The Works of Thomas Nashe
Summers Last Will and Testament
Modern spelling. Transcribed by BF. copyright © 2002
Items discussed in the glossary are underlined.
ORION: I am content, though hunting be not out, ... 
We will go hunt in hell for better hap.
One parting blow, my hearts, unto our friends,
To bid the fields and huntsmen all farewell:
Toss up your bugle horns unto the stars.
Toil findeth ease, peace follows after wars. [Exit.]
[Here they go out, blowing their horns, and hallowing, as they came in.]
WILL SUMMER: Faith, this Scene of Orion is right
prandium caninum, a dog's dinner, which as it is without
wine, so here's a coil about dogs without wit. If I had
thought the ship of fools would have stayed to take in fresh
water at the Isle of dogs, I would have furnished it with a ... 
whole kennel of collections to the purpose. I have had a
dog myself, that would dream and talk in his sleep,
turn round like Ned fool and sleep all night in a porridge
pot. Mark but the skirmish between sixpence and the
fox, and it is miraculous how they overcome one another in
honorable courtesy. The fox, though he wears a chain,
runs as thou he were free, mocking us (as it is a crafty
beast) because we, having a Lord and master to attend on,
run about at our pleasures, like masterless men. Young
sixpence, the best page his master hath, plays a little and ... 
retires. I warrant he will not be far out of the way when
his master goes to dinner. Learn of him, you diminutive
urchins, how to behave yourselves in your vocation; take
not up your standings in a nut-tree, when you should be
waiting on my Lord's trencher. Shoot but a bit at buts;
play but a span at points. Whatever you do, memento
mori: remember to rise betimes in the morning.
SUMMER: Vertumnus, call Harvest.
VERTUMNUS: Harvest, by west and by north, by south
and southeast. ... 
Show thyself like a beast.
Goodman Harvest, yeoman, come in and say what you can:
room for the scythe and sickles here.
[Enter Harvest with a scythe on his neck, & all his reapers with sickles, andgreat black bowl with a posset in it born before him: they come in singing.]
Merry, merry, merry, cherry, cherry, cherry,
Trowl the black bowl to me,
Hey derry, derry, with a poup and a lerry,
I'll trowl it again to thee:
Hooky, hooky, we have shorn
And we have bound,
And we have brought Harvest ... 
Home to town.
SUMMER: Harvest, the Bailey of my husbandry,
What plenty hast thou heaped into our Barns?
I hope thou hast sped well, thou art so blithe.
HARVEST: Sped well or ill, sir, I drink to you on the same:
Is your throat clear to help us to sing hooky, hooky?
[Here they all sing after him.]
Hooky, hooky, we have shorn,
And we have bound,
And we have brought harvest
Home to town. ... 
AUTUMN: Thou Coridon, why answer'st not direct?
HARVEST: Answer? Why, friend, I am no tapster, to say
Anon, anon, sir; but leave you to molest me, goodman
tawny leaves, for fear (as the proverb says, leave is
light) so I mow off all your leaves with my scythe.
WINTER: Mock not and mow not too long you were best,
For fear we whet not your scythe upon your pate.
SUMMER: Since thou art so perverse in answering,
Harvest, hear what complaints are brought to me.
Thou art accused by the public voice, ... 
For an engrosser of the common store;
A Carl, that hast no conscience, nor remorse,
But dost impoverish the fruitful earth,
To make thy garners rise up to the heavens.
To whom givest thou? Who feedeth at thy board?
No alms, but unreasonable gain,
Disgests what thy huge iron teeth devour;
Small beer, course bread, the hinds and beggars cry,
Whilest thou withholdest both the malt and flour,
And giv'st us bran, and water (fit for dogs). ... 
HARVEST: Hooky, hooky, if you were not my Lord,
I would say you lie. First and foremost, you say I am
a grocer. A Grocer is a citizen: I am no citizen, therefore
no Grocer. A hoarder-up of grain: that's false;
for not so much but my elbows eat wheat every time
I lean on them. A Carl: that is as much to say as a
coney-catcher of good fellowship. For that one word
you shall pledge me a carouse: eat a spoonful of the
curd to allay your choler. My mates and fellows, sing
no more Merry, merry; but weep out a lamentable hooky, ... 
hooky, and let your Sickles cry.
Sick, sick, and very sick,
& sick, and for the time;
For Harvest your master is
Abused without reason or rhyme.
I have no conscience, I? I'll come nearer to you, and
yet I am no scab, nor no louse. Can you make proof
wherever I sold away my conscience, or pawned it?
Do you know who would buy it, or lend any money upon
it? I think I have given you the pose; blow your ... 
nose, master constable. But to say that I impoverish
the earth, that I rob the man in the moon, that I
take a purse on the top of Paul's steeple; by this straw
and thread I swear you are no gentleman, no proper man,
no honest man, to make me sing, O man in desperation.
SUMMER: I must give credit unto what I hear;
For other than I hear, attract I nought.
HARVEST: Aye, Aye, nought seek, nothing have:
An ill husband is the first step to a knave.
You object I feed none at my board. I am sure, if you ... 
were a hog, you would never say so; for, surreverence
of their worships, they feed at my stable table every day.
I keep good hospitality for hens & geese: Gleaners
are oppressed with heavy burdens of my bounty:
They rake me, and eat me to the very bones,
Till there be nothing left but gravel and stones,
and yet I give no alms, but devour all? They say, when
a man cannot hear well, you hear with your harvest ears;
but if you heard with your harvest ears, that is, with the
ears of corn which my alms-cart scatters, they would ... 
tell you that I am the very poor man's box of pity,
that there are more holes of liberality open in harvest's
heart than in a sieve, or a dust-box. Suppose you were
a craftsman or an Artificer, and should come to buy
corn of me, you should have bushels of me; not like
the Baker's loaf, that should weigh but six ounces, but
usury for your money, thousands for one; what would
you have more? Eat me out of my apparel if you
will, if you suspect me for a miser.
SUMMER: I credit thee, and think thou wert belied. ... 
But tell me, had'st thou a good crop this year?
HARVEST: Hay, God's plenty, which was so sweet and so
good, that when I jerted my whip and said to my horses
but hay, they would go as they were mad.
SUMMER: But hay alone thou say'st not; but hay-ree.
HARVEST: I sing hay-ree, that is, hay and rye: meaning
that they shall have hay and rye their belly-fulls if they
will draw hard: so we say, wa, hay, when they go out
of the way: meaning that they shall want hay if they
will not do as they should do. ... 
SUMMER: How thrive thy oats, thy barley, and thy wheat?
HARVEST: My oats grew like a cup of beer that makes
the brewer rich; my rye like a Cavalier that wears a
huge feather in his cap but hath no courage in his heart,
had a long stalk, a goodly husk, but nothing so great a
kernel as it was wont; my barley even as many a novice
is cross-bitten as soon as ever he peeps out of the shell,
so was it frost-bitten in the blade, yet picked up his crumbs
again afterward and bade: Fill pot, hostess, in spite of a
dear year. As for my Peas and my Fetches, they are ... 
famous, and not to be spoken of.
AUTUMN: Aye, aye, such country-buttoned caps as you
Do want no fetches to undo great towns.
HARVEST: Will you make good your words, that we want
WINTER: Aye, that he shall.
HARVEST: Then fetch us a cloak-bag, to carry away
SUMMER: Plow-swains are blunt, and will taunt bitterly,
Harvest, when all is done, thou art the man, ... 
Thou doest me the best service of them all;
Rest from thy labors till the year renews,
And let the husbandmen sing of thy praise.
HARVEST: Rest from my labors, and let the husband-
men sing of my praise? Nay, we do not mean to rest
so; by your leave, we'll have a largess among'st you, e'er
ALL: A largess, a largess, a largess!
WILL SUMMER: Is there no man that will give them a
hiss for a largess? ... 
HARVEST: No, that there is not, goodman Lundgis; I see
charity waxeth cold, and I think this house be her
habitation, for it is not very hot; we were as good even put up
our pipes, and sing Merry, merry, for we shall get no money.
[Here they go out all singing.]
Merry, merry, merry, cherry, cherry, cherry,
Trowl the black bowl to me:
Hey derry, derry, with a poup and a lerry
I'll trowl it again to thee:
Hooky, hooky, we have shorn and we have bound,
And we have brought harvest home to town. ... 
WILL SUMMER: Well, go thy ways, thou bundle of straw;
I'll give thee this gift, thou shalt be a Clown while
thou liv'st. As lusty as they are, they run on the score
with George's wife for their posset, and God knows who
shall pay goodman Yeomans for his wheat sheaf; they may
sing well enough, Trowl the black bowl to me, trowl
the black bowl to me; for, a hundred to one but they
will be all drunk e'er they go to bed; yet, of a slavering
fool that hath no conceit in anything but in carrying
a wand in his hand with commendation when he runeth ... 
by the highway-side, this stripling Harvest hath done
reasonable well. O, that somebody had had the wit to set
his thatched suit on fire, and so lighted him out: if I had
had but a jet ring on my finger, I might have done with
him what I list; I had spoiled him, I had took his apparel
prisoner; for, it being made of straw, & the nature of jet to
draw straw unto it, I would have nailed him to the pommel
of my chair, till the play were done, and then have carried
him to my chamber door and laid him at the threshold as
a wisp or a piece of mat to wipe my shoes on, every ... 
time I come up dirty.
SUMMER: Vertumnus, call Bacchus.
VERTUMNUS: Bacchus, Bacchu, Bacchum, god Bacchus, god fatback,
Baron of double beer and bottle ale,
Come in and show thy nose that is nothing pale.
Back, back there, god barrel-belly may enter.
[Enter Bacchus riding upon an Ass trapped in Ivy, himself dressed in Vine leaves and a garland of grapes on his head: his companions having all Jacks in their hands and Ivy garlands on their heads; they come in singing.]
Monsieur Mingo for quaffing doth surpass,
In cup, in can, or glass.
God Bacchus, do me right, ... 
And dub me knight Domingo.
BACCHUS: Wherefore did'st thou call me, Vertumnus? Hast
any drink to give me? One of you hold my ass while
I light; walk him up and down the hall, till I talk a word
SUMMER: What, Bacchus? Still animus in patinis, no
mind but on the pot?
BACCHUS: Why, Summer, Summer, how would'st do,
but for rain? What is a fair house without water coming
to it? Let me see how a smith can work, if he have not ... 
his trough standing by him. What sets an edge on a knife?
The grindstone alone? No, the moist element poured upon it,
which grinds out all gaps, sets a point upon it, & scours
it as bright as the firmament. So, I tell thee, give a soldier
wine before he goes to battle, it grinds out all gaps, it
makes him forget all scars and wounds, and fight in the
thickest of his enemies, as though he were but at foils
among'st his fellows. Give a scholar wine, going to his
book, or being about to invent, it sets a new point on his
wit, it glazeth it, it scours it, it gives him acumen. Plato ... 
saith, vinum esse fomitem quendam, et incitabilem ingenij
virtutisque. Aristotle saith, Nulla est magna scientia absque
mixtura dementiae. There is no excellent knowledge without
mixture of madness. And what makes a man more
mad in the head than wine? Qui bene vult poyein, debet
ante pinyen: he that will do well must drink well. Prome,
prome, potum prome: Ho, butler, a fresh pot. Nunc est
bibendum, nunc pede libero terra pulsanda: a pox on him
that leaves his drink behind him; he Rendovow.
SUMMER: It is wine's custom to be full of words. ... 
I pray thee, Bacchus, give us vicissitudinem loquendi.
BACCHUS: A fiddlestick! Ne'er tell me I am full of words.
Faecundi calices, quem non fecere disertum? Aut epi, aut abi,
either take your drink, or you are an infidel.
SUMMER: I would about thy vintage question thee:
How thrive thy vines? Had'st thou good store of grapes?
BACCHUS: Vinum quasi venenum, wine is poison to a sick
body; a sick body is no sound body; Ergo, wine is a pure
thing, & is poison to all corruption. Try-lill, the hunters
hoop to you: I'll stand to it, Alexander was a brave man, ... 
and yet an arrant drunkard.
WINTER: Fie, drunken sot, forget'st thou where thou art?
My Lord asks thee, what vintage thou hast made?
BACCHUS: Our vintage was a vintage, for it did not work
upon the advantage, it came in the vanguard of Summer,
& winds and storms met it by the way,
And made it cry, Alas and well-aday.
SUMMER: That was not well, but all miscarried not?
BACCHUS: Faith, shall I tell you no lie? Because you are my
countryman & so forth; & a good fellow is a good fellow, ... 
though he have never a penny in his purse: We had but even
pot luck, a little to moisten our lips, and no more. That
same Sol is a Pagan and a Proselyte; he shined so bright
all summer that he burned more grapes than his beams
were worth, were every beam as big as a weaver's beam.
A fabis abstinendum: faith, he should have abstained;
for what is flesh & blood without his liquor?
AUTUMN: Thou want'st no liquor, nor no flesh and blood.
I pray thee may I ask without offense?
How many tuns of wine hast in thy paunch? ... 
Methinks that, built like a round church,
Should yet have some of Julius Ceasar's wine:
I warrant, 'twas not broached this hundred year.
BACCHUS: Hear'st thou, dough-belly? Because thou talk'st,
and talk'st, & dar'st not drink to me a black jack, wilt
thou give me leave to broach this little kilderkin of my
corpse against thy back? I know thou art but a micher,
& dar'st not stand me. A vous, mousieur Winter, a frolic
upsy freeze, cross, ho, super nagulun.
[Knocks the jack upon his thumb.]
WINTER: Grammercy, Bacchus, as much as though I did, ... 
For this time thou must pardon me perforce.
BACCHUS: What, give me the disgrace? Go to, I say,
I am no Pope, to pardon any man. Ran, ran, tarra,
cold beer makes good blood. S. George for England:
somewhat is better than nothing. Let me see, hast thou
done me justice? Why so: thou art a king, though there
were no more kings in the cards but the knave. Summer,
wilt thou have a demi culvering, that shall cry husty, tusty,
and make thy cup fly fine meal in the Element?
SUMMER: No, keep thy drink, I pray thee, to thyself. ... 
BACCHUS: This Pupillonian in the fool's coat shall
have a cast of martins & a whiff [of tobacco]. To the health of
Captain Rinocerotry: look to it, let him have weight and
WILL SUMMER: What an ass is this! I cannot drink
so much, thou I should burst.
BACCHUS: Fool, do not refuse your moist sustenance;
come, come, dog's head in the pot, do what you
are born to.
WILL SUMMER: If you will needs make me a drunkard ... 
against my will, so it is; I'll try what burden my belly
BACCHUS: Crouch, crouch on your knees, fool, when you
pledge god Bacchus.
[Here Will Summer drinks, & they sing about him. Bacchus begins.]
ALL: Mounsieur Mingo for quaffing did surpass,
In Cup, in Can, or glass.
BACCHUS: Ho, well shot, a toucher, a toucher; for
quaffing Toy doth pass, in cup, in can, or glass.
ALL: God Bacchus do him right,
And dub him knight. ... 
[Here he dubs Will Summer with the black jack.]
BACCHUS: Rise up, Sir Robert Toss-pot.
SUMMER: No more of this, I hate it to the death.
No such deformer of the soul and sense,
As is this swinish damned-born drunkenness.
Bacchus, for thou abusest so earth's fruits,
Imprisoned live in cellars and in vaults,
Let none commit their counsels unto thee:
Thy wrath be fatal to thy dearest friends;
Unarmed run upon thy foemen's swords;
Never fear any plague before it fall: ... 
Dropsies and watery tympanies haunt thee,
Thy lungs with surfeiting be putrefied,
To cause thee have an odious stinking breath;
Slaver and drivel like a child at mouth;
Be poor and beggarly in thy old age;
Let thy own kinsmen laugh, when thou complain'st,
And many tears gain nothing but blind scoffs.
This is the guerdon due to drunkenness;
Shame, sickness, misery, follow excess.
BACCHUS: Now on my honor, Sim Summer, thou art ... 
a bad member, a dunce, a mongrel, to discredit so
worshipful an art after this order. Thou hast cursed me,
and I will bless thee: Never cup of Nipitaty in London
come near thy niggardly habitation. I beseech the gods
of good fellowship, thou may'st fall into a consumption with
drinking small beer. Every day may'st thou eat fish, and
let it stick in the mid'st of thy maw, for want of a cup
of wine to swim away in. Venison be Venenum to thee:
& may that vintner have the plague in his house that sells
thee a drop of claret to kill the poison of it. As many ... 
wounds may'st thou have, as Caesar had in the Senate
house, and get no white wine to wash them with. And to
conclude, pine away in melancholy and sorrow, before thou
hast the fourth part of a dram of my juice to cheer up
SUMMER: Hale him away, he barketh like a wolf,
It is his drink, not he, that rails on us.
BACCHUS: Nay, soft, brother Summer, back with that
foot; here is a snuff in the bottom of the jack, enough
to light a man to bed withal; we'll leave no flocks behind ... 
us, whatsoever we do.
SUMMER: Go drag him hence, I say, when I command.
BACCHUS: Since we must needs go, let's go merrily.
Farewell, sir Robert Toss-pot; sing amain Monsieur
Myngo, whilest I mount up my ass.
[Here they go out singing Monsieur Myngo, as they came in.]
WILL SUMMER: Of all gods, this Bacchus is the ill-
favord'st misshapen god that ever I saw. A pox on him,
he hath christened me with a new nickname of Sir Robert
Toss-pot, that will not part from me this twelve-month. Ned
fools' clothes are so perfumed with the beer he poured on ... 
me, that there shall not be a Dutchman within 20 mile but
he'll smell out & claim kindred of him. What a beastly
thing is it, to bottle up ale in a man's belly, when a man must set
his guts on a gallon pot last, only to purchase the ale-house
title of a boon companion? Carouse, pledge me and
you dare; 'Swounds, I'll drink with thee for all that ever
thou art worth. It is even as 2 men should strive who
should run furthest into the sea for a wager. Methinks
these are good household terms; Will it please you to
be here, sir? I commend me to you; shall I be so bold as ... 
trouble you? Saving your tale, I drink to you. And
if these were put in practice but a year or two in taverns
wine would soon fall from six and twenty pound a tun,
and be beggar's money, a penny a quart, and take up his
Inn with waste beer in the alms tub. I am a sinner
as others: I must not say much of this argument. Everyone,
when he is whole, can give advice to them that
are sick. My masters, you that be good fellows, get you
into corners and soup [?] off your provender closely; report
hath a blister on her tongue; open taverns are tell-tales. ... 
Non peccat quicunq; potest peccasse negare.
SUMMER: I'll call my servants to account, said I?
A bad account: worse servants no man hath.
Quos credis fidos effuge, tutus eris:
The proverb I have proved to be too true,
Totidem domi hostes habemus, quot servos.
And that wise caution of Democritus,
Servus necessaria possessio, non autem dulcis:
Nowhere fidelity and labor dwells,
Hope young heads count to build on had I wist. ... 
Conscience but few respect, all hunt for gain;
Except the Camel have his provender
Hung at his mouth, he will not travel on.
Tyresias to Narcissus promised
Much prosperous hap and many golden days,
If of his beauty he no knowledge took.
Knowledge breeds pride, pride breedeth discontent.
Black discontent, thou urgest to revenge.
Revenge opes not her ears to poor men's prayers.
That dolt destruction is she without doubt, ... 
That hails her forth and feedeth her with nought.
Simplicity and plainness, you I love;
Hence, double diligence, thou mean'st deceit.
Those that now serpent-like creep on the ground,
And seem to eat the dust, they crouch so low;
If they be disappointed of their prey,
Most traitorously will trace their tails and sting.
Yea, such as, like the Lapwing, build their nests
In a man's dung, come up by drudgery,
Will be the first that, like that foolish bird, ... 
Will follow him with yelling and false cries.
Well sung a shepherd (that now sleeps in skies)
Dumb swans do love, & not vain chattering pies.
In mountains, Poets say, Echo is hid,
For her deformity and monstrous shape:
Those mountains are the houses of great Lords,
Where Stentor with his hundred voices sounds
A hundred trumpets at once with rumor filled:
A woman they imagine her to be,
Because that sex keeps nothing close they hear; ... 
And that's the reason magic writers frame,
There are more witches women than of men;
For women generally, for the most part,
Of secrets more desirous are than men,
Which having got, they have no power to hold.
In these times had Echo's first fathers lived,
No woman, but a man, she had been feigned.
(Though women yet will want no news to prate),
For men (mean men), the scum and dross of all,
Will talk and babble of they know not what, ... 
Upbraid, deprave, and taunt they care not whom:
Surmises pass for sound approved truths:
Familiarity and conference,
That were the sinews of societies,
Are now for underminings only used,
And novel wits, that love none but themselves,
Think wisdom's height as falsehood slyly couched,
Seeking each other to o'erthrow his mate.
O friendship, thy old temple is defaced.
Embracing every [Hazlitt: envy] guileful courtesy ... 
Hath overgrown fraud-wanting honesty.
Examples live but in the idle schools:
Sinon bears all the sway in princes' courts,
Sickness, be thou my soul's physician:
Bring the Apothecary death with thee.
In earth is hell, true hell felicity,
Compared with this world, the den of wolves.
AUTUMN: My Lord, you are too passionate without cause.
WINTER: Grieve not for that which cannot be recalled:
Is it your servants' carelessness you 'plain? ... 
Tully by one of his own slaves was slain.
The husbandman close in his bosom nursed
A subtle snake, that after wrought his bane.
AUTUMN: Servos fideles liberalitas facit;
Where on the contrary, servitutem:
Those that attend upon illiberal Lords,
Whose covetize yields nought else but fair looks,
Even of those fair looks make their gainful use.
For, as in Ireland and in Denmark both,
Witches for gold will sell a man a wind, ... 
Which, in the corner of a napkin wrapt,
Shall blow him safe unto what coast he will;
So make ill servants sale of their Lords' wind,
Which, wrapt up in a piece of parchment,
Blows many a knave forth danger of the law.
SUMMER: Enough of this; let me go make my will.
Ah, it is made; although I hold my peace,
These two will share betwixt them what I have.
The surest way to get my will performed
Is to make my executor my heir; ... 
And he, if all be given him, and none else,
Unfallibly will see it well-performed.
Lions will feed, though none bid them go to.
Ill grows the tree affordeth nere a graft.
Had I some issue to sit in my throne,
My grief would die, death should not hear me groan;
But when perforce these must enjoy my wealth,
Which thank me not but enter't as a prey,
Bequeathed it is not, but clean cast away.
Autumn, be thou successor of my seat: ... 
Hold, take my crown look how he grasps for it!
Thou shalt not have it yet but hold it too;
Why should I keep that needs I must forgo?
WINTER: Then (duty laid aside) you do me wrong;
I am more worthy of it far than he.
He hath no skill nor courage for to rule;
A weather-beaten bankrout ass it is
That scatters and consumeth all he hath;
Each one do pluck from him without control.
He is nor hot nor cold, a silly soul, ... 
That fain would please each party, if so he might.
He and the spring are scholars' favorites.
What scholars are, what thriftless kind of men,
Yourself be judge, and judge of him by them.
When Cerberus was headlong drawn from hell,
He voided a black poison from his mouth,
Called Aconitum, whereof ink was made;
That ink, with reeds first laid on dried barks,
Served men a while to make rude works withal
Til Hermes, secretary to the Gods, ... 
Or Hermes Trismegistus, as some will,
Weary with graving in blind characters
And figures of familiar beasts and plants,
Invented letters to write lies withal.
In them he penned the fables of the Gods,
The giants' war and thousand tales besides.
After each nation got these toys in use,
There grew up certain drunken parasites,
Termed Poets, which for a meal's meat or two
Would promise monarchs immortality; ... 
They vomited in verse all that they knew,
Found causes and beginnings of the world,
Fetched pedigrees of mountains and of floods
From men and women whom the Gods transformed.
If any town or city they passed by
Had in compassion (thinking them mad men),
Forborne to whip them or imprison them,
That city was not built by human hands;
'Twas raised by music, like Megara walls;
Apollo, poets' patron, founded it ... 
Because they found one fitting favor there:
Musaeus, Lynus, Homer, Orpheus,
Were of this trade, and thereby won their fame.
WILL SUMMER: Fama malum, quo non velocius ullum.
WINTER: Next them, a company of ragged knaves,
Sun-bathing beggars, lazy hedge-creepers,
Sleeping face upwards in the fields all night,
Dreamed strange devices of the Sun and Moon;
And they, like Gypsies, wand'ring up and down,
Told fortunes, juggled, nicknamed all the stars, ... 
And were of idiots termed Philosophers:
Such was Pythagoras the silencer,
Prometheus, Thales, Milesius,
Who would all things of water should be made;
That positively said the air was God;
Zenocrates, that said there were eight Gods;
And Cratoniates, Alcmeon too,
Who thought the Sun and Moon & stars were gods;
The poorer sort of them, that could get nought, ... 
Professed, like beggarly Franciscan Friars,
And the strict order of the Capuchins,
A voluntary wretched poverty,
Contempt of gold, thin fare, and lying hard;
Yet he that was most vehement in these,
Diogenes, the Cynic and the dog,
Was taken coining money in his cell.
WILL SUMMER: What an old Ass was that! Methinks,
he should have coined Carrot roots rather; for as for
money, he had no use for't, except it were to melt, and ... 
solder up holes in his tub withal.
WINTER: It were a whole Olympiades work to tell:
How many devilish, ergo armed arts,
Sprung all, as vices, of this Idleness;
For even as soldiers not employed in wars,
But living loosely in a quiet state,
Not having wherewithal to maintain pride,
Nay scarce to find their bellies any food,
Nought but walk melancholy and devise
How they may cozen Merchants, fleece young heirs, ... 
Creep into favor by betraying men,
Rob churches, beg waste toys, court city dames,
Who shall undo their husbands for their sakes;
The baser rabble how to cheat and steal,
And yet be free from penalty of death.
So those word-warriors, lazy star-gazers,
Used to no labor but to louse themselves,
Had their heads filled with cozening fantasies;
They plotted how to make their poverty
Better esteemed of than high Sovereignty; ... 
They thought how they might plant a heaven on earth,
Whereof they would be principal low gods;
That heaven they called contemplation,
As much to say as a most pleasant sloth,
Which better I cannot compare than this:
That if a fellow licensed to beg
Should all his lifetime go from fair to fair
And buy gape-seed, having no business else.
That contemplation, like an aged weed,
Engendered thousand sects, and all those sects ... 
Were but as these times, cunning shrouded rogues:
Grammarians some, and wherein differ they
From beggars that profess the Peddler's French?
The Poets next, slovenly tattered slaves,
That wander and sell Ballads in the streets.
Historiographers others there be;
And they, like lazars by the highway-side,
That for a penny or a half-penny
Will call each knave a good-faced Gentleman,
Give honor unto Tinkers for good ale, ... 
Prefer a Cobbler for the Black prince far,
If he bestow but blacking of their shoes;
And as it is the Spittle-houses' guise,
Over the gate to write their founders' names,
Or on the outside of their walls at least,
In hope by their example others moved
Will be more bountiful and liberal;
So in the forefront of their Chronicles,
Or Peroratione operis.
They learnings' benefactors reckon up: ... 
Who built this college, who gave that Free-school,
What King or Queen advanced Scholars most,
And in their times what writers flourished;
Rich men and magistrates, whil'st yet they live,
They flatter palpably, in hope of gain.
Smooth-tongued Orators, the fourth in place
(Lawyers our commonwealth entitles them),
Mere swashbucklers and ruffianly mates,
That will for twelve pence make a doughty fray,
Set men for straws together by the ears. ... 
Gold-breathing Alchemists also we have,
Both which are subtle-witted humorists
That get their meals by telling miracles,
Which they have seen in travailing the skies;
Vain boasters, liars, make-shifts, they are all,
Men that, removed from their ink-horn terms,
Bring forth no action worthy of their bread.
What should I speak of pale physicians?
Who as Fismenus non nasatus was ... 
(Upon a wager that his friends had laid)
Hired to live in a privy a whole year;
So are they hired for lucre and for gain,
All their whole life to smell on excrements.
WILL SUMMER: Very true, for I have heard it for a
proverb many a time and oft, Hunc os foetidum, fah, he
stinks like a physician.
WINTER: Innumerable monstrous practices
Hath loit'ring contemplation brought forth more,
Which 'twere too long particular to recite; ... 
Suffice, they all conduce unto this end,
To banish labor, nourish slothfulness,
Pamper up lust, devise new-fangled sins.
Nay, I will justify there is no vice,
Which learning and vild knowledge brought not in,
Or in whose praise some learned have not wrote.
The art of murder Machiavel hath penned;
Whoredom hath Ovid to uphold her throne;
And Aretine of late in Italy,
Whose Cortigiana toucheth bawds their trade. ... 
Gluttony Epicurus doth defend,
And books of th' art of cookery confirm,
Of which Platina hath not writ the least.
Drunkenness of his good behavior
Hath testimonial from where he was born;
That pleasant work de arte bibendi,
A drunken Dutchman spewed out few years since;
Nor wanteth sloth (although sloths' plague be want)
His paper pillars for to lean upon:
The praise of nothing pleads his worthiness; ... 
Folly Erasmus sets a flourish on.
For baldness a bald ass I have forgot
Patched up a pamphletary periwig.
Slovenry Grobianus magnifieth;
Sodometry a Cardinal commends,
And Aristotle necessary deems.
In brief, all books, divinity except,
Are nought but tales of the devil's laws,
Poison wrapped up in sugared words,
Man's pride, damnation's props, the world's abuse; ... 
Then censure (good my Lord) what bookmen are,
If they be pestilent members in a state.
He is unfit to sit at stern of state
That favors such as will o'erthrow his state;
Blessed is that government where no art thrives,
Vox populi, vox Dei;
The vulgar's voice, it is the voice of God.
Yet Tully saith, Nom est consilium in vulgo, non ratio,
non discrimen, non differentia;
The vulgar have no learning, wit, nor sense. ... 
Themistocles, having spent all his time
In study of philosophy and arts,
And noting well the vanity of them,
Wished, with repentance for his folly past,
Some would teach him th' art of oblivion:
How to forget the arts that he had learned.
And Cicero, whom we alleged before
(As saith Valerius) stepping into old age,
Despised learning, loathed eloquence.
Naso, that could speak nothing but pure verse, ... 
And had more wit than words to utter it,
And words as choice as ever Poet had,
Cried and exclaimed in bitter agony
When knowledge had corrupted his chaste mind.
Discite, qui sapitis, non haec quae scimus inertes,
Sed trepidas acies, & fera bella sequi.
You that be wise and ever mean to thrive,
O study not these toys we sluggards use,
But follow arms and wait on barbarous wars.
Young men, young boys, beware of Schoolmasters; ... 
They will infect you, mar you, blear your eyes;
They seek to lay the curse of God on you,
Namely, confusion of languages,
Wherewith those that the tower of Babel built,
Accursed were in the world's infancy.
Latin, it was the speech of Infidels.
Logic hath nought to say in a true cause.
Philosophy is curiosity;
And Socrates was therefore put to death
Only for he was a Philosopher. ... 
Abhor, contemn, despise those damned snares.
WILL SUMMER: Out upon it, who would be a scholar? Not
I, I promise you; my mind always gave me this learning
was such a filthy thing, which made me hate it so as
I did; when I should have been at school, construing
Batte, mi fili, mi fili, mi Batte, I was close under a hedge,
or under a barn wall, playing at span-Counter, or jack-
in-a-box. My master beat me, my father beat me, my
mother gave me bread and butter; yet all this would not
make me a squitter-book. It was my destiny; I thank ... 
her as a most courteous goddess, that she hath not
cast me away upon gibberish. O, in what a mighty
vein am I now against Horn-books! Here, before
all this company, I profess myself an open enemy to Ink
and paper. I'll make it good upon the Accidence body
that in speech is the devil's Pater noster. Nouns and
pronouns I pronounce you as traitors to boy's buttocks;
Syntaxis and Prosodia, you are tormenters of wit, & good
for nothing but to get a school-master two pence a week.
Hang copies; fly out, phrase books; let pens be turned ... 
to pick-tooths; bowls, cards, & dice, you are the true
liberal sciences; I'll nere be Goose-quill, gentlemen, while I
SUMMER: Winter, with patience unto my grief,
I have attended thy invective tale;
So much untruth wit never shadowed:
Gainst her own bowels thou Arts' weapons turn'st;
Let none believe thee that will ever thrive;
Words have their course, the wind blows where it lists;
He errs alone, in error that persists. ... 
For thou gainst Autumn such exceptions tak'st,
I grant his over-seer thou shalt be:
His treasurer, protector, and his staff;
He shall do nothing without thy consent;
Provide thou for his weal and his content.
WINTER: Thanks, gracious Lord; so I'll dispose of him,
As it shall not repent you of your gift.
AUTUMN: On such conditions no crown will I take.
I challenge Winter for my enemy:
A most insatiate miserable carl, ... 
That, to fill up his garners to the brim,
Cares not how he endammageth the earth
What poverty he makes it to endure!
He over-bars the crystal streams with ice,
That none but he and his may drink of them;
All for a foul Back-winter he lays up;
Hard craggy ways and uncouth slippery paths
He frames, that passengers may slide and fall;
Who quaketh not that heareth but his name?
O, but two sons he hath, worse than himself, ... 
Christmas the one, a pinch-back, cut-throat churl,
That keeps no open house, as he should do,
Delighteth in no game or fellowship,
Loves no good deeds and hateth talk,
But sitteth in a corner turning Crabs
Or coughing ore a warmed pot of Ale:
Back-winter th' other, that's his none sweet boy,
Who like his father taketh in all points;
An elf it is, compact of envious pride,
A miscreant, born for a plague to men, ... 
A monster that devoureth all he meets.
Were but his father dead, so he would reign;
Yea, he would go goodnear to deal by him
As Nabuchedonozor's ungracious son
Evilmerodach by his his father dealt,
Who when his sire was turned to an Ox,
Full greedily snatched up his sovereignty,
And thought himself a king without control.
So it fell out, seven years expired and gone,
Nabuchodonozor came to his shape again ... 
And dispossessed him of the regiment,
Which my young prince no little grieving at,
When that his father shortly after died,
Fearing lest he should come from death again,
As he came from an Ox to be a man,
Willed that his body, spoiled of coverture,
Should be cast forth into the open fields,
For Birds and Ravens to devour at will,
Thinking if they bare every one of them,
A bill full of his flesh into their nests, ... 
He would not rise to trouble him in haste.
WILL SUMMER: A virtuous son, and I'll lay my life on't,
he was a Cavalier and a good fellow.
WINTER: Pleaseth your honor, all he says is false.
For my own part, I love good husbandry,
But hate dishonorable covertize.
Youth nere aspires to virtue's perfect growth,
Till his wild oats be sown; and so the earth,
Until his weeds be rotted with my frosts,
Is not for any seed or tillage fit. ... 
He must be purged that hath surfeited;
The fields have surfeited with Summer fruits;
They must be purged, made poor, oppressed with snow,
Ere they recover their decayed pride.
For over-barring of the streams with Ice,
Who locks not poison from his children's taste?
When Winter reigns, the water is so cold,
That it is poison, present death to those
That wash or bathe their limbs in his cold streams.
The slipperier that ways are under us, ... 
The better it makes us to heed our steps,
And look ere we presume too rashly on;
If that my sons have misbehaved themselves,
A God's name let them answer't fore my Lord.
AUTUMN: Now I beseech your honor it may be so.
SUMMER: With all my heart: Vertumnus, go for them.
WILL SUMMER: This same Harry Baker is such a
necessary fellow to go on arrants, as you shall not find in
a country. It is pity but he should have another silver
arrow, if it be but for crossing the stage with his cap on. ... 
SUMMER: To weary-out the time until they come,
Sing me some doleful ditty to the Lute,
That may complain my near-approaching death.
Adieu, farewell earth's bliss,
This world uncertain is,
Fond are life's lustful joys,
Death proves them all but toys,
None from his darts can fly;
I am sick, I must die:
Lord, have mercy on us. ... 
Rich men, trust not in wealth,
God cannot buy you health;
Physic himself must fade.
All things to end are made,
The plague full swift goes by;
I am sick, I must die:
Lord, have mercy on us.
Beauty is but a flower,
Which wrinkles will devour,
Brightness falls from the air, ... 
Queens have died young and fair,
Dust hath closed Helen's eye.
I am sick, I must die:
Lord, have mercy on us.
Strength stoops unto the grave,
Worms feed on Hector brave,
Swords may not fight with fate,
Earth still holds ope her gate.
Come, come, the bells do cry.
I am sick, I must die: ... 
Lord, have mercy on us.
Wit with his wantonness
Tasteth death's bitterness:
Hath no ears for to hear
What vain art can reply.
I am sick, I must die:
Lord, have mercy on us.
Haste therefore each degree,
To welcome destiny: ... 
Heaven is our heritage,
Earth but a player's stage,
Mount we unto the sky.
I am sick, I must die:
Lord, have mercy on us.
SUMMER: Beshrew me, but thy song hath moved me.
WILL SUMMER: Lord, have mercy on us, how lamentable 'tis!
[Enter Vertumnus with Christmas and Backwinter.]
VERTUMNUS: I have dispatched, my Lord; I have brought
you them you sent me for. ... 
WILL SUMMER: What say'st thou? Hast thou made a good
batch? I pray thee, give me a new loaf.
SUMMER: Christmas, how chance thou com'st not as the rest,
Accompanied with some music, or some song?
A merry Carol would have graced thee well;
Thy ancestors have used it heretofore.
CHRISTMAS: Aye, antiquity was the mother of ignorance;
this latter world, that sees but with her spectacles, hath
spied a pad in those sports more than they could.
SUMMER: What, is't against thy conscience for to sing? ... 
CHRISTMAS: No, nor to say, by my troth, if I may get
a good bargain.
SUMMER: Why, thou should'st spend, thou should'st not care to get.
Christmas is god of hospitality.
CHRISTMAS: So will he never be of good husbandry. I
may say to you, there is many an old god that is now grown
out of fashion. So is the god of hospitality.
SUMMER: What reason can'st thou give he should be left?
CHRISTMAS: No other reason, but that Gluttony is a sin,
& too many dung-hills are infectious. A man's belly was ... 
not made for a powdering beef tub; to feed the poor twelve
days & let them starve all the year after would but stretch
out the guts wider than they should be, & so make famine
a bigger den in their bellies than he had before. I should
kill an ox & have some such fellow as Milo to come and
eat it up at a mouthful; or, like the Sybarites, do
nothing all one year but bid ghestes against the next year.
The scraping of trenchers you think would put a man to no
charges. It is not a hundred pound a year would serve
the scullions in dish-clouts. My house stands upon vaults; ... 
it will fall if it be over-loden with a multitude. Besides,
have you never read of a city that was undermined and
destroyed by moles? So say I keep hospitality, and
a whole fair of beggars bid me to dinner every day, what
with making legs, when they thank me at their going-
away, and settling their wallets handsomely on their backs,
they would shake as many lice on the ground as were able
to undermine my house, and undo me utterly. It is their
prayers would build it again, if it were over-thrown by
this vermin, would it? I pray, who begun feasting and ... 
gourmandize first, but Sardanapalus, Nero, Heligabulus,
Commodus, tyrants, whoremasters, unthrifts? Some call them
emperors, but I respect no crowns but crowns in the
purse. Any man may wear a silver crown that hath made
a fray in Smithfield & lost but a piece of his brain-pan;
and to tell you plain, your golden crowns are little better
in substance and many times got after the same sort.
SUMMER: Gross-headed sot, how light he makes of state!
AUTUMN: Who treadeth not on stars when they are fallen?
Who talketh not of states when they are dead? ... 
A fool conceits no further than he sees;
He hath no sense of ought but what he feels.
CHRISTMAS: Aye, aye, such men as you come to beg at
such fools' doors as we be.
AUTUMN: Thou shut'st thy door; how should we beg of thee?
No alms but thy sink carries from thy house.
WILL SUMMER: And I can tell you, that's as plentiful
alms for the plague as the sheriff's tub to them of Newgate.
AUTUMN: For feasts thou keepest none, cankers thou feed'st;
The worms will curse thy flesh another day, ... 
Because it yieldeth them no fatter prey.
CHRISTMAS: What worms do another day I care not,
but I'll be sworn upon a whole Kilderkin of single Beer,
I will not have a worm-eaten nose like a Pursuivant while
I live. Feasts are but puffing-up of the flesh, the purveyors
for diseases; travel [travail?], cost, time, ill-spent. O, it were a trim
thing to send, as the Romans did, round about the world
for provision for one banquet. I must rig ships to Samos
for Peacocks, to Paphos for Pigeons, to Austria for Oysters,
to Phasis for Pheasants, to Arabia for Phoenixes, to Meander ... 
for Swans, to the Orcades for Geese, to Phrygia for Woodcocks,
to Malta for Cranes, to the Isle of Man for Puffins, to
Ambracia for Goats, to Tartole for Lampreys, to Egypt for
Dates, to Spain for Chestnuts; and all for one feast!
WILL SUMMER: O sir, you need not; you may buy them
at London better cheap.
CHRISTMAS: Liberalitas liberalitate perit: love me a little
and love me long: our feet must have wherewithal to feed [fend]
the stones; our backs walls of wool to keep out the cold
that besiegeth our warm blood; our doors must have ... 
bars, our doublets must have buttons. Item, for an old
sword to scrape the stones before the door with, three
half-pence; for stitching a wooden tankard that was
burst -- These Water-bearers will empty the conduit and
a man's coffers at once. Not a Porter that brings a man a
letter, but will have his penny. I am afraid to keep past
one or two servants, lest, hungry knaves, they should rob
me; and those I keep I warrant I do not pamper up too
lusty; I keep them under with red Herring and poor John
all the year long. I have dammed up all my chimneys for ... 
fear (though I burn nothing but small coal) my house
should be set on fire with the smoke. I will not deny,
but once in a dozen year, when there is a great rot of
sheep, and I know not what to do with them, I keep open
house for all the beggars, in some of my out-yards; marry,
they must bring bread with them: I am no Baker.
WILL SUMMER: As good men as you, and have thought
no scorn to serve their prenticeships on the pillory.
SUMMER: Winter, is this thy son? Hear'st how he talks?
WINTER: I am his father; therefore may not speak, ... 
But otherwise I could excuse his fault.
SUMMER: Christmas, I tell thee plain, thou art a snudge,
And wer't not that we love thy father well,
Thou should'st have felt what 'longs to Avarice.
It is the honor of Nobility
To keep high days and solemn festivals;
Then to set their magnificence to view
To frolic open with their favorites,
And use their neighbors with all courtesy;
When thou in hugger-mugger spend'st thy wealth. ... 
Amend thy manners, breathe thy rusty gold:
Bounty will win thee love, when thou art old.
WILL SUMMER: Aye, that bounty would I fain meet, to
borrow money of; he is fairly blest now a-days that
'scapes blows when he begs. Verba dandi & reddendi
go together in the Grammar rule: there is no giving but
with condition of restoring:
Well is he hath no necessity
Of gold ne of sustenance; ... 
Slow good hap comes by chance;
Flattery best fares;
Arts are but idle wares;
Fair words want giving hands;
The Lento begs that hath no lands;
Fie on thee, thou scurvy knave
That hast sought and yet goest brave;
A prison be thy death-bed,
Or be hanged all save the head.
SUMMER: Back-winter, stand forth. ... 
VERTUMNUS: Stand forth, stand forth; hold up your head, speak out.
BACK-WINTER: What, should I stand? Or whether should I go?
SUMMER: Autumn accuseth thee of sundry crimes,
Which here thou art to clear, or to confess.
BACK-WINTER: With thee or Autumn have I nought to do;
I would you were both hanged face-to-face.
SUMMER: Is this the reverence that thou ow'st to us?
BACK-WINTER: Why not? What art thou? Shalt thou always live?
AUTUMN: It is the veriest dog in Christendom.
WINTER: That's for he barks at such a knave as thou. ... 
BACK-WINTER: Would I could bark the sun out of the sky;
Turn Moon and stars to frozen Meteors;
And make the Ocean a dry land of Ice;
With tempest of my breath turn up high trees;
On mountains heap up second mounts of snow,
Which, melted into water, might fall down,
As fell the deluge on the former world.
I hate the air, the fire, the Spring, the year,
And whatsoe'er brings mankind any good.
O that my looks were lightning to blast fruits! ... 
Would I with thunder presently might die,
So I might speak in thunder, to slay men.
Earth, if I cannot injure thee enough,
I'll bite thee with my teeth, I'll scratch thee thus;
I'll beat down the partition with my heels,
Which, as a mud-vault, severs hell and thee.
Spirits, come up; 'tis I that knock for you,
One that envies the world far more than you;
Come up in millions; millions are too few
To execute the malice I intend. ... 
SUMMER: O scelus inauditum, O vox damnatorum!
Not raging Hecuba, whose hollow eyes
Gave suck to fifty sorrows at one time,
That midwife to so many murders was,
Used half the execrations that thou dost.
BACK-WINTER: More I will use, if more I may prevail;
Back-winter comes but seldom forth abroad,
But when he comes, he pincheth to the proof;
Winter is mild, his son is rough and stern.
Ovid could well write of my tyranny, ... 
When he was banished to the frozen Zone.
SUMMER: And banished be thou from my fertile bounds.
Winter, imprison him in thy dark Cell,
Or, with the winds, in bellowing caves of brass;
Let stern Hippotades lock him up safe,
Ne'er to peep forth, but when thou, faint and weak,
Want'st him to aid thee in thy regiment.
BACK-WINTER: I will peep forth, thy kingdom to supplant:
My father I will quickly freeze to death,
And then sole Monarch will I sit, and think ... 
How I may banish thee, as thou dost me.
WINTER: I see my downfall written in his brows:
Convey him hence to his assigned hell.
Fathers are given to love their sons too well. [Exit Back-winter.]
WILL SUMMER: No, by my troth, nor mothers neither;
I am sure I could never find it. This Back-winter
plays a railing part to no purpose; my small learning
finds no reason for it, except as a Back-winter or an
after-winter is more raging tempestuous and violent than
the beginning of Winter, so he brings him in stamping ... 
and raging as if he were mad, when his father is a
jolly mild quiet old man, and stands still and does
nothing. The court accepts of your meaning; you might
have writ in the margent of your play-book, Let there be
a few rushes laid in the place where Back-winter shall
tumble, for fear of raying his clothes; or set down,
"Enter Back-winter, with his boy bringing a brush after
him, to take off the dust if need require." But you will
nere have any wardrobe wit while you live. I pray
you hold the book well, we be not non plus in the ... 
latter end of the play.
SUMMER: This is the last stroke my tongue's clock must strike,
My last will, which I will that you perform;
My crown I have disposed already of.
Item, I give my withered flowers and herbs
Unto dead cor[p]ses, for to deck them with;
My shady walks to great men's servitors,
Who in their masters' shadows walk secure,
My pleasant open air and fragrant smells
To Croyden and the grounds abutting round, ... 
My heat and warmth to toiling laborers,
My long days to bondmen and prisoners,
My short nights to young married souls,
My drought and thirst to drunkards' quenchless throats,
My fruits to Autumn, my adopted heir,
My murmuring springs, musicians of sweet sleep,
To murmuring male-contents, with their well-tuned cares,
Channeled in a sweet-falling quaterzaine,
Do lull their ears asleep, list'ning themselves.
And finally, O words, now cleanse your course, ... 
Unto Eliza, that most sacred Dame,
Whom none but Saints and Angels ought to name,
All my fair days remaining I bequeath,
To wait upon her till she be returned.
Autumn, I charge thee, when that I am dead,
Be pressed and serviceable at her beck,
Present her with thy goodliest-ripened fruits;
Unclothe no arbors where she ever sat;
Touch not a tree thou think'st she may pass by;
And, Winter, with thy writhen frosty face, ... 
Smooth up thy visage, when thou look'st on her;
Thou never look'st on such bright majesty:
A charmed circle draw about her court,
Wherein warm days may dance, & no cold come;
On seas let winds make war, not vex her rest;
Quiet enclose her bed, thought fly her breast.
Ah, gracious Queen, though Summer pine away,
Yet let thy flourishing stand at a stay;
First droop this universal's aged frame,
Ere any malady thy strength should tame; ... 
Heaven raise up pillars to uphold thy hand,
Peace may have still his temple in thy land.
Lo, I have said: this is the total sum.
Autumn and Winter, on your faithfulness
For the performance I do firmly build.
Farewell, my friends; Summer bids you farewell,
Archers and bowlers, all my followers,
Adieu, and dwell with desolation;
Silence must be your master's mansion;
Slow-marching thus, descend I to the fiends. ... 
Weep, heavens, mourn, earth; here Summer ends.
[Here the Satyrs and Wood-nymphs carry him out, singing as he came in.]
Autumn hath all the Summer's fruitful treasure;
Gone is our sport, fled is poor Croyden's pleasure;
Short days, sharp days, long nights come on apace;
Ah, who shall hide us from the Winter's face?
Cold doth increase, the sickness will not cease,
And here we lie, God knows, with little ease;
From winter, plague, & pestilence, good Lord, deliver us.
London doth mourn, Lambeth is quite forlorn;
Trades cry, Woe worth that ever they were born; ... 
The want of Term is town and Cities' harm;
Close chambers we do want, to keep us warm,
Long banished must we live from our friends;
This low-built house will bring us to our ends.
From winter, plague, & pestilence, good Lord, deliver us.
WILL SUMMER: How is't? How is't? You that be of the
graver sort, do you think these youths worthy of a plaudit
for praying for the Queen, and singing of the Litany?
They are poor fellows I must needs say, and have
bestowed great labor in sowing leaves and grass, and ... 
straw and moss upon cast suits. You may do well
to warm your hands with clapping, before you go to
bed, and send them to the tavern with merry hearts.
Here is a pretty boy comes with an Epilogue, to get
[Enter a little boy with an Epilogue.]
him audacity. I pray you sit still a little, and hear him
say his lesson without book. It is a good boy; be not
afraid; turn thy face to my Lord. Thou and I will
play at pouch tomorrow morning for a breakfast. Come
and sit on my knee, and I'll dance thee, if thou can'st
not endure to stand. ... 
Ulysses, a Dwarf, and the prolocutor for the Graecians,
gave me leave, that am a Pygmy, to do an
Embassage to you from the Cranes; Gentlemen (for
Kings are no better), certain humble Animals, called our
Actors, commend them unto you; who, what offense they
have committed I know not (except it be in purloining
some hours out of time's treasury, that might have been
better employed), but by me (the agent for their imperfections),
they humbly crave pardon, if happily some of
their terms have trod awry, or their tongues stumbled ... 
unwittingly on any man's content. In much Corn is some
Cockle; in a heap of coin here and there a piece of
Copper; wit hath his dregs as well as wine; words their
waste, Ink his blots, every speech his Parenthesis; Poetical
fury, as well Crabs as Sweetings for his Summer fruits.
Nemo sapit omnibus horis. Their folly is deceased, their fear
is yet living. Nothing can kill an Ass but cold; cold
entertainment, discouraging scoffs, authorized disgraces,
may kill a whole litter of young Asses of them here at
once, that have traveled thus far in impudence, only in ... 
hope to sit a-sunning in your smiles. The Romans dedicated
a Temple to the fever quartain, thinking it some
great God because it shook them so; and another, to
ill-fortune in Exquillis, a Mountain in Rome, that it
should not plague them at Cards and Dice. Your Graces'
frowns are to them shaking fevers, your least disfavors
the greatest ill-fortune that may betide them. They can
build no Temples, but themselves and their best endeavors,
With all prostrate reverence, they here dedicate and offer
up wholly to your service. Sic bonus, O, faelixque tuis. To ... 
make the gods merry, the celestial clown Vulcan tuned
his polt-foot to the measures of Apollo's Lute and
danced a limping galliard in Jove's starry hall. To
make you merry, that are the Gods of Art and guides
unto heaven, a number of rude Vulcans, unwieldy speakers,
hammer-headed clowns (for so it pleaseth them in
modesty to name themselves) have set their deformities
to view, as it were in a dance here before you. Bear
with their wants, lull melancholy asleep with their
absurdities, and expect hereafter better fruits of their industry. ... 
Little creatures often terrify great beasts; the Elephant
flyeth from a Ram, the Lion from a Cock and from
fire; the Crocodile from all Sea-fish; the Whale from the
noise of parched bones; light toys chase great cares.
The great fool Toy hath marred the play; good night,
Gentlemen; I go. [let him be carried away.]
WILL SUMMER: Is't true, Jackanapes, do you serve
me so? As sure as this coat is too short for me, all the
points of your hose for this are condemned to my pocket,
if you and I ere play at span-Counter more.Valete, ... 
spectatores; pay for this sport with a plaudit, and the next
time the wind blows from this corner, we will make you
ten times as merry.
Barbarus hic ego sum, quia non
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