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THE REv. CHARLES CHURCHILL.
Tur Rev. CHARLEs CHURCHILL, a poet, once of great repute, was the son of a curate of St. John's Westminster, in which parish he was born in 1731. He received his early education at the celebrated public school in the vicinity, whence he was sent to Oxford; but to this university he was refused admission on account of deficient classical knowledge. Returning to school, he soon closed his further education by an early and imprudent marriage. Receiving holy orders from the indulgence of Dr. Sherlock, he went down to a curacy in Wales, where he attempted to remedy the scantiness of his income, by the sale of cyder; but this expedient only plunged him deeper in debt. Returning to London, he was chosen, on his father's death, to succeed him as curate and lecturer of St. John's. His finances still falling short, he took various methods to improve them; at the same time he displayed an immoderate fondness for theatrical exhibitions. This latter passion caused him to think of exercising those talents which he was conscious of possessing ; and in March, 1761, he published, though anonymously, a view of the excellencies and defects of the actors in both houses, which he entitled “The Rosciad.” It was much admired, and a second edition appeared with the author's
Roscius deceas'd, each high aspiring play'r
Push'd all his int’rest for the vacant chair.
The buskin'd heroes of the mimic stage
No longer whine in love, and rant in rage;
The monarch quits his throne, and condescends
Humbly to court the favour of his friends;
For pity's sake tells undeserv'd mishaps,
And, their applause to gain, recounts his claps.
Thus the victorious chiefs of ancient Rome,
To win the mob, a suppliant's form assume,
In pompous strain fight o'er th' extinguish'd war,
And show where honour bled in ev'ry scar.
But though bare merit might in Rome appear
The strongest plea for favour, 'tis not here;
We form our judgment in another way;
And they will best succeed, who best can pay:
Those, who would gain the votes of British tribes,
Must add to force of merit, force of bribes.
What can an actor give? In ev'ry age
Cash hath been rudely banish'd from the stage;
Monarchs themselves, to grief of ev'ry play'r,
Appear as often as their image there:
name. Churchill was now at once raised from obscurity to eminence; and the Rosciad, which we have selected as his best work, is, in fact, the only one of his numerous publications on which he bestowed due labour. The delineations are drawn with equal energy and vivacity; the language and versification, though not without inequalities, are superior to the ordinary strain of current poetry, and many of the observations are stamped with sound judgment and correct taste.
The remainder of his life, though concurring with the period of his principal fame, is little worthy of notice. He became a party writer, joining with Wilkes and other oppositionists, and employed his pen assiduously in their cause. With this was joined a lamentable defect of moral feeling, exhibited by loose and irregular manners. Throwing off his black suit, he decorated his large and clumsy person with gold lace; and dismissing his wife, he debauched from her parents the daughter of a tradesman in Westminster. His writings at length became mere rhapsodies; and taking a journey to France for the purpose of visiting Mr. Wilkes, then an exile in that country, he was seized with a fever, which put a period to his life on November 4. 1764, at the age of 34.
They can't, like candidate for other seat,
Pour seas of wine, and mountains raise of meat.
Wine ! they could bribe you with the world as soon,
And of roast beef, they only know the tune:
But what they have they give; could Clive do more,
Though for each million he had brought home four?
Shuter keeps open house at Southwark fair,
And hopes the friends of humour will be there;
In Smithfield, Yates prepares the rival treat
For those who laughter love, instead of meat;
Foote, at Old House, for even Foote will be,
In self-conceit, an actor, bribes with tea;
Which Wilkinson at second-hand receives,
And at the New, pours water on the leaves.
The town divided, each runs sev'ral ways,
As passion, humour, int’rest, party sways.
Things of no moment, colour of the hair,
Shape of a leg, complexion brown or fair,
A dress well chosen, or a patch misplac'd,
Conciliate favour, or create distaste.
From galleries loud peals of laughter roll,
And thunder Shuter's praises — he's so droll.
Embor'd, the ladies must have something smart,
Palmer: Oh! Palmer tops the janty part.
Seated in pit, the dwarf, with aching eyes,
Looks up, and vows that Barry's out of size;
Who can — But Woodward came, – Hill slipp'd
Whilst to six feet the vig'rous stripling grown, Declares that Garrick is another Coan. * When place of judgment is by whim supply'd, And our opinions have their rise in pride; When, in discoursing on each mimic elf, We praise and censure with an eye to self; All must meet friends, and Ackman bids as fair In such a court, as Garrick, for the chair. At length agreed, all squabbles to decide, By some one judge the cause was to be try’d; But this their squabbles did afresh renew, Who should be judge in such a trial: – Who? For Johnson some, but Johnson, it was fear'd, Would be too grave; and Sterne too gay appear'd: Others for Francklin voted; but ’t was known, He sicken'd at all triumphs but his own : For Colman many, but the peevish tongue Of prudent Age found out that he was young: For Murphy some few pilf’ring wits declar'd, Whilst Folly clapp'd her hands, and Wisdom star'd. To mischief train'd, e'en from his mother's womb, Grown old in fraud, though yet in manhood’s bloom, Adopting arts, by which gay villains rise, And reach the heights which honest men despise; Mute at the bar, and in the senate loud, Dull 'mongst the dullest, proudest of the proud; A pert, prim, prater of the northern race, Guilt in his heart, and famine in his face, Stood forth : — and thrice he wav'd his lily hand— And thrice he twirl’d his tye – thrice strok'd his band — [aim “At Friendship's call,” (thus oft with trait'rous Men, void of faith, usurp Faith's sacred name) ...At Friendship's call I come, by Murphy sent, Who thus by me developes his intent. But lest, transfus'd, the spirit should be lost, That spirit which in storms of rhet'ric tost, Bounces about, and flies like bottled beer, In his own words his own intentions hear. [born, “Thanks to my friends. – But to vile fortunes No robes of fur these shoulders must adorn. Wain your applause, no aid from thence I draw; Vain all my wit, for what is wit in law 2 Twice (curs'd remembrance () twice I strove to gain Admittance 'mongst the law-instructed train, Who, in the Temple and Gray's Inn, prepare For clients' wretched feet the legal snare; Dead to those arts, which polish and refine, Deaf to all worth, because that worth was mine, Twice did those blockheads startle at my name, And, foul rejection, gave me up to shame. To laws and lawyers then I bad adieu, And plans of far more lib'ral note pursue. Who will may be a judge — my kindling breast Burns for that chair which Roscius once possess'd. Here give your votes, your int’rest here exert, And let success for once attend desert.” With sleek appearance, and with ambling pace, And, type of vacant head, with vacant face, The Proteus Hill put in his modest plea, – “Let Favour speak for others, Worth for me.” — For who, like him, his various powers could call
Melting like ghosts, before the rising day.
f With that low cunning, which in fools supplies, And amply too, the place of being wise, Which Nature, kind, indulgent parent, gave To qualify the blockhead for a knave; [charms, With that smooth falsehood, whose appearance And reason of each wholesome doubt disarms, Which to the lowest depths of guile descends, By vilest means pursues the vilest ends, Wears Friendship's mask for purposes of spite, Fawns in the day, and butchers in the night; With that malignant envy, which turns pale, And sickens, even if a friend prevail, Which merit and success pursues with hate, And damns the worth it cannot imitate; With the cold caution of a coward's spleen, Which fears not guilt, but always seeks a skreen, Which keeps this maxim ever in her view — What's basely done, should be done safely too; With that dull, rooted, callous impudence, Which, dead to shame, and ev'ry nicer sense, Ne'er blush'd, unless, in spreading Vice's snares, She blunder'd on some virtue unawares; With all these blessings, which we seldom find Lavish'd by Nature on one happy mind, A motley figure, of the Fribble tribe, Which heart can scarce conceive, or pen describe, Came simp'ring on; to ascertain whose sex Twelve sage, impanell'd matrons would perplex. Nor male, nor female; neither, and yet both; Of neuter gender, though of Irish growth; A six-foot suckling, mincing in its gait; Affected, peevish, prim, and delicate; Fearful it seem’d, though of athletic make, Lest brutal breezes should too roughly shake Its tender form, and savage motion spread, O'er its pale cheeks, the horrid manly red. Much did it talk, in its own pretty phrase, Of genius and of taste, of play'rs and plays; Much too of writings, which itself had wrote, Of special merit, though of little note; For Fate, in a strange humour, had decreed That what it wrote, none but itself should read; Much too it chatter'd of dramatic laws, Misjudging critics, and misplac'd applause ; Then, with a self-complacent jutting air, It smil'd, it smirk'd, it wriggled to the chair; And, with an awkward briskness not its own, Looking around, and perking on the throne, Triumphant seem’d, when that strange savage dame, Known but to few, or only known by name, Plain Common-Sense appear'd, by Nature there Appointed, with plain Truth, to guard the chair. The pageant saw, and blasted with her frown, To its first state of nothing melted down. Nor shall the Muse (for even there the pride Of this vain nothing shall be mortified) Nor shall the Muse (should Fate ordain her rhymes Fond, pleasing thought ! to live in after-times) With such a trifler's name her pages blot; Known be the character, the thing forgot;
+ This severe character was intended for Mr. Fitzpatrick, a person who had rendered himself re. markable by his activity in the playhouse riots of 1763, relative to the taking half prices. He was
* John Coan, a dwarf, who died in 1764. C.
the hero of Garrick's Fribbleriad. E.
Let it, to disappoint each future aim,
Live without ser, 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
Creeps lab'ring through the veins; whose heart
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 2
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 natives 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 hersway,
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.
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 day before,
Full in the centre of a spacious plain,
On plan entirely new, where nothing vain,
Nothing magnificent appear'd, but Art
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, o No bribes were taken, nor oaths broken here; o No gownmen, partial to a client's cause, o To their own purpose tun'd the pliant laws, -: Each judge was true and steady to his trust, o As Mansfield wise, and as old Foster "just o,
In the first seat, in robe of various dyes, o A noble wildness flashing from his eyes, site Sat Shakspeare. – In one hand a wand he bott, * : For mighty wonders fam'd in days of yore; ** The other held a globe, which to his will o
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"
Next Jonson sat, in ancient learning train',
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 colours drew,
And brought each foible forth to public vie".
The coxcomb felt a lash in ev'ry word, -
And fools, hung out, their brother fools deterr'd
His comic humour kept the world in awe,
And Laughter frighten’d Folly more than Lo".
But, hark —The trumpet sounds, the crowd;"
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. o
First, order came—with solemn step, and * :
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.”
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 vie".
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, Epletire 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, Boliful 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. Toor'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, Ho" vilely “Hark'el Hark’e” grates the car. on active Fancy from the brain is sent, And stands on tip-toe for some wish'd event, late those careless blunders which recall *Pended sense, and prove it fiction all. in characters of low and vulgar mould, Nature's coarsest features we behold, Where, destitute of ev'ry decent grace, manner'd jests are blurted in your face, Yates with justice strict attention draws, Acts truly from himself, and gains applause. But when to please himself, or charm his wife, * aims at something in politer life, When, blindly thwarting Nature's stubborn plan, *treads the stage, by way of gentleman, * down, who no one touch of breeding knows, Looks like Tom Errand dress'd in Clincher's clothes. *d of his dress, fond of his person grown, Laugh'd at by all, and to himself unknown, ** side to side he struts, he smiles, he prates, seems to wonder what's become of Yates. Woodward, endow’d with various tricks of face, master in the science of grimace, From Ireland ventures, fav'rite of the town, *d by the pleasing prospect of renown; **aking Harlequin, made up of whim, * twists, he twines, he tortures ev'ry limb, Pays to the eye with a mere monkey's art, *d leaves to sense the conquest of the heart. * laugh indeed, but on reflection's birth, **onder 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
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-
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 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?
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 'tis 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 humour 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 Humour cast,
For Falstaff fram'd — Himself, the first and last,-
He stands aloof from all–maintains his state,
And scorns, like Scotsmen, 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 malecontents 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 favour keeps such merit down.
But if some man, more hardy than the rest,
Should dare attack these gnallings 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 humour 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 rage
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 Iłeason 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 sist,
At ditor, Author, MANAGER, and squikr,
His restless soul's ambition stops not there,
To make his triumphs perfect, dub him Plav ra.
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 2–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.