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Ogles and leers with artificial skill,
Till, having lost in age the power to kill,
MR. CHARLES LEE LEWES.'
Hold! prompter, hold ! a word before your nonsense ; I'd speak a word or two— to ease my conscience: My pride forbids it ever should be said My heels eclips'd the honors of my head;
' From The Poetical and Dramatic Works, 1780. — This epilogue was spoken by Mr. Lewes at Covent-garden theater, on the occasion of his benefit, the 7th of May, 1773. The play was Lady Jane Grey; the after-piece, Harlequin Sorcerer—a pantomimic entertainment which had been revived with extraordinary success. – Mr. Lewes acted Young Marlow in She Sloops to Conquer; but he was more celebrated as a harlequin, to which character the epilogue is adapted. Mr. Lewes wrote Comic Sketches, and Memoirs of himself. He died in 1803. – Line 18. May rosin'd lightning blast me, if I do! An allusion to the composition of stage-lightning — not a profane imprecation. As Sir Walter Scott observes : “THE WREATH OF GOLDSMITH IS UNSULLIED."
That I found humor in a piebald vest ;
[Takes off his mask.
't was but a dream."
Ay, 't was but a dream — for now there's no retreating ; If I cease Harlequin, I cease from eating. ’T was thus that Æsop's stag—a creature blameless, Yet something vain, like one that shall be namelessOnce on the margin of a fountain stood. And cavild at his image in the flood. “The deuse confound," he cries, “these drum-stick
They never have my gratitude nor thanks;
He bounds aloft, outstrips the fleeting wind;