תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

Forthwith the devil did appear,
(For name him, and he's always near)
Not in the shape in which he plies
At miss's elbow when she lies,
Or stands before the nursery doors,
To take the naughty boy that roars ;
But, without saucer eye or claw,
Like a grave barrister at law.

Hans Carvel, lay aside your grief,'
The devil says; ' I bring relief,
* Relief!' says Hans ;' 'pray let me crave
Your name, sir?'— Satan.'--'Sir, your slave.
I did not look upon your feet;
You'll pardon me-Aye, now I see't.
And pray, sir, when came you from hell?
Our friends there, did you leave them well?
* All well; but, pr’ythee, honest Hans,'
Says Satan, ' leave your complaisance :
The truth is this; I cannot stay
Flaring in sunshine all the day,
For, entre nous, we hellish sprites
Love more the fresco of the nights,
And oft'ner our receipts convey
In dreams, than any other way.
I tell you, therefore, as a friend,
Ere morning dawns your fears shall end :
Go then, this evening, Master Carvel,
Lay down your fowls, and broach your barrel ;
Let friends and wine dissolve your care,
Whilst I the great receipt prepare-
To-night I'll bring it, by my

faith; Believe for once what Satan saith.'

Away went Hans; glad not a little ; Obey'd the devil to a tittle :

Invited friends some half a dozen,
The Colnel and my Lady's cousin.
The meat was serv'd, the bowls were crown'd,
Catches were sung, and healths went round ;
Barbadoes' waters for the close ;
Till Hans had fairly got his dose :
The Coľnel toasted, to the best;
The Dame mov'd off to be undress'd :
The chimes went twelve ; the guests withdrew;
But when, or how, Hans hardly knew :
Some modern anecdotes aver
He nodded in his elbow-chair ;
From thence was carried off to bed;
John held his heels, and Nan his head;
My Lady was disturb'd; new sorrow!
Which Hans must answer for to-morrow,

In bed then view this happy pair,
And think how Hymen triumph'd there:
Hans, fast asleep, as soon as laid,
The duty of the night unpaid ;
The waking Dame, with thoughts oppressid,
That made her hate both him and rest :
By such a husband, such a wife.
'Twas Acme's and Septimeus' life :
The lady sigh’d; the lover snor'd;
The punctual devil kept his word;
Appear'd to honest Hans again,
But not at all by Madam seen ;
And giving him a magic ring,
Fit for the finger of a king,
* Dear Hans,' said he, this jewel take,
And wear it long for Satan's sake;
'Twill do your business to a hair;
For long as you this ring shall wear,

As sure as I look over Lincoln,
That ne'er shall happen which you think on.'

Hans took the ring with joy extreme, (All this was only in a dream) And thrusting it beyond his joint, 6 'Tis done,' he cry'd: “I've gain’d my point.'• What point,' said she, ' you ugly beast ? You neither give me joy nor rest.' 6 'Tis done.'—What's done, you drunken bear? You've thrust your finger knows where!'

212

PROLOGUES AND EPILOGUES.

EPILOGUE TO PHÆDRA.*

SPOKEN BY MRS. OLDFIELD, WHO ACTED ISMENA.

Ladies, to-night your pity I implore
For one who never troubled you before ;
An Oxford-man, extremely read in Greek,
Who from Euripides makes Phædra speak,
And comes to Town to let us Moderns know
How women lov'd two thousand years ago.

If that be all, said I, e'en burn your play;
I'gad! we know all that as well as they :
Show us the youthful, handsome charioteer,
Firm in his seat, and running his career,
Our souls will kindle with as generous flames
As e'er inspir'd the ancient Grecian dames;
Every Ísmena would resign her breast,
And every dear Hippolytus be bless'd.

But as it is, six flouncing Flanders mares
Are e'en as good as any two of theirs ;
And if Hippolytus can but contrive
To buy the gilded chariot, John can drive.

Now of the bustle you have seen to-day,
And Phædra's morals in this scholar's play,
Something at least in justice should be said ;
But this Hippolytus so fills one's head-
Well! Phædra liv'd as chastely as she could,
For she was Father Jove's own flesh and blood.
Her awkward love, indeed, was oddly fated;
She and her Poly were too near related;

* Phædra and Hippolytus, a tragedy, written by Mr. Edmund Smith.

And yet that scruple had been laid aside,
If honest Theseus had but fairly died :
But when he came, what needed he to know
But that all matters stood in statu quo?
There was no harm, you see; or grant there were,
She might want conduct, but he wanted care.
'Twas in a husband little less than rude,
Upon his wife's retirement to intrude
He should have sent, a night or two before,
That he would come exact at such an hour;
Then he had turn'd all tragedy to jest,
Pound every thing contribute to his rest,
The piquet-friend dismiss'd, the coast all clear,
And spouse alone, impatient for her dear.

But if these gay reflections come too late
To keep the guilty Phædra from her fate ;
If your more serious judgment must condemn
The dire effects of her unhappy flame;
Yet, ye chaste matrons, and ye tender fair,
Let love and innocence engage your care ;
My spotless flames to your protection take,
And spare poor Phædra for Ismena's sake.

EPILOGUE TO LUCIUS.*

SPOKEN BY MRS. HORTON.

The female Author who recites to-day,
Trusts to her sex the merit of her play.
Like Father Bays, securely she sits down:
Pit, box, and gallery, Gad! all's our own.

* Lucius, the first Christian King of Britain, a tragedy, written by Mrs. Manley.

« הקודםהמשך »