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and we are loth to draw your patience farther) we'll intreat you to imagine it. And now (that you may see I will be out of humour for company) I stand wholly to your kind approbation, and (indeed) am nothing go peremptory as I was in the beginning: marry,
I will not do as Plautus in his Am
phytrio, for all this (summi Jovis causá plaudite :) beg a plaudite for God's sake; but if you (out of the bounty of your good-liking) will bestow it, why, you may (in time) make lean Macilente as fat as sir Jolin Falstaff.
At the PRESENTATION before QUEEN ELIZABETH.
O heav'n that she (whose presence hath çffected
[change NEVER till now did object greet mine This change in me) may suffer most late eyes
In her admir'd and happy government: With any light content: but in her graces.' May still this Island be call's Fortunate, All ny malicious powers have lost their And rugged treason tremble at the sound, stings. When fame shall speak it with an emphasis
. Envy is fled my soul at sight of her,
Let foreign polity be dull as lead, And she hath chas'd all black thoughts from And pale invasion come with half a heart, my bosom,
(world. When he but looks upon her blessed soil. Like as the sun doth darkness from the The throat of war be stopt within her land, My stream of humour is run out of me. And turtle-footed peace dance fairie rings And as our cities torrent (bent t’infect About her court”; where never may there The hallow'd bowels of the silver Thames) Is check'd by strength and clearness of the Suspect or danger, but all trust and safety. river,
Let Hattery be dumb, and envy
blind Till it hath spent itself ev’n at the shore; In her dread presence; death' himself adSo in the ample and unmeasur'd flood
mire her: Of her perfections, are my passions drown’d;. And may her virtues make him to forget And I have now a spirit as sweet and clear The use of his inevitable hand. [tbrone; As the more rarify'd and subtil air :
Fly from her, age; sleep, time, before her With which, and with a heart as pure as fire, Our strongest wall falls down, when she is (Yet humble as the earth) do I implore,
gone. Her Graces.] The Queen's. ? And turtle-footed peace dance FAIRIE rings
Abo her court.] There is a true poetical spirit in the preceding and following verses; and the principal occurrences which distinguished the reign of queen Elizabeth, are touched upon with extreme delicacy and justice. The allusion of this line refers to SPENSER'S Fairy Queen, which was a compliment to the princess then on the throne.
After the second Sounding.
blind in this. Now, sir, I hope I shall go INDUCTION.
forward without your envy.
2. A spite of all mischievous luck! I was By three of the Children.
once plucking at the other. | Child. Procyou away; why, fellows ? 3. Stay, Jack : 'slid, I'll do somewhat
now afore I go in, though it be nothing but 2. Marry, that you shall not speak the to revenge myself on the author: since I prologue, sir.
speak not his prologue. I'll go tell all the 3. Why? do you hope to speak it? argument of his play afore-hand, and so
2. I, and I think I have most right to it: stale bis invention to the auditory before it I am sure I studied it first.
come forthi. 3. I bat's all one, if the author think I 1. 0, do not so. can speak it better.
2. By no means. 1. I plead possession of the cloke': [At the breuches in this speech following, gentles, your suffrages I pray you.
the other two interrupt him still. 1 Why children, are you not asham'd ? 3. First, the title of his play is Cynthia's come in there.
[1Vithin. Revels, as any man (that hath hope to be 3. Slid, I'll play nothing i’ the play, saved by his book) can witness; the scene unless I speak it.
Gargaphie, which I do vehemently suspect 1. Why, will you stand to most voices of for some fustian country; but let that the gentlemen ? let that decide it.
vanish. Here is the court of Cynthia, 3. O, no, sir gallant; you presume to whither he brings Cupid (travelling on toot) have the start of us there, aud that makes resolv'd to turn page. By the way Cupid you offer so prodigally.
meets with Mercury, (as that's a thing to 1. No, would I were whip’d, if I had any be noted, take any of our play-books withsuch thought; try it by lots either.
out a Cupid, or a Mercury in it, and burn 2. Faith, I dare tempt my fortune in a it for an heretick in poetry) - Pray thee greater venture than this.
let me alone. Mercury, he (in the nature 3. Well said, resolute Jack, I am content of a conjurer) raises up Eccho, who weeps too; so we draw first. Make the cuts. over her love, or dattodil, Narcissus, a
1. But will you not snatch my cloke, little; sings; curses the spring wherein the while I am stooping?
pretty foolish gentleman melted himself 3. No, we scorn treachery.
away: and there's an end of her.-Now 2. Which cut shall speak it ?
I am to inform you, that Cupid and Mercury 3. The shortest.
do both become pages. Cupid attends on 1. Agreed: draw. The shortest is come Philautia or Self-love, a court-lady: Merto the shortest. Fortune was not altogether 1.cury follows Hedon, the Voluptuous, and a
'I plead possession of the clokc.) The usual dress of the person who spoke the prologue.
courticr; one that ranks himself even with A:aides, or the Impudent, a gallant, and that's my part; one that keeps Laughter, Gelaia the daughter of Folly, (a wench in boy's attire) to wait on him. -These in the court meet with Amorphus, or the Deformed, a trareller that hath drunk of the fountain, and there tells the wonders of the water. They presently dispatch aw:ly. their piges with bottles to fetch of it, and themselves go to visit the ladies. But I should have told you-Look, these emnets put me out here) tiiąt with this Amorphus, there comes along a citizen's heir, Asotus, or the Prodigal, who in imitation of the traveller, who bath the whetstone following him) entertains the beggar, to be his attendant--Now, the nymphs who are mistresses to these gallants, are Philautia, Self-love; Phantaste, a light Wittiness ; Argurion, Money; and their guardian, mother Moria or mistress Folly.
1. Pray thee no more. 3. There Cupid strikes Money in love with the Prodigal, makes her dote upon him, give him jewels, bracelets, carkenets, &c. All which he most ingeniously departs withal to be made known to the other ladies and gallants; and in the heat of this, increases his train with the fool to follow him, as well as the beggar-By this time, your beggar begins to wait close, who is return'd with the rest of his fellow bottle-men.--There they all drink, save Argurion, who is fal’n into a sudden apoplexy:
1. Stop his mouth.
3. And then, there's a retired scholar there, you would not wish a thing to be better contemn’d of a society of gallants, than it is ; and he applies his service (good gentleman) to the lady Arete or Virtue, a poor nymph of Cynthia's train, that's scarce able to buy herself a gown, you shall see her play in a black robe anon: a creature that (1 assure you) is no less scorn'd than himself. Where am I now? at a stand ?
9. Come, leave at last, yet.
3. O, the night is cone, ('twas somewhat dark, methought) and Cynthia intends to come forth: (ihat helps it a little yet.) All the courtiers must provide for revels; they conclude upon a masque, the device of which, is -(what, will you ravish me?) that each of these vices, being to appear before Cynthia, would seem other than indeed they are ; and therefore assume the most neighbouring virtues as their masking habit. (I'd cry a rape, but that you are children.)
2. Come, we'll have no more of this anticipation; to give them the inventory of their cates aforehand, were the discipline of a tavern, and not fitting this presence.
1. T'ut, this was but to shew us the happiness of his memory. I thought at first he would have play'd the ignorant critick with
every thing, along as he had gone ; I cx. pected some such device.
3. O, you shall see me do that, rarely; lend me thy cloke.
1. Soft, sir, you'll speak my prologue in it.
3. No, would I might never stir then.
3. I have. Now, sir, suppose I am one of your gentile auditors, that am come in (having paid my money at the door, with much ado), and here I take my place and sit down: I have my thrie sorts of tobacco in my pocket, my light by me, and thus I begin. [At the breaches he takes his tobacco.] By this light, I wonder that any man is so mad, to come to see these rascally tits play here-They do act like so many wrens or pismires—not the fifth part of a good face amongst them all.
-And then their musick is aboininable-able to stretch a man's cars worse than ten--pillories, and their ditties-----most lamentable things, like the pitiful fellows that make them -poets. By this vapour, an' 'twere not for tobacco
-I think--the very stench of'em would poison me, I should not dare to come in at their gates-A man were better visit fifteen jails,-or a dozen or two of hospitalsthan once adventure to come near them, How is't? well?
1. Excellent; give me my cloke.
3. Stay; you shall see me do another now; but a more sober, or better-gather'd gallant ; that is (as it may be thought) some friend, or well-wisher to the house: and here I enter.
1. What? upon the stage too?
2. Yes; and I step forth like one of the children, and ask you, would you have a stool, sir?
3. A stool, boy? 2. I, sir, if you'll give me six-pence I'll fetch you one.
3. For what, I pray thee? what shall I do with it?
2. O lord, sir! will you betray your ignorance so much? why throne yourself in state on the stage, as other gentlemen use, sir.
3. Away, wag ; what, would'st thou make an implement of me? Slid, the boy takes me for a piece of perspective (I hold my life) or some silk curtain, come to hang the stage here! Sir Crack, I am none of your fresh pictures, that use to beautify the decayed dead arras in a public theatre.
2. "Tis a sign, sir, you put not that confidence in your good cioaths, and your better face, that a gentleman should do, sir. But I pray you, sir, let me be a suiter to you, that you will quit our stage then, and take a place, the play is instantly to begin.
3. Most willingly, my good wag; but I would speak with your author, where's he?
Not this way, I assure you, sir; we than the price of sattio and velvets; nor are not so ofticiously befriended by him, as other perfection, than the wearing of a neat to have his presence in the tiring-house, to suit ; and yet will censure as desperately as prompt us aloud, stamp at the book-holder, the most profess'd critick in the house: preswear for our properties, curse the poor
suming his clothis should bear him out in't. man, rail the musick out of tune, and sweat Another (whom it hath pleas'di nature to for every veniel trespass we conimit, as furnish with more beard, than brain) prunes some author would, if he had such fine bis mustaccio, lisps, (and with some score enghles as we. Well, 'tis but our hard of affected oaths) swears down all that sit fortune.
about him; “ Thit the old Hieronimo (as 3. Nay, crack, be not dishearten'd. "it was first acted) was the only best, and 2. Not I, sir; but if you please to confer “ judiciously penn'd play of Europe.” A with our author, by attorney, you inay, third great-bellied juggler talks of twenty sir; our proper self here, stands for him. years since, and when Monsieur was here,
3. Troth, I have no such serious affair to and would enforce a!l wits to be of that negotiate with him, but what may very fashion, because his doublet is still so. A safely be turn'd upon thy trust. It is in the fourth miscalls all by the name of tustian, general behalf of this fair society here that that his grounded capacity cannot aspire to. I am to speak, at least the more judicious A fifth only shakes bis boitle-head, and out part of it, which seems much distasted with of his corky brain squeezeth out a pitifulthe immodest and obscene writing of many
learned face, and is silent. in their plays. Besides, they could wish, 3. By my faith, Jack, you have put me your poets would leave to be promoters of down: I would I knew how to get off with other men's jests, and to way-lay all the any indifferent grace. Here, take your stale apophthegms, or old books, they can cloke, and promise some satisfaction in hear of (in print, or otherwise) to farce your prologue, or (l'll be sworn) we have their scenes withal. That they would not marr'd all. so penuriously glean wit from every laun 2. Tut, fear not, child, this will never dress or hackney-man, or derive their best distaste a true sense: be not out, and good grace (with servile imitation) from common enough. I would thou hadst some sugarstages, or observation of the company they candied to sweeten thy mouth. converse with; as if their invention liv'ú wholly upon another man's trencher. Again,
The Third Sounding. that feeding their friends with nothing of their own, but what they have twice or
PROLOGUE. thrice cook”), they should not wantonly give out, how soon they had drest it?; nor IF gracious silence, sweet attention, how many coaches came to carry away the Quick sight, and quicker apprehension, broken meat, besides hobby-horses, and (The lights of judgment's tbrone) shine any foot-cloth nags.
where; 2. So, sir, this is all the reformation you Our doubtful author hopes this is their sphere. Geek?
And therefore opens he himself to those; 3. It is; do not you think it necessary to To other weaker beams his labours close : be practised, my little
As loth to prostitute their virgin-strain, 2. Yes, where any such ill-habited cus To ev'ry vulgar and adultrate hrain. tom is receiv'd.
In this alone, his muse her sweetness bath, 3. O (I had almost forgot it too) they say, She shuns the print of any beaten path; the umbræ, or ghosts of some three or four And proves new waysto come to learned ears: plays, departed a dozen years since, have Pied ignorance she neither loves nor fears. been seen walking on your stage here; take Nor hunts she after popular applause, (jaws: heed, boy, if your house be haunted with Or foamy praise, that drops from common such hobgoblins, 'lwill fright away all your The, garland that she wears, their hands spectators quickly.
must twine, 2. Good, sir; but what will you say now, Who can both censure, understand, define if a poet (untouch'd with any breath of this What merit is : then cast those piercing rays, disease) find the tokens upon you, that are Round as a crown, instead of honour'd buys, of the auditory? As some one civet-wit About his poesie ; which (he knows) attords among you, that knows no other learning, Words, above action; matter, above words.
* They should not wantonly give out, how soon they lad drest it.] In this speech, the poet obliquely commends himself; and in these words he retorts the accusation of liis adversaries, who charged him with being a year about every play.
A third talks of twenty years since, and when Monsieur was here.] In 1579 the duke of Anjou came into England, and made his addresses personally to queen Elizabeth.
A CT I.
than we. If this night carry it, then we.
who have made the whole body of divinity Cupid, Mercury.
tremble at the twang of our bow, and en'HO goes there?
forc'd Saturnius himself to lay by his curled Mer. 'Tis I, blind archer. front, thunder, and three-förk'd fires, and Cup. Who? Mercury?
put on a masking suit, too light for a revelMer. I.
ler of eighteen to be seen inCup. Farewell.
Mer. How now! my dancing braggart Mer. Stay, Cupid.
in decimo-sexto! charm your skipping Cup. Not in your company, Hermes, tongue, or I'll except your hands were rivetted at your Cup. What? use the virtue of your snaky back.
tipstaff there upon us ? Mer. Why so, my little rover ?
Mer. No, boy, but the smart vigour of Cup. Because I know, you ha' not a my palm about your ears. You have forfinger, but is as long as my quiver, (cousin got since I took your beels up into air (on Mercury) when you please to extend it. the very hour I was born) in sight of all the
Alor. Whencé derive you this speech, bench of deities, when the silver roof of boy?
the Olympian palace rung again with apCup. O! 'tis your best polity to be igno plause of the fact. rant. You did never steai Mars his sword
Cup. O no, I remember it freshly, and out of the sheath, you? nor Neptune's tri- by a particular instance ; for my mother dent? nor Apollo's bow? no, not you? Venus (at the same time) but stoop'd to Alas, your palms (Jupiter knows) they are embrace you, and (to speak by metaphor) as tender as the foot of a foundred nag, or a you borrow'd a girdle of hers, as you did lady's face new mercuried, they'll touch Jove's scepter (while he was laughing) and nothing.
would have done his thunder too, but that Mer. Go to (infant) you'll be daring 'twas too hot for your itching fingers. still.
Mer. 'Tis well, sir. Cup. Daring? O Janus ! what a word is
Cup. I heard, you but look'd in at Vulthere? why, my light feather-heel'd couz, can's forge the other day, and intreated a what are you ? any more than my uncle pair of his new tongs along with you for Jove's pandar, a lacquey that runs on er company : 'tis joy on you (v' faith) that rands for him, and can whisper a light mes you will keep your hook'd talons in pracsage to a loose wench with some round vo tice with any thing. 'Slight, now you are lubility, wait mannerly at a table with a on earth, we shall have you filch spoons trencher, and warble upon a crowd a little, and candlesticks rather than fail :
Jove hill out Nectar when Ganymede's away, the perfum'd courtiers keep their casting, one that sweeps the gods' drinking-room bottles, pick-tooths, and shittle-cocks from every morning, and sets the cushions in or
you; or our more ordinary gallants their der again, which they tbrew one at another's - tobacco-boxes, for I am strangely jealous head over night, can brush the carpets, call of your nails. the stools again to their places, play the Åler. Ne'er trust me, Cupid, but you cryer of the court with an audible voice, are turn'd a most acute gallant of late, the and take state of a president upon you at edge of my wit is clean taken off with the wrestlings, pleadings, negotiations, &c. fine and subtile stroke of your thin-ground Here's the catalogue o' your employments tongue, you fight with too poignant a phrase now. Ono, I err, you have the mar for me to deal with. shaling of all the ghosts too that pass the Cup. O Hermes, your craft cannot make Stygian ferry, and I suspect you for a share me confident. I know my own steel to be with the old sculler there, if the truth were almost spent, and therefore intreat my koown; but let that scape. One other pe peace with you, in time : you are too cunculiar virtue you possess, in lifting', or ning for me to encounter at length, and I lieger-du-main, (wbich few of the house of think it my safest ward to close. heaven have else besides) I must confess. Mer. Well, for once, l'il suffer you to But (methinks) that should not make you win upon me, wag, but use not these strains put that extreme distance 'twixt yourseif too often, they'll stretch my patience. and others, that we should be said io over Whither might you march, now? dare in speaking to your nimble deity? So Cup. Faith (to recover thy good thoughts) Hercules might challenge priority of us I'll discover my whole project. The hunboth, becanse he can throw the bar farther, tress and queen of these groves, Diana, in & lift more joyn'd stools at the arms end, regard of some black and envious slanders
* In LIFTING] Stealing: hence the modern word Shop-lifter.