Imatges de pÓgina

I wonder who the devil he thought to please!
Is this a time of day for things like thefe ?
Good fenfe and honeft fatire now offen !;
We're grown too wife to lear», to pred to mend,
And fo divinely rapt in tongs and times,
The next wife age will all be-hulers fons.
And did he think plon truth would favour find?
Ah, 'tis a fign he little knows mankind!
To pleafe, he ought to have a long or dance,
The tune from Italy, the caper France:
Thefe, thefe might charm-But hope to do 't
with fenfe,

Alas! alas! how vain is the pretence !
But, tho' we told him-Faith, 'twill never do-
Pho! never fear, he cried, tho' grave, 'tis new:
The whim perhaps may pleafe, if not the wit,
And, tho' they don't approve, they may permit.
If neither this nor that will intercede,
Submiffive bend, and thus for pardon plead.

"Ye gen'rous few! to you our author fues, "His firft effay with candour to excufe: "'T has faults, he owns; but, if they are but small, "He hopes your kind applaufe will hide them all."

Much could I offer in our author's caufe;
No, prove his first great object-your applause;
But, lest dull friendship fhould his genius

$133. Epilogue to the fame.



HE drama done, and all its int'reft over, Content the hufband, and fecure the lover; Our timid bard, who dreads the critic ire, And thinks my little tongue can never tire, Would have me re-affume the wig and gown, To plead his goofe-quill caufe before the town. "Lord! Sir," fays I," fome better counfl bring; "For females in a wig are not the thing. "Your bearded Barrister, if finartly made, is.. "A furer advocate among the ladies." "Madam," he cried, "or periwigg'd, or bare, "So you but talk, I never need defpair."


Suppofe, ye fair, as I'm fo fmooth a prater,
I take a line more confonaut to nature;
Give up the vain attempt your hearts to warm,
And ganft the men with female weapon arm.


$132. Prologue to Mr. Andrews's Comedy of Better
Late than Never. Duke of LEEDS.

Oft have the wits, unmindful whom they vex,
Expos'd the foibles of the fofter fex;
Laugh'd at their drefs,their well-shap`d cork, their


Something like this, I heard a friend once fay, Who wish'd (poor foul!) to hear a new-launch'd play:



ftop-before the prologue grows too long, And Better late than never hold my tongue.

CUSTOM commands a prologue to ea h play,
But custom hath not told us what to say:
No form prefcrib'd, 'tis difficult to find
How to conciliate the public mind.
The bathful bard-the modeft mufe's fears,
So long have jingled in your patient cars,
That now perhaps you'll fcarce vouchsafe to fay | And flew these men, what wondrous things they
To hear both their apology—and play.
No! Better fure on him at once to call,
With Sir, if frighten'd thus, why write at all:
We're not reduc'd yet to a trembling pen!
Zounds! bards will crowd us foon, like-gentle-



To tafte fo mark'd my friend of courfe gave way;
But fqueez'd, thump'd, kick'd—stili liften'd to the
Till by repeated plaudits grown fo fore, [play;
Nor fleth nor blood could bear one comment move.
Such built'rous friends they furely cannot need,
Who with by merit only to fuccced.
To-night we offer to the public view
A character, you'll own perhaps is new:
From Doctor's Commons we the model draw;
A promifing eleve of civil law;

And civil fure that law which can provide
Or (fhould need be) release you from a bride.
Thrice blefs'd the manfion, where, in fpite of ills,
Alive or dead you ftill can have your wills.

Their fteady bloom, unchanging in all weathers;
Swore locks were grey,that feem'd a comely brown,
And, tho' all paid for, deem'd them not their own.
Why not retort avenge th' infulted fair,


Now don't be frighten'd-poor eccentric elves!
I only fhew what moft you like-yourselves.

How! tremble at a woman! fhame betide !
Tho' I look fierce, like you—I 'm all outfide :
Yet e'er my
efforts your attention call

To that dear portrait which should hit you all,
Let me delineate what was once a beau,
The Band-box Billy of fome years ago.

Box'd fnug at firft, completely to his mind,
With only one grave auditor behind,
Ere the third act had struggled to its end,
In reel'd three critics, each the author's friend-Hat under arm, fine button, and gilt loop-

On praise determin'd—wit confirm'd by wine:
Each And ! and If! was chatte-correct--danin'd¦

Suff Rock, long fword ftill dangling in the way,
He fometimes ventured to a firit-night play :
Tripp'd thro' the lobby, most completely curl'd;
Nor did a paw-paw thing for all the world.
Thus he difcours'd: “Sir Dilberry, ods fo,
Dear, dear good luck! have you a place belowy
Dem it, don't crowd fo, fellow-O, how shock-


Sweet image of mamma in ev'ry feature,
The youth came forth, a moft delicious creature,
With fu I drets'd fkirts, not quite unlike a hoop,

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"He's fpoil'd my hair, and dirtied all my stock-
Such was the smart our grandmammas would
Rather unlike the finart of prefent days:
For I defy all history to fhew

One thing in nature like a modern beau;
Hat flouch'd, fhort flick, knee-trappings, that
bring back

The memory of renown'd Sixteen String Jack;

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Terror of caps and wigs and fober notions!
A romp that longeft of perpetual motions?

-Till tam'd and tortur'd into foreign graces,
She fports her lovely face at public places;
And with blue, laughing eyes, behind her fan,

Eternal boots, and collar you 'd fuppofe
Cut in kind contact with his buckthip's nofe.
Thus trimly deck'd, each night among the doxies
He ftorins the lobby, and allails the boxes;
With gait and manner-fomething in this way,
Proves his rare tafte, and defcants on the play-First acts her part with that great actor, MAN,
Too foon a flirt; approach her and the lies,
"Here, box-keeper! why don't the raftul cone?
"Halloo-Tom Gerkin! can you give us 100m Frowns when purfued, and, when entreated, fighst
"What's this The farce-Macbeth- -an ope- Plays with unhappy men as cats with mice;
Till fading beauty hints the late advice.
Her prudence dictates what her pride difdain'd,
And now the fues to flaves herfelf had chain'd!


"Came out laft feafon-Stupid ftuff-damn'd


"Zounds, let's be off!"--"Zds, be a little
" calmer!"

"Who's that--the Jordan ?"—" No, you fool-
"R. Palmer."

Thus fome are found, by ev'ry act revealing
Perfect indifference to fenfe and feeling.
To fuch our play not fues-but you, ye fair,
Ye wife, whom nature form'd with happier care,
Whofe tender bofoms, tho' by pallions rent,
Feel the foft virtues in their full extent,
Cherish our author's plan, which aims to prove,
Life's beft exertions fpring from virtuous love.

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§ 134. Veyles written to be spoken by Mrs. Siddons,
at ber Benefit, April 27, 1795.

Snatch half a glimpfe at concert, opera, ball,
A meteor, trac'd by none, tho' feen by all;
And, when her shatter'd nerves forbid to roam,
In very fpleen-rchearfe the girls at home.

Laft the grey dowager, in ancient flounces,
With fnuff and fpectacles the age denounces;
Boats how the fires of this degenerate ifle
Knelt for a look, and duel'd for a fimile;
The fcourge and ridicule of Goth and Vandal,

YES, 'tis the pulfe of life! my fears were vain! Her tea fie fweetens, as the fips, with fean lal;

wake, I and am myfulf again.
Still in this nether world! no feraph yet!
Nor walks my fpirit when the fun is fet,
With troubled ftep to haunt the fatal board,
Where I died laft-by poifon or the fword;
And blanch each honeft check with deeds of night,
Done here fo oft by dim and doubtful light.

With modern belles ct.rnal warfare wages,
Like her own birds that clamour from their cages;
And fhuffles round to bear her tale to all,
Like fome old ruin, "nodding to its fall!"

Thus WOMAN makes her entrance and her exit,
Then moft an actress when the leafts fufpects it.
Yet nature oft peeps out and mars the plot,
Each leffon loft, each poor pretence forgot;
Full oft, with energy that fcorns controul,
At once lights up the features of the foul;
Unlocks each thought chain'd down by coward

To drop all metaphor, that little bell
Call'd back reality, and broke the fpell
No heroine clainis your tears with tragic tone;
A very Woman-fcarce reftrains her own!
Can the, with fiction, charm the cheated mind,
When to be grateful is the part affign'd ?
Ah, no! the fcorns the trappings of her art;
No theme but truth, no prompter but the heart.
But, Ladies, fay, muft i alone unmask?..
Is have no other actrefs? let ine afk.
Believe me, thofe, who beft the heart diffect,
Know every woman ftudies ftage effect.
She moulds her manners to the parts the fills,
As Initin&t teaches, or as Humour wills;
And, as the grave or gay her talent calls,
Acts in the drama, till the curtain falls.

Then comes that good old character, a wife,
With all the dear, diftracting cares of life;
A thouland cards a-day at doors to leave,
And, in return, a thoufand cards receive;
Rouge high, play deep, to lead the ton afpire,
With nightly blaze fet PORTLAND-PLACE on



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First, how her little breaft with triumph fwells,
When the red coral rings its filver bells!
To play in pantomime is then the rage
Along the carpet's many-colour'd stage;
Or lifp her merry thoughts with loud endeavour,
Now here, now there-in noife and mifchiefever!

A fchool-girl next, the curls her hair in papers,
And mimics father's gout, and mother's vapours;
Difcards her doll, bribes Betty for romances,
Playful at church, and ferious when the dances;
Tramples alike on customs and on toes,
And whispers all the hears to all she knows;


And to full day the latent paffions start!

But the, whofe firft beft with is your applaufe,
Herfelf exemplifies the truth the draws.
Born on the ftage-thro' ev'ry fhifting fcene,
Obfcure or bright, tempeftuous or ferene,
Still has your imile her trembling spirit fir'd !.
And can the act, with thoughts like thefe infpir'da
Thus from her mind all artifice the flings,
All kill, all practice, now unmeaning things!
To you, uncheck 'd, each genuine feeling flows,
For all that life endears-to you the owes.

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Ere yet to buried Rofcius we affign One kind regret---one tributary line!

His fame requires we act a tend'rer part: His memory claims the tear you gave his art!

The genral voice, the meed of mournful verfe, The fplendid forrows that adorn'd his hearse, The throng that mourn'd as their dead fav'rite pafs'd,

The grac'd refpect that claim'd him to the laft,
While Shakspeare's image, from its hallow'd bafe,
Seem'd to prefcribe the grave, and point the place:
Nor thefe, nor all the fad regrets that flow
From fond fidelity's domeftic woc,'
So much are Garrick's praife-fo much his due,
As on this fpot-one tear beftow'd by you.

Amid the arts which feek ingenuous fame,
Our toil attempts the most precarious claim!
To him, whofe mimic pencil wins the prize,
Obedient fame immortal wreaths fupplies :
Whate'er of wonder Reynolds now may raife,
Raphael ftill boafts cotemporary praife:
Each dazzling light and gaudier bloom fubdued,
With undiminish'd awe his works are view'd:
E'en beauty's portrait wears a fofter prime,
Touch'd by the tender hand of mellowing time.
The patient fculptor owns an humbler part,
A ruder toil, and more mechanic art:
Content with flow and timorous ftroke to trace
The ling'ring line, and mould the tardy grace:
But once achiev'd, tho' barb'rous wreck o'erthrow
The facred fane, and lay its glories low,
Yet fhall the fculptur'd ruin rife to-day,
Grac'd by defect, and worship'd in decay;
Th' enduring record bears the artift's name,
Demands his honours, and afferts his fame.

Superior hopes the poet's bofom fire, O proud diftinction of the facred lyre ! Wide as th' infpiring Phoebus darts his ray, Diffufive fplendour gilds his votary's lay. Whether the fong heroic woes rehearse, With Epic grandeur, and the pomp of verse; Or, fondly gay, with unambitious guile Attempt no prize but fav'ring beauty's smile; Or bear dejected to the lonely grove The foft defpair of unprevailing love; Whate'er the theme, thro' ev'ry age and clime Congenial paffions meet the according rhyme; The pride of glory, pity's figh fincere, Youth's earlieft bluth, and beauty's virgin tear.

Such is their meed-their honours thus fecure, Whofe arts yield objects, and whofe works endure. The actor only fhrinks from time's award; Feeble tradition is his memory's guard; By whofe faint breath his merits must abide, Unvouch'd by proof, to fubftance unallied!

Even matchlefs Garrick's art, to heaven refign'd, No fix'd effect, no model leaves behind.

The grace of action, the adapted mien, Faithful as nature to the varied scene; Th'expreffive glance,whofe fubtle comment draws Entranc'd attention, and a mute applaufe; Gefture that marks, with force and feeling fraught, A fenfe in filence, and a will in thought; Harmonious fpeech, whofe pure and liquid tone Gives verfe a mufic fcarce confefs'd its own; As light from gems affumes a brighter ray, And, cloth'd with orient hues, tranfcends the day! Paffion's wild break, and frown that awes the fenfe, And ev'ry charm of gentle eloquence, All perishable-like th' electric fire But ftrike the frame, and, as they strike, expire; Incenfe too pure a bodied flame to bear, Its fragrance charms the fenfe, and blends with


Where then, while funk in cold decay he lies, And pale eclipfe for ever veils thofe eves; Where is the bleft memorial that enfures Our Garrick's fame ?-whofe is the_truft ?—'Tis yours.

And, O! by ev'ry charm his art effay'd To footh your cares! by ev'ry grief allay'd! By the hufh'd wonder which his accents drew ! By his laft parting tear, repaid by you! By all thofe thoughts, which many a diftant night Shall mark his memory with a fad delight! Still in your hearts dear record bear his name, Cherish the keen regret that lifts his fame; To you it is bequeath'd, affert the trust, And to his worth-'tis all you can-be just.

What more is due from fanctifying time, To cheerful wit, and many a favour'd rhyine, O'er his grac'd urn fhall bloom, a deathlefs wreath, Whofe bloffom'd fweets fhall deck the mask be


For thefe, when fculpture's votive toil shall rear The due memorial of a lofs fo dear,

O lovelieft mourner, gentle mufe! be thine
The pleafing woe to guard the laurell'd shrine.
As Fancy, oft by fuperftition led

To roam the manfions of the fainted dead,
Has view'd, by fhadowy eve's unfaithful gloom,
A weeping cherub on a martyr's tomb;
So thou, fweet Mufe, hang o'er his fculptur'd bier,
With patient woe, that loves the ling'ring tear;
With thoughts that mourn, nor yet defire relief,
With meck regret, and fond enduring grief;
With looks that fpeak-He never shall return!
Chilling thy tender bofom, clafp his urn;
And with foft fighs difperfe th' irrev'rend duft,
Which time may ftrew upon his facred bust.



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