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By inscribing this slight performance to you, I do
not mean so much to compliment you as myself. It may do me some honor to inform the public, that I have lived many years in intimacy with you. It may serve the interests of mankind also to inform them, that the greatest wit may be found in a character, without impairing the most unaffected piety.
I have, particularly, reason to thank you for your partiality to this performance. The undertaking a Comedy, not merely sentimental, was very dangerous; and Mr. Colman, who saw this piece in its various stages, always thought it so. However, I ventured to trust it to the public; and, though it was necessarily delayed till late in the season, I have every reason to be grateful. I am,
Enter Mr. WOODWARD, 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?
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.
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 Ned and I are dead to all intents;
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.
But, why can't I be moral ?-Let me try
My heart thus pressing-fix'd 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,
“ Pleasures seem sweet, but prove 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.”
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 shew his skill.
To cheer her heart, and give your muscles motion,
He, in Five Draughts prepar'd, presents a potion ;
A kind of magic charm--for be assur'd,
If you will swallow it, the maid is curd :
But desp'rate the Doctor, and her case is,
If you reject the dose, and make wry faces.!
This truth he boasts, will boast it while he lives;
No pois'nous drugs are mix'd 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,
Pronounce him Regular, or dub him Quack: ·