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bearer to the London. Afterwards, he went over
million important to bim. He is said to have have been a favourite actor. But Field's claiin to written The Merry Devil of Edmonton ; but this is notice rests on better grounds; for Massinger did doubtful, and were the fact established, it would not think bimself disgraced by receiving his ascontribute but little to his fame.
sistance in the composition of The Fatal DowryPHINEAS FLETCHER.
and bis ability for the task is evident from what This poet, whose great genius is obscured by he has done in his own dramas. His best plays the robe of allegory which it assumed, is the
are, A Woman's a Weathercock, 1612 ; and author of a singular production called the Purple
Amends for Ladies, 1618; both of which are highly Island, in which all the various parts of the human praised by Chapman, a very competent judge. body are described with wonderful ingenuity and
PEELE. truth. The subject was an unhappy one ; and the
A WRITER of pastorals, considered very excelpoem, in spite of its great merit, is seldom or ever perused. Fletcher also wrote Piscatory Eclogues, ber of antiquity. He was likewise a dramatist of
lent in his day, but now forgotten amidst the lamsbort pieces possessing considerable excellence,
some eminence; and for many years, as city poet, and one or two dramatic performances which have had the ordering of the pageants ou lord mayor's no striking recommendation.
day. His life appears to have been spent in a DANIEL.
course of follies and debaucheries of the lowest This author, who was considerable in his own description, which is the more singular, as he was time, both as a poet and historian, was born 1562. educated at Oxford, then the school of every virHis style is remarkably correct, and at once free tue. He wrote, among other dramas, Edward the from bombastical extravagance and meagre on First, 1593 ; and The Loves of King David and meaning simplicity. In Spenser's Colin Cloat's Faire Bethsabe, 1599. Come Home Again, he is highly praised, and indeed most of the writers of that age agree in eulo
The celebrated author of The Emblems, and gizing bis productions. He succeeded Spenser in the laureateship. His Philotas, 1605, when equally remarkable for his genius and misfortunes first acted, gave offence, as it was thought the hero
He was educated at Cambridge, where he distinwas drawn from Elizabeth's unfortunate favourite, guished himself by unaffected piety and anassumithe earl of Essex. In this play he treads closely / ing talent. For a considerable time he was cupin the steps of the ancients, and has introduced
of Bohemia, and chronologer choruses between the acts. In his Cleopatra, 1594, he follows Plutarch's account of that re
to Ireland, and became secretary to the truly markable woman, and has produced a very ex
good and amiable prelate, Usher, archbishop of cellent drama. The dialogue in both instances is Armagh; but the unsettled state of that country extremely poetical.
soon forced him to resign bis post, and returning
to England, he closed his earthly career 1614, aged CHETTLE.
52. He was buried in the church of St. Vedast, A DRAMATIST of wbom no record remains. In: Foster-lane. Quarles is best known by his Dideed, the period to which these brief memoirs re vine Emblems, a work once universally popular fer, abounds with instances of writers who are but now, on account of its obsolete quaintness o only known to have existed by their works. He style, little read, except by a particular class o wrote Hot Anger soon Cold, 1598; All is not religionists. He wrote The Virgin Widow, 1619 Gold that Glisters, 1600; Cardinal Wolsey, 1601; a play which has no faults and few merits. Langand various other plays, all distinguished by an baine soms up his character of Quarles in these originality of tone, which we should vainly look words : “He was a poet that mixed religion and for in productions of loftier pretension.
fancy together, and was very careful in all bi BROWNE.
writings not to intrench upon good manners by The praise which Milton has bestowed on this any scurrility in his works, or any ways offending poet, the author of Britannia's Pastorals, entitles against bis duty to God, his neighbour, or him him to our favourable notice ; and there are such self.” unequivocal evidences of genius in his works, that
NASH. we cannot sufficiently regret, that he should bave An eccentric and unfortunate man of genius been ejected from his niche in the Temple of Fame whose vices were his worst enemies. After by any newer candidate for immortality.
restless life, passed in continual alterations from
want to abundance, he died about 1601, as littl A VERY powerful writer, bold and original in Pierce Pennilesse' is written with infinite fire an
Jamented in dying, as respected when living. Hi conception, but rude and uncouth in expression spirit, but seems to breathe the sentiments of His principal works are, The Bristol Tragedy, 1602; and The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green, world. Towards the close of bis days, he seem
man in a paroxysm of rage against the whol. with The Merry Humour of Tom Strowd, the Norfolk Yeoman, divers times pablicly acted by the
to have repented of his excesses; for in a pamphle
called Christ's Tears over Jerusalem, he write Prince his Servants, 1600.
thus : "A hundred oufortunate farewells to fan DAVENPORT.
tasticall satirisme. In those vaines, heretofore He is reported to have written something jointly mispent my spirit, and prodigally conspire with Shakspeare, and his intellectual character against good hours. Nothing is there now would jastly have entitled him to the honour of much in my vowes as to be at peace with all men such an associate. His comedy of A New Trick and make submissive amends where I have mos to Cheat the Devil, abounds with grotesque and displeased. To a little more wit have my increas humorous situations, and his King Jobn and Ma- | ivg yeeres reclaimed mee then I had before ; thostilda abundantly prove his tragic powers.
that have been perverted by any of my workes FIELD.
let them reade this, and it shall thrice more bene This poet is supposed to be the same person
fit them. The autumne I imitate, in shedding m whose name appears with those of Burbage, Hem- leaves with the trees, and so doth the peacock mings and Condell, in the prefatory sheet of the
shead his taile.” Nash was peculiarly success first folio edition of Shakspeare. He is also men
ful in satire ; in an old copy of verses he is thu tioned in the dramatis personæ prefixed to the spoken of: Cynthia's Revels of Ben Jonson, and seems to
"Sharply satyrie was he, and that way
Few have attempted; and I surely think
sion of Loosenesse proffered to the Wanton, quarto,
bl. lett, 1582.
Lyly bas committed many extravagancies in Nasha composed three plays; among them was these productions, and they were, no doubt, much Dido, Queen of Caribage. Copies of this drama overrated; but the excellencies which they unare encommonly scarce. Malone gave 161. 16s. questionably contained are now as anjustly overfez one at Dr. Wright's sale.
looked; for if, on the whole, Lyly's attempt must THOMAS SACKVILLE, LORD BUCK
be considered a failure, on such an occasion even HURST.
failure was glorious, and entitles bim to be rememOne of the most illustrious noblemen of an age
bered with respect. when titular honours were bestowed, not merely
GREEN. as nominal distinctions, but as the best rewards
This highly talented, but most immoral anthor, for great and virtuous actions. He is mentioned
was celebrated, in his day, for a broad and coarse, bere on account of his having been concerned in but spirited and characteristic vein of humour, the composition of Ferrex and Porrex, the first
which runs through all his productions. His Tegular tragedy ever performed on the English dramas are very numerous, and many plays are asstage
. Of this drama, surreptitiously printed under cribed to him on mere supposition; but he unthe title of Gorbodac, 1565, and with its present doubtedly wrote The History of Friar Bacon and desiguation 1571, Norton wrote the first three acts,
Friar Bongay, 1594; The Comical History of Aland Lord Buckhurst, then Mr. Sackville, the last phonsus, King of Arragon, 1594; and The Scottishe 180. It was acted by the gentlemen of the Inner Story of James the Fourthe, slaine at Flodden, inTemple, at Whitehall
, before queen Elizabeth, termixed with a pleasant Comedie presented by on the 18th of January, 1561, many years prior to
Oberon, King of the Fairies, 1599. of this last the appearance of Shakspeare. Sir Philip Syd- play, Shakspeare seems to have made some use in ney in his Defence of Poesie, says, “Our trage
bis Midsummer Night's Dreain. dies and comedies, not without cause cried out
GASCOIGNE. against, observing rules neither of honest civilitie, This author translated The Supposes, from AriDor skilfal poetrie, excepting Gorboduc, which, osto, and Jocasta, from Euripides; besides which, notwithstanding as it is full of stately speeches, he wrote the Glass of Government, 1566, and, cimbing to the height of Senaca his style, and as The Princely Pleasures of Kenilworth Castle, 1587. fall or notable moralitie, which it doth most de- The Supposes is among the earliest regular dramas Lightfally teach, and so obtain the very end of produced on our stage ; and Gascoigne, both in poesie: yet, in truth, it is very defectious in the this translation and his original compositions, has circumstances; which grieves me, because it displayed very superior endowments. might not remain an exact model of all tragedies. For it is faultie both in place and time, the two ne
GAGER. cessary companions of all compositions.”
A PROFOUNDLY learned man.
His compositions are in the Latin tongue, and we should not LODGE.
have noticed him but on account of Anth. a'Wood's A DOCTOR of medicine in great practice towards singular panegyrio of his genius : " He was an exthe end of Elizabeth's reign. He acquired consi- cellent poet, especially in the Latin language, and derable extra-professional reputation, both as a reported the best comedian of his time, whether it poet and a wit. His dramatic works are, Wounds was Edward, earl of Oxford, Will. Rowley, the of Civil War, 1594, and A Looking Glass for Lon once ornament for wit and ingenuity, of Pembroke dan and England, 1594. Judging from these com Hall in Cambridge, Richard Edwards, John Lylie, positions, the writer seems to have been most hap. Tho. Lodge, Geo. Gascoigne, Will. Shakspeare, prin satire, there is a playful smartness about bis Tho. Nash, or Jobn Heywood.” In 1608, this samé jokes, which is highly agreeable and amusing.
Gager, maintained at Oxford, a thesis, that it was
lawful for husbands to beat their wives; so that his LYLY.
elaborate Latin dramas have small chance of find. This anthor, the most popular writer of his ing favour with the blues of the nineteenth century. times, was born about 1553. He studied first at Oxford, but latterly at Cambridge ; being of good
PRESTON. family, be followed the court, expecting to be Tragedie, mixed full of pleasant Mirth; contayn
This person wrote about 1561, A lamentable thong from attendance on Elizabeth bat disappointing
the Life of Cambises, King of Persia, from the ment, the usual wages of courtiers. He died in beginning of bis Kingdome unto his Death ; his one the prime of life, 1597, universally regretted and good Deede of Execution after the many wicked respected. His dramas are nine in namber: Alex- | Deeds and tirranoas Murders committed by and under and Campaspe, 1584, and Mother Bombie, through bim; and last of all, bis odions Death by 1594, are the best; but his claims on the notice of
God's Justice appointed; doon on such Order as posterity are referable to the two following works, of followeth. Which Shakspeare is supposed to ridiwhich we shall give the titles at length, as he therein cole, when he makes Falstaff talk of speaking in made the praise-worthy attempt to reform and pu
king Cambyses' vein. rify oor language from the ancouth, barbarous,
WHETSTONE. and obsolete expressions by which it was then This writer is only known by his Promos and over-run:- The Anatomie of Wit, verie pleasant Cassandra, a play of which Shakspeare has un
for all Gentlemen to read, and most necessary to doubtedly'availed himself in bis Measure for Meai remember: wherein are conta yued the Delyghts sure. It appears that Whetstone first tried his for
that Wit followeth in his Youth by the pleasant- tune at court, and dissipated his patrimony in vain Beste of Love, and the Happiness he reapeth in expectation of preferment. Destitute of subsistAge by the Perfectnesse of Wisdome, quarto, bl. ence, he became a soldier, and served with so much het. 1381.– Eaphues and his England, containing credit that he was rewarded with additional
pay. bis Voyage and Adventares, mixt with
sandrie Honour, however, is a bad pay-master, and he prettie Discourses of honest Love, the Description was compelled to convert his sword into a ploughof the Countrie, the Court, and the Manners of share. His farming concerns proved unfortunate, That Isle, delightfal to be read, and nothing hurt- and in his necessity he tried the generosity of his fail to be regarded : wherein there is small Offence friends. This be found was a broken reed,
and by Lightnesse given to the Wise, and less Occa worse than common beggary of charity from
On the Clowns and fools 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 all 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 me 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 Andr our early plays denoted a mere idiot or natural, or There may be others in our ancient dramas, of else a witty hireling retained to make sport for his irregular sind, not reducible to any of these class masters. The clown was a character of more variety; but to exemplify them is not within the scope sometimes he was a mere rustic, and, often, no this essay: what has been stated may assist ti 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 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 Conqueror. 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, 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 Berdin 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
The accounts of the household expenses of our
both foreign and domestic. Dr. Fuller, speaking Sir Philip Sidney reprobates the castom 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 be that wants it will nor right comedies, for the authors mingled kings perform. The names of many of these buffoons 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 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 oflice, 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 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 was fit for fuell, cockle amongst corne, unwholesome then unfashionable for the great to retain domestic weedes amongst sweete bearbes, and, finallie, feends fools. Yet the practice was not abolished; it kept that are crept into the worlde by stealth, 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 ruftians, some other to clownes, a fourth to Berkeley churchyard, June 18, 1728. ' Lord-chanfooles; the roges were ready, the ruflians 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 his 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, sirralı." thing of the dillerent sorts of fools may be thus Then,” replied Rees," it will be the first time 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.
conduct from a passage in a curious tract by Lodge, III. The 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 ivcorporate in the public entertainments.
bodie of a jeaster; this fellow in person is comely, V. The tavern fool, retained to amuse the cus in apparell courtly, but in behaviour a very ape, tomers.
and no man; bis studie is to coin bitter jeasts, or VI. The fool of the ancient mysteries and moral to shew antique motions, or to sing baudie sonnets ities, otherwise the vice.
and ballads; give bim a little wine in his head, he
is continually flearing and making of mouthes : he not common. Artists formerly did not devote langtis intemperately at every little occasion, and much of their time to theatrical subjects; the disdances about ihe house, leaps over tables, oat-skips covery of a single painting of this kind would be Ben's heads, trips up his companions' heeles, burns more valuable than a folio of conjectural dissertasuck with a candle, and hath all the feats of a lord tion. As, however, the costume of the time would of misrule in the countrie: feed him in his humour, in some degree be preserved on the stage, the you shall have his heart; in mere kindness he will materials which remain to illustrate the dress of bag you in his armies, kisse you on the cheeke, and the real fools may supply
the defect. rapping oat an borrible oath, crie God's soule, The garb of domestic fools in Shakspeare's day, Tum, I love you, you knowe my poore heart, come was of two sorts. In the first, the coat was motley to my chamber for a pipe of tobacco, there lives not or parti-coloured, and attached to the body by a a man in this world that I more honour.' In these girdle, with bells at the skirts and elbows, though ceremonies you shall know his courting, and it is a not invariably. The hose and breeches close, and speciall mark of him at table, he sits and makes frequently each leg of a different colour. A hood, faces; keep not this fellow company, for in jingling like a monk's cowl, covered the head entirely, with him, your wardropes shall be wasted, yoar falling down over part of the breast and shoulders. credits craekt, your crownes consumed, and time it was sometimes adorned with asses' ears, or ter(the most precious riches of the world,) utterly minated in the neck and head of a cock, a fashion lost.”
as old as the fourteenth century. It often had the As these hirelings required considerable skill and comb or crest only of the animal, whence the term dexterity to please their employers, they sometimes cockscomb was afterwards applied to any silly upfailed of saccess, and their paucity of talents ex start. This fool carried in his band a sceptre or cited disgust. Cardinal Perron, being in company bauble, ornamented with a fool's head, a doll, or a with the dake of Mantua, the latter observed of his puppet. The bauble originally used in King Lear, fool that he was “a meagre, poor spirited bus was extant so late as Garrick's time, and the figure foon.". The cardinal replied' that nevertheless of it would have been worth preserving:. To this he bad wit.
“Why so ?" demanded the duke; instrument, was annexed an intlated bladder, with "Because,” replied Perron, “ he lives by a trade wbich the fool belaboured those who offended him, which he does not anderstand.” The license al or with whom he was disposed to make sport. The lowed them was very great, but did not always form of it varied, and was often obscene in the afford them protection. Archbishop Laud's dís- highest degree. In some old prints, the fool apgraceful severity to poor Archee is well known. pears with a sort of flapper or rattle, surrounded The duke d’Esperpon, though a high-spirited man, with bells. This implement was used for the same conducted himself 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 aceent; and Richelieu, who was fond of admonishing lath which he used to belabour the devil. hime, desired him, among other things, to get rid of In Elizabeth's time, the archbishop of Canterhis provincial tones, at the same time counterfei'ing bury's fool wore a coxcomb and a wooden dagger. bis speech, and sarcastically begying he would not In Chapman's Widow's Tears, an upstart governor take the advice in ill part.
** Why should I ?" is called “a wooden dagger gilded o'er ;" and in replied the dake; "when I bear as much from the the Noble Gentleman, a person likened to a fool king's fool, who mocks me in your presence.” is desired to wear a great wooden dagger. Fools, bowever, did not always escape with impu
The other dress, which seems to have been most nity. Whipping was the punishment commonly worn in Shakspeare's time, was the long petticoat, inflicted. Hence, in Twelnb Night, Olivia, ad- which originally belonged to the idiot or natural dressing her jester, says, “Sirrah, you shall be fool, and was adopted for the purpose of cleanliness. whipped.” On the contrary, they were often treated How it came into use for the allowed fool, is not with great tenderness, as is feelingly exemplified in so obvious. It was, like the former, of various the conduct of Lear.
colours, the materials often rich, as of velvet, and 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 dir we have a yellow leather doublet. In Bancroft's ference, that the wit was more highly seasoned. In Epigrams, 1639, quarto, there is one addressed Middleton's Mayor of Quinborough, a company of to a giglot with her greene sicknesse,” in wbich actors, with a clown, make their appearance, and
are these lines: the following dialogue ensues:
“Thy sicknesse mocks thy pride, that's seldom seene in Cheater. This is our clown, sir.
But in foole's yellow, and the lover's greene." Simon .....Fre, fre, your company
(i'faith, Must Fall upon him and beat him; he's too fair,
And from a manuscript note we learn, that yellow To make tbe people laugh.
was the fuole's colour in the time of the Common1st Chester ..Not as he may be dress'd, sir.
Yet the foregoing were not the only modes in
was occasionally without a coxcomb, instead of
which a bell or bells appeared. A feather was
rality, the fool
“ By my trouth the thing that I desire most
Is in my cappe to have a goodly feather."
In nimicry of a monk's crown, the head was Simon .......Away then, shift; clown, to thy motley crupper. sometimes shaved, and in one instance the hair is
Those who desire accurate information concern made to represent a triple or papal tiara. The 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 miniatures find this passage :-"I shall prove him such a that embellish manuscripts.
But the disliculty of noddy before I leave him, that all the world will learning how the theatrical fools and clowns of deeme him worthy to wear in his forehead a coxShakspeare'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 bis badge." This custom was perhaps by references which leave little doubt; bat this is I designed to ridicule a fashion common among the
intellectual benefactors of their species are suffered
ladies in the reign of Edward III. which is thus gave the author an opportunity of shewing hi alluded to in the old Chronicle of England : :-"And genuity in extemporary wit. It is undenia the women more nysely yet passed the men in aray ibat Shakspeare's fools were pre-eminent ab and coriouslaker, for they were so streyt clothed all others.' Shadwell declares they bad more that they let hange fox tailles sowed bineth within mour than any of the wits and critics of his a hir clothes for to hale and bide their a—; the which | Beaumont and Fletcher seldom introduce the disguysinges and pride, paradventure, asterward Ben Jonson and Massinger never. brouzt forth and encaused many myshappes and The practice of putting the fools and clowns meschief in the reame of Englond.”
requisition between the acts and scenes, and afte Idiots or naturals wore calf or sheep's skin; for the play was finished, to amuse the spectators with in the Gesta Grayorum, 1688, quarto, we read, their tricks, may be traced to the Greek and Ro“ The scribe claims the manor of Noverinte, by man theatres; and their usages being preserved in providing sheep skins and calve skins to wrappe his the middle ages, wherever the Roman infuence had highness wards and idiotts in.” A purse or wallet spread, it would not, of course, bę peculiar to at the waist, was part of the fool's dress. Tarl England. The records of the French theatre deton, who personated the clowns in Shakspeare's monstrate this fact; in the Mystery of Saint Barday, appears to have worn it; Triboulet, in Ra- bara, we find this stage direction :-“Pausa. Vabelais, is described as having a budget of tortoise- dunt, et stultus loquitur ;” (A pause. They quit the shell.
stage, and the fool speaks.) and in this way he is The fools, however, did not invariably wear a frequently brought on between the scenes. distinguishing habit : this appears from some of The decline of domestic fools, and its causes, their portraits still remaining. A painting at have been already touched on; the same reason Kensington-palace, by Holbein, represents Will may, in part, be assigned for their dramatic exile. Somers, the fool of Henry VIII. in
In the præludium to Gofle's Careless Shepherdess, dress. In an account of that sovereign's wardrobe, 1656, quarto, there is a panegyric on them, and are these particulars ;-—“For making a dubblette some concern is shewn for the fool's absence in the lyned with canvas and cotton for William Som’ar, play itself, while it is stated that “the motley coat oure foole. Item, for making of a coote and a was banished with trunk-hose.” Yet in Charles cappe of grene clothe, fringed with red crole, and II.'s reign, some efforts were made to restore the lyned with fryse, for oure said foole.” But the character. In the tragedy of Thorney Abbey, or account goes on thus :—" Item, for making of a the London Maid, 1662, 12mo. the prologue is decoote of greene clothe, with a hoode to the same, livered by a fool, who uses these words :-" The fringed with white crule lyned with fryse and bo- poet's a fool who made the tragedy, to tell a story kerham, for our foole aforesaid.”. From these, of a king and a court, and leave a fool out on't
, we infer that he also wore the distinctive habit of when in Pacey's, and Sommer's, and Patche's and the fool. In families where the fool acted as a Archer's times, my venerable predecessours, menial servant, he might have kept bis oflicial fool was alwaies the principal verb.” Shadwell's garb for occasions of ceremony. Want of mate-play of The Woman Captain, 1680, is perhaps the rials to illustrate our subject, renders this part of last in which a regular fool is introduced ; and eren it very imperfect; but the plays of Sbakspeare there, bis master is made to say that the character furnish more information than those of any other was exploded on the stage. In real life, as was writer. It is strange that the domestic fool should formerly stated, the professed fool was to be met so seldom appear in the old dramas, because it not with at a much later period, but the custom bas merely excited mirth among a rude audience, but long been obsolete.
Shakspeare's Dramatic Contemporaries. Perhaps there is no period in the literary history , away the veil from the human heart, and published of mankind distinguished by so many rare examples all its wonderful secrets, with a fidelity and power of real genius, as that which elapsed from the ac. which instantly insured universal attention. No cession of Elizabeth to the commencement of that department of literature received so much adranstormy era which ended in the destruction of tage by the change as the drama. Prior to the time royalty. The mind of man, which had for ages lain of the first Heywood, we find nothing but the Mys. dormant in the sloth of ignorance and superstition, teries, compositions always puerile and insipid
, was, at length, by a variety of concurring causes, and sometimes blasphemous; but the light of pasbut more especially by the Reformation, roused to sion and imagination which broke with him, broadshake off her trammels, and exert her native ener ened and brightened into the full glory of perfect gies with irresistible force. Beings, that for many day, in Shakspeare, and the brilliant host of centuries had scarcely deserved the denomination exalted spirits, that blamed and corruscated round of rational, determining once more to choose their his orbit, like the planetary worlds that revolve and own principles of action, like awakening giants, shine round their great source and centre, the sun, emerged from their intellectual prison-bonse, to Volumes would be required 10 do justice to the expatiate at full freedom over the universe of splendid names alluded to; and, ai present, we nature, and the boundless worlds of imagination. intend little more than brielly to enumerate some of Literature, so long confined to the cell and the those mighty magicians of the heart, whose touch cloister, extended its empire, and found willing and opened all the flood-gates of feeling, and lit enthusiastic worshippers, where, heretofore, the face with smiles, or channelled it with tears at pleaprivilege of mental liberty had been unappreciated and unknown. A string of saintly legends, remarkable only for their folly and extravagance, and composed in barbarous Latin, or volumes of idle for ever; they must yet arise in glory and strength
to sleep in the dust of oblivion, but this cannot be sonnets, crammed with pitiful conceits, uncoutlily for while we acknowledge the transcendent genius expressed, had been all the aliment supplied to the of Shakspeare, we should not forget his conteldparalysed intellect; but now, a daring, unfettered poraries. originality, rife with intense feeling, and cominand
SPENSER. ing a wild profusion of ideas newly dug from the Thus illustrious poet is, from a variety of canses, yet unbroached mines of passion and genius, tore but little read, and less understood, at ihe present