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foremost rank of tragic authors. The truth seems to be, that the theatre is affected by the change of fashion, which, among other caprices, has assigned late and irregular hours as a test of its votaries adherence to its dictates. Thus, unless on particular nights, the greater part of the audience is composed of persons whose day has been spent in fatiguing occupation, and whose state of mind, not to mention their general taste, seeks relaxation, rather in the amusement of comedy, than from the graver efforts of the tragic author. It were well if this were all. But women of the higher rank, whose taste used formerly to have much influence upon the amusements of the drama, cannot, in the present state of our theatres, easily visit them, without many and inconvenient precautions. A large portion of the house is avowedly abandoned to females of the worst description, whose numbers enable them to outrage decency with insolence and impunity, and to exhibit scenes much fitter for the haunts of low debauchery, than for a place of polished amusement. Late incidents also lead us to complain, that the slightest infraction of the rights of the public, real or supposed, leads to the repetition of tremendous remedies, which irresistibly remind us of the peasant in the fable, who called a squire and a pack of hounds into his garden, to chace out a poor hare, who had eat some of his cabbages. Until the natural good sense of an English audience find some remedy for these growing evils, the taste for this delightful art must become daily more corrupt and degraded. Meanwhile, the Editors may claim some merit, for furnishing the adınirers of the drama with an opportunity of deriving from its master-pieces that amusement in their closet, which is now too unfrequently offered to them upon the stage, which GARRICK once trode, and which stiú boasts of SIDDONS.
AU for Love.............. ............DRYDEN,...
Isabella,............... ........... SOUTHERN,............................1694, 1758
TWO NOBLE KINSMEN.
SHAKESPEARE AND FLETCHER.
(Flourish. “ From me the witless chaff of such a writer, New plays and maidenheads are near akin ; “ That blasts my bays, and my famed works makes Much'followed both, for both much money gi'n, lighter If they stand sound and well: and a good play “ Than Robin Hood !” This is the fear we bring; (Whose modest scenes blush on his marriage-day, For, to say truth, it were an endless thing, And shake to lose his honour) is like her And too ambitious, to aspire to him. , That after holy tie, and first night's stir, Weak as we are, and almost breathless swim Yet still is modesty, and still retains
In this deep water, do but you hold out More of the maid to sight, than husband's pains. Your helping hands, and we shall tack about, We pray our play may be so; for I'm sure And something do to save us ; you shall hear It has a noble breeder, and a pure,
Scenes, though below his art, may yet appear A learned, and a poet never went
Worth two hours travel. To his bones sweet More famous yet 'twixt Po, and silver Trent:
sleep! Chaucer (of all admired) the story gives; Content to you !-If this play do not keep There constant to eternity it lives!
A little dull time from us, we perceive If we let fall the nobleness of this,
Our losses fall so thick, must needs leave. And the first sound this child hear be a hiss,
(Flourish. How will it shake the bones of that good man, And make him cry from under-ground, “Oh, fan
HIPPOLITA, Bride to Theseus.
i The two Noble Kinsmen, in love EMiLiA, her Sister.
Jailor's Daughter, in love witlo Palamon.
Servant to Emilia.
Nymphs, Wenches, 8c.
A Taborer, Countrymen, Soldiers, 8c.
TWO NOBLE KINSMEN.
Enter three Queens, in black, with veils stained,
with imperial crowns. The first Queen falls Enter HYMEN with a torch burning ; a Boy, in a down at the feet of Theseus; the second falls
white robe, before, singing, and strewing flow- down at the foot of HIPPOLITA ; the third beers; after HYMEN, a Nymph, encompassed in
fore Emilia her tresses, bearing a wheaten garland; then THESEUS, between two other Nymphs, with i Queen. For pity's sake, and true gentility's, wheaten chaplets on their heads; then HIPPO- Hear and respect me! LITA, led by PERITHOUS, and another holding 2 Queen. For your mother's sake, a garland over her head, her tresses likewise And as you wish your womb may thrive with fair hanging; after her, EMILIA, holding up her
Hear and respect me!
3 Queen. Now for the love of him whom Jove SONG.
The honour of your bed, and for the sake
For us, and our distresses ! This good deed
Shall raze you out o'the book of trespasses Maiden-pinks, of odour faint ;
All you are set down there.
Thes. Sad lady, rise.
Hipp. Stand up.
Emi. No knees to me! What woman I Primrose, first-born child of Ver,
May sted, that is distressed, does bind me to her. Merry spring-time's harbinger,
Thes. What's your request ? Deliver you, for all. With her bells dim;
i Queen. We are three Queens, whose soveOxlips in their cradles growing,
reigns fell before Marigolds on death-beds blowing,
The wrath of cruel Creon ; who endured
The beaks of ravens, talons of the kites,
And pecks of crows, in the foul fields of Thebes. All dear Nature's children sweet,
He will not suffer us to burn their bones, Lye 'fore bride and bridegroom's feet, To urn their ashes, nor to take the offence
Blessing their sense! (Strew flowers. Of mortal loathsomeness from the blest eye Not an angel of the air,
Of holy Phæbus, but infects the winds Bird melodious, or bird fair,
With stench of our slain lords. Oh, pity, duke ! Be absent hence !
Thou purger of the earth, draw thy feard sword,
That does good turns to the world; give us the The crow, the slanderous cuckoo, nor
bones The boding raven, nor chough hoar, Of our dead kings, that we may chapel them! Nor chatt'ring pie,
And, of thy boundless goodness, take some note, May on our bridehouse perch or sing, That for our crowned heads we have no roof Or with them any discord bring,
Save this, which is the lion's and the bear's, But from it fly!
And vault to every thing!