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Here ill conditioned oranges abound
(Stage.) And apples, bitter apples strew the ground:
(Tasting them.) The inhabitants are cannibals I fear: I heard a hissing—there are serpents here! O, there the people are—best keep my distance; Our captain (gentle natives) craves assistance; Our ship's well stor'd—in yonder creek we've laid her, His honour is no mercenary trader. This is his first adventure, lend him aid, And we may chance to drive a thriving trade. His goods, he hopes, are prime, and brought from far, Equally fit for gallantry and war. What, no reply to promises so ample? —I'd best step back, and order up a sample.
EPILOGUE SPOKEN BY MR. LEE LEWES,
IN THE CHARACTER OF HARLEQUIN,
Hold! prompter, hold! a word before your non-
[Takes off his mask.
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 jEsops'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. Hoicks! hark forward! came thundering from behind, He bounds aloft, outstrips the fleeting wind :He quits the woods, and tries the beaten ways;He 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. EPILOGUE TO THE COMEDY OF THE SISTERS.1
What? five long acts—and all to make us wiser!
Lud! what a group the motley scene discloses! False wits, false wives, false virgins, and false
spouses! Statesmen with bridles on; and, close beside'em, Patriots in party-colour'd suits that ride 'em.
1 The Sisters] A comedy by Mrs. Charlotte Lennox, 1769, taken from the authoress's own novel, ' Henrietta.' It was performed only one night. The author of the Biographiu Dramatica says that 'this epilogue is the best that has appeared the last thirty years.'
There Hebes, turn'd of fifty, try once more
parade, Looking, as who should say, dam'me! who's afraid?
[Mimicking. Strip but this vizor off, and sure I am You'll find his lionship a very lamb. Yon politician, famous in debate, Perhaps, to vulgar eyes, bestrides the state; Yet, when he deigns his real shape t' assume, He turns old woman, and bestrides a broom. Yon patriot, too, who presses on your sight, And seems to every gazer all in white, If with a bribe his candour you attack, [black! He bows, turns round, and whip—the man's in Yon critic, too—but whither do I run? If I proceed, our bard will be undone! Well then a truce, since she requests it too: Do you spare her, and I'll for once spare you.