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Diveft yourself of hearers, if you can,
And strive to speak, and be the very man.
Why should the well-bred actor wish to know
Who fits above to-night, or who below?
So, 'mid th' harmonious tones of grief or rage,
Italian squallers oft disgrace the stage;
When, with a simp'ring leer, and bow profound,
The squeaking Cyrus greets the boxes round;
Or proud Mandane, of imperial race,
Familiar drops a curt'fie to her grace.
To suit the dress demands the actor's art,
Yet there are those who over-dress the part.
To fome prescriptive right gives settled things,
Black wigs to murd'rers, feather'd hats to kings.
But Michael Cassio might be drunk enough,
Though all his features were not grim'd with snuff.
Why should Pol Peachum shine in satin clothes ?
Why ev'ry devil dance in scarlet hose?
But in stage-customs what offends me most
Is the flip-door, and flowly-rising ghoft.
Tell me, nor count the question too severe,
Why need the dismal powder'd forms appear?
When chilling horrors shake th' affrighted king,
And guilt torments him with her scorpion sting;
When keenest feelings at his bosom pull,
And fancy tells him that the seat is full;
Why need the ghost usurp the monarch's place,
To frighten children with his mealy face?
The king alone should form the phantom there,
And talk and tremble at the vacant chair.
If Belvidera her lov'd loss deplore,
Why for twin spectres bursts the yawning floor?
When with disorder'd starts, and horrid cries,
She paints the murder'd forms before her eyes,
And ftill pursues them with a frantic ftare,
*Tis pregnant madness brings the visions there,
More inftant horror would enforce the scene,
If all her shudd'rings were at fhapes unseen.
Poet and Actor thus, with blendid skill,
Mould all our passions to their instant will;
'Tis thas, when feeling Garrick treads the stage,
(The speaking comment of his Shakespear's page)
Oft as I drink the words with greedy ears,
I shake with horror, or diffolve with tears.
O, ne'er may folly seize the throne of taste,
Nor dulness lay the realms of genius waste!
No bouncing crackers ape the thund'rer's fire,
No tumbler float upon the bending wire!
More natural uses to the stage belong,
Than tumblers, monsters, pantomime, or fong.
For other purpose was that spot design’d:
To purge the passions, and reform the mind,
To give to nature all the force of art,
And while it charms the ear to mend the heart.
Thornton, to thee, I dare with truth commend,
The decent stage as virtue’s natural friend.
Though oft debas'd with scenes profane and loose,
No reason weighs againft its proper use.
Though the lewd prieft his facred function shame,
Religion's perfect law is still the same,
Shall They, who trace the passions from their rise, Shew scorn her features, her own image vice? Who teach the mind its proper force to scan, And hold the faithful mirror up to man, Shall their profession e'er provoke disdain, Who stand the foremost in the moral train, Who lend reflection all the
grace And strike the precept home upon the heart?
Yet, hapless Artist! though thy skill can raise The bursting peal of universal praise, Though at thy beck Applause delighted stands, And lifts, Briareus' like, her hundred hands, Know, Fame awards thee but a partial breath! Not all thy talents brave the stroke of death. Poets to ages yet unborn appeal, And latest times th' Eternal Nature feel. Though blended here the praise of bard and play't. While more than half becomes the Actor's share, Relentless death untwifts the mingled fame, And finks the player in the poet's name. The pliant muscles of the various face, The mien that gave each sentence strength and grace, The tuneful voice, the eye that spoke the mind, Are gone, nor leave a single trace behind.
Quid tibi cum Cirrha ? quid cum Permessidos unda ?
Romanum propius divitiufque Forum eft.
Ow Chrift-Church left, and fixt at Lincoln's Inn,
Th' important studies of the Law begin.
Now gróan the shelves beneath th’ unusual charge
Of Records, Statutes, and Reports at large.
Each Classic Author feeks his peaceful nook,
And modest Virgil yields his place to Coke.
No more, ye Bards, for vain precedence hope,
But even Jacob take the lead of Pope !
While the pild shelves sink down on one another,
And each huge folio has its cumb’rous brother,
While, arm’d with these, the Student views with awe
His rooms become the magazine of Law,
Say whence fo few fucceed? where thousands aim,
So few e'er reach the promis'd goal of fame?
Say, why Cæcilius quits a gainful trade
For regimentals, sword, and smart cockade?
* In the Preface to Colman's prose that gentleman claims the present performance, and says that it was given to our Author to fill up á volume of poems published by subscription.
Or Sextus why his first profession leaves
For narrower band, plain shirt, and pudding sleeves?
The depth of law asks ftudy, thought, and care ?
Shall we seek these in rich Alonzo's heir?
Such diligence, alas! is seldom found
In the brisk heir to forty thousand pound.
Wealth, that excuses folly, sloth creates,
Few, who can spend, e'er learn to get estates,
What is to him dry case, report,
Who studies fashions at the Inns of Court;
And proves that thing of emptiness and show,
That mungrel, half-form'd thing, a Temple-Beau?
Observe him daily faunt'ring up and down,
In purple slippers, and in filken gown;
Last night's debauch, his morning conversation ;
The coming, all his evening preparation
By Law let others toil to gain renown!
Florio's a gentleman, a man o'th' town.
He nor courts clients, or the law regarding.
Hurries from Nando's down to Covent-Garden:
Yet he's a Scholar ;-mark him in the Pit
With critic catcall found the stops of wit!
Supreme at George's he harangues the throng,
Cenfor of file from tragedy to song:
Him ev'ry witling views with secret awe,
Deep in the Drama, shallow in the Law.
Others there are, who, indolent and vain,
Contemn the science, they can ne'er attain:
Who write, and read, but all by fits and starts,
And varnish folly with the name of Parts ;