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“ With a true poet. He could have hal'd in “ The drunkards, and the noises of the
inn, “ In his last act; if he had thought it fit “ To vent you vapours in the place of wit:
(or spue, “ But better 'twas that they should sleep,
“ Than in the scene to offend him or you. “ This he did think ; and this do you forgive:
[live. " Whene'er the carcase dies, this art will “ And had he liv'd the care of king and queen,
[seen; “ His art in something more yet had been “ But mayors and shrieves may yearly fill
the stage : A king's, or poet's birth do ask an age."
“ If they ha' not miscarried ! if they have, “ All that his faint and fall ring tongue
doth crave, " .Is, that you not impute it to his brain, “ That's yet unhurt, altho’set round with
pain, " It cannot long hold out. All strength
must yield; “ Yet judgment would the last be in the
Another EPILOGUE there was, made for the play, in the poet's
defence, but the play livid not in opinion, to have it spoken.
“ A JOVIAL host, and lord of the New Inn,
(past therein, “ 'Clept the Light-Heart, with all that “ Hath been the subject of our play tonight,
delight. " To give the king, and queen, and court 66 But then we mean the court above the stairs,
[more of ears “ And past the guard; men that have “ Than eyes to judge us: such as will not hiss,
[Cis. “ Because the chambermaid was named
« We think it would have serv'd our scene
as true, " If, as it is, at first we'd calld her Pru, “ For any mystery we there have found,
“ Or magick in the letters, or the sound. " She only meant was for a girl of wit,
“ To whom her lady did a province fit: " Which she would have discharg'd, and
done as well, “ Had she been christen’d Joyce, Grace,
Doll, or Nell.”
· If, as it is, at first we'd call'd her Pru.] In the first draught of the play, the chambermaid's name was Cicely, which, it seems, was not approv'd of by the audience, and therefore altered by the poet to Prudence. In the edition of 1631, she is sometimes called Cis, and sometimes Pru, by mistake of the printer.
This Comedy, as it was never acted, but most negligently play'd by some, the King's
SERVANTS; and more squeamishly beheld and censur'd by others, the King's SUBJECTS, 1629; is now, at last, set at liberty to the Readers, his Majesty's Servants and Subjects, to be judg'd of, 1631.
THE MAGNETICK LADY; OR,
Lady LOADSTONE, the Magnetick Lady. Doctor Rut, physician to the house.
SiR DIAPHANOUS SILKWORM, a courtier. Mistress Placentia, her niece.
Mr. Practise, a lawyer. PLEASANCE, her waiting-woman.
Sir Moth INTEREST, an usurer, or moneyMistress Keep, the niece's nurse.
bawd. Mother CHAIR, the midwife.
MR. Bias, a ri-politick, or sub-secretary. MR. COMPASS, a scholar mathematick. Mr. Needle, the lady's steward and taylor. CAPTAIN IRONSIDE, a soldier.
The Chorus, by way of Induction. Parson PALATE, prelate of the parish.
THE INDUCTION, or CHORUS.
The two gentlemen entering upon the stage.
Pro. We are a pair of public persons (this Mr. Probee and Mr. Damplay.
gentleman and myself) that are sent thus
coupled unto you, upon state-business. A boy of the house meets them.
Boy. It concerns but the state of the Boy. WHAT do you lack, gentlemen ? stage, I hope. what is't you lack? any fine fancies, figures, Dam. O, you shall know that by degrees, humours, characters, ideas, definitions of boy. No man leaps into a business of state, lords and ladies? Waiting-women, parasites, without fording first the state of the business. knights, captains, courtiers, lawyers, what Pro. We are sent unto you, indeed, from do you lack?
the people. Pro. A pretty prompt boy for the poetic Boy. The people! which side of the peoshop.
ple? Dam. And a bold! where's one o' your Dam. The venison side, if you know it, masters, sirrah, the poet?
boy. Boy. Which of 'em, sir? we have divers Boy. That's the left side. I hati rather that drive that trade, now: poets, poetac they had been the right. cio's, poetasters, poetito's
Pro. So they are.
Not the fæces, or Dam. And all haberdashers of small wit, grounds of your people, that sit in the oblique I
presume; we would speak with the poet caves and wedges of your house, your sinful o the day, boy:
mechanicksBoy. Sir, he is not here. But I have the Dam. But the better and braver sort of dominion of the shop, for this time, under your people ! plush and velvet outsides! him, and can shew you all the variety the that stick your house round like so many stage will afford for the present.
eminences Pro. Therein you will express your own Boy. Of clothes, not understandings? good parts, boy.
they are at pawn. Well, I take these as a Dam. And tie us two to you for the gen part of your people though; what bring tle office.
you to me from these people? · Dam. And all haberdashers of small rit.] Shakspeare has an expression of the like kind, in King Henry the Eighth, act 5. scene 1.
“ Porter's Man. There was a haberdasher's wife of small wit, that railed upon me, till “ her pink'd porrenger fell off her head.” Dr. GREY.
Dam. You have heard, boy, the antient your people call authors, never dreamt of poets had it in their purpose, still to please any decorum, or what was proper in the this people.
scene; but grope at it i' the dark, and fee Pro. I, their chief aim was
or fumble for it. I speak it, both with their Dam. Populo ut placerent : (if he under
leave, and the leave o' your people. stands so much.)
Dun. But, why Humours Reconcil'd, I Boy. (Quas fecissent fabulas.) I under would fain know? stand that sin' I learn'd Terence, i' the third Boy. I can satisfy you there too, if you form at Westminster : go on, sir.
will. But, perhaps you desire not to be sa. Pro. Now, these people have employed tisfied. us to you, in all their names, to entreat an Dam. No? why should you conceive so, excellent play from you,
boy? Dam. For they have had very mean ones Boy. My conceit is not ripe yet; l'll tell from this shop of late, the stage as you call
you that anon. 2 The author beginning his it.
studies of this kind, with Every Man in his Boy. Troth, gentlemen, I have no wares Humour; and atter, Every Man out of his which I dare thrust upon the people with Iiumour; and since, ci.ntinuing in all his praise.' But this, such as it is, I will venture plays, especially those of the comic t..read, with your people, your gay gallant people ; whereof the New-inn was the last, some res so as you, again, will undertake for thein, cent bumours still, or manners of men, that that they shall know a good play when they went along with the times; finding himself hear it; and will have the conscience and now near the close, or shutting up of his ingenuity beside to confess it.
circle, bath fancied to himself, in idea, this Pro. We'll pass our words for that; you Magnetick Mistress : a lady, a brave bousshall have a brace of us to engage ourselves. tiful house-keeper, and a virtuous widow;
Boy. You'll tender your names, gentle who having a young niece, ripe for a man men, to our book then
and irarriageable, he makes that his centru Dam. Yes, here's Mr. Probee; a man of attractive, to draw thither a diversity of most powerful speech, and parts to persuade, guests, all persons of different humours to Pro. And Mr. Damplay will make good make
up his perimeter. And this he hath all he undertakes.
call'd Humours Reconcil'd. Boy. Good Mr. Probee, and Mr. Dam Pro. al bold undertaking, and far greater play! I like your securities; whence do you than the reconciliation of both churches; write yourselves?
the quarrel beween humours having been Pró. Of London, gentlemen; but knights much the ancienter; and, in my poor opi: brothers, and knights friends, I assure you. nion, the root of all schism and faction both
Dam. And knights fellows too. Every in church and commun-wealth. poet writes squire now.
Boy. Such is the opinion of many wise Boy. You are good names ! very good men, that meet at this shop still; but how he men, both of you! I accept you.
will speed in it, we cannot tell, and be imDam. And what is the title of your play self (it seems) less cares. For he will not here? The Magnetick Lady?
be entreated by us, to give it a prologue. Boy. Yes, sir, an attractive title the au He has lost too much that way already, he thor has given it.
says. He will not woo the gentile ignorance Pro. A magnete, I warrant you.
so much. But careless of all vulgar censure, Dam. O no, from magnus, magna, mag as not depending on common approbation,
he is contident it shall super-please judicious Boy. This gentleman hath found the true spectators, and to them he leaves it to work magnitude
with the rest, by example or otherwise, Dum. Of his portal or entry to the work, Dam. He may be deceiv'd in that, boy: according to Vitruvius.
few follow examples now, especially if they Boy. Sir, all our work is done without a
be good. portal
-or Vitruvius. In foro, as a true Boy. The play is ready to begin, gentlecomedy should be. And what is conceal'd men, I tell you, lest you might detraud the within, is brought out, and made present by expectation of the people, for whom you are report.
delegates : please you take a couple of seats Dum. We see not that always observ'd and plant yourselves, here, as near my standby your authors of these times; or scarce ing as you can: fly every thing you see to
the mark, and censure it treely: Boy. Where it is not at all known, how terrupt not the series or thread of the argushould it be observ'd? The most of those
ment, to break or pucker it, with unneces. * The author beginning his studies of this kind, with Every Man in his Humour.) We unust except those pieces which were offered to the stage before that play, and which did not succeed so well. The Case is altered has, I think, plain marks of being one of his earlier compositions.
; so you in
sary questions. For, I must tell you, (not Dam. Stay! who be these, I pray you? out of mine own dictamen, but the author's) Boy. Because it is your first question, a good play is like a skain of silk; which, if (and these be the prime persons,) it would in you take by the right end, you may wind of civility require an answer : but I have heard at pleasure, on the bottom or card of your the poet affirm, that to be the most unlucky discourse, in a tale or so; how you will: but scene in a play, which needs an interpreter; if you light on the wrong end, you will pull especially, when the auditory are awake: all into a knot or elfe-lock; which nothing and such are you, he presumes ; ergoma but the sheers, or a candle, will undo or separate.
A CT I.
SCENE I. Compass, Ironside WELCOME, good captain
Com. W Ironside, and
You shall along with me. I'm lodg'd hard by Here, ata
noble lady's house i' the street, The lady Loadstone's (one will bid us welcome),
[guests, Where there are gentlewomen and male Of several humours, carriage, constitution, Profession too; but so diametral One to another, and so much oppos'd, As if I can but hold them all together, And draw 'ein to a sufferance of themselves, But till the dissolution of the dinner, I shall have just occasion to believe My wit is magisterial; and ourselves Takę infinite delight i' the success. Iron. Troth, brother Compass, you shall
pardon me ; I love not so to multiply acquaintance At a meal's cost; 'twill take off o' my freedom
(vance. So much; or bind me to the least obserCom. Why, Ironside, you know I am a
scholar, And part a soldier ; I have been employ'd By some the greatest statesmen o' the kingdom,
[vers'd These many years; and in my time conWith sundry humours, suitiug so myself To company, as honest men, and knaves, Good-fellows, hypocrites, all sorts of people, Though never so divided in themselves, Have studied to agree still in the usage And handling of me (which hath been fair
too.) Iron. Sir, I confess you to be one well
read In men, and manners; and that usually, The most ungovern'd persons, you being
Rather subject themselves unto your censure,
brother, My humour being as stubborn as the rest, Aud as unmanageable.
Com. You do mistake My caract of your friendship all this while ! Or at what rate I reckon your assistance, Knowing by long experience, to such animals,
[fox there, Half-hearted creatures, as these are, your Uukennel'd with a choleric, ghastly aspect, Or two or three comminatory terms, Would run their fears to any hole of shelter, Worth a day's laughter! I am for the sport; For nothing else.
Iron. But, brother, I ba' seen A coward meeting with a man as valiant As our St. George (not knowing him to be
such, Or having least opinion that he was so) Set to him roundly, I, and swinge him
Com. I think that too :
you would be contented to endure A sliding reprehension at my hands, To hear yourself or your profession glanc'd
at In a few slighting terms; it would beget Me such a main authoriy, o' the bye,
And do yourself no disrepute at all ! And drink a health or two more to the bu. Iron. Compass, I know that universal
Iron. This is a strange put-off! a reverend In nature produce nothing, but as meeting You use him most surreverently
methinks ! Particular causes to determine those, What call you him? Palate Please? or And specify their acts. This is a piece
Parson Palate ? Of Oxford science, stays with me e'er since Com. All's one, but shorter ! I can gi' you I left that place; and I have often found
his character. The truth thereof, in my private passions : He is the prelate of the parish, here, For I do never feel myself perturb'd And governs all the dames, appoints the With any general words 'gainst my profes
Writes down the bills of fare, pricks all the Unless by soine smart stroke upon myself Makes all the matches and the marriage. They do awake, and stir me: else, to wise
feasts * And well-experienc'd men, words do not Within the ward; draws all the parish-wills, signify ;
(marians, Designs the legacies, and strokes the gills They have no power, save with dull gram of the chief mourners: and (whoever Whose souls are nought but a Syntaxis of
[Palate here, Of all the kindred, he hath first his blacks. Com. Here comes our parson, parson 7 bus holds he weddings up, and burials, A venerable youth! I must salute him, As his main tithing; with the gossips stalls
, And a great clerk ! he's going to the ladies : Their pews; he's top still, at the public And tho you see him thus, without his cope,
mess ; I do assure you he's our parish pope ! Comforts the widow, and the fatherless, God save my reverend clergy, parson Palate. In funeral sack: sits 'bove the alderman;
For of the wardmote quest, he better can SCENE II.
The mystery, than the Levitic law:
That piece of clerkship doth his vestry awe. Palate, Compass, Ironside.
He is as he conceives himself, a fine
Well furnish'd, and apparelled divine. Pal. The witty Mr. Compass ! how is't Iron. Who made this epigram, you? with you?
[counsel, Com. No, a great clerk Com. My lady stays for you, and for your As any's of his bulk (Ben Jonson) made it. Touching her niece, Mrs. Placentia Steel ! Iron. But what's the other character, Who strikes the fire of full fourteen to-day,
doctor Rut? Ripe for a husband.
Com. The same man made 'em both: Pal. I, she chimes, she chimes.
but his is shorter, Saw you the doctor Rut, the house-phy And not in rhime, but blanks, I'll tell you sician?
that, too. He's sent for too.
Rut is a young physician to the family: Com. To council ? time you were there. · That, Jetting God alone, ascribes to nature Make haste, and give it a round quick dis More than her share; licentious in dispatch,
They have no porver, sade with dull grammarians.) The meaning of this sentence is not very clear; if we adhere to the present pointing, the word but in the first line, I apprehend, should be changed to not : and the sense will then be, that general words can make little or no impression upon wise and well-experienc'd persons.
They have no power, save with dull grammarians. The sentiment is much the saine, if we prefer this reading, though possibly the former mas render it easier and more exact. * That, letting God alone, ascribes to nature
Afore than her share.] The poet in this, and the preceding character of the parson, imitates the manner and the sentiments of Chaucer : but we must not think that our author's description was intended to comprehend the faculty in general. As to the remark abore, something of the same kind is observed by lord Bacon; and our old bard too tells us of his physician, that
“His study was but lytel on the Byble.”