Page images
PDF
EPUB

PROLOGUE

TO

INTRIGUING CHAMBER MAID.

Spoken by Mrs. CLIVE,

s when some ancient hospitable seat,

treat,

Where in full bowls each welcome Guest has drown'd
All forrowing thought, while mirth and joy went round:
Is by some wanton worthless Heir destroy'd,
It's once full rooms grown a deserted void ;
With fighs each neighbour views the mournful place,
With fighs each recollects what once it was.

So does our wretched Theatre appear;
For mirth and joy once kept their revels here.
Here the Beau-monde in crouds repair'd each day,
And went well pleas'd and entertain's away.
While Oldfield here hath charm'd the liftning Age,
And Wilks adorn'd, and Booth hath fill'd the Stage;
Soft Eunuchs warbled in successless strain,
And Tumblers shew'd their little tricks in vain :
Those Boxes still the brighter circles were,
Triumphant Toasts receiv'd their homage there.

But now, alas! how alter'd is our case !
I view with tears this poor deserted place,
None to our Boxes now in pity Atray,
But Poets free o'ch' House, and Beaux who never pay.
No longer now we see our crouded door
Send the late Comer back ag rin at four.
At seven now into our empty Pit
Drops from his counter some old prudent Cit,
Contented with twelve-pennyworth of Wit.

-Our Author, of a gen'rous soul possess’d, Hath kindly aim'd to fuccour the distress'd; To-night what he shall offer in our cause Already hath been bleft with your applause.

B

}

Yot

[ocr errors]

Yet this his Muse maturer hath revis'd,
And added more to that which once so much you priz'a.
We sue, not mean to make a partial Friend,
But without Prejudice at least attend.
If we are dull, e'en censure, but we trust,
Satire can ne'er displease you when 'tis juft :
Nor can we fear a brave, a gen'rous Town
Will join to crush us when we're almost down.

PROLOGUE UPON PROLOGUES,

AT

}

BY MR. GARRICK,

Spoken by MR. KING.
And, 'eged, it will do for any other Play as well as this.

Barrs,
N old trite Proverb let me quote !

-As is your cloth, so cut your coat.
To suit our Author, and his Farce,
Short let me be ! for wit is scarce.
Nor would I show it, had I any;
The reasons why are strong and many:
Should I have Wit, the Piece has none,
A Aash in

pan

with empty gun,
The Piece is sure to be undone.
A tavern with a gaudy sign,
Whore bush is better than the wine,
May cheat you once. Will that device,
Neat as imported, cheat you twice ?

'Tis wrong to raise your expectations :
Poets be dull in dedications !
Dulness in these to wit prefer-
But there indeed you seldom err.
In Prologues, Prefaces, be Aat!
A filver button spoils your hat.
A thread-bare coat might jokes escape,
Did not the blockheads lace the cape.
A case in point to this before ye,
Allow me, pray, to tell a story!

To turn the penny, once a Wit,
Upon a curious fancy his:

Hung

Hung out a board, on which he boasted,
Dinner for three-pen:e, boild and roasted!
The hungry read, and in they trip
With eager eye, and smacking lip:
“ Here! bring this boil'd and roasted, pray ?**
-Enter potatoes-dreft each way.
Allitarà and rose, the house forsook,
And damn'd the dinner-kick'd the cook.
My landlord found, poor Patrick Kelly,
There was no joking with the belly.

These facts laid down, then thus I reason,
Wit in a Prologue's out of season.
Yet ftill will you for jokes fit watching,
Like Cock-Lane folks for-Fanny's scratching.
And here my fimile's so fit!
For Prologues are but ghosts of wit;
Which mean to Thew their art and kill,
And scratch you to their Author's will.

In mort, for reasons great and small,
'Tis better to have none at all.
Prologues and Ghostsa paltry trade!
So let 'em both at once be laid !
Say but the word-give your commands,
We'll tie our Prologue-monger's hands :
Confine these culprits! (holding up his hands) bind 'em tighta
Nor girls can scratch, nor fools can write.

P R LOGU E

то THE DES E R T. IS L AN D. WRITTEN AND SPOKEN BY MR. GARRICK.'

In the Character of a Drunken Poet.
LL, all fall out-all that I know and feel ;

I will by heav'n---to higher pow'rs appeal! -
Behold a bard !-no author of to-night-
No, no,--they can't say that, with all their spights
Ay, you may frown (looking behind tbe scenes) I'm at

you, great and small Your poets, players, managers and all!

There

A

B. 2

These fools within here, swear that I'm in liqucra
My passion warms me-makes my uit’rance that's
I totier too-but that's the gout and pain,--
French wines, and living high, have been my baue.-
From all temptacions now, I wifely steer me;
Nor will I suffer one fine woman near me.
And this I facrifice, to give you pleasure-
For you I've coin'd my brains,--and here's the treasure !

{Pulls out a manufcript.
A treasure this, of profit and delight!
And all thrown by for this damn'd stuff to-night:-
This is a play would water ev'ry eye !-
If I but look upon't, it makes me cry:
This play would tears from blood-itain'd soldiers draw,
And melt the bowels of hard-hearted law !
Would fore and aft the storm-proof sailor rake!
Keep turtle-eating aldermen awake!
Would the cold blood of ancient maidens thrill,
And make ev'n pretty younger tongues lie still.
This play not ev'n managers would refuse,
Had heav'n but giv'n 'em any brains to chuse!-

[ Puts up his manuscript. Your bard to-night, bred up in ancient school, Designs and measures all by critic rule ; 'Mongt friends-it goes no farther.-He's a fool. So very clasic, and so very dullHis desert island is his own dear skull: No foul to make the play house ring, and rattle, No trumpets, thunder, ranting, storms, or battle! But all your fine poetic prittle prattle. The plot is this.- A lady's cast away“ Long before the beginning of the play;" And they are taken by a fisherman, The lady and the child-'uis Bays's planSo on hé blunders.--He's an Irishman.'Tis all alikémhis comic stuff I meanI hate all humour--it gives me the spleen; So damn'em both, with all my heart, unfight, unseen. But should you ruin him, ftill I'm undone I've try'd all ways to bring my Phenix on

[Sbewing his play again. Flatter I can with any of their tribeCan cut and fash-indeed I cannot bribe; Whai mult I do then ?-beg you to subscribe.

Be

}

}

Be kind ye boxes, galleries, and pit-
'Tis but a crown a piece, for all this wit :
All sterling wit-to puff myself I hate
You'll ne'er fupply your wants at such a rate!
'Tis worth your money, I would scorn to wrong ye,
You smile confent-l'll send my hat among ye.

[Going, he returns. So much beyond all praise your bounties swell! Not my own tongue, my gra-ti-tude can tellA little flate'ry sometimes does well."

Staggers of

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

A

To hath, and mince, as well as boil and roaft:
Our cook, to-night, has, for your fare, made bold,
To halh a piece of ven'son that was cold ;
With fresh ingredients seasons high the ftew,
And hopes the guests will heartily fall too.

Leaving the piece to answer for itself,
We beg your favour for a little elf ;-
A young one, and a good one; yet no finner;
And though a female, has no mischief in her;
Though oft with fyren fong the charmd your ears,
She now has other hopes, and other fears :-
She hopes, not yet content with what is done,
To find more ways into your hearts than one.
A paflion long the hid, till out it broke,
And thus, with blushing diffidence, fhe spoke :
" What joys, what raptures, in my breast would spring,
“ Had I but leave to act, as well as fing;
“ Though young I am, and difficult the trade is,
In time, I'll do as much as other ladies.”
Ye' giant wits, who run a tilt at all,
Who spare, nor sex, nor age, nor great, nor small,
Should you, fell critics ! like the French wild beast !
With gluttony refin'd, on damsels feast,

Spare wees

at

B 3

« PreviousContinue »