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no efforts can raise their names to respectability, or redeem their poetry from the ridicule under which it has so long suffered. But, indeed, the whole plot of the Satiromastix is absurd.
This, as Jonson says, was the only answer which he gave to his libellers. He was hourly growing in reputation with the wise and good; and in his three succeeding comedies soared to a height which his persecutors never reached, and where he consequently suffered but little molestation from their hostility. We hear no more of Decker; Marston probably acknowledged the justice of the poet's recrimination; for he joined in the applause of his next piece and the "soldiers, lawyers, and players," who, at first, took umbrage, seem to have discovered that their resentment was unjustifiable, and to have been cordially reconciled.
HE noblest nurseries of humanity.] Jonson's word is Nourceries.
P. 5. The very Jacob's staff of compliment.] This instrument is also specially mentioned by Marlowe
"Both we Neridamas will intrench our men,
And with the Jacob's staff measure the height
That we may know if our artillery
Will carry full point blank unto their walls."
Tamburlaine the Great, Pt. ii. P. 6. Carlo Buffone.] Aubrey says that the character of Carlo Buffone was intended for one "Charles Chester, a bold impertinent fellow, who made a noise like a drum in a room." Papers, 514. P. 6. A neat, spruce, affecting courtier,] i. e. affected.
P. 6. The boot of a coach.] This is a very early use of the word. "As they were taking the king to Windsor he ('Oceana' Harrington) begged admittance to the Boot of the Coach, that he might bid his Master farewell, which being granted, and he preparing to kneel, the King took him by the hand, and pulled him in." Life of Harrington, p. xvii. ed. 1734.
R. Brome also uses the word, but he learned his vocabulary from Jonson, a circumstance which adds much to the interest of his works.