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EPISTLE

TO THE PROPRIETOR OF

CUMBERLAND'S

BRITISH THEATRE."

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A word in your ear, Mr. Cumberland, pray-
Not what I say myself, but what other folks say,
I think it just right to communicate-Credè!
Some bitter complaints of your editor G. D.
This confident critic bamboozles the town,
And to write himself up, he writes other folks down;
About the old authors he makes such a fuss,
Yet laughs not indeed at our farces, but Us !
Talks of Avon's sweet swan-Mr. C, who the deuce
Is Avon's sweet swan ?--Does he mean Mother

Goose ?
A player must either be dying or dead,
To have grace in his action, or sense in his head-
One exception, I grant, may be found in the hive,
He praises Jack Harley, who's always alive!
Yet Jack, though he giggles and gallops on gaily,
Is nothing to Vale-may he never say vald !-
Then Lord, what an Egotist ! quoting himself !

-Friend Cumberland, look to your profit and pelf,

And take from the dunghill hight critical, no cock
Who cannot puff Planchè, who cannot puff Pocock;
Mr. Lunn,* Mr. Bunn, Mr. Pitt,t Mr. Poole;
The nobs of the new march-of-intellect school.
Besides this G. D., if the people all say right,
Is not only Aristarch, Poet, but-Playwright!
Which makes him, no doubt, so confoundedly crusty,
For two of a trade-but the proverb is musty.

* The following festive chant is attributed to Mr. Lunn, whose physiognomy is peculiarly harmonious :

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Three merry men, three merry men,

Three merry men are we;
Comedy, Farce, and Pantomime,

Thackeray, Buckstone, and Me!!!
Thack. has the tact to translate through an act,

Gustavus is done to a T;
Buckstone writes what Milner indites,

Except when he steals from Me!

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Homer of old, and Virgil, we're toid,

And Shakespeare, they say, make a ThreeBuckstone, you and I, O, and Thackeray, chant a Trio

Bravo, my lads, so do We.

Three merry men, three merry men,

Three merry men we be ;
Push round the rum, who cares for Cum-

Who cares a fig for D. G.? + It is whispered that Dibdin Pitt is hard at work upon Hamlet, which he intends bringing out at one of our metro

O blindly infatuate! thus to permit
This Midas in judgment, this coxcomb in wit,
This snarling Gambado on Pegasus skittish,
To gallop right o'er Minor Drama and British !-
Then turn to the right-about (Cumberland credè,)
Your pert egotistical editor G. D.
Or D.G. no matter which, truce to the letters
And give the appointment to one of his betters !

politans under the title of The Ghost of Denmark Hill, or the Spectre of Camberwell!The following dedication has been handed about in manuscript :

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“ My dear Ball !

Why write yourself • Fitz ?' You are no spurious offspring of Apollo, but a true swan of Helicon! I should as soon think of saying Fitz-Homer, Fitz-Milton, or FitzShakespeare, as Fitz-Ball.

“ Talking of Shakespeare, puts me in mind of myself! I found Hamlet brick--I leave it stucco; nobody will know it to be Shakespeare's—every body when I play it, will swear it to be mine.

“ You have been called Victor Hugo of the Surrey side. Yet, my dear Ball, (I love to be droll!) how much farther do you go than Victor, in the ghastly-terrible, and ghostlygrim! His tintinabulum is a muffin-bell, compared to your triple bob major. o Never mind that D. G., however queer on your cog

He says you are a tennis ball, because you take loftier flights than your brother bards; a cricket ball, because you are chirruping; a billiard ball, because you have an eye to the pockets ; a trap ball, because you have been

nomen.

If my humble talent might try such a leap,
I'll do the thing well, and I'll do the thing cheap;
If Me you invest with the critical staff,
Why fine me a pot if I'm found in a laugh.
For Shakespeare-I know not and care not who

wrote him So you'll guess that I'm not very likely to quote

him! And Massinger, Fletcher, and surly Old Ben, Shall never be grac’d with a scratch of my pen, They liv’d, scribbled, died-n'importe where, what,

and when !

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trapped by the club. Be content that you are an earthly ball, with a touch of the heavenly.

“ It has been hinted that I am jealous of your transcendant genius! Jealous !—Come, I like that; as the cat said to the sugared cream

Together we have ranged the fies,

And stalk'd the boards, and smelt the lamps-
The man that says I'm jealous, lies ;

And all who think the same are scamps!

To you I dedicate the rhymes

Our club(1) pronounce a lucky hit;
To waft the names to future times,

Of Neddy Ball and Dibdin Pitt!"

(1) “ The Miller and his Men,” in Henrietta Street.

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My Jerrold's the herald of wit and romance,
My Beaumont and Fletcher are Planchè and Dance;*
What serves me for Congreve, for Cibber and all ?
The wits, fits, and fancies of Mister Fitzball !
No question or quack’ry my Thackeray I wot
(What a face for a farce, what a head for a plot!)
Is worth all the Drydens and Farquhars that follow;
So dub Me your critic, and Him your Apollo!
If an author be dull-what's his dulness to me?
In liberty's land sure a fool may go free!
Mine's Dogberry's maxim, (to quote him for once)
Let him go—and thank God you are rid of a dunce.
When I hold up my rod not a stroller shall tremble,
I luckily never saw Siddons or Kemble ;
Of all the old school I remember not one,
But I've seen Mr. Serle, and I've seen Mrs. Bunn.
Of acting I yield my opinion to no man-

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For buskin and sock give me Cobham and Sloman.

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* Paired, but not matched.—The talented dramatist of “ Charles XII,” and the writer of the following !

“ When a Lord of the Creation says, ' Pray, madame, do

so and so,'
She to his solicitation, says, “ Monsieur, non.”
For both is this plan most delightful,

As experience shows every day;
For never are men half so frightful,

As when they have all their own way!" &c. &c. &c. !!

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