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Are fritter'd into similes?

O thou, whom nature taught the art
To pierce, to cleave, to tear the heart,
Whatever name delight thine ear,
O undertake my just defence,

And banish all but nature hence!
See, to thy aid with streaming eyes
The fair afflicted CONSTANCE flies;
Now wild as winds in madness tears
Her heaving breasts and scatter'd hairs;
Or low on earth disdain relief,

With all the conscious pride of grief.

My PRITCHARD too in HAMLET'S queen—
The goddess of the sportive vein

Here stop'd her short, and with a sneer,

My PRITCHARD, if you please, my dear!

Her tragic merit I confess,

But surely mine's her proper dress;
Behold her there with native ease,

And native spirit, born to please;
With all MARIA's charms engage,

Or MILWOOD's arts, or TouCHWOOD's rage,
Through every foible trace the fair,
Or leave the town, and toilet's care
To chaunt in forests unconfin'd,
The wilder notes of ROSALIND.

O thou, where'er thou fix thy praise,

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O join with her in my behalf,

And teach an audience when to laugh.
So shall buffoons with shame repair
To draw in fools at Smithfield fair,
And real humor charm the age,
Though FALSTAFF should forsake the stage.

She spoke. MELPOMENE reply'd,
And much was said on either side;
And many a chief, and many a fair,
Were mention'd to their credit there.
But I'll not venture to display
What goddesses think fit to say.
However, GARRICK, this at least
Appears, by both a truth confess'd,
That their whole fate for many a year
But hangs on your paternal care.
A nation's taste depends on you;
-Perhaps a nation's virtue too.
O think how glorious 'twere to raise
A theatre to virtue's praise;
Where no indignant blush might rise,
Nor wit be taught to plead for vice:
But every young attentive ear
Imbibe the precepts, living there.
And every unexperienc'd breast
There feel its own rude hints express'd,
And, waken'd by the glowing scene,
Unfold the worth that lurks within.

If possible, be perfect quite ;
A few short rules will guide you right.
Consult your own good sense in all,
Be deaf to fashion's fickle call,

Nor e'er descend from reason's laws
To court what you command, applause.

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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.

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