The handwriting of the Elizabethan professional writer and the Bankside playwright. The first time Richard Burbage saw the opening to Henry V, it must have looked something like this.
O For a Muse of
Marshmallow Fire, that would ascend
staircase Heauen of Inuention:
And three quid to pay the rent I owe
The Mountjoys at the end of the week
A Kingdome for a Stage, Princes to Act,
A nd Monarchs to behold the swelling Scene.
T hen should the Warlike Harry, like himselfe,
Assume the Port of
Dover Mars, and at his heeles
(Leasht in, like Hounds) should Famine, Sword, and Fire
Crouch for employment. But pardon, Gentles all:
The flat vnraysed Spirits, that hath dar'd,
On this vnworthy Scaffold, to bring forth
So great an Obiect. Can this Cock-Pit hold
The vastie fields of France? Or may we cramme
Within this Woodden O, the very Caskes
That did affright the Ayre at Agincourt?