an essay on dramatick poesie

Father that would willingly before he dies see his Son well married; his Debauched Son, kind in his Nature to his Wench, but miserably in want of Money, a Servant or Slave, who has so much wit to strike in with him, and. And if it be objected that neither are blank verses made extempore, yet as nearest Nature, they are still to be preferred. But to do this always, and never be able to write a line without it, though it may be admired by some few Pedants, will not pass upon those who know that wit is best conveyed to us in the most easy language; and. This it is to which in fine all your reasons must submit. But there are two particular exceptions which many besides my self have had to verse; by which it will appear yet more plainly, how improper it is in Plays. These are Plots built after the Italian Mode of Houses, you see through them all at once; the Characters are indeed the Imitations of Nature, but so narrow as if they had imitated only an Eye or an Hand, and did not dare to venture. We find Ben Jonson using them in his Magnetic Lady, where one comes out from Dinner, and relates the quarrels and disorders of it to save the undecent appearing of them on the Stage, and to abbreviate the Story: and this in express imitation. Now all was Sea, Nor had that Sea a shore. Others say it is not enough to find one man of such an humor; it must be common to more, and the more common the more natural. The Master piece of Seneca I hold to be that Scene in the Troades, where Ulysses is seeking for Astyanax to kill him; There you see the tenderness of a Mother, so represented in Andromache, that it raises compassion to a high degree in the. In An Essay on Dramatic Poesy there are four speakers.

But since I have otherwise a great veneration for him, and you Eugenius, prefer him above all other Poets, I will use no farther argument to you than his example: I will produce Father Ben to you, dressed in all the ornaments and colors. To which, we may have leave to add such as to avoid tumult, (as was before hinted) or to reduce the Plot into a more reasonable compass of time, or for defect of Beauty in them, are rather to be related than presented to the. But I dare not take upon me to commend the Fabric of it, because it is altogether so full of Art, that I must unravel every Scene in it to commend it as I ought. So that before they come upon the Stage you have a longing expectation of them, which prepares you to receive them favorably; and when they are there, even from their first appearance you are so far acquainted with them, that nothing of their humor. For you hear your Horace saying, Indignor quidquam reprehendi, non quia crassé. As Neander was beginning to examine The Silent Woman, Eugenius, looking earnestly upon him; I beseech you Neander, said he, gratify the company and me in particular so far, as before you speak of the Play, to give us a Character of the Author; and. I hope I have already proved in this discourse, that though we are not altogether so punctual as the French, in observing the laws of Comedy; yet our errors are so few, and little, and those things wherein we excel them so considerable, that. Suppose we acknowledge it: how comes this confederacy to be more displeasing to you than in a Dance which is well contrived? Yet this Argument, if granted, would only prove that we may write better in Verse, but not more naturally. Nor will it serve you to object, that however you manage it, tis still known to be a Play; and consequently the Dialogue of two persons understood to be the labor of one Poet. Lisideius concluded in this manner; and Neander after a little pause thus answered him.