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Night's candles are barnt out, and jocand day were appointed to lead Hamblet to a solitary place Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.” within the woods, where they brought the woman.

SHAKspeare. And surely the poor prince at this assault had been The catastrophe in the Italian novel is much in great danger, if a gentleman, that in Horvenmore pathetic, and adapted for dramatic effect, dille's time bad been nourished with him, bad not than that of the play; but Sbakspeare was no doubt shewn himself more affectioned to the bringing up misled by the English versions of the tale. Luigi he had received with Hamblet, than desirous to da Porto informs us, that having swallowed poison, please the tyrant. This gentleman bore the coarRomeo, clasping the body of his mistress in his tiers company, making full account that the least arms, awaited the approach of death. His passion-shew of perfect sense and wisdom that Hamblet ate embraces dissipated the torpor induced by the should make, would be sufficient to cause him to soporific potion. Juliet revived, recognized Ro- lose bis life; and therefore by certain signs he gave meo, kissed him, and sunk on his bosom. But Hamblet intelligence into what danger he was the deadly drug soon manifested its strength, and likely to fall, if by any means he seemed to obey, hardly giving bim time to explain his fatal rasliness, or once like the wanton toys and vicious provocaRomeo fell exhausted to the earth. The friar ar tions of the gentlewoman sent thither by his uncle, riving, stood motionless with horror. The breast which much abashed the prince, as then wholly of Juliet supported the head of her unconscious being in affection to the lady." In the end, the lover, and her sweet lips hang on his to catch his courtiers were deceived, and is assured themselves dying expirations. The friar bade Romeo look that without doubt he was distraught of his senses." up and bless his mistress with a word of comfort. After this, it was fancied that Hamblet's true chaHearing the dear name of Juliet, he raised bis lav- racter would break out in an interview with his guid eyes, but the film of death was on them; bis mother, one being concealed behind the arras of frame shook with convulsions, and one short sigh her chamber to overhear all that passed. Entering released bim from his afflictions. Juliet, resolved the room with his wonted air of folly, he crew like on death, would not quit the body of her husband; a cock, beating his arms against the bangings, in she intreated the friar not to divulge the manner of mimicry of that bird's action with his wings. their end; and if, by accident, it should be disco- Something moved behind the arras, and crying a vered, she adjured him to supplicate their parents, rat! a rat !” he thrust his sword throagb the lurking to suffer those whom one tlame of love had con spy, and hewing the body to pieces, cast it into a sumed, to moulder together in one tomb. Then vault. Re-entering the bed-chamber, Hamblet turning to her unconscious lover, she wept over replied in a reproachsul tone to the queen's exclahim, and exclaimed-—" Lord of my heart, without mations, justly upbraiding her unblashing licenyou, what have I to do with life? What can I do, tiousness, and displaying in the darkest colours, a but follow you to death? Nothing, not even death woman who could play the wanton with the brother itself shall part us!”. Saying which, she violently and murderer of her busband. Pengon was now in suppressed' ber respiration, and fell dead on the constant alarm, and resolving to be rid of Hambbody of Romeo. Such is the conclusion of the no let, sept him with letters to the king of England, vel, and it is certainly more effective than that of containing secret orders to put the prince immedithe tragedy, which Garrick altered so as to intro- ately to death. “ But the subtle Danish prince duce this last interesting scene between the lovers, being at sea, whilst his companions slept, Laving and in this manper it is now acted. Shakspeare read the letters, and knowing his uncle's great perhaps had no means of consulting the Italian ; treason, with the wicked and villanous minds of and on that account, adhered to his English autho- the two courtiers that led him to the slaughter, rity.

razed out the letters that concerned his death, and HAMLET.

instead thereof graved others, with commission to

the king of England, to bang his two companions; BELLEFOREST, the French novelist, borrowed and not conteni to turn the death they had devised from Saxo Grammaticas' History of Denmark, the against him upon their own necks, wrote further

, story of Amleth, and placed it in his collection of that king Fengon willed him to give his daughter in romances, published by him about 1560 ;, and from marriage to Hamblet.” Every thing happened as this source was taken a small quarto, printed in Hamblet wished; the courtiers were hanged, and black letter, under the title of The Hystorie of he himself was betrothed to the English princess

. Hamblett. A play on the same subject appears to After a year's residence in British Court, he have been performed previously to 1589, of which returned to Denmark, and avenged himself on his Shakspeare might have availed himself in compos- enemies ; he made his uncle's courtiers drank, and ing his own tragedy; unlackily, the old drama is then set fire to the banquetting-hall; then roshing lost, and nothing remains to illustrate our poet's into Fengon's bed-chamber, he gave “ bim such å most elaborate work, except the black-letter vo violent blowe upon the chine of the neck, that be lume.

cut bis head clean from the shoulders.” Hamblet From The Hystorie of Hamblett, we learn now cast off bis assumed madness, and calling to that the prosperous state of Horvendille, king of gether his nobles, explained and justified his conDenmark, inflamed the envioas nature of his broduct. Pity for his wrongs, and indignation at Fenther Fengon, who was even more influenced by his gon's injustice and craelty, filled every bosom ; passion for Geruth, the queen. The villain perpe- and the dignity of king was bestowed on Hamblet trated fratricide to obtain the throne, and was by the voice of the whole nation. What follows united to the object of his adulterous love. Hamb- the Danish prince's history is tedious, and bas no let, the son of Geruth and Horvendille, found him- connection with the draina. Hence it is apparent, self in danger from the murderer of his father; and that while Shakspeare borrowed the skeleton of his to ensure his safety, pat on the appearance of la. dramatic fable, for that mighty achievement of sucnacy. But his plan was imperfectly executed; he cessful genias, the tragedy of Hamlet, all the was saspected, and “ they counselled to try and poetry and passion and character with which it know, if possible, how to discover the intent and abounds are original. The hero, who in the romance meaning of the young prince; and they could find is a semi-barbarian, incapable of a delicate or reno better nor more fit invention to entrap him, than fined feeling, in the play seems to unite every perto set some fair and beautiful woman in a secret section consistent with mere mortality, and the conplace, that with flattering speeches, and all the ceptions of his lofty mind are expressed in language craftiest means she could, should purposely seek which makes all other eloquence poor and ineffecto allare his mind. To this end, certain courtiers Itive.

OTHELLO.

there the general returned, and the captain made

bis escape. The enraged Mvor flew to his wife's The tale, on which this admirable tragedy is chamber, and he would not be convinced, when the loaded, is the seventh novel of the third decade innocent lady declared her ignorance of the cyof Ciothio's Hecatommithi. The military power priot's visit; yet he determined to seem calm, and of Venice was once under the direction of a Moor. take no decisive step till he had seen the lieutenant. The excellence of his character, and the fame of That villain now practised a new device. He his exploits, won the love of Desdemona, a lady of placed the Moor where he could see, but not hear, the city; the flame was mutaal; and regardless of the captain and himself. They conversed on harmthe objections of her family, she married the dark- less subjects; but the lieutenant by significant gescomplexioned warrior. The government of Cyprus tures, impressed the distracted husband with a was given to the Moor, and he repaired to that belief, that they jested at his domestic misery; island with bis bride. There was a lieutenant in the an idea the lieutenant strengthened by a feigned army, handsome in person, and gifted in mind, who acknowledgment of the captain's, that during their was generally esteemed; the Moor was much at- endearments, Desdemona gave him a bandkerchief, tached to him, their wives too were intimate. This which was her lord's gift on their wedding-day. union was broken by the lieutenant's atteinpts to Proof seemed now easy, and the Moor desired his corrupt the virtue of Desdemona. The lady proved wife to produce his handkerchief. Having missed faithfal; the attentions of the gallant were despised. it for some time, Desdemona was confused and The lieutenant erroneously atiributed her coldness blushed, while she sought to evade further interto ber fondness for a young Cypriot captain : he re- rogations. Soon afterwards, the Moor's doubts riselved on his death, and to complete his revenge, pened into certainties, for he saw his pledge of determined to charge Desdemona with infidelity to love in the hand of the captain's courtesan. His the Moor. About this time, the captain's com resolution was now tixed to murder bis wife, and mand was taken away, because he had indiscreetly he prevailed on the lieutenant to despatch the supFounded a subaltern. Desdemona pitied him, and posed partner of her guilt. The lieutenant askoowing the Moor's esteem for bim, she often saulted him on his return from his paramour, and urged bis pardon. The Moor informed the lieu | at a blow, lopped off his leg. The wounded man's tenant, that in compliance with Desdemona's wish, cries soon brought help, and dreading discovery, be meant to restore the captain.. “She has cause, the lieutenant fled, but returning by an opposite replied the villain," she will again see him as usual. road, mingled with the crowd, and pretended to I will not be more open,” said he, observing bis lament the misfortune. The news reached Desfriead's sarprise ; " I would not blast your matri- demona, and her natural regret seemed a proof of bonial happiness; yet if you were circumspect, guilt to the jealous Moor, who concerted with the strange matters would be disclosed to you.” The lieutenant the mode of her death, Stabbing and poiMoor pondered on these hints; the renewed peti- soning were thought ineligible ; they beat her to tions of his blameless wife tortured bim with death with a sand-bag; and palling a beam from doabts; and he challenged the lieutenant to tell the roof, placed it, as if it had killed her by its bim all he knew. With seeming reluctance, the fall. The murder remained undiscovered, but soon villain resisted his importanities, and appeared the Moor's rage expired, and his love for the incaly to yield to their earnestness. "'I cannot deny," pocent victim returned. The lieutenant became he said, " that my fear of giving you pain, has till bateful to bim, and he took away bis preferment. now sealed my lips on a subject so nearly affecting The exasperated villain would be revenged; he reyour peace ; but you bid me speak out, and holated the murder of Desdemona, and to clear himnoaring my friend, and obeying my general, I must self, pretended that the Moor had endeavoured in declare the truth. Alas! your black colour

is odious vain to procure his participation in the crime. The to Desdemona, she passionately loves the captain, Moor was tried at Venice; denying the muder, he and a longing for his presence causes her desire for was tortured, but no confession could be extorted bis restoration." The Moor, though credalous, af from bim : he was soffered to banish himself, but fected to doubt this slander: “ How wilt thou dare," the friends of Desdemona caused him to be assassisaid be," to sully my Desdemona's fame!"_" This nated. The villany of the lieutenant being at rage," answered the lieutenant," is the recompense length discovered, though on some other occasion, I looked for, but my daty and friendship have led he was put to the rack, and his torture was so terme thus far, and I will pot now go back; what rible, that he expired on the wheel. Such are the I have told you is true ; and if Desdemona, with materials out of which the dramatist has conartful fondness, has blinded you to her guilt, I structed bis magnificent tragedy. will not, for that reason, withhold circumstances Othello, from a rude uncultivated savage, remarkwhich I feel certain are true. The captain has able for nothing but his personal bravery, rises into made me bis confidant: bis confession deserved all the grandeur of intellectual superiority, and condeath; and the fear of your anger alone deterred me vinces us, that the tincture of a skin cannot debase from inflicting it.” “Give me the means,"exclaimed the mind, or shut out the spirit of love. Desdethe jealous Moor,“ of witnessing Desdemona's guilt mona, the gentle, affectionate, uncomplaining Deswith my owneyes, or else thou shalt wish thon hadst demona! in what words can we do justice to the been dumb." While you and the captain were exquisitely delicate pencilling of thy character? We friends," replied the lieutenant, “ the task would all feel its wonderful excellence, but a band as fehave been easy, but now it is otherwise; and though licitous as that which drew the magic portraiture, I am sure be often converses with your wife, the fear is necessary to praise it aright. The villany of of discovery makes him cautious, yet I do not de- Iago makes the spectator shudder : we have beard spair of being able to give you ocular deinonstra of persons who felt a personal dislik

lo Cooke, tion." The lieutenant stole from Desdemona's girdle from associating him with the forcible picture a bandkerchief of curious workmanship, a bridal pre- which he gave

of this character, and even when sest of the Moor's. This

he left in the captain's apart supported by an actor of ordinary talent, it is bent, who knowing it was Desdemona's, was anxious scarcely possible to be quite cool during the perto restore it. The Moor being angry with him, he petration of those enormities, which the archtook occasion while he was absent, to knock gently traitor himself completes with calmness and even at the back door of his bouse; but while be stood levity.

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On the Clowns and fools of Shakspeare.

[Abridged from Douce's Illustrations of Shakspeare.)

That nightingales can scarcely sing a note.

It is quite obvious, that the terms clown and fool VII. The fool in the old dumb shews, often allude were used, though improperly perhaps, as syno to by Shakspeare, nymous by our old dramatists. Their confused VIII. The fool in the Whitsun ales and more introduction might render this doubtful to one who dance. had not well considered the matter. The fool of IX. The mountebank's fool, or merry Andreu our early plays denoted a mere idiot or natural, or There may be others in our ancient dramas, of a else a witty hireling retained to make sport for his irregular kind, not reducible to any of these classes masters. The clown was a character of more variety; but to exemplify them is not within the scope o sometimes he was a mere rustic, and, often, no this essay: what has been stated may assist th more than a shrewd domestic. There are instances readers of old plays to judge for themselves whe in which any low character in a play served to they meet with such characters. amuse with his coarse sallies, and thus became the The practice of retaining fools can be distinctly clown of the piece. In fact, the fool of the drama traced from the remotest times. They were to be was a kind of heterogeneous being, copied in part found alike in the palace and the brothel; the pope from real life, but highly coloured in order to pro- had his fool, and the bawd her's; they excited the duce eflect. This opinion derives force from what mirth of kings and beggars; the hovel of the villain is put into the mouth of Hamlet, when he admo- and the castle of the baron were alike exhilarated nishes those who perform the clowns, to speak no by their jokes. With respect to the antiquity of more than is set down for them. Indeed, Shak- this custom in England, it appears to have existed speare himself canvot be absolved from the impu- even during the period of our Saxon history, but tation of making mere caricatures of his merry we are certain of the fact in the reign of William Andrews, unless we suppose, what is very proba- the Conqueror. Maitre Wace, an historian of that ble, that his compositions have been much interpo- time, bas an account of the preservation of Willated with the extemporaneous jokes of the players. liam's life, when duke of Normandy, by his fool, To this folly, allusions are made in a clever satire, Goles; and, in Domesday- book, mention is made entitled Pasquil's Mad-cappe, throwne at the Cor of Berdia joculator regis; and though this term ruptions of these Times, 1020, quarto.

sometimes denoted a minstrel, evidence might be "Tell country players, that old paltry jests

adduced to prove, that in this instance it signified a Pronounced in a painted motley coate,

bullioon. Filles all the world so full of cuckoes nests,

The accounts of the household expenses of our Oh! bid them turn their minds to better meanings ; kings contain many payments and rewards to fools. Fields are ill sowne that give no better gleanings."

both foreign and domestic. Dr. Fuller, speaking Sir Philip. Sidney reprobates the custom of of the court jester, remarks, in his usual quaint introducing fools on the stage ; and declares that

way,

that it is au oflice wbich none but he tbat bath the plays of his time were neither right tragedies wit can perform, and none but he that wants it will nor right comedies, for the authors mingled kings perform. The names of many of these busfoons are and clowns, “not,” says he, “because the matter preserved ; they continued an appurtenance to the so carrieth it, but thrust in the clowne by bead and English court to a late period. "Muckle John, the shoulders to play a part in majestical matters, with fool of Charles I. the successor of Archee Armneither decencie nor discretion: so as neither the strong, was, perhaps, the last regular personage ! admiration and commisseration, nor the right that kind. The downfall of royalty, and the pori sportfulnesse, is by their mongrell tragie-comedie tanical manners that came into vogue, banished obtained.” Rankin, a puritan, contemporary with this privileged satirist; and, at the Restoration, i Shakspeare, wrote a most bitter attack on plays was deemed of no moment to restore the oflice, so and players, whom he calls monsters ; " and wbie the stories told of Killigrew, as jester to Charles II monsters?" says he: “ because under colour of are without authority. The discontinuance of the humanitie they present nothing but prodigious va court fool influenced the manners of private life, and nitie: these are wels without water, dead branches from one of Shadwell's plays we find, that it wa fit for fuell, cockle amongst corne, unwholesome then unfashionable for the great to retain

domesti weedes amongst sweete hearbes, and, finallie, feends fools. Yet the practice was not abolished; it kep that are crept into the worlde by stealth, and hold its ground so late as the commencement of the las possession by subtill invasion." In another place, century. Dean Swift wrote an epitaph on Dick he says, “ some transformed themselves to roges, Pearce, the earl of Suffolk's fool, baried i other to ruflians, some other to clownes, a fourth to

Berkeley churchyard, June 18, 1728. Lord-cban fooles; the roges were ready, the rullians were cellor Talbot kept a Welsh jester, named Ree rude, theyr clownes cladde as well with country Pengelding; he was a shrewd tellow, and rented condition, as in rufle russet; theyr fooles as fond us farm of his master. The steward, who had been might be.

tailor, and bore him a grudge, put in execution fo To give a clear view of our subject, some bis rent, saying surlily, “I'll lit you, sirrah. thing of the different sorts of fools may be thus Then,” replied Rees," it will be the first tim classed :

in your life that you ever fitted any one." 1. The general domestic fool, termed often, but The entertainzuent fools were expected to allord improperly, a clown; described by Puttenbam as may be collected in great variety from our ol “ a buffoune, or counterfet foole."

plays, especially from those of Shakspeare; bu II. The clown, who was a mere country booby, perbaps, a good idea may be formed of their gener or a witty rustic.

conduct from a passage in a curious tract by Lodi III. The female fool, who was generally an idiot. entitled, Wit's Miserie, 1599, quarto : * {mode

IV. The city or corporation fool, an assistant in rate and disordinate joy became incorporate in t! public entertainments.

bodie of a jeaster; this fellow in person is comel V. The tavern fool, retained to amuse the cus- in apparell courtly, but in behaviour a very ap tomers.

and no man; bis studie is to coin bitter jeasts, VI. The fool of the ancient mysteries and moral to shew antique motions, or to sing baudie sonne ities, otherwise the vice.

and ballads; give him a little wine in bis head,

a bei

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fool that be was "a meagre, poor spirited buf* Because," replied Perron, “he lives by a trade which the fool belaboured those who offended him, which be does not understand." The license allowed them was very great, but did not always form of it varied, and was often obscene in the afford them protection. Archbishop Laud's dis- highest degree. In some old prints, the fool apgracefal severity to poor Archee is well known. pears with a sort of flapper or rattle, surrounded The doke d'Espernon, though a high-spirited man, with bells. This implement was used for the same condacted bimself with much more discretion. purpose as the bladder. The fool's dagger, occaMaret, the fool of Louis XIII. whose chief talent sionally mentioned, was probably the wooden was mimicry, frequently mocked the duke's Gascon sword of the Vice in the Moralities, a thin piece of accent; and Richelieu, who was fond of admonishing lath which he used to belabour the devil. him, desired him, among other things, to get rid of his provincial tones, at the same time counterfei'ing bury's fool wore a coxcomb and a wooden dagger. take the advice in ill part. “Why should I ?" is called “a wooden dagger gilded o'er ;” and in bis speech, and sarcastically begging he would not In Chapman's Widow's Tears, an upstart governor King's fool, who mocks me in your presence.” replied the duke;" when I bear as much from the the Noble Gentleman, a person likened to a fool Fools, bowever, did not always escape with impumity. Whipping was the punishment commonly worn in Shakspeare's time, was the long petticoat, inflicted. Hence, in Twelfth Night, Olivia, ad- which originally belonged to the idiot or natural whipped." On the contrary, they were often treated | How it came into use for the allowed fool, is not

With regard to the fool's business on the stage, guarded or fringed with yellow. In one instance
it was nearly the same as in reality, with this dif-
ference, that the wit was more highly seasoned. In | Epigrams, 1639, quarto, there is one addressed
Middleton's Mayor of Quinborough, a company of
actors, with a clown, make their appearance, and
Semea.....Fre, fye, your company

Mast fall apon him and beat him; be's too fair,
Chester. Not as he may be dress'd, sir.

To make the people laugh.
Since........Faith, dress him how you will. 1'11 gire bim

That gift, he will never look half scarvily enough.
Oh! the elowns that I have seen in my time,
The very peeping out of one of them would have
Made a young heir laugb, though his father lay
Aman undone in law the day before,
Hare burst him self with laugbing, and ended all
(The saddest case tbat can be) might for his second

Some talk of things of state, of puling stuff;
Smen....Away then, hift; clown, to thy motley crupper

Those who desire accurate information concern-
ing the dresses that belonged to the characters in garment was often decorated with fox or squirrel
question at various periods, should consult ancient tails. In The Pope's Funeral, 1605, quarto, we
prints and paintings, particularly the miniatares
bat embellish manuscripts. But the difliculty of noddy before I leave him, that all the world will
Shakespeare's age were always habited, is insuper-combe for his foolishness, and on his back a fox
able. In some cases the dramas themselves assist, tayle for his badge." This custom was perhaps

thecalrical fools and clowns of deeme bim worthy to wear in his forehead a coxby references which leave little doubt; but this is designed to ridicule a fashion common among the

is continually Bearing and making of mouthes : he not common.

Artists formerly did not devote dances about the house, leaps over tables, out-skipscovery of a single painting

of this kind would be

much of their time to theatrical subjects; the dismen's heads, trips up his companions heeles, burns more valuable than a folio of conjectural dissertasack with a candle, and hath all the feats of a lord tion. As, however, the costume of the time would of misrole in the countrie: feed him in his humour, in some degree be preserved on the stage, the Foa sball bare his heart; in mere kindness he will materials which remain to illustrate the dress of bag you in his armes, kisse you on the cheeke, and the real fools may supply the defect. rapping out an borrible oath, crie God's soule, Tum, I love you, you knowe my poore heart, come

The garb of domestic fools in Shakspeare's day, to my chamber for a pipe of tobacco, there lives not

was of two sorts. In the first, the coat was motley å man in this world that I more honour." In these girdle, with bells at the skirts and elbows, though

or parti-coloured, and attached to the body by a ceremonies you shall know his courting, and it is a not invariably. The hose and breeches close, and

speciall mark of him at table, che sits and makes frequently each leg of a different colour. A hood, ESETT tried him, your wardropes shanabe basted, your falling down over part of the breast and shoulders

. credits crackt, your crownes consemed, and lime It was sometimes adorned with asses' ears, or terhobe most precious riches of the world, alterly minated in the neck and head of a cock, a fashion

As these birelings required considerable skill and comb or crest only of the animal, whence the term leierit toplease their employers, they sometimes cockscomb was afterwards applied

to any silly upe not the duke of Mantua, the Dalbe observedno nis puppet

. The bauble originally used in King Lear, wie die geht. Cardinal Person, being in company baabie, Ornamented

with a fool's head, a doll

, or a

was extant so late as Garrick's the figure he Bleede Why soplicemanded the banke instrument

, was annexed an inlated bladder, with or with whom he was disposed to make sport. The

In Elizabeth's time, the archbishop of Canteris desired to wear a great wooden dagger.

The other dress, which seems to have been most “Sirrah, the . feelingly exemplified in so obvious. It was, like the former, of various colours, the materials often rich, as of velvet, and

. In to a giglot with her greene sicknesse,” in which are these lines :

“Thy sicknesse mocks thy pride, that's seldom seene

But in foole's yellow, and the lover's greene." [i'faith, And from a manuscript note we learn, that yellow

was the foole's colour in the time of the Commonwealth.

Yet the foregoing were not the only modes in which domestic fools were habited. The hood was occasionally without a coxcomb, instead of which a bell or bells appeared. A feather was frequently added to the comb; and in an old Mo

rality, the fool says, Tere was a merry world, my masters!

“By my trouth the thing that I desire most in a play like to a clown,

Is in my cappe to have a goodly seather." grace to hit on it, that's the thing

In mimicry of a monk's crown, the head was sometimes shaved, and in one instance the hair is made to represent a triple or papal tiara. The find this passage :-“I shall prove him such a

Spe resarse Faller, gris his bat be thal y

of Archer

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with great tenderness, as is
the conduct of Lear.

IT,

Fogae, lat. le Roster ore the car sler to Chry ontinuince il private by e had, that se lo retain toga bolished: 112 cement of

the following dialogue ensues:
ist Chester.. This is our clown,

epitaph od 1

sir.

fool, hem 128. Lord

ster, 3d

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llow, 2017 I, who bodisi at in erechten hit rog, be the inte As Obe. xpected to dr er front

His miseries. He

There's nothing If he have ube inderd.

Shakspeare

ned of their vus tractbela.

quarto: "ley

incorporate is : 7 person is aviour a rei

learning how the

in bitter jest

ving baude sang ine in bis best

On the Clowns and Ffools of Shakspeare.

(Abridged from Douce's Illustrations of Shakspeare.)

It is quite obvious, that the terms clown and fool VII. The fool in the old dumb shews, often alladed were used, though improperly perhaps, as syno to by Shakspeare. nymous by our old dramatists. Their confused VIII, The fool in the Whitsun ales and morris introduction might render this doubtful to one who dance. had not well considered the matter. The fool of IX. The mountebank's fool, or merry Andrew. our early plays denoted a mere idiot or natural, or There may be others in our ancient dramas, of an else a witty hireling retained to make sport for his irregular kind, not reducible to any of these classes; masters. The clown was a character of more variety; but to exemplify them is not within the scope of sometimes he was a mere rustic, and, often, no this essay: what has been stated may assist the more than a shrewd domestic. There are instances readers of old plays to judge for themselves wben in which any low character in a play served to they meet with such characters. amuse with his coarse sallies, and thus became the The practice of retaining fools can be distinctly clown of the piece. In fact, the fool of the drama traced from the remotest times. They were to be was a kind of heterogeneous being, copied in part found alike in the palace and the brothel; the pope from real life, but highly coloured in order to pro- had his fool, and the bawd her's; they excited the duce eflect. This opinion derives force from what mirth of kings and beggars; the hovel of the villain is put into the mouth of Hamlet, when he admo- and the castle of the baron were alike exhilarated nishes those who perform the clowns, to speak no by their jokes. With respect to the antiqaity of more than is set down for them. Indeed, Shak- this custom in England, it appears to have existed speare himself cannot be absolved from the impu- even during the period of our Saxon history, but tation of making mere caricatures of his merry we are certain of the fact in the reign of William Andrews, unless we suppose, what is very proba- the Conqneror. Maitre Wace, an historian of that ble, that his compositions have been much interpo- time, has an account of the preservation of Willated with the extemporaneous jokes of the players. liam's life, wlien duke of Normandy, by his fool, To this folly, allusions are made in a clever satire, Goles; and, in Domesday. book, mention is made entitled Pasquil's Mad-cappe, throwne at the Cor- of Berdia joculator regis; and though this term ruptions of these Times, 1020, quarto.

sometimes denoted a minstrel, evidence might be “Tell country players, that old paltry jests

adduced to prove, that in tbis instance it signified a Pronounced in a painted motley coate,

bulloon.
Filles all the world so full of cuckoes nests,
That nightingales can scarcely sing a note.

The accounts of the household expenses of our
Oh! bid them turn their minds to better meanings; kings contain many payments and rewards to fools,
Fields are ill sowne that give no better gleanings."

both foreign and domestic. Dr. Faller, speaking Sir Philip, Sidney reprobates the custom of of the court jester, remarks, in his usual quaint introducing fools on the stage; and declares that way, that it is au oflice wbich none but he that bath the plays of his time were neither right tragedies wit can perform, and none but he that wants it will nor right comedies, for the authors mingled kings perform. The names of many of these builoons are and clowns, “not,” says he, “because the matter preserved; they continued an appurtevance to the so carrieth it, but thrust in the clowne by head and English court to a late period. Muckle John, the shoulders to play a part in majestical matters, with fool of Charles I, the snccessor of Archee Armneither decencie nor discretion: so as neither the strong, was, perhaps, the last regular personage of admiration and commisseration, nor the right that kind. The downfall of royalty, and the purisportfulnesse, is by their mongrell tragie-comedie tanical manners that came into vogue, banished obtained.” Rankin, a puritan, contemporary with this privileged satirist; and, at the Restoration, it Shakspeare, wrote a most bitter attack on plays was deemed of no moment to restore the ollice, for and players, whom he calls monsters; “and whie the stories told of Killigrew, as jester to Charles II. monsters ?" says he: " because under colour of are without authority. The discontinuance of the humanitie they present nothing but prodigious va court fool intluenced the manners of private life, and nitie: these are wels without water, dead branches from one of Shadwell's plays we find, that it was fit for fuell, cockle amongst corne, unwholesome then unfashionable for the great to retain domestic weedes amongst sweete hearbes, and, finallie, feends fools. Yet the practice was not abolished; it kept that are crepi into the worlde by stealtlı, and hold its ground so late as the commencement of the last possession by subtill invasion.

In another place,

century. Dean Swift wrote an epitaph on Dicky some transformed themselves to roges, Pearce, the earl of Suffolk's fool, buried in other to rusians, some other to clounes, a fourth to Berkeley churchyard, June 18, 1728. Lord-chanfooles; the roges were ready, the ruslians were cellor Talbot kept a Welsh jester, named Rees rude, theyr clownes cladde as well with country Pengelding; he was a shrewd fellow, and rented a condition, as in rufle russet; theyr fooles as fond us farm of bis master. The steward, who had been a might be.

tailor, and bore him a grudge, put in execution for To give a clear view of our subject, some his rent, saying surlily, “I'll fit you, sirrah." thing of the different sorts of lools may be tbus Then,” replied Rees, “it will be the first tiine classed:

in your life that you ever fitted any one.” I. The general domestic fool, termed often, but The entertainment fools were expected to afford, improperly, a clown; described by Puttenham as may be collected in great variety from our old “ a buffoune, or counterfet foole.'

plays, especially from those of Shakspeare: but, II. The clown, who was a mere country booby, perhaps, a good idea may be formed of their general or a witty rustic.

III. T'he female fool, who was generally an idiot. entitled, Wit's Miserie, 1599, quarto : Imode

IV. The city or corporation fool, an assistant in rate and disordinate joy became incorporate in the public entertainments.

bodie of a jeaster; this fellow in person is comely, V. The tavern fool, retained to amuse the cas in apparell courtly, but in behaviour a very ape, tomers.

and no man ; his studie is to coin bitter jeasts, or VI. The fool of the ancient mysteries and moral to shew antique motions, or to sing bandie sonnets ities, otherwise the vice.

and ballads ; give bim a little wine in his head, he

he says,

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