Saturday, April 9, 2011

Troilus and Cressida 2 of 9

Troilus and Cressida 2 of  9

The Epistle
Let us look at the Epistle, which is most important:

              A never writer, to an ever reader. News.
Eternal reader, you have here a new play, never staled with the Stage,
never clapper-clawed with the palms of the vulgar, and yet passing full of
the palm comical; for it is a birth of your brain, that never undertook
anything comical, vainly: And were but the vain names of comedies                 L4
changed for the titles of commodities, or of Plays for Pleas; you should
see all those grand censors, that now style them such vanities, flock to
them for the main grace of their gravities: especially this author’s comedies,
that are so framed to the life, that they serve for the most common                  L8
Commentaries of all the actions of our lives, showing such a dexterity and
power of wit, that the most displeased with plays are pleased with his
Comedies. And all such dull and heavy-witted worldlings, as were never
capable of the wit of a Comedy, coming by report of them to his representations,    L12
have found that wit there that they never found in themselves,
and have parted better witted than they came: feeling an edge of wit set
upon them, more than ever they dreamed they had brain to grind it on.
So much and such savoured salt of wit is in his Comedies that they seem       L16
(for their height of pleasure) to be born in that sea that brought forth
Venus. Amongst all there is none more witty than this: And had I time I
would comment upon it, though I know it needs not (for so much as will
make you think your testern well bestowed) but for so much worth as            L20
even poor I know to be stuffed in it. It deserves such a labour, as well
as the best comedy in Terence or Plautus. And believe this, that when he
is gone, and his Comedies out of sale, you will scramble for them, and
set up a new English Inquisition. Take this for a warning, and at the peril        L24
of your pleasure’s loss, and judgments, refuse not, nor like this the less,
for not being sullied with the smoky breath of the multitude; but thank
fortune for the scape it hath made amongst you. Since by the grand
possessors’ wills I believe you should have prayed for them rather than          L28
been prayed. And so I leave all such to be prayed for (for the states of
their wits’ healths) that will not praise it. Vale [Farewell].

No comments:

Post a Comment