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THE husbandman in vain renews his toil,
To cultivate each year a hungry soil ;
And fondly hopes for rich and generous fruit,
When what should feed the tree devours the root :
Th’ unladen boughs, he sees, bode certain dearth,
Unless transplanted to more kindly earth.
So, the poor husbands of the stage, who found
Their labours lost upon ungrateful ground,
This last and only remedy have prov'd;
And hope new fruit from ancient stocks remov'd.
Well may they hope, when you so kindly aid,
Well plant a soil, which you so rich have made.
As Nature gave the world to man's first age,
So from your bounty we receive this stage;
The freedom man was born to, you've restor’d,
And to our world such plenty you afford,
It seems, like Eden, fruitful of its own accord.
But since in Paradise frail
flesh gave way,
And when but two were made, both went astray;
Forbear your wonder, and the fault forgive,
If, in our larger family, we grieve
One falling Adam, and one templed Eve.
We who remain would gratefully repay,
What our endeavours can, and bring this day,
The first-fruit offering of a virgin play:
We hope there's something that may please each taste,
And tho' of homely fare we make the feast,
Yet you will find variety at least.
There's humour, which for cheerful friends we got,
And for the thinking party there's a plot.
We've something too, to gratify ill-nature
(If there be any here )--and that is satire.
Tho' satire scarce dares grin, 'tis grown so mild,
Or only shews its teeth, as if it smil'd.
As asses thistles, poets mumble wit,
And dare not bite, for fear of being bit.
They hold their pens, as swords are held by fools,
And are afraid to use their own edge-tools.
Since the Plain Dealer's scenes of manly roge,
Not one has dar'd to lash this crying age.
This time, the poet owns the bold essay,
Yet hopes there's no ill-manners in his play:
And he declares by me, he has design'd
Afront to none; but frankly speaks his mind.
And, should thensuing scenes not chance to hit,
He offers but this one excuse~'twas writ
Before your late encouragement of wit.
Mr. Bannister, jun.
Men. Sir SAMPSON LEGEND
Mr. Fearon. VALENTINE
Mr. Holman. SCANDAL
Mr. Farren. TATTLE
Mr. Lewis. BEN
Mr. Ryder. FORESIGHT
Mr. Quick. JEREMY
Mr. Davies. TRAPLAND
Mr. Booth. BUCKRAM
Mrs. Pope. Mrs. FORESIGHT
Mrs. Bates. Mrs. FRAIL
· Mrs. Mattocks. Miss PRUB
Mrs. Brown. NURSE
A Steward, Officers, Sailors, and several Servants.
Vengeance, lie still, thy craving shall be sated :
Alex. Dead! then he is blesti But here, here lies my fate. Hephestion, Clytus! My victories all for ever folded up In this dear body. Here my banner's lost: My standard's triumphs gone. Oh when shall I be mad! Give orders to The army that they break their shields, swords, spears, Pound their bright armour into dust-Away. Is there not cause to put the world in mourning? Burn all the spires that seem to meet the sky, Beat down the battlements of ev'ry city, And for the monument of this lov'd creature up
these bow'rs, and pave 'em all with gold; Draw dry the Ganges, make the Indies poor, To deck her tomb; no shrine nor altar spare, But strip the pomp from gods to place it there. [Exit.
Enter THESSALUS. Cas. He's gone-but whither-follow Thessalus, Attend his steps, and let me know what passes.
Death roams at large, the furies are unchain’d,
And murder plays her mighty master-piece.
Enter POLYPERCHON, THESSALUS; and Philip,
Phil. Saw you the king?
Poly. Yes; with disorder'd wildness in his looks
He rush'd along, 'till with a casual glance
He saw me where I stood, then stepping short,