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BENJAMIN VICTOR.

1778.

Victor descended regularly, from the honourable trade of

shaving and perriwig, making, to that of vending Norwich stuffs, and lastly to that of poetry. He was passionately fond of the theatre, and thought by the converse of the proposition “ All the World's a Stage,” that the Stage was all the World ; it was so in reality to him, for all his

pleasures and all his disappointments originated from it. He was treasurer of Drury-Lane Theatre, and was faithful

and scrupulous in the execution of his trust; while in this office, he published his works in 3 vols 8vo. omitting only “ The Widow of the Wood," and " The History of the Stage;" he died advanced in years, at his lodgings, in. Covent-Garden, in 1778.

PROLOGUE

Designed for the Comedy called the Modern I{usband;

written by Henry Fielding, Esq. To night you'll see two dangerous things in life, A willing cuckold, and a jilting wife!

With the same views here two impostors meet,
And holy wedlock well improves the cheat;
Kindly combined, for mischief they prepare,
And each fond cull falls plump into the snare.

The comick Muse assumes her pleasing art,
And by instruction would her worth impart:
Teach, by example, how to shun the fury,
Of plaintiff Cuckold, and a London jury.
For there, alas, how vain the lover strives !
They squeeze much harder than you squeeze their

wives.
With needful satire we this vice pursue,
But, oh! how vain-unless approved by you.
When Shakspeare, Jonson, Fletcher, ruled the

stage, There scarce were ten good palates in the age ; More curious cooks than guests, for men would eat, Most heartily of any kind of meat. E’en since their time what authors have we seen ! Expect not, Sirs, such poets as have been; And though the richness of the crop is spent, And wit's quite barren, yet you raise the rent,

Our youthful author various themes has tried;
By him Tom Thumb fought, conquered, lov'd and

died.

Wild flights of fancy! gay, unbounded strains ! Where wanton wit, without true judgment reigns, Yet blooming merit should demand your care; Genius alone can thrive and flourish there: Indulgence comes, like kind, enlivening showers, And the warm sun-beam to awake the flowers; When from the tree young spritely branches shoot, If blasted-blame the wind-and not the root.

To Sir William Brewer, Bart. in Kent; written in the

Year 1744.

Muse! to my worthy friend an offering bring;
And his fair garden, in soft numbers sing :
Sweet let thy verse from unforced nature flow,
Yet strongly mark'd let the full figures glow;
As when drawn clouds unveil the blushing sky,
A:nd Heaven burns broad with a vermillion dye,
While thro' the grovy tracks, cool zephyrs pass,
To fan the silver streams, and sweep the grass.

Deep, in surrounding woods, there shines a seat,
Nature's blest favourite, and Love's retreat ;
Green, amid stcny wilds, rise opening bowers,
Arch'd with a wreathy heaven of pendant flowers :
Cool, in the burning dog-star’s sultry sway ;
Yet in thu :e of winter, warm and gay.

O shades, well temper’d, like your owner's mind,
Where soft, and solid, are by nature join'd;
Sublimely wise, and to perfection blest,
You know to judge, and dare to choose the best.

Beaụty and wit, in your loved consort meet,
Where all that's noble lives with all that's sweet ;
At once your wife, your partner, and your friend,
She curbs your cares, and does your joys extend :
You are the point, which all her hopes pursue;
And if she sings, she sweetly sings of you!
In her, alone, you every blessing find,
Charm to your eye, and cordial to your mind.
Ever thus bless'd, may life wear slow away,
And some new charm mark even its latest day;
May no noise reach you, but thro' rustling trees,
When their broad boughs bend from the murmuring

breeze.

Lift me, some God, from this tumultuous town,
And near that heavenly umbrage set ine down;
In some small cottage, that delightful stands,
Some clean thatch'd tenement within your lands;
Hemm'd with high rosy banks, and shadowy bowers,
A snow of blossoms and a wild of flowers ;"
Where the low vine does the tall elm beseech,
And the sweet lime-tree woos the useful beech;
'Till the mix'd boughs compose a roofy shade,
And no bold sun-beam can my rest invade;
Here out of hated scandal's noisy sound,
Stretch'd i: sweet leisure on the silent ground;
Deathless companions of my shade I'd choose,
The few fix'd favourites of our English muse :
High soaring Milton! Dryden sweet of strain!
Undying Shakspeare! and wild Spenser's vein!
Sometimes familiar Jonson in low flight,
Shall place the vulgar world before my sight;
But Waller's numbers most my heart shali move,
For the prevailing passion there, is love ;
But naming love, hark! Clio tunes the strings,
And the soul melts before her, as she sings;
What prouder ornaments of life remain,
I leave for fools to seek; and knayes to gain,

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