« AnteriorContinua »
or tenth time, in a crowded back-row of the Little Theatre, with a dull party, in August!
15. (S.) The endless interval which sometimes passes
be tween the play and farce—and this while you are sitting by a lady, whom you consider it as your duty to entertain, but who does not consider it as her duty to be entertained; and, still less, to requite your attempts in kind.
16. (S.) At the play—the sickening scraps of naval loyalty which are crammed 'down your throat faster than you can gulp them, in such afterpieces as are called “ England's Glory,"_" The British Tars,” &c.--with the additional nausea of hearing them boisterously applauded.
17. (S.) Wading through those gossiping scenes of a play, in which the lacqueys and waiting-maids lay their heads together about the plans, and characters, of their Masters, and Mistresses ;-or, that part of the opera, in which Signor
and Signora(we all know who) fill up the void, while Billington, Viganoni, &c. are refreshing themselves behind the
18. (S.) Prolonging your stay in London, for the express purpose of going to the Panorama, on the report of a late change in the spectacle; then, after toiling and puffing up to the very top of the building, seeing at your entrance-what you saw yesterday!
19. (S.) Arriving at the Masquerade, long before the rooms have begun to fill; with the awful farce of blank lifeless buftoonery which presents itself at your entrance; till, at length, you are exhilarated by the average allowance of lethargic Harlequinsdrunken Hermits-buckish Magicians-speaking Emperors -- august Tinkers- dejected Merry-Andrews-hoydening Abbesses-drivelling Minervas
- lusty Ghosts, &c. &c.-what little character there is, lying, exclusively, among the Dominos.
20. (S.) After having fee'd very high for places at Mrs Siddons's benefit, being told, on your arrival at the house with your party, that your box has been let by mistake, to the Duchess of ****, and that there
, is not another place to be had for any– bribe.
Tes. Nay, Master Sensitive, I can't think you have chosen your happiest Misery for the last; or rather I won't allow it to be any misery ať all; since as your pleasure must have lain in getting out of these enchanting places as fast as possible, (though for a particular purpose, you had bound yourself to go into them,) you ought, I think, to have considered it as a high stroke of good luck to have thus reconciled the satisfaction of having attempted to do your duty, with the still higher satisfaction of leaving it undone. For---to fetch a parallel case out of the Roman History—if old Regulus's opinion could be taken upon his own affair, I fancy he would tell us, that though he thought it became him to keep his word by returning to Carthage, for the purpose of occupying that teizing tub which the carpenter had fitted up for his reception, he would have been quite as well pleased if he had found, on his arrival, that it had just been let out,“ by mistake,” to another gentleman!
Sen. Yes, yes; that is all very true;- but, to whisper in your ear a secret, of which
you may think I ought to be ashamed, I suffered for this only time in my life, the bitterest
mortification at finding the box-door shut in my face.- If I am wrong in this, Mrs Siddons must answer it; for, as long as she remains within the reach of my eyes, and ears, I freely forgive the shrieks of catgut-the bangs of doors- the whistle of catcals—the vollies of orange peel—the snuffs of candles—the lungs of the audience the laziness of the ventilator—the blusterings of apprentices—the critiques of my neighbours—the yawning-time between the pieces — and the accumulat
ed crimes of Author, Composer, Machinist, Prompter, Scene-shifters, Singers, Musicians, Actors, and Actresses--for her dear, single sake.
Tes. Much good may she do you !--for my own part, however, I don't at all fancy the proportion of being “ dull for an hour, and mad for a minute;”—besides, the madder the minute, the duller the hour, with me:-I saw her once myself; and I must own, she so effectually conjured me away to the supposed scene of action, that as often as she finished her speech, I was within an ace of leaping on the stage, and knocking down all the rest of the Dramatis Personæ, for lugging me back
again to Covent Garden--no, Drury-lane-it was before she took her last flight from one stage to the other.—But to come to our chief point:- Public Places, Sir, are Public Pesthouses :—that's clear.-What next?-Have you any other experiments upon huinan happiness to propose ?- If you have, I hope you can contrive to suit them to my occasions ; for I am just going a journey that will drag me over half the counties in England.
Sen. Nothing can be more apropos: I was that instant going to tell you of a similar necessity on my part; and as our plans thus ayree, what can we do better than take memoranda of the “ Miseries of travelling ?"a more fertile field was never opened to the wretched !- You, too, perhaps, as well as myself, propose to take in what are curiously called Pleasure-excursions in your way?
Tes. Humph !--aye, so Mrs Testy seems to think; and if so, I will punish her, by making her keep the diary of detestables on the road. Any thing else to say ?—be quick!
Sen. You seem in wond'rous haste, Mr Testy. When do you mean to start :