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Whose ins and outs po ray of sense discloses,
Whose only plot it is to break our noses;
Whilst from below the trap-door demons rise,
And from above the dangling deities.
And shall I mix in this unballow'd crew!
May rosin'd lightning blast me if I do!
No — I will act, I'll vindicate the stage:
Shakspeare himself shall feel my tragic rage.
Off! off! vile trappings! a new passion reigos!
The madd’ning monarch revels in my veins.
Oh! for a Richard's voice to catch the theme:
“Give me another horsel bind up my wounds! – soft – 't was

but a dream."
Ay, 't was but a dream, for now there 's no retreating,
If I cease Harlequin, I cease from eating.
'T was thus that Æsop's stag, a creature blameless,
Yet something vain, like one that shall be nameless,
Once on the margin of a fountain stood,
And cavill'd at his image in the flood.
“The deace confound," he cries, “these drumstick shanks,
They never bave my gratitude por thanks;
They're perfectly disgracefull strike me dead!
But for a head, yes, yes, I have a head.
How piercing is that eyel how sleek that brow!
My horns! I'm told horns are the fashion now."
Whilst thus he spoke, astonish’d, to his view,
Near, and more near, the hounds and huntsmen drew;
Hoicks! hark forward! came thund'ring fronı behind,
He bounds aloft, outstrips the fleeting wind:
He quits the woods, and tries the beaten ways;
He starts, he pants, he takes the circling maze.
At length, his silly head, so priz'd before,
Is taught his former folly to deplore;
Whilst his strong limbs conspire to set him free,
And at one bound be saves himself, like me.

[Taking a jump through the stage door.

DRAMAS.

Goldsmith.

17

THE

GOOD - NATURED MAN;

COMEDY:

AS PERFORMED AT THB

THEATRE-ROYAL, COVENT GARDEN.

PRE FACE.

When I undertook to write a comedy, I confess I was strongly prepossessed in favnur of the poets of the last age, and strove to imitate them. The term, genteel comedy, was then unknown amongst us, and little more was desired by an audience, than nature and humour, in whatever walks of life they were most conspicuous. The author of the following scenes never imagined that more would be expected of him, and therefore to delineate character has been his principal aim. Those who know any thing of composition, are sensible that, in pursuing humour, it will sometimes lead us into the recesses of the mean: I was even tempted to look for it in the master of a spunging-house; but in deference to the public taste, grown of late, perhaps, too delicate, the scene of the bailiffs was retrenched in the representation. In deference also to the judgment of a few friends, who thiok in à particular way, the scene is here restored. The author submits it to the reader in his closet; and hopes that too much refinement will not banish humour and character from ours, as it has already done from the French theatre. Indeed, the French comedy is now become so very elevated and sentimental, that it has not only banished huniour and Molière from the stage, but it has banished all spectators, too.

Upon the whole, the author returus his thanks to the Public for the favourable reception which the Good-Natured Man has met with; aud to Mr. Colman in particular, for his kiuduess to it. It may not also be improper to assure auy who shall hereafter write for the theatre, that merit, or supposed werit, will ever be a sufficient passport to his protection.

PROLOGUE
WRITTEN BY DR. JOHNSOX;

Spoken by Mr. Bensley.
Press'n by the load of life, the weary mind
Surveys the general toil of huinan kivd;
With cool submission jolus the lab'ring train,
And social sorrow loses half its paio:
Our auxivus bard, without coniplaiut, may share
This bustling seasou's epidemic care,
Like Cæsar's pilot, dignified by fate,
Tost in one common storin with all the great;
Distrest alike, the statesman and the wit,
Wheu oue a borough courts, and oue the pit,
The busy candidates for power and fame,
Have hopes, and fears, and wishes, just the same;
Disabled both to combat, or to fly,
Must hear all taunts, and hear withont reply.
Uncheck'd, ou both loud rabbles vent their rage,
As nougrels buy the livu io a cage.
Th' offended burgess hoards his angry tale,
For that blest year when all that vote may rail;
Their schemes of spite the poet's foes dismiss,
Till that glad night, when all that hate may hiss.
“This day the powder'd curls and golden coat,
Says swelling Crispin, “begg'd a cobbler's vote,"

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