« AnteriorContinuar »
This tomb inscrib'd to gentle Parnell's name,
May speak our gratitude, but not his fame.
What heart but feels his sweetly moral lay,
That leads to truth through pleasure's flowery way!
Celestial themes confess'd his tuneful aid ;
And heaven, that lent him genius, was repaid.
Needless to him the tribute we bestow,
The transitory breath of fame below:
More lasting rapture from his works shall rise,
While converts thank their poet in the skies.
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 emptied 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 shewn her want of skill,
What if I give a masquerade ?-I will.
But how? ay, there's the rub! (pausing)- I've got
The world's a masquerade ! the masquers, you, you, you.
[To Boxes, Pit, and Gallery. Lud! what a group the motley scene discloses ! False wits, false wives, false virgins, and false spouses! Statesmen with bridles on; and, close beside 'em, Patriots in party-colour'd suits that ride 'em.
There Hebes, turn'd of fifty, try once more
To raise a flame in Cupids of threescore.
These in their turn, with appetites as keen,
Deserting fifty, fasten on fifteen.
Miss, not yet full fifteen, with fire uncommon,
Flings down her sampler, and takes up the woman ;
The little urchin smiles, and spreads her lure,
And tries to kill, ere she's got power to cure :
Thus 'tis with all their chief and constant care
Is to seem every thing—but what they are.
Yon broad, bold, angry spark, I fix my eye on,
Who seems t'have robb'd his vizor from the lion;
Who frowns, and talks, and swears, with round
Looking, as who should say, dam'me! who's afraid?
Strip but this vizor off, and sure I am
You'll find his lionship a very lamb.
Yon politician, famous in debate,
Perhaps, to vulgar eyes, bestrides the state ;
Yet, when he deigns his real shape t'assume,
He turns old woman, and bestrides a broom.
Yon patriot, too, who presses on your sight,
And seems to every gazer, all in white,
If with a bribe his candour
you attack, He bows, turns round, and whip-the man in black! Yon critic, too—but whither do I run ? If I proceed, our bard will be undone ! Well then a truce, since she requests it too: Do you spare her, and I'll for once spare you.
Enter Mrs. Bulkley, who curtstes very low as beginning
to speak. Then enter Miss Catley, who stands full before her, and curtsies to the Audience.
HOLD, Ma'am, your pardon. What's your bu-
The Epilogue ?
Yes, the Epilogue, my dear.
Sure you mistake, Ma'am. The Epilogue I bring it.
Excuse me, Ma'am. The Author bid me sing it.
RecitATIVE. Ye beaux and belles, that form this splendid ring, Suspend your conversation while I sing.
Mrs. BULKLEY. Why sure the Girl's beside herself: an Epilogue of
singing, A hopeful end indeed to such a blest beginning. Besides, a singer in a comic set! Excuse me, Ma'am, I know the etiquette.
Miss CATLEY. What if we leave it to the House?
Mrs. BULKLEY. The House !--Agreed.
And she, who's party's largest, shall proceed.
And first I hope, you'll readily agree
I've all the critics and the wits for me.
They, I am sure, will answer my commands,
Ye candid judging few, hold up your hands;
What, no return? I find too late, I fear,
That modern judges seldom enter here.
I'm for a different set.-Old men, whose trade is
Still to gallant and dangle with the ladies.
RECITATIVE. Who mump their passion, and who, grimly smiling Still thus address the fair with voice beguiling.