The Lying Valet: A Peep behind the Curtain; Or, the New Rehearsal. Bon Ton; Or, High Life above Stairs

By David Garrick; Louise Brown Osborn | Go to book overview
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EPILOGUE,

Spoken by MR. GARRICK.

THAT I'm a lying rogue, you all agree:
And yet look round the world, and you will see How many more, my betters, lie as fast as me. Against this vice we all are ever railing,
And yet, so tempting is it, so prevailing,
You'll find but few without this useful failing. Lady or Abigal, my lord or Will, The lie goes round, and the ball's never still. My lies were harmless, told to show my parts; And not like those, when tongues belie their hearts. In all professions you will find this flaw; And in the gravest too, in physic and in law. The gouty Sergeant cries, with formal pause, "Your plea is good, my friend, don't starve the cause." But when my lord decrees for t'other side, Your costs of suit convince you--that he lied. A doctor comes with formal wig and face, First feels your pulse, then thinks and knows your case. "Your fever's slight, not dang'rous, I assure you, "Keep warm, and repetitur haustus, Sir, will cure you." Around the bed, next day his friends are crying: The patient dies, the doctor's paid for lying. The poet, willing to secure the pit, Gives out, his play has humour, taste and wit: The cause comes on, and, while the judges try, Each groan and catcall gives the bard the lie. Now let us ask, pray, what the ladies do:

-44-

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