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our English Roscius was now so extended, that an invitation from Ireland, upon very profitable conditions, was sent him to act in Dublin, during the months of June, July, and August, 1742; which invitation be accepted. His success there exceeded all imagination; he was caressed by all ranks as a prodigy of Theatrical Accomplishment, and the play-bouse was so crowded during this bot season, that a very mortal Fever was produced, which was called Garrick's Fever. He returned to London before the winter, and now attended closely to bis Theatrical professions, in which be was irrevocably fixed.-April 1747, be became joint Patentee of Drury Lane Theatre, with Mr Lacy; and in July 1749, married Mademoiselle Vilette.-In 1763 be undertook a journey into Italy for the benefit of his health; and during bis travels gave frequent proofs of bis Theatrical talents; for be could, without the least preparation, transform bimself into any character, tragic or comic, and seize instantaneously upon any passion of the buman mind. After be bad been abroad about a year and an balf, be turned bis thoughts homewards, and arrived in London April 1765.— In 1769; be projected and conducted the memorable Jubilee, at Stratford, in bonour of Shakespeare, so much admired by some, and so much ridiculed by others.-On the death of Mr Lacy in 1773, the whole management of the Theatre devolved on him; but being advanced in years, and much afflicted with chronical disorders, be finally left it in June 1776, and disposed of bis moiety of the Patent to Messrs. Sheridan, Linley and Ford, for £.35,000. He died at bis house in the Adelphi, Jan. 15th 1779. Notwithstanding bis constant employ as both actor and manager, be was perpetually producing various little things in the dramatic way; some of which are originals; others translations or alterations from other authors, adopted to the state of the present times; besides which, be wrote innumerable prologues, epilogues, songs, &c.
SCENE, a Grove.
With a View of the River LETHE.
CHARON and Esor discovered.
RITHEE, philosopher, what grand affair is transacting upon earth? There is something of importance going forward, I am sure; for Mercury flew over the Styx this morning, without paying me the usual compliments.
Esop. I'll tell thee, Charon; this is the anniversary of the rape of Proserpine: on which day, for the future, luto has permitted her to demand from him something for the benefit of mankind.
Char. I understand you ;- -His Majesty's passion, y a long possession of the lady, is abated; and so, like a mere mortal, he must now flatter her vanity, and sacrifice his power, to atone for deficiences- But what has our royal mistress proposed in behalf of her favourite mortals?
Esop. As mankind, yon know, are ever complaining of their cares, and dissatisfied with their conditions, the generous Proserpine has begg'd of Pluto, that they may have free access to the waters of Lethe, as a sovereign VOL. I.
remedy for their complaintsNotice has been already given above, and proclamation made; Mercury is to conduct them to the Styx; you are to ferry 'em over to Elysium, and I am placed here to distribute the waters.
Char. A very pretty employment 1 shall have of it, truly! If her majesty has often these whims, I must petition the court either to build a bridge over the river, or let me resign my employment. Do their majesties know the difference of weight between souls and bodies? However, I'll obey their commands to the best of my power; I'll row my crazy boat over, and meet 'em; but many of them will be relieved from their cares before they reach Lethe.
Esop. How so Charon ?
Char. Why, I shall leave half of 'em in the Styx; and any water is a specific against care, provided it be taken in quantity.
Mer. Away to your boat Charon; there are some mor tals arriv'd; and the females among 'em will be very clamorous, if you make 'em wait.
Char. I'll make what haste I can, rather than give those fair creatures a topic for conversation. [Noise within, boat, boat, boat!] Coming-coming-zounds, you are in a plaguy hurry, sure! no wonder these mortal folks have so many complaints, when there's no patience among 'em; if they were dead now, and to be settled here for ever; they'd be damn'd before they'd make such a rout to come over, -but Care, I suppose, is thirsty, and till they have drench'd themselves with Lethe, there will be no quiet among 'em; therefore I'll e'en to work; and so, fiiend Esop, and brother Mercury, good bye to 'ye. [Exit Charon.
Esop. Now to my office of judge and examiner, in which to the best of my knowledge I will act with impartiality; for I will immediately relieve real objects, and only divert myself with pretenders.
Mer. Act as your wisdom directs, and conformable to your earthly character, and we shall have few murmur
Esop. I still retain my former sentiments, never to refuse advise or charity to those that want either; flattery
and rudeness should be equally avoided; folly and vice should never be spared: and tho' by acting thus, you may offend many, yet you will please the better few; and the approbation of one virtuous mind is more valuable than ail the noisy applause, and uncertain favours of the great and guilty.
Mer. Incomparable Esop! both men and Gods admire thee! we must now prepare to receive these mortals; and lest the solemnity of the place should strike 'em with too much dread; I'll raise music shall dispel their fears, and embolden them to approach.
Ye mortals whom fancies and troubles perplex,
Drink deep of the stream, and forget all your care.
Old maids shall forget what they wish for in vain,
Obey then the summons, to Lethe repair,
The wife at one draught may forget all her wants,
Drink deep of the stream, and forget all your care.
Esop. Mercurv, Charon has brought over one mortal already, conduct him hither. [Exit Mercury.
Now for a large catalogue of complaints, without the acknowledgment
acknwoledgement of one single vice;-here he comes-if one may guess at his cares by his appearance, he really wants the assistance of Lethe.
Poet. Sir, your humble servant-your name is Esop I know your person intimately, tho' I never saw you before; and am well acquainted with you, tho' I never had the honour of your conversation.
Esop. You are a dealer in paradoxes friend..
Poet. I am a dealer in all parts of speech, and in all the figures of rhetoric-I am a poet, Sir-and to be a poet, and not acquainted with the great Esop, is a greater paradox than I honour you extremely, Sir; you certainly of all the writers of antiquity, had the greatest, the sublimest genius, the
Esop. Hold, friend, I hate flattery.
Poet. My own taste exactly, I assure you; Sir, no man loves flattery less than myself.
Esop. So it appears, by your being so ready to give it away.
Poet. You have hit it, Mr Esop, you have hit ithave given it away indeed. I did not receive one farthing for my last dedication, and yet would you believe it?—I absolutely gave all the virtues in heaven to one of the lowest reptiles upon earth.
Esop. 'Tis hard, indeed, to do dirty work for nothing. Poet. Ay, Sir, to do dirty work, and still be dirty oneself is the stone of Sysiphus, and the thirst of TantalusYou Greek writers, indeed, carried your point by truth and simplicity,they won't do now-adays-our patrons must be tickled into generosity-you gain'd the greatest favours, by shewing your own merits, we can only gain the smallest, by publishing those of other people -You flourish'd by truth, we starve by fiction; tempora
Esop. Indeed, friend, if we may guess by your present plight, you have prostituted your talents to very little purpose.
Poet. To very little upon my word- -but they shall find that I can open another vein- -Satire is the fashion, and satire they shall have-let 'em look to it, I can be sharp