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Poem by Francis Beaumont
Upon the Silent Woman
Hear, you bad writers, and though you not see, I will inform you where you happy be: Provide the most malicious thoughts you can, And bend them all against some private man, To bring him, not his vices, on the stage; Your envy shall be clad in some poor rage, And your expressing of him shall be such, That he himself shall think he hath no touch. Where he that strongly writes, although he mean To scourge but vices in a laboured scene, Yet private faults shall be so well express'd As men do get 'em, that each private breast, That finds these errors in itself, shall say, 'He meant me, not my vices, in the play.'
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