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British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan

By George Henry Nettleton; Arthur Eillicot Case | Go to book overview

36For, riding on a cat, from high I'll fall,

And squirt down royal vengeance on you all. 90

FOOD. 37Her majesty the queen is in a passion.

KING. 38Be she, or be she not, I'll to the girl
And pave thy way, O Thumb. -- Now by yourself,
We were indeed a pretty king of clouts

To truckle to her will. -- For when by force 95
Or art the wife her husband overreaches, Give him the petticoat, and her the breeches.

THUMB. 39Whisper ye winds, that Huncamunca's
mine!
Echoes repeat, that Huncamunca's mine!

The dreadful business of the war is o'er, 100
And beauty, heav'nly beauty! crowns my toils! I've thrown the bloody garment now aside,
And hymeneal sweets invite my bride.
So when some chimney-sweeper all the day
Hath through dark paths pursued the sooty way, 105
At night, to wash his hands and face he flies, And in his t'other shirt with his Brickdusta lies.


SCENE IV

GRIZZLE solus.

[GRIZZLE.] 40Where art thou, Grizzle? where are
now thy glories?
Where are the drums that waken thee to honor?
Greatness is laced coat from Monmouth-street,*
Which fortune lends us for a day to wear,

To-morrow puts it on another's back. 5
The spiteful sun but yesterday surveyed His rival high as Saint Paul's cupola;
Now may he see me as Fleet-ditch laid low.


SCENE V

QUEEN, GRIZZLE.

QUEEN. 41Teach me to scold, prodigious-minded
Grizzle.

Mountain of treason, ugly as the devil,
Teach this confounded hateful mouth of mine

To spout forth words malicious as thyself,
Words which might shame all Billingsgate to
speak. 5

GRIZ. Far be it from my pride to think my tongue
Your royal lips can in that art instruct,
Wherein you so excel. But may I ask,
Without offence, wherefore my queen would scold?

QUEEN. Wherefore? Oh! Blood and thunder!

ha'n't you heard 10
(What ev'ry corner of the court resounds) That little Thumb will be a great man made?

GRIZ. I heard it, I confess -- for who, alas!
42Can always stop his ears? -- But would my teeth,

By grinding knives, had first been set on edge! 15

QUEEN. Would I had heard, at the still noon of night,
The hallaloo of fire in every street!
Odsbobs! I have a mind to hang myself,
To think I should a grandmother be made

By such a rascal! -- Sure the king forgets 20
When in a pudding, by his mother put, The bastard, by thinker, on a stile
Was dropped. -- O, good lord Grizzle! can I bear
To see him from a pudding mount the throne?
Or can, oh can, my Huncamunca bear 25
To take a pudding's offspring to her arms?

GRIZ. O horror! horror! horror cease, my queen.43Thy voice, like twenty screech-owls, wracks my
brain.

QUEEN. Then rouse thy spirit -- we may yet
prevent.
This hated match.

GRIZ. ----- We will;44 not fate itself, 30
Should it conspire with Thomas Thumb, should
cause it
I'll swim through seas; I'll ride upon the clouds;
I'll dig the earth; I'll blow out every fire;

I'll rave; I'll rant; I'll rise; I'll rush; I'll roar;
Fierce as the man whom45 smiling dolphins bore
From the prosaic to poetic shore.
35

I'll tear the scoundrel into twenty pieces.

QUEEN. Oh, no! prevent the match, but hurt
him not;
For, though I would not have him have my daughter,

____________________
*
Known for its old clothes dealers.
36

For, borne upon a cloud, from high I'll fall,
And rain down royal vengeance on you all.

Albion Queens [BANKS].

37
An information very like this we have in the Tragedy of Love [BANKS], where, Cyrus having stormed in the most violent manner, Cyaxares observes very calmly, Why, nephew Cyrus -- you are moved.
38
'Tis in your choice:

Love me, or love me not.
Conquest of Granada.
[Hillhouse notes that this speech is not in Dryden's play.]

39
There is not one beauty in this charming speech but hath been borrowed by almost every tragic writer.
40
Mr Banks has (I wish I could not say to servilely) imitated this of Grizzle in his Earl of Essex:

Where art thou, Essex, &c.

41
The Countess of Nottingham, in the Earl of Essex [BANKS], is apparently acquainted with Dollallolla.
42
Grizzle was not probably possessed of that glue of which Mr. Banks speaks in his Cyrus:

I'll glue my ears to ev'ry word.

43
Screech-owls, dark ravens, and amphibious monster, Are screaming in that voice. Mary Q[ueen] of Scots [BANKS].
44
The reader may see all the beauties of this speech in a late ode, called the Naval Lyric [by Edward Young, published April, 1730].
45
This epithet to a dolphin doth not give one so clear an idea
as were to be wished; a smiling fish seeming a little more diffi-
cult to be imagined than a flying fish. Mr. Dryden is of
opinion that smiling is the property of reason, and that no
irrational creature can smile:

Smiles not allowed to beasts from reason move.

State of Innocence [ DRYDEN].

-585-

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