網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

Accept, iný Lord, in token of a sincere veherrition, this humble tribute of an honest heart: I have deli. pered

my sentiments (such as they dre) toith an entire neglect of art, for truth requires hone, and Providence has placed me in a region so distant from your Lordship, that I cannot, I think, suspected of complimenting for favour. Prostitiile praises are justly despicable; they can delight none but the weakest, and be offered by none but the basest of mankind. Butonr sincere and just acknowledgments for blessings received, our candid and impartial testimonies in behalf of real worth and goodness, inny, and oight to be, acceptable to hoble minds; since such tribute (wvé dre told) is grateful ever to Heaven itself

May your Lordship's life be long and happy, and all your undertakings crotoned withi stitcess. And (as the best external blessing I tan wish you on värih) may your country's alsection keep pace with your ries; and tongues and pens, disinterested as miné, be never wanting to célèbrdtė yóiir praise.

my Lord,
Your Lordship's sincerely devoted,
And most obédient humble servani,

WILLIAM SHIRLEY. Lisbon, Nov. Toth, 1749.

I am,

WILLIAM SHIRLEY.

Mr. Shirler was some time English Resident at Lisbon, and certainly a man of much commercial intelligence. Little, however, is known of his life. He wrote various letters, in the public prints, upon the subject of our commerce with PORTUGAL, to which, as from a pen conversant with the subject, some attention no doubt was paid.

How he came to conceive himself a dramatist is unaccountable. It must have been one of the irregular fancies, with which men too frequently delude themselves; who, feeling no difficulty to produce, are prevented, by self-love, from a proper estimate of the value of their productions.

1

EDWARD

THE

BLACK PRINCE.

Edward first appeared at Drury-Lane in the year 1750—but it was coldly received. From that time the subject has tended to keep it alive. But the glorious memory of our BLACK Prince deserves, and most probably will, in our day, obtain a more adequate illustration. Mr. Colman, jun. seems to have found his strength in the imitation of Shakspere's manner ; he has already brought the Father upon our scene, and he cannot do better than turn now his attention to the son.

Mr. Shirley, we had almost forgot to mention, intended the play which follows, to resemble the tragedy of Shakspere.

PROLOGUE.

THE sons of genius search, thro

every age,
For proper heroes to adorn the stage:
Here Greeks and Romans rise again to view,
Again fight bravely, and their fame renew.

unshaken Cato here you see,
And Cæsar falls for English liberty.
No standard-virtue ripen'd yet on earth,
But you behold it in a second birth;
To strike, impress-impel the vigorous mind,
And give ye all the boasts of all mankind.

The great

Such spurs to glory-if they glory raise, Deserve protection nay, demand your praise.

Our Bard to night, no doubtful story brings, Of native, genuine English feats he sings: Here no false varnish glitters to surprise, But just historic truths in order rise;. And sure that tale must have for Britons charms, That shews you France subdued by British arms : Our lions traversing their ravag'd plains, Their armies broken, and their king in chains.

Our Poet fir'd by England's ancient fame,

On candour's judgment bids his hopes repose,
Alike disdaining partial friends and foes.
If his warm glow excites a patriot-zcal,
If from your eyes soft drops of pity steal ;
If fears, hopes, sorrows, rise with varied art,
And by the hand of nature touch the heart ;
There let him reign Be there his power confest,
And generous judges will o'erlook the rest!

With the humane and the exalted mind, The absent and the dead, indulgence find. Know then -a parent breathing foreign air, This night commits his darling to your care, No faction's form'd to pro titute applause, No art, no interest, to support his cause : The public honour 'tis nis pride to trust, Nor can he think your voice will be unjust. Attentive hear, unprejudic'd explore, And judge like Englishmenhe asks no more.

« 上一頁繼續 »