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EPILOGUE TO MR. ROWE’S
DESIGNED FOR MRS. OLDFIELD.
DRODIGIOUS 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, I can't-indeed now I so hate a whore
6 Just as a blockhead rubs his thoughtless skull, And thanks his stars he was pot 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,
11 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.
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 sın; Still hoarding up, most scandalously nice, .. Amidst their virtues à reserye of vice.
20 The godly dame, who fleshly failings damns, Scolds with her maid, or with her chaplain crams.
Would you enjoy foft nights and solid dinners?
Well, if our Author in the Wife offends, *25
.. 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 But, pray, which of you all would take her back? Tho' with the Stoic Chief our stage may ring, . The Stoic Husband was the glorious thing. The man had courage, was a fage, 'tis true, *39 And lov'd his country,—but what'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;. '.
Notes:?; "wie is · Ver. 44. Who ne'er faw] A ly and oblique stroke on the suicide of Cato; which was one of the reasons, as I have been informed, why this epilogue was not spoken.'
Ver. 46. Edward's Miss ] Sir Thomas More says, she had one accomplishment uncommon in a woman of that time; the could read and write.
To see a piece of failing flesh and blood,
Thomson in his Epilogue to Tancred and Sigismunda severely censures the flippancy and gaiety of modern Epilogues, as contrary to those impressions intended to be left on the mind by a well-written tragedy. The last new part Mrs. Oldfield took in tragedy was in Thomson's Sophonisba ; and it is recorded that she spoke the following line ;
Not one base word of Carthage for thy soul, in so powerful a manner, that Wilkes, to whom it was addressed, was astonished and confounded. Mrs. Oldfield was admitted to visit in the best families. George II. and Queen Caroline, when Princess of Wales, condescended sometimes to converse with her at their levees. And one day the Princess asked her if she was married to General Churchill; “ So it is said, may it please your Highness, but we have not owned it yet.” Her Lady Betty Modish, and Lady Townly, have never yet been equalled. She was universally allowed to be well-bred, sensible, witty, and generous. She gave poor Savage an annual pension of fifty pounds. And it is strange that Dr. Johnson seems rather to approve of Savage's having never celebrated his benefactress in any of his poems.
o visit in the and confound Wilkes, to i
END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.