all, now that the manager has monopolized the Opera House, havent we the signors and signoras calling here, sliding their smooth semibreves, and gargling glib divisions in their outlandish throatswith foreign emissaries and French spies, for aught I know, disguised like fiddlers and figure dancers?
Dang. Mercy! Mrs. Dangle!
Mrs. Dang. And to employ yourself so idly at such an alarming crisis as this toowhen, if you had the least spirit, you would have been at the head of one of the Westminster associationsor trailing a volunteer pike in the Artillery Ground! But youo my conscience, I believe, if the French were landed to-morrow, your first inquiry would be, whether they had brought a theatrical troop with them.
Dang. Mrs. Dangle, it does not signifyI say the stage is the mirror of Nature, and the actors are the Abstract and brief Chronicles of the Time: and pray what can a man of sense study better?Besides, you will not easily persuade me that there is no credit or importance in being at the head of a band of critics, who take upon them to decide for the whole town, whose opinion and patronage all writers solicit, and whose recommendation no manager dares refuse.
Mrs. Dang. Ridiculous!Both managers and authors of the least merit laugh at your pretensions.The public is their criticwithout whose fair approbation they know no play can rest on the stage, and with whose applause they welcome such attacks as yours, and laugh at the malice of them, where they cant at the wit.
Dang. Very well, madamvery well!
Ser. Mr. Sneer, sir, to wait on you.
Dang. Oh, show Mr. Sneer up.[Exit Servant.]Plague ont, now we must appear loving and affectionate, or Sneer will hitch us into a story.
Mrs. Dang. With all my heart; you cant be more ridiculous than you are.
Dang. You are enough to provoke
Ha! my dear Sneer, I am vastly glad to see you.My dear, heres Mr. Sneer.
Mrs. Dang. Good-morning to you, sir.
Dang. Mrs. Dangle and I have been diverting ourselves with the papers. Pray, Sneer, wont you go to Drury Lane Theatre the first night of Puffs tragedy?
Sneer. Yes; but I suppose one shant be able to get in, for on the first night of a new piece they always fill the house with orders to support it. But here, Dangle, I have brought you two pieces, one of which you must exert yourself to make the managers accept, I can tell you that; for tis written by a person of consequence.
Dang. So! now my plagues are beginning.
Sneer. Ay, I am glad of it, for now youll be happy. Why, my dear Dangle, it is a pleasure to see how you enjoy your volunteer fatigue, and your solicited solicitations.
Dang. Its a great troubleyet, egad, its pleasant too.Why, sometimes of a morning I have a dozen people call on me at breakfast-time, whose faces I never saw before, nor ever desire to see again.
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