« AnteriorContinuar »
EPILOGUE SPOKEN BY MR. LEE LEWES,
IN THE CHARACTER OF HARLEQUIN,
AT HIS BENEFIT.
Hold! prompter, hold! a word before your non
I'd speak a word or two, to ease my conscience.
[Takes off his mask.
Oh! for a Richard's voice to catch the theme: Give me another horse! bind up my wounds !
soft - 'twas but a dream.' Ay, 'twas but a dream, for now there's no re
treating : If I cease Harlequin, I cease from eating. 'Twas thus that Æsop's stag, a creature blameless, Yet something vain, like one that shall be nameless, Once on the margin of a fountain stood, And cavilld at his image in the flood. "The deuce confound,' he cries, these drumstick
shanks! They never have my gratitude nor thanks; They ’re perfectly disgraceful! strike me dead ! But for a head, yes, yes, I have a head: How piercing is that eye! how sleek that brow ! My horns — I'm told horns are the fashion now.' Whilst thus he spoke, astonish'd, to his view, Near, and more near, the hounds and huntsmen
drew. • Hoicks ! hark forward !' came thundering from
behind : He bounds aloft, outstrips the fleeting wind; He quits the woods, and tries the beaten ways; He starts, he pants, he takes the circling maze. At length his silly head, so priz'd before, Is taught his former folly to deplore; Whilst his strong limbs conspire to set him free; And at one bound be saves himself
like me. [Taking a jump through the stage-door.
EPILOGUE TO THE COMEDY OF THE
What? five long acts and all to make us wiser!
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 shown her want of skill, What if I give a masquerade ? — I will. But how? ay, there's the rub! [pausing]—I've
got my cue: 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
Statesmen with bridles on; and, close beside 'em, Patriots in party-colour'd suits that ride 'em.
1 The Sister] A comedy by Mrs. Charlotte Lennox, 1769, taken from the authoress's own novel, • Henrietta.' It was performed only one night. The author of the Biographia Dramatica says that this epilogue is the best that has appeared the last thirty years.'
There Hebes, turn’d of fifty, try once more
parade, Looking, as who should say, Dam'me! who's afraid?
[Mimicking 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, [black ! He bows, turns round, and whip -- the man's in 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.
EPILOGUE TO THE GOOD-NATURED MAN.1
SPOKEN BY MRS. BULKLEY.
As puffing quacks some caitiff wretch procure
What, I! dear Sir,' the Doctor interposes ;
1 The author, in expectation of an Epilogue from a friend at Oxford, deferred writing one himself till the very last hour. What is here offered owes all its success to the graceful manner of the actress who spoke it.—Goldsmith.
2 Where the College of Physicians then stood.