1612 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Heywood

John Webster, "To his beloved Maister Thomas Heywood" Heywood, An Apology for Actors (1612) sig. a2.



I cannot, though you write in your owne cause,
Say you deale partially; but must confesse,
(What most men wil) you merit due applause;
So worthily your worke becomes the Presse,

And well our Actors, may approve your paines,
For you give them authority to play;
Even whilst the hottest plague of envy raignes,
Nor for this warrant shall they dearly pay.

What full state of Poets, have you cited,
To judge your cause? and to our equall veiw
Fair Monumentall Theaters recited:
Whose ruines had bene ruin'd but for you.

Such men who can in tune, both raile and sing:
Shall veiwing this, either confesse 'tis good,
Or let their ignorance condemne the Spring,
Because 'tis merry and renewes our bloud.

Be therefore your owne judgement your defence,
Which shall approve you better then my praise,
Whilst I in right of sacred Innocence,
Durst ore each guilded Tombe this knowne truth raise.
"Who dead would not be acted by their will,
It seemes such men have acted their lives ill."