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Let it, to disappoint each future aim,
Live without sex, and die without a name!
Cold-blooded critics, by enervate sires
Scarce hammer'd out, when Nature's feeble fires
Glimmer'd their last; whose sluggish blood, half
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 in the way before.
Full in the centre of a spacious plain,
On plan entirely new, where nothing vain,
Creeps lab'ring through the veins; whose heart Nothing magnificent appear'd, but Art
With fancy-kindled heat;-a servile race,
Who in mere want of fault, all merit place;
Who blind obedience pay to ancient schools,
Bigots to Greece, and slaves to musty rules;
With solemn consequence declar'd that none
Could judge that cause but Sophocles alone.
Dupes to their fancied excellence, the crowd,
Obsequious to the sacred dictate, bow'd.
When, from amidst the throng, a youth stood forth,
Unknown his person, not unknown his worth;
His look bespoke applause; 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 spoke of Greece and Rome,
And scorn'd to tear the laurel from the tomb.
But more than just to other countries grown,
Must we turn base apostates to our own?
Where do these words of Greece and Rome excel,
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 states, let strangers blindly be preferr'd;
In state of letters, merit should 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 she flies,
And may hereafter e'en in Holland rise.
May not (to give a pleasing fancy scope,
And cheer a patriot heart with patriot hope)
May not some great extensive genius raise
The name of Britain 'bove Athenian praise;
And, whilst brave thirst of fame his bosom warms,
Make England great in letters as in arms?
There may-there hath-and Shakspeare's Muse
Beyond the reach of Greece: with native fires
Mounting aloft, he wings his daring flight,
Whilst Sophocles below stands trembling at his
"Why should 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 Shakspeare?-Is not Jonson ours?
For them, your nat'ral judges, Britons, vote;
They'll judge like Britons, who like Britons wrote."
He said, and conquer'd-Sense resum'd her sway,
And disappointed pedants stalk'd away.
Shakspeare and Jonson, with deserv'd applause,
Joint-judges were ordain'd to try the cause.
Meantime the stranger ev'ry voice employ'd,
To ask or tell his name-Who is it?-Lloyd.
Thus, when the aged friends of Job stood mute,
And, tamely prudent, gave up the dispute,
Elihu, with the decent warmth of youth,
Boldly stood forth the advocate of Truth;
Confuted Falsehood, and disabled Pride,
Whilst baffled Age stood snarling at his side.
The day of trial's fix'd, nor any fear
Lest day of trial should be put off here.
Causes but seldom for delay can call
In courts where forms are few, fees none at all.
With decent modesty perform'd her part,
Rose 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 gownmen, partial to a client's cause,
To their own purpose tun'd the pliant laws,
Each judge was true and steady to his trust,
As Mansfield wise, and as old Foster* just.
In the first seat, in robe of various dyes,
A noble wildness flashing from his eyes,
Sat Shakspeare.-In one hand a wand he bore
For mighty wonders fam'd in days of yore;
The other held a globe, which to his will
Obedient turn'd, and own'd the master's skill:
Things of the noblest kind his genius drew,
And look'd through Nature at a single view:
A loose he gave to his unbounded soul,
And taught new lands to rise, new seas to roll;
Call'd into being scenes unknown before,
And, passing Nature's bounds, was something more
Next Jonson sat, in ancient learning train'd,
His rigid judgment Fancy's flights restrain'd,
Correctly prun'd each wild luxuriant thought,
Mark'd out her course, nor spar'd a glorious fault
The book of man he read with nicest art,
And ransack'd all the secrets of the heart;
Exerted penetration's utmost force,
And trac'd each passion to its proper source;
Then strongly mark'd, in liveliest colors drew,
And brought each foible forth to public view
The coxcomb felt a lash in ev'ry word,
And fools, hung out, their brother fools deterr'd.
His comic humor kept the world in awe,
And Laughter frighten'd Folly more than Law.
But, hark! The trumpet sounds, the crowd gives
And the procession comes in just array
Now should I, in some sweet poetic line,
Offer up incense at Apollo's shrine;
Invoke the Muse to quit her calm abode,
And waken mem'ry with a sleeping ode.
For how should mortal man, in mortal verse,
Their titles, merits, or their names rehearse?
But give, kind Dullness, memory and rhyme,
We'll put off Genius till another time.
First, Order came-with solemn step, and slow
In measur'd time his feet were taught to go.
Behind, from time to time, he cast his eye,
Lest this should quit his place, that step awry.
Appearances to save his only care;
So things seem right, no matter what they are
In him his parents saw themselves renew'd,
Begotten by sir Critic on saint Prude.
Then came drum, trumpet, hautboy, fiddle, flute
Next snuffer, sweeper, shifter, soldier, 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.
*Sir Michael Foster, one of the judges of the Kin
Next came the treasurer of either house;
One with full purse, t'other with not a sous.
Behind, a group of figures awe create,
Set off with all th' impertinence of state;
By lace and feather consecrate to fame,
Expletive kings, and queens without a name.
Here Havard, all serene, in the same strains,
Loves, hates, and rages, triumphs, and complains;
His easy 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 sentence, as curs mouth a bone.
Next Holland came.-With truly tragic stalk,
He creeps, he flies.-A hero should not walk.
As if with Heav'n he warr'd, his eager eyes
Planted their batteries against the skies;
Attitude, action, air, pause, start, sigh, groan,
He borrow'd, and made use of as his own.
By fortune thrown on any other stage,
He might, perhaps, have pleas'd an easy age;
But now appears a copy, and no more.
Of something better we have seen before.
The actor who would build a solid fame,
Must Imitation's servile arts disclaim;
Act from himself, on his own bottom stand;
I hate e'en Garrick thus at second-hand.
Behind came King.-Bred up in modest lore,
Bashful and young he sought Hibernia's shore;
Hibernia, fam'd, 'bove ev'ry other grace,
For matchless intrepidity of face.
From her his features caught the gen'rous flame,
And bid defiance to all sense of shame.
Tutor'd by her all rivals to surpass,
'Mongst Drury's sons he comes, and shines in Brass.
Lo Yates!-Without the least finesse of art
He gets applause-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 sent,
And stands on tip-toe for some wish'd event,
I hate those careless blunders which recall
Suspended sense, and prove it fiction all.
In characters of low and vulgar mould,
Where Nature's coarsest features we behold,
Where, destitute of ev'ry decent grace,
Unmanner'd jests are blurted in your face,
There Yates with justice strict attention draws,
Acts truly from himself, and gains applause.
But when to please himself, or charm his wife,
He aims at something 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 dress'd in Clincher's clothes.
Fond of his dress, fond of his person grown,
Laugh'd at by all, and to himself unknown,
From side to side he struts, he smiles, he prates,
And seems to wonder what's become of Yates.
Woodward, endow'd with various tricks of face,
Great master in the science of grimace,
From Ireland ventures, fav'rite of the town,
Lur'd by the pleasing prospect of renown;
A speaking Harlequin, made up of whim,
He twists, he twines, he tortures ev'ry limb,
Plays to the eye with a mere monkey's art,
And leaves to sense the conquest of the heart.
We laugh indeed, but on reflection's birth,
We wonder at ourselves, and curse our mirth.
His walk of parts he fatally misplac'd,
And inclination fondly took for taste;
Hence hath the town so often seen display'd
Beau in burlesque, high life in masquerade.
But when bold wits, not such as patch up plays,
Cold and correct, in these insipid days,
Some comic character, strong featur'd, urge
To probability's extremest verge,
Where modest Judgment her decree suspends,
And for a time, nor censures, nor commends,
Where critics can't determine on the spot
Whether it is in Nature found or not,
There Woodward safely shall his pow'rs exert,
Nor fail of favor where he shows desert.
Hence he in Bobadil such praises bore,
Such worthy praises, Kitely scarce had more.
By turns transform'd into all kind of shapes, Constant to none, Foote laughs, cries, struts, and scrapes:
Now in the centre, now in van or rear,
The Proteus shifts, bawd, parson, auctioneer.
His strokes of humor, and his bursts of sport,
Are all contain'd in this one word, Distort.
Doth a man stutter, look a-squint, or halt?
Mimics draw humor out of Nature's fault,
With personal defects their mirth adorn,
And hang misfortunes out to public scorn.
E'en I, whom Nature cast in hideous mould,
Whom, having made, she trembled to behold,
Beneath the load of mimicry may groan,
And find that Nature's errors are my own.
Shadows behind of Foote and Woodward came
Wilkinson this, Obrien was that name.
Strange to relate, but wonderfully true,
That even shadows have their shadows too!
With not a single comic pow'r endu'd,
The first a mere mere mimic's mimic stood;
The last by Nature form'd to please, who shows,
In Jonson'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 shrug, his wink, his stare; nay, more,
His voice, and croaks; for Woodward croak d be.
When a dull copier simple grace neglects,
And rests his imitation in defects,.
We readily forgive; but such vile arts
Are double guilt in men of real parts.
By Nature form'd in her perversest mood,
With no one requisite of art endu'd,
Next Jackson came.-Observe that settled glare,
Which better speaks a puppet than a player:
List to that voice-did ever Discord hear
Sounds so well fitted to her untun'd ear?
When, to enforce some very tender part,
The right-hand sleeps by instinct on the heart;
His soul, of every other thought bereft,
Is anxious only where to place the left;
He sobs and pants to soothe his weeping spouse,
To soothe his weeping mother, turns and bows.
Awkward, embarrass'd, stiff, without the skill
Of moving gracefully, or standing still,
One leg, as if suspicious of his brother,
Desirous seems to run away from t'other.
Some errors, handed down from age to age,
Plead custom's force, and still possess the stage.
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 jest they could not find
If by low tricks they marr'd fair Nature's mien,
And blurr'd the graces of the simple scene;
Shall we, if reason rightly is employ'd,
Not see their faults, or seeing not avoid?
When Falstaff stands detected in a lie,
Why, without meaning, rolls Love's glassy 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 excuse.
To copy beauties, forfeits all pretence
To fame-to copy faults, is want of sense.
Yet (though in some particulars he fails,
Some few particulars, where mode prevails)
If in these hallow'd times, when sober, sad,
All gentlemen are melancholy mad,
When us not deem'd so great a crime by half
To violate a vestal, as to laugh,
Rude Mirth may hope presumptuous to engage
An act of toleration for the stage,
And courtiers will, like reasonable creatures,
Suspend vain fashion, and unscrew their features,
Old Falstaff, play'd by Love, shall please once more,
And humor set the audience in a roar.
Actors I've seen, and of no vulgar name,
Who, being from one part possess'd of fame,
Whether they are to laugh, cry, whine, or bawl,
Still introduce that fav'rite part in all.
Here, Love, be cautious-ne'er be thou betray'd
To call in that wag Falstaff's dangerous aid;
Like Goths of old, howe'er he seems a friend,
He'll seize that throne, you wish him to defend.
In a peculiar mould by Humor cast,
For Falstaff fram'd-Himself, the first and last,-
He stands aloof from all-maintains his state,
And scorns, like Scotchmen, to assimilate.
Vain all disguise-too plain we see the trick,
Though the Knight wears the weeds of Dominic.
And Boniface, disgrac'd, betrays the smack,
In Anno Domini, of Falstaff's sack.
Arms cross'd, brows bent, eyes fix'd, feet march-
A band of malcontents with spleen o'erflow;
Wrapt in Conceit's impenetrable fog,
Which Pride, like Phoebus, draws from ev'ry bog,
They curse the managers, and curse the town,
Whose partial favor keeps such merit down.
But if some man, more hardy than the rest,
Should dare attack these gnatlings in their nest;
At once they rise with impotence of rage,
Whet their small stings, and buzz about the stage.
""Tis breach of privilege!-Shall any dare
To arm satiric truth against a player?
Prescriptive rights we plead time out of mind;
Actors, unlash'd themselves, may lash mankind."
What! shall Opinion then, of nature free
And lib'ral as the vagrant air, agree
To rust in chains like these, impos'd by things
Which, less than nothing, ape the pride of kings?
No-though half-poets with half-players join
To curse the freedom of each honest line;
Though rage and malice dim their faded cheek;
What the Muse freely thinks, she'll freely speak.
With just disdain of ev'ry paltry sneer,
Stranger alike to flattery and fear,
In purpose fix'd, and to herself a rule,
Public contempt shall wait the public fool.
Austin would always glisten in French silks,
Ackman would Norris be, and Packer Wilks.
For who, like Ackman, can with humor please?
Who can, like Packer, charm with sprightly ease!
Higher than all the rest, see Bransby strut:
A mighty Gulliver in Lilliput!
Ludicrous Nature! which at once could show
A man so very high, so very low.
If I forget thee, Blakes, or if I say
Aught hurtful, may I never see thee play.
Let critics, with a supercilious air,
Decry thy various merit, and declare
Frenchman is still at top-but scorn that
Which, in attacking thee, attacks the age.
French follies, universally embrac'd,
At once provoke our mirth, and form our taste.
Long, from a nation ever hardly us'd,
At random censur'd, wantonly abus'd,
Have Britons drawn their sport, with partial view
Form'd gen'ral notions from the rascal few;
Condemn'd a people, as for vices known,
Which, from their country banish'd, seek our own.
At length, howe'er, the slavish chain is broke,
And Sense, awaken'd, scorns her ancient yoke:
Taught by thee, Moody, we now learn to raise
Mirth from their foibles; from their virtues, praise
Next came the legion, which our Summer Bayes,
From alleys, here and there, contriv'd to raise,
Flush'd with vast hopes, and certain to succeed
With wits who cannot write, and scarce can read.
Vet'rans no more support the rotten cause,
No more from Elliot's worth they reap applause
Each on himself determines to rely,
Be Yates disbanded, and let Elliot fly;
Never did play'rs so well an author fit,
To Nature dead, and foes declar'd to Wit.
So loud each tongue, so empty was each head,
So much they talk'd, so very little said,
So wondrous dull, and yet so wondrous vain,
At once so willing, and unfit to reign,
That Reason swore, nor would the oath recall,
Their mighty master's soul inform'd them all.
As one with various disappointments sad,
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 though the sons of Nonsense hail him SIRE
AUDITOR, AUTHOR, MANAGER, and SQUIRE,
His restless soul's ambition stops not there,
To make his triumphs perfect, dub him PLAYER.
In person tall, a figure form'd to please;
If symmetry could charm, depriv'd of ease;
When motionless he stands, we all approve;
What pity 'tis the thing was made to move.
His voice, in one dull, deep, unvaried sound,
Seems to break forth from caverns under ground
From hollow chest the low sepulchral note
Unwilling heaves, and struggles in his throat.
Could authors butcher'd give an actor grace,
All must to him resign the foremost place.
When he attempts, in some one fav'rite part,
To ape the feelings of a manly heart,
His honest features the disguise defy,
And his face loudly gives his tongue the lie.
Still in extremes, he knows no happy mean,
Or raving mad, or stupidly serene.
In cold-wrought scenes the lifeless actor flags,
In passion, tears the passion into rags.
Can none remember?-Yes-I know all must-
When in the Moor he ground his teeth to dust,
When o'er the stage he Folly's standard bore,
Whilst Common-Sense stood trembling at the door.
How few are found with real talents bless'd,
Fewer with Nature's gifts contented rest.
Man from his sphere eccentric starts astray;
All hunt for fame; but most mistake the way.
Bred at St. Omer's to the shuffling trade,
The hopeful youth a Jesuit might have made,
With various readings stor'd his empty skull,
Learn'd without sense, and venerably dull;
Or, at some banker's desk, like many more,
Content to tell that two and two make four,
His name had stood in CITY ANNALS fair,
And prudent Dullness mark'd him for a mayor.
What then could tempt thee, in a critic age,
Such blooming hopes to forfeit on a stage?
Could it be worth thy wondrous waste of pains
To publish to the world thy lack of brains?
Or might not Reason e'en to thee have shown
Thy greatest praise had been to live unknown?
Yet let not vanity, like thine, despair:
Fortune makes Folly her peculiar care.
Who aim'd at wit, though, level'd in the dark
The random arrow seldom hit the mark,
At Islington, 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 summer months to cheer,
And spin out happy folly through the year.
But think not, though these dastard chiefs are fled
That Covent-Garden troops shall want a head:
Harlequin comes their chief!-See from afar,
The hero seated in fantastic car!
Wedded to Novelty, his only arms
Are wooden swords, wands, talismans, and charms;
On one side Folly sits, by some call'd Fun,
And on the other, his arch-patron, Lun.
Behind, for liberty athirst in vain,
Sense, helpless captive, drags the galling chain
A vacant throne high-plac'd in Smithfield view, Six rude misshapen beasts the chariot draw,
To sacred Dullness and her first-born due,
Thither with haste in happy hour repair,
Thy birthright claim, nor fear a rival there.
Shuter himself shall own thy juster claim,
And venal Ledgers puff their Murphy's name,
Whilst Vaughan* or Dapper, call him which you
Shall blow the trumpet, and give out the bill.
There rule secure, from critics and from sense,
Nor once shall Genius rise to give offence;
Eternal peace shall bless the happy shore,
And little factions break thy rest no more.
From Covent-Garden crowds promiscuous go,
Whom the Muse knows not, nor desires to know.
Vet'rans they seem'd, but knew of arms no more
Than if, till that time, arms they never bore:
Like Westminster militia train'd to fight,
They scarcely knew the left hand from the right.
Asham'd among such troops to show the head,
Their chiefs were scatter'd, and their heroes fled.
Sparks at his glass sat comfortably down
To sep'rate frown from smile, and smile from frown;
Smith, the genteel, the airy, and the smart,
Smith was just gone to school to say his part;
Ross (a misfortune which we often meet)
Was fast asleep 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 sounds,
Who wantonly transgresses Nature's bounds,
Whose acting's hard, affected, and constrain'd,
Whose features, as each other they disdain'd,
At variance set, inflexible and coarse,
Ne'er know the workings of united force,
Ne'er kindly soften to each other's aid,
Nor show the mingled pow'rs of light and shade,
No longer for a thankless stage concern'd,
To worthier thoughts his mighty genius turn'd,
Harangu'd, gave lectures, made each simple elf
Almost as good a speaker as himself;
Whilst the whole town, mad with mistaken zeal,
An awkward 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 nonsense, or put in.
Whom Reason lothes, and Nature never saw;
Monsters, with tails of ice, and heads of fire;
Gorgons, and Hydras, and Chimeras dire.
Each was bestrode by full as monstrous wight,
Giant, Dwarf, Genius, Elf, Hermaphrodite.
The town, as usual, met him in full ery ;
The town, as usual, knew no reason why.
But Fashion so directs, and moderns raise
On Fashion's mouldering base their transient praise.
Next, to the field a band of females draw
Their force; for Britain owns no Salique law:
Just to their worth, we female rights admit,
Nor bar their claim to empire or to wit.
First, giggling, plotting chamber-maids arrive,
Hoydens and romps, led on by gen'ral Clive.
In spite of outward blemishes, she shone
For humor fam'd, and humor all her own.
Easy, as if at home, the stage she trod,
Nor sought the critic's praise, nor fear'd his rod
Original in spirit and in ease,
She pleas'd by hiding all attempts to please.
No comic actress ever yet could raise,
On Humor's base, more merit or more praise.
With all the native vigor of sixteen,
Among the merry troop conspicuous seen,
See lively Pope advance in jig and trip,
Corinna, Cherry, Honeycomb, and Snip.
Not without art, but yet to Nature true,
She charms the town with humor just, yet new.
Cheer'd by her promise, we the less deplore
The fatal time when Clive shall be no more.
Lo! Vincent comes-with simple grace array d.
She laughs at paltry arts, and scorns parade.
Nature through her is by reflection shown,
Whilst Gay once more knows Polly for his own.
Talk not to me of diffidence and fear-
I see it all, but must forgive it here.
Defects like these, which modest terrors cause,
From impudence itself extort applause.
Candor and Reason still take Virtue's part:
We love e'en foibles in so good a heart.
Let Tommy Arne, with usual pomp of style,
Whose chief, whose only merit's to compile,
Who, meanly pilfering here and there a bit,
Deals music out as Murphy deals out wit,
Publish proposals, laws for taste prescribe,
And chant the praise of an Italian tribe;
* A gentleman who published, at this juncture, a poem 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 boasted work's call'd national in vain,
If one Italian voice pollutes the strain.
Where tyrants rule, and slaves with joy obey,
Let slavish minstrels pour th' enervate lay;
To Britons far more noble pleasures spring,
In native notes whilst Beard and Vincent sing.
Might figure give a title unto fame,
What rival should with Yates dispute her claim?
But justice may not partial trophies raise,
Nor sink the actress in the woman's praise.
Still hand a hand her words and actions go,
And the heart feels more than the features show:
For, through the regions of that beauteous face,
We no variety of passions trace;
Dead to the soft emotions of the heart,
No kindred softness can those eyes impart;
The brow, still fix'd in Sorrow's sullen frame,
Void of distinction, marks all parts the same.
What's a fine person, or a beauteous face,
Unless deportment gives them decent grace?
Bless'd with all other requisites to please,
Some want the striking elegance of ease;
The curious eye their awkward movement tires;
They seem like puppets led about by wires.
Others, like statues, in one posture 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 strength to all.
This teaches every beauty to unite,
And brings them forward in the noblest light.
Happy in this, behold, amidst the throng,
Stuck 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 Reason buried in the ruin lies.
Nobly disdainful of each slavish art,
She makes her first attack upon the heart:
Pleas'd with the summons, it receives her laws,
And all is silence, sympathy, applause.
But when, by fond ambition drawn aside,
Giddy with praise, and puff'd with female pride,
She quits the tragic scene, and, in pretence
To comic merit, breaks down Nature's fence;
I scarcely can believe my ears or eyes,
Or find out Cibber through the dark disguise.
Pritchard, by Nature for the stage design'd,
In person graceful, and in sense refin'd;
Her art as much as Nature's friend became,
Her voice as free from blemish as her fame,
Who knows so well in majesty to please,
Attemper'd with the graceful charms of ease?
When Congreve's favor'd pantomime to grace,
She comes a captive queen of Moorish race;
When Love, Hate, Jealousy, Despair, and Rage,
With wildest tumults in her breast engage;
Still equal to herself is Zara seen;
Her passions are the passions of a queen.
When she to murder whets the timorous Thane
I feel ambition rush through ev'ry vein;
Persuasion hangs upon her daring tongue,
My heart grows flint, and ev'ry nerve's new-strung
In comedy-" Nay there," cries Critic, "hold,
Pritchard's for comedy too fat and old.
Who can, with patience, bear the grey coquette,
Or force a laugh with overgrown Julett?
With transient gleam of grace, Hart sweeps along. Her speech, look, action, humor, all are just;
If all the wonders of external grace,
A person finely turn'd, a mould of face,
Where, union rare, Expression's lively force
With Beauty's softest magic holds discourse,
Attract the eye; if feelings, void of art,
Rouse the quick passions, and inflame the heart;
If music, sweetly breathing from the tongue,
Captives the ear, Bride must not pass unsung.
When fear, which rank ill-nature terms conceit,
By time and custom conquer'd, shall retreat;
When judgment, tutor'd by experience sage,
Shall shoot abroad, and gather strength from age;
When Heav'n in mercy shall the stage release
From the dull slumbers of a still-life piece;
When some stale flow'r, disgraceful to the walk,
Which long hath hung, though wither'd on the
But then, her age and figure give disgust."
Are foibles then, and graces of the mind,
In real life, to size, or age, confin'd?
Do spirits flow, and is good-breeding plac'd
In any set circumference of waist?
As we grow old, doth affectation cease,
Or gives not age new vigor 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 when the best of actors shall exeeed,
Let it devolve to one of smaller breed.
All actors too upon the back should bear
Certificate of birth ;-time, when ;-place, where.
way,For how can critics rightly fix their worth,
Shall kindly drop, then Bride shall make her
And merit find a passage to the day;
Brought into action, she at once shall raise
Her own renown, and justify our praise.
Form'd for the tragic scene, to grace the stage,"
With rival excellence of love and rage,
Mistress of each soft art, with matchless ski.】
To turn and wind the passions as she will;
To melt the heart with sympathetic woe,
Awake the sigh, and teach the tear to flow;
To put on Frenzy's wild distracted glare,
And freeze the soul with horror and despair;
With just desert enroll'd in endless fame,
Conscious of worth superior, Cibber came
When poor Alicia's madd'ning brains are rack'd, And strongly-imag'd griefs her mind distract:
Unless they know the minute of their birth?
An audience too, deceiv'd, may find too late
That they have clapp'd an actor out of date.
Figure, I own, at first may give offence,
And harshly strike the eye's too curious sense;
But when perfections of the mind break forth,
Humor's chaste sallies, judgment's solid worth;
When the pure genuine flame, by Nature taught,
Springs into sense, and ev'ry action's thought;
Before such merit all objections fly;
Pritchard's genteel, and Garrick's six feet high.
Oft have I, Pritchard, seen thy wondrous skill. Confess'd thee great, but find thee greater stili. That worth, which shone in scatter'd rays before Collected now, breaks forth with double pow'r