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EPISTLE XXIII.

NATURE.

TO

DR. HOADLY,

ON HIS COMEDY OF THE SUSPICIOUS HUSBAND.

BY

WILLIAM WHITEHEAD, ESQ.

SLY hypocrite! was this your aim?
To borrow Paeon's sacred name,
And lurk beneath his graver mien,
To trace the secrets of my reign?
Did I for this applaud your zeal,
And point out each minuter wheel,
Which finely taught the next to roll,
And made my works one perfect whole?
For who but I, 'till you appear'd

To model the dramatic herd,

E'er bade to wond'ring ears and eyes,

Such pleasing intricacies rise?
Where every part is nicely true,

Yet touches still some master clue

Each riddle opening by degrees,

'Till all unravels with such ease,

That only those who will be blind
Can feel one doubt perplex their mind.

Nor was't enough, you thought to write,
But you must impiously unite
With GARRICK too, who long before
Had stole my whole expressive pow'r.
That changeful Proteus of the stage
Usurps my mirth, my grief, my rage;
And as his diff'rent parts incline,
Gives joys or pains, sincere as mine.

Yet you shall find (howe'er elate
You triumph in your former cheat)
'Tis not so easy to escape
In Nature's as in Paeon's shape.
For every critic, great or small,
Hates every thing that's natural.
The beaus, and ladies too, can say,
What does he mean? Is this a play?
We see such people every day.

Nay more, to chafe, and teaze your spleen,

And teach you how to steal again,
My very fools shall prove you're bit,

And damn you for your want of wit.

ΤΟ

MR. GARRICK.

ON HIS

ERECTING A TEMPLE AND STATUE TO
SHAKSPERE.

BY RICHARD BERENGER, ESQ.

Viridi in campo signum de marmore ponam
Propter aquam, tardis ingens ubi flexibus errat

Thamesis, et multa praetexit arundine ripas ;

In medio mihi SHAKSPERE erit, templumque tenebit.

WHERE yonder trees rise high in cheerful air,
Where yonder banks eternal verdure wear,
And opening flow'rs diffusing sweets around,
Paint with their vivid hues the happy ground;
While Thames majestic rolls the meads between,
And with his silver current crowns the scene:
There GARRICK, satiate of well-earn'd applause,
From crowds and shouting theatres withdraws:
There courts the Muse, turns o'er th' instructive page,
And meditates new triumphs for the stage.
Thine, SHAKSPERE, chief-for thou must ever shine
His pride, his boast, unequall'd and divine.
There too thy vot'ry, to thy merit just,

Hath rais'd the dome, and plac'd thy honor'd bust,

Bidding the pile to future times proclaim
His veneration for thy mighty name.
A place more fit his zeal could never find
Than this fair spot, an emblem of the mind-
As bill and dale there charm the wond'ring eye,
Such sweet variety thy scenes supply-

Like the tall trees sublime thy genius tow'rs,
Sprightly thy fancy as the opening flow'rs;
While, copious as the tide Thames pours along,
Flow the sweet numbers of thy heav'nly song,
Serenely pure, and yet divinely strong-

Look down, great shade, with pride this tribute see,
The hand that pays it makes it worthy thee—

As fam'd Apelles was allow'd alone

To paint the form august of Philip's son,
None but a GARRICK can, O bard divine!
Lay a fit offering on thy hallow'd shrine.
To speak thy worth is his peculiar boast,
He best can tell it, for he feels it most.

Blest bard! thy fame through every age shall grow,
Till Nature cease to charm, or Thames to flow.
Thou too, with him, whose fame thy talents raise,
Shalt share our wonder, and divide our praise;
Blended with this thy merits rise to view,
And half thy SHAKPERE's fame to thee is due :
Unless the actor with the bard conspire,
How impotent his strength, how faint his fire!
One boasts the mine, one brings the gold to light,
And the Muse triumphs in the A&tor's might;
Too weak to give her own conceptions birth,

Till all-expressive Action call them forth.

Thus the sweet pipe, mute in itself, no sound

Sends forth, nor breathes its pleasing notes around;
But if some swain, with happy skill endu’d,
Inspire with animating breath the wood,
Wak'd into voice, it pours its tuneful strains,
The harmony divine enchants the plains.

Quod spiro, et placen, si placeo, tuum est.—

HOR.

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