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I wonder who the devil he thought to please!
Alas! alas! how vain is the pretence !
"Ye gen'rous few! to you our author fues, "His firft effay with candour to excufe: "'T has faults, he owns; but, if they are but small, "He hopes your kind applaufe will hide them all."
Much could I offer in our author's caufe;
$133. Epilogue to the fame.
HE drama done, and all its int'reft over, Content the hufband, and fecure the lover; Our timid bard, who dreads the critic ire, And thinks my little tongue can never tire, Would have me re-affume the wig and gown, To plead his goofe-quill caufe before the town. "Lord! Sir," fays I," fome better counfl bring; "For females in a wig are not the thing. "Your bearded Barrister, if finartly made, is.. "A furer advocate among the ladies." "Madam," he cried, "or periwigg'd, or bare, "So you but talk, I never need defpair."
Suppofe, ye fair, as I'm fo fmooth a prater,
$132. Prologue to Mr. Andrews's Comedy of Better
Oft have the wits, unmindful whom they vex,
Something like this, I heard a friend once fay, Who wish'd (poor foul!) to hear a new-launch'd play:
ftop-before the prologue grows too long, And Better late than never hold my tongue.
CUSTOM commands a prologue to ea h play,
To tafte fo mark'd my friend of courfe gave way;
And civil fure that law which can provide
Their fteady bloom, unchanging in all weathers;
Now don't be frighten'd-poor eccentric elves!
How! tremble at a woman! fhame betide !
To that dear portrait which should hit you all,
Box'd fnug at firft, completely to his mind,
On praise determin'd—wit confirm'd by wine:
Suff Rock, long fword ftill dangling in the way,
Sweet image of mamma in ev'ry feature,
One thing in nature like a modern beau;
The memory of renown'd Sixteen String Jack;
§ 134. Verfes written to be spoken by Mrs. Siddons, at ber Benefit, April 27, 1795.
YES, 'tis the pulfe of life! my fears were vain!
To drop all metaphor, that little bell
But, Ladies, fay, muft i alone unmask?..
First, how her little breaft with triumph fwells,
A fchool-girl next, the curls her hair in papers, And mimics father's gout, and mother's vapours; Difcards her doll, bribes Betty for romances, Playful at church, and ferious when the dances; Tramples alike on customs and on toes, And whispers all the hears to all she knows;
Terror of caps and wigs and fober notions!
Too foon a flirt; approach her and the flies,
Snatch half a glimpfe at concert, opera, ball,
Laft the grey dowager, in ancient flounces,
Her tea fie fweetens, as the fips, with fean lal;
With modern belles ct.rnal warfare wages,
Thus WOMAN makes her entrance and her exit,
Then mot an actress when the leafts fufpects it.
And to full day the latent paffions start!
But the, whofe firft beft with is your applaufe, Herfelf exemplifies the truth the draws. Born on the ftage-thro' ev'ry fhifting fcene, Obfcure or bright, tempeftuous or ferene, Still has your Imite her trembli g spirit fir'd! And can the act, with thoughts like thefe infpir'da Thus from her mind all artifice the flings, All kill, all practice, now unmeaning things! To you, uncheck'd, each genuine feeling flows, For all that life endears-to you the owes.
$135. Vorfes to the Memory of Mr. GARRICK. Spoken as a Monody, by Mrs. YATES, at the Theatre-Royal in Drury-Lane.
IF dying excellence deferves a tear,
If fond remembrance ftill is cherish'd here,
Or with quaint fimiles difmifs the plaintive strain,
The grac'd refpect that claim'd him to the laft,
Amid the arts which feck ingenuous fame,
Superior hopes the poet's bofom fire, O proud diftinétion of the facred lyre! Wide as th' infpiring Phoebus darts his ray, Diffufive fplendour gilds his votary's lay. Whether the fong heroic woes rehearse, With Epic grandeur, and the pomp of verfe; Or, fondly gay, with unambitious guile Attempt no prize but fav'ring beauty's fmile; Or bear dejected to the lonely grove The foft defpair of unprevailing love; Whate'er the theme, thro' ev'ry age and clime Congenial paffions meet the according rhyme; The pride of glory, pity's figh fincere, Youth's earlieft bluth, and beauty's virgin tear. Such is their meed-their honours thus fecure, Whofe arts yield objects, and whofe works endure. The actor only fhrinks from time's award; Feeble tradition is his memory's guard; By whofe faint breath his merits must abide, Unvouch'd by proof, to substance unallied!
Even matchlefs Garrick's art, to heaven refign'd, No fix'd effect, no model leaves behind.
The grace of action, the adapted mien, Faithful as nature to the varied fcene; Th'expreffive glance, whofe fubtle comment draws Entranc'd attention, and a mute applaufe; Gesture that marks, with force and feeling fraught, A fenfe in filence, and a will in thought; Harmonious fpeech, whofe pure and liquid tone Gives verse a music scarce confefs'd its own; As light from gems atfumes a brighter ray, And, cloth'd with orient hues, tranfcends the day! Paffion's wild break, and frown that awes the fenfe, And ev'ry charm of gentle eloquence, All perishable-like th' electric fire But ftrike the frame, and, as they strike, expire; Incense too pure a bodied flame to bear, Its fragrance charms the fenfe, and blends with
Where then, while funk in cold decay he lies, And pale eclipfe for ever veils thofe eyes; Where is the bleft memorial that enfures Our Garrick's fame ?-whofe is the_truft ?—Tis
And, O! by ev'ry charm his art effay'd To footh your cares! by ev'ry grief allay'd! By the hufh'd wonder which his accents drew ! By his laft parting tear, repaid by you! By all thofe thoughts, which many a diftant night Shall mark his memory with a fad delight! Still in your hearts dear record bear his name, Cherish the keen regret that lifts his fame; To you it is bequeath'd, affert the truft, And to his worth-'tis all you can-be just.
What more is due from fanctifying time, To cheerful wit, and many a favour'd rhyine, O'er his grac'd urn fhall bloom, a deathlefs wreath, Whose bloffom'd fweets fhall deck the mask be
For thefe, when fculpture's votive toil shall rear The due memorial of a lofs so dear,
O lovelieft mourner, gentle mufe! be thine
To roam the manfions of the fainted dead,