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mancer: for the only business and use of this character, is to open the subject in a long prologue, to evoke the devil, and summon the court. The devil kicks the necromancer, for waking him so soon in the morning : a proof, that this drama was performed in the morning, perhaps in the chapel of the palace. A variety of measures, with Ihreds of Latin and French, is used: but the devil speaks in the octave ftanza. One of the stage-directions is, Enter Balsebub with a Berde. To make him both frightful and ridiculous, the devil was most commonly introduced on the stage, wearing a visard with an immense beard“. Philargyria quotes Seneca and saint

a Thus in Turpin's HISTORY OF CHAR before, beards were looked upon by the LEMAGNE, the Saracens appear, ** Ha clergy as a fecular vanity, and accordingly 66 bentes LARVAS BARBATAS, cornutas, were worn by the laity only. Yet in Eng« DÆMONIBUS confimiles.”

c. xviii.

land this distinction seems to have been And in LEWIS THE EIGHTH, an old more rigidly observed than in France. French romance of Philip Mouskes.

Malmesbury says, that king Harold, at the Jot apries lui une barboire,

Norman invafion, fent spies into Duke Com diable cornu et noire.

William's camp; who reported, that most

of the French army were priests, because There was a species of masquerade cele their faces were shaved. Hist. lib. iii. brated by the ecclefiaftics in France, called P. 56. b. edit. Savil. 1596. The regulation the Shew of BEARDS, entirely consisting remained among the English clergy at least of an exhibition of the most formidable till the reign of Henry the eighth : for beards. Gregory of Tours says, that the Longland bishop of Lincoln, at a Visitation abbess of Poičtou was accused for suffering of Oriel college, Oxford, in 1531, orders one of these shews, called a BARBATORIA, one of the fellows, a priest, to abftain, to be performed in her monastery. Hist, under pain of expulsion, from wearing a lib. x. c. vi. In the EPISTLES of Peter beard, and pinked fhoes, like a laic; and de Blois we have the following passage, not to take the liberty, for the future, of · Regis curiam fequuntur affidue histrio insulting and ridiculing the governor and “ nes, candidatrices, aleatores, dulcorarii, fellows of the society. ORDINAT. Coll.

cauponés, nebulatores, mimi, BARBA Oriel. Oxon. APPEND. ad Joh. TROKE

TORES, balatrones, et hoc genus omne." LOWE, p. 339. See Edicts of king John, EPIST. xiv. Where, by Barbatores, we in Prynne, LIBERTAT. Eecles. ANGL. are not to understand Barbers, but mimics, tom. iii. p. 23. But among the religions, or buffoons, disguised in huge bearded the Templars were permitted to wear long masks. In Don Quixote, the barber who beards. In the year 1311, king Edward personates the squire of the princess Mi the fecond granted letters of safe conduct comicona, wears one of these masks, to his valet Peter Auger, who had made a

gran barba, &c.” Part. prim. c. xxvi. vow not to save his beard ; and who 1. 3. And the countefs of Trifaldi's squire having resolved to visit some of the holy has “ la mas larga, la mas horrida, &c.”. places abroad as a pilgrim, feared, on-acPart. fec. c. xxxvi. 1. 8. See OBSERVAT. count of the length of his beard, that he ON Spenser, vol. i. p. 24. Sect. ii. might be mistaken for a knight-templar, About the eleventh century, and long and insulted. Pat. iv. Edw. ii. In Dug

dale's

una

Austin: and Simony offers the devil a bribe. The devil rejects her offer with much indignation : and swears by the foule Eumenides, and the hoary beard of Charon, that she shall be well fried and roasted in the unfathomable sulphur of Cocytus, together with Mahomet, Pontius Pilate, the traitor Judas, and king Herod. The last scene is clofed with a view of hell, and a dance between the devil and the necromancer. The dance ended, the devil trips up the necromancer's heels, and disappears in fire and smoke". Great must have been the edification and entertainment which king Henry the seventh and his court derived from the exhibition of so elegant and rational a drama! The royal taste for dramatic representation seems to have suffered a very rapid transition: for in the year 1520, a goodlie comedie of Plautus was played before king Henry the eighth at Greenwich. I have before mentioned Skelton's play of Magnificence.

dale's WARWICKSHIRE, P. 704. Many HISTORY OF Music, has first printed a orders about Beards occur in the registers Song written by Skelton, alluded to in the of Lincoln's-inn, cited by Dugdale. In CROWNE OF LAWRELL, and fet to mufic the year 1542, it was ordered, that no mem by William Cornishe, a musician of the ber, wearing a BEARD, should presume to chapel royal Under Henry the seventh. dine in the hall. In 1553, says Dugdale, B. i. ch. i. vol. iii. p. 3. Lond. 1776. It “ such as had beards should pay twelve begins, “pence for every meal they continued

Ah, beshrew you, by my fay, “ them; and every man to be shaven,

These wanton clarkes are nice alway, &c. upon pain of being put out of commons." ORIG. JURID. cap. 64. p. 244. In 1559, The fame diligent and ingenious inquirer no member is permitted to wear any beard has happily illustrated a passage in Skelabove a fortnight's growth; under pain of ton's description of Riot. Ibid. B. iij. expulsion for the third transgression. But

ch. ix. vol. ii. p. 354. the fathion of wearing beards beginning to

Counter he coulde O Lux upon a potte. spread, in 1560 it was agreed at a council, that “ all orders before that time made, That is, this drunken disorderly fellow touching BEARDS, Mould be void and could play the beginning of the hymn, O “ repealed.” Dugd. ibid. p. 245.

Lux beata Trinitas, a very popular meIn the Mystery of MARY MAGDA lody, and on which many fugues and LENE, just mentioned, one of the stage canons were antiently composed, on a quartdirections is, “ Here enters the prynse of pot at the tavern. See also, ibid. B. i. “ the devylls in a stage, with hell onder ch. vii. p. 90. ii. 1. p. 130. “ neth the stage.” MSS. DIGB. 133. By the way, the abovementioned Wilc Hollinsh. iii. 850.

liam Cornish has a poem printed at the end d It is in Mr. Garrick's valuable col. of Skelton's Works, called a Treatise bele&tion. No date. 4to. Hawkins, in the tween Trout he and Information, containing A a a 2

fome

MORALITIES seem have arrived at their heighth about the close of the seventh Henry's reign'. This sort of spectacle was now so fashionable, that John Rastall, a learned typographer, brother in law to fir Thomas More, extended its province, which had hitherto been confined, either to moral allegory, or to religion blended with buffoonery, and conceived a design of making it the vehicle of science and philosophy. With this view he published, A new INTERLUDE and a mery, of the nature of the iiii Elements, declaringe many proper points of phylosophy naturall and dyvers fraunge landys, &c. In the cosmographical part of the play, in which the poet professes to treat of dyvers straunge regyons, and of the new founde landys, the tracts of America recently discovered, and the manners of the natives, are described. The characters are, a Mersenger who speaks the prologue, Nature, Humanity, Studious Desire, Sensual Appetite, a Taverner, Experience, and Ignorance.

D. ii. 4:

f

fome anecdotes of the state of antient mufic, written while the author was in the Fleet, in the year 1504. MSS. Reg. 18

See Thoresby's LeEDES, for Old musical compofitions by several mafiers, among them by WILLIAM CORNISH. p. 517: Morley has afligned Cornysh a place in his Catalogue of English musicians. • See supr. p. 206.

Among Mr. Garrick's OLD PLAYS. [Imperf.] i. vol. 3. It was written about 1510, or rather later. One of the characters is NATURE naturate : under which title Bale inaccurately mentions this piece. viii. 75. See Percy, Ess. ENG. STAGE, p. 8. edit. 1767. Who supposes this play to have been written about 1510, from the following lines,

Within this xx yere Westwarde be founde new landes,

That we never harde tell of before this. The West-Indies were discovered by Columbus in 1492.

: For the sake of connection I will here mention some more of Raftall's pieces. He

was a great writer of INTERLUDES. He has written, “ OF GENTYLNESS AND “ NOBYLYTE. A dyaloge between the “ marchaunt, the knyght, and the plow“ man, disputynge who is a veray gentyl

man, and how men thuld come to auc“ toryte, compiled in maner of an Inter

LUDE. With dyvers TOYes and GESTIS '« addyd therto, to make mery pastyme “ and disport.9. Rafall me fieri fecit.Printed by himself in quarto, without date. PR. “ O what a gret welth and.” Also, “ A new Commodyte in Englyth in maner “ of an ENTERLUDE ryght elygant and “ full of craft of rhetoryck : wherein is “ fhewed and dyferybyd, as well the “ beute of good propertes of women, as '" theyr vyces and evyll condicions, with

a morall conclusion and exhortation to “ vertew. J. Raftall me imprimi fecit.In folio, without date. This is in English verse, and contains twelve leaves. Pr. « Melebea, &c." He reduced a dialogue of Lucian into English verse, much after the manner of an interlude, viz. “ NecroMANTIA. A Dialogue of Lucyan for

«« his

I have before observed, that the frequent and public exhibition of personifications in the PAGEAUNTS, which antiently accompanied every high festivity, greatly contributed to cherish the spirit of allegorical poetry, and even to enrich the imagination of Spenfer. The MORALITIES, which now began to acquire new celebrity, and in which the same groupes of the impersonated vices and virtues appeared, must have concurred in producing this effect. And hence, at the same time, we are led to account for the national relish for allegorical poetry, which so long prevailed among our ancestors. By means of these spectacles, ideal beings became common and popular objects: and emblematic imagery, which at present is only contemplated by a few retired readers in the obsolete pages of our elder poets, grew familiar to the general eye.

« his fantasy fayned for a mery paflyme, “ &c.-J. Raftall me fieri fecit.

It is translated from the Latin, and has Latin notes in the margin. It may be doubted, whether Raftall was not the printer only of these pieces. If the printer only, they might come from the festive genius of his brother fir Thomas More. But Raftall appears to have been a scholar. He was educated at Oxford ; and took up the employment of printing as a profession at that time esteemed liberal, and not unsuitable to the character of a learned and ingenious man. An English translation of Terence, called TERENS in ENCLISH, with a prologue in ftanzas, beginning " The famous renown through the worlde “ is fpronge,” is believed, at least from fimilarity of type, to be by Raftall. In quarto, without date. He published, in 1525, The MERY Gestys of one callyd EDYTH tbe lyeng wydow. This is a de{cription, in Englith rhymes, of the frauds practised by a female sharper in the neighbourhood of London : the scene of one of her impoftures is laid in fir Thomas More's house at Chelsea. The author, one of her dupes, is Walter Smyth. Emprunted at London at the signe of the Meremayde at

Pollis gate next to Chepefyde by 7. Raftalt. fol. it will be sufficient to have given this short incidental notice of a piece which hardly deserves to be named. Raftall wrote and printed many other pieces, which I do not mention, as unconnected with the history of our poetry: I shall only observe further, in general, that he was eminently skilled in mathematics, cosmography, history, our municipal law, and theology. He died 1536.

And of Shakespeare. There is a parSage in ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA, where the metaphor is exceedingly beautiful ; but where the beauty both of the expression and the allufion is loft, unless we recollect the frequency and the nature of these shews in Shakespeare's age. Act iv. Sc. xi. I muft cite the whole of the context, for the fake of the last hemiftich.

Sometime we see a cloud that's dragonish,
A vapour fometime, like a bear or lion ;,
A towred citadel, a pendant rock,
A forked mountain, or blue promontory
With trees upon't, that nod unto the world
And mock our eyes with air. Thou’tt féen

these figns,
They are Black VESPER'S PAGEANTS,

SECT.

S E C T. XVI.

I

N a work of this general and comprehensive nature, in

which the fluctuations of genius are surveyed, and the dawnings or declensions of taste must alike be noticed, it is impossible that every part of the subject can prove equally splendid and interesting. We have, I fear, been toiling for some time through materials, not perhaps of the most agreeable and edifying nature. But as the mention of that very rude species of our drama, called the MORALITY, has incidentally diverted our attention to the early state of the Eng. lish stage, I cannot omit so fortunate and seasonable an opportunity of endeavouring to relieve the weariness of my reader, by introducing an obvious digression on the probable causes of the rise of the MysTERIES, which, as I have before remarked, preceded, and at length produced, these allegorical fables. In this respect I shall imitate those map-makers mentioned by Swift, who

Q’er inhospitable downs,
Place elephants for want of towns.

Nor shall I perhaps fail of being pardoned by my reader, if, on the same principle, I should attempt to throw new light on the history of our theatre, by pursuing this enquiry through those deductions which it will naturally and more immediately suggests.

About the eighth century, trade was principally carried on by means of fairs, which lasted feveral days. Charlemagne established many great marts of this fort in France; as did William the conqueror, and his Norman successors, in

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