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AN Epilogue 1 ask'd; but not one word
Our bard will write. He vows 'tis most absurd
IWith comic wit to contradići the strain
Oftragedy and make your sorrows vain.
Sadly he says, that pity is the best,
And noblest passion of the human breast:
For when its sacred streams the heart o'er-flow,
In gushes pleasure with the tide of woe;
And when its waves retire, like those of Nile,
They leave behind him such a golden soil,
That there the virtues without culture grow,
There the sweet blossoms of affolion blow.
These were his words; void of delusive art,
I felt them: for he spoke them from his heart.
Nor will I now attempt, with witty folly,
To chase away celestial melancholy.
WITHfarce and sound too long you have been teaz'd,
Tho' some are with such wretched joys most pleas'd;
But we, this night, in other paths shall move,
That lead to honour, innocence, and love:
A queen distress'd, to touch the ladies' eyes,
A noble prince, that for her beauty dies;
A British queen, lamenting their sad fate,
And mourning over the unfortunate.
Who is there here, that could so cruel be,
As not to mourn at their sad tragedy?
To see such honour and such beauty fall,
And England's queen mourn at their funeral.
Our noble Britons, tho' for arms renown'd,
Have for the fair a tender pity found;
And in the midst of slaughter still took care
Not to destroy, but guard the tender fair.
Then let this night your courages be seen,
And guard the British and the Albion Queen.
COVENT - GARDEN.
Duke of Norfolk, - - - - Mr. Wroughton.
Davison, - - - - - Mr. Lestrange.
MoR Ton, - - - - - Mr. Fearon.
Cecil, - " - - - - - Mr. Hull.
GIF For D, - - - - - Mr. Thompson,
Women. Queen Elizabeth, - - - Mrs. Jackson.
MARY Queen of Scots, - - - Mrs. Hartley. Dowglas, the Page, - - - Mrs. Bulkley.
Ladies, Gentlemen, Guards, &c.
Cecil and DAvison discovered.
REMEMBER, Davison, thou rising star! Who took thee from thy lowness, made thee shine A living monument of thy mistress' favour; “ Then plac'd thee on this height, whence to look down, “ Men will appear like birds or insects to thee:” Remember too, “thou now art in a sphere “Where princes to their favours set no bounds, “And their rewards, though large and bottomless, ** Yet” statesmen have no mean betwixt The extremest pinnacle of height and ruin. Dav. Wisest and justest that in courts e'er dwelt, Great oracle of Britain, prince of statesmen, Whom men nor angels scarce can praise enough , “Nor divine Plato ever spoke like you;
“ Plato, on whose sweet lips the muses sung,
“ And bees distill'd their honey in his cradle.”
Cec. No more; ’tis worse than death for me to hear
A fawning cringer or submissive praiser.
I should suspect thee, did I not believe
Thou art as far beyond a sycophant, 20
As I’m above the reach of flattery.
Thou art my equal now, nay more, my friend;
Thou art an honest man, “of parts, a compound
“That I have chosen 'mongst the race of men,
“To make a phoenix in the court.”
Dav. The pow'rs above, the strongest guard of
Still place such men about our royal mistress.”
Coc. But now especially she needs their aid.
“Now, when the madness of the nation's grown
“To such a height, 'tis to be fear'd. Death walks
In masquerade, in strange and many shapes:
The court, that was the planet that should guide us,
Is grown into eclipse with these confusions;
Fears, jealousies and factions crowd the stage:
“Two queens, the like was never seen before,
“By different arts oppose each other's interest;”
Our virgin constellation shines but dim,
Whilst Mary, Scotland's queen, that northern star,
Tho' in a prison, darts her rival light.
Dav. The champions of her faction are not few ;
Men of high birth and titles plead her cause, 41
'Mongst whom, the gallant duke of Norfolk's chief,
A prince that has no equal in his fame,