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What care, what rules, your heedless charms shall Vice always found a sympathetic friend;

save,

They pleas'd their age, and did not aim to mend.
Yet bards like these aspir'd to lasting praise,
And proudly hop'd to pimp in future days.
Their cause was gen'ral, their supports were strong
Their slaves were willing, and their reign was long
Till Shame regain'd the post that Sense betray'd,
And Virtue call'd Oblivion to her aid.

Each nymph your rival, and each youth your slave?
Against your fame with fondness hate combines,
The rival batters, and the lover mines.
With distant voice neglected Virtue calls,
Less heard and less, the faint remonstrance falls;
Tir'd with contempt, she quits the slipp'ry rein,
And Pride and Prudence take her seat in vain.
In crowd at once, where none the pass defend,
The harmless freedom, and the private friend.
The guardians yield, by force superior plied :
To Int'rest, Prudence; and to Flatt'ry, Pride.
Here Beauty falls betray'd, despis'd, distress'd,
And hissing Infamy proclaims the rest.

Where then shall Hope and Fear their objects find?
Must dull Suspense corrupt the stagnant mind?
Must helpless man, in ignorance sedate,
Roll darkling down the torrent of his fate?
Must no dislike alarm, no wishes rise,

No cries invoke the mercies of the skies?

Then, crush'd by rules, and weaken'd as refin d,
For years the pow'r of Tragedy declin'd;
From bard to bard the frigid caution crept,
Till Declamation roar'd whilst Passion slept;
Yet still did Virtue deign the stage to tread,
Philosophy remain'd, though Nature fled.
But forc'd, at length, her ancient reign to quit,
She saw great Faustus lay the ghost of Wit;
Exulting Folly hail'd the joyful day,
And Pantomime and Song confirm'd her sway

But who the coming changes can presage,
And mark the future periods of the stage?
Perhaps, if skill could distant times explore,
New Behns, new Durfeys, yet remain in store;

Inquirer, cease; petitions yet remain

Which Heav'n may hear, nor deem religion vain. Perhaps where Lear has rav'd, and Hamlet died,
Still raise for good the supplicating voice,
On flying cars new sorcerers may ride:
But leave to Heav'n the measure and the choice: Perhaps (for who can guess th' effects of chance?)
Safe in his pow'r, whose eyes discern afar
Here Hunt may box, or Mahomet* may dance.
The secret ambush of a specious pray'r;
Implore his aid, in his decisions rest,
Secure, whate'er he gives, he gives the best.
Yet, when the sense of sacred presence fires,
And strong devotion to the skies aspires,
Pour forth thy fervors for a healthful mind,
Obedient passions, and a will resign'd;
For love, which scarce collective man can fill;
For patience, sov'reign o'er transmuted ill;
For faith, that, panting for a happier seat,
Counts death kind Nature's signal of retreat:
These goods for man the laws of Heav'n ordain,
These goods he grants, who grants the pow'r to
gain;

Hard is his lot that, here by Fortune plac'd
Must watch the wild vicissitudes of taste
With every meteor of caprice must play,
And chase the new-blown bubbles of the day.
Ah! let not Censure term our fate our choice,
The stage but echoes back the public voice;
The drama's laws, the drama's patrons give,
For we that live to please, must please to ve.

With these celestial Wisdom calms the mind,
And makes the happiness she does not find.

PROLOGUE,

SPOKEN BY MR. GARRICK, AT THE OPENING OF THE
THEATRE-ROYAL, DRURY-LANE, 1747.

WHEN Learning's triumph o'er her barb'rous foes
First rear'd the stage, immortal Shakspeare rose;
Each change of many-color'd life he drew,
Exhausted worlds, and then imagin'd new:
Existence saw him spurn her bounded reign,
And panting Time toil'd after him in vain.
His pow'rful strokes presiding Truth impress'd,
And unresisted Passion storm'd the breast.

Then Jonson came, instructed from the school,
To please in method, and invent by rule;
His studious patience and laborious art,
By regular approach assail'd the heart:
Cold Approbation gave the ling'ring bays,
For those who durst not censure, scarce could

praise.

A mortal born, he met the gen'ral doom,
But left, like Egypt's kings, a lasting tomb.

The wits of Charles found easier ways to fame,
Nor wish'd for Jonson's art, or Shakspeare's flame.
Themselves they studied, as they felt they writ;
Intrigue was plot, obscenity was wit.

Then prompt no more the follies you decry,
As tyrants doom their tools of guilt to die;
"Tis yours, this night, to bid the reign commence
Of rescued Nature and reviving Sense;

To chase the charms of sound, the pomp of show
For useful mirth and salutary woe;

Bid scenic Virtue form the rising age
And Truth diffuse her radiance from the stage

ON THE

DEATH OF MR. ROBERT LEVET,

A PRACTISER IN PHYSIC.

CONDEMN'D to Hope's delusive mine,
As on we toil from day to day,
By sudden blasts, or slow decline,

Our social comforts drop away

Well tried through many a varying year,
See Levet to the grave descend
Officious, innocent, sincere,

Of ev'ry friendless name the friend.

Yet still he fills affection's eye,
Obscurely wise, and coarsely kind;
Nor, letter'd Arrogance, deny
Thy praise to merit unrefin'd.

Hunt, a famous boxer on the stage; Mahomet, a ropedancer, who had exhibited at Covent Garden theatre the winter before, said to be a Turk.

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WILLIAM SHENSTONE.

WILLIAM SHENSTONE was born at Hales-Owen, | he settled, and devoted the remainder of his Shropshire, in November, 1714. His father was life to landscape-gardening. All the money a gentleman farmer who cultivated an estate of he could command was spent in beautifying his own called the Leasowes. William received the place, erecting rustic bridges, temples, and his early education from a clergyman of Soli- grottoes, while his fancy was continually emhull, who introduced him to classical literature ployed in devising oddities and composing inand gave him a taste for the best English writ- scriptions and mottoes. His ingenuity was ers. In 1732 he went to Oxford, where he made especially displayed in the devices by which one of a little club of students who met in the he attempted to produce on a small plat of evening to read English literature. ground the effect of an extensive domain. He prided himself upon a vista which he had formed by planting large and dark-colored trees and shrubs near the point of observation, gradually succeeded by lighter and smaller ones down the pathway, which grew narrower as it receded, thus greatly increasing the apparent distance. But a practical wag in the neighborhood used to take visitors to look at it from the wrong end.

In 1737 Shenstone published at Oxford a small volume bearing this title: "Poems upon Various Occasions, written for the Entertainment of the Author, and printed for the Amusement of a few Friends, prejudiced in his Favour." It did not attract much attention, and some years later he bought up all the copies he could find, and did his utmost to suppress it.

In 1740 he visited London and made the acquaintance of Dodsley, who published his "Judgment of Hercules." The next year he published his "School-mistress," which alone has kept his name on the roll of British poets. Shenstone brought it out in what he calls a sixpenny pamphlet, illustrated with costly engravings designed by himself, among which he contemplated including "the deformed portrait of my old school-dame, Sarah Lloyd." He also supplemented it with a "ludicrous index," which he said was "purely to show fools that I am in jest." But Dodsley suppressed the index in subsequent editions, and it is said that for want of it some noted critics did entirely misapprehend the character of the poem, as its author had feared. It is not improbable that one of the striking passages in this poem suggested one of the most striking in Gray's "Elegy."

In 1745, his parents having died, Shenstone came into possession of the Leasowes, on which

THE SCHOOL-MISTRESS.

IN IMITATION OF SPENSER.

Auditæ voces, vagitus et ingens,
Infantumque animæ flentes in limine primo.
Virg.

Advertisement. What particulars in Spenser were imagined most proper for the author's imitation on this occasion, are his language, his simplicity, his manner of description, and a peculiar tenderness of sentiment remarkable throughout his works.

АH me! full sorely is my heart forlorn,
To think how modest Worth neglected lies,
While partial Fame doth with her blast adorn
Such deeds alone, as pride and pomp disguise;
Deeds of ill sort, and mischievous emprise :

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