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PROLOGUES, like cards of compliment, we find
Moft as unmeaning as politely kind;
To beg a favour, or to plead excufe,
Of both appears to be the gen'ral ufe.
Shall my words, tipt with flattery, prepare
A kind exertion of your tend'reft care?
Shall I present our Author to your fight,
All pale and trembling for his fate this night?


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Shall I folicit the most pow'rful arms

To aid his caufe-the force of beauty's charms?
Or tell each critic, his approving tafte
Muft give the Sterling ftamp, wherever plac'd?
This might be done-but fo to feek applause
Argues a confcious weakness in the caufe.
No-let the Mufe in fimple truth appear,
Reafon and Nature are the judges here:
If by their strict and felf-defcribing laws,
The fev'ral characters to-night the draws;
If from the whole a pleafing piece is made,
On the true principles of light and fhade;
Struck with the harmony of just defign,
Your eyes-your ears-your hearts, will all combine
To grant applaufe :-but if an erring hand
Grofs difproportion marks in motley band,
If the group'd figures falfe connections fhow,
And glaring colours without meaning glow;
Your wounded feelings, turn'd a diff'rent way,
Will justly damn-th' abortion of a play.

As Farquhar has obferv'd, our English law,
Like a fair fpreading oak, the Mufe fhould draw,
By Providence defign'd, and wisdom made
For honefty to thrive beneath its fhade;
Yet from its boughs fome infects shelter find,
Dead to each nobler feeling of the mind,
Who thrive, alas! too well, and never cease
To prey on juftice, property, and peace.

At fuch to nigh. with other legal game,
Our vent'rous author takes fatiric aim;
And brings, he hopes, originals to view,
Nor pifer from th' Oi Magpie nor the New
But will to Candour cheerfully fubmit;
She reigns in boxes, galleries, and pit.

A C T I.

Enter Serjeant Circuit and Charlot.

Char. I TELL you, Sir, his love to me is all a pretence: it is amazing that you, who are fo acute, fo quick in difcerning on other occafions, should be fo blind upon this.

Serj But where are your proofs, Charlot? What fignifies your opening matters which your evidence cannot support?


• Alluding to Mr Garrick's Prologue to the Jubilee.


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Char. Surely, Sir, ftrong circumftances in every court fhould have weight.

Serj. So they have collaterally, child, that is, by way, as it were, of corroboration, or where matters are doubtful; then indeed, as Plowden wifely obferves, "Les cir"conftances ajout beaucoup depoids aux faits."--You understand me?

Char. Not perfectly well.

Serj. Then to explain by cafe in point; A, we will fuppofe, my dear, robs B of a watch upon HounslɔvHeath-dy'e mind, child?

Char. I do, Sir.

Serj. A is taken up and is indicted; B fwears pofitively to the identity of A-Dy'e obferve?

Char. Attentively.

Serj. Then what does me A, but fets up the alibi C to defeat the affidavit of B.-You take me?

Char. Clearly.

Serj. So far you fee then the balance is even.

Char. True.

Serj. But then to turn the fcale, child, against A in favour of B, they produce the circumstance D, viz. B's watch found in the pocket of A; upon which the teftimony of C being contradicted by B,--no, by D,-why then A, that is to fay C,-no D,-joining B, they convict C,-no, no, A,-against the affidavit of C.-Sɔ. this being pretty clear, child, I leave the application to


Char. Very obliging, Sir. But fuppofe now, Sir, it fhould appear that the attention of Sir Luke Limp is. directed to fome other object, would not that induce you to

Serj. Other object! Where?

Char. In this very house.

Serj. Here why the girl is non compos; there's nobody here, child, but a parcel of Abigals.

Char. No, Sir?

Serj. No.

Char. Yes, Sir, one perfon elfe.
Serj. Who is that?

Char. But remember, Sir, my accufation is confined to Sir Luke.

A 2


Serj. Well, well.

Char. Suppofe then, Sir, thofe powerful charms which made a conqueft of you, may have extended their empire over the heart of Sir Luke.

Serj. Why, huffy, you don't hint at your mother-inlaw?

Char. Indeed, Sir, but I do.

Serj. Ay; why this is point blank treason against my fovereign authority: but can you, Charlot, bring proof of any overt acts?

Char. Overt acts!

Serj. Ay; that is, any declaration by writing, or even word of mouth, is fufficient; then let 'em demur if they


Char. I can't fay that, Sir; but another organ has been pretty explicit. Serj. Which?

Char. In those cafes a very infallible one-the eye. Serj. Pfhaw! nonfenfe and ftuff.-The eye!-The eye has no authority in a court of law.

Char. Perhaps not, Sir; but it is a decifive evidence in a court of love.

Serj. Hark you, huffy, why you would not file an information against the virtue of Madam your mother; you would not infinuate that she has been guilty of crim. con. ?

Char. Sir, you mistake me; it is not the lady, but the gentleman, I am about to impeach.

Serj. Have a care, Charlot! I fee on what ground your action is founded-jealousy.

Char. You were never more deceiv'd in your life; for it is impoffible, my dear Sir, that jealoufy can fubfift without love.

Serj. Well.

Char. And from that paffion (thank heaven) I am pretty free at present.

Serj. Indeed!

Char. A fweet object to excite tender defires!

Serj. And why not, huffy?

Char. First, as to his
Serj. What then?



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