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His goods, he hopes, are prime, and brought from far,
HOLD! Prompter, hold! a word before your non
I'd speak a word or two, to ease my conscience.
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!
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.
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
ing; 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!
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:
Is taught his former folly to deplore;
Whilst his strong limbs conspire to set him free,
[Taking a jump through the stage-door.
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;
The world's a masquerade! the masquers, you, you, you.
[To Boxes, Pit, and Gallery.