“The first edition of ‘Lingua’ is dated 1607, but from a passage in act iv. sc. 7, it is evident that it was produced before the death of Elizabeth. The last edition, in 1657, is rendered curious by the circumstance that the bookseller, Simon Miller, asserts that it was acted by Oliver Cromwell, the late usurper. This fact is not stated on the title-page to the play, but in a list of works printed for the same stationer, placed at the end of Heath’s ‘New Book of Loyal Martyrs’ [12mo, 1663].... Winstanley adds that the late usurper Cromwell [when a young man] had therein the part of Tactus; and this mock ambition for the Crown is said to have swollen his ambition so high, that afterwards he contended for it in earnest....”
The present text is taken from the 4to of 1607.]
Our Muse describes no lover’s passion,
No wretched father, no unthrifty son!
No craving, subtle whore or shameless bawd,
Nor stubborn clown or daring parasite,
No lying servant or bold sycophant.
We are not wanton or satirical.
These have their time and places fit, but we
Sad hours and serious studies to reprieve,
Have taught severe Philosophy to smile,
The Senses’ rash contentions we compose,
And give displeas’d ambitious Tongue her due:
Here’s all; judicious friends, accept what is not ill.
Who are not such, let them do what they will.
LINGUA, Comoedus. Tragoedus.
AUDITUS, Comoedus. Tragoedus.
MENDACIO, Lingua’s page.
TACTUS, | Odor.
OLFACTUS, | Tobacco.
VISUS, | Lumen,
GUSTUS; Bacchus, Ceres, Beer.
APPETITUS, a parasite.
HEURESIS, Phantastes’s page.
CRAPULA, Gustus’s follower.
ANAMNESTES, Memoria’s page.
Personae quarum mentio tantum fit. | Psyche,
The scene is Microcosmus in a grove. The time from morning till night.
ACTUS PRIMUS, SCAENA PRIMA.
LINGUA apparelled in a crimson satin gown, a dressing of white roses, a little skene tied in a purple scarf, a pair of white buskins drawn with white ribbon, silk garters, gloves, &c. AUDITUS in a garland of bays intermingled with red and white roses upon a false hair, a cloth of silver mantle upon a pair of satin bases, wrought sleeves, buskins, gloves, &c.