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PROLOGUE. This play took birth from principles of truth, To make amends for errors past of youth. A bard, that's now no more, in riper days, Conscious review'd the licence of his plays: And though applause his wanton Muse had fir'd, Himself condemn'd what sensual minds admir'd. At length, he own'd, that plays should let you see Not only what you are, but ought to be; Though vice was natural,'twas never meant The stage should show it, but for punishment! Warm with that thought, his muse once more took flame, Resolv'd to bring licentious life to shame. Sach was the piece his latest pen design'd, But left no traces of his plan behind. Luxuriant scenes, unpron’d, or half contriv'd: Yet, through the mass, his native fire surviv'd: Rough, as rich ore in mines, the treasure lay, Yet still 'twas rich, and forms at length a play. In which the bold compiler boasts no merit, But that his pains have sav'd you scenes of spirit. Not scenes that would a noisy joy impart, But such as hush the mind and warın the heart. From praise of hands po sure account he draws, Bat fix'd attention is sincere applause.

If then (for hard you'll own the task) his art Can to those embryon-scenes new life impart, The living proudly would exclude his lays, And to the bury'd bard resign the praise.

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

As originally acted, 1728. Lord Townly

Mr. Wilkes. Sir F. Wronghead

Mr. Cibber, sen. Manly

Mr. Mills, sen. Squire Richard

Mr. Wetherelt, jun. Count Basset

Mr. Bridgwater. John Moody

Mr. Miller. Lady Townly

Mrs. Oldfield. Lady Grace

Mrs. Porter. Lady Wronghead.

Mrs. Thurmond. Miss Jenny

Mrs. Cibber. Mrs. Motherly

Mrs. Moore. Myrtilla.

Mrs. Grace. Trusty.

Mrs. Mills.

Drury Lane, 1815. Covent Garden, 1810. Lord Townly :

Mr. Pope.

Mr. Young Sir F. Wronghead . Mr. Dowton. Mr. Munden. Manly

Mr. Powell. Mr. Egerton. Squire Richard

Mr. Decamp:

Mr. Simmons. Count Basset .. Mr. Wrench. Mr. Farley. Poundage.

Mr. Maddocks. Mr. Davenport. John Moody

Mr. Gattee. Mr. Emery. James.

Mr. Evans. Mr. Field. Constable .

Mr. Sparks.

Mr. Atkins. Williams

Mr. West. Mr. Lambert. Lady Townly. Miss Walstein. Mrs.H.Johpstone. Lady Grace

Miss Boyce.

Miss Bolton. Lady Wronghead

Mrs. Sparks. Mrs. Davenport. Miss Jenny

Miss Kelly Mrs. Gibbs. Mrs. Motherly

Mrs.Maddocks. Mrs. Emery. Myrtilla

Mrs. Scott. Mrs. Ridgway. Trusty

Miss Tidswell. Miss Logan.

[graphic]

SCENE I. LORD TownLY's Apartment.

Enter LORD TOWNlY. Lord T. Why did I marry?-Was it not evident, my plain, rational scheme of life was impracticable with a woman of so different a way of thinking ?-Is there one article of it that she has not broke in upon?

-Yes—let me do her justice-her reputation-ThatI have no reason to believe, is in question—But then, how long her profligate course of pleasures may make her able to keep it—is a shocking consideration! and her presumption, while she keeps it, insupportable ! for, on the pride of that single virtue, sbe seems to lay it down as a fundamental point, that the free indul. gence of every other vice this fertile town affords, is the birthright prerogative of a woman of quality.Amazing! ibat a creature, so warm in the pursuit of her pleasures, should never cast one thought towards her happiness—Thus, while she admits of no lover, she thinks it a greater merit still, in her chastity, not

to care for her husband; and, while she herself is solacing in one continual round of cards and good company, he, poor wretch, is left at large, to take care of his own contentment Tis time, indeed, some care were taken, and speedily there shall be-Yet, let me not be rash--Perhaps this disappointment of my

heart may make me too impatient; and some tempers, when reproached, grow more untractable—Here she comes Let me be calm awhile.

Enter LADY TOWNlY. Going out so soon after dinner, madam?

Lady Lard, my lord! what can I possibly do at home?

Lord T. What does my sister, lady Grace, do at home?

Lady T. Why, that is to me amazing! Have you ever any pleasure at home!

Lord T. It might be in your power, madam, I confess, to make it a little more comfortable to me.

Lady T. Comfortable! And so, my good lord, you would really have a woman of my rank and spirit stay at home to comfort her husband !-Lord, what notions of life some men have!

Lord T. Don't you think, madam, some ladies' notions are full as extravagant?

Lady T. Yes, my lord, when the tame doves live cooped within the pen of your precepts, I do think them prodigious indeed!

Lord T. And when they fly wild about this town, madam, pray what must the world think of them then?

Lady T. Oh, this world is not so ill bred, as to quarrel with any wornan for liking it.

Lord T. Nor am I, madam, a husband so well bred, as to bear my wife's being so fond of it; in short, the life you lead, madam

Lady T. Is to me the pleasantest life in the world.

Lord T. I should not dispute your taste, madam, if a woman had a right to please nobody but herself.

Lady T. Why, whom would you have her please?

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