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16 G H A P. VI.
66 How a Gallant Mould behave himself in a
66 The theatre is your poet's Royal Exchange, upon which, their muses (that are now turn' to merchants) meeting, barter away that light commodity of words for a lighter ware than words, plaudities and the breath of the great beast, whichi (like the threatnings of two cowards ) vanish ail into aire. Plaiers and their factors, who put away the stuffe and make the best of it they possibly can (as indeed 'tis their parts fo to doe) your gallant, your courtier, and your capten, had wont to be the fomdeit pay-masters, and I thinke are still the surest chapmen: and these by meanes that their heades are well stockt, deale upon this comical freight by the grosse; when your groundling, and gallery commoner buyes his sport by the penny, and, like a hugler, is glad to utter it againe by retailing.
66 Sithence then the place iş fo free in entertainment, allowing a foole as well to the farmer's fonne as to your Templer: that your stinkard bas
: the self fame libertie to be there in his tobacco fumes, which your sweet courtier hath: and that your carman and tinker claime as strong a voice in their fuffrage, and fit to give judgment on the plaies' life and death, as well as the proudest Momus among the tribe of critick; it is fit that hee
, ' when he comes, should not be bafely (like a vyoll) cas'd up
in a corner.
66 Whether therefore the gatherers of the publique or private play-house stand to receive the afternoone's rent, let our gallant (having paid it) presently advance bimself up to the throne of the stage. I meane not in the lords' roome (which is now but the slage's suburbs.) No, those boxes by the iniquity of custome, conspiracy of waitingwomen, and gentlemen -usles, that there sweat together, and the covetous sharers, are contemptibly thrust into the reare, and much new fatten is there dambd by being smothered to death in darknesse. But on the very rushes where the comedy is to daunce, yea and under the state of Cambifes himselfe must our feather'd estridge, like a piece. of ordnance be planted valiantly (because impudenty) beating downe the mewes and hisles of the oppoferi rascality.
56 For do but cast up a reckoning, what large cummings in are purs d up by fitting on the stage. First a conspicuous eminence is gotten, by which meanes the best and most effenciall parts of a gallant ( good cloathes, a proportionable legge, white hand, the Persian locke, and a tollerable beard;) are perfectly revealed.
“By fitting on the stage you have a fign'd pattent to engrosse the whole commodity of censure; may lawfully presume to be a girder; and stand at the helmne to fleere the passage of fcanes , yet no man shall once offer to hinder you from obtaining the title of an insolent over-weening concombe,
By fitting on the stage, you may (without trauelling for it) at the very next doore , aske whose play it is : and by that quest of inquiry, the law warrants you to avoid much mistaking: if you know not the
author, you may raile against him ; and perad
; venture fo behave yourselfe, that
you may enforce the author to know you. ,
• By sitting on the stage , if you be a knight, you may happily get you a mistresse: if a mere Fleetstreet gentleman , a wife : but assure yourselfe by
continuall residence, you are the first and prini cipall man in election to begin the number of We three.
" By spreading your body on the stage, and by being a justice in examining of plaies , you shall put yourselfe into such a true scænical authority, that some poet shall not dare to present his muse rudely before your eyes, without having first unmaíkt her, rifled her, and discovered all her bare and most mystical parts before you at a taverne, when you molt knightly, shal for his paines, pay for both their suppers.
By sitting on the stage, you may (with small coft) purchase the deere acquaintance of the boyes : have a good stoole for fixpence : at any time know what particular part any of the infants present: get your match lighted, examine the play-luits' lace, perhaps win wagers upon laying 'tis copper, &c.
& And to conclude, whether you be a foole or a justice of peace, a cuckold or a capten, a lord maior's sonne or a dawcocke, a knave or an under shriefe , of what stamp foever you be, currant or counterfet, the stagelike time will bring you to most perfect light, and lay you open: neither are you to be hunted from thence though the scarcrowes in the yard hoot you, hisse at you , fpit at you, yea throw dirt even in your teeth : 'tis most gentleman-like patience to endure all this,
and to laugh at the filly animals. Bat if the rabble, with a full throat, crie away with the foole, you were worse than a mad-man to tarry by it: for the gentleman and the foole should never sit on the stage together.
Mary, let this observation go hand in hand with the rest: or rather, like a country-serving man, some five yards before them.
Present not your selfe on the stage (especially at a new play)
a untill the quaking prologue hath (by rubbing) got cullor into his checkes, and is ready to give the trumpets their cue that hees upon point to enter : for then it is time, as though you were one of the properties, or that you dropt of the hangings, to creep behind the arras, with your tripos or threelegged stoole in one hand, and a teston mounted betweene a fore-finger and a thumbc, in the other : for if you should bestow your person upon the vulgar, when the belly of the house is but halse full, your apparell is quite eaten up, the fashion loft, and the proportion of your body in more danger to be devoured, then if it were served up in the Counter amongst the Poultry: avoid that as you would the bastome. It shall crowne you with rich commendation, to laugh alowd in the middest of the most serious and faddest scene of the terriblest tragedy : and to let that clapper (your tongue) be tost so high that all the house may ring of it: your lords use it; your knights are apes to the lords, and do so too: your inne-a-court-man
is zany to the knights, and (many very scurvily) comes likewise limping after it : bee thou a beagle to them all, and never lin fnuffing till you have scented them: for by talking and laughing (like a
ploughman in a morris) you heape Pelion upon offa, glory upon glory: as first all the eyes in the galleries will leave walking after the players, and oncly follow you : the simplest dolt in the house snatches up your name , and when he meetes you in the streetes, or that you fall into his hands in the middle of a watch , his word shall be taken for you : heele cry, Hees such a gallant, and you passe. Secondly you publish your temperance to the world, in that you seeme not to resort thither to taste vaine pleasures with a hungrie appetite; but onely as a gentleman, to spend a foolish hợure or two, because you can doe nothing else. Thirdly you mightily difrelish the audience, and disgrace the author : marry , you take up (though it be at the worst hand) a strong opinion of your owne judgement, and inforce the poet to take pity of your weakenesse, and by some dedicated sonnet to bring you into a better paradice, onely to stop your
“ If you can (either for love or money) provide your selfe a lodging by the water fide: for above the conveniencie it brings to fhun shoulder-clapping, and to ship away your cockatrice betimes in the morning, it addes a kind of state unto you, to be carried from thence to the staires of your playhouse: hate a sculler (remember that) worse then to be acquainted with one ath' scullery. No, your oares are your onely sea-crabs, boord them, and take heed you never go twice together with one paire : often shifting is a great credit to gentlemen: and that dividing of your fare wil make the poore waterfnaks be ready to pul you in peeces to enjoy your custome. No matter whether upon