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blanket; they were coarse fellows, and their imagina..ons took all this upor. there was no month when the cry of them. A scroll in big letters an “Clubs " did not call them out of their nounced to the public that they were shops to exercise their brawny arms. in London or Constantinople; and When the beer took effect, there was that was enoug h to carry the public to a great upturned barrel in the pit, a the desired place. There was no trou peculiar receptacle for general use. ble about probability. Sir Philip Sid The smell rises, and then comes the ney writes : cry, “Burn the juniper 1” They burn some in a plate on the stage,
and the Africke of the other,
and so many other under
“ You shall have Asia of the cne side, arheavy smoke fills the air. Certainly kingdomes, that the Plaier when hee comes in the fólk there assembled could scarcely must ever begin with telling where hee is, os get disgusted at any thing, and cannot else the tale will not be conceived. Now sha! have had sensitive noses In the time you have three
Ladies walke to gather flowers, of Rabelais there was not much clean- garden. By and by wee heare newes of ship
and then wee must beleeve the stage to be à liness to speak of. Remember that wracke in the same place, then wee are to blame they were hardly out of the middle age, if we accept it not for a rocke; . and that in the middle age man lived the meane time two armies flie in, represented
with foure swordes and bucklers, and then what on a dunghill.
hard heart will not receive it for a pitched field? Above them, on the stage, were the Now of time they are much more liberall. For spectators able to pay a shilling, the ordinary it is, that two young Princes fall in elegant people, the gentlefolk. These love, after, many traverses, shee is got with
childe, delivered of a faire boy, hee is lost, were sheltered from the rain, and if groweth a man, falleth in love, and is readie to they chose to pay an extra shilling, get another childe ; and all this in two houree could have a stool. To this were re- space.' duced the prerogatives of rank and the Doubtless the se enormities were some. devices of comfort: it often hapjiened what reduced under Shakspeare ; with that there were not stools enough ; then they lie down on the ground: this of animals, towers, forests, they assisted
a few hangings, crude representations was not a time to be dainty. They some what the public imagination. But play cards, smoke, insult the pit, who gave it them back without stinting, and after all, in Shakspeare's plays as in all throw apples at them into the bargain others, the imaginar.ion from within is They also gesticulate, swear in Italian chiefly drawn upon for the machinery,
it must lend itself to all, substitute all, French, English ; * crack aloud jokes in dainty, composite, high-colored, has just ben shaved, endure in one
for a queen a young man who words : in short, they have the energetic, original, gay manners of artists,
act ten changes of place, leap suddenly the same humor, the same absence of
twenty years or five hundred constraint, and, to complete the resem- raries för förty thousand men, and to
miles,t take half a dozen supernume. blance, the same desire to make them have represented by the rolling of the selves singular, the same imaginative drums all the battles of Cæsar, Henry cravings, the same absurd and pictu- V., Coriolanus, Richard III.. And resque devices, beards cut to a point, imagination, being so overflowing
and into the shape of a fan, a spade, the setter T, gaudy and expensive dresses, so young, accepts all this! Recal copied from five or six neighboring your own youth; for my part, the nations, embroidered, laced with gold, theatre were given to me by a stroiling
deepest emotions I have ever felt at a motley, continually heightened in effect, or changed for others : there was, as it bevy of four young girls, playing were, a carnival in their brains as well comedy and tragedy on a stage in a
coffeehouse ; true, I was eleven years as on their backs. With such spectators illusions could their souls were fresh, as ready to feel
old. So in this theatre, a this moment, be produced without much trouble : here were no preparations or per every thing as the poet was to dare spectives; few ur no movable scenes :
every thing. * Ben Jonson, Every Man in his Humour ; * The Defence of Poesie, ed. 1629, p. 56a. Cynthia's Revels,
† Winter's Tale; Cymbeline ; Julius Casas
chatter, display their new cloaks; the
thing had even passed into a custom These are but externals; let us try They paid for the noise they made wib to advance further, to observe the pas- their spurs, and this tax was a source siors, the bent of mind, the inner man: of income to the canons ;* pickpockets, it is this. inner state which raised and loose girls, came there by crowds; modelled the drama, as every thing these latter struck their bargains while else ; invisible inclinations are every service was going on. Imagine, in where the cause of visible works, and short, that the scruples of conscience che interior shapes the exterior. What and the severity of the Puritans were are these townspeople, courtiers, this at that time odious and ridiculed on public, whose taste fashions the the stage, and judge of the difference Theatre ? what is there peculiar in the between this sensual, unbridled Eng: structure and condition of their minds ? land, and the correct, disciplined, stift The condition must needs be peculiar; England of our own time. Ecclesiastifor the drama flourishes all of a sud- cal or secular, we find no signs of rule. Jer, and for sixty years together, with In the failure of faith, reason had not marvellous luxuriance, and at the end gained sway, and opinion is as void of of this time is arrested so that no effort authority as tradition. The imbecile could ever revive it. The structure age, which has just ended, continues must be peculiar ; for of all theatres, buried in scorn, with its ravings, its old and new, this is distinct in form, verse-makers, and its pedantic textand displays a style, action, characters, books; and out of the liberal opinions an idea of life, which are not found in derived from antiquity, from Italy, any age or any country beside. This France, and Spain, every one could particular feature is the free and com- pick and choose as it pleased him, plete expansion of nature.
without stooping to restraint or acWhat we call nature in men is, man knowledging a superiority. There was such as he was before culture and civ- no model imposed on them, as nowa. lization had deformed and reformed days; instead of affecting imitation, him. Almost always, when a new gen- they affected originality: Each strove eration arrives at manhood and con- to be himself, with his own oaths, sciousness, it finds a code of precepts peculiar ways, costumes, his specialties impose on it with all the weight and of conduct and humor, and to be unlike authority of antiquity.. A hundred every one else. They said not, “So kinds of chains, a hundred thousand and so is done,” but“ Í do so and so.” kinds of ties, religion, morality, good Instead of restraining they gave free preeding, every legislation which regu- vent to themselves. There was .ates sentiments, morals, manners, fet- etiquette of society; save for an exag. ter and tame the creature of impulse gerated jargon of chivalresque courand pa sion which breathes and frets tesy, they are masters of speech and within each of us. There is nothing
* Strype, in his Annals of the Reformation like that here. It is a regeneration, (1571), says: “Many now were wholly departed and the curb of the past is wanting from
the communion of the church, and came to the present. Catholicism, reduced no more to hear divine service in their paris.
churches, nor received the holy sacrament, acw external ceremony and clerical chir cording to the laws of the realm.” Richard anery, had just ended ; Protestantism, Baxter, in his Life, published in 1696, says: wrestel in its first gropings after truth, “We lived in a country that had but little or stršying into sects, had not yet preaching at all. : : . In the village where i
lived the Reader read the Common Prayc: gained the mastery; the religion of briefly ; and the rest of the day, even till dar's dis cipline was grown feeble, and the night almost, except Eating time, was spent in religion of morals was not yet estab- Dancing under a Maypole and a great tree, not lished: men ceased to listen to the far from my father's door, where all the Town
did meet together. And though one of my directions of the clergy, and had not father's own Tenants was the piper, he could yet speit out the law of conscience. not restrain him nor break the sport. So that The church was turned into an assem
we could not read the Scripture in our family bly-room, as in Italy; the young fel- without the great disturbance of the Taber and
Pipe and Inws came to St. Paul's to walk, laugh, Ben Jonson, Every Man in his HamONS
action on the impulse the moment. and making of ballads.” He leaps the You will find them free from deco- moats with a pole, anil was once with rum, as of all else. In this outbreak in an ace of being killed. He is so and absence of fetters, they resemble fond of wrestling, that publicly, on the fine strong horses let loose in the mea- field of the Cloth of Gold, he seized dow. Their inborn instincts have not Francis I. in his arms to try a throw been tamed, nor muzzled, nor dimin- with him. This is how a conimon sol ished
dier or a bricklayer nowadays tries a Or the contrary, they have been new comrade. In fact, they regarded pieserved intact by bodily and military gross jests and brutal buffooneries as training ;, and escaping as they were amusements, as soldiers and bricklay: from barbarism, not from civilization, ers do now. In every nobleman's they had not been acted upon by the house there was a fool, whose business innate softening and hereditary tem- it was to utter pointed jests, to make pering which are now transmitted with eccentric gestures, horrible faces, to the blood, and civilize a man from the sing licentious songs, as we might hear moment of his birth. This is why man, now in a beer-house. They though who for three centuries has been a insults and obscenity a joke. They domestic animal, was still almost a were foul-mouthed, they listened to savage beast, and the force of his mus- Rabelais' words undiluted, and decles and the strength of his nerves lighted in conversation which would increased the boldness and energy of revolt us. They had no respect for his passions. Look at these unculti- humanity; the rules of properties and vated men, men of the people, how the habits of good breeding began only suddenly the blood warms and rises to under Louis XIV., and by imitation of their face; their fists double, their lips the French; at this time they all blurtpress together, and those hardy bodies ed out the word that fitted in, and rush at once into action. The courtiers that was most frequently a coarse word of that age were like our men of the You will see on the stage, in Shak people. They had the same taste for speare's Pericles, the filth of a haunt of the exercise of their limbs, the same vice.* The great lords, the wellindifference toward the inclemencies of dressed ladies, speak Billingsgate the weather, the same coarseness of When Henry V. pays his court to 'anguage, the same undisguised sen. Catherine of France, it is with the suality. They were carmen in body coarse bearing of a sailor who may and gentlemen in sentiment, with the have taken a fancy to a sutler ; and dress of actors and the tastes of artists. like the tars who tattoo a heart on " At fourtene,” says John Hardyng, "atheir arms to prove their love for the lordes sonnes shalle to felde hunte the 5.rls they left behind them, there were dere, and catch an hardynesse. For men who “devoured sulphur and drank dere to hunte and slea, and see them urine "t to win their mistress by a blede, ane hardyment gyffith to his proof of affection. Humanity is as courage. At sextene yere, to wer much lacking as decency. I Blood, ray and to wage, to juste and ryde, * Act iv. 2 and 4. See also the character of and castels to assayle”. . . and every i Calypso in Massinger ; Putana in Ford ; Proday his armure to assay in fete of talyce in Beaumont and Fletcher. armes with some of his meyne.” *
† Middleton, Dutch Courtezan.
I Commission given by Henry VIII. to the When ripened to manhood, he is em- Earl of Hertford, 1544: You are there to put ployed with the bow, in wrestling, all to fire and sword; to burn Edinburgh town, leaping, vaulting. Henry VIII.'s court,
and to raze and deface it, whes you nave sacked
Do in its noisy merriment, was like a vil- what you can out of hand, and without long
it, and gotten what you can ou, of it. lage fair. The king, says Holinshed, tarrying, to beat down and overthrow the castle, exercised himself “ dailie in shooting, sack Holyrood-House, and as many towns and singing, dancing, wrestling, casting of villages about Edinburgh as ye conveniently
can; sack Leith, and burn and subvert it, and the barre, plaieing at the recorders, | all the rest, putting man, woman, and child to Aute, virginals, in setting of songs, fire and sword, without exception, when any
resistance shall be made against you ; and this * The Chronicle of John Hardyng (1436). ed. done, pass over to the Fife land, and extend H. Ellis, 1812. Preface.
like extremities and destructions in all towns
suffering, does not move them. The arteries stopped with a red-hot iron. court frequents bear and bull bait- Only such atrocious imitations of their .ngs, where dogs are ripped u) and own crimes, and the painful image of chained beasts are sometimes beaten bleeding and suffering flesh, could tamo to death, and it was, says an officer of their vehemence and restrain tie up the palace, “a charming entertain- rising of their instincts. Judge trove
No wonder they used their what materials they furnish to the the. arms like clodhoppers and gossips. atre, and what characters they look for Elizabeth used to beat her maids of at the theatre. To please the public hunor, “so that these beautiful girls the stage cannot deal too much in open could often be heard crying and lust and the strongest passions ; it lamenting in a piteous manner." One must depict man attaining the limit of day she spat upon Sir Mathew's fringed his desires, unchecked, almost mad, coat; at another time, when Essex, now trembling and rooted before the whom she was scolding, turned his white palpitating flesh which his eyes back, she gave him a box on the ear. devour, now haggard and grinding his It was then the practice of great ladies teeth before the enemy whom he wishes to beat their children and their ser. to tear to pieces, now carried beyond vants. Poor Jane Grey was sometimes himself and overwhelmed at the sight so wretchediy“ hoxed, struck, pinched, of the honors and wealth which he and ill-treated in other manners which covets, always raging and enveloped in she dare not relate," that she used to a tempest of eddying ideas, sometimes wish herself dead. Their first idea is to shaken by impetuous joy, more often come to words, to blows, to have satis- on the verge of fury and madness, faction. As in feudal times, they ap- stronger, more ardent, more daringly peal at once to arms, and retain the let loose to infringe on reason and law habit of taking the law in their own than ever. We hear from the stage as hands, and without delay. "On from the history of the time, these Thursday laste," writes Gilbert Talbot fierce murmurs: the sixteenth century to the Earl and Countess of Shrews- is like a den of lions. bury, as my Lorde Rytche was ryd- Amid passions so strong as these ynge in the streates, there was one there is not one lacking. Nature Wyndam that stode in a dore, and appears here in all its violence, but also shotte a dagge at him, thynkynge to in all its fulness. If nothing had been have slayne him. The same weakened, nothing had been mutilated. daye, also, as Sr John Conway was It is the entire man who is displayed, goynge in the streetes, Mr. Lodovyke heart, mind, body, senses, with his Grevell came sodenly upon him, and noblest and finest aspirations, as with stroke him on the hedd wth a sworde. his most bestial and savage appetites, . I am forced to trouble yor Honors without the preponderance of any
domi. wth thes tryflynge matters, for I know nant circumstance to cast him alto no greater." f No one, not even the gether in one direction, to exalt or queen is safe among these violent dis- degrade him. He has not become positions. I. Again, when one man rigid, as he will be under Puritanisma. struck another in the precincts of the He is not uncrowned as in the Restora court, his hand was cut off, and the tion. After the hollowness and weari. and villages whereunto ye may reach conven- ness of the fifteenth century, he rose up iently, not forgetting amongst all the rest, so by a second birth, as before in Greece to spoil and turn upside down the cardinal's town of St. Andrew's, as the upper stone may
an had risen by a first birth ; and be the nether, and not one stick stand by now, as then, the temptations of the another, sparing no creature alive within the outer world came combined to raise his blood be allied to the cardinal. This journey A sort of generous warm'hspread same, specially such as either in friendship or faculties from their sloth and torpor. shall succeed most to his majesty's honour." • Laneham, A Goodly Relief.
over them to ripen and make them ( 13th February, 1587. Nathan Drake, flourish. Peace, prosperity, comfort Shakspeare and his Times, ii. p.: 165. See also began ; new industries and increasing the same work for all these details.
Essex, when struck by the quien, put his activity suddenly multiplied objects of band on the hilt of his sword.
utility and luxury tenfold America
and India, by their discovery, caused tions. Such were the men of this time
* A page in the Mariage de Figaro, a * The great Chancellor Burleigh often wept comedy by Beaumarchais.--In.
80 harshly was hersed by Elizabeth.