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No. 036 [from The Spectator]
by [?]

No. 36
Wednesday, April 11, 1711. Steele.

‘… Immania monstra
Perferimus …’

Virg.

I shall not put my self to any further Pains for this Day’s Entertainment, than barely to publish the Letters and Titles of Petitions from the Play-house, with the Minutes I have made upon the Latter for my Conduct in relation to them.

Drury-Lane, April [1] the 9th.

‘Upon reading the Project which is set forth in one of your late Papers, [2] of making an Alliance between all the Bulls, Bears, Elephants, and Lions, which are separately exposed to publick View in the Cities of London and Westminster; together with the other Wonders, Shows, and Monsters, whereof you made respective Mention in the said Speculation; We, the chief Actors of this Playhouse, met and sat upon the said Design. It is with great Delight that We expect the Execution of this Work; and in order to contribute to it, We have given Warning to all our Ghosts to get their Livelihoods where they can, and not to appear among us after Day-break of the 16th Instant. We are resolved to take this Opportunity to part with every thing which does not contribute to the Representation of humane Life; and shall make a free Gift of all animated Utensils to your Projector. The Hangings you formerly mentioned are run away; as are likewise a Set of Chairs, each of which was met upon two Legs going through the Rose Tavern at Two this Morning. We hope, Sir, you will give proper Notice to the Town that we are endeavouring at these Regulations; and that we intend for the future to show no Monsters, but Men who are converted into such by their own Industry and Affectation. If you will please to be at the House to-night, you will see me do my Endeavour to show some unnatural Appearances which are in vogue among the Polite and Well-bred. I am to represent, in the Character of a fine Lady Dancing, all the Distortions which are frequently taken for Graces in Mien and Gesture. This, Sir, is a Specimen of the Method we shall take to expose the Monsters which come within the Notice of a regular Theatre; and we desire nothing more gross may be admitted by you Spectators for the future. We have cashiered three Companies of Theatrical Guards, and design our Kings shall for the future make Love and sit in Council without an Army: and wait only your Direction, whether you will have them reinforce King Porus or join the Troops of Macedon. Mr. Penkethman resolves to consult his Pantheon of Heathen Gods in Opposition to the Oracle of Delphos, and doubts not but he shall turn the Fortunes of Porus when he personates him. I am desired by the Company to inform you, that they submit to your Censures; and shall have you in greater Veneration than Hercules was in of old, if you can drive Monsters from the Theatre; and think your Merit will be as much greater than his, as to convince is more than to conquer.

I am, Sir, Your most obedient Servant, T.D.

SIR, When I acquaint you with the great and unexpected Vicissitudes of my Fortune, I doubt not but I shall obtain your Pity and Favour. I have for many Years last past been Thunderer to the Play-house; and have not only made as much Noise out of the Clouds as any Predecessor of mine in the Theatre that ever bore that Character, but also have descended and spoke on the Stage as the bold Thunder in The Rehearsal [1]

When they got me down thus low, they thought fit to degrade me further, and make me a Ghost. I was contented with this for these two last Winters; but they carry their Tyranny still further, and not satisfied that I am banished from above Ground, they have given me to understand that I am wholly to depart their Dominions, and taken from me even my subterraneous Employment. Now, Sir, what I desire of you is, that if your Undertaker thinks fit to use Fire-Arms (as other Authors have done) in the Time of Alexander, I may be a Cannon against Porus, or else provide for me in the Burning of Persepolis, or what other Method you shall think fit.