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a boy, the whole cunning of the scene was lost, and the audience felt themselves rather trifled with than surprised. Garrick”. was immediately sensible of his error, and attempted to remedy it by a different cast of the parts; but it was too late. In 1798 an edition of this play appeared by Mr. Penn. He arranged the scenes according to the French model; but whether with a view to exemplify his own ideas of dramatic writing, or to its being again brought on the stage, I know not.

The Portugueze have a translation of this Comedy, which I never saw. Mr. Twiss tells us, in the appendix to his Travels, that it was sometimes" performed at Lisbon." It has also been translated into French; but very imperfectly.

TO THE TRULY NOBLE BY ALL TITLES,

SIR FRANCIS STUART.'

SIR,

My hope is not so nourished by example, as it will conclude, this dumb piece should please you, because it hath pleased others before: but by trust, that when you have read it, you will find it worthy to have displeased none. This makes that I now number you, not only in the names of favour, but the names of justice to what I write; and do presently call you to the exercise of that noblest, and manliest virtue as coveting rather to be freed in my fame, by the authority of a judge, than the credit of an undertaker." Read therefore, I pray you, and censure. There is not a line, or syllable in it, changed from the simplicity of the first copy. And, when you shall consider, through the certain hatred of some, how much a man's innocency may be endangered by an uncertain accusation; you will, I doubt not,

66

To the truly noble by all titles, sir Francis Stuart.] Of whom Antony Wood gives us the following character: He 66 was a learned gentleman, was one of sir Walter Raleigh's "club at the Mermaid-tavern in Friday-street, London, and "much venerated by Ben. Jonson, who dedicated to him his "comedy, call'd The Silent Woman: he was a person also well 66 seen in marine affairs, was a captain of a ship, and bore the "office for some time of a vice or rear-admiral." Athen. Oxon. Fast. Vol. I. p. 203. WHAL.

This Dedication is from the folio 1616.

2 An undertaker.] "An undertaker was at this time a very offensive character; and given to certain persons, who undertook, through their influence in the House of Commons, in the parliament of 1614, to carry things agreeably to his Majesty's wishes." WHAL.

To prevent any of Jonson's enemies from wresting this Dedication into a confession that the Silent Woman was 66 ill received." it is necessary to observe that the objection of which the author speaks was similar to that brought long before against the Poetaster, a charge of personality, (probably towards some

so begin to hate the iniquity of such natures, as I shall love the contumely done me, whose end was so honourable as to be wiped off by your sentence.

Your unprofitable, but true Lover,

BEN. JONSON.

captious member of the law,) and which was "honourably wiped off" by his present patron.

:

DRAMATIS PERSONE.

Morose, a gentleman that loves no noise.
Sir Dauphine Eugenie, a knight, his nephew.
Ned Clerimont, a gentleman, his friend.
Truewit, another friend.

Sir John Daw, a knight.

Sir Amorous La-Foole, a knight also.
Thomas Otter, a land and sea captain.
Cutbeard, a barber.

Mute, one of Morose's servants.
Parson.

Page to Clerimont.

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Mistress Otter, the Captain's wife.

Mistress Trusty, lady Haughty's pretenders.

woman.

Pages, Servants, &c.

The SCENE London.

EPICENE;

OR,

THE SILENT WOMAN.

PROLOGUE.

Truth says, of old the art of making plays
Was to content the people; and their praise
Was to the poet money, wine, and bays.

But in this age, a sect of writers are,
That, only, for particular likings care,
And will taste nothing that is popular.

With such we mingle neither brains nor breasts;
Our wishes, like to those make public feasts,
Are not to please the cook's taste but the guests.

Yet, if those cunning palates hither come,
They shall find guests entreaty, and good room;
And though all relish not, sure there will be some,

That, when they leave their seats, shall make them say,
Who wrote that piece, could so have wrote a play;
But that he knew this was the better way.

For, to present all custard, or all tart,
And have no other meats to bear a part,

Or to want bread, and salt, were but coarse art.

Truth says, of old the art of making plays

Was to content the people ;] From the Prologue to the Andria; as Upton observes:

Id sibi negoti credidit solum dari,

Populo ut placerent, quas fecisset fabulas.

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