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To Britons far more noble pleasures spring,
In native notes whilft Beard and Vincent fing.
Might figure give a title unto fame,
What rival fhould with Yates dispute her claim;
But justice may not partial trophies raife,
Nor fink the actress in the woman's praise.
Still hand in hand her words and actions go,
And the heart feels more than the features fhew:
For, through the regions of that beauteous face,
We no variety of paffions trace;
Dead to the foft emotions of the heart,
No kindred foftnefs can thofe eyes impart ;
The brow, ftill fix'd in forrow's fullen frame,
Void of diftinction, marks all parts the fame.

What's a fine perfon, or a beauteous face,
Unless deportment gives them decent grace?
Blefs'd with all other requifites to please,
Some want the ftriking elegance of ease;
The curious eye their aukward movement tires;
They feem like puppets led about by wires.
Others, like ftatues, in one potture still,
Give great ideas of the workman's skill;
Wond'ring, his art we praise the more we view,
And only grieve he gave not motion too.
Weak of themselves are what we beauties call,
It is the manner which gives ftrength to all.
This teaches ev'ry beauty to unite,

And brings them forward in the nobleft light.
Happy in this, behold, amidst the throng,
With tranfient gleam of grace, Hart fweeps along.
If all the wonders of external grace,
A perfon finely turn'd, a mould of face,
Where, union rare, expreffion's lively force
With beauty's fofteft magic holds discourse,
Attract the eye; if feelings, void of art,
Rouze the quick paffions, and inflame the heart;
If mufic, fweetly breathing from the tongue,
Captives the ear, Bride muft not pass unfung.

When fear, which rank ill-nature terms conceit.
By time and custom conquer'd, shall retreat;
When judgment tutor'd by experience fage,
Shall fhoot abroad, and gather ftrength from age;
When heav'n in mercy fhall the stage release
From the dull flumbers of a still life-piece;
When some stale flow'r, difgraceful to the walk,
Which long hath hung, tho' wither'd on the stalk,
Shall kindly drop, then Bride fhall make her way,
And merit find a paffage to the day;
Brought into action, fhe at once shall raise
Her own renown, and justify our praise.

Form'd for the tragic fcene, to grace the stage,
With rival excellence of love and rage,
Mistress of each foft art, with matchlefs skill
To turn and wind the paffions as she will ;
To melt the heart with fympathetic woe,
Awake the figh, and teach the tear to flow;
To put on frenzy's wild diftracted glare,
And freeze the foul with horror and despair;
With just defert enroll'd in endless frame,
Confcious of worth fuperior, Cibber came.

When poor Alicia's madd'ning brains are rack'd,
And strongly imag'd griefs her mind distract;
Struck with her grief, I catch the madness too!
My brain turns round, the headless trunk I view!
The roof cracks, shakes and falls!-New horrors
And reafon buried in the ruin lies.

Nobly difdainful of each flavish art,
She makes her first attack upon the heart:
Pleas'd with the fummons, it receives her laws,
And all is filence, fympathy, applaufe.

But when, by fond ambition drawn afide,
Giddy with praife, and puff'd with female pride,
She quits the tragic fcene, and, in pretence
To comic merit, breaks down Nature's fence;
I fcarcely can believe my ears or eyes,
Or find out Cibber through the dark disguise.
Pritchard, by nature for the stage design'd,
In perfon graceful, and in fenfe refin'd;
Her art as much as Nature's friend became,
Her voice as free from blemish as her fame.
Who knows fo well in majefty to please,
Attemper'd with the graceful charms of ease?

When Congreve's favour'd pantomime to grace,
She comes a captive queen of Moorish race;
When love, hate, jealoufy, defpair and rage,
With wildeft tumults in her breaft engage;
Still equal to herself is Zara feen;
Her paffions are the paffions of a queen.

When the to murther whets the timorous Thane, I feel ambition rush through every vein ; Perfuafion hangs upon her daring tongue, My heart grows flint, and ev'ry nerve's new ftrung.

In Comedy-" Nay, there," cries Critic," hold, "Pritchard's for comedy too fat and old. "Who can, with patience, bear the gray coquette, "Or force a laugh with over-grown Julett? "Her fpeech, look, action, humour, all are juft; "But then, her age and figure give disguft."

Are foibles then, and graces of the mind, In real life, to fize or age confin'd? Do fpirits flow, and is good breeding plac'd In any fet circumference of waist? As we grow old, doth affectation cease, Or gives not age new vigour to caprice If in originals these things appear, Why should we bar them in the copy here? The nice punctilio mongers of this age, The grand minute reformers of the stage, Slaves to propriety of ev'ry kind, Some standard-measure for each part should find, Which then the best of actors fhall exceed, Let it devolve to one of smaller breed. All actors too upon the back should bear Certificate of birth ;-time, when -place


For how can critics rightly fix their worth,
Unless they know the minute of their birth?
An audience too, may find too late
That they have clapp'd an actor out of date.
Figure, I own, at firft may give offence,
And harshly strike the eye's too curious fenfe :
But when perfections of the mind break forth,
Humour's chafte fallies, judgment's solid worth;
When the pure genuine flame, by Nature taught,
Springs into fenfe, and ev'ry action's thought;
Before fuch merit all objections fly;
Pritchard's genteel, and Garrick's fix feet high.

Oft have I, Pritchard, feen thy wond'rous skill,
Confefs'd thee great, but find thee greater ftill.
That worth, which fhone in scatter'd rays before,
Collected now, breaks forth with double pow'r.
The Jealous Wife! on that thy trophies raise,
Inferior only to the author's praife.

From Dublin, fam'd in legends of romance
For mighty magic of enchanted lance,
With which her heroes arm'd victorious prove,
And like a flood rush o'er the land of love,
Moffop and Barry came-names ne'er defign'd
By fate in the fame sentence to be join'd.
Rais'd by the breath of popular acclaim,
They mounted to the pinnacle of fame;
There the weak brain, made giddy with the height,
Spurr'd on the rival chiefs to mortal fight.
Thus fportive boys, around fome bason's brim,
Behold the pipe-drawn bladders circling swim:
But if from lungs more potent, there arise
Two bubbles of a more than common fize,
Eager for honour they for fight prepare,
Bubble meets bubble, and both fink to air.

Moffop, attach'd to military plan,
Still kept his eye fix'd on his right hand man.
Whilft the mouth measures words with feeming skill,
The right hand labours, and the left lies ftill;
For he refolv'd on fcripture-grounds to go,
What the right, doth, the left hand-shall not know.
With studied impropriety of speech,

His words bore fterling weight, nervous and strong
In manly tides of fenfe they roll'd along.
Happy in art, he chiefly had pretence
To keep up numbers, yet not forfeit fenfe.
No actor ever greater heights could reach
In all the labour'd artifice of fpeech.

He foars beyond the hackney critic's reach;
To epithets allots emphatic state,
Whilft principals, ungrac'd, like lacquies wait;
In ways first trodden by himself excels,
And ftands alone in undeclinables;
Conjunction, Prepofition, Adverb join
Tó ftamp new vigour on the nervous line:
In monofyllables his thunders roll,

Speech! Is that all ?-And fhall an actor found
An univerfal fame on partial ground?
Parrots themselves fpeak properly by rote,
And, in fix months, my dog fhall howl by note.

I laugh at thofe, who, when the stage they tread,
Neglect the heart, to compliment the head;
With ftrict propriety their care's confin'd

HE, SHE, IT, AND, WE, YE, THEY, fright the foul. To weigh out words, while paffion halts behind.

To fyllable-diffectors they appeal,

Allow them accent, cadence,-fools may feel;
But, fpite of all the criticifing elves,

Those who would make us feel, must feel themselves

In perfon taller then the common fize,
Behold where Barry draws admiring eyes!
When lab'ring paffions, in his bofom pent,
Convulfive rage, and struggling heave for vent;
Spectators, with imagin'd terrors warm,
Anxious expect the bursting of the storm:
But, all unfit in fuch a pile to dwell,

His voice comes forth, like Echo from her cell,
To fwell the tempeft needful aid denies,
And all a-down the ftage in feeble murmurs dies.

What man, like Barry, with fuch pains, can err
In elocution, action, character ?
What man could give-if Barry was not here,
Such well-applauded tenderness to Lear?
Who else can speak fo very, very fine,
That sense may kindly end with ev'ry line?

Some dozen lines before the ghost is there,
Behold him for the folemn fcene prepare.
See how he frames his eyes, poifes each limb,
Puts the whole body into proper trim.-
From whence we learn, with no great stretch of art,
Five lines hence comes a ghost, and, ha! a start.

Grey-bearded vet'rans, who, with partial tongue,
Extol the times when they themselves were young ;
Who having loft all relish for the stage,
See not their own defects, but lath the age,
Receiv'd with joyful murmurs of applause,
Their darling chief, and lin'd his fav'rite cause.
Far be it from the candid Mufe to tread
Infulting o'er the ashes of the dead,
But, just to living merit, the maintains,
And dares the teft, whilft Garrick's genius reigns;
Ancients in vain endeavour to excel,
Happily prais'd, if they could act as well.
But though prescription's force we difallow,
Nor to antiquity submissive bow;
Though we deny imaginary grace,
Founded on accidents of time and place;
Yet real worth of ev'ry growth fhall bear
Due praife, nor muft we, Quin, forget thee there.

When he appears moft perfect, ftill we find
Something which jars upon, and hurts the mind.
Whatever lights upon a part are thrown,
We fee too plainly they are not his own.
No flame from Nature ever yet he caught;
Nor knew a feeling which he was not taught ;
He rais'd his trophies on the base of art,
And conn'd his paffions, as he conn'd his part.
Quin, from afar, lur'd by the fcent of fame,
A ftage Leviathan, put in his claim,
Pupil of Betterton and Booth. Alone,
Sullen he walk'd, and deem'd the chair his own.
For how fhould moderns, mushrooms of the day,
Who ne'er thofe mafters knew, know how to play?

His eyes, in gloomy focket taught to roll,
Proclaim'd the fullen habit of his foul.
Heavy and phlegmatic he trod the stage,
Too proud for tenderness, too dull for rage.
When Hector's lovely widow shines in tears,
Or Rowe's gay rake dependant virtue jeers,
With the fame caft of features he is feen
To chide the libertine, and court the queen.
From the tame scene, which without paffion flows,
With juft defert his reputation rofe;
Nor lefs he pleas'd, when, on fome furly plan,
He was, at once, the actor and the man.

In Brute he fhone unequall'd: all agree
Garrick's not half so great a brute as he.
When Cato's labour'd scenes are brought to view,
With equal praise the actor labour'd too;
For ftill you'll find, trace paffions to their root,
Small diff 'rence 'twixt the Stoic and the brute.
In fancied fcenes, as in life's real plan,

He could not, for a moment, fink the man.
In whate'er caft his character was laid,
Self ftill, like oil, upon the furface play'd.
Nature, in fpite of all his skill, crept in :
Horatio, Dorax, Falstaff,-ftill 'was Quin.
Next follows Sheridan-a doubtful name,
unfettled in the rank of fame.
This, fondly lavish in his praises grown,
Gives him all merit: That allows him none.
Between them both, we'll steer the middle course,
Nor, loving praife, rob Judgment of her force.
Juft his conceptions, natural and great:
His feelings ftrong, his words enforc'd with weight.


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Let wits, like fpiders, from the tortur'd brain
Fine-draw the critic-web with curious pain;
The gods, a kindness I with thanks muft pay,-
Have form'd me of a coarfer kind of clay;
Nor ftung with envy, nor with spleen difeas'd,
A poor dull creature, ftill with Nature pleas'd;
Hence to thy praises, Garrick, I agree,
And, pleas'd with Nature, muft be pleas'd with thee.
Now might I tell, how filence reign'd throughout,
And deep attention hush'd the rabble rout:
How ev'ry claimant, tortur'd with defire,
Was pale as afhes, or as red as fire:

But, loose to fame, the Mufe more fimply acts,
Rejects all flourish, and relates mere facts.

The judges, as the feveral parties came,


With temper heard, with judgment weigh'd each claim,

And, in their fentence happily agreed,

In name of both, Great Shakespeare thus decreed.
"If manly fenfe; if Nature link'd with Art;
"If thorough knowledge of the human heart;
down." If pow'rs of acting vast and unconfin'd;
"If feweft faults with greatest beauties join'd;
"If ftrong expreffion, and range pow'rs which lie
"Within the magic circle of the eye;

"If feelings which few hearts, like his, can know
"And which no face fo well as his, can shew;
"Deserve the pref'rence ;-Garrick, take the chair;
"Nor quit it-till thou place an equal there."

Was fpeech-fam'd Quin himself to hear him speak,
Envy would drive the colour from his cheek:
But step-dame Nature, niggard of her grace,
Deny'd the focial pow'rs of voice and face.
Fix'd in one frame of features, glare of eye,
Paffions, like chaos, in confufion lie:
In vain the wonders of his skill are try'd
To form diftinctions Nature hath deny'd.
His voice no touch of harmony admits,
Irregularly deep and fhrill by fits:
The two extremes appear like man and wife,
Coupled together for the fake of ftrife.

His action's always ftrong, but fometimes fuch,
That candour muft declare he acts too much.
Why muft impatience fall three paces back?
Why paces three return to the attack?
Why is the right-leg too forbid to stir,
Unlefs in motion femicircular?

Why muft the hero with the Nailor vie,
And hurl the close-clench'd fift at nofe or eye?
In royal John, with Philip angry grown,
I thought he would have knock'd poor Davies
Inhuman tyrant! was it not a shame,
To fright a king fo harmless and so tame ?
But, fpite of all defects, his glories rife ;
And Att, by Judgment form'd, with Nature vies:
Behold him found the depth of Hubert's foul,
Whilft in his own contending paffions roll;
View the whole fcene, with critic judgment fcan,
And then deny him merit if you can.
Where he falls fhort, 'tis Nature's fault alone;
Where he fucceeds, the merit's all his own.

Laft Garrick came.-Behind him throng a train
Of fnarling critics, ignorant as vain.
One finds out-"He's of ftature fomewhat low,-
"Your Hero always fhould be tall, you know.-
"True natʼral greatness all confifts in height."
Produce your voucher, Critic." Serjeant Kite."
Another can't forgive the paltry arts
By which he makes his way to fhallow hearts;
Mere pieces of fineffe, traps for applause-
"Avaunt, unnat'ral start, affected paufe."

For me, by Nature form'd to judge with phlegm,
I can't acquit by wholesale, nor condemn.
The best things carried to excefs are wrong:
The ftart may be too frequent, pause too long;
But, only us'd in proper time and place,
Severeft judgment must allow them grace.

If bunglers, form'd on imitation's plan,
Juft in the way that monkies mimic man,
Their copied fcene with mangled arts disgrace,
And pause and start with the fame vacant face;
We join the critic laugh; those tricks we scorn,
Which spoil the fcenes they mean them to adorn.
But when, from Nature's pure and genuine fource,
These strokes of acting flow with gen'rous force,
When in the features all the foul's pourtray'd,
And paffions, fuch as Garrick's, are difplay'd,
To me they feem from quickeft feelings caught:
Each start is Nature; and each paufe is Thought.

When reafon yields to paffion's wild alarms,
And the whole ftate of man is up in arms;
What but a Critic could condemn the Play'r,
For paufing here, when Cool Sense pauses there?
Whilft, working from the heart, the fire I trace,
And mark it ftrongly flaming to the face;
Whilft, in each found, I hear the very man;
I can't catch words, and pity thofe who cam

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AUGHS not the heart, when giants big with
Affume the pompous port, the martial stride;
O'er arm Herculean heave th' enormous shield,
Vaft as a weaver's beam the javelin wield;
With the loud voice of thund'ring Jove defy,
And dare to fingle combat-What A fly.

And laugh we lefs, when giant names, which

Eftablish'd, as it were, by right divine;
CRITICS, whom ev'ry captive art adores,
To whom glad Science pours forth all her stores ;
Who high in letter'd reputation fit,

And hold, Aftræa-like, the fcales of wit;
With partial rage rush forth,-Oh! thame to tell!
To crush a bard juft bursting from the shell?

Great are his perils in this ftormy time
Who rafhly ventures on a fea of rime.
Around vaft furges roll, winds envious blow,
And jealous rocks and quickfands lurk below:
Greatly his foes he dreads, but more his friends;
He hurts me most who lavishly commends.

Look thro' the world-in ev'ry other trade
The fame employment's caufe of kindness made,
At least appearance of good-will creates,
And ev'ry fool puffs off the fool he hates.
Coblers with coblers fmoke away the night,
And in the common caufe e'en play'rs units.

Authors alone, with more than favage rage,
Unnat'ral war with brother-authors wage.
The pride of nature would as foon admit
Competitors in empire as in wit:
Onward they rush at Fame's imperious call,
And, less than greateft, would not be at all.

Smit with the love of honour,-or the pence,
O'er-run with wit, and deftitute of fenfe,
Should any novice in the riming trade
With lawless pen the realms of verse invade;
Forth from the court, where fceptred fages fit,
Abus'd with praise, and flatter'd into wit;
Where in lethargic majefty they reign,
And what they won by dulnefs, ftill maintain;
Legions of factious authors throng at once;
Fool beckons fool, and dunce awakens dunce.
To Hamilton's the ready lies repair :-
Ne'er was lye made which was not welcome there-
Thence, on maturer judgment's anvil wrought,
The polish'd falfhood's into public brought.
Quick-circulating flanders mirth afford,
And reputation bleeds in ev'ry word.

A Critic was of old a glorious name,
Whofe fanction handed Merit up to Fame;
Beauties as well as faults he brought to view :
His judgment great, and great his candour too.
No fervile rules drew fickly Tafte afide;
Secure he walk'd, for Nature was his guide.
But now, Oh strange reverse! our Critics bawl
In praise of candour with a heart of gall.
Confcious of guilt, and fearful of the light,
They lurk enshrouded in the veil of night;
Safe from detection, feize th' unwary prey,
And ftab, like bravoes, all who come that way.

When first my Mufe, perhaps more bold than wife,
Bad the rude trifle into light arise,
Little she thought fuch tempefts would enfue;
Lefs, that those tempefts would be rais'd by you.
The thunder's fury rends the tow'ring oak;
Rofciads, like fhrubs, might 'fcape the fatal ftroke.
Vain thought! a Critic's fury knows no bound;
Drawcanfir-like, he deals deftruction round;
Nor can we hope he will a stranger spare,
Who gives no quarter to his friend Voltaire.

Unhappy Genius; plac'd by partial fate With a free spirit in a slavish state; Where the reluctant Mufe, opprefs'd by kings, Or droops in filence, or in fetters fings; In vain thy dauntless fortitude hath borne The bigot's furious zeal, and tyrant's fcorn. Why didft thou safe from home-bred dangers steer, Referv'd to perish more ignobly here? Thus, when the Julian tyrant's pride to swell Rome with her Pompey at Pharfalia fell, The vanquish'd chief efcap'd from Cæfar's hand To die by ruffian's in a foreign land.

How could these felf-elected monarchs raise
So large an empire on so small a base?

In what retreat, inglorious and unknown,
Did Genius fleep, when Dullness feiz'd the throne ?
Whence, abfolute now grown, and free from awe,
She to the fubject world difpenfes law.
Without her licence not a letter ftirs,
And all the captive crifs-crofs-row is her's.
The Stagyrite, who rules from Nature drew,
Opinions gave, but gave his reasons too.

*Printer of the Critical Reveiw.

Our great Dictators take a fhorter way→→
Who shall difpute what the Reviewers fay
Their word's fufficient; and to ask a reason,
In fuch a ftate as theirs, is downright treason.
True judgment now with them alone can dwell;
Like Church of Rome, they're grown infallible.
Dull fuperftitious readers they deceive,
Who pin their eafy faith on Critic's fleeve,
And, knowing nothing, ev'ry thing believe!
But why repine we, that thefe puny elves
Shoot into giants?-We may thank ourselves;
Fools that we are, like Ifrael's fools of yore,
The calf ourfelves have fashion'd we adore.
But let true Reafon once refume her reign,
This god fhall dwindle to a Calf again.

Founded on arts which fhun the face of day,
By the fame arts they still maintain their sway.
Wrapp'd in mysterious fecrecy they rife,
And, as they are unknown, are fafe and wife.
At whomfoever aim'd, howe'er fevere
Th' envenom'd flanders flies, no names appear.
Prudence forbids that step.-Then all might know
And on more equal terms engage the foe.
But now, what Quixote of the age would care
To wage a war with dirt, and fight with air?

By int'reft join'd, th' expert confederates stand, And play the game into each other's hand. The vile abufe, in turn by all deny'd, Is bandy'd up and down from fide to fide: flies-hey-presto !—like a juggler's ball, 'Till it belongs to nobody at all.


All men and things they know, themselves un known,


And publish ev'ry name-except their own. Nor think this strange-fecure from vulgar eyes The nameless author paffes in difguife. But vet'ran Critics are not fo deceiv'd, If vetran Critics are to be believ'd. Once feen, they know an author evermore, Nay fwear to hands they never faw before. Thus in the Rofciad, beyond chance or doubt, They, by the writing, found the writers out. "That's Lloyd's-his manner there you plainly trace, "And all the Actor ftares you in the face. "By Colman that was written.-On my life, "The strongest symptoms of the Jealous Wife. "That little difingenuous piece of spite, "Churchill, a wretch unknown, perhaps might write,” How doth it make judicious readers fmile, When authors are detected by their ftile; Tho' ev'ry one who knows this author, knows He fhifts his ftile much oftner than his cloaths?

Whence could arife this mighty critic fpleen, The Mufe a trifler, and her theme fo mean? What had I done, that angry Heav'n fhould fend The bitt'reft foe where moft I wifh'd a friend? Oft hath my tongue been wanton at thy name, And hail'd the honours of thy matchless fame. For me let hoary Fielding bite the ground, So nobler Pickle ftands fuperbly bound. From Livy's temples tear th' hiftoric crown, Which with more juftice blooms upon thine own Compar'd with thee, be all life-writers dumb, But he who wrote the Life of Tommy Thumb. Who ever read the Regicide, but swore The author wrote as man ne'er wrote before? Others for plots and under-plots may call, Here's the right method-have no plot at all.

Who can so often in his caufe engage
The tiny pathos of the Grecian stage,
Whilft horrors rife, and tears fpontaneous flow,
At tragic Ha! and no lefs tragic Oh!
To praise his nervous weakness all agree;
And then for fweetnefs, who fo sweet as he!
Too big for utterance when forrows fwell,
The too big forrows flowing tears must tell :
But when those flowing tears shall cease to flow,
Why then the voice muft (peak again, you know.
Rude and unskilful in the Poet's trade,
I kept no Naiads by me ready-made ;
Ne'er did I colours high in air advance,
Torn from the bleeding fopperies of France;
No flimfy linfey-woolfey fcenes I wrote,
With patches here and there like Joseph's coat.
Me humbler themes befit: Secure, for me,
Let playwrights fmuggle nonfenfe, duty free:
Secure, for me, ye lambs, ye lambkins bound,
And frisk, and frolic o'er the fairy ground :
Secure, for me, thou pretty little fawn,
Lick Sylvia's hand, and crop the flow'ry lawn:
Uncenfur'd let the gentle breezes rove
Thro' the green umbrage of th' enchanted grove :
Secure, for me, let foppifh Nature fmile,
And play the coxcomb in the Defart Ifle.

The ftage I chose-a fubject fair and free'Tis yours 'tis mine-'tis public property. All common exhibitions open lie

For praise or cenfure to the common eye.
Hence are a thousand hackney writers fed;
Hence monthly critics earn their daily bread.
This is a gen'ral tax which all must pay,
From those who fcribble, down to those who play.
Actors, a venal crew, receive fupport
From public bounty, for the public sport.
To clap or hifs, all have an equal claim,
The cobler's and his lordship's right the fame.
All join for their fubfiftence; all expect
Free leave to praise their worth, their faults correct.
When active Pickle Smithfield stage afcends,
The three days wonder of his laughing friends;
Each, or as judgment, or as fancy guides,
The lively wittling praises or derides.
And where's the mighty diff'rence, tell me where,
Betwixt a Merry-Andrew and a Player?

The strolling tribe, a despicable race, Like wand'ring Arabs, fhift from place to place. Vagrants by law, to justice open laid, They tremble, of the beadle's lafh afraid, And fawning cringe, for wretched means of life, To Madam Mayorefs, or his Worship's wife.

The mighty monarch, in theatric fack,
Carries his whole regalia at his back;
His royal confort heads the female band,
And leads the heir-apparent in her hand;
The pannier'd afs creeps on with conscious pride,
Bearing a future prince on either fide.

No choice musicians in this troop are found
To varnish nonfense with the charms of found;
No fwords, no daggers, not one poison'd bowl;
No lightning flashes here, no thunders roll;
No guards to fwell the monarch's train are shewn;
The monarch here must be a hoft alone.
No folem pomp, no flow proceffions here;
No Ammon's entry, and no Juliet's bier.

By need compell'd to prostitute his art,
The varied actor Alies from part to part;

And, ftrange difgrace to all theatric pride!
His character is fhifted with his fide.
Question and Anfwer he by turns must be,
Like that small wit* in Modern Tragedy;
Who, to patch up his fame,-or fill his purfe,-
Still pilfers wretched plans and makes them worse;
Like gipfies, left the ftolen brat be known,
Defacing firit, then claiming for his own.
In fhabby state they strut, and tatter'd robe;
The fcene a blanket, and a barn the globe.
No high conceits their mod'rate wishes raife,
Content with humble profit, humble praise.
Let dowdies fimper, and let bumpkins ftare,
The ftrolling pageant hero treads in air:
Pleas'd for his hour, he to mankind gives law,
And fnores the next out on a trufs of ftraw.

But if kind Fortune, who we sometimes know
Can take a hero from a puppet-how,

In mood propitious should her fav'rite call
On royal ftage in royal pomp to bawl,
Forgetful of himself he rears the head,
And scorns the dunghill where he first was bred.
Converfing now with well-drefs'd kings and


With gods and goddeffes behind the scenes,
He fweats beneath the terror-nodding plume,
Taught by mock honours real pride t' affume.
On this great stage the world, no monarch e'er
Was half fo haughty as a monarch play'r.

Doth it more move our anger or our mirth,
To fee thefe Things, the lowest fons of earth,
Prefume, with felf-fufficient knowledge grac'd,
To rule in Letters, and prefide in Tafte?
The Town's decifions they no more admit,
Themselves alone the arbiters of Wit;
And fcorn the jurifdiction of that court,
To which they owe their being and support.
Actors, like monks of old, now facred grown,
Must be attack'd by no fools but their own.

Let the vain tyrant fit amidst his guards,
His puny Green-room Wits and Venal Bards,
Who meanly tremble at the puppet's frown,
And for a playhouse freedom lose their own;
In fpite of new-made laws, and new-made kings,
The free-born Mufe with lib'ral spirit fings.
Bow down, ye flaves; before these idols fall;
Let Genius ftoop to them who've none at all`;
Ne'er will I flatter, cringe, or bend the knee
To those who, flaves to All, are flaves to Me.
Actors, as actors, are a lawful game;
The poet's right, and who fhall bar his claim?
And if, o'er-weening of their little skill,
When they have left the ftage, they're actors ftill;
If to the they still give laws,
With paper crowns and fceptres made of straws;
If they in cellar or in garret roar,

And kings one night, are kings for evermore;
Shall not bold Truth, e'en there, purfue her theme,
And 'wake the coxcomb from his golden dream?
Or if, well worthy of a better fate,
They rife fuperior to their prefent state;
If, with each focial virtue grac'd, they blend
The gay companion and the faithful friend ;
If they, like Pritchard, join in private life
The tender parent and the virtuous wife;

* Mr. Foote.

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