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The Poetaster

SCENE I.-The Via Sacra (or Holy Street).
Enter HORACE, CRISPINUS following.
Hor. Umph! yes, I will begin an ode so; and it shall be to Mecaenas.
Oris.'Slid, yonder's Horace! they say he's an excellent poet: Mecaenas loves him. I'll fall
into his acquaintance, if I can; I think he be composing as he goes in the street! ha! 'tis a
good humour, if he be: I'll compose too.
Swell me a bowl with lus'y wine,
Till I may see the plump Lyoeus swim
Above the brim:
I drink as I would write,
In flowing measure fill'd with flame and sprite.
Cris. Sweet Horace, Minerva and the Muses stand auspicious to thy designs! How farest
thou, sweet man? frolic? rich? gallant? ha!
Hor. Not greatly gallant, Sir; like my fortunes, well: I am bold to take my leave, Sir;
you'll nought else, Sir, would you?
Cris. Troth, no, but I could wish thou didst know us, Horace; we are a scholar, I assure
Hor. A scholar, Sir! I shall be covetous of your fair knowledge.
Cris. Gramercy, good Horace. Nay, we are new turn'd poet too, which is more; and a
satirist too, which is more than that: I write just in thy vein, I. I am for your odes, or your
sermons, or any thing indeed; we are a gentleman besides; our name is Rufus Laberius
Crispinus; we are a pretty Stoic too.
Hor. To the proportion of your beard, I think it, sir.
Cris. By Phoebus, here's a most neat, fine street, is't not? I protest to thee, I am
enamoured of this street now, more than of half the streets of Rome again; 'tis so polite
and terse! there's the front of a building now! I study architecture too: if ever I should
build, I'd have a house just of that prospective.
Hor. Doubtless, this gallant's tongue has a good turn, when he
sleeps. [Aside.