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INTRODUCTION IN THE THEATRE.*

MANAGER.

STAGE POET.

HUMOURIST.

MANAGER.
Say, my two friends, who have failed not to stand

By me so often in trouble and need
In the length and the breadtb of old Germany's land,

Hope ye will our undertaking succeed ?
Pleasure I wish to the public to give,
For it acts on the maxim, to live and let live ;
The booth is prepared, and the stage is bedecked,
And all are determined a treat to expect.
In critical calmness, with eyebrows upraised,
They sit and desire to be hugely amazed.

* In Germany, the theatres are frequently the property of the sovereign or the state, and their organization more resembles that of the staff of a public office than with us, the appointments to many branches being permanent.

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How to humour the taste of the people I know ;
But I never before found myself puzzled so.
True, it

may be that they have not been bred
To the best-but a terrible deal they have read.
How shall we manage, that all shall be new,
And such as both pleases and means something too?
For it gladdens my eyes to see the hot throng,
When the stream towards our booth sets in heavy and

strong,
And before four o'clock—aye, by broad light of day, *
† With throe upon throe makes its turbulent way;

* In Germany, theatrical hours, as well as all others, are much earlier than in England. At Weimar, when the translator was there, the theatre began at six o'clock, and was over at nine, and probably that is the case now. One reason why theatricals are so much more flourishing on the continent than in England, is, that instead of interfering directly with the meals of the higher classes, as here, they fill up intervals between them, and the consequence is, a preponderance of cultivation and taste in the audience, to which the actor, to attain character in his profession, must act up, instead of as here, acting down to the audience, the overwbelming majority of whom, are very accurately described by the Manager, a few lines further on. It is to be remembered, that this is not supposed to take place in a regular theatre, but in the temporary theatre, or rather booth, of a strolling company.

+ Wehen is not a verb, but a real substantive. Geburtswehen are the pains of labour.

Scrambling and elbowing, through the choked wicket,

Our portal of heaven, to where sits the cash taker ; Risking their necks for the chance of a ticket,

Like a famishing mob at the door of a baker. On such manifold minds, such miraculous sway, Is the Poet's alone! My dear friend, oh, exert it to-day.

STAGE POET.

Oh! speak not to me of the mob; at the sight
Of the great Many-headed, the spirit takes flight.
Veil from me the billowy thronging that still
Drags us down to its whirlpool in spite of our will.
Oh! to heavenly retirement bear me apart,
Where alone for the bard true enjoyment can

flourish; Where friendship and love join the bliss of the heart,

With the hand of a god to create and to nourish.

In the depths of our bosoms, how many a thought,

Through the faltering lips climbing faintly to-day, Now eluding our grasp, now exultingly caught,

Is devoured by the moment’s tumultuous sway.
Long, long years of struggling are often decreed,

Before at its perfected form it arrives :
In the present, what glitters will often succeed;

For posterity, only the sterling survives.

HUMOURIST.

I wish of posterity less I might hear ;

If I were to talk of posterity, who Would make for the present the fun and the cheer That the present requires--and, what's more, will

have too. The presence, besides, of a spirited lad, * Is something methinks well worth being had, Who imparts what he has in a manner to please, And will not take huff at the people's caprice. The wider his circle, the better he likes it, For he's sure to awaken more chords when he strikes

it; Now set to like a man-shew a brilliant example, In each of her keys give of Fancy a sample. Understanding and reason, † let feeling abound, And passion, but mark ! Folly's voice in the chorus

must sound.

* Meaning himself.

+ Vernunft reason; Verstand understanding. Kant divides intellect into understanding and reason. The understanding, acting upon experience, merely compares, judges and measures its representations, and is conversant solely with their mutual limits and relations, classifying them according to certain schemes of its own, which are called categories. While, how

MANAGER.

Above all things let plenty of action arise,
They come but to see, to be pleased through the eyes ;
When a long line of incidents off you have spun,

At your work, that the many may stare in amaze, You've the bulk of the multitude's suffrages won,

And the popular favour your labour repays.
For by masses

alone
you

the masses can stir, Each looks out for what he himself may prefer, And he who brings much will bring something that

pleases All palates, and sends them contented away ; When you give them a piece, at once give it in pieces,

With such a ragout you will sure make your way ; 'Tis as easy to serve up as 'tis to invent. What use is it ever a whole to present, When it still by the public in fragments is rent ?

PoET. .

Ye feel not how such a mere job must degrade,

How little befits it, art's true-hearted child, Affectation so blundering, such mere tricks of trade,

Among you I observe, indeed, maxims are styled.

ever, the understanding is thus limited, the activity of the reason is unbounded, and, as the principle of principles, it is the base and verification of every special principle and reason.

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