Imágenes de página
PDF

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,
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 favour 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 humour, 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 humour 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 errours 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.

fore.

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, embarrassid, 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 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?

« AnteriorContinuar »