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formed in the Whitefriars theatre was, doubtless, Nathaniel Field's Woman is a Weathercock, printed in 1612, but written before 1611. Field was one of the partners of Daborne mentioned in the draft of the warrant found at Bridgewater House. I explain the apparently concurrent grants to Daborne and Rosseter, dated 4th of January, 1609, by supposing that they were in fact one and the same, and that, Shakspsare having seceded, because the King's Serrants were not disturbed, Daborne took Rosseter in his place. Daborne was the author of several plays, two of which only were printed; and in the preface to one of them--A Christian turn'd Turk, 1612—-he says, “my own descent is not obscure, but generous;" and it is likely that he obtained the grant in question by some influence at court: his name, as manager or joint manager of a company, is only found
papers. But for the entry in the book by William Tuthill, I should have concluded, from the word “stayed” at the bottom of the draft, and
, from other circumstances, that the intention to grant a patent or privy seal for the purpose stated, had never been carried into execution. At the foot of the same paper is the subsequent enumeration of theatres at that time open in the metropolis and its neighborhood.
" Bi. Fr. and Globe
Wh. Fr. and Parish Garden
All in or neare London."
This list seems to show that the number of existing playhouses was taken into consideration, perhaps by the lord chancellor, and that he was deterred from at once complying with the wishes of Daborne and his associates, by the consideration that no more places of dramatic entertainment were required “in and near London.” This remark may be partly answered, by recollecting that it was not proposed to open any new theatre, but_merely to give an opportunity to the Children of the Queen's Revels to perform at the Blackfriars, in the same way as we know that the Children of the King's Revels did perform there in the beginning of the reign of James I. The juxtaposition of the names of the eight different theatres, as above, leads to the conclusion that the same set of comedians occupied two; and they could, therefore, hardly be said Jo be open all at the same time. We are sure that such was the case with the King's Servants at the Blackfriars and at the Globe; and we may, with sufficient safety, presume the same of the rest. The most doubtful in this respect are the two last--the Hope and the Swan-which were both in Southwark, very near each other, and probably both in the hands of Philip Ilenslowe, the old pawnbroking manager, to whose diary we owe so many particulars regarding old plays, players, and playhouses.
Another observation upon the draft of the warrant to Daborne, Shakspeare, Field, and Kirkham, can hardly have failed to impress you ; I allude to the reservation of the authority of “our Master of the Revels for the time being,” in inspecting and approving the plays to be represented. “Our Master of the Revels” would, of course, be the king's officer, Edmund Tylney; but it seems strange that his allowance for the performances of the Children of the Queen's Revels should have been required, when it has been clearly shown (“* History of Dramatic Poetry,” i., 353) that, in 1603, Samuel Daniel, the poet, who perhaps ranks next to Shakspeare, Spenser, and Jonson, had been expressly appointed to supervise the productions intended to be brought out by the Children of the Queen's Revels, under King James's patent to Kirkham, Hawkins, Kendall, and Payne, in 1603. This was certainly an infringement upon the long-established authority of the king's master of the revels; and Possibly, in 1609, it was intended to restore his power.
At Bridgewater House are preserved two original letters from Samuel Daniel to Lord Ellesmere, both of them very interesting, but one of them especially so, inasmuch as one paragraph in it refers expressly to Shakspeare, though not by name. They are both without dates, but circumstances enable us, I think, to fix them Pretty exactly. Lord Ellesmere seems to have been Daniel's patron, and, if I mistake not, was the means of procuring for him the apPointment of master of the queen's revels and inspector of the plays to be represented by the juvenile performers. It seems that Daniel had competitors for this office, one of whom was certainly Michael Drayton, the poet; and the other, in all probability, from
Particular expressions used, Shakspeare. The whole of the letter well deserves quotation, and I therefore insert it. It is
“ To the right honorable Sr. Thomas Egerton, knight, Lord Keeper of the Great Seale of England.
"I will not indeavour, Right honorable, to thanke you in wordes for this new great and unlookt for favor shown vnto me, whereby I am bound to you for ever, and hope one day with true harte and simple skill to prove that I ame not vnmindfull. Most earnestly doe I wish I could praise as your Honor has knowne to deserue, for then should I, like my maister Spenser, whose memorie your Honor cherisheth, leave behinde me some worthie worke, to be treas. ured by posterity. What my pore Muse could performne in haste is here set downe, and though it be farre below what other poets and better pens have written, it cometh from a gratefull harte and therefore may be accepted. I shall now be able to live free from those cares and troubles that hetherto have bene my continuall and wearisome companions. But a little time is past since I was called vpon to thanke your Honor for my brothers advancement, and now I thanke you for myne owne; which double kindnes will alwaies receive double gratefulnes at both our handes. I cannot but knowe that I am lesse deserving then some that sued by other of the nobility vnto her Matie for this roome: if M. Draiton, my good friend, had bene chosen, I should not have murmured, for sure I ame he wold have filled it most excellentlie: but it seemeth to myne humble iudgement that one who is the authour of playes now daylie presented on the public stages of London, and the possessor of no small gaines, and moreover him selfe an Actor in the Kings Companie of Comedians, could not with reason pretend to be Mr. of the Queenes Maties Revells, for as much as he wold sometimes be asked to approve and allow of his owne writings. Therefore, he, and more of like quality, cannot justlie be disappointed because through your Honors gracious interposition the chance was haply myne. Towe this and all else to your honor, and if ever have time and abilitie to finish anie noble vndertaking, as God graunt one daye I shall, the worke will rather be your Honors then myne. God maketh a poet, but his creation would be in vaine if patrons did not make him to live. Your Honor hath ever showne your self the friend of desert, and pity it were if this shold be the first exception to the rule. It shall not be, while my pore witt and strength doe remaine to ine, though the verses which I now send be indeede no proofe of myne abilitie. I onely intreat your Honor to accept the same, the rather as an earnest of my good will then as an example of my good deede. In all things I am your Honors “ Moste bounden in dutie and observaunce,
The passage in this letter that I conceive applies to Shakspeare, is that where, after mentioning Drayton as a candidate for the place of master of the queen's revels, Daniel speaks of another person who had endeavored to procure it, who was the author of plays in a course of daily performance, who had realized wealth by the profession, and who was himself an actor in the King's Company. This description could apply to no other member of that association but Shakspeare. Ben Jonson, whose Sejanus was acted by the King's Servants in 1603,* had quitted the stage before that date, and it is besides known that he was then far from rich: in February, 1602-3, he was "living upon one Townshend,” according to a piece of evidence adduced in the “ History of Dramatic Poetry," i., 334. What “other of the nobility” had supported Shakspeare's claim to the new office (for we never before nor afterwards hear of the master of the queen's revels) does not appear, but most likely it was the Earl of Southampton. Daniel was appointed on the 30th of January, 1603, so that the preceding letter must have been written very shortly afterwards.
With the letter, Daniel sent a poem to Lord Ellesmere; and in 1603 was printed an epistle “ To Sir Thomas Egerton, knight,” which followed “A Panegyric congratulatory” to James I. on his ascending the throne. The first may have been the production allu ded to, which the author says was composed “in haste.”
You will observe that Daniel adverts to his “brother's advance. ment” by the instrumentality of Lord Ellesmere; and the principal
It is worth adding in a note, that, among other MSS. at Bridgewater House, is preserved an original copy of Ben Jonson's “Expostulation with Inigo Jones,” in the hand-writing of
author, and corresponding very exactly (some words only excepted) with the copy Printed by Mr. Gifford (Ben Jonson's Works, viii., 116), although that critic contended that
some part” of it proceeded from Jonson's pen. Mr. Gifford was naturally anxious to deny its authenticity, because he had denied that Ben Jonson meant Inigo Jones, by Lanlern Leatherhead in Bartholomew Fair. Hence, in fact, “ Lantern Lerry,” or Lantern
Leathery, became the nick-name of Jones, and Ben Jonson applies it to him in this very Expostulation, coupling it with a mention of Adam Overdo in Bartholomew Fair. When Mr. Giford had made up his mind upon a point,
no evidence, however clear, could unconvince Two or three verbal variations may be pointed out. Ben Jonson's original copy
" You'd be an Assinigo by your ears?
Why much good do't you ; be what beast you will
You'll be, as Langley said, 'an Inigo still.""
“No velvet sheath you wear will alter kind,
A wooden dagger is a tlagger of wood,” &c.
"The eloquence of masques ! what need of prose,
Or verse or sense t'express immortal you.” The printed copy reads prose for sense.
The rest are less important differences.
object of the second letter of the same poet, preserved at Bridgewater House, is to thank the lord keeper for this “preferment.” What was the nature of it we are not informed, but it was probably procuring for him a patent for a company of theatrical children: there is no doubt that this letter was shortly anterior in point of date to that above quoted. Daniel also mentions his incomplete poem, “The Civil Wars between the Houses of York and Lancaster," which he intended to bring down to the reign of Henry VII., but never carried farther than the marriage of Edward IV. The letter contains nothing regarding Shakspeare; but, at the same time, it is so interesting, on account of the distinguished writer, the subject, and the person to whom it was addressed, that I shall not hesitate to insert a copy of it. Communications of the kind, by poets of eminence of that day, are the rarest, and to me the most precious, relics.
“Right honorable. Amongst all the great workes of your worthynes it will not be the least that you have donne for me in the preferment of my brother, with whome yet now sometimes I may eat whilst I write, and so go on with the worke I have in hand, which God knowes had long since bene ended, and your Honor had had that which in my harte I have prepared for you, could I have but sustayned my self and made truce within, and peace with the world. But such hath bene my misery, that whilst I should have written the actions of men, I have bene constrayned to live with children; and contrary to myne owne spirit put out of that scene which nature had made my parte. For could I but live to bring this labor of mine to the Union of Henry VII., I should have the end of all my ambition in this life, and the utmost of my desyres: for therein, if wordes can worke any thing vppon the affections of men, I will labor to give the best hand I can to the perpetuall closing up of those woundes, and the ever keeping them so, that our land may lothe to looke over those blessed boundes (which the providence of God hath set vs) vnto the horror and confusion of farther and former claymes. And though I know the greatnes of the worke requires a greater spirit then myne, yet we see that in theas frames of motions, little wheeles move the greater, and so by degrees turne about the whole, and God knowes what so pore a Muse as myne may worke vppon the affections of men. But howsoever I shall herein show my zeale to my country and to do that which my soule tells me is fit. And to this end do I now purpose to retyre me to my pore home, and not againe to see you till I have payd your Honor my vowes; and will onely pray that England which so much needes you may long injoy the treasure of your councell, and that it be not driven to complayne with that good Roman videmus quibus extinctis jurisperitis quam in paucis nunc spes, quam in paucioribus facultas quam in multis audacia