[The late Mr Bolton Corney thought that this play was from the pen of John Day. We learn from the Prologue that a drama, of which nothing is now known, preceded it, under the title of “The Pilgrimage to Parnassus.” The loss is perhaps to be regretted.]
BOY, STAGEKEEPER, MOMUS, DEFENSOR.
Spectators, we will act a comedy: non plus.
STAGEKEEPER. A pox on’t, this book hath it not in it: you would be whipped, thou rascal; thou must be sitting up all night at cards, when thou should be conning thy part.
BOY. It’s all along on you; I could not get my part a night or two before, that I might sleep on it.
[STAGEKEEPER carrieth the BOY away under his arm.
It’s even well done; here is such a stir about a scurvy English show!
DEFENSOR. Scurvy in thy face, thou scurvy Jack: if this company were not,—you paltry critic gentleman, you that know what it is to play at primero or passage—you that have been student at post and pair, saint and loadam —you that have spent all your quarter’s revenues in riding post one night in Christmas, bear with the weak memory of a gamester.
MOMUS. Gentlemen, you that can play at noddy, or rather play upon noddies—you that can set up a jest at primero instead of a rest, laugh at the prologue, that was taken away in a voider.
DEFENSOR. What we present, I must needs confess, is but slubber’d invention: if your wisdom obscure the circumstance, your kindness will pardon the substance.
MOMUS. What is presented here is an old musty show, that hath lain this twelvemonth in the bottom of a coal-house amongst brooms and old shoes; an invention that we are ashamed of, and therefore we have promised the copies to the chandler to wrap his candles in.