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no apology for my anticipation in transcribing the following ode, which Circe sings as a charm to drive away sleep from Ulysses, who is discovered reposing under a large tree. It is addressed to Sleep.
Sagest Greeke! In praise of this song it will be sufficient to say, that it reminds us of some favourite touches in Milton's Comus, to which it perhaps gave birth. Indeed one cannot help observing here in general, although the observation more properly belongs to another place, that a masque thus recently exhibited on the story of Circe, which there is reason to think had acquired some popularity, suggested to Milton the hint of a masque on the story of Comus. It would be superfluous to point out minutely the absolute similarity of the two characters: they both deal in incantations conducted by the same mode of operation, and producing effects exactly parallel.
* Pag. 135.
From this practice of performing interludes in the inns of court, we may explain a passage in Shakespeare: but the present establishment of the context embarrasses that explanation, as it perplexes the sentence in other respects. In the SECOND Part of HENRY THE FOURTH, Shallow is boasting to his cousin Silence of his heroic exploits when he studied the law at Clement's-inn. “I was once of Clements-inn, where I think they will talk of mad Shallow yet. Sil. You were called lusty Shallow then, cousin. Shal. I was called any thing; and I would have done any thing, indeed, and roundly too. There was I, and little John Doit of Staffordshire, &c. You had not four such swinge-bucklers in all the inns of court again. We knew where the Bona Robas were, &c.-Oh, the mad days that I have spenta !” Falstaffe then enters, and is recognised by Shallow, as his brother-student at Clement's-inn; on which, he takes occasion to resume the topic of his juvenile frolics exhibited in London fifty years ago. “She's old, and had Robin Night work, before I came to Clement’s-inn.-Ha, cousin Silence, that thou hadst seen, That that this knight and I have seen! Hah, Sir John," &c. Falstaffe's recruits are next brought forward to be inrolled. One of them is ordered to handle his arms: when Shallow says, still dwelling on the old favorite theme of Clement's-inn, “He is not his craft-master, he doth not do it right. I remember at Mile-End Green, when I lay at Clements-inn, I was then Sir Dagonet in ARTHUR's Show, there was a little quiver fellow, and he would manage you his piece thus," &c. Does he mean that he acted sir Dagonet at Mile-end Green, or at Clement's-inn? By the application of a parenthesis only, the passage will be cleared from ambiguity, and the sense I would assign will appear to be just. “I remember at Mile-end Green, (when I lay at Clements-inn, I was then Sir Dagonet in Arthur's Show,) there was a little quiver fellow," &c. That is, “ I remember, when I was a very young man at Clement's-inn, and not fit to
act any higher part than Sir Dagonet in the interludes which we used to play in the society, that among the soldiers who were exercised in Mile-end Green, there was one remarkable fellow," &e. The performance of this part of Sir Dagonet was another of Shallow's feats at Clement's-inn, on which he delights to expatiate: a circumstance, in the mean time, quite foreign to the purpose of what he is saying, but introduced, on that account, to heighten the ridicule of his character. Just as he had told Silence, a little before, that he saw Scoggan's head broke by Falstafle at the court-gate, and the very same day, I did fight with one Sampson Stockfish, a fruiterer, behind Gray's-inn.” Not to mention the satire implied in making Shallow act Sir Dagonet, who was King Arthur's Fool. ARTHUR's Show, here supposed to have been presented at Clement’s-inn, was probably an interlude *, or masque, which actually existed, and was very popular, in Shakespeare's age; and seems to have been compiled from Mallory's MORTE ARTHUR, or the history of king Arthur, then recently published, and the favorite and most fashionable romancef.
When the societies of the law performed these shews within their own respective refectories, at Christmas, or any other festival, a Christmas-prince, or revel-master, was constantly appointed. At a Christmas celebrated in the hall of the Middletemple, in the year 1635, the jurisdiction, privileges, and parade, of this mock-monarch, are thus circumstantially describeds.
• In the text, “ When I laid at Cle f That Mile-end green was the place ment's inn," is lodged, or lived. So Le- for public sports and exercises, we learn land. “ An old manor-place, where in from Froissart. In the affair of Tyler tymes paste sum of the Moulbrays LAY and Straw he says, “ Then the kynge for a starte. That is, lived for a time, or sende to them that they shulde all drawe sometimes. Itin. vol. i. fol. 119. Again, to a fayre plaync place, called Myle-end, “Maister Page hath translated the House, where the people of the cytie did sport and now much yrru there.” Ibid. fol. themselves in the former season," &c. 121. And in many other places. Berner's Transl. t. i. c. 383. f. 262. a.
* (From a citation afforded by Mr. & Sec also Dugd. Oric. Jurid. p. 151. Bowle, and taken from Mulcaster's Pon- where many of the circumstances of this tius, &c. in 1581, Mr. Malone satisfied officer are described at large: who also himself that “ Arthur's Show” was not mentions, at Lincoln's-inn, a KING OF an interlude, but an “ Exhibition of The Cockneys on childermas-day, cap. Archery.” See Reed's Shakspeare, 61. p. 247. vol. xii. p. 146. edit. 1803. --Pakke.]
He was attended by his lord keeper, lord treasurer, with eight white staves, a captain of his band of pensioners and of his guard; and with two chaplains, who were so seriously impressed with an idea of his regal dignity, that when they preached before him on the preceding Sunday in the Temple church, on ascending the pulpit, they saluted him with three low bows*. He dined, both in the hall, and in his privy-chamber, under a cloth of estate. The pole-axes for his gentlemen pensioners were borrowed of lord Salisbury. Lord Holland, his temporary Justice in Eyre, supplied him with venison, on demand : and the lord mayor and sheriffs of London, with wine. On Twelfth-day, at going to church, he received many petitions, which he gave to his master of requests: And, like other kings, he had a favorite, whom, with others, gentlemen of high quality, he knighted at returning from church. His expences,
all from his own purse, amounted to two thousand poundsh. We are also told, that in the year 1635, “On Shrovetide at night, the lady Hatton feasted the king, queen, and princes, at her house in Holborn. The Wednesday before, the PRINCE OF THE TEMPLE invited the prince Elector and his brother to a Masque at the Temple', which was very compleatly fitted for the variety of the scenes, and excellently well performed. Thither came the queen with three of her ladies disguised, all clad in the attire of citizens.—This done, the PRINCE was deposed, but since the king knighted him at Whitehall k."
But these spectacles and entertainments in our law-societies, not so much because they were romantic and ridiculous in
• [This ceremonial, to the honour and Umphs or Prince D'Amour, written at pious memory of George the Third, their request, for the purpose, in three was laid aside in his reign.--Ashby.] days. The music by H. and W. Lawes.
STRAFFORDE'S LETTERS, ut supra, The names of the performers are at the vol. i. p. 507. The writer adds, “ Allend. this is done, to make them fit to give the * Ibid. p. 525. The writer adds, prince elector a royal entertainment, with “Mrs. Basset, the great lace-woman masks, dancings, and some other exer of Cheapside, went foremost, and led cises of wit in orations or arraingments, the queen by the hand," &c. See ibid. that day they invite him."
* This, I think, was Davenant's Tri
their mode of exhibition, as that they were institutions celebrated for the purposes of merriment and festivity, were suppressed or suspended under the false and illiberal ideas of reformation and religion, which prevailed in the fanatical court of Cromwell. The countenance afforded by a polite court to such entertainments, became the leading topic of animadversion and abuse in the miserable declamations of the puritan theologists; who attempted the business of national reformation without any knowledge of the nature of society, and whose censures proceeded not so much from principles of a purer morality, as from a narrowness of mind, and from that ignorance of human affairs which necessarily accompanies the ope rations of enthusiasm.