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the sanctity of his person to write a Panl himself thought it not unworthy tragedy, which is entitled 'Christ to insert a verse of Euripides into the Suffering.” Appollinaris, Bishop of text of Holy Scripture ; and Paræus, Laodicea, also in the fourth century, commenting on the Revelations, (liwrote tragedies and comedies, adapted vides the whole book, as a tragedy, to the stage from familiar subjects of into acts, distinguished each by a Scripture, in imitation of Euripides chorus of heavenly harpings, and song and Menander , and Sozomen, who between. Heretofore, men in highest was his contemporary, and had read, dignity have laboured not a little to or seen acted, these compositions, he thought able to compose a tranow lost, says, in his history, w bich gedy." extends from A.D. 324 to 439, that Dionysius the Elder was ambitious they rivalled their great originals in of attaining this honour. Queen genius, expression, and conduct. To Elizabeth, on the authority of Sir these two ecclesiastical dramatists, we Robert Naunton, translated a tragedy may add Theophylact, archbishop of of Euripides. Augustus Cæsar found Bulgaria in the eleventh century, who it easier to govern the world than to instituted religious plays at Constan- rival Sophocles. He commenced a tinople, to wean the people from the tragedy, but broke down half-way. payan revels which still hung on to When asked what had become of his a lingering and precarious existence; "Ajax,” he replied, “ In spongiam but the objectionable manner in which incubuit it has fallen upon a sponge.” he handled solemn subjects appears In France, and other countries of the to have excited much scandal amongst Continent, the national stage is conhis more scrupulous brethren. sidered of so much importance as a
In modern times, the list of church- leading attraction to divert the public men who have advocated and written mind, that it is supported by a grant for the stage would fill more space from the government; a wise arrangethan the limits of a magazine article ment amongst such inflammable popuwill allow. On the suppression of lations as some of our neighbours learning, the place of the classical have frequently shown themselves. drama in Italy, Germany, France, and The reply of the actor, Pylades, to England were for a long time supplied Augustus, when that emperor was by mysteries and moralities, mimics temporarily excited against the theaand mummeries, which, it is well tre, and refused his personal patronknown, were written and acted by age, contained sound legislative reathe clergy. Impious and absurd as soning: “This resort, O Cæsar, is these strange inventions appear to us, good for thee; for here we keep thouthey were composed in solemn serious- sands of idle heads occupied which ness, and not intended to be either else, peradventure, would brew some profane or ridiculous.
mischief !” In Milton's MSS., preserved in When the civil war broke out beTrinity College, Cambridge, are one tween Charles the First and his Parhundred plans of subjects intended liament, the Puritans, having a large by him for tragedies, from the Scrip- majority in the Representative Astures and from British history. On sembly, shut up the theatres, and this, Bishop Hurd observes, “Many passed an Act to the effect that all of these subjects in Milton's hands stage-galleries, seats, and boxes, should would have made glorious tragedies ; be pulled down by two justices of and we cannot enough lament that the peace ; that all actors of plays, the prejudices of his age should have for the time to come, being condiscouraged him from giving us more victed, should be publicly whipped ; of these dramas. Milton says, in and that all spectators of plays, for his preface to “Samson Agonistes,” every offence, should pay a fine of “Tragedy, as it was anciently com- five shillings. Under this interdict, posed, hath ever been held the gravest, we rejoice to find that most of the moralest, and most profitable of all poor players,” like men of spirit other poems; hence philosophers and and faithful servants of the King, the most serious writers, as Cicero, with
the exception of Lowin, Taylor, Plutarch, and others, frequently cite and Pollard, who were superannuated, out of tragic poets to adorn and illus- shouldered arms, and entered the trate their discourse. The Apostle Royal army. Robinson was killed by
the enthusiast Harrison, who refused in Italy and foreign parts; and in hiin quarter, and shot him through Michaelmas, 1629, they had French the head, after he had surrendered women-actors in a play personated at himself, exclaiming at the same time, Blackfriars, to which there was a “Cursed be he that doeth the work great resort. In the “Ball,”, a of the Lord negligently.”. Mohur comedy, by Chapman and Shirley, was a captain ; and, after the struggle printed in 1639, l'reshwater, speaking was over, served in Flanders, where of the plays at Paris, says :-*" Yet he received rank and pay as a major. the women are the best actors"; they In the dramatis personæ of plays, play their own parts, a thing much printed after the Restoration, he desired in England.". usually figures as Major Mohur. In Davenant's and Killigrew's paHart was a lieutenant of horse in tents there was a clause which ran Prince Rupert's regiment. Burt served thus :-“Whereas the women's parts as cornet in the same troop; and in plays have hitherto been acted by Shatterel as quarter-master." Allen, men in the habits of women, at which of the Cockpit, was a major and some have taken offence, we do perquarter-master-general at Oxford. mit and give leave for the time to Swanston is said to have been the come that all women's parts be acted only actor of note who sided with the by women.' other party. He was a Presbyterian, Queen Elizabeth and King James and took up the trade of a jeweller. were great patrons of the theatre. The military propensity continued to They went without much state, and pervade the histrionic to a later period. sat amongst their subjects in conUnder King William's reign, Gritfin, siderable discomfort. The buildings Carlisle, and Wiltshire held com- were rude and small, and more than missions as captains. The two last half the stage was occupied by the were killed in Ireland--one at Augh- audience. There were no scenes, but rim, the other at Limerick.
merely curtains or hangings ; and Pepys says that on the 3rd of when the locality was supposed to January, 1661, he witnessed the great shift from England to France, from novelty of the female parts in the Padua to Verona, from the castle to “Beggars' Bush," being performed by the cottage or open country, a board
Mrs. Anne Marshall and was exhibited, something after the Mrs. Sanderson, who afterwards mar- fashion of a sign-post, with the place ried the famous Betterton, are gene- written thereupon. The mise en scene, rally named as the first English or mounting of a play, as it is now actresses. It is satisfactory to record, affectedly, and not very intelligibly, that both were said to be as virtuous called in modern critical phraseology, as they were beautiful. The Earl of was of the least possible pretentious Oxford fell in love with Mrs. Marshall, character. Some eighteen years ago, and, failing in all attempts to seduce Mr. B. Webster, when manager of her, had recourse to the stratagem of the Haymarket, revived the “ Taming a sham marriage. The King, a suit of the Shrew” with the “ Induction, able redresser of female wrongs, forced as it had been represented in the days him to settleon her an annuity of £300 of Shakespeare ; but we believe the a-year. The title of Miss was not given treasurer's balance was not much ento respectable unmarried females until hanced by the novelty, however grathe Revolution of 1688. From the tifying it may have been to the curious first establishment of the stage, until in archæological details. But simple after the Restoration, the female cha- as the appurtenances of our theatres racters were played by boys or young were, they seem to have exceeded
There appear to have been ex- those of the Continent at the same ceptions to this general rule.
“ The era. The eccentric pedestrian, Tom Court Beggar was acted at the Coriate who traversed the greater Cockpit, in 1632. In the last act, part of Europe and Asia on foot, and Lady Strangelove says :-“Ifyou have in one pair of shoes, the remains a short speech or so, the boy's a of which he hung up, on his return, pretty actor, and his mother can play after the manner of the ancients, as a her part: women-actors are now in relic or votive offering, in the parish request. Prynne says, in 1633 :- church of his native village, at Od
They have now their female players combe, in Somersetshire-says, in his
book of travels, published in 1611, We find from this reliable source that under the quaint title of “Crudities “King Henry the Eighth” was per: hastily gobbled up,'t that the play- formed at Lincoln's-Inn Fields, in houses of France and Italy, particu. December, 1663, and commanded fiflarly in Milan and Venice, were stately teen suécessive repetitions. By order and convenient buililings, but still of Sir William Davenant, the whole of not to be compared to our own in the characters, including the doctors, decorative splendour, and the excel- proctors, bishops, lawyers and tips lence of the performances,
statfs, the guards and beefeaters, Sir William Davenant, in addition were clothed in appropriate and to the charm of real women, intro- costly habits, and all the scenes duced scenery, machinery, and dresses were new. Then followed, in 1664, of a costly description. Fostered by “Henry the Fifth," written by the the Court, and patronized by the Earl of Ossory, produced with equal, nobility, the theatres expanded rapidly if not superior show. Harris, as the in expense, variety, and show, while King, wore the Duke of York's corotheir moral character sank miserably nation suit, given to him for the purin the same accelerating ratio. The pose ; Betterton, as Owen l'udor, reign of Charles the Second presents figured in Charles the Second's; and a picture of national profligacy which Smith, as the Duke of Burgundy, in the historian blushes to record, and the Earl of Oxford's. “Mustapha, the reader sighs to believe. A liber- by the same author, in 1665, received tine, unreclaimed by the misfortunes similar care, and realized vast profit. of his family, the fate of his father, or “Macbeth," altered from Shakebis own early years of banishment speare by Davenant (unfilial outrage), and poverty, in the full maturity of and “The Tempest," by Shadwell, manhood, ascended the throne of his were given by the Duke's company ancestors amidst the universal accla- at Dorset Garden in 1672 and 1673, mations of the people, and at once with complicated machinery, dane. surrendered himself up to the un- ing and singing. Of the “ Tempest, bridled licence of an inherently vicious Downes says_-" It had all new in ittemperament. He had no dawn of as scenes and mechanical contrivmoderation--10 opening years of re- ances, particularly one scene painted straint, like Nero ; from the beginning with myriads of aerial spirits; and to the end his rule and life were another flying away with a table marked by riot and debauchery. The furnished out with fruits, sweetmeats, higher and lower classes readily imi- and all sorts of viands, just when tated the contagious example of the Duke I'rinculo and his companions monarch, and the whole nation be- were going to dinner; all things per: came abandoned to the grossest im- formed in it. so admirably well that morality. Those tremendous visit- not any succeeding opera got more ings--the great plague and fire of money.” Of “Psyche,” which folLondon, which occurred during the lowed early in 1674, the same faithhigh season of dissipation, produced ful chronicler says--" This long exno more effect, after they had once pected opera came forth in all her passed over, than did the pestilence ornaments--new scenes, new mawhich decimated the Eastern Empire, chines, new clothes, new French more than a thousand years before, dances. It was splendidly set out, under the somewhat congenial reign especially in scenes, the charge of of Justinian. The arts were pros- which amounted to above eight huntituted in the cause of licentiousness, dred pounds. It had a continuance and the drama, of course, did not of performance about eight days, and escape the contagion. But the theatre proved very beneficial to the comhad no prominent share in producing pany. Yet The Tempest' got them this state of moral debasement. It more money.' And again he tells us followed perforce, when it had no of “The Fairy Queen, altered from power to lead or arrest.
the “Midsummer Night's Dream, Downes's "Roscius Anglicanus,” a and exhibited by Killigrew at the small volume, published in 1708, Theatre Royal in 1692, that“ in ormagives us a minute and trustworthy ments it was superior to any that had account of all matters connected with gone before, especially in clothes for the English stage from 1662 to 1766. all the singers and dancers; scenes, machines, and decorations--all most had been attempted already at Drury profusely set off, and excellently per- Lane by Thommond, a dancingforined, chiefly the instrumental and master, but Rich soon sunk him by vocal part, composed by Mr. Purcell, superior weight of metal. - Rich was and the dances by Mr. Priest. The long considered without a rival as court and town were wonderfully harlequin, under the name of Lun, satisfied with it, but the expenses in but his successor, Woodward, at the setting it out being so great, the com- opposite house, was held by many to pany got very little by it."
tread closely on his heels. From these extracts we gather how Although large suns were expendspeedily mere writing and acting, ed on dresses, it was long before aphowever excellent, ceased to satisfy propriate costume was adopted, or the capricious and voracious public; correctness in that department cared and how soon the managers were for. The pictures in the Garrick compelled to buttress up the higher Club, the engravings to Rowe's and components of the theatrical art by Bell's Shakespeare, and to a series of the aid of what some captious critics plays published by Wenman and of our own day, mourning over the Harrison from 1777 to 1780, appear supposed decay of taste and talent, authentic and extraordinary specia delight in stigmatizing as the pro- mens of the eccentricities in dress in perty man, the upholsterer, the car- which the mistaken taste of the penter, and the tailor, as if these actors indulged, and the ignorance or legitimate accessories came in only supineness of the public encouraged. the day before yesterday, and were Betterton, Booth, and Quin disunknown to our grandfathers. charged the duties of Othello in the
One more apposite extract and we scarlet uniform of a British general close the pages of honest Prompter officer of the time, bearing on their Downes :-" In the space of ten years heads an enormous white turban, and past, Mr. Betterton, to gratify the with their faces redolent of oil and desires and fancies of the nobility and lampblack, sooty and shining like genţry, procured from abroad the best those of the Christy Minstrels. It is dancers and singers--as Monsieur recorded of one of these celebrated L'Abbé, Madame Lublini, Monsieur “lights of other days," --we forget Balon, Margaritu Delpini, Maria precisely which that in his placid Gallia, and divers others---who, being dignity, during the earlier scenes of exorbitantly expensive, produced the noble Moor, he wore white gloves, small profit to him and his company, which, when the passion of the but vast gain to themselves--Madame character unfolded itself, he tore Delpini, since her arrival in England, franticly off, and tossed abroad his by modest computation, having got inky digits. The retailer of the by the stage and gentry ten thousand anecdote adds that the public conpounds.":
sidered this a decided stroke of To John Rich, manager of Lin- genius. In the great revival of coln's-Inn Fields, and subsequently Henry the Eighth," at the Princess's, of Covent Garden, we owe the intro when Wolsey crosses the stage in his duction of pantomimes on the English first procession, the actor, illustrating stage, where they have ever since a biographical fact, bore in his right maintained their popularity until they hand a hollow orange, charged with have become a national institution. aromatics, which he ever and anon" The superior acting of the company. carried to his nose as an antiat Drury Lane thinned his benches, dote against infection. The galand elongated the face of his trea: leries, not having studied Cavendish, surer, until he drew upon his inven- thought he was sucking the orange, tive genius for this new and seduc- and received it as a touch of tive variety. He began with some nature." detached harlequinades, after the Garrick's costume in Macbeth, as Italian style, and on the 20th of De- we see in Toffany's painting of the cember, 1723, produced his first murder scene, represents a blue, fullgrand and complete pantomime, en. skirted coat, red waistcoat, and small titled “The Necromancer, or the clothes, heavily plastered with gold History of Dr. Faustus.” Something lace, suggestive of the Lord Mayor's of the kind, under the same name, coachman on a gala-day. When Maeklin, in his old age, drivelled head-dresses. Some of the coeval cathrough the truculent Thane, he ar- ricatures represent the hair-dresser rayed himself in plaid and philibeg, mounted on a ladder. Andromache kilt and hose, with a cap surmounted wore black satin shoes, and Hermione by ostrich feathers, nodding like the white ones. Henderson was singuplumes of a hearse, or the head-gear larly regardless of adventitious aid of a soldier in a Highland regiment; from costume. It is stated in Irewhile the rest of the characters, in- land's memoirs, that he played cluding his brother-general, Banyo, twelve different characters in the same wore the traditionary court-suits. dress. We have heard, but although Macklin's researches in re vestiaria, sufficiently “ declined into the vale were as loose as Garrick's clan tar- of years, we cannot vouch the fact * tans not having been introduced into of our own knowledge, that George Scotland until ages after the reign of Frederic Cooke, the original PereMacbeth. Hogarth's portrait of Gar- grine, in “John Bull,” temp. 1803, rick in Richard the Third, shows us who is supposed to have escaped from that he wore a dress not unlike that a sinking Indiaman by swimming of Cook, fifty years later ; the re- ashore, made his entry on Muckslash · mainder of the dramatis personæ Heath' in a light-green coat, white retaining the full costume of George waistcoat, and nankeen unmentionthe Second's time. Garriek introduced ables, with his hair powdered and in great improvements in many respects, queue. It is true, he might have realthough his literary vanity induced fitted himself at á slop-shop on the him to take unpardonable liberties way, had he met one, but this con: with Shakespeare's text. John Kem- tingency is negatived by the text. ble did the same, leaving it for Mac- Those were halcyon days for manaready, Phelps, and Charles Kean to, gers, when a comedy with Morton, Reyrestore the true text, and abrogate nolds, or Colman, ran through a spurious interpolations. Kemble's whole season, and required no costly togas were considered models of clas- adjuncts, nothing beyond half-a-dozen sical propriety, until the opening of modern suits, and a pair or two of the continent, on the conclusion of flats, representing a street, a parlour, the great war, showed the superi- or a drawing-room. But this golden ority of Talmas, which were thence- age passed too rapidly into history. forward adopted, even by Charles, The public soon grow tired of toujours the brother of John, and their pre- perdrix, and cry for varied and more decessors consigned to the limbo of exciting food. The caterers must oblivion.
supply it or close their houses of enWhen Kemble played Reuben Glen- tertainment. It is not to be believed roy, he appeared in an evening suit that any manager unqualified for Bedof the day (1807); but, being a Welsh lam or St. Luke's, would voluntarily mountaineer, thought it well to place expend thousands, if the outlay of a on his head a fur cap, resembling the ten-pound note would answer the busby of a modern hussar, and to same purpose. carry a long pole in his hand. His John Kemble's Shakespearean regarb in Penruddock, on the contrary, vivals were produced at an enormous was truthful and characteristie. In expenditure, which seldom or never the early scenes of Posthumus, in came back in full to the treasury. "Cymbeline,” when the action is sup- Meanwhile, the play-going public posed to pass in the second or third wondered and adınired. Such comcentury of the Christian era, he wore binations of genius, taste, and erudia semi-modern tunic, trimmed with tion had never been seen before, and spangles, a tuft, tight white panta- were not expected to be witnessed loons, and boots of russet leather. In again. But even in that "age of the the fifth act, he went back to the giants," as it has been often called, war-panoply of Coriolanus or Brutus. the Covent Garden authorities were During the whole of the Garrick age, driven to live horses and elephants, the queens and heroines, whether Pa- and to infantine Roscii and Rosciæ; gan or Christian, Greek, Roman, while Sheridan was saved from imFrench, or English, arrayed themselves pending bankruptcy at Drury-lane, in hoops, flounces, furbelows, embroid- by the feats of the renowned New ered petticoats, and three-decked foundland dog, Carlo. · The leap of