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CYNTHIA'S REVELS.] The first edition of this "Comical Satire" was printed in quarto, 1601, with this motto,

Quod non dant proceres, dabit histrio

Haud tamen invideas vati, quem pulpita pascunt;

which probably bore an allusion to some circumstance now unknown. When Jonson republished it, he chose a more intelligible passage: Nasutum volo, nolo polyposum; and transferred the last line of the former motto, to the title-page of his general works. The folio edition of this play, which appeared in 1616, differs considerably from the quarto, being increased by several new scenes, with which, to the utter discomfiture of the reader's patience, the author injudiciously swelled out the last two acts. Cynthia's Revels appears to have been not un. favourably received, since we are told that it was "frequently acted at the Blackfriars, by the children of queen Elizabeth's chapel." It was also among the earliest plays revived after the Restoration, and was often performed at the New Theatre in Drury Lane, very satisfactorily," as Downes says, "to the town:" though now laid aside. Cynthia's Revels was first acted in 1600, and the folio gives the names of the boys (children, as they were called) who performed the principal parts: "Nat. Field, Sal. Pavy, Tho. Day, I. Underwood, Rob. Baxter, and John Frost." Of these some lived to be eminent in their profession; and one, who died young, and who was, indeed, an actor of very extraordinary promise, was honoured by the grateful poet with an epitaph, which has not often been surpassed.

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THOU art a bountiful and brave spring, and waterest all the noble plants of this Island. In thee the whole kingdom dresseth itself, and is ambitious to use thee as her glass. Beware then thou render men's figures truly, and teach them no less to hate their deformities, than to love their forms : for, to grace, there should come reverence; and no man can call that lovely, which is not also venerable. It is not powdering, perfuming, and every day smelling of the tailor, that converteth to a beautiful object: but a mind shining through any suit, which needs no false light, either of riches or honours, to help it. Such shalt thou find some here, even in the reign of Cynthia,'-a Crites and an Arete. Now, under thy Phœbus, it will be thy province to make more; except thou desirest to have thy source mix with the spring of self-love, and so wilt draw upon thee as welcome a discovery of thy days, as was then made of her nights.

Thy Servant, but not Slave,


Such shalt thou find here, even in the reign of Cynthia,] Cynthia was now dead, and this little reflection upon her me. mory, which might have been spared, was thrown in to cajole her successor. The quarto has no dedication. It is unnecessary to call the reader's attention to the extreme elegance of this little composition.

2 Now under thy Phoebus, it will be thy province to make more:] This was intended as a compliment to Jaines. Our poet growing into reputation by the representation of his last comedy, in the presence of the queen and court, endeavours to ingratiate himself by the following performance; which he designed, with an honest freedom, for the correction of the fantastic humour, and extravagance of courtiers. WHAL.

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3 Time.] Time is the Greek word for Honour, and must be pronounced as a dissyllable.




The Stage.

After the second sounding.

Enter three of the Children struggling.

1 Child. Pray you away; why, fellows! Gods so, what do you mean?

2 Child. Marry, that you shall not speak the prologue, sir.

3 Child. Why, do you hope to speak it?

2 Child. Ay, and I think I have most right to it: I am sure I studied it first.

3 Child. That's all one, if the author think I can speak it better.

1 Child. I plead possession of the cloak: gentles, your suffrages, I pray you.

[Within.] Why, Children! are you not ashamed?

come in there!

I plead possession of the cloak] The usual dress of the person who spoke the prologue was a black velvet cloak


So in the prologue to Heywood's Four Prentices of London, "Do you not know that I am the Prologue? Do you not see this long black velvet cloak upon my back?" And in that to the

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