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PROLOGUE

To the POSITIVE MAN,

A FARCE written by Mr. O'KEEFFE,

Spoken by Mr. EDWIN in the Character of LINGO, March, 1782.

O

NCE more before you Lingo, firs, you fee!
His leffon now-The Pofitive Degree.

Comparativo, what's our author's head!
Weigh it! 'twill prove fuperlativò―lead.
Malus, melior, pessimus-in brief,

Nominativo, he is called-O'Thief!

I am not the First Perfon, the Second, nor Third, Who in this School of Nonfense his Nonfenfe has

heard :

Noun Adjective Stuff, that alone could not stand,
Without a Noun Subftantive Fiddle at Hand!
But now without Mufick he thinks to ftand Neuter,
And that Farce, tho' Imperfect, may please you in
Future.

O you! to whom Poets must ever surrender ! Beauties, Wits, of the Mafculine and Feminine

Gender!

VOL. III.

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Ye

Ye Plurals, a fingular Art who can teach,

And make Actors and Authors learn All Parts of

Speech,

For once.lay by the Rod, and your Flogging decline!
That what we mean for Gerunds may not prove
Supine!

-Perhaps I'm too wife, and too larned good folks!
So a truce with our science, a truce with our jokes!
And in good faber sadness one word let me say :
Do but think that the School-boys have broke up

To-day;

Forgive them their frolicks, and laugh at their play!

In th' Imperative Mood, fhould you view the Bard's

face,

His Prefent Tenfe proves the Accufative Cafe;
But should you be Dative of favour-like Stingo,
Your Active Voice Paffive will cheer Him and Lingo.

PROLOGUE

PROLOGUE

TO LILLO'S TRAGEDY of FATAL CURIOSITY, on its Revival at the THEATRE ROYAL in the HAYMARKET, June 29, 1782.

Spoken by Mr. PALMER.

L

ONG fince, beneath this humble roof, this Play, Wrought by true English Genius faw the day. Forth from this humble roof it fcarce has ftray'd; In prouder Theatres 'twas never play'd.

There you have gap'd, and doz'd o'er many a piece,
Patch'd up from France, or ftol'n from Rome or
Greece,

Or made of fhreds from Shakespeare's Golden Fleece.
There Scholars, fimple nature cast aside,

Have trick'd their heroes out in Claffick pride;
No Scenes, where genuine Paffion runs to waste,
But all hedg'd in by fhrubs of Modern Tafte!
Each Tragedy laid out like garden grounds,
One circling gravel marks its narrow bounds.
Lillo's plantations were of Forest growth-
Shakespeare's the fame-Great Nature's hand in both!
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Give me a tale the paffions to control,
"Whose flighteft word may harrow up the foul !"
A magick potion, of charm'd drugs commixt,
Where Pleasure courts, and Horror comes betwixt !

Such are the Scenes that we this night renew; Scenes that your fathers were well pleas'd to view. Once we half-paus’d—and while cold fears prevail, Strive with faint ftrokes to foften down the tale; But foon, attir'd in all its native woes,

The Shade of Lillo to our Fancy rofe.

Check thy weak hand, it faid, or feem'd to fay,
Nor of its manly vigour rob my Play!
From British Annals I the ftory drew,

And British Hearts fhall feel, and bear it too.
Pity fhall move their fouls, in spite of rules;
And Terror takes no lesson from the Schools.
Speak to their Bofoms, to their Feelings truft,
You'll find their fentence generous and just.

PROLOGUE

PROLOGUE

To the COMEDY of The EAST-INDIAN.

Spoken by Mr. PALMER.
July, 1782.

WHEN the Eaft-Indian gives our Play a name,

With what a glow the Writer's breaft should

flame!

What brilliant ftrokes thro' every Scene fhould run
Bright as ripe fruit, the fide that's next the Sun!
Moguls and Nabobs fhould in judgement fit,
O'er Crores of Humour, and a Lack of Wit.
In our cold climate, we but vainly ftrive
To keep by hot-houses fuch fire alive;
And force by Art, when Nature's at a ftand,
Dramatick Pine Apples at fecond hand.

Methinks I hear fome Alderman, all hurry,
Cry, where's the Pellow? Bring me out the Curry!
Be quiet, fays his lady; filence, man!

Where's the Old China? Show me the Japan!

Piha! cries a Wit; the Plot's an Indian ScreenThe Mufe fhall enter in a Palanquin;

And lovers, after many a foolish fray,

In Love's Pagoda fhall conclude the play.

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