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MOST high and happy Princess, we must tell you a tale of the Man in the Moon, which, if it seem ridiculous for the method, or superfluous for the matter, or for the means incredible, for three faults we can make but one excuse: it is a tale of the Man in the Moon.

It was forbidden in old time to dispute of Chimæra because it was a fiction: we hope in our times none will apply pastimes, because they are fancies; for there liveth none under the sun that knows what to make of the Man in the Moon. We present neither comedy, nor tragedy, nor story, nor anything but that whosoever heareth may say this: Why, here is a tale of the Man in the Moon.

ACT I
SCENE 1.2

[Enter] ENDYMION and EUMENIDES.

Endymion. I find, Eumenides, in all things both variety to content, and satiety to glut, saving only in my affections, which are so staid, and withal so stately, that I can neither satisfy my heart with love, nor mine ees with wonder. [ My thoughts, Eumenides, are stitched to the stars, which being as high as I can see, thou mayest imagine how much higher they are than I can reach.

Eum. If you be enamoured of anything [10 above the moon, your thoughts are ridiculous, for that things immortal are not subject to affections; if allured or enchanted with these transitory things under the moon, you show yourself senseless to attribute such lofty [15 title ch [low] trifles.

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her with the name of wavering, waxing, and [45 waning! Is she inconstant that keepeth a settled course; which, since her first creation, altereth not one minute in her moving? There is nothing thought more admirable or commendable in the sea than the ebbing and flowing; [50 and shall the moon, from whom the sea taketh this virtue, be accounted fickle for increasing and decreasing? Flowers in their buds are nothing worth till they be blown, nor are biosson accounted till they be ripe fruit; and shall [55 we then say they be changeable for that they grow from seeds to leaves, from leaves to buds, from buds to their perfection? Then, why be not twigs that become trees, children that become men, and mornings that grow to even- [60 ings, termed wavering, for that they continue not at one stay? Ay, but Cynthia, being in her fulness, decayeth, as not delighting in her greatest beauty, or withering when she should be most honoured, When malice cannot object [65 anything, folly will, making that a vice which is the greatest virtue. What thing (my mistress excepted), being in the pride of her beauty and latter minute of her age, that waxeth young again? Tell me, Eumenides, what is he that [70 having a mistress of ripe years and infinite virtues, great honours and unspeakable beauty, but would wish that she might grow tender again, getting youth by years, and never-decaying beauty by time; whose fair face neither the [5 summer's blaze can scorch, nor winter's blast chap, nor the numbering of years breed altering of colours? Such is my sweet Cynthia, whom time cannot touch because she is divine, nor will offend because she is delicate. O Cyn- [80 thia, if thou shouldst always continue at thy fulness, both gods and men would conspire to ravish thee. But thou, to abate the pride of our affections, dost detract from thy perfections, thinking it sufficient if once in a month [85 we enjoy a glimpse of thy majesty; and then, to increase our griefs, thou dost decrease thy gleams, coming out of thy royal robes, wherewith theu dazzlest our eyes, down into thy swathe clonts, beguiling our eyes; and then

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Eum. Stay there, Endymion; thou that committest idolatry, wilt straight blaspheme, if thou be suffered. Sleep would do thee more good than speech: the moon heareth thee not, or if she do, regardeth thee not.

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End. Vain Eumenides, whose thoughts never grow higher than the crown of thy head! Why troublest thou me, having neither head to conceive the cause of my love or a heart to receive the impressions? Follow thou thine own for- [100 tunes, which creep on the earth, and suffer me to fly to mine, whose fall, though it be desperate, yet shall it come by daring. Farewell. Eum. Without doubt Endymion is bewitched; [Exit] otherwise in a man of such rare virtues there [105 could not harbour a mind of such extreme madness. I will follow him. lest in this fancy of the moon he deprive himself of the sight of the sun.

1 Swaddling-clothes.

Exit.

SCENE II.2

I. ii.

[Enter] TELLUS and FLOSCULA. Tellus. Treacherous and most perjured Endy mion, Cynthia the sweetness of thy life and the bsterness of my death? What revenge may be dvised so full of shame as my thoughts are replenished with malice? Tell me, Floscula, [s if falseness in love can possibly be punished with extremity of hate? As long as sword, fire, or poison may be hired, no traitor to my love shall live unrevenged. Were thy oaths without number, thy kisses without measure, thy sighs [10 without end, forged to deceive a poor credulous virgin, whose simplicity had been worth thy favour and better fortune? If the gods sit unequal beholders of injuries, or laughers at lovers' deceits, then let mischief be as well for- [1 given in women as perjury winked at in men.

Flosc. Madam, if you would compare the state of Cynthia with your own, and the height of Endymion his thoughts with the meanness of your fortune, you would rather yield than [20 contend, being between you and her no comparison; and rather wonder than rage at the greatness of his mind, being affected with a thing more than mortal.

Tellus. No comparison, Floscula? And [25 why so? Is not my beauty divine, whose body is decked with fair flowers, and veins are vines, yielding sweet liquor to the dullest spirits; whose ears are corn, to bring strength; and whose hairs are grass, to bring abundance? [30 Doth not frankincense and myrrh breathe out of my nostrils, and all the sacrifice of the gods breed in my bowels? Infinite are my creatures, without which neither thou, nor Endymion, nor any, could love or live.

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Flose. But know you not, fair lady, that Cynthia governeth all things? Your grapes would be but dry husks, your corn but chaff, and all your virtues vain, were it not Cynthia that serveth the one in the bud and nourisheth the [40 other in the blade, and by her influence both comforteth all things, and by her authority commandeth all creatures. Suffer, then, Endymion to follow his affections, though to obtain her be impossible, and let him flatter himself in his [45 own imaginations, because they are immortal.

Tellus. Loath I am, Endymion, thou shouldest die, because I love thee well; and that thou shouldest live, it grieveth me, because thou lovest Cynthia too well. In these extremities, [50 what shall I do? Flos ula, no more words; I am resolved. He shall neither live nor die.

Flose. A strange practice, if it be possible. Tellus. Yes, I will entangle him in such a sweet net that he shall neither find the means [56 to come out, nor desire it. All aurements of pleasure will I cast before his eyes, insor uch that he shall slake that love which he now eth to Cynthia, and burn in mine, of which seemeth careless. In this languishing, be tween my amorous devices and his own 1 desires, there shall such dissolute thoughts

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root in his head, and over his heart grow so thick askin, that neither hope of preferment, no fear of punishment, nor counsel of the wisest, nor [es company of the worthiest, shall alter his huamour, nor make him once to think of his honour.

Flose. A revenge incredible, and, if it may be, unnatural.

Tellus. He shall know the malice of a wo- [70 man to have neither mean nor end; and of a woman deluded in love to have neither rule nor reason. I can do it; I must; I will! All his virtues will I shadow with vices; his person (ah, sweet person!) shall he deck with such rich [75 robes as he shall forget it is his own person; his sharp wit (ah, wit too sharp that hath cut off all my joys!) shall he use in flattering of my face and devising sonnets in my favour. The prime of his youth and pride of his time shall be spent [80 in melancholy passions, careless behaviour, untamed thoughts, and unbridled affections.

Flosc. When this is done, what then? Shall it continue till his death, or shall he dote forever in this delight?

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Tellus. Ah, Floscula, thou rendest my heart in sunder in putting me in remembrance of the end.

Flosc. Why, if this be not the end, all the rest is to no end.

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Tellus. Floscula, they that be so poor that [105 they have neither net nor hook will rather poison dough than pine with hunger; and she that is so oppress'd with love that she is neither able with beauty nor wit to obtain her friend, will rather use unlawful means than try in- [110 tolerable pains. I will do it. Exit.

Flosc. Then about it. Poor Endymion, what traps are laid for thee because thon honourest one that all the world wondereth at! And what plots are cast to make thee unfortunate that [115 studiest of all men to be the faithfulest! Exit.

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Top. Why, fool, a poet is as much as one should say a poet. [Noticing DARES and SAMIAS.] But soft, yonder be two wreus; shall I shoot at them?

Epi. They are two lads.

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Top. Larks or wrens, I will kill them. Epi. Larks! Are you blind? They are two little boys.

Top. Birds or boys, they are both but a pittance for my breakfast; therefore have at [30 them, for their brains must as it were embroider my bolts.3

Sam. Stay your courage, valiant knight, for your wisdom is so weary that it stayeth itself. Dar. Why, Sir Tophas, have you for- [ gotten your old friends?

Top. Friends? Nego argumentum.

Sam. And why not friends?

Top. Because amicitia (as in old annals wo find) is inter pares. Now, my pretty com- [40 panions, you shall see how unequal you be to me; but I will not cut you quite off, you shall be my half-friends for reaching to my middle; so far as from the ground to the waist. I will be your friend.

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Dar. Learnedly. But what shall become of the rest of your body, from the waist to the crown?

Top. My children, quod supra vos nihil ad vos; you must think the rest immortal, be- [so cause you cannot reach it.

Epi. Nay, I tell ye my master is more than a

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Sam. I am Samias, page to Eumenides].
Dar. And I Dares, page to [Endymion].
Top. Of what occupation are your masters?
Dar. Occupation, you clown! Why, they are
honourable and warriors.

Top. Then are they my prentices.
Dar. Thine! And why so?

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Top. I was the first that ever devised war, and therefore by Mars himself given me for my arms a whole armory; and thus I go, as you [65 see, clothed with artillery. It is not silks, milksops, nor tissues, nor the fine wool of Seres,1

3 Blunt arrows.

4 Wool of Seres, Chinese silk. Old edd. read Ceres Boud Seres.

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