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The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 324 pages of information about The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb Volume 4.

    Art.  IV.

      “Whereas their Lords Commissioners (the church)
      Do strictly authorise the right of search: 
      As always practis’d—­you’re to understand
      By these what articles are contraband;
      Guns, mortars, pistols, halberts, swords, pikes, lances,
      Ball, powder, shot, and the appurtenances. 
      Videlicet—­whatever can be sent
      To give the enemy encouragement. 
      Ogles are small shot (so the instruction runs),
      Touches hand grenades, and squeezes rifle guns.”

    Art.  V.

      “That no free-bottom’d neutral waiting maid
      Presume to exercise the carrying trade: 
      The prohibition here contained extends
      To all commerce cover’d by the name of Friends. 
      Heaven speed the good ship well”—­and so it ends. 
    Oh with such wholesome jealousies as these
    May Albion cherish his old spouse the seas;
    Keep over her a husband’s firm command,
    Not with too rigid nor too lax a hand. 
    Be gently patient to her swells and throws
    When big with safeties to himself she goes;
    Nor while she clips him in a fast embrace,
    Stand for some female frowns upon her face. 
    But tell the rival world—­and tell in Thunder,
    Whom Nature joined, none ere shall put asunder.

PROLOGUE TO COLERIDGE’S TRAGEDY OF “REMORSE”

(1813)

    There are, I am told, who sharply criticise
    Our modern theatres’ unwieldy size. 
    We players shall scarce plead guilty to that charge,
    Who think a house can never be too large: 
    Griev’d when a rant, that’s worth a nation’s ear,
    Shakes some prescrib’d Lyceum’s petty sphere;
    And pleased to mark the grin from space to space
    Spread epidemic o’er a town’s broad face.—­
    O might old Betterton or Booth return
    To view our structures from their silent urn,
    Could Quin come stalking from Elysian glades,
    Or Garrick get a day-rule from the shades—­
    Where now, perhaps, in mirth which Spirits approve,
    He imitates the ways of men above,
    And apes the actions of our upper coast,
    As in his days of flesh he play’d the ghost:—­
    How might they bless our ampler scope to please,
    And hate their own old shrunk up audiences.—­
    Their houses yet were palaces to those,
    Which Ben and Fletcher for their triumphs chose. 
    Shakspeare, who wish’d a kingdom for a stage, }
    Like giant pent in disproportion’d cage, }
    Mourn’d his contracted strengths and crippled rage. }
    He who could tame his vast ambition down
    To please some scatter’d gleanings of a town,
    And, if some hundred auditors supplied
    Their meagre meed of claps, was satisfied,
    How had he felt, when that dread curse of Lear’s

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