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Touch'd by the lamplighter's Promethean art,
At first, while vacant seats give choice and ease,
Now the full benches to late-comers doom No room for standing, miscall'd standing-room.
Hark! the check-taker moody silence breaks, And bawling, "Pit full!" gives the check he takes; Yet onward still the gathering numbers cram, Contending crowders shout the frequent damn, And all is bustle, squeeze, row, jabbering, and jam.
See to their desks Apollo's sons repair--
Tang goes the harpsichord, too-too the flute,
Till, like great Jove, the leader, figuring in,
Attunes to order the chaotic din.
Now all seems hush'd; but no, one fiddle will
Then on his candlestick thrice taps his bow,
Perchance, while pit and gallery cry "Hats off!"
Till, sinking gradual, with repeated twirl,
Say, why these Babel strains from Babel tongues? Who's that calls "Silence!" with such leathern lungs? He who, in quest of quiet, "Silence!" hoots, Is apt to make the hubbub he imputes.
What various swains our motley walls contain !--Fashion from Moorfields, honour from Chick Lane; Bankers from Paper Buildings here resort, Bankrupts from Golden Square and Riches Court: From the Haymarket canting rogues in grain, Gulls from the Poultry, sots from Water Lane; The lottery-cormorant, the auction-shark, The full-price master, and the half-price clerk; Boys who long linger at the gallery-door,
With pence twice five-they want but twopence more; Till some Samaritan the twopence spares,
And sends them jumping up the gallery-stairs.
Critics we boast who ne'er their malice balk,
But talk their minds-we wish they'd mind their talk;
Big-worded bullies, who by quarrels live-
Yet here, as elsewhere, Chance can joy bestow, Where scowling Fortune seem'd to threaten woe.
John Richard William Alexander Dwyer Was footman to Justinian Stubbs, Esquire; But when John Dwyer listed in the Blues, Emanuel Jennings polish'd Stubb's shoes. Emanuel Jennings brought his youngest boy Up as a corn-cutter-a safe employ ;
In Holywell Street, St Pancras, he was bred,
Facing the pump, and near the Granby's Head:
Silence, ye gods! to keep your tongues in awe, The Muse shall tell an accident she saw.
Pat Jennings in the upper gallery sat, But, leaning forward, Jennings lost his hat; Down from the gallery the beaver flew, And spurn'd the one to settle in the two. How shall he act? Pay at the gallery-door Two shillings for what cost, when new, but four? Or till half-price, to save his shilling, wait,