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95


P O E T A S T E R:

O R,

His Arraignment.

A COMICAL SATYR.

First Acted in the Year 1601. By the then CHILDREN of QUEEN
ELIZABETH's CHAPPEL.

With the Allowance of the Master of REVELS.


The Author B. J.

Et mihi de nullo fama rubore placet.  Mart.


TO THE

VERTUOUS and my WORTHY FRIEND,

Mr. Richard Martin.

SIR,

A
Thankful Man owes a Courtesie ever: the unthankful, but when he needs it. To make mine own mark appear, and shew by which of these Seals I am known, I send you this Piece of what may live of mine; for whose Innocence, as for the Authors, you were once a Noble and Timely Undertaker, to the greatest Justice of this Kingdom. Enjoy now the delight of your Goodness; which is to see that prosper, you preserv'd: and Posterity to owe the reading of that, without offence, to your Name, which so much Ignorance, and Malice of the Times, then conspir'd to have supprest.

Your true Lover,           

BEN. JOHNSON.



96


The PERSONS of the PLAY.

AUGUSTUS CSAR.

MECOENAS.

MARC. OVID.

COR. GALLUS.

PROPERTIUS.

FUS. ARISTUS.

PUB. OVID.

VIRGIL.

HORACE.

TREBATIUS.

LUPUS.

TUCCA.

CRISPINUS.

HERMOGENES.

DE. FANNIUS.

ALBIUS..

MINOS.

HISTRIO.

PYRGUS.

LICTORS.


JULIA.

CYTHERIS.

PLAUTIA.

CHLOE.

MAIDS.





The SCENE

R O M E.



The Principal COMDIANS were,

NAT. FIELD.

SAL. PAVY.

THO. DAY.


JOH. UNDERWOOD.

WILL. OSTLER.

THO. MARTON.









97

P O E T A S T E R.

After the second sounding.

[Arising in the midst
 of the Stage.
                          Envy.


L

Ight, I salute thee, but with wounded Nerves:
 Wishing thy Golden splendor, pitchy darkness.
 What's here? th' Arraignment? I: This, this is it.
 That our sunk Eyes have wak't for all this while:
Here will be subject for my Snakes, and me.
Cling to my Neck, and Wrists, my loving Worms,
And cast you round in soft and amorous foulds,
Till I do bid, uncurl: Then break your Knots,
Shoot out your selves at length, as your forc't Stings
Would hide themselves within his malic't sides,
To whom I shall apply you. Stay! the shine
Of this Assembly here offends my sight,
I'll darken that first, and Out-face their Grace.
Wonder not, if I stare: these Fifteen Weeks
(So long as since the Plot was but an Embrion)
Have I, with burning Lights mixt vigilant Thoughts,
In expectation of this hated Play;
To which (at last) I am arriv'd as Prologue.
Nor would I, you should look for other Looks,
Gesture, or Complement from me, than what
Th' infected bulk of Envy can afford:
For I am riss here with a covetous hope,
To blast your Pleasures and destroy your Sports,
With Wrestings, Comments, Applications,
Spy-like Suggestions, privy Whisperings,
And thousand such promootingpromoting sleights as these.
Mark, how I will begin: The Scene is, ha!
Rome? Rome? and Rome? Crack Eye-strings, and your Balls
Drop into Earth; let me be ever blind.
I am prevented; all my hopes are crost,
Check't, and abated; fie, a freezing sweat
Flows forth at all my Pores, my Entrails burn:
What should I do? Rome? Rome? O my vext Soul,
How might I force this to the present state?
Are there no Players here? no Poet-apes,
That come with Basilisks Eyes, whose forked Tongues
Are steept in venom, as their Hearts in Gall?
Either of these would help me; they could wrest,
Pervert, and poyson all they hear, or see,
With senseless Glosses, and Allusions.
Now if you be good Devils, fly me not.
You know what dear and ample Faculties
I have endow'd you with: I'll lend you more.
Here, take my Snakes among you, come, and eat,
And while the squeez'd juice flows in your black Jaws,
Help me to dam the Author. Spit it forth
Upon his Lines, and shew your rusty Teeth
At every Word, or Accent: or else choose
Out of my longest Vipers, to stick down
In your deep Throats; and let the Heads come forth
At your ranck Mouths; that he may see you arm'd
With triple Malice, to hiss, sting, and tear
His work and him; to forge, and then declaim,
Traduce, corrupt, apply, enforce, suggest:
O, these are gifts wherein your Souls are blest.
What? do you hide your selves? will none appear?
None answer? what, doth this calm Troop affright you?
Nay, then I do despair? down, sink again.

[column break]

This travail is all lost with my dead hopes.
If in such Bosoms Spight have left to dwell,
Envy is not on Eorth,Earth nor scarse in Hell.

The third Sounding.

P R O L O G U E.

S
Tay Monster, ere thou sink, thus on thy Head
 Set we our bolder Foot; with which we tread
Thy Malice into Earth: So spight should dye,
Despis'd and scorn'd by noble Industry.
If any muse why I salute the Stage,
An armed Prologue; know, 'tis a dangerous Age:
Wherein, who writes, had need present his Scenes
Forty-fold proof against the conjuring means
Of base Detractors, and illiterate Apes,
That fill up Rooms in fair and formal shapes.
'Gainst these, have we put on this forc't defence:
Whereof the Allegory and hid sense
Is, that a well erected Confidence
Can fright their Pride, and laugh their Folly hence.
Here now, put case our Author should, once more,
Swear that his Play were good; he doth implore,
You would not argue him of Arrogance:
How e're that common Spawn of Ignorance,
Our fry of Writers may beslime his Fame,
And give his Action that adulterate Name.
Such full-blown vanity he more doth loath,
Than base dejection: There's a mean 'twixt both.
Which with a constant firmness he pursues,
As one that knows the strength of his own Muse.
And this he hopes all free Souls will allow;
Others, that take it with a rugged brow,
Their Moods he rather pitties than envies:
His Mind it is above their Iujuries.Injuries


Act I.    Scene I.

Ovid, Luscus.

T

Hen, when this Body falls in Funeral Fire,
   My name shall live, and my best part aspire.

   It shall go so.
   Lusc. Young Master, Master Ovid, do you hear? Gods
a me! away with your Songs, and Sonnets; and on with
your Gown and Cap, quickly: here, here, your Father
will be a Man of this room presently. Come, nay, nay,
nay, nay, be brief. These Verses too, a poyson on 'em,
I cannot abide 'em, they make me ready to cast by the
Banks of Helicon. Nay look, what a rascally untoward
thing this Poetry is; I could tear 'em now.
   Ovid. Give me, how neer's my Father?
   Lusc. Heart a Man: get a Law-book in your hand, I
will not answer you else. Why so: now there's some
formality in you. By Jove, and three or four of the
Gods more, I am right of mine old Masters humour
for that; this villanous Poetry will undo you, by the
welkin.
   Ovid. What, hast thou Buskins on, Luscus, that thou
swear'st so tragically and high?

O                               Lusc.                   




98 Poetaster.                 


   Lusc. No, but I have Boots on, Sir, and so has your Fa-
ther too by this time: for he call'd for 'em e're I came
from the Lodging.
   Ovid. Why? was he no readier?
   Lusc. O no; and there was the mad skeldring Cap-
tain, with the Velvet Arms, ready to lay hold on him as
he comes down: he that presses every Man he meets,
with an Oath, to lend him Money, and cries, (Thou
must do't, old Boy, as thou art a Man, a Man of
Worship.)
   Ovid. Who? Pantilius Tucca?
   Lusc. I, he; and I met little Master Lupus, the Tri-
bune,
going thither too.
   Ovid. Nay, an' he be under their Arrest, I may (with
safety enough) read over my Elegy before he come.
   Lusc. Gods a me! What'll you do? why, young Ma-
ster, you are not Castalian Mad, Lunatick, Frantick,
Desperate? ha?
   Ovid. What ailest thou, Luscus?
   Lusc. God be with you, Sir, I'll leave you to your Poe-
tical
Fancies, and Furies. I'll not be guilty, I.
   Ovid. Be not, good ignorance: I'm glad th'art gone:
For thus alone, our Ear shall better judge
The hasty Errours of our Moning Muse.

Ovid. Lib. 1. Amo. Ele. 15.

E
Nvy, why twit'st thou me, my time's spent ill?
  And call'st my Verse, fruits of an idle quill?
Or that (unlike the Line from whence I sprung)
Wars dusty Honours I pursue not young?
Or that I study not the tedious Laws;
And prostitute my voyce in every Cause?
Thy scope is mortal; mine, eternal fame:
Which through the World shall ever chaunt my Name.
Homer will live, whil'st Tenedos stands, and Ide,
Or, to the Sea, fleet
Simois doth slide:
And so shall
Hesiod too, while Vines do bear,
Or croocked Sickles crop the ripened Ear.
Callimachus, though in invention low,
Shall still be sung, since he in art doth flow.
No loss shall come to
Sophocles proud vein;
With Sun and Moon
Aratus shall remain.
Whil'st Slaves be false, Fathers hard, and Bawds be whorish,
Whil'st Harlots flatter, shall
Menander flourish.
Ennius, though rude, and Accius high-rear'd strain,
A fresh applause in every Age shall gain.
Of
Varro's name, what Ear shall not be told?
Of
Jason's Argo and the Fleece of Gold?
Then shall
Lucretius lofty numbers dye,
When Earth and Seas in Fire and Flames shall fry.
Tytirus, Tillage, nee shollshall be read,
Whilst
Rome of all the Conquer'd World is Head.
Till
Cupid's Fires be out, and his Bow broken,
Thy Verses (neat
Tibullus) shall be spoken.
Our
Gallus shall be known from East to West:
So shall
Lycoris, whom he now loves best.
The suffering Plough-share or the Flint may wear:
But Heavenly
Poesie no death can fear.
Kings shall give place to it, and kingly shows,
The Banks o're which Gold-bearing
Tagus flows.
Kneell Hinds to trash: me let bright
Phbus swell
With Cups full flowing from the
Muses Well.
Frost-fearing Myrtle shall impale my Head,
And of sad Lovers I'll be often read.
"Envy, the Living, not the Dead, doth bite:
"For after death all Men receive their right.
Then, when this Body falls in Funeral Fire,
My Name shall live, and my best part aspire.


[column break]

Act I.    Scene II.

Ovid Senior, Ovid Junior, Luscus, Tucca, Lupus,
   Pyrgus.


Y
Our Name shall live indeed, Sir; you say true:
 but how infamously, how scorn'd and contemn'd
in the Eyes and Ears of the best and gravest Romans,
that you think not on: you never so much as dream of
that. Are these the Fruits of all my travel and expences?
is this the Scope and Aim of thy Studies? are these the
hopeful Courses, wherewith I have so long flattered my
expectation from thee? Verses? Poetry? Ovid, whom I
thought to see the Pleader, become Ovid the Play-
maker?
   Ovid. ju. No, Sir.
   Ovid. se. Yes, Sir. I hear of a Tragedy of yours com-
ing forth for the common Players there, call'd Medea.
By my Houshold-gods, if I come to the Acting of it,
I'll add one Tragick Part more than is yet expected, to
it; believe me when I promise it. What? shall I have
my Son a Stager now? an Enghle for Players? a Gull?
a Rook? a Shot-clog? to make Suppers, and be laught
at? Publius, I will set thee on the Funeral Pile first.
   Ovid. ju. Sir, I beseech you to have patience.
   Lusc. Nay, this 'tis to have your Ears dam'd up to
good Counsel. I did augure all this to him before-hand,
without poring into an Oxes Panch for the matter, and
yet he would not be scrupulous.
   Tuc. How now, Goodman Slave? what rowly powly?
all Rivals, Rascal? Why my Master of worship, dost
hear? Are these thy best Projects? is this thy Designs
and thy Discipline, to suffer Knaves to be competitors
with Commanders and Gentlemen? are we Parallels,
Rascal? are we Parallels?
   Ovid. se. Sirrah, go get my Horses ready. You'll still
be prating.
   Tuc. Do, you perpetual Stinkard, do, go; talk to
Tapsters and Ostlers, you Slave, they are i' your Ele-
ment, go; here be the Emperors Captains, you Ragga-
muffin Rascal, and not your Cam'rades.
   Lup. Indeed, Marcus Ovid, these Players are an idle
Generation, and do much harm in a State, corrupt
young Gentry very much, I know it: I have not been
a Tribune thus long and observ'd nothing: Besides, they
will rob us, us, that are Magistrates, of our respect,
bring us upon their Stages, and make us ridiculous to
the Plebeians; they will play you, or me, the wisest Men
they can come by still; only to bring us in contempt
with the vulgar, and make us cheap.
   Tuc. Th'art in the right, my venerable Cropshin,
they will indeed: the Tongue of the Oracle never
twang'd truer. Your Courtier cannot kiss his Mistresses
Slippers in quiet for 'em: nor your white innocent Gal-
lant pawn his Revelling Sute to make his Punk a Sup-
per. An honest decayed Commander cannot Skelder,
Cheat, nor be seen in a Bawdy-house, but he shall be
strait in one of their Worm-wood Comedies. They are
grown licentious, the Rogues; Libertines, flat Liber-
tines. They forget they are i' the Statute, the Rascals,
they are blazon'd there, there they are trickt, they and
their Pedigrees; they need no other Heralds, I wiss.
   Ovid. se. Methinks, if nothing else, yet this alone,
the very reading of the Publick Edicts, should fright thee
from Commerce with them, and give thee distaste e-
nough of their Actions. But this betrays what a Student
you are: this argues your Proficiency in the Law.
   Ovid. ju. They wrong me, Sir, and do abuse you
      more,
That blow your Ears with these untrue Reports.
I am not known unto the open Stage,
Nor do I Traffick in their Theaters.
Indeed, I do acknowledg, at request
Of




            Poetaster. 99


Of some meer Friends, and honourable Romans,
I have begun a Poem of that nature.
   Ovid. se. You have, Sir, a Poem? and where is't?
that's the Law you study.
   Ovid. ju. Cornelius Gallus borrowed it to read.
   Ovid. se. Cornelius Gallus? There's another Gallant,
too, hath drunk of the same Poyson: and Tibullus, and
Propertius. But these are Gentlemen of Means and Re-
veneues now. Thou art a younger Brother, and hast
nothing but thy bare exhibition: which I protest shall
be bare indeed, if thou forsake not these unprofitable
By-courses, and that timely too. Name me a profest
Poet, that his Poetry did ever afford him so much as a
Competency. I, your God of Poets there (whom all
of you admire and reverence so much) Homer, he whose
Worm-eaten Statue must not be spew'd against, but with
hallowed Lips, and groveling Adoration, what was he?
what was he?
   Tucc. Marry, I'll tell thee, old Swaggerer; He was a
poor, blind, riming Rascal, that liv'd obscurely up and
down in Booths, and Tap-houses, and scarce ever made
a good Meal in his sleep, the Whorson hungry beg-
ger.
   Ovid. se. He says well: Nay, I know this nettles you
now, but answer me; Is't not true? you'll tell me his
name shall live; and that (now being dead) his works
have eternis'd him, and made him Divine. But could
this Divinity feed him, while he liv'd? could his name
feast him?
   Tucc. Or purchase him a Senators Revenue? could it?
   Ovid. se. I, or give him Place in the Common-
wealth? Worship, or Attendants? make him be carried
in his Litter?
   Tucc. Thou speakest Sentences, old Bias.
   Lup. All this the Law will do, young Sir, if you'll
follow it.
   Ovid. se. If he be mine, he shall follow and observe,
what I will apt him to, or, I profess here openly, and
utterly to disclaim him.
   Ovid. ju. Sir, let me crave you will forgo these
Moods;
I will be any thing, or study any thing:
I'll prove the unfashion'd Body of the Law
Pure elegance, and make her rugged'st strains
Run smoothly, as Propertius Elegies.
   Ovid. se. Propertius Elegies? good!
   Lup. Nay, you take him too quickly, Marcus.
   Ovid. se. Why, he cannot speak, he cannot think out
of Poetry, he is bewicht with it.
   Lup. Come, do not mis-prize him.
   Ovid. se. Mis-prize? I, marry, I would have him use
some such words now: They have some touch, some taste
of the Law. He should make himself a stile out of these,
and let his Propertius Elegies go by.
   Lup. Indeed, young Publius, he that will now hit the
Mark, must shoot through the Law; we have no other
Planet Reigns, and in that Sphear, you may sit and sing
with Angels. Why, the Law makes a Man happy,
without respecting any other Merit: a simple Schollar, or
none at all, may be a Lawyer.
   Tuc. He tells thee true, my noble Neophyte; my little
Grammaticaster, he do's: It shall never put thee to thy
Mathematicks, Metaphysicks, Philosophy, and I know not
what suppos'd sufficiencies; if thou canst but have the
patience to plod enough, talk, and make a noise enough,
be impudent enough, and 'tis enough.
   Lup. Three Books will furnish you.
   Tuc. And the less Art, the better: Besides, when it
shall be in the power of thy Chevril Conscience, to do
right, or wrong, at thy pleasure, my pretty Alcibiades.
   Lup. I, and to have better Men than himself, by ma-
ny thousand degrees, to observe him, and stand bare.
   Tuc. True, and he to carry himself proud, and stately,
and have the Law on his side for't, old Boy.

[column break]

   Ovid. se. Well, the day grows old, Gentlemen, and
I must leave you. Publius, if thou wilt hold my fa-
vour, abandon these idle fruitless Studies that so bewitch
thee. Send Janus home his Back-face again, and look
only forward to the Law: Intend that. I will allow
thee what shall sute thee in the Rank of Gentlemen,
and maintain thy Society with the best: and under these
Conditions, I leave thee. My blessings light upon thee,
if thou respect them: if not, mine Eyes may drop for
thee, but thine own Heart will ake for it self; and so
farewel. What, are my Horses come?
   Lus. Yes, Sir, they are at the Gate without.
   Ovid. se. That's well. Asinius Lupus, a word. Cap-
tain, I shall take my leave of you?
   Tuc. No, my little old Boy, dispatch with Cothurnus
there: I'll attend thee, I
   Lus. To borrow some ten Drachmes, I know his Project.
   Ovid. se. Sir, you shall make me beholding to you.
Now Captain Tucca, what say you?
   Tuc. Why, what should I say? or what can I say, my
flower o' the Order? Should I say, thou art Rich? or
that thou art Honourable? or Wise? or Valiant? or
Learned? or Liberal? Why, thou art all these, and thou
knowest it (my noble Lucullus) thou knowest it: come,
be not ashamed of thy Vertues, old Stump. Honours a
good brooch to wear in a Mans Hat, at all times. Thou
art the Man of Wars Mecnas, old Boy. Why shouldst
not thou be grac't then by them, as well as he is by his
Poets? How now, my Carrier, what News.
   Lus. The Boy has staied within for his Cue, this half hour.
   Tuc. Come, do not whisper to me, but speak it out:
what? it is no Treason against the State, I hope, is't?
   Lus. Yes, against the State of my Masters Purse.
   Pyr. Sir, Agrippa desires you to forbear him till the
next Week: his Moils are not yet come up.
   Tuc. His Moils, now the Bots, the Spavin, and the
Glanders, and some dozen Diseases more, light on him
and his Moils. What ha' they the yellows, his Moils,
that they come no faster? or are they foundred? ha?
his Moils ha' the Staggers belike: ha' they?
   Pyr. O no, Sir: then your Tongue might be suspected
for one of his Moils.
   Tuc. He owes me almost a Talent, and he thinks to
bear it away with his Moils, does he? Sirrah, you, Nut-
cracker, go your ways to him again, and tell him I must
ha' Money, I: I cannot eat Stones and Turfs, say.
What, will he clem me and my Followers? Ask him
an' he will clem me; do, go. He would have me fry
my Jerkin, would he? Away, Setter, away. Yet, stay
my little Tumbler; this old Boy shall supply now. I
will not trouble him, I cannot be importunate, I: I can-
not be impudent.
   Pyr. Alas, Sir, no; you are the most maidenly blush-
ing Creature upon the Earth.
   Tuc. Dost thou hear, my little six and fifty, or there-
abouts? Thou art not to learn the Humours and Tricks
of that old bald Cheater Time: thou hast not this Chain
for nothing. Men of worth have their Chymera's, as
well as other Creatures: and they do see Monsters,
sometimes: they do, they do, brave Boy.
   Pyr. Better cheap than he shall see you, I warrant
him.
   Tuc. Thou must let me have six, six Drachmes, I mean,
old Boy; thou shalt do it: I tell thee, old Boy, thou
shalt, and in private too, dost thou see? Go, walk off:
there, there. Six is the Sum. Thy Son's a Gallant Spark,
and must not be put out of a sudden: come hither, Cal-
limachus,
thy Father tells me thou art too Poetical, Boy;
thou must not be so, thou must leave them, young Novice,
thou must; they are a sort of poor starv'd Rascals; that
are ever wrapt up in foul Linnen; and can boast of no-
thing but a lean Visage, peering out of a Seam-rent Sute;
the very Emblems of Beggery. No, dost hear? turn Lawyer,
Thou shalt be my Solicitor. 'Tis right, old Boy, ist?
O 2                                       Ovid.




100 Poetaster.                     


   Ovid. se. You were best tell it, Captain.
   Tuc. No: fare thou well mine honest Horse-man, and
thou old Bever. Pray thee Roman, when thou comest
to Town, see me at my Lodging, visit me sometimes:
thou shalt be welcom, old Boy. Do not balk me, good
Swaggerer. Jove keep thy Chain from pawning, go
thy ways, if thou lack Money, I'll lend thee some: I'll
leave thee to thy Horse now. Adieu.
   Ovid. se. Farewel, good Captain.
   Tuc. Boy, you can have but half a share now, Boy.
   Ovid. se. 'Tis a strange boldness that accompanies this
Fellow: Come.
   Ovid. ju. I'll give attendance on you to your Horse,
Sir, please you
   Ovid se. No: keep your Chamber, and fall to your
Studies; do so: the Gods of Rome bless thee.
   Ovid. ju. And give me stomak to digest this Law.
That should have followed sure, had I been he.
O sacred Poesie, thou Spirit of Roman Arts,
The Soul of Science, and the Queen of Souls;
What prophane Violence, almost Sacrilege,
Hath here been offered thy Divinities!
That thine own guiltless Poverty should arm
Prodigious Ignorance to wound thee thus!
For thence is all their force of Argument
Drawn forth against thee; or from the abuse
Of thy great powers in adult'rate Brains:
When, would Men learn but to distinguish Spirits,
And set true difference 'twixt those jaded Wits
That run a broken pace for common hire,
And the high Raptures of a happy Muse,
Borne on the Wings of her immortal thought,
That kicks at Earth with a disdainful Heel,
And beats at Heaven Gates with her bright Hoofs;
They would not then with such distorted Faces,
And desp'rate Censures, stab at Poesie.
They would admire bright Knowledg and their Minds
Should ne're descend on so unworthy Objects
As Gold, or Titles: they would dread far more,
To be thought ignorant, than be known poor.
'The time was once, when Wit drown'd Wealth: but now,
'Your only Barbarism is t' have Wit, and want.
'No matter now in Vertue who excels,
'He that hath Coin, hath all perfection else.

Act I.    Scene III.

Tibullus, Ovid.

O
Vid?   Ovid. Who's there? GomeCome in.   Tib. Good
 morrow, Lawyer.
   Ovid. Good morrow (dear Tibullus) welcom: sit down.
   Tib. Not I. What, so hard at it? Let's see, what's here?
Nay, I will see it    Ovid. Prithee away
   Tib. If thrice in Field, a man vanquish his Foe,
          'Tis after in his choice to serve, or no.

How now Ovid! Law Cases in Verse?
   Ovid. In troth, I know not: they run from my Pen
Unwittingly, if they be Verse. What's the news abroad?
   Tib. Off with this Gown, I come to have thee walk.
   Ovid. No, good Tibullus, I'm not now in Case,
Pray' let me alone.   Tib. How? not in case!
'Slight thou'rt in too much case, by all this Law.
   Ovid. Troth, if I live, I will new dress the Law,
In sprightly Poesies habillaments.
   Tib. The Hell thou wilt. What, turn Law into Verse?
Thy Father has school'd thee, I see. Here, read that same.
There's subject for you: and if I mistake not,
A Supersedeas to your melancholy.
   Ovid. How! subscrib'd Julia! O, my Life, my Heaven!
   Tib. Is the Mood chang'd?
   Ovid. Musick of Wit! Note for th' harmonious
Sphears!
Celestial Accents, how you ravish me!

[column break]

   Tibu. What is it, Ovid?
   Ovid. That I must meet my Julia, the Princess Julia.
   Tibu. Where?
   Ovid. Why, at Heart, I have forgot: my Pas-
sion so transports me.
   Tibu. I'll save your pains: it is at Albius House,
The Jewellers, where the fair Lycoris lyes.
   Ovid. Who? Cytheris, Cornelius Gallus Love?
   Tibu. I, he'll be there too, and my Plautia.
   Ovid. And why not your Delia?
   Tibu. Yes, and your Corinna.
   Ovid. True, but my sweet Tibullus, keep that secret:
I would not, for all Rome, it should be thought,
I vail bright Julia underneath that name:
Julia the Gem and Jewel of my Soul,
That takes her Honours from the golden Sky,
As Beauty doth all lustre from her Eye.
The Air respires the pure Elyzian Sweets
In which she breaths, and from Looks descend
The Glories of the Summer. Heaven she is,
Prais'd in her self above all praise: and he
Which hears her speak, would swear the tuneful Orbes
Turn'd in his Zenith only.   Tibu. Publius, thou'lt lose
      thy self.
   Ovid. O, in no Labyrinth can I safelier err,
Than when I lose my self in praising her.
Hence Law, and welcom Muses; though not rich,
Yet are you pleasing: let's be reconcil'd,
And now made one. Henceforth, I promise faith,
And all my serious hours to spend with you:
With you, whose Musick striketh on my Heart,
And with bewitching tones steals forth my Spirit,
In Julia's name; fair Julia: Julia's Love
Shall be a Law, and that sweet Law I'll study,
The Law, and art of sacred Julia's Love:
All other Objects will but Abjects prove.
   Tibu. Come, we shall have thee as passionate as Pro-
pertius,
anon.
   Ovid. O, how does my Sextus?
   Tibu. Faith, full of sorrow for his Cynthia's death.
   Ovid. What, still?
   Tibu. Still, and still more, his Griefs do grow upon him,
As do his hours. Never did I know
An understanding Spirit so take to heart
The common work of Fate.   Ovid. O my Tibullus,
Let us not blame him: for, against such chances,
The heartiest strife of Vertue is not proof.
We may read Constancy and Fortitude
To other Souls: but had our selves been struck
With the like Planet, had our Loves (like his)
Been ravisht from us by injurious Death,
And in the height, and heat of our best days,
It would have crackt our Sinnews, shrunk our Veins,
And made our very Heart-strings jar, like his.
Come, let's go take him forth, and prove, if mirth
Or Company will but abate his Passion.
   Tib. Content, and I implore the Gods it may.



Act II.    Scene I.

Albius, Crispinus, Chloe, Maids, Cytheris.

M
Aster Crispinus, you are welcom: Pray' use a
 Stool, Sir. Your Cousin Cytheris will come down
presently. We are so busie for the receiving of these
Courtiers here, that I can scarce be a Minute with my
self, for thinking of them: Pray you sit, Sir: Pray you
sit, Sir.
   Cris. I am very well, Sir. Ne're trust me, but you
are most delicately seated here, full of sweet delight and
blandishment! an excellent Air, an excellent Air!

Albi.




             Poetaster. 101


   Albi. I, Sir, 'tis a pretty air. These Courtiers run in
my mind still; I must look out: for Jupiters sake, sit,
Sir. Or please you walk into the Garden? There's a
Garden on the back-side.
   Cris. I am most strenuously well, I thank you, Sir.
   Albi. Much good do you, Sir.
   Chlo. Come, bring those Perfumes forward a little,
and strew some Roses and Violets here; Fie, here be
Rooms favour the most pitifully rank that ever I felt: I
cry the Gods Mercy, my Husband's in the wind of us.
   Albi. Why this is good, excellent, excellent: well said,
my sweet Chloe: Trim up your House most obsequi-
ously.
   Chlo. For Vulcan's sake, breath somewhere else: in
troth you overcome our Perfumes exceedingly, you are
too predominant.
   Albi. Hear but my opinion, sweet Wife.
   Chlo. A Pin for your opinion. In sincerity, if you be
thus fulsome to me in every thing, I'll be divorced;
Gods my Body? you know what you were before I
married you; I was a Gentlewoman born, I; I lost all
my Friends to be a Citizens Wife, because I heard in-
deed, they kept their Wives as fine as Ladies; and that
we might rule our Husbands like Ladies, and do what
we listed; do you think I would have married you
else?
   Albi. I acknowledge, sweet Wife, she speaks the best
of any Woman in Italy, and moves as mightily: which
makes me, I had rather she should make Bumps on my
Head, as big as my two Fingers, than I would offend
her. But sweet Wife
   Chlo. Yet again? Is't not grace enough for you, that
I call you Husband, and you call me Wife: but you
must still be poking me, against my will, to things?
   Albi. But you know, Wife, here are the greatest La-
dies, and Gallantest Gentlemen of Rome, to be enter-
tain'd in our House now: and I would fain advise thee,
to entertain them in the best sort, i' faith, Wife.
   Chlo. In sincerity, did you ever hear a man talk so
idly? You would seem to be Master? you would have
your Spoke in my Cart? you would advise me to en-
tertain Ladies and Gentlemen? because you can mar-
shal your Pack-needles, Horse-combs, Hobby-Horses, and
Wall-candle-sticks in your Ware-house better than I,
therefore you can tell how to entertain Ladies and Gen-
tlefolks better than I?
   Albi. O my sweet Wife, upbraid me not with that:
"Gain favours sweetly from any thing; he that re-
spects to get, must relish all Commodities alike; and
admit no difference betwixt Ode and Frankincense; or
the most precious Balsamum and a Tar-barrel.
   Chlo. Marry fough: You sell Snuffers too, if you be
remembred, but I pray you let me buy them out of your
hand; for I tell you true, I take it highly in Snuff, to
learn how to entertain Gentlefolks of you, at these
years i'faith. Alas man, there was not a Gentleman
came to youyour house i' your t'other Wives time, I hope?
nor a Lady? nor Musick? nor Masks? Nor you, nor
your House were so much as spoken of, before I dis-
bast my self, from my Hood and my Farthingal, to these
Bum-rowls and your Whale-bone-Bodies.
   Albi. Look here, my sweet Wife; I am mum, my
dear Mummia, my Balsamum, my sperma cete, and my
very City of she has the most best, true, feminine
wit in Rome!
   Chris. I have heard so, Sir; and do most vehemently
desire to participate the knowledge of her fair Features.
   Albi. Ah, peace; you shall hear more anon: be not
seen yet, I pray you; not yet: observe.
   Chlo. Give Husbands the Head a little more, and they'll
be nothing but Head shortly; what's he there?
   Maid 1. I know not, forsooth.
   Maid 2. Who would you speak with, Sir?
   Cris. I would speak with my Cousin Cytheris.

[column break]

   Maid 2. He is one, forsooth, would speak with his
Cousin Cytheris.
   Chlo. Is she your Cousin, Sir?
   Chris.Cris. Yes in truth, forsooth, for fault of a better.
   Chlo. She is a Gentlewomau?Gentlewoman
   Cris. Or else she should not be my Cousin, I assure
you.
   Chlo. Are you a Gentleman born?
   Cris. That I am, Lady; you shall see mine Arms, if't
please you.
   Chlo. No, your Legs do sufficiently shew you are a
GetlemanGentleman born Sir: for a Man born upon little Legs, is
always a Gentleman born.
   Cris. Yet, I pray you, vouchsafe the sight of my
Arms, Mistress; for I bear them about me, to have 'em
seen: my name is Crispinus, or Cri-spinas indeed; which        
is well exprest in my Arms, (a Face crying in Chief; and
beneath it a bloody Toe, between three Thorns Pun-
gent.
)
   Chlo. Then you are welcome, Sir, now you are a
Gentleman born, I can find it my Heart to welcom you:
for I am Gentlewoman born too, and will bear my Head
high enough, though 'twere my fortune to marry a
Trades-man.
   Cris. No doubt of that, sweet Feature, your Carriage
shews it in any Mans Eye, that is carried upon you with
Judgment.
[He is still going in and out.
   Alb. Dear Wife, be not angry.
   Chlo. God's my Passion!
   Alb. Hear me but one thing; let not your Maids set
Cushions in the Parlor Windows; nor in the Dining-
chamber Windows; nor upon Stools, in either of them,
in any case; for 'tis Tavern-like; but lay them one up-
on another, in some out-room or corner of the Dining-
chamber.
   Chlo. Go, go, meddle with your Bed-chamber only;
or rather with your Bed in your Chamber only; or ra-
ther with your Wife in your Bed only; or on my faith
I'll not be pleas'd with you only.
   Alb. Look here, my dear Wife, entertain that Gentle-
man kindly, I pry'thee mum.
   Chlo. Go, I need your instructions indeed; anger me
no more, I advise you. Citi-sin, quoth'a! she's a wise
Gentlewoman y'faith, will marry her self to the sin of
the City.
   Alb. But this time, and no more (by Heaven) Wife:
hang no Pictures in the Hall, nor in the Dining-cham-
ber, in any case, but in the Gallery only, for 'tis not
courtly else, o' my word, Wife.
   Chlo. 'Sprecious, never have done!
   Alb. Wife.
   Chlo. Do I not bear a reasonable corrigible hand over
him, Crispinus?
   Cris. By this Hand, Lady, you hold a most sweet hand
over him.
   Alb. And then for the great gilt Andirons
   Chlo. Again! would the Andirons were in your great
Guts for me.
   Alb. I do vanish Wife.
   Chlo. How shall I do, Master Crispinus? here will
be all the bravest Ladies in Court presently to see
your Cousin Cytheris: O the Gods! how might I be-
have my self now, as to entertain them most
Courtly?
   Cris. Marry, Lady, if you will entertain them most
Courtly, you must do thus: as soon as ever your Maid
or your Man brings you word they are come; you must
say (A Pox on 'em, what do they here?) And yet when
they come, speak them as fair, and give them the
kindest Welcome in words, that can be.
   Chlo. Is that the fashion of Courtiers, Crispinus?
   Cris. I assure you, it is, Lady, I have observ'd it.
   Chlo. For your Pox, Sir, it is easily hit on; but 'tis
not so easie to speak fair after methinks.
Alb. O




102 Poetaster.                     


   Alb. O Wife, the Coaches are come, on my word, a
number of Coaches and Courtiers.
   Chlo. A Pox on them, what do they here?
   Alb. How now Wife! would'st thou not have 'em
come?
   Chlo. Come? come, you are a Fool, you: He knows
not the trick on't. Call Cytheris, I pray you: and good
Master Crispinus, you can observe, you say; let me
entreat you for all the Ladies Behaviours, Jewels, Jests,
and Attires, that you marking as well as I, we may put
both our marks together, when they are gone, and con-
fer of them.
   Chris.Cris. I warrant you, sweet Lady; let me alone to
observe, till I turn my self to nothing but observation.
Good morrow Cousin Cytheris.
   Cyth. Welcome kind Cousin. What? are they come?
   Alb. I your Friend Cornelius Gallus, Ovid, Tibullus,
Propertius,
with Julia the Emperors Daughter, and the
Lady Plautia, are lighted at the Door; and with them
Hermogenes Tigellius, the cxcellentexcellent Musician.
   Cyth. Come, let us go meet them, Chloe.
   Chloe. Observe, Chrispinus.Crispinus
   Cris. At a Hairs breadth, Lady, I warrant you.

Act II.    Scene II.

Gallus, Ovid, Tibullus, Propertius, Hermogenes, Julia, Plau-
   tia, Cytheris, Chloe, Albius, Crispinus.


H
Ealth to the lovely Chloe: you must pardon me,
 Mistress, that I prefer this fair Gentlewoman.
   Cyth. I pardon, and praise you for it, Sir; and I be-
seech your Excellence, receive her Beauties into your
knowledge and favour.
   Jul. Cytheris, she hath favour, and behaviour, that
commands as much of me: and sweet Chloe, know I
do exceedingly love you, and that I will approve in a-
ny Grace my Father the Emperor may shew you. Is
this your Husband?
   Alb. For fault of a better, if it please your Highness.
   Chlo. Gods my life! how he shames me!
   Cyth. Not a whit, Chloe, they all think you politick,
and witty; wise Women chuse not Husbands for the
Eye, Merit, or Birth, but Wealth and Sovereignty.
   Ovid. Sir, we all come to gratulate, for the good re-
port of you.
   Tib. And would be glad to deserve your Love, Sir.
   Alb. My Wife will answer you all, Gentlemen; I'll
come to you again presently.
   Plau. You have chosen you a most fair Companion
here, Cytheris, and a very fair House.
   Cyth. To both which, you and all my Friends are ve-
ry welcome, Plautia.
   Chlo. With all my heart, I assure your Ladiship.
   Plau. Thanks, sweet Mistress Chloe.
   Jul. You must needs come to Court, Lady, i'faith,
and there be sure your welcome shall be as great to us.
   Ovid. She will deserve it, Madam. I see, even in
her Looks, Gentry, and general Worthiness.
   Tib. I have not seen a more certain Character of an
excellent disposition.
   Alb. Wife.
   Chlo. O, they do so commend me here, the Courti-
ers! what's the matter now?
   Alb. For the Banquet sweet Wife.
   Chlo. Yes; and I must needs come to Court, and be
welcome, the Princess says.
   Gal. Ovid, and Tibullus, you may be bold to welcome
your Mistresses here.
   Ovid. We find it so, Sir.
   Tib. And thank Cornelius Gallus.
   Ovid. Nay, my sweet Sextus, in faith thou art not
sociable.

[column break]

   Prop. In faith, I am not, Publius; nor I cannot.
Sick minds, are like sick men that burn with Feavers,
Who when they drink, please but a present taste,
And after bear a more impatient fit.
Pray let me leave you; I offend you all,
And my self most.   Gal. Stay, sweet Propertius.
   Tib. You yield too much unto your griefs, and fate,
Which never hurts, but when we say it hurts us.
   Prop. O peace Tibullus; your Philosophy
Lends you too rough a hand to search my Wounds.
Speak they of griefs, that know to sigh and grieve?
The free and unconstrained spirit feels
No weight of my Oppression.   Ovid. Worthy Roman!
Methinks I taste his Misery, and could
Sit down, and chide at his malignant Stars.
   Jul. Methinks I love him, that he loves so truly.
   Cyth. This is the perfect'st love, lives after death.
   Gal. Such is the constant ground of vertue still.
   Plau. It puts on an inseperable Face.
   Chlo. have you mark't every thing, Crispinus?
   Cris. Every thing, I warrant you.
   Chlo. What Gentlemen are these? do you know them?
   Cris. I, they are Poets, Lady.
   Chlo. Poets? they did not talk of me since I went, did
they?
   Cris. O yes, and extoll'd your Perfections to the
Heavens.
   Chlo. Now in sincerity, they be the finest kind of men
that ever I knew: Poets? Could not one get the Empe-
ror to make my Husband a Poet, think you?
   Cris. No, Lady, 'tis Love, and Beauty make Poets:
and since you like Poets so well, your Love and Beau-
ties shall make me a Poet.
   Chlo. What, shall they? and such a one as these?
   Cris. I, and a better than these: I would be sorry else?
   Chlo. And shall your Looks change? and your Hair
change? and all like these?
   Chris.Cris. Why, a Man may be a Poet, and yet not change
his Hair, Lady.
   Chlo. Well, we shall see your cunning: yet if you can
change your Hair, I pray do.
   Alb. Ladies, and Lordings, there's a slight Banquet
stays within for you, please you draw near, and accost it.
   Jul. We thank you, good Albius: but when shall we
see those excellent Jewels you are commended to have?
   Alb. At your Ladiships Service. I got that Speech by
seeing a Play last day, and it did me some Grace now:
I see, 'tis good to collect sometimes; I'll frequent these
Plays more than I have done, now I come to be familiar
with Courtiers.
   Gal. Why, how now, Hermogenes? what ailest thou
trow?
   Her. A little Melancholy, let me alone, pr'y thee.
   Gal. Melancholy! how so?
   Her. With riding: a Plague on all Coaches for me.
   Chlo. Is that hard-favour'd Gentleman a Poet too;
Cytheris?
   Cyth. No, this is Hermogenes, as humorous as a Poet
though: he is a Musician.
   Chlo. A Musician? then he can sing.
   Cyth. That he can excellently; did you never hear
him?
   Chlo. O no: will he be entreated, think you?
   Cyth. I know not. Friend, Mistress Chloe would
fain hear Hermogenes sing: Are you interested in
him?
   Gal. No doubt, his own Humanity will command
him so far, to the satisfaction of so fair a Beauty;
but rather than fail, wee'll all be Suiters to him.
   Her. 'Cannot sing.
   Gal. Pr'y thee, Hermogenes.
   Her. 'Cannot sing.
   Gal. For honour of this Gentlewoman, to whose
House, I know thou maist be ever welcome.
Chlo. That




             Poetaster. 103


   Chlo. That he shall in truth, Sir, if he can sing.
   Ovid. What's that?
   Gal. This Gentlewoman is wooing Hermogenes for a
Song.
   Ovid. A Song? come, he shall not deny her. Her-
mogenes?

   Her. 'Cannot sing.
   Gal. No, the Ladies must do it, he stays but to have
their Thanks acknowledg'd as a Debt to his Cunning.
   Jul. That shall not want: our self will be the first shall
promise to pay him more than thanks, upon a favour so
worthily vouchsaf't.
   Her. Thank you, Madam, but 'will not sing.
   Tib. Tut, the only way to win him, is to abstain from
intreating him.
   Cris. Do you love singing, Lady?
   Chlo. O, passingly.
   Cris. Intreat the Ladies, to intreat me to sing then, I
beseech you.
   Chlo. I beseech your Grace, intreat this Gentleman to
sing.
   Jul. That we will, Chloe; can he sing excellently?
   Chlo. I think so, Madam: for he intreated me, to in-
treat you, to intreat him to sing.
   Cris. Heaven and Earth! would you tell that?
   Jul. Good Sir, let's intreat you to use your Voice.
   Cris. Alas, Madam, I cannot in truth.
   Pla. The Gentleman is modest: I warrant you, he
sings excellently.
   Ovid. Hermogenes, clear your Throat: I see by him,
here's a Gentleman will worthily challenge you.
   Cris. Not I, Sir, I'll challenge no Man.
   Tib. That's your modesty, Sir: but we, out of an
assurance of your excellency, challenge him in your be-
half.
   Cris. I thank you, Gentlemen, I'll do my best.
   Herm. Let that best be good, Sir, you were best.
   Gall. O, this contention is excellent. What is't you
sing, Sir?
   Cris. If I freely may discover, &c. Sir, I'll sing that.
   Ovid. One of your own Compositions, Hermogenes.
He offers you vantage enough.
   Cris. Nay truly, Gentleman, I'll challenge no Man :
I can sing but one Staff of the Ditty neither.
   Gall. The better: Hermogenes himself will be intreated
to sing the other.

S O N G.
I
F I freely may discover
  What would please me in my Lover:
      I would have her fair and witty,
      Savouring more of Court than City;
      A little proud, but full of pity:
      Light and humorous in her toying,
      Oft building hopes, and soon destroying;
      Long, but sweet in the enjoying;
Neither too easie, nor too hard:
All extreams I would have barr'd.

   Gall. Believe me, Sir, you sing most excellently.
   Ovid. If there were a Praise above Excellence, the
Gentleman highly deserves it.
   Herm. Sir, all this doth not yet make me envy you:
for I know I sing better than you.
   Tib. Attend Hermogenes, now.

I I.

She should be allowed her passions,
So they were but us'd as Fashions;
      Sometimes froward, and then frowning,
      Sometimes sickish, and then swooning,
      Every Fit with change still crowning.

[column break]

      Purely jealous, I would have her,
      Then only constant when I crave her.
      'Tis a Vertue should not save her.
Thus, nor her delicates would cloy me,
Neither her peevishness annoy me.


   Jul. Nay, Hermogenes, your Merit hath long since
been both known, and admir'd of us.
   Herm. You shall hear me sing another: now will I
begin.
   Gall. We shall do this Gentlemans Banquet too much
wrong, that stays for us, Ladies.
   Jul. 'Tis true: and well thought on, Cornelius Gallus.
   Her. Why 'tis but a short Air, 'twill be done present-
ly, pray' stay; strike Musick.
   Ovid. No, good Hermogenes: we'll end this difference
within.
   Jul. 'Tis the common Disease of all your Musicians,
that they know no mean, to be intreated either to begin
or end.
   Alb. Please you lead the way, Gentiles?
   All. Thanks, good Albius.
   Alb. O, what a Charm of Thanks was here put upon
me! O Jove, what a setting forth it is to a Man, to have
many Courtiers come to his House! Sweetly was it said
of a good old House-keeper; I had rather want Meat
than want Guests:
especially if they be courtly Guests.
For, never trust me, if one of their good Legs made
in a House, be not worth all the good Chear a Man can
make them. He that would have fine Guests, let him
have a fine Wife; he that would have a fine Wife, let
him come to me.
   Cris. By your kind leave, Master Albius.
   Alb. What, you are not gone, Master Crispinus?
   Cris. Yes faith, I have a design draws me hence:
pray' Sir, fashion me an Excuse to the Ladies.
   Alb. Will you not stay, and see the Jewels, Sir? I
pray you stay.
   Cris. Not for a Million, Sir, now. Let it suffice, I
must relinquish; and so in a word, please you to ex-
piate this Complement.
   Alb. Mum.
   Cris. I'll presently go and enghle some Broker, for a
Poets Gown, and bespeak a Garland: and then Jeweller,
look to your best Jewel y' faith.



Act III.    Scene I.

Horace, Crispinus.

H
Ah? yes; I will begin an Ode so: and it shall be
 to Mecnas.
   Cris. 'Slid, yonder's Horace! they say he's an
excellent Poet: Mecnus loves him. I'll fall into his ac-
quaintance, if I can; I think he be composing as he
goes i' the Street! ha? 'tis a good humour, if he be:
I'll compose too.
[Hor. Lib.         
 1. Sut. 9.
   Hor. Swell me a Bowl with lusty Wine,
Till I may see the plump
Lyus swim
                         Above the brim:
I drink, as I would write,
In flowing measure, fill'd with flame and sprite.

   Cris. Sweet Horace, Minerva, and the Muses stand au-
spicious to thy designs. How far'st thou, sweet Man?
Frolick? Rich? Gallant? ha?
   Hor. Not greatly Gallant, Sir, like my Fortunes;
well.
I am bold to take my leave, Sir, you'll nought else, Sir,
would you?
   Cris. Troth, no, but I could wish thou did'st know us
Horace, we are a Schollar, I assure thee.
   Hor. A Schollar, Sir? I shall be covetous of your fair
knowledg.

Cris.




104 Poetaster.                     


   Cri. Gramercy, good Horace. Nay we are new turn'd
Poet too, which is more; and a Satyrist too, which is
more than that: I write just in thy vein, I. I am for
your Odes or your Sermones, or any thing indeed; we
are a Gentleman besides: our name is Rufus Laberius
Crispinus,
we are a pretty Stoick too.
   Hor. To the proportion of your Beard, I think it,
Sir.
   Cri. By Phbus, here's a most neat fine Street, is't not?
I protest to thee, I am enamour'd of this Street now,
more than of half the Streets of Rome again; 'tis so polite,
and terse! There's the Front of a Building now. I stu-
dy Architecture too: if ever I should build, I'ld have a
House just of that Prospective.
   Hor. Doubtless, this Gallants Tongue has a good turn,
when he sleeps.
   Cris. I do make Verses, when I come in such a Street
as this: O your City-Ladies, you shall ha' 'em sit in e-
very Shop like the Muses off'ring you the Castalian
Dews, and the Thespian Liquors, to as many as have but
the sweet Grace and Audacity to sip of their Lips.
Did you never hear any of my Verses?
   Hor. No, Sir (but I am in some fear I must now.)
   Cris. I'll tell the some (if I can but recover 'em) I
compos'd e'en now of a dressing, I saw a Jewellers
Wife wear, who indeed was a Jewel her self: I prefer
that kind of Tire now, what's thy opinion, Horace?
   Hor. With your Silver Bodkin, it does well, Sir.
   Cris. I cannot tell, but it stirs me more than all your
Court-curls, or your Spangles, or your Tricks: I affect
not these high Gable-ends, these Tuscane Tops, nor your
Coronets, nor your Arches, nor your Pyramid's; give
me a fine sweet little delicate dressing with a Bod-
kin, as you say: and a Mushrome, for all your other
Ornatures.
   Hor. Is't not possible to make an escape from him?
   Cris. I have remitted my Verses, all this while, I think,
I ha' forgot 'em.
   Hor. Here's he, could wish you had else.
   Cris. Pray Jove, I can entreat 'em of my Memory.
   Hor. You put your memory to too much trouble, Sir.
   Cris. No sweet Horace, we must not have thee think
so.
   Hor. I cry you mercy; then, they are my Ears
That must be tortur'd: well, you must have patience
Ears.
   Cris. Pray thee, Horace, observe.
   Hor. Yes, Sir: your Sattin Sleeve begins to fret at the
Rug that is underneath it, I do observe: And your ample
velvet Bases are not without evident stains of a hot dis-
position naturally.
   Cris. O I'll dye them into another Colour, at plea-
sure: how many yards of Velvet dost thou think they
contain?
   Hor. I have put him now in a fresh way
To vex me more: Faith, Sir, your Mercers Book
Will tell you with more patience, than I can.
(For I am crost, and so's not that, I think.)
   Cris. 'Slight, these Verses have lost me again: I shall
not invite 'em to mind, now.
   Hor. Rack not your thoughts, good Sir; rather defer it
To a new time; I'll meet you at your Lodging,
Or where you please: Till then, Jove keep you, Sir.
   Cris. Nay, gentle Horace, stay; I have it, now.
   Hor. Yes, Sir. Apollo, Hermes, Jupiter, look down up-
on me.

   Cri. Rich was thy hap, sweet dainty Cap,
                There to be placed:
         Where thy smooth black, sleek white may smack,
                And both be graced.


White is there usurpt for her Brow; her Fore-head: and
then sleek, as the paralel to smooth, that went before. A

[column break]

kind of Paranomasie, or Agnomination: do you conceive,
Sir?
   Hor. Excellent. Troth, Sir, I must be abrupt and leave
you.
   Cris. Why what haste hast thou? pr'y thee stay a lit-
tle; thou shalt not go yet, by Phbus.
   Hor, I shall not? what Remedy? Fie, how I sweat
with Suffering!
   Cris. And then
   Hor. Pray, Sir, give me leave to wipe my Face a
little.
   Cris. Yes, do, good Horace.
   Hor. Thank you, Sir.
Death! I must crave his leave to piss anon;
Or that I may go hence with half my Teeth:
I am in some such fear. This Tyranny
Is strange, to take mine Ears up by Commission,
(Whether I will or no) and make them Stalls
To his lewd Solecisms, and worded Trash.
Happy thou, bold Bolanus, now I say;
Whose freedom, and impatience of this fellow,
Would long ere this, have call'd him Fool, and Fool,
And rank, and tedious Fool, and have slung Jests
As hard as Stones, till thou hadst pelted him
Out of the place: whil'st my tame Modesty
Suffers my Wit be made a solemn Ass
To bear his Fopperies
   Cris. Horace, thou art miserably affected to be gone,
I see. But pr'y thee, let's prove to enjoy thee a while.
Thou hast no business, I assure me. Whether is thy
journey directed? ha?
   Hor. Sir, I am going to visit a friend that's sick.
   Cris. A Friend? What's he? do not I know him?
   Hor. No, Sir, you do not know him; and 'tis not the
worse for him.
   Cris. What's his Name? where's he lodg'd?
   Hor. Where I shall be fearful to draw you out of
your way, Sir; a great way hence; pray', Sir, let's
part.
   Cris. Nay, but where is't? I pr'y thee, say.
   Hor. On the far side of all Tyber yonder, by Csars
Gardens.
   Cris. O that's my course directly; I am for you.
Come go; why stand'st thou?
   Hor. Yes, Sir: marry the Plague is in that part of
the City; I had almost forgot to tell you, Sir.
   Cri. Fough, it is no matter, I fear no Pestilence, I
ha' not offended Phbus.Phoebus
   Hor. I have, it seems, or else this heavy Scourge
Could ne'er have lighted on me
   Cris. Come, along.
   Hor. I am to go down some half mile, this way, Sir,
first, to speak with his Physician: And from thence to
his Apothecary, where I shall stay the mixing of divers
Drugs
   Cris. Why, it's all one, I have nothing to do, and I
love not to be idle, I'll bear thee company. How call'st
thou the Apothecary?
   Hor. O that I knew a name would fright him now.
Sir Rhadamanthus, Rhadamanthus, Sir.
There's one so call'd, is a just Judge in Hell,
And doth inflict strange Vengeance on all those,
That (here on Earth) torment poor patient Spirits.
   Cris. He dwells at the three Furies, by Janus's
Temple?
   Hor. Your 'Pothecary does, Sir.
   Cris. Heart, I owe him Money for Sweet-meats, and
he has laid to arrest me, I hear: but
   Hor. Sir, I have made a most solemn vow, I will
never bail any Man.
   Cris. Well then, I'll swear, and speak him fair, if the
worst come. But his name is Minos, not Rhadaman-
thus, Horace.


Hor. That




             Poetaster. 105


   Hor. That may be, Sir: I but guess'd at his Name by
his Sign. But your Minos is a Judge too, Sir?
   Cris. I protest to thee, Horace, (do but taste me once)
if I do know my self, and mine own Vertues truly, thou
wilt not make that esteem of Varius, or Virgil, or Tibul-
lus,
or any of 'em indeed, as now in thy ignorance thou
dost; which I am content to forgive: I would fain see
which of these could pen more Verses in a day, or with
more facility, than I; or that could court his Mistris,
kiss her Hand, make better sport with her Fan, or her
Dog
   Hor. I cannot bail you yet, Sir.
   Cris. Or that could move his Body more gracefully,
or dance better: You should see me, were it not i' the
Street
   Hor. Nor yet.
   Cris. Why, I have been a Reveller, and at my Cloth
of Silver Sute, and my long Stocking, in my time, and
will be again
   Hor. If you may be trusted, Sir.
   Cris. And then for my singing, Hermogenes himself
envies me, that is your only Master of Musick you have
in Rome.
   Hor. Is your Mother living, Sir?
   Cris. Au: Convert thy Thoughts to somewhat else,
I pray thee.
   Hor. You have much of the Mother in you, Sir:
Your Father is dead?
   Cris. I, I thank Jove, and my Grandfather too, and
all my Kinsfolks, and well compos'd in their Urns.
   Hor. The more their happiness, that rest in peace,
Free from th' abundant Torture of thy Tongue:
Would I were with them too.   Cris. What's that, Horace?
   Hor. I now remember me, Sir, of a sad Fate
A Cunning Woman, one Sabella, sung,
When in her Urn she cast my Destiny,
I being but a Child.   Cris. What was't, I pray thee?
   Hor. She told me I should surely never perish
By Famine, Poison, or the Enemies Sword;
The Hectick Fever, Cough, or Pleurisie
Should never hurt me, nor the tardy Gout:
But in my time I should be once surpriz'd
By a strong tedious Talker, that should vex
And almost bring me to Consumption:
Therefore, (if I were wise) she warn'd me shun
All such long-winded Monsters, as my Bane:
For if I could but scape that one Discourser,
I might (no doubt) prove an old aged man.
By your leave, Sir.
   Cris. Tut, tut; abandon this idle Humour, 'tis nothing
but Melancholy. 'Fore Jove, now I think on't, I am to
appear in Court here, to answer to one that has me in
Suit: Sweet Horace, go with me, this is my Hour; if I
neglect it, the Law proceeds against me. Thou art fa-
miliar with these things; pr'y thee, if thou lov'st me, go.
   Hor. Now, let me die, Sir, if I know your Laws,
Or have the power to stand still half so long
In their loud Courts, as while a Case is argued.
Besides, you know, Sir, where I am to go,
And the necessity
   Cris. 'Tis true:
   Hor. I hope the Hour of my Release be come: He
will (upon this Consideration) discharge me, sure.
   Cris. Troth, I am doubtful what I may best do; whe-
ther to leave thee, or my Affairs, Horace.
   Hor. O Jupiter! me, Sir, me, by any means: I beseech
you, me, Sir.
   Cris. No faith, I'll venture those now; thou shalt see I
love thee: Come, Horace.
   Hor. Nay, then I am desperate: I follow you, Sir.
'Tis hard contending with a Man that overcomes thus.
   Cris. And how deals Mecnas with thee? liberally? ha?
Is he open-handed? bountiful?
   Hor. He's still himself, Sir.

[column break]

   Cris. Troth, Horace, thou art exceeding happy in thy
Friends and Acquaintance; they are all most choice
Spirits, and of the first Rank of Romans: I do not know
that Poet, I protest, has us'd his Fortune more prospe-
rously than thou hast. If thou wouldst bring me known
to Mecnas, I should second thy Desert well; thou
shouldst find a good sure Assistant of me, one that
would speak all good of thee in thy absence, and be
content with the next Place, not envying thy Reputa-
tion with thy Patron. Let me not live, but I think
thou and I (in a small time) should lift them all out of
Favour, both Virgil, Varius, and the best of them, and
enjoy him wholly to our selves.
   Hor. Gods, you do know it, I can hold no longer;
This Brize hath prickt my Patience: Sir, your Silkness
Clearly mistakes Mecnas, and his House,
To think there breaths a Spirit beneath his Roof
Subject unto those poor Affections
Of undermining Envy and Detraction,
Moods only proper to base groveling Minds.
That Place is not in Rome, I dare affirm,
More pure or free from such low common Evils.
There's no man griev'd, that this is thought more rich,
Or this more learned; each man hath his Place,
And to his Merit his Reward of Grace:
Which with a mutual Love they all embrace.
   Cris. You report a Wonder! 'tis scarce credible, this.
   Hor. I am no Torture, to enforce you to believe it;
but 'tis so.
   Cris. Why, this enflames me with a more ardent de-
sire to be his, than before: but I doubt I shall find the
entrance to his Familiarity somewhat more than difficult,
Horace.
   Hor. Tut, you'll conquer him, as you have done me:
There's no standing out against you, Sir, I see that: Ei-
ther your Importunity, or the intimation of your good
Parts, or
   Cris. Nay, I'll bribe his Porter, and the Grooms of his
Chamber, make his Doors open to me that way first;
and then I'll observe my Times. Say he should extrude
me his House to day, shall I therefore desist, or let fall
my Suit to morrow? No; I'll attend him, follow him,
meet him i' the Street, the High-ways, run by his Coach,
never leave him. What? Man hath nothing given him
in this Life, without much Labour.
   Hor. And Impudence.
Archer of Heaven, Phbus, take thy Bow,
And with a full drawn Shaft nail to the Earth
This Python, that I may yet run hence, and live:
Or brawny Hercules, do thou come down,
And (though thou mak'st it up thy Thirteenth Labour)
Rescue me from this Hydra of Discourse here.

Act III.    Scene II.

Aristius, Horace, Crispinus.

H
Orace, well met.   Hor. O welcome, my Reliever;
 Aristius, as thou lov'st me, ransom me.
   Ari. What ail'st thou, Man?   Hor. 'Death, I am seis'd on here
By a Land-Remora; I cannot stir,
Not move, but as he pleases.   Cris. Wilt thou go, Horace?
   Hor. Heart! He cleaves to me like Alcides Shirt,
Tearing my Flesh and Sinews: O, I ha' been vext
And tortur'd with him, beyond forty Fevers.
For Jove's sake, find some means to take me from him.
   Ari. Yes, I will: but I'll go first and tell Mecnas.
   Cris. Come, shall we go?
   Ari. The Jest will make his Eyes run, i' faith.
   Hor. Nay, Aristius?   Ari. Farewell, Horace.
   Hor. 'Death! will a' leave me? Fuscus Aristius, do
you hear? Gods of Rome! You said, you had some-
what to say to me in private.
   Ari. I, but I see you are now employ'd with that
P                                Gentleman;                    




106 Poetaster.                     


Gentleman; 'twere Offence to trouble you: I'll take
some fitter Opportunity: Farewell.
   Hor. Mischief and Torment! O my Soul and Heart,
How are you crampt with Anguish! Death it self
Brings not the like Convulsions. O, this day,
That ever I should view thy tedious face
   Cris. Horace, what Passion, what Humour is this?
   Hor. Away, good Prodigie afflict me not.
(A Friend, and mock me thus!) Never was man
So left under the Ax How now?

Act III.    Scene III.

Minos, Lictors, Crispinus, Horace.

T
Hat's he, in the embroider'd Hat there, with the
 Ash-colour'd Feather: His Name is Laberius Cri-
spinus.

   Lic. Laberius Crispinus, I arrest you in the Emperor's
Name.
   Cris. Me, Sir? do your arrest me?
   Lic. I, Sir, at the Suit of Master Minos the 'Po-
thecary.
   Hor. Thanks, great Apollo: I will not slip thy Favour
offered me in my Escape, for my Fortunes.
   Cris. Master Minos? I know no Master Minos. Where's
Horace? Horace, Horace.
   Min. Sir, do not you know me?
   Cris. O yes, I know you, Master Minos; cry you
mercy. But Horace? Gods me, is he gone?
   Min. I, and so would you too, if you knew how.
Officer, look to him.
   Cris. Do you hear, Master Minos? Pray let's be us'd
like a Man of our own Fashion. By Janus and Jupiter,
I meant to have paid you next Week, every Drachm.
Seek not to eclipse my Reputation thus vulgarly.
   Min. Sir, your Oaths cannot serve you; you know
I have forborn you long.
   Cris. I am conscious of it, Sir. Nay, I beseech you,
Gentlemen, do not exhale me thus; remember 'tis but
for Sweet-meats
   Lic. Sweet Meat must have sowr Sauce, Sir. Come
along.
   Cris. Sweet Master Minos, I am forfeited to eternal
Disgrace, if you do not commiserate. Good Officer,
be not so officious.

Act III.    Scene IV.

Tucca, Pyrgus, Minos, Lictors, Crispinus, Histrio,
Demetrius.

W
Hy, how now, my good brace of Blood-hounds?
 Whither do you drag the Gentleman? You
Mungrels, you Curs, you Bandogs; we are Captain
Tucca that talk to you, you inhumane Pilchers.
   Min. Sir, he is their Prisoner.
   Tuc. Their Pestilence! What are you, Sir?
   Min. A Citizen of Rome, Sir.
   Tuc. Then you are not far distant from a Fool, Sir.
   Min. A Pothecary, Sir.
   Tuc. I knew thou wast not a Physician; fough; out
of my Nostrils, thou stink'st of Lotium and the Syringe:
away, Quacksalver. Follower, my Sword.
   Pyr. Here, noble Leader, you'll do no harm with it:
I'll trust you.
   Tuc. Do you hear, you Good-man Slave? Hook, Ram,
Rogue, Catch-pole, loose the Gentleman, or by my Vel-
vet Arms
   Lic. What will you do, Sir?
   Tuc, Kiss thy Hand, my honourable active Varlet,
[The Officer strikes up his Heels.
and embrace thee thus.
   Pyr. O patient Metamorphosis!
   Tuc. My Sword, my tall Rascal.

[column break]

   Lic. Nay, soft, Sir: Some wiser than some.
   Tuc. What? and a Wit too! By Pluto, thou must be
cherish'd, Slave; here's three Drachms for thee; hold.
   Pyr. There's half his Lendings gone.
   Tuc. Give me.
   Lic. No, Sir, your first Word shall stand: I'll hold all.
   Tuc. Nay, but, Rogue
   Lic. You would make a Rescue of our Prisoner, Sir,
you.
   Tuc. I a Rescue? Away, inhumane Varlet. Come,
come, I never rellish above one Jest at most; do not
disgust me, Sirrah, do not: Rogue, I tell thee, Rogue,
do not.
   Lic. How, Sir? Rogue?
   Tuc. I, why! Thou art not angry, Rascal, art thou?
   Lic. I cannot tell, Sir; I am little better, upon these
Terms.
   Tuc. Ha! Gods and Friends! Why, dost hear, Rogue
thou? give me thy Hand; I say unto thee, thy Hand,
Rogue. What, dost not thou know me? not me, Rogue?
not Captain Tucca, Rogue?
   Min. Come pra' surrender the Gentleman his Sword,
Officer; we'll have no fighting here.
   Tuc. What's thy Name?
   Min. Minos, an't please you.
   Tuc. Minos? Come hither, Minos; thou art a wise
Fellow, it seems; let me talk with thee.
   Cris. Was ever Wretch so wretched as unfortunate I?
   Tuc. Thou art one of the Centum-viri, old Boy, art
not?
   Min. No indeed, Master Captain.
   Tuc. Go to, thou shalt be then; I'll ha' thee one, Mi-
nos.
Take my Sword from those Rascals, dost thou see?
go, do it; I cannot attempt with patience. What do's
this Gentleman owe thee, little Minos?
   Min. Fourscore Sesterties, Sir.
   Tuc. What, no more? Come, thou shalt release him,
Minos: What, I'll be his Bail, thou shalt take my Word,
old Boy, and cashire these Furies: Thou shalt do't, I
say, thou shalt, little Minos, thou shalt.
   Cris. Yes; and as I am a Gentleman, and a Reveller,
I'll make a Piece of Poetry, and absolve all, within
these five days.
   Tuc. Come, Minos is not to learn how to use a Gent'-
man of Quality, I know: My Sword: If he pay thee
not, I will, and I must, old Boy. Thou shalt be my
'Pothecary too. Hast good Eringo's, Minos?
   Min. The best in Rome, Sir.
   Tuc. Go to then Vermine, know the House.
   Pyr. I warrant you, Colonel.
   Tuc. For this Gentleman, Minos?
   Min. I'll take your Word, Captain.
   Tuc. Thou hast it. My Sword
   Min. Yes, Sir: But you must discharge the Arrest,
Master Crispinus.
   Tuc. How, Minos? Look in the Gentleman's Face,
and but read his Silence. Pay, pay; 'tis Honour, Minos.
   Cris. By Jove, sweet Captain, you do most infinitely
endear and oblige me to you.
   Tuc. Tut, I cannot complement, by Mars; but Jupi-
ter
love me, as I love good Words, and good Clothes, and
there's an end. Thou shalt give my Boy that Girdle and
Hangers, when thou hast worn them a little more
   Cris. O Jupiter! Captain, he shall have them now
presently: Please you to be acceptive, young Gentleman.
   Pyr. Yes, Sir, fear not; I shall accept; I have a pretty
foolish humour of taking, if you knew all.
   Tuc. Not now, you shall not take, Boy.
   Cris. By my truth, and earnest, but he shall, Captain,
by your leave.
   Tuc. Nay, and a' swear by his truth, and earnest, take
it, Boy: do not make a Gent'man forsworn.
   Lic. Well, Sir, there's your Sword; but thank Master
Minos; you had not carried it as you do else.
Tuc. Minos




             Poetaster. 107


   Tuc. Minos is just, and you are Knaves, and
   Lic. What say you, Sir?
   Tuc. Pass on, my good Scoundrel, pass on, I honour
thee: But that I hate to have action with such base
Rogues as these, you should ha' seen me unrip their No-
ses now, and have sent 'em to the next Barbers to stich-
ing: for, do you see I am a Man of Humour, and
I do love the Varlets, the honest Varlets they have Wit
and Valour, and are indeed good profitable errant
Rogues, as any live in an Empire. Dost thou hear Poe-
taster?
second me. Stand up (Minos) close, gather, yet,
so. Sir, (thou shalt have a Quarter-share, be resolute)
you shall, at my request, take Minos by the Hand here,
little Minos, I will have it so; all Friends, and a Health:
be not inexorable. And thou shalt impart the Wine, old
Boy, thou shalt do't, little Minos, thou shalt; make us
pay it in our Physick. What? we must live, and ho-
nour the Gods sometimes; now Bacchus, now Comus, now
Priapus; every God a little. What's he that stalks by
there, Boy, Pyrgus? You were best let him pass, Sirrah;
do, Ferret, let him pass, do.
   Pyr. 'Tis a Player, Sir.
   Tuc. A Player? Call him, call the lowsie Slave hi-
ther: What, will he sail by, and not once strike, or vail
to a Man of War? ha? Do you hear? you Player,
Rogue, Stalker, come back here: No respect to Men of
Worship, you Slave? What, you are proud, you Rascal,
are your proud? ha? You grow rich, do you, and purchase,
you two-peny Tear-mouth? You have Fortune, and the
good Year on your side, you Stinkard, you have, you have.
   His. Nay, sweet Captain, be confin'd to some Rea-
son; I protest I saw you not, Sir.
   Tuc. You did not? Where was your sight, Oedipus?
You walk with Hares Eyes do you? I'll ha' 'em glaz'd,
Rogue; and you say the word, they shall be glaz'd for
you: Come, we must have you turn Fidler again, Slave,
get a Base Violin at your back, and march in a Tawny
Coat, with one Sleeve, to Goose-Fair; then you'll
know us, you'll see us then, you will, Gulch, you will.
Then, Will't please your Worship to have any Musick,
Captain?
   His. Nay, good Captain.
   Tuc. What, do you laugh, Owleglas? Death, you per-
stemptuous Varlet, I am none of your Fellows: I have
commanded a hundred and fifty such Rogues, I.
   1 Pyr. I, and most of that hundred and fifty have
been Leaders of a Legion.
   His. If I have exhibited wrong, I'll tender Satisfacti-
on, Captain.
   Tuc. Saist thou so, honest Vermin? Give me thy
Hand; thou shalt make us a Supper one of these Nights.
   His. When you please, by Jove, Captain, most wil-
lingly.
   Tuc. Dost thou swear? To morrow then; say and
hold, Slave. There are some of you Players honest
Gent'men-like Scoundrels, and suspected to ha' some
Wit, as well as your Poets, both at Drinking, and break-
ing of Jests, and are Companions for Gallants. A man
may skelder ye, now and then, of half a dozen Shil-
lings, or so. Dost thou not know that Pantalabus there?
   His. No, I assure you, Captain.
   Tuc. Go, and be acquainted with him then; he is a
Gent'man, parcel Poet, you Slave; his Father was a
Man of Worship, I tell thee. Go, he pens high, lofty,
in a new stalking Strain, bigger than half the Rhimers
i' the Town again: He was born to fill thy Mouth,
Minotaurus, he was; he will teach thee to tear and
rand. Rascal, to him, cherish his Muse, go; thou hast
forty, forty, Shillings, I mean, Stinkard; give him
in earnest, do, he shall write for thee, Slave. If he pen
for thee once, thou shalt not need to travel with thy
Pumps full of Gravel any more, after a blind Jade and
a Hamper, and stalk upon Boards and Barrel-heads to
an old crackt Trumpet

[column break]

   His. Troth, I think I ha' not so much about me,
Captain.
   Tuc. It's no matter; give him what thou hast: Stiff-
toe, I'll give my Word for the rest; though it lack a
Shilling or two, it skills not: Go, thou art an honest
Shifter; I'll ha' the Statute repeal'd for thee. Minos, I must
tell thee, Minos, thou hast dejected yon Gent'mans Spirit
exceedingly? Dost observe, dost note, little Minos?
   Min. Yes, Sir.
   Tuc. Go to then, raise, recover, do: Suffer him not
to droop, in prospect of a Player, a Rogue, a Stager:
Put twenty into his Hand, twenty Sesterces, I mean, and
let no body see: Go, do it, the Work shall commend it
self; be Minos, I'll pay.
   Min. Yes forsooth, Captain.
   2 Pyr. Do not we serve a notable Shark?
   Tuc. And what new Matters have we now afoot,
Sirrah? ha? I would fain come with my Cockatrice
one day, and see a Play, if I knew when there were
a good bawdy one; but they say, you ha' nothing but
Humours, Revels, and Satyrs, that gird and fart at the
time, you Slave.
   His. No, I assure you, Captain, not we. They are
on the other side of Tyber: We have as much Ribaldry
in our Plays as can be, as you would wish, Captain:
All the Sinners i' the Suburbs come, and applaud our
Action, daily.
   Tuc. I hear, you'll bring me o' the Stage there;
you'll play me, they say; I shall be presented by a sort
of Copper-lac't Scoundrels of you: Life of Pluto! an'
you Stage me, Stinkard, your Mansions shall sweat
for't, your Tabernacles, Varlets, your Globes, and your
Triumphs.
   His. Not we, by Phbus, Captain; do not do us im-
putation, without desert.
   Tuc. I wu'not, my good two-peny Rascal; reach me
thy Neuf. Dost hear? What wilt thou give me a Week
for my brace of Beagles here, my little Point-trussers?
You shall ha' them act among ye. Sirrah, you, pro-
nounce. Thou shalt hear him speak in King Darius
doleful Strain.
   1 Pyr. O doleful Days! O direful deadly Dump!
O wicked World, and worldly Wickedness!
How can I hold my Fist from crying, Thump,
In rue of this right raskal Wretchedness!

   Tuc. In an amorous Vein now, Sirrah: Peace.
   1 Pyr. O, she is wilder, and more hard, withal,
Than Beast, or Bird, or Tree, or stony Wall.
Yet might she love me, to uprear her State:
I, but perhaps she hopes some nobler Mate.
Yet might she love me, to content her Fire:
I, but her Reason masters her Desire.
Yet might she love me as her Beauties Thrall:
I, but I fear, she cannot love at all.

   Tuc. Now, the horrible fierce Soldier, you, Sirrah.
   1 Pyr. What? will I brave thee? I, and Beard thee too.
A
Roman Spirit scorns to bear a Brain
So full of base Pusillanimity.

   Dem. Hist. Excellent.
   Tuc. Nay, thou shalt see that shall ravish thee anon;
prick up thine Ears, Stinkard: The Ghost, Boys.
   1 Pyr. Vindicta.
   2 Pyr. Timoria.
   1 Pyr. Vindicta.
   2 Pyr. Timoria.
   1 Pyr. Veni.
   2 Pyr. Veni.
   Tuc. Now thunder, Sirrah, you, the rumbling
Player.
   1 Pyr. I, but some body must cry (Murder) then in a
small voice.
   Tuc. Your Fellow-sharer there shall do't: Cry, Sirrah,
cry.
   1 Pyr. Murder, murder.
P 2                               2 Pyr.  




108 Poetaster.                     


   2 Pyr. Who calls out Murder? Lady, was it you?
   Dem. Hist. O, admirable good, I protest.
   Tuc. Sirrah, Boy, brace your Drum a little straiter,
and do the t'other Fellow there, he in the what sha'
call him and yet stay too.
   2 Pyr. Nay, and thou dalliest, then I am thy Foe,
And Fear shall force what Friendship cannot win;
Thy Death shall bury what thy Life conceals,
Villain! thou diest, for more respecting her

   1 Pyr. O, stay my Lord.
   2 Pyr. Than me:
Yet speak the Truth, and I will guerdon thee;
But if thou dally once again, thou diest.

   Tuc. Enough of this, Boy.
   2 Pyr. Why then lament therefore: damn'd be thy Guts un-
to King
Pluto's Hell, and Princely Erebus; for Sparrows
must have Food.

   His. 'Pray, sweet Captain, let one of them do a little
of a Lady.
   Tuc. O! he will make thee eternally enamour'd of
him, there: Do, Sirrah, do; 'twill allay your Fellow's
Fury a little.
   1 Pyr. Master, mock on; the Scorn thou givest me,
              Pray
Jove some Lady may return on thee.
   2 Pyr. No, you shall see me do the Moor: Master,
lend me your Scarf a little.
   Tuc. Here, 'tis at thy service, Boy.
   2 Pyr. You, Master Minos, heark hither a little.
[They withdraw to make themselves ready.

   Tuc. How dost like him? art not rapt? art not
tickled now? dost not applaud, Rascal? dost not
applaud?
   His. Yes: What will you ask for 'em a Week, Cap-
tain?
   Tuc. No, you mangonizing Slave, I will not part
from 'em; you'll sell 'em for Enghles, you: Let's ha'
good Chear to morrow night at Supper, Stalker, and
then we'll talk; good Capon and Plover, do you hear,
Sirrah? and do not bring your eating Player with you
there; I cannot away with him: He will eat a Leg of
Mutton while I am in my Porridge, the lean Polupha-
gus,
his Belly is like Barathrum, he looks like a Midwife
in Man's Apparel, the Slave: Nor the villainous out-of-
tune Fidler nobarbus, bring not him. What hast thou
there? six and thirty? ha?
   His. No, here's all I have (Captain) some five and
twenty: Pray Sir, will you present, and accommodate
it unto the Gentleman; for mine own part, I am a
meer Stranger to his Humour; besides, I have some Bu-
siness invites me hence, with Master Asinius Lupus the
Tribune.
   Tuc. Well, go thy ways, pursue thy Projects, let me
alone with this Design; my Poetaster shall make thee a
Play, and thou shalt be a Man of good Parts in it. But
stay, let me see; do not bring your sope, your Politi-
cian, unless you can ram up his Mouth with Cloves; the
Slave smells ranker than some sixteen Dunghils, and is
seventeen times more rotten: Mary, you may bring
Frisker, my Zany: he's a good skipping Swaggerer; and
your fat Fool there, my Mango, bring him too; but let
him not beg Rapiers nor Scarfs, in his over-familiar
playing Face, nor roar out his barren bold Jests with a
tormenting Laughter, between drunk and dry. Do
you hear, Stiff-toe? Give him warning, admonition, to
forsake his sawcy glavering Grace, and his Goggle-eye;
it does not become him, Sirrah; tell him so. I have
stood up and defended you, I, to Gent'men, when you
have been said to prey upon Pu'nees, and honest Citi-
zens, for Socks or Buskins; or when they ha' call'd you
Usurers or Broakers, or said, you were able to help to a
piece of Flesh I have sworn, I did not think so;
nor that you were the common Retreats for Punks de-
cay'd i' their Practice: I cannot believe it of you
   His. Thank you, Captain: Jupiter and the rest of

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the Gods confine your modern Delights, without dis-
gust.
   Tuc. Stay, thou shalt see the Moor e're thou goest.
What's he with the Half-arms there, that salutes us out
of his Cloke, like a Motion? ha?
   His. O, Sir, his Doublet's a little decay'd; he is o-
therwise a very simple honest Fellow, Sir, one Deme-
trius,
a Dresser of Plays about the Town here; we have
hir'd him to abuse Horace, and bring him in, in a Play,
with all his Gallants; as, Tibullus, Mecnas, Cornelius
Gallus,
and the rest.
   Tuc. And why so, Stinkard?
   His. O, it will get us a huge deal of Money (Cap-
tain) and we have need on't; for this Winter has made
us all poorer than so many starv'd Snakes: No body
comes at us, not a Gentleman, nor a
   Tuc. But you know nothing by him, do you, to make
a Play of?
   His. Faith, not much, Captain; but our Author will
devise that that shall serve in some sort.
   Tuc. Why, my Parnassus, here, shall help him, if thou
wilt. Can thy Author do it impudently enough?
   His. O, I warrant you, Captain, and spitefully e-
nough too; he has one of the most overflowing rank
Wits in Rome: He will slander any Man that breathes,
if he disgust him.
   Tuc. I'll know the poor, egregious, nitty Rascal,
an' he have these commendable Qualities, I'll che-
rish him, (stay, here comes the Tartar) I'll make a Ga-
thering for him, I, a Purse, and put the poor Slave
in fresh Rags: Tell him so, to comfort him. Well said,
[The Boy comes in on Minos Shoulders, who
   stalks as he acts.
Boy.

   2 Pyr. Where art thou, Boy? Where is Calipolis?
Fight Earthquakes in the Entrails of the Earth,
And Eastern Whirlwinds in the Hellish Shades;
Some foul Contagion of th' infected Heavens
Blast all the Trees, and in their cursed tops
The dismal Night-raven and tragick Owl
Breed, and become Forerunners of my Fall.

   Tuc. Well, now fare thee well, my honest Peny-
Biter: Commend me to seven Shares and a half, and
remember to morrow If you lack a Service,
you shall play in my Name, Raskals; but you shall
buy your own Cloth, and I'll ha' two Shares for my
Countenance. Let thy Author stay with me.
   Dem. Yes, Sir.
   Tuc. 'Twas well done, little Minos, thou didst stalk
well; forgive me that I said thou stunk'st, Minos:
'twas the favour of a Poet, I met sweating in the
Street, hangs yet in my Nostrils.
   Cri. Who? Horace?
   Tuc. I, he; dost thou know him?
   Cri. O, he forsook me most barbarously, I protest.
   Tuc. Hang him, fusty Satyr, he smells all Goat; he
carries a Ram under his Arm-holes, the Slave: I am
the worse when I see him. Did not Minos impart?
   Cri. Yes, here are twenty Drachms he did convey.
   Tuc. Well said, keep 'em, we'll share anon; come,
little Minos.
   Cri. Faith, Captain, I'll be bold to shew you a Mi-
striss of mine, a Jewellers Wife, a Gallant, as we go
along.
   Tuc. There spoke my Genius. Minos, some of thy
Eringoes, little Minos; send. Come hither, Parnassus,
I must ha' thee familiar with my little Locust here,
'tis a good Vermin, they say. See heres Horace, and
old Trebatius, the great Lawyer, in this company; let's
avoid him now, he is too well seconded.



Act




             Poetaster. 109


Act III.    Scene V.

Horace, Trebatius.

Hor. Sat.  
1. lib. 2.
T
Here are to whom I seem excessive sower;
 And past a Satyrs Law, t'extend my power:
Others, that think what ever I have writ
Wants pith, and matter to eternize it;
And that they could, in one Days light, disclose
A thousand Verses, such as I compose.
What shall I do, Trebatius? say.   Treb. Surcease.
   Hor. And shall my Muse admit no more encrease?
   Treb. So I advise.   Hor. An ill Death let me die,
If 'twere not best; but sleep avoids mine Eye,
And I use these, lest Nights should tedious seem.
   Treb. Rather, contend to sleep, and live like them,
That holding Golden sleep in special price,
Rub'd with sweet Oils, swim Silver Tyber thrice,
And every Ev'en, with neat Wine steeped be.
Or, if such love of Writing ravish thee,
Then dare to sing unconquer'd Csar's deeds;
Who chears such Actions, with abundant meeds.
   Hor. That, Father, I desire; but when I try,
I feel defects in every faculty:
Nor is't a Labour fit for every Pen,
To paint the horrid Troops of armed Men;
The Launces burst, in Gallia's slaughtred Forces;
Or wounded Parthians, tumbled from their Horses:
Great Csar's Wars cannot be fought with words.
   Treb. Yet, what his Vertue in his Peace affords,
His Fortitude, and Justice thou canst show;
As wise Lucilius honour'd Scipio.
   Hor. Of that, my powers shall suffer no neglect,
When such slight Labours may aspire respect:
But, if I watch not a most chosen time,
The humble words of Flaccus cannot clime
Th' attentive Ear of Csar; nor must I
With less observance shun gross flattery:
For he, reposed safe in his own merit,
Spurns back the gloses of a fawning spirit.
   Treb. But, how much better would such Accents sound
Than with a sad and serious Verse to wound
Pantolabus, railing in his sawcy Jests?
Or Nomentanus spent in riotous Feasts?
"In Satyrs, each Man (though untoucht) complains
"As he were hurt; and hates such biting strains.
   Hor. What shall I do? Milonius shakes his Heels
In ceasless dances, when his Brain once feels
The stirring fervour of the Wine ascend;
And that his Eyes false numbers apprehend.
Castor his Horse; Pollux loves handy Fights:
A thousand Heads, a thousand choise Delights.
My pleasure is in feet, my words to close,
As, both our better, old Lucilius does:
He, as his trusty Friends, his Books did trust
With all his secrets; nor, in things unjust,
Or actions lawful, ran to other Men:
So that the old Man's life, describ'd was seen
As in a votive Table in his Lines;
And to his steps my Genius inclines;
Lucanian, or Apulian, I not whether;
For the Venusian Colony plows either:
Sent thither, when the Sabines were forc'd thence
(As old Fame sings) to give the place defence
'Gainst such, as seeing it empty, might make rode
Upon the Empire; or there fix abode:
Whether the Apulian borderer it were,
Or the Lucanian violence they fear.
But this my stile no living Man shall touch,
If first I be not forc'd by base reproach;
But, like a sheathed Sword, it shall defend
My innocent life; for, why should I contend

[column break]

To draw it out, when no malicious Thief
Robs my good name, the Treasure of my life?
O Jupiter, let it with rust be eaten,
Before it touch, or insolently threaten
The life of any with the least Disease;
So much I love, and wooe a general Peace.
But, he that wrongs me, better I proclaim,
He never had assai'd to touch my fame.
For he shall weep, and walk with every Tongue
Throughout the City, infamously sung.
Servius, the Prtor, threats the Laws, and urn,
If any at his Deeds repine or spurn;
The Witch, Canidia, that Albutius got,
Denounceth Witch-craft, where she loveth not;
Thurius, the Judge, doth thunder worlds of ill;
To such as strive with his judicial will;
"All Men affright their foes in what they may,
"Nature commands it, and Men must obey.
   Observe with me; "The Woolf his Tooth doth use,
"The Bull his Horn. And who doth this infuse,
"But Nature? There's luxurious Scva; trust
His long-liv'd Mother with him; his so just
And scrupulous Right-hand no mischief will;
No more, than with his Heel a Woolf will kill,
Or Ox with Jaw: marry, let him alone
With temper'd Poison to remove the croan.
   But briefly, if to Age I destin'd be,
Or that quick Deaths black Wings inviron me;
If rich, or poor; at Rome; or fate command
I shall be banish't to some other Land;
What hew soever, my whole state shall bear,
I will write Satyrs still, in spight of fear.
   Treb. Horace, I fear, thou draw'st no lasting Breath:
And that some great Man's Friend will be thy Death.
   Hor. What? when the Man that first did Satyrise,
Durst pull the Skin over the Ears of Vice,
And make, who stood in outward fashion clear,
Give place, as foul within; shall I forbear?
Did Llius, or the Man, so great with fame,
That from sack't Carthage fetcht his worthy name,
Storm, that Lucilius did Metellus pierce?
Or bury Lupus quick, in famous Verse?
Rulers, and Subjects, by whole Tribes he checkt;
But Vertue, and her Friends did still protect:
And when from Sight, or from the Judgment-seat,
The vertuous Scipio, and wise Llius met,
Unbrac't, with him in all light Sports, they shar'd;
Till, their most frugal Suppers were prepar'd.
What e're I am, though both for Wealth and Wit,
Beneath Lucilius, I am pleas'd to sit;
Yet, Envy (spight of her empoysoned Breast)
Shall say, I liv'd in grace here, with the best;
And seeking in weak trash to make her wound,
Shall find me solid, and her Teeth unsound:
Less, learn'd Trebatius censure disagree.
   Treb. No, Horace, I of force must yield to thee;
Only, take heed, as being advis'd by me,
Lest thou incur some danger: better pause,
Than rue thy ignorance of the sacred Laws;
There's Justice, and great Action may be su'd
'Gainst such, as wrong Mens Fames with Verses lewd.
   Hor. I, with lewd Verses; such as Libels be,
And aim'd at Persons of good Quality.
I reverence and adore that just Decree:
But if they shall be sharp, yet modest Rhimes
That spare Mens Persons, and but tax their Crimes,
Such shall in open Court, find currant pass;
Were Csar Judge, and with the Makers grace.
   Treb. Nay, I'll add more; if thou thy self being clear,
Shalt tax in Person a Man, fit to bear
Shame, and reproach; his Sute shall quickly be
Dissolv'd in laughter, and thou thence sit free.

Act




110 Poetaster.                     


Act IV.    Scene I.

Chloe, Cytheris.

B
UT, sweet Lady, say: am I well enough attir'd for
 the Court, in sadness?
   Cyth. Well enough? excellent well, sweet Mistris
Chloe, this strait-bodied City attire (I can tell you) will
stir a Courtiers Blood, more than the finest loose Sacks
the Ladies use to be put in; and then you are as well
Jewel'd as any of them; your Ruff, and Linen about
you, is much more pure than theirs: And for your Beau-
ty, I can tell you, their's many of them would defie the
Painter, if they could change with you. Marry, the
worst is, you must look to be envied, and endure a few
Court-frumps for it.
   Chlo. O Jove, Madam, I shall buy them too cheap!
Give me my Muff, and my Dog there. And will the
Ladies be any thing familiar with me, think you?
   Cyth. O Juno! why, you shall see 'em flock about you
with their puff wings, and ask you, where you bought
your Lawn? and what you paid for it? who Starches
you? and entreat you to help 'em to some pure Lan-
dresses out of the City.
   Chlo. O Cupid! give me my Fan, and my Mask too:
and will the Lords, and the Poets there, use one well
too, Lady?
   Cyth. Doubt not of that; you shall have kisses from
them, go pit-pat, pit-pat, pit-pat, upon your Lips, as
thick as Stones out of Slings, at the Assault of a City.
And then your Ears will be so furd with the breath of
their Complements, that you cannot catch cold of your
Head (if you would) in three Winters after.
   Chlo. Thank you, sweet Lady. O Heaven! And
how must one behave her self amongst 'em? you
know all.
   Cyth. Faith, impudently enough, Mistriss Chloe, and
well enough. Carry not too much under-thought be-
twixt your self and them; nor your City-mannerly
word (forsooth,) use it not too often in any case; but
plain, I, Madam; and, No Madam: Nor never say, your
Lordship, nor your Honour; but, you, and you my
Lord, and my Lady: the other, they count too simple,
and minsitive. And though they desire to kiss Heaven
with their Titles, yet they will count them Fools that
give them too humbly.
   Chlo. O intolerable, Jupiter! By my troth, Lady, I
would not for a World but you had lain in my House:
and i'faith you shall not pay a Farthing for your Board,
nor your Chambers.
   Cyth. O, sweet Mistriss Chloe!
   Chlo. I'faith, you shall not Lady; nay, good Lady, do
not offer it.

Act IV.    Scene II.

Cor. Gallus, Tibullus, Cytheris, Chloe.

C
Ome, where be these Ladies? By your leave, bright
 Stars, this Gentleman and I are come to man you
to Court: where your late kind entertainment is now
to be requited with a heavenly Banquet.
   Cyth. A heavenly Banquet, Gallus?
   Cor. Gal. No less, my dear, Cytheris.
   Tib. That were not strange, Lady, if the Epithete
were only given for the company invited thither; your
self, and this fair Gentlewoman.
   Chlo. Are we invited to Court, Sir?
   Tib. You are, Lady, by the great Princess, Julia:
who longs to greet you with any Favours, that may
worthily make you an often Courtier.
   Chlo. In sincerity, I thank her, Sir. You have a Coach?
ha' you not?

[column break]

   Tib. The Princess hath sent her own, Lady.
   Chlo. O Venus! that's well: I do long to ride in a
Coach most vehemently.
   Cyt. But, sweet Gallus, pray you, resolve me, why
you give that heavenly Praise, to this earthly Banquet?
   Cor. Gal. Because (Cytheris) it must be celebrated
by the heavenly Powers: All the Gods, and Goddesses
will be there; to two of which you two must be ex-
alted.
   Chlo. A pretty Fiction in truth.
   Cyt. A fiction indeed, Chloe, and fit, for the fit of a
Poet.
   Cor. Gal. Why, Cytheris, may not Poets (from whose
divine Spirits, all the Honours of the Gods have been
deduc't) intreat so much Honour of the Gods, to have
their divine Presence at a Poetical Banquet?
   Cyt. Suppose that no fiction: yet, where are your
Habilities to make us two Goddesses, at your Feast?
   Cor. Gal. Who knows not (Cytheris) that the sacred
Breath of a true Poet, can blow any vertuous Humani-
ty up to Deity?
   Tib. To tell you the femalfemale truth (which is the simple
truth) Ladies; and to shew that Poets (in spight of
the World) are able to Deifie themselves: At this Ban-
quet, to which you are invited, we intend to assume the
Figures of the Gods; and to give our several Loves the
forms of Goddesses. Ovid will be Jupiter; the Princess
Julia, Juno; Gallus here Apollo; you Cytheris, Pallas; I
will be Bacchus; and my Love Plautia, Ceres: And to in-
stall you, and your Husband, fair Chloe, in Honours
equal with ours; you shall be a Goddess, and your Hus-
band a God.
   Chlo. A God? O my God!
   Tib. A God; but a lame God, Lady: for he shall be
Vulcan, and you Venus. And this will make our Banquet
no less than heavenly.
   Chlo. In sincerity, it will be sugred. Good Jove, what
a pretty foolish thing it is to be a Poet! But hark you,
sweet Cytheris, could they not possibly leave out my
Husband? methinks a bodies Husband does not so well
at Court; A bodies friend, or so but Husband, 'tis
like your clog to your Marmaset, for all the World, and
the Heavens.
   Cyt. Tut, never fear, Chloe: your Husband will be left
without in the Lobby, or the great Chamber, when
you shall be put in, i' the Closet, by this Lord, and by
that Lady,
   Chlo. Nay, then I am satisfied: he shall go.

Act IV.    Scene III.

Gallus, Horace, Tibullus, Crispinus, Tucca, Demetrius
Cytheris, Chloe.

H
Orace! Welcome.
   Hor. Gentlemen, hear you the news?
   Tib. What news, my Quintus?
   Hor. Our melancholick Friend, Propertius,
Hath clos'd himself up in his Cynthia's Tomb;
And will by no intreaties be drawn thence.
   Alb. Nay, good Master Crispinus, pray you, bring
neer the Gentleman.
   Hor. Crispinus? Hide me, good Gallus: Tibullus, shel-
ter me.
   Cri. Make your approach, sweet Captain.
   Tib. What means this, Horace?
   Hor. I am surpriz'd again, farewell.
   Gal. Stay, Horace.
   Hor. What, and be tir'd on, by yond' Vulture? No:
Phbus defend me.    Tib. 'Slight! I hold my life,
This same is he met him in Holy-street.
   Gal. Troth, 'tis like enough. This act of Propertius re-
lisheth very strange with me.

Tuc. By




             Poetaster. 111


   Tuc. By thy leave, my neat scoundrel: what, is this
the mad Boy you talk't on?
   Cris. I, this is Master Albius, Captain.
   Tuc. Give me thy hand, Agamemnon; we hear abroad
thou art the Hector of Citizens: what saist thou? are
we welcome to thee, noble Neoptolemus?
   Alb. Welcome, Captain, by Jove, and all the Gods
i'the Capitol
   Tuc. No more, we conceive thee. Which of these is
thy Wedlock, Menelaus? thy Hellen? thy Lucrece? that
we may do her Honour; mad Boy?
   Cris. She i' the little fine Dressing, Sir, is my Mistris.
   Alb. For fault of a better, Sir.
   Tuc. A better, prophane Rascal? I cry the mercy
(my good scroil) was't thou?
   Alb. No harm, Captain.
   Tuc. She is a Venus, a Vesta, a Melpomene: Come hi-
ther Penelope; what's thy name, Iris?
   Chlo. My name is Chloe, Sir; I am a Gentlewoman.
   Tuc. Thou art in merit to be an Empress (Chloe) for
an Eye and a Lip; thou hast an Emperors Nose: kiss
me again: 'tis a vertuous Punk; so. Before Jove, the
Gods were a sort of Goslings, when they suffered so
sweet a Breath to perfume the Bed of a Stinkard: thou
hadst ill fortune, Thisbe; the Fates were infatuate; they
were, Punk; they were.
   Chlo. That's sure, Sir: let me crave your name, I
pray you, Sir.
   Tuc. I am known by the name of Captain Tucca,
Punk; the noble Roman, Punk: a Gentleman, and a
Commander, Punk.
   Chlo. In good time: a Gentleman, and a Commander?
that's as good as a Poet, methinks.
   Cris. A pretty Instrument! It's my Cousin Cytheris
Viol, this: is't not?
   Cyt. Nay, play Cousin, it wants but such a Voyce
and Hand, to grace it, as yours is.
   Cris. Alas, Cousin, you are merrily inspir'd.
   Cyt. 'Pray you play, if you love me.
   Cris. Yes, Cousin: you know, I do not hate you.
   Tib. A most subtil Wench! How she hath baited him
with a Viol yonder, for a Song!
   Cris. Cousin, 'pray you call Mistris Chloe; she shall
hear an Essay of my Poetry.
   Tuc. I'll call her. Come hither, Cockatrice: here's
one, will set thee up, my sweet Punk; set thee up.
   Chlo. Are you a Puet,Poet so soon, Sir?
   Alb. Wife: mum.

S O N G.

L
Ove is blind, and a wanton;
 In the whole World, there is scant
   One such another:
   No, not his
Mother.
He hath pluckt her
Doves and Sparrows,
To Feather his sharp Arrows,
   And alone prevaileth,
   Whilst sick
Venus waileth.
But if
Cypris once recover
The wag; it shall behove her
   To look better to him:
   Or she will undo him.

   Alb. O, most odoriferous Musick!
   Tuc. A, ha! Stinkard. Another Orpheus, you Slave,
another Orpheus! an Arion, riding on the Back of a
Dolphin, Rascal!
   Gal. Have you a Copy of this Ditty, Sir?
   Cris. Master Albius has.
   Alb. I, but in truth, they are my Wives Verses; I
must not shew 'em.
   Tuc. Shew 'em, Bankrupt, shew 'em; they have Salt
in 'em, and will brook the Air, Stinkard.

[column break]

   Gal. How? to his bright Mistris, Canidia?
   Cris. I, Sir, that's but a borrowed name; as Ovid's Co-
rinna,
or Propertius his Cynthia, or your Nemesis, or Delia,
Tibullus.

   Gal. It's the name of Horace his Witch, as I remember.
   Tib. Why? the Ditt'is all borrowed; 'tis Horace's:
hang him Plagiary.
   Tuc. How? he borrow of Horace? he shall pawn
himself to ten Brokers, first. Do you hear, Poetasters?
I know you to be Men of Worship He shall write
with Horace, for a Talent: and let Mecnas, and his
whole Colledge of Criticks take his part; thou shalt
do't, young Phbus: thou shalt, Phaeton, thou shalt.
   Dem. Alas, Sir, Horace! he is a meer Spunge; nothing
but Humours and Observation; he goes up and down
sucking from every Society, and when he comes home
squeezes himself dry again. I know him, I.
   Tuc. Thou saist true, my poor poetical Fury, he will
pen all he knows. A sharp Thorny-tooth'd Satyrical
Rascal, fly him; he carries Hey in his Horn: he will
sooner lose his best Friend, than his least Jest. What
he once drops upon Paper, against a Man, lives eternal-
ly to upbraid him in the Mouth of every Slave, Tankard-
bearer, or Water-man; not a Bawd, or a Boy that
comes from the Bake-house, but shall point at him: 'tis
all Dog, and Scorpion; he carries Poyson in his Teeth,
and a Sting in his Tail. Fough, Body of Jove! I'll
have the Slave whipt one of these days for his Sa-
tyrs and his Humours, by one casheer'd Clark or ano-
ther.
   Cris. We'll under-take him, Captain.
   Dem. I, and tickle him i'faith, for his arrogancy and
his impudence, in commending his own things; and
for his translating. I can trace him i'faith. O, he is
the most open fellow living; I had as lieve as a new
Sute I were at it.
   Tuc. Say no more then, but do it; 'tis the only way
to get thee a new Suite; sting him, my little Neufts;
I'll give you instructions: I'll be your intelligencer,
we'll all joyn, and hang upon him like so many Horse-
leaches, the Players and all. We shall sup together,
soon; and then we'll conspire i'faith.
   Gal. O, that Horace had staied still here.
   Tib. So, would not I: for both these would have
turn'd Pythagoreans then.
   Gal. What, mute?
   Tib. I, as Fishes i' faith: come, Ladies, shall we go?
   Cyt. We wait you, Sir. But Mistris Chloe asks, if you
have not a God to spare for this Gentleman.
   Gal. Who, Captain Tucca?
   Cyt. I; he.
   Gal. Yes, if we can invite him along, he shall be Mars.
   Chlo. Has Mars any thing to do with Venus?
   Tib. O, most of all, Lady.
   Chlo. Nay, then I pray' let him be invited: and what
shall Crispinus be?
   Tib. Mercury? Mistris Chloe.
   Chlo. Mercury? that's a Poet, is't?
   Gal. No, Lady; but somewhat inclining that way:
he is a Herald at Arms.
   Chlo. A Herald at Arms? good: and Mercury? pretty:
he has to do with Venus too?
   Tib. A little with her Face, Lady; or so.
   Chlo. 'Tis very well; pray' let's go, I long to be at it.
   Cyt. Gentlemen, shall we pray your companies along?
   Cris. You shall not only pray, but prevail, Lady,should end in a period
Come, sweet Captain.
   Tuc. Yes, I follow: but thou must not talk of this
now, my little Bankrupt.
   Alb. Captain, look here: mum.
   Dem. I'll go write, Sir.
   Tuc. Do, do, stay: there's a Drachm to purchase
Ginger-bread for thy Muse.

Act




112 Poetaster.                     


Act IV.    Scene IV.

Lupus, Histrio, Lictors, Minos, Mecnas, Horace.

C
Ome, let us talk here; here we may be private: shut
 the door Lictor. You are a Player, you say.
   Hist. I, an't please your Worship.
   Lup. Good: and how are you able to give this In-
telligence?
   Hist. Marry, Sir, they directed a Letter to me, and
my fellow-sharers.
   Lup. Speak lower, you are not now i' your Theatre,
Stager:
my Sword, Knave. They directed a Letter to
you, and your fellow-sharers: forward.
   Hist. Yes, Sir; to hire some of our properties; as a
Scepter, and Crown, for Jove; and a Caduceus for Mer-
cury:
and a Petasus
   Lup. Caduceus? and Petasus? Let me see your Letter.
This is a Conjuration; a Conspiracy, this. Quickly, on
with my Buskins: I'll act a Tragdie, i' faith. Will no-
thing but our Gods serve these Poets to prophane?
dispatch. Player, I thank thee. The Emperour shall
take knowledge of thy good service. Who's there now?
Look, Knave. A Crown and a Scepter? this is good
Rebellion, now!
   Lic. 'Tis your 'pothecary, Sir, Master Minos.
   Lup. What tell'st thou me of 'pothecaries, Knave?
Tell him; I have Affairs of State in Hand; I can talk
to no 'pothecaries, now. Heart of me! Stay the 'pothe-
cary there.
   You shall see, I have fish't out a cunning piece of Plot
now: They have had some intelligence, that their pro-
ject is discover'd, and now have they dealt with my
'pothecary, to Poyson me; 'tis so; knowing that I
meant to take Physick to day: As sure as Death, 'tis
there. Jupiter, I thank thee, that thou hast yet made
me so much of a Politician. You are welcome, Sir;
take the Potion from him there; I have an Antidote more
than you wote off, Sir; throw it on the Ground there:
so. Now fetch in the Dog; and yet we cannot tarry
to try Experiments now: Arrest him, you shall go with
me, Sir; I'll tickle you, 'pothecary; I'll give you a Gli-
ster, i'faith. Have I the Letter? I, 'tis here. Come,
your Fasces, Lictors: The half Pikes and the Halberds,
take them down from the Lares, there. Player, assist
me.
   Mec. Whither now, Asinius Lupus, with this Armory?
   Lup. I cannot talk now; I charge you, assist me:
Treason, Treason.
   Hor. How? Treason?
   Lup. I: if you love the Emperour, and the State,
follow me.

Act IV.    Scene V.

Ovid, Julia, Gallus, Cytheris, Tibullus, Plautia, Albius, Chloe,
Tucca, Crispinus, Hermogenes, Pyrgus.

G
Ods and Goddesses, take your several Seats, Now,
 Mercury, move your Caduceus, and in Jupiter's name
command silence.
   Cris. In the name of Jupiter, silence.
   Her. The Crier of the Court hath too clarified a
Voice.
   Gal. Peace, Momus.
   Ovid. Oh, he is the God of reprehension; let him
alone. 'Tis his Office. Mercury, go forward, and pro-
claim after Phbus, our high Pleasure, to all the Deities
that shall partake this high Banquet.
   Cris. Yes, Sir.
Cris. The great, &c.       
         Of his, &c.
         Willing, &c.
   Gal. The great God, Jupiter,
Of his licentious goodness,
Willing to make this Feast, no Fast

[column break]

From any, &c.
Nor to, &c.

To be, &c.
He gives, &c.

To speak, &c.

And to, &c.
And there, &c.

Shall need, &c.
Than any, &c.
Nor any, &c.

Shall need, &c.
Than any, &c.
But, since, &c.
In these, &c.
It shall, &c.
to break, &c.

To change,&c.
As the, &c.
And the, &c.
And Jupiter, &c.
From any manner of pleasure;
Nor to bind any God or Goddess,
To be any thing the more God or God-
   dess, for their names:
He gives them all free Licence,
To speak no wiser than Persons of baser
   Titles;
And to be nothing better, than common
   Men, or Women.
And therefore no God
Shall need to keep himself more strictly
   to his Goddess,
Than any Man do's to his Wife.
Nor any Goddess
Shall need to keep her self more strictly
   to her God,
Than any Woman do's to her Husband.
But, since it is no part of Wisdom,
In these days, to come into Bonds;
It shall be lawful for every Lover,
To break loving Oaths,
To change their Lovers, and make Love
   to others,
As the heat of every ones Blood,
And the spirit of our Nectar shall inspire.
And Jupiter, save Jupiter.
   Tib. So: now we may play the Fools, by Autho-
rity.
   Her. To play the Fool by Authority, is Wisdom.
   Jul. Away with your mattery sentences, Momus;
they are too grave and wise for this meeting.
   Ovid. Mercury, give our Jester a Stool, let him sit by;
and reach him of our Cates.
   Tuc. Do'st hear, mad Jupiter? We'll have it enacted,
He that speaks the first wise word, shall be made
Cuckold. What sai'st thou? Is't not a good mo-
tion?
   Ovid. Deities, are you all agreed?
   All. Agreed, great Jupiter.
   Alb. I have read in a Book, that to play the Fool
wisely, is high Wisdom.
   Gal. How now, Vulcan! will you be the first Wi-
zard?
   Ovid. Take his Wife, Mars, and make him Cuckold
quickly.
   Tuc. Come Cockatrice.
   Chlo. No, let me alone with him, Jupiter: I'll make
you take heed, Sir, while you live again; if there be
twelve in a company, that you be not the wisest
of 'em.
   Alb. No more; I will not indeed, Wife, hereafter;
I'll be here: mum.
   Ovid. Fill us a Bowl of Nectar, Ganymede: we will
drink to our Daughter Venus.
   Gal. Look to your Wife Vulcan: Jupiter begins to
court her.
   Tib. Nay, let Mars look to it: Vulcan must do as
Venus do's bear.
   Tuc. Sirrah, Boy: Catamite. Look, you play Gany-
mede
well now, you Slave. Do not spill your Nectar;
Carry your Cup even: so. You should have rub'd your
Face with Whites of Eggs, you Rascal; till your Brows
had shone like our sooty Brothers here, as sleek as a
Horn-Book: or ha' steept your Lips in Wine, till you
made 'em so plump, that Juno might have been jealous
of 'em. Punck, kiss me Punck.
   Ovid. Here, Daughter Venus, I drink to thee.
   Chlo. 'Thank you, good Father Jupiter.
   Tuc. Why, Mother Juno! Gods and Fiends! what,
wilt thou suffer this ocular temptation?
   Tib. Mars is inrag'd, he looks big, and begins to
stut for anger.
   Her. Well plaid, Captain Mars.

Tuc. Well




             Poetaster. 113


   Tuc. Well said, Minstrel Momus: I must put you in?
must I? When will you be in good fooling of your self,
Fiddler? never?
   Her. O, 'tis our fashion to be silent when there is a
better Fool in place ever.
   Tuc. Thank you, Rascal.
   Ovid. Fill to our Daughter Venus, Ganymede, who fills
her Father with affection.
   Jul. Wilt thou be ranging Jupiter before my Face?
   Ovid. Why not, Juno? why should Jupiter stand in
awe of thy Face, Juno?
   Jul. Because it is thy Wives Face, Jupiter.
   Ovid. What, shall a Husband be afraid of his Wives
Face? will she paint it so horribly? We are a King,
Cot-quean; and we will reign in our Pleasures; and
we will cudgel thee to death, if thou find fault with us.
   Jul. I will find fault with thee, King Cuckold-maker:
what, shall the King of Gods turn the King of Good
Fellows, and have no fellow in Wickedness? This
makes our Poets, that know our Prophaneness, live as
prophane as we: By my God-head, Jupiter; I will
joyn with all the other Gods here, bind thee hand and
foot, throw thee down into the Earth, and make a poor
Poet of thee, if thou abuse me thus.
   Gal. A good Smart tongu'd Goddess; a right Juno.
   Ovid. Juno, we will cudgel thee, Juno: we told thee
so yesterday, when thou wert jealous of us for Thetis.
   Pyr. Nay, to day she had me in inquisition too.
   Tuc. Well said my fine Phrigian fry, inform, inform.
Give me some Wine (King of Heralds) I may drink to
my Cockatrice.
   Ovid. No more, Ganymede, we will Cudgel thee,
Juno: by Styx we will.
   Jul. I, 'tis well, Gods may grow impudent in Iniqui-
ty, and they must not be told of it
   Ovid. Yea, we will knock our Chin against our
Breast, and shake thee out of Olympus into an Oyster-
boat, for thy scolding.
   Jul. Your Nose is not long enough to do it, Jupiter,
if all thy Stumpets, thou hast among the Stars, took
thy part. And there is never a Star in my Fore-head,
but shall be a Horn, if thou persist to abuse me.
   Cris. A good Jest i' faith.
   Ovid. We tell thee, thou anger'st us, Cot-quean; and
we will thunder thee in pieces for thy Cot-queanity.
   Cris. Another good Jest.
   Alb. O, my Hammers and my Cyclops! this Boy fills
not Wine enough, to make us kind enough to one another.
   Tuc. Nor thou hast not collied thy Face enough,
stinkard.
   Alb. I'll ply the Table with Nectar, and make them
Friends.
   Her. Heaven is like to have but a lame Stinker, then.
   Alb. "Wine, and good Livers make true Lovers: I'll
sentence them together. Here Father, here Mother,
for shame, drink your selves drunk, and forget this dis-
sention: you two should cling together before our Fa-
ces, and give us example of Unity.
   Gal. O, excellently spoken, Vulcan, on the sudden!
   Tib. Jupiter, may do well to prefer his Tongue to some
Office for his Eloquence.
   Tuc. His Tongue shall be Gentleman-usher to his Wit,
and still go before it.
   Alb. An excellent fit Office!
   Cris. I, and an excellent good Jest besides
   Her. What, have you hired Mercury to cry your Jests
you make?
   Ovid. Momus you are envious.
   Tuc. Why, you Whorson Block-head, 'tis your only
block of Wit in fashion (now a days) to applaud other
Folks Jests.
   Her. True: with those that are not Artificers themselves.
Vulcan, you nod; and the mirth of the Jest droops.
   Pyr. He has fill'd Nectar so long till his Brain swims in it.

[column break]

   Gal. What, do we nod, Fellow Gods? sound Mu-
sick, and let us startle our Spirits with a Song.
   Tuc. Do, Apollo; thou art a good Musician.
   Gal. What says Jupiter?
   Ovid. Ha? ha?
   Gal. A Song.
   Ovid. Why, do, do, sing.
   Pla. Bacchus, what say you?
   Tib. Ceres?
   Plau. But, to this Song?
   Tib. Sing for my part.
   Jul. Your Belly weighs down your Head, Bacchus:
here's a Song toward.
   Tib. Begin, Vulcan
   Alb. What else? what else?
   Tuc. Say, Jupiter
   Ovid. Mercury
   Cris. I say, say

S O N G.

W
Ake, our mirth begins to dye:
 Quicken it with Tunes and Wine:
Raise your Notes, your out: fie, fie,
This drowziness is an ill sign.
   We banish him the Quire of Gods,
   that droops agen:
   Then all are Men,
For here's not one, but nods.

   Ovid. I like not this sudden and general heaviness a-
mongst our God-heads: 'tis somewhat ominous. Apollo,
command us lowder Musick, and let Mercury and Momus
contend to please, and revive our Sences.

S O N G.

Herm.

Cris.

Ambo.

Herm.
Cris.
Herm.
Cris.
Ambo.

T
Hen, in a free and lofty strain,
   Our broken Tunes we thus repair;
And we answer them again,
   Running division on the panting Air:
   To celebrate this feast of
sence,
   As free from scandal as offence.
   Here is Beauty for the Eye;
   For the Ear sweet
Melody;
Ambrosiack odours, for the smell;
   Delicious
Nectar, for the taste;
   For the touch, a
Ladies waste;
Which doth all the rest excel!


   Ovid. I: This hath wak't us. Mercury, our Herald;
go from our self, the great God Jupiter, to the great
Emperor, Augustus Csar: And command him from
us (of whose Bounty he hath received his Sir-name,
Augustus) that for a Thank-offering to our Beneficense,
he presently Sacrifice, as a Dish to this Banquet, his
beautiful and wanton Daughter Julia. She's a curst
Quean tell him; and plays the scold behind his Back:
Therefore let her be Sacrific'd. Command him this,
Mercury, in our high name of Jupiter Altitonans.
   Jul. Stay, Feather-footed Mercury, and tell Augustus,
from us the great Juno Saturnia; if he think it hard to do,
as Jupiter hath commanded him, and Sacrifice his Daugh-
ter, that he had better to do so ten times, than suffer her to
love the well-nos'd Poet, Ovid; whom he shall do well
to whip, or cause to be whipt about the Capitol, for
soothing her in her Follies.



Q                                         Act




114 Poetaster.                     


Act IV.    Scene VI.

Csar, Mecnas, Horace, Lupus, Histrio, Minos, Lictors,
   Ovid, Gallus, Tibullus, Tucca, Crispinus, Albius, Her-
   mogenes, Pyrgus, Julia, Cytheris, Plautia, Chloe.


W
Hat sight is this? Mecnas! Horace! say!
 Have we our Senses? Do we hear and see?
Or are these but imaginary Objects
Drawn by our Phantasie? Why speak you not?
Let us do Sacrifice? Are they the Gods?
Reverence, Amaze, and Fury fight in me.
What, do they kneel? Nay, then I see 'tis true
I thought impossible: O, impious sight!
Let me divert mine Eyes; the very thought
Everts my Soul with Passion: look not, Man
There is a Panther, whose unnatural Eyes
Will strike thee dead: turn then and dye on her
[He offers to kill his Daughter.

With her own Death.
   Mec. Horace. What means Imperial Csar?
   Cs. What? would you have me let the StumpetStrumpet live,
That, for this Pageant, earn so many deaths?
   Tuc. Boy, slink Boy.
   Pyr. 'Pray Jupiter we be not follow'd by the scent, Master.
   Cs. Say, Sir, what are you?
   Alb. I play Vulcan, Sir.
   Cs. But what are you, Sir?
   Alb. Your Citizen and Jeweller, Sir.
   Cs. And what are you Dame¿
   Chlo. I play Venus, Forsooth,
   Cs. I ask not what you play, but what you are.
   Chlo. Your Citizen and Jewellers Wife, Sir.
   Cs. And you, good Sir?
   Cris. Your Gentleman Parcel-Poet, Sir.
   Cs. O, that prophaned Name!
And are these seemly Company for thee,
Degenerate Monster? all the rest I know,
And hate all knowledge for their hateful sakes.
Are you that first the Deities inspir'd
With skill of their high Natures and their Powers,
The first abusers of their useful Light;
Prophaning thus their Dignities in their forms;
And making them like you, but Counterfeits?
O, who shall follow Vertue and embrace her,
When her false Bosom is found nought but Air?
And yet of those embraces Centaurs spring,
That War with human Peace, and poyson Men.
Who shall, with greater Comforts, comprehend
Her unseen Being and her Excellence;
When you that teach, and should eternize her,
Live as she were no Law unto your Lives:
Nor liv'd her self but with your idle Breaths?
If you think Gods but fain'd and Vertue painted,
Know we sustain an actual Residence;
And with the Title of an Emperor,
Retain his Spirit and Imperial Power;
By which (in imposition too remiss,
Licentious Naso, for thy violent wrong,
In soothing the declin'd Affections
Of our base Daughter) we exile thy Feet
From all approach to our Imperial Court,
On pain of death; and thy mis-gotten Love
Commit to patronage of Iron Doors;
Since her soft-hearted Sire cannot contain her.
   Mec. O, good my Lord, forgive; be like the Gods.
   Hor. Let Royal bounty (Csar) mediate.
   Cs. There is no bounty to be shew'd to such,
As have no real goodness: Bounty is
A spice of Vertue: and what vertuous Act
Can take effect on them, that have no power
Of equal habitude to apprehend it,

[column break]

But live in worship of that Idol, Vice,
As if there were no vertue, but in shade
Of strong imagination, meerly enforc't?
This shews their knowledge is meer Ignorance;
Their farfetch Dignity of Soul, a Phansie;
And all their square pretext of Gravity
A meer vain glory: hence, away with 'em.
I will prefer for knowledge, none, but such
As rule their Lives by it, and can becalm
All Sea of humour with the Marble Trident
Of their strong Spirits: Others fight below
With Gnats and Shadows, others nothing know.

Act IV.    Scene VII.

Tucca, Crispinus, Pyrgus, Horace, Mecnas, Lupus,
   Histrio.


W
Hat's become of my little Punk, Venus, and the
 Poult-foot Stinkard, her Husband? ha?
   Cris. O, they are rid home i' the Coach, as fast as the
Wheels can run.
   Tuc. God Jupiter is banisht, I hear: and his Cocka-
trice, Juno, lock't up. 'Heart, an' all the Poetry in Par-
nassus
get me to be a Player again, I'll sell 'em my share
for a Sesterce. But this is humorous Horace, that Goat-
footed envious Slave; he's turn'd faun now, an Infor-
mer, the Rogue: 'tis he has betraid us all. Did you
not see him with the Emperor crouching?
   Cris. Yes.
   Tuc. Well, follow me. Thou shalt Libel and I'll
Cudgel the Rascal. Boy, provide me a Truncheon.
Revenge shall gratulate him, tam Marti, quam Mer-
curio.

   Pyr. I, but Master; take heed how you give this out;
Horace is a Man of the Sword.
   Cris. 'Tis true, in troth: they say, he's Valiant.
   Tuc. Valiant? so is mine Arse; Gods, and Fiends!
I'll blow him into Air, when I meet him next: He dares
not fight with a Puck-fist.
   Pyr. Master, here he comes.

Horace            
passes by.


   Tuc. Where? Jupiter same thee, my good
Poet; my noble Prophet; my little fat
Horace. I scorn to beat the Rogue i' the
Court; and I saluted him, thus fair, because he
should suspect nothing, the Rascal: Come, we'll go see
how forward our Journey-man is toward the untrussing
of him.
   Cris. Do you hear, Captain? I'll write nothing in it
but innocence: because I may swear I am innocent.
   Hor. Nay, why pursue you not the Emperor for your
Reward now, Lupus?
   Mec. Stay, Asinius;
You and your Stager, and your Band of Lictors:
I hope your Service merits more respect,
Than thus, without a thanks to be sent hence!
   His. Well, well, jest on, jest on.
   Hor. Thou base unworthy Groom.   Lup. I, I, 'tis good.
   Hor. Was this the Treason? this the dangerous Plot,
Thy clamorous Tongue so bellowed through the Court?
Hadst thou no other Project to encrease
Thy grace with Csar, but this wolvish Train,
To prey upon the Life of innocent Mirth
And harmless Pleasures, bred of noble Wit?
Away, I lothe thy Presence; such as thou,
They are the Moths and Scarabes of a State;
The bane of Empires, and the Dregs of Courts;
Who (to endear themselves to any Employment)
Care not whose fame they blast, whose life they endanger:
And under a disguis'd and Cobweb mask
Of love, unto their Soveraign, vomit forth
Their own prodigious Malice; and pretending
To be the Props and Columns of his safety,
The Guards unto his Person, and his Peace,
Disturb




             Poetaster. 115


Disturb it most, with their false Lapwing-cries.
   Lup. Good. Csar shall know of this; believe it.
   Mec. Csar doth know it (Wolf) and to his knowledge,
He will (I hope) reward your base endeavours.
"Princes that will but hear, or give access
"To such officious Spies, can ne're be safe:
"They take in Poyson with an open Ear,
"And, free from danger, become Slaves to fear.

Act IV.    Scene VIII.

Ovid.

B
Anisht the Court? Let me be banisht Life;
 Since the chief end of Life is there concluded:
Within the Court is all the Kingdom bounded,
And as her sacred Sphear doth comprehend
Ten thousand times so much, as so much Place
In any part of all the Empire else;
So every Body, moving in her Sphear,
Contains Ten thousand times as much in him,
As any other, her choice Orb excludes.
As in a Circle, a Magician, then
Is safe against the Spirit he excites;
But out of it is subject to his rage,
And loseth all the Vertue of his Art:
So I, exil'd the Circle of the Court,
Lose all the good Gifts, that in it I 'joy'd.
"No Vertue currant is, but with her Stamp:
"And no Vice vicious blauncht with her white Hand.
The Court's the abstract of all Rome's desert;
And my dear Julia, th' abstract of the Court.
Methinks, now I come neer her, I respire
Some Air of that late comfort, I receiv'd:
And while the Evening, with her modest Vail,
Gives leave to such poor Shaddows as my self,
To steal abroad, I, like a heartless Ghost,
Without the living Body of my Love,
Will here walk, and attend her. For I know
Not far from hence she is imprisoned,
And hopes, of her strict Guardian, to bribe
So much admittance, as to speak to me,
And chear my fainting Spirits with her Breath.

Act IV.    Scene IX.
[She appeareth above,
 as at her Chamber
 Window.

                        Julia, Ovid.


O
Vid? my Love?   Ovid. Here, heavenly Julia.
   Jul. Here? and not here? O, how that word doth play
With both our Fortunes, differing, like our selves,
Both one; and yet divided, as oppos'd?
I high, thou low? O, this our plight of Place
Doubly presents the two lets of our love,
Local and Ceremonial height, and lowness:
Both ways, I am too high, and thou too low.
Our Minds are even, yet: O, why should our Bodies,
That are their Slaves, be so without their Rule?
I'll cast my self down to thee; If I dye,
I'll ever live with thee: no height of Birth,
Of Place, of Duty, or of cruel Power,
Shall keep me from thee; should my Father lock
This Body up within a Tomb of Brass,
Yet I'll be with thee. If the forms, I hold
Now in my Soul, be made one substance with it;
That Soul immortal; and the same 'tis now;
Death cannot raze th' effects, she now retaineth:
And then, may she be any where she will.
The Souls of Parents rule not Childrens Souls,
When Death sets both in their dissolv'd Estates;
Then is no Child nor Father: then Eternity
Frees all from any Temporal respect.
I come, my Ovid, take me in thine Arms:

[column break]

And let me breath my Soul into thy Breast.
   Ovid. O, stay, my Love: the hopes thou dost conceive
Of thy quick Death, and of thy future Life,
Are not authentical. Thou choosest Death,
So thou might'st joy thy love in th' other Life.
But know (my Princely love) when thou art dead,
Thou only must survive in perfect Soul;
And in the Soul are no Affections:
We powr out our Affections with our Blood;
And with our Bloods affections fade our Loves.
"No Life hath Love in such sweet state as this;
"No Essence is so dear to moody Sense,
"As Flesh and Blood, whose quintessence is Sense.
"Beauty, compos'd of Blood, and Flesh moves more,
"And is more plausible to Blood and Flesh,
"Than spiritual Beauty can be to the Spirit.
Such apprehension as we have in Dreams
(When sleep, the bond of Senses, locks them up)
Such shall we have when Death destroys them quite.
If love be then thy Object change not Life;
Live high and happy still: I still below,
Close with my Fortunes, in thy height shall joy.
   Jul. Ay me, that Vertue, whose brave Eagles Wings
With every stroke blow Stars in burning Heaven;
Should like a Swallow (preying toward Storms)
Fly close to Earth: and with an eager Plume,
Pursue those Objects which none else can see,
But seem to all the World the empty Air.
Thus thou (poor Ovid) and all vertuous Men
Must prey like Swallows on invisible Food;
Pursuing Flies, or nothing: and thus Love,
And every Worldly Phansie, is transpos'd
By worldly tyranny to what plight it list.
O, Father, since thou gav'st me not my Mind,
Strive not to rule it: Take, but what thou gav'st
To thy disposure: Thy Affections
Rule not in me; I must bear all my Griefs;
Let me use all my Pleasures: vertuous Love
Was never scandal to a Goddess state.
But he's inflexible! and, my dear Love,
Thy Life may chance be shortned by the length
Of my unwilling Speeches to depart.
Farewel sweet Life: though thou be yet exil'd
Th' officious Court, enjoy me amply still:
My Soul, in this my Breath enters thine Ears,
And on this turrets Floor will I lye dead,
Till we may meet again. In this proud height,
I kneel beneath thee in my prostrate Love,
And kiss the happy Sands that kiss thy Feet.
"Great Jove submits a Scepter, to a Cell;
"And Lovers e're they part will meet in Hell.
   Ovid, Farewel all Company; and if I could
All light with thee: Hells Shade should hide my Brows,
Till thy dear Beauties Beams redeem'd my Vows.
   Jul. Ovid, my Love: alas, may we not stay
A little longer (think'st thou) undiscern'd?
   Ovid. For thine own good, fair Goddess, do not stay.
Who would ingage a Firmament of Fires,
Shining in thee, for me, a falling Star?
Be gone sweet Life-blood: if I should discern
Thy self but toucht, for my sake, I should dye.
   Jul. I will be gone, then; and not Heaven it self
Shall draw me back.   Ovid. Yet Julia, if thou wilt,
A little longer, stay.   Jul. I am content.
   Ovid. O, mighty Ovid! what the sway of Heaven
Could not retire, my Breath hath turned back.
   Jul. Who shall go first, my Love? my passionate Eyes
Will not endure to see thee turn from me.
   Ovid. If thou go first, my Soul will follow thee.
   Jul. Then we must stay.   Ovid. Ay me, there is no stay
In amorous Pleasures: if both stay, both dye.
I hear thy Father; hence my Deity.
Fear forgeth sounds in my deluded Ears;
I did not hear him: I am mad with love.
Q 2                                      There




116 Poetaster.                     


There is no Spirit, under Heaven, that works
With such illusion: yet such Whitchcraft kill me,
Ere a sound Mind, without it, save my Life.
Here, on my Knees, I worship the blest Place
That held my Goddess; and the loving Air,
That clos'd her Body in his Silken Arms:
Vain Ovid! kneel not to the Place, nor Air;
She's in thy Heart: rise then, and worship there.
"The truest Wisdom silly Men can have,
"Is dotage, on the Follies of their Flesh.



Act V.    Scene I.

Csar, Mecnas, Gallus, Tibullus, Horace, Equites Ro.

W
E, that have conquer'd still, to save the conquer'd,
 And lov'd to make inflictions fear'd, not felt;
Griev'd to reprove, and joyful to reward,
More proud of Reconcilement than Revenge,
Resume into the late state of our love,
Worthy Cornelius Callus,Gallus and Tibullus:
You both are Gentlemen; you, Cornelius,
A Soldier of Renown, and the first Provost
That ever let our Roman Eagles fly
On swarthy gypt, quarried with her Spoils.
Yet (not to bear cold Forms, nor Mens Out-terms,
Without the inward Fires, and Lives of Men)
You both have Vertues, shining through your shapes;
To shew, your Titles are not writ on Posts,
Or hollow Statues, which the best Men are,
Without Promethean stuffings reach't from Heaven!
Sweet Poesies sacred Garlands crown your Gentry:
Which is, of all the Faculties on Earth,
The most abstract, and perfect; if she be
True born, and nurst with all the Sciences.
She can so mould Rome, and her Monuments,
Within the liquid Marble of her Lines,
That they shall stand fresh and miraculous,
Even, when they mix with innovating Dust;
In her sweet Streams shall our brave Roman Spirits
Chase, and swim after Death, with their choise Deeds
Shining on their white Shoulders; and therein
Shall Tyber, and our famous Rivers fall
With such attraction, that th' ambitious Line
Of the round World shall to her center shrink,
To hear their Musick: And, for these high Parts,
Csar shall reverence the Pierian Arts.
   Mec. Your Majesties high Grace to Poesie,
Shall stand 'gainst all the dull Detractions
Of leaden Souls; who (for the vain assumings
Of some, quite worthless of her Soveraign wreaths)
Contain her worthiest Prophets in contempt.
   Gal. Happy is Rome of all Earths other States,
To have so true, and great a President,
For her inferiour Spirits to imitate,
As Csar is; who addeth to the Sun,
Influence and lustre: in increasing thus
His Inspirations, kindling Fire in us.
   Hor. Phbus himself shall kneel at Csar's Shrine,
And deck it with Bay-garlands dew'd with Wine,
To quit the Worship Csar does to him:
Where other Princes, hoisted to their Thrones
By Fortunes possionatepassionate and disordered Power,
Sit in their height, like Clouds before the Sun,
Hindring his comforts; and (by their excess
Of cold in Vertue, and cross heat in Vice)
Thunder and Tempest on those Learned Heads,
Whom Csar with such honour doth advance.
   Tib. All human Business Fortune doth command
Without all order; and with her blind Hand,
She, blind, bestows blind Gifts: that still have nurst,
They see not who, nor how, but still, the worst.

[column break]

   Cs. Csar, for his rule, and for so much stuff
As Fortune puts in his hand, shall dispose it
(As if his Hand had Eyes, and Soul, in it)
With worth and judgment. "Hands, that part with Gifts,
"Or will restrain their use, without desert,
"Or with a misery, numm'd to Vertues right,
"Work, as they had no Soul to govern them,
"And quite reject her: sev'ring their Estates
"From human order. Whosoever can,
"And will not cherish Vertue, is no Man.
   Eques. Virgil is now at hand, Imperial Csar.
   Cs. Romes Honour is at hand then. Fetch a Chair,
And set it on our Right-hand; where 'tis fit,
Romes Honour and our own should ever sit.
Now he is come out of Campania,
I doubt not, he hath finisht all his neids,
Which, like another Soul, I long t' enjoy.
Viz. Me-
cnas,
Gallus,
Tibullus.
What think* you three, of Virgil, Gentlemen,
(That are of his Profession, though rankt higher)
Or Horace, what saist thou, that art the poorest,
And likeliest to envy, or to detract?
   Hor. Csar speaks after common Men, in this,
To make a difference of me, for my poorness:
As if the filth of Poverty sunk as deep
Into a knowing Spirit, as the bane
Of Riches doth into an ignorant Soul.
No, Csar, they be pathless moorish Minds,
That being once made rotten with the Dung
Of damned Riches, ever after sink
Beneath the steps of any Villany.
But knowledg is the Nectar, that keeps sweet
A perfect Soul, even in this Grave of Sin;
And for my Soul, it is as free as Csars:
For what I know is due I'll give to all.
"He that detracts, or envies vertuous Merit,
"Is still the covetous and the ignorant Spirit.
   Cs. Thanks, Horace, for thy free and wholsom sharpness:
Which pleaseth Csar more than servile fauns.
"A flatter'd Prince soon turns the Prince of Fools.
And for thy sake, we'll put no difference more
Between the great and good for being poor.
Say then, lov'd Horace, thy true thought of Virgil.
   Hor. I judge him of a rectified Spirit,
By many Revolutions of discourse,
(In his bright Reasons influence) refin'd
From all the tartarous Moods of common Men;
Bearing the nature and similitude
Of a right heavenly Body; most severe
In fashion and collection of himself:
And then as clear and confident as Jove.
   Gal. And yet so chaste and tender is his Ear,
In suffering any Syllable to pass,
That he thinks may become the honour'd name
Of Issue to his so examin'd self;
That all the lasting Fruits of his full Merit
In his own Poems, he doth still distaste:
As if his Minds Piece, which he strove to paint,
Could not with Fleshly Pencils have her right.
   Tib. But to approve his Works of soveraign worth,
This Observation (methinks) more than serves;
And is not vulgar. That, which he hath writ,
Is with such Judgment, labour'd, and distill'd
Through all the needful uses of our Lives,
That could a Man remember but his Lines,
He should not touch at any serious Point,
But he might breath his Spirit out of him.
   Cs. You mean, he might repeat part of his Works,
As fit for any conference he can use?
   Tib. True, Royal Csar.   Cs. Worthily observ'd:
And a most worthy Vertue in his Works.
What thinks material Horace of his Learning?
   Hor. His Learning favours not the School-like gloss,
That most consists in ecchoing Words and Terms,
And soonest wins a Man an empty Name:
Nor




             Poetaster. 117


Nor any long, or far-fetch Circumstance,
Wrapt in the curious Generalties of Arts:
But a direct and analytick Sum
Of all the worth and first effects of Arts.
And for his Poesie, 'tis so ramm'd with Life,
That it shall gather strength of Life, with being,
And live hereafter more admir'd than now.
   Cs. This one consent, in all your Dooms of him,
And mutual loves of all your several Merits,
Argues a truth of merit in you all.

Act V.    Scene II.

Csar, Virgil, Mecnas, Gallus, Tibullus, Horace, Equites Ro.

S
Ee, here comes Virgil; we will rise and greet him:
 Welcom to Csar, Virgil. Csar and Virgil
Shall differ but in sound; to Csar, Virgil
(Of his expressed greatness) shall be made
A second Sir-name, and to Virgil, Csar.
Where are thy famous neids? do us grace
to let us see, and surfeit on their sight.
   Vir. Worthless they are of Csars gracious Eyes,
If they were perfect; much more with their wants:
Which yet are more, than my time could supply.
And, could great Csar's expectation
Be satisfied with any other Service,
I would not shew them.   Cs. Virgil is too modest;
Or seeks, in vain, to make our longings more.
Shew them, sweet Virgil.   Virg. Then, in such due fear
As fits Presenters of great Works, to Csar,
I humbly shew them.   Cs. Let us now behold
A human Soul made visible in Life;
And more refulgent in a sensless Paper,
Than in the sensual Complement of Kings.
Read, read, thy self, dear Virgil; let not me
Prophane one Accent with an untuned Tongue:
"Best matter, badly shown, shews worse, than bad.
See then this Chair, of purpose set for thee
To read thy Poem in; refuse it not.
"Vertue, without Presumption, place may take
"Above best Kings, whom only she should make.
   Virg. It will be thought a thing ridiculous
To present Eyes, and to all future times
A gross untruth; that any Poet (void
Of Birth or Wealth, or temporal Dignity)
Should, with decorum, transcend Csar's Chair.
"Poor Vertue rais'd, high Birth and Wealth set under,
"Crosseth Heav'ns courses, and makes Worldings wonder.
   Cs. The course of Heaven, and Fate it self in this
Will Csar cross; much more all worldly Custom.
   Hor. "Custom, in course of Honour, ever Errs:
           "And they are best, whom Fortune least prefers.
   Cs. Horace hath (but more strictly) spoke our thoughts.              
The vast rude swinge of general Confluence
Is, in particular ends, exempt from Sense:
And therefore reason (which in right should be
The special Rector of all harmony)
Shall shew we are a Man, distinct by it,
From those, whom Custom rapteth in her preass.press
Ascend then, Virgil: and where first by chance
We here have turn'd thy Book, do thou first read.
   Virg. Great Csar hath his will: I will ascend.
'Twere simple Injury to his free Hand,
That sweeps the Cob-webs, from un-used Vertue,
And makes her shine proportion'd to her worth,
To be more nice to entertain his Grace;
Than he is choise, and liberal to afford it.
   Cs. Gentlemen of our Chamber, guard the Doors,
And let none enter; peace. Begin, good Virgil.
Virg. lib.
4. neid.
   Virg. Mean while, the skies 'gan thunder, and in tail
Of that, fell powring Storms of Sleet and Hail:
The
Tyrian Lords and Trojan Youth, each where
* Julius.
With
Venus Dardane *Nephew, now, in fear

[column break]

Seek out for several shelter through the Plain;
Whilst Floods come rowling from the Hills amain.
* neas.
Dido a Cave, The Trojan *Prince the same
† Juno.   
Lighted upon. There, Earth and Heavens great
†Dame,
That hath the charge of Marriage, first gave sign
Unto this Contract; Fire and Air did shine,
As guilty of the match; and from the Hill
The
Nymphs with shreekings do the Region fill.
Here first began their bane; This day was ground
Of all their ills: For now, nor Rumours sound,
Nor nice respect of State moves
Dido ought;
Her love no longer now by stealth is sought:
She calls this Wedlock, and with that fair Name
Covers her fault. Forthwith the Brute and Fame,
Through all the greatest
Lybian Towns is gone;
Fame, a fleet Evil, than which is swifter none:
That moving grows, and flying gathers strength;
Little at first, and fearful; but at length
She dares attempt the Skies, and stalking proud
With Feet on Ground, her Head doth pierce a Cloud!
This Child, our Parent Earth, stird up with spight
Of all the Gods, brought forth; and, as some write,
* Cus
Enceli-
dus, &c.
She was last Sister of that Giant* Race,
That thought to scale
Jove's Court; right swift of pace,
And swifter far of Wing: a Monster vast,
And dreadful. Look, how many Plumes are plac't
On her huge Corps, so many waking Eyes
Stick underneath: and (which may stranger rise
In the report) as many Tongues she bears,
As many Mouths, as many listning Ears.
Nightly, in midst of all the Heaven she flies,
And through the Earths dark shadow shreeking cries;
Nor do her Eyes once bend to taste sweet sleep:
By day on tops of Houses she doth keep,
Or on high Towers; and doth thence affright
Cities and Towns of most conspicuous sight.
As covetous she is of Tales and Lyes,
As prodigal of Truth: This Monster, &c.


Act V.    Scene III.

Lupus, Tucca, Crispinus, Demetrius, Histrio, Lictors, C-
   sar, Virgil, Mecnas, Gallus, Tibullus, Horace, Equi-
   tes Ro.


C
Ome, follow me, assist me, second me: where's
 the Emperor?
   Eques 1. Sir, you must pardon us.
   Eques. 2. Csar is private now; you may not enter.
   Tuc. Not enter? Charge 'em, upon their Allegiance,
Cropshin.
   Eques 1. We have a charge to the contrary, Sir.
   Lup. I pronounce you all Traitors, horrible Traitors:
What? do you know my Affairs?
I have matter of danger, and state to impart to Csar.
   Cs. What noise is there? who's that names Csar?
   Lup. A Friend to Csar. One that for Csar's good
would speak with Csar.
   Cs. Who is't? look, Cornelius.
   Eques 1. Asinius Lupus.
   Cs. O, bid the turbulent Informer hence;
We have no vacant Ear, now, to receive
Th' unseason'd Fruits of his officious Tongue.
   Mec. You must avoid him there.
   Lup. I conjure thee, as thou art Csar, or respect'st
thine own safety, or the safety of the State, Csar:
Hear me, speak with me, Csar; 'tis no common Bu-
siness I come about; but such as being neglected, may
concern the Life of Csar.
   Cs. The Life of Csar? Let him enter. Virgil
keep thy seat.
   Equites. Bear back there: whither will you? keep
back.

Tuc. By




118 Poetaster.                     


   Tuc. By thy leave good man Usher: mend thy Peruke;
so.
   Lup. Lay hold on Horace there; and on Mecnas, Li-
tors. Romans,
offer no rescue, upon your allegiance:
Read, Royal Csar. I'le tickle you, Satyr.
   Tuc. He will, Humours, he will: He will squeeze you,
Poet puckfist.
   Lup. I'le lop you off, for an unprofitable branch, you
Satyrical Varlet.
   Tuc. I, and Epaminondas your Patron, here, with his
Flaggon Chain; Come, resign: Though 'twere your
great Grand-fathers, the Law has made it mine now, Sir.
Look to him, my party-colour'd Rascals; look to
him.
   Cs. What is this, Asinius Lupus? I understand it
not.
   Lup. Not understand it? A Libel, Csar: a dangerous,
seditious Libel: a Libel in picture.
   Cs. A Libel!
   Lup. I, I found it in this Horace his Study, in Mecnas
his house, here; I challenge the Penalty of the Laws a-
gainst 'em.
   Tuc. I, and remember to beg their Land betimes;
before some of these hungry Court-hounds scent it
out.
   Cs. Shew it to Horace: Ask him if he know it.
   Lup. Know it? His hand is at it, Csar.
   Cs. Then 'tis no Libel.
   Hor. It is the imperfect body of an Emblem, Csar, I
began for Mecnas
   Lup. An Emblem! right: That's Greek for a Libel.
Do but mark, how confident he is.
   Hor. A just man cannot fear, thou foolish Tribune;
Not, though the malice of traducing tongues,
The open vastness of a Tyrant's Ear,
The sensless rigour of the wrested Laws,
Or the Red Eyes of strain'd Authority
Should, in a point, meet all to take his Life.
His Innocency is armour 'gainst all these.
   Lup. Innocence! O Impudence! Let me see, let me see.
Is not here an Eagle! And is not that Eagle meant by
Csar? ha? Do's not Csar give the Eagle? Answer me;
what sayest thou?
   Tuc. Hast thou any Evasion, Stinkard?
   Lup. Now he's turn'd dumb. I'le tickle you, Satyr.
   Hor. Pish: Ha, ha.
   Lup. Dost thou pish me? Give me my long Sword.
   Hor. With reverence to great Csar, worthy Romans,
Observe but this ridiculous Commenter:
The soul to my device, was in this Distick:

Thus, oft, the base and ravenous multitude
Survives, to share the Spoils of Fortitude.

Which is this body, I have figur'd here,
A Vulture
   Lup. A Vulture? I, now, 'tis a Vulture. O, abomina-
ble! monstrous! monstrous! has not your Vulture a
Beak? has it not Legs, and Talons, and Wings, and Fea-
thers?
   Tuc. Touch him, old Buskins.
   Hor. And therefore must it be an Eagle?
   Mec. Respect him not, good Horace: Say your device.
   Hor. A Vulture, and a Wolf
   Lup. A Wolf! good: That's I; I am the Wolf: My
Name's Lupus; I am meant by the Wolf. On, on, a Vul-
ture and a Wolf
   Hor. Preying upon the Carcass of an Ass
   Lup. An Ass! Good still: That's I too; I am the Ass.
You mean me by the Ass
   Mec. 'Pr'y thee, leave braying then.
   Hor. If you will needs take it, I cannot with modesty
give it from you.
   Mec. But, by that beast, the old Egyptians

[column break]

Were wont to figure in their Hieroglyphicks,
Patience, Frugality, and Fortitude;
For none of which we can suspect you, Tribune.
   Cs. Who was it, Lupus, that inform'd you first,
This should be meant by us? Or was't your Comment?
   Lup. No, Csar: A Player gave me the first light of it
indeed.
   Tuc. I, an honest Sycophant-like Slave, and a Politici-
an besides.
   Cs. Where is that Player?
   Tuc. He is without here.
   Cs. Call him in.
   Tuc. Call in the Player there: Master sop, call
him.
   Equites. Player: where is the Player? Bear back: None
but the Player enter.
   Tuc. Yes, this Gentleman, and his Achates must.
   Cri. 'Pray you, Master Usher; we'll stand close,
here.
   Tuc. 'Tis a Gentleman of Quality, this; though he be
somewhat out of Clothes, I tell ye. Come sop, hast
a Bay-leaf i' thy mouth? Well said, be not out, Stinkard.
Thou shalt have a Monopoly of playing confirm'd to thee
and thy Convoy, under the Emperor's Broad Seal, for
this Service.
   Cs. Is this he?
   Lup. I, Csar, this is he.
   Cs. Let him be whipt. Lictors, go take him hence.
And Lupus, for your fierce Credulity,
One fit him with a pair of larger Ears:
'Tis Csar's Doom, and must not be revok't.
We hate to have our Court and Peace disturb'd
With these Quotidian Clamours. See it done.
   Lup. Csar.   Cs. Gag him, we may have his silence.
   Vir. Csar hath done like Csar. Fair and just
Is his award, against these brainless Creatures.
'Tis not the wholesome sharp Morality,
Or modest anger of a Satyrick Spirit,
That hurts or wounds the body of a State;
But the sinister application
Of the malicious, ignorant, and base
Interpreter: who will distort, and strain
The general scope and purpose of an Author,
To his particular and private Spleen.
   Cs. We know it, our dear Virgil, and esteem it
A most dishonest practice in that man,
Will seem too witty in anothers work.
What would Cornelius Gallus, and Tibullus?
[This while the rest whisper Csar.

   Tuc. Nay, but as thou art a Man, dost hear? a Man
of Worship, and Honourable: Hold, here, take thy
Chain again. Resume, mad Mecnas. What! dost
thou think I meant t' have kept it, bold boy? No: I
did it but to fright thee; I, to try how thou would'st take
it. What! will I turn Shark upon my Friends, or my
Friends Friends? I scorn it with my three Souls. Come,
I love Bully Horace as well as thou dost, I: 'tis an honest
Hieroglyphick. Give me thy wrist, Helicon. Dost thou
think I'le second e're a Rhinoceros of them all, against
thee? ha? or thy Noble Hippocrene, here? I'le turn Sta-
ger first, and be whipt too: dost thou see, Bully?
   Cs. You have your will of Csar: use it Romans.
Virgil shall be your Prtor; and our self
Will here sit by, Spectator of your sports;
And think it no Impeach of Royalty.
Our Ear is now too much prophan'd (grave Maro)
With these distastes, to take thy sacred Lines:
Put up thy Book, till both the time and we
Be fitted with more hallowed circumstance
For the receiving so divine a work.
Proceed with your design.
   Mec. Gal. Tib. Thanks to great Csar.
   Gal. Tibullus, draw you the Indictment then, whilst
Horace arrests them on the Statute of Calumny: Mecnas,
and




             Poetaster. 119


and I, will take our Places here. Lictors, assist him.
   Hor. I am the worst accuser under Heaven.
   Gal. Tut, you must do't: 'twill be noble mirth.
   Hor. I take no knowledge that they do malign me.
   Tib. I, but the world takes knowledge.
   Hor. Would the world knew,
How heartily I wish a fool should hate me.
   Tuc. Body of Jupiter! What! will they arraign my
brisk Poetaster, and his poor Journey-man, ha? Would
I were abroad skeldring for a Drachm, so I were out of
his Labyrinth again; I do feel my self turn Stinkard al-
ready. But I must set the best Face I have upon't now:
well said, my divine, deft Horace, bring the whorson de-
tracting Slaves to the Bar, do. Make 'em hold up their
Spread Golls: I'le give in Evidence for thee, if thou wilt.
Take Courage, Crispinus; would thy Man had a clean
Band.
   Cri. VVhat must we do, Captain?
   Tuc. Thou shalt see anon: Do not make division with
thy Legs so.
   Cs. What's he, Horace?
   Hor. I only know him for a motion, Csar.
   Tuc. I am one of thy Commanders, Csar; a Man
of Service and Action; My Name is Pantilius Tucca:
I have serv'd i' thy wars against Mark Antony, I.
   Cs. Do you know him, Cornelius?
   Gal. He's one that hath had the Mustring, or Convoy
of a Company, now and then: I never noted him by any
other Imployment.
   Cs. We will observe him better.
   Tib. Lictor, proclaim silence in the Court.
   Lic. In the Name of Csar, silence.
   Tib. Let the Parties, the accuser and the accused, pre-
sent themselves.
   Lic. The accuser, and the accused, present your selves
in Court.
   Cri. Deme. Here.
   Vir. Read the Indictment.
   Tib. Rufus Laberius Crispinus, and Demetrius Fanni-
us, Hold up your hands, You are, before this time, joyntly
and severally Indicted, and here presently to be arraigned, up-
on the
Statute of Calumny, or Lex Remmia (the one by
the Name of
Rufus Laberius Crispinus, alias Crispinas,
Poetaster, and Plagiary; the other by the Name of De-
metrius Fannius, Play-dresser, and Plagiary), That you,
(not having the Fear of
Phbus, or his Shafts, before your
Eyes), contrary to the Peace of our Liege Lord,
Augustus
Csar, his Crown and Dignity, and against the Form of a
Statute, in that case made and provided; have most ignorant-
ly, foolishly, and (more like you selves) maliciously, gone a-
bout to deprave, and calumniate the Person and Writings of
Quintus Horacius Flaccus, here present, Poet, and Priest
to the Muses: and to that end have mutually conspir'd and
plotted, at sundry times, as by several means, and in sun-
dry places, for the better accomplishing your base and envious
purpose; taxing him, falsly, of
Self-love, Arrogancy, Im-
pudence, Railing, filching by translation, &c. Of all
which
Calumnies, and every of them, in manner and form
aforesaid; What answer you? Are you guilty, or not
guilty?

   Tuc. Not guilty, say.
   Cri. Deme. Not guilty.
   Tib. How will you be tried?
   Tuc. By the Roman Gods, and the Noblest Romans.
   Cri. Deme. By the Roman Gods, and the Noblest Ro-
mans.

   Vir. Here sits Mecnas and Cornelius Gallus.
Are you contented to be tried by these?
   Tuc. I, so the noble Captain may be joyn'd with them
in Commission, say.
   Cri. Deme. I, so the noble Captain may be joyn'd with
them in Commission.
   Vir. What says the Plaintiff?
   Hor. I am content.

[column break]

   Vir. Captain, then take your place.
   Tuc. Alas, my worshipful Prtor! 'tis more of thy
gent'ness than of my deserving, I wusse. But since it
hath pleas'd the Court to make choice of my Wis-
dom and Gravity, come, my Calumnious Varlets:
Let's hear you talk for your selves, now, an hour or
two. What can you say? Make a noise. Act, act.
   Vir. Stay, turn, and take an Oath first. You shall
swear,
           By thunder-darting
Jove, the King of Gods;
           And by the
Genius of Augustus Csar;
           By your own white and uncorrupted Souls;
           And the deep reverence of our
Roman Justice;
           To judge this Case, with truth and equity:
           As bound, by your Religion, and your Laws.

Now read the Evidence: But first demand
Of either Prisoner, if that Writ be theirs.
   Tib. Shew this unto Crispinus. Is it yours?
   Tuc. Say, I: what! dost thou stand upon it, Pimp?
Do not deny thine own Minerva, thy Pallas, the issue of
thy brain.
   Cri. Yes, it is mine.
   Tib. Shew that unto Demetrius. Is it yours?
   Dem. It is.
   Tuc. There's a Father, will not deny his own Bastard,
now, I warrant thee.
   Vir. Read them aloud.
   Tibu. Rampe up my genius; be not retrograde:
            But boldly nominate a Spade, a Spade.
            What, shall thy lubrical and glibbery
Muse
            Live, as she were defunct, like Punk in Stews?

(Tuc. Excellent!)
            Alas! that were no modern consequence,
            To have Cothurnal Buskins frighted hence.
            No, teach thy
Incubus to Poetize;
            And throw abroad thy spurious snotteries,
            Upon that puft-up lump of barmy froth.

(Tuc. Ah, ha!)
            Or clumsie chil-blain'd judgment: that with Oath,
            Magnificates his Merit; and bespawls
            The conscious time, with humerous fome and brawls,
            As if his
Organons of Sense would crack
            The sinews of my Patience. Break his back,
            O
Poets all, and some: For now we list
            Of strenuous Vengeance to clutch the fist.

                                                                  Subscri. Cris.
   Tuc. I marry, this was written like a Hercules in Poetry,
now.
   Cs. Excellently well threatned!
   Vir. And as strangely worded, Csar.
   Cs. We observe it.
   Vir. The other, now.
   Tuc. This's a fellow of a good prodigal tongue too:
this'll do well.
   Tib. Our Muse is in mind for th' untrussing a Poet;
          I slip by his Name; for most men do know it:
          A
Critick, that all the World bescumbers
          With
Satyrical humours, and Lyrical numbers:
(Tuc. Art thou there, boy?)
          And for the most part, himself doth advance
          With much Self-love, and more Arrogance.

(Tuc. Good again.)
          And (but that I would not be thought a Prater)
          I could tell you, he were a translater.
          I know the Authors from whence he has stole,
          And could trace him too, but that I understand 'em
               not full and whole.

(Tuc. That Line is broke loose from all his fellows:
Chain him up shorter, do.)
          The best Note I can give you to know him by,
          Is, that he keeps
Gallants company;
          Whom I could wish, in time should him fear,
          Lest after they buy Repentance too dear.

                                                                  Subscri. Deme. Fan.

Tuc.




120 Poetaster.                     


   Tuc. Well said. This carries 'palm with it.
   Hor. And why, thou motly Gull? why should they fear?
When hast thou known us wrong, or tax a friend?
I dare thy malice, to betray it. Speak.
Now thou curl'st up, thou poor and nasty Snake,
And shrink'st thy poys'nous head into thy bosom:
Out Viper, thou that eat'st thy Parents, hence.
Rather, such speckled Creatures, as thy self,
Should be eschew'd, and shun'd: such as will bite
And gnaw their absent friends, not cure their Fame;
Catch at the loosest laughters, and affect
To be thought Jesters; such as can devise
Things never seen, or heard, t'impair mens Names,
And gratifie their credulous adversaries;
Will carry tales, do basest offices,
Cherish divided fires, and still increase
New flames, out of old embers; will reveal
Each secret that's committed to their trust:
These be black Slaves: Romans, take heed of these.
   Tuc. Thou twang'st right, little Horace; they be indeed
A couple of chap-faln Curs. Come, We of the Bench,
Let's rise to the Urn, and condemn 'em quickly.
   Vir. Before you go together (worthy Romans)
We are to tender our Opinion;
And give you those Instructions, that may add
Unto your even Judgment in the Cause:
Which thus we do commence: First, you must know,
That were there is a true and perfect merit,
There can be no dejection; and the scorn
Of humble baseness, oftentimes, so works
In a high Soul, upon the grosser Spirit,
That to his bleared and offended Sense,
There seems a hideous Fault blaz'd in the Object;
When only the Disease is in his Eyes.
Here-hence it comes our Horace now stands tax't
Of Impudence, Self-love, and Arrogance,
By these who share no merit in themselves;
And therefore, think his Portion is as small.
For they, from their own guilt, assure their Souls,
If they should confidently praise their works,
In them it would appear Inflation:
Which, in a full, and well digested Man,
Cannot receive that foul abusive name,
But the fair title of Erection.
And, for his true use of translating Men,
It still hath been a work of as much palm,
In clearest Judgments, as t' invent, or make
His sharpness, that is most excusable;
As being forc't out of a suffering Vertue,
Oppressed with the licence of the time:
And howsoever Fools, or jerking Pendants,
Players, or such like Buffoons, barking wits,
May with their beggarly, and barren trash,
Tickle base Vulgar Ears, in their despite;
This (like Jove's thunder) shall their pride controul,
"The honest Satyr hath the happiest Soul.
Now, Romans, you have heard our thoughts; Withdraw
when you please.
   Tib. Remove the accused from the Bar.
   Tuc. Who holds the Urn to us? ha? Fear nothing:
I'le quit you, mine honest pitiful Stinkards; I'le do't.
   Cri. Captain, you shall eternally girt me to you, as I
am generous.
   Tuc. Go to.
   Cs. Tibullus, Let there be a Case of Vizards private-
ly provided: we have found a Subject to bestow them
on.
   Tib. It shall be done, Csar.
   Cs. Here be words, Horace, able to bastinado a Mans
Ears.
   Hor. I. Please it, great Csar, I have Pills about me
(Mixt with the whitest kind of Ellebore)
Would give him a light Vomit; that should purge
His Brain, and Stomach of those tumorous Heats:

[column break]

Might I have leave to minister unto him.
   Cs. O! be his sculapius, gentle Horace;
You shall have leave, and he shall be your Patient.
Virgil, use your authority, command him forth.
   Virg. Csar is careful of your health, Crispinus;
And hath himself chose a Physician
To minister unto you: take his Pills.
   Hor. They are somewhat bitter, Sir, but very wholsome;
Take yet another; so: Stand by, they'll work anon.
   Tib. Romans, return to your several seats: Lictors,
bring forward the Urn; and set the accused at the
Bar.
   Tuc. Quickly, you whorson egregious Varlets; Come
forward. What! shall we sit all day upon you? You
make no more haste, now, than a Beggar upon Pattins;
or a Physician to a Patient that has no Money, you Pil-
chers.
   Tib. Rufus Laberius Crispinus, and Demetrius Fanni-
          us, hold up your Hands. You have (according to the
          Roman Custom) put your selves upon trial to the
          
Urn, for divers and sundry Calumnies, whereof,
          you have before this time been Indicted, and are now
          presently Arraigned: Prepare your selves to hearken
          to the Verdict of your
Tryers. Caius Cilnius Me-
          cnas pronounceth you, by this Hand-writing, Guil-
          ty.
Cornelius Gallus, Guilty. Pantilius Tucca
   Tuc. Parcel-guilty, I.
   Dem. He means himself: for it was he indeed
Suborn'd us to the Calumny.
   Tuc. I, you whorson Cantharides! was't I?
   Dem. I appeal to your Conscience, Captain.
   Tib. Then you confess it now.
   Dem. I do, and crave the mercy of the Court.
   Tib. What faith Crispinus?
   Cri. O, the Captain, the Captain
   Hor. My Physick begins to work with my Patient,
I see.
   Vir. Captain, stand forth and answer.
   Tuc. Hold thy peace, Poet Prtor: I appeal from
thee to Csar, I. Do me right, Royal Csar.
   Cs. Marry, and I will, Sir. Lictors, gag him: do.
And put a Case of Vizards o're his head,
That he may look bi-fronted as he speaks.
   Tuc. Gods and Friends! Csar! thou wilt not, Csar,
wilt thou? Away, you whorson Vultures; away. You
think I am a dead Corps now, because Csar is dispos'd
to jest with a Man of Mark, or so. Hold your hook't
Talons out of my flesh, you inhumane Harpies. Go
to, do't. What! will the Royal Augustus cast away
a Gent'man of Worship, a Captain and a Comman-
der, for a Couple of Condemn'd Caitive Calumnious
Cargo's?
   Cs. Dispatch, Lictors.
   Tuc. Csar.
   Cs. Forward, Tibullus.
   Vir. Demand what cause they had to maligne Horace.
   Dem. In troth, no great cause, not I; I must confess:
but that he kept better Company (for the most part)
than I: and that better Men lov'd him than lov'd
me: and that his Writings thriv'd better than mine,
and were better lik't, and grac't: nothing else.
   Vir. Thus envious Souls repine at others good.
   Hor. If this be all, faith, I forgive thee freely.
Envy me still, so long as Virgil loves me,
Gallus, Tibullus, and the best-best Csar,
My dear Mecnas: while these, with many more
(Whose names I wisely slip) shall think me worthy
Their honour'd and ador'd Society,
And read and love, prove and applaud my Poems;
I would not wish but such as you should spight them.
   Cri. O
   Tib. How now, Crispinus?
   Cri. O, I am sick

Hor.




             Poetaster. 121


   Hor. A Bason, a Bason, quickly; our Physick works.
Faint not, Man.
   Cris. O retrograde reciprocal Incubus.
   Cs. What's that, Horace?
   Hor. Retrograde, and reciprocal Incubus are come up.
   Gal. Thanks be to Jupiter.
   Cris. O glibbery lubrical defunct O
   Hor. Well said; here's some store.
   Vir. What are they?
   Hor. Glibbery, lubrical, and defunct.
   Gal. O, they came up easie.
   Cris. O O
   Tib. What's that?
   Hor. Nothing yet.
   Cris. Magnificate.
   Mec. Magnificate? That came up somewhat hard.
   Hor. I. What chear, Crispinus?
   Cris. O, I shall cast up my spurious snotteries
   Hor. Good. Again.
   Cris. Chilblain'd O O clumsie
   Hor. That clumsie stuck terribly.
   Mec. What's all that, Horace?
   Hor. Spurious, snotteries, chilblain'd, clumsie.
   Tib. O Jupiter.
   Gal. Who would have thought there should ha' been
such a deal of Filth in a Poet?
   Cris. O barmy froth
   Cs. What's that?
   Cris. Puffie inflate turgidous ventositous.
   Hor. Barmy froth, puffie, inflate, turgidous, and ventosi-
tous
are come up.
   Tib. O terrible windy words.
   Gal. A sign of a windy Brain.
   Cris. O Oblatrant furibund fatuate strenuous
   Hor. Here's a deal; oblatrant, furibund, fatuate, strenuous.
   Cs. Now all's come up, I trow. What a Tumult he
had in his Belly!
   Hor. No, there's the often conscious damp behind still.
   Cris. O conscious damp.
   Hor. It's come up, thanks to Apollo and sculapius:
Yet there's another; you were best take a Pill more.
   Cris. O, no; O O O O
   Hor. Force your self then a little with your Finger.
   Cris. O O prorumped.
   Tib. Prorumped? What a noise it made! as if his Spi-
rit would have prorumpt with it.
   Cris. O O O.
   Vir. Help him; it sticks strangely, what ever it is.
   Cris. O clutcht.
   Hor. Now it's come; clutcht.
   Cs. Clutcht? It's well that's come up; it had but a
narrow Passage.
   Cris. O
   Vir. Again, hold him, hold his Head there.
   Cris. Snarling Gusts quaking Custard.
   Hor. How now, Crispinus?
   Cris. O obstupefact.
   Tib. Nay, that are all we, I assure you.
   Hor. How do you feel your self?
   Cris. Pretty and well, I thank you.
   Vir. These Pills can but restore him for a time;
Not cure him quite of such a Malady,
Caught by so many Surfeits, which have fill'd
His Blood and Brain thus full of Crudities:
'Tis necessary therefore he observe
A strict and wholesom Diet. Look you take
Each Morning of old Cato's Principles
A good Draught next your Heart, and walk upon't,
Till it be well digested: Then come home,
And taste a piece of Terence, suck his Phrase
In stead of Liquorish; and, at any hand,
Shun Plautus, and old Ennius; they are Meats
Too harsh for a weak Stomack. Use to read
(But not without a Tutor) the best Greeks,

[column break]

As Orpheus, Musus, Pindarus,
Hesiod, Callimachus,
and Theocrite,
High Homer; but beware of Lycophron,
He is too dark and dangerous a Dish.
You must not hunt for wild outlandish Terms,
To stuff out a peculiar Dialect;
But let your Matter run before your Words.
And if at any time you chance to meet
Some Gallo-Belgick Phrase, you shall not straight
Rack your poor Verse to give it entertainment,
But let it pass; and do not think your self
Much damnified, if you do leave it out,
When nor your Understanding, nor the Sense
Could well receive it. This fair Abstinence,
In time, will render you more sound and clear:
And this have I prescrib'd to you, in place
Of a strict Sentence; which till he perform,
Attire him in that Robe. And henceforth learn
To bear your self more humbly; not to swell,
Or breath your insolent and idle Spite
On him whose Laughter can your worst affright.
   Tib. Take him away.   Cris. Jupiter guard Csar.
   Vir. And for a week or two see him lockt up
In some dark Place, remov'd from Company;
He will talk idly else after his Physick.
Now to you, Sir. Th' Extremity of Law
Awards you to be branded in the Front,
For this your Calumny: But since it pleaseth
Horace (the Party wrong'd) t' intreat of Csar
A Mitigation of that juster Doom,
With Csar's Tongue thus we pronounce your Sentence.
Demetrius Fannius, thou shalt here put on
That Coat and Cap, and henceforth think thy self
No other than they make thee; vow to wear them
In every fair and generous Assembly,
Till the best sort of Minds shall take to knowledge
As well thy Satisfaction, as thy Wrongs.
   Hor. Only (grave Prtor) here, in open Court,
I crave, the Oath for good Behaviour
May be administred unto them both.
   Vir. Horace, it shall: Tibullus, give it them.
   Tib. Rufus Laberius Crispinus, and Demetrius Fan-
nius, lay your Hands on your Hearts. You shall here so-
lemnly attest and swear, That never (after this instant) ei-
ther at Booksellers Stalls, in Taverns, Two-peny Rooms, Ty-
ring-houses, Noblemens Butteries, Puisne's Chambers (the best
and farthest Places where you are admitted to come) you
shall once offer or dare (thereby to endear your self the more
to any Player, Enghle, or guilty Gull in your Company) to
malign, traduce, or detract the Person or Writings of
Quin-
tus Horacius Flaccus or any other eminent Man, transcend-
ing you in merit, whom your Envy shall find cause to work
upon, either for that, or for keeping himself in better
Acquaintance, or enjoying better Friends; or if (transported
by any sudden and desperate Resolution) you do, That then
you shall not under the Bastoun, or in the next Presence, be-
ing an honourable Assembly of his Favourers, be brought as
voluntary Gentlemen to undertake the forswearing of it.
Neither shall you at any time (ambitiously affecting the Title
of the
Untrussers or Whippers of the Age) suffer the Itch of
Writing to over-run your Performance in
Libel, upon pain of
being taken up for
Lepers in Wit, and (losing both your
Time and your Papers) be irrecoverably forfeited to the
Hospital of Fools. So help you our
Roman Gods, and the
Genius of Great Csar.
   Vir. So, now dissolve the Court.
   Hor. Tib. Gal. Mec. Vir. And thanks to Csar,
That thus hath exercis'd his Patience.
   Cs. We have, indeed, you worthiest Friends of Csar.
It is the Bane and Torment of our Ears,
To hear the Discords of those jangling Rimers,
That with their bad and scandalous Practices
Bring all true Arts and Learning in contempt.
But let not your high thoughts descend so low
R                                                As          




122 To the Reader.                    


As these despised Objects; Let them fall,
With their flat groveling Souls: Be you your selves;
And as with our best Favours you stand crown'd,
So let your mutual Loves be still renown'd.
Envy will dwell where there is want of Merit,
Though the deserving Man should crack his Spirit.

[column break]

S O N G.
B
Lush, Folly, blush: Here's none that fears
The wagging of an Asses Ears,
Although a Wolvish Case he wears.
Detraction is but Baseness Varlet;
And Apes are Apes, though cloath'd in Scarlet.


T H E   E N D.
Rumpatur, quisquis rumpitur invidia.



T O   T H E   R E A D E R.

I
F, by looking on what is past, thou hast deserv'd that Name, I am willing thou should'st yet know more, by that which follows, an Apologetical Dialogue; which was only once spoken upon the Stage, and all the Answer I ever gave to sundry impotent Libels then cast out (and some yet remaining) against me, and this Play. Wherein I take no pleasure to revive the Times; but that Posterity may make a difference between their Manners that provok'd me then, and mine that neglected them ever. For, in these Strifes, and on such Persons, were as wretched to affect a Victory, as it is unhappy to be committed with them. Non annorum canities est laudanda, sed morum.

The P E R S O N S.
N A S U T U S,  P O L Y P O S U S,  A U T H O R.
I
 Pray you let's go see him, how he looks
 After these Libels.   Pol. O vex'd, vex'd, I warrant you.
   Nas. Do you think so? I should be sorry for him,
If I found that.   Pol. O, they are such bitter things,
He cannot chuse.   Nas. But is he guilty of 'em?
   Pol. Fuh! that's no matter.   Nas. No?
   Pol. No. Here's his Lodging.
We'll steal upon him: or, let's listen; stay.
He has a Humour oft to talk t' himself.
   Nas. They are your Manners lead me, not mine own.
   Aut. The Fates have not spun him the coursest Thred
That (free from Knots of Perturbation)
Doth yet so live, although but to himself,
As he can safely scorn the Tongues of Slaves,
And neglect Fortune, more than she can him.
It is the happiest thing, this not to be
Within the reach of Malice; it provides
A Man so well, to laugh off Injuries;
And never sends him farther for his Vengeance,
Than the vex'd Bosom of his Enemy.
I, now, but think, how poor their Spite sets off,
Who, after all their waste of sulphurous terms,
And burst-out thunder of their charged Mouths,
Have nothing left but the unsav'ry Smoke
Of their black Vomit, to upbraid themselves:
Whilst I, at whom they shot, sit here shot-free,
And as un-hurt of Envy, as unhit.
   Pol. I, but the Multitude, they think so, Sir;
They think you hit, and hurt; and dare give out,
Your Silence argues it, in not rejoining
To this or that late Libel.   Aut. 'Las, good Rout!
I can afford them leave to err so still;
And, like the barking Students of Bears-College,
To swallow up the Garbage of the Time
With greedy Gullets, whilst my self sit by,
Pleas'd, and yet tortur'd, with their beastly Feeding.
'Tis a sweet Madness runs along with them,
To think, all that are aim'd at still are struck;
Then, where the Shaft still lights, make that the Mark,
And so, each Fear, or Fever-shaken Fool
May challenge Teucer's Hand in Archery.
Good troth, if I knew any Man so vile,
To act the Crimes these Whippers reprehend,
Or what their servile Apes gesticulate,
I should not then much muse their Shreds were lik'd;
Since ill Men have a Lust t' hear others Sins,
And good Men have a Zeal to hear Sin sham'd.
But when it is all Excrement they vent,
Base Filth, and Offal; or Thefts, notable
As Ocean-Pyracies, or High-way Stands;
And not a Crime there tax'd, but is their own,
Or what their own foul Thoughts suggested to them;
And that in all their heat of taxing others,

[column break]

Not one of them but lives himself (if known)
Improbior Satyram scribente cindo.
What should I say more, than turn Stone with wonder!
   Nas. I never saw this Play bred all this Tumult:
What was there in it could so deeply offend,
And stir so many Hornets?   Aut. Shall I tell you?
   Nas. Yes, and ingenuously.   Aut. Then by the Hope
Which I prefer unto all other Objects,
I can profess, I never writ that Piece
More innocent, or empty of Offence.
Some Salt it had, but neither Tooth nor Gall,
Nor was there in it any Circumstance
Which, in the setting down, I could suspect
Might be perverted by an Enemies Tongue:
Only it had the Fault to be call'd Mine;
That was the Crime.   Pol. No? Why, they say you tax'd
The Law and Lawyers, Captains, and the Players,
By their particular Names.   Aut. It is not so.
I us'd no Name. My Books have still been taught
To spare the Persons, and to speak the Vices.
These are meer Slanders, and enforc'd by such
As have no safer ways to Mens Disgraces,
But their own Lies, and loss of Honesty:
Fellows of practis'd and most laxative Tongues,
Whose empty and eager Bellies, i' the Year,
Compel their Brains to many desp'rate Shifts,
(I spare to name 'em; for, their Wretchedness
Fury it self would pardon.) These, or such,
Whether of Malice, or of Ignorance,
Or Itch t' have me their Adversary, (I know not)
Or all these mixt; but sure I am, three Years
They did provoke me with their petulant Styles
On every Stage: And I at last, unwilling,
But weary, I confess, of so much trouble,
Thought I would try if Shame could win upon 'em;
And therefore chose Augustus Csar's Times,
When Wit and Arts were at their height in Rome,
To shew that Virgil, Horace, and the rest
Of those great Master-spirits, did not want
Detractors then, or Practisers against them:
And by this Line (although no Parallel)
I hop'd at last they would sit down, and blush:
But nothing could I find more contrary.
And though the Impudence of Flies be great,
Yet this hath so provok'd the angry Wasps,
Or, as you said, of the next Nest, the Hornets,
That they fly buzzing, mad, about my Nostrils,
And like so many screaming Grashoppers
Held by the Wings, fill every Ear with Noise.
And what? those former Calumnies you mention'd,
First, of the Law: Indeed I brought in Ovid
Chid by his angry Father, for neglecting
The Study of their Laws, for Poetry:
And




          To the Reader. 123


And I am warranted by his own words.
Trist. lib. 4.
Eleg. 10.
   Spe pater dixit, studium quid inutile tentas?
      Meonides nullas ipse reliquit opes

And in far harsher terms elsewhere, as these:                              
Amo. lib. 1.
Eleg. 15.
   Non me verbosas leges ediscere, non me
      Ingrato voces prostituisse foro.

But how this should relate unto our Laws,
Or their just Ministers, with least abuse,
I reverence both too much to understand!
   Then, for the Captain, I will only speak
An Epigram I here have made: It is
Unto true Soldiers. That's the Lemma. Mark it.
   Strength of my Country, whilst I bring to view
      Such as are miss-call'd Captains, and wrong you,
   And your high names; I do desire, that thence,
      Be not put on you, nor you take offence:
   I swear by your true Friend, my
Muse, I love
      Your great Profession, which I once did prove;
   And did not shame it with my Actions, then,
      No more than I dare, now, do with my Pen.
   He that not trusts me, having vow'd thus much,
      But's angry for the Captain, still: is such.

Now, for the Players, it is true, I tax'd 'em,
And yet, but some; and those so sparingly,
As all the rest might have sate still, unquestion'd,
Had they but had the wit, or conscience,
To think well of themselves. But, impotent they
Thought each Man's vice belong'd to their whole Tribe:
And much good do't 'em. What th' have done 'gainst me,
I am not mov'd with. If it gave 'em Meat,
Or got 'em Clothes. 'Tis well. That was their end.
Only amongst them, I am sorry for
Some better natures, by the rest so drawn,
To run in that vile Line.   Pol. And is this all?
Will you not answer then the Libels?   Aut. No.
   Pol. Nor the untrussers?   Aut. Neither.
   Pol. Y'are undone then.
   Aut. With whom?   Pol. The world.
   Aut. The Baud.   Pol. It will be taken
To be stupidity, or tameness in you.
   Aut. But, they that have incens'd me, can in Soul
Acquit me of that guilt. They know, I dare
To spurn, or bafful 'em; or squirt their Eyes
With Ink, or Urine: or I could do worse,
Arm'd with Archilochus fury, write Iambicks,
Should make the desperate lashers hang themselves;
Rhime 'em to Death, as they do Irish Rats
In drumming Tunes. Or, living, I could stamp
Their foreheads with those deep, and publick Brands,
That the whole company of Barber-Surgeons
Should not take off, with all their Art, and Plaisters.
And these my Prints should last, still to be read
In their pale Fronts: when, what they write 'gainst me,
Shall, like a Figure drawn in Water, fleet,
And the poor wretched Papers be imploy'd
To clothe Tabacco, or some cheaper Drug.
This I could do, and make them infamous.
But, to what end? when their own deeds have mark'd 'em
And that I know, within his guilty Breast
Each slanderer bears a Whip, that shall torment him,
Worse, than a million of these temporal Plagues:
Which to pursue, were but a Feminine humour,

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And far beneath the Dignity of Man.
   Nas. 'Tis true: for to revenge their injuries,
Were to confess you felt 'em. Let 'em go,
And use the Treasure of the Fool, their Tongues,
Who makes his gain, by speaking worst of best:
   Pol. O, but they lay particular imputations
   Aut. As what?   Pol. That all your writing, is meer rayling.
   Aut. Ha! If all the Salt in the old Comdy
Should be so censur'd, or the sharper wit
Of the bold Satyr, termed scolding Rage,
What Age could then compare with those, for Buffoons?
What should be said of Aristophanes,
Persius,
or Juvenal? whose names we now
So glorifie in Schools, at least pretend it.
Ha' they no other?   Pol. Yes: they say you are slow,
And scarce bring forth a Play a Year.   Aut. 'Tis true.
I would, they could not say that I did that.
There's all the Joy that I take i' their Trade,
Unless such Scribes as they might be proscrib'd
Th' abused Theaters. They would think it strange, now,
A Man should take but Colts-foot, for one day,
And, between whiles, spit out a better Poem
Than e're the Master of Art, or giver of Wit,
Their Belly made. Yet, this is possible,
If a free Mind had but the patience,
To think so much, together, and so vile.
But, that these base and beggerly conceits
Should carry it, by the multitude of Voices,
Against the most abstracted work, oppos'd
To the stuff'd Nostrils of the drunken rout!
O, this would make a learn'd and liberal Soul,
To rive his stained Quill, up to the Back,
And damn his long-watch'd Labours to the Fire;
Things, that were born, when none but the still Night,
And his dumb Candle, saw his pinching throes:
Were not his own free merit a more Crown
Unto his Travels, than their reeling Claps?
This 'tis, that strikes me silent, seals my Lips,
And apts me rather to sleep out my time,
Than I would waste it in contemned strifes,
With these vile Ibides, these unclean Birds,
That make their Mouths their Clysters, and still purge
From their hot entrails. But, I leave the Monsters
To their own fate. And, since the Comick Muse
Hath prov'd so ominous to me, I will try
If Tragdie have a more kind aspect;
Her favours in my next I will pursue,
Where, if I prove the pleasure but of one,
So he judicious be; He shall b' alone
A Theater unto me: Once, I'll 'say,
To strike the Ear of Time, in those fresh strains,
   As shall, beside the cunning of their ground,
Give cause to some of wonder, some despight,
   And unto more, despair, to imitate their sound.
I, that spend half my Nights, and all my Days,
   Here in a Cell, to get a dark, pale Face,
To come forth worth the Ivy, or the Bays,
   And in this Age can hope no other grace
Leave me. There's something come into my thought,
That must, and shall be sung, high, and aloof,
Safe from the Wolfs black Jaw, and the dull Asses Hoof.
   Nas. I reverence these Raptures, and obey 'em.



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