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If they love lees, and leave the lusty wine,
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 While fashion has thus withdrawn the genteeler ranks from the theatre, fanaticism and gloom have enrolled a great portion of the lower orders among its blind and bitter enemies.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!"
WHAT! shall the Morning Post proclaim
How long they danced, till, sharp as hunters,
He who knows Hackney, needs must know
Of Shoreditch road, and when there blows
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.
Dizen'd in all her best array,
Dear Mrs. Hoggins, what!-your cup
Stop, Mrs. Jinkins, let me stir it,
Lauk! Mrs Dump, that toast seems dry,
And a fine price I paid for it.-
Don't spare the toast, ma'm don't say no,
I give folks plenty when I ax'em,
A charming garden, Mrs. Dobbs,
La! Mrs. Tapps, do only look,
Well, such a cup! it can't be worse,
There's Mrs. Spriggins in the garden;
Do you think her shawl, ma'am, 's real Ingy?
We do put clean things upon our backs.
Meat, ma'am, is scand❜lous dear. Perhaps
Yes, meat is monstrous dear all round;
Thus on swift wing the moments flew,
O'er Prospect Row resumed its reign,
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."
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