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214

PROLOGUES AND EPILOGUES.

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 boatman, 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.
Now, sirs,
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 and fears;
I plead her sex's claim; what matters her's ?
By our full power of beauty we think fit
To damn this Salique law impos'd on wit;
We'll try the empire you so long have boasted,
And if we are not prais'd, we'll not be toasted:

up

all your

Approve what one of us presents to-night,
Or every mortal woman here shall write:
Rural, pathetic, narrative, sublime,
We'll write to you, and make you write in rhyme;
Female remarks shall take

time.
Your time, poor souls! we'll take your very money
Female third days shall come so thick upon ye,
As long as we have eyes, or hands, or breath,
We'll look, or write, or talk you all to death,
Unless you yield for better and for worse;
Then the she-Pegasus shall gain the course ;
And the grey mare will prove the better horse.

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SONGS AND BALLADS.

THE

THIEF AND CORDELIER,

A BALLAD.

To the tune of King John and the Abbot of Canterbury. Who has e'er been at Paris must needs know the The fatal retreat of the unfortunate brave, [Greve, Where honour and justice most oddly contribute To ease heroes' pains by a halter and gibbet.

Derry down, down, hey derry down.

There death breaks the shackles which force had put on,

[begun; And the hangman completes what the judge but There the' Squire of the Pad and the Knight of the Post.

(more crost. Find their pains no more balk'd, and their hopes no

Derry down, &c.

Great claims there are made, and great secrets are known,

[own; And the king, and the law, and the thief has his But my hearers cry out, “What a deuce dost thou Cut off thy reflections, and give us thy tale.' [ail?

Derry down, &c. VOL. XV,

T

'Twas there then, in civil respect to harsh laws, And for want of false witness to back a bad cause, A Norman, though late, was oblig'd to appear, And who to assist, but a grave Cordelier?

Derry down, &c. The'Squire, whose good grace was to open the scene Seem'd not in great haste that the show should begin, Now fitted the halter, now travers’d the cart, And often took leave, but was loth to depart.

Derry down, &c. • What frightens you thus, my good son? (says the

priest) You murder'd, are sorry, and have been confess'd.' • O Father! my sorrow will scarce save my bacon, For 'twas not that I murder'd, but that I was taken.'

Derry down, &c. · Pugh! prythee ne'er trouble thy head with such

fancies; Rely on the aid you shall have from Saint Francis ; If the money you promis'd be brought to the chest, You have only to die; let the Church do the rest.

Derry down, &c. • And what will folks say if they see you afraid ? st reflects upon me as I knew not my trade : Courage, friend, for to-day is your period of sorrow, And things will go better, believe me, to-morrow.'

Derry down, &c. • To-morrow! (our hero replied, in a fright,) He that's hang'd before noon, ought to think of to-night.'

(truss'd up, . Tell your beads, (quoth the priest) and be fairly For you surely to-night shall in Paradise sup.'

Derry down, &c.

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