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being obliged to leave my Church for a Fortnight ; when the following Conversation, as near as I can remember, passed between us : if it does not make you smile, I can only say, your Lordship’s risible Muscles are not so pliant as they used to be.
. . Curate.
Mr. H- I pulling out the Lift.
tors for Sunday next: you know, my Congregation is a little delicate. , Mr. H
: Aye; more nice than wise perhaps---but let us look sharp---here's Parson Rawbones, one of my Athletic, able-bodied Divines, it is not long since he knock'd down a Clerk in the Desk for interrupting him in the Middle of a Prayer ; this, you know, shew'd a good Spirit, and keeps up the Dignity of the Cloth: but I doubt whether he'll do for you ; for he's a North.country Man, and has got the Burr. in his Throat ; he'll never pass at your End of the Town: I shall sport him, however, at a Day-lesture, or an early Sacrament.
Curate. You are so facetious Mr. H- , but pray find me out somebody, for I am in Hafte.
Mr. H If you had wanted a Brawler for a Charity. Ser. mon, I could have help'd you to the best Beggar in England, an Errant Pick-pocket for the Middle Ife ; beats your D- 's and W- 's out of the Pit, a Doctor of Divinity too, and a Justice of Peace ; but he won't do for you, for the Dog's over Head and Ears in Debt, and durst not stir out on a Week-day for Fear of the Bum-bailiffs ; but.-here I have him for you---the quickest Reader in England : I'll bet my Stackhouse's Bible to a CommonPrayer Book, he gives Dr. Drawl to the Te Deum, and overtakes him before he comes to the Thanklgiving ! O, he's a rare Hand at a Collect ; but, remember, if he preaches, you must furnish him with the Paraphernalia ; for he's but just got upon the List, and has not Money enough yet to pur. chase Canonicals.
- Curate. O, we can cquip him with them, but what's his Price?
[whispers. Why, you would not offer him less thanfor the sake of your Brethren, for your own Sake. Let me tell you, Sir, I am one of the best Friends to the inferior Clergy, and have done more for them, (and that's a bold Word) than the whole Bench of B- p's. I believe I may safely say, I have raised the Price of Lungs at least Cent. per Cent : I knew the Time, and so did you, when a well caffock'd Divine was glad to read Prayers, and on a Holiday too, for Twelve-pence; Old
never had more in his Life ; now, Sir, I never let a Tit go out of my Stable, (you'll pardon my Jocularity) under five Shillings.--
My Friend He was running on in this unmerciful Manner, and would, for aught I know, have talked to this Time, if I had not stopp'd him fhort, pretended immediate Business, paid my Earnest, and took my Leave: not a little chagrin'd, you may imagine, at the contemptuous Kindness he expressed for the Cloth, and the degrading Familiarity with which he treated that Function to which your Lordship, equally with myself, has the Honour to belong.
To say the Truth But this must be deferred, with many other Considerations, to another Letter ; my Wife having just now broke into my Study to remind me, that I have a Sermon to finish before Ten, To-morrow, which will scarce give me Time to subscribe myself,
ON THE OLD
ENGLISH DRAMATICK WRITERS.
To DAVID GARRICK, Efq.
SIR, TT is not unnatural to imagine that, on the first
Glance of your Eye over the Advertisement of a new Pamphlet, addrefed to yourself, you are apt to feel some little Emotion ; that you beslow more than ordinary Attention on the Title, as it stands in the News-Paper, and take Notice of the Name of the Publisher.---Is it Compliment or Abuse?---One of these being determined, you are perhaps eager to be satisfied, whether some coarse Hand haslaid on Encomiums with a Trowel, or some more elegant Writer(such as the Author of The Actor for instance) has done Credit to himself and you by his Panegyrick; or, on the other Hand,whether any offended Genius has employed those Talents against you, which he is ambitious of exercising in the Service of your Theatre; or some common Scribe has taken your Character, as he would that of any other Man or Woman, or Minister, or the King, if he durst, as a popular Topick of Scandal.
Be not alarmed on the present Occasion ; nor, with that Consciousness of your own Merit, so natural to the Celebrated and Eminent, indulge yourfelf in an Acquiescence with the Justice of ten thousand fine Things, which you may suppose ready to
be le faid to you. No private Satire or Panegyrick, but the general Good of the Republick of Letters, and of the Drama in particular, is intended. Though Praise and Dispraise stand ready on each Side, like the Vessels of Good and Evil on the Right and Left Hand of Jupiter, I do not mean to dip into either : Or, if I do, it shall be, like the Pagan Godhead himself, to mingle a due Proportion of each. Sometimes, perhaps, I may find Fault, and sometimes bestow Commendation : But you must not expect to hear of the Quickness of your Conception, the Justice of your Execution, the Expression of your Eye, the Harmony of your Voice, or the Variety and Excellency of your Deportment; nor shall you be maliciously informed, that you are shorter than Barry, leaner than Quin, and less a Favourite of the Upper Gallery than Woodward or Shuter.
The following pages are destined to contain a Vindication of the Works of Malinger, one of our old Dramatick Writers, who very seldom falls much beneath Shakespeare bimself, and sometimes almost rises to a proud Rivalship of his chiefest Excellencies. They are meant too as a laudable, though faint, Attempt to rescue these admirable Pieces from the too general Neglect which they now labour under, and to recommend them to the Notice of the Publick. To whom then can such an Efiay be more properly inscribed than to you, whom that Publick seems to have appointed, as its chief Arbiter Deliciarum, to preside over the Amusements of the Theatre?-But there is also, by the bye, a private Reason for addressing you. Your honest Friend Davies, who, as is said of the provident Comedian in Holland, spends his Houri of Vacation from the Theatre in his Shop, is too well acquainted with the Eificacy of your Name at the Top of a Piay-Bill, to omit an Opportunity of prefixing it to a new Publication, hoping it may prove a Charm