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from every laundress or hackney-man, or derive their
best grace, with servile imitation, from common stages,
or observation of the company they converse with ; as
if their invention lived wholly upon another man's
trencher. Again, that feeding their friends . with
nothing of their own, but what they have twice or
thrice cooked, they should not wantonly give out, how
soon they had drest it ; nor how many coaches came to
carry away the broken meat, besides hobby-horses and
foot-cloth nags.

2 Child. So, sir, this is all the reformation you

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I70 CYNTHIA'S REVELS, [induct.

3 Child, It is ; do not you think it necessary to be
practised, my little wag ?

2 Child, Yes, where any such ill-habited custom is

3 Child, O, (I had almost forgot it too,) they
say, the umbrce or ghosts of some three or four plays
departed a dozen years since, have been seen walking
on your stage here ; take heed, boy, if your house be
haunted with such hobgoblins, *twill fright away all
your spectators quickly.

2 Child. Good, sir ; but what will you say now, if
a poet, untouched with any breath of this disease, find
the tokens upon you, that are of the auditory ? As
some one civet-wit among you, that knows no other
learning than the price of satin and velvets ; no other
perfection than the wearing of a neat suit ; and yet
will censure as desperately as the most professed critic
in the house, presuming his clothes should bear him
out in it. Another, whom it hath pleased nature to
furnish with more beard than brain, prunes his mus-
taccio, lisps, and, with some score of affected oaths,
swears down all that sit about him ; " That the old
Hieronimo, as it was first acted, was the only best, and
judiciously penned play of Europe." A third great-
bellied juggler talks of twenty years since, and when
Monsieur was here,' and would enforce all wits to be
of that fashion, because his doublet is still so. A
fourth miscalls all by the name of fustian, that his
grounded capacity cannot aspire to. A fifth only
shakes his bottle head, and out of his corky brain
squeezeth out a pitiful learned face, and is silent.

' The Duke of Anjou, brother to Charles IX., King of France,
who came into England in 1579 to pay his addresses to Queen

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3 Child, By my faith, Jack, you have put me down :
I would I knew how to get off with any indifferent
grace ! Here, take your cloak, and promise some
satisfaction in your prologue, or, V\\ be sworn, we have
marred all.

2 Child, Tut, fear not, child, this will never distaste
a true sense : be not out, and good enough. I would
thou hadst some sugar-candied to sweeten thy mouth.

The third sounding.


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If gracious silence, sweet attention,

Quick sight, and quicker apprehension.

The lights of judgment's throne, shine any where,

Our doubtful author hopes this is their sphere ;

And therefore opens he himself to those.

To other weaker beams his labours close,

As loth to prostitute their virgin-strain,

To every vulgar and adulterate brain.

In this alone, his Muse her sweetness hath.

She shuns the print of any beaten path ;

And proves new ways to come to learned ears :

Pied ignorance she neither loves nor fears.

Nor hunts she after popular applause.

Or foamy praise, that drops from common jaws :

The garland that she wears, their hands must twine.

We can both censure, understand, define

What merit is : then cast those piercing rays,

Round as a crown, instead of honoured bays.

About his poesy ; which, he knows, affords

Words, above action ; matter, above words.


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SCENE L—A Grove and Fountain,

Enter Cupid, and Mercury with his caduceusj on
different sides,

j]UP. Who goes there ?
Mer» Tis I, blind archer.
Cup, Who, Mercury ?
Mer, Ay.
Cup, Farewell.
Mer. Stay, Cupid.
Cup, Not in your company,
Hermes, except your hands were rivetted at your

Mer, Why so, my little rover ?
Cup, Because I know you have not a finger, but is
as long as my quiver, cousin Mercury, when you please
to extend it.

Mer, Whence derive you this speech, boy ?
Cup. O ! 'tis your best polity to be ignorant. You
did never steal Mars his sword out of the sheath, you !
nor Neptune's trident ! nor Apollo's bow ! no, not
you ! Alas, your palms, Jupiter knows, they are as
tender as the foot of a foundered nag, or a lady's face
new mercuried, they'll touch nothing.
Mer, Go to, infant, you'll be daring still.

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Cup, Daring ! O Janus ! what a word is there ? why,
my light feather-heeled co«, what are you any more
than my uncle Jove^s pander ? a lacquey that runs on
errands for him, and can whisper a light message to a
loose wench with some round volubility ? wait man-
nerly at a table with a trencher, warble upon a crowd
a little, and fill out nectar when Ganymede^s away ?
one that sweeps the gods* drinking-room every morn-
ing, and sets the cushions in order again, which they
threw one at another's head over night : can brush
the carpets, call the stools again to their places, play
the crier of the court with an audible voice, and take
state of a president upon you at wrestlings, pleadings,
negociations, &c. Here's the catalogue of your em-
ployments, now ! O no, I err ; you have the marshal-
ling of all the ghosts too that pass the Stygian ferry,
and I suspect you for a share with the old sculler
there, if the truth were known : but let that scape.
One other peculiar ivirtue you possess, in lifting, or
leiger-du'tnain^ which few of the house of heaven have
else besides, I must confess. But, ifiethinks, that
should not make you put that extreme distance 'twixt
yourself and others, that we should be said to " over
dare *' in speaking to your nimble deity. So Hercules
might challenge priority of us both, because he can
throw the bar farther, or lift more join'd stools at the
arm's end, than we. If this might carry it, then we,
who have made the whole body of divinity tremble at
the twang of our bow, and enforced Saturnius himself
to lay by his curled front, thunder, and three-forked
fires, and put on a masking-suit, top, light for a reveller

of eighteen to be seen in

Mer. How now ! my dancing braggart in decimo
sexto ! charm your skipping tongue, or I'll

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Cup, What ? use the virtue of your snaky tipstaff
there upon us ?

Mer, No, boy, but the smart vigour of my palm
about your ears. You have forgot since I took your
heels up into air, on the very hour I was born, in sight
of all the bench of deities, when the silver roof of the
Olympian palace rung again with applause of the

Cup, O no, I remember it freshly, and by a particu-
lar instance ; for my mother Venus, at the same time,
but stooped to embrace you, and, to speak by meta-
phor, you borrowed a girdle of hers, as you did Jove's
sceptre while he was laughing ; and would have done
his thunder too, but that 'twas too hot for your itching

Mer, 'Tis well, sir.

Cup, I heard you but looked in at Vulcan's forge
the other day, and entreated a pair of his new tongs
along with you for company : 'tis joy on you, i' faith,
that you will keep your hooked talons in practice with
anything. 'Slight, now you are on earth, we shall
have you filch spoons and candlesticks rather than
fail : pray Jove the perfumed courtiers keep their
casting-bottles, pick-tooths, and shittle-cocks from you,
or our more ordinary gallants their tobacco-boxes ; for
I am strangely jealous of your nails.

Mer, Never trust me, Cupid, but you are turned a
mo§t acute gallant of late ! the edge of my wit is clean
taken off with the fine>and subtile stroke of your thin-
ground tongue ; you fight with too poignant a phrase,
for me to deal with.

Cup, O Hermes, your craft cannot make me confi-
dent. I know my own steel to be almost spent, and
therefore entreat my peace with you, in time : you are

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176 CYNTHIA'S REVELS, [act i.

too cunning for me to encounter at length, and I
think it my safest ward to close.

Mer, Well, for once, 1^11 suffer you to win upon
me, wag ; but use not these strains too often, they^U
stretch my patience. Whither might you march

Cup, Faith, to recover thy good thoughts, FU
discover my whole project. The huntress and queen
of these groves, Diana, in regard of some black and
envious slanders hourly breathed against her, for her
divine justice on Acteon, as she pretends, hath here in
the vale of Gargaphie,^ proclaimed a solemn revels,
which (her godhead put off) she will descend to grace,
with the full and royal expense of one of her clearest
moons : in which time it shall be lawful for all sorts
of ingenious persons to visit her palace, to court her
nymphs, to exercise all variety of generous and noble
pastimes : as well to intimate how far she treads such
malicious imputations beneath her, as also to show
how clear her beauties are from the least wrinkle of
austerity they may be charged with.

Mer, But what is all this to Cupid ?

Cup, Here do I mean to put off the title of a god,
and take the habit of a page, in which disguise, during
the interim of these revels, I will get to follow some
one of Diana^s maids, where, if my bow hold, and my
shafts fly but with half the willingness and aim they
are directed, I doubt not but \ shall really redeem the
minutes I have lost, by their so long and over nice
proscription of my deity from their court.

Mer. Pursue it, divine Cupid, it will be rare.

Cup, But will Hermes second me ?

Mer, I am now to put in act an especial designment

» The vale where Acteon was torn to pieces by his own hounds.

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from my father Jove ; but, that performed, I am for any
fresh action that offers itself.

Cup, Well, then we part. lExtt,

Mer, Farewell, good wag.
Now to my charge. — Echo, fair Echo, speak,
*Tis Mercury that calls thee ; sorrowful nymph.
Salute me with thy repercussive voice,
That I may know what cavern of the earth
Contains thy airy spirit, how, or where
I may direct my speech, that thou mayst hear.

Echo \helow\. Here.

Mer, So nigh !

Echo, Ay.

Mer, Know, gentle soul, then, I am sent from Jove,
Who, pitying the sad burthen of thy woes.
Still growing on thee, in thy want of words
To vent thy passion for Narcissus* death.
Commands, that now, after three thousand years,
Which have been exercised in Juno^s spite.
Thou take a corporal figure, and ascend.
Enriched with vocal and articulate power.
Make haste, sad nymph, thrice shall my winged rod
Strike the obsequious earth, to give thee way.
Arise, and speak thy sorrows. Echo, rise.
Here, by this fountain, where thy love did pine.
Whose memory lives fresh to vulgar fame.
Shrined in this yellow flower, that bears his name.

Echo \_ascends,'] His name revives, and lifts me up
from earth,
O, which way shall I first convert myself.
Or in what mood shall I essay to speak.
That, in a moment, I may be delivered
Of the prodigious grief I go withal ?
See, see, the mourning fount, whose springs weep yet

Jon. II. N

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178 CYNTHIA'S REVELS. [act i.

Th* untimely fate of that too beauteous boy,

That trophy of self-love, and spoil of nature.

Who, now transformed into this drooping flower

Hangs the repentant head, back from the stream.

As if it wished, Would I had never looked

In such a flattering mirror ! O Narcissus,

Thou that wast once, and yet art, my Narcissus,

Had Echo but been private with thy thoughts.

She would have dropt away herself in tears.

Till she had all turned water ; that in her.

As in a truer glass, thou mightst have gazed.

And seen thy beauties by more kind reflection.

But self-love never yet could look on truth

But with bleared beams ; slick flattery and she

Are twin-born sisters, and so mix their eyes.

As if you sever one, the other dies.

Why did the gods give thee a heavenly form.

And earthly thoughts to make thee proud of it ?

Why do I ask ? Tis now the known disease

That beauty hath, to bear too deep a sense

Of her own self-conceived excellence.

O, hadst thou known the worth of heaven^s rich gift,

Thou wouldst have turned it to a truer use.

And not with starved and covetous ignorance.

Pined in continual eyeing that bright gem.

The glance whereof to others had been more.

Than to thy famished mind the wide world's store :

So wretched is it to be merely rich !

Witness thy youth's dear sweets here spent untasted.

Like a fair taper, with his own flame wasted.

Mer, Echo be brief, Saturnia is abroad.
And if she hear, she'll storm at Jove's high will.

Echo, I will, kind Mercury, be brief as time.
Vouchsafe me, I may do him these last rites,

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But kiss his flower, and sing some mourning strain
Over his watery hearse.

Mer, Thou dost obtain ;
I were no son to Jove should I deny thee.
Begin, and more to grace thy cunning voice,
The humorous air shall mix her solemn tunes
With thy sad words : strike, music, from the spheres,
And with your golden raptures swell our ears.

Echo \_accompanted'\.

Slow, slow, fresh fount, keep time with my salt tears :

Yet slower, yet ; O faintly, gentle springs :
List to the heavy part the music bears,

Woe weeps out her division, when she sings.
Droop herbs and flowers.
Fall grief in showers.
Our beauties are not ours ;
O, I could still.
Like melting snow upon some craggy hill,

Drop, drop, drop, drop.
Since nature's pride is now a withered daffodil. —

Mer, Now, have you done ?

Echo, Done presently, good Hermes ; bide a little ;
Suffier my thirsty eye to gaze awhile,
But e'en to taste the place, and I am vanished.

Mer, Forego thy use and liberty of tongue.
And thou mayst dwell on earth, and sport thee there.

Echo. Here young Acteon fell, pursued and torn
By Cynthia's wrath, more eager than his hounds ;
And here — ah me, the place is fatal ! — see
The weeping Niobe, translated hither
From Phrygian mountains ; and by Phoebe reared.
As the proud trophy of her sharp revenge.

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i8o CYNTHIA'S REVELS. [act i.

Mer, Nay, but hear

Echo. But here, O here, the fountain of self-love.
In which Latona, and her careless nymphs.
Regardless of my sorrows, bathe themselves
In hourly pleasures.

Mer, Stint thy babbling tongue !
Fond Echo, thou profanest the grace is done thee.
So idle worldings merely made of voice.
Censure the Powers above them. Come, away,
Jove calls thee hence, and his will brooks no stay.

Echo, O, stay : I have but one poor thought to
clothe *

In airy garments, and then, faith, I go.
Henceforth, thou treacherous and murdering spring.
Be ever called the fountain of self-love :
And with thy water let this curse remain.
As ah inseparate plague, that who but taste
A drop thereof, may, with the instant touch.
Grow dotingly enamoured on themselves.
Now, Hermes, I have finished.

Mer, Then thy speech
Must here forsake thee, Echo, and thy voicfe.
As it was wont, rebound but the last words.

Echo \retiring\ Well.

Mer, Now, Cupid, I am for you, and your mirth.
To make me light before I leave the earth.

Enter Amorphus, hastily,

Amo. Dear spark of beauty, make not so fast

Echo, Away.

Mer. Stay, let me observe this portent yet. I

A^no, I am neither your Minotaur, nor your Centaur, i

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nor your satyr, nor your hyaena, nor your babion,' but
your mere traveller, believe me.

Echo, Leave me.

Met. I guessed it should be some travelling motion
pursued Echo so.

Amo, Know you from whom you fly ? or whence ?

Echo. Hence. \Exit.

Amo. This is somewhat above strange : A nymph
of her feature and lineament, to be so preposterously
rude ! well, I will but cool myself at yon spring, and
follow her.

Mer. Nay, then I am familiar with the issue : I'll
leave you too. \^Exit

Amo. I am a rhinoceros, if I had thought a creature
of her symmetry could havefdared so improportion-
able and abrupt a digression. — Liberal and divine
fount, suffer my profane hand to take of thy bounties
[takes up some of the water']. By the purity of my
taste, here is most ambrosaic water ; I will sup of it
again. By thy favour, sweet fount. See, the water, a
more running, subtile, and humorous nymph than she,
permits me to touch and handle her. What should I
infer ? if my behaviours had been of a cheap or custo-
mary garb ; my accent or phrase vulgar ; my garments
trite ; my countenance illiterate, or unpractised in the
encounter of a beautiful and brave attired piece ; then
I might with some change of colour have suspected
my faculties. But, knowing myself an essence so sub-
limated and refined by travel ; of so studied and well
exercised a gesture ; so alone in fashion ; able to
render ^ the face of any statesman living ; and to speak
the mere extraction of language ; one that hath now

^ I.e, Baboon.

" The first folio has, tender the face.

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i82 CYNTHIA'S REVELS. [act i.

made the sixth return upon venture ; and was your
first that ever enriched his country with the true laws
of the duello ; whose optics have drunk the spirit of
beauty in some eight score and eighteen princes* courts,
where I have resided, and been there fortunate in the
amours of three hundred forty and five ladies, all
nobly, if not princely descended ; whose names I have
in catalogue. To conclude, in all so happy, as even
admiration herself doth seem to fasten her kisses upon
me :^-certes, I do neither see, nor feel, nor taste, nor
savour the last steam or fume of a reason, that should
invite this foolish, fastidious nymph, so peevishly to
abandon me. Well, let the memory of her fleet into
air; my thoughts and I am for this other element,

Enter Crites and AsoTUS.

Cri, What, the well dieted Amorphus become a
water drinker ! I see he means not to write verses

Aso. No, Crites ! why ?

Cri, Because —
Nulla placer e diu^ nee vivere carmina possunt^
Quce scribuntur aquce potortbus,

Amo, What say you to ypur Helicon^?

Crt\ O, the Muses* well ! that's ever excepted.

Amo. Sir, your Muses have no such water, I assure
you : your nectar or the juice of your nepenthe, is
nothing to it ; 'tis above your metheglin, believe it.

Aso, Metheglin ; what's that, sir ? may I be so
audacious to demand?

Amo. A kind of Greek wine I have met with, sir,
in my travels ; it is the same that Demosthenes usually
drunk, in the composure of all his exquisite and
mellifluous orations.

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Crt, That's to be argued, Amorphus, if we may
credit Lucian, who, in his Encomio Demosthenis^
affirms he never drunk but water in any of his

Amo, Lucian is absurd, he knew nothing : I will
believe mine own travels before all the Lucians of
Europe. He doth feed you with fittons,^ figments,
and leasings.

Cru Indeed, I think, next a traveller, he does
prettily well.

Amo, I assure you it was wine, I have tasted it,
and from the hand of an Italian antiquary, who
derives it authentically from the Duke of Ferrara's
bottles. How name you the gentleman you are in
rank with there, sir?

Cri, 'Tis Asotus, son to the late deceased Philargyrus,
the citizen.

Amo, Was his father of any eminent place or
means ?

Cri, He was to have been praetor next year.

Amo, Ha ! a pretty formal young gallant, in good
sooth ; pity he is not more genteelly propagated.
Hark you, Crites, you may say to him what I am,
if you please ; though I affect not popularity, yet I
would be loth to stand out to any whom you shall
vouchsafe to call friend.

Cru Sir, I fear I may do wrong to your sufficiencies
in the reporting them, by forgetting or misplacing
some one : yourself can best inform him of yourself,
sir ; except you had some catalogue or list of your
faculties ready drawn, which you would request me
to show him for you, and him to take notice of.

' The reading of the quarto \s> fictions*

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i84 CYNTHIA'S REVELS. [act i.

Atno, This, Crites, is sour ; [astdeJ] I will think,

Cri, Do so, sir. — O heaven ! that anything in the
likeness of man should suffer these racked extremities,
for the uttering of his sophisticate good parts. \^Aside,

Aso. Crites, I have a suit to you ; but you must
not deny me : pray you make this gentleman and I

Crt. Friends ! why, is there any difference between
you ?

Aso. No ; I mean acquaintance, to know one

Cri. O, now I apprehend you ; your phrase was
without me before.

Aso, In good faith, he's a most excellent rare man,
I warrant him.

Cri. 'Slight, they are mutually enamouied by this
time. \_Astde.

Aso. Will you, sweet Crites ?

Crt. Yes, yes.

Aso. Nay, but when ? you'll defer it now, and
forget it.

Crt. Why, is it a thing of such present necessity,
that it requires so violent a dispatch ?

Aso. No, but would I might never stir, he's a most
ravishing man ! • Good Crites, you shall endear me
to you, in good faith ; la !

Crt. Well, your longing shall be satisfied, sir.

Aso. And withal, you may tell him what my father
was, and how well he left me, and that I am his

Crt. Leave it to me, .I'll forget none of your dear
graces, I warrant you.

Aso, Nay, I know you can better marshal these

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affairs than I can O gods ! I'd give all the world,

if I had it, for abundance of such acquaintance.

Cri, What ridiculous circumstance might I devise
now to bestow this reciprocal brace ©f butterflies one
upon another? {Aside.

Amo. Since I trod on this side the Alps, I was not
so frozen in my invention. Let me see : to accost
him with some choice remnant of Spanish or Italian !
that would indifferently express my languages now :
marry, then, if he should fall out to be ignorant, it
were both hard and harsh. How else ? step into
some ragiont del stato^ and so make my induction !
that were above him too ; and out of his element,
I fear. Feign to have seen him in Venice or Padua !
or some face near his in similitude ! 'tis too pointed
and open. No, it must be a more quaint and collateral

device, as stay : to frame some encomiastic speech

upon this our metropolis, or the wise magistrates
thereof, in which politic number, 'tis odds but his
father filled up a room? descend into a particular
admiration of their justice, for the due measuring
of coals, burning of cans, and such like? as also
their religion, in pulling down a superstitious cross,
and advancing a Venus, or Priapus, in place of it?
ha ! 'twill do well. Or to talk of some hospital whose
walls record his father a benefactor ? or of so many
buckets bestowed on his parish church in his life-time,
with his name at length, for want of arms, trickt upon
them ? any of these. Or to praise the cleanness of
the street wherein he dwelt ? or the provident painting
of his posts, against he should have been praetor ? or,
leaving his parent, come to some special ornament
about himself, as his rapier, or some other of his
accoutrements ? I have it : thanks, gracious Minerva !

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186 CYNTHIA'S REVELS, [act l.

Aso, Would I had but once spoke to him, and
then He comes to me !

Amo, 'Tis a most curious and neatly wrought band,
this same, as I have seen, sir.

Aso, O lord, sir !

Amo, You forgive the humour of mine eye, in
observing it.

Cri. His eye waters after it, it seems. \^Aside,

Aso, O lord, sir ! there needs no such apology, I
assure you.

Cn, I am anticipated : they*ll make a solemn deed
of gift of themselves, you shall see. \_Astde.

Amo. Your riband to6 does most gracefully, in

Aso. ^Tis the most genteel, and received wear now,

Amo, Believe me, sir, I speak it not to humour
you — I have not seen a young gentleman, generally,
put on his clothes with more judgment.

Aso, O, 'tis your pleasure to say so, sir.

Amo, No, as I am virtuous, being altogether un-
travelled, it strikes me into wonder.

Aso, I do purpose to travel, sir, at spring.

Amo. I think I shall affect you, sir. This last
speech of yours hath begun to make you dear to

Aso, O lord, sir ! I would there were anything in
me, sir, that might appear worthy the least worthiness
of your worth, sir. I protest, sir, I should endeavour

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