And that our friendship may remain unbroken,
What if we leave the Epilogue unspoken?






And now, with late repentance,
Un-epilogued the Poet waits his sentence:
Condemn the stubborn fool who can't submit
To thrive by. flatt'ry, though he starves by wit.







HERE is a place, so Ariosto sings, A treasury for lost and missing things: Lost human wits have places there assigned them, And they, who lose their senses, there may find

them. But where's this place, this storehouse of the age ? The Moon, says he:—but I affirm, the Stage: At least in many things, I think, I see His lunar, and our mimic world agree. Both shine at night, for but at Foote's alone, We scarce exhibit till the sun goes down. Both prone to change, no settled limits fix, And sure the folks of both are lunatics.

But in this parallel my best pretence is, That mortals visit both to find their senses. To this strange spot, rakes, macaronies, cits, Come thronging to collect their scatter'd wits. The gay coquet, who ogles all the day, Comes here at night, and goes a prude away. Hither the affected city dame advancing, Who sighs for operas, and doats on dancing, Taught by our art her ridicule to pause on, Quits the ballet, and calls for Nancy Dawson. The gamester too, whose wits all high or low, Oft risques his fortune on one desperate throw, Comes here to saunter, having made his bets, Finds his lost senses out, and pays his debts. The Mohawk too—with angry phrases storid, As “ Dam'me, Sir,” and “ Sir, I wear a sword;" Here lesson'd for a while, and hence retreating, Goes out, affronts his man, and takes a beating. Here come the sons of scandal and of news, But find no sense- for they had none to lose. Of all the tribe here wanting an adviser, Our Author's the least likely to grow wiser ;

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Has he not seen how you your favour place
On sentimental queens and lords in lace? 15 ]
Without a star, or coronet, or garter,
How can the piece expect or hope for quarter?
No high-life scenes, no sentiment:—the creature : i
Still stoops among the low to copy nature.
Yes, he's far gone :-and yet some pity fix, .
The English laws forbid to punish lunatics*.

* This epilogue was given in MS. by Dr. Goldsmith to Dr. Percy (now Bishop of Dromore); but for what comedy it was in. tended is not remembered (a).

(a) From internal evidence (particularly from the last eight lines) it would appear to have been intended by Goldsmith as the Epilogue for “ She Stoops to Conquer.”—The mention of Nancy Dawson in this Epilogue, as well as in the Epilogue to the above play which was really spoken by Mrs. Bulkley, seems, though a trivial coincidence in itself, to favour the conjecture. Si


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