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His vehicle to day may none reproach,

Nor take it for a Hearse, or Mourning-Coach!
'Tis true a gloomy outfide he has wrought,
“That rather threatens than doth promise aught;"
Yet from black fun'ral, like his brother Bayes,
A nuptial banquet he intends to raise.

We do but jeft-poifon in jeft-no more→→→→
And thus One Mercer to the world restore.
But if a well-tim'd jest should chance to fave
One Mercer from Perdition and the Grave,
All Ludgate-Hill be judge, if 'twere not hard,
Felo-de-fe fhould you bring in the Bard.

PROLOGUE

PROLOGUE

To the CHAPTER of ACCIDENTS,

A Comedy written by Mifs I. E ES

Spoken by Mr. PALMER.

Auguft, 1780.

ONG has the paffive Stage, howe'er absurd,

LON

Been rul'd by Names, and govern'd by a Word. Some poor cant term, like magick spells can awe, And bind our realms, like a Dramatick law. When Fielding, Humour's fav'rite child appear'd, Low was the word-a word each author fear'd! 'Till chac'd at length, by Pleasantry's bright ray, Nature and Mirth refum'd their legal fway; And Goldsmith's Genius bafk'd in open day.

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No beggar, howe'er poor, a cur can lack; Poor Bards, of Critick Curs, can keep a pack. One yelper filenc'd, twenty barkers rife, And with new howls, their fnarlings ftill disguise. Low banifh'd, the word Sentiment fucceeds: And at that shrine, the modern Playwright bleeds.

Hard

Hard fate! but let each would-be Critick know,
That Sentiments from genuine Feelings flow!
Criticks! in vain declaim, and write, and rail:
Nature, eternal Nature! will prevail.

Give me the Bard, who makes me laugh and cry,
Diverts and moves, and all, I scarce know why!
Untaught by Commentators, French or Dutch,
Paffion ftill anfwers to th' electrick touch.
Reason, like Falstaff, claims, when all is done,
The honours of the field already won.
To night, our Author's is a mixt intent-
Paffion and Humour-Low and Sentiment :
Smiling in tears a Serio-comick Play-
Sunshine and show'r-a kind of April-Day!
A Lord, whofe pride is in his honour plac'd;
A Governor, with Av'rice not disgrac'd ;
An humble Priest! a Lady, and a Lover
So full of virtue, fome of it runs over.
No temporary touches, no allufions

To camps, reviews, and all our late confufions;
No perfonal reflections, no sharp Satire,
But a mere Chapter-from the Book of Nature.
Wrote by a Woman too! the Muses now
Few liberties to naughty Men allow;
'But like old maids on earth, refolv'd to vex,
With cruel coynefs treat the other sex.

PROLOGUE

PROLOGUE,

On the opening of the THEATRE ROYAL, HAY-MARKET, June, 1781.

WIT

Spoken by MR. PALMER.

ITH broken Funds our Monarch meets the
Houfe ;

His Board of Works have left him scarce a souse!
Poets, and only Poets, durft rehearse

In ancient times the mighty pow'rs of Verse;
The Bards of old, who built the lofty rhyme,
Could build whole cities, at the self fame time.
Amphion ftruck his lyre-and at his call,

Stone leap'd on ftone, and form'd of Thebes the wall.
Oh for a Mufe of fire! in flames to fmother
Our crazy Playhouse, and create another!
Our Poet Manager has no fuch skill-

In comes the Carpenter's and Bricklayer's bill!
Ev'n Opera now the power of Song has loft,
And, plung'd in Brick and Mortar, feels their cost.
By Italy betray'd, the flies to France;

And what she loft in Song, makes up in Dance.
No more from voice, or ear, her profits flow;
The foul of Opera fixes in Goofe Toe!

Since then St. Vitus' Dance defpotick reigns,
The fureft Succedaneum for the brains,
Genius of Nonfenfe! fill our empty places;
Let us too dance ourselves into your graces;
O'er the whole Hay-market in ftate prefide,
Nor let a Palfy feize our hapless fide!

To court thy fmiles, Farce fhall learn entrechat,
And Tragedy fhall caper en grand pas.

Crook'd Richard now fhall frisk, his paffions mute,
"To the lafcivious pleafings of a Lute."
And in a cut of eight, to make you ftare,
Macbeth fhall catch the Dagger in the air.
Tobine for life in minuet ftep fhall beg,
And Bowkitt fcrape, and-stand upon one leg!

While Dancing fhall remain the fav'rite rage, On these, and arts like thefe, muft ftand our Stage; But if fome Whim fhou'd "bid the reign commence, "Of rescu'd Nature, and reviving Senfe,"

Again to Humour fhall we bend our cares,
And draw on Wit-to pay for our Repairs.

PROLOGUE

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