A Collection of Old English Plays, Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 342 pages of information about A Collection of Old English Plays, Volume 4.

The Epilogue.

Encouragement unto the valiant
Is like a golden spurre upon the heele
Of a young Knight, like to a wreath of Bay
To a good Poet; like a sparkeling Crowne,
Unto a Kings Son.  Honour and renowne
Is the efficient and persevering cause
Of every well deserved action. 
Take away some recorde, encouragement,
And the World’s like a_ Chaos, all delight
Buried unborne in everlasting night. 
Even so it fares with us, and with the rest
Of the same facultie, all meerely nothing: 
Without your favour every labour dyes,
Save such whose second springs comes from your eyes. 
Extend your beames of love to us at full,
As the Sunne does unto the Easterne clime,
And England may bring forth like India
As costly spice, as orientall Jems. 
The earth’s all one, the heate refines the moulde,
And favour makes the poorest ground yielde gold



This old “comical satire” has come down in a very corrupt state.  A sadly tattered appearance is presented by the metrical passages.  I have ventured to patch only a few of the many rents in the old coat of 1609.

The anonymous playwright owes much more than the title of the play to Ben Jonson.  Acutus, overflowing with bitter and tedious moralising, is evidently modelled on Macilente in Every Man Out of His Humour.  The very dog—­Getica’s dog—­was suggested by Puntarvolo’s dog.  Indeed, throughout the play we are constantly reminded of Every Man Out of His Humour; but the unknown writer had some inventiveness of his own, and was not a mere copyist.  The jolly fat host, with his cheery cry “merry hearts live long,” is pleasant company; and his wife, the hard-working hostess, constantly repining at her lot, yet seemingly not dissatisfied at heart, has the appearance of being a faithful transcript from life.  Cornutus (the hen-pecked citizen) and his gadding wife are familiar figures, but not the less welcome on that account.  Getica’s anxiety at the loss of her dog is amusingly depicted.  In fact, the whole play would be tolerable, if the moralising were cut out and the text were free from corruptions.

EVERIE Woman in her Humor.

LONDON Printed by E.A. for Thomas Archer, and are to be solde at his shop in the Popes-head-Pallace, neere the Royall Exchange. 1609.

Everie Woman in her

    Enter Flavia as a Prologue.

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A Collection of Old English Plays, Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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