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.

PHA.  I think not so, Memory; for when Hercules had killed the flaming dragon of Hesperia with the apples of that orchard, he made this fiery meat; in memory whereof he named it Snapdragon.

COM.  SEN.  Gustus, let’s hear your description?

GUS.  Near to the lowly base of Cephalon,
My house is plac’d not much unlike a cave: 
Yet arch’d above by wondrous workmanship,
With hewen stones wrought smoother and more fine
Than jet or marble fair from Iceland brought. 
Over the door directly doth incline
A fair percullis of compacture strong,
To shut out all that may annoy the state
Or health of Microcosm; and within
Is spread a long board like a pliant tongue,
At which I hourly sit, and trial take
Of meats and drinks needful and delectable: 
Twice every day do I provision make
For the sumptuous kitchen of the commonwealth;
Which, once well-boil’d, is soon distributed
To all the members, well refreshing them
With good supply of strength-renewing food. 
Should I neglect this nursing[294] diligence,
The body of the realm would ruinate;
Yourself, my lord, with all your policies
And wondrous wit, could not preserve yourself: 
Nor you, Phantastes; nor you, Memory. 
Psyche herself, were’t not that I repair
Her crazy house with props of nourishment,
Would soon forsake us:  for whose dearest sake
Many a grievous pain have I sustain’d
By bitter pills and sour purgations;
Which if I had not valiantly abiden,
She had been long ere this departed. 
Since the whole Microcosm I maintain,
Let me, as Prince, above the Senses reign.

COM.  SEN.  The reasons you urge, Gustus, breed a new doubt, whether it be commodious or necessary, the resolution whereof I refer to your judgment, licensing you meanwhile to depart.

[GUSTUS leads his show about the stage, and goes out.


The Bench as before; TACTUS, a page before him
bearing his scutcheon, a tortoise Sable

TAC.  Ready anon, forsooth! the devil she will! 
Who would be toil’d with wenches in a show?

COM.  SEN.  Why in such anger, Tactus? what’s the matter?

TAC.  My lord, I had thought, as other Senses did,
By sight of objects to have prov’d my worth;
Wherefore considering that, of all the things
That please me most, women are counted chief,
I had thought to have represented in my show
The queen of pleasure, Venus and her son,
Leading a gentleman enamoured
With his sweet touching of his mistress’ lips,
And gentle griping of her tender hands,
And divers pleasant relishes of touch,
Yet all contained in the bounds of chastity.

PHA.  Tactus, of all I long to see your objects;
How comes it we have lost those pretty sports?

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