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CHARACTERS OF THE TRAGEDY. LORD BURLEIGH ..
Mr. Moody. GOVERNOR OF TILBURY FORT Mr. Wrighten. EARL OF LEICESTER ..
Mr. Farren. SIR WALTER RALEIGH
Mr. Burton. SIR CHRISTOPHER HATTON
Mr. Waldron. MASTER OF THE HORSE
Mr. Kenny. BEEFEATER
Mr. Wright. JUSTICE
Mr. Packer. SON
Mr. Lamash. CONSTABLE..
Mr. Fawcett. THAMES
Mr. Gawdry. DON FEROLO WHISKERANDOS Mr. Bannister. FIRST NIECE
Miss Collet. SECOND NIECE
Miss Kirby. JUSTICE'S LADY
Mrs. Johnston. CONFIDANT ..
Mrs. Bradshaw. TILBURINA ..
Guards, Constables, Servants, Chorus, Rivers,
BY THE HONOURABLE RICHARD FITZPATRICK.
The sister muses, whom these realms obey,
Who o'er the drama hold divided sway,
Sometimes, by evil counsellors, 't is said,
Like earth-born potentates have been misled.
In those gay days of wickedness and wit,
When Villiers criticised what Dryden writ,
The tragic queen, to please a tasteless crowd,
Had learned to bellow, rant, and roar so loud,
That frightened Nature, her best friend before,
The blustering beldam's company forswore.
Her comic sister, who had wit, 'tis true,
With all her merits, had her failings too;
And would sometimes in mirthful moments use
A style too flippant for a well-bred muse:
Then female modesty abashed began
To see the friendly refuge of the fan,
Awhile behind that slight entrenchment stood,
Till driven from thence, she left the stage for good.
In our more pious, and far chaster times,
These sure no longer are the muse's crimes !
But some complain that, former faults to shun,
The reformation to extremes has run.
The frantic hero's wild delirium past,
Now insipidity succeeds bombast;
So slow Melpomene's cold numbers creep,
Here dulness seems her drowsy court to keep,
And we are scarce awake, whilst you are fast asleep.
Thalia, once so ill-behaved and rude,
Reformed, is now become an arrant prude;
Retailing nightly to the yawning pit
The purest morals, undefiled by wit!
Our author offers, in these motley scenes,
A light remonstrance to the drama's queens:
Nor let the goddesses be over nice;
Free-spoken subjects give the best advice.
Although not quite a novice in his trade,
His cause to-night requires no common aid.
To this, a friendly, just, and powerful court,
I come ambassador to beg support.
Can he undaunted brave the critic's rage?
In civil broils with brother bards engage?
Hold forth their errors to the public eye,
Nay more, e'en newspapers themselves defy?
Say, must his single arm encounter all?
By numbers vanquished, e’en the brave may fall;
And though no leader should success distrust,
Whose troops are willing, and whose cause is just;
To bid such hosts of angry foes defiance,
His chief dependence must be, your alliance.
SCENE I. MR. and MRS. DANGLE at breakfast, and reading newspapers.
Dang. [Reading.] "Brutus to Lord North." "Letter the second on the State of the Army." Psha! "To the first L dash D of the A dash Y." "Genuine Extract of a Letter from St. Kitt's." "Coxheath Intelligence." "It is now confidently asserted that Sir Charles Hardy."-Psha! Nothing but about the fleet and the nation; and I hate all politics but theatrical politics. Where's the Morning Chronicle?
Mrs. D. Yes, that's your gazette.
Dang. So here we have it. "Theatrical intelligence extraordinary. We hear there is a new tragedy in rehearsal at Drury Lane Theatre, called "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