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Priest. Young man, look hither! Ray. Good, I envy not The pomp of your high office; all preferment Of earthly glories are to me diseases, Infecting those sound parts which should preserve The flattering retribution to my thankfulness.
Priest. Raybright, Thou draw'st thy great descent from my grand
patron, The Sun, whose priest I am.
Ray. For small advantage.
Priest. Hast thou not flow'd in honours ?
Ray. Honours! I'd not be baited with my fears Of losing them, to be their monstrous creature An age together: 't is besides as comfortable To die upon the embroidery of the grass, Unminded, as to set a world at gaze, While from a pinnacle I tumble down And break my neck, to be talk'd of and wonder'd at.
Priest. You have worn rich habits.
Ray. Fine ass-trappings!
Priest. You have had choice
Ray. Monkeys and paraquitoes are as pretty
servants, Whenas you have commanded them.
Ray. To threaten ruin,
Corrupt the purity of knowledge ; wrest
Priest. "T is melancholy, and too fond indulgence
Ray. The care! the scorn he throws on me.
Priest. Fy! fy!
Priest. Your fantasy
Ray. Very likely! when pray?
Priest. These are but flashes of a brain disorder'd.
Ray. He may come. Enter Time, whipping Folly, in rags, before him. Time. Hence, hence, thou shame of nature, man
kind's foil! Time whips thee from the world, kicks thee, and
scorns thee. Fol. Whip me from the world! why whip? am I Vol. II.
a dog, a cur, a mongrel? bow wow! do thy worst, I defy thee.
[Sings. Out on Time, I care not ;
Being past, 't is nothing,
Is but folly;
Time, go hang thee !
I will bang thee,
Though I die in totters.' Go, mend thyself, cannibal! 't is not without needi I am sure the times were never more beggarly and proud; waiting-women flaunt it in cast-suits, and their ladies fall for 'em; knaves over-brave wise men, while wise men stand with cap and knee to fools. Pitiful Time ! pitiful Time !
Time. Out, foul, prodigious, and abortive birth! Behold the sandglass of thy days is broke.
Fol. Bring me another; I'll shatter that too.
Fol. In any court, father bald-pate, where my grannam the Moon shows her horns. I'll live here and laugh at the bravery of ignorance, maugre thy abominable beard.
Time. Priest of the Sun,'t is near about the minute Thy patron will descend; scourge hence this trifle : Time is ne'er lost, till, in the common schools Of impudence, time meets with wilful fools. (Exit.
Ray. Pray, sir, what are you? 1. Though I die in totters,] i. e. tatters. So the word was usually written by our dramatists.-GIFFORD.
Fol. No matter what; what are you?
Ray. Not as you are, I thank my better fates; I am grandchild to the Sun.
Fol. And I am cousin-german, some two or three hundred removes off, to the Moon, and my name is Folly.
Ray. Folly, sir! of what quality ?
Fol. Quality! any quality in fashion; drinking, singing, dancing, dicing, swearing, roaring, lying, cogging, canting, et cetera. Will you have any more?
Ray. You have a merry heart, if you can guide it.
Fol. Yes, 'faith; so, so : I laugh not at those whom I fear, I fear not those whom I love ; and I love not any whom I laugh not at:. pretty strange humour is 't not?
Ray. To any one that knows you not, it is.
Fol. Away, away! I have no such meaning, indeed, la!
[Music of Recorders. Priest. Hark! the fair hour is come; draw to the altar, And, with amazement, reverence, and comfort, Behold the broad-eyed lamp of heaven descending ! Stand !
The Sun appears above.
Sun. We know thy cares; appear to give release :
Ray. Fair-beam'd sir!
Which every season in his kind
Sun. I find
[Exeunt PRIEST and RAYBRIGHT. Fol. And I will follow, that am not in love with such fopperies.
[Exit. Sun. We must descend, and leave awhile our
sphere, To greet the world. --Ha! there does now appear A circle in this round, of beams that shine As if their friendly lights would darken mine : No, let them shine out still; for these are they, By whose sweet favours, when our warmths decay, Even in the storms of winter, daily nourish Our active motions, which in summer flourish By their fair quick’ning dews of noble loves : Oh, may you all, like stars, while swift time moves, Stand fix'd in firmaments of blest content! Meanwhile the recreations we present
1 We must descend, &c.] The“sphere” in which the “lord of light" appeared was probably a creaking throne which overlooked the curtain at the back of the stage ; from this he probably descended to the raised platform. Besides his robe, flammas imitante pyropo, his solar majesty was probably distinguished by a tiara, or rayed coronet,--but this is no subject for light merriment. Whatever his SHAPE might be, his address to the audience of the Cockpit is graceful, elegant, and poetical. I believe it to be the composition of Decker.-GIFFORD. There can be little hesi. tation in assenting to this opinion of Mr. Gifford. The talents of Decker sank beneath the mightier genius of Jonson, with whom he had rashly put himself in competition; and hence it has become the fashion to ihink meanly of his abilities, which were unquestionably great. Few, indeed, of his contemporaries had in them more of the elements of a sprightly, elegant, and poetical genius than Decker ; but his necessities were ever at war with his talents; and hence none of his compositions exhibit that tone of sustained vigour and finer finish, which more leisure and happier fortunes would undoubtedly have given them.