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SPOKEN TO LADY HENRIETTA CAVENDISHI-IIOLLES
HARLEY, COUNTESS OF OXFORD.
IN THE LIBRARY OF ST. JOHN'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE,
NOVEMBER, 9, 1719.
MADAM, SINCE Anna visited the muses' seat (Around her tomb let weeping angels wait !) Hail thou, the brighest of thy sex, and best, Most gracious neighbour, and most welcome guest. Not Harley's self, to Cam and Isis dear, In virtues and in arts great Oxford's heir; Not he such present honour shall receive, As to his consort we aspire to give.
Writings of men our thoughts to-day neglects, To
pay due homage to the softer sex: Plato and Tully we forbear to read, And their great followers whom this house has bred, To study lessons from thy morals given, And shining characters, impress’d by Heaven. Science in books no longer we pursue, Minerva's self in Harriet's face we view ; For, when with beauty we can virtue join, We paint the semblance of a form divine.
1 The family seat was then at Wimple
Their pious incense let our neighbours bring, To the kind memory of some bounteous king; With grateful hand, due altars let them raise, To some good knight's ? or holy prelate’s praise ; We tune our voices to a nobler theme, Your eyes we bless, your praises we proclaim, Saint John's was founded in a woman's name. Enjoin'd by statute, to the fair we bow; In spite of time, we keep our ancient vow; What Margaret Tudor was, is Harriet Harley now.
PROLOGUE 1 TO THE ORPHAN,
REPRESENTED BY SOME OF THE WESTMINSTER
SCHOLARS, AT HICKFORD'S DANCING
ROOM, FEBRUARY 2, 1720.
SPOKEN BY LORD DUPPLIN, WHO ACTED CORDELIO
humble comrades have me say, Gentle spectators, pray excuse the play? Such work by hireling actors should be done, Whom you may clap or hiss for half a crown. Our generous scenes for friendship we repeat; And, if we don't delight, at least we treat.
1 Sir T. White, founder of St. John's College, Oxon. 2 Archbishop Laud also was a generous benefactor.
3 A few lines of this prologue occur in another, which is printed at p. 206.
Ours is the damage, if we chance to blunder;
Shall we procure you symphony and sound?
For the distress’d, your pity we implore: If once refus'd, we'll trouble you no more, But leave our Orphan squalling at your
IIUSBAND AND WIFE.
H. 011! with what woes am I oppress’d!
W. Be still, you senseless calf !
W. You'll hardly laugh before you die. .
1 Masters of Westminster school.
TRUTH AND FALSEHOOD.
ONCE on a time, in sunshine weather,
Falsehood more leisurely undrest,
From this curst hour, the fraudful dame
Poor Truth she stript, as has been said, And naked left the lovely maid,
1 South Sea, 1720.