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PROLOGUE.

WRITTEN AND SPOKEN BY SAMUEL FOOTE, ESQ.

TO-NIGHT, be it known to box, gall’ry, and pit;
Will be open'd the best * summer warehouse for wit;
The new manufacture, Foote and Co, undertakers;
Play, pantomime, opera, farce, by the makers !
We scorn, like our brethren, our fortunes to owe
To Shakspeare and Southern, to Otway and Rowe.
Though our judgment may err, yet our justice is shown,
For we promise to mangle no works but our own.
And moreover on this you may firmly rely,
If we can't make you laugh, that we won't make you cry.
For Roscius, who knew we were mirth-loving souls,
Has lock'd up his lightning, his daggers, and bowls.
Resolv'd that in buskins no hero shall stalk,
He has shut us quite out of the tragedy walk.
No blood, no blank-verse! -and in short we're undone,
Unless you're contented with frolic and fun.

If tir'd of her round in the Ranelagh-mill,
There should be but one female inclin'd to sit still;
If blind to the beauties, or sick of the squall,
A party should shun to catch cold at Vauxhull;
If at Sadler's sweet Wells the made wine should be thick,
The cheesecakes turn sour, or Miss Wilkinson sick;
If the fume of the pipes should oppress you in June,
Or the tumblers be lame, or the bells out of lune;
I hope you will call at our warehouse in Drury;
We've à curious assortment of goods, I assure you ;
Domestic and foreign, and all kinds of wares;
English cloths, Irish linen, and French petenlairs !

If for want of good custom, or losses in trade, The poetical partners should bankrupts be made! If from dealings too large we plunge deeply in debt, And whereas issue out in the Muses' Gazette; We'll on you, our assigns, for certificates call; Though insolvent, we're honest, and give up our all.

* Mr. Garrick, at this time, had let his playhouse for the summer months,

Written by Mr. Garrick, and spoken by Mrs. Yates.

Bless me, this summer-work is so fatiguing !
And then our play's so bustling, so intriguing !
Such miffing, sighing, scolding, all together!
These love affairs suit best with colder weather.
At this warm time these writers should not treat you,
With so much love and passion-for they'll heat you :
Poets, like weavers, should, with taste and reason,
Adapt their various goods to ev'ry season.
For the hot months, the fanciful and slight ;
For mind and body, something cool and light :
Authors themselves indeed neglect this rule;
Dress warm in suminer, and at Christmas cool.
I told our bard within, these five-act plays
Are rich brocades, unfit for sultry days.
Were you a cook, said I, would you prepare,
Large hams, and roasted sirloins for your fare?
Their very smoke would pall a city glutton ;
A tragedy would make you all unbutton!
Both appetites now ask for dantier picking,
Farce, pantomime, cold lamb, or white-legg'd chicken,
At Ranelagh, fine rolls and butter see:
Signior Tenducei, and the best green tea !
Italian singing is as light as feather ;
Beard is too loud, too powerful for this weather!
Vauxhall more solidly regales your palates ;
Champaigne, cantatas, cold boil'd beef, and ballads.
What shall we do your different tastes to hit ?
You relish satire; (To Pit] you ragouts of wit ;

[Boxes.
Your taste is humour, and high-season'd joke ; (1 Gall.
You call for hornpipes, and for Hearts of Oak; [2 Gall.
O could I wish and have !--A conjuring man
Once told my fortune-and he charm'd this fan !
Said with a flirt I might my will enjoy:
Think you there's magic in this little toy?
I'll try its pow'r; and, if I gain my wish,
I'll give you, sirs, a downright English dish.
Come then; a song [Music is heard] indeed! I see

'twill do ;
Take heed, gallants, I'll play the deuce with you.
Whene'er I please, I'll charm you to my sight;
And tear a fan with flirting ev'ry night.

76 Enter two Ballad Singers, who sing the following

Song. Ye critics above, and ye critics below, Ye finer spun critics, who keep the mid row, O tarry a moment, I'll sing you a song, Shall prove that, like us, you are all in the wrong. Ye poets, who mount on the fam'd winged steed, Of prancing, and wincing, and kicking take heed : For when by those hornets, the critics, you're stung, You're thrown in the dirt, and are all in the wrong. Ye actors, who act what these writers have writ, Pray stick to your poet, and spare your own wit; For when with your own you unbridle your tongue, I'll hold ten to one you are all in the wrony. Ye knaves, who make news for the foolish to read, Who print daily slanders the hungry to feed : For awhile you mislead 'em, the news-hunting throng, Till the pillory proves you are all in the wrong. Ye grave politicians, so deep and so wise, With your hums, and your shrugs, and your uplifted eyes, The road that you travel is tedious and long, But I pray you jog on, you are all in the wrong. Ye happy fond husbands, and fond happy wives, Let never suspicion embitter your lives; Let your prudence be stout, and your faith be as strong, Who watch, or who catch, they are all in the wrong. Ye unmarried folks be not bought, or be sold, Let age avoid youth, and the young ones the old; For they'll soon get together, the young with the young, And then, my wise old ones, you're all in the wrong. Ye soldiers and sailors, who bravely have fought, Who honour and glory, and laurels have bought; Let your foes but appear, you'll be at 'em ding dong, And if they come near you, they're all in the wrong. Ye judges of taste to our labours be kind, Our errors are many, pray wink, or be blind; Still find your way hither to glad us each night, And our note we will change to you're all in the right.

DOLBY Printer, 17, Catherine-street, Strand, London.

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Lear. What! have his daughters brought him to this pass ? Could'st thou save nothing? Didst thou give them all ?

Act III. Scene 3.

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