Page images
PDF
EPUB

EPILOGUE TO TIMANTHES,

Spoken by Mrs. YATES.

February, 1770.

HAT horrors fill the Tragick Poet's brain!
Plague, Murder, Rape and Incest, croud

his train;

He pants for miseries, delights in ills,

The blood of Fathers, Mothers, Children, spills;
Stabs, poifons, maffacres, and, in his rage,
With Daggers, Bowls, and Carpets, ftrews the Stage.

Our gentler Poet, in foft Opera bred,
Italian Crotchets finging in his head,

Winds to a profperous end the fine-drawn tale,
And roars-but roars like any Nightingale.

Woman, whate'er fhe be-Maid, Widow, Wife-
A quiet woman is the charm of life.
And fure Cephisa was a gentle creature,
Full of the milk and honey of good nature.
Imported for a spouse, by spouse refus'd!
Was ever maid fo fhamefully abus'd?

I

And

And yet, alas, poor Prince! I could not blame him-
One wife, I knew, was full enough to tame him.
Ifmena, and Timanthes, and Olynthus,
Might all be happy-for I chose Cherinthus.

But what a barb'rous law was this of Thrace!
How cruel there was each young lady's cafe!
A virgin, plac'd upon the dreadful roll,
A hapless virgin must have stood the poll,
But by Timanthes made a lucky bride,
Ifmena prudently difqualified.

Ladies, to you alone our Author fues: 'Tis yours to cherish, or condemn his Mufe. The Theatre's a Mirror, and each Play Should be a very Looking-Glafs, they fay; His Looking-Glass reflects no moles or pimples, But fhews you full of graces, fmiles, and dimples. If you approve yourselves, resolve to spare, And, Criticks! then attack him, if ye dare!

[blocks in formation]

PROLOGUE

To the TRAGEDY of CLEMENTINA.
Spoken by Mr. BENSLEY.
March, 1771.

N these our moral and religious days, Men dread the crying fin of writing Plays; While fome, whofe wicked wit incurs the blame, Howe'er they love the trespass, fly the shame.

If, a new holy war with vice to wage, Some Preacher quits the Pulpit for the Stage, The Rev'rend Bard, with much remorfe and fear, Attempts to give his Evening Lecture here: The work, engender'd, to the world must rise But yet the father may elude our eyes.

The parish on this trick of youth might frown,
And thus, unown'd, 'tis thrown upon the town.
At our Director's door he lays the fin,
Who fees the Babe, relents, and takes it in ;
To fwathe and drefs it firft unftrings his purfe,
Then kindly puts it out to you

[ocr errors]

to nurse.

Should fome Young Counsel, thro' his lucklefs ftar, By writing Plays turn truant to the Bar.

Call'd

Call'd up by you to this High Court of Wit,
With non inventus we return the Writ.

No Latitat can force him to appear,

Whofe failure and fuccefs cause equal fear;
Whatever fees his clients here beftow,

He lofes double in the courts below.

1

Grave, folemn Doctors, whose prescribing pen Has, in the trade of Death, kill'd many men, With vent'rous quill here tremblingly engage

To flay Kings, Queens, and Heroes, on the stage.
The Great, if great men write, of fhame afraid,
Come forth incog.—and Beaux, in masquerade.
Some Demireps in wit, of doubtful fame,

Tho' known to all the town, withhold their name.

Thus each by turns ungratefully refufe
To own the favours of their Lady Muse;
Woo'd by the Court, the College, Bar, and Church,
Court, Bar, Church, College, leave her in the lurch.

'Tis your's to night the work alone to scan:
Arraign the Bard, regardless of the Man!
If Dullness wave her Poppies o'er his play,
To Critick fury let it fall a prey;

But if his art the tears of Pity draws,

Afk not his name-but crown him with applause.

[blocks in formation]

EPILOGUE TO CLEMENTINA,

FRO

Spoken by Mrs. YATES.

ROM Otway's and immortal Shakespear's page,
Venice is grown familiar to our Stage.

Here the Rialto often has difplay'd

At once a Bridge, a Street, and Mart of Trade;
Here, Treason threat'ning to lay Venice flat,
Grave Candle-Snuffers oft in senate fat.

To night in Venice we have plac'd our scene, Where I have been,-liv'd-died-as you have seen. Yet that my travels I may not difgrace,

Let me, fince now reviv'd-describe the place!
Nor would the Tour of Europe prove our fhame,
Could every Macaroni do the fame.

The City's felf-a wonder, all agree-
Appears to spring, like Venus, from the sea.
Founded on Piles it rifes from the strand,
Like Trifle plac'd upon a filver stand:
While many a leffer ifle the profpect crowns,
Looking like fugar-plums, or floating towns.

Horfes

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »