Spoken by Mr. Garrick.
[This Epilogue first appeared in the Second Edition, O2, London: Paul Vaillant, 1743.]
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 Abigail, 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.10 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 dangerous, I assure you,
Keep warm, and repetatur haustus, Sir, will cure you."20 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 humor, 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:
They too will fib a little entre nous.
"Lord!" says the prude (her face behind her fan)