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Old brown bread crusts must have much good mumbling, But good ale down your throat has good, easy tumbling."

Roys. The jolliest wench that e'er I heard, little mouse, May I not rejoice that she shall dwell in my house?

Tib. So, sirrah, now this gear beginneth for to frame. Marg. Thanks to God, though your work stand still,

your tongue is not lame. Tib. And though your teeth be gone both so sharp and

fine, Yet your tongue can run on patins as well as mine.

Marg. Ye were not for naught named Tibet Talkapace. Tib. Does my talk grieve you, alack, God save your

grace! Marg. I hold a groat you will drink anon for this gear; Tib. And I will not pray you the stripes for me to bear. Marg. . I hold a penny you will drink without a cup. Tib. Wherein soe'er ye drink, I wot ye drink all up. Annot. By cock, and well sewed, my good Tibet Talk

apace.

Tib. And e'en as well knit, my own Annot Aylface.
Roys. See what a sort she keepeth that must be my

wife! Shall not I, when I have her, lead a merry life?

Tib. Welcome, my good wench, and sit here by me just. Annot. And how doth our old beldame here, Madge

Mumblecrust? Tib. Chides, and finds fault, and threatens to complain; Annot. To make us poor girls shent to her is small gain. Marg. I did neither chide, nor complain, nor threaten. Roys. It would grieve my heart to see one of them beaten. Marg. I did nothing but bid her work and hold her peace.

Tib. So would I, if you could your clattering cease, But the devil cannot make old trot hold her tongue.

Annot. Let all these matters pass, and we three sing a

song. So shall we pleasantly both the time beguile now, And eke despatch all our work ere we can tell how.

-Ralph Royster Doyster.

Sir Philip Sidney

On Plays

OUR tragedies and comedies are not without cause cried out against, observing rules neither of honest civility nor of skilful poetry, excepting “Gorboduc.” For where the stage should always represent but one place, and the uttermost time presupposed in it should be, both by Aristotle's precept and by common reason, but one day, there is both many days and many places inartificially imagined. You shall have Asia of the one side, and Afric of the other, and so many other under-kingdoms, that the player, when he cometh in, must ever begin with telling where he is, or else the tale will not be conceived. Now ye shall have three ladies walk to gather flowers, and then we must believe the stage to be a garden. By and by we hear news of shipwreck in the same place, and then we are to blame if we accept it not for a rock. Upon the back of that comes out a hideous monster, with fire and smoke, and then the miserable beholders are bound to take it for a cave. While in the meantime two armies fly in, represented with four swords and bucklers, and then what hard heart will not receive it for a pitched field ? Now of time they are much more liberal, for ordinary it is that two young princes fall in love. After many traverses, she is got with child, delivered of a fair boy; he is lost, groweth a man; falls in love, and is ready to get another child, and all this in two hours space: which how absurd it is in sense, even sense can imagine and art hath taught.-—Defense of Poesy."

Sir John Harrington

Of a Precise Tailor

A TAILOR, thought a man of upright dealing
True, but for lying, honest, but for stealing-
Did fall one day extremely sick by chance,
And on the sudden was in wondrous trance.
The fiends of hell, mustering in fearful manner,
Of sundry coloured silks displayed a banner
Which he had stolen, and wished, as they did tell,
That he might find it all one day in hell.
The man, affrighted with this apparition,
Upon recovery grew a great precisian.
He bought a Bible of the best translation,
And in his life he showed great reformation;
He walked mannerly, he talked meekly,
He heard three lectures and two sermons weekly;
He vowed to shun all company unruly,
And in his speech he used no oath but “truly”;
And, zealously to keep the Sabbath's rest,
His meat for that day on the eve was drest;
And, lest the custom which he had to steal
Might cause him sometimes to forget his zeal,
He gives his journeyman a special charge,
That if the stuff, allowance being large,
He found his fingers were to filch inclined,
Bid him to have the banner in his mind.
This done I scant can tell the rest for laughter-
A captain of a ship came three days after,

And brought three yards of velvet and three-quarters,
To make Venetians down below the garters.
He, that precisely knew what was enough,
Soon slipt aside three-quarters of the stuff.
His man, espying it, said, in derision,

Master, remember how you saw the vision !” “Peace, knave!” quoth he; “I did not see one rag Of such a coloured silk in all the flag."

Of a Certain Man

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THERE was (not certain when) a certain preacher
That never learned, and yet became a teacher,
Who, having read in Latin thus a text
Of erat quidam homo, much perplext,
He seemed the same with studie great to scan,
In English thus: There was a certain man.
But now (quoth he), good people, note you this:
He saith there was—he doth not say there is;
For in these days of ours it is most plain
Of promise, oath, word, deed, no man's certain;
Yet by my text you see it comes to pass
That surely once a certain man there was;

But yet, I think, in all your Bible no man
Can find this text, There was a certain woman.

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