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which their highnesses were right well content. In the evening, the great chamber was adorned with a sumptuous suit of tapestry; called The Hanginge of Antioch : and after supper, a play was presented by the children of Paul's'. After the play, and the next morning, one of the children, named Maximilian Poines, sung to the princess, while the plaid at the virginalls”. Strype, perhaps from the fame manuscript chronicle, thus describes a magnificent entertainment given to queen Elizabeth, in the year 1559, at Nonsuch in Surry, by lord Arundel, her majesty's housekeeper, or superintendant, at that palace, now destroyed. I chuse to give the description in the words of this simple but picturesque compiler. “ There the queen had great entertainment, with banquets,
especially on Sunday night, made by the said earl: together “ with a Mask, and the warlike founds of drums and flutes, « and all kinds of musick, till midnight. On Monday, was
a great fupper made for her: but before night, she stood
at her standing in the further park, and there she saw a “ Course. At night was a Play by the Children of Paulos, " and their (music) master Sebastian. After that, a costly
banques, accompanied with drums and Autes. This en
tertainment lasted till three in the morning. And the earl “ presented'her majesty a cupboard of plate." In the year 1562, when the society of parish clerks in London celebrated
:y Who perhaps performed the play of royal coquetry, suddenly rose from the inHOLOPHERnes, the same year, after a strument and offered to Arike his lord ship : greate and rich maskinge and banquet, given declaring, “ that she was not used to play by fir Thomas Pope to the princess, in the “ before mon, but when he was folitary to grete ball at Harfelde. Life of fir Tho. “ thun melancholy." Mem. Lond. 1752. Pope. Sect. iii. p. 85.
pag. 99. Leland applauds the skill of 2 MS. ANNALES OF Q. Marie's Elizabeth, both in playing and finging. REIGNR. MSS. Cotton. VITELL. F. 5. Encom. fol. 59. (p. 125. edit. Hearn.) There is a curious anecdote in Melville's Mé. MOIRS, concerning Elizabeth, when queen,
Aut quid commemor·m quos tu testudine
fumpta being surprized from behind the tapestry by lord Hunsdon, while she was playing on
Concentus referas mellifuosque modos her virginals. Her majesty, I know not a Ann. Ref. vol. i. ch. xv. p. 194. whether in a fit of royal prudery, or of edit. 1725. fol
one of their annual feasts, after morning service in Guildhall chapel, they retired to their hall ; where, after dinner, a goodly play was performed by the choristers of Westminster abbey, with waits, and regals, and singing The children of the chapel-royal were also famous actors; and were formed into a company of players by queen Elizabeth, under the conduct of Richard Edwards, a musician, and a writer of Interludes, already mentioned, and of whom more will be said hereafter. All Lilly's plays, and many of Shakespeare's and Jonson's, were originally performed by these boys: and it seems probable, that the title given by Jonson to one of his comedies, called CYNTHIA'S REYELS, first acted in 1605
by the children of her majesties chapel, with the allowance as of the Master of the Revels," was an allusion to this establishment of queen Elizabeth, one of whose romantic names was CYNTHIA. The general reputation which they gained, and the particular encouragement and countenance which they received from the queen, excited the jealousy of the grown actors at the theatres : and Shakespeare, in Hamlet, endeavours to extenuate the applause which was idly indulged to their performance, perhaps not always very just, in the
Strype's edit. of Stowe's Surv. LOND. that Decker sneers at Johnson's interest with B. v. p. 231;
the Mafter of the Revels, in procuring his c Six of Lilly's nine comedies are en plays to be acted so often at court. 6 Şir titled COURT-COMEDIES: which, I be Vaughan. I have some coffen-germans fieve, were written profeffedly for this pur « at court shall beget you the reversion of pose. These were reprinted together, “ the master of the king's revels, or else to Lond. 1632. 12mo. His last play is dated "be his lord of misrule nowe at Christmas." 1597
Signat. G. 3. Dekker's SATIROMASTIX, They very frequently were joined by or the Untrulling of the Humorons Poet. the choristers of faint Paul's. It is a mil Lond. for E. White, 1602. 4to. Again, take that these were rival companies; and SIGNAT. M. “When your playes are missethat because Jonson's PoetasTER was act. “ likt at court, you shall not crie mew like ed, in the year 1601, by the boys of the “a pusse-cat, and say you are glad you chapel, his antagonist Decker got his SA " write out of the courtier's element." On TIROMASTIX, an answer to Jonson's play, the same idea the satire is founded of sendto be performed, ont of opposition, by those ing Horace, or Jonson, to court, to be dubof faint Paul's. Lilly's court-comedies, and bed a poet: and of bringing " the quivering many others, were acted by the children of " bride to court in a malke, &c.” Ibid. both choirs in conjunction. It is certain
SIGNAT. I. 39 Vol. II.
following speeches of Rosencrantz and Hamlet.-" There is
an aiery of little children, little eyases“, that cry out on • the top of the question, and are most tyrannically clapped “ fort: these are now the fashion, and so berattle the common
stages, so they call them, that many wearing rapiers are « afraid of goose quills, and dare scarce come thither.-“ Ham. What, are they children? Who maintains them ? “ How are they escoted'? Will they pursue the Quality no
longer than they can fing, &ck.” This was about the year 1599. The latter clause means, “ Will they follow the
profession of players, no longer than they keep the voices “ of boys, and sing in the choir ?” So Hamlet afterwards fays to the player, “ Come, give us a taste of your quality :
come, a passionate speech Some of these, however, were distinguished for their propriety of action, and became admirable comedians at the theatre of Black-friers'. Among the children of queen Elizabeth's chapel, was one Salvadore Pavy, who acted in Jonson's POETASTER, and CynthIA'S
• Neft of young hawks.
Ibid. Sc. iii.
happened betwixt the duke of Lenox and
new play, in the Black-friers, of which “the duke had got the key.” The dispute was settled by the king. G. GARRARD to the LORD DEPUTY. Jan. 25: 1635. vol. i.
p. 511. edit. 1789. fol. See a curious aca.
duit in fleet-street, &c. &c.” Ibid. p. 175 Another of Garrard's letters mentions a play at this theatre, which “ coft three or * four hundred pounds setting out; eiglit
or ten fuits of new cloaths he (the author] gave the players, an unheard of prodigality !” Dat.. 1637. Ibid. vol. ii. 150,
It appears.by the Prologue of Chapman's ALL POOLS, a comedy presented at Blackr friers, and printed 160;, that only the spectators of rank and quality fate on the stage..
To fair attire the stage Helps much; for if our other audience fee You on the flage depart before we end,, Our wits go with you.all, &c..
Revels, and was inimitable in his representation of the character of an old man. He died about thirteen years of age, and is thus elegantly celelebrated in one of Jonson's epigrams.
An Epitaph on S. P. a child of queene Elizabeth's chapell.
Weep with me, all you that read
This little story!
Death's felfe is sorry.
In grace and feature,
Which own'd the creature.
When Fares turn'd cruell;
The Stage's Jewell:
Old men so duely;
He plaid so truely.
They all confented's
They have repented:
In bathes to steep him:
HEAVEN vowes to keep him".
To this ecclesiastical origin of the drama, we must refer the plays acted by the society of the parish-clerks of London,
for eight days successively, at Clerkenwell, which thence took its name, in the presence of most of the nobility and gentry of the kingdom, in the years 1390, and 1409. In the ignorant ages, the parish-clerks of London might justly be considered as a literary society. It was an essential part of their profession, not only to fing but to read; an accomplishment almost solely confined to the clergy: and, on the whole, they seem to come under the character of a religious fraternity. They were incorporated into a guild, or fellowship, by king Henry the third about the year 1240, under the patronage of saint Nicholas. It was antiently customary for men and women of the first quality, ecclefiastics, and others, who were lovers of church-music, to be admitted into this corporation : and they gave large gratuities for the support, or education, of many persons in the practice of that science. Their public feasts, which I have already mentioned, were frequent, and celebrated with singing and music; most commonly at Guildhall chapel or college'. Before the reformation, this society was conftantly hired to aslift as a choir, at the magnificent funerals of the nobility, or other distinguished personages, which were celebrated within the city of London, or in its neighbourhood. The splendid ceremonies of their anniversary procession and mass, in the year 1554, are thus related by Strype, from an old chronicle. May the sixth, was a goodly evenfong at Guild“ hall college, by the Masters of the CLARKS and their Fel
lowship, with singing and playing; and the morrow after, " was a great mass, at the same place, and by the same
fraternity: when every clark offered an halfpenny. The “ 'mass was sung by diverse of the queen's [Mary's] chapel " and children. And after mass done, every clark went their “ procession, two and two together ; each having on, a sur" plice and a rich cope, and a garland. And then, four