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PROLOGUE

TO THE

JEALOUS WIFE,

SPOKEN BY MR. GARRICK.

Tue JEALOUS Wire! a Comedy! poor man!
A charming subject! but a wretched plan.
His skittish wit, o'erleaping the due bound,
Commits flat trespass upon tragic ground.
Quarrels, upbraidings, jealousies, and spleen,
Grow too familiar in the comic scene.
Tinge but the language with heroic chime,
'Tis Passion, Pathos, Character, Sublime !
What round big words had swelld the pompous

scene,
A king the husband, and the wife a queen!
Then might Distraction rend her graceful hair,
See sightless forms, and scream, and gape, and

stare. Drawcansir Death had rag'd without controul, Here the drawn dagger, there the poison'd howl. What eyes had stream'd at all the whining woe! What hands bad thunder'd at each Hah! and Oh! But peace! the gentle prologue custom sends, Like drum and serjeant, to beat up for friends. At vice and folly, each a lawful game, Our author flies, but with no partial aim. He read the manners, open as they lie In Nature's volume to the general eye. Books too he read, nor blush'd to use their store He does but what his betters did before. Shakespeare has done it, and the Grecian stage Caught truth of character from Homer's page.

If in his scenes an honest skill is shewn, And borrowing, little, much appears his own; If what a master's happy pencil drew He brings more forward, in dramatic view W; To your decision he submits his cause, Secure of candour, anxious for applause.

But if, all rude, his artless scenes deface The simple beauties which lie meant to grace: If, an invader upon others' land, He spoil and plunder with a robber's hand, Do justice on him !--As on fools before, And give to Blockheads past one Blockhead more.

PROLOGUE

INTENDED TO HAVE BEEN SPOKEN AT DRURY-LAND THEATRE, ON HIS MAJESTY'S BIRTH-DAY, 1761.

Genius, neglected, mourns his wither'd bays ;
But soars to Heav'n from virtue's generous praise,
When Kings themselves the proper judges sit
O'er the blest realms of science, arts and wit,
Each eager breast beats high for glorious fame,
And emulation glows with active flame.
Thus, with Augustus rose imperial Rome,
For arms renown'd abroad, for arts at home.
Thus, when Eliza fill'd Britannia's throne,
What arts, what learning was not then our own?
Then sinew'd Genius, strong and nervous rose,
In Spenser's numbers, and in Raleigh's prose;
On Bacon's lip, then every science bung,
And Nature spake from her own Shakespeare's

tongue.
Her patriot smiles fell, like refreshing dews,
To wake to life each pleasing useful Muse,

While every virtue which the Queen profess'd, Beam'd on her subjects, but to make them blest. O glorious times !-O theme of praise divine ! --Be happy, Briton, then-such times are thine

Behold e'en now strong science imps her wing, And arts revive beneath a Patriot King. The Muses too burst forth with double light, To shed their lustre in a Monarch's sight. His cheering smiles alike to all extendPerhaps this spot may boast a Royal Friend. And when a Prince, with early judgment grąc'd, Himself shall marshal out the way to taste, Caught with the flame perhaps e'en here may rise Some powerful genius of uncommou size; And, pleas'd with nature, nature's depths explore, And be what our great "Shakespeare was before.

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