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sion, twice printed, viz. in 1583 and 1606. It is remarkable, that this is

, the only notice of a play throughout the diary; and although the author of it went much into company, he does not appear on any occasion to have visited a public theatre. He was very regular in his attendance at church, both at the Temple and St. Paul's, and inserts long accounts of the preachers and their sermons.'-vol. i. pp. 327—329.

It would appear that the Queen (Elizabeth) was a strenuous patron of every kind of theatrical entertainment, and all sorts of sports. Plays, interludes, masks, and the performances of tumblers, were frequently exhibited for the amusement of her court; and she even condescended, occasionally, to draw mottoes from the Wheel of Fortune, a favourite game of the day. We are told, that on going to dine at Sir Robert Cecil's house, in the Strand, Her Majesty was much gratified by the representation of an extempore piece, in which a contest for superiority of station was carried on by a maid, a widow, and a wife, the scene terminating in favour of the former, out of compliment to the virgin condition of the Queen. On the same occasion, a Turk solicited admission to Her Majesty's presence,

without the usual preliminaries of etiquette; the stranger was admitted, and conversed with Her Majesty in various languages; and, in token of his admiration of her wonderful talents, presented her with a rich mantle. This was another scene, concerted for the gratification of her vanity, by Sir Robert Cecil. A retrospective view of dramatic performances, and of the history of the theatres in existence at the close of Elizabeth's reign, presents us with a brief summary of much that Mr. Collier has collected upon these subjects.

• The earliest performances in London, after the disuse of Miracle-plays and the decline of Morals, took place upon “scaffolds, frames, and stages," erected in the yards of great inns." The Orders of the Corporation of 1575, from which I quote, were directed against such exhibitions, mainly on the ground, that chambers, adjoining the galleries that surrounded the innyards, were made the scenes of great immorality. Those orders contain nothing regarding any buildings appropriated to theatrical representations, because such as then existed were not within the jurisdiction of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen: the inn-yards, to which their objections are confined, were within the limits of the city. We have seen that, in 1557, the Boar's Head, Aldgate, was used for the purpose of representing a piece called A Sack full of News, and Stephen Gosson, in his School of Abuse, 1579, mentions the Bell-savage, on Ludgate-hill, and the Bull, as inns at which dramatic performances took place.

• Malone quotes the same author's Playes confuted in five Actions, to shew that “about the year 1570, one or two regular playhouses were erected ;" but that tract was not printed until full ten years afterwards, and it serves to fix no date. Although Malone was not aware of the existence of any earlier authority on the point, he was probably right in his conjecture. In 1575, at least, there must have been several “regular play-houses," not indeed in London, but in its immediate vicinity. In that year, it has been shown, that the Queen's Players presented a petition to the Privy Council, praying authority to perform within the city,“ the season of the


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year being past to play at any of the houses without the city.” The season for performing in the suburbs was the summer, when people could walk out to the play, or go thither in boats, and in the winter the actors were anxious to be allowed to exhibit within the walls.

"The Queen's players inform us, that there were "houses” for the purpose, but they mention none of them: we first learn the names of two from John Northbrooke's Treatise, wherein Dicing, Davncing, Vaine Playes or Enterluds, &c., are reproved, which was licensed, and therefore ready for the press in 1577. They are there called “ the Theatre” and “ the Curtaine;" and that they were both situated near each other in Shoreditch, we know from the first edition of Stow's Survey, 1599, although Malone, Chalmers, and others, from consulting only later impressions, have confounded "the Theatre," with the play-house in Blackfriars. Recorder Fleetwood, fifteen years before Stow's Survey was published, in a letter to Lord Burghley (cited in the preceding Annals of the Stage, under the transactions of 1584), also speaks of a circumstance that had occurred " very near the Theatre or Curtain," as if they were contiguous. “ The Theatre" was called so emphatically, as a place devoted to the exhibition of dramatic representations; and “the Curtain” was so named, probably, on account of the sign there hung out, indicative of the nature of the performances within.

• The Blackfriars Theatre was erected in 1576, by James Burbadge and others, who had obtained the patent for playing in 1574. They commenced this undertaking in the liberties, in consequence of the Orders of the Lord Mayor and Common Council of the city in 1575, excluding players from all places within their jurisdiction. It is not mentioned by John Northbrooke, either because it was not finished when he wrote, or because it was a private house, and not so liable to objection as the two theatres he names. Stephen Gosson speaks of the Blackfriars in his Playes confuted in five Actions, printed about 1581. It continued in its original state until 1596, when it was in the hands of Richard Burbadge, Shakespeare, and others, and when it was enlarged and repaired, if not entirely rebuilt.

A theatre also existed at an early date in the liberty of the Whitefriars, and perhaps it owed its origin to the same cause as the Blackfriars, although we have no trace of it at that period. Malone cites Richard Reulidge's Monster lately found out and discovered, printed in 1628, to show that the Whitefriars Theatre was in being in 1580, but that author speaks very loosely and uncertainly on the point. The probability is, that it was built in 1576.

Paris Garden was used for the baiting of bears, and other animals, in the reign of Henry VIII., but we can only conjecture as to the date when it began to be employed also as a building for the exhibition of plays. Thomas Nash, in his Strange Newes, &c., printed in 1592, mentions the performance of puppets there; and Dekker, in his Satiromastix, 1602, asserts that Ben Jonson had acted there.

• As early as 1586, there was a playhouse at Newington Butts, for the amusement of the citizens who went thither in the summer; and we find from Henslowe's papers, that many popular plays were represented at that theatre in 1594.

• The Rose Theatre on the Bankside, not far west of the foot of London Bridge, was probably constructed prior to 1587. It was repaired extensively by Philip Henslowe in 1591, and was in the possession of the Lord Admiral's company of players in 1593.



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• The Hope Theatre, near the same situation, was possibly constructed about the same time, but the information regarding it is still more scanty and inconclusive.

• The Globe on the Bankside, which also belonged to the Blackfriars' company (the first being used as their summer, and the last as their winter house), was built in 1594: at least, we may pretty safely in fer that such was the date of its origin, by the discovery of a bond, dated 22nd of December, 1593, given by Richard Burbadge, for the due performance of covenants, on his part, connected with its construction. Here, and at the Blackfriars' Theatre, all Shakespeare's plays were first performed.

It seems probable, that the Swan was not built until after the Globe : theatrical representations took place there in 1598.

The last theatre erected while Elizabeth was upon the throne, was the Fortune, in Golding-lane, Whitecross-street. It was projected by Philip Henslowe and Edward Alleyn in 1599, and it was finished before the close of the year

1600. “The foundation of these theatres can be certainly traced prior to the year 1600; and we hear of others early in the reign of Jamies I., which, possibly, were erected before the demise of Elizabeth, although we are without any

conclusive evidence upon the point. The children of St. Paul's also, at an early date, acted plays in the room appropriated to their education; but, independent of this, and some other infant companies, (the rise of which is noticed under the proper head hereafter,) it appears certain, that between about 1570 and 1600, no less than eleven places bad been constructed for, or were applied to, the purpose of dramatic exhibitions. They were these : The Theatre, built about

1570 The Curtain

1570 The Blackfriars

1576 The Whitefriars

1576 The Newington Theatre .

1580 The Rose

1585 The Hope

1585 Paris Garden Playhouse

1588 The Globe

1594 The Swan

1595 The Fortune

1599 •Although an attempt was made, on the building of the Fortune in 1599, to limit theatres to only two, it seems to have entirely failed; and at the death of Elizabeth, most, if not all the theatres above enumerated, were open. The employment of inn-yards for the performance of plays was discontinued, as regular houses of the kind were established.'-vol. i. pp. 338-343.

We have already alluded to the masks and other theatrical exhibitions, which were occasionally given by the Inns of Court. It appears that they all joined, on the 3rd of February, 1634, in the presentation, with extraordinary splendour, of a mask called " The Triumph of Peace," written by Shirley, the scenes and machinery of which were invented by Inigo Jones. The whole expense of the entertainment, which was performed before the King (Charles I.) and Queen, exceeded the sum of 11,0001. A private letter which Mr.

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Collier has discovered, written by Justinian Paget to his cousin Tremyll, establishes the fact, that this mask afforded so much pleasure to the Court, that it was repeated before His Majesty at Merchant Tailor's Hall.

6* I have sent you a booke of our Masque, which was presented on níunday last, with much applause and commendation from the K and Queene and all the spectators. The K and Q supt that night at Salisbury House, and there saw us ride in the streetes, after which they presently went by water to White-hall, and there saw us again from the long gallery at the upper end of the tilting yard. When the masque was ended, we all kissed the K and Queenes hand, and then were conducted by my Lord Chamberlain and other Lords to a rich banquet, whether the K and Q came, and took a taste, and then graciously smiling upon us, left us to the sole enjoying of that well furnisht table, with strict command that not any should touch a bitt_but ourselves. The next day the K sent for our Marshall, Mr. Thomas Dorrell, of Lincolns Inn, and Knighted him. And being much pleased and taken with the sight, hath sent to us to ride againe on Tuesday next to Merchant Taylers Hall, in the same manner as we rode to White-hall, and there to meet his Maty at supper, and to present our Masque. Sir Henry Vayne, and other great travellers say they never saw such a sight in any part of the world.'”-vol. ii. pp. 60, 61,

In the same year was acted, for the first time, Shirley's “Gamester," the plot of which, it is stated in Sir H. Herbert's Register, was furnished by the King, who, throughout his reign, afforded the utmost encouragement to the drama. During the Commonwealth, the theatres were, for the most part, closed; all such vanities having been discountenanced, by the puritanism which then ruled the councils of the state. We need hardly say, that at the restoration the English drama was revived in all its splendour.

It will be unnecessary for us to follow Mr. Collier through his reviews of the various Miracle-plays, of which manuscript and printed copies have been placed in his hands. He has been enabled, by the various resources from which he has had the good fortune to receive assistance, to furnish the most complete account that exists in our own, or perhaps in any other language, of these ancient and curious performances. We shall content ourselves with the piece entitled “ Creation of the World, Rebellion of Lucifer, and Death of Abel ;” referring to the work itself those readers, who may desire further acquaintance with the subject.

• The first Play, or Pageant, of the Widkirk collection, includes the Widkirk Creation, with the rebellion and expulsion of Lucifer and his adherents. The Deity thus commences :

Ego sum alpha et o:
“ I am the first the last also,
“ Oone god in majestie,
“ Mervelus of myght most,
“ Fader and son and holy goost,

“ On god in trinyte.” * The work of creation is then begun, and after the cherubims have sung,

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the Deity descends from his throne and goes out : Lucifer usurps it, and asks the angels

Gay felows, how semys now me?" The good and bad angels disagree as to his appearance; but the dispute is terminated by the return of the Deity, who expels Satan and his adherents from heaven. Adam and Eve are then created in Paradise, and this piece ends with a speech from Satan, lamenting their felicity. Of the temptation and fall of man we hear nothing, the second play relating to the murder of Abel. It is opened by Cain's ploughboy, called Garçon, with a sort of prologue, in which, among other things, he warns the spectators to be silent.

6" All hayll, all hayll, both blithe and glad,
« For here com I, a mery lad.
“ Be peasse youre dyn, my masters bad,
“ Or els the devill you spede.
“ Felowes, here I you

1. To make nother nose ne cry:
Whoso is so hardy to do that dede,

“ The devill hang hym up to dry.” Cain enters with a plough and a team, one of his mares being named

Donnyng:" he quarrels with the Garçon, because he will not drive for him, after which Abel arrives, and wishes that “God may speed Cain, and his man.”—Cain replies unceremoniously, desiring his brother to kiss the least honourable part of his person. The murder afterwards takes place, and Cain hides himself:

"" Deus. Cayn, Cayn!
Cayn. Who is that callis me?

“I am yonder, may thou not se.
Deus. Cayn, where is thy brother Abell?
Cayn. What asks thou me ?-1 trow, in hell;

“ At hell, I trow, he be:

“ Who so were ther then myght he se.” Caiu, having been cursed, calls the boy and beats him “but to use his hand :" he acknowledges that he has slain his brother, and the boy advises running away, lest “ the bayles us take." This is followed by some gross buffoonery, Cain making a mock proclamation“ in the King's name," and the boy repeating it blunderingly after bim. Cain sends him away with

plough and horses, and ends the pageant with a speech to the spectators, bidding them farewell for ever, before he goes to the devil.' -vol. ii. pp. 157-159.

After treating very copiously of the Miracle-plays, the author follows up the history of the drama through the “Moralities,” to the period when it became conversant with the real or supposed characters of actual life. He then proceeds to give a full account of the dramatic predecessors of Shakespeare, which is characterized by his wonted research, and great critical acumen.

The most popular portion of the work is, however, compressed in a few pages towards the close of the third volume, in which many interesting chit-chat details are collected concerning the perform



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