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Nature, in spite of all his skill, crept in:
Horatio, Dorax, Falstaff,-still 'twas Quin.
Next follows Sheridan-a doubtful name,
As yet unsettled in the rank of fame.
This, fondly lavish in his praises grown,
Gives him all merit: that allows him none.
Between them both we'll steer the middle course,
Nor, loving praise, rob judgment of her force.
Just his conceptions, natural and great:

His feelings strong, his words enforc'd with weight.
Was speech-fam'd Quin himself to hear him speak,
`Envy would drive the colour from his cheek:
But step-dame nature, niggard of her grace,
Denied the social pow'rs of voice and face.
Fix'd in one frame of features, glare of eye,
Passions, like chaos, in confusion lie:
In vain the wonders of his skill are tried
To form distinctions nature hath denied.
His voice no touch of harmony admits,
Irregularly deep and shrill by fits:
The two extremes appear like man and wife,
Coupled together for the sake of strife.

His action's always strong, but sometimes such,
That candour must declare he acts too much.
Why must impatience fall three paces back?
Why paces three return to the attack?
Why is the right-leg too forbid to stir,
Unless in motion semicircular?

Why must the hero with the nailor vie,

And hurl the close-clench'd fist at nose or eye?

In royal John, with Philip angry grown,

I thought he would have knock'd poor Davies down.
Inhuman tyrant! was it not a shame,

To fright a king so harmless and so tame?
But, spite of all defects, his glories rise;
And art, by judgment form'd, with nature vies:
Behold him sound the depth of Hubert's soul,
Whilst in his own contending passions roll;
View the whole scene, with critic judgment scan,
And then deny him merit if you can.
Where he falls short, 'tis nature's fault alone;
Where he succeeds, the merit's all his own.

Last Garrick came.-Behind him throng a train Of snarling critics, ignorant as vain.

One finds out-"He's of stature somewhat low"Your hero always should be tall, you know. "True nat❜rál greatness all consists in height." Produce your voucher, critic.-"Sergeant Kite." Another can't forgive the paltry arts

By which he makes his way to shallow hearts;
Mere pieces of finesse, traps for applause-
"Avaunt, unnat'ral start, affected pause."

For me, by nature form'd to judge with phlegm, I can't acquit by wholesale, nor condemn. The best things carried to excess are wrong: The start may be too frequent, pause too long; But, only us'd in proper time and place, Severest judgment must allow them grace.

If bunglers, form'd on imitation's plan, Just in the way that monkeys mimic man,

Their copied scene with mangled arts disgrace,
And pause and start with the same vacant face;
We join the critic laugh; those tricks we scorn,
Which spoil the scenes they mean them to adorn.
But when, from nature's pure and genuine source,
These strokes of acting flow with gen'rous force,
When in the features all the soul's pourtray'd,
And passions, such as Garrick's, are display'd,
To me they seem from quickest feelings caught:
Each start is nature; and each pause is thought.

When reason yields to passion's wild alarms,
And the whole state of man is up in arms;
What but a critic could condemn the play'r,
For pausing here, when cool sense pauses there?
Whilst, working from the heart, the fire I trace,
And mark it strongly flaming to the face;
Whilst, in each sound, I hear the very man;
I can't catch words, and pity those who can.

Let wits, like spiders, from the tortur'd brain Fine-draw the critic-web with curious pain; The gods, a kindness I with thanks must pay,Have form'd me of a coarser kind of clay; Nor stung with envy, nor with spleen diseas'd, A poor dull creature, still with nature pleas'd; Hence to thy praises, Garrick, I agree,

And, pleas'd with nature, must be pleas'd with thee.

Now might I tell, how silence reign'd throughout, And deep attention hush'd the rabble rout! How ev'ry claimant, tortur'd with desire, Was pale as ashes, or as red as fire:



But, loose to fame, the Muse more simply acts,
Rejects all flourish, and relates mere facts.

The judges, as the several parties came, With temper heard, with judgment weigh'd each claim,

And, in their sentence happily agreed,

In name of both, great Shakspeare thus decreed. "If manly sense; if nature link'd with art; "If thorough knowledge of the human heart; "If pow'rs of acting vast and unconfin'd; "If fewest faults with greatest beauties join'd; "If strong expression, and strange pow'rs which lie "Within the magic circle of the eye;

"If feelings which few hearts, like his, can know, "And which no face so well as his can show ; "Deserve the pref'rence;-Garrick, take the chair; "Nor quit it-till thou place an equal there.”


Two boys, whose birth beyond all question springs
From great and glorious, though forgotten, kings,
Shepherds of Scottish lineage, born and bred
On the same bleak and barren mountain's head,
By niggard nature doom'd on the same rocks
To spin out life, and starve themselves and flocks,
Fresh as the morning, which, enrob'd in mist,
The mountain's top with usual dulness kiss'd,

Jockey and Sawney to their labours rose;
Soon clad, I ween, where nature needs no clothes,
Where, from their youth inur'd to winter skies,
Dress and her vain refinements they despise.

Jockey, whose manly high-bon'd cheeks to crown With freckles spotted flam'd the golden down, With mickle art could on the bagpipes play, E'en from the rising to the setting day; Sawney as long without remorse could bawl Home's madrigals, and ditties from Fingal. Oft at his strains, all natural though rude, The Highland lass forgot her want of food, And, whilst she scratch'd her lover into rest, Sunk pleas'd, though hungry, on her Sawney's breast.

Far as the eye could reach, no tree was seen, Earth, clad in russet, scorn'd the lively green. The plague of locusts they secure defy, For in three hours a grasshopper must die. No living thing, whate'er its food, feasts there, But the cameleon, who can feast on air. No birds, except as birds of passage, flew, No bee was known to hum, no dove to coo. No streams as amber smooth, as amber clear, Were seen to glide, or heard to warble here. Rebellion's spring, which through the country ran, Furnish'd, with bitter draughts, the steady clan. No flow'rs embalm'd the air, but one white rose, Which on the tenth of June by instinct blows, By instinct blows at morn, and, when the shades Of drizzly eve prevail, by instinct fades.

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