THE NAMES OF THE ACTORS.
THEODORE, a Physician.
BURGESS, a Patient.
JAQUES, a Studioso.
STERCUTIO, his Father.
THE RETURN FROM PARNASSUS.
ACTUS I, SCAENA 1.
INGENIOSO, with Juvenal in his hand.
Difficile est satyram non scribere. Nam quis iniquae
Tam patiens Urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se?
Ay, Juvenal, thy jerking hand is good,
Not gently laying on, but fetching blood;
So, surgeon-like, thou dost with cutting heal,
Where nought but lancing can the wound avail:
O, suffer me, among so many men,
To tread aright the traces of thy pen,
And light my link at thy eternal flame,
Till with it I brand everlasting shame
On the world’s forehead, and with thine own spirit
Pay home the world according to his merit.
Thy purer soul could not endure to see
Ev’n smallest spots of base impurity,
Nor could small faults escape thy cleaner hands.
Then foul-fac’d vice was in his swaddling-bands,
Now, like Anteus, grown a monster is,
A match for none but mighty Hercules:
Now can the world practise in plainer guise
Both sins of old and new-born villanies:
Stale sins are stole; now doth the world begin
To take sole pleasure in a witty sin:
Unpleasant as the lawless sin has been,
At midnight rest, when darkness covers sin;
It’s clownish, unbeseeming a young knight,
Unless it dare outface the glaring light:
Nor can it nought our gallant’s praises reap,
Unless it be done in staring Cheap,
In a sin-guilty coach, not closely pent,
Jogging along the harder pavement.
Did not fear check my repining sprite,
Soon should my angry ghost a story write;
In which I would new-foster’d sins combine,
Not known erst by truth-telling Aretine.
ACTUS I, SCAENA 2.
Enter JUDICIO and INGENIOSO.
JUDICIO. What, Ingenioso, carrying a vinegar bottle about thee, like a great schoolboy giving the world a bloody nose?
INGENIOSO. Faith, Judicio, if I carry the vinegar bottle, it’s great reason I should confer it upon the baldpated world: and again, if my kitchen want the utensils of viands, it’s great reason other men should have the sauce of vinegar; and for the bloody nose, Judicio, I may chance, indeed, give the world a bloody nose, but it shall hardly give me a crack’d crown, though it gives other poets French crowns.