BAYES, JOHNSON, and SMITH.
BAYES. Now, sir, because I'll do nothing here that ever was done before, instead of beginning with a scene that discovers something of the plot, I begin this play with a whisper.1
SMITH. Umph! very new, indeed. 5
BAYES. Come, take your seats. Begin, sirs.
Enter Gentleman-Usher and Physician.
PHYSICIAN. Sir, by your habit, I should guess you to be the gentleman-usher of this sumptuous place.
USHER. And by your gate and fashion I should almost suspect you rule the healths of both our noble kings, 10 under the notion of physician.
PHYSICIAN. You hit my function right.
USHER. And you, mine.
PHYSICIAN. Then let's embrace.
USHER. Come. 15
JOHNSON. Pray, sir, who are those so very civil persons?
BAYES. Why, Sir, the gentleman-usher and physician of the two kings of Brentford. 20
JOHNSON. But, pray then, how comes it to pass that they know one another no better?
BAYES. Phoo! that's for the better carrying on of the plot.
JOHNSON. Very well. 25
PHYSICIAN. Sir, to conclude,
SMITH. What, before he begins?
BAYES. No, sir; you must know they had been talking of this a pretty while without.
SMITH. Where? In the tiring-room? 30
BAYES. Why, aye, sir. -- He's so dull! -- Come, speak again.
PHYSICIAN. Sir, to conclude, the place you fill has more than amply exacted the talents of a wary pilot, and all these threat'ning storms which, like impregnate 35 clouds, hover o'er our heads, will (when they once are grasped but by the eye of reason) melt into fruitful showers of blessings on the people.
BAYES. Pray, mark that allegory. Is not that good? 40
JOHNSON. Yes; that grasping of a storm with the eye is admirable.
PHYSICIAN. But yet some rumors great are stirring; and if Lorenzo should prove false (which none but the great gods can tell), you then perhaps would find 45 that -- (Whispers.)
BAYES. Now he whispers.
USHER. Alone, do you say?
PHYSICIAN. No; attended with the noble -- (Whispers.)
BAYES. Again. 50
USHER. Who -- he in gray?
PHYSICIAN. Yes; and at the head of -- (Whispers.)
BAYES. Pray, mark.
USHER. Then, sir, most certain, 'twill in time appear These are the reasons that have moved him to't: 55 First, he -- (Whispers.)
BAYES. Now the other whispers.
USHER. Secondly, they -- (Whispers.)
BAYES. At it still.
USHER. Thirdly, and lastly, both he and they -- 60 (Whispers.)
BAYES. Now they both whisper.
-- Now, gentlemen, pray tell me true, and without flattery, is not this a very odd beginning of a play?
JOHNSON. In troth, I think it is, sir. But why two kings of the same place? 65
BAYES. Why? because it's new, and that's it I aim at. I despise your Jonson2 and Beaumont, that borrowed all they writ from nature. I am for fetching it purely out of my own fancy, I.
SMITH. But what think you, sir, of sir John 70 Suckling?
BAYES. By gad, I am a better poet than he.
SMITH. Well, sir; but pray, why all this whispering?
BAYES. Why, sir (besides that it is new, as I 75 told you before), because they are supposed to be politicians; and matters of state ought not to be divulged.
SMITH. But then, sir, why --
BAYES. Sir, if you'll but respite your curi 80 osity till the end of the fifth act, you'll find it a piece of patience not ill recompensed. (Goes to the door.)
JOHNSON. How dost thou like this, Frank? Is it not just as I told thee?
SMITH. Why, I did never, before this, see 85 anything in nature, and all that (as Mr. Bayes says), so foolish but I could give some guess at what moved the fop to do it; but this, I confess, does go beyond my reach.
JOHNSON. It is all alike. Mr. Wintershul390 has informed me of this play already. And I'll tell thee, Frank, thou shalt not see one scene here worth one farthing, or like anything thou canst imagine____________________