While deep-struck wonder from applauding bands
Return’d the tribute of as many hands!
Rude were his guests; he never made his bow
To such an audience as salutes us now.
He lack’d the balm of labor, female praise.
Few Ladies in his time frequented plays,
Or came to see a youth with aukward art
And shrill sharp pipe burlesque the woman’s part.
The very use, since so essential grown,
Of painted scenes, was to his stage unknown.
The air-blest castle, round whose wholesome crest,
The martlet, guest of summer, chose her nest—
The forest walks of Arden’s fair domain,
Where Jaques fed his solitary vein.
No pencil’s aid as yet had dared supply,
Seen only by the intellectual eye.
Those scenic helps, denied to Shakspeare’s page,
Our Author owes to a more liberal age.
Nor pomp nor circumstance are wanting here;
’Tis for himself alone that he must fear.
Yet shall remembrance cherish the just pride,
That (be the laurel granted or denied)
He first essay’d in this distinguish’d fane,
Severer muses and a tragic strain.
Spoken by Mr. Liston and Mr. Emery in character
Gosling. False world——
Sampson. You’re bit, Sir.
Boor! what’s that to you?
With Love’s soft sorrows what hast thou to do?
’Tis here for consolation I must look.
(Takes out his pocket book).
Sampson. Nay, Sir, don’t put us down in your black book.
Gosling. All Helicon is here.
Sampson. All Hell.
Did’st never hear of the Pierian God,
And the Nine Virgins on the Sacred Hill?
Sampson. Nine Virgins!—Sure!
Gosling. I have them all at will.
Sampson. If Miss fight shy, then—
Gosling. And my suit decline.
Sampson. You’ll make a dash at them.
Gosling. I’ll tip all nine.
Sampson. What, wed ’em, Sir?
O, no—that thought I banish.
I woo—not wed; they never bring the Spanish.
Their favours I pursue, and court the bays.
Sampson. Mayhap, you’re one of them that write the plays?
I’m told the public’s well-nigh crammed
With such like stuff.