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And while thus honour'd our proud stage appears,
TO PYRRITUS, KING OF EPIRUS]
A TRAGEDY, Whose wit is best, we'll not presume to tell ;
BY CHARLES HOPKINS. But this we know, our audi-uce will excel : For never was in Rome, nor Athens, seen Our age has much improv'd the warrior's art; So fair a circle, and so bright a queen.
For lighting, now, is thought the weakest part ; Long has the Muses' land been overcast,
And a good head, more useful than a heart. And many rough and stormy winters past ;
This way of war dors our example yield; Hid from the world, and thrown in shades of night,
That stage will win, which longest keeps the fields Of heat depriv'd, and almost void of light :
We mean not battle, when we bid defiance; While Wit, a bardy plant, of nature bold,
But starving one another to compliance. Has struggled strongly with the killing cold :
Our troops, encamp'd, are by each other view'd ; So does it still through opposition grow,
And those which first are hungry, are subdued, As if its root was warmer kept by snow :
And there, in truth, depends the great decision : Bi - then shot forth, then diaws the danger ncar,
They conquer, who cut off the fors' provision. On every side the gathering winds appear,
Let fools with knocks and bruises keep a pother,
Our war and trade is to out-wit each other. And blasts destroy that fruit, wbich frosts would
But, hold: will not the politicians tell us, spare. But now, new vigour and pew life it knows,
That both our conduct and our foresight fail us : And warmth, that from this royal presence Nows.
To raise recruits, and draw new forces down;
Thus, in the dead vacation of the town,
To muster up our rhymes, without our reason,
And forage for an audience out of season ? Then, like the Sun, with pleasure she inight view
Our author's fears inust this false step excuse; The smiling Earth, cloth'd by her beams anew.
'Tis the first night of a just-feather'd Muse : O'er all the meads should various flowers be seen
Th’occasion ta'en, when critics are away, Mix'd with the laurel's never-fading green,
Half wits and beaux, those rarenous birds of prey. The new creation of a gracious queen.
But, Heaven be prais'd, far hence they vent their
wrath, Mauling, in mild lampoon, th' intriguing Bath.
Thus does our author his first flight commence; EPILOGUE
Thus, against friends at first, with foils we fence :
Thus prudent Gimcrack try'd if he were able AT THE OPENING OF THE QUEEN'S THEATRE IN THË (Ere he'd wet foot) to swim upon a table. HAY-MARKET,
Then spare the youth; or, if you'll damn the
play, WITH AN ITALIAN PASTORAL.
Let him but first have his, then take your day. WHATEVER future fate our house may find, At present we expect you should be kind; Inconstancy itself can clajin no right, Before enjoyment and the wedding-night.
EPILOGUE TO OROONOKO. You must be fix'd a little ere you range,
You see we try all shapes, and shifts, and arts, You must be true till you have time to change. A week, at least; one night is sure too soon :
To tempt your favours, and regain your hearts.
We weep, we laugh, join mirth and grief together, But we pretend not to a honey-moon.
Like rain and sunshine mix'd in April weather. To novelty, we know, you can be true,
Your different tastes divide our poet's carts: But what, alas ! or who, is always new ?
One foot the sock, t'other the buskin wears: This day, without presumption, we pretend Thus, while he strives to please, he's fore'd to do't, With novelty entire you 're entertain’d;
Like Volscius, hip-hop, in a single boot. For not alone our house and scenes are new, Critics, he knows, for this may damn bis books : Our song and dance, but ev'n our actors too. But he makes feasts for friends, and not for cooks. Our play itself has something in't uncoinmon, Though errant-knights of late no favour find, Two faithful lovers, and one constant woman. Sure you will be to ladies-errant kind. In sweet Italian strains our shepherds sing, To follow fame, knights-errant make profession : Of harmless loves our paint«d forests ring,
Wc damsels fly, to save our reputation: In notes, perhaps, less foreign than the thing. So they their valour show ; we, our discretion. To sound and show, at first, we make pretence, To lands of monsters and fierce beasts they go : In time, we may regale you with some sense, We to those islands where rich husbands grow : But that, at present, were too great expense. Though they're no monsters, we may make them so. We only fear the beaux may think it hard,
If they're of English growth, they'll bear't with To be to night from smutty jests debarr'd :
patience : But, in good-breeding, sure they'll once excuse But save us from a spouse of Oroonoko's nations ! Ev'n modesty, when in a stranger-muse.
Then bless your stars, you happy London wives, The day's at hand when we shall shift the scene, Who love at large, each day, yet keep your lives : And to yourselves show your dear selves again; Nor envy poor Imoinda's doating blindness, Paint the reverse of what you've seen to day, Who thought her husband kill'd her out of kindAnd in bold strokes the vicious town display.
Death with a husband ne'et had shown such charms, There's his last refuge, if the play don't take,
Yet spare young Dryden for his father's sake.
TO A VERY GOOD WIFE,
A COMEDY, BY POWELL,
SPOKEN BY MR. HAINES.
And he has writ a play--this very play
Which you are all come here to see, to day;
Something or other for the author's sake,
Before the play, (in hopes to make it take)
I'mn come, being his friend and fellow-player,
To say what (if you please) you're like to hear. Tus
dis year has been remarkable two ways, First know, that favour which I'd fain have show, For blooming poets, and for blasted plays : I ask not for, in his name, but my own; We've been by much appearing plenty mock'd, For, without vanity, I'm better known. At once both tantaliz'd and over-stock'd.
Mean time, then, let me beg you would forbear Our authors, too, by their success of late,
Your cat-calls, and the instruments of war. Begin to think third-days are out of date.
For mercy, mercy, at your feet we fall, What can the cause be, that our plays won't kerp, Before your roaring gods destroy us all! Unless they have a rot some years, like sheep? I'll speak with words sweet as distilling honey, For our parts, we confess, we're quite asham'd, With words—as if I meant to borrow money ; To read such weekly bills of poets damn'd.
Fair, gentle sirs, most soft alluring beaux,
Think 'tis a lady, that for pity sucs.
I think I need no more than show my face.
Why, what a swarm of scribblers have we here ! You're willing to be wasps, but want the stings. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eignt, nine, Let not your spleen provoke you to that hight; All in one row, and brothers of the pen. (ten, 'Odslife! you don't know what you do, sirs, when all would be poets ; well, your favour's due
To this day's author, for he's one of you. You'll find that Pegasus has tricks, when try'd, Among the few which are of noted fame, Though you make nothing on't, but up and ride : I'm safe ; for I myself am one of them. Ladies and all, i'faith, now get astride.
You've seen me smoke at Will's among the wits; Contriving characters, and scenes, and plots, I'm witty too, as they are-that's by fits. Is grown as common now, as knitting knots :
Now, you, our city friends, who hither come With the same ease, and negligence of thought, By three o'clock, to make sure elbow-room: The charming play is writ, and fringe is wrought. While spouse, tuckt-up, does in her pattens trudge Though this be frightful, yet we're more afraid,
it, When ladies leave, that beaux will take the trade : With handkerchief of prog, like troll with budget, Thus far 'tis well enough, if here 'twould stop, And here, by turns, you eat plumb-cake and judge But should they write, we must c'en shut up shop. How shall we make this mode of writing sink? Pray, be you kind, let me your grace importune, A mode, said I ? 'tis a disease, I think,
Or else-megad, I'll tell you all your fortune. A stubborn tetter, that's not cur'd with ink.
Well, now, I have but one thing more to say, For still it spreads, till each th' infection takes, And that's in reference to our third day; And scizes ten, for one that it forsakes.
An odd request-may be you'll think it so; Our play to day is sprung from none of these;
Pray come, whether you like the play or no:
PROLOGUE TO THE COURT,
ON THE QUEEN'S BIRTH-DAY,
1701. Yet he has hope some kindness may be shown, As due to greater merit than his own,
The happy Muse, to this high scene preferr'd, And begs the sire may for the son atone.
Hereafter shall in loftier strains be heard ;
And, soaring to transcend her usual theme, Who had a heart so bard, that heard her crick Shall sing of virtue and heroic fame.
And did not weep? who such relentless eyes? No longer shall she toil upon the stage,
Tigers and wolves their wonted rage forego, And fruitless war with Vice and Folly wage;
And dumb distress, and new compassion show; No more in mean disguise she shall appear, As taught by her to taste of human woe. Aná shapes she would reform be forc'd to wear : Nature herself attentive silence kept, While Ignorance and Valice join to blame, And motions seem'd suspended while she wept ; And break the mirrour that reilects their shame. The rising Sun restrain'd his fiery course, Henceforth she shall pursue a nobler task,
And rapid rivers listen'd at their source; Show her bright virgin face, and scorn the Satyr's Ev'n Echo fear'd to catch the flying sound, mask.
Lest repetition should her accents drown; Happy her future days! which are design'd The very morning wird withheld his breeze, Alone to paint the beauties of the mind :
Nor fann'd with fragrant wings the noiseless trees; By just originals to draw with care,
As if the gentle Zephyr liad been dead, And copy from the court a faultless fair:
And in the grave with loved Amyutas laid. Such labours with success her hopes may crown,
No noise, no whispering sigh, no murmuring groan, And shame to manners an incorrigible town.
Presum'd to mingle with a mother's moan; While this design her eager thought pursues,
Her cries alone her anguish could express, Such various virtues all around she views,
All other mourning would have made it less. She knows not where to fix, or which to choose. “ Hear me,” she cried, “ye nymphs and sylvan Yet still ambitious of the daring flight,
gods, One only awes her with superior light.
Inhabitants of these once-loy'd abodes; From that attempt the conscious Muse retires, Hear my distress, and lend a pitying ear, Nor to inimitable worth aspires;
Hear my complaint-you would not hear my But secretly applauds, and sileatly admires.
prayer; Hence she reflects upon the genial ray
The loss which you prevente not, deplore, That first enliven'd this auspicious day:
And mourn with me Amyntas, now no more. On that bright star, to whose indulgent power “ Have I not cause, ye cruel powers, to mouru? We owe the blessings of the present hour.
Lives there like me another wretch forloru? Concurring omens of propitious Fate
Tell me, thou Sun, that round the world doth shine, Rore, with one sa rod birth, an equal date; Hast thou bebeld another loss like mine? Whence we derive whatever we possess,
Ye.winds, who on your wings sad accents bear, By foreign conquest, or domestic prace.
And catch the sounds of sorrow and despair, Then, Britain, then, thy dawn of bliss begun; Tell me if e'er your tender pinions bore Then broke the morn that lighted up this sun! Such weight of woe, such deadly sighs, before ? Then was it doom'd whose councils should succeed,
thou Earth, on whose wide spreading base And by whose arm the christian world be freed; The wretched load is laid of human race, Then the fierce foe was pre-ordain d to yield,
Dost thou not fulthyself with ine opprest! And then the battle won at Blenheim's glorious Lie all the dead so beavy on thy breast? field.
When hoary Winter on thy shrinking head
But why to thee do I relate iny woc,
Within whose darksome woinb the grare is made,
Where all iny joys are with Amyntas laid ?
What is't to me, though on thy naked head
Eternal Winter should his horrour shed, LORD MARQUIS OF BLANDFORD.
Though all thy nerves are numb’d with endless
frost, INSCRIBED TO THE RIGHT HON. THE LORD GODOLPININ,
And all thy hopes of future spring were lost? LORD HIGH TREASURER OF ENGLAND.
To me what comfort can the spring afford ! Qualis populeâ morens Philomela sub umbra Can my Amyntas be with spring restord? Amissos queritur fætus
Can all the rains that fall froin weeping skies, - miserabile carmen
Culock the tomab where my Amyntas lies?
No, never! never !--Say then, rigid Earth,
What is to me thy everlasting dearth?
Though never flower again its head should rear, "TWAS
*As at the time when new-returning light "Though never tree again should blossoin bear, With welcome rays begins to cheer the sight; Thongh never grass should clothe the naked ground, When grateful birds prepare their thanks to pay, Nor ever healing plant or wholesome herb be found. And warble hymns to bail the dawning day ; None,'none were found when I bewail'd their want; When woolly flocks their bleating cries renew, Nor wholesome herb was found, nor healing plant, And from their fleecy sides first shake the silver dew. To case: Amyntas of his cruel pains ;
"Twas then that Amarylli's, heavenly fair, in vain I searchi'd the valleys, bills and plains i Wounded with grief, and wild with her despair, But wither'd leaves alone appeard to view, Forsook her myrtle bower, and rosy bed,
Or pvisulous weeds distilling deadly dew. To tell the winds ber woes, and mouto Amyntas | And if some naked stalk, not quite decay'd, dead.
To yield a fresh and friendly bud essay'a,
Soon as I reach'd to crop the tender shoot, Nothing but groans and sighs were heard around, A shrieking mandrake kill'd it at the root.
And I.cho multiplied each mournful sound. Witness to this, ye fawns of every wood,
When all at once an universal pause Who at the prodigy astonish'd stood.
Of grief was made, as froin some secret cause. Well I remember what sad signs ye made, The balmy air with fragrant sc nis was fill’d, . What showi rs of unavailing tears ye shed;
As if each weeping tree lud gums distilld. How each ran fearful to his mossy cave,
Such, if not sweeter, was the rich perfume When the last gasp the dear Amyntas gave. Which swift ascended from Amyntas' tomb : For then the air was fill'd with dreadtul cries, As if th’ Arabian bird her nest had fir'd, And sudden night o'erspread the darken'd skies; And on the spicy pile we're now expir’d. Phantoms, and fiends, and wandering fires ap And now the turt, which late was naked seen, pear'd,
Was sudden spread with lively-springing green ; And screams of ill-presaging birds were heard: And Amaryllis saw, with wondering eyes, The forest shook, and finty rocks were cleft, A flowcry bed, where she had wept, arise ; And frighted strcains their wonted channels left; Thick as the pearly drops the fair had shed, With frantic grief o'erflowing fruitful ground, The blowing buds advanc'd their purple head; Where many a herd and harmless swain was From every tear that fell a violet grew, dronn'd;
And thence their sweetness came, and thence their While I forlorn and desolate was left,
mournful hue. Of every help, of every hope bereft;
Remeniber this,' ye nymphs and gentle maids, 'To every element expos'a I lay,
When solitude ye seek in gloomy shacles;
Or walk on banks where silent waters flow,
To crop the stalks, and take them softly up.
WEEPING AND NOT SPEAKING.
hy are those hours, which Heaven in pity lent For thee the busy nymph stripp'd every grove, 'To longing love, in fruitless sorrow spent? And myrtle wreaths and flowery chaplets wove. Why sighs my fair: why does that bosom move But now, ah dismal change the tuneful thror.g With any passion stirr'd, but rising love? To loud lamentings turn the cheerful song.
Can Discontent find place within that breast, Their pleasing task the weeping virgins leave, On whose soft pillows ev’n Despair might rest? And with unfinish'd garlands strew thy grave. Divide thy woes, and give me my sad part; There let me fall, there, there lamenting lie, I am no stranger to an aching heart; There grieving grow to earth, despair, and die." Too well I know the force of inward grief,
This said, her loud complaint of force she ceas'd, And well can bear it to give you relief: Excess of grief her faultering speech suppress'd. All love's severest pangs I can endure: Along the ground her coider limbs she laid, I can bear pain, though hopeless of a cure. Where late the grave was for Amyntas made; I know what 'tis to weep, and sigh, and pray, Then from her swimming eyes began to pour To wake all night, yet dread the breaking day; Of softly-falling rain a silver shower;
I know what 'tis to wish, and hope, and all in vain, Her loosely-flowing hair, all radiant bright, And meet, for humble love, unkind disdain: O’erspread the dewy grass like streams of light: Anger and hate I have been forc'd to bear, As if the Sun had of his beams been shorn,
Nay, jealousy—and I have felt despair. And cast to Eartb the glories he had worn.
'These pains for you I have been forc'd to prove, A sight so lovely sad, such deep distress
For cruel you, when I began to love. No tongue can teil, no pencil can express.
Till warm compassion took at length my part, And now the winds, which had so long been still, And melted to my wish your yielding heart. Began the swejling air with sighs to full:
O the dear hour in which you did resign! The water-nymphis, who motionless remain'd, When round my neck your willing arms did twine, Like jinages of ice, while she complain'd,
And, in a kiss, you said your heart was mine. Now loos’d their streams; as when descending Through each returning year way that hour be rains
Distinguish'd in the rounds of all eternity; Roll the steep torrents headlong o'er the plains. Gay be the Sun that hour in all his light, The prone creation, who so long had gaz'd, Let him collect the day to be more bright, Charm'd with her cries, and at her griefs amaz'd, Shine all that hour, and let the rest be night. Began to roar and howl with horrid yell,
And shall I all this Heaven of bliss receive Dismal to hear, and terrible to tell;
From you, yet not lanient to see you grieve! VOL X
Shall I, who nourish'd in my breast desire, But soon as e'er the beauteous ideot spoke,
And what her eyes enthralld her tongue unbound.
DORIS. sighs ? Why does that lovely head, like a fair flower
Doris, a nymph of riper age, Oppress'd with drops of a hard-falling shower, Has every grace and art, Bend with its weight of grief, and seem to grow
A wise observer to engage,
Of native blush, and rosy dyc,
Time has her cheek bereft;
Which makes the prudent nymph supply
With paint th' injurious theft.
Her sparkling eyes she still retains,
And teeth in good repair;
To grace with borrow'd hair.
And does to fat incline
No more than what the French would call
I leave-let it suffice,
She has few faults but what she knows Curse on that word so ready to be spoke,
And can with skill disguise. For through my lips, unmeant by me, it broke.
She many lovers has refus'd,
With many more comply'd ;
Which, like her clothes, when little us'do
She always lays aside.
She's one who looks with great contempt
On each affected creature,
From appetites of Nature.
She thinks they want or health or sense,
Who want an inclination;
And therefore never takes offence
At him who pleads his passion.
Whom she refuses she treats still
With so much sweet behaviour, Both study'd, though both seem neglected ; That her refusal, through her skill
, Careless she is with artful care,
Looks almost like a favour. Affecting to seem unaffected.
Since she this softness can express With skill her eyes dart every glance,
To those whom she rejects, Yet change so soon you'd ne'er suspect them;
She must be very fond, you'll guess, For she'd persuade they wound by chance,
Of such whom she affccts : Though certain aim and art direct them.
But here our Doris far outgoes She likes herself, yet others hates
All that her sex have done; For that which in herself she prizes;
She no regard for custom knows, And, while she laughs at them, forgets
Which reason bids her shun. She is the thing that she despises.
By reason her own reason's meant,
Or, if you please, her will :
For, when this last is discontent,
The first is serv'd but ill.
I shall not undertake to say. bold as his who snatch'd celestial fire.
Or by experience bought