The Poetaster HTML version
SCENE 1--Scene draws, and discovers OVID in his study.
Then, when this body falls in funeral fire,
My name shall live, and my best part aspire.
It shall go so.
[Enter Luscus, with a gown and cap.
LUSC. Young master, master Ovid, do you hear? Gods a'me! away with your songs and
sonnets and on with your gown and cap quickly: here, here, your father will be a man of
this room presently. Come, nay, nay, nay, nay, be brief. These verses too, a poison on
'em! I cannot abide them, they make me ready to cast, by the banks of Helicon! Nay,
look, what a rascally untoward thing this poetry is; I could tear them now.
Ovid. Give me; how near is my father?
Lusc. Heart a'man: get a law book in your hand, I will not answer you else. [Ovid puts on
his cap and gown ]. Why so! now there's some formality in you. By Jove, and three or
four of the gods more, I am right of mine old master's humour for that; this villainous
poetry will undo you, by the welkin.
Ovid. What, hast thou buskins on, Luscus, that thou swearest so tragically and high?
Lusc. No, but I have boots on, sir, and so has your father too by this time; for he call'd for
them ere I came from the lodging.
Ovid. Why, was he no readier?
Lusc. O no; and there was the mad skeldering captain, with the velvet arms, ready to lay
hold on him as he comes down: he that presses every man he meets, with an oath to lend
him money, and cries, Thou must do't, old boy, as thou art a man, a man of worship.
Ovid. Who, Pantilius Tucca?
Lus. Ay, he; and I met little master Lupus, the tribune, going thither too.
Ovid. Nay, an he be under their arrest, I may with safety enough read over my elegy
before he come.
Lus. Gods a'me! what will you do? why, young master, you are not Castalian mad,
lunatic, frantic, desperate, ha!