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strangers. Now Craft accosted him in his sleepe, and tempted him with the proposals of several professions; but for the knavery or slavery of them, he rejected all; his munificence constrained him to love money, and his magnanimity to hate all the ways of getting it.” He now sought fortune at sea; but sir Humphrey Gilbert's fleet, in which he had embarked, was ruined by an engagement with the Spaniards. Poor Whetstone was thus reduced to write for bread. Ascham tells us, that “trits live obscurely, men care not how, and die neglected, men mark not chere.” And where or in what manner this amiable man breathed his last, we are totally ignorant. WARNER, A NAtiv F. of Warwickshire, much celebrated for a metrical chronicle of British history, called Albion's England, which is written throughout with great ability, and occasionally evinces a highly |. spirit. Percy says of Warner:—“To is merit nothing can be objected, unless, perhaps, an affected quaintness in some of his expressions, and an ...]. in some of his ho The following account of his death is extracted from the parish register of Amwell:—“1608-9. Master William Warner, a man of good years, and of honest reputation; by his profession, atturney at common plese; author of Albion's England; dyinge suddenly in the nyght in his bedde, without any former complaynt or sicknesse, on Thursday nyght, being the 9th daye of March, and was buried the Saturday following, and lieth in the church at the upper end, under the stone of Gwalter Sludes.” Warner also wrote Syrinx, or, a Seaven told Historie, handled with varietie of pleasant and profitable, both comicall and tragicall Ar
gument, 1597. TAYLOR,
The water poet, he having been a sculler on the Thames. He was once mad enough to venture himself, with a companion, in a paper boat to Rochester, when they were both nearly drowned. He seems to have been very illiterate ; but in spite of the most disheartening obstacles, he applied himself to composition, and his productions are far from contemptible. Taylor was a violent royalist. At the commencement of the rebellion he retired to Oxford, but that city being surrendered to the parliament, he returned to London, and kept a pool. in Long Acre. At the king's death, e set up the sign of the Mourning Crown, which, giving offence, he substituted his own effigy, inscribed with this distich : “There's many a king's head hang'd ". for a sign, And many a saint's head too. Then why not mine " SIR WILLIAM DAVENANT, Born at Oxford, 1605, and supposed by some, though on very slight grounds, to have been a natural son of §... At Ben Jonson's death he was chosen laureate; and in 1643, having distinguished himself on a variety of occasions, he received the honour of knighthood from Charles I. After the judicial murder of that monarch, he retired to the continent with queen Henrietta and the rince of Wales. Being employed in their service, e was taken prisoner, confined at Cowes castle, and his life threatened. Under these trying circumstances, Davenant's courage was singularly conspicuous; he was then writing his poem of Gondibert, and notwithstanding the almost certain prospect of immediate death, such was his fortitude and self possession, that he was able to proceed with the work. A fact like this, is more homourable to Davenant than volumes of panegyric.
at the Duke's theatre, in Lincoln's Inn Fields; and here it was that he first introduced the present mode of illustrating the drama by means of appropriate scenery and decorations. Davenant died at an advanced age, admired and beloved by all parties. Dryden, and we cannot give nobler praise, estimated his talents very highly.
SIR PHILIP SYDNEY, A hero, in whom all the chivalrous virtues which we read of in romance, and which we are accustomed to treat as fabulous, were realized. His person was the perfection of the human form; he was brave to a fault; his munificence was princely; and his courteous manners won the hearts of all that approached him. In the presence of monarchs his humility was that of an equal; but when the poor and miserable surrounded him, his countenance beamed with welcome and kindliness. To all these amiable qualities, were united a depth of learning and a felicity of genius, which entitle him to rank with the best writers of his age. He was the darling of England and the admiration of Europe. He was born at Penshurst in Kent, 1554; he remained at Oxford till his 17th year, and then set out on the grand tour. At his return, in the ride of his youth and the full vigour of his intelect, queen Elizabeth appointed him her ambassador to the friendly German powers; but when the fame of his valour and genius became so general, that he was put in nomination for the kingdom of Poland, she refused to sanction his advancement lest she should lose the brightest jewel in her crown. His life was one continued course of glorious actions, and he died the death of a hero, being slain at the battle of Zutphen, in 1586, while he was mounting the third horse, having previously had two killed under him. He wrote one dramatic piece, The Lady of the May, a masque, acted before Elizabeth, in the gardens of Wanstead, in Essex; but his noblest work is the Arcadia, which, with his poems, will live as long as the language in which they are written.
MARY HERBERT, COUNTESS OF
The favourite sister of Sydney, to whom he dedicated his Arcadia. This lady was a generous friend of learning and genius, and her own endowments were of the first order. Francis Osborne, in his Memoirs of King James, says of her, “She was that sister of sir É. Sydney, to whom he addressed his Arcadia, and of whom he had no other advantage than what he received from the partial benevolence of fortune in making him a man, which yet she did in some judgements, recompence in beauty, her pen being nothing short of his, as I am ready to attest, so far as so inferior a reason may be taken, having seen incomparable letters of hers. But, lest I should seem to o: upon truth, which few do unsuborned. (as I protest I am, unless by her rhetoric, ) I shall leave the world her epitaph, in which the author (B. Jonson,) doth manifest himself a poet in all things but untruth:
“Underneath this sable hearse
And these were Shakspeare's contemporaries :
and a few brief pages is all we afford to the fame of those, who, while living, filled the world with received permission to open a theatre in Charter- their genius. Melancholy reflection —this, if an ohouse Yard. When Charles II. ascended, the thing can, must teach us the nothingness of earthiv throne, Sir William received a patent to act plays honours. -
At the intercession of Milton he was spared, and
Cheatres in $5akspratt's Cime.
It has been erroneously asserted, that there were seventeen theatres in London, all open at once, in the time of Shakspeare; a mistake, into which Dodsley and others were led by the Continuator of Stowe, who mentions, that between 1370 and 1630, that number was built; but in which he includes five inns, turned into playhouses, and St. Paul's singing school. He does not, howover, say that they were all open at the same time. The real number was ten, viz. Three private houses, Blackfriars, Whitefriars, and the CockPit, or Phoenix, in Drury Lane; and seven that were termed public theatres, viz. the Globe, on Buikside; the Curtain, in Shoreditch; the Red Ball, in Red Bull Yard, at the upper end of St. John's Street, Clerkenwell; the Fortune, in Whitecross Street, or Golden Lane; and the Swan, the Rose, and the Hope, on the Bankside; but the Swan and the Hope having fallen to decay early in James the First's reign, and the Hope being used as a bear garden, they ought not to be enumerated with the regular theatres.
THE BLACKFRIARS the Atre Is stated by Skottowe to have been the first building in England, exclusively devoted to the Purposes of the drama, and was emphatically termed The Theatre. How he gained this informato does not appear; but it is at variance with Malone's account, who states in his elaborate, but ill-arranged History of the English Stage, that of the playhouse, called The Theatre, he is unable to *scertain the situation; but he conjectures it to have been in some remote and privileged place, from its being hinted at in a sermon by j tockj. 1578:—“I know not how I might, with the godly-learned especially, more discomold the gorgeous playing-place, erected in the *lds, than to term it, as they are pleased to have it called, a Theatre.” Chalmers is of the same †. as Skottowe, that what was termed The fatre was situated in the Blackfriars; to confirm which, he quotes an extract from a letter of the Privy Council, dated 1st Aug. 1577, and address“d to lord Wentworth, to the Master of the Rolls, *d the Lieutenant of the Tower, in which it is reo of them “that for avoiding the sickness on the heat of the weather, they take immediate order, as the Lord Mayor had done within the ity, that such players as do use to play without the city, within that county, (Middlesex), as The *atre, and such like, shali forbear any more to Play until Michaelmas is past.” To make this apPoy to the playhouse at o he supposes 'hat place to be without the Lord Mayor's jurisotion. He then goes on to state, that “before lo, there was a playhouse at Newington Butts, * Surrey, which was denominated The Theatre.” It is therefore evident, that nothing certain re*Poeting it can be ascertained. he Blackfriars Playhouse was situated *ar the present Apothecaries' Hall, close to which. * reader will recollect, that there is at this time (1823) a place called Playhouse Yard. Skottowe *firms it to have been erected about 1570, before *hich period, dramatic performances (the Myste* and Moralities) were presented in churches; *d subsequently, when religious dramas gave Place to profane subjects and pieces of mere amuse*ht, in the halls of universities and inns of court, Palaces of royalty, the mansions of the nobility, : in temporary erections in the court yards of
The distinguishing marks of what were termed
private playhouses, have not hitherto been ascertained. It is certain, however, that they were smaller than the public theatres, a fact, which is ascertained from these lines, in an epilogue to Tottenham Court, a comedy by Nabbes:
“When others' fill'd rooms with neglect disdain ye, My little house with thanks shall entertain ye.”
They were only opened in the winter, and the performances were by candle-light. It would appear too, that the audience was of a more select and higher class, and a portion was privileged to sit on the stage, an indulgence not allowed in the public theatres, and for which an extra fee was demanded.
It is stated in Camden's Annals of the Reign of King James the First, that this theatre fell down in 1623, and that above eighty persons were killed; but from an old tract, printed in the same year in which the accident happened, it is evident that he was misinformed, and that the room which gave way was in a private, house, appropriated to the service of religion. The title of § pamphlet is as follows: A Word of Comfort, or a Discourse concerning the late lamentable Accident of the Fall of a Room at a Catholic Sermon in the Blackfriers, London, whereby about Fourscore Persons were oppressed. That it was not the theatre which fell down is further confirmed by the following lines, prefixed to a play called The Queen, published in 1653:
“...... ... We dare not say.. ... that Blackfriars we heare, which in this age Fell, when it was a church, not when a stage; Or that the Puritans that once dwelt there, Prayed and thriv'd, though the play house were so neare.”
In this theatre, the Children of the Revels occasionally performed. These were juvenile actors, selected from the choristers of the public schools and the Chapel Royal, who exhibited in the dramatic entertainments performed at court. They are distinguished in the records of the time as the Children of Paul's, the Children of Westminster, and the Children of the Chapel. The Children of Paul's were the favourites at the accession of Elizabeth; but were soon rivalled by the others. By the celebrity of their performances, they excited the envy of the established comedians, as appears from Shakspeare's Hamlet, (Act II. Sc. 2.) Chalmers thinks it probable, that though they were termed Children, some of them might have been men ; in support of which opinion, he cites the word bairn, which, in the Scottish poets, signifies a young man as well as a child, and states the word child to be employed in the same sense by Shakspeare, and in the ancient ballads. This opinion is, however, without foundation; as in many documents of the period they are termed boys; and the word child was employed by the old writers to signify a knight or hero. Boswell (jun.) expresses himself (and with reason) at a loss to discover where Chalmers could find authority for such an assertion.
Many pieces were performed "g these Children in this theatre before 1580. Sometimes they played entire pieces; at others, they assisted the adult performers, by representing such juvenile characters as are found in Shakspeare's plays. The Case is Altered, by Ben Jonson, appears to have been wholly acted by them. This comedy was published in 1609, “as acted by the Children of Blackfriers.
All the plays of Shakspeare seem to have been performed at this theatre, and at the Globe.
Of this theatre, few particulars hay. been ascertained. It smees to have been, like that at Blackfriars, a winter theatre, and was built before 1580, as appears from a puritanical pamphlet, published in 1628, in which the author, descanting on the vices of that period |. says: “Many oodly citizens and well-disposed gentlemen of ndon, considering that playhouses and dicinghouses were traps for young gentlemen and others, and perceiving that many inconveniences and great damage . ensue upon the long suffering of the same, acquainted some pious magistrates therewith, who thereupon made humble suite to queene Elizabeth and her Privy Councill, and obtained leave from her *. to thrust the players out of the city, and to pull down all playhouses and dicing-houses within their liberties, which accordingly was effected, and the playhouses in Gracious Street, Bishopsgate Street, that nigh Paul's, that on Ludgate Hill, and the Whitefriers, were quite pulled ãon and suppressed by these religious senators.”—What he calls the theatres in Gracious Street, Bishopsgate Street, and Ludgate Hill, were the temporary scaffolds erected at the Cross Keys Inn, in Gracechurch, Street; the Bull, in Bishopsgate. Street; and the Belle Sauvage on Ludgate Hill. That “nigh Paul's" was St. Paul's school room, behind the Convocation-house. The White FRIARs The Athe was situated either in Salisbury Court or the narrow street leading into it. . It was either rebuilt in 1613, or intended to be rebuilt, as there is an entry in the office book of the Master of the Revels, “ 3. 13, 1613, for a license to erect a new playhouse in the Whitefriers, £20;” but it is doubtful whether this scheme was then carried into execution, because a new playhouse was crected in Salisbury Court in 1629. That theatre, probably, was not bn the site of the old one in Whitefriars; for Prynne speaks of it as then newly built, not rebuilt; o'. the same place he mentions the rebuilding of The Fortune and The Red Bull. Had the old theatre in Whitefriars been pulled down and rebuilt, he would have used the same language with respect to them all. At this theatre too, the Children of the Revels occasionally performed; for we find A Woman’s a Weathercocke played by them here in 1612. It is very probable, that either a part of them was ap
or that they acted alternately at each. It is also probable, that they received instruction from the elder performers, by which means they became what Malone terms, “a promptuary of actors;” as in a manuscript in the Inner Temple, No. 515, vol. vii. supposed to be a copy of some part of the lord chamberlain's household, appears “A warrant to the Signet Office, (dated July 8, 1622) for a privie seale for his majesties licensing of Robert Lee, Richard Perkins, Ellis Woorth. Thomas Basse, John Blany, John Cumber, and William Robbins, late comedians of queen Anne deceased, to bring up children in the qualitie and exercise of playing comedies, histories, interludes, morals, pastorals, stage plaies, and such like, as well for the solace and pleasure of his majestie, as for the honest recreation of such as shall desire to see them ; to be called by the name of The Children of the Revels; and to be drawne in such a manner and form as hath been used in other lycenses of that kinde.” It became early a practice to purvey boys who had musical voices, as choristers for the Chapel Royal. Tusser, who wrote The Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry, appears to have been thus taken to propriated, uring the reign of Henry *Thence for my voice, I must (no choice) Away of force like posting-horse;
For !"; men had placards then Such child to take.”
THE cockpit, or PhoeNix THEATRE,
WAS situated in Drury Lane, and had been originally a cockpit. Malone conjectures it to have been called The Phoenix, from that fabulous bird having been its sign. It was built, or rebuilt. not very long before 1617, in which year, we learn from Camden's Annals of King James the First, that it was pulled down by the mob. It was arterwards rebuilt, and was standing some time after the Restoration.
The players, who performed at this theatre in the time of James I, were called the Queen's Servants till the death of queen Anne (his consort) in I619; after which, they were for some time denominated the Lady Elizabeth's Servants; and after the marriage of Charles I, they regained their former title of the Queen's Players.
a propriated to this theatre * that at Blackfriars,
1594 to 1610. It cost £520 for its erection, as appears from the following memorandum in his hand-writing in one of his pocket books: “What The Fortune cost me, Nov. 1599: First, for the leas to Brew . . . . $240
Then for building the playhouse 520 For other privat buildings of myn owne 120 So it hath cost me in all for the leasse . £880
“Bought the inheritance of the land of the Gills of the Isle of Man within the Fortune, and all the howses in Whight Crosstreet and Goulding-lane, in June 1610, for the some of £340.
“Bought in John Garret's leasse in reversion from the Gills, for 21 years, for £100. So in all it cost me els20.
“Blessed be the Lord God everlasting.”
It was originally a round brick building, and its dimensions may be conjectured from the following advertisement in The Mercurius Politicus, Tuesday, Feb. 14, to Tuesday Feb. 21, 1621, for the preservation of which, we are indebted to Mr. Steevens: “The Fortune play-house situate between Whitecross-street and Golding-lane, in the parish of Saint Giles, Cripplegate, with the ground thereto belonging, is to be lett to be built upon; where twenty-three tenements may be erected, with gardens; and a street may be cut through for the better accommodation of the buildings.”
The Fortune is spoken of as a playhouse of considerable size, in the prologue to the Roaring Girl, o which was acted there, and printed in 611:
Howes, in his continuation of Stowe's Chronicle, p. 1004, edit. 1631, says, it was burnt down in or about the year 1617: “About foure yeares after, (i.e. after the burning of the Globe) a fayrestrong new-built play-house near Golden-lane, called the Fortune, [. negligence of a candle was cleane burnt to the ground, but shortly after re-built far fairer.” He is, however, mistaken as to the time, for it was burnt down in December, 1621, as we learn from a letter in Dr. Birch's collection in the Museum, from Mr. John Chamberlain to Sir Dudley Carleton, dated Dec. 15, 1621, in which is the following paragraph, “On Sunday night here was a great fire at The Fortune, in Golding-lane, the first play-house in this town. . It was quite burnt downe in two hours, and all their apparell and playbooks lost, whereby those poore companions are uite undone. There were two other houses on fire, but with great labour and danger were saved.” MS. Birch, 4173. It does not appear whether by “the first play-house in this town,” he means the first in point of size or dignity, or the oldest. Prynne says that the Fortune, on its re-building, was 3. Epistle Dedicat. to Histriomastix, quarto, 1633. Before this theatre there was either a picture or statue of Fortune. See The English Traveller, by Heywood, 1633: “... ----- I'le rather stand here, Like a statue in the fore-front of your house For ever; like the picture of dame Fortune Before the Fortune play-house.” The above is a representation as it now stands, 1825, with the exception of the figures at each end being removed, and a trilling alteration in the lower part.
*A rearing girl, whose notes till now ne'er were, shall fill with laughter our vast theatre.”
The RED BULL THEATRE.
Little more of this theatre is known than that it formerly stood on a plot of ground, called, till within these twenty years, Red Bull Yard, near the upper end of St. John Street, Clerkenwell.
During the civil wars, it was much reputed for the o of Drolls, to a collection of which pieces, published by Francis Kirkman in 1672, the annexed view forms a frontispiece. This relique derives much interest from its throwing some light on the interior economy of the ancient theatres. The figures on the stage are supposed to be | ". of the popular actors in these drolls. The one playing Simpleton is known to be Robert Cox, then a great favourite, of whom the publisher to. speaks in his preface : “I have seen the Red Bull playhouse, which was a large one, so full, that as many went back for want of room as had entered. Robert Cox, a principal actor and contriver of these pieces, how have I heard him cryed up for his John Swabber, and Simpleton the Smith; in which latter, he being to appear with a large piece of bread and butter on the stage, I have frequently known some of the female spectators to long for it.”
We are enabled to present our readers with a representation of this theatre, copied from an engraved view of London, made about the year 1612. A very rude wood-cut of this edifice appears in Malone's Shakspeare from the long Antwerp view of London, in |. Pepysian Library at Cambridge; but from the coarseness of the execution, it gives a very inadequate idea.
The Globe was a public theatre of considerable size, situated on the Bankside, the southern side of the Thames, nearly opposite Friday-street, Cheapside; and the performances always took place in summer, and by day-light. It is not certain when it was built. Hentzner, the German traveller, who gives an anusing description of London in the time of queen Elizabeth, alludes to it as existing in 1598; but it was probably not built long before 1596. It was an hexagonal wooden building, partly open to the weather, and #. thatched with reeds, on which a pole with a lag was erected, to give notice that the entertainments were going on. It was called the Globe, from its sign, which was a figure of Hercules, or Atlas, supporting the globe, under which, was written: Totus mundus agit histrionem. (All the world acts o This theatre was burnt down June 29, 1613. The above view represents it previously to the conflagration. The o account of this accident is given by sir Henry Wotton, in a letter dated July 2, 1613, Reliq. Wotton, p.425, edit. 1685: “Now to let matters of state sleepe, I will entertain you at the present with what or. this week at the Banks side. The King's players had a new play called All is True, representing some principal pieces of the reign of Henry the #. "... set forth with many extraordinary circumstances of pomp and majesty, even to the matting of the stage; the knights of the order with their Georges and Garter, the guards with their embroidered coats, and the like: sufficient in truth within a while to make greatness very familiar, if not ridiculous. Now King Henry making a Masque at the Cardinal Wolsey's house, and certain cannons being shot off at his entry, some of the paper or other stuff, wherwith one of them was stopped, did light on the thatch, where being thought at first but an idle smoak, and their eyes more attentive to the show, it kindled inwardly, and ran round like a train, consuming within less than an hour the whole house to the very ground. This, was the fatal period of that virtuous fabrick, wherein yet nothing did perish
but wood and straw, and a few forsaken cloaks. only one man had his breeches set on fire, that would perhaps have broyled him, if he had notb! the benefit of a provident wit, put it out with a bottle of ale.” From a letter of Mr. John Chamberlaine's to it Ralph Winwood, dated July 8, 1613, in which this accident is likewise mentioned, we learn that this theatre had only two doors. “The burning of the Globe or playhouse on the Bankside on St. Peter: day cannot escape you; which fell out by a peal of chambers, (that I know not upon what occasion were to be used in the play,) the tampin or stopple of one of them lighting in the thatch that coverd the house, burn’d it down to the ground in less than two hours, with a dwelling-house adjoyning: and it was a great marvaile and fair grace of God that the people had so little harm, having but too narrow doors to get out.” Winwood's Memorials, vol. iii. p. 469. Not a single life was lost. In 1613, was entered on the Stationers' books, A doleful Ballad of the General Conflagration of the famous Theatre on the Bankside, called the Globe. Taylor, the water poet, commemorates the event in the following lines: “As gold is better that in fire's tried, So is the Bankside Globe. that late was burn'd, For where before it had a thurched hido, Now to a stately theatre 'tis turn'd Which is an emblem that great thing- are won. By those that dare through greatest danger-run." It is also alluded to in some verses by Ben Jonson, entitled, An Execration upon §. from which it appears, that he was in the theatre when it was burnt. It was rebuilt in 1614, and decorated with more ornament than was bestowed on the former theatre. The exhibitions appear to have been calculated for the lower class of people. and were more frequent than at Blackfriars, till 1604 or 1605, when it seems to have become less popular. Being contiguous to the Bear-garden, it is probable, that those who resorted there went to the theatre when the bear-baiting sports were over, and such persons were not "à. y to form a very judicious audience. Those actors who made the most noise were the most applauded, (a sure mark of the quality of the auditors,) as appears from the following passage in Gayton's Notes or Don Quixote, 1654–"I have heard that the poet, had always a mouth measure for their actors, who were terrible tear-throats, and made their lines proportionable to their compasse, which wer, sesquipedales, a foot and a halse.” In some verses