O, how it grieves my vexed soul to see
Each painted ass in chair of dignity!
And yet we grovel on the ground alone,
Running through every trade, yet thrive by none:
More we must act in this life’s tragedy.
Sad is the plot, sad the catastrophe.
Sighs are the chorus in our tragedy.
And rented thoughts continual actors be.
Woe is the subject, Phil.; earth the loath’d stage
Whereon we act this feigned personage;
Most like barbarians the spectators be,
That sit and laugh at our calamity.
Bann’d be those hours when, ’mongst the learned throng,
By Granta’s muddy bank we whilome sung!
Bann’d be that hill, which learned wits adore,
Where erst we spent our stock and little store!
Bann’d be those musty mews, where we have spent
Our youthful days in paled languishment!
Bann’d be those cos’ning arts that wrought our woe,
Making us wand’ring pilgrims to and fro.
And pilgrims must we be without relief;
And wheresoe’er we run, there meets us grief.
Where’er we toss upon this crabbed stage,
Griefs our companion; patience be our page.
Ah, but this patience is a page of ruth,
A tired lackey to our wand’ring youth!
ACTUS II., SCAENA 2.
Fain would I have a living, if I could tell how
to come by it. Echo. Buy it.
Buy it, fond Echo? why, thou dost greatly
mistake it. Echo. Stake it.
Stake it? what should I stake at this game of
simony? Echo. Money.
What, is the world a game? are livings gotten
by paying? Echo. Paying.
Paying? But say, what’s the nearest way to
come by a living? Echo. Giving.
Must his worship’s fists be needs then oiled with
angels? Echo. Angels.
Ought his gouty fists then first with gold to be
greased? Echo. Eased.
And is it then such an ease for his ass’s back to
carry money? Echo. Ay.
Will, then, this golden ass bestow a vicarage
gilded? Echo. Gelded.
What shall I say to good Sir Raderic, that have
no gold here? Echo. Cold cheer.
I’ll make it my lone request, that he would be
good to a scholar. Echo. Choler.
Yea, will he be choleric to hear of an art or a
science? Echo. Hence.
Hence with liberal arts? What, then, will he