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SPOKEN BY MR. LEE LEWES, IN THE CHARACTER
OF HARLEQUIN, AT HIS BENEFIT.
Hold! prompter, hold! a word before your
nonsense ; I'd speak a word or two, to ease my conscience. My pride forbids it ever should be said, My heels eclips'd the honours of my head; That I found humour in a piebald vest, Or ever thought that jumping was a jest.
[Takes off his mask. Whence and what art thou, visionary birth ? Nature disowns, and reason scorns, thy mirth; In thy black aspect every passion sleeps, The joy that dimples, and the woe that weeps. How hast thou fill'd the scene with all thy
brood, Of fools pursuing, and of fools pursu'd! Whose ins and outs no ray of sense discloses, Whose only plot it is to break our noses ; Whilst from below the trap-door demons rise, And from above the dangling deities.
And shall I mix in this unhallow'd crew ?
-soft—'twas but a dream.' Aye, 'twas but a dream, for now there's no re
treating : If I cease Harlequin, I cease from eating. 'Twas thus that Æsop's stag, a creature blame
less, Yet something vain, like one that shall be
nameless, Once on the margin of a fountain stood, And cavill'd at his image in the flood. “The dense confound,' he cries, these drum.
stick shanks, They neither have my gratitude nor thanks : They're perfectly disgraceful! strike me dead! But for a head, -yes, yes, I have a head. How piercing is that eye! how sleek that
brow! My horns! I'm told, horns are the fashion
now.' Whilst thus he spoke, astonish'd to his view, Near, and more near, the hounds and huntsman
Hoicks ! hark forward ! came thundering from
behind; He bounds aloft, outstrips the fleeting wind : He quits the woods, and tries the beaten ways; He starts, he pants, he takes the circling maze. At length his silly head, so priz'd before, Is taught his former folly to deplore ; Whilst his strong limbs conspire to set him free, And at one bound he saves himself, like me.
[Taking a jump through the stage door.
FROM THE ORATORIO OF THE CAPTIVITY.
The wretch condemn’d with life to part,
Still, still on hope relies ;
Bids expectation rise.
Adorns and cheers the way:
Emits a brighter ray.
I send you a small production of the late Dr. Goldsmith, which has never been published, and which might perhaps have been totally lost, had I not secured it. He intended it as a song in the character of Miss Hardcastle, in his admirable comedy of 'She Stoops to Conquer,' but it was left out, as Mrs. Bulkley, who played the part, did not sing. He sung it himself, in private companies, very agreeably. The tune is a pretty Irish air, called The Humours of Balamagairy,' to which he told me he found it very difficult to adapt words: but he has succeeded very happily in these few lines. As I could sing the tune, and was fond of them, he was so good as to give me them, about a year ago, just as I was leaving London, and bidding him adieu for that season, little apprehending that it was a last farewell. I preserve this little relic, in his own hand-writing, with an affectionate care.
I am, Sir,
INTENDED TO HAVE BEEN SUNG IN THE COMEDY
OF 'SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER.'
Au me! when shall I marry me?
ON A BEAUTIFUL YOUTH
STRUCK BLIND BY LIGHTNING.
(Imitated from the Spanish) SURE 'twas by Providence design'd,
Rather in pity than in hate,