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PROLOGUE

TO
IR E N E.

V E glitt'ring Train! whom Lace and Velvet

bless, Suipend the soft Sollicitudes of Dress ; From grov'ling Business and superfluous Care, Ye Sons of Avarice! a Moment spare : Vot'ries of Fame and Worshippers of Pow'r! Dismiss the pleasing Phantoms for an Hour. Our daring Bard, with Spirit unconfin'd, Spreads wide the mighty Moral for Mankind. Learn here how Heav'n supports the virtuous Mind, Daring, tho' calm ; and vigorous, tho' resign'd. Learn here what Anguish racks the guilty Breast, In Pow'r dependent, in Success deprest. Learn here that Peace from Innocence must flow; All else is empty Sound, and idle Show.

If Truths like these with pleasing Language join; Ennobled, yet unchang'd, if Nature shine: If no wild Draught depart from Reason's Rules, Nor Gods his Heroes, nor his Lovers Fools : Intriguing Wits! his artless Plot forgive; And spare him, Beauties! tho' his Lovers live,

Be this at least his Praise ; be this his Pride; To force Applause no modern Arts are try'd. Shou'd partial Cat-calls all his Hopes confound; He bids no Trumpet quell the fatal Sound. Shou'd welcome Sleep relieve the weary Wit, He rolls no Thuụders o'er the drowsy Pit,

No

No Snares to captivate the Judgment spreads ;
Nor bribes your Eyes to prejudice your Heads.
Unmov'd tho’.Witlings sneer and Rivals rail :
Studious to please, yet not asham’d to fail.
He scorns the meek Address, the suppliant Strain,
With Merit needless, and without it vain,
In Reason, Nature, Truth he dares to trust;
Ye Fops be Glent! and ye Wits be just!

PRO

PROLOGŲ E

SPOKEN BY :
Mr. G A R RICK,

Thursday, April 5, 1950,
At the REPRESENTATION of
C 0 M U S,

For the Benefit of Mrs. ELIZABETH FOSTER, MILTON's Grand-daughter, and only surviving

Descendant.

V E patriot Crouds, who burn for England's Fame,

Ye Nymphs, whose Bosom's beat at Milton's

Name, Whose gen'rous Zeal, unbought by flatt'ring Rhimes, Shames the mean Pensions of Augustan Times; Immortal Patrons of succeeding Days, Attend this Prelude of perpetual Praise ! Let Wit, condemn’d the feeble War to wage With close Malevolence, or public Rage; Let Study, worn with Virtue's fruitless Lore, Behold this Theatre, and grieve no more. This Night, distinguish'd by your Smile, shall tell That never Briton can in vain excel ; The flighted Arts Futurity shall trust, And rising Ages hasten to be just.

At length our mighty Bard's victorious Lays Till the loud Voice of universal Praise, And bafiled Spite, with hopeless Anguish dumb, Yields to Renown the Centuries to come.

With ardent Haste each Candidate of Fame
Ambitious catches at his tow'ring Name :
He sees, and pitying fees, vain Wealth bestow
Those pageant Honours which he scorn'd below:
While Crowds aloft the laureat Bust behold,
Or trace his Form on circulating Gold,
Unknown, unheeded, long his Offspring lay,

And Want hung threat'ning o'er her slow Decay,
· What tho' she shine with no Miltonian Fire,
No fav’ring Muse her Morning Dreams inspire ;
Yet softer Claims the melting Heart engage,
Her Youth laborious, and her blameless Age:
Hers the mild Merits of domestic Life,
The patient Sufr’rer, and the faithful Wife.
Thus grac'd with humble Virtue's native Charms,
Her Grandfire leaves her in Britannia's Arms,
Secure with Peace, with Competence, to dwell,
While tutelary Nations guard her Cell.
Yours is the Charge, ye Fair, ye Wife, ye Brave !
'Tis yours to crown Desert-beyond the Grave!

PRO.

PROLOGUE

TO THE

GOOD-NATUR’D MA N.

DREST by the Load of Life, the weary Mind

[ Surveys the general Toil of Human-kind ; With cool Submission joins the labouring Train, And social Sorrow, loses half its Pain : Our anxious Bard, without Complaint, may share This bustling Season's epidemic Care. Like Cæfar's Pilot, dignify'd by Fate, Tost in one common Storm with all the Great ; Distrest alike, the Statesman and the Wit, When one a Borough courts, and one the Pit. The busy Candidates for Power and Fame, Have Hopes and Fears, and Wishes, just the same ; Disabled both to combat, or to fly, Must hear all Taunts, and hear without Reply, Uncheck'd on both, loud Rabbles vent their Rage, As Mongrels bay the Lion in a Cage. Th' offended Burgess hoards his angry Tale , For that blest Year when all that vote may rail ;

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