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BATTLE OF POICTIERS.
AN HISTORICAL TRAGEDY,
BY W. SHIRLEY, Esq.
AS PERFORMED AT THE
REGULATED FROM THE PROMPT-BOOKS,
By Permission of the Managers.
• The Lines distinguished by inverted Commas, are omitted in the Representation."
Printed for the Proprietors, under the Direction of
John Bell, British Library, STRAND, Bookseller to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
EARL OF HALIFAX, Viscount SUNBURY, and Baron of HALIFAX; First Lord
Commissioner of Trade and Plantations, and one of his Majesty's Most Honourable Privy-Council.
IN whatever light I consider myself, whether as an Englishman, a merchant, or a poet, I would wila lingly believe that an address of this sort to your Lordship, has the sanction of a peculiar propriety.
As an Englishman, and a lover of my country, sphere could I find a more amiable patron ? For, on your Lordship's very entrance into public life, the early promise you gave of a steady zeal and disinterested virtue, inspired a general hope, an unbounded esteem, among all ranks of people. . And time, (the maturer of all things) ripening your glory with your years, hath made your Lordship an allowed orna
to society, and a blessing to your country. Give me leave particularly 10 .congratulate you, my Lord, on the enjoyment of one happiness, often wanting to the best of men, which is an universal good
report. For however licentious the voice of slander is grown, especially with respect to persons of eminent character, no shaft of malice hath ever been aimed at your Lordship: â striking proof that your worth has either prevented even the worst of men from becoming your foes, or convinced them that the worst of all practices would be impotently exerted against you.
As a merchant, I naturally look for countenance to that honourable Board, at which
Lordship, with such distinguished goodness and abilities, presides : honourable it is in the strongest sensé, ns bleing (by means of your Lordship's direction) the most useful board to the public. Trade is the acknowledged source of national wealth ; and industry, the best nurse of virtue. By these Britain is become mighty; and consequently to her, above all the kingdoms upon earth, the care and culture of comMercè is of the last importance; as the only means that can give power and splendor to her throne, and plenty and happiness to her people. It is; therefore, with singular satisfaction that all good men behold in an employment of such extensive consequence, a person of your Lordship's shining abilities, application and integrity. As an interesting proof of what those qualities give us room to expert, give me leave to congratulate your Lordship and the public, on the happy prosecution of that wise schembe so
steadily pursued by your Lordship; I mean the establishment of a civil government in Nova Scotia. An undertaking, which, if well accomplished, musc be productive of great and numberless blessings; and as a truly patriot work, will heighten the reverence due from the present age to your Lordship, and make your memory precious to latest posterity.
As a poet, I must naturally aspire to the honour of addressing your Lordship in this public manner, not only as you are the inheritor of his titles who was the great Maecenas of the last age, but also from stronger inducements;
; for, besides the very high respect that all men bear lowards your Lordship, I have hereby the honour of introducing to you a hero of your own illustrious family; my brave Earl of Salisbury (whom I have endeavoured strongly to mark with that rough greatness which so gloriously distinguished our old patricians) was a noble Montague! a name, that, from the Conquest, fills our annals with the most shining characters of judges, warriors, statesmen and patriots, patrons and profesa sors of all sublime sciences, protectors and encouragers of every useful arı! Yet, eminent and dignified through a long succession of ages as your ancestors have been, I should fear to point at the retrospect, if I was not convinced, that neither their vices could reflect shame, nor their virtues reproach to your Lordship.