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of the great beast, which (like the threatnings of two cowards) vanish all into aire. Plaiers and their factors, who put away the stuffe, and make the best of it they possibly can (as indeed 'tis their parts so to doe) your gallant, your courtier, and your capten, had wont to be the soundest paymasters, and, I thinke, are still the surest chapmen: and these by meanes that their heades are well stockt, deale upon this comical freight by the grosse; when your groundling and gallery commoner buyes his sport by the penny, and, like a hagler, is glad to utter it againe by retailing.
“Sithence then the place is so free in entertainment, allowing a stoole as well to the farmer's sonne as to your Templer: that your stinkard has the selfe same libertie to be there in his tobacco-fumes, which your sweet courtier hath : and that your carman and tinker claime as strong a voice in their suffrage, and sit to give judgment on the plaies' life and death, as well as the proudest Momus among the tribe of criticks; it is fit that hee, whom the most tailors' bils do make room for, when he comes, should not be basely (like a vyoll) cas'd up in a corner.
“ Whether, therefore, the gatherers of the publique or private play-house, stand to receive the afternoone's rent, let our gallant (having paid it) presently advance himselfe up to the throne of the stage. I meane not into the lord's roome (which is now but the stage's suburbs). No, those boxes, by the iniquity of custome, conspiracy of waiting-women and gentlemenushers, that there sweat together, and the covetous
sharers, are contemptibly thrust into the reare, and much new satten is there dambd by being smothered to death in darknesse. But on the very rushes where the commedy is to daunce, yea and under the state of Cambises himselfe muist our feather'd estridge, like a piece of ordnance, be planted valiantly (because impudently) beating downe the mewes and hisses of the opposed rascality.
“ For do but cast up a reckoning, what large cummings in are purs’d up by sitting on the stage. First a conspicuous eminence is gotten, by which meanes the best and most essencial parts of a gallant (good cloathes, a proportionable legge, white hand, the Persian locke, and a tollerable beard), are perfectly revealed.
“By sitting on the stage you have a sign'd patent to engrosse the whole commodity of censure; may lawfully presume to be a girder; and stand at the helme to steere the passage of scænes, yet no man shall once offer to hinder you from obtaining the title of an inso. lent over-weening coxcombe.
“ By sitting on the stage, you may (without trauelling for it) at the very next doore, aske whose play it is : and by that quest of inquiry, the law warrants you to avoid much mistaking : if you know not the author, you may raile against him; and, peradventure, so behave yourselfe, that you may enforce the author to know you.
“ By sitting on the stage, if you be a knight, you may happily get you a mistresse: if a meere Fleet-Street
gentleman, a wife: but assure yourselfe by continuall residence, you are the first and principall man in election to begin the number of We three.
“By spreading your body on the stage, and by being a justice in examining of plaies, you shall put yourselfe into such a true scænical authority, that some poet shall not dare to present his muse rudely before your eyes, without having first unmaskt her, rified her; and discovered all her bare and most mystical parts before you at a taverne, when you most knightly, shall, for his paines, pay for both their suppers..
“ By sitting on the stage, you may (with small cost) purchase the deere acquaintance of the boyes : have a good stoole for sixpence : at any time know what particular part any of the infants present: get your match lighted, examine the play-suits' lace, and, perhaps, win wagers upon laying 'tis copper, &c. And to conclude, whether you be a foole or a justice of peace, a cuckold or a capten, a lord-maior's sonne or a dawcocke, a knave or an under-shriefe, of what stampe soever you be, currant or counterfet, the stage-like time will bring you to most perfect light, and lay you open: neither are you to be hunted from thence, though the scar-crowes in the yard hoot you, hisse at you, spit at you, yea, throw dirt even in your teeth: 'tis most gentleman-like patience to endure all this, and to laugh at the silly animals. But if the rabble, with a full throat, crie, away with the foole, you were worse than a madman to tarry by it: for the gentleman and the foole should never sit on the stage together.
“ Mary, let this observation go hand in hand with the rest : or rather, like a country-serving man, some five yards before them. Present not your selfe on the stage (especially at a new play) untill the quaking prologue hath (by rubbing) got cullor into his cheekes, and is ready to give the trumpets their cue, that hees upon point to enter : for then it is time, as though you were one of the properties, or that you dropt of the hangings to creep from behind the arras, with your tripos or three-legged stoole in one hand, and a teston mounted betweene a fore-finger and a thumbe, in the other: for if you should bestow your person upon the vulgar, when the belly of the house is but halfe full, your apparell is quite eaten up, the fashion lost, and the proportion of your body in more danger to be devoured, then if it were served up in the Counter amongst the Poultry : avoid that as you would the bastome. It shall crowne you with rich commendation to laugh alowd in the middest of the most serious and saddest scene of the terriblest tragedy: and to let that clapper (your tongue) be tost so high, that all the house may ring of it: your lords use it; your knights are apes to the lords, and do so too : your inne-acourt-man is zany to the knights, and (many very scurvily) comes, likewise, limping after it: bee thou a beagle to them all, and never lin snufting till you have sented then: for by talking and laughing (like a ploughman in a morris) you heape Pelion upon Ossa, glory upon glory: as, first, all the eyes in the galleries will leave walking after the players, and onely follow
you: you: the simplest dolt in the house snatches up your name, and when he meetes you in the streetes, or that you fall into his hands in the middle of a watch, his word shall be taken for you: heele cry, Hees such a gallant, and you passe. Secondly, you publish your temperance to the world, in that you seeme not to resort thither to taste vaine pleasures with a hungrie appetite ; but onely as a gentleman, to spend a foolish houre or two, because you can doe nothing else. Thirdly, you mightily disrelish the audience, and disgrace the author: mary, you take up (though it be at the worst hand) a strong opinion of your owne judgement, and inforce the poet to take pity of your weaknesse, and by some dedicated sonnet to bring you into a better paradice, onely to stop your mouth. .“ If you can (either for love or money) provide your selfe a lodging by the water side: for above the conveniencie it brings to shun shoulder-clapping, and to ship away your cockatrice betimes in the morning, it addes a kind of state unto you, to be carried from thence to the staires of your play-house: hate a sculler (remember that) worse then to be acquainted with one ath' scullery. No, your oares are your onely sea-crabs, boord them, and take heed you never go twice together with one paire : often shifting is a great credit to gentlemen: and that dividing of your fare wil make the poore watersnaks be ready to pul you in peeces to enjoy your custome. No matter whether upon landing you have money or no; you may swim