The Roaring Girl – Epilogue

Return to the previous scene

MOLL
A painter, having drawn with curious art
The picture of a woman, every part
Limn’d to the life, hung out the piece to sell.
People who pass’d along, viewing it well,
Gave several verdicts on it: some dispraised
The hair; some said the brows too high were raised;
Some hit her o’er the lips, mislik’d their colour;
Some wish’d her nose were shorter; some, the eyes fuller;
Others said roses on her cheeks should grow,
Swearing they look’d too pale; others cried no.
The workman still as fault was found did mend it
In hope to please all, but this work being ended
And hung open at stall, it was so vile,
So monstrous and so ugly, all men did smile
At the poor painter’s folly. Such we doubt
Is this our comedy. Some perhaps do flout
The plot, saying, “‘Tis too thin, too weak, too mean;”
Some for the person will revile the scene,
And wonder that a creature of her being
Should be the subject of a poet, seeing
In the world’s eye none weighs so light; others look
For all those base tricks publish’d in a book,
Foul as his brains they flow’d from, of cutpurses,
Of nips and foists, nasty, obscene discourses,
As full of lies, as empty of worth or wit,
For any honest ear or eye unfit. And thus,
If we to every brain that’s humourous
Should fashion scenes, we with the painter shall
In striving to please all please none at all.
Yet for such faults as either the writers’ wit
Or negligence of the actors do commit,
Both crave your pardons; if what both have done
Cannot full pay your expectation,
The Roaring Girl herself some few days hence
Shall on this stage give larger recompense,
Which mirth that you may share in herself does woo you,
And craves this sign: your hands to beckon her to you.                        [Exit.

FINIS

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