British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan

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

WRITTEN BY G. COLMAN,1 ESQ.

SPOKEN BY MRS. ABINGTON2

I, who was late so volatile and gay,
Like a trade-wind must now blow all one way,
Bend all my cares, my studies, and my vows,
To one old rusty weathercock -- my spouse!

So wills our virtuous bard -- the motley Bayes35
Of crying epilogues and laughing plays!

Old bachelors, who marry smart young wives,
Learn from our play to regulate your lives:
Each bring his dear to town, all faults upon her --

London will prove the very source of honor. 10
Plunged fairly in, like a cold bath it serves,
When principles relax, to brace the nerves.

Such is my case; -- and yet I might deplore
That the gay dream of dissipation's o'er;

And say, ye fair, was ever lively wife, 15
Born with a genius for the highest life, Like me untimely blasted in her bloom,
Like me condemned to such a dismal doom?
Save money -- when I just knew how to waste it!
Leave London -- just as I began to taste it! 20
Must I then watch the early crowing cock,
The melancholy ticking of a clock;
In the lone rustic hall for ever pounded,
With dogs, cats, rats, and squalling brats surrounded?
With humble curates can I now retire, 25
(While good Sir Peter boozes with the squire,) And at backgammon mortify my soul,
That pants for loo,4 or flutters at a vole?5
Seven's the main!6 Dear sound! -- that must expire,
Lost at hot cockles,7 round a Christmas fire! 30
The transient hour of fashion too soon spent,
Farewell the tranquil mind, farewell content!8 Farewell the plumèd head, the cushioned tête,
That takes the cushion from its proper seat!
That spirit-stirring drum!9 -- card drums I mean, 35
Spadille10 -- odd trick -- pam11 -- basto12 -- king and queen!
And you, ye knockers, that, with brazen throat,
The welcome visitors' approach denote;

____________________
HEADING] Sheridan adds, after Epilogue, 'written by G. Colman. Esqr.'
HEADING] M Spoken by LADY TEAZLE; R Spoken by Mrs. ABINGTONin the character of LADY TEAZLE.
21] M indents Must I, but does not indent l. 7 and l. 13. The present text follows the Crewe MS.
1
George Colman, author of The Jealous Wife.
10
The ace of spades. (See Pope, The Rape of the Lock, Canto iii.)
11
The knave of clubs.
12
The ace of clubs.
2
The original Lady Teazle.
3
Poet, dramatist (from Bayes in The Rehearsal).
4
A favorite eighteenth-century game of cards.
5
Winning all the tricks.
6
In hazard, the caster of the dice 'called his main' by naming a number from five to nine.
7
'A play in which one kneels, and covering his eyes lays his head in another's lap and guesses who struck him.' ( Strutt, Sports and Pastimes.)
8
Lines 32-42 parody Othello's soliloquy, III. iii. 347-357.
9
Fashionable card-party.

-885-

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