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From sanction is the English stage become
If from that stage an actress, fill’d with fears,
Your plaudit must remove the stranger's fear; The sons of genius are the least severe. Some favour from the fair she's sure to find; So sweet a circle cannot but be kind. Then to your candid patronage she'll trust, And hopes you gracious--as we know you just.
6 THE MERCHANT OF VENICE,
AT THE TIME A BILL HAD PASSED FOR NATURALIZING THE
'Twixt the sons of the stage, without pensions
or places, And the vagabond Jews, are some similar cases ; Since time out of mind, or they ’re wrong'd much by slander,
[wander: Both lawless, alike, have been sentenced to Then, faith, 'tis full time we appeal to the nation, To be join'd in this bill for na-tu-ra-li-za-ti-on ; Lard, that word's so uncouth!-—'tis so irksome to speak it!
(take it. But 'tis Hebrew, I believe, and that's taste, as I
Well- now to the point-I’m sent here with .
commission, To present this fair circle our humble petition : But conscious what hopes we should have of suc
ceeding, Without (as they phrase it) sufficiently bleeding; And convinced we've no funds, nor old gold we can rake up,
[Jacob; Like our good fathers-Abraham, Isaac, and We must frankly confess we have nought to pre
[tent ye. But Shakspeare's old sterling-pray let it con
This Shylock, the Jew, whom we mean to re
Was naturalized oft by your fathers before ye; Then take him to-night to your kindest compas
sion, Forto countenance Jews is the pink of the fashion,
FOR SOME COUNTRY LADS, PERFORMING
“THE DEVIL OF A WIFE,'
IN THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS.
In days of yore, when round the jovial board,
And while their deeds of prowess they rehearse, The flowing bowl rewards their hobbling verse.
Intent to raise this evening's cordial mirth, Like theirs, our simple stage-play comes to birth. Our want of art we candidly confess, But give you Nature in her homespun dress; No heroes here—no martial men of might; A cobbler is the champion of to-night; His strap, more famed than George's lance of old, For it can tame that dragoness, a scold! Indulgent then support the cobbler's cause, And though he mayn't deserve it, smile applause.
TO THE RECRUITING OFFICER'. SPOKEN AT SHREWSBURY, WHERE MR. PARQUHAR IS SAID
TO HAVE WRITTEN THAT COMEDY FROM the fair mansions of illustrious shades, From groves of bliss, poetic painted meads, Should Farquhar, deck'd with deathless laurels, Obedient to his own recruiting drum; [come, Conscious to-night of the superior grace, The nobler beauties, that adorn this place, Here would he fix-enraptured, here abide, And change Elysium for the Severn's side.
Let boasting Rome of one Mæcenas tell, Countless are those that by the Severn dwell; Parnassus' Mount let future bards disclaim, Hark! how the Wrekin’s hospitable name Swells in the voice of Farquhar and of Fame.
1 Mr. Farquhar dedicated bis play of the Recruiting Officer to his friends.
2 The Wrekin, a remarkable mountain in the county of Salop, not far from Shrewsbury.
Sabrina?! softest nymph that glides along, Winding and various as her Farquhar's song, Indulgent smiled, to bless the poet's toil, And straight his bays bloom'd fresh, and own'd the generous soil.
[mix'd ! Here Beauty beams, with social sweetness Here-true politeness has her standard fix’d! Here- let the Muse her sacred numbers swell, And here let sportive wit and gay-dress'd humour
0, may our secondary labours find [dwell! The brave propitious, and the beauteous kind! So may Salopian plains, that bloom so gay, Ne'er know a blast, but wear perpetual May!
SPOKEN AT THE THEATRE IN SUNDERLAND,
TO A PLAY PERFORMED THERE FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE
WIDOWS AND ORPHANS OF THAT PLACE.
On widows-orphans-left, alas! forlorn
3 The poetical name for the river Severo,
Happy for ever be the generous breast
TO THE WORSHIPFUL FREEMASONS,
DELIVERED FROM THE STAGE BY A LADY, AT A COMEDY
COUNTENANCED BY THAT FRATERNITY.
BROTHERS !—'tis bold to interrupt your meeting, But from the female world I wait you-greeting:
[Courtesies. The ladies can advance a thousand reasons, That make them hope to be received as Masons : To keep a secret,—not one hint expressing, To rein the tongue-0 husbands, there's a bless
ing! As virtue seems the Mason's sole foundation, Why should the fair be barr’d from-Installation ? If you suppose us weak, indeed you wrong us; Historians, Sapphos too, you'll find among us; Think-brothers-think, and graciously admit us; Doubt it not, sirs, we'll gloriously acquit us: How to be wiser and more cautious, teach us ; Indeed 'tis time that your instructions reach us : The faults of late, and every foul miscarriage, Committed in the sphere of modern marriage, Were caused (if I've a grain of penetration) From each great lady's not being made a Mason. Accept us then, to brotherhood receive us, And virtue, we're convinced, will never leave us.