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SPOKEN by Mr. GARRICK, APRIL 5, 1750,
Before the MASQUE of COMUS.
Acted at DRURY-LANE THEATRE, for the Benefit of
MILTON'S Grand-Daughter *.
E patriot crowds, who burn for England's fame,
Ye nymphs, whofe bofoms beat at Milton's name,
Whose gen'rous zeal, unbought by flatt'ring rhymes,
Shames the mean penfions of Auguftan times,
Immortal patrons of fucceeding days,
Attend this prelude of perpetual praise;
Let wit, condemn'd the feeble war to wage
With close malevolence, or publick rage,
Let study, worn with virtue's fruitless lore,
Behold this theatre, and grieve no more.
This night, diftinguish'd by your finiles, fhall tell
That never Britain can in vain excel;
The flighted arts futurity fhall trust,
And rifing ages haften to be juft.
At length our mighty bard's victorious lays
Fill the loud voice of univerfal praise;
And baffled fpite, with hopeless anguish dumb,
Yields to renown the centuries to come;
With ardent hafte each candidate of fame,
Ambitious, catches at his tow'ring name;
He fees, and pitying fees, vain wealth bestow
Those pageant honours which he fcorn'd below,
While crowds aloft the laureat buft behold,
Or trace his form on circulating gold.
Unknown, unheeded, long his offsping lay,
And want hung threat'ning o'er her flow decay.
What though the shine with no Miltonian fire,
No fav'ring Muse her morning dreams inspire;
Yet fofter claims the melting heart engage,
Her youth laborious, and her blameless age;
Hers the mild merits of domestick life,
The patient fufferer, and the faithful wife.
Thus, grac'd with humble virtue's native charms,
Her grandfire leaves her in Britannia's arms;
Secure with peace, with competence, to dwell,
While tutelary nations guard her cell.
Yours is the charge, ye fair, ye wise, ye brave!
'Tis yours to crown defert-beyond the grave.
THE GOOD-NATUR'D MAN. 1769.
REST by the load of life, the weary mind
Surveys the gen'ral toil of human kind,
With cool fubmiffion joins the lab'ring train,
And focial forrow lofes half its pain;
Our anxious bard without complaint may fhare
This bustling season's epidemick care;
Like Cæsar's pilot dignify'd by fate,
Toft in one common ftorm with all the great;
Diftreft alike the statesman and the wit,
When one a Borough courts, and one the Pit.
The bufy candidates for power and fame
Have hopes, and fears, and wishes, just the same;
Disabled both to combat and to fly,
Must hear all taunts, and hear without reply.
Uncheck'd on both, loud rabbles vent their rage,
As mongrels bay the lion in a cage.
Th' offended burgess hoards his angry tale,
For that bleft year when all that vote may rail;
Their schemes of fpite the poet's foes difmifs,
Till that glad night when all that hate may hiss.
"This day the powder'd curls and golden coat,"
Says fwelling Crifpin, "begg'd a cobler's vote."
"This night our wit," the pert apprentice cries,
"Lies at my feet; I hifs him and he dies."
The great, 'tis true, can charm th' electing tribe;
The bard may fupplicate, but cannot bribe.
Yet, judg'd by those whose voices ne'er were fold,
He feels no want of ill-perfuading gold;
But, confident of praise, if praise be due,
Trufts without fear to merit and to you.
A WORD TO THE WISE*,
SPOKEN by Mr. HULL.
HIS night presents a play which public rage,
Or right, or wrong, once hooted from the
From zeal or malice, now no more we dread,
For English vengeance wars not with the dead.
A generous foe regards with pitying eye
The man whom fate has laid where all muft lic.
To wit reviving from its author's dust,
Be kind ye judges, or at least be just.
For no renew'd hoftilities invade
Th' oblivious grave's inviolable fhade.
Let one great payment every claim appeafe,
And him, who cannot hurt, allow to please;
To please by scenes unconscious of offence,
By harmless merriment, or useful sense.
Where aught of bright, or fair the piece displays,
Approve it only-'tis to late too praise.
If want of fkill, or want of care appear,
Forbear to hifs-the poet cannot hear.
By all like him muft praife and blame be found,
At beft a fleeting gleam, or empty found.
* Performed at Covent-Garden theatre in 1777, for the benefit of Mrs. Kelly, widow of Hugh Kelly, Efq. (the author of the play), and her children.
+ Upon the first reprefentation of this play, 1770, a party affembled to damn it, and fucceeded.
Yet then fhall calin reflection blefs the night,
When liberal pity dignified delight;
When Pleasure fir'd her torch at virtue's flame,
And mirth was bounty with an humbler name.
AN OD E.
TERN Winter now, by Spring reprefs'd,
Forbears the long-continued ftrife;
And Nature on her naked breast
Delights to catch the gales of life.
Now o'er the rural kingdom roves
Soft pleasure with the laughing train,
Love warbles in the vocal groves,
And vegetation plants the plain.
Unhappy! whom to beds of pain,
Arthritick tyranny configns;
Whom fmiling nature courts in vain,
Tho' rapture fings and beauty fhines.
Yet tho' my limbs disease invades,
Her wings Imagination tries,
And bears me to the peaceful shades,
Where's humble turrets rise.
Here ftop, my foul, thy rapid flight,
Nor from the pleafing groves depart,
Where first great nature charmed my fight,
Where wisdom first inform'd my heart.
The author being ill of the gout.