The poet and the player engage in a discussion on the respective merits and faults of their fellow artists. Both are angling for compliments and scraping together what they can to restore their shattered egos. At first they find they can form an alliance with vanity; each vilifies all other poets or players as the case may be, but praises his companion. This pretense crumbles, however, when the player proves unable to repeat a speech from one of the poet's plays, and they fall to attacking each other. Each is as much of a hack as the other, but both are so convinced of their virtuosity that the argument would have gone on forever had Fielding not put an end to his digression, which he has compared to a dramatic interlude.