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6

'Twas thus that Æsop's stag—a creature blameless, Yet something vain, like one that shall be namelessOnce on the margin a fountain stood, And cavill’d at his image in the flood: • The deuce confound,'hecries, “these drumstickshanks,

They never have my gratitude nor thanks; They're perfectly disgraceful! strike me dead !• But, for a head-yes, yes, I have a head. • How piercing is that eye! how sleek that brow!

My horns!--I'm told horns are the falhion now.' Whilst thus he spoke, astonish'd! to his view, Near and more near, the hounds and huntlinen drew; “Hoicks! hark forward!" came thund'ring from behind, He bounds aloft, outstrips the fleeting wind: He quits the woods, and tries the beaten ways; He Itarts, he pants, he takes the circling maze. At length his filly head, fo priz'd before, Is taught his former folly to deplore; Whilst his strong limbs conspire to set him free, And at one bound he saves himself-like me.

(Taking a jump through the stage-door.)

EPILOGUE

TO THE COMEDY OF THE SISTERS.

W

HAT! five long acts and all to make us wiser! Our authoress sure has wanted an adviser. Had she consulted me, she should have made Her moral play a speaking masquerade ; Warm’d up each bustling scene, and in her rage Have emptied all the green-room on the stage.

My life on't, this had kept her play from sinking-
Have pleas’d our eyes, and sav'd the pain of thinking.
Well, since Me thus has shewn her want of skill,
What if I give a masquerade?-I will.
But how? ay, there's the rub!(paufing)I've got my cue:
The world's a masquerade! the masquers, you, you,you.

(To Boxes, Pit, and Gallery.)
Lud! what a group the motley scene discloses!
False wits, false wives, false virgins, and false spouses!
Statesmen with bridles on; and, close beside 'em,
Patriots in party-colour'd suits that ride 'em.
There Hebes, turn'd of fifty, try once more
To raise a flame in Cupids of threescore.
These in their turn, with appetites as keen,
Deserting fifty, fasten on fifteen.
Miss, not yet full fifteen, with fire uncommon,
Flings down her sampler, and takes up the woman :
The little urchin (miles, and spreads her lure,
And tries to kill, ere she's got power to cure,
Thus 'tis with all their chief and constant care
Is to seem every thing—but what they are.
Yon broad, bold, angry spark, I fix my eye on,
Who seems to have robb'd his vizor from the lion;
Who frowns, and talks, and swears, with round parade,
Looking, as who should say, dam’me! who's afraid ?

(Mimicking.) Strip but this vizor off, and sure I am You'll find his lionship a very lanıb. Yon politician, famous in debate, Perhaps, to vulgar eyes, bestrides the state; Yet, when he deigns liis real shape t'assume, He turns old woman, and bestrides a broom,

Yon patriot, too, who presses on your sight,
And seems to every gazer, all in white-
If with a bribe his candour you attack,
He bows, turns round, and whip—the man in black!
Yon critic, too-but whither do I run ?
If I proceed, our bard will be undone;
Well then a truce, since the requests it too-
Do you spare her, and I'll for once spare you.

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