« 上一頁繼續 »
For not the vengeful power, that glow'd with rage,
peases • But say, illustrious guest! (adjoin'd the king) What name you bear, from what high race yout
The Theban bends on earth his gloomy eyes,
• Before these altars how shall I proclaim (O generous prince !) my nation or my name, Or through what veins our ancient blood has rollid? Let the sad, tale for ever rest untold! Yet if, propitious to a wretch unknown, You seek to share in sorrows not your own, Kpow then from Cadmus I derive my race, Jocasta's son, and Thebes my native place.' To whom the king (who felt his generous breast Touch'd with concern for his unliappy guest) Replies Ah! why forbears the son to name His wretched father, known too well by fame? Fame, that delights around the world to stray, Scorns not to take our Argos in her way. Ev'n those who dwell where sups at distance roll, Io northern wilds, and freeze beneath the pole,
And those who tread the burning Libyan lands,
O father Phæbus ! whether Lycia's coast
146 PROLOGUE TO MR. ADDISON'S CATO.
• Propitious hear our pray'r, O power divine!
To wake the soul by tender strokes of art,
PROLOGUE TO MR. ADDISON'S CATO. 147 Here tears shall flow from a more generous cause, Such tears as patriots shed for dying laws : He bids your breasts with ancient ardour rise, And calls forth Roman drops from British eyes. Virtue confess'd in human shape he draws, What Plato thought, and godlike Cato was : No common object to your sight displays, But what with pleasure Heaven itself surveys, A brave man struggling in the storms of fate, And greatly falling with a falling state. While Cato gives his little senate laws, What bosom beats not in his country's cause? Who sees him act, but envies every deed ? Who hears kim groan, and does not wish to bleed? Ev'n when proud Cæsar, midst triumpbal cars, The spoils of nations, and the pomp of wars, Ignobly vain, and impotently great, Show'd Rome her Cato's figure drawn in state; As her dead father's reverend image past, The pomp was darken'd, and the day o'ercast; The triumph ceas'd, tears gush'd from every eye; The world's great victor pass'd uplieeded by; Her last good man dejected Rome ador'd, And honour'd Cæsar's less than Cato's sword.
Britons! attend: be worth like this approv'd, And show you have the virtue to be mov'd. With honest scorn the first fam'd Cato view'd Rome learning arts from Greece,whom she subdued: Your scene precariously subsists too long On French translation and Italian song. Dare to have sense yourselves; assert the stage, Be justly warm'd with your own native rage : Such plays alone should win a British ear, As Cato's self had not disdain'd to hear.
MR. ROWE'S JANE SHORE.
( Designed for Mrs. Oldfield.) PRODIGIOUS this! the frail one of our play From ber own sex should mercy find to-day! You might have beld the pretty bead aside, Peep'd in your fans, been serious, thus, and cried, · The play may pass—but that strange ereature,
Shore, I can't-indeed now-I so hate a whoreJust as a blockhead rnbs his thoughtless skull, And thanks his stars he was not born a fool; So from a sister sinner you shall hear, • How strangely you expose yourself, my dear ! But let me die, all raillery apart, Our sex are still forgiving at their heart; And, did not wicked custom so contrive, We'd be the best good-natur'd things alive.
There are, 'tis true, who tell another tale, That virtuous ladies envy while they rail ; Sach rage without betrays the fire within ; In some close corner of the soal they sin; Still hoarding up, most scandalously nice, Amidst their virtues a reserve of vice. The godly dame, who fleshly failings damps, Scolds with her maid, or with her chaplain crams. Would you enjoy soft vights, and solid dippers ? Faith, gallants! board with saints, and bed with sin
Well, if our author in his wife ottends, [ners. He has a husband that will make amends :