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If they love lees, and leave the lusty wine,
Envy them not; their palate 's with the swine.

To recapitulate, then, the causes which, in our opinion, have contributed to the decline of British comedy, we may state that the decay of its literary reputation, so far as its renown rested upon the sparkling qualities of its dialogue, may be traced to the altered composition of modern audiences, to whom every thing that is etherial and abstracted would be perfectly unintelligible, even if from the gigantic dimensions of modern theatres it were always audible. The obvious declension in the main constitution of comedy, the richness and diversity of human character, we have assigned partly to that consimilarity in our qualities of mind and habits of life, occasioned by the progress of refinement and the uniformity of dress, and partly to the withering influence of the licensing act, by which the hand of the dramatist is withheld from grasping what yet remains sufficiently prominent and tangible for his purpose. In this summary, may perhaps be found a solution to the original alienation of the public from the regular drama: the rage for music helped to vitiate their tastes for more legitimate entertainments, and the lateness of fashionable hours affords them a plea for absenting themselves altogether, except upon the nights of some operatic attraction. While fashion has thus withdrawn the genteeler ranks from the theatre, fanaticism and gloom have enrolled a great portion of the lower orders among its blind and bitter enemies. And lastly, the discontinuance or rarity of the royal visits has thrown over it a darker shade of discontinuance, concurring with other minor circumstances to involve it in an ominous and gathering gloom, which threatens, at no very distant day, its total extinction.

MRS. DOBBS AT HOME.

*The common chat of gossips when they meet!"

DRYDEN.

WHAT! shall the Morning Post proclaim
For every rich or high-born dame,
From Portman Square to Cleveland Row,
Each item-no one cares to know;
Print her minutest whereabouts,
Describe her concerts, balls and routs,
Enumerate the lamps and lustres,
Show where the roses hung in clusters,
Tell how the floor was chalk'd-reveal
The partners in the first quadrille-

How long they danced, till, sharp as hunters,
They sat down to the feast from Gunter's;
How much a quart was paid for peas,
How much for pines and strawberries,
Taking the especial care to fix
The hour of parting-half-past six?
And shall no bard make proclamation
Of routs enjoy'd in humbler station?
Rise, honest Muse, to Hackney roam,
And sing of" Mrs. Dobbs at Home."

He who knows Hackney, needs must know
That spot enchanting-Prospect Row-
So called, because a view it shows

Of Shoreditch road, and when there blows
No dust, the folks may one and all get
A peep-almost to Norton Falgate.
Here Mrs. Dobbs, at Number Three,
Invited all her friends to tea.

The Row had never heard before

Such double knocks at any door,

And heads were popp'd from every casement,

Counting the comers with amazement,

Some magnified them to eleven,

While others swore there were but seven

A point that's keenly mooted still;

But certain 'tis, that Mrs. Gill

Told Mrs. Grubb she reckon❜d ten :

Fat Mrs. Hobbs came second-then

Came Mesdames Jinkins, Dump, and Spriggins,

Tapps, Jacks, Briggs, Hoggins, Crump, and Wiggins.

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Dizen'd in all her best array,
Our melting hostess said her say,
As the souchong repast proceeded;
And, curtsying and bobbing, pressed,
By turns each gormandizing guest,
To stuff as heartily as she did.

Dear Mrs. Hoggins, what!-your cup
Turn'd in your saucer, bottom up!
Dear me, how soon you've had your fill!
Let me persuade you-one more sup,
"Twill do you good, indeed it will:
Psha! now, you're only making game,
Or else you tea'd afore you came.

Stop, Mrs. Jinkins, let me stir it,
Before I pour out any more-
No, ma'm that's just as I prefer it—
O then I'll make it as before.

Lauk! Mrs Dump, that toast seems dry,
Do take and eat this middle bit;:
The butter's fresh you may rely,

And a fine price I paid for it.-
No doubt, ma'am-what a shame it is!
And Cambridge too again has riz!
You don't deal now with Mrs. Keats?
No, she's a bad one: Ma'am she cheats.
Hush! Mrs. Crump's her aunt.-Good lack!
How lucky she just turn'd her back!

Don't spare the toast, ma'm don't say no,
I've got another round below;

I give folks plenty when I ax'em,
For cut and come again 's my maxim;
Nor should I deem it a misfort'n,
If you demolish'd the whole quart'n,
Though bread is now a shameful price-
Why did they 'bolish the assize ?

A charming garden, Mrs. Dobbs,
For drying-Ain't it Mrs. Hobbs ?
But though our water-tub runs o'er,
A heavy wash is such a bore,
Our smalls is all that we hang out.
Well, that's a luxury no doubt.

La! Mrs. Tapps, do only look,
Those grouts can never be mistook;

Well, such a cup! it can't be worse,
See, here's six horses in a hearse,
And there's the church and burying-place,
Plain as the nose upon your face.
Next dish may dissipate your doubts,
And give you less unlucky grouts :
One more-you must-the pot has stood,
I warrant me it's strong and good.

There's Mrs. Spriggins in the garden;
What a fine gown! but begging pardon,
It seems to me amazing dingy-

Do you think her shawl, ma'am, 's real Ingy?
Lord love you! no: well, give me clo'es
That's plain and good, ma'am, not like those.
Though not so tawdry, Mrs. Jacks,

We do put clean things upon our backs.

Meat, ma'am, is scand❜lous dear. Perhaps
You deal, ma'am, still with Mrs. Tapps.
Not I; we know who's got to pay,
When butchers drive their one-horse chay.
Well, I pay nine for rumps.
At most
We pay but eight for boil'd and roast,
And get our rumps from Leadenhall
At seven, taking shins and all.

Yes, meat is monstrous dear all round;
But dripping brings a groat a pound.

Thus on swift wing the moments flew,
Until 'twas time to say adieu,
When each prepared to waddle back,
Warm'd with a sip of Cogniac,
Which was with Mrs. Dobbs a law,
Whene'er the night was cold and raw.
Umbrellas, pattens, lanterns, clogs,
Were sought-away the party jogs,
And silent solitude again

O'er Prospect Row resumed its reign,
Just as the watchman crawl'd in sight,
To cry-" Past ten-a cloudy night!"

340

CONSTITUTION

MAKERS-THEORETI

CAL AND PRACTICAL.

"The idea of any thing in our minds no more proves the existence of that thing, than the visions of a dream make a true history."

LOCKE.

In a former paper we noticed the observations of Champfort-that the writers on Physics and Natural History, from the satisfactory and harmonious results which their studies presented, were generally men of an even and happy temperament; while the professors of politics and legislation, from the contrary development offered by their researches, were not unfrequently of a melancholy and fretful spirit. To the more amiable and virtuous of the latter class, however, a consolation suggested itself, of which they have been eager to take advantage. Baffled by the evil passions and intractable materials of human nature in all the existing systems of society, they have delighted "to sequester out of the world into Atlantic and Utopian politics;" to appeal from the actual to the possible, from the real to the imaginary, and indemnify themselves for the painful conclusions of the head by revelling in the pleasant reveries of the heart. In this visionary state, following up their benevolent plans for the perfection of the human race, each has become

“A flattering painter, who made it his care

To draw men as they ought to be, not as they are;"

and none of them have found any difficulty in accelerating the arrival of that moral millennium whose advent has been predicted with so much confidence as to fact, though with so little precision as to date, by political enthusiasts. Some have recurred to this higher sort of fabulous writing, as the safest method of inculcating their philosophy in perilous

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