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His vehicle to day may none reproach,
Nor take it for a Hearse, or Mourning-Coach!
'Tis true a gloomy outside he has wrought,
" That rather threatens than doth promise aught;".
Yet from black fun’ral, like his brother Bayes,
A nuptial banquet he intends to raise.
We do but jeft-poison in jest-no more
And thus One Mercer to the world restore.
But if a well-tim'd jest should chance to save
One Mercer from Perdition and the Grave,
All Ludgate-Hill be judge, if 'twere not hard,
Felo-de-se should you bring in the Bard.

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PROLOGUE

To the CHAPTER of ACCIDENTS,

A Comedy critten by Miss I. E ES

Spoken by Mr. PALME R.

Auguft, 1780.

ONG has the paffive Stage, howe'er absurd,

Been ruld by Names, and govern'd by a Word. Some poor cant term, like magick spells can awe, And bind our realms, like a Dramatick law. When Fielding, Humour's fav’rite child appear’d, Low was the word-a word each author fear'd! 'Till chac'd at length, by Pleasantry's bright ray, Nature and Mirth resum'd their legal sway; And Goldsmith's Genius bask'd in open day.

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No beggar, howe'er poor, a cur can lack; Poor Bards, of Critick Curs, can keep a pack. One yelper silenc'd, twenty barkers rise, And with new howls, their snarlings ftill disguise. Low banith'd, the word Sentiment succeeds: And at that thrine, the modern Playwright bleeds.

Hard

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Hard fate! but let each would-be Critick know,
That Sentiments from genuine Feelings flow !
Criticks! in vain declaim, and write, and rail :
Nature, eternal Nature ! will prevail.
Give me the Bard, who makes me laugh and cry,
Diverts and moves, and all, I scarce know why!
Untaught by Commentators, French or Dutch,
Paffion ftill answers to th' electrick touch.
Reason, like Falstaff, claims, when all is done,
The honours of the field already won.
To-night, our Author's is a mixt intent-
Paffion and Humour--Low and Sentiment :
Smiling in tearsa Serio-comick Play-
Sunshine and show'r-a kind of April-Day !
A Lord, whose pride is in his honour plac'd ;
Ą Governor, with Av'rice not disgrac’d;
An humble Priest ! a Lady, and a Lover
So full of virtue, fome of it runs over.
No temporary touches, no allusions
To camps, reviews, and all our late confusions ;
No personal reflections, no sharp Satire,
But a mere Chapter—from the Book of Nature,
Wrote by a Woman too! the Muses now
Few liberties to naughty Men allow;
But like old maids on earth, resolv'd to vex,
With cruel coyness treat the other sex.

PROLOGUE

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PROLOGUE,
On the opening of the THEATRE ROYAL, HAY-MARKET,

June, 1781.
Spoken by MR. PALMER.

WITH

broken Funds our Monarch meets the

House ; His Board of Works have left him scarce a souse ! Poets, and only Poets, durst rehearse In ancient times the mighty pow'rs of Verse; The Bards of old, who built the lofty rhyme, Could build whole cities, at the self same time. Amphion struck his lyre-and at his call, Stone leap'd on stone, and form’d of Thebes the wall. Oh for a Muse of fire! in flames to smother Our crazy Playhouse, and create another! Our Poet Manager has no such fillIn comes the Carpenter's and Bricklayer's bill! Ev'n Opera now the power of Song has lost, And, plung'd in Brick and Mortar, feels their cost, By Italy betray'd, the flies to France; And what she loft in Song, makes up in Dance. No more from voice, or ear, her profits flow; The soul of Opera fixes in Goose Toe!

Since then St. Vitus’ Dance despotick reigns, The furest Succedaneum for the brains, Genius of Nonsense! fill our empty places ; Let us too dance ourselves into your graces ; O'er the whole Hay-market in state preside, Nor let a Palsy seize our hapless fide! To court thy smiles, Farce shall learn entrechat, And Tragedy shall caper en grand pas. Crook'd Richard now shall frisk, his passions mute, « To the lascivious pleasings of a Lute.” And in a cut of eight, to make you stare, Macbeth shall catch the Dagger in the air. Tobine for life in minuet step shall beg, And Bowkitt scrape, and stand upon one leg !

While Dancing shall remain the fav’rite rage, On these, and arts like these, must stand our Stage; But if fome Whim shou'd “ bid the reign commence, “ Of rescu'd Nature, and reviving Sense," Again to Humour Thall we bend our cares, And draw on Wit-to pay for our Repairs.

PROLOGUE

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