ePub 版



As the worn war-horse, at the trumpet's sound, Erects his mane, and neighs, and paws the ground

*[These lines first appeared, April 5, 1817, in a weekly sheet, called “The Sale Room," conducted and published by Messrs Ballantyne and Co., at Edinburgh. In a note prefixed, Mr. James Ballantyne says,

• The character fixed upon, with happy propriety, for Kemble's closing scene, was Macbeth, in which he took his final leave of Scotland on the evening of Saturday, the 29th March, 1817. He had laboured under a severe cold for a few days before, but on this memorable night the physical annoyance yielded to the energy of his mind.— He was,' he said, in the green-room, immediately before the curtain rose, determined to leave behind him the most perfect specimen of his art which he had ever shown;' and his success was complete. At the moment of the tyrant's death the curtain fell by the universal acclamation of the audience. The applauses were vehement and prolonged; they ceased

were resumed — rose again were reiteratedand again were hushed. In a few minutes the curtain ascended, and Mr. Kemble came forward in the dress of Macbeth, (the audience by a consentaneous movement rising to receive him,) to deliver his farewell. ......“Mr. Kemble delivered these lines with exquisite beauty, and with an effect that was evidenced by the tears and sobs of many of the audience. His own emotions were very conspicuous. When his farewell was closed, he lingered long on the stage, as if unable to retire. The house again stood up, and cheered him with the waving of hats and long shouts of applause. At length, he finally retired, and, in so far as regards Scotland, the curtain dropped upon his professional life for ever.]

Disdains the ease his generous lord assigns,
And longs to rush on the embattled lines,
So I, your plaudits ringing on mine ear,
Can scarce sustain to think our parting near;
To think my scenic hour for ever past,
And that those valued plaudits are my last.
Why should we part, while still some powers remain,
That in your service strive not yet in vain ?
Cannot high zeal the strength of youth supply,
And sense of duty fire the fading eye;
And all the wrongs of age remain subdued
Beneath the burning glow of gratitude ?
Ah, no! the taper, wearing to its close,
Oft for a space in fitful lustre glows;
But all too soon the transient gleam is past,
It cannot be renew'd, and will not last;
Even duty, zeal, and gratitude, can wage
But short-lived conflict with the frosts of

Yes! It were poor, remembering what I was,
To live a pensioner on your applause,
To drain the dregs of your endurance dry,
And take, as alms, the praise I once could buy;
Till every sneering youth around enquires,
“ Is this the man who once could please our sires. ? ."
And scorn assumes compassion's doubtful mien,
To warn me off from the encumber'd scene.
This must not be;—and higher duties crave
Some space between the theatre and the grave,
That, like the Roman in the capitol,
I may adjust my mantle ere I fall;
My life's brief act in public service flown,
The last, the closing scene, must be my own.

Here, then, adieu ! while yet some well-graced parts
May fix an ancient favourite in your hearts,
Not quite to be forgotten, even when
You look on better actors, younger men :
And if your bosoms own this kindly debt
Of old remembrance, how shall mine forget-
O, how forget! -- how oft I hither came
In anxious hope, how oft return'd with fame!
How oft around your circle this weak hand
Has waved immmortal Shakspeare's magic wand,
Till the full burst of inspiration came,
And I have felt, and you have fann'd the flame!
By mem'ry treasured, while her reign endures,
Those hours must live--and all their charms are


O favour'd Land! renown'd for arts and arms, For manly talent, and for female charms, Could this full bosom prompt the sinking line, What servent benedictions now were thine! But my last part is play'd, my knell is rung, When e'en your praise falls faltering from my tongue; And all that you can hear, or I can tell, Is-Friends and Patrons, hail, and FARE YOU WELL.







O, FOR a glance of that gay Muse's eye,
That lighten'd on Bandello's laughing tale,
And twinkled with a lustre shrewd and sly,
When Giam Battista bade her vision hail !.
Yet fear not, ladies, the naïve detail
Given by the natives of that land canorous;
Italian license loves to leap the pale,

We Britons have the fear of shame before us, And, if not wise in mirth, at least must be decorous.

In the far eastern clime, no great while since,
Lived Sultaun Solimaun, a mighty prince,
Whose eyes, as oft as they perform'd their round,
Beheld all others' fix'd upon the ground;

*[First published in “ The Sale Room, No. V.,” February 1, 1817.]

* The hint of the following tale is taken from La Camiscia Magica, a novel of Giam Battista Casti,


Whose ears received the same unvaried phrase,
“Sultaun! thy vassal hcars, and he obeys !”
All have their tastes— this may the fancy strike
Of such grave folks as pomp and grandeur like;
For me, I love the honest heart and warm
Of Monarch who can amble round his farm,
Or, when the toil of state no more annoys,
In chimney corner seek domestic joys-
I love a prince will bid the bottle

Exchanging with his subjects glance and glass ;
In fitting time, can, gayest of the gay,
Keep up the jest, and mingle in the lay-
Such Monarchs best our free-born humours suit,
But Despots must be stately, stern, and mute.

III. This Solimaun, Serendib had in swayAnd where 's Serendib? may some critic say.Good lack, mine honest friend, consult the chart, Scare not my Pegasus before I start! If Rennell has it not, you'll find, mayhap, The isle laid down in Captain Sindbad's map,Famed mariner! whose merciless narrations Drove every friend and kinsman out of patience, Till, fain to find a guest who thought them shorter, He deign’d to tell them over to a porter The last edition see, by Long. and Co., Rees, Hurst, and Orme, our fathers in the Row.

Serendib found, deem not my tale a fiction -
This Sultaun, whether lacking contradiction-


[See the Arabian Nights' Entertainments.]

« 上一頁繼續 »