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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.
ON HIS COMEDY OF THE SUSPICIOUS HUSBAND.
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.
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.
ÉRECTING A TEMPLE AND STATUE TO
BY RICHARD BERENGER, ESQ.
---Viridi in campo signum de marmore ponam
Propter aquam, tardis ingens ubi flexibus errat
Tham: sis, 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, unequallid and divine.
There too thy vot’ry, to thy merit just,
Hath rais'd the dome, and plac'd thy honor'd bust,