The Mistake: A Comedy Book

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The Mistake: A Comedy Details

Excerpt from the Prologue: "Our author's wit and rallery to-night Perhaps might please, but that your stage delight No more is in your minds, but ears and sight. With audiences compos'd of belles and beaux, The first dramatick rule is, have good clothes, To charm the gay spectator's gentle breast, In lace and feather Tragedy's express'd, And heroes die unpity'd, if ill-dress'd. The other stile you full as well advance; If 'tis a comedy, you ask--who dance? For oh! what dire convulsions have of late Torn and distracted each dramatick state, On this great question, which house first should sell The new French steps imported by Ruel! Desbarques can't rise so high, we must agree, They've half a foot in height more wit than we. But tho' the genius of our learned age Thinks fit to dance and sing, quite off the stage, True action, comic mirth, and tragic rage; Yet as your taste now stands, our author draws Some hopes of your indulgence and applause. For that great end this edifice he made, Where humble swain at lady's feet is laid; Where the pleas'd nymph her conquer'd lover spies, Then to glass pillars turns her conscious eyes, And points anew each charm, for which he dies."
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