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PROLOGUE TO PHILASTER.

Revived on the first Appearance of Mr. POWELL,

Spoken by MR. KING.

MDCCLXIII.

WH

HILE Modern Tragedy, by rule exact,

Spins out a thin-wrought Fable, Act by Act, We dare to bring you one of those bold Plays Wrote by rough English Wits in former days; Beaumont and Fletcher ! those Twin Stars, that run Their glorious course round Shakespeare's golden Sun; Or when Philaster Hamlet's place supplied, Or Bessus walk'd the Stage by Falstaff's fide. Their Souls, well-pair’d, shot fire in mingled rays, Their hands together twin'd the social Bayes, Till Fashion drove, in a refining age, Virtue from Court, and Nature from the Stage. Then Nonsense, in Heroicks, seem'd sublime; Kings rav’d in couplets, and maids figh’d in Rhime. Next, prim, and trim, and delicate, and chaste, A Halh from Greece and France, came Modern Taste.

R3

Cold

Cold are her sons, and so afraid of dealing
In Rant and Fustian, they ne'er rise to Feeling.
O say, ye Bards of Phlegm, fay; where's the name
That can with Fletcher urge a rival claim?
Say, where's the Poet, train’d in Pedant Schools,
Equal to Shakespeare, who o'erleap'd all Rules ?

Thus of our Bards, we boldly speak our mind ;
A harder talk, alas, remains behind :
To-night, as yet by publick eyes unseen,
A raw, unpractis'd Novice, fills the Scene.
Bred in the City, his Theatrick Star
Brings him at length, on this side Temple-Bar;
Smit with the Muse, the Ledger he forgot,
And when he wrote his name, he made a blot.
Him while perplexing hopes and fears embarrass,
Skulking (like Hamlet's Rat) behind the Arras,
Me a Dramatick fellow-feeling draws,
Without a fee, to plead a Brother's Cause.
Genius is rare; and while our Great Comptroller,
No more a Manager, turns Arrant-Stroller,
Let new adventurers your care engage,
And nurse the Infant Saplings of the Stage!

EPILOGUE EPILOGUE TO THE FAIRY TALE,

Spoken by Miss Hopkins in the Character of the

Fairy Page, at Drury Lane Theatre, May 23, 1764.

L

ADIES, behold a Female Page !

I've been Six Months upon the Stage,
And am almost Five Years of Age.
To-night Papa, Mama, thought fit
To send me, at their Benefit,
To thank the Galleries, Boxes, Pit.
Me in this habit oft you've seen,
Train-bearer to the Fairy Queen :
'Tis power all our sex bewitches;
And I'm resolv'd to wear the breeches.
At present, as you see full well,
I am an Actress in the Shell :
But by-and-by, a tender Chicken,
You'll find me-very pretty picking.

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Spoken at the THEATRE ROYAL, DRURY-LANE,

April 30, 1765.

By Miss Hopkins a Child of Six Years old, at the

Benefit of Mr. Hopkins, Prompter, and Mrs.
HOPKINS.

Enter, Speaking to Mr. Hopkins at the Stage Doors

AY-but I must.--I must, indeed, Papa !

Pray, let me go ! what signifies Mama!

Coming forward Curtjies.
Your Servant, Gentlemen! your Servant, Ladies !
Papa's the Prompter-but to Aa my Trade is :
And though my fize is small, my years but few,
I'll warrant, he shall find I know my Cue.

Females of ev'ry Age have leave to tattle ;
Why may not I then, like my elders, pratele ?
Mama indeed cries, “ Hush, you little Elf!
« Prithee be filent! I'll talk all myself.”.

-But

-But let her know, my Tongue as hers is nimble,
And I had rather use it than my Thimble;
Had rather gossip, speak a part, or wheedle,
Than darn, or wound my fingers with a needle.
A Sempftress ? No. A Princess let me be,
In all the pomp and state of Tragedy !
A Princess, with a Page, and sweeping Train,
A Bowl, a Dagger, and a Lover flain!
Oh how I'll rant! how loud I'll be, and glibber
Than Yates, or Pritchard, Bellamy, or Cibber!
If for the Buskin you object my size,
Why Garrick's little—but has piercing Eyes.
And fo have I-But I'm too young you'll say.
Ah, Sirs ! I shall grow older ev'ry day :
And they that now my faint endeavours spare,
Mifs in her Teens shall thank them for their care.

PROLOGUE

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