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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. 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,
Behind came King.-Bred up in modest lore,
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,
Woodward, endow'd with various tricks of face,
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,
By turns transform'd into all kind of shapes, Constant to none, Foote laughs, cries, struts, and
Doth a man stutter, look a-squint, or halt ?
Shadows behind of Foote and Woodward came;
When a dull copier simple grace neglects,
By Nature form'd in her perversest mood,
Some errours, 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?