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Stood forth;-and thrice he wav'd his lilly hand-
And thrice he twirl'd his tye-thrice ftrok'd his band.
"At friendship's call (thus oft with trait'rous aim,
Men, void of faith, ufurp faith's facred name)
"At Friendship's call I come, by Murphy fent,
"Who thus by me developes his intent.
"But left, transfus'd, the fpirit fhould be loft,
"That spirit which in ftorms of Rhet'ric tost,
"Bounces about, and flies like bottled beer,
"In his own words his own intentions hear.
"Thanks to my friends.-But to vile fortunes born,
"No robes of fur thefe fhoulders muft adorn.
"Vain your applaufe, no a'd from thence I draw;
"Vain all my wit, for what is wit in law?
"Twice (curs'd remembrance!) twice I strove to gain
"Admittance 'mongst the law-inftructed train,
"Who, in the Temple and Gray's-Inn, prepare
"For clients wretched feet the legal fnare:
"Dead to thofe arts which polish and refine,
"Deaf to all worth, because that worth was mine,
"Twice did those blockheads ftartle at my name,
"And foul rejection gave me up to shame.
"To laws and lawyers then I bad adieu,
"And plans of far more lib'ral note purfue.
"Who will may be a judge-my kindling breast
"Burns for that chair which Rofcius once poffefs'd.
"Here give your votes, your int'rett here exert,
And let fuccefs for once attend defert."
With fleek appearance, and with ambling pace,
And, type of vacant head, with vacant face,
The Proteus Hill put in his modeft plea,-
"Let Favour fpeak for others, Worth for me."
For who, like him, his various powers could call
Into fo many fhapes, and fhine in all ?
Who could fo nobly grace the motley lift,
Actor, inspector, doctor, botanist?
Knows any one fo well-fure no one knows,-
At once to play, prescribe, compound, compofe?
Who can but Woodward came,-Hill flipp'd away,
Melting, like ghofts, before the rifing day.
*With that low Cunning, which in fools fupplies,
And amply too, the place of being wife,
Which Nature, kind, indulgent parent, gave
To qualify the blockhead for a knave;
With that fmooth Falfhood, whofe appearance charms,
And reafon of each wholsome doubt difarms,
Which to the loweft depths of guile defcends,
By vileft means purfues the vileft ends,
Wears friendship's mask for purposes of spite,
Fawns in the day, and butchers in the night;
With that malignant Envy, which turns pale,
And fickens, even if a friend prevail,
Which merit and fuccefs purfues with hate,
And damns the worth it cannot imitate;
With the cold Caution of a coward's fpleen,
Which fears not guilt, but always feeks a fcreen,
Which keeps this maxim ever in her view-
What's bafely done, fhould be done fafely too;
With that dull, rooted, callous Impudence,
Which, dead to fhame, and ev'ry nicer fenfe,
Ne'er blush'd, unless, in spreading Vice's fnares,
She blunder'd on fome virtue unawares ;
With all these bleffings, which we feldom find
Lavish'd by nature on one happy mind,
A motley figure, of the Fribble tribe,
Which heart can fearce conceive, or pen defcribe,
Came fimp'ring on; to afcertain whose sex
Twelve, fage, impannell'd matrons would perplex
Nor male, nor female; neither, and yet both;
Of neater gender, though of Irish growth;
A fix-foot fuckling, mincing in its gait ;
Affected, peevish, prim, and delicate;
Fearful it seem'd, tho' of athletic make,
Leit brutal breezes fhould too roughly shake
Its tender form, and favage motion spread,
O'er its pale cheek, the horrid manly red.
Much did it talk, in its own pretty phrafe,
Of genius and of tafte, of play'rs and plays;
Much too of writings, which itself had wrote,
Of special merit, tho' of little note;
For Fate, in a strange humour, had decreed
That what it wrote, none but irfelf fhould read;
Much too it chatter'd of dramatic laws,
Misjudging critics, and misplac'd applause,
Then, with a felf-complacent jutting air,
It fmil'd, it fmirk'd, it wriggled to the chair;
And, with an aukward brifknefs not its own,
Looking around, and perking on the throne,
Triumphant feem'd, when that ftrange favage dame,
Known but to few, or only known by name,
Plain Common Senfe appear'd, by Nature there
Appointed, with plain Truth, to guard the chair.
The pageant faw, and blafted with her frown,
To its first state of nothing melted down.
Nor fhall the Mufe (for even there the pride
Of this vain nothing fhall be mortified)
Nor fhall the Mufe (fhould Fate ordain her rimes,
Fond, pleafing thought! to live in after-times)
With fuch a trifler's name her pages blot;
Known be the character, the thing forgot;
Let it, to disappoint each future aim,
Live without fex, and die withont a name !
Cold-blooded critics, by enervate fires
Scarce hammer'd out, when Nature's feeble fires
Glimmer'd their laft; whofe fluggish blood half
Creeps lab'ring thro' the veins; whose heart ne'er glows
With fancy-kindled heat ;-a fervile race,
Who in mere want of fault, all merit place;
Who blind obedience pay to ancient schools,
Bigots to Greece, and flaves to musty rules;
With folemn confequence declar'd that none
Could judge that caufe but Sophocles alone."
Dupes to their fancied excellence, the crowd,
Obfequious to the facred dictate, bow'd.
When, from amidst the throng, a youth stood
Unknown his perfon, not unknown his worth;
His look bespoke applaufe; alone he stood,
Alone he stemm'd the mighty critic flood.
He talk'd of ancients, as the man became
Who priz'd our own, but envied not their fame
With noble rev'rence fpoke of Greece and Rome,
And fcorn'd to tear the laurels from the tomb.
"But more than just to other countries grown,
Muft we turn bafe apoftates to our own?
*This fevere character was intended for Mr. Fitzpatrick, a perfon who had rendered himself remarka-" ble by his activity in the play-house riots of 1763," Where do these words of Greece and Rome relative to the taking half prices. He was the hero of Garrick's Fribbleriad. E.
"That England may not please the ear as well?
What mighty magic's in the place or air, "That all perfection needs must centre there? "In ftates, let ftrangers be preferred; "In ftate of letters merit fhould be heard. "Genius is of no country, her pure ray "Spreads all abroad, as gen'ral as the day; "Foe to restraint, from place to place fhe flies, "And may hereafter e'en in Holland rife.
May not (to give a pleafing fancy scope, "And chear a patriot heart with patriot hope) "May not fome great extenfive Genius raise "The name of Britain 'bove Athenian praise; "And, whilft brave thirst of fame his bofom warms, "Make England great in letters as in arms? "There may-there hath-and Shakespeare's mufe "afpires
"Beyond the reach of Greece: with native fires "Mounting aloft, he wings his airy flight, "While Sophocles below ftands trembling at his "height.
"Why fhould we then abroad for judges roam, "When abler judges we may find at home? "Happy in tragic and in comic pow'rs, "Have we not Shakespeare ?—Is not Jonfon ours? For them, your nat'ral judges Britons, vote; "They'll judge like Britons, who like Britons "wrote.' 39
He faid, and conquer'd-Senfe refum'd her sway, And disappointed pedants stalk'd away. Shakespeare and Jonfon who deferv'd applause, Joint-judges were ordain'd to try the cause. Mean-time the stranger ev'ry voice employ'd, To afk or tell his name-Who is it?-LLOYD.
Thus, when the aged friends of Job stood mute, And, tamely prudent, gave up the difpute, Elihu, with the decent warmth of youth, Boldly ftood forth the advocate of truth; Confuted falfehood, and difabled pride, Whilft baffled age stood fnarling at his fide.
Things of the nobleft kind his genius drew,
And look'd thro' Nature at a fingle view:
A loose he gave to his unbounded foul,
And taught new lands to rife, new feas to roll
Call'd into being scenes unknown before,
And, paffing Nature's bounds, was fomething more.
Next Jonfon fat, in ancient learning train'd,
His rigid judgment Fancy's flight restrain'd,
Correctly prun'd each wild luxuriant thought,
Mark'd out her courfe, nor fpar'd a glorious fault,
The book of man he read with niceft art,
And ranfack'd all the fecrets of the heart;
Exerted penetration's utmost force,
And trac'd each paffion to its proper fource;
Then strongly mark'd, in livelieft colours drew,
And brought each foible forth to public view.
The coxcomb felt a lafh in ev'ry word,
And fools, hung out, their brother fools deterr'd.
His comic humour kept the world in awe,
And Laughter frighten'd Folly more than Law.
But, hark-the trumpet founds, the crowd give
The day of tryal's fix'd, nor any fear Left day of tryal fhould be put off here. Caufes but feldom for delay can call In courts where forms are few, fees none at all. The morning came, nor find I that the Sun, As he on other great events hath done, Put on a brighter robe than what he wore To go his journey on the day before.
Full in the centre of a fpacious plain, On plan entirely new, where nothing vain, Nothing magnificent appear'd, but Art With decent modefty perform'd her part, Rofe a tribunal: from no other court It borrow'd ornament, or sought support: No juries here were pack'd to kill or clear, No bribes were taken, nor oaths broken here; No gownsmen partial to a client's caufe, To their own purpose tun'd the pliant laws. Each judge was true and steady to his truft, As Mansfield wife, and as old Foster * just.
In the first seat, in robe of various dyes, A noble wildnefs flashing from his eyes, Sat Shakespeare.-In one hand a wand he bore, For mighty wonder fam'd in days of yore; The other held a globe, which to his will Obedient turn'd, and own'd the mafter's skill:
And the proceffion comes in juft array.
Now fhould I, in fome fweet poetic line,
Offer up incenfe at Apollo's fhrine ;
Invoke the Muse to quit her calm abode,
And waken mem'ry with a fleeping ode.
For how fhould mortal man, in mortal verfe,
Their titles, merits, or their names rehearfe?
But give, kind Dullness, memory and rime,
We'll put off Genius till another time.
First, Order came,-with folemn step, and flow,
In meafur'd time his feet were taught to go.
Behind, from time to time, he caft his eye,
Left This fhould quit his place, That step awry.
Appearances to fave his only care;
So things feem right, no matter what they are.
In him his parents faw themselves renew'd,
Begotten by Sir Critic on Saint Prude.
Then came drum, trumpet, hautboy, fiddle, fiute;
Next fnuffer, fweeper, fhifter, foldier, mute:
Legions of angels all in white advance;
Furies, all fire, come forward in a dance;
Pantomime figures then are brought to view,
Fools hand in hand with fools, go two by two.
Next came the treasurer of either houfe;
One with full purfe, t'other with not a fous.
Behind, a group of figures awe create,
Set off with all th' impertinence of state;
By lace and feather confecrate to fame,
Expletive kings, and queens without a name.
Here Havard, all ferene, in the fame ftrains, Loves, hates, and rages, triumphs, and plains ;
His eafy vacant face proclaim'd a heart
Which could not feel emotions, nor impart.
With him came mighty Davies. On my life,
That Davies hath a very pretty wife :-
Statesman all over!-In plots famous grown!-
He mouths a fentence, as curs mouth a bone.
Next Holland came.-With truly tragic ftalk, He creeps, he flies.-A hero fhould not walk. As if with heav'n he warr'd, his eager eyes Planted their batteries against the skies; Attitude, action, air, paufe, ftart, figh, groen, He borrow'd, and made ufe of as his own.
*Sir Michael Fofter, one of the Judges of the By fortune thrown on any other stage, King's Bench. He might, perhaps, have pleas'd an easy age;
But now appears a copy and no more,
Of fomething better we have feen before.
The actor who would build a folid fame,
Muft imitation's fervile arts disclaim;'
Act from himself, on his own bottom ftand;
I hate e'en Garrick thus at fecond-hand.
Behind came King.-Bred up in modest lore,
Bafhful and young he fought Hibernia's shore ;
Hibernia, fam'd, 'bove ev'ry other grace,
For matchlefs intrepidity of face.
From her his features caught the gen'rous flame,
And bid defiance to all fenfe of fhame.
Tutor'd by her all rivals to furpass,
'Mongft Drury's fons he comes, and fhines in Brass.
Lo Yates!Without the least fineffe of art
He gets applaufe-I wish he'd get his part.
When hot impatience is in full career,
How vilely Hark'e! Hark'e!" grates the ear?
When active fancy from the brain is fent,
And ftands on tip-toe for fome wish'd event,
I hate those careless blunders which recall
Sufpended fenfe, and prove it fiction all.
In characters of low and vulgar mould,
Where Nature's coarfeft features we behold,
Where, deftitute of ev'ry decent grace,
Unmanner'd jefts are blurted in your face,
There Yates with juftice ftrict attention draws,
Acts truly from himself, and gains applause.
But when to please himself or charm his wife,
He aims at fomething in politer life,
When, blindly thwarting Nature's stubborn plan,
He treads the stage, by way of gentleman,
The clown, who no one touch of breeding knows,
Looks like Tom Errand drefs'd in Clincher's
Fond of his dress, fond of his person grown,
Laugh'd at by all, and to himself unknown,
From fide to fide he ftruts, he fmiles, he prates,
And seems to wonder what's become of Yates.
Woodward, endow'd with various tricks of face,
Great mafter in the fcience of grimace,
From Ireland ventures, fav'rite of the town,
Lur'd by the pleafing profpect of renown;
A fpeaking Harlequin, made up of whim,
He twifts, he twines, he tortures ev'ry limb,
Plays to the eye with a mere monkey's art,
And leaves to fenfe the conqueft of the heart.
We laugh indeed, but on reflection's birth,
We wonder at ourfelves, and curfe our mirth.
His walk of parts he fatally misplac'd,
And inclination fondly took for talte;
Hence hath the town so often seen display'd
Beau in burlesque, high life in masquerade.
But when bold wits, not fuch as patch up plays,
Cold and correct, in thefe infipid days,
Some comic character, ftrong featur'd, urge
To probability's extremeft verge,
Where modeft judgment her decree fufpends,
And for a time, nor cenfures, nor commends,
Where critics can't determine on the spot,
Whether it is in Nature found or not,
There Woodward fafely fhall his pow'rs exert,
Nor fail of favour where he fhews defert.
Hence he in Bobadil fuch praises bore,
Such worthy praises, Kitely fcarce had more.
By turns transform'd into all kinds of shapes,
Conitant to none, Foote laughs, cries, ftruts and
Now in the centre, now in van or rear,
The Proteus fhifts, Bawd, Parfon, Auctioneer.
His ftrokes of humour, and his bursts of sport,
Are all contain'd in this one word, Diflort.
Doth a man flutter, look a-fquint, or halt?
Mimics draw humour out of Nature's fault,
With perfonal defects their mirth adorn,
And hang misfortunes out to public fcorn.
E'en I, whom nature caft in hideous mould,
Whom, having made, fhe trembled to behold,
Beneath the load of mimicry may groan,
And find that Nature's error are my own.
Shadows behind of Foote and Woodward came;
Wilkinson this, Obrien was that name.
Strange to relate, but wonderfully true,
That even fhadows have their shadows too!
With not a fingle comic pow'r endu'd,
The first a mere mere mimic's mimic stood;
The last by Nature form'd to please, who fhews,
In Jonfon's Stephen, which way Genius grows;
Self quite put off, affects, with too much art,
To put on Woodward in each mangled part;
Adopts his fhrug, his wink, his ftare; nay, more,
His voice, and croaks; for Woodward croak'd be
When a dull copier fimple grace neglects.
And rests his imitation in defects,
We readily forgive; but fuch vile arts
Are double guilt in men of real parts.
By Nature form'd in her perverfest mood,
With no one requifite of art endu'd,
Next Jackfon came.-Obferve that fettled glare,
Which better speaks a puppet than a player:
Lift to that voice-did ever Difcord hear
Sounds fo well fitted to her untun'd ear?
When, to enforce fome very tender part,
The right-hand fleeps by inctinct on the heart,
His foul, of every other thought bereft,
Is anxious only where to place the left;
He fobs and pants to foothe his weeping spouse,
To foothe his weeping mother, turns and bows.
Aukward, embarrafs'd, ftiff, without the fkill
Of moving gracefully, or ftanding ftill,
One leg, as if fuspicious of his brother,
Defirous feems to run away from t'other.
Some errors, handed down from age to age,
Plead cuftom's force, and ftill poffefs the ftage.
That's vile-Should we a parent's faults adore,
And err, because our fathers err'd before;
If, inattentive to the author's mind,
Some actors made the jeft they could not find,
If by low tricks they marr'd fair Nature's mien,
And blurr'd the graces of the fimple scene,
Shall we, if reafon rightly is employ'd,
Not fee their faults, or feeing not avoid?
When Falstaff stands detected in a lye,
Why, without meaning, rolls Love's glaffy eye?
Why? There's no cause-at least no cause we
It was the fashion twenty years ago.
Fashion, a word which knaves and fools may use
Their knavery and folly to excufe.
To copy beauties, forfeits all pretence
To fame-to copy faults, is want of fenfe,
Yet (tho' in fome particulars he fails,
Some few particulars, where Mode prevails)
If in these hallow'd times, when fober, fady
All gentlemen are melancholy mad,
Here, Love, be cautious-ne'er be thou betray'd
To call in that wag Falstaff's dang'rous aid;
Like Goths of old, howe'er he seems a friend,
He'll feize that throne, you wish him to defend.
In a peculiar mould by Humour caft,
For Falstaff fram'd-Himself, the first and laft-
He stands aloof from all-maintains his state,
And fcorns, like Scotfmen, to affimilate.
Vain all difguife-too plain we see the trick,
Tho' the Knight wears the weeds of Dominic,
And Boniface, difgrac'd, betrays the smack,
In Anno Domini, of Falftaff's fack.
Arms cross'd, brows bent, eyes fix'd, feet
A band of malecontents with fpleen o'erflow;
Wrapt in conceit's impenetrable fog,
Which pride, like Phœbus, draws from ev'ry bog,
They curfe the Managers, and curfe the Town,
Whofe partial favours keeps fuch merit down.
But if fome man, more hardy than the rest,
Should dare attack these gnatlings in their neft;
At once they rife with impotence of rage,
Whet their small stings, and buzz about the stage.
" "Tis breach of privilege!-Shall any dare
"To arm fatyric truth against a player?
Prescriptive rights we plead time out of mind;
"Actors, unlafh'd themselves, may lafh man-
What! fhall opinion then, of Nature free
And lib'ral as the vagrant air, agree
To ruft in chains like thefe, impos'd by things
Which, lefs than nothing, ape the pride of kings;
No-though half-poets with half-players join
To curfe the freedom of each honeft line;
Though rage and malice dim their faded cheek;
What the mufe freely thinks, she'll freely speak.
With just difdain of ev'ry paltry fneer,
Stranger alike to flattery and fear,
In purpose fix'd and to herself a rule,
Public contempt shall wait the public fool.
Be Yates disbanded, and let Elliot fly.
Never did play'rs fo well an author fit,
To Nature dead, and foes declared to Wit.
So loud each tongue, fo empty was each head,
So much they talk'd, fo very little said,
So wond'rous dull, and yet fo wond'rous vain,
At once fo willing, and unfit to reign,
march-That Reason swore, nor would the oath recall,
Their mighty master's foul inform'd them all.
As one with various disappointments fad,
Whom Dullness only kept from being mad,
Apart from all the rest great Murphy came-
Common to fools and wits, the rage of fame.
What tho' the fons of Nonfenfe hail him SIRE,
AUDITOR, AUTHOR, MANAGER, and SQUIRE,
His restless foul's ambition stops not there,
To make his triumphs perfect, dub him PLAYER.
In perfon tall, a perfon form'd to please,
If fymmetry could charm, depriv'd of ease;
When motionless he ftands, we all approve,
What pity 'tis the Thing was made to move.
His voice, in one dull, deep, and varied found,
Seems to break forth from caverns under ground.
From hollow cheft the low fepulchral note
Unwilling heaves, and ftruggles in his throat.
Could authors butcher'd give an actor grace,
All must to him refign the foremost place.
When he attempts, in fome fav'rite part,
To ape the feelings of a manly heart,
His honeft features the difguife defy,
And his face loudly gives his tongue the lye.
Still in extremes, he knows no happy mean,
Or raving mad, or stupidly ferene.
In cold-wrought fcenes the lifeless actor flags,
In paffion, tears the paffion into rags.
Can none remember ?-Yes-I know all muft-
When in the Moor he ground his teeth to duft,
When o'er the stage he Folly's ftandard bore,
Whilft Common-Senfe ftood trembling at the door.
How few are found with real talents blefs'd,
Fewer with Nature's gifts contented rest.
Man from his fphere eccentric ftarts aftray;
All hunt for fame; but most mistake the way.
Bred at St. Omer's to the fhuffling trade,
The hopeful youth a Jefuit might have made,
With various readings ftor'd his empty kull,
Learn'd without fenfe, and venerably dull;
Or, at fome banker's defk, like many more,
Content to tell that two and two make four,
His name had ftood in CITY ANNALS fair,
And prudent Dullness mark'd him for a Mayor.
Austin would always gliften in French filks,
Ackman would Norris be, and Packer Wilks.
For who, like Ackman, can with humour please ;
Who can, like Packer, charm with sprightly ease?
Higher than all the reft, fee Bransby strut:
A mighty Gulliver in Lilliput!
Ludicrous Nature! which at once could fhew
A man fo very high, so very low.
Long, from a nation ever hardly us'd,
At random cenfur'd, wantonly abus'd,
Have Britons drawn their sport, with partial view
Form'd gen'ral notions from the rafcal few ;
Condemn'd a people as for vices known,
Which, from their country banifh'd, feek our own.
At length, howe'er, the flavish chain is broke,
And Senfe awaken'd, fcorns her ancient yoke :
Taught by thee, Moody, we now learn to raise
Mirth from their foibles, from their virtues, praife.
Next came the legion, which our Summer Bayes,
From alleys, here and there, contriv'd to raise,
Flush'd with vaft hopes, and certain to fucceed
With Wits who cannot write, and scarce can read.
Vet'rans no more fupport the rotten cause,
No more from Elliot's worth they reap applaufe ;
Each on himself determines to rely,
If I forget thee, Blakes, or if I fay
Aught hurtful, may I never fee thee play.
Let critic, with a fupercilious air,
Decry thy various merit, and declare
Frenchman is still at top ;-but scorn that rage
Which, in attacking thee attacks the age.
French follies, universally embrac❜d,
At once provoke our mirth, and form our taste.
What then could tempt thee in a critic age,
Such blooming hopes to forfeit on a stage?
Could it be worth thy wond'rous waste of pains
To publish to the world thy lack of brains?
Or might not reafon e'en to thee have shewn
Thy greatest praife had been to live unknown?
Yet let not vanity, like thine, defpair :
Fortune makes Folly her peculiar care.
A vacant throne high plac'd in Smithfield view,
To facred Dullness and her firft-born due,
Thither with hafte in happy hour repair,
Thy birth-right claim, nor fear a rival there.
Shuter himself fhall own thy jufter claim,
And venal Ledgers puff their Murphy's name,
Whilft Vaughan* or Dapper, call him which you will,
Shall blow the trumpet, and give out the bill.
There rule fecure from critics and from fenfe,
Nor once fhall Genius rife to give offence;
Eternal peace shall bless the happy fhore,
And little Factions break thy reft no more.
From Covent-Garden crowds promifcuous go,
Whom the Mufe knows not, nor defires to know.
Vet'rans they feem'd, but knew of arms no more
Than if, till that time, arms they never bore:
Like Westminster militia train'd to fight,
They fcarcely knew the left hand from the right.
Afham'd among fuch troops to fhew the head,
Their chiefs were scatter'd, and their heroes filed.
Sparks at his glafs fat comfortably down
To fep'rate frown from fmile, and fmile from frown;
Smith, the genteel, the airy, and the smart,
Smith was just gone to fchool to fay his part;
Rofs (a misfortune which we often meet)
Was faft afleep at dear Statira's feet;
Statira, with her hero to agree,
Stood on her feet as fast asleep as he ;
Macklin, who largely deals in half-form'd founds,
Who wantonly tranfgreffes Nature's bounds,
Whofe acting's hard, affected, and constrain'd,
Whofe features, as each other they difdain'd,
At variance fet, inflexible and coarfe,
Ne'er know the workings of united force,
Ne'er kindly foften to each other's aid,
Nor fhew the mingled pow'rs of light and fhade,
No longer for a thankless stage concern'd,
To worthier thoughts his mighty genius turn'd,
Harangu'd, gave lectures, made each simple elf
Atmost as good a speaker as himself;
Whilft the whole Town, and with mistaken zeal,
An aukward rage for Elocution feel;
Dull Cits and grave Divines his praise proclaim,
And join with Sheridan's their Macklin's name ;
Shuter, who never car'd a single pin
Whether he left out nonfenfe or put in,
Who aim'd at wit, tho' levell'd in the dark,
The random arrow feldom hit the mark,
At Iflington, all by the placid stream
Where City swains in lap of dullness dream,
Where, quiet as her strains their strains do flow,
That all the patron by the bards may know,
Secret as night, with Rolt's experienc'd aid,
The plan of future operations laid,
Projected schemes the fummer months to chear,
And fpin out happy Folly through the year.
* A gentleman ftill living, who published, at this juncture, a Poem entitled, "The Retort."
But think not, though thefe daftard-chiefs are
That Covent-Garden troops fhall want a head :
Harlequin comes their chief!-See from afar,
The hero feated in fantaftic car!
Wedded to Novelty, his only arms
Are wooden fwords, wands, talifmans, and charms;
On one fide Folly fits, by fome call'd Fun,
And on the other, his arch-patron Lun.
Behind, for liberty a-thirst in vain,
Senfe, helplefs captive, drags the galling chain.
Six rude mif-fhapen beafts the chariot draw,
Whom Reafon loaths, and Nature never faw;
Monsters, with tails of ice, and heads of fire;
Gorgons, and Hydras, and Chimæras dire.
Each was beftrode by full as monftrous wight,
Giant, Dwarf, Genius, Elf, Hermaphrodite.
The Town, as ufual, met him in full cry;
The Town, as ufual, knew no reason why.
But Fashion fo directs, and moderns raise
On Fashion's mould'ring bafe their tranfient praife.
Next, to the field a band of females draw
Their force; for Britain owns no Salique law:
Juft to their worth, we female rights admit,
Nor bar their claim to empire or to wit.
Firft, giggling, plotting chamber-maids arrive,
Hoydens and romps, led on by Gen'ral Clive.
In spite of outward blemishes, the fhone
For humour fam'd, and humour all her own.
Eafy, as if at home, the stage she trod,
Nor fought the critic's praife, nor fear'd his rod,
Original in spirit and in eafe,
She pleas'd by hiding all attempts to please.
No comic actress ever yet could raife,
On Humour's base, more merit or more praise.
With all the native vigour of fixteen,
Among the merry troop confpicuous feen,
See lively Pope advance in jig and trip,
Corinna, Cherry, Honeycomb, and Snip.
Not without Art, but then to Nature true,
She charms the Town with humour juft, yet new.
Chear'd by her promife, we the lofs deplore
The fatal time when Clive fhall be no more.
Lo! Vincent comes-with fimple grace array'd,
She laughs at paltry arts, and fcorns parade.
Nature through her is by reflection fhewn,
Whilft Gay once more knows Polly for his own.
Talk not to me of diffidence and fear-
I fee it all, but muft forgive it here.
Defects like thefe which modeft terrors caufe,
From impudence itfelf extort applause.
Candour and Reason ftill take Virtue's part;
We love e'en foibles in fo good an heart.
Let Tommy Arne, with ufual pomp of tile,
Whofe chief, whofe only merit's to compile,
Who, meanly pilfering here and there a bit,
Deals mufic out as Murphy deals out wit,
Publish propofals, laws for talte prescribe,
And chaunt the praife of an Italian trite;
Let him reverse kind Nature's first decrees,
And teach e'en Brent a method not to please ;
But never shall a truly British age
Bear a vile race of eunuchs on the stage.
The boafted work's call'd National in vain,
If one Italian voice pollutes the ftrain.
Where tyrants rule, and flaves with joy obey,
Let flavish minstrels pour th' enervate lay;