On euerie syde, wheras I glaunce my rouyng eye,
Silence in all eares bent I playnly do espie:
But if your egre lookes doo longe suche toyes to see,
5As heretofore in commycall wise, were wont abroade to bee:
Your lu st is lo st, and all the pleasures that you sought,
Is fru strate quite of toying Playes. A soden change is wrought,
For loe, our Aucthors Muse, that masked in delight,
Hath for st his Penne agayn st his kinde, no more suche sportes to write.
10Muse he that lu st, (right wor shipfull) for chaunce hath made this change,
For that to some he seemed too muche, in yonge desires to range:
In whiche, right glad to please: seyng that he did offende;
Of all he humblie pardon craues: his Pen that shall amende:
And yet (worwipfull Audience,) thus much I dare aduouche.
15In Commedies, the greate st Skyll is this, rightly to touche
All thynges to the quicke: and eke to frame eche person so,
That by his common talke, you may his nature rightly know:
A Roy ster ought not preache, that were to straunge to heare,
But as from vertue he doth swerue, so ought his woordes appeare:
20The olde man is sober, the yonge man ra she, the Louer triumphyng in ioyes,
The Matron graue; the Harlat wilde and full of wanton toyes.
Whiche all in one course they no wise doo agree:
So correspondent to their kinde their speeches ought to bee.
Which speeches well pronoun ste, with action liuely framed,
25If this offende the lookers on, let Horace then be blamed,
Which hath our Author taught at Schole, from whom he doth not swarue,
In all suche kinde of exercise decorum to obserue,
Thus much for his defence (he sayth) as Poetes ear st haue donne,
Which heretofore in Commodies the selfe same rase did ronne:
30But now for to be briefe, the matter to expre s s e,
Which here wee shall present: is this Damon and Pithias,
A rare ensample of Frend ship true, it is no Legend lie,
But a thinge once donne in deede as Hy stories doo discrie,
Whiche doone of yore in longe time pa st, yet present shalbe here,
35Euen as it were in dooynge now, so liuely it shall appeare:
Lo here in Siracus ae thauncient Towne, which once the Romaines wonne,
Here Dioni sius Pallace, within whose Courte this thing mo st strange was donne,
Which matter mixt with myrth and care, a iu st name to applie,
As seemes mo st fit wee haue it termed, a Tragicall Commedie,
40Wherein talkyng of Courtly toyes, wee doo protest this flat,
Wee talke of Dioni sius Courte, wee meane no Court but that,
And that wee doo so meane, who wysely calleth to minde,