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To-night a trembling Juliet fills the Scene, Fearful as young, and really not Eighteen; Cold Icy Fear, like an untimely frost, Lies on her mind, and all her powers are loft. 'Tis your's alone to disipate her fears, To calm her troubled foul, and dry her tears. Bit with the cank’ring East, the infant rose Its full-blown honours never can disclose : Oh, may no envious Blast, no Critick Blight, Fall on the Tender Plant we rear to-night! So thall it thrive, and in some genial hour, The opening Bud may prove a beauteous Flower,

PROLOGUE PROLOGUE

TO THE COMEDY OF THE SISTER,

Written by Mrs. LENOX,
Author of the FEMALE QUIXOTE, A Novel.
Spoken by Mrs. MATTOCK S.

February, 1769.

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HE Law of Custom is the Law of Foals
TH

And yet the wise are govern’d by her rules.
Why should Men only Prologue all our Plays
Gentlemen-Ushers to each modern Bayes ?
Why are the Fait to Epilogues confin'd,
Whose tongues are loud, and gen'ral as the wind?
Mark how in real life each sex is class'd !
Woman has there the first word and the last.

Boast not your gallant deeds, romantick men!
To-night a Female Quixote draws the pen.
Armd by the Comick Muse these lists she enters,
And fallies forth-in quest of strange Adventures !
War, open War, 'gainst recreant Knights declares,
Nor Giant Vice, nor Windmill-Folly spares :
Side-saddles Pegasus, and courts Apollo,
While I (you see !) her Female Sancho, follow.

Ye

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183 Ye that in this Enchanted Castle fit, Dames, 'Squires, and dark Magicians of the Pit, Smile on our fair Knight Errantry to-day, And raise no spells to blast a Female Play!

Oft has our Author, upon other ground,
Courted your smiles, and oft indulgence found, .
Read in the closet you approv'd her page,
Yet still she dreads the perils of the Stage.
Reader with Writer due proportion keeps,
And if the Poet nods, the Critick sleeps!
If lethargied by dulness here you sit,
Sonorous Catcalls rouse the sleeping Pit.

Plac'd at the threshold of the Weather-house, There stands a Pasteboard Husband, and his Spouse, Each doom'd to mark the changes of the Weather, But still-true Man and Wife! ne'er seen together, When low'ring clouds the face of Heav'n deform, The muffled Husband stands and braves the storm; But when the fury of the tempest's done, Break out at once the Lady and the Sun. Thus oft has Man, in Custom's beaten track, Come forth, as doleful Prologue, all in black! Gloomy Prognostick of the Bard's disgrace, With omens of foul weather in his face, VOL. III.

R

Trick'd

Trick'd out in filks and smiles let me appear, And fix, as sign of peace, the Rainbow here; Raise your compassion and your mirth together, And prove to-day an emblem of fair weather !

PROLOGUE TO THE ROMAN FATHER,

Atted at the Theatre at Bristol, on Friday, July 14, 1769.

For the Family of the late Mr. POWILL.

Spoken by Mr. HOLLAND.

HEN fancied sorrows wake the Player's art,

A short-liv'd anguish seizes on the heart :
Tears, real tears he sheds, feels real pain ;
But the dream vanish'd, he's himself again.
No such relief, alas ! his bosom knows,
When the sad tear from home-felt sorrow flows :
Paffions cling round the foul, do all we can-
He plays no part, and can't take off the man.

Where'er

Where'er I tread, where'er I turn my eyes, Of my loft Friend new images arise. Can I forget, that from our earliest age, His talents known, I led him to the Stage ? Can I forget, this circle in my view, His first great pride to be approv'd by You? His soul, with ev'ry 'tender feeling bleft, The holy Aame of gratitude possest. Soft as the stream yon sacred springs impart, The milk of human. kindness warm'd his heart. Peace, Peace be with him! may the present Stage Contend, like him, your favour to engage ! May we, like him, deferve your kindness shown, Like him, with gratitude that kindness own! So fhall our art pursue the noblest plan, And each good Actor prove an Honest Man.

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