T. Palmer of Ch. Ch. Oxon.
Upon the unparalelld Playes written by those Renowned Twinnes of Poetry BEAUMONT & FLETCHER.
What's here? another Library of prayse, Met in a Troupe t'advance contemned Playes And bring exploded Witt againe in fashion? I can't but wonder at this Reformation, My skipping soule surfets with so much good, To see my hopes into fruition budd. A happy Chimistry! blest viper, joy! That through thy mothers bowels gnawst thy way! Witts flock in sholes, and clubb to re-erect In spight of Ignorance the Architect Of Occidentall Poesye; and turne Godds, to recall witts ashes from their urne. Like huge Collosses they've together mett Their shoulders, to support a world of Witt. The tale of Atlas (though of truth it misse) We plainely read Mythologiz'd in this; Orpheus and Amphion whose undying stories Made Athens famous, are but Allegories. Tis Poetry has pow'r to civilize Men, worse then stones, more blockish then the Trees, I cannot chuse but thinke (now things so fall) That witt is past its Climactericall; And though the Muses have beene dead and gone I know they'll finde a Resurrection. Tis vaine to prayse; they're to themselves a glory, And silence is our sweetest Oratory. For he that names but FLETCHER must needs be Found guilty of a loud hyperbole. His fancy so transcendently aspires, He showes himselfe a witt, who but admires. Here are no volumes stuft with cheverle sence, The very Anagrams of Eloquence, Nor long-long-winded sentences that be, Being rightly spelld, but Witts Stenographie. Nor words, as voyd of Reason, as of Rithme, Only cesura'd to spin out the time. But heer's a Magazine of purest sence Cloathed in the newest Garbe of Eloquence. Scenes that are quick and sprightly, in whose veines Bubbles the quintessence of sweet-high straines. Lines like their Authours, and each word of it Does say twas writ b' a Gemini of Witt. How happie is our age! how blest our men! When such rare soules live themselves o're agen. We erre, that thinke a Poet dyes; for this, Shewes that tis but a Metempsychosis. BEAUMONT and FLETCHER here at last we see Above the reach of dull mortalitie, Or pow'r of fate: thus the proverbe hitts (Thats so much crost) These men live by their witts.
On the Death and workes of Mr JOHN FLETCHER.
_My name, so far from great, that tis not knowne, Can lend no praise but what thou'dst blush to own; And no rude hand, or feeble wit should dare To vex thy Shrine with an unlearned teare. I'de have a State of Wit convoked, which hath A power to take up on common Faith; That when the stocke of the whole Kingdome's spent In but preparative to thy Monument, The prudent Councell may invent fresh wayes To get new contribution to thy prayse, And reare it high, and equall to thy Wit Which must give life and Monument to it. So when late_ ESSEX _dy'd, the Publicke face Wore sorrow in't, and to add mournefull Grace To the sad pomp of his lamented fall, The Common wealth served at his Funerall And by a Solemne Order built his Hearse. But not like thine, built by thy selfe, in Verse, Where thy advanced Image safely stands Above the reach of Sacrilegious hands. Base hands how impotently you disclose Your rage 'gainst_ Camdens _learned ashes, whose Defaced Statua and Martyrd booke, Like an Antiquitie and Fragment looke._ Nonnulla desunt's _legibly appeare, So truly now_ Camdens Remaines _lye there. Vaine Malice! how he mocks thy rage, while breath Of fame shall speake his great_ Elizabeth! _'Gainst time and thee he well provided hath,_ Brittannia _is the Tombe and Epitaph. Thus Princes honours: but Witt only gives A name which to succeeding ages lives. Singly we now consult our selves and fame, Ambitious to twist ours with thy great name. Hence we thus bold to praise. For as a Vine With subtle wreath, and close embrace doth twine A friendly Elme, by whose tall trunke it shoots And gathers growth and moysture from its roots; About its armes the thankfull clusters cling Like Bracelets, and with purple ammelling The blew-cheek'd grape stuck in its vernant haire Hangs like rich Jewells in a beauteous eare. So grow our Prayses by thy Witt; we doe Borrow support and strength and lend but show._ _And but thy Male wit like the youthfull Sun Strongly begets upon our passion. Making our sorrow teeme with Elegie, Thou yet unwep'd, and yet unprais'd might'st be. But th' are imperfect births; and such are all Produc'd by causes not univocall, The scapes of Nature, Passives being unfit, And hence our verse speakes only Mother wit. Oh for a fit o'th Father! for a Spirit That might but parcell of thy worth inherit; For but a sparke of that diviner fire Which thy full breast did animate and inspire; That Soules could be divided, thou traduce But a small particle of thine to us! Of thine; which we admir'd when thou didst sit But as a joynt-Commissioner in Wit; When it had plummets hung on to suppresse It's too luxuriant growing mightinesse: Till as that tree which scornes to bee kept downe, Thou grewst to govern the whole Stage alone. In which orbe thy throng'd light did make the star, Thou wert th' Intelligence did move that Sphere. Thy Fury was composed; Rapture no fit That hung on thee; nor thou far gone in witt As men in a disease; thy Phansie cleare, Muse chast, as those frames whence they tooke their fire; No spurious composures amongst thine Got in adultery 'twixt Witt and Wine. And as th' Hermeticall Physitians draw From things that curse of the first-broken Law, That_ Ens Venenum, _which extracted thence Leaves nought but primitive Good and Innocence: So was thy Spirit calcined; no Mixtures there But perfect, such as next to Simples are. Not like those Meteor-wits which wildly flye In storme and thunder through th' amazed skie; Speaking but th'Ills and Villanies in a State, Which fooles admire, and wise men tremble at, Full of portent and prodigie, whose Gall Oft scapes the Vice, and on the man doth fall. Nature us'd all her skill, when thee she meant A Wit at once both Great and Innocent. Yet thou hadst Tooth; but 'twas thy judgement, not For mending one word, a whole sheet to blot. Thou couldst anatomize with ready art And skilfull hand crimes lockt close up i'th heart. Thou couldst unfold darke Plots, and shew that path By which Ambition climbed to Greatnesse hath._ _Thou couldst the rises, turnes, and falls of States, How neare they were their Periods and Dates; Couldst mad the Subject into popular rage, And the grown seas of that great storme asswage, Dethrone usurping Tyrants, and place there The lawfull Prince and true Inheriter; Knewst all darke turnings in the Labyrinth Of policie, which who but knowes he sinn'th, Save thee, who un-infected didst walke in't As the great Genius of Government. And when thou laidst thy tragicke buskin by To Court the Stage with gentle Comedie, How new, how proper th' humours, how express'd In rich variety, how neatly dress'd In language, how rare Plots, what strength of Wit Shin'd in the face and every limb of it! The Stage grew narrow while thou grewst to be In thy whole life an_ Exc'llent Comedie. _To these a Virgin-modesty which first met Applause with blush and feare, as if he yet Had not deserv'd; till bold with constant praise His browes admitted the unsought for Bayes. Nor would he ravish fame; but left men free To their owne Vote and Ingenuity. When His faire_ Shepherdesse _on the guilty Stage, Was martir'd betweene Ignorance and Rage; At which the impatient Vertues of those few Could judge, grew high, cri'd Murther; though he knew The innocence and beauty of his Childe, Hee only, as if unconcerned, smil'd. Princes have gather'd since each scattered grace, Each line and beauty of that injur'd face; And on th'united parts breath'd such a fire As spight of Malice she shall ne're expire. Attending, not affecting, thus the crowne Till every hand did help to set it on, Hee came to be sole Monarch, and did raign In Wits great Empire, absolute Soveraign.
On MR. JOHN FLETC[H]ER's ever to be admired Dramaticall Works.
I've thought upon't; and thus I may gaine bayes, I will commend thee Fletcher, and thy Playes. But none but Witts can do't, how then can I Come in amongst them, that cou'd ne're come nigh? There is no other way, I'le throng to sit And passe it'h Croud amongst them for a Wit. Apollo knows me not, nor I the Nine, All my pretence to verse is Love and Wine. By your leave Gentlemen. You Wits o'th' age, You that both furnisht have, and judg'd the Stage. You who the Poet and the Actors fright, Least that your Censure thin the second night: Pray tell me, gallant Wits, could Criticks think There ere was solaecisme in FLETCHERS Inke? Or Lapse of Plot, or fancy in his pen? A happinesse not still alow'd to Ben! After of Time and Wit h'ad been at cost He of his owne New-Inne was but an Hoste. Inspired, FLETCHER! here's no vaine-glorious words: How ev'n thy lines, how smooth thy sense accords. Thy Language so insinuates, each one Of thy spectators has thy passion. Men seeing, valiant; Ladies amorous prove: Thus owe to thee their valour and their Love: Scenes! chaste yet satisfying! Ladies can't say Though Stephen miscarri'd that so did the play: Judgement could ne're to this opinion leane That Lowen, Tailor, ere could grace thy Scene: 'Tis richly good unacted, and to me Thy very Farse appears a Comedy. Thy drollery is designe, each looser part Stuff's not thy Playes, but makes 'em up an Art The Stage has seldome seen; how often vice Is smartly scourg'd to checke us? to intice, How well encourag'd vertue is? how guarded, And, that which makes us love her, how rewarded? Some, I dare say, that did with loose thoughts sit, Reclaim'd by thee, came converts from the pit. And many a she that to he tane up came, Tooke up themselves, and after left the game.
To the memory of the deceased but ever-living Authour in these his Poems, Mr. JOHN FLETCHER.
On the large train of Fletchers friends let me (Retaining still my wonted modesty,) Become a Waiter in my ragged verse, As Follower to the Muses Followers. Many here are of Noble ranke and worth, That have, by strength of Art, set Fletcher forth In true and lively colours, as they saw him, And had the best abilities to draw him; Many more are abroad, that write, and looke To have their lines set before Fletchers Booke; Some, that have known him too; some more, some lesse; Some onely but by Heare-say, some by Guesse, And some, for fashion-sake, would take the hint To try how well their Wits would shew in Print. You, that are here before me Gentlemen, And Princes of Parnassus by the Penne And your just Judgements of his worth, that have Preserved this Authours mem'ry from the Grave, And made it glorious; let me, at your gate, Porter it here, 'gainst those that come too late, And are unfit to enter. Something I Will deserve here: For where you versifie In flowing numbers, lawfull Weight, and Time, I'll write, though not rich Verses, honest Rime. I am admitted. Now, have at the Rowt Of those that would crowd in, but must keepe out. Beare back, my Masters; Pray keepe backe; Forbeare: You cannot, at this time, have entrance here. You, that are worthy, may, by intercession, Finde entertainment at the next Impression. But let none then attempt it, that not know The reverence due, which to this shrine they owe: All such must be excluded; and the sort, That onely upon trust, or by report Have taken Fletcher up, and thinke it trim To have their Verses planted before Him: Let them read first his Works, and learne to know him, And offer, then, the Sacrifice they owe him. But farre from hence be such, as would proclaim Their knowledge of this Authour, not his Fame; And such, as would pretend, of all the rest, To be the best Wits that have known him best. Depart hence all such Writers, and, before Inferiour ones, thrust in, by many a score, As formerly, before Tom Coryate, Whose Worke before his Praysers had the Fate To perish: For the Witty Coppies tooke Of his Encomiums made themselves a Booke. Here's no such subject for you to out-doe, Out-shine, out-live (though well you may doe too In other Spheres:) For Fletchers flourishing Bayes Must never fade while Phoebus weares his Rayes. Therefore forbeare to presse upon him thus. Why, what are you (cry some) that prate to us? Doe not we know you for a flashy Meteor? And stil'd (at best) the Muses Serving-creature? Doe you comptroll? Y'have had your Jere: Sirs, no; But, in an humble manner, let you know Old Serving-creatures oftentimes are fit T' informe young Masters, as in Land, in Wit, What they inherit; and how well their Dads Left one, and wish'd the other to their Lads. And from departed Poets I can guesse Who has a greater share of Wit, who lesse. 'Way Foole, another says. I, let him raile, And 'bout his own eares flourish his Wit-flayle, Till with his Swingle he his Noddle breake; While this of Fletcher and his Works I speake: His Works (says Momus) nay, his Plays you'd say: Thou hast said right, for that to him was Play Which was to others braines a toyle: with ease He playd on Waves which were Their troubled Seas. His nimble Births have longer liv'd then theirs That have, with strongest Labour, divers yeeres Been sending forth [t]he issues of their Braines Upon the Stage; and shall to th' Stationers gaines Life after life take, till some After-age Shall put down Printing, as this doth the Stage; Which nothing now presents unto the Eye, But in Dumb-shews her own sad Tragedy. 'Would there had been no sadder Works abroad, Since her decay, acted in Fields of Blood. But to the Man againe, of whom we write, The Writer that made Writing his Delight, Rather then Worke. He did not pumpe, nor drudge, To beget Wit, or manage it: nor trudge To Wit-conventions with Note-booke, to gleane Or steale some Jests to foist into a Scene: He scorn'd those shifts. You that have known him, know The common talke that from his Lips did flow, And run at waste, did savour more of Wit, Then any of his time, or since have writ, (But few excepted) in the Stages way: His Scenes were Acts, and every Act a Play. I knew him in his strength; even then, when He That was the Master of his Art and Me Most knowing Johnson (proud to call him Sonne) In friendly Envy swore, He had out-done His very Selfe. I knew him till he dyed; And, at his dissolution, what a Tide Of sorrow overwhelm'd the Stage; which gave Volleys of sighes to send him to his grave. And grew distracted in most violent Fits (For She had lost the best part of her Wits.) In the first yeere, our famous Fletcher fell, Of good King Charles who graced these Poems well, Being then in life of Action: But they dyed Since the Kings absence; or were layd aside, As is their Poet. Now at the Report Of the Kings second comming to his Court, The Bookes creepe from the Presse to Life, not Action, Crying unto the World, that no protraction May hinder Sacred Majesty to give Fletcher, in them, leave on the Stage to live. Others may more in lofty Verses move; I onely, thus, expresse my Truth and Love.
Upon the Printing of Mr. JOHN FLETCHERS workes.
What meanes this numerous Guard? or do we come To file our Names or Verse upon the Tombe Of Fletcher, and by boldly making knowne His Wit, betray the Nothing of our Owne? For if we grant him dead, it is as true Against our selves, No Wit, no Poet now; Or if he be returnd from his coole shade, To us, this Booke his Resurrection's made, We bleed our selves to death, and but contrive By our owne Epitaphs to shew him alive. But let him live and let me prophesie, As I goe Swan-like out, Our Peace is nigh; A Balme unto the wounded Age I sing. And nothing now is wanting but the King.
As after th' Epilogue there comes some one To tell Spectators what shall next be shown; So here, am I; but though I've toyld and vext, 'Cannot devise what to present 'ye next; For, since ye saw no Playes this Cloudy weather, Here we have brought Ye our whole Stock together. 'Tis new and all these Gentlemen attest Under their hands 'tis Right, and of the Best; Thirty foure Witnesses (without my taske) Y'have just so many Playes (besides a Maske) All good (I'me told) as have been Read or Playd, If this Booke faile, tis time to quit the Trade.
We forgot to tell the Reader, that some Prologues and Epilogues (here inserted) were not written by the Authours of this Volume; but made by others on the Revivall of severall Playes. After the Comedies and Tragedies were wrought off, we were forced (for expedition) to send the Gentlemens Verses to severall Printers, which was the occasion of their different Character; but the Worke it selfe is one continued Letter, which (though very legible) is none of the biggest, because (as much as possible) we would lessen the Bulke of the Volume.
A CATALOGUE of all the Comedies and Tragedies Contained in this Booke.
The Mad Lover. The Spanish Curate. The little French Lawyer. The Custome of the Country. The Noble Gentleman. The Captaine. The Beggers Bush. The Coxcombe. The False One. The Chances. The Loyall Subject. The Lawes of Candy. The Lover's Progresse. The Island Princesse. The Humorous Lieutenant. The Nice Valour, or the Passionate Mad Man. The Maide in the Mill. The Prophetesse. The Tragedy of Bonduca. The Sea Voyage. The Double Marriage. The Pilgrim. The Knight of Malta. The Womans Prize, or the Tamer Tamed. Loves Cure, or the Martiall Maide. The Honest Mans Fortune. The Queene of Corinth. Women Plea'sd. A Wife for a Moneth. Wit at severall Weapons. The Tragedy of Valentinian. The Faire Maid of the Inne. Loves Pilgrimage. The Maske of the Gentlemen of Grayes-Inne, and the Inner Temple, at the Marriage of the Prince and Princesse Palatine of Rhene. Foure Playes (or Morall Representations) in one.
All in one Volume.
Published by the Authors Original Copies, the Songs to each Play being added.
Si quid habent veri Vatum praesagia, vivam.
Printed by J. Macock, for John Martyn, Henry Herringman, Richard Marriot, MDCLXXIX.
Courteous Reader, _The First Edition of these Plays in this Volume having found that Acceptance as to give us Encouragement to make a Second Impression, we were very desirous they might come forth as Correct as might be. And we were very opportunely informed of a Copy which an ingenious and worthy Gentleman had taken the pains (or rather the pleasure) to read over; wherein he had all along Corrected several faults (some very gross) which had crept in by the frequent imprinting of them. His Corrections were the more to be valued, because he had an intimacy with both our Authors, and had been a Spectator of most of them when they were Acted in their life-time. This therefore we resolved to purchase at any Rate; and accordingly with no small cost obtain'd it. From the same hand also we received several Prologues and Epilogues, with the Songs appertaining to each Play, which were not in the former Edition, but are now inserted in their proper places. Besides, in this Edition you have the addition of no fewer than Seventeen Plays more than were in the former, which we have taken the pains and care to Collect, and Print out 4to in this Volume, which for distinction sake are markt with a Star in the Catalogue of them facing the first Page of the Book. And whereas in several of the Plays there were wanting the Names of the Persons represented therein, in this Edition you have them all prefixed, with their Qualities; which will be a great ease to the Reader. Thus every way perfect and compleat have you, all both Tragedies and Comedies that were ever writ by our Authors, a Pair of the greatest Wits and most ingenious Poets of their Age; from whose worth we should but detract by our most studied Commendations.
If our care and endeavours to do our Authors right (in an incorrupt and genuine Edition of their Works) and thereby to gratifie and oblige the Reader, be but requited with a suitable entertainment, we shall be encouraged to bring Ben. Johnson's two Volumes into one, and publish them in this form; and also to reprint Old Shakespear: both which are designed by
Ready to serve you,
JOHN MARTYN. HENRY HERRINGMAN. RICHARD MARIOT.
[The Second Folio contained, between 'The Book-sellers to the Reader' and 'A Catalogue,' eleven only of the Commendatory verses prefixed to the First Folio. These were those signed by Edw. Waller (see p. xxiii), J. Denham (p. xxii), Ben. Johnson (p. xl), Rich. Corbet (p. xl), Joh. Earle (p. xxxii), William Cartwright's first lines (p. xxxvii, to 'Fletcher writ' on p. xxxviii), Francis Palmer (p. xlvii, 'I Could prayse Heywood,' etc.), Jasper Maine (p. xxxv), J. Berkenhead (p. xli), Roger L'Estrange (p. xxviii), Tho. Stanley (p. xxvii).]
A CATALOGUE Of all the COMEDIES and TRAGEDIES
Contained in this BOOK, in the same Order as Printed.
1 The Maids Tragedy.* 2 Philaster; or, Love lies a bleeding.* 3 A King or no King.* 4 The Scornful Lady.* 5 The Custom of the Country. 6 The Elder Brother.* 7 The Spanish Curate. 8 Wit without Money.* 9 The Beggars Bush. 10 The Humorous Lieutenant. 11 The Faithful Shepherdess.* 12 The Mad Lover. 13 The Loyal Subject. 14 Rule a Wife, and have a Wife.* 15 The Laws of Candy. 16 The False One. 17 The Little French Lawyer. 18 The Tragedy of Valentinian. 19 Monsieur Thomas.* 20 The Chances. 21 Rollo, Duke of Normandy.* 22 The Wild-Goose Chase. 23 A Wife for a Month. 24 The Lovers Progress. 25 The Pilgrim. 26 The Captain. 27 The Prophetess. 28 The Queen of Corinth. 29 The Tragedy of Bonduca. 30 The Knight of the Burning Pestle.* 31 Loves Pilgrimage. 32 The Double Marriage. 33 The Maid in the Mill. 34 The Knight of Maltha. 35 Loves Cure; or, the Martial Maid. 36 Women pleased. 37 The Night Walker; or, Little Thief.* 38 The Womans Prize; or, the Tamer tamed. 39 The Island Princess. 40 The Noble Gentleman. 41 The Coronation.* 42 The Coxcomb. 43 Sea-Voyage. 44 Wit at several Weapons. 45 The Fair Maid of the Inn. 46 Cupids Revenge.* 47 Two Noble Kinsmen.* 48 Thierry and Theodoret.* 49 The Woman-Hater.* 50 The nice Valour; or, the Passionate Madman. 51 The Honest Man's Fortune.
A Mask at Grays-Inn, and the Inner Temple; Four Plays, or Moral Representations.
In the following references to the text the lines are numbered from the top of the page, including titles, acts, stage directions, &c., but not, of course, the headline. Where, as in the lists of Persons Represented, there are double columns, the right-hand column is numbered after the left.
It has not been thought necessary to record the correction of every turned letter nor the substitution of marks of interrogation for marks of exclamation and vice versa: the original compositor's stock of each running low occasionally, he used the two signs somewhat indiscriminately. Full-stops have been silently inserted at the ends of speeches and each fresh speaker has been given the dignity of a fresh line: in the double-columned folio the speeches are frequently run on. Only misprints of interest in the Quartos are recorded.
THE EPISTLE DEDICATORIE. p. x, l. 8. 1st Folio prints a comma after] not.
TO THE READER. p. xi, l. 6. 1st F omits the bracket.
THE STATIONER TO THE READERS. p. xiv, l. 33. 1st F prints] confessed it,
COMMENDATORY VERSES. p. xvii, l. 33. 1st F misprints] theirs. l. 41. 1st F misprints] Ii. l. 42. 1st F misprints] hist.
p. xx, l. 34. 1st F misprints] Fle.
p. xxiii, l. 1. 2nd F] sprung.
p. xxvi, l. 21. 1st F misprints] Fletcer.
p. xxxvi, l. 10. 1st F misprints] solemue.
p. xxxvii, l. 39. 1st F misprints] aud. l. 43. 2nd F] delights.
p. xxxviii, l. 4. 2nd F] And these. l. 20. 2nd F gives signature] William Cartwright.
p. xxxix, l. 27. 1st F misprints] such.
p. xliii, l. 13. 2nd F] wert. l. 35. 2nd F] knowst.
p. xlviii, l. 33. 2nd F] receive the full god in. l. 35. 2nd F] Francis Palmer.
p. lii, l. 40. 1st F misprints] Fletcer.
p. lv, l. 19. 1st F misprints] ehe.