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The monarch quits his throne, and condescends
Humbly to court the favour of his friends ;
For pity's fake 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 affume;
In pompous itrain fight o'er th' extinguish'd war,
And shew where honour bled in ev'ry scar:
But tho' 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 ;
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 foon;
And of Roast Beef they only know the tune :
But what they have, they give ; could Clive do more,
Tho' 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 felf-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 rụns sev'ral ways, As passion, humour, int'reft, party fways. 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 diftaste,
From galleries loud peals of laughter roll,
And thunder Shuter's praises--he's so droll.-
Embox'd, the ladies must have something smart;
Palmer! O Palmer tops the janty part !
Seated in pit, the dwarf with aching eyes
up, and vows that Barry's out of size ;
Whilft to fix feet the vig'rous stripling grown,
Declares that Garrick is another Coan.
When place of judgment is by whim fupply'd,
And our opinions have their rise in pride ;
When, in discoursing on each mimick elf,
We praise and cenfure 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 'twas known,
He ficken'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 pilföring wits declar'd,
Whilft Folly clapp'd her hands, and Wisdom ftar'd.
To mischief train'd, e'en from his mother's womb,
Grown old in fraud, tho? yet in manhood's bloom;
Adopting arts by which gay villains rise,
And reach the heights which honeft men despise ;
Mute at the bar, and in the senate loud;
Pull ʼmongst the dullest, proudest of the proud;
A pert, prim prater, of the northern race,
Guilt in his heart, and famine in his face,
1 Stood forth --and thrice he wav'd his lily hand, And thrice he twirl'd his tye, thrice frok'd his band.
At Friendship's call,' (thus oft, with trait'rous aim, 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: • Bút left, transfus'd, the spirit fhould be loft, • That spirit which, in storms.of rhet'rick tofsid, • Bounces about, and flies like bottled beer, • In his own words his own intentions hear.
“ Thanks to iny friends--but, to vile fortunes born, “ No robes of fur these shoulders must adorn. · “ Vain your applause, no aid from thence I draw; “ Vain all my wit, for what is wit in law!
go “ Twice, (curs'd remembrance !) twice i trove to gain “ Admittance 'mongst the law-instructed train, « Who in the Temple and Gray's Inn prepare, “ For clients wretched feet, the legal fnare; “ Dead to those arts which polish and refine,
“ Deaf to all worth, because that worth was mine,
::- Twice did those blockheads (tartle at my name,
“ And foul rejection gave me up to fhame;
“ To laws and lawyers then I bade adieu,
“ And plans of far more lib'ral note pursue.
" Who will, may be a judge my kindling breaft
• Burns for that chair which Rofcius once poffefs’d.
“.Here give your votes, your int'reft here exert;;
“ And let success, for once, attend desert."
With sleek appearance, and with ambling pace, 105
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 pow'rs could call
Into so many shapes, and shine in all ?
Who could fo nobly grace the motley lift,
Actor, Inspector, Doctor, Botanist ?
Knows any one so well-fure no one knows
At once to play, prescribe, compound, compose ?
But Woodward came-Hill flipp'd away,
Melting, like ghosts, before the rising day.
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;
With that smooth fallhood, whose appearance charms,
And reason of each wholesome doubt disarms;
Which to the lowest depths of guile descends,
By vileft means pursues the vileft ende,
Wears friendship’s mák for purpofes of spite,
Fawns in the day, and butchers in the night;
With that malignant envy, which turns pale,
And fickens, even if a friend prevail;
Which merit and fuccess pursues with hate,
And damn's the worth it cannot imitate ;
With the cold caution of a coward's fpleen,
Which fears not guilt, but always seeks a screen;
Which keeps this maxim ever in her view.com
What's bafely done, should be done fafely too →
With that dull, rooted, callous impudence,
Which, dead to fame, and ev'ry nicer' fenfe,
Ne'er bluth'd, anless, in spreading-vice's snares,
She blunder'd ón fome virtue unawares ;
With all these bleffings, which we feldom 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 fimp'ring on; to ascertain whose sex,
Twelve fage impannell'd matrons would perplex ;
Nor male, nor female ; neither, and yet both;
Of neuter gender, tho' of Irish growth;
A fix foot suckling, mincing in it's gait,
Affected, peevith, prim, and delicate!
Fearfu! it seem'd, tho' of athlétick make, +
Left brutal breezes thould too roughly shake
It's tender form, and savage motion spread
O'er it's pale cheeks the horrid manly red.
Much did it talk, in it's own pretty phrase,
Of genius and of taste, of play’rs and plays;
Much too of writing which itself had wrote,
Of special merit, tho' 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 dramatick laws,
Misjudging criticks, and misplac'd applause ;
Then, with a felf-complacent, jutting air,
fmild, it smirk'd, it wriggled to the chair ;
And with an aukward briskness, not it's 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 blafted with her frown,
To it's first state of nothing melted down.
Nor shall the Muse (for even there the pride
Of this vain nothing shall be mortify'd)
Nor fhall 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 :
Let it, to disappoint each future aim,
Live without sex, and die without a name !
Cold-blooded criticks, by enervate fires
Scarce hammer'd out, when Nature's feeble fires
Glimmer'd their last; whose sluggish blood, half-froze,
Creeps lab'ring thro' the veins; whose heart ne'er glows
With fancy-kindled heat--a servile race,
Who in mere want of fault all meric place;