INGENIOSO. Ay, here is a fellow, Judicio, that carried the deadly stock in his pen, whose muse was armed with a gag-tooth, and his pen possessed with Hercules’ furies.
Let all his faults sleep with his mournful chest,
And then for ever with his ashes rest:
His style was witty, though he had some gall,
Something he might have mended; so may all:
Yet this I say that, for a mother-wit,
Few men have ever seen the like of it.
INGENIOSO reads the rest of the names.
JUDICIO. As for these, they have some of them been the old hedge-stakes of the press; and some of them are, at this instant, the bots and glanders of the printing-house: fellows that stand only upon terms to serve the term, with their blotted papers, write, as men go to stool, for needs; and when they write, they write as a bear pisses, now and then drop a pamphlet.
INGENIOSO. Durum telum necessitas. Good faith, they do, as I do—exchange words for money. I have some traffic this day with Danter about a little book which I have made; the name of it is, A Catalogue of Cambridge Cuckolds. But this Belvidere, this methodical ass, hath made me almost forget my time; I’ll now to Paul’s Churchyard; meet me an hour hence at the sign of the Pegasus in Cheapside, and I’ll moist thy temples with a cup of claret, as hard as the world goes.
ACTUS I., SCAENA 3.
Enter DANTER the Printer.
INGENIOSO. Danter, thou art deceived, wit is dearer than thou takest it to be: I tell thee, this libel of Cambridge has much fat and pepper in the nose; it will sell sheerly underhand, when all these books of exhortations and catechisms lie moulding on thy shopboard.
DANTER. It’s true: but, good faith, Master Ingenioso, I lost by your last book; and, you know, there is many a one that pays me largely for the printing of their inventions: but, for all this, you shall have forty shillings and an odd bottle of wine.
INGENIOSO. Forty shillings! a fit reward for one of your rheumatic poets, that beslavers all the paper he comes by, and furnishes all the chandlers with waste-papers to wrap candles in; but as for me, I’ll be paid dear even for the dregs of my wit: little knows the world what belongs to the keeping of a good wit in waters, diets, drinks, tobacco, &c. It is a dainty and a costly creature; and therefore I must be paid sweetly. Furnish me with money, that I may put myself in a new suit of clothes, and I’ll suit thy shop with a new suit of terms. It’s the gallantest child my invention was ever delivered of: the title is, A Chronicle of Cambridge Cuckolds. Here a man may see what day of the month such a man’s commons were enclosed, and when thrown open; and when any entailed some odd crowns upon the heirs of their bodies unlawfully begotten. Speak quickly: else I am gone.