« AnteriorContinuar »
maintaine themselves and their wives and families (being both married and of good reputacon) as well as the widowes and orphanes of some of their dead fellows. Yo' Lo. most bounden at coin. Copia vera.
5. Draft of warrant appointing Robert Daborne, William Shakespeare, &c. instructors of the Children of the Queen's Revels—(See note 82, p. xxxvii.) and Collier's Life of Shakespeare, pp. 197-8:
Right trustie and well beloved &c. James, &c. To all Mayors, Sheriffes, Justices of the peace, &c. Whereas the Queene our dearest wife hath for her pleasure and recreacon appointed her servauntes Robert Daborne &c. to prouide and bring uppe a convenient nomber of children who shalbe called the children of her Mates revelles. Knowe yee that We have appointed and authorized and by these presentes doe appoint and authorize the saide Robert Daborne, Willm Shakespeare, Nathaniel Field, and Edward Kirkham from time to time to prouide and bring vpp a convenient nomber of children, and them to instruct and exercise in the qualitie of playing Tragedies Comedies &c. by the name of the children of the acuelles to the Queene, within the blacke Fryers in our Cittie of London and els where within our realme of England. Wherefore we will and commaund you and everie of you to permitte her said servantees to keepe a convenient nomber of children by the name of the children of the reuelles to the Queene, and them to exercise in the qualitie of playing acording to our Royall pleasure. Provided allwayes that noe playes &c. shalbe by them presented, but such playes &c. as haue receiued the aprobacon and allowance of our Maister of the Reuelles for the tyme being. And these our lies shalbe yok sufficient warraunt in this behalfe. In Witnesse whereof &c. 4° die Janii, 1609. Bl Fr and globe
Curten and fortune) All in & neere
IN DULWICH COLLEGE. 1. Alleyn and Kempe's Wager, which Mr. Collier introduces as follows:
“But there is another paper of a very similar kind, apparently referring to the preceding, or to some other like contest, but containing several remarkable allusions, which Malone did not notice. Perhaps it never met his eye, or perhaps he reserved it for his Life of Shakespeare, and was unwilling to forestall that production by inserting it elsewhere. It seems to be of a later date, and it mentions not only Tarlton, Knell, and Bentley, but Kempe, Phillips, and Pope, while Alleyn's rival Burbage is sneered at as 'Roscius Richard,' and Shakespeare introduced under the name of Will, by which we have Thomus Heywood's authoritie (in his ‘Hierarchie of the blessed Angels,' 1635, p. 206) for saying he was known among his companions. The paper is in verse, and runs precisely as follows : ""Swett Nedde, nowe wynne an other wager
If Roscius Richard foames and fumes,
The globe shall have but emptie roomes ;
If thou doest act; and Willes newe playe
Shall be rehearst some other daye.
Consent, then, Nedde; doe us this grace :
Thou cannot faile in anie case ;
For in the triall, come what maye,
All sides shall brave Ned Allin saye.'"
Memoirs of Alleyn, p. 13, ed. J. P. Collier, 1841
2. A list of players, added to a genuine memorandum ; (See note 77, p. xxxv.) of which addition Mr. Collier says:
“Malone also appears to have reserved another circumstance, of very considerable importance in relation to Shakespeare, for his life of the poet. To the last-quoted document, but in a different hand and in different ink, is appended a list of the king's players. The name of Shakespeare there occurs second, and as it could not be written at the bottom of the letter of the Council to the Lord Mayor, &c. prior to the date of that letter, it proves that up to 9th April, 1604, our great dramatist continued to be numbered among the actors of the company.
Hitherto the last trace we have had of Shakespeare as actually on the stage, has been as one of the performers in
COLLIER's Memoirs of Alleyn, p. 68. 3. A letter from John Marston to Henslow, heralded thus :
“The following undated note from Marston to Henslowe may not be unfitly introduced here : it refers to a play by Marston on the subject of Columbus, of which we hear on no other authority. It is one of the scraps of correspondence between Henslowe and the poets in his employ, existing at Dulwich College, of the major part of which Malone has given copies, but omitting the subsequent, which is certainly one of the most interesting of the whole collection
« «Mr. Hensloe, at the rose on the Bankside. “ If you like my play of Columbus, it is verie well and you shall give me no more than twentie poundes for it, but If nott, lett mee have it by this Bearer againe, as I knowe the kinges men will freelie give mee as much for it, and the profitts of the third daye moreover.
“Soe I rest yours
COLLIER's Memoirs of Alleyn, p. 154. 4. A slip purporting to be a list of the inhabitants of Southwark who made a complaint,-against what is not specified,-in 1596, and which Mr. Collier's Life of Shakespeare, p. 126, represents as “valuable only because it proves distinctly that our great dramatist was an inhabitant of Southwark very soon after the Globe was in operation.” (See note 61, p. xxxi.)
5. “A breif noat taken out of the poores booke, contayning the names of all thenhabitants of this Liberty which are rated and assesed to a weekely paimi towardes the relief of the poore, as it standes now encreased, this 6. day of Aprill, 1609,” &c. This document is quoted by Mr. Collier in his Memoirs of Edward Alleyn, p. 91, and in his Life of Shakespeare, p. 187, to show that Shakespeare, at the date in question, was rated to the poor of the Clink in Southwark as an “inhabitant” at 6d. per week. Among the names on this list are Henslowe, Alleyne, Lee, Benfield, Lowins, Towne, Jubye, Hunt, Shakespeare, and Bird, all connected with the theatres of the period. (See note 89, p. xxxvii.)
IN THE STATE PAPER OFFICE. 1. A petition of Thomas Pope, Richard Burbadge, John Hemings, Augustine Phillips, William Shakespeare, &c. &c. For this instrument, see note 59, p. xxx.
Although the above are all of the documents brought to light by Mr. Collier which have been subjected to paleographic examination and are condemned as spurious, they form but a small part of his discoveries which stand suspected. But as the remainder will shortly undergo investigation by skilled paleographers, it is not prudent to offer an opinion on their authenticity based only upon internal evidence.
PRELIMINARY MATTER IN THE FOLIO OF 1623.
To the Most Noble and Incomparable Paire of Brethren. William Farle of Pembroke, &c., Lord
Chamberlaine to the Kings most excellent Majesty. And Philip Earle of Montgomery, &c., Gentleman of his Majesties Bed-chamber. Both Knights of the most noble Order of the Garter, and our singular good Lords.
Whilst we studie to be thankful in our particular, for the many favors we have received from your LL., we are falne upon the ill fortune, to mingle two the most diverse things that can bee, feare, and rashnesse ; rashnesse in the enterprize, and feare of the successe. For, when we valew the places your HH, sustaine, we cannot but know their dignity greater, then to descend to the reading of these trifles : and, while we name them trifles, we have depriv'd our selves of the defence of our Dedication. But since your LL have beene pleas'd to thinke these trifles something, heeretofore; and have prosequuted both them, and their Authour living, with so much favour : we hope, that they out-living him, and he not having the fate, common with some, to be exequutor to his owne writings) you will use the like indulgence toward them, you have done unto their parent. There is a great difference whether any Booke choose his Patrones, or finde them : This hath done both. For, so much were your LL likings of the severall parts, when they were acted, as before they were published, the Volume ask'd to be yours. We have but collected them, and done an office to the dead, to procure his Orphanes, Guardians ; without ambition either of selfeprofit, or fame : onely to keepe the memory of so worthy a Friend, & Fellow alive, as was our SHAKESPEARE, by humble offer of his playes, to your most noble patronage. Wherein, as we have justly observed, no man to come neere your LL but with a kind of religious addresse; it hath bin the height of our care, who are the Presenters, to make the present worthy of your HH, by the perfection. But, there we must also crave our abilities to be considerd, my Lords. We cannot go beyond our owne powers. Country hands reach foorth milke, creame, fruites, or what they have : and many Nations (we have heard) that had not gummes & incense, obtained their requests with a leavened Cake. It was no fault to approch their Gods, by what meanes they could : And the most, though meanest, of things are made more precious, when they are dedicated to Temples. In that name therefore, we most humbly consecrate to your HH. these remaines of your servant Shakespeare; that what delight is in them, may be ever your LL, the reputation his, & the faults ours, if any be committed, by a payre so carefull to shew their gratitude both to the living, and the dead, as is
Your Lordshippes most bounden,
In the preliminary matter of the first and second, folio: l spelling , the sense was not obscured by it, to I have old, quaint the ancient punctuation also.
THE ADDRESS TO THE READER.
To the great Variety of Readers.
From the most able, to him that can but spell : There you are number'd. We had rather you were weighd. Especially, when the fate of all Bookes depends upon your capacities : and not of your heads alone, but of your purses. Well! It is now publique, & you wil stand for your priviledges wee know: to read and censure. Do so, but buy it first. That doth best commend a Booke, the Stationer saies. Then, how odde soever your braines be, or your wisedomes, make your licence the same, and spare not. Judge your sixe-pen'orth, your shillings worth, your five shillings worth at a time, or higher, so you rise to the just rates, and welcome. But, whatever you do, Buy. Censure will not drive a Trade, or make the Jacke go. And though you be a Magistrate of wit, and sit on the Stage at Black-Friers, or the Cock-pit to arraigne Playes dailie, know, these Playes have had their triall alreadie, and stood out all Appeales; and do now come forth quitted rather by a Decree of Court, then any purchas'd Letters of commendation.
It had bene a thing, we confesse, worthie to have bene wished, that the Author himselfe had liv'd to have set forth, and overseen his owne writings ; But since it hath bin ordain'd otherwise, and he by death departed from that right, we pray you do not envie his Friends, the office of their care, and paine, to have collected & publish'd them; and so to have publish'd them, as where (before) you were abus'd' with diverse stolne, and surreptitious copies, maimed, and deformed by the frauds and stealthes of injurious impostors, that expos'd them : even those, are now offer'd to your view cur'd, and perfect of their limbes; and all the rest, absolute in their numbers, as he conceived thē. Who, as he was a happie imitator of Nature, was a most gentle expresser of it. His mind and hand went together : And what he thought, he uttered with that easinesse, that wee have scarse received from him a blot in his papers. But it is not our province, who onelie gather his works, , and give them you, to praise him. It is yours that reade him. And there we hope, to your divers capacities, you will finde enough, both to draw, and hold you : for his wit can no more lie hid, then it could be lost. Reade him, therefore ; and againe, and againe : And if then you doe not like him, surely you are in some manifest danger, not to understand him.
ifest danger, not to understand him. And so we leave you to other of his Friends, whom if you need, can bee your guides : if you neede them not, you can Jeade yourselves, and others. And such Readers we wish him.
PREFIXED TO THE FOLIO OF 1623.
To the Reader. This Figure, that thou here seest put, It was for gentle Shakespeare cut; Wherein the Graver had a strife With Nature, to out-doo the life : O, could he but have drawne his wit As well in brasse as he hath hit His face; the print would then surpasse All, that was ever writ in brasse, But, since he cannot, Reader, looke Not on his Picture, but his Booke.-B. J.
Wee thought thee dead, but this thy printed
worth, Tels thy Spectators, that thou went'st but forth To enter with applause. An Actor's Art Can dye, and live to acte a second part. That's but an Exit of Mortalitie ; This, a Re-entrance to a Plaudite.-I. M.
TO THE MEMORIE of the deceased Authour
Maister W. SHAKESPEARE. SHAKE-SPEARE, at length thy pious fellowes give The world thy Workes : thy Workes, by which,
out-live Thy Tombe, thy name must: when that stone is
rent, And Time dissolves thy Stratford Moniment, Here we alive shall view thee still. This booke, When Brasse and Marble fade, shall make thee
looke * Fresh to all Ages; when Posteritie Shall loath what's new, thinke all is prodegie That is not Shake-speares; ev'ry Line, each Verse, Here shall revive, redeeme thee from thy Herse. Nor Fire, nor cankring Age, as Naso said, Of his, thy wit-fraught Booke shall once invade. Nor shall I e're beleeve, or thinke thee dead (Though mist) until our bankrout Stage be sped (Impossible) with some new strain t'out-do Passions of Juliet, and her Romeo ; Or till I heare a Scene more nobly take, Then when thy half-Sword parlying Romans spake, Till these, till any of thy Volumes rest, Shall with more fire, more feeling be exprest, Be sure, our Shake-speare, thou canst never dye, But crown'd with Lawrell, live eternally.
To the memory of my beloved, the AUTHOR,
and what he hath left us.
more? But thou art proofe against them, and, indeed, Above th' ill fortune of them, or the need. I, therefore, will begin. Soule of the Age ! The applause! delight ! the wonder of our Stage! My Shakespeare, rise! I will not lodge thee by b Chaucer or Spenser, or bid Beaumont lye A little further, to make thee a roome: Thou art a Moniment, without a tombe, And art alive still, while thy Booke doth live, And we have wits to read, and praise to give. That I not mixe thee so, my braine excuses,I meane with great, but disproportion'd Muses ; For if I thought my judgement were of yeeres, I should commit thee surely with thy peeres, And tell, how farre thou didst our Lily out-shine, Or sporting Kid, or Marlowe's mighty line. And though thou hadst small Latine, and lesse
Greeke, From thence to honour thee, I would not seeke For names; but call forth thund'ring Æschilus, Euripides, and Sophocles to us,
To the Memorie of M. W. Shake-speare. WEE wondred (Shake-speare) that thou went'st so From the Worlds-Stage to the Graves-Tyring
• These lines, written by Ben Jonson, refer to, and are placed opposite, the engraved portrait of Shakespeare in the first folio.
6 Jonson here alludes to the following lines by W. Basse, which were for some time attributed to Donne, and printed among his poems :
"Renowned Spenser, lie a thought more nigh
Until doomsday; for hardly will a fifth,