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TO HIS GRACE

THE DUKE OF NOETHUMBERLAND,

LORD LIEUTENANT OP
THE COUNTY OF MIDDLESEX,

AJID

MASTER OF THE HORSE TO THE KING.

MY LORD,

The Author of this Play was an upright, useful and distinguished magistrate for the County of Middlesex; and by his publications laid the foundation of many wholesome laws for the support of good order and subordination in this metropolis, the "effects of which have been, and now are, forcibly felt by the Public. His social qualities made his company highly entertaining. His genius, so universally admired, has afforded delight and instruction to thousands. The memory of such a man calls for respect; and to have that respect shewn him by the great and praiseworthy, must do him the highest honour.

Under these circumstances this little orphan posthumous work, replete with humour and sound sense, looks up to your Grace for protection, as a nobleman who makes rank and affluence answer the great purposes of displaying true dignity and beneficence. Thus adorned by accomplishments, and enriched by manly sentiments, it is the interest of society to join with me in the warmest wishes for the continuance of your Grace's health, and of all those powers so liberally and so constantly exerted by your Grace for the good of mankind.

I have the honour to be,

MY LORD,

Your Grace's
Respectful and

Obedient Servant,

JOHN FIELDING.

Brompton Placo.

PROLOGUE

WRITTEN BY MR. GAKRICK, SPOKEN BY MR. KINO.

When from the world departs a son of fame,
His deeds or works embalm his precious name;
Yet not content, the Public call for art,
To rescue from the tomb his mortal part;
Demand the painter's and the sculptor's hand,
To spread his mimic form throughout the land:
A form, perhaps, which living, was neglected,
And when it could not feel respect, respected.
This night no bust or picture claims your praise,
Our claim's superior, we his spirit raise:
From time's dark store-house, bring a long-lost play,
And drag it from oblivion into day.

But who the Author? need I name the wit,
Whom nature prompted, as his genius writ?
Truth smil'd on Fancy for each well-wrought story,
Where characters live, act, and stand before ye:
Suppose these characters, various as they are,
The knave, the fool, the worthy, wise, and fair,
For and against the Author pleading at your bar.
First pleads Tom Jones—grateful his heart and warm-
Brave, gen'rous Britons, shield this play from harm;
My best friend wrote it, should it not succeed,
Though with my Sophy blest—my heart will bleed—
Then from his face he wipes the manly tear;
Courage, my master, Partridge cries, don't fear:
Should Envy's serpent hiss, or malice frown,
Though I'm a coward, zounds! I'll knock 'em down:

Next, sweet Sophia comes—she cannot speak—

Her wishes for the play o'erspread her cheek;

In ev'ry look her sentiments you read:

And more than eloquence her blushes plead.

Now Blifil bows—with smiles his false heart gilding,

He was my foe—I beg you'll damn this Fielding;

Right, Thwackum roars—no mercy, Sirs, I pray—

Scourge the dead Author, thro' his orphan play.

What words! (cries Parson Adams), fie, fie, disown 'em,

Good Lord !—de mortuis nil nisi bonum:

If such are Christian teachers, who'll revere 'em—

And thus they preach, the Devil alone shall hear 'em.

Now Slipslop enters—tho' this scriv'ning vagrant,

Salted my virtue, which was ever flagrant,

Yet, like black Thello, I'd bear scorns and whips,

Slip into poverty to the very hips,

T' exult this play—may it decrease in favour;

And be it's fame immoraliz'd for ever!

'Squire Western, reeling, with October mellow,

Tall, yo!—Boys!—Yoax—Critics! hunt the fellow!

Damn'em these wits are varmint not worth breeding,

What good e'er came of writing and of reading?

Next comes, brim-full of spite and politics,

His sister Western—and thus deeply speaks;

Wits are arm'd pow'rs, like France attack the foe;

Negotiate 'till they sleep—then strike the blow!

Allworthy last, pleads to your noblest passions—

Ye gen'rous leaders of the taste and fashions;

Departed genius left his orphan play

To your kind care—what the dead wills, obey:

O then respect the Father's fond bequest,

And make his widow smile, his spirit rest.

DRAMATIS PERSONS.

MEN.

Sir George Boneour,
Mr. Boncour, ....
Young Boneour, his Son,
Old Valenee, ....
Young Valenee, his Son,
Old Kennel, ....
Young Kennel, his Son,

MR. KING.
MR. BENSLEY.
MR WEBSTER.
MR. PARSONS.
MR. WHITFIELD.
MR. BADDELET.
MR. DODD.

WOMEN.

Mrs. Boncour Mrs. Hopkins.

Miss Boneour, Miss Younge.

Miss Valenee, Mrs. Baddeley.

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