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Voli I. that age. The epilogue was not always spoken by one of
PROLEGO- the performers in the piece, for that subjoined to The Second

Part of King Henry IV. appears to have been delivered by a

The performers of male characters generally wore periwigs', which in the age of Shakspeare were not in common use. It appears from a passage in Puttenham's Art of En. glish Poesy, 1589, that vizards were on some occasions used by the actors of those days'; and it may be inferred from a scene in one of our author's comedies, that they were sometimes worn in his time, by those who performed female characters u. But this, I imagine, was very rare. Some of the female part of the audience likewise appeared in maks *.

See Hamlet, act III, fc. ii. “ O it offends me to the soul to
hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow, tear a passion to tatters.

So, in Every Woman in her Humour, 1609: " As none wear
hoods but monks and ladies, --and feathers but fore-horses, &c.
none periwigs but players and pictures."

i' - partly (rays he) to supply the want of players, when there were more parts than there were persons."

u In The Midsummer Night's Dream, Flute objects to his playing a woman's part, because he has “ a beard a coming.'

But his friend Quince tells him, " that's all one; you shall play it in a mask, and you may speak as small as you will."

W“ In our assemblies at playes in London (says Gosson, in his
Schoole of Abuse, 1579, Sig. C.) you fall see such heaving and
shoving, such ytching and shouldring to fitte by women, such
care for their garments that they be not trode on ; such eyes to
their lappes that no chippes light in them ; such pillows to their
backes that they take no hurte; such masking in their ears, I
know not what; such giving them pippins to pass the time;
such playing at foot-faunte without cardes; such licking, such
toying, such smiling, such winking, such manning them home
when the sports are ended, that it is a right comedie to mark
their behaviour.”
So also the prologue to Marston's Fawne, 1606:

nor doth he hope to win
" Your laud or hand with that most common fin
" Of vulgar pens, rank bawdry, that smells

• Even through your maks, usque ad nauseam."
So, in our author's Romeo and Juliet:

Thefe happy masks that hide fair ladies' brows." Again, in Measure for Measure :

The stage-dresses, it is reasonable to suppose, were much Vol. I, more costly at some theatres than others. Yet the wardrobe PROLEGO. of even the king's servants at the Globe and Black-friars, was, MENA. we find, but fcantily furnished ; and our author's dramas derived very little aid from the splendor of exhibition

It is well known, that in the time of Shakspeare, and for many years afterwards, female characters were represented by boys or young men. Sir William D'Avenant, in imitation of the foreign theatres, first introduced females in the scene, and Mrs. Betterton is said to have been the first woman that appeared on the English stage. Andrew Pennycuicke played the part of Matilda, in a tragedy of Davenport's, in 1655; and Mr. Kynafton acted several female


as these black masks
“ Proclaim an enshield beauty ten times louder

" Than beauty could display'd."
Again, in B. Jonson’s verses, addressed to Fletcher on his
Faithful Shepherdefs:

“ The wife and many-headed bench that fits
“ Upon the life and death of plays and wits,
“ Compos’d of gamester, captain, knight, knight's man,
* Lady or pufil, that wears maske or fan,
“ Velvet or taffata cap, rank'd in the dark
" With the shop's foreman, or some such brave sparke,
“ (That may judge for his fixpence) had, before

“ They saw it half, damn'd thy whole play."
After the Reitoration, mafks, I believe, were chiefly worn in
the theatre, by women of the town. Wright complaing of the
great number of malks in his time : “ of late the play-houses
are so extremely peitered with vizard masks and their trade, (oc.
cafioning continual quarrels and abuses) that many of the more
civilized part of the town are uneasy in the company, and shun
the theatre as they would a house of scandal.” Hift. Histrion.

Ladies of unblemished character, however, wore masks in the boxes, in the time of Congreve.

See the induction to Ben Jonfon's Staple of News, acted by the king's servants, in 1625 :

" O Curiofiry, you come to see who wears the new suit today; whose cloaths are best pen’d, whatever the part be ; which actor has the best leg and foot; what king plays without cuffs, and bis queen without gloves: wubo rides post in stockings, and dances in boots. "


affures us,


VOL. I. parts after the Restoration. Downes, a contemporary of his, PROLEGO

“ that being then very young, he made a complete stage beauty, performing his parts so well, (particularly Arthiope and Aglaura) that it has fince been disputable among the judicious, whether any woman that succeeded him, touched the audience so sensibly as he y."

Both the prompter, or book-holder, as he was sometimes called, and the property.man, appear to have been regular appendages of our ancient theatres z.

No writer that I have met with, intimates that, in the time of Shakspeare, it was customary to exhibit more than a fingle dramatick piece on one day.

The Yorkshire Tragedy, or All'sone, indeed, appears to have been one of four pieces that were represented on the same day; and Fletcher has also a piece called Four Plays in One ; but probably, thele were either exhibited on some particular occafion, or were ineffectual efforts to introduce a new species of amusement ; for we do not find any other instances of the fame kind. Had any shorter pieces been exhibited after the principal performance, some of them probably would have been printed: but there are none extant of an earlier date than the time of the Restoration. The practice therefore of exhibiting two dramas successively in the same evening, we may be alfured, was not established before that period . But though the audiences in the time of our author, were not gratified by the representation of more than one drama in the same

NOT E S. y Rofc. Anglicar. p. 19.

z“ | affure you Sir, we are not so ofliciously befriended by him [the author) as to have his presence in the tiring-house, to prompt us aloud, stamp at the book.holder, swear for our properties, curse the poor tireman, rayle the musicke out of tune, &c.” Induction to Cynthia's Revels, 1601.

a Soon after the Restoration, Sir William D'Avenant exhi. bited, I believe, the first farce that appeared on the English Stage, tranfiated from Moliere's .ganerelle ou le Cocu Imaginaire ; which, Langbaine lays, used to be acted after the tragedy of Pompey, written by Mrs. Katherine Philips. It was afterwards incorporated, by D'Avenant in a piece of five acts, called The Play-house to be let, where only it is now to be found. In 1677, The Cheats of Scapin was performed, as a second piece, after Titus and Berenice, a play of three acts, in order to furnish out an exhibition of the usual length; and about the same time farces were produced by Duffet, Tate, and others.


day, the entertainment was diversified, and the populace Vol. I. diverted, by vaulting , tumbling, flight of hand, and mor- PROLEGOris-dancing : a mixture not much more heterogeneous than mena. that with which we are daily presented, a tragedy and a farce.

The amusements of our ancestors, before the commencement of the play, were of various kinds. While some part of the audience entertained themselves with reading, or playing at cards, others were employed in less refined occupations ; in drinking ale; or smoaking to

5 « For the eye, beside the beautie of the houses and the
frages, he (the devil) sendeth garish apparel, masques, vaulting,
tambling, dancing of zigges, galiardes, moriscoes, hobby-horses,
betring of juggling cafes-nothing forgot, that might ferve to set
out the matter with pompe, or ravish the beholders with variety
of pleasure.” Gosson's School of Abuse. Sig. G.
i So, in Fitz-Jeoffery's Satires, 1617:

* Ye worthy worthies ! none else, might I chuse,
* Doe I delire my poefie peruse,
“ For to save charges ere the play begin,

" Or when the lord of liberty comes in.”
Again, in a satire at the conclusion of The Maflive, or young
AF"beige of the old Dogge.- Epigrams and Satires; printed by
Thomas Creede:

(The author is speaking of those who will probably purchase his book.)

"Last comes my scoffing friend, of scowring wit,
Who chinks his judgment ’bove all arts doth fit.
“ He buys the booke, and hastes him to the play,
“ Where when he comes and reads, “ here's stuff,".

doth fay;
" Because the lookers on may hold him wise,
“ He laughs at what he likes, and then will rise,
“ And takes tobacco; then about will looke,
“ And more diflike the play than of the booke ;
“ At length is vext he should with charge be drawne

“ For such slight fights to lay a suite to pawne.”
¢ " Before the play begins, fall to cardes." Gul's Horn-book,

•See The Woman-Hater, a comedy, by B. and Fletcher, 1607: “ There is no poet acquainted with more thakings and quakings towards the latter end of his new play, when he's in that cate that he stands peeping between the curtains, fo fear, fully, that a bottle of ale cannot be opened but he thinks some body hiffes."

bacco :


Vol. I. baccof: with these they were furnished by male attendants, PROLEGO- of whose clamour, a satirical writer of the time of James 1.

loudly complains S.

It was a common practice to carry table-books h to the theatre, and either from curiosity, or enmity to the author, or fome other motive, to write down pafluges of the play that was represented: and there is reason to believe that the imperfect and mutilated copies of some of Shakipeare's dramas, which are yet extant, were taken down in shorthand during the exhibition


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{ " Now, Sir, I am one of your gentle auditors that am come in. I have my three forts of tobacco in my pocket; my light by me --and thus I begin.” Induction to Cynthia's Revels, 1601.

So, in Bartholomew Fair, by Ben Jonson : " He looks like a fellow that I have seen accomodate gentlemen with tobacco at our theatres."

Again, in Decker's Gul's Hora-booke : “ By sitting on the stage, you may with small cost purchase the deare acquaintance of the boyes; have a good itool for fixpence;--get your matchlighted, &c."

"Pr'ythee what's the play?
66 I'll see it and sit it out whare'er.
66 Had Fate fore-read me in a crowd to die,
66 Or be made adder-deat with pippin-cry.”.

Notes from Black-fryars. by H. Fitz-Jeoffery, 1617. See the induction to Mariton's Malccontent, a comedy, 1604: “ I am one that hath seen this play often, and can give them [Heminge, Burbage, &c.] intelligence for their action; I have mon of the jests here in my

So, in the prologue to Hannibal and Scipio, 1637:

-Nor shall he in plush,
" That from the poet's labours, in the pit

Informs himself, for the exercise of his wit

“ At taverns, gather notes. Again, in the prologue to The Woman Hater, a comedy, 1607 :

“If there be any lurking among you in corners, with tablebooks, who have some hopes to find fit matter to feed bis malice on, let them clasp them up, and flink away, or itay and be converted.”

Again, in Every man in bis Humour :

“ But to such wherever they fit concealed, let them know, the author defies them and their writing-tables.' Sue vol. VI. p. 647.


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