Page images


[ocr errors]

Off! off! vile trappings! a new passion reigns !
The maddening monarch revels in my veins.
Oh! for a Richard's voice to catch the theme:
Give me another horse !-bind up my wounds !

soft-'twas but a dream. Aye, 'twas but a dream, for now there's no retreatIf I cease Harlequin, I cease from eating.

(ing; 'Twas thus that Æsop's stas, a creature blameless, Yet something vain, like one that shall be nameless, Once on the margin of a fountain stood, And cavill'd at his image in the flood : [shanks, The deuce confound,' he cries, these drumstick They neither have my gratitude nor thanks : They're perfectly disgraceful! strike me dead! But for a head-yes, yes, I have a head. How piercing is that eye! how sleek that brow! My horns !--I'm told horns are the fashion now.' Whilst thus he spoke, astonish'd! to his view, Near, and more near the hounds and huntsmen drew, Hoicks! hark forward ! came thundering from beHe bounds aloft, outstrips the fleeting wind : [hind, He quits the woods, and tries the beaten ways; He starts, he pants, he takes the circling maze. At length his silly head, so priz'd before, Is taught his former folly to deplore ; Whilst his strong limbs conspire to set him free, And at one bound he saves himself, like me.

[Taking a jump through the stage door.


EPILOGUE TO MRS. CHARLOTTE LENOX's COMEDY OF «THE SISTERS.' 1769. What! five long acts-and all to make us wiser! Our authoress sure has wanted an adviser.

Had she consulted me, she should have made
Her moral play a speaking masquerade ;
Warm’d up each bustling scene, and in her rage
Have emptied all the green-room on the stage.
My life on't, this had kept her play from sinking;
Have pleas'd our eyes,and sav'd the pain of thinking.
Well, since she thus has shown her want of skill,
What if I give a masquerade ? – I will.
But how? aye, there's the rub! [ pausing]-I've

got my cue: The world's a masquerade! the masquers, you, you, you.

[To Boxes, Pit, and Gallery, . Lud! what a group the motley scene discloses ! False wits,false wives,false virgins,and false spouses, Statesmen with bridles on; and, close beside 'em, Patriots in party-colour'd suits that ride 'em. There Hebes, turn'd of fifty, try once more To raise a flame in Cupids of threescore. These in their turn, with appetites as keen, Deserting fifty, fasten on fifteen. Miss, not yet full fifteen, with fire uncommon, Flings down her sampler, and takes up the woman; The little urchin smiles, and spreads her lure, And tries to kill, ere she's got power to cure. Thus 'tis with all their chief and constant care Is to seem every thing but what they are. Yon broad, bold, angry spark, I fix my eye on, Who seems to' have robb'd his vizor from the lion; Who frowns, and talks, and swears, with round

parade, Looking, as who should say, damme! who's afraid ? Strip but this vizor off, and sure I am (Mimicking. You'll find his lionship a very lamb. Yon politician, famous in debate, Perhaps, to vulgar eyes, bestrides the state ;

Yet, when he deigns his real shape to’ assume,
He turns old woman, and bestrides a broom.
Yon patriot, too, who presses on your sight,
And seems to every gazer all in white,
If with a bribe his candour you attack,
He bows, turns round, and whip—the man's in
Yon critic, too—but whither do I run? (black !
If I proceed, our bard will be undone !
Well, then, a truce, since she requests it too :
Do you spare her, and I'll for once spare you.




WELL, having 'stoop'd to conquer with success,
And gain’d a husband without aid from dress,
Still as a Bar-maid, I could wish it too,
As I have conquer'd him to conquer you:
And let me say, for all your resolution,
That pretty Bar-maids have done execution.
Our life is all a play, compos'd to please,
“We have our exits and our entrances.'
The first act shows the simple country maid,
Harmless and young, of every thing afraid ;
Blushes when hired, and with unmeaning action,

I hopes as how to give you satisfaction.'
Her second act displays a livelier scene,
The' unblushing Bar-maid of a country inn,
Who whisks about the house, at market caters,
Talks loud,coquets the guests and scolds the waiters.


Next the scene shifts to town, and there she soars,
The chop-house toast of ogling connoisseurs :
On 'Squires and Cits she there displays her arts,
And on the gridiron broils her lovers' hearts-
And as she smiles, her triumphs to complete,
Even Common-Councilmen forget to eat.
The fourth act shows her wedded to the 'Squire,
And Madam now begins to hold it higher;
Pretends to taste, at Operas cries caro;
And quits her Nancy Dawson, for Che Faro;
Doats upon Dancing, and in all her pride,
Swims round the room, the Heinel of Cheapside :
Ogles and leers with artificial skill,
Till having lost in age the power to kill,

[ocr errors]

Such, through our lives the eventful history-
The fifth and last act still remains for me.
The Bar-maid now for your protection prays,
Turns Female-Barrister, and pleads for Bayes.



MRS. BULKLEY AND MISS CATLEY. Enter Mrs. Bulkley, who curtsies very low as begin

ning to speak. Then enter Miss Catley, who stands full before her, und curtsies to the audience.

Mrs. Bulkley. Holn, Ma'am, your pardon, What's your business here?

Miss Catley. The epilogue.
Mrs. Bulk. The epilogue?
Mise Carl. Yes, the epilogue, my dear.

Mrs. Bulk. Sure you mistake, Ma'am. The epilogue, I bring it.

[me sing it. Miss Catl. Excuse me, Ma'am. The author bid


Ye beaux and belles, that form this splendid ring,
Suspend your conversation while I sing.
Mrs. Bulk. Why, sure, the Girl's beside herself :

an epilogue of singing,
A hopeful end indeed to such a bless'd beginning.
Besides, a singer in a comic set !
Excuse me, Ma'am ; I know the etiquette.

Miss Catl. What if we leave it to the House?
Mrs. Bulk. The House !-Agreed.
Mis Catl. Agreed.

Mrs. Bulk. And she, whose party's largest, shafi
And first I hope, you'll readily agree
I've all the critics and the wits for me.
They, I am sure, will answer my commands.
Ye candid-judging few, hold up your hands :
What, no return? I find too late, I fear,
That modern judges seldom enter here. (trade is

Miss Catl. I'm for a different set-Old men, whose Still to gallant and dangle with the ladies.


Who mump their passion, and who, grimly smiling, Still thus address the fair, with voice beguiling.


Turn, my fairest, turn, if ever
Strephon caught thy ravish'd eye:

Pity take on your swain so clever,
Who without your aid must die.

Yes, I shall die, hu, hu, hu, hu,
Yes, I must die, ho, ho, ho, ho.

Da capo. VOL. XXX.


« PreviousContinue »