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PROLOGUE

By Mr. POPE,

To a Play for Mr. DENNIS's Benefit, in 1733, when he was old, blind, and in great Diftrefs, a little before his Death.

S when that Hero, who in each Campaign, Had brav'd the Goth, and many a Vandal flain,

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Lay Fortune-struck, a fpectacle of Woe!
Wept by each Friend, forgiv'n by ev'ry Foe:
Was there a gen'rous, a reflecting mind,
But pitied BELISARIUS old and blind?

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NOTES.

VER. 6. But fitied Belifarius, etc.] Nothing could be more happily imagined than this allufion, or finelier conducted. And the continued pleafantry fo delicately touched, that it took nothing from the felf fatisfaction the Critic, who heard it, had in his merit, or the Audience in their charity With fo mafterly a hand has the Poct profecuted, in this benevolent irony, that end, which he fuppofed Dennis himfelf, had he the wit to fe, would have the ingenuity to approve.

This dreaded Sat'rift, Dennis will confefs,
Foe to his pride, but Friend to his Distress.

Was there a Chief but melted at the Sight?
A common Soldier, but who clubb'd his Mite?
Such, fuch emotions fhould in Britons rife,
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When prefs'd by want and weakness DENNIS lies;
Dennis, who long had warr'd with modern Huns,
Their Quibbles routed, and defy'd their Puns;
A defp'rate Bulwark, sturdy, firm, and fierce
Against the Gothic Sons of frozen verfe:
How chang'd from him who made the boxes
groan,
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And shook the stage with Thunders all his own! Stood up to dash each vain PRETENDER's hope, Maul the French Tyrant, or pull down the POPE! If there's a Briton then, true bred and born, 19 Who holds Dragoons and wooden fhoes in fcorn;

NOTES.

VER. 7. Was there a Chief, etc.] The fine figure of the Commander in that capital Picture of Belifarius at Chifwick, supplied

the P et with this eautiful idea.

VER. 12. Their Quibbles routed, and defy'd their Puns;] See Dunciad, Note on v. 63. B.I.

VER. 13. A defp'rate Bulwark, etc.] See Dunc. Note on v. 268. B. II.

VER. 16. And foosk the Stage with Thunders all his own!] See Dunc. Note on v. 226. B II.

VER. 17. Sto d up to dafh, etc.] See Dunc. Note on v. 173. B III

VER. 18. Maul the French Tyrant-] See Dunc. Note on V. 413 B. II.

Ibid. or pull down the POPE!] See Dunc. Note on v. 63. B. L.

If there's a Critic of diftinguifh'd rage;

If there's a Senior, who contemns this age;
Let him to night his just affiftance lend,

And be the Critic's, Briton's, Old Man's Friend.

NOTES.

VER. 21. If there's a critic of distinguish'drage.] See Dun.. Notes on v. 150. B I.

MACE R:

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CHARACTE R.

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Set

up

HEN fimple Macer, now of high renown, First fought a Poet's Fortune in the Town, 'Twas all th' Ambition his high foul could feel, To wear red ftockings, and to dine with Steel. Some Ends of verfe his Betters might afford, And gave the harmless fellow a good word. with these he ventur'd on the Town, And with a borrow'd Play, out-did poor Crown. There he stop'd fhort, nor fince has writ a tittle, But has the wit to make the most of little : Like ftunted hide-bound Trees, that just have Sufficient fap at once to bear and rot. Now he begs Verfe, and what he gets commends, Not of the Wits his foes, but fools his friends. 14

So fome coarse Country Wench, almost decay'd, Trudges to town, and firft turns Chambermaid;

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got

Aukward and fupple, each devoir to pay;
She flattters her good Lady twice a day;
Thought wondrous honeft, tho' of mean degree,
And strangely lik'd for her Simplicity:

In a tranflated Suit, then tries the Town,
With borrow'd Fins, and Patches not her own:
But just endur'd the Winter she began,

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And in four Months a batter'd Harridan.
Now nothing left, but wither'd, pale, and shrunk,
To Lawd for others, and go fhares with Punk.

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