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Th'infected bulke of ENVIE can afford :
For I am risse here with a couetous hope,
To blast your pleasures, and destroy your sports,
With wrestings, comments, applications,
[276] Spie-like suggestions, priuie whisperings,
And thousand such promooting fleights as these.
Marke, how I will begin: The Scene is, ha !
Rome? Rome? and Rome? Cracke ey-strings, and

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your balles

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Drop into earth; let me be euer blind.
I am preuented; all my hopes are crost,
Checkt, and abated; fie, a freezing sweate
Flowes forth at all my pores, my entrailes burne:
What should I doe? Rome? Rome? O my vext

foule
How might I force this to the present state?
Are there no players here? no poet-apes,
That come with basiliskes eyes, whose forked tongues
Are steept in venome, as their hearts in gall?
Eyther of these would helpe me; they could wrest,
Peruert, and poyfon all they heare, or see,
With senselesse glosses, and allusions.
Now if you be good deuils, flye me not.
You know what deare, and ample faculties

haue indow'd you with: Ile lend you more.
Here, take my snakes among you, come, and eate,
And while the squeez'd juice flowes in your blacke

jawes,
Helpe me to damne the Authour. Spit it foorth
Vpon his lines, and shew your rustie teeth
At euerie word, or accent: or else choose
Out of my longest vipers, to sticke downe
In your deep throats; and let the heads come forth
At your ranke mouthes; that he may see you arm'd
With triple malice, to hisse, sting, and teare
His worke, and him; to forge, and then declame,

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Traduce, corrupt, apply, enforme, suggest:
O, these are gifts wherein your soules are blest.
What? doe you hide your selues ? will none appeare ?
None answere? what, doth this calme troupe affright

you?

Nay, then I doe despaire: downe, sinke againe.
This trauaile is all lost with my dead hopes.
If in such bosomes, spight haue left to dwell,
Enuie is not on earth, nor scarse in hell.

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The third founding

PROLOGVE.

ST

10

Tay, Monster, ere thou sinke, thus on thy head

Set we our bolder foot; with which we tread

Thy malice into earth: So spight should die, [277] Despisd and scorn'd by noble industrie. If any muse why I salute the stage,

5 An armed Prologue; know, 't is a dangerous age: Wherein, who writes, had need present his Scenes Fortie fold-proofe against the coniuring meanes Of base detractors, and illiterate apes, That fill vp roomes in faire and formall shapes. 'Gainst these, haue we put on this forc't defence: Whereof the allegorie and hid fence Is, that a well erected confidence Can fright their pride, and laugh their folly hence. Here now, put case our Authour should, once more, Sweare that his play were good; he doth implore, You would not argue him of arrogance: How ere that common spawne of ignorance,

54 enforce 1640, 1692, 1716, W 61 Descends' slowly. G, N

The ... founding.) om. O PROLOGVE.] PROLOGVS Q As she disappears, enter Prologue hastily, in armour. G Enter PROLOGUE hastily. N

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Our frie of writers, may beslime his fame,
And giue his action that adulterate name.
Such ful-blowne vanitie he more doth lothe,
Then base deiection: There's a meane 'twixt both.
Which with a constant firmeneffe he pursues,
As one, that knowes the strength of his owne muse.
And this he hopes all free soules will allow,
Others, that take it with a rugged brow,
Their moods he rather pitties, then enuies :
His mind it is aboue their iniuries.

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Act 1. Scene 1.

OviD, Lvscvs.

TH

Hen, when this bodie falls in funerall fire,

My name shall liue, and my best part aspire.

It shall goe so. Lvsc. Young master, master Ovid, doe you heare? gods a mee! away with your songs, and sonnets; and 5 on with your gowne and cappe, quickly: here, here, your father will be a man of this roome presently. Come, nay, nay, nay, nay, be briefe. These verses too, a poyson on 'hem, I cannot abide 'hem, they make mee readie to cast, by the bankes of helicon. Nay looke, 10 what a rascally vntoward thing this poetrie is; I could teare 'hem now.

OVID. Giue me, how neere's my father?

Lvsc. Hart a'man: get a law-booke in your hand, I will not answere you else. Why so: now there's 15

ACTVS PRIMVS. SCENA PRIMA. Q Ad ... Lvscvs.] Scene draws, and discovers Ovid in his study. G Ovid discovered in his study. N

i Ovid, 1716+ 3 Enter Luscus with a gown and cap. G Enter Luscus, N 5 Gods a'me N (regularly) 'hem] 'em 'em 1692, 1716, W 'em them G 15 else] [Ovid puts on his cap and gown.] G

9 'hem

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some formalitie in you. By love, and three or foure of
the gods more, I am right of mine olde masters humour
for that; this villanous poetrie will vndoe you, by the
welkin.
[278] OVID. What, haft thou buskins on, Lvscvs, that
thou swear'st fo tragically, and high?

Lvsc. No, but I haue bootes on, sir, and so ha's your father too by this time: for he call'd for 'hem, ere I came from the lodging.

Ovid. Why? was he no readier?

Lvsc. O no; and there was the madde skeldring captaine, with the veluet armes, readie to lay hold on him as hee comes downe: he that presses euerie man he meets, with an oath, to lend him money, and cries; (Thou must doo't, old boy, as thou art a man, a man of worship.)

OVID. Who? PANTILIVS TVCCA?

Lvsc. I, hee: and I met little master Lvovs, the Tribune, going thither too.

OVID. Nay, and he be vnder their arrest, I may (with safetie inough) reade ouer my elegie, before he come.

Lvsc. Gods a mee! What'll you doe? why, young master, you are not caftalian mad, lunatike, frantike, desperate? ha?

OVID. What ailest thou, Lvscvs?

Lvsc. God be with you, sir, I'le leaue you to your poeticall fancies, and furies. I'le not be guiltie, I. Ovid. Be not, good ignorance: I'm glad th’art

gone : For thus alone, our eare shall better judge The hastie errours of our morning muse.

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30–1 ( ) om., words italicized, Q 35 and] an' 1716, W (regularly) an G, N, (uniformly) 43 (Exit. G, N. 46 morning] Moning I692

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Ouid. Lib. I. Amo. Ele. 15.
Nuie, why twit'st thou me, my time's spent ill?

And callst my verse, fruits of an idle quill?

Or that (vnlike the line from whence I sprung)
Wars dustie honours I pursue not young?
Or that I ftudie not the tedious lawes;
And prostitute my voyce in euerie caufe?
Thy scope is mortall; mine eternall fame:
Which through the world Mall euer. chaunt my name.
HOMER will liue, whilst TENEDOS stands, and IDE;
Or, to the sea, fleet Simois doth slide:
And fo Mall HESIOD too, while vines doe beare,
Or crooked fickles crop the ripened eare.
CALLIMACHVS, though in inuention lowe,
Shall still be fung: since he in art doth flowe.
No lose shall come to SOPHOCLES proude vaine.
With funne, and moone, ARATVS Mall remaine.
Whilst flaues be false, fathers hard, and bawdes be

whoris,
Whilst harlots flatter, shall MENANDER flourish.
Ennivs, though rude, and Accivs high-reard straine,
A fresh applause in eurie age shall gaine.
Of Varro's name, what eare Mall not be told?
Of Iasons ARGO ? and the fleece of gold?
[279] Then shall LVCRETIvs loftie numbers die,
When earth, and feas in fire and flames Mall frie,
TYTIRvs, Tillage, ÆNEE shall be read,
Whils Rome of all the conquer'd world is head.
Till CVPIDs fires be out, and his bowe broken,
Thy verses (neate TIBVLLVS) Mall be spoken.
Our GALLVS Mall be knowne from east to west:
So fall LYCORIS, whom he now loues best.
The suffering plough-share, or the flint may weare:
But heauenly poesie no death can feare.
Kings Mall giue place to it, and kingly showes,

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Ouid. .. 15.) om. G, N 70 flame 1716+

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