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TO MRS. M. B.*
ON HER BIRTH-DAY.
H be thou bleft with all that Heav'n can fend,
Long Health, long Youth, long Pleasure, and
Not with thofe Toys the female world admire,
Let Joy or Eafe, let Affluence or Content, And the gay Confcience of a life well spent,
VER. 10. 'Tis but the Fun'ral] Immediately after this line
were these four following, in the original:
"If there's no hope, with kind, tho' fainter ray,
To gild the evening of our future day;
If every page of life's long volume tell
The fame dull ftory, Mordaunt, thou didst well!”
Colonel Mordaunt, who deftroyed himself, though not under the preffure of any ill or misfortune.
Calm ev'ry thought, inspirit ev'ry grace,
VER. 15. Originally thus in the MS.
And oh fince Death muft that fair frame deftroy,
In fome foft dream may thy mild foul remove,
TO MR. THOMAS SOUTHERN,
ON HIS BIRTH-DAY, 1742.
RESIGN'D to live, prepar❜d to die,
With not one fin, but Poetry,
A table, with a cloth of bays;
And Ireland, mother of fweet fingers,
Presents her Harp ftill to his fingers.
VER. 3. This day Tom's] This amiable writer lived the longest, and died one of the richest, of all our poets. In 1737, Mr. Gray, writing to a friend, fays very agreeably, "We have here old Mr. Southern, who often comes to fee us; he is now feventyfeven years old, and has almost wholly loft his memory; but is as agreeable an old man as can be, at least I perfuade myself so, when I look at him, and think of Ifabella and Oroonoko." He was certainly a great master of the pathetic; and in the latter part of his life became fenfible of the impropriety he had been guilty of in mixing Tragedy with Comedy. He was the firft play-writer that had the benefit of a third night. He told Dryden that he once had cleared feven hundred pounds by one of his plays.
VER. 6. A table,] Mr. Southern was invited to dine on his birthday with this nobleman (Lord Orrery), who had prepared for him the entertainment of which the bill of fare is here fet down. WARBURTON.
VER. S. Prefents her Harp] The Harp is generally wove on the Irish linen; fuch as table-cloths, &c. WARBURTON.
The feast, his tow'ring genius marks
In yonder wild goofe and the larks!
The mushrooms fhew his wit was fudden
And for his judgment, lo a pudden !
Roast beef, tho' old, proclaims him stout,
May Toм, whom heav'n fent down to raise
Be ev'ry birth-day more a winner,
VER. 16. The price of Prologues and of Plays,] This alludes to a story Mr. Southern told of Dryden, about the fame time, to Mr. P. and Mr. W.-When Southern firft wrote for the stage, Dryden was fo famous for his Prologues, that the Players would act nothing without that decoration. His ufual price till then had been four guineas; but when Southern came to him for the Prologue he had befpoke, Dryden told him he must have fix guineas for it; "which (faid he) young man, is out of no disrespect to you, but the Players have had my goods too cheap."-We now look upon thefe Prologues with the fame admiration that the Virtuofi do on the Apothecaries' pots painted by Raphael. WARBURTON.
ROXANA, OR THE DRAWING-ROOM.
OXANA from the court returning late,
Sigh'd her foft forrow at St. James's gate: Such heavy thoughts lay brooding in her breaft ; Not her own chairmen with more weight oppreft: They curfe the cruel weight they're doom'd to bear; She in more gentle founds exprefs'd her care.
Was it for this, that I these roses wear?
This King, I never could attend too foon;
I miss'd my pray❜rs, to get me dress'd by noon.
By honour prompted, and by pride restrain'd,