« 이전계속 »
Dang. If it succeeds.
Sir Fret. Ay, but with regard to this piece, I think I can hit that gentleman, for I can safely swear he never read it.
Sneer. I'll tell you how you may hurt him more.
Sir Fret. How ?
Sir Fret. Plague on't now, Sneer, I shall take it ill!-I believe you want to take away my character as an author.
Sncer. Then I am sure you ought to be very much obliged to me.
Sir Fret. Hey !-sir !
Sir Fret. Sincerely then-you do like the piece?
Sir Fret. But come now, there must be something that you think might be mended, hey ?Mr. Dangle, has nothing struck you ?
Dang. Why, faith, it is but an ungracious thing, for the most part, to-
Sir Fret. With most authors it is just so indeed; they are in general strangely tenacious! But, for my part, I am never so well pleased as when a judicious critic points out any defect to me; for what is the purpose of showing a work to a friend, if you don't mean to profit by his opinion ? Sneer. Very true.-Why then, though I seriBut I pro
ously admire the piece upon the whole, yet there is one small objection; which, if you'll give me leave, I'll mention.
Sir Fret. Sir, you can't oblige me more.
Sir Fret. Good God! you surprise me!wants incident!
Sneer. Yes; I own I think the incidents are too few.
Sir Fret. Good God ! Believe me, Mr. Sneer, there is no person for whose judgment I have a more implicit deference. test to you, Mr. Sneer, I am only apprehensive that the incidents are too crowded.—My dear Dangle, how does it strike you?
Dang. Really I can't agree with my friend Sneer. I think the plot quite sufficient; and the four first acts by many degrees the best I ever read or saw in my life. If I might venture to suggest anything, it is that the interest rather falls off in the fifth.
Sir Fret. Rises, I believe you mean, sir.
Sir Fret. Yes, yes, you do, upon my soul !it certainly don't fall off, I assure you.—No, no; it don't fall off.
Dang. Now, Mrs. Dangle, didn't you say it struck you in the same light?
Mrs. Dang. No, indeed, I did not.—I did not see a fault in any part of the play, from the beginning to the end.
Sir Fret. Upon my soul, the women are the best judges after all !
Mrs. Dang. Or, if I made any objection, I am sure it was to nothing in the piece; but that I was afraid it was, on the whole, a little too long
Sir Fret. Pray, madam, do you speak as to duration of time; or do you mean that the story is tediously spun out?
Mrs. Dang. O lud ! no.—I speak only with reference to the usual length of acting plays.
Sir Fret. Then I am very happy- very happy indeed—because the play is a short play, a remarkably short play. I should not venture to differ with a lady on a point of taste; but, on these occasions, the watch, you know, is the critic.
Mrs. Dang. Then, I suppose, it must have been Mr. Dangle's drawling manner of reading it to me.
Sir Fret. On, if Mr. Dangle read it, that's quite another affair !—But, I assure you, Mrs. Dangle, the first evening you can spare me three hours and a half, I'll undertake to read you the whole from beginning to end, with the prologue and epilogue, and allow time for the music between the acts.
Mrs. Dang. I hope to see it on the stage next.
Dang. Well, Sir Fretful, I wish you may be able to get rid as easily of the newspaper criticisms as you do of ours.
Sir Fret. The newspapers! Sir, they are the
most villainous-licentious—abominable-infernal-Not that I ever read them
-I make it a rule never to look into a newspaper.
Dang. You are quite right; for it certainly must hurt an author of delicate feelings to see the liberties they take.
Sir Fret. No, quite the contrary! their abuse is, in fact, the best panegyric–I like it of all things. An author's reputation is only in danger from their support.
Sneer. Why that's true—and that attack, now, on you the other day
Sir Fret. What? where?
Dang. Ay, you mean in a paper of Thursday; it was completely ill-natured, to be sure.
Sir Fret. Oh, so much the better.-Ha! ha! ha! I wouldn't have it otherwise.
Dang. Certainly it is only to be laughed at; for
Sir Fret. You don't happen to recollect what the fellow said, do you?
Sncer. Pray, Dangle—Sir Fretful seems a little anxious
Sir Fret. lud, no !-anxious !—not Inot the least.–1-but one may as well hear,
Dang. Sneer, do you recollect?-[Aside to SNEER.] Make out something.
Snoer. [Aside to DANGLE] I will.[Aloud.] Yes, yes, I remember perfectly.
Sir Fret. Well, and pray now—not that it signifies-what might the gentleman say?
Sneer. Why, he roundly asserts that you have not the slightest invention or original genius whatever; though you are the greatest traducer of all other authors living.
Sir Fret. Ha! ha! ha!—very good!
Sneer. That as to comedy, you have not one idea of your own, he believes, even in your commonplace-book-where stray jokes and pilfered witticisms are kept with as much method as the ledger of the lost and stolen office.
Sir Fret. Hla! ha! ha!-very pleasant !
Sneer. Nay, that you are so unlucky as not to have the skill even to steal with tastebut that you glean from the refuse of obscure volumes, where more judicious plagiarists have been before you; so that the body of your work is a composition of dregs and sentiments-like a bad tavern's worst wine.
Sir Fret. Ha! ha!
Sncer. In your more serious efforts, he says, your bombast would be less intolerable, if the thoughts were ever suited to the expression, but the homeliness of the sentiment stares through the fantastic encumbrance of its fine language, like a clown in one of the new uniforms!
Sir Fret. Ha! ha!
Sneer. That your occasional tropes and Howers suit the general coarseness of your