페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

IO

the fleet and the nation !-and I hate all politics
but theatrical politics.- Where's the Morning

Chronicle ?
Mrs Dang. Yes, that's your Gazette.
Dang. So, here we have it.-[Reads.] 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 20
glad my friend Puff's tragedy is in such forward-
ness.-Mrs Dangle, my dear, you will be very

glad to hear that Puff's tragedy-
Mrs Dang. 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 yourself 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 30
behind you, Mr Dangle?

Dang. Nay, my dear, I was only going to read
Mrs Dang. No, no; you will never read any thing

that's worth listening to. You hate to hear
about your country; there are letters every day
with Roman signatures, demonstrating the cer-
tainty of an invasion, and proving that the
nation is utterly undone. But you never will
read

any thing to entertain one. Dang. What has a woman to do with politics, Mrs 40

Dangle?
Mrs Dang. And what have you to do with the

theatre, Mr Dangle? Why should you affect
the character of a critic? I have no patience
with you!-Haven't you made yourself the
jest of all your acquaintance by your inter-
ference in matters where

you

have no business? Are you not called a theatrical quidnunc, and

a mock Mæcenas to second-hand authors ? Dang. True; my power with the managers is pretty 50

notorious. But is it no credit to have applica-
tions 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 Dang. 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. Dang. I am sure, Mrs Dangle, you are no loser by 60

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 Fosbrook let
you take places for a play before it is advertised,
and set you down for a box for every new
piece through the season? And didn't my
friend, Mr Smatter, dedicate his last farce to

you at my particular request, Mrs Dangle? Mrs Dang. Yes; but wasn't the farce damned, 70

Mr Dangle? And to be sure it is extremely
pleasant to have one's house made the motley
rendezvous of all the lackeys of literature ; the
very high 'Change of trading authors and
jobbing critics ?—Yes, my drawing-room is an
absolute register office for candidate actors, and
poets without character.—Then to be con-
tinually alarmed with misses and ma'ams pip-
ing hysteric changes on Juliets and Dorindas,
Pollys, and Ophelias ; and the very furniture 80
trembling at the probationary starts and un-

90

provoked rants of would-be Richards and
Hamlets !-And what is worse than all, now
that the manager has monopolized the Opera
House, haven't we the signors and signoras
calling here, sliding their smooth semibreves,
and gargling glib divisions in their outlandish
throats—with foreign emissaries and French
spies, for aught I know, disguised like fiddlers

and figure-dancers ?
Dang. Mercy! Mrs Dangle!
Mrs Dang. And to employ yourself so idly at such

an alarming crisis as this too—when, if you
had the least spirit, you would have been at the
head of one of the Westminster associations-
or trailing a volunteer pike in the Artillery
Ground! But you—o' my conscience, I be-
lieve, if the French were landed to-morrow,
your first inquiry would be, whether they

had brought a theatrical troop with them.
Dang. Mrs Dangle, it does not signify-I say the

stage is the Mirror of Nature, and the actors
are the abstract and brief chronicles of the
time : and pray what can a man of sense study
better?

-Besides, you will not easily persuade
me that there is no credit or importance in

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

being at the head of a band 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 110

refuse. Mrs Dang. Ridiculous ! Both

managers and authors of the least 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. Dang. Very well, madam-very well !

Enter Servant.
Ser. Mr Sneer, sir, to wait on you.
Dang. Oh, show Mr Sneer up.--[Exit Servant.]

Plague on’t, now we must appear loving and

affectionate, or Sneer will hitch us into a story. Mrs Dang. With all my heart; you can't be more

ridiculous than you are.
Dang. You are enough to provoke-

Enter Sneer.
Ha! my dear Sneer, I am vastly glad to see
you.--My dear, here's Mr Sneer.

I 20

« 이전계속 »