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Yet whims like these have sometimes made you In pity of my pains and doubt, laugh,
And try if you can't find me out. 'Tis tattling all like Isaac Bickerstaff.
Poor soul! he seems indeed in dismal plight; Since war and places claim the bards that write, Let's see! it can't be, sure, from th' upper flight, Be kind, and bear a woman's treat to-night; No, no—that's plain-for-none of them can Let your indulgence all her fears allay, Nor can I think it from the iniddle fell, [write: And none but woman-haters damn this play. For I'm afraid as few of them can spell;
Beside, their haggling passions never gain
Beyond the passage-walking nymphs of Drury§ 24. Prologue to The Man's Bewitch d. 1710. lane:
rovers, Centlivre. And then the pit's more stock'd with rakes and Our female author trembling stands within, Than any of these senseless, whining lovers. Her fear arises from another's sin :
The backs o'th' boxes too seem mostly lin'd One of her sex has so abus'd the town, With souls whose passion's to themselves conThat on her score she dreads your angry frown;
fin'd. Though I dare say, poor soul, she never writ In short, I can't perceive,'mongst all your sparks, Lampoon, or satire, on the box or pit;
The wretch distinguish'd by these bloody A harmless hum'rous play is her extent of wit.
(mands, sir, Though Bickerstaff's vast genius may engage,
But since the town has heard your kind comAnd lash the vice and follies of the age;
The town shall e'en be witness of my answer. Why should the tender Delia tax the nation,
First then, beware you prove no spark in red, Stickle and inake a noise for reformation, With empty purse and regimental head; Who always gave a loose herself to inclination? That thinks no woman can refuse t'engage in't, Scandal and satire's thrown aside to-day,
While love's advanc'd with offer'd bills on And humor's the sole business of our play.
[ing, Beaux may dress on, to catch the ladies' hearts, That swears he'll settle from his joys commenc And good assurance pass for mighty parts :
And make the babe, the day he's born, an enThe cits may bring their spouses without fear; Nor could I bear a titled beau, that steals [sign. We show no wife that's poaching for an heir,
From fasting spouse her matriinonial meals; Nor teach the use of fine gauze handkerchier. That modish sends next morn to her apartment Cowards may huff, and talk of mighty wonders, A civil how d’yemfar, alas! from th' heart Andjilts set up-fortwenty-thousand-pounders.
meant: Our author, even though she knows full well, Then powder'd for th' ensuing day's delights
, Is so good-natur'd, she forbears to tell, Bows through his crowd of duns, and drives to What colonels, lately, have found out the knack
White's. To muster madam, still, by Ned or Jack;
Nor could I like the wretch that all night plays, To keep their pleasures up, a frugal way, And only takes his rest on winning days ; They give her—subaltern's subsistence for her Then sets up, from a lucky hit, his rattler ;
Then's trac'd from his orig'nal in the Tatler. pay. In short, whate'er your darling vices are, To tell you all that are my fix'd aversion,
They pass untouch'd in this night's bill of fare. Would tire the tongue of malice or aspersion : But if all this can't your good-nature wake, But if I find 'mongst all one gen'rous heart, Though here and there a scene should fail to That, deaf to stories, takes the stage's part; Yet spare her for the Busybody's sake. (take, That thinks that purse deserves to keep the plays,
Whose fortune's bound for the supportof operas;
That thinks our constitution here is justly fix'd, $ 25. Epilogue to the same. Spoken by Mrs. And now no more with lawyers' brawls perOldfield. 1710. CextLIVRE.
He, I declare, shall my whole heart receive; [ A Porter delivers a Letter, just as
And (what's more strange) I'll love him while she is going to speak.
I live. What's this? a billet-doux from hands un
known? 'Tis new to send it thus 'fore all the town : But since the poor man's so agog,
§ 26. Prologue to Calo. 1713. Pope. I'll read it out, by way of epilogue.
To wake the soul by tender strokes of art,
[Reads. To raise the genius, and to mend the heart; Madam,
To make mankind, in conscious virtue bold, Perinit a wretch to let you know, Live o'er each scene, and be what they behold: That he's no more in stalu quo;
For this the tragic muse first trod the stage,
The hero's glory, or the virgin's love;
In pitying love, we but our weakness show,
Here tears shall Aow from a moregen'rous cause, \ For these she fell; while, with too weak a hand,
Ye grateful Britons! crown the hero's urn; A brave man struggling in the storms of fate, To his just care you ev'ry blessing owe, And greatly falling with a falling state. Which or his own, or following reigns bestow; While Cato gives his little senate laws, Though his hard fate a father's name denied, What bosom beats not in his country's cause? To you a father, he that loss supplied. Who sees him act, but envies ev'ry deed ? Then while you view the royal line's increase, Who hears him groan, and does not wish to And count the pledges of your future peace, bleed?
[cars, From this great stock while still new glories Even when proud Cæsar, 'midst triumphal Conquest abroad, and liberty at home; (come, The spoils of nations, and the pomp of wars, While you behold the beautiful and brave, Ignobly vain, and impotently great,
Bright princesses to grace you, kings to save, Show'd Rome her Cato's figure drawn in state: Enjoy the gift, but bless the hand that gave. As her dead father's rev’rend image pass'd, The pomp was darken'd, and the day o'ercast ; The triumph ceas'd, tears gush'd from ev'ry eye; The world's great victor pass'd unheeded by ; § 28. Epilogue to the Cruel Gift. Spoken ly Her last good man dejected Rome ador'd,
Mrs. Oldfield. 1717. Rowe. And honor'd Cæsar's less than Cato's sword.
Well,'twas a narrow'scape my lover madeBritons, attend; be worth like this approv'd, That cup and message I was sore afraid ! And show you have the virtue to be mov'd. Was that a present for a new-nade widow, With honest scorn the first fam'd Cato view'd All in her dismal dumps, like doleful Dido? Rome learning arts from Greece, whom she When one peep'd in-and hop'd for something subdued :
He thought he paid it off with being smart,
Were I our sex's secrets to discover, $ 27. Prologue to Lady Jane Grey. 1715.
'Tis what we never look for in a lover. Rowe.
Let but the bridegroom prudently provide To-Night the noblest subject swells our All other matters fitting for a bride, scene,
So he make good the jewels and the jointure, A heroine, a martyr, and a queen;
To miss the heart does seldom disappoint her. And though the poet dares not boast his art, 'Faith, for the fashion hearts of late are made in, The very theme shall something great impart, They are the vilest bauble we can trade in. To warm the gen'rous soul, and touch the ten- Where are the tough brave Britons to be found, der heart.
With hearis of oak, so much of old renown'd? To you, fair judges, we the cause submit; How many worthy gentlemen of late Your eyes shall tell us how the tale is writ. Swore to be true to mother-church and state ; If your soft pity waits upon our woe,
When their false hearts were secretly inain- . If silent tears for suff'ring virtue flow;
taining Your grief the inuses' labor shall confess, Yon trim king Pepin, at Avignon reigning? The lively passions, and the just distress. Shame on the canting crew of soul-insurers, O! could our author's pencil justly paint, That Tyburn tribe of speech-inaking nonjurors, Such as she was in life, the beauteous saint; Who, in new-fangled ierms old truths explainBoldly your strict attention might we claim,
meaning! And bid you mark and copy out the dame. Teach honest Englishmen damnd doubleNo wand'ring glance one wanton thought con- O! would
lost integrity restore, fessid ;
And boast thai faith your plain forefathers bore; No guilty wish inflam'd her spotless breast : What surer pattern can you hope to find The only love that warm'd her blooming youth, Than that dear pledge t your monarch left be. Was husband, England, liberty, and truth.
hind? This tragedy was founded upon the story of Sigismunda and Guiscardo, out of Boccace's novels; wherein the heart of the lover is sent by the father to his daughter, as a present. t i. e. Citron-water and good brandy.
The Prince of Wales, then present.
See how his looks his honest heart explain, “ Your fever's slight, not dangerous, I assure And speak the blessings of his future reign!
[cure you." In his each feature truth and candor trace, Keep warm, and repetatur haustus, Sir, will And read plain-dealing written in his face. Around the bed, next day, his friends are crying;
The patient dies; the doctor's paid for lying.
Gives out, his play has humor, taste, and wit: $ 29. Epilogue to the Pseudolus of Plautus. The cause comes on, and while the judges try,
Acted by the Scholars of Bury School, Nov. Each groan and cat-call give the bard ihe lie. 6, 1734.
Now let us ask, pray, what the ladies do: I have been peeping for these many days
They too will fib a little, entre nous. l'th' tail of all the Greek and Latin plays, “ Lord !” says the prude (her face behind her And, after strictest search, to none can find
“ How can our ses have any joy in man? (fan) An epilogue, like dishclout, pion'd behind. As for my part, the best could ne'er deceive me; Those ancient bards knew when the play was
And were the race extinct, 'would never done,
grieve me! Nor, like Sir Martin Mar-all, still play'd on;
Their sight is odious, but their touch, O gad! They imitated nature in their plan,
The thought of that's enough to driveone mad." Nor made a monkey when they meant a man.
Thus rails at men the squeamish Lady Dainty, From modern fancy then this custom rose,
Yet weds at fifty-five a rake of twenty: Like whinsical toupees among the beaux :
In short, a beau's intrigues, a lover's sighs, Monstrous excrescences! both which disgrace. The courtier's promise, the rich widow's cries, (By being fix'd in an improper place)
And patriot's zeal, are seldom more than lies. Heaven's great production, man; inan's great Sometimes you'll see a mau belie his nation, production, plays.
Nor to his country show the least relation. Yet must we, though as foolish we decry
For instance, now This mode, be fools in fashion, and comply;
A cleanly Dutchman, or a Frenchman grave, For rights, we know, howe'er absurdly gain's A sober German, or a Spaniard brave, At first, with obstinacy are maintain'd: An Englishman, a coward or a slave. Since then this privilege you will not lose, Mine, though a fibbing, was an honest art; Let's hear what sort of epilogue you'll choose. I serv'd my master, play'd a faithful part : Are you for satire: No; why there you're right; Rank me not, therefore, 'mongst the lyingcrew, The wisest can't foresee where that may light. For though my tongue was false, my heart was Are ye for politics? There we cry,
true. Where that may light-you easily may know. Another topic then, pray, ladies, hear; Suppose a panegyric on the fair. So, I perceive, I've touch'd the ticklish place; | 31: Epilogue to Ignoramus, acted at West
minster School in December 1747. Spoken And clearly read consent in ev'ry face.
by Ignoramus and Musaus. O fie! consent so soon ? that can't be right; I hate such coming ladies so good night. Ign. Peace, bookworm! bless me, a buat a
clerk have I!
What's learning, virtue, modesty, or sense? $ 30. Epilogue to the Lying Valet. 1740.
Fine words to hear—but will theyturn the pence? GARRICK.
These stiff pedantic notions---far outweighs That I'm a lying rogue you all agree; [see, That one short, comprehensive thing-face. And yet, look round the world, and you shall Go, match it if you can with all your rules That many more, my betters, lie as fast as me. Of Greek or Roman, old or modern schools: Against this vicc we all are ever railing, The total this of Ignoramus' skill, And yet, so tempting is it, so prevailing, To carve his fortunemaplace him where you will. You'll find but few without this useful failing. For not in law alone could I appear; Lady or Abigail, my Lord or Will,
My parts would shine alike in any sphere. The lie goes round, and the ball's never still. You've heard my song in Rosabella's praise: My lies were harmless, told to show my parts, | You'll see me soon—a rival for the bays And not like those when tongues belie their Or, I could turn a journalist, and write hearts.
With little wit, but large recruits of spite : In all professions you will find this flaw; Abuse and blacken--just as party swarsAnd in the gravest too, in physic and in law. And lash my betters—these are thriving ways. The gooty sergeant cries, with formal pause, My mind to graver physic would I bend, “ Your plea is good, my friend, don't starve Think you I'dstudy Greek, like Mead or Friend? the cause :"
No with some nostrum I'd ensure my fees, But when ny lord decrees for t’uther side, Without the help of learning or degrees : Your costs of suit convince you—that he lied. On drop or pill securely I'd rely, A doctor comes, with formal wig and face, And shake my head at the whole faculty. First feels your pulse, then thinks, and knows Or would I take to orders your case,
Mus. Orders; how?
Ign. One not too scrupulous a way might Existence saw him spurn her bounded reign, know :
And panting Time toil'd after him in vain : 'Twere but the forging of a hand-or so. His pow'rful strokes presiding Truth impress'd, In orders 100 my purposes I'd serve;
And unresisted Passion storin'd the breast. And if I could not rise, I would not starve. Then Jonson came, instructed from the school, With lungs and face I'd make my butchers To please in method, and invent by rule: Or publish—that I'd marry at May-fair. (stare, His studious patience, and laborious art, These, these are maxims, that will stand the By regular approach assay'd the heart : test :
Cold approbation gave the ling'ring bays; Both universities--are all a jest.
For those who durst not censure scarce could Mus. I grant, a prodigy we sometimes view, praise. Whom neither of our seats of learning knew. A mortal born, he met the gen’ral doom, Yet sure none shine more eminently great, But left, like Egypt's kings, a lasting tomb. In law or physic, in the church or state,
The wits of Charles found easier ways to Than those who early drank the love of fame
fame, At Cam's fair bank, or Isis' silver stream.
Nor wish'd for Jonson's art, nor Shakspeare's Look round-here's proof enough this point flame; to clear.
Themselves they studied, as they felt they writ; Ign. Bless me !--what;-not one Ignora- Intrigue was plot, obscenity was wit. mus here?
Vice always found a sympathetic friend; I stand convicted—what can I say more? They pleas'd their age, but did not aim to See, my face fails, which never fail'd before. mend. How great soe'er I seem in Dulman's eye, [by. Yet bards like these aspir'd to lasting praise, Yet Ignorance must blush-when Learning's And proudly hop'd to pimp in future days:
Their cause was gen’ral, their supports were
Their slaves were willing, and their reign was $ 32. Epilogue to Agamemnon. Thomson. Till shame regain d the post that sense betray'd,
long; Our bard, to modern epilogue a foe,
And virtue call'd oblivion to her aid. Thinks such mean mirth but deadens gen'rous Then crush'd by rules, and weakend as rewoe;
fin'd, Dispels in idle air the moral sigh,
For years the pow'r of Tragedy declin'd: And wipes the tender tear from pity's eye :
From bard to bard the frigid caution crept, No more with social warmth the bosom burns; Till declamation roar'd whilst passion stept; But all th' unfeeling, selfish man returns.
Yet still did virtue deign the stage to tread, Thus he began : and you approv'd the strain, Philosophy remain'd, though nature fled. Till the next couplet sunk to light and vain. But forc'd at length her ancient reign to quit, You check'd him there to you, to reason, just, She saw great Faustus lay the ghost of wit: He owns he triumph'd in your kind disgust. Exulting Folly hail'd the joyful day, Charm'd by your frown, by your displeasure And Pantomime and Song confirm'd her sway. gracd,
But who the coming changes can presage, He hails the rising virtue of your taste. And mark the future periods of the stage ? Wide willits influencespread, as soon as known; Perhaps, if skill could distant times explore, Truth, to be lov'd, need only to be shown. New Bebns, new Durfeys, yet remain in store; Confirm it, once, the fashion to be good Perhaps, where Lear has ravid, and Hamlet (Since fashion leads the fool, and awes the rude) died, No petulance shall wound the public ear; On flying cars new sorcerers may ride ; No hand applaud what honor shuns to hear; Perhaps (for who can guess th' effects of No painful blush the modest cheek shall stain; chance?)
The worthy breast shall heave with no disdain: Here Hunt may box, or Mahomet may dance. Chastis'd to decency, the British stage
Hard is his lot that, here by fortune plac'd,
Ah! let not censure term our fate our choice,
The Drama's laws the Drama's patrons give, $ 33. Prologue spoken by Mr. Garrick at the For we that live to please, must please to live. opening of the Theatre in Drury-lane, in the As tyrants doom their tools of guilt to die;
Then prompt no more the follies you decry, Year 1747.
'Tis yours this night to bid the reign commence When Learning's triumph o'er her barb'rous Of rescued nature, and reviving sense ; [show, foes
To chase the charms of sound, the pomp of First rear’d the stage, immortal Shakspeare rose; For useful mirth and salutary woe; Each change of many-color'd life he drew, Bid Scenic Virtue form the rising age, Exhausted worlds, and then imagin'd new : And Truth diffuse her radiance from the Stage. $ 34. Epilogue to Shakspeare's First Part of | Learn here that peace from innocence must
King Ilenry IV. Spoken by Mr.J. ¥. in Aow; the Character of Falstaff, 1748. Acted by All else is empty sound, and idle show. (join; young Gentlemen at Mr. Newcome's School But truths like these with pleasing language at Hackney.
HoAvley. Ennobled, yet unchang’d, if Nature shine :
If no wild draught depart from Reason's rules, [Push'd in upon the Stage by Prince Henry.] Nor gods his heroes, nor his lovers fools ; A PLAGUE
say- Intriguing wits! his artless plot forgive; Old Jack must bear the heat of all the day, And spare him, beauties! tho' his lovers live. And be the master-fvol beyond the play
Be this at least his praise, be this his pride; Amidst hot-blooded Hotspur’s rebel strise, To force applause no inodern arts are tried. By miracle of wit I sav'd my life ;
Should partial cat-calls all his hopes confound, And now stand foolishly expos'd again He bids' no trumpet quell the fatal sound; To th’ hissing bullets of the critic's brain. Should welcome sleep relieve the weary wit,
Go to, old lad, 'tis time that thou wert wiser- He rolls not thunders o'er the drowsy pit; Thou art not fram'd for an epiloguizer. No snares to captivate the judgment spreads ; There's Hal, now, or his nimbleshadow, Poins, Nor bribes your eyes to prejudice your heads. Straight in the back, and lissome in the loins, Unmov'd tho' witlings sneer, and rivals rail; Who wears his boot smooth as his mistress' skin, Studious to please, yet not asham'd to fail, And shining as the glass she dresses in ; Hescorns the meek address, the suppliant strain, Can bow and cringe, fawn, flatter, cog, andlie- With merit needless, and without it rain. Which honest Jack could never do not I. In Reason, Nature, Truth, he dares to trust; Hal's heir-apparent face might stand it buff, Ye fops, be silent; and ye wits, be just. And make (ha! ha! ha!) a saucy epilogue
enough. But I am old and stiff--nay, bashful grown, For Shakspeare's humor is not now my own.
$36. Prologue lo Comus, for the Benefit of I feel myself a counterfeiting ass ;
Milton's Grand-daughter. 1750. Spoken
JOHNSON, And if for sterling wit I give you brass,
by Mr. GARRICK. It is his royal image makes it pass.
Ye patriot crowds who burn for England's Fancy now works; and here I stand and stew fame,
name, In mine own greasy fears, which set to view Ye nymphs whose bosoms beat at Milton's Eleven buckram critics in each man of you; Whose gen'rous zeal, unbought by Aau ring Wights, who with no out-facings will be rhymes, shamm'd,
Shames the mean pensions of Augustan times; Nor into risibility be bainm'd, [treason, Immortal patrons of succeeding days, Will, tho' she shake their sides, think Nature Attend this prelude of perpetual praise ; And see one damn'dere laugh without a Let wit, condemn'd the feeble war to wage
[speed, With close malevolence, or public rage ; Then how shall one, not of the virtuous, Let study, worn with virtue's fruitless lore ; Who merely has a wicked wit to plead
Behold this Theatre, and grieve no more. (tell Wit without measure, humor without rule, This night, distinguish'd by your smiles, stall Unfetter'd laugh, and lawless ridicule? That never Briton can in vain excel ; Faith! try him by his peers, a jury chosen- The slighted Arts futurity shall trust, The kingdom will, I think, scarce raise the And rising ages hasten to be just. dozen.
At length our mighty bard's victorious lays
Yields to renown the ceniuries to come ;
Ambitious catches at his tow'ring nanie; $ 35. Prologue to Irene. 1749. Johnson. He sees, and pitying sees, vain wealth bestcu
Those pageant honors which he scorn'd below, Ye glitt'ring train! whom lace and velvet While crowds aloft the laureat bust behold, bless,
Or trace his form on circulating gold. Suspend the soft solicitudes of dress;
Unknown, unheeded, long his offspring lay, Froin grov'ling business and superfluous care, And want hung threat'ning o'er her slou decay. Ye sons of Avarice! a moment spare:
What tho' she shine with no Miltonian fire, Vot'ries of Fame, and worshippers of Pow'r ! No fav'ring muse her morning dreams inspire, Dismiss the pleasing phantoms for an hour. Yet softer claims the melting heart engage, Our daring bard, with spirit unconfin'd, Her youth laborious, and her blameless age; Spreads wide the mighty moral of mankind. Hers the mild merits of domestic life, Learn here how Heaven supports the virtuous The patient sufferer, and the faithful wife. mind,
Thusgrac'd with humble virtue's nativecharms, Daring, tho' calm; and vig'rous, thoʻresign'd. Her Grandsire leaves her in Britanvia's arms; Learn here what anguish racks the guilty breast, Secure with peace, with competence, to dwell, In pow'r dependent, in success deprest, While tutelary nations guard her cell.