Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

Here ill-condition'd oranges abound- [Stage.
And apples, bitter apples, strew the ground:

[Tasting them.
The' inhabitants are cannibals, I fear:
I heard a hissing--there are serpents here !
0, there the people are best keep my distance;
Our captain (gentle natives) craves assistance;
Our ship’s well stored in yonder creek we've laid

her,
His honour is no mercenary trader.
This is his first adventure ; lend him aid,
And we may chance to drive a thriving trade.
His goods, he hopes, are prime, and brought from

far,
Equally fit for gallantry and war.
What, no reply to promises so ample?
-I'd best step back-and order up a sample.

[ocr errors]

EPILOGUE

SPOKEN BY

mr. Lee Lewes, IN THE CHARACTER OF HARLEQUIN, AT HIS BENEFIT.

Hold! prompter, hold! a word before your non

sense ; I'd speak a word or two to ease my conscience. My pride forbids it ever should be said, My heels eclipsed the honours of my head; That I found humour in a piebald vest, Or ever thought that jumping was a jest.

[Takes off his Mask. Whence, and what art thou, visionary birth? Nature disowns, and reason scorns thy mirth; In thy black aspect every passion sleeps, The joy that dimples and the woe that weeps. How hast thou filld the scene with all thy brood, Of fools pursuing and of fools pursued ! Whose ins and outs no ray of sense discloses; Whose only plot it is to break our noses ; Whilst from below the trap-door demons rise, And from above the dangling deities. Avd shall I mix in this unhallow'd crew? May rosin'd lightning blast me, if I do! No-I will act, I'll vindicate the stage; Shakspeare himself shall feel my tragic rage.

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. Ay,'twas but a dream, for now there's no retreating: If I cease Harlequin, I cease from eating. 'Twas thus that Æsop's stag, a creature blameless, Yet something vain, like one that shall be pameless, Once on the margin of a fountain stood, And cavil'd at his image in the flood. “ The deuce confound,” he cries, “ these drumstick

- shanks, 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 bounds 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 prized 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 LENNOX's COMEDY OF

THE SISTER.

What! five long acts-and all to make us wiser !
Our authoress sure has wanted an adviser.
Had she consulted me, she would 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 pleased our eyes, and saved the pain of thinking.
Well, since she thus has shown her want of skill,
What if I give a masquerade! I will. [my cue:
But how? ay, there's the rub! (pausing]—I've got
The world's a masquerade! the maskers, you, you,

you, [To Boxes, Pit, and Gallery. Lud! what a group the motly scene discloses ! False wit, false wives, false virgins, and false

spouses! Statesmen with bridles on; and, close beside them, Patriots in party-colour'd suits that ride them. 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, dam'me! who's afraid?

[Mimicking. Strip but his vizor off, and sure I am, You'll find bis 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.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »