« AnteriorContinuar »
Art. IV.-Ballad illustrative of Romeo and Juliet.
In “Romeo and Juliet,” act iv. sc. 5, Peter, after urging the musicians to play the tune of “Heart's Ease,” assigns as a reason that he wishes it as a contrast to the ballad of “My heart is full of woe,” which his own heart plays in consequence of the supposed death of Juliet. Steevens, in a note, informs us that “My heart is full of woe” is the burden of a ballad called “A pleasant new ballad of two Lovers ;" but he quotes no more of it, and we look in vain for it in Percy's “Reliques," among the pieces illustrative of Shakespeare. Mr. Chappell, in his “Collection of National English airs, ii., 137, in reference to “ Heart's Ease,” and “My heart is full of woe,” quotes the passage from “Romeo and Juliet," and adds in a note two lines with which the ballad begins, but I have met with no part of it elsewhere. As the whole of it is clearly worth preserving, both for its own sake and because it is mentioned by our great dramatic poet, and as a copy of it happens to be in my possession, I subjoin it as a small contribution to the Papers of the Shakespeare Society.
Romeo and Juliet” having been first printed in 1597, the ballad must have been anterior to that date: the manuscript comedy of “ Misogonus,” written by a person of the name of Richards, (according to Mr. Collier, in his “Hist. of Engl. Dram. Poetry,” ii., 470,) prior to 1560, contains a song “to the tune of Heart's Ease,” and very possibly “My heart is full of woe" is as old, although my copy of it is of the commencement of the seventeenth century. It is in black letter, and was “printed by the assigns of Thomas Symcockc,” who, I believe, had a patent for the publication of such productions early in the reign of James I. It is ornamented by two woodcuts, representing a gentleman and a lady of rank, both coarse in their execution, but one much inferior to the other.
Come, gallant, now, come, loyterer,
For I must chide with thee; But yet I will forgive thee once :
Come, sit thee downe by mee. Faire lady, rest yourselfe content, I will endure your punishment,
And then we shall be friends againe.
in 1597, the e manuscript
the name of st. of Engl
. à song “t Hy heart is of the comblack letter, cke," he productions ed by the rauk, both he other.
For every houre that I have stayd
So long from you away,
Receive them, ready pay.
For he is blest that's punisht so.
And if those thousand kisses, then,
We chance to count aright,
Till we in bed doe light.
So shall we still agree as one.
And thus they spent the silent night,
In sweet delightfull sport,
From out the fiery port,
Betwixt these lovers two.
And then this gallant did perswade,
That he might now begone.
That I have stayd too long.
Then, welcome all my care and woe.
And then she took her lute in hand,
And thus began to play :
But on her bed she lay.
Untill that he doth come againe.
If I am not much mistaken, the Members of the Shakespeare Society will be obliged to me for perpetuating such a gracefully
written relic of antiquity, which in point of style and sentiment is hardly unworthy even of the great poet who has only quoted a part of the last line of the first stanza. No hint is anywhere given who might be its author, and it is only mentioned, that I am aware of, by Steevens and by Mr. Chappell, who does not state from whence he derived his information in this instance; perhaps from the very copy of the ballad now before
once in his hands. His two volumes are full of new and interesting matter relating to the old ballad literature of our country, and to the music to which ballads were sung.
me, for it
PS. I ought to add that the same broadside which contains the preceding ballad has another upon it, entitled “The Lover's Complaint for the Losse of his love,” with a woodcut of a shepherd. It is also “To a pleasant new tune,” but it has no connexion with Shakespeare or his works.
Art. V.-Additions to “ The Alleyn Papers."
In the Introduction to “The Alleyn Papers,” printed by the Shakespeare Society, it is stated that, in consequence of the little value in the last century supposed to belong to the documents preserved at Dulwich College, many of them disappeared, and that, although most of them have found their way back again, there are, no doubt, some still in hands which hardly know they possess them. Such is precisely my case: the publication of " The Alleyn Papers," and the curious matters they contain, led me to search my own receptacles of " unconsidered trifles,” in hopes of finding something that might answer the purpose, and be worthy of insertion among the proposed miscellany of the Shakespeare Society. My father and my grandfather had got a good many small manuscripts together, but generally relating to heraldry, or to some of “the six follies of science," as Mr. Pettigrew calls them, in his not less learned than amusing volume recently printed, on “ the Superstitions connected with Medicine and Surgery.” However, among them I discovered two or three of a different kind, relating to poets, poetry, and players, and copies of these I subjoin in order to contribute what I can to the general stock of information. The first is a scrap from Robert Daborne, the dramatist, whose name occurs so often in “ The Alleyn Papers,” and it appears to be connected in subject with the note on p. 63 of that work; and we may gather from it that Daborne had mortgaged his estate. The Mr. Benfield mentioned in it must have been Robert Benfield, the actor, of whom we hear frequently at about the time of Shakespeare's retirement from the stage. The note is upon a small square piece of paper, and to whom it was addressed is not stated, but we may perhaps conclude that it was to Henslowe, who had advanced small sums to Daborne