Slike strani

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.





HOLD! Prompter, hold! a word before your non


I'd speak a word or two, to ease my conscience.
My pride forbids it ever should be said,

My heels eclips'd 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 ev'ry passion sleeps,

The joy that dimples, and the woe that weeps.

How hast thou fill'd the scene with all thy brood,

Of fools pursuing, and of fools pursu❜d!

Whose ins and outs no ray of sense discloses,

Whose cnly plot it is to break our noses;
Whilst from below the trap-door dæmons rise,
And from above the dangling deities:

And 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:
Shakespeare himself shall feel my tragic rage.
Off! off! vile trappings a new passion reigns!
The madd'ning 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 retreat


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 nameless,

Once on the margin of a fountain stood,

And cavill'd at his image in the flood.

"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! 66 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:

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.

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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 empty'd 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? ay, there's the rub! [pausing]....I've got

my cue:

The world's a masquerade! the masquers, you, you,


[To Boxes, Pit, and Gallery.

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