Зображення сторінки

placently saying, “that the shrieks of the In the old map of London, already noticed, monkey, when he saw the dogs hanging from these two theatres are clearly shown: they the ears and neck of the pony, rendered the are circular, open at top to the sky, and specscene very laughable."

tators are represented seated all round, lookThis place is said to have obtained its name ing at the combats of beasts in the centre. from Robert de Paris, who had a house and Outside, the curious pry through windows grounds there in the reign of Richard II. | and crannies, and rows of bears and dogs The manor became royal property afterwards, appear chained as a corps de reserve ; large and comprised the land lying opposite Black square pools of water are also provided, in friars. Paris-garden Stairs, where Londoners which the animals were washed, after the debarked, were facing Puddle-dock, and were fashion described by Brown, in 1656, of those in existence till the year 1816, when the site he saw in the bear-garden at Dresden, where, was purchased by Mr. Devey, a coal merchant, he says, “they have fountains and ponds to and converted into a wharf.

wash themselves in, wherein they much deHonest John Stow has left the best account light." The gallery which ran round the old of the neighbourhood, at a time when the amphitheatre was double, and was calculated success of the one bear-garden had caused the to hold a thousand people; and here, on Sunerection of another. Speaking of Southwark, days, congregated masses of the idle and dissohe says, “on this bank is the beare-gardens, lute. Prynne has related the awful accident in nomber twain ; to wit, the old bear-garden which happened here on the 13th of January, and the new, places wherein be kept bears, 1583, which “being the Lord's Day, an inbulls, and other beasts, to be bayted at stakes finite number of people, men, women, and for pleasure ; also mastives to bait them in children, resorted unto Paris-garden to see severall kennels are there nourished. These beare-fighting, playes, and other pastyme," bears, bulls, and other beasts, are oft times when, “ being altogether mounted aloft upon baited in plots of ground, scaffolded about for these scaffolds and galleries, and in the the beholders to stand upon safe.” Hentzner, middest of their jollity and pastyme," the the German traveller in England, whose building being old and rotten, the scaffolds itinerary relates to what he saw here in 1598, fell; “five men and two women were slain gives a still more minute description, when outright, and above 150 persons were sore speaking of theatres near London, he says wounded and bruised, whereof many died “ There is still another place, built in the form shortly after." With the same taste for highof a theatre, which serves for the baiting of flown terms to hide “blackguardism” chosen bulls and bears; they are fastened behind, by modern prize-fighters, who term their doings and then worried by great English bull-dogs, “manly art” and “noble science," the old but not without great risk to the dogs, from bear-garden proprietors termed their show the horns of the one, and the teeth of the "royal pastime!" other, and it sometimes happens they are The Drama at this time was weak and poor. killed on the spot; fresh ones are imme- The blustering of Tamburlaine was incomprediately supplied in the place of those that are hensible to the mass ; clever writing, poetic wounded or tired. To this entertainment thought, had not yet appeared naturally before there often follows that of whipping a blinded them. No wonder, then, that, like Ben bear, which is performed by five or six men Jonson’s gossips in the “Staple of Newes," standing circularly with whips, which they they valued “no play without a foole and a exercise upon him without any mercy, as he devil in't!!” to cut capers and make sport cannot escape from them because of his chains. with buffoonery of the lowest kind. The He defends himself with all his force and skill, attractions of the stage, however, triumphed, throwing down all who come within his reach, and four theatres occupied “ the Bankside" and are not active enough to get out of it, and in the early part of the seventeenth century, tearing the whips out of their hands and one ultimately becoming world-famous by its breaking them.” He then dilates on the connexion with Shakespeare ;-not, however, company who " constantly smoke tobacco." that bear-baiting ceased, for we find in the and adds, “in these theatres, fruits, such as year 1682 it was still carried on, and "a horse apples, pears and nuts, according to the season, baited to death,” which “ formerly belonged are carried about to be sold, as well as ale and to the Earl of Rochester.” wine.” But for the tobacco-smoking, we might By the end of the sixteenth century there think he was describing the Southwark minor 1 were eleven theatres opened in the suburbs of theatres of the present day.

London ; but the four in Southwark were the

Swan, the Hope, the Rose, and the Globe. the river, and their inhabitants are alluded to The least celebrated was the Swan, which by Shakespeare as “ Winchester geese,” the stood close to the water's edge, but the exact place being under the protection of the Bishop spot is not easily definable ; it was the most of Winchester, whose palace and gardens westerly of the theatres on the Bankside, and stood close beside them, reaching nearly to stood near the Phænix gas-works. In 1618 it St. Saviour's wharf, where the houses clustered was shut up; and we learn from an old pam- thickly, until they formed the High-street of phlet, published in 1632, that it had then Southwark. fallen into decay. It was totally demolished, Much of this neighbourhood was inhabited with several others, by order of the Parlia- | by persons who did not altogether approve of ment, at the commencement of the civil wars. these scenes; and we find them complaining The Hope, originally used as a bear-garden, of the incessant noise and tumult of the Bearwas converted into a theatre early in the garden, then the property of Edward Alleyne, seventeenth century ; but it was again made the founder of Dulwich College. Among them a bear-garden, and then again a theatre, in occurs the name of Shakespeare, proving that 1614, when Ben Jonson's “Bartholomew Fair" in July, 1596, he was a resident in Southwark. was played there, he declaring " that therein At this time, the poet, though still a very the author hath observ'd a special decorum, young man, had been a successful adventurer the place being as dirty as Smithfield, and as in London ; was part proprietor of the Globe stinking every whit." The Rose stood close and Blackfriars Theatres; and early in 1597 to this theatre, but nearer the water; it was purchased one of the best houses in his native, built before 1598, and Collier considers it “the town of Stratford (New Place, where he died). oldest theatre on the Bankside;" it was de- The biographical facts connected with the serted in 1613. The Globe nearly faced the poet are few and far between, but all of Hope ; it was erected about 1594, and was them tend to prove he was by no means defiburned in June, 1613, when the wadding of a cient in worldly wisdom. We find him pursmall cannon, shot off in “a play called . All chasing houses and land at Stratford, and is True,' representing some principal pieces in dealing with the corporation for stone and the reign of Henry VIII.” (and probably corn; applied to by friends there for loans of Shakespeare's), set fire to the thatched roof, money “on good security," and receiving and burned it to the ground in less than two letters of advice as to the purchase of land. hours. It was rebuilt shortly in an improved In London, not again to speak of his property fashion, and here Shakespeare's finest works in theatres, we find him assessed in 1598 for were first given to the world ; the players were property in the parish of St. Helen's, Bishopsstyled “the King's servants;" and it con gate; and the original counterpart of the continued open till 1642, when the puritanical veyance to him of a house in Blackfriars is parliament issued an order for the suppression now in the library of the Corporation of of stage plays. Collier thinks that “after London, signed by the poet himself. Some 1647 it was most likely pulled down.”

idea of his income may be formed from that The connexion of our greatest poet with the portion obtained from his share of the BlackGlobe, and his fortune therewith, are so fre- friars, thus narrated in the document drawn quently related as to need no fresh narrative | up for the Corporation of London, when they here; we may, therefore, confine ourselves to wished to purchase and suppress it :notes on the Southwark of his time.

"Item. W. Shakespeare asketh for the wardrobe The straggling houses that dotted the and properties of the same playhouse, 500li., and water's edge from Lambeth-marsh to Paris for his 4 shares the same as his fellowes, Burbidge garden grew thicker as they approached that

and Fletcher, viz., 933li. 68. 8d. . . 1433li. 6s. 8d." place, and formed a line of houses, with gar Therefore, says Mr. Halliwell, in his admirdens and groves of trees behind them, until able life of the poet, “the shares which they reached the three theatres last described, Shakspeare possessed in the Blackfriars Thearound which they appear to have clustered tre alone produced him, as it appears from thickly. Close beside them were “the Stews," this list, £133 68. 8d. a year; and Mr. Collier and the garden-house known as “Holland's adds an annual £50 to this for the loan of Leaguer," a building with a pleasure-ground properties ;' so that, supposing his income and arbours, surrounded by a ditch and ap | from the Globe were of the same amount, his proached by a drawbridge, and which was of theatrical property in 1608 was worth infamous notoriety. The Stews, as Stow tells £366 138. 4d. per annum.” In May, 1602, he us, had signs painted on their fronts towards purchased 107 acres of arable land in Old

Stratford; and in July, 1605, he gave £440 for a lease of the tithes of Stratford, Old Stratford, Bishopton, and Welcombe. When we consider the value of such sums in these days, we can form a good idea of the personal wealth of the prudent dramatist. His will gives the fullest account of his possessions at his decease, and enumerates much that is here mentioned. The sums above named may be multiplied by four, to bring them to an equal value with what they would be worth in our own day.

Having thus completed a survey of South- | wark in Shakespeare's time, let us now see what remains at the present day to mark the famous localities of two centuries ago.

Passing across Blackfriars-bridge, the first turning to the left - Holland-street - leads directly to Bankside, and a few yards brings you acquainted with names that belong to the Shakesperian era. The Falcon Glass Works, the Falcon Brewery, and the Falcon Coal Wharf, all perpetuate the name (and the latter place the site of the Falcon Tavern, the traditional resort of Shakespeare and his dramatic companions, and which was pulled down at the commencement of the present century. It was one of those roomy old inns, with large projecting windows, which have ceased to be seen in modern London. There is a very good engraving of it in Wilkinson's “ Londina Illustrata.” The names of the streets about the place have a suburban sound-Green-walk, for instance-one of the country lanes converted into a dirty street of small houses.

Built into the modern houses, at intervals may be traced the quaint old wooden erections which originally stood in their “ garden-plots," jotted over the land like a Dutch village. They are generally about the time of William III, but some may date back to that of Charles II. In Gravel-lane and Guildfordstreet are several; and the pedestrian who will be at the trouble of passing through a dense neighbourhood, where cat’s-meat shops, dealers in old rags and bones, and other unsavoury commodities abound, may again trace old names in “ the Hope” Iron Foundry, and its former importance in such as Ely-place, Essex. street, &c. The black dolls hung over the doors; and the barbers' poles with their acorn tops, sloping from them; have interest as the last relics of Old London tradesmen's signs. Indeed, with the exception of the dog and porridge-pot for the brazier, the golden arm and hammer for the goldbeater, and the golden fleece for the mercer, these signs may be said to have ceased to exist.

In this neighbourhood, Pye or Pike-gardens mark the locality of the Pike-ponds, which are so carefully distinguished in the old maps, where many a bear was washed; and passing on to Park-street, we observe, nearly opposite Noah's-ark-alley, a very old public-house, “the Smith's Arms," which has often rung to the uproarious mirth of the “roaring boys” who frequented the Bear-garden opposite. But we are now a little too far south; so, returning to the Falcon, we will keep by the Bankside. It is not an attractive walk now, whatever it may have been in the days of Elizabeth. The ground is covered with coal-dust, and the air with gas-smoke; the wharfs and large mercantile establishments give you an idea of wealth, the wretched courts and denselycrowded alleys of dirty and neglected poverty. The most contradictory names are given to these places, as if in jest of their own misery. A dirty dark alley, nearly closed from the light of day by wood-yards and gas-works, is called Love-lane; and another equally dirty and woe-begone passage, near St. Saviour's, is termed Primrose-alley.

The place is sacred to trade and its depen. dents, yet old associations remain in old names, and in Cardinal-cap-alley we trace the locality of the Bordellos, or Stews, the licensed property of the Bishop of Winchester. A few steps farther, and “the Globe” Coal Wharf reminds us of the building that gives undying celebrity to this neighbourhood; while the gateway at Shears' factory, bearing the name “ Bear-garden” at its side, induces a pause. It was here that Allen's bear-garden stood, the racket of which was complained of in Shakespeare's time. The “Bear-garden Wharf,” and the public-house having for sign “the White Bear," are also reminiscences of olden time. “The Rose and Bell” has a low archway beside it, leading into Rose-alley, the site of the theatre of that name; but it is now a singularly contradictory name for the place; the grounds and walls of the houses are covered with coal-dust and smoke, the air is heavy with the same, the dull whirr of the factory-wheels, and the oppressive smell of the open drains and gutters, in which neglected children paddle, to amuse themselves, as they sluggishly creep towards the Thames, past the confined habitations of their parents; is both physically and morally depressive, Bred among such filth, brought up to labour in the bad air of the various “works” in the neighbourhood, we need not wonder to meet middle-aged men decrepid, asthmatic, and haggard ; flying to spirits, beer, and tobacco, as solaces for the discomfort with

which they are surrounded. “Wealth has its twenty years ago, when the ruins left by the victims——too much takes from too little :" both fire were more extensive and untouched. The dwell together on the Bankside.

wonder is, that the ground has been so long The site of the Hope Theatre is, as nearly asunoccupied. we can guess, where the Southwark-bridge We now reach the little inlet from the road now runs. Shakespeare's theatre, “the Thames, known as St. Saviour's Wharf. The Globe," stood a little beyond where now Barclay | fine old conventual church is beside it; between and Perkins' brewery is built. Before the it and the church a pointed arch and gate approaches to Southwark-bridge were formed, led, but a few years since, to Montague-close, the localities could be much better defined, and where stood the old house of the Lord Mount“Globe-alley” was in existence; but it has eagle, and where tradition affirms he received been swept away, and with it the most inte-| the famous letter which led to the discovery of resting name of the district.

the Günpowder-plot. All is swept away now, We have now reached the end of the Bank- | and enormous warehouses and wharfs occupy side: the open terrace to the Thames is the site. The tower of St. Mary Overy's, or interrupted by closely-built wharfs. We turn, | St. Saviour's, looks down now on a very difhowever, down Clink-street, and soon reach ferent scene to that which Hollar has so careWinchester Wharf, the site of the palatial fully depicted from its summit, where he had residence of the Bishops of Winchester, who frequently and patiently employed himself in had a suburban residence here as early as delineating the London of his day. Green the time of King Stephen, which was progres fields were then in Southwark, and others sively enlarged by succeeding prelates, who around the city walls-open country within continued to occupy it till the end of the seven view : now the close-built, mirky streets are teenth century, when the palace at Southwark everywhere as far as the eye can reach, and was deserted for one at Chelsea. The house the country beyond them obscured by smoke. and grounds, with its parterres and fountains, The racket of wheels and railway--the dense have been carefully delineated in Hollar's great crowds that throng London-bridge—the busy view of London. A fire, in August, 1814, employment of wharves, warehouses, shops, destroyed the whole ; but a portion of the walls and market--the anxious and hurried bearing of the Great Hall still remain, and a window, i of passers-by, all thinking of the present, and with carved work in the spandrils, may be its claims --- preclude reflexion here on things seen in the open piece of ground opposite the l of the past; but the thoughtful man, who wharf; the party-wall of one of them, by indulges in retrospection, may find much “ food Stoney-street, is formed of the solid walls of for contemplation" on the Bankside ; and the the episcopal residence; and a very fine rose few disjecta membra thrown together in this window is built in in this way, which the paper may prove how much can result from writer of the present notice well remembers, | an hour's walk in Shakespeare's Southwark.

[merged small][ocr errors]

CHAP. II. THE next morning saw Richard at the bookseller's door, full ten minutes before the appointed time. Around his slender throat was the promised handkerchief; and there was an air of gentility about the lad, though under evident restraint, in his threadbare best clothes. He was neither tall nor large of his age, yet he had outgrown his dress : to look at him when his cloth cap (from which depended a worn tassel, brown with age) was on, you would have thought that his eyes were too large for his

* Continued from page 42.

small, delicate features; but when that was removed, and the pale, full, well-developed brow, shaded by an abundance of light-brown hair, was displayed, then the schoolmaster's son had an air, despite his ill-fitting clothes, his patched shoes, his sunken cheeks, and the cold, mercilessly blue “hankerchief” round his throat, of the highest and most earnest intelligence. What most rendered him different from other boys however, was his frequent habit of uplooking: there was nothing weak or silly in this manner, nor did his eyes wander away from the things around him, as if he heard them not; his large, quick eyes, bright and grey, were rapid and observant; but it "Well, if you'll read me a bit of the news was as if he carried what he saw below to be the raale newspaper, political news-not your judged above ; his leisure looks were “ uplook- po-leece thrash, but the States of Europe I'll ing," his slight figure was erect, and he never | stand yer friend." slouched in his gait, or dragged his feet after Richard followed her down stairs, wondering him, as many lads are apt to do. As he stood what interest such a deplorable looking woman at his new master's door, in the grey fog of a could possibly take in the “States of EuLondon morning, he longed for the door to rope.” She told him what to do, concerning open; he longed to begin work; he thought knives and shoes and coat-brushing, and left the clocks were all wrong; and, though there him to do it; but the “all” was so very little, was hardly a creature moving in the streets that, in addition to her directions, he made up except a stray cat or a slip-shod charwoman, the fire and swept the hearth; and his habits of he would have it that the entire London order and quickness gave the small, dismal population were a set of slug-a-beds, un kitchen an air of neatness approaching to worthy of the name of Britons; for he had comfort, which perhaps it had never before great veneration for Britons, and when he exhibited during the dynasty of “ Matty used to write impromptu copies on the broken Hayes,” It was this good woman's habit slate, his favourite sentence was "Rule Bri always to speak in a tone of injured innocence. tannia."

She anticipated that everything must go At last he heard doors opening beneath the wrong, and she met the evil half-way with a area gratings, and in due time the shop-door sort of grim exultation. She delighted in was unbarred by a not very clean-faced contradiction; and would contradict herself, woman, who inquired

rather than not contradict at all. There was, " Are you the new boy?” Richard said he however, as is usual with her people," an was. “Well," added the woman, looking him under-current of good-nature coursing round over carefully, “ when master had a mind to her heart, which rendered her speech and action get a new boy, he might have got something two different and opposite things. with flesh on its bones, and stout arms. Sorra “ Master's shoes nor coat aint ready, of a much joy I'll have wid a shrimpeen of a course ?” she called from the landing. In a child like you in the house. Sorra a helping moment Richard's light feet flew up the stairs, hand at the knives, or shoes, or messages, I'll and he laid them on her bony arms. go bail!”

“Then I'm sure he's let the fire out, if these “ Indeed, I can do everything you want, are done,” she muttered to herself. “There and bring you all you wish,” said Richard, never was a boy that did not undo ten things cheerfully.

while he did one!” “Bring me all I wish!” repeated the Irish When she descended, she looked round, servant, in a low, desponding tone. “Oh, silenced by the change Richard had wrought then, hear to the presumption of youth! May in the den of a kitchen, and hardly knowing be, you think I'm like yer mother, and that all whether she ought to blame or praise. my wishes end in a half-pint of beer, or a "I don't mean to pay you for all this fine glass of gin?”

work,” she said ; "and there's no breakfast for Richard felt his susceptible blood rush over you-no, nor bit nor sup—it's as much as I can his face. “My mother,” he said, “never took do to manage for us three-master, and I, and a glass of gin in her life !"

Peter." She looked fixedly at him, and gradually "I have had my breakfast, thank you; and her large mouth expanded into a smile. “Yer a as I can do nothing here, I will go up stairs, if better boy than I thought you, though you can't you will be so good as to tell me what I can do bring me all I wish; you can't bring me my

there." two fine boys back from the withered church “Tell you what to do,” she repeated. “ Are yard; you can't bring me back my strength, you an apprentice, that you want teaching? my heart, my youth, my gay, bright youth! A pretty boy, indeed, you are for a place, if All I wish! Och, wirrasthue! if I had all I you can't take down shutters, and sweep and wish, it's not in slavery I'd be in an airee all dust a shop, and clean windows-(I daresay day, with a poor lone man for a master, that you'll break 'em when you do)-and mop the thinks the world and its sunshine is made out pavement-(always do that in frosty weather, of musty books—and newspapers—that I can't like the doctor's boy next door, to break get the reading of. Can you read ?”

people's legs, and make a job of their precious “ Yes."

limbs)—and sweep the snow over the slides,

« НазадПродовжити »