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EPILOGUE TO THE GOOD-NATUR'D

MAN 1

SPOKEN BY MRS. BULKLEY

As puffing quacks some caitiff wretch procure
To swear the pill, or drop, has wrought a cure ;
Thus, on the stage, our play-wrights still depend
For Epilogues and Prologues on some friend,
Who knows each art of coaxing up the town,
And makes full many a bitter pill go down.
Conscious of this, our bard has gone about,
And teaz'd each rhyming friend to help him out.
An Epilogue, things can't go on without it;
It could not fail, would you but set about it.
Young man, cries one (a bard laid up in clover),
Alas, young man, my writing days are over ;
Let boys play tricks, and kick the straw, not I;
Your brother Doctor there, perhaps, may try.
What I! dear Sir, the Doctor interposes;
What, plant my thistle, Sir, among his roses !
No, no, I've other contests to maintain ;
To-night I head our troops at Warwick-lane.
Go ask your manager-Who, me! Your pardon ;
Those things are not our forte at Covent-garden.
Our author's friends, thus plac'd at happy distance,
Give him good words indeed, but no assistance.

The author, in expectation of an Epilogue from a friend at Oxford, deferred writing one himself till the very last hour. What is here offered, owes all its success to the graceful manner of the actress who spoke it.

As some unhappy wight, at some new play,
At the pit door stands elbowing away,
While oft, with many a smile, and many a shrug,
He eyes the centre, where his friends sit snug ;
His simpering friends, with pleasure in their eyes,
Sink as he sinks, and as he rises rise :
He nods, they nod; he cringes, they grimace ;
But not a soul will budge to give him place.
Since then, unhelp'd, our bard must now conform
'To 'bide the pelting of this pitt’less storm,'
Blame where you must, be candid where you can,
And be each critick the Good-natur’d Man.

SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER

OR

THE MISTAKES OF A NIGHT

A COMEDY

AS ACTED AT THE

THEATRE-ROYAL, COVENT-GARDEN

[First printed in 1773]

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