Miscellanies, Volume 2 (from Works, Volume 12)
by Henry Fielding
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————————Quis iniquae Tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se? —JUV. Sat. I.


Too long the Tragick Muse hath aw'd the stage, And frighten'd wives and children with her rage, Too long Drawcansir roars, Parthenope weeps, While ev'ry lady cries, and critick sleeps With ghosts, rapes, murders, tender hearts they wound, Or else, like thunder, terrify with sound When the skill'd actress to her weeping eyes, With artful sigh, the handkerchief applies, How griev'd each sympathizing nymph appears! And box and gallery both melt in tears Or when, in armour of Corinthian brass, Heroick actor stares you in the face, And cries aloud, with emphasis that's fit, on Liberty, freedom, liberty and Briton! While frowning, gaping for applause he stands, What generous Briton can refuse his hands? Like the tame animals design'd for show, You have your cues to clap, as they to bow, Taught to commend, your judgments have no share, By chance you guess aright, by chance you err.

But, handkerchiefs and Britain laid aside, To-night we mean to laugh, and not to chide.

In days of yore, when fools were held in fashion, Tho' now, alas! all banish'd from the nation, A merry jester had reform'd his lord, Who would have scorn'd the sterner Stoick's word

Bred in Democritus his laughing schools, Our author flies sad Heraclitus rules, No tears, no terror plead in his behalf, The aim of Farce is but to make you laugh Beneath the tragick or the comick name, Farces and puppet shows ne'er miss of fame Since then, in borrow'd dress, they've pleas'd the town, Condemn them not, appearing in their own

Smiles we expect from the good-natur'd few, As ye are done by, ye malicious, do, And kindly laugh at him who laughs at you.



Luckless, the Author and Master of the Show, ... Mr MULLART. Witmore, his friend ... Mr LACY.

Marplay, sen., Comedian ... Mr REYNOLDS, Marplay, jun., Comedian ... Mr STOPLER. Bookweight, a Bookseller ... Mr JONES. Scarecrow, Scribbler ... Mr MARSHAL, Dash, " " ... Mr HALLAM, Quibble, " " ... Mr DOVE, Blotpage, " " ... Mr WELLS, jun. Index ... ————.

Jack, servant to Luckless ... Mr ACHURCH. Jack-Pudding ... Mr REYNOLDS. Bantomite ... Mr MARSHAL.


Mrs Moneywood, the Author's Landlady ... Mrs MULLART. Harriot, her daughter. ... Miss PALMS.



Moneywood. Never tell me, Mr Luckless, of your play, and your play. I tell you I must be paid. I would no more depend on a benefit-night of an unacted play than I would on a benefit-ticket in an undrawn lottery. Could I have guessed that I had a poet in my house! Could I have looked for a poet under laced clothes!

Luck. Why not? since you may often find poverty under them: nay, they are commonly the signs of it. And, therefore, why may not a poet be seen in them as well as a courtier?

Money. Do you make a jest of my misfortune, sir?

Luck. Rather my misfortune. I am sure I have a better title to poverty than you; for, notwithstanding the handsome figure I make, unless you are so good to invite me, I am afraid I shall scarce prevail on my stomach to dine to-day.

Money. Oh, never fear that—you will never want a dinner till you have dined at all the eating-houses round.—No one shuts their doors against you the first time; and I think you are so kind, seldom to trouble them a second.

Luck. No.—And if you will give me leave to walk out of your doors, the devil take me if ever I come into 'em again,

Money. Pay me, sir, what you owe me, and walk away whenever you please.

Luck. With all my heart, madam; get me a pen and ink, and I'll give you my note for it immediately.

Money. Your note! who will discount it? Not your bookseller; for he has as many of your notes as he has of your works; both good lasting ware, and which are never likely to go out of his shop and his scrutore.

Har. Nay, but, madam, 'tis barbarous to insult him in this manner.

Money. No doubt you'll take his part. Pray get you about your business. I suppose he intends to pay me by ruining you. Get you in this instant: and remember, if ever I see you with him again I'll turn you out of doors.


Luck. Discharge all your ill-nature on me, madam, but spare poor Miss Harriot.

Money. Oh! then it is plain. I have suspected your familiarity a long while. You are a base man. Is it not enough to stay three months in my house without paying me a farthing, but you must ruin my child?

Luck. I love her as my soul. Had I the world I'd give it her all.

Money. But, as you happen to have nothing in the world, I desire you would have nothing to say to her. I suppose you would have settled all your castles in the air. Oh! I wish you had lived in one of them, instead of my house. Well, I am resolved, when you have gone away (which I heartily hope will be very soon) I'll hang over my door in great red letters, "No lodgings for poets." Sure never was such a guest as you have been. My floor is all spoiled with ink, my windows with verses, and my door has been almost beat down with duns.

Luck. Would your house had been beaten down, and everything but my dear Harriot crushed under it!

Money. Sir, sir——

Luck. Madam, madam! I will attack you at your own weapons; I will pay you in your own coin.

Money. I wish you'd pay me in any coin, sir.

Luck. Look ye, madam, I'll do as much as a reasonable woman can require; I'll shew you all I have; and give you all I have too, if you please to accept it. [Turns his pockets Inside out.

Money. I will not be used in this manner. No, sir, I will be paid, if there be any such thing as law.

Luck. By what law you will put money into my pocket I know not; for I never heard of any one who got money by the law but the lawyers. I have told you already, and I tell you again, that the first money I get shall be yours; and I have great expectations from my play. In the mean time your staying here can be of no service, and you may possibly drive some line thoughts out of my head. I would write a love scene, and your daughter would be more proper company, on that occasion, than you.

Money. You would act a love-scene, I believe; but I shall prevent you; for I intend to dispose of myself before my daughter.

Luck. Dispose of yourself!

Money. Yes, sir, dispose of myself. 'Tis very well known that I have had very good offers since my last dear husband died. I might have had an attorney of New Inn, or Mr Fillpot, the exciseman; yes, I had my choice of two parsons, or a doctor of physick; and yet I slighted them all; yes, I slighted them for—for—for you.

Luck. For me?

Money. Yes, you have seen too visible marks of my passion; too visible for my reputation. [Sobbing.

Luck. I have heard very loud tokens of your passion; but I rather took it for the passion of anger than of love.

Money. Oh! it was love, indeed. Nothing but love, upon my soul!

Luck. The devil! This way of dunning is worse than the other.

Money. If thou can'st not pay me in money, let me have it in love. If I break through the modesty of my sex let my passion excuse it. I know the world will call it an impudent action; but if you will let me reserve all I have to myself, I will make myself yours for ever.

Luck. Toll, loll, loll!

Money. And is this the manner you receive my declaration, you poor beggarly fellow? You shall repent this; remember, you shall repent it; remember that. I'll shew you the revenge of an injured woman.

Luck. I shall never repent anything that rids me of you, I am sure.


Luck. Dear Harriot!

Har. I have waited an opportunity to return to you.

Luck. Oh! my dear, I am so sick!

Har. What's the matter?

Luck. Oh! your mother! your mother!

Har. What, has she been scolding ever since?

Luck. Worse, worse!

Har. Heaven forbid she should threaten to go to law with you.

Luck. Oh, worse! worse! she threatens to go to church with me. She has made me a generous offer, that if I will but marry her she will suffer me to settle all she has upon her.

Har. Generous creature! Sure you will not resist the proposal?

Luck. Hum! what would you advise me to?

Har. Oh, take her, take her, by all means; you will be the prettiest, finest, loveliest, sweetest couple. Augh! what a delicate dish of matrimony you will make! Her age with your youth, her avarice with your extravagance, and her scolding with your poetry.

Luck. Nay, but I am serious, and I desire you would be so. You know my unhappy circumstances, and your mother's wealth. It would be at least a prudent match.

Har. Oh! extremely prudent, ha, ha, ha! the world will say, Lard! who could have thought Mr Luckless had had so much prudence? This one action will overbalance all the follies of your life.

Luck. Faith, I think it will: but, dear Harriot, how can I think of losing you for ever? And yet, as our affairs stand, I see no possibility of our being happy together. It will be some pleasure, too, that I may have it in my power to serve you. Believe me, it is with the utmost reluctance I think of parting with you. For if it was in my power to have you——

Har. Oh, I am very much obliged to you; I believe you—Yes, you need not swear, I believe you.

Luck. And can you as easily consult prudence, and part with me? for I would not buy my own happiness at the price of yours.

Har. I thank you, sir—Part with you—intolerable vanity!

Luck. Then I am resolved; and so, my good landlady, have at you.

Har. Stay, sir, let me acquaint you with one thing—you are a villain! and don't think I'm vexed at anything, but that I should have been such a fool as ever to have had a good opinion of you. [Crying.

Luck. Ha, ha, ha! Caught, by Jupiter! And did my dear Harriot think me in earnest?

Har. And was you not in earnest?

Luck. What, to part with thee? A pretty woman will be sooner in earnest to part with her beauty, or a great man with his power.

Har. I wish I were assured of the sincerity of your love.

AIR. Butter'd Pease.

Luck. Does my dearest Harriot ask What for love I would pursue? Would you, charmer, know what task I would undertake for you?

Ask the bold ambitious, what He for honours would atchieve? Or the gay voluptuous, that Which he'd not for pleasure give?

Ask the miser what he'd do To amass excessive gain? Or the saint, what he'd pursue, His wish'd heav'n to obtain?

These I would attempt, and more— For, oh! my Harriot is to me All ambition, pleasure, store, Or what heav'n itself can be!

Har. Would my dearest Luckless know What his constant Harriot can Her tender love and faith to show For her dear, her only man?

Ask the vain coquette what she For men's adoration would; Or from censure to be free, Ask the vile censorious prude.

In a coach and six to ride, What the mercenary jade, Or the widow to be bride To a brisk broad-shoulder'd blade.

All these I would attempt for thee, Could I but thy passion fix; Thy will my sole commander be, And thy arms my coach and six.

Money. [within]. Harriot, Harriot.

Har. Hear the dreadful summons! adieu. I will take the first opportunity of seeing you again.

Luck. Adieu, my pretty charmer; go thy ways for the first of thy sex.


Luck. So! what news bring you?

Jack. An't please your honour I have been at my lord's, and his lordship thanks you for the favour you have offered of reading your play to him; but he has such a prodigious deal of business, he begs to be excused. I have been with Mr Keyber too—he made me no answer at all. Mr Bookweight will be here immediately.

Luck. Jack.

Jack. Sir.

Luck. Fetch my other hat hither;—carry it to the pawnbroker's.

Jack. To your honour's own pawnbroker!

Luck. Ay—and in thy way home call at the cook's shop. So, one way or other, I find my head must always provide for my belly.


Luck. I am surprized! dear Witmore!

Wit. Dear Harry!

Luck. This is kind, indeed; but I do not more wonder at finding a man in this age who can be a friend to adversity, than that Fortune should be so much my friend as to direct you to me; for she is a lady I have not been much indebted to lately.

Wit. She who told me, I assure you, is one you have been indebted to a long while.

Luck. Whom do you mean?

Wit. One who complains of your unkindness in not visiting her—Mrs Lovewood.

Luck. Dost thou visit there still, then?

Wit. I throw an idle hour away there sometimes. When I am in an ill-humour I am sure of feeding it there with all the scandal in town, for no bawd is half so diligent in looking after girls with an uncracked maidenhead as she in searching out women with cracked reputations.

Luck. The much more infamous office of the two.

Wit. Thou art still a favourer of the women, I find.

Luck. Ay, the women and the muses—the high roads to beggary.

Wit. What, art thou not cured of scribling yet?

Luck. No, scribling is as impossible to cure as the gout.

Wit. And as sure a sign of poverty as the gout of riches. 'Sdeath! in an age of learning and true politeness, where a man might succeed by his merit, there would be some encouragement. But now, when party and prejudice carry all before them; when learning is decried, wit not understood; when the theatres are puppet-shows, and the comedians ballad-singers; when fools lead the town, would a man think to thrive by his wit? If you must write, write nonsense, write operas, write Hurlothrumbos, set up an oratory and preach nonsense, and you may meet with encouragement enough. Be profane, be scurrilous, be immodest: if you would receive applause, deserve to receive sentence at the Old Bailey; and if you would ride in a coach, deserve to ride in a cart.

Luck. You are warm, my friend.

Wit. It is because I am your friend. I cannot bear to hear the man I love ridiculed by fools—by idiots. To hear a fellow who, had he been born a Chinese, had starved for want of genius to have been even the lowest mechanick, toss up his empty noddle with an affected disdain of what he has not understood; and women abusing what they have neither seen nor heard, from an unreasonable prejudice to an honest fellow whom they have not known. If thou wilt write against all these reasons get a patron, be pimp to some worthless man of quality, write panegyricks on him, flatter him with as many virtues as he has vices. Then, perhaps, you will engage his lordship, his lordship engages the town on your side, and then write till your arms ake, sense or nonsense, it will all go down.

Luck. Thou art too satirical on mankind. It is possible to thrive in the world by justifiable means.

Wit. Ay, justifiable, and so they are justifiable by custom. What does the soldier or physician thrive by but slaughter?—the lawyer but by quarrels?—the courtier but by taxes?—the poet but by flattery? I know none that thrive by profiting mankind, but the husbandman and the merchant: the one gives you the fruit of your own soil, the other brings you those from abroad; and yet these are represented as mean and mechanical, and the others as honourable and glorious.

Luck. Well; but prithee leave railing, and tell me what you would advise me to do.

Wit. Do! why thou art a vigorous young fellow, and there are rich widows in town.

Luck. But I am already engaged.

Wit. Why don't you marry then—for I suppose you are not mad enough to have any engagement with a poor mistress?

Luck. Even so, faith; and so heartily that I would not change her for the widow of a Croesus.

Wit. Now thou art undone, indeed. Matrimony clenches ruin beyond retrieval. What unfortunate stars wert thou born under? Was it not enough to follow those nine ragged jades the muses, but you must fasten on some earth-born mistress as poor as them?

Mar. jun. [within]. Order my chairman to call on me at St James's.—No, let them stay.

Wit. Heyday, whom the devil have we here?

Luck. The young captain, sir; no less a person, I assure you.


Mar. jun. Mr Luckless, I kiss your hands—Sir, I am your most obedient humble servant; you see, Mr Luckless, what power you have over me. I attend your commands, though several persons of quality have staid at court for me above this hour.

Luck. I am obliged to you—I have a tragedy for your house, Mr Marplay.

Mar. jun. Ha! if you will send it to me, I will give you my opinion of it; and if I can make any alterations in it that will be for its advantage, I will do it freely.

Wit. Alterations, sir?

Mar. jun. Yes, sir, alterations—I will maintain it. Let a play be never so good, without alteration it will do nothing.

Wit. Very odd indeed!

Mar. jun. Did you ever write, sir?

Wit. No, sir, I thank Heaven.

Mar. jun. Oh! your humble servant—your very humble servant, sir. When you write yourself, you will find the necessity of alterations. Why, sir, would you guess that I had altered Shakspeare?

Wit. Yes, faith, sir, no one sooner.

Mar. jun. Alack-a-day! Was you to see the plays when they are brought to us—a parcel of crude undigested stuff. We are the persons, sir, who lick them into form—that mould them into shape. The poet make the play indeed! the colourman might be as well said to make the picture, or the weaver the coat. My father and I, sir, are a couple of poetical tailors. When a play is brought us, we consider it as a tailor does his coat: we cut it, sir—we cut it; and let me tell you we have the exact measure of the town; we know how to fit their taste. The poets, between you and me, are a pack of ignorant——

Wit. Hold, hold, sir. This is not quite so civil to Mr Luckless; besides, as I take it, you have done the town the honour of writing yourself.

Mar. jun. Sir, you are a man of sense, and express yourself well. I did, as you say, once make a small sally into Parnassus—took a sort of flying leap over Helicon; but if ever they catch me there again—sir, the town have a prejudice to my family; for, if any play could have made them ashamed to damn it, mine must. It was all over plot. It would have made half a dozen novels: nor was it crammed with a pack of wit-traps, like Congreve and Wycherly, where every one knows when the joke was coming. I defy the sharpest critick of them all to have known when any jokes of mine were coming. The dialogue was plain, easy, and natural, and not one single joke in it from the beginning to the end: besides, sir, there was one scene of tender melancholy conversation—enough to have melted a heart of stone; and yet they damned it—and they damned themselves; for they shall have no more of mine.

Wit. Take pity on the town, sir.

Mar. jun. I! No, sir, no. I'll write no more. No more; unless I am forced to it.

Luck. That's no easy thing, Marplay.

Mar. jun. Yes, sir. Odes, odes, a man may be obliged to write those, you know.

Luck, and Wit. Ha, ha, ha! that's true indeed.

Luck. But about my tragedy, Mr Marplay.

Mar. jun. I believe my father is at the playhouse: if you please, we will read it now; but I must call on a young lady first—Hey, who's there? Is my footman there? Order my chair to the door. Your servant, gentlemen.—Caro vien. [Exit, singing.

Wit. This is the most finished gentleman I ever saw; and hath not, I dare swear, his equal.

Luck. If he has, here he comes.


Luck. Mr Bookweight, your very humble servant.

Book. I was told, sir, that you had particular business with me.

Luck. Yes, Mr Bookweight; I have something to put into your hands. I have a play for you, Mr Bookweight.

Book. Is it accepted, sir?

Luck. Not yet.

Book. Oh, sir! when it is, it will be then time enough to talk about it. A play, like a bill, is of no value till it is accepted; nor indeed when it is, very often. Besides, sir, our playhouses are grown so plenty, and our actors so scarce, that really plays are become very bad commodities. But pray, sir, do you offer it to the players or the patentees?

Luck. Oh! to the players, certainly.

Book. You are in the right of that. But a play which will do on the stage will not always do for us; there are your acting plays and your reading plays.

Wit. I do not understand that distinction.

Book. Why, sir, your acting play is entirely supported by the merit of the actor; in which case, it signifies very little whether there be any sense in it or no. Now, your reading play is of a different stamp, and must have wit and meaning in it. These latter I call your substantive, as being able to support themselves. The former are your adjective, as what require the buffoonery and gestures of an actor to be joined with them to shew their signification.

Wit. Very learnedly defined, truly.

Luck. Well, but, Mr Bookweight, will you advance fifty guineas on my play?

Book. Fifty guineas! Yes, sir. You shall have them with all my heart, if you will give me security for them. Fifty guineas for a play! Sir, I would not give fifty shillings.

Luck. 'Sdeath, sir! do you beat me down at this rate?

Book. No, nor fifty farthings. Fifty guineas! Indeed your name is well worth that.

Luck. Jack, take this worthy gentleman and kick him down stairs.

Book. Sir, I shall make you repent this.

Jack. Come, sir, will you please to brush?

Book. Help! murder! I'll have the law of you, sir.

Luck. Ha, ha, ha!


Money. What noise is this? It is a very fine thing, truly, Mr Luckless, that you will make these uproars in my house.

Luck. If you dislike it, it is in your power to drown a much greater. Do you but speak, madam, and I am sure no one will be heard but yourself.

Money. Very well, indeed! fine reflexions on my character! Sir, sir, all the neighbours know that I have been as quiet a woman as ever lived in the parish. I had no noises in my house till you came. We were the family of love. But you have been a nusance to the whole neighbourhood. While you had money, my doors were thundered at every morning at four and five, by coachmen and chairmen; and since you have had none, my house has been besieged all day by creditors and bailiffs. Then there's the rascal your man; but I will pay the dog, I will scour him. Sir, I am glad you are a witness of his abuses of me.

Wit. I am indeed, madam, a witness how unjustly he has abused you. [JACK whispers LUCKLESS.

Luck. Witmore, excuse me a moment.


Money. Yes, sir; and, sir, a man that has never shewn one the colour of his money.

Wit. Very hard, truly. How much may he be in your debt, pray? Because he has ordered me to pay you.

Money. Ay! sir, I wish he had.

Wit. I am serious, I assure you.

Money. I am very glad to hear it, sir. Here is the bill as we settled it this very morning. I always thought, indeed, Mr Luckless had a great deal of honesty in his principles: any man may be unfortunate; but I knew when he had money I should have it; and what signifies dunning a man when he hath it not? Now that is a way with some people which I could never come in to.

Wit. There, madam, is your money. You may give Mr Luckless the receipt.

Money. Sir, I give you both a great many thanks. I am sure it is almost as charitable as if you gave it me; for I am to make up a sum to-morrow morning. Well, if Mr Luckless was but a little soberer I should like him for a lodger exceedingly: for I must say, I think him a very pleasant good-humoured man.


Luck. Those are words I never heard out of that mouth before.

Money. Ha, ha, ha! you are pleased to be merry: ha, ha!

Luck. Why, Witmore, thou hast the faculty opposite to that of a witch, and canst lay a tempest. I should as soon have imagined one man could have stopt a cannon-ball in its full force as her tongue.

Money. Ha, ha, ha! he is the best company in the world, sir, and so full of his similitudes!

Wit. Luckless, good morrow; I shall see you soon again.

Luck. Let it be soon, I beseech you; for thou hast brought a calm into this house that was scarce ever in it before.


Money. Well, Mr Luckless, you are a comical man, to give one such a character to a stranger.

Luck. The company is gone, madam; and now, like true man and wife, we may fall to abusing one another as fast as we please.

Money. Abuse me as you please, so you pay me, sir.

Luck. 'Sdeath! madam, I will pay you.

Money. Nay, sir, I do not ask it before it is due. I don't question your payment at all: if you was to stay in my house this quarter of a year, as I hope you will, I should not ask you for a farthing.

Luck. Toll, loll, loll.—But I shall have her begin with her passion immediately; and I had rather be the object of her rage for a year than of her love for half an hour.

Money. But why did you choose to surprise me with my money? Why did you not tell me you would pay me?

Luck. Why, have I not told you?

Money. Yes, you told me of a play, and stuff: but you never told me you would order a gentleman to pay me. A sweet, pretty, good-humoured gentleman he is, heaven bless him! Well, you have comical ways with you: but you have honesty at the bottom, and I'm sure the gentleman himself will own I gave you that character.

Luck. Oh! I smell you now.—You see, madam, I am better than my word to you: did he pay it you in gold or silver?

Money. All pure gold.

Luck. I have a vast deal of silver, which he brought me, within; will you do me the favour of taking it in silver? that will be of use to you in the shop too.

Money. Anything to oblige you, sir.

Luck. Jack, bring out the great bag, number one. Please to tell the money, madam, on that table.

Money. It's easily told: heaven knows there's not so much on't.

Jack. Sir, the bag is so heavy, I cannot bring it in.

Luck. Why, then, come and help to thrust a heavier bag out.

Money. What do you mean?

Luck. Only to pay you in my bed-chamber.

Money. Villain, dog, I'll swear a robbery, and have you hanged: rogues, villains!

Luck. Be as noisy as you please—[Shuts the door.] Jack, call a coach; and, d' ye hear? get up behind it and attend me.


SCENE I.—The Playhouse.—LUCKLESS, MARPLAY, senior, MARPLAY, junior.

Luck. [Reads.]

"Then hence my sorrow, hence my ev'ry fear; No matter where, so we are bless'd together. With thee, the barren rocks, where not one step Of human race lies printed in the snow, Look lovely as the smiling infant spring."

Mar. sen. Augh! will you please to read that again, sir?

Luck. "Then hence my sorrow, hence my ev'ry fear."

Mar. sen. "Then hence my sorrow."—Horror is a much better word.—And then in the second line—"No matter where, so we are bless'd together."—Undoubtedly, it should be, "No matter where, so somewhere we're together." Where is the question, somewhere is the answer.—Read on, sir.

Luck. "With thee,——"

Mar. sen. No, no, I could alter those lines to a much better idea.

"With thee, the barren blocks, where not a bit Of human face is painted on the bark, Look green as Covent-garden in the spring."

Luck. Green as Covent-garden!

Mar. jun. Yes, yes; Covent-garden market, where they sell greens.

Luck. Monstrous!

Mar. sen. Pray, sir, read on.


"LEANDRA: oh, my Harmonio, I could hear thee still; The nightingale to thee sings out of tune, While on thy faithful breast my head reclines, The downy pillow's hard; while from thy lips I drink delicious draughts of nectar down, Falernian wines seem bitter to my taste."

Mar. jun. Here's meat, drink, singing, and lodging, egad.

Luck. He answers.

Mar. jun. But, sir——


"Oh, let me pull thee, press thee to my heart, Thou rising spring of everlasting sweets! Take notice, Fortune, I forgive thee all! Thou'st made Leandra mine. Thou flood of joy Mix with my soul, and rush thro' ev'ry vein."

Mar. sen. Those two last lines again if you please.

Luck. "Thou'st made," &c.

Mar. jun.

"——Thou flood of joy, Mix with my soul and rush thro' ev'ry vein."

Those are two excellent lines indeed: I never writ better myself: but, Sar——


"Leandra's mine, go bid the tongue of fate Pronounce another word of bliss like that; Search thro' the eastern mines and golden shores, Where lavish Nature pours forth all her stores; For to my lot could all her treasures fall, I would not change Leandra for them all."

There ends act the first, and such an act as, I believe, never was on this stage yet.

Mar. jun. Nor never will, I hope.

Mar. sen. Pray, sir, let me look at one thing. "Falernian wines seem bitter to my taste."

Pray, sir, what sort of wines may your Falernian be? for I never heard of them before; and I am sure, as I keep the best company, if there had been such sorts of wines, I should have tasted them. Tokay I have drank, and Lacrimas I have drank, but what your Falernian is, the devil take me if I can tell.

Mar. jun. I fancy, father, these wines grow at the top of Parnassus.

Luck. Do they so, Mr Pert? why then I fancy you have never tasted them.

Mar. sen. Suppose you should say the wines of Cape are bitter to my taste.

Luck. Sir, I cannot alter it.

Mar. sen. Nor we cannot act it. It won't do, sir, and so you need give yourself no farther trouble about it.

Luck. What particular fault do you find?

Mar. jun. Sar, there's nothing that touches me, nothing that is coercive to my passions.

Luck. Fare you well, sir: may another play be coercive to your passions.

SCENE II.—MARPLAY, senior, MARPLAY, junior.

Mar. sen. Ha, ha, ha!

Mar. jun. What do you think of the play?

Mar. sen. It may be a very good one, for aught I know: but I am resolved, since the town will not receive any of mine, they shall have none from any other. I'll keep them to their old diet.

Mar. jun. But suppose they won't feed on't?

Mar. sen. Then it shall be crammed down their throats.

Mar. jun. I wish, father, you would leave me that art for a legacy, since I am afraid I am like to have no other from you.

Mar. sen. 'Tis buff, child, 'tis buff—true Corinthian brass; and, heaven be praised, tho' I have given thee no gold, I have given thee enough of that, which is the better inheritance of the two. Gold thou might'st have spent, but this is a lasting estate that will stick by thee all thy life.

Mar. jun. What shall be done with that farce which was damned last night?

Mar. sen. Give it them again to-morrow. I have told some persons of quality that it is a good thing, and I am resolved not to be in the wrong: let us see which will be weary first, the town of damning, or we of being damned.

Mar. jun. Rat the town, I say.

Mar. sen. That's a good boy; and so say I: but, prithee, what didst thou do with the comedy which I gave thee t'other day, that I thought a good one?

Mar. jun. Did as you ordered me; returned it to the author, and told him it would not do.

Mar. sen. You did well. If thou writest thyself, and that I know thou art very well qualified to do, it is thy interest to keep back all other authors of any merit, and be as forward to advance those of none.

Mar. jun. But I am a little afraid of writing; for my writings, you know, have fared but ill hitherto.

Mar. sen. That is because thou hast a little mistaken the method of writing. The art of writing, boy, is the art of stealing old plays, by changing the name of the play, and new ones, by changing the name of the author.

Mar. jun. If it was not for these cursed hisses and catcalls——

Mar. sen. Harmless musick, child, very harmless musick, and what, when one is but well seasoned to it, has no effect at all: for my part, I have been used to them.

Mar. jun. Ay, and I have been used to them too, for that matter.

Mar. sen. And stood them bravely too. Idle young actors are fond of applause, but, take my word for it, a clap is a mighty silly, empty thing, and does no more good than a hiss; and, therefore, if any man loves hissing, he may have his three shillings worth at me whenever he pleases. [Exeunt.

SCENE III.—A Room in BOOKWEIGHT'S house.—DASH, BLOTPAGE, QUIBBLE, writing at several tables.

Dash. Pox on't, I'm as dull as an ox, tho' I have not a bit of one within me. I have not dined these two days, and yet my head is as heavy as any alderman's or lord's. I carry about me symbols of all the elements; my head is as heavy as water, my pockets are as light as air, my appetite is as hot as fire, and my coat is as dirty as earth.

Blot. Lend me your Bysshe, Mr Dash, I want a rhime for wind.

Dash. Why there's blind, and kind, and behind, and find, and mind: it is of the easiest termination imaginable; I have had it four times in a page.

Blot. None of those words will do.

Dash. Why then you may use any that end in ond, or and, or end. I am never so exact: if the two last letters are alike, it will do very well. Read the verse.

Blot. "Inconstant as the seas or as the wind."

Dash. What would you express in the next line?

Blot. Nay, that I don't know, for the sense is out already. I would say something about inconstancy.

Dash. I can lend you a verse, and it will do very well too.

"Inconstancy will never have an end."

End rhimes very well with wind.

Blot. It will do well enough for the middle of a poem.

Dash. Ay, ay, anything will do well enough for the middle of a poem. If you can but get twenty good lines to place at the beginning for a taste, it will sell very well.

Quib. So that, according to you, Mr Dash, a poet acts pretty much on the same principles with an oister-woman.

Dash. Pox take your simile, it has set my chaps a watering: but come, let us leave off work for a while, and hear Mr Quibble's song.

Quib. My pipes are pure and clear, and my stomach is as hollow as any trumpet in Europe.

Dash. Come, the song.


AIR. Ye Commons and Peers.

How unhappy's the fate To live by one's pate,

And be forced to write hackney for bread! An author's a joke To all manner of folk, Wherever he pops up his head, his head, Wherever he pops up his head.

Tho' he mount on that hack, Old Pegasus' back, And of Helicon drink till he burst, Yet a curse of those streams, Poetical dreams, They never can quench one's thirst, &c.

Ah! how should he fly On fancy so high, When his limbs are in durance and hold? Or how should he charm, With genius so warm, When his poor naked body's a cold, &c.


Book. Fie upon it, gentlemen! what, not at your pens? Do you consider, Mr Quibble, that it is a fortnight since your Letter to a Friend in the Country was published? Is it not high time for an Answer to come out? At this rate, before your Answer is printed, your Letter will be forgot. I love to keep a controversy up warm. I have had authors who have writ a pamphlet in the morning, answered it in the afternoon, and answered that again at night.

Quib. Sir, I will be as expeditious as possible: but it is harder to write on this side the question, because it is the wrong side.

Book. Not a jot. So far on the contrary, that I have known some authors choose it as the properest to shew their genius. But let me see what you have produced; "With all deference to what that very learned and most ingenious person, in his Letter to a Friend in the Country, hath advanced." Very well, sir; for, besides that, it may sell more of the Letter: all controversial writers should begin with complimenting their adversaries, as prize-fighters kiss before they engage. Let it be finished with all speed. Well, Mr Dash, have you done that murder yet?

Dash. Yes, sir, the murder is done; I am only about a few moral reflexions to place before it.

Book. Very well: then Jet me have the ghost finished by this day se'nnight.

Dash. What sort of a ghost would you have this, sir? the last was a pale one.

Book. Then let this be a bloody one. Mr Quibble, you may lay by that life which you are about; for I hear the person is recovered, and write me out proposals for delivering five sheets of Mr Bailey's English Dictionary every week, till the whole be finished. If you do not know the form, you may copy the proposals for printing Bayle's Dictionary in the same manner. The same words will do for both.

Enter INDEX.

So, Mr Index, what news with you?

Index. I have brought my bill, sir.

Book. What's here? For fitting the motto of Risum teneatis Amici to a dozen pamphlets, at sixpence per each, six shillings; for Omnia vincit Amor, et nos cedamus Amori, sixpence; for Difficile est Satyram non scribere, sixpence. Hum! hum! hum!—sum total for thirty-six Latin mottoes, eighteen shillings; ditto English, one shilling and ninepence; ditto Greek, four—four shillings. These Greek mottoes are excessively dear.

Ind. If you have them cheaper at either of the universities, I will give you mine for nothing.

Book. You shall have your money immediately; and pray remember, that I must have two Latin seditious mottoes and one Greek moral motto for pamphlets by to-morrow morning.

Quib. I want two Latin sentences, sir—one for page the fourth in the praise of loyalty, and another for page the tenth in praise of liberty and property.

Dash. The ghost would become a motto very well if you would bestow one on him.

Book. Let me have them all.

Ind. Sir, I shall provide them. Be pleased to look on that, sir, and print me five hundred proposals and as many receipts.

Book. "Proposals for printing by subscription a New Translation of Cicero Of the Nature of the Gods, and his Tusculan Questions, by Jeremy Index, Esq." I am sorry you have undertaken this, for it prevents a design of mine.

Ind. Indeed, sir, it does not; for you see all of the book that I ever intend to publish. It is only a handsome way of asking one's friends for a guinea.

Book. Then you have not translated a word of it, perhaps.

Ind. Not a single syllable.

Book. Well, you shall have your proposals forthwith: but I desire you would be a little more reasonable in your bills for the future, or I shall deal with you no longer; for I have a certain fellow of a college, who offers to furnish me with second-hand mottoes out of the Spectator for twopence each.

Ind. Sir, I only desire to live by my goods; and I hope you will be pleased to allow some difference between a neat fresh piece, piping hot out of the classicks, and old threadbare worn-out stuff that has past through every pedant's mouth and been as common at the universities as their whores.


Scare. Sir, I have brought you a libel against the ministry.

Book. Sir, I shall not take anything against them;—for I have two in the press already. [Aside.

Scare. Then, sir, I have an Apology in defence of them.

Book. That I shall not meddle with neither; they don't sell so well.

Scare. I have a translation of Virgil's Aeneid, with notes on it, if we can agree about the price.

Book. Why, what price would you have?

Scare. You shall read it first, otherwise how will you know the value?

Book. No, no, sir, I never deal that way—a poem is a poem, and a pamphlet a pamphlet with me. Give me a good handsome large volume, with a full promising title-page at the head of it, printed on a good paper and letter, the whole well bound and gilt, and I'll warrant its selling. You have the common error of authors, who think people buy books to read. No, no, books are only bought to furnish libraries, as pictures and glasses, and beds and chairs, are for other rooms. Look ye, sir, I don't like your title-page: however, to oblige a young beginner, I don't care if I do print it at my own expence.

Scare. But pray, sir, at whose expence shall I eat?

Book. At whose? Why, at mine, sir, at mine. I am as great a friend to learning as the Dutch are to trade: no one can want bread with me who will earn it; therefore, sir, if you please to take your seat at my table, here will be everything necessary provided for you: good milk porridge, very often twice a day, which is good wholesome food and proper for students; a translator too is what I want at present, my last being in Newgate for shop-lifting. The rogue had a trick of translating out of the shops as well as the languages.

Scare. But I am afraid I am not qualified for a translator, for I understand no language but my own.

Book. What, and translate Virgil?

Scare. Alas! I translated him out of Dryden.

Book. Lay by your hat, sir—lay by your hat, and take your seat immediately. Not qualified!—thou art as well versed in thy trade as if thou hadst laboured in my garret these ten years. Let me tell you, friend, you will have more occasion for invention than learning here. You will be obliged to translate books out of all languages, especially French, that were never printed in any language whatsoever.

Scare. Your trade abounds in mysteries.

Book. The study of bookselling is as difficult as the law: and there are as many tricks in the one as the other. Sometimes we give a foreign name to our own labours, and sometimes we put our names to the labours of others. Then, as the lawyers have John-a-Nokes and Tom-a-Stiles, so we have Messieurs Moore near St Paul's and Smith near the Royal Exchange.


Luck. Mr Bookweight, your servant. Who can form to himself an idea more amiable than of a man at the head of so many patriots working for the benefit of their country.

Book. Truly, sir, I believe it is an idea more agreeable to you than that of a gentleman in the Crown-office paying thirty or forty guineas for abusing an honest tradesman.

Luck. Pshaw! that was only jocosely done, and a man who lives by wit must not be angry at a jest.

Book. Look ye, sir, if you have a mind to compromise the matter, and have brought me any money—

Luck. Hast thou been in thy trade so long, and talk of money to a modern author? You might as well have talked Latin or Greek to him. I have brought you paper, sir.

Book. That is not bringing me money, I own. Have you brought me an opera?

Luck. You may call it an opera if you will, but I call it a puppet-show.

Book. A puppet-show!

Luck. Ay, a puppet show; and is to be played this night at Drury-lane playhouse.

Book. A puppet-show in a playhouse!

Luck. Ay, why, what have been all the playhouses a long while but puppet-shows?

Book. Why, I don't know but it may succeed; at least if we can make out a tolerable good title-page: so, if you will walk in, if I can make a bargain with you I will. Gentlemen, you may go to dinner.

SCENE VII.—Enter JACK-PUDDING, Drummer, Mob.

Jack-P. This is to give notice to all gentlemen, ladies, and others, that at the Theatre Royal in Drury-lane, this evening, will be performed the whole puppet-show called the Pleasures of the Town; in which will be shewn the whole court of nonsense, with abundance of singing, dancing, and several other entertainments: also the comical and diverting humours of Some-body and No-body; Punch and his wife Joan to be performed by figures, some of them six foot high. God save the King.

[Drum beats.

SCENE VIII.—WITMORE with a paper, meeting LUCKLESS.

Wit. Oh! Luckless, I am overjoyed to meet you; here, take this paper, and you will be discouraged from writing, I warrant you.

Luck. What is it?—Oh! one of my play-bills.

Wit. One of thy play-bills!

Luck. Even so—I have taken the advice you gave me this morning.

Wit. Explain.

Luck. Why, I had some time since given this performance of mine to be rehearsed, and the actors were all perfect in their parts; but we happened to differ about some particulars, and I had a design to have given it over; 'till having my play refused by Marplay, I sent for the managers of the other house in a passion, joined issue with them, and this very evening it is to be acted.

Wit. Well, I wish you success.

Luck. Where are you going?

Wit. Anywhere but to hear you damned, which I must, was I to go to your puppet-show.

Luck. Indulge me in this trial; and I assure thee, if it be successless, it shall be the last.

Wit. On that condition I will; but should the torrent run against you, I shall be a fashionable friend and hiss with the rest.

Luck. No, a man who could do so unfashionable and so generous a thing as Mr Witmore did this morning——

Wit. Then I hope you will return it, by never mentioning it to me more. I will now to the pit.

Luck. And I behind the scenes.


Luck. Dear Harriot!

Har. I was going to the playhouse to look after you—I am frightened out of my wits—I have left my mother at home with the strangest sort of man, who is inquiring after you: he has raised a mob before the door by the oddity of his appearance; his dress is like nothing I ever saw, and he talks of kings, and Bantam, and the strangest stuff.

Luck. What the devil can he be?

Har. One of your old acquaintance, I suppose, in disguise—one of his majesty's officers with his commission in his pocket, I warrant him.

Luck. Well, but have you your part perfect?

Har. I had, unless this fellow hath frightened it out of my head again; but I am afraid I shall play it wretchedly.

Luck. Why so?

Har. I shall never have assurance enough to go through with it, especially if they should hiss me.

Luck. Oh! your mask will keep you in countenance, and as for hissing, you need not fear it. The audience are generally so favourable to young beginners: but hist, here is your mother and she has seen us. Adieu, my dear, make what haste you can to the playhouse.



Har. I wish I could avoid her, for I suppose we shall have an alarum.

Money. So, so, very fine: always together, always caterwauling. How like a hangdog he stole off; and it's well for him he did, for I should have rung such a peal in his ears.—There's a friend of his at my house would be very glad of his company, and I wish it was in my power to bring them together.

Har. You would not surely be so barbarous.

Money. Barbarous! ugh! You whining, puling fool! Hussey, you have not a drop of my blood in you. What, you are in love, I suppose?

Har. If I was, madam, it would be no crime,

Money. Yes, madam, but it would, and a folly too. No woman of sense was ever in love with anything but a man's pocket. What, I suppose he has filled your head with a pack of romantick stuff of streams and dreams, and charms and arms. I know this is the stuff they all run on with, and so run into our debts, and run away with our daughters. Come, confess; are not you two to live in a wilderness together on love? Ah! thou fool! thou wilt find he will pay thee in love just as he has paid me in money. If thou wert resolved to go a-begging, why did you not follow the camp? There, indeed, you might have carried a knapsack; but here you will have no knapsack to carry. There, indeed, you might have had a chance of burying half a score husbands in a campaign; whereas a poet is a long-lived animal; you have but one chance of burying him, and that is, starving him.

Har. Well, madam, and I would sooner starve with the man I love than ride in a coach and six with him I hate: and, as for his passion, you will not make me suspect that, for he hath given me such proofs on't.

Money. Proofs! I shall die. Has he given you proofs of love?

Har. All that any modest woman can require.

Money. If he has given you all a modest woman can require, I am afraid he has given you more than a modest woman should take: because he has been so good a lodger, I suppose I shall have some more of the family to keep. It is probable I shall live to see half a dozen grandsons of mine in Grub-street.


Jack. Oh, madam! the man whom you took for a bailiff is certainly some great man; he has a vast many jewels and other fine things about him; he offered me twenty guineas to shew him my master, and has given away so much money among the chairmen, that some folks believe he intends to stand member of parliament for Westminster.

Money. Nay, then, I am sure he is worth inquiring into. So, d'ye hear, sirrah, make as much haste as you can before me, and desire him to part with no more money till I come.

Har. So, now my mother is in pursuit of money, I may securely go in pursuit of my lover: and I am mistaken, good mamma, if e'en you would not think that the better pursuit of the two.

In generous love transporting raptures lie, Which age, with all its treasures, cannot buy.






THE town hath seldom been more divided in its opinion than concerning the merit of the following scenes. While some publickly affirmed that no author could produce so fine a piece but Mr P——, others have with as much vehemence insisted that no one could write anything so bad but Mr F——.

Nor can we wonder at this dissension about its merit, when the learned would have not unanimously decided even the very nature of this tragedy. For though most of the universities in Europe have honoured it with the name of "Egregium et maximi pretii opus, tragoediis tam antiquis quam novis longe anteponendum;" nay, Dr B—— hath pronounced, "Citius Maevii Aeneadem quam Scribleri istrus tragoediam hanc crediderium, cujus autorem Senecam ipsum tradidisse haud dubitarim:" and the great professor Burman hath styled Tom Thumb "Heroum omnium tragicorum facile principem:" nay, though it hath, among other languages, been translated into Dutch, and celebrated with great applause at Amsterdam (where burlesque never came) by the title of Mynheer Vander Thumb, the burgomasters receiving it with that reverent and silent attention which becometh an audience at a deep tragedy. Notwithstanding all this, there have not been wanting some who have represented these scenes in a ludicrous light; and Mr D—— hath been heard to say, with some concern, that he wondered a tragical and Christian nation would permit a representation on its theatre so visibly designed to ridicule and extirpate everything that is great and solemn among us.

This learned critick and his followers were led into so great an error by that surreptitious and piratical copy which stole last year into the world; with what injustice and prejudice to our author will be acknowledged, I hope, by every one who shall happily peruse this genuine and original copy. Nor can I help remarking, to the great praise of our author, that, however imperfect the former was, even that faint resemblance of the true Tom Thumb contained sufficient beauties to give it a run of upwards of forty nights to the politest audiences. But, notwithstanding that applause which it received from all the best judges, it was as severely censured by some few bad ones, and, I believe rather maliciously than ignorantly, reported to have been intended a burlesque on the loftiest parts of tragedy, and designed to banish what we generally call fine things from the stage.

Now, if I can set my country right in an affair of this importance, I shall lightly esteem any labour which it may cost. And this I the rather undertake, first, as it is indeed in some measure incumbent on me to vindicate myself from that surreptitious copy before mentioned, published by some ill-meaning people under my name; secondly, as knowing myself more capable of doing justice to our author than any other man, as I have given myself more pains to arrive at a thorough understanding of this little piece, having for ten years together read nothing else; in which time, I think, I may modestly presume, with the help of my English dictionary, to comprehend all the meanings of every word in it.

But should any error of my pen awaken Clariss. Bentleium to enlighten the world with his annotations on our author, I shall not think that the least reward or happiness arising to me from these my endeavours.

I shall waive at present what hath caused such feuds in the learned world, whether this piece was originally written by Shakspeare, though certainly that, were it true, must add a considerable share to its merit, especially with such who are so generous as to buy and commend what they never read, from an implicit faith in the author only: a faith which our age abounds in as much as it can be called deficient in any other.

Let it suffice, that THE TRAGEDY OF TRAGEDIES; or, THE LIFE AND DEATH OF TOM THUMB, was written in the reign of queen Elizabeth. Nor can the objection made by Mr D——, that the tragedy must then have been antecedent to the history, have any weight, when we consider that, though the HISTORY OF TOM THUMB, printed by and for Edward M——r, at the Looking-glass on London-bridge, be of a later date, still must we suppose this history to have been transcribed from some other, unless we suppose the writer thereof to be inspired: a gift very faintly contended for by the writers of our age. As to this history's not bearing the stamp of second, third, or fourth edition, I see but little in that objection; editions being very uncertain lights to judge of books by; and perhaps Mr M——r may have joined twenty editions in one, as Mr C——l hath ere now divided one into twenty.

Nor doth the other argument, drawn from the little care our author hath taken to keep up to the letter of this history, carry any greater force. Are there not instances of plays wherein the history is so perverted, that we can know the heroes whom they celebrate by no other marks than their names? nay, do we not find the same character placed by different poets in such different lights, that we can discover not the least sameness, or even likeness, in the features? The Sophonisba of Mairet and of Lee is a tender, passionate, amorous mistress of Massinissa: Corneille and Mr Thomson give her no other passion but the love of her country, and make her as cool in her affection to Massinissa as to Syphax. In the two latter she resembles the character of queen Elizabeth; in the two former she is the picture of Mary queen of Scotland. In short, the one Sophonisba is as different from the other as the Brutus of Voltaire is from the Marius, jun., of Otway, or as the Minerva is from the Venus of the ancients.

Let us now proceed to a regular examination of the tragedy before us, in which I shall treat separately of the Fable, the Moral, the Characters, the Sentiments, and the Diction. And first of the

Fable; which I take to be the most simple imaginable; and, to use the words of an eminent author, "one, regular, and uniform, not charged with a multiplicity of incidents, and yet affording several revolutions of fortune, by which the passions may be excited, varied, and driven to their full tumult of emotion."—Nor is the action of this tragedy less great than uniform. The spring of all is the love of Tom Thumb for Huncamunca; which caused the quarrel between their majesties in the first act; the passion of Lord Grizzle in the second; the rebellion, fall of Lord Grizzle and Glumdalca, devouring of Tom Thumb by the cow, and that bloody catastrophe, in the third.

Nor is the Moral of this excellent tragedy less noble than the Fable; it teaches these two instructive lessons, viz., that human happiness is exceeding transient; and that death is the certain end of all men: the former whereof is inculcated by the fatal end of Tom Thumb; the latter, by that of all the other personages.

The Characters are, I think, sufficiently described in the dramatis personae; and I believe we shall find few plays where greater care is taken to maintain them throughout, and to preserve in every speech that characteristical mark which distinguishes them from each other. "But (says Mr D——) how well doth the character of Tom Thumb, whom we must call the hero of this tragedy, if it hath any hero, agree with the precepts of Aristotle, who defineth 'Tragedy to be the imitation of a short but perfect action, containing a just greatness in itself'? &c. What greatness can be in a fellow whom history relateth to have been no higher than a span?" This gentleman seemeth to think, with serjeant Kite, that the greatness of a man's soul is in proportion to that of his body; the contrary of which is affirmed by our English physiognomical writers. Besides, if I understand Aristotle right, he speaketh only of the greatness of the action, and not of the person.

As for the Sentiments and the Diction, which now only remain to be spoken to; I thought I could afford them no stronger justification than by producing parallel passages out of the best of our English writers. Whether this sameness of thought and expression, which I have quoted from them, proceeded from an agreement in their way of thinking, or whether they have borrowed from our author, I leave the reader to determine. I shall adventure to affirm this of the Sentiments of our author, that they are generally the most familiar which I have ever met with, and at the same time delivered with the highest dignity of phrase; which brings me to speak of his diction. Here I shall only beg one postulatum, viz., That the greatest perfection of the language of a tragedy is, that it is not to be understood; which granted (as I think it must be), it will necessarily follow that the only way to avoid this is by being too high or too low for the understanding, which will comprehend everything within its reach. Those two extremities of stile Mr Dryden illustrates by the familiar image of two inns, which I shall term the aerial and the subterrestrial.

Horace goes farther, and sheweth when it is proper to call at one of these inns, and when at the other:

Telephus et Peleus, cum pauper et exul uterque, Projicit ampullas et sesquipedalia verba.

That he approveth of the sesquipedalia verba is plain; for, had not Telephus and Peleus used this sort of diction in prosperity, they could not have dropt it in adversity. The aerial inn, therefore (says Horace), is proper only to be frequented by princes and other great men in the highest affluence of fortune; the subterrestrial is appointed for the entertainment of the poorer sort of people only, whom Horace advises,

—dolere sermone pedestri.

The true meaning of both which citations is, that bombast is the proper language for joy, and doggrel for grief; the latter of which is literally implied in the sermo pedestris, as the former is in the sesquipedalia verba.

Cicero recommendeth the former of these: "Quid est tarn furiosum vel tragicum quam verborum sonitus inanis, nulla subjecta sententia neque scientia." What can be so proper for tragedy as a set of big sounding words, so contrived together as to convey no meaning? which I shall one day or other prove to be the sublime of Longinus. Ovid declareth absolutely for the latter inn:

Omne genus scripti gravitate tragoedia vincit.

Tragedy hath, of all writings, the greatest share in the bathos; which is the profound of Scriblerus.

I shall not presume to determine which of these two stiles be properer for tragedy. It sufficeth, that our author excelleth in both. He is very rarely within sight through the whole play, either rising higher than the eye of your understanding can soar, or sinking lower than it careth to stoop. But here it may perhaps be observed that I have given more frequent instances of authors who have imitated him in the sublime than in the contrary. To which I answer, first, Bombast being properly a redundancy of genius, instances of this nature occur in poets whose names do more honour to our author than the writers in the doggrel, which proceeds from a cool, calm, weighty way of thinking. Instances whereof are most frequently to be found in authors of a lower class. Secondly, That the works of such authors are difficultly found at all. Thirdly, That it is a very hard task to read them, in order to extract these flowers from them. And lastly, it is very difficult to transplant them at all; they being like some flowers of a very nice nature, which will flourish in no soil but their own: for it is easy to transcribe a thought, but not the want of one. The EARL OF ESSEX, for instance, is a little garden of choice rarities, whence you can scarce transplant one line so as to preserve its original beauty. This must account to the reader for his missing the names of several of his acquaintance, which he had certainly found here, had I ever read their works; for which, if I have not a just esteem, I can at least say with Cicero, "Quae non contemno, quippe quae nunquam legerim." However, that the reader may meet with due satisfaction in this point, I have a young commentator from the university, who is reading over all the modern tragedies, at five shillings a dozen, and collecting all that they have stole from our author, which shall be shortly added as an appendix to this work.



King Arthur, a passionate sort of king, husband to queen Dollallolla, of whom he stands a little in fear; father to Huncamunca, Mr MULLART. whom he is very fond of, and in love with Glumdalca.

Tom Thumb the Great, a little hero with a great soul, something violent in his YOUNG temper, which is a little abated by his VERHUYCK. love for Huncamunca.

Ghost of Gaffer Thumb, a whimsical sort Mr LACY. of ghost.

Lord Grizzle, extremely zealous for the liberty of the subject, very cholerick in his Mr JONES. temper, and in love with Huncamunca.

Merlin, a conjurer, and in some sort Mr HALLAM. father to Tom Thumb.

Noodle, Doodle, courtiers in place, and Mr REYNOLDS, consequently of that party that is uppermost Mr WATHAN.

Foodle, a courtier that is out of place, and consequently of that party that is Mr AYRES. undermost

Bailiff, and Follower, of the party of Mr PETERSON, the plaintiff. Mr HICKS.

Parson, of the side of the church. Mr WATSON.


Queen Dollallolla, wife to king Arthur, and mother to Huncamunca, a woman intirely Mrs MULLART. faultless, saving that she is a little given to drink, a little too much a virago towards her husband, and in love with Tom Thumb.

The Princess Huncamunca, daughter to their majesties king Arthur and queen Dollallolla, of a very sweet, gentle, and Mrs JONES. amorous disposition, equally in love with Lord Grizzle and Tom Thumb, and desirous to be married to them both.

Glumdalca, of the giants, a captive queen, beloved by the king, but in love with Mrs DOVE. Tom Thumb.

Cleora, Mustacha, maids of honour in love with Noodle and Doodle.—Courtiers, Guards, Rebels, Drums, Trumpets, Thunder and Lightning.

SCENE, the court of king Arthur, and a plain thereabouts.



Doodle. Sure such a [1]day as this was never seen! The sun himself, on this auspicious day, Shines like a beau in a new birth-day suit: This down the seams embroidered, that the beams. All nature wears one universal grin.

[Footnote 1: Corneille recommends some very remarkable day wherein to fix the action of a tragedy. This the best of our tragical writers have understood to mean a day remarkable for the serenity of the sky, or what we generally call a fine summer's day; so that, according to this their exposition, the same months are proper for tragedy which are proper for pastoral. Most of our celebrated English tragedies, as Cato, Mariamne, Tamerlane, &c., begin with their observations on the morning. Lee seems to have come the nearest to this beautiful description of our author's:

The morning dawns with an unwonted crimson, The flowers all odorous seem, the garden birds Sing louder, and the laughing sun ascends The gaudy earth with an unusual brightness; All nature smiles.—Caes. Borg.

Massinissa, in the New Sophonisba, is also a favourite of the sun:

———The sun too seems As conscious of my joy, with broader eye To look abroad the world, and all things smile Like Sophonisba.

Memnon, in the Persian Princess, makes the sun decline rising, that he may not peep on objects which would profane his brightness:

——The morning rises slow, And all those ruddy streaks that used to paint The day's approach are lost in clouds, as if The horrors of the night had sent 'em back, To warn the sun he should not leave the sea, To peep, &c. ]

Nood. This day, O Mr Doodle, is a day Indeed!—A day, [1] we never saw before. The mighty [2] Thomas Thumb victorious comes; Millions of giants crowd his chariot wheels, [3] Giants! to whom the giants in Guildhall Are infant dwarfs. They frown, and foam, and roar, While Thumb, regardless of their noise, rides on. So some cock-sparrow in a farmer's yard, Hops at the head of an huge flock of turkeys.

[Footnote 1: This line is highly conformable to the beautiful simplicity of the antients. It hath been copied by almost every modern.

Not to be is not to be in woe.—State of Innocence.

Love is not sin but where 'tis sinful love.—Don Sebastian.

Nature is nature, Laelius.—Sophonisba.

Men are but men, we did not make ourselves.—Revenge. ]

[Footnote 2: Dr B—y reads, The mighty Tall-mast Thumb. Mr D—s, The mighty Thumbing Thumb. Mr T—d reads, Thundering. I think Thomas more agreeable to the great simplicity so apparent in our author.]

[Footnote 3: That learned historian Mr S—n, in the third number of his criticism on our author, takes great pains to explode this passage. "It is," says he, "difficult to guess what giants are here meant, unless the giant Despair in the Pilgrim's Progress, or the giant Greatness in the Royal Villain; for I have heard of no other sort of giants in the reign of king Arthur." Petrus Burmannus makes three Tom Thumbs, one whereof he supposes to have been the same person whom the Greeks called Hercules; and that by these giants are to be understood the Centaurs slain by that hero. Another Tom Thumb he contends to have been no other than the Hermes Trismegistus of the antients. The third Tom Thumb he places under the reign of king Arthur; to which third Tom Thumb, says he, the actions of the other two were attributed. Now, though I know that this opinion is supported by an assertion of Justus Lipsius, "Thomam illum Thumbum non alium quam Herculem fuisse satis constat," yet shall I venture to oppose one line of Mr Midwinter against them all:

In Arthur's court Tom Thumb did live.

"But then," says Dr B—y, "if we place Tom Thumb in the court of king Arthur, it will be proper to place that court out of Britain, where no giants were ever heard of." Spenser, in his Fairy Queen, is of another opinion, where, describing Albion, he says,

———Far within a savage nation dwelt Of hideous giants.

And in the same canto:

Then Elfar, with two brethren giants had, The one of which had two heads——— The other three.

Risum teneatis, amici. ]

Dood. When Goody Thumb first brought this Thomas forth, The Genius of our land triumphant reign'd; Then, then, O Arthur! did thy Genius reign.

Nood. They tell me it is [1]whisper'd in the books Of all our sages, that this mighty hero, By Merlin's art begot, hath not a bone Within his skin, but is a lump of gristle.

[Footnote 1: "To whisper in books," says Mr D—s, "is arrant nonsense." I am afraid this learned man does not sufficiently understand the extensive meaning of the word whisper. If he had rightly understood what is meant by the "senses whisp'ring the soul," in the Persian Princess, or what "whisp'ring like winds" is in Aurengzebe, or like thunder in another author, he would have understood this. Emmeline in Dryden sees a voice, but she was born blind, which is an excuse Panthea cannot plead in Cyrus, who hears a sight:

————Your description will surpass All fiction, painting, or dumb shew of horror, That ever ears yet heard, or eyes beheld.

When Mr D—s understands these, he will understand whispering in books. ]

Dood. Then 'tis a gristle of no mortal kind; Some God, my Noodle, stept into the place Of Gaffer Thumb, and more than [1]half begot This mighty Tom.

[Footnote 1: Some ruffian stept into his father's place, And more than half begot him.—Mary Queen of Scots]

Nood.—[1] Sure he was sent express From Heaven to be the pillar of our state. Though small his body be, so very small A chairman's leg is more than twice as large, Yet is his soul like any mountain big; And as a mountain once brought forth a mouse, [2] So doth this mouse contain a mighty mountain.

[Footnote 1: For Ulamar seems sent express from Heaven, To civilize this rugged Indian clime.—Liberty Asserted]

[Footnote 2: "Omne majus continet in se minus, sed minus non in se majus continere potest," says Scaliger in Thumbo. I suppose he would have cavilled at these beautiful lines in the Earl of Essex:

——Thy most inveterate soul, That looks through the foul prison of thy body.

And at those of Dryden:

The palace is without too well design'd; Conduct me in, for I will view thy mind.—Aurengzebe. ]

Dood. Mountain indeed! So terrible his name, [1]The giant nurses frighten children with it, And cry Tom Thumb is come, and if you are Naughty, will surely take the child away.

[Footnote 1: Mr Banks hath copied this almost verbatim:

It was enough to say, here's Essex come, And nurses still'd their children with the fright. —Earl of Essex. ]

Nood. But hark! [1]these trumpets speak the king's approach.

[Footnote 1: The trumpet in a tragedy is generally as much as to say, Enter king, which makes Mr Banks, in one of his plays, call it the trumpet's formal sound.]

Dood. He comes most luckily for my petition.



King. [1] Let nothing but a face of joy appear; The man who frowns this day shall lose his head, That he may have no face to frown withal. Smile Dollallolla—Ha! what wrinkled sorrow [2] Hangs, sits, lies, frowns upon thy knitted brow? Whence flow those tears fast down thy blubber'd cheeks, Like a swoln gutter, gushing through the streets?

[Footnote 1: Phraortes, in the Captives, seems to have been acquainted with King Arthur:

Proclaim a festival for seven days' space, Let the court shine in all its pomp and lustre, Let all our streets resound with shouts of joy; Let musick's care-dispelling voice be heard; The sumptuous banquet and the flowing goblet Shall warm the cheek and fill the heart with gladness. Astarbe shall sit mistress of the feast.


[Footnote 2:

Repentance frowns on thy contracted brow.—Sophonisba.

Hung on his clouded brow, I mark'd despair.—Ibid.

—A sullen gloom Scowls on his brow.—Busiris. ]

Queen. [1]Excess of joy, my lord, I've heard folks say, Gives tears as certain as excess of grief.

[Footnote 1: Plato is of this opinion, and so is Mr Banks:

Behold these tears sprung from fresh pain and joy. —Earl of Essex. ]

King. If it be so, let all men cry for joy, [1]Till my whole court be drowned with their tears; Nay, till they overflow my utmost land, And leave me nothing but the sea to rule.

[Footnote 1: These floods are very frequent in the tragick authors:

Near to some murmuring brook I'll lay me down, Whose waters, if they should too shallow flow, My tears shall swell them up till I will drown. —Lee's Sophonisba.

Pouring forth tears at such a lavish rate, That were the world on fire they might have drown'd The wrath of heaven, and quench'd the mighty ruin. —Mithridates.

One author changes the waters of grief to those of joy:

——These tears, that sprung from tides of grief, Are now augmented to a flood of joy.—Cyrus the Great.


Turns all the streams of heat, and makes them flow In pity's channel.—Royal Villain.

One drowns himself:

——Pity like a torrent pours me down, Now I am drowning all within a deluge.—Anna Sullen.

Cyrus drowns the whole world:

Our swelling grief Shall melt into a deluge, and the world Shall drown in tears.—Cyrus the Great. ]

Dood. My liege, I a petition have here got.

King. Petition me no petitions, sir, to-day: Let other hours be set apart for business. To-day it is our pleasure to be [1]drunk. And this our queen shall be as drunk as we.

[Footnote 1: An expression vastly beneath the dignity of tragedy, says Mr D—s, yet we find the word he cavils at in the mouth of Mithridates less properly used, and applied to a more terrible idea:

I would be drunk with death.—Mithridates.

The author of the New Sophonisba taketh hold of this monosyllable, and uses it pretty much to the same purpose:

The Carthaginian sword with Roman blood Was drunk.

I would ask Mr D—s which gives him the best idea, a drunken king, or a drunken sword?

Mr Tate dresses up King Arthur's resolution in heroick:

Merry, my lord, o' th' captain's humour right, I am resolved to be dead drunk to-night.

Lee also uses this charming word:

Love's the drunkenness of the mind.—Gloriana. ]

Queen. (Though I already[1] half seas over am) If the capacious goblet overflow With arrack punch——'fore George! I'll see it out: Of rum and brandy I'll not taste a drop.

[Footnote 1: Dryden hath borrowed this, and applied it improperly:

I'm half seas o'er in death.—Cleomenes ]

King. Though rack, in punch, eight shillings be a quart, And rum and brandy be no more than six, Rather than quarrel you shall have your will. [Trumpets. But, ha! the warrior comes—the great Tom Thumb, The little hero, giant-killing boy, Preserver of my kingdom, is arrived.

SCENE III.—TOM THUMB to them, with Officers, Prisoners, and Attendants.

King. [1] Oh! welcome most, most welcome to my arms. What gratitude can thank away the debt Your valour lays upon me?

[Footnote 1: This figure is in great use among the tragedians:

'Tis therefore, therefore 'tis.—Victim.

I long, repent, repent, and long again.—Busiris. ]

Queen.—————[1] Oh! ye gods! [Aside.

[Footnote 1: A tragical exclamation.]

Thumb. When I'm not thank'd at all, I'm thank'd enough. [1] I've done my duty, and I've done no more,

[Footnote 1: This line is copied verbatim in the Captives.]

Queen. Was ever such a godlike creature seen? [Aside.

King. Thy modesty's a [1]candle to thy merit, It shines itself, and shews thy merit too. But say, my boy, where didst thou leave the giants?

[Footnote 1: We find a candlestick for this candle in two celebrated authors:

———Each star withdraws His golden head, and burns within the socket.—Nero.

A soul grown old and sunk into the socket.—Sebastian. ]

Thumb. My liege, without the castle gates they stand, The castle gates too low for their admittance.

King. What look they like?

Thumb. Like nothing but themselves.

Queen. [1]And sure thou art like nothing but thyself. [Aside.

[Footnote 1: This simile occurs very frequently among the dramatic writers of both kinds.]

King. Enough! the vast idea fills my soul. I see them—yes, I see them now before me: The monstrous, ugly, barb'rous sons of whores. But ha! what form majestick strikes our eyes? [1]So perfect, that it seems to have been drawn By all the gods in council: so fair she is, That surely at her birth the council paused, And then at length cry'd out, This is a woman!

[Footnote 1: Mr Lee hath stolen this thought from our author:

This perfect face, drawn by the gods in council, Which they were long a making.—Luc. Jun. Brut.

—At his birth the heavenly council paused, And then at last cry'd out, This is a man!

Dryden hath improved this hint to the utmost perfection:

So perfect, that the very gods who form'd you wonder'd At their own skill, and cry'd, A lucky hit Has mended our design! Their envy hindered, Or you had been immortal, and a pattern, When Heaven would work for ostentation sake, To copy out again.—All for Love.

Banks prefers the works of Michael Angelo to that of the gods:

A pattern for the gods to make a man by, Or Michael Angelo to form a statue. ]

Thumb. Then were the gods mistaken—she is not A woman, but a giantess——whom we, [1] With much ado, have made a shift to hawl Within the town:[2] for she is by a foot Shorter than all her subject giants were.

[Footnote 1: It is impossible, says Mr W——, sufficiently to admire this natural easy line.]

[Footnote 2: This tragedy, which in most points resembles the ancients, differs from them in this—that it assigns the same honour to lowness of stature which they did to height. The gods and heroes in Homer and Virgil are continually described higher by the head than their followers, the contrary of which is observed by our author. In short, to exceed on either side is equally admirable; and a man of three foot is as wonderful a sight as a man of nine.]

Glum. We yesterday were both a queen and wife, One hundred thousand giants own'd our sway, Twenty whereof were married to ourself.

Queen. Oh! happy state of giantism where husbands Like mushrooms grow, whilst hapless we are forced To be content, nay, happy thought, with one.

Glum. But then to lose them all in one black day, That the same sun which, rising, saw me wife To twenty giants, setting should behold Me widow'd of them all.——[1]My worn-out heart, That ship, leaks fast, and the great heavy lading, My soul, will quickly sink.

[Footnote 1:

My blood leaks fast, and the great heavy lading My soul will quickly sink.—Mithridates.

My soul is like a ship.—Injured Love. ]

Queen. Madam, believe I view your sorrows with a woman's eye: But learn to bear them with what strength you may, To-morrow we will have our grenadiers Drawn out before you, and you then shall choose What husbands you think fit.

Glum. [1]Madam, I am Your most obedient and most humble servant.

[Footnote 1: This well-bred line seems to be copied in the Persian Princess:—

To be your humblest and most faithful slave. ]

King. Think, mighty princess, think this court your own, Nor think the landlord me, this house my inn; Call for whate'er you will, you'll nothing pay. [1]I feel a sudden pain within my breast, Nor know I whether it arise from love Or only the wind-cholick. Time must shew. O Thumb! what do we to thy valour owe! Ask some reward, great as we can bestow.

[Footnote 1: This doubt of the king puts me in mind of a passage in the Captives, where the noise of feet is mistaken for the rustling of leaves.

———Methinks I hear The sound of feet: No; 'twas the wind that shook yon cypress boughs. ]

Thumb. [1] I ask not kingdoms, I can conquer those; I ask not money, money I've enough; For what I've done, and what I mean to do, For giants slain, and giants yet unborn, Which I will slay—-if this be called a debt, Take my receipt in full: I ask but this,— [2] To sun myself in Huncamunca's eyes.

[Footnote 1: Mr Dryden seems to have had this passage in his eye in the first page of Love Triumphant.]

[Footnote 2: Don Carlos, in the Revenge, suns himself in the charms of his mistress:

While in the lustre of her charms I lay. ]

King. Prodigious bold request. [Aside.

Queen. ————[1] Be still, my soul. [Aside.

[Footnote 1: A tragical phrase much in use.]

Thumb. [1]My heart is at the threshold of your mouth, And waits its answer there.—Oh! do not frown. I've try'd to reason's tune to tune my soul, But love did overwind and crack the string. Though Jove in thunder had cry'd out, YOU SHAN'T, I should have loved her still—for oh, strange fate, Then when I loved her least I loved her most!

[Footnote 1: This speech hath been taken to pieces by several tragical authors, who seem to have rifled it, and shared its beauties among them.

My soul waits at the portal of thy breast, To ravish from thy lips the welcome news.—Anna Bullen.

My soul stands list'ning at my ears.—Cyrus the Great.

Love to his tune my jarring heart would bring, But reason overwinds, and cracks the string.—D. of Guise.

———-I should have loved, Though Jove, in muttering thunder, had forbid it. —New Sophonisba.

And when it (my heart) wild resolves to love no more, Then is the triumph of excessive love.—Ibid. ]

King. It is resolv'd—the princess is your own.

Thumb. Oh! [1]happy, happy, happy, happy Thumb.

[Footnote 1: Massinissa is one-fourth less happy than Tom Thumb.]

Oh! happy, happy, happy!—Ibid. ]

Queen. Consider, sir; reward your soldier's merit, But give not Huncamunca to Tom Thumb.

King. Tom Thumb! Odzooks! my wide-extended realm, Knows not a name so glorious as Tom Thumb. Let Macedonia Alexander boast, Let Rome her Caesars and her Scipios show, Her Messieurs France, let Holland boast Mynheers, Ireland her O's, her Macs let Scotland boast, Let England boast no other than Tom Thumb.

Queen. Though greater yet his boasted merit was, He shall not have my daughter, that is pos'.

King. Ha! sayst thou, Dollallolla?

Queen.————-I say he shan't.

King. [1]Then by our royal self we swear you lie.

[Footnote 1: No by myself.—Anna Bullen.]

Queen. [1] Who but a dog, who but a dog Would use me as thou dost? Me, who have lain [2] These twenty years so loving by thy side! But I will be revenged. I'll hang myself. Then tremble all who did this match persuade, [3] For, riding on a cat, from high I'll fall, And squirt down royal vengeance on you all.

[Footnote 1: —————Who caused This dreadful revolution in my fate. Ulamar. Who but a dog—who but a dog?—Liberty As. ]

[Footnote 2: ——————A bride, Who twenty years lay loving by your side.—Banks. ]

[Footnote 3: For, borne upon a cloud, from high I'll fall, And rain down royal vengeance on you all.—Alb. Queens. ]

Food. [1]Her majesty the queen is in a passion.

[Footnote 1: An information very like this we have in the tragedy of Love, where, Cyrus having stormed in the most violent manner, Cyaxares observes very calmly,

Why, nephew Cyrus, you are moved. ]

King. [1] Be she, or be she not, I'll to the girl And pave thy way, oh Thumb—Now by ourself, We were indeed a pretty king of clouts To truckle to her will—For when by force Or art the wife her husband over-reaches, Give him the petticoat, and her the breeches.

[Footnote 1: 'Tis in your choice. Love me, or love me not.—Conquest of Granada. ]

Thumb. [1] Whisper ye winds, that Huncamunca's mine! Echoes repeat, that Huncamunca's mine! The dreadful bus'ness of the war is o'er, And beauty, heav'nly beauty! crowns my toils! I've thrown the bloody garment now aside And hymeneal sweets invite my bride.

So when some chimney-sweeper all the day Hath through dark paths pursued the sooty way, At night to wash his hands and face he flies, And in his t'other shirt with his Brickdusta lies.

[Footnote 1: There is not one beauty in this charming speech but what hath been borrow'd by almost every tragick writer. ]


Grizzle (solus.) [1] Where art thou, Grizzle? where are now thy glories? Where are the drums that waken thee to honour? Greatness is a laced coat from Monmouth-street, Which fortune lends us for a day to wear, To-morrow puts it on another's back. The spiteful sun but yesterday survey'd His rival high as Saint Paul's cupola; Now may he see me as Fleet-ditch laid low.

[Footnote 1: Mr Banks has (I wish I could not say too servilely) imitated this of Grizzle in his Earl of Essex: Where art thou, Essex, &c.]


Queen. [1]Teach me to scold, prodigious-minded Grizzle, Mountain of treason, ugly as the devil, Teach this confounded hateful mouth of mine To spout forth words malicious as thyself, Words which might shame all Billingsgate to speak.

[Footnote 1: The countess of Nottingham, in the Earl of Essex, is apparently acquainted with Dollallolla.]

Griz. Far be it from my pride to think my tongue Your royal lips can in that art instruct, Wherein you so excel. But may I ask, Without offence, wherefore my queen would scold?

Queen. Wherefore? Oh! blood and thunder! han't you heard (What every corner of the court resounds) That little Thumb will be a great man made?

Griz. I heard it, I confess—for who, alas! [1] Can always stop his ears?—But would my teeth, By grinding knives, had first been set on edge!

[Footnote 1: Grizzle was not probably possessed of that glew of which Mr Banks speaks in his Cyrus.

I'll glew my ears to every word. ]

Queen. Would I had heard, at the still noon of night, The hallalloo of fire in every street! Odsbobs! I have a mind to hang myself, To think I should a grandmother be made By such a rascal!—Sure the king forgets When in a pudding, by his mother put, The bastard, by a tinker, on a stile Was dropp'd.—O, good lord Grizzle! can I bear To see him from a pudding mount the throne? Or can, oh can, my Huncamunca bear To take a pudding's offspring to her arms?

Griz. Oh horror! horror! horror! cease, my queen, [1] Thy voice, like twenty screech-owls, wracks my brain.

[Footnote 1: Screech-owls, dark ravens, and amphibious monsters, Are screaming in that voice.—Mary Queen of Scots. ]

Queen. Then rouse thy spirit—we may yet prevent This hated match.

Griz.—We will[1]; nor fate itself, Should it conspire with Thomas Thumb, should cause it. I'll swim through seas; I'll ride upon the clouds; I'll dig the earth; I'll blow out every fire; I'll rave; I'll rant; I'll rise; I'll rush; I'll roar; Fierce as the man whom[2] smiling dolphins bore From the prosaick to poetick shore. I'll tear the scoundrel into twenty pieces.

[Footnote 1: The reader may see all the beauties of this speech in a late ode called the Naval Lyrick.]

[Footnote 2: This epithet to a dolphin doth not give one so clear an idea as were to be wished; a smiling fish seeming a little more difficult to be imagined than a flying fish. Mr Dryden is of opinion that smiling is the property of reason, and that no irrational creature can smile:

Smiles not allow'd to beasts from reason move. —State of Innocence. ]

Queen. Oh, no! prevent the match, but hurt him not; For, though I would not have him have my daughter, Yet can we kill the man that kill'd the giants?

Griz. I tell you, madam, it was all a trick; He made the giants first, and then he kill'd them; As fox-hunters bring foxes to the wood, And then with hounds they drive them out again.

Queen. How! have you seen no giants? Are there not Now, in the yard, ten thousand proper giants?

Griz. [1]Indeed I cannot positively tell, But firmly do believe there is not one.

[Footnote 1: These lines are written in the same key with those in the Earl of Essex:

Why, say'st thou so? I love thee well, indeed I do, and thou shalt find by this 'tis true.

Or with this in Cyrus:

The most heroick mind that ever was.

And with above half of the modern tragedies. ]

Queen. Hence! from my sight! thou traitor, hie away; By all my stars I thou enviest Tom Thumb. Go, sirrah! go, [1]hie away! hie!——thou art A setting dog: be gone.

[Footnote 1: Aristotle, in that excellent work of his which is very justly stiled his masterpiece, earnestly recommends using the terms of art, however coarse or even indecent they may be. Mr Tate is of the same opinion.

Bru. Do not, like young hawks, fetch a course about. Your game flies fair.

Fra. Do not fear it. He answers you in your own hawking phrase. —Injured Love.

I think these two great authorities are sufficient to justify Dollallolla in the use of the phrase, "Hie away, hie!" when in the same line she says she is speaking to a setting-dog. ]

Griz. Madam, I go. Tom Thumb shall feel the vengeance you have raised. So, when two dogs are fighting in the streets, With a third dog one of the two dogs meets, With angry teeth he bites him to the bone, And this dog smarts for what that dog has done.


Queen (sola). And whither shall I go?—Alack a day! I love Tom Thumb—but must not tell him so; For what's a woman when her virtue's gone? A coat without its lace; wig out of buckle; A stocking with a hole in't—I can't live Without my virtue, or without Tom Thumb. [1] Then let me weigh them in two equal scales; In this scale put my virtue, that Tom Thumb. Alas! Tom Thumb is heavier than my virtue. But hold!—perhaps I may be left a widow: This match prevented, then Tom Thumb is mine; In that dear hope I will forget my pain.

So, when some wench to Tothill Bridewell's sent, With beating hemp and flogging she's content; She hopes in time to ease her present pain, At length is free, and walks the streets again.

[Footnote 1: We meet with such another pair of scales in Dryden's King Arthur:

Arthur and Oswald, and their different fates, Are weighing now within the scales of heaven.

Also in Sebastian:

This hour my lot is weighing in the scales. ]


SCENE I.—The street. Bailiff, Follower.

[Footnote: Mr Rowe is generally imagined to have taken some hints from this scene in his character of Bajazet; but as he, of all the tragick writers, bears the least resemblance to our author in his diction, I am unwilling to imagine he would condescend to copy him in this particular.]

Bail. Come on, my trusty follower, come on; This day discharge thy duty, and at night A double mug of beer, and beer shall glad thee. Stand here by me, this way must Noodle pass.

Fol. No more, no more, oh Bailiff! every word Inspires my soul with virtue. Oh! I long To meet the enemy in the street—and nab him: To lay arresting hands upon his back, And drag him trembling to the spunging-house.

Bail. There when I have him, I will spunge upon him. Oh! glorious thought! by the sun, moon, and stars, I will enjoy it, though it be in thought! Yes, yes, my follower, I will enjoy it.

Fol. Enjoy it then some other time, for now Our prey approaches.

Bail. Let us retire.

SCENE II.—TOM THUMB, NOODLE, Bailiff, Follower.

Thumb. Trust me, my Noodle, I am wondrous sick; For, though I love the gentle Huncamunca, Yet at the thought of marriage I grow pale: For, oh!—[1] but swear thou'lt keep it ever secret, I will unfold a tale will make thee stare.

[Footnote 1: This method of surprizing an audience, by raising their expectation to the highest pitch, and then baulking it, hath been practised with great success by most of our tragical authors]

Nood. I swear by lovely Huncamunca's charms.

Thumb. Then know—[1] my grandmamma hath often said, Tom Thumb, beware of marriage.

[Footnote: Almeyda, in Sebastian, is in the same distress:

Sometimes methinks I hear the groan of ghosts, This hollow sounds and lamentable screams; Then, like a dying echo from afar, My mother's voice that cries, Wed not, Almeyda; Forewarn'd, Almeyda, marriage is thy crime. ]

Nood. Sir, I blush To think a warrior, great in arms as you, Should be affrighted by his grandmamma. Can an old woman's empty dreams deter The blooming hero from the virgin's arms? Think of the joy that will your soul alarm, When in her fond embraces clasp'd you lie, While on her panting breast, dissolved in bliss, You pour out all Tom Thumb in every kiss.

Thumb. Oh! Noodle, thou hast fired my eager soul; Spite of my grandmother she shall be mine; I'll hug, caress, I'll eat her up with love: Whole days, and nights, and years shall be too short For our enjoyment; every sun shall rise [1] Blushing to see us in our bed together.

[Footnote: "As very well he may, if he hath any modesty in him," says Mr D—s. The author of Busiris is extremely zealous to prevent the sun's blushing at any indecent object; and therefore on all such occasions he addresses himself to the sun, and desires him to keep out of the way.

Rise never more, O sun! let night prevail, Eternal darkness close the world's wide scene.—Busiris.

Sun, hide thy face, and put the world in mourning.—Ibid.

Mr Banks makes the sun perform the office of Hymen, and therefore not likely to be disgusted at such a sight:

The sun sets forth like a gay brideman with you. —Mary Queen of Scots. ]

Nood. Oh, sir! this purpose of your soul pursue.

Bail. Oh! sir! I have an action against you.

Nood. At whose suit is it?

Bail. At your taylor's, sir. Your taylor put this warrant in my hands, And I arrest you, sir, at his commands.

Thumb. Ha! dogs! Arrest my friend before my face! Think you Tom Thumb will suffer this disgrace? But let vain cowards threaten by their word, Tom Thumb shall shew his anger by his sword. [Kills Bailiff and Follower.

Bail. Oh, I am slain!

Fol. I am murdered also, And to the shades, the dismal shades below, My bailiff's faithful follower I go.

Nood. [1]Go then to hell, like rascals as you are, And give our service to the bailiffs there.

[Footnote 1: Nourmahal sends the same message to heaven;

For I would have you, when you upwards move, Speak kindly of us to our friends above.—Aurengzebe

We find another to hell, in the Persian Princess:

Villain, get thee down To hell, and tell them that the fray's begun. ]

Thumb. Thus perish all the bailiffs in the land, Till debtors at noon-day shall walk the streets, And no one fear a bailiff or his writ.

SCENE III.——The Princess Huncamunca's Apartment. Huncamunca, Cleora, Mustacha.

Hunc. [1]Give me some music—see that it be sad.

[Footnote 1: Anthony gave the same command in the same words.]

CLEORA sings.

Cupid, ease a love-sick maid, Bring thy quiver to her aid; With equal ardour wound the swain, Beauty should never sigh in vain.

Let him feel the pleasing smart, Drive the arrow through his heart: When one you wound, you then destroy; When both you kill, you kill with joy.

Hunc. [1]O Tom Thumb! Tom Thumb! wherefore art thou Tom Thumb? Why hadst thou not been born of royal race? Why had not mighty Bantam been thy father? Or else the king of Brentford, Old or New?

[Footnote 1: Oh! Marius, Marius, wherefore art thou Marius? —Olway's Marius. ]

Must. I am surprised that your highness can give yourself a moment's uneasiness about that little insignificant fellow,[1] Tom Thumb the Great—one properer for a plaything than a husband. Were he my husband his horns should be as long as his body. If you had fallen in love with a grenadier, I should not have wondered at it. If you had fallen in love with something; but to fall in love with nothing!

[Footnote 1: Nothing is more common than these seeming contradictions; such as,

Haughty weakness.—Victim Great small world.—Noah's Flood ]

Hunc. Cease, my Mustacha, on thy duty cease. The zephyr, when in flowery vales it plays, Is not so soft, so sweet as Thummy's breath. The dove is not so gentle to its mate.

Must. The dove is every bit as proper for a husband. —Alas! Madam, there's not a beau about the court looks so little like a man. He is a perfect butterfly, a thing without substance, and almost without shadow too.

Hunc. This rudeness is unseasonable: desist; Or I shall think this railing comes from love. Tom Thumb's a creature of that charming form, That no one can abuse, unless they love him.

Must. Madam, the king.


King. Let all but Huncamunca leave the room. [Exeunt CLEORA and MUSTACHA. Daughter, I have observed of late some grief. Unusual in your countenance: your eyes! [1]That, like two open windows, used to shew The lovely beauty of the rooms within, Have now two blinds before them. What is the cause? Say, have you not enough of meat and drink? We've given strict orders not to have you stinted.

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