hand was doom'd to break that The town shall e'en be witness of my answer. chain, First, then, beware you prove no spark in red, And end the hopes of Rome's tyrannic reign. With empty purse and regimental head; For ever as the circling years return, That thinks no woman can refuse t'engage in't, Ye grateful Britons ! crown the hero's urn; While love's advanc'd with offer'd bills on To his just care you ev'ry blessing owe, agent ;
Which or his own, or following reigos bestow ; That swears he'll settle from his joys com- Though his hard fate a father's name denied, mencing,
To you a father, he that loss supplied. And make the babe, the day he's born, an en- Then while you view the royal line's increase, sign.
And count the pledges of your future peace, Nor could I bear a titled beau, that steals From this great stock while still new glories From fasting spouse her matrimonial meals;
come, That modish sends next morn to her apartment Conquest abroad, and liberty at home; A civil how d'ye—far, alas! from th’ heart while you behold the beautiful and brave, meant :
Bright princesses to grace you, kings to save, Then powder'd for th’ ensuing day's delights, Enjoy the gift, but bless the hand that gave. Bows through his crowd of duns, and drives to White's.
Ø 19. Epilogue to the Cruel Gift. Spoken Nor could I like the wretch that all night plays,
by Mrs. Oldfield. 1717. Rowe. And only takes his rest on winning days ; WELL, 'twas a narrow 'scape my lover Then sets up, from a lucky hit, his rattler;
madeThen's trac'd from his orig'nal--in the T'atler. That cup and message-I was sore afraid ! To tell you all that are my fix'd aversion, Was that a present for a new-made widow, Would tire the tongue of malice or aspersion : All in her dismal dumps, like doleful Dido?
When one peep'd in—and hop'd for something A doctor comes, with formal wig and face,
First feels your pulse, then thinks, and knows
The cause comes on, and, while the judges try,
They too will fib a little, entre nous.
says the prude, (her face behind her
Thus rails at men the squeamish Lady Dainty,
(meaning! Sometimes you'll see a man belie his nation,
O! would you lost integrity restore, For instance, now
Mine, though a fibbing, was an honest art;
$ 21. Epilogue to Agamemnon. Thomson,
OUR bard, to modern epilogue a foe, (woe;
And wipes the tender tear from pity's eye:
No more with social warmth the bosom burns;
But all th' unfeeling, selfish man returns.
Thus he began : and you approv'd the strain,
Till the next couplet sunk to light and vain.
He hails the rising virtue of your taste.
Confirm it, once, the fashion to be good,
No petulance shall wound the public ear;
Chastis'd to decency, the British stage
Shall oft invite the fair, invite the sage :
Both shall attend, well pleas’d, well pleas'd de-1 Ah! let not Censure term our fate our choice, part;
The stage but echoes back the public voice; Or, if they doom the verse, absolve the heart. The drama's laws the drama's patrons give,
that live to please, must please to live. 0 22. Prologue spoken by Mr. Garrick at the
Then prompt no more the follies you decry, opening of the Theatre in Drury-Lane, in As tyrants doom their tools of guilt to die; the Year 1747. Johnson.
'Tis yours this night to bid the reign commence When Learning's triumph o'er her barb'. Of rescued Nature, and reviving Sense; rous foes
(rose; To chase the charms of sound, the pomp of First reard the stage, immortal Shakspeare
show, Each change of many-color'd life he drew,
For useful mirth and salutary woe; Exhausted worlds, and then imagin'd new :
Bid scenic Virtue form the rising age, Existence saw him spurn her bounded reign,
And Truth diffuse her radiance from the stage. And panting Time toil'd after him in vain : His powerful strokes presiding Truth impress’d, $ 23. Epilogue to Shakspeare's First Part of And unresisted Passion storm'd the breast.
King Henry IV. Spoken by Mr. J. Y. in Then Jonson came, instructed from the
the Character of Falstaff, 1748. Acted by
young Gentlemen at Mr. Newcome's School school, To please in method, and invent by rule :
at Hackney. HOADLEY. His studious patience, and laborious art, [Push'd in upon the stage by Prince Henry.] By regular approach, assail'd the heart : A PLAGUE upon all cowards, still I say, Cold Approbation gave the ling’ring bays; Old Jack must bear the heat of all the day, For those who durst not censure scarce could And be the master-fool beyond the playpraise.
Amidst hot-blooded Hotspur's rebel strife, A mortal born, he met the gen’ral doom, By miracle of wit I sav'd my life; But left, like Egypt's kings, a lasting tomb. And now stand foolishly expos'd again The wits of Charles found easier ways to To th' hissing bullets of the critic's brain. fame,
[flame; Go to, old lad, 'tis time that thou wert wiserNor wish'd for Jonson's art, nor Shakspeare's Thou art not fram’d for an epiloguizer. Themselves they studied, as they felt they writ; There's Hal, now, or his nimble shadow, Intrigue was plot, obscenity was wit.
Poins, Vice always found a sympathetic friend; Straight in the back, and lissome in the loins, They pleas'd their age, but did not aim to Who wears his boot smooth as his mistress' mend.
skin, Yet bards like these aspir'd to lasting praise, And shining as the glass she dresses in, And proudly hop'd to pimp in future days: Can bow and cringe, fawn, fatter, cog, and Their cause was gen’ral, their supports were liestrong,
[long; Which honest Jack could never do—not I. Their slaves were willing, and their reign was Hal's heir-apparent face might stand it buff, TillShame regain'd the post thatSense betray'd, And make (ha! ha! ha!) a saucy epilogue And Virtue callid Oblivion to her aid. (find, enough.
Then, crush'd by rules, and weakend as re- But I am old and stiff-nay, bashful grown, For years the power of Tragedy declin'd: For Shakspeare's humor is not now my own. From bard to bard the frigid caution crept, I feel myself a counterfeiting ass ;, Till Declamation roar'd whilst Passion slept; And if for sterling wit I give you brass, Yet still did Virtue deign the stage to tread, It is his royal image makes it pass. Philosophy remain'd, though Nature fled. Fancy now works; and here I stand and stew But, forc'd at length her ancient reign to quit, In mine own greasy fears, which set to view She saw great Faustus lay the ghost of Wit : Eleven buckram critics in each man of you ; Exulting Folly hail'd the joyful day, Wights, who with no out-facings will be And Pantomime and Song confirm'd her sway. shammid,
But who the coming changes can presage, Nor into risibility be bamm'd, And mark the future periods of the stage ? Will, though she shake their sides, think Nature Perhaps, if skill could distant times explore,
treason, New Behns, new Durfeys, yet remain in store ; And see one damn'd-ere laugh without a Perhaps, where Lear has rav’d, and Hamlet
Then how shall one, not of the virtuous, On flying cars new sorcerers may ride; Who merely has a wicked wit to pleadPerhaps (for who 'ran guess th’ effects of Wit without measure, humor without rule, chance ?)
Unfetter'd laugh, and lawless ridicule ? Here Hunt may box, or Mahomet may dance. Faith! try him by his peers, a jury chosen
Hard is his lot, that, here by Fortune plac'd, The kingdoin will, I think, scarce raise the Must watch the wild vicissitudes of taste;
dozen, With every meteor of caprice must play, So-be but kind, and countenance the cheat, And chase the new-blown bubble of the day. (I'll in, and say to Hal, I've done the feat.
0 24.' Prologue to Irene. 1749. Johnson. With ardent haste each candidate of fame
Ambitious catches at his tow'ring name; YE glitt'ring train! whom lace and velvet He sees, and pitying sees, vain wealth bestow bless,
Those pageant honors which he scorn'd below, Suspend the soft solicitudes of dress; While crowds aloft the laureate bust behold, From grov'ling business and superfluous care, Or trace his form on circulating gold. Ye sons of Avarice! a moment spare : Unknown, unheeded, long his offspring lay, Vot’ries of Fame, and worshippers of Power!
And want hang threat’ning o'er her slow decay Dismiss the pleasing phantoms for an hour.
What though she shine with no Miltonian fire, Our daring bard, with spirit unconfin'd,
No fav'ring muse her morning dreams inspire : Spreads wide the mighty moral of mankind. Yet softer claims the melting heart engage, Learn here how Heaven supports the virtuous Her youth laborious, and her blameless age; mind,
Hers the mild merits of domestic life, Daring, though calm ; and vig’rous, though re- The patient sufferer, and the faithful wife. sign'd.
(breast, Thus grac'd with humble virtue's native Learn here what anguish racks the guilty
charms, In power dependent, in success depress’d, Her Grandsire leaves her in Britannia's arms; Learn here that peace from innocence must Secure with peace, with competence, to dwell, flow;
While tutelary nations guard her cell. All else is empty sound, and idle show. (join; Yours is the charge, ye fair, ye wise, ye brave! But truths like these with pleasing language "Tis yours to crown desert- beyond the grave. Ennobled, yet unchang’d, if Nature shine: If no wild draught depart from Reason's rules, o 26. Occasional Prologue, spoken by Nir. Nor gods his heroes, nor his lovers fools;
Garrick, at the opening of Drury-Lane TheIntriguing wits! his artless plot forgive;
atre, September 5, 1750. And spare him, beauties ! though his lovers live. Be this at least his praise, be this his pride; So, (with the mighty to compare the small,)
As heroes, states, and kingdoms, rise and fall; To force applause no modern arts are tried. Should partial cat-calls all his hopes confound, Through int'rest, whim, or, if you please, He bids no trumpet quell the fatal sound;
through fate, Should welcome sleep relieve the weary wit, The sock and buskin fly from stage to stage ;
We feel commotions in our mimic state:
A year's alliance is with us an age !
cease, Studious to please, yet not asham'd to fail, He scorns the meek address, the suppliant Makes real kings break articles of peace. strain,
Strengthen’d with new allies, our foes prepare ; With merit needless, and without it vain.
“Cry, Havock ! and let slip the dogs of war." In Reason, Nature, Truth, he dares to trust;
To shake our souls, the papers of the day* Ye fops, be silent; and ye wits, be just.
Drew forth the adverse power in dread array;
A power, might strike the boldest with dismay: Ø 25. Prologue to Comus, for the Benefit of Yet, fearless still, we take the field with spirit,
Milton's Grand-daughter. 1750. Spoken Arm'd cap-a-pie in self-sufficient merit.
Our ladies too, with souls and tongues untam’d,
like Britons when the battle's nam'd : YE patriot crowds who burn for England's Each female heart pants for the glorious strife, fame,
(name, From Hamlet's mothert to the cobbler's wife. Ye nymphs whose bosoms beat at Milton's Some few there are, whom paltry passions Whose gen'rous zeal, unbought by flattring
Desert each day, and fly from side to side : Shames the mean pensions of Augustan times; Others, like Swiss, love fighting as their trade; Immortal patrons of succeeding days, For, beat or beating, they must all be paid. Attend this prelude of perpetual praise ;
Sacred to Shakspeare was this spot design'd, Let wit, condemn'd the feeble war to wage
To pierce the heart, and humanize the mind : With close malevolence, or public rage;
But, if an empty house, the actor's curse, Let study, worn with virtue's fruitless lore,
Shows us our Lears and Hamlets lose their force, Behold this theatre, and grieve no more. (tell This night, distinguish'd by your smiles, shall * In which papers was this paragraph: “We hear That never Briton can in vain excel;
that Mr. Quin, Mrs. Cibber, Mr. Barry, Mr.
MackThe slighted arts futurity shall trust,
lin, and Mrs. Woffington, are engaged at Covent
Garden theatre for the ensuing season.”-On the past And rising ages hasten to be just.
of Drury-Lane theatre it was notitied, “That two At length our mighty bard's victorious lays celebrated actors from Dublin were engaged to perFill the loud voice of universal praise;
form there, also Miss Bellamy, and a new actress, And baffled spite, with hopeless anguish dumb, 1 gentleman to sing, who had not been on any stage."
Signor Fauson, the comic dancer, and his wife, and a Yields to renown the centuries to come; It Mrs. Priichard.
| Mrs. Clive.