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tion of time; or do you mean that the story is have the skill even to steal with taste;—but that tediously spun out?
you glean from the refuse of obscure volumes, Mrs. D. o Jud! no. I speak only with re- where more judicious plagiarists have been beference to the usual length of acting plays. fore you; so that the body of your work is a
Sir F. Then I am very happy- -very bappy composition of dregs and sediments-like a bad indeed--because the play is a short play, a re- tavern's worst wine, markably short play.--I should not venture to · F. Ha, ha! diller wiil a lady on a point of taste; but, on Sneer. In your more serious efforts, he says, these occasions, the watch, you know, is the critic. your bombast would be less intolerable, if the
Mírs. D. Then, I suppose, it must have been thoughts were ever suited to the expression; but Mr. Dangle's drawliny manner of reading it to me. the homeliness of the sentinient starts through
Sir F. O, if Mr. Dangle read it! that's quite the fantastic incumbrance of its five language, another affair!--but I assure you, Mrs. Dangle, like a clown in one of the new uniforms! the first evening you can spare me three hours Sir F. Ha, ba ! and an half, I'll undertake to read you the whole Sneer. That your occasional tropes and flowers from beginning to end, with the prologue and suit the general coarseness of your stile, as taniepilogue, and allow time for the music between bour sprigs would a ground of linsey-Woolsey; the acts.
while your imitations of Shakespeare resemble Mrs. D. I hope to see it on the stage next. the mimicry of Falstaff's page, and are about as
Dan. Well, Sir Fretful, I wish you may be near the standard of the original. able to get rid as easily of the newspaper
Sir F. Ha! criticisms as you do of ours.
Sneer. In short, that even the finest passages Sir F. The newspapers !-sir, they are the you steal are of no 'service to you; for the most villainous-licentious—abominable in- poverty of your own language prevents their fernal not that I ever read them; no-I assimilating ; so that they lie on the surface, like make it a rule never to look into a newspaper. lumps of marl on a barren moor, encumbe in
Dan. You are quite right; for it certainly what it is not in their power to fertilize ! must hurt an author of delicate feelings to see Sir F. (After great agitation.] Now another the liberties they take.
person would be vexed at this. Sir F. No!-quite the contrary; their abuse Sneer. Oh! but I wouldn't have told you, 1 is, in fact, the best panegyric. Oike it of all only to divert you. things.-An author's reputation is only in danger sir F. I know it-I am diverted-ha, ha, ha! froin their support,
-not the least invention! ha, ha, lia! very Sneer. Why, that's true; and that attack now good !-very good! on you the other day
Sneer. Yes no genius! ha, ha, ha! Sir F. What? where?
Dun. A severe rogue! ha, ba, ba! but you Dan. Aye, you mean in a paper of Thursday; , are quite right, Sir Fretful, never to read such it was completely ill-natured to be sure.
Sir F, O, so much the better-- ha, ha, ha! Sir F. To be sure—for if there is any thing to I wouldn't have it utherwise.
one's praise, it is a foolish vanity to be gratited Dan. Certainly it is only to be laughed at; for, at it; and if it is abuse,—why, one is always
Sir F. You don't happen to recollect what sure to hear of it from one damn'd good-natured the fellow said, do you?
friend or another! Sneer. Pray, Dangle-Sir Fretful seems a little
Enter Servant. anxious
Sir F. O lud, no! Anxious-not I-not the Serv. Sir, there is an Italian gentleman with a Jeast. 1-but one may as well hear, you know. French interpreter, and three young ladies, and
Dan. Sneer, do you recollect !--make out a dozen musicians, who say ihey are sede by something.
(Aside. Lady Rondeau and Mrs. Fuge. Sneer. I will. [To Dangle.) Yes, yes; I re- Dun. Gadso! they come by appointment member perfectly.
Dear Mrs. Dangle, do let them know I'll see Sir F. Well, and pray now-not that it sig- them directly. nifies—what might the gentleman say?
Alrs. D. You know, Mr. Danyle, I shant Snecr. Why, he roundly asserts that you have understand a word they say. not the slightest invention, or original genius, Dan. But you hear there's an interpreter. whatever; though you are the greatest traducer 11rs. D. Well, I'll try to endure their chile of all other authors living.
plaisance till you come. Sir F. IIa, ha, ha ! very good!
Sere. And Mr. Puff, sir, has sent word, that Sncer. That as to comedy, you have not one the last rehearsal is to be this morning, and that idea of your own, he believes, even in your com- he'll call on you presently. mon-place book-where stray jokes, and piltered Dan, That's true; I shall certainly be at witticisms, arekept with as much method as the home. [Erit Servant.] Now, Sir Fretful
, if you ledger of the lost and stolen office.
have a mind to have justice done you in the Bay Sir F. Ha, ha, ha!--very pleasant !
of answer-pgad, Mr. Puff's your man. Sneer. Nay, that you are so unlucky as not to Sir F. Pshaw! sir, why should I wish to have
it answerd, when I tell you I am pleased at it? Mrs. D. Upon my word, sir, I don't under
Dan. True, I had forgot that. But I hope stand you. you are not fretted at what Mr. Sneer
Sig P. La Contessa Rondeau e nostra padrona. Sir F. Zounds! no, Mr. Dangle, don't I tell 3 Daugh. Si, padre, et mi Ladi Fuge. you these things never fret me in the least. Interp. 0!-me interpret.--Madame, ils disDun. Nay, I only thought
ent-in English-qu'ils ont l'honneur d'être proSir F. And let me tell you, Mr. Dangle, 'tis teges de ces dames.—You understund ? damn'd affronting in you to suppose that I am Mrs. D. No, sir,—no understand! hurt, when I tell you I am not. Sneer. But why so warm, Sir Fretful?
Enter Dangle and SNEER. Sir F. Gadslife! Mr. Sneer, you are as ab- Interp. Ah! voici Monsieur Dangle! surd as Dangle; how often must I repeat it to All Ital. A! Signor Dangle ! you, that nothing can vex me but your supposing Mrs. D. Mr. Dangle, here are two very civil it possible for me to mind the damn’d nonsense gentlemen trying to make themselves understood, you have beeu repeating to me! and let me tell and I don't know which is the interpreter. you, if you continue to believe this, you must Dan. Eh bien ! mean to insult me, gentlemen; and then your Interp. Monsieur Dangle-le grand bruit disrespect will affect me no more than the news de vos talents pour la critique et de votre inpaper criticisms; and I shall treat it with exactly terest avec messieurs les directeurs á tous the same calm indifference and philosopbic con- les théatres. tempt; and so your servant.
[Erit. Sig P. Vosignoria flete si famoso par la Sncer. Ha, ha, ha! poor Sir Fretful! now will vostra conoscensa e vostra interessa colla le he go and vent his philosophy in anonymous direttore daabuse of all modern critics and authors; but, Dan. Egad, I think the interpreter is the Dangle, you must get your friend Puff to take hardest to be understood of the two! me to the rehearsal of his tragedy.
Sneer. Why I thought, Dangle, you had been Dan. I'll answer for't; he'll thank you for an admirable linguist! desiring it. But come and help me to judge of Dan. So I am, if they would not talk so this musical family; they are recommended by damn'd fast. people of consequence, I assure you.
Sneer. Well, I'll explain that; the less time Sneer. I am at your disposal the whole morn- we lose in hearing them the better; for that I ing; but I thought you had been a decided critic suppose is what they are broug!ıt here for. in music, as well as in literature.
[SNEER speaks to Sig. Pass.--They sing Dan. So I am; but I have a bad ear. Efaith,
Trios, 8c. Dangle beating out of time. Sneer, though, I am afraid we were a little too severe on Sir Fretful, though he is my friend. Enter Servant, and whispers DaxGLE.
Sneer. Why, 'tis certain, that, unnecessarily Dan. Shew him up. (Exit Servant.] Bravo ! to mortify the vanity of any writer, is a cruelty admirable ! bravissimo! admirablissimo!-ah, which mere dulness never can deserve; but Sneer! where will you find such voices as these where a base and personal malignity usurps the in England? place of literary emulation, the
Sneer. Not easily. neither quarter nor pity.
Dan. But Puff is coming. Signor and little Dan. That's true, egad! though he's my friend. Signoros-obligatissimo!-Sposa Signora Dan
[Erit. glena—Mrs. Dangle, shall I beg you to offer SCENE II.-A Druwing Room, Harpsichord, in the next room.
them some refreshments, and take their address &c. Italian Family, French Interpreter, Mrs. Dangle, and Scrvants, discovered.
[Erit Mrs. DANGLE with the Italians and
Interpreter ceremoniously. Interp. Je dis madame, j'ai l'honneur to in
Enter Servant. troduce et de vous demander votre protection pour le Signor Patticcio Ritornello et pour sa Serv. Mr. Puf, sir. charmante famille.
Dan. My dear Puff. Sig P. Ah! Vosignoria noi vi preghiamo di
Enter Puff. favoritevi colla vostra protezione.
1 Daugh. Vosigniora fatevi questi grazzie. Puff. My dear Dangle, how is it with you? 2 Daugh. Si Signora.
Dan. Mr. Sneer, give me leave to introduce Interp. Madame, me interpret.—C'est à dire Mr. Puff to you. --in Englistıqu'ils vous prient de leur faire Puff. Mr. Sneer is this? sir, he is a gentleman l'honneur
whom I have long panted for the honour of Mrs. D. I say, again gentlemen, I don't un- knowing; a gentleman whose critical talents and derstand a word you say.
transcendant judgmentSig P. Questo Signore spiegheró.
Sneer. Dear sirInterp. Oui- me interpret-Nous avons les Dun. Nay, don't be modest, Sneer, my friend lettres de recommandation pour Monsieur Dan- Puff only talks to you in the stile of his profesSneer. His profession!
Puff. Egad, sir, sheer necessity, the proper Puff. Yes, sir; I make no secret of the trade parent of an art so nearly allied to invention : I follow; among friends and brother authors; you must know, Mr. Sneer, that from the first Danyle knows I love to be frank on the subject, time I tried my band at an advertisement, my and to advertise myself viva voce. I am sir, a success was such, that, for some time after, I practitioner in panegyric, or, to speak more led a most extraordinary life indeed! plainly, a professor of the art of puffing, at your Sneer. How, pray? service, or any body else's.
Puff. Sir, I supported myself two years enSneer. Sir, you are very obliging. I believe, tirely by my misfortunes. Mr. Puff, I have often admired your talents in Sneer. By your misfortunes ! the daily prints.
Puff. Yes, sir, assisted by long sickness, and Puff. Yes, sir, I fatter myself I do as much other occasional disorders; and a very comfortbusiness in that way as any six of the fraternity able living I had of it. in town; devilish hard work all the summer; Sneer. From sickness and misfortunes !-you friend Dangle, never work'd harder : but, harkye, practised as a doctor and an attorney at once! the winter managers were a little sore I be- Puff. No, egad; both maladies and miseries wieve,
were my own. Dan. No; I believe they took it all in good Sneer. Hey! what the plague ! part.
Dan. 'Tis true, ifaith. Puff. Aye; then that must bave been affecta- Puff. Harkye! by advertisements To the tion in them; for egad, there were some of the charitable and humane !' and “ To those whom attacks which there was no laughing at ! Providence hath blessed with affluence!
Sneer. Ay, the humorous one; but I should Sneer. Oh, I understand you. think, Mr. Puff, that authors would in general Puff. And in truth I deserved what I got; for be able to do this sort of work for themselves. I suppose never man went through such a series
Puff. Why yes; but in a clumsy way. Be- of calamities in the same space of time !-Sir, ! sides, we look on that as an encroachment, and was five times made a bankrupt, and reduced so take the opposite side. I dare say now you from a state of affluence by a train of unavoidaconceive half the very civil paragraphs and ad- ble inisfortunes! then, sir, though a very isvertisements you see, to be written by the parties dustrious tradesman, I was twice burnt out, and concerned, or their friends ? no such thing—nine lost my little all both times:~1 lived upon those out of ten manufactured by me in the way of fires a month. I soon after was confined by a business.
most excruciating disorder, and lost the use of Sneer. Indeed!
my limbs—that told very well; for I had the Puff. Even the auctioneers now, the auc- case strongly attested, and went about 10 col. tioneers I say, though the rogues have lately got lect the subscriptions myself. some credit for their language-not an article of Dan. Egad, I believe ibat was when you first the merit their's! take them out of their pulpits, called on me and they are as dull as catalogues !-- no, sir ; Puff. In November last ?- no! I was at 'twas I first enrich'd their style; 'twas I first taught that time a close prisoner in the Marshalsea, for them to crowd their advertisements with panegy- a debt benevolently contracted to serve a friend. rical superlatives, each epithet rising above the I was afterwards twice tapped for a dropsy, other, like the bidders in their own auction-rooms! which declined into a very profitable consumpfrom me they learn’d to enlay their pbraseology |tion. I was then reduced to— no; then I bewith variegated chips of exotic metaphor: by caine it widow with six helpless children; after ME, too, their inventive faculties were called having had eleven husbands pressed, and being torth.-Yes, sir, by me they were instructed to left every time eight months gone with child, clothe ideal walls with gratuitous fruits; to in- and without money to get me into a hospital. sinuate obsequious rivulets into visionary groves; Sneer. And you bore all with patience, I male to teach courteous shrubs to nod their approba- no doubt? tion of the grateful soil; or on emergencies, to Puff. Why, yes; though I made some occa. raise upstart oaks, where there never had been sional attempts at felo de se; but as I did nct an acorn; to create a delightful vicinage without find those rash actions answer, I left of killing the assistance of a neighbour; or fix the temple myself very soon. Well, sir, at last, what with of Hygeia in the fens of Lincolnshire.
bankruptcies, fires, gouts, dropsies, imprisonDan, I am sure you have done them infinite ments, and other valuable calamities, having rot service; for now, when a gentleman is ruined, together a pretty handsome sum, I determ ned hc parts with his house with some credit. to quit a business which had always gone rather
Sneer. Service ! if they had any gratitude, they against my conscience, and in a more liberal would erect a statue to him; they would figure way still to indulge my talents for fiction and him as a presiding Mercury, the god of traffic embellishment, through my favourite channels and fiction, with a hammer in his band instead of diurnal communication; and so, sir, you have of a caduceus.But pray, Mr. Puff, what my bistory. first put you on exercising your talents in this Sneer. Most obligingly communicative indeed; пау?.
and your confession, it published, miglit certainly
serve the cause of true charity, by rescuing the 'F dash G; who, however pleasing and insinualmost useful channels of appeal to benevolence ing his manners may be, is certainly not remarkfroin the cant of imposition. But surely, Mr. able for the constancy of his attachments !--in Puff, there is no great mystery in your present italics. Here, you see, Sir Flimsey Gossimer is profession?
introduced to the particular notice of Lady Pujt. Mystery! sir, I will take upon me to Fanny, who, perhaps, never thought of him besay, the matter was never scientifically treated, fore; she finds herself publicly cautioned to nor reduced to rule before.
avoid him, which naturally makes her desirous Sneer. Reduced to rule !
of seeing him; the observation of their acquainPuft. O lud, sir, you are very ignorant, I am tance causes a pretty kind of mutual embarrassafraid !-Yes, sir, puffing is of various sorts; the ment; this produces a sort of sympathy of principal are, the puff direct, the puff preliminary, interest; which, if Sir Flimsey is unable to imibe puff collateral, the puff collusive, and the prove effectually, he at least gaivs the credit of puff oblique, or puff by implication. These all having their names mentioned together, by a assume, as circumstances require, the various particular set, and in a particular way, which, forms of " letter to the editor”_-“ occasional | nine times out of ten, is the full accomplishanecdote—“ impartial critique"-"observation ment of modern gallantry. from correspondent”-or “ advertisement from Dan. Egad, Sneer, you will be quite au the party."
adept in the business. Sneer. The puff direct, I can conceive- Puff. Now, sir, the Puff collateral is much
Puff. O yes, that's simple enough; for in- used as an apendage to advertisements and may stance, a new comedy or farce is to be produced take the form of anecdote. Yesterday as the at one of the theatres (though by the bye they celebrated George Bon-Mot was sauntering don't bring out half what they ought to do.) The down St. James's Street, he met the lively Lady author, suppose Mr. Smatter, or Mr. Dapper, or Mary Myrtle, comiug out of the park; • Good any particular friend of mine, very well; the day God, Lady Mary, I am surprised to meet you before it is to be performed, I write an account in a white jacket ; for I expected never to have of the manner in which it was received. I have seen you but in a full trimmed uniform, and a the plot from the author, and only add characters light-horseman's cap.”—“Heaven's ! George, strongly drawn, highly coloured-hand of a where could you have learned that ?"_“Why," master, fund of genuine humour, mine of inven- replied the wit," I just saw a print of you, in tion, neat dialogue, attic salt!—Then for the a new publication, called the Camp Magazine ; performance ;-Mr. Dodd was astonishingly which, by the bye, is a devilish clever thing, and great in the character of Sir Harry; that universal is sold at No. 3, on the right hand of the way, and judicious actor, Mr. Palmer, perhaps never two doors from the printing office, the corner appeared to more advantage than in the Colonel ; of Ivy Lane, Paternoster Row, price only one but it is not in the power of language to do justice shilling.”. to Mr. King: indeed be more than merited those Sneer. Very ingenious, indeed. repeated bursts of applause which he drew from Puff. But thc puff collusive is the newest of a most brilliant and judicious audience. As to any; for it acts in the disguise of determined the scenery-the miraculous power of Mr. De hostility. It is much used by bold booksellers Loutherbourg's pencil are universally acknow- and enterprising poets. An indignant corresponledged. In short, we are at a loss which to ad- dent observes, that the new poem, called Beelmire most-the unrivalled genius of the author, zebub's Cotillion, or Proserpine's Fete Chamthe great attention and liberality of the mana- petre, is one of the most unjustifiable performgers, the wonderful abilities of the painter, or ances he ever read: the severity with which the incredible exertions of all the performers
certain characters are handled is quite shocking; Sneer. That's pretty well, indeed, sir.
and as there are many descriptions in it too Pntf. Oh, cool, quite cool, to what I some- warmly coloured for female delicacy, the shametimes do.
ful avidity with which this piece is bought by Sneer. And do you think there are any who all people of fashion, is a reproach on the taste are influenced by this?
of the times, and a disgrace to the delicacy of Puit. O lud! yes, sir; the number of those the age. Here you see the two strongest inducewho undergo the fatigue of judging for themselves ments are held forth : first, that nobody ought is very small indeed!
to read it ; and, secondly, that every body buys Sneer. Well, sir, the puff preliminary? it; on the strength of which the publisher boldly
Putf: Oh, that, sir, does well in the form of a prints the tenth edition, before he had sold ten cuution. In a matter of gallantry now, Sir of the first; and then establishes it by threatFlimsey Gossimer wishes to be well with Lady ening himself with the pillory, or absolutely inFanny Fete; be applies to me; I open trenche's dicting himself for scan. mag. ! for him with a paragraph in the Morning Post. Dan. Ha, ha, ha! 'gad I know it is so. -It is recommended to the beautiful and ac- Puff. As to the puff oblique, or puff by impli. complished Lady F four stars F dash E to be on cation, it is too various and extensive to be ile hier guard agaiust that dangerous character Sir lustrated by an instance; it attracts in titles, and
presumes in patents; it lurks in the limitation -egad, Dangle, I take this rery ill ; you know of a subscription, and invites the assurance of how apprehensive I am of being known to be crowd and incommodation at public places ; it
the author. delights to draw forth concealed merit, with a Dan. Ifaith I would not have told ; bat it's most disinterested assiduity; and sometimes in the papers, and your name at length, in the wears a countenance of smiling censure and Morning Chronicle. tender reproach. It has a wonderful memory Puff. Ab! those damned editors never can for parliamentary debates, and will often give keep a secret! Well, Mr. Sneer, no doubt you the whole speech of a favoured member with will do me great honour; I shall be infinitely the most Aattering accuracy. But, above all, happy, highly flattered it is a great dealer in reports and suppositions. Dan. I believe it must be near the time; It has the earliest intelligence of intended pre- shall we go together? ferments that will reflect honour on the patrons ; Puff. No; it will not be yet this hour, and einbryo promotions of modest gentlemen, for they are always late at that theatre : who know nothing of the matter themselves. It besides, I must mect you there, for I have can hint a ribband for implied services, in the air some little matters here to send to the papers, of a common report; and with the carelessness and a few paragraphs to scribble before I go. of a casual paragraph, suggest officers into com- [Looking at memorandums.) Here is a conscimands, to which they have no pretension but entiousba ker, on the subject of the army bread;" their wishes. This, sir, is the last principal and “ a detester of visible brick-work, in favour class of the art of puffing; an art which I hope of the new invented stucco;" both in the style you will now agree with me is of the highest dig- of Junius, and promised for to-morrow.-The nity, yielding a tablature of benevolence and Thames Navigation too is at a stand.-Misomad, public spirit; befriending equally trade, gal- or Anti-shoal, must go to work again directly. fantry, criticism, and politics, the applause of Here, too, are some political memorandums I genius, the register of charity, the triumph of see ; ay, to take Paul Jones, and get the Indiaheroism, the self-defence of contractors, the men out of the Shannon ; reinforce Byron; fame of orators, and the gazette of ministers. compel the Dutch to--so! I must do that in the
Sneer. Sir, I am completely a convert both evening papers, or reserve it for the Morning to the importance, and ingenuity of your pro- Herald; for I know that I have undertaken tofession; and now, sir, there is but one thing morrow, besides, to establish the unanimity of which can possibly increase my respect for you, the fleet in the Pulic Advertiser, and to shoot and tbat is, your permitting me to be present
Charles Fox in the Morning Post. So eyad, I this morning at the rehearsal of your new ha'n't a moment to lose ! trage
Dan. Well! we'll meet in the Green Room. Puff. Hush, for hearen's sake.—My tragedy !
SCENE I.-The Theatre.
received point among poets, that where history
gives you a good heroic outline for a play, you Enter Dangle, Puff, and Sneer, as before the may fill up with a little love at your own discreCurtain.
tion : in doing which, vine times out of ten, you
only make up a deficiency in the private lusPuff. No, no, sir; what Shakespeare says of tory of the times. Now, I rather think I bare actors may be better applied to the purpose of done this with some success. plays; they ought to be the abstract and briet Snecr. No scandal about Queen Elizabeth, I chronicles of the times. Therefore, when bis- hope? tory, and particularly the history of our own Puff. O lud ! no, no, I only suppose, country, furnishes any thing like a case in point, governor of Tilbury Fort's daughter to be in love to the time in which an author writes, if he knows with the son of the Spanish admiral. bis own interest, he will take advantage of it; Sneer. Oh, is that all ! so, sir, I call my tragedy · The Spanish Ar- Dan. Excellent, ifaith! I see it at once.mada ;' and have laid the scene before Tilbury But won't this appear rather improbable? Fort,
Puff. To be sure it will—but what the plague, Sneer. A most happy thought, certainly ! a play is not to shew occurrences that happen
Dan. Egad it was—- I told you so. But, pray every day, but things just so strange, that though now, I don't understand how you have contriv- they never did, they might happen. ed to introduce any love into it.
Šneer. Certainly nothing is unnatural, that is Puff. Love!-oh, nothing so easy; for it is a not physically impossible.