« НазадПродовжити »
Let day improve on day, and year on year,
And oh since Death must that fair frame destroy,
Resign't to live, prepar'd to die,
NOTES. Ver. 3. This day Tom's] This amiable writer lived the longest, and died one of the richest, of all our poets. In 1737, Mr. Gray, writing to a friend, says very agreeably, “We have here old Mr. Southern, who often comes to see us; he is now seventy-seven years old, and has almost wholly lost his memory ; but is as agreeable an old man as can be, at least I persuade myself so, when I look at him, and think of Isabella and Oroonoko." He was certainly a great master of the pathetic; and in the latter part of his life became sensible of the impropriety he had been guilty of in mixing Tragedy with Comedy. He was the first play-writer that had the benefit of a third night. He told Dryden that he once had cleared seven hundred pounds by one or his plays.
Ver. 6. A table,] Mr. Southern was invited to dine on his birthday with this nobleman (Lord Orrery), who had prepared for hiin the entertainment of which the bill of fare is here set down. W.
Ver. 8. Presents her harp] The harp is generally wove on the Irish linen; such as table cloths, &c. W.
The mushrooms shew his wit was sudden !
NOTES. Ver. 16. The price of prologues and of plays,] This alludes to a story Mr. Southern told of Dryden, about the same time, to Mr. P. and Mr. W.-When Southern first wrote for the stage, Dryden was so famous for his prologues, that the players would act nothing without that decoration. His usual price till then had been four guineas; but when Southern came to him for the prologue he had bespoke, Dryden told him he must have six guineas for it; “which (said he) young man, is out of no disrespect to you, but the players have had my goods too cheap."- We now look upon these prologues with the same admiration that the virtuosi do on the apothecaries' pots painted by Raphael. W.
ROXANA, OR THE DRAWING-ROOM.
Roxana from the court returning late, Sigh'd her soft sorrow at St. James's gate : Such heavy thoughts lay brooding in her breast; Not her own chairmen with more weight opprest: They curse the cruel weight they're doom'd to bear; She in more gentle sounds express'd her care.
Was it for this, that I these roses wear? For this, new-set the jewels for my hair? Ah Princess ! with what zeal have I pursu'd ? Almost forgot the duty of a prude. This King, I never could attend too soon; I miss'd my pray’rs, to get me dress’d by noon. For thee, ah! what for thee did I resign? My passions, pleasures, all that e'er was mine : I've sacrific'd both modesty and ease ; Left operas, and went to filthy plays : Double entendres shock'd my tender ear ; Yet even this, for thee, I chuse to bear : In glowing youth, when nature bids be gay, And ev'ry joy of life before me lay; By honour prompted, and by pride restrain'd, The pleasures of the young my soul disdain'd : Sermons I sought, and with a mien severe, Censur'd my neighbours, and said daily pray'r. Alas, how chang'd! with this same sermon-mien, The filthy What-d'ye-call-it--I have seen.
Ah, royal Princess! for whose sake I lost