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the dotard views the store, He views, and wonders that they please no more: Now pall the tasteless meats, and joyless wines, And Luxury with sighs her slave resigns, Approach, ye minstrels, try the soothing strain, Diffuse the tuneful lenitives of pain: No sound, alas! would touch th' impervious ear, Though dancing mountains witness'd Orpheus near ; Nor lute nor lyre his feeble pow'r attend, Nor sweeter musick of a virtuous friend; But everlasting dictates crowd his tongue, Perversely grave, or positively wrong. The still returning tale, and ling’ring jest, Perplex the fawning niece and pamper'd guest, While growing hopes scarce awe the gath'ring sneer, And scarce a legacy can bribe to hear; The watchful guests still hint the last offence; The daughter's petulance, the son's expence, Improve his heady rage with treach'rous skill, And mould his passions till they make his will.
Unnumber'd maladies his joints invade,
But grant, the virtues of a temp’rate prime
Yet ev'n on this her load Misfortune flings,
But few there are whom hours like these await,
* The teeming mother, anxious for her race, Begs for each birth the fortune of a face; Yet Vane could tell what ills from beauty spring; And Sedley curs'd the form that pleas'd a king. Ye nymphs of rosy lips and radiant eyes, Whom Pleasure keeps too busy to be wise ; Whom joys with soft varieties invite, By day the frolick, and the dance by night; Who frown with vanity, who smile with art, And ask the latest fashion of the heart; What care, what rules, your heedless charms shall save, 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;
* Ver. 289-345.
Tir'd with contempt, she quits the slipp'ry reign,
* Where then shall Hope and Fear their objects find?
• Ver. 346-3666
SPOKEN BY MR. GARRICK,
AT THE OPENING OF THE THEATRE-ROYAL,
When Learning's triumph o'er her barb'rous foes
Then Jonson came, instructed from the school,
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. Vice always found a sympathetic friend; 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.
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 antient 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; Perhaps where Lear has rav'd, and Hamlet dy'd, On flying cars new sorcerers may ride : Perhaps (for who can guess th' effects of chance?) Here Hunt may box, or Mahomet * may dance.
Hard is his lot that, here by Fortune plac'd, Must watch the wild vicissitudes of taste; With ev'ry 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 publick voice; The drama's laws, the drama's patrons give. For we that live to please, must please to live.
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.
* Hunt, a famous boxer on the stage ; Mahomet, a rope dancer, who had exhibited at Covent Garden Theatre the winter before, said to be a Turk,