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This engraving is from a very curious Pageants or Dramatic Mysteries, anciently print in Mr. Sharp's “ Dissertatien on the performed at Coventry.”
Coventry is distinguished in the history cresset, and some fragments of armour,) of the drama, because, under the title of where it had probably remained ever since “ Ludus Coventriæ,” there exists a manu- the breaking up of the pageant.” The script volume of most curious early plays, subject of the Cappers' pageant was usually not yet printed, nor likely to be, unless the trial and crucifixion of Christ, and the there are sixty persons, at this time suffici- descent into hell. ently concerned for our ancient literature The pageant vehicles were high scaffolds and manners, to encourage a spirited gen- with two rooms, a higher and a lower, tleman to print a limited number of copies. constructed upon four or six wheels ; in If by any accident the manuscript should the lower room the performers dressed, be destroyed, these plays, the constant and in the higher room they played. This theme of literary antiquaries from Dugdale higher room, or rather, as it may be called, to the present period, will only be known the stage,” was all open on the top, that through the partial extracts of writers, who the beholders might hear and see. On the have sometimes inaccurately transcribed day of performance the vehicles were from the originals in the British Museum.* wheeled, by men, from place to place,
Mr. Sharp's taste and attainments qua- throughout the city; the floor was strewed lifying him for the task, and his residence with rushes; and to conceal the lower at Coventry affording him facility of re- room, wherein the performers dressed, search among the muniments of the cor- cloths were hung round the vehicle: there poration, he has achieved the real labour is reason to believe that, on these cloths, of drawing from these and other unexplored the subject of the performance was painted sources, a body of highly interesting or worked in tapestry. The higher room facts, respecting the vehicles, characters, of the Drapers' vehicle was embattled, and and dresses of the actors in the pageants or ornamented with carved work; and a crest; dramatic mysteries anciently performed by the Smiths' had vanes, burnished and the trading companies of that city ; which, painted, with streamers Alying. together with accounts of municipal enter- In an engraving which is royal quarto, tainments of a public nature, form his meri- the size of the work, Mr. Sharp has laudtorious volume.
ably endeavoured to convey a clear idea of Very little has been known respecting the appearance of a pageant vehicle, and the stage "properties, before the rise of of the architectural appearance of the houses the regular drama, and therefore the abun- in Coventry, at the time of performing the dant matter of that nature, adduced by this Mysteries. So much of that engraving as regentleman, is peculiarly valuable. With
presents the vehicle is before the reader on “ The Taylors' and Shearemens' Pagant, the preceding page. The vehicle, supposed complete from the original manuscript, he to be of the Smiths company, is stationed gives the songs and the original music, near the Cross in the Cross-cheaping, and engraved on three plates, which is eminently the time of action chosen is the period when remarkable, because it is, perhaps, the only Pilate, on the charges of Caiphas and Annas, existing specimen of the melodies in the is compelled to give up Christ for execuold Mysteries. There are ten other platestion. Pilate is represented on a throne, in the work; one of them represents the or chair of state; beside him stands his son club, or maul, of Pilate, a character in the with a sceptre and poll-axe, and beyond pageant of the Cappers' company. Ву, а the Saviour are the two high priests; the variety of entries it appears he had a club two armed figures behind are knights. The or maul, stuffed with wool; and that the pageant cloth bears the symbols of the exterior was formed of leather, is authentic passion. cated by the actual existence of such a Besides the Coventry Mysteries and other club or maul, discovered by the writer of matters, Mr. Sharp notices those of Chester, this Dissertation, in an antique chest within and treats largely on the ancient setting of the Cappers' chapel, (together with an iron the watch on Midsummer and St. John's
Eve, the corporation giants, morris dancers, By a notice in Mr. Sharp's “ Dissertation,” he pro- minstrels, and waites. poses to publish the “ Coventry Mysteries," with notes and illustrations, in two vols. octavo: 100 copies on royal paper, at three guineas; and 25, on imperial paper, at five guineas. Notwithstanding he limits the
I could not resist the very fitting opmence to print as soon as the names of sixty subscribers portunity on the opening of the new
year, are sent to his publishers, it appears that this small and of the Table Book together, to introduce number is not yet complete. The fact is mentioned
a memorandum, that so important an achere, because it will be a reproach to the age is such an
cession has accrued to our curious litera. overture is hoi embraced.
ture, as Mr. Sharp's “ Dissertation on the
Books. Coventry Mysteries."
Leave to enjoy myself. That place, that does “ Tue THING TO A T.”
Contain my books, the best companions, is
To me a glorious court, where hourly I A young man, brought up in the city of Converse with the old sages and philosophers; London to the business of an undertaker, And sometimes for variety, I confer went to Jamaica to better his condition. With kings and emperors, and weigh their counsels; Business Aourished, and he wrote to his Calling their victories, if unjustly got, father in Bishopsgate-street 10 send him, Unto a strict account; and in my fancy, with a quantity of black and grey cloth, Deface their ill-placed statues. Can I then twenty gross of black Tucks. Unfortu - Part with such constant pleasures, to embrace nately he had omitted the top to his T, and Uncertain vanities? No: be it your care the order stood twenty gross of black Jacks. To augment a heap of wealth: it shall be mine
FLETCHER. His correspondent, on receiving the letter,
To increase in knowledge. recollected a man, near Fleet-market, who made quart and pint tin pots, ornamented
IMAGINATION. with painting, and which were called black Imagination enriches everything. А Jacks, and to him he gave the order great library contains not only books, but for the twenty gross of black Jacks. The “ the assembled souls of all that men held maker, surprised, said, he had not so many wise.” The moon is Homer's and Shakready, but would endeavour to complete speare's moon, as well as the one we look the order; this was done, and the articles at. The sun comes out of his chamber in were shipped. The undertaker received the east, with a sparkling eye, “ rejoicing them with other consignments, and was like a bridegroom.” The commonest thing astonished at the mistake. A friend, fond becomes like Aaron's rod, that budded. of speculation, offered consolation, by pro- Pope called up the spirits of the Cabala to posing to purchase the whole at the invoice wait upon a lock of hair, and justly gave it price. The undertaker, glad to get rid of the honours of a constellation; for he has an article he considered useless in that part hung it, sparkling for ever, in the eyes of of the world, took the offer. His friend posterity. A common meadow is a sorry immediately advertised for sale a number thing to a ditcher or a coxcomb; but by the of fashionable punch vases just arrived from help of its dues from imagination and the England, and sold the jacks, gaining 200 love of nature, the grass brightens for us, per cent.!
the air soothes us, we feel as we did in the The young undertaker afterwards dis- daisied hours of childhood. Its verdures, coursing upon his father's blunder, was its sheep, its hedge-row elms-all these, told by his friend, in a jocose strain, to and all else which sight, and sound, and erder a gross of warming -pans, and see association can give it, are made to furnish whether the well-informed correspondents a treasure of pleasant thoughts. Even in London would have the sagacity to con- brick and mortar are vivitied, as of old at sider such articles necessary in the latitude the harp of Orpheus. A metropolis beof nine degrees north. The young man comes no longer a mere collection of houses laughed at the suggestion, but really put or of trades. It puts on all the grandeur in practice the joke. He desired his father of its history, and its literature ; its towin his next letter to send a gross of warm- ers, and rivers ; its art, and jewellery, and ing-pans, which actually, and to the great foreign wealth; its multitude of human surprise of the son, reached the island of beings all intent upon excitement, wise or Jamaica. What to do with this cargo he yet to learn ; the huge and sullen dignity knew not. His friend again became a pure of its canopy of smoke by day; the wide chaser at prime cost, and having knocked gleam upwards of its lighted lustre at nightoff the covers, informed the planters, that time; and the noise of its many chariots, he had just imported a number of newly- heard, at the same hour, when the wind sets constructed sugar ladles. The article under gently towards some quiet suburb.-Leigh that name sold rapidly, and returned a
Hunt. large profit. The parties returned to Eng. land with fortunes, and often told the story
ACTORS. of the black jacks and warming-pans over Madame Rollan, who died in 1785, in the bottle, adding, that “Nothing is lost in the seventy-fifth year of her age, was a a good market.
principal dancer on Covent-garden stage in
1731, and followed her profession, by pri- some time after the frost has entirely subvate teaching, to the last year of her life. sided, they will be found not to have susShe had so much celebrity in her day, that tained the slightest injury. This is on having one evening sprained her ancle, no account of their not having been exposed less an actor than Quin was ordered by the to a sudden change, and thawing gradually. manager to make an apology to the audi- A person inspecting his potato heap, ence for her not appearing in the dance. which had been covered with turf, found Quin, who looked upon all dancers as “the them so frozen, that, on being moved, they mere garnish of the stage,” at first de- rattled like stones : he deemed them irremurred; but being threatened with a for- coverably lost, and, replacing the turf, left feiture, he growlingly came forward, and in them, as he thought, to their fate. He his coarse way thus addressed the audience: was not less surprised than pleased, a con“ Ladies and Gentlemen,
siderable time afterwards, when he disco“I am desired by the manager to inform vered that his potatoes, which he had given you, that the dance intended for this night up for lost, had not suffered the least deis obliged to be postponed, on account of triment, but were, in all respects, remarkmademoiselle Rollan having dislocated her ably fine, except a few near ihe spot which ancle : I wish it had been her neck.” had been uncovered. If farmers keep their
heaps covered till the frost entirely disapIn Quin's time Hippesley was the Roscius pears, they will find their patience amply
rewarded. of low comedy; he had a large scar on his cheek, occasioned by being dropped into the fire, by a careless nurse, when an in
London. fant, which gave a very whimsical cast to his features. Conversing with Quin con
Lost CHILDREN. cerning his son, he told him, he had some The Gresham committee having humanely thoughts of bringing him on the stage. provided a means of leading to the discovery " Oh," replied the cynic, “ if that is your of lost or strayed children, the following intention, I think it is high time you should is a copy of the bill, issued in consequence burn his face."
of their regulation :On one of the first nights of the opera
TO THE PUBLIC.
London. of Cymon at Drury-lane theatre, when the late Mr. Vernon began the last air in the
If persons who may have lost a child, or fourth act, which runs,
found one, in the streets, will go with a
written notice to the Royal Exchange, they " Toru from me, torn from me, which way did they will find boards fixed up near the medicine a dissatisfied musical critic immediately notices, (free of expense.) By fixing their
for the purpose of posting up such answered the actor's interrogation in the notice at this place, it is probable the following words, and to the great astonish- child will be restored to its afflicted parents ment of the audience, in the exact tune of
on the same day it may have been missed. the air,
The children, of course, are to be taken Why towards Long-acre, towards Long-acre.” care of in the parish where they are found, This unexpected circumstance naturally until their homes are discovered. embarrassed poor Vernon, but in a moment
From the success which has, within a recovering himself, he sung in rejoinder, short time, been found to result from the the following words, instead of the author's: immediate posting up notices of this sort,
there can be little doubt, when the know“ Ho, ho, did they so, Then I'll soon overtake her,
ledge of the above-mentioned boards is I'll soon overtake her."
general, but that many children will be Vernon then precipitately made his exit speedily restored. It is recommended that amidst the plaudits of the whole house.
a bellman be sent round the neighbourhood, as heretofore has been usually done.
Persons on receiving this paper are reHome Department.
quested to fix it up in their shop-window, Potatoes.
or other conspicuous place. If potatoes, how much soever frosted, be only carefully excluded from the atmo- The
managers of Spa - fields chapel spheric air, and the pit not opened until improving upon the above hint, caused
a board to be placed in front of their chapel
By An Act of common council of the city child lost or found, in the following of London, Heygate, mayor, 1823, the forms :
ticket porters are not to exceed five hun
A ticket porter, when plying or working,
is to wear his ticket so as to be plainly May be heard of at Further particulars Further particulars
seen, under a penalty of 28. 6d. for each The severe affliction many parents suffer offence. by the loss of young children, should in- No ticket porter is to apply for hire in duce parish officers, and others, in popu- any place but on the stand, appointed by lous neighbourhoods, to adopt a plan so
the acts of common council, or within six well devised to facilitate the restoration of yards thereof, under a penalty of 58. strayed children.
For every parcel above 14 lbs. which they may have to bring back, they are
allowed half the above fares.
A ticket porter not to take more than one his daughter to Rich, in Nov. 1657, the ob at a time, penalty 28. 6d.
lord protector threw about sack-posset Seven, or more, rulers of the society, to among all the ladyes to soyle their rich constitute a court.
cloaths, which they tooke as a favour, and
De Foe remarks in his
“ Protestant complaints in absence of the governor. Monastery," that “ If any whimsical or Any porter charging more than his re
ridiculous story is told, 'tis of an Old Wogular fare, finable on conviction to the
If any person is awkward at his extent of 20s., by the governor, or the court business or any thing else, he is called an of rulers.
Old Woman forsooth. Those were brave Persons employing any one within the days for young people, when they could city, except their own servants or ticket
swear the old ones out of their lives, and porters, are liable to be prosecuted.
get a woman hanged or burnt only for
being a little too old-and, as a warning Manners.
to all ancient persons, who should dare to
live longer than the young ones think conOLIVER CROMWELL.
DUEL WIJI A BAG.