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66 Whether therefore the gatherers of the publique or private play-house stand to receive the afternoone's rent, let our gallant (having paid it) presently advance himself up to the throne of the ftage. I meane not in the lords' roome (which is now but the flage's fuburbs.) No, those boxes by the iniquity of custome, conspiracy of waitingwomen, and gentlemen-ushes, that there sweat together, and the covetous sharers, are contemptibly thrust into the reare , and much new fatten is there dambd by being smothered to death in darkneffe. But on the very rushes where the comedy is to daunce, yea and under the state of Cambifes himselfe must our feather'd estridge, like a piece. of ordnance be planted valiantly (because impudently) beating downe the mewes and hisses of the opposed rascality.
66 For do but caft up a reckoning, what large cummings in are purs d up by fitting on the stage. First a conspicuous eminence is gotten, by which ineanes the best and most essenciall parts of a gal-. lant (good cloathes, a proportionable legge, white hand, the Persian locke, and a tollerable beard;) are perfectly revealed.
“By fitting on the stage you have a fign'd pattent to engrosse the whole commodity of censure; may lawfully presume to be a girder; and stand at the helmne to steere the passage of scænes, yet no man shall once offer to hinder you from obtaining the title of an insolent over-weening coxcombe,
By fitting on the stage, you may (without trauelling forit) at the very next doore , aske whose play it is : and by that quest of inquiry, the law warrants you to avoid much mistaking: if you know not the
author, you may raile against him; and peradventure fo behave yourselfe, that you may enforce the author to know you.
“ By fitting on the stage , if you be a knight, you may happily get you a mistresse : if a mere FleetStreet gentleman, a wife : but assure yourselfe by continuall residence, you are the first and principall man in election to begin the number of We three.
“ By spreading your body on the stage, and by being a justice in examining of plaies, you shall put yourselfe into such a true scænical authority, that some poet shall not dare to present his mufe rudely before your eyes, without having first unmaskt her, rifled her, and discovered all her bare and most mystical parts before you at a taverne, wheri you most knightly, shal for his paines, pay for both their suppers.
By sitting on the stage, you may (with small coft) purchase the deere acquaintance of the boyes : have a good stoole for sixpence: at any time know what particular part any of the infants present: get your match lighted, examine the play-suits' lace, perhaps win, wagers upon laying 'tis copper, &c. And to conclude, whether you be a foole or a justice of peace, a cuckold or a capten, a lord maior's sonne or a dawcocke, a knave or an under shriefe, of what stamp soever you be, currant or counterfet, the stagelike time will bring you to most perfect light, and lay you open : neither are you to be hunted from thence though the scarcrowes in the yard hoot you, hisse at you, fpit at you, yea throw dirt even in your teeth : ’tis most gentleman - like patience to endure all this.,
and to laugh at the filly animals. Bat if the rabble, with a full throat, crie away with the foole, you were worse than a mad-man to tarry by it: for the gentleman and the foole should never fit on the stage together.
Mary, let this observation go hand in hand with the rest: or rather, like a country-serving man, fome five yards before them. Present not your selfe on the stage (especially at a new play) untill the quaking prologue hath (by rubbing) got cullor into his checkes, and is ready to give the trumpets their cue that hees upon point to enter : for then it is time, as though you were one of the properties, or that you dropt of the hangings, to creep behind the arras, with your tripos or threelegged ftoole in one hand, and a teston mounted betweene a fore-finger and a thumbe, in the other : for if
should bestow your person upon the vulgar, when the belly of the house is but halfe full, your apparell is quite eaten up, the fashion loft, and the proportion of your body in more danger to be devoured, then if it were served up in the Counter amongst the Poultry: avoid that as you would the baftome. It shall crowne you
with rich commendation, to laugh alowd in the middest of the most serious and saddest scene of the terriblest tragedy : and to let that clapper (your tongue) be tost so high that all the house may ring of it: your lords use it; your knights are apes to the lords, and do so too : your inne-a-court-man is zany to the knights, and (many very scurvily) comes likewise limping after it : bee thou a beagle to them all, and never lin snuffing till you
have scented them: for by talking and laughing (like a
ploughman in'a morris) you heape Pelion upon. Ola, glory upon glory : as first all the
in the galleries will leave walking after the players, and oncly follow you : the fimplest dolt in the house snatches up your name , and when he meetes you in the streetes, or that you fall into his hands in the middle of a watch, his word shall be taken for you: hecle cry, Hees such a gallant, and you passe. Secondly you publish your temperance to the world, in that you seeme not to resort thither to taste vaine pleasures with a hungrie appetite; but onely as a gentleman, to spend a foolish hợure or two, because you can doe nothing else. Thirdly you mightily difrelish the audience, and disgrace the author : marry, you take up (though it be at the worst hand) a strong opinion of your owne judgement, and inforce the poet to take piry of your weakenesse, and by some dedicated sonnet to bring you into a better paradice, onely to stop your mouth.
“ If you can (either for love or money) provide your selfe a lodging by the water fide: for above the conveniencie it brings to fhun shoulder-clapping, and to ship away your cockatrice betimes in the morning, it addes a kind of state unto you, to be carried from thence to the staires of your playhouse: hate a sculler (remember that) worse then to be acquainted with one ath' scullery. No, your oares are your onely sea-crabs, boord them, and take heed you never go twice together with one paire : often shifting is a great credit to gentlemen: and that dividing of your fare wil make the poore watersnaks be ready to pul you in peeces to enjoy your custome. No matter whether upon
money or no; you may swim in twentie of their boates over the river upon ticket; mary, when filver comes in, remember to pay trebble their fare, and it will make your floundercatchers to send more thankes after you, when you doe not draw, then when you doe: for they know, it will be their owne another daiė.
“ Before the play begins, fall to cardes ; you may win or loose (as fencers doc in a prize) and beate one another by confederacie, yet share the money when you meete at supper: notwithstanding, to gul the raggamuffins that stand a loofe gaping at you , throw the cards having first torne four or five of them) round about the stage , juft upon the third sound, as though you had lost: it skils not if the four knaves ly on their backs , and outface the audience, there's none such fooles as dare take exceptions at them, because ere the play go off, better knaves than they, will fall into the company:
Now, Sir, if the writer be a fellow that háthi either epigram'd you, or hath had a flirt at.your miftris, or hath brought either your feather, or your red beard, or your little legs. &c. on the stage, you shall disgrace him worse then by toffing him in a blanket, or giving him the bastinado in a taverne , if in the middle of his play (bee it pastorall or comedy, morall or tragedie) you rise with a skreud and discontented face from your stoole to be gone: no matter whether the scenes be good or no; the better they are, the worse. doe you diftaft them : and beeing on your feete, sneake not away like a coward, but salute all your gentle acquaintance that are spred either on the rushes or on stooles Vol. I.