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THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH

Posted by GERALD GOMMERMAN on October 12, 2003

Among the COURT COMEDIES of JOHN LYLY, which were published in 1632 by EDWARD BLOUNT, after he dug up his tomb in the Churchyard of St. Bartholomew the Less in London, located near what is now the Strand, is a reference to the above subject, although the word "ITCH" is not used. In the second Act of the Play, ENDYMION, which is Greek for "THE MAN IN THE MOON", starting at line 12, ENDYMION states:

"Wouldst thou have me vowed only to thy beauty, and consume every minute of my time in thy service? Remember my solitary life, ALMOST THESE SEVEN YEARS! Whom have I entertained but my own thoughts , and thy virtues? What company have I used but contemplation?"

Act III, scene 4, Line 52, EUMENIDES says:
"How art thou perplexed! Recall to mind the beauty of thy sweet mistress, and the depth of thy never dying affections! How often hast thou honored her, not only without spot , but suspicion of falsehood! And how hardly has she rewarded thee, without cause or color of despite! How secret hast thou been these seven years, that hast not, nor once darest not, to name her for discontenting her. How faithfull! You that have offered to die for her, to please her."

Thus after seven years, the itch comes, and he must find someone else.