Lines in Defence of the Stage
Good people of high and low degree,
I pray ye all be advised by me,
And don't believe what the clergy doth say,
That by going to the theatre you will be led astray.
No, in the theatre we see vice punished and virtue rewarded,
The villain either hanged or shot, and his career retarded;
Therefore the theatre is useful in every way,
And has no inducement to lead the people astray.
Because therein we see the end of the bad men,
Which must appall the audience - deny it who can
Which will help to retard them from going astray,
While witnessing in a theatre a moral play.
The theatre ought to be encouraged in every respect,
Because example is better than precept,
And is bound to have a greater effect
On the minds of theatre-goers in every respect.
Sometimes in theatres, guilty creatures there have been
Struck to the soul by the cunning of the scene;
By witnessing a play wherein murder is enacted,
They were proven to be murderers, they felt so distracted,
And left the theatre, they felt so much fear,
Such has been the case, so says Shakespeare.
And such is my opinion, I will venture to say,
That murderers will quake with fear on seeing murder in a play.
Hamlet discovered his father's murderer by a play
That he composed for the purpose, without dismay,
And the king, his uncle, couldn't endure to see that play,
And he withdrew from the scene without delay.
And by that play the murder was found out,
And clearly proven, without any doubt;
Therefore, stage representation has a greater effect
On the minds of the people than religious precept.
We see in Shakespeare's tragedy of Othello, which is sublime,
Cassio losing his lieutenancy through drinking wine;
And, in delirium and grief, he exclaims -
'Oh, that men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains!'
A young man in London went to the theatre one night
To see the play of George Barnwell, and he got a great fright;
He saw George Barnwell murder his uncle in the play,
And he had resolved to murder his uncle, but was stricken with dismay.
But when he saw George Barnwell was to be hung
The dread of murdering his uncle tenaciously to him clung,
That he couldn't murder and rob his uncle dear,
Because the play he saw enacted filled his heart with fear.
And, in conclusion, I will say without dismay,
Visit the theatre without delay,
Because the theatre is a school of morality,
And hasn't the least tendency to lead to prodigality.
Adventures of King Robert the Bruce
King Robert the Bruce's deadly enemy, John of Lorn,
Joined the English with eight hundred Highlanders one morn,
All strong, hardy, and active fearless mountaineers,
But Bruce's men attacked them with swords and spears.
And while they were engaged, a new enemy burst upon them,
Like a torrent of water rushing down a rocky glen:
It was John of Lorn and his Highlanders that came upon them,
So the tide of battle was too much for them to stem.
And with savage yells they made the valley ring,
Then made a long circuit, and stole in behind the King,
Whirling their broadswords and Lochaber axes left and right;
And the enemy being thrice their number, they relinquished the fight
Then to a certain house Bruce quickly hied,
And sitting by the door the housewife he spied;
And she asked him who he was, and he said, A wanderer,
Then she said, All wanderers are welcome here, kind sir.
Then the King said, Good dame, tell me the reason why,
How you respect all wanderers that chance to pass by,
And for whose sake you bear such favour to homeless men?
Then she said, King Robert the Bruce, if you want to ken,
The lawful King of this country, whom I hope to see;
Then the Bruce said, My good woman, your King stands before thee;
And she said, Ah! Sire, where are your men gone?
Then the King told her that he's come alone.
Then she said, Ah, my lawful King, this must not be,
For I have two stout sons, and they shall follow thee,
And fight to the death for your Majesty,
Aye, in faith, my good King, by land or sea.
Then she brought her sons before the King, and thus did say,
Now swear, my sons, to be true to your King without dismay;
Then they knelt and cried, Mother, we'll do as you desire,
We willingly will fight on behalf of our noble sire.
Who has been hunted like a felon by night and by day,
By foul plotters devising to take his life away;
But God will protect him in the midst of the strife,
And, mother dear, we'll fight for him during life.
Then the King said, Noble lads, it's you shall follow me,
And ye shall be near me by land or sea,
And for your loyalty towards me your mother I'll reward;
When all on a sudden the tramping of horses was heard.
Then the King heard voices he knew full well,
But what had fetched his friends there he couldn't tell;
'Twas Edward his brother and Lord Douglas, with one hundred and fifty men,
That had travelled far, to find their King, o'er mountain and glen.
And when they met they conversed on the events of the day,
Then the King unto them quickly did say,
If we knew where the enemy were, we would work them skaith;
Then Lord James said, I'll lead you where they are, by my faith.
Then they marched on the enemy just as the morning broke,
To a farm-house where they were lodged, and, with one bold stroke,
They, the Scots, rushed in and killed two-thirds of them dead;
And such was the life, alas! King Robert the Bruce led!
The Miraculous Escape Of Robert Allan, The Fireman
'Twas in the year of 1858, and on October the fourteenth day,
That a fire broke out in a warehouse, and for hours blazed away;
And the warehouse, now destroyed, was occupied by the Messrs R. Wylie, Hill & Co.,
Situated in Buchanan Street, in the City of Glasgow.
The flames burst forth about three o'clock in the afternoon,
And intimation of the outbreak spread very soon;
And in the spectators' faces were depicted fear and consternation;
While the news flew like lightning to the Fire Brigade Station.
And when the Brigade reached the scene of the fire,
The merciless flames were ascending higher and higher,
Raging furiously in all the floors above the street,
And within twenty minutes the structure was destroyed by the burning heat.
Then the roof fell in, pushing out the front wall,
And the loud crash thereof frightened the spectators one and all,
Because it shook the neighbouring buildings to their foundation,
And caused throughout the City a great sensation.
And several men were injured by the falling wall ,
And as the bystanders gazed thereon, it did their hearts appal;
But the poor fellows bore up bravely, without uttering a moan,
And with all possible speed they were conveyed home.
The firemen tried to play upon the building where the fire originated,
But, alas! their efforts were unfortunately frustrated,
Because they were working the hose pipes in a building occupied by Messrs Smith & Brown,
But the roof was fired, and amongst them it came crashing down.
And miraculously they escaped except one fireman,
The hero of the fire, named Robert Allan,
Who was carried with the debris down to the street floor,
And what he suffered must have been hard to endure.
He travelled to the fire in Buchanan Street,
On the first machine that was ordered, very fleet,
Along with Charles Smith and Dan. Ritchie,
And proceeded to Brown & Smith's buildings that were burning furiously.
And 'in the third floor of the building he took his stand
Most manfully, without fear, with the hose in his hand,
And played on the fire through a window in the gable
With all his might, the hero, as long as he was able.
And he remained there for about a quarter of an hour,
While from his hose upon the building the water did pour,
When, without the least warning, the floor gave way,
And down he went with it: oh, horror! and dismay!
And with the debris and flooring he got jammed,
But Charlie Smith and Dan. Ritchie quickly planned
To lower down a rope to him, without any doubt,
So, with a long pull and a strong pull, he was dragged out.
He thought he was jammed in for a very long time,
For, instead of being only two hours jammed, he thought `twas months nine,
But the brave hero kept up his spirits without any dread
Then he was taken home in a cab, and put to bed.
Oh, kind Christians! think of Robert Allan, the hero man
For he certainly is a hero, deny it who can?
Because, although he was jammed, and in the midst of the flame,
He tells the world fearlessly he felt no pain.
The reason why, good people, he felt no pain
Is because he put his trust in God, to me it seems plain,
And in conclusion, I most earnestly pray,
That we will all put our trust in God, night and day.
And I hope that Robert Allan will do the same,
Because He saved him from being burnt while in the flame;
And all that trust in God will do well,
And be sure to escape the pains of hell.