Page images
PDF
EPUB

For thought no higher wish of bliss can frame,
Than to enjoy that virtue still the same.
Entire and sure the monarch's rule must prove
Who founds her greatness on her subjects' love;
Who does our homage for our good require,
And orders that, which we should first desire;
Our vanquish'd wills that pleasing force obey,
Her goodness takes our liberty away,
And haughty Britain yields to arbitrary sway.

Let the young Austrian then her terrors bear,
Great as he is, her delegate in war;
Let him in thunder speak to both his Spains,
That in these dreadful isles a woman reigns;
While the bright Queen does on her subjects shower
The gentle blessings of her softer power;
Gives sacred morals to a vicious age,
To temples zeal, and manners to the stage;
Bids the chaste Muse without a blush appear,
And wit be that which Heaven and she may

hear. Minerva thus to Perseus lent her shield, Secure of conquest, sent him to the field; The hero acted what the Queen ordain'd So was his fame complete, and Andromede un

chain’d. Meantime amidst her native temples sate The goddess, studious of her Grecians' fate, Taught them in laws and letters to excel, In acting justly, and in writing well. Thus whilst she did her various power dispose, The world was freed from tyrants, wars, and woes; Virtue was taught in verse, and Athens'glory rose.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Represented by some of the Westminster Scholars, at Hick

ford's Dancing-Room, in Panton-Street, near Leicester Fields, the 2d of February, 1720.

What! would my 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.
Ours is the damage; if we chance to blunder,
We
may

be ask'd whose patent we act under?
How shall we gain you, A-la-mode de France ?
We hired this room, but none of us can dance;
In cutting capers we shall never please;
Our learning does not lie below our knees.

Shall we procure you symphony and sound ? -
Then you must each subscribe two hundred pound:
There we should fail, too, as to point of voice;
Mistake us not; we're no Italian boys:
True Britons born, from Westminster we come,
And only speak the style of ancient Rome.
We would deserve, not poorly beg, applause,
And stand or fall, by Freind's and Busby's laws.

For the distress'd your pity we implore;
If once refused, we'll trouble you no more,
But leave our Orphan squalling at your door.

EPILOGUE TO PHÆDRA'.

[ocr errors]

SPOKEN BY MRS. OLDFIELD, WHO 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, And comes to Town to let us Moderns know How women loved two thousand years'ago.

If that be all, (said I,) e'en burn your play; I'gad! we know all that as well as they: Show us the youthful, handsome charioteer, Firm in his seat, and running his career, Our souls will kindle with as generous flames As'e'er inspired the ancient Grecian dames ; Every Ismena would resign her breast, And every dear Hippolytus be bless'd.

• But as it is, six flouncing Flanders mares Are e'en as good as any two of theirs ; And if Hippolytus 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 Hippolytus so fills one's headWell! Phædra lived as chastly 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 ;

| Phædra and Hippolytus, a tragedy, written by Mr. Edmund Smith.

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 piquet-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;
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,

Yet, ye

EPILOGUE TO LUCIUS'.

SPOKEN BY MRS. HORTON. The female Author who recites to-day, Trusts to her sex the merit of ber play. Like Father Bays, securely she sits down : Pit, box, and gallery, Gad! all's our own. In ancient Greece, she says, when Sappho writ, By their applause the critics show'd their wit; They tuned 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-natured 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 ruled 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;

1 Lucius, the first Christian King of Britain, a tragedy, written by Mrs. Manley.

« EelmineJätka »