Page images
PDF
EPUB

Tell Tom he draws a farce in vain,

Before he looks in nature's glass; Puns cannot form a witty scene,

Nor pedantry for humour pass. To make men act as senseless wood,

And chatter in a mystic strain, Is a mere force on flesh and blood,

And shews some error in the brain. He that would thus refine on thee,

And turn thy stage into a school, The jest of Punch will ever be,

And stand confeft the greater fopl.

PROLOGUE upon PROLOGUES.

Written by Mr. GARRICK.

}

An old trite proverb let me quote!

As your cloth, so cut your coat.
To suit our author and his farce,
Short let me be! for wit is scarce.
Nor would I shew it, had I any,
The reasons why are strong and many.
Should I have wit, the piece have none,
A Aash in pan with empty gun,
The piece is sure to be undone.
A tavern with a gaudy sign,
Whose bush is better than the wine,
May cheat you once. Will that device,
Neat as Imported, cheat you twice?

'Tis wrong to raise your expectations:
Poets be dull in dedications !
Dulness in these to wit prefer
But there indeed you seldom èrr.
In prologues, pretaces, be flat!
A lilver button spoils your hat.
A thread-bare coat might jokes escape,
Did not the blockheads lace the cape.

A case in point to this before ye,
Allow me, pray, to tell a story!

To turn the penny, once, a wit
Upon a curious fancy hit;
Hung out a board, on which he boasted,
Dinner for THREEPENCE! Boild and roafed!
The hungry read, and in they trip,
With eager eye and smacking lip:
“ Here, bring this boil'd and roasted, pray !"
Enter POTATOES ... dre's'd each way.

P2

[ocr errors]

All lar'd and rose, the house forsook
And damn'd the dinner-kick'd the cook,
My landlord found, (poor Patrick Kelly)
There was no joking with the belly.

These facts laid down, then thus I reason :
-Wit in a prologue's out of scafon ---
Yet still will you for jokes fit watching,
Like Cock-Lane folks for Fanny's scratching?
And here my fimile's so fit,
For Prologues are but Ghosts of wit ;
Which mean to Thew their art and skill,
And scratch you to their Author's will.

In short, for reasons great and small,
'Tis better to have none at all:
Prologues and Gbofts--a paltry trade
So let them both at once be laid !
Say but the word---give your commands...
We'll tie our prologue-monger's hands :
Confine these culprits (holding up his hands) bind 'em tight,
Nor Girls can serai'ch nor Fools can write.

Mr. Foote's Address the Public.

After a Projecution against bim for a Libel.

}

HUSH! let me search before. I speak aloud.

Is no informer skulking in the croud?
With art laconic noting all that's said,
Malice at heart, indictments in his head,
Prepar'd to levy all the legal war,
And rouse the clamorous legions of the bar!
Is there none such ?-not one ?-then entre nous,
I will a tale unfold, tho' ftrange, yet true ;
The application must be made by you.

At Athens once, fair queen of arms and arts,
There dwelt a citizen of moderate parts !
Precise his manner, and demure his looks,
iis mind unletter'd, tho' he dealt in books ;
Amorous, tho'old ; tho' dull, lov'd repartee ;
And pen'd a paragraph most daintily :
He aim'd at purity in all he said,
And never once omitted eth nor ed;
It hath, and doth, was rarely known to fail,
Hiinself the hero of each litele tale:

With wits and lords this man was much delighted,
And once (it has been said) was near being knighted.

One Aristophanes (a wicked wit,
Who never heeded grace in what he writ)
Had mark'd the manner of this Grecian sage,
And thinking him a subject for the stage,
Had, from the lumber, cull'd with curious care,
His voice, his looks, his gesture, gait, and air,
His affectation, consequence and mien,
And boldly launch'd him on the comic scene ;
Loud peals of plaudits thro' the circle ran,
All felt the satire, for all knew the man.

Then Peter-Petros was his classic name,
Fearing the loss of dignity and fame,
To a grave lawyer in a hurry fies,
Opens his purse, and begs his best advice.
The fee secur'd, the lawyer strokes his band,
The case you put, I fully underitand;
-" The thing is plain from Coco's reports,
“ For rules of poetry an't rules of courts :
“ A libel this-I'll make the mummer know it."
A Grecian constable took up
Reftrain'd the sallies of his laughing muse,
Call'd harmless humour scandalous abuse:
The bard appeal'd from this severe decree:
Th’indulgent public set the pris'ner free:
Greece was to him, what Dublin is to me.

the poet ;

}

PROLOGUE to Florizel and Perdita Pa dramatic pastoral

altered by Mr. Garrick, from Shakespear's Winter Tale) written and Spoken by Mr. Garrick.

}

Ta

O various things the stage has been compar'd,

As apt ideas ftrike each humorous Bard:
This night, for want of better fimile,
Let this our Theatre a Tavern be:
The Poets Vintners,

and the Waiters we.
Lo (as the cant and custom of the trade is)
You're welcome Gem'mer, kindly welcome Ladies.
To draw in customers, our bills are spread,

*[Shewing a Play Bill.
You cannotmiss thə fign, 'tis Shakespear's Head.
From this same Head, this fountain-head divine,
For different palates springs a different wine !
In which no tricks to strengthen or to thin e'm.
Neat as imported-no French Brandy in 'em

P 3

Hence

[ocr errors]

Hence for the choicest spirits flows Champaign ;
Whose sparkling atoms shoot thro' every vein,
Then mount in magic vapours, to th' enraptur'd brain !
Hence Aow for martial minds potations strong ;
And sweet love potions, for the fair and young.
For you, my hearts of oak, for your regale,

To the upper gallery.
There's good old English-Stingo, mild and ftale.
For high, luxurious louls with luscious smack
There's Sir John Falstaffe, is a butt of fack:
And if the stronger liquors more invite ye;
Bardolph is gin, and Piftol aqua vitæ.
But should

you call for Falstaffe, where to find him.
*He's gonem nor left one cup of sack behind him,

Sunk in his elbow chair no more to roam ;
No more with merry wags, to Eastcheap come;
He's gone-to jest, and laugh, and give his fack at home.
As for the learned Critics, grave and deep,
Who catch at words, and catching fall asleep;
Who in the storms of passion--hum,--and haw!
For such, our master will no liquor draw
So blindly thoughtful, and so darkly read,
They take Tom Durfey's for the Shakespear's Head.

A vintner once acquir'd both praise and gain,
And fold much Perry for the best Champaign.
Some rakes, this precious stuff did fo allure;
They drank whole nights, what's that--when wine is pure?
• Come, fill a bumper, Jack-I will my Lord-
• Here's cream--Damn'd fine--immense--upon my word!
• Sir William, what say you— The beft, believe me,
• In this--Eh Jack-the Devil can't deceive me.'
Thus the wise Critic too, mistakes his wine,
Cries out, with lifted eyes, 'Tis great! divine !
Then jogs his neighbour, as the wonders strike him
This Shakespear! Shakespear!-- Oh, there's nothing like him.

In this night's various, and enchanted cup,
Some little Perry's mixt for filling up.
The five long acts, from which our three are taken,
Stretch'd out to + fixteen years, lay by, forsaken.
Left then this precious liquor run to waste,
'Tis now confind and bottled for your taste.
'Tis my chief wish, my joy, my only plan,
To lote no drop of that immortal man !

;

* Mr. Quin had then left the stage. + The action of the Winter's Tale, as written by Shakespear, comprehends

Sixteen years.

ODE

ODE for the NEW YEAR 1762.

Written by William Whitehead, Ela; Poet Laurear.

Strophe.
GOD
OD of slaughter, quit the scene,

Lay the crefted helmet by;
Love commands, and Beauty's queen,

Rules the power who rules the sky.
Janus, with well-omen'd grace,

Mounts the year's revolving car,
And forward turns his smiling face,

And longs to close the gates of war.
Enough of glory Albion knows-
Come, ye powers, of sweet repose,

On downy pinions move!
Let the war-worn legions own
Your gentler sway, and from the throne
Receive the laws of love!

Antistrophe.
Yet, if justice ftill requires

Roman arts, and Roman souls, Britain breathes her wonted fires,

And her wonted thunder rolls. Added to our fairer isle

Gallia mourns her bulwark gone,
Conqueft pays the price of toil;

Either India is our own!
Ye sons of Freedom grasp the sword,
Pour, ye rich, th' imprison'd hoard,

And teach it how to shine.
Each selfish, and contracted aim
To glory's more exalted claim
Let luxury resign.

Epode.
You too, ye British dames, may share,
If not the toils and dangers of the war.
At least its glory. From the Baltic shore,
From Runic virtue's native home,

Fraught with the tales of ancient lore,
Behold a fair instructress come!

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »