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She wept, fhe rav'd, fhe tore her hair,
When lo! to comfort her came Care.
And cry'd, my dear, if you will join,
Your hand in nuptial bonds with mine;
All will be well--you shall have store,
And I be plagu'd with Wealth no more.----
Tho' I restrain your bounteous heart,
You still shall act the generous part.
The Bridal came--great was the feast,
And good the pudding and the priest;
The bride in nine moons brought him forth
A little maid of matchlefs worth:
Her face was mix'd of Care and Glee,
They chriften'd her Oeconomy;
And ftyled her fair Discretion's Queen,
The mistress of the golden mean.
Now Generofity confin'd,
Is perfect eafy in her mind;
She loves to give, yet knows to fpare,
Nor wishes to be free from Care:
As it was acted at the Theatre-Royal in Drury-Lane, on Thursday the 7th of March 1751, by Perfons of Diftinction for their Diverfion.
HILE mercenary actors tread the stage,
And hireling fcriblers lafh or lull the age,
Ours be the task t'inftruct, and entertain,
Without one thought of glory or of gain.
Virtue's her own---from no external caufe---
She gives, and she demands the Self-applausę :
Home to her breast she brings the heart-felt bays,
Heedlefs alike of profit, and of praise.
This now perhaps is wrong---yet this we know,'
'Twas fenfe and truth a century ago:
When Britain with transcendent glory crown'd,
For high atchievements, as for wit renown'd;
Cull'd from each growing grace the pureft part,
And cropt the flowers from every blooming art.
Our nobleft youth would then embrace the task
Of comic humour, or the myftic mafque.
'Twas theirs t'incourage worth, and give to bards
What now is spent in boxing and in cards:
Good fenfe their pleasure---Virtue ftill their guide,
And English magnanimity---their pride,
Methinks I fee with Fancy's magic eye,
The shade of Shakespear, in yon azure sky.
On yon high cloud behold the bard advance,
Piercing all Nature with a single glance :
In various attitudes around him ftand
The paffions, waiting for his dread command.
First kneeling Love before his feet appears,
And mufically fighing melts in tears.
Near him fell Jealousy with fury burns,
And into ftorms the amorous breathings turns;
Then Hope with heavenward look, and Joy draws near,
While palfied Terror trembles in the rear.
Such Shakespear's train of horror and delight,
And fuch we hope to introduce to-night.
But if, tho' juft in thought, we fail in fact,
And good intention ripens not to act,
Weigh our defign, your cenfure ftill defer,
When truth's in view 'tis glorious e'en to err.
RUE woman to the last---my peroration
I come to speak in spight of fuffocation;
To fhew the present and the age to come,
We may be choak'd, but never can be dumb.
Well now methinks I fee you all run out,
And hafte away to Lady Bragwell's rout ;
Each modish fentiment to hear and weigh,
Of those who nothing think, and all things fay.
Prudella first in parody begins,
(For Nonsense and Buffoonery are twins)
"Can beaux the court for theatres exchange?
"I fwear by Heaven 'tis ftrange, 'tis passing ftrange; "And very whimfical, and mighty dull,
"And pitiful, and wondrous pitiful :
"I wish I had not heard it---Blessed dame !
Whene'er she speaks her audience with the fame.
Next Neddy Nicely---" Fye, O fye, good lack,
"A nafty man to make his face all black."
Then Lady Stiffneck shews her pious rage,
And wonders we shou'd act---upon a stage.
"Why, ma'me, fays Coquetilla, a disgrace?
"Merit in any form may fhew her face:
"In this dull age the male things ought to play,
"To teach them what to do, and what to fay."
In fhort, they all with different cavils cram us,
And only are unanimous to damn us.
But still there are a fair judicious few,
Who judge unbiass'd, and with candour view
Who value honefty, tho' clad in buff,
And wit, tho' dress'd in an old English ruff.
Behold them here--I beaming fense descry,
Shot from the living luftre of each eye.
Such meaning fmiles each blooming face adorn,
As deck the pleasure-painted brow of morn;
And fhew the person of each matchless fair,
Tho' rich to rapture, and above compare,
Is, even with all the skill of heaven defign'd,
But an imperfect image of their mind;
While chastity unblemish'd and unbrib'd
Adds a majestic mien that scorns to be describ'd :
Such, we will vaunt, and only fuch as these,
'Tis our ambition, and our fame to please.