Prologue to Every Man in His Humour
Though need make many Poets, and some such
As art, and nature have not bettered much;
Yet ours, for want, hath not so loved the stage,
As he dare serve th¹ill customs of the age;
Or purchase your delight at such a rate,
As, for it, he himself must justly hate.
To make a child, now swaddled, to proceed
Man, and then shoot up, in one beard, and weed,
Past threescore years; or, with three rusty swords,
And help of some few foot-and half-foot words,
Fight over York, and Lancaster¹s long jars:
And in the tiring-house bring wounds, to scars.
He rather prays, you will be pleased to see
One such, to-day, as other plays should be.
Where neither Chorus wafts you o¹er the seas;
Nor creaking throne comes down, the boys to please;
Nor nimble squib is seen, to make afeared
The gentlewomen; nor rolled bullet heard
To say, it thunders; nor tempestuous drum
Rumbles, to tell you when the storm doth come;
deeds, and language, such as men do use:
And person, such as Comedy would choose,
When she would show an Image of the times,
And sport with human follies, not with crimes.
Except, we make¹hem such by loving still
Our popular errors, when we know they¹re ill.
I mean such errors, as you¹ll all confess
By laughing at them, they deserve no less:
Which when you heartily do, there¹s hope left, then,
You, that have so graced monsters, may like men.