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Literature & Theatre

Epilogue to the new play of the Maid of Bristol

(12) Epilogue to the new play of the Maid of Bristol

            EPILOGUE

                            TO THE

                NEW PLAY

                            OF THE

        MAID OF BRISTOL.

Written by GEORGE COLMAN, the Younger,

(Being an Address to the Patriotism of the English.)

And Spoken by MR. ELLISTON, in the Character of a British Sailor.

In times like these, the Sailor of our Play
Much more than common Sailors has to say ;—
For Frenchmen, now, the British Tars provoke,
And doubly tough is every Heart of Oak ;
Ready to die or conquer, at command,—
While all are Soldiers who are left on land.
Each English soul's on fire, to strike the blow
That curbs the French—and lays a Tyrant low.
Sweet wolf !—how lamb-like !—how, in his designs,
" The maiden modesty of Grimbald" shines !
Strifes he concludes twixt Nations who agree ;
Freedom bestows on States already free ;
Forcing redress on each contented town,
The loving Ruffian burns whole districts down ;
Clasps the wide World, like Death, in his embrace ;
Stalks Guardian Butcher of the human race
And, aping the fraternity of Cain,
Man is his brother,—only to be slain.

And must Religion's mantle be profan'd,
To cloak the crimes with which an Atheist's stain'd ?
Yes ;—the mock Saint, in holy motley dress'd,
Devotion's Public Ledger stands confess'd ;—
Of every, and no Faith, beneath the sun ;—
" Open to all, and influenc'd by none " ;
Ready he waits, to be, or not to be,
Rank Unbeliever, or staunch Devotee.

Now, Christians' deaths, in Christian zeal, he works,
Now worships Mahomet, to murder Turks ;
Now tears the Creed, and gives Free-thinking scope,
Now dubb'd " Thrice Catholic," he strips a Pope.
A mongrel Mussulman, of Papal growth,
Mufti or Monk, now neither, or now both ;
At Mosque, at Church, by turns, as craft thinks good,
Each day, in each,—and every day in blood !

God ! must this Mushroom Despot of the hour
The spacious World encircle with his pow'r ?
Stretching his baneful feet from pole to pole,
Stride Corsican Colossus of the whole ?
Forbid it Heaven !—and forbid it Man !
Can Men forbid it ?—Yes ; the English can.
'Tis theirs, at length, to fight the World's great cause,
Defend their own, and rescue others' laws.

What Britons would not, were their hairs all lives,
Fight for their Charter, for their Babes and Wives ;
And hurl a Tyrant from his upstart throne,
To guard their King securely on his own ?

                    LONDON:
Printed by Cox, Son, and Baylis, Great Queen Street,
For J. DEBRETT, Piccadilly.—(Price 1d. or 9d. per Dozen.)

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