Page images

To check th' unruly passions' wild career, A rose, when half-a-guinea is the price ; And draw from Pity's eye the tender tear; A set of bays scarce bigger than six mice: Of Folly's sons t'explore the ample train, To visit friends you never wish to see; The sot, the fop, the vicious, and the vain; Marriage 'twixt those who never can agree. Hypocrisy to drag from her disguise,

Old dowagers, dress'd, painted, patch'd, and And Affectation hunt through all her lies :

curl'd Such was your bard. Who then can deem the This is Bon Ton, and this we call the world!" stage,

“ True," says my lord, “and thou, my only The worthless fav’rite of an idle age?


[Ton! Or judge that pleasure, with instruction join'd, Whate'er your faults, ne'er sin against Bon Can soil the manners, or corrupt the mind? Who toils for learning at a public school, Far other thoughts your generous breastsinspire, And digs for Greek and Latin, is a fool. Touch'd with a spark of true Promethean fire: French, French, my boy, 's the thing! jasez ! Sure that the Arts with Commerce came to earth, prate, chatter! That the same parents gave those sisters birth, / Trim be the mode, whipt-syllabub the matter ! Cold creeping Prejudice you dar'd despise, Walk like a Frenchman; for, on English pegs And bade this temple to the muses rise. Moves native awkwardness with two left legs. O that my tongrie could utter all I feel! Of courily friendship form a treacherous league, Or that my powers were equal to my zeal! Seduce men's daughters, with their wives in. Placed by your favor, not by right divine,

Th' unworthy high priest of the sacred nine, In sightly semicircles round your nails, (fails :
No tainted incense should pollute their shrine, Keep your teeth clean-and grin, if small-talk
Nor aught be offer'd to the public view, But never laugh, whatever jest prevails :
But what was worthy them-and worthy you. Nothing but nonsense e'er gave laughter birth,

That vulgar way the vulgar show their mirth.
Laughter's a rude convulsion, sense that justles,
Disturbs the cockles, and distorts the muscles.

Hearts may be black, but all should wear clean $83. Prologue to Bon Ton. 1775. Colman.

faces; FASHION in every thing bears sovereign sway, | The graces, boy! The graces, graces, graces !" And worels and periwigs have both their day; Such is Bonton! and walk this city through, Each have their purlieus too, are modish each,

In building, scribbling, fighting, and virtu, In stated districts, wigs as well as speech.

And various other shapes, 'ıwill rise to view : The Tyburn scratch, thick club, and Temple tie; To-night our Bayes, with bold butcareless tints, The parson's feather-top, frizz'd broad and high; Hits off a sketch or two, like Darly's prints. The coachman's cauliflower, built tiers on tiers; Should connoisseurs allow his rough draughts Differ not more from bags and brigadiers,

strike 'em, Than great St. George's or St. James's styles | 'Twill be Bon Ton to see 'em, and to like 'em. From the broad dialect of Broad St. Giles. What is Bon Ton?—“0, damme !" cries a buck,

[luck: Half drunk" ask me, my dear, and you're in

$ 84. Prologue to the Rivals. 1775. Bon Ton's to swear, break windows, beat the


[catch. Enter Sergeant at Law, and Attorney followPick up a wench, drink healths, and roar a

ing and giving a Paper. Keep it up! keep it up! damme, take your Serj. What's here?-a vile cramp hand! swing!

[thing!" I cannot see Bon Ton is life, my boy; Bon Ton's the Without my spectacles. Att. He means his “ Ab! I loves life, and all the joys it yields,” Nay, Mr. Serjeant, good sir, try again. [fee. Says Madame Fussock, warm from Spitalfields,

[Gives Money. “ Bon Ton's the space 'twixt Saturday and Serj. The scrawl improves — [more.] 0 Monday,

come, 'tis pretty plain. And riding in a one-horse chair oʻSunday! Hey; how's this? Dibble-sure it cannot be! "Tis drinking tea, on summer afternoons, A poet's brief! a poet and a fee ! At Bagnigge Wells, with china and gilt spoons!! Att. Yea, sir! though you without reward, "Tis laying by our stuffs, red cloaks, and pattens, I know, To dance cow!illions all in silks and satins!" Would gladly plead the muses' cause-Serj. Vulgar!" cries Miss~" Observe, in higher So, so! life,

[wife:1 Att. And if the fee offends, your wrath The feather'd spinster, and thrice-featherd should fall The Club's Bon Ton. Bon Ton's a constant On me-Serj. Dear Dibble, no offence at all. Of rout, festino, ball, and masquerade! (trade Att. Some sons of Phæbus in the Courts we

Tis plays and puppet-shows-Tis something meet 'Tis losing thousands every night at lu! (new; Serj. And fifty sons of Phæbus in the Fleet! Nature it ihwarts, and contradicts all reason, Att. Nor pleads he worse, who, with a de'Tis stiff French stays, and fruit when out of cent sprig season!

Or bays, adorns his legal waste of wig.

Serj. Full-bottom'd heroes thus on signs | The servile suitors watch her various face, unfurl

She smiles preferment-or she frowns disgrace, A leaf of laurel in a grove of curl!

Curtsies a pension here--there nods a place. Yet tell your client, that, in adverse days, Nor, with less awe, in scenes of humbler life, This wig is warmer than a bush of bays. Is view'd the mistress, or is heard the wife.

Att. Do you then, sir, my client's place sup| The poorest peasant of the poorest soil, Profuse of robe, and prodigal of tie [ply, The child of poverty, and heir to toil, Do you, with all those blushing powers of face, Early from radiant love's impartial light And wonted bashful hesitating grace,

Steals one small spark to cheer his world of Rise in the court, and flourish on the case.


woes, [Exit. Dear spark ! 'that oft, through winter's chilling Serj. For practice then suppose this brief is all the warmth his little cottage knows! will show it

The wand'ring tar-who not for years has Me, Serjeant Woodward-counsel for the poet. press'd Us'd to the ground-I know 'tis hard to deal The widow'd partner of his day of rest, With this dread Court, from whence there's On the cold deck, far from her arins remord, no appeal;

Still hums the ditty which his Susan lor'd: No tricking here to blunt the edge of law, | And while around the cadence rude is blown, Or damn'd in equity-escape by flaw;

The boatswain whistles in a softer tone. But judgement given-your sentence must re The soldier, fairly proud of wounds and toal, main ;

Pants for the triumph of his Nancy's smile; No writ of error lies—to Drury-lane ! But ere the battle, should he list her cries, . Yet when so kind you seem, 'tis past dispute The lover trembles and the hero dies ! We gain some favor, if not costs of suit. That heart, by war and honor steeld to fear, No spleen is here! I see no hoarded fury; Droops on a sigh, and sickens at a tear! I think I never fac'd a milder jury!

But ye more cautious—ye nice-judging fer, Sad else our plight where frowns are trans- Who give to beauty only beauty's due, portation,

Though friends to Love-ye view with deep A hiss the gallows and a groan damnation !

regret · But such the public candor, without fear Our conquests marrd, and triumphs incomplete, My client waves all right of challenge here. Till polish'd wit more lasting charms disclose, No newsman from our session is dismiss'd, | And judgement fix the darts which beauty Nor wit.nor critic we scratch off the list;

throws. His faults can never hurt another's ease, In female breasts did sense and merit rule, His crime at worst-a bad attempt to please: The lover's mind would ask no other school; Thus, all respecting he appeals to all,

Sham'd into sense--the scholars of our eyes, And by the general voice will stand or fall. Our beaux from gallantry would soon be wise;

| Would gladly light, their homage to improve,

The lamp of knowledge at the torch of love! $85. Epilogue to the same. 1775. SHERIDAN. Ladies, for you, I heard our poet say,

986. Epilogue to Edward and Eleonora. 1773. He'd try to coax some moral from his play;

SHERIDAS. * ! One moral's plain,” cried I, “ without more Yewedded critics, who have mark door tale, Man's social happiness all rests on us: [fuss ; | How say you? does our plot in nature fail? Through all the drama, whether damn'd or not, May we not boast that many a moders wife Love gilds the scene, and women guide the plot. Would lose her own, to save a husband s life? From ev'ry rank obedience is our due: | Would gladly die monstrous and ill bred! P'ye doubts--the world's great stage shall prove There's not a husband here but shakes his head! it true.”

But you, my gall’ry friendst-come, what The cit, well skill'd to shun domestic strife, say you?

(100! Will sup abroad; but first-he'll ask his wife. / Your wives are with you-shake their boddles John Trot, his friend, for once will do the same; Above there-hey, lads !! You'll not treatus But then-he'll just step home to tell his dame. S0

The surly squire at noon resolves to rule, You side with us?-They grin and grumble And half the day-Zounds! Madam is a fool! Yet hold-though these plain folks traduce Convinc'd at night, the vanquish'd victor says,

their doxies, Ah, Kate! you women have such coaring ways! Sure we have Eleonoras in the bares! [speeri

The jolly toper cbides each tardy blade, | Inhuman beaux ! — why that ill-naturd Till reeling Bacchus calls on love for aid: | What, then, you think there's no such idir Then with each toast he sees fair bumpers swim, L here? And kisses Chloe on the sparkling brim!

There are, no doubt, though rare to find, I Nay, I have heard that statesmen, great and Who could lose husbands, yet survive the blow. wise,

Two years a wife-view Lesbia, sobbing, or Will sometimes counsel with a lady's eyes; Her chair is waiting, but my Lord is dying: [ing; • To the Pit. + First Gallery

1 Upper Gallery.

[ocr errors]


Preparing for the worst, she tells her maid , Hither they come-again they breathe, they
To countermand her points and new brocade;
“ For, O! if I should lose the best of men, And virtue's meed through every age receive.
Heaven knows when I shall see the Club again. Hither the murd'rer comes, with ghastly inien,
So, Lappet, should he die when I ain out, And the fiend conscience hunts him o'er the
You 'll send for me at Lady Basto's rout: None are exempted; all must re-appear, (scene.
The doctor said he might hold out till three, And even kings attend for judgement here;
But I ha'n't spirits for the Coterie !"

Here find the day, when they their pow'r abuse, Now change the scene-place madam in the Is a scene furnish'd to the tragic muse. fever,

Such is her art; weaken'd perhaps at length, My lord for comfort at the Scavoir Vivre ; | And, while she aims at beauty, losing strength His valet enters—shakes his meagre head Oh! when, resuming all her native rage, Chapeau, what news ?-Ah! sir, my lady's Shall her true energy alarm the stage? (high dead."

_This night a bard (our hopes may rise tvo “ The duce!—'tis sudden, faith--but four days 'Tis yours to judge, 'tis yours the cause to try)sick !

This night a bard, as yet unknown to fame, Well, seven 's the main—(poor Kate!)– Once more, we hope, wil rouse a genuine eleven 's a nick.”

flame. But hence reflections on a senseless train, His no French play_tame, polish'd, dull by Who, lost to real joy, should feel no pain;


[school. 'Mongst Britain's daughters still can Hymen's Vigorous he comes, and warm from Shakspeare's light

Inspir'd by him, he shows in glaring light Reveal the love which charm'd your hearts to- A nation struggling with tyrannic might; night;

sfer, Oppression rushing on with giant strides; Show beauteous martyrs, who would each pre- A deep conspiracy, which virtue guides; To die for him, who long has liv'd for her; Heroes, for freedom who dare strike the blow, Domestic heroines, who with fondest care A tablature of honor, guilt, and woe. Outsmile a husband's griefs, or claim a share ; If on his canvass nature's colors shine, (sign. Seatch where the rankling evils most abound, You'll praise the hand that trac'd the just deAnd heal with cherub-lip the poison'd wound.

Nay, such bright virtues in a royal mind, Were not alone to Edward's days confiud; Still, still they beam around Britannia's throne,

1 $ 88. Epilogue by Mr. Garrick on quitting the

Stage, June, 1776. And grace an Eleonora of our own.

A Veteran see! whose last act on the stage

Entreats your smiles for sickness and for age; $ 87. Prologue to Braganza. MURPHY. |

Their cause I plead--plead itin heart and mind; WAILE, in these days of sentiment and grace, A fellow-feeling makes one wondrous kind : Poor comedy in tears resigns her place, | Might we but hope your zeal would not be less, And, smit with novels full of maxims crude, When I am gone, to patronize distress, She that was frolic once yow turns a prude; That hope obtain'd the wish'd-for end secures, To her great end the tragic muse aspires, | To soothe their cares who oft have lightend At Athens born, and faithful to her sires. Shall the great heroes of celestial line, yours. The comic sister in hysteric fit,

Who drank full bowls of Greek and Roman You'd swear, has lost her memory of wit;

wine, Folly for her may now exult on high;

Cæsar and Brutus, Agamemnon, Hector, Feather'd by ridicule, no arrows fly;

Nay, Jove himself, who here has quaft'd his But, if you are distress'd she's sure to cry.


[court her, She that could jig, and nick-name all heaven's Shall they who govern fortune, cringe and creatures,

Thirst in their age, and call in vain for porter? With sorrows not her own deforms her features; Like Belisarius tax the pitying street With stale reflections keeps a constant pother; With date obolum to all they mect? Greece gave her one face, and she makes Sha'n't I, who oft hare drench'd my hands in another

gore ; So very pious, and so full of woe,

Stabb'd many, poison'd some, beheaded more; You well may bid her, “ To a nunnery go." Who numbers slew in battle on this plain Not so Melpomene; to nature true,

Sha'n't I, the slayer, try to feed the slain? She holds her own great principle in view. Brother to all, with equal love I view She, from the first, when men her pow's con The men who slew me, and the men I slew : fess'd,

I must, I will this happy project seize, When grief and terror seiz'd the tortur'd breast, That those too old to die may live with ease. She made, to strike her moral to the mind, Suppose the babes I smother'd in the Tow'r, The stage the great tribunal of mankind. | By chance, or sickness, lose their acting-pow'r,

Hither the worthies of each clime she draws, Shall they, once princes, worse than all be Who founded states, or rescued dying laws;

servid Who, in base times, a life of glory led, In childhood murder'd, and, when murder'd And for their country who have toild or bled, 1


Matrons half ravish'd for your recreation, Old, young; fat, lean; dark, fair ; or big or In age should never want some consolation. “ The very man or woman to a tittle!" (little, Can I, young Hamlet once, to nature lost, 1 Foote and this limner in some points agree, Behold, o horrible! my father's ghost, | And thus, good sirs, you often deal by me. With grisly beard, pale cheek, stalk up and When, by the royal licence and protection, down,

I show my small academy's collection, And he, the royal Dane, want half a crown? The connoisseur takes out his glass to pry Forbid it, ladies! gentlemen, forbid it! Into each picture with a curious eye; Give joy to age, and let 'em say, you did it. Turns topsy-turvy my whole composition, To you, ye gods! * I make my last appeal; And makes mere portraits all my exhibition. You hare a right to judge, as well as feel; But still the copy's so exact, you say, Will your high wisdoms to our scheme incline, Alas! the same thing happens ev'ry day! That kings, queens, heroes, gods, and ghosts How many a modish well-dress'd fop you meet, may dine?

Exactly suits his shape in Monmouth-street; Olympus shakes !--that omen all secures; In Yorkshire warehouses and Cranbourn-alley, May every joy you give be tenfold yours ! 'Tis wonderful how shoes and feet will tally!

As honest Crispin understands his trade,
On the true human scale his lasts are made,

The measure of each sex and age to hit, $ 89. Prologue to the Capuchin. 1776. | And ev'ry shoe, as if bespoke, will fit.

Spoken by Mr. Foote. COLMAN. My warehouse thus, for nature's walks supplies Critics, whene'er I write, in ev'ry scene

| Shoes for all ranks, and lasts of ev'ry size. Discover meanings that I never mean;

Sit still, and try them, Sirs, I long to please Whatever character I bring to view, I am the father of the child, 'tis true,

How well they fit! I hope you find them easy: But ev'ry babe his christ'ning owes to you. If the shoe pinches, swear you cannot bear it: “ The comic poet's eye, with humorous air But if well-made-I wish you health to wear it. Glancing from Watling-street to Grosvenor

.., square, He bodies forth a light ideal train,

$ 90. Prologue to the Contract. 1776. Write And turns to shape the phantoms of his brain: 1 9

ten and intended to have been spoken by Mr. Meanwhile your fancy takes inore partial aim, |

Foote. And gives to airy nothing place and name."

A limner once, in want of work, went down The Contract is it call'd ?-I cannot say To try his fortune in a country town:

I much admire the title of his play: The waggon loaded with his goods, convey'd Contracts, they tell nie, have been fraught with To the same spot his whole dead stock in trade,

evil, Originals and copies-ready made.

Since Faustus sign'd his coutract with-the To the new painter all the country came;

Devil. Lord, lady, doctor, lawyer, squire and dame, Yet, spite of Satan, all men wish to make 'em, The humble curate, and the curate's wife, | Thu' nineteen out of twenty love to break 'em. All ask a likenesstaken from the life. Butchers and mealmen, brewers, agents, Behold the canvass on the easel stand!

factors, A pallet grac'd his thumb, and brushes fillid Pimps, poets, placemen, managers and actors, his hand :

Bawds, bankrupts, booksellers, are all conBut, ah! the painter's skill they little knew,


(store, Nor by what curious rules of art he drew. | Allie and swear, and cheat, l'increase their The waggon-load unpack’d, his ancient store | Then die, and go-where Faustus went before. Furnish'd for each a face drawn long before, While thus o'er all we see th' infection sprea God, dame, or hero, of the days of yore. No wonder it should taint the marriage bed : The Cæsars, with a little alteration,

Each wife forgets, each husband breaks his vow; Were turn'd into the mayor and corporation : For what are contracts, what is wedlock now! To represent the rector and the dean,

Garrick, who long was married to the town, He added wigs and bands to Prince Eugene : | At length a fashionable husband grown, The ladies, blooming all, deriv’d their faces Forsakes his spouse, base man! for truth to tell, From Charles the Second's beauties, and the She lov'd her own dear Davy wondrous well; Graces.

| Though now he slights her, breaks from her by Thus done, and circled in a splendid frame,

force, His works adorn'd each room, and spread his And nought will serve him but a full divorce.

But be the fault in women or in men, The countrymen of taste admire and stare, Thanks to our laws! they all may-wed again: “ My lady's leer! Sir John's majestic air! Her faithless fav'rite gone, the lady's free Miss Dimple's languish too!-extremely like! | To choose another, and may smile on me; And in the style and manner of Vandyke! | To the Lame Lover may resign her charms, O this new limner's pictures always strike !" And, though a cripple, take me to her arms.

I'll promise to be constant, kind, polite, • To the Upper Gallery. And pay my duty-ev'ry other night.

[ocr errors]

My dear lov'd rib I never will abandon, | 'Twas there the choicest dramatists have sought But stand by her, whilst I've one leg to stand on. her;

[caught her : I'll make a solemn contract, play or pay,

1.Twas there Moliere, there Jonson, Shakspeare And hope we shall not part this many a day | Then let our gleaning bard with safety come,

Our brother scribbler too, I greatly fear, To pick upstraws dropt from their harvest-home. Has made a foolish kind of contract here; He promises, and ten to one you 're bit, To furnish fable, sentiment, and wit.

$ 92. Prologue introduced in the Prelude of I've seen his piece ; the man appeal'd to me,

New Brooms. Spoken by Mr. King, at the And I, as Chancellor, issued my decree; [it opening of Drury Lane Theatre. 1776. T has pass'd the seals, they're going to rehearse

GARRICK. But you 're the House of Peers, and may re SCRIBBLERS are sportsmen ; and as sportsverse it.

men are,

[beat fair : Some hit, some miss, some poach, and some

This wounds a straggling bird ; that often tries $91. Prologue to the Spleen, or Islington Spa.

But never kills, he shoots and shuts both eyes: Spoken by Mr. King. 1776. GARRICK.

Like our train'd-bands, the mark he never hits; THOUGH prologues now as blackberries are He scorns to see the murder he commits : plenty,

[twenty ; Some will whole covies take, nineteen in And, like them, mawkish too-nineteen in

twenty ;

[plenty ; Yet you will have them when their date is o'er, | And then you smack your lips-for game is And Prologue! prologue! still your honors roar; In short, by you their merits must be tried ; Till some such dismal phiz as mine comes on And woe to them who are not qualified ! Ladies and gentlemen, indeed there's none; ! Another simile we mean to broachThe prologue, author, speaker-all are dead A new one too!--the stage is a stage coachand gone.

[rout; | A stage-coach! why?-I'll tell you, if you ask These reasons have some weight, and stop the

[basket 1 You clap- I smile and thus go cringing out: Here + some take places, and some mount the While living, call me; for your pleasure use me; Our cattle too, that draw the stage along, Should I tip off-I hope you 'll then excuse me. Are of all sorts and sizes-weak and strong; So much for prologues and now enter Farce: Brown, grey, black, bay, brisk, tame, blind, Shall I a scene, I lately heard, rehearse?

lame, fat, lean, old, and young! The place, the Park; the dramatis persone, If, as we are jogging on, we sometimes stop, Two female wits with each a macaroni: Some scold within, and some asleep will drop, “ Pr'yıhce, Lord Flimsey, what's this thing While sailors and their doxies sing and roar at Drury


ye“ This Spleen"- " 'Tis low, damn'd low, The coachman manager will sometimes please

Ma'am, I'll assure you.” [evil, But should he stuff the coach too full, and C'est vrai, my Lor!-We now feel no such squeeze ye,

[door ; “Never are haunted with a vaporish devil. You then begin to swear—" Zounds! shut the “ In pleasure's round we whirlit from the brain :" We're cramm'd already—here's no room for “ You rattle it away with, Seven 's the main ! more “In upper life we have no spleen or gall; “ You 're so damn'd fat! A little farther, Sir “ And as for other life it is no life at all." “ Your elbow's in my stomach-I can't stir!" What can I say in our poor bard's behalf? Hoit! Hoit! the coachman then drives on apace, He hopes that lower life may make you laugh. And, smack! with other stages runs a race, May not a trader, who shall business drop, Through thick and thin we dash, now up, now Quitting at once his old accustom'd shop,


(town; In fancy through a course of pleasures run, Now raise a dust, now rattling through the Retiring to his seat at Islington;

Now first, now last, now jolted, crack! we fallAnd, of false dreams of happiness briin-full, Laugh'd, pelted, hooted at, and damn'd by all. Be at his villa miserably dull?

Your late old coachman, tho' oft splash d by dirt, Would not he Islington's fine air forego, And out in many a storm, retires unhurt; Could he again be chok'd in Butcher-row; Enjoys your kind reward for all his pains, In showing cloth renew his former pleasure And now to other hands resigns the reins. Surpass'd by none-but that of clipping mea- | But the new partners of the old machine, sure ?

Hoping you'll find it snug, and right, and clean, The master of this shop, too, seeks repose*, Vow that with much civility they'll treat you, Sells off his stock in trade, his verse and prose, Willdrive you well, and pleasantly will seat you. His daggers, buskins, thunder, lightning, and The road is notallturnpike-and what worse is, old clothes.

| They can't insure your watches, or your purses; Will he in rural shades find ease and quiet? But they 'll insure you, that their best endeavour O no! he'll sigh for Drury,aud seek peace in riot. Shall not be wanting to obtain your favor : Nature of yore prevail'd through human kind; Which gain'd-Gee up! the old stage will run To low and middle life she's now confin'd:

for ever!

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »