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sisted that his young hero should print his name in front of the epistle, as it was directed to him. This was done, and the impression was sold off with the comedy."
EPITAPH ON AN ACTOR.
From early youth, train'd to the Thespian
On life's great stage, I've play'd my varied part ;
* JOHN HUNNIEMAN, THE WOMAN-ACTOR.
One of the most celebrated performers of fem male characters, previous to the civil wars, was John Hunnieman, who was also the author of a Play, even the name of which seems to be buried in oblivion; although there is reason to believe, that, on its first production, it was received with no small degree of applause by the public. It is not known whether it was a Tragedy or Comedy, or whether, like so many of the dramas of that age, it partook of the nature of both. In fact, the only mention of it, with which we meet, is in a copy of verses addressed to the author by Sir Aston Cockaine, which we shall here transcribe, observing only, that if, as Sir Aston suggests, Hunnieman was worthy of being at all put in competition with the great name with which he has coupled him, the public loss in this play is, indeed, to be lamented; although we must, at the same time, confess, that it appears to us extremely improbable, to say the least, that a play, which merited the character here attributed to it, should never have been published, and that an Author of such transcendant merit should have given birth but to one dramatic production.
TO MR. JOHN HUN NIEMAN.
On, hopeful youth, and let thy happy strain
What became of Hunnieman, after the suspension of dramatic performances, cannot be learned; for, from this time we lose all traces of many of the most celebrated performers. Some, we know, took the field under the banners of their sovereign, others applied themselves to trade; but very few indeed of those who delighted the audience of the days of Charles the first, survived to appear
before his son.
EDWARD ALLEYN, THE ANCIENT COMEDIAN.
This celebrated comedian, who flourished in the reign of Elizabeth and James I., was born in London, on the first of September 1566, of respectable parents. He was contemporary with Shakspeare, and was an original actor in some of his inimitable plays. He was in the most inti
mate habits with our immortal poet, as well as Ben Jonson. They used frequently to spend their evenings together at the Globe, in company with a few other congenial spirits. A letter from one of the club is still preserved, which contains a curious anecdote, and shews the estimation in which Alleyn was held by his contemporaries. An extract is here given, without adhering to the orthography :
“I never longed for thy company more than last night ; we were all very merry at the Globe, when Ned Alleyn did not scruple to affirm pleasantly to thy friend Will. (Shakspeare) that he had stolen his speech about the quality of an actor's excellency, in “Hamlet,” his tragedy, from conversation manifold, which had passed between them, and opinions given by Alleyn touching the subject. Shakspeare did not take the talk in good sort: but Jonson put an end to the strife, with remarking,"This affair needeth no contention: you stole it from Ned, no doubt; do not marvel ; have you not seen him act times out of number?"
Alleyn was, indeed, the Garrick of his day: and is equally celebrated with that famous actor for versatile genius, corporeal agility, lively temper, and powerful elocution. They also resembled each other in another respect, in which they differ from most of their professional brethren, prudence and economy.
- Aeting seems to have been 'a lucrative profession in Alleyn's time; for he left a large fortune, which he devoted chiefly to charitable purposes. It must, however, be remembered, that Alleyn was the proprietor of a Theatre, as well as an actor, and that he had the direction of another fasionable amusement in those days, viz. the King's Bear Garden, which is said to have produced him a clear profit of £500 a year. Alleyn, overflowing with riches, and satiated with public fame, prepared to close the scene with some eclat.
For this purpose, he founded Dulwich College. The building was built from the plan of Inigo Jones, who was one of the witnesses to the deed of settlement; and the institution, as founded by Alleyn, still continues.
Alleyn expended about £10,000 in the building; and that it might be suitably supported, he appropriated lands to the amount of £800 a-year, for the maintenance of one master, one warden, and four fellows. The master and warden were always to be of the name of Alleyn, or Allen. Six poor men, and as many poor women, were to be supported in the hospital; besides twelve poor boys, who were to be educated in