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Dam. And tye us two, to you, for the gentle office. 20 Pro. Wee are a paire of publique persons (this Gentleman, and my selfe) that are sent, thus coupled unto you upon state-busines.

Boy. It concernes but the state of the Stage I hope !

Dam. O, you shall know that by degrees, Boy. No 25 man leaps into a busines of state, without fourding first the state of the busines.

Pro. Wee are sent unto you, indeed from the people.
Boy. The people! which side of the people ?

Dam. The Venison side, if you know it, Boy. 30 Boy. That's the left side. I had rather they had beene the right.

Pro. So they are. Not the Fæces, or grounds of your people, that sit in the oblique caves and wedges

of your house, your sinfull fixe-penny Mechanicks35 Dam. But the better, and braver sort of your people!

Plush and Velvet-outsides ! that stick your house round like so many eminences—

Boy. Of clothes, not understandings ? They are at pawne. Well, I take these as a part of your people 40 though; what bring you to me from these people ?

Dam. You have heard, Boy, the ancient Poëts had it in their purpose, still to please this people.

Pro. I, their chiefe aime was

Dam. Populo ut placerent: (if hee understands lo 45 much.)

Boy. Quas fecissent fabulas.) I understand that, sin' I learn'd Terence, i' the third forme at Westminster : go on Sir.

Pro. Now, these people have imployed us to you, in su all their names, to intreat an excellent Play from you.

Dam. For they have had very meane ones, from this shop of late, the Stage as you call it.

Boy. Troth, Gentlemen, I have no wares, which I


dare thrust upon the people with praise. But this, such as it is, I will venter with your people, your gay gallant 55 people : so as you, againe, will undertake for them, that they shall know a good Play when they heare it; and will have the conscience, and ingenuity beside, to confesse it.

Prob. Wee'll passe our words for that: you shall have a brace of us to ingage our selves.

60 Boy. You'l tender your names, Gentlemen, to our booke then ?

Dam. Yes, here's Mr. Probee ; A man of most powerfull speech, and parts to perswade.

Pro. And Mr. Damplay, will make good all he under- 65 takes.

Boy. Good Mr. Probee, and Mr. Damplay! I like your securities : whence doe you write your selves ?

Pro. Of London, Gentlemen : but Knights brothers, and Knights friends, I assure you.

Dam. And Knights fellow's too. Every Poët writes Squire now.

Boy. You are good names ! very good men, both of you! I accept you.

Dam. And what is the Title of your Play, here ? 75 The Magnetick Lady ?

Boy. Yes, Sir, an attractive title the Author has given it.

Pro. A Magnete, I warrant you.
Dam. O, no, from Magnus, Magna, Magnum. 80

Boy. This Gentleman, hath found the true magnitude

Dam. Of his portall, or entry to the worke, according to Vitruvius.

Boy. Sir all our worke is done without a Portall—or 85 Vitruvius. In Foro, as a true Comedy should bee. And - what is conceald within, is brought out, and made present

by report.


Dam. Wee see not that alwayes observ'd, by your 90 Authors of these times: or scarce any other.

Boy. Where it is not at all knowne, how should it be observ'd ? The most of those your people call Authors, never dreamt of any Decorum, or what was proper in the

Scene; but grope at it, i' the darke, and feele, or fumble 95 for it; I speake it, both with their leave, and the leave o' your people.

Dam. But, why Humors reconcild ? I would faine know?

Boy. I can satisfie you there, too : if you will. But, 100 perhaps you desire not to be satisfied.

Dam. No ? why should you conceive so, Boy ?

Boy. My conceit is not ripe, yet : Ile tell you that anon. The Author, beginning his studies of this kind,

with every man in his Humour; and after, every man out 105 of his Humour; and since, continuing in all his Playes,

especially those of the Comick thred, whereof the New-Inne was the last, some recent humours still, or manners of men, that went along with the times, finding himselfe now

neare the close, or shutting up of his Circle, hath phant'fied 110 to himselfe, in Idæa, this Magnetick Mistris. A Lady

a brave bountifull House-keeper, and a vertuous Widow: who having a young Neice, ripe for a man and marria. geable, hee makes that his Center attractive, to draw

thither a diversity of Guests, all persons of different 115 humours to make up his Perimiter. And this he hath call'd Humors reconcild.

Pro. A bold undertaking! and farre greater, then the reconciliation of both Churches, the quarrell be

tweene humours having beene much the ancienter, and, 120 in my poore opinion, the root of all Schisme, and Faction, both in Church and Common-wealth.

Boy. Such is the opinion of many wise men, that meet at this shop still; but how hee will speed in it, wee cannot

tell, and hee himselfe (it seems) lesse cares. For hee will not be intreated by us, to give it a Prologue. He has 125 lost too much that way already, hee sayes. Hee will not woo the gentile ignorance so much. But carelesse of all vulgar censure, as not depending on common approbation, hee is confident it shall super-please judicious Spectators, and to them he leaves it to worke, with the 130 rest by example, or otherwise.

Dam. Hee may be deceived in that, Boy: Few follow examples now, especially, if they be good.

Boy. The Play is ready to begin, Gentlemen, I tell you, lest you might defraud the expectation of the 135 people, for whom you are Delegates! Please you take a couple of Seates, and plant your selves, here, as neere my standing as you can : Fly everything (you see) to the marke, and censure it; freely. So, you interrupt not the Series, or thred of the Argument, to breake or 140 pucker it, with unnecessary questions. For, I must tell you, (not out of mine own Dictamen, but the Authors) A good Play, is like a skeene of silke: which, if you take by the right end, you may wind off, at pleasure, on the bottome, or card of your discourse, in a tale, or so; how you will : 145 But if you light on the wrong end, you will pull all into a knot, or elfe-lock; which nothing but the sheers, or a candle will undoe, or separate.

Dam. Stay! who be these, I pray you ?

Boy. Because it is your first question, and (these 150 be the prime persons) it would in civility require an answer : but I have heard the Poët affirme, that to be the most unlucky Scene in a Play, which needs an Interpreter; especially, when the Auditory are awake : and such are you, hee presumes. Ergo.

130–1 and ... otherwise] and to them he leaves it to work with the rest, by Example or otherwise. 1692, f


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