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Thomas Love Peacock
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Athenian theatre being resuscitated, the admission shall be free to all who can
expound the Greek choruses, constructively, mythologically, and metrically, and
to none others. So shall all the world learn Greek: Greek, the Alpha and Omega
of all knowledge. At him who sits not in the theatre shall be pointed the finger of
scorn: he shall be called in the highway of the city, "a fellow without Greek."
MR. TRILLO. But the ladies, sir, the ladies.
REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. Every man may take in a lady: and she who can construe
and metricise a chorus, shall, if she so please, pass in by herself.
MR. TRILLO. But, sir, you will shut me out of my own theatre. Let there at least
be a double passport, Greek and Italian.
REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. No, sir; I am inexorable. No Greek, no theatre.
MR. TRILLO. Sir, I cannot consent to be shut out from my own theatre.
REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. You see how it is, Squire Crotchet the younger; you can
scarcely find two to agree on a scheme, and no two of those can agree on the
details. Keep your money in your pocket. And so ends the fund for regenerating
MR. MAC QUEDY. Nay, by no means. We are all agreed on deliberative dinners.
REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. Very true; we will dine and discuss. We will sing with
Robin Hood, "If I drink water while this doth last;" and while it lasts we will have
no adjournment, if not to the Athenian theatre.
MR. TRILLO. Well, gentlemen, I hope this chorus at least will please you:
If I drink water while this doth last,
May I never again drink wine:
For how can a man, in his life of a span,
Do anything better than dine?
Well dine and drink, and say if we think
That anything better can be,
And when we have dined, wish all mankind
May dine as well as we.
And though a good wish will fill no dish
And brim no cup with sack,
Yet thoughts will spring as the glasses ring,
To illume our studious track.
On the brilliant dreams of our hopeful schemes
The light of the flask shall shine;
And we'll sit till day, but we'll find the way
To drench the world with wine.
The schemes for the world's regeneration evaporated in a tumult of voices.