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EPITAPH

ON

EDWARD PURDON.

Here lies poor Ned Purdon, from misery freed,

Who long was a bookseller's hack ;
He led such a damnable life in this world-

I dont think he'll wish to come back.

PROLOGUE,

WRITTEN AND SPOKEN

BY THE POET LABERIUS,

A Roman Knight,

WHOM CÆSAR FORCED UPON THE STAGE.

PRESERVED BY MACROBIUS.

What! no way left to shun the' inglorious stage,
And save from infamy my sinking age!
Scarce half alive, oppress'd with many a year,
What in the name of dotage drives me here?
A time there was, when glory was my guide,
Nor force nor fraud could turn my steps aside;
Unawed by power, and unappal’d by fear,
With honest thrift I held my honour dear :
But this vile hour disperses all my store,
And all my hoard of honour is no more;

For, ah! too partial to my life's decline,
Cæsar persuades, submission must be mine;
Him I obey, whom Heaven himself obeys,
Hopeless of pleasing, yet inclined to please.
Here then at once I welcome every shame,
And cancel at threescore a life of fame;
No more my titles shall my children tell,
The old buffoon will fit my name as well ;
This day beyond its term my fate extends,

For life is ended when our honour ends.

PROLOGUE

TO

THE TRAGEDY OF ZOBEIDE

In these bold times, when learning's sons explore
The distant climates and the savage shore;
When wise astronomers to India steer,

And quit for Venus many a brighter here;
While botanists, all cold to smiles and dimpling,
Forsake the fair, and patiently—go simpling;
Our bard into the general spirit enters,
And fits his little frigate for adventures.
With Scythian stores and trinkets deeply laden,
He this way steers his course, in hopes of trading-
Yet ere he lands has order'd me before,
To make an observation on the shore.
Where are we driven? our reckoning sure is lost!
This seems a rocky and a dangerous coast.

Lord! what a sultry climate am I under!
Yon ill-foreboding cloud seems big with thunder :

[Upper Gallery. There mangroves spread, and larger than I've seen them

[Pit. Here trees of stately size—and billing turtles in them

[Balconies. Here ill-condition'd oranges abound- [Stage. And apples, bitter apples, strew the ground:

[Tasting them. The' inhabitants are cannibals I fear : I heard a hissing—there are serpents here! 0, there the people are—best keep my distance ! Our captain (gentle natives) craves assistance ; Our ship’s well stored-in yonder creek we've laid her, His honour is no mercenary trader. This is his first adventure; lend him aid, And we may chance to drive a thriving trade. His goods, he hopes, are prime, and brought from far, Equally fit for gallantry and war. What, no reply to promises so ample? -I'd best step back-and order up a sample.

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