« AnteriorContinuar »
Sfor. Add to her Goodness,
Her Tenderness of me, her Care to please me,
Her unsuspected Chaftity, ne'er equalld,
Her Innocence, her Honour-O I am loft
In the Ocean of her Virtues, and her Graceś,
When I think of them.
Fran. Now I find the End
Of all your Conjurations : There's some Service
To be done for this sweet Lady. If fhe have Enemies
That she would have remov’d-
Sfor. Alas! Francisco,
Her greatest Enemy is her greatest Lover ;
Yet, in that Hatred, her Idolater.
One Smile of her's would make a Savage tame;
One Accent of that Tongue would calm the Seas,
Though all the Winds at once strove there for Empire.
Yet I, for whom she thinks all this too little,
Should I miscarry in this preferit Journey,
(From whence it is all Number to a Cypher,
I ne'er return with Honour) by thy Hand
Must have her murther'd.
Fran. Murther'd !-She that loves fo,
And so deserves to be belov'd again?
And I, who fometimes you were pleas'd to favour,
Pick'd out the Instrument?
Sfor. Do not fly off:
What is decreed, can never be recall’d.
'Tis more than Love to her, that marks her out
A wish'd Companion to me, in both Fortunes :
And strong Assurance of thy zealous Faith,
That gives up to thy Trust a Secret, that
Racks Thould not have forc'd from me.- Francisco,
There is no Heav'n without her; nor a Hell,
Where she resides. I ask from her but Justice,
And what I would have paid to her, had Sickness,
Or any other Accident, divorc'd
Her purer Soul from her unspotted Body.
The Alavish Indian Princes, when they die,
Are chearfully attended to the Fire
By the Wife and Slave, that living they lov'd best,
To do them Service in another World:
Nor will I be less honour'd, that love more.
And therefore trifle not, but in thy Looks
Express a ready Purpose to perform
What I command; or, by Marcelia's Soul,
This is thy latest Minute.
Fran. 'Tis not Fear
Of Death, but Love to you, makes me embrace it.
But, for mine own Security, when 'tis done,
What Warrant have I? If you please to sign one,
I shall, though with Unwillingness and Horror,
Perform your dreadful Charge.
Sfor. I will, Francisco:
But still remember, that a Prince's Secrets
Are Balm, conceal'd; but Poison, if discover'd.
I may come back; then this is but a Trial,
To purchase thee, if it were possible,
A nearer Place in
I know thee honest.
Fran. 'Tis a Character
I will not part with.
Sfor. I may live to reward it.
At the Opening of the Theatre in DRURY
HEN Learning's Triumph o'er her bar
First rear'd the Stage, immortal Skakespeare rose,
Each Change of many-colour'd Life he drew,
Exhausted Worlds, and then imagin'd new :
Existence saw him ípurn her bounded Reign,
And panting Time toil'd after him in vain.
His powerful Strokes presiding Truth impress'd,
And unresisting Passion storm’d the Breast.
Then Yonfon came, instructed from the School,
To please in Method, and invent by Rule ;
His studious Patience, and laborious Art,
By regular Approach affail'd the Heart:
Cold Approbation gave the ling’ring Bays
For those who durst not censure, scarce could praise.
A Mortal born, he met the general Doom,
But left, like Egypt's Kings, a lasting Tomb.
The Wits of Charles found easier Ways to Fame,
Nor wish'd for Jonjoi's Art, or Shakespeare's Flame ;
Themselves they studied, as they felt they writ;
Intrigue was Piot, Obscenity was Wit.
Vice always found a fympathetic Friend,
They pleas'd their Age, and did not aim to mend.
Yet Bards like these aspir'd to lasting Praise,
And proudly hop'd to pimp in future Days.
Their Cause was gen’ral, their Supports were strong,
Their Slaves were willing, and their Reign was
Till Shame regain’d the Post that Sense betray'd,
And Virtue call'd Oblivion to her Aid.
Then cruth'd by Rules, and weaken'd as refin'd, For Ycars the Power of Tragedy declin'd: I'rom Bard to Bard the frigid Caution crept Till Declamation foar'd, while Passion flept. Yet still did Virtue deign the Stage to tread, Philosophy remain’i, though Nature fled. But forc'd at length her ancient Reign to quit, She saw great Fauftus lay the Ghost of Wit; Exulting Folly hail'd the joyful Day, And Pantomime and Song confirm'd her Sway.
But who the coming Changes can presage, And mark the future Perious of the Stage? Perhaps if Skill could Jistant Times explore, New Bens, new Durfeys, yet remain in Store. Perhaps, where Lear has rav’d, and Hamlet dy'd, On flying Cars new Sorcerers may ride, Perhaps (for who can guess the Effects of Chance?) Here Hunt may box, or Mahomet may dance. .
Hard is his Lot, that here by Fortune plac'd, Must watch the wild Viciffitudes of Taste, With every Meteor of Caprice must play, And chace the new-blown Bubbles of the Day. Ah! let not Censure term our Fate, our Choice: The Stage but echoes back the public Voice, The Drama's Laws, the Drama's Patrons give, For we that live to please, muft please to live.
prompt no more the Follies you decry, As Tyrants doom their Tools of Guilt to die: 'Tis yours this Night to bid the Reign commence Of rescu'd Nature, and reviving Sense; To chace the Charms of Sound, the Pomp of Show, For useful Mirth and falutary Woe, Bid Scenic Virtue form the rising Age, And Truth diffuse her Radiance from the Stage.