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Amazons; to represent whom, I have hired all the wonderful tall men and women that have been lately exhibited in this town. The part of Hippolita their queen is to be played by the female Samson, who, after the company has been amazed with the vast proofs of her strength, is to be fairly flung in a wrestling bout by our invincible Harlequin.

“ I shall then present you with a prospect of the Augean stable, where you will have an arrangement on each side of seven or eight cows' hides stuffed with straw: which the fancy's eye may as easily multiply into a thousand, as in tragedy battle it has been used to do half a dozen scene shifters into an army. Hercules's method of cleansing this stable is well known; I shall therefore let loose a whole river of pewter to glitter along the stage, far surpassing any little clinking cascade of tin that the playhouse or Vauxhall can boast of.

“ As he is next to seize upon a bull breathing out fire and fames, I had prepared one accordingly, with the palate and nostrils properly loaded with wildfire and other combustibles; but by the unskilfulness of the fellow enclosed in it, while he was rehearsing the bull's part, the head took fire, which spread to the carcass, and the fool narrowly escaped suffering the torment of Phalaris. This accident I have now guarded against, by having lined the roof and jaws with thin plates of painted iron.

To personate Geryon, who had three bodies, I have contrived to tie three men together back to back; one of them is the famous negro who swing's about his arms in every direction; and these will make

1 full as grotesque a figure as the man with a double mask. As Harlequin for his eighth labour is to deliver this triple-form monster to be devoured by his cannibal oxen, I shall here with the greatest propriety exhibit the noted ox with six legs and

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two bellies; and as Diomede must be served up in the same manner as a meal for his flesh-eating horses, this will furnish me with a good pretext for introducing the beautiful panther mare.

After these I shall transport you to the orchard of the Hesperides, where you will feast your sight with the green paper trees and gilt apples. I have bought up the old copper dragon of Wantley as a guard to this forbidden fruit; and when he is new burnished, and the tail somewhat lengthened, his aspect will be much more formidable than his brother dragon's in Harlequin Sorcerer.

“ But the full display of my art is reserved for the last labour, the descent through a trap door into Hell. Though this is the most applauded scene in many of our favourite pantomimes, I don't doubt but my

Hell will outdo whatever has been hitherto attempted of the kind, whether in its gloomy decoration, its horrors, its flames, or its devils. I have engaged the engineer of Cuper's Gardens to direct the fireworks; Ixion will be whirled round upon a wheel of blazing saltpetre; Tantalus will catch at a refluent flood of burning rosin; and Sisyphus is to roll up a stone charged with crackers and squibs, which will bound back again with a thundering explosion : at a distance you will discover black steams arising from the river Styx, represented by a stream of melted pitch: the noted fire eater also shall make his appearance, smoking out of red hot tobacco pipes, champing lighted brimstone, and swallowing his infernal mess of broth. Harlequin's errand hither being only to bring away Cerberus, I have instructed the most amazing new English chien savant to act the part of this three-headed dog, with the assistance of two artificial noddles fastened to his throat. The sagacity of this animal will surely delight much more than the pretty trick of his rival, the human hound, in another entertainment.

“ Thus I have brought my Hercules through his twelve capital enterprises; though I purpose to touch upon some other of the Grecian hero's achievements. I shall make him kill Cacus the three headed robber, and shall carry him to Mount Caucasus to untie Prometheus, whose liver was continually preyed upon by a vulture. This last mentioned incident I cannot pass over, as I am resolved that my vulture shall vie, in bulk, beauty, and docility, with the so much applauded stupendous Ostrich : and towards the end I doubt not but I shall be able to triumph over the Sorcerer's great gelding by the exhibition of my Centaur Nessus, who is to carry off the little woman that weighs no more than twenty-three pounds, in the character of Deianira; a burthen great enough for the ostler who is to play the brute half of my Centaur, as his back must be bent horizontally, in order to fix his head against the rump of the man-half.

The whole piece will conclude with Harlequin in a bloody shirt, skipping, writhing, and rolling, and at length expiring, to the irregular motions of the fiddle-stick : though if any of the fire offices will insure the house, he shall mount the kindred pile, and be burned to ashes in the presence of the whole audience.

Intrigue is the soul of these dumb shows, as well as of the more senseless farces: Omphale therefore, or Deianira, must serve for

my Columbine; and I can so far wrest the fable to my own purpose as to suppose that these dangers were encountered by Harlequin for their sakes. Eristheus, the persecutor of Hercules, will be properly characterized by, Pantaloon, and the servant whose business it is, as Homer says, “ to shake the regions of the gods with Laughter," shall be the wonderful little Norfolkman,



as in all books of chivalry you never read of a giant but you are told of a dwarf. The fellow with Stentorian lungs, who can break glasses and shatter window panes with the loudness of his vociferation, has engaged in that one scene, where Hercules laments the loss of his Hylas, to make the whole house ring again with his bawling; and the wonderful man who talks in his belly, and can fling his voice into any part of a room, has promised to answer him in the character of Echo. I cannot conclude without informing you

that I have made an uncommon provision for the necessary embellishments of singing and dancing. Grim Pluto, you know, the black peruked monarch, must bellow in bass, and the attendant devils cut capers in flame coloured stockings, as usual; but as Juno cherished an immortal hatred to our hero, she shall descend in a chariot drawn by peacocks, and thrill forth her rage; Deianira too shall vent her amorous sighs to soft airs: the Amazons with their gilt leather breastplates and helmets, their tin-pointed spears and looking glass shields, shall give you the Pyrrhic dance to a preamble on the kettledrums; and at Omphale's court, after Hercules has resigned his club to celebrate her triumph, I shall introduce a grand dance of distaffs in emulation of the witches' dance of broomsticks. Nothing of this kind shall be omitted, that may heighten either the grandeur or beauty of my entertainment: I shall therefore, I hope, find a place somewhere in this piece, as I cannot now have the wire dancer to bring on my dancing bears.

“I am, Sir,
“ Your humble servant,


No. 4. SATURDAY, NOV. 18, 1752.

Ficta voluptatis causá sint proxima veris. Hor. Fictions to please should wear the face of truth. Rosc.

No species of writing affords so general entertainment as the relation of events; but all relations of events do not entertain in the same degree.

It is always necessary that facts should appear to be produced in a regular and connected series, that they should follow in a quick succession, and yet that they should be delivered with discriminating circumstances. If they have not a necessary and apparent connexion, the ideas which they excite obliterate each other, and the mind is tantalized with an imperfect glimpse of innumerable objects that just appear and vanish; if they are too minutely related, they become tiresome; and if divested of all their circumstances, insipid; for who that reads in a table of chronology or an index that a city was swallowed up by an earthquake, or a kingdom depopulated by a pestilence, finds either his attention engaged, or his curiosity gratified?

Those narratives are most pleasing which not only excite and gratify curiosity, but engage the passions.

History is a relation of the most natural and important events : history therefore gratifies curiosity, but it does not often excite either terror or pity; the mind feels not that tenderness for a falling state which it feels for an injured beauty; nor is it so much alarmed at the migration of barbarians who mark their way with desolation, and fill the world with violence and rapine, as at the fury of a husband,

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