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If tragedies might any prologue have,

All those he made would scarce make one to this; Where fame, now that he gone is to the grave,

(Death's publick tyring-house) the Nuntius is: For, though his line of life went foon about, The life yet of his lines thall never out.


To the Memory of the deceased Author, Master W. SHAKESPEARE.

Shakespeare, at length thy pious fellows give The world thy works; thy works, by which outlive

Upon Ben Jonson, and his Zany, Tom Randolph.
" Quoth Bem to Tom, the Lover's stole,

"Tis Shakespeare's every word;
66 Indeed, says Tom, upon the whole,

“ 'Tis much too good for Ford.
66 Thus Ben and Tom the dead ftill praise,

" The living to decry;
“ For none must dare to wear the bays,

66 Till Ben and Tom both die.
16 Even Avon's fwan could not escape

66 These letter-tyrant elves;
" They on his fame contriv'd a rape,

“ To raise their pedant selves.
“ But after times with full consent

66 This truth will all acknowledge, -
Shakespeare and Ford from heaven were sent,
" But Ben and Tom from college. Endymion Porter,"

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Mr. Macklin the comedian was the author of this letter; but the pamphlet which furnithed his materials, was lost in its passage froin Ireland.

The following stanza, from a copy of verses by Shirley, prefixed to Ford's Love's Sacrifice, 1633, alludes to the same dispute, and is apparently addrefied to Ben Jonson.

6. Look here thou that hast malice to the stage,
" And impidence enough for the whole age;
" Voluminoally ignorant! be vext
" To read this tragedy, and thy owne be next."

STEEVENS. • See Wood's Athena Oxon. edit. 1721, vol. I. p. 583.


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Thy tomb, thy name must: when that stone is rent,
And time dissolves thy Stratford monument,
Here we alive shall view thee still; this book,
When brass and marble fade, shall make thee look
Fresh to all ages; when posterity
Shall loath what's new, think all is prodigy
That is not Shakespeare's, every line, each verse,
Here shall revive, redeem thee from thy herse.
Nor fire, nor cank'ring age-as Naso said
Of his,--thy wit-fraught book shall once invade:
Nor shall I e'er believe or think thee dead,
Though milt, until our bankrout stage be sped
(Impossible) with some new strain to out-do
Paflions of Juliet, and her Romeo;
Or till I hear a scene more nobly take,
Than when thy half-sword parlying Romans {pake:
Till these, till any of thy volume's rest,
Shall with more fire more feeling be exprefs'd,
Be sure, our Shakespeare, thou canst never die,
But, crown'd with laurel, live eternally.

L. Dicces

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To the Memory of Master W. SHAKESPEARE,

We wonderd, Shakespeare, that thou went'it so soon
From the world's stage to the grave's tyring-room:
We thought thee dead; but this thy printed worth
Tells thy spectators, that thou went'lt but forth
To enter with applause: an actor's art
Can die, and live to act a second part;
That's but an exit of mortality,
This a re-entrance to a plaudite.

J. M.
On worthy Master S !1 A KES PEARE,

and his Poems.

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A mind reflecting ages past, whose clear
And equal surface can make things appear,

See Wood's Athens Oxonienses, vol. I. p. 599, and 600g edit. 1721. Perhaps John Marston,




Distant a thousand years, and represent
Them in their lively colours, just extent:
To outrun hafty time, retrieve the fates,
Rowl back the heavens, blow ope the iron gates
Of death and Lethe, where confused lie
Great heaps of ruinous mortality:
In that deep dusky dungeon, to discern
A royal ghost from churls; by art to learn
The physiognomy of shades, and give
Them sudden birth, wond'ring how oft they live;
What story coldly tells, what poets feign
At second hand, and picture without brain,
Senseless and soul-less shews: To give a stage, -
Ample, and true with life, - voice, action, age,
As Plato's year, and new scene of the world,
Them unto us, or us to them had hurl'd:
To raise our ancient fovereigns from their herse,
Make kings his subjects; by exchanging verse
Enlive their pale trunks, that the present age
Joys in their joy, and trembles at their rage:
Yet so to temper passion, that our ears
Take pleasure in their pain, and eyes in tears
Both smile and weep; fearful at plots so sad,
Then laughing at our fear; abus'd, and glad
To be abus'd; affected with that truth
Which we perceive is false, pleas'd in that ruth
At which we start, and, by elaborate play,
Tortur'd and tickl'd; by a crab-like way
Time past made pastime, and in ugly fort
Disgorging up his ravin for our sport:-
While the plebeian imp, from lofty throne,
Creates and rules a world, and works upon
Mankind by secret engines; now to move
A chilling pity, then a rigorous love;
To strike up and stroak down, both joy and ire;
To steer the affections; and by heavenly fire
Mold us anew, stoln from ourselves:--

This,- and much more, which cannot be express'd
But by himfelf, his tongue, and his own brealt,-
Was Shakespear’s freehold; which his cunning brain
Improv'd by favour of the nine-fold train;-

The bulkin'a muse, the comick queen, the grand
And louder tone of Clio, nimble hand


And nimbler foot of the melodious pair,
The filver-voiced lady, the most fair
Calliope, whose speaking silence daunts,
And the whose praise the heavenly body chants.

These jointly woo'd him, envying one another;
Obey'd by all as fpoufe, but lov'd as brother;--
And wrought a curious robe, of sable grave,
Fresh green, and pleasant yellow, red most brave,
And constant blue, rich purple, guiltless white,
The lowly rufset, and the scarlet bright:
Branch’d'and embroider'd like the painted spring;
Each leaf match'd with a flower, and each string
Of golden wire, each line of lik: there run
Italian works, whole thread the filters spun;
And there did fing, or seem to fing, the choice
Birds of a foreign note and various voice:
Here hangs a mofly rock; there plays a fair
But chiding fountain, purled: not the air,
Nor clouds, nor thunder, but were living drawn;
Not out of common tiffany or lawn,
But fine materials, which the mufes know,
And only know the countries where they grow.

Now, when they could no longer him enjoy,
In mortal garments pent,--death may destroy,'
They say, his body; but his verfe shall live,
And more than nature takes our hands shall give:
In a less volume, but more strongly bound,
Shakespeare shall breathe and speak; with laurel crown'd,
Which never fades; fed with ambrosial meat,
In a well-lined velture, rich, and neat:
So with this robe they cloath him, bid hin wear it;
For time shall never staili, nor envy tear it.
The friendly Admirer of his Endowments,

J. M. S.

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Part of Shirley's Prologue to The Sisters.


And if you leave us too, we cannot thrive,
I'll promise neither play nor poet live
'Till ye come back; think what you do, you see
Whit audience we have, what company
To hakespeare comes, whose mirth did once beguile
Dull hours, and bulkin'd, made even forrow finile:
-TOL. I.




So lovely were the wounds, that men would say
They could endure the bleeding a whole day.

Extract from Michael Drayton's “ Elegy to Henry Rey:

nolds, Esq. of Poets and Poesy."
Shakespear, thou hadst as sinooth a comic vein,
Fitting the fock, and in thy natural brain
As strong conception, and as clear a rage
As any one that traffick'd with the stage.


Shakespeare, that nimble Mercury thy braine

Lulls many hundred Argus-eyes asleepe, So fit for all thou fashioncit thy vaine,

At th’horse-foot fountaine thou hast drunk full deepe, Vertue's or vice's theme to thee all one is;

Who loves chaste life, there's Lucrece for a teacher: Who lift read lust, there's Venus and Adonis,

'The modell of a moft lafcivious leacher. Befdes, in plaies thy wit winds like Mcander,

When needy new composers borrow more
Than Terence doth from Plautus or Menander:

But to praise thee aright, I want thy store.
Then let thine owne works thine owne worth upraise,
And help t'adorne thee with deserved baies.

Epigram. 92, in an ancient collection, entitled Run and a great Cajt, 4to. by Tho. I'reeman, 16:4.

An Epitaph on the admirable dramatick Poct, W. SHAKESPEARE,

What needs my Shakespeare for his honour'd bones,
The labour of an age in piled foncs;
Or that his hallow'd reliques 1hould be hid
Under a ftar-ypointing pyramid?
Dear son of memory, great heir of fam,
What need it thou fuch weak witness of thy name?
Thou, in our wonder and astonishment,
Haft built thyself a live-long monument:

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