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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 fhun th' inglorious stage,
And fave from infamy my finking age !

Scarce half-alive, opprefs'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 fteps afide;
Unaw'd by power, and unappal'd by fear,
With honeft thrift I held my honour dear:
But this vile hour difperfes all my ftore,
And all my hoard of honour is no more;
For ah! too partial to my life's decline,
Cæfar perfuades, fubmiffion must be mine;

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* This translation was first printed in one of our Author's earliest works, "The Present State of Learning in Europe." 12mo. 1759; but was omitted in the fecond edition, which appeared in 1774

Him I obey, whom Heaven itself obeys,
Hopeless of pleafing, yet inclin'd to please.
Here then at once I welcome every fhame,
And cancel at threefcore a life of fame;
No more my titles fhall 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.

THE

THE

DOUBLE TRANSFORMATION.

A TALE.*

SECLUDED from domestic strife,
Jack Book-worm led a college life;
A fellowship at twenty-five,

Made him the happiest man alive;
He drank his glass, and crack'd his joke,
And freshmen wonder'd as he spoke.

Such pleasures, unallay'd with care,
Could any accident impair ?
Could Cupid's fhaft at length transfix
Our swain arriv'd at thirty-fix?

O had the archer ne'er come down
To ravage in a country town!
Or Flavia been content to stop

At triumphs in a Fleet-street shop.

O had

* This and the following Poem were published by Dr. GOLD MITH in his Volume of Effays, which appeared in 1765.

O had her eyes forgot to blaze!
Or Jack had wanted eyes to gaze.
O !—————But let exclamation cease,
Her presence banish'd all his peace.
So with decorum all things carry'd;

Mifs frown'd, and blush'd, and then was-married.

Need we expofe to vulgar fight

The raptures of the bridal night?
Need we intrude on hallow'd ground,
Or draw the curtains clos'd around?
Let it fuffice, that each had charms;
He clafp'd a goddess in his arms;
And, though the felt his ufage rough,
Yet in a man 'twas well enough.

The honey-moon like light'ning flew,
The fecond brought its tranfports too.
A third, a fourth, were not amifs,

The fifth was friendship mix'd with blifs:
But, when a twelvemonth pass'd away,

Jack found his goddess made of clay;
Found half the charms that deck'd her face
Arofe from powder, fhreds, or lace;
But ftill the worst remain'd behind,
That very face had robb'd her mind.

Skill'd in no other arts was fhe, But dreffing, patching, repartee;

And,

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