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O MEMORY! thou fond deceiver,

Still importunate and vain,

To former joys recurring ever,

And turning all the past to pain;

Thou, like the world, th' opprest oppressing,

Thy smiles increase the wretch's woe!

And he who wants each other blessing,

In thee must ever find a foe.

A PROLOGUE,

WRITTEN AND

SPOKEN BY THE POET LABERIUS

A ROMAN KNIGHT, WHOM CÆSAR FORCED UPON

THE STAGE.

PRESERVED BY MACROBIUS.

*

WHAT! no way left to shun th' inglorious stage,
And save from infamy my sinking age?
Scarce half alive, oppress'd with many a year,
What, in the name of dotage, drives me here?
A time there was, when glory was my guide,
Nor force nor fraud could turn my steps aside;

Unaw'd by power, and unappal'd by fear,
With honest thrift I held my honour dear:

• This translation was first printed in one of our Au. thor's earliest works, " The Present State of Learning in Europe," 12mo, 1759.

But this vile hour disperses all my store,

And all my hoard of honour is no more;
For ah! too partial to my life's decline,

Cæsar persuades, submission must be mine;

Him I obey, whom Heaven itself obeys, Hopeless of pleasing, yet inclin'd to please.

Here then at once I welcome ev'ry shame,

And cancel at threescore a life of fame;

No more my titles shall my children tell,

The old buffoon will fit my name as well;

This day beyond its term my fate extends,

For life is ended when our honour ends.

PROLOGUE

TO ZOBEIDE, A TRAGEDY.

IN these bold times, when Learning's sons explore The distant climate and the savage shore;

When wise astronomers to India steer,

And quit for Venus many a brighter here;
While botanists, all cold to smiles and dimpling,

Forsake the fair, and patiently....go simpling;

Our bard into the general spirit enters,

And fits his little frigate for adventures.

With Scythian stores and trinkets deeply laden,
He this way steers his course, in hopes of trading....

Yet ere he lands, he has order'd me before,

To make an observation on the shore.

Where are we driv'n? our reckoning sure is lost!

This seems a rocky and a dangerous coast.

Lord, what a sultry climate am I under!
Yon ill-foreboding cloud seems big with thunder:

[Upper gallery. There mangroves spread, and larger than I've seen 'em....

[Pit. Here trees of stately size....and billing turtles in 'em....

[Balconies. Here ill-condition'd oranges abound.... [Stage. And apples, bitter apples, strew the ground.

[Tasting them.

The inhabitants are cannibals I fear:

I heard a hissing....there are serpents here!
O, there the people are....best keep my distance;
Our captain (gentle natives) craves assistance;
Our ship's well stor’d....in yonder creek we've laid her:

His honour is no mercenary trader.
This is his first adventure; lend him aid,

And we may chance to drive a thriving trade.

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