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May true glory stil wave her bright banners around, Still with fame, pow'r, and freedom, old England be
REMARKS. TICKELL, Sheridan's brother-in-law, is said to have been the Author of this piece; but as it is usualy ascı ibed to the latter, we have chosen to insert it in his works. It is not calculated to advance the credit of either Author: and so many abortive attempts at wit will not be found, in any other part of the present volume, as in that filled by 'The Camp.'
ACT I. SCENE I.-Breakfast table, with coffee-equipage ,
two chairs, Mr. and MRS. DANGLE, discovered at breakfast, reading newspapers.
Dan [Reading.] Pshaw!—Nothing but politicsand I hate all politics but theatrical politics,-Where's the Morning Chronicle?
Mrs. D. Yes, that's your Gazette.
extraordinary.'--'We hear there is a new tragedy in rehearsal at Drury Lane Theatre, call'd the “Spanish Armada,” said to be written by Mr. Puff, a gentleman well known in the theatrical world : if we may allow ourselves to give credit to the report of the performers, who, truth to say, are in general but indifferent judges, this piece abounds with the most striking and received beauties of modern composition.'—So I am very glad my friend Puff's tragedy is in such forwardness.Mrs. Dangle, my dear, you will be very glad to hear that Puff's tragedy
Mrs. Dan. Lord, Mr. Dangle, why will you plague me about such nonsense ?—Now the plays are begun I shall have no peace.—Isn't it sufficient to make self ridiculous by your passion for the theatre, without continually teasing me to join you? Why can't you ride your hobby-horse without desiring to place me on a pillion behind you, Mr. Dangle? Dan. Nay, my dear, I was
only going to readMrs. D. No, no, you will never read any thing that's worth listening to :-haven't you made yourself the jest of all your acquaintance by your interference in matters where you have no business? Are you not call'd a theatrical Quidnunc, and a Mock Mecænas to second-hand authors ?
Dan. True; My power with the managers is pretty notorious; but is it no credit to have applications from all quarters for my interest ?-From lords to recommend fiddlers, from ladies to get boxes, from authors to get answers, and from actors to get engagements.
Mrs. D. Yes, truly ; you have contrived to get a share in all the plague and trouble of theatrical property, without the profit, or even the credit of the abuse that attends it.
Dan. I am sure, Mrs. Dangle, you are no loser by it, however; you have all the advantages of it:mightn't you last winter, have had the reading of the new Pantomime a fortnight previous to its performance? And doesn't Mr. Notter let you take places for a play before it is advertis'd, and set you down for a box for every new piece through the season ? And did'nt my friend, Mr. Smatler, dedicate his last farce to you at my particular request, Mrs. Dangle ?
Mrs.D [Rising.] Yes, but wasn't the farce damn’d, Mr. Dangle ? And to be sure it is extremely pleasant, lo have one's house made the motley rendezvous of all the lackeys of literature.
Dan. Mrs. Dangle, Mrs. Dangle, you will not easily persuade me that thcre is no credit or importance in being at the head of a hand of critics , who take upon them to decide for the whole town, whose opinion and patronage all writers solicit, and whose recommendation no manager dares refuse !
Mrs. D. Ridiculous !-Both managers and authors of the last merit laugh at your pretensions. The public is their Critic-without whose fair approbation they know no play can rest on the stage, and with whose applause they welcome such attacks as yours, and laugh at the malice of them, where they can't at the wit Dan. Very well, Madam --very well.
Dan. O, shew Mr. Sneer up. [Ěxit SERVANT.]Plague on't, now we must appear loving and affectionate, or Sneer will hitch us into a story.
Mrs. D. With all my heart; you can't be more ridiculous than you are. Dan. You are enough to provoke
Enter MR. SNEER. -Ha! my dear Sneer, I am vastly glad to see you. My dear, here's Mr. Sneer; Mr. Sneer, my dear; my dear, Mr. Sneer.
Mrs. D. Good morning to you, sir.
Dun. Mrs. Dangle and I have been diverting ourselves with the papers.—Pray, Sneer, won't you go to Drury-lane Theatre the first night of Puff's tragedy ?
Sneer. Yes; but I suppose one shan't be able to get
in, for on the first night of a new piece they always fill the house with orders to support it. But here, Dangle, I have brought you two pieces, one of which you must exert yourself to make the managers accept, i can tell you that, for 'tis written by a person of consequence.
[Gives Dangle iwo manuscripts. Dan [Reading.] Bursts into tears, and exit.' What, is this a tragedy?
Sneer. No, that's a genteel comedy, not a translalion-only taken from the French; it is written in a style which they have lately tried to run down; the true sentimental, and nothing ridiculous in it from the beginning to the end.
Mrs. D. Well, if they had kept to that, I should not have been such an enery to the stage: there was some edification to be got from those pieces , Mr. Sneer.
Sneer. I am quite of your opinion, Mrs. Dangle.
Dan. [Looking at the other MS ] But what have we here ?—This seems a very odd
Sneer. O, that's a comedy, on a very new plan; replete with wit and mirth, yet of a most serious moral! You see it is called 'The Reformed Housebreaker;' where, by the mere force of humour housebreaking is put into so ridiculous a light, that if the piece has its proper run, I have no doubt but that bolts and bars will be entirely useless by the end of the season.
Dan. Egad, this is new, indeed !
Sneer. Yes; it is written by a particular friend of mine, who has discovered that the follies and foibles of society are subjects unworthy notice of the Comic Muse, who should be taught to sloop only at the greater vices and blacker crimes of humanitygibbetting capital offences in five acts, and pillorying petty larcenies in two.-In short, his idea is to dramalize the peral laws, and make the stage a court of ease to the Old Bailey.
Dan. That is to unite poetry and justice indeed!