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PROLOGUE TO PHILASTER.

Revived on the first Appearance of Mr. PowELL,

Spoken by MR. KING.

MDCCLXIII.

W

HILE Modern Tragedy, by rule exact,
Spins out a thin-wrought Fable, A&t by A&,
We dare to bring you one of those bold Plays
Wrote by rough English Wits in former days;
Beaumont and Fletcher! thofe Twin Stars, that run
Their glorious courfe round Shakespeare's golden Sun;
Or when Philafter Hamlet's place fupplied,
Or Beffus walk'd the Stage by Falstaff's fide.
Their Souls, well-pair'd, fhot fire in mingled rays,
Their hands together twin'd the focial Bayes,
Till Fashion drove, in a refining age,

Virtue from Court, and Nature from the Stage.
Then Nonfenfe, in Heroicks, feem'd fublime;
Kings rav'd in couplets, and maids figh'd in Rhime.
Next, prim, and trim, and delicate, and chaste,
A Hash from Greece and France, came Modern Tafte.
Cold

Q3

Cold are her fons, and fo afraid of dealing
In Rant and Fustian, they ne'er rife to Feeling.
O fay, ye Bards of Phlegm, fay, where's the name
That can with Fletcher urge a rival claim?
Say, where's the Poet, train'd in Pedant Schools,
Equal to Shakespeare, who o'erleap'd all Rules?

Thus of our Bards, we boldly speak our mind;
A harder task, alas, remains behind:
To-night, as yet by publick eyes unseen,
A raw, unpractis'd Novice, fills the Scene.
Bred in the City, his Theatrick Star

Brings him at length, on this fide Temple-Bar;
Smit with the Mufe, the Ledger he forgot,
And when he wrote his name, he made a blot.

Him while perplexing hopes and fears embarrass,
Skulking (like Hamlet's Rat) behind the Arras,
Me a Dramatick fellow-feeling draws,
Without a fee, to plead a Brother's Cause.
Genius is rare; and while our Great Comptroller,
No more a Manager, turns Arrant-Stroller,
Let new adventurers your care engage,
And nurfe the Infant Saplings of the Stage!

EPILOGUE

EPILOGUE TO THE FAIRY TALE,

Spoken by Mifs HOPKINS in the Character of the Fairy Page, at Drury Lane Theatre, May 23, 1764.

L

ADIES, behold a Female Page!
I've been Six Months upon the Stage,
And am almoft Five Years of Age.
To-night Papa, Mama, thought fit
To fend me, at their Benefit,
To thank the Galleries, Boxes, Pit.
Me in this habit oft you've seen,
Train-bearer to the Fairy Queen:
'Tis power all our fex bewitches;
And I'm refolv'd to wear the breeches.
At prefent, as you fee full well,

I am an Actrefs in the Shell:
But by-and-by, a tender Chicken,

You'll find me,-very pretty picking.

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EPILOGUE,

Spoken at the THEATRE ROYAL, DRURY-LANE,
April 30, 1765.

By Mifs HOPKINS a Child of Six Years old, at the
Benefit of Mr. HOPKINS, Prompter, and Mrs.
HOPKINS.

Enter, Speaking to Mr. HOPKINS at the Stage Door A Y-but I must.-I muft, indeed, Papa! Pray, let me go! what fignifies Mama?

N

Coming forward Curtfies.

Your Servant, Gentlemen! your Servant, Ladies!
Papa's the Prompter-but to Act my Trade is:
And though my fize is fmall, my years but few,
I'll warrant, he fhall find I know my Cue.

Females of ev'ry Age have leave to tattle;
Why may not I then, like my elders, prattle?
Mama indeed cries, "Hufh, you little Elf!
"Prithee be filent!-I'll talk all myself."

-But

-But let her know, my Tongue as hers is nimble,
And I had rather use it than my Thimble;

Had rather goffip, fpeak a part, or wheedle,
Than darn, or wound my fingers with a needle.
A Sempftrefs? No. A Princess let me be,
In all the pomp and ftate of Tragedy!
A Princefs, with a Page, and fweeping Train,
A Bowl, a Dagger, and a Lover flain!

Oh how I'll rant! how loud I'll be, and glibber
Than Yates, or Pritchard, Bellamy, or Cibber!
If for the Bufkin you object my size,

Why Garrick's little-but has piercing Eyes.
And fo have I-But I'm too young you'll fay.
Ah, Sirs! I fhall grow older ev'ry day:
And they that now my faint endeavours spare,
Mifs in her Teens fhall thank them for their care.

PROLOGUE

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