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EPILOGUE SPOKEN BY MR. LEE LEWES,
IN THE CHARACTER OF HARLEQUIN,
AT HIS BENEFIT.
HOLD! prompter, hold! a word before your non
I'd speak a word or two, to ease my conscience.
[Takes off his mask.
Whence, and what art thou, visionary birth?
The joy that dimples, and the woe that weeps.
Oh! for a Richard's voice to catch the theme: 'Give me another horse! bind up my wounds! soft 'twas but a dream.'
Ay, 'twas but a dream, for now there's no retreating:
If I cease Harlequin, I cease from eating.
And cavill'd at his image in the flood.
The deuce confound,' he cries, 'these drumstick shanks!
They never 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 behind:
He bounds aloft, outstrips the fleeting wind;
[Taking a jump through the stage-door.
EPILOGUE TO THE COMEDY OF THE
WHAT? five long acts-and all to make us wiser!
Well, since she thus has shown her want of skill,
But how? ay, there's the rub! [pausing]-I've got my cue:
The world's a masquerade! the masquers, 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.
1 The Sister] A comedy by Mrs. Charlotte Lennox, 1769, taken from the authoress's own novel, Henrietta.' It was performed only one night. The author of the Biographia Dramatica says that this epilogue is the best that has appeared the last thirty years.'
There Hebes, turn'd of fifty, try once more
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, Dam'me! who's
Strip but this vizor off, and sure I am
Perhaps, to vulgar eyes, bestrides the state;
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.
EPILOGUE TO THE GOOD-NATURED MAN.1
SPOKEN BY MRS. BULKLEY.
As puffing quacks some caitiff wretch procure
What, I dear Sir,' the Doctor interposes;
'What, plant my thistle, Sir, among his roses!
1 The author, in expectation of an Epilogue from a friend at Oxford, deferred writing one himself till the very last hour. What is here offered owes all its success to the graceful manner of the actress who spoke it.-Goldsmith.
2 Where the College of Physicians then stood.