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his Majesty as a captain in the civil war, and was now an actor in a capital cast, and in great eltimation. He was, for many years, reckoned the best actor in the King's company; and our author chose him to speak many of his prologues and epilogues at Oxford, where the London comedians exhibited commonly at the Public Acts, which were very frequently held here after the restoration, before the Whigs and Tories began to disturb the halcion calm. nefs of King Charles Ild's reign. These academical Jubilees are looked on as a kind of congratulatory compliment to the accession of every new Prince to the throne.

Prologue spoken at the opening the New House. 1674. This prologue must certainly have been written for the King's company, which I suppose at this time might have opened their house in Drury-lane. The reflection cast upon the taste of the town in these three lines,

«5 "Twere folly now a stately pile to raise,
To build a playhouse while you throw down plays ;

“ While scenes, machines, and empty operas reign." is certainly levelled at the Duke's company, who had exhibited the siege of Rhodes, and other expensive operas, and who now were getting up Psyche, Circe, &c. That this prologue was written for the King's company is certain from these lines:

“ We in our plainness may be justly proud;
“ Our royal master will'd it should be so;
çWhate'er he's pleas'd to own, can need no show."

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Prologue to Circe, acted in 1675.

There were at this time two companies of players, one ft:led the King's company, which had for some time exhibited at the Red Bull in St. John's-street; then removed to Vere-street, Claremarket; and at length fixed in Drury-lane: the other, called the Duke's company, acted under the direction of Sir William D'Avenant in Lincoln's-inn-fields, and then in Dorset-garden. He being dead, the patent fell of course into the hands of his son Charles, who, though but nineteen years old, wrote Circe, a tragic-opera, in hope to regain the town, which crouded to the other house. In this, by the help of rich cloaths, new machinery, and music, he succeeded. The piece was universally liked; and the Earl of Rochester wrote the prologue, which is reckoned a very good one.

This gentleman quitted the flowery paths of poetry for the dry heath of law, which is however much more profitable; and was honored with a doctor's degree by the university of Cambridge. His political pieces gained him great reputation. He was for some time a commissioner of the excise; held a seat in the house of commons under James, William, and Anne ; and, in the reign of the latter, was inspector-general of the exports and imports, of which employment he died poffeffed in 1714, being fifty-eight years old. He left no male heirs.

This prologue is a fine apology for Dr. D'Avenant's youth and inexperience, and by these two lines,

“ Shakespear's own Muse her Pericles first bore ;

« The Prince of Tyre was elder than the Moor." we find that Dryden differed from all the late editors of Shake. spear, who, in their arrangement of his plays, have put one of his most perfect pieces first; whereas our author tells us, that the tragedy of Pericles prince of Tyre was written before the Moor of Venice.

Epilogue, intended to have been spoken by Lady Henrietta Maria Went.

worth, when Califo was acted at Court. 1675.

The Earl of Rochester, who hated Dryden, for no other reason but because of his great genius and success as a dramatic writer, recommended Mr. John Crowne to the King to write this mask for the court, which was properly the business of the Laureat, whom his Lordship intended by this preference to mortify. Mr. Crowne was at this time very little known: he had acted as gentleman-usher to an old independant lady ever fince his arrival from Nova Scotia, where he was born. Mr. Dennis says, he had a mortal hatred to a court-life, though a strong affection for the king, and that he was alive in 1703. Crowne wrote fixteen dramatic pieces, besides this, none of which are now in esteem.

The persons who performed in this entertainment were the Ladies Mary and Anne, afterwards Queens of England; the Lady Henrietta Maria Wentworth, who played the part of Jupiter ; Mrs. Jennings, afterwards wife to the great Duke of Marlborough, who performed Mercury. The Countess of Sussex; Lady Mary Mordaunt; and Mrs. Blagge, who had been maid of honor to Queen Catharine; the Duke of Monmouth, Lord Viscount Dunblane, Lord Daincourt, Mr. Trevor, &c. were among the dan. cers : and the attendants, nymphs, were the Countess of Derby, the Countess of Pembroke, Lady Catharine Herbert, Mrs. Fitz. gerald, and Mrs. Frazier.

You, mighty Sir, &€,
This part of the prologue is addressed to the King,

Two glorious nymphs, &c.
The Duke of York's two daughters, Mary and Anne.

Epilogue to the Man of Mode, or Sir Fopling Flutter. This play, written by Sir G. Etheridge, was first acted in 1676 at Dorset-garden. “ It is, says Langbaine, written with great “ art and judgment; and is acknowledged by all to be as true

comedy, and the characteas as well drawn to the life, as any • play that has been acted fince the restoration. The author of “ it is sufficiently eminent for his wit and parts, and his talents “ in sound sense, and the knowledge of true wit and humour “ are sufficiently conspicuous.” In speaking of this play before, we should have remarked, that even the shoemaker was taken from the life; and that the reputation he gained, by being introduced upon the stage, brought him such vast business, that he was soon enabled to make an easy fortune. Sir George was aware of the personal applications that might be made of the characters, and therefore some lines in this prologue were written with a view to remove such suspicion.

Epilogue to Mithridates, acted in 1678. This play was written by Nat. Lee, and acted at the theatreroyal in Drury-lane in 1678. It has sufficient tenderness in it to force tears from the most obdurate spectator.

Prologue to the True Widow. 1678 The True Widow was written by Shadwell, and acted in 1678 at Dorset-garden. In the year 1690, this fame prologue was prefixed to a tragi-comedy of Mrs. Behn's, called the Widow Ranter, or Bacon in Virginia.

Prologue to Cæfar Borgia. This play was also written by Nat. Lee, and acted in Dorseto garden in 1680. Cæfar Borgia was son to Pope Alexander VI.

Prologue to Sophonisba, azted at Oxford in 1680.

Sophonisba, or Hannibal's Overthrow,, written by Nat. Lees. appeared first in 1676, at the theatre-royal in Drury-lane; and the author is said not to have done justice to the characters either of Hannibal or Scipio, which occafioned the following severe lines from Lord Rochester;

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* When Lee makes temperate Scipio fret and rave,
“ And Hannibal a whining amorous slave,
“ I laugh, and wish the hot-brain'd fustian fool
" In Busby's hands, to be well lash'd at school.

Tenth Sat. of Horace imitated.
The beginning of this prologue is taken from Horace's Art of

“ Ignotum tragicæ genus invenisse camanæ
" Dicitur, & plauftris venisse poemata Thespis," &c.

Thespis, the first profesor of our art.
Thespis. He was born in Icaria, a town of Attica. Be-
fore his time, tragedy confifted only of a chorus, or company
of fingers and dancers, who chaunted hymns to the praise of
Bacchus. In order to give them time to reit, Thespis divided
the chorus into two parts, between each of which he in-
troduced an actor, who recited something relative to the subject
of the tragedy, and his discourse was called an episode. Hence
this poet is called the inventer of tragedy, as having reduced it
into some regularity. He carried his company from town to town
in a cart, and they colored their faces with lees of wine, or, ac-
cording to Suidas, with wax and vermillion, that they might re-
semble more naturally the satyrs, whose faces were red and glow-
ing. Æschylus introduced a second person to the episode, and
Sophocles a third.

Scot, Suarez, Tom of Aquin, &c. Duns Scotus, Suarez, and Thomas Aquinus, are names well known in the schools of philosophy..

Prologue to the Layal General. 1680.


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This prologue is inserted in the edition or Dryden's works printed in 1743, without any mention made of the piece to which it was first prefixed; which I find to be a play called the Loyal General, written by Mr. Tate, and acted at the Duke's Theatre in 1680. Mr. Tate was born in Ireland. Langbaine fays, though he had wit and parts, he was not above the common rank of poets ; for, out of nine plays that he published, only two of them were his own. We owe to him the altering King Lear as it is generally acted; and from the principal character he lopped off some of the most beautiful speeches, which have been restored by Mr. Garrick and Mr. Barry. He succeeded Shadwell as poet-laureat, and died soon after the accession of the house of Hanover,


the devil and the pope. We shall speak at large of the ceremony of burning annually the devil and the pope, a few pages farther on.

Epilogue to Tamerlain the Great, a Tragedy. 1681. This play was acted at Drury-lane in the year 1681 ; and afterwards before the King at Oxford; the author of ir, Mr. Charles Saunders, being then only a King's scholar at Westminster-school. Langbaine tells us, he wishes well to his Mufe ; but cannot allow that he is a poet.

Thus Cowley blofon'd, &c. The famous Abraham Cowley, whose fine odes have intitled him to the character of the English Pindar, published a collection of poems when he was but fixteen years old. He was son to a grocer in Fleet-street. The first part of his education he received át Westminster-school, where he was entered as a King's scholar, and thence removed to Cambridge; but being with some others ejected, he retired to St. John's college, Oxford, to complete his studies, and here was presented with an honorary degree of Doctor of Physic. Being a zealous loyalist, he followed his royal master into exile, to whom he was very useful in decyphering letters, and in many other cafes. He died at Chertsey in his forty-ninth year, anno 1667, and was interred in the Abbey, near the remains of Chaucer and Spencer.

Epilogue to the Earl of Efex. 1632. The Earl of Essex, or, Unhappy Favorite, a tragedy, written by Mr. John Banks, a gentleman of New-Inn, who generally hit upon good subjects, but cloathed them in bad language, was brought upon the stage at Drury-lane in 1682, with vart applause. We have had lately another play of the fame name introduced upon Covent-garden theatre by Mr. Henry Jones, in which te has improved both the language and subject; and if the formes is not always the most correct, it is however simple and af. fe&ting.

Prologue to the Loyal Brother. 1682. The Loyal Brother, or the Persian Prince, Mr. Southern's forfe play, was acted at Drury-lane in 1682 ; a time in which the Tory interest, after long struggles, carried all before it. The character of the Loyal Brother was a compliment intended for the Duke of York. This prologue is a continued invective against the Whigs., Dryden also wrote the epilogue. He was at this time

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