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ANOTHER INTENDED EPILOGUE
“SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER."
To be spoken by Mrs. Bulkley.'
There is a place—so Ariosto sings-
A treasury for lost and missing things:
Lost human wits have places there assign’d them;
And they who lose their senses there may find them.
But where's this place, this storehouse of the age?
The Moon, says he; but I affirm, the Stage:
At least in many things, I think I see
His lunar and our inimic world agree.
Both shine at night, for, but at Foote’s alone,
We scarce exhibit till the sun goes down.
Both prone to change, no settled limits fix,
And sure the folks of both are lunatics.
But in this parallel my best pretence is,
That mortals visit both to find their senses;
To this strange spot, rakes, macaronies, cits,
Come thronging to collect their scatter'd wits.
The gay coquette, who ogles all the day,
Comes here at niglit and goes a prude away.
Ilither the affected city dame advancing,
Who sighs for operas and dotes on dancing,
Tanght by our art her ridicule to pause on,
Quits the ballet, and calls for Nancy Dawson.'
The gamester, too, whose wit's all high or low,
Oft risks his fortune on one desperate throw,
Comes here to saunter, having made his bets,
Finds his lost senses out, and pays his debts.
The Mohawk,' too, with angry phrases stor’d
As “Dam'me, sir,” and “Sir, I wear a sword” —
· Presented in MS., among other papers, to Dr. Percy, by the poet, and first printed in “ Miscellaneous Works,”' 1801.
At the Haymarket Theatre. 3 A favorite air, so called from the celebrated hornpipe-dancer of that name (died 1767).
* A London bully, or one of a set of London bullies, well known to the readers
Here lesson'd for a while, and hence retreating,
Goes out, affronts his man, and takes a beating.
Here come the sons of scandal and of news,
But find no sense—for they had none to lose.
Of all the tribe here wanting an adviser,
Our author's the least likely to grow wiser.
Has he not seen how you your favor place
On sentimental queens and lords in lace?
Without a star, a coronet, or garter,
How can the piece expect or hope for quarter?
No high-life scenes, no sentiment—the creature
Still stoops among the low to copy nature.
Yes, he's far gone: and yet some pity fix-
The English laws forbid to punish lunatics.
Spoken' by Mr. Lee Lewes, in the character of Harlequin, at his Benefit. Hold! prompter, hold! a word before your nonsense: I'd speak a word or two to ease my conscience. My pride forbids it ever should be said My heels eclips’d the honors of my head; That I found humor in a piebald vest, Or ever thought that jumping was a jest. [Takes off his mask. Whence and what art thou, visionary birth? Nature disowns and reason scorns thy mirth; In thy black aspect every passion sleepsThe joy that dimples, and the woe that weeps.
Ilow hast thou fill'd the scene with all thy brood
Of fools pursuing, and of fools pursued,
Whose ins and outs no ray of sense discloses,
Whose only plot it is to break our noses ;
Whilst from below the trap-door demons rise,
And from above the dangling deities !
And shall I mix in this unhallow'd crew ?
May rosin'd lightning blast me if I do!
No-I will act, I'll vindicate the stage;
Shakespeare liniself shall feel my tragic rage.
Off, off! vile trappings! a new passion reigns!
The maddening monarch revels in my veins.
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 retreating;
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 cavill'd 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;
" Iloicks! hark forward !" came thund'ring from behind,
He bounds aloft, outstrips the fleeting wind:
Ile quits the woods, and tries the beaten ways;
lle 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 he saves himself—like me.
[Taking a jump through the stage door.