« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
On old PARNASSUS, t'other day,
The Muses met to sing and play ;
Apart from all the rest were seen
The Tragic and the Comic Queen,
Engag’d, perhaps, in deep debate,
On Rich's, or on FLFETWOOD's fate.
When on a sudden, news was brought
That GARRICK had the patent got,
And both their ladyships again
Might now return to Drury-lane.
They bow'd, they simper'd, and agreed,
They wish'd the project might succeed,
'Twas very possible, the case:
Was likely too and had a face
A face ! THALIA titt’ring cry'd,
And could her joy no longer hide ;
Why, sister, all the world must see
How much this makes for you and me ;
No longer now shall we expose
Our unbought goods to empty rows,
Or meanly be oblig'd to court
From foreign aid a weak support;
No more the poor polluted scene
Shall teem with births of Harlequin.
Or vindicated stage shall feel
The insults of the dancer's heel.
Such idle trash we'll kindly spare
To opera's now they'll want them there;
For Sadler's-Wells, they say, this year
Has quite undone their engineer.
Pugh, you're a wag, the buskin'd prude Reply'd, and smil'd; besides 'tis rude To laugh at foreigners, you know, And triumph o'er a vanquish'd foe : For my part, I shall be content If things succeed as they are meant; And should not be displeas'd to find Some changes of the tragic kind. And say, THALIA, mayn't we hope The stage will take a larger scope ? Shall he, whose all-expressive powers Can reach the heights that SHAKSPERE soars, Descend to touch an humbler key, And tickle ears with poetry ; Where every tear is taught to flow Through many
line's melodious woe, And heart-felt pangs of deep distress
Are fritter'd into similes ?
- thau, whom Nature taught the art
To pierce, to cleave, to tear the heart,
Whatever name delight thine ear,
Othello, RICHARD, HAMLET, LEAR,
O undertake my just defence,
And banish all but Nature hence !
See, to thy aid with streaming eyes:
The fair afflicted CONSTANCE flies;
Now wild as winds in madness tears
Her heaving breasts and scatter'd hairs;
Or low on earth disdain relief,
With all the conscious pride of grief.
My PRITCHARD too in HAMLET's queen
The goddess of the sportive vein
Here stop'd her short, and with a sneer,
My PRITCHARD, if you please, any dear!
Her tragic merit I confess,
But surely mine's her proper
រ Behold her there with native ease, And native spirit, born to please; With all MARIA's charms engage; Or Milwood's arts, or TOUCHWOOD's ragez Through every foible trace the fair, Or leave the town, and toilet's care, To chaunt in forests unconfin, The wilder notes of ROSALIND.
O thou, where'er thou fix thy praise, BRUTE, DRUGGER, FRIBBLE, RANGER, BAYS!
O join with her in my behalf,
And teach an audience when to laugh.
So shall buffoons with shame repair
To draw in fools at Smithfield fair,
And real humor charm the age,
Though FALSTAFF should forsake the stage.
She spoke. MELPOMENE reply'd,
And much was said on either side
And many a chief, and many a fair,
Were mention'd to their credit there.
But I'll not venture to display
What goddessses think fit to say.
However, GARRICK, this at least
Appears, by both a truth confessid,
That their whole fate for many a year
But hangs on your paternal care.
A nation's taste depends on you;
-Perhaps a nation's virtue too.
O think how glorious 'twere to raise
A theatre to Virtues's praise ;
Where no indignant blush might rise,
Nor wit be taught to plead for vice:
But every young attentive ear
Imbibe the precepts, living there;
And every unexperienc'd breast
There feel its own rude hints expressid,
And, waken'd by the glowing scene,
Unfold the worth that lurks within.
If possible, be perfect quite; A few short rules will guide you right. Consult your own good sense in all, Be deaf to fashion's fickle call, Nor e'er descend from Reason's laws To court what you command, applause.