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

    Gosling.  The public may be damned.

    Sampson.  They ha’nt damned you? (inquisitively).

    Gosling.  This fellow’s wond’rous shrewd! 
    I’d tell him if I thought he’d not be rude. 
    Once in my greener years, I wrote a piece.

    Sampson.  Aye, so did I—­at school like—­

    Gosling.  Booby, cease! 
    I mean a Play.

    Sampson.  Oh!

    Gosling.  And to crown my joys,
    ’Twas acted—­

    Sampson.  Well, and how—­

    Gosling.  It made a noise,
    A kind of mingled—­(as if musing).

    Sampson.  Aye, describe it, try.

    Gosling.  Like—­Were you ever in the pillory?

    Sampson.  No, Sir, I thank ye, no such kind of game.

    Gosling.  Bate but the eggs, and it was much the same. 
    Shouts, clamours, laughs, and a peculiar sound,
    ’Like, like—­

    Sampson.  Like geese, I warrant, in a pound. 
    I like this mainly!

    Gosling.  Some began to cough,
    Some cried—­

    Sampson.  Go on—­

Gosling.  A few—­and some—­“Go off!” I can’t suppress it.  Gods!  I hear it now; It was in fact a most confounded row.  Dire was the din, as when some storm confounds Earth, sea, and sky, with all terrific sounds.  Not hungry lions sent forth notes more strange, Not bulls and bears, that have been hoaxed on ’Change.

    Sampson.  Exeter ’Change you mean—­I’ve seen they bears.

Gosling.  The beasts I mean are far less tame than theirs.  Change Alley Bruins, nattier though their dress, Might at Polito’s study politesse.  Brief let me be.  My gentle Sampson, pray, Fight Larry Whack, but never write a play.

Sampson.  I won’t, Sir:  and these christian souls petition,
To spare all wretched folks in such condition.

EPILOGUE TO AN AMATEUR PERFORMANCE OF “RICHARD II.”

(1824)

Of all that act, the hardest task is theirs,
Who, bred no Players, play at being Players;
Copy the shrug—­in Kemble once approved;—­
Mere mimics’ mimics—­nature twice removed. 
Shades of a shadow! who but must have seen
The stage-struck hero, in some swelling scene
Aspiring to be Lear—­stumble on Kean? 
The admired actor’s faults our steps betray,—­
No less his very beauties lead astray!

      In “sad civility” once Garrick sate
      To see a Play, mangled in form and state;
      Plebeian Shakspeare must the words supply,—­
      The actors all were Fools—­of Quality. 

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