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Dowlas. Yes, Sir, my friends have lately discovered that I have a genius for the stage.
Pat. Oh, you would be a player, would you, Sir? pray, Sir, did you ever play?
Dow. No, Sir, but I flatter myself
Pat. I hope not not, Sir; flattering one's-self is the very worst of hypocrisy.
Dow. You'll excuse me, Sir.
Pat. Ay, Sir, if you'll excuse me for not flattering you. I always speak my mind.
Dow. I dare say you will like my manner, Sir. Pat. No manner of doubt, Sir-I dare say I shall -pray, Sir, with which of the ladies are you in love? Dow. In love, Sir!-ladies! [looking round) Pat. Ay, Sir, ladies-Miss Comedy, or Dame Tragedy !
Dow. I'm vastly fond of Tragedy, Sir.
Pat. Very well, Sir; and where is your fort ?
Pat. I say, Sir, what is your department?
Pat. Your lodgings, Sir?-no, not I; ha, ha ha, I should be glad to know what department you would wish to possess in the tragic walk-the sighing lover, the furious hero, or the sly assassin.
Dow. Sir, I should like to play King Richard the Third.
Pat. An excellent character indeed a very good character; and I dare say you will play it vastly well, Sir.
Dow. I hope you'll have no reason to complain, Sir. Put. I hope not. Well, Sir, have you got any favourite passage ready?
Dow. I have it all by heart, Sir.
Pat. You have, Sir, have you ?--I shall be glad to hear you.
Dow. Hem-hem-hem-[clearing his throat.] What will the aspiring blood of Lancaster
Sink in the ground--I thought it would have mounted. See how my sword weeps for the poor king's death;
Oh! may such purple tears, be always shed
Pat. Hold, Sir, hold-in pity hold, za, za, za, Sir, Sir-why, Sir, 'tis not like humanity. You wont find me so great a barbarian as Richard ;—you say he had neither pity, love, nor fear,-now, Sir, you will find that I am possessed of all these feelingst for you at present,-I pity your conceit, I love to speak my mind; and--I fear you'll never make a player.
Dow. Do you think so, Sir?
Pat. Do I think so, Sir!-Yes, I know so, Sir! now, Sir, only look at yourself—your two legs kissing as if they had fallen in love with one another ;--and your arms dingle dangle, like the fins of a dying turtle [mimics him] 'pon my soul, Sir, 'twill never do,— pray, Sir, are you of any profession?
Dow. Yes, Sir, a linen draper!
Pat. A linen draper! an excellent business; a very good business-you'll get more by that than by playing, you had better mind your thrumbs and your shop-and don't pester me any more with your Richard and you--za, za, za.-this is a genius!plague upon such geniuses I say.
A Dialogue between Mr. Addison and Dr. Swift.
Dr. Swift. Surely, Addison, fortune was exceedingly bent upon playing the fool (a humour her la-dyship, as well as most other ladies of very great quality, is frequently in) when she made you a minister of state, and me a divine.
Addison. I must confess we were both of us out of our elements. But you do not mean to insinuate,
that, if our destinies had been reversed, all would have been right?
Swift. Yes, I do.-You would have made an excellent bishop, and I should have governed Great Britain as I did Ireland, with an absolute sway, while I talked of nothing but liberty, property, and so forth.
Addison. You governed the mob of Ireland; but I never heard that you governed the kingdom. A nation and a mob are different things.
Swift. Aye; so you fellows that have no genius. for politics may suppose. But there are times when, by putting himself at the head of the mob, an able man may get to the head of the nation. Nay, there are times when the nation itself is a mob, and may be treated as such by a skillful observer.
Addison. I do not deny the truth of your axiom; but is there no danger, that, from the vicissitudes of human affairs, the favourite of the mob should be mobbed in his turn?
Swift. Sometimes there may; but I risked it, and it answered my purpose. Ask the lord lieutenants, who were forced to pay court to me instead of my courting them, whether they did not feel my superiority. And if I could make myself so considerable when I was only a dirty dean of St. Patrick's, with-. out a seat in either house of parliament what should I have done if fortune had placed me in England, unincumbered with a gown, and in a situation to make myself heard in the house of lords or of commons ?
Addison. You would doubtless have done very marvellous acts! perhaps you might have then been as zealous a whig as Lord Wharton himself: or if the whigs have offended the statesman, as they unhappily did the doctor, who knows but you might have brought in the Pretender? pray let me ask you onequestion between you and me: if you had been first minister under that prince, would you have tolerated the Protestant religion, or not?
Swift. Ha! Mr. Secretary, are you witty upon me; do you think, because Sunderland took a fan
cy to make you a great man in the state, that he could also make you as great in wit as nature made me ? No, no; wit is like grace, it must come from above. You can no more get that from the king, than my lords the bishops can the other. And though I will own you had some, yet believe me, my friend, it was no match for mine. I think you have not vanity enough to pretend to a competition with me.
Addison. I have been often told by my friends that I was rather too modest; so, if you please, I will not decide this dispute for myself, but refer it to Mercury, the god of wit, who happens just now to be coming this way, with a soul he has newly brought to the shades.
Hail divine Hermes! a question of precedence in the class of wit and humour, over which you preside, having arisen between me and my countryman, Dr. Swift, we beg leave
Mercury. Dr. Swift I rejoice to see you. How does my old lad? How does honest Lemuel Gulliver? Have you been in Lilliput lately, or in the Flying Island, or with your good nurse Glumdalclitch? Pray, when did you eat a crust with Lord Peter? Is Jack as mad still as ever? I hear the poor fellow is almost got well by more gentle usage. If he had but more food he would be as much in his senses as brother Martin himself. But Martin, they tell me, has spawned a strange brood of fellows, called Methodists, Moravians, Hutchinsonians, who are madder than Jack was in his worst days. It is a pity you are not alive again to be at them; they would be excellent food for your tooth; and a sharp tooth it was, as ever was placed in the gum of a mortal; aye, and a strong one too. The hardest food would not break it, and it could pierce the thickest skulls. Indeed it was like one of Cerberus's teeth: one should not have thought it belonged to a man.----Mr. Addison, I beg your pardon, I should have spoken to you sooner; but I was so struck with the sight of the doctor, that I forgot for a time the respect due to you..
Swift. Addison, I think our dispute is decided be fore the judge has heard the cause.
Addison. I own it is in your favour, and I submit -but
Mercury. Do not be discouraged, friend Addison. Apollo perhaps would have given a different judgment. I am a wit, and a rouge, and a foe to all dignity. Swift and I naturally like one another he worships me more than Jupiter, and I honour him more than Homer: but yet, I assure you, I have a great value for you.-Sir Roger de Coverly, Will Honeycomb, Will Wimble, the country gentleman in the Freeholder, and twenty more characters, drawn with the finest strokes of natural wit and humour in your excellent writings, seat you very high in the class of my authors, though not quite so high as the dean of St. Patrick's. Perhaps you might have come nearer to him, if the decency of your nature and cautiousness of your judgment would have given you leave. But if in the spirit of his wit he has the advantage, how much does he yield to you in all the polite and elegant graces; in the fine touches of delicate sentiment; in developing the secret springs of the soul ; in shewing all the mild lights and shades of a character; in marking distinctly every line, and every soft gradation of tints which would escape the common eye! who ever painted like you the beautiful parts of human nature, and brought them out from under the shade even of the greatest simplicity, or the most ridiculous weaknesses; so that we are forced to admire, and feel that we venerate, even while we are laughing? Swift could do nothing that approaches to this. He could draw an ill face very well, or caricature a good one with a masterly hand: but there was all his power; and, if I am to speak as a god, a worthless power it is. Yours is divine: it tends to improve and exalt human nature.
Swift. Pray, good Mercury, (if I may have leave to say a word for myself) do you think that my talent was of no use to correct human nature? Is whipping of no use to mend naughty boys?