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What care, what rules, your heedless charms shall | Vice always found a sympathetic friend; save,

They pleas'd their age, and did not aim to mend. Each nymph your rival, and each youth your slave? Yet bards like these aspir'd to lasting praise, Against your fame with fondness hate combines, And proudly hop'd to pimp in future days. The rival batters, and the lover mines.

Their cause was gen’ral, their supports were strong, With distant voice neglected Virtue calls,

Their slaves were willing, and their reign was long : Less heard and less, the faint remonstrance falls; Till Shame regain'd the post that Sense betray'd, - Tir'd with contempt, she quits the slipp'ry rein, And Virtue call'd Oblivion to her aid. And Pride and Prudence take her seat in vain. Then, crush'd by rules, and weaken'd as refin'd, In crowd at once, where none the pass defend, For years the pow'r of Tragedy declin'd; The harmless freedom, and the private friend. From bard to bard the frigid caution crept, The guardians yield, by force superior ply'd : Till Declamation roar'd whilst Passion slept; To Int'rest, Prudence; and to Flatt'ry, Pride. Yet still did Virtue deign the stage to tread, Here Beauty falls betray'd, despis'd, distress'd, Philosophy remain'd, though Nature fled. And hissing Infamy proclaims the rest.

But forc'd, at length, her ancient reign to quit, Where then shall Hope and Fear their objects find? She saw great Faustus lay the ghost of Wit; Must dull Suspense corrupt the stagnant mind ? Exulting Folly hail'd the joyful day, Must helpless man, in ignorance sedate,

And Pantomime and Song confirm'd her sway. Roll darkling down the torrent of his fate?

But who the coming changes can presage, Must no dislike alarm, no wishes rise,

And mark the future periods of the stage ? No cries invoke the mercies of the skies?

Perhaps, if skill could distant times explore, Inquirer, cease ; petitions yet remain

New Behns, new Durfeys, yet remain in store ; Which Heav'n may hear, nor deem religion vain. Perhaps where Lear has rav'd, and Hamlet dy'd, Still raise for good the supplicating voice,

On flying cars new sorcerers may ride: But leave to Heav'n the measure and the choice : Perhaps (for who can guess th' effects of chance ?) jafe in his pow'r, whose eyes discern afar

Here Hunt may box, or Mahomet * may dance. Che secret ambush of a specious pray'r;

Hard is his lot that, here by Fortune plac'd, mplore his aid, in his decisions rest,

Must watch the wild vicissitudes of taste; secure, whate'er he gives, he gives the best. With every meteor of caprice must play, (et, when the sense of sacred presence fires, And chase the new-blown bubbles of the day. And strong devotion to the skies aspires,

Ah! let not Censure term our fate our choice, Pour forth thy fervours for a healthful mind, The stage but echoes back the public voice; Obedient passions, and a will resign'd;

The drama's laws, the drama's patrons give, or love, which scarce collective man can fill; For we that live to please, must please to live. or patience, sov'reign o'er transmuted ill;

Then prompt no more the follies you decry, for faith, that, panting for a happier seat,

As tyrants doom their tools of guilt to die ; Counts death kind Nature's signal of retreat : 'T is yours, this night, to bid the reign commence These goods for man the laws of Heav'n ordain, Of rescued Nature and reviving Sense; These goods he grants, who grants the pow'r to To chase the charms of sound, the pomp of show, gain;

For useful mirth and salutary woe; Vith these celestial Wisdom calms the mind, Bid scenic Virtue form the rising age, Ind makes the happiness she does not find. And Truth diffuse her radiance from the stage.

PROLOGUE,

ON THE

POKEN BY MR. GARRICK, AT THE OPENING OF THE

THEATRE-ROYAL, DRURY-LANE, 1747.

DEATH OF MR. ROBERT LEVET,

A PRACTISER IN PHYSIC.

VHEN Learning's triumph o'er her barb'rous foes
first rear'd the stage, immortal Shakspeare rose;
‘ach change of many-colour'd life he drew,

CONDEMN'D to Hope's delusive mine,
Exhausted worlds, and then imagin'd new:

As on we toil from day to day, Existence saw him spurn her bounded reign,

By sudden blasts, or slow decline, Ind panting Time toil'd after him in vain.

'Our social comforts drop away. lis pow'rful strokes presiding Truth impress’d, ind unresisted Passion storm'd the breast.

Well try'd through many a varying year, Then Jonson came, instructed from the school, See Levet to the grave descend, to please in method, and invent by rule ;

Officious, innocent, sincere,
Iis studious patience and laborious art,

Of ev'ry friendless name the friend.
By regular approach assail'd the heart :
Cold Approbation gave the ling'ring bays,

Yet still he fills affection's eye,
For those who durst not censure, scarce could Obscurely wise, and coarsely kind;
praise.

Nor, letter'd Arrogance, deny A mortal born, he met the gen'ral doom,

Thy praise to merit unrefin'd. But left, like Egypt's kings, a lasting tomb.

The wits of Charles found easier ways to fame, • Hunt, a famous boxer on the stage ; MahoNor wish'd for Jonson's art, or Shakspeare's flame. met, a rope-dancer, who had exhibited at Covent

Garden theatre the winter before, said to be a

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693

JOHN ARMSTRONG.

John Armstrong, a physician and poet, was born | periour merit

. Its topics are judiciously chosen thout 1709 at Castleton in Roxburghshire, where from all those which can add grace or beauty to a iis father was the parish minister. He was brought difficult subject; and as he was naturally gifted up to the medical profession, which he studied at with a musical ear, his lines are scarcely ever harsh. he university of Edinburgh, where he took his de In 1760 Dr. Armstrong had interest enough to free. He settled in London in the double capacity obtain the appointment of physician to the army in of physician and man of letters, and he rendered Germany, which he retained till its return. He himself known by writings in each. In 1744 his then resumed his practice in London ; but his habits apital work, the didactic poem, entitled “ The Art and manners opposed an insurmountable bar against of preserving Health,” made its appearance, and popular success. He possessed undoubted abilities, aised his literary reputatic ght which his but a morbid sensibility preyed on his temper, and ubsequent publications scarcely sustained. It has his intellectual efforts were damped by a languid herefore been selected for this work; and it may listlessness. He died in September, 1779, leaving ve affirmed, that of the class to which it belongs, considerable savings from a very moderate income. icarcely any English performance can claim su

to a

They fly thy pure effulgence: they and all
THE ART OF PRESERVING HEALTH. The secret poisons of avenging Heaven,

And all the pale tribes halting in the train
Book I.

Of Vice and heedless Pleasure: or if aught
AIR.

The comet's glare amid the burning sky,

Mournful eclipse, or planets ill combin'd, Daughter of Pæon, queen of every joy, Portend disastrous to the vital world; Hygeia *; whose indulgent smile sustains

Thy salutary power averts their rage, The various race luxuriant Nature pours,

Averts the general bane: and but for thee And on th' immortal essences bestows

Nature would sicken, nature soon would die. Immortal youth; auspicious, O descend !

Without thy cheerful active energy
Ibou cheerful guardian of the rolling year, No rapture swells the breast, no poet sings,
Whether thou wanton'st on the western gale, No more the maids of Helicon delight.
Or shak'st the rigid pinions of the North,

Come then with me, O goddess, heav'nly gay!
Diffusest life and vigour through the tracts Begin the song; and let it sweetly flow,
Of air, through earth, and ocean's deep domain. And let it wisely teach thy wholesome laws :
When through the blue serenity of Heaven

“ How best the fickle fabric to support Thy power approaches, all the wasteful host Of mortal man; in healthful body how Of Pain and Sickness, squalid and deform’d, A healthful mind the longest to maintain." Confounded sink into the loathsome gloom, 'T is hard, in such a strife of rules, to choose Where in deep Erebus involv'd the Fiends The best, and those of most extensive use; Grow more profane. Whatever shapes of death, Harder in clear and animated song Shook from the hideous chambers of the globe, Dry philosophic precepts to convey. Swarm through the shuddering air: whatever plagues Yet with thy aid the secret wilds I trace Or ineagre famine breeds, or with slow wings Of Nature, and with daring steps proceed Rise from the putrid wat’ry element,

Through paths the Muses never trod before. The damp waste forest, motionless and rank,

Nor should I wander doubtful of my way, That smothers earth, and all the breathless winds, Had I the lights of that sagacious mind Or the vile carnage of th' inhuman field;

Which taught to check the pestilential fire, Whatever baneful breathes the rotten South; And quell the deadly Python of the Nile. Whatever ills th' extremes or sudden change O thou belov'd by all the graceful arts, Of cold and hot, or moist and dry produce; Thou long the fav’rite of the healing powers,

Indulge, O Mead! a well-design'd essay, Hygeia, the goddess of health, was, according Howe'er imperfect : and permit that I to the genealogy of the heathen deities, the daughter My little knowledge with my country share, of Esculapius; who, as well as Apollo, was dis-Till you the rich Asclepian stores unlock, tinguished by the name of Pæon.

And with new graces dignify the theme.

1

Ye who amid this feverish world would wear Convulsive yawnings, lassitude, and pains A body free of pain, of cares a mind's

That sting the burden'd brows, fatigue the lans, Fly the rank city, shun its turbid air ;

And rack the joints, and every torpid limb; Breathe not the chaos of eternal smoke

Then parching heat succeeds, till copious steats And volatile corruption, from the dead,

O’erflow: a short relief from former ills The dying, sick’ning, and the living world

Beneath repeated shocks the wretches pine, Exhald, to sully Heaven's transparent dome The vigour sinks, the habit melts away: With dim mortality. It is not air

The cheerful, pure, and animated bloom That from a thousand lungs reeks back to thine, Dies from the face, with squalid atrophy Sated with exhalations rank and fell,

Devour'd, in sallow melancholy clad. The spoil of dunghills, and the putrid thaw And oft the sorceress, in her sated wrath, Of nature; when from shape and texture she Resigns them to the furies of her train : Relapses into fighting elements :

The bloated Hydrops, and the yellow Fiend It is not air, but floats a nauseous mass

Ting'd with her own accumulated gall. Of all obscene, corrupt, offensive things.

In quest of sites, avoid the mournful plain Much moisture hurts; but here a sordid bath, Where osiers thrive, and trees that love the lake; With oily rancour fraught, relaxes more

Where many lazy muddy rivers flow : The solid frame than simple moisture can.

Nor for the wealth that all the Indies roll Besides, immur'd in many a sullen bay

Fix near the marshy margin of the main. That never felt the freshness of the breeze,

For from the humid soil and wat'ry reign This slumb'ring deep remains, and ranker grows Eternal vapours rise ; the spongy air With sickly rest : and (though the lungs abhor For ever weeps : or, turgid with the weight To drink the dun fuliginous abyss)

Of waters, pours a sounding deluge down.
Did not the acid vigour of the mine,

Skies such as these let every mortal shun
Rolld from so many thundering chimnies, tame Who dreads the dropsy, palsy, or the gout,
The putrid steams that overswarm the sky; Tertian, corrosive scurvy, or moist catarrh;
This caustic venom would perhaps corrode Or any other injury that grows
Those tender cells that draw the vital air,

From raw-spun fibres idle and unstrung,
In vain with all the unctuous rills bedew'd; Skin ill-perspiring, and the purple flood
Or by the drunken venous tubes, that yawn In languid eddies loitering into phlegm.
In countless pores o'er all the pervious skin

Yet not alone from humid skies we pine ; Imbib’d, would poison the balsamic blood,

For air may be too dry. The subtle Heaven, And rouse the heart to every fever's rage.

That winnows into dust the blasted downs, While yet you breathe, away; the rural wilds Bare and extended wide without a stream, Invite; the mountains call you, and the vales; Too fast imbibes th' attenuated lymph The woods, the streams, and each ambrosial breeze Which, by the surface, from the blood exhales. That fans the ever-undulating sky;

The lungs grow rigid, and with toil essay
A kindly sky! whose fost'ring power regales Their flexible vibrations ! or inflam'd,
Man, beast, and all the vegetable reign.

Their tender ever-moving structure thaws.
Find then some woodland scene where Nature smiles Spoil'd of its limpid vehicle, the blood
Benign, where all her honest children thrive. A mass of lees remains, a drossy tide
To us there wants not many a happy seat !

That slow as Lethe wanders through the reins;
Look round the smiling land, such numbers rise Unactive in the services of life,
We hardly fix, bewilder'd in our choice.

Unfit to lead its pitchy current through See where enthron'd in adamantine state,

The secret mazy channels of the brain. Proud of her bards, imperial Windsor sits ;

The melancholic fiend (that worst despair Where choose thy seat in some aspiring grove Of physic) hence the rust-complexion'd man Fast by the slowly-winding Thames; or where Pursues, whose blood is dry, whose fibres gain Broader she laves fair Richmond's green retreats, Too stretch'd a tone ; and hence in climes adus (Richmond that sees an hundred villas rise So sudden tumults seize the trembling nerves, Rural or gay.) O! from the summer's rage, And burning fevers glow with double rage O! wrap me in the friendly gloom that hides Fly, if you can, these violent extremes Umbrageous Ham!-- But if the busy town Of air ; the wholesome is nor moist nor dry. Attract thee still to toil for power of gold,

But as the power of choosing is deny'd Sweetly thou may'st thy vacant hours possess To half mankind, a further task ensues; In Hampstead, courted by the western wind; How best to mitigate these fell extremes, Or Greenwich, waving o'er the winding flood; How breathe unhurt the withering element, Or lose the world amid the sylvan wilds

Or bazy atmosphere ; though custom moulds Of Dulwich, yet by barbarous arts unspoil'd. To every clime the soft Promethean clar; Green rise the Kentish hills in cheerful air; And he who first the fogs of Essex breath'd But on the marshy plains that Lincoln spreads (So kind is native air) may in the fens Build not, nor rest too long thy wandering feet. Of Essex from inveterate ills revive For on a rustic throne of dewy turf,

At pure Montpelier or Bermuda caught. With baneful fogs her aching temples bound. But if the raw and oozy Heaven offend; Quartana there presides ; a meagre fiend

Correct the soil, and dry the sources up Begot by Eurus, when his brutal force

Of watry exhalation : wide and deep Compress'd the slothful Naiad of the fens,

Conduct your trenches through the quaking bagi From such a mixture sprung, this fitful pest Solicitous, with all your winding arts, With fev'rish blasts subdues the sick’ning land : Betray the unwilling lake into the stream; Cold tremours coine, with mighty love of rest, | And weed the forest, and invoke the winds

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To break the toils where strangled vapours lie; Meantime, the moist malignity to shun (paign
Or through the thickets send the crackling flames. Of burthen'd skies; mark where the dry chain-
Meantime at home with cheerful tires dispel Swells into cheerful hills: where marjoram
The humid air: and let your table smoke

And thyme, the love of bees, perfume the air ;
With solid roast or bak’d; or what the herds And where the cynorrhodon • with the rose
Of tamer breed supply; or what the wilds For fragrance vies ; for in the thirsty soil
Yield to the toilsome pleasures of the chase. Most fragrant breathe the aromatic tribes.
Generous your wine, the boast of ripening years; There bid thy roofs high on the basking steep
But frugal be your cups: the languid frame, Ascend, there light thy hospitable fires,
Vapid and sunk from yesterday's debauch,

And let them see the winter morn arise, Shrinks from the cold embrace of wat'ry Heavens. The summer evening blushing in the West : But neither these nor all Apollo's arts,

While with umbrageous oaks the ridge behind Disarm the dangers of the dropping sky,

O'erhung, defends you from the blust'ring North, Unless with exercise and manly toil [blood. And bleak affliction of the peevish East. You brace your nerves, and spur the lagging Oh! when the growling winds contend, and all The fatt'ning clime let all the sons of ease

The sounding forest fluctuates in the storm ; Avoid ; if indolence would wish to live,

To sink in warm repose, and hear the din Go, yawn and loiter out the long slow year Howl o'er the steady battlements, delights In fairer skies. If droughty regions parch (blood; Above the luxury of vulgar sleep. The skin and lungs, and bake the thickening The murmuring rivulet, and the hoarser strain Deep in the waving forest choose your seat, Of waters rushing o'er the slippery rocks, Where fuming trees refresh the thirsty air;

Will nightly lull you to ambrosial rest. And wake the fountains from their secret beds, To please the fancy is no trifling good, And into lakes dilate their rapid stream.

Where health is studied; for whatever moves Here spread your gardens wide ; and let the cool, The mind with calm delight, promotes the just The moist relaxing vegetable store

And natural movements of th' harmonious frame. Prevail in each repast: your food supply'd Besides, the sportive brook for ever shakes By bleeding life, be gently wasted down,

The trembling air, that floats from hill to hill, By soft decoction and a mellowing heat,

From vale to mountain, with incessant change To liquid balm ; or, if the solid mass

Of purest element, refreshing still
You choose, tormented in the boiling wave: Your airy seat, and uninfected gods.
That through the thirsty channels of the blood Chiefly for this I praise the man who builds
A smooth diluted chyle may ever flow.

High on the breezy ridge, whose lofty sides
The fragrant dairy from its cool recess

Th' ethereal deep with endless billows chafes. Its nectar acid or benign will pour

His purer mansion nor contagious years To drown your thirst; or let the mantling bowl Shall reach, nor deadly putrid airs annoy. Of keen sherbet the fickle taste relieve.

But may no fogs, from lake or fenny plain, For with the viscous blood the simple stream Involve my hill! and wheresoe'er you build, Will hardly mingle; and fermented cups

Whether on sun-burnt Epsom, or the plains
Oft dissipate more moisture than they give. Wash'd by the silent Lee; in Chelsea low,
Yet when pale seasons rise, or Winter rolls Or high Blackheath with wintry winds assail'd ;
His horrours o'er the world, thou may’st indulge Dry be your house : but airy more than warm.
In feasts more genial, and impatient broach Else every breath of ruder wind will strike
The mellow cask. Then too the scourging air Your tender body through with rapid pains ;
Provokes to keener toils than sultry droughts Fierce coughs will tease you, hoarseness bind your
Allow. But rarely we such skies blaspheme.

voice,
Steep'd in continual rains, or with raw fogs Or moist gravedo load your aching brows.
Bedew'd, our seasons droop: incumbent still These to defy, and all the fates that dwell
A ponderous Heaven o'erwhelms the sinking soul. In cloister'd air tainted with steaming life,
Lab'ring with storms in heapy mountains rise Let lofty ceilings grace your ample rooms;

Th' imbattled clouds, as if the Stygian shades And still at azure noontide may your dome
Had left the dungeon of eternal night,

At every window drink the liquid sky.
Till black with thunder all the South descends. Need we the sunny situation here,
Scarce in a showerless day the Heavens indulge And theatres open to the South, commend ?
Our melting clime ; except the baleful East Here, where the morning's misty breath infels
Withers the tender spring, and sourly checks

More than the torrid noon? How sickly grow, The fancy of the year. Our fathers talk

How pale, the plants in those ill-fated vales,
Of summers, balmy air, and skies serene.

That, circled round with the gigantic heap
Good Heaven ! for what unexpiated crimes Of mountains, never felt, nor ever hope
This dismal change! the brooding elements, To feel, the genial vigour of the Sun !
Do they, your powerful ministers of wrath,

While on the ghbouring hill the rose inflames
Prepare some fierce exterminating plague ? The verdant spring; in virgin beauty blows
Or is it fix'd in the decrees above

The tender lily, languishingly sweet : That lofty Albion melt into the main ?

O'er every hedge the wanton woodbine roves, Indulgent Nature ! O dissolve this gloom! And autumn ripens in the summer's ray. Bind in eternal adamant the winds

Nor less the warmer living tribes demand That drown or wither; give the genial West The fost'ring Sun, whose energy divine To breathe, and in its turn the sprightly North : And may once more the circling seasons rule • The wild rose, or that which grows on the The year; not mix in every monstrous day. common brier.

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