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Since fancy by itself is loose and vain,
The wise by rules that airy power restrain:
They think those writers mad, who at their ease
Convey this house and audience where they please;
Who nature's stated distances confound,
And make this spot all soils the sun goes round:
'Tis nothing, when a fancied scene's in view,
To skip from Covent-garden to Peru.
But Shakspeare's self transgress'd; and shall each elf,
Each pigmy genius, quote great Shakspeare's self?
What critic dares prescribe what's just and fit,
Or mark out limits for such boundless wit?
Shakspeare could travel through earth, sea, and air,
And paint out all the powers and wonders there.
In barren deserts he makes nature smile,
And gives us feasts in his enchanted isle.
Our author does his feeble force confess,
Nor dares pretend such merit to Iransgress;
Does not such shining gifts of genids share,
And therefore makes propriely his care.
Your treat with sladied decency he serves;
Not only rules of time and place preserves,
But strives to keep bis character entire,
With French correctness, and with British fire.
This piece, presented in a foreign tongue, When France was glorious, and her monarch young, An hundred times a crowded audience drew, An hundred times repeated, still 'twas new.
Pyrrhus, provok’d, lo no wild rants betray'd, 2
Resents his generous love so ill repaid;
Does like a man resent, a prince upbraid.
His sentiments disclose a royal mind,
Nor is he known a king from guards behind.
Injur'd Hermione demands relief,
But not from heavy narratives of grief:
In conscious majesty ber pride is shown;
Born to avenge her wrongs, but not beinoan.
Andromache-if in our author's lines,
As in the great original she shines,
Nothing but from barbarity she fears;
Allend with silence, you'll applaud with tears.
Drury Lane, 1786. Covent Garden, 1803. Pyrrhus
Mr. Palmer. Mr. C. Kemble. Phænir.
Mr. Packer. Mr. Chapman. Orestes .
Mr. Smitb. Master Betty. Pyludes
Mr. Barrymore. Mr. Brunton. Andromache Miss Kemble. Mrs. Litchfield. Cephisa
Miss Tidswell. Mrs. Humphries. Hermione
Mrs. Siddons. Miss Smith. Cleone
Miss Collins. Mrs. Beverley. Attendants on Pyrrhus and Orestes, fc.
SCENE-A great Hall in the Court of PYRRHUS, at
BUTHROTOS, the capital City of EPIRUS.
Enter ORESTES, PYLA DES, and Attendants.
Ores. O PYLADES! what's life without a friend!
At sight of thee my gloomy soul cheers up,
My hopes revive, and gladness dawns within me.
After an absence of six tedious moons,
How could I hope to find my Pylades,
My joy, my comfort! on this falal shore!
Even in the court of Pyrrhus? in these realms,
These baled reales, so cross to all my wishes.
O, my brave friend ! may no blind stroke of fate
Divide us more, and tear me from myself.
Pyl. O prince! O my Orestes! O'my friend!
Thus let me speak the welcome of my heart. [Embraces.
Since I have gain'd this unexpected meeting,
Blest be the powers that barr'd my way to Greece,
And kept me here! e'er since the unhappy day
When warring winds (Epirus full in view).
Sunder'd our barks on the loud stormy main.
Ores. It was, indeed, a morning full of horror!
Pyl. A Thousand boding cares have rack'd my soul
In your behalf. Often, with tears, I mourn'd
The fatal ills, to which your life's involv'd;
And grudg'd you dangers which I could not share.
I fear'd to what extremities the black despair
That prey'd upon your mind, might have belray'd you,
And lest the gods, in pity to your woes,
Should hear your pray’rs, and take the life you loath'd,
But now with joy I see you — The retinue,
And numerous followers that surround you here,
Speak better fortunes, and a mind dispos’d
To relish life.
Ores. Alas! my friend, who knows
The destiny to which I stand reserv'd!
I come in search of an inhuman fair;
And live or die, as she decrees my fate. [curd
Pyl. You much surprise me, prince! I thought you
Of your unpily'd, unsuccessful passion.
Why, in Epirus, should you hope to find
Hermione less cruel, than at Sparta?
I thought her pride, and the disdainful manner
In which she treated all your constant sufferings,
Had broke your fetters, and assurd your freedom:
Asham'd of your repulse, and slighted vows,
You hated ber; you talk'd of her no more:
Prince, you deceiv'd me.
Ores. I deceiv'd myself.
Do not upbraid the unhappy man that loves thee.
Thou know'st I never hid my passion from thee;
Thoa saw'st it, in its birth, and in its progress ;
And when at last the boary king, her father,
Great Menelaus, gave away his daughter,
His lovely daughter, to the happy Pyrrhus,
Th’avenger of his wrongs, thou saw'st my grief,
My torture, my despair; and how I dragg’d,
From sea to sea, a heavy chain of woes.
O Pylades! my heart has bled within me,
To see thee, press'd with sorrows not thy own,
Still wand'ring with me like a banish'd man,
Watchful, and anxious for thy wretched friend,
To temper the wild
my mind, Aud save me from myself,