Imagens das páginas

Here Wisdom's, Virtue's awful voice

Inspired the youths of Cornwall's plains :
With such, no more these hills rejoice,

But sullen, death-like, silence reigos,
While melancholy, in yon mould'ring tow'k
Sits list’ning to old ocean's distant roar.
Let others, heedless of the hill,

With eye incurious pass along;
My muse with grief the scene shall fill

And swell with softest sighs her song.

PROLOGUE to the “School for Arrogance."


REAT news! Great news! Extraordinary news! [Sounds] Great news Pray, did you call, sirs ? Here am I? Of wants, and wanted, I've a large supply! Of fire and murder, marriage, birth, and death, Here's more than I can utter in a breath ! Rapes, riots, hurricanes, routs, rogues, and faro! Famine and fire in Turkey, and the plague at Cairo ! Here's tincture for the gums, which dentists make, Whose teeth eat most when other people's ache. Here are rich soups, hams, tongues, oils, sauce, sour crout ; And here's the grand specific for the gout ! Here's turtle newly landed ; lamb house-fed : And here's a wife and five small children wanting bread: Wholesale and retail British spirits here: And here's the dying speech of poor small-beer! Here are tall men, short women, and fat oxen; And here are Sunday-schools, and schools for boxing. Here ruin'd rakes for helpmates advertise ; And only want 'em handsome, rich, and wise. Great news! Here's money lent on bond ! rare news ! By honest, tender-hearted, Christian Jews! Here are promotions, dividends, rewards; A list of bankrupts, and of new-made lords. Here the debates at length are, for the week : And here the deaf and dumb are taught to speak! Here HAZARD, GOODLUCK, SHERGOLD, and a band Of gen'rous gentlemen, whose hearts expand With honour, rectitude, and public spirit, Equal in high desert, with equal merit,

Divide their tickets into shares and quarters ;
And here's a servant-maid found hanging in her garters !
Here ! here's the fifty thousand, sold at ev'ry shop;
And here's the Newgate calendar—and drop.
Rare news! Strange news ! Extraordinary news!
Who would not give three-halfpence to peruse?

[Going, returns.] 'Sblud! I forgot-Great news again I say!
To-night, at Covent-Garden, a new play!
[In raptures.] Oh! I'll be there, with Jack, our printer's devil!
We're judges !-We know when to clap or cavil!
We've heard our pressmen talk of, of—Rome and Greece !
And have read Harry–Harry–Harry Stotle's Masterpiece!
When we have paid our shilling, we're the Town!
As wisely can find fault, as those who pay their crown!
Nay, we, like them, if it be bad or good,
Can talk as fast as, as—as if we understood !
Oh! I'll be there; get the first row, and with my

staff I'll act the trunkmaker, thump, roar, encore, and laugh!

The prompter's boy has call'd our Jack aside, And

says, the play's to cure the world of pride! That rich folks will no longer think they're born To crush the weak, and laugh the poor to scorn! The great 'twill teach that virtue, truth, and merit! They may perchance possess, but can't inherit! That learning, wisdom, genius, wit, and worth, Are far more rich and rare than ribbands, rank, and birth! Lord ! Lord! Who ever heard of such a scheme? Teach sense to wealth and pride! Your poets always dream ! Could he do this, there's no one will deny That news! strange news! would be the gen'ral cry. [Exit.



EPILOGUE to the same.
THE curtain dropt, of course the author sends

Me salute our gen'rous noble friends,
To me you listen, he politely says,
Whene'er I prattle, with a wish to praise.
For kindness so unceasing, may you

As happy, ev'ry soul, as your applause makes me!

But to my text-The theme to-night is pride :
Much have we said, and much more have implied;
Our boldest strokes are feeble, nor can show
The child of pride with half his genuine glow;


Of pride, which can such various forms assume,
Now rise an emperor, now sink a groom.

Mounted aloft, the wonder of his age,
With hackney-coachmen furious war to wage ;
Six swan-down waistcoats swathe him into shape,
His legs all buck-skin, and his coat all cape ;
With manners, looks, and language, such, you'd swear
His tutor had been Piccadilly's bear;
When most contemptible, most hoping praise,
And only envious of the groom he pays;
Four dappled greys in front, behind three men,
Down 'James-street dashing, to dash up again,
Then only in bis height and pomp of pride,
When girl or gambler's seated by his side,
Driving by day, dicing by night, his passion;
Such is the modern man of high-flown fashion !
Such are the scions sprung from Runnymede!
The richest soil that bears the rankest weed!
Potatoe-like, the sprouts are worthless found,
And all that's good of them is under ground.

Of pride-one single sketch in crayons more,
Behold her torch! hark! thunder shakes the door!
The carriage stops--the footmen make a lane-
The feathers stoopmand enter lady Jane;
Perfect in How d'ye do---drop-bob, and bow-
(Curtsies, my friends, are out of fashion now)-(To the galleries )
First, to his grace--next, to the next of birth
She none forgets-save genius, wit, and worth :
Whom, if she mark, 'tis with a modish stare,
To ask, Who knows them ? or, How came they there?



Now at the bank, in anti-chamber kept, Where Pharaoh's host twelve tedious hours had slept, She seats herself, like palpitating lover, Eager the last night's losses to recover. “ No sense of virtue, dignity, or shame, « Her greatest pride's her knowledge of the game, “ That pride most picqued, most mortified to see “ A nabob's wife stake larger sums than she!" And now three anxious hours have slipt away, Three hundreds have been lost in piddling play. No luck for her ! Aloud « fresh cards !" she calls Her passions rising as her pocket falls. She punts: again she loses, and again ! Oaths quiver on her lip! shę pames the ten.


Stung to the soul, a desp'rate set she makes,
'Till even the winning banker deals and quakes.
Ghastly she pants, with horror in her eye,
To be the first the fatal card to spy.
The fatal card is turn'd, and ends the reign
Of fashion, folly, pride, and lady Jane.

Here too we end, oblig'd ourselves to own,
Our pride is great-when we can please the town.


PROLOGUE to the Road to Ruin.” Spoken by Mr. Fawcett.

Enters, driving a boy across the stage.

WAY! 'Sblood! Run for the author! We can do nothing till he

appears ; Tell him in less than five minutes we shall have the house about our

ears !

[To the Audience. ] O, Sirs ! the prompter has mislaid the prologue, and we are all a-mort. I suppose our friends above yonder will soon be making pretty sport! For pity's sake, suffer us to go on without it-Good, dear sirs, do! 'Twas most abominably dull-Zounds! there stands the writer. Well

'tis very true. One of our te-tum-ti heroes was to have spoken it, who measure out

nonsense by the yard ; ’And our chief hope was you'd make too much noise for it to be heard. The author had mounted on the stilts of oratory and elocution ; Not bul he had a smart touch or two about Poland, France, and the~the

Revolution ; Telling us, that Frenchmen, and Polishmen, and every man is our

brother; And that all men, ay, even poor negroe men, have a right to be free:

one as well as another ! Freedom, at length, said he, like a torrent, is spreading and swelling, To sweep away pride, and reach the most miserable dwelling : To ease, happiness, art, science, wit, and genius to give birth ; Ay, to fertilize a world, and renovate old Earth!

Thus he went on, not mentioning a word about the play; For he says prologues are blots which ought to be wip'd away; A Gothic practice, and in spite of precedent, not the better for being For, if we tell any part of the plot, it then becomes a tale twice told ! VOL. XXXIII.


old ;


And such twice telling can rarely once excite our wonder :
Ergo, he that says nothing is least likely to blunder.
Since therefore prologues are bad things at best, pray, my good friends,
Never mind the want of one, but live in hopes the play will make amends.

[Exit. EPILOGUE. Spoken by Mrs. Mattocks,


scenic faults and follies laid aside,

No widow now, nor disappointed bride,
My own plain self I once again resume;
Sent by the author here, to know his doom,

condemn him ? do, with all my

To own the truth, I don't half like my part:
Through five long acts the butt of ridicule,
A hard unfeeling heart, a flirt, a fool,
My daughter's tyrant, and my lover's tool;
I hop'd the bitter pill he'd overcome,
By making up an Epilogue sugar-plum.
But no! madam, said he, take my advice,
And conquer feelings which are much too nice :
Fear not to hold the mirror up to vice.
We, who paint human characters, must shew them
Such as they are; or nobody would know them.
-But, sir, the sex! a woman !-very true:
I'm sorry so many sat for me, while I drew.
-Sure, really, sir !-nay, don't be angry, madam:
Both ate the apple, Eve as well as Adam ;
And while through thick and thin the passions goad,
Nor Eve nor Adam stay to pick their road:
And as for Epilogue, I'll not descend
Bad play by worse buffoonery to mend.
--Mister, said I, you are too wise by half;
Folks dont come here to learn, they come to laugh:
And if they choose like Hottentots their meat,
You must provide them what they please to eat.
Lord, sir ! the beauties of proportion never please
Such as delight in frippery and frieze!
Do we not see, by men of travelled taste,
In open hall, on rising pillar plac'd,
Griffon or Sphinx, th' insulted eye before,
While Plato's bust stands hid behind the door ?
But good advice I find is thrown away!

-Yes, good advice is like a rainy day;
Which, though it make our barns aná coffers full,
Is often splenetic and always dull.
Our common cause, then, let us fairly trust
With those who are to sense and nature just.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


« AnteriorContinuar »