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To-night a trembling Juliet fills the Scene, Fearful as young, and really not Eighteen; Cold Icy Fear, like an untimely frost, Lies on her mind, and all her powers are loft. 'Tis your's alone to diffipate her fears, To calm her troubled foul, and dry her tears. Bit with the cank'ring Eaft, the infant rose Its full-blown honours never can difclofe: Oh, may no envious Blast, no Critick Blight, Fall on the Tender Plant we rear to-night! So fhall it thrive, and in fome genial hour, The opening Bud may prove a beauteous Flower,

PROLOGUE

PROLOGUE

TO THE COMEDY OF THE SISTER,
Written by Mrs. LENOX,

Author of the FEMALE QUIXOTE, A Novel.
Spoken by Mrs. MATTOCK S.

February, 1769.

HE Law of Cuftom is the Law of Fools

T1

And yet the wife are govern'd by her rules.
Why fhould Men only Prol ogue all our Plays;
Gentlemen- Ufhers to each modern Bayes?
Why are the Fair to Epilogues confin'd,

Whofe tongues are loud, and gen'ral as the wind?
Mark how in real life each fex is clafs'd!
Woman has there the firft word and the last.

Boaft not your gallant deeds, romantick men!
To-night a Female Quixote draws the pen.
Arm'd by the Comick Mufe thefe lifts fhe enters,
And fallies forth-in queft of strange Adventures!
War, open War, 'gainft recreant Knights declares,
Nor Giant-Vice, nor Windmill-Folly fpares :
Side-faddles Pegasus, and courts Apollo,
While I (you fee!) her Female Sancho, follow.

Ye

Ye that in this Enchanted Castle fit, Dames, 'Squires, and dark Magicians of the Pit, Smile on our fair Knight Errantry to-day, And raise no spells to blaft a Female Play!

Oft has our Author, upon other ground,
Courted your smiles, and oft indulgence found.
Read in the closet you approv'd her page,
Yet ftill fhe dreads the perils of the Stage.
Reader with Writer due proportion keeps,
And if the Poet nods, the Critick fleeps!
If lethargied by dulnefs here you fit,
Sonorous Catcalls roufe the fleeping Pit.

Plac'd at the threshold of the Weather-house, There ftands a Pafteboard Husband, and his Spoufe, Each doom'd to mark the changes of the Weather, But ftill-true Man and Wife! ne'er feen together. When low'ring clouds the face of Heav'n deform, The muffled Hufband ftands and braves the storm; But when the fury of the tempeft's done,

Break out at once the Lady and the Sun.

Thus oft has Man, in Cuftom's beaten track,
Come forth, as doleful Prologue, all in black!
Gloomy Prognoftick of the Bard's disgrace,

With omens of foul weather in his face.

VOL. III.

R

Trick'd

Trick'd out in filks and fmiles let me appear,
And fix, as fign of peace, the Rainbow here;
Raise your compaffion and your mirth together,
And prove to-day an emblem of fair weather!

PROLOGUE TO THE ROMAN FATHER,

Acted at the Theatre at Bristol, on Friday, July 14, 1769.
For the Family of the late Mr. POWELL.
Spoken by Mr. HOLLAND.

WHEN fancied forrows wake the Player's art,

A fhort-liv'd anguish seizes on the heart:

Tears, real tears he fheds, feels real pain;
But the dream vanifh'd, he's himself again.
No fuch relief, alas! his bofom knows,

When the fad tear from home-felt forrow flows:
Paffions cling round the foul, do all we can-
He plays no part, and can't shake off the man.

Where'er

Where'er I tread, where'er I turn my eyes,
Of my loft Friend new images arise.

Can I forget, that from our earliest age,
His talents known, I led him to the Stage?
Can I forget, this circle in my view,

His firft great pride-to be approv'd by You?
His foul, with ev'ry tender feeling bleft,
The holy flame of gratitude poffeft.

Soft as the ftream yon facred springs impart,
The milk of human kindness warm'd his heart.
Peace, Peace be with him! may the prefent Stage
Contend, like him, your favour to engage !
May we, like him, deferve your kindness shown,
Like him, with gratitude that kindness own!
So fhall our art pursue the noblest plan,
And each good Actor prove an Honest Man.

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