Page images
PDF
EPUB

at the siege of Saguntum; and were to be put to death by the extremest tortures. Proud and cruel nation! Every thing must be yours, and at your disposal ! You are to prescribe to us with whom we shall make war, with whom we shall make peace ! you are to set us bounds; to shut us up within hills and rivers; but you-you are not to observe the limits which yourselves have fixed. Pass not the Iberus! What next? Touch not the Saguntines ; Saguntum is upon the Iberus, move not a step towards that city. Is it a small matter, then, that you have deprived us of our ancient possessions, Sicily and Sardinia ? You would have Spain too. Well, we shall yield Spain ; and then —you will pass into Africa. Will pass, did I say?—This very year they ordered one of their consuls into Africa, the other into Spain. No, soldiers, there is nothing left for us but what we can vindicate with our swords. Come on then. Be men. The Romans may with more safety be cowards; they have their own country behind them, have places of refuge to flee to, and are secure from danger in the roads thither : but for you there is no middle fortune between death and victory. Let this be but well fixed in your minds, and once again I say, you are conquerors.

THE FRENCH MAN AND THE SHEEP'S TROTTERS.

(A celebrated Comic Recitation, written by Mr. T. Prest.)
BLUNDERS are frequent in this sinful vale,

But mankind often blunder for their good;
An assertion I will prove in this my tale :

(Bulls breathe in England, be it understood,
As much as in Hibernia,) although

Paddies alone are noted for it;
The reason is, because, I trow-

But stay, I'll leave philosophers to pore it,
Therefore without more reasoning or delay,
I'll tell the story in my simple way.
A Monsieur from the Gallic shore,

Who, though not over rich, wished to appear so;
Came over in a ship with friends a score,

Poor emigrants, whose wealth, good lack !
Dwelt on their ragged backs,
Who thought him rich, they heard him oft declare so,

For he was proud as Satan's self,
And often bragg'd about his pelf,

And as a proof-,-the least
That he could give,-he promised when on land,
At the first Inn, in style so grand,

To give a feast !

The Frenchmen jump'd at such an offer,
Monsieur did not forget his proffer

But at the first hotel on shore,

They stopp'd to lodge and board;
The Frenchman order'd in his way,
A dinner to be done that day,

But here occurr'd a grievous bore :-
Monsieur of English knew but little,
Tapps of French not a tittle ;
In ordering dinner, therefore, 'tis no wonder,
That they should make a blunder.
Whether the landlord knew or no,
The sequel of my tale will shew;
He blunder'd, and it cannot be denied,
To some small disadvantage on his side.

The order seem'd immense to Boniface,
But more the expense, to him the greater fun

;
For all that from the order he could trace,

Was,-“ Messieur Bull, you lette me have, I say,

Vich for vid cash, I sal you pay ;
Fifteen of those vid vich de sheep do run !
From which old Tapps could only understand,

(But whether right or wrong, cared not a button ;) That what Monsieur desired with air so great,

Was fifteen legs of mutton!
A dinner most enormous !" cried the elf,
Zounds ! each must eat a leg near to himself !”
However, they seem'd a set of hungry curs,
And so without more bother or demurs,
. Tapps to his cook his orders soon express'd,
And fifteen legs of mutton quick were dress'd.
And now around the table all elate,
The Frenchman's friends the dinner doth await;
Joy sparkled in each hungry urchin's eyes,
When they beheld with glad surprise, -
Tapps quickly appear with leg of mutton hot,
Smoking, and just ejected from the pot!
Laugh'd, stared, and chuckled more and more,
When two they saw, then three, then four !
And then a fifth! their eager glances bless'd,
And then a sixth! larger than all the rest !
But soon the Frenchman's countenance did change,
To see the legs of mutton on the table;

Surprise and rage by turns,

In his face burns,
While Tapps the table did arrange

As nice as he was alle;
And while the Frenchmen for the feast prepar'i,
Thus in a voice that çuite the landlord scar'd,

Our hero said,
“Mon Dieu ! Monsieur, vy for you make
Dis vera great blundare and mistake?
Vy for you bring to me dese mouton legs?"
Tapps with a bow his pardon begs ;
I've done as you have order'd, sir,” said he,
Did you not order fifteen legs of me?
Six of which before your eyes appears,
And nine besides are nearly done down stairs !
Here John!” “Got tam you, Jean! you fool! you ass !
You one great clown to bring me to dis pass;
Take vay dis meat for vich I sall no pay,
I did no order dat :"-"What's that you say?"
Tapps answer'd with a frown and with a stare,
" You order'd fifteen legs of me I'll swear,
Or fifteen things with which the sheep do run,
Which means the same ;-I'm not so easy done !"
“ Par bleu ! Monsieur! vy you no comprehend ?

You may take back de legs unto de pot;
I telle you sare 'tis not the legs I vant-

But dese here leetle tings vid vich de sheep do trot!"
“ Why, d-n it!" cried the landlord in a rage,
Which Monsier vainly tried to assuage,
"D-n it!" said he, as to the door he totters;

“ Now after all the trouble that I took,
These legs of mutton both to buy and cook,

It seems, instead of fifteen legs,
You merely wanted fifteen poor sheep's trotters!"

HAMLET'S INSTRUCTIONS TO THE PLAYERS.

SPEAK the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue. But if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lieve the town crier had spoke my lines. And do not saw the air too much with your hand thus ; but use all gently; for in the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say, whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. Oh! it offends me to the soul, to hear a robustious perriwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings ; who (for the most part) are capable of nothing but in. explicable dumb shows and noise : I could have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing termagent; it out-herods Herod. Pray you, avoid it.

Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor. Suit the action to the word, the word to the action, with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature; for any thing so overdone is from the purpose of playing ; whose end, both at first and now, was and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature ; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time, his form and pressure. Now this overdone, or come tardy of, though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the censure of one of which must in your allowance o’erweigh a whole theatre of others. Oh! there be players that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly, (not to speak it profanely) that, neither have the accent of Christian, nor the gait of Christian, Pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowed, that I have thought some of Nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well; they imitated humanity so abominably.

And let those that play your clowns, speak no more than is set down for them : for there be of them that will themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too: though, in the meantime, some necessary question of the play be then to be considered :—that's villanous: and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it.

DOCTOR LARRUP.

“What is a schoolmaster?"—Why, can't you tell ?

A quizzical old man
Arm'd with a rattan;

Wears a huge wig,
And struts about;

Strives to look big,
With spectacles on snout,

And most important pout,
Who teaches little boys to read and spell.

Such my description is, of a man,
If not a clergyman-a layman,-
So much by way of definition,
And to prevent dull disquisition
We'll shortly take a new position.

A schoolmaster, (it mostly follows)
Who keeps a school must have some scholars,
Unless indeed, (which said at once is)
Instead of scholars they're all dunces :
Or, if this fancy more should tickle,
Suppose them mix'd-like Indian pickle.

One Doctor Larrup, as depicted here,
Who little boys had flogg'd for many a year
Not that they would'nt learn their A B C,
Their Hic, hæc, hoc,-Syntax or Prosody,

But that despite

Of all his might,
And oft enforced rules of right,
They would contrive by day or night,
To stealoh! finty-hearted sparks,-

Worse than the little fish or sharks,-
(Alas! to tell it my Muse winces,)
To steal—his apples, pears, and quinces.
Put them where'er he would, alike their dooms,
His effort prov'd as fruitless as his rooms.
As a pert dunghill cock, inflam'd with ire,
Erects his feathers and his comb of fire,
When of some grains, his own by right,
He's robb'd by foes that take to flight,-

So stood the Doctor:

With face as red

As coral bed.
His wig cockt forward in his eye,
As if it there the cause would spy.

Had his wife been there

I do declare

It would have shock'd her. After long buffeting in mental storm, His brain's thermometer fell from hot to warm : At many plans by turns he grapples, To save his quinces, pears, and apples When luckily into his noddle His recollection chanc'd to toddle. This sage informant told poor Larrup, If he'd convey his fruit so far up, That, on his house's top there stood, A room, well floor'd, I think with-wood. 'Twas what some folks a loft would call; The entrance through a trap door small, Fix'd in the cieling of his chamber, To which he up a rope must clamber; Unless a ladder was prepar'd, And then the rope's-end might be spard : But he'd a long, well-practis'd knack, Of sparing neither rope nor back. Ye who in proper titles glory,

Will think, I hope, as I have oft,

That as this story's of a loft,
It should be call'd a “Lofty Story."

[graphic]
« PreviousContinue »