Images de page
PDF
ePub

Britons, attend : be worth like this approv'd, And show, you have the virtue to be mov'd. With honest scorn the first fam'd Cato view'd Rome learning arts from Greece, whom she subdu'd;

40 Your scene precariously subsists too long On French translation, and Italian song. Dare to have sense yourselves; assert the stage, Be justly warm’d with your own native rage : Such Plays alone should win a British ear, 45 As Cato's self had not disdain'd to hear.

NOTES.

Ver. 46. As Cato’s felf, etc.] This alludes to that famous story of his coming into the Theatre, and going out again.

E PIL OG U E

TO

Mr. Rowe's JANE SHORE.

Designed for Mrs. OLDFIELD.

P

Rodigious this! the Frail-one of our Play

From her own Sex should mercy find to-day! You might have held the pretty head aside, Peep'd in your fans, been serious, thus, and cry'd, The Play may pass----but that strange creature, Shore,

5 I can't---indeed now---I so hate a whore--Just as a blockhead rubs his thoughtless skull, And thanks his stars he was not born a fool; So from a sister finner you shall hear, How strangely you expose yourself, my dear ?" But let me die, all raillery apart, Our sex are still forgiving at their heart; And, did not wicked custom so contrive, We'd be the best, good-natur'd things alive.

II 20

1

There are, 'tis true, who tell another tale, 15 That virtuous ladies envy while they rail ; Such

rage without betrays the fire within ; In some close corner of the soul, they fin; Still hoarding up, most scandalously nice, Amidst their virtues a reserve of vice. The godly dame, who fleshly failings damns, Scolds with her maid, or with her chaplain crams. Would

you enjoy soft nights and folid dinners ? Faith, gallants, board with faints, and bed with

finners. Well, if our Author in the Wife offends, 25 He has a Husband that will make amends : He draws him gentle, tender, and forgiving, And sure such kind good creatures may be living. In days of old, they pardon'd breach of vows, Stern Cato's self was no relentless spouse : 30 Plu---Plutarch, what's his name, that writes his

life? Tells us, that Cato dearly lov'd his Wife : Yet if a friend, a night or so, should need her, He'd recommend her as a special breeder. To lend a wife, few here would scruple make, 35 which of

you

all would take her back? Tho' with the Stoic Chief our stage may ring, The Stoic Husband was the glorious thing.

But, pray,

The man had courage, was 2 sage, 'tis true, 39 And lov'd his country,---bưi wliat's that to you? Those strange examples ne'er were made to fit ye, But the kind cuckold might instruct the City : There, many an honest man may copy Cato, Who ne'er faw naked sword, or look'd in Plato,

If, after all, you think it a disgrace, 45 That Edward's Miss thus perks it in your

face; To see a piece of failing flesh and blood, In all the rest so impudently good; Faith, let the modest Matrons of the town

49 Come here in crouds, and stare the strumpet down.

[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« PrécédentContinuer »