BY DAVID GARRICK, ESQ.1
Enter MR. WOODWARD,2 Dressed in black, and holding a handkerchief to his eyes.
Excuse me, sirs, I pray -- I can't yet speak --
I'm crying now -- and have been all the week!
'Tis not alone this mourning suit, good masters;
I've that within -- for which there are no plasters!
Pray would you know the reason why I'm crying? 5 The Comic Muse, long sick, is now a-dying! And if she goes, my tears will never stop;
For, as a play'r, I can't squeeze out one drop:
I am undone, that's all -- shall lose my bread --
I'd rather, but that's nothing -- lose my head. 10 When the sweet maid is laid upon the bier,Shuter and I shall be chief mourners here.
To her a mawkish drab of spurious breed,
Who deals in sentimentals, will succeed!
Poor Ned3 and I are dead to all intents, 15 We can as soon speak Greek as sentiments! Both nervous grown, to keep our spirits up,
We now and then take down a hearty cup,
What shall we do? -- If Comedy forsake us!
They'll turn us out, and no one else will take us, -- 20 But why can't I be moral? -- Let me try -- My heart thus pressing -- fixed my face and eye --
With a sententious look, that nothing means,
(Faces are blocks in sentimental scenes)
Thus I begin -- All is not gold that glitters, 25Pleasure seems sweet, but proves a glass of bitters.
When ign'rance enters, folly is at hand;
Learning is better far than house and land.
Let not your virtue trip, who trips may stumble,
And virtue is not virtue, if she tumble. 30
I give it up -- morals won't do for me;
To make you laugh, I must play tragedy.
One hope remains -- hearing the maid was ill,
A doctor comes this night to show his skill.
To cheer her heart, and give your muscles motion, 35 He, in five draughts prepared, presents a potion:
A kind of magic charm -- for, be assured,
If you will swallow it, the maid is cured:
But desp'rate the Doctor, and her case is,
If you reject the dose, and make wry faces! 40
This truth he boasts, will boast it while he lives,
No pois'nous drugs are mixed in what he gives.
Should he succeed, you'll give him his degree;
If not, within he will receive no fee!
The college you, must his pretensions back, 45 Pronounce him regular, or dub him quack.