have had some little blemish either in the Plot or writing of all those Playes which have been made within these seven years: (and perhaps there is no Nation in the world. Doubtless many things appear flat to us, whose wit depended upon some custome or story which never came to our knowledge, or perhaps upon some Criticism in their language, which being so long dead, and onely remaining in their Books, 'tis not possible they should. 'Tis true, there is both care and Art requir'd to write in Verse; A good Poet never concludes upon the first line, till he has sought out such a rhime as may fit the sense, already prepar'd to heighten the second: many times the close. Neither is it able to evince that; for he who wants judgment to confine his fancy in blank Verse, may want it as much in Rhyme; and he who has it will avoid errours in both kinds. If then the parts are manag'd so regularly that the beauty of the whole be kept intire, and that the variety become not a perplex'd and confus'd mass of accidents, you will find it infinitely pleasing to be led in a labyrinth of design, where. Johnson has observ'd in his discoveries; but they must be all subservient to the great one, which our language happily expresses in the name of under-plots: such as in Terences Eunuch is the difference and reconcilement of Thais and Phdria, which is not the chief. In these, you say, the Majesty of Verse suffers. 96 I will observe yet one thing further of this admirable Plot; the business of it rises in every Act.
Essay of dramatick
But I will not on this occasion, take the advantage of the greater number, but onely urge such reasons against Rhyme, as I find in the Writings of those who have argu'd for the other way. 1 It was that memorable day, in the first Summer of the late War, when our Navy ingag'd the Dutch: a day wherein the two most mighty and best appointed Fleets which any age had ever seen, disputed the command of the greater half. If then it be common, or communicated to many, how differs it from other mens? 46 You see the last line is highly Metaphorical, but it is so soft and gentle, that it does not shock us as we read. 120 First, give me leave, Sir, to remember you that the Argument against which you rais'd this objection, was onely secondary: it was built upon this Hypothesis, that to write in verse was proper for serious Playes. I answer, no Poet need constrain himself at all times.
But to do this alwayes, and never be able to write a line without it, though it may be admir'd by some few Pedants, will not pass upon those who know that wit is best convey'd to us in the most easie language; and. 89 Beaumont and Fletcher of whom I am next to speak, had with the advantage of Shakespeare 's wit, which was their precedent, great natural gifts, improv'd by study.