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Whose judging voice and eye alone direct
And made us blush that you forbore to blame,
This greeting o'er, the ancient rule obeyed, The Drama's homage by her herald paid, Receive our welcome too, whose every tone Springs from our hearts, and fain would win your own. The curtain rises-may our stage unfold Scenes not unworthy Drury's days of old! Britons our judges, Nature for our guide,
Still may we please-long, long may you preside.
Hereon followed "The Rejected Addresses" by the brothers Horace and James Smith, published in 1812 by John Miller, 25, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, and the wonderfully clever and amusing imitations and
*This would seem to show that poet and prophet are synonymous, the noble bard having afterwards returned to England, and again quitted it, under domestic circumstances painfully notorious. His good-humoured forgiveness of the Authors has already been alluded to in the preface. Nothing of this illustrious poet, however trivial, can be otherwise than interesting. We knew him well." At Mr. Murray's dinner-table the annotator met him and Sir John Malcolm, Lord Byron talked of intending to travel in Persia. "What must I do when I set off?" said · he to Sir John. "Cut off your buttons!" "My buttons! what, these metal ones?" "Yes; the Persians are in the main very honest fellows; but if you go thus bedizened, you will infallibly be murdered for your buttons!" dinner at Monk Lewis's chambers in the Albany, Lord Byron expressed to the writer his determination not to go there again, adding, "I never will dine with a middle-aged man who fills up his table with young ensigns, and has looking-glass panels to his book-cases." Lord Byron. when one of the Drury-lane Committee of Management, challenged the writer to sing alternately (like the swains in Virgil) the praises of Mrs. Mardyn, the actress, who, by-the-bye, was hissed off the stage for an imputed intimacy of which she was quite innocent.
The contest ran as follows:
"Wake muse of fire, your ardent lyre,
But first profound, in duty bound,
To London drove this queen of love,
Though tides of love around her rove,
I fear she'll choose Pactolus
In that bright surge bards neer immerge,
'Out, out, alas !' ill-fated gas,
That shin'st round Govent Garden, Thy ray how flat, compared with that From eye of Mrs. Mardyn !"
And so on. The reader has, no doubt, already discovered "which is the justice, and which is the thief,"
parodies contained in the book made it at once popular, and caused it to prominently attract the attention of the literati of the day. The imitation. of Lord Byron is not perhaps so successful as some of the other poems. Lord Jeffrey remarked in The Edinburgh Review: "The author has succeeded better in copying the melody and misanthropic sentiments of Childe Harold, than the nervous and impetuous diction in which his noble biographer has embodied them." It is not to be expected that the burlesque address, by the brothers Smith, should present any resemblance to Lord Byron's opening address at Drury Lane,
(Ascribed to Lord Byron.)
SATED with home, of wife, of children tired,
Viewing with scorn and hate the nonsense of the Nine.
Lord Byron at that time wore a very narrow cravat of white sarsnet, with the shirt-collar falling over it; a black coat and waistcoat, and very broad white trousers, to hide his lame foot. These were of Russia duck in the morning, and jean in the evening. His watch-chain had a number of small gold seals appended to it, and was looped up to a button of his waistcoat. His face was void of colour; he wore no whiskers. His eyes were gray, fringed with long black lashes ; and his air was imposing, but rather supercilious. He undervalued David Hume: denying his claim to genius on account of his bulk, and calling him, from the Heroic epistle,
"The fattest hog in Epicurus' sty."
One of this extraordinary man's allegations was, that "fat is an oily dropsy." To stave off its visitation, he frequently chewed tobacco in lieu of dinner, alleging that it absorbed the gastric juice of the stomach, and prevented hunger. "Pass your hand down my side, ," said his lordship to the writer can you count my ribs ?" Every one of them." "I am delighted to hear you say so. I called last week on Lady- -; Ah, Lord Byron,' said she, 'how fat you grow!' But you know Lady is fond of saying spiteful things!" Let this gossip be summed up with the words of Lord Chesterfield, in his character of Bolingbroke : Upon the whole, on a survey of this extraordinary character, what can we say, but Alas, poor human nature !'"
His favourite Pope's description of man is applicable to Byron individually :
"Chaos of thought and passion all confused,
Created part to rise and part to fall,
Great lord of all things, yet a slave to all:
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled-
The writer never heard him allude to his deformed foot except upon one occasion, when, entering the green-room of Drury-lane, be found Lord Byron alone, the younger Byrne and Miss Smith the dancer having just left him, after an angry conference about a pas seul. Had you been here a minute sooner," said Lord B., you would have heard a question about dancing referred to me :- me! (looking mournfully downward) whom fate from my birth has prohibited from taking a single step.'
Ye reckless dupes, who hither wend your way
Like falling stars in life's eternal gloom,
Are but as flowers that decorate a tomb.
Man's heart, the mournful urn o'er which they wave, Is sacred to despair, its pedestal the grave.
Has life so little store of real woes,
That here ye wend to taste fictitious grief?
Ye court the lying drama for relief?
Long shall ye find the pang, the respite brief :
In folly's volume, 'tis the actor's leaf,
And, raising present mirth, makes glad his future years.
Albeit, how like young Betty doth he flee! Light as the mote that daunceth in the beam, He liveth only in man's present e'e; His life a flash, his memory a dream, Oblivious down he drops in Lethe's stream. Yet what are they, the learned and the great? Awhile of longer wonderment the theme! Who shall presume to prophesy their date, Where nought is certain, save the uncertainty of fate?
This goodly pile, upheaved by Wyatt's toil,
The fire alarm and midnight drum may beat,
Start ye? perchance Death's angel may be sent,
May find, in pleasure's fane, your grave and monument,
*"Holland's edifice." The late theatre was built by Holland the architect. The writer visited it on the night of its opening. The performances were Macbeth and the Virgin Unmasked. Between the play and the farce, an excellent epilogue, written by George Colman, was excellently spoken by Miss Farren. It referred to the iron curtain which was, in the event of fire, to be let down between the stage and the audience, and which accordingly descended, by way of experiment, leaving Miss Farren between the lamps and the curtain. The fair speaker informed the audience, that should the fire break out on the stage (where it usually originates), it would thus be kept from the spectators; adding, with great solemnity
"No! we assure our generous benefactors
'Twill only burn the scenery and the actors!"
A tank of water was afterwards exhibited, in the course of the epilogue, in which a wherry was rowed by a real live man, the band playing—
"And did you not hear of a jolly young waterman ?" Miss Farren reciting
"Sit still, there's nothing in it,
We'll undertake to drown you in a single minute."
So fares the follower in the Muses' train ! He toils to starve, and only lives in death! We slight him, till our patronage is vain, Then round his skeleton a garland wreathe, And o'er his bones an empty requiem breatheOh! with what tragic horror would he start, (Could he be conjured from the grave beneath) To find the stage again a Thespian cart, And elephants and colts down-trampling Shakespeare's
Hence, pedant Nature! with thy Grecian rules!
Hoofs shame the boards that Garrick used to grace,
Is it for these ye rear this proud abode ?
Then be the stage to recompense your freaks,
A motley chaos, jumbling age and ranks,
Where Punch, the lignum-vitæ Roscius, squeaks, And Wisdom weeps and Folly plays his pranks, And moody Madness laughs and hugs the chain he clanks.
From The Rejected Addresses. Following close upon The Rejected Addresses, by J. and H. Smith, appeared a small volume entitled,
THE GENUINE REJECTED ADDRESSES, Presented to the Committee of Management for Drury-Lane Theatre, preceded by that written by Lord Byron, and adopted by the Committee. London: B. McMillan, 1812.-This contained a collection of as many of the Addresses, sent in to the Committee for the competition, as the Editor could gather from the various authors. He admits that it is not a complete collection, nor do the authors' real names appear with every
THE DESTRUCTION OF SENNACHERIB.
"A four-in-hand" in early Editions.
And there lay the steed with his nostrils all wide,
And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
THE DESTRUCTION OF THE ALDERMEN.
APOPLEXIA came down on the Alderman fold,
Every fiend that humanity shrinks from was there,
Then he straightway amongst them his grisly form cast,
And there lay the Liv'ryman, breathless and lorn,
And Cripplegate windows are loud in their wail,
A NEW SENNACHERIB.
SIR Robert came down on the Corn Laws so bold,
As sheep follow the wether, submissive and mean,
For the Iron Duke set his fate on the cast,
And nailed, for the Corn-laws, his flag to the mast;
When they thought of the Duke, and his potent "I will "
And there sat the Premier, his head on one side;
And there sat grim Grahame, so nervous and pale,
And Conservative gentry are loud in their wail,
THE DESTRUCTION OF NICHOLAS.
THE Russian came down like a thief in the night,
His vessels shall float in their strength and their pride;
And there lay the Czar, all dejected and pale,
He trembled to think on his tottering throne !
And the widows of Russia are loud in their cries, Though idle the tears that may flow from their eyes; And the might of the tyrant, down-struck by the gun, Hath melted, like butter when placed in the sun. Diogenes. October, 1853.
THE blizzard came down like a thousand of brick :
Unseen was the rest of the demon-like form
And the noses of people who travelled the street Turned white with affright, and the hurrying feet Were stung as with sting of a hundred bees, While the blood crept away and allowed them to freeze Columbus Dispatch.
THE ROUT OF BELGRAVIA.
THE Belgravians came down on the Queen in her hold,
Like the leaves of a toy-book all thumb-marked and worn,
For the crush of the crowd, which was eager and vast,
And there were odd gauntlets, and pieces of hair;
THE DESTRUCTION OF A CAT.
Miss Pussy jumped down, like a thief in the night,
Like all guilty creatures, she feared to be seen,
This image of death spread its wings o'er the cat,
THE Yankee came down with long Fred on his back,
Like the leaves of the autumn when autumn is red,
Oh! A was an Archer, A 1 at this fun.
And A was America, too,—and A won!
And B was the Briton who, ready to melt,
A sort of a je ne sais (Iro)-quois felt,
To see his Blue Riband to Yankeeland go,
B too, none the less, was the hearty "Bravo!"
Which, per Punch, he despatched to "our kin o'er the sea,"
And the belles of New York grow more beamingly bright;
THE MELTING OF THE IRON DUKE.
"The effect produced by the erection of a life-size silhouette of the statue of the Iron Duke and his war-steed opposite the St. James's Park front of the Horse Guards has quickly resulted in a decision to melt down Mr. Wyatt's equestrian effort, and to shape the materials into another, and, it is hoped, a better statue."-Weekly Paper.
ALL the papers came down, like a wolf on the fold,
For the chosen Committee an effort had made,
For there stood the steed with his nostril all wide,
And his tail that seemed dressed with the stiffest of starch,
And there sat the rider, distorted and stern,
And the chosen Committee itself had to own
So it straightway decided no site could be found
That the Duke and his charger both melted should be!
And the Statues of London were loud in their wail,
THE DESTRUCTION OF THE TORY (NOT SENNACHERIB'S) ARMY.
THE Tories came forth in their pride and their strength,
Like leaves of the forest when summer is green,
And the Tory old women are loud in their whines,
The Weekly Dispatch, September 14, 1884.
MR. GLADSTONE'S HOME RULE BILL..
And the senators sat like men under a spell
For the false light that blinded has vanished at last,