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tated to this spiritual brotherhood the representation of plays, especially those of the scriptural kind : and their constant practice in shews, processions, and vocal music, easily accounts for their address in detaining the best company which England afforded in the fourteenth century, at a religious farce, for more than a week.
Before I conclude this inquiry, a great part of which has been taken up in endeavouring to shew the connection between places of education and the stage, it ought to be remarked, that the antient fashion of acting plays in the inns of court, which may be ranked among seminaries of instruction, although for a separate profession, is deducible from this source. The first representation of this sort which occurs on record, and is mentioned with any particular circumstances, was at Gray'sinn. John Roos, or Roo, student at Gray's-inn, and created a serjeant at law in the year 1511, wrote a comedy which was acted at Christmas in the hall of that society, in the year 1527. This piece, which probably contained some free reflections on the
pomp of the clergy, gave such offence to cardinal Wolsey, that the author was degraded and imprisoned". In the year 1550, under the reign of Edward the Sixth, an order was made in the same society, that no comedies, commonly called Interludes, should be acted in the refectory in the intervals of vacation, except at the celebration of Christmas: and that then, the whole body of students should jointly contribute towards the dresses, scenes, and decorations. In the year 1561, Sackville's and Norton's tragedy of FERREX AND PORRex was presented before queen Elizabeth at Whitehall, by the gentlemen of the Inner Temple”. In the year 1566, the SUPPOSES, a comedy, was acted at Gray's-inn, written by Gascoigne, one " Hollinsh. Chron, iii. 894.
ple." It is to be observed, that Norton, Dugdale, Okig. JURID. cap. 67. one of the authors, was connected with
the law: For the “ Approbation of P Printed at London, 1565. 12mo. Mr. T. Norton, counsellor and sollicitor In one of the old editions of this play, I of London, appointed by the bishop of think a quarto, of 1590, it is said to be London,” is prefixed to Ch. Marbury's “ set forth as the same was shewed be- Collection of Italian Proverbs, Lond. 1581. fore the queen's most excellent majestie, 4to. in her highness's court of the inner-tem
of the students. Decker, in his satire against Jonson above cited, accuses Jonson for having stolen some jokes from the Christmas plays of the lawyers. “You shall sweare not to bumbast out a new play with the old lyning of jestes stolne from the Temple-revells 9.” In the year 1632 it was ordered, in the Inner Temple, that no play should be continued after twelve at night, not even on Christmas-eve'.
But these societies seem to have shone most in the representation of Masques, a branch of the old drama. So early as the year 1431, it was ordered, that the society of Lincoln's inn should celebrate four revelss, on four grand festivals, every year, which I conceive to have consisted in great measure of this species of impersonation. In the year 1613, they presented at Whitehall a masque before king James the First, in honour of the marriage of his daughter the princess Elizabeth with the prince Elector Palatine of the Rhine, at the cost of more than one thousand and eighty pounds. The poetry was by Chapman, and the machinery by Jones. But the most splendid and sumptuous performance of this kind, plaid by
But this may
4 SATIROMASTIX, edit. 1602. ut supr which. And the next time I saw you SIGNAT. M.
was at our Revells, where it pleased * Dugd. ut supr. cap. 57. p. 140. seq. your ladyship to grace me with a galalso c. 61. 205.
liard; and I shall never forget it, for • It is not, however, exactly known my velvet pantables (pantofles) were whether these revels were not simply stolne away the whilst." Dances: for Dugdale says, that the also allude to their masks and plays. students of this inn "anciently had Signat. H. 2. edit. Lond. 1616. 4to. DANCINGs for their recreation and de Dugdale Ibid. p. 246. The other light.” Ibin. And he adds, that in the societies seem to have joined. IBID. year 1610, the under barristers, for er cap. 67. p. 286. See also Finett's Phiample's sake, were put out of commons LOXENIS, p. 8. 11. edit. 1656. and Ibid. by decimation, because they offended in p. 73. not DANCING on Candlemas-day, when Printed Lond. 1614. 4to. “ With the Judges were present, according to an a description of the whole shew, in the antient order of the society. Ibid. col. 2. manner of their march on horseback to In an old comedy, called Cupid's Whirl- the court from the Master of the Rolls IGIG, acted in the year 1616, by the his house, '&c. It is dedicated to sir children of his majesty's revels, a law. E. Philipps, Master of the Rolls. But student is one of the persons of the we find a masque on the very same ocdrama, who says to a lady, “ Faith, lady, casion, and at Whitehall, before the king I remember the first time I saw you was and queen, called The masque of Grays in quadragessimo-sexto of the queene, inn gentlemen and the Inner temple, by in a michaclmas tearme, and I think it Beaumont, in the works of Beaumont was the morrow upon mense Michaelis, and Fletcher. or crastino Animarum, I cannot tell
these societies, was the masque which they exhibited at Candlemas-day, in the year 1635, at the expence of two thousand pounds, before king Charles the First; which so pleased the king, and probably the queen, that he invited one hundred and twenty gentlemen of the law. to a similar entertainment at Whitehall on Shrove Tuesday following". It was called the TRIUMPH OF Peace, and written by Shirley, then a student of Gray's-inn. The scenery was the invention of Jones, and the music was composed by William Lawes and Simon Ives *. Some curious anecdotes of this exhibition are preserved by a cotemporary, a diligent and critical observer of those seemingly insignificant occurrences, which acquire importance in the eyes of posterity, and are often of more value than events of greater dignity. “On Monday after Candlemas-day, the gentlemen of the inns of court performed their Masque at Court. They were sixteen in number, who rode through the streets', in four chariots, and two others to carry their pages and musicians; attended by an hundred gentlemen on great horses, as well clad as ever I saw any. They far exceeded in bravery [splendor] any Masque that had formerly been presented by those societies, and performed the dancing part with much applause. In their company was one Mr. Read of Gray'sinn; whom all the women, and some men, cried up for as handDugd. ibid. p. 346.
machinery by Jones, and the music by * It was printed, Lond. 1633. 4to. H. Lawes. It has been given to Da. The author says, that it exceeded in venant, but improperly. variety and richness of decoration, any There is a play written by Middleton thing ever exhibited at Whitehall. about the year 1623, called INNER TEMThere is a little piece called The Inns PLE MASQUE, or the MASQUE OF HEROES, or Court ANAGRAMMATIST, or The presented as an entertainment for muny Masquers Masqued in Anagranıs, written worthy ladies, by the members of that by Francis Lenton, the queen's poet, society. Printed, Lond. 1640. 410. Lond. 1634. 4to. In this piece, the believe it is the foundation of Mrs. Behn's names, and respective houses, of each City-HEIRESS. masquer are specified; and in commen I have also seen the MASQUE OF Flow. dation of each there is an epigram. The Ers, acted by the students of Gray's-inn, masque with which his inajesty returned in the Banquetting-house at White-hall, this compliment on the Shrove-tuesday on Twelfth Night in 1613. It is dedifollowing at Whitehall, was, I think, cated to sir F. Bacon, and was printed, Carew's Calum BRITANNICUM, written Lond. 1614. 4to. It was the last of by the king's command, and played by the court-solemnities exhibited in honour his majesty, with many of the nobility of Carr, earl of Somerset. and their sons who were boys. The they went from Ely house. VOL. III.
some a man as the duke of Buckingham. They were well used at court by the king and queen. No disgust given them, only this one accident fell: Mr. May, of Gray’s-inn, a fine poet, he who translated Lucan, came athwart my lord chamberlain in the banquetting-house ?, and he broke his staff over his shoulders, not knowing who he was; the king was present, who knew him, for he calls him HIS POET, and told the chamberlain of it, who sent for him the next morning, and fairly excused himself to him, and gave him fifty pounds in pieces.This riding-shew took so well, that both king and queen desired to see it again, so that they invited themselves to supper to my lord mayor's within a week after; and the Masquers came in a more glorious show with all the riders, which were increased twenty, to Merchant-taylor's Hall, and there performed again a.” But it was not only by the parade of processions, and the decorations of scenery, that these spectacles
? at Whitehall.
king and the young noblesse do make; STRAFFORDE'S LETTERS, Garrard to the other at Shrovetide, which the queen the Lord Deputy, dat. Feb. 27. 1633. and her ladies do present to the king. vol. i. p. 207. It is added, “On A great room is now building only for Shrove-Tuesday at night, the king and this use betwixt the guard chamber and the lords performed their Masque. The the banquetting-house, and of fir," &c., templars were all invited, and well pleas- Ibid., vol. ii. p. 130. See also p. 140. ed," &c. See also p. 177. And Fr. And Finett's Philoxenis, “ There beOsborn's Tradit. Mem. vol. ii. p. 134. ing a maske in practice of the queen in Works, edit. 1722. 8vo. It seems the person, with other great ladies," &c." queen and her ladies were experienced p. 198. See Whitelock, sub an. 1632. actresses : for the same writer says, She was (also) an actress in Davenant's Jan. 9. 1633. “I never knew a duller masquc of the Temple of Love, with Christmas than we had at Court this many of the nobility of both sexes. In year; but one play all the time at White- Jonson's Cloridia at Shrovetide, 1630. hall !—The queen bad some little in- - In Jonson's Masque called Love firmity, which made her keep in: only FREED from IGNORANCE. AND FOLLY, on Twelfth-night, shc feasted the king printed in 1640.—In W. Montagu's at Somerset-house, and presented him SHEPHeard's Oracle, a Pastoral, printwith a play, newly studied, long since ed in 1649.- In the masque of Albion's printed, the FAITHFUL. SHEPERDESS [of Triumph, the Sunday after TwelfthFletcher) which the king's players acted night, 1631. Printed 1631.-In LUMIin the robes she and her ladies acted their NALIA, or The Festival of Light, a masque, PASTORAL in the last year. Ibid. p. 177. on Shrove-tuesday in 1637. Printed Again, Jan. 11. 1634.
* There is some Lond. 1637. 4to. - In SALMACIDA Srcresolution for a Maske at Shrovetide: LIA at Whitehall, 1699. Printed Lond. the queen, and fifteen ladies, are to per- 1639. 4to. The words, I believe, by form,” &c. Ibid. p. 360. And, Nov. 9. Davenant; and the music by Lewis 1637. “ Here are to be two maskes this Richard, master of her majesty's music. winter; one at Christmass, which the — In TEMPE RESTORED, with fourteen
were recommended. Some of them, in point of poetical composition, were eminently beautiful and elegant. Among these may be mentioned a masque on the story of Circe and Ulysses, called the INNER TEMPLE MASQUE, written by William Brown, a student of that society, about the year 16206. From this piece, as a specimen of the temple-masques in this view, I make other ladies, on Shrove-tuesday at White- suffered a long eclipse from a Calvinistic hall, 1631. Printed Lond. 1631. 4to. usurpation, a feeble effort was made to The words by Aurelian Townsend. revive these liberal and elegant amuseThe king acted in some of these pieces. ments at Whitehall. For about the year In the preceding reign, queen Anne had 1675, queen Catharine ordered Crowne given countenance to this practice; and, to write a Pastoral called Calisto, which I believe, she is the first of our queens was acted at court by the ladies Mary that appeared personally in this most and Anne daughters of the duke of York, elegant and rational amusement of a and the young nobility. About the same court. She acted in Daniel's Masque time lady Anne, afterwards queen, plaid of The Vision OF THE FOUR GODDESSES, the part of Semandra, in Lee's MITHRIwith eleven other ladies, at Hampton- DATES. The young noblemen were incourt, in 1604. Lond. 1624. 4to.-In structed by Betterton, and the princesses Jonson's Masque of Queens, at White- by his wife: who perhaps conceived hall, in 1609.-In Daniel's 'Tethys's Shakespeare more fully than any feFestival, a Masque, at the creation of male that ever appeared on the stage. prince Henry, Jun. 5. 1610. This was In remembrance of her theatrical incalled the Queen's Waxe. See Win- structions, Anne, when queen, assigned wood, iii. 180. Daniel dedicates to this Mrs. Betterton an annual pension of qucen a pastoral tragi-comedy, in which one hundred pounds. Langb. Dram. P. she perhaps performed, called Hymen's p. 92. edit. 1691. Cibber's Apol. p. 134. Triumph. It was presented at Sumer This was an early practice in France. set-house, where she magnificently en- In 1540, Margaret de Valois, queen of tertained the king on occasion of the Navarre, wrote Moralities, which she marriage of lord Roxburgh. Many called PASTORALS, to be acted by the laothers, I presume, might be added. dies of her court. Among the EXTERTAINMENTs at Rut 0 Printed from a manuscript in EmaLAND-HOUSE, composed by Davenant in nuel-college at Cambridge, by Tho. Daí the reign of Charles the First, there is a vies. Works of W. Browne, Lond. DECLAMATION, or rather Disputation, 1772. vol. iji. p. 121. In the dedication with music, concerning Public Enter- to the Society the author says, “ If it tainment by Moral Representation. The degenerate in kinde from those other disputants are Diogenes and Aristo- the society hath produced, blame yourphanes. I am informed, that among selves for not keeping a happier muse.". the manuscript papers of the late Mr. Wood says that Browne “retiring to Thomas Coxeter, of Trinity college in the inner temple, became famed there Oxford, an ingenious and inquisitive for his poetry. Ath. Oxon, i. p. 492. gleaner of anecdotes for a biography of [From the additional specimens of his English poets, there was a correspond- talent, retrieved by Sir Egerton Brydges, ence between sir Fulke Greville and and elegantly set forth by the Lee press, Daniel the poet, concerning improve it appears that Browne is deserving of a ments and reformations proposed to be more extended reputation than had be. made in these court-interludes. But this fore been his allotment. There is a subject will be more fully examined, and peaceful delicacy and pure morality in further pursued, in its proper place. these recovered strains, which surpass
After the Restoration, when the dig- those previously collected in his works. nity of the old monarchical manners had - Parke.]