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MAKE me to speak a prologue ! Is he wild?
Plays, like ambassadors, in form are shewn, When first they've public audience of the town; The prologue ceremoniously harangues, And moves your pity for the author's pangs; Acquaints you that he stands behind the scenes, And trembles for the fondling of his brains. Or with—Nay, if the poet peeps, I vow He puts me clearly out-Or with a bow, (I mean a curtsey) [Curtseying] beg the ladies' pity; Or else in thread-bare jests affront the city; Or gravely tell you what you knew before, How Ben and Shakspere wrote in days of yore :
Then damn the critics first, that envious train, Who, right or wrong, resolve to damn again. Our author seeks, like bards of-of-Oh! Greece, To make his play and prologue of a piece ;
He leads you to the rural scenes to prove
never say't, in short
Men. HEARTWELL, in love with Flora, - Mr. Hull. Modely, - - - - - Mr. Dyer. FREEHOLD, ' - - .' - Mr. Gibson, Sir John ENGLISH, . . . Mr. Shuter. LURCHER, nephew to Sir John, - Mr. Davis. SNEAK, a taylar, - - - Mr. Holtom. LONGBOTTOM, .
Mr. Perry. CARBUNCLE, a vintner,
Mr. Morris. Tim. SHACKLEFIGURE, . . Mr. Hamilton. DOUBLE JUGG, . . . . Mr. Dunstall. VULTUR, . . . . . Mr. Cushing
Women. FLORA, - - - . . Mrs. Lessingham. AURA, • •
Miss Macklin. Countrymen, Maids, &c. SCENE, A Country Village, about forty Miles from London.
ACT 1. SCENE 1.
An open country in perspective, with a gentleman's seat on a
hill, at the foot of which is seen a farm-house. Enter Modely and Heartwell, in riding habits, a Footman appearing, &c.
- Heartwell. Lead our horses round to the farm-house which stands yonder at the foot of the hill.
Mode. We'll walk cross the fields, and meet you there.
Heart. You heard the country fellows say we were seven miles from any town; you know our horses are so lame, it will be impossible to travel on; you see the sun is sinking from the top of yonder hill. Be content, George; to-night thou shalt have thy beloved mistress, Variety, and lie in a barn, in a warm barn, upon a truss of clean straw
Mode. With a wholesome country girl, whose breath is sweeter than the bloom of violets, in a straw hat, a kersey gown, and a white dimity waistcoat; with natural red and white that innocently Aushes over her face, and shews every emotion of her heart.
Heart. Thus thy imaginations always cheat thee of thy joys. No, no: if we get credit for a barn, 'tis all I expect. This is a change of life, however.
Mode. True; we tread no more the same insipid circle ; our pains quicken our pleasures, and disappointments give spirit to our joys. .
Heart. Ha! then a man should be sick to relish health.
“ Mode. Therefore I hate London, where their « pleasures, like their Hyde-Park circle, move al“ ways in one round; where yesterday, to-day, and “ to-morrow, are eternally the same; to the choco. “ late-house, to dinner, the coffee-house, the play“ house, a bottle, or a wench ; 'tis the journey of a “ dog in a wheel, the music of a country fiddle, eter. at nally vexing the strings to thrum the same weary « notes.
• Heart. Pr’ythee, no more; thy raillery, too, is " the same dull dish served over and over. Thou 6 hast no appetite, and railest at a feast."
Mode. Wherefore has nature opened this wild irregular scene of various pleasures! why given us appetites, passions, limbs, but to possess, desire, enjoy