صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

PERSONS REPRESENTED. KNO'well, an old Gentleman.

Kitely, a Merchant. Ed. KNO'WELL, his Son.

Dame Kitely, his Wife. BRAIN-WORM, The Father's Man,

Mrs. BRIDGET, his Sister. MR. STEPHEN, a Country-Gullo

Mr. MATTHEW, the Town-Gull. Down-RIGHT, a plain Squire.

Cash, Kitely's Man. WELL-BRED, his half Brother.

Cob, a Water-bearer. JUSTICE CLEMENT, an old merry Magis Tib, his ll'ife. trate.

CAPT. BOBADILL, a Pauls llan.
ROGER FORMAL, his Clerk.

SCENE, London.







CFCRNI PRO L O G U E. THOUGH need make many poets, and Nor creaking throne comes down the boys some such

to please: i As art and nature have not better'd much ; Nor nimble squib is seen to make afeard

Yet ours for want, hath not so lov’d the stage, The gentlewomen; nor rould bullet heard As he dares serve th' ill customs of the age, To say, it thunders; nor tempestuous drum Or purchase your delight at such a rate, Rumbles, to tell you when the storm doth As, for it, he himself must justly hate:

come ; To make a child now swaddled, to proceed But deeds, and language, such as mendo use, Man, and then shoot up, in one beard and And persons, such as Comedy would chuse, weed,

[swords, When she would shew an image of the times, Past threescore years ; or, with three rusty And sport with human follies, not with And help of some few foot and half-foot

crimes, words,

Except we make 'em such, by loving still Fight over York and Lancaster's long jars,' Our popular errors, when we know th' are ill. And in the tyring-house bring wounds to I mean such errors as you'll all confess,

By laughing at them, they deserve no less: He rather prays you will be pleas’d to see Which when you heartily do, there's hope One such to-day, as other plays should be;

left then,

[like men. Where neither chorus wafts you o'er the seas, You, that have so grac'd monsters, may

With three rusty swords,
And help of some few FooT AND HALF-FOOT WORDS,

Fight over York and Lancaster's long jars.] The author takes occasion in this prologue to ridicule the common practice of the stage-writers; their deficiency in plot, their ignorance of the dramatic unities, with their several imperfections both in sentiment and style. . Pos. sibly Shakspeare himself, by the help of a proper application, was designed to be included

The “ foot and half-foot words,” a translation of liorace's Sesquipedulia Verba, allude to expressions of a most unmeasurable length, which were commonly made use of by the authors of that age; and were supposed to give magnificence and sublimity to their diction. It was about this time, that compound epithets were first introduced into our poetry; and to what licentiousness of style they were perverted, appears from the following lines of Bishop Hall, who is drawing the character of the Poetaster Labeo.

“ He knows the grace of that new elegance,
“ Which sweet Philisides fetch'd of late from France,
“ (Tbat well beseem'd his high-styl’d Arcady,

Though others mar it with much liberty);
“ In epithets to join two words in one,
“ Forsooth, for adjectives cannot stand alone :
As a great poet could of Bacchus

say, “ That he was Semele-femori-gena.”_VIRUIDEMIARUM Lib. VI. Sat. 1. * And sport with human follies, not with crimes.] This distinction is made expressly from the precept of Aristotle; who assigns the go yaxosov or the ridiculous, as the immediate

subject of comedy. Poetic. Sect. 5. but makes the crimes of men, as being of a more seri"ous nature, the particular object of the tragic poet.


in this censure.

[ocr errors]


you do, uncle.


row it.

will you ?


The vain from th’useful learnings. Cousin

[early? Kno'well, Brain-zuorm, Mr. Stephen. What news with you, that you are here so Kno. A GOODLY day toward! and a Step. Nothing, but e'en come to see how Call up your young master : bid bim rise, K'no. That's kindly done; you are wel

[him. come, couz. Tell him, I have some business to employ Step. 'l, I know that, sir, I would not Brai. I will, sir, presently.

ha' come else. How does my cousin Kno. But hear you, sirrah,

Edward, uncle? If he be at his book, disturb him not.

Kno. O, well couz, go in and see: I Brai. Well, sir.?

doubt he he scarce stirring yet. Kno. How happy yet, should I esteem Step. Uncle, afore I go in, can you tell myself,

me an' he have e're a book of the sciences Could I, by any practice, wean the boy of hawking and hunting? I would fain borFrom one vain course of study, he affects. He is a scholar, if a man may trust

Kno. Why, I hope you will not a hawkThe liberal voice of fame, in her reports ing now, Of good account in both our universities, Step. No, wusse, but I'll practise against Either of which hath favour'd him with next year, uncle: I have bought me a graces :

hawk, and a hood, and bells, and all; I But their indulgence must not spring in me lack nothing but a book to keep it by. A fond opinion, that he cannot err.

Kno. O, most ridiculous. Myself was once a student, and, indeed, Step. Nay, look you now, you are anFed with the self-same huinour he is now, gry, uncle; why you know an'a man have Dreaming on nought but idle poetry, not skill in the hawking and hunting-lanThat fruitless and unprofitable art,

guages now-a-days, I'll not give a rush for Good unto none; but least to the professors; him. They are more studied than the Which, then, I thought the mistress of all Greek, or the Latin. He is for no gallants knowledge:

company without’em: and by gads-lid I But since, time and the truth have wak'd scorn it, I, so I do, to be a consort for every my judgment,

hum-drum ; hang'em, scroyles! there's noAnd reason taught me better to distinguishı thing in 'ein i' the world. What do you

A goodly day toward ! and a fresh morning! Brain-worm,

Call up your young master : bid him rise, sir.] Thus are these lines printed in the common editions of this poet, without any regard to the measure or quanitty of the verse. It must be owned that the metre of the comic poets, in the age of Jonson, was extremely loose and irreg lar, often requiring to be helped out by the speaker. The voice, as it was necessary, must either slur over, or lengthen out a syllable to preserve the numbers. An elision in the word your, by marking it in this manner y'r, would guide the pronunciation in the reading. There is, however, an expletive, that night easily be omitted, and might probably have been the player's insertion:' and the verse would be better, if we read it thus :

Brain-tvorm, call your young master : bid him rise, sir.--Mr. SEWARD. These observations are equally ingenious and just ; but I have still ventured to retain the old reading, principally on he authority of the first folio, which was printed in the poet's life-time, and under his own inspection. The defect in measure is probably in the first line ; which becomes a perfect verse by contracting the word toward into one syllable, and which undoubtedly must be so pronounced.

* Bruin. 'Well, sır.j An elliptical expression ; It is well, sir :,probably borrowed from the Latin form of speaking, usual on such occasions.

Rogo nunquid velit; Recte, inquit, abeo.-Teren. Eun, Act. II. Scen. 3. '1, I know tlut, sir!] Ay, &c. The antient way of writing this affirmative particle was only with the vowel I, and a comma after it. This is followed in the old and last edition likewise, and I have conformed to it in the present.

* I lack nothing but a book to keep it by.] Falconry was a favourite diversion of this age. Mr. Stephen having purchased a hawk with all its furniture, is ignorant how to keep it secundùm artem. For the service of connoisseurs like himself, books were then wrote upon this subject. A treatise of this kind by one George Turberville is yet to be found, and may perhaps be of infinite service to the curious in this science. In the same inanner they fought duels by the book.

[ocr errors]


by here.

talk on it? Because I dwell at Hogsden, I “ Which is an airy, and mere borrow'd shall keep company with none but the


[none of yours, archers of Finsbury, or the citizens that “ From dead men's dust, and bones; and come a ducking to Islington ponds ? A Except you make, or hold it. Who comes fine jest i'faith! Slid, a gentleman mun

here? show himself like a gentleman: Uncle, I pray you be not angry, I know what I have

SCENE II. to do, I trow, I am no novice.

Serrant, Mr. Stephen, Kno'well, BrainKno. You are a prodigal absurd cockscomb, go to.

Serv. Save you, gentlemen. Nay, never look at me, it's I that speak. Step. Nay, we do not stand much on our Take't as you will, sir, I'll not flatter you. gentility, triend; 6 yet you are welcome, Ha’ you not yet tound means enow to waste and I assure you mine uncie here is a man That which your friends have left you, of a thousand a year, Middlesex land: he but you must

has but one son in all the world; I am his Go cast away your money on a kite, next heir (at the common law) Master SteAnd know not how to keep it, when you phen, as simple as I stand here, if my couha' done?'

[man ! sin die (as there's hoped he will), I have a O it's comely! this will make you a gentle pretty living o' mine own too, beside, hard Well, cousin, well! I see you are e'en past hope

[it, Serd. In good time, sir. Of all reclaim: I, so, now you are told on Step. In good time, sir? why! and in You look another way.

very good time, sir: you do not fout, Step. What would you ha' me do?

friend, do you? Kno. What would I have you do? I'll tell Sero. Not I, sir. you, kinsman;

(thrive, Step. Not you, sir ? you were not best, " Learn to be wise, and practise how to sir; an' you should, here be them can per" That would I have you do: and not to ceive it, and that quickly too; go to: and spend

they can give it again soundly too, an' need " Your coin on every bauble that you fancy, be. Or every foolish brain that humours you. Sero. Why, sir, let this satisfy you; good “I would not have you to invade each faith, I had no such intent. place,

Step: Sir, an' I thought you had, I would " Nor thrust yourself on all societies, talk with you, and that presently. "Till inen's affections, or your own desert,

Serv. Good Master Stephen, so you may, “Should worthily invite you to your rank. sir, at your pleasure. " He that is so respectless in his courses,

Step. And so I would, sir, good my saucy "Oft sells his reputation at cheap market. companion! an' you were out of mine "Nor would I, you should meli away your

uncle's ground, I can tell you; though I

do not stand upon my gentility neither in't. “In flashing bravery, lest while you affect Kno. Cousin! cousin! will this ne'er be "To make a blaze of gentry to the world, left: “A little puff of scorn extinguish it,

Step. Whoreson base fellow! a mechanical " And you be left like an unsav'ry snuff, serving-man! By this cudgel, an''twere not "Whose property is only to offend.

for shame, I wouldPd ha' you sober, and contain yourself;

Kno. What would you do, you peremp"Not that your sail be bigger than your

tory gull? boat;

If you cannot be quiet, get you bence. “ But moderate your expences now (at first) You see, the honest man demeans himself " As you may keep the same proportion Modestly towards you, giving no reply still.

To your unseason'd, quarrelling, rude fa“Nor stand so much on your gentility,

shion; Go cast away your money on a kite,

And know not how to keep it, when you ha' done?] The great number of hawks or falcons kept in that age, and the manner of their food, will appear from the following passage: "I would our falcons might be satisfied with the division of their prey, as the talcons in Thracia were, that they needed not to devour the hens of this realm in such number, that unless it be shortly considered, our familiar poultry shall be as scarce, as be now partridge and pheasant. I speak not this in dispraise of the falcons, but of them which keepeth them like cockneys."-Sir Tho. Eliot's Governour, l. i. c. 18. Lond. 1580.

We do not stand much on our gentility, frienu. ] This answer is made with exquisite humour. Stephen piques himself on being a gentleman; Kno'well had just reproved him for a rough illiberal behaviour, and cautions him not to presume upon his birth and fortune. Master Stephen doth not seem to relish this advice, but at the entrance of the servant, he discovers his regard for what his uncle had been saying, by the repetition of his last words.


[ocr errors]


And still you huff it, with a kind of carriage taking in all the young wenches that pass by As void of wit, as of humanity:

at the back-door, and codling every ker. Go get you in; 'fore heaven, I am asham'd nel of the fruit for 'em, would ha' serv'd. Thou hast a kinsman's interest in me.

But pr’ythee come over to me quickly, this

Erit Stephen morning ; I have such a present for thee, Serv. I pray, sir, is this Master Kno'well's our Turky company never sent the like to house?

the Grand Signior, One is a rhymer, sir, o' K'no. Yes, marry is it, sir.

your own batch, your own leaven; but doth Sero. I should inquire for a gentleman think himself poet-major o' the town, wilhere, one Master Edward Kno'well; do ling to be shown, and worthy to be seen. you

know any such, sir, I pray you? The other, I will not venture his description Kno. I should forget myself else, sir. with you, till you come, because I would

Sero. Are you the gentleman? Cry you ha' you make hither with an appetite. If mercy, sir: I was requir’d by a gentleman the worst of 'em be not worth your journey, i' the city, as I rode out at this end o' the draw your bill of charges, as unconscionable town, to deliver you this letter, sir.

as any Guild-hall verdict will give it you, Kno. To me, sir! What do you mean? and you shall be allow'd your viaticum. pray you remember your court'sie. (To his

? From the Wind-mill. most selected friend, Master Edward Kno'well.) What might the gentleman's name From the Bordello,.it might come as well, be, sir, that sent it? nay, pray you be The Spittle, or Pict-hatch. Is this the man cover'd.

My son hath sung so, for the happiest wit, Sero. One Master Well-bred, sir.

The choicest brain, the times have sent us Kno. Master Well-bred! A young gen

forth? tleman? is he not?

I know not what he may be in the arts, Sero. The same, sir; Master Kitely mar Nor what in schools ; but surely, for his ried his sister; the rich merchant i' the Old

manners, Jewry.

I judge him a profane and dissolute wretch : kino. You say very true. Brain-worm. Worse by possession of such great good gifts, Brai. Sir.

Being the master of so loose a spirit. Kno. Make this honest friend drink here: Why, what unhallow'd ruffian would have pray you go in.

In such a scurrilous manner, to a friend ! This letter is directed to my son :

Why should he think, I tell my apricots, Yet I am Edward Kno'well too, and may, Or play thi’ Hesperian dragon with my fruit, With the safe conscience of good manners,

To watch it? Well, my son, I had thought, you use

Had had more judgment to have made The fellow's error to my satisfaction.


(trust, Well, I will break itope, old men are curious, Of your companions, than t' have ta'en on Be it but for the style's sake, and the phrase, Such petulant, jeering gamesters, that can To see if both do answer my son's praises,

spare Who is almost grow, the idolater

No argument, or subject from their jest. Oi this young Well-bred : what have we But I perceive affection makes a fool here? what's this?

Ofany man, too much the father. Brain-worin.
Brai. Sir.

[letter? THE LETTER.

k'no. Is the fellow gone that brought this Why, Ned, I beseech thee, hast thou for Brai. Yes, sir, a pretty while since. sworn all thy friends i' the Old Jewry? or Kno. And where's your young master ? dost thou think us all Jews that inhabit iherer Brai. In his chamber, sir. yet ii thou dost, come over, and but see Kno. He spake not with the fellow, did he? our frippery; change an old shirt for a Brai. No, sir, he saw him not. whole smock with us: do not conceive that Kno. Take you this letter, and deliver it antipathy between us and Hogsden, as was

my son ;

[your life. between Jews and hogs-flesh. Leave thy But with no notice that I have open’d it, on vigilant father alone, to number over his Brai. O lord, sir, that were a jest indeed! green apricots, evening and morning, o' the Kno. I am resolv'd I will not stop his north-west wall: an' I had been bis son, I

journey, had sav'd him the labour long since, if Nor

practise any violent means to stay From the WIND-MILL.] This house then stood at the corner of the Old Jewry, towards Lothbury; and was remarkable for the various changes it had successively undergone. The Jews used it at first for a Synagogue; afterwards it came into the possession of a certain order of friars called de Pænitentiá Jesit, or Fratres de Saccâ, from their being clothed in sackcloth. In process of time, it was converted to a private house, wherein several mayors kad res ded, and kept their mayoralty. In the days of Stow, from whom this account is tüken, it was a wine-tavern, and had for the sign a wind-mill

. See Stow's Survey by STRYPE, L. III. p. 54.

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


Th’unbridled course of youth in him; forthat Step. And I staid i' the fields ! horson
Restrain'd grows more impatient; and in kind Scander-bag rogue! Oh that I had but a
Like to the eager, but the generous grey horse to fetch bim back again !

Brai. Why, you may ha' my master's Who, ne'er so little from his game with-held, gelding, to save your longing, sir. Turns head, and leaps up at his holder's throat. Step. But I ha' no boots, that's the spight “There is a way of winning more by love, on't. " And urging of the modesty, than fear: Brai. Why, a fine whisp of hay, rould Forceworks on servile natures, not the free.

hard, master Stephen. " He that's compell’d to goodness, may be Step. No faith, it's no boot to follow him, good;

drawn now : let him e'en go and hang: Priythee, " But 'tis but for that fit: where others, help to truss me a little. He does so vex " By softness and example, get a habit. Then, if they stray, but waru'em; and the Brai. You'll be worse vex'd when you

[do for shame.” are truss’d, master Stephen. Best keep unThey should for virtue have done, they'll brac'd, and walk yourself till you be cold;

your choler may founder


else. SCENE III.

Step. By my faith, and so I will; now

thou tell'st me on't: How dost thou like Edw. Kno'well, Brain-worm, Mr. Stephen.

my leg, Brain-worm ? E. Kno. Did he open it, say'st thou? Brai. A very good leg, master Stephen ;

Brai. Yes, o' my word, sir, and read the but the woolleir stocking does not commend contents.

it so well. E. Kno. That scarce contents me. What Step. Foh, the stockings be good enough, countenance, pr’ythee, made he, i'th'read now summer is coming on, for the dust : ing of it? was he angry, or pleaz'd ?

I'll have a pair of silk against winter, that I Brai. Nay, sir, I saw him not read it, go to dwell ith' town.

I think my leg nor open it, I assure your worship.

would shew in a silk hose? E. Kno. No? how know'st thou, then, Brai. Believe me, master Stephen, rarely that he did either ?

well. Brai. Marry, sir, because he charg'd me, Step. In sadness, I think it would : I have on my life, to tell nobody that he open'd it; a reasonable good leg. which unless he had done, he would never Brai. You have an excellent good leg, fear to have it reveal’d.

master Stephen; but I cannot stay to praise E. Kno. That's true: well, I thank thee, it longer now, and I am very sorry for't. Brain-worm.

Step. Another time will serve, BrainSep. O, Brain-worm, didst thou not see worm. Gramercy for this. a fellow here in a what'sha'call-him dou. E. Kno. lla, ha, ha. blet: he brought mine unclealetter e'en now. [K'no'well laughs, having read the letter.

Brai. Yes, master Stephen ; what of him? Step. 'Slid, I hope he laughs not at me; an'
Step. O, I ha' such a inind to beat him he do-
Where is he? canst thou tell?

E. Kno. Here was a letter indeed, to be Brai. Faith, he is not of that mind: he is intercepted by a man's father, and do him gone, master Stephen.

good with him! He cannot but think most Step. Gone ! which way? when went he? virtuously, both of me, and the sender, how long since ?

sure; that make the careful costar monger Brui. He is rid hence: he took horse at of him in our familiar epistles. Well, if he the street-door.

read this with patience I'll be gelt, and * There is a way of winning more by love,

And urging of the modesty, than four, &c.] TERENCE is the author of these sentiments, which are adapted with the utmost propriety of character to the temper of the speaker.

Pudorc & liberalitate liberos
Retinere, satius esse credo, quàm metu.
malo couctus qui suum officium facit,
Dum id rescitum iri credit, tantisper cavet.
Hoc putrium est, potiùs consuefacere filium

Sua sponte rectè facere, quàm alieno metu.—Adelph. Act. I. Sc. 1. I think my leg would shew in a silk hose ] The humour of these half-witted gallants, with relation to their dress, and particularly the furniture of their legs, is frequently taken notice of by our old comedians.

Sir Tob. I did think by the excellent constitution of thy leg, it was formed under the "star of a galliard. “ Sir And. Aye, 'tis strong; and it does indifferent well in a flame-coloured stocking.”

SHAKSPEARE's Twelfth Night, Act I. Sc. 4.

[ocr errors]
« السابقةمتابعة »