Procul hinc, procul ite, profani.
I’ll lash Apollo’s self with jerking hand,
Unless he pawn his wit to buy me land.
ACTUS IV., SCAENA 3.
Now, Will Kemp, if we can entertain these scholars at a low rate, it
will be well; they have oftentimes a good conceit in a part.
KEMP. It’s true, indeed, honest Dick, but the slaves are somewhat proud; and besides, it’s a good sport in a part to see them never speak in their walk, but at the end of the stage; just as though, in walking with a fellow, we should never speak but at a stile, a gate, or a ditch, where a man can go no further. I was once at a comedy in Cambridge, and there I saw a parasite make faces and mouths of all sorts on this fashion.
A little teaching will mend these faults; and it may be, besides, they
will be able to pen a part.
KEMP. Few of the university pen play well; they smell too much of that writer Ovid and that writer Metamorphosis, and talk too much of Proserpina and Jupiter. Why, here’s our fellow Shakespeare puts them all down—ay, and Ben Jonson too. O, that Ben Jonson is a pestilent fellow; he brought up Horace, giving the poets a pill; but our fellow Shakespeare hath given him a purge that made him bewray his credit.
BURBAGE. It’s a shrewd fellow, indeed. I wonder these scholars stay so long; they appointed to be here presently, that we might try them. O, here they come.
Take heart, these lets our clouded thoughts refine;
The sun shines brightest when it ’gins decline.
Master Philomusus and Master Studioso, God save you.
Master Philomusus and Master Otioso, well-met.
The same to you, good Master Burbage. What, Master Kemp, how doth the
Emperor of Germany?
God save you, Master Kemp; welcome, Master Kemp, from dancing the morris
over the Alps.
KEMP. Well, you merry knaves, you may come to the honour of it one day. Is it not better to make a fool of the world as I have done, than to be fooled of the world, as you scholars are? But be merry, my lads; you have happened upon the most excellent vocation in the world for money. They come north and south to bring it to our playhouse; and for honours, who of more report than Dick Burbage and Will Kemp? He is not counted a gentleman that knows not Dick Burbage and Will Kemp. There’s not a country wench that can dance Sellenger’s round, but can talk of Dick Burbage and Will Kemp.
Indeed, Master Kemp, you are very famous; but that is as well for works
in print, as your part in cue.
You are at Cambridge still with size cue, and be lusty humorous poets.
You must untruss; I rode this my last circuit purposely, because I would
be judge of your actions.