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Paint, patches, jewels laid aside,
At night astronomers agree,
The evening has the day belied;
And Phillis is some forty-three.
What a frail thing is beauty! says baron Le Cras, Perceiving his mistress had one eye of glass :
And scarcely had he spoke it, When she more confus'd as more angry
grew, By a negligent rage prov'd the maxim too true:
She dropt the eye, and broke it.
How capricious were Nature and Art to
Nell! She was painting her cheeks at the time her nose
WRITTEN TO THE DUKE DE NOALLES.
VAIN the concern which you express,
That uncall’d Alard will possess
Your house and coach, both day and night, And that Macbeth was haunted less
By Banquo's restless spright.
With fifteen thousand pounds a year,
Do you complain, you cannot bear
An ill, you may so soon retrieve?
Good Alard, faith, is modester
By much, than you believe.
Lend him but fifty louis-d'or;
And you shall never see him more:
Take the advice; probatum est.
Why do the gods indulge our store,
But to secure our rest?
EPILOGUE TO PHÆDRA AND HIPPOLITUS.I
OLDFIELD, WIIO ACTED ISMENA.
LADIES, to-night your pity I implore
For one, who never troubled you before;
An Oxford man, extremely read in Greek,
Who from Euripides makes Phædra speak;
1 This excellent tragedy, although performed by Betterton, Booth, Mrs. Barry, and Mrs. Oldfield, met with but a very cold reception from the public on its first appearance. In the Spectator, No. 18, Mr. Addison says-“ Would one think it was possible (at a time when an author lived that was able to write the Phædra and Hippolitus) for a people to be so stupidly fond of the Italian opera, as scarce to give a third day's hearing to that admirable tragedy." The prologue to it was written by Mr. Addison.
And comes to town to let us moderns know,
How women lov’d two thousand years ago.
If that be all, said I, e’en burn your play:
Egad! we know all that, as well as they :
Show us the youthful, handsome charioteer,
Firm in his seat, and running his career;
Our souls would kindle with as generous flames,
As e’er inspir'd the ancient Grecian dames:
Every Ismena would resign her breast ;
And every dear Hippolitus be blest.
But, as it is, six flouncing Flanders mares
Are even as good as any two of theirs:
And if Hippolitus can but contrive
To buy the gilded chariot, John can drive.
Now of the bustle you have seen to-day,
And Phædra's morals in this scholar's play,
Something at least in justice should be said;
But this Hippolitus so fills one's head-
Well! Phædra liv’d as chastely as she could !
For she was father Jove's own flesh and blood.
Her awkward love indeed was oddly fated;
She and her Poly were too near related;
And yet that scruple had been laid aside,
If honest Theseus had but fairly died:
But when he came, what needed he to know,
But that all matters stood in statu quo?
There was no harm, you see; or grant there were,
She might want conduct; but he wanted care.
'Twas in a husband little less than rude,
Upon his wife's retirement to intrude-
He should have sent a night or two before,
That he would come exact at such an hour;
Then he had turn'd all tragedy to jest ;
Found every thing contribute to his rest;
The picquet-friend dismiss'd, the coast all clear,
And spouse alone impatient for her dear.
But if these gay reflections come too late,
To keep the guilty Phædra from her fate;
If your more serious judgment must condemn
The dire effects of her unhappy flame:
Yet, ye chaste matrons, and ye tender fair,
Let love and innocence engage your care:
My spotless flames to your protection take;
And spare poor Phædra for Ismena's sake.
A TRAGEDY, BY MRS. DE LA RIVIERE MANLEY
The female author who recites to-day,
Trusts to her sex the merit of her play.
Like father Bayes securely she sits down:
Pit, box, and gallery, 'gad! all's our own.
1 This play was acted at Drury-lane, in 1717, with success. In the dedication to Sir Richard Steele, who wrote a prologue to it, the author apologizes for the severity of her former writings against him.
In ancient Greece, she says, when Sappho writ,
By their applause the critics show'd their wit,
They tun'd their voices to her lyric string ;
Though they could all do something more than sing,
But one exception to this fact we find;
That booby Phaon only was unkind,
An ill-bred boat-man, rough as waves and wind.
From Sappho down through all succeeding ages,
And now on French, or on Italian stages,
Rough satires, sly remarks, ill-natur'd speeches,
Are always aim'd at poets that wear breeches.
Arm'd with Longinus, or with Rapin, no man
Drew a sharp pen upon a naked woman.
The blustering bully, in our neighbouring streets,
Scorns to attack the female that he meets :
Fearless the petticoat contemns his frowns:
The hoop secures whatever it surrounds.
The many-colour'd gentry there above,
By turns are ruld by tumult, and by love:
And while their sweethearts their attention fix,
Suspend the din of their damn’d clattering sticks.
To you our author makes her soft request,
Who speak the kindest, and who write the best,
Your sympathetic hearts she hopes to move,
From tender friendship, and endearing love.
If Petrarch's Muse did Laura's wit rehearse;
And Cowley flatter'd dear Orinda's verse ;
She hopes from you-Pox take her hopes ard fears:
[ plead her sex's claim ; what matters hers ?