Imagens das páginas

The place grows bare where they too long remain,
But grass will rise ere they return again.

Children of Thespis, welcome ! knights and queens !
Counts ! barons ! beauties! when before your scenes,
And mighty monarchs thund’ring from your throne;
Then step behind, and all your glory's gone:
Of crown and palace, throne and guards bereft,
The pomp is vanish'd, and the care is left.
Yet strong and lively is the joy they feel,
When the full house secures the plenteous meal;
Flattring and flatter'd, each attempts to raise
A brother's merits for a brother's praise :
For never hero shows a prouder heart,
Than he who proudly acts a hero's part;
Nor without cause; the boards, we know, can yield
Place for fierce contest, like the tented field.

Graceful to tread the stage, to be in turn The prince we honour, and the knave we spurn; Bravely to bear the tumult of the crowd, The hiss tremendous, and the censure loud: These are their parts,--and he who these sustains Deserves some praise and profit for his pains. Heroes at least of gentler kind are they, Against whose swords no weeping widows pray, No blood their fury sheds, nor havoc marks their way.

Sad happy race ! soon raised and soon depress’d, Your days all pass’d in jeopardy and jest ;

Poor without prudence, with afflictions vain,
Not warn’d by misery, not enrich'd by gain ;
Whom justice pitying, chides from place to place,
A wandering, careless, wretched, merry race,
Who cheerful looks assume, and play the parts
Of happy rovers with repining hearts;
Then cast off care, and in the mimic pain
Of tragic wo, feel spirits light and vain,
Distress and hope, the mind's, the body's wear,
The man's affliction, and the actor's tear:
Alternate times of fasting and excess
Are yours, ye smiling children of distress.

Slaves though ye be, your wandering freedom seems, And with your varying views and restless schemes, Your griefs are transient, as your joys are dreams.

Yet keen those griefs—ah! what avail thy charms, Fair Juliet! what that infant in thine arms; What those heroic lines thy patience learns, What all the aid thy present Romeo earns, Whilst thou art crowded in that lumbering wain, With all thy plaintive sisters to complain ?

Nor is there lack of labour-To rehearse, Day after 'day, poor scraps of prose and verse; To bear each other's spirit, pride, and spite; To hide in rant the heart-ache of the night; To dress in gaudy patch-work, and to force The mind to think on the appointed course ;

This is laborious, and may be defined
The bootless labour of the thriftless mind.

There is a veteran dame; I see her stand
Intent and pensive with her book in hand;
Awhile her thoughts she forces on her part,
Then dwells on objects nearer to the heart;
Across the room she

paces, gets her tone, And fits her features for the Danish throne; To-night a queen—I mark her motion slow, I hear her speech, and Hamlet's mother know.

Methinks ’tis pitiful to see her try For strength of arms and energy of eye; With vigour lost, and spirits worn away, Her pomp and pride she labours to display; And when awhile she's tried her part to act, To find her thoughts arrested by some fact; When struggles more and more severe are seen In the plain actress than the Danish queen,At length she feels her part, she finds delight, And fancies all the plaudits of the night: Old as she is, she smiles at every speech, And thinks no youthful part beyond her reach ; But as the mist of vanity again Is blown away, by press of present pain, Sad and in doubt she to her purse applies For cause of comfort, where no comfort lies;


Then to her task she sighing turns again,-
“Oh! Hamlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twain!"

And who that poor, consumptive, wither'd thing,
Who strains her slender throat and strives to sing ?
Panting for breath, and forced her voice to drop,
And far unlike the inmate of the shop,
Where she, in youth and health, alert and gay,
Laugh’d off at night the labours of the day;
With novels, verses, fancy's fertile powers,
And sister-converse pass'd the evening-hours;
But Cynthia's soul was soft, her wishes strong,
Her judgment weak, and her conclusions wrong:
The morning-call and counter were her dread,
And her contempt the needle and the thread:
But when she read a gentle damsel's part,
Her wo, her wish!-she had them all by heart.

At length the hero of the boards drew nigh,
Who spake of love till sigh re-echo'd sigh;
He told in honey'd words his deathless flame,
And she his own by tender vows became;
Nor ring nor licence needed souls so fond,
Alphonso's passion was his Cynthia's bond:
And thus the simple girl, to shame betray'd,
Sinks to the grave forsaken and dismay'd.

Sick without pity, sorrowing without hope,
See her! the grief and scandal of the troop;

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A wretched martyr to a childish pride,
Her wo insulted, and her praise denied :
Her humble talents, though derided, used,
Her prospects lost, her confidence abused;
All that remains for she not long can brave
Increase of evils—is an early grave.

Ye gentle Cynthias of the shop, take heed
What dreams ye cherish and what books


read. A decent sum had Peter Nottage made, By joining bricks—to him a thriving trade: Of his employment master and his wife, This humble tradesman led a lordly life; The house of kings and heroes lack'd repairs, , And Peter, though reluctant, served the players: Connected thus, he heard in way polite,“ Come, Master Nottage, see us play to-night.” At first 'twas folly, nonsense, idle stuff, But seen for nothing it grew well enough; And better now-now best, and every night, In this fool's paradise he drank delight; And as he felt the bliss, he wish'd to know Whence all this rapture and these joys could flow; For if the seeing could such pleasure bring, What must the feeling ?-feeling like a king ?

In vain his wife, his uncle, and his friend, Cried_“ Peter! Peter! let such follies end ;

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