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Title: The Works of Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher in Ten Volumes: Volume 01

Author: Francis Beaumont

John Fletcher

Editor: Arnold Glover

Release date: January 1, 2004 [eBook #10620]
Most recently updated: December 20, 2020

Language: English


Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Jayam Subramanian and PG Distributed



In ten volumes

Vol. I


Born 1584

Died 1616


Born 1579

Died 1625






The first collected edition of the plays of Beaumont and Fletcher was published in 1647, in folio (12 1/2 ins. x 8 1/8 ins. is the measurement of the copy used for the purpose of collation). The title-page runs thus:—

Comedies | and | Tragedies |

                        { Francis Beaumont }
  |written by { And } Gentlemen. |
                        { John Fletcher }

Never printed before, | And now published by the Authours | Originall Copies. | Si quid habent veri Vatum præsagia, vivam.|London, | Printed for Humphrey Robinson, at the three Pidgeons, and for | Humphrey Moseley at the Princes Armes in St Pauls.

This collection, which is referred to as the First Folio throughout the present edition, contained all the authors' previously unpublished plays (34) except The Wild-Goose Chase, which, at the date of the Folio, was supposed to be lost. The dedicatory epistles, commendatory poem, and Catalogue of Plays, prefixed to the First Folio, are reprinted in the preliminary pages at the end of this Note (pp. ix—lvii).

The second collected edition appeared in 1679 in folio (14-3/8 ins. x 8-1/4 ins.); a reprint of the title-page is given on p. lix of the present volume. This collection, referred to henceforth as the Second Folio, contained (i) all the plays included in the First Folio, (ii) The Wild-Goose Chase, which had been published in folio in 1652, (iii) all the other then known plays of the authors which had been published previously to 1679.

William Marshall's portrait of John Fletcher faces the title-page of both folios with the following inscription engraved underneath:—

Felicis ævi ac Præsulis Natus; comes Beaumontis; sic, quippe Parnassus, biceps; FLETCHERUS unam in Pyramida furcas agens. Struxit chorum plus simplicem Vates Duplex; Plus duplicem solus: nec ullum transtulit; Nec transferendus: Dramatum æterni sales, Anglo Theatro, Orbe, Sibi, superstites.

FLETCHERE, facies absqz vultu pingitur; Quantus! vel umbram circuit nemo tuam.

J. Berkenhead.

Later collected editions of the works were published in 1711 (7 vols.); 1750, edited by Lewis Theobald, Thomas Seward and J. Sympson (10 vols.); 1778, edited by George Colman (10 vols.); 1812, edited by Henry Weber (14 vols.); 1843, edited by Alexander Dyce (11 vols.). It is unnecessary to refer in detail to these later editions which, very widely as they differ among themselves, agree in presenting an eclectic text, a text formed partly by a collation of the various old editions and partly by the adoption of conjectural emendations. During the progress of work upon the present issue another edition has been announced, under the general editorship of Mr A. H. Bullen, and the first volume was published last year. It follows the lines of its predecessors in presenting a modernised text, giving 'a fuller record than had been given by Dyce of variæ lectiones,' and pleading, in its prospectus, that, 'for the use of scholars, there should be editions of all our old authors in old spelling.'

The objects of the present edition, in accordance with the scheme of the series of ENGLISH CLASSICS of which it is a part, are to provide (i) a text in which there shall be no deviation from that adopted as its basis, in the matter of spelling, punctuation, the use of capitals and italics, save as recorded, and to give (ii) an apparatus of variant readings as an Appendix, comprising the texts of all the early issues, that is to say, of all editions prior to and including the Second Folio. Within these limits, and apart from mere variations in spelling and punctuation, every variation, whether deemed important or not, is recorded in the Appendixes to these volumes.

Of the 52 Plays in the Second Folio only 5 were published before the death of Beaumont and 9 before the death of Fletcher. The text has, therefore, given rise to a fruitful crop of conjectural emendations, but it has not been deemed a part of the editor's duty to garner them. Leaving these on one side, and desirous mainly of collecting every alternative reading in all the Quartos and in the two Folios, the text used in the preparation of the present edition, chosen after careful consideration, is that of the Second Folio, obvious printers' errors being corrected, recorded in the Appendix, and indicated in the text by the insertion of square brackets. This text is the latest with any pretence to authority, it includes all the plays, and it forms a convenient limit, beyond which no notice has been taken of alternative readings, and to which the variants, chronologically arranged from the earliest to the latest Quartos, can easily be referred. Some of the early Quartos no doubt offer better texts of some of the plays, especially in the matter of verse and prose arrangement, and had it been intended to print one text, and one text only, unaccompanied by a full apparatus of variorum readings, something might be said in favour of a choice among the Quartos and Folios, selecting here and there, in the case of each play, the particular text that seemed the best. But such choice could only be an extension of the eclectic method that has been rejected in dealing with alternative readings, it seemed to be equally unscientific, and, in view of the material in the Appendixes, needless.

In common with all the Quartos and the First Folio the Second Folio has failings, which will be noted in due course, but these have been exaggerated, and against them may be set the advantages detailed in the address of 'The Booksellers to the Reader,' reprinted on p. lx.

It has been thought that it would be useful to students to give lists of the different arrangements of prose and verse that obtain in the different quartos, and these will be found in the Appendix after the variants of each play.

The remaining volumes of this edition will follow as soon as can be arranged.

* * * * *

The Syndics of the University Press have asked me to complete the work begun by Arnold Glover. It was a work greatly to his mind: he spent much labour upon it, being always keenly interested in critical, textual and bibliographical work in English literature; he welcomed a return to his earlier studies among the Elizabethans after five years given to the works of one of their most discerning critics; but he did not live to see the publication of the first volume of his new work. When he died in the January of this year, the text of volumes one and two had been passed for press, the material accumulated for the Appendixes to those volumes and the draft of the above 'Note' partly written. With the assistance of Mrs Arnold Glover, who had helped him in the laborious work of collation, I have checked and arranged this editorial material for press. I hope I have not let any error escape me which he would have detected.

A. R. WALLER. CAMBRIDGE, 2 August, 1905.


Epistle Dedicatorie to the First Folio

Ja. Shirley to the Reader (First Folio)

The Stationer to the Readers (First Folio)

Commendatory Verses (First Folio)

A Catalogue of all the Comedies and Tragedies (First Folio)

Title-page of the Second Folio

The Booksellers to the Reader (Second Folio)

A Catalogue of all the Comedies and Tragedies (Second Folio)

The Maids Tragedy

Philaster: or, Love lies a Bleeding

A King, and no King

The Scornful Lady, a Comedy

The Custom of the Country



Earle of Pembroke and Mountgomery:

Baron Herbert of Cardiffe and Sherland,

Lord Parr and Ross of Kendall; Lord Fitz-Hugh,

Marmyon, and Saint Quintin; Knight of the most noble Order of the Garter; and one of His Majesties most Honourable Privie Councell: And our Singular Good Lord.

My Lord, There is none among all the Names of Honour, that hath A more encouraged the Legitimate Muses of this latter Age, then that which is owing to your Familie; whose Coronet shines bright with the native luster of its owne Jewels, which with the accesse of some Beames of Sydney, twisted with their Flame presents a Constellation, from whose Influence all good may be still expected upon Witt and Learning.

At this Truth we rejoyce, but yet aloofe, and in our owne valley, for we dare not approach with any capacity in our selves to apply your Smile, since wee have only preserved as Trustees to the Ashes of the Authors, what wee exhibit to your Honour, it being no more our owne, then those Imperiall Crownes and Garlands were the Souldiers, who were honourably designed for their Conveyance before the Triumpher to the Capitol.

But directed by the example of some, who once steered in our qualitie, and so fortunately aspired to choose your Honour, joyned with your (now glorified) Brother, Patrons to the flowing compositions of the then expired sweet Swan of Avon SHAKESPEARE; and since, more particularly bound to your Lordships most constant and diffusive Goodnesse, from which, wee did for many calme yeares derive a subsistence to our selves, and Protection to the Scene (now withered, and condemned, as we feare, to a long Winter and sterilitie) we have presumed to offer to your Selfe, what before was never printed of these Authours.

Had they beene lesse then all the Treasure we had contrasted in the whole Age of Poesie (some few Poems of their owne excepted, which already published, command their entertainement, with all lovers of Art and Language) or were they not, the most justly admir'd, and beloved Pieces of Witt and the World, _wee should have taught our selves a lesse Ambition.

Be pleased to accept this humble tender of our duties, and till we faile in our obedience to all your Commands, vouchsafe, we may be knowne by the_ Cognizance and Character of


Your Honours most bounden

  John Lowin
  Richard Robinson
  Eyloerd Swanston
  Hugh Clearke
  Stephen Hammerton
  Joseph Taylor
  Robert Benfeild
  Thomas Pollard
  William Allen
  Theophilus Byrd


Poetry is the Child of Nature, which regulated and made beautifull by Art, presenteth the most Harmonious of all other compositions; among which (if we rightly consider) the Dramaticall is the most absolute, in regard of those transcendent Abilities, which should waite upon the_ Composer; who must have more then the instruction of Libraries which of it selfe is but a cold contemplative knowledge there being required in him a Soule miraculously knowing, and conversing with all mankind, inabling him to expresse not onely the Phlegme and folly of thick-skin'd men, but the strength and maturity of the wise, the Aire and insinuations of the Court, _the discipline and Resolution of the Soldier, the Vertues and passions of every noble condition, nay the councells and charailers of the greatest Princes.

This you will say is a vast comprehension, and hath not hapned in many Ages. Be it then remembred to the Glory of our owne, that all these are Demonstrative and met in_ BEAUMONT & FLETCHER, whom but to mention is to throw a cloude upon all former names and benight Posterity; This Book being, without flattery, the greatest Monument of the Scene that Time and Humanity have produced, and must Live, not only the Crowne and sole Reputation of our owne, but the stayne of all other Nations and Languages, for it may be boldly averred, not one indiscretion hath branded this Paper in all the Lines, this being the Authentick witt that made Blackfriers an Academy, where the three howers spectacle while Beaumont and Fletcher _were presented, were usually of more advantage to the hopefull young Heire, then a costly, dangerous, forraigne Travell, with the assistance of a governing Mounsieur, or Signior to boot; And it cannot be denied but that the young spirits of the Time, whose Birth & Quality made them impatient of the sowrer wayes of education, have from the attentive hearing these pieces, got ground in point of wit and carriage of the most severely employed Students, while these Recreations were digested into Rules, and the very Pleasure did edifie. How many passable discoursing dining witts stand yet in good credit upon the bare stock of two or three of these single Scenes.

And now Reader in this_ Tragicall Age where the Theater hath been so much out-ailed, congratulate thy owne happinesse, that in this silence of the Stage, thou hast a liberty to reade these inimitable Playes, to dwell and converse in these immortall Groves, which were only shewd our Fathers in a conjuring glasse, as suddenly removed as represented, the Landscrap is now brought home by this optick, and the Presse thought too pregnant before, shall be now look'd upon as greatest Benefactor to Englishmen, that must acknowledge all the felicity of witt and words _to this Derivation.

You may here find passions raised to that excellent pitch and by such insinuating degrees that you shall not chuse but consent, and & go along with them, finding your self at last grown insensibly the very same person you read, and then stand admiring the subtile Trackes of your engagement. Fall on a Scene of love and you will never believe the writers could have the least roome left in their soules for another passion, peruse a Scene of manly Rage, and you would sweare they cannot be exprest by the same hands, but both are so excellently wrought, you must confesse none, but the same hands, could worke them.

Would thy Melancholy have a cure? thou shalt laugh at_ Democritus himselfe, and but reading one piece of this Comick variety, finde thy exalted fancie in Elizium; And when thou art sick of this cure, (for the excesse of delight may too much dilate thy soule,) thou shalt meete almost in every leafe a soft purling passion or spring of sorrow so powerfully wrought high by the teares of innocence, and wronged Lovers, _it shall persuade thy eyes to weepe into the streame, and yet smile when they contribute to their owne ruines.

Infinitely more might be said of these rare Copies, but let the ingenuous Reader peruse them & he will finde them so able to speake their own worth, that they need not come into the world with a trumpet, since any one of these incomparable pieces well understood will prove a_ Preface to the rest, and if the Reader can fast the best wit ever trod our English Stage, he will be forced himselfe to become a breathing Panegerick _to them all.

Not to detaine or prepare thee longer, be as capritious and sick-brain'd, as ignorance & malice can make thee, here thou art rectified, or be as healthfull as the inward calme of an honest_ Heart, Learning, and Temper can state thy disposition, yet this booke may be thy fortunate concernement _and Companion.

It is not so remote in Time, but very many Gentlemen may remember these Authors & some familiar in their conversation deliver them upon every pleasant occasion so fluent, to talke a Comedy. He must be a bold man that dares undertake to write their Lives. What I have to say is, we have the precious_ Remaines, and as the wisest contemporaries acknowledge they Lived a Miracle, _I am very confident this volume cannot die without one.

What more specially concerne these Authors and their workes is told thee by another hand in the following Epistle of the_ Stationer to the Readers.

Farwell, Reade, and feare not thine owne understanding, this Booke will create a cleare one in thee, and when thou hast considered thy purchase, thou wilt call the price of it a Charity to thy selfe, and at the same time forgive thy friend, and these Authors humble admirer,


The Stationer to the Readers.

Gentlemen, before you engage farther, be pleased to take notice of these Particulars. You have here a New Booke; I can speake it clearely; for of all this large Volume of Comedies and Tragedies, not one, till now, was ever printed before. A Collection of Playes is commonly but a new Impression, the scattered pieces which were printed single, being then onely Republished together: 'Tis otherwise here.

Next, as it is all New, so here is not any thing Spurious or impos'd; I had the Originalls from such as received them from the Authours themselves; by Those, and none other, I publish this Edition.

And as here's nothing but what is genuine and Theirs, so you will finde here are no Omissions; you have not onely All I could get, but All that you must ever expect. For (besides those which were formerly printed) there is not any Piece written by these Authours, either Joyntly or Severally, but what are now publish'd to the World in this Volume. One only Play I must except (for I meane to deale openly) 'tis a COMEDY called the Wilde-goose Chase, which hath beene long lost, and I feare irrecoverable; for a Person of Quality borrowed it from the Actours many yeares since, and (by the negligence of a Servant) it was never return'd; therefore now I put up this Si quis, that whosoever hereafter happily meetes with it, shall be thankfully satisfied if he please to send it home.

Some Playes (you know) written by these Authors were heretofore Printed: I thought not convenient to mixe them with this Volume, which of it selfe is entirely New. And indeed it would have rendred the Booke so Voluminous, that Ladies and Gentlewomen would have found it scarce manageable, who in Workes of this nature must first be remembred. Besides, I considered those former Pieces had been so long printed and re-printed, that many Gentlemen were already furnished; and I would have none say, they pay twice for the same Booke.

One thing I must answer before it bee objected; 'tis this: When these Comedies and Tragedies were presented on the Stage, the Actours omitted some Scenes and Passages (with the Authour's consent) as occasion led them; and when private friends desir'd a Copy, they then (and justly too) transcribed what they Acted. But now you have both All that was Acted, and all that was not; even the perfect full Originalls without the least mutilation; So that were the Authours living, (and sure they can never dye) they themselves would challenge neither more nor lesse then what is here published; this Volume being now so compleate and finish'd, that the Reader must expect no future Alterations.

For literall Errours committed by the Printer, 'tis the fashion to aske pardon, and as much in fashion to take no notice of him that asks it; but in this also I have done my endeavour. 'Twere vaine to mention the Chargeablenesse of this Work; for those who own'd the Manuscripts, too well knew their value to make a cheap estimate of any of these Pieces, and though another joyn'd with me in the Purchase and Printing, yet the Care & Pains was wholly mine, which I found to be more then you'l easily imagine, unlesse you knew into how many hands the Originalls were dispersed. They are all now happily met in this Book, having escaped these Publike Troubles, free and unmangled. Heretofore when Gentlemen desired but a Copy of any of these Playes, the meanest piece here (if any may be called Meane where every one is Best) cost them more then foure times the price you pay for the whole Volume.

I should scarce have adventured in these slippery times on such a work as this, if knowing persons had not generally assured mee that these Authors were the most unquestionable Wits this Kingdome hath afforded. Mr. Beaumont was ever acknowledged a man of a most strong and searching braine; and (his yeares considered) the most Judicious Wit these later Ages have produced; he dyed young, for (which was an invaluable losse to this Nation) he left the world when hee was not full thirty yeares old. Mr. Fletcher survived, and lived till almost fifty; whereof the World now enjoyes the benefit. It was once in my thoughts to have Printed Mr. Fletcher's workes by themselves, because single & alone he would make a Just Volume: But since never parted while they lived, I conceived it not equitable to seperate their ashes.

It becomes not me to say (though it be a knowne Truth) that these Authors had not only High unexpressible gifts of Nature, but also excellent acquired Parts, being furnished with Arts and Sciences by that liberall education they had at the University, which sure is the best place to make a great Wit understand it selfe; this their workes will soone make evident. I was very ambitious to have got Mr. Beaumonts picture; but could not possibly, though I spared no enquirie in those Noble Families whence he was descended, as also among those Gentlemen that were his acquaintance when he was of the Inner Temple: the best Pictures and those most like him you'll finde in this Volume. This figure of Mr. Fletcher was cut by severall Originall Pieces, which his friends lent me, but withall they tell me, that his unimitable Soule did shine through his countenance in such Ayre and Spirit, that the Painters confessed, it was not easie to expresse him: As much as could be, you have here, and the Graver hath done his part. What ever I have scene of Mr. Fletchers owne hand, is free from interlining; and his friends affirme he never writ any one thing twice: it seemes he had that rare felicity to prepare and perfect all first in his owne braine; to shape and attire his Notions, to adde or loppe off, before he committed one word to writing, and never touched pen till all was to stand as firme and immutable as if ingraven in Brasse or Marble. But I keepe you too long from those friends of his whom 'tis fitter for you to read; only accept of the honest endeavours of

One that is a Servant to you all

At the Princes Armes in
 St Pauls Church-yard. Feb._ 14th 1646.

To the Stationer.

  Tell the sad World that now the lab'ring Presse
  Has brought forth safe a Child of happinesse,
  The Frontis-piece will satisfie the wise
  And good so well, they will not grudge the price.
    'Tis not all Kingdomes joyn'd in one could buy
  (If priz'd aright) so true a Library
  Of man: where we the characters may finde
  Of ev'ry Nobler and each baser minde.
  Desert has here reward in one good line
  For all it lost, for all it might repine:
  Vile and ignobler things are open laid,
  The truth of their false colours are displayed:
  You'l say the Poet's both best Judge and Priest,
  No guilty soule abides so sharp a test
    As their smooth Pen; for what these rare men writ
    Commands the World, both Honesty and Wit



  Me thought our Fletcher weary of this croud,
  Wherein so few have witt, yet all are loud,
  Unto Elyzium fled, where he alone
  Might his own witt admire and ours bemoane;
  But soone upon those Flowry Bankes, a throng
  Worthy of those even numbers which he sung,
  Appeared, and though those Ancient Laureates strive
  When dead themselves, whose raptures should survive,
  For his Temples all their owne bayes allowes,
  Not sham'd to see him crown'd with naked browes
  Homer his beautifull Achilles nam'd,
  Urging his braine with
Joves might well be fam'd,
  Since it brought forth one full of beauties charmes,
  As was his Pallas, and as bold in Armes; [-King and no King.-]
  But when he the brave
Arbases saw, one
  That saved his peoples dangers by his own,
  And saw
Tigranes by his hand undon
  Without the helpe of any
  He then confess'd when next hee'd Hector slay,
  That he must borrow him from Fletchers Play;
  This might have beene the shame, for which he bid
Iliades in a Nut-shell should be hid:
  Virgill of his Æneas next begun,
  Whose God-like forme and tongue so soone had wonne;
  That Queene of
Carthage and of beauty too,
  Two powers the whole world else were slaves unto,
  Urging that Prince for to repaire his faulte
  On earth, boldly in hell his Mistresse sought; [-The Maides Tragedy.-]
  But when he
Amintor saw revenge that wrong,
  For which the sad
Aspasia sigh'd so long,
  Upon himselfe, to shades hasting away,
  Not for to make a visit but to stay;
  He then did modestly confesse how farr

  Fletcher out-did him in a Charactar.
  Now lastly for a refuge
, Virgill shewes
  The lines where
Corydon Alexis woes;
  But those in opposition quickly met [-The faithfull Shepherdesse.-]
  The smooth tongu'd
Perigot and Amoret:
  A paire whom doubtlesse had the others seene,
  They from their owne loves had
Apostates beene;
Fletcher did the fam'd laureat exceed,
  Both when his Trumpet sounded and his reed;
  Now if the Ancients yeeld that heretofore,
  None worthyer then those ere Laurell wore;
  The least our age can say now thou art gon,
  Is that there never will be such a one:
And since t' expresse thy worth, our rimes too narrow be,
To help it wee'l be ample in our prophesie


On Mr John Fletcher, and his Workes, never before published.

  To flatter living fooles is easie slight:
  But hard, to do the living-dead men right.
  To praise a Landed Lord, is gainfull art:
  But thanklesse to pay Tribute to desert.
  This should have been my taske: I had intent
  To bring my rubbish to thy monument,
  To stop some crannies there, but that I found
  No need of least repaire; all firme and sound.
  Thy well-built fame doth still it selfe advance
  Above the Worlds mad zeale and ignorance,
  Though thou dyedst not possest of that same pelfe
  (Which Nobler soules call durt,) the City wealth:
  Yet thou hast left unto the times so great
  A Legacy, a Treasure so compleat,
  That 'twill be hard I feare to prove thy Will:
  Men will be wrangling, and in doubting still
  How so vast summes of wit were left behind,
  And yet nor debts nor sharers they can finde.
  'Twas the kind providence of fate, to lock
  Some of this Treasure up; and keep a stock
  For a reserve untill these sullen daies:
  When scorn, and want, and danger, are the Baies
  That Crown the head of merit. But now he
  Who in thy Will hath part, is rich and free.
  But there's a Caveat enter'd by command,
  None should pretend, but those can understand.

HENRY MODY, Baronet.


Mr Fletchers Works.

  Though Poets have a licence which they use
  As th' ancient priviledge of their free Muse;
  Yet whether this be leave enough for me
  To write, great Bard, an Eulogie for thee:
  Or whether to commend thy Worke, will stand
  Both with the Lawes of Verse and of the Land,
  Were to put doubts might raise a discontent
  Between the Muses and the ——
  I'le none of that. There's desperate wits that be
  (As their immortall Lawrell) Thunder-free;
  Whose personall vertues, 'bove the Lawes of Fate,
  Supply the roome of personall estate:
  And thus enfranchis'd, safely may rehearse,
  Rapt in a lofty straine, [their] own neck-verse.
  For he that gives the Bayes to thee, must then
  First take it from the Militarie Men;
  He must untriumph conquests, bid 'em stand,
  Question the strength of their victorious hand.
  He must act new things, or go neer the sin,
  Reader, as neer as you and I have been:
  He must be that, which He that tryes will swear
  I[t] is not good being so another Yeare.
    And now that thy great name I've brought to [this],
  To do it honour is to do amisse,
  What's to be done to those, that shall refuse
  To celebrate, great Soule, thy noble Muse?

  Shall the poore State of all those wandring things,
  Thy Stage once rais'd to Emperors and Kings?
  Shall rigid forfeitures (that reach our Heires)
  Of things that only fill with cares and feares?
  Shall the privation of a friendlesse life,
  Made up of contradictions and strife?
  Shall He be entitie, would antedate
  His own poore name, and thine annihilate?
  Shall these be judgements great enough for one
  That dares not write thee an Encomion?
    Then where am I? but now I've thought upon't,
  I'le prayse thee more then all have ventur'd on't.
  I'le take thy noble Work (and like the trade
  Where for a heap of Salt pure Gold is layd)
  I'le lay thy Volume, that Huge Tome of wit,
  About in Ladies Closets, where they sit
  Enthron'd in their own wills; and if she bee
  A Laick sister, shee'l straight flie to thee:
  But if a holy Habit shee have on,
  Or be some Novice, shee'l scarce looks upon
  Thy Lines at first; but watch Her then a while,
  And you shall see Her steale a gentle smile
  Upon thy Title, put thee neerer yet,
  Breath on thy Lines a whisper, and then set
  Her voyce up to the measures; then begin
  To blesse the houre, and happy state shee's in.
  Now shee layes by her Characters, and lookes
  With a stern eye on all her pretty Bookes.
  Shee's now thy Voteresse, and the just Crowne
  She brings thee with it, is worth half the Towne.
    I'le send thee to the Army, they that fight
  Will read thy tragedies with some delight,
  Be all thy Reformadoes, fancy scars,
  And pay too, in thy speculative wars.
    I'le send thy Comick scenes to some of those
  That for a great while have plaid fast and loose;
  New universalists, by changing shapes,
  Have made with wit and fortune faire escapes.
    Then shall the Countrie that poor Tennis-ball
  Of angry fate, receive thy Pastorall,
  And from it learn those melancholy straines
  Fed the afflicted soules of Primitive swaines.
  Thus the whole World to reverence will flock
  Thy Tragick Buskin and thy Comick Stock;
  And winged fame unto posterity
  Transmit but onely two, this Age, and Thee.

                                                     THOMAS PEYTON.
                                           Agricola Anglo-Cantianus.



Deceased Authour, Mr John Fletcher, his Plays; and especially, The Mad Lover.

  Whilst his well organ'd body doth retreat,
  To its first matter, and the formall heat
  Triumphant sits in judgement to approve
  Pieces above our Candour and our love:
  Such as dare boldly venter to appeare
  Unto the curious eye, and Criticke eare:
  Lo the
Mad Lover in these various times
  Is pressed to life, t' accuse us of our crimes.
Fletcher liv'd, who equall to him writ
  Such lasting Monuments of naturall wit?
  Others might draw: their lines with sweat, like those
  That (with much paines) a Garrison inclose;
  Whilst his sweet fluent veine did gently runne
  As uncontrold, and smoothly as the Sun.
  After his death our Theatres did make
  Him in his own unequald Language speake:
  And now when all the Muses out of their
  Approved modesty silent appeare,
  This Play of
Fletchers braves the envious light
  As wonder of our eares once, now our sight.
  Three and fourfold blest Poet, who the Lives
  Of Poets, and of Theaters survives!
  A Groome, or Ostler of some wit may bring
  His Pegasus to the Castalian spring;
  Boast he a race o're the Pharsalian plaine,
  Or happy
Tempe valley dares maintaine:
  Brag at one leape upon the double Cliffe
  (Were it as high as monstrous Tennariffe)
  Of farre-renown'd Parnassus he will get,
  And there (t' amaze the World) confirme his state:
  When our admired
Fletcher vaunts not ought,
  And slighted everything he writ as naught:
  While all our English wondring world (in's cause)
  Made this great City eccho with applause.
  Read him therefore all that can read, and those
  That cannot learne, if y' are not Learnings foes,
  And wilfully resolved to refuse
  The gentle Raptures of this happy Muse.
  From thy great constellation (noble Soule)
  Looke on this Kingdome, suffer not the whole
  Spirit of Poesie retire to Heaven,
  But make us entertains what thou hast given.
  Earthquakes and Thunder Diapasons make
  The Seas vast roare, and irresistlesse shake
  Of horrid winds, a sympathy compose;
  So in these things there's musicke in the close:
  And though they seem great Discords in our eares,
  They are not so to them above the Spheares.
  Granting these Musicke, how much sweeter's that

  Mnemosyne's daughter's voyces doe create?
  Since Heaven, and Earth, and Seas, and Ayre consent
  To make an Harmony (the Instrument,
  Their man agreeing selves) shall we refuse
  The Musicke which the Deities doe use?

  Troys ravisht Ganymed doth sing to Jove,
  And Phoebus selfe playes on his Lyre above.
  The Cretan Gods, or glorious men, who will
  Imitate right, must wonder at thy skill,
  Best Poet of thy times, or he will prove
  As mad as thy brave
Memnon was with love.


Upon the Works of BEAUMONT, and FLETCHER.

How Angels (cloyster'd in our humane Cells) Maintaine their parley, Beaumont-Fletcher tels; Whose strange unimitable Intercourse Transcends all Rules, and flyes beyond the force Of the most forward soules; all must submit Untill they reach these Mysteries of Wit. The Intellectuall Language here's exprest, Admir'd in better times, and dares the Test Of Ours; for from Wit, Sweetnesse, Mirth, and Sence, This Volume springs a new true Quintessence.

JO. PETTUS, Knight.

On the Works of the most excellent Dramatick Poet, Mr. John F[l]etcher, never before Printed.

  Haile_ Fletcher, welcome to the worlds great Stage;
  For our two houres, we have thee here an age
  In thy whole Works, and may th'
Impression call
Pretor that presents thy Playes to all:
  Both to the People, and the
Lords that sway
Herd, and Ladies whom those Lords obey.
  And what's the Loadstone can such guests invite
  But moves on two Poles,
Profit and Delight,
  Which will be soon, as on the Rack, confest
  When every one is tickled with a jest:
  And that pure
Fletcher, able to subdue
Melancholy more then Burton knew.
  And though upon the by, to his designes
Native may learne English from his lines,
th' Alien if he can but construe it,
  May here be made free
Denison of wit.
  But his maine end does drooping
Vertue raise,
  And crownes her beauty with eternall
  In Scænes where she inflames the frozen soule,
Vice (her paint washt off) appeares so foule;
  She must this
Blessed Isle and Europe leave,
  And some new
Quadrant of the Globe deceive:
  Or hide her Blushes on the
Affrike shore
Marius, but ne're rise to triumph more;
honour is resign'd to Fletchers fame;
  Adde to his Trophies, that a
Poets name
  (Late growne as odious to our
Moderne states
  As that of
King _to Rome) he vindicates
  From black aspertions, cast upon't by those
  Which only are inspir'd to lye in prose.

And, By the Court of Muses be't decreed, What graces spring from Poesy's richer seed, When we name Fletcher shall be so proclaimed, As all that's Royall is when Cæsar's _nam'd.


To the memory of my most honoured kinsman, Mr. Francis Beaumont.

  I'le not pronounce how strong and cleane thou writes,
  Nor by what new hard Rules thou took'st thy Flights,
  Nor how much
Greek and Latin some refine
  Before they can make up six words of thine,
  But this I'le say, thou strik'st our sense so deep,
  At once thou mak'st us Blush, Rejoyce, and Weep.
  Great Father
Johnson _bow'd himselfe when hee
  (Thou writ'st so nobly) vow'd he envy'd thee.
  Were thy_ Mardonius arm'd, there would be more
  Strife for his Sword then all
Achilles wore,
  Such wise just Rage, had Hee been lately tryd
  My life on't Hee had been o'th' Better side,
  And where hee found false odds, (through Gold or Sloath)
  There brave
Mardonius would have beat them Both.
    Behold, here's FLETCHER too! the World ne're knew
  Two Potent Witts co-operate till You;
  For still your fancies are so wov'n and knit,
  Yet neither borrow'd, nor were so put to't
  To call poore Godds and Goddesses to do't;
  Nor made Nine Girles your
Muses (you suppose
  Women ne're write, save
Love-Letters in prose)
  But are your owne Inspirers, and have made
  Such pow'rfull Sceanes, as when they please, invade.
  Tour Plot, Sence, Language, All's so pure and fit,
  Hee's Bold, not Valiant, dare dispute your Wit



  So shall we joy, when all whom Beasts and Wormes
  Had turned to their owne substances and formes,
  Whom Earth to Earth, or fire hath chang'd to fire,
  Wee shall behold more then at first intire
  As now we doe, to see all thine, thine owne
  In this thy Muses Resurrection,
  Whose scattered parts, from thy owne Race, more wounds
  Hath suffer'd, then
Acteon from his hounds;
  Which first their Braines, and then their Bellies fed,
  And from their excrements new Poets bred.
  But now thy Muse inraged from her urne
  Like Ghosts of Murdred bodyes doth returne
  To accuse the Murderers, to right the Stage,
  And undeceive the long abused Age,
  Which casts thy praise on them, to whom thy Wit
  Gives not more Gold then they give drosse to it:
  Who not content like fellons to purloyne,
  Adde Treason to it, and debase thy Coyne.
    But whither am I strayd? I need not raise
  Trophies to thee from other Mens dispraise;
  Nor is thy fame on lesser Ruines built,
  Nor needs thy juster title the foule guilt
  Of Easterne Kings, who to secure their Raigne,
  Must have their Brothers, Sonnes, and Kindred slaine.
  Then was wits Empire at the fatall height,
  When labouring and sinking with its weight,
  From thence a thousand lesser Poets sprong
  Like petty Princes from the fall of
  When_ JOHNSON, SHAKESPEARE, and thy selfe did sit,
  And sway'd in the Triumvirate of wit—
  Yet what from
JOHNSONS oyle and sweat did flow,
  Or what more easie nature did bestow
SHAKESPEARES gentler Muse, in thee full growne
  Their Graces both appeare, yet so, that none
  Can say here Nature ends, and Art begins
  But mixt like th'Elemcnts, and borne like twins,
  So interweav'd, so like, so much the same,
  None this meere Nature, that meere Art can name:
    'Twas this the Ancients meant, Nature and Skill
    Are the two topps of their
Pernassus Hill.


Upon Mr. John Fletcher's Playes.

  Fletcher, to thee, wee doe not only owe
  All these good Playes, but those of others too:
  Thy wit repeated, does support the Stage,
  Credits the last and entertaines this age.
  No Worthies form'd by any Muse but thine
  Could purchase Robes to make themselves so fine:
  What brave Commander is not proud to see
  Thy brave
Melantius in his Gallantry,
  Our greatest Ladyes love to see their scorne
  Out done by Thine, in what themselves have worne:
  Th'impatient Widow ere the yeare be done
  Sees thy
Aspasia weeping in her Gowne:
  I never yet the Tragick straine assay'd
  Deterr'd by that inimitable
  And when I venture at the Comick stile
Scornfull Lady seemes to mock my toile:
  Thus has thy Muse, at once, improv'd and marr'd
  Our Sport in Playes, by rendring it too hard.
  So when a sort of lusty Shepheards throw
  The barre by turns, and none the rest outgoe
  So farre, but that the best are measuring casts,
  Their emulation and their pastime lasts;
  But if some Brawny yeoman, of the guard
  Step in and tosse the Axeltree a yard
  Or more beyond the farthest Marke, the rest
  Despairing stand, their sport is at the best.


To FLETCHER Reviv'd.

  How have I been Religious? what strange Good
  Ha's scap't me that I never understood?
  Have I Hell guarded
Hæresie o'rethrowne?
  Heald wounded States? made Kings and Kingdomes one?
Fate should be so mercifull to me,
  To let me live t'have said I have read thee.
  Faire Star ascend! the Joy! the Life! the Light
  Of this tempestuous Age, this darke worlds sight!
  Oh from thy Crowne of Glory dart one flame
  May strike a sacred Reverence, whilest thy Name
  (Like holy
Flamens to their God of Day)
  We bowing, sing; and whilst we praise, we pray.
  Bright Spirit! whose Æternall motion
  Of Wit, like
Time still in it selfe did runne;
  Binding all others in it and did give
  Commission, how far this, or that shall live:
Destinie of Poems, who, as she
  Signes death to all, her selfe can never dye.
  And now thy purple-robed
  In her imbroiderd Buskins, calls mine eye,
  Where brave
Atëius we see betrayed, [-Valentinian-]
  T'obey his Death, whom thousand lives obeyed;
  Whilst that the
Mighty Foole his Scepter breakes,
  And through his
Gen'rals wounds his owne dooms speaks,
  Weaving thus richly
  The costliest Monarch with the cheapest man.
  Souldiers may here to their old glories adde
, [-The Mad Lover.-]
  The Lover love, and be with reason mad:
  Not as of old, Alcides furious,
  Who wilder then his Bull did teare the house,
  (Hurling his Language with the Canvas stone)
  'Twas thought the Monster roar'd the sob'rer Tone.
    But ah, when thou thy sorrow didst inspire [-Tragi-comedies.-]
  With Passions, blacke as is her darke attire,
  Virgins as
Sufferers have wept to see [-Arcas.-]
  So white a Soule, so red a Crueltie; [-Bellario.-]
  That thou hast grieved, and with unthought redresse,
  Dri'd their wet eyes who now thy mercy blesse;
  Yet loth to lose thy watry Jewell, when [-Comedies.-]
  Joy wip't it off, Laughter straight sprung't agen.
                                                   [-The Spanish Curate.-]
    Now ruddy-cheeked
Mirth with Rosie wings,
  Fanns ev'ry brow with gladnesse, whilest she sings
                                              [-The Humorous Lieutenant.-]
  Delight to all, and the whole Theatre
  A Festivall in Heaven doth appeare:
  Nothing but Pleasure, Love, and (like the Morne) [-The Tamer Tam'd.-]
  Each face a generall smiling doth adorne. [-The little french Lawyer.-]
    Heare ye foule Speakers, that pronounce the Aire
                                             [The custom of the Countrey-]
  Of Stewes and Shores, I will informe you where
  And how to cloathe aright your wanton wit,
  Without her nasty Bawd attending it.
  View here a loose thought said with such a grace,
  Minerva might have spoke in Venus face;
  So well disguis'd, that t'was conceiv'd by none
  But Cupid had Diana's linnen on;
  And all his naked parts so vail'd, th' expresse
  The Shape with clowding the uncomlinesse;
  That if this Reformation which we
  Receiv'd, had not been buried with thee,
  The Stage (as this work) might have liv'd and lov'd;
  Her Lines; the austere Skarlet had approv'd,
  And th' Actors wisely been from that offence
  As cleare, as they are now from Audience.
    Thus with thy Genius did the Scæne expire,
  Wanting thy Active and inliv'ning fire,
  That now (to spread a darknesse over all,)
  Nothing remaines but Poesie to fall.
  And though from these thy Embers we receive
  Some warmth, so much as may be said, we live,
  That we dare praise thee, blushlesse, in the head
  Of the best piece Hermes to Love e're read,
  That We rejoyce and glory in thy Wit,
  And feast each other with remembring it,
  That we dare speak thy thought, thy Acts recite:
  Yet all men henceforth be afraid to write



Dramaticall Poems.

  Great tutelary Spirit of the Stage!
  FLETCHER! I can fix nothing but my rage
  Before thy Workes, 'gainst their officious crime
  Who print thee now, in the worst scæne of Time.
  For me, uninterrupted hadst thou slept
  Among the holly shades and close hadst kept
  The mistery of thy lines, till men might bee
  Taught how to reade, and then, how to reade thee.
  But now thou art expos'd to th' common fate,
  Revive then (mighty Soule!) and vindicate
  From th' Ages rude affronts thy injured fame,
  Instruct the Envious, with how chast a flame
  Thou warmst the Lover; how severely just
  Thou wert to punish, if he burnt to lust.
  With what a blush thou didst the Maid adorne,
  But tempted, with how innocent a scorne.
  How Epidemick errors by thy
  Were laught out of esteeme, so purged away.
  How to each sence thou so didst vertue fit,
  That all grew vertuous to be thought t' have wit.
  But this was much too narrow for thy art,
  Thou didst frame governments, give Kings their part,
  Teach them how neere to God, while just they be;
  But how dissolved, stretcht forth to Tyrannie.
  How Kingdomes, in their channell, safely run,
  But rudely overflowing are undone.
    Though vulgar spirits Poets scorne or hate;
    Man may beget, A Poet can create


Upon Master FLETCHERS Dramaticall Workes.

  What? now the Stage is down, darst thou appeare
FLETC[H]ER _in this tottr'ing Hemisphear?
  Yes;_Poets are like Palmes which, the more weight
  You cast upon them, grow more strong & streight,
  'Tis not love's Thunderbolt, nor Mars his Speare,
  Or Neptune's angry Trident, Poets fear.
  Had now grim BEN bin breathing, 'with what rage,
  And high-swolne fury had Hee lash'd this age
  SHAKESPEARE with CHAPMAN had grown madd, and torn
  Their gentle
Sock, and lofty Buskins worne,
  To make their Muse welter up to the chin
  In blood; of
faigned Scenes no need had bin,
  England like Lucians Eagle with an Arrow
  Of her owne Plumes piercing her heart quite thorow,
  Had bin a Theater and subject fit
  To exercise in_ real truth's their wit:
  Tet none like high-wing'd
FLETCHER had bin found
  This Eagles tragick-destiny to sound,
FLETCHER'S quill had soar'd up to the sky,
  And drawn down Gods to see the tragedy:
  Live famous Dramatist, let every spring
  Make thy Bay flourish, and fresh_ Bourgeons bring:
  And since we cannot have Thee trod o'th' stage,
  Wee will applaud Thee in this silent Page


On the Edition.

  Fletcher (whose Fame no Age can ever wast;
  Envy of Ours, and glory of the last)
  Is now alive againe; and with his Name
  His sacred Ashes wak'd into a Flame;
  Such as before did by a secret charme
  The wildest Heart subdue, the coldest warme,
  And lend the Lady's eyes a power more bright,
  Dispensing thus to either, Heat and Light.
    He to a Sympathie those soules betrai'd
  Whom Love or Beauty never could perswade;
  And in each mov'd spectatour could beget
  A reall passion by a Counterfeit:
  When first
Bellario bled, what Lady there
  Did not for every drop let fall a teare?
  And when
Aspasia wept, not any eye
  But seem'd to weare the same sad livery;
  By him inspired the feigned
Lucina drew
  More streams of melting sorrow then the true;
  But then the
Scornfull Lady did beguile
  Their easie griefs, and teach them all to smile.
    Thus he Affections could, or raise or lay;
  Love, Griefe and Mirth thus did his Charmes obey:
  He Nature taught her passions to out-doe,
  How to refine the old, and create new;
  Which such a happy likenesse seem'd to beare,
  As if that Nature Art, Art Nature were.
    Yet All had Nothing bin, obscurely kept
  In the same Urne wherein his Dust hath slept,
  Nor had he ris' the Delphick wreath to claime,
  Had not the dying sceane expired his Name;
  Dispaire our joy hath doubled, he is come,
  Thrice welcome by this
  His losse preserved him; They that silenc'd Wit,
  Are now the Authours to Eternize it;
    Thus Poets are in spight of Fate revived,
    And Playes by Intermission longer liv'd


On the Edition of Mr Francis Beaumonts, and Mr John Fletchers PLAYES never printed before.

  I Am amaz'd; and this same Extacye
  Is both my Glory and Apology.
  Sober Joyes are dull Passions; they must beare
  Proportion to the Subject: if so; where
  Beaumont and Fletcher shall vouchsafe to be
  That Subject; That Joy must be Extacye.
  Fury is the Complexion of great Wits;
  The Fooles Distemper: Hee, thats mad by fits,
  Is wise so too. It is the Poets Muse;
  The Prophets God: the Fooles, and my excuse.
  For (in Me) nothing lesse then Fletchers Name
  Could have begot, or justify'd this flame.
  Beaumont }
  Fletcher } Return'd? methinks it should not be.
  No, not in's Works: Playes are as dead as He.
  The Palate of this age gusts nothing High;
  That has not Custard in't or Bawdery.
  Folly and Madnesse fill the Stage: The Scæne
  Is Athens; where, the Guilty, and the Meane,
  The Foole 'scapes well enough; Learned and Great,
  Suffer an Ostracisme; stand Exulate.

  Mankinde is fall'n againe, shrunke a degree,
  A step below his very Apostacye.
  Nature her Selfe is out of Tune; and Sicke
  Of Tumult and Disorder, Lunatique.
  Yet what World would not cheerfully endure
  The Torture, or Disease, t' enjoy the Cure?

  This Booke's the Balsame, and the Hellebore,
  Must preserve bleeding Nature, and restore
  Our Crazy Stupor to a just quick Sence
  Both of Ingratitude, and Providence.
  That teaches us (at Once) to feele, and know,
  Two deep Points: what we want, and what we owe.
  Yet Great Goods have their Ills: Should we transmit
  To Future Times, the Pow'r of Love and Wit,
  In this Example: would they not combine
  To make Our Imperfections Their Designe?
  They'd study our Corruptions; and take more
  Care to be Ill, then to be Good, before.
  For _nothing but so great Infirmity,
  Could make Them worthy of such Remedy.

  Have you not scene the Suns almighty Ray
  Rescue th' affrighted World_, and redeeme Day
  From blacke despaire: how his victorious Beame
  Scatters the Storme, and drownes the petty flame
  Of Lightning, in the glory of his eye:
  How full of pow'r, how full of Majesty?
  When to us Mortals, nothing else was knowne,
  But the sad doubt, whether to burne, or drowne.

  Choler, and Phlegme, Heat, and dull Ignorance,
  Have cast the people into such a Trance,
  That feares and danger seeme Great equally,
  And no dispute left now, but how to dye.
  Just in this nicke, Fletcher sets the world cleare
  Of all disorder and reformes us here.

  The formall Youth, that knew no other Grace,
  Or Value, but his Title, and his Lace,
  Glasses himselfe: and in this faithfull Mirrour,
  Views, disaproves, reformes, repents his Errour.

  The Credulous, bright Girle, that beleeves all
  Language, (in Othes) if Good, Canonicall,
  Is fortifi'd, and taught, here, to beware
  Of ev'ry specious bayte, of ev'ry snare
  Save one: and that same Caution takes her more,
  Then all the flattery she felt before.
  She finds her Boxes, and her Thoughts betray'd
  By the Corruption of the Chambermaide:
  Then throwes her Washes and dissemblings By;
  And Vowes nothing but Ingenuity.

The severe States-man quits his sullen forme Of Gravity and bus'nesse; The Luke-warme Religious his Neutrality; The hot Braine-sicke Illuminate his zeale; The Sot Stupidity; The Souldier his Arreares; The Court its Confidence; The Plebs their feares; Gallants their Apishnesse and Perjurie, Women their Pleasure and Inconstancie; Poets their Wine; the Usurer his Pelfe; The World its Vanity; and I my Selfe.

Roger L'Estrange.


On the Dramatick Poems of Mr JOHN FLETCHER.

  Wonder! who's here? Fletcher, long buried
  Reviv'd? Tis he! hee's risen from the Dead.
  His winding sheet put off, walks above ground,
  Shakes off his Fetters, and is better bound.
  And may he not, if rightly understood,
  Prove Playes are lawfull? he hath
made them Good.
  Is any Lover Mad? see here Loves Cure;
  Unmarried? to a Wife he may be sure
  A rare one
, For a Moneth; if she displease,
Spanish Curate gives a Writ of ease.
The Custome of the Country, then
the French Lawyer set you free againe.
  If the two
Faire Maids take it wondrous ill,
  (One of
the Inne, the other of the Mill,)
  That th' Lovers Progresse stopt, and they defam'd;
  Here's that makes
Women Pleas'd, and Tamer tamd.
  But who then playes the Coxcombe, or will trie
Wit at severall Weapons, or else die?
  Nice Valour and he doubts not to engage
Noble Gentl'man, in Loves Pilgrimage,
  To take revenge on the False One, and run
Honest mans Fortune, to be undone
Knight of Malta, or else Captaine be
  Or th'
Humerous Lieutenant: goe to Sea
  (A Voyage for to starve) hee's very loath,
  Till we are all at peace, to sweare an Oath,
  That then the
Loyall Subject may have leave
  To lye from
Beggers Bush, and undeceive
  The Creditor, discharge his debts; Why so,
  Since we can't pay to
Fletcher what we owe.
  Oh could his
Prophetesse but tell one Chance,
  When that the Pilgrimes shall returne from France.
  And once more make this Kingdome, as of late,
Island Princesse, and we celebrate
Double Marriage; every one to bring
Fletchers memory his offering.
  That thus at last unsequesters the Stage,
  Brings backe the Silver, and the Golden Age

Robert Gardiner.

To the Manes of the celebrated Poets and Fellow-writers, Francis
and John Fletcher, upon the Printing of their excellent
Dramatick Poems.

  Disdaine not Gentle Shades, the lowly praise
  Which here I tender your immortall Bayes.
  Call it not folly, but my zeale, that I
  Strive to eternize you that cannot dye.
  And though no Language rightly can commend
  What you have writ, save what your selves have penn'd;
  Yet let me wonder at those curious straines
  (The rich Conceptions of your twin-like Braines)
  Which drew the Gods attention; who admir'd
  To see our English Stage by you inspir'd.
  Whose chiming Muses never fail'd to sing
  A Soule-affecting Musicke; ravishing
  Both Eare and Intellect, while you do each
  Contend with other who shall highest reach
  In rare Invention; Conflicts that beget
  New strange delight, to see two Fancies met,
  That could receive no foile: two wits in growth
  So just, as had one Soule informed both.
(Learned Fletcher) sung the muse alone,
  As both had done before, thy
Beaumont gone.
  In whom, as thou, had he outlived, so he
  (Snatch'd first away) survived still in thee.
    What though distempers of the present Age
  Have banish'd your smooth numbers from the Stage?
  You shall be gainers by't; it shall confer
  To th' making the vast world your Theater.
  The Presse shall give to ev'ry man his part,
  And we will all be Actors; learne by heart
  Those Tragick Scenes and Comicke Straines you writ,
  Un-imitable both for Art and Wit;
  And at each
Exit, as your Fancies rise,
  Our hands shall clap deserved Plaudities.

John Web.

To the desert of the Author in his most Ingenious Pieces.

  Thou art above their Censure, whose darke Spirits
  Respects but shades of things, and seeming merits;
  That have no soule, nor reason to their will,
  But rime as ragged, as a Ganders Quill:
  Where Pride blowes up the Error, and transfers
  Their zeale in Tempests, that so wid'ly errs.
  Like heat and Ayre comprest, their blind desires
  Mixe with their ends, as raging winds with fires.
  Whose Ignorance and Passions, weare an eye
  Squint to all parts of true Humanity.
  All is
Apocripha suits not their vaine:
  For wit, oh fye! and Learning too; prophane!
Fletcher hath done Miracles by wit,
  And one Line of his may convert them yet.
  Tempt them into the State of knowledge, and
  Happinesse to read and understand.
  The way is strow'd with
Lawrell, and ev'ry Muse
  Brings Incense to our
Fletcher: whose Scenes infuse
  Such noble kindlings from her pregnant fire,
  As charmes her Criticke Poets in desire,
  And who doth read him, that parts lesse indu'd,
  Then with some heat of wit or Gratitude.
  Some crowd to touch the Relique of his Bayes,
  Some to cry up their owne wit in his praise,
  And thinke they engage it by Comparatives,
  When from himselfe, himselfe he best derives.
Shakespeare, Chapman, and applauded Ben,
  Weare the Eternall merit of their Pen,
  Here I am love-sicke: and were I to chuse,
  A Mistris corrivall 'tis
Fletcher's Muse.

George Buck.


(Written thirty years since, presently after his death.)

  Beaumont lyes here; and where now shall we have
  A Muse like his to sigh upon his grave?
  Ah! none to weepe this with a worthy teare,
  But he that cannot,
Beaumont, that lies here.
  Who now shall pay thy Tombe with such a Verse
  As thou that Ladies didst, faire
Rutlands Herse?
  A Monument that will then lasting be,
  When all her Marble is more dust than she.
  In thee all's lost: a sudden dearth and want
  Hath seiz'd on Wit, good Epitaphs are scant;
  We dare not write thy Elegie, whilst each feares
  He nere shall match that coppy of thy teares.
  Scarce in an Age a Poet, and yet he
  Scarce lives the third part of his age to see,
  But quickly taken off and only known,
  Is in a minute shut as soone as showne.

  Why should weake Nature tire her selfe in vaine
  In such a peice, to dash it straight againe?
  Why should she take such worke beyond her skill,
  Which when she cannot perfect, she must kill?
  Alas, what is't to temper slime or mire?
  But Nature's puzled when she workes in fire:
  Great Braines (like brightest glasse) crack straight, while those
  Of Stone or Wood hold out, and feare not blowes.
  And wee their Ancient hoary heads can see
  Whose Wit was never their mortality:

  Beaumont dies young, so Sidney did before,
  There was not Poetry he could live to more,
  He could not grow up higher, I scarce know
  If th' art it selfe unto that pitch could grow,
  Were't not in thee that hadst arriv'd the hight
  Of all that wit could reach, or Nature might.
  O when I read those excellent things of thine,
  Such Strength, such sweetnesse coucht in every line,
  Such life of Fancy, such high choise of braine,
  Nought of the Vulgar wit or borrowed straine,
  Such Passion, such expressions meet my eye,
  Such Wit untainted with obscenity,
  And these so unaffectedly exprest,
  All in a language purely flowing drest,
  And all so borne within thy selfe, thine owne,
  So new, so fresh, so nothing trod upon.
  I grieve not now that old
Menanders veine
  Is ruin'd to survive in thee againe;
  Such in his time was he of the same peece,
  The smooth, even naturall Wit, and Love of Greece.
  Those few sententious fragments shew more worth,
  Then all the Poets
Athens ere brought forth;
  And I am sorry we have lost those houres
  On them, whose quicknesse comes far short of ours,
  And dwell not more on thee, whose every Page
  May be a patterne for their Scene and Stage.
  I will not yeeld thy Workes so meane a Prayse;
  More pure, more chaste, more sainted then are Playes,
  Nor with that dull supinenesse to be read,
  To passe a fire, or laugh an houre in bed.
  How doe the Muses suffer every where,
  Taken in such mouthes censure, in such eares,
  That twixt a whiffe, a Line or two rehearse,
  And with their Rheume together spaule a Verse?
  This all a Poems leisure after Play,
  Drinke or Tabacco, it may keep the Day.
  Whilst even their very idlenesse they thinke
  Is lost in these, that lose their time in drinkt.

  Pity then dull we, we that better know,
  Will a more serious houre on thee bestow,
  Why should not
Beaumont in the Morning please,
  As well as
Plautus, Aristophanes?
  Who if my Pen may as my thoughts be free,
  Were scurrill Wits and Buffons both to Thee;
  Yet these our Learned of severest brow
  Will deigne to looke on, and to note them too,
  That will defie our owne, tis English stuffe,
  And th' Author is not rotten long enough.
  Alas what flegme are they, compared to thee,
  In thy
Philaster, and Maids-Tragedy?
  Where's such an humour as thy Bessus? pray
  Let them put all their
Thrasoes in one Play,
  He shall out-bid them; their conceit was poore,
  All in a Circle of a Bawd or Whore;
  A cozning dance, take the foole away,
  And not a good jest extant in a Play.
  Yet these are Wits, because they'r old, and now
  Being Greeke and Latine, they are Learning too:
  But those their owne Times were content t' allow
  A thirsty fame, and thine is lowest now.
  But thou shalt live, and when thy Name is growne
  Six Ages older, shall be better knowne,
  When th' art of
Chaucers standing in the Tombe,
  Thou shalt not share, but take up all his roome.

Joh. Earle.


Incomparable Playes.

The Poet lives; wonder not how or why Fletcher revives, but that he er'e could dye: Safe Mirth, full Language, flow in ev'ry Page, At once he doth both heighten and aswage; All Innocence and Wit, pleasant and cleare, Nor Church nor Lawes were ever Libel'd here; But faire deductions drawn from his great Braine, Enough to conquer all that's False or Vaine; He scatters Wit, and Sence so freely flings That very Citizens speake handsome things, Teaching their Wives such unaffected grace, Their Looks are now as handsome as their Face. Nor is this violent, he steals upon The yeilding Soule untill the Phrensie's gone; His very Launcings do the Patient please, As when good Musicke cures a Mad Disease. Small Poets rifle Him, yet thinke it faire, Because they rob a man that well can spare; They feed upon him, owe him every bit, Th'are all but Sub-excisemen of his Wit.

J. M.

On the Workes of Beaumont and Fletcher, now at length printed.

  Great paire of Authors, whom one equall Starre
  Begot so like in
Genius, _that you are
  In Fame, as well as Writings, both so knit,
  That no man knowes where to divide your wit,
  Much lesse your praise; you, who had equall fire,
  And did each other mutually inspire;
  Whether one did contrive, the other write,
  Or one framed the plot, the other did indite;
  Whether one found the matter, th'other dresse,
  Or the one disposed what th'other did expresse;
  Where e're your parts betweene your selves lay, we,
  In all things which you did but one thred see,
  So evenly drawne out, so gently spunne,
  That Art with Nature nere did smoother run.
  Where shall I fixe my praise then? or what part
  Of all your numerous Labours hath desert
  More to be fam'd then other? shall I say,
  I've met a lover so drawne in your Play,
  So passionately written, so inflamed,
  So jealously inraged, then gently tam'd,
  That I in reading have the Person seene.
  And your Pen hath part Stage and Actor been?
  Or shall I say, that I can scarce forbeare
  To clap, when I a Captain do meet there,
  So lively in his owne vaine humour drest,
  So braggingly, and like himself exprest,
  That moderne Cowards, when they saw him plaid,
  Saw, blusht, departed guilty, and betraid?
  You wrote all parts right; whatsoe're the Stage
  Had from you, was seene there as in the age,
  And had their equall life: Vices which were
  Manners abroad, did grow corrected there:
  They who possest a Box, and halfe Crowns spent
  To learne Obscenenes, returned innocent,
  And thankt you for this coznage, whose chaste Scene
  Taught Loves so noble, so reformed, so cleane,
  That they who brought foule fires, and thither came
  To bargaine, went thence with a holy flame.
  Be't to your praise too, that your Stock and Veyne
  Held both to Tragick and to Comick straine;
  Where e're you listed to be high and grave,
  No Buskin shew'd more solem[n]e, no quill gave
  Such feeling objects to draw teares from eyes,
  Spectators sate part in your Tragedies.
  And where you listed to be low, and free,
  Mirth turn'd the whole house into Comedy;
  So piercing (where you pleas'd) hitting a fault,
  That humours from your pen issued all salt.
  Nor were you thus in Works and Poems knit,
  As to be but two halfes, and make one wit;
  But as some things we see, have double cause,
  And yet the effect it selfe from both whole drawes;
  So though you were thus twisted and combind
  As two bodies, to have but one faire minde
  Yet if we praise you rightly, we must say
  Both joyn'd, and both did wholly make the Play,
  For that you could write singly, we may guesse
  By the divided peeces which the Presse
  Hath severally sent forth; nor were gone so
  (Like some our Moderne Authors) made to go
  On meerely by the helpe of the other, who
  To purchase fame do come forth one of two;
  Nor wrote you so, that ones part was to lick
  The other into shape, nor did one stick
  The others cold inventions with such wit,
  As served like spice, to make them quick and fit;
  Nor out of mutuall want, or emptinesse,
  Did you conspire to go still twins to th' Presse:
  But what thus joy tied you wrote, might have come forth
  As good from each, and stored with the same worth
  That thus united them, you did joyne sense,
  In you 'twas League, in others impotence;
  And the Presse which both thus amongst us sends,
  Sends us one Poet in a faire of friends.

Jasper Maine.

Upon the report of the printing of the Dramaticall Poems of Master John
, collected before, and now set forth in one Volume.

    Though when all Fletcher writ, and the entire
  Man was indulged unto that sacred fire,
  His thoughts, and his thoughts dresse, appeared both such,
  That 'twas his happy fault to do too much;
  Who therefore wisely did submit each birth
  To knowing
Beaumont e're it did come forth,
  Working againe untill he said 'twas fit,
  And made him the sobriety of his wit;
  Though thus he call'd his Judge into his fame,
  And for that aid allow'd him halfe the name,
  'Tis knowne, that sometimes he did stand alone,
  That both the Spunge and Pencill were his owne;
  That himselfe judged himselfe, could singly do,
  And was at last
Beaumont and Fletcher too;
    Else we had lost his
Shepherdesse, a piece
  Even and smooth, spun from a finer fleece,
  Where softnesse raignes, where passions passions greet,
  Gentle and high, as floods of Balsam meet.
  Where dressed in white expressions, sit bright Loves,
  Drawne, like their fairest Queen, by milkie Doves;
  A piece, which
Johnson in a rapture bid
  Come up a glorifi'd Worke, and so it did.
    Else had his Muse set with his friend; the Stage
  Had missed those Poems, which yet take the Age;
  The world had lost those rich exemplars, where
  Art, Language, Wit, sit ruling in one Spheare,
  Where the fresh matters soare above old Theames,
  As Prophets Raptures do above our Dreames;
  Where in a worthy scorne he dares refuse
  All other Gods, and makes the thing his Muse;
  Where he calls passions up, and layes them so,
  As spirits, aw'd by him to come and go;
  Where the free Author did what e're he would,
  And nothing will'd, but what a Poet should.
    No vast uncivill bulke swells any Scene,
  The strength's ingenious, a[n]d the vigour cleane;
  None can prevent the Fancy, and see through
  At the first opening; all stand wondring how
  The thing will be untill it is; which thence
  With fresh delight still cheats, still takes the sence;
  The whole designe, the shadowes, the lights such
  That none can say he shelves or hides too much:

  Businesse growes up, ripened by just encrease,
  And by as just degrees againe doth cease,
  The heats and minutes of affaires are watcht,
  And the nice points of time are met, and snatcht:
  Nought later then it should, nought comes before,
  Chymists, and Calculators doe erre more:
  Sex, age, degree, affections, country, place,
  The inward substance, and the outward face;
  All kept precisely, all exactly fit,
  What he would write, he was before he writ.
Johnsons grave, and Shakespeares lighter sound
  His muse so steer'd that something still was found,
  Nor this, nor that, nor both, but so his owne,
  That 'twas his marke, and he was by it knowne.
  Hence did he take true judgements, hence did strike,
  All pallates some way, though not all alike:
  The god of numbers might his numbers crowne,
  And listning to them wish they were his owne.
    Thus welcome forth, what ease, or wine, or wit
    Durst yet produce, that is, what
Fletcher writ.


  Fletcher, though some call it thy fault, that wit
  So overflow'd thy scenes, that ere 'twas fit
  To come upon the Stage,
Beaumont was faine
  To bid thee be more dull, that's write againe,
  And bate some of thy fire, which from thee came
  In a cleare, bright, full, but too large a flame;
  And after all (finding thy Genius such)
  That blunted, and allayed, 'twas yet too much;
  Added his sober spunge, and did contract
  Thy plenty to lesse wit to make't exact:
  Yet we through his corrections could see
  Much treasure in thy superfluity,
  Which was so fil'd away, as when we doe
  Cut Jewels, that that's lost is jewell too:
  Or as men use to wash Gold, which we know
  By losing makes the streame thence wealthy grow.
  They who doe on thy worker severely sit,
  And call thy store the over-births of wit,
  Say thy miscarriages were rare, and when
  Thou wert superfluous, that thy fruitfull Pen
  Had no fault but abundance, which did lay
  Out in one Scene what might well serve a Play;
  And hence doe grant, that what they call excesse
  Was to be reckon'd as thy happinesse,
  From whom wit issued in a full spring-tide;
  Much did inrich the Stage, much flow'd beside.

  For that thou couldst thine owne free fancy binde
  In stricter numbers, and run so confin'd
  As to observe the rules of Art, which sway
  In the contrivance of a true borne Play:
  These workes proclaime which thou didst write retired
Beaumont, by none but thy selfe inspired;
  Where we see 'twas not chance that made them hit,
  Nor were thy Playes the Lotteries of wit,
  But like to
Durers Pencill, which first knew
  The lawes of faces, and then faces drew:
  Thou knowst the aire, the colour, and the place,
  The simetry, which gives a Poem grace:
  Parts are so fitted unto parts, as doe
  Shew thou hadst wit, and Mathematicks too:
  Knewst where by line to spare, where to dispence,
  And didst beget just Comedies from thence:
  Things unto which thou didst such life bequeath,
  That they (their owne Black-Friers) unacted breath.

  Johnson hath writ things lasting, and divine,
  Yet his Love-Scenes,
Fletcher, compar'd to thine,
  Are cold and frosty, and exprest love so,
  As heat with Ice, or warme fires mixt with Snow;
  Thou, as if struck with the same generous darts,
  Which burne, and raigne in noble Lovers hearts,
  Hast cloath'd affections in such native tires,
  And so describ'd them in their owne true fires;
  Such moving sighes, suc[h] undissembled teares,
  Such charmes of language, such hopes mixt with feares,
  Such grants after denialls, such pursuits
  After despaire, such amorous recruits,
  That some who sate spectators have confest
  Themselves transformed to what they saw exprest,
  And felt such shafts steale through their captiv'd sence,
  As made them rise Parts, and goe Lovers thence.
  Nor was thy stile wholly compos'd of Groves,
  Or the soft straines of Shepheards and their Loves;
  When thou wouldst Comick be, each smiling birth
  In that kinde, came into the world all mirth,
  All point, all edge, all sharpnesse; we did sit
  Sometimes five Acts out in pure sprightfull wit,
  Which flowed in such true salt, that we did doubt
  In which Scene we laught most two shillings out.

  Shakespeare to thee was dull, whose best jest lyes
  I'th Ladies questions, and the Fooles replyes;
  Old fashioned wit, which walkt from town to town
  In turn'd Hose, which our fathers call'd the Clown;
  Whose wit our nice times would obsceannesse call,
  And which made Bawdry passe for Comicall:

  Nature was all his Art, thy veine was free
  As his, but without his scurility;
  From whom mirth came unforced, no jest perplext,
  But without labour cleane, chast, and unvext.
  Thou wert not like some, our small Poets who
  Could not be Poets, were not we Poets too;
  Whose wit is pilfring, and whose veine and wealth
  In Poetry lyes meerely in their stealth;
  Nor didst thou feele their drought, their pangs, their qualmes,
  Their rack in writing, who doe write for almes,
  Whose wretched Genius, and dependent fires,
  But to their Benefactors dole aspires.
  Nor hadst thou the sly trick, thy selfe to praise
  Under thy friends names, or to purchase Bayes
  Didst write stale commendations to thy Booke,
  Which we for
Beaumonts or Ben. Johnsons tooke:
  That debt thou left'st to us, which none but he
  Can truly pay,
Fletcher, who writes like thee.

William Cartwright.

On Mr FRANCIS BEAUMONT (then newly dead.)

  He that hath such acutenesse, and such witt,
  As would aske ten good heads to husband it;
  He that can write so well that no man dare
  Refuse it for the best, let him beware:

    BEAUMONT is dead, by whose sole death appeares,
    Witt's a Disease consumes men in few yeares.


To Mr FRANCIS BEAUMONT (then living.)

  How I doe love thee BEAUMONT, and thy Muse,
  That unto me do'st such religion use!
  How I doe feare my selfe, that am not worth
  The least indulgent thought thy pen drops forth!
  At once thou mak'st me happie, and unmak'st;
  And giving largely to me, more thou tak'st.
  What fate is mine, that so it selfe bereaves?
  What art is thine, that so thy friend deceives?
  When even there where most than praisest me,
  For writing better, I must envy thee.


Upon Master FLETCHERS Incomparable Playes.

  Apollo sings, his harpe resounds; give roome,
  For now behold the golden Pompe is come,
  Thy Pompe of Playes which thousands come to see,
  With admiration both of them and thee,
  O Volume worthy leafe, by leafe and cover
  To be with juice of Cedar washt all over;
  Here's words with lines, and lines with Scenes consent,
  To raise an Act to full astonishment;
  Here melting numbers, words of power to move
  Young men to swoone, and Maides to dye for love.
  Love lyes a bleeding here,
Evadne there
  Swells with brave rage, yet comely every where,
  Here's a
mad lover, there that high designe
King and no King (and the rare Plot thine)
  So that when 'ere wee circumvolve our Eyes,
  Such rich, such fresh, such sweet varietyes,
  Ravish our spirits, that entranc't we see
  None writes lov's passion in the world, like Thee.


On the happy Collection of Master FLETCHER'S Works, never before

  FLETCHER arise, Usurpers share thy Bayes,
Canton thy vast Wit to build small Playes:
  He comes! his Volume breaks through clowds and dust,
  Downe, little Witts, Ye must refund, Ye must.

    Nor comes he private, here's great BEAUMONT too,
  How could one single World encompasse Two?
  For these Co-heirs had equall power to teach
  All that all Witts both can and cannot reach.

  Shakespear was early up, and went so drest
  As for those
dawning houres he knew was best;
  But when the Sun shone forth,
You Two thought fit
  To weare just Robes, and leave off Trunk-hose-Wit.
  Now, now 'twas Perfect; None must looke for New,
  Manners and Scenes may alter, but not
  For Yours are not meere Humours, gilded straines;
  The Fashion lost, Your massy
Sense remaines.
    Some thinke Your Witts of two Complexions fram'd,
  That One the
Sock, th'Other the Buskin claim'd;
  That should the Stage
embattaile all it's Force,
  FLETCHER would lead the Foot, BEAUMONT the Horse.
  But, you were Both for Both; not Semi-witts,
  Each Piece is wholly Two, yet never splits:
  Y'are not Two
Faculties (and one Soule still)
  But th'
Understanding, Thou the quick free Will;
  But, as two Voyces in one Song embrace,
  (FLETCHER'S keen Trebble, and deep BEAUMONTS Base)
  Two, full, Congeniall Soules; still Both prevail'd;
  His Muse and Thine were
Quarter'd not Impal'd:
  _Both brought Your Ingots, Both toil'd at the Mint,
  Beat, melted, sifted, till no drosse stuck in't,
  Then in each Others scales weighed every graine,
  Then smooth'd and burnish'd, then weigh'd all againe,
  Stampt Both your Names upon't by one bold Hit,
  Then, then'twas Coyne, as well as Bullion-Wit.

    Thus Twinns: But as when Fate one Eye deprives,
  That other strives to double which survives:
  So_ BEAUMONT dy'd: yet left in Legacy
  His Rules and Standard-wit
(FLETCHER) to Thee.
  Still the same Planet, though not fill'd so soon,
  A Two-horn'd
Crescent then, now one Full-moon.
  Joynt Love before, now Honour doth provoke;
  So th' old Twin
-Giants forcing a huge Oake
  One slipp'd his footing, th' Other sees him fall,
  Grasp'd the whole Tree and single held up all.
FLETCHER! here begins thy Raigne,
  Scenes flow like Sun-beams from thy glorious Brain;
  Thy swift dispatching Soule no more doth stay
  Then He that built two Citties in one day;
  Ever brim full, and sometimes running o're
  To feede poore languid Witts that waite at doore,
  Who creep and creep, yet ne're above-ground stood,
  (For Creatures have most Feet which have least Blood)
  But thou art still that
Bird of Paradise
  Which hath no feet and ever nobly flies:
  Rich, lusty Sence, such as the Poet ought,
Poems if not Excellent, are Naught;
  Low wit in Scenes? in state a Peasant goes;
  If meane and flat, let it foot Yeoman Prose,
  That such may spell as are not Readers grown,
  To whom He that writes Wit, shews he hath none.

    Brave Shakespeare flow'd, yet had his Ebbings too,
  Often above Himselfe, sometimes below;
  Thou Alwayes Best; if ought seem'd to decline,
  'Twas the unjudging Rout's mistake, not Thine:
  Thus thy faire
SHEPHEARDESSE, which the bold Heape
  (False to Themselves and Thee) did prize so cheap,

  Was found (when understood) fit to be Crown'd,
  At wont 'twas worth
two hundred thousand pound.
    Some blast thy Works lest we should track their Walke
  Where they steale all those few good things they talke;
  Wit-Burglary must chide those it feeds on,
  For Plundered folkes ought to be rail'd upon;
  But (as stoln goods goe off at halfe their worth)
  Thy strong Sence
pall's when they purloine it forth.
  When did'st
Thou borrow? wkere's the man e're read
  Ought begged by
Thee from those Alive or Dead?
  Or from dry
Goddesses, as some who when
  They stuffe their page with Godds, write worse then Men.
  Thou was't thine
owne Muse, and hadst such vast odds
  Thou out-writ'st him whose verse
made all those Godds:
  Surpassing those our Dwarfish Age up reares,
  As much as
Greeks or Latines thee in yeares:
  Thy Ocean Fancy knew nor Bankes nor Damms,
  We ebbe downe dry to pebble
  Dead and insipid, all despairing sit
  Lost to behold this great
Relapse of Wit:
  What strength remaines, is like that (wilde and fierce)
Johnson made good Poets and right Verse.
    Such boyst'rous Trifles Thy Muse would not brooke,
  Save when she'd show how scurvily they looke;
  No savage Metaphors (things rudely Great)
  Thou dost
display, not butcher a Conceit;
  Thy Nerves have
Beauty, which Invades and Charms;
  Lookes like a Princesse harness'd in bright Armes.
    Nor art Thou Loud and Cloudy; those that do
  Thunder so much, do't without Lightning too;
  Tearing themselves, and almost split their braine
  To render harsh what thou speak'st free and cleane;
  Such gloomy Sense may pass for
High and Proud,
  But true-born Wit still flies above the Cloud;
  Thou knewst 'twas Impotence what they call Height;
  Who blusters strong i'th Darke, but creeps i'th Light.
    And as thy thoughts were
cleare, so, Innocent;
  Thy Phancy gave no unswept Language vent;
  Slaunderst not
Lawes, prophan'st no holy Page,
  (As if thy Fathers Crosier aw'd the Stage;)
  High Crimes were still arraign'd, though they made shift
  To prosper out
foure Acts, were plagu'd i'th Fift:
  All's safe, and wise; no stiffe-affected Scene,
swoln, nor flat, a True Full Naturall veyne;
  Thy Sence (like well-drest Ladies) cloath'd as skinn'd,
  Not all unlac'd, nor City-startcht and pinn'd.
  Thou hadst no Sloath, no Rage, no sullen Fit,
Strength and Mirth, FLETCHER'S a Sanguin Wit.
    Thus, two great Consul-Poets all things swayd,
  Till all was
English Borne or English Made:
  Miter and Coyfe here into One Piece spun,
  BEAUMONT a Judge's, This a Prelat's sonne.
  What Strange Production is at last displaid,
  (Got by Two Fathers, without Female aide)
  Behold, two
Masculines espous'd each other,
    Wit and the World were born without a Mother.


To the memorie of Master FLETCHER.

  There's nothing gained by being witty: Fame
  Gathers but winde to blather up a name
  Orpheus must leave his lyre, or if it be
  In heav'n, 'tis there a signe, no harmony,
  And stones, that follow'd him, may now become
  Now stones againe, and serve him for his Tomb.
  The Theban
Linus, that was ably skil'd
  In Muse and Musicke, was by
Phoebus kill'd,
Phoebus did beget him: sure his Art
  Had merited his balsame, not his dart.
    But here
Apollo's jealousie is seene,
  The god of Physicks troubled with the spleene;
  Like timerous Kings he puts a period
  To high grown parts lest he should be no God.
    Hence those great Master-wits of Greece that gave
  Life to the world, could not avoid a grave.
  Hence the inspired Prophets of old
  Too great for earth fled to Elizium.
    But the same Ostracisme benighted one,
  To whom all these were but illusion;
  It tooke our
FLETCHER hence, Fletcher, whose wit
  Was not an accident to th' soule, but It;
  Onely diffused. (Thus wee the same Sun call,
  Moving it'h Sphære, and shining on a wall.)
  Wit, so high placed at first, it could not climbe,
  Wit, that ne're grew, but only show'd by time.
  No fier-worke of sacke, no seldome show'n
  Poeticke rage, but still in motion:
  And with far more then Sphericke excellence
  It mov'd, for 'twas its owns Intelligence.
  And yet so obvious to sense, so plaine,
  You'd scarcely thinke't allyd unto the braine:

  So sweete, it gained more ground upon the Stage
Johnson with his selfe-admiring rage
  Ere lost: and then so naturally it fell,
  That fooles would think, that they could doe as well.
    This is our losse: yet spight of
Phoebus, we
  Will keepe our
FLETCHER, for his wit is He.


Upon the ever to be admired Mr. JOHN FLETCHER and His PLAYES.

  What's all this preparation for? or why
  Such suddain Triumphs?
FLETCHER the people cry!
  Just so, when Kings approach, our Conduits run
  Claret, as here the spouts flow
  See, every sprightfull Muse dressed trim and gay
  Strews hearts and scatters roses in his way.
    Thus th'outward yard set round with
bayes w'have seene,
  Which from the garden hath transplanted been:
  Thus, at the Prætor's feast, with needlesse costs
  Some must b'employd in painting of the posts:
  And some as dishes made for sight, not taste,
  Stand here as things for shew to
  Oh what an honour! what a Grace 'thad beene
  T'have had his Cooke in
Rollo serv'd them in!
    FLETCHER the King of Poets! such was he,
  That earned all tribute, claimed all soveraignty;
  And may he that denye's it, learn to blush
loyall Subject, starve at's Beggars bush:
  And if not drawn by example, shame, nor Grace,
  Turne o've to's
Coxcomb, and the Wild-goose Chase.
    Monarch of Wit! great Magazine of wealth!
  From whose rich
Banke, by a Promethean-stealth,
  Our lesser flames doe blaze! His the true fire,
  When they like Glo-worms, being touch'd, expire,
  'Twas first beleev'd, because he alwayes was,
Ipse dixit, and Pythagoras
  To our Disciple-wits; His soule might run
  (By the same-dream't-of Transmigration)
  Into their rude and indigested braine,
  And so informe their Chaos-lump againe;
  For many specious brats of this last age
FLETCHER _perfectly in every Page.
  This rowz'd his Rage to be abused thus:
  Made'_s Lover mad, Lieutenant humerous.
  Thus Ends of Gold and Silver-men are made
  (As th'use to say) Goldsmiths of his owne trade;
Rag-men from the dung-hill often hop,
    And publish forth by chance a Brokers shop:
  But by his owne light, now, we have descri'd
  The drosse, from that hath beene so purely tri'd
  Proteus _of witt! who reads him doth not see
  The manners of each sex of each degree!
  His full stor'd fancy doth all humours fill
  From th'_Queen of Corinth to the maid o'th mill;
  His Curate, Lawyer, Captain, Prophetesse
  Shew he was all and every one of these;
  Hee taught (so subtly were their fancies seized)

  To Rule a Wife, and yet the Women pleas'd.
    Parnassus _is thine owne, Claime't as merit,
    Law makes the Elder Brother to inherit.

G. Hills._

IN HONOUR OF Mr John Fletcher.

  So FLETCHER now presents to fame
  His alone selfe and unpropt name,
  As Rivers Rivers entertaine,
  But still fall single into th'maine,
  So doth the Moone in Consort shine
  Yet flowes alone into its mine,
  And though her light be joyntly throwne,
  When she makes silver tis her owne:
  Perhaps his quill flew stronger, when
  Twas weaved with his
Beaumont's pen;
  And might with deeper wonder hit,
  It could not shew more his, more wit;
  So Hercules came by sexe and Love,
  When Pallas sprang from single Jove;
  He tooke his
BEAUMONT _for Embrace,
  Not to grow by him, and increase,
  Nor for support did with him twine,
  He was his friends friend, not his vine.
  His witt with witt he did not twist
  To be Assisted, but t' Assist.
  And who could succour him, whose quill
  Did both Run sense and sense Distill?
  Had Time and Art in't, and the while
  Slid even as theirs wh'are only style,
  Whether his chance did cast it so
  Or that it did like Rivers flow
  Because it must, or whether twere
  A smoothnesse from his file and care,
  Not the most strict enquiring nayle
  Cou'd e're finde where his piece did faile
  Of entyre onenesse; so the frame,
  Was Composition, yet the same.
    How does he breede his Brother! and
  Make wealth and estate understand?
  Sutes Land to wit, makes Lucke match merit,
  And makes an Eldest fitly inherit:
  How was he Ben, when Ben did write
  Toth' stage, not to his judge endite?
  How did he doe what Johnson did.
  And Earne what Johnson wou'd have s'ed?

Jos. Howe of Trin. Coll. Oxon.

  Master John Fletcher his dramaticall
  Workes now at last printed.

  I Could prayse Heywood now: or tell how long,
  Falstaffe from cracking Nuts hath kept the throng:
  But for a Fletcher, I must take an Age,
  And scarce invent the Title for one Page.
  Gods must create new Spheres, that should expresse
  The sev'rall Accents, Fletcher, of thy Dresse:
  The Penne of Fates should only write thy Praise:
  And all Elizium for thee turne to Bayes.
  Thou feltst no pangs of Poetry, such as they.
  Who the Heav'ns quarter still before a Play,
  And search the Ephemerides to finde,
  When the Aspect for Poets will be kinde.
  Thy Poems (sacred Spring) did from thee flow,
  With as much pleasure, as we reads them now.
  Nor neede we only take them up by fits,
  When love or Physicke hath diseased our Wits;
  Or constr'e English to untye a knot.
  Hid in a line, farre subtler then the Plot.
  With Thee the Page may close his Ladies eyes,
  And yet with thee the serious Student Rise:
  The Eye at sev'rall angles darting rayes,
  Makes, and then sees, new Colours; so thy Playes
  To ev'ry understanding still appeare,
  As if thou only meant'st to take that Eare;
  The Phrase so terse and free of a just Poise,
  Where ev'ry word ha's weight and yet no Noise,
  The matter too so nobly fit, no lesse
  Then such as onely could deserve thy Dresse:
  Witnesse thy Comedies, Pieces of such worth,
  All Ages shall still like, but ne're bring forth.
  Other in season last scarce so long time,
  As cost the Poet but to make the Rime:
  Where, if a Lord a new way do's but spit,
  Or change his shrugge this antiquates the Wit.
  That thou didst live before, nothing would tell
  Posterity, could they but write so well.
  Thy Cath'lick Fancy will acceptance finde,
  Not whilst an humours living, but Man-kinde.
  Thou, like thy Writings, Innocent and Cleane,
  Ne're practis'd a new Vice, to make one Scæne,
  None of thy Inke had gall, and Ladies can,
  Securely heare thee sport without a Fanne.
           But when Thy Tragicke Muse would please to rise
  In Majestie, and call Tribute from our Eyes;
  Like Scenes, we shifted Passions, and that so,
  Who only came to see, turned Actors too.
  How didst thou sway the Theatre! make us feele
  The Players wounds were true, and their swords, steele!
  Nay, stranger yet, how often did I knows
  When the Spectators ran to save the blow?
  Frozen with griefe we could not stir away
  Untill the Epilogue told us 'twas a Play.
  What shall I doe? all Commendations end,
  In saying only thou wert BEAUMONTS Friend?
  Give me thy spirit quickely, for I swell,
  And like a raveing Prophetesse cannot tell
  How to receive thy Genius in my breast:
  Oh! I must sleepe, and then I'le sing the rest.

T. Palmer of Ch. Ch. Oxon.

Upon the unparalelld Playes written by those Renowned Twinnes of Poetry

  What's here? another Library of prayse,
  Met in a Troupe t'advance contemned Playes
  And bring exploded Witt againe in fashion?
  I can't but wonder at this Reformation,
  My skipping soule surfets with so much good,
  To see my hopes into
fruition budd.
  A happy
Chimistry! blest viper, joy!
  That through thy mothers bowels gnawst thy way!
    Witts flock in sholes, and clubb to re-erect
  In spight of
Ignorance the Architect
  Of Occidentall
Poesye; and turne
  Godds, to recall
witts ashes from their urne.
  Like huge
Collosses they've together mett
  Their shoulders, to support a world of Witt.
    The tale of
Atlas (though of truth it misse)
  We plainely read Mythologiz'd in this;
  Orpheus and Amphion whose undying stories
Athens famous, are but Allegories.
  Tis Poetry has pow'r to civilize
  Men, worse then stones, more blockish then the Trees,
  I cannot chuse but thinke (now things so fall)
  That witt is past its
  And though the Muses have beene dead and gone
  I know they'll finde a
      Tis vaine to prayse; they're to themselves a glory,
  And silence is our sweetest
  For he that names but FLETCHER must needs be
  Found guilty of a loud
  His fancy so transcendently aspires,
  He showes himselfe a witt, who but admires.
  Here are no volumes stuft with cheverle sence,
  The very
Anagrams of Eloquence,
  Nor long-long-winded sentences that be,
  Being rightly spelld, but Witts
  Nor words, as voyd of Reason, as of Rithme,
  Only cesura'd to spin out the time.
  But heer's a
Magazine of purest sence
  Cloathed in the newest Garbe of Eloquence.
  Scenes that are quick and sprightly, in whose veines
  Bubbles the quintessence of sweet-high straines.
  Lines like their
Authours, and each word of it
  Does say twas writ b' a
Gemini of Witt.
    How happie is our age! how blest our men!
  When such rare soules live themselves o're agen.
  We erre, that thinke a Poet dyes; for this,
  Shewes that tis but a
  BEAUMONT and FLETCHER here at last we see
  Above the reach of dull mortalitie,
    Or pow'r of fate: thus the proverbe hitts
  (Thats so much crost) These men live by their witts


On the Death and workes of Mr JOHN FLETCHER.

  My name, so far from great, that tis not knowne,
  Can lend no praise but what thou'dst blush to own;
  And no rude hand, or feeble wit should dare
  To vex thy Shrine with an unlearned teare.
  I'de have a State of Wit convoked, which hath
  A power to take up on common Faith;
  That when the stocke of the whole Kingdome's spent
  In but preparative to thy Monument,
  The prudent Councell may invent fresh wayes
  To get new contribution to thy prayse,
  And reare it high, and equall to thy Wit
  Which must give life and Monument to it.
  So when late
ESSEX dy'd, the Publicke face
  Wore sorrow in't, and to add mournefull Grace
  To the sad pomp of his lamented fall,
  The Common wealth served at his Funerall
  And by a Solemne Order built his Hearse.
  But not like thine, built by thy selfe, in Verse,
  Where thy advanced Image safely stands
  Above the reach of Sacrilegious hands.
  Base hands how impotently you disclose
  Your rage 'gainst
Camdens learned ashes, whose
  Defaced Statua and Martyrd booke,
  Like an Antiquitie and Fragment looke.

  Nonnulla desunt's legibly appeare,
  So truly now
Camdens Remaines lye there.
  Vaine Malice! how he mocks thy rage, while breath
  Of fame shall speake his great
  'Gainst time and thee he well provided hath,
  Brittannia is the Tombe and Epitaph.
  Thus Princes honours: but Witt only gives
  A name which to succeeding ages lives.
  Singly we now consult our selves and fame,
  Ambitious to twist ours with thy great name.
  Hence we thus bold to praise. For as a Vine
  With subtle wreath, and close embrace doth twine
  A friendly Elme, by whose tall trunke it shoots
  And gathers growth and moysture from its roots;
  About its armes the thankfull clusters cling
  Like Bracelets, and with purple ammelling
  The blew-cheek'd grape stuck in its vernant haire
  Hangs like rich Jewells in a beauteous eare.
  So grow our Prayses by thy Witt; we doe
  Borrow support and strength and lend but show.

  And but thy Male wit like the youthfull Sun
  Strongly begets upon our passion.
  Making our sorrow teeme with Elegie,
  Thou yet unwep'd, and yet unprais'd might'st be.
  But th' are imperfect births; and such are all
  Produc'd by causes not univocall,
  The scapes of Nature, Passives being unfit,
  And hence our verse speakes only Mother wit.
  Oh for a fit o'th Father! for a Spirit
  That might but parcell of thy worth inherit;
  For but a sparke of that diviner fire
  Which thy full breast did animate and inspire;
  That Soules could be divided, thou traduce
  But a small particle of thine to us!
  Of thine; which we admir'd when thou didst sit
  But as a joynt-Commissioner in Wit;
  When it had plummets hung on to suppresse
  It's too luxuriant growing mightinesse:
  Till as that tree which scornes to bee kept downe,
  Thou grewst to govern the whole Stage alone.
  In which orbe thy throng'd light did make the star,
  Thou wert th' Intelligence did move that Sphere.
  Thy Fury was composed; Rapture no fit
  That hung on thee; nor thou far gone in witt
  As men in a disease; thy Phansie cleare,
  Muse chast, as those frames whence they tooke their fire;
  No spurious composures amongst thine
  Got in adultery 'twixt Witt and Wine.
  And as th' Hermeticall Physitians draw
  From things that curse of the first-broken Law,
Ens Venenum, which extracted thence
  Leaves nought but primitive Good and Innocence:
  So was thy Spirit calcined; no Mixtures there
  But perfect, such as next to Simples are.
  Not like those Meteor-wits which wildly flye
  In storme and thunder through th' amazed skie;
  Speaking but th'Ills and Villanies in a State,
  Which fooles admire, and wise men tremble at,
  Full of portent and prodigie, whose Gall
  Oft scapes the Vice, and on the man doth fall.
  Nature us'd all her skill, when thee she meant
  A Wit at once both Great and Innocent.
    Yet thou hadst Tooth; but 'twas thy judgement, not
  For mending one word, a whole sheet to blot.
  Thou couldst anatomize with ready art
  And skilfull hand crimes lockt close up i'th heart.
  Thou couldst unfold darke Plots, and shew that path
  By which Ambition climbed to Greatnesse hath.

  Thou couldst the rises, turnes, and falls of States,
  How neare they were their Periods and Dates;
  Couldst mad the Subject into popular rage,
  And the grown seas of that great storme asswage,
  Dethrone usurping Tyrants, and place there
  The lawfull Prince and true Inheriter;
  Knewst all darke turnings in the Labyrinth
  Of policie, which who but knowes he sinn'th,
  Save thee, who un-infected didst walke in't
  As the great Genius of Government.
  And when thou laidst thy tragicke buskin by
  To Court the Stage with gentle Comedie,
  How new, how proper th' humours, how express'd
  In rich variety, how neatly dress'd
  In language, how rare Plots, what strength of Wit
  Shin'd in the face and every limb of it!
  The Stage grew narrow while thou grewst to be
  In thy whole life an
Exc'llent Comedie.
    To these a Virgin-modesty which first met
  Applause with blush and feare, as if he yet
  Had not deserv'd; till bold with constant praise
  His browes admitted the unsought for Bayes.
  Nor would he ravish fame; but left men free
  To their owne Vote and Ingenuity.
  When His faire
Shepherdesse _on the guilty Stage,
  Was martir'd betweene Ignorance and Rage;
  At which the impatient Vertues of those few
  Could judge, grew high, cri'd Murther; though he knew
  The innocence and beauty of his Childe,
  Hee only, as if unconcerned, smil'd.
  Princes have gather'd since each scattered grace,
  Each line and beauty of that injur'd face;
  And on th'united parts breath'd such a fire
  As spight of Malice she shall ne're expire.
    Attending, not affecting, thus the crowne
  Till every hand did help to set it on,
  Hee came to be sole Monarch, and did raign
  In Wits great Empire, absolute Soveraign.


On MR. JOHN FLETC[H]ER's ever to be admired Dramaticall Works.

  I've thought upon't; and thus I may gaine bayes,
  I will commend thee
Fletcher, and thy Playes.
  But none but Witts can do't, how then can I
  Come in amongst them, that cou'd ne're come nigh?
  There is no other way, I'le throng to sit
  And passe it'h Croud amongst them for a Wit.

  Apollo knows me not, nor I the Nine,
  All my pretence to verse is Love and Wine.
    By your leave Gentlemen. You Wits o'th' age,
  You that both furnisht have, and judg'd the Stage.
  You who the Poet and the Actors fright,
  Least that your Censure thin the second night:
  Pray tell me, gallant Wits, could Criticks think
  There ere was solæcisme in
  Or Lapse of Plot, or fancy in his pen?
  A happinesse not still alow'd to
  After of Time and Wit h'ad been at cost
  He of his owne New-Inne was but an Hoste.
, FLETCHER! here's no vaine-glorious words:
  How ev'n thy lines, how smooth thy sense accords.
  Thy Language so insinuates, each one
  Of thy spectators has thy passion.
  Men seeing, valiant; Ladies amorous prove:
  Thus owe to thee their valour and their Love:
  Scenes! chaste yet satisfying! Ladies can't say
Stephen miscarri'd that so did the play:
  Judgement could ne're to this opinion leane
Lowen, Tailor, ere could grace thy Scene:
  'Tis richly good unacted, and to me
  Thy very Farse appears a Comedy.
  Thy drollery is designe, each looser part
  Stuff's not thy Playes, but makes 'em up an Art
  The Stage has seldome seen; how often vice
  Is smartly scourg'd to checke us? to intice,
  How well encourag'd vertue is? how guarded,
  And, that which makes us love her, how rewarded?
    Some, I dare say, that did with loose thoughts sit,
  Reclaim'd by thee, came converts from the pit.
  And many a she that to he tane up came,
  Tooke up themselves, and after left the game.


To the memory of the deceased but ever-living Authour in these his Poems, Mr. JOHN FLETCHER.

  On the large train of Fletchers friends let me
  (Retaining still my wonted modesty,)
  Become a Waiter in my ragged verse,
  As Follower to the
Muses Followers.
  Many here are of Noble ranke and worth,
  That have, by strength of Art, set
Fletcher forth
  In true and lively colours, as they saw him,
  And had the best abilities to draw him;

  Many more are abroad, that write, and looke
  To have their lines set before
Fletchers Booke;
  Some, that have known him too; some more, some lesse;
  Some onely but by Heare-say, some by Guesse,
  And some, for fashion-sake, would take the hint
  To try how well their Wits would shew in Print.
  You, that are here before me Gentlemen,
  And Princes of
Parnassus by the Penne
  And your just Judgements of his worth, that have
  Preserved this
Authours mem'ry from the Grave,
  And made it glorious; let me, at your gate,
  Porter it here, 'gainst those that come too late,
  And are unfit to enter. Something I
  Will deserve here: For where you versifie
  In flowing numbers, lawfull Weight, and Time,
  I'll write, though not rich Verses, honest Rime.
  I am admitted. Now, have at the Rowt
  Of those that would crowd in, but must keepe out.
  Beare back, my Masters; Pray keepe backe; Forbeare:
  You cannot, at this time, have entrance here.
  You, that are worthy, may, by intercession,
  Finde entertainment at the next Impression.
  But let none then attempt it, that not know
  The reverence due, which to this shrine they owe:
  All such must be excluded; and the sort,
  That onely upon trust, or by report
  Have taken
Fletcher up, and thinke it trim
  To have their Verses planted before Him:
  Let them read first his Works, and learne to know him,
  And offer, then, the Sacrifice they owe him.
  But farre from hence be such, as would proclaim
  Their knowledge of this
Authour, not his Fame;
  And such, as would pretend, of all the rest,
  To be the best
Wits that have known him best.
  Depart hence all such Writers, and, before
  Inferiour ones, thrust in, by many a score,
  As formerly, before
Tom Coryate,
  Whose Worke before his Praysers had the Fate
  To perish: For the Witty Coppies tooke
  Of his
Encomiums made themselves a Booke.
  Here's no such subject for you to out-doe,
  Out-shine, out-live (though well you may doe too
  In other Spheres:) For
Fletchers flourishing Bayes
  Must never fade while
Phoebus weares his Rayes.
  Therefore forbeare to presse upon him thus.
  Why, what are you (cry some) that prate to us?
  Doe not we know you for a flashy Meteor?
  And stil'd (at best) the
Muses Serving-creature?
  Doe you comptroll? Y'have had your Jere: Sirs, no;
  But, in an humble manner, let you know
  Old Serving-creatures oftentimes are fit
  T' informe young Masters, as in Land, in Wit,
  What they inherit; and how well their Dads
  Left one, and wish'd the other to their Lads.
  And from departed Poets I can guesse
  Who has a greater share of Wit, who lesse.
  'Way Foole, another says. I, let him raile,
  And 'bout his own eares flourish his Wit-flayle,
  Till with his Swingle he his Noddle breake;
  While this of
Fletcher and his Works I speake:
Works (says Momus) nay, his Plays you'd say:
  Thou hast said right, for that to him was Play
  Which was to others braines a toyle: with ease
  He playd on Waves which were Their troubled Seas.
  His nimble Births have longer liv'd then theirs
  That have, with strongest Labour, divers yeeres
  Been sending forth [t]he issues of their Braines
  Upon the
Stage; and shall to th' Stationers gaines
  Life after life take, till some After-age
  Shall put down
Printing, as this doth the Stage;
  Which nothing now presents unto the Eye,
  But in
Dumb-shews her own sad Tragedy.
  'Would there had been no sadder Works abroad,
  Since her decay, acted in Fields of Blood.

  But to the Man againe, of whom we write,
Writer that made Writing his Delight,
  Rather then Worke. He did not pumpe, nor drudge,
  To beget
Wit, or manage it: nor trudge
  To Wit-conventions with Note-booke, to gleane
  Or steale some Jests to foist into a Scene:
  He scorn'd those shifts. You that have known him, know
  The common talke that from his Lips did flow,
  And run at waste, did savour more of Wit,
  Then any of his time, or since have writ,
  (But few excepted) in the Stages way:
Scenes were Acts, and every Act a Play.
  I knew him in his strength; even then, when He
  That was the Master of his Art and Me
  Most knowing
Johnson (proud to call him Sonne)
  In friendly Envy swore, He had out-done
  His very Selfe. I knew him till he dyed;
  And, at his dissolution, what a Tide
  Of sorrow overwhelm'd the
Stage; which gave
  Volleys of sighes to send him to his grave.
  And grew distracted in most violent Fits
She had lost the best part of her Wits.)
  In the first yeere, our famous Fletcher fell,
  Of good King
Charles who graced these Poems well,
  Being then in life of Action: But they dyed
  Since the Kings absence; or were layd aside,
  As is their
Poët. Now at the Report
  Of the
Kings second comming to his Court,
Bookes creepe from the Presse to Life, not Action,
  Crying unto the World, that no protraction
  May hinder
Sacred Majesty to give
  Fletcher, in them, leave on the Stage to live.
  Others may more in lofty Verses move;
  I onely, thus, expresse my Truth and Love.


Upon the Printing of Mr. JOHN FLETCHERS workes.

  What meanes this numerous Guard? or do we come
  To file our Names or Verse upon the Tombe
Fletcher, and by boldly making knowne
  His Wit, betray the Nothing of our Owne?
  For if we grant him dead, it is as true
  Against our selves, No Wit, no Poet now;
  Or if he be returnd from his coole shade,
  To us, this Booke his Resurrection's made,
  We bleed our selves to death, and but contrive
  By our owne Epitaphs to shew him alive.
  But let him live and let me prophesie,
  As I goe Swan-like out, Our Peace is nigh;
  A Balme unto the wounded Age I sing.
  And nothing now is wanting but the King.



  As after th' Epilogue there comes some one
  To tell Spectators what shall next be shown;
  So here, am I; but though I've toyld and vext,
  'Cannot devise what to present 'ye next;
  For, since ye saw no Playes this Cloudy weather,
  Here we have brought Ye our whole Stock together.
  'Tis new and all these Gentlemen attest
  Under their hands 'tis Right, and of the Best;
  Thirty foure Witnesses (without my taske)
  Y'have just so many Playes (besides a Maske)
  All good (I'me told) as have been Read or Playd,
  If this Booke faile, tis time to quit the Trade.



We forgot to tell the Reader, that some Prologues and Epilogues (here inserted) were not written by the Authours of this Volume; but made by others on the Revivall of severall Playes. After the Comedies and Tragedies were wrought off, we were forced (for expedition) to send the Gentlemens Verses to severall Printers, which was the occasion of their different Character; but the Worke it selfe is one continued Letter, which (though very legible) is none of the biggest, because (as much as possible) we would lessen the Bulke of the Volume.

A CATALOGUE of all the Comedies and Tragedies Contained in this Booke.

The Mad Lover. The Spanish Curate. The little French Lawyer. The Custome of the Country. The Noble Gentleman. The Captaine. The Beggers Bush. The Coxcombe. The False One. The Chances. The Loyall Subject. The Lawes of Candy. The Lover's Progresse. The Island Princesse. The Humorous Lieutenant. The Nice Valour, or the Passionate Mad Man. The Maide in the Mill. The Prophetesse. The Tragedy of Bonduca. The Sea Voyage. The Double Marriage. The Pilgrim. The Knight of Malta. The Womans Prize, or the Tamer Tamed. Loves Cure, or the Martiall Maide. The Honest Mans Fortune. The Queene of Corinth. Women Plea'sd. A Wife for a Moneth. Wit at severall Weapons. The Tragedy of Valentinian. The Faire Maid of the Inne. Loves Pilgrimage. The Maske of the Gentlemen of Grayes-Inne, and the Inner Temple, at the Marriage of the Prince and Princesse Palatine of Rhene. Foure Playes (or Morall Representations) in one.



Written by



All in one Volume.

Published by the Authors Original Copies, the Songs to each Play being added.

Si quid habent veri Vatum præsagia, vivam.


Printed by J. Macock, for John Martyn, Henry Herringman, Richard Marriot,



Courteous Reader, _The First Edition of these Plays in this Volume having found that Acceptance as to give us Encouragement to make a Second Impression, we were very desirous they might come forth as Correct as might be. And we were very opportunely informed of a Copy which an ingenious and worthy Gentleman had taken the pains (or rather the pleasure) to read over; wherein he had all along Corrected several faults (some very gross) which had crept in by the frequent imprinting of them. His Corrections were the more to be valued, because he had an intimacy with both our Authors, and had been a Spectator of most of them when they were Acted in their life-time. This therefore we resolved to purchase at any Rate; and accordingly with no small cost obtain'd it. From the same hand also we received several Prologues and Epilogues, with the Songs appertaining to each Play, which were not in the former Edition, but are now inserted in their proper places. Besides, in this Edition you have the addition of no fewer than Seventeen Plays more than were in the former, which we have taken the pains and care to Collect, and Print out 4to in this Volume, which for distinction sake are markt with a Star in the Catalogue of them facing the first Page of the Book. And whereas in several of the Plays there were wanting the Names of the Persons represented therein, in this Edition you have them all prefixed, with their Qualities; which will be a great ease to the Reader. Thus every way perfect and compleat have you, all both Tragedies and Comedies that were ever writ by our Authors, a Pair of the greatest Wits and most ingenious Poets of their Age; from whose worth we should but detract by our most studied Commendations.

If our care and endeavours to do our Authors right (in an incorrupt and genuine Edition of their Works) and thereby to gratifie and oblige the Reader, be but requited with a suitable entertainment, we shall be encouraged to bring_ Ben. Johnson's two Volumes into one, and publish them in this form; and also to reprint Old Shakespear: _both which are designed by


Ready to serve you,


[The Second Folio contained, between 'The Book-sellers to the Reader' and
'A Catalogue,' eleven only of the Commendatory verses prefixed to the
First Folio. These were those signed by Edw. Waller (see p. xxiii), J.
Denham (p. xxii), Ben. Johnson (p. xl), Rich. Corbet (p. xl), Joh. Earle
(p. xxxii), William Cartwright's first lines (p. xxxvii, to 'Fletcher
writ' on p. xxxviii), Francis Palmer (p. xlvii, 'I Could prayse
Heywood,' etc.), Jasper Maine (p. xxxv), J. Berkenhead (p. xli), Roger
L'Estrange (p. xxviii), Tho. Stanley (p. xxvii).]

  Of all the

Contained in this BOOK, in the same Order as Printed.

1 The Maids Tragedy.* 2 Philaster; or, Love lies a bleeding.* 3 A King or no King.* 4 The Scornful Lady.* 5 The Custom of the Country. 6 The Elder Brother.* 7 The Spanish Curate. 8 Wit without Money.* 9 The Beggars Bush. 10 The Humorous Lieutenant. 11 The Faithful Shepherdess.* 12 The Mad Lover. 13 The Loyal Subject. 14 Rule a Wife, and have a Wife.* 15 The Laws of Candy. 16 The False One. 17 The Little French Lawyer. 18 The Tragedy of Valentinian. 19 Monsieur Thomas.* 20 The Chances. 21 Rollo, Duke of Normandy.* 22 The Wild-Goose Chase. 23 A Wife for a Month. 24 The Lovers Progress. 25 The Pilgrim. 26 The Captain. 27 The Prophetess. 28 The Queen of Corinth. 29 The Tragedy of Bonduca. 30 The Knight of the Burning Pestle.* 31 Loves Pilgrimage. 32 The Double Marriage. 33 The Maid in the Mill. 34 The Knight of Maltha. 35 Loves Cure; or, the Martial Maid. 36 Women pleased. 37 The Night Walker; or, Little Thief.* 38 The Womans Prize; or, the Tamer tamed. 39 The Island Princess. 40 The Noble Gentleman. 41 The Coronation.* 42 The Coxcomb. 43 Sea-Voyage. 44 Wit at several Weapons. 45 The Fair Maid of the Inn. 46 Cupids Revenge.* 47 Two Noble Kinsmen.* 48 Thierry and Theodoret.* 49 The Woman-Hater.* 50 The nice Valour; or, the Passionate Madman. 51 The Honest Man's Fortune.

A Mask at Grays-Inn, and the Inner Temple; Four Plays, or Moral Representations.


In the following references to the text the lines are numbered from the top of the page, including titles, acts, stage directions, &c., but not, of course, the headline. Where, as in the lists of Persons Represented, there are double columns, the right-hand column is numbered after the left.

It has not been thought necessary to record the correction of every turned letter nor the substitution of marks of interrogation for marks of exclamation and vice versa: the original compositor's stock of each running low occasionally, he used the two signs somewhat indiscriminately. Full-stops have been silently inserted at the ends of speeches and each fresh speaker has been given the dignity of a fresh line: in the double-columned folio the speeches are frequently run on. Only misprints of interest in the Quartos are recorded.

THE EPISTLE DEDICATORIE. p. x, l. 8. 1st Folio prints a comma after] not.

TO THE READER. p. xi, l. 6. 1st F omits the bracket.

THE STATIONER TO THE READERS. p. xiv, l. 33. 1st F prints] confessed it,

COMMENDATORY VERSES. p. xvii, l. 33. 1st F misprints] theirs. l. 41. 1st F misprints] Ii. l. 42. 1st F misprints] hist.

p. xx, l. 34. 1st F misprints] Fle.

p. xxiii, l. 1. 2nd F] sprung.

p. xxvi, l. 21. 1st F misprints] Fletcer.

p. xxxvi, l. 10. 1st F misprints] solemue.

p. xxxvii, l. 39. 1st F misprints] aud. l. 43. 2nd F] delights.

p. xxxviii, l. 4. 2nd F] And these. l. 20. 2nd F gives signature] William Cartwright.

p. xxxix, l. 27. 1st F misprints] such.

p. xliii, l. 13. 2nd F] wert. l. 35. 2nd F] knowst.

p. xlviii, l. 33. 2nd F] receive the full god in. l. 35. 2nd F] Francis Palmer.

p. lii, l. 40. 1st F misprints] Fletcer.

p. lv, l. 19. 1st F misprints] ehe.