* * * * *
Mr. H—— Mr. Elliston.
BELVIL Mr. Bartley.
LANDLORD PRY Mr. Wewitzer.
MELESINDA Miss Mellon.
MAID TO MELESINDA Mrs. Harlowe.
Gentlemen, Ladies, Waiters, Servants, &c.
PROLOGUE, SPOKEN BY MR. ELLISTON.
If we have sinn’d in paring down
All civil, well-bred authors do the same.
Survey the columns of our daily writers—
You’ll find that some Initials are great fighters.
How fierce the shock, how fatal is the jar,
When Ensign W. meets Lieutenant R.
With two stout seconds, just of their own gizzard,
Cross Captain X. and rough old General Izzard!
Letter to Letter spreads the dire alarms,
Till half the Alphabet is up in arms.
Nor with less lustre have Initials shone,
To grace the gentler annals of Crim. Con.
Where the dispensers of the public lash
Soft penance give; a letter and a dash—
Where Vice reduced in size shrinks to a failing,
And loses half her grossness by curtailing.
Faux pas are told in such a modest way,—
“The affair of Colonel B—— with Mrs. A——”
You must forgive them—for what is there, say,
Which such a pliant Vowel must not grant
To such a very pressing Consonant?
Or who poetic justice dares dispute,
When, mildly melting at a lover’s suit,
The wife’s a Liquid, her good man a Mute?
Even in the homelier scenes of honest life,
The coarse-spun intercourse of man and wife,
Initials I am told have taken place
Of Deary, Spouse, and that old-fashion’d race;
And Cabbage, ask’d by brother Snip to tea,
Replies, “I’ll come—but it don’t rest with me—
I always leaves them things to Mrs. C.”
O should this mincing fashion ever spread
From names of living heroes to the dead,
How would Ambition sigh, and hang the head,
As each loved syllable should melt away—
Her Alexander turn’d into great A——
A single C. her Caesar to express—
Her Scipio shrunk into a Roman S——
And, nick’d and dock’d to these new modes of speech,
Great Hannibal himself a Mr. H——.
A FARCE, IN TWO ACTS.
* * * * *
SCENE.—A Public Room in an Inn. Landlord, Waiters, Gentlemen, &c.
Enter MR. H.
Mr. H. Landlord, has the man brought home my boots?
Landlord. Yes, Sir.
Mr. H. You have paid him?
Landlord. There is the receipt, Sir, only not quite filled up, no name, only blank—“Blank, Dr. to Zekiel Spanish for one pair of best hessians.” Now, Sir, he wishes to know what name he shall put in, who he shall say “Dr.”