On the whole, prologues and epilogues in early modern English drama have not received a good press. Even in their own time, complaints about them were common. Philip Massinger, in the play The Guardian (1633), writes: ‘After a whining Prologue, who would have look’d for / Such a rough catastrophe?’1 In an Induction scene at the beginning of Periander (1607), an actor, pretending to be a member of the audience, interrupts a dialogue between the ‘Master of the revels’ and his ‘boy’, which appears to be a kind of prologue, with the words ‘begin your play, and leave your prating’.2