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VERSES TO MR. C.

ST. JAMES'S PLACE.

London, Oct. 22.

Few words are best; I wish you well;
BETHEL, I'm told, will soon be here;
Some morning walks along the Mall,
And evening friends, will end the year.

If, in this interval, between

The falling leaf and coming frost,
You please to see, on Twit'nam green
Your friend, your poet, and your host;

For three whole days you here may rest
From Office business, news and strife;
And (what most folks would think a jest)
Want nothing else, except your wife.

VOL. III.

F

PROLOGUES

AND

EPILOGUES.

PROLOGUE

TO

MR. ADDISON'S TRAGEDY OF CATO'.

THE Prologue to Addison's Tragedy of Cato, is superior to any Prologue of Dryden; who, notwithstanding, is so justly celebrated for this species of writing. The Prologues of Dryden are satirical and facetious; this of Pope is solemn and sublime, as the subject required. Those of Dryden contain general topics of criticism and wit, and may precede any play whatsoever, even tragedy or comedy. This of Pope is particular, and appropriated to the tragedy alone which it was designed to introduce.-Warton.

To the above just tribute to the merit of the following Prologue, I shall add the opinion of an excellent critic, the late Dr. Aikin, who has observed that "scarcely any thing grave or dignified had been offered to the public in this form, till Pope, inspired by the noble subject of Addison's Tragedy, composed this piece; which not only stands at the head of all prologues, but is scarcely surpassed in vigour of expression and elevation of sentiment by any passage in his own works."

To wake the soul by tender strokes of art,
To raise the genius, and to mend the heart,
To make mankind, in conscious virtue bold,
Live o'er each scene, and be what they behold:
For this the Tragic Muse first trod the stage,
Commanding tears to stream through ev'ry age;
Tyrants no more their savage nature kept,
And foes to virtue wonder'd how they wept.
Our author shuns by vulgar springs to move
The hero's glory, or the virgin's love;

NOTES.

5

10

This Prologue, and the Epilogue (to Jane Shore), are the most perfect models of this species of writing, both in the serious and the ludicrous way.-Warburton.

The former is much the better of the two; for some of Drydcu's, of the latter kind, are unequalled.-Warton.

Ver. 7. Tyrants no more] Louis XIV. wished to have pardoned the Cardinal de Rohan, after hearing the Cinna of Corneille.-Warton.

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