A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Volume 9 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 508 pages of information about A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Volume 9.

MEN.  Never till now.  Ha, ha! it works apace. [Aside
Visus, I know ’tis yours; and yet methinks,
Auditus, you should have some challenge to it;
But that your title, Tactus, is so good,
Gustus, I would swear the coronet were yours: 
What, will you all go brawl about a trifle? 
View but the pleasant coast of Microcosm,
Is’t not great pity to be rent with wars? 
Is’t not a shame to stain with brinish tears
The smiling cheeks of ever-cheerful peace? 
Is’t not far better to live quietly,
Than broil in fury of dissension? 
Give me the crown, ye shall not disagree,
If I can please you.  I’ll play Paris’ part,
And, most impartial, judge the controversy.

VIS.  Sauce-box! go meddle with your lady’s fan,
And prate not here.

MEN.  I speak not for myself,
But for my country’s sole[200] commodity.

VIS.  Sirrah, be still.

MEN.  Nay, and you be so hot, the devil part you! 
I’ll to Olfactus, and send him amongst you. 
O, that I were Alecto for your sakes! 
How liberally would I bestow my snakes!
                               [Exit MENDACIO.

VIS.  Tactus, upon thine honour,
I challenge thee to meet me here,
Strong as thou canst provide, in th’afternoon.

TAC.  I undertake the challenge, and here’s my hand,
In sign thou shalt be answered.

GUS.  Tactus, I’ll join with thee, on this condition
That, if we win, he that fought best of us
Shall have the crown, the other wear the robe.

TAC.  Give me your hand:  I like the motion.

VIS.  Auditus, shall we make our forces double
Upon the same terms?

AUD.  Very willingly.

VIS.  Come, let’s away:  fear not the victory;
Right’s more advantage than an host of soldiers.

[Exeunt omnes.

ACTUS SECUNDUS, SCAENA PRIMA.

    APPETITUS, a long, lean, raw-boned fellow,
    in a soldier’s coat, a sword, &c
.

    MENDACIO, APPETITUS.

MEN.  I long to see those hotspur Senses at it:  they say they have gallant preparations, and not unlikely, for most of the soldiers are ready in arms, since the last field fought against their yearly enemy Meleager[201] and his wife Acrasia; that conquest hath so fleshed them, that no peace can hold them.  But had not Meleager been sick, and Acrasia drunk, the Senses might have whistled for the victory.

APP.  Foh, what a stink of gunpowder is yonder!

MEN.  Who’s this?  O, O, ’tis Appetitus, Gustus’s hungry parasite.
          
                                             [Aside.]

APP.  I cannot endure the smoking of guns, the thundering of drums:  I had rather hear the merry hacking of pot-herbs, and see the reeking of a hot capon.  If they would use no other bucklers in war but shields of brawn, brandish no swords but sweards of bacon,[202] trail no spears but spare-ribs of pork, and instead of arquebuss pieces discharge artichoke-pies:  toss no pikes but boiled pickrels, then Appetitus would rouse up his crest, and bear up himself with the proudest.

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A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Volume 9 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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