Lapas attēli



If thou beest more, thou art an understander, and then I trust thee. If thou art one that takest up, and but a Pretender, beware of what hands thou receivest thy commodity; for thou wert never more fair in the way to be cosened, than in this age, in Poetry, especially in Plays: wherein now the concupiscence of dances and of antics so reigneth, as to run away from nature, and be afraid of her, is the only point of art that tickles the spectators. But how out of purpose, and place, do I name art? When the professors are grown so obstinate contemners of it, and presumers on their own naturals, as they are deriders of all diligence that way, and, by simple mocking at the terms, when they understand not the things, think to get off wittily with their ignorance. Nay, they are esteemed the more learned, and sufficient for this, by the many, through their excellent vice of judgment. For they commend writers as they do fencers or wrestlers; who if they come in robustuously, and put for it with a great deal of violence, are received for the braver fellows: when many times their own rudeness is the cause of their disgrace, and a little touch of their adversary gives all that boisterous force the foil. I deny not but that these men, who always seek to do more than enough, may some time happen on some thing that is good and great; but very seldom and when it comes it doth not recompense the rest of their ill. It sticks out perhaps, and is more eminent, because all is sordid and vile about it: as lights are more discerned in a thick darkness than a faint shadow. I speak not this out of a hope to do good to any man against his will; for I know if it were put to the question of theirs and mine, the worse would find more suffrages: because the most favour common errors. But I give thee this warning, that there is a great difference between those that, to gain the opinion of copy, utter all they can, however unfitly; and those that use election and a mean. For it is only the disease of the unskilful to think rude things greater than polished; or scattered more numerous than composed.2


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1 Copy, i.e., copiousness.

2 I have retrieved this address (which is not in the folios) from the 4to, 1612. It is a spirited composition, and every way worthy of the author, whose prose I think, with that shrewd old critic, E. Bolton, to be the best of the time. Had the commentators on Shakspeare (the enemies of our author) been aware of the existence of this little piece, they would have derived excellent materials from it for the display of “much clumsy sarcasm."


The sickness hot,1 a master quit, for fear, His house in town, and left one servant there;

E ase him corrupted, and gave means to know

A Cheater and his punk; who now brought low,

Leaving their narrow practice, were become C ozeners at large; and only wanting some H ouse to set up, with him they here contract,

E ach for a share, and all begin to act. Much company they draw, and inuch abuse,

In casting figures, telling fortunes, news, Selling of flies,' flat bawdry with the stone, Till it, and they, and all in fume are gone.


Fortune, that favours fools, 3 these two short hours

Our scene is London, 'cause we would make known,

We wish away, both for your sakes and


Judging spectators; and desire, in place,

No country's mirth is better than our


No clime breeds better matter for your whore,

To th' author justice, to ourselves but grace.

Bawd, squire, impostor, many persons

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1 The sickness hot, &c.] This, as has been already observed, was the term in use for that species of plague with which London was so frequently afflicted in the 16th and 17th centuries. On the first decisive symptons, the alarm became general, and all who could hastened into the country, leaving their houses in the charge of some confidential servant. Lilly tells us, in the history of his life, that he was left, in 1625, ❝to take care of his master's house, which had much money and plate in it." He appears to have spent his time in frivolous dissipations; "for ease corrupted him" also, though it did not make him quite as profligate as Face. [Does not "hot" in this place mean prevailing "?-F. C.]

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Face. Why, who

Am I, my mungrel? who am I?
Sub. I'll tell you,
Since you know not yourself.
Face. Speak lower, rogue.

Sub. Yes, you were once (time's not long past) the good,

Honest, plain, livery-three-pound-thrum,3
that kept

Your master's worship's house here in the

For the vacations

Face. Will you be so loud?

Sub. Since, by my means, translated

Face. By your means, doctor dog!
Sub. Within man's memory,

All this I speak of.

Face. Why, I pray you, have I

Been countenanced by you, or you by me?
Do but collect, sir, where I met you first.
Sub. I do not hear well.4

Face. Not of this, I think it.

But I shall put you in mind, sir ;-at Pie


Taking your meal of steam in, from cooks'

Where, like the father of hunger, you did walk
Piteously costive, with your pinched-horn-


And your complexion of the Roman wash,
Stuck full of black and melancholic worms,
Like powder-corns shot at the artillery-yard.

Sub. I wish you could advance your
voice a little.5

Three-pound-thrum,] One whose livery was made of the ends of a weaver's warp (thrums), or coarse yarn, of which three pounds were sufficient to make him a suit.-WHAL.

1 Face. Sirrah, I'll strip you—] "Our poet the Emperor, Frederic Barbarossa, led her mule could not possibly have chosen a happier inci- into the public square; there "par son ordondent to open his play with. Instead of open-nance le bourreau mist es membres honteuses de ing with a dull narration, you have action; and l'animal une figue, presents et voyants les citasuch action too as cannot possibly be supposed dins captifs: puis cria de par l'empereur à son to happen at any other time than this very pre- de trompe, que quiconques d'iceulx vouldroit la sent time. Two rogues with their punk are in-mort évader, arrachast publicquement la figue troduced quarrelling, and just so much of their avec les dents, puis la remist en propre lieu sans secrets is discovered to the audience as is aide des mains."—Lib. iv. c. 45. sufficient for the audience at present to know." So far Upton talks judiciously:-but when he proceeds to inform the reader that "our learned comedian does not deal in vulgar English here, but in vulgar Attic or Roman expressions," and quotes Aristophanes and Horace to prove his assertion, it is impossible to suppress a smile at such a ridiculous abuse of learning. "vulgarity," with the leave of this tasteless Face. Not of this, I think it.] A pleasant pun idolater of the ancients, is truly English, and on the Latin sense of hear well, to be well rehad been used to good effect, long before Jon-puted. Just below there is an allusion, equally son's time, by numbers of his countrymen who facetious, to the Aureli, pater esuritionum of never heard of the Plutus or the Ibam forte Catullus. via.


What to do? lick figs, &c.] This alludes to a story told by Rabelais. In revenge for an insult offered to the Empress by the Milanese,

Or does it mean that his livery, which in those days was usually laced and badged, cost but three pounds?

Sub. I do not hear well.

I wish you could advance your voice a little.] i.e., speak louder. Face, who is the servant of the house, is afraid of being overheard by the the neighbours, and therefore persists in speak

Face. When you went pinned up in the several rags

You had raked and picked from dunghills, before day;

Your feet in mouldy slippers, for your kibes ;

A felt of rug, and a thin threaden cloke, That scarce would cover your no buttocks

Sub. So, sir!

Face. When all your alchemy, and your algebra,

Your minerals, vegetals, and animals, Your conjuring, cozening, and your dozen of trades,

Could not relieve your corps with so much linen

Would make you tinder, but to see a fire;

I gave you countenance,1 credit for your coals,

Your stills, your glasses, your materials; Built you a furnace, drew you customers, Advanced all your black arts; lent you, beside,

A house to practise in―

Sub. Your master's house!

Face. Where you have studied the more thriving skill

Of bawdry since.

Sub. Yes, in your master's house, You and the rats here kept possession. Make it not strange. I know you were one could keep

The buttery-hatch still locked, and save the chippings,

Sell the dole beer to aqua-vitæ men,2 The which, together with your Christmas vails

At post-and-pair,3 your letting out of


Made you a pretty stock, some twenty marks,

ing low, till he is completely roused by the sarcasms of Subtle. There is not a scene in any comedy in the English language which for genuine spirit and humour, and a close observance of nature, can pretend to vie with this.

1 I gave you countenance,] i.e., credit, &c. See vol. i. p. 103 b.

2 Sell the dole beer to aqua-vitæ men,] i.e., defraud the poor of the beer which was meant for them. It was usual at that time,

"And pity 'tis, so good a time had wings

To fly away,'

to distribute, at the buttery-hatch of great houses, a daily or weekly dole of broken bread and beer to the indigent families of the neighbourhood.

And gave you credit to converse with cobwebs,

Here, since your mistress' death hath broke up house.

Face. You might talk softlier, rascal.
Sub. No, you scarab,

I'll thunder you in pieces: I will teach you
How to beware to tempt a Fury again,
That carries tempest in his hand and voice.
Face. The place has made you valiant.
Sub. No, your clothes.—

Thou vermin, have I ta'en thee out of dung,

So poor, so wretched, when no living thing Would keep thee company, but a spider, or worse?

Raised thee from brooms, and dust, and watering-pots,

Sublimed thee, and exalted thee, and fixed thee

In the third region, called our state of grace?

Wrought thee to spirit, to quintessence, with pains

Would twice have won me the philosopher's work?

Put thee in words and fashion, made thee fit

For more than ordinary fellowships? Given thee thy oaths, thy quarrelling dimensions,

Thy rules to cheat at horse-race, cock-pit, cards,

Dice, or whatever gallant tincture else?
Made thee a second in mine own great art?
And have I this for thanks! Do you rebel,
Do you fly out in the projection?
Would you be gone now?

Dol. Gentlemen, what mean you?
Will you mar all?


Sub. Slave, thou hadst had no nameDol. Will you undo yourselves with civil war?

"is a

Your Christmas vails At post-and-pair,] "Post-and-pair," the author of the Compleat Gamester says, game on the cards very much played in the West of England." If we may trust our old dramatists, it was "very much played" everywhere. The author's account of it I do not very clearly understand: it seems, however, to have somewhat resembled Brag. Like most of our old games of chance, it was of a complicated nature, and highly favourable to gambling. It appears from this passage that card-money is of venerable antiquity. Letting out of counters, which occurs in the same line, means supplying the gamesters with pieces of ivory, or base metal, to count with at play; for which the servants received a small gratuity.

Sub. Never been known, past equi clibanum,

The heat of horse-dung, under ground, in cellars,

Or an ale-house darker than deaf John's; been lost

To all mankind, but laundresses and


Had not I been.

Sub. And hang thyself, I care not. Face. Hang thee, collier,

And all thy pots and pans, in picture, I will, Since thou hast moved me

Dol. O, this will o'erthrow all.

Face. Write thee up bawd in Paul's, have all thy tricks

Of cozening with a hollow cole, dust, scrapings,

Dol. Do you know who hears you, | Searching for things lost,2 with a sieve and sovereign?

Face. Sirrah

Dol. Nay, general, I thought you were civil.

Face. I shall turn desperate, if you grow thus loud.

1 Of cozening with a hollow cole, &c.] This is a well known artifice; but the particular allusion is to an anecdote in "the Chanon's Yeoman's Tale," where a priest is imposed upon by it. Under pretence of converting quicksilver into metal, "this cursed Chanon,' as Chaucer calls him, while the honest priest was busied elsewhere,

"Out of his bosome toke a bechen cole

In which ful subtelly was made an hole,
And therein was put of sylver lymayle,
An unce, and stopped was without fayle,
The hole with waxe to kepe the lymayle in,"


Lymayle is the "dust and scrapings" of gold and silver.

Searching for things lost, &c.] This species of divination, which is of the remotest antiquity, yet retains its credit among the vulgar. By erecting figures," &c. in the next line, is meant delineating schemes of the different positions of the planets, with respect to the several constellations. House, in astrology, is the twelfth part of the zodiac.


Erecting figures in your rows of houses, And taking in of shadows with a glass, 3 Told in red letters; and a face cut for thee,

Worse than Gamaliel Ratsey's.5

Suffolk, who had formerly had conference with Uriel and Raphael, but lost them both by carelessness. He would have given me two hundred pounds to have assisted him for their recovery, but I am no such man!" Gladwell's beryl "was of the largeness of a good big orange, set in silver, with a cross on the top, and another on the handle, and round about engraved the names of these angels, Raphael, Gabriel, Uriel," &c.Lilly's Life, p. 150.

Told in red letters,] i.e., says Upton, letters written in blood, but he mistakes the whole Aristophanes, as he does upon the present occasense of the passage. Instead of turning to sion, he should have looked at some of our old song books, where he would have seen that those red letters were, as Whalley truly observes, the material parts of them tricked out in this manner to catch the eye of passengers. Rubric titles to ballads, stories, &c. were then to be seen upon every post. It is the knavery of Subtle, which Face threatens to put into red letters, with his figure (as the manner was), printed at the top of the ballad, to put the subject of it out of all doubt.

And taking in of shadows with a glass,]
This mode of divination was very common in
Jonson's time, and indeed long before and after


What he calls the glass was a globular crystal or beryl, into which the angels Uriel, Gabriel, &c. entered, and gave responses, as Lilly says, "in a voice, like the Irish, much in the throat." This, if it proves nothing else, will serve to show that the Irish was the primitive language! Of all the various modes of imposture, this was at once the most artful and most impudent. It was usually conducted by confederacy, for the possessor of the glass seldom pretended to see the angels or hear their answers. His part was to mumble over some incomprehensible prayers: after which a speculatrix, a virgin of a pure life, (for the angels were very delicate on this point), was called in to inspect the crystal. "I was very familiar," Lilly says, "with one Sarah Skelhorn, who had been speculatrix to Arthur Gauntlet. This Sarah had a perfect sight, and indeed the best eyes for that purpose I ever yet did see. Sir Robert Holborn," he continues, "brought me one Gladwell, of

And a face cut for thee

Worse than Gamaliel Ratsey's.] Gamaliel Ratsey was a notorious highwayman, who always robbed in a mask, which was undoubtedly made as hideous as possible, in order to strike terror. In the title page of an old pamphlet, (which I have not seen), containing the history of his exploits, he is said to be represented with this frightful visor. In allusion to which, I suppose, he is called by Gab. Hervey, "Gamaliel Hobgoblin." On the books of the Stationers' Company, (May 1605,) is entered a work called "the lyfe and death of Gamaliel Ratsey, a famous theefe of England, executed at Bedford." There are also several "Ballats" on the subject, entered about the same time. But the achievements of Gamaliel have been sung in more than one language,-a proof at least of their celebrity. In a small volume, belonging to Mr. Bindley, of the Stamp Office, intitled Schediasmata Poetica, sive Epigrammatum Libellus, authore J. Johnson, in artibus Magistro Cantab. &c. Londini, 1615," are the following testimonials to the notoriety of this hero. The first has some of the

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