ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
John Taylor the Water Poet
, "To my approved good Friend M. Thomas Heywood" Heywood, An Apology for Actors (1612) sigs a3v-a4.
1598: Rev. Francis Meres
1612: John Webster
1612: Christopher Beeston
1612: John Taylor the Water Poet
1614: Thomas Freeman
1637: Shakerley Marmion
1637: D. E.
1637: S. N.
1637: Shakerley Marmion
1638: Richard Brathwait
1646: Samuel Sheppard
1699: Charles Gildon
1764: David Erskine Baker
1795: Charles Dibdin
1805: Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges
1808: Charles Lamb
1820: John Payne Collier
1827: Charles Lamb
1836: Richard Cattermole
1847: Edward Farr
1868: George Macdonald
1894: Edmund Gosse
John Taylor the Water Poet:
1612: Thomas Heywood
1612: Ben Jonson
1614: Samuel Daniel
1614: Joshua Sylvester
1614: George Wither
1645: George Wither
Of thee, and thy Apology for playes,
I will not much speake in contempt or praise:
Yet in these following lines Il'e shew my minde,
Of Playes, and such as have 'gainst Playes repin'd.
A Play's a briefe Epitome of time,
Where man may see his vertue or his crime
Layd open, either to their vices shame,
Or to their vertues memorable fame.
A Play's a true transparent Christall mirror,
To shew good minds their mirth, the bad their terror:
Where stabbing, drabbing, dicing, drinking, swearing
Are all proclaim'd unto the sight and hearing,
In ugly shapes of Heaven-abhorrid sinne,
Where men may see the mire they wallow in.
And well I know it makes the Divell rage,
To see his servants flouted on a stage.
A Whore, a Thiefe, a Pander, or a Bawd,
A Broker, or a slave that lives by fraud:
An Usurer, whose soule is in his chest,
Untill in hell it comes to restlesse rest.
A Fly-blowne gull, that faine would be a Gallant,
A Raggamuffin that hath spent his Tallant:
A selfe-wise foole, that sees his wits out-stript,
Or any vice that feeles it selfe but nipt,
Either in Tragedy, or Comedy,
In Morall, Pastorall, or History:
But straight the poyson of their envious tongues,
Breakes out in vollyes of Calumnious wronges.
And then a Tinker, or a Dray-man sweares,
I would the house were fir'd about their eares.
Thus when a play nips Sathan by the nose,
Streight all his vassals are the Actors foes.
But feare not man, let envy swell and burst,
Proceed, and bid the Divell do his worst.
For Playes are good or bad, as they are us'd,
And best inventions often are abus'd.