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pounds at the Banker's--putting my hand instinctively into my pocket, I find that I have left the little bit of reed with which I imitated Punch and The Ducks (the great hits of my song) in the waistcoat I have just taken off. I sing the song, of course, without the Ducks and Punch—but make up for the omission by dancing very funnily, forgetting at the outset the tight shoes and corns, and being unable, when I have once begun, to leave off. The pain I feel makes me twist and wriggle more than ordinarily—the consequence is, that I am encored by some Jew boys in the gallery, who have paid sixpence a piece for the privilege—the decent part of the audience dissent from the repetition, and I stand bowing humbly to the liberal and enlightened Public,' a set of senseless brutes, whose taste I despise, and for whose intellects I have the most unqualified contempt. In the midst of my obsequiousness, one monster among the gods, more hardened than the rest, flings an apple at my head ; shouts of “turn him out!' resound, and the cries of ‘go on! increasing, I repeat all my little playfulness in detail, which are rendered wholly unintelligible by the mingled plaudits of the ayes and the vigourous hissings of the noes, and hop about upon my pinched foot with the most laudable activity.
All this over, I go towards the dressing-room to avoid witnessing the degradation of the ladies of the profession, who, by the convenient connivance of the conductors of our theatrical establishments, are at present subjected to the open advances of every man who thinks himself entitled by his wealth or rank to knock down the barriers which separate virtue from vice, and chooses to attend the green room to carry on a system which, in the days of John Kemble, and Colman, was confined to the lobbies, or houses of a different description altogether. In the passage, towards my retreat, I encounter the Manager, smelling of vulgau potations : rather more decent, and infinitely more important, than in the early part of the evening, he tells me I must study Faulkland, in The Rivals, for the next night (Acres being my forte)—he then introduces me to an Author who has an equestrian melo-drame to be read the following morning-I cannot conceive what makes them both so civil, till at last I discover that they want me to act in their new piece the part of a Sorcerer in a horse-hair wig, with gilded horns, to be carried to the skies on the back of a fiery dragon, at the risk of my neck and reputation.--At length the play ends-heated and tired, I take off my moist dress, and put on my own damp clothes. I smear my face all over with grease and pomatum, to get the paint out of the pores, and rub my hair out of curl-I find my boots (wet when I came) have shrunk so much by standing before the fire, that I can by no exertion get my heels in them, and am obliged to walk to my lodgings with a hard stiff wrinkle under each foot, my tooth ache much worse than before. I begin my walk homeward through the mud, paddle up the same wretched streets as I had before paddled down, get hustled by three tall females of a certain description, who after pulling me about to my great discomfiture, leave me with a start when they discover by the light of a great starry gas lamp, that, after all, its funny-the Actor man!
When I get home, the fire is out-my wife, tired of her lonely wretchedness, has gone to bed—and I saddled with Faulkland in my pocket to study for the morrow. That morrow brings the same routine, and so it goes on until Saturday, when the concern being very prosperous, the treasurer cannot pay any of the salaries ; and the only intelligence I can get at his office is, that my benefit is fixed for the second day of Epsom Races, when the cheesemongers and bakers, who would take my tickets, will all be there, and therefore unable to go to the play :-find at the theatre a letter, offering me two sovereigns and my dinner, to attend a patriotic party, and be comical, at the City of London Tavern -swear at the “ fat and greasy citizens” who take a gentleman for a mountebank—and spend the whole of my Sunday in studying Mustymyfustigig, the wizard, in the infernal Melodrame of Blue-Blazes ; or the Intellectual Donkey, which it would cost me the price of the felon's neck to refuse to act.
These are a few of the evils by which I am assailed in the midst of my success; and “ I am sick at heart” when I walk down to my nightly task, and see the ruddy-faced, healthy shopkeeper, sitting quitely at his tea, by his cheerful fire-side, with his family round him, and recollect that he can weigh butter without leaving his home, painting his face, or being subject to the insolence of a sottish Manager, and sell cheese and hog's lard without bowing for the usual indulgence of the “enlightened public.”
A PARODY ON THE TRIAL SCENE IN BLACK-EYED
CHARACTERS-Magistrate, Bill, and Witnesses. Mag. Prisoner, as your donkey is almost bent double vith the load o’mackerel on his back, and it am been thought proper that your pals, the drovers and slaughtermen, should be vitnesses of votsumdever penalty we may exflict upon you, in case ve finds you: guilty on the crime that you are charged vith ; it vill be necessary to receive the dispositions of the vitnesses vithout bringing the donkey into court, because, you see, the hampers vould prewent. Von of the vitnesses, I grieves to say, is your vomanhowsomdever out of marcy to your sittiwation, we isn't brought
Bill. Thankee, your vorship, thankee, my voman Sarah, standing here afore me pattering vords vhat'd send me to the mill vould be laying on too thick for a covey to bear. I thanks your vorship—if I must mount the wan again, I vouldn't have it in sight o’my voman.
Mag. Prisoner, you are charged under Muster Martin's hact